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

callie

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”.

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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.

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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.

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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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Jason & Cadence (The Wolf’s Mate #1)

jason

For 14 years, alpha wolf Jason has watched his partially marked mate Cadence live her life without him. Circumstances force his hand and he must find a way to get her to uncover her buried memories of their past before someone else steps up to take her from him.

For as long as she can remember, hybrid wolf Cadence has loved Jason with every fiber of her being,but he’s consistently shoved her away until the love that’s there is bound tightly in anger and shame. No one can take his place in her heart, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t wolves willing to try.

Will Cadence be able to get through Jason’s icy demeanor to the heart of the boy she’s always loved? Can Jason undo the past so they will have a future together?

This book contains red-hot werewolf loving, plenty of neck biting, and misuse of a kitchen counter. The Wolf’s Mate is a book for mature audiences only and contains sexually explicit content.

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This is the first book in the Wolf’s Mate series by R.E. Butler. A friend recommended it to me.

I had mixed reactions to this novel. The writing style felt juvenile to me and I had a difficult time getting into the story, although it did get better as it went on … or I just adjusted to the author’s style.

I enjoyed the storyline of Jason marking Cadence as a child, and then having to retreat and wait for her to grow up while trying to control his wolf. Call me a sucker, but I think that is a sweet tale of childhood romance.

I was less impressed with some of the convoluted storylines. For example, the idea that the previous Alpha’s Law still prevented anyone in the pack from discussing the truth with Cadence. Those two Alphas are still alive, just retired, and they should have been able to talk to her themselves, or lift the order once she was of age.

Overall, I enjoyed this short novel but hope that the series improves or I probably will not continue beyond the next one or two.

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Alpha’s Mission (Bad Boy Alphas #8)

ami

THE MONSTER WANTS HER. HE WON’T BE DENIED.

I’ve become a monster.
I hear blood moving in people’s veins. Scent their emotions.
I want to feed. To hunt. To mate…

I’m no longer a human–my life is over. I’ve left everyone I love. I’ve
gone rogue from the CIA.
My only hope is my handler. Annabel Grey is tough enough
to face my monster. If I lose control, she won’t hesitate to take me out.
But I’m not the only predator out there. Someone’s hunting Annabel. She
needs my protection.
But if I don’t get my animal under control,
I may be her biggest threat yet.

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Yes! Another book in the series … I knew the wait wouldn’t be long!

This story is a little bit different from the previous ones in the series. Dune has only recently turned for the first time. He didn’t grow up in werewolf society and has no idea of how to control the beast within, or the sudden urges driving his behaviour. He is also terrified that he will lose control and hurt the woman closest to him, his handler and love interest, Annabel.

I enjoyed the different perspective this book brought and hope that the authors incorporate these characters into future books as background characters, which it looks like they are setting up.

I did not give Alpha’s War five stars because the plot line was much too predictable. I would also prefer to see these books grow into full length stories, rather than short novels (less than 80 000k), even if that means a longer wait between books.

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Bad Boy Alphas

Bad Boys Alphas is a fantasy/romance series written by Renee Rose and Lee Savino. They feature a set of alpha male werewolves who are destined to mate one specific woman, whether she is wolf, human or another breed of shifter.

I discovered these books a week ago and have already devoured all seven.

Yup, allllllll seven!

I’m surprised I’m not dreaming about werewolves yet.

I have officially finished everything published (to date) in this series, but the good news is that it looks like the authors publish a new one every three months or so, which means, they will hopefully release more very soon!

I love these books because they are quick reads, have dominant alpha heroes and steamy sex, and can be read non-sequentially.

I do find that they tend to be carbon copies of one another; if you’ve read one, you’ve read them all type of thing. For the most part, the relationship is the same. I would love to see a book where the female struggles a lot more with finding out her insta-love is a werewolf, and with adopting the werewolf lifestyle, which involves domestic discipline. For another matter, I also think the authors are using a little too much artistic licence with their assertions that anal sex doesn’t hurt, doesn’t require much prep, and that every woman is going to love it.

Overall, I highly recommend these books. They are dirty, sexy, easy-to-read romance novels with a healthy side of fantasy!

Here is the cover and blurb for book one. These books are all available on Kindle Unlimited, at least at the time of this posting.

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alpha

MINE TO PROTECT. MINE TO PUNISH. MINE.
I’m a lone wolf, and I like it that way. Banished from my birth pack after a bloodbath, I never wanted a mate.

Then I meet Kylie. My temptation. We’re trapped in an elevator together, and her panic almost makes her pass out in my arms. She’s strong, but broken. And she’s hiding something.
My wolf wants to claim her. But she’s human, and her delicate flesh won’t survive a wolf’s mark.

I’m too dangerous. I should stay away. But when I discover she’s the hacker who nearly took down my company, I demand she submit to my punishment. And she will.

Kylie belongs to me.

Fatal Harmony by Anne Malcom

fatal-harmony

I may be the villain of the story, but at least I get a leading role.
Evil is a term thrown around history and literature as if it’s something so easily definable. A concept to fight against.
Evil doesn’t exist.
Neither does ‘good.’
Vampires do, though.
I just happen to be one.
I’ve cruised through the centuries managing to avoid all the wars, supernatural and human, but still going to all the best parties.
I would say I avoided bloodshed, but it’s kind of part of the whole ‘vampire’ thing.
I’ve lived on the fringes of a society that considered cruelty and sadism favorable character traits for almost five hundred years. Now I’m in the middle of a war that might just put my nonbeating heart in a lot of danger.
Battles, I can handle.
The impossible attraction between me and the vampire slayer, not to mention the penetrating gaze of the king of our race, on the other hand?
I might not get out undead.

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Fatal Harmony is the first book in a brand new series by Anne Malcom, who is one of my favourite authors. She normally writes biker romance set in California, so a contemporary fantasy series about vampires, witches, werewolves, demons and slayers is quite the departure. I try to trust authors I’ve been following for a while though, and I always want to support them, so I had this pre-ordered on Amazon as soon as the link went live and read it the day it downloaded to my kindle.

I am so glad I made this decision. Not so glad about the one to stay up reading until 3 am just so I could finish book. Facepalm! I really need to start campaigning my work to provide paid “book days” to staff. I do work in a library after all. It is an expectation that we read and often. Let’s just call them professional development days, shall we?!

First off, Fatal Harmony is FUNNY! I love Isla. She could be my best friend. She always has a quip or a quick one-liner and is heavily influenced by the entertainment industry, one of the things that makes her so different from the rest of the vampire race. She is fashionable, a self-made billionaire and hard-working CEO who is incredibly sarcastic but not in an unkind way. Isla is unassuming. She is one of the best-connected and powerful of all vampires, due to her genealogical lineage and friendships with other otherworldly beings, but spurns the aristocracy and politics of her own race.

Malcom provides a fresh perspective on vampire literature. I am so sick of reading vampires but I love her take on them. They don’t sparkle. And they aren’t “turned” humans.

Vampires are their own race created by the gods in the dawn of time, just like witches and werewolves. And humans. Baby vamps are born to vampire parents and grow up remarkably human-like, until they reach the age of sexual maturity and undergo a transformation into vampirism … much like a second stage of puberty. Every few hundred years, vampire women experience an “awakening” for one year, in which their body basically wakes up and is able to procreate.

Malcom’s world is well thought out. All of her otherwordly explanations make sense to me which is incredibly important because I have a difficult time suspending disbelief while reading. I need to feel that the relationships and rules of a society are “believable” even in fantasy.

Along with the POV character Isla, we also meet a wide range of other characters. Her best friend is a bad-A witch with coven problems and her “not a side-kick” second-class vampire friend (vamp mom, human dad) has hidden depth. The King of the vamps is seriously scary and completely intrigued by our dear Isla, which is even scarier. He is one sexy and powerful potential relationship. I cannot wait to learn more about him in the sequel.

Finally, vampires’ mortal enemies Slayers, are back in town and one in particular has some pretty big secrets. And sex appeal to spare.

Life is gonna be interesting.

Fatal Harmony is the first book in the Vein Chronicles. The second is in progress but no word yet on a release date. Sounds like 2017 though!

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Winter of the Wolf – Cherise Sinclair

Winter of the Wolf is the second book in the Wild Hunt Legacy series by Cherise Sinclair.

were 2

Blurb:

After years in foster care, Breanne Gallagher has the stable life she’s always wanted, living with her foster-sister, working as a chef, enjoying her comfortable routines. Then one devastating night, a hellish creature invades her apartment and shatters her fragile existence. Shifting between monster and man, it slaughters her foster sister and assaults Bree. Alone, wounded, her beloved home tainted by gruesome memories, Bree flees to a tiny wilderness town, following her only clue to her past.

Shapeshifting warriors, Zeb and Shay move from one pack to another, hunting the hellhounds which prey on their kind. Assigned to Cold Creek, they take over management of a decrepit fishing lodge for their “human” cover. Their first renter is a pretty human female who trembles at the sight of them—yet stands her ground. Furious at the hurt they see in her eyes, the protective nomads are drawn into helping her. Although no shapeshifter is ever attracted to a human, her scent is oddly compelling, and her ferocious determination to conquer her fears ignites longings neither loner ever expected to face.

Bree is healing, learning to shoot the biggest pistol she can find, and overcoming her fears, especially of the two deadly, disconcertingly attractive hunters. Her life is getting back on track…until she tries to save a little girl from a hellhound and discovers that everything she knows about herself is false.

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It isn’t often that you see a second novel build so incredibly from the first in a series. Often, the story revolves around new characters in the same format and world.

Well, the world might be the same. And the initial premise too, of an adult woman discovering that she is a shapeshifter and trying to find her footing on new ground. But Bree is such an incredibly different character from the heroine of book one, almost her opposite in many ways, that it feels like a completely different story. Her male companions too are different, friends and partners in the field instead of littermates.

While I loved the original story, I also loved the differences that made this one unique. Bree is vulnerable and emotionally fragile throughout much of the book, with a difficult foster care background and abuse suffered both as a youth and an adult. Yet she grabs hold to a new existence in Cold Creek, forging personal relationships and business ties, and just generally establishing a life for herself.

I love books where the heroine does this. I find that … gumption? determination? pizzazz? something … to be an extremely admirable quality. It is something that I have many doubts I could do but wish I could. One day maybe I will pack up and move somewhere completely foreign to me and start again. Lord knows I wish I could, and Bree gives me the encouragement that maybe it would be possible for me as well.

Another difference from the first novel is that the protagonists are werewolves rather than were-cats, which means that in addition to belonging to the territory, they also have a pack that all the wolves in their territory belong to. The were-cats and bears don’t have this second community so it was an interesting development that added depth to the Wild Hunt series. I wanted to tear the pack leader limb from limb, but hey – that’s just a sign of a great author if they can make you care so much.

Ms. Sinclair adds enough humour into her novels to make them light, even when there is dark content, and that is a rare and lovely addition to erotic romance. Here is a brief excerpt from Winter of the Wolf, a scene that shows both Breanne and Zeb’s true natures, and is humorous as well.

A sweet voice caught his attention. Carrying a small tray she could use one-handed, Bree was taking drink orders. As she wove her way around the tables, her sunny hair gleamed in the light from the wall sconces. The wavy tangle stopped just above her waist, drawing attention to the way her jeans cupped her round ass. An inch or two taller than Vicki, she was even curvier and totally appealing.

Fuck.

Others had noticed, as well. She was collecting interested looks from the entire male population of the bar, even Daonain. But, true to form, humans started the trouble. Drunk, human, and male spelled pain in the ass, and the centre table held four PITAs.

One latched onto Bree’s arm tightly enough she couldn’t jerk away without spilling the drinks. Another had the effrontery to grab her ass.  Taller than everyone in the room, Zeb had a clear view. He started to push his way through the crowd.

She scowled and snapped something, but the human males only laughed. And then, she pivoted and planted her foot into the ass-toucher’s stomach. Man and chair went over backwards, skidding a few feet until coming to rest against the adjacent table.

She hadn’t even spilled a drink.

She turned toward the other male. He snatched his hand from her arm. With a swing of her blonde hair, she moved away as if she’d never been stopped. Fucking amazing. Zeb adjusted his jeans around a disconcerting hard-on and returned to the bar.

Calum was waiting for him. “Could you do me the favor of taking out the trash? Just the two. Politeness is not required. The others may stay.”

Sinclair, Cherise (2012-03-23). Winter of the Wolf (The Wild Hunt Legacy Book 2) (Kindle Locations 1144-1148). VanScoy Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Winter of the Wolf is certainly a romance novel, but you won’t find gratuitous sex scenes in the first couple of chapters. It is a menage relationship between two male “cahirs” and one little female, and they take their time getting to know each other before jumping beneath the sheets. Sometimes this gets boring, but it works for this series and the plot moves quickly without the spicy scenes.

I highly recommend this series, it is currently my favourite in the fantasy-romance genre!

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