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Review: A Love Untamed by Pamela Palmer

19 Dec

2.5 out of 5 scoopers

A Love Untamed by Pamela Palmer
HaperCollins Publishers (Dec. 26, 2012)
Mass market: $7.99; ebook: $7.99
ISBN: 9780062107510
Excerpt

Favorite Lines: “Her voice was music laced with acid. She ignored his outstretched hand, her eyes narrowing as she smiled at him, but there was nothing pleasant about that smile. Hawke’s words came back to him, that he’d have more luck taming a tornado, and it occurred to him that he might finally have come across a female who was immune to his charms.” (p. 15, e-galley)

The newest member of the elite Feral Warriors brotherhood, Fox is eager to prove himself on the frontlines of battle against the Daemons. When paired with the legendary Ilina warrior, Melisande, he expects the fierce beauty to quickly fall under the spell of his quite considerable charm. Instead, he finds himself spellbound by a woman who’s his match in every way.

Beneath Melisande’s brittle exterior lies centuries of pain and a violent hatred of all shape-shifters—a hatred that slowly crumbles after they’re caught in a deadly and cunning Mage trap and she glimpses a surprising depth in her far-too-seductive partner. Their survival demands unconditional trust—and their salvation surrender to a wild, untamed love.

After book six in Pamela Palmer’s Feral Warrior series I expected a lot from book seven, A Love Untamed. Unfortunately, I didn’t find characters I could relate too or care about.

The story focuses on the new fox warrior and the plot line which reared its head in the previous book. New warriors were being called but it wasn’t clear if they were solid, reliable warriors or the weakest of a line brought in to the fold due to black magic and destined to turn on the warriors. As the newest fox warrior Kieran is proud to be a feral warrior. Adored by the ladies, he is focuses on being the best warrior possible. When he sets eyes on the Ilina warrior Melisande he is immediately drawn to her.

Melisande has survived for thousands of years by being emotionless. She takes upon herself the responsibility of protecting her dying people through extreme measures. It comes as a shock when she meets Kieran and begins to feel again.

I’ve read every book in this series and while I loved some more than others, I wasn’t ready for the dispassion I felt for A Love Untamed. It should have been a hard, emotion filled book. Instead I found easy resolutions to big problems and a character that was too cold to connect to. Mel’s horrendous back story explained why she behaved the way she did, but I can’t forgive hundreds of years worth of cold-hearted deeds within the 192 pages that were on my nook. Not even the handsome hero (not that you can tell from the cover) did anything for me. There was nothing about him that made me want to scream for more.

If you’ve been reading the Feral Warrior series you will want to read A Love Untamed so that you’re up to date with where everyone stands in the group. There are scenes with a couple of the newest members of the FWs and an introduction to a new female character that look promising. I’m not finished with the series yet, but I think A Love Untamed is the weakest book in the series.


Books I Want: December 2012

1 Dec

The Cat’s Meow by Stacey Kennedy (TBA December)

thecatsmeowkennedyIn Charleston, Libby is an Enchantress—a witch gifted by the Goddess to conjure spells. When a magical presence is detected around a recent string of feline slayings, Libby must take the case to discover the reasons behind the odd deaths. Much to her displeasure, the coven has also sent the sexy warlock, Kale, to assist her.

While having the muscle around proves to be useful, fighting the
attraction between them is worse than a hex, especially considering Kale is keeping secrets. Libby has good reason to believe that Kale is there to evaluate her performance as a witch, and fears her job is on the line. But soon, Libby has bigger problems than the elusive warlock and career stability. Her spells are turning up clues that point to something far more sinister than slaughtered cats, leading her to a threat that could shake the very foundation of her world.

Now Libby lands herself in the midst of an uprising. She trusts no one and isn’t safe. Not from the warlocks stirring up trouble. Not from the worrisome rebellion she can’t escape. And certainly not from Kale who is weaving a very dangerous spell over her. Continue reading

Favorite Scenes Friday: Bear Necessities

30 Nov

Too slowly. Tabby knew they were healing too slowly. He was still drained from saving Chloe. If he took a wound that was too deep, his visions would come true.

She tried to jump toward him, determined to protect him, when strong jaws clamped on her hind leg and dragged her back. She threw back her head and howled in pain, desperately hoping Alex would hear. If he didn’t come soon she was going to lose…–Bear Necessities by Dana Marie Bell

Review: Angel in Chains by Cynthia Eden

20 Nov


4 of 5 scoopers

Angel in Chains by Cynthia Eden
Kensington (Nov. 27, 2012)
Trade: $14; ebook: $11.99
ISBN: 9780758267634

Favorite Lines: “You loved me once.”
This was it. The moment that she’d known would come. Jade stared him in the eyes, refused to let the fear take her, and said the words she knew would break him. “And now I love him.” (p. 290, ARC)

As a fallen Angel of Death, Azrael is cursed to walk the earth alone in search of redemption. One night, as he wanders the streets of New Orleans, he discovers a woman surrounded by panther shifters. No longer able to contain the anger simmering within, Az summons his dark powers and attacks, determined to protect this innocent human from certain death.

Only Jade Pierce is no delicate flower. She’s spent years learning to survive and fight the evil forces sent by her ex-lover who refuses to let her go. But after seeing Az in action, she figures she could use a little supernatural help. And so she plans a course of seduction guaranteed to arouse his interest and his angelic passions. . .

I’m not a huge fan of angel romance books, but Cynthia Eden‘s Fallen series is an exception. I started the series with book two, Angel Betrayed, and knew that I had to read Angel in Chains when it came out. Let me tell ya, I’m very glad that I did.

Az was a stickler for the rules every time he was shown in Angel Betrayed. He’s a cold and detached guy whose actions cross over into villainous. In Angel in Chains he’s a new fallen angel who has yet to come to terms with losing his wings and flat out refuses to believe he’ll never have them again. When he sees Jade, he is attracted to her, but sees her as his way back to heaven.

Jade’s been running from her ex-boyfriend for quite a while. The psycho killed her family and will kill anyone who gets close to her. He is the leader of the panther shifter clan with a whole lineup of shifters to send after Jade, but she keeps managing to slip away. When Az steps in to help her out, Jade tries to create some distance between them, but he refuses to let her handle the situation alone.

Jade is damaged and Az is damaged but together they have the power to heal. Watching Az and Jade fall in love and sacrifice what they valued most during the process made me want more. I wanted them to be happy and the fight and flight scenes kept me moving through the story. Angel in Chains was hard to put down.

If you’re looking for an action packed romance with an alpha hero who protects the woman he loves regardless of what it could cost him you’ve got to pick up Angel in Chains. It’s filled with sexy scenes, drama and great secondary characters. If there’s a book four, I’ll be reading it.

Review: Sleeping with the Wolf by Maddy Barone

17 Nov

 
3 of 5 scoopers

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

Favorite Lines: “We don’t have a church or a priest here. Don’t need ’em to be married. You want vows? I’ll make vows to you. I promise to take care of you as long as I live. If there’s only enough food for one of us, you’ll get it. I’ll keep you warm when it’s cold. Anyone who tries to hurt you will have to go through me first. How’s that?” (p.16)

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?

I stumbled across Sleeping with the Wolf  by Maddy Barone while surfing Goodreads. The premise for the series sounded interesting so I took a chance and bought it, as well as book two, Wolf’s Glory. Currently there are four books available in Barone’s After the Crash series set in a post-apocalyptic world where women are scarce. I paid $3.27 for Sleeping with the Wolf; the book shows on my nook as being 106 pages long.

Sleeping with the Wolf is not an instant love story, but it doesn’t take long for the heroine to realize she can’t go back in time and to make the best of what she has been given. Her husband knew going into the relationship that Carla was the only woman for him, but Carla hadn’t even had a chance to adapt to the new world before she was shoved into Taye’s arms.

One of the best things about Sleeping with the Wolf is that many of the men are virgins. Taye used romance novels to learn how to interact with females and discover what to do in the marriage bed. Going by Carla’s reactions and the things Taye did, he learned quite well too.

I don’t regret buying Sleeping with the Wolf. It’s about what I expected to get in a little over 100 pages. The characters fall in love quickly and the heroine never acts out in a way that makes me hate her. The hero is compassionate, but definitely an alpha. Taye was sweet and wooed Carla until he won her over which satisfied me. It’s just that despite the time travel to the future and apocalypse which swept the world before the series begins everything is extremely predictable.

Review: Sentinels: Kodiak Chained by Doranna Durgin

6 Nov


3 out of 5 scoopers

Sentinels: Kodiak Chained by Doranna Durgin
Harlequin (Nov. 13, 2012)
Mass market: $5.50; ebook: $4.99
ISBN: 9780373885602
Excerpt
BONUS: The Gatekeeper by Heather Graham (novella)

Favorite Lines: “After a lifetime of feeling too bold, too strong, too much, Mariska quite suddenly didn’t quite feel alone anymore.” (p. 19, e-galley)

One mission. One night. One costly misstep….

A mighty Kodiak shifter, Ruger is more than a Sentinel warrior. As a Healer, he willingly risks everything defending the sick and helpless. But after an ambush nearly kills him, he can do only so much-until a sensual lady black bear shifter arrives to provide him backup….

In human form, she is called Mariska. Feisty and self-assured, she has finagled her present assignment helping Ruger chase down a rising new threat. The moment Mariska scents the heroic, battle-scarred grizzly she knows he will be her only weakness…and greatest desire.

Mariska will do anything to aid Ruger-even if confronting the enemy puts everything she holds dear in jeopardy.

I love bear shifters. They are in a category of their own and make me think of the ultimate cuddle buddy. Doranna Durgin’s shifter as pictured on the cover of Sentinels: Kodiak Chained is not the man I imagine as a bear shifter, but honestly I could care less about the cover as the shifter in the story was so much better.

Before I get much further, it’s important that you understand Kodiak: Chained is part of a series. I didn’t know that when I started reading it and boy did I pay for that lack of knowledge. I felt a few steps behind throughout the entire story. I knew I was missing something and no amount of explanation or back story insertion removed that feeling of missing vital information. In the middle of reading the book I visited Durgin’s website and found out that Kodiak Chained is book six in her Sentinels’ series. Had I know that I would not have read it without reading the previous books in the series.

For the most part Kodiak: Chained is a book about finding oneself and redemption. The hero is learning to readjust to new limitations. He had always been a powerful healer  but after an attack stripped that ability from him he has no choice but to re-evaluate his role as a guardian. He is paired with a female bear shifter who is trying to make a difference. Prior to transferring to Ruger’s team, Mariska was protected and coddled instead of given room to grow as much as she wanted. The route she chose made her untrustworthy in Ruger’s eyes and she works hard to redeem herself to him and those who love him.

The story has a nice pace and features a couple who could be good together from the moment they met in different circumstances. As the story unfolds we are shown a couple who pull together in the face of adversity and deserve a happy ending. I got over my initial dislike of the heroine and was happy with the obscenely evil villains. It’s never pretty when men and science try to match paranormal creatures and magic. Let me show you a few snapshots of this deliciously dark evil.

An Abert’s squirrel with gills, trying not to drown and trying not to rot in the unrelentingly watery environment it hadn’t been born to manage.–p. 72

He touched the crate where a bird with no beak flicked its tongue out at a cup of mashed seeds, its freakish little nostrils flat to the remaining face and twitching in distress.–p. 74

Kodiak: Chained is uncomfortable to read at moments and brings home the idea that men can be more monstrous than the most primal of paranormal creatures. It’s a paranormal romance that didn’t really work for me as a stand alone. I was happy to have a female bear shifter was sturdy but round in the right places as opposed to a sleek, cat-like woman. Kodiak: Chained is not my favorite book, but it is interesting which made me read it quickly.

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.