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Review: Gray Back Ghost Bear (Gray Back Bears #3) by T.S. Joyce

Gray Back Ghost Bear (Gray Back Bears, #3)Who would have ever thought I would find Trailer Park Bears fascinating? Well, the way T.S. Joyce writes them, you simply can’t put the books down!

The Trailer Park Bears truly do live in trailer parks. Broken-down singlewides, parked in the middle of the forest, where Dragon Shifter Damon Daye has brought them in to clear trees devastated by bug infestations. The TPB’s series is actually more than one series. The first tells the story of the Saw Back Bears, this second series is all about the Gray Backs. While the Ashe crew, the stars of the Saw Bears series, is the “A Team” of lumberjacks, well, the Gray Back crew is, as Alpha Creed puts it, “The C Team”. Rowdy, constantly battling, and constantly covered in blood, the Gray Backs are a misfit band of dominant bears. Broken dominant bears. Creed the alpha, Matt the man-ho, Clinton and Jason the goofballs. And then there is Easton, a bear so broken he can’t stand to live close to the others – and can’t seem to stop fighting, even when it might mean his death. A broken clan with a brutal and savage history, they are the clan that nobody wants to mess with.

Book one was Matt’s story. Book two took us deeper into Creed’s story. Gray Back #3, Gray Back Ghost Bear introduces us to Georgia Ames, a KickAss park ranger hired by Damon Daye to protect his forests, and his crews, from interlopers. Georgia knows alll about brown bears, from her stint in Alaska – where she learned to be terrified of them. Now, she is to protect them? Sigh.

Then, she meets Jason, a bear shifter who is apparently mad as a Hatter, and a group of broken bears in a broken down trailer park. Suddenly, there is a great big target on her back, and spending time with Jason may just spell her death.

This one steps up from the slightly disappointing second in the series. I loved Willa from the first book, and Georgia is another favorite. She may be terrified of bears after Alaska, but she never backs down from doing what she needs to do to protect her charges. She is a great character. Oh, and Jason is pretty OK too…. 😉 The next book is Gray Back Broken Bear (Gray Back Bears #4).

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Review: Gray Back Alpha Bear (Gray Back Bears #2) by T.S. Joyce

Gray Back Alpha Bear (Gray Back Bears, #2)Who would have ever thought I would find Trailer Park Bears fascinating? Well, the way T.S. Joyce writes them, you simply can’t put the books down!

The Trailer Park Bears truly do live in trailer parks. Broken-down singlewides, parked in the middle of the forest, where Dragon Shifter Damon Daye has brought them in to clear trees devastated by bug infestations. The TPB’s series is actually more than one series. The first tells the story of the Saw Back Bears, this second series is all about the Gray Backs. While the Ashe crew, the stars of the Saw Bears series, is the “A Team” of lumberjacks, well, the Gray Back crew is, as Alpha Creed puts it, “The C Team”. Rowdy, constantly battling, and constantly covered in blood, the Gray Backs are a misfit band of dominant bears. Broken dominant bears. Creed the alpha, Matt the man-ho, Clinton and Jason the goofballs. And then there is Easton, a bear so broken he can’t stand to live close to the others – and can’t seem to stop fighting, even when it might mean his death. A broken clan with a brutal and savage history, they are the clan that nobody wants to mess with.

Book one was Matt’s story. Now, book two takes us deeper into Creed’s story. Determined that there will be NO, absolutely, positively NO! females in his park, he was set back on his heel when Willa, Matt’s mate, blew into the park. Now, Gia is here, and Creed is wholly determined that she won’t change how he lives his life.

Honestly, this one sort of let me down. There were too many missing parts, too many unlikely ‘surprises’. Don’t get me wrong – I love Ms. Joyce’s Trailer Park Bears. But I hope the next is more pulled together than this one. It felt too rushed. Maybe a publishing deadline? However that may be, watch for my review of Gray Back #3, Gray Back Ghost Bear.

Hell’s Chapel – Lauren Creed (Celia Kyle) Kicks ASS!!

Hell's Chapel (Shapeshifter Urban Fantasy) (Caith Morningstar Book 1)

“Be careful what you wish for
Cuz you just might get it
You just might get it
You just might get it

Be careful what you wish for
‘Cause you just might get it
You just might get it
You just might get it”

Pussycat Dolls – “When I Grow Up”, Courtesy of MetroLyrics

 

Caith Morningstar was there when the first brick of the Mouse’s house was laid. Order. Secrecy. That is all she asked. Orlando is her city. Her place of peace, where demons (dems), angels (gels) and tweens (‘other’) come to rest, relax, and visit her bar, Hell’s Chapel. Well, when you are the niece of “The” Morningstar, have an unending life and a very, well, let’s say ‘eclectic’ family, you deserve a little peace.

But peace isn’t in the offing tonight. Not when a thelac demon and a punk troll have decided that busting up the bar is just the ticket. Then, when her brownies don’t show up for work that night, leaving her with a total wreck to clean up before opening time, well, Caith’s week isn’t getting any better. Order, People! Is that too much to ask?

And then, to top it off, her Uncle Luc (Lucifer, to those not related to him) shows up. Then, an angel with attitude. Oh, and let’s not forget Papa Alrick, Wolf Alpha of North America, and her other four Papas as well (yes, other four papas. Don’t ask.) Things get all growly and bitey and sword slashy before Caith gets to take a breath. To make it all even worse? Green. Eyed. Zombies. Then? Green Eyed Vampires. Can a girl not catch a freakin’ break?! It’s hard enough to convince the badass Angel of Destruction, Samkiel that he is your mate and really, really should put that whole “On High” thing in the rearview and get the whole boom chicka bow bow bitey bitey life mate thing on with her.

“Be careful what you wish for . . .”

There is blood, blood everywhere. Death and destruction, and pain pain pain. And for a girl whose mother is the sister of the King of Hell, staying true to her five father’s pure ideals of right and wrong is going to turn out to be a “Hell” of a lot harder than expected.

Celia Kyle is one of my all-time favorite authors of light-and-fluffy paranormal romance. She has bridged out here, under the name Lauren Creed (why bother, Celia? We are ALL going to love you to pieces, no matter what you write!) into Urban Fantasy. The thing is, even if you, Beloved Reader, are completely convinced you “only” like Paranormal Romance, you are still going to adore this new series. The romance is there (a bit too much concentration on it, admittedly, for my UF tastes, but it works with the story, so there ya’ go) but this is still UF at its ‘first time out the gate” finest. Caith is strong, fierce, and cunning, as you would expect Lucifer’s niece to be. But when your fathers are a holy warrior from the Crusades for strength and the ability to gut a man with a knife between heartbeats, Father Earth (Mom just can’t handle birthing All them babies!) for a connection to the Earth, her unicorn papa for purity, the Alpha of every werewolf in North America for healing power, and, well, the King of the Pixies for a sense of humor and the ability to vanish at a moment’s notice, Caith also has a heart of gold and a basically sweet nature – that she will cut your heart out for if you happen to mention it.

I am desperately glad that Ms. Celia writes fast!!!! I can hardly WAIT for the next book!!!

I received “Hell’s Chapel” from the author in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own, and my thought is, Grab This Book Immediately. Whee!!!

 https://youtu.be/hcFlokM2CgQ

What the Sleigh? Mina Carter

What the Sleigh? by Mina Carter

I admit it. I am a bit of a sucker for Mina Carter, just as I am for her often-times writing partner Celia Kyle. Their writing is light, fun and sexy, just what a ‘strained-brain’ often needs. So, I was tickled to see What the Sleigh? In my inbox. Book 10 in the Paranormal Protection Agency series, these books are just plain fun.

Ya know . . . just because you are the Grandson of the Main Man of Christmas, that doesn’t mean that you can’t be a true and total jerkface. And pay for it, big time. Nick Claus learns that the hard way when he stomps on the heart of Rudi, Granddaughter of the original Rudolph and his once best friend, childhood sweetheart, lover, and erstwhile “Woman Who Shall Be the Next Mrs. Claus.” And when Nick screwed up, well, he did a bang up job of it. As in, banging Ginger Snaps, an Elf, in Nick and Rudi’s bed. Rudi left, brokenhearted, and cut all ties to the North Pole. Even Santa can no longer find her!

Rudi has made a life for herself with the Paranormal Protection Agency, where she and her partner, Darrick the Pixie, are considered the toughest team in the agency. Life isn’t like the Pole, but that rat-bas***d Claus can’t find her, so it’s all OK. Until it isn’t.

You see, someone ratted Rudi out. And now the King of Jerkdom in question is in her territory, interfering in her life once again. And yes, he really is an interfering jackass. Well, after what he did to Rudi, everyone at the Pole pretty much hates his guts, and even Mr. Self-Centered Jerk comes to realize that maybe he really is the rude, unbearable jerk everyone sees him as. But can he convince Rudi that he has changed?

Or has he?

Rude. Overbearing. Obnoxious. Check, check and check. Oh, and did I mention manipulative as stink? Pretty much. Maybe he has changed. Maybe he hasn’t. But Rudi has other things to worry about, like a gang of murderous robbers laying waste to Santa Grottos in shopping malls, and she really has no interest in letting Cheater McCheatersanta back in her life. And if her boss, Iliona, forces the issue, maybe she should just quit?

Nah. She’s not letting some bloody Santa wreck the life she has worked so hard to gain since leaving his spoiled rotten backside in the dirt.

This one was just OK. I didn’t like how a strong character like Rudi was so wishy-washy, and, well, IMO she could have done a lot better than Nick – no matter how he claimed to be a ‘changed elf’. Nick is pretty much as described, and a bully on top of that. Meh. Not one of Mina’s better installments, but not so bad I wanted to strike her off my ‘relaxation reads’ list. The ending was pretty cute, I will give her that.

Shifters In The Snow Anthology Now Out!

15 novellas. 800 pages. Only $0.99!

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Stuff your stocking with this delicious new collection of holiday romances. These books have it all, from dominant, possessive bear shifters to winter witches to panthers and snow leopards. These supernatural creatures are ready and ROARing to heat up your sheets this holiday season.

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Review: Claimed By The Mate -Two Book Set: Feral Passions and The Alpha’s Mate

Claimed by the Mate is actually two books in one. “Feral Passions” by Kate Douglas, and “The Alpha’s Mate” by A. C. Arthur. I have reviewed both, one a wonderful story – the other? Not so much.

Parents can be so hateful. So cruel and full of spite, destroying the souls of their children on a whim, trying to force their will, destroying their child’s self-esteem. It never goes away. The pain of knowing that you are not enough, not good enough, not perfect enough, for your parents to love you.

Cheraza “Cherry” DuBois knows all about being unloved. She has her father’s height, his big bones, big breasts and lush hips. She isn’t out of proportion, she is just a big girl. And her parents hate her for that. While her sister got summer camp, Cherry got fat camp. And when she lost her virginity in the back of a car, while the guy took photos and spread them all over the net to humiliate her, he wasn’t punished. Oh, no. While she was kicked out of school and made a pariah by everyone who knew her, her parents made it worse. They cut all ties and threw her out of their lives like garbage. Their daughter wasn’t perfect, she was an embarrassment, and they made sure she knew it.

Now, ten years later, Cherry lives her own life as a marketing analyst, loving her work, but locking everyone but her sister, Christa, and Christa’s best friend Steph out of her life. Cissy and Steph have always been there for her. Always supported her. So when they beg Cherry to come along on a girl’s only vacation, a week at a private wolf preserve, how can she say no? A week in the northern California mountains, at a preserve and resort where only six women a week are allowed, where women can “get in touch with nature without the hassle of guys and all that testosterone-driven need to hike farther, climb higher.” Six women, the total focus of a bunch of really hot guys who are determined to make sure they enjoy their stay. Well, they do encourage you to bring along books, or knitting, or painting, or whatever other hobbies you wish to pursue. No Wi-Fi or cell phone reception, so the idea of total relaxation is quite appealing.

The landscape is gorgeous. The wolves come close, and the air is fresh and clean, just what a San Francisco girl needs to clear her head and relax. And it allowed me to relax as well as I pictured the landscape of the story in my mind. I could almost smell the air and see the wildflowers and the wolves. Kate Douglas paints a beautiful picture of the preserve. And of course, the massage that Cherry gets at her cabin made me way jealous… sigh.

Feral Passions is a lovely little paranormal romance that I truly enjoyed and will read again. I haven’t read Douglas before, but this book encourages me to check out her other works. I loved her understanding of Cherry’s pain and inability to see herself as anything other than ugly and unlovable because of what her family and others did to her. I also loved watching as she began to grow and change, beginning to believe in her own worth as a human being. Thank you, Ms. Douglas, for your eyes-open approach to Cherry’s situation and how her parents destroyed her ability to see good in herself.

The second book in this two volume set, The Alpha’s Woman by A. C. Arthur was diametrically opposed to the mindset of the first book. Honestly, it clashed so deeply with the strong woman character of the first book I found it disconcerting. Kira Radney is the daughter of an alpha wolf, and the mythology of the story is different than most paranormal romance werewolf stories. Here, the wolves came about through Zeus being Zeus, i.e., a complete and total jerk. Fast forward and the wolves have been segregated on earth, away from utopian Arcadia, and are now two warring tribes, the Hunters and the Devoted. The Hunters want to kill off all the Devoted, who wish to live in harmony and peace with humans and the other hidden creatures as well. The Hunters simply with to hunt, kill and rut. Kira is an alpha, born to the Hunters, but when her mother is murdered and her father tries to foist her off on a brutal beta so that she can be controlled, she takes off, only to find herself captured by yet another alpha. An alpha who captures her and drags her back to his home, only to mind rape her and pull the whole “you are going to take it, and not come until I allow you to” crap that some women, for some stomach twisting reason, think is ‘sexy.’ When it got to the alpha telling Kira that she was going to learn to be strong and in control, then tying her to a weight bench and raping her – well, that is when I stopped reading. That sort of cold, manipulative, demeaning savagery makes me sick, and I had to put the book down and walk away. How is rape teaching a woman that she is in control of her own life? The whole ‘out of control’ sexual content of the book, and the weak-minded female character thinking with her vagina instead of her head, was diametrically opposed to the strong female character of the first book. I wouldn’t have put these two together on a bet.

So, one beautifully done book and one bit of sickening, over-sexed savagery. Kate Douglas will get more of my attention, while Arthur will go on my “not again, even if there is nothing else left in the world to read” list.

I received Claimed by the Mate from the publisher in exchange for a realistic, honest review. As you can see, I honestly loved the first, honestly despised the second! Five stars for Feral Passions, zero stars for The Alpha’s Mate.

Review: Forbidden (Never After Dark #1) by Elle Thorne #ShifterRomance

Forbidden (Never After Dark #1)She dreams of a white tiger. Safe. Warm. Secure. Unlike her life. Oh, it isn’t that she grew up hard – unless you count overwhelming parents as ‘hard.’ So, she put Baton Rouge in her rear view, finding herself in college in Rome. Stuck with a tiny apartment and a useless, jobless boyfriend, life is a circle of class, coffee shop barista, and paying the useless video game playing boyfriend’s bills. Well, at least her parents don’t know that useless is still hanging around.

Oops.

When her parents call with a ‘surprise’ – i.e. guess who’s in town? – she latches onto the sexy guy in the coffee shop with a plea. Could he please, please play boyfriend for a day?

She really didn’t know what she was getting into. For Rafe Tiero is used to getting what he wants. And what he wants is Callie.

Forbidden is spin off of the Shifters Forever series, book one of Never After Dark by Elle Thorne. There is a strong carryover from the earlier books, which I haven’t read, but I was still able to keep up and follow the story well.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own.

Review: Spiral of Need by Suzanne Wright #ParanormalRomanticSuspense

Spiral of Need (The Mercury Pack, #1)“Nothing like being accused of attempted murder to complete a girl’s Friday evening.” What a great opening line to a new series by a favorite author!

I have been a fan of Suzanne Wright for quite some time – since I first found her “Phoenix Pack” series. The stories are well written, have great backstory and, within a paranormal romance setup, speaks to issues we all face today. Prejudice, hatred, all the nasty habits of humanity. But her works speak of the good as well – love, duty, honor. All the things that, if we would only concentrate on those instead of hating one another, we could become better, stronger, and more worthy of our presence on this beautiful planet.

Now, Ms. Wright has a spin-off that melds the Phoenix Pack with the newly created Mercury Pack. Led by Nick Axton and his mate, Shaya Critchley, a previous member of the Phoenix Pack, this first book is just as strongly written, and just as filled with wonderful characters and situations as the Phoenix series.

We first met Derren, the unwilling Beta of the Mercury Pack, in “Carnal Secrets,” book three of the Phoenix series. Broken and bitter from years imprisoned as a 14-year-old for a crime he didn’t commit, Derren is tough, introverted, and brutal. And the one thing he hates, more than anything else, is a Seer. But when Cain Holt calls, Derren can’t say no. He owes Cain, another shifter juvie prisoner, a favor. And he can’t turn down Cain’s request to rescue, and protect, Alyssa “Ally” Marshall from an intolerable situation in her present pack. Of course, Derren has every reason to hate Seers. Not only was he betrayed by a Seer, whose son committed the rape Derren was accused and sent to prison for. His Alpha and best friend, Nick, and his enforcers Marcus and Roni were also betrayed by Seers. Yep. Having a Seer in your pack can be a wonderful thing – but a bad Seer can be as bad as a bad Alpha – deadly and destructive.

Suzanne continues her wonderful world-building and character building, her story telling strong and well designed as usual. Betrayal, hatred, back-stabbing and murder are all part of the story – and yet the strong bindings of family and pack are intertwined, pulling the story forward and drawing me into Suzanne’s world once again. Suzanne, like Eve Langlais, is a strong writer of paranormal romance without the ridiculousness of so many other paranormals. Her female characters, both the good and the bad, are truly strong characters, whether you love them or hate them – and some of them you really, really hate! My ‘go-to’ authors for nights when I need to read strong women, complex plots and a great world so close to our own.

I received “Spiral of Need” from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own. The only thing I would change is the title – in my opinion it doesn’t really ‘fit’ the book, but otherwise, I would highly recommend it to anyone who likes strong characters and well written storylines. I would call it more “Romantic Paranormal Suspense” than simple “Paranormal Romance.” It is stronger than simple PR.

Publishing TODAY!

Giveaway: Primal (Wild Heart Chronicles Book 1) by Lucy Auburn #FreeBook #Paranormal

Primal (Wild Heart Chronicles #1)

Giveaway ends: August 30, 2015
Availability:
2 copies available
Countries available: US

He’s dangerous… I just know it.
One look is all I need to tell me this guy is bad news.
But I can’t resist the touch of his lips to mine, his fingers on my skin.
Some primal urges won’t be denied…

Belmont City isn’t a normal place. Creatures howl in the darkness, and they say the water is cursed. To out-of-towner Mara Finn, the rumors are superstitious nonsense. She’s a normal girl with her future planned out – until tattooed hunk Riker shows up to throw her off balance.

He’s a bad boy; she knows just by looking at him. That doesn’t stop her from wanting him. And while Riker intends to keep her at arm’s length, the panther inside him purrs at her touch.

Mara knows there’s something different about this bad boy, but she can’t put her finger on it. He’s sexy, hunky, mysterious… feral, even.

Their animal attraction will bring them together, but outside forces seek to rip them apart. Can love between a human and a shifter conquer all?

ON SALE for $0.99 during August only! No cliffhangers; HEA/HFN ending.

You can find the book on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B013L2EZQI/

And here on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26070368

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