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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Renee Rose & Lee Savino-Alpha’s Blood

Every. fucking. time. Every fucking time these two come out with another book in the series, I swear it’s the best one evah. Then, they write the next one. And the cycle starts all over again. I’ll bet that Alpha’s Blood is going to be hard to beat though. Now watch them make me eat my words. Because you know that they will try.

Lucius is the King of Tucson, when it comes to vampires. The centuries old vampire is the one in control of the area and he keeps all the vamps to the rules that he makes, and if they start to screw up, then he will do what needs to be done. He has something that isn’t quite an alliance with the werewolves in the area, maybe it’s more that they exist in a perpetual state of detente. Both sides recognize the authority of the other and that they both need to exist, and they will even work together toward a common goal, but in general, they really, really don’t like each other.

Lucius’ biggest curse is his sired. They all turn against them at some point. And he knows that they are up to something now. That means that he’s going to have to figure out what it is so that he can thwart it and punish the ones doing it. And for thwart, read kill. So, when he gets a sudden invite to a shifter auction, he knows that something is definitely up. Then he sees her. Selene.

Selene is the lone survivor of the massacre of her pack. She was saved from the foster system by a vampire named Xavier, who spent all her formative teen years being trained to kill Lucius, because Xavier showed her proof that he was the one who killed her pack. Now, after all the years of pain and training that she’s gone through, it’s time for the ultimate payoff. She’s standing on the stage at the shifter auction waiting to be sold, and the plan is that Lucius will buy her, because she’s perfect for him. And of course, Lucius does. Because our story would be so short otherwise.

I’ve respected Lucius every time we’ve seen him in other books. He seems like he’s as benevolent a king as he can be. I don’t think that benevolent is quite the right word, but he’s not a complete tyrant or anything. He doesn’t necessarily rule by fear, and he does give his sired and the vampiric citizens of his kingdom free will and enough rope to hang themselves by, but he also isn’t going to let them run willy-nilly over him. He’s willing to work with other supernatural types, as necessary. He’s ruthless when he needs to be, and rather pragmatic, I think. I really enjoyed getting to know more about him and about his history. Overall, it made me respect him even more, and definitely like him a whole lot.

I like Selene. I think that she’s a fantastic character. I also think that she started out the book a little emotionally stunted, but that’s pretty natural, considering what happened to her and the fact that Xavier wasn’t there to make sure that she was emotionally mature. He just wanted a fighter and he wanted a fighter who believed in what he believed in, and that’s what he got. I like the journey and the growth that we get to see in her over the book. It’s not easy for her, and I don’t think it was ever going to be easy for her, but it was a fantastic journey to read.

I can’t wait to see what Renee and Lee come up with next. I think that Lucius and Selene, and how perfect is that name for a werewolf, are going to be really hard to beat.

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The whole electrical scene? I’m pretty sure that my Kindle melted down after that one for a little while.

Also, I think that Selene and Lucius are going to be so fucking great at their roles.

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

 

Renee Rose & Lee Savino-Alpha’s Prey

When I sat down to write this blog, I was surprised to realize how many books in this series there are now. I think I saw that Alpha’s Prey was book 11. No wonder these books are so good, Renee and Lee have plenty of practice in this world, and all that practice goes into making books that just get better as the series goes on.

So, even though this series started out in Arizona with werewolves, this book doesn’t have any of those wolves in it, except very tangentially. Nope, we’re in the mountains of New Mexico with a growly, grumpy bear.

We met Caleb in the last book, when he was pulled in by the wolves to fight Grizz. We really don’t know much about him though. We basically only see him as the fighter. But now we really get to meet Caleb and appreciate him. He has been going through the last 3 years as almost a ghost and in near hibernation. He lets his bear rule him a bit more than he should, since he has spent a lot of time as a bear. He spent enough that the wolves had to come and force him out of bear shape into human shape. His mate and daughter were killed by something that seemed unnatural, and he just went… bear. Even now, he only deals with the world in the summer when he goes to get work and spends most of the winter in as close a state of hibernation as people can get. But this winter, he’s awake-ish, thanks to the wolves.

Miranda is an ecologist. She’s studying global warming and is tired of the men in her department. She’s had to work a whole lot harder than they to get to the same place, and she has a Ph.D., just like them. But that doesn’t stop them from talking to her tits instead of her face or treating her like a secretary. Now, she has to go up to a cabin in the mountains to get more research info, and she’s actually looking forward to it, because she loves the mountains and nature, even in the winter. On her way, at a tiny little town, she’s warned off by local people because there are 3 other women who have gone missing, and a crazy bear in the woods. Then Miranda meets the crazy bear, as he looks in her window to try to see what’s going on. She thinks he’s less crazy looking and more intelligent.

OK, first of all, I love the idea of the ecologist and the werebear mountain man. I mean, are there 2 more compatible people because they are both concerned with what’s going with the natural world, the climate in general, and the ecology of any particular area? I snerked about that, because I thought it was just too funny.

I like Caleb. He is just a downright good man. I think the only mean bone or bad bone in his body shows up when he is being protective, and even then, he’s only mean to the people who deserve it, not the innocent people around him. He’s just good, and even better, nice. We see examples of it through the book, other than the way he is with Miranda, because it’s easy to be good to the woman you are interested in but not so nice to other people.

I totally get Miranda. She’s so tired of being seen as her body instead of her brain, or instead of seeing that the brain and the body are part and parcel. Caleb sees that from the very beginning. I think that he’s probably the first person who has ever seen Miranda for Miranda, and it can be terrifying to have someone see you so intently. It can also be wonderful, to be the focus of someone like that.

I thought that they were perfect each other, because they both were drifting through life, not quite awake. Their meeting shook them up and woke them up and made them discover what they had been missing.

I can’t wait to see where Lee and Renee are going to go next.

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I both dislike and pity the bad guy. I mean, yeah, he’s fucking insane, but he’s also a victim. Of course, he took the bat shit crazy part a lot too far, and I would like to know if he was crazy before he went through what he did or if it happened because of his experiences. Interesting question, no?

OK, that’s all I have to say right now. Go check it out! 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.

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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!

Golden Angel-Chasing His Polar Bear

I love the Big Bad Bunnies series. I mean, you mix a little Harry Potter, a lot of Monty Python, and some Disney together and put all that in a series about kickass bunny shifters, and what could go wrong? In fact, this series is just so awesomely right. And Chasing His Polar Bear is the perfect addition to this series.

Did you know that polar bears are the largest land predators? Even bigger than Kodiaks. A full grown polar bear can weigh upwards of 1300 lbs. Also, did you know that the offspring of a polar bear/grizzly mix is either called a pizzly or a grolar, depending on which parent is the polar bear? And what exactly does that have to do with anything? Well, we’re talking about polar bears today, so why not toss in some random facts. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

Anyway, Eli is a polar bear shifter, and is probably the biggest, baddest, Alpha-iest of all the shifters out there. That’s why he’s the boss. And he’s trying to fight against his twin brother, Aiden, who is leading all the bad guys. Aiden likes to think that he’s so super smart and smarter than everyone, which may or may not be true. One day, Eli walks in to find Sheila with a gun pointed at him.

Sheila and Eli have a few things in common. One, they are both polar bears. Two, they grew up in the same pack. And three, they both want to ruin Aiden’s plans. That’s not all that’s there though. Eli and Sheila were betrothed. When she was finally old enough to marry him, he broke off the engagement and left the pack. That left Sheila and her family in disgrace. But, Sheila was able to pick herself up, dust herself off, and become a total badass.

I love Sheila so hard. I’m not joking when I say that she’s a total badass. She is very in control of herself, and she’s not about to let anyone fuck with her. She knows what she wants, and she’s going to go out and get it, no matter what. She wants a man? Fine, she’ll find one. She wants to destroy Aiden? Fine, she’ll do what she can to destroy Aiden, singlehandedly, if possible. She’d like to enlist Eli and his bunch, because she knows that they can help her, but she’s spent a lot of time working on Aiden and she’ll do what she needs to with or without Eli’s help. She knows what’s at stake and she’ll be damned if it will happen on her watch.

I think that Sheila is very smart. I think she has to be to be a step ahead of Aiden. And she’s very tricksy. You could almost say manipulative, but she’s not really that. I tend to think of manipulative people as people who are trying to get something for themselves, and that’s not what Sheila is doing. And really, what she is doing is for the greater good, so is it manipulative? I think this is one that you are going to have to decide yourself.

Eli has a very strong sense of duty and responsibility. He is a good man, even if he has to sometimes make some really, really shitty decisions and do some bad things. But, I think when it comes to Sheila, he is so far over his head that he can’t even see the surface. He’s working with old data, and that never helps.

I love this series, and when I need something fun with some drama in it, I turn to the Big Bad Bunnies. They are funny, even in the middle of the fights. I’m really looking forward to the next book to see what happens.

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I love that Eli didn’t think that Sheila would just stay off in the sidelines and not do anything, but that she was right there in the middle of things when she needed to be. I also love that Aiden was a totally clueless fucking idiot.

OK, that’s all for this one. If you love shifters, you should totally be reading all of the Big Bad Bunny books. Happy reading!

PS, Golden Angel says that her baby totally said you should buy this one.

Macy Blake-The Chosen One

We all know that I love to read just about anything, and I take great joy in sharing the wonderful reads I find, right? Well, today I’m going to share Macy Blake and her Chosen One series. There are currently 5 books and 2 novellas, I think, I might be wrong on the novella numbers, set in the universe. There are 3 in the main series, All or Nothing, Nothing Ventured, and Next to Nothing. Then there is a prequel, Sweet Nothings. And a spinoff with the Hellhounds, Hell on Earth. The books are all MM, but not mpreg, mostly. I think that the Hellhounds books are more Omegaverse with some mpreg going on, but I’m not going to say for certain until I read it in the book. I do know for sure that there alphas and omegas, so there’s that.

Now, Macy calls this a reverse harem story, because even the first one starts out with 5 guys, and they add in more guys as each book goes on. But, I wouldn’t call it reverse harem at all. In an RH, generally it’s Person A and they have a lot of lovers who are only lovers to Person A. Other reviewers have said, and I agree, that this is an excellent example of a polyamorous relationship. That’s because all the guys have a relationship with each other and are all mates. There is the larger relationship and then each of them have their own relationships within that large group. And there are sexcapades galore. Pretty much, if you can think of any combination that 5 guys can get into, then they get into it. It’s pretty damn hot, and I don’t even have all the right pieces.

So, here are our base 5 guys. We have Sawyer, who has lived next to Draco for years, and who has crushed on him for most of that time. Then we have Henry, Eduard, and Andvari, who showed up in Sawyer and Drake’s neighborhood, in a McMansion they had built.

The way that the stories work is that long ago, an oracle foretold that there would be a chosen one who would bring back the magic, which has been going missing or being messed up for centuries now. Since that time, there have been 8 guardians called from the various clans to guard the Chosen One when they show up. No one knows anything about the Chosen One or who they are going to be. All they know is that each time a guardian dies, another is chosen.

At the beginning of the series, we have Draco, a dragon, Eduard, a gryphon, Andvari, a vampire, and Henry, a seer, who are all guardians. Then there is Sawyer. Sawyer who has loved Drake forever, but not known his secret until now. Drake has wanted Sawyer forever, but knew that he might be called away to be a guardian elsewhere, so has never given way to that desire. He knows that he wouldn’t survive being away from Sawyer that way. Sawyer, who is also a magical null, who can help Henry through the terrible pain he gets from his vision and who everyone is drawn to.

I really love this series and this world. I really like all of the characters that Macy has given us so far. I have favorites, of course, who doesn’t. Sawyer, Henry, and Meshaq are my favorites out of the entire world, so far.

The world building is great. Macy has really created a universe where things all make sense within the ‘verse, and the world is very rich and detailed. You can tell that she has put a lot of work into it. The story has a lot of love and a lot of sex, but there is also a lot of politicking, danger, conspiracy, and adventure. It’s really pretty much a perfect combination.

OK, that’s all I have to say on this series. The entire series is on KU, so it’s easy to check it out. 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!