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review 2017-03-26 16:07
Neverwylde (The Rim of the World, #1) by Linda Mooney Review
Neverwylde (The Rim of the World) (Volume 1) - Linda Mooney

wo species, bitter enemies, are determined to destroy each other, until they realize they need one another to survive a major catastrophe.

As they race through a nebulous space anomaly in the midst of battle, the Terrans and Seneecians are blown through a wormhole to crash land on an uncharted world. A half world. A world containing the remains of a long-dead civilization.

Lt. Kelen Chambliss knows she has no reason to trust the furred, humanoid creatures, but she and her crew members cannot survive without their help, and the Seneecians cannot survive without theirs. Neither can she ignore the fearsome-looking one called Kyber, with his wicked talons and piercing green eyes.

As they slowly come to realize there is no escape or forthcoming rescue from the barren planet, Kelen learns there is much about the enemy she never knew. Including the fact that Kyber's formidable appearance hides a strong, brave, and caring heart.

 

Review

 

What is here in this book is very good. It is a really interesting world with an enemies to lovers theme.

 

The love comes a little fast and easy but its a high stress survival situation. I like the details of the planet, the hero and heroine are wonderful, and the breakdown of milterary command and how much what mattered before doesn't matter at all now is great.

 

But then the book ends with the group in peril. It is kinda a happy for now but not one I can trust.

 

I was annoyed. I hate serials which this feels like.

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review 2017-03-24 11:36
This author has skills! Urban fantasy lovers might want to check it out
Warlock in Training - T.J. Nichols
  4.5 HEARTS--I knew this author's first novel would be great. It was magical.



This isn't my first T.J. Nichols; all previous works were urban fantasy/ paranormal short stories: The Vampire's Dinner and A Wolf's Resistance . Both works had great world building and paranormal ideas. The same can be said for Warlock in Training. But what I wanted to see is what the author could do with something novel length.

Not disappointed.

Earth has changed, new countries have formed and magic is known. Well I should say warlocks and wizards are real on Earth, or Humanside. The Earth is continuing to change, forget global warming, it's approaching an ice age. Most of the population doesn't know what the cause is for it. Warlocks are believed to be the saviors to stop it, But what they don't want people to know is they're the culprits. Magic exists in Humanside and Demonside, a second world where demons and other paranormal beings live. Demonside is experiencing extreme global warming, the world turning into a desert, water is scarce. Do these changes share something in common?

Wizards practice magic without using demons. Warlocks on the other hand drain demons for their magic to be more power, have stronger magic. Wizards are looked down on in the magical society. Warlocks are the upper echelon, the 1% if you will.

Nineteen year old ginger Angus Donohue doesn't want to be a warlock, despite his prestigious warlock family history. His father is forced him to attend warlock college and threatened him not embarrass the family name or him. Angus doesn't even want to summon a demon during a requisite class and tries to fail.

And that's where the magic begins.

Enter demon Saka (I am 1000% for him). He chooses Angus despite Angus trying to fail and takes him to Demonside across the void (the bridge between the two worlds). Points to the story being dual POV. Both worlds are too interesting not to immerse yourself in.

The cover is so fitting! Because I think Angus has the potential to be the bridge.

Saka is a demon mage and is trying to help his world. He's smart, calm and wicked with a knife. He shows Angus there is more to life and magic. I couldn't help but imagine Saka something like Hellboy (black horns instead, no hair, the similar skin tone)



I always try to find a Hellboy in demons I read about. LOL

Saka teaches different types of magic: soul, blood and sex. Saka's really great at the last two.

A lot of urban fantasy, tends to have an alpha type as the lead. Not the case in Warlock in Training. Angus is nineteen and reads nineteen - unsure of himself, still learning his place in the world, exploring relationships with potential partners. But he's not the typical teenager. Demonside helps open his eyes.

There is a battle between two magical worlds that felt similar to what the political and global feel is right now. The 1% is ruining both worlds, damn the results as long as they're in power. It's magical politics. People are dying for a cause that does not benefit the greater good. The ones in charge lie to the masses and attacks any form of resistance.

But there is a resistance.



And it's growing.

The book ends with a cliffhanger of sorts. There are loose threads that need to be answered. Such as who really is in charge? Why the harvesting of so much power? The suspense is well written.

Before jumping all over this, I feel I should warn potential readers of possible triggers/deal breakers: There are romantic undertones rather than a defined romance. Both main characters have sex with other people (But I feel I should explain demons have different views on 'relationships' - monogamy is not the norm,) There were brief MF moments. (Also, didn't mind. The moments were a blip on the entire scale of things) Cutting is practiced for magical purposes.

How erotic does this get? There is on page sex but don't expect pages of a drawn out sex scene. (Quite happy about that, it can be a chore to read drawn out pages) The relationship between Saka and Angus is still forming, is kinda fluid. There is another character that has a potential of maybe making this a love/lust triangle. It's not romantic. More as a means to an end but there is potential for deeper feelings. Sex on Demonside can be and is used for ritualistic needs. If you are a reader who needs the one and only, I would say to approach with caution. Because the way the sex, relationship and openness is written fits the characters. And they struggle. But it's secondary to the world building, action and suspense.

I want to rate this all the hearts but I have tiny issues, pretty minor. Technically, the story reads well. But I feel some of the chapters ended in odd spots. I like the fact the chapters aren't overly long but some ended with where it could have just combined with half of the next chapter for better impact.

But I see this book as the foundation for more to come. War is approaching. What side are you on? Will the resistance win?

Bonus was that this book stars my favorite paranormal beings: DEMONS!



And a ginger warlock! It was like it was written just for me. ;P

Fans of urban fantasy should definitely check this series out because the world building is tops. The author obvious is an urban fantasy fan and it shows in their work. The first third is mostly building. The other two thirds are fast paced and filled with intrigue. My heart started to crumble in the last 5-8% but the author pulled it through.

I am so there for this series! And I'm definitely a fan of this author after this. It's 3 out of 3 for me!

Recommended.



A copy provided for an honest review.

 

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review 2017-03-18 23:31
Easton kicks Dreamspun Desires ass yet again!
Snowblind (Dreamspun Desires Book 29) - Eli Easton

4.25 HEARTS--Tag team review with Adam

Dreamspun Desires aka cracky fluff has another home run with Snowblind by Eli Easton.



Me= when a new Dreamspun title is released

What fun romance tropes to find from the latest Dreamspun treasure? Stranded in a snowy cabin mixed with a damaged hero and disguise.

Delicious.

My favorite of the house line (so far) happens to be by this same author, so this book had big shoes to fill. A total 180 from The Stolen Suitor , this book toed the line of cracky fluff with dashes of realism. If this isn't your first time with the line, you know to expect some cheese, some sugar and fluff.

All founded in this novel.

Set in Alaska, Hutch is a damaged solitary former Marine (oohrah!) with a lot of baggage and not a lot of patience for others. He's suspicious of a nearly frostbitten stranger that falls on his property. He has a secluded cabin for a reason and is on high alert with the frozen man's arrival. The frozen man being model Jude Devereaux. Jude thaws...and so does Hutch. The story for the first half is all Hutch's POV.

What is it about their connection he wonders. Is it the fact they're stuck in a blizzard and have no chance for escape? Maybe the need for companionship? Whatever the circumstances, the men are trapped in that house for three days.

And what a hot three days it was...



I'm sure you heard all about it.

But sex only this story is not. It has quite a twisty plot. And the twists and turns change from instalove/stranded highs to betrayal, action, murder, gun fights...

Dudes, it was a wild and crazy ride.

The story doesn't feature Jude's POV until 51%. And once it does, the story twists even more. I got swept away in the cabin fever feelings and could almost but the love. See, it wasn't instantaneous ILY's but close. And the author did a decent job portraying the men's inner thoughts as to what drove them for the crazy actions.

I'll keep all the crazy plot twists to a minimum as to not spoil the read. Because even if you guess what went down, you get the scope of it until you read it.

How's the sex? Hot when it's there, even the fade to black/non-graphic interludes were hot. In the bedroom, the men do lack the chemistry. For what is allowed in the houseline, I found it to be hot.

How's the fluff? Not as fluffy and sugary, but it's there. A little heavier in the whipped sweet fluff in the second half.

It's a close second to my fave, just because there were moments when my fluff bubble popped. And I questioned Hutch's motives once or twice.

The extreme climes, the action, the subterfuge and intrigue....the romance. It all in all made it a satisfying read.

Recommended for fans of the cracky fluff, who like hot alpha men who are more on the silent side. But when it comes to their men, you can hear them loud and clear!



A copy provided for an honest review.

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review 2017-03-09 06:27
A MM story I finally got to...heh.
Bullet - Garrett Leigh
3.75 HEARTS-- Always fashionably late to the party...



Look at the table setting at the Blue Boy party!

I think I might one of the few stragglers who hasn't read Bullet. This is also my second Garrett Leigh. Can I still visit the party with my low Leigh credentials? I promise after reading the re-release version of Bullet...I'll make more an effort to read her work.

The novella stars seasoned porn actor Levi Ramone is a well known top in the industry. Ripped, bearded and rough, Levi is a lumbersexual wet dream. (Oh the new cover fits him, does it not?)Does he enjoy his job? In a way, yes. He gets all the ass he wants and doesn't have to worry about commitments. But...he's virtually alone. His father committed suicide and his mother is an alcoholic with a grudge against her son, Levi doesn't have really close connections. The majority of his money is pay for his mother's bills despite her animosity towards him. He's desperate for cash to help.

It's a sad existence.

Enter the "bitchy twink" (in Levi's eyes) Sonny, a fellow Blue Boy porn actor who also works at the pron studio's go-go club as a dancer/stripper. Sonny sees there is more than meets the eye to Levi. He calls Levi out for not being into his porn scenes, being too aggressive and not considerate. When Sonny and Levi's boss offers more money to star in a threesome, Levi accepts. Even though Sonny gets under his skin and the fact that he'll have to lost his butt cherry.

That setup though...



"Dude, you don't want to go there for the first time without a good lead off. Do you want me to suck you off?"
"What? No!"
"You're kinda coy for a hard-core porn star. It's cute."


Sonny picks through the wall Levi builds around himself. He also helps Levi discover the untapped pleasures...below. As the upcoming bottoming scene looms as the novella progresses, there is also Levi's broken home/ dealing with a harridan of an alcoholic mother.

Now I thought it might've went one way with the mother, I was not expecting some of the resulting blows from that front. Or bottom assistance/prep/seduction

Though Sonny is helping his future scene actor out, there seems to be an underlying current of care...along with the obvious attraction between both men. Also for a book about porn, it's not as sex filled as you might think. I'm still new to Leigh's writing style, but methinks angst is her forte, yes? There was definitely a decent amount of emotions from Sonny to help carry this novella along, along with the obvious courting via anal play.

When Sonny and Levi finally culminate the obvious courting...the book ends!

Where is the rest of the story? I had to stop myself from shaking my Kindle upside down. There is no way Levi and Sonny just ends the relationship like that.

Right?

*listens to the squawking from the party*

There's follow up in the rest of the series? Is that so?

Well, hell looks like I need to rest of this series! I'm so curious to see what happens with the other characters. And Sonny and Levi of course...there's a hint of unresolved drug abuse somewhere along the line.

I'm invested.

Gonna see if I can get my Garrett Leigh dance card filled out now that I've joined the party:



I enjoy what I've read so far.

Recommended for readers who like some angst, some sexy and characters that have some baggage too.



A copy provided for an honest review.
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review 2017-03-06 06:31
Stereotypes in insta-love. Ho hum.
Permanent Ink - Jaime Samms
A Hearts On Fire Review

TWO HEARTS--The re-release of Permanent Ink by Jaime Samms is a short story that features a very quick pairing between white college basketball player Eric and black tatted/pierced ex-con Dwayne. Eric's best friend is Dwayne's cousin, Angel, meaning they knew of each other but never formally hung out. Eric judges Dwayne based on his outward appearance, assuming the worst. Though Dwayne doesn't help Eric's preconception in the beginning of the short when he brags about his ass pain from a hookup the night before. The two start on the wrong foot and it quickly turns around into a HEA.

Race is an important factor in this short. And unfortunately, so are a few stereotypes.

This is a re-release, I haven't read the original version but I'm going to take a stab that not much changed. Though the time period could be implied as modern day, it read more like any reference to the time period was vaguely mentioned. An example, Dwayne is supposed to look like a "thug" with cornrows and beads because he came from the hood and had to wear the "thug" exterior to protect himself on the "inside".

*sigh*

I just can't buy the characterization as justification for writing Dwayne this way. I'm unsure if the story is supposed to be based in the UK or America, so it could help me reference the characters. Maybe that's how the "thugs" dress and act in a different part of the world? *shrug*

I think I see what the author was going for, opposites attract insta-love romance but the beginning was rough. I didn't like Eric. He was privileged and didn't really come away as a better person in the end. Dwayne read more like 2-D character who had past rape added to his life to give depth?

Past rape was given as the reason for the "armor" of tattoos and 'tough persona....why have him brag about sleeping around if he has a sexual hang up (about bottoming). There were contradicting factors - hooking up with random men to never having sex since jail.

Didn't make the impact it tried to go for.

My second biggest gripe (after poor characterization) is if this was reedited, why not make it read more current? Angel tried to give something about race relations when he tried to give a teaching moment with Eric. But it kinda fell off to the wayside. Story is too short to try and encompass crime, rape PTSD. Not a fan of the way it was written or presented.

The one sex scene was a bust because the main characters read awkward and acted awkward to me. Example, it'd be a kiss then stall then kiss then pause...not smooth writing. Along with the vagueness in the writing.

I've read this author in the past. Samms's books have a tendency to be full of angst. I don't think the topics added to make the story...interesting (for lack of a better word) was needed.

How could the story have been better? More length, show how the two connected rather than insta-love over time. There were very tiny bits of that that just didn't go anywhere.

Didn't like Eric by the end - he still read like a privileged rich kid. I doubt he grew or will grow from his relationship with Dwayne. Dwayne could do so much better.

Not recommended.
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