An Alisa Review: Once Bitten (A Darker Hollow #2) by Shannon West and T.S. McKinney

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

When Mason comes back to Dark Hollows, he doesn’t quite get the homecoming he’d hoped for.

 

Mason, who has become something not quite wolf and not quite vampire, has new powers of his own that he’s still trying to figure out, not to mention a complicated relationship with his new mates. He knows his brother Jax will be shocked to find out he’s still alive, and he’d expected some resistance to his new mates, Finn and Valerian, but not the open hostility he meets when they arrive.

 

The Dark Hollow alphas, Marco and Cade, are not at all pleased to have another alpha like Finn in their territory. And as for the beautiful vampire, Valerian, only Mason’s sudden display of his startling new powers forces an uneasy and tentative truce among them. Meanwhile Mason is still struggling to forgive Finn and Valerian for what they did to him in the past, and his mates are growing impatient for him to make a decision about their lives together.

 

The sudden reappearance of an ancient, evil vampire named Cassius makes the entire pack hyper-vigilant and uneasy. When Mason and Finn discover the creature is Valerian’s sire, they fear Cassius’s influence over him.

 

Betrayal, infighting, and even some romance. The next rousing adventure in Dark Hollows is here.

 

I enjoyed this story.  Mason is working towards forgiving Finn and Valerian and the way they are treated when they arrive at Mason’s home and the events thru the story brings them together more.  However, I am unsure how far after the last story this one takes place.

 

These men all need to learn to open up to each other and trust them with their secrets.  I could see their feelings for each other even if they have trouble voicing those feelings.  Most of this story is seeing confrontations between Mason, his mates and his previous pack and I’m not sure how much of it helped the story; it just made many of the alpha’s seem like jerks that they couldn’t even recognize Mason let alone welcome someone different.  I was left wanting more, I look forward to seeing how they will adapt and grow their relationship.

 

The cover art by E Keith is great and follows the style of the first book.

 

Sales Links: Painted Hearts Publishing | Amazon

 

Book Details:

ebook, 188 pages

Published: September 4, 2017 by Painted Hearts Publishing

Edition Language: English

Series: A Darker Hollow #2

An Alisa Review: Corey’s Christmas Bundle (Atherton Pack 5) by Toni Griffin

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Rating:  5 stars out of 5
Being pregnant is not all it’s cracked up to be, especially when you’re male and a shifter. Even though the world now knows about wolf shifters, their male’s ability to bare young is still a closely guarded secret. Since Corey’s pregnancy is now visible, he’s been stuck at home working on code and waiting for company to drop by. Problem is, though, the human government wants to know where Corey is.
As Christmas and Corey’s due date draw ever nearer, Ben devises a plan that will not only get Corey out of the house, but allows the wolves of Atherton Pack to give the community some Christmas cheer.
This was a great look at the men from Atherton.  Corey’s pregnancy came as a surprise to their friends but he loves the feeling and knowing that he is carrying his and Ethan’s child.  I really wish I would have been able to see him as Santa but my imagination did a pretty good job.
All these men will do anything for their friends even if it means being in an embarrassing situation.  I loved seeing them all again and can’t wait to see more and the rest of their friends finding their mates and happiness.
The cover art by Freddy MacKay is wonderful and I love it.
Book Details:
ebook, ~20,000 words
Published: December 6, 2017 by Mischief Corner Books
Edition Language: English
Series: The Atherton Pack #5

An Alisa Release Day Review: Heart Unheard (Hearts Entwined #2) by Andrew Grey

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

The attraction between Brent Berkheimer and Scott Spearman peels the wallpaper, but Brent is Scott’s boss, and they’re both too professional to go beyond flirting. Their priorities realign after Scott is badly injured in an accident that costs him his hearing, and Brent realizes what is truly important… he wants Scott.

 

Scott pushes Brent away at first, fearing a new romance will just add to his problems, but perhaps he will find unexpected strength and solace in Brent’s support as he struggles to communicate with the world in a new way.

 

Just as they decide the chance of a happy future together is worth the risk, Scott and Brent discover darker challenges in their way—including evidence that the “accident” Scott suffered may not have been so accidental.

 

This was another great story and it takes place about two years after Heart Unseen.  Brent has tried to keep his distance from Scott to avoid any problems at work or to weigh him down with an older man.  Scott has flirted with Brent but since nothing has ever gone further feels that Brent isn’t interested.

 

Brent has been trying to figure out what to do about his attraction to Scott and the accident quickly puts things in perspective.  Scott is overwhelmed with healing from the accident and being treated as breakable that he isn’t sure he has that strength to try a relationship.

 

This story is told from both characters’ point of view so we are able to see their thoughts and feelings.  Brent has kept his personal doubts from everyone, even his best friends and mother, for so long he doesn’t even know how to vocalize them.  I loved Brent’s conviction to stand by and support Scott even if Scott doesn’t want more; I think his support was what helped Scott become stronger and more confident.  Scott’s strength to help Brent get over his doubts was wonderful.  I loved seeing Trevor and James again and hope the next book helps Dean find someone.

 

Cover art by LC Chase is absolutely wonderful and I love how understated it is.

 

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages

Published: November 17, 2017 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-64080-152-3

Edition Language: English

Series: Hearts Entwined #2

An Alisa Review: Steel Trap (The Wyverns #5) by L.M. Somerton

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

Secrets don’t stay hidden forever.

 

Hatchet has a thing for the enigmatic Mr. Smith, Horatio Trap’s spokesman. He’d love to get his hands on the pretty man and show him how good it feels to take orders for once rather than hand them out. He’s had his eye on Smith for years and he’s running out of patience.

 

The Wyverns’ involvement in the drug trade is limited to stealing money from the cartels—they don’t want junk peddled on their turf. When Trap orders them to destroy a crack cocaine factory in Phoenix, they are happy to oblige. But Smith throws a spanner in the works by posing as a potential buyer, putting himself in mortal danger.

 

Hatchet and The Wyverns come up with a plan to fake Smith’s death, muscle in on the deal and convince the cartel to do business with them instead. But when Hatchet’s cover is blown he’s left to save a bunch of illegals, destroy the drugs and wipe the factory from the face of the planet. It’s all in a night’s work for The Wyverns—but there are still secrets to uncover and the mysterious Horatio Trap and his mind games can’t stay hidden forever.

 

This was a great conclusion to this series.  Hatchet has claimed Smith as his, he just needs convince the man himself.  Smith hasn’t allowed himself to be taken care of too much by someone else and is used to calling the shots but Hatchet wants to show him that isn’t what he really needs.

 

Hatchet lets Smith go home after he is mostly healed from the injury he received in the previous book but the instant that he tries to put himself in danger again he knows he needs to teach him a lesson.  Smith still has secrets he is trying to protect but once they are revealed he is freer to let go of his long held control.  I loved that this story gave a nice ending to this series, I really liked most of the characters and stories in it.

 

The cover art by Posh Gosh is great and continues to follow the pattern for the series.

 

Sales Links: Pride Publishing | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 69 pages

Publication: October 17, 2017 by Pride Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-78651-638-1

Edition Language: English

Series: The Wyverns #5

An Alisa Review: Roaring Waters (The Warfield Hotel Mysteries #3) by CJ Baty

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

Damien Fitzgerald has lived through hell and is determined to never let anyone get close to him again. A fervent reporter, he throws his life into his work and doesn’t care whose toes he steps on. But someone else does. He’s got a stalker, and the messages are growing increasingly threatening. He turns to his best friend, Justin Warfield and his lover, Private Investigator Marcus Drummond. Seems like a good idea until Robert Wyler becomes part of the package.

 

Robert Wyler, the manager of the bar at the Warfield Inn, has always been misunderstood. Sure he takes care of his body, wears his hair long and likes tatts, but that doesn’t mean he’s domineering. A cold exterior hides the more passionate man inside. Men like Damien Fitzgerald get on his nerves. Too good looking. Too arrogant. But when Justin and Marcus needed his help to guard the man from a stalker, Robert couldn’t say no.

 

Damien and Robert have a history. Whenever they are near each other sparks fly. Can Damien and Robert get past their prejudices to find the real men hiding underneath. Will they find love before the stalker gets to Damien and their chance at happiness is destroyed forever…

 

This was a nice addition to the Warfield Hotel Mysteries series, this book focuses on a different couple than the first two books which makes it possible to read this book without reading the others.  However, you see much of the previous characters and it does reference things that happened before but they are described quite well.

 

Damien and Robert have been hurt in different ways by previous lovers and have to learn to accept that their first impression of each other might not be all they are about.  Damien has spent years staying busy to distract himself from his past while continuing to push people away when they get to close after he was abused by a previous lover.  Robert hasn’t had a long term lover in a long time and know how others view him and is tired of not living up to others’ assumptions.

 

In this story we get to see both characters’ points of view which allows us to understand them better and what they were thinking and feeling.  Damien rips Robert’s heart out when he pushes him away when he gets scared of his own feelings.  Robert gets over his feelings and will to anything to protect Damien from the man who is stalking him.  Throughout most of the book I thought I knew who it was that was behind everything but it turns out to be someone else and he surprises everyone.  I loved seeing the characters from the previous books and am excited to see what will be happening for Christmas at the Warfield.

 

Cover art by Select-O-Grafix is great and gives a great visual of Damien.

 

Sales Link: Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

Book Details:

ebook, 194 pages

Published: July 24, 2017

Edition Language: English

Series: The Warfield Hotel Mysteries #3

An Alisa Release Day Review: What the Cat Dragged In (Series: Sanctuary: Book Two) by BA Tortuga

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

Don’t people know that cats and dogs don’t mix?

 

Connor Ragbone finds things. Sometimes it’s gold, sometimes jewels, sometimes people. Set in his hippie ways, he never thought he’d find a pack, but with Sam and Gus and their goofy shifter family, he fits right in. Then he finds Brock.

 

Shifter Brock Herman is undercover alone, working to break up a poaching ring. The last thing he needs is for Connor to wreck his sting. And now the crazy bobcat just won’t go away!

 

The poachers lead Brock and Connor on a merry chase all over Western Colorado looking for shifter bears, but it’s a lost pup who brings them back to Nevada and the pack Sam and Gus are building. That’s when Brock has to decide whether he still travels alone or if Connor and his crazy family are where his heart belongs.

 

This follow-up to Just Like Cats and Dogs is a feel-good shifter romance novel where cats and dogs prove they can be way more than the enemies nature has made them.

 

This is a wonderful story.  Connor is a finder and when he is led to Brock he isn’t sure what he is supposed to do with him but he won’t leave him until he knows.  Brock never knew he was lost until he connects with Connor in a way he never thought he would want.

 

Connor knows he needs to stay with Brock and readily accepts their change in relationship but he knows he needs to give Brock some more time to accept everything.  They find that working together they can get stuff done efficiently even if it isn’t quite following the rules.

 

We get to see both of these character’s points of view which help to understand what is going on in their heads.  Their mate bond grows quickly, but they have to continue to work together for it to get stronger.  I loved Connor’s excitement and willingness to do pretty much anything to help others and it is plain to see when he is with the pack.  Brock is a bit stubborn but knows when the right time is to follow his heart and instincts.  I loved seeing Gus, Sam and their pack again and seeing how much love and acceptance they have for those around them and each other it is wonderfully refreshing.

 

Cover art by Alexandria Corza wonderful and it has great visuals of Connor and Brock, both in human and animal form.

 

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 204 pages

Published: June 16, 2017 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 9781635335491

Edition Language: English

Series: Sanctuary #2

An Alisa Release Day Review: Black Market Blood (New Canadiana #2) by Francis Gideon

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

black-market-blood-by-francis-gideonIn a world where monsters are known to—and despised by—humanity, vampire Chaz Solomon hides in plain sight as a detective on the Toronto police force. But freedom from prejudice does nothing to alleviate his guilt over the lover he betrayed to gain his label of “normal.” He spends his days living a lie and his nights in a brothel, seeking company and black-market blood.

 

When a serial killer preying on both vampires and sex workers leads Chaz and his department on a twisted chase through New Canadiana’s supernatural underground, one of the brothel employees, Sully, becomes the only person Chaz can trust. There’s much more to Sully than a pretty face, and he’s slowly breaching the walls around Chaz’s heart with his intelligence and kind nature.

 

But as the body count rises and conspiracies come to light, the past Chaz has been trying to escape comes rushing back. Sully might accept Chaz as a vampire, but will he forgive Chaz’s other deceptions? And what will become of Chaz’s life if his secret is revealed? Before he can worry about a future with Sully, he’ll have to find the vengeful murderer threatening everything he cares about.

 

This was a very intense and emotional story; it goes in depth into the world of sex workers from all sides.  Chaz has been living a lie since he was given “normal” papers and doesn’t allow his vampire nature to show when not at the brothel.  Sully has been working at the brothel for a few years before he meets Chaz at a party and then sees him again at the brothel.

 

Chaz has been beating himself up over what happened after he was initially turned into a vampire and how he turned his back on Nat after their time together.  It takes Sully and the murders of some vampire sex workers for him to get a bit of perspective on his life and is he wants to keep living a lie.  Just as he finds some closure for his past he has another wrench thrown at him.

 

In this story I could feel how broken Sully feels after his years as a sex worker and abuse he suffered as a child.  He has a bit of a jaded view of the world, but he still knows there are some people that he can really trust.  For all Chaz has gone through he is really quite innocent because he has never had the opportunity to really live his life.  I loved how this story fully connected with Never Lose Your Flames near the end and brought the story full circle.  I look forward to seeing more of these characters and how they can change the world they live in.

 

Cover art by AngstyG is great and gives wonderful visuals of the characters.

 

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 330 pages

Published: February 27, 2017 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 9781635332261

Edition Language: English

Series: New Canadiana:

Never Lose Your Flames

Black Market Blood (New Canadiana, #2)

An Alisa Review: Night Train To Venice (Night Train #3) by Carolina Valdez

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

night-train-to-veniceDiamonds may be a collector’s best friend, but for Dante Rocco, a courier for precious stones and metals, the next delivery could mean death.

 

Someone is robbing and killing couriers of precious gems and metals in Europe. Global Diamond Couriers in New Orleans assigns their human Italian, Dante, to make a major delivery in Venice. Although pickpocketing is the usual crime there, a wary Alexandros, Dante’s vampire lover, insists he and Malcolm, the other staff immortal, go along as bodyguards.

 

In Rome, they board the Orient Express to Venice, and Malcolm is welcomed by Nick, a human steward whom he’d met years earlier. The hot, younger man seduces him into a whirlwind romance. But when Nick appears unannounced in their secret Venetian hotel, he’s sucked into a maelstrom of danger and deceit none of them may survive.

 

This was a wonderful story.  It is great to see Dante and Alex still together celebrating their one year anniversary while in Italy again.  Malcolm has been envious of Alex and Dante’s relationship and realizes something is missing in his life, when he meets Nick again after so many years he can’t help but grab him and hold on.

 

Dante and Alex are still going strong and Alex even gives Dante a wonderful present on the train.  Dante will do anything for Alex, even suffer through the attentions of the vampire duke, knowing that no matter what Alex will find him and protect him.  Malcolm and Nick are sweet, they had met a party years before but Malcolm thought he was too old for Nick and Nick was never able to find him.  Nick takes the initiative to get them connected again, but once they start Malcolm jumps right in.

 

We see all four of the main characters’ points of view in this story and can see their struggles and feelings.  Dante has to convince Alex that he wants only him no matter what, while Nick has to learn to deal with the reality of a life with vampires.  I’m so happy Malcolm found someone in this story and they have an outlook of a great future together.

 

Cover art is great and follows the pattern for the series.

 

Sales Links: MLR Press | Amazon | ARe

 

Book Details:

ebook, 258 pages

Published: 2nd Edition, October 6, 2016 by MLR Press

ISBN: MLR1020160627

Edition Language: English

Series: Night Train #3