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T. S. Joyce

Review: Bloodrunner Dragon (Harper’s Mountains Book 1) by

Bloodrunner Dragon (Harper's Mountains, #1)The last we knew of Harper, Weston, Ryder, Wyatt and Aaron, they were children, barely more than babies. Much beloved by all the Shifters of Damon’s Mountain, they were raised together with all the care and love any child could want.

Now, they are all in their mid to late twenties, all much different than we last knew them. Harper, the Bloodrunner Dragon daughter of Bruiser the Bear and Diem, daughter of Damon Daye, the Last Immortal Dragon, claimed Wyatt for her own as a child. Yet, when disaster happened, instead of hanging around and holding things together, Wyatt left. Left Harper alone to face life without him. Left her to face The Unrest – the time of sickness leading up to her death. But when Wyatt drunk texts Harper ten years later, she pulls together their old gang and flies to his rescue. But will it cost Harper, the last Bloodrunner Dragon, her life even sooner than the Unrest?

This is a whole new time, a time where all shifters have rights – but it also means that vampires have rights as well. Something that they believe gives them the right to take and drink from whomever they wish. It is a tough fight, but with their friends at their backs, will Harper and Wyatt be able to save Harper’s life, and start afresh on Harper’s Mountains? And what of their friends, the children of Damon’s Mountain?

It’s a pleasure, coming back to the Damon’s Mountain world, set in a new place and with the grown children. We only get a short phone conversation with Bash and Bruiser, but I look forward to seeing if the old gang comes to visit as the series goes forward.

Spoilery Stuff Ahead! Stop here if you haven’t read the book!

 

 

 

Someone griped about how angsty they all were, where I didn’t see that at all. Yes, they are pissed at Wyatt – they deserve to be. He left and took their love for him, and Harper’s, and left Harper dying without him. Yes, there is drama. It would be boring as hell without it. But these kids have every reason in the world to be pissed at Wyatt. That doesn’t make them “angsty” that makes them real. We aren’t really shown who they are at this time, what time has made them. We will, in the upcoming stories, and I look forward to that. As for your comment that “mates don’t have physical relationships with other people?” The whole “undying mate” thing is MUCH more unrealistic than the fact that these are written as real people with real issues and real heartbreak. Harper did her best to find another treasure in order to stay alive. Denigrating that with some silly notion demeans the reality (within a supernatural world) of Ms. Joyce writing real stories with real human emotions. And really – did you expect her to lay back on a fainting couch with the back of her hand across her forehead, weeping into a tissue as she dies a painful death instead of gutting up and getting out there and trying to find a way to stop her own death? Now that is patently ridiculous! Real women save their own lives in any way possible without lying around like some wimpy historical romance wimp! If you want that, well, don’t read books with strong, vital female characters!

Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t really care for Wyatt’s character. I found him weak – not in her writing, but inside himself, and I give Ms. Joyce huge Kudos for writing ‘alpha’ characters who aren’t all brawny, brainy, perfect. Her Damon’s Mountain characters definitely weren’t perfect – and I greatly doubt the kids will be either. Heck – look who their parents are!

I wouldn’t choose him for myself. But Harper’s dragon did. She saw the good – even thought I pretty much wanted to throw him over a cliff! He was an idiot, but he is her idiot. But then, aren’t so many men out there real, actual idiots that women have to teach to pull up their lives by their bootstraps? Sometimes it requires a light touch. Sometimes they have to whack the bastards over the head with a 2×4 in order to get their attention. She simply had to pull out a semi trailer and bop this dumbass alpha over the head! 😉

 

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Review: Boarlander Cursed Bear by T.S. Joyce

29751085“They say that abandonment is a wound that never heals. I say only that an abandoned child never forgets.” — Mario Balotelli

Clinton Fuller isn’t right in the head, not in any way, shape or form. Pushed from one lumberjack crew to the next on Damon’s Mountain, he has been a pain-in-the-ass for each of the crews. And the Boarlander Crew is his last stop before he spirals too far and the Crew Alpha, Harrison Lang, has to put him down for the safety of all the shifters on Damon’s Mountain. This is his story, and for all I have bitched and moaned about his presence throughout all the Damon’s Mountain stories, I have also gotten bits and pieces of his story all along, and have begun to feel a mite sorry for him, though I never really came to know him. But now, we all get to learn what made Clinton the way he is.

And you know what? I not only understand Clinton now, but my heart is totally (well, maybe not “totally” totally, but still) softened to his story. All of his acting-out makes sense, and I am so glad I got to know him. Of course, Clinton’s story isn’t the only story told in Boarlander Cursed Bear. The political story of ‘Humans vs. Shifters’ comes to a head as the Damon’s Mountain Crew (and all the shifters in the US, though the story doesn’t reach that far) wait for the vote that will decide whether the shifter population retains their right to live, love, and mate as they choose.

This is a terrific end to a wonderful series of books, and I recommend them highly to lovers of Urban Fantasy Romance who want a bit more than just “wham-bam-we-mate-for-life” in their books. These are deeper than that. The reading order, from T. S. Joyce’s website is below.

As always, my disclaimer: I have received books from T.S. Joyce in the past in exchange for a realistic review. I am not sure if I received this one for free, so I will just say that I have received books in the past in exchange for a realistic review and this one may or may not be one of those, but how I received the books has no impact on any of my reviews. If you haven’t read Joyce’s Damon’s Mountain Series, I highly recommend you read them in order. They are so much fun, yet running parallel to the same hatreds and prejudice we see in the world today that they are more than the sum of their parts. Enjoy!

Reading Order for Damon’s Mountains:

Lumberjack Werebear (Saw Bears, Book 1)

Woodcutter Werebear (Saw Bears, Book 2)

Timberman Werebear (Saw Bears, Book 3)

Sawman Werebear (Saw Bears, Book 4)

Bear My Soul (Fire Bears, Book 1)

Axman Werebear (Saw Bears, Book 5)

Bear the Burn (Fire Bears, Book 2)

Bear the Heat (Fire Bears, Book 3)

Woodsman Werebear (Saw Bears, Book 6)

Lumberman Werebear (Saw Bears, Book 7)

Gray Back Bad Bear (Gray Back Bears, Book 1)

Gray Back Alpha Bear (Gray Back Bears, Book 2)

Gray Back Ghost Bear (Gray Back Bears, Book 3)

Gray Back Broken Bear (Gray Back Bears, Book 4)

Lowlander Silverback (Gray Back Bears, Book 5)

Last Immortal Dragon (Gray Back Bears, Book 6)

A Very Beastly Christmas (Gray Back Bears, Book 7)

Boarlander Boss Bear (Boarlander Bears, Book 1)

Boarlander Bash Bear (Boarlander Bears, Book 2)

Boarlander Silverback (Boarlander Bears, Book 3)

Boarlander Beast Boar (Boarlander Bears, Book 4)

Boarlander Cursed Bear (Boarlander Bears, Book 5)

 

 

Review: Boarlander Silverback (Boarlander Book 3) by T.S. Joyce

29351627“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.” ― Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches

Kirk Slater is a rip-roaring, chest-beating, musclebound gorilla shifter, plunked down in the middle of the Boarlander Mobile Home Park, filling in for the C-Team’s rapidly diminishing bear lumberjack population. As personal guard for Kong, (Lowlander Silverback (Gray Back Bears Book 5)) Kirk knew his place in the world. But that was all turned upside down when Kong stepped outside the role he was destined to play and left Kirk on his own to face an entirely different life than the one he expected.

The world of Damon’s mountain is changing as well, as political pressures, prejudice and race hatred are restricting the rights of shifters in the US in a quickly tightening noose. And part of that noose is Officer Alison Holman, one of a team of two undercover police officers sent to restrict access to and from Damon’s Mountain. Unknown to her partner, a rabid shifter hater, Alison quickly learned that the stories she has heard about the viciousness and animalistic behavior of shifters is untrue, and she has been helping the shifters of the mountain. And when Kirk moves to Boarlander, she discovers that this particular Silverback Gorilla is appealing on a whole different level. And Kirk? After what he did to Kong, he knew he would be allowed a family group. But just maybe Kong had the right idea after all. One woman to love seems freakish and unnatural – until he meets Alison.

Again, the Boarlander stories are shifter romance tales, that is a given. But they are richer than simple bear shifter (or in this case, gorilla shifter) meets his mate tales. The stories are building into a situation where the shifters are watching more and more of their rights being stripped away by the human populations fear, hatred and prejudice. Something is going to have to give, and the shifters are banding together, going toe-to-toe with the humans in their own arena. Can they rescue their rights by gaining the hearts and minds of the human population of the US?

I have received books from T.S. Joyce in the past in exchange for a realistic review. I am not sure if I received this one for free, so I will just say that I have received books in the past in exchange for a realistic review and this one may or may not be one of those, but how I received the books has no impact on any of my reviews. If you haven’t read Joyce’s Damon’s Mountain Series, I highly recommend you read them in order. They are so much fun, yet running parallel to the same hatreds and prejudice we see in the world today that they are more than the sum of their parts. Enjoy!

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).

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.

Review: Gray Back Bad Bear by T.S. Joyce

Bad bear, no Bisquit!

Gray Back Bad Bear (Gray Back Bears, #1)
Yes, Yes, I know. Gotta have the half-naked guy on the cover… sigh.

If you are familiar with T.S. Joyce and her Sawbears series, you will be familiar with the Gray Back crew of werebears. While the Ashe crew, the stars of the Sawbears 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. But when Willa shows up, can things change for the better?

Willa Madden is pissed. The girls camping trip she thought she was taking with her high school gang to celebrate them all graduating college was supposed to be to someplace warm and beachy – someplace like Cabo. Instead, “The Bombshells”, Brittney, Kara, and Gia drag her off to Saratoga – Saratoga, Wyoming, not Saratoga, Florida. It seems the Bombshells are intent on scratching “Do a Werebear” off their bucket lists. Something Willa has absolutely, positively NO interest in. But, Willa is a ‘go along to get along’ type, and besides, she likes camping. And if the Bombshells are staying in a hotel without telling Willa, she is perfectly happy to camp out in the woods alone.

Of course, things change when she literally runs into Matt-the-Man-Ho. They find that they can be friends – snarky, smart-mouthed, ‘say what you mean and mean what you say’ friends. Of course, that is after Willa trips over a waitress and shows off her ‘granny panties’. Well, they aren’t granny panties to Willa. “They’re called comfy cottons, I’ll have you know. They came in six festive colors!”

Besides – “Ha! You, mister, are barking up the wrong tree. I’m a virgin and proud.” She waved her hands in front of her skirt. “No one has touched this magical box with their tally whacker, and I assure you, you won’t be entering my sacred temple either.”

Five feet of snark and attitude, Willa is determined to have a good time on her trip, no matter what. Until things happen, bad things, and the story gets a lot more complex.

Gray Back Bad Bear is a cute story, with both humor and pathos. I had fun with it, and if you like T.S. Joyce, you are sure to like this book.

Review: Bear My Soul (Fire Bears Book 1) T.S. Joyce

Bear My Soul  (Fire Bears #1)Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. — Abraham Lincoln

I’ve come to learn that the determined and gifted and genuine sociopath has far more power to deceive than we realize. — Walter Kirn

There are very few people who are going to look into the mirror and say, ‘That person I see is a savage monster;’ instead, they make up some construction that justifies what they do. — Noam Chomsky

Power. As the common wisdom goes, “Power Corrupts. Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely.” And Krueger is absolutely corrupt – to a monstrous degree. Because Krueger despises shifters. And to carry out his vendetta against shifters, he works himself into a position of power – the power to own and control their very lives. And when he loses his temper? Well.

Anger is the enemy of non-violence and pride is a monster that swallows it up. — Mahatma Gandhi

The Breckenridge Crew of bear shifters are suffering under Krueger’s thumb, forced to fight, kill, and flat-out murder at his beck and call. And into this mess Rory and her son, Aaron stumble, desperate for help from Aaron’s father – the father who doesn’t know Aaron exists. Well you can’t blame Rory. A one night stand is all there was, and though Rory didn’t intend it, Aaron is the best thing that has ever happened in her life. But when Aaron shifts into a bear just before his first birthday, her terror that someone will hurt or kill him for being ‘different’ leads her to cancel her planned trip back to Breckenridge to introduce her son to his father. But now, at age five, Aaron’s bear has become completely uncontrollable. Uncontrollable, and dangerous. He has already hurt Rory, badly. And in order to protect him, she must find help. Even if it means trusting that the man who donated the sperm to his creation is first, safe for Aaron, and second, is, or knows about, bear shifters. Is Aaron a huge jump in human evolution? Or do other shifters exist? And is Cody Keller one of those?

This is a good UF/Bear Shifter Romance story. But what makes it more than just another shifter story is how well Joyce handles the issue of Krueger and the International Bear the Burn (Fire Bears, #2)Exchange of Supernatural Affairs. The misuse of power, visceral hatred of shifters who only want to be left alone, and the political manipulation of a government agency for personal hate mongering and power brokerage is handled beautifully.

The ending solved one problem, but in such a way that I know the problem will continue in Bear the Burn (Fire Bears Book 2). I picked this book up after spending several hours in the garden, showering and then having a bite to eat. I picked it up as something “easy” with a HEA. What I got was better than I expected.

Review For Valentines Day – Bear Valley Valentine by T. S. Joyce

24716422

I love the big, strong, gentle, silent types – and Colin is exactly that – with the bonus of being an artist. How beautiful is that? And Colin is truly beautiful – on the inside, where it counts. Of course, on the outside it is a different matter, as the war with the Long Claw Clan (you really should read the whole series!!!) has left him scarred all over his body – and on his face – scarring that he fears will frighten and disgust the woman he has pined for over the last three years – Hadley Bennett, the very human local flower shop owner.

Colin is one of my favorite alphas ever. His kindness and compassion shine through in everything he does, and the whole Valentines theme is beautifully done. Another Winner from T. S. Joyce. This is a shorty, only 74-pages, but Joyce is a master of fleshing out a story in less than 100 pages. Enjoy!

  • The Witness and the Bear
  • Devoted to the Bear
  • Return to the Bear
  • Betray the Bear
  • Redeem the Bear

Review: Coveted by the Bear: A Bear Shifter Romance

24237782We’re all caught up in circumstances, and we’re all good and evil. When you’re really hungry, for instance, you’ll do anything to survive. I think the most evil thing – well, maybe that’s too strong – but certainly a very evil thing is judgment, the sin of ignorance. – Anthony Hopkins

The human race is a herd. Here we are, unique, eternal aspects of consciousness with an infinity of potential, and we have allowed ourselves to become an unthinking, unquestioning blob of conformity and uniformity. A herd. Once we concede to the herd mentality, we can be controlled and directed by a tiny few. And we are. – David Icke

Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom. – Bertrand Russell

 

Mira is hungry. Starving, actually. Alone. Isolated. Brutalized by family, hated by a whole town, to whom she is known as “Crazy Mira” and “Mira the Witch”. She suffers attacks – verbal, emotional and physical – from the town-turned-human pack. Even those who don’t attack turn their heads, ignoring the pain that Mira suffers. Ignore her youth, her loneliness, and her literal starvation. The humiliating acts and viciousness of the townspeople makes it hard, nearly impossible, to come to town, to buy even the simplest of food supplies with her meager funds.

The amazing thing? Mira is not bitter. Instead, she accepts – no, she expects their treatment, and doesn’t blame. She considers it her due. After all, she has never known anything but cruelty in her life, so there must be something wrong with her.

Right?

Right?

Mira lives alone, on a mountain deep in the woods, in a falling down shack left to her by her uncle (An uncle who died on the bathroom floor in a pool of his own alcoholic vomit.)

Out hunting her woods, hoping with all her might to bag a squirrel or rabbit, to ease the terrible pains of days of starvation, she comes across something she never expects. The town ‘pretty boy’ and member of one of the “five families” of their small town, Caleb McCreedy, is sprawled on her land, bleeding to death as a massive grizzly bear eats his horse – in all likelihood as an appetizer before eating Caleb.

Saving the pretty boy is hard – Mira’s life has left her terrified of people, especially those whose personal power can make her miserable existence even worse. But save him she does. And though she tries to warn him that being attacked by that particular grizzly may mean that he hates her for saving his life rather than appreciating her deed, he doesn’t listen. She is, after all, only “Crazy Mira”.

Let’s face it. There are a lot of paranormal romances out there. Some good, some not so good. But this particular PR is something different. Something better. Yes, it is a PR, and a well written one at that. But it is more important, at least in my estimation, as a lesson in the human condition. A lesson in how superstition and the pack mentality can turn even the best of us into cruel monsters, without a drop of compassion or kindness.

“My bones stuck out so much and my skin was thin as rice paper. When I hit something, it would split me open, and I was too young to know how to stitch myself up yet.”

This book is well worth your precious reading time if you want something different from the normal “boy meets girl, they boink, they marry, the end”. No. This is something richer, fuller, which I have now on my “keeper” shelf. T.S. Joyce’s books are bargains – anything from .99 to 2.99, or free with kindleunlimited, so there is really no reason not to enjoy them. I haven’t read her before, but I am looking forward to reading more to see if they are as good as this one.

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