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Search tags: Beta-Hero
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review 2017-03-19 16:25
Wild Embrace (Psy-Changeling, #15.5) by Nalini Singh Review
Wild Embrace: A Psy-Changeling (A Psy/Changeling Novel) - Nalini Singh

Echo of Silence
In a deep-sea station, Tazia Nerif has found her life’s work as an engineer, keeping things running smoothly. But she wants nothing more than to break down the barrier of silence between her and her telekinetic Psy station commander...
 
Dorian
A changeling who can never shift lives a life of quiet frustration—until he learns how to let his leopard come out and play...
 
Partners in Persuasion
Still raw from being burned by a dominant female, wolf changeling Felix will never again risk being a plaything. But for dominant leopard Dezi, he’s the most fascinating man she’s ever met. She just has to convince this gun-shy wolf that he can trust the dangerous cat who wants to take a slow, sexy bite out of him…
 
Flirtation of Fate
Seven years ago, Kenji broke Garnet’s heart. Now the wolf packmates have to investigate the shocking murder of one of their own. And the more Kenji sees of the woman Garnet has become, the deeper he begins to fall once more. But even his primal instincts are no match for the dark secret he carries...

Review

These short stories are all wonderful little romps into the Changeling World.

 

"Echo of Silence" has a wonderful Psy hero and a heroine of middle eastern origin. The love story is a lovely balance of honoring cultural traditions, becoming a fuller version of the self, and skin hunger.

 

I was a little sadden we didn't get Sea Shifter as the heroine or hero but I adored who we got.

 

"Dorian" was the least interesting to me not because it wasn't good but because I really would have loved another full romance and this little tidbit as a bonus. Dorian is grand.

 

"Partners in Persuasion" captures the play of power in a relationship and how many ways there are to fit together. I love me a beta hero so Felix is my man. He is cool. The heroine was a little low on eq at times but the love story was well earned in the end.

 

"Flirtation of Fate" had a lot of angst but the hero and the heroine were both vibrant. The conflict that kept them apart needed more time to really be worked through but I was happy for them and the mystery plot was nice.

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review 2017-01-06 17:10
Mercy (Deridia #1) by Catherine Miller Review
Mercy (Deridia Book 1) - Catherine Miller

Dishonourable.
Unwanted.
Outsider.

Such are the slurs cast upon Rykkon, however undeserved. As the only village healer, his people cannot cast him out entirely, but there is little comfort in such a life when he has long known that no mate from his clan would willingly join with him. It is a lonely fate, but one Rykkon has learned to accept. That is, until one tense exchange between his people and the humans brings him an offer he simply cannot ignore.

The humans are not their slaves. Nor their property. Nor of any great concern. But neither are they free. It is by the provisions of the Arterians they scrape out a sorry existence in the Wastes, and by their goodwill alone that they continue to survive. Scavenging for hasart beetles under the two suns is the only life the desperate colonists have known since their ancestors first landed on the desolate planet. It was all they knew. It was all they hoped for.

Until one day, a young female dares to ask for more.

---

“Wait.”
The entire group stilled, staring at him as he continued to regard the female.
She glanced up sharply, her brow furrowed and her gaze cautious. As right it should be.
“I will take you for a mate.”

 

 

Review

 

This is a lovely slow paced, character driven science fiction romance.

 

The hero is a healer and an outcast. He is beta to his bones and exactly what the heroine needs to trust and heal. Hard choices are carefully explored making the internal conflicts engaging.

 

The heroine is resilient, practical, and brave. They are both a product of how they have been treated and the romance is sweet and real.

 

The hero keeps secrets a bit too long but that is my only complaint.

 

Good world building and they save each other in so many ways.

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review 2015-12-07 13:21
Too Many Characters, Too Many Secrets
Staying at Daisy's - Jill Mansell

A friend recommended I should check out British author Jill Mansell, and I can see why she thought I would like this. It's constructed sort of like Love Actually, with lots of intersecting plot lines, and of course it's full of adorably British people saying adorably British things. In theory, this ought to be right up my alley. In practice, it missed the mark.

 

Staying at Daisy's is about the father-daughter owners of a schmancy hotel in the Cotwolds, their staff, guests, lovers, and neighbors. There are a lot of characters. I didn't have trouble keeping track of who the characters were, but since several of the intersecting plots hinge on characters keeping secrets from one another, I did have trouble keeping track of who knew what.

 

All of those secrets were my biggest problem with the story. Not my confusion, but the fact that all of these characters were so dishonest with one another, keeping secrets and sneaking around. For me, that made it hard to like these people.

 

I also found many of the characters very flat and underdeveloped, likely because there were so many characters that, in the interests of space, the author sacrificed character development in order to move the plot. Unfortunately, if the characters aren't developed, I have trouble giving a fig what happens to them in the story.

 

Anyway, this just wasn't my cuppa.

 

 

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review 2015-11-23 19:56
An Uncomfortable Read
The Fifteenth Minute (The Ivy Years Book 5) - Sarina Bowen

I enjoyed this book (as I've enjoyed almost everything by Sarina Bowen), but I was uncomfortable with the premise. The hero, DJ, has been accused of sexual assault by another student at his school, and he's in limbo while the college figures out how to respond. He's not allowed in the residential halls or anywhere near his alleged victim, and he's going to classes knowing that at any time the school may expel him, but there's no criminal case pending and he knows very little about the allegations, except that as he remembers the encounter, it was very much consensual.

 

I'm a domestic and sexual violence prosecutor, and I was squicked out by the premise of this book because I know that, though in our rape-culture warped society, people think false allegations of rape are commonplace, but in reality, such claims are very, very rare. In fact, people are much, much more likely to be raped and NOT report than they are to report an assault that didn't happen.

 

Setting that major squick aside (which I was only able to do because I have a lot of faith in Sarina Bowen), I was interested in the story of DJ meeting a new girl and the difficulties of falling in love when he's got this major cloud (which he doesn't want to tell her about) hanging over his head. I also recognize that this book seeks to make a larger point about the flaws of allowing college administrations to handle sex assault investigations rather than law enforcement -- the results are inconsistent and unfair both to the accuser and the accused -- and that's a point worth making. When the truth came out about the incident that led to DJ's being accused, I was relieved that the accuser's "excuse" was sympathetic and that she was not just a crazy, lying bitch, but I still found this a very uncomfortable read.

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review 2015-11-23 19:40
I'm a Sucker for a Virgin Hero
The Game Plan (Game On Series Book 3) - Kristen Callihan

The description of this book -- virgin hero, sexually liberated heroine, sensitive man-bun-wearing beta hero in an alpha career (pro football player) -- was totally my catnip, and I was not disappointed. I really, really enjoyed this book (enough to glom the rest of the series within the next few days) while I was in the midst of it, and I still like it a lot even though, now that my rose-colored reading glasses are off, I can recognize that it has some serious problems.

 

Ethan Dexter, "Dex", is a 24-year-old virgin. How does that happen, exactly? I don't fully believe it, but I went with it for purposes of the story: first, he was a chubby late bloomer in high school (though, I know plenty of chubby late bloomers who managed to get laid in high school, even without the panache of being on the football team), and then he had an ugly (but not entirely believable) near-sex experience that put him off casual sex for good.

 

He has long had a crush on his buddy Gray's wife's little sister, Fiona. Fiona is a sassy, sexy, sophisticated spitfire who has very few sexual hangups. I'm pretty bored with the manwhore-tamed-by-virtuous-lady trope, but I enjoyed this gender flip of it. I liked that Dex was a virgin but that he wasn't repressed or naive in the way that most virginal heroines are.

 

Apart from Dex's over-ripe virginity, the main conflict in the story stems from the fact that Fiona lives in New York and Dex lives in New Orleans. I found the struggle with the long-distance relationship to be believable, if a little too easy for real life (distance is less of an issue when both parties in a relationship have tons of money, I guess).

 

My issues with the book stem from the subplots. First, Fiona has a rival at work who steals her ideas and gets credit from the boss. I suppose we've all known someone like this, so it was believable, but I'm never entertained by storylines that turn women into one-dimensional villains, which this subplot did. Second, Fiona and Dex take sexy photos of one another, and those photos get out, and as always happens, Fiona is the one to bear the brunt of the public scandal. Dex is mostly pretty stand-up about that, until, suddenly, he isn't. Again, I found that plot twist believable but disappointing: I just wish the book hadn't gone there.

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