Claire Marta & Anna Edwards-Beauty’s War

Oh, these two. When they got together to write this book, they completely did something completely awesome. Beauty’s War blew me right the fuck away and left me gasping. Before we get started, let me just say I love this title. It means different things, depending on where you put the emphasis and what way you are thinking of. I love those kinds of titles, you know. Word play is so awesome, and I appreciate it so much.

Claire and Anna are taking on Roman mythology and modernizing it. I really like the way that they are doing it and spin that they are putting on it. Basically, you have two sides of the eternal war between good and evil. On one side, Jupiter and his sons, Mars, Apollo, and Hercules. On the side of evil, Pluto and his minions. Only these minions aren’t cute and yellow and probably don’t like bananas. The way that it works is gods and goddesses still walk among us, but not all of them know who they are. The goal, of both sides, is to find the gods and goddesses before the other side does. Pluto wants to either kill them or turn them evil, while Jupiter wants to save them and bring them back to their glory. If the deity in disguise dies, then they are reincarnated, but each time it happens, they add on the trauma of that death and their memories slip a little bit further into their deepest unconscious.

And to add to all that, Jupiter and his sons own and run one law practice in Rome while Pluto runs another, and they are frequently legal adversaries as well, as what opens this book shows. Pluto has been trying to get off a truly vile man while Mars has been trying to get him put behind bars. Sadly, Pluto prevails at this point. (Boooooo, hissssss)

While this is going on in one part of Rome, outside the Coliseum, very British Vicky and her best friend Susan are having a girls’ vacation. Vicky loves to draw, sketch, paint, and create art, Susan tolerates her doing it, but get bored watching her do it. So, when Susan asks if Vicky is done drawing the Coliseum, Vicky says sure, and they go off to get pizza. One of my favorite kinds too, margherita. Across the crowded restaurant, Mars and Vicky catch each other’s eyes and the connection is sizzling.

Mars immediately disappears off to tell his dad that he thinks he found another goddess, and Jupiter tells him to become her friend. I love Mars’ interior dialogue at this point where he is saying that he’s the God of War, not the God of Making Friends. That was hilarious, if you ask me. But, Mars pops into where he senses Vicky and manages to save Susan from a couple of lechs by saying he was there for their 3some. Again, I laughed. Spoiler, there wasn’t a 3some.

There are a lot of really terrible things that go on in this book. This isn’t really a nice, light, and fluffy romance. This is gritty and dark and occasionally tortured romance. Poor Vicky has a seriously shitty time of it. Seriously shitty. OTOH, I think Vicky is pretty damn fierce from the very beginning, just to deal with everything, and only gets more so. I think that she’s definitely Mars’ match. I like Mars too. I think that he’s a little arrogant sometimes, but, you know, god. What are you supposed to do? I think he sometimes gets blinded by what he wants versus what needs to be done, but I can see why he got that way when he did. I can’t wait to see what these two talented ladies come up with next in the series.

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OMFG, what they do to poor Vicky. And not just once. I think Claire and Anna must’ve really hated her. Maybe they knew a Vicky who really pissed them off at some point because, damn. I mean, just damn.

I feel sorry for Bellona. I don’t excuse her actions, but I would probably have done the same thing in her place, but I still feel sorry for her. She was put in such a difficult place and loving someone more than they love you is always painful.

OK, that’s all for this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

Anna Edwards-Shattered Fears

Shattered Fears is the latest in Anna’s Glacial Blood books. They follow the Glacial Blood pack, which is an anamoly in their world because it is a mixed species pack. It’s led by a polar bear, and has wolves, wild dogs, lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my!

Isobel and Zane grew up together, and fell madly in love as they grew older. They were each other’s first everything. Shortly after they lost their virginity to each other, Zane left. Isobel is certain that he left because of her and that she just wasn’t enough for him, and has spent the years since in kind of a half-life. However, that’s not the real reason that Zane left. He had perfectly good reasons to do so. You see, Isobel’s father hates shifters, and Zane is a bear shifter.

While shifters aren’t public knowledge, Isobel’s father, who is a senator, is just positive that they are out there. He’s constantly decrying the existance of shifters and telling everyone how horrible they are and how animalistic they are. He’s trying to drum up fear, and he’s not as good at it as he might otherwise be. Most people laugh at him because it sounds utterly ridiculous. But Isobel knows better. She once saw Zane shift and she knows that shifters are real. She’s not telling her father though. He doesn’t need to know.

For 5 long years, Zane has been suffering away from his mate and miserable. He watches over Isobel from afar, and is friends with her brother, so he at least knows some of what’s going on in her life. Her brother, who has stayed in contact with Zane, tells Zane he needs to tell Isobel that he’s moved on and that she needs to move on. The problem is, Isobel knows him way too well and tells him that he’s full of all kinds of shit.

While each of these books is a standalone in that each couple has their own story and it is complete at the end of the book, each book is part of a larger story arc that develops more and more as the books go on. That larger storyline involves Nuka, the twin brother of Kas, the Alpha of the Glacial Blood pack, wanting to destroy his brother’s pack and rule the world. You know, your basic evil plan. And he’s willing to do just about anything he can to make it happen. He will lie, steal, manipulate, and be an overall asshole to get what he wants.

I love Isobel. I love that she’s willing and able to call Zane on his bullshit. He took her choices away and she has no problem with telling him that. She’s also willing to stand up for what she believes and to do what she thinks is the right thing. Is it always the right thing? Well, no, but no one is perfect, and the important part is that she tries to do what she thinks is right. Zane is very protective and very strong, personality-wise. However, that protectiveness is what led to 5 years of misery and honey-addiction. But to be fair, he was really young when he made his decision, and it’s really easy to make the not-greatest decisions ever when you are still a teenager. I know that I made some really shitty choices back them. I like the two of them together. I think that they take each other’s weaknesses and patch them up and make each other better. I think that they are definitely a couple to watch.

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OMG, Isobel’s dad wants to talk about shifters not being human? You can’t tell me that he’s human. He may be a people, but he’s not a human. Who does that to their own child? There is no way that I could ever do that to my child. You have to be well and truly sick in the head to do that.

Nuka is an evil, evil, evil person. Twisting that poor young woman around the way that he does. Ugh. I mean, yeah, he’s the bad guy, so he’s evil, but ugh.

OK, that’s all I have to say on this one, except to say that I think that Isobel’s brother may be involved in the next book. Go hit up the Zon for this. Happy reading!

Anna Edwards-Legacy of Succession

Oh, my ducklings, Anna Edwards has brought us a twisty turny one with some lovely darkness in Legacy of Succession. This is the first book of a new series, and I’m eagerly awaiting the next one in the series, because I’m pretty sure that it’s going to be good.

So, here’s the way this one goes. Nicholas is the son of a Duke. He’s his father’s heir and on the cusp of 30, which means it’s time for him to find a wife. Only, getting a wife isn’t as easy as going out and finding a nice woman to marry. Oh no, that would be too easy. You see, centuries ago, Nicholas’ ancestor started a secret society, with himself at the top, of course. Part of that secret society is that Nicholas has to choose from the women who were born to members of that society in the year he turned 8. And it’s not even as nice as just going out on dates with those ladies until he finds out which one he wants. Nope, that would be way too easy.

Victoria is one of those women. She’s been basically trapped in her father’s home her entire life. Her only friend is the daughter of the maid. She didn’t go to school, she doesn’t have a job, she can’t leave the house without her father’s permission and without strict guards around her. She can really count the number of times she’s left her home on both hands. She feels stifled and can’t wait until she can start her real life. When her father comes up and gives her a white dress and tells her that they are going out to meet people, she figures it’s time for her to make her entrance into society. She’s so excited to be going out and having a real life. Right up until she realizes that the real life she’s going to get isn’t exactly what she wants. No, she’s about to take part in some marriage games and the first step is to be branded.

There are 4 other women, making 5 total, and apparently Nicholas is only allowed the choice of 3, so Victoria thinks that she’s good to go because the devilish Duke tells everyone that the other 2 women are free to leave. Except, gee, nope. The 2 women that Nicholas didn’t choose get to be sold off to the highest bidder within this society. Bunch of bastards.

Very little that happens in this book is all that nice, at least through the majority of the book. There are some nice things that do happen, but they are pretty much outweighed by some really horrible stuff. Victoria is angry, and I don’t blame her a bit, I would be too. Nicholas is also angry, and I don’t blame him either. Well, maybe a little bit. He’s known what to expect his entire life. But, Victoria uses that anger and lets it help her when she needs it. One of the things I really liked about this book is the fact that it was a dual POV. This book really needed that, I can’t see how it would’ve worked any other way. We really did needs to see what was going on in Nicholas’ head. I’m already ready for the next one to come out.

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I hope that Victoria tears everyone up in the next one. I would offer all kinds of things to Anna if she would make that happen. Please, Anna? I would love you forever!

I knew not to trust that Elizabeth from the very second we first saw her. She just felt smarmy and nasty. And Victoria’s dad? Yuck. I’m pretty sure that I totally hate him.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. You need to go read this. Happy reading!

Anna Edwards-Controlling Disgrace

Full disclosure here, I haven’t read the whole series, and this is book #6, but I will be reading it because I want to know how this book fits in with the rest of the series. But, overall, I was able to follow the backstory well enough.

So, here’s the story of Controlling DisgraceWhen Colette was a young woman, she had a lover named James North. He made her feel beautiful, valued, and loved, right until he asked her to get a little kinky. Well, I say kinky… He wanted her on her hands and knees and he wanted to spank her while they were having sex. She went and told her uber conservative and overly religious and completely bugfuck brothers so that she could confess her sins. Her brothers’ way of handling it involved a scalding hot shower, steel scrubbing pads, and a cellar. Then they beat the ever-loving shit out of James.

Fast forward a few years and her bugfuck brothers are dead and Colette’s in a psychiatric hospital. She’s read Amy North’s book and has some questions, so James and Amy sent Michael to her.

Michael was first there to answer questions that had come up while Colette was reading Amy’s book. She had questions about BDSM, he could give her answers. However, when he saw her, he knew that there was just something about her and he wouldn’t be able to let her out of his life.

There are a lot of things that I liked about this book. One is that we get to read letters that Michael and Colette have been able to write back and forth to each other. I think that’s pretty awesome and we get to see how their relationship is changing that way. That’s not something that you see a lot these days, so that was pretty cool. Another thing is that while this is a love story between a man and a woman, I also saw it as a story of a woman coming to love herself. That brings a whole lot of depth to the character and new levels to the story. I think that anyone who has read this series should definitely read this novella. It’s a quick and easy read, so there’s no reason to pass on it.

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I don’t have a whole lot of spoilers to put down here. It’s a short book and I don’t want to do anything that will spoil it. But, her brothers and her “parents”. They all caused my stomach to turn. What her brothers did to her was just disgusting and despicable, and even worse, they made her help with that. Poor Colette, no wonder she had so many problems.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. You know what to do. Happy reading!

Anna Edwards-Fallen For Shame

Anna Edwards has come up with a great PNR series about the Glacial Blood pack. The newest one is Fallen For Shame. Now, this is the first Anna Edwards book I’ve read, but it’s not going to be the last. I’m going to have to go back and read the rest of the series. I wasn’t overly lost when I read this one, the third in the series. It’s about an individual couple set into a larger story arc. There was enough backstory that I had no problem with understanding what was going on.

The Glacial Blood pack is a multi-breed pack. It’s run by a polar bear, has some lions, some wolves, a snow leopard, and an Asiatic wild dog named Teagan.

Teagan has been looked down on her entire life just because she is a wild dog shifter. They are really considered the 2nd class citizens in the shifter world, considered vermin, and trashy. Everyone has always treated Teagan poorly, including her so-called best friend. That’s why she went to Glacial Blood. They have a reputation for being very tolerant and taking in just about anyone. That’s not all she found though. She also found Tyler, a wolf that she has been crushing on and lusting after.

Tyler is a wolf with the pack. Among other things, he cooks for them and is the local computer nerd. He has his own secrets and while Kas, the alpha, knows about them, he wants to keep them hidden from everyone else, especially Teagan, since he has some very warm feelings for her. He’s not sure that Teagan returns her feelings, that is until she is teaching him how to dance and they nearly kiss. Too bad something happened that scared him badly and made him run from the room.

Alright, you know the drill. I enjoyed this book. I like the world that Anna has set up and the way her shifters work. I think they are slightly more cohesive than some other shifters I’ve read about because they don’t seem to see themselves as a human self and an animal self, they just see a self. Or at least, that’s my take on it. I could be totally wrong. It happens. On occasion. Rarely. Maybe. Anyhow, Teagan and Tyler do end up with a helluva connection. It’s a thing of beauty. Although, I think that she should probably kick his ass more often. It would be good for him.

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According to Wikipedia, this is an Asiatic wild dog. Cute, right? Isn’t that just a face that says play with me, you know you wanna?

I think Teagan is my new hero. I mean, she is smart, tough, and the way that she stands up for herself and others is just impressive. I found myself wanting to give her a standing ovation myself. I think that she’s going to do all kinds of wonderful things.

I hate her so-called “friend”. Nothing but a condescending bully. Calling her a bitch works, as she’s a female canine, but isn’t mean enough. She definitely needs to get her head pulled out of her own arse. But hey, she got her comeuppance, so I’m happy with that. LOL.

OK, that’s all I have to say on this book. Go check it out. Keep your eyes on this space for new and exciting things. Meanwhile, happy reading!

Anna Edwards-Fallen For Shame Teaser

Young couple in blue jeans on nice interior

Two outsiders.
One pack trying to survive.
And an unforgettable love affair.

PRE-ORDER ANNA EDWARDS’ FALLEN FOR SHAME NOW FOR ONLY 99¢!
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BLURB:

Teagan Holland left her old pack under a cloud of prejudice. Her breed, an Asiatic wild dog, considered nothing but vermin. But as the Glacial Blood Pack are about to find out she is one the kindest people they will ever meet. The accident prone dog also has a strength within her that will be needed to help stave off the now homeless Nuka Lincoln’s attempts at revenge. Will she regret taking this job?

Tyler Quinn has been a fighter for the pack since he was eighteen. He is mysterious, and nobody knows that much about why he joined them. All they do know is that he is a fantastic cook and a bit of a computer geek. Behind the man he portrays is a secret that threatens to send him on a path that he thought he had left behind. Will the white powder be his downfall?

Fallen for Shame is the third book in the highly recommended Glacial Blood Series by the author Anna Edwards. It is set in a paranormal world full of drama, suspense and great love affairs. Plus it features a secret that must never be told for fear of the consequences.

A family isn’t always blood; it’s the people that accept you for who you are.

Although book three in the Glacial Blood Series, Fallen For Shame may be read and enjoyed as a standalone.

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About Anna

Anna hails from the rural countryside near London. She previously worked as an accountant, and while she still does a bit of accountancy on occasion, the majority of her time is now spent writing and looking after her family.

An avid reader herself, Anna turned to writing to combat depression and anxiety after her diagnosis in 2015. She loves travel, hunky heroes with dirty mouths, demure but spunky heroines, and dramatic suspense. You will find all four woven into each of her magical stories.

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