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Review: Sleeping with the Wolf by Maddie Barone

3 Nov

Sleeping with the Wolf by Maddie Barone
Liquid Silver Books (November 2010)
Trade: $11.99; ebook: $3.99
ISBN: 9781595787774

Favorite Lines: “I heard my father explain it once to my mother. He said that to his wolf, she was like the only warm house in the middle of a deadly blizzard. She gave him a safe place to shelter in, one that was just for him, and he would take care of that safe place and defend it from intruders.” (p. 70)

Rising country music star Carla boards a plane in the year 2014. But it crashes in the future, fifty years after Armageddon has destroyed technology and plagues have reduced the female population to a precious few. She finds herself offered as prize in a Bride Fight, where only the strongest and fiercest men are allowed to compete to win a wife. Alpha werewolf Taye knows Carla is his mate. He wins the Bride Fight and takes her to his den, ready to give her everything, even his heart. Will Carla ever be ready to give him anything?

Sleeping with the Wolf is book one in Maddy Barone’s After the Crash series set in a  futuristic world after the apocalypse and featuring paranormal creatures finding love. It shows up on my nook as 106 pages long. Since it’s short there are many instances that are told instead of shown, but I liked the idea of a world where women are in demand and where it isn’t abnormal for the men to be virginal.

Yep, you read that right. An area of land which is home to over 4,000 men only has 200 women. Two female newcomers to the world in search of aid have been sold to a man who sets up a special fight to find eligible men who can afford to care for and be good life partners to the women. Not exactly an easy introduction to a topsy-turvy futuristic world.

Short but sweet, Sleeping with the Wolf is a new look into the paranormal shapeshifter world. I love the idea of a world gone to hell, but still home to strong shifter men who can only love their mate. One of the best parts was seeing how the hero taught himself to be prepared for the time when he found his mate. Consider how sex would be if romance books were considered reference books. Think of a virginal man who bypasses wham bam thank you ma’am because he has a step-by-step plan.

The romance is definitely on fast forward cause within days the heroine falls for the alpha hero. It didn’t really bother me because the heroine constantly thought of the nice, considerate things her man did for her. She also realized that she’d never be able to travel back in time to the world she knew. Her ability to adapt without losing herself made Sleeping with the Wolf a pleasant read. I’ll be picking up the next book in the series, Wolf’s Glory.

Review: Chase Me by Tamara Hogan

31 May

Chase Me by Tamara Hogan
Sourcebooks (June 1, 2012)
Mass Market: $6.99; ebook: $6.99
ISBN: 9781402246043

Favorite Lines: “This was lust–sheet rolling, wall-banging, bone-incinerating lust.” (p.41, e-galley)


Centuries ago, when their ship crashed to Earth, paranormals of all types settled secretly into our world, quietly going about their business with humans none the wiser. Self–ruling and careful to stay below the radar, all is threatened when Valkyrie archaeologist Lorin Schlessinger and her werewolf geologist partner Gabe Lupinsky inadvertently draw evil attention to Earth and its treasured natural resources.

As the threat intensifies, Lorin and Gabe struggle to contain the chaos they’ve unleashed, and to resist their explosive mutual attraction …

Book two in Tamara Hogan’s Underbelly Chronicles is a paranormal romance with traces of science fiction. I didn’t read book one, Taste Me, but managed to read Chase Me with minimal confusion. I garnered there was more to the story than I was reading, but it felt like a few cameo appearances to me.

Most often I’ve found that if an urban fantasy or romance book is going to place a disabled person in a lead role that character is female. Hogan did not do that and it was nice to see physically impaired character was the hero. No he wasn’t missing a limb nor was he deaf, but he did need thick glasses to see. Most importantly his was the genetically damaged blood line. To the heroine, those things meant little. She was attracted to him and she went for it.

But guess what? I had a problem with this book. I don’t feel like anything was resolved other than the hero and heroine hooked up for a happy ever after. The threat to paranormals living on Earth was not removed. There is plenty of teasing for future books, but I was slightly irritated with the lack of closure.

Chase Me made me want to know plenty of things about the secondary characters and satisfied me as the lead couple found love. It did not make me want to curl around the book or put it on my keeper shelf. I’m wondering about a  few characters and expect to have answers in the next book. I looked on GoodReads and Hogan’s website, but couldn’t find any mention of a title or release date for the next book in the series.

Review: Assassins in Love by Kris DeLake

23 Feb

Assassins in Love by Kris DeLake
Sourcebooks (March 1, 2012)
Mass Market: $6.99; ebook: $6.99
ISBN: 9781402262821

Favorite Lines: “She turned, assessing her options as she did. One knife. (People were afraid of knives, which was good. But knives were messy, hard to clean up the blood, which was bad. Two laser pistols. (One tiny, against her ankle, hard to reach. The other on her hip, obvious, but laser blasts in a corridor–dangerous. They’d bounce off the walls, might hit her.) Fists. (Might break a bone, hands already shaking. Didn’t need the additional risk.) Then stopped assessing when she saw him. He wasn’t what she expected.” (p. 10, egalley)

Two brilliant assassins in a fascinating futuristic world need each other to finish one more job before calling it quits in the highly respected killing business. But it’s more of a challenge than either expected.

A series of mishaps plagues their every move, and if it’s not Misha helping Rikki with a bungled getaway, then it’s Rikki helping Misha to hide some damning evidence. They can’t seem to get anything right… except for the way they feel about each other.

Hmmm, how to describe book one in the Assassins Guild series written by Kris DeLake, aka Kristine Kathryn Rusch–the author of a ton of books. It’s a futuristic, action packed, sensual romance featuring two killers who make no apologies for doing their jobs.

The hero, Misha, is a by-the-rules type of man and the heroine, Rikki, is a fly by your pants type of woman. Both are great at their jobs as assassins. Their paths just seem to keep running a bit too close. Misha keeps getting jammed up by Rikki’s kills; he’s been arrested three times for deaths attributed to her. He is determined to find out if Rikki is out to get him.

Rikki, on the other hand, could care less. Every time she is hired to “off” someone she researches the target. She doesn’ t kill people so heirs can inherit property or because of silly feuds. She only takes cases which involve people who deserve to die. So when Rikki is hired to kill a high ranking official, she knows that she is being set up. It’s the perfect time for the rule loving Misha to help Rikki. He can also help her examine the role he played in her past.

Assassins in Love is a quick read that sometimes made me wonder how the heroine managed to thrive as an assassin. Rikki came across as bumbling and irrational at times which interrupted the flow of the story. Every time she did something like a novice, I rolled my eyes. I mean she’s caught on film, doesn’t always observe her environment and leaves a witness alive, all of which add up to a not so proficient killer. I don’t know how she’s been so successful that she’s considering retirement.

Despite my issues with the heroine, the passion filled story was a fun and light read. (Odd that a book about death avoided becoming dark.) It doesn’t portray an overnight type of love, but one in which a couple meet and separate, before reuniting. Through that time they simmer in a mixture of wonderment, lust and distrust. Unintentionally, Rikki and Misha take time to weave together the bonds needed for a lasting relationship. The story makes it simple to follow Rikki and Misha through time because it is divided into three, clearly marked sections.

I don’t see myself re-reading Assassins in Love; it’s not one of my favorite books of the year. However, reading about the worlds DeLake envisions made reading the book worthwhile. In DeLake’s world, people travel on spaceships similar to the way people travel on cruise ships today. Credit card implants are used as currency and real meat is a thing only the rich can afford. It’s not calm like Robyn Carr’s Virgin River series. It’s not dark like Jory Strong’s Ghostland World series. It’s not silly, funny or scary. It’s different in a way that makes it slightly better than an average romance.