woensdag 22 februari 2017

Immortal Unchained - Lynsay Sands

Publisher: Orion Publishing Group

Pubished: March 2017

ISBN: 9781473221536

Ever since Domitian Argenis recognized Sarita as his life mate, he's been waiting for the perfect moment to claim her. Those fantasies did not include him being chained to a table in a secret lab, or both of them being held hostage by a mad scientist. Somehow, they have to escape...

Sarita has seen some crazy things as a cop, but nothing to rival Domitian. A vampire? Seriously? But his healing ability, incredible powers, and their mind-blowing physical connection-none of it should be possible, yet her body knows differently. Now, not only do they have to save each other, but other innocent lives are at stake. Failure is not an option, for Sarita intends for Domitian to show her exactly what an eternity of pleasure feels like...

My review
Since I accidentally stumbled across the 7th book of the Argenau series of Lynsay Sands (The Accidental Vampire, what's in a name...), I was sincerely spoiled. Ever since, all vampire books I read are measured against the Argenaus... So when I saw Immortal Unchained (# 25 in the series) on Netgalley, I just had to request it. And yay, I received the ARC. I was a little hesitant, because after more than 20 books on the Argenau family, the action seemed to be getting a little less in the books 21 and 22. The yummie Notte twins (Dante and Tomasso) fortunately had more action in books 23 and 24. And in this book, Lynsay picks up the pace. We had already seen, that there were some immortals disappearing in those books. And although Lucian (my absolute favourite Argenau) was trying to find them, he was not able to. 
Enter Domitian. We start the book with Lucian growling (when is he not growling...) into Domitian's earpeace, not to go on board of the helicopter. But of course, Domitian gets on the helicopter... and ends up chained to a table in a secret lab.
Fortunately, Domitian is untied by Sarita, his life mate. If you haven't read any of Lynsay's books: she is THE ONE for him. But since she is a 'normal' mortal woman, she knows nothing of vampires (excuse me: immortals). However, she gets a crash course in vampires by Dr. Dressler, a mad scientist doing gruesome experiments on them. 

Of course there is this undeniable attraction between Sarita and Domitian, which will lead to some hilarious and also steaming scenes. But, as a true Argenau story, there is a lot of action, some unexpected turns and some very intriguing characters. For instance, we meet Thorne, the son of Dr. Dressler and Asherah, the assistant of Dr. Dressler. Right untill the end, you don't know who will be part of the good guys or part of the bad guys. With the exception of Dr. Dressler of course, who is just pure evil.

Furthermore, we re-unite with some of the characters of the earlier books, like Victor (my first Argenau encounter), Nicholas and Jo (The Renegade Hunter, #12), Decker and Dani (The Immortal Hunter #11),  Lucern (Single White Vampire #3), Eshe (Borne to Bite, #13) and Mirabeau (Bitten by Cupid, #12,5). And of course Lucian (Bite me if you can, #6).
So of course, five out of five stars from me! And looking forward to book 26! Keep up the good work, Lynsay.

Between a Wolf and a Hard Place - Terry Spear

Publisher: SourceBooks Casablanca

Published: April 2017

ISBN: 9781492645115

Wooing a she-wolf isn’t as easy as it looks in this bold paranormal romance from USA Today bestseller Terry Spear
In Silver Town, the secrets run deep…

Alpha werewolf Brett Silver has an ulterior motive when he donates a prized family heirloom to the Silver Town hotel. Ellie MacTire owns the place with her sisters, and he’s out to get her attention. 
Ellie is even more special than Brett knows. She’s a wolf-shifter with a unique ability to commune with the dead. Ellie has been ostracized, so she protects herself and those she loves by revealing nothing—not even when strange and dangerous things begin to happen in Silver Town. And especially not to the devastatingly handsome and generous wolf who’s determined to win her over…

My review
Since the A Very Jaguar Christmas, I hadn't read anything from Terry Spear. So when I saw Between a Wolf and a Hard Place on Netgalley, I had to request it. I was curious if this book was going to give you the same cozy feeling of the jaguar christmas or not. 
And indeed, Terry just writes in a very relaxing and enchanting way. You meet Ellie and her two sisters, who are running the Silver Town hotel. In this town, there are a lot of wolf-shifters living, so alpha guys defending their territory (read: there girls) is quit normal. And since they are good looking, like Brett, I certainly have no problems with that. Ellie, however, is more hesitant to engage with the romantic guy. Because she has a little secret: she can see and communicate with the dead. And since the last guy she told her secret has been treating her horribly, she is not very open to a new relationship. 
But clumsy Brett is trying really hard and being very sweet. Makes me want to remind my husband about bringing flowers, LOL.

So in all, a very pleasant read, with some excitement here and there. You gotta love Brett's (already deceased) great aunt, because she is hilarious. If you want to have a nice and feelgood read, sit back and relax with Between a Wolf and a Hard Place. Four out of five stars from me.   

zondag 19 februari 2017

How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days - Kerrelyn Sparks

Publisher: St. Martin's

Published:  March 2017

ISBN: 9781250108210

As one of the Embraced—one born with magical powers—the beautiful, innocent Luciana escaped certain death after her father hid her away on the Isle of Moon. Now, nineteen years later, her father has returned with a frightening request. He will be executed unless Luciana returns to the mainland and marries a man feared throughout the land: a terrifying brute known as the Beast.

Luciana accepts her fate and agrees to wed the Beast—Lord Leo—in order to save her father. Soon she learns that her betrothed is also one of the Embraced. With the ability to wield lightning, Leo’s immense power strikes fear into the hearts of men. . .and his mere touch can put an end to a woman’s life. But Luciana cannot deny the passion that burns between them. How can she resist the man who scorches her soul and makes her feel intoxicated with desire—even if surrendering to him could destroy them both?

My review
I have to admit, I was a bit hesitant to request this ARC from Kerrelyn Sparks. I have read her How to marry a Millionaire Vampire and although I liked that book, I'm kind of spoiled in the Vampire department by Lynsay Sands. I kind of devoured her whole Argenau series, so you have to be real good to top her. But because this book was not about vampires, I was kind of curious. And boy, was I glad a was granted this one...
The story starts with five girls, known as the Embraced ones. They are orphans at a monastery and they all have a special power. Luciana can see and talk with dead people. On a day, a stranger appears at the monastery, claiming to be Luciana's father. And even more exciting: he brings along his (now dead) other daughter, Tatiana. Luciana's twin sister she didn't know she had.

As you can tell: a lot of things happening in this book. And we mustn't forget the Beast. Yummie Leo (I mean, look at that cover...) has one tiny problem: he can't touch anyone, or he will zapp that person. And as with lightning: it doesn't end well. So Lord Leo is feared by everyone, except his uncle, the King. He orders him to marry Tatiana, in order to annexate the land of Luciana and Tatiana's father, if Lord Leo would come to an uncertain death. 

Luciana takes Tatiana's place as betrothed of Lord Leo. But what she didn't expect was that there were sparks flying. But not from Lord Leo's lightning fingers... A fastpaced story, with lots of twists and turns. And even a lot of humor. Absolutely delightful. I will not spoil the story, but I am already looking forward to the next part of this Embraced series. Five out of five stars from me.    

woensdag 15 februari 2017

Riveted - Jay Crownover

Publisher: HarperCollins

Published: February 2017

ISBN: 9780008116347

The next book in the smoking hot SAINTS OF DENVER series from NYT bestselling author of the MARKED MEN series, Jay Crownover.

Everyone else in Dixie Carmichael’s life has made falling in love look easy, and now she’s ready for her own chance at happy ever after. Which means no more pining for Dash Churchill, the moody, silent former soldier who she works with. She’s going hunting for Mr Right and a pesky little crush isn’t going to stop her…

Denver has always been just a pit stop for Church on his way home. It was supposed to be simple, uneventful, but nothing could have prepared him for the bubbly, bouncy Dixie, determined to break down his walls. Now he knows it’s time to get out of Denver, fast.

But while falling in love is easy, loving takes a whole lot more work… especially when Mr Right thinks he’s all wrong for you.

My review
Even if you have not read the first books of the Saints of Denver or the Marked Men series, you will still like this book. However, since I've read both of the series, I was (again) swept into the lives and loves of all my beloved characters. I must admit, I'm not a fan of tattoos, but ever since I met Remy and Rule in the first part of the Marked Men series, I can appreciate the artists behind the tattoos. 
And in this book we meet Church. Broody, dark and sinister, we already met Church in Asa's book. He is an army buddy of Rome (yes, the big brother of Remy and Rule) and he has some issues. Of course, there are dark secrets looming, but happy-go-lucky-Dixie does not care. She wants the big bad guy all for herself. But Church doesn't seem to want to have anything to do with her. 
So, she turns to her friendly neighbour Poppy (yes, Salem's sister from Rowdy, Marked Men #5). But Poppy doesn't want to do much with men, because of her crappy history with men. Even Wheeler, Dixie's ex-brother-in-law, scares the hell out of her. (Or maybe not, if I read the blurb of Salvaged, Saints of Denver #4). So, Dixie tries to go out with other guys, through some kind of dating app. But what a bunch of weirdos where that?! 
And then, Church asks her to come along to his home. To pretend to be his girlfriend for his family and friends. So she agrees, because she thinks this is the ultimate chance to prove Church that he is Mr. Right for her and not Mr. Wrong. But what if their pasts creeps up at them? Will they still have a future? Or was Church right in being Mr. Wrong?
Jay Crownover keeps you on edge from start to finish. Absolute wonderful story, with a smile and a tear. I'm waiting for Wheeler's and Poppy's story. Five out of five stars from me and a thank you to Netgalley for the ARC.

dinsdag 7 februari 2017

Her True Match - Paige Tyler

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Published: March 2017

ISBN: 9781492625926

When feline shifter Dreya Clark is escorted from the police interrogation by two secret agents, she thinks she's dodged a bullet. That sexy detective Braden Hayes caught her stealing red-handed. When she finds out what she has to do to stay out of jail, suddenly she's missing the hot cop with the piercing gaze. She's being recruited for her shifter abilities by the Department of Covert Operations. 

Braden has been chasing the smart-mouthed cat burglar for years. But when Dreya's taken away, he knows their game of cat and mouse has turned deadly-serious. There's no way he'll let her go off alone. Fur flies and temperatures flare as Braden realizes Dreya is much more than she appears. Thrown together on a dangerous covert mission, this unlikely pair will have to rely on each other to make it out alive. 

X-Ops Series
Her Perfect Mate (Book 1)
Her Lone Wolf (Book 2)
Her Secret Agent (novella)
Her Wild Hero (Book 3)
Her Fierce Warrior (Book 4)
Her Rogue Alpha (Book 5)
Her True Match (coming March 2017)

My review
Her True Match was the second X-OPS book I've read. The first one for me was Her Rogue Alpha. That book I found rather 'tame', in comparison to the SWAT series of Paige Tyler. But since I had my shot of yummie werewolfs recently in Wolf Unleashed, I decided to take another shot at the X-OPS series. And boy, was I glad to have gotten my hands on this one! Dreya Clark is a feline shifter. However, growing up alone, she thinks herself a freak of nature with her claws and her scary green eyes. Since she doesn't know that there are more of her kind out there, she is sure there is no way any guy will be interested in her. Instead, she thrives on stealing and breaking and entering homes. 
Officer Braden Hayes has his eyes set on her for some time now. And not only because he wants to get her redhanded, but also because he likes the tension between them during interrogations, where Dreya stands her ground and is able to get away with most of her crimes.

So sparks are flying. But how can an abiding law officer and a cat burglar get together? When de Department of Covert Operations sweeps in, after Braden has arrested Dreya, how far will Braden go, to ensure Dreya's safety?

The story unfolds nicely, where we meet 'old' acquaintances of the other X-OPS books. And we see how there is also a second plot, in which shifters are created in a scary lab. The secondary characters, Brooklyn, Trevor and Ian, are also very interesting. Hopefully, they will get their 'own' story in the next books of the series.

So, it's safe to say, that the shifters of the X-OPS series kind of grow on you! Four out of five stars from me.With a special thank you to Sourcebooks Casablanca and Netgalley for this ARC.     

woensdag 25 januari 2017

Making Bad Choices - Rita Stradling

Publisher: Rita Stradling

Published: January 2017

ISBN: 9781540684462

Culter Fuller came back into my life on the day my mother died, as if losing my mother wasn't bad enough.
We hated each other since childhood. Well, I hated him. He had a very different story.
When I moved to my dad's house to finish my last semester of high school, we went from bitter enemies to. . . something else. He was suddenly everywhere, occupying my space, determined to pull me into his life, filling me with thoughts I knew were wrong.
I knew that soon we would cross a line that should never be crossed.
I knew crossing that line could have very serious consequences; because Culter Fuller wasn't just any irresistible boy, Culter Fuller was my stepbrother.
But, I was always very bad at making the right choices.

My review
Well, the blurb and the caution "Recommended 16+ this is a mature YA" made me quite curious. This had to be good. And I a few ways, it was. Rita Stradling describes in an excellent way how Cassie is struggling with her feelings and emotions after burying her mother. After years of taking care of her sick mother, Cassie now moves back in with her father, her stepmother, and her two stepbrothers. 
It must definitely be hard to watch your mother struggle with cancer, chemo's and losing weight. And finally losing the battle. You can feel the grief and despair of Cassie, who had to endure this during her teens. It marks her and that's why she acts differently than most teens. So, that part was very interesting. Culter on the other hand, was a bit less interesting. Oh, definitely interesting in the 'look-at-that-handsome-Full-of-yourself-Fuller' kind of guy. But he is a much less in depth character as Cassie. 
Furthermore, the history of the love-hate relationship between Cassie and Cutler was a bit unclear to me. What happened precisely and why was Cassie still so angry about this? 
However, the story unfolds nicely, with a definite twist in the plot at the end. You don't see that one coming, so that's very nice.
The caution and the bad choices in the book are a bit overrated in my opinion. I've read books where even my ears turned deep pink, but it is not one of those. So just sit back and enjoy this one. Four out of five stars from me. With a thank you for Netgalley for providing the ARC.