Haven Handel-Princess of the Pack

Haven Handel is a pen name for Shanna Handel. She’s writing paranormal romance under this name. Of course, just because she’s writing in a new genre with a new pen name doesn’t mean that she got rid of the spanking and domestic discipline that go along with her other books.

In Princess of the Pack, we meet a new cast of characters. There’s Cassandra and Deo, her husband, and all of his family. Deo’s family are interesting, but we’ll get to them later. Right now all you need to know is that they are Greek and they all look like they stepped down off Mount Olympus.

So, Cassandra and Deo have been married for 10 years. In fact, the story starts out the day before their 10th wedding anniversary. However, in the past few months, their marriage hasn’t been good. They have been fighting and arguing and just pulling away from each other, in general. During a big argument that night, Cassandra tells Deo that she is leaving. It’s that exact point in time when everything changes. Deo tells her to go to his office, tells her to get undressed, and then takes her over his knee, after she laughed in his face, which meant she got spanked even worse.

The next day she goes to work late, so she wouldn’t have to sit down at her meeting, and tells her friend Cynthia what happens. Then she goes out to lunch with her friend Andrew, when Deo shows up. Bye-bye Andrew. When she gets back from lunch, another Greek god looking dude, Baal, is waiting in her office and tells her that Deo sent her and she needs to leave.

OK, this is a good place to mention all the names of the hot guys. Whenever anyone meets them, they always tell the new person what their name is and what it means. Deo means godlike. Baal is short for Balthazar, meaning protect the king, he’s Deo’s couisn. Alekos is Deo’s brother, and his name means defender of mankind. Draco, another cousin, means the dragon. Xander, yet another relative, means protector. Then there was Cassandra, who was an unheeded prophetess.

Here is where the paranormal bit comes in. When Baal and Draco get Cassandra to Deo at the castle, he starts to tell her what’s the what. Turns out he and his family are shifters who have to fight against dark spirits. They are all wolves, but Draco has a second, more powerful, form. Gee, guess what it is? Not that we see it in this book, but we will, I’m sure.

Alright, here’s where you choose which path to follow, my little ducklings. There is spanking and romance. Not so much sex, and not a whole lot of bad language. Shanna/Haven writes rather tame stories, sex-wise, but very entertaining otherwise, so I’m not complaining in any way. I enjoy reading them. Shanna came up with a good premise in this and an interesting way to turn the people into wolves, which is a way I’ve not heard of before, and I’ve read a lot of paranormal and UF, so that was exciting.

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OK, so here’s how they become shifters. You know, in most stories, they are bitten or they are born to be a shifter. In this one, Deo’s family was cursed many, many, many years ago. Now, when the men make a sacred vow, whoosh, the curse activates and they turn into shifters. Until they do that vow, they have no clue what’s going. So, when Deo married Cassandra, he made that vow, and he found out about the curse and was able to turn into a wolf.

There are always dark spirits around, but they multiply when vows and promises get broken, and they like to attack a lot more people when that happens.

I like that Cassandra stays a strong woman even after her husband starts with his domestic discipline. She’s a high powered lawyer outside of their marriage and is pretty Alpha herself, so Shanna did really well not letting that part of Cassandra disappear. Sadly, it earns her a lot of punishment, but you know, this happens. But, Cassandra also gets to be a BAMF and a kickass fighter, which is good.

Outside of telling you to go check this out, I think I’ve said quite enough. It’s a fairly short story, which is amazing that I was able to talk this much about it, and it’s a great start to a new series in an interesting world.

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Candace Blevins-Leashed & An Elegant Weapon

Today we have a two-fer from Candace Blevins. I’ve been following on of her stories on Radish for a while now, and if you like paranormal and kink, Slave is a good choice. It’s got sex in just about every combination and power dynamic you can think of, set against a backdrop of a Fae court. Go check it out. Also, some of her books were up on Wattpad last I checked, so check that out too.

Today, though, we are talking about Leashed and An Elegant Weapon. They are part of her Dark Underbelly series and are directly connected. I suspect that you could read An Elegant Weapon without having read Leashed, but you would get much more enjoyment reading Leashed and then An Elegant Weapon. Talking about the one really won’t spoil the other in any significant way, so there should be no problem with me talking about them both.

Leashed

So, let’s jump right in with Leashed, shall we? This is primarily an M/m book, when it comes down to relationships and sex. There are just a few sex scenes, and they aren’t as graphic as you may see in some other books, but they are really hot, I think that it’s mostly because of the connection and caring that you see between Spencer and Abbott.

Abbott is a master vampire who had to take the area of Maryland as his own, adding to his already vast territory. This leads to a lot of problems, including the fact that there are dozens of blood-bound werewolves, many of whome don’t have the ability to control their inner wolves on their own. That means that Abbott has to figure out a way to help them with that. One way is that he binds them to himself. That’s what he does with Spencer.

Spencer was taken as a child and brought into his former Master’s house. There he was turned into a werewolf and trained as a sex slave and one who could take a lot of pain. Because he was a werewolf, he could be used hard and fed from and then forced to change and heal. When Abbott takes him into his house, he is drawn to Spencer. He wants to be with Spencer, but the problem is that Spencer is bound to him and he quite literally can’t tell him no.

However, something happens that changes their whole relationship.

An Elegant Weapon

So, AEW is Holly and Bran’s story. Holly’s first appearance was in Leashed.

Holly was a meth junky that Abbott found passed out in the park. He decided that he was going to take her home, get her clean, and give her a chance. She had already burnt through all her bridges with her family, and there really wasn’t much else out there. So, to Abbott’s house she goes. He puts her in Spencer’s care and gives her a schedule of things to do. However, she doesn’t really meet Spencer and Abbott’s expectations. Because of that, Abbott has another idea as to how to help her. He decides to let her spend the rest of her 6 month period with Bran.

Bran is one of Abbott’s trusted allies. He’s also sadistic and the only person in Abbott’s territory who can keep slaves. Bran has harsher methods to help Holly out than Abbott does. He also doesn’t have the same morals that Abbott does. He has no problem with forcing a bit on Holly or having noncon sex. She is going to his house as a slave, which means she’s petty much anyone’s meat.

When they get to Bran’s house, he decides that he sees something in her, as she’s fighting him. He has one of his men start training her to fight.

OK, I’m going to split off here. There will be some spoilers at the end, but I’m going to be careful about what I say, because we all know how I feel about leaving spoilers, and these books are fairly short. I enjoyed both of them. They are definitely worth hitting up King Zon and clicking on them.

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When it comes to L, there is a definite HEA, but then you get to AEW and it isn’t as clearly a romance. However, I do put it in that category, for a couple of reasons. One is that Bran and Holly are both getting their needs met in a beneficial manner and they have found a partner who works for them. The sex scenes are interesting. There are some MF scenes, but there is also F/m and M/F/m stuff going on. Holly is a sadist, as trained by Bran who is also a sadist. What she does with the slave that Bran gives her is really great. I need to see more of what she does to him.

The stories are pretty quick reads, and I’m going to have to go read the rest of the books, as well as all the other related books. I really enjoyed the books, the characters, the magical system, and the universe.

OK, that’s it for today. Got all kinds of good stuff coming up, so keep your eyes open. Meanwhile, happy reading

Parker Sinclair-Trust

Parker Sinclair is a first time author for me. I signed up for her ARC team and I’m working my way through her backlog, which is always something I enjoy doing. Today we’re going to talk about the first book in her Alex Connors series, Trust.

These books are a little different to the ones that I generally review. For one thing, there is almost no sex. I know, you are all shocked. I do read books that don’t have sex and that aren’t considered romances. Trust is one of those books. It is a paranormal series, and I would probably classify it as urban fantasy as well. That puts it right into my wheelhouse.

Anyway, to the book. The main character is Alex. Alex can do magic. She is an Earthen Protector/Healer. She doesn’t know a lot about that because her mother was a junkie and didn’t teach her much, and her grandmother died before she could teach Alex. Alex went into foster care and was caught by a bad guy. She used her magic to bind him away so he could do no more damage to anyone.

Alex has a boyfriend named Justin. Justin is a really nice guy. He’s all into plants and such, and Alex just feels perfectly at home with him. He loves her and tells her so, but she has trauma in the past that makes it hard for her to trust him, let alone love him.

Part of the problem is that she is having horrific nightmares, and has been since around the time she met Justin. She’s seeing a therapist for it, but they are getting worse.

Alex is an event planner and a good one. At one of her events, she meets Ryan. She is drawn to Ryan, and feels safe around him. After one of the events, he has to take her home, and he stays there overnight. She has one of the best night’s sleep she’s had in a while. She’s wildly attracted to Ryan, but she feels guilty about Justin.

OK, so here’s where we part. I really do like this book and am well into enjoying the rest of the series. Expect a post about the second book on Sunday. There are some things that Parker did really well in this book. One is the way that she handles the exposition. Each chapter starts with a journal excerpt, and we know that Alex journals. That excerpt gives us backstory without having to start all the way back in Alex’s childhood. The story starts with her as an adult, but the journals start much earlier. I really liked the way that she did that. This is a really good adventure story. There is minimal sex, but there is bad language. If you are looking for a paranormal read, this is a good choice.

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I never trusted the hypnotherapist. The whole thing just seemed off to me. Turned out I was right.

Also, I’m not all that enthused with Ryan right now. The information we got at the end of the book about him makes me not trust him. It will take a whole lot for him to come back into my trust as of the end of the book. I’ll tell you my opinion of him in further books as we get there. I don’t want to get all spoilery even in my spoiler section.

I love Dana. She’s awesome, completely awesome. I want to be her when I decide to grow up. She’s dotty in all the right ways. I really enjoy her. I also love Vex, he’s pretty awesome. I wish I had a spirit animal like him.

There are all kinds of wonderful surprises to get into when you read this book, and if I give all of them away, you won’t enjoy the book, so head on over to King Zon and check out the book and the series.

Tomorrow we have a new and sexy Grace Goodwin story coming up and Saturday is a new Ava Sinclair. They are both marvelous, I’m really looking forward to sharing them with you guys. Meanwhile, happy reading!

Adaline Raine-Saving Abby, Marked by Fate Bk. 1

Adaline Raine has brought us a nice Halloween treat, ducklings. This story is included in the box set, Moonlight Magic, which is packed full of Halloween thrills and chills.

Abby has been different her whole life. She never gets sick, and if she gets hurt, she heals almost immediately. This led her mother to think that she didn’t feel a lot of pain because, well, if you heal that quick, you must not hurt, right? Wrong! Anyway, as an adult, Abby decides to try and find out more about herself and her condition. She’s spent years doing research, and finally found someone who will talk to her about it. On the night that she is supposed to meet her mysterious contact, she ends up being attacked. Raven tells Abby that she is now Raven’s. However, before anything can happen, her incredibly hot boss, Chase roars up and saves her. He yells several things to Raven about her crimes and that he will end her if she doesn’t leave Abby alone, and that Abby is his.

Chase is a multi-gazillionaire workaholic. He is secretive and doesn’t do a lot of interviews so no one knows anything about him. All his employees gossip and speculate about him. Their ruling theory is that he is gay. He knows a lot more about Abby and her situation than he’s letting on. He tells her she needs to do certain things to stay safe, but Abby is headstrong. However, when Raven comes after her again, she’s more than a little frightened.

OK, we’re going to part ways here. I liked this story. Interesting view on vampires. It can be hard to write vamps since they are always there and have been written about 20 different ways, but I like Adaline’s way. I also like the marks of fate. It’s going to be an interesting series. There is sex, violence, and cursing, all the goodies. However, I wouldn’t classify it as dark, paranormal isn’t necessarily dark. Sexy, yes, but not dark. The box set is only $0.99, so check it out.

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Totally cool pic, right? I really liked it.

Anyway, there were some scenes that I was like damn, Adaline, WTF did you just do? One of them is when Chase is trying to teach Abby to defend herself. I mean, woah. That was… yeah. I have to admit, I would’ve freaked out too, just like Abby did, because.. However, it did help her out when push came to shove and she was totally badass about it too.

I really did enjoy this story. It was a nice love story, but it didn’t go smoothly into their HEA, which I like. There were bumps and bruises and misunderstandings. I really prefer the bumps and bruises more than smooth sailing because it is more realistic to me. None of us have ever had a smooth path to our HEAs, right? I know mine wasn’t. And while I’m talking about unsmooth paths, let me take a second to wish my darling husband happy 23rd anniversary. That’s the vampire one, right? Totally stakes to protect us? Or is it the zombie one, where I get another sword?

That’s all I have to say today. We have some intense stories coming up. We have an age play story from Allysa Hart, who is new to me, Kneel from Dani Rene, and Exalted from Sansa Rayne, as well as more from Kit Rocha and the world of Sector 4. Meanwhile, happy reading!