Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night (Immortals After Dark #3) by Kresley Cole

Her breathless kiss haunts him…
Bowen MacRieve of the Lykae clan was nearly destroyed when he lost the one woman meant for him. The ruthless warrior grew even colder, never taking another to his bed—until a smoldering encounter with his enemy, Mariketa the Awaited, reawakens his darkest desires. When sinister forces unite against her, the Highlander finds himself using all his strength and skill to keep her alive.
His slow, hot touch is irresistible…
Temporarily stripped of her powers, Mari is forced to take refuge with her sworn adversary. It’s rumored that no one can tempt Bowen’s hardened heart, but soon passion burns between them. Though a future together is impossible, she fears he has no intention of letting her go.
No deed is too wicked for her seduction…
If they defeat the evil that surrounds them, can Mari deny Bowen when he demands her body and soul—or will she risk everything for her fierce protector?

So, ironically, I started my last review of a book in this series with: “I really need to stop putting so much time between books in a series.” That was for No Rest for the Wicked, which I read in… 2013. *sigh* One of these days, I’ll start taking my own advice. In my defense, I just recently started picking up my long neglected physical books, so I have a lot of catching up to do.

This was one of those books that I couldn’t put down, while constantly wanting to punch some sense into the thick-headed hero. Not that I didn’t sympathize with him at times, I really did. He had been through a lot. On the flip side of that sympathy, it seemed like every time he was getting his act together, he’d royally screw things up all over again. I couldn’t see how this was going to work. Granted, Mari had her own set of screw-ups, but I found myself thinking more than once that she could do so much better. Which really isn’t the way you’re supposed to feel with two people trying to reach their HEA.

I guess my point is that if you find yourself feeling this way through most of Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night, don’t give up on them. Their HEA is totally worth the frustration. Hopefully there won’t be a 7 year stretch between my finishing this one and picking up Dark Needs at Night’s Edge, but with me you never know 😉

Hearts of Blood (Chevalier #2) by Kay Doherty

Omega wolf shifter, Vance, and the rest of his small pack have finally found an Alpha willing to take them on and were still trying to regain their footing when the McBane Pack attacked them. When a vampire appears in front of him, Vance realizes he’s looking into the ice-blue eyes of his mate, and the fact that his mate is something other than wolf scares him.
Sakima knew the wolf shifter was his destined companion the moment he scented him at Elysium, but claiming the gorgeous young Omega wolf is a dangerous proposition. Vance and his unconventional pack have attracted the attention of the vampire coven. As the owner of Elysium, Sakima has been asked to use the club to gather information on the powerful interspecies pack and its Alpha.
Unfortunately for Vance and Sakima, the vampire coven and the continued attacks by the McBane Pack are only a portion of their problems. Amidst concerns over Alpha Tanner’s abilities growing with Sakima’s addition to the pack, a spurned ex targets Vance in an attempt to remove him from Sakima’s life, and Elysium becomes a hot bed for interspecies mingling where anyone could be an enemy.

Hearts of Blood was a great followup to Hearts of Fire.

All Tanner and his eclectic pack want is to be left alone in peace, but they are an unknown entity. A pack of interspecies mates has only happened once in paranormal history and that didn’t end well. No one knows what the fate has in store for Tanner’s pack and it seems like every group they run across wants to destroy them. Sakima has no intention of becoming a member of the controversial pack, but he’ll do everything in his power to protect Vance – even if that means protecting the rest of the pack as well.

I love the pack dynamic in this series as unconventional as it is. It’s a unique concept, at least in the books I’ve read so far. I love them all, but my favorite in the Chevalier series kind of took me by surprise. He may be a loose cannon and super annoying at times, but I just can’t help loving Ross and in turn Deacon for his adoration.

I picked up Hearts of Fire on a whim and I’m so glad I did. Readers are given a glimpse of what’s coming next in the Chevalier series and I can’t wait until the series continues.

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. 😉

Thrown to the Wolves (Big Bad Wolf #3) by Charlie Adhara

When Agent Cooper Dayton agreed to attend the funeral for Oliver Park’s grandfather, he didn’t know what he was getting into. Turns out, the deceased was the alpha of the most powerful werewolf pack on the eastern seaboard. And his death is highly suspicious. Regardless, Cooper is determined to love and support Park the way Park has been there for him.
But Park left him woefully unprepared for the wolf pack politics and etiquette. Rival packs? A seating order at the dinner table? A mysterious figure named the Shepherd? The worst is that Park didn’t tell his family one key thing about Cooper. Cooper feels two steps behind, and reticent Park is no help.
There are plenty of pack members eager to open up about Park and why Cooper is wrong for him. Their stories make Cooper wonder if he’s holding Park back. But there’s no time to get into it…as lethal tranquilizer darts start to fly, Cooper needs to solve the mystery of the alpha’s death and fight for the man he loves—all before someone else dies.

This is one of those series that gets better and better with each new book. It’s so good that I didn’t hesitate to purchase Thrown to the Wolves when I realized I missed the chance to snag the ARC. 😉

Cooper and Park have been through a lot, but nothing prepared Cooper for what he was in store for when he was introduced to Park’s family. Given the situation that he walked into, I’m not sure anyone could have been prepared. Park was kind of the “black sheep” in his pack. He wanted nothing to do with pack politics, but some things just can’t be avoided. There was more than one reason why he left his family in the dark about Cooper, but that didn’t make it sting any less. It also didn’t make Cooper any less determined to help Park and his family – whether they wanted him to or not.

There were a lot of twists and turns in Thrown to the Wolves and I can honestly say I didn’t see the “who” or the “why” coming until close to the end. I love it when that happens. 😉 There were members of Park’s family that were okay… and some that were not so okay… and a couple that redeemed themselves in the end. Park even threw me for a while, but that didn’t last long. Again, after all they had already been through, I trusted Park and so did Cooper.

Things will definitely be changing for both Cooper and Park – I can’t wait to see what’s in store for them next.

The Wolf at Bay (Big Bad Wolf #2) by Charlie Adhara

Going home digs up bad memories, so it’s something Bureau of Special Investigations agent Cooper Dayton tries to avoid. When he’s guilted into a visit, Cooper brings along Oliver Park, his hot new werewolf partner, in the hopes the trip will help clarify their status as a couple…or not.
When Park’s keen shifter nose uncovers a body in the yard and Cooper’s father is the prime suspect, Cooper knows they’re on their own. Familial involvement means no sanctioned investigation. They’ll need to go rogue and solve the mystery quietly or risk seeing Cooper’s dad put behind bars.
The case may be cold, but Park and Cooper’s relationship heats up as they work. And yet if Cooper can’t figure out what’s going on between them outside of the bedroom, he’ll lose someone he… Well, he can’t quite put into words how he feels about Park. He knows one thing for sure: he’s not ready to say goodbye, though with the real killer inching ever closer…he may not have a choice.

The Wolf at the Door was a great start to Charlie Adhara’s Big Bad Wolf series and The Wolf at Bay was an even better continuation. Even though readers still only had Cooper’s POV, we still got to know Park a lot better in The Wolf at Bay. I’m a huge fan of multiple POVs in a book or series, but not being in Park’s head really works in Big Bad Wolf – mainly because it keeps him just a little bit more mysterious.

There was a lot more going on in The Wolf at Bay than the heat between Park and Cooper. Family drama, crazy revelations, a decades old murder mystery and more. Lots of action to keep the pages turning.

It may not have been clear to Cooper how Park felt about him, but he had a lot going on so I can forgive him for missing the obvious. There’s still a lot for readers to learn about the shifter world that Charlie Adhara’s created in Big Bad Wolf, but I like what we’ve discovered so far.

As for the mystery? I have to say, I was surprised at both the who and the why… mainly because there were a lot of possible suspects that would have been just as believable. Then there was the family drama… let’s just say, I wasn’t a fan, although Cooper’s brother and future sister-in-law kind of grew on me. Like I mentioned… Cooper went through a lot in The Wolf at Bay, but through it all, Park was there for him – whether Cooper knew it or not. Thrown to the Wolves is next and I can’t wait to see how the series continues.

 

Lovesong (Green Creek #2.5) by TJ Klune

She has lived.
She has lost.
Everything she has is blue.
But here, in the end, she’ll be given one last chance.
A gift for all she has endured.
And her lovesong will be heard.

Author’s Note: This is part of a series meant to be read in order, starting with Wolfsong followed by Ravensong. If you haven’t read both books, this will spoil major events. You’ve been warned.

Lovesong was published on TJ Klune’s website as a free short story for his readers. You can read it here – but please heed the author’s warning. There are things revealed that you really don’t want to know until you experience them in both Wolfsong and Ravensong.

This author has a knack for breaking hearts and slowly, very slowly putting them back together. Some things are beyond that though, but with a shred of hope… Yeah, there’s always hope and Lovesong is full of that. That’s not saying it’s still not heartbreaking, but with hope comes healing.

This is Elizabeth’s story and it’s full of heartbreak, awesomeness and most of all, best of all hope… ❤

Ravensong (Green Creek #2) by TJ Klune

Gordo Livingstone never forgot the lessons carved into his skin. Hardened by the betrayal of a pack who left him behind, he sought solace in the garage in his tiny mountain town, vowing never again to involve himself in the affairs of wolves.
It should have been enough.
And it was, until the wolves came back, and with them, Mark Bennett. In the end, they faced the beast together as a pack… and won.
Now, a year later, Gordo has found himself once again the witch of the Bennett pack. Green Creek has settled after the death of Richard Collins, and Gordo constantly struggles to ignore Mark and the song that howls between them.
But time is running out. Something is coming. And this time, it’s crawling from within.
Some bonds, no matter how strong, were made to be broken.

Ravensong didn’t affect me nearly as much as Wolfsong, but it was still powerful in its own way. Going in, readers that paid attention were warned by the author that this was Gordo’s story and being in his head wasn’t going to be anything like it was with Ox. I paid attention and I knew that, but I still wasn’t prepared for Gordo’s darkness. That’s not a bad thing because Gordo had been through so much, it would have been weird if he didn’t have a harder edge.

Mark and Gordo were broken and in a lot of ways they had broken each other. They still loved each other though and the kind of bond they had wasn’t an easy one to break. Gordo thought he had though. He thought that he could keep Mark at a distance and ignore his feelings. He thought he hid them well, but it’s hard to hide things from a pack, especially when one of them is destined to be your mate.

So much happened in Ravensong. There was a lot of overlap with events that took place in Wolfsong, but they were seen from Gordo’s POV, so it wasn’t redundant. It actually added to both stories.

Richard Collins may be dead, but what he started is far from over. I don’t want to spoil anything, but TJ Klune’s concept of an Omega wolf plays a very big role in Ravensong. I can’t say much more except that I spent a lot of time in this book holding my breath. Mainly because I had no idea exactly how much of his #EvilAuthor side was going to come into play. Yeah, that love/hate relationship is still going strong.

Regardless of the tension – there was so much to love about Ravensong… The sense of family (pack!pack!pack!) continued to be strong. The characters were amazing. The twists and turns and craziness kept the pages turning and I loved every single minute of it.

 

Death Days (Trilogy #1 – ?) by Lia Cooper

By day, Professor Nicholas Littman works as an itinerant professor at a small college in the Pacific Northwest. He teaches seminars on mythology and the intersections of folklore and magic in the ancient world. By night, he’s the local necromancer, a rare magical talent that has left him alienated from other practitioners.
All Nick wants from life is to be left alone to run his magical experiments and teach kids the historical context of magic without anyone being the wiser. Unfortunately, his family is sworn to sit on the council of the Order of the Green Book—a group of magicians dating back to the Crusades—and they aren’t willing to take Nick’s no for an answer.
As though that wasn’t bad enough, a coven of Night Women has arrived in town, warning Nick that there are wolves at his door he had better take care of. But what can one necromancer do when every natural and supernatural card seems stacked against him?

I can honestly say that this is one of the creeper books I’ve read in a long time. Demon summoning, grave robbing, corpse eating bugs… they seem to be the norm for Nick. Although he kind of grew on me, I can kind of see why he was the black sheep in both his family and fellow practitioners. That seemed to suit him just fine because there was no love lost between him and the magical community that was trying to get him to take his family’s seat on the council.

This wasn’t really a romance, but there was a romantic connection. I won’t spoil it by telling you who that ended up being, but if you’re like me, it wasn’t hard to figure out… or hope for 😉 There were quite a few twists and turns and a fair amount of suspense and as mentioned, a touch of romance – which was complicated. I personally can’t wait to see what happens next… speaking of which…

Okay, I know that you’re wondering and I promise, I’m not confused and the title for this review isn’t incomplete, but when I finished Death Days, I just had the feeling that there was more or maybe I was just hoping that there was more. I don’t usually go creeping on author’s websites (well, not a lot anyway) but I just had to know! And since I wasn’t the only reader/reviewer that felt that way, I went searching. When I traveled to Lia Cooper’s website, I discovered that Death Days is indeed the first book in at least a trilogy, but she didn’t indicate the name of the series (hence my creative, incomplete blog post title). Stay tuned, because I most definitely will be keeping my eyes open for the next installment. 😉

SpellSmoke (A Fistfull of Daggers #2) by SM Reine

It’s not much of a life, taking bounty hunts on vampires. But as a disgraced former deputy, Lincoln Marshall’s not exactly knee-deep in job offers, and airplane tickets are expensive after the apocalypse. His dying father is all the way across the country in Northgate. It’s Lincoln’s last chance to see him, and he’ll do whatever it takes to get there – even though the werewolf pack in Northgate is still out for his blood.
Sophie Keyes, the one and only Historian, needs Lincoln’s help. She fears the gods may be out to kill her. So Lincoln drags her back home despite his better instincts – only to learn that home’s not exactly safer than Reno. Some preternatural monster is killing hospice patients in Northgate.
Sheriff Noah Adair is convinced the killers are werewolves. The werewolves are convinced Lincoln Marshall is the killer. And Lincoln thought surviving the post-apocalypse had been bad enough before all this crap.

Before I started writing this review, I went back and read my review of Lonesome Paladin. I do that from time to time, just to refresh my memory. I didn’t really need to this time, it hasn’t been that long since I read the first book in A Fistful of Daggers. I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t repeating my self too much… 😉

Needless to say, I’m loving this series so far. There were a couple of surprising appearances in Lonesome Paladin. The additional characters in A Fistful of Daggers were expected, but that doesn’t mean that the way readers saw them in SpellSmoke was. Abel and Rylie are adjusting to being new parents while still being the Alpha mates. Abel is trying to take on most of the Alpha duties while Rylie recovers and adjusts. The fact that he needs his mate just as much as Rylie needs him isn’t making things any easier on anyone. Adding Lincoln to the mix isn’t helping. I loved spending time with Rylie, Abel and even Summer again. I may be a bit partial because Seasons of the Moon was my first introduction to this crazy, amazing world created by SM Reine. So you may want to take my infatuation with the pack with a grain of salt.

Aside from Lincoln’s unintentional involvement with the pack, there was a lot more going on in SpellSmoke. I may or may not have mentioned in my review of Lonesome Paladin that I wasn’t sure about my feelings about Sophie. That’s changed… I fell in love with her in SpellSmoke -awkward nerdiness and all. Her sincerity, her unique view on the world, pretty much everything about her… even the way she continually put Lincoln in his place… I loved it all.

Then there were the unexplained hospice deaths. Lincoln’s family, (that, incidentally, explained so much about the man he was). The mysterious assassin who was after Sophie. And a brand new group of shapshifters (kind of)…  SpellSmoke was pretty much non-stop action and craziness and I loved every minute of it.

Oh, and if you’re not a fan of cliff hangers, consider yourself forewarned. Just one more reason why I can’t wait for the next book in A Fistful of Daggers

Cast in Godfire (The Mage Craft #5) by S.M. Reine

castingodfireThe gods are rallying to take down Marion, their ally and voice in the mortal worlds. She’s gotten her memories back to disastrous results. She’s destroying the faerie courts, and the rest of the universe is next. The other deities want Seth—also known as the God of Death—to stop Marion before she breaks something that can’t be fixed.
Unfortunately, when Marion looks at Seth with those eyes and insists that she’s not doing anything wrong, he wants to believe her. Marion claims she isn’t trying to rewrite history. She’s protecting it.
Seth wants to trust Marion. It’s only the universe that’s at stake, after all. And some women are worth shattering worlds over…

Reading the last book in a series is always bittersweet. The Mage Craft series is no exception, not by a long shot. I couldn’t be happier with the way things worked out FINALLY for Seth, but as they say, it’s not always the destination, but the journey and S.M. Reine didn’t skimp on Seth and Marion’s journey at all…

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Okay, so if you’ve read all the other books in this series and you’re getting ready to start Cast in Godfire, you need to know something going in… pay attention! It’s true that a lot has happened so far, but you’ve got no idea… trust me.

I don’t want to give anything away, but things got a little crazy. It was made even more crazy by the fact that S.M. Reine has a knack of making you doubt your loyalty to some characters while making you fall in love with characters that you never expected to, depending on whose head she allows you in at the time. Of course, there are some characters that she’ll never make me turn my back on, no matter how hard she tries. Trust me, she’s tried really, really hard. I’m loyal like that 😉

She’s also really good at making you laugh and cry… One of my favorite lines in Cast in Godfire? “…you crazy colostomy bag of a half-angel!”  There were more, but this one was hard to forget.And of course, less than a page later she had me shedding tears. One of the many, many reasons the author has me ALWAYS coming back.

So, long story short, there’s a lot that happens in Cast in Godfire and Marion and Seth’s story comes to a satisfying end… kind of. However, this crazy world that S.M. Reine has drawn us into is far from over. I’m pretty sure we haven’t seen the last of Seth and Marion. They may not be front and center, but they’ll still be around. There were also just a few loose ends at the end of their story that I’m kind of anxious for her to resolve. (Mild understatement.)

Once again, if you haven’t introduced yourself to this crazy universe, you really need to fix that. You can pretty much start anywhere because all of her series are written to be stand alone. But… they’re all intertwined… check out her timeline. You’re welcome 😉

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