Posts Tagged ‘unrequited yearning’

Reviewed by Nikyta J.

Wild Magic (Triad, #4)TITLE: Wild Magic

SERIES: Triad, Book 4

AUTHOR: Poppy Dennison

PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press

LENGTH: 108 Pages

BLURB: Joseph Anderson was heartbroken when his childhood best friend Dominick Levent moved away. Years later, Joseph is a successful real estate broker with good friends, an easy smile, and a stunning house. When he finds a dying mountain lion who miraculously shifts into Dominick’s sister, Joseph must find Dominick and reunite him with the two young sons she left behind.

When mountain lion shifter Dominick gets a call telling him his sister is dead, he rushes home to protect his nephews and avenge his sister. Seeing Joseph brings back the feelings Dominick tried to bury and he dares to hope Joseph’s newfound knowledge of shifters means they can finally be together.

REVIEW:

First things first. If you haven’t read the Triad series… well, you seriously need to get your butt in gear and read them because they’re great. Different, intense at times but still has enough soft and sweet moments to make it not too heavy but an engaging read nonetheless.

With Wild Magic, it’s no different. While we aren’t experiencing the wolves as much, we’re taken in a different direction in what’s happened to the surviving mountain lions that no one knew about and the fear that they’re still in danger. For those that have read the Triad series, you’ll know why this is so significant. I loved the fact that we got to see more of the cats but also enjoyed exploring how a human reacts to knowing about shifters.

It was interesting to see the relationship between Dominick and Joseph, who were best friends back when they were teenagers. Unfortunately, Dom had to break off their friendship when he realized he was in danger of spilling his shifter secret to Joseph. When they meet again, Joseph is still hurt by Dom’s sudden withdraw but he’s willing to put aside his feelings for the boys… especially when he still yearns to be in Dom’s arms. This story goes beyond that, however, by eventually bringing both types of shifters together that will ultimately set things to right. Along the way is the possibility of trouble and the fear that Dom might not be enough for his nephews to survive while also exploring a little of Dom and Joseph’s rekindling relationship.

I loved that Joseph was so willing to get Avery and Blake to safety even when he just got the shocking of a lifetime. He’s a sweet, successful and tender man. Dominick is hard to explain. When he hears about what happened to his sister, he’s lost. He has no idea how to raise two little boys and even less of an idea of how to keep them safe. It was obvious to me that he still wanted Joseph so I found his need to protect both the boys and Joseph so adorable. Joseph and Dom together fit perfectly, IMO, because where Dom was nervous and unsure, Joseph gave him a shoulder to lean on and where Joseph was unsure, Dom gave him the strength to figure things out. I just loved these two and Dom’s little nephews! Soooo cute! I had this little “OMG, I KNEW IT!” moment when I realized who Avery and Blake were… it was great and I’m curious if other readers will make the same connection that I did.

I only had two issues with this book. One, I felt like Avery and Blake spoke and acted much older than the ages of six and four. Second, the resolution to the conflict was very anti-climactic to the point that I was left wondering if that was it. Beyond that, I wished the story, in general, had been longer so that some of the scenes and what was glossed over could have been expanded on. I wished there had been a tad more emphasis on the romance because there wasn’t enough to make me really understand their feelings (as there were with the previous couples) but I’d love to know where Joseph and Dominick go from here and to see their actual mating.

In the end, I adored this story just as much as I enjoy all of Ms. Dennison’s books. I’ve always loved this world and I’m happy that we got more of a taste from it but from a cat’s point of view instead. It was definitely interesting and I loved the moment when the connection between the previous Triad books and this one became known. I sincerely hope there’s more to come of this series because I’m not ready yet to let it go!

Nikyta’s Rating: four-stars_0

BUY LINK: Dreamspinner Press  ::  All Romance eBooks

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Nikyta J. is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.

To read all her reviews, click the link: NIKYTA’S REVIEWS

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Reviewed by Nikyta J.

Blessed CursesTITLE: Blessed Curses
AUTHOR: Madeline Ribbon
LENGTH: 168 pages
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
BLURB: Though he’s a sorcerer with a talent for creating blessings, David can do very little with any other magic. He works the night shift for his cousin’s magical supply shop because he’s cursed—his brother did it when they were kids—and now people can’t stand to be near David since he inspires irrational fear. Many experts have tried to remove it, but the curse has proven completely binding. Then David meets Vaughn at his brother’s wedding.

Vaughn works for the magical enforcers, picking apart complex curses and making sure sorcerers stay within the law. He has the ability to dampen magical effects around him and loves solving supposedly irreversible curses like David’s. He quickly develops a more personal interest in David. Despite the distance David attempts to keep between them, he finally realizes when Vaughn is injured on the job that he doesn’t want to stay away anymore. But what about the curse?

REVIEW:

This was a cute story about David who was cursed as a boy by his jealous brother to inspire irrational fear in anyone or anything that gets close to him. He’s lived twenty years with this curse in which only his brother could withstand his company for more than a few minutes. At his brother’s wedding, he meets Vaughn, the bride’s best friend, who works as an enforcer at Arcana, which is like the police for all types of magical crimes and such. Vaughn loves puzzles so he loves breaking curses. When he meets David with the intention of helping to break his curse, it’s lust at first sight instead. David’s lived years feeling lonely so he has a hard time thinking Vaughn wants him for more than just as a chance to cure the ‘Impossible Kid’ as Arcana has nicknamed David. To be with David, Vaughn has to prove his love but in the process will he be able to cure David?

I’ve got to say, I absolutely adored David. The life he’s lived is so sad and lonely, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him. To live decades with a curse that not only affects others but you as well must be brutal and because of that he’s a bit jaded and confused when Vaughn shows interest in him. At the same time, he’s this cute little nerd that has so many layers to him. It’s hard for me to describe Vaughn. I couldn’t clearly visualize the way he looks but he has a strong personality that seems genuine. I loved the way he handled David and how he tries to woe him. I loved the endearment he calls David, it’s so cute.

The story deals with mainly Vaughn and David tentatively starting a relationship and how they manage to get around David’s curse. Vaughn was born with a suppression power that enables him to suppress anything that seems harmful to Vaughn. There’s also a few side conflicts such as how Vaughn tries to break David’s curse but also deals with someone breaking into magical practitioner shops to steal a powerful herb so there’s a bit of a mystery regarding that. All together it is a little overwhelming and sometimes things go slightly too fast but it’s still a fun read and I loved the way the author handled the conflict revolving around curing David’s curse. I think it fit the story very well.

While I enjoyed the book very much, I missed the fact that more time wasn’t spent on Vaughn physically looking for answers to the curse. I wish the story was just a tad bit longer because I would have loved to see Vaughn and David out as a couple and not just secluded in their homes. To experience them in a more public setting would have legitimized the feelings between the two for me.

All in all, this was a light, fun read that had me laughing at times and feeling bad for the characters at others. I loved the world the author created because she has a smooth writing style that made it fascinating but not too confusing. I hope there’s more to come of either Vaughn and David or other characters within this world because it would be amazing to explore it further. Definitely recommended.

Nikyta’s Rating: four-stars_0

BUY LINK: Dreamspinner Press

==================================
Nikyta J. is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.

To read all her reviews, click the link: NIKYTA’S REVIEWS
=====================================================

Check out all our recommended books in Sid Love’s eBook Store:
Recommended Books

(Support this site and buy the books from my A-store)

Reviewed by Nikyta J.

Shadows in the Night (Leap of Faith, #1)TITLE: Shadows in the Night (Book #1)
SERIES: Leap of Faith
AUTHOR: M. A. Church
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 200 pages
BLURB: When Chip Riley’s beloved granny passes away, she leaves him all her money, her land, and a house that needs some tender love and care. She never mentioned the legacy comes with a Native American shifter who intends to claim Chip as his mate.

Jason Sky has lived since buffalo roamed the land. When his totem spirit, a black cougar, saves a little girl, he doesn’t realize that generations later, her grandson will become his mate, leaving him to take on a modern man with modern ideas. But that’s the least of his problems.

Garon, another shifter with a long-held hatred for Jason, plots to kidnap Chip and lure Jason to his death. Soon Chip finds himself in an untenable position between a rock and a hard place. A leap of faith may be the only way to save himself and the man he’s learned to love.

REVIEW:

Chip’s life isn’t going as planned. He’s just lost his job and now he’s lost his granny, the only person in the world who’s ever cared for him. Returning to the town she lived in, he finds out he was left with her house and a sizable fortune. Now living in the small town he spent his childhood summers in, he’s meeting all types of new people that make him nervous, including Jason Sky, who makes Chip feel like a bumbling idiot. As they get to know each other, Chip starts to realize there are things out there he doesn’t know or understand like the fact Jason’s a rare black cougar and that he’s Jason’s mate. Chip doesn’t have any time to process what he’s learned before an old enemy of Jason’s plots to use Chip as bait to finally kill Jason. Jason’s finally in a position to claim his mate but will he lose Chip before he can actually complete the mating ritual?

When I started this book, I felt bad for Chip because he’s just lost his job and he’s feeling lonely. When he goes back to his granny’s town, he starts to blossom more because of the country air and doing what he loves most – fixing things. I have a sort of fascination with red heads so Chip appealed to me from the beginning with his flaming hair as a child that turned slightly darker as he aged. I liked the fact that when he finally figures out what Jason is, he’s so freaked out he thinks he’s going crazy. In the beginning, I found Jason sort of annoying. He’s very prejudice against whites and even goes into a few rants about how white folks ruined his people and such. Considering that Chip is white, I had a hard time accepting the fact that he seems to hate white people but yet he’s so eager to mate with Chip. After a while, he mellows out and I liked that he was so sweet towards Chip. He wants Chip happy because a happy Chip is a happy almost mate and a happy almost mate becomes HIS mate. I just found it adorable how much he wanted to dominate but please Chip.

What I liked most about this book was Jason’s inner cougar. He’s an old wise spirit that is sometimes indignant and grumpy. I found Jason and the cougar’s conversation highly amusing because they’re almost like brothers bickering. I also loved Chip’s granny. I loved that even after she passed, she still had a hand in how Chip handled certain situations. More than anything, I found the ending quite sweet and cute. I adored the last scenes and their playing. If anything, I wished there had been more of it. I also liked the world that was created and how Jason’s animal side was his totem spirit. The mates in this series are handled in a slightly different way than in other shifter books. I found how the mates were handled (I refuse to say) gave it a fresh concept that I enjoyed a lot and hope that we get to explore more of in future books.

One of the things that I had an issue with was the way all the characters who had POVs talked to themselves out loud. Generally, I don’t have a problem with this, and in fact, I didn’t mind it in the beginning but as the story progressed and not one, not two but three characters all had this trait, it was hard to differentiate between them. The first half of the book I felt like the characterization was good but the second half they weren’t distinct enough and started to blend together in personalities, especially Jason and Chip who started acting very similar, which I thought was off character for both of them. More than that, I felt like the story overall was predictable. The human identities of the shifters are a mystery to the reader until half way through but I knew right away which was the good one, the bad one, and who were going to play a part in saving Chip when he eventually would get kidnapped and/or injured (which I also predicted correctly). In the end, I was a bit disappointed with the resolution of the conflict; so much build up to kidnapping Chip and then Garon was handled in just a few paragraphs making the resolution feel flat.

Overall, it’s not a bad story. Enjoyable if you are looking for something easy to read that will give you some entertaining moments. The characters are at least funny sometimes and the overall premise had a lot of potential. I’ll be looking forward to reading the next in the series because I have a feeling it’ll be about Chip and Jason’s friends, Simon and Hawk, who I found interesting even though they didn’t have much of a role in this story.

Nikyta’s Rating: 535px-3-5_stars-svg

BUY LINK: Dreamspinner Press

==================================
Nikyta J. is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.

To read all her reviews, click the link: NIKYTA’S REVIEWS
=====================================================

Check out all our recommended books in Sid Love’s eBook Store:
Recommended Books

(Support this site and buy the books from my A-store)

Reviewed by Nikyta J.

five-stars120205

TITLE: Thick as Thieves
AUTHOR: Tali Spencer
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 200 pages
BLURB: After Vorgell the barbarian fucks himself with a unicorn horn, he ends up in a cell with Maddog, a pretty young thief. It’s lust at first sight for Vorgell—but honestly, he can’t help it. Unicorn horn is a potent aphrodisiac, and now he can’t stop thinking about sex. Luckily, Madd is one male witch who knows how to put Vorgell’s new magical body to good use when he tricks Vorgell into a kiss that helps them escape.

Vorgell may desire sex in general—and Madd in particular—but Madd has no intention of being screwed by a man twice his size. He has problems of his own, including an enchanted collar that causes him to desire his most hated enemy. He wants that collar off as soon as possible, but that requires stealing a basilisk egg from the castle they just escaped.

Drawn together by lust and magic, the two men join forces and soon find themselves up to their necks in witches, wizards, and trouble. Vorgell and Madd might just be perfect for each other, but first they have to survive long enough to find out.

REVIEW:

When I read the blurb for this book, I knew right away it had the potential to be a wild ride. Any author that has the balls to have such an attention grabber for the start of a blurb was something that I wanted to read and I’m happy to say this book lived up to my expectations and more.

The story revolves around Vorgell, a brute of a man who unwittingly kills a unicorn, eats some berries and then becomes so horny he fucks himself with the unicorn’s horn. Now cursed with the unicorn’s magic, he’ll live the rest of his life unable to control his lust. Being jailed for his crime, he’s thrown into a cell with Maddog, a witchkin who’s forced to wear a love collar that binds him to the Baron. When they meet, Vorgell feels so much lust for Madd he’s willing to force himself on Madd but instead Vorgell settles for a kiss, turned bite, that Madd uses to tap into Vorgell’s new magic, allowing them to escape.

When their emotions settle down, they reluctantly decide to work together. Vorgell will help Madd break the collar while Madd will sate Vorgell’s constant lust. Unfortunately, to get rid of the collar, they’ll have to break back into the very place they just escaped from, steal an unhatched basilisk egg and do it all without getting caught. Madd attracts trouble, though, and things aren’t that easy. Now, they’re not just saving Madd from the Baron but trying to stop the wizards from increasing their powers through the Baron’s wife. With so many roadblocks, will they ever be able to succeed and gain their freedom?

I loved these characters. They were quite surprising from how they develop over the course of the book. Vorgell more than anyone because of his sexual appetites. Vorgell starts off as this mindless gigantic brute who will take what he wants and not care who he hurts in the process. He’s aggressive, forceful and quick to battle. He hates witches with a passion and vows to slaughter any he comes into contact with until he meets Madd. Madd is just the opposite, he’s small, determined and stubborn with no problems taking advantage of Vorgell’s magic. With his life, he needs to be in control. He’s a thief and has no loyalties to anyone, in fact, he pretty much hates everyone and couldn’t care less to help them.

As they work together, though, they form a bond that neither of them are willing to let go of. Now, Madd and Vorgell will do anything to stick together even if it means getting killed in the process. They develop a weird sense of honor but definitely form a bone-deep bond that allows them to trust and have faith in one another. It’s sweet, in a way, to see Madd go from something resembling a hissing cat to one who would do anything to keep Vorgell from getting used… at least from anyone besides himself. Vorgell is the same in that he won’t let anything happen to Madd. While they don’t necessarily love each other, there’s affection there and growing adoration that definitely could develop into love if their story were to continue further.

The world is quite amazing. I loved that it was so deep into the magical community centered on wizards and witches and the differences between the two while mixed in with an almost historical setting. The witches are women who believe that men are just tools to give them more magic and to create life while wizards are men who gorge themselves on all things related to necromancy, killing witches to strengthen themselves. Madd falls somewhere in the middle. He’s a witchkin which means he doesn’t practice necromancy but can’t necessarily create his own magic without refueling from an outside source, which generally means consuming living things. It’s a crazy world where magic is essentially part of everything. The journey Madd and Vorgell go on takes the reader deeper and deeper into the layers of witches and witchkin. It was fascinating for me because it provided enough information to stay interesting but not so much that it’s overdone and becomes too heavy in world building. It was a nice balance between adventure, affection and the overall world.

The only fault I found with the story was that some aspects of it are unresolved. Not majorly so but it’s left with a possibility of more to come for these two and I, for one, would be extremely happy if there were a sequel!

The book flows well from the start with an engaging first chapter that had me wanting to read more. The writing is smooth and has action interspersed throughout the whole story. When things would start to slow down, Madd and Vorgell would find themselves in another situation that required them to fight for their lives or go through dangerous territory. It’s filled with twists and turns but even while Vorgell and Madd develop, they never shed the criminal actions that got them caught in the first place. It was refreshing that they weren’t born again innocents but instead kept their gruff and dangerous exteriors. They’re completely hot together and I loved the ‘mastering’ (if you can even call it that) that takes place between the two. They’re very, very surprising characters and while I was afraid of the direction the story would take a few times, overall, I loved the way it was executed.

For someone looking for a true romance, you won’t find that with this story. This is pure fantasy with more of lust than love in the developing of feelings and companionship but you won’t find undying love in this book. It’s rich in a unique world, a fascinating journey and an interesting cast of characters and creatures. It was a fun, adventurous read that got intense at times but I’m so glad I read it because I loved it. I do sincerely hope there’s more to come of these two because I’d love to see what mischief Vorgell, Madd and Petal get into next. And if you want to know who Petal is… well, you’ll just have to read it and find out yourself!

PRE-ORDER LINK: Dreamspinner Press

==================================
Nikyta J. is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.

To read all her reviews, click the link: NIKYTA’S REVIEWS
=====================================================

Check out all our recommended books in Sid Love’s eBook Store:
Recommended Books

(Support this site and buy the books from my A-store)

Reviewed by Nikyta J.

(This review may contain SPOILERS)

TITLE: Save the Date
AUTHOR: Kate McMurray
PUBLISHER: Loose Id Publishing
LENGTH: 126 pages
BLURB: Tristan knows he and his ex-boyfriend Stuart were not meant to be, but that doesn’t make the invitation to Stuart’s wedding any less of a punch in the face. Tris decides that the only thing for it is to find a super hot date to prove to Stuart that he’s moved on and is doing just fine, thanks.

The path to the altar is fraught with obstacles, however, and Tris has to deal with the wilds of online dating, wardrobe malfunctions, men who look like pirates, emotional baggage, grooms with cold feet, and sports team rivalries before he even gets to the wedding. But when Tris stumbles on love in the last place he expects, he’ll need to let go of the past in order to move forward.

REVIEW:

When I read the blurb for this, I was thinking it’d be along the lines of the movie The Wedding Date, which I adored and have watched a bunch of times. While it does have a similar vibe to the movie, the big difference is this takes place mostly before the wedding and follows Tristan on his journey to finding a date to his ex’s nuptials. Going on blind dates and then online dating, he discovers Darren’s secret. Darren never meant to keep the fact he was gay from Tristan but he just never found the right time to tell Tristan or their friends. When the two get together, they start a relationship a little too fast and soon Darren is agreeing to go to Stuart’s wedding with Tristan. But now the question remains, is Tristan just using Darren or does he actually have feelings for Darren?

Tristan is a passionate individual. Even after years of being broken up from Stuart, he still loves him enough to be sad over being invited to the wedding. Tristan’s a bit melodramatic and exaggerates which makes him a bit of a handful at times. To counter that, he also has a love of sports that means he doesn’t exactly fit into the stereotypical gay role. He’s a bit self-absorbed but overall he’s sweet. Darren has been Tristan’s best friend since college and been in love with Tristan for years. He’s been in the closet for a while now, making Tristan believe Darren was straight this whole time. Together they’re a cute couple. Darren is shy but obviously adores Tristan while Tristan is a little over the top but eventually comes to realize his feelings for Darren.

A source of amusement throughout the whole book was the constant wondering just why Tristan’s ex, Stuart, would invite him to the wedding. More than that, the phone calls and weird conversations they would have had me chuckling a few times. While I can’t say I exactly liked the fact it was so focused on the ex, I can say that while Tristan’s actions towards asking Darren to the wedding are questionable, Tristan’s overall feelings for Stuart are more of affection towards a friend than a soul deep love between ex-partners of ten years, even if they have been broken up for a while. I will say that I adored Tristan and Darren’s friends. Kevin, Hugh and Alex had me chuckling a few times with their competitive sports banter and their figurative nose wrinkle at thinking of Darren and Tristan together because they all think of the two as ‘brothers’. It was cute and funny and I really enjoyed those parts.

I’ve always been a sucker for friends to lovers stories so I found this book overall sweet. It’s a bit predictable but has a cute execution. At times, the story dragged because a lot of it is spent in Tristan’s head so the monologue got a little too heavy for me especially when it seemed a bit repetitive. There’s also the problem that I felt like a lot of it was told instead of shown, which hindered my ability to get to know not only Tristan better but overall Darren. I didn’t feel like Darren was fleshed out enough, I couldn’t connect with him. I found him sweet but I ultimately couldn’t feel that connection between them because Darren wasn’t developed as a character. In the beginning, it was hard for me to stick with this story, I kept putting it down because it didn’t grab my attention. Around the 40% mark, however, it started to pick up and I was enjoying it but by the end, the epilogue kind of damped my enjoyment because the whole thing is told and I was expecting a little more something between Darren and Tristan to show how their relationship was after the wedding. I didn’t really feel satisfied with the ending because it just made me feel like I was missing much more than I should have been considering the length of time that passed and that made me sad.

Overall, I enjoyed the story but it took a while for me to do that. I found Tristan very amusing and I did like the potential between Darren and Tristan but I didn’t exactly feel like it was fleshed out enough for the level of love and commitment that they were explained to have. However, I think if you’re looking for a sweet, quick and semi humorous story, you’ll enjoy this one.

Nikyta’s Rating: 3-stars-out-of-5-300x70

BUY LINK: Loose Id Store :: Book Store

==================================
Nikyta J. is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.

To read all her reviews, click the link: NIKYTA’S REVIEWS
=====================================================

Check out all our recommended books in Sid Love’s eBook Store:
Recommended Books

(Support this site and buy the books from my A-store)