Review: “Forgiveness” by Grace R. Duncan

TITLE: Forgiveness
AUTHOR: Grace R. Duncan
SERIES: Forbes Mates
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Reese Dante
GENRE: Shapeshifter
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 224 pages
RELEASE DATE: March 27, 2018
PRICE: $6.99 -e-book / $14.99 –paperback

BLURB:

Ben’s love can help Eric find the forgiveness he needs… if Eric can accept it.
Nine years ago Eric Joyce went wolf when his chosen mate broke the bond, and he hasn’t walked on two legs since. Convinced he lost his friends when he ran out on them, he cut himself off from the pack. But a surprising visitor prods him back down the mountain, and he finds himself welcomed warmly.
Ben Arellano grew up in Texas with a human Catholic mother who didn’t understand a thing about wolves—and didn’t try to learn. He spent his whole life being told his wolf was a demon that needed to be exorcised, surrounded by a wolf pack made up of good ole boys who had no tolerance for his Mexican ancestry or his bisexuality. When he’s given the opportunity to relocate to an accepting pack in Pittsburgh, he jumps at the chance.
When Eric and Ben meet for the first time, neither is ready for it. Where Ben expects rejection, Eric is convinced yet another mate will leave, break the bond, and put him through the same hell all over again. Can they get past their reservations and have a happily mated life?


It’s a very very hard 3 OptimuMM for me…

When it comes to werewolf MM, I’m a goner. I love it when the main character can’t control his desires, and he just must act upon his instinct. Well, unfortunately, this is not of that type of werewolf shifter book.

This book was all syrup. My eyes are hurting for all those eye rolls. It was an uncharacteristically slow read because nothing was really going on.

The book, in general, had a good narration but the dialog was superficial, boring, and sorry, but repetitive.
Eric, after his chosen mate Kim broke their bond, he went wolf for 9 years. He was hurting. But then Goddess Diana guides him back to his human form, telling him is time to go back. He’s hesitant, and he doesn’t really think that he has anything waiting for him.
But it just so happens, that not only his best friend Tanner is the new alpha of the pack, but the next day his destined mate turns up around the corner, so to speak. Eric was hiding his bisexuality from everyone because he knew his family (aka McDush) would never accept him.

Ben aka Jesus as his mother calls him, decided to move into this new pack to get away from her strict Catholic doctrines. She sees his wolf as a demon. (BTW mom is a destined mate to the father, ikr?!). But he fears that the new pack will not accept him because of his Mexican heritage. The insta-attraction is there, fangs, claws and bonners.

One would think they get right at it and seal the deal. Well, this book is not about that. You will have to read 70% of the book to finally get the chance to read Eric claiming his mate. The dancing around is annoying. You would think you’re back with Victorians… holding hands, forehead kisses, caresses. And trust me, I’m a big fan of all of that, but not on this scale.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Mage of Inconvenience” by Parker Foye

TITLE: Mage of Inconvenience
AUTHOR: Parker Foye
SERIES: Dreamspun Beyond
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Aaron Anderson
GENRE: Paranormal;Shapeshifter; Urban Fantasy
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 212 pages
RELEASE DATE: March 20, 2018
PRICE: $4.99 – e-book/ $9.99 – paperback

BLURB:

Can they find the magic in a practical union?
West is on the run from his werewolf pack, but if he cannot renew his magical defenses, he won’t get far. What he needs is a mage….
Julian is part of a wealthy and ancient family, and one day, his legacy will include his mother’s vast library of spell books—and the knowledge he needs to correct his past mistakes. But his inheritance comes with a stipulation: he has to be married before he can collect. What he needs is a husband….
West and Julian can help each other, and at first they don’t want anything further. But as they dodge meddling cousins, jealous rivals, and an insidious drug, it becomes clear that their lives are entwined in ways they never imagined—and they’re in greater danger than they thought possible.


Mage of Inconvenience is the first book that I’ve read by Parker Foye, but I liked the blurb, and I’ve loved the books in the Dreamspun Beyond series. And since this is the sixteenth book in the series, I figured I would give it a chance. I liked the book. I liked the author’s writing style and the plot. I also liked the characters. And while by the end of the book I could feel the love that the two main characters had for each other, I would have loved to have seen more passion in the book. However, the lack of sex isn’t going to keep me from reading more books from Parker Foye since I really did enjoy the book even if it only had kissing and a self-pleasuring scene.

West is a werewolf or as they are now called a “Meta” and has left his pack to live among the humans. He works at a dinner and keeps his head down and stays out of trouble. He found an abandoned cabin in the woods near town and is blessed that it has been protected by mage symbols. West is full of secrets which we learn about as the story progresses, although I would have liked more detail about why West ran away from his pack. The author glosses over the details, and we get bits and pieces of what happened. When something disrupts his defense system, he will need to find a mage to renew his magical defenses before his pack can find him. He calls the only person from his pack that he can trust. His best friend, Dana. Dana recommends the mage Julian.

Julian is part of a wealthy and ancient family and is a bit of a playboy. He doesn’t do relationships anymore after one resulted in a magical mistake that he needs his mother’s spell books to fix. However, in order to get his mother’s inheritance, he has to get married. So when West comes in to have his magical defenses renewed, it seems like the perfect fix to all of his problems. He gets a husband so that he can inherit and West gets a place to stay while his defenses are being renewed. Now doesn’t that sound easy? I bet they wished that it had gone so easy, but unfortunately it didn’t. And you’re just going to have to read the book to find out all of the things that they had to go through to get their happily ever after.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “The Wolf’s Man Friday” by Julia Talbot

TITLE:  The Wolf’s Man Friday
AUTHOR: Julia Talbot
SERIES: Nose to Tail, Inc.
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Christine Griffin
GENRE: Shapeshifter; Paranormal
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 220 pages
RELEASE DATE: March 20, 2018
PRICE: $6.99 – e-book/ $14.99 – paperback

BLURB:

The last thing Sebastian Zeller wants is to be pack Alpha. But when the pack leader, his uncle Ron, is attacked, he has no choice but to leave his beloved Colorado mountains and fulfill his duty as Ron’s heir—at least until his uncle recovers. In the meantime, he intends to lure the attacker out… and make them pay.
When Ron gets wind of Sebastian’s plan to catch the attacker, he doesn’t like the idea of risking his heir. That’s where Jaxon Reedis comes in—he’ll balance protecting the dark and sexy werewolf with pretending to be his personal assistant. He’s walking a fine line that requires all his foxy wit and craftiness… and that’s on top of the inescapable feeling that he and Sebastian are meant for each other. When the attacker returns, will they be able to maintain their deepening bond when danger threatens to tear down everything they’re building?


The Wolf’s Man Friday is the second book in the Nose to Tail, Inc. series by Julia Talbot. I was of two minds about this book. I thought the first half of the book was kind of slow and a little bit confusing. I was a little bit confused with why Sebastian’s Uncle Ray was attacked and where they were and why they were only going to be there for a short time before going back to their pack territory in Colorado. I was also confused by the pack dynamic, but it was explained a little bit more in the second half of the book. I was also confused by the dialog between Sebastian and Jaxon. The story was written where it was like they could hear each other’s internal thoughts but only part of the time, but they never addressed it or explained if it was part of them becoming mates or something else. It was kind of confusing. I liked the book a lot better after Jaxon and Sebastian got together. I loved their chemistry and all of their sexy times together, and when they would cuddle up in their animal forms and groom each other.

I liked Sebastian. He was an interesting character although at times a little wishy-washy. He had moments when he was with his friend Alan, and he would act juvenile and reckless, then he wouldn’t want to be the next leader of the pack and only want to be a designer, but he wouldn’t stand up for himself and tell his uncle that. But then there would be times when he would have a very alpha personality. So yeah kind of a wishy-washy personality. Made it a little bit harder to like him in the beginning. He definitely didn’t have next leader potential, which is what the author was going for, so I guess she did a good job conveying that.

I loved Jaxon. He was the perfect portrayal of a fox shifter. He was fun and mischievous but knew when to be serious and protective. He’d gone to butler school to learn how to be a jack of all trades in addition to being a bodyguard. He was hired by Sebastian’s uncle to pose as Sebastian’s personal assistant and protect him after Sebastian’s uncle found out that Sebastian was trying to catch his attacker. I liked how Jaxon’s level-headedness is a perfect foil for Sebastian’s more impulsive nature.

I also enjoyed the end of the story, and I’m intrigued to find out what happens with Cheyenne and his twin Cinturon. I hope they get their own books and Alan also.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Rome & Jules” by Tara Lain

TITLE: Rome & Jules
AUTHOR: Tara Lain
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Aaron Anderson
GENRE: Paranormal; Shapeshifter
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: Yes
LENGTH: 242 pages
RELEASE DATE: March 6, 2018
PRICE: $4.99 e-book / $9.99 paperback

BLURB:

Two werewolf households, both alike in dignity….
Rome Siracusa, youngest son of the alpha of the nouveau-riche Siracusa pack, wants to be a faithful son and pack member, but he’s got two big secrets. One, he’s blessed with enhanced hearing, vision, strength, and the ability to shift at will. Second, he’s gay, a fact he can’t admit to his deadly homophobic father.
Rome crashes a party at the mansion of his pack’s greatest enemy, the ancient, pure-blooded Havillands. Jules, the gay son of the drunkard alpha, is being married off to a rich entrepreneur. Smitten and moved by the beautiful male’s plight, Rome tries to find a way to save Jules—while digging himself deeper into pack politics and navigating his own arranged marriage. Secrets climb out of the caves as the werewolf gods speak through the mouths of their children, and the two great families clash, suffocating the hopes of star-crossed lovers.


Rome and Jules is a gay paranormal modern version of the classic Romeo & Juliette by Shakespeare.
No need to tell you much about the book than the blurb and the older version already did except the HEA.

Tara Lain did an amazing job with this version.

Rome and Jules are beautiful, strong and very powerful. Rome is a pure Alpha, stronger than his father, but he hid it from everyone except his grandfather Lawrence. Jules is also a pure Alpha, and he also hides it from everyone. Both of them know what it means to be a pure Alpha. The pack and their fathers will have high expectations for them.

I loved how the author wrote the characters. Rome is very strong and straightforward with Jules. At first, Jules seems sensitive and fragile. But he’s resourceful, very smart and powerful.
I had a great time with this story. First, I loved the original play by Shakespeare, second, I love the Godfather (my favorite movie of all time ever, like the number 1 and I also love the book by Mario Puzo). Here the author did a perfect mix between the two of them, and personally, I also love the Romeo + Juliet with Leo (one of my fav movies too). I had the feeling of reading a mix of all those versions and masterpieces with Tara Lain’s touch.

She did a good job because she didn’t only write a gay modern version of the original play, she completely appropriated the book to herself. It’s a difficult exercise to do that, it would have been easier to follow the original plot, but no, she just took the “skeleton” of the story and recreated it in her own way. She adapted it to our modern time, and what it means to be a gay man in our society with all the prejudices. She did it brilliantly, with humor, and a few winks to the original version.

I also enjoyed the writing. It was fluid, fresh, dynamic. I followed the plot easily, and get attached to the characters rapidly. Actually, I loved them so much that I didn’t want to let them go at the end of the book and kind of wish for a sequel.

I recommend this book. You’ll have a great time with the characters and get a beautiful smile at the end.

4 OptimuMMs because Love is Love.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review: “Once Upon a Wolf” by Rhys Ford

TITLE: Once Upon a Wolf
AUTHOR: Rhys Ford
SERIES: The Wayward Wolves Series
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Reece Notley
GENRE: Shapeshifters
E-BOOK: Yes
PAPERBACK: No
LENGTH: 96 pages
RELEASE DATE: February 16, 2018
PRICE: $4.99 e-book

BLURB:

Once Upon A Time, There Was A Wolf….
Gibson Keller’s days are fairly routine: wake up early, get some work done, drink lots of coffee, and take care of Ellis, his older brother stuck in wolf form after coming home from the war. It’s a simple life made up of long runs on two legs—or four—and quiet evenings…. Until Ellis chases a handsome man off a cliff and into the frozen waters beside their cabin, changing Gibson’s life forever.
For Zach Thomas, buying an old B&B is a new start. Leaving behind his city life, he longs to find peace and quiet, and hiking the trails behind his property seems safe enough—right up to the moment an enormous black wolf chases him into a lake, nearly drowning him. Discovering werewolves are real astounds him, but not as much as the man who rescues him from the icy water then walks into Zach’s heart as if he owns it.
Loving a werewolf—loving Gibson with all his secrets—has its challenges but Zach believes their love is worth fighting for, especially since his heart knows the big bad wolf is really a prince in disguise


Gibson lives in a cabin, in the mountains with his brother Ellis…a wolf. The Keller brothers are werewolves, and Ellis has been stuck in his wolf form for the last 2 years.
One night, Ellis chases the new owner of the B&B Zack off a cliff and Gibson comes to his rescue.

The attraction between Gibson and Zack is strong, but with Ellis’ condition and old family grudges, they’ll have to find a way to be together without losing everything in the process.
It was a sweet love story.

Gibson is strong, hard but soft. He’s the only one who wants to take care of his brother—he’s the only one who fights for his brother, I loved this about him. He wants Zack, it’s clear to him that Zack is made for him, but he doesn’t want to rush things between them, and wants to help his brother first. I really loved him.

Zack is a survivor. He survived a car accident, and then he survived a wolf (lol) and even with that, after the shock, Zack stuck with the brothers, and helps Gibson to take care of Ellis. I loved this guy, his loyalty, and his temper. He may be human in comparison to Gibson, but he knows how to tame the big bad wolf.

I loved this two lovebirds, but my favorite is Ellis. Wolf or Human, I loved him. I want to know more about him, and I hope/pray that the next book will be about him.
The story and the plot were good, coherent, fluid and well built. It was my first time with Rhys Ford, and I wasn’t disappointed.
I gladly recommend this book, and I’ll follow the series.

It’s 4 OptimuMMs for the wolves and their human.

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

Review edited by :  Laura McNellis