Thursday, January 1, 2015

Really Short Reviews: Dogs, Dragons, Drummers and Dirigibles

Dog With a Bone (Black Dog #1)
Hailey Edwards
Release: October 30, 2014
Links: Goodreads Amazon
Really Short Review: Dog With a Bone is technically a prequel novella to the Black Dog series, though it's not exactly labeled that way. The series follows Thierry Thackery, a half-fae whose father is the Black Dog, a bounty hunter to the Fae courts. She's never met him, but has heard a lot about him - he's kind of famous. And Thierry has inherited his powers. Her left hand has the power to kill with a touch when she sets her magic free.

Thierry has just graduated from the academy and become a conclave marshal, Fae law enforcement officers who police their own and keep them secret from humans. This novella tells the story of her first case. Her new partner, who was also her trainer in the academy by virtue of being the only marshal in their region immune to her power, is Jackson Shaw - an incubus and her longtime crush.
This is a really fast read with non-stop action. Thierry and Shaw have great chemistry and some fun flirtation. They encounter lots of interesting creatures, even a few I've never seen before, and some great magic. There are so many things I loved I can almost ignore the fact that it's NA, which is generally not my thing. The first full-length release in the series, Heir of the Dog, is out Jan. 30 with two more books scheduled in 2015. I'm definitely checking out the rest of this series!
4 1/2 stars
Dragon Her Back
Susannah Scott
Release: December 15,2014
Links: Goodreads Amazon
Really Short Review: I'm really liking this series about a group of dragon shifters hiding in plain sight by running a Las Vegas casino. Dragon Her Back is the third book. It features Darius, the casino's head of security and Mei. There have been little glimpses of them in each of the previous books, mostly of her avoiding him, and their story has been in high demand from fans. They discovered that they were fated mates nearly six years ago, but she's been reluctant to complete their bond. Now his dragon form is starting to fade and he's running out of time to convince her to accept him.
But Mei has issues from her past that she hasn't told anyone and that prevent her from mating with Darius. Her backstory was quite unexpected. It also touches on some interesting social issues, which the other books in the series have done as well. I appreciate that these books explore the cultures and customs of  characters from different parts of the world. Darius turned out to have some surprises in his past as well. Growing up in a Russian circus, he developed some very unusual workout habits. There was one in particular I wish he would have demonstrated because I just can't picture it.
My favorite thing in a dragon story is always the flying scenes. This book introduces a new type of dragon and a new twist on those scenes that I loved. (I can't explain without spoiling it.) It's also got some supernatural politics with the new dragons that I really enjoyed. And there were lots of chances to catch up with the couples from the previous books. If you like shifter romance, give this series a try. The first one is Luck of the Dragon.
3 1/2 stars
Rock Courtship (Rock Kiss #1.5)
Nalini Singh
Release: September 30, 2014
Links: Goodreads Amazon
Really Short Review: The relationship between David, the drummer in Schoolboy Choir, and Thea, the band's publicist, began in Rock Addiction but was seen from her sister Molly's POV. The timeline of this novella overlaps with that first novel, but everything is from David and Thea's POVs. We finally get to see the memos they exchanged - I was not expecting them to be NSFW. There are lots of mentions of Fox and Molly, as well as some more about her father's escapades and how they impacted both Molly and Thea. If you liked Rock Addiction, definitely check this one out.
I was actually kind of meh about the first book, but a lot of my problem was that it dragged. The novella length fixed that for me. I think I also related to these characters better, possibly because they're a little more mature. The story is intense and emotional and I really enjoyed it. It actually convinced me to give the rest of the series a chance.
4 stars

Wrecked (Iron Seas #3.4)
Meljean Brook
Release: November 25, 2013
Links: Goodreads Amazon
Really Short Review: You might have seen me raving about how much I love the Iron Seas series lately. If you're still on the fence about starting the series, Wrecked is a great place to start. This standalone novella has a good sampling of the world and the types of people in it without spoilers for any of the books.

Elizabeth has been on the run from her father for years. She's been caught once before, but jumped out of a moving train to escape. She was presumed dead until her father stumbled on to her trail again. Now Caius, the man who found and lost her before shows up offering to help her escape and she doesn't know if she should trust him.

I thought Elizabeth's backstory was fascinating. Her father runs a wildlife sanctuary and has some cutting edge cloning equipment from The Horde territory. That was one kind technology I hadn't seen yet in the series. The way he comes to use and abuse it is interesting as well as terrifying.

The romance plot is not particularly original, but I enjoyed the chemistry between Elizabeth and Caius. I loved the adventure - I think this is the third time I've seen people jump from a dirigible in this series but I still love it. And I'm not sure I'll ever get tired of these machete-wielding heroes hacking their way though a zombie horde. My only criticism is that I felt like the story ended kind of abruptly, though at least it was in an unexpected way.

  4 1/2 stars

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