Sunday, May 19, 2024

RtP's Week in Review (05/19/24)

Reading the Paranormal's Week in Review Bookish Delights

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Pursued by the Hunter by Lynnea Lee [Review]

Pursued by the Hunter (Xerc'n Warriors #0.5) by Lynnea Lee
Format: ebook
Source: free with newsletter sign up
Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Date read: July 9, 2023

Xarc'n Warriors
0.5. Pursued by the Hunter
1. Claimed by the Hunter
2. Wanted by the Hunter
3. Taken by the Hunter
4. Cherished by the Hunter
5. Rescued by the Hunter
6. Stolen by the Hunter
7. Captured by the Hunter
8. Protected by the Hunter
9. Desired by the Hunter
10. Coveted by the Hunter
11. Craved by the Hunter

Lynnea Lee
| Website | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Cynthia
My name is Cynthia, and I live in the Bugpocalypse. I eke out a living in a barren and hostile post-apocolyptic landscape, foraging for food, hiding from deadly bugs, and sleeping in abandoned shipping yards. You know, the whole nine yards. But I have a problem: I have a stalker.

And not just any stalker. He’s powerfully muscular, fiercely protective, and…purple. Yes, he’s freakin’ purple. Cov’k is a Xarc’n hunter. And he claims I’m his mate.

There’s no way I’m going to be some ferocious warrior’s pet! I don’t care if he saved me from the swarm. And I definitely don’t care about his talented tongue. I’m getting the hell out of Dodge. If he wants me, he’s going to have to find me first!
Thoughts on Pursued by the Hunter: I read this book out of order in relation to the rest of the series (honestly, I didn't realize there WAS a prequel until I was a good chunk into the series otherwise I would have read this first) and HOO-BOY do I like these scourge-fighting warriors. Sure, they don't have the best social skills, but they are here fighting the good fight against the bugs even though there are plenty on Earth who aren't thrilled to have them planet-side.

That said, thanks to the government propaganda about the hunters, Cynthia is NOT pleased to have a big purple alien following her around. In fact, she has no idea what to do with Cov'k at first. So she ran. Fortunately for her, Cov'k followed her. He protected her when she needed it and found her a decent group to settle in with once she reached Franklin. All without her knowing, for the most part.

On Cov'k's end, he wasn't quite sure what to do with Cynthia since she seemed determined to get as far from him as possible. A little time and a little space (or so she thought) gave her the chance to come to terms with the big guy and his protective streak.

Bugs, bad guys, a little miscommunication, and a couple who (eventually) find happiness during an invasion. Yesssssss.

Friday, May 17, 2024

Dauntless by Victoria Denault [Review]

Dauntless (In Vino Veritas) by Victoria Denault
Format: ebook
Source: borrowed through Kindle Unlimited
Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Date read: June 27, 2023

In Vino Veritas
Wildfire
Counterpoint
Unmanageable
Underdog
Wonderland
Dauntless - Paperback | Kindle

Related Series:
(find all the books in the series on the 1st book review)
The Busy Bean
1. Sweetheart

Moo U
1. Boyfriend

Speakeasy
1. Touchstone

True North
1. Bittersweet

Vino and Veritas
1. Roommate

Victoria Denault
| Website | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
He’s everything I’ve ever wanted, at the worst possible moment.

One and done. That’s always been my motto when it comes to guys, because I’m not about to pull someone else into the closet my parents have locked me inside. I’ve been waiting years to claim my inheritance and live the life I want to live–out, free, and oh yeah, rich.

So why is the universe dropping the sexy farm boy with the lazy smile into my life right now? When Bowen Whitlock says he’ll join my band, and later my bed, I know one time won’t be enough.

But loving Bowen is dangerous for me. And he has his own struggles, like keeping his family afloat and trying not to get fired from his job at Vino and Veritas. But he lives his life with an authenticity that gives me a tantalizing taste of living my truth.

My secret relationship with Bowen is everything, until someone betrays us in the worst possible way…
Thoughts on Dauntless: Oh man. Chase, the mostly closeted guy who's just trying to get through the next few months until his upcoming birthday, and Bowen, the hot hemp farmer who is not a great bar worker, are up and YESSSSSS.

First off, Bowen is not doing so hot at his job at V&V. He's trying, but he's relentlessly clumsy and he needs this job enough to keep trying even though his lack of forward progress on not breaking glasses every shift is starting to wear on him. Hold up. Maybe relentlessly clumsy was too harsh. They guy is pure gold behind a drum kit, so he's not clumsy-clumsy, but he doesn't do well with glasses, beer kegs, and other assorted bar goings on. That said, his drumming is a thing of beauty and he loves losing himself when he gets behind the kit.

Then there's Chase. He's smart, determined, and he's bound up so tightly by the terms of his grandfather's will that he can barely breathe. Due to said will, being openly with another guy isn't an option. Yet he can't stop coming back to Bowen after their one and done moment. Having a secret relationship isn't ideal, but Bowen gets it. Throw in Chase's family plus some family (and family friends) political stuff that mucks things up even further and these two (but mostly Chase) have a lot on their plate.

Familiar faces (love that V&V crew!), complicated family dynamics, a sticky mayoral race, a man who desperately wants to be himself, and another who is finding his feet again after a terrible tragedy. GOOD STUFF.

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Truth or Wolf by Anne Marsh [Review]


Truth or Wolf (Wolf Brothers #1) by Anne Marsh
Format: ebook
Source: provided for review
Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Date read: March 26, 2024

Wolf Brothers
1. Truth or Wolf - Paperback | Kindle

Anne Marsh
| Website | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Welcome to Moonlight Valley, Tennessee… the secret paranormal sibling of Penny Reid’s Green Valley and a small town where bearded werewolves outnumber the unsuspecting human inhabitants.

Twin brothers Atticus and Ford Boone may share the same face and the same supernatural secret, but where Atticus is charismatic and charming, Ford is grumpy and reserved… and that’s before he shifts into his wolf. When hardworking citizen scientist Alice Aymes reluctantly returns to Green Valley to restart her stalled life, she’s sure she knows what to expect. She’ll save up the money she needs to escape to Nashville while nursing her secret infatuation with the ever-popular Atticus Boone—and fighting with her high school nemesis, his twin brother. Alice hates Ford, and he’s always hated her right back. But after a case of mistaken identity has Alice kissing the wrong twin, she does what any good scientist does and analyzes the facts.

Fact #1: It’s time to revisit her unrequited crush on Atticus. Who needs a white-knight fantasy man when there’s a rock-solid, beaded lumberjack in your personal space?

Fact #2: Stimuli and sensory input ahoy! Growing up, Alice saw Ford as the grumpiest, sternest guy in town. They fought for years. Apparently that now sends her amygdalae into sensual overdrive.

Fact #3: The more bearded the wolf, the more protective and possessive.

As Alice finds herself irresistibly drawn to the man she loves to hate, the question lingers: How much of her level-headed heart is she willing to risk in the face of newfound desires and supernatural secrets?
Thoughts on Truth or Wolf: Who knew that versions of the Winston boys transported to a paranormal wolfy setting would do it for me? Given that I adore me some wolfies, I probably SHOULD have known this, but my enjoyment of Ford and Alice's romance was still a fun kick in the pants. Which might say something about my lack of self-awareness OR it might just be that I didn't know what I wanted until it hit me in the brain. (Spoiler: I'm going with the second option.)

So. Ford and Alice. He's a lot less charming than his twin and he's had a little something simmering for Alice for a LOOOONNNNG time. On Alice's end, Atticus (the charming twin) is easy to like and just...easy. Like, he's more fantasy than reality. She likes him because it's uncomplicated. Whereas Ford is Complicated (yes, with a capital C). Whenever they spend time near one another they fight. As it turns out, the fighting is like foreplay and Alice grows to enjoy their verbal spats once that's pointed out to her.

Besides the Ford and Alice romance, we have brothers who are wolves, a town that has a lot hiding under the surface (which is to say more than just the Boone wolves are in residence), familial bonds, secrets, a realignment of goals, some unscrupulous characters, and some sneaky happenings going on behind the scenes by the connivingest of the Boone brothers.

Yep, I didn't know I wanted small town wolfies with strong family bonds when I picked this book up, but BOY did they hit the spot.


Grab your copy TODAY!


Wonderland by Rachel Ember [Review]

Wonderland (In Vino Veritas) by Rachel Ember
Format: ebook
Source: borrowed through Kindle Unlimited
Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Date read: June 6, 2023

In Vino Veritas
Wildfire
Counterpoint
Unmanageable
Underdog
Wonderland - Paperback | Kindle
Dauntless

Related Series:
(find all the books in the series on the 1st book review)
The Busy Bean
1. Sweetheart

Moo U
1. Boyfriend

Speakeasy
1. Touchstone

True North
1. Bittersweet

Vino and Veritas
1. Roommate

Rachel Ember
| Website | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
I left Vermont on the most painful day of my life and swore I’d never go back. Meadows Park–the shuttered amusement park that’s been in my family for generations–is the home of all my finest and worst memories. They all star Peter Landry–the best friend I ever had, and the only guy I’ve ever loved.

But then my eccentric grandfather buried two million dollars on the property and couldn’t remember where.

So I’m back, and asking Peter for help. He’s an Ivy League lawyer now. Still gorgeous, and able to gut me with a single smile. And I’m still a disappointment, living in the city and washing dishes to get by. As soon as we strike off down the first sunlit path, the Meadows Park magic begins to fill my heart with yearning, lust, and most dangerous of all—dreams.

I’m secretly relieved each time the day ends, leaving us empty-handed. I know it’s wrong—without that money, we could lose the park.

But if I find the treasure, I lose the guy...
Thoughts on Wonderland: I feel like I need to start here by mentioning that I LOVE abandoned places as a setting. Just...the mental picture of these long forgotten places slowly fading away as nature and time creep in...MAN, my heart eyes are strong just thinking about it. The point? A rundown, defunct amusement park in the wilds of Vermont makes my heart sing. Throw in a treasure hunt for some missing money and YESSSSSS.

So. Peter and Riley had a thing when they were in their teens. Things happened and they went their separate ways and now they're back in town. At the same time. Sharing space. Well, sort of. They're teaming up to help Riley's grandfather find his buried money and MAN do they have a lot of pent up emotions to deal with. Guilt and sadness and sexy thoughts and lots and lots of memories.

While they manage to get over the pain of their abrupt parting eight years before pretty quickly (Riley had his reasons for doing what he did), they both have some serious work they need to do on themselves. Peter's adrift and hasn't quite found his groove after bailing on a lucrative career in California. Riley has always felt like he wasn't good enough for Peter and he doesn't want to burden him with all his issues. It takes a little time and a few frank conversations (along with required cooling off periods after said conversations) for them to find their happy places.

As it turns out, their happy places are with one another regardless of the things going on in their lives.

Throw in some treasure hunting, a tortoise names Lemon, an amusement park full of memories (both good and bad), and some giant bunnies and you have the perfect recipe for a second chance at romance.

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Fair Market Value by Hailey Edwards [Review]

Fair Market Value (The Body Shop #1) by Hailey Edwards
Format: paperback
Source: purchased
Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Date read: April 22, 2024

The Body Shop
1. Fair Market Value - Paperback | Kindle
2. Amber Gambler

Related Series:
(find all the books in the series on the 1st book review)
The Beginner's Guide to Necromancy
1. How to Save an Undead Life

Black Hat Bureau
1. Black Hat, White Witch

The Potentate of Atlanta
1. Shadow of Doubt

Hailey Edwards
| Website | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Forgot to feed your goldfish before your untimely demise? Need to jot down a will? Say a goodbye? See the Grand Canyon? Then come visit us at The Body Shop, where unfinished business is our business.

Mary Frances Talbot—Frankie—is a necromancer, probably. Hard to say since she never met her parents. She can see the dead, talk to the dead, and a few other things that aren’t strictly legal. It’s fine. No worries. As long as she doesn’t get caught.

The whole not getting caught thing was going well until Samuel Harrow blew back into town wearing a Savannah Police Department uniform. He might be a witch, but he hates magic. He’s not a fan of Frankie either. Which explains why he’s her ex.

When Frankie’s less than legal side gigs result in dead vampires, she knows she’s in trouble. Big trouble. And that’s before Harrow offers to help. With him waving a Get Out of Jail Free card in her face, Frankie doesn’t have much choice but to accept.

But that doesn’t mean she has to forgive. She’ll certainly never forget him breaking her heart or turning her over to the police or... Yeah. They were doomed from the start. Something tells her this investigation will be too.
Thoughts on Fair Market Value: A new Hailey Edwards series set in the BGtN/BD/BHB world. YASSSSSSS. (To be fair, any new HE book would have had me excited, but throw in the world from a couple of my favorite series and I am absolutely BOUNCING with excitement.)

Our new cast of characters include Frankie (a necromancer of sorts who offers something for the masses no other necromancer offers and who genuinely doesn't even know if she's strictly a necromancer or a necromancer crossed with something else OR something else entirely thanks to her murky parentage), her siblings by choice and deed, and Samuel Harrow (the man who betrayed Frankie and shattered her trust and HOO-BOY there might be more to that whole story than Frankie knows about). Plus we have messengers, partners, ghosts who keep Frankie and her sibs in business, and, well, others.

To make a long story short, the life Frankie has carved out for her and her siblings is potentially threatened. Harrow returning to Frankie's orbit is both distracting and breaks her a little, which isn't great since there are THINGS she needs to deal with to keep her siblings safe. (I'm sorry, I keep saying "siblings" like Josie and Matty are little kids. They're not. They're fully grown individuals with magical quirks as quirky as Frankie's.) Anywho, helping Harrow figure out what's going on while trying to stay off the radar is a challenge (an probably not nearly as doable as Frankie thinks). And that's before Frankie is making friends with people in cemeteries and nearly get run down in unexpected places.

Bottom line: One book in on a new HE series and I'm already smitten! More, please!

Underdog by L.A. Witt [Review]

Underdog (In Vino Veritas) by L.A. Witt
Format: ebook
Source: borrowed through Kindle Unlimited
Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Date read: June 12, 2023

In Vino Veritas
Wildfire
Counterpoint
Unmanageable
Underdog - Paperback | Kindle
Wonderland
Dauntless

Related Series:
(find all the books in the series on the 1st book review)
The Busy Bean
1. Sweetheart

Moo U
1. Boyfriend

Speakeasy
1. Touchstone

True North
1. Bittersweet

Vino and Veritas
1. Roommate

L.A. Witt
| Website | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Life in foster care wasn’t easy. Life after prison? Unforgiving. But I’m determined to stay out of trouble, and I’m gaining a foothold on the closest I’ve ever known to normal.

Then, thanks to a pair of escape artist dogs from the sanctuary where I’ve found work, I cross paths with my boss’s neighbor, Ty Adams. He’s a horse trainer, and winter is his quiet season. It’s also the season when he gets restless and lonely—two things I know all about. He’s not interested in love or romance. I’m just happy someone’s interested in me at all, even if emotions are strictly forbidden.

When we’re not together, I’m thinking about him. When we are together… Well, I’m definitely thinking about what he does to me and what I want to do with him.

As we keep each other warm through the Vermont winter, this feels a lot more than physical. Somehow he soothes my pain, and I wonder if I’m touching something deep inside him too. But Ty won’t let himself love anyone. I never had a chance. And now, with my past closing in, I could lose the one man I hoped I could count on. The one I thought might be different.

When his present and my history collide, is it too much to hope he’ll choose me?
Thoughts on Underdog: Next up we have Landon and Ty. One's trying to get his feet back under him after being paroled from prison. The other is convinced he has nothing to offer anyone except hookups and short term coupledom since his farm (and his beloved horses) require all his attention.

First off, Landon has it rough. Sure, he did a bad thing (or two) that ended him in prison, but he's learned his lesson and he's absolutely determined to not end up back there. So he puts up with the wary looks (some more than wary, mind you) and the fact no one trusts him. He puts up with the parole visits and the fear that he's going to get sent back even if he does everything right. He toes the line as tightly as he can and he keeps his head down. Ty's trust in him is a gift and he's not going to betray it.

On Ty's end, he might enjoy the time he spends with Landon, but he doesn't think he's relationship material for anyone since he has to give so much to the farm. He might like all the things he and Landon do and he might like the support Landon gives him when things get tough on the farm, but he refuses to drag someone into a one-sided relationship. Never mind that Landon loves the farm and he loves the animals and he doesn't begrudge Ty either the time he spends on it or how hard he works.

Basically, the two of them have a few issues to work through. Ty needs to realize he DOES have a lot to give in a relationship. Landon needs to realize he's more than the years he spent in prison. It takes a lot of hookups, a long night or two spent with the animals, and a reckless act by someone that puts Landon's freedom at risk for these two to get where they need to be.

Two escape artist dogs, a whole lot of horses, some familiar faces (Brent and Jon! Luke!), and two men keeping warm in the best way through the long, cold winter. *thumbs up*