Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Toni's Review of Shifter's Song by Vanessa North ***5 Stars***





Edouard Bonsaint has a bear-sized problem. He hasn't shifted in ten years, and isn't sure he even can anymore. Chaperoned by his youngest brother, Bruno, he heads to the Wiccan Haus to ask Rekkus for help. But when Bruno doesn't show up on the other side of the portal, Edouard's inability to shift is no longer his biggest problem.

Lincoln Tucker has it all: money, fame, and a golden voice. But he's in the closet twice over--few people know he's gay, and even fewer know he can shift into a songbird at will. Downtime at the Wiccan Haus between tours allows him to be himself. Throw a big toppy bear-shifter into the mix, and Lincoln might just have all he's ever wanted--if he can trust himself to hold on to Edouard.

With passions and tempers burning hot, can Lincoln help Edouard bring forth the bear and save his brother?

***********************

If I had the ability, I’d be doing back flips.

When I finished Shifter’s Dance earlier in the week I was hoping, praying and I likely would have been begging to read about Stephen’s brothers, Edouard and Bruno.  I knew there was another Wiccan Haus book out there, but since I didn’t have it in my greedy little hands, I let it go.  I actually thought there was no way Vanessa already had finished one of the brother’s books.  Boy was I 110% wrong.  Not only is it done, published and excellent; a little birdie told me she is working on the last brother’s book as we speak.  Again, imagine the back flipping and dancing around.  Trust me it is all in my head and not in reality, because I’d hurt myself.

The Bonsaint brothers are heading to Wiccan Haus for a little R&R and to give newlyweds Stephen and Romy some peace and quiet.  Edouard also plans to work on his inability to shift into his bear.  Things didn’t go as planned.  For some reason Bruno didn’t make it to the other side of the portal.  Edouard is understandably upset, but the sexy Lincoln is there to take his mind off his troubles.

Lincoln is a man in need of a break.  He is a high profile singer and the stress of touring and the pressures his big sister keeps piling on him; have him at his wits end.  It’s time to break away and relax in the comforting arms of Wiccan Haus and he’s seen the arms he wants wrapped around him, Edouard’s.

Edouard’s stress from his missing brother and the likelihood he won’t be able to help search for Bruno, because he can’t shift, has him stir crazy.  One note from a lovely Blackburnian Warbler settles his soul and he is able to shift into his brown bear once again.  Now the only thing he needs to worry about is hurting his lover Lincoln.  He will not let the past repeat itself.

First the thing that stood out for me in Shifter’s Song was that even though they are both shifters they didn’t fall in the shifter’s mating trap; the zing and recognition, lust fills the air, they fall in bed together, because hello, their instincts are making them do it and the horns toot and the bells ring and they live happily ever after.  Nope these men fought it all the way.  Yes, one of them accepted it sooner than the other, but there was a bit of a battle to accept fate.  It wasn’t absolute instinct for them.  They had to work for it and let me just say, YAY!

Second thing that was a shining beacon for me…I absolutely loved these two men’s names.  Both are first for me and well like I said, I loved them!!

Finally third, I’d like to congratulate Vanessa for writing the first M/M Wiccan Haus story.  You have set the bar high and if I was sitting next to you, I’d be patting you on the back; very well done.  Their romance felt natural, yet very sexy and steamy. 

I think I only had one slight problem with the story.  Edouard wasn’t upset enough about his brother being missing.  I can understand that he was distracted by the loveliness of Lincoln, but with him being the oldest and a big protective bear, I felt there should have been just a bit more angst.  It really isn’t a big deal, but I just had to put it out there.  Now that I’m over it, Shifter’s Song was AWESOME!!

The story was well thought out and it was nice to see Stephen and Romy again.  I also love how all three of their books are flowing so well together and I personally can’t wait for Bruno’s book.  You hinted a bit about Bruno, without giving anything away and I’m booking my trip to Wiccan Haus to watch it unfold firsthand.  All aboard, the ferry is about to leave the port!

Below are my reviews of the series!





Thanks for reading ~Toni

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Toni's Review of Unveil My Heart by Nya Rayne ***5 Stars***




Death is a glorious thing when one can find a reason to live in spite of it.

I have roamed the earth for over three millennia alone, secretly hoping to one day find the other half of my soul. The one woman who would make my deadened heart beat once more. I never imagined I’d find her in a bloodied heap beneath the claws of a despicable Yazaron, the bane of my existence. I saved her and as a reward was given three days to make her love me or I would cease to be. 


She spent those three days in ICU fighting for her life.

Fate, what a cruel bitch.

******************************

I think Nya has forged new ground for me.  What are the Anubi?  Got it! – Check.  And who or what are Yazaron?  Now I have an idea – Check.   Ms. Rayne actually made Wiccan Haus seem even more refreshing and new.  Now that is an amazing feat, because it is already pretty darn great.

Blaine could likely be the most unlucky person.  She is so unlucky that she believes that if anything ever good happens, something even worse is coming and sadly; she would be right.  She has lost everything, not once but twice.  Now she is trying to heal and she unexpectedly has “won” a trip to Wiccan Haus.  Even though she knows nothing good will come from accepting the trip; what does she have to lose?  Everything is already gone.

On the night Blaine lost everything, Hayze found something he thought he would never find; his mate.  Now with only three days to claim her, she is in no condition to accept him.  His fate has been sealed.  Months later he is taking one last chance to be with her on the island.  Even though she wants nothing to do with him, he just wants to be near her before all is lost forever.  He doesn’t want her to hurt anymore, so he is giving everything up for her.

Reading how these two found each other was wonderful.  At times I wanted to just smack Blaine for being such a cruel wench, but if you looked past her pain you could almost understand it.  At times I also was inclined to smack Hayze around a bit too.  With his warrior heart, he should have fought harder, but he likely didn’t expect much after so much time had passed.  After the fog lifted and all was said and done, their mating was intense and very unique.  Great job Ms. Rayne!

Unveil My Heart is an exceptional addition to the series and Ms. Rayne did a fabulous job.  This is yet another treasure to be included in the Wiccan Haus world.

Below are my reviews of the series!



Thanks for reading ~Toni

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Toni's Review of Shifter's Dance by Vanessa North ***5 Stars***




Romy Lewis, a ballet dancer at the peak of her career, loses everything when she is blinded by a mean prank. Her agent suggests a visit to the Wiccan Haus resort to sort out what she wants to do with her life now that both her career and her eyesight have been taken from her.

Stephen Bonsaint, bear shifter, computer programmer, and sometime spy, always figured he’d meet a sturdy mama bear someday and have a couple of cubs with her. A tiny human ballet dancer who can’t even see is not at all who he imagined as a mate.

Together they dance around their feelings for each other as Romy learns how to navigate her new life, and Stephen learns that sometimes, strength isn’t something you can see from the outside.

**********************************

Truthfully after several hundred books, I still have not wrapped my head around what makes a short story a short story or a short novel a novella.  All I do know is that it is really darn hard to tell a complete story with character development, intriguing plot and a believable romance in a few chapters, but Vanessa North and the other authors of Wiccan Haus do time it and again with flying colors.

This is my sixth Wiccan Haus installment.  I also believe this is my sixth 5 stars review.  The people of Musa have really done exceptional job with picking quality authors with the ability to weave great tales in a confined amount of time.  They have kept the story line consistent, fun and exciting love stories and even throw in some new twists along the way.

Ms. North is a new author for me and she did a fantastic job.  I loved the angle she went with; a blind struggling heroine and a big burly bear shifter.  I sit here and envision a tiny ballerina and a huge bear of a man and chuckle.  Talk about opposites attracting.  They had some issues to overcome and this couple could have held up to a longer book, but Ms. North did a great job capturing Romy’s frustration and Stephen’s patience in her allotted time.  They were really made for each other.

One of the best treats about this series is that you consistently get to revisit the original members of the staff.  They bring such color to the stories and I’m glad that the authors incorporate them seamlessly.  They really help weave the stories together and make them even better.

Shifter’s Dance was a wonderful treat.  I could even see myself enjoy a couple of stories about two brothers (hint hint).  You never know.  If what Ms. North says is true, Stephen’s brothers will be booking a trip to Wiccan Haus.  If that is the case sign me up too.  I’m always game for some bear shifters.  Bring the boys on!

Below are my reviews of the first five books in the series!




Thanks for reading ~Toni

Callie has secrets, too many to count.

For twenty years she’s been living a lie as Callie Worthington, hiding from the monsters who brutally murdered her parents for possession of the Elixxir of Life. Unsuccessful before, their killers have found her and will stop at nothing to acquire the Elixxir. And see her dead.

Nathanael has a couple of secrets, too. A nasty one in particular blurs the line separating Good from Evil. As an immortal Brethren Warrior, though, he must retrieve the Elixxir before it falls into the wrong hands. Just how he’s going to get it out of Callie’s is the big question.

Tempers flare as Callie and Nathanael reach out to each other with their own hidden agendas. She needs his protection. He needs the Elixxir. Will their fiery passion lead to lasting love, or will their web of intrigue ultimately destroy them both?

Secrets, lies, and love’s loyalties tested. What price for immortality? What price for love?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This is another great book by Deena.  Right from the beginning this story takes you into it's grip and pulls you along into intrigue, action and romance.

This is Callie's story and it gives us a better idea as to why Callie is such a hard-ass.  Deena does a wonderful job of revealing a complex character, she has a hard shell but a soft interior.
Nathaniel is an angel warrior who is on a mission to find something that only Callie can tell him where it is.  The chemistry between these to is steamy!

I really don't want to write any spoilers for this book, but this is a great addition to Deena's Angel series.  Cannot wait for the next one!

I recommend this book to those who enjoy angels, the fight between good and evil, the paranormal and actions seekers. 

I give this book 5 STARS!




Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Toni's Review of Psychic Lies by Sara Daniel ***5 Stars***





Fiona must keep her ability to read minds during sex a secret from those determined to exploit her, especially a sexy truth-finding investigator who needs her psychic power to save his job.

Fiona has spent her life hiding her sexual mind-reading power at the risk of being exploited by the government. Instead, she pretends to have lifebond vetting powers like the rest of her family. When her fake power results in the death of an innocent woman, her life of lies unravels and she retreats to the Wiccan Haus.

Armando is the head of the Department of Truth-Finding for the Syndicate. To prove his unit’s worth to the government, he follows Fiona to the Wiccan Haus to expose her as an infiltrator of an enemy faction. The truth about Fiona is even more valuable to his people and his career.

Fiona uses her power to seduce Armando and stop his plans to betray her. But nothing is strong enough to keep her from falling in love with this man whose power threatens to destroy her. Now she must trust him, not only with her life and her psychic lies, but also her heart.

*****************************

If you like shorter stories, written by a variety of authors and enjoy reading about paranormal beings set in a fantastic location, then Wiccan Haus is for you and now is the time to jump on board.  This shared-world series is still in its infancy, but there are enough volumes to keep you busy and interested.

In this installment we have two people coming to Wiccan Haus to find closure, but for way different reasons.  Both are there because of their perceived mistakes and failures.  Fiona is running from herself and Armando is trying to find the truth and save his career.

I really enjoyed this story.  WOW!  I went in without reading the blurb, so I had no idea what Fiona’s secret ability was.  When it started to show itself, just the implications of two people coming together who could read the truth from others, is mind boggling.  Could you imagine having your lover know all your secrets/thoughts and you knowing all his, ALL THE TIME!  Nope, no thank you.

The romance progression was nice, but since their relationship started with so many complications at times it was hard to believe, but Ms. Daniel resolved all my questions and made it work.  She also did a fabulous job with tying up the loose ends.  It just amazes me how authors can package so much story into such small packages.  I am completely satisfied and have no questions that these two found their happily ever after.  I will say though, even though I’m satisfied with the outcome, I’m excited that there are three more stories for me to read in the Wiccan Haus series.  Bring them on!!

Below are my reviews of the first four books in the series!


Thanks for reading ~Toni

Sunday, April 21, 2013

REVIEW- Night Visions by Elena Gray


Overview:
Plagued by visions and voices, Samantha Cade must be losing her mind. Until she realizes there's a hidden message waiting to be revealed. Just how, she'll have to figure out.

When Ian Behr reappears in her life, after six long years, dormant longing awakens. To survive this turmoil, she'll need to guard her heart.

Will Ian be her doom...or her salvation?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Elena Gray writes an intriguing paranormal story with wonderful descriptions that make each scene come alive for you.

The Heroine in this book is Sam Cade (short for Samantha).  She is a career writer who is quite naive.  For what she lacks in street smarts she makes up for it in courage.  Sam has been having disturbing nightmares which has been making her question her own sanity.

Though Sam's life has been filled with a wonderful career and friends she longs for her first-love Ian Behr.  He left her without a good-bye and no closure.  Sam is unable to let go of the past and move on without knowing what happened to make him leave.

Ian then shows up out of the blue after she has a peculiar day and makes it even weirder then before with a request that she goes with him because her brother wants to see her.  From there the blocks just come falling down and all sorts of weird things happen and many secrets get revealed.

I really enjoyed the story.  It has a great heart and structure to it.  I however wish that there had been more dialogue in it to keep the story moving at a quicker pace and a little less of the characters thoughts.  Their thoughts went a little too much into detail and could have been turned into dialogue.  These things did not take away from the great story though, I loved the imagination that was needed to create this story.

There was lots of secrets, deceptions and enough of a creep factor to make this paranormal read come alive.  This book was not found lacking when it came to the descriptions of the scenes, I was able to picture each place in my minds eye just like if I had been watching it on television.

I recommend this book to all paranormal lovers also to those who love mystery and shifter novels.

I give this book 4 STARS!





Saturday, April 20, 2013

Toni's Review of Dark Wolf by Kate Douglas ***4 Stars***



Sebastian Xenakis is still coming into his power as a wizard. He can shapeshift by magical means and runs as a wolf using the power he draws from the elements. But young women are dying—raped by a human and then slaughtered by a wolf. Suspicion falls on the shapeshifting Chanku, but Sebastian wonders if he might somehow be guilty of the crimes.

Then he meets Lily Cheval, the uncrowned princess of the powerful Chanku, and realizes he will do whatever it takes to clear his name and win her love. But evil walks where Sebastian goes, and there are mysteries neither Lily nor her father, the powerful wizard, Anton Cheval, cannot unravel. Is Sebastian the perfect mate for Lily, or is he instead, one she should fear?


*******************************

I’m sitting here reading some reviews for Dark Wolf.  Normally I don’t do that, but I was wondering what other people thought.  I’m actually glad I did.

First off, I think many reviewers read the beginning of the memo that stated that this is a new series, but they didn’t read the whole thing.  Dark Wolf is actually a continuation of the first generation of Chanku.  It’s now the babies of the packs turn for happiness.  The first series, Wolf Tales, really set the stage and there seemed to be some confusion when they were reading Dark Wolf.  Yes, Ms. Douglas fills you in on why things are happening, but I think all the varieties of sex turned many people off.  They didn’t have a complete history.

Chanku are a race of shapeshifters that have extremely high libidos.  It is in their DNA; they love everyone in the pack because that is how they were created.  They are not human, so they do not act as humans.  Period.  It is practically a requirement of their being.  They need sex like they need air.  It is their power and way of life.  To say they have too much sex is boggling to a longtime fan of this series.  Yes, I say longtime fan of THIS series, even though this is the first in the new Spirit Wild.  I think to truly appreciate Dark Wolf you need to know Lily as a child and also learn what really happened in the beginning.  Wolf Tales takes you all the way to the beginning to when they didn’t even really know who or what they were.  You grow with the pack.  You love, live, and cry right along with them on their journey of discovery.  You miss that when you read Dark Wolf and can’t understand the whole significance of their existence.

When I heard that Ms. Kate was doing a series about the next generation I was scared and excited.  These adults were babies when I last read about them.  Now in their thirties, I had to wrap my head around it.  Babies don’t have sex!  I bet Ms. Douglas had an even harder time.  These were her actual babies and she had to put them into sexual situations that would make any mother cringe.  She did a fabulous job and she should be proud of herself.

In Dark Wolf, we get to revisit the pack and actually get to see more than one romance blossom.  While at first I was disappointed because I loved the other character and I wanted them to have their own story, but I’m happy with the direction she took.  It almost mimics their parents love affairs, but it was still their own. 

Now I will admit that I’m extremely thrilled about the next story, Dark Moon.  I’ve wanted to know more about Igmutaka from when he first came onto the scene.  I think I just got chills.  There is just something about that hunk of man.  That cougar makes me purrrrrrr. 

I would recommend Dark Wolf to any lover of Wolf Tales in an instant.  I would also recommend it to new readers, but go in with an open mind.  If you read Dark Wolf and think, “Hmmm, I kinda like this”. Then start from the beginning.  Trust me it’s worth it.  The Chanku are a fascinating species with hearts full of love and understanding.  We could all use more Chanku in the world.

Wanna know how the series Wolf Tales ends?  Read my review:

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Toni's Review for Killing Lucas by Dominique Eastwick ***5 Stars***




What doesn't kill us makes you stronger. But is their love strong enough?
Lucas Sherman wanted one thing in life. Never to set eyes on his ex-fiancé Kiloran O’Connor again. But no one said life was fair. Now with a stalker hunting both of them Lucas is forced to put his distrust and hatred to the side to keep them both alive.
Kiloran only ever wanted to keep Lucas safe. But no matter how hard she tries danger seems to be a step behind them. Now creating a public front can she break through the wall Lucas has erected around his heart? Those same walls she helped cement.
Can true love conquer and forgive all or will it kill them both?
*******************************************

Killing Lucas is a book of discovery, understanding and a burning passion that even unforgivable betrayal 
cannot extinguish.

Lucas has been unhappy from the very beginning of the Sherman Family series.  Now it is our chance to understand the who, what, where and why that shaped Lucas into the man he is today.  Can he find his former self or has his pain destroyed the fun loving man he used to be?

Kiloran is a woman who will do what she has to do to protect her friends and family.  Even if it means pushing away the one man she is destined to be with, her soul mate.  She has been alone for years and one chance meeting changes the game.  She may have forced Lucas away in the past to save him, but she can’t lose him to death.  She is done hiding.  Lucas is too important to her to stay silent any longer.

Two ex-lovers must now pretend to be back together.  One is still hopelessly in love and the other is too angry to realize who his heart belongs to.  Every near death experience brings them closer together, but is it too late for them?  Can they find each other again?

Fast paced, emotional and sexy; a great mixture for sure.  Lucas’s pain has been haunting me from the very start and I’m so happy that he gets his happily ever after.  The Sherman’s play hard and love harder.  Lucas had the biggest heart of them all and it was broke beyond repair.  Ms. Eastwick had a tough job ahead of her and she did very well to showcase his pain.  Honestly, this book could have been longer, because he was in that much pain and was that angry.  Lucas had a very long road ahead of him, but she did a great job in the time allotted her.  Even though Lucas wore his pain on his sleeve, it was more painful for me to finally understand Kiloran’s side of the story.  She is an amazing woman, with a selfless heart and a true mate for Lucas.

Thank you Ms. Eastwick.  You did a great job bringing this story to light and bringing these two tortured lovers back together.  Killing Lucas was everything I wanted and I enjoyed it wholeheartedly.  It is a great addition to the family.

My other reviews of the Sherman Family series.


Thanks for reading!! ~Toni

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