Black Moon (Wolf Moon Rising #1) by Sam Burns & W.M. Fawkes

An apple a day won’t keep this doctor away.
Linden Grove has always known that he’s not destined to be the next pack alpha. That position belonged to his brother Aspen—but then Aspen left the pack to join the military. When the unthinkable happens and the pack is left rudderless, someone has to step up and take care of it. Can a doctor go from “do no harm” to defending his own with his teeth and claws?
Colt Doherty is used to a certain kind of life. Glittering, picturesque, and . . . empty. As the youngest child of the country’s only werewolf senator, Colt has grown up in the spotlight, and he’s all too used to knot-headed alphas taking credit for the work of others, especially omegas like himself. When his editor sends him to write a story on the Grove pack, though, he finds something completely unexpected: Linden Grove in his unpolished perfection, as shiny and sweet as the apples his pack are known for.
A Grove pack omega has been kidnapped, and someone has to step up. The pack needs Linden to fill his father’s shoes, but no wolf can stand on his own. To save the day, sheltered Colt has to drop the politics and become the action hero he never thought an omega could be.

This is the second book that I’ve read by Sam Burns and W.M. Fawkes. The first was Wildfire, which was full of magic and mythology – one of my favorite genres. Black Moon is the first book in what promises to be an amazing werewolf series, that is also another one of my favorites. In other words, I’m pretty sure I’ve found a new favorite writing duo 😉

Linden was one of those characters that was hard not to like. He was admired by many and misunderstood by a few. His caring for the members of his pack went way beyond the fact that he was their doctor. He had the heart that was necessary for a pack alpha, he just didn’t think he had the brawn to back it up. Watching him grow into the leader that his pack needed was one of my favorite parts of this story. My other favorite part was watching Colt slowly become a part of a pack that was nothing like what he was used to.

Black Moon had plenty of danger, suspense, pack politics, a sweet romance and a few new twists on pack dynamics that kept the story fresh and the pages turning. Both Colt and Linden grew a lot during the course of the story and surprised even themselves in the new roles that they found themselves made for.

The next book in the Wolf Moon Rising series is Harvest Moon followed by Hunter Moon. I can’t wait to get to know the rest of the Grove pack even better.

Magnified (Magnified #1) by Mell Eight

On her deathbed, Yani’s great-grandmother reveals she has one last story from her past to tell: that of his great-uncle Yakov, who helped her survive the Nazis. It’s a story of vampires and werewolves he can scarcely believe—and in the wake of his great-grandmother’s death, Yani discovers the story is far from over.
The world of vampires and werewolves isn’t a safe place for a human, even one with Yani’s unusual family history. With danger at his door, the smart thing would be to run, but much like his great-grandmother, Yani has never been very good at running away—especially with his loved ones and the whole world at stake.

I’m becoming quite the Mell Eight fan lately. Other than the fact that I like her writing style, I think a lot of that has to do with the variety of stories she’s written. From her adorable dragons in her Supernatural Consultant series to the mysterious and sometimes dangerous Fae in her Out of Underhill series, I know I’m always going to find a unique and entertaining story. The Magnified series is off to a good start and promises more of the same.

I’ve always been moved by stories of the Holocaust. It’s such a dark part of world history and it’s hard to believe it happened not so long ago. That was enough to draw me into Yani’s story. Add to that the paranormal aspect and I found Magnified hard to put down.

Readers were swept into the past as they learned about Yani’s family history, both their time surviving the Holocaust and the paranormal link that they shared. Honestly, their family history would have been intriguing enough without their tie to vampires, but it made their story even more interesting. Eventually Yani’s past caught up with his present and the mystery and danger continued. It soon became clear that nothing was exactly as it seemed and reality changed. It also became clear that Yani was more tied to that supernatural aspect than he ever expected.

Yani and his friends’ story is far from over by the end of Magnified, although the first book does come to a satisfying end. The next book in the series is Justified, which will hopefully be re-released soon because I can’t wait to find out how the story continues.

Hearts of Destiny (Chevalier #4) by Kay Doherty

Ean and Matthias have known they’re mates for a while, but Matthias has been unwilling to claim Ean. He believes his past and age-old secrets are too big for Ean to overcome, so instead keeps Ean away by irritating him.
Depressed and no longer able to be near the dragon-shifter, Ean leaves the pack house and, after a night of heavy drinking, makes a life-changing decision that pushes Matthias into action.
As the blood moon draws nearer, the Chevalier Pack is called before a tribunal of paranormal leaders to assess the Alpha’s rumored mysterious abilities. Matthias decides to share his secrets with a little help from Colby. And to top everything off, they face another attack by the McBane Pack, which the Chevalier decide will be the last.

Finally! I suppose that there was no better couple to end the Chevalier series with, but readers were tortured almost as much as Ean with Matthias’ denial. Almost everyone else in the pack knew it, which only made it worse.

Matthias wasn’t my favorite, but he redeemed himself in Hearts of Destiny. It wasn’t a surprise that he was keeping secrets, but once they were revealed, things became a lot clearer. If Ean hadn’t resorted to tricking Matthias, I’m sure he would have come around eventually. Ean’s ridiculous plan just made him come around a little faster – which was probably a good thing.

There were a lot of twists, turns and surprises in Hearts of Destiny. The author did an amazing job of wrapping things up and making the final book worth the wait and giving ALL the characters, not just Ean and Matthias, the HEA they deserved. Even though each book centered around a different couple in the Chevalier pack, nothing for any of them was resolved until this final story.

This series was my introduction to Kay Doherty, but I’ll be keeping my eye out for more from this author. The Chevalier series put a unique twist on shifter romance and I can’t wait to see what this author has in store for readers next. 😉

Handsome Death by Sara Dobie Bauer

I’m not hunting him; I’m protecting him.
At least, that’s what I tell myself.
In New York City, a beautiful creature like Tristan Clement should not be walking the streets alone, and I’m the perfect vampire to watch his back.
But what if keeping him safe isn’t enough anymore? What if I want to touch? And taste?
I need him. But I’ve never needed anyone.

In a world where paranormal creatures live amongst us and must follow certain laws, living life as a dangerous loner works for vampire Ethan. Inhabiting his gleaming apartment, wearing his designer suits, jetting around the world as a fanged killer-for-hire, Ethan does it all alone.
That is, until he literally runs into Tristan. Tristan, who is clearly trouble wrapped in skinny jeans and an oversized sweater. Tristan, with his shock of angelic blond curls. Tristan, who plays piano more beautifully than the old masters– and Ethan would know; he saw Beethoven.
Tristan is gorgeous, a little sassy, and irresistible. Also, Ethan is horrified to note, Tristan has no idea how incredibly tempting he is to things that go bump in the night.
Overcome by the urge to keep Tristan safe, Ethan begins to… well, stalk is such a strong word. What starts as an obsession quickly becomes something more, something that Ethan needs. And to his surprise, Tristan seems to need him, too…
This darkly romantic tale delivers steamy passion and a happily ever after. Be advised that Handsome Death includes explicit m/m content, stalking, mentions of past abuse, and graphic violence.

Honestly, Handsome Death wasn’t nearly as “dark” as I expected. That’s not a bad thing, it’s just that after reading Sara Dobie Bauer’s other vampire series, the Escape Trilogy (Escaping Exile, Escaping Solitude, Escaping Mortality) I was expecting a little more edge? Not that Ethan didn’t have some edge to him, because he did. It’s just that Tristan had a way of softening Ethan, which is mostly what Handsome Death is all about.

This book was told totally from Ethan’s POV. At first I wasn’t sure about him, or the story, but once he gave into his desire for Tristan, both his attitude and the story started to even out. I know that makes little sense, but it’s the best I can describe it. Ethan alone didn’t draw me into this story, but Ethan and Tristan together made it hard to put down. Ethan described Tristan as “cute” more than once, but the transformation that came over Ethan was even cuter at times. It was something that he didn’t even notice at first, but Tristan made him want to be a person/vampire.

The supporting characters were great, even though most of them came from those who were close to Tristan. His parents were adorable and his friends were just as loyal and protective as Ethan came to be. Tristan did a lot of growing in Handsome Death as well, mostly thanks to Ethan. They made each other see the best in each other and their devotion to each other was apparent to everyone who cared about them.

I seem to always walk away from a Sara Dobie Bauer book surprised in some way and Handsome Death was no exception. I can’t wait to see what she has in store for readers next.

A Touch of Danger (Surviving Vihaan #1) by Elaine White

Drew’s life sucks. Saving money to escape his homophobic family is one thing, but his only paying gig at the moment is playing his father’s “only gay in the village” plus-one to every LGBT friendly business event.
Then his brother comes up with a plan. Sheffield needs someone to go undercover for his police investigation. Drew has all the qualifications: he’s gay, he has experience with exotic animals, and he’s college-aged. And he’s easily bought.
Going undercover to solve the mystery of a college campus smuggling ring was never in his plans. Neither was hot, perfect, house captain Rylee. The inside jokes about cats, animal prints, and talk of a place called Vihaan that forbids same-sex relationships, are just the tip of the suspicious iceberg.
Little does Drew know that he’s about to expose more than an illegal smuggling operation. The truth could be more lethal than he could imagine. And, despite it all, it might be his own secret past that kills him before the truth can be unveiled.

So, this one had promise, but I just couldn’t connect with the characters. Could be a “it’s not the book, it’s me” thing? I think that the main problem I had with A Touch of Danger was the world building. It’s not that it wasn’t great… it was just a little confusing. It got better the farther into the story that I got, so patience is a necessity with this one. *sigh*

As for the characters, they grew on me too. I liked Drew from the start, mainly because of his circumstances. He was in a no win situation when it came to his family, which is why he jumped on Sheffield’s offer. Even though he was basically using him and putting him in potential danger.

There’s more than meets the eye in A Touch of Danger. The residents of the house are just as much of a misfit in their world as Drew seems to be in his. Which is one of the many reasons that Drew seems to connect with them as quickly as he does. Rylee fights that connection as long as he can, but some things… well, you’ll just have to read this one to figure that one out.

As I said in my initial review when I finished A Touch of Danger, regardless of how I felt about this first book, I’m more than willing to give the rest of the series a try. I have a feeling that as the series continues, things will become clearer.

Hearts of Magic (Chevalier #3) by Kay Doherty

A moment of quiet was all Theran was looking for. He was not looking to be nearly decimated when he stumbled across a sorcerer near the pack’s hunting grounds. He’s certainly not looking for his mate when the pack congregates at Elysium for a meeting, but that’s exactly what Theran finds when he runs into the sorcerer a second time.
Colby has been the bartender at Elysium for a year, and he’s been relatively happy. He hides his paranormal identity well, flirting for tips while using sarcasm to keep others away. When he first saw the wolf in the forest, he was stunned. Learning the wolf he’s been dreaming about is real is only compounded by learning the wolf is his mate.
With the Sorcerer’s Enclave now interested in the Chevalier Pack, Colby attempts to protect Theran by kidnapping him, which only results in a deeper involvement with the pack. Despite managing the Enclave, dealing with increasing threats from the McBane Pack, and forging new alliances, Theran and Colby are determined to find their happy ever after.

This is one of those series that I get more emotionally invested in with each book. It also seems like each fated mated pair gets just a little bit more complicated. There was absolutely no way that having Theran and Colby be destined made sense. Colby was on a mission to find out more about the Chevalier Pack, he had no idea that he would find out more about them than he bargained for.

Theran was more than ready to find his true mate, but even so, he was kind of shocked to find out who it was. Regardless, once they figured it out there was no denying it and no turning back. Because of the threat to the Chevalier Pack, Colby’s main concern was protecting Theran, which didn’t go over too well with the rest of the pack.

There are still a few pack members who need to find their mate, along with at least one mated pair that is complicated? I can’t wait to see how Kay Doherty finds a way to finally get them together. Danger, mystery and plenty of heat… everything I love in a shifter series.

Graveyard Shift (Not Dead Yet #3) by Jenn Burke

Shifting Into High Fear
Ghost/god Wes Cooper and his not-life partner, vampire Hudson Rojas, have settled into cohabitation in an upscale part of Toronto. So what if their hoity-toity new neighbors haven’t exactly rolled out the welcome mat for the paranormal pair? Their PI business is booming, and when a suspect they’ve been tailing winds up in the morgue, it’s alongside a rash of other shifters in apparent drug-related fatalities.
Now Wes and Hudson must connect the dots between the shifter deaths and an uptick in brutal vampire attacks across the city. Throw in a surprise visit from Hudson’s niece—who may or may not be on the run from European paranormal police (who may or may not exist)—and guardianship of a teen shifter who might be the key to solving the whole mystery (if only she could recover her memory), and Wes and Hudson have never been busier…or happier.
But when a nightmare from Hudson’s past comes back to haunt him, their weird, little found family is pushed to the brink. Mucking this up would mean Hudson and Wes missing their second chance at happily-forever-afterlife…

First and most importantly… this cannot be the end of this series. However, if this truly was the end of the Not Dead Yet series, then I seriously hope that there is a spin-off series in the works because some things were not totally okay at the end of Graveyard Shift.

To say that there was little down time in Graveyard Shift would be a HUGE understatement. The description of this book is accurate when it says that Wes and Hudson’s “family” was pushed to the brink. There was danger around every corner. At times it was hard to tell the good guys from the bad. And… there were tears, at least for this reader.

There were so many twists and turns that I don’t want to take a chance on giving anything away. The only thing that you really need to know is that if you’ve already read Not Dead Yet and Give Up the Ghost, you’re really going to want to read Graveyard Shift. Be prepared though, because nothing these guys go through is easy and their HEA is bittersweet, but well earned. ❤

 

Damned if You Do by Marie Sexton

The path to temptation is paved with a hellish amount of paperwork.
Soul acquisition is a drag, but if Abaddon doesn’t catch up on his quota, he could be demoted to scooping poop for the Hounds of Hell. With a deadline hanging over him, he heads for the Bible Belt, looking for the perfect combination of sweetness and challenge.
Seth is a blind musician, part of a traveling tent revival. He’s cute, mystically talented, and quotes the Bible at every turn. His soul is pure enough to fill Abaddon’s quota for months to come, and Abaddon is determined to claim it.
The problem? There’s the revival foreman who watches Abaddon’s every move. Then there’s the mystery of Seth’s many unusual talents. Lastly, there’s Abaddon himself. He’s beginning to like Seth a bit too much. Maybe Seth deserves something better than damnation.
But Hell’s agenda isn’t negotiable, and time is running out. If Abaddon doesn’t play his cards right, he could condemn both of them to the worst fate of all—an eternity apart.
Warning: Contains a Bible-quoting twink and an irreverent devil. Also, snakes. Lots and lots of snakes.

What a sweet little devilish tale 😉

There was so much more to Seth than was on the surface and there was more to Abaddon too.

Abaddon did just enough at his job to squeak by, but that lazy work ethic was catching up to him. He was giving a deadline and of course he decided to try to find a soul that would fill his quota for as long as possible. Seth was the perfect choice.

Seth’s soul seemed as pure as they come and Abaddon knew if he managed to get him to give it up, he’d be set for a very long time. The problem was, Seth was so devote that Abaddon couldn’t find a way to tempt him. The longer amount of time he spent with Seth, he wasn’t sure he wanted to – which surprised no one more than Abaddon himself.

It’s been a while since I’ve read anything by Marie Sexton, but this little story reminded me that I need to check out more of her books.

Love Times Three (Trillium Creek #3) by Silvia Violet

If you love something let it go…
Brett thought letting Ryder go was the best way to show how much he loved him. Ryder would be free to find an omega and start the family he’d always wanted. Ryder doesn’t want anyone but Brett, and he will do whatever necessary to convince him they belong together.
If it comes back to you…
Cam is on the run from his pack. He’s not looking for love, but when he’s rescued by Brett, his childhood crush, he realizes those feelings he had for his former packmate haven’t faded. Then fate steps in when Cam meets Ryder, Brett’s alpha mate, and a bond is formed. Cam tries to fight his attraction to both men, but the pull he feels toward them may prove too strong.
It’s yours…
Ryder knows Cam is the omega he and Brett need to complete their dream of happily ever after. He’s their missing piece, and it will take them both to convince Brett the three of them belong together.

I think I mentioned when I started the Trillium Creek series that although I love PNR (it’s one of my first reading loves) and you may have noticed my love of M/M, MPreg is not one of my go-to sub genres. I’m not saying that’s going to change, but I definitely am falling in love with this series so far. ❤

Readers have watched Brett and Ryder dance around each other through the first two books in the series. Brett came from a very different background. In his previous pack, the head Alpha was the ruler, not the leader. What he said went and it was drilled into him from a very early age that there were no fated mates, omegas had only one role and betas couldn’t mate with either. That meant that regardless of how he felt about Ryder, a relationship with him wasn’t meant to be. Ryder knew better and so did the rest of the pack… deep down, even Brett knew it, but he loved Ryder too much to stand in the way of him finding his true mate. Then came Cam…

Cam ran from the same pack that Brett left years ago. It was obvious they had a special connection. Once Cam finally agreed to let Brett bring Ryder to meet him in hiding, everything changed. The connection between Cam and Ryder was too strong to ignore, and Brett was crushed. Crushed enough that he walked away from both of them. It’s a good thing that Cam and Ryder were just as determined to get Brett back as Brett was to leave them to their destiny. Because their destiny included all three of them.

I love the dynamic of the Trillium Creek pack. Their alpha is caring, reasonable and a true leader. Members respect him and look to him for guidance. The pack runs on the strength of everyone’s individual talents while still working together to keep things running smooth – and when it doesn’t, they all pitch in to help. It’s a good place and it’s quickly becoming a sanctuary for those who didn’t have that growing up. There’s a subtle lesson there somewhere I think 😉

The series starts with Love at Lupine Bakery, followed by Love at Long Last. There’s more to come, so stay tuned!

The Prince of Air and Darkness (The Darkest Court #1) by MA Grant

The only human student at Mather’s School of Magick, Phineas Smith has a target on his back. Born with the rare ability to tap into unlimited magick, he finds both Faerie Courts want his allegiance—and will do anything to get it.
They don’t realize he can’t levitate a feather, much less defend the Faerie Realm as it slips into civil war.
Unseelie Prince Roark Lyne, Phineas’s roommate—and self-proclaimed arch nemesis—is beautiful and brave and a pain in the ass. Phineas can’t begin to sort through their six years of sexual tension masquerading as mutual dislike. But Roark is also the only one able to help Finn tame his magick.
Trusting Roark’s mysterious motives may be foolish; not accepting his temporary protection would be deadly.
Caught in the middle of the impending war, Phineas and Roark forge a dangerous alliance. And as the walls between them crumble, Phineas realizes that Roark isn’t the monster he’d imagined. But their growing intimacy threatens to expose a secret that could either turn the tide of the war…or destroy them both.

This one… grew on me? I wasn’t sure at first and it took me a lot longer to get into than it normally takes me, but once it grabbed me, it wouldn’t let go… Like “staying up until 1 am so I could finish” not letting go…

I’m not sure why it took me so long to get into Prince of Air and Darkness, other than the fact that the story went in a lot of directions. I didn’t have a problem with the characters though, at least not Finn. I liked him from the beginning, Roark… not so much. Things weren’t exactly as they seemed though – for the record, those are my favorite kinds of stories.

There were a lot of twists and turns and secrets… One of the major twists came at the very end – which I’m still a little confused about because… well, for a lot of reasons. Even though The Marked Prince, the next book in The Darkest Court series centers around another couple, I’m hoping that readers haven’t seen the last of Finn and Roark… for well, reasons. 😉