Friday, August 19, 2022

The Strip Down by Honey Phillips [Review]

The Strip Down (Exposed to the Elements #5) by Honey Phillips
Format: ebook
Source: borrowed through Kindle Unlimited
Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Date read: June 10, 2021

Exposed to the Elements
1. The Naked Alien
2. The Bare Essentials
3. A Nude Attitude
4. The Buff Beast
5. The Strip Down - Paperback | Kindle

Honey Phillips
Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Can Amanda discover the secrets behind an alien ruin? And the mysterious alien with the haunted eyes?

Amanda is happy with her life as an elementary school teacher - and making plans to expand her family. Waking up naked and alone on an alien planet is not on her schedule.

Desperate to return to Earth, she reluctantly accepts the help of the massive alien who appears out of the sands. But the more time they spend together, the more complicated her need to return becomes.

Va’rik awakens to find himself alone on the edge of an ancient desert. He is quite sure he has an important task to perform - the only problem is that he can’t quite remember what he needs to accomplish.

When he encounters a strange, beautiful female, assisting her becomes his mission. But as his memories start to return, he realizes that helping her leave is the last thing he truly wants.

Can Va’rik keep his vow to Amanda, even if it means the future of his race - and his own happiness - are in jeopardy?
Thoughts on The Strip Down: Ahhh, yes. It's Va'rik's turn to wake up naked and alone (and without his memory, but that part is specific to him) in a strange place. Except...he's not alone for long and the strange place isn't so strange once he starts remembering the bits and pieces of his life. He does, however, remain naked for much of his adventure.

No lie, Amanda doesn't much mind Va'rik's nakedness. I mean, it takes her a bit to not get flustered when she looks at him, but she VERY MUCH ENJOYS his physique in all it's naked glory.

That said, she also has a very good reason for returning back to Earth. Which means even though she enjoys the Va'rik display, she can't let it sway her too much. A little swaying is fine, mind you, but she still has to head back home no matter how tempting her travel companion is.

I have genuinely enjoyed this series from beginning to end and I REALLY like how it ended. That said, if FOR ANY REASON we were to get more of these unexpected pairings (although I guess the parameters that led to these couples being dropped naked into a strange place would have changed somewhat since the reason for the original experiment has been proven a success) I would be all for it.

Thursday, August 18, 2022

The Buff Beast by Honey Phillips [Review]

The Buff Beast (Exposed to the Elements #4) by Honey Phillips
Format: ebook
Source: borrowed through Kindle Unlimited
Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Date read: May 14, 2021

Exposed to the Elements
1. The Naked Alien
2. The Bare Essentials
3. A Nude Attitude
4. The Buff Beast - Paperback | Kindle
5. The Strip Down

Honey Phillips
Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Can Mina survive the icy cold of an alien winter? And melt the heart of the hardened alien warrior who rescues her?

Her home. Her job. In a few short months, Mina has lost everything, including hope. Freezing and alone on a winter night, she isn't sure if she will make it to the next day. Or even if it matters.

She wakes up to find herself naked and freezing, but no longer alone. An angel appears out of the snow to save her. An angel with fangs and claws, and a pain in his eyes which matches her own.

Betrayed by everyone he cares about, Myk-El retreats into a solitary life of study and discipline. When he finds himself alone on a strange planet, his only real regret is that his books did not accompany him.

Then he finds a fragile, helpless female in the snow. Experience has taught him not to trust, but he cannot resist the appeal in her big, blue eyes. As he thaws her frozen body, she begins to thaw his frozen heart.

But when the hidden forces behind their arrival on the planet make their presence known, will Mina be able to save him in return? Or will they use her to destroy him?
Thoughts on The Buff Beast: Another unknowing couple (well, not a couple YET, but the potential is there when then find themselves alone on a strange planet) is dropped naked into an unknown landscape and, well, naked is good when it comes to these aliens, I guess. They make things work. Naked. And they aren't terribly bothered by said nakedness. I mean, the human women are a little bothered by it, but the alien dudes? They're good.

So. Mina and Myk-El. He's a winged, scientifically-minded man who's dealt with love and betrayal once and has no intention of dealing with either again. She's a human woman who doesn't want to head back to earth since her circumstances there were not so great.

He's trying to ignore the growing attraction he feels for her. She's trying to figure out a way to stay on this non-earth planet. A few kisses, a little steam, a dose of danger.

Yup, I'm still digging these aliens and humans and the experiment they're sucked into against their will. *thumbs up*

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Layers of Force by Lindsay Buroker [Review]

Layers of Force (Star Kingdom #8) by Lindsay Buroker
Format: ebook
Source: borrowed through Kindle Unlimited
Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Date read: May 31, 2021

Star Kingdom
1. Shockwave
2. Ship of Ruin
3. Hero Code
4. Crossfire
5. Gate Quest
5.5. Knight Protector
6. Planet Killer
7. Home Front
8. Layers of Force - Paperback | Kindle

Lindsay Buroker
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Even though Professor Casmir Dabrowski has been fighting for months to help the kingdom and humanity as a whole, few people in positions of power have appreciated his unorthodox methods. Now he's a captive of the king and being taken back to his home world without his friends or the crushers he relies upon to protect him. The king believes Casmir is responsible for the prince’s death and plans to have him publicly executed.

But bigger troubles are brewing for the Star Kingdom, and Casmir may once again be needed to find a creative solution to save his people—and reshape the entire future of the Twelve Systems.

First, he’s got to escape and survive. No easy feat for a man stripped of his allies and marked as a rebel and a traitor.
Thoughts on Layers of Force: Casmir has found himself in the middle of a WHOLE BUNCH of charged, dangerous situations since his adventures began and he always somehow ends up squeaking out with new allies and a a growing group of robots who will do anything to keep him safe. Remaining true to form, this adventure starts with Casmir imprisoned and alone in the bowels of the Kingdom's castle and ends with a massive shake-up of everything under the sun.

Casmir's allies are on the move to free him before his public execution, the princess he's interested in is taking a stand so that a terrible injustice isn't committed, and Casmir's still using his big, ole brain to figure out how to do right in the face of overwhelming odds.

I must say, there's a lot going on here. In the best possible way. There are a lot of happy endings. A lot of people getting their just desserts (both of the good and the bad variety). A lot of fighting. A lot of danger. A lot of daring escapes made possible only because one scholarly roboticist refuses to stop fighting for the things that matter to him.

I've enjoyed every second of Casmir and crew's adventures and WOW did I like how things ended. *thumbs up*

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Dance with the Devil by Kit Rocha [Review]

Dance with the Devil (Mercenary Librarians #3) by Kit Rocha
Format: ebook
Source: provided through NetGalley
Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Date read: July 8, 2022

Mercenary Librarians
1. Deal with the Devil
2. The Devil You Know
3. Dance with the Devil - Paperback | Kindle

Kit Rocha
Website | Twitter (Kit Rocha) | Twitter (Donna) | Twitter (Bree) | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Tobias Richter, the fearsome VP of Security of TechCorp is dead. The puppetmaster is gone, and the organization is scrambling to maintain control by ruthlessly limiting access to resources to Atlanta, hoping to quell rebellion. Our band of mercenary librarians have decided that the time for revolution has come.

Maya uses her wealth of secrets to weaken the TechCorps from within. Dani strikes from the shadows, picking off the chain of command one ambush at a time. And Nina is organizing their community—not just to survive, but to fight back. When Maya needs to make contact with a sympathetic insider, Dani and Rafe are the only ones with the skill-set and experience to infiltrate the highest levels of the TechCorps. They'll go deep undercover in the decadent, luxury-soaked penthouses on the Hill.

Bringing Dani face-to-face with the man who turned her into a killer. And forcing Rafe to decide how far he'll go to protect both of his families—the one he was born to, and the one he made for himself.

Victory will break the back of Power. Failure will destroy Atlanta.
Thoughts on Dance with the Devil: It's Dani's time to shine and our lady has A LOT going on as she tries to avoid admitting she has a bucketload of feelings for Rafe while also having to go deep undercover in what is possible one of the worst places in Atlanta with the sex-on-a-stick hottie. You might think an undercover job in the glitzy, over-the-top TechCorps inner circle wouldn't be half bad, but IT REALLY IS. From the waste to the egos to the amoral parties, it's just a whole lot of terrible.

That said, Dani does get to spend some quality time with Rafe. Rafe, who very much sees Dani for what she is and would tear down the world if she needed him to. Rafe, who knows he needs to move slow so he doesn't ruin what could be between them before it really starts. Yeah, Rafe's smart and sexy and he absolutely knows pushing Dani will only result in her never allowing him past her walls.

MEANWHILE, bad things are happening, the crew are preparing for the worst, secrets are being uncovered, there's danger around every corner, and there's a reckoning on the horizon. Nina, Knox, and the others are determined to not only survive the coming fight, but live the lives they've only dreamed of after. Which means they have a lot riding on what's coming and their determination to win is epic.

As an aside, I'm being cautiously optimistic that we'll get to see more in this world. We got Nina, Maya, and Dani's stories (along with the corresponding Devils), but there are so many more desperate to break free from the entities holding them hostage. Plus, there's Ava and Mace (and Beth!) who need to figure things out. And and and...yeah. There's a lot under the surface that can still be tapped and I'm 100% here for it.

Monday, August 15, 2022

The Lost Night by Jayne Castle [Review]

The Lost Night (Rainshadow #1, Ghost Hunters #9) by Jayne Castle
Format: ebook
Source: purchased
Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Date read: May 27, 2021

1. The Lost Night - Paperback | Kindle
2. Deception Cove
3. The Hot Zone
4. Siren's Call

Ghost Hunters
0.5. Bridal Jitters
1. After Dark
2. After Glow
3. Ghost Hunter
4. Silver Master
5. Dark Light
6. Obsidian Prey
7. Midnight Crystal
8. Canyons of Night
9. The Lost Night
10. Deception Cove
11. The Hot Zone
12. Siren's Call
13. Illusion Town
14. Guild Boss
15. Sweetwater and the Witch

Jayne Castle (AKA Jayne Ann Krentz)
| Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Even the mysterious world of Harmony has people who don't quite fit in. They're drawn to places like Rainshadow Island, a beautiful sanctuary where anyone can feel safe—and where secrets are closely guarded.

Schooled in an exotic form of martial arts, and with the ability to detect auras of dangerous psychic criminals, Rachel Blake and her dust bunny companion have found peace and quiet on Rainshadow Island, operating a bookstore and café.

But her tranquil new life is thrown into chaos when Harry Sebastian, the descendant of a notorious pirate, arrives to investigate strange developments in the privately owned woods know as the Preserve.

Immediately drawn to the amber-eyes woman, Harry must tread carefully. While Rachel's special talents can help him track down dangerous rogues who have violated the Preserve, they can also sense the heart of darkness within him. But desire can weaken the toughest of defenses—and leave even the strongest man wanting more.
Thoughts on The Lost Night: Soooo. We're heading away from the cities and into the wilds of Harmony. Since I'm digging this return to Harmony HARDCORE, this is super fantastic. For me, at least. It's not so fantastic for Rachel after losing 12 hours of her life and being stuck with a nagging uncertainty that things are far more complicated than they appear to be on the surface.

And by "things", I mean Mr. Harry Sebastian. Okay, fine. And the 12 hour amnesia thing. That's a tiny bit complicated.

But Harry! He's all sorts of complicated for Rachel. He's there to help police the Preserve and her missing time leads right into that. He's also broody and hunky and kind of has a noble streak. Oh, and a unexpected ability. Seeing as how Rachel's ability isn't completely in the mainstream, they fit together nicely.

A dangerous swath of wilderness, some hidden treasure, a group of morally derelict dudes, and two people who keep getting stuck together during storms. No lie, it wasn't just the lightning generating heat when things got going, if you know what I mean. *thumbs up*

Sunday, August 14, 2022

RtP's Week in Review (08/14/22)

Reading the Paranormal's Week in Review Bookish Delights
Check it out!

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Bout of Books 35 Starting Line

Bout of Books 35 is here! Check out the Bout of Books blog to see the ins and outs of what to expect from this read-a-thon. Reminders for the daily reading sprints (if you wish to participate), Twitter chats, etc will be posted to keep you in the loop. Now, let's get our read on!

Time Devoted to Reading
I will be dedicating the entire week to reading. As usual, I'm also working full time and being a general slug. So...yeah.

My Goals
  • Read
  • Have fun!
  • Don't stress
Books to Read
(As part of my ongoing plan to complete series I started previously and have let linger, most* of the below are books/novellas that will help me close out a series.

*although I miiiight slip in a non-series or a new-to-me series book if the mood hits me.
  • Review requests:
    • Extra Witchy by Ann Aguirre
  • KU reads
    • Mist and Magic by Lindsay Buroker - READ
    • Her Alien Ex-Con by Michele Mills - READ & REVIEWED
    • Witching for Moxie by Deanna Chase - READ
    • Witching for Kismet by Deanna Chase - READ
  • Random reads 
    • For I Have Sinned by Darynda Jones - READ & REVIEWED
    • Brighter than the Sun by Darynda Jones - READ & REVIEWED
    • Graveyard Shift by Darynda Jones - READ
    • The Gravedigger's Son by Darynda Jones - READ

Monday (Day 1)
Number of books read today: 3
Total number of books read: 3
Books read: Her Alien Ex-Con, Mist and Magic, For I Have Sinned
Today #insixwords: Too much work, too little reading
Things I learned on Twitter: #NakedWerewolves are everything. That is all.
Final Tally: One honorable thief, one weary magical assassin, one ghostly encounter

Tuesday (Day 2)
Number of books read today: 2
Total number of books read: 5
Books read: Brighter Than the Sun, Witching for Moxie
Today #insixwords: It was hot and work-like. Gross.
Things I learned on Twitter: Unfortunately, I spent most of the day working. *sad eyes* Therefore, I was mostly social media free.
Final Tally: One devilishly handsome individual, one witchy problem

Wednesday (Day 3)
Number of books read today: 2
Total number of books read: 7
Books read: Witching for Kismet, The Graveyard Shift
Today #insixwords: Work has been kicking my booty.
Things I learned on Twitter: I feel like this is going to go down as the Bout of Books where I was swamped with work. Blerg.
Final Tally: One magical problem, one hellion god-child

Thursday (Day 4)
Number of books read today: 1
Total number of books read: 8
Books read: The Gravedigger's Son
Today #insixwords: Too much work, too few books.
Things I learned on Twitter: I feel like I keep saying the same thing, but work EXPLODED on me this week. In other words, this is a classic case of life happening. So it goes, I guess.
Final Tally: One demon-possessed hunk

Friday (Day 5)
Number of books read today
Total number of books read
Books read
Today #insixwords
Things I learned on Twitter
Final Tally

Saturday (Day 6)
Number of books read today
Total number of books read
Books read
Today #insixwords
Things I learned on Twitter
Final Tally

Sunday (Day 7)
Number of books read today
Total number of books read
Books read
Today #insixwords
Things I learned on Twitter
Final Tally

Final Thoughts: