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review 2017-11-07 13:17
Review For: Most Eligible Bastard By Annika Martin
Most Eligible Bastard: an enemies-to-lovers romantic comedy - Annika Martin

Most Eligible Bastard By Annika Martin is the story of Vicky Nelson and Henry Locke. Vicky has been struggling to raise her sister Carly since she was little. When Vicky was helping her friend do a charity drive to help the animal shelter she ended up pretending to be a Dog Whisper. That is were she meet Bernadette Locke and her dog, Smuckers. Bernadette wanted Vicky to read Smuckers and tell her what he was thinking. Slowly this lead Bernadette to use Vicky as a Dog Whisper. Vicky saw the women as an elderly women who was much hated by people even by her son. Vicky understood how people hating you made you feel alone. Although Bernadette never seem to warm up to Vicky, she still felt the need to help Bernadette. When Bernadette was told she was dying she asked that Vicky take Smuckers, which she did. Vicky didn't know that Bernadette was very well off until she was confronted by Henry one day at the hospital when Vicky sneaked Smuckers in. Henry and Vicky butted heads from their first meeting. Vicky thought she wouldn't see him again but that didn't happened.
I enjoyed watching their story come together along with the secondary characters. I definitely want to read more stories by Ms. Martin.
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Source: www.amazon.com/Most-Eligible-Bastard-enemies-lovers-ebook/dp/B076BY2MMM/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1509906761&sr=1-1&keywords=Most+Eligible+Bastard+By+Annika+Martin&dpID=51Olh8dQ3HL&preST=_SY445_QL70_&dpSrc=sr
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review 2017-10-02 06:58
1 1/2 out of 3 ain't bad?
Primal Need: A Sexy Male/Male Shifter Anthology: Wolf in King's ClothingThe Alpha's ClaimDark Water - Holley Trent,Parker Foye
THREE HEARTS--For a shifter anthology, this didn't deliver as expected. (avg. doesn't include the 2nd story)

Wolf in King's Clothing by Parker Foye - 3.5-3.75 Hearts

They call him "Prince".

A half breed, small assassin that has had the worst life ended up being my favorite of the anthology, go figure?



The unlikely hero who has been shat on, exiled and doesn't speak due to lacking social manners? My toes couldn't stop curling. Set in alternate Victorian period where werewolves are known, "Prince" aka Kent doesn't really know his true name. He's been collared and kept as a witch's assassin as an adult. He's been bartered over and kept like trash, exiled from wolf packs, he has no kind to call his own. His owner tasks him to do one more retrieval and he will have his freedom, Kent agreed before she even finished her sentence. Kent goes to the highlands to rescue an alpha who isn't like any alpha Kent's met.

But he doesn't care for the alpha, Hadrian's peculiar nature, he just needs to make sure he brings Hadrian back in one piece to his master. The road trip back to York is eventful, as the rival pack that kept Hadrian wants him back. The reasons why Hadrian needed to be retrieved are a little murky.

However personable Hadrian who has his own magical secret was a good choice as a foil to Kent's surly silence. The chip is mega wide on Kent's shoulder and Hadrian's steady persistence to at first befriend Kent was fun to read. The camaraderie, bodyguard/ward relationship takes a romantic turn. And it's subtle, which worked one hand and didn't on the other. The romance is pretty subtle, too subtle in the primal need department. Hadrian is alpha? He read like a beta which I can be down with. But when push comes to shove, he didn't claim his mate.

Kent still has to go through trials during this novella. And it endeared me to him. The story has a nice action/suspense twist and the reader gets to slowly learn about Kent's past and why he's so special.

I thought the reason why Kent is badass was cool. I haven't read about his type much in urban fantasy I've read.

The sex? One scene and no penetration for the smutsters keeping score. The story is interesting and evenly paced. I enjoyed the world building, pretty close to Victorian period with magical/paranormal exceptions.

Out of all the stories, this was the one that showed the most promise. If it's ever re-edited and lengthened, I'm there. Definitely would read more from this author!

The Alpha's Claim by Holley Trent - DNF Delight

A lot of anthologies have a stink bomb or two in their arsenal... this is Primal Need's



The writing style leaves a lot to be desired. Telling, shallow and none of the characters have substance. Then the setting bungle. It's supposed to be set in New York but the setting seemed like it was an internet search and find deal.

If a customer stiffs you repeatedly from tips for weeks... you end up in his bed to get the money you earned?

For what I've read, it's definitely stink face inducing.



Shifter fail. Plot fail.

NOPE.

Save yourself the time.

Dark Water by K.L. White - 2.5 Hearts

If you read the anthology, after the reading the previous stink bomb, Dark Water might read as manna from heaven.

Kelpie shifter lead is definitely on the unusual side of go to shifters.




Being as I didn't suffer through that, I read this without fume-weary eyes. This story is from a debut author... and it reads like it's from a new author. Not a bad thing, I love newbie authors. But the story, while more unusual due to the kelpie shifter mythology brought to the table, the execution has some hits and misses.

Benjamin is on the brink. He's a former naval officer in Maryland who leaves the hospital to kill himself. Trigger warning: attempted suicide. He's blind, has no friends or family other than a racist dementia diagnosed father who wouldn't recognize Benjamin on a good day. He best friend Rez was killed in front of him while trying to save his fellow officers. It's one of the last images in Benjamin's mind. He goes to the beloved beach to die.

At that beach, a kelpie marks him for sacrifice. The kelpie turns out to be Rez, Benjamin's best friend thought to have died on that deadly mission. The mark means Benjamin must die but Rez can't do it. And tries to save his friend. This mission of saving Benjamin gets buried under repetition, different threads to a plot that would've be best kept simple and an underwhelming chemistry.

The length could have been longer to tackle the heavy topics such as a veteran battling depression suicidal thoughts, a new permanent disability, PTSD. The items are touched on, but those are weighty topics that deserved more meat.

And to add more issues: sexuality. Benajimn identifies as heterosexual and never had any sexual feelings toward his friend. Being savd, learning his friend is actually alive and hearing his friend kiss another man helps him discover a part of sexuality he's never questioned?




Benjamin loved Rez as a friend, and while they'd kissed and touched, he didn't know if he was seeking comfort in blindness.


I'm leaning toward that camp of questioning Benjamin's motives as Rez seemed like he wasn't attracted then he was, then he kissed another man even tough he shot the persistent guy down. And now he wants to mate for life to Benjamin.

The kelpie population is dying and the men are charged to mate and make new kelpie foals with female kelpies. Another factor that makes me question the entire relationship factor as Rez wants to do his duty but needs to save his friend more.

And when they have sex, it was "I'm not attracted to males" vs. "but I have to sleep with you to save your life". I'm not liking the way the chips are stacked. It read forced and not sexy. Rough sex for an anal virgin? The possessive streak is usually my go to hot factor but I wasn't feeling it in this context. And the suicidal thoughts were still there close to the end.  I get why the need to mate was needed to keep Benjamin alive but I'm not liking the reasons.

And then way everything is neatly tied up? Uh-uh. Right. Sure.

The ideas are good. The execution is questionable. The story would have been better for me both men had an inkling of shared passion prior to meeting, the suicide and killing didn't happen and the plot remained simple.

My rating is for the kelpie folklore mostly and the premise.

The title of this anthology is Primal Need and not one story addressed that factor. So if you're a reader looking for primal shifters, look somewhere else. The good thing about this anthology is the stories are also sold separately. I'd read samples before getting any of the titles.

So, 1 1/2 out of 3?



A copy provided via Netgalley for an honest review.
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review 2017-09-29 04:31
Splinterpoint by Regina St. Claire
Splinterpoint - Regina St. Claire

This book is C-wA_A-a-Z-YY!

Feels like Times Square, honestly :D 

 

~~~

The sheer amount of cultural references is mind-boggling.
Praetor Judy made it into this book :)

 

 

 

And I kept comparing Kol'daar to Cass (no actual mention of Supernatural, darn it!) - a bad-ass when he wants to be, but cute and adorable and kind and sometimes clueless. 

 

 

Metaaaaaahlll!!!



Yes, Ozzy made it, too! And the Dove! 



And, damn, talking about Mr. Crowley on that album!



Anyway, the story was heading for full 11 stars when things started going south around the last 20%, or after the Final Battle to be precise. Maybe during it's final half-hour, too. That's when the author quit crazy and spontaneous, turned on a drone and started explaining and over-explaining and then ex-plai-ning-to-death and then some just to drive the final nail in. 

After the report filing at the gingerbread castle I skimmed through the rest of the pages. The story got sappy and it dragged out for more than it had to. 

In the end I was left feeling a bit unbalanced. The badassery turned to sap, the unpredictable and unexplained turned into dissecting everything under a microscope. I really didn't care about the Song or Music Magic or how Nunzio's disability worked.

 

 

ALSO - The Burrito Incident. Someone specifically targeted Nunzio. Why? Never explained.

So, I am cutting 6.5 stars off for all the un- and over-explained instances and giving this book 4.5 stars.

 

Recommended :D

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review 2017-09-29 03:58
King of the Fire Dancers (Shift Happens #1) by S.T. Sterlings
King of the Fire Dancers (Shift Happens Book 1) - S.T. Sterlings

I don't know how to rate the part I've read.

 

I loved Coy's chapters, but August's dragged on and on. He had no will and no spark. I get it, such was his life and such were his circumstances, but why did the author have to bore me out of my wits talking about him?

 

The pacing of the book certainly did not agree with me. Which is a total bummer. I had high hopes for this book :( 3 stars for the 45% I struggled through :(

 

I might continue at some point after my brain recovers a bit.

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review 2017-09-27 04:26
Blood Howl (Sanguis Noctis #1) by Robin Saxon
Blood Howl - Robin Saxon,Alex Kidwell

I can't stress enough how much I do not care for neither characters nor the writing. 
DNF-ing at 65%. 1 star for the part I read

 

The poor thing is tripping all over itself. I don't mean any of the MC's, I mean the book itself: the writing, the plot., the ...uh, grammar.

RS & AK, Leo Tolstoy you are not and long, complex sentences are not your forte. Tho color purple is pretty strong with you.

 

I still have only a vague idea as to what characters look like. Oh, wait, I know a tiny bit about one of the MC's "under all that baggy clothes and long hair there is a long elegant neck" to go with "long gorgeous fingers". Guh! Someone lend me a sharp stick!!! 


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