Book Review: Saved by the Alpha Bear

review-cover-saved by the alpha bearTitle: Saved by the Alpha Bear [Alpha Bears 2]

Author: Emilia Hartley

Genre: Paranormal, Romance

Rating: 4 Stars

GoodreadsButton

Description/Synopsis:

Guided by her pack leader’s blind hatred and deceitful ways, Savannah is under the impression that Tom and Nick Brewer are unfit for being shifters. She’s forced into befriending the bears, gaining their trust and using it against them. Afraid of what her pack leader Lucas would do if she refused, she accepts the task and does her best to win the alpha bear brothers over. However, she’s surprised to find that the brothers aren’t the killers that Lucas had made them out to be.

Tom’s always been cautious, especially when his friends and family’s lives are put on the line. That’s why when Savannah applied to work at the Brewer Mechanics, he was immediately on guard. She was attractive, he could admit that, but he couldn’t understand why a shifter was applying to work at his shop. There could be no way this was a coincident. It didn’t help that not only was she was practically handed the job by Jo – Nick’s human mate – but Jo was also trying to push the two of them together…

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

Saved by the Alpha Bear by Emilia Hartley was a fun and entertaining read. The book was well-written with an easy flow to the narrative and clearly defined characters.

My only real complaint is that the book was a bit too short for my tastes, and as a consequence, a bit rushed. Although I liked the romance between Tom and Savannah, I wish I’d had a little more time to watch their relationship grow and get to know them.

Overall, it was a quick, delightful read, and anyone who enjoys shifter romances will probably enjoy this one as well.

Book Review: My Best Friend’s Bear

review-cover-my best friend's bearTitle: My Best Friend’s Bear [Wild Ties 1]

Author: Eva Thorne

Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Fantasy, Bear Shifter, Erotica

Rating: 3 Stars

AmazonButtonGoodreadsButton

Description/Synopsis:

Sandra Brown is a recent college graduate stuck in a drifting life. Her days are spent reading about hot guys while her best friend Gem is out dating them. That all changes when her best friend brings home a mysterious and sexy stranger, Daniel Harrison.

At first, Sandra believes that no man as sexy as Daniel would ever give her the time of day. But as time goes by she learns that there’s more to Daniel than there appears to be. Daniel is a bear shifter with a dangerous past, and Sandra might be just the woman to heal his wounds.

This is steamy and sassy romance that contains no cheating, has no cliffhangers, and finishes with a happily ever after that will put a smile on your face and send tingles through your body. It’s the start of a new series but stands alone as an exciting read for anyone who could use a little more romance in their life.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

My Best Friend’s Bear by Eva Thorne was a bit of a mixed bag for me. There were some definite positive qualities to the story… but by the same token, there were a lot of negatives as well.

The book was… well, poorly written if I’m honest. There were numerous typos,  one or two tense problems, and a few formatting errors. They were a little distracting, but not to the point of absurdity—it just made me wonder if the editor that looked over this book really took enough time to properly look over the book. The typos were pretty blatant, and not easily skimmed over, so I feel like even though I received a copy of this book pre-publish date (by about a week), they really should have been cleaned up before hand.

Technical issues aside, the writing seemed a bit rushed, even clunky at times. The sex scenes especially were awkward, sort of skimmed over, and littered with an array of replacement words, as if the author had tried hard not to say the same thing the same way more than once. Look, there’s only so many ways you can describe the same body part… and the more attempts an author makes to rename that body part on one page, the more obvious it becomes that they’re trying too hard to do so. Coupled with the fact that the “romance” was little more than thinly veiled erotica… well, it made the sex scenes sound awkward and not genuine.

Don’t get me wrong though, for all the nitpicky roll-my-eyes moments that the book gave me, it was actually an entertaining read. I really liked the main character and her strange, talkative and humorous voice. She made the narrative fun and surprising, and it was nice seeing a book of this particular genre trying to throw in some humor. I also liked that the main character was a bit of an underdog, and though she wasn’t a skinny, beautiful, sex-bomb like her roommate, she was able to hold her own and eventually learn to appreciate herself—even if she wasn’t perfect.

While not the end all, be all of a romance novel, this was a short, easy read that kept me entertained—and there’s not much more I can ask for. It certainly had it’s fair share of problems, but I’m willing to give it a little leeway because this is a new author. It’ll be interesting to see how the author’s work will evolve as time goes on. Though the book isn’t going to be for everyone, it makes a great light read for someone looking for something fun to devour in a few hours… just try not to take the typos seriously.

Book Review: Rising Inferno

review-cover-rising infernoTitle: Rising Inferno [Dark Alpha Dragon Series 1]

Author: Lucile Wild

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Romance, Novella

Rating: 3 Stars

AmazonButtonGoodreadsButton

Description/Synopsis:

Skye Louise left her safe but predictable home in Texas, her overbearing parents, and moved to Manhattan to study at the Art Institute. Even though she doesn’t quite fit in with her hip, sophisticated New York classmates, she is determined to learn everything she can and turn her passion into a real career.

On her first night in the city, she is horrified to see a mugging outside of her window. A masked vigilante rescues the would-be victim and then burns the mugger’s face with his bare hands.

Later, she discovers that the masked vigilante is the grandson of a kind restaurant owner in her neighbourhood, and the last of a long line of dragon shapeshifters. Now, Skye must prove that she can be trusted with his family’s secrets. She must also find a way to fight her growing attraction to him.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I honestly don’t know what I was thinking when I picked this novella up. I was asked to give it a review, and I thought “why not, I’ve never read a dragon romance before!” What ensued, was a very strange 15-30 minutes where my face was continually stuck in “WTF” mode. Even now, I’m still kind of laughing at the absurdity.

Here’s the thing… the description, the tags on GoodReads, and the very title on both GoodReads and amazon (BBW Ménage) are a lie. This is not a ménage. There is no evidence of anything BBW. The cover shows a disproportionate Asian guy with feathery wings—but let’s be clear, the man in the novella actually has bat wings—and in no way does the main character, Skye, ever try to fight her growing attraction for Raiku.

What this book is, is a very short 33 page encounter between a naïve country bumpkin from Texas (who couldn’t be more stereotypical. I live in Texas, and no one talks like her or dresses like her here.) and  a very quiet and somewhat shy ‘shifter’ whose only claim to being remotely dragon-like is his ability to produce fire with his hands and a set of bat wings. He does not actually turn into a dragon. The novella is incredibly short and very sweet, but to be honest, it has its problems.

There were a few typos—too many for something this short, and a lot of stereotypes were used. The characters were pretty one dimensional and sweet as cotton candy in a dumb-blonde sort of way. The “romance” between the two main characters was kind of endearing… but wasn’t very substantial.  The events in the novella span about three days, so the characters barely know each other, and while drawn to one another, I don’t know if I’d call it a true “romance”. Unfortunately, it wasn’t really an “erotica” either. The story ends in the shortest dry-hump “sex” scene I’ve ever read. I don’t even really consider what the characters did sex. They were like two virgin teens playing at sex and failing miserably.

That isn’t to say the story was all bad, though. Despite its many flaws, I actually kind of liked it. Though the characters had all the depth of a puddle, they were adorable together in a shy “let’s hold hands and smile” sort of way. I liked them. Also, despite the time jumps and location switches (as has to happen in all shorter fiction) I didn’t feel like the story was rushed. It felt like a complete encounter from beginning to end. The writing wasn’t bad… it just wasn’t great.

Overall, I liked the story, but at the same time, it had a lot of flaws. More importantly, it is not what it is advertised to be. I give this one three stars. It was okay. It made 15-20 minutes of my life more interesting, and I’m glad to have gotten a taste of the author’s writing style. Were this a longer, more fleshed out book, I think I probably would have liked it a lot more… there’s just only so much you can do in 33 pages. If you’re looking for a kind of a fun read to pick up while you’re waiting in a doctor’s office somewhere, and you aren’t particularly looking for something steamy, give this a try. If you’re looking for a steamy erotica or in-depth romance, you may want to keep looking.