Thomas’ Heart (Judgement of the Six Companion Series #4) by Melissa Haag


33010788Blurb:
 Thomas’ race is dying. To protect those left, the Elders create a safe haven. However, the safety of their sanctuary is threatened by the cause of their kind’s decline. A human. But, she’s not like the rest; and despite his hatred of humans, Thomas wants her for his own.

When females start dying while trying to reach safety, Thomas realizes it’s no longer just humans who pose a threat, but desperate males. Thomas must secure his place at Charlene’s side as leader of sanctuary, or everything they’ve worked together to build will crumble, and any hope of a future for Thomas’s race will die.

 

 

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5 stars

I was surprised at my interest in this book.  Although I suppose I shouldn’t be, it seems if I don’t like the girls story, I love the guys.

This story was different due to the fact that this is the beginning of the cycle.  (You would understand if you read them all) We get to see how some of the elders came to be.  Along with some insights into the enemies camp and the extent of their influence to the shifters and the damage they have done.  Not to mention how far they will go for control and power.  These bad guys are INSANE!

Since no one knows who Charlene is, she gets a very different welcome than the other judgments.  It was nice to see a different POV.  Thomas may be one of my favorite out all the guy novels so far.  I feel like his character had the most growth because of the difficulty they went through striving to bring order to a pretty lawless and violent species.  He didn’t want her there at first, even though she was clearly his mate.  This was telling for me in several ways. His pride in the old ways conflicted with the fact that he knew his race would die out if they didn’t change.  The parts where he started to realize this and was opposed by his own species was very intense to read.

Grey was my favorite and reminded me of Jim.  And they hint of Jim’s future in this pack at the end of this book guys so keep your peepers peeled.  Wini is in this one again – she has a pretty prominent role in this book.  We see the progression of Mary and Gregory – in fact, a whole lot of holes are filled in this book.

I was never a fan of Charlene and I gotta say this book didn’t change my opinion of her in the least.  She came off as over-aggressive and even a bit condescending at times.  Thomas was no angel either. He constantly used every advantage available to him to get his way. I’m just glad he was called on it.

The ending brings us back to current timeline. I’m very interested in reading the rest of this series.

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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.

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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.

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Luke’s Dream (Judgement of the Six Companion Series #3) by Melissa Haag


30194101Blurb:
 Luke’s been kicked in the teeth by fate enough to know: nice guys finish last.  He’s done being nice and waiting for his due.

Finding Bethony, another potential Mate, was supposed to be his chance at a true Mate. However, she’s young and afraid and needs time to get to know him first. Bethony has different plans. She’s willing to Claim Luke, but only to stop her terrifying dreams; she’s not interested in love or romance.

The closer the pair get to the Compound, the deeper the danger becomes. Luke isn’t the only wolf looking for Bethi. He must choose between Bethi’s safety and peace of mind, or his dream of finding a true Mate.

 

 

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4 stars

Ok, I really expected to flove this book since Bethi’s character was my favorite in the series so far.  But…this fell kinda flat for me.  Don’t get me wrong I liked it a lot.

Like how it showed his vulnerability. He seemed so noble in the original. Refusing to allow her to claim him since she wasn’t attracted to him yet.  Luke seems more relatable in this one since we know he still had the urges most males do. But it seemed he was just going through the motions sometimes to me. Or maybe I was getting tired of her ungratefulness towards him.  That could have been it. I still love Emmitt the most right now.

In this one I saw Bethi as a bit too hard headed and stubborn.  Acting like a martyr as opposed to just having a bad ass attitude.  She came off as way more vulnerable, not as strong willed but kinda weak.  Which for me became a total turn off for her character. I loved her for her determination and unwillingness to give up when the odds were stacked against her.  She just seemed to give up more in this one, even though its the exact same story!  Its a trip to see someone through the eyes of another character. It really changed my opinion of her.

I don’t really have anything left to add.  I’m moving on to the next one.  I hope to get a better view of Charlene since I never really liked her in her book.

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Emmitt’s Treasure (Judgement of the Six Companion Series #2) by Melissa Haag


29427404Blurb:
 After six years away from his pack, Emmitt realizes he has no idea what he wants from life. His parents want him to lead the pack, and the Elders expect him to further integrate his people into human society. His reluctance to take on the demanding responsibility of leadership has him dragging his feet to return home.

Finding his Mate changes everything. Michelle’s shy and beautiful and on the run. She needs somewhere to stay and someone to take care of her. Suddenly, responsibility doesn’t seem like such a burden to Emmitt. He’ll do whatever it takes to earn her trust and keep her safe…even from one of his own kind.

 

 

 

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4 Stars

I admit I was a little hesitant to read this companion novel.  I honestly don’t know why.  I love reading alternate POV’s but I guess I was nervous they wouldn’t be as good.  Especially since I didn’t like Clay’s character all that much to begin with and Emmitt left me a bit lukewarm in the original book.   But since I enjoyed the originals I wanted to give it at least two books before I made a decision to continue or quit.

I’m glad I did. I can say with honesty that this book was way better than the original.

I got to see how impatient he really was with wanting to claim her. The contrast between the books was very apparent.  And I liked that, because who wants to read the same book amiright? His feelings were so intense and wonderfully described. I got chills in some parts with how emotional he was.  And his control with his change was impressive as well. His natural werewolf tendencies tried to push through but he was able to suppress them in order to give his mate the time she needed to come to terms with her feelings.

It was a truly awesome book. Michelle seemed very much more withdrawn in this one and if I hadn’t read the original one already I would have said she was too guarded and skittish. And Jim!  Dammit Jim!  I really want a mate for you.  He is one of  my all time favorite side characters in this series.   He’s funny and wise and does whats needed even when no one seems to know what that is.  He is just all kinds of awesome and I hope he gets what he wants, even if its not what I want. ::sigh::

I would suggest reading this whole series.  They are a great read.

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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.

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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.

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Dragon Seeker Part One (Dragon Hunter Chronicles #5) by Carina Wilder


31117222Blurb
: Trix is a cheeky, redheaded Hunter whose mind is consumed with thoughts of sexy Dragon shifter Lyre. He’s gorgeous, amazing, perfect and doesn’t know she exists. Well, at least that’s what she thinks.

Lyre is an easy-going, good-humoured Dragon shifter, and has just one problem: he wants a certain red-haired Hunter, but he knows he can’t have her. And when secrets from his past start to rear their ugly heads, things get even more complicated.
Now he’s been assigned to find the next Relic, and that can only mean one thing:
He has to find his mate and claim her.

This is part one of three, and the two next books will come out every few weeks after release, with the box set coming shortly after that.

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3 stars

This book was more about physical attraction than a genuine one.  They both wanted to have sex with each other.  They couldn’t stop thinking about it.  But I didn’t really see who they were as people so I wasn’t able to connect with there characters .  And we never get to see them have a ‘real’ conversation so I don’t know if they were really compatible or if they were just hard up.

The chemistry was decent and I really liked the main plot of the story.  Honestly, their attraction for each other could have waited a bit and it would have had more depth to me. I was very interested to find out what happened with the bad guys but the author kept going back to the romance.  And while I’m a huge fan of romance, in a paranormal it is usually more underscored.

The bad guys powers were pretty cool and the dragons were awesome.  There were different kinds and powers.  They had an alliance with humans, which I thought that was cool. Most times the dragons are the bad guys but in this one they are good.

While I don’t usually tell people if its a cliffy or not I’m outing this book. It’s a cliffy. And the reason I’m doing that is because even though it is, I’m not reading the next one.  I wasn’t invested in the story enough to want to know what happens.  So that tells you something yeah.

It’s free so you can check it out and see if its something you might like, but for me the ride ends here.

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Clay’s Hope (Judgement of the Six Companion Series #1) by Melissa Haag


25176111Blurb:
 Clay is a man of few human talents. As a wolf, he hunts well and can fight off a grizzly twice his size, but has no aspirations. The idea of a Mate isn’t something he has ever seriously entertained. Dreamed about, maybe, but he knows the chances are nearly non-existent.

Then he meets Gabby, a human girl. She hates him at first sight, yet he can’t let her go. Who he was is no longer important. Now, who he needs to become to win her over is the only thing that matters.

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4 stars

This book is free!

I would not recommend reading this book without first reading Hope(less).  It is also free and you can get it here. This is a companion novel to that book told from Clay’s POV .  I found it intriguing because Clay was damn near mute in the first book so we really got a good idea of what he was feeling and thinking during their time together.

But really I think I may dislike him more than before.  He kinda just let life happen around him instead of actively participating in it himself.  Except for when he was about to lose her is the only time he reacted.  I don’t think he really gave her enough credit to listen to his side and hear him out.  He just kinda moved in and became a fixture.  And I didn’t really get his reasoning for that.

But that’s really the only thing I didn’t like.  Other than that he made a great transition on a personal level.  From being a loner and staying in wolf form to becoming a contributing member of the human world.  So I guess he did more than I originally thought.

Gabby seemed a bit of a brat in this book for some reason.  Reading the same events from a different perspective you can really see how the author can manipulate our emotions. That wasn’t a dig.  For an author to make me feel differently about a character is a tall order fir me.  I’m pretty stubborn when it comes to my first impressions.  So kudos for that.  Gabby took too long to let him in IMO.  But its been a while since I read the first book so I might have forgotten her reasoning for it.

All in all both books are free and well written, so what are you waiting for?

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Kara’s Wolves (Wolf Masters #1) by Becca Jameson

karas-wolvesBlurb: Kara Shepherd is about to compete in her last gymnastics meet and graduate from college. A week before graduation, her roommates drag her out to a country bar to live a little before entering the real world. She has no idea the course her future is on is about to take a sharp turn.

Justin Masters and his lifelong friend, Trevor Shields, share everything from their home to their women. At twenty-eight years old, neither has met their mate, nor are they in a hurry to find a woman who will end their long-standing arrangement with each other. Their dairy farm, a few miles outside of town, allows them the luxury of shifting to their wolf form any time they want in relative seclusion.

Justin’s world tips when Kara walks into the bar on a random Friday night. Immediately recognizing her scent as that of his mate, he is drawn to her by forces beyond his control. Nervous about sharing the news with Trevor, Justin is relieved to realize Kara is also his best friend’s mate. Now all they have to do is convince Kara she belongs in a permanent menage and track down a stalker who seems hellbent on taking Kara for himself.

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2 Stars

This book was mostly sex with little to no climax or plot.  I should have DNF’f it but I’m a sucker for erotica, especially shifter erotica.  I don’t know why I love it so much.  I’m a bit of a weirdo.

The MC’s had no depth but were very sexually active.  The threesome thing wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.  I would have like to seen more in that aspect; it really was just like the girl screwing both dudes.  The guys were best friends but never got involved, a fact I found hard to believe myself.

This review will be short cause the book wasn’t very good.  The end.

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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?

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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.

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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…

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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.  😉

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