Finding the Wolf (The Dragon’s Hoard #1) by Mell Eight

When Prince Leon disappears, his people turn to the dragons for help. Nyle is the unlucky dragon tasked with finding Leon, a duty he dreads as it forces him into the confounding human world and far away from his collection of pretties.
Locating a missing prince should be a simple matter, but if Nyle has learned anything about humans since being forced among them, it’s that they needlessly complicate everything. When he finally locates the errant prince, however, what Nyle finds is a treasure worth all the complications—and worth protecting at any cost.

This isn’t my first book featuring dragons that I’ve read by Mell Eight. Just for the record, same author, totally different take on dragons. I adore the dragons in the Supernatural Consultant series. Its more contemporary setting is a modern take on young dragons and is a very family centered series. The Dragon’s Hoard has a more “old-world” feel and although Nyle is young by dragon standards, he’s been around for quite some time. The sense of family is totally different in Finding the Wolf as well. There’s a disconnect between the dragons which keeps them pretty much emotionally isolated. Which is one of the reasons why Leon becomes so important to Nyle. His hoard is full of his most treasured possessions and Leon quickly becomes the most treasured of all.

As in most of Mell Eight’s supernatural stories, there’s a mystery to be solved and evil to be conquered. I found myself getting wrapped up in the suspense even more than the growing romance between Leon and Nyle. Things are far from over by the end of Finding the Wolf. Leon and Nyle found their HEA, but readers are still left with questions about discoveries that were made. Since this is a series that’s been republished, we shouldn’t have to wait long for the next book in The Dragon’s Hoard series, Breaking the Shackles.

All Fired Up (Ashes & Dust #1) by Jenn Burke

Once bitten. Twice burned. Forever bonded.
Paranormals are dying. All over the city, with no explanation and only one thing in common: their magic is missing.
Vampire and private investigator Evan Fournier isn’t supposed to be taking on paranormal cases, but when the murderer hits close to home, he agrees to look into it. The last thing he expects is to become a target himself—and then to become irrevocably bonded to the man who just tried to kill him.

With his memory gone and his soul bonded to a stranger, former firefighter Colin Zhang wants to be anywhere else. He doesn’t have a damn clue why he just tried to kill Evan, and he didn’t even know about magic until just now. The sooner he can get back to his real life, the better.
But every time either of them tries to leave, pure agony stops them short. Forced to work with Evan or suffer the consequences, Colin must excavate the secrets buried in his missing memories while battling two rising threats: the conspiracy behind the murder, and his mutual attraction to the bond mate he never wanted.

I was one of those readers that was not at all happy with the fact that Jenn Burke’s Not Dead Yet series had come to an end. I may have even voiced that opinion in my review of Graveyard Shift. Although I felt that Wes and Hudson’s story came to a satisfying, yet bittersweet end, there were still things that needed to be resolved. Namely, the way things were left for Evan. For that reason alone, you can imagine how happy I was to find out that not only were things not quite over, Evan was getting his own story. 🙂

You can read All Fired Up without reading the Not Dead Yet series first, but there’s a lot of back story in the previous series that Ashes & Dust builds off. Wes and Hudson make a few well timed appearances and so do other familiar characters. This is most definitely Evan and Colin’s story though and it was a great start to their series.

Both Evan and Colin are broken characters. Evan suffered a devastating loss and still battles with emotional scars he suffered in his past. Colin has to come to terms with the fact that the life he thought he had is over. He “woke up” to a world he had no idea existed – one that he’s now a part of whether he likes it or not.

The tenuous relationship between Colin and Evan is only part of the story. There’s a new threat to paranormals the evil behind it needs to be stopped. Colin may not understand what’s going on, but he’s at the center of the conspiracy and once Evan gets him away, they both end up with targets on their back. Needless to say, I can’t wait for this series to continue. House on Fire is next and it can’t come soon enough. 😉

Burn (Witchbane #1.5) 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 uncovers a cycle of ritual murders that feed the witch-disciples’ power, and he saves Evan Malone, one of the warlock’s potential victims. Neither Seth nor Evan expected to fall in love, but when the dust settles, they find themselves on the run and on the road together, heading toward Pittsburgh, on the trail of the next killer. 
Seth wonders whether Evan will come to regret his choice to stay together, now that he’s living the reality of Seth’s nomadic life and the risks that come with it. He wants Evan to stay, but he’s afraid that Evan would be better off without him, living a normal life. Evan’s whole world has been upended, but there’s one thing he’s sure of, his love for Seth. Evan worries that he’s a liability, not yet able to hold his own in Seth’s rough-and-tumble world, but determined to do whatever necessary to have Seth’s back. On the way to face the next warlock, supernatural threats abound, forcing them to learn to fight as a team. 
Fate and danger threw them together. But once the adrenaline fades, will love last? 

In true “Creative Deeds Reads” fashion, I somehow missed this book. By the time I realized my mistake I had already read both Dark Rivers and Flame and Ash. Yikes! Burn was a nice reminder of how new things really were between Evan and Seth, so I guess it wasn’t too much of a blunder on my part. 😉

Burn takes place right after the events in Witchbane. Even though Evan was thrown head first into the supernatural world in Richmond, he had no idea exactly how extensive that world was. Burn was kind of like an initiation. A lot happened in this story and the events tested both Evan and Seth and their new relationship. Evan spent time proving himself and Seth spent time hoping the reality of dealing with everything didn’t scare Evan away. They both had something to prove and they didn’t always handle things perfectly.

Burn was the perfect transition story for the Witchbane series. Both men learned a lot about themselves and each other. It also built on the world that this series is centered around – and touched on characters from other series the are a part of the same world. Next up for me is Unholy, the 4th book in the Witchbane series (if you consider Burn 1.5).

Rise of Heroes (Artifact Hunters #3) by S.M. Reine

With his secrets exposed and his partner-in-crime gone, renowned thief Shatter Cage has only one target in mind: Silverclaw, the fallen Hero responsible for destroying Cage’s life. He’s teamed up with his sometimes-enemy-current-fiancee Brigid Byrne to destroy Silverclaw’s organization piece by piece, no matter how long it takes.
The Oracle who canonized Silverclaw wants a more absolute type of revenge. Like, Silverclaw’s head on the end of a legendary sword. She’s willing to pay for the job done right. And if Cage will kill Silverclaw, she’ll make Cage into a Hero.
Becoming Hero is all Cage ever wanted, but he’s never murdered before. He can have his dreams at the price of blood on his hands. And hey, why not? There’s no reason an old were-squirrel can’t learn new tricks…

Shatter Cage has come a long way since readers first met him in Race of Thieves. He’s found love and suffered loss and he’s learned a lot along the way. I have to admit that I was kind of curious about how an alpha squirrel shifter was going to fit into the Descentverse but Cage lived up to the challenge. What he lacked in size, he more than made up for in determination, loyalty and heart.

On the surface, Brigid and Cage were a very unlikely couple. Their love/hate relationship worked for them though – and it was so much fun to watch.

There were a lot of familiar “faces” in Rise of Heroes. As always, it was interesting spending time with them outside of their own personal story lines. That’s one of the things I love about the Descentverse – it’s all so intertwined. It gives readers a whole new perspective – especially because you’re “seeing” them through another character’s eyes.

Rise of Heroes brought Cage and Brigid’s story to a satisfying end, but I hope that we get to see them again in future stories. It wasn’t the outcome I (or Cage) expected, but in a lot of ways it was so much better. I even almost forgave the #evilauthor for what she put readers through in Reign of Monsters. Almost. Oh, and the ironic twist that was thrown at Brigid and Cage at the end was priceless. ❤

Leather and Lace (Southern Gothic #1) by Magen Cubed

Falling in love with a vampire bites—and sometimes loving a human bites back.
Dorian Villeneuve is an unlucky vampire from the slums of Devil’s Row. He makes ends meet for himself and his emotional support Chihuahua by working sleazy bars and nightclubs, doing what it takes to get by. Cash Leroy is a monster hunter from East Texas with a golden voice and an unrivaled devotion to Stevie Nicks. Hunting does not leave time for friends, let alone love.
When their paths cross during a bloody run-in with the vampire mob, Cash upends Dorian’s life—and takes Dorian under his wing to teach how to hunt monsters.
The unlikely pair become partners, and soon, best friends. However, their deepening bond grows complicated when Dorian falls in love with Cash. Their friendship is too important to throw away over an interspecies attraction, especially in a career that is already nasty, brutish, and short.
And things become even more complicated when Cash finds himself returning the vampire’s affections.
When an unusually deadly case lands in the hunters’ laps, their ill-fated affair takes a backseat. A pair of man-eating weredeer are on the loose taking victims’ hearts. With the pressure on to end the killing spree, Dorian and Cash must set aside their feelings and hunt down the blood-thirsty deer.
Can Dorian and Cash’s friendship survive this monstrous romance, or will they lose their hearts in the process?

What a different spin on vampires! I think that was my favorite part of Leather and Lace. I also liked the relationship between Cash and Dorian – even though they took a while to figure out that they were both on the same page.

Honestly, the only issue I had at all with Leather and Lace was the back and forth in the story telling. I’m actually a fan of multiple POVs and I usually don’t have a problem with getting characters’ back stories through flashbacks. In this case though, the combination was a little much. Not enough for me to not enjoy the story, but just enough to make me notice it and be just a little distracting. Other than that minor detail, I liked getting to know Cash and Dorian and I found myself rooting for them to find their HEA even with everything stacked against them.

Since this is the beginning of a series, I’m looking forward to getting to know Cash and Dorian even better, as well as some of the supporting characters. 😉

The Transylvania Twist (Monster M*A*S*H #2) by Angie Fox

A shaky truce. A pregnant Medusa. And a dedicated doctor who keeps legends alive.
Even during a truce, I have my hands full as a MASH surgeon to an army of warring gods—especially when Medusa herself turns up pregnant. I frankly have no idea what to expect when a Gorgon’s expecting, but I have an even bigger problem when my presumed-dead former-fiancé sneaks into my tent with enough emotional baggage to fill a tank.
He’s been fighting for the other side, which technically makes him my enemy, and now he needs me and the power I’ve kept secret for so long: I can see the dead. It’s a blessing and a curse. Literally. Because the gods will smite me in a second if they suspect.
But the other side is developing a terrible new weapon, and the only person who can stop the carnage was just murdered in a covert lab behind enemy lines. So I have no choice but to pull on my combat boots and go AWOL with my ex and a moody berserker to confront a ghost with a terrible secret.
Too bad uncovering the truth could make me enemy #1…

This is one of those books that I really liked, but I’m still not sure about the direction that it took. *sigh* I don’t like giving things away, but since it was mentioned in the description… I was not happy about Mark’s return…. for a lot of reasons.

The rest of the story was just as good as Monster M*A*S*H, the first book in the series. I just really liked Galen and Petra’s relationship in the first book. He brought out the best in her or at least made her feel that things that she doubted were totally possible. I didn’t get that same feeling from Mark. It felt like he was using her most of the time and I just really didn’t like him. Petty, I know… *sigh*

As for the rest of the story, it was just as full of action, mystery, loyal friends and humor as readers have come to expect – not just from this series, but from Angie Fox books in general. Werewolves in London is next and I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

Bjorn Cursed (Forgotten Brotherhood #4) by N.J. Walters

Lucifer is up to his old tricks, causing problems for the Forgotten Brotherhood. This time, he’s had a woman removed from the Norse afterlife and placed her right in the path of Bjorn Knutson. After the slaughter of his wife and family centuries ago, tortured and broken, Bjorn was cursed as the first Norse werewolf. Now he’s been tasked by Odin himself with killing the woman who escaped. Failure is not an option.
Before he can track her, he stumbles across a woman being accosted by three men in the middle of the night. Even though she’s human, he intervenes and is shocked to recognize the face of the one woman he could never kill — his wife Anja.
She’s also the one he’s hunting…and if he doesn’t kill her then both their lives are at stake.

The members of the Forgotten Brotherhood once again find themselves being used as pawns to entertain the Gods and Goddesses. At least that’s what it seems like. This time it’s Bjorn that they’re toying with and the situation that they have put him in is beyond cruel. As if his hasn’t tortured him enough, he finds his long lost wife, only to be charged with the task of killing her.

I’ve only read two books in this series, so my opinion might change, but as of right now, Bjorn Cursed is my favorite. It’s not just because of Bjorn and Anja though. The Forgotten Brotherhood is a formidable force mainly because they consider themselves family. If one of them is threatened, they don’t stand alone. That sense of family is what has really pulled me into this series.

The odds seemed stacked against Anja or Bjorn. If Anja was taken away from him again, Bjorn wouldn’t stop seeking revenge and his friends wouldn’t be able to bring him back this time. This was a fast paced story with danger pretty much around every corner – as well as a few surprises.

I’m not sure what’s next for the Forgotten Brotherhood, but I still have some back tracking to do. Fury Unleashed and Arctic Bite are the first two books in the series so maybe I can pick up at least one of them before the next book is released. 😉

The Gentle Wolf (Perth Shifters #2) by Pia Foxhall

Omega Aodhan Donne has buried his past, his life revolves around his chocolaterie, Little Star, a place where he creates sweet and happy memories. Demisexual, and used to being shoved in the friends category by the time he falls for someone, he throws all his energy into creating romantic moments for others in his store, neglecting his needs. His highlight for two years has been the man who visits his shop every Tuesday. 
Beta Thomas Wilson is an historian who believes the past should be unearthed, working as the curator at Western Australia’s only shifter museum, educating children and adults about shifter history. Quiet and hard-working, he allows himself to visit Aodhan at Little Star once a week, as a treat. 
When Aodhan decides he wants to get know Thomas better, he offers him a window into a complicated history that influenced the lives of shifters in the whole of Australia, and faces the possibility of Thomas learning too much about his dark past. 
After deciding to take it slow, their unconventional relationship becomes a whirlwind, sweeping them up together and blowing open the doors hiding their painful pasts. They couldn’t face their truths alone, but if they’re willing to face them together, Aodhan and Thomas may get the love they’ve always yearned for.

I’m not sure why, but it took me a while to get into The Gentle Wolf. I’m also not sure at what point in the story that I got pulled in, but I suppose the important part is that it happened.

Both Thomas and Aodhan were “relationship shy” but for very different reasons. Thomas was recovering from a toxic relationship. He knew logically that there was no comparison between his ex and Aodhan, it was hard to convince his heart.

Aodhan was recovering from something much worse, but very few people knew about his past and he wanted to keep it that way. Hiding something from someone is no way to start a relationship. Thomas knew that there was something in Aodhan’s past, but he was patient.

These two men were perfect for each other, but they had to learn to trust not only each other, but themselves before they could get beyond their pasts.

This is the first book I’ve read by Pia Foxhall, which means that I did it again. I picked up the 2nd book in a series before I read the first. Although it would have been nice to have the back story of a few characters, but I don’t think it affected my enjoyment of The Gentle Wolf. That doesn’t mean that I won’t back track and eventually pick up Blackwood so I can get to know Braden and Coll a little bit better. 😉

Bane’s Choice (Vampire Motorcycle Club #1) by Alyssa Day

Bane lost his humanity ages ago. Nothing is more important than protecting his Vampire Motorcycle Club from the death magic invading his territory. The most ancient of vampires, he seeks cold, unfeeling, bloody vengeance…until a frustratingly sexy human doctor is thrust into his path. She tempts Bane to distraction. And distraction is deadly in his world.
Buttoned-up and meticulous Dr. Ryan St. Cloud never thought she’d find herself in the mix of a motorcycle club, let alone one full of terrifyingly badass vampires. Or how intrigued she is by their dark and enigmatic leader, who seems balanced on the knife’s edge of killing her…or claiming her.
But Bane’s choice is harder than it seems, because when that danger hits too close to home, he’s forced to choose between her life and everyone else’s…

What a fun story… well minus the danger that they were in from almost the beginning of the story. 😉

Alyssa Day did a great job of creating a unique, yet familiar world that included warlocks, vampires, shifters and more. There was also a lot going on in Bane’s Choice that included a lot of players. At times I felt that there might have been a little too much going on, but not enough for the story to suffer or cause confusion.

Bane had never felt a connection to anyone as intense as his attraction to Ryan. She was a mystery he needed to solve and a complication that he and his family didn’t need.

Ryan believed in science and medicine, she didn’t believe in vampires, shifters or any other beings that went bump in the night. Needless to say, her entire world got turned upside down when she was faced with the realization that all those things and more truly did exist.

Plenty of action, humor, danger and romance to keep the pages turning and one of my favorite combinations. The supporting characters were great and I can’t wait to get to know them better. As for Ryan and Bane, I have a feeling that their story is far from over. I can’t wait for the Vampire Motorcycle Club to continue. 😉

Imaginary Lover (Beyond the Realm: Remember #8) Fox Hollow Universe by Morgan Brice

“There’s no time. Remember your imaginary lover….”
Cory Caldwell woke up by the side of the road with no memory of how he got there. He pieces together who he is but has no idea what happened to him.
Dark visions haunt him—flashes of blood, magic, and a brutal fight. Scorching dreams of a faceless lover offer no clues. His gut warns that something urgent is eluding him, and that time is running out. Worse is the sense of bone-deep grief, as if Cory is missing part of his soul.
Desperate for answers, he hops a bus for Fox Hollow, a town famous for psychics, mediums, and those with supernatural abilities. Then a stranger calls Cory by name and casts a furtive glance around him. “There’s no time,” the man says. “I need your help. Remember…” Can Cory unlock his missing memories and rescue the stranger before it’s too late?

Imaginary Lover is full of dangerous magic, hurt/comfort, brave monster hunters, dark curses, sincere psychics, found family, and forever love.
Imaginary Lover is the eighth book in the multi-author series, Beyond the Realm: Remember. Each book is set in its own world and can be read as a standalone novel. Join eight authors on eight very different, romantic, and magical stories as each one writes their own take on the same concept.

Although Imaginary Lover is part of the Beyond the Realm: Remember collection, I didn’t pick up any of the other books. The main reason that I decided to pick it up was because it had close ties to Morgan Brice’s multi-book universe. I really enjoy this world that she’s tied together and I was hoping to to reconnect with some of those characters. For the record, even though most of the characters were merely mentioned, I wasn’t disappointed. 😉

Cory finds himself in a situation that forces him to trust total strangers for a huge part of this story. As he pieces his life together, he discovers just how important his Imaginary Lover is to him and knows that he will do pretty much anything to get him back. There are plenty of people who are willing to help and support him to make it happen and keep them safe in the process.

Imaginary Lover was fairly short, but it wasn’t lacking. There was plenty of danger, suspense as well as love, devotion and even heartbreak. Just enough to make me realize how much I miss these characters and the world they dwell within. If you haven’t read any of the previous books, you can start here. If you like what you read, you should consider checking out Badlands, Witchbane, Treasure Trail, or Fox Hollow Zodiac – where Imaginary Lover takes place. I’m planning on picking up at least one or two myself. 😉