Shifting Darkness (A Forest of Darkness #4) by Kate Wendley


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Oh, wow, NOW we’re talking! Though the first three books were equally full of suspense and fast-paced action and romance, I feel like they paled in comparison to this one.

In the new book of the Forest of Darkness series, we learn Vince’s secret and watch him fight through numerous obstacles to finally get his own HEA. In case you didn’t notice, Vince is the cute half-korean guy that works at the bookstore Kaia likes to visit. He’s sort of her friend, too, but, as we found out earlier in the series through Anthony’s mind, the guy is a closeted shifter. In this book, though we continue reading about the growing relationship between the Vampire Master of Atlanta and his human bride, we also get to experience the romance in Vince’s life with another shifter, Penny.

Admittedly, I loved the family drama that the LaRue family had to offer a bit more than Anthony’s. The reason behind Vince’s father doing all those things to his mother was much more believable and justified in my eyes than what Isaac had done with his son. Not only that, but the Korean shifter was actually trying hard in his own way without patronizing his child. And while I would have liked some kind of spark between him and Vince’s mother, I have to say I wasn’t bothered by Ed in the mix – it made things even more interesting.

Vince as a male lead was pretty nice. He had those Alpha tendencies but his health and the multiple blows his self-esteem had gotten over the years slowed him down a lot. So many flaws, and insecurities, and yet so much effort to live life as much as he could, to make sure his loved ones got everything they wanted. He was truly such a sweet, heartbroken guy, even when he snapped at those around him, and watching him struggle really pulled at my heartstrings.

Now, Penny… She was okay, I guess… At some points I got frustrated with her constant attitude and the whole “rebel without a reason” theme she had going on – and she gave Vince the hardest time in the history of snappy female heroines ever! Ready to start shooting her mouth and get insulted at every single breath she thought he took wrong! BUT! I have to admit, though it pains me, that most women her age do that – I certainly did back then. So, thumbs up to Kate Wendley for making a young woman so realistic! That was brilliant and done wonderfully!

As for the pace, it was fast as always and without a moment’s rest. The story keeps getting more and more intriguing, and instead of undoing all the knots, each addition to the series only adds more to the mix! I love it! I never know what new things will come this way with each new title!

P.S.: the people need some Zach loving, by the way! God, this man get hotter and hotter, and so funny yet mysterious! He needs a woman who’ll appreciate him for more than his sexy ass! Just saying…

***I was given a review copy via Reeading Alley in exchange for an honest review. The opinion stated in this review is solely mine, and no compensation was given or taken to alter it.***




Worthy of Song and Story (Stian the Viking, #1) by Neal Chase


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I’m going to be quick about this because I really don’t have the time with my exams going on this weekend.

This was like a weird, and rather failed, Percy Jackson story – with Norse mythology, though (and no, Magnus Chase doesn’t count as something like that because that’s actually enjoyable). We get the child with the divine parents, who at first doesn’t know his heritage, and then he tries to help and save said parents. Honestly, it would have been much better, but Stian ruined it all by himself. I seriously have seen only a handful of main characters like him – and I hope they remain as many as that, really.

I would have liked to say that I view it this way because I’m no longer a child and this is obviously fiction for children, but in all honesty, I think me being an adult is actually what kept me reading this book until the very end. My teenage self would have stopped midway. My 10-year-old self would have “gifted” it like she was oh so generous to some unfortunate classmate pretending to want them to enjoy it, only to bask in the secret knowledge that the other kid really had no clue they were reading low quality fiction – unless they were as fanatic readers as I was, in which case they would have found me after they started reading it to throw it at my head (yes, I was a mean and snobbish bookworm brat, I’ll admit as much).

So, no more Stian for me, thank you very much – and no Dahlia, too, because she was even worse than him at times…

***I was given an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinion stated in this review is solely mine, and no compensation was given or taken to alter it.***



Daring to Dream (Dream Trilogy #1) by Nora Roberts


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“I love you, Margo. Maybe it was my poor sense that made me love you before. But I’m even more in love with the woman I’m with now.”– Joshua Templeton

Ugh, WHY must every trilogy or series have at least a main character I can’t stand? Not only that, but when it happens to be the one leading the story in the first book, it makes the situation even worse!

As you may have already guessed, I’m talking about Margo – for those of you who may have witnessed my rants on Facebook while I was reading her story. Well, OK, maybe a little bit of Josh, too.

We’re talking about two self-centered, shallow, arrogant and vain people who somehow were in love with each other ever since their childhood, yet decided to screw around since they figured out on their own (?) that there would be no chance in hell the other might like them back. And now that the – I’m seriously trying not to unleash all of my swearing vocabulary on Margo to show what I really believe of her – female of the pair has found herself in a pinch – OF HER OWN MAKING, MIGHT I ADD!!! – the male swoops in, and tries to make her his. Only, Josh is also a jealous as heck dude – not that I blame him, though it was still irritating – and while he wants Margo, he can’t find it in himself to trust her either – again, understandable, but there is only so much my poor nerves can take of petty males and their equally petty females, thank you very much…

The only times when those two showed SOME resemblance of altruistic kindness and caring for a person other than themselves, was when Laura, Josh’s sister and Margo’s friend, came in the picture. I swear, those scenes were the only ones where I felt I might like them a little bit – but then they were left alone again, and I resumed my position of banging my head against the wall.

All in all, the book escaped the DNF section because: a) it’s NR, and I respect the woman’s awesome way of telling a story, even if its characters suck, and b) the dialogues, and Kate, were worth the time and struggle to finish this.

“I love you, Josh. God help both of us.” – Margo Sullivan



The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time #1) by Robert Jordan


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Oh, this one has been waiting on my shelf for waaaaaay too long! I’m not kidding, I think back when I was 20 years old, I had taken a vacation trip to Rhodes, and I had this very book in my bag – and that was 6 years ago! I know, I know, I took much longer than one would expect of me to finish it, but in my defense, it was the kind of book you don’t just breeze through at your own convenience, so…

Rand al’Thor has always been a normal boy, a farmer, a sheepherder. But when Trollocs attack his village, the truth is far from what he believed. Hunted down by the Dark One himself, Rand will have to face more dangers than he ever thought possible, and man up in more ways than one – not only in order to survive, but also in order to protect the world from the great evil that has been stirring once again.

OK, I’ll admit, Robert Jordan’s writing takes some getting used to. It took me forever to slowly and painfully reach the middle of the book – once I did, it was much easier for the story to flow. The build-up, despite the fast pace, was quite slow in my eyes, and there were too many descriptions at times or outstretched inner thoughts and battles in the characters. It was easy to lose focus and interest, and there had been MONTHS between some chapters for me to get back at reading it.

Fortunately, it all seemed to pick up after the first half of the book was done. Thank God for small miracles! After that, it was easy to lose myself in the story and finally enjoy it, agonizing over the characters and their unfortunate accidents that never seemed to stop. Well, OK, not ALL the characters…

Egwene and Rand couldn’t be any more boring if they TRIED. Too cliché, if you ask me, too predictable, and, more often than not, plainly annoying. The girl especially grated on my poor nerves. She was just so… girly? I don’t know, she really reminded of heroines I used to find in young adult romances – back in my dark highschool days, may they forever stay burried there – and this gave me the hibby jibbies every time she had to appear on the page. And Rand was way too much like the usual cliché hero.

As it is, I enjoyed this book thanks to all the others! Loial was adorable, and Moiraine so brilliantly mysterious. Mat was hilarious, and would have been my top favorite as it happens with every comical relief in any other series I’ve read, but… Perrin won my heart. That sweet, gentle, but firm giant of a young man, always worrying for everyone, always trying to help, always keeping his feet firmly on the ground. And that little tidbit with the wolves made me like him even more, because FUCK YEAH, WOLVES!!! As for romance, trust me, Nynaeve and Lan held more intimate and romantic moments in the few lines they allowed themselves to show their feelings than Rand and Egwene in all their private encounters!

The story itself is full of darkness and gore, the way a true medieval tale should be, and reminded me of Feist’s works – only a bit lighter, I suppose, because no one does Dark Ages Fantasy the way that man does. I dare say, I’m officially hooked to see what happens next – with Perrin, Mat, Nynaeve and Lan, I mean, Rand and Egwene can go hang themselves for all I care – and I WILL, at one point, get started on the second book – which is also sitting on my shelf, gathering dust, the poor thing…



Curse of the Healer (The Derbfine Series #1) by Ashley York


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Every time I think Ashley York has thrown at me everything there is left to surprise me pleasantly in a story, she seems to take it as a personal challenge and surpasses even herself with the next book she has coming up. Each story of hers is like a whole new experience, and while many characters in them are ones I’ve seen in her other stories as well, they still manage to catch me off guard!

Aednat and Diarmuid’s story was no different. From the beginning I could see I was gonna love this couple and what would unfold for them, seeing as they were both looking for something completely different in a life-partner. Aednat wanted someone who would accept her with her stubborness and her healing abilities – along with a certain part of her body that had caused her to be set apart from the rest of society. Diarmuid wanted a docile, quiet woman, someone who would take his word as law and sit obediently at home. Both, however, ended up together, and the result was one none of them expected – it was even better!

Though it took a possible threat on Aednat’s life and freedom to push them to get married, Diarmuid was all too eager to accept – no matter how much he acted otherwise. And Aednat herself did find him a nice specimen – even if she couldn’t obey him most of the times, no matter how much her life was put in danger each time she ignored his warnings.

We’re talking about two very stubborn people, equally strong-headed and dominant, and it was wonderful to see them sumbling around each other every time they were trying to make things work. And when they tried to compromise some parts of themselves to co-exist? Magic, pure magic, I tell you!

The story itself was proof of York’s magnificent talent. The woman must have been a bard in her past life, there’s no other explanation! She uses pace like no other before or after her, and heck if she doesn’t make it seem easy (of course we all know it isn’t). Fast and slow are always connected in a dangerously deceptive waltz, one where you think the plot is going to go one way, but with a gentle and subtle turn, it suddenly leans towards a whole other direction. You simply can’t let your guard down with this author!

P.S.: And guess who made a cameo appearance? That’s right, Sean and Thomasina! Oh, I had missed those two!

***I was given an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinion stated in this review is solely mine, and no compensation was given or taken to alter it.***



Legacy Lost (Hell’s Valley Book 2) by Jillian David


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“I love you, Eric. I don’t know what to do with a world that doesn’t have you in it.” – Shelby Taggart

Have you ever wished you were able to know what people think? To tell truth from lies, to read emotions and thoughts, to see what truly makes someone tick? Well, the Taggarts would be the first to tell you, it’s not such a wonderful skill to possess.

True to what she gave us in the first book, Jillian David went on to tell the story of Shelby next – the only girl of the Taggart family. Now, before I go on, let me remind you that Shelby was Kerr’s twin, who could read emotions, and most of the times suffered thanks to her abilities, since everyone’s feelings seemed to reflect on her and could seriously wear her down. She also had an on-off thing going with Eric Patterson, Kerr’s close friend and partner who helped with the Taggart ranch. In the previous book, Eric found out about the Taggarts’ skills when they were all trying to help Sara, Garrison’s beloved. It was clear from that particular scene where he defended Shelby and demanded she stopped using her powers if they were taking such a toll on her, that we knew he was gonna be the male lead in Shelby’s story. And it was as pleasant as it was expected.

See, Eric didn’t exactly have a stellar childhood, and his family could be described, at the very best, to be found wanting. So, he was insecure and kept his heart closed, to the point that even Shelby couldn’t always read him – and that’s before he found out about her family, which says a lot about Eric’s self-control. However, what Shelby at first didn’t know, was that Eric held a torch for her – and boy, was that thing blazing hot or what? Let me tell you, people, the moment that Eric snapped out of his tightly kept self-control, was a beautiful one indeed. The man was so full of emotions, and felt everything way too powerfully, it was simply breathtaking. He had a passion the likes of which I have rarely seen in literature, and when the dam broke and he let it all out, it was no wonder Shel freaked out and tried to back off.

This isn’t of course to say that she was entirely right in her choices. During the book, Eric got hurt many times, and the poor guy was doing everything in his power to make a name for himself, a good one, all the while tripping over his feet to make Shelby see just how good they were together. I lost count of the times he got a flat out rejection not only with her words, but also with her actions.

But she had her reasons, and I couldn’t blame her for that. Shelby had to live with everyone’s feelings projected on her tenfold, and that’s a big burden to be carried by a single person. However, given her life so far, how she had to always act as the mediator between her brothers, and take care of her father who seemed hell bent on dying before it was time to do so, it’s quite understandable why she would be forgetting that she, too, needed help, that she wasn’t supposed to do it all alone. She seemed to get it when Eric’s life was in danger – and speaking of danger, let me tell you, the way Shelby treated the Big Bad Thing in her book was marvellous! And hilarious, too, I was rolling around laughing my head off!

What I especially loved in this book – other than the hot scenes and the dialogues that can cause abs to form from all the laughter – was the comeback of some much loved characters from the Hell to Pay series. The minute I saw them, I screamed like a banshee on her first date! Holy crap I had missed them! And they got connected with the story, uniting this series with their own, and tying loose ends, all the while giving off a sense of continuation of their adventures, in a way that I had never imagined. Excellently done, Mrs. David!

Now I can’t wait to read Vaughn’s story – not that he’s above Kerr in my Book Boyfriend List, but I sensed a little something between him and that doctor, and maaaan, I love romances where the leads butt heads! They lead to some interesting steamy make-up scenes, as proven by Eric and Shelby!

P.S.: I finally realized how the titles connect with each sibling, and it was freaking awesome!

“Shelby Taggart, would you consider a long-term relationship with a cynical cowboy like me who wants to do some pretty bad things to your body?” – Eric Patterson

***I was given an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinion stated in this review is solely mine, and no compensation was given or taken to alter it.***



Taming the Pack Boxed Set (Taming the Pack #1-3) by Wendy Sparrow


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It seems 2017 will be the year of boxed sets for me. Seriously, I think this one is my second, and there’s one more on the way – and I don’t regret it at all! Especially when it comes to hot wolves and awesome stories!

Taming the Pack tells the stories of a certain wolf pack, and their interractions with humans, ending up in hilarious situations and amazing romance. First, we have Dane, a ranger who finds a hurt wolf and takes it home to help it heal. Little does he know, the wolf is actually a shifter named Vanessa, who’s allergic to almost anything, but most of all cats – and his sister’s pet makes her go into allergic shock evety time. Then, we have Vanessa’s Alpha, Jordan, who wanted Vanessa for his mate but ended up giving her away to his human love rival – only to meet said rival’s sister and discover she’s more compatible than any female wolf has ever been with him. Too bad Christa is not exactly the epitome of health and yet she’s a small package fully capable of bringing the big bad wolf to his knees. And finally, we have an ex-colleague of Dane’s, sheriff Travis, who was once a member of Jordan’s pack but now leads another pack as their new Alpha. He’s in trouble trying to find a suitable mate for himself AND a murderer, and the trouble only intensifies when he finds what he’s looking for in the form of LeeAnn, whose brother had once tried to harm the pack – and who claims that no matter how much she smells like a wolf, she can’t shift.

All three of those stories were full of witty dialogues, some of them too funny for words – at some points I had to pause mid-sentence to hold my stomach while guffawing and shrieking with laughter – and while they showed plenty of sexual tension, there was no actual love scene to help alleviate it. Now, as anyone who has bothered reading my reviews would tell you, I hate sex behind closed doors. I feel like it’s the book’s way of keeping the fun all to itself. BUT! While still a pet peeve, this particular detail did not take away the quality of the story – and surprisingly, it didn’t lower the hot factor, either. There’s something to be said for an author when they prove capable of doing that, so, bravo, Mrs. Sparrow!

The characters were all well-thought, and deep, and while some of them had me reaching for my hair to pull in frustration at times, they still managed to grow and develop – Jordan was a good example of that! The males were strong, and funny, and going all Alpha on each other – not so amusing in real life, but in books, hell, it sure makes me swoon. The females, on the other hand were a bit difficult to compromise and get used to the changes in their lives at first – minus Christa, which is why I loved her the most – but in the end they came through and showed their backbone and how strong they could be for their men. (Btw, my favorite couple may have been Jordan and Christa – mainly because I enjoy it when the female is so much smaller than the male -, but my number one guy in the series was Travis. Gotta love a genius who acts like a fool to get others to lower their guard.)

One more thing I really liked was the suspense. See, when you’ve read so many books, it’s hard to not notice immediately who’s the culprit in fictional murders and stuff. But in this case, I stood corrected throughout the whole set! Mrs. Sparrow kept throwing me off tracks, and the villains were true masters in deception and manipulation, so they could fool even the reader. It was truly a very adrenaline-inducing read.

***I was given an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinion stated in this review is solely mine, and no compensation was given or taken to alter it.***



Shadow Wolf (Arctic Brotherhood #2) by Jane Godman


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“I want everything with you, Valetta. I love you. I never thought I could say that to another woman.” – Samson Lee

Aaaaand, thank God for sequels, so that characters have the potential to make up for the lousy first impression they may have made on us!

In the second book of the Arctic Brotherhood series, Samson, the tall brute who claimed he was so much better than a woman, ends up trying to locate the daughter of a retired fellow Brotherhood member. But Valetta, the daughter in question, is not just any woman. She’s had her eye on Samson for a long time, but due to his past, he couldn’t accept her feelings. Now, thrown together in a war between werewolf tribes and a prophecy warning the wolves of the Shadow Born, they must learn to work side by side, protect each other, and maybe, this time around, finally accept that they were meant to be with one another.

I’m not gonna lie, Samson was an awesome character in the first book, but he still made me twitch every time he would doubt Jenny because of her gender. Now, faced with another Alpha female, he had to learn to control his tongue, and his urges to take lead – although we all know he fails horribly at that. However, I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised with how things turned out. More than that, I was sad when I read what had taken place in the past, and could at some degree understand his attitude.

Valetta on the other hand was easy to like. Right from the start, I sympathized with her and the multiple obstacles she had to overcome in her personal life – and as a leader to her team. I was at the edge of my seat when she was kidnapped, and freaked out like no tomorrow when she was presented with a choice that didn’t look the least positive. Not to mention I got mad when the truth behind the prophecy was out – even if I suspected something like that at some point.

The pace was top speed as usual, and the love scenes mighty intense. The dialogues were also something I enjoyed – the banters between Samson and Valetta, or when all of the Brotherhood was together, were the highlight of the story. I really can’t wait to read the rest of the series!

“I’ve always loved you. I just never hoped you could feel the same way, especially once you found out I was Shadow Born.” – Valetta Rickard

***I was given an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinion stated in this review is solely mine, and no compensation was given or taken to alter it.***



Ice Wolf (Arctic Brotherhood #1) by Jane Godman


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“Do you even know I love you, Wilder? I’ve never said it. But can’t you feel it every time I look at you or touch you? Don’t you know I love every inch of you, even the parts that are hurt beyond repair?” – Jenny Piper

Wow!!! Just… WOW!!! Now that’s a start to a series I’m dying to keep reading!

Elliott Wilder is part of a council of leaders. Leaders of the Arctic werewolves, that is. But he has long given up the responsibilities of his position, along with his furry nature, due to a tragic event a long time ago with Siberian werewolves. But now those same werewolves are back, and their leader is after the Arctic Brotherhood generally, and Elliott personally. Can Jenny Piper, a new member of the Brotherhood and an Arctic werewolf herself, get him to accept his past and his inner wolf now that his people need him?

I must say I enjoy shifter romances. But they’re usually about shifter and a human, and yada yada yada. This one, however, was different. Elliott is a wolf who doesn’t wish to walk on four legs anymore – and his soulmate, Jenny, is a wolf of the same kind, only she enjoys being one way too much. It’s a combination I rarely see, and I can’t say it didn’t work out perfectly with the story.

The pace was a bit slow at first, but as soon as Santin kept adding pressure, things picked up really quickly. I loved every single one of the Brotherhood – even Samson the sexist – and I’m impressed by the fact that Godman wrote Jenny to be leader material, instead of simply a leader’s mate. The “equality” message worked nicely, and it was subtle and fitting, without the complications of forcefully getting there – unlike many works of art and literature these days that seem to have lost all kinds of sense just for the sake of political correctness. Not to mention how shocked I was with a couple of plot twists – like the ones with Fenrir and Gunnar.

The only thing that irked me a bit were the lovemaking scenes. Oh, they were hot, no doubt about it. But poor Jenny had to deal with a lot of insecurities and self-doubt from Elliott before he gave in not only to her love, but also to his own desires. It didn’t take too much out of the story’s enjoyment, though, so I didn’t count it in when I was rating the book.

I’ve also read Samson’s book and I’ll be reviewing it soon. Stay tuned for it!

***I was given an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinion stated in this review is solely mine, and no compensation was given or taken to alter it.***



Bad Nights (Rockfort Security #1) by Rebecca York


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Well, well, well. A prime example of what a couple of plot twists can do, hidden in plain sight – and yours truly reaaaally liked that!

In the first book of Rockfort Security, we see Jack Brandt, one of said Security’s members, struggling to escape from an illegal military organization, where he was tortured when its leader found out he was a spy. Beaten bloody and naked, he ends up suffering from slight amnesia outside Morgan Rains’s wood cabin. Morgan is a young widow who’s been going through the motions of life ever since her husband died. By finding Jack and helping him, she becomes involved with the mess following him – and for once in her life after her dead husband passed away, starts living again, as they both fight to make it to safety and bring down the evil chasing them.

I enjoyed this story way too much. Not only was it carefully written, but its pace was fast and unforgiving, and the love scenes were scorching hot and well-placed! The suspense never left the story until the very last pages, and the emotional roller-coaster we had to go through because of Morgan and Jack was much appreciated.

Speaking of Morgan and jack, they were amazing. Jack was full of honor, so protective, always putting Morgan’s well-being above everything else. He was so obviously in love with her it hurt to read, but didn’t even realize it until she was taken from him – typical male, but still understandable. His concern for her being happy and safe even reached the point where he had convinced himself she would be better off without him, because he didn’t wish to have her repeat the experience of losing a husband to a gun.

Morgan, on the other hand, was the epitome of wonderful female lead. While she was hurting and she was scared of all this sudden danger in her life, she had enough sense in her to realize she could move on and fall in love again, and the world wouldn’t come to an end – she would not be betraying her husband by being happy. She was determined and clever, even if she knew she was weak and at many times helpless. She used her mind and her psychological knowledge to cover up for her mishaps, and she balanced emotional and logical like a pro.

I wish I get to read many more couples like those two, they were what I needed these days. I’ve read the next book and I’ll be reviewing that one, too, sometime soon, but I have a feeling Morgan and Jack are my favorite couple in the series yet.