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review 2017-07-25 02:44
ARC Review: What The Cat Dragged In by B.A. Tortuga
What the Cat Dragged In (Sanctuary Book 2) - BA Tortuga

Whoever said cats and dogs don't get along hasn't met the feline and lupine shifters of this series. 

What a fun follow-up to the first book! Also, while this could be read as a standalone, you'd miss out if you didn't read about Sam (a panther) and Gus (a wolf) getting together in the first one.

In this book, we have Connor Ragbone, a bobcat shifter, and Brock Herman, a wolf shifter like Gus. 

Connor finds things. Something inside him pulls him in a certain direction, calling to him, even though he never knows what he might find when he answers that call. He never thought he'd have a permanent home base, being a bit of a loner, but he's found a place to come back to with Sam and Gus and their awesome family. 

His current call leads him to Brock. 

Brock Herman is self-sufficient, self-reliant, and basically also a loner. He's working undercover, trying to break up a poacher ring. He has no time for the bobcat that suddenly shows up in the middle of his ops, but the cat just won't leave him alone, dammit.

I laughed out loud so many times reading this book. Connor is a unique character, and I really enjoyed how much he trusts that inner voice calling him to his next find, and how laid back he was, never questioning whether following the call might end up with him in trouble or not.

Two loners - what could possibly go wrong, amirite?

Turns out Connor and Brock are mates, feeling that inexplicable pull toward each other, even if this doesn't fit with Brock's plans at all. The author did a great job not forcing the mating call, but letting Brock ("I work alone, dammit") come to terms with Connor's presence, despite his annoyance, and the romance develops slowly. Sure, UST and sexy times come fairly quickly, but the emotional bond takes time to grow. Well done, that. 

Connor was utterly adorable - I loved him from the start. He's quirky, funny, snarky, and super laid-back, but also quick to lend a hand, smart, and definitely loyal and courageous. His easy-going personality was well contrasted with Brock's more serious and focused personality, and I thought that the two men complemented each other rather well. They worked well as a team, which comes in handy when... nope, not gonna spoil this for you.

The story has action galore, what with the poacher ring, and bears in cages, which culminates in an edge-of-your-seat sequence of events that leaves Connor seriously injured, help from an unexpected source, and the villain... nah, you read this for yourself. 

The author did a fantabulous job with world building in this book and its predecessor, and the specific shifter mythology employed here worked really well for me. There's no magical healing, no mating bond compulsion, and no instant ILYs, but the book sure delivers what it promises - a feel good shifter romance. 

I can hardly wait for the next book in this series. 


** I received a free copy of this book form its publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. **
 

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review 2017-07-24 22:48
Fantastic!!
No Matter What: The Billionaire Bargains... No Matter What: The Billionaire Bargains, book one - Erin Nicholas

No Matter What by Erin Nicholas is a great read.  This is a fairly short read, perfect for those with limited time for reading.  Ms Nicholas has delivered a well-written book and filled it with amazing, lovable characters.  Adam and Jaden's story is loaded with drama, humor and sizzle.  This fun read kept me glued to the kindle from page one until the end.  I totally enjoyed reading No Matter What and look forward to reading more from Erin Nicholas in the future.  No Matter What is book 1 of The Billionaire Bargains Series but can be read as a standalone.  This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.

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review 2017-07-24 17:16
Beasts of Burden
Beasts of Burden: What the Cat Dragged I... Beasts of Burden: What the Cat Dragged In #0 (Beasts of Burden Vol. 1) - Evan Dorkin,Sarah Dyer,Jill Thompson
Beasts of Burden: Animal Rites - Evan Dorkin,Jill Thompson
Beasts of Burden - Neighborhood Watch - Evan Dorkin,Jill Thompson
Beasts of Burden: Hunters and Gatherers #1 (Beasts of Burden Vol. 1) - Evan Dorkin,Jill Thompson
Beasts of Burden Hellboy One-Shot Comic - Mike Mignola

In the film 101 Dalmatians, Pongo and Perdita howl for help once their puppies have been stolen.  It is an interesting concept, this use of howling and work because any dog owner can believe it.  Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson start their excellent series about a group of dogs the same way.  The dogs of Burden, however, do so to call on the help of a wise dog.

 

                Wise Dog = Merlin or Gandalf, he is an English Sheep Dog after all.

 

                In Beasts of Burden: Animal Rites (the first four issues as well as a short story) chronicle the beginning adventures of Ace, Jack, Whitey, Rex, Pugsley, and their cat friend Orphan.   The story starts as the friends with the help of the Wise Dog, investigate why Jack’s dog house is haunted. 

 

                Apparently, Burden is the Sunnydale of the dog world because there is quite a bunch of weird things going on. 

 

                 Over the course of the first volume, the group of friends becomes wise dogs in training, guardians of the area, tasked to protect it.  Like most fiction involving super hero teens, owners (the de facto parents) are largely absent and a dog owner sometimes wonders what is going on with these people.  Yet, despite that wobble (and necessary plot hole.  To be fair, owners do make some appearances), the series is pretty darn good.

 

                In part, this is due to the dogs and cats remaining dogs and cats.  It is also because of the strength of the storytelling.  Animal Rites is in many ways, an origin sequence.  But the stories are heartfelt, and while not having the lecture footnotes of Atwood’s Angel Catbird series, the stories do comment on how we treat animals and each other in the world. 

 

                At first, the group is seeming to be entirely male, but female characters in the form of a dog and a cat are added.  In many ways, too, the dogs act like their respective breeds (though my Dobie was braver than Rex).  This isn’t a story for children, there is death of some pets (but not of the major characters), and the dogs sometimes are a bit, well, fierce.  It would be fair to say that the series is in part horror story from a dog point of view.  It actually remembers me a bit of Wayne Smith’s Thor.

 

                The issue Neighborhood Watch contains stories that are referred to in the later part of animal rites.  Included are a story about a chicken stealing goblin and a flock of strange sheep.  Honesty, the sheep story is one of the spookiest I’ve read in a long time.

 

                Hunters and Gatherers and Issue #0 seem to occur after Animal Rites.  Issue) details the story of one the cat characters in greater detail.  It is also a story about family.  IN the closing panels, you can easily see why the series has won awards.  Hunters is an adventure tale that does seem to change Watership Down in part.  The crossover with Hellboy is also very good, making Pugsley more than simply a downer.  It was both funny and touching.

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text 2017-07-20 02:12
What Angels Fear DNF @ 13%.
What Angel Fear (Book 1) - C.S. Harris

There isn't anything really wrong with this book; it's just failing to draw me in. I'm pretty sure the events of chapter seven aren't supposed elicit a sigh.

They go to to arrest our hero Sebastian for the actress's murder, one of the constables draws a knife and accidentally mortally wounds the other constable. Then the first constable blames it all on Sebastian and Sebastian flees in a stolen hansom.

(spoiler show)

Anyway, I'm just not feeling it and Sebastian feels a little too perfect and world-weary for me at the moment, so I figure I'll move on. I was trying to read this for booklikes-opoly square Mystery 25 "Read a book that's tagged historical mystery" since it takes place in 1811 (does it count as Regency era if they're just talking about the Regency and it hasn't happened yet?). I did read more than 10% of the book though, so I'm going to count the 44 pages that I read as $2 for my booklikes-opoly bank and move on.

 

New bank balance: $237

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review 2017-07-13 23:18
What the Scot Hears (Agents of Change) (Volume 3) - Amy Quinton

For a star rating and full review please visit InD'tale magazine online, July/Aug 2017 issue. http://indtale.com/reviews/historical/what-scot-hears

Source: www.indtale.com
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