Renee Rose & Lee Savino-Alpha’s Bane

The first rule of Fight Club is that you don’t talk about Fight Club. However, that’s a rule that Renee and Lee decided needed to be broken. Well, sorta. Alpha’s Bane has nothing to do with Chuck Palahniuk or Brad Pitt, but hey, there’s still a fight club involved, so it’s all good, right?

We’re once again back with the Tucson pack, headed by Garrett with his 3 friends, including Trey. As teenagers, they were all kicked out of the Phoenix pack by Garrett’s father. Because the guys were so popular, most of the younger wolves left Phoenix to move to Tucson with Garrett. Now, the Tucson pack is thriving and it’s starting to change from a frat pack to one with mated couples. Three of the 4 leading members of the pack have now mated, leaving Trey as the only one who hasn’t. But that’s OK with Trey, at least most of the time. He’s perfectly happy running his fight club and fighting once a week.

Trey’s fight club is in neutral territory, which allows any shifter to come in and fight. It’s a good place to handle any stress or conflict you might have with another shifter, and if you like to fight, well, there’s always someone there to fight with. It’s working reasonably well for Trey and for the Tucson pack at large. There’s one problem though, because it’s neutral, vamps are starting to come to the club too.

Sheridan is Garrett’s cousin, and high up in the Phoenix pack structure, as well as high up in the business that funds that pack. Her father and uncle, who is still the Alpha, have sent her to Tucson to shut down Trey’s fight club. There have been vampire related deaths, and people are starting to get curious. Then there’s the fact that there have been federal law enforcement agencies interested in the club. So, off goes Sheridan to shut it down. However, Trey and Sheridan have some history and it complicates things.

They were each other’s first everything, and then he betrayed her. She turned around and betrayed him right back. Because of what she did, most of the Tucson pack hates her, a lot. But she’s there to do a job, and she’s going to do it.

Poor Sheridan, I feel so sorry for her. I really do. She’s got her uncle and her father on one side of her, especially her father, who want her to be one way and jam her into that particular way to be. They expect her to be the perfect pack princess and do whatever they tell her. Then, there’s the other side of Sheridan. The one that she lets out on very rare occasions when she isn’t anywhere near her pack, and then shoves back into a little box and ties it up tightly so that it can’t escape when she’s at home, being Miss Prim and Proper and doing what she’s expected to do and being who she’s expected to be. Her father is a jackass of mammoth proportions and he needs his ass kicked so hard his butt cheeks act as earmuffs. And frankly, I want to know what right the Phoenix pack thinks they have that they can come down to Tucson and shut down anything that the Tucson pack is doing? Just because Garrett’s dad is the Alpha of Phoenix doesn’t make him the boss of Garrett.

Trey’s a good man, we’ve seen that in other books. But, even good men are blithering idiots sometimes, and Trey is so guilty of that. He thinks that he’s doing the right thing for everyone, but a lot of times, what you think is the right thing is the total wrong thing. And he’s been doing that for years, which just makes things worse. He needs to have his cranio-rectal inversion forcefully cured, and Sheridan is just the woman to do that.

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Yeah, I couldn’t resist, because damn, just look at how fiiiiine Brad Pitt is. He’s proper fit.

I loved it when Sheridan took Trey down, and then when she knocked over Grizz. It shocked the shit out of everyone when she did that, but it was fucking AWESOME! Lee and Renee write some kickass heroines, and that was just great.

I also love all of Sheridan’s outfits, especially the catsuit she wears to the vampire club. And what happens in the club.

I couldn’t believe that Trey did what he did. I mean, motherfucker. To do what you did and then just run? Sheridan should’ve had his cojones for earrings.

OK, go check out the whole series, there are all sorts of hot and steamy things going on in it. Happy reading!

Kallista Dane-Chaos Born

I reviewed the first book of the Warriors of the Seven Stars on here back when it came out. The series is a reverse harem series, but Kallista is doing it in an interesting way. In each book, a new man is added in. So Chaos Born gives us the second man in Queen Melisandre’s harem.

OK, so here’s the way this story goes. A 1000 years ago, the Dark Lord was locked away by the Woman Clothed in the Sun and her mates. She went on and married King Vidos I and there was a Prophecy of Doom. A millennium later, Melisandre was born and after her father died, she became queen. Her vizier took her to see the Oracle and she found out that she was the culmination of the prophecy, The One Who Commands the Seven Stars. She was told that she would have 4 warriors by her side that she would be fighting with. In between hearing the prophecy and her first warrior, the Fire Born Drayke, a dragon shifter, Meli did what she could to train and become a warrior since she was going to have to fight.

So now, Meli and Drayke have destroyed the first item they were supposed to destroy, the Fire Flask, and it’s time to go back to the fortress and relax for a minute, before getting to the job of destroying the next one. When they get there, there is another man, one who tells Meli that he is the best warrior in all the land. Meli says that she’s a warrior and challenges him to a duel. He makes a wager, if he defeats her, she has to kneel and call him Master until sunrise. And of course, he’s going to win, because he really is the Goddess chosen warrior, and the best one ever. Meli tries to get out of their wager, but after Magnus, the warrior, thoroughly spanks her, she agrees to do what she already agreed on. But, she wants to warn Magnus that she has a lover waiting just outside who can turn into a dragon and she doesn’t want anything to happen to Magnus. That’s when she hears Drayke, who has been watching in the shadows. Magnus and Drayke are brothers of the heart, so Meli is basically fucked. And proper fucked, every which way.

I know, in book time, there isn’t a lot of time in between FB and CB, but I think the first battle has really matured Melisandre. I mean, it’s not like she wasn’t mature to begin with, but there’s a difference between knowing that you are going to have to fight and actually doing it, and doing it changes you and makes you more… mature, grave, serious, something, I don’t know. But that’s where she is now. While we see some Drayke in this story, it’s primarily Magnus’ story, so most of the interaction is with him and we get his backstory. His learning and training help Meli. Magnus and Drayke settle in well with Meli, and settle Meli in well with them. I’m really looking forward to the next book.

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OK, I totally think that Meli is going to have to sleep with the Dark Lord and claim him as one of her mates in order to defeat him. I don’t know why I think that, but there’s just something in the way that the Oracle is talking about the defeat that makes me think that’s what’s going to happen. I know we have at least 2 books to go, so I’m going to just keep reading so that I can find out.

I’m looking forward to how Magnus and Drayke are going to react to the sorcerer being added into their group. It’s one thing to share with someone you consider your brother, but to share the woman you love with a total stranger? Even if it’s something the Goddess has said must happen?

And OMG, the Vizier. When he came out with his personal story, I was like dayum, old man’s a freak! In a good way, though.

OK, that’s all I have to say today. Go check out both books. Kallista has done a great job with this world. Happy reading!

Sue Lyndon & Celeste Jones-Papa’s Captive

Sue and Celeste are taking us back to Talcott House where young ladies are trained and brought up to be the perfect little brides to their Papas. This is the 4th book in the series, and they can all be read as standalones. The 4 women are all friends and they are all referenced in each other’s books, but you aren’t going to be lost if the first one of these books you pick up is Papa’s Captive.

Lord Caldwell has been courting his beloved Rosie for quite some time. They are betrothed, but she’s nervous about setting a wedding date. When he doesn’t show up to see her in some time, Rosie is very worried that her hesitation has driven him away. It doesn’t help that she already has a secret that makes her worry that her betrothed would abandon her if he found out. It’s a terrible secret.

On the day that two of the other girls at Talcott house start poking at her because Lord Caldwell hasn’t been there for a while, all of Rosie’s anxiety pops up and she ends up smacking Lettie and rolling around on the floor, fighting with her. But, just as she’s about to be punished, Lord Caldwell shows up. The two of them are going to go out walking through the gardens, but Lord Caldwell has other plans. He gives a gift to Garland so that she’s distracted and then he spirits Rosie away to Gretna Green to get married. You see, back in the day, England had very strict regulations concerning getting married. But Scotland, you see, did not. Gretna Green was the first Scottish town over the border and so many, many people eloped there. Luckily for Lord and Lady Caldwell, Gretna Green was a quick ride away from the familial castle in Scotland, so after the 2 day trip to Gretna Green and a quick marriage, they were able to spend their first night as a married couple in their own bed. But of course, nothing is ever all that easy, now is it?

I like Rosie. She’s sweet and loving. She also deals with a lot of anxiety, and I can totally relate to that one. And, while she works really hard at trying to be a good girl and a proper lady, I think that she definitely has some fire in there. I mean, she tried to punch one of the other girls and threatened to punch Garland. And by the way,  I totally think that Garland was trying to get with Lord Caldwell. I would’ve wanted to punch her too. Lord Caldwell seemed a little flighty at times, but that started to calm down, and I liked him a lot.

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The secret about Rosie’s father wasn’t what I was expecting it to be, I mean, I did expect something criminal, but not that particular thing. I expected something more gruesome, I think.

Lord Caldwell’s cousin is a raging bitch. Maybe she would benefit by a few trips over someone’s knee with a belt and a whole lot of time sitting in a naughty chair or in the corner. Or, you know, being bricked up in a wall. You choose.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. Go check it out, along with all the other books. Happy reading!

Natasha Knight-Taken

Oh, ducklings, my sweet and precious ducklings, Natasha Knight has taken us on a roller coaster in Taken. One word of warning before I proceed, Taken is part of a duet, so it ends in a cliffie. The second part will be out in 2 weeks, so it’s not like Natasha is making us wait for a long time for the resolution. So, if you are interested in this one but you don’t like cliffies, wait a couple more weeks. Now, on to the review.

The Willows and the Scarfonis have a centuries-old relationship. That’s not a good thing here. For centuries, the Willows have always had quadruplet daughters and the Scarfonis have had sons. It used to be that they had 4 sons, but now they only have 3. Well, they still have 4 sons, but one son in each generation dies. Anyhow, once every generation, when the Willow daughters turn 21, the Scarfoni sons go and reap one of the daughters. They choose one, and keep her for 3 years, each brother getting their year with her, from oldest to youngest. The 3 sisters who don’t get chosen go on with their lives, get married, and one of them has quadruplet daughters, and the cycle begins again. The Willow Girl, the one that the Scarfonis choose, doesn’t always fare well. Their life expectancy after their 3 years is rather short, with a number of them committing suicide. There is one who seemed to survive her 3 years of service well, and that is Helena, the great-aunt of this generation’s Willow daughters.

Helena is also the name of one of the current generation of daughters. She actually looks like her great-aunt Helena. She’s dark to her sisters’ light. They are golden dolls, but Helena has dark hair, with a silver stripe. Ever since her 16th birthday, when her mother told her and her sisters what was happening, Helena has hoped that she wouldn’t be the one chosen. In fact, she went and got rid of her virginity, just so that she could knock herself out of the running.

Sebastian, Ethan, and Gregory as this generation’s Scarfoni sons. Along with Lucinda, who is Ethan and Gregory’s mother and Sebastian’s step-mother, they have come to the library at the Willow estate where the 4 women are standing in transparent shifts and on blocks so that they can be chosen. Helena has had to be bound and gagged while she is standing there with her shift that has a smear of blood on it, marking her non-virginal state. Sebastian is the one who gets to choose which of the 4 women standing in front of him is to be this generation’s Willow Girl, and by all rights, it should be one of the golden girls, but that would make our story really short now, wouldn’t it? Of course, Helena is the one that Sebastian wants.

There’s a lot going on in this book. I don’t know if I like Sebastian. I mean, sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. That’s OK, that’s how Helena feels about him too. She likes parts of him and she likes what he makes her feel, but she really basically just hates him. He’s told her that he wants to break her, she’s told him that he might have her body but can’t have her soul. There are things going on with Sebastian that we don’t understand or have access to, as of yet. I hope we find them in the next book. I’m interested in them. Helena, I like her a lot. She’s strong and fragile, broken and whole, all at the same time. She has to keep being rebellious because that’s the only way that she can be, the only way she can survive. Ethan and Lucinda deserve to burn in hellfire and lava, or to be cast into the center of a sun. I hate them, a lot. Gregory is… an unknown. I’m looking forward to finding out more about him too.

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Aunt Helena’s ring, OMG, I love her ring, and especially love how she got it. But yeah, I agree, Auntie Helena didn’t come back all that sane. But, you gotta wonder, what exactly happened to her to make her do what she did? It had to have been bad.

I’m kind of thinking that maybe Sebastian’s mom didn’t commit suicide, maybe she was helped along by someone near and dear to her. That person seems like they would do that to me.

And fuck, that ending. Ugh.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. I can’t wait for the next one to come out. I may not survive the wait. Happy reading!

FAA2018: Valarie Kinney-The Knowing Child

Well, Follow an Author 2018 is over, and I’ve loved being a part of it. I got to learn more about a new author and read new books. Don’t forget that I’m giving away the first book of the Windy Springs series on my FB page so take advantage of that.

So today, we’re talking about The Knowing Child, the last of the Windy Springs books. This one is 3 years after the last book. Evie is now 3 and just as sweet as can be. She also now has a little brother, named Fallon. Keisha and Rogan are still going strong, with a pretty good relationship, and are happily parenting their children. But not everything is happy and sunny in their world. Keisha is now Knowing, and she’s dealing with having horrible headaches and extreme anxiety. She’s always had problems with anxiety, which, considering her past, I would be more surprised if she wasn’t fighting anxiety, but it’s worse now, and when she hears voices because of the Knowing, it’s even harder. But, it’s not until she fractures her collarbone and Captain Dash comes to spend time with her while Rogan is at work, that things start to change.

We really learned a lot about Dash in this book, and it really explains why Captain Dash is the way that he is. I think his story really helped Keisha, and I hope that it helped people reading it too, since it was really important and incredibly moving. I like when we get to follow a couple and get to see what comes after the happily ever after, and that’s what we get to do here. It’s pretty awesome. I like seeing how Keisha and Rogan’s relationship has grown and matured and how the characters have grown and matured. And can I just say, I hate Evie’s pediatrician? My son had serious problems with ear infections when he was little, and his doc was more concerned about his health than Evie’s doc was and he didn’t see my son nearly as often. I hope we get to see more of this world.

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Dash and Diana. Wow, isn’t that just… something? Diana is nasty and I hate her. And she’s rotten to Layla too, which is even worse. Layla is so awesome and so sweet.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this. Go check them out. Happy reading!

Ava Sinclair-Scary Daddy

Happy Halloween! OK, OK, it’s 4 days early, but I won’t tell if you don’t tell. And hopefully, the Daddies in Scary Daddy won’t be too upset about it either. Because we all know that would be so, so bad, right?

So, we open on Lindy and Rowan, 2 besties who are sharing a house in a neighborhood with a strict HOA. That means that the head of the HOA, Clay, has already told them that they can’t have their Halloween Hello Kitty up in their yard, because it’s against the rules, which they would’ve known if they had read the manual, which they didn’t. That is making it hard for them to get into the Halloween spirit, which really sucks, as it’s their favorite holiday. But they really, really want to put Hello Kitty up just for Halloween night and the trick-or-treaters. So, they turn off their favorite movie, Hocus Pocus, and might I just add one of my favorite Halloween movies, and go to talk to Clay.

When they get to the house, Clay’s partner Jon opens the door and seems attracted to Lindy, who swears she feels him grab her ass, even though he’s way out of arm reach. Clay turns the ladies down, which means Rowan and Lindy, at Rowan’s instigation, are going to do something about it. Something that may involve Halloween night, rotten duck eggs, and toilet paper.

However, Clay and Jon are onto the ladies and they know that Rowan and Lindy are going to do something about it, which means it’s going to be Clay’s great pleasure to deal with Rowan and Jon’s to deal with Lindy. Of course, our naughty little girls might not be happy with what their Daddy and Papa have planned, but nobody asked them, did they?

This is short read and a very cute Halloween story. Ava does Daddy stories so well, and she showed the different kinds of Daddies that Jon and Clay are from each other without having to really shove it in our face or anything, she just had them going about their business. I would so love to read more about Jon and Lindy and Clay and Rowan, even if it’s just about one of the couples.

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OK, I kind of feel sorry for Clay and Jon. It can’t be all that easy being them.

That’s all I have to say today. It’s short and sweet, but that’s because this book was. Go check it out, as well as all of Ava’s other books. Happy reading!

FAA2018: Valarie Kinney-When Knowing Comes

While today is technically the last day of Foster an Author 2018, I’m going to give you some more posts through the weekend, because why the fuck not. I’m giving that way. Today, we’re going to talk about When Knowing Comes, which is the 2nd book of the Windy Springs series that Valarie wrote.

We’re back to Keisha, Rogan, and baby Evie. The newest season of the Ren Faire at Windy Springs is just about to start. Keisha and Evie are sitting outside while Rogan is talking to Captain Dash because Cordelia, the wicked witch of the woods, has been getting worse, and causing even more problems than before. Meanwhile, in their private life, Rogan and Keisha are keeping a close eye on Evie because she has tracheomalacia. This is a condition that basically causes a floppy trachea, which isn’t a huge problem most of the time, but when she gets sick, it can be a huge problem. She’s already gotten sick once and nearly died, so they are very careful.

The way that it’s going to work this season is that Rogan as Gibble the Troll and Keisha will work at the faire when it’s open on the weekends, but during the week, he’ll go home to work, and Keisha and Evie will stay in their tent, helping Layla make more wings.

Except, that’s not how it works out. Because of course it’s not. There are big changes in the works, and some serious sadness too. It’s not an easy road, by any means.

I’m not sure that I would call this a slow burn, since we already have the couple together and it’s already evident that they are in love. If anything, we get to find out more about Rogan’s past and we get to see a relationship deepen, which is always a good thing. We get to see more Captain Dash, who at least doesn’t steal any chili from Keisha this time. He really is a good guy who takes his responsibilities seriously and wants to make sure that everyone he sees as his is taken care off. He’s still half a bubble off true, but a nice guy who is incredibly loyal. Not as much of Layla in this one, but probably that’s because Keisha isn’t living with her this year.

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OMFG. Diana is a horrid bitch. I hate her. Maybe there’s a deep hole that she can fall into. A very, very deep hole. With a big rock that they can push over the top of the hole so she can’t ever get out.

Cordelia dead is maybe even worse than Cordelia alive. Is that even possible? Well, I think so, so there.

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