Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Top Off Tuesday - KO in one!

I've taken over the Top Off Tuesday meme (formerly hosted by Felicia, Christi and Amanda). Why? Because I can't resist gratuitous shirtless covers. Nothing says Tuesday like flashing some skin, amirite?!?!

Here's one hunk of burning love for everyone to admire!

 Knockout by Tracey Ward
Knockout (North Star #1) by Tracey Ward
Kellen Coulter has a way with women. A boxer from the wrong side of town, he worked his way through the wealthy daughters at Weston High with a brilliant smile, sweet words and vacant eyes. No one gets close. No one gets through. No one knows the secrets hiding inside.

No one but me. I'm the only girl he's ever let in. The only one who has ever truly seen him. When we met I was just a kid, an old soul with an open ear and a full understanding of what it was to be misunderstood by everyone around you. But even I didn't know the demons sleeping inside him. Not until now.

Not until it might be too late.

This is not a cookie cutter romance.
It is a knockdown, heartbreaking journey through friendship, love, and loss - all to find the one person who can see you clear as day, even when you've lost all sight of yourself.

Want to play along? EXCELLENT!


Monday, May 25, 2015

Omega by S.M. Reine [Review]

 Omega by S.M. Reine
Omega (War of the Alphas #1) by S.M. Reine
Format: ebook
Source: provided by the author for an honest review
Date read: May 12, 2015

War of the Alphas
1. Omega - Paperback | Kindle
2. Beta
3. Alpha

S.M. Reine
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Ten years ago, Deirdre Tombs died. When she was reborn the next day, Deirdre had become a shapeshifter who can't shift shapes. Nobody knows what animal she's supposed to be. She's definitely not a werewolf. The Alpha, Rylie Gresham, can't force her to transform like other members of her pack.

Now Deirdre is considered an omega, the weakest shapeshifter in the pack--a vulnerable position when Everton Stark demands tribute from Rylie. He wants to be the dominant Alpha. The only Alpha. And he plans to make her pack submit whether they want to or not. Stark can make every shapeshifter obey him by force of will alone.

Every shapeshifter except Deirdre.

The shifter who can't shift is the only hope for Rylie to win the war against Stark. It will take everything Deirdre has to survive undercover in his den. But can an omega's will be stronger than that of a charismatic, deadly Alpha like Everton Stark?
Thoughts on Omega: I say this every S.M. Reine book I read. EVERY ONE. And I'm going to say it this time. There comes a point in every one of her books where I have to quietly put the book down and walk away because WTF, MAN! WHY YOU KILLING ME LIKE THIS?!?!

*gives everyone the crazy eyes*

Soooo... Deirdre has a few issues. Not being able to shift really seems like the least of her worries at the moment. She has a nightmare on her tail, a power hungry alpha with the ability to compel giving her a second look, and friends who might not be friends but maybe they are and it's all a little confusing when you look at it from the outside.

It's not really confusing. It's complicated and tangled and Deirdre is torn between hating Rylie for her part in her division from the other shifters and wanting to help out because Stark is kinda batshit crazy at times.

Nobody likes a batshit crazy alpha, man. Actually, some people do. Which is a big part of the problem. With so many disenfranchised rallying to Stark's cause and Stark's willingness to do WHATEVER is necessary to reach his endgame, Deirdre is in a bad place.

Given that this is a S.M. Reine series, I can pretty much guarantee that bad place will only get worse before too long.

*whimpers*

Sunday, May 24, 2015

RtP Week in Review (05/24/15)

Reading the Paranormal's Week in Review
Bookish Delights
  • Books added to the pile 
    • None? CAN THIS BE RIGHT?
  • Currently reading 
    • I dunno. I'm between books at the moment.
Globetrotting...
Check it out!
  • *whispers all creepy like* Julles Burn.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Hard Knocks by Lori Foster [Review]

 Hard Knocks by Lori Foster
Hard Knocks (Ultimate #0.5) by Lori Foster
Format: ebook
Source: free Kindle download 2/23/15
Date read: February 24, 2015

Ultimate
0.5. Hard KnocksKindle
1. No Limits
2. Holding Strong
3. Tough Love

Lori Foster
| Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Power. Brute strength. Unforgettable moves. It’s no wonder Harper Gates hasn’t been able to get her fling with Gage “Savage” Ringer out of her head. Months have passed since she laid eyes—or any other body parts—on him. Months without a word of contact… until, sidelined by injury, he comes back to town.

Staying focused on his training seemed like a smart move to Gage, even if he thought about Harper every day. Seeing her again only makes it clear how much is at stake. He’s got one night to earn back her trust. One night to show her that behind his breathtaking skill and ripped body is a man who’ll give her everything she needs.
Thoughts on Hard Knocks: I've been on a fighter kick lately. Not going to lie, the covers might have something to do with that kick. Because, whoa. Thank you, cover gods, for being generous with the muscles and man-flesh.

But enough about sexy covers. This book features a smokin' hot fighter and the lady trying to give him his space. Except, space isn't what he needs from her. Yeah, you know what I mean. Gage wants sexy times. But just any old sexy times with any old person won't cut it. No, sirree. He wants Harper, Harper, and only Harper.

Which works nicely because she wants him just as strongly. Maybe more so because she hasn't been fooling herself about what she feels about him.

I do enjoy the friends to lovers trope and Gage and Harper play that angle well. I also enjoyed Gage's buddies at the rec center. I see so much potential for those men to fall and fall hard when their special someone falls into their path. *slow thumbs up*

Friday, May 22, 2015

Hardcore: Volume 2 by Staci Hart [Review]

 Hardcore: Volume 2 by Staci Hart
Hardcore: Volume 2 by Staci Hart
Format: ebook
Source: provided by the author for an honest review
Date read: February 23, 2015

Hardcore
1. Hardcore: Volume 1
2. Hardcore: Volume 2 - Kindle
3. Hardcore: Volume 3

Staci Hart
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
The choice is steep: Stay on the ledge and steal Van's painting or take the leap and sacrifice her sister. It's another decision in a long line that she's had to make in her life, and though it's easy to make, it's impossible to execute.

Jade won't let Cory go until she gets what she wants, but the price for Cory is high. It's never been hard to steal, to lie, but Van changed all the rules. It was the last thing she wanted to do to him. But as much as that choice is agony, there's really only one to make.

Betrayal and pain. Love and loss. Decisions and consequences. The edge Cory walks is razor sharp and sky high, but she can't look down. Not until she makes it to the other side.
Thoughts on Hardcore: Volume 2: Allow me to sum up my feelings about this installment in two simple sentences: Evil authors are evil. -and- Thanks for making me all emotional, you fiend.

Yep, Staci Hart is batting 2 for 2 thus far as Cory's life unravels in the most heartbreaking of ways. For the record, while I still want to kick Jade in the lady parts (that chick is crazy in a way that sends chills down the spine) at least her time as leader of their merry band looks to be falling apart after what she's done to Cory. I'm evil laughing over that right this minute. SERVES YOU RIGHT, CRAZY! Serves.You.Right.

Cory's situation is bleak. From where's she's standing, she has no options. She won't risk her sister and she truly believes Jade will follow through on her threat if Cory backs out. But her heart is breaking over what she has to do to Van and... IT'S HARD TO READ.

I have some seriously mad love for this story. Mad, MAD love. I want to see how it works out, but I FEAR the repercussions of what Cory was forced into. Book three is probably going to gut me. I'm shoring up my defenses now so I don't end up a weeping, miserable mess.

Thanks for making me all emotional, you fiend.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Magic Dreams by Ilona Andrews [Review]

 Magic Dreams by Ilona Andrews
Magic Dreams (Kate Daniels #4.5) by Ilona Andrews
Format: ebook
Source: purchased
Date read: January 29, 2015

Kate Daniels
0.5. A Questionable Client
1. Magic Bites
2. Magic Burns
3. Magic Strikes
3.5. Magic Mourns
4. Magic Bleeds
4.5. Magic Dreams - Kindle
Curran POV Collection
5. Magic Slays
5.4. Magic Gifts
5.5. Gunmetal Magic
6. Magic Rises
7. Magic Breaks
8. Magic Shifts

Ilona Andrews
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Alpha Pack leader Jim Shrapshire has always been the strong, silent type. But something has come over him--a magic force currently residing in one of the Pack's headquarters. Were-tigress Dali Harimau has always wished she could get Jim's attention--but now he needs her help.

Stricken with a magic-sickness, Jim needs Dali's flair for magic. And to save him, she must challenge a powerful, dark being to a battle of wits.
Thoughts on Magic Dreams: Good gravy, I love Jim and Dali together. All the feeeeeelings they have for one another and neither one will act on it. The thing is, I TOTALLY get why they both held back. TOTALLY. (And I have mad, MAD respect for Jim and how he held himself in check for Dali to make a move. Oh, Jim. You rock. Hard.)

We get a look at family dynamics and pack dynamics in this story. Again, I get it. As brilliant as she is, Dali doesn't think she's beautiful. With her oddities there's no way Jim could want her the way she wants him. On the other hand, Jim won't abuse his position as the cat clan alpha and he has to shove his feelings down deep to make sure Dali feels something for him before making his move.

Again, mad respect for Jim. He might do some questionable things at times when it comes to his friendship with Kate (always for the good of the Pack, BUT STILL), but he's honorable and does what's right when it comes to his lady.

*slow thumbs up*

Magic-sickness, bad people willing to do bad things for bad reasons, and Dali and Jim. I luuuurrrrrve it.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews [Review]

 Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews
Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels #4) by Ilona Andrews
Format: paperback
Source: purchased
Date read: January 29, 2015

Kate Daniels
0.5. A Questionable Client
1. Magic Bites
2. Magic Burns
3. Magic Strikes
3.5. Magic Mourns
4. Magic Bleeds - Paperback | Kindle
Curran POV Collection
5. Magic Slays
5.4. Magic Gifts
5.5. Gunmetal Magic
6. Magic Rises
7. Magic Breaks
8. Magic Shifts

Ilona Andrews
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren't for the magic. When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose.

Kate Daniels works for the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid, officially as a liaison with the mercenary guild. Unofficially, she cleans up the paranormal problems no one else wants to handle - especially if they involve Atlanta's shapeshifting community.

When she's called in to investigate a fight at the Steel Horse, a bar on the border between the territories of the shapeshifters and the necromancers, Kate quickly discovers that there's a new player in town. One who's been around for thousands of years - and who rode to war at the side of Kate's father.

This foe may be too much even for Kate and Curran, the Beast Lord, to handle. Because this time Kate will be taking on family...
Thoughts on Magic Bleeds: OMG! This is the book I've been waiting for in this reread. THIS IS THE BOOK! *holds up seven fingers* I might be the tiniest bit obsessed with Kate and Curran as a couple. Tiny bit. You'll hardly notice it.

AND THIS IS THE BOOK!

Okay, seriously. The dynamic between these two just kills me. They're so freaking cute together. You know, in a "I could rip you to shreds with my bare claws or sword" sort of way. The misunderstanding in the beginning was tough. Kate's heart is broken. Curran's indulging in a powerful bout of brooding. It works. IT WORKS.

Because once Kate throws caution to the wind and decides she needs to give them a chance, they FUN starts. The catnip and gluing butts to chairs. HA!

Of course, things are never smooth in Kate's world. Opening herself to Curran means divulging some of the secrets about her parentage she's been keeping close to the vest for the past three books. The fact that someone in Kate's family is the one causing all the mayhem in Atlanta makes it even more tense for her. Not only is she telling Curran her secrets, her family is batshit crazy and get their jollies off destroying things.

GAWD, I love this series.