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Oh, My Dragon

Oh, My Dragon - Lani Lynn Vale


Oh, My Dragon is book 3 in the series and while it focuses on a different couple, I really think you need to read them in order. Wink, the heroine, is a cute character (despite her utterly dumb name). She mistakes Ian for a killer and begins to run from the scene when he stops her. Their initial touch starts the mating. Of course, Wink has no idea what is going on or why she has a new tattoo that she doesn't ever remember getting.

Ian is a side character in the previous 2 books and is seen as dangerous and brooding. Getting to see Ian fall in love was really enjoyable. His backstory is one to pull on your heart strings for sure, so it made it all the more sweet to see him find love with Wink. However, you get plenty of humor too. I think what I always enjoy about Vale's books is that there is lots of slapstick type comedy in them so nothing gets TOO heavy. Also, the sex between these two is probably the hottest of all 3 stories. Holy Moly!

Pharaoh becomes a key player in this book. He has always been a narcissistic pain in the ass, but his role in the plot to Oh, My Dragon brings more depth to his character.

As usually, Mason Lloyd and Kendall Taylor do a great job. I was not thrilled with the accent for Jean Luc though....I'm hoping if that character gets his own book the accent will be better.

 
  • POV: dual 1st
  • Tears: no
  • Trope: fated mates
  • Triggers: none
  • Series/Standalone: series
  • Cliffhanger: no
  • HEA: yes




Alpha heroes and insta-love like the Until Series by Aurora Rose Reynolds, The Ice Planet Barbarians series by Ruby Dixon, Bewitched and Bewildered series by Alanea Alder...then you will probably like Oh, My Dragon!

 


Oh, My Dragon


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Love's Cruel Redemption

Love's Cruel Redemption - C.L. Stone Loved the increase in danger and action! Loved the further developing relationships. Super curious about who is Volto (and the person hinted to is not quite who I thought it was, but I was close...). Not sure I will be able to wait another year for the next book though! That is the hardest part.

Relentless (Somerton Security #2)

Relentless (Somerton Security #2) - Elizabeth Dyer


Relentless is book 2 in the series and, after the first chapter, it really is a stand alone. I had to think back to what happened in book 1 because it is referenced. However, its not critical to the story of Relentless so it isn't really an issue.

Ethan is the leader of the security team and is carrying a huge burden. He is determined to save a fellow soldier from a drug cartel. First, he has to infiltrate the cartel! Natalia is the niece of the cartel leader. She has been forced into a life she does not want. She has to do awful things for her uncle in order to protect her younger sister. Sparks fly when these two meet and instantly they recognize that the other isn't who they say they are. They form an uneasy alliance-Ethan needs an in and Natalia and her sister need out!

I liked both Ethan and Natalia. They are hardened due to the things they have experienced and it fit in well with the plot. I thought the action was good and really keeps the story moving! Overall, if you like romantic suspense, Relentless is a great pick! Good characters, solid action, strong heroine!

 
  • POV: 3rd
  • Tears: no
  • Trope: secret identity
  • Triggers: Natalia is forced to do some things for her uncle that might upset readers (non consensual sex is alluded to but not explicit)
  • Series/Standalone: series
  • Cliffhanger: no
  • HEA: yes




...then you will probably like Relentless!

 


Relentless


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Claimed by Gods

Claimed by Gods - eva chase Apparently, I just don't like Norse mythology.

Ocean Light

Ocean Light - Nalini Singh


Ocean Light continues the Psy-Changeling Trinity series, but I really feel you could probably grab this one without being lost. Ocean Light focuses on a changeling group that has been introduced in previous books but is VERY secretive so I was dying to get more info on Black Sea.

We initially met Bowen Knight early on in the initial Psy-Changeling series. He is the security chief for the Human Alliance. His hatred for the Psy runs deep due to a traumatic event when he was a child. This leads him to get a chip implanted in his brain to block psychic interference. Bad idea when the chip wasn't fully tested and now he has only days to live. He gets shot at the end of Silver Silence and ends up at the hands of a doctor in Black Sea who MIGHT have a way to save him.

Kaia also had a traumatic event in her past, but it caused her to hate humans. She hasn't set foot on land since her parents death and spends most of her time in one of Black Sea's underwater cities. She gave up her career in science and now serves as the head chef for the city. There are instant sparks between Bowen and Kaia, and she is NOT happy about that. First, he is human. Second, he is the leader of the Human Alliance and she had recently learned some information that made them sound shady. Finally, she knows his chance of survival is only 5%. None of that is able to prevent her for falling for Bowen.

Both Bowen and Kaia have some serious issues with racism. Bo hates all the Psy. He is getting better and more open minded. I understand WHY he hates them, but to treat a whole race with disdain because of the actions of one? Not cool. Kaia is even worse though. She has such a deep hatred for humans because they didn't save her parents that she refuses to interact with them in any way. She always assumes the worst of humans. Again, I get it-some humans did her wrong. But, seriously, to hate a whole race because of a small group?

Plot wise, you have the push/pull of attraction between Bo and Kaia, the eminent and deadly malfunction of the chip in Bo's brain, the mystery of who is the mole in Black Sea and the Human Alliance, and what kind of shifter is Kaia. Seriously, I was DYING to know! All Black Sea members are very secretive about their animal which is so different from the previous changelings and was fascinating.

Like all Singh books, I love the depth she brings to all the characters. Kaia and Bowen might not be my favorite couple, but Singh develops them so well that you still appreciate them. Like always, I adored the supporting cast of characters because they add so much to the story. The Psy-Changeling books are always going to be favorites of mine and I will reread many times to come because I just adore the world Singh has created.

As always, Angela Dawe does a phenomenal job with narration. Her performance is always spot on and delightful!

 
  • POV: 3rd
  • Tears: no
  • Trope: shifters
  • Triggers: none
  • Series/Standalone: stand alone within an interconnected series
  • Cliffhanger: not for Kaia and Bowen; the larger story ARC still has some questions to be answered
  • HEA: yes




books by Christine Feehan, Jennifer Ashley, Shelly Laurenston...then you will probably like Ocean Light!

 


Ocean Light


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Found

Found - B.L. Brunnemer


Found by BL Brunnemer is a slight spin off from her YA Reverse Harem series, The Veil Diaries. Zahur has made a few appearances in The Veil Diaries in helping Lexi with the veil, but in Found we discover he is a gargoyle. I loved Brunnemer's take on gargoyles. She brings together lots of supernatural creatures and Evelyn is the one person keeping all these creatures from destroying Chicago.

Evelyn is certainly one of the more badass heroines. She has more powers than any of the guys and she has been single handedly keeping the supernatural creatures of Chicago in line. She didn't know there were other gargoyles out there. Her parents died when she was a teenager and she spent her life roaming until settling in Chicago. Lexi uses her powers to enforce the rules, but more than that, she uses her brain and diplomacy! I loved that the author included this aspect.

Atticus was a bit of the typical man in my opinion. He finds his mate. He wants to wrap her in bubble wrap. He grunts and demands instead of talking. He makes dumbass mistakes because he doesn't listen and hear. However, he was still oddly likable. I think it helped that several chapters are from the guys POV so you get to see into his thought process. Atticus has lived a very different life than Evelyn, so his behavior, while annoying, is understandable. Falk and Ranulf are great! I loved the humor and levity Ranulf brings (and am dying to know more about him and his mate!!). Falk brings a quiet support system to Evelyn that was touching. Zahur is the mature, father figure of the group. He isn't afraid to call the others out on their idiotic behavior.

Overall, Found is a great introduction to the world of Books of Stone. Its not perfect, but I felt the same way about the start of the Veil Diaries. Sometimes I think it just takes a book or 2 for Brunnemer to really find her rhythm. This is certainly steamier than The Veil Diaries! Atticus and Evelyn are mates and they consummate their mating frequently. If you like paranormal romance with all kinds of supernatural beings, fated mates who aren't sure what they think of each other, and a supporting cast of characters that are awesome, Found is a perfect pick. I'm not sure what is up with this cover. Normally, Brunnemer's covers are stunning. This one totally misses the mark for me.

Kasha Kensington is one of my favorite narrators so the reason I decided to give this book a shot was because of her! Antony Ferguson is great with the accents. Zahur has an ancient, slightly middle eastern accent, Falk and Ranulf are Scottish, and Atticus is English. He does a wonderful job with all the accents. Kensington does amazing with the accents as well, so overall, this was a great listen!

 
  • POV: multiple 1st
  • Tears: no
  • Trope: fated mates, supernatural
  • Triggers: none
  • Series/Standalone: series
  • Cliffhanger: yes
  • HEA: they are mated and in love by the end of the book, but he still hasn't told her about Cyrus




authors like Lisa Ladew, Dannika Dark, Milly Taiden...then you will probably like Found!

 


Found


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The Kiss Quotient

The Kiss Quotient - Helen Hoang


Every once in a while, a book comes along and blows you away. The Kiss Quotient is that book for me. By day, I am a special education teacher and I have had the joy of working with many students on the Autism spectrum. These kids are awesome! So, to read a book about a woman with Asperger's trying to figure out relationships and love is amazing. Hoang does a marvelous job of really making the reader understand the quirks of someone with Aspergers. Seriously, some of the things Stella says or does I have heard or seen my students do! And so many of the things the adults do (her parents, coworkers, exes, etc) I have seen as well.

Stella doesn't like sex. She decides that a tutor would be helpful! This leads her to Michael, an escort! The set up between these two was great! I loved how Stella approached sex and I loved that Michael was not judgmental about it at all. These two are so different but it works perfectly.

If you love unconventional characters (a woman with Aspergers and a male escort-seriously! Thats pretty unconventional!), The Kiss Quotient delivers. Helen Hoang has become my hero author and I will forever buy every one of her books. This is a story I know I will reread. I will probably grab the audiobook so I can listen whenever I want!

 
  • POV: 3rd person
  • Tears: no
  • Trope: opposites attract, fake relationship, teacher/student
  • Triggers: none
  • Series/Standalone: stand alone
  • Cliffhanger: no
  • HEA: yes




books by Kristan Higgins, RS Grey, Christina Lauren, Sally Thorne, ...then you will probably like The Kiss Quotient!

 


The Kiss Quotient


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Order of Protection

Order of Protection - Lexi Blake


2 broken souls, hiding out in Massachusetts, find solace in each other briefly. Then, their realities collide and the solace is totally destroyed!

I struggled with Henry. He is sympathetic to a point: he is recovering from his addiction to alcohol,  he just ended a very public marriage in a very messy divorce. During his first meeting with Win, I adored him. After that though, I was finding it harder and harder to like the guy. When he becomes Win's lawyer he is a major douchebag. Win, however, is a delight! She is recovering from an eating disorder and attempting to get her life on track. She is set to attend Duke University before her life is derailed by the death of a friend. Even though Henry is treating her like she is dirt on the bottom of his shoe, she never just lays down and takes it. She is smart and not willing to let anyone walk all over her.

Win's story really resonated with me because I know many teens who develop eating disorders because they are desperate for some modicum of control over their own life. My heart hurt for her because her story is, in many ways, all too common (except for the filthy rich part!).

Characters aside, Blake gives you an excellent mystery! This is a classic whodunit type of plot and I really just loved it. Bottom line: if you like the May/December romance trope, secrets, murder, and broken characters, Order of Protection is a great pick. I am excited to see where Blake takes this series!

 
  • POV: 3rd
  • Tears: No
  • Trope: May/December romance
  • Triggers: both characters are dealing with addictions
  • Series/Standalone: stand alone
  • Cliffhanger: no
  • HEA: yes




The Dirty Money series by Lisa Renee Jones, Fighting for Everything by Laura Kaye, Seducing the Defendant by Chantal Fernando...then you will probably like Order of Protection!

 


Order of Protection


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Speakeasy

Speakeasy - Sarina Bowen


Bowen brings us back to Vermont in Speakeasy. I never thought I would crave Vermont so much! May, our heroine, finds her live in girlfriend kissing another girl. Alec swoops in an rescues her like a true hero! I appreciated the depth that Bowen takes on with these characters. May's sexuality and alcoholism are topics that play a major role in the story. However, Bowen also knows when to lighten things up too.

May's struggle with addiction has shaped her and her family. Her family has always handled her with kid gloves for fear they might set her off. May is tired of it all, so the story is not just about her relationship with Alec, but about repairing her relationship with her family. The Shipley's are great and they provide some levity with their zaniness! May is also not sure that a real relationship with Alec would ever work. She is sure that friends with benefits is all they could be.

Alec is steady a s rock. He is one of those book boyfriends who just makes you swoon. He is so laid back. It was refreshing to have a character who is just kind of going with the flow as an opposite to the heavy emotions that May experienced.

Speakeasy is another stellar entry in Bowen's True North series and further reminder why Bowen is one of my go to authors!

 
  • POV: dual 1st
  • Tears: no
  • Trope: addiction, friends with benefits
  • Triggers: none
  • Series/Standalone: stand alone within an interconnected series
  • Cliffhanger: no
  • HEA: yes




Character driven stories like Good Girl by Jana Aston, Wasted Words by Staci Hart, Fighting for Everything by Laura Kaye...then you will probably like Speakeasy!

 


Speakeasy


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Shadow Keeper

Shadow Keeper - Christine Feehan


Shadow Keeper continues the story of the Shadow Riders. These men and women can literally meld into the shadows! They can detect lies by crossing shadows with people. Its really unique and I love the world that Feehan has created with this series!

Sasha left the farm in Wyoming in order to get the best care possible for her brother. She is working 2 jobs to pay for his care facility but she would do anything for Sandlin. When she meets Giovanni, sparks fly. However, she doesn't have the best impression of the manwhore playboy. Giovanni isn't going to let that stand in his way. I liked that Giovanni wasn't really such a manwhore. It was a ruse created out of necessity and it was kind of brilliant in its simplicity. Before he can really get to know Sasha, they discover she has a super creepy stalker. This guy is deranged. It was ominous and really helped build the tension. However, the ending felt anticlimactic and a bit abrupt. All that lead up kind of fizzled.

I can't believe I am going to say this, but my biggest problem was the sex. I love the fated mates thing. That wasn't the problem. I struggle with how they went from strangers to kinky sex and how they had sex all the time. They didn't really talk about what was going on, they just had kinky sex with a few random comments about current events. I skimmed so many sex scenes. So many.

I loved the supporting characters and am really excited to continue reading about the Ferraro family. Feehan's Shadow Riders are fascinating and even with my issues in the book, I was totally caught up in this world of Shadow Keeper!

 
  • POV: 3rd
  • Tears: no
  • Trope: secret powers, fated mates
  • Triggers: Sasha's stalker does some pretty creepy stuff that might be disturbing to anyone who has had experience with stalkers
  • Series/Standalone: stand alone within an interconnected series
  • Cliffhanger: no
  • HEA: yes




authors like Larissa Ione, Jennifer Ashley, Karen Rose...then you will probably like Shadow Keeper!

 


Shadow Keeper


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I Am Justice

I Am Justice - Diana Munoz Stewart I am Justice is a new series by a new to me author, Diana Munoz Stewart. There were some great things about the book. First, I loved that its a group of vigilante sisters. These ladies are badass. Any book that features women who are just as deadly as men is a plus in my book! I also thought the focus on stopping human trafficking was brilliant. This is a very real issue in today's world. Finally, the diversity in the book was much appreciated. I loved getting to read about characters from different ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.

The action was on point, but the book felt lacking somehow. Justice felt robotic at times and I had a hard time connecting with her. I couldn't really believe the romance either because she seemed so mechanical.

Despite my struggles with Justice, I think the series has potential. I will probably keep reading to see where Stewart takes these characters!
Link live on blog on 5/30

All the Little Lights

All the Little Lights - Jamie McGuire Young love, mystery, and teenage angst! The feels, man! McGuire knows how to do to angst. These two were kind of having a 2nd chance romance while only in high school. It was a unique twist. Its more than just the will they/won't they angst because there is a deeper mystery going on that I enjoyed more than the teen drama-llama.

The Surviving Girls

The Surviving Girls - Katee Robert I love Robert's suspense! I also like the premise of this book for sure-survivors guilt, killer on the loose...so much suspense!

Innocent Target

Innocent Target - Katie Reus


Innocent Target continues the Redemption Harbor series and brings everything I love about Katie Reus. You get peeks into the characters from previous books, creating a 'family' for characters. You get danger. You get romance. What more could I want in a book? There is a reason Reus is one of my go to authors!

Hadley has just moved to Redemption Harbor to be close to her new found family when she is attacked in a parking lot at school. Turns out, someone wants her dead and Axel was given the job. These two meet but Hadley doesn't know exactly who Axel is or what he does.

I was surprised at how vulnerable Axel seemed at times. He is a badass but there are these flashes of insecurity or something that pop up once in awhile. I thought it made him seem more real. Hadley was sweet and likable; not my favorite heroine, but she was still enjoyable. Skye and Colt play a big part of the story (given their history with special operations and such) attempting to find out who is targeting Hadley. Brooks is obvious a large part of the story since he is Hadley's newly found brother! Axel takes on the role of Hadley's protector while they try to find out who wants her dead. He isn't honest with her about who he really is though, which creates tension in the relationship. They have some instant attraction, but overall, I found their relationship sweet.

Innocent Target is a great addition to the Redemption Harbor series and I am really loving the world Reus has created for these characters. Certainly looking forward to more books in this series!

 
  • POV: 3rd
  • Tears:
  • Trope: secret identity
  • Triggers: none
  • Series/Standalone: stand alone within an interconnected series.
  • Cliffhanger: no
  • HEA: yes




books by Susan Stoker, Kaylea Cross, Anne Conley...then you will probably like Innocent Target!

 


Innocent Target


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Fighting for Everything

Fighting for Everything - Laura Kaye


Fighting for Everything is part friends to lovers, part military recovery story! Noah has returned from the Marine Corp a different person-physically and mentally. He has severe physical injuries, extreme PTSD, and on top of that a big case of survivor's guilt. He feels so broken and worthless. Kristina has been his best friend for years, and she is the last person he wants to see him like this. Kristina is a teacher and totally in love with Noah. She is NOT going to let him push her away.

Noah's struggles are the central plot of the story really. His PTSD and injuries are the reason he pushes Kristina away, the reason he is angry, and the reason he feels worthless. While you get a friends to lovers romance, you also get to see a man fight his demons. The veterans fight club he creates is the outlet he needed, but also the outlet other vets needed. It was great to see Noah climb his way out of his depression and carve a new life. Kaye does a beautiful job writing the pain and guilt Noah feels, and also the determination Kristina has to get Noah through this tough time. My biggest struggle was that the story just didn't wow me. I think because I have read so many books it becomes difficult to wow me.

Fighting for Everything sets up the Warrior Fight Club series and I am thrilled to see where Kaye takes it! She writes deep, complex characters with profound emotions.

 
  • POV: dual 1st
  • Tears: no
  • Trope: veteran, friends to lovers
  • Triggers: Noah has PTSD and his flashbacks and struggles are detailed but not overly exploited.
  • Series/Standalone: stand alone
  • Cliffhanger: no
  • HEA: yes




Close Cover by Lexi Blake, Smoke and Mirrors by Julie Rowe, Driving Whiskey Wild...then you will probably like Fight for Everything!

 


Fighting for Everything


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Leading the Witness

Leading the Witness - Chantal Fernando I thought this was cute. There isn't much suspense or anything that propels the plot. Its more a string of littler problems that they tackle. I really liked Hunter-I liked him in the previous books too, but this just confirmed my feelings. He and Riley are a great match and I enjoyed reading about them dealing with the struggles of a formerly taboo relationship.