great world building

The Sumage Solution (San Andreas Shifters, #1) by G.L. Carriger 5 Star Review!

     The Sumage Solution: San Andreas Shifters by GAIL CARRIGER 5 Stars!!

Max fails everything – magic, relationships, life. So he works for DURPS (the DMV for supernatural creatures) as a sumage, cleaning up other mages’ messes. The job sucks and he’s in no mood to cope with redneck biker werewolves. Unfortunately, there’s something oddly appealing about the huge, muscled Beta visiting his office for processing.

Bryan AKA Biff (yeah, he knows) is gay but he’s not out. There’s a good chance Max might be reason enough to leave the closet, if he can only get the man to go on a date. Everyone knows werewolves hate mages, but Bryan is determined to prove everyone wrong, even the mage in question.

Delicate Sensibilities?
This story contains M/M sexitimes and horrible puns. If you get offended easily, then you probably will. The ¬¬¬¬San Andreas Shifter stories contain blue language, dirty deeds, and outright admiration for the San Francisco Bay Area. Not for the faint of heart (mouth/tongue/etc.).

 

Review

I had a grand time reading this book. Its over the top and madcap but charming, hot, and engaging.

Humor is tough and for me this overblown paranormal world with a sarcastic hero and quirky non humans of all kinds really worked for me. I think because the heart of the story is the romance between Bryan, a beta wolf shifter able to be out about his sexuality for the first time, and a cranky, lanky not well functioning civil servant mage who had an awful childhood and a pretty crap romantic life until Bryan.

All the quirky and crazy plot around them was kept steady by the realism and the truth of this romance. It is a character driven love story set in a pretty well built and enjoyable paranormal world.

Some of the world building is a bit wonky but all the characters, banter, hot sexy times, and romance make up any flaws in a big way.

I can’t wait for more couples in this series and more time in this world.

The Space Merchants (The Space Merchants, #1) by Wendie Nordgren Review

    The Space Merchants by Wendie Nordgren  2.5 Stars

Teagan Green dreams of escaping the drudgery of Earth and traversing the stars.

How will her dreams come true when events from her past are intent on destroying her?

As soon as Teagan Green turns eighteen, she leaves her painful childhood behind and travels as far as her credits will take her. In Union Port City, she is homeless until she becomes a reclamation worker. Teagan’s only dream is to one day make it up into the stars. She gets her wish when she is hired as a domestic assistant on Tora, a merchant starship. On Tora, Teagan meets Yukihyo Lee, an alien who survived the brutal slaughter of his entire clan at the hands of the Parvac Empire. Yukihyo is of a race in which the males require emotional bonds with their females in order to control their aggressive tendencies. He finds that bond in Teagan. While exploring the Galaxic Expanse with the crew of Tora, Teagan discovers a universe full of beauty and danger, true love, and her own personal worth.

Review

This is long and slow and the idea that it goes on to at least four more books with same heroine is really more than I can take,

There are things I really like about it. The world building is good. I love the pets.

However, there is so much wish fulfillment in the writing I just don’t feel like a real character gets developed for anyone. There is a lot of plat but who people are doesn’t really move that plot.

Its sweet but not compelling or warming.

Breath of Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles #2) by Amanda Bouchet Review

SHE’S DESTINED TO DESTROY THE WORLD… 

BUT NOT IF SHE CAN HELP IT

“Cat” Catalia Fisa has been running from her destiny since she could crawl. But now, her newfound loved ones are caught between the shadow of Cat’s tortured past and the threat of her world-shattering future. So what’s a warrior queen to do when she knows it’s her fate to be the harbinger of doom? Everything in her power.

Griffin knows Cat is destined to change the world—for the better. As the realms are descending into all-out war, Cat and Griffin risk sacrificing everything they’ve fought for. Gods willing, they will emerge side-by-side in the heart of their future kingdom…or die trying.

4 Stars!

Review

This second book in the series follows Cat and Griffin and Co on an amazing quest. We get the same wonderful world building with a great cast of characters.

The love story remains powerful as it evolves as does the arc of the story.

The writing detailed and compelling and the plot is well paced. There is so much to like an enjoy in this mash up of Greek mythology and magic.

I think you need to read the first book to get the full pleasure out of this entry but it is a great ride and I can’t wait for the next book plus spin offs with other couples.

Raze (Scarred Souls, #1) by Tillie Cole Review

 

4 Stars!

TO TAKE BACK LIFE, ONE MUST FIRST FACE DEATH…

Conditioned in captivity to maim, to kill and to slaughter, prisoner 818 becomes an unrivaled and unstoppable fighter in the ring. Violence is all he knows. After years of incarceration in an underground hell, only one thought occupies his mind: revenge… bloody, slow and violent revenge. Revenge on the man who wronged him.
Kisa Volkova is the only daughter of Kirill ‘The Silencer’ Volkov, head of the infamous ‘Red’ bosses of New York’s Russian Bratva. Her life is protected. In reality, it’s a virtual prison. Her father’s savage treatment of his rivals and his lucrative and coveted underground gambling ring-The Dungeon-ensures too many enemies lurk at their door. She dreams to be set free. Kisa has known only cruelty and loss in her short life. While working for her church-the only reprieve in her constant surveillance-Kisa stumbles across a tattooed, scarred, but stunningly beautiful homeless man on the streets. Something about him stirs feelings deep within her; familiar yet impossibly forbidden desires. He doesn’t talk. Doesn’t communicate with anyone.

He’s a man beyond saving. But Kisa becomes obsessed with him. Yearns for him. Craves his touch. Needs to possess this mysterious man… … this man they call Raze

Review

I don’t usually read dark romance. I can’t get past the violence and immorality (meaning the lack of value of life and dignity).

However, I have been reading some really dark stuff of late. Maybe as an escape from my own dark days? Not sure.

This book succeeds for me because the world building is excellent. I believe in the horror of this underworld. This is just the ways things are. The “goodness” of the hero is in juxtaposition to the the truely evil slavery that he inhabits.

Usually, I dislike mob romance. Here, the sexual violence to the heroine that goes on outside the world that the hero has been forced to inhabit but in the New York’s Russian Bratva is a horror show. Her father stands by. Everyone stands by, It is not okay. And nothing ever happens about it. I hang in there because the sexual violence is not sexualized (the reader is no expected to aroused) though complexly Cole does show that pleasure can come from even such demeaning and brutal treatment as body do what they do. She also explores how the heroine as been conditioned to think she is saving this insane man she is engaged to (not the hero).

I should not be okay with it and I am not. Yet, I sucked into the world watching because these rules are not rules I agree with but Cole builds a cohesive world. It would make me happier in this book or in the future books that the heroes who know how wrong that kind of treatment is make change in the culture. This doesn’t not happen in this book.

There is a hyper masculinity that is amped up even more with the drugs given to the hero and one of the many villains of the piece. Yet, the hero never acts on the heroine in brutal ways.

It is also clear that she saves him. This might be a kind of fantasy of woman as redeemer but it is clear that he needs her. She rescues him.

The book becomes about conditioned ways of thinking and behaving and love of course.

There is revenge which is very satisfying and hope. I like the hero a great deal. The family dynamics. It is all riveting.

I went on to read the other books in the series and they are all good. They are especially good as a series where every piece falls carefully into place to avenge and overcome and heal yet each couple has a complete story of their own.

I don’t hold to the idea that I am substituting myself for the heroine or that I am in love with the hero so I can enjoy this book as a carefully built exploration of characters, relationships and a world,

Finite (Terran Times) Viola Grace Review

Review:

Finite - Viola Grace

Cera enjoys acting as a dispatcher for the Guardians. When five strangers come to her, brandishing an imperial writ that demands her transfer to Haloth, she is taken aback. When they transport her there without any kind of vehicle, she suspects that she is in a less-than-usual situation, and when she is handed over to wake an energy being, she knows it.

Renn has come to physical form over a hundred times, called by a hundred different women. When Cera calls him, there is something new. She knows what she finds attractive, but gives him enough leeway to add a few bonuses of his own to his appearance.

Between her mind and his body, they are going to make a helluva team.

 

 

Review

 

The world building in this one is lovely, detailed, and creative. It is a wonderful idea to visit paired with a fun romance with great characters. 

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