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review 2018-04-26 03:58
I still liked but was kind of annoyed too
Strength of the Pack - Kendall McKenna

A Marine werewolf and his commander bring legends to life while surviving combat deployment in Afghanistan. Lieutenant Lucas Young doesn't know much about shifters. When Sergeant Noah Hammond is assigned to Lucas' platoon, the Marine Corps' True Alpha werewolf challenges the Lieutenant's authority and his self-control. As Lucas learns to dominate and command Noah, he struggles against a strong attraction and deepening emotional bond. During their combat deployment to Afghanistan, Lucas and Noah begin mirroring legendary partnerships. Their bond and their power grow as they survive dangerous combat and ambushes. When one of them is wounded in battle, they both must embrace the strength of their bond before they lose each other forever.

Review.

Dear Kendall MacKenna,

I first read this book shortly after it was published. The characters stayed with me and I have reread some parts of it, but never did a complete reread. I was a little worried that I won’t like the book nearly as much as I did when I first read it since several years passed and I have read a lot of m/m books since then.

For the most part the book hold up for me upon reread, however I certainly saw more problems with its execution than I did originally.

We first meet Lucas when he is training his Marines shortly before their deployment to Afghanistan. The author shows us a young officer who cares deeply about his soldiers and who wants to do his best to ensure they all are trained well and will come back home.

In fact it was clear even to me (a civilian) that the author researched military procedures, military protocols very well. I believe I read somewhere that the author had family in the military (but could not find it now) and couple of book buddies who had military family members also commented upon authentic portrayal of the US Military in her books. Moreover some of the reviews complained that the author went into too much detail in the description of the military protocols and in explaining all the military abbreviations. Please understand that this is not my complaint at all. I enjoyed the well-researched setting very much and thought it helped to show the strength of the main characters.

The book is set in “our” world with the addition of the fact that the werewolves openly serve in the military and there are additional procedures set up to help incorporating werewolves in the military.

When Lucas arrives in Afghanistan he learns that several werewolves will be assigned to his unit and amongst them will be Noah Hammond, True Alpha Werewolf of the Marine Corps. Of course Lucas is confused and worried as to how he would handle Noah, whose rank of the Sergeant and his status of True Alpha set up a conflict of the sort for Lucas because Noah would be enlisted under his command and somebody who would be pretty much in charge of all shifters nearby.

When Noah arrives he very quickly takes charge of the shifters, and does indeed challenges Lucas a little bit, but only a little bit – he does not resist Lucas or anything like that, just checks his worth out I guess.

Very quickly Noah and Lucas realize that they have a connection. Actually, Noah is the only one who recognizes all the possible repercussions of their connection. Lucas did not have much experience with dealing with the werewolves before and his company commander is of no help. He of course realizes the attraction but all he is bothered about is being attracted to somebody who is below in the chain of command.

The fact that their bond is something extraordinary escapes his attention for pretty much the whole book. Noah manages to explain that the fact that he is a True Alpha consented to their bond supersedes chain of commanded, but nothing else was explained to Lucas and this would bring me to my main annoyance with this book.

As much as I loved both Lucas and Noah as honest soldiers and strong leaders, as much as I thought this book had well researched setting, Lucas’ cluelessness as to his connection with Noah eventually got old and pretty fast. Okay fine, he did not have shifters under his command before, but he is living in the world where shifters seem to be treated well, not discriminated at all and he has no clue that his bond with True Alpha just may be something special? The parts I quoted below are early enough in the book, but this idiocy continued through the whole book – with Lucas asking questions and people either promising to explain and explaining nothing, or giving him information in such small doses that it sounded really artificial. This is the main reason why I am lowering the grade the way I did.

 

"Lucas paused, wondering how to answer. It might be easier if he had an answer. “I would if I knew. It’s nothing I can explain. I just know.” Vince glanced at him askance. “Next you’re gonna tell me the two of you know what the other is feeling.” Lucas stared out his window and didn’t answer. “Well I’ll be damned,” Vince muttered. “Does command know about this?” Lucas looked at Vince in confusion. “No. Why would they?” Gunny glanced repeatedly from the road to Lucas and back again.

“The Marine Corps’ True Alpha willingly submits to his human platoon commander; that’s a weapon they’d like to have.” An icy chill swept through Lucas. “Weapon? I don’t understand.” This time Vince shrugged. “I don’t know the ins and outs of it. Have Hammond explain it; it’s werewolf mythology.” They lapsed into silence as Vince negotiated the rough, rutted road. Lucas tried to shake off the dark feeling the conversation had left him with."

 

"“I could feel you start to worry about what was behind you, so I looked.” Noah ran the backs of the fingers of one hand lightly down Lucas’ cheek. “You looked because you felt me sense something behind me?” Lucas fought the urge to lean into Noah’s touch. “That’s how this works, Lucas,” Noah replied, hooking his fingers into the webbing of Lucas’ armor. “I still don’t understand how it works,” Lucas sighed. “But right now, I’m just glad it does.”"

 

"Lucas stared at the captain in confusion. Madison noticed Lucas’ expression. “Christ, Hammond sure is taking his time explaining all this to you. It doesn’t help that Stanley got you absolutely no training on how to handle an Alpha were.” “So explain it to me!” Lucas shouted in frustration."

 

Grade: B-

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review 2018-04-26 01:28
Rock Star Baby (Bad Oak Boys, #1) by Erin M. Leaf Review
Rock Star Baby - Erin M. Leaf

Ryan Oakley, lead singer of Bad Oak and heartthrob extraordinaire, isn’t looking for a girlfriend. He’s definitely not looking for a boyfriend, but after the explosive encounter he has with a guy he meets backstage, he realizes he’s more flexisexual than he’d thought. Of course, suddenly being able to shift into a wolf is an unexpected side effect he didn’t expect and can barely control.

Bardulf Forst is Alpha-Heir to his pack, but he can’t resist his little sister when she begs him to meet Ryan Oakley. When he realizes the sexy singer is his mate, he can’t deny instinct. He claims the famous rock star even though he knows his father won’t approve: heirs are supposed to have children and two males can’t reproduce.

Little do they know that they’re about to experience an ancient shifter biological imperative: when two male Alphas mate, unexpected miracles sometimes happen.

 

Review

 

I keep trying MPREG romance. I have yet to find one that has good enough world building to make me happy.

This one did not and the the couple spent too much time apart for me to be happy.

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text 2018-04-25 16:52
Audio Review: A Taste for a Mate (Redwood Pack, #1) by Carrie Ann Ryan (Narrator: Gregory Salinas) (DNF)
A Taste for a Mate - Carrie Ann Ryan
A Taste for a Mate

Redwood Pack, #1
Carrie Ann Ryan (Narrator: Gregory Salinas)
Paranormal Romance
September 5, 2014
Audiobook
7 hours and 24 minutes
Audible Romance Package

 

Jasper Jameson has spent his life caring for others, knowing that one day he might be blessed with his mate. He’s fought alongside his family and Pack for over a century but it isn’t until he meets a human who makes his wolf growl, that he knows that there’s something more than fate worth fighting for.

 

When Jasper walks into Willow Delton’s bakery she knows there’s something different about him. But every time he walks back out again, she doesn’t know what to think. When he finally finds the strength to ask her out, a new enemy in Jasper’s life has other plans.

 

A dangerous Pack is on the prowl and they’ve not only threatened the Redwood Pack but brought a demon into the fold as well. Forced into a new way of life, Jasper and Willow must fight not only for their lives but their weakening mating bond. Trust takes time but the two of them might not have as much as they need.

 

Goodreads

Amazon

Kobo

 

 

DNF’d this at Ch. 12 of 29 with 4 hrs and 13 min remaining.

 

A Taste for a Mate is book one in the Redwood Pack series by Carrie Ann Ryan.

 

The prologue is very violent and shocking. The way the wolves change a human is brutal. I don’t know why the fates would give them a human mate, if this is what they have to go through, and their is no guarantee they will survive. And, last their is an overwhelming amount of violence against women in this book, which then provides the men with a lot of anguish. I didn’t care for all the violence.

 

As for the romance. It never felt like any type of romance. This might be classified as an insta-love storyline, but I never felt any type of insta anything. I couldn’t believe that Willow falls in love with Jasper after speaking to him once. It takes humans longer to come around. Also I felt that Willow gave in too easily to everything she was learning and seeing. She accepts it all with out any backward glance. I just couldn’t believe this.

 

I disliked Willows thought process. It was over the top and annoying. At one point she thinks Jasper doesn’t want her. She got this idea in her head and instead of talking or asking him how or what he feels she keeps thinking this. Then we have them sleeping together; before they even go on one date. At this point Willow still has this weird idea in her head that he doesn’t want her, but the author has them sleeping together. This doesn’t work for me.

 

Everything in A Taste for a Mate felt rushed. Things just come at you left and right and their is no time to process. I would have liked things to be drawn out and developed more.

 

Audio: A Taste for a Mate is narrated by Gregory Salinas. This is my first experience with him as a narrator. I unfortunately didn’t care for his narration. The female characters all sounded a little breathy and this wasn’t when they where in the mood, it was all the time. It was exasperating. As for the male voices; Salinas nailed them and I liked the voices for each male introduced.

 

A Taste for a Mate was not the book for me. If the blurb intrigues you, I urge you to give it a shot. Just because it did not work for me does not mean it won’t for you.

 

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

 

Challenge(s) (2018): AudiobookTry Something New ~ Author/Series

 

 


 

 

I was born and raised in Northern Indiana. I’m an outdoor sun loving reader living near San Fransisco. I’m a mother, wife, dog owner, animal, and book lover. I’m the owner, reviewer, and mind behind Angel’s Guilty Pleasures. My favorite animals are horses & dogs. As for reading I love all things paranormal & urban fantasy. My favorite shifters are dragons!

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Source: angelsguiltypleasures.com/2018/04/audio-review-a-taste-for-a-mate-redwood-pack-1-by-carrie-ann-ryan-narrator-gregory-salinas-dnf
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review 2018-04-25 10:00
New Release Review! Day Reaper (Night Bloods #4) Melody Johnson!
Day Reaper - Melody Johnson

 

 

On the brink of death, Cassidy DiRocco demands that New York City’s master of the supernatural, Dominic Lysander, transform her—reporter, Night Blood, sister, human—into the very creature she’s feared and fought against for months: a vampire. The pain is brutal, she'll risk the career she’s worked so hard to achieve, and her world will never be the same. But surviving is worth any risk, especially when it means gaining the strength to fight against Jillian Allister, the sister who betrayed Dominic, attacked Cassidy, and is leading a vampire uprising that will destroy all of New York City. . .

When she awakens, however, Cassidy realizes the cost of being transformed might be more than she was willing to sacrifice. The overwhelming senses, the foreign appearance of her new body, and the lethal craving for blood are unrecognizable and unacceptable. But if Cassidy hopes to right the irrevocable wrongs that Jillian and her army of the Damned have wrought on New York City, she’ll need to not only accept her new senses, body and cravings, but wield them in her favor. 

Irresistible and enigmatic as Dominic is, he no longer has command over the city or its vampires. Only Cassidy has the connections to convince the humans, Day Reapers, and the few vampires still loyal to Dominic to join forces, and maybe, if Dominic can accept her rising power over the coven he once commanded for the past several hundred years, the two of them together might forge a bond more potent than history has ever known. . . 

 

 

Day Reaper is full of exciting events and thrilling twists and turns that keeps readers on the edge of their seats along with some electrifying chemistry and sizzling attraction that heats up the pages. All of the characters are fascinating and have strong personalities which the author brings to full vibrant life which makes it easy for the reader to become caught up in their story. Cassidy and Dominic are especially charismatic and really hold readers hostage as they try to hold their world as well as their relationship together during a world that has fallen into chaos.

 

Anticipation continuously builds throughout the story with lots of twists and turns keeping readers on the edge of their seat as Cassidy and Dominic fight bad guys and try to rescue some characters who may or may not be on their side as well as dealing with betrayals and emotional turmoil that stems from choices being made and of course all of that adds to the chaos and turbulence of the events taking place.  

 

Despite not having read all the books, I certainly enjoyed the thrilling and exciting conclusion to the Night Blood series from beginning to end and the events that take place in this story as well as the characters have really caught my attention and ensure that I will be reading the other books. This is the final book in the series, though, so I feel that I must strongly suggest that the four book series be read in sequential order because I felt as though I missed out on a few things and that the events leading up to these were extremely important, but I was able to understand what was taking place and why without having read them, I just feel it would have made the book even better.

 

 

 

Day Reaper is the 4th & final book in the Night Blood series.

 

Day Reaper is available in ebook at:

Amazon   Kobo   iBooks   GPlay   B&N

 

Melody Johnson can be found at:

Website   Goodreads   Facebook   Twitter   BookBub

 

 

 

 

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review 2018-04-24 19:00
Norman
Norman: The Doll That Needed to Be Locked Away - Stephen Lancaster

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley. ]

I’m not sure how to rate this book. When I requested it, I thought it was a horror novel, but then upon looking closer, it was in fact a recounting of actual facts? Problem being that, while I am interested in paranormal phenomenons in a vague, general way, I’m not what you could call a ‘believer’—I’ll read about it, and watch shows etc., but I’m going to be detached from it. And while I’ll appreciate those things for the storyteller factor, for the ideas they give me for stories or pen & paper RPG games, I actually have trouble with suspension of disbelief when they’re -not- novels (yes, strangely as it sounds, I may ‘believe’ in this slightly more if it’s fiction… go figure).

So, do keep that in mind when it comes to my review: I probably wasn’t the right audience for it, at least not at this moment in my life.

I kept wondering why the family had the doll in their bedroom, of all places. I’ve always found dolls creepy AF (whether the ragdoll type or those uncanny-valley ‘looks like a real baby’ dolls), so even for the sake of research, I wouldn’t see myself keeping one in anything else than a closet or the basement. More puzzling is why they’d do that in a house where a teenager lives, where the grandchildren regularly come to visit, and where pets dwell, too. Choosing to endanger yourself for the sake of studying some phenomenon is fine and all, I mean it’s your choice, but bringing your kid and pets into it is… I don’t know, kind of irresponsible. I never got the feeling that Hannah agreed to it, or was thrilled with the idea. And when you see what happened to the cat, well…

The other big problem I had with this book was the amount of errors. Since I got an advanced reader copy, I know (I hope) these may have been corrected in the final, printed version, but in the meantime, they threw me out of the narrative.

This said, even though I’m ever the sceptic, the photos and video captures throughout the book were interesting to have a look at. This is typically the kind of stuff I have to see for myself in order to ‘believe’, of course, so the whole ‘we’re not releasing them because it’s our private home’ won’t convince me. Still, it remained interesting to see.

Conclusion: 2.5 stars.

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