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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-07-13 20:34
Wild Blood by Nancy A. Collins
Wild Blood - Nancy A. Collins

Wild Blood by Nancy A. Collins
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

When tragedy befalls Skinner Cade, he sets out to discover his origins - just who was his biological parents? Unable to keep his temper in check, his search soon takes a detour as he lands himself in prison, where an incident results in an all-out bloodbath. A monster resides within Skinner, one he's unsure how to handle, and when he's introduced to the world of the vargr, he's not even sure he wants to learn of his ancestry.

(WARNING: This review contains MAJOR spoilers.)

This was an impulsive buy at the local secondhand bookstore, as first and foremost, the cover caught my eye. It seemed almost comedic, so I was under the impression it would include some sort of black humour. I was wrong, however, and was confronted with over the top depictions of rape and incest that were heavily integrated into the plot itself. Don’t get me wrong, I love werewolves; the more brutal the better, but this was the first time where such disturbingly sexualised topics dominated the pages. It became apparent that important story elements were sacrificed in order to rush the plot along, and focus primarily on graphic content. I should also mention that I don’t have any issues with graphic content concerning sex, however if I feel such matters damage the overall story, then that’s where my problems lie. Despite being a short book, a lot actually happens; there’s before, during and after prison, as well as the rut melee with a lot in between. There certainly were interesting characters and predicaments that Skinner got himself into, but they were so underdeveloped that I just couldn’t get a proper sense of them.

Let’s start with the prison and Skinner’s relationship with Cheater. There appeared to be a connection between them, or something I couldn’t quite grasp. Cheater’s dream and use of the term “Prince” was certainly interesting, but it was so ridiculously vague. I also felt that the friendship in itself was bewildering, as Skinner, of whom was supposed to be a “good guy”, was perfectly fine with his companion stealing and murdering. If this had of been fleshed out, with time given to properly establish them both, then it just might have made sense. This goes for the later half of the book as well, where things rapidly progressed until Skinner was suddenly of great importance.

I actually liked Skinner to an extent, and I enjoyed that his life took a radical turn into the world of claws and teeth, but I couldn’t attach myself nor particularly care what came of him when his development left a lot to be desired. As a person, Skinner often fluctuated between being decent and being rather questionable, with what actually drove his actions leaving nothing but confusion. I think the intention was for him to be the unexpected hero; the good man thrown into the fray and always coming out on top - which I, ultimately, didn't care for. Don't even get me started on the last minute romance attempt, because it was positively absurd.

The shock factor loses its value if overexposed, at least in my case. Sure, the first rape scene (of a dog, I might add), was very much unpleasant, but each taboo subject thereafter only numbed me further. By the end, I wasn't even remotely surprised by what transpired. It was, without a doubt, very curious that Collins decided to go down the route she did - painting the species of "vargr" in a very ugly light, moreso than the usual bloodthirsty monsters of the genre. As it was, I had a hope that the entire race would perish.

In conclusion - I've changed my initial rating to accurately reflect my thoughts, from three stars to only two. It was overly rushed to appropriately develop the plot and characters, instead relying upon disturbing content to carry it through. A shame, as the concept itself was intriguing.

Notable Quote:

"The vargr are all belly and eyes. They desire all that they see. And that which they can not have - they destroy. Completely and utterly."

© Red Lace 2018

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Source: redlace.reviews/2018/07/13/wild-blood-by-nancy-a-collins
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-07-08 20:06
How to Date a Werewolf (Rylie Cruz #1) - Rose Pressey

OMG this book has been in my TO READ list since FOREVER! I can't believe I finally got around to it, and believe me, it should have been one I skipped. 

 

Rylie is a werewolf matchmaker who owns and runs The Find a Mate company. She's had a great run matching people together, that is until she takes on Lily, a crazed werewolf. 

 

Lily is furious her perfect date doesn't go as planned and goes to unthinkable levels to show how displeased she is with Rylie (picketing her business, and making T-shirts which denounce her business as well.) 

 

Rylie, along with her roommate, Jennifer, brush off the threats Lily makes and instead choose to spend their time ogling their new gorgeous neighbor, Jack. 

 

Both Jennifer and Jack are humans, and while Jennifer knows Rylie is a werewolf, Jack has no clue about the paranormal presence in New Orleans. 

 

During the middle of the book we find out that in fact, the whole government knows about the supernaturals roaming around, but they choose to keep that knowledge on the down low. 

 

Anyhoo, what follows are ridiculous events centering around Rylie dealing with Lily, and juggling her feelings with Jack - even though Rylie's convinced of a family curse that has doomed her into never finding true love. 

 

Ugh! I think what upset me the most about this book was not that the situations were utterly ridiculous, but that I read through all that nonsense and there wasn't even any sexxy scenes to make up for the lost time. Ugh. Live and learn. 

 

How to Date a Werewolf features: 

paranormal romance

YA 

kissing

werewolf

vampire

shifters

mystery 

suspense

intrigue

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review 2018-06-18 23:52
Whether somethings a good surprise or surprisingly good...
The Werewolf's Fae Mate - Liv Rider

it's still full of goodness. When I read the blurb for this it just sounded like too good of a story to pass up on, so I didn't. 

 

Oscar's never known anything about his past and when he suddenly becomes the focus of attention for more than a few members of the paranormal community...vampires, elves, werewolves. His life becomes a whole lot more adventurous and luckily it's one of those members who turns out to be his salvation. 

 

When Mahon investigates mysterious happenings at a dance club and follows the magical trail that's been left expecting to find an arrogant and powerful paranormal he's more than a little surprised to find an unknowing, innocent and utterly adorable elf named Oscar along with his small, furry and fearless cat.

 

I loved Oscar. He was this adorable guy who while totally clueless about his heritage, totally knew what he wanted to do with the big, hunky alpha male who came knocking on his door.  He also had the best cat ever...seriously that little furball had no sense of self-preservation...zero, zip, zilch, nada! But his protective instincts were awesome...Oscar was his people and he was going to protect him no matter what.

 

Next we have Mahon...the big, tough, alpha male who while he was initially clueless as to why his instincts about Oscar were so strong it didn't stop him from acting on them...sort of because heaven forbid he let Oscar know how much he cared. 

 

These two guys were so worried about scaring each other off that...well, that's what they did. Luckily for Mahon, he has a twin, Aidan who's more than happy to talk some sense into his head...and there's another story that I want to find out more about but hopefully Aidan will be another story and who knows maybe we'll find out more about Zeke as well...I mean what's a paranormal story without a Succubus, right? 

 

Liv Rider is a new to me author and I was so pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this story my only regret like some of my friends is that there wasn't more. This is a short read at somewhere around the 100 page mark and it has the potential to be longer...with a lot more character and world building before it even begins to wear thin. There are more than a few interesting secondary characters whom I would love to see the author give stories to and just to see the world that's begun in this book expanded would definitely be an enjoyable adventure, but in the meantime if you like paranormal and you're looking for a fairly fast paced and enjoyable story I definitely recommend 'The Werewolf's Fae Mate'.

 

*************************

An ARC of 'The Werewolf's Fae Mate' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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text 2018-04-18 11:26
Blood Shadow and Aftershock: how do they fit into the Eye of the Storm series?
Blood Shadow: an Eye of the Storm Companion Novel (Blood Never Lies) - Dianna Hardy
Aftershock: an Eye of the Storm Companion Novel (Blood Never Lies) - Dianna Hardy
Eye of the Storm: Omnibus Edition - Dianna Hardy

Blood Shadow and Aftershock

 

Dark, humorous, gritty and explicit, the Eye of the Storm series crosses genres with paranormal romance and dark fantasy, leaning more and more towards the fantasy elements from halfway through the series. The lives of werewolves take centre stage, from their mythological history to their near extinction, and at the very core of this storyline filled with magic and man-made beasts is Lydia, a twenty-five year old waitress living in the human world, who has no idea what she is.

Focusing on character develop and dynamics, we get thrown into Lydia's new world no holds barred - her new world is sexual, violent, and ruled by nature and instinct, which challenges the 'romance' she's always dreamed of. It's also loving, warm and protective if she has the will to let it all in.

 

Eye of the Storm series, by Dianna Hardy

 

Amid her new pack, resides a she-wolf called Selena. Bitter, scared and jealous, Selena's aim is to undermine Lydia's arrival into the pack and run her off for good. 

This character we love to hate finds herself in a place she never expected, and the end of this completed series sees her and her new identity hurtled into Blood Shadow, which bridges the gap between Eye of the Storm, and a brand new, dark urban fantasy series to come (the Blood Shadow series).

 

 

In turn, Aftershock does the same with other characters from Eye of the Storm: Pete and Claire, and their new addition, Jasmine. Like Blood ShadowAftershock will lead to yet another brand new urban fantasy series (the Aftershock series).

Dianna Hardy is bringing us a new world with new rules, new dangers, and new characters to sink our teeth into, and the first chapter begins with Blood Shadow.

 

Blood Shadow

 


Blood Shadow:

an Eye of the Storm Companion Novel
​(Blood Never Lies, #1)

 

*although some background is given to make this book comprehensible for new readers, it's recommended that you read Eye of the Storm before read Blood Shadow

 

Five years after her life changed forever, Jennifer Warren has put her past firmly behind her - at least, she's tried. A few sweaty nightmares here and there are a small price to pay for the freedom she won. No longer a werewolf, but human, she works as an office manager for a health and beauty spa in York, and keeps herself to herself. It's barely enough to pay the bills, but it's quiet and safe, and the clique of the staff means she's left well enough alone - no one asks her questions; no one wants to get to know her better.

 

David, her tender, kind boyfriend of two years is all she needs ... and she doesn't really need him, which suits her just fine. Never mind the occasional guilt that she doesn't really love him; he'd never hurt her in a million years - that's worth its weight in gold.

 

But Jennifer's just received another note - one of those that her mysterious, anonymous 'friend' likes to leave her every now and then; warnings of things to come, people not to trust... Her elusive friend has saved her more than once the past five years.

 

Only this note has left her breathless; her chest tight. A Supermoon is coming - the first in thirty years - and with it, a total lunar eclipse.

 

Jennifer's disowned her past, but it hasn't disowned her. As the earth shadows the full moon, her own shadows threaten to turn on her.

 

Can you ever escape what you truly are?

 

Blood never lies.

___________________

 

RELEASED 27th APRIL, 2018

 

Pre-order from:

iBooks

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon CA

Amazon AUS

Nook

Kobo
Book Depo
​Waterstones

 

(Google Play only available on release day)

 

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review 2018-03-30 02:06
Moonstruck by Graeme Reynolds (2016 Review)
Moonstruck - Graeme Reynolds

Moonstruck by Graeme Reynolds
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Best Read 2016

Now in police custody, John Simpson is quickly running out of options. His face is all over the news for the grisly murders of multiple people, and the full moon is vast approaching yet again. If that wasn't bad enough, a squad of professional killers have been sent to take him out. He's a threat, an apparent moonstruck, with no control over his monster - or so the pack believes. John's not the only one in danger however; those that know too much must be silenced, including the law enforcement involved with the High Moor investigation.

(WARNING: This review contains MAJOR spoilers.)

High Moor was my one and only five star book of 2014, with very good reason. It surpassed my expectations and instantly plunged me into an exciting roller-coaster of claws and teeth. Everybody was fair game, every limb at risk of being ripped off - the extreme brutality throughout shocked me as well as thrilled me, but it wasn't just about violence and gore. It was about a man with a terrible beast lurking beneath the surface, and a society determined to remain hidden. This second instalment was no different in terms of pace and edge-of-your-seat excitement. I found myself drawn into the life and death situations of characters old and new, and a few I truly liked from the get-go. There's something about how Reynolds spins a tale, and that coupled with my love for werewolves, is the perfect combination.

The plot largely centred upon the werewolf pack, led by Michael as alpha, and their attempts to cover up the rather messy events that transpired in the previous book. Getting a more in-depth look at their inner workings and at their harsh, yet understandable, methods of taking care of the situation was thoroughly engrossing. Of course they went to great lengths to secure the secrecy of their race; realistically, we (humanity), would outright eradicate them upon the discovery of their existence. Perhaps not at first, but eventually. No matter how much it may be denied, we are a destructive force, and peace would most assuredly be merely an illusion. Because of this, I didn't dislike Oskar and his team for doing what they did out of necessity, but Connie was another matter. She was the heartless villain that enjoyed the cruelty and pain of her victims. She was so consumed by hate. I have to admit, she provided some very tense scenes, like the one with Olivia, which I couldn't read fast enough; I needed to know if the poor woman survived.

John and Marie both returned and their romance took a step further, albeit with an awkward, yet sweet moment. I appreciated that amongst the horrific bloodshed, there was at least a little bloom of love and the potential for quite the power couple. Steven Wilkinson also proved to be deadlier than ever, yet no longer did he desire an allegiance with John, but four unsuspecting policemen. I was quite fond of Phil Fletcher in particular, the older and higher ranked copper, as he seemed the decent sort. Hopefully he reappears in the final book of the trilogy, perhaps as a hunter himself. Considering the ending, there's no doubt things are going to escalate for every character.

Another aspect I favoured was when Marie admitted to there being other types of supernatural creatures; vampires included. This made me smile and wonder of the possibility of more novels being set within the world of High Moor. I'd definitely read them!

In conclusion: Utmost excitement - excellent werewolf savagery. I'll be keeping an eye on Reynolds' future works, as I just love how he spins a tale.

Notable Scene:

If anything, the experience was worse going from wolf to human than it had been from man to beast. The savage fangs pushed their way back through his gums, feeling as if a dentist was drilling all of his teeth at once, without the benefit of anaesthetic. Black talons forced their way under his already forming fingernails, while every bone in his body splintered and reformed, flowing like liquid to their original shape. The worst thing, however, was the itching burn across every inch of his skin, as thousands of coarse black hairs pushed their way into his flesh. He cried out in agony, but his vocal chords were half way between human and werewolf, so all that escaped his lips was a strange combination of howl and scream.

© Red Lace 2016

Wordpress ~ Goodreads ~ Twitter

Source: redlace.reviews/2018/03/30/moonstruck-by-graeme-reynolds-2016-review
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