Renee Rose & Lee Savino-Alpha’s Challenge

So, two of my favorite authors and frequent fliers are back. In fact, Renee Rose is such a frequent flier, this is her second appearance on my humble little blog this week. But today is all about their fourth entry in their Bad Boy Alphas shifter series. Although, since Tank is a beta could it still be part of the Alpha series? Anyway, that’s neither here nor there. Onwards and upwards.

So, Alpha’s Challenge. This story, timeline-wise, overlaps the previous 2 stories. While the action is taking place in Mexico, Tank is home in Tucson, dealing with potential loose ends. This potential loose end is named Foxfire. Great name, right?

So, Foxfire is Amber’s best friend. If we remember, Amber is Garrett’s mate, is psychic, and gets taken to Mexico with him to find his sister. But first, they have a seiously shitty first day, which Foxfire has to go save Amber from. At one point, Foxfire yells at Garrett that she doesn’t care about his Werewold gang, he had just better not hurt her best friend or else. Since she’s walking out of Amber’s house at the time and Amber knows that Garrett and his friends are actually shifters and she isn’t supposed to tell anyone, Garrett thinks that Amber told Foxfire. That means wen he has to go to Mexico, he sends Tank to talk to Foxfire.

I think that Foxfire might be my favorite heroine in this series, thus far. She walks to the beat of her own drummer. She has rainbow colored hair. She’s fiesty, and fierce, and protective. She’s also just out of a really shitty relationship. When Tank shows up, she gets all hot and bothered over him, because why not? He’s hot and the sex was crap with Benny boy. Tank talks to her and finds out that she thinks that Werewolves is the name of their motorcycle club, not that she knows they are shifters. But, just when his job could be over, he finds he can’t leave her. There’s just something about her that makes him want to stay. However, Foxfire isn’t down for that plan. She’s going to do what she can to get away. One of my favorite paragraphs in the book deals with one of her plans to get away.

“I chuckle at my own joke while Tank looks longingly at the door. Poor guy, stuck with me. I didn’t go to college, but I’ve mastered the art of annoying people.” Go ahead, tell me that’s not just a fucking awesome paragraph. Kudoes to whichever talented lady came up with that.

Anyway, this is where we are going to go our separate ways. You can read this one as a stand-alone, if you would like. You will be more enjoyment of it if you read the whole series in order though, because you will understand the background better. Each story is its own complete story, but there is an overarching story arc that each story builds on. The sex is hot, the chemistry between the two is even hotter. And I love Sunny. So, go check this one out.

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OK, there is one twist that I thought wouldn’t it be interesting if…, and then it turned out that yes, it was, and it really was interesting. Sorry, that’s all the more hint you are getting as to this particular spoiler, because I don’t want to ruin it. You will be happier if you go read it yourelf and see if you can figure it out.

Sunny is a hoot and a half, and just totally what you think of when you think hippy. And her plain talk about Tank and Foxfire’s sex life is just to die for. I wouldn’t really want to do yoga with her though.

While they get their HEA, there are some things that are really upsetting and made me a little mad and a little sad. However, Tank pulled his head out of his arse, so it’s OK and it worked out, over all. So, yay.

OK, go read the book, you’ll love it, especially if you love hot sex and hotter Alphas. We’re going to have a post on Isabella Starling’s latest story later this evening, and I have one waiting for Livia Grant’s book to go live, hopefully soon. Meanwhile, happy reading!

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Parker Sinclair-A Darker Fall

This is one of the stories from the anthology The Aching Darkness. Full disclosure, I haven’t read the entire anthology, but it has been added into 234879805 book long TBR. I have different lists of them. I mean, how else is a girl supposed to keep track of her books? You should see my TBR collection on my Kindle, which I’ve decided to alphabetize by author. I like a nice organized library. Anyway, that doesn’t get us to our review of the day. It’s a novella, so it’s not going to be anything long since I don’t want to give anything away. So, without any further digressions, or too many, at least, let’s get to A Darker Fell.

Parker has described ADF as a dark fantasy, and I’ll agree with that. If you ask me, it also fits in with paranormal and urban fantasy. There are romantic parts to it, so I think it also fits in the romance categories too. I like stories that defy simple classification, and in my opinion, this does that.

Ilese is a Dark Angel. Her job is to fight the powers of evil and the spawn of the Fallen. I bet you can guess who the Fallen is. Could it be… Satan? Those Fallen come in different categories, Queens, S2, and S1. The latter two are also called the Walking Hollow by Ilese and her team.

Ilese is stronger than human and her Dark Angel-ness lets her disintegrate her enemies after she’s killed them. If a Queen is able to get to a human, they are able to turn that human into a Walking Hollow. That has happened to too many of her team. When her second-in-command, Josh, is captured by one of the Queens, Ilese runs to the rescue. Luckily, she’s able to get to him before the Queen can do anything to him, but something else happens, something potentially dangerous.

And that’s where I’m going to leave you because you need to go read this story. The book is on KU and it’s only 99 little pennies, so it’s not going to break the bank for you to buy it. I don’t know if it will stay available for a long time since I know Parker is going to continue to the story, so I don’t know who holds the rights to the story and all that. I know that this may give you the wrong idea when I say this, but for me, the end of the story was what made the entire story. That doesn’t mean that the rest of the story was bad, in fact, it wasn’t, but the big final fight is what really makes it.

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OK, she may not look like a traditional angel, but every time I look at this picture, I see her as a fallen angel, so in my head, Ilese looks similar to this. If she doesn’t look like this to you, I don’t want to know. Except, since she’s a fighter, maybe not the dress, but you get the idea, right?

There really isn’t too much I can day down here since it’s a novella and I don’t want to spoil anything. However, there were some mysteries brought up that I have theories on. Of course, I’m not going to tell you my theories, go read the story yourself, and then we can talk. However, one of the Queens tells Ilese that they want something she’s created, and I wonder if it’s something that she may have had help creating this particular something. That would be really, really interesting, in my opinion, especially in relation to things said earlier in the story.

I also have a theory that Ilese’s basic nature may change because of certain events, so I will be looking forward to the rest of the story.

So, we have fun stuff coming up in the next few days, including a new SEAL story, and hopefully something from the twisted brains of Lee Savino and Renee Rose. Meanwhile, happy reading!

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.

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!

 

Lee Savino-Bonded to the Berserkers

(I’m writing this part before I’ve even finished the book. I’m 70% done right now, just getting the post started. I swear I’ll finish it before I write more. It’s really good.)

So, Lee Savino has brought us a new entry to her Berserker series, Bonded to the Berserkers. There are a whole lot of books before this one. They really aren’t standalone, you do need to read the whole series before you get to this one. Luckily, they are pretty quick reads, so go get up on that.

So, I’ve finished now, so yay, back to the Berserkers.

OK, backstory of the Berserkers. The stories take place in the Viking era. The Berserkers are all Vikings or Celts who were going to go fight for a jarl, who wanted to make sure he got the best warriors possible. So, the last 100 standing he had turned into werewolves. The Berserkers had three forms, man, wolf, and beast. The beast is a mindless hybrid. While the beasts give them some awesome power in battle, the problem is that they slowly go mad from having it inside of them. The Berserkers need to have mates in order to keep them stable, but the problem is that they searched for many years with no luck and the men started to despair. Finally, they discovered that there were women who could mate with them. Those women had their own magic and were called spaewives.

The first spaewives were 4 sisters, and were the first Berserker books. Now, we have a whole abbey full of spaewives, and they are in the Berserker Brides books. I’m going to say right now that I love all of these books, including this one. It’s a good series, a nice balance of sex, violence, spanking, and plot. However, my very favorite is Kidnapped by the Berserkers. There’s so much pain in it, but it’s so beautiful. But, back to Bonded.

Bonded is the story of Laurel, Haakon, and Ulf. Note, the majority of the Bersker books are MFM menages. Laurel is the cook at the abbey, and when the Berserkers come to raid the abbey to get all the orphaned spaewives, she holds off Haakon and Ulf for a moment with pots and pans, and a huge cauldron of cabbage soup. That doesn’t stop them for very long and Haakon grabs Laurel, tosses her over his shoulder, and away they go.

Haakon and Ulf have a warrior brothers’ bond, which means they can communicate mentally, and the same woman will be the mate for both of them. Ulf went through a fire and half of his face is burned, so he thinks he’s too ugly for a mate. Haakon is the more easy going of the two.

While they are trying to get away from the Corpse King, Laurel tries to run away. Haakon has gone off to try and find a different path and Ulf scares Laurel. When she runs away, she runs to the edge of a cliff and falls over.  Haakon catches her and breaks her fall by breaking himself, badly.

Ok, so we all know what time it is. If you don’t want to risk any spoilers, then this is the place to end for you. If you haven’t taken a look at this series at any point, I recommend you do so. It’s full of very hot Alpha guys and strong women. Yes, the women end up submitting to their mates, but they aren’t weak-willed women. They are fighters and strong in their own right. The women claim their mates as much as the men do. They are lovely stories, and each one has its own HEA. The series does build from one book to the next, so I truly recommend you start from the beginning if you haven’t read it.

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Alright, now that it’s just us, I can let my hair down and talk about the good stuff.

Laurel is tough, she really is. She is willing to fight for Haakon when Ulf has to lure the Grey Men away and Haakon, still injured, is left alone. She wants to keep her men safe, just like they’ve done what they can to keep her safe. Ulf literally walks through fire for her.

Ulf did make me mad. Not at all his he’s too ugly for a mate shit, but for the fact that he dumped Laurel in the unmated women’s quarters. I just wanted to smack him for that. He does make up for it, but still, I got mad.

Lee always comes up with some hot punishments, and she didn’t miss her mark here. I loved the final punishment and the one that Ulf does with the frame. I may or may not have highlighted that section for… later use. It was nice to get a check in with some of the other spaewives. It’s not a whole huge followup, but they were friends with Laurel, so it makes sense to have a little check in.

I love Lee’s books, and I love the way she writes her characters. One of my favorite things about this book is how much of a boob man Haakon is. Literally, he talks to Laurel’s bosom at one point. He’s obsessed.

Anyway, excellent book, excellent series, can’t wait for the next one! Check it out, and happy reading!

Imagine my ARC disclaimer here.