A Stella Review: Two Howls (ALPHAS #4) by Sean Michael

Standard

Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Two Howls coverMax is on the run, but is he running from his past, or toward his future? Only Ulf knows…

Werewolf Max knows desiring males is wrong, but he can’t help himself. When his pack nearly kills him in an attempt to cleanse him, Max runs. Jumping on his motorcycle, he heads north.

Ulf has lived on his own in the wilds of Northern Ontario for a long time. When he catches the scent of a stranger in his territory, he’s angry at first, until he realizes that Max is more than just another werewolf. They’re mates.

Ulf must make Max believe that two males can be mates, but just as he’s about to succeed, Max’s past catches up with him. Will the home they’ve been hoping to build together be lost for good?

I’d like to do a little premise. Two Howls by Sean Michael is the second book I read in this new ALPHA series from All Romance eBooks. I read and reviewed Jumping In by Cardeno C too. Sean Michael and Cardeno C are two of my fave authors, but in my opinion in this series something didn’t work it well. As I already said in the previous review, in this case too, Two Howls didn’t do justice to Sean’s works. Of course the choice to publish stories so short didn’t help with the plot but it can’t be used as a excuse. Nevertheless I was left with a lot of blanks to fill.

The little plot we got is really interesting. Max is on the run, he escaped from his homophobic pack that almost killed him, just cause he’s a gay wolf. He finds a lonely little cabin in the woods and decides to stop there to rest for a while. What he doesn’t know is that the cabin isn’t abandoned but it’s where another werewolf lives, not just anyone but his mate.

The rest of the story shows us a lot of sex between Ulf and Max, used as a way to persuade Max that they are truly mates and that he needs to learn to trust Max and his protection. There is some action at the end that definitely improved my enjoyment.

It was an ok-read to me, maybe in some way a typical shifters story, but if you like alpha men, hot shifters and abused characters, you can give a chance to Two Howls.

Cover art by unknown. Nothing great about it but I like it, especially the choice of the colors.

Sales Links:  Available only at All Romance (ARe)   Buy It Here

Book Details:

Published February 4th 2015 by OmniLit / All Romance eBooks, LLC
ebook, 56 pages
ASIN B00U37BOU0
Edition language English
SERIES Alphas #4

 

A Stella Review: Jumping In (ALPHAS #6) by Cardeno C.

Standard

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

 

When love’s on the line, the brave jump in with both feet…



Jumping In CoverSmall town cop Clint Rivera can’t catch a break. His ex of two weeks is suddenly getting married, his dogs tore up his furniture, he’s getting evicted, and he’s out of beer. When he decides to solve his alcohol shortage by going to his ex’s engagement party, Clint winds up too drunk to drive himself home.

Enter gorgeous deputy mayor Hawk Black, the man who constantly shows up unexpectedly and sends Clint’s body and mind into a tailspin with nothing but his whiskey voice and blue eyes. After months of patience, Hawk can finally seduce the man he’s been craving.

Clint’s day might not have started out well, but Hawk’s going to make sure it ends with a bang, preferably in bed. He’ll show Clint some rewards are worth the risk. With love on the line, Clint will need to decide if he can open his heart, tear down his shields, and jump in with both feet.

Jumping In by Cardeno C is the story of Clint, a small town cop, and Hawk, the new deputy mayor. Clint moved halfway across the country to start a new life, but being in the closet isn’t what he was looking for. So after breaking up with his boyfriend and  camping for two weeks with his two delicious puppies, he comes home to discover his ex boyfriend (of just two weeks) is going to be married. This news will be just the first of a few things that will make his day really bad . Luckly at the end of it, he will find a hot deputy who knows everything about his life and is just waiting for Clint to open his eyes and his heart, only if Clint can stop fantasizing and thinking out loud about Hawk’s (lack of) underwear while talking to him!

This is the first book I read in the ALPHAS series from All Romance eBooks. I was really hoping in something better but I can understand the story, being so short, couldn’t be more developed and everything moved very quickly. Cardeno C is an auto buy author to me, I can see her style in it but Jumping In definitely doesn’t do justice to her works.

This too short story was a funny and light read, romantic but not so realistic to me as the previous books I read by the same author. Nevertheless I liked it. We have two sexy alpha men simply explosive together and the sex really hot. I loved the chemistry between them and the dialogues too, made the story very engaging.

Cover artist- unknown.  Nothing special about not just this one but the covers of all the series. Not a bad one but surely not eye catching.

Sales Links:  Available only at All Romance (ARe)

Published February 6th 2015 by OmniLit / All Romance eBooks, LLC
ebook, 58 pages
ISBN13 9781936387830
Edition language English
Series:  ARe Alphas, #6

 

A MelanieM Review: Midnight Run (ALPHAS #10) by Bailey Bradford

Standard

Rating: 1.5 stars out of 5

Always the lone wolf, never the mate…

Midnight Run coverBlurb from ARe: Alpha Jack Herman used to have a pack, but he’s been alone for a long time. When he catches a whiff of another shifter encroaching on his preferred hunting grounds, he’s determined to put a stop to that immediately. There’s only room for one wolf in Jack’s territory—Jack.

Captured as a pup, Malakai is a shifter, but he’s neither wolf nor alpha. What he is, is scared, exhausted, starving, and close to giving up. Hunted by a predator, Malakai fears his newly found freedom is about to come to a violent and abrupt end.

Instead, he finds himself in the arms of a man strong enough to do whatever he must to take care of Malakai.

For the want of an editor a book was lost, along with continuity, and any semblance of logic and order.  Color me amazed and totally perplexed.  Rarely have I come across so many mistakes and lack of attention to details and storyline as I encountered here.  Midnight Run by Bailey Bradford is part of the Alpha collection of stories published by All Romance/OmniLit Books. Or is it self-published by authors through All Romance, not sure how that works?  No matter, I’m just not sure where it or this story or the blame falls because its issues are many.

I’m not even going to bother with my own synopsis.  Why bother when so little care and effort was put into publishing this story?  Instead of going on and on about all the issues I found in this story, I’m just going to list a few of them, that should be telling enough.

Here goes with a little bit of set up.  Malakai is an artic fox captured as a young shifter (a pup) in animal form while out on a run with his family in the wilds of Alaska.  So far so good.  He spends years in that animal form in a cage as a couple’s sort of “show-n-tell” wild animal pet.  He escapes after years of being confined as a fox in a cage (he should be close to feral) and is hunted/found by a wolf shifter.  Now let the errors begin:

Malakai has never really been outside his cage in years yet he is able to:

1.  Claw his way out of a concrete and heavily fenced cage even though he is starving and in poor condition.

2.  On the run in a park, Malakai is able to work the  restroom  stall door latches (so he can hide from a wolf in a stall) in the men’s room in a park lavatory.  I known adults who find those latches confusing or broken to the point of not being able to use them.  Plus how is a stall going to hide him?  Rarely are those restroom stalls totally enclosed or have sides that go to the ground. That costs money that park systems don’t have.  Just saying.

3. Malakai informs Jack that he has never worn clothes before and yet he puts on and buttons a shirt, zip up pants (both without help) and ties a shoe with only one rapid demonstration of how the laces go together. No learning curve here with buttons or zippers, no fumbling or figuring things out. Uh. No, that doesn’t reason out any way you look at it.  And don’t get me started on putting on shoes and wearing them for the first time if you have never done it before.

4. Malakai has no problem walking around in human form even though most of his years have been spent as a fox.   I’m pretty sure he might have some issues with balance, muscles and muscle tone, etc but no.

5. Malakai is emaciated to the point of starving, his bones are clearly visible. So what does Jack feed him? Tons of bacon and pancakes and more bacon. If Malakai had really been a fox or dog, you’d be cleaning up the rooms for weeks to come after feeding a starved animal all that rich food. I have read similar scenes in other stories and the authors take care to show that characters in such condition are eased back into eating and not cooked multiple breakfasts ala Burger King. They made the situation feel authentic. Clearly that didn’t happen here.

6.  Malakai informs Jack he’s a virgin (well, yes, he’s been caged most of his life) and knows nothing about sexuality (including whether he’s gay or not) so of course Jack has sex with him immediately and starts to talk about BDSM and spanking.  A sort of “I’m Jack, we’re going to have sex” fast tracked sex component that is definitely not sexy.

7.  It’s especially not sexy given that Malakai is emaciated, ignorant of human lifestyles and customs, and  basically a kid mentally.  Oh, and he is also traumatized because of the situation he escaped from.  *shakes head*

Enough already.

I could keep going on but why?  The whole story is like this.  There is also no continuity in back history and as it is part of an ongoing series, no effort has been made to pull in any details or history to the other couples and characters that come and go throughout the story.  I think you’re supposed to know who they are and how they fit in with Jack, but that lack of knowledge is probably one of this story’s lesser problems.

And finally, although an editor with an enormous red pencil could fix some of these mistakes, that fact that there is no connection, no electricity between Jack and Malakai dooms this story from the start.  On every level, Midnight Run is a pass.

I am familiar with Bailey Bradford and, generally, her stories are imaginative, her characters compelling, and, actions and events make a sort of sense, even with the supernatural elements involved.  None of that happens here and I’m at a loss as to why.   If you are a Bailey Bradford fan, I leave the decision to read this story up to you, but for the rest of the readers, look elsewhere for your shifters in love and HEA.

Cover art is not credited, probably a blessing.

Sales Link:  Available only at All Romance (ARe)

Book Details:

ebook, 50 pages

Published February 10th 2015 by OmniLit / All Romance eBooks, LLC
ISBN139781936387878
urlhttp://www.allromance.com
seriesALPHAS #10