A Stella Review: Vintage Pride (Lionhearts #3) by Elizabeth Coldwell

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Rating: 2.75 stars out of 5

He doesn’t believe in the paranormal. Can a gorgeous shifter prove him wrong?

Vintage Pride coverEthan Wayne is a paranormal investigator for the hottest reality show on TV, Spirit Seekers, but his love life is decidedly lukewarm. Reeling from a sudden break-up, he finds himself heading for France, where his team will be exploring the Château LeBlanc, searching for the ghost of a murdered kitchen maid. When he meets the château’s reclusive owner, Jean-Luc LeBlanc, the attraction is fierce and instant—but Jean-Luc is keeping secrets the skeptical Ethan could never have imagined.

Jean-Luc’s world collapsed with the death of his beloved Benoît. He no longer cares about producing his award-winning Champagne and even his closest family members can’t rouse him from his self-imposed solitude. The last thing he wants is a team of ghost hunters intruding on his privacy and discovering the truth of his nature. The realization that one of these brash Americans is destined to be his new mate seems like a sick joke. But soon Jean-Luc has bigger things to worry about than his distrust of humans. His home and family are under threat—can he do what it takes to save all he holds dear, and let Ethan into his heart in the process?

This will be not a positive review and I’m so sorry to write it. I’m always looking for new authors and early in the year, when I saw the first book in this Lionhearted series, The Pride of  Amsterdam  by Elizabeth Coldwell, a new to me writer, I was really interested by the plot. I liked that one, even if there were a couple of things that kept me from loving it, but still I had great hopes. After having read Taming the Lion  and this new one Vintage Pride, I realized my review for each one of the book in the series could be the same and that’s one of  the reasons why I’m sorry but I have to quit reading it.

Vintage Pride was a really well written book, with good characters, main and second one, even if not so deeply developed. The plot, the mystery, the setting, were all unique and interesting. Still I couldn’t give it a full three stars rating, cause the delivery was the same of the other two books and so this time it felt really really boring. When I read different books in a series I need something that make these books different, otherwise I’m facing the same concept simply set in another place and with other characters.That’s exactly what I got from the Lionhearted series.

Things happened too quickly and the acceptance of a paranormal world from a human like us was incredibly smoothly. The mystery was interesting but evident and easily guessed. There was nothing that made Vintage Pride distinguishable from the other books.

I’m really disappointed especially cause I love this author’s writing a lot, to me it flows very easily, that’s why all my ratings were higher than what I’d have usual give. But the boredom can’t be overcome with just a good writing.

Cover art by Posh Gosh. Here I am again saying old news. I’m okay with follow a concept in design the covers of a series but they are all the same apart from little tiny details that are almost invisible. So it’s a good series but I already saw two of them.

Sales Links:  Pride Publishing | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 162 pages
Published June 9th 2015 by Pride Publishing
(a LGBTQIA Press of Totally Entwined)
ISBN139781784306182
edition languageEnglish

 Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of violence, mild BDSM and references to multiple partners

Lionhearts:

A Stella Review: Taming the Lion (Lionhearts #2) by Elizabeth Coldwell

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Will he sacrifice everything for the sake of his human mate?

Taming the Lion coverThwarted in his efforts to become head of the Amsterdam pride of lion shifters, Kaspar de Wit flees to England. He finds himself in Bath, home of the biggest English pride, and begins to make a new life among friends. What he doesn’t know is that he’s moved to a city steeped in bloody ritual. Destiny seems to have drawn Kaspar to the place where he’ll meet his mate–but does something more horrifying lie in wait for him, too?

Jon Fellowes, professor of archaeology at Bath University, is obsessed with the standing stones that dominate the Somerset landscape and the people who raised them. He’s heard tales of strange creatures, half-man, half-lion, that once roamed the land, but dismisses them till he meets the beautiful Kaspar and learns the bizarre truth of his nature. As an ancient rite is revived and terror stalks the countryside, can Jon and Kaspar overcome the natural distrust between humans and shifters to find true love? Or will one of them be forced to make the ultimate sacrifice?

Taming The Lion is the second book in the Lionhearts series by Elizabeth Coldwell. Since I enjoyed the first book, The Pride Of Amsterdam, I was really curious about this new story, especially as I was hoping to know more about this new lion universe the author has built. Well, I didn’t get what I wanted because the book is set in Bath, England, so I got nothing about my beloved Kees and Arjan.

Moreover this book was heavier and darker, with some really hard to take scenes which I was so not expecting, they destabilized me. I was expecting a paranormal book and shifters.

What I got was:

1) A lot of sex, as in the first book. If you have already read my other reviews, you already know it’s something I need to have in my stories. Here the sex scenes were well done so it was ok.
2) Nothing new about this particular shifters’ world. The book could almost pass for a normal one instead of a paranormal universe because the shifter aspect at the end it wasn’t exactly relevant, apart for a couple of sections.
3) A really dark mystery with dark scenes.  It surely made the story entertaining but it was predictable from the start as in the first book. I figured out the bad person from the start and that’s something I don’t like. I liked the plot but I’d have preferred it was addressed in a totally different way.
4) The story between the MCs is really too simple, Kaspar finds in Jon, a human, his mate and Jon discovers Kaspar is a lion shifter and everything is okay. No drama, no doubts, nothing.

My opinion on the Lionhearted series hasn’t improved reading Taming The Lion, on the contrary. The thing that keeps me from giving up on it is the writing. I found both books well written and I like the author’s style. So I think maybe I’m going to read Vintage Pride too. Maybe.

Cover art by Posh Gosh. It’s slightly different from the cover of the first book in the series. It’s absolutely well done and eye catching but I would have loved something different since I already had seen this one.

Sales Links:  Totally Bound BooksAll Romance (ARe)Amazon   Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 148 pages
Published March 27th 2015 by Totally Bound
ISBN13 9781784305048
Edition Language English

Lionhearts series
The Pride Of Amsterdam #1
Taming the Lion #2
Vintage pride #3 coming soon

 

A Stella Review: The Pride of Amsterdam (Lionhearts #1) by Elizabeth Coldwell

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

The Pride of Amsterdam coverLionhearts series: 

For centuries, lion shifters have lived among men, their prides scattered around the world. Fear and superstition has led man to fear them, and to seek to bring about their destruction.

When fate draws a shifter to a human mate, two very different worlds are brought together, for good or ill. But nothing can stand in the way of passion, and whatever it takes these lovers will fight tooth and claw to be together.

The Pride of Amsterdam by Elizabeth Coldwell

,  Book One in the Lionhearts series. 

When an ancient enemy is summoned to destroy his pride, a lion shifter must fight to protect the man he loves.

Kees van der Veer has never forgotten the mysterious stranger who seduced him on Millennium Eve and who promised that when the time was right, they would be together again. Returning to Amsterdam after fifteen years away, he is reunited with that stranger, entering into a world of love and danger he could never have imagined.

Arjan is a lion shifter, part of a pride who has lived in Amsterdam since its Golden Age. He has spent fifteen years regretting the need to drive his destined mate away after one night of blissful passion. But only once they meet again can he reveal to Kees the truth of his heritage.

When an old enemy is summoned to destroy the pride, Arjan must act to protect not only his family but also the man he loves.

The Pride of Amsterdam is the first book in the Lion Hearts series by Elizabeth Coldwell, a new and really interesting series. I think it has great potential but in my opinion it wasn’t well developed in this book. This is one of the reasons I gave it only 3.5 stars but I’m waiting (not so) patiently for the next one.

This is a “second chance at love” story featuring destined mates, two of my absolute favourite themes to read about.

At the Millenium Eve night party Kees meets a stranger with blond hair and amber eyes. Kees is a shy eighteen years old, he’s soon attracted to the guy who will be his first. But the guy with no name takes his virginity and leaves him five seconds after the sex with a promise.

“I need to know— Will I see you again?”
“When the time is right. You are meant to be mine, but only when you are ready to learn what I really am.”

Kees comes back home to Amsterdam, his home, after fifteen years of being away, for the biggest job in his carrier. What he doesn’t know is that the azienda he will have to help is Arjan’s.

Arjan de Wit is a lion shifter. He waited for his mate to come back to him since the first time he lost his heart to that all too young man he met at a party. Now it’s time for them to start their life together but De Jager (the Hunter) is back in town to track the shifters down and to kill every member of the pride.

I liked a lot of things in this book. First of all the sex was really hot, maybe a little too much sometimes, but I found it well written and in the right places in the story so I didn’t care if I read one scene too much. There were some very light BDSM elements that will not bother you if you’re not a BDSM stories fan. I liked the character of Arjan, he isn’t the usual alpha shifter I’m used to read about, he is insecure and rightly so, cause even if he knew Kees was his destined mate since the first time they met, the young man is still hurt from the way Arjan left him and he is scared of the man who already left him one time. He needs to win Kees’ trust and they still need to know each other.

One thing “ruined” me the ending, the fact that I realized pretty soon who the hunter was, so I was a little disappointed to know I was right. I’d have preferred to be surprise.

If you like a book well written and well paced, with some suspense and a lot of passion, this book is what you’re looking for. I can’t wait for the next one to come out and hopefully know more about Arjan’s pride.

Cover Art by Posh Gosh. Love this cover, especially the choice of the colors. It catched my eyes, really well done.

Sales Links:  Totally Bound     All Romance (ARe)       Amazon      Buy It Here

Book Details:

Published January 16th 2015 by Totally Bound
ebook, 142 pages
ISBN 1784303682
Edition language English