Audiobook Review: Never Lose Your Flames (New Canadiana #1) by Francis Gideon

Series:
Narrator: Kevin Chandler
(Website, Twitter, Goodreads)

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Title: Never Lose Your Flames by Francis Gideon
Series: New Canadiana #1
Release Date: August 1st, 2016
Format: Audiobook (11 hrs and 9 mins)
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links: Dreamspinner Press Amazon USAudible

Cop-turned-bounty-hunter Gabe Dominguez is hired to capture firestarter Nat Wyatt. For a dragon-shifter like Gabe, apprehending Nat is easy, but transporting him involves more time, energy, and blood loss than he envisioned. An attack from a band of fairies, an out-of-control forest fire, and a showdown at an auction don’t faze Gabe, but Nat’s innocence might stop him entirely.

Since discovering his abilities, Nat’s lost a best friend, a boyfriend, and trust in his brother. Only his love of concerts and card games get him through life without a home. Rumors of the Judge, a giant dragon who once destroyed half of Canada avenging those he loved, provide Nat with hope of vindication. When Nat discovers his captor is the Judge, he thinks he’s finally caught a break. Through late-night conversations and a shared love of music, Nat tries to convince Gabe he’s not guilty.

Can Gabe continue his cutthroat lifestyle, or will he run away with his dragon hoard like he’s always longed to do? Can Nat escape his legacy, or will his be another spark snuffed out by people who don’t understand? The Oracle, the most powerful wizard in Canada, might be the only one who can provide answers.

two-stars

This one was a pretty dry audiobook. The narrator’s voice wasn’t engaging enough to save this plot or make it interesting.

Gabe Dominguez was a bounty hunter hired to capture Nat Wyatt for his crime of arson. Gabe at first seems like a stoic character but clearly certain things about Nat chipped away at Gabe’s façade. As Gabe made his way with his captured prisoner in tow, Nat revealed more and more truths to where Gabe began questioning his sponsor’s intel.  There was a lot of world building as well as various supernatural characters but I didn’t feel the romance enough amongst the plot. I was hoping to “feel” instead of being told about their attraction. There were too many creatures and the author could have gradually introduced them in subsequent books.

I liked Gabe more than Nat but both characters were likeable. The story just wasn’t smooth and engaging enough and I had to really push myself to finish the audiobook. The premise was interesting but execution was a fail for me.

About Francis Gideon

Francis Gideon is a writer of m/m romance, but he also dabbles in mystery, fantasy, historical, and paranormal fiction. He likes to stay up late, drink too much coffee, and read too many comic books. He credits music, especially the artists Patti Smith, Frank Iero, Gerard Way, Florence + the Machine, and The Pixies as his main sources of inspiration, but the list grows every day. Since age twelve, he’s been trying to figure out what genre is best suited for a strange, quiet kid like him and so far, he’s happy to be where he’s ended up.

When not writing fiction, Francis teaches college English classes while he studies for his PhD. He has published several nonfiction and critical articles on everything from the Canadian poet and artist P.K. Page, transgender identity in the YouTube community, using fanfiction as a teaching tool, and character deaths in the TV show Hannibal. Those are all under different his “real” name, though. He writes his novels using his middle name, Francis, so that his students don’t Google him and ask too many questions.

Both Francis and his partner live in Canada, where they often disagree about TV shows and make really bad puns. To talk more about books, bad horror movies, LGBT poetry, or anything else, please drop him a line!

Blog Tour: Cold Reign (Jane Yellowrock #11) by Faith Hunter

Series:


Excerpt:
Beast was insulting me so I ignored her. It continued to rain, though the water didn’t penetrate Beast’s double-layered pelt. We had worked in Beast form in the rain before—rain being the normal for New Orleans at any season—but not in such cold weather. Her breath blew twin plumes of vapor into the night. Her paws splashed through puddles and runnels of water. Rain made the city smell fresh, releasing ozone and ions on the air. The scent of blood and vamp faded and I thought we had lost it, but we found it around the next corner, a puddle of blood and rainwater that had no outlet except across the concrete. The scent faded again, to reappear further on. Beast trotted around corners, doubling back, searching, nose to ground, keeping to the shadows. Melting into the dark when a car came past. She was smarter than any mountain lion. Adaptable. Reactive. Going on two hundred years of life would give any animal excellent survival instincts.

The rain stopped. Started again. We passed restaurants almost empty of tourists. Bars full of drunk tourists. We passed churches next to Creole cottages, and we chased off a small pack of junkyard dogs with a single growl. Which made Beast chuff with laughter and victory. We passed cemeteries, the smell of old, old death and limestone and fresh white paint. We trotted beneath the I-10 interstate and were halfway to Highway 90 in what felt like a long way from home, though Beast wasn’t tired, just wet and grouchy. Mountain lions aren’t long-distance cats like jaguars or cheetahs, but in the cold, with the air decreasing the effect of heat buildup, we could travel a long way. A female Puma concolor’s hunting territory might cover a hundred fifty square miles.

Beast stopped. Looked both ways. Shoulders hunched. What? I thought at her, flooding back into her forebrain. I/ we slunk close to a parked car and waited for two motorcycles to pass.

Beast trotted out from the protection of the car and down a narrow alley between two houses. The ground and walls stank of feral male cats, territory spray, strong musky stinks.

Stupid cats, think they are lions. But smell Edmund. He was here. With cats.

Where? Inside the house? I looked around, through Beast’s eyes, seeing the world in silvers and greens and blacks and grays of Beast’s night vision. I/we sniffed the air. Edmund’s scent was everywhere and nowhere.

Smell of Edmund on top of house. Smell of vampires and blood-servants inside house.

He was spying on the house. They came out and found Edmund.
***

About COLD REIGN:

Jane Yellowrock is a shape-shifting skinwalker…and the woman rogue vampires fear most.

Jane walks softly and carries a big stake to keep the peace in New Orleans, all part of her job as official Enforcer to Leo Pellissier, Master of the City. But Leo’s reign is being threatened by a visit from a delegation of ancient European vampires seeking to expand their dominions.

And there’s another danger to the city. When she hears reports of revenant vampires, loose in NOLA and out for blood, Jane goes to put them down—and discovers there’s something unusual about these revenants. They never should have risen.

Jane must test her strength against a deadly, unnatural magic beyond human understanding, and a ruthless cadre of near-immortals whose thirst for power knows no bounds…

Publisher: Roc
Price: $7.99
Release date: May 2, 2017
ISBN: 978-1101991404

Purchase links:
Amazon US
Barnes & Noble
Books-A-Million:
IndieBound
Kobo
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About Faith Hunter:
New York Times Bestselling author Faith Hunter writes three series: the Jane Yellowrock series, dark urban fantasy novels featuring Jane, a Cherokee Skinwalker; the Rogue Mage novels, a dark, urban fantasy / post apocalyptic series and role playing game featuring Thorn St. Croix; and the Soulwood Series featuring Nell Nicholson Ingram.

Visit Faith online at www.faithhunter.net, or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Giveaway!
There’s a tour-wide giveaway for copies of COLD REIGN and totes featuring Beast! Open to US residents only.

Rafflecopter code:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rafflecopter link:
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/OTc1MWMwNDJjY2FiNWQzMTA5YWRiNGY2Y2YyMDEyOjI=/?

Hunted by Darkness (Darkness #4) by Katie Reus

Series:
Narrator: Jeffrey Kafer
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)

Title: Hunted by Darkness by Katie Reus
Series: Darkness #4
Release Date: February 9, 2016
Format: Audiobook (5 hrs and 50 mins)
Genre: PNR, UF, Dragons
Published by: KR Press LLC
Purchase Links: Amazon US AudibleBarnes & Noble

From two different worlds…

Now that she’s escaped her oppressive family, Nyx is enjoying her new life and friends—even if most of her friends don’t know who or what she is. As a rare demigod, she’s just learning how powerful she truly is, but family drama turns her world upside down, throwing the one man she cares about into danger.

He wasn’t supposed to fall for her…

Nyx is nothing like the females half-demon Bo Broussard has been with. Sweet and innocent, she’s not even remotely his type. But the moment she walks into his bar, he knows he’s not letting her go. Unfortunately someone from her past thinks they can force her into an arranged marriage.

He’s not letting her go…

Someone is targeting one of them, and Bo doesn’t know why. When they’re thrown into a hell realm together, he and Nyx will need to band together if they want to survive the perils of that world. No matter who was behind the attack, his choice is clear. Defend Nyx at all cost and make her his forever.

 

four-stars

In this installment, Nyx works at Bo’s bar, while hiding from her family for reasons unbeknownst to her employer. Nyx is simply tired of being a pawn in her family’s pursuit of power and so she wears glamour and works as a waitress while nursing an attraction to her boss.

Bo, half demon, half human bar owner, also nurses an attraction to Nyx but they both fight it for different reasons. When Nyx’s family finally try to bring her home, Bo steps in to protect her which leads them to give in to their passion.

Bo and Nyx’s story was a bit angsty, which I loved but it was truly entertaining. There was great chemistry, and a passionate love story. I was surprised to learn the full extent of Nyx’s heritage. I was happy to know that Bo had half siblings. I love that the author keeps the prior couples integral to the story and everyone is connected is some way. It is action-packed, sexy and full of all kinds of supernaturals. There were unexpected twists and turns, but the end was satisfying. This series is the best dragon shifter series I’ve listened to and one of the best PNR series out there. I look forward to the next book.

About Katie Reus

Katie Reus is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Red Stone Security series, the Darkness series and the Deadly Ops series. She fell in love with romance at a young age thanks to books she pilfered from her mom’s stash. Years later she loves reading romance almost as much as she loves writing it.

However, she didn’t always know she wanted to be a writer. After changing majors many times, she finally graduated summa cum laude with a degree in psychology. Not long after that she discovered a new love. Writing. She now spends her days writing dark paranormal romance and sexy romantic suspense.

Wake of Vultures (The Shadow, #1) by Lila Bowen

Series:
Source: Netgalley
Wake of Vultures Book Cover Wake of Vultures
The Shadow, #1
Lila Bowen
Paranormal Romance; Urban Fantasy; Fantasy
Orbit
October 27th 2015
audibook; e-book
342
Netgalley

This story started off really promising with the introduction of the heroine Sixteen-year old Nettie Lonesome. She was a biracial girl living on a ranch with a couple she called Pap and Mam. According to Pap and Mam, no one including her biological family wanted this half black, half native American girl, so they took her in and tolerated her.
One day, a visiting man attacked Nettie at the ranch and when Nettie stabbed him, the man turned into ash. This opened her eyes to a whole other world of lurking monsters such as vampires, chupacabras, skinwalkers (shapeshifters) etc and altered Nettie’s understanding of her world.
Nettie runs away from the ranch and joins a new Ranch, the Double TK, but lives there as a man named Rhett. After a series of events sends her running away, Nettie begins her true destiny hunting monsters, most specifically the Pia Mupitsi (the Big Cannibal Owl) rumored to steal babies and turn them into monsters too.
I am not sure how I feel about this book. In the beginning, I thought I would be taking a journey with a girl who lived as a man because she didn’t like what women had to do to survive if you were poor like her. Those women worked in saloons, or were basically subservient to mean drunken men like Pap. Nettie knew she never wanted to be treated with so little regard, so she chose to live as a man. But soon after she arrived at the Double TK, the story shifted to a paranormal story with Nettie as the chosen hunter or the special one. So, it became less about Nettie, the teenage girl trying to figure herself out in her community, to Nettie the one prophesied to destroy an evil monster, the Pia Mupitsi.
The subplot that I was most interested in pertaining to Nettie’s gender identity issues as well as her establishing her own way as a rancher breaking horses. That plot took a backseat to the search for the supernatural monsters. The story just veered off for me and I didn’t have the same enthusiasm as with the first part of the story.
I was never able to decide if Nettie was truly transgendered or was she living as a man because in that time period, women were at the mercy of men. The audiobook was enjoyable and the reader was treated to the history of Nettie which made her current mindset more understandable.
I wish the author had split these into two books, letting us know Nettie as a girl first. She was smart, resourceful and suspicious of everyone.  Definitely an interesting western and how far someone women went to protect their virtue or even. There were many themes in this book so perhaps it’s a situation of treating the reader on too much.
I just don’t know how I feel about the paranormal aspect about this book. It’s definitely not the traditional PNR. I thought there was excellent writing and the author put forth a lot of research. It was clever, creative and imaginative. The second half just didn’t click with me right now .

<i>*Special Thanks to Orbit Books via Netgalley for the ebook given in exchange for an honest review

Atlantis Rising (Warriors of Poseidon #1) by Alyssa Day

Series: Warriors of Poseidon #1
Narrator: Joshua Swanson
three-stars
Atlantis Rising Book Cover Atlantis Rising
Warriors of Poseidon #1
Alyssa Day
Paranormal Romance; Urban Fantasy
Tantor Audio
May 23, 2011
audibook
304 pages

Eleven thousand years ago, before the seas swallowed the Atlanteans, Poseidon assigned a few chosen warriors to act as sentinels for humans in the new world. There was only one rule-desiring them was forbidden. But rules were made to be broken...

When she calls...
Riley Dawson is more than a dedicated Virginia Beach social worker. She's blessed with a mind link that only Atlanteans have been able to access for thousands of years. Being an "empath" may explain her wistful connection to the roiling waves of the ocean, the sanctuary it provides, and the sexual urges that seem to emanate from fathoms below...

He will come.
Conlan, the High Prince of Atlantis, has surfaced on a mission to retrieve Poseidon's stolen trident. Yet something else has possessed Conlan: the intimate emotions-and desires-of a human. Irresistibly drawn to the uncanny beauty, Conlan soon shares more than his mind. But in the midst of a battle to reclaim Poseidon's power, how long can a forbidden love last between two different souls from two different worlds?

 

This book had an interesting premise featuring Atlantis mythology.

Basically, eleven thousand years ago, a certain sect of the supernatural world (The Reisen) desired to rule mankind. They began by implanting vampires in Congress and shapeshifters in the media. Poseidon, the sea god, picked his fiercest warriors to protect earth and mankind because after the Supernaturals had revealed their existence to the world, they had pledged to maintain a separation. As the Atlantis was consumed by the sea and lost to human eyes, the Risen made their move on mankind and also stole Poseidon’s Trident. Conlan, the Prince of Atlantis was tasked with retrieving the stolen Trident as well as push back the Reisen.

On his expedition to Virgina Beach, Conlan felt a mind connection with a woman who was being assaulted by three thugs. Conlan rescued the social worker Riley Dawson and discovered she was an empath who could read and feel the thoughts of others. Their mind meld also included a fierce physical attraction and from then on, it was just a matter of time before Conlan and Riley gave into their passion.

Book 1 was narrated by Joshua Swanson, who is new to me. I didn’t enjoy his delivery. His voices for the various characters made them seem more like caricature. But part of the blame lies with dialogue written by the author. It’s like Alyssa Day couldn’t decide if she wanted formal ancient speak or current slang speech. So, she just mixed it up which was odd and bewildering. But the narration was just one of number of problems in this novel.

Another issue was that I just didn’t think Alyssa Day advanced the idea very far in this book. This first book usually introduces the reader to a universe, key characters and set up plots for other books. Here, the reader met Prince of Atlantis, his seven most trusted warrior followers and Day very lightly laid the foundation for her series on the lost (hidden) city of Atlantis. The plot and the subplots were barely addressed in this book.

Lastly, I had a hard time truly connecting with the characters. Riley seemed to be a strong heroine with a kind and nurturing heart. Conlan seemed one dimensional as an alpha warrior. I just didn’t feel their chemistry. The other warriors, Alesios, Denal, Bastien, Justice, Ven, Christophe and Brennan all seem to be intriguing characters. I hope that the subsequent books will flesh them out as well as address the villains: Anubisa, Barrabas and Drakos much better than in this series starter. Despite the inconsistency in the writing, this plot and the series has potential. I will check out audiobook 2 and hope there will be more substance.

Tantor Audio ** Amazon ** Audible ** Barnes & Noble ** Goodreads

My Tempting Highlander (Highland Hearts #3) by Maeve Greyson

My Tempting Highlander (Highland Hearts #3) by  Maeve GreysonSeries: Highland Hearts #3
on 2016-02-23
Pages: 294
Amazon
From the author of My Highland Bride—hailed by Sandy Blair as “an entertaining time-travel story packed with spice, humor, fantasy, and nonstop adventure”—comes a sensual novel featuring a wolf-shifting chieftain who travels centuries to modern-day Scotland to tame his one and only.   Cursed to live forever with neither wife nor child, Ronan Sutherland has watched all he cherishes turn to dust—more than once. For hundreds of years, he’s been trapped behind the mists of Loch Ness, hoping to identify the one woman who is prophesied to break the spell. Now, at last, the fates have aligned, and he’s being sent into the future to fetch her. After a single glimpse, Ronan knows he’s been waiting all his life for this passionate woman.   Unlike her time-traveling sisters, Mairi Sinclair is perfectly content to remain in the present. As a hospital nurse in Edinburgh, she cherishes the opportunity to put her gift of healing powers to good use. But everything changes the morning a mysterious wolf darts in front of her car. Touching the wounded creature’s tawny coat, a tingle surges through her. Yet when she returns with aid, Mairi is shocked to find instead a man with broad shoulders and fire in his eyes—a man who tempts her to unleash the animal within.
three-half-stars

Ronan Sutherland and his family have been under a curse to be shapeshifter (wolf) and this curse can only lifted by true love. Ronan sought the help from an old sage Granny Sinclair who prophesied that her granddaughter would be the one to break Ronan’s curse. The Sinclairs were gifted with the power to time travel amongst other powers. The only problem is that Mari Sinclair, the granddaughter, time travelled to the future and refuses to return to 13th century Scotland. Thus Ronan had to time travel to 21st century Edinburgh to bring his fated mate Mairi back to 13th century.

Meanwhile, Mairi was content living a life untethered of her grandmother’s expectations and had no intention of returning despite being summoned repeatedly. While she has difficulty maintaining employment, she does use her healing gifts to aid people. Mairi and her sisters have made a life in the “future” but it didn’t include love yet. On her way to work, Mairi accidentally hits a wolf with her car, so she brings him home to heal him. Thus begins her unwitting introduction to her future love.

I struggled with both characters. At first, Mairi seemed flighty, then after she learned the “dog” she rescued was really a wolf shifter, aka a man, she turned into a harpy. I do understand that Ronan made it difficult to trust him since he chose time and time again to be less than truthful with Mairi. Ronan was a warrior and he was used to people doing what he said without being questioned. Plus, he was afraid that Mairi wouldn’t believe and he would lose his one chance to break this curse that has plagued him for 300 years. It is understandable why Ronan wouldn’t put all his cards on the table. But Mairi made it hard to like her. Mairi and Ronan made a good couple despite the back and forth. They had good chemistry and it was their inner fortitude that made them work well as a couple.

I did find the writing amusing enough that I chuckled sometimes. The characters were quirky, especially the Sinclair women. I enjoyed the plot and the writing more than the main characters. The most entertaining is having 13th century warriors having to deal with independent 20th century heroines. How fun was that! I wish I had started this series in order so I will go back and read book 1.

Special Thanks to Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept via Netgalley for the book given in exchange for an honest review.

Night Embrace By Sherrilyn Kenyon

Night Embrace By  Sherrilyn KenyonSeries: Dark-Hunter #2
on 12/31/2015
Pages: 416
AmazonB&NNarrator: Carrington MacDuffie
Setting: Modern New Orleans

"Night Embrace" spins the story of Talon, an ancient Celtic warrior who killed the son of the god Camulus.

Camulus cursed Talon, decreeing death for everyone he loved. Now a Dark-Hunter in modern-day New Orleans, Talon meets Sunshine, who is key to ending his curse once and for all. Not to mention helping him to save New Orleans from an ancient god bent on total destruction.
four-half-stars

This was a good story with a twisty ending.   There were some funny moments as well as some serious ones.  At times, the story did drag but picked back up.  Although I enjoyed learning more about this world, there were too many secondary characters that were difficult to keep up with and really didn’t add to the storyline.  I did enjoy the Greek mythology but also found that keeping up with who the different gods were became a little distracting.

I enjoyed both Talon’s and Sunshine’s character.  I found Sunshine to be quirky and her mother to be insanely funny.  Ms. Kenyon always does an excellent job in defining her primary characters especially in the case of Sunshine.  She is very forgetful, loves pink, and has a tendency to date bad men.  The flashbacks of Talon’s and Sunshine’s prior lives were both enriching and important to the storyline.   The sex scenes were drawn out early in this book, but later in the book the reader realizes why the connection between Talon and Sunshine was so strong.

I am looking forward to learning more about the other hunters in upcoming books, especially Zarek.  This book weaved shapeshifters, and vampire tendencies – the best of both worlds.  I thought that the ending was a little rushed and very unrealistic.  In any case, the reader is still left wanting more, which is an indication of a good start to a new series.   This reader is definitely looking forward to book 3 and hopes to get to it sooner than it took to get to this one!

Full Moon Mating (Wolf Creek Pack #1) by Stormy Glenn

Full Moon Mating (Wolf Creek Pack #1) by Stormy GlennSeries: Wolf Creek #1
on 2009-01-01
Pages: 179
AmazonNarrator: Rex J. Silverton
Erotic Alternative Paranormal Romance, M/M, werewolf] Sheriff Joe Nash couldn't have been more surprised when he answered a call to a shooting and discovered the sexiest man he ever saw. His extraordinary response to the man told him immediately Nate was his mate. Taking a chance, Joe takes him home, hoping to convince him to stay. But Nate Summers is on the run from someone, never staying in one place for more than a few days. The tall, handsome sheriff and his offer of a safe haven intrigue Nate, but he's afraid that if he sticks around, the sheriff will discover his secret, a secret that could make the sheriff hate him. ** A Siren Erotic Romance
three-stars

This story started with Joe, a cop in the small town of Wolf Creek, responding to a robbery and encountering an out-of-towner Nate. Joe felt an immediate pull to this guy and it wasn’t even the full moon. The new guy, Nate, was skittish and seemed uncomfortable talking.
Eventually, Nate trusted Joe and revealed he was hiding out from someone pursuing him. Joe returned this trust by revealing that he was a shifter, a werewolf, and that he believed Nate was his mate. It seemed that the two lovers would be okay until their relationship was threatened both by an inside threat and an outside threat. These threats force Joe to make decisions as the enforcer of his clan as opposed to Nate’s mate.

I have to say that the narrator wasn’t good. He made Nate feel adolescent and it made it weird to hear the sex scenes. I think the writing contributed to that because sometimes Nate acted like a kid and so Joe treated him like such. He didn’t discuss things he should with a partner, but instead, Joe made decisions for Nate.

I liked the relationship Joe had with his family and how accepting and protective his parents were of Nate. That added to the sweetness of this story. It’s a book one, so I hope the author will spend more time developing both her characters and the overall plot of the story.

**Audiobook given by author in exchange for an honest review

Desire Untamed (Feral Warriors, Book 1) by Pamela Palmer

Desire Untamed (Feral Warriors, Book 1) by Pamela PalmerSeries: Feral Warrior #1
on 2009-06-30
Pages: 384
AmazonNarrator: Rob Shapiro
They are called Feral Warriors—an elite band of immortals who can change shape at will. Sworn to rid the world of evil, consumed by sorcery and seduction, their wild natures are primed for release . . . Kara MacAllister's quiet small-town life is transformed forever the night a powerful stranger rips her from her home, claiming she is the chosen one—the key to his survival. Spiriting her away into the rain-soaked night, Lyon reveals a truth Kara can barely credit. She's immortal, and the only one who can save his race. And deep within her, he arouses a fierce, primal hunger beyond anything she's ever imagined. But only when their lives are threatened by an ancient evil will Kara and Lyon realize they have found a love they would risk their immortal souls to claim . . . and a powerful desire that could never, ever be tamed.
two-stars

I really disliked this book. It had a lot of potential but the execution was terrible. The narrator was okay but the audiobook was a chore to get through.

Kara lived her life as human until a man shows up at her house claiming she is a “radiant” and savior of his race. This man, Lyon, explained that Kara wasn’t really a human but a Therian, a race that protects humans but they are being hunted by demons. The Therians had a group of soldiers called Feral Warriors that protected the race. The feral warriors were shifters but they had to be in close proximity with the radiant in order to shift and have full use of their individual strengths.

There was only one radiant and she was to be mated to one of the warriors. Only through mating the warrior, can the radiant “Ascend” to her full magical powers. The radiant had to kiss and be subjected to ALL 9 of the warriors’ touches before her mate was revealed. It’s a fated mate thing revealed once they are intimately touching. Honestly, the whole act to “Ascend” was so ridiculous. Everything was just steeped in sexual contact that overshadowed the story. It just seemed like Kara was the house chew toy. The warriors treated her poorly, the demons were trying to kill her, and she was just trying to figure out her place in this new world.

I didn’t like that the author never explained why Kara was he chosen to save the race. So much wasn’t explained in this book. Why is there only one radiant and there are 9 warriors who need mates. How these warriors lived with a traitor and the whole thing with the doubles. Frankly, the writing was poor, the story wasn’t entertaining, and the nothing made sense. I saw a review comparing this series to BDB, that’s just straight up blasphemy. However, the idea of the story has potential, so I will read book 2 to see if there are some explanations. I won’t continue after book 2 unless the story is much tighter!

*Special thanks to Tantor Audio for the audiobook, which was given in exchange for an honest review.

Cursed (Fallen Siren, Book 1) by S.J. Harper

Cursed (Fallen Siren, Book 1) by S.J. HarperSeries: Fallen Siren #1
on 2013
Pages: 288
AmazonNarrator: Johanna Parker
Meet FBI Agents Emma Monroe and Zack Armstrong. She's cursed. He's damned. Together, they make one hell of a team.   Emma Monroe is a Siren, cursed by the gods and bound to earth to atone for an ancient failure. She’s had many names and many lives, but only one mission: redemption. Now that she works missing persons cases for the FBI, it could be just a rescue away. Unless her new partner leads her astray.   Special Agent Zack Armstrong just transferred into the San Diego Field Office. He’s a werewolf, doing his best to beat back the demons from his dark and dangerous past. As a former Black Ops sniper, he’s taken enough lives. Now he’s doing penance by saving them.    Emma and Zack’s very first case draws them deep into the realm of the paranormal, and forces them to use their own supernatural abilities. But that leaves each of them vulnerable, and there are lines partners should not cross. As secrets are revealed and more women go missing, one thing becomes clear: as they race to save the victims, Emma and Zack risk losing themselves. FIRST IN A NEW SERIES!

What a pleasant surprise. I have to thank the PKC Feb recommends group because this book was not on my radar at all.

FBI agents Emma Monroe and Zack Armstrong are investigating a series of missing persons. The only connection seems to be the missing persons are closet vampires (the public is unaware of vampires).
Emma is a Siren and Zack is werewolf. So they have to rely on the supernatural nature to solve this crime but it is definitely a complicated case. Then throw in the fact that you have a sexy seductress with a carnal shape-shifter and sparks are flying everywhere.

I found the writing to be smooth and the story very interesting. It wasn’t heavy on romance at all, but focused on the solving the crime. Emma was a likable heroine who did her best to act like a human and respect the human way of life. Zach was also likable as he tried to find his place in both the human and shifter worlds. I like how the author didn’t make Book 1 overly complicated and heavy with world building. Some authors use book 1 as an information dump and it makes the book boring. I think after introducing us to characters, the authors can then use book 2 to give us more background and delve more into their past. I will definitely be continuing this series.