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text 2017-04-13 14:31
Strange and dangerous though its world might be...
The Enclave (NewCon Press Novellas Set 1) - Anne Charnock

Strange and dangerous though its world might be, I was fascinated to be back in the technologically advanced, genetically enhanced, climate challenged future Manchester that Anne Charnock first explored in A Calculated Life. In that book the main character is Jayna, a simulant or lab created human who has been completely bio-engineered to have beyond genius level intelligence so she can process huge amounts of data for her employer, but in this novella we get a look at lives on the far other end of the human spectrum.

 

Caleb and Lexie have both been deemed unworthy for the cognitive implants that most natural born people receive to enhance their abilities. They eke out a living in the Enclave, a violent, gritty slum community far from Manchester’s hub. With a nod to current events, Caleb is a young illegal immigrant who had to flee Spain when climate change rendered his home virtually unlivable. Caleb and Lexie work together, but though they have a stronger bond than normally found in subordinate-boss relationships, the nature of their reality makes it hard for them to trust anyone.

 

Charnock writes what I think of as science fiction for grownups, stories in which realistic (if often futuristic) characters and thought-filled themes are as important as her high tension plots. While The Enclave isn’t exactly a sequel to A Calculated Life, those who’ve read the first book will recognize Jayna and her coworker Dave in a brief encounter they have with the characters in this novella. Even Dave’s bees make an appearance.

 

One thing left to explore in this world is the lives of the elite--the natural born (not lab created) humans who have been equipped with cognitive implants. They have best jobs and the nicest homes, but I wonder how life in this tenuous world would feel to one of them.


I received a complimentary copy of The Enclave from the author, with no obligation to write a review. Review opinions are mine.

 

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review 2017-03-10 15:27
Wallflower by Chad Lutzke
Wallflower - Chad Lutzke

Wallflower is a novella rich in character development. Unfortunately, the main character develops in a way that does little to improve his life, and the reader is along for the ride.

 

I'm not going to get into the plot, because this isn't a book report and because I don't want to be a spoiler. I will say that this story rang true to me and I think it would to anyone that has ever known a person with an addiction-be it drugs, alcohol, gambling or anything else.

 

The whole "I'm not addicted", or the "I'm too strong to let any drug take over my life" arguments are what I've heard and even said myself at times. But it wasn't true. I knew it, and everyone around me knew it. My addiction was only to nicotine, (I'm saying only to a drug that kills almost 500,000 people per year in the U.S. alone), but it was a powerful addiction just the same. By the time I admitted that it was an addiction, it was too late, and I was hooked for another 25 years before I finally quit for good.

 

How does a person get to that point? What could be done to prevent it from happening, if anything? These are all valid questions surrounding addiction. Wallflower doesn't answer any of these questions, but it does tell the story of one man and tells it poignantly, with feeling and truth.

 

Highly recommended! You can get your copy here: Wallflower

 

*I was provided a free e-copy of this book by the author, in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

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review 2017-03-02 15:22
Review: Too Hot to Touch (Breeds #17, #19, #23) by Lora Leigh
Too Hot to Touch: Three Breeds Novellas - Lora Leigh
Review originally featured on Angel's Guilty Pleasures
 
Too Hot to Touch 

 Breeds #17, #19, & #23  
 Lora Leigh  
 Erotic Paranormal Romance - Adult 18+ - Novellas  
 Berkley  
 October 6th 2015  
 eBook/Paperback  
 320  
 Library  
 

 

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Rule Breaker, Stygian’s Honor, and Lawe’s Justice presents three novellas from the “no-holds-barred”* world of the Breeds—collected here for the first time.

 

A Christmas Kiss
Jessica Raines would never willingly betray the people she believes in. But she did expose Breed secrets, and now someone wants her dead. Her protection is Wolf Breed Hawke Esteban—and he’s got the mating urge for a woman on the run.

 

Christmas Heat
Jaguar Breed Noble Chavin’s new role: bodyguard to Haley McQuire, a woman at risk after discovering a conspiracy against the Breed community. For Noble, being this close to Haley has brought out the mating heat, and she’s more than willing to stoke it.

 

Primal Kiss
Betrayed Kita Engalls, drawn into shady activities involving the Breeds, can trust only Lion Breed Creed Raines to help. But their mating passion reveals Kita’s fear that Creed may be guilty of the greatest betrayal of all.

 

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I enjoyed these three very hot and steamy Breed Novellas. I previously read them, but it was a long time ago. It was nice to re-read the novellas and experience the Breed magic again. I will say if you have not read the series you may not understand or find these novellas entertaining. Fan’s will enjoy. The series is very juicy, steamy, and sensual, so be prepared for hot sex.

 

Christmas Heat – Rated: 4 Stars

 

Originally featured in ‘The Magical Christmas Cat‘ anthology.

 

This one takes place near Sanctuary.

 

We have Haley a human librarian and Noble a breed. They have been friends, but both feel more for the other, yet they don’t show it. When Haley’s life is endangered Noble is going to protect her and confront his feelings.

 

It was a sweet, sexy, hot and entertaining Christmas Novella. I enjoyed watching these two finally come together after denying their feelings for eachother.

 

 

A Christmas Kiss – Rated: 4 Stars

 

Originally featured in ‘Hot for the Holidays‘ anthology.

 

This one takes place at Haven.

 

We have Jessica a human who betrayed the breeds, but not because she wanted too. Her father concocted a drug that forced her to do this and she didn’t know. She has lost so much.

 

Hawke a Breed and Jessica’s mate. He’s known for almost 2 years that he’s her mate, but he had to stay way to prove her innocence and to protect her from the mating heat. He knows if he can’t tell her soon that he will lose her for good.

 

This one was heartbreaking. I felt for Jessica and her loneliness and everything she lost. She’s drifting. Besides these two working out their issues, we have someone on the inside trying to destroy the Breeds.

 

It was sexy and hot. I enjoyed seeing this couple celebrate their first Christmas together and with the other Breeds at Haven.

 

 

Primal Kiss – Rated: 3.5 Stars

 

Originally featured in ‘Primal‘ anthology.

 

This one takes place at Sanctuary.

 

We have Kita a human and air to a pharmaceutical company that use to help the Council that hurt Breeds. Then we have Creed a wolf Breed who does covert undercover work. He’s been hired by Mr. Engall’s, Kita’s father, to protect his daughter.

 

Everyone wants Kita: the Breeds, the Council, and the Human groups all because they think they can get her father to give them information on the Breeds that has been hidden away. This story gives you information pertaining to the Phylip Brandenmore storyline. There’s much more going on then Kita or Creed know about.

 

It was a hot and sexy novella. Very quick and good to have a storyline wrapped up.

 

Was this review helpful? If so, please consider liking it on Goodreads (Angela)!

 

 

Challenge(s): Library Love | Backlist Reader | Pick Your Genre (PNR) (2017)

 

 

 

 

 

Owner/Review and mind behind Angel’s Guilty Pleasures. However what I am not is a writer. I apologize now for the grammatical and punctuation errors I make, because I know I’m going to make them. I’m a mother, wife, dog owner, animal, and book lover. My favorite animals are horses. As for reading I love all things paranormal & urban fantasy. My favorite shifters are dragons!

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Source: angelsguiltypleasures.com/2017/03/review-too-hot-to-touch-breeds-17-19-23-by-lora-leigh
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review 2017-02-20 23:49
Year of the Boar: Tica (Changeling Sisters #1.5) by Heather Heffner
Year of the Boar: Tica (Changeling Siste... Year of the Boar: Tica (Changeling Sisters Novellas Book 1) - Heather Heffner

Tica has struggles to fight – bone cancer has left some devastating effect on her life and her future. Her dreams are severely set back and she has to fight hard to be someone other than “the cancer girl”

 

But there’s another struggle looming – the cursed Vampyre Prince Khyber has come to Hawai’i with a mission: he wants to die. And the keys to doing so lie in recruiting Tica to the fight to protect Hawai’i and the spirit world from desperate spiritual attack.

 

 

 

 

This book did an excellent job of filling in a few of the gaps – there are characters I read about in Year of the Tiger that I felt had a lot going on that I had missed. Which was true – but the elegance of the series is that I didn’t need to know Rafael’s backstory to understand Year of the Tiger, the battles that were fought or why Rafael felt the way he did. It was clear that Rafael had a major life above and beyond what Citlali saw, and that wasn’t a bad thing

 

Which is something else this story does excellently, we continue the whole metaplot of The Changeling Sisters series but also get to exp

 

I think, perhaps, this would have been improved without the focus on Khyber, to be honest. I think it would have been better served with a less involved vampire – or even no vampires at all (do the taking over dark spirits need the direct vampire presence to be an issue?). It would have done better at giving the idea that this is a battle across the globe with different warriors struggling against them. It would expand the universe.

 

But it still did expand that – because Khyber was pretty much unnecessary to the main plot of this book which was definitely, overwhelmingly Tica’s story. Which I also love because it sets another champion up who is every bit as awesome as Citlali

 

And Tica is awesome. She’s passionate and determined. She isn’t perfect and definitely has some painful, difficult moments with her friends and certainly with her mother. But she’s extremely knowledgeable and tough and faces both personal battles, accepts the vastness of the supernatural and absorbs and adapts to it well.

 

Her story is really well written, excellently paced as it matches development of her character and the world, her difficult, painful relationships, her very painful struggle as well as the action involved in fighting to save the spirit world and fight off the dark spirits (and the dark Spirits of Plague are horrendous – and much better villains than the vampires that seem almost clumsily inserted to the rest of this awesome story) as well as a lot of Hawai’ian mythology

 

 

This book has a large number of Hawai’ian deities and spirits, especially Poli’ahu, one of the goddess of snow, being majorly involved. Kamapua’a being intimately involved with Tica’s story and the story of Nanaue being fundamental to this overall story with Mo’o playing a vital role at every stage. I especially like that these were allowed to exist and explore and be the prime actors in the story without them being minor characters in a larger plot and world. While it’s clear in other books there are other deities and legends, here, in Hawai’i, the Hawai’ian deities are the centre of this story, they are the powers, they are the ones who are important here. These legends are the ones that are going to absorb every part of this book, they’re going to be the ones who will be important here and be part of every plotline.

 

I’m not going to say how awesome this is. It looks awesome. It look well researched. It looks well made. It looks really awesome. So say I, a man who has never been to Hawai’i and am not going to remotely claim remotely to know the slightest thing about Hawai’ian mythology. I’m not going to say this is awesomely researched because of this: it feels like a lot’s there but I can’t say I know enough to know the author hasn’t created this. I don’t think they did but still.

 

I do like the way the story ends because it’s complicated. It is kind of Bitter-Sweet happily ever after, it’s not all fun and happy; it’s layered, powerful, sad but strong. I like it, I appreciate the complexity and levels to it and the lack of shiny, simple, everything-is-perfect ending

 

 

 

Read More

 

Source: www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2016/12/year-of-boar-tica-changeling-sisters-15.html
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review 2017-02-16 04:50
A Stalled Ox by Dean Moses
A Stalled Ox (1888: Novellas) - Dean Mos... A Stalled Ox (1888: Novellas) - Dean Moses

DISCLAIMER: I received this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions herein are of my own.

Title: A Stalled Ox
Author: +Dean Moses
Pages: 120
Publisher: Black Hill Press
Release date: November 11, 2015.

Review:
The unthinkable has happened. In a world where meat is non-existent, people have turned to religion to help save them from what they believe to be the end of the world. Agent Howard and his partner Linda to go undercover to a compound where a man who calls himself by the name of "God" is claiming he has found a way to serve his followers meat.

In such a short novella, Agent Howard, Linda, and "God" are well-thought out characters. Linda and "God" have background stories that are summed up in a few paragraphs and they are told perfectly. "God" is a very calculating character, and has so much more inside of him than what is presented in the story. He is cold, unpredictable, yet even I was drawn in by him. His story comes with a ton of surprises as well. This novella has horror, passion, and exciting turns of events you'll be captivated by. By the end, you'll be left with questions and wanting even more.

This book is perfect for readers who like shorter novels, but still appreciate amazing writing. The fact that this is a novella doesn't mean it doesn't pack the punch a longer book does. I found myself flinching at the gore found within its 120 pages and was scared numb by the imagery Moses formed inside my mind with his writing.

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