Review: “First Son of the Mound” by Meraki P. Lyhne

TITLE: First Son of the Mound
AUTHOR: Meraki P. Lyhne
SERIES: Chronicles of an Earned
PUBLISHER: eXtasy Books
COVER ARTIST: Angela Waters
GENRE: MM Paranormal
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 365 pages
RELEASE DATE: October 26th
PRICE: $4.99 -e-book / $11.50 -paperback

BLURB:

Kaleb and Jeff are working on their budding friendship and on earning the trust of their new and potential allies. In the attempt to secure his ally, Kaleb runs into new magic. Or rather, very old magic. That mistake leads to more, and not only on Kaleb’s part.
With planning a wedding, the Enki fest, the opening reception of the auction house, and the art exhibition, the Earned are stretched thin serving. Edward strikes gold when he stumbles upon a young artist with a secret. He reminds Edward of a cycles-old love—one he’s going to need to focus on as his youngest son is once again thrust into unknown kinds of magic.
The two powerful Captains and their new allegiance are put to the test. So is their friendship as Jeff continues to work on saving his marriage.


When it comes to occult things, I always find my entire being on edge. It was like this from my very early childhood. There are a lot of books out there in this genre, but when I say that the Chronicles of an Earned is one of the most genuine, I’m not exaggerating.

I fell in love with this series from the very first book. The amount of information it contains amazes me evenl now. As often with this type of book, you may find the romance aspect is lacking or “dry” but the paranormal parts make up for it!
I love Kaleb and Alex’s POVs the best. They come to into themselves gradually, and I’m happy to to witness their growth.
This book is more focused on Kaleb and Jeff. Meraki enlightens us on Jeff’s state of mind and heart. He is one of the kindest characters in the series after Edward of course. And talking about Edward…

We know from the previous books that Edward feels useless when it comes to aiding his son Kaleb. That feeling grows when Kaleb gets in more a troubled situation. But Edwards finds a way to take away his mind for a short period of time and also his past getting the better of him.
Kaleb learns more about the elements. He discovers more about who he can serve. And with that, he gains more power, but he still feels like a child doubting himself. Thanks to the Gods for the people around him who are supporting and encouraging him. He finds a strong friendship in Jeff…

Jeff takes mentoring Kaleb with all his abilities. Also, he can’t ignore his Fay part, and when he and Kaleb come across of a Fay situation, he fears the Fays repulsiveness toward him as The Abomination.

This book is full of new information regarding Meraki’s universe of ancient creatures. It’s a slow build up. It’s not easy getting into that mind space, but once you’re caught up, it sucks you in and you just want to never part from it.

I’m restlessly awaiting the next one!

***I would like to thank the author for the privilege and opportunity of reading this ARC. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Fangs for the Memories” by Julia Talbot

TITLE: Fangs for the Memories
AUTHOR: Julia Talbot
SERIES: Dead and Breakfast
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Aaron Anderson
GENRE: Paranormal
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 222 pages
RELEASE DATE: November 6, 2018
PRICE: $4.99 – e-book/ $9.99 – paperback

BLURB:

A Dead and Breakfast Novel
One wolf lost his memory, but they’ll both lose their hearts.
Bitten werewolf Tom owes the folks at the Dead and Breakfast big for saving his life. So when they ask for help with a rogue wolf on the premises, he’s happy to do his part….
Though he isn’t quite prepared for what he’ll find.
Werewolf Nathan lost everything to a sadistic kidnapper—his freedom, his memories, and maybe even his ability to be human. But as soon as he meets Tom, he knows he might be able to reclaim his life. And even a turned wolf like Tom feels the mating call. The trouble is, Tom isn’t the only one who wants Nathan, and they’ll need help from all their supernatural friends at the D & B to defeat a powerful enemy and keep their love—and themselves—alive.


Fangs for the Memories is the second book in the Dead and Breakfast series and the thirty-first book in the Dreamspun Beyond series. Ever since reading Fangs and Catnip, the first book in the Dead and Breakfast series, I have eagerly awaited this book since it’s about Tom and his fated mate. We first met Tom in Fangs and Catnip. He was at the Dead and Breakfast Inn because he was a bitten wolf shifter and he was having trouble controlling his shifts. He became fast friends with Carter, a mountain lion shifter, who bounces around like Tigger on crack, Carter’s mate Fallon, who’s a vampire, and Tanner who’s a fierce bear shifter with a mothering streak.

When Tanner and Carter notice a rogue wolf on the property, they know that they’ll have to find a way to either get him to move on or he may end up one of their customer’s lunch. They think that maybe another wolf will be able to talk to him and help him so they contact Tom and see if he can come and help. Tom’s wolf loves to play in the snow, and the D & B has just gotten six inches of fresh powder. He also loves to help other shifters like he was helped by the D & B gang. He wasn’t expecting that the rogue wolf would be his mate or that he would be stuck in his wolf form, injured, malnourished, and missing his memories. Luckily for Tom because of the mate bond, they are able to communicate mentally, and he eventually finds out as his mate’s memories come back that his name is Nathan. It’s through the mate bond that Nathan will finally find the courage to shift back into his human form so that he can have a physical relationship with his mate.

Nathan lost everything to a sadistic kidnapper, his freedom, his memories, and maybe even his ability to be human. But even stuck in his wolf form he recognizes his mate when Tom comes out in his wolf form to help him. But he’s been a wolf for so long, relying on his wolf’s instincts that it will be quite a while to learn to trust his mate and move in with him and allow him to help him. As his memories come back, he remembers where he was kept captive and that there were other shifters that were in cages with him when he escaped. When he tells the D & B gang, they figure out what kidnapped him and know that it’s only a matter of time before he tracks him down and captures him again. But will the D & B gang be able to defeat this powerful enemy and keep their love, and themselves, alive?

I loved reading this book and getting to see the Dead and Breakfast gang again. I’m hoping that the next book will be about Tanner finding his mate.

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Embracing Fate” by C.C. Dado

TITLE: Embracing Fate
AUTHOR: C.C. Dado
SERIES: A Series of Fate
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Brooke Albrecht
GENRE: Paranormal
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 91 pages
RELEASE DATE: October 26, 2018
PRICE: $3.99 – e-book

BLURB:

A Series of Fates: Book Two
Sometimes you just have to embrace your fate.
Seth has a secret: he has a crush on the human next door. His brilliant plan to meet Jack, the man of his dreams who happens to be an animal trainer? Take wolf form and ask his best friend, Max, to take him next door for training. Seth is the only one surprised when things go horribly awry.
Still, can this shy wolf and a human meet their fate as mates?


Embracing Fate is the second book in the A Series of Fate series by C.C. Dado. This book is just as good as the first book. The plot is fun, and the characters are lovable. It’s a short story, and like the first book, there are no on-page sex scenes. I did like getting to see more of Max and Christian and Zeus, who is the alpha’s second-in-command. Oh, and I did like how some of the lies that Seth tells end up having some funny consequences. Poor Zeus is never going to believe anything Seth says again.

I greatly enjoyed getting to read about Seth finding his mate. That his mate is a human and a dog trainer is a complication until Seth convinces his best friend Max to pretend that Seth, in his wolf form, needs training. His best friend tries to point out that it isn’t the best idea since the towns’ people, which go through a very strict background check to get to live there on a month to month lease, have no idea that a wolf shifter pack owns the town. Seth and Max risk the alpha’s displeasure should Jack, the dog trainer, find out that the wolf he’s training is actually Seth, his next-door neighbor and owner of Sweets and Meats bakery. But Seth can’t think of any other way to interact with his mate with how painfully shy he is and the anxiety he has around strangers. What they didn’t expect was that Jack would form such a close bond with Max’s pet wolf that he would want to adopt him from Max. One of my favorite parts of the book is when Jack, Seth in wolf form, and Jack’s dog, Winston, are all basking in Jack’s yard after a training session and they all fall asleep and Seth shifts back into his human form. And he has to sneak back to his bakery naked with only some shrubs to preserve his modesty.

I loved the part of the book when Seth is in the back baking, and he overhears his new neighbor, Jack, giving commands to his dog, Winston, and Seth’s wolf responds to them also leaving him sitting on the floor of the bakery and then lying there a minute later. I couldn’t stop giggling. And that was only one of the parts that had me laughing. The book was just fun to read, and sometimes you just want to be entertained without having to pay a whole lot of attention to make sure that you didn’t miss something.

I can’t wait to read the next book in the series Fearing Fate which is going to be about Zeus finding his mate.

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Denying Fate” by C.C. Dado

TITLE: Denying Fate
AUTHOR: C.C. Dado
SERIES: A Series of Fate
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Brooke Albrecht
GENRE: Paranormal
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 83 pages
RELEASE DATE: August 31, 2018
PRICE: $3.99 – e-book

BLURB:

Fate is a funny thing. Some try to cut its threads, while others wrap themselves in it like a blanket.
Young wolf shifter Max is cocky and crass. Unlike others his age, he has yet to discover a talent that will serve his pack. Since childhood, he’s been convinced the pack alpha is his mate, but Alpha Christian cannot envision unfiltered and directionless Max taking the place of his elegant mother at the head of the pack. As Max begins to build a life with his best friend, he also begins to see that maybe what he thought was inevitable was all in his head, and it’s time to move on.
Or are they both denying fate?


Denying Fate is the first book in the A Series of Fate series by C.C. Dado. I loved this book. This is the first time that I’ve read a book by this author, and so I wasn’t sure what to expect in the way of a heat level. I was slightly surprised that there were no on-page sex scenes. Content-wise this book would be acceptable for a teen to read. I happen to love to read a wide range of books with or without sexual content and watch a lot of shows and movies that are made for teens, so this was right up my alley. The book is about Max and Christian, but the book is told from the point of views of Max and his best friend, Seth. It was a little weird having the POV from Seth instead of Christian, but I liked it. I liked that Seth was Max’s protector and helped balance Max’s more flamboyant and energetic character. I also liked how Max complimented his friend with being an extrovert to Seth’s introvert and how he would interact with the customers in the front of the store which allowed Seth to hide out in the back and continue to bake all of the goods.

I loved Max. He’s had a hard eighteen years living with an abusive father who kicks him out at eighteen, but it hasn’t dampened his spirit. He’s very much the optimist. He’s sometimes a little over the top and immature, but he’s only eighteen, so that does fit with his character. He’s believed that Christian is his mate since he was little and has proposed multiple times, the first being when he was five and the last being a month before when he was seventeen. But Christian has been denying his claim because he feels that the way Max acts doesn’t fit with the image of being the mate of an alpha. It isn’t until Seth goes to see Christian and tells him to either accept Max as his mate or cut all ties so that Max can move on that they realize what Max is and what his special gift to the pack is. It’s a spoiler, so I’m not going to tell you.

Christian is the Alpha of the pack and has been since his parents were killed in an accident. He constantly finds himself exasperated by Max and compares him to his mother who was sweet and kind. It blinds him to what Max is, and so he denies that Max is his fated mate. Although he does do little things that prove that Max is his mate. When he realizes what Max is, he feels that he has to prove to his mate how much he’s appreciated before he will claim him, much to Max’s frustration. I did find Christian to be kind of abrupt when talking to Max or Seth on the phone, but he always gave Max what he wanted once they were dating. They were cute together. I liked their chemistry together.

Seth is the best friend of Max. Seth’s special gift is his ability to cook delicious things. When Max gets kicked out of his house, the alpha allows them to live over his mother’s sweet shop in town while they go to college. They quickly decide to get permission to open the shop again as a bakery called “Sweets and Meats.” But first, they have to get their degrees. Seth goes to study cooking and Max studies business. Although Max is good at accounting, it isn’t his special gift. I liked all of the cuddle time that Max gets from Seth in a purely platonic way.

I recommend this book for anybody that’s looking for a sweet short read about fated mates with low angst and drama and no on-page sex scenes.

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Sin’s Thief” by Shelby Rhodes

TITLE: Sin’s Thief
AUTHOR: Shelby Rhodes
SERIES: Vampires of Vadin
PUBLISHER: Siren Publishing
COVER ARTIST: Harris Channing
GENRE: Paranormal
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 207 pages
RELEASE DATE: October 23, 2018
PRICE: $4.99 – e-book

BLURB:

[Siren Classic ManLove: Alternative, Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, MM, shape-shifter, vampires, HEA]
Fouled mouthed, snarky and overly pessimistic, Cecil Baxter’s rules for life are to trust no one and to never become attached. Since birth, his life has been one pitfall after another. But when freedom was a fingertip away, Sin, a sophisticated man with a vocabulary to match, jumped in his path. Thrown into a world he doesn’t understand, Cecil finds himself breaking all his rules just for a chance to be with Sin.
Sin Draven, leader of the Draven Zaytari, knows he has quirks. Many would see him as an overly calm, civilized individual. However, people often forget that almost everyone has darkness inside them and Sin is no exception. When approached by a hurt young man his honor demanded he help, thief or not. That instance leads to Sin finding the one thing he has always wanted—a home.
When outside forces, misunderstandings, and inner turmoil pulls them apart, they must fight their fears before all is lost.
Trigger warning: Book touches on topics such as self-harm, suicide, and depression.


Sin’s Thief is the third book in the Vampires of Vadin series by Shelby Rhodes. This is a standalone book. You don’t need to read the other two books in the series to enjoy this book. I know that having read this book that I will be reading the other two books in the series to find out more about the king and his consort and the other sub characters that were in this book. This is the first book that I’ve read by this author, but it won’t be the last. I loved the storyline and all of the feels. The author has a wonderful way with words, and I loved the story building. The characters were developed, and lovable, and sexy. There is a scene of self-harm, and verbal and physical abuse from a parent to a son. If these are triggers for you, then I would probably pass on the book. The author handled the issues very well and had me ugly crying at one point in the book but then there were points where I was laughing and saying awe.

I loved Cecil. He’s an Arcadian, and he’s had a hard life growing up with an alcoholic father that’s verbally and physically abusive. He tries to stay out of the house for long periods of time and uses hustling to make money, by luring in men and then stealing from them without putting out. When he gets a severe beating and the promise of a special present from his dad in the form of being passed around to his dad’s friends for his eighteenth birthday, Cecil knows that it’s time to get out and never come back. However, his injuries are more severe than he thought and the person he ends up hustling turns out helping him when he passes out by getting him medical help and then giving him a place to live. But Cecil has a bunch of issues that he has to work through, and I loved how supportive Sin tried to be. I also loved the drone Cecil makes using his blood that’s called Drop and how Drop is his only friend until Sin starts to introduce him to the other people that live in the house and are a part of the group. I loved Benji and Roth and the other members of the Bellfall branch. Although I think almost everybody at the Dusburn branch should die for the pain that they put Cecil through.

I also loved Sin. He’s the head of the Draven Zaytari group. He’s a vampire, and if I remember correctly, he’s about 6,000 years old. He also has a secret that only a few people know about. Something that he has no control over when it happens. And that’s part of the reason he feels that Cecil would be safer without him. But is Cecil better without him? You’re going to have to read the book to find out but be prepared for a cliffhanger ending that will leave you needing the next book to find out what happens next. I can’t wait until it comes out so that I can devour it.

***I would like to thank the author for the privilege and opportunity of reading this ARC. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis