Category Archives: Both Genders

Chief by Kris Michaels

Quiet, handsome, deadly.  That’s our Chief.  Come along on an undercover op that revolves around a sex trade ring and a sexy Russian that Chief can’t get enough of.

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

TitleChief
AuthorKris Michaels
SeriesThe Kings of Guardian #7
Publish Date: May 30, 2017
Genre: Military/Security Alpha Romance
Source: Recieved for honest review

Publisher’s Description:

Cloaked in the identity of David Xavier, a billionaire player in multiple world theaters, Mike White Cloud worked to enter the Russian Mafia’s lair, by stalking a shadowy creature named “The Concierge.” The Russian woman brokered young innocents into slavery, and Mike meant to destroy her and the organization she worked for. He should have despised her for the atrocious crimes she facilitated, but too often love and hate are the flip sides of the same coin, and what Mike felt for Taty was not hate. It didn’t matter. He’d destroy the Bravata and all its associates–even if it meant part of his soul sat in prison for the rest of her life.

Driven by heartbreak, Tatyana Petrov joined the elite British M16 unit, and for eight years, wormed her way into the trust of the Bravata as she strove to identify the human filth selling those innocents to billionaires like David Xavier. She’d found it easy to loathe the wealthy men who bought her “toys”–until David. For reasons that she wouldn’t acknowledge, she wanted to protect this one man from the retribution rapidly approaching.

Neither knew the other’s true mission but even as mortal adversaries, they’d each given the other a part of their soul, and now only devastation and sorrow waited.

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words…spoilers.  *BEWARE*


 

Nervous Nellie says..

This is a military alpha romance bordering on erotica romance with violence, kidnapping and sex slave trade flavor.  Both hero and heroine are good guys trying to stop the slave trade, so no worries there.  The book could be read as a stand alone if push come to shove, but it’s so much better with all the other books leading up to this point.  There isn’t a cliffhanger per se…but the ending did give me a hook to tune in to the next in the series.

I love Kris Michael’s work.  The whole series up to this point is fantastic.  I enjoy romances that involve a whole family like this one.  I also like the reaccuring characters so it feels like I’m in the middle of all the action.

This book wasn’t as good as some of the others, however, it was still very good.  I know everyone has their favorites and I tend to compare all the books in the series to the one I enjoyed the most.  With that being said, Chief was a good story.  The reason it doesn’t live up to my fave is probably the lack of emotion during the story I felt.  Maybe it was the story arc of sex slave trade or Tatyana herself, I don’t know.  That’s not to say I didn’t need tissues at the end, because I did.  I know it’s hard to put a whole year of preparation for a secret op into the book, but I felt the backstory was a little light.  That’s just my opinion, though.

Throughout the book, there was peeks into Tatyana and her life before, so that was good.  I have to be sure that the woman was good enough for Chief (not that I could do anything about it, of course).  I mentioned that I needed tissues at the end.  It wasn’t sad, so don’t freak out.  Sometimes the ends of these books tend to spark an emotional release from the real world’s events – that’s one reason why I read them.

I really did like this book and I can’t wait for the next one.  I know I’ll be sad when all the family is hooked up and the series ends, but Kris Michaels is one of those writers that I know has several good stories percolating in her brain, so it’ll be ok.

Our reviews in this series…

 

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

Hidden Huntress by Danielle L. Jensen

The second installment in the Malediction trilogy has more action, intrigue, and magic than its prequel. Will Tristan figure out how to play the political mind games within Trollus before it’s too late? And can Cecile hunt down an immortal witch with the power to break the curse on her true love?

Title: Hidden  Huntress
Author: Danielle L. Jensen
Series: The Malediction Trilogy
Publish Date: June 2, 2015
Genre: YA High Fantasy
Publisher: Angry Robot
Source: Purchased.

Publisher’s Description:

Sometimes, one must accomplish the impossible.

Beneath the mountain, the king’s reign of tyranny is absolute; the one troll with the capacity to challenge him is imprisoned for treason. Cécile has escaped the darkness of Trollus, but she learns all too quickly that she is not beyond the reach of the king’s power. Or his manipulation.

Recovered from her injuries, she now lives with her mother in Trianon and graces the opera stage every night. But by day she searches for the witch who has eluded the trolls for five hundred years. Whether she succeeds or fails, the costs to those she cares about will be high.

To find Anushka, she must delve into magic that is both dark and deadly. But the witch is a clever creature. And Cécile might not just be the hunter. She might also be the hunted…


Kat Mandu says…

MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!!!! Please do not read on if you haven’t read these books. You have been warned!!! 

This is one of those trilogies that once you read the second one or third one, questions readers may have had in the book before it seem to clear up and get answered. For me, sometimes when I was reading the first one, I was so distracted by all the action of a particular scene that I find I didn’t quite understand what was happening until it was either mentioned or “remembered” by a character in the next one. I think after reading Warrior Witch, I may understand more of the events that occurred in Hidden Huntress.

That being said, I wasn’t necessarily confused about anything. I really, really loved how much this book had in it – from Cecily learning blood magic and breaking Tristan from the curse, to Tristan making a play against his father that the practically psychic king didn’t see coming; and finally, to discovering the real identity of Genevieve – aka Anushka. There’s a lot going on here and despite the length of the book, it tends to move fast and keep you entertained.

Though I’m not dissing the romance genre here, I did like that romance wasn’t the main focus on this, mostly a side mission as both characters seemed to realize their greater purpose could be to work together, love together, win together. The characters aren’t so lovey-dovey, and at some points even question their purpose together. But for the most part, they have their own missions.

I wish the fight scene with the dragon had been longer. It seems strange to me that Tristan was able to take down an entire frost dragon without assistance, while everyone watched. Though I do picture him as a younger version of Luke Evans now. Mmm. Sexy. Anyway, I get that he’s powerful, I just find it strange that everyone kind of stood around. In a way, I suppose he might have been the only one to do any damage to it but when he was talking about preparing to fight the otherworldly creatures, that must mean humans stand some small chance? I don’t know. That whole scene kind of threw me for a loop.

I guess the thing that didn’t quite make this a five-star rating for me was the huge spoiler alert included near the very beginning. In it, readers are aware that Genevieve is drugging Cecile and questioning her about the trolls and this is just such a major hint that I knew who the bad guy was automatically. I know that some authors like readers to know ahead of time what their characters don’t but I wish the mystery would have remained in this particular book. It kind of just snuffed out that elegant mystery for me that I would have appreciated so much more.

Overall, my thoughts are kind of everywhere with this one, as it is fresh in my mind. But I really enjoyed reading this one more than the first one. 

Our reviews in this series…

  • Stolen Songbird
  • Hidden Huntress
  • Warrior Witch *coming soon*
  • The Broken Ones *coming soon*

Other recommendations…

If you enjoy young adult high fantasy with a little bit of romance and magic, I’d suggest other trilogies like Leigh Bardugo’s The Grisha series, The Elemental trilogy by Sherry Thomas, and Rae Carson’s Girl of Fire & Thorns.

Heaven Help Us by John G. Hartness

He’s the immortal magic-wielding child of Jonathan Harker and Mina Murray from the classic novel Dracula. But to him it’s not a story, it’s family history. Quincy Harker is what you’d get if Constantine were renewed by HBO and taken to the darkest of dark sides. When things go bump in the night, he bumps right back.

TitleHeaven Help Us
Author: John G. Hartness
Series: Quincy Harker, Demon Hunter
Publish Date: October 18, 2016
Genre:  Urban Fantasy/Horror
Source:  Purchased by reviewer

Publisher’s Description: On the run and reeling from his bloody battle with the demon Orobas, all Harker wants to do is lie low in Lockton, Ohio for a few months and let his physical and spiritual wounds heal. But there are werewolves in the diner, and magically-talented teenagers disappearing all over town. Now Harker’s hip-deep in demons again, but this time he’s got no backup.

Meanwhile. Detective Rebecca Gayle Flynn and the rest of Harker’s team are back home in Charlotte, NC, trying to prove his innocence and figure out Orobas’ next move. But no one knows how corrupt Homeland Security or the police department are, or how high the scandal runs. And now some guy shows up claiming to be the great-great-grandson of Doctor Watson (yeah, that Dr. Watson) offering to help?

Will Harker survive a battle with Hell in a small town all on his own?

Can Flynn and Uncle Luke find the proof they need to bring Harker home?

Will they stop Orobas’ master plan before he unleashes Hell on Earth?

Who is this mysterious Shadow Council, and what do they want?

When all else fails on Earth, will Heaven Help Us?

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words…spoilers.  *BEWARE*


 

Nervous Nellie says…

I’ve made a lot of bad decisions in my life. Some of them have gotten good people hurt, even killed. Many of them have caused immense property damage, and one was responsible for the extinction of an entire species of South American monkey.

Warning to all that I never guessed who was the bad guy this time around. Serious betrayal to Becks and Quincy. The story is just warming up, so jump on the roller coaster – it’ll be a bumpy ride.

Something hinky is going on and even Dracula is losing his composure.  He’s lost his house and his friend.  Homeland Security is after Quincy Harker and Rebecca Flynn is trying to get him out of the hip deep trouble he’s in.   *SPOILER*  Quincy (I’m stunned) takes his relationship to Becks the next step which is totally uncharacteristic for the tough 100 year old plus cantankerous hero.  The trip to the small town in hiding doesn’t last for long and Quincy ends up making friends with the wolves.  We get to meet Jo Henry, the main character in Calling All Angels and she is a force to be reckoned with that makes me glad she’s on the human’s side.  She’s also practically polar opposite of Quincy.  A mom.  Does not cuss.  Is not supernaturally powerful.  She rocks.*END SPOILER*

I am a fan of this series and I’ll keep reading as long as John G. Hartness keeps rolling them out.

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

…you might try

 

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Heaven’s Door by John G. Hartness

He’s the immortal magic-wielding child of Jonathan Harker and Mina Murray from the classic novel Dracula. But to him it’s not a story, it’s family history. Quincy Harker is what you’d get if Constantine were renewed by HBO and taken to the darkest of dark sides. When things go bump in the night, he bumps right back.

TitleHeaven’s Door
Author: John G. Hartness
Series: Quincy Harker, Demon Hunter
Publish Date: October 18, 2016
Genre:  Urban Fantasy/Horror
Source:  Purchased by reviewer

Publisher’s DescriptionHe’s finally found something to care about after a century of searching, but will he lose it all at the hands of his most dangerous foe yet?

Seven years ago, Quincy Harker vanquished the demon Orobas and saved the city of Charlotte, NC from his evil plans. Or so he thought. Now the half-divine Nephilim are turning up dead in the Queen City, and it looks like Orobas is back to finish the job.

Can Harker stop Orobas, or will the bloodthirsty demon unleash Hell on Earth?

Who is behind these horrible murders, and why do they seem to be calling Harker out?

Will this be the battle that finally ends the long life of Quincy Harker, Demon Hunter?

Find out when Harker, his girlfriend Detective Rebecca Flynn, his guardian angel Glory, and his uncle, the legendary Count Dracula bring the battle of the diving and demonic right to HEAVEN’S DOOR.

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words…spoilers.  *BEWARE*


 

Nervous Nellie says…

I’ve made a lot of bad decisions in my life. Some of them have gotten good people hurt, even killed. Many of them have caused immense property damage, and one was responsible for the extinction of an entire species of South American monkey.

Warning that I never guessed who was the bad guy this time around. Serious betrayal to Becks and Quincy. The story is just warming up, so jump on the roller coaster – it’ll be a bumpy ride.

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

…you might try

 

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I Dared the Duke by Anna Bennett

A trip not to be missed.  Regency romance takes a ornery and damaged Duke bent on finding his own killer before himself is killed with a brilliant woman that loves to be needed.

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

Title:  I Dared The Duke
Author:  Anna Bennett
Series: The Wayward Wallflowers #2
Publish Date: April 4, 2017
Genre:  Regency Romance
Source: Publisher

Publisher’s Description: DARE TO FALL IN LOVE

Alexander Savage, the Duke of Blackshire, is known throughout the ton for three things: the burn scars on his neck, his ornery disposition, and the trail of broken hearts behind him. None of which would concern Miss Elizabeth Lacey in the least—if she weren’t living under his roof. As his grandmother’s companion, Beth is all too concerned with the moody and compelling duke. Incensed by his plans to banish the sweet dowager duchess to the country, Beth refuses to do his bidding. If Alex wants her help, he’s going to have to take her dare…and grant her three wishes.

Alex adores his grandmother, which is precisely why she must leave. A string of unfortunate incidents has him worried for the safety of everyone around him—including the dowager’s loyal and lovely companion, Beth. But the notorious wallflower isn’t as meek as she appears, and as their battle of wills heats up, so does Alex’s desire. He’s dangerously close to falling in love with her…and revealing secrets he’d rather keep hidden. How can he convince her that his darkest days are behind him—and that, for the first time in forever, his heart is true?

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words…spoilers.  *BEWARE*


 

Nervous Nellie says…

Regency romance at it’s finest.  I started this book and could not put it down.  There is a couple of swear words, a little sex, dangerous situations and a remarkable heroine.

This story is a prime example in what happens when rumors are spread and words are spoken without thought to the feelings of the recipient.  Alex is labeled as a rake.  Rumor has it that he steals wives and beds maidens with no thought but that of himself.  Alex has got some issues, don’t think he doesn’t.  He lies by omission regarding his conquests and he was the callous, insecure person who started the smear campaign against Beth and her sisters just because he could.  How Beth fell for him, I don’t understand.

Beth is a caring, smart and maybe a little OCD heroine in this story.  She deserves the respect of all the ton, but with Alex’s slanderous attack when she was younger, she was castigated and exposed to those that have to make themselves feel better by tearing down someone else.

I like Beth but I think she deserves someone much kinder.  Actually, the suitor that was in competition for her could have been much better for Beth.  Oh, well.  Beth decided and that’s all there is to that.

The story had elements of a mystery – who was trying to kill Alex?  Beth was put in danger a couple of times but it was, in the end, Alex’s grandmother that saved the day.

I was totally into this book from beginning to end.

 

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.