Lucid (Brightest Kind of Darkness #2) by P.T. Michelle


51nxggdxa4l-_sy346_Blurb: 
 Once Nara combines her prophetic ability with Ethan’s power to outsmart Fate at his own deadly cat-and-mouse game, she’s more determined than ever to help Ethan learn the meaning behind the raven sword tattoo that suddenly appeared on his back after their confrontation with Fate.

During her quest to uncover the tattoo’s secrets, Nara enlists the help of some new friends and discovers her own surprising connection to Ethan.

While Nara digs deeper into the mystery, her desire for answers leads her down a dangerous path full of powerful and ruthless enemies. Swept into an age-old battle, Nara quickly learns that keeping one’s enemies close can be a necessary evil, making an intangible enemy she can control far more preferable to the human enemies she can’t.

scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg

images

5 stars

This one is my favorite book in the series so far in my re-read.  I didn’t realize I’d forgotten so much.  The cover has been changed which is a shame because I really liked the original one better.

This is a great follow-up to the first one and not at all where you would expect the story to go.  I think that’s one of the reasons I’ve followed this series for so long.  I really liked how her powers evolve. In fact, her whole character evolves.  One of the things that stuck out for me in this YA is the fact the fact that her life didn’t become so entwined with the romance she had with Ethan to the exclusion of most else.  It was nice to see her deal with everything without him in the picture for most of the story.

Don’t get me wrong, he may be gone, but he certainly isn’t forgotten.  It was just nice to see it really focus on the main plot with very little romance.  Most paranormal’s that I read have a very strong romance sub-plot.  In exchange of that, we see the MC evolve and get a better sense of depth.  This story is very intense so it was easier to follow without the added romance and the added drama that it brings.

And her family is not one-dimensional in this.  Again, in the YA’s that I read, parents have very little presence in the story but in this one her bond with her family is strong and consistent throughout.  Not just her parents but her aunts too,  it brings another layer to her and the story.  I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.

Curly Carla_small

Brightest Kind of Darkness (Brightest Kind of Darkness #1) by P.T. Michelle

bkodBlurb: Nara Collins is an average sixteen-year-old, with one exception: every night she dreams the events of the following day. Due to an incident in her past, Nara avoids using her special gift to change fate…until she dreams a future she can’t ignore.

After Nara prevents a bombing at Blue Ridge High, her ability to see the future starts to fade, while people at school are suddenly being injured at an unusually high rate.

Grappling with her diminishing powers and the need to prevent another disaster, Nara meets Ethan Harris, a mysterious loner who seems to understand her better than anyone. Ethan and Nara forge an irresistible connection, but as their relationship heats up, so do her questions about his dark past.

 

scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg

images

5 stars

I have been meaning to finish this series for ages but the last book just came out last month and then I figured its been so long I should probably reread them.  So this is my second turn with this book. And I gotta say, it was even better this time around.

First off, the cover, I’m not really a cover kind of gal but this cover is beautiful right? This is the first series I am finishing in the new year.  My goal is to finish ten series this year.  I think I’ll hit that goal.

This story is unlike any that I have read before.  With her dreaming and his emotion stealing its very original.  I really love how their relationship evolves so effortlessly.  The first time I read this I didn’t really think it played a huge role in the plot but reading it a second time I noticed that Ms PTM can right emotions so fricking well.  Their emotions flow so easily in tandem with the main plot its easy to overlook them at first.

And I liked how her family wasn’t just a passing thought.  Too often in YA novels the parents and/or other family only play in the background.  This is not the case with this book.  She weaves them into the story and gives them dimension and depth.  And that’s one of the reasons I have kept tabs on this series since its inception in 2011.  I am excited to finish it and at the same time weary of the end.

Highly recommended to all YA lovers.

Curly Carla_small

It’s You, Book Two by K.P. Kelley

Blurb:

33387588The second book in New York Times bestselling author Katy Regnery’s first duo of paranormal romances!

HAPPILY EVER AFTER…
To some, they’re just words signifying a fairytale ending.
For me, Jack Beauloup, they represent an unyielding desire:
Forever with Darcy Turner, the unexpected love of my life.
A love that has placed her human life in danger.

According to Pack Law, my binding is an abomination that must be severed.
It’s ignited a fiery hatred that I must confront and control.
But what is bound cannot be broken.
I will keep Darcy safe.
Even if it means giving up on my dreams.
Even if it means giving up my life.

images     scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg

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

Well hmmm…this is a tough one.  As I’m writing this up, I still don’t know whether I will round up or down.  I enjoyed a lot of this book, was hooked into the romance and action and mythology of the paranormal aspect.  But I also had a few qualms, a few niggles.  It wasn’t quite as satisfying as I’d hoped, and some parts went in directions that I wasn’t entirely happy with (from a personal taste perspective).

So what was I happy with?  I still really loved how unique this take on a shifter story was.  I enjoyed the concept of the Roux-ga-roux and the way Ms. Kelley really made it her own, and blended in the Métis culture and superstitions.  It extended from what was in the first book and remained fairly consistent.

I also really enjoyed that the immediate conflict which ended book one on a bit of a climax was actually dealt with pretty quickly in book two, and was not dragged out.  I loved that we got more good, loving, romantic time with Darcy and Jack, and not just conflict.

What was I less than happy with?  A bunch of little things that kind of added up.  1) There were a few spots (particularly in some steamy scenes) where the POV jumped from Darcy to Jack from one paragraph to the next.  When I’m reading dual POVs, I’m happiest when it’s very clear whose POV I’m reading, and there are clear delineations between them (like chapters or at least breaks).  2) I wasn’t happy with the eventual explanation of the time loss.  I felt it was kind of cheap and didn’t make sense, and if the author wasn’t going to delve into it and make it more clear, then it should have been left out altogether.  There were enough interesting and unique paranormal aspects that it wasn’t needed.  I almost felt similarly about the rash/burns, but I can live with that one.  It just kind of felt lost in the shuffle of book two.  3) I wasn’t happy with the resolution with Willow and Amory…did they tell Amory?  Is he in the dark?  How did they explain everything????  4) I wasn’t happy with the glossing over of Willow’s Enchanteresse stuff.  If you’re going to make it part of the plot, give it some lip service, otherwise it feels very plot device-ish.

SPOILERY PARAGRAPH!!!!  I will hide this on Goodreads, and remove from my Amazon review, but please just don’t read unless you’ve read the book!!!!  YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!  5) I was a little disappointed the biology/moss stuff didn’t go anywhere.  It was so foreshadowed, and I really thought she was going to have some breakthrough.  That could have been cool.  6) I really wanted Jack to take out Saint Germain, or show them there was another way, and more clearly break from the pack, though I suppose that would be too dangerous.  7) I wasn’t happy with the amount of sexual propositioning that seemed to happen between unbound Rougs (Julien with Willow, even though he had feelings for Lela, and Tombeur reacting to Darcy, even though he loved Tallis).  I guess this goes along with 6 a bit, in that I kind of thought they were just broken, and Jack and Darcy were the new way (what with all the cheating even in bound couples). 8) I WANTED LOUVETEAUS DAMNIT!!!  ie that epilogue was not nearly satisfying enough.

SPOILERY PARAGRAPH FINISHED!!!

I still wasn’t a big fan of Darcy.  I loved Jack way more, so I was constantly mad at Darcy’s actions.  Although at least Jack kind of screwed up going too far with the keep his distance stuff, so he wasn’t perfect.  But I was never quite happy with how she saw the Roug stuff, and how disgusted she was even by the animals.  I never fully believed that she accepted him (and I guess he didn’t really either).  And I am not a fan of couples that are so bad at communication.  Seriously, I get that neither of you have had much for relationships, but COME ON!!  *sigh*  It’s just a personal taste thing, not my favourite.

So yeah, it looks like a lot of bad, but they’re honestly not big things in the grand scheme of things, just annoyances, you know?  But there were just so many…round up, round down, round up, round down.  But OMG people the emotions in this book were actually pretty amazing!!  My heart broke for Jack on so many occasions, he just grabbed your heart and twisted it!!  *sigh*  My life is so hard.  This one really is a solid 3.5 stars.  I’ll decide on a whim I guess.

Lenoreo_small

 

It’s You, Book One by K.P. Kelley

Blurb:

30037207From New York Times bestselling author Katy Regnery comes her first duo of paranormal romances!

ONCE UPON A TIME…
the most beautiful boy in the world kissed me.
I’ve never been able to forget.
Perhaps it was his jet-black hair,
or the changing copper-color of his eyes,
the intense way he looked at me…
or the fact that he awakened my passion for the first time,
at once otherworldly yet heartbreakingly real.
After that kiss, I never saw him again.

His name was Jack Beauloup.
Jack, my “Beautiful Wolf.”

Twenty years passed. He has returned. For me.

images     scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg

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

I think I picked the wrong time to start reading this book, but with the release date coming up I didn’t have much choice.  But reading it over Christmas with a bunch of company over so I couldn’t remain engrossed just wasn’t ideal.  When I started the book I was totally sucked in.  I LOVE books that while being for the adult audience, give you the teenage perspective too…when there’s a past, I don’t just want to know it happened, I want to be there and experience it.  And Ms. Kelley totally gave that to us, and I am in love with the past parts.  I could feel the chemistry drawing Darcy and Jack together, and Darcy’s anguish over the loss of that love when found was just perfect.  And I totally felt her confusion over why it should have such a profound effect on her for so long.  Seriously, the emotions in those sections were just spot on perfect.

But back in the present, I had an up and down relationship with Darcy and Jack…but mostly Darcy.  I had moments where I really enjoyed her…she was smart, she was sassy, she was fairly down to earth.  I liked her relationship with her bff Willow, and I am totally intrigued by that little side story with Amory btw….hope we get more in book two.  But while I enjoyed the continuing chemistry between Darcy and Jack, I wasn’t quite as enthralled as I was in the past parts.  Basically the steamy parts were good, but I wasn’t necessarily blown away.  And I was a bit dismayed with how long the discovery process took…ie, how long it took Darcy to accept that something was up with Jack, and put the pieces together.  I don’t know how it could have been done faster, but it was hard to see all the clues going together, and remember that normal people wouldn’t assume that shifters really exist.

I did THOROUGHLY enjoy the mythology in this one, and how Ms. Kelley chose to present the paranormal aspect.  As a Canadian, I was a bit confused with the way she initially described Métis, but that could have been me reading into things that weren’t there, because in the end it sounded correct.  I just never thought of them as a tribe per say.  But I’m not an expert, so I assume she did the appropriate research and it’s me that has it wrong.

I was a bit saddened by the way Part One ended (trying not to give spoilers).  I can’t help but have wanted Darcy to react differently.  She hurt my heart.  It’s funny, b/c it’s not that I don’t get it…but at the same time, it wasn’t what my heart wanted.

Jack was completely swoon.  I really enjoyed how sweet he was, and the choices he made throughout his past wrt Darcy.  I really enjoyed Part Two from his perspective, I was totally missing his POV and was so happy when we got it in the end.  It filled in so many blanks that I had, and yeah…just supremely satisfied.  I wasn’t quite as sucked in, but that could have been because of life stuff, and not necessarily the book, you know?  Or maybe I was still just mad at Darcy.  😛  Who knows.  I’m also not a Lela fan, I’m not sure how she’s going to be redeemed at this point.

All in all, really interesting paranormal take on the shifter story…love the backstory and mythology, love Jack, and had some amazing set up for the love story.  I enjoyed that there was a lot else going on besides the Jack and Darcy love story, and I’m super curious how it’s all going to end.  Hopefully when I get book two, I’ll have more dedicated time to devote just to reading and devouring it.

Lenoreo_small

Kissed (The Thorn Chronicles #1) by Kimberly Loth

kissedBlurb: Trapped in a dark cult, sixteen-year-old Naomi Aren has lived a quiet, albeit unhappy, life nestled deep in the hills of the Ozarks. With uncut hair, denim skirts, and only roses for friends, Naomi seldom questions why her life is different from other kids at school. Until the day her abusive father, who is also the cult’s leader, announces her wedding. Naomi must marry Dwayne Yerdin, a bully who reeks of sweat and manure and is the only one person who scares her worse than her father.

Then she meets Kai, the mysterious boy who brings her exotic new roses and stolen midnight kisses. Kisses that bring her a supernatural strength she never knew she had. As the big day approaches, Naomi unearths more secrets of about her father’s cult. She learns she has power of her own and while Kai may have awakened that power, Naomi must find a way to use it to escape Dwayne and her father—without destroying herself.

scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg

images

3 stars

This book started out so odd.  The roses and the kisses were intriguing but I think the author lost me after that.  I mean, I finished the book so it wasn’t terrible but so many things could have been tightened up.  It was a bit all over the place.

First off, the kissing.  I didn’t get it.  The reasoning behind it didn’t make sense to me. Too me it seemed like the author wanted her to kiss a bunch of guys to show her interest but it could have been done in a more subtle way.

Second, there was soooo much telling in this book.  I didn’t really connect with any of the characters because of it.  Things happened ‘to’ them but we didn’t really get a chance to ‘see’ them if that makes sense.  I felt like I was listening to someone tell me what they did last weekend.  No connection.

Third, there was so much going on that the main plot got kinda lost.  It seems that the story has potential, otherwise I would have never finished it, but there was a lot of ‘fluff’ added to the story and its seemed it was for shock value.  A lot could have been taken out and it still would have made sense.  And if a little more depth would have been added to some main scenes, I probably would have identified with the characters more and cared more about what happened to them.

I feel this book could have benefited from some really good beta’s readers and a developmental editor. But I’m no expert.  I may read the next one but I’m leary.

Curly Carla_small

Vampire Girl (Vampire Girl #1) by Karpov Kinrade


29769675Blurb:
 You think it’s safe to walk alone at night. It’s not.

You think the only threat is other humans. It’s not.

Monsters are real. Demons are real. Vampires are real.

And I’m about to become one of them.

My name is Arianna Spero. I was an ordinary girl, living an ordinary life, until my mother lapsed into a coma. Now, I am her only hope. She made a deal with the devil, and on my 18th birthday he came to collect. But there’s a way to save her. There’s something the princes of hell want more than my mother.

Me.

So I signed my soul away and promised to pick a prince to marry. I would take the blood oath, become one of them, and give them an heir. I would become a princess of hell, and my mother would live.

I expected fire and brimstone. I expected pain and misery. I didn’t expect beauty. I didn’t expect magic.

I didn’t expect love.

But the princes are keeping secrets from me.

Secrets that could shatter everything.

scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg

Favorite Quotes:

I sigh and look up at Jesus hanging on the cross. He always looks so reproachful, as if to say, ‘You think you have problems?’ but then again, maybe he’s just checking out the naked sculptures behind the bar.

She was a tall man once upon a time, and makes an even taller woman, given social stereotypes. But she is all woman, and one of my best friends in the world. Being transgender in a binary world can’t be easy, and every day I admire the courage it takes for her to just be herself.

“Right. Of course. That makes perfect sense. Mark of Cain. Hell dimension. Demons. What happens next?” I hold up a hand before he can speak. “No wait, let me guess. You tell me I’m some kind of chosen one and in exchange for my soul or some such nonsense you will save my mom. There’s probably a prophecy involved, and some danger, and you think your sexy charms will overcome all that and sway me to your way of thinking, yes? Sorry, dude. I’ve seen that movie.”

“No, we have four seasons. This is the beginning of winter. We haven’t seen cold yet. But it’s coming.” “So… is that when hell freezes over?” The look he gives me is funnier than my lame joke and I can’t help but laugh. He remains stoic, and I nudge him with my foot. “Oh come on, you know that was funny. Lighten up.” “I am the Prince of War. I do not ‘lighten up’.”

A part of me knows I have taken a life. It whispers to me of guilt and shame. But right now, I cannot listen. My mind thunders with rage. And there are more lives to take.

images

5 stars

Its been a while since I have read a book with  a plot that has so many twists and turns in it. Usually I have a hard time when reading those kinds but I loved this book.  It walked the thin line between difficult and simple for me.

We never really find out WHY Ari is chosen to be a bride of one the seven princes of Hell, also, they are vampires.  Pretty cool huh?  Which would normally make me hopping mad but the story unfolded so flawlessly and I was so engrossed with the authors descriptions of Hell that I didn’t even notice it till the very end. And even then I was so impressed with the storytelling skills that I just let it slide.

The parts that stood out to me were the descriptions of Hell.  It was so far removed form what we are traditionally brought up to believe that I was immediately in love with it. Think about that a tick.  In love with Hell?  Yeah, it was that good.

Ari is young, impulsive and all kinds of sarcastic, making for a lovable MC.  Her love for her mother knows no bounds, which shows us a softer side to her edgy persona.

I especially loved the Princes of Hell.  AKA vampires that live in the seven levels of Hell, AKA the seven deadly sins.  It was so awesome to visit the land of Sloth, Vanity and Pride.  Each prince represented their lands in a unique and thought provoking way.

And I can’t wait to go back and see what happens next. Spend the cash for this book people, you won’t regret it.

Curly Carla_small

Relentless (Relentless #1) by Karen Lynch


20427449Blurb:
 Sara Grey’s world shattered ten years ago when her father was brutally murdered. Now at seventeen, she is still haunted by memories of that day and driven by the need to understand why it happened. She lives a life full of secrets and her family and friends have no idea of the supernatural world she is immersed in or of Sara’s own very powerful gift.

In her quest for answers about her father’s death, Sara takes risks that expose her and her friends to danger and puts herself into the sights of a sadistic vampire. On the same fateful night she meets Nikolas, a warrior who turns Sara’s world upside down and is determined to protect her even if it’s the last thing she wants.

Sara’s life starts to spin out of control as she is hunted by an obsessed vampire, learns that her friends have secrets of their own and reels from the truth about her own ancestry. Sara has always been fiercely independent but in order to survive now she must open herself to others, to reveal her deepest secrets. And she must learn to trust the one person capable of breaking down the walls around her.

scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg

images

5 stars

This book is free!

So original.  I was expecting one of those paranormal love stories where the boy is immortal and falls for the teenager, but THANK GOODNESS that is NOT what happens in this book.  I mean, you can kinda tell Nikolas is attracted to her but neither of them act on it, which I found refreshing.

Sara is a head strong teenager that has always really relied on herself so I get why she is so independent.  But sometimes she was a bit too impulsive and stubborn in her decisions. She doesn’t do her research and just makes her decision based on one persons info.

Her friends Roland and Peter are awesome if a little immature.  I love how loyal and protective of her they are.  And when she makes a mistake, they are there to support her as well as telling her what an idiot she was for trying to do it alone.  I wanted Roland to make a move because he seemed to be closer to her but their friendship was just a very close platonic one.  Roland was very sensitive to her situation, and Peter was a staunch defender of her choices, always down to help her shenanigate.

Nikolas was a run of the mill alpha male.  Proud, always thought he was right, over-protective bordering on stalker-ish.  And good looking.  I was really glad he didn’t try anything romantic with her because I felt his character needed some more growth emotionally in order to make a real effort to be in a relationship.  I suspect that it was foreshadowing for the next book.

I would definitely recommend it.

Curly Carla_small

 

Aurora Sky (Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter #1) by Nikki Jefford

aurora-skyBlurb: If there is one thing eighteen-year-old Aurora Sky wants, it’s to get off the iceberg she calls home. Being kissed before she graduates wouldn’t hurt either.

Then a near-fatal car wreck changes everything. Government agents step in and save Aurora’s life in exchange for her services as a vampire hunter. In Alaska. Basically she’s a glorified chew toy. All thanks to her rare blood type, which sends a vampire into temporary paralysis right before she has to finish the job… by hand.

Now Aurora’s only friends are groupies of the undead and the only boy she can think about may very well be a vampire.

 

 

scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg

images

1 Star

This book sucked.  I’m sorry, its mean but I can’t think of any other way to say it. The romance was written terribly and was so choppy I could barely keep up with it. She liked so many people you couldn’t tell who she truly cared about or who she was using.  It had sooooo much more telling than showing.  It was told as matter of fact as possible and it came off as boring to me. The story line moved too fast to absorb.  It felt like lazy writing to me cause the author didn’t really get emotional with her MC so I couldn’t really tell how she felt.  It felt robotic to me.

I found Aurora quite weak and she seemed to put too much value on what others thought of her.  The story jumped from friendship to friendship so fast with no real transitions. She let her best friend slip through her fingers with no attempt to salvage it.  She came off as too whiny.  I felt that her emotions didn’t match her actions.  And the supporting characters had no depth.  It was all very inconsistent and as such, unbelievable throughout.

The parents seemed thrown in as an afterthought, not adding much to the story line except in the beginning.  I would have thought they would  have tried harder to be a part of her life since she almost lost it.  The dad leaving was just thrown in for shock value.

I just…really didn’t like this book and I won’t be reading any more in this series.  I’d love to give the author another shot in a different series I think, just to see if it was the story or the writing that killed it for me.

This book is free but I received it from Netgalley for an honest review.

Curly Carla_small

The Bear Who Loved Me by Kathy Lyons

Blurb:
31843813WHEN AN ALPHA MEETS HIS MATCH . . .

Between singlehandedly running her bakery and raising her teenaged nephew, Becca Weitz thought she had a decent grip on “normal.” Then her nephew vanishes, and life as she’s known it changes forever. Local legends are true: bear shifters exist . . . and her nephew is part of their clan. As is Carl Carman, the sexy, larger-than-life man who has sworn to find her nephew-and the other young shifters who’ve gone missing.

As the leader of his clan, Carl is surrounded by enemies. He’s learned the hard way that keeping a firm leash on his inner beast is key to survival, though his feelings for Becca test his legendary control. Then danger stalks too close, and Carl realizes he must unleash the raging, primal force within to protect everything he holds dear. But can Becca trust his grizzly side with her life-and her heart?

images     scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg

My Review:
3.5 stars — So I actually read book 2 first, having received it as an ARC…and you know what?  I’m kind of glad that I did.  Because I think if I’d started with this one, I’m not sure I would have been pulled into the world and I probably would have missed out on book 2.  Which is a long way of saying that this book was all right, but book 2 is DEFINITELY BETTER.  So if you finished this one and were kind of meh, but somewhat intrigued by Mark and the world, READ BOOK 2.

Unlike book 2, this one didn’t suck me in right away…  I’m not sure if it was that I wasn’t feeling particularly drawn to the characters, or if I had expectations of the story b/c of what I’d read in book 2, but it was a good start, but not a memorable one.  The characters were mostly the same — good, but didn’t blow me away.  I did really enjoy how sassy Becca could be, but sometimes I felt like there was a contradiction to her character…or maybe I just didn’t always *get* her.  And honestly?  I guess I would say the same with Carl.  He could actually be quite sweet, which was intriguing.  But I guess I didn’t quite *get* Carl, and in particular I didn’t feel like we got enough resolution with him and how he felt about his role as Alpha and the whole bear dichotomy thing.  There were a lot of conflicting feelings there, and I guess I just wanted a more clear resolution.

Which brings me to something that *did* interest me in the story — Ms. Lyons kind of dives into her take on what it’s like to BE a grizzly shifter, how the dynamic works in the head, and how a person manages that.  I loved when Becca got to “talk” to the grizzly Carl.  But I felt like the book was setting up a lesson and a learning moment there, and we didn’t quite get there with Carl.  And I really wanted that resolution.  I also feel like there was some set up with Becca being an outsider, and how that was going to be accepted in the clan, and I really didn’t get resolution there either.  Or at least not enough.  I know it’s a series, and so I know it could be addressed in future books, but since this is CARL AND BECCA’s book and it directly affects them, I guess I thought it would be resolved here.  So basically I really loved a lot of the set up of some of these little storylines, and the depth we were getting, I just wasn’t happy with what we got in the end.

And the little niggle that’s going to have me rounding down instead of up: Becca’s freaking nephew (that’s like a son to her) is kidnapped, and at a certain point that’s verified and it looks like badness is happening, and she’s having sexytimes?  I had a hard time getting into the sexy times as a result, b/c this stupid logical part of my brain couldn’t help but wonder how she could even think about that and relax enough to enjoy it when evil is happening to her “son”.  Is it just me?

So yeah, obviously I’m still totes dibs in for book 3 (Alan’s book), but I was a bit disappointed that this one did not live up to the standard of book 2 (which amuses me to no end).  Also: since this was not an ARC, but the final copy, I will say I was disappointed in the number of typos still in it.  I think I hold publishers to a higher standard than indies, and so I was disappointed so much slipped through the cracks.

Lenoreo_small

License to Shift by Kathy Lyons

Blurb:
31847091BEAR MEETS GIRL…

Julie Simon returns to Saginaw, Michigan, to find her ailing father’s missing research on local shapeshifter lore. Unlucky for her, the only person who can help her is the darkly sexy Mark Robertson, the guy who spent an entire summer giving her the cold shoulder-and one white-hot night of pleasure…

Mark is a hair’s breadth away from going feral. Soon, his grizzly side will destroy everything that makes him a man. And after years of fighting, Mark is ready to give in to the beast. Then Julie-the gorgeous, curvy book nerd who awakened his most primal desires as a young man-shows up at his door. Now, he’s fighting an insatiable longing to claim her as his mate. But Julie isn’t the only one after her father’s research. Someone-or something-evil is tracking Julie’s every move…

images     scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg

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

You know what?  That was just exactly what I was looking for at this moment.  I will admit that the cover drew me to this book, but not for the reasons I think you might suspect.  I’m neither here nor there on “abs covers”, but the colours on this one really drew my eye.  I know, I know…I mean, the abs are nice too (though if you know me well you’ll know I’m strangely not a huge muscles kind of girl).  And I decided as I read the blurb that I don’t read nearly enough shifter romances, or really just paranormal books in general.  So I decided I needed some variety in my life, and I’m so glad I requested this book b/c it was hella entertaining!

I was seriously intrigued (and amused) right from the beginning.  We have this super confused hero who is fighting his grizzly side right from the start.  I found it fascinating to see how Ms. Lyons portrayed the inner battle between man and bear.  And seriously, Mark’s growliness was just sort of…adorable?  I don’t know.  Especially when we get to Julie’s POV and she makes her one request of him before they eat.  Had me laughing my butt off!  Mr. Pink Cheeks indeed.

And so it went like that, with two very likable characters, some fantastic chemistry, an intriguing world that was built, a mystery to keep me guessing and entertained, and of course some great steamy scenes.  All in all I was just entertained.  I felt like things got a bit more disjointed nearer to the end, but I hadn’t actually read the first book in the series…and while that did not really impact my reading whatsoever (ie, I do believe these can be read as standalones-ish), I felt like I didn’t get the full experience b/c I didn’t have the background from the first book.  AND in my ARC copy there were quite a few more typo type problems near the end of the book, but I wouldn’t doubt those are caught before publishing.  It just took me out of the story a bit more (but again, that was my early copy, not indicative of the final release).

So after all that, the result is that I’ve one-clicked book 1 and fully intend to read it next so I can get all the nitty-gritty about Becca and Carl.  And then I’ll be either stalking NetGalley for Alan’s book, or waiting until release to find out how it all ends.  So my foray back into the world of paranormals, and shifters in particular, was definitely a success.  😉

Lenoreo_small