Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing (Big Bad Wolf #4) by Charlie Adhara

Agent Cooper Dayton and his partner, Oliver Park, are going undercover—at a retreat for couples who need counselling. They do say the best cover story is one that’s close to the truth…
Agent Cooper Dayton is almost relieved to get a phone call from his former boss at the Bureau of Special Investigations. It means a temporary reprieve from tensions created by house hunting with Oliver Park, his partner both in work and in life. Living together in a forever home is exactly what Cooper wants. He’s just not keen on working out the details.
With a former alpha werewolf missing, Cooper and Park are loaned to the BSI to conduct the search at a secluded mountain retreat. The agents will travel to the resort undercover…as a couple in need of counseling.
The resort is picturesque, the grounds are stunning and the staff members are all suspicious as hell.
With a long list of suspects and danger lurking around every cabin, Cooper should be focusing on the case. But he’s always been anxious about the power dynamics in his relationship with Park, and participating in the couples’ activities at the retreat brings it all to the surface. A storm is brewing, though, and Cooper and Park must rush to solve the case before the weather turns. Or before any more guests—or the agents themselves—end up dead.

I adore Cooper and Park and this series gets better with each new addition. It should come as no surprise that Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing was no exception.

Cooper and Park’s relationship has grown serious to the point that they are living together. As much as Cooper loves his apartment, it’s become obvious that, while it’s comfortable for him and Parker isn’t complaining, the cramped space isn’t exactly practical. While he agrees that they need a new place and can’t wait to take their relationship to the next level, the options that Park has given him so far aren’t places that Cooper can see himself living. So yeah, there was underlying tension, which is why he had no problem abandoning the house hunting for some time away, even if it was for work.

And… even though it was for work, both Park and Cooper came to some revelations about themselves – both individually and as a couple. Cooper faced some of his fears and Park did as well. They grew as a couple without even expecting it to happen. Some of their realizations were a little heartbreaking, but it helped them heal old wounds they had almost forgotten about.

There was so much to love about Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing. The romance, the danger, the mystery and most of all how all of it just brought these two closer. I can’t wait to see what Charlie Adhara has in store for Cooper and Park next. ❤

The Musician and the Monster by Jenya Keefe

Hatred is a spell only true love can break.
Ángel Cruz is a dedicated session musician, until loyalty to his estranged family forces him to work for Oberon: the feared and hated envoy from the Otherworld. Overnight, Ángel is taken from his life, his friends, his work, and trapped in a hideous mansion in the middle of nowhere, under constant surveillance, and with only the frightening fae for company.
Oberon’s poor understanding of humans combined with Ángel’s resentment and loneliness threaten to cause real harm to the pair. Then a long winter together in the mansion unites them in their love of music. Slowly, Ángel’s anger thaws, and he begins to realize that Oberon feels alone too.
Gradually, these two souls from different worlds form a connection like none other. But hate and prejudice are powerful things, and it’ll take all the magic of their love to stop the wider world from forcing them apart.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1This is the second Jenya Keefe book I’ve picked up (the first was Relationship Material) and if I’m not mistaken, it’s also her second book. I love following authors from the beginning and so far I’d say that this author is off to a great start.

The Musician and the Monster is unlike any Fae story I’ve read before. Jenya Keefe creates a totally different spin on their mysterious world. Both Ángel and Oberon are broken, but in totally different ways. They need each other, which is something Oberon understands, but Ángel doesn’t see for a while. Once he gets to know Oberon and sees beyond what he’s been told bout the Fae, everything changes.

There’s plenty of heat (we are talking about the Fae after all) and danger. There are also plenty of touching moments in The Musician and the Monster. I think those are the ones I enjoyed the most.

The Musician and the Monster is a very loose retelling of Beauty and the Beast. There’s a message between the lines that I’m not sure that everyone will get, but I hope they do. It’s close to the lesson conveyed in the original story, but for me it went way beyond that. I can’t tell you what I walked away feeling at the end of this book because, some things just have to be learned and experienced first hand. 😉

DragonFlyRating4

 

Mainly by Moonlight (Bedknobs & Broomsticks #1) by Josh Lanyon

MainlyByMoonlightCosmo Saville guiltily hides a paranormal secret from his soon-to-be husband. Thanks to a powerful love spell, uncertainty threatens his nuptial magic. But when he’s arrested for allegedly killing a longtime rival, he could spend his honeymoon behind bars…
Police Commissioner John Joseph Galbraith never believed in love until Cosmo came along. Falling head over heels for the elegant antiques dealer is an enchantment he never wants to break. So when all fingers point to Cosmo’s guilt, John races to prove his fiancé’s innocence before they take their vows.
As Cosmo hunts for the real killer among the arcane aristocracy, John warns him to leave it to the police. But with an unseen enemy threatening to expose Cosmo’s true nature, the couple’s blissful future could shatter like a broken charm.
Can Cosmo find the lost grimoire, clear his name, and keep John’s love alive, or will black magic “rune” their wedding bells?

Cosmo was one of those fun, quirky characters that you definitely wouldn’t think of becoming the perfect match for a straight-laced Police Commissioner. Stranger things have happened though, especially in Cosmo’s life.

The supporting characters were great – even when they weren’t being, well… supportive. They definitely kept things interesting, that’s for sure. The mystery wasn’t transparent and aside from the murder(s) it was fun read.

There were more than a couple of twists and turns and there are a few clues in the description that allude to one of the biggest. Things sort themselves out though, for the most part and Cosmo and John seem to be well on their way to their HEA – for now.

I’m looking forward to continuing this series with I Buried a Witch, even though I’m not sure what it will mean for Cosmo and John. Since Cosmo’s still keeping some pretty big secrets that John may not handle very well.

Love Someone Like Me (Trillium Creek #4) by Silvia Violet

Waverly
I’m not a typical omega. I like control, and I’d rather take than be taken.
After years of fantasizing, I finally find an alpha who will submit to all my desires. Our connection is beyond intense. My wolf says we’re fated for each other, but I know better.
Even if a test strip says I’m pregnant, I don’t want a mate. No matter how submissive he may appear, I won’t link myself to an alpha.
Derek
I’ll never live up to what my pack thinks an alpha should be.
I don’t want to order omegas and betas around. In fact, I’d prefer to hand over the reins and enjoy the bliss of surrender.
I jump at the chance when a dominant omega asks me to share his heat. Once I get a taste of him, I know a few days together won’t be enough. I want it all: a mating ceremony, kids, the future stretched before us. He wants to run as fast as he can, but I’m determined to show him I don’t want to confine him—I want to set him free.

I don’t know why these guys all fight the fated bond. I can understand Derek, because of the pack he belonged to, but Waverly? He’s seen it happen often enough now that he should have been ready for it. Just kidding… I love the fact that these guys are oblivious. It makes the inevitable even more fun, especially when everyone around them sees the obvious way before they do. 😀

I’m obviously loving this series so far. Derek and Waverly added an extra little twist to the fated mate thing. Their relationship has also moved the case against Waverly’s former pack along. They still have a long way to go and a lot of prejudice to fight. Readers got a little hint of a future couple and more babies to look forward to. MPreg isn’t exactly my “go-to” genre when it comes to PNR, but Trillium Creek is helping to push it up a few notches. 😉

Give Up the Ghost (Not Dead Yet #2) by Jenn Burke

Immortal not-ghost Wes Cooper and his vampire partner, Hudson Rojas, have it all—rewarding private investigation work, great friends and, most important, a love that’s endured. But ever since Wes sent a demon screaming back to the beyond, his abilities have grown overpowering and overwhelming. He’s hiding the fact that he’s losing control the best he can, but it’s hard to keep anything a secret for long when your partner’s a former cop…and especially when your partner’s a former cop who wants to move in together.
When all hell literally breaks loose in Toronto and superstrength ghosts are unleashed on Wes and his friends, he and Hudson are thrown into a case unlike any they’ve seen before. To save the city, Wes needs to harness his new power…and find some answers. But when he gets them, the solution to fix it all could mean losing everything.

This is one of those series that I’m so glad I stumbled on. Not Dead Yet was a great start to this series and Give Up the Ghost may even be just a little bit better… even though I spent a fair amount of the book wanting to smack Wes. *sigh*

By keeping his secret, Wes put his friends in a lot of danger. He didn’t mean to, he was just afraid of loosing Hudson if he knew what he was hiding. The only problem was that the longer he hid it, the more out of control his power became. In trying to save his relationship he almost lost everything important to him.

There was a lot more to Wes’ power than he even knew and the temptation use it, even in the most innocent ways, was strong. He ended up putting everyone he was trying to protect in even more danger. So much that he was willing to sacrifice everything – even himself – to make sure no one else was hurt, physically or emotionally.

I loved all the twists and turns and unexpected revelations. The danger and suspense definitely kept the pages turning. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Wes, Hudson and the rest of their “family” in Graveyard Shift. In the mean time, I may have to make room on my ever growing TBR pile for other reads from Jenn Burke 😉

Dark Rivers (Witchbane #2) by Morgan Brice

One hundred years ago, a sheriff’s posse killed dark warlock Rhyfel Gremory, but his witch-disciples escaped, and their magic made them nearly immortal. To keep their power, each year one of the witch-disciples kills a descendant of one of the men in the posse, a twelve-year cycle that has cost dozens of lives, including that of Seth Tanner’s brother, Jesse.
Seth Tanner uncovers the cycle of ritual killings that feeds the power of the witch-disciples, and he’s hell bent on getting vengeance for Jesse and stopping the murders. His fledgling romantic relationship with Evan Malone complicates his mission, but Seth can’t walk away. Seth and Evan are learning to navigate their partnership—as lovers and monster hunters—while they chase down the next witch-disciple and avoid attracting the wrong kind of attention.
When the hunt takes Seth and Evan to Pittsburgh on the trail of the next killer, they’ll have to save the intended victim and take down the powerful witch. If the skills they possess and the bond between them isn’t enough, the evil will remain unchallenged, and more people will die…
Note: Includes mention of past domestic violence and stalking.

I am so glad that I stumbled across this author (more on that at the end of this review.) Witchbane, the first book in this series, had me wanting more and Dark Rivers didn’t disappoint – in fact it gave me more than I expected. 😉

Even though Seth and Evan’s relationship is just beginning, it’s stronger than either of them have ever experienced. Seth pulled him into a world that Evan didn’t know existed, but he was always unknowingly a part of. That was a lot to take in, but neither one of them had time to analyze the situation, they needed to stay ahead of the next disciple.

There was a lot going on in Dark Rivers. More than enough action to keep the pages turning, some heated moments between Seth and Evan (and not always between the sheets 😉 ) The couple was tested more than once from more than one source. I pretty much loved every minute of it. Honestly, the only complaint that I had – which was minor – was that there seemed to be a lot of going over what happened in Witchbane. I think that may have been just a “me” thing though, mainly because not a lot of time passed between me reading Witchbane and Dark Rivers. If it had been a longer time span, I might have even found it helpful.

One of my favorite aspects of Dark Rivers may have been the supporting characters. Seth was used to doing things on his own, until he met Evan. In Dark Rivers, they found themselves needing even more help. They had depended on long distance assistance before from other “monster hunters” and “specialists” but this time they needed physical help – whether they wanted it or not. Turns out, their “help” came in the form of characters from another series – that I quite accidentally discovered – by Gail Z. Martin. Yep, Travis and Brent have their very own series – Night Vigil. Imagine my surprise when I didn’t realize that little bit of info until I started Sons of Darkness (which should probably be read before Dark Rivers, but oh well – not the first time I put the “cart before the horse” and I’m sure it won’t be the last.) There are even more connections between these and a couple more series and books (Spells, Salt, & Steel & Badlands) and you know what that means…. I get to read ALL the books. 😉

Hearts of Fire (Chevalier #1) by Kay Doherty

Luca Duray has been quite happy living a solitary existence for decades. But when a steel trap around his leg catches him when he’s weak and hungry, his life is irrevocably changed. He knows the wolf shifter who offers him assistance is more than he appears and immediately makes plans to keep the pup close.
Disowned by his pack for being gay, Tanner McBane is forced to become a lone wolf. While on a hunt, he stumbles upon an injured dragon shifter and provides aid. It’s not easy surviving on his own and when money gets tight, he finds himself face-to-face with the dragon shifter once again during an interview. Tanner isn’t sure a wolf should be working for a dragon, but he accepts the job and unknowingly creates a bond to his new boss. Soon, Tanner learns Luca isn’t just his boss—he’s his mate.
The mating of a wolf and dragon shifter is uncharted territory for both Luca and Tanner, but they are determined to make it work despite widespread prejudice, death threats, and the untraditional pack Tanner finds himself leading. Tanner only hopes that the bond he forms with Luca will prove to be unbreakable.

This one was short (less than 150 pages) but it wasn’t lacking. It started with Tanner helping Luca in the forest and didn’t slow down from there. From their initial meeting to discovering what they were to each other, a lot happens in Hearts of Fire. Tanner was a true alpha, but since he was disowned by his pack, he could easily lose himself without that pack connection. When he lost his pack, he never expected to find a new one who needed him as much as he evidently needed them.

Hearts of Fire was a great start to what promises to be an interesting series. A lot was revealed in this first book, but even more was left unanswered. Without the support of either of their families as well as the threats coming from Tanner’s former pack, things aren’t going to be easy for Luca and Tanner. I can’t wait to see what the author has in store for them in the next book in the Chevalier series. This is my first book by Kay Doherty, but it obviously won’t be my last. 😉

Demon on the Down-Low (Supernatural Selection #3) by E.J. Russell

After decades of unrequited love, this kangaroo will jump at the chance for a date. Any date.
Lovelorn kangaroo shifter Hamish Mulherne, drummer for the mega-hit rock band Hunter’s Moon, waited years for the band’s jaguar shifter bassist to notice him. Instead, she’s just gotten married and is in a thriving poly relationship. How is Hamish supposed to compete with that? But with everyone else in the band mated and revoltingly happy, he needs somebody. Since he can’t expect true love to strike twice, he signs up with Supernatural Selection. Because what the hell.
When Zeke Oz was placed at Supernatural Selection through the Sheol work-release program, he thought he was the luckiest demon alive. But when he seems responsible for several massive matchmaking errors, he’s put on notice: find the perfect match for Hamish, or get booted back to Sheol for good. The only catch? He has to do it without the agency’s matchmaking spells, and Hamish simply will not engage.
But Zeke starts to believe that the reason all of Hamish’s dates fizzle is because nobody in the database is good enough for him. And Hamish realizes that his perfect match might be the cute demon who’s trying so hard to make him happy.

I’ve lost count of how many series finales I’ve read in the past few months. *sigh* It’s always sad to say good-bye, but I’ve loved the Supernatural Selection series and I’ve also loved Zeke since he was first introduced in Single White Incubus. If the series had to end, Demon on the Down-Low was the perfect way to wrap it up… even though I wasn’t really ready.

I’ve said before that I’m a huge fan of E.J. Russell, but my absolute favorite characters are her quirky ones. The characters that make me giggle and fall in love with them, just for being who they are. This series was full of them and Zeke was one of my favorites. Hamish and Zeke together were adorable. The other thing I loved about this series was getting to see characters from the Fae Out of Water series. They jumped in to help “save the day” on more than one occasion.

There was a bit more intrigue in Demon on the Down-Low, mainly because readers (and the characters) finally discovered who the “bad guy” was in Supernatural Selection. It wasn’t exactly who I expected, but I wasn’t surprised either. The wrap-up actually involved the characters from the previous books in this series, as well as the characters from Fae Out of Water, so it was like a big homecoming 😉 I loved every minute of it. Since Hamish was first introduced in the Fae Out of Water series, it’s the perfect excuse to start a re-read from the beginning with Cutie and the Beast (one of my favorites from that series.) Actually, it doesn’t take much to convince me to re-read a series I loved the first time around. 😉

Witchbane (Witchbane #1) by Morgan Brice

Seth Tanner and his brother Jesse’s fun evening debunking local urban legends ends with Jesse’s gruesome murder. Seth vows revenge on Jesse’s killer – too bad the murderer has been dead for a hundred years. Seth uncovers a cycle of ritual killings that feed the power of a dark warlock’s immortal witch-disciples, and he’s hell bent on stopping Jackson Malone from becoming the next victim. He’s used to risking his neck. He never intended to risk his heart.

Question? Why hasn’t anyone clued me in on Morgan Brice? I’ve now picked up two books from this author that were initially released over a year ago and I had no idea. NONE! Well, I guess the important thing is that this new to me author is now on my radar.

Witchbane was intense… and the opening chapter was heartbreaking, so prepare yourself. The events of that night changed Seth forever and led him right to Jackson, hoping to break the cycle that started a century ago.

I loved the characters as much as I liked the premise. The danger kept the pages turning and the rest of the series promises to be just as action packed and intriguing. Needless to say, I’m going to be tracking down the rest of the books in this series. Burn is the next novella, followed by the second book in the series, Dark Rivers. Stay tuned!

BadLands (BadLands #1) by Morgan Brice

Medium and clairvoyant Simon Kincaide owns a Myrtle Beach boardwalk shop where he runs ghost tours, holds séances, and offers private psychic readings, making a fresh start after his abilities cost him his lover and his job as a folklore professor. Jaded cop Vic D’Amato saw something supernatural he couldn’t explain during a shootout several years ago in Pittsburgh and relocated to Myrtle Beach to leave the past behind, still skeptical about the paranormal. But when the search for a serial killer hits a dead end, Vic battles his skepticism to ask Simon for help. As the body count rises, Simon’s involvement makes him a target, and a suspect. But Simon can’t say no, even if it costs him his life and heart.

I’ve been on a reading roll lately. I’ve found several new authors and a slew of characters that I’ve really enjoyed. I realized that I’ve moved away from PNR books and slipped into a contemporary slump. That’s not a bad thing, but since I consider PNR my “first love”, I’ve enjoyed these new finds. To be fair, I’d consider BadLands borderline PNR – mainly because there were no shifters or vampires – psychics and spirits were the main focus – but that still counts 😉

BadLands also left me feeling rather nostalgic… My very first M/M read was a book where a psychic was paired with a skeptic. (A Reason to Believe) That little taste of PNR was enough to pull me in to a brand new genre and as I’ve said many, many times, the rest is history. Vic isn’t so much a skeptic as someone who was forced to not believe what he knew he saw. Risking his second chance at his career was a last ditch effort to solve a crime spree that was plaguing Myrtle Beach.

Simon was risking just as much by trying to help Vic. As the two got closer and their attraction became too strong to ignore, they both had even more at risk. I loved these two together and the mystery in BadLands was just as intriguing as the romance. There’s nothing I love more than a good balance.

I picked up BadLands almost a year after it’s initial release and there’ve been a couple of novellas released since then. I’ve picked up one of them, but I’m hoping that there are more full length books in this series’ future.