Friday, July 1, 2022

Dark Fire by Ruby Dixon [Review]

Dark Fire (Fireblood Dragons #10) by Ruby Dixon
Format: ebook
Source: borrowed through Kindle Unlimited
Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Date read: May 29, 2022

Fireblood Dragons
1. Fire in His Blood
2. Fire in His Kiss
3. Fire in His Embrace
4. Fire in His Fury
5. Fire in His Spirit
6. Fire in His Veins
7. Fire in Her Eyes
8. Fire in His Chaos
9. Fire in Her Dreams
10. Dark Fire - Paperback | Kindle

Ruby Dixon
Website | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Azar has taken over Fort Dallas. He rules with complete authority, and everyone bows down to him.

Everyone except one woman. Melina, the fort's medic. No matter what he offers, she refuses to give in. A good man would know to stop asking. Unfortunately for Melina, Azar is not a good man.
Thoughts on Dark Fire: I tend to have a VERY difficult time talking myself into reading the final book in a series because I have a hard time saying goodbye. So when I say I was extremely pleased with the ending we were given, please keep that in mind.

Just so we're clear, however, Azar isn't a good guy. He's done questionable things to secure his toehold in this world and his culture is one of subjugation and strength. Weaknesses are pounced on and used to tear others down so the dude has a VERY HARD TIME showing his softer side. Even with Melina. She has to piece together what she can of his history (because Azar is wildly tight-lipped about anything that could potentially be used against him) before she starts to understand why he does some of the things he does.

As for Melina, she's initially resentful and angry about Azar's strong-arm tactics in getting her to be his consort. She's pulled thin from her work at the clinic, she's exhausted by the day-to-day survival, and she (somewhat reluctantly) uses what little power she has to try to finagle better living conditions for the human survivors. She also starts to act as Azar's conscience. You know, eventually. Because it takes time for the guy to unbend enough to listen.

These two have a bumpy, bumpy road to get to their happily ever after. Azar has secrets, Melina has hard lines she's not going to allow Azar to waltz over. Azar is very much a product of his Salorian upbringing and it takes a lot of time and effort before he begins to understand why Melina pushes for the things she pushes for from him.

Meanwhile, the thing in the Rift is trying its hardest to crawl into Azar's head, making a difficult situation even more difficult.

Like I said, I have a hard time reading the final book in a series (because it's so bittersweet to say goodbye), but I'm very pleased with how everything was tied up. Azar learns some humanity and the humans and dragons have a chance to build better lives for themselves. *thumbs up*

RtP's 2022 Series Tracking - April-June

While I'm not hosting an official Seriously Series Challenge this year, I liked being able to track series I've completed. So... here we are. Tracking some series.

By category:
Series started in 2022: 16/12
Series started before 2022: 30/12
Series rereads: 11/12

By month:
April
  • Started in 2022:
    • Completed: 10
      • Alien Adoption Agency (Noxx)
      • Beachfront Bakery (A Killer Cupcake)
      • Cats and Dogs Mystery (Olive Oil and Murder)
      • Folsom Planet Blues (Alien Most Wanted: Unchained)
      • Jane Ladling (No Gravestone Left Unturned)
      • Lacey Doyle Mystery (Murder in the Manor)
      • London Ladies Embroidery (Neanderthal Seeks Duchess)
      • Rust & Relics (Torrent, Destiny Unchosen, Thorn Fall)
      • Urf Oomons (Earthers Go Hard)
      • Wheel of the Year (The Mabon Feast)
    • In progress: 1
      • Immortal Enemies (Heartless)
  • Started before 2022:
    • Completed: 11
      • Black Hat Bureau (Black Wings, Gray Skies)
      • Eternal Mates (Craved by a Wolf)
      • Green Valley Library (Checking You Out)
      • Lessons Learned (Not Fooling Anyone)
      • Norcross Security (The Medic)
      • Port Danby (Violets and Vengeance)
      • Prime Mating Agency (I Married a Minotaur)
      • Riley Thorn (Riley Thorn and the Blast from the Past)
      • Scorned Women's Society (It Takes a Woman)
      • A Witch in Wolf Wood (Charmed and Dangerous)
      • Work for It (Smart Mouth)
    • In progress: -none-
  • Rereads:
    • Completed: 1
      • Kate Daniels (Magic Rises)
    • In progress: -none-
May
  • Started in 2022:
    • Completed: 5
      • Arcane Society (Second Sight, White Lies, Sizzle and Burn, Running Hot, Fired Up, Burning Lamp)
      • Burning Cove (The Girl Who Knew Too Much)
      • Mead Mishaps (That Time I Got Drunk and Yeeted a Love Potion at a Werewolf)
      • Night Folk (Sable)
      • Regency Bon Bons (A Kiss for Luck, Along Came a Prince)
    • In progress: -none-
  • Started before 2022:
    • Completed: 12
      • Beast Battalion (Zenith)
      • Fated Mates of the Ferlaern Warriors (Craved by the Alien Warlord)
      • Fever Brothers (Hot and Heavy)
      • Fireblood Dragons (Dark Fire)
      • Firefly Junction (Heat Wave Homicide)
      • Galactic Kings (Captain of the Guard)
      • Indulgence (The Night Blade)
      • Night Huntress (Reckoning, Happily Never After, Devil to Pay, Up From the Grave, A Grave Girls' Getaway, The Other Half of the Grave)
      • Risdaverse (When She's Lonely)
      • Shacking Up (Hooking Up)
      • Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries (Give Up the Ghost)
      • Treasured by an Alien (A Gift for the Alien Warrior)
    • In progress: -none
  • Rereads:
    • Completed: 3
      • Gemini (Dead in the Water, Head Above Water, Hell or High Water)
      • Night Huntress (Halfway to the Grave, One Foot in the Grave, At Grave's End, Destined for an Early Grave, This Side of the Grave, One Grave at a Time, Home for the Holidays)
      • Night Huntress World (First Drop of Crimson, Eternal Kiss of Darkness)
    • In progress: -none
June
  • Started in 2022:
    • Completed: 1
      • Immortal Enemies (Ruthless)
    • In progress:  -none-
  • Started before 2022:
    • Completed: 7
      • Angels of the Dark (Burning Dawn)
      • Heart Falls Vignette and Novella Collection (Girls' Night Out, Rose's One Night to Forever)
      • House of Payne (Party Girl)
      • Icehome (Daisy's Decision)
      • Lost Planet (The Runaway Alien)
      • Mystic Bayou (Shifters in the Night)
      • Stay a Spell (Always Practice Safe Hex)
    • In progress: 3
      • Alien Abduction (Pandora and the Prisoner)
      • Dragon Kin (How to Drive a Dragon Crazy, Light My Fire, Feel the Burn)
      • Lords of the Underworld (The Darkest Craving, The Darkest Touch, The Darkest Torment)
  • Rereads:
    • Completed: -none-
    • In progress: -none-
2022 Series Rereads - Completed
  • Black Hat Bureau by Hailey Edwards
  • Dragon Kin by G.A. Aiken
  • Gemini by Hailey Edwards
  • Ice Planet Barbarians by Ruby Dixon
  • Ice Planet Honeymoon by Ruby Dixon
  • Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews
  • Night Huntress by Jeaniene Frost
  • Night Huntress World by Jeaniene Frost
  • Off Guard by Katie Allen
  • Riley Thorn by Lucy Score
  • Risdaverse by Ruby Dixon

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Magical Midlife Love by K.F. Breene [Review]

Magical Midlife Love (Leveling Up #4) by K.F. Breene
Format: ebook
Source: borrowed through Kindle Unlimited
Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Date read: April 13, 2021

Leveling Up
1. Magical Midlife Madness
2. Magical Midlife Dating
3. Magical Midlife Invasion
4. Magical Midlife Love - Paperback | Kindle
5. Magical Midlife Meeting

K.F. Breene
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
The Ivy House team is shaping up, but there are still holes to be filled, and a magical summons outstanding. Jessie needs a teacher. Someone who can fit in with the whacky Ivy House crew. And that was going just fine...until she gets a request to host a powerful, neighboring mage.

A teacher isn't going to be enough. She needs more power in her crew. She needs some might.

This time, Austin Steele might not be able to dominate what she calls in, creatures no shifter has ever dominated before.

But that isn't all Austin has to worry about. After a skirmish in the bar, suddenly his whole world is turned upside down. He can no longer ignore the feelings that have been growing for Jess.

He also can't ignore the town's complete lack of readiness for the neighboring mage's visit. He must call in his brother to help lock down the town. And when his brother arrives, he must finally hash out the past that has split them apart so that he can claim his future.
Thoughts on Magical Midlife Love: Okay. It's taken Jess a while to find people who fit with her and the house and things are coming together nicely. Mostly. She's still uncertain about her powers and she's so new to everything magical that sometimes she does things that take everybody by surprise, but she's getting there.

Sure, sure, there are still battles to be fought and dangers to be faced and WHOOPS a couple of crazy-strong individuals who are answering her magical summons, but everything will work out. Probably.

On the romance front, we're finally getting somewhere. With Austin's brother rolling into town to help with the coming battle, he has someone who can actually give him advice. Or maybe he's just finally willing to listen to said advice. Regardless, Austin and Jess start moving in the right direction instead of insisting they were just friends. (Look, I ship. I'm not ashamed of it. I want these two together something fierce and YESSSSS.)

On the bid for power front...WHAT THE HECK? I have no clue how this is going to play out and what the revelations at the end will mean in the long run. Jess has assembled a strong crew who are loyal to her and the House, but...I DON'T KNOW WHAT'S COMING AND OMG FLAIL FLAIL FLAIL.

So anyway. Looking forward to the next book. You know, in case that wasn't clear.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Temporary by Sarina Bowen and Sarah Mayberry [Review]

Temporary by Sarina Bowen and Sarah Mayberry
Format: ebook
Source: purchased
Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Date read: April 12, 2021

Purchase LinksPaperback | Kindle

Sarina Bowen
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Sarah Mayberry
| Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
The most beautiful man I've ever seen is the same one who can ruin everything.

The first time I lay eyes on Callan Walker, I know he’ll be trouble. With his smug grin, hot Aussie accent and thousand dollar shoes, he’s just the kind of rich guy who always gets what he wants.

And he wants two things: a night of sin, and my cooperation as he outmaneuvers his powerful mother to take control of his uncle’s estate.

I can’t afford either one. I’m the only thing standing between my little sister and the foster care system. He may have money and charm on his side, but I have something even more powerful -- pure desperation. This temp job at his mother’s company can become a full time job for me. It has to.

But when Callan’s eyes rake over my body, sometimes I forget my obligations. His piercing gaze finds the fun, optimistic girl I used to be and not the tired person I’ve become.

And it works--if only for a moment. Our night together was a mistake. I can't afford to get sucked into his high-powered family’s treachery. But the closer I get to Callan, the more layers I find beneath those expensive clothes. Though I can’t forget this is temporary. He’s temporary. I have too much to lose.

Too bad my foolish heart didn’t get the memo...
Thoughts on Temporary: Ahh, yeah. Grace was a goner the moment Callan elbowed his way into her life. She just didn't know it yet. Sure, she knew he was going to be a distraction and he'd probably make her job more difficult, but she didn't expect HIM. Mostly because he was really good at hiding the sides of himself that didn't show him as a hedonistic playboy just skating through life.

To be fair, however, Callan did the playboy attitude/lifestyle really well. It isn't until Grace starts really spending time with him that she sees that his arrogant smirks and hardcore flirting hid a more sensitive side. Well, that and a philanthropic side. Which she REALLY liked.

On Callan's end, he's dealing with the grief of his uncle's death and, well, some not so great family dynamics. He's a little over the top and a lot attracted to Grace even though he's not thrilled with the assignment she's been given to catalog his uncle's estate. This is probably not a shock, but THINGS HAPPEN. Glorious, glorious things.

Family (not always of the good variety), people stepping up and doing what needs to be done, six pack abs, some wicked design skills, and a whole lot of distraction during work hours. (Although grace really tried to keep the distracting times to AFTER work hours, but Callan's a hard man to resist.)

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Maggie Moves On by Lucy Score [Review]

Maggie Moves On by Lucy Score
Format: ebook
Source: provided through NetGalley
Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Date read: April 12, 2022

Purchase LinksPaperback | Kindle

Lucy Score
| Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Can these opposites turn up the heat… without burning down the house?

House-flipping sensation and YouTube star Maggie Nichols can’t wait to dig into her next challenge. Arriving in tiny Kinship, Idaho, with only a cot and a coffeemaker, Maggie is prepared to restore a crumbling Victorian mansion in four months or less. She has her to-do lists, her blueprints, and her team. What she doesn’t have is time for sexy, laid-back landscaper Silas Wright.

The man takes flirtation to a whole new level. And he does it shirtless…sometimes pants-less. He and his service school-dropout dog are impressively persistent. But she’s not interested in putting down roots. Not when fans tune in to watch her travel the country turning dilapidated houses into dream homes. A short-term fling on the other hand could fit nicely into her calendar. After all, Maggie remembers what fun is like. Vaguely.

As their summer gets downright steamy, Silas manages to demolish the emotional walls she’s spent years building, sending Maggie into a panic. He’s the wrench in her carefully constructed plans. With the end of the project looming, she has a decision to make. But how can she stay when her entire career is built on moving on?
Thoughts on Maggie Moves On: A lady who lives on the road going from house-flipping project to project and a man who has deep roots in his hometown. They don't sound like they would work, but BOY DO THEY.

Work-a-holic Maggie tackles each project with endless enthusiasm and vision. She's content with this way of life and she has a hard time stepping back and basking in her accomplishments. No, wait. That's not quite right. She's wildly pleased with the houses she's flipped and her ability to see the potential in the projects she's working on, but she's always reaching forward. Her fame and accomplishments are great, but they're just a stepping stone to the next project. The lady doesn't have a whole lot of close friends and she rarely takes the time to slow down and just be.

Silas, on the other hand, lives large. He loves his job, he has a big, nosy family who support him, and he's instantly smitten with Maggie. While she makes it clear that Kinship is just a brief stop for her, he tries his level best to get her to fall in love with his town. And, well, with him. Because he's all in pretty much from the moment he lays eyes on her.

A goofy, barfing dog, a little case of almost-nudity, a small town who welcomes Maggie with open arms, a bucket of old family drama, a whole lot of flirting, and a mystery that Maggie, Silas, and crew tackle with enthusiasm. Maggie and Silas has sass and steam and sexy times to spare and BOY DID I LIKE THEM!

Monday, June 27, 2022

Loverboy by Sarina Bowen [Review]

Loverboy (The Company #2) by Sarina Bowen
Format: ebook
Source: purchased
Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Date read: April 11, 2021

The Company
1. Moonlighter
2. Loverboy - Paperback | Kindle

Sarina Bowen
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Secrets, desires, and exquisite pie. It’s all in a day’s work at The Company.

Growing up, I was the rough guy from the wrong neighborhood who couldn’t catch a break. Posy was the pampered girl I tried to impress. But I managed to steal only a single kiss before I had to skip town.
Now I’m back, and the tables are turned. Posy runs a struggling pie shop. I’m the VP of a secretive billion dollar security company.

Not that I can tell her.

There’s a murderer on the loose in New York, and he seems to spend a lot of time at Posy’s shop. I can’t let on that I’m here to bring him down before he can harm a hair on her pretty head.
Going undercover as Posy’s new barista wasn’t my idea. I don’t even drink coffee. But now I have to call her “boss,” and do everything the curvy perfectionist asks of me. I’d forgotten how much we infuriate each other, and that she somehow fills me with both irritation and desire in the same breath.
There’s nobody more skilled at stealth ops than me. I can bring this killer down. Right after I take a cold shower. And just as soon I figure out how to make a skinny peppermint latte with milk poured in the shape of a kitten...
Thoughts on Loverboy: You know, you gotta admire a guy who gives something like learning how to be a awesome barista his all. Especially since he doesn't care for coffee and he's only learning this skill so he doesn't let his boss down. And I'm not talking about Max. Although possibly he had something to do with it. I'm talking about Posy. She needs help and Gunnar steps in and helps. Reluctantly, admittedly, but he does it. Because there's a little history between these two, but he most definitely can't stand to see her in any sort of danger (even if it's just peripheral danger).

Gunnar also has the ability to charm everyone. Which DOES NOT help when it comes to charming Posy. I mean, how can she trust his sexy smiles when he gives everyone those sexy smiles?

But before we get to the trust part, these two have some BAGGAGE to unpack. Posy's still smarting from her recent divorce. Gunnar has parental issues. Posy doesn't care for liars and Gunnar lies for a living. It's a hot mess any way you look at it and it takes a chance stealth tailing for Gunnar to be forced to come clean.

A little danger, a lot of pie, antagonistic foreplay, and so much flirting. So much. Gunnar has a hard time turning off the charm and Posy isn't immune to it. FORTUNATELY FOR BOTH OF THEM!

Sunday, June 26, 2022

RtP's Week in Review (06/26/22)

Reading the Paranormal's Week in Review Bookish Delights Globetrotting...