Bearly Pucked (Alpha Champions #1) by Janna Rayne

Bearly Pucked B.C.

I hadn’t read a shifter book in a while and decided I felt like reading on again. I’d gotten this novella on sale a few months ago and decided to read it to get it off my Kindle. It was actually better than I expected it to be.

The story follows Griff, an bear shifter pro-hockey player, as he is put on a week long suspension for having a short temper. The love interest is Maddox, a half-bear shifter athletic trainer who grew up in a human family. Maddox is sent by Griff’s team trainer to check on Griff while he is on suspension. The two instantly connect and the rest of the story is them accepting and celebrating being together. There are a couple issues that pop up with Maddox being half-shifter, but for the most part it is a simple, happy, sexy read.

The story line isn’t super inventive but also not completely stale. The characters are decently developed and the family dynamics are interesting. There is actually only on shift throughout the entire novella. The majority of the shifter integration is through the instincts and increases senses. There was also not any hockey either. They talk briefly about Griff being a player, but the mechanics, skill, and professional responsibilities aren’t mentioned. The characters were decently developed, but they could use a lot more fleshing out. There was also no real events where Maddox dealt with being half-bear shifter. She’d mention it, others mentioned it, but it was just kind of like a “that’s all I can be and I accept that” feel, no real actual dealing with it.

I can’t say I was disappointed with the book, but it wasn’t really interesting enough to read again or get me to continue the series. The only other book I might be interested in reading is the one about Griff’s older brother, but there is no mention about that in the works right now. For someone getting into shifter books, this is a good starter. For regular readers of shifter books, this would be a filler read when you just needed to pass the time

My rating:

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Allegiance of Honor (Psy-Changeling #15) by Nalini Singh

Allegiance of Honor B.C.

This is one of my favorite series. I was actually surprised to see I hadn’t reviewed any books in this series on my blog. I know I’ve re-read the series multiple times, but somehow I just never reviewed them. This is the fifteenth installment in the series and it’s more of a check-in with the people you’ve met throughout the series. There are a few new developments, but it’s mostly just a way to set up for the next few books.

The majority of the books in this series are stand-alones. However, I recommend that you have to read at least the three books before this one in order to really understand what is going on and who the people are. As the book is a way to catch up with everything, it covers and talks about a lot of information, events, and people that you have to be familiar with or you’ll most likely be lost and not able to completely enjoy the book.

I loved being able to catch up with the characters I haven’t seen in a while, but the series does a fairly good job of interacting with most of the characters in each book. The book also does a good job of giving a comprehensive picture of what is going on in the series at the time. However, I felt the book kind of drug along because there were so many people she was trying to cover. There was also a lot of repetition with different couples talking about the same event from different points of view. There also wasn’t really a story line. There was a short one about a kidnapping attempt, a longer one about finding a missing person, and an overview of two developing ones that will start to happen in the next book. I’d say it’s a must read for the series lovers, a good idea to read it if you are reading the series, but can be skipped if you don’t mind missing a couple pieces of information that will contribute to the story lines in other books.

My rating:

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Whispers in the Dark (KGI #4) by Maya Banks

This was probably the fourth or fifth time I’ve actually read this book. It is phenomenal. I have read most of the KGI series, but this was the first one I picked up and what initially got me interested in the series. It remains my favorite of the entire series so far.

The premise is Nathan is being held captive by a group of terrorists and through her telepathy Shea helps him to escape and get a message to his brothers to rescue him. However, Shea and her sister Grace are being hunted for their gifts of healing and telepathy. Shea reaches out to Nathan and the story unfolds. There are a few twists and a lot of family drama, but it is a rather original story line. The author touches on stories and events in previous books, but doesn’t do anything more. It is a complete read-alone story, which I love in a series. I absolutely love the female characters in this series of books. They are all strong, independent, vibrant women who are also vulnerable, caring, and sometimes insecure survivors. Shea is no exception. She goes out of her way to protect everyone she loves not caring about the personal cost. Also, the men in this series all adore their women. Nathan is completely smitten with Shea from the first time he hears her. As a result, their love story does not particularly grow throughout the story as much as it continues from beginning to end, simply being strained and strengthened by the events. The family dynamics in the book are very interesting as well. The morph and change over the series, but you catch a snapshot of each period of growth as new women are welcomed in and how the bonds of family form. Also, you meet several prominent characters that have their own book later on, and this story sets up for the next book that follows Shea’s sister Grace.

I would recommend this book to pretty much anyone interested in paranormal (specifically magical) romance or romantic suspense. There is not so much paranormal in it that a reader who does not normally read sci-fi would be put off by. Also, anyone who loves strong male characters, particularly military, would like this book. The same for people who like strong female characters, particularly women who have overcome extreme conditions. All-in-all it is a fantastic read.

My rating:

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Bunny and the Bear (Furry United Coaliltion #1) by Eve Langlais

So I read this book for my “guilty pleasure” challenge on my Book Riot Read Harder Challenge. It also had a benefit of being short, which was nice since I haven’t had a lot of time on my hands lately.

I loved the main characters in this story. I though Miranda was hilarious and sassy and Chase completely relate-able as the strong, silent type of guy with a heart of gold. The premise was based on Miranda being a protection agent for the Furry United Coalition, falling for the subject she was assigned to protect, the quiet Chase. Someone has been abducting shifter males in their prime, and it was Miranda’s job to ensure that Chase wasn’t taken. I don’t want to write any spoilers, so I’ll give generalizations of my thoughts. There wasn’t a lot of depth to the back story or anything particular outside of the main characters, but given such a short book that is understandable. Enough information was given to move the story along, keep it interesting, and not distract from the emotional bonding of the two main characters. The fight scenes I found surprisingly lacking. There was supposed to be a lot of danger and fierce battle, but it didn’t read like that. You would read the fight scene and kind of shrug it off, then the characters would have terrible wounds, and I was thinking “Wow, lots of damage for no real fight”. As expected for a short, shapeshifter romance, there is a lot of explicit sex scenes, but they don’t go over the top like some do. Overall, not a bad break-time book or a simple afternoon read. It did set up for further books to conclude the main story line, which was nice as well.

My rating:

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Wolf’s Fall (Alpha Pack #6) by J. D. Tyler

So I was really looking forward to reading this book as it was about the commander of the team the series is about. The story line was continued quite well from the book before, and there were a few unexpected twists. There was a lot of sadness in the book, but the spirits of the characters buoy the emotional heaviness. The character of Nick developed quite well, but not as well as some of the other main characters have progressed in different books. It did a fantastic job of setting up the story line to progress into new books, as well as establishing the basis for a few different potential couples. Again, the book can be read as a stand alone, but you really should follow this series from the beginning. The series in this book and the two before has started to incorporate vampires as well, but does it quite well. This book, the alpha mates with a vampire, but the author uses the relationship to help mend both. It is a good series for anyone who would like to start into paranormal romance. This book would be great for anyone who enjoys paranormal romance and specifically for wolf shifters.

My rating:

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Link to J.D.Tyler’s official site for the Alpha Pack!

Cole’s Redemption (Alpha Pack #5) by J. D. Tyler

This is the fifth book in the Alpha Pack series. It can be read as a stand-alone, but I recommend reading the other books first. The author does a good job of filling in back stories, but there are several stories that carry, build, and change through the series. I did really like this book, though. Probably my favorite of the series so far. Magic, werewolves, treachery, fighting, and sex mix in a good combination. It’s a good crossover book for moving from regular sci-fi to paranormal romance. The story line is fairly original. I particularly liked the depth to which the main characters were developed – it is very easy to relate and connect to the characters. The author does a great job of building and maintaining character depths, connections, and interactions. I am impressed at how she connects the books and maintains such strong secondary story lines across several books and changes to the story line. She also does a good job of setting up future story lines in a way that makes readers want to read the next book(s).

My rating:

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