Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Top Off Tuesday - Ass kicking soldiers. OH, YEAH.

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?!?!

Long live the men who protect us from marauding alien invaders, amirite?!?!?!

 Reed by Anna Hackett
Reed (Hell Squad #4) by Anna Hackett
As part of Hell Squad, former Coalition Navy SEAL Reed MacKinnon fights for humanity’s freedom from the alien invaders. He also fights for his brown-eyed girl—the woman he rescued from the aliens’ secret laboratory. He admires her quiet strength and will to survive, not to mention her elfin looks and curvy body…but he knows he has to keep his distance. She’s nowhere near ready for what he has to offer and he’ll protect her from everything, even his own powerful desires.

Energy scientist Natalya Vasin has lived through hell. Still struggling after her captivity, scarred by the aliens’ experimentation, all she wants is to be normal again...and she wants Reed MacKinnon. But the rugged soldier is holding back, treating her like glass, and she won’t accept that from anybody.

As Reed and Natalya wage a sensual battle of desires, they also work together to decipher a mysterious alien energy cube. Hell Squad needs Natalya’s expertise and they need her to go back into alien territory to use it. But on a mission to destroy an alien outpost, secrets are uncovered—of what the raptors really did to Natalya. Secrets that mean the future she wants with Reed is just an impossible dream.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Maze of Souls by J.L. Bryan [Review]

 Maze of Souls by J.L. Bryan
Maze of Souls (Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper #6) by J.L. Bryan
Format: ebook
Source: provided by the author for an honest review
Date read: February 26, 2016

Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper
1. Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper
2. Cold Shadows
3. The Crawling Darkness
4. Terminal
5. House of Whispers
6. Maze of Souls - Paperback | Kindle

J.L. Bryan
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
It's October, and down at newly opened Pine Hollow Farm, the ghosts are running wild!. This “genuine” old-time family farm offers a big heap of fun fall activities. You can drink cider fresh from the orchard, enter a pumpkin-carving contest, and explore the five-acre corn maze. At night, if you aren't too scared, join the haunted hayride through the woods, featuring a genuine eighteenth-century cemetery. According to local legend, the ghost of a horseman has ridden the old dirt road through the woods for nearly two centuries, menacing travelers. Hayriders beware!

Then the real ghosts start to come out, threatening visitors to the farm and the family who live there. Paranormal detective Ellie Jordan travels out to the remote farm to root out the dangerous spirits. Ellie and her assistant Stacey must move fast, because the night is coming when all ghosts will be at full strength and free to roam—the night of Halloween.
Thoughts on Maze of Souls: Things don't look all the rosy for Ellie at the end of this book and I'm anxious to see how she deals with them. Because, you know, Ellie's strong and she bounces back from some pretty wicked supernatural happenings, but she had THINGS she needs to deal with. She's good at rolling with the punches and all that, but she's also on the verge of some big changes and that might throw her for a loop.

(If I use "things" one more time, feel free to punch me in the face. I'll probably deserve it.)

So. I liked this one. It advanced the overall arc nicely AND gave us some creepy, crawly ghosties Ellie needed to smite. Or whatever it is she does. As I've some to expect from these books, Ellie does her research to hunt down who's causing all the shenanigans and then steps in to take care of business. Sometimes she does it the other way around and it doesn't end as well for her. To be fair, sometimes there isn't a lot of information to be found and she has to wing it.

Man, this is turning into a metaphor for my life, isn't it?

Anyway. Ellie and crew are dealing with a pretty messy one this time around (bloody lady crawling up the stair. YESSSSS!) and they rise to the occasion. As ghost trappers often must do. *slow thumbs up*

Sunday, May 22, 2016

RtP Week in Review (05/22/16)

Reading the Paranormal's Week in Review
Bookish Delights

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Write On Review-a-thon [28]

 Write On Review-a-thon
There's another review-a-thon weekend coming up! I'm in!

A little about the Review-a-thon:
The Write On Review-a-Thon is a challenge hosted by Book Bumblings. From Friday through Sunday, we all band together and write as many reviews as possible. It’s a weekend for you to either catch up on reviews or get ahead on upcoming ones. It doesn’t matter if you write one review or 10 – if you write a review, you’re in.
This month's review-a-thon will run from Friday, May 27th to Sunday, May 29th.

As for me...
Reviews to be written:
  • {coming soon}

Friday, May 20, 2016

Unrequited by Jen Frederick [Review]

 Unrequited by Jen Frederick
Unrequited (Woodlands #4) by Jen Frederick
Format: ebook
Source: purchased
Date read: February 21, 2016

1. Undeclared
1.5. Undressed
2. Unspoken
3. Unraveled
4. Unrequited - Paperback | Kindle

Jen Frederick
Website | Twitter Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Winter Donovan loves two things: her sister and her sister's ex boyfriend. She's spent her whole life doing the right thing except that one time, that night when Finn O'Malley looked hollowed out by his father's death. Then she did something very wrong that felt terribly right.

Finn can't stop thinking about Winter and the night and he'll do anything to make her a permanent part of his life, even if it means separating Winter from the only family she has.

Their love was supposed to be unrequited but one grief stricken guy and one girl with too big of a heart results in disastrous consequences.
Thoughts on Unrequited: Oh, my goodness, I liked Finn. He made a few mistakes, but his heart was in the right place. And when he decided he wanted Winter as more than just a hook-up, he went for it. HARD.

For the record, I liked Winter, too. She had some serious issues to deal with (her sister being the main one) and she walked the line between being there for her and forcing Ivy to stand on her own two feet. I mean, it took time, but she took a stand and she stuck to it. WAY TO GO, WINTER.

(I did not like Ivy. I get why she did the things she did and I can appreciate how the author had her act that way, but I didn't like her. Manipulative family members set my teeth on edge.)

As for the falling for your sister's ex? OUCH. Winter and Finn's story was messy and tangled, but they made it work.

As with the other books, we get some face time with former couples, Bo gave some relationship advice (that never gets old, guys. NEVER!), and I'm DYING to see how the other men in the Woodlands house find their special someone. Probably the saddest thing about this book was hitting the end and realizing I'd run out of published books. *sad face* Oh, well. I shall persevere until book 5 comes out.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Mating Challenge by Bonnie Vanak [Review]

 The Mating Challenge by Bonnie Vanak
The Mating Challenge (Werewolves of Montana #5) by Bonnie Vanak
Format: ebook
Source: purchased
Date read: February 21, 2016

Werewolves of Montana
0.5. The Mating Heat
1. The Mating Chase
2. The Mating Hunt
3. The Mating Seduction
4. The Mating Rite
4.5. The Mating Intent
5. The Mating Challenge - Kindle
6. The Mating Season
7. The Mating Game

Bonnie Vanak
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
For a long time alpha werewolf and ranch owner Aiden Mitchell has desired the curvy, vivacious Nikita Blakemore, alpha female of the Blakemore pack. He will have her as his mate and no other. To force her hand, Aiden maneuvers her into hosting a Mating Challenge, the ultimate warrior competition for werewolves, where males fight for the right to mate and breed with a female alpha. Fiercely protective of his future mate, Aiden will do anything to make her his own, even fight to the death.

Masquerading as her twin sister, Nia Blakemore knows she is the one Aiden wants in his bed. Nia has dreamed of the handsome cowboy sweeping her into his strong arms and consummating the passion consuming them both, even though he thinks she is Nikita, the true alpha female. Nia must try to keep Aiden from discovering the truth to protect her frailer, gentler twin. But Nia and the real Nikita hide a secret far more deadly than the charade they have pulled off for years, one that can kill Aiden and any healthy male who sets foot upon their land…
Thoughts on The Mating Challenge: I genuinely like this world, but I have to admit there were times I wanted to give Nia a good shake and tell her to suck it up and spill all her secrets. Especially as we came to see that those secrets weren't secrets in the strictest sense of the word when it came to who they were trying to deceive.

So I wasn't totally thrilled with Nia's choice to hide what was going on. Very little good comes from deathbed promises, I've found. Very little. I do understand where she was coming from as far as those secrets go, but it put her in a bad position and she had to sacrifice a lot of weather them.

That said, considering the danger Aiden ended up in, he was pretty easygoing about everything that went down. Sure, sure, he ended up with the hot werewolf and everything, but things could have turned ugly there.

I like cowboy werewolves. I like how the pack comes together to support one another. I like the smokin' sex. Basically, other than my little issues about secrets and such, I like this whole world. Heck, magic and werewolves. Those things work for me.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Unraveled by Jen Frederick [Review]

 Unraveled by Jen Frederick
Unraveled (Woodlands #3) by Jen Frederick
Format: ebook
Source: purchased
Date read: February 20, 2016

1. Undeclared
1.5. Undressed
2. Unspoken
3. Unraveled - Paperback | Kindle
4. Unrequited

Jen Frederick
Website | Twitter Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Twenty-five-year-old Sgt. Gray Phillips is at a crossroads in his life: stay in the Marine Corps or get out and learn to be a civilian? He’s got forty-five days of leave to make up his mind but the people in his life aren’t making the decision any easier. His dad wants him to get out; his grandfather wants him to stay in. And his growing feelings for Sam Anderson are wreaking havoc with his heart…and his mind. He believes relationships get ruined when a Marine goes on deployment. So now he’s got an even harder decision to make: take a chance on Sam or leave love behind and give his all to the Marines.

Twenty-two year old Samantha Anderson lost her husband to an IED in Afghanistan just two months after their vows. Two years later, Sam is full of regrets—that she didn’t move with her husband to Alaska; that she allowed her friends to drift away; that she hasn’t taken many chances in life. Now, she’s met Gray and taking a risk on this Marine could be her one opportunity to feel alive and in love again. But how can she risk her heart on another military man who could share the same tragic fate as her husband?
Thoughts on Unraveled: Man, I felt for Sam. She's caught between her past love and a potential future and she doesn't quite know how to navigate the fine line between them. Wait. It's not so much she doesn't know how to as she doesn't want to cause any waves. She goes to a monthly brunch she hates with her dead husband's parents because it's easier than telling them she needs a little space. She doesn't put her own needs first for ANYTHING from what I could tell until Gray crosses her path.

And then she's full of doubts and guilt as she deals with her attraction to a man who isn't her dead husband. It's a minefield of emotions and it hurts a little, but in a good way.

Then there's Gray. He's caught between his own two opposing forces and he doesn't know what he wants to do next. Which is pretty much me every day when I wake up. So, I get him. I ADORED what he tried to do after he screwed things up. His big gesture was sweet and utterly adorable and I totally mentally high-fived him for doing it.

As always, the Woodlands crew is fun and sometimes ridiculous and the bantering between the guys kills me dead. Plus, Bo giving relationship advice is awesome. He should totally do it all the time.

Next up: Finn!