The Krinar Informant by Charmaine Pauls

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Zavir is a guardian. He’s the best the Krinar has. His assigned vocation is to uncover the Resistance movements popping up around the earth, and eliminate them. New information about a fast-growing Resistance camp sends him to Costa Rica, home of the largest Krinar Centre. His informant is a human girl. She wants to make a deal–her traitorous family’s lives in exchange for information–but Zavir doesn’t make deals, and he takes no prisoners. When the time comes to wipe out the secret organization, his pretty, innocent little mole will learn the truth. She made a deal with the devil, and the price is something far more tantalizing than information.

—                         —                         —

I received a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This is the second Krinar novel I have read by Charmaine Pauls. I am so grateful to have received an ARC because I loved this book just as much as I did the first one.

Zivar feels a little darker and more removed from humankind than his alien kin we have met in earlier novels. He and Liv don’t exactly engage in purposeful BDSM play, but he is definitely dominant and expects Liv to be submissive to him. He also firmly believes in punishments when she breaks his rules.

Liv is a fierce heroine who I enjoyed getting to know and would love to read more about in the future. She is kind, brave, loving and protective of her loved ones. This is one couple I would love to read more about one day.

This book definitely belongs in the romance section, but there is also enough science fiction and intrigue to draw in readers from other genres. I would definitely recommend this book to others who don’t mind a little kink with their love story!

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xx

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Two Daddies for Olivia (Cloudcroft Ranch #4)

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The moment he sets eyes on Olivia Baldwin, small-town doctor Dan Garcia knows what she needs. Though the desperate, hungry girl was just caught in the act of stealing Lincoln Sullivan’s car, Dan convinces his friend not to get the law involved. Instead, he brings Olivia home with him, promising to help her get back on her feet but also warning the beautiful young woman that any further delinquent behaviour will earn her a thorough spanking on her bare bottom.

Over the coming weeks, Dan is joined in his efforts to guide and correct Olivia by the town sheriff, ex-Marine Gage Collier. While it makes her blush to be bathed and cared for like a little girl and scolded and spanked when she has been naughty, Olivia delights in their intimate attention, and before long Dan and Gage have taken on the role of her firm but loving daddies.

After a job is found for her at Cloudcroft, a nearby ranch which doubles as a kink-themed resort, Olivia’s eyes are opened to the world of dominance and submission, and she soon discovers just how pleasurable it can be to surrender her body completely to her daddies. But when Dan and Gage learn the truth about Olivia’s past, will it change how they feel about their little girl?

—                    —                    —

This is the fourth book in the Cloudcroft Ranch series.

Many of the characters we have met so far make appearances in this book, including all the lead couples at some point. I like when the hero and heroine interact with other characters. It creates more of a community feel, where you can step into the universe these characters inhabit. In particular, there is a lot of Linc scenes, which made this lady happy considering he was my favourite Dom.

We first meet Dr. Dan Garcia in Cloudcroft Ranch Book 1 and he makes quite the first impression as a super kinky guy. Take this quote from Breaking Bella, for example.

Neither man smiled as they discussed bowel prep formulas, enema bags, and anal lubricants as though she wasn’t in the room. Her brain grasped for a legal out that would protect the future of her trust and the sanctity of her bottom. Loc 713.

I began reading Two Daddies for Olivia with the expectation that there were be medical play, possibly enema or other anal play, and lots of general kinkiness. The story was surprisingly tame though. There is dominance and dd/lg play between Dan and Olivia, and between Gage and Olivia. There are spanking scenes as well, but nothing outrageous or unexpected.

I enjoyed the premise behind this story more than the actual book itself.

Gage and Dan do not receive equal attention from the author, so I ended up feeling like Gage was a loose string to be tied up, or a third wheel on a date. With the way it played out, I wish his character had been saved for a future book he could star in as he is very interesting and a Dom sheriff is just HOT!

Dan seems decidedly disinterested in ADBL interactions during the first part of the book. He is a dom and is taking care of Olivia both as a service to society, and because he likes to help others. That is why he became a small town doctor after all! If the author had showed his evolution more clearly, or had the Dan admit to himself that his needs and wants were changing in response to Olivia’s presence in his home, I would have been accepting of this apparently sudden change.

Overall, the book was a little boring to me. As I mentioned, the heat level is much lower than I anticipated so that could have been part of the reason. If I had approached the story differently, or if this had been the first Cloudcroft book I read, my reaction to it could have been more positive.

* * *

xx

Lassoing Lilly (Cloudcroft #3)

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Sophisticated, confident businesswoman Lillian Adams spends her days managing a sizable staff, but her lonely evenings are spent imagining deliciously naughty stories about firm-handed men and the feisty women who love them. But when an emotional confrontation at work leaves Lilly at a crossroads in her life, she decides it is time to take the leap and see if she can truly make a career for herself as a romance novelist.

As both a working ranch and a kink-themed resort, Cloudcroft offers the perfect location for Lilly to learn more about real life spanking and BDSM. Though she is all but terrified upon her arrival, after meeting Lincoln Sullivan, the handsome, boldly dominant co-owner of Cloudcroft, she quickly ends up agreeing to spend the weekend as his submissive.

Soon enough, Lilly finds herself naked, blushing, and burning with need as Linc teaches her what it means to surrender her beautiful body to his masterful lovemaking. But though it excites her deeply when Linc spanks her bare bottom for any disobedience, Lilly struggles to come to terms with her intense arousal at being made to submit. Can she find a way to balance what is expected of an independent, modern woman with her desire to be taken in hand?

—                    —                    —

Note: This is the third book in the Cloudcroft Ranch series.

Lilly and Linc are a “mature” couple who meet in their late thirties/forties and their relationship bears the mark of older, more mature individuals. When compared to a very immature young person like Bella (from book 1), the difference between her and Lilly is night and day!

Lilly has trouble submitting at times, both because of her professional background and her lack of trust. She has been a strong and independent woman for a long time, and has become unable to relax, de-stress, or share responsibility, both in her professional and personal lives. When she meets Linc, everything changes.

I love that the author had her characters grow slowly and naturally, rather than suggesting that playing with BDSM is going to instantly change your personality. We change all the time as people – hopefully in ways that indicate growth. Lilly’s interest in BDSM is just one facet of this.

I love the western vibe that is going for this series. There is something about a rugged man that just makes a girl’s panties wet!

There is plenty of spanking and some use of toys in this novel, but the author doesn’t get too involved in other kinks.

I definitely recommend this novel if you are looking for a mature romance that still has kink. Also, neither Linc or Lilly have children.

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xx

Dark Sentinel (Dark #28)

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In an explosive novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan, a human woman ignites the desire of her Carpathian lifemate–and of an ancient vampire with a score to settle.

After the devastating loss of her entire family, Lorraine Peters heads to the woods searching for peace of mind and anything to quell the anger in her soul. Instead, she stumbles upon a scene of horrific violence, as one man lies helpless in the face of three attackers.

Andor Katona’s existence has been a harsh one, living for centuries as a monk in the Carpathian Mountains. Unable to find his lifemate, he almost welcomes his release from a colorless and unfeeling world at the hands of the vampire hunters who have mistaken him for their prey. That is, until a whirling ball of fury bursts onto the scene, determined to save him.

In one glimpse, in one breath, Andor recognizes Lorraine as his lifemate, but it will take more than their telepathic connection to convince her of their immortal bond. Lorraine is a lethal combination of cunning and courage. So much so that she captures the attention of a master vampire, one who has already lost what was once irreplaceable to him. One who will strike with deadly precision at Andor and his ancient Carpathian comrades in a war to end all wars. . .

—                        —                        —

Dark Sentinel is the 28th book in the Dark / Carpathian series written by Christine Feehan. It continues the current arc that is set in the United States.

Lorraine is a kick-butt female lead who doesn’t mess around. She is extraordinarily brave, steady and willing to risk herself to protect others. She is a martial arts expert and readily accepts vampires and Carpathians when Andor tells her this crazy new reality she finds herself in will be permanent.

Andor’s story helps bring many Carpathians around and creates a community feeling to this story. Sometimes these books take place in isolation with the hero and heroine interacting with few secondary characters. In this story, the reader has the opportunity to re-visit many of the recent primary and background characters from recent books, as well as meet more of the monks from the monastery.

Dark Sentinel is a solid book, with well-thought out plots and a nice romance, but it just didn’t do much for me. I will preface the remainder of my blog by pointing out that the Dark series has become hit or miss for me in a big way. I feel that it has been dragging on for too long and that the author should focus on some of her fresher series, but obviously there are plenty of other readers who vehemently disagree with that opinion!

This book served more to whet my appetite for the next one, which seems to be clearly set up between two characters that show up in the background of this story, although that hasn’t yet been confirmed by the author. I hope that those two do show up soon though, and maybe the author will even add a bit of kink into the plot… anything to change it up!

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xx

Saving Sophia (Cloudcroft Ranch #2)

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After a tragic accident left her alone in the foster care system at a young age, Sophia Montgomery grew up relying on no one but herself, but at age twenty-three she finds herself facing homelessness after her plans for a summer job fall through. Seeing no alternative, she lets two of her friends convince her to apply for a gardening job at Cloudcroft, a combination working ranch and BDSM resort. Though she is nervous about the whole idea, Sophia pretends to understand what she is getting herself into despite having no experience with anything kinky.

Sophia is immediately impressed by handsome rancher and resort manager Marcus Greene, but when her intense focus on her work puts her health at risk she quickly discovers that her new boss takes her well-being very seriously. After a thorough scolding, Sophia’s bottom is bared for a sound spanking, and to her surprise the humiliating chastisement arouses her deeply.

She soon learns that Marcus can be tender as well as stern, and being held in his lap and comforted after her punishment makes Sophia feel safer than she has in a long time. Over the coming days she grows to trust in Marcus’ discipline and guidance as he takes it upon himself to teach her what it means to truly surrender to a dominant man, but when Sophia makes a startling discovery about her past will she end up leaving Cloudcroft behind?

—                    —                    —

Not gonna lie, I was super surprised that Marcus was the hero in this book. I was sure it was going to be Linc, the brother of the hero in book one.

Nevertheless, Saving Sophia is a fun and sexy book to dive into!

Sophia grew up in a series of foster homes, so she hasn’t had the education and life experiences that she would have had otherwise, despite her intellect and drive to better herself. She is remarkable for not falling through the cracks and is a partner worthy of Marcus, who has also worked incredibly hard to get to where he is in life.

I like that both of the characters had challenges that they had overcome, as well as things they were still working on. Sophia is a much more likeable character than the heroine in book one, and it was fun watching her fall into this BDSM world, of which she is completely ignorant.

I also lived the relationships that Marcus has with Mum and stepmother, and how open and welcoming they are to Sophia. Those two old ladies are a riot and I hope they keep turning up as secondary characters in the series.

Saving Sophia has plenty of spanking scenes, but the relationship style is very similar to that of Jack and Bella in book 1 of this series. I hope to see development in the next books. I would hate to see each book (and each couple) become carbon copies of one another, at least in terms of their D/s relationship style.

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xx

 

Breaking in Bella (Cloudcroft Ranch #1)

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After Bella Mikelson wrecks her car while driving drunk, the spoiled twenty-two-year-old faces a difficult choice. If she wants to stay out of jail and keep her trust fund, she must accept a plea bargain which will require her to spend a year working on a Wyoming ranch under the strict supervision of Jackson Sullivan and his brother Lincoln, two tough, handsome cowboys who will not hesitate to provide the stern discipline she has been missing.

Seeing no other way out of her predicament, Bella agrees to the terms, but it is only a matter of moments before her defiant attitude earns her a painful, humiliating spanking that leaves her cheeks blushing and her bare bottom burning.

As she grows accustomed to life on the ranch, however, Jackson’s firm-handed dominance sets her once-hidden passion on fire, and soon she is yearning for him to claim her properly. But is she just a project for him, or is he ready to be the master she has desperately needed for so long?

Publisher’s Note: Breaking in Bella is the first book of the Cloudcroft Ranch series. It is a stand-alone erotic romance novel which includes spankings, sexual scenes including a threesome, and more. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.

—                         —                         —

Breaking in Bella was a very interesting read. This book was not at all what I expected, but I still enjoyed it very much. I actually sped through all four books in this series in three days and will absolutely read more if the author writes them!

Bella is a difficult main character to identify with and like. She is spoiled, unskilled, whiny and constantly lands herself in situations far beyond her depth. The author had a tough job to make the reader fall in love with Bella, and I don’t quite think she managed, at least for me. That being said, Bella’s history shaped who she is and this is explained to the reader, and she makes huge strides to better herself throughout the course of the story.

The hero, Jack, is super sexy and so are the others, who happily have books of their own 🙂

The book is billed as a MMf romance but it is NOT. Although there are some menage scenes, the relationship is strictly between Bella and Jack.

There are plenty of sexy spanking scenes and emotional outbursts in Breaking in Bella, but few other instances of BDSM. I was dubious when I stumbled upon this book because of the title, but I was very relieved to find that the dominant characters always treat their submissives – and all women – with respect. The term “breaking” in this case wasn’t used in a sinister manner.

I love western romances. Maybe its because I am a country girl at heart, but something about the mountains and cowboy country just gets me every time.

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xx

 

Magic in the Wind (Drake Sisters #1)

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“Sarah’s coming home.” Ever since Damon Wilder sought refuge in Sea Haven, he’s heard the same breathless rumor pass the lips of nearly every local in the sleepy coastal town. Even the wind seems to whisper her name – a reverie so powerfully suggestive that it carries the curious Damon to Sarah’s clifftop home, and seeks to shelter him there.

But Damon has not arrived alone. Two men have tracked him to Sea Haven, and into the shadows of Drake House, where Sarah hides her own secrets. And danger- as well as a desire more urgent than either has ever known- is just a whisper away…

—                         —                         —

The Drake Sisters series is one that I have read many, many times in the past. It is one of my favourite series ever but I have never shared my love for these books on this blog. I have started re-reading the books this summer to try and get out of this book slump I feel stuck in, and now I remember just why I loved these books so much. They are so FUNNY!

I literally LOL when reading the Drakes. The interactions between them and Jonas are hilarious. 

Sarah is the oldest sister. Her story is told in the book Magic in the Wind. It is a novella, something I have always regretted. Her story is also included at the start of Sea Storm, which contains book four in this series as well.

I never really liked Sarah all that much, nor did I warm to her fiance, Damon. Sarah is the oldest of the seven magical Drake sisters and as such, is bossy, a bit self-righteous and seemed like a stick in the mud. In re-reading her story though, I rediscovered her generosity, kindness, patience and sense of humour. She is also hugely protective of her family!

We don’t get too much of Damon in this novella – probably due to the word count – but fans of the series learn more in other books.

I think that the reason I never warmed to Sarah is because her book was such a short introduction to the series. It is less than half the word count of Abbey’s book! Poor Sarah really drew the short straw. In addition, I am nothing like Sarah, whereas I can relate much more easily to some of her sisters.

I enjoyed rereading this book and am excited to keep moving through this series. Now the dilemma though – do I keep going right away because I am in the mood to read them, or do I wait until Christmastime, (the second novel in the series is set at Christmas) to continue???

* * * *    (it would have been 5 if it was novel-length!)

xx

Strong Hold (Redemption #5)

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Fight promoter Zack Grayson is on the prowl for a rising star. As the top recruiter of a prestigious MMA promotion company, he wants to take someone where he was never able to go: the top of the professional league. He didn’t expect that someone to be the woman he loved…and left.

Top-ranked MMA amateur fighter Shayla “Shilla the Killa” Tyler built walls around her heart when Zack left her seven years ago–and again when her husband turned violent. Now, seeing Zack is nearly enough to send those walls crumbling. But she can’t risk the exposure of the limelight, and she definitely can’t risk another heartbreak.

As Shayla and Zack grow closer, though, business turns personal. And once their passion unleashes, there’s no going back…

—                         —                         —

This book had a somewhat different perspective than the others in the series because the heroine is a fighter. The hero is as well, but the previous female leads did not start off in the cage. Beyond that point, the books follow the same general format that all the rest of them have.

I read this book in two sittings although it did not have the same draw as the first in the series did.

There is less cage-fighting in this book than in the past, as least so far as I recall, with more of the story focused on the emotional connection between Shayla and Zack.

Strong Hold is a second chance romance and will likely be followed by the sixth book in the Redemption series in a year or so.

Although there is nothing that I can point to and say this is why I didn’t like the book, it just didn’t draw me in or stick with me. Not one I would read again or that I find memorable.

xx

Callie & The Cats (The Wolf’s Mate #3)

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Callie Hunter, best friend to alpha half-wolf Cadence, has had enough of the pack life. Setting her sights on anyplace without wolves, she heads north only to be sidetracked by a devastating car crash that brings her face to face with twin mountain lions.

Ethan and Eryx, small town sheriff’s deputies, knew the moment they touched Callie that she was the mate they’d always wanted. But mountain lion females don’t take kindly to sharing their males with anyone else and will do anything in their power to discourage Callie from sticking around. Will Ethan and Eryx’s desire for Callie cost them everything, or will Callie find her inner wolf and the home she’s always dreamed of?

This novel contains menage-a-trois, hunky cops, handcuffs, an on-the-run she-wolf, sex in every room in the house, and inappropriate use of the phrase “assault with a deadly weapon”.

—                          —                          —

Not gonna lie, I hated this book. I started this series on the recommendation of a friend, and thought that I would push through even though I didn’t love the first two. Not everything has to be a five star book right?!

Nope, should have trusted my instincts on this one.

Callie is a bitch!

Her whole life, she has hidden behind her best friend Cadence. I understand that “Cades” is an alpha and Callie is extremely submissive, and unconfident, but she is still her “best friend”. Cadence was willing to fight with her Alpha and husband over Callie, but as soon as Callie leaves town she turns on back on the one person who has been her true friend and supporter all these years.

Callie forgets to invite Cadence and anyone else from the wolf pack she grew up in to her wedding, even though she has only been gone for a few weeks. When they invite themselves and travel across the country to attend, things go so badly that the Pack leaves without attending the wedding and their friendship ends.

I also hated that the author has Cadence question her relationship with her mate Jason in this book. They were the hero/ine of the first novel. It is super weird to start tearing their relationship apart in the third book of a romance series.

The author finishes off the book by suggesting that we outgrow our friends and that this is the natural order of things. She is right that this can happen, except that isn’t the case in this instance and to suggest otherwise is insulting. I truly feel like Cadence is better off without Callie and her cats in her life. I won’t be returning to this series either.

*

xx

Linus & The Angel (The Wolf’s Mate #2)

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He thinks he’ll be alone forever:
Linus Mayfield has a lot of good things in his life: fourth ranked in the Tressel wolf pack, nice house, decent job, and plenty of friends. What he doesn’t have is what he longs for most – a true mate. His first foray into marriage was a disaster and he’s certain he’ll never be free to love again.

She’ll prove him wrong:
Karly is an Angel, a supernaturally perfect mate for one special werewolf. She’s spent the last 15 months looking for her mate, only to nearly die before she ever meets him. One icy winter night changes both of their lives forever.

When their past interferes with their future, will all be lost in the darkness, or will he find his perfect angel in time? This book contains plenty of claws and fangs, possessive werewolves willing to move heaven and earth for their mates, red hot werewolf sex, a sweet wolf with a heart of gold and an angel made just for him.

—                         —                         —

I had mixed feelings to the first book in this series, but decided to give #2 a try anyway. It was not one of my favourites; I couldn’t relate to the lead characters at all.

I appreciate that the author was attempting to write a male werewolf who wasn’t a complete Alpha, but I thought he was completely wimpy. Not my cup of tea at all.

In addition, the heroine Karly is his supernatural soulmate, designed perfectly for him by the Gods. She is the descendent of a werewolf and an angel and will conceive female angels and male alpha wolves with her true mate, Linus.

The soul mate storyline doesn’t bother me, but Karly seemed like a weird Stepford wife. She had no personal aspirations other than to take care of her mate and raise babies. She doesn’t care where they live or what her mate decides for their future, as long as they remain together. I don’t mind Mf relationships in my books (in fact I prefer it), but this went well into the realm of creepy in my opinion.

This is not a book that I would read again or one that I enjoyed. However, keep in mind that you may have a completely different opinion, especially if you are tired of alpha male heroes.

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xx