A MelanieM Review: Bitten By Fate (Regent’s Park Pack #6) by Annabelle Jacobs

Standard

Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

Daryl plays with fire and gets burned by fate…

Former Primrose Pack member Jason Black happily accepted his role as beta in the new Regent’s Hill pack, knowing that merging the two was the best decision for everyone involved. Daryl Easton is loyal and honest but wary of change. The joining of the two packs wasn’t his preferred outcome, and he’s struggling to see all the newcomers as pack, including those now working alongside him.

When the alpha council proposes a two-week pack-building course to help improve troubled relationships, Jason and Daryl are sent along as backup. It soon becomes clear that the unit members and their betas won’t be the only ones taking part in tasks—Daryl and Jason will have challenges of their own to complete.

With the full moon adding to the rising tension, emotions are volatile, and tempers flare among the unit members. Jason and Daryl become closer than either of them expected, but with such opposing views on relationships, a messy outcome seems inevitable unless Daryl can let go of the past.

Bitten By Fate is the series finale for Annabelle Jacobs’ Regent’s Park Pack series, a group of novels I have thoroughly enjoyed.  Each with a Bitten By in the title, they tell the story of a new pack, the Regent’s Park Pack, struggling to come together under a new Alpha after devastating pack wars.  The animosity and territory arguments escalating between a neighbor pack cause most of the anguish, built in mystery, and suspense.  And even romance.

Really this series has it all.  But by the sixth story, most of characters highlighted by the many plot threads had found their mates and completed the mate bond .  Plus all the danger and tension was almost gone as the two packs were now combined under one Alpha, Cam, and his pack.  So a finale story made sense to bring a sense of closure and tie up any loose ends.

Is Bitten By Fate the strongest story in the series?  No, not in my opinion.  For one reason, I don’t feel that Daryl and Jason are “fated” for each other, like the title implies.  great and yes, given the timing in their lives, perfect now for each other.  But fated, in that sense, they were meant to be together?  I never got that.    Which is not to say I didn’t adore them as a couple because I certainly did.    But maybe Bitten Finally At Last would have suited these two far better.

The idea of the Council using corporate “pack building” sessions and exercises, albeit ones only a werewolf could handle, tickled me.  And it worked so well in this story for so many characters.  I could easily identify with both sides pulling together to accomplish their goals.  And Jacobs’ descriptions went a long way to bringing it all to life. What was over the top hot?  The two person Beta exercises the Council had Jason and Daryl do, especially the blindfold ones.  Get out the fans now for those.    They also accomplished the job of bringing the readers intimately into the evolving relationship and making us care where it was going.  Right into that bedroom!

There was a subplot about characters from the other now defunct pack still causing trouble that led to a major story element towards the end.  That aspect of the narrative I felt needed more substance and plot development to work.  Not the reverberations, but the actual person behind it.  That was very shallow and I wished we had more of his story to give his actions more power.

In the end, I was happy to see so many characters that I had come to love throughout the series in this story and to watch Daryl and Jason get their HEA.

Bitten By Fate, like all the other books, is not a standalone story but rather one that should be read as part of the whole series and in the order they were written  to understand the universe and the history behind the pack and its members.  Highly entertaining, full of action, suspense, romance, and heat, if you love the supernatural and werewolves, this is a series for you.  That includes Bitten By Her, I loved that one too.  Strong female betas?  You bet!  And she’s a familiar character throughout the series.

So six books to read, six books to love.  Six couples to get to know.   Six HEA. What more could you want?  I highly recommend them all.

Cover Design: Natasha Snow. Nice cover with the wolf in the background but not especially pertinent to the storyline.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal LinkExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 215 pages
Published March 5th 2019
ASINB07P6MGCBM
Edition Language English
Series Regent’s Park Pack #6

Regent’s Park Pack Series


Book #1 – Bitten By Mistake – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – Bitten By Design – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 – Bitten By Desire – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #4 – Bitten By The Alpha – Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #5 – Bitten By Her – Amazon US | Amazon UK
 

An Ali Review: Lunar New Love by Casper Graham

Standard
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Vincent Yang is thankful to David, his best friend, for being a nosy matchmaker. David introduces him to Anthony Lim, and there’s an instant attraction and chemistry between them. Not only is Anthony good-looking and sexy, the man is also the successful owner of a popular bakery. Vincent agrees to a date with Anthony without any hesitation.

One date leads to another, and before he knows it, the two of them are officially together. They have so much in common, especially when they find out about both their respective families being less than pleased about their sexual orientation. Their relationships with their families take a turn for the worse a few days before Lunar New Year. Now, both of them have no families to celebrate the holiday with. It’s both heart-breaking and stressful.

Can Vincent and Anthony’s relationship survive the holiday season?

I am always looking for new to me authors so I decided to give this a try.  I was excited to see that the main characters were people of color.  Once I started reading it though, the book didn’t really work.  The writing style was not for me.  I had a very hard time connecting to either of the MC’s and I was not feeling the connection between them. I wasn’t really sure what they saw in each other.
I appreciated the Asian characters and the Lunar New Year holiday as fresh topics for a romance story but unfortunately nothing else about this book worked for me.
Cover art:  The cover is average.  The models on the cover due match the book’s descriptions of the characters but overall it doesn’t really stand out.
Sales Links:  JMS Books LLC  | Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 122 pages
Published February 5th 2019 by JMS Books LLC
ISBN 139781634868495

Check out the Review Tour for The Ghosts Between Us (The West Hills: Chris & Elliot) by Brigham Vaughn

Standard

 

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK – Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited
 
Length: 130,000 words approx.
 
Blurb
 

Dr. Christopher Allen knows how to deal with death. He’s a psychiatrist who works with hospice patients and their families, helping them cope with grief and letting go. But Chris’s job doesn’t prepare him for the sudden death of his devil-may-care brother Cal.


At Cal’s funeral, Chris is completely thrown when he meets Elliot Rawlings, an artist Cal has been dating. Chris is hurt to discover that the brother he knew as straight was actually bisexual. Elliot is angry and resentful of having been kept hidden from Cal’s family.


After the funeral, a night of drinking at the bar with Cal’s friends leads to Chris and Elliot falling into bed together. The next morning, they’re overwhelmed by guilt and grief and agree to never speak of it again.


But Cal’s apartment needs to be packed up and Elliot reluctantly agrees to help Chris, as well as answer some questions about Cal’s life and their relationship. Despite their guilt and initial dislike for one another, they sort through the pieces of Cal’s life and begin to fall for each other.


Despite his best efforts to fix things, Chris’s family seems to be crumbling around him and he begins to question who he is and what his role with them is. As his feelings for Elliot grow, Chris must decide if they’re worth further damaging his fragile relationships with his friends and family.


Elliot’s rough upbringing has left him distrustful of getting close to anyone, much less another man who isn’t willing to acknowledge him in public. The odds seem stacked against Chris and Elliot, but if they can overcome them, they may be able to lay Cal’s ghost to rest, along with their own demons.

 

Brigham Vaughn is on the adventure of a lifetime as a full-time author. She devours books at an alarming rate and hasn’t let her short arms and long torso stop her from doing yoga. She makes a killer key lime pie, hates green peppers, and loves wine tasting tours. A collector of vintage Nancy Drew books and green glassware, she enjoys poking around in antique shops and refinishing thrift store furniture. An avid photographer, she dreams of traveling the world and she can’t wait to discover everything else life has to offer her.


Her books range from short stories to novellas. They explore gay, bisexual, lesbian, and polyamorous romance in contemporary settings.


To stay up to date on her latest releases, sign up for the Coles & Vaughn Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/dkyS7P


Social Media Links:


Facebook Author Page

Facebook Fan Group (Brigham’s Book Nerds)


Twitter

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

 

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

 

A Lila Audio Review: A Few Good Fish (Fish Out of Water #3) by Amy Lane and Greg Tremblay (Narrator)

Standard

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

A tomcat, a psychopath, and a psychic walk into the desert to rescue the men they love…. Can everybody make it out with their skin intact?

PI Jackson Rivers and Defense Attorney Ellery Cramer have barely recovered from last November, when stopping a serial killer nearly destroyed Jackson in both body and spirit.

But their previous investigation poked a new danger with a stick, forcing Jackson and Ellery to leave town so they can meet the snake in its den.

Jackson Rivers grew up with the mean streets as a classroom and he learned a long time ago not to give a damn about his own life. But he gets a whole new education when the enemy takes Ellery. The man who pulled his shattered pieces from darkness and stitched them back together again is in trouble, and Jackson’s only chance to save him rests in the hands of fragile allies he barely knows.

It’s going to take a little bit of luck to get these Few Good Fish out alive!

A Few Good Fish is better than Red Fish, Dead Fish. And yes, that’s exactly how I started its review. Another thing I mentioned, that it was best to read Racing for the Sun too. In this case, it’s imperative since Ace’s and Sonny’s part in this book is almost as important as Jackson’s & Ellery’s.

The events in this story take place shortly after the end of book two and gave the reader a view of Jackson and Ellery trying to find some normalcy on their lives. Their day-to-day still involved several cases but they tried to establish some time for themselves as a fairly new couple.

Jackson’s health has an important role in the story as well as his relationship with G*d and Lucy Satan. The book is pack with action and more than enough feels for all to laugh and cry a bit. None can do that better than the author. We also get a glimpse of a possible future in which they work, love, and play together, expanding their family.

Overall, this is one of those stories that is not perfect or all gooey filling but the characterization is outstanding. Jackson, Ellery, Ace, Sonny, Burton, Earnie, and everyone else are incredible characters coexisting in a world where life is not easy but love conquers all.

The short story at the end of the book could be listened at first. It will fill some holes in this story.

It feels like Greg Tremblay narrates these books back to back, without any publication time between them. The characterization is impeccable as always, and he transmits all the feelings the author gave the characters. It’s easy to follow the story, and feel like part of it.

The cover by Reese Dante still quite literal. Same clean lines and elements as the previous two. Perfect for the story.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Greg Tremblay
Length: 10 hours and 15 minutes

Published:  January 24, 2019 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN: B07MXNDT9K
Edition Language: English

Series: Fish Out of Water
Book #1: Fish Out of Water
Book #2: Red Fish, Dead Fish
Book #3: A Few Good Fish

Amanda Meuwissen on the “Realness” of Characters, Writing, and her new release A Model Escort (author guest blog)

Standard

A Model Escort by Amanda Meuwissen

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Bree Archer; Design by Paul Richmond

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press eBook and Paperback | Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Amanda Meuwissen

✒︎

 

  • Do you feel there’s a tight line between Mary Sue (or should I say Gary Stu) and using your own experiences to create a character?

Not really, because unless you’re literally creating a character to be exactly you, giving them some of your life experience (or details from someone else you know) isn’t going to translate to exactly you on the page.

I’m a geek, so I tend to make my main characters geeks too, liking some of my favorite movies and songs and books. Having a character like the book Good Omens in and of itself and having another love the movie The Fifth Element doesn’t make either of them me.

The trick is how those details relate to that character within their story and situation and letting it breathe unique life into them.

  • Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult?

I did not read romances as a teenager—at least not novels. I did, however, devour fanfiction specifically about romance (or with heavy romantic subplots) since I was about thirteen, so really, I should say yes.

And I still do today—read fanfiction that is, mostly stories about falling in love and making it work through a series of obstacles. Those are always my favorite kinds of tales. I’d say usually I want more than just romance as the focus, same with my own writing, but at the end of the day, love stories are what make me smile.

With some heat in there too, of course.

  • How do you feel about the eBook format and where do you see it going?

eBooks are everything. My book sales are hugely reliant on eBook sales over paperback, and I think that’s going to remain true for years to come. I love it, because it’s easy for on-the-go people and voracious readers to take whole libraries with them in their pocket or purse.

Not to say I see paperbacks going away. I love going to conventions or author events and signing paperbacks for fans, and they still come to see me regularly to get hard copies of my books. But for the average reader, eBooks is where they turn for convenience and cost savings, and I think that’s great.

  • If you write contemporary romance, is there such a thing as making a main character too “real”?  Do you think you can bring too many faults into a character that eventually it becomes too flawed to become a love interest?

This is actually my first ‘normal’ contemporary romance, since I usually write more urban fantasy, sci-fi, and paranormal stories, but even then, making characters real is what gives them life.

It’s all about balance though. Characters who are too perfect are boring, they need SOME flaws, but likewise, characters can be boring if they’re nothing but flaws. Even a villainous character needs something redeeming about them.

Real people are balanced, and characters should be too.

  • Have you ever had an issue in RL and worked it through by writing it out in a story?  Maybe how you thought you’d feel in a situation?

I think the best example of this is my duology Lovesick. It’s a very emotionally exhausting read because it focuses on mental health and dealing with past traumas and bipolar depression.

This was something I had faced and overcome for the most part when I started writing the story, but what I didn’t realize initially was how much it helped me deal with feelings I hadn’t yet worked through.

I was putting a large part of my soul into those characters and how they hit rock bottom and then healed, and that journey was very rewarding for me.

  • Ever drunk written a chapter and then read it the next day and still been happy with it?  Trust me there’s a whole world of us drunk writers dying to know.

Oh my, have I. One of my favorites was when I had taken an Ambien before bed, which is normal for me, but I didn’t go to bed right away like I should have. I hit that weird loopy level that can happen and started writing something out of the blue.

I proceeded to forget about it, found it on my desktop a day or two later, and was amazed at how good it was. I ended up finishing it as a short story that I later published online.

  • What’s next for you as a writer?

I have another new release coming up very soon, also with Dreamspinner Press – Coming Up for Air. It’s available now for pre-order, with it’s official release on April 30, 2019.

It’s not easy being someone’s fairy tale.

Leigh Hurley is making a name for himself among thieves and criminals, even if it isn’t the life he would’ve chosen. He shouldn’t have screwed over the Moretti brothers, though. It landed him in the river with weights on his feet. But somehow he’s escaped certain death. The last thing he remembers before waking on the riverbank is a beautiful face and a soft kiss.

Then, Tolomeo turns up naked at Leigh’s apartment.

Tolly comes from a race of killers—merfolk who drown humans for fun. But Tolly is different, and when he sees a human in trouble, he offers a kiss, granting the man the ability to breathe underwater… and himself the ability to walk on land, at least until the next full moon. The ancient laws state that if he is given a vow of love by the one he kissed, he will be able to keep his legs. If not, he will be put to death when he returns to the water.

But love is not something Leigh offers easily… and Tolly has a secret of his own.

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/coming-up-for-air-by-amanda-meuwissen-10421-b

Blurb:

What’s the value of love?

Shy data scientist Owen Quinn is brilliant at predictive models but clueless at romance. Fortunately, a new career allows him to start over hundreds of miles from the ex he would rather forget. But the opportunity might go to waste since this isn’t the kind of problem he knows how to solve. The truth is, he’s terrible at making the first move and wishes a connection didn’t have to revolve around sex.

Cal Mercer works for the Nick of Time Escort Service. He’s picky about his clients and has never accepted a regular who is looking for companionship over sex—but can the right client change his mind? And can real feelings develop while money is changing hands? Owen and Cal might get to the root of their true feelings… if their pasts don’t interfere.

About the Author
Amanda Meuwissen is a primarily gay romance writer, as well as Marketing Operations Manager for the software company Outsell. She has a Bachelor of Arts in a personally designed major from St. Olaf College in Creative Writing, and is an avid consumer of fiction through film, prose, and video games. As author of the paranormal romance trilogy The Incubus Saga, young adult novel Life as a Teenage Vampire, the novelette The Collector, and superhero duology Lovesick Gods and Lovesick Titans, Amanda regularly attends local comic conventions for fun and to meet with fans, where she will often be seen in costume as one of her favorite fictional characters. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with her husband, John, and their cat, Helga, and can be found at www.amandameuwissen.com.
Social Media:

Love the Regent Park Pack Shifters? It’s the Series Finale! Review Tour for Bitten By Fate (Regent’s Park Pack #6) by Annabelle Jacobs

Standard

 

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal LinkExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited


Length: 77,000 words approx.


Cover Design: Natasha Snow


Regent’s Park Pack Series


Book #1 – Bitten By Mistake – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – Bitten By Design – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 – Bitten By Desire – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #4 – Bitten By The Alpha – Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #5 – Bitten By Her – Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb
 

Daryl plays with fire and gets burned by fate…


Former Primrose Pack member Jason Black happily accepted his role as beta in the new Regent’s Hill pack, knowing that merging the two was the best decision for everyone involved. Daryl Easton is loyal and honest but wary of change. The joining of the two packs wasn’t his preferred outcome, and he’s struggling to see all the newcomers as pack, including those now working alongside him.


When the alpha council proposes a two-week pack-building course to help improve troubled relationships, Jason and Daryl are sent along as backup. It soon becomes clear that the unit members and their betas won’t be the only ones taking part in tasks—Daryl and Jason will have challenges of their own to complete.


With the full moon adding to the rising tension, emotions are volatile, and tempers flare among the unit members. Jason and Daryl become closer than either of them expected, but with such opposing views on relationships, a messy outcome seems inevitable unless Daryl can let go of the past.

 

Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words review here. We recommend it and the entire series!

Annabelle Jacobs lives in the South West of England with three rowdy children, and two cats. An avid reader of fantasy herself for many years, Annabelle now spends her days writing her own stories. They’re usually either fantasy or paranormal fiction, because she loves building worlds filled with magical creatures, and creating stories full of action and adventure. Her characters may have a tough time of it—fighting enemies and adversity—but they always find love in the end.
Twitter – https://twitter.com/AJacobs_fiction
Website – www.annabellejacobs.com
Email – ajacobsfiction@gmail.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ajacobsfiction

Giveaway

a
Rafflecopter giveaway

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions