Category Archives: TJ
Reviews by TJ.
The sole survivor on a science vessel adrift in deep space, Zeus was adopted by the Emperor and Empress of the Mar’Sani, though he is both human and blind, and seen by most as unfit to join the royal family. Though they were able to repair his vision, Zeus does not trust his eyes and the nobles of his parents’ court refuse to ever trust a frail human.
Dargon Kal-Turak, along with his symbiote and lover Alpha, command one of the most dangerous ships in the stars. Narrowly escaping a trap, they dock in a space port to make repairs, but find that the Psonics hunting them are closing in fast. In desperation they kidnap the port Master Mechanic, unaware that the man they’ve brought on board is more than he seems, and will bring far more upheaval to their ship, their lives, and the stars than any of them could have imagined.
This was a great book for the beginning of a series. The world building done by the author was tremendous. There are lots of different characters and worlds to describe to set up the story. The author did well with integrating it with the story line so the reader doesn’t get this HUGE info dump that just bores and takes away from the story. Instead she dives into it and gives us enough to not get lost and the rest we receive along the way without really noticing what the author is doing.
The characters the author created are very vivid and realistic. Dargon is so arrogant and has to be taken down a notch. Zeus is an interesting character. I love that Zeus was adopted and then treated so much the same by his family. I thought the author did a good job of setting it all up so you could see how a child like Zeus was struggled with the fact that he is but isn’t a race. He was also very discerning when it came to skills. He and Dargon did well with figuring out how to attack a problem. The side characters are interesting and I am anxious to see what the author has in store for the whole group.
Though this is the first in a series and as the author leaves it there are a lot of loose ends but she does a good job in wrapping up this story in such a way that you aren’t climbing the walls waiting for the next book. No cliffhangers! Gotta like that;)
It was stated at the beginning of the story that this was created by a prompt from a group. From that this series was born and the author was obviously inspired by it. It is amazing what can come out of a fun prompt writing project!
How far is Cody willing to go to keep his dragon?
Kirit is lonely and he’s sick of coming home from the king’s assignments to a cold, empty cave. After searching for years for a mate, Kirit decides it’s time to try a new approach. Against the advice of all his friends, he heads for the human side of the world. There he finds Cody, and the man is everything he could ever want. It takes a little bit of persuasion, but he manages to talk Cody into coming back with him to Faerie.
Within a week of arriving, Cody is beginning to rethink his impulsive decision. He’s trekked across more terrain than he would care to remember, been summoned to meet a king, and flown on a dragon—not an experience he’s willing to repeat anytime soon. Kirit’s growly possessiveness is starting to wear on his nerves, and the unexpected hostility he encounters at the palace is almost enough to make him give up.
But Cody is stubborn. He may not be willing to admit it out loud, but Kirit has got under his skin. He may even, shockingly enough, love the big guy.
Now Cody has to decide what he’s willing to do to keep the man of his dreams.
I enjoyed this book. Kirit is lonely and is convinced that he may have luck finding a mate in the human world since he has been unable to in Faerie. Cody is a rent boy and his starting to become discontent with his life. When these two meet up there is a world of miscommunication and Kirit keeps his life secret from Cody. Cody has his life turned upside down when he is told that Kirit has claimed him as his mate.
This is a nice read. The writing is good. I love the descriptions used by the writer. The characters are intriguing and vivid. I love the grumpiness and general standoff behavior of the dragons. The plot line gives us just enough to stay interested in the characters and their situations.
The bad of the read was the plot. Though it does give you that interest that is about it. The plot was shallow and just too mysterious. I know this is the first in a series but I couldn’t understand Seamus or the court. Even the background for the dragons wasn’t very well done. We are given bits and pieces that make no sense. The one big bad guy is WAY too easily taken care of. I think it could have been a better read if there was some sense of where the mystery plot was going and if the world was built a little more.
Still I did have fun reading this one. It is a definite feel good book and makes me smile to think of Cody and his dragon. I will read the next to see where this one will go.
The Good Guy: Haint-working runs in Dan Miller’s blood. Not everyone can help the restless dead cross over, especially when the haunting threatens the Living. But the death of his parents six years ago forced Dan to give it up in exchange for raising his brother and sister, all the while struggling to keep their rural NC farm afloat.
So when the flamboyantly goth Leif Helsvin shows up on Dan’s doorstep looking for help with an evil necromancer named Rúnar, Dan’s first instinct is to turn him down. With two teenagers to look after, he’s already got all the trouble he can handle. Besides, the sexy Leif is too much of a temptation, and Dan is firmly in the closet.
The Bad Boy: Pierced, tattooed Leif never has sex with the same guy twice. It keeps things simple, especially since his oath to stop Rúnar has him constantly drifting from one town to the next.
But this time, it looks like Leif is going to need help, in the form of the very down-to-earth Dan. Since Nice Guys are off the menu, Leif just has to keep his hands to himself for as long as it will take to stop Rúnar’s latest scheme. But as Leif finds himself drawn deeper into Dan’s life, he quickly realizes he’s not just in danger of breaking the rules, but breaking his heart as well.
This was an interesting book. I thought that the use of the word “hainted” was different. I’ve never heard it used. The author seems to lump a lot of supernatural phenomena into “hainted”. I thought it was just ghosts but it is also anything to do with the dead except the living that deal with the dead.
Dan is stuck in time in my mind. Because of his parents death he takes over the family farm and raising his two young siblings. He knows he is gay and did have a little experience when he went to college for the short time he did. Coming back he is forced back in the closet and so REALLY shuts himself in there. He doesn’t seem to me to mature past that point. Not that he is immature in raising his siblings but in dealing with a relationship he is still a newbie. He is almost innocent. Leif is anything but innocent. His childhood was destroyed and he ran away to the streets when he was 14. He hooked and did drugs. When he left that life he traveled the world but did horrible things that he is trying to atone for. Leif was a child still when he was taken in by Runar. Runar was evil but all Leif saw was salvation. Due to all of this Leif is not innocent. Yet when it comes to good people and a healthy relationship Leif is lost as well.
I loved these two together. They make sense. Together they are a great team. Now the action involved in the storyline was interesting if a little…flat. I just didn’t get into the fight scenes. I had a hard time with the whole antler and it hitting the right spot. Just didn’t feel right.
The author makes an easy setting for the story, modern in the country, and uses the world building for the paranormal aspect. This was a good story overall but felt a bit sappy toward the end. I was expecting it to me more hard edged and instead the characters become a bit too gushy. The bad guy was all bad. (Yeah, he liked Leif but just wanted to have him.) Yet I didn’t get that icy feel from him. With this being the story it is you would expect a cold, icy edge to the bad guy but I just didn’t get that.
Overall an enjoyable read. I wish the last half had been a little harder then I think I would have enjoyed it more. Still a good story with all the stuff people love.
Dissolute nobles, master spies, and the unlikeliest of heroes, Alec and Seregil have survived exile, treachery, and black magic. But the road that lies ahead is the most hazardous they’ve ever traveled. For with enemies on all sides, they must walk a narrow path between good and evil where one misstep might be their last.
Having escaped death and slavery in Plenimar, Alec and Seregil want nothing more than to go back to their nightrunning life in Rhíminee. Instead they find themselves saddled with Sebrahn, a strange, alchemically created creature—the prophesied “child of no woman.” Its moon-white skin and frightening powers make Sebrahn a danger to all whom Alec and Seregil come into contact with, leaving them no choice but to learn more about Sebrahn’s true nature.
With the help of trusted friends and Seregil’s clan, the duo set out to discover the truth about this living homunculus—a journey that can lead only to danger or death. For Seregil’s old nemesis Ulan í Sathil of Virèsse and Alec’s own long-lost kin are after them, intent on possessing both Alec and Sebrahn. On the run and hunted, Alec and his comrades must fight against time to accomplish their most personal mission ever.
This is the fifth book in the Nightrunner Series. This a series that while difficult to read at times with the different words and the totally different world it is set in, is a great read. The world building the author has done is phenomenal. The series is all set up around a couple, Alec and Seregil. They are part of a spy group and do many things throughout the series. There have been wonderful side characters like Micum and Thero.
We pick up where we left the characters in book four with the trouble of what to do with a creature like Sebrahn. He is dangerous and a liability to the two men in their work. Alec is still recovering from his death. The men are trying to figure out where to go from here. Sebrahn can’t be allowed to fall into the hands of the queen or those like her but where can the men go to keep themselves safe and regroup.
I was disappointed with the first half of the book because it dragged. Nothing much happened and there was a lot of repeat in what did occur. Things did eventually pick up. Then they happened much too quickly and easily. I had hoped for a little more depth to the overall read but it felt light. The plot was thin and I can only hope it was one of those books that are necessary for the oveall arc of the series.
All of that being said there is still a lot that was good to the book. There is humor and new friends are made. I feel that Seregil is finally making peace with his past and reconnecting to his family. Alec is finding out more about himself and who he is. The men are growing stronger together and are showing how connected to each other they are, but still are individual. There is no doubt they have at heart differing natures. Sebrahn is the example to show us that. Alec is a gentler soul than Seregil but the two each have their strengths that make for a formidable team.
I enjoyed the read but didn’t love it. For me if you are this far into the series there is a reason and so you will read the book. Don’t expect to love it though. It has its moments but for me it was fair as a read.
Call of the Wild…
Kevin Sullivan has never minded being a werewolf. He has a great job, a little sister who adores him, and plenty of good friends. But an erotic encounter with Roman Le Feuvre, the sexy, mysterious Alpha of the Bloodmoon Pack, leaves Kevin feeling lost, lonely and desperate for companionship for the first time in his life. Roman is shrewd as both master of Wall Street and king of the New York werewolves, but he harbors a dark secret that’s about to turn Kevin’s world upside down. Kevin wants nothing more than to find his place in Roman’s pack–and in his heart!–but dark forces may leave him crying wolf.
I bought this book on a whim. I loved the different view of werewolves. Unfortunately this book gives very little plot to go with it. The story contains LOTS of sex. This isn’t always a bad thing but in this case there was no connection to be felt between partners. Yes, there is a “love” angle to the story but I really didn’t understand why they were in love. They didn’t talk much or hang out very long. It seemed like since they were both Pedigrees that they would get together with an open relationship.
I want to say that the writer really did make the characters interesting. I believe if there had been more development to the story and a little less of the sex that the book would have been better. I had no issues with the open nature of relationships portrayed by the author. The issue is connection. I felt nothing for the characters. I actually felt more for Hannah, who is a side character. I really felt that the author was more about the sex than the story line so it suffered.
So, I didn’t care for this book. I may keep an eye out for the author since he seems to have some wicked story ideas and hope that his writing improves.
Sebastian knows criminals. He was raised in a family of thieves. But nothing could prepare him for the charming and dangerous gang leader and alpha wolf, Ian Black.
Since Seb isn’t strong enough to protect himself, he seeks aid from the Black Wolves – the most infamous shifter gang in the city. While the alpha promises to protect Seb, Ian wants something in return. Seb has to pretend to be Ian’s sex slave in public.
Only problem is Seb’s straight – or he thought he was. Ian’s insistence tests his resolve at every turn.
As violence explodes throughout the city, desire sizzles between the cat and wolf. But giving into passion is difficult for Seb who spent his entire life pushing other people away.
Can these two broken men find love in the midst of chaos?
Warning: Contains graphic gay sex scenes.
This is the fourth in the Haven series and second in the Black Wolves series. Seb is Fisk’s twin. He is the sick one who was relegated to information gathering for the thieving brothers. Seb is very smart and has a cunning intelligence. He is the perfect fit for Ian, alpha of the Black Wolves if only he weren’t straight. Ian is the fierce leader of the Black Wolves. He works hard to get his gang to appear a tough and vicious gang in order to rid the Flats of the criminal element that killed his parents. Now with Seb in the picture he wonders if that is as important to him as it once was.
I think the author is a wonderful writer. The descriptions were well done and the “world” she has created gets a little more filled in all the time. I do think that at times her descriptions are a little much but she does a good job of giving the mood and ambiance to the scene being played out.
The characters are better detailed I feel in this one than the previous book. Ian is more understandable in some of his actions at least now. I feel we did get to know these two a little more and understand a little of why they act as they do.
The plot was a bit predictable. It was still entertaining. I wouldn’t necessarily say it was exciting though. It seemed more drawn out than the last book. The strange thing is the ending almost felt…cut short. We really didn’t see much after the two men really declared themselves and committed to one another. The end just felt a little wanting for more details.
This was a nice read. It wasn’t anything wonderful but it was solid and entertaining. I enjoyed it but was hoping for a little something more.
The universe is a bitch.
When Fisk, a cat shifter and thief, is sold into sex slavery, the most dangerous shifter gang in Haven City buys him: the Black Wolves. Problem is, Fisk stole from them three years before, and it cost the wolf gang precious territory. When they find out, they force Fisk to work off his debt. A debt to the tune of half a million dollars.
The universe has a plan.
Ian Black, the gang’s leader and alpha wolf, has plans for Fisk. It’s up to Breaker, the beta, to follow the boss’s orders. Breaker doesn’t expect to fall for the alluring feline with the bad attitude. He’s been nothing but loyal to his alpha and their pack his entire life. But Fisk wakes a desire Breaker’s never known. Only Fisk strikes Ian’s fancy too, and a beta can’t cross an alpha.
The universe has a sick sense of humor.
Fisk finds himself torn between two very different men – Ian, the sexy alpha and Breaker, the stoic enforcer. One of the wolves is his mate, but Fisk isn’t sure how to handle it. Sex is one thing – love is something else.
As passion sizzles between the three men, Breaker feels the truth – Fisk is his mate. How can he choose between loyalty to his alpha and loyalty to his heart?
Contains graphic m/m love scenes.
This wasn’t a book that I expected. The blurb is quite clear but I really thought it wouldn’t get to the point the story did. This lost me for romance. I really didn’t enjoy the whole sex three way thing. It wasn’t sexy or romantic or the like. It felt like a betrayal by Fisk and neither man later made any sort of deal out of it. I just can’t buy that there wouldn’t have been some fall out. I am trying to put it in “human” perspective but it still isn’t working for me.
The writing was good. The author made it dramatic and interesting. True I didn’t like the love triangle thing but the writing was well done. The characters draw you in and hold you. The thing with the writing was actually the relationships. Other than that the plot works. The descriptions are detailed and color the world well. I enjoyed that part of the book. The author does a good job with this world that was created.
As I have said relationships in the story weren’t done very well. I just didn’t feel that connection with the characters. The two that end up together, there just wasn’t that connection to fall in love. If I believe the mate thing is fate and they are supposed to know their mate then why did Fisk sleep with both men? If I believe that they don’t right away know their mate then how do they figure it out? Like humans do? Then I don’t see that they were together enough for love to develop.
Overall, I loved the regular plot of the book but the relationship aspect failed for me. So I will give it a medium rating. (Please keep in mind even if this is stated as the first in the Black Wolves series it is also third in the Haven City series. It helps with the world building to read the first two in the Haven City series.)
Contains the first two books in the Haven City Series:
Shadow Scars (Rogue Wolf Book One)
Conner, a rogue wolf and murder detective, isn’t looking for a lover when he moves to Haven City. He wants to solve crimes and keep to himself – unable to trust anyone since his pack betrayed him six years before.
But Seth Alwen, his new partner, is different. He excites the wolf’s animal instincts – waking up the passion Conner buried long ago. Seth’s not only beautiful and alluring; he’s also haunted by the death of his former partner. And despite his better judgment, Conner aches to relieve the man of his guilt.
Seth’s a seer, but ever since his old partner died his powers have been on the fritz.
Enter Conner Sharp, Seth’s sexy and mysterious new partner. While the dark-haired stranger ignites Seth’s desire, he also awakens the seer’s power with every touch. Seth sees their future together – a future rich with lust and danger – but is it a future the enigmatic Conner wants?
As the two men solve a series of murders, their sizzling attraction overflows into the bedroom. Is the overwhelming passion just a fling or is it forever?
Contains graphic m/m sex scenes.
Alpha’s Shadow (Rogue Wolf Book Two)
Conner Sharp, a rogue wolf and murder detective, was supposed to be an alpha – until his pack betrayed him and left him for dead. Then he met Seth Alwen, his new partner, and things started looking up. The beautiful seer lusts after him – even if he keeps an infuriating number of secrets.
But something dangerous is stirring inside Conner. The urges of an alpha wolf he buried years ago are rising to the surface. Whenever Seth is near, the beast threatens to unleash itself on the man Conner cares for the most – the man who might be his long lost mate.
Seth never thought he’d shack up with a shifter, but Conner’s allure is impossible to deny. How will his boyfriend feel about Seth’s carefully guarded past, and the secrets that could rip their relationship apart?
Can Seth deal with the new alpha side of his lover while confiding in Conner what their future holds?
While the two men grapple with desire and trust in their relationship, a new murder threatens Haven City and all her shadow folk. A murder that brings Seth and Conner front and center to a dangerous necromancer and the one group of people the seer wants to avoid more than anything: his own family.
Contains graphic m/m sex scenes
NOTE: This is a previously published work. The title, author, and/or publisher may have changed.
I am use to using other reviews to bounce around ideas with but this one just doesn’t have many out there. In the story we have two injured souls, I really feel they were both betrayed by family. I could see how they could connect with this between them.
Seth is recovering from losing his best friend and partner to a on the job shooting that he had forseen and didn’t tell her about. He is plagued by guilt that is added by his family that he didn’t save her. Connor is Seth’s new partner. Connor is a rogue wolf, made that way by his own family that ambushed him and left him for dead. He feels something for Seth right away but it isn’t what a mate is suppose to feel like and Connor is rogue so believes he CAN’T have a mate. Connor also hates lies…he knows his partner is lying to him so how can he be falling for the man.
I liked the plot line. It was paced well with an interesting premise to it. The crime and the mystery around it are interesting. I admire the author’s ability to weave together several storylines and connect them throughout the book. The trouble I had was the wording. I think it was a little over the top, especially during sex scenes. Sometimes a little is better than a lot. There also was one word that kept bugging me…”buckle”. I always have seen this as “My hips buck into my palm” not “My hips buckle into my palm”. I know this is small but it REALLY bothered me.
The characters were very well drawn. I felt like they could be real. They fell into their character lines and grew appropriately within them. The author really does have flair for creating characters.
I enjoyed this story overall. I did wish the descriptive verse used by the author was toned down just a bit, other than that it was a captivating story with amazingly realistic characters. I will be looking to read more in this world.
When jackal shifter Quade Danas was banished from his pack for being gay, he spent years in the military escaping his father’s prejudice before returning to civilian life as a bodyguard for Roman Howell, the teenage son of a very rich man. After Roman is in an accident that leaves him physically scarred and emotionally distant, Quade is the only one who can get through to him. As Roman becomes a man, he realizes what he wants—his bodyguard by his side and in his bed. Unfortunately, Quade can’t seem to see past the kid Roman once was to the man he has become, certain Roman’s feelings are merely misplaced gratitude. But Roman knows a lot more than Quade realizes, and he’s used to persevering, no matter how many impediments life throws his way. He wants the chance to prove to Quade that he’s strong enough for a jackal alpha to call mate.
Despite the decades Quade has been away, and the heartache of his father’s rejection, his inborn loyalty to the pack remains, and his abrupt departure left the jackal shifters without an alpha heir. As a psychopath shifter staking claim as alpha draws Quade back home, and Quade feels compelled to heed the call, he may be forced to make a choice he never anticipated. But doing so means he must leave Roman behind… unless somehow they find a way to make loyalty and love work together.
This was a nice shifter story. The story starts out with feeling like you get dropped into the story part way through. There was a lot of filling in of back story to do and it broke the rhythm of the book. It was interesting to watch Quade struggle with his feelings for Roman.
I will admit right off that I didn’t care as much for this book. I love the story line and side characters but the book went so fast. With the feeling of being dropped in part way through and the speed of it I just couldn’t connect with the characters. I didn’t get why these two had such strong feelings for each other. I get there is a lot of past and the whole you see me for me but it just didn’t ring right with me.
Unlike others I wasn’t disturbed by the age difference. It really didn’t bother me. I had no issues with either of the characters. I have always enjoyed the author’s characters and the snark and humor in her stories. The writing with regards to that was a good as always. I just didn’t get the depth to the story and characters as I usually do.
The writing was well done. The author is always very descriptive. The scenes come alive and are very vivid. The plot makes sense and leads in a logical progression through the story. As I said though there is something missing to this story that I usually get in her other books. I just couldn’t grasp the emotion to connect to the characters.
I did enjoy the story. I hope there is a follow up to the book with the descriptions of the other male characters and the way they are acting. It would be interesting to hear what they do:)
Tracy Brandt considers himself a lucky man. He has a wonderful family, good friends, and a dependable job. His love life, however, features a cheating ex who, though out of the house, is not yet out of the picture—with a past that just might get Tracy killed.
Homicide inspector Cord Nolan wants nothing more than to show his best friend’s little brother that he’s a reliable man, but to do that he’ll have to get Tracy to look past the player he used to be. It’ll be a tough sell; reputation is everything, and Cord’s is tarnished by his past indiscretions.
Tracy and Cord have spent five years trying to suffocate their fiery attraction under a blanket of grudging antagonism. When Tracy finds himself with a target on his back, Cord finally has the chance to ride to the rescue and break through the dam of Tracy’s reserve. But he’d better be careful: if Cord is breaking the floodgates to wash away the past, he’s going to have to hold tight to Tracy to make sure they’re still standing when the tumult recedes.
I really am a fan of Mary Calmes. I don’t care that her style is a bit formulaic. It works for me:) This particular book though was not as good as others. It was mainly that it felt…loose. There were threads that made no sense to have and then leave hanging, in particular Tracey’s boss. I know it is accepted in the end but it just felt like there was more there. Then there is Breckin’s cheating. I get the crazy stalker going after those that Breckin cares about but what about the man Tracey caught him with. This is a friend of Breckin’s but is never gone after…doesn’t make sense.
The writing itself is good. Mary Calmes has a way to draw you into the story and give you details without making it totally overwhelming. I quite enjoy her writing style. The plot is a bit thin and seems a bit stretched. I don’t buy the whole going to another state with police escort for something like this even with family involved it was a bit much. The characters are what always make me smile. I love the possessive, domineering alpha and the snarky “bottom boy”. It’s a thing that works for me and makes me smile. This isn’t the most stimulating of writings but for a comfort read that makes you feel good it is great.
So overall, the characters and writing worked for me. I thought they gave something different to the story and made it fun to read. The plot though and storyline had a few too many holes to make this a great read though. If you want a feel good read though this is a good one.