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review 2017-05-11 02:59
ARC Review: To Touch You (Mates #4) by Cardeno C.
To Touch You: A Vampire Shifter Gay Romance (Mates Collection Book 4) - Cardeno C.

Dear Salvatore Rossi - you're a jerk. A stubborn, selfish, snobbish jerk.

Having said that, you redeemed yourself in the end but only by a hair.

Not much love,

Me

****

This is the fourth, and probably last book, in the Mates series, which I loved. LOVED.

Here we have Yoram Smith, great-nephew of Ethan Abbatt (of Until Forever Comes), who at 7 years old gets a whiff of one Salvatore Rossi, abovementioned jerk, and knows, just knows, he's found his one true mate.

Salvatore, or Sal as Yoram calls him, is a business man, visiting the town near the Miancarem pack to entice Miguel Rodriguez, mate of Ethan, to sell him some land. Miguel has no interest in doing so, and if it weren't for Yoram proclaiming Sal his friend, Miguel might have simply chased him out of town. Except Sal is sick, sicker than he knows, and when his illness becomes terminal, and Yoram finds out, he implores Miguel to save his friend Sal.

So Sal becomes a vampire, and promptly returns to his business, caring not one iota about Yoram.

At 14, Yoram visits Sal in Las Vegas and is told to go home. Go home. By his mate!!

Yeah... I didn't like Sal at all, though I could appreciate that a 30-odd year old man/vampire would be slightly freaked out that a 14 year old boy tells him he's his mate.

So Yoram goes home, suffers alone, but he doesn't give up. He experiences similar symptoms as Ethan had before meeting Miguel, and some pointed questions later, Sal begins to get blood deliveries. Because Yoram is a saint, and just because Sal is a jerkface doesn't mean that Yoram needs to let his mate suffer.

There's some crossover here with book three, In Your Eyes. If you've read that book, you'll remember Korban Keller, who's the Alpha's son, and heir apparent, but whose mate Samuel is the Alpha of the Yafenack pack, and you'll remember what happened there, and what leads to Miancarem needing a new Alpha.

Yoram again steps up to the plate, because he's a fucking saint! He loves his pack, he loves the other wolves, and he wants to do what's best for them. Except that doesn't leave him any time for traveling to Vegas every month to deliver blood.

And then Salvatore Rossi wonders for possibly the first time who might have been bringing him blood, and what might have caused the deliveries to stop, and he travels to Miancarem to investigate. Still super selfish, amirite?

Character flaws of a particular vampire notwithstanding, I loved this book just as much as I loved the other three, though In Your Eyes will likely always be my favorite of the four. A lot of my enjoyment was because of Yoram, who is a FUCKING saint, and also because of Toby, a wolf from Yoram's pack and his brother-in-law, who provides the snark and attitude and humor in this book. He took no crap at all from Sal, he wasn't afraid of the big, bad vampire, and he took zero prisoners when it came to telling Sal what a jerk he'd been all these many years. He had some fantastic zingers, and I giggled a lot when he was on page.

This being a book by Cardeno C., there are also some super hot sexy times (when they then finally happen, OMG), and knotting. Knotting, people, which just gives the sexy times that extra oomph. Mating bites. Bloodsucking while making love. Gah. There is always such emotion within the sexy times, and I think that's one of the author's special gifts.

I was a little bit bothered by the rather abrupt transition from "where's the blood, dammit" to "OMG, I Love You, You're my everything" that Sal goes through, considering that his character was a stupid, selfish, snobbish jerk for most of the book, but I chalked that off to the mating pull doing its thing, and him finally being near Yoram for long enough to actually allow himself to feel it. The jerk.

This is definitely a fitting end to the series, and I loved that the couples from the previous book made an appearance. Well, all but Samuel. It can be read as a standalone, but why would you? Why would you not read all the books in this fantastic series? Exactly.

I will read any shifter book this author writes, ever, and I can hardly wait to get my grabby hands on the next one, even if it'll be a different series. Maybe we'll get another Syphon book next? Sign me right up.

I'm a CC addict, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Just keep feeding my addiction, would ya, CC?


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

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review 2017-02-09 02:00
ARC Review: Just Like Cats And Dogs by B.A. Tortuga
Just Like Cats and Dogs (Sanctuary Book 1) - BA Tortuga

It took me a bit of time to warm up to this story, because it felt a little disjointed at the beginning, but then it sucked me right in and I ended up enjoying it quite a bit.

Sam, a feline shifter, was adopted as an orphan by a large family of wolf shifters who are part of an even larger pack. Being a cat, he never really fit in with the wolves, even though his mother tried hard to make him feel welcome. As soon as he could, Sam left the pack and struck out on his own.

Gus, a wolf shifter from the same pack, someone who bullied and tormented Sam when they were younger, can't quite believe it when he runs into Sam again by chance and feels a mating pull toward the cat.

Both Gus and Sam, as well as the rest of the pack, are rather animalistic even as humans, and I really liked that part of this mythology. They growl, they snap, they bite, they play; Sam thinks about tuna a lot (I mean A LOT), which was funny, and Gus was enamored with mostly raw meat and sweet stuff, especially chocolate in all forms.

They both realized early on that they were mates, even if that caused friction because of their different shifter species. Both of them eventually decide that the mating pull is more important and just go for it.

I giggled a lot, especially at the nicknames they have for each other - Puss and Pup. Hard to explain unless you read this book, and then I won't have to explain. I liked how Gus instinctively realized what Sam needed, and how he was hellbent on getting his Puss everything he wanted, even if that came at a cost to himself.

There are obviously struggles, what with the family dynamics for both of them, but they stick together and make it work. And there are some more sinister forces at work too that they have to overcome. Sorry, no spoilers here. You'll just have to read this book yourself.

I had some niggles though. I can excuse the lack of condom use bc they're shifters and thus immune to human diseases, though I would have liked to see it discussed at least. Sam's 17 siblings - only one of them really stood up for him, with the others treating him more like an outcast. Even his sister Helena, though initially on his side, struck out for me eventually. I had some confusion with some of the situations at Sam's loft in NYC, which I can't discuss without giving away a plot point, unfortunately.

Overall, this was a good and engaging story (once I got past the early parts), and I'm interested in checking out the next one in this series when it's available.


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

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review 2017-02-03 20:39
ARC Review: Three Hearts by Grace R. Duncan
Three Hearts - Grace R. Duncan

Cover Reveal tomorrow, 2/4/17, on My Fiction Nook!!

 

 

The blurb tells you the gist of what you'll find within so I won't bore you with a repeat of that. I will however tell you that there is much more to this story than what you find hinted at in the blurb. I will also tell you that the female wolf mentioned doesn't play as big a role as the blurb might hint, but she is the catalyst for... well, you read this for yourself.

This book was a blast to read. I adored Liam Scott, and I adored Mason Hayes. I loved their bond, their relationship, I loved how well they worked together, I loved how they were both kind and thoughtful and so, so in love with each other, even if Liam doesn't believe it and Mason is afraid to say it.

The mythology used here was also rather interesting - Mpreg obviously, but giving the Omega wolf an actual uterus - and the author did a great job, IMHO, of weaving the various aspects of her specific mythology seamlessly into the narrative and dialogue without making it sound like info dump.

There were moments when I giggled, there were moments that made me go 'awww', and there were moments when I wanted to reach into the book and knock both of these men over the head so they'd finally just bloody talk about what was bothering them.

Also, lots and lots of sexy, steamy times. Because, wolves. And knotting. Knotting! And pheromones, and an Omega wolf in heat, and mating bonds, and family times, and misunderstandings, and realizations, and love, so much love.

I didn't want to stop reading until I had reached the final page. The epilogue, set 8 years after the main part of the book, was super cute too. I enjoyed watching Liam and Mason with their pups, and also appreciated the family tree image at the end. By then, it was really clear how much Liam had grown into himself, how his view of himself had changed, because of Mason's love for him, how he was an equal partner in their relationship despite the discrepancy in incomes, and how supremely happy and fulfilled they were.

This was a nearly perfect Mpreg wolf shifter novel, and I thoroughly enjoyed every single minute I spent reading. I couldn't ask for more.

Well done, Grace, well done!


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

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review 2016-11-29 01:23
ARC Review: Daring Fate (Silver Tip Pack #1) by Megan Erickson
Daring Fate - Megan Erickson

And I'm no longer a Megan Erickson virgin!!

This was fantastic, y'all. Excellent world-building, without long explanations, just seamlessly woven into the story. Full of action and hot sexy times, I was glued to the pages until the very end.

This is dark, for the most part, set in a post-apocalyptic, dystopian future where there are Werewolves, Weres, and No-Weres, the latter being brainless, undead zombie-like creatures. Regular humans were wiped out long ago by some virus. Werewolves can shift between human and wolf, Weres, other than being bigger and stronger than regular werewolves, have a third form, sort of like a massive upright kind of wolf, and No-Weres are nasty creatures, driven only by their need to feed.

The Werewolves and Weres sort of keep to their own kind, not trusting each other, but neither wanting anything to do with the No-Weres, for obvious reasons.

Reese and his two younger siblings have been enslaved by the Alpha of the Werewolf pack where they have lived since they were much younger, after their village was overrun by No-Weres. This Alpha is cruel and mean, and Reese has a plan to run with his brother and sister.

But plans don't always work out, and while Reese and his brother, Jude, make it out, their sister does not. The Alpha's men leave Reese to be found by No-Weres, after beating him to a pulp, but Jude manages to get them both to the Silver Tip Pack compound run by Were Alpha Dare.

Dare takes one sniff and realizes Reese is his fated mate, but Reese is all, oh no, nope, no thanks.

Not that he has much of a choice, because Dare's smell overwhelms him just the same, and they're off to christen the sheets. Mate. Sex. Snarl and growl, because werewolf and Were sex is animalistic and fiery.

The book is fast-paced, with very little lull in the action, whether it be a hunting party for supplies, or Dare and Reese's bedroom antics, the latter being so hot that my Nook nearly melted. Dare is all Alpha, growly, dominant, and toppy, but Reese is no shrinking violet and gives the Were a run for his money.

Reese only has one goal - go back to the werewolf compound to rescue his sister from being taken by the Alpha. He trusts no one, other than Jude, who gets his own bodyguard (and possibly more) in G, a mostly silent and stoic Were, and plots and plans on how to escape the Silver Tip compound walls.

Love of course finds a way, even in this dystopian world, and while Dare is still growly and toppy, he also has a heart of gold, and loves his little werewolf. They have to fight to get their HEA, and while they both know it's worth it, there were moments when I wasn't sure they would get there.

There are additional side characters, such as G, Jude, Dare's brother Bay, Dare's son Mav (cute, so cute), and other weres at the compound, who all add to the plot and action, and even provide some humor amid the darkness. They all shine for different reasons, but they all show loyalty, a sense of family, compassion and love.

Gorgeous writing, excellent pacing, and a really awesome world - this was fabulous, and I very much enjoyed it. Cannot wait for the next book in this series. I'm hoping it'll be about G and Jude.

I'm so glad this is the book I chose to lose my Megan Erickson v-card. Highly recommended!!


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

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review 2016-09-25 02:40
ARC Review: Sergeant's Secrets (Highgate Shifters #6) by Sydney Presley
Sergeant's Secrets (Highgate Shifters Book 6) - Sydney Presley

This was a bit of a letdown, especially for my expectations based on the blurb.

It started out well enough, with intrigue about why Sergeant is being kidnapped, and what's happening, and what's going on, but that then had a weird explanation, which basically ruined the book for me.

During the kidnapping and his subsequent freedom, Sergeant is told that he mustn't share whatever he knows with anyone, not even his mate Dillon. Now, the mythology in this series has the mated shifters share their thoughts at all times, speaking to their mates in their minds, and it's a bit unsettling to Dillon that Sergeant is keeping him out, and it's even more disturbing to Sergeant that he has to do that.

 

What is made clear though is how strong Sergeant and Dillon's relationship is, how absolutely they trust each other, even if Sergeant can't tell Dillon what's going on. There's no jealousy, no drawn-out nagging, just two men who have each other's backs, who believe in each other and their mating bond. This is what earned this book the stars it received. 

There's mucho sexy times inside, and while I certainly enjoyed that, it felt at times a bit like a filler, because the real plot of this installment wasn't meaty enough to carry the book.

When Sergeant is given permission to share the secret with his mate, and the reader also finds out what's going on, the reason behind it was a complete letdown. It didn't make a whole lot of sense, to be honest, but since I love this series, I will continue to read about these wolves.

It was nice to see characters from the previous books as well in this story, since it's always nice to revisit.

 

This book should not be read as a standalone, and I recommend that you read this series in order. 


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

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