The Little Crow by Caitlin Ricci

????????????????????????????????????????Title:  The Little Crow

Series:  Heart of Darkness, 1

Author:  Caitlin Ricci

Genre:   Paranormal

Length:  Novella (76 pages)

Publisher: Afternoon Delight Publishing (November 30th, 2012)

Heat Level:  None

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥3Hearts

Blurb:  Detective Jamison Landry knew his job was never going to be easy. He’s dealt with the worst criminals imaginable and believes in his work and the community he serves. But he’s never met someone like Mal before. The mysterious man keeps him guessing, both confuses and excites him, and Jamison isn’t sure how he feels about him. Things turn from unusual to downright strange when people start insisting Mal isn’t quite human. And Jamison’s creepy dreams of crows and graveyards don’t make things any better for him. Will Mal stay around long enough for Jamison to figure out his secrets or will this stranger leave him wanting more?

Product Link:  Available through Smashwords

Reviewer:   Pammie

Review:  This story starts with a puzzle and ends with an enigma. Who, or what, is Mal? Jamison seems to accept everything too easily, and even when provoked into shooting, is unemotional over what’s happened. He may not initially accept demons exist, but makes no attempt to dig deeper and find out more about the man he rescued.

I wish I’d felt the story was creepy. The author uses this word, but I found it slow and maddening instead. I really wanted some meaty interaction between Mal and Jamison.

The author doesn’t make it clear that this was part of a series, and there’s no indication how many parts there will be.

However, if you enjoy series with cliffhanger endings, paranormal/demon, with a side dish of frustration, this is one for you.

Called to Mate by Lynn Tyler

16233154Title:  Called to Mate

Series:  Pack Mates, Book 1

Author:  Lynn Tyler

Genre:   Paranormal Romance

Length:  Novella (79 Pages)

Publisher:  Liquid Silver Books (December 3rd 2012

Heat Level:  Explicit

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Blurb:   Declan’s chance to be the alpha of his pack has finally come, but in order to take over he needs to find a mate. Finding the gorgeous and fragile Quinn living in his parents’ home, his body heats for no other.

Quinn is a submissive male wolf who has spent most of his life abused by his former alpha. However, being mated to his new pack’s alpha provides him with a level of safety he’s never known before, and a whole new world of passion and lust.

Just as their love begins to blossom, a wolf from Quinn’s past threatens the happiness he’s found in Declan’s arms

Product Link:  http://www.lsbooks.com/called-to-mate-p728.php

Reviewer:   Tams

Review:  Declan has come home to take over as alpha of his pack. His father is stepping down to join the council. The last thing he expected to find when he arrived was skittish shifter, Quinn, sleeping on the floor in his parents’ living room. Quinn has taken sanctuary within Declan’s pack at the urging of the council, after suffering mentally and physically at the hands of his former Alpha for being gay and a submissive wolf. Declan is immediately, intensely and insanely protective of Quinn and these two fall in love almost as fast as they fall into bed!

Boy meets Boy and they live happily ever after, nope! Someone from Quinn’s former pack threatens to destroy not only Declan and Quinn’s newfound love, but also the entire pack. Add to that the unease that has settled over the pack where Quinn is concerned and the fact that his Alpha/Mate is keeping secrets from him and the plot thickens.

What I liked most about this story was the aspect of touch, Declan talks about it several times throughout the story. These wolves thrive on touch; they hug, shake hands, have lots of hot sex (bonus!), and once Quinn is exposed to this he thrive as well. With his former pack, Quinn was neglected and abused, only touched as a negative and he withered, never able to shift. With his newfound pack, he flourishes, as touch becomes a positive. Not to mention being claimed by the Alpha! As short as this book was, there was still some great character interaction and plot development. I didn’t like that Declan was being secretive, but Tyler made up for it by letting his beta tell him just how asinine he was being.

If you like gay romance, sexy alpha male shifters and a little bit of mystery and intrigue, this is definitely a book for you. Book 2, Micah’s Refuge, is out June 24th. Stay tuned for my review on the next installment in this series, I will tell you that it does not disappoint!!

The Bones of Summer by Anne Brooke

6563371Title: The Bones of Summer

Series: Sequel to Maloney’s Law

Author: Anne Brooke

Genre: MM / Mystery – Suspense

Length: Novel

Publisher: Amber Allure (June 2nd, 2013)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥2.5~3 Hearts

Reviewer: Thommie

Blurb: When Craig Robertson’s religious fanatic father disappears, Craig is forced to return to the home he left behind after an underage affair in order to look for answers. He takes with him his new lover, private investigator Paul Maloney, who is more than willing to help solve the mystery.

During his initial search, Craig locates items that belonged to Michael, his lover in that long-ago ill-fated affair, and soon discovers that Michael has disappeared as well. The search becomes an investigation into Craig’s past, and, because of distressing gaps in his memory, he’s terrified of the truths he might find.

As Craig’s obsession with uncovering clues grows, however, his fragile relationship with Paul begins to disintegrate. Haunted and stalked, Craig has to face down the horror of his memories if he wants to have any hope of a future at all… 

Product Link: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/BonesSummer.html

Review: The first thing I noticed about this book – which totally disappointed me – was the fact that it’s written from Craig’s perspective. It’s Craig’s story. In Maloney’s Law we met him at the end of the book and we got a very nice impression about him. The easy going sexy as hell model was bound to bring new air and adventures to Paul’s hard – so far – life. But, in all honesty, I was disappointed. My main love, Paul, was lost in this book. I missed his peculiar mind and his melancholic thoughts. I missed the mystery that always followed him, I missed Paul himself.

Yes, surely he was in the story as he did pursue a relationship with Craig and helped him through this “mystery”, but in no way was Craig a match for Paul when it came down to interesting characters. I could not help but compare the two of them. I could not help but compare the two books and the results are not good.

As I said, Craig as we met him is an easy-going, always happy-go-lucky guy. It’s a façade, it’s a persona he puts out to escape his ugly past and a heavily disturbing childhood. The moment Paul steps in his life; his past chooses to reach him again. His inability to recall facts and memories from disturbing events that happened with his first lover and his father is what makes him decide to get Paul involved in some sort of search and find; for a missing ex, for a missing father, and for missing memories.

I don’t know if this story could be better, but as it is, it was frustrating in many ways. I tried to like Craig. I really did and perhaps too hard, but failed. The character is constantly hiding behind lies (it made me wonder with Paul’s past and his affair with Dominic how he tolerated it). In the beginning at least it seemed as if he could not get one single truth from his mouth. Later on we readjust our opinion when we witness him that the person he lies the most is himself. It becomes truly annoying seeing how he tries NOT to find the truths he’s searching for. I disliked most the fact that he would go and lock himself up to “think” only to try to not “think” those thoughts. It was a study on evasion and yes, I understand his past had a toll on his behavior, but it was so hard to concentrate on the book when all thoughts and events came around as a big jumble, making hard to keep your interest.

There was also the “mystery/suspense” part of the book that in no way was a match for Maloney’s Law. It was too easy to see through this plot. It was too easy to find the leads for the psycho-killer. In addition, the fact that it took forever to get there, the fact that too many leads were left unexplored and Paul’s unique abilities were left sleeping, really hit that spot of anger and frustration for me. I’m still not over the fact that Paul was a secondary character here.

I could go on and say how the intensity was lacking and the emotions lacked chemistry, the friendships were by no means the same level we were used to in the first book, the desperation levels too, but there is no reason to keep going on. I’ll just go on and on comparing and the end result is that the sequel is too low and doesn’t even come close to the brilliance of the first one. The stake was raised too high.

In the end, this book comes close to 3 Hearts because objectively it was good and well written. You can read it as a standalone easily. It focuses on religious obsession and how people twist and perverse faith into abnormality and loses the very point of it. Bearing that in mind and if you’ve not read the first book I’m assuming you’ll like this one.

 

Wolf vs. Bat by Patrick Wendling-Markwell

17983995Title: Wolf vs. Bat

Series: The Shifter Royalty 02

Author: Patrick Wendling-Markwell

Genre: Paranormal, Shifters

Length: Novella (87pgs)

Publisher: Lazy Beagle Entertainment (27th May 2013)

Heat Level: Explicit – Scorching

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3 ½ Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Four years after Riley became King of the Wolf Shifter Kingdom, he rescues Prince Anghel of the Bat Shifter Kingdom from a raging forest fire started by scared humans, but there is still a terrible price paid. The King and Queen of the Bat Kingdom, along with their daughter the Crown Princess and Heir to the Throne, perish in the fire, putting Anghel the second eldest on the throne.

When Anghel wakes after the disaster, he feels a terrible loss and finds comfort in the arms of the Wolf King. Soon the two realize that even though Anghel is now the King of the Bat Shifter Kingdom, they are mated and will have to unite both Kingdoms.

Can Riley learn to be mated, love and be a sub to the Dominant tendencies of the Bat King?

Nineteen years later, in present day times, they have to deal with yet another loss. Their son Collin has suffered the loss of his mate and is grieving himself to death. Not only do they have to deal with him and hopefully keep him from dying, they now have to deal with the Snake and Dragon Kingdoms being brought together through the mating of Crown Prince Nicholas of the Snakes and Crown Prince Edward of the Dragons (Serpent vs Serpent) and preventing a terrible war that is now brewing on the horizon within the Shifter communities for they bring Collin into their mating and their bodyguards have brought a Horse shifter into their mating bringing into alliance and into one major Kingdom combining Dragons, Snakes, Wolves, Bats and Horses as one against the rest of the single species Shifters.

Purchase Link: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/320428

Review: This book is part of a series and can be read in any order. Riley became King of the Wolf Shifters four years ago. Now, he is coming to the rescue of the Bat Kingdom when he rescues their prince, Anghel. Unable to rescue the King, Queen, and heir to the Throne, Anghel is now the leader of the Bat Shifters and as Riley discovers, his mate as well. Anghel is devastated over the loss of his parents and sister. He never expected to take over the Throne, but meeting his mate, Riley, eases some of his pain. Bringing their two Kingdoms together is going to cause waves throughout the shifter world that will have long reaching effects as Mother Nature begins to put her ultimate plan into play.

This is an extremely erotic story that will give you a great sex fix while giving you an interesting shifter story. Riley has been King for four years, so when Anghel unexpectedly becomes King to his own Kingdom he helps him out. However, more importantly they are mates. Riley isn’t sure he wants to mate yet though. But, it isn’t long before he realizes his procrastinating is causing Anghel pain and he accepts that Mother Nature knows what she is doing. Anghel is a Dominate and he quickly realizes that his Alpha wolf is a submissive in bed. They have a perfect connection between them. Mother Nature has plans for the Kings and as they mate before her, she sets her plan in motion.

This story is set 20 years before Serpent vs. Serpent, introducing us to Riley and Anghel and the difficulties they faced as they merged their Kingdoms. Riley and Anghel are great characters, they have a fantastic explosive chemistry between them, and they really set the pages alight. We also are treated to some very explicit graphic sexual scenes between Riley, Anghel, Gaza (Riley’s twin brother) and Gabi (Anghel’s younger brother) along with some very interesting sexual scenes between Taylor (Horse Crown Prince) and Robert (Tiger Crown Prince).

I recommend this to those who love highly sexual shifters, explicit erotic explosive sex, the beginning of Mother Nature’s plans and a very happy ending.