Thursday, May 31, 2018

Hunt For An Alpha Blog Tour and Bitten Under Fire Review

You guys know how much I love Shifter Romances, right? This tour features TWO of them. The more sexy werewolves the better, I say. Keep reading to find out more about Bitten Under Fire and Wolf of Her Own.


Bitten Under Fire
(Bravo Team Alpha #2)
Heather Long
Release: May 28, 2018
Goodreads Amazon
ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley
Bianca Devlin’s work is her life. Now, she’s finally taking a vacation…and guerillas hit her resort to kidnap a diplomat’s son. She does the only thing that makes sense—intervene to save the child’s life. Being dragged into the jungle with a scared kid she’s determined to protect was definitely not how she saw this trip ending. 

After she returns to Texas, the last person Bianca expected to see was Sergeant Carlos “Cage” Castillo, the member of Bravo Team WOLF that helped rescue her. Nevertheless, there he is, living across the street from the house she just bought. The coincidence is alarming, but she has to admit, his presence isn’t entirely unwanted. 

But there’s something off about Cage—the way he can move without a sound or the weird way his eyes seem to almost glow at times. And how can Bianca manage her growing attraction, when everything she knows about him and his reason for being there, turns out to be a lie? 

Unlike a lot of romantic suspense stories, Bitten Under Fire opens up in the middle of the big action scene. Cage and Bianca meet when his unit rescues her from kidnappers in the Costa Rican jungle. I thought it was interesting how the story seemed to be flipped, but I found myself skimming during some of that rescue mission. I didn't really get into the story until they got back home to the suburbs.

The tension in Cage and Bianca's relationship, on the other hand, is exactly what you'd expect. How many shifter stories have you seen where the hero doesn't tell that the heroine that he's a werewolf, or werecat or werewhatever, and fears he'll lose her when she finds out? But I was sucked in by the chemistry between Cage and Bianca. They're just so charming I couldn't help but be happy for them.

One thing I thought was so novel about the previous book, When Danger Bites, was that the external conflict came from the military chain of command rather than the pack politics that you expect in a shifter romance. That's not the case in Bitten Under Fire. The threat of pack drama is there, but it never really manifests. In fact there's no true external conflict at all, just things they worry about momentarily. That should be a problem, but Cage and Bianca were just so cute together that I didn't really care.

We also get to see a little bit of Kat and Jax, the couple from the first book, and Silver who's that one easygoing pack member that everyone loves. Most of the other wolves aren't around much, which is another big difference from book one.

As much as I want to say there's nothing special about this story, I really enjoyed it. It's a pretty straightforward romance, but it made me happy. And there's nothing wrong with that.


My reviews of other books in this series:
When Danger Bites

About Heather Long

USA Today bestselling author, Heather Long, likes long walks in the park, science fiction, superheroes, Marines, and men who aren’t douche bags. Her books are filled with heroes and heroines tangled in romance as hot as Texas summertime. 

From paranormal historical westerns to contemporary military romance, Heather might switch genres, but one thing is true in all of her stories—her characters drive the books. When she’s not wrangling her menagerie of animals, she devotes her time to family and friends she considers family.

She believes if you like your heroes so real you could lick the grit off their chest, and your heroines so likable, you’re sure you’ve been friends with women just like them, you’ll enjoy her worlds as much as she does.

Heather's other fantasy romance series include the paranormal westerns Fevered Hearts starting with Marshal of Hel Dorado, Black Hill Wolves which start with What a Wolf Wants, Witches of Mane Street, Mongrels, and the Bravo Team WOLF series. 

Her contemporary romance series include: Always a Marine, Going Royal, Elite Warriors, The Love Thieves, beginning with Catch Me and Lone Star Leathernecks, beginning with Semper Fi Cowboy.

Heather is well-represented in fantasy with her her superhero series Boomers, a sci-fi western called Space Cowboy Survival Guide, an urban fantasy series called the Chance Monroe Adventures, and a stand-alone ghost novel titled Haunt Me.

Wolf of Her Own
(Salvation #9)
N.J. Walters
Release: May 28, 2018
Goodreads Amazon
Mikhail Matheson came to Salvation for his sister, but he stayed for Elise LaForge. She’s the alpha’s mother and the most fascinating woman he’s ever laid his eyes on. He’s wanted her from the first moment he saw her. He may feel like an outsider in the pack, but there’s no way he can leave when he’s sure Elise is his mate.

Elise’s made a home in North Carolina with her adult sons and their pack. It’s taken her a long time to get over the years she spent with her abusive mate, and while she’s content now, she can’t help but feel there’s something missing in her life. Mikhail stirs emotions in her she never expected to feel, and the attraction between them is off the charts. But Elise’s not sure how her sons and the pack will react, not to mention the danger the pack is facing.

I'm intrigued by the fact that the heroine in this book is a mother with grown children. But I haven't started the Salvation series yet, so I'm going to share an excerpt from A Wolf of Her Own rather than a review. Check it out!


"You’re a very sensual woman, whether you realize it or not”
“I really don’t know how to respond to that.”
“You don’t need to. It was an observation. I like watching you.”
“I know. That’s what caused the problem at lunchtime.” The reminder brought them both back to reality, and she pulled away.
Mikhail pushed to his feet and sat on the sofa next to her. “I’ll try to control myself in public. How about that?”
She rubbed her hand over the sofa, roughing and then smoothing the fabric. “That’s not fair to you.”
“Okay, then, how about I control myself in public until you’re more used to me, more able to handle me.”
She snorted. “I don’t think I’ll ever be able to handle you.”
Her teasing delighted him. “What can I say? I’m more than a handful.” The sexual innuendo wasn’t lost on Elise. Her cheeks turned the most delicate shade of pink, and he could see a teasing glint in her eyes.
“I wouldn’t know anything about that.”
He sat back against the sofa and spread his arms wide across the back. “Want to find out?”
Mikhail held his breath, wondering if he was pushing her too hard, too fast. He thought she might be a lot more ready than she thought she was. Of course, that could be pure wishful thinking on his part.
“No pressure,” he assured her. “What do you want to do?”
Elise had never had the opportunity to discover herself as a woman. He had a feeling that once she’d embraced the sensual, sexual side of her personality, he was the one who was going to have his hands full.
He couldn’t wait to face the challenge.
“I can touch you. You can touch me. Whatever you want. And it only goes as far as you’re comfortable. It’s all up to you, baby.”
Elise came up on the sofa beside him. His heart pounded in his ears, and he locked his hands around the top of the sofa to keep from reaching for her.
She studied him with her direct golden gaze so reminiscent of her older son’s. “You really mean that, don’t you?”
“I do.” Even if it kills me. He hadn’t felt this out of control since he was a young man.
Then she shocked him by swinging her leg over his lap so she was sitting facing him. “Then touch me.”

About N.J. Walters

N.J. Walters is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, werewolves, dragons, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next-door neighbors with smoldering good looks—all vie for her attention. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Review: Don't Cheat Me by Jackie May


Don't Cheat Me
(Nora Jacobs #2)
Jackie May
Release: May 21, 2018
Goodreads Amazon
Borrowed via Kindle Unlimited
One month after Nora’s violent induction to the dangerous supernatural side of Detroit, she’s finally settling into her new life as the underworld’s token human. All she wants to do is mind her own business, enjoy her new friends, and stay safe. But that’s easier said than done when she’s such an enigma to everyone around her.

Thanks to her unique psychic abilities, she’s garnered a reputation for being mysterious and powerful. When the alpha of a local werewolf pack asks her to help him figure out who is stealing from him, she can’t say no, even though getting involved in pack business could have deadly repercussions.

While tangled up in a heap of werewolf troubles, Nora can’t quite shake her old vampire problem, either. Henry is practically stalking her, Parker is breaking down the walls around her heart, and Nora’s blatant fear of the blood-sucking monsters is a delicious temptation for the natural predators.

Nora’s succubus friend, Cecile, believes throwing her a “coming out” party into underworld society is the best way to solve all of her problems, but Nora disagrees. If the vampires and werewolves don’t kill her, Cecile’s party planning definitely will.


Don't Cheat Me is much lighter in tone than than the first book in the series, which devoted a lot of time to the abuse and trauma in Nora's past. Those things are still mentioned, and are still impacting her present as Nora deals with PTSD-type episodes, but they're not so prominent. Since I felt like there was too much of it in book one, I'm really happy to see it toned down here.

Where the first book introduced Nora to the local vampires, now we get to meet some of Detroit's werewolves. I loved those characters and learning about the series's werewolf mythos, but I wish they didn't focus on dominance so much when explaining their customs. Nora also finally learns where her powers come from. (And I totally called it!) I'm excited to see where the series goes with that revelation.

When I read book one, I didn't know that this series is a "slow burn reverse harem." (It's in the blurb on Goodreads and Amazon, but I don't think it was on Netgalley.) I was surprised to learn that since Nora basically has panic attacks when people touch her. But in this second book, you can start to see her group taking shape as Nora works through her issues. At this point, there's still nothing more than kissing in her relationships though.

I really enjoyed Don't Cheat Me! I wanted the next book in the series as soon as I finished this one. I'm excited to see where Nora goes from here.


My reviews of other books in this series:
Don't Rush Me

Monday, May 28, 2018

Manga Reviews: Princesses and Heroes

Yona of the Dawn, Vol. 10
(Yona of the Dawn #10)
Mizuho Kusanagi
Release: February 6, 2018
Yona and her friends have taken to calling themselves bandits and have been protecting Fire Tribe villages from cruel government officials. Meanwhile, Kang Tae-jun, the Fire Tribe chief’s second son, goes to Katan Village with orders to eliminate the bandits there. He still believes that he’s killed Yona—but suddenly, he hears her voice! What will happen when they come face-to-face again?

This volume features one of my absolute favorite examples of character development in a manga. Tae-jun started off the series as a forgettable, self-absorbed noble who didn't care remotely for anyone but himself. But now...well, just read and find out! All I'll say is Tae-jun's redemption arc is magnificent! 

We also get to see Yona coming into her own as she fully embraces and brings aid to the poverty stricken lands of the Fire Tribe. She is also very patient with Tae-Jun as he begins to explore this unknown world of sickness and struggle, because she understands his point of view as well. We can definitely see her becoming more worldly at this point.

This is one of my favorite volumes in the whole series so far which is saying a lot! I love this manga so much!
The characters and plot development are so well written, and the artwork is phenomenal! I have my fingers crossed that we get many, many more volumes!

ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss.

  5 / 5 Stars!

Yona of the Dawn, Vol. 11
(Yona of the Dawn #11)
Mizuho Kusanagi
Release: April 3, 2018
A red-haired princess loses her family and her kingdom... Now she must rise and fight for her throne!

Princess Yona lives an ideal life as the only princess of her kingdom. Doted on by her father, the king, and protected by her faithful guard Hak, she cherishes the time spent with the man she loves, Su-won. But everything changes on her 16th birthday when tragedy strikes her family!

Yona and her friends head out in search of a crop that can grow in barren land. On their travels, Hak becomes filled with grim determination while training Yona in swordsmanship. Yona notices that he's acting differently and tries to cheer him up, but what Hak does next leaves her stunned!

This volume has a perspective twist and it’s focused around Hak and how he feels about their circumstances. And we get another backstory chapter! This flashback again shows exactly how much Hak, Yona, and Su-Won cared about each other, making Su-won’s betrayal that much more painful. I think we sometimes forget that Hak was just as affected by his betrayal as Yona was. He and Su-won were good friends too.

Then there’s the issue about Hak’s feelings for Yona. Hak is going to be the death of me! The romance element of this manga is finally getting some page time and I AM HERE FOR IT. Am I the only one screaming for them to kiss already? Then again, I've been wanting that since like volume three. As much as Yona has grown throughout this series, I still want to shake her at parts. I think she is FINALLY starting to realize that Hak has feelings for her.

This story arc is a bit slower paced because our heroes taking a break in a village, but character-wise a lot progresses in this volume. I just need the next installment in my hands! I want to know what is going to happen next! I might riot if Yona ends up with Su-won though.

  5 / 5 Stars!

My reviews of other books in this series:
RTFB: Yona of the Dawn, Vols. 1-9

My Hero Academia, Vol. 11
(My Hero Academia #11)
Kohei Horikoshi
Release: February 6, 2018
Midoriya inherits the superpower of the world’s greatest hero, but greatness won’t come easy.

What would the world be like if 80 percent of the population manifested superpowers called “Quirks”? Heroes and villains would be battling it out everywhere! Being a hero would mean learning to use your power, but where would you go to study? The Hero Academy of course! But what would you do if you were one of the 20 percent who were born Quirkless?

Bakugo’s abduction by the League of Villains was a carefully calculated move designed to draw out the Heroes—All Might in particular—and destroy them. Midoriya and his friends set out on a rescue mission that eventually pulls in not only All Might but also several other heroes! The casualties mount, until at last the mastermind of the plot appears—the only villain powerful enough to go head-to-head with All Might and possibly win…All For One!

This series just keeps getting better and better! The fight I've been waiting for has finally arrived as One For All vs All For One comes to its epic conclusion. As well as highlights All Might's as a hero, a teacher, and a person. Guys. I just really, really love All Might.

This volume was a fast-paced race to the end of the current arc. It was filled with battles and we're starting to see some of the fallout from the numerous villain attacks on UA. It was intense! I was at the edge of my seat the whole time! I almost had a heart attack will reading it. It also marks a turning point in the series, I think. I also think this volume will act as an amazing prelude of what’s to come because things have changed for our younger generation of heroes.

It might be the end of the current arc but it really feels like a beginning. I'm curious to see where the story goes from here. And as someone who love the anime just as much as the manga, I'll be the one of the first to say that I really can't wait to see this arc happen in the anime! It's going to be epic!

ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss.

  5 / 5 Stars!

My Hero Academia, Vol. 12
(My Hero Academia #12)
Kohei Horikoshi
Release: April 3, 2018
Midoriya inherits the superpower of the world’s greatest hero, but greatness won’t come easy.

What would the world be like if 80 percent of the population manifested superpowers called “Quirks”? Heroes and villains would be battling it out everywhere! Being a hero would mean learning to use your power, but where would you go to study? The Hero Academy of course! But what would you do if you were one of the 20 percent who were born Quirkless?

Class 1-A is working on developing their ultimate moves—a process that will test their strength and creativity in all-new ways! To help them out, Mei Hatsume, a student from the Support Class, is brought in to develop improvements to their costumes. The attention from Mei might be more than Midoriya can handle, but he’ll need every edge he can get to pass the next hurdle for the students of U.A.—the Provisional Licensing Exam!

This volume was definitely a lot more laid back than the last one which was probably a good thing for my heart after the excitement of the last volume. 

I love how more and more characters keep getting introduced as the series progresses! In some series, the large casts can get confusing and the characters can begin to feel one-dimensional. What I love a lot about My Hero Academia is that each character feels fully realized even if it takes a few volumes to learn more about their backstory. Each of them have such unique personalities and awesome powers. I can say that genuinely like/love them all! Well, except Mineta who, in my opinion, can go die in a ditch somewhere.

Honestly, I love the direction the story is going! The action just keeps coming and the characters are constantly developing. With the introduction of new characters, the world feels larger in this volume. Things are no longer revolving just around U.A. High, its students, and the handful of pro heroes that teach there.

The art in this series is simply amazing! The small details are what really makes this manga so fun and special. Like the book on how to teach which sticks out of All Might’s back pocket made me chuckle a bit. The thing is those small details give us so much insight into the characters and really add to the storyline. That book in All Might's pocket show that not only is he trying to become a better teacher, it shows that he understands that he has some shortcomings that need to be resolved. These moments are subtle and small but they show us so much!

My Hero Academia just keeps getting better and better.
There is always something going on that keeps me interested and that is why this series is one of my all-time favorites. The Licensing Exam is far from over and I can't wait to see what happens next!

  5 / 5 Stars!

My reviews of other books in this series:
RTFB: My Hero Academia, Vols. 1-10

Friday, May 25, 2018

Flashback Friday Review: Vicious by V.E. Schwab

We wanted to revisit Rose Red's review from 2014 because the newly minted Collector's Edition of Vicious is about to be released in both the US and the UK with brand new covers and an extra short story! All we'll say is that these new covers are freaking fantastic! 

Seriously! How amazing are those covers?!? We love that they now match the whole red, white, and black aesthetic Victoria has going on with her other adult covers and they just fit the story so well! And we're so excited that we're finally getting a sequel this year! Vengeful comes out in both the US and the UK on September 25, 2018.

If you haven't read this Vicious yet, now is a good time to! Continue reading for Rose Red's original thoughts about the book!

(Villains #1)
V.E. Schwab
Release: September 24, 2013
Goodreads Amazon
Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong. 

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

was the first adult novel by V.E. (Victoria) Schwab I've read and it was awesome! I’ve read all of her YA books and I loved them all! She has definitely earned a spot on my autobuy list. Schwab is one of those authors I completely trust.

You know those books that suck you into the story and keep you thinking about them long after you finish them. Vicious was that for me. It met my high expectations and then proceeded to blow them out of the water.

“There are no good men in this game.”

Vicious is about superheroes and super villains, but it’s not your normal superhero story. It really explores the question about what kind of person you would become if you had super powers. The characters are complex. The writing is intelligent and very quotable. The story is fascinating and not predictable.

“Plenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human.”

Her characters are so complexly fantastic you love and hate the characters at the same time. The multiple points-of-view were perfect and didn't take away from our main character. In my mind, Victor and Eli are like Tony Stark and Bruce Banner from The Avengers but if they had had a falling out. They are those friends that are similar yet opposite in so many ways but are joined together by the unifying bands of science and the pursuit of knowledge. They are perfectly imperfect characters that had me hooked from the first page. I loved both Victor and Eli, but I'm totally Team Victor. Eli wasn't as loveable as Victor is. Not only were they great but all the side characters are wonderfully complex as well.

The pacing of the story was spot on. I loved how it switched back and forth between the present and the past. The flashbacks really added to depth to the characters and the plot and provided a way for us to see why Eli and Victor are now enemies and not friends. The truly great thing about this novel is that it makes you think. It makes you wonder about special abilities and what lengths humans would go to become ExtraOrdinary. Some of the characters suffer a loss of self, and taking that journey with them was such an experience.

Vicious was my favorite book of last year and it quickly became one of my favorite books ever. Words really can't do the awesomeness contained in this book justice. All I can say is GO READ IT! You will not be disappointed!

5 / 5 Stars!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Ten Oldest Books on My Shelves That I Haven't Read Yet

I've recently gone through my bookshelves to kind of cull my collection and to get rid of some books I didn't like. One of my younger cousins was helping in exchange for the YA books I was getting rid of and she made the comment that I had some really old books on my shelves. I'm a scientist and a serial inventorist when it comes to my books so I have records of when I bought each book. Let's just say I was floored when I saw just how many unread books I had on my shelves that I had bought over five years ago. My cousin kind of shamed me for it. So in an effort to motivate myself to finally get these read, I figured I would share a list of the books I've had on my shelves the longest.

1. Legend by Marie Lu (2011)
I'm ashamed that I haven't read this yet. I bought shortly after it came out because I was in a read all the dystopians mode. Unfortunately, I burned out on the genre before I ever made it to this one so it's sat on my shelves for almost seven years and has moved across the country three times.

2. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett (2006)
I bought this after binge reading the Sandman comics with the bestie to read together and we never got to it because college got in the way. I really need to read this now that there's a mini-series being made of it.

3. Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore (2012)
I bought this book the day it came out because I was so excited to see how this series of companion novels played out. I read about 25 pages and had to put it down because I moved the next day and I never picked it up again. I'm really ashamed that I haven't read this one yet.

4. The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle (2005)
I received this book from my BFF's grandma when we graduated from high school and I still haven't read it. It's been 13 years. Please forgive me, Nana! I can't even tell you why I haven't read it yet. I just haven't.


5. The Hob's Bargain by Patricia Briggs (2010)
I bought this after I ran out of Mercy Thompson books when I first binged the series. Sadly, it got forgotten about as I discovered other urban fantasy series. Someone recently told me that it was Briggs's version of a Beauty and the Beast retelling and I think I need that in my life like ASAP.

6. The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley (2003)
This is the only unread Robin McKinley book I have on my shelves and I've had it for a long, long time. And I honestly can't tell you why I haven't read it yet. Maybe it's because once it's read I will be out of McKinley books until she publishes more. That's probably the reason.

7. Snow White and Rose Red by Patricia C. Wrede (2009)
This book is like the previous one where it's the last unread book I have by the author and I just can't bring myself to read it and be out of Wrede books.

8. Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines (2012)
I bought this book the year it came out simply because it had a sword coming out of a book and a glowing spider on the cover. I still haven't read it but I've heard excellent things about the whole series.

9. Kindling the Moon by Jenn Bennett (2011)
Funny story. I actually picked this book up at a comic convention soon after it came out. I really didn't know what it was about but I brought it home and put it on the shelf. Since then, I've collected the other books in the series and have read most of her other books. This might be cheating but I'm currently reading this one right now and it's been excellent so far!

10. Heart's Blood by Juliet Marillier (2009)
I bought this book as a reward for getting through one of my toughest semesters as an undergrad. Sadly, it went into a box soon after and wasn't found until I moved again almost three years later. So I still need to read it. It'll be my first Marillier book once I get to it and I'm still excited about the premise all these years later.

What books have been on your shelves the longest?

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