2 Draekons, No Waiting

Draekon Fire is the second book of Dragon’s in Exile series by Lili Zander and Lee Savino. Lili Zander is Tara Crescent’s Sci-fi pen name. Check out her books, especially if you like menages. Lee also writes several other series, including her Berserker series, hot Viking and Celtic werewolves. Most of those books are also MFM menages. MFM means no guys getting friendly, whereas MMF does mean the guys are more than happy to jump each other as well as their lady.

A little history on this series. In Draekon Mate, several Earth women are headed to Zoraht, as the first humans headed there. The Zorahn had showed up on Earth and handed out cures for cancer, among other things. The Earth women are going back with the Zorahn as part of an agreement for more medical technology. After takeoff, the women are put into stasis for the long journey.

Fast forward, and some of the Zorahn aboard caused the shuttle to crash on the planet where the Zorahn had exiled the males who tested positive for the Draekon gene. The women wake up from stasis as the ship is crashing on the planet. Some of the women decide to go out and look for food and water. One, Viola, runs into two hot alien guys, Arax and Nyx, who turn into dragons as soon as they see her. When they turn back, they tell her she’s their mate.

Now to Draekon Fire. Another of the women, Harper, brushed against an orange fungus and fell into a coma in the first book. When all the women were rescued from the crashed shuttle and brought up to the plateau where the Draekon live during the rainy season, the Draekon who was the medic looked at her and realized that she was his mate.

Vulrux, the medic, and Dennox, a former elite warrior, had found a mate before. They changed to their dragon form and then watched their mate be gunned down in front of them.

When Arax and Nyx found their mate, everyone thought that they were the first Draekon to find a mate, and Vulrux and Dennox didn’t disabuse them of that idea, or tell anyone that Harper was their mate.

When Harper wakes up from her coma, she wakes up to find out that there are two hot aliens who say that she is their mate. She wants nothing to do with them because she wants to go back to Earth. The other women have had time to come to grips with being trapped on the prison planet, but for Harper, it is really day one.

Arax, the leader of their group, tells Harper, Vulrux, and Dennox that they have to spend time together so that they can get to know each other. If, by the end of the rainy season, she doesn’t want them, then they don’t have to bond.

Warning, after this is my opinion, and spoilers may happen. If you don’t want to risk it, then just be aware that I love this book and I recommend it heartily. Both this book and the first one are on Kindle Unlimited.

You have been warned.

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Since we got a lot of exposition in the first book, in DF, we don’t have to get a lot of the backstory in this book, but we do see Dennox and his mate, who he doesn’t know is his mate, being tested on, like lab rats. We also see the order given to kill the un-named woman. We find out that it was Raiht’vi, the Highborn scientist who had been on the shuttle with the women. She was young at the time, only 15, and an apprentice. Her father was the high muckety-muck when it came to science, so he wanted her to be doing the illegal experiments. Vulrux is the Third Born, the third most powerful person on Zoraht, and he broke into the secret lab where the experimentation was going on, saw Dennox and the female and promptly turned into a dragon, along with Dennox.

Raiht’vi’s father helped cover up all the experimentation by making sure that D & V are sent to the prison planet, since they were Draekon. He also made sure that no one knew his daughter was involved, which let her go on to become a highly ranked scientist.

Poor Dennox and Vulrux have been stuck for 60 years having the only memory of the mate they have is her being killed right in front of them. Harper is a breath of fresh air and a second chance for them. However, they may be shit out of luck, because Harper doesn’t care if their dragon dicks are magical, she’s not interested.

So, of course, the question is going to be how long can she hold out? I mean, I’m not sure I would be able to. Yeah, I would be upset and scared when I woke up on a strange planet after being in a crash and a coma, but I would have a hard time fighting off the biological draw and the attention of two males who want me to be the center of their universe.

I’ve read just about everything that Lee has written, and she’s one of the authors I 1-click. Tara/Lili is pretty new to me, but what I’ve read of her stuff is pretty good. I have a set of books from Lili on my Kindle right now. They look good, hot, and funny. I like that combination.

If you like reading about menages, dragons, alien worlds, hot sex, romances, or any combination thereof, I definitely suggest that you check out these books on Amazon.

I received an ARC so that I could share my honest review, and that’s what you got.

 

33 Free Books

Everyone loves free books! Thirty-three authors have gotten together to offer up 33 free books!  The offer is good through the 12th, so check it out, especially if you like smexi romances.

The books include Born to Be Bound, the first book in Addison Cain’s Alpha’s Claim series, The Invitation by Jennifer Bene, who I love and it’s a book I enjoy, and Wicked Ways by Cari Silverwood. Cari is a new author to me, but I really enjoy her. She just put out a steampunk, dark erotica, science fiction story called Acquired Possession. (Check out my review!)

There are also other authors I enjoy, Skye Warren, Maren Smith, Maggie Ryan, Alta Hensley, Lee Savino, and Meredith O’Reilly. Honestly, I can personally recommend about 1/2 of the authors and their books, either because I have read them or have read other books by the various authors.

If you like your romance with a dash of spice (or maybe a little more than a dash), check out the giveaway.

 

Let’s Get Cozy

I don’t just read UF, erotica, and dark romance. I also read mysteries. I love reading mysteries because I like the tension and the thrills. I tend to follow series because I like to watch the character development from book 1 to book whatever. Among others, I like Patricia Stabenow’s Kate Shugak books, which take place in Alaska and Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell stories, which are an interesting take on Sherlock Holmes, in particular, the fact that Mary Russell starts out as his apprentice and then they get married.

Just like any other genre, there are sub-genres. For mysteries, one of those sub-genres is the cozy. So, what exactly is a cozy?

A cozy mystery is one that doesn’t have a lot of sex, bad language, or violence. When the death happens, it’s usually off-stage. A character just runs across the dead body instead of the reader seeing how the person died, generally. If the person does die on-stage, the description will generally be fairly tame. Sex is off-stage too, mostly, and if it isn’t, it’s again described in the most general way, without any of the more graphic terms. Another feature of the cozy is that it is generally set in a small area with a limited amount of people around, and everyone usually knows each other. The person who solves the murder is also generally an amateur, think more Miss Marple and less Lt. Joe Leaphorn (Tony Hillerman).

Cozy mystery series can also have a theme. Diane Mott Davidson is a good example of this. Her series focuses around cooking, with all of the titles being related to cooking or food, and she includes recipes in the back of the books.

One of my favorite cozy authors is Charlotte MacLeod, who died back in 2005, about 50 miles from where I live. She has two or three series out. My particular favorite is the Sarah Kelling/Max Bittersohn series. It takes place in Boston and the characters are mostly all the upper crust, old families of Boston. There are some eccentrics, which does tend to happen with cozies. Sarah’s Uncle Jem is definitely a character, but he’s a lot of fun, and I really like him.

Anyway, that’s the cozy in a nutshell. If you want a quick, light, sometimes funny mystery to read, then the cozy is a good choice. As with any other genre I read, I have plenty of suggestions and recommendations.

If you ever want to see me write about some genre, author, book, whatever, let me know. If you have suggestions of a book, genre, author, whatever you think I’ll like, let me know. I am always on the lookout for new things to read.

Off Duty (again)

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about a book called Off Duty. It’s a book written by Ellie Masters and Lucas X Black. The cool thing about these authors and this book is that they were going to done proceeds to the Make-a-Wish Foundation. As of this weekend, they have donated $500 to MaW! That’s pretty damn awesome if you ask me.

When I wrote my last post, I hadn’t read it yet. I have now, courtesy of Ellie Masters. (Thanks, Ellie!) And, I reviewed it on both Amazon and Goodreads. Here is a copy of my review. If anyone wants a link to my Goodreads or Amazon profile, just ask and it shall be given. I review a lot of books, and am working on reviewing everything I can, I’m so far behind though.

Laura is a world-renowned trauma surgeon and Queen Bee at her hospital. She’s called Ice Queen and other not so nice names because she is very private, closed off, and will ream out anyone whom she feels has failed at their job. She demands perfection from herself and no less from the staff and doctors that she works with.

Keith is a paramedic that has been out on the streets for years. He was a corpsman in the Navy and is used to the stress that being out on the front lines can hold. He is rapidly burning out on it though and some of what he sees overwhelms him, like the death of a child.

A death of a child named Caleb is what originally brings Laura and Keith together. They see each other out at a restaurant where they are both eating alone. Laura comes over to share some news about Caleb with Keith and then manages to get blind drunk.

There isn’t really insta-love in this, at least not as it shows up in other stories. Laura and Keith spend several weeks butting heads with each other and yelling at each other. Once they do get really into the relationship, the love happens quickly, but the relationship didn’t happen overnight, exactly.

The M/s story is good. He is very demanding and very harsh at times. Laura likes it, so it’s all good. I mostly liked the book, but I did have a few issues with it. One is that sometimes Laura seemed to be topping from the bottom. She pushed forward faster than Keith did, which leads to my second issue that really her full surrender came fast. But, it’s a book, so I can’t blame it because you can’t spend the time developing the relationship, and the authors did mention that in a warning in the beginning. The characters do acknowledge that it will take time for them to truly know each other, so that takes care of that quibble. That’s just my personal issue, others may not have it, your mileage may vary.

Overall, I do like the story. I think that Masters and Black developed the characters well and showed some of the stress that Laura and Keith would experience in their jobs. I definitely recommend it.

Urban Fantasy Pt. 3

Make sure that you check out Part 1 and Part 2. That way you’ll get the whole impact of my thoughts, opinions, and favorite authors.

Ilona Andrews

This husband and wife team have several series which would fit right smack dab in UF. One also works as post-apocalyptic. One, the Innkeeper series, I’m balancing between UF and straight fantasy. I haven’t quite decided how I would classify it as of yet. I haven’t read the Edge series, I’ve read synopsis of the books, and they just don’t grab me.

Kate Daniels is the main character for the Magic… series. She is a mercenary with a heaping helping of personal magic, and a huge secret that she is hiding. Her secret could get her killed. Her father, Vorin, taught her how to fight so that she would be ready when it came time to enact her revenge. Along the way, she meets and falls in love with Curran, the Beast Lord, defeats her all-powerful aunt, and tries to kill her real father.

Ilona has said that she based Kate’s sword fighting style after Cossack sword dancing, which makes sense, since Vorin was of Russian descent, and so is Kate on her mother’s side. BTW, Ilona is of Cossack descent herself, check out her blog post about it. Their blog is fun to read. They have snippets of WIPs, slice of life snippets, and a little bit of everything, including a look into the world of a professional author.

Cossack sword dancing is very cool to watch. Very cool.

This is what I think Kate must look like when she’s fighting.

And just because this fighting style is so fucking pretty, have another video.

I read the Kate Daniels books regularly, usually at 2x a year. That includes the companion novellas and the shorts. The upcoming book, the 10th Kate Daniel’s book, is going to be the final in the series. Sadly. I think there are going to be more written in that world, and be Kate-adjacent.

Hidden Legacy

Hidden Legacy takes place in Houston. In this series, various Houses pretty much rule the world, sometimes behind the scenes, sometimes not. Each House a type of magic associated with them. In walks Nevada Baylor, who has what she thinks is just a little truth sense talent. Turns out it isn’t just a little bit, and she’s a Prime. She’s a PI and while looking for Adam Pierce, she comes to the attention of Mad Rogan, one of the most powerful Primes ever. He’s very focused on her. They get their HEA, eventually, and sorta by the skin of their teeth.

So far, this is just a trilogy, and the last one just came out this month. Hopefully, there’ll be more to it. It’s a fun series, with a kickass hero and her cute, focused, somewhat insane boyfriend.

Innkeeper

The Innkeeper series started out being serialized on Ilona’s blog, but was popular enough that they were turned into books. In this series, there are special inns that are sanctuaries where the paranormal, alien, what have you, can stay if necessary, or hold meetings, and such like. The Inns are somewhat sentient, but they are under the control of their Keeper. This series has an inn that was closed off, but Dina, the Keeper, is determined to get her Inn back to good shape and get it highly rated again.

I like this series. It’s a pretty light series, all things considered, and generally a little less intense than the other two.

We’re going to have more posts about some of my favorite authors in this genre, but I think next week we’ll take a break and talk about something else.

As a reminder, 22 great authors, some of which I know, got together and wrote a set called Royally Mine. It’s only $.99 on pre-order, and it comes out 8/22. I’ve read some ARCs from the set, and they are hot, hot, hot!

Urban Fantasy Pt. 2

My last post talked about what urban fantasy is. Now I’m going to touch on some of my favorite UF authors. Like I said, I love UF, so there are a lot of authors I read. They mostly tend to be female authors with strong female leads. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t good male UF authors, Jim Butcher is very good, as is Charles de Lint, I just tend to read more female authors.

Mercedes Lackey

Mercedes Lackey (bibliography) has several stories which could be classified as Urban Fantasy. They all came out in the very late ’80s and early ’90s. I’m not sure that I would classify them as straight UF so much as pre-UF or early UF. There are 3 series that she, along with her husband, wrote. SERRAted Edge, Bedlam’s Bard, and Diane Tregarde. They are all set in the same universe and there is some small connection from series to series.

SERRAted Edge is basically about elves want to start racing. Because they can’t race in stock cars because of the metal content, they’ve created their own racing league, SERRA, with somewhat different rules. Most of their cars are elven steeds who take the shape of the cars. However, that doesn’t work well for inspections. The elves bring in a metallurgist to fake them. There are struggles against the dark elves and a million other things. There are kitsune, wizards, dragons, and other fun, magical creatures. I think that there have been some books printed since the turn of this century. I haven’t read the series in a while, I think it’s time to reread it.

Diane Tregarde is a Wiccan who is a Guardian. She is in the business of fighting off all the big bads, along with other Guardians. She also has a vampire lover. There is a small crossover here with SERRAted edge. In one of the books, Diane has to go to OK, and she meets a teenager who will end up being a main character in SERRAted Edge.

Bedlam’s Bard has a main character who is a magical violinist. He doesn’t quite realize it until he summons up Nightflyers at his audition for Julliard, which then messes up his life. Eventually, he gets control of his powers, helps save the homes of the elves, stops gang wars, etc.

Laurell  K Hamilton

When I think of urban fantasy, I really go straight to LKH (Bibliography) and Anita Blake. I first found Anita in my sophomore year in college, for those of you playing along at home, that was ’98. By that time, she already had 7 books out I started the first one, and then hit up the library for the rest. I know own most of them in either e-formant or paper. Anita’s books take place in a St. Louis where magical creatures are widely known. There are laws about vampires up before Congress which may declare the vampires people or not. Anita, on top of raising zombies, is a licensed vampire hunter, nicknamed The Executioner for her high rate of kills. In the first few books, the focus was more on Anita’s job and her work with the police. The later books got pretty sex heavy and all of Anita’s job fell by the wayside. The most recent books are working on getting a better balance, but there is a heavier focus on Anita’s magic vagina saves the world than I particularly like. I have nothing against sex in books. I mean, hello, look at some of the other books I’ve talked about, but it didn’t seem to happen in an organic fashion to me. I don’t know that I’ll continue to read any more of her books because I can’t just seem to get interested in them anymore.

LKH also wrote the Merry Gentry series. Merry is the American Faerie Princess. She can trace her lineage back both the light and dark Sidhe. The series starts out with her having run away and hidden for 3 years, until something happens and her aunt sends her Darkness out to bring her back. This series started out with sex, lots of it, and lots of participants of it. The plot is good. The reason that the sex doesn’t bother me here is that it was never anything other. I will read new Merry Gentry books, if LKH ever comes out with more.

Faith Hunter

Faith Hunter is one of my most favorite UF authors ever. Her main character is Jane Yellowrock, a skinwalker and 100% Cherokee woman. Jane is the premier vampire killer in the country. Part of what makes her so good is that she can switch to her mountain lion self, Beast, and hunt them at night. No one knows that she is a skinwalker, except for her BFF Molly Everheart and her husband and kids. In the first book, Jane is headed into New Orleans to find and kill a rogue vampire. She’s been hired by the current head of the city, Leo, to come in and take care of it. When she does, she exposes certain secrets that were being hidden and starts a whole slew of thing in motion, some of which are just now starting to show up, several books later. Faith has plotted so well.

Soulwood is a spinoff of the Jane Yellowrock series. In it, we meet Nell, who helped Jane rescue some vampires and kill off the bad guys. Nell isn’t quite human, and is tied to her land. Rick LeFluer, sent to Nell to try to recruit her to a supernatural police department, manages to get her on his team. So far, there are only 2 books from this series out, but the 3rd comes out later this year. I already have it on pre-order. I really love pre-order.

OK, UF pt. 3 will come out tomorrow with more to the list of my fave UF authors, Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs, CE Murphy, and Jim Butcher.

 

Urban Fantasy Pt. 1

Urban fantasy is also called urban horror or some mash-up between the two. It’s a relatively new genre, having only been around about 20 years or so. One of the pioneers in the genre is Laurell K. Hamilton, with her Anita Blake series.

When most people think about fantasy, they tend to think about JRR Tolkien, elves, hobbits, barbarians, and sorcerers. That’s not what urban fantasy is. Well, UF does have some of those things, but they are taken out of the realm of Middle Earth and moved into the mid-city. Traditional horror characters like vampires, zombies, ghouls, and were-creatures move into the mid-city as well.

UF worlds are generally alternate Earths. On that Earth, magic exists, and all sorts of magical creatures live in the same world as you or I do. In some universes, all the creatures and magic users are open knowledge. For example, LKH’s Anita Blake series is one of these ‘verses. That series is based in St. Louis. Anita Blake is an animator, someone who raises zombies. It’s an inborn power, and if she doesn’t use it, then it just oozes out of her and zombies are accidentally raised. Everyone knows about vampires and various flavors of shifters. While some of the magical people still live in the broom closet, so to speak, the fact that there are werewolves or fairies, as a species, is well-known. In this world, werecreatures and vampires are created in the way that we would expect, although there are some that are born that way. They also have the traditional weaknesses that we would think of, silver, holy water, crosses, etc.

Then there are the other ‘verses. The ones where all those magical creatures exist, but they are a secret. Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files is an example of one of these worlds. Harry Dresden is a wizard, who actually advertises in the phone book, which is a whole different story. There are elves, fae, vampires, Knights of the Cross, and a whole host of other bad guys, who are all magical but the world doesn’t know about them. There are a few non-magical people who do know about them, like Dresden’s police pal, Karen Murphy, but they are the exception rather than the rule.

UF is really popular, with a plethora of authors and series out there. Part of the reason is that it is really accessible. It’s easier for people to relate to St. Louis or Chicago than it is for them to relate to Middle Earth. They also tend to cross genre a lot. You’ll see a lot of UF fiction, especially if it’s written by female authors and feature a female protagonist, marked under romance as well. Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels gets this treatment. Because of that, a lot of people who wouldn’t ordinarily read books that feature magical mercs and pushy lion shifters pick up the books and get hooked on the series.

I really like urban fantasy, and I read a lot of it. Thursday, I’ll list up some of my series and authors.