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Syler’s Savior by Grace Lynn

Syler's SaviorSyler’s Savior by Grace Lynn
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Siren-BookStrand, Inc.
Short Story:  20,051 Words
Purchase at BookStrand
Roses:  3
 

King Syler has the worst luck. After being forced into an unwanted marriage as a young man, he now is free to choose a Queen that will have the people’s best interests at heart. Alone in the underprivileged Third Class, Syler saves Frost from the lashing post. Can Syler manage to keep the politics at bay, all the while fighting his growing attraction for Frost?

Frost Santaz is nothing special. Well, almost nothing. He works at the decrepit Third Class Orphanage and pulls his community service hours like everyone else. As the Prince of Third Class it’s his duty to protect his class from any more harsh laws that will eventually unfold into a Civil War. Frost has done his best to avoid a war he knows will cost more than it can gain. When King Syler needs him, Frost has found his way to save his class, and kingdom, but can he save himself from Syler?

Excerpt

First of all I try not to hold editing against an author.  This book was in need of a better editor.  There were many problems with sentences and words that threw me out of the story and interfered with the read.  Though I do try not to hold this against an author it can affect how I review it because I don’t get to be swept away, like I should, by the writing.

Syler lives in a world that has modern convinces but is struggling with feeding its people.  Syler is the king but the kingdom is also ruled by a council that contains more power than the king.  Syler has been struggling to help his people against a corrupt council.  Now with his ex-wife on the same side as the council Syler’s struggle is that much harder.  Syler goes to the lowest class’s district and while there the guards of the area turn on him declaring the king dead and Syler an imposter.  Frost is a man that also works for the good of his people, those of the lowest in third class.  When Frost is saved from a whipping by Frost, Frost helps Syler to escape the third district and to try and get back his kingdom.  Neither expected that they would also fall in love on the way.

The story line of this book really worked for me.  Frost and Syler almost suffer from insta-love but it really didn’t bother me much in the whole of the story, though I would have liked a bit more time for the relationship to grow to that.  The writing was well plotted out and the suspense of the read was good.  I thought there may have been a little too much effort put into wording the descriptions differently.  It was a little flowery and the words didn’t always work for me.  Sometimes less is more.

The characters were interesting.  I would have loved a longer read to really get to know them and their background.  Since this was a short read, I think the author did well with what was given about the men.  Syler was, in my mind, a bit more interesting of the two.  I think most readers would like to know how someone in Syler’s position ended up so different than most of his rank.  Why did he become so invested in the lower class and equality for the people instead of the status quo?  He seemed a little softer than one would expect.  Frost, who has a great name, is like I would expect from someone in his position.  It is inferred that Frost was one of the fortunate ones to have a little better quality of life than most of the third class.  Frost is a strong presence in the story and makes for a fun read.

Now as stated before there were some issues with editing.  I really wish that some presses would spend a little more time editing the writing.  This time and again threw me out of the reading and made me go back to reread a passage to see if I could understand it the second or third time around.  I had one other issue with the story.  Near the end there is talk about a guard and a girl from the third class and how marrying her would mean giving up his class so that means you marry down in this world yet we later see that not happening.  The author doesn’t explain this so I am unsure what to think.  I can guess why but I don’t know.

Overall it was a fun read.  I wish I could give the read a little higher rating but I just think that it doesn’t have the emotional depth and consistency to give it higher.  I do hope that the author will make sure to get a better editing job done before release the next time.

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Guardian’s Bite by Grace Lynn

Guardian's BiteGuardian’s Bite by Grace Lynn
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Siren-BookStrand, Inc.
Short Story:  21,909 Words
Purchase at BookStrand
Roses:  3
 

[Ménage Amour ManLove: Erotic Alternative Paranormal Ménage a Trois Romance, M/M/M, with M/M/F not involving the heroes, vampires, shape-shifters, elves, public exhibition, voyeurism, HEA]

Eirik is tired of being alone after all of his years of service to the Vampire community. When he least expects it, his mates fall into his path. Injured and dying, Eirik must do what he can to save his mates from the separation he knows he won’t survive.

Miles joins his friends for a wild night on the town during his break from college. At the Vampire Bar, Miles almost becomes the main dish until a golden-haired man tries to rescue him, putting them both in the frying pan.

Dominick is on the run from his Pard. He has never fit in anywhere, and he just wants someone to accept his albino status in the Griffon world. While trying to see the sights, he finds his mate at a local bar trying to become the cocktail of the night. Stepping in to save his mate, Dominick realizes he is in way over his head.

Note: This book contains double anal penetration.

Excerpt

So this is the third book in the Guardian City series.  This time we have a new group mating.  Eirik is a vampire, Dominick is a Griffon, and Miles is human.  The three men meet up at and behind a vampire bar.  Eirik is doing an errand for the master of his coven and watching the bar.  Miles is just out for a good time when his friends abandoned him and he is scooped up to be a mess for some vamps.  Dominick tries to save him and loses.  The two men are near death and are being carried out behind the bar when Eirik spots them and recognizes them as his mates.  He goes to save them and calls in his sired brother Demend to help.  Dominick is healing but Miles is dying.  Demend gives Miles a total transfusion to save him.  Of course this is only the start of the three’s adventures.

This story is based around Demend’s sired brother Eirik.  The story really starts with a bang.  If you aren’t one for multiple partners, exhibitionism, and voyeurism don’t read.  There is quite a bit of sex in the book.  At the beginning of the book is a HUGE sex scene.  I do think the writer may need a little work on the reality of sex like described.  I don’t think some of what is described is as easily done as shown.

The characters are what make this book interesting.  The author weaves many different species together along with various bits of lore about them.  She creates a world with lots of prejudices that a group are trying to change and that change is spreading.  These characters are all very different.  They each bring a little something different to the story and the relationships therein.  I enjoyed watching what was happening to them and how they were able to retain themselves while fighting for what they believe.

The writing is still improving.  The flow was smoother and the characters and interactions where better evolved.  For a comfort type read this is an excellent choice.  I think that the writer is developing more skills in weaving the stories together.  With the addition of more characters and books the author is showing a good ability to join them together while keeping the details of each straight.  I do wish there was a little more depth to the stories.  As I said these make good comfort reads but they are not complex, thought provoking books.

This series is getting more interesting as it goes along.  I am wondering what the author has in store for the next book.

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Guardian’s Flame by Grace Lynn

Guardian's FlameGuardian’s Flame by Grace Lynn
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Siren-BookStrand, Inc.
Short Story:  22,420 Words
Purchase at BookStrand
Roses:  3
 

[Ménage Amour: Erotic Paranormal Ménage a Quatre Romance, M/M/M/F, with M/M, werewolves, shape-shifters, elves, public exhibition, HEA]

High Prince Demend, an Elf and changeling, and his mate Nathan Summers are doing their best to run the Guardian City. With the pair trying to keep Demend from dying from his own magic and a summons from the Higher Council, the newly mated couple is in over their heads.

Jason Johnson is a Phoenix with a serious problem. He’s a phoenix trapped as a dog, living on the fringe of the Guardian City. His mates live in the city, but fear prevents him from going to them. Can he figure out a way to let his mates see him as he really is, instead of the dog he was forced to become?

Zoey is a Dark Elf, trapped in a cell within an Incubi trading Post. She is a trained warrior and has tried everything to get herself free, but nothing seems to work. Can she escape the clutches of the Incubi, or will she be stuck forever as a POW?

Note: This book contains double vaginal penetration.

Excerpt

We jump right into the action again.  The book starts off with Jason.  Jason is a phoenix that has been turned into a dog.  He is trying to live in the forest but he is starving.  He is so bad off he is dying.  He decides to try Guardian City for scraps even though he doesn’t want to run into his mates because he is afraid of what they will think of him.  Jason has had such a hard time with love.  The last time he tried he was beat and ended up and dog that was also abused.

Zoey is in a cell.  She has been captured by an Incubus and he is trying to make her tell him where her people, the dark elves, are hiding.   It is up to Demend and Nathan to save their other two mates and see if they can all heal each other.

If you haven’t read the first book in the series, DO before you read this one.  There is no catching up.  The author jumps right in to the story and does nothing to reveal what has happened up to this point so it is best to read the first one so you won’t get lost.

I didn’t like this one as well as the author’s first book.  There is just too much happening at one time.  Jason, Nathan’s niece, and saving Zoey is a little much for a book this short.  You barely get past one situation and you are flying off to another.  I think it is a little much to cover in a way that will entice readers to keep on reading.  Yes, lots of action but really not much else.  I think the author would have done better to at least break this up into two books.  That way you could get a little more depth and emotion into the read and keep the readers in the series.

The characters are really hard to describe for this one because of the rushed nature of the story line.  The first book dealt with Demend and Nathan so their nature and personality really hasn’t changed much.  They seem to have solidified their bond even more so they are a very solid seeming couple.  Josh is a gentler man who appears a little bouncy and excitable.  Zoey is a warrior through and through.  Though she is tortured she doesn’t break and plans at every opportunity to try and escape.  She is female but Josh is more the nurturer in the story.  I feel that Zoey has a caring nature but is like a mama bear and extremely fierce with protecting those that she loves.  These are all gathered in glimpses but not expounded upon.  Zoey is actually with the men in the story a VERY short time so more than that is not easily gathered.

I enjoyed the read but it was lacking in the emotional depth and connection that would normal appeal to me in a story.  I think the author wanted to gather too much into one book and this caused the issue.  I still feel the author will be one to watch and will smooth out issues that may appear in the writing.  I hope to read more of her books in the future.

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Guardian Elf by Grace Lynn

Guardian ElfGuardian Elf by Grace Lynn
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Siren-BookStrand, Inc.
Short Story:  24,156 Words
Purchase at BookStrand
Roses:  3
 

[Siren Classic ManLove: Erotic Alternative Paranormal Romance, M/M, werewolves, elves, HEA]

Sun City was once the greatest city in the world. It was built by the Elves during the height of their power, but now only one Elf remains in the city. High Prince Demend, a changeling and survivor of an accident that almost left him for dead.  Now, he drinks blood, shifts, and is trying to make the world a more tolerant place for the literary works of the ancient times.

Nathan Summers is an Alpha, but not by choice. Forced into the position by a pack he loves, Nathan took the position as a last resort. Alone and constantly harassed by his father, Nathan just wants to find his mate and keep his pack safe from his family’s cruelty.

Forced to work together, they must now face the future which seems to be grim. Can these two find everything they are wanting without destroying themselves in the process?

Excerpt

This world is totally created so the rules that sometimes apply for belief can be suspended.  Demend was changed as a child when the Great War started.  We are left to figure out a lot of the information on the war at the end of the story.  Demend grows up in a changed world.  He still has his family but he is much changed from them.  While trying to save some written history that the Werewolf council is about to destroy, Demend runs into his mate.  Nathan is an alpha werewolf but not by choice.  He doesn’t want the responsibility of alpha but it was him or his awful brother running the pack so he took it.

This isn’t really an insta-love like it appears, it is close though.  The two men are drawn together and most of the book is spent setting up the new pack.  Demend is an interesting character.  It might have been good to see how he grew into the man he is in the story.  Nathan is still a little be in the shadows as far as character goes.  We really don’t get much of his character coming through in the writing.  I think overall the character development is a bit shallow.  They may have been better if the story had been a little longer.  It is also possible that the characters’ development may show more in future books as well.

The world is very interesting and creative.  I’m not sure I will enjoy the fact that Demend needs other mates and there is no thought to male or female.  I believe that is personal and may not be a concern depending on how the author works the story.

The writing was well done.  I had trouble with some of the sentence structures but otherwise it was very descriptive and informative.  For the first book in a series that sets up a whole world and with its length it is quite good.  I will be keeping this author in mind for future reads as her writing matures.

I struggled with the rating but settled on three because of the character development but feel strongly that the author will improve with time.

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Lucius: Spartan Warrior by Stormy Glenn

Lucius Spartan WarriorLucius: Spartan Warrior by Stormy Glenn
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Siren-BookStrand, Inc.
Novella:  37,728 Words
Purchase at BookStrand
Roses:  3
 

[Siren Classic ManLove: Erotic Alternative Futuristic Romance, M/M, sci-fi elements, HEA]

Lucius is Spartan, a genetically enhanced soldier created for the sole purpose of fighting. But what is he to do when the war is over? Exiled with his unit to an island off the Pacific coastline, Lucius is shocked when he finds more than a deserted island when he meets Ari, a man determined to live by his own rules even at the cost of his own life.

Ari was just a teenager when he was abandoned by his family and exiled because he didn’t meet the new moral code. He does what he needs to do to survive. When he meets Lucius and the other Spartan, he finds that the fierce warriors need even more help than he does.

Emotions have been drummed out of the Spartans, deemed useless to men taught nothing but killing. Teaching them to feel just might be harder than Ari thinks, especially when he needs Lucius to be the killing machine he was born to be in order to save them all when the enemy attacks. But the cost might be the man he is falling in love with.

Excerpt

Lucius and his men have no idea how to behave outside of war and training.  When Lucius stumbles across Ari when he and his men are dropped onto a “deserted” island, Lucius has no idea what he is feeling and what to do about it.  Ari isn’t sure what he should do about Lucius.  He is attracted to him but knows Lucius isn’t supposed to have emotions.  They should have been all bred and trained out of Lucius and the other Spartan.

I thought the idea of this story is cute.  It has been done similarly before.  The writing was good.  The plot is not unique but fun and interesting.  The characters are fairly typical of this author’s writing.  Ari is smaller but is really a strong man who changes Lucius for the better.  Lucius then has to prove he cares for Ari when Ari is in trouble.

This story seems to be written as a standalone but there are so many threads left dangling that I would love to see it become a series.  If it is a single book there are a lot of holes that are not filled.  I enjoyed the book even though it isn’t the greatest writing.  This is a comfort read for those days when one needs a fun, easy read.  It lifts your spirits.

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The Rock Star and the Wolf by J.C. Holly

The Rock Star and the WolfThe Rock Star and the Wolf by J.C. Holly
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Siren-BookStrand, Inc.
Novella:  42,347 Words
Purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble
Roses:  3
 

Harlan Weatherly is a Hunter, a shifter who metes out justice to those of his kin who think themselves above the law. He’s also horny as hell.

After his latest hunt goes wrong, leaving a fleeing and bitten victim, he has to work hard to track down the man and train him in the ways of shifters. His job gets that much harder when he finds out that the man in question is none other than Mitchell “Mitch” Shaw, world famous rock star. After a chance encounter in a gay bar the two soon come together, but it quickly becomes clear that training isn’t the only thing on their minds.

On top of a burgeoning relationship, and getting used to living the life of luxury, Harlan also has to avoid the increasingly ferocious attacks of his latest target’s wolf pack.

Can Harlan and Mitch’s relationship weather the oncoming storm?

Excerpt

Mitch is a world famous rock star coming off his tour when he is bitten by a wolf.  He doesn’t know it is a werewolf and has changed him.  Harlan is an enforcer.  His job is to take care of werewolves that are not following the rules.  He has been hunting the werewolf who bit Mitch but arrived just a fraction too late to prevent Mitch from being bitten.

I thought this was an interesting take on werewolves.  The writing was pretty good.  I couldn’t get into the story though.  The characters seemed good.  Mitch being a star didn’t play a huge role overall.  It seemed that Harlan took care of most troubles and never really needed help.  I There characters at times didn’t act in the way that I would expect.  Not much freaking out for Mitch when he discovers what has actually happened to him and the way Harlan lied (by omission) to him.  There is no explanation of the werewolf culture or these rules that Harlan is to enforce.  We have little to explain the Ancients that are the ultimate werewolves.  The world building just seems awful weak to me.  The characters aren’t all that off, I guess, but I really don’t understand what they see in each other.  They hardly talked in the story or if they did it was “and they talked”.  No description or other relationship building material to make out of it.  It all just seemed so flat to me, I couldn’t connect and get into the story.

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Davi’s Salvation by Stormy Glenn

Davi's SalvationDavi’s Salvation by Stormy Glenn
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Siren-Bookstrand, Inc.
Novella:  44,033 Words
Purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble
Roses:  2
 

On the worst day of Salvador Cavalcante’s life, he meets a man destined to be his mate, something sacred where he comes from. Little does he know that mating Davi will make him an alpha stronger than most—and more dangerous.

Davi Braizer is an omega. In his world, that means he is to stay hidden from sight, not allowed to speak to anyone, and at the alpha’s beck and call every day of his life. It’s a miserable existence until his alpha is defeated by a man who just might not be completely human.

When Salvador’s past comes back to haunt him, hiding his true nature is no longer possible. If he wants to keep his mate safe, he’ll need every ounce of power to defeat the man bent on destroying him. And that means becoming the monster everyone fears.

Excerpt

I really did like this story, just saying, me personally I like it.  Salvador awakes in a strange place after spelunking.  He doesn’t remember much but figures he is hurt pretty bad.  When he wakes he finds himself sleeping with a man he doesn’t know.  He is told by another he was in a fight with an Alpha wolf shifter and since he killed said Alpha he inherited his powers and is now Alpha.  The man he is sleeping with is Davi and Salvador has claimed him while out of his mind with the shift.

I did like the overall story but there are lots of holes that some readers will not like.  Salvador at first acts like he knows nothing about the paranormal world, later he knows a lot.  Davi has been taught to be a certain way all his life and after Salvador changes that Davi has no problem adjusting and even being physical with others.  This I just don’t buy.  The fight scene was anticlimactic and a little over done.  I didn’t see a lot of depth to the characters either.  There are a lot of sex scenes.  A LOT.  Also a some people might not be happy with the claiming since it seemed more rape than consensual.

As I said I enjoyed the story.  It was sweet and cute, a real “comfort” read but as far as being a solid BOOK, I have to say it really fell short on the plot and development.

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Alpha Born by Stormy Glenn

Alpha BornAlpha Born by Stormy Glenn
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Siren-Bookstrand, Inc.
Novel:  64,404 Words
Purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble
Roses:  4
 

Alpha Caleb Redding has spent 20 years trying to bring his first love back into his life. When he finally devises a plan, the Council of Elders agrees to it, but they add their own stipulations. In order for the mate covenant to happen, Caleb has to agree to give up his clan and alpha status, submitting to Grayson.

Alpha Grayson Cane has watched Caleb from afar, never able to touch him or speak to him due to clan conflict. It’s been a heartache that has stabbed at him for 20 years. When a peace treaty comes in the form of a mate covenant between their two clans, Grayson is all too eager to agree, especially when he learns that Caleb must submit to him.

But when the vampire mediator sent to broker the peace agreement disappears, will their second chance at being together also vanish? And what happens when Grayson accidentally mates the vampire while trying to save his life? Will Caleb have to give up his clan, his alpha status, and his dream of being with Grayson? Or will being alpha born have its advantages?

Excerpt

Grayson and Caleb were childhood sweethearts whose romance lead to their werewolf fathers fighting to the death.  Since their fathers were alphas they both have to assume leadership of different clans.  Caleb never wanted to leave Grayson and has been fighting since that day 20 years ago to get back to Grayson.  Now he has a way.  Peace must be achieved between their two clans and Caleb will risk all to have Grayson and peace.  Joel is their vampire mediator that is kidnapped on his way to the meeting.

I loved these three men.  None of them were weak willed characters.  They were all alphas and it showed.  I thought it interesting that the way the men were all raised they didn’t have more issues with “bottoming” for each other.

This book was a little better than some of the author’s work.  More was put into this story and it shows.  The characters are more equal and the plot line, while still obvious, was better written.  The relationships between characters have a little bit of a different dimension, even though it still appears close to insta – love.  The characters more fleshed out, though they still need perfecting.  The setting isn’t a huge deal in most of the book.  It is pretty much glossed over.   Some description is given but you really don’t get a feel for it. Would have loved to feel more of the forest and Joel’s house.   If you are one that enjoyed the author’s other books this one will be that much more appealing.

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The Holy Trinity by Jane Wallace-Knight

The Holy TrinityThe Holy Trinity by Jane Wallace-Knight
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Siren-Bookstrand, Inc.
Novella:  42,734 Words
Purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble
Roses:  4
 

Sam Reed was born different. It’s a fact he has always known and tried to hide. Abandoned as a baby, he has always felt out of place, never really knowing where he came from or why he can do the things he can.

Jackson Harcourt has long feared the day he will meet his mate. Banished from his birth pack, Jackson soon found himself in charge of a pack of outcasts and misfits, all looking for somewhere to belong. Fifty years ago, Jackson met and fell in love with a seven-hundred-year-old vampire named Alek, and together they have not only built themselves a pack, but a family.

When fate throws Sam, Jackson’s true mate, into Jackson’s path, Alek’s ancient heart feels as though it will finally break into too many pieces to ever again be whole. As Alek prepares for the worst though, he begins to wonder if perhaps fate doesn’t, truly, move in mysterious ways.

Except

Sam is a lonely guy.  His past has been difficult and he doesn’t really know where he comes from.  His mother died in childbirth and there was no father mentioned.  On New Year’s Eve on his way home he runs into Jackson, a naked Jackson, and promptly faints.  When he awakens he finds two men in the room with him.  Jackson and his lover Alek.  He quickly finds out they aren’t just men.  Jackson is an alpha werewolf and Alek is a 700 year plus vampire.  On top of that Jackson says Sam is his mate.  Sam refuses to come between the two men and they all proceed onto a three way relationship.

This is a new author to me.  I really enjoyed the story.  I thought it well written with a good plot and characters.  Sam is a really cute character that has a very soft heart especially for those that have been abused.  Jackson is a very protective man that will do all he can for those he loves.  Alek is all about his men.  Sam is innocent, Jackson earthy, and Alek is all cool perfection.

I really feel that for a first book in a series it was very good.  It ends fairly cleanly but leaves the door open for much more.  It also allows for the reader to want more of the characters and story.  I definitely look forward to the next book.

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A Naughty, Naughty Mink by Lynn Stark

A Naughty, Naughty MinkA Naughty, Naughty Mink by Lynn Stark
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Siren-Bookstrand, Inc
Novel:  76,893 Words
Purchase at Bookstrand
Roses:  2
 

[Ménage Amour ManLove: Erotic Alternative Ménage a Trois Romance, M/M/M, public exhibition, spanking, paddling, sex toys, HEA]

Mink (Melvin) Montgomery held onto his virginity as he waited for the right man to enter his life. With major changes taking place, it didn’t seem as if he would have time to find love. When he meets the sexy veterinarian Rafe McNeil he realizes he hasn’t felt love until that moment.

Rafe McNeil isn’t looking for love when he returns to Silver. It hadn’t worked out for him before. When he meets the impish Mink he knows he is lost. The man was everything he had ever wanted.

What neither Mink nor Rafe expects is to find their third. When there is a threat to Mink, protection is provided in the form of Caleb Hunter. Caleb is uncertain about beginning a relationship. He doesn’t want to begin something which might leave him hurting. But after years of hiding who he is, he is more than ready to find love and be himself.

Note: This book contains double anal penetration.

Excerpt

This is one of those “fluff” books some talk about.  It’s a bit like candy to me.  If I want an uncomplicated and sweet read this is one like I would choose.  The story line is very quick.   The characters are fun and engaging.

I was disturbed that there are so few explanations for why there are sudden turns in the story.  It is a bit throwing to have things happen out of nowhere.  I also thought that the whole relationship was rushed.  There was no time to get to know the characters or most of their circumstances.

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