Aria Adams-Her Raven Mates

Her Raven Mates appears in the box set Fated Mates. Full disclosure, this is the only one of the stories in the set that I’ve read so far, but since I now own the book, I’ll be getting to the rest of the stories at some point, I’m sure. There are a lot of them, and they will be a welcome change when I need something quick and easy to read.

Eileen is living under a curse. She has been cursed to be a swan 23.5 hours a day. And that 30 minutes when she gets to be human aren’t at the same time from day to day, so she can’t even plan to have any kind of life. Her mother tells her that this is the only way to keep her safe.

Vir, Bran, and Morwain are brothers. They are also raven shifters who are currently cursed. They are ravens by day and men by night. They are trying to track down the evil warlock who cast this curse on them so that they can get back to their normal lives of being private investigators. But it’s not easy, and their enemy keeps finding them.

I will have to admit that as soon as I found out that the heroine’s name was Eileen, I was hoping for just one Come On, Eileen moment. What can I say, I’m a child of the 80s, and I remember so much 80s music. And Aria didn’t disappoint me. There is a spot when one of the guys says it, and it made me happy.

The novella is pretty short and a nice quick read. Overall, I really enjoyed it. Because it’s short, you get a lot of insta-everything and not a lot of background, but that’s just fine, Aria makes it work really well.

I love that the guys all have Celtic-ish name and are ravens, mostly because there are raven stories in Celtic mythology. Frankly, I think ravens show up in most mythology somewhere, somehow. They are gorgeous birds and wicked smart. Why wouldn’t you put them in your mythology?

Anyway, go check out the entire set, especially if you are into fated mate romances. No spoilers today, it’s too short a story.

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Golden Angel-Chasing His Honey Badger

I keep trying to say that PNR is one of my favorite things to read, but that’s kind of a lie. Pretty much everything is one of my favorite things to read, lol. But, the point is that I love to read PNR. And I love Golden Angel’s Big Bad Bunnies series. It’s really unique in some of its viewpoints and the way that it takes things. Chasing His Honey Badger continues on with the Harry Potter, Monty Python, and Disney references that run through the rest of the series.

Actual footage of Bailey Bunson.

We’re at the last of the Bunson brothers now, Brice. All his brothers have mated, as has his sister Bethany. The only ones left are him and their baby sister, Bailey, the Bunny of Caerbannog. And Bailey says that she’s holding out for her fated mate while dating everyone possible, and hanging with Kasim, a lion shifter. But they aren’t our focus here. Today, it’s Brice and Rana.

Brice has been hanging with Eli’s group so that he can help take down The Company, while all the rest of his family are with Steele’s pack. One day, Brice sees a group of hot biker chicks in the parking lot, walks over to them because he, you know, is a guy who is catching up on his wild oats, and biker chicks are hot. As he is walking up to one of them, he realizes that she smells perfect and like all the good things ever, and that she’s his fated mate. When he walks up to her, she is pretty pissed and just doesn’t want to deal with him. Then she and her group, which are all her cousins, just leave. When Brice tells Eli what happened, Eli tells him that Rana has anosmia, which means that she has no sense of smell, which means she can’t smell if he is her fated mate or not.

Rana has been burned before. She’s had 2 other guys tell her that they were fated mate, but turned out that they weren’t. She and her cousins, all honey badger shifters, took care of them. And you don’t want to fuck with Rana and her cousins. They are smart, fierce, and vengeful. I think it’s probably righteous vengeance in most cases, but I wouldn’t want to do anything that would get me on the wrong side of them, especially if they have honey and ants around. So when this random guy came up and told her that she was his fated mate, she was both pissed and upset. She thought that he was trying to make fun of her in a very not nice way. So, she leaves with her cousins, headed towards the mountain where Steele’s pack is living so that they can visit another cousin, and she’s just going to ignore him. What she doesn’t count on is the Bunson connection.

This particular issue doesn’t come up in Brice and Rana’s story, but I think it’s adjacent to it, and it does come up in other books, but I love the way that Golden handles fated mates. In this universe, fated mates are so super incredibly rare that it’s shocking that 2 of the Bunsons have fated mates. Most shifters find someone that they love and court them and end up mating them. Once they have exchanged that mating bite, if there was a fated mate out there somewhere, that connection is broken. That can even happen if the fated person shows up 2 seconds before the bite has been exchanged, which would hopefully not happen, since the bites are generally shared during sex. The mating mark trumps all. I love that because I think, especially in shifter stories, fated mates tend to be the end all be all of the stories.

OK, here’s the reason that I think that this is adjacent to the fated mate thing. The fact that Rana can’t smell her fated mate means that she won’t know who he is if and when she meets him. She does feel a pull toward Brice, but hey, I feel a pull toward Jason Mamoa, but that doesn’t mean that I’m his fated mate or anything. Attraction is a thing. Fated mates generally have a really hard time fighting off the connection until they share the bites. I think that Rana sort of feels that, but not in the same way that Brice does, because Brice has the total package going on. So, Brice has to woo her more like a chosen mate would than just count on the biological pull of fated mates. I really love that. Golden just flips the whole fated mate thing on its head, again.

Rana and her cousins are a fucking hoot. I mean, I love them, they were just so funny. I would love to hang out with them. Not drink with them though. That’s a hard limit for me. We could totally watch Kinky Boots together, because whatever Lola wants, Lola gets.

Well, we only have Bailey left in the series, so we’ll have to see where her story goes.

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Honey badger don’t give a fuck. And Rana and her family pretty much prove that. LOL.

I love the cousins testing Brice for Rana to make sure that he is really the one. Family like that is awesome.

I also love Rana riding Brice into battle. The picture in my head was awesome.

OK, that’s all I have to say today. The Big Bad Bunnies are awesome, so you need to check them out. Happy reading!

 

Grace Goodwin-The Commanders’ Mate

We’re back in the main IBP ‘verse with The Commanders’ Mate. And with a title like this, you know that you aren’t looking at Atlans. That’s right. Today we’re playing with the Prillons. Two hot and hunky guys? Yes, please! And, we finally get to see Commander Karter get his HEA. We’ve seen him in so many other of the books. In fact, I think, most of the others, so getting to see him as the hero of his own book is awesome. The only character I’m waiting for more is Warden Egara. Grace keeps saying good things may be in store for our beloved Warden Egara, so I’m going to keep waiting.

While this is back in the main world, this book starts out different to all the others in this world. Every one of the other main universe books starts out with the testing, and we get to get into the hotness. We don’t know which male(s) the woman is going to match with, although we can get a really good idea as to the planet based on the testing. But, that’s not how this one starts out. This one starts out with Commander Karter and a disaster.

Karter is in a different sector of space than usual and is standing on a battleship that is not his own. Not only is it not his own, it’s destroyed and there are dead bodies and blood all around. The commander is gone, and not only gone, but dead. Luckily, most of his people are far away and safe. Karter has no clue what’s happened, why the other commander sent his people away, or why the ship he’s on is destroyed. There are 3 survivors, 2 are in Regen pods, and 1 is available to talk to. The only problem is that he’s Intelligence Core, and you know how intelligence agents can be. This one is no different. Mostly.

Ronan is the IC agent. Ronan who supposedly died 5 years ago. Ronan who is Kaed Karter’s best friend and Second.

Then, Karter gets the news. He’s been matched and his Bride is going to be teleported to the destroyed ship any minute. Karter freaks out, in a very masculine way, of course. Roman, on the other hand, is much less freaked,

Erica is an astronomer who has decided that she’s gone looking at the stars and is ready to be among the stars. So, she goes to be matched and finds her two Prillon warriors, Ronan and Kaed. Sadly, she teleports into a triage situation, and she helps to keep the wounded calm while they are waiting to be teleported.

I love Erica. Grace’s heroines all tend to be very strong women with fierce personalities, but there’s just something about Erica that I really like. She knows who she is, she’s comfortable in her skin, and she’s very happy being her. She also knows exactly what she wants, and she isn’t afraid to ask for it, or to tell people what she wants. Needless to say, I wouldn’t want to cross her. I don’t think that she’s one of those people who will yell at you, she will just get that deadly, calm, level, maybe even vaguely polite voice that will let you know just how badly you done fucked up. Frankly, that kind of voice frightens me more than the whole yelling kind of person.

I have always liked Karter. He’s a very honorable male who does what he thinks he has to for his people and the galaxy at large. He might have to make shitty decisions, but when you are at war and you are the commander of a battlegroup, you have to make shitty decisions and send out people who you know will die. It’s a choice that I’m glad I never have to make.

Ronan, poor Ronan, I felt so sorry for him. He’s spent time basically being a ghost, and that can be so hard on someone. Luckily, there’s someone who sees him and knows him.

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I love when Lady Karter shows her mates exactly what she’s made of and exactly what she’s going to do. She put both of them to shame at that point, and they both knew it. Then, later, when she had to do something about Kaed, she went about it the right way and made everything perfect. I really, really like her.

OK, that’s all for this one! Go check it out and happy reading!

Raisa Greywood-The Jaguar Knight

Raisa has given us the last book in her Shifter’s Mates series, The Jaguar Knight. I am terribly sad that the series is over, and I’m really hoping that Raisa gives us some short stories in this another world or maybe another series in it. I can see all kinds of other stories in there. Hint, hint. I’ll be happy either way, because I can always reread the books.

This is the conclusion of Soledad and Markon’s story. It also wraps up some other things here and there. It works really well.

So, Markon has finally caught his wayward mate and has brought her home. They enjoy one wild night of passion, and when Markon wakes up, Soledad is gone. Again. He can’t figure out what he did this time, and his jaguar ain’t talking, other than to tell him that he’s a stupid alien. When Soledad’s sibs show up, he gets told what he did, but only after her sisters and brother pretty much threaten to show him his internal organs up close and personal. Turns out that there was a 6 foot tall picture of his dead mate hanging right over the bed. The bed that she died in. The bed that he spent his first night home in Soledad in. I would’ve cut and run too.

When Markon finds Soledad again, she’s on a jungle planet and they have a talk. And you know, reconcile. Sadly, that’s not going to last for long. They are attacked, Markon is seriously, seriously, seriously hurt and Soledad is gone.

Markon has the worst luck with keeping a hold on Soledad. Of course, it’s not his fault this time, but still, he doesn’t have his mate or know where she is at. He’s damned well going to find her though. And of course, the Athena and all of Soledad’s sibs are going to get in on the search too, because that’s what is going to happen. Soledad inspires loyalty, which is why the Athena will be there, and love, which is why her sibs will be there. Of course, since she is still that fucking pirate, she also inspires a lot of fear and hate, but hey, not everyone is perfect, right?

There are some very, very, very unpleasant things that happen here, and some things that make me really happy that I’m not subject to shifter justice, because, well, it sure as fuck isn’t pretty.

Markon is strong, if somewhat stupid sometimes, and I like him a lot. I like him more in this book than I did in the last one, mostly because he got his stupid head out of his stupid ass, which is what he needed. I think that all the chasing he had to do really made him get his priorities in place and get everything straight. The last time chasing her had to be the hardest one ever. I couldn’t imagine trying to find my mate after she had been ripped away from me that way. That would be pretty damn horrible.

It’s a good thing that Soledad is as strong as she is. Stubborn AF too. I think that she’s a little bit blind in this one. She jumped to a conclusion and it ends up bitting her in the ass. But, the fact that she’s so damn stubborn and strong really helped her out here.

Jaguar mother and cub on the bank of the Cuiaba River in Brazil

Can we just talk about Mikhail and Ardix for just a second? Because that was just brutal. Not saying it’s not deserved, and I don’t blame him for his actions at all, but fucking brutal, man.

I love Renata’s round-up at the end. It’s perfect.

OK, that’s all I have to say on this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

Grace Goodwin-Ascension Saga 9

Grace has finished Destiny’s cycle and the whole series up in Ascension Saga 9. There are box sets for Trinity, Faith, and Destiny if you want to get the box sets and read them that way, or you can get each book alone. But, this particular series is all done now. We’ll be back to the rest of the IBP with the next book, I think.

So, as the finish of Destiny’s cycle and the whole series, this book is totally awesome. It is seriously the perfect way to end everything up the way that it should’ve been.

I don’t really know what to say about this one. It had me WTFing all over the place. I didn’t expect anything that happened in it, and I thought I had maybe kind of guessed where things were going when I was done with 8, but then in comes Grace who’s like, yeah, good try, girl, but FAIL. Thanks for playing.

About all I can safely say is that Queen Celene is pretty damn awesome, and it’s obvious where her girls get their BAMFness from. I wouldn’t want to mess with her at all.

I have loved the Aleran world. I kinda enjoyed the way that sex and mating works for the Alerans. It’s slightly different to any other of the worlds in Grace’s IBP ‘verse, but it works so very, very well. Alera has definitely been a breath of fresh air, and I would love to see more from this world in the future. I know that Aleran males have gone to fight the Hive, so surely they can be put into the entire bride program to be matched, right? Hopefully Grace won’t leave us hanging for too long for anything new out of the ‘verse in general.

There aren’t any spoilers under the picture this time around, because you know how I am. I’m not going to do any kind of spoiling. Enjoy the pretty picture. Go check out everything that Grace has written and happy reading!

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Raisa Greywood-The Jaguar Rogue

So, Raisa’s latest Shifter’s Mate book came out last week, The Jaguar Rogue. This one is the story of Soledad, who we have met in both Renata’s and Daiyu’s books, so we are at least familiar with her. But now, we are going to get up close and personal with Soledad and her mate, Markon.

Now, we’ve seen that Soledad is a fierce fighter, a pirate, swift, cunning, and ferocious. She’s also highly motivated. You see, she led her 2 younger sisters and her brother from Brazil to Atlanta so that they could go to Ximera. All three women matched to mates, but Markon, an idiot, declined his match. But then, Soledad and her sisters were separated from their brother and stolen away. When Soledad woke up, she discovered that sisters were gone. To say that this sent her and her jaguar into a rage would be putting it lightly. To say that beings were maimed, dismembered, killed, and eaten would probably be a little closer to the mark. So, she’s decided that she’s going to find her sisters and find the people who took her sisters and eat every single bit of them in revenge. After all, her mate doesn’t want her, so you know, what’s a girl to do? A little interstellar piracy and revenge sound like just the thing.

Meanwhile, Markon is off looking for Soledad. Partly because he’s been ordered to by the First and partly because he’s now become obsessed with his mate. He had a mate before, and he might not have wanted one now, but the First, being who he is, decided that Markon was going to have one, and voila. So, he’s finally gotten Soledad right where he wants her, after everyone thinks she was killed during the exodus of Earth, and he’s going to get and keep her. He has a special collar to keep her from shifting and he’s going to keep her caged, if necessary. Except, there’s one thing that he did wrong. He underestimated Soledad, badly. FTR, if you have a tricksy space pirate jaguar that you are trying to keep from running away, taking all their options away from them isn’t the best choice. But, he does get Soledad’s mating bite. Now, you see why I think that Markon was an idiot? And a huge knob? Seriously, he deserved everything that happened to him. And Soledad’s brother is now stationed on Markon’s ship, and when he found out what happened, he kind of laughed at Markon, told him he deserved it, and said that he might’ve done worse to him if Markon had actually succeeded at his plan. I totally would’ve too.

I like Soledad. Of course, I’ve liked all the heroines in this series. Renata is still my number 1 fave, but Daiyu and Soledad are tied, and it’s right close. I mean, if Renata is 100, then Daiyu and Soledad are 99.999999999, so super close. All of the ladies have had some particular strength, and Soledad’s is that she’s fucking crazy. And I mean that in the best possible way. Between her and Markon, there is precious little sane. It makes them perfect for each other. I think it will also make them quite formidable. If the Council needs the people who will get their hands dirty and do the things that no one else will, Soledad and Markon will be the people to do that. Of course, if Markon tries to leave Soledad out of it, she’s going to go out, beat him to it, and then lead him on a merry chase. He’d love it and hate it and they will both love every single second of the chase, and the belting that he would give her ass.

And the part that made me laugh the hardest? The epitaph on Soledad’s memorial. Here lies that fucking pirate. May she rest in pieces.

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Seriously, Markon is so lucky that Soledad didn’t take his arm off. I would definitely’ve considered it.

I loved the idea of Soledad playing with the dragons. It sounded awful cute.

And I really want to see the jackal and the First mate. I need for that to happen.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. Go check out the whole series. Happy reading!

Grace Goodwin-Ascension Saga 6, 7, & 8

Well, Grace is back with her teasing Ascension Saga, this time with books 6, 7, & 8. As a reminder, this saga is set in the Interstellar Bride universe, but it is slightly different to the IBP books. Instead of a human woman finding her ideal mate out among the stars, we are following the Aleran royal family and their fight to take back their planet.

Queen Celene had to leave her planet in a rush because of an attempted coup, when her mate and king consort was killed. The Aleran society is a matriarchal one, and the lineage is always through the females. Celene was pregnant at the time, and she managed to escape to a tiny backwater planet known as Earth, where she had her daughter, Trinity, and married a human man and had twins by him, Faith and Destiny. When Celene is kidnapped away from Earth, her three daughters, who have been raised to rule Alera, rush to Alera and put into place their plan to rescue their mom.

Books 1-3 are Trinity’s story, where we meet her mate Leo. Books 4-6 are Faith’s books, along with her mate Thor. Books 7-9 are Destiny’s books, and she meets her mate. Who he is, I’m not telling. You’ll just have to go read the books to find out. You know you wanna. Trinity’s story is out as a box set and Faith’s is either out now or will be shortly, if you would rather get them as a box set instead of serialized. The same will happen with Destiny’s books, when the last one comes out. Which can’t be soon enough for me, dammit.

Because of the serial nature of the books, it’s really hard to talk about what happens in one book to the next, because if I talk about each of the books, then it’s going to spoil, and you all know how much I hate to do that. So, since I can’t remember how I did it for the last two posts, and I’m too tired to go back and check today, since it’s been a very long day in a very long week, I’m just going to give some of my reactions.

In book 6, I still think Thor is an idiot. I’m pretty sure that I might have said that before, but he’s still an idiot. Faith though, Faith is downright lethal. I love the Miss Fisher Mysteries, and there is a line in one of the episodes about the right dress and fashion being dangerous and lethal. Faith made me think of that line in this book, which was totally fitting.

When we start focusing on Destiny, we learn a lot about her that we didn’t know before. Mostly because until know we’ve only seen her through her sisters’ eyes, so I’m really digging learning more about Destiny. She’s a straight-up badass motherfucker. She’s a warrior and a hunter, plain and simple. The man who takes her to mate is going to have to realize that and support her through that, no matter what he may want to do. Destiny is going to be one of those women who doesn’t want a shield, she wants a partner, someone who will respect her fighting side and be there with her during it.

I can’t wait for the last book in the series. Grace is being terribly mean to us, and I don’t know how I’ll ever last.

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I have a guess as to who the ultimate bad guy may be. It would be interesting if it was really the person that I think it was. I’m not going to say who I think it was. That way none of you will ever know if I’m right or not.

Nix is awesome, but awesomely stupid sometimes. I do like he and Destiny together though.

OK, that’s all for this one! Go check it out and happy reading!