Claimed (Nightwind Pack, #1) by Laurann Dohner, Kele Moon Review

Review:

Claimed (Nightwind Pack Book 1) - Kele Moon, Laurann Dohner

Kidnapped then released deep in the woods, Brandi is on a harrowing run for her life, hunted by beasts straight out of a horror movie. But there’s an even bigger, more vicious creature in the woods—the deadly werewolf who saves her life. Jason is much more than a man, dangerous and intimidating, and Brandi still finds herself wanting every unbelievably sexy inch of him.

When he investigates the desperate screams near his secluded cabin, Jason’s shocked to find his own kind hunting a human—but he ends up even more stunned when he accidentally triggers a mating heat in the beautifully lush woman he saved. Overwhelmed with lust, Jason takes her, bites her, binds her to him forever…

Now he just has to break the news to Brandi.

 

Review

This is a quick fun read with a heroine who stands up for herself and sexy nice guy hero who really likes her and is a wolf shifter. There isn’t much more going on that that in terms of character development but there is enough here to make it a fun read and the other members of the pack look like good heroes for more books in the series.

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1502134/claimed-nightwind-pack-1-by-laurann-dohner-kele-moon-review

Darkfever By Karen Marie Moning $1.99

Darkfever (Fever #1) - Karen Marie Moning

When her sister is murdered, leaving a single clue to her death–a cryptic message on Mac’s cell phone—Mac journeys to Ireland in search of answers. The quest to find her sister’s killer draws her into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems, where good and evil wear the same treacherously seductive mask. She is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to learn how to handle a power she had no idea she possessed—a gift that allows her to see beyond the world of man, into the dangerous realm of the Fae. . . .

As Mac delves deeper into the mystery of her sister’s death, her every move is shadowed by the dark, mysterious Jericho, a man with no past and only mockery for a future. As she begins to close in on the truth, the ruthless Vlane—an alpha Fae who makes sex an addiction for human women–closes in on her. And as the boundary between worlds begins to crumble, Mac’s true mission becomes clear: find the elusive Sinsar Dubh before someone else claims the all-powerful Dark Book—because whoever gets to it first holds nothing less than complete control of the very fabric of both worlds in their hands. . .

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1508726/darkfever-by-karen-marie-moning-1-99

Wasted Words by Staci Hart Review

Review:

 

Some universal truths refuse to be ignored.

Peanut butter and jelly are a match made in heaven. Spaghetti and meatballs are best friends forever. And guys like Tyler Knight don’t go for girls like Cam Emerson.

She knew from the second she met him that he didn’t belong on her bookshelf, the six-foot-six ex-tight end with a face so all-American, it could have sold apple pie. So she shelved him next to the supermodels and rock stars and took her place on her own shelf — the one with the flannel-clad, pasty-faced comic book nerds. Most of her boyfriends have existed between the pages of books, but rather than worrying over her own lacking love life, she puts all her energy into playing Cupid, using her job at the book bar, Wasted Words, as her stomping ground.

Tyler Knight always looks on the bright side. His career-ending injury turned into a job as a sports agent. A horrible breakup led him to Cam, his quirky, smart roommate who is far more beautiful than she realizes. She’s made it perfectly clear she’s not interested in him — not like that at least — but if she ever changes her mind, he won’t hesitate. Because he doesn’t see the lines she’s drawn between them, as much as she insists that they’re there. Deep down he knows that despite their differences, they’re a match well made.

Review

 

 

I loved the setting of this book in a bookstore/bar/comic shop. Heaven.

 

The literary reference were a great deal of fun as well. The hero was a sweetheart and while I adore roommate and opposites attracts themes this one did not work for me.

 

I am okay with the heroine being hurt by a past experience and I actually rather like that she was the jerk in this book and needed to check herself. But, it was a one trick pony in terms of character development. All of her development seems to stem from this one thing. We were told more about how great she was as well than seen it. I ended up not liking her because the issue lingered to long. I would have just liked to seen them in a relationship. I didn’t see her grow as a character and get to spend anytime with the better her.

 

I because one million times more interested in the secondary romance which happened off stage.

 

This book also had a romance interferer which I don’t love as a plot device and he was too flat a character as well.

 

I might pick up another book by this writer because there was something fun here.

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1510336/wasted-words-by-staci-hart-review

My Favorite Contemporary Romance 2016

Beard Science (Winston Brothers Book 3) (Volume 3) - Penny Reid First Step Forward (The Grand Valley Series) - Liora Blake The Wall of Winnipeg and Me - Mariana Zapata Her Naughty Holiday (Men at Work) - Tiffany Reisz SO RIGHT: A Sugar Baby Novella - Rebekah Weatherspoon Hold Me (Cyclone) (Volume 2) - Courtney Milan Bittersweet (True North) (Volume 1) - Sarina Bowen First Star I See Tonight: A Novel (Chicago Stars) - Susan Elizabeth Phillips

I had a grand year reading Contemporary Romance. Just grand.

 

These are my top Contemporary Romance reads that were published in 2016.  There is a tie for 10th (though my lists are usually not in any order) as some crazy wonderful writers managed to publish more than one excellent Contemporary Romance this year.

 

I love it.  But now I am on a budget! Lots of sports romance, nerds, laughter, and sexy here.

 

Please let me know if you loved any of these books and if I missed your favorite!

 

1. Beard Science (Winston Brothers, #3) by Penny Reid. Lets be clear, Cletus is odd and Cletus is grand. Cletus wins it all and so does Jennifer. So, funny, So, tender. 5 Stars.

 

2. First Step Forward (Grand Valley, #1) by Liora Blake Blake is an amazing writer. Read all her stuff.  Grumpy football hero, organic farming heroine. Opposites attract at its best. 5 Stars

 

3. Her Naughty Holiday (Men at Work, #2) by Tiffany Reisz The heroine gets mad and its glorious. The wit here is enchanting.  Love two adults having a relationship and adulting. 5 Stars

 

4. Bittersweet by Sarina Bowen I couldn’t get enough of farming. Bowen writes amazing characters and the spark between them is devine. This is a great world being built in Vermont with dark and light and gray. The cast of characters is this series is the very best. 5 Stars.

 

5.  The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata Gah. Zapata is queen of the slow burn. The ruler. I adore it so hard. Friendship develops and passion. So very good. Yeah, more football and a working class heroine. Good stuff. 4 Stars

 

6. Hold Me (Cyclone, #2) by Courtney Milan I like big brains and I can not lie. Wicked smart hero and heroine. There is a lot of snark in this one but all the little nerdy details make it a winner plus a multiracial cast and sexual diversity as well. 4 Stars.

 

7. So Right (Sugar Baby, #2) by Rebekah Weatherspoon A great continuation of the romance began in the first book More genius characters and very sexy love with an older man. 4 Stars.

 

8.Hail Mary by Nicola Rendell  Where is all this football coming from? The cute meet in this one happens when the heroine knocks the hero out in a sparring match. So, good. 4 Stars.

 

9. First Star I See Tonight (Chicago Stars, #8) by Susan Elizabeth Phillips While the hero is an recently retired football star, the really star here is the private eye heroine. They are both uber grumpy. It is zany fun.

 

10. So, yeah. All the great books–

 

Wait for It  by Mariana Zapata

Grin and Beard It (Winston Brothers, #2) by Penny Reid

Steadfast and Keepsake by Sarina Bowen

 

 

 

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1510364/my-favorite-contemporary-romance-2016

Worth It All (The McKinney Brothers #3) by Claudia Connor Review

Review:

She’s fighting for control. . . . Paige Roberts learned to fend for herself growing up. Now she’s doing everything possible to give her daughter, Casey, the stability she never had. But when the vivacious five-year-old decides she’s done wearing her prosthesis, Paige faces her toughest challenge yet: trusting a handsome, brooding stranger who simply wants to help.

He’s struggling to connect. . . . JT McKinney lost more than his leg in a car accident that stole his dreams of pro football. Eight years later, he’s made a new life for himself far away from his old one. His business is developing cutting-edge prosthetics and he’s more than happy to turn his attention to machines instead of people. Still, he can’t shake the feeling that something’s missing.

Will they take a chance on love? . . . When JT gets the chance to help Paige’s daughter, he takes it. He never planned on the two of them tearing down his walls or teaching him to believe in himself again. Paige might not believe in happily ever afters, but JT wants more than anything to be her prince. They’ll both have to let go of the past if they want a future.

Review

 

This is a sweet romance with an overworked single mom as our heroine. The hero and the heroine’s daughter have both lost legs for different reasons and this brings them together though the hero already had a crush on the mom.

The hero is a biomedical engineer who patents AI and artificial limbs which is better cool. He is pretty young and suppose to be super smart. I would have loved to see more of that part of him.

The heroine is a waitress working two jobs and starting back to school with an almost five year old. The child’s issues about going to school are compelling and the romance is a lovely one.

However, for me, I would have liked more on the hero in the years after his accident, college and grad school wise, and for the heroine I would have liked her to have more of sexual self (her sexual history didn’t seem all that realistic or at least I would have liked that talked about and explored).

I am interested in the other books in the series

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1510332/worth-it-all-the-mckinney-brothers-3-by-claudia-connor-review

Misenchanted Shifter (Shifting Crossroads Book 17) by Zenina Masters

Review:

Misenchanted Shifter - Zenina Masters

Eileen has always known she couldn’t control her shifts. She also knows that it is not normal to shift into hundreds of different animals.

When she is declared close to her heat, she is ordered to the Crossroads and her payment for the transport causes a stir. Her claw is that of a chimera and the enchantment that she thought was binding her, in fact, wasn’t doing anything at all.

Harris has been at the Crossroads for a few days, and when he sees a woman dressed to the nines in a classic manner, he is enthralled. When she is spunky and direct, he is charmed, and when she touches his hand, he is smitten

 

Review

 

The heroine is well drawn with a loving adopted mother. The hero is interesting as well with his family background.

 

This is a quick satisfying read. 

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1447072/misenchanted-shifter-shifting-crossroads-book-17-by-zenina-masters

Indentured Bride by Yamila Abraham

Review:

Indentured Bride - Yamila Abraham

Cruel alien masters have oppressed Tabitha for the last ten years. An Alliance observer discovers that she’s been experimented on and pulls her from the slave colony. She’s going to be granted the privilege of becoming an indentured bride.

Tabitha doesn’t see her new assignment as a privilege. Her duties seem pretty clear cut, and she knows what Hax-Rah aliens are like. The last thing she wants is to be stranded on a moon with one.

Hex-Lord Jaxil took an isolated mission for a reason, and he never asked for a bride.

 

Review

This is a dark world with little light. The heroine remains a slave as does the hero.

 

The heroine is a product of what has been done to her.

 

But there is a sweetness to this romance even if it ends too quickly and needs a lot more happy for my tastes. There is a nice bit of revenge though. 

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1447563/indentured-bride-by-yamila-abraham

The Milch Bride (Western Wives, #1) by J.R. Biery Review

4 Stars! 

THE MILCH BRIDE
Texas is a harsh land in the 1870’s. Jackson Harper loses his wife in childbirth, but is not willing to lose his son. When the baby sickens, he must find a woman to nurse the boy. Unfortunately, the only woman in the county with milk is Hattie Stoddard, the town slut. Despite the protests of his in-laws and housekeeper, Jackson leaves his wife’s funeral to bring Hattie home.Hattie Stoddard has been a victim of a brutal rape and seen her father beaten and changed forever. By the time she can ride for help, the men who attacked her have told a different story of what happened and the town refuses to believe her. Pregnant and ostracized, she is determined to save her father and the ranch. Then her father and son die.

When Jackson arrives she has nothing left but her shredded pride and the determination not to lose the land. When Jackson tells her she is going with him, she refuses. Finally they strike a bargain, he will pay the taxes and save the ranch if she will nurse and care for his son until J.D. is weaned. But a lot can happen in the milk-year.

ReviewGood Historical Western Romances are hard to find and this is a very good one.

It is gritty and sad. The role greed plays in the book during the range war is just awful. The reality of class difference and women’s lives hurts to but then there is a very sweet romance with new life, healing, and land as well as between the couple.

The heroine is strong and yet not unrealistic in dealing with the aftermath of rape. The hero is a fair man who you will want to take comfort in as well.

There is a lot of baby time and food in this book which works well for me. I love Westerns with lots of cooking, canning, cleaning, sewing and gardening. The work of the time.

There is a bit of mystery which adds to the plot and historical detail to the violence. The secondary characters are interesting though they could have been better develop.

Overall, I am excited at having found this new to me historical romance writer!

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1510211/the-milch-bride-western-wives-1-by-j-r-biery-review

Best Science Fiction Romance Novels of 2016

Dark Minds (Class 5 Series) (Volume 3) - Michelle Diener Forged in Shadow (Dark Planet Warriors Book 5) - Anna Carven Mercy (Deridia Book 1) - Catherine Miller Exile - Colleen Vanderlinden Sarazen's Claim, Book One - Isabel Wroth Warrior: A Scifi Alien Romance (Galactic Gladiators Book 2) - Anna Hackett Assessing Survival (Mechanical Advantage) (Volume 1) - Ms. Viola Grace Jaz's Warriors (Bondmates Book 2) - Ann Mayburn Soros: Alien Warlord's Conquest (Scifi Alien - Human Military Romance) - Vi Voxley

So, I went nuts for Science Fiction Romance this year. I have always been a big fan but this year I couldn’t get enough. I am hoping on a huge surge in this romance subgenre.

Here are my favorite Science Fiction Romance Novels published in 2016.

Please let me know If I missed your favorite!

My lists are never in any particular order.

1. Dark Minds (Class 5 Series Book 3) by Michelle Deiner
2. Forged in Shadow (Dark Planet Warriors, #5) by Anna Carven
3. Sarazen’s Claim by Isabel Wroth
4. Mercy (Deridia Book 1) by Catherine Miller
5. Exile by Colleen Vanderlinden
6. Assessing Survival by Viola Grace
7. Warrior (Galactic Gladiators Book 2) by Anna Hackett
8. The E.T. Guy (Office Aliens Book 1) by V.C. Lancaster
9. Jaz’s Warriors by Ann Mayburn
10. Soros by Vi Voxley

The list with blurbs!

1. Dark Minds (Class 5 Series Book 3) by Michelle Diener

he mind is the most powerful weapon of all . . .

Imogen Peters knows she’s a pawn. She’s been abducted from Earth, held prisoner, and abducted again. So when she gets a chance at freedom, she takes it with both hands, not realizing that doing so will turn her from pawn to kingmaker.

Captain Camlar Kalor expected to meet an Earth woman on his current mission, he just thought he’d be meeting her on Larga Ways, under the protection of his Battle Center colleague. Instead, he and Imogen are thrown together as prisoners in the hold of a Class 5 battleship. When he works out she’s not the woman who sparked his mission, but another abductee, Cam realizes his investigation just got a lot more complicated, and the nations of the United Council just took a step closer to war.

Imogen’s out of her depth in this crazy mind game playing out all around her, and she begins to understand her actions will have a massive impact on all the players. But she’s good at mind games. She’s been playing them since she was abducted. Guess they should have left her minding her own business back on Earth…

2. Forged in Shadow (Dark Planet Warriors, #5) by Anna Carven

Sergeant Arin Varga has a problem on her hands. She’s supposed to be in charge of a squad of peacekeepers. That’s something she would normally handle with ease, except that now her people are stuck in Earth’s orbit on a doomed superfreighter. To make things worse, they’re being held hostage by a group of very threatening, very menacing silver-skinned Kordolians, who are insistent that all they want is safe passage to Earth to kill oversized insects.

One particular alien, who goes by the name of Rykal, seems be constantly getting inside her personal space. He isn’t just threatening, he’s friendly and threatening, and if Arin isn’t careful, that could become a major problem.

3. Sarazen’s Claim by Isabel Wroth

One hundred and fifty years ago the most powerful countries of Earth built and launched five ships. Ships meant to carry what remained of humanity out into the space beyond their known galaxy to find a new home. As a third generation botanist, it never occurred to Clary Starborn that she might some day be in charge of anything other than her little lab.

That changed the day their ship was attacked by an alien species straight out of myth.

As commander of the Sarazen armada, Tarek had seen some poor excuses for spacefaring vessels. The one currently being attacked by the Na’ah was to date, the worst. So primitive in its design, Commander Tarek was fascinated it had even survived the harsh vacuum of space. Or the time it had taken to launch it. The species was unfamiliar to him, but initial scans suggested the beings within here somewhat intelligent. Though the ship was outside Sarazen territory, it was his duty to eradicate the Na’ah wherever he encountered them.

He had not anticipated that by his actions, the course of his life would be forever changed.

By a soft, delicate being who studied flowers and trees. One scent, one touch, was all it took to be Claimed.

4. Mercy (Deridia Book 1) by Catherine Miller

Dishonourable.
Unwanted.
Outsider.

Such are the slurs cast upon Rykkon, however undeserved. As the only village healer, his people cannot cast him out entirely, but there is little comfort in such a life when he has long known that no mate from his clan would willingly join with him. It is a lonely fate, but one Rykkon has learned to accept. That is, until one tense exchange between his people and the humans brings him an offer he simply cannot ignore.

The humans are not their slaves. Nor their property. Nor of any great concern. But neither are they free. It is by the provisions of the Arterians they scrape out a sorry existence in the Wastes, and by their goodwill alone that they continue to survive. Scavenging for hasart beetles under the two suns is the only life the desperate colonists have known since their ancestors first landed on the desolate planet. It was all they knew. It was all they hoped for.

Until one day, a young female dares to ask for more.

5. Exile by Colleen Vanderlinden

Two races fight for what remains of a dying planet.

For generations, the Maarlai, an alien race who fled the destruction of their own home world, have lived silently, hidden, exiled on Earth. They watched, year by year, as humanity destroyed what was once a planet full of hope and promise.

Unable to idly watch as the planet dipped further into destruction, the Maarlai left their hidden villages and went to war with what was left of humanity. With the death of the last great human king, the Maarlai found themselves victorious and vowed to protect and restore the planet that had sheltered them for so long.

A treaty made, an alliance formed.

Shannen of House Lyon is a member of the last of the human royal families. While they bend knee to the Maarlai ruler, her people have not forgotten their former greatness, the years of bloodshed and horror… or the memory of their fallen king.

To ensure a lasting peace between their two peoples, Shannen and three other prominent human women are sent to the Maarlai capital. One of them will wed the future Maarlai king, cementing the peace between former enemies.

When Shannen finds herself married to the Maarlai warrior, she discovers a whole new world… and freedom unlike anything she could have imagined. When war threatens once again, she will need to decide where her loyalties truly lie.

6. Assessing Survival by Viola Grace

A woman under repair with a skill for assessing survival meets a previous acquaintance who is now more than a match for her.

In the year 2280, Earth has been at war for a decade. The Splice take the humans they capture and use them for parts. Sending bots in place of humans didn’t work, but taking the wounded and turning them into cyborgs has enabled Earth to push the Splice away from Earth. The combination of metal and man is turning the tide in a war that no one could have imagined.

Adaptation Base is where the wounded are recycled into enhanced warriors, and when a terrorist action takes out the administration, the newest cyborgs will have to take things into their own hands.

When Stitch comes to, her position as an assessment officer is still valid, but her new location on the front lines means a lot of adjustment. The men she had designed from the wounds out are now her team, and finding the one who had flirted his way into her heart—after all this time—leaves her vulnerable to his mechanical advantage.

7. Warrior (Galactic Gladiators Book 2) by Anna Hackett

Weapon, brute, gladiator, warrior… Sirrush warrior Thorin has been called many things. As a warrior of his people, he was a dark, dangerous weapon until even his own family were too afraid of him. Sold into slavery in the Kor Magna Arena, he has long ago earned his freedom. Now he enjoys the violent but rewarding life he’s carved out for himself. Until he rescues one small, smart, and perplexing female from alien slavers.

Regan is determined to make a place for herself in her new home. She may not have the skills to fight in the arena, but she’s smart and knows she can help…even as she fights her attraction to the big, bold, and fascinating Thorin. She knows he’ll never be interested in her. But when Regan catches a glimpse of her cousin across a crowded market, she needs help to mount a rescue, and it comes in the form of the gladiator she desperately wants. A gladiator hiding a dark, uncontrollable secret with the power to destroy them both.

8. The E.T. Guy (Office Aliens Book 1) by V.C. Lancaster

It’s 2266, and Lois Kennedy is an Intake Officer for DETI, the Department of Extra-Terrestrial Immigration.

Zir is a refugee from the planet Teiss, working in DETI’s I.T. department.

Lois and Zir just can’t get along. As far as she’s concerned, he’s rude, abrasive, and condescending. She wants nothing to do with him. So why does he never leave her alone? He must be crazy if he thinks there could ever be anything between them… right?

9. Jaz’s Warriors (Bondmates Book 2) by Ann Mayburn

Growing up in Harlem, Jaz Brooks never imagined that there would be a day where she’d have two smoking hot alien husbands, Mavet and Xentix, who worshiped her. Or that she would be living on a Kadothian spaceship stationed on one of Saturn’s moons as an Earth Ambassador. And she certainly never imagined her bondmates would be encouraging her to take a third husband, but that’s exactly what’s happening.

Tandar Glycin has been fighting the Hive in the distant Bel’Tan galaxy for so long now he’d given up hope of ever finding his Matriarch. When word reaches him that his blood brother, Mavet, has bonded an Earth female Tandar is both elated and worried. Vicious rumors abound in the Bel’Tan galaxy about how horrible Earth women are and he worries that Mavet has taken a monster as his wife. When he first meets Jaz he quickly realizes that not all of the stories are true, and that the Lord of Life has blessed him with a kind, beautiful, and feisty alyah who is going to make him work to win her heart.

10. Soros: Alien Warlord’s Conquest by Vi Voxley

at Edwards is a woman who doesn’t consider failure as an option. As a bounty hunter, she’s seen the worst that the galaxy has to offer and she’s not afraid of it. Or, at least she thought she’d seen the worst. But a certain Corgan warlord might just change her mind on that.

Soros is more myth than man. The warrior who has trained all the warlords of note, he is feared and respected, lauded and despised in equal measure. Wanting no part in the wars being waged between his own people with the recent upsets in Corgan society, the warlord still finds himself getting swept away in the madness, held at sword-point by one of his own students.

It only takes one woman for this warlord to realize that he can remain neutral no longer. It only takes one night for him to realize what is at stake – not only the universe, but her safety as well.

Being pushed by impossible odds, Soros and Kat have no other choice but to push back. No wonder that they can’t help but keep finding one another in all that tragedy.

Can Soros become more than a myth and claim his rightful place on the side of good, or are some sacrifices just too hard to make? Can Kat capture her bounty one last time?

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1510142/best-science-fiction-romance-novels-of-2016

Bane by Viola Grace Review

Review:

Bane - Viola Grace

A healer who can’t control her talents meets a dark elf who needs her to shape her own destiny and save his people.

Ava has gotten used to the solitude of being a contact healer, but when she is stolen before she can get to her next assignment, she is up for sale to a very specific clientele. The folk of Nafki need her for her healing abilities, but the raiders who stole her want her for her ability to create a toxin for any species she has ever healed. Her talent successfully helps pause the plague rippling through the population, but once she has a grasp on the dark elves of Nafki, she knows that being used as a weapon to kill them is the next step in the plan.

Kondr has faith in Ava’s ability to heal his people, but when she confesses that she is the true danger, he has to decide between the safety of his people and the woman who has caught his attention and imagination,

 

Review

I love the portrayal of loneliness in this romance. How a the gift of healing also has other impacts. The world building in this story is well done. The heroine is very practical and clever.

Elf heroes are always a good time.

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1441063/bane-by-viola-grace-review