Alpha Landon will remain on my Did Not Finish (DNF) list. I tried, I really did, but the story was simple, poorly edited and written, and there was little to no plot. If you’re looking for a teen novel, reading shifters for the first time at a young age, or just want a mindless easy read that’s like candy, then go for it. If you’re looking for anything above that, give this one a pass I think.
Landon is to be the next Alpha of his pack, his shift coming to change everything about his life, except his love for his friend Althea (great name!). Althea and Landon have been friends for years, and after his change, Althea is worried her friend who she’s been madly in love with since she can remember, will change. Maybe he won’t have time for her, or maybe he’ll just find his mate and move on.
Althea is a young shifter whose family has never approved of her relationship with Landon. Her father is set on finding her a mate, but none of them will ever be Landon, and Landon won’t have that. No one is good enough for his Althea. No one. Except him.
The story has great bones, but unfortunately, It feels like the author stopped writing at the outline phase and none of the settings of characters are fleshed out enough to sink your teeth into. If a draft two of the book were to be released, I would give it another shot, but as it stands, the plot was too weak to grab me and help me over the writing hurdles.
I was asked to review the book, Satan’s Son by Simone Elise, and was provided the book to do so. You can also find my review on goodreads along with the full book synopsis.
Addison is a rebellious teen who winds up in Hell and in the hands of Satan’s Son Ethan. As her guide, Ethan tries to teach her what it means to be dead and how she’s to spend the next ten years of her sentence, but Addison is more focused on rattling Ethan’s cage. Satan has other ideas though.
Addison is young. Really young, and her childish attitude and rude attitude was distracting, annoying, and infuriating. Ethan is described at a ripped hunk but never his age so my brain wasn’t sure how old to make him. Put him next to the childish Addison and you get a statutory relationship (I think? Chapter one she’s nineteen but in high school?), and yes I know she’s dead. Then, she lives by herself as an underage (maybe?) kid going to high school, what?
There were just too many inconsistencies and strange plot choices made. What this story needed was a better content editor.
It’s Christmas in April! Bethany Claire has once again provided me with hours of audio joy as I listened to A McMillan Christmas. Links are below for how you can pick up the Audible or eBook file. [goodreads | Audible]
Harper and Kamden are a passionate loving match made for each other, except nothing went as planned. When a blizzard forces Harper to take shelter at a nearby castle, she’s more than upset when she finds it’s one from her past. Kamden dreams of changing the day it all went wrong, he’s changed, and he wants a second chance with Harper, but he’s not even sure how to start. In comes Morna.
This is a Christmas story, but refreshingly enough, that’s not the focus. The romance we’ve grown to love from all of the Scotsmen and their brides, the meddling from Morna, and the time-travel quirks are all still present and center focus. A major departure for a Morna’s Legacy novel is the two characters starting out with a history and not as complete strangers. This gave the length of the story room to explore a deeper love than would have been possible otherwise. Seeing these two characters come together and heal one another made for a beautiful Christmas miracle.
Lily Collingwood is, as always, enjoyable to hear. The novella was 4 hours, the recording quality was excellent with no hum or distortion and made the entire focus on the story.
As humans, we are fascinated by the future. The idea of apocalypses, earth-shattering earthquakes, or aliens invading, but what if humans are the cause? For years scientists have been commenting on our unsustainable population growth. We'll run out of food, and water, and space. Barren by Joe Buckley explores this situation with a fresh and evocative perspective. When destruction looms, and fear takes over people become blinded, and that's just what happened. A few individuals with the means and influence change the course of human history forever. All it takes is one little pill.
Not all humans are happy with their salvation, and resistance has surfaced. Barren follows the story of each side of history; the ones with power, the ones with outrage, and the ones trapped in between.
Buckley's writing captivates the reader with individualistic characters who take you through a roller coaster of emotions. Each is flawed, and each is deep and relatable, even at their worst. The world that's painted is full of real places that have been weathered by time, riots, and desperation, leaving the reader imagining what he describes.
For a series outside of my usual genre preferences, I feel in love with Barren, and I cannot wait for the continuation.
Are you ready for a new one by Bethany Claire? I am part of her audible review team, and she has once again provided me with hours of audio joy as I listened to Love Beyond Compare. Links are below for how you can pick up the Audible or eBook file. [goodreads | Audible]
Grace’s sister (from book 4) Jane, is teleported to the past by Morna who in all her wisdom, must know something Jane doesn’t. Morna often takes the choice for that first leap out of those she helps hands, but Jane is not as thrilled as the others. She is bored, restless, and having dreams of sexy highlanders that keep her up all night. Cooper is the reason Jane stays, but he’s quickly becoming not enough. She misses her city, needs companionship, and a purpose. Luckily, it’s not just Morna who is looking out for her.
As with the rest of the series, there’s some prescription with Love Beyond Compare. Woman finds the man; man woos the woman, they sleep together, then marriage. Or is there? Jane is the unwilling romantic. She wants a man who can commit, she’s not about being used for her body and then being set aside, but she also wants Adwen. Adwen is the definition of a ladies man, use them, flatter them, and then boot them out of his bedchamber. Jane’s not that kind of gal.
Their chemistry and comedic banter are perfect and is balanced by Cooper’s quick wit, and some of the most heart-wrenching loss I’ve read in this series so far. Love Beyond Compare is beyond compare, Bethany Claire’s most impressive novel yet!
Lily Collingwood is, as always, enjoyable to hear. The book was 8 hours and fit perfectly during a flight to the east coast. As usual, the recording quality was excellent with no hum or distortion and made the entire focus on the story.
Bethany Claire is at it again, In Due Time is the next installment in the Morna’s Legacy series and doesn’t disappoint! [goodreads | Audible]
Jeffrey’s done everything for Grace and Cooper, but as Cooper watches his dad struggle to find love in the past, he calls in help from everyone’s favorite witch. Morna is back at it again. Setting the right wheels in motion for her family to find the loves of their lives, and Jeffrey is no different. Kathleen has heard so much about Jeffrey and over the years her desire for the man she’s never met has only increased, but when she finally does meet him, will he be as wonderful as she’s imagined?
Thank goodness for more Cooper! I love this kid. He’s a wonderful comic relief character, tearjerker, goofball, everything. A homerun character. With this being a novella, there is a bit of instant love, but that can’t really be helped. The transitions from US to Scotland and present to past are seamless. Additional comedic relief is provided by Jane, Cooper’s Aunt and Grace’s sister, and if I had to hazard a guess, she’ll be our next novel romance.
A new castle is introduced, and even a cozy cottage that ground the story and pulls it out of the Castle for a stint.
Lily Collingwood’s Cooper and Jane… two peas in a pod. Cooper’s child-like and adorable voice matched well with Jane’s up-to-no-good one. As usual, the recording quality was great with no hum or distortion and made the entire focus on the story.
It’s time for another Flawed book! The Father Hunt is a great short story that will help you dip your feet into the universe that Becca J. Campbell so expertly weaves. [goodreads]
Graham is fifteen, a teenager, and struggling through freshman year just as any other. Except, Graham has no father. His mother refuses to talk about him, but Graham just can’t let it go. When he finds a few clues the father hunt is on!
This short and sweet novella is a perfect stand alone entry into the Flawed series. It’s fast paced and gripping with likable characters. Violet and Graham are realistic with flaws and traits expected in teenagers. While there were some carry-over characters from prior Flawed novels, this novella felt a bit out of place within the series.
I swear, Bethany Claire is a one woman writing machine! Love Beyond Measure is the logical next installment in the Morna’s legacy series and with new characters and adventures to be had! [goodreads | Audible]
Grace and Jeffery are parents to a charming and bright little boy, Cooper, but their love is not one of sexy negligees and candle lit dinners. Tell that to Grace’s father. To avoid her family's pressures Grace runs to Scotland and uses a new work assignment as her escape. When she gets to Morna’s Inn, things are not as they seems, but then… when ever is it with Morna?
Love Beyond Measure was a little bit of a departure from the rest of the Morna series as the bulk of the story took place in the present in Scotland than in the past. This was also the first book where family was a main theme for the woman in the relationship. Yes, Brie had her mother, but for the most part she wasn’t in the same time. This dynamic and different perspective on family, paired with the longer modern day storyline was a welcome departure for the series as five books in, the series had the potential to become stale. Being able to see through Cooper’s eyes also helped to make this book stand on its own.
It’s now a lot easier for Bethany Claire to fall into stereotyping or “easy” plot tricks, thankfully she didn’t. Grace and Jeffery’s relationship and how they interact with one another and Cooper would easily be difficult for a Scotsman from the past to not understand, but with Eoghanan’s familial history he is extremely understanding of it. Here’s where this plot point was handled brilliantly, Grace had no idea. Really, six hours in and Eoghanan finally tells her that he was adopted by the McMillan clan. It would have been an easy out to use that face when he initially meets Jeffery, but it didn’t happen and the book was stronger for it.
All that good being said, this is book five in a series and it’s bound to have its weaknesses. This was the weakest in terms of the plot “climaxes,” in that the villain and the two main heartbeats of the story seemed rushed and as if they were after thoughts and add ins. There was also a lot more sex, too much, it was less about a deep emotional connection and more about instant-love and attraction, sad when the previous stories were so focused on strong women and Grace belongs within their ranks. One final criticism is Grace’s siblings. Throughout the book she mentioned she cares for them and loves them, but without hesitation and a thought to them she moves to the past with her kid, “father,” and best friend. Huh.
Lily Collingwood’s Jeffery and Cooper are now on my list of all-time favorites! Cooper was child-like and adorable while Jeffery’s was gruff and american, a stark contrast to one another and the rest of the cast. Grace was still a generic woman as most of the American women have been. As usual, the recording quality was great with no hum or distortion and made the entire focus on the story.
Welcome to the book review for one of my favorite books. Ever. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is the book I could read forever and not get bored. A few years ago I posted (wow, that’s strange to say) about this book after I had finished reading it for the first time. When someone in the IA Book Club suggested it for January’s book of the month, I couldn’t wait to read it again! [goodreads]
Celia and Marco, two star pupils for their great Masters, each a pawn in a game they don’t know how to fight. Years before, two old men made a pact just as they had many times in the past, but this time they miscalculated. A story of love and sacrifice, Celia and Marco hold tight to their circus, their friends, and each other.
The imagery in The Night Circus is AMAZING. As I read, I could smell the treats and feel the snow garden giving me goose bumps. The descriptions were detailed enough to pull the reader in deep, but not too heavy as to smother the reader’s own imagination. Each tent was breathtaking, different, and enticing and I always wanted to know more about them. Celia's tent specifically, I wanted to watch her show and sit next to Marco and bask in their love for when he would attend and watch her, I would choke on the emotion those passages held.
The story progresses nonlinearly has an Alice in Wonderland vibe to it. Often I would reread passages or chapters a few times to catch all (or as many as I could) of the hidden secrets. Every character was planned, and calculated, none were throw away or fluffy. Even when a new one was introduced slowly, trying to trick me into thinking they were unimportant or only a device to give other characters more "face time" I was stunned by how their story thread in with the others.
Each time I finish reading The Night Circus, I am a wreck for at least a week. I cry, I mope, and I love it. The ending is satisfying, a mixture of sadness and well deserved justice for Celia and Marco accomplish their goals and in the end, how it happened was enough for me.
IT’S FINALLY HERE! CHRISTMAS!
Wait, what? It’s not Christmas? Oh… well that’s embarrassing. I just finished reading Wet, Hot, Australian Christmas by A.V. Sanders and I must have gotten confused. Well anyway, are you looking for a five star story, then look no further! [goodreads]
Reid is an American shark researcher on a mission to revolutionize the way sharks are treated in Perth. It’s Christmas time, and being away from home starts to take a toll on his cheery holiday spirit and his boyfriend Graham has his own preoccupations on his mind. When Reid’s favorite shark goes missing, the struggle for Christmas, his passion for sharks, and his love for Graham all collide into one heartracing finale.
Wet, Hot, Australian Christmas is the second novelette from A.V. Saunders and she’s done nothing but improve! Reid and Graham are deep characters with struggles, flaws, and countless relatable qualities. From the first page their love and relationship is laid out bare for the reader to cheer for as the story progresses and while I would categorize WHAC as a romance, it’s actually not. Reid and Graham have very minor bumps in their relationship, apart for a bit of misplaced envy, their love is not tested at all. This allows the focus of the story to be more on Reid’s passion for his work and Graham’s struggle with his future. The men are portrayed as opposite sides to a coin; Reid knowing his “destiny” at a young age and Graham’s thrust upon him unwillingly when his father passes. The mirrored similarities between the two characters give a refreshing glimpse into a real life relationship and how support from a partner can make all the difference.
I don’t know much about Australia, but I certainly felt like I was oceanside and sweating as I was reading WHAC! The imagery, both for Christmas and Australian life itself, was enjoyable, realistic, and flowed seamlessly alongside the character interactions.