zondag 30 oktober 2016

Wolf Unleashed - Paige Tyler

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Published: December 2016

ISBN: 9781492625988

Lacey Barton can't deny her crazy attraction to Alex Trevino, but that doesn't mean she has time for the gorgeous SWAT officer. She's hell-bent on discovering who's behind the brutal dogfights sending countless mauled animals to her veterinarian office. The trail leads Lacey to a ring of vicious drug dealers and suddenly she's in way over her head-right smack in the middle of a SWAT stakeout.

With Lacey in danger, Alex's wolf side is unleashed. But when she witnesses Alex shift, she's even more terrified... Now it's up to Alex to crack the case-and earn back Lacey's trust and, ultimately, her heart.

My review
After Her Rogue Alpha, from Paige Tyler's X-OPS series, I was really looking forward to another shot of hunky werewolfs. And with Wolf Unleashed, here there are again. Yay! The story continues with Alex Travino, from Gage's pack (meet him in Hungry Like the Wolf). When he takes Tuffie, the rescued and adopted dog to the vet for her check-up, he meets dr. Barton. There is an instant attraction between the both of them, but since Lacey has only seen very crappy examples of male species in her past, she can't believe Alex is for real. He is too cute, too kind and too great to believe.

Since Alex's sniffer isn't that good, he doesn't know for sure if Lacey is 'The One' for him, as MacKenzie is for Gage and Everly for Cooper (in To Love a Wolf). Since most of his teammates are also looking forward to meeting their 'The One', this is a hot topic among them: "You think she's The One for him?" Alex asked, trying to picture the huge dark-skinned alpha werewolf with the attractive but rough-around-the-edges narcotics officer. Remy shrugged. "Maybe, but if not, there's nothing wrong with her being The-One-for-right-Now."

So Alex tries to convince Lacey, that he is the One-for-right-now. During their dates, Alex discovers why Lacey keeps man at bay, although her sister Kelsey tries to convince her otherwise. And Lacey keeps getting to know Alex better and secretly she gets her hopes up, that maybe, just maybe, he's not too good to be true.
But during a reckless action of Lacey to find out who is behind the horrible dogfights, she nearly gets hurt and Alex's wolf comes out to rescue her. Unfortunately, Lacey realizes now that he's not too good to be true: he is too furry and too scary! Can Alex convince her that a little fur and some fangs are not the end of the world? And that real monsters don't always look so scary?

I would recommend you read this book to find out if a vet can be convinced that a wolf has feelings to. Four out of five stars for Paige. I'm already looking forward to part 6, Wolf Hunt. With thanks to Casablanca Books and Netgalley for this arc.

vrijdag 21 oktober 2016

A Sacred Vow - Willa Thorne

Publisher: Willa Thorne,
Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA)

Published: October 2016

ISBN: 9781537593470

I swore a solemn oath that saw to the end of the Cormacs, a family of hunters that persistently sought to rid my coven’s existence.

For years we have lived in the shadows, free from hunters and the weapons of wood that could destroy us.

But the familiar scent of Cormac blood is awakening my senses. We were certain that we had ended the bloodline. Now, the vow I swore plagues my mind. The guilt I harbour buries deep. The desire and lust burns.

My pledge to my family is now a promise to protect the woman I love.

Aurelia Galligan is a descendant of the Cormac bloodline. I should drain her. I have to destroy her. But she may just end me.

**This is a forbidden romance between the hunter and the hunted. It features the smoldering British vampire, Julian Devereux. The content is not suitable for readers under the age of 18.**

My review
First of all, I have to confess: yes, I really like vampires. The old fashion guys, who open the door for you, take you by the arm and take out your seat. Yep, I like them. And okay, so they need to bite your neck and get some blood. Minor detail, when you can live forever. So, when I saw A Sacred Vow on Netgalley, I just had to request this novel from Willa Thorne. 
Julian Devereux is exactly the gentleman. Swoon-worthy, hot and sexy. No wonder Aurelia gets her panties all wet. But here's the catch: Aurelia is a Cormac and the Cormacs have been sworn enemies of the Devereux clan. So, basically this is Romeo and Juliet all over again: who should side with whom? Julian thinks he can postpone the unevitable by not telling Aurelia who and what he is. But of course, she will find out and then all hell breaks loose. Can they overcome the obstacles and be happy ever after (of course for a vampire, there is a lot ever after. Like forever...)? 
I'm not going to spoil the story, but in all it is a very easy read. Through flashbacks Willa takes you back in time, to explain how Julian became a vampire and why the relationship between Julian and Nolan is strained. Willa has done an excellent job in describing the characters. I really, really disliked Nolan, but in the end he kind of grew on me. Who knew? Even a bitter and sarcastic vampire can do that to you...
In all, four out of five stars for me. The story was a little bit to predictable, but in all a recommendable read for the vampire fans out there.  

vrijdag 14 oktober 2016

First Light - Bill Rancic

Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons

Published: November 2016

ISBN: 9781101982273

A father from Chicago takes a road trip to the city of Whitehorse, in Yukon Territory, with his wife and son. During the car ride, they reveal to the boy their harrowing experience surviving a horrific plane crash in the wilderness ten years before, which is how the boy, in fact, came to be born. Set amid the deep, wild woods of the Yukon, First Light tells the story of Daniel Albrecht and Kerry Egan, young lovers leaving a work trip in Alaska to plan their wedding back home in Chicago. Not long into their trip, both engines of their plane catch fire and send them careening into a mountainside in the middle of a terrible snowstorm. Kerry is seriously injured in the accident, and it soon becomes clear that search-and-rescue teams aren’t going to find the survivors in time to save her. Daniel—the one person with survival experience amid the passengers—makes the courageous decision to find help and bring it back to the rest of the passengers, hoping against hope he might save the woman he loves. He leaves Kerry in the care of their coworker, Phil Velez, himself seriously injured in the crash, and takes off into the woods to find a town, a house with a telephone, a road. Something.
            But Daniel’s choices are made all the more difficult by the presence of his boss, a stubborn man more interested in results than taking care of people. Only one man will come out of their trek alive, but it still may not be in time to save Kerry and the others back at the crash site, slowly dying from their injuries.
            As the parents’ story draws to a close, the truth about the boy’s life, and the identity of his father, will at last be revealed.

My review
I just finished this book, and just... WOW. I don't know if you ever saw the movie 'The Sixth Sense'? The boy who wispers "I can see dead people"? At the end of the movie, you are kind of shaken, because you so didn't see that one coming. Well, with First Light it is just exactly the same. In the last few pages, your world just turns on it's axis. Breathtaking, moving and shocking.
Needless to say, this book gets a fivestar rating. The story starts with a boy, whose parents have survived a plane crash, ten years ago. They receive an invitation to a memorial and decide to go on a roadtrip (of course they wouldn't set a foot in a plane any more) to attend this meeting. During the trip they tell their story, so that their son finally understands what has happened all those years ago.
The story is told through the eyes of different characters. Mainly from Kerry and Daniel's point of view. You can't help to dislike Bob. I mean, seriously, what kind of boss is he? And the scary part is: I think there are really those kind of bosses out there. And Phil, what is to like about him? He is mostly self-centred and a bit stiff and arrogant. But after a few days in survival modus at the plane, he even manages to surprise Beverly, the elderly nurse, who also survived the crash and is tending to all the injured passengers.

Not to reveal the story to you, I'll not go into detail further. But seriously, if you want romance, drama, and even some excitement. Please read this book. Thank you FirstToRead for this gem.  I'll keep an eye out for more books from Bill Rancic.

zondag 9 oktober 2016

Thunder Moon - Joanne Mallory

Publisher: Crooked Cat Publishing

Published: January 2017

ISBN: 9781911381372

Thea Lavelle has a lot to juggle: a teaching career that is ramping up, keeping tabs on her globetrotting family and fine tuning her craft.

Thea is a hereditary witch whose gift came late. She’s still learning exactly what her wayward magic can do, but on meeting Marc, her best friend’s brother, she soon discovers her magic has some firm ideas about it wants.

The fates have been pushing Marc back home, to the bay of his teenage years. He knows that grief and guilt have left him burnt out, and that his family’s particular skill with healing is the best place for him.

He’d left home not knowing what he was searching for. Could it be that she’d been in Langston Bay all along?

Thunder Moon is the first in a trilogy of love, family and age-old magic.

My review
Since this is the debut of Joanne Mallory, I tend to give her the benefit of the doubt. Thunder Moon is a promising story, but I kind of felt hungry afterwards. It's like going to a fast food restaurant, seeing al those wonderful pictures of gigantic hamburgers, and after receiving your little package, you are still wondering whether that hamburger of the picture and the little thing in your box bear even a small hint of resemblance.

Back to the story of Thea and Marc. The ingredients are there, a troubled soldier and a lovely witch, both drawn to each other by an invisible force. The picture being drawn is very promising, with Marc coming home after an incident with a patient in the army. Traumatized, confused and in need of care. And drool worthy. (Getting the picture, already?) And then there is Thea, with her dog Murphy. Thea is a witch, drawing her powers from the elements (water, fire, earth and wind), or more precisely: the elements are reacting to her emotions and feelings. She and her dog Murphy have a special relationship. It's not very clear whether they can communicate by telepathy or something, but Murphy is more than your regular dog. 

So we have an instant attraction, sparks flying everywhere, secrets, magic and emotions all over the place. Then why is this story not fulfilling? Well, for one, the story is very short. So Joanne has little time to give the characters enough depth and history. Secondly, the healer powers of Marc and the witchy part of Thea are part of the story, but they are only a sort of snack-on-the-side (to keep into food analogies). It's like you order a big juicy steak and you have a small bowl with vegetables on the side: who needs green if you have a big steak on your plate? In potential Joanne could have done much more with this aspect. But maybe she's saving for part two and three. 
And thirdly, when the pace of the story (finallly) picks up, it kind of ends very rapidly. So yeah, in the end we finally understand the background of the invisible forces at work. But that's it? Again: it's like you ordered a cheeseburger and you find out half way through your burger, that they forgot the cheese. 

But enough with the negativity, because in the end: although the fast food is leaving you feeling somewhat dissatisfied and hungry, you still go back next time. So yeah, I'll be waiting for the second and third part of this trilogy to come out and satisfy my cravings.
Three out of five stars for Thunder Moon, with a thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.