Alphas on the Prowl Shifter Paranormal Boxed Set by Catherine Vale, Lashell Collins, Gina Kincade, Bethany Shaw , Phoenix Johnson, Annie Nicholas, Jami Brumfield, Sarah Mäkelä , Amy Lee Burgess, Anna Lowe

Alphas on the prowl

Blurb: All new stories!

Alpha shifters are on the prowl, and they’re used to getting what they want. But there’s more to claiming a destined mate than raw power, and they’ll have to prove themselves worthy – in more ways than one.

Alphas on the Prowl offers page after page of passion and pleasure in this box set featuring eleven NEW tantalizing shapeshifter tales from NY Times and USA Today best selling authors.

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NOT AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

3.5 stars

Well, I finally finished another anthology. This one took me about nine months to finish and I gotta say I wasn’t really impressed with them that much.  Obviously if I took my sweet ass time with them.

One thing that is standing out to me is the fact that there is NO FRICKING TABLE OF CONTENTS!! So if I wanted to…IDK, REVIEW EACH BOOK INDIVIDUALLY, I would have to go through the anthology page by page to find the title and author of each book.

No fucking way am I doing that.  Call me lazy,  IDC, that’s a whole lot of effort for some books I barely remember.

So I can only go based on my most recent memory of these stories, which is sad to say, mediocre.  This will be the shortest review of an anthology ever because of my laziness.

That’s…that’s about it really.  They had alphas and they were on the prowl, but none really stuck to me as super awesome.

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First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson #1) by Darynda Jones

FGOTRBlurb: A smashing, award-winning debut novel that introduces Charley Davidson: part-time private investigator and full-time Grim Reaper Charley sees dead people. That’s right, she sees dead people. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light”. But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e. murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice.
Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life… and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely.

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3 stars

I listened to this audio book free through my Overdrive app.  This book was funny to me at first.  The MC was witty, sarcastic and clairvoyant.  I laughed quite a bit.  But, then her growth started to stagnate and her sarcasm started to get annoying.

The plot started out pretty easy to understand, which was good considering the story itself was meant to be a quick read.  About halfway through the book though, the author seemed to change her mind and added a bunch of stuff that I felt was unnecessary to the story.  I got a bit confused as to the whys of some of it, thereby losing interest even more.

I hated the ending because I didn’t get any kind of closure that I felt was needed.  The minor plot was tied up but the major one was left hanging.  When I went to see how long the series was, I realized I didn’t have the stamina or the patience to get any deeper into this series so I could find out what happens.  Which is a shame.

If you want a long series to savor, this is for you. If you are like me and crave near instant gratification, I’d pass.

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Kissing Max Holden by Katy Upperman

Blurb:
33797128Equal parts swoonworthy romance and deeply affecting family drama, this debut novel about the boy next door turned super hot bad boy will have readers hooked from the very first kiss.

After his father’s stroke, Max Holden isn’t himself. As his long-time friend, Jillian Eldridge only wants to help, but she doesn’t know how. When Max climbs through her window one night, Jill knows she shouldn’t let him kiss her. But she can’t resist, and when they’re caught in the act by her dad, Jill swears it’ll never happen again. Because kissing Max Holden is a terrible idea.

With a new baby sibling on the way, her parents fighting all the time, and her dream of culinary school suddenly up in the air, Jill starts spending more and more time with Max. And even though her father disapproves and Max still has a girlfriend, not kissing Max is easier said than done. Will Jill follow her heart, and allow their friendship to blossom into something more, or will she listen to her head and stop kissing Max Holden once and for all?

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My Review:
3 stars — I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.

This book started out as a solid 4 star, and just kept slowly motoring downhill from there.  I honestly was sucked in by the storyline, and I thought Jill was an interesting heroine.  And I was pulled in by the initial chemistry and connection between Jill and Max.  And there were glimmers of goodness, don’t get me wrong.  I did enjoy some aspects, but on the whole I ended the book on a heavy sigh.  This review is probably going to focus on the negative aspects way too much, but I really did enjoy the few cute moments, hence why it’s not lower than 3 stars.

In the end, I didn’t really enjoy either Jill or Max.  They both had good qualities, but they were HEAVILY overshadowed by their bad qualities.  Or rather, I don’t feel like they redeemed themselves.  Jill was definitely better than Max.  I felt like I would start to like her, and then she would disappoint me and annoy me…then I would be impressed by some decision or choice she would make, then she would disappoint me again.  I can chalk up a lot of her annoyance as being a fairly stereotypical teenager, so I guess I gave her more of a pass than Max in the end.  But I still felt like I was shortchanged on her growth.  As an example, I didn’t necessarily buy her change of heart about the money.  I certainly wouldn’t have forgiven so easily, so it didn’t feel authentic.

Max’s journey was more of a deep valley of not good stuff, with a little blip of goodness occasionally.  I get that he was screwed up and acting out badly, and that’s fine.  I mean, it doesn’t leave me too impressed with him, but I get that was his storyline.  But other than occasionally being sweet to Jill, when he dived back down, he REALLY dived back down.  Where was his redemption?  Maybe it’s because we don’t get to see inside his head, so while he says he’s trying to get better, you sort of see it, but as a reader I just didn’t buy it.  I didn’t want to give him a pass.  And he was so hypocritical!  After all the crap he did, he totally jumped down Jill’s throat without giving her much time at all to grow as well!  Not impressed.  Gee, could you tell?

Inherently my problem with this story lies in the presence of a lot of one of my major button issues: cheating.  I’m sorry folks, it’s just not for me.  Maybe if it was just that first kiss.  Maybe if he hadn’t stayed with his girlfriend time and time again, while simultaneously trying to explore a relationship with Jill as well.  I could even forgive a little bit of Jill’s bad judgement, and her having to live with her decisions.  But we’re given hints that there is more to Becky’s story, and then what we’re given just didn’t seem like enough, and as with most YA’s, we’re made to dislike her because she’s a bitch and a mean girl.  It was a shame, it would have been more interesting if there was a hint of depth there.  It definitely doesn’t show Max in a good light then.  And it was like I was told about Jill’s emotional journey over how she feels about participating in cheating, but I didn’t feel it.  AND THEN there’s her Dad.  It was too much.  Too many truly reprehensible characters with no redemption.

There were bright spots.  I LOVED the development of Jill’s relationship with Meredith (and Ally to a degree).  That truly surprised me in a good way.  I enjoyed Jill’s passion for baking, and how she tried to figure out her future.  And I loved the little bits we saw of Marcy and Bill.

Honestly, I could probably pick apart a few more tiny things (like I wish there was more from the friend side of things, Kyle or Leah), but it’s just not that important.  This was a book with a lot of potential that just fell short in the end, and was tainted for me personally by the cheating topic.  I recognize it’s hinted at in the blurb, but if I’d known the degree, I would have steered clear.  Ah well.

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MC Chronicles: The Diary of Bink Cummings: Vol 4 (Novella) by Bink Cummings

28198194Blurb: Fat and pregnant, I’m at the end of my rope with swollen ankles and exhaustion.
Growing a little person inside of me is no small feat, and when that same little person decides it’s time to be welcomed into the world, I’m suddenly catapulted into the beauty of motherhood.
Join me in my birthing journey.
You’re in for one helluva ride.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2.5 stars

I’M DONE!!!!!!

So this was a really short novella and I finished it pretty quickly.  This book actually wasn’t necessary to the ending of this series.  I could have never read it and it wouldn’t have made a difference.

There was a loose end in the last book I was hoping would be resolved, but it wasn’t. A fact I’m really upset about because during the ENTIRE series this issue with her mom was made in to this really big deal.  And when it finally all came to a head, it was explained away as if it was CRITICAL to the entire story.  I was so pissed, and that was the beginning of the end for me.  So I probably wasn’t that invested in this book as I could have been.  I’m nursing a pretty wicked readers remorse headache right now.

This book seemed to just be a fun, extended epilogue really.  She finally had the baby that shes been carrying around since the second book.  And it was just more of the same.  Big is sweet and he loves her, she is a bitch and she loves him  No growth of characters and no resolving of loose ends.

I’m glad I’m finally done with it.  Would I recommend this series?  Yes, with a cautionary warning. Is it one I’d re-read in the future. Uhhhhhh, not really.

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The Diary of Bink Cummings: Vol 3 (MC Chronicles #3) by Bink Cummings

BC3Blurb: Tests, life is full of them. The world is constantly putting you through them to see how much you can take before you break. Before you are no longer who you are. Before your world dissolves around you. How long you can stay strong and overcome the obstacles.
It’s no secret that Big and I butt heads. It’s no secret that I not only dislike my mother, I hate her because she hates me. But can these people break me? Can they push me to the edge of insanity, ready to jump?
Having stayed and moved in with Big, I was living the life I never even knew I wanted. Every day was filled with promise, warmth and unconditional love. Until the day, it wasn’t. Until the day it all changed and I quickly learned what I’m made of, thanks to the truths behind many years of painful secrets.
It only took a single day for my world to never be the same. One day to change me forever. One day for revelations. One day I’ll never forget……

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3 stars

The beginning of this book was great!  It was consistent with the previous books storyline.  But then, towards the end I got a bit lost.  Everything just went from deliciously melodramatic to absurdly ridiculous!

It was the equivalent of ‘jumping the shark’ (bonus points for knowing the reference!).  Binks’ stubbornness and pride really got to me in this book. I just couldn’t understand why she wouldn’t admit her feelings to Big.  It was childish really, holding them over his head like some kind of emotional blackmail.  I kept thinking ‘they are gonna fuck this baby up when it arrives’ cause they don’t know how to be reasonable with each other.   And I know it’s an MC book and its wildly unbelievable.  I get that, I can suspend my belief for the enjoyment of a book.  But the ending was even too much for that I think.

I had to just laugh at their over the top antics.  It took me right out of the story honestly.  And while I still enjoyed it, I’m not really looking forward to the next one if I’m being honest.  This series has hit the end of the road for me.  I will finish it though, because the last book is a novella and I can power through it.  I need to read the last one for my reading challenge.

I still think there were some loose ends that needed to be addressed.  Like what happened to her mom?  That’s a big loose end to just leave hanging like that.  Maybe the novella will give me some closure.

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Poppy (A Force of Nature Fairytale #1) by M.A. Horst

35095909Blurb: Storm, the eldest son of a heartless businessman, is forced to choose a bride. His father wants grandchildren to secure the future of Royal Industries, and he wants them now.

Forced to choose from a specific list of women that’s been promised to the Royal family, Storm holds a masquerade ball and invites the six women.

Poppy has lived a sheltered life. She has been homeschooled by her overprotective mother. Attending the masquerade ball is an exciting experience for her until she lands in the arms of Storm Royal. Electricity crackles around them.
Poppy’s delicate new love is shattered when she finds out why Storm really wants to marry her. She’s only a means to an end, another piece of property.

Can Storm win Poppy’s trust while trying to keep his fiery desire for her under control?

This is one force of nature Poppy didn’t see coming.

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3 stars

There is a warning on this book that is it insta-love but I didn’t see it cause I generally don’t read the blurb and just go off of recommendations.  I probably wouldn’t have read it if I had seen it.  I’m not a fan of insta-love, so it makes sense that I didn’t enjoy this story as much as I should, but that’s a personal preference.

This story is pretty straightforward as far as re-tellings go.  It doesn’t really deviate from the original. The sex scenes were hawt! Very delicious writing in that aspect.  I enjoyed when Poppy lost her timidity and stood up for herself. The story itself seemed a bit fast paced IMO. Now this is a novella so some is to be expected, however, I still felt it could have transitioned in a different way to help with the pacing.

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Bossypants by Tina Fey (Author/Narrator)

bossypantsBlurb: Before Liz Lemon, before “Weekend Update”, before “Sarah Palin”, Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV.
She has seen both of those dreams come true.

At last, Tina Fey’s story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon – from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence.

Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we’ve all suspected: you’re no one until someone calls you bossy.

read harder

Audible button

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3 stars

It was funny. I never noticed the hands on the cover were not hers, LOL.  I think I might like her less after reading this though.  It wasn’t bad, but I wrinkled my nose at some of her beliefs.  She made her views very clear in this book.  I did kinda see what she meant about the sexism in the workplace and adapting to it.  Her way of handling it seems way more diplomatic and subtle than what I’d like to think I would have done.

And while I do enjoy hearing opposing views, I guess I just wasn’t feeling it as much as I wanted to. I learned a lot about her life growing up which was interesting. She seemed to have a similar childhood to mine, except of course, my parents weren’t republicans. 🙂 And she knows how to nail a punchline. This chic is hilarious!

This book was released in 2011 and while its not that far in the past I could still see how my views have changed and grown in that time. At any rate I’d read another books by her, if only to laugh at her jokes.

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Take It to the Grave Part 1 of 6: Take It to the Grave – Sarah’s Story\Take It to the Grave – Maisey’s Story (Take It to the Grave #1) by Zoë Carter

34857352Blurb:

It started with an anonymous note…

Sarah Taylor-Cox has the perfect life—a gorgeous husband, a picture—perfect house in the Hamptons and a beautiful baby, Elliot. Now, the invites are being sent out for Elliot’s christening, and the Taylor—Coxes are determined the party will be the event of the year.

There’s just one chink in Sarah’s carefully constructed calm demeanour—her sister, Maisey, will be coming. The sisters used to be close, but now their lives couldn’t be more different. Surely though, they will slip back into their old ways, and the party will go off without a hitch…

Then, Sarah’s difficult relationship with Maisey is pushed to the back of her mind when she receives a note, one which makes her whole body shake with dread: I know your secret. I’m going to tell.

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3 stars

It was very suspenseful, but I didn’t really get an idea of what the story was about. Just that there was something in their past that they didn’t want anyone to know. And they haven’t spoken in years. It was very “I know what you did last summer”

The dual POV was interesting because they are not alike and with Sarah’s lifestyle I was glad.  Her husband’s behavior was a lot to take and I don’t think I could have kept reading it if Maisey wasn’t in the story.

I kinda dug Maisey as a character and would have like to see more from her perspective but alas, it was not in the book. Other than that, Maisey seems to be a serial dater while Sarah is in a an abusive relationship but seems to like it.

I don’t think I’m gonna read the rest as I don’t have the patience to read five more parts to find out what it was they did. I just don’t care enough about the characters to put in the effort.

I received this book in exchange for an honest/unbiased review.

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True North by Kelly Collins

true northBlurb:  Scarred.  Hopeless.  Lost.

Alexa Cross leaves Los Angeles with a scarred heart, beat-up car, and a secret. She’s ready to move on and leave her past behind, but fate has had a way of knocking her right back down.   Marooned in the middle of nowhere—she imagines misfortune has dealt its final blow, but this time, destiny seems to have a different plan when she ends up in a place aptly called The Last Resort.

Reassembling shattered lives is what innately sexy, bar owner, Zane Abbamonte, does best, and it rarely ends well for him.  When he sees a woman stranded on the side of the road, desperate and alone, the otherwise irascible biker rescues her without hesitation, but Zane harbors secrets of his own. When Alexa begins to uncover the truth about Zane, the weight of her past comes crashing back. Her instincts say, “Run!” but her heart tells her to stay.

Glimpsing the chance for a future together, Zane and Alexa must confront their “ghosts” and navigate through their fears. Will The Last Resort be the end of their encounter or the beginning of everything they desire?

Find out in True North.

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3 stars

The beginning was great. Then it just kinda lost steam. I felt her journey to find herself became something else entirely by the end.  There were too many cliches thrown in. Misconceptions, deliberate misunderstandings, stuff like that.  And I was rolling my eyes in the beginning but held out hope that it would get better.  But then…

Everything seemed to be over-explained. As if the author didn’t think the reader would get the subtle nuances of the relationship.  Which in turn forced the relationship to progress before it was ready.  They moved in together incredibly early, especially for him being a parent.  And I get the suspending of reality in a book, but I felt this was just too much to ask of us.  And its not like I don’t get it could happen, hell, I moved in my then boyfriend (now-husband) two months after we started dating so I get a fast progressing love story.  This one was just beyond my ability to believe.

By the end I was a bit disappointed honestly.  It was a feel good book with no real climax. And sometimes those are good.  but this time, for me, it was only okay.

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Capture (Seaside Pictures #1) by Rachel Van Dyken

26111797BlurbLosing your ability to speak at the age of seventeen; it’s not normal or fair.
But trauma, has a way of throwing normality out the window.
Dani lives anything but a normal life.
Her sister is married to one of the biggest names in Hollywood.
Her best friends are rockstar duo AD2.And she has more love around her than most people experience in a lifetime.
But that doesn’t change the fact their parents are dead.
Or that it’s her fault.

It seems her new normal is being a mute, living on the inside, unable to actually communicate on the outside.
That is until Hollywood’s newest heartthrob Lincoln Greene hires her as his assistant for the summer.
He’s gorgeous, completely unavailable, and unobtainable.
But that doesn’t stop her from wondering… if things were different…would he want her?
If she was whole, would he be the other half?

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3 stars

The beginning seemed a to start in the middle of the story and jarred me a bit but it picked up pretty quickly.  I don’t really know how I feel about this book. The caption reads #1 but apparently this is the second series set in this world so I feel like I missed so much of everyone’s back story.

There were so many side characters that were coupled I just knew that they each had their own book. And now I want to know their stories for GP but I don’t know if I like the book that much to read SIX other books to get all the subtle context.

I felt her selective muteness was made out to be a bigger deal than I it actually was. It seemed more of a plot device than a real part of the story.

Their attraction went from simmer to full boil too quickly in my opinion.  And they kept playing at staying away from each other when it was obvious they liked each other, so I kept wondering why stay away?  There was no real reason other than the overprotective men in her family. And honestly, that got a little stale after a while. They treated her like she was some fragile flower and it was quite annoying.

I think I’ll shelve this series and come back to it at a later time.  Maybe some time will change my perspective on the characters.

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