A MelanieM Review: Magical Rescue (Shifting through the Snow Book 8) by Laura Baumbach

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Rating: 2.75 stars out of 5

Christmas is only a few days away. New Year’s Eve, with all its terminal finality, would, thankfully, bring an end to Daniel Sherman’s traumatic, pain-filled, empty year. Its seem like an appropriate time to bring everything in his world to a close. Spirit broken, Daniel’s plan is to enjoy maybe his last holiday in the icy cold of his beloved wilderness. It would be a comfort to end his days wrapped in the peace and solitude of the mountain — If only he didn’t feel like he was being watched, a feeling he’d had since his accident. Maybe adventure wasn’t out of his life yet.

Honestly, Baumbach has a huge agenda for this story and at 37 pages, that’s just too short to give the reader all the backstory, full characterizations, and structure I thought it needed.  The characters, Daniel had a nice feel but needed more depth.  What happened to Daniel exactly? And why now? For me I was sort of confused about elements that seem to come out of left field (no, I can’t explain without huge spoilers here).  But it just felt that the characters didn’t have enough development or backhistory for the surprises that got dumped on us (and  Daniel).

Perhaps less sex and more groundwork.  But I didn’t really feel any spark between these two or magic in the story. And without laying any of the universe building, I just felt left out in the cold at the end.  Really surprising for a Laura Baumbach story for me.

Cover art is sweet ahd sort of matches the story.

Sales Links:  MLR Press | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 37 pages
Published December 21st 2017 by MLR Press
ASINB078K13T9P

A MelanieM Review: Genetic Snare (Details #2) by Laura Baumbach

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Betrayal, passion, adventure, primal sex, and a fight to the death.

Mating a 26th century Oracan Bounty Hunter with a 18th century pirate has its little glitches.

Bounty hunter Talos bows to pressure to bring his mate home for the completion of his strict warrior culture’s bonding ritual. Aidan, displaced 18th century Earth pirate— light-fingered, sly, charming and understandably naive about the new world he’s been thrust into— can’t wait. Even if it turns out someone wants him dead. The 26th century looks different, but it turns out to be a lot like his old life!

I will admit that maybe my review is colored by the fact that I’ve waited so, so, so, long for this damn book.  I mean I read the first one back in oh, I don’t know either 2006 or 2007, when it first came out.  Loved it!  I mean there was a ginormous space alien on a hunt who talked like Sam Spade, then an 18th century swashbuckling pirate wooshed out of time and sea (literally) who becomes a naughty, captivating mate, and so much more.  And oh, yes?  Tentacle sex of a sort.

By the end of Details of the Hunt (Details, #1), I was just as ensnared as Aiden was.  Thoroughly hooked on their romance, mating, and Laura Baumbach’s curious couple and her world building.  She then promised us a follow up, because they had mated and there was a ceremony Aiden and Talos had to undertake on Oracan to be official, and there was still potential mysteries floating about. So yes, needed that next story.  All the fans anxiously waited, sent texts, and waited some more.  But the sequel never appeared.  And years went by. I think most of us  probably thought it was forgotten under the stress and pressures of running MLR Press.

So imagine my wonder at seeing that a finished copy was available at MLR.  Be still my heart.  Yes!  Talos and Aiden were back! As was the intergalactic intrigue, the new bonding, the planetary politics,  and all the other wild story threads Baumbach had left swirling around the couple.  So many things to remember that I needed to go back and reread my  paperback copy of the first book as a refresher.  And I’m glad I did. (I’ll review it again soon.)

That’s the only thing that I can see will absolutely confuse people.  This is not a standalone story.  While the author did some back history here, it’s just not enough to completely bring a new reader up to speed.  At certain times, they will feel totally “out to sea” as Aiden still does.  There’s also multiple povs that carry over from the first story, again you need to know who they are and where they fit in with Aiden and Talos.  I’m not sure this book let’s the reader in on those elements with enough depth to make those people as real as they were in Details of the Hunt.

What this story does is give Talos and Aiden their acceptance among the Ocacans and Talos a long awaited homecoming.  You get more of a feel for their society and culture during the highly anticipated bonding rituals (which I wish were extended a little more), and only whetted my curiosity for more of them.  I loved the Oracans I do see, I wanted more of the planet and history,and of the couple after the ceremonies. From those Baumbach gave us, those pieces of Oracan culture, like the inking, were interesting touches that begged for the reader to be let in for more. More time, more information, just more.  I bet Aiden felt that way!

It’s hard to address certain aspects of the story without giving away spoilers. I guess after all this time, I’m just so happy to have it, that my biggest complaint is that there is more of it.  I could have used double the  story.  No real way to be objective on this one.  Maybe after a longer amount of time has passed and I can revisit it again.  Until such a time happens, I’m just so thrilled to have them back.  Just make sure you read the Details of the Hunt first, then onto Genetic Snare.  Lucky you!

Cover art by Spacepixel carries over from the first story which I liked very much.

Sales Links:  MLR Books | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 175 pages
Published November 25th 2017 by MLR Press
ISBN13 9781934531075
Edition Language English
Series Details #2

A MelanieM Review: Jackson & Nick (Storming Love: Wild Fire #6) by Laura Baumbach

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Rating:4 stars out of 5

Jackson and Nick coverFireman Jackson Kain and ER physician Dr. Nick Kirby would both like nothing better than to leave behind their high-pressure NY City lives for a just a few days in the peaceful wilds of Northern Ca. Two ordinary men exploring their growing relationship in glorious, undisturbed beauty of nature. Before this trip is over, both men will need all their specialized abilities and training to survive their romantic interlude turned WILD FIRE.

Recuperating from an work-related injury, NY City fireman Jackson Kain convinces new boyfriend Dr. Nicolas Kirby to spend a few days at a secluded California cabin in the woods far away from the hustle and bustle of their stressful worlds.

Nick is a cautious man with protective walls around him that persistent, persuasive Jackson is determined to breakdown, scale or tunnel under. These few days are Jackson’s best chance to convince Nick he is sincere and reliable in all things, including matters of the heart. Unfortunately, both men are going to get more opportunities to prove themselves than either bargained for.

What was supposed to be a relaxing break from the world to get to know one another better turns into a struggle for survival, that pits both men against nature and time.

Another story in the Storming Love series by MLR, this one is highlighted by the fact that its author is Laura Baumbach, an author I love.  Secondly, this is the first new story from that author in a long while so I was so happy to get this story and start reading.  I quickly fell into the author’s style of writing and the two main character’s relationship, which is still in the first stages of working things out and seeing if they mesh with each other.  They are at that first crucial big step, the first vacation away with each other.  This time a trip with a cabin in the woods…de-stressing time for one who is a doctor and a last minute relaxing vacation for another who’s been out on work related injury leave.

Baumbach lets us fall easily into their lives, showing us the rush, pressure, and fears of the 24/7 lifestyle that consumes Dr. Nicolas Kirby and the determination of Fireman Jackson Kain to have Nick put that behind him and enjoy the time together.  And they do, for a while.

We get sweet and sexy scenes and then the scramble is one to survive and outrun the forest fire.  Its a white knuckle trip all the way, mixed in with relationship dynamics and personal  revelations.  I had invested enough of myself in this couple that I was with them emotionally as they fought through the fire and their own fears.

My only issue is that the story was too short. I was connected to these men, their situation was dire, their relationship still new and there was so much to explore here and  plus, hey, its was  Laura Baumbach!  I wanted much, much more.

Still I love the Storming Love series.  They are exciting, wonderful romances and really you just can’t go wrong here.

Why not start your exploration of the Storming Love series here with Jackson & Nick (Storming Love: Wild Fire #6) by Laura Baumbach.  It’s a fast, sexy, story and then go find the others.

Cover art by Kris Jacen is a great representation of the story, setting and with a hint of the characters.

Sales Links:  MLR Press |  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 73 pages
Published October 8th 2015 by MLR Press, LLC
ASINB016DXVWLS
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesStorming Love: Wild Fire #6