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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: 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: Baehrly Alive:Goldie Locke and the Were Bears #3

alive
The third, and most difficult, Goldie Locke.
Wonderful character development, a fascinating
story line – and you MUST read them in order!!!!

Goldie Locke has come a long, long way in the last three books. From lighthearted, cutie figure in Breathing, she moved to a darker, more damaged soul in Bitten as she tried to manage the changes that being bitten by her ex-boyfriend Kodi caused within her. A strong Earth witch, having the bear inside her, a bear which she could not, and would not, work with put incredible strain on her. While she may have been able to manage the bear under ordinary circumstances, the bite came while her soul and her magic were half torn from her body, leaving the link between human and bear shattered.

At the end of Bitten, it wasn’t just the bear bite that Goldie suffers, but something even more horrific – and as we moved into Baehrly Alive her life, her world, and her soul are in dire peril. Everything around Goldie is falling apart, and those whom she has trusted and relied upon become the enemy, while that which she thought to be enemy could possibly become a friend(?)

This was by no means an ‘easy’ read. There is suffering and heartache galore for Goldie – more pain that someone with her kind and gentle heart and soul should have to bear. And things change drastically as she fights to save those whom she loves while finding betrayal on every side. But the thing is – Goldie is a lot more than she has ever seemed to be. She is strong, both in mind and in soul, no matter what is happening to change who, and what, she is. She is strong enough to stand up and say “No More” to make the hard choices and follow through. I deeply admire the character.

While there is heartbreak and loss in the book (this is definitely not the light and fluffy read that the first book was) the growth of the character is extremely well written, and she learns and grows from everything that happens to her, though she may be going through more heartbreak than any one person should have to suffer. There are odd things going on with Goldie – and in the very last sentence of the epilogue? A tiny spark of hope, a possibility that, though things may not be the HEA that one might have expected, I saw something there that I hope the author is truly planning to explore in a later book. A hope that all may not be lost. For Goldie is different – more different than even she realizes at this point – a difference that a creature more powerful than any other has noticed.

I was excited to see that How (Not) to Kiss A Were Bear is scheduled (hopefully) for March. It will pull the worlds of Goldie and Cindy Eller together, and will hopefully give Goldie some respite from the pain of her current condition, and keep us on track for more Goldie books to come.

Review: Baehrly Bitten:Goldie Locke and the Were Bears #2

bitten
You should read them in order. Get the first one for free on Amazon, then you won’t be able to resist the next two if you are crazy for character development and strong women characters!

In my review of Baehrly Breathing, the first in the Goldie Locke series, I said, “Golden Sunshine Locke, or Goldie Locke as she is better known, is my new favorite “Just For Fun” literary character!” And I can still say that Goldie is a favorite that I am happy to have found and embraced. And the fun is still there in the second book, Baehrly Bitten: Goldie Locke and the Were Bears #2. But life is changing for Goldie, and she is growing into her character, and into her life. A life that is getting tougher, and more intense in this second volume.

In the first book, we met Goldie, a sassy, funny, five-foot nothing who, despite absolutely hating it, is “cute.” Blonde, blue-eyed, and just plain adorable, looking like she is nineteen, at most. Instead, she is a smart, savvy woman with two PhD’s and a law degree, specializing in being the “most dreaded Magical environmental lawyers of all time.” What she really is doing is rescuing those rare and endangered creatures that need her help. Which means she has a houseful of creatures, including a baby dragon, a tiny, pink mastedon, and various other magical creatures. Her house is definitely getting to small for everyone – including the two guys who she is working with. And who both want her. Sound suspiciously like a triangle, but it doesn’t feel like that at all, so if you are like me, don’t let it bother you. It all works itself out fairly quickly. But Goldie needs all the help she can get, and vampires are on the loose, murdering and kidnapping. And these aren’t the “sparkly” vampires that are so common in literature today. These are more like what I would consider vampires to really be like – nasty, mindless, bags of bones, parasites of the lowest order, skulking in the dark.

In Breathing, Goldie’s ex, Kodi, one of the three werebear Baehr brothers, was forced to bite Goldie in order to save her life. Now, Goldie is fighting her internal bear as it fights for dominance and fights to mate with Kodi – something that Goldie most definitely does not want. In order to be able sleep as the bear fights her, throwing her magic around and destroying everything around her, Goldie has her mother bind the bear within her mind. And that is only the first of Goldie’s troubles.

This is, as I said, a deeper novel than the last. Goldie is still funny and snarky, but this volume went deeper, a bit darker than the last, allowing Goldie to grow and develop as a character. I started out loving this from the start because it was so light and funny. Now, I like it even more for the character development and the darker nature, while still hanging onto Goldie’s true personality. She is growing, and changing, but she is still immensely likable. Bruised and damaged as she is in this volume, I don’t get the feeling that she is turning dark or losing who she is in her soul.

Overall? I just downloaded the next book, Baehrly Alive. Yes, I am totally hooked. The bad part, of course, is that when I am done it will be “wait for the next one” time . . . (saaaaddddd!)

Review: Baehrly Breathing – FREE on Amazon!

Whee!!! (Jumping up and down clapping hands like a five-year-old.) Golden Sunshine Locke, or Goldie Locke as she is better known, is my new favorite “Just For Fun” literary character! Well, anyone who owns two three-headed puppies, several cats, a fluffy zombie Silkie chicken named Fred, and Petunia the miniature pink elephant (well, actually pink mastodon, but that is just being picky) is my kind of girl! And did you know that several types of magical creatures all together are called a “Mayhem”? Again, Whee!

baehrlybreathing
A sweet treasure of the Urban Fantasy kind!
Wonderful characters, a fun new (to me) series!

Goldie is an Earth witch, with two PhD’s, one in Zoology and one in Magical Ecosystems, and a law degree. Her job with the Baehr brothers is as one of the “most dreaded Magical environmental lawyers of all time.” Which is rather difficult when you are a five-foot blonde with a terminal case of “cute.” What is a girl to do except learn to be a Master Swordswoman and kick butt on a regular basis?

This is my first introduction to Elizabeth A. Reeves and her Baehrly series, but it certainly won’t be my last. In this edition, Goldie is stuck with an ‘Ordinary’ (non magical) police detective trying to solve the thefts and slaughter of numerous extremely endangered magical creatures. The story is extremely funny in parts, but also made me ache for the loss of such wonderful creatures in such a terrible manner. But, with her Ordinary partner, Donovan, her ex boyfriend Kodi Baehr, the youngest of the Baehr brothers and a total goof-off, and her awesome smart mouth, Goldie handles missing magical creatures, mystery, and mayhem galore.

All in all, I truly enjoyed this first new (to me) book in the series and greatly look forward to the next in the series, Baehrly Bitten.

Ilona Andrews and the Wonderous Excerpt!!!

magicbreaks
Ilona Andrews (Ilona and Gordon) have an excerpt on their website!
Click the link to read the First Two Chapters!!!!
It comes out on my birthday – HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!

 

Review: Laid Bear By Marina Maddix

laid bearThe female lead in Laid Bear, Bethany, is someone I immediately felt bonded with. A tall, “big” woman Bethany has friends and family who love her, and a ‘good enough job, but she still feels a crushing insecurity about her size. That insecurity leads her to make bad choices in men, and to blow off the encouragement of her friends who try to tell her that, instead of being unappealing, her curves actually are both lush and desirable.

Her problems with her self-esteem aren’t helped by the new landlord who buys the duplex she lives in. She could move, but the woods behind her house are her safe place, the place where she walks and sits and listens to the birds. A place she loves. So, in spite of her nasty landlord, Bethany hangs in there.

Then, one day, her new ‘duplex-neighbor’ moves in. And is her neighbor ever H.O.T. Oh, yea, baby, the man is a hunk. And what happens after that is a cute story of a woman coming out of her shell, betrayal, adversity, and lots and lots of good friends being just what good friends should be.

I actually would have loved more story to the story, if you get my meaning. At 176 pages, the book was pretty standard for this type of light tale, but the characters were likable enough that I would have loved to have learned more about them. I would even say that I would be pleased to see another volume with these characters. Especially with the ending few pages opening up doorways that could very well lead to new places.

Overall, if you are looking for a nice, enjoyable read, a bit of spice without going overboard, and an interesting group of characters, you can’t go wrong picking up this book.

Recommended for lovers of cozies, shifter fantasy and books that don’t encourage the idea that the only way to be lovable is to be a size two!

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