Saturday, 16 June 2018

REVIEW - MATING GAMES - WOLF HOLLOW SHIFTERS BY NIKKI JEFFORD

Title: Mating Games
Series: Wolf Hollow Shifters
Author: Nikki Jefford
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance, Thriller, Post Apocalyptic
Release Date: 13th  February 2018

BLURB from Goodreads
A FEMALE GUARDING HER HEART . . .

Hot-tempered, agile, and jaded, Jordan spurns the match her father is pushing between her and the swaggering mammoth, Raider. She'd happily let one of her fawning sisters have him, but her packmates are taking bets on who Raider will ultimately claim. Jordan wants nothing to do with the insufferable beast . . . until he saves her life.

A MALE CARRYING THE WEIGHT OF HIS PACK . . .

All brawn and no brains, that's what most male shifters think when they see Raider. The females treat him as a strong, attractive prize they want to sink their claws into. Only one female avoids him, which is fine with him until they are paired up for patrol. The hot-blooded she-wolf doesn't have to like him, but she'll have to find a way to perform her duties.

ENTANGLED IN A WEB OF DECEIT . . . AND DESIRE

When Jordan’s life is threatened, along with several packmates, the mating games take a dangerous turn.

Something sinister is happening in Wolf Hollow and outside forces threaten the impassioned bond forming between two shifters fated to be together.


PURCHASE LINKS

REVIEW
I was looking forward to returning to Wolf Hollow to hopefully catch up with Sasha and her half breed mate Tabor. There was also Tabor's sister who is visiting to learn more about her shifter side. The blurb had me interested to learn more about Raider whom we had already briefly met in book one. I was ready to get back into this uncertain world once again, and see how the occupants of Wolf Hollow were adapting and living in this harsh environment with its hazards of humans and dangers of vulhena.

The cover has the dominating male figure of Raider on it, "all brawn no brain" I'm sure we will discover more about him in this book. The female on the cover seems uninterested in the hunky male at the side of her, will that change through the course of the book?

The Genres listed for this book have increased in number and I do agree that this book does touch on many genres, meaning it should appeal to a wide range of readers. Though due to the steamy parts I'd say 18+ readers.

The main theme of this book is that Raider is ready to take a mate. The Wolf Hollow Pack need to pair off and produce offspring to secure the future of the pack. Garrick who played a large part in the last book is also quite instrumental in this book, he is determined that Raider will be matched with one of his elder friend Palmer's three daughters that are old enough to be paired with him. So that has Emerson, Camillia and Jordan, favourites in the betting that Hudson and the younger wolves are running. There's also Raider's old patrol partner Kallie thrown into the mix, but sadly disregarded by a lot of the betting wolves as she is now disabled after being attacked by Vulhena whilst out on patrol with Raider. Raider feels nothing but guilt when he looks at Kallie, he feels it is his fault she was attacked and that if only he had been faster getting rid of the vulhena he had been fighting she wouldn't have been hurt.
Things become a little sinister when Jordan is pushed into the river whilst she is drunk, and then Emerson is poisoned! At first both girls think it could be Taryn, Janelle and Gina that are behind these unprovoked attacks on them.
Sadly it turns out to be someone much closer to them whom they would never have thought could possibly be the guilty party. Jordan, Camillia and Emerson are genuinely upset when they find out who the real culprit is.

I don't want to go into much more detail as it would in my opinion reveal to much. In this book we see a different side of Garrick, whom even his own son is disgusted with from his actions in book one. Garrick does have quite a tender moment with Raider when he more or less tells him to follow his heart and not let anyone or anything get in the way of him and his mate. 

I thought it a shame that at one point in the book Kallie was a possible suspect for poisoning Emerson when she had done nothing to warrant the suspicion. I hope Kallie gets her own story soon and there's an improvement in her social standing within the pack. Everyone seems to be as embarrassed about her disability as she is. I hope she doesn't get stuck with the elder who has his sights set on her. Kallie is used to being a strong contributor to the pack, doing her share on patrol. Since her being attacked she has been moved to the den with the families that have pups to look after. This move was done as a kindness but to Kallie it feels like a punishment seeing the happy families with pups, something she feels she will never have now she is "damaged goods". She no longer feels whole. I really want her to have some happiness.

We also learn more about the humans that are surviving in the changed world. We have already learnt about the humans who trap shifters and pit them against each other in fights to the death. In this book we meet another smaller group of humans, who are also trying to trap shifters, but not to fight. These humans want something else that in a way is as disgusting and distressing as the humans that have shifters fighting. The way they go about obtaining their end goal is so sinister, they have their minds set that what they want to do is somehow a normal and natural thing.
Just because they are only a small group doesn't make them any less dangerous or barbaric in their treatment of the shifters they manage to catch. 

The next part I want to say is kind of awkward without giving things away. . . it turns out the culprit of the "accidents & misfortunes" that the Palmer girls are on the receiving end of is somehow in league with this small band of humans. I would have liked a little more information on why, and how as well as learning more about the culprits end fate. (though I guess that could be touched on in a later book).

Like Jordan and a few other pack members I initially thought Raider would be all bulk/brawn and no brain or softer side. He is described as being large, bulky and muscular in his human form and in his wolf form has the strength and aura of an Alpha so could probably force any of the female shifter']s in Wolf Hollow. Not that he would need to as many of the females would happily throw themselves at his feet and be happy to be claimed and give birth to multiple pups with him.

Garrick the character I loved to hate in Wolf Hollow, was featured in this book up to his usually conniving ways, trying to make sure that one of his close elder friends Palmer, had one of his daughters become matched with Raider.This would then secure him a way to possibly still have a say in Pack politics and rulings as Raider has a place on the council with the elders and a union linking Garrick and Palmer could only be beneficial to Garrick.  We had met Raider already in book one, Wolf Hollow and he came across as a bit all body and no brains or personality, but we certainly see another deeper, softer side in this book. However when he is needed to be, Raider is a serious, calculating. authoritative male shifter. I liked that Raider was not arrogant, and he could have used his position on the council with the elders to have any female he wanted. Raider didn't want that though, he wanted what Sasha and Tabor had, a real loving relationship. Raider wanted someone to look at him the way Sasha and Tabor looked at each other and not just wanting to be his mate for status. 

Of course thanks to their father Palmer, Jordan, Camillia and Emerson are all being closely watched to see who is going to end up with Raider. Emerson seems to be the obvious choice, where as Jordan is irritated by the whole thing. She isn't ready to settle down and have pups with anyone. Sure she'll have some fun with the male wolves especially when she'd had some of the moonshine when it is available.
So who will Raider end up with? Will it be one of Palmer's daughters as his father Garrick wishes or will it be someone else. Will Raider get the love he sees between Sasha and Tabor for himself?

Just when it seems Raider has made his choice, his future mate disappears. . . Raider knows she must be in some sort of trouble and being prevented from returning to Wolf Hollow and him. He is desperate to find her, knowing what happens to a wolf who loses his mate. He is determined to find her by any means at all, meaning Tabor's sister performs a spell to help. A search party is formed and Raider is resolute that he will come back with his mate and he is unwavering in what punishment will be given out to anyone who has hurt her.

My immediate thoughts on finishing this book was that it was another great installment in the Wolf Hollow Shifters Series!


I slipped back into the world of Wolf Hollow Shifters really easily and fell in love with the characters this book was centered on almost instantly. I loved the way Jordan was fiercely independent and determined not to follow her father's will. The way Emerson was quite happy to openly flirt with Raider in an attempt to become his mate. I also thought the addition of a relationship between two females was slipped into this book too. Maybe we will learn more about this in a later book in the series too. Though there are the parallels and basics of the traditional wolf pack and its politics there is also a more modern feel in the way Nikki Jefford is taking the Wolf Hollow pack. 

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

REVIEW - THE BIG BAD WOLF BY JUS ACCARDO

Title: The Big Bad Wolf
Author: Jus Accardo
Genre: Teens & YA 
Release Date: 5th March 2018

BLURB from Goodreads
Kensey Deaton comes from an elite werewolf lineage, but just because her family is royalty, doesn't mean she'll fall in line like some perfect little princess. She has plans and they don't include an arranged marriage!

Slade McAlister has his own family drama. His Alpha father happens to be the most reviled wolf on the eastern seaboard, and it's a stigma he can't escape. So when his neighbor Kensey--the girl of his dreams and his nightmares--proposes a solution to solve *both* of their problems, he sees an opportunity he can’t ignore.

Kensey and Slade aren't only from opposite sides of the tracks, they're from opposite sides of the war. But if they can sell their 'relationship', they might just make it out of this with their freedom.

You know, as long as all that fake PDA doesn't turn into more...


PURCHASE LINKS

REVIEW
I have read and adored other titles by Jus Accardo so her name drew me to this title and of course, the fact the book is published by Entangled is another plus point. The fact the genre is paranormal shifter, was the main attraction for me as I enjoy the pack politics and ancient rites and laws so I was hoping this one would be right up my street.

The cover has a couple on the front, a long blonde haired male in a suit and a long darker haired girl with her arm around the male and her head on his shoulder. This is a difficult one for me but I stand by always being honest and the truth is I really do not like this book cover. I guess it could be the two main characters, Slade and Kensey but to be totally honest, neither of the people on the cover are anything like I envision them to be from Jus Accardo's descriptions within the book.

The genres I have seen listed for this book and agree with are Teen, YA, Fantasy, Paranormal, and Romance. I would add that this book also has a contemporary feel to it as well. I think it will be a popular read that will appeal to a wide range of ages. 

The basis of the book is two packs, the elite, wealthy and well respected Deatons and the McAlisters a more lowly or as some call them more low-life family of misfits. The Deatons and McAlisters live in close proximity to each other, in fact they have been next door neighbours for some time. 

The two main characters of this book are Kensey Deaton and Slade McAlister, they used to happily play together in the wood surrounding their properties when they were younger. Then one time whilst they were in Kensey's tree house something happened and they stopped hanging out together.

Now both of them are older which means their families are putting pressure on them to claim a mate. Not all claimings are love matches some, in fact it seems most, are pairings arranged by two packs wanting to better their own pack's social position. So Alpha, Sam Deaton is putting pressure on his daughter saying she should look for a mate as if she doesn't choose someone herself he will choose for her. Kensey certainly doesn't want to think about the possibility of being paired with Carter Pennington the son of a man who has ingratiated himself into Sam Deaton's radar for possible matches for his daughter. Some packs arrange and force pairings against the free will of the female. Within a pack the males are considered to have all the power.

Living next door to Kensey, Slade is subject to a similar pressure to take a mate, though Slade has more of a hook up now and then, relationship with a pack member called Lupe. Lupe seems to be hoping for more of a future with Slade, where as he is happy as he is with the odd hook up. Slade has had a rough life with his father Gavin, who makes him do "jobs" for him and if he deosn't deliver well enough either he beats up Slade or his two enforcers Teegan and Mick beat up Slade on Gavin's orders.

Each pack has a special ability within them, such as the McAlister's have some sort of "mojo switch gift" which when in use makes the person they are working it on attracted to them and also makes it much easier for them to coerce them into doing whatever the McAlisters want! The Deaton's have the gift of fire within them, so to say Kensey is fiesty is an understatement! I would have loved to have known some of the other packs special gifts as well as how they could be used, to their pack's advantage.

Though Kensey comes from a wealthy pack her father and Alpha Sam wishes to arrange suitable males for her to choose from, though when she expresses that she would prefer to choose for herself he is fairly happy for her to choose someone for herself. Until she chooses Slade McAlister. Kensey talks Slade into pretending they are in a relationship together. Which he agrees to thinking he has nothing to loose and in return Kensey agrees to talk to her father about dissolving the trouble making McAlister pack which would set Slade free from his father and enable him to move away and start anew elsewhere. Kensey's father isn't so easily beaten and demands that Slade and Kensey have a formal courting.. . .Can the two former friends pull off this mutually beneficial pairing long enough? 
I really loved the love/hate kind of relationship between Slade and Kensey. They had once been good friends, in fact once there had been a hint of them maybe being even more to each other. Both sides have to compromise with each other spending time with each others family/pack. It's not as easy as they thought it would be to fool everyone.

I loved the book and would have to say Jus Accardo is one my favourite authors. Her books flow so well, making them easy to relax with and read. Jus had me caring about what happened to both Kensey and Slade within reading a couple of chapters. I had inklings how things would perhaps end but that didn't spoil my reading and there were still a few surprises in store as the plot unfolded. There are some tender moments between father and daughter, as well as some tense scenes between father and son too. Gavin McAlister really enjoys provoking Slade and when he sees his son with Kensey, a possible mate he knows he has yet another way to get Slade to carry out his orders.

My immediate thoughts upon finishing this book were, that it was a great blend of paranormal shifters with a contemporary romance feel, I loved it. Didn't want to put this one down once I started reading it. It took just two reading sessions! This book could be the start of another potentially brilliant shifter series!

I really hated having to put this book down! Of course after just 26% of the way into the book I was already hoping for a happy ending for Slade & Kensey ..... maybe they could run off and start their own pack?! I had forgotten how addictive Jus Accardo books are!

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

REVIEW - THE ADVENTURES AND DISCOVERIES OF A FEMINIST BRIDE BY KATRINA MAJKUT

Title: The Adventures and Discoveries of a Feminist Bride
Author: Katrina Majkut
Genre: Humour, Science
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Release Date: 22/02/18

BLURB from Goodreads
The Adventures and Discoveries of a Feminist Bride invites readers to join author Katrina Majkut on a personal and powerful prenuptial journey. With fearless curiosity and fun feminism, the book asks such questions as: Why do brides need their parents’ permission to marry? Why don’t men wear engagement rings? And why do women change their surname? 

With cheeky insights into the origins of Western wedding traditions (like how the wedding cake is not just dessert but a sexy fertility talisman), Majkut uncovers eye-opening truths about how social traditions impact people’s lives. More than a wedding planning book, readers will learn how to modernize outdated traditions that support the wage gap, street harassment, sex and gender discrimination, and that limit reproductive rights.


PURCHASE LINKS

REVIEW
Occasionally I like to read something a bit different, some humour, non-fiction or memoir type book so when I saw this book I fancied giving this one a go.

The cover depicts a rather fed up looking bride. Why is she fed up? Maybe it because its usually the bride that has to plan everything!?

The genres listed for this book are humour and science, I agree with the humour although there is a lot of serious points made in the book too. I'm not sure about the genre label of  "science" unless its behavioural science as peoples' behaviour in regard to weddings is included within the book. I guess you could also add memoir/diary as we are going along on the pre-wedding build up to the big day and what it all entails for Katrina.

The book begins with the engagement ring, which is usually a diamond and every little girl has dreamt about for years. There's a part in the book where Katrina compares her desire for the perfect engagement compares to Gollum in Lord Of The Rings! She puts it all so much funnier than I would so I'll leave the exact statement for you to read in the book, but if you're anything like me I was giggling and picturing Gollum as I read it. Katrina also goes into why the wedding ring is a simple band with no beginning and no end to hopefully represent the marriage too. 

Katrina goes on to give us, the reader the different traditions and rituals of a wedding and her sometimes amusing thoughts on them. 

I have to say I totally agree with the whole "why should the woman change her name to that of her husband/partner". Personally I was self employed when I got married so for my business I still used my maiden name. Though I did bow to convention and take my husbands surname for everything else.

Katrina also suggests alternatives to the brides' parents paying for the whole wedding. In this day and age couples have either lived on their own or perhaps lived with their partner prior to the marriage, so why does the financial burden fall on the brides parents? Why can the financial burden be shared between both sets of parents and the couple themselves too?   

I enjoyed reading the book and varied between laughing along, tutting, shaking my head and dare I say feeling I wanted to wave the feminist banner along with Katrina. There are even more areas within the wedding she could have covered, like families interfering with choices for bridesmaid, maid of honour, best man, ushers and little flower girl/page boys too. There's the "where to get married" arguments as well as the hymns (if marrying in church) or music. . .which guests sit where at the reception, then "sit down meal" vs "buffet" there always seems to be something for family and friends to complain or sulk about.

My immediate thoughts when I finished the book were that the book began really interesting, and I definitely learnt where some wedding traditions came from, and I found the book thought provoking as to why women seem to meekly give in to so called tradition by taking or rather conforming to taking their husbands surname when they marry.

My final thoughts are that the book was a good read. I enjoyed the lighter hearted sections of the book. I have to say the book pace felt like it was slower and dragging a bit in the latter part of the book. I stuck with the book and read it too the end. I just wish the pace and laugh out loud moments had been the whole way through to the end rather than just the first half /two thirds of the book.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

REVIEW - THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE BY JENNIFER MATHIEU

Title: The Truth About Alice
Author: Jennifer Mathieu
Genre: Teens, YA, Contemorary
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books, Hachette Children's Group
Release Date: 8th March 2018

BLURB from Netgalley
Everyone knows Alice slept with two guys at one party.
But did you know Alice was sexting Brandon when he crashed his car?
It's true. Ask ANYBODY.

Rumour has it that Alice Franklin is a slut. It's written all over the 'slut stall' in the girls' bathroom at Healy High for everyone to see. And after star quarterback Brandon Fitzsimmons dies in a car accident, the rumours start to spiral out of control.

In this remarkable novel, four Healy High students - the party girl, the car accident survivor, the ex best friend and the boy next door - tell all they know.


But exactly what is the truth about Alice? In the end there's only one person to ask: Alice herself.


PURCHASE LINKS


REVIEW
I felt in the mood to read something more contemporary for a change and when I read the title of this book it immediately made me curious, I wanted to know who Alice was and what her story was. 

The cover of this book is bright yellow so really grabs your attention. When you read the book you realise that it is a representation of the toilet cubicle wall at Healy high. The title of the book is written in a social media/graffiti style that works well. The authors name is done in a font/style that could be a pupils name on their locker perhaps which continues the school theme very well. There is also a recommendation for how good the book is by Zoella the author of Moxie. This book should really stand out on a bookstore shelf!

The genres I've seen listed for this book are Children's fiction, Teens & YA which is the age group the book is aimed for and fits well. I would also add contemporary and realistic fiction to the genre list.


This book is set in and around Healy High and it's pupils. Healy is very proud of it's sporting achievements and the boys in the team often get given extra time or an extra helping hand to complete assignments. 


This book's main character is Alice, a teenager who at the beginning of the book is firmly within the circle of the popular gang at school. Alice doesn't have an easy life, there's just her and her mother at home. Her mum is always going out leaving Alice at home to fend for herself. Being in the popular clique doesn't come cheap, you need the latest fashionable clothes, as well as the make-up and confidence to pull it all off. Alice has always done odd jobs here and there for people to earn her own money. During the summer Alice got a job at the sports centre where the older good looking male Tommy Cray and Mark Lopez both work as lifeguards. Alice's best friend at the time also hangs around and flirts with the guys.



I really enjoyed the various different views on exactly what happened and how it happened too. We have points of view from the super popular girls Elaine O'Dea, the girl who has THE party where IT happens. Then there's Brandon Fitzsimmon's best friend Josh Waverly as well as the loner math & science geek Kurt Morelli and the trying so had to remain popular and in with the cliche so much so she blanks her former best friend to remain one of the popular girls! I found it interesting how the different characters had such varying opinions of the same person and set of circumstances. 

Everyone that's anyone is at Elaine's party it is the place to be seen. Even though Elaine and Alice had a run in years ago about Alice making out with Brandon, whilst Brandon was supposed to be with Elaine. Though Elaine and Brandon were on and off so much I don't know how Alice was supposed to know if they were on or off! Anyhow Elaine certainly hadn't forgotten or forgiven. So when someone says that Alice has had sex with both Brandon and Tommy on the same night upstairs in one of the bedrooms during Elaine's party it soon gets around.

Then more fuel is added to the fire when the drunken Brandon Fitzsimmon's and best friend Josh Waverly are involved in a car crash. Brandon dies and Josh is taken to hospital but thankfully survives to tell the tale. Josh is of course questioned by the Police who have already tested samples of both boys blood and know they were well over the limit. Josh is stunned and set completely adrift by the loss of his best friend, Healy High star sports player Brandon. Josh really is devastated and when his best friend's mum comes to see him asking what happened, and if Brandon was distracted. Josh is still kind of shell shocked but manages to blurt out that Brandon had been distracted by texts from Alice Franklin. 

So now the whole school has a real grudge against Alice as it is she that caused the death of Healy High's star sports player. That combined with the other gossip about her having sex with two different guys inn one night gives the popular girls enough ammunition to make her life hell. No one actually confronts Alice face to face.. It is all done behind her back by those she once thought her friends. Even best friend Kelsie shuts Alice out. In fact Kelsie goes even further to cement her place in the popular clique. When the popular girls, headed by Elaine are all in the toilets one day talking about how disgusting, and how much a slut  Alice is Kelsie just blurts out that Alice had an abortion too! The girls believe Kelsie as they know her stictly religious mum makes her go down to the abortion clinic to protest against abortion so it seems viable that if Alice went to get an abortion that Kelsie & her mum would have been there and seen her go in. The girls look at Kelsie quite doubtful of what she has just revealed. Kelsie panic's and has to quickly think of something to do that will ensure her place with the popular girls so she takes a black sharpie and writes something nasty about Alice then hands the pen to another girls. One by one they write something on the toilet cubicle wall which soon becomes widely referred to as the "slut wall". 

I really liked the character of Alice, had she been a male character in the book who'd had sex with two girls on the same night at a party she would have been patted on the back and congratulated for it! It would have been another two notches to add to the belt or bedpost.
It just shows how society view things from totally different angles and their opinions differ depending on the persons gender. I don't want to give away the whole story or even hint at it so I can't really go any further on that point. I do feel sympathy for Alice. Even though Alice sort of shrugs her shoulders, keeps her head down and just tries to go through the motions of school. Even her schoolwork begins to suffer. Which brings me to my other favourite character in this book, Kurt Morelli, the quiet loner at school who is the nerd who is great at maths and science. His parents died in a car cash and he is being brought up by his grandmother. Kurt lives near Brandon, in fact they sometimes share a beer whilst sitting on Brandon's roof, though neither of them would tell anyone about this. Kurt and Alice become friends when he offers to help her with her homework. Initially dubious Alice thinks he wants sex with her but that is not Kurt's true intention. Sure I think if Alice had offered maybe Kurt would have thought about it but his feelings for Alice are more admiration and he is mainly wanting friendship.

My immediate thoughts upon finishing reading this book were that this was a very realistic tale that could well be happening in any high school near you. 

It is the combination of a rumour, some gossip and a large portion of peer pressure that make what happens in this book so convincing and life like. The whole writing graffiti on the toilet cubicle wall that has been going on for years. It just takes that first person to set the ball rolling by being the first to write something. The book illustrate very well how one small lie can lead to another and how quickly it can all get out of control.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

REVIEW - THE BIG ALPHA IN TOWN BY EVE LANGLAIS, MILLY TAIDEN & KATE BAXTER

Title: The Big Alpha In Town
Authors: Eve Langlais, Milly Taiden & Kate Baxter
Genre: Romance, Anthology
Publisher: St Martins Griffin
Release Date: 15th May 2018

BLURB from Goodreads
Three hot stories about three sexy shifters from a trio of today's hottest paranormal romance authors, headlined by bestselling authors Eve Langlais and Milly Taiden!
Bearing His Name
Meeting his mate should have been cause for celebration. There’s just one teeny tiny problem. Jade thinks Ark might have impregnated her sister. He didn’t, but convincing Jade is going to take a bit of honey.
Owned by the Lion
Keir’s been told to stop playing the field and settle down—difficult advice for a hard and hot man with a lion’s heart to follow. But his sights have always been set on Ally. She’s his mate, plain and simple. With her sweet and delicious curves, she’s nothing but sugar and trouble all rolled into one. But he’s known her and sparred with her for years. She’s his best friend’s little sister, and it’s going to take a whole new level of convincing that he’s the mate for her.
No Need Fur Love
Moving with his pack to the tiny town of Stanley, Idaho has Owen Courtney a little on edge. With literally no women in sight, Owen will be lucky to find a date, let alone his true mate. But you know the saying about a werewolf walking into a bar…
Gorgeous wood nymph Mia Oliver is on a mission: Find a suitable male to get her good ‘n pregnant and provide her with an heir. But when Mia decides to pick up a gorgeous and oh-so willing werewolf at the bar, she realizes she might be in over her head. …

PURCHASE LINKS

REVIEW
Once again I was asked if I would be interested in reading and giving my honest review of this trilogy of steamy shifter tales by the publisher. After reading Thanks Fur Last Night trilogy and surprising myself by really quite enjoying it I decided this was a book I actually wanted to read. I was aware some of the content was steamy and maybe a little explicit but I feel there is enough plot and story line that I can still enjoy reading.

The cover of this book fits very well with the previous book I read Thanks Fur Last Night with the icy blue colour and the bear on the left side. There is also the couple on the cover in a slightly different position to the couple on Thanks Fur Last night. After reading Thanks Fur Last Night i would probably picked this book up irregardless of the cover to learn more about it but once again I find the cover attractive. It certainly makes you want to ask questions about the couple on it as well as the bear. The cover could represent a couple of different scenes in the different tales. Would the cover make me pick it up from a book shelf? Yes definitely! 

The genres I have seen listed for this book are Anthology and Romance which certainly fit. I would also add shapeshifter, and paranormal to that list too.

So this book is made up of three separate tales, Bearing His Name by Eve Langlais, Owned By The Lion by Milly Taiden and No Need Fur Love by Kate Baxter.

Bearing His Name
I really enjoyed reading this story. The central characters are Jade and Ark and I adored both of them. Ark receives what can only be described as a blackmail note accusing him of making someone pregnant! Ark approaches his cousin Stavros who is not only a bear shifter but also works for the Police too. Stavros reveals to Ark that he is not the first to approach him with a blackmail letter. It is Jade Cadeux that has sent the letters because it is her sister Ruby who is pregnant. When Ark knocks on her door and she opens it he instantly knows she is his mate! Though he knows better than to try to tell Jade that until they figure out who is the father of Ruby's baby. 
I really enjoyed reading this tale by Eve Langlais, I liked how she played on the bear shifter and his love of honey and how he needed "honey" or rather had to sweet talk Jade quite a lot! Ark really has his work cut out to get Jade to believe him that he is not the father of her sisters baby. Ark has to use all his powers of persuasion because Jade's father abandoned her when she was younger so she is suspicious of any man.
I thought the cliff hanger at the end about Stavros finding a green eyed female by the bins was brilliant. I hope Eve Langlais tells his story of perhaps finding his mate soon. I am definitely interested in reading about more the family of Ark & Stavros.

Owned by the Lion
I adored this story, it is set around some of the same characters that are in Bought By The Bear that is featured in the Thanks Fur Last Night anthology. This time the lucky bear that finds his mate is Xander's best friend and work colleague Keir. Of course things don't go straight forward for him. Keir has a reputation for dating lots of different women and he thoroughly enjoys his lifestyle. His father wants him to take over the family business the bank and settle down, though Keir is reluctant to settle down with anyone he knows that he will have to take over the family business sooner or later. We meet more female characters this time and they enjoy playing match maker with Keir and Ally. In fact Xander and the others find it amusing that the one woman that Keir wants isn't falling at his feet as other women do. 
I really loved this story and totally adored the fact I got to catch up with Xander and Josie as well as meeting new characters too. I definitely want to read more, both by this author and set in this world with its great characters. My favourite character in this tale had to Keir, he was so perplexed when Ally didn't just fall for his charms and into his arms straight away like most women usually did!

No Need Fur Love
I did enjoy this tale but I have to admit it took me a little longer to feel drawn into it. Once the story got going I didn't want to put it down! Again this tale takes place within the same setting as The Alpha And I was. (from Thanks Fur Last Night)
The two main characters that are mates in this story are Owen a hot werewolf shifter and Mia a beautiful, mysterious, conniving wood nymph. Mia's father wants to choose her a mate and for her to get pregnant to produce an heir! Mia doesn't want an arranged match so she comes up with the idea to go out and get pregnant, thinking that if she produces the heir he wants he will not force an arranged pairing on her. It just happens that Owen is sat in a pub drinking and thinking he will never find his mate. He readily admits he is jealous of his Alpha Liam who has found his true mate Devon. Mia just happens to be searching for someone to make her pregnant in the very same bar and she soon sets her eyes on the rather hot looking guy at the bar. 
There is so much going on in this tale, there's the werewolves settling into their new territory oblivious to the fact that there is a group of wood nymphs with a crazy male leader who wants them out of what he considers his territory. Why can't they co-exist there is lots of land and space for both groups. I really loved the character of Owen. To begin with he is so overwhelmed that he has set eyes on his mate he gets carried away and they fall straight into bed. It's when he wakens the next day and Mia has gone that his worries begin. Naively he thinks its because Mia doesn't understand the true mate bond. Between the deception by Mia an the war Mia's father wants with the werewolves there's loads going on in this tale. I really didn't want to put it down. I would certainly love for more tales about Owens pack as shifters are one of my favourite paranormal beings to read about. I admit I was a little skeptical about a wood nymph's as I haven't read about them before but Mia was an interesting character, though werewolves remain my favourite!

This anthology as a whole was a really great read. I enjoyed reading more by these authors, and definitely would want to read lots more by them. I readily admit I have avoided books and authors who write erotica but having read a couple of tales by Eve Langlais I would be interested in reading other titles by her now, though not those labelled as erotica. I found I loved all the tales and certainly want to read more by all these authors.

My immediate thoughts upon finishing this anthology were, Wow steamy, sizzling hot shifters! I want more! 


Once again, this great anthology has indulged my love of werewolf shifters and also introduced me to other shifters and paranormal beings. I always used to be of the opinion that I loved only werewolf shifters but these anthologies have encouraged me to read about other paranormal beings, such as the bear shifters, lion shifters and wood nymphs. I honestly loved revisiting the settings and characters from Bought By The Bear by Milly Taiden and The Alpha And I by Kate Baxter, which featured in Thanks Fur Last Night. I would love more stories in all the settings featured in this book. Are there going to be more anthologies and when can I read them? 



Thursday, 10 May 2018

REVIEW - UNRAVELED - PERFECTED BY KATE JARVIK BIRCH

Title: Unraveled
Series: Perfected
Author: Kate Jarvik Birch
Genre: Teens, YA
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: 3rd April 2018

BLURB from Goodreads
Ella isn’t anyone’s pet anymore, but she’s certainly not free.

After exposing the dark secrets about NuPet’s breeding program, forcing them to repeal the law that allowed genetically modified girls to be kept as pets, she thought girls like her would finally be free. She never dreamed that it would backfire. NuPet may have convinced the public of their intentions to assimilate pets back into society, but Ella knows it’s a lie.

They aren’t planning mass rehabilitation...they’re planning a mass extermination.

Now, with the help of a small group of rebels, Ella and Penn, the boy she’d give up her life for, set out to bring down NuPet for good. But when her group gets implicated in a string of bombings, no one is safe. If she can’t untangle the web of blackmail and lies that extends far beyond NuPet’s reach, she won’t just lose her chance at freedom, she’ll lose everyone she loves.
 


PURCHASE LINKS

REVIEW
After reading and loving Perfected and Tarnished, the previous books in this series I knew that not only did I want to read the third and last book in this series, I really had to. I needed to find out how everything ends for the characters I have come to love. I also wanted to see if the ones I enjoyed hating got their comeuppance too. So when I was asked if I would like to review the book I jumped at the chance.

I have loved all the covers in the Perfected series and the cover of Unraveled fits in beautifully with the other covers. This one has a gorgeous flowing green dress at its centre which certainly draws your eyes to it. Then you notice the open jaws of the trap, which gives a really big hit as to what is going on in the book. There is also another great byline featured on this cover which says, "Rebellion comes at a price" which is also really appropriate for goes o in the book.

The genres I have seen listed for this book are Teens, YA though I would also add that it is Sci-Fi and Dystopian. A plague also plays a important part in the book so I would also add Post apocalyptic to the genre list. 

This book begins with Ella, Penn ad their new liberationist friends Markus, Ian, Dave and Jane gathered outside a large warehouse about to undertake a mission to rescue the NuPets held within. They are acting on intelligence they have managed to gather that says a large number of NuPets are going to be held at the warehouse prior to being exterminated. Sadly for them they are walking right into a well laid trap. The liberationists have been tricked and given false information. The most annoying pat of the failed mission for leader Markus is that they have been sold out from someone within the trusted liberationist group.

Ella is determined to free as many NuPet's as she possibly can. She is most determined to pay what she sees as a debt back to Missy. Missy willingly sacrificed her own freedom so Ella and Penn could get away. Ella will go to any lengths needed in her efforts to free Missy even putting her own life on the line. Even when faced with the choice of swapping places with Missy during the failed warehouse mission, Ella is instantly prepared to give her own life in exchange for her friends freedom.

So since there's a spy in the group Markus decides it isn't safe for any of them to return to their Head Quarters. They need to find somewhere to lay low for a while. They need to take stock of the equipment they have and what skills they have to plan out what to do next. 

Whilst the small now isolated band of  liberationist's are licking their wounds, covertly gathering supplies and trying to lay low they end up being front page news. Several bombs have been detonated first at the Greenwich Kennels, killing Miss Gellner, so at least one person is dead. Then once again at a small restaurant where some of the liberation group have been meeting someone to help them to possibly bring down John Kimballrecently been seen in. Obviously this causes some unrest within the small group of liberationists, first accusing each other, then thinking it could be the liberationists they left at head quarters. Who could be framing them? The spy from within their own group? Or is John Kimball stooping so low as to kill people and the put the blame on his own son Penn and the other members of the liberation group to discredit them and turn the public opinion against them? It seems John Kimball is not above using his own daughter Ruby as a pawn in his relationship with wife Elise. What else or who else will John Kimball discard and "throw to the wolves" to save his own reputation, wealth and career?

John Kimball really does seem to be the man whom nothing bad ever seems to stick to! It seem's he always has a friend in the right place to smooth everything over for him. However with a little help from a rather unexpected source during a dangerous clandestine meeting means that the liberationists finally have a location for some evidence that will bring him down once and for all, but it all sounds so easy. . . an isolated, unprotected small shack holding information that would bring him to his knees. Well yes the saying if it sounds too good to be true it usually is definitely fits the predicament that Ella and her liberationist friends find themselves in. What with bickering, jealousy and trust issues, its a wonder they.....

I genuinely loved this book there was plenty of action, suspense and betrayal. The way Kate Jarvik Birch had everything slowly unfurl, giving you as a reader the chance to guess at who the spy/double agent was great. Kate Jarvik Bich certainly keeps you o the edge of your seat in this book. 
I also loved the more emotional scenes with Penn & Ella, Penn ad his mother Elise, Ruby & Ella and finally the scenes with Ella & Missy.

Though she is not central within this final book, she is still there and being used as a pawn to punish Elise ad Penn. I loved Ruby and her unquestioning trust and the love she shares with and for Ella. 

I loved Ella and her determination to push on against the odds, even when things are stacked heavily against he she continues her efforts.  

Ella finally has a change of fortune and receives a little help from a unlikely source just when she thinks she has lost everyone and everything.

I enjoyed hating John Kimball and continued to do so even more in this last installment of the series. I hated how John mistreated and used Missy to goad and draw Ella to him. He enjoyed flaunting the bedraggled, hurt, abused, and caged Missy in front of Ella. I fact the only time you see a glimmer of sorrow is when he realises his daughter Ruby has seen ad heard what is going on. 
In the end Ella has a difficult, life changing choice to make, at one point she isn't sure she will be able to carry out her threat. . . . annnd of course I am not going to reveal whether she does or not.

Loved this series from the very beginning, sad to lose such a well loved character. Thoroughly enjoyed reading and seriously hated having to put this book down!

My final thoughts upon finishing this book were "wow! what a series!" I do not like revealing anything spoilery and but I have revealed that there are deaths in this book though I will not reveal which the who or the how. I will say one of the death had to happen or the book would not have been realistic enough. For all the adored characters to simply survive would have been too contrived and I think, ruined the feel and tone of the book. It would have made the ending too "cutesy" and "chocolate box".