Tag Archives: Shapeshifters

An Inconvenient Mate by Lora Leigh

Overview
Tied With a Bow

Title: An Inconvenient Mate
Author: Lora Leigh
Series: Breeds #17.5
In: Tied with a Bow (Lora Leigh, Virginia Kantra, Eileen Wilks & Kimberly Frost)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Christmas, EroticaParanormal romance, Shapeshifters
Dates read: 26th December 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: Sometimes, to protect others you love, you have no choice but to put on a brave face and hide your horror or your pain to ensure the protection of others.

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Synopsis

Isabelle Martinez was instantly fascinated by the sexy Coyote Breed she met at the bar, but her sensual flirtation with him was cut short when she saw the man who’d attacked her arrive at the bar.

Breed enforcer Malachi Morgan was entranced by Isabelle’s mix of shyness and boldness, and he was determined to chase and play with his sensual prey. But he could tell she’d been hurt before by a man, and he vowed that Isabelle was now his to protect and love, even as if it meant going against her family and his orders.

Thoughts

I always find the Breeds stories a little bit intense. I mean, Leigh is a master of erotic penmanship. But then, every time I read a novella in this series, I can’t help but race to pick up the next book in the series and get myself all hot and bothered again. There is just something… incomparable to this series. And An Inconvenient Mate is no different.

This was my first introduction to the Coyote Breeds. I’m completely intrigued, and can’t wait to get into Soul Deep, the first novel in the series which focuses on the Coyote Breeds. I love how they are formulated and created in this world. It is very different to all of the shapeshifter lore I have sunk my own literary teeth into.

Ultimately, this was a fantastic, wonderful story. One that I will probably reread when I get up to that point in the series. It is wonderfully lustful, and yet kind of sweet. There is something about the idea of a perfect mate that makes me smile. I didn’t really get a Christmassy vibe from this. But I did most definitely get one of love.

<- Human ErrorTied with a Bow ->

Image source: Amazon

Her Secret Agent by Paige Tyler

Overview
Her Secret Agent (X-Ops, #0.5) by Paige Tyler

Title: Her Secret Agent
Author: Paige Tyler
Series: X-Ops #0.5
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Romantic suspense, Shapeshifters
Dates read: 16th – 17th December 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Paige Tyler
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: If he’d been able to set his feet and get his weight into the blow, the impact would have put Igor down for a long time.

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Synopsis

John Loughlin, the Director of the Department of Covert Ops, is in New York City on a recruiting mission. He’s been tracking and evaluating one shifter in particular for some time. Cree Forest is a clever fox shifter—and very foxy. Cree is a translator for the UN and John is keen to recruit her brilliant mind and persuasive skills to join the DCO.

But Cree isn’t what she seems. Just as John has been watching her, Cree has been spying on him. She is working with a rogue shifter and John is getting too close—professionally and personally! On opposite sides professionally, can they trust each other with their hearts?

Thoughts

This was a great introductory novella to a series that I’m pretty much positive I’m going to love. It’s got a great premise, one that I recognise from other authors, and one that I tend to love. After all, shapeshifters who work in law enforcement of some kind always seem to work very well in my happy little brain. The fact that this story features a fox shapeshifter… well, that’s just far more enjoyable.

Her Secret Agent perfectly sets up the politics, battles and tales that are going to take over the series. I’m already completely drawn into this world, and I can’t wait to sink even further into it. Which means that I have a whole new series that I need to add to my shelves.

Not only do I love all of the backstory that is featured throughout this story. But it’s also wonderfully lustful. And just a little bit sweet. Exactly the kind of novella that I tend to fall stupid in love with and makes me go a bit nuts with buying books… now just to exercise some selfcare…

<- More Paige TylerHer Perfect Mate ->

Image source: Goodreads

Stray by Rachel Vincent

Overview
Stray (Shifters, #1) by Rachel Vincent

Title: Stray
Author: Rachel Vincent
Series: Shifters #1
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, ShapeshiftersUrban fantasy
Dates read: 30th – 31st October 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Mira
Year: 2007
5th sentence, 74th page: He chuckled, sounding distinctly unsympathetic.

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Synopsis

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE MOVIES AND REALITY?
IN REAL LIFE, I WAS THE MONSTER.

Faythe Sanders looks like an ordinary student, but she’s hiding a dark secret: she is a werecat, a powerful supernatural predator. Yet headstrong, independent Faythe resents her power, heading to college to escape her family and her overprotective ex, Marc.

That is until a stray – a dangerous werecat without a pride or territory – catches her scent. With two werecat girls already missing, Faythe is summoned home for her own protection.

But Faythe will do whatever it takes to find her kidnapped kin. She has claws – and she’s not afraid to use them.

Thoughts

This is one of those novels that I have stopped and started a couple of times. And then I read it all in one sitting. There was just something about it that finally grabbed my attention and pulled me in. I think, after you get past the fifth chapter, Vincent really hits her stride and pulls you in. But it does take a little while. And then WABAM! A fantastic novel that I seriously enjoyed.

To start with, I was beyond annoyed at the gumption and attitude of Faythe’s family. And even her ex, Marc, they were just so damn heavy handed and irritating. But, as the story unfolds you kind of begin to see why they act that way. Not that their behaviour is okay, but Faythe is also a little bit of a brat and doesn’t stop to discuss things… she just informs people. I loved that the understanding for why the Sanders act the way they do grows throughout the book, alongside Faythe.

Fayth goes through an awesome transformation throughout this novel. I found it really well written. Instead of one huge moment of epiphany and understanding, she slowly grows into herself and becomes the adult she probably would always have been. It makes me intrigued to read Rogue as I want to see how her newfound maturity serves her as she grows the hell up.

I think that one of the reasons I couldn’t put this down was the action crest towards the middle. I was about to put this aside and cook myself dinner, but there is a moment that has a definite trigger warning attached. And at that point, I just really, really needed to know what in the heck was going to happen next…

<- More Rachel VincentRogue ->

Image source: Goodreads

Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews

Overview
Magic Triumphs (Kate Daniels, #10) by Ilona Andrews

Title: Magic Triumphs
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #10
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Dystopia, Paranormal fantasy, ShapeshiftersStrong women
Dates read: 17th – 18th June 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Ace Fantasy
Year: 2018
5th sentence, 74th page: So, what triggered it?

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Synopsis

Kate Daniels has come a long way from her origins as a loner taking care of a paranormal problems in post-Shift Atlanta. She’s found love and started a family with Curran Lennart, the former Beast Lord, and has made an uneasy truce with her father, Roland. But her magic is too strong for the power players of the world to ignore.

The Witch Oracle has begun seeing visions of blood, fire, and human bones. And when a mysterious box is delivered to Kate’s doorstep, a threat of war from the ancient enemy who nearly destroyed her family, she has no choice but to combine forces with the unlikeliest of allies.

She knows betrayal is inevitable and survival uncertain, but she has to try.

For her child.

For Atlanta.

For the world.

Thoughts

I have been putting off and putting off reading this. Simply because it is the last book in the series, and I really, really didn’t want the Kate Daniels adventure to be over! After all, this has been one of my favourite series since I first picked it up a few years ago and it’s one that I have absolutely adored. That final read is so bittersweet… and I really dreaded knowing what the ending was going to be like.

Sometimes when a series ends, one of two things happens. The first, the series doesn’t really end, and it just drags on and on until you kind of lose interest. Or two, it ties things up in a neat bow and just doesn’t really work with the rest of the storyline. This story was one of the rare third option – a closing of novel that is both brilliantly tying up ends, but leaving the future open-ended. There will be more battles and  monsters in the future, but the great challenge of Roland that has been building up throughout this entire series… that is solved. It leaves future stories open, but you don’t need to know them. Because there is this great sense of completion to the whole storyline.

The whole way through this novel, I had my heart in my throat. I think partly because I knew that this was the conclusion to the series. But, there was also no gradual build up like all of the other books in the series. This started at a crest and just kept on rising. I almost didn’t talk to my partner for a twenty-four hour period because I was so desperate just to finish off this book. There are NO GOOD places to put this down and take a breath. No crests and troughs, just rise after rise after rise. It’s not the kind of novel I always want to read… but when it’s the conclusion to such an amazing series… yeah, that’s the kind of novel I want to finish everything off.

After finishing this novel, I got straight onto the phone to my sister to tell her how much she needed to read this. Now, I’m hoping that she catches up soon so we can discuss it… in depth. Not only did I feel the mad need to discuss this with everyone and anyone… I also now have an insane urge to go right back to the beginning and reread all of the books in this series. Regardless of the fact that I have a TBR pile that towers over my head…

<- Iron and MagicCurran’s POV ->

Image source: Goodreads

Iron and Magic by Ilona Andrews

Overview
IRON AND MAGIC

Title: Iron and Magic
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #9.5
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Dystopia, Paranormal fantasy, ShapeshiftersStrong women
Dates read: 24th – 27th March 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Ilona Andrews
Year: 2018
5th sentence, 74th page: And Elara would fight to the bitter end.

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Synopsis

No day is ordinary in a world where Technology and Magic compete for supremacy… But no matter which force is winning, in the apocalypse, a sword will always work.

Hugh d’Ambray, Preceptor of the Iron Dogs, Warlord of the Builder of Towers, served only one man. Now his immortal, nearly omnipotent master has cast him aside. Hugh is a shadow of the warrior he was, but when he learns that the Iron Dogs, soldiers who would follow him anywhere, are being hunted down and murdered, he must make a choice: to fade away or to be the leader he was born to be. Hugh knows he must carve a new place for himself and his people, but they have no money, no shelter, and no food, and the necromancers are coming. Fast.

Elara Harper is a creature who should not exist. Her enemies call her Abomination; her people call her White Lady. Tasked with their protection, she’s trapped between magical heavyweights about to collide and plunge the state of Kentucky intoa war that humans have no power to stop. Desperate to shield her people and their simple way of life, she would accept help from the devil himself – and Hugh d’Ambray might qualify.

Hugh needs a base. Elara needs soldiers. Both are infamous for betraying their allies, so how can they create a believable alliance to meet the challenge of their enemies?

As the propher says: “It is better to marry than to burn.”

Hugh and Elara may do both.

Thoughts

I have a really horrible habit of putting aside the series that I really love so that I don’t get too hooked into the books. Mostly when I have a lot of other work that I need to keep on top of. Which is why it’s taken me so long to get to this book. And it’s probably still a good way to go about things – because once I opened this up, I couldn’t keep my nose out of it! Or my mind away from it. And I’ve literally had to bury Magic Triumphs in a pile of books so I can’t quite pick that up quite yet.

Iron and Magic is a fantastic story. It’s one of those tales in which you suddenly see the other side of the story. Or, in this case, you finally understand even more about Hugh D’Ambray. And, for me, who kind of hated him in the rest of the Kate Daniels books, I came to absolutely adore him. I love the backstory and the reasons behind the horrors he commits. He’s not exactly a good guy, but at least I finally managed to begin to understand his actions and decision making.

Hugh is a fantastic male lead in this story. But, for me, as normally happens, Elara stole the show. She’s strong, independent and terrifyingly powerful. She’s also got this great sense of mystery about her past and her motives. It’s a great approach and adventure. Elara is so much more graceful and put together than any of the other women in this series. she might not be my favourite, but the whole “White Lady”, prayers mystery that springs up around her. The powerful people she surrounds herself with out of love and loyalty… it all works beautifully. And I still can’t stop thinking about what an amazing character this woman is.

This is an amazing story. I love the action, I love the drama. But most of all, I love the relationship between Hugh and Elara. Even when it takes on a more serious overtone, one of real emotion, they have this great, witty banter with each other. I love that there is this sense of rivalry and war between them. A power struggle that had me laughing out loud again and again and again.

<- Magic BindsMagic Triumphs ->

Image source: Ilona Andrews

Winter Born by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Overview
Image result for book cover stroke of midnight

Title: Winter Born
Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
Series: Dark Hunter #5.5
In: Stroke of Midnight (Sherrilyn Kenyon, Amanda Ashley, L.A. Banks & Lori Handeland)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Shapeshifters
Dates read: 12th January 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperback
Year: 2004
5th sentence, 74th page: The fact that she was warm and welcoming.

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Synopsis

Two enemy Were-Panthers discover that fate has destined they become lovers. Pandora must learn to trust Dante’s foreign nature. But as she slowly succumbs to the truest passion she has ever known, dark forces have already set out to reclaim her…

Thoughts

I still haven’t cracked the spine of a full-length Sherrilyn Kenyon novel. But, every time that I read one of her novellas, I am absolutely swept away by the world building. This novella did that even more so for my happy little brain. There is something amazing about the amount of information that can be crammed into a novella. The ways in which this story filled an entirely new world (one I’m hoping is part of a series) in just a few short pages. It was intense, engaging and impossible to put down or forget.

I’m obsessing over shapeshifter romances, particularly those which feature feline shapeshifters. The fact that the panther shifters in this novella were also time travelling panthers. And there were two different tribes which had different aspects of their nature asunder… it’s absolutely brilliant.

Most of the shapeshifter stories I read seem to feature a moment of heat in which the characters are sexually, irresistibly bought together. This still followed that same trend. However, the aspect that I loved the most is that after the heat is over. After the couple have found out that they’re destined for each other… they still both take a step back and evaluate whether they really want to be together as a serious couple or not. Whether their human nature wanted to follow their animalistic desires. I loved that extra layer of respect and honesty in their relationship.

 <- Stroke of Midnight ReviewBorn of the Night Review ->

Image source: Amazon

A Christmas Kiss by Lora Leigh

Overview
Image result for hot for the holidays book cover

Title: A Christmas Kiss
Author: Lora Leigh
Series: Breeds #13.5
In: Hot for the Holidays (Lora Leigh, Angela Knight, Anya Bast and Allyson James)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: EroticaParanormal romance, Shapeshifters
Dates read: 12th January 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Jove
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: Hawke guided her into a large elevator and keyed in his security code.

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Synopsis

Jess has been in isolation for the past year… ever since she betrayed the people she loves the most. Yet, it’s Hawke’s unwillingness to visit her that really hurts her the most. As secrets are revealed and truths discovered, will Jess and Hawke finally find a way to be together?

Thoughts

Every time I feel like I might have kind of kicked the whole Breeds infatuation… I find myself a novella or short story that I can obsess over yet again. Now I need to pick up the next novel and get a full fix of this series. There are enough hints of the overarching series storyline in each tale. But it’s the romance and the way that people are willing to give up their crap to find a happily-ever-after.

This novella is lustful, intense and possessively sweet. I’m not necessarily a huge fan of stories of total possession, but somehow that male possessiveness is perfectly balanced out by the presence of the women in their lives. They might be domineering in the bedroom (something that I am a fan of), but they’re so freaking vulnerable in so many ways in the everyday world. It’s what makes something that normally would piss me off so freaking desirable.

I love that the mating between these two is seriously delayed by the fact that Hawke wants to respect Jess. That even though they know they’ll eventually succumb (as do you, the reader), there is a delay in which they wait for each other to become truly enamoured with each other.

 <- Sweet Enchantment ReviewHot for the Holidays Review ->

Image source: Amazon

The Man Within by Lora Leigh

Overview
Image result for book cover the man within lora leigh

Title: The Man Within
Author: Lora Leigh
Series: Breeds #2
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: EroticaParanormal romanceShapeshifters
Dates read: 15th – 16th January 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Lora Leigh
Year: 2004
5th sentence, 74th page: I wonder how much better the rest of you tastes.

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Synopsis

He had protected Roni when she was a child, filled all her teenage fantasies, and when she became a woman, he stole her heart. Only to break it. Now, fifteen months later, the news is out. Taber, the man she loves, is one of the genetically altered Feline Breeds, who have shocked the world with their presence. He’s also her mate. The mark on her neck attests to that. But he didn’t want her then; does he really want her now?

Deceit and treachery, born in the past, now haunt the present as Taber and Roni fight to make sense of their sudden bonding. The mating of heart, body, and soul as the man and the beast within him merge; both battling the forces raging against the union and dominance over the woman he claimed.

Thoughts

I most definitely love the Breeds series, but it is quite a bit more graphic about sex and sexuality than most of the romances that I read. Which is why I tend to read this series just a little bit slower… it can get pretty intense. Which is probably why I shouldn’t have actually read this at the pub when waiting for people… it was a little awkward reading about the many joys of sex when there was a really, really old guy staring at me…

Dayan completely freaked me out in Tempting the Beast. He was so insidious, and that was a feeling you got before all of his betrayals came to light. So to find a book which features some more of the horrible things he did before he was killed… it gave me some incredibly uncomfortable goose bumps. Although it was quite nice when Taber and Roni were able to finally find their way past the horrors of the past and a way towards a new future together. Not just from Dayan’s meddling, but also Roni’s horrifying father…

Even though this story is very, very much about sex and passion, I love that it is also about creating a relationship beyond that instant attraction. Too many media relationships seem to rely on sexual attraction and heat to drive a relationship. Taber and Roni’s relationship was really only something that both considered “real” when they moved beyond that sexual aspect and truly communicated. Taber was much too possessive for my tastes, but when he FINALLY started communicating… I could actually find the attraction.

This is only the second novel in this series, and already the greater storyline is getting seriously intense. There is just something about it that is impossible to put down and makes me want to pick up the next story. After all, there are conspiracies afoot, an evil power hunting the Breeds… and the part that makes me want to get further through the series? Sherra and Kane’s relationship is about to finally, finally, finally explode onto the pages.

 <- Tempting the Beast ReviewElizabeth’s Wolf Review ->

Image source: Goodreads

Wolf Rain by Nalini Singh

Overview
Image result for wolf rain book cover

Title: Wolf Rain
Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Psy-Changeling Trinity #3
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Paranormal romance, Shapeshifters
Dates read: 3rd – 5th January 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Hachette New Zealand
Year: 2019
5th sentence, 74th page: His energy filled the space to bursting.

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Synopsis

Kidnapped as a young girl, her psychic powers harnessed by a madman, Memory lives in a caged and isolated existence… until she comes face-to-face with a wolf. Labelled an empath by her bad-tempered rescuer, Memory knows that her ‘gift’ is nothing so bright. It is a terrible darkness that means she will always be hunted.

But Memory is free now and she intends to live. A certain growly wolf can just deal with it.

Alexei prefers to keep his packmates at bay, the bleak history of his family a constant reminder that mating, love and hope are not for him. But Memory, this defiant and fearless woman who stands toe-to-toe with him, awakens the most primal part of his nature – and soon, he must make a choice: risk everything or lose Memory to a murderous darkness that wants to annihilate her from existence…

Thoughts

Normally as soon as I receive the next book in the Psy-Changeling Trinity, I read it the moment it arrives on my doorstep. Cover to cover. Not even pausing to eat (I eat, but I’ve gotten very good at doing so whilst reading). This time I waited a little bit longer. I was trying to show that I had self-control or some such nonsense… what a mistake. I did manage to stretch my reading over two days instead of less than 10 hours, so that was helpful for the whole adult thing… but otherwise I feel that I exercised some great self-control when reading such a phenomenal book.

One thing that always surprises me about this series is that at no point has it gotten same-same. Normally when I’m looking at such a large series, especially one that is a romance, you tend to start falling into tropes. Which just means that I have to take a few more breaks between each story. Not so with this. I’m not even sure at this point how many Psy-Changeling books, novellas and short stories I have just absorbed. But I do know that it’s a lot. And that I’m seriously grateful for them. 2019 was super crappy, and this was the first book of 2020. What a beautiful way to start the year.

One of the aspects of the storyline in this series which stops it from getting stale is the overarching battles and mystery being faced. There are just enough hints of another being and another battle being fought that you’re not only reading to find out if the couple get the happily ever after you want, but also because there’s some crazy out there trying to destroy the Alliance. In this case, it was a man who had no idea what he was doing. And, although there was kind of a conclusion to that little point of anarchy, I’m not sure that it was completely solved. And it hinted at SO MUCH MORE. Probably why, even after umpteen +++ books, I’m still hanging out excitedly for the next story.

One of my favourite aspects to this story though was the use of a flip side to empaths. No matter what lore or belief system you look at, empaths are generally something gentle and good. They can twist this a little, but I can only think of one other character in all the books I’ve read that was able to put a darker twist on the ability. Memory’s version of empathy is so completely different. Yet, it makes a great kind of sense. After all, you can’t have the light without the dark…. Which doesn’t mean that dark is evil. As this story will surely convince you.

 <- Ocean Light ReviewAlpha Night Review ->

Image source: Kobo

In Sheep’s Clothing by Meljean Brook

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of paranormal romance book cover

Title: In Sheep’s Clothing
Author: Meljean Brook
In: The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance (Trisha Telep)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Shapeshifters, Werewolves
Dates read: 30th December 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: She’d know him if she saw him again though.

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Synopsis

There’s a rapist and murderer hunting the women of her hometown, and then she gets a flat and realises that she’s next. But the consequences of her escape? She’s probably turned him into a werewolf…

Thoughts

I’m a big fan of werewolf stories. You can probably tell from how many are on my shelves and fill my bookcases. But, one thing that doesn’t tend to happen so often is that if there’s a female werewolf, the male normally is too. Something about not having a woman more powerful than a man or such nonsense I would suppose. But, that’s not the case in this story. The woman is a werewolf, the man she loves a normal human; and ultimately, it’s the woman that saves the day.

This short story centres around a couple reconnecting as they also fight off a rapist. Or at least, try and catch a serial rapist and killer. It’s quite an intense way to reconnect, but I love that ultimately, she gets her revenge on the man who tried to take her. Rather than her being scared, she’s actually actively hunting him down. A great departure from many of the female storylines I normally find.

This short story was yet another reminder of just how much I love Meljean Brook. Her writing always draws you in. Her world building is brilliant. And the characters make you want to reach through the pages and get to know them just a little bit better. The fact that she doesn’t just do this in novels and novellas, but also short stories was a fantastic surprise to my mind.

 <- The Wager ReviewThe Dream Catcher Review ->
Image source: Goodreads