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review 2013-12-21 18:31
Jaynell's Wolf by Amber Kell
Jaynell's Wolf - Amber Kell

I bought this a long time ago and only just now got around to reading it. I wish I could say that I should have read it sooner, but I can't. It was awful.

Jay, the main character, was an annoyingly perfect Gary Stu. He was gorgeous and better at everything than anyone else, including upper-level students and his professors. He had the magical power of three people, he could speak perfect Gnome, he could bond with an unheard of number of gnomes, he could see people's magical signatures, he could put together a persuasion potion better than his teachers, he instantly attracted the attentions of the most beautiful girl at school. The list went on. He repeatedly worried about alienating other students because he knew so much more than they did, but he needn't have worried – everyone liked him, except the one cardboard bully.

Personally, I thought Jay was an ass and a snotty know-it-all. He spent much of the story mentally grumbling about how he already knew everything the teachers were explaining and wondering why he was even at the school. At one point, he was asked to demonstrate a persuasion potion and told to use one of his fellow students as a guinea pig. After everyone agreed that the (male) student was heterosexual, Jay told that student to kiss him, which he did. Like I said, Jay was an ass. But, since he was so perfect, wonderful, and gorgeous, the student's only reaction later was to comment that Jay was a good kisser.

The story had enough elements in common with the Harry Potter books that I did some checking to see if this was actually P2P fanfic. I couldn't find any evidence of that, but, yeah, there were a lot of elements in common. Jay was an orphan whose parents gave their lives for him. Devin, Dean, and Dan were identical triplets who were often confused for each other, much like Fred and George. The gnomes seemed a lot like house-elves. Michael Dragonspawn was basically a Harry Potter slash fic version of Gilderoy Lockhart.

At least one fantasy cliche seemed to be thrown into the story just because – although Harry (I mean, Jay) mentioned that “names have power,” this little detail was never used in the story, beyond allowing him to prove, once again, that he could do everything better than everyone else.

Werewolf soulmate cliches were everywhere, as well. The instant Jay and Thomas met, they could barely keep from humping each other in public – they were, of course, soulmates. Sex was required to finish the bond (by the way, only penetrative sex counted). Reminiscent of the rules in Eileen Wilks' World of the Lupi urban fantasy series, Thomas would be forever bound to Jay if they had sex, unable to ever have sex with anyone else, while Jay would still be free to have sex with whomever he chose.

Well, that wasn't entirely true, because Thomas was also afflicted with insane (and cliched) jealousy. If Jay were to sleep with someone else, he would kill that person. Heck, he came close to attacking the student who kissed Jay under the influence of the persuasion potion. He didn't even like it when Jay comforted a student who was distraught over the deaths of some gnomes. Never mind that neither Jay nor the student were doing anything even remotely sexual. Jay, by the way, thought that Thomas' constant jealousy was amusing and possibly even cute.

When Jay first met Thomas, he was fine with the idea of dating him or even living with him. He would especially have liked to have sex with him. Yes, he practically jumped for joy at the idea of having sex with a perfect stranger. But he absolutely didn't want to be bonded to Thomas. Until he suddenly did. Like the writing itself, the story and characters' emotional progression (ha!) were choppy and awkward.

I couldn't connect with any of the characters, and the “emotional” moments left me numb. The sex happened too suddenly to be sexy. All in all, this novella turned out to be a great big failure for me. I'd say that I don't plan to give the author another shot, except it looks like I have another one of Kell's works in my collection. This is why my e-book shopping sprees are not always a good idea.

 

(Original review, with read-alikes, posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2013-12-02 18:34
At Heart by A.J. Llewellyn & D.J. Manly
At Heart - A.J. Llewellyn,D.J. Manly

3 1/2 - 4 Hearts

 

Orgasmic Texas Dawn 11

 

Review written for MM Good Book Reviews

 

This story is part of a series and must be read in order. Sam has left the biker life behind him as he completes the FLETC training to become a US Marshal, but shaking off his past isn’t as easy as he hoped. Marco wishes Sam would open up with his concerns but has more important things to worry about when a new case lands with crazy movie stars. As Sam graduates tragedy strikes and the US marshal’s pull together to get justice for their colleagues.
 
Once again we are given an exciting instalment of the US Marshal’s from Orgasmic Texas Dawn as they keep the peace and chase down the worst of society. We open up with Sam undergoing his training for the US Marshal’s and seeing him juggle his way through as a fellow trainee tries to make waves and a trainer has it out for him. With Marco we see him taking up cases that are troublesome with idiot movie stars, and missing Sam desperately. We watch as both men make the best of the current situation and hot snatched moments as they quench their driving need for each other.
 
As you well know (you have been following the series, right!) Sam and Marco have had a bumpy ride but it looks like there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Both men have to juggle being apart and missing each other while Sam is training, but Sam isn’t one for sharing his problems and as trouble is being caused for him he finds a solution that just might work. Marco might be able to pry some details out of Sam and admire the way Sam handles things but it doesn’t mean he is really happy that Sam won’t lean on him.
 
I really enjoy At Heart as we see both Sam and Marco really come into their own as a super-hot couple, they strike sparks off each other whenever they are together… or on the phone to each other. They find a great balance and begin to move forward on equal footing and they both make it clear how much the other means to them. We have excitement from all angles in this story with a shocking scene at the graduation party, mental drugged up movie stars, and jealousy and resentment playing their parts. We see all our favourite Marshal’s *sigh* and it looks like there’s a surprise in store for one of our fine Marshal’s.
 
 
I recommend this to those who love US Marshal’s hunting for justice, sexy bad boy bikers turning over a new leaf, passionate horny men and snatched moments, a great storyline and a wonderful ending.
Source: mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com
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review 2013-11-23 17:57
The Landing by Talia R Blackwood
The Landing - Talia R. Blackwood

3 1/2 - 4 Hearts

 

Apocalypse 02

 

Review written for MM Good Book Reviews

 

This book is part of a series and can be read in any order. Adrian has just received the worst news of his life but he forges on only to discover that what had happened before was just a blip compared to what he now faces. Forced to make an emergency landing Adrian lands in what only can be hell, the world is no longer the same but Adrian's responsibilities to his passengers means he has to make a sacrifice... of himself. Paul Mendoza is a convict who finds himself following an evil child serial killer when the prison they are held in crumbles around them, but taking the pilot as his slave has him rethinking his position. Despite the life Mendoza has led Adrian is convinced that there is some good in the man, but getting him away from Ghost, the leader of the criminals, proves to be much more dangerous than either of them thought.
 
So for those of you who read The Event this book runs parallel and ends just before the two groups meet up. We see the full circumstances that we only heard a bit about and meet the people who survived the plane crash landing and the vile criminals who haunt their area. Adrian is the man who we follow from the beginning, he receives bad news and sees his hopes and dreams being shattered, but finding himself in a emergency situation he proves to himself that he can be the man that is needed in an emergency. Being taken prisoner has him still believing in his dreams and for what he will face he has to cling to his dreams to survive. Mendoza believes firmly that he doesn't deserve redemption but fighting Adrian's dreams and trying to shatter them doesn't work and Mendoza is soon beginning to believe himself. 
 
We discover the horrors that still exist from the human world, the vileness that managed to survive and is determined to rule the world with darkness, trying to gather together the dark ones who also revel in pain and destruction. Adrian and Mendoza aren't the only characters that we want to meet, we discover Black Rose and Serpent who aren't as bad as they seem and Ian a doctor who was on his way to meet other survivors. And then we have some characters who we want to wash ourselves clean after we meet them like Ghost who is vile and a mysterious young man (who we also met in The Event) who seems to thrive on lost hope.
 
This is one of those stories that you can't easily peg, because the criminal element changes the basic survival needs, it also adds a darker element to the sexual aspects of the story as there are some scenes of reluctant sexual contact. The scenes between Adrian and Mendoza are darkly hot and they really work together, with Adrian making Mendoza face the future and not the past. There are some scenes of violence and at times even knowing the final outcome (if you read The Event that is) you wonder if they will get away alive. The setting that we are given lets us know of the bleakness that surrounds the characters and it lets us know the fear they are going through, the story is perfectly written and I can't wait to see whose story is next. 
 
I recommend this to those who love surviving the Apocalypse, finding love in dangerous situations, working towards redemption and an ending that is happy for now with hope for the future. 
Source: mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com
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review 2013-11-23 15:49
Corey by Toni Griffin
Corey - Toni Griffin

3 Hearts

 

The Atherton Pack 03

 

Review written for MM Good Book Reviews

 

This story is part of a series and is best read in order. Ethan has been in the Atherton pack for only a short time, he has hopes of finding his dream in the future but is happy for the time being and then his dream walks through the door. Corey has had his heart broken in the past and has no intention of falling in love again but fighting the mating pull is harder than he thought especially when his mate is pulling out all the stops to woo him. Ethan knows that they can be blissfully happy together but first he has to convince Corey to give him a chance, even when it seems that fate is putting obstacles in their path. 
 
So we meet two head strong shifters who are both determined to have their own way, it makes for an interesting story with some heart searching but with little angst. Ethan has been alone for many years and has only ever wanted his own family, he looks forward to the day he will meet his mate and is so happy when he finds him in his new pack. Corey doesn't want to find love again, his last attempt left him heartbroken and he knows he wouldn't survive another failed relationship, so when he meets his mate he does everything in his power to ignore the man even as his wolf strains his control. When the two men come to an agreement it is with hope on one side and doubt on the other. 
 
I did enjoy this story and loved the dance between Corey and Ethan as they both try to get their own way, the story really is mainly about their relationship dance and the gaining of trust, but, it also has Tommy and Ben as they come to the end of their pregnancy. While I liked both Corey and Ethan I found Ethan to be too confident and aggressive in his pursuit of Corey, yes they were mates and Corey was trying to deny their bond but Ethan overrode what Corey wanted and, to me, became creepy in his pursuit. Corey is heart sore and doesn't trust that he won't be hurt again so you can understand him being wary even with his fated mate, there should a been a gentle courtship (yes Ethan did know why Corey was wary) to suit the situation. 
 
There's lots of sexual tension and some humorous situations, we also see some diva action from Tommy and Ben losing it, the threat that comes to the pack doesn't seem to be that bad in the grand scheme of things but carelessness could bring deep trouble. 
 
I recommend this if you enjoy shifters finding their true mates and having to work for it, learning to be patient and accepting what you can get, accepting love and opening your heart, and giving the man you come to love a chance. 
Source: mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com
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review 2013-11-19 18:12
The One by Hurri Cosmo
The One - Hurri Cosmo

4 Hearts

 

Review written for MM Good Book Reviews

 

Hunter is a warrior and a great swordsman but he has dreams that foretell tragedy. When a Quest Gathering is called to find the 'one' who will save the kingdom, Hunter is eager to participate when he discovers the Seer is at the castle, maybe his disturbing dreams are connected to the horror the seer has foreseen. But the Seer disappears and Hunter sets off on his own quest to find the Seer but his friend/adversary Tome is determined to be the best and handcuffs himself to Hunter. Tome has more reasons to shackle himself to Hunter and is determined to finally shatter Hunter's shell, so helping Hunter to save the world seems like a good idea but Tome and Hunter face a horror that just might be the death of them both.
 
This is a great little fantasy adventure that is a smooth read and easy to enjoy. Hunter and Tome have known each other for years but have never quite been friends, Tome is determined to change that but Hunter can't quite forget the past that colors his feelings. As the two set out on the adventure together Tome finally cracks Hunter's carefully crafted shell and Hunter finally accepts the feelings that Tome invokes in him. Together they face an adversary that they never expected and their relationship is changed forever.
 
I really enjoyed this story for it's interesting storyline and for it's simplistic setting, the world is written simply without too much information or too many characters to bog the story down. Both Hunter and Tome are interesting men, when the story starts out they both seem to be friendly adversary's but it soon becomes apparent that there is a lot more to their relationship, a lot of which is based in the past. The story is all from Hunter's perspective but we get a great feel for Tome, we see how Hunter works through his feelings and the worry he has over the role he has set himself. Tome is much simpler to watch, he wants Hunter to be his and is aggressive in his pursuit, which is fun to watch, both characters can be a bit arrogant at times but they fit the storyline perfectly.
 
The storyline is great and you pick up what is happening easily, you get a good idea of who the baddie is and we see things connect together well, so it leaves you in no doubt that the plotting within the story has been going on for some time. The development of Hunter's and Tome's relationship is kinda sweet and heats up pretty well, there is also a slight D/s element that sneaks in from nowhere and surprises as both characters seem quite dominant but it adds a little spice. The adventure is pretty tame but the actual foes that are being fought are sneaky and eerie and the conclusion of the story is exciting.
 
I recommend this to those that love fantasy adventure, great characters, a slightly twisty storyline and a blossoming love.   
Source: mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com
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