Monday, March 1, 2021

Bet the Farm by Staci Hart [Review]

Bet the Farm by Staci Hart
Format: ebook
Source: provided for review
Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Date read: February 16, 2021

Purchase LinksPaperback | Kindle

Staci Hart
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Olivia Brent has one summer to save the dairy farm she just inherited.

But there’s one problem, and it’s not her lactose intolerance.

Jake Milovic.

The brooding farmhand has inherited exactly fifty percent of Brent Farm, and he’s so convinced the city girl can’t work the land, he bets she can’t save it in a summer.

Determined to prove him wrong, Olivia accepts what might be the dumbest wager of her life.

His strategy to win seems simple: follow her around, shirtlessly distracting her between bouts of relentless taunting. And it’s effective—if his dark eyes and rare smiles aren’t enough to sidetrack her, the sweaty, rolling topography of the manbeast’s body would do the trick.

What they don’t know: they’ll have to weather more than each other.

Mysterious circumstances throw the farm into disarray, and with the dairy farm in danger, Olivia and Jake have to work together. But when they do, there’s more to fear than either of them imagined.

Because now their hearts are on the line, and the farm won’t be the only casualty if they fail.
Thoughts on Bet the Farm: My friends, this was a lovely book. And when I say lovely, I mean Olivia's use of the word "mantitty" - ON MORE THAT ONE GLORIOUS OCCASION - when talking to Jake about his shirtlessness thrilled me. I laughed. Out loud even. Because the thought of slightly drunk Olivia berating the big, brooding farmhand about the spectacular chest he puts on display was delightful.

Seriously. I am delighted.

But this book is more than just mantitty and glistening muscles. There are also baby goats and unflinching optimism and Jake feeding baby cows while shirtless. And family. It might not be family in the most blood-related sense of the word, but Jake and Olivia and the others Olivia's grandfather gathered around him WERE family.

Jake and Olivia just took longer than some to realize it.

They fought. They sniped. They poked at one another until they figured out that all the sniping and fighting was covering up something very different. Something that looked suspiciously like fear and love and running scared because it's easier to push people away than to let them in sometimes.

A small town. Cows and goats and puppies. Two people figuring things out. *thumbs up*

Halfway There by Eve Langlais [Review]

Halfway There by Eve Langlais
Halfway There (Midlife Mulligan #1) by Eve Langlais
Format: ebook
Source: borrowed through Kindle Unlimited
Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Date read: February 21, 2020

Midlife Mulligan
1. Halfway There - Paperback | Kindle
2. On My Way

Eve Langlais
Website | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
I never expected I’d be one of those people who had a midlife crisis. Sure, I’m over forty, and married, but my kids are grown and moved out. Life is steady, if predictably boring.

That all changes when my husband asks for a divorce and my whole world crashes. Everything I thought I knew, everything I am, gone in an instant.
But I am not about to give up. After all, at my age, technically, I’m only halfway there.

I am ready to tackle my do-over; my chance to become the me I’ve always dreamed of. Starting with moving into my late grandma’s cottage and adopting a new kitten.

However, my new life is a little odder than expected. Old books suddenly appearing in my house. Neighbors going missing. A supposed lake monster, and a strange man who likes to skulk around with an axe.

I’m going to need to lean on my friends, new and old, to help me navigate my midlife crisis. Together maybe we will find a way to beat the family curse ruining my second chance at life.
Thoughts on Halfway There: Naomi's situation is tough to read at times. In trying to make her marriage work and keep things running smoothly in her household, she lost her sense of self and is only drifting through life when her husband drops his bombshell. Her relationship with her children is fractured (because they couldn't stand being near their father) and she has no friends to lean on. When things go from bad to worse and she suddenly finds herself homeless, her lifeline comes in the shape of the old cabin her grandmother left her years ago.

And that's when things get weird.

Her house is more than a house. Her childhood friends know more than she can wrap her head around (and frankly, she has a hard time believing most of what they say). Her grandmother had a whole other side to her that Naomi never really knew about.

Oh, yeah, and her family descends from witches who placed a curse on the nearby town and the local lake monster legend appears to be snatching people all willy nilly.

Watching Naomi find herself again was awesome (although still hard to read at times since she took A LOT of blame on herself for letting things go on as long as they did with her husband), her being completely blind to the potential of her bloodline was slightly less awesome (although I expect she'll come around to all that eventually), and her harem of men were confusing. I mean, who do you trust when suddenly all the men you meet start showing an interest, but SOMETHING of a sinister nature is clearly going on?

Bottom line: I liked it and I'm very curious where things will go next.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Gift of the Beast by Sonia Nova [Review]

Gift of the Beast (Mate of the Beast) by Sonia Nova
Format: ebook
Source: borrowed through Kindle Unlimited
Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Date read: November 30, 2020

Mate of the Beast
1. Mate of the Beast
2. Fate of the Beast
2.5. Miracle of the Beast
3. Heart of the Beast
4. Baby of the Beast
4.5. Gift of the Beast - Kindle

Sonia Nova
Website | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
The last thing she needs is a standoffish alien complicating her life…
Before her sister Hazel mated an Ezak-X, Shea had never given the aliens much thought. But after a nasty divorce left her and her daughter Lila in need of a major change, they move to Space City. Now, it’s impossible not to notice the Ezak-X – well, one in particular.

Her tall, muscular neighbor takes the “strong and silent type” to the extreme. In fact, he’s never said a word to her. But when car trouble threatens Shea and Lila’s Christmas trip to visit family, the beastly, quiet neighbor steps in to help.

He makes Shea yearn for something more. But Lila will always be her priority. And after her cheating ex, Shea’s doubtful she can trust a man again – least of all a sexy Ezak-X who seems to have no interest in her.

So why can’t she get him out of her head?

The female next door drives him crazy…
Garr doesn't understand the point in talking, let alone being social. Grunts and a word here and there have suited him just fine. Except when it comes to entering the military. The Alliance psychologist tells him he's too damaged, but Garr just wants to be useful.

Getting a job at a security company is a step in the right direction. But when a new female moves into his apartment complex, his organized life is thrown off balance. Her scent is intoxicating. Distracting. She makes him want things he's never even considered before.

Garr knows that if he wants to keep his life on track, he has to stay far, far away from her. But when the female and her child need help making it to their family for the holidays, he can’t just turn his back on them.

All he has to do is survive this trip without letting her into his head – or his heart. But even for a master of silence and solitude, that’s easier said than done…
Thoughts on Gift of the Beast: The Ezak-X have had it rough from the get-go. Imprisoned and experimented on by the Krezlians, now free, but struggling to find their place in the galaxy. Plus, that dang Krezlians keep trying to get their experiments bakc and that's not fun no matter how you look at it.

Garr is kind of a mess, but not in a terrible way. He's not social in the slightest (because he doesn't see the point, mostly) and he craves structure. When he has something to focus on, he gives it his all, but he's kind of ...waiting. To find his place. To find his purpose. To find something he can't quite put his finger on.

Shea and Lila throw him into a tailspin. He's wildly attracted to Shea, but he has no clue what it means or why he should pursue her. But that doesn't stop him from being protective of the two of them. Seeing Shea in distress bothers him and he does everything he can to help her out. Even step pretty darn far out of his comfort zone to take them to her family's house for the holidays.

As for Shea, she's a dedicated mother and she's a-okay with the Ezak-X in general (mostly because her sister is mated to one). She definitely likes what she sees in Garr, but his stunted social skills make her think it's a one-sided attraction. Until, you know, THINGS HAPPEN. (By that I mean a little alien abduction, a mama bear on a rampage, and a Ezak-X who uses all his abilities to stop those aliens from hurting Shea and Lila.)

What can I say? I like the Ezak-X and how they manage to find happiness despite their craptastic beginnings. I like the ladies who match up with them and rouse all their protective instincts. *thumbs up*

Friday, February 26, 2021

The Mad Lieutenant by K. Webster and Nicole Blanchard [Review]

The Mad Lieutenant by K. Webster and Nicole Blanchard
The Mad Lieutenant (Lost Planet #3) by K. Webster and Nicole Blanchard
Format: ebook
Source: borrowed through Kindle Unlimited
Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Date read: January 15, 2020

The Lost Planet
1. The Forgotten Commander
2. The Vanished Specialist
3. The Mad Lieutenant - Paperback | Kindle
4. The Uncertain Scientist
5. The Lonely Orphan
6. The Rogue Captain
7. The Determined Hero

K. Webster
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Nicole Blanchard
Website | Twitter | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Her voice brought me back from the darkness, but I don’t want the sweet relief she promises. Unlike the rest of the morts on my planet, I don’t want a mate. Especially not her.

She’s loud, boisterous, and doesn’t take no for an answer.

Unlike the rest of the alien females my brothers have woken from cryosleep, Molly doesn’t find my growls intimidating. The more I try to ignore her, the more she tries to befriend me.

I’d been taken captive once by the virus that nearly killed me. I bear its scars, not only on my body, but in my thoughts. No woman, not even one as beautiful as Molly, can heal me.

I don’t want her, but she needs me.
Thoughts on The Mad Lieutenant: I have the BIGGEST soft spot for the seemingly crazy/mad heroes who have suffered greatly (for whatever reason) and have to figure out how to make things work when they find their special someone. I should think it goes without saying that Draven WORKED for me. So hard.

The guy is a hot mess. He doesn't like confined spaces or not having a clear escape route. He's nearly feral and he absolutely doesn't want any of the females brought to the planet. Even when things go bad and one of the stasis tubes dumps Molly at his feet, he doesn't want any part of his brethren's plans.

Yet Molly chooses him as her protector and, being the good space vampire he is, Draven steps up. He might not want to (at first) and he might think there's no way they could work long term, but he does what he has to do and gives Molly a safe place.

Guess what, guys? It turns out feral Draven is just as much a soft touch as the others. He's exactly what Molly needs and she's exactly what he needs. The fact she's adventurous enough to brave the big, bad (dangerous) outdoors because she doesn't much like being cooped up either is aces.

And...the more we see of Mortuus, the more I'm starting to wonder about it. The morts have been laboring under the impression that the outside world is deadly (and it is), but there are signs that things might be changing AND I KIND OF LOVE THAT.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

The Vanished Specialist by K. Webster and Nicole Blanchard [Review]

The Vanished Specialist by K. Webster and Nicole Blanchard
The Vanished Specialist (Lost Planet #2) by K. Webster and Nicole Blanchard
Format: ebook
Source: borrowed through Kindle Unlimited
Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Date read: January 14, 2020

The Lost Planet
1. The Forgotten Commander
2. The Vanished Specialist - Paperback | Kindle
3. The Mad Lieutenant
4. The Uncertain Scientist
5. The Lonely Orphan
6. The Rogue Captain
7. The Determined Hero

K. Webster
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Nicole Blanchard
Website | Twitter | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
My lilapetal is dying...and I can’t save her.
The woman who brought me back to life may not live long enough to see me truly happy.
All the tests, the experiments have failed me...and I have failed her.
If I don’t devise a cure to save my alien, I’ll spend the rest of my existence on Mortuus alone.

The others believe my mate isn’t strong enough to survive. That she can’t breed and should be put back into cryosleep until she’s healed.

But I won’t allow it.

I will defy the only family I’ve ever known to save her.
Even if it means vanishing into the unknown.

She is all that matters and no amount of her protests will keep me from doing what I must to keep her safe.
Thoughts on The Vanished Specialist: Aria made a snap decision in her book to awaken one of the other sleeping women (for REASONS) and it didn't go so well for poor Emery. Admittedly, it wasn't Aria's fault that things went badly, but between Emery's asthma and other issues she was dying by inches and nobody knew what to do about it.

Well, nobody except Calix. More to the point, he was so invested in making sure she survived (and thrived) that he was willing to try anything to fix her. Which isn't as weird as it sounds. It was more like he was willing to put in the time and brainpower and delve into his father's old journals to find other methods of healing her that hadn't been used in a long time.

For the record, Calix might have come across as a little creepy when he was cuddling up to Emery when she was still in stasis, but he's just as smitten and adoring as Breccan was with Aria. You know how it goes...when the mating urge hits, it hits hard and fast. And it hasn't been wrong yet, so there's that.

I loved, loved, loved getting to see the outside away from the habitat. Things are bleak and deadly, but (maybe) not as horrible as I thought from book 1. Mortuus might have been altered by what happened to it, but it seems like there are pockets of the old world left. They're still dangerous, sure, but the world is adapting and surviving in its own way and I REALLY like that.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

The Forgotten Commander by K. Webster and Nicole Blanchard [Review]

The Forgotten Commander by K Webster and Nicole Blanchard
The Forgotten Commander (Lost Planet #1) by K. Webster and Nicole Blanchard
Format: ebook
Source: borrowed through Kindle Unlimited
Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Date read: January 14, 2020

The Lost Planet
1. The Forgotten Commander - Paperback | Kindle
2. The Vanished Specialist
3. The Mad Lieutenant
4. The Uncertain Scientist
5. The Lonely Orphan
6. The Rogue Captain
7. The Determined Hero

K. Webster
| Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Nicole Blanchard
| Website | Twitter | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Our planet, Mortuus, is lost and dying.
A desolate place where a few lone survivors dwell.
My men have lost hope. Our future is bleak.
Longevity is a luxury we can’t afford.
The most we can hope for is survival.
We’ve all but given up when an opportunity presents itself.

Five females—a chance at a future.
Procuring these women went against everything I’d been taught, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
They’re ours now.
Asleep and made ready for breeding.
We won’t die out—lost and forgotten.
It’s our destiny to grow and once again inhabit our lonely planet.

I am Breccan Aloisius, the forgotten commander.
My people will have the future they deserve.
I’ll make sure of it.

My mind is made up…until she wakes and nothing goes as planned.
Thoughts on The Forgotten Commander: Yesssss. A dangerous planet with a dying people whose only hope is a group of stolen women who could mean a future if the commander has anything to say about it. I am SO here for this.

To be fair, I wasn't sure I would be okay with the forced impregnation scenario, but.... BUT BUT BUT it totally worked for this story. While I'm not a big fan of the idea of something like that being done to women without their consent, I do understand where Breccan and the surviving morts were coming from when Breccan made the decision. I think it was how Breccan reacted once Aria was awake and able to make her voice heard that turned the tide for me.

Well, that and how utterly sweet (while somehow also being kind of vicious and survival-minded) the morts were when all was said and done.

As for Aria, her muddled memory complicates things. She's completely confused by how she ended up on a transport ship to be stolen and brought to the planet. (and when we do find out the circumstances...heh! Yessssss. You do what you have to do, Aria.) But, she's also smart enough to realize her well-being currently rests in the hands of the aliens who awakened her. So she plays her part and ends up falling for Breccan as she gets to know him.

A dangerous, doomed, messed-up planet with a group of dangerous, doomed, sexy space vampire aliens. I'm totally down with this world and all the crazy in it.