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Chance’s Vindication by Stephani Hecht

Chance's VindicationChance’s Vindication by Stephani Hecht
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  eXtasy Books
Short Story:  30,780 Words
Purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords
Roses:  3
 

Raised in complete isolation—Raven shifter, Chance—knew little of the shifter world. While he realized that the Ravens were at war with feline shifters, he didn’t understand just how deep the hatred went until he took refuge with a coalition of felines—felines who sometimes seemed more likely to kill him than protect him from the Ravens hunting him. Living among his enemies, while being hated by his own kind, Chance withdraws into himself and begins to lose hope that he’ll ever be happy. To make things worse, Chance finds himself drawn to Thomas, a Lion shifter who despises all Ravens.

When Thomas is assigned to guard Chance, he’s not happy. His job is to kill Ravens, not babysit them. But as time passes, Thomas realizes he’s attracted to the shy, sweet man. But years of war against the Ravens, along with his own personal demons, lead Thomas to resist the draw he feels for Chance. Then Chance is taken captive and Thomas realizes how much his little Raven means to him. Will he find Chance in time, or will they both lose all hope of ever finding a happy ending?

Excerpt

This was better than the last couple of books.  The story was a bit deeper and the characters understanding of each other a little better.  I loved Thomas’s sudden protective instincts, it was just what Chance needed and deserved in his life.  Chance is a study in contractions.  He is a Raven but not like other Ravens.  He isn’t really a fighter and puts others above himself.  I think the story also gives a little moral lesson on judging others by their appearances.  Just because he was a Raven didn’t make him a bad person.

The book was better but could have been even more with more story and depth too it.  I really appreciated this book because it took me back to when I really enjoyed the series just for its comfort read ability. This is one of those less complicated books that has drama but not huge angst.  It’s a book that just leaves you with a warm feeling.

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Ranger’s Folly by Stephani Hecht

Ranger's Folly Ranger’s Folly by Stephani Hecht
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  eXtasy Books
Short Story:  25,492 Words
Purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords
Roses:  2
 

Exiled from his childhood pack and hated by his family, Wolf shifter, Ranger vowed that he’d always protect others from sharing his same heartbreak. He fulfilled his promise, first by taking in stray shifters and then later on becoming a soldier for a feline coalition. So when he finds a strange Eagle shifter stalking one of his friends, it’s only natural that Ranger becomes protective. Especially when said Eagle is in the company of two Ravens—the most evil of all shifters.

Eagle shifter, Xavier lost everything dear to him when tragedy struck his family years ago. Taken in and raised in extreme seclusion by a family of Ravens, he’s always felt as if a piece of himself was missing. When he finds that his twin is alive and living with feline shifters, Xavier can’t resist his curiosity.

Fighting their mutual distrust, Xavier and Ranger also find themselves becoming drawn to each other. In a world that’s not always so black and white, can they get beyond prejudices and the taboo, or will their love be lost to hate?

Excerpt

I have liked this series as a comfort read from the beginning but I have to say this book, like the last, just wasn’t as good.

Xavier is Riley’s missing twin.  Xavier was saved by a passing outcast Raven.  Unlike most Raven’s this one and her family were different.  They were kind and softhearted people that had run after refusing to kill their eldest daughter because she was “defective”.  Ranger is an outcast wolf who lives and works with the Feline Coalition.  Ranger was ran off by his own father when it was discovered he was gay.  Ranger took in stray shifters until he and his friends were captured and sold into slavery.  Saved by the Coalition, Ranger now works with them to help protect other shifters.  When Ranger sees a strange shifter stalking Riley, he tries to capture and question him only to discover it is Xavier and more than that that he is intensely attracted to Xavier.

Xavier is a very innocent guy.  He and his adopted siblings were raised in seclusion so Xavier is a bit lost in the world.  He is a bit of the typical smaller mate that some shifter stories have.  Ranger isn’t near as naïve.  The characters in this series have really made it fun to read.  I have enjoyed the humor and snarkiness of them.  I was a bit disappointed that this one was so short and so lacking in development.  It felt like a lot of other shifter based books.  There wasn’t much development to the story or the characters.  The story itself was lacking in much of anything for a plot.  I would still enjoy as a comfort read but wouldn’t recommend it much more than that.

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Building the Pack by R.J. Scott, Stephani Hecht, and Amber Kell

Building the PackBuilding the Pack by R.J. Scott, Stephani Hecht, and Amber Kell
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  eXtasy Books
Novel:  280 Pages
Purchase at Barnes and Noble
Roses:  3
 

The New Wolf

After a hate crime leaves one of them near dead, Veterinarian, Josh Nolan and Cop, Connor Vincent are starting a new life in Black Creek, a remote town on the edge of the Adirondack State Park, Vermont.

Josh is taking over his grandfather’s practice and Connor settles into working in the sheriff’s office covering the area.

When Connor pieces together a whole list of unsolved crimes going back fifty years he puts his life, and that of his partners, in danger.

A dangerous lone wolf is intent on destroying the beginnings of a pack and when Connor is attacked and near death there is only one thing that can save him. A wolf shifter’s bite.

One Bratty Omega

Donny left his childhood pack behind him when his father couldn’t accept the fact that his son was just an Omega. Destined to be the lowest on the pecking order of the pack, Donny acts out in ways that are sometimes not too healthy for his wellbeing.

Proctor is coming to Black Creek to visit an old friend. The last thing he expects is to find himself hanging out with some young, blond brat. What’s more, Proctor doesn’t expect himself to be attracted to the little troublemaker.

But things aren’t what they seem to be in Black Creek, and as Proctor digs deeper, he discovers secrets that are explosive. Will he be able to accept the truth? And more importantly, will he be able to accept Donny?

The Alpha’s Only

Tiberius, Alpha of the Black Creek pack, is tired of being alone. When Keir, a new Beta joins the pack, Tiber is startled to learn he’s found his mate. Keir isn’t interested in becoming one of a couple of Alpha mates. He plans to be the one and only. First, however, they need to defeat their enemies and weed out the ones who are trying to destroy them from within.

(Note:  These are available as separate titles.)

“The New Wolf” by R.J. Scott

Connor and Josh are new in town.  Josh is a veterinarian and Connor is a cop.  Both men went through a recent scare with Connor being hurt and once again are faced with it shortly after coming to town.

Connor is an idiot.  I get the strong, silent type and all but he is constantly doing it and almost losing Josh or causing Josh terrible turmoil.  I think Josh should have made Connor suffer more.  The writing was good and the characters fun.  This is a light and fluffy read as is all the ones in this anthology.  I can’t say they are wonderful stories but they aren’t bad.

Roses:  3

“One Bratty Omega” by Stephani Hecht

Donny has had a miserable childhood and it has affected his whole life and life outlook.  Proctor is Connor’s ex-partner down to visit for 3 weeks.  The plot is simple but works.  I think 3 weeks is a REALLY long vacation but I think my experience is not a normal one so I don’t know if it is an exceptionally long vacation.  Donny was cute and Proctor very typical of an “alpha” male.  The characters overall is a bit predictable.  I did think Proctor over reacted to the lies but he made up fast for that.  I think like the other stories not a wonderful read but good.

Roses:  3

“The Alpha’s Only” by Amber Kell

Tiberius is the alpha of the town’s wolf pack.  He is Donny’s cousin.  He is struggling to make the pack grow and be safe.  (HUGE mistake in the other stories with keeping secrets!)  Keir is new to the area and has been injured by the rogue wolf shifter.  Keir knows right away what Tiber is to him but fears he won’t be enough for Tiber.

Bit of a cheesy story line.  I really didn’t feel that the stated conflict really arose except maybe in Keir’s mind.  I enjoyed the read but it wasn’t the greatest of writing.  I enjoyed it as much as the other stories but like them it is a comfort read and not a great piece of writing.

Roses:  3

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Riley’s Regret by Stephani Hecht

Riley's RegretRiley’s Regret by Stephani Hecht
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  eXtasy Books
Short Story:  23,603 Words
Purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords
Roses:  2
 

Hawk shifter Colin has been mentoring Eagle shifter Riley for several months now. Because Eagle shifters are so rare, Riley is constantly in danger of being captured and forced into slavery, so Colin has his hands full with training Riley to be a halfway decent soldier, protecting the younger man from their enemies and trying to fight the growing attraction they have for one another. Then Colin discovers a bigger threat to Riley, more dangerous than all the others. Riley can’t run away from this threat since it comes from within him. Will Colin be able to save Riley from himself, or will the Eagle be lost to his own internal demons?

Excerpt

So after I’ve had a stressful read I enjoy a less complicated and positive story.  This is one of those.  This is not a high quality read.  I found a lot of editing mistakes that the publisher should have caught.  Still I enjoyed the story.

To get a good grasp on this story it is best to read the series.  This is the 11th book in the series so it is quite far into it, but the dynamics of the whole “world” are important to this read.  This otherwise feels like you’ve started halfway or more into the book.

In all honesty I won’t be able to give this one a high rating.  Yes, I did enjoy the book and have the series as a whole but not for being a fabulously writing story.  The writing in this book was ok but not anything special.  I enjoyed the author making an attempt to write a character that has a mental issue and still give him love and support in the story line.  The characters were shallow and I really didn’t get much of a feel for Colin and though a bit better not really even one for Riley either.  Still if you want a short relaxing read with a guaranteed HEA then this is a good book.

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