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Monday, October 3, 2022

Book Review: The Viper By J.R. Ward


The Viper
(Black Dagger Brotherhood:
Prison Camp #3)
By J.R. Ward

In this newest Prison Camp installment, #1 New York Times bestselling author J. R. Ward pens a heart-wrenching tale of love and betrayal in the Black Dagger Brotherhood world…

Framed for the grisly murder of his shellan, Kane is condemned to the notorious prison camp—unaware of the dark truth behind his arranged mating. Centuries later, when he is horribly burned while attempting to save others, he prays he’ll finally be reunited in the Fade with his mate…not knowing what revelations await him.

Nadya is a self-taught nurse who does what she can to ease the suffering of the prisoners. When Kane comes under her care, she cannot help but empathize with his condition for very personal reasons—and as the guards take him away one last time, she fears he is facing a terrible death.

After a daring rescue, Kane is offered a treatment that will change his very nature. Choosing life, for the time being, he goes back for the female who took such good care of him—but his duty to Nadya sets him on a collision course with his own past. When long-buried secrets are exposed, his self-destruction is inevitable…unless true love can save his soul.
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Check Out The Other Books In This Series:
(Linked to my review)


My Review:

* Anything in red is a spoiler.

Overall this novel was fantastic but there's one quite big detail that left a bad taste in my mouth. Therefore what should have been a 5 star read is going to be pulled down to 3 stars.

I'll start off with what I liked: Kane and Nadya's stories were heartbreaking. I wanted them to be happy for once in their landmine of a life. No one should have to be put through all that sh*t. 

I loved finally seeing the Black Dagger Brotherhood get in on the action. I can already see the possibilities for possible storylines with them in it!

I very much want Apex to get his story! Callum just has to make it through! It was such a sweet start to a possible relationship!

Now onto what I had an issue with: Nadya's transformation. This is going to be spoilery. I loved that the author made it so Nadya found the love of her life while she was very scarred due to an acid attack by someone her father was blackmailing into marrying her. I strongly disliked the *pure coincidence* -winkwink- she came upon in "pure happenstance" to then "cure" Nadya's face and make her traditionally beautiful even though her mate had accepted her and no one else ever brought up what a "problem" her face was. Could Nadya not have lived a full life full of love and learned how to accept herself from that point forward? I would understand her getting help for the pain that she was constantly in but to change her appearance under the guise of "fixing a problem" that wasn't a problem to anyone else in the first place, not cool. What does that say to people that could see themselves in Nadya? That they only deserve to live a good life filled with love if they have a perfect face and find a cure of some kind? There are people who have gone through acid attacks and have to learn to live from that point on with what happened who don't have the option of a miracle cure to fix what was taken from them. This could have been an empowering message to send.

My Rating:


Monday, September 26, 2022

Book Review: Kato By Sarah J. Stone

Kato
(Moonlight Wolves #2)
By Sarah J. Stone

I constantly daydream about my human best friend.

Thea is the one for me.

I’m about to be Alpha of the pack and I’ll do what it takes to get her.

Especially now that she’s single.

We have dangers surrounding us.

But it’s my job to protect Thea from a rogue uprising.

Can we face an obstacle that will be the ultimate test of our love?

This is a steamy paranormal shifter fantasy romance series with a HEA and no cliffhangers.

Fans of Terry Bolryder, T.S. Joyce, Candace Ayers, Zoe Chant and Harmony Raines will like this shifter series.
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My Review:

I thought I was going to like this a lot more than I did! It had everything going for it in the beginning. It even surprised me by having the couple have an actual conversation about how to deal with things going forward and then it went downhill.

Thea started off as a great character! She talked things out when needed and she had a great sense of humor. Somewhere along the way she got so in her head that she almost became a martyr. Sacrificing oneself for the sake of it is idiotic. That's when I started to dislike her.

Kato was a fantastic guy! He was sweet, didn't run away at the first sight of emotion and was understanding. His adoration of Thea even though she was human in his shifter world was awesome. It's nice to try and believe that love can conquer all. He figured out what she was doing by pure happenstance and, for that, I'm glad.

The writing style is good but choppy at times. With a few more books under this author's belt, I think it can be even better with time. I look forward to reading more books by this author in the future.

My Favorite Quote:

"I don't want anyone to put their life on the line for me."

My Rating:

Monday, September 19, 2022

Book Review: Bear's Protected By Layla Silver

Bear's Protected
By Layla Silver

Claire has had it with men. Ever since her ex started stalking her, she’s sworn that she’s not going to date again. Until her car breaks down and a very fine specimen of a man stops to help her, only to make her heart go into overdrive… Why the hell can’t she stop looking at his well-toned triceps?

Kyle is a mechanic and a bear shifter. He’s longing for a change in his life, especially since the bear village where he lives hasn’t changed in decades. When he meets Claire, he instantly knows that she belongs to him and that he’ll do anything to protect her.

Which comes in pretty handy, because Claire is in danger, even though she doesn’t know it.

Will Kyle be able to keep Claire safe when the enemy closes in?

And is he strong enough to make a critical decision even when it will change his life forever?
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My Review:

* I received a free eCopy of this novella via BookFunnel.

If this had been a full-length novel it would have rocked my socks off. This novella had SO much potential! The author's writing style was great though I would have loved the use of contractions in the dialogue so the characters don't sound so unnecessarily robotic.

Claire was a great character to get to know! She was sassy and fun but found herself being stalked by a guy who didn't understand what the word no meant. I would have loved to have had more scenes of Claire and Kyle getting to know each other instead of getting a summary after the fact. Their witty banter was great, the little of it I got to be present for that is.

Kyle was a big teddy bear with lethal claws! He was so sweet, patient, and protective towards Clarie. All the while dealing with the situation in his outdated village and Clarie's stalker ex he had a lot on his plate, but he always made time for her.

The ending was predictable but it's what I was hoping was going to happen from the beginning. I don't know if this is a series but I would love to read more stories set in this universe and if I can be picky have them be full-length novels.

My Rating:

Monday, September 12, 2022

Audio Book Review: What Lies Beyond the Veil By Harper L. Woods

What Lies Beyond the Veil
(Of Flesh & Bone #1)
By Harper L. Woods 

Length: 13 hours and 1 minute
Narrator: Ava Lucas

Once, we’d worshipped them as Gods.

For nearly 400 years, the Veil has protected us from the Fae of Alfheimr. In their absence, our lives have shifted from decadence and sin to survival and virtue under the guidance of the New Gods. I’ve spent my entire life tending to the gardens next to the boundary between our worlds, drawn to the shimmering magic like a moth to the flame.

Then, we died on their swords.

All of that changes the day the Veil shatters, unleashing the fae upon our world once again. The magic of faerie marks those of us they mean to take, but the Mist Guard protecting Nothrek will kill us all before they let the fae have us. There’s no choice but to flee everything I’ve ever known, not if I want to live to see my twenty-first birthday as a free woman.

Now, they’ll claim what’s theirs.

But before they capture me, Caelum saves me from the Wild Hunt. Fae-marked and on the run, he is able to fight back in ways I only dream of. From tentative alliance to all-consuming passion, our bond strengthens as the fae close in and evil lurks ever nearer. With my life on the line, he is everything I shouldn’t dare to want and a distraction I can’t afford. I can’t seem to stay away, not even with something greater on the line.

My heart.

Author’s Note: This book is intended for readers who are 18 and older. It contains mature language, graphic violence, and explicit content with darker elements. This is book one in a series and ends in a cliffhanger.
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My Review:

Content Warning/Trigger Warning: grooming; quite a bit of violence

Considering how Jennifer Armentrout's Blood And Ash series has been my absolute favorite these past few years I really, really, really loved this book! It's very reminiscent of BAA in terms of the similar setting and tropes. Though I will say that I saw the twist in this one coming from a mile away while with BAA it caught me completely by surprise.

The heroine has gone through some very tough and unfortunate situations. The first 6 or so hours of this book are rough due to that. Considering how she was brought up I can understand how naive and trusting she is with the hero. I still disagree with the end her brother had. I'd also like to know what happened to the place she lived in and how her mother is doing.

The hero comes off as being a very powerful and assertive man. He's cocky and sure of himself. It took some time for me to start questioning the level of power he had but after those doubts were sown I just *knew* what was coming. He's conniving and sneaky and I kinda sorta love him? He'll burn down the world if it means the heroine stays safe. I still hate the lies even if by omission but there's a way past this... right? RIGHT?!

The ending was not what I was expecting. Now I just want to know what happens next! Where the story takes off from here. I'll definitely be reading the next book!

The Audio Book:

The narration was great! There were no weird noises in the background. All the characters were distinguishable from each other.

My Rating:

Monday, September 5, 2022

Audio Book Review: Blaze By Chelle Bliss

Blaze
(Men of Inked: Heatwave #4)
By Chelle Bliss

Length: 8 hours and 6 minutes
Narrator: Samantha Brentmoor & Jason Clarke
Lily Gallo prided herself on her pristine reputation.
A dedicated bookworm.
An awkward goody-two-shoes.
Lover of fiction more than reality.

Jet Michaels had always had a broken moral compass.
A cocky egomaniac.
An unashamed womanizer.
Craving adventure instead of responsibility.

Lily never expected to come face-to-crotch with her old high school crush, and she never dreamed he’d make her an offer she couldn’t refuse. But what was supposed to be a platonic arrangement quickly spiraled out of control.

Can the inexperienced nerdy girl tame the notorious player?
Or will he peel back her pages, exposing the wildcat hidden underneath?

Blaze is the fourth full-length standalone novel in the Men of Inked Heatwave series by USA Today bestselling author Chelle Bliss.

Men of Inked: Heatwave Series:

Book 1 - Flame

Book 2 - Burn

Book 3 - Wildfire

Book 4 - Blaze
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My Review:

The first half of this novel was fantastic! It had so many laugh-out-loud moments I was almost crying laughing at one point. After that, it was just an okay book. One thing I will admit is that I could see that if I had been reading through the entire past series that I would have enjoyed more of the background characters.

Lily was so bookish and cute to a degree. Her naivete and her shyness were a little exaggerated for me. I also disliked how her private life was public knowledge for some reason. I also had a problem with her friends trying to change her to "impress" men. Maybe it's just me but if a guy doesn't like me when I'm being myself why would I try to be someone else and not think of how hard keeping that facade up in the long run would be?

Jet is a ladies man, or at least he was up until a few years ago. He's changed and it was a genuine change from the looks of it. I liked how he treated Lily and the women in his life. He's a respectful and polite individual. Though all the toxic masculinity that's present in his and Lily's family is sad to see. All these uber-powerful men who prefer to speak with their fists instead of their words really just didn't do it for me.

The ending was okay. I wasn't expecting the friend plot twist but the Lily and Jet ending was expected to a degree. I don't really enjoy those types of endings but I can understand that a lot of people find comfort in it. 

The Audio Book:

Both the narrations were great! All the character voices were distinguishable from each other in both narrations.

My Rating:
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