The Howling by Erin McCarthy

howlingRELEASE DATE: 6/26/18
AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER AT AMAZON NOW!

Beneath the silver moon . . .

For six months the nightmares have been chasing Liv Lugaru out of her sleep. The same terrifying dream, the same fevered wolves panting after her, their hot breath getting closer and closer as a full moon hangs heavy in the night sky—until she wakes up drenched in sweat, with her fiancé, the brother of the man who broke her heart, gazing down at her . . .

Six months ago, Sebastian was almost killed by his brother in a power struggle within their werewolf pack. His disappearance opened the way for his brother to console Liv, win her trust . . . without ever telling her of their true heritage. Now Sebastian is ready to reclaim his rightful place—to rise up with the moon and claim the only woman he’s ever loved . . .

WARNING:
This was a short read, one I’d classify as a novelette. A bedtime story for grown ups, perhaps, which I wasn’t expecting. I fully expected a full length novel because I didn’t bother to check Amazon or anywhere else for a length. Had I checked, I don’t think a length would have been listed anyway. And if any of my readers find one, please let me know because I saw nothing helpful. 

Can you tell I’m a bit bitter?

The issue is this–if you’re expecting a  novel about these werewolves and their lives together, look elsewhere. The description really does set up for a great, full length story. The problem is that there isn’t one. All you get is the basics with sex thrown in. The love scenes are great–sizzlin’ even–and, it read well, but I still really wanted more out of it. I believe a novel should have come from this. 

*****

Erin McCarthy’s writing isn’t an issue. She’s great, actually. The characters were surprisingly well fleshed for such a short story. You get the gist of their personalities and backgrounds without an info dump, which is difficult when you’re working in shorter projects. I felt like I could get to know these characters and I felt like there weren’t too many to keep up with for the length of the story, which can also be an issue for shorter works.

An issue I had was that I wasn’t sure I liked (or disliked, if you will) the antagonist enough. Yeah, he was a bad boy. He tried to kill his brother. Blah blah blah, insert werewolf howl here. This is where a longer story would have come in handy. There was plenty of room for this to have become a novel so that a reader could have felt the full wrath of this guy–someone who tries to kill their flesh and blood (particularly a pack animal) has to have a good, solid reason for it. And that reason has to be something more than just a simple power struggle over who gets to be married to the girl or who gets to be the alpha. Sebastian’s brother had the potential to be one of the best bad guys in (erotic) romance, but the feelings of hate (or disdain, perhaps) that a reader should feel for the antagonist just didn’t come through strongly enough for me, which impacted my ability to enjoy the story as much as I would have had it been longer.

To clear up a few things, I am not a novelette hater. On the contrary, I quite enjoy them. But, putting forth the right amounts of this and that is almost a science where fiction lengths are concerned. In this area, I feel the mark was missed by a hair.

But, I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. If the only thing a person finds wrong with a piece of literature is that there wasn’t enough of it, well, that’s not a horrible thing. It’s unfortunate, but certainly not enough for me to skip future works by this author. I did enjoy the characters and the plot and the saucier scenes were, um, saucy.

As far as a star rating, I’m going to go with a 3.5.

 

 

 

 

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The Earl, the Vow, and the Plain Jane by Cheryl Bolen–Review

BolenRelease date: June 12, 2018
Available for pre-order NOW!

Bereft of beauty as well as fortune, the exceedingly plain Miss Jane Featherstone has failed to attract any suitor during her three Seasons. Rather than be a burden to her brother and his obnoxious wife, Miss Featherstone vows to accept the first man who asks—even though she’s always worshipped a lord who’s far above her touch. . .

Lord Slade must marry an heiress in order to honor the deathbed vow he made to his father, and he needs Miss Featherstone’s help in wooing her beautiful cousin. After her initial anger, Miss Featherstone agrees to his scheme, telling him she’s doing so because she admires his Parliamentary record of humanitarian legislation and his reverence for truth. But the more he’s with the two cousins, the more attracted he becomes to Miss Featherstone. What’s a man of his word to do? Break a vow to a beloved father—or follow his heart with Miss Featherstone?

*******

It didn’t take me long to read this book, probably only two sittings. I liked the story. I loved the premise behind it. The characters were okay, too. But, that was it. They were just okay. Not spectacular, not extraordinary, and I would not call Lord Slade an alpha male at any turn, for any reason. Obviously a vow to a dying father was important, but a man caring for three sisters should have realized (way before he did) that those left alive are far more important than any vow, particularly minors in his care. He was only a man and Jane was only an average woman–the Plain Jane, I suppose. I expected much more from these characters. By their descriptions, I envisioned totally different people.

I really felt like the book was missing some umph.

Regardless, there were a lot of things within the story I liked, otherwise I would have taken much longer to read it. There were also things (and characters) I really hated, which, to a certain degree, was the reason I stuck around to finish the story.

I really hated the younger cousin, Sarah, and I desperately wanted somebody to shove a pie in her face–unfortunately, no pies landed. Major bummer, right? She was a bit sure of herself and, even though she was young, I really think she could have taken better care of her words regarding beauty and Miss Featherstone.

Some people, amirite?

This was a very sweet romance, too, so not really the sort of book I’m used to picking up. I tend to read racier, edgier, faster paced books. When I, on purpose, pick up a sweet romance, I expect for there to be some sort of major conflict or, at the very least, some really warm scenes. In this book, a lot of that was really lost. To add insult to injury, so to say, the ending unfolded too quickly for the amount of build up behind it. I’m okay with knowing what’s going to happen before it does (and any reader can tell you this is very common), but I really dislike being let down in the delivery of these happenings.

I can’t say that I can give a recommendation for this book to anyone unless I give them a full report of the letdowns as well as the good points, so you have all been warned. Three stars.

 

 

 

5 Summer Books I Can’t Wait To Read

Here is my can’t-wait-for-it list. I am positive that if you know me personally, you already know I’m chomping at the bit for numbers 1 & 2. Particularly 2. I always recommend Amanda Ashley to paranormal romance lovers and ya know what? She seems to be a very nice person. I enjoy knowing that lol.

*** There will be a review in this blog. I already have an ARC or e-galley. 
****I do not have a copy of this book yet, but I’ve either pre-ordered or will be ordering soon. 

serpentine

  1. Serpentine by Laurell K. Hamilton (August)

    Vampire hunter Anita Blake has managed to overcome anything that faces her. But this time, there’s a monster that even she doesn’t know how to fight . . .

     A remote Florida Island is a perfect wedding destination for fellow US marshal and best friend Edward’s upcoming nuptials. For Anita, the vacation is a much welcomed break as it’s the first trip she gets to take with just wereleopards Micah and Nathaniel. But it’s not all fun and games and bachelor parties…

     In that tropical paradise, Micah has discovered a horrific new form of lycanthropy, one that has afflicted a single family for generations. Believed to be the result of an ancient Greek curse, it turns human bodies into a mass of snakes.

     When long-simmering resentment leads to a big blow-out within the wedding party, the last thing Anita needs is more drama. But it finds her anyway when women start disappearing from the hotel and worse–her own friends and lovers are considered the prime suspects. There’s a strange power afoot that Anita has never confronted before, a force that’s rendering those around her helpless in its thrall.  Unable to face it on her own, Anita is willing to accept help from even the deadliest places—help that she will most certainly regret—if she survives at all, that is…

    Ashley

  2. Twilight Desires by Amanda Ashley (September)  ****

    Sofia Ravenwood was once fascinated by vampires—their seductive power, their inhuman strength, their dark desires. Then one of them attacked her family, and she threw out her Goth attire and vowed to keep clear of her enemies. Until she heard about Ethan Parrish: a sweet, sizzling-hot former college football player, turned into a vampire against his will.

    Wandering the deserted streets of Morgan Creek, Wyoming, Ethan’s sure he’ll be alone forever—a monster like him deserves nothing else. Then beautiful, complicated Sofia agrees to meet him, fangs and all. The need she ignites in him is more than just the pulse of her blood or the scent of her skin. But he’s not the only bloodsucker desperate to make her his own . . .

  3. The Vixen by Christi Caldwell (August)Vixen

    USA Today bestselling author Christi Caldwell pits a fiercely independent beauty against a devilish investigator.

    Set apart by her ethereal beauty and fearless demeanor, Ophelia Killoran has always been a mystery to those around her—and a woman they underestimated. No one would guess that she spends her nights protecting the street urchins of St. Giles. Ophelia knows what horrors these children face. As a young girl, she faced those horrors herself, and she would have died…if not for the orphan boy who saved her life.

    A notorious investigator, Connor Steele never expected to encounter Ophelia Killoran on his latest case. It has been years since he sacrificed himself for her. Now, she hires orphans from the street to work in her brother’s gaming hell. But where does she find the children…and what are her intentions?

    Ophelia and Connor are at odds. After all, Connor now serves the nobility, and that is a class of people Ophelia knows firsthand not to trust. But if they can set aside their misgivings and work together, they may discover that their purposes—and their hearts—are perfectly aligned.

    **NOTE** This is the second book in a series. I’ve downloaded the first and intend to read it soon. However, I’ve read books and stories by Christi Caldwell before (recently, actually) so I’m looking forward to this title as well as the others in the series. 

  4. The Howling by Erin McCarthy (June) ***howling

    Beneath the silver moon . . .

    For six months the nightmares have been chasing Liv Lugaru out of her sleep. The same terrifying dream, the same fevered wolves panting after her, their hot breath getting closer and closer as a full moon hangs heavy in the night sky—until she wakes up drenched in sweat, with her fiancé, the brother of the man who broke her heart, gazing down at her . . .

    Six months ago, Sebastian was almost killed by his brother in a power struggle within their werewolf pack. His disappearance opened the way for his brother to console Liv, win her trust . . . without ever telling her of their true heritage. Now Sebastian is ready to reclaim his rightful place—to rise up with the moon and claim the only woman he’s ever loved . . .

5. Vampire’s Faith by Rebecca Zanetti ****vampire's faith.jpg

The Dark Protectors are back!  All new stories and a great entry point for new fans!

Vampire King Ronan Kayrs wasn’t supposed to survive the savage sacrifice he willingly endured to rid the world of the ultimate evil. He wasn’t supposed to emerge in this time and place, and he sure as hell wasn’t supposed to finally touch the woman who’s haunted his dreams for centuries. Yet here he is, in an era where vampires are hidden, the enemy has grown stronger, and his mate has no idea of the power she holds.

Dr. Faith Cooper is flummoxed by irrefutable proof that not only do vampires exist . . . they’re hot blooded, able to walk in sunlight, and shockingly sexy. Faith has always depended on science, but the restlessness she feels around this predatory male defies reason. Especially when it grows into a hunger only he can satisfy–that is if they can survive the evil hunting them both.

*****

Did you notice a trend? Because there are an awful lot of vampires in that list. And some wolves. No apologies! I said what I said!

I’d be curious to see what you’re looking forward to also. 😀

❤ XOXO Rhiannon M.

Summer Goals–Books and Otherwise

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Currently reading…

Today has started a little bit slowly, but as it is the last day of school (for my kids), I feel like the pace was perfect. It’s an introduction to a slow summer, the season I look forward to the most. Yes, even more than my favorite season, fall.

I was sweeping floors and doing laundry when it struck me that I have no real plan for summer. Other than choosing books to read, I have no idea what we’re doing. No vacations planned, no real goals set. But, wait one second–there is a million projects around the house I feel we can finish. And, I can probably make most of them fun and interesting.

For a start, I think I know a couple of teenage girls who would do a really good job at re-staining kitchen cabinets and painting a few rooms. And, I have two boys and a nephew or ten who are perfect little weed eaters. I think I’m also going to dive into making my own popsicles this summer. Last summer I bought a mold that makes six pops of whatever you want and I did really well with making my sugar free treats, but I was still buying the kids their own to have. This year, I think we’ll make an effort at freezing about 75% of the frozen treats we eat ourselves. If we make it to 100%, that’s even better.

As far as reading goes, I’m looking into some educational sites for kids. We might even buy a few books (print, that is) online. For myself, I’d like to keep working on my reading schedule and try to finish August and September’s lineup while I read through the books I’ve penciled in. I’m pretty excited about it, really. Summer can be a lot of things, but to us, it’s the season of books, yard stuff, and frozen things. All the frozen things!

 

 

Tall, Dark, and Deadly by Kharma Kelley

deadly

Well, this book is a big NO from me.

I was excited to read this book. The premise is solid and interesting, but I couldn’t make it to the fourth chapter. I would suggest the book be pulled for editing and re-released after some edits and revisions. Two stars because had it not been for the glaring errors and editorial issues, I could have really loved this book.

Example: Somewhere in the second or third chapter, author uses the word “just” three times in one sentence.

Unlike the majority of my reviews, this was not an advance copy. It’s been out for a few years now so I really see no sense in this sort of issue. Most books will have errors, but not one right after the other within the span of three or four pages.

I know that there are some really good reviews on Amazon for this book already, but it does make me wonder if those readers actually read with their eyes open because I seriously had a hard time getting through the beginning. Maybe I’m just an asshole.

**shrugs innocently**

But, the editorial issues were not the only ones.

I felt like the main character, Chloe, was an absolute brat. I didn’t like her, not even a little bit. She was immature and, at times, I wanted to smack her teeth out. Ethan was a little bit more likable, but given what I know of Chloe, I found it unbelievable that he would ever want anything to do with her romantically–but, keep in mind, I didn’t make it far enough to see how that all happened. I’m assuming she must have had a drastic personality change somewhere in the middle of the book.

I really do hate it when things like this happen. I don’t think anyone downloads a book to their e-reader and actually wants to dislike it. Some of the reviews on Amazon come from some notable reviewers, so I’m going to investigate further–this is NOT the author’s only book and I do like the premise, so I’d like to give her another chance to entertain me. After all, vampire books seem to be disappearing these days. Or, not showing up anywhere at all.

Wolf Moon (The McKenna Legacy Book 7) by Patricia Rosemoor

Release Date: Available NOW
**I was given an ARC copy of Wolf Moon by Patricia Rosemoor, but I got my copy only a day or two before the release, so while this is a new release, this review will post after the actual release date. Apologies!**

Wolf Moon

Aileen McKenna came to the remote town of Wolf Creek to study wolves in the wild and ran into Rhys Lindgren, an enigmatic man with dark secrets and a connection to the local wolf pack. Frightened townspeople were convinced a predatory wolf was on the loose after three men were found dead in the woods. Rhys didn’t believe it any more than Aileen, and she intended to prove the wolves’ innocence. But would Rhys take her into the snow-covered forest to do just that? She’d have to be alone with him and trust him to draw out a killer…

For the sake of being honest, I really couldn’t get into this book at first. It doesn’t have a very strong beginning and I had to push through the first few chapters in order to become engrossed in the story. That being said, once I got through the first stretch, I was happy I kept reading because the book (after chapter three or so) is great. Keep in mind that this is book 7 of a series (so the title says), so maybe if I’d read books 1-6, the beginning of book 7 wouldn’t have felt as though it was dragging.

The story has everything a wolfy romance should. The mystery is mysterious, the suspense is suspenseful, and the pages almost turn themselves. The only thing that really bothered me is that I didn’t find anything in the story that would make me really want to stand in line for book 8 (if there is one). I’ll still read more by Patricia Rosemoor, but I really feel like I should see how many books are ahead in the series before I read out of order again.

I really wish I could have loved this book, I just really didn’t. It entertained, but with no pizazz. I’m actually really bummed about it. I’m still giving the book three stars because I feel like it does deserve that many for entertainment value alone.

 

Summer Reading and Vampire Mania

cropped-burne-jones-le-vampire.jpgIs it just me, or are things going back to the way they were pre-Twilight era? I have no idea what’s going on. Maybe it’s because the weather is warmer, maybe because I know fall is getting closer (I’m counting down, y’all), maybe because there are so many awesome summer releases coming, or maybe it’s because I’m an absolute weirdo and an obviously a glutton for punishment.

But, I can NOT get enough vampires and werewolves lately. I’m going bananas trying to find enough to get me through and it appears as though there is a supernatural romance DROUGHT going on right now. I hope I’m wrong and it only seems that way because I’m a whiny loon.

AshleyThere are a few good releases coming that I know of and I’m excited for both. One of them, Twilight Desires by Amanda Ashley, is coming August 28, 2018, according to Amanda Ashley’s website. I’ve been waiting on this one forever. FOREVER, people. And, I am of the personal belief that nobody does vampires like Amanda Ashley. If you haven’t read any of her books, I would suggest you go to her website, choose a title, and go. Any title. Just pick one. You can thank me later. I prefer Dove dark chocolates, cash, and Chilis gift cards.

The second book I’m looking forward to is Serpentine by Laurell K. Hamilton. It’s an Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter novel and the release date is August 7, 2018. I don’t have to go into details about this book because every self respecting vampire fan has read the Anita Blake books or has at least given them a chance. Either we like them or no, there is usually no in between there (lol). serpentine

The issue I’m having is that I can’t find enough vampire fiction, particularly of the romance variety. A few years ago, when the Twilight books were in the spotlight, vampire novels were a dime a dozen–and I was so happy about it because FINALLY there were vampires and werewolves getting shelf space in places that didn’t require a ladder or a flashlight to find them. I can remember a time when finding supernatural romance novels was, for people in rural areas in particular, incredibly difficult. Obviously the books were out there somewhere, but locating them took some doing.

I’m not even having any luck finding vampire titles in grocery stores and Wal-Mart. Am I looking in the wrong places? I keep finding every romance genre but vampires and werewolves.

I feel like I’m trapped in a fantasy super library full of every book ever written, sorted by rooms/genres, and I’ve finally read the very last book in the vampire room. I’ve gluttonously read through every single bloody word in every single black book. Every word has been consumed and I’m standing on a table, innocently shrugging at the angry librarian. I’ve read so many vampire novels that I’ve spontaneously sprouted my very own fangs and I’ve sucked the life force out of the genre and left nothing but a husk.

Obviously, that’s not how it happened, but I do have a flair for the dramatic.

So, without any more of my sulking, I leave you with one final plea.

Please, for the love of vampires and books, if you know of any vampire romance NEW releases, you can email me at KellyShrewsbury@Gmail.com or leave a comment below! I really look forward to suggestions.