Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Book Review: Burden (Bayou Bear Chronicles Book 1) by Lila Felix

Bayou Bear Chronicles Book 1
Title: Burden
Author: Lila Felix
Series: Bayou Bear Chronicles #1
Pages: 296
My Rating: ♥♥♥

In the depths of the Louisiana swamps, clans of bear shifters roam freely. Hawke Turnclaw, the Alpha over all of his kind, is drowning in the legacy left to him by the Alpha before him, his own father. When he goes on a rescue mission to save a rogue Black bear from the clutches of a Grizzly clan, he finds more than just a Black bear, he finds his mate.

Echo has always been told she's an anomaly, a fluke. She's the only bear of her kind and that makes her a hindrance to her clan. She's tried to run away, but they keep her tethered through guilt and a shock collar around her neck.

And then someone shows up claiming he's her mate. Now belonging to a new clan, will she ever be able to understand that she's so much more than just a burden?

Hawke is in way over his head. After his father's death, he is forced to become alpha of his black bear shifter clan. His dad wasn't the best of alphas and, needless to say, the clan was left in financial turmoil. Also, kids are skipping school and a lone black bear has been spotted in grizzly shifter territory. Hawke just can't seem to catch a break.

The lone black bear turns out to be his one and only true mate, Echo. She however, doesn't really know about the whole mate thing, actually she doesn't know about any black bear traditions or history. The Grizzly clan she has been living with since she was a baby constantly berates her and treats her as an outsider. That doesn't stop them from making her cook, clean, keep inventory, do laundry, deal with finances, and guard the perimeter. Her life is miserable, but she can't escape due to the large metal shock collar around her neck, that is until she meets Hawke.

Echo is so thankful that Hawke rescued her, but she starts to feel like a burden. That's all she has ever been told that she was. A burden. Their actual relationship (I mean they are mates...) develops rather slowly. It is pretty adorable, yet awkward at the same time. You have to remember, Echo is completely unfamiliar with black bear customs and is learning about all of their mating rituals for the first time. As you can guess, there is a whole lot of blushing!

My only real problem with Burden was how things were worded. Some of the dialogue just didn't seem all that natural. I just wanted a bit more, especially some lingo from the bayou! That would have been REALLY fun to read! But, other than that, Burden was a cute story. I really loved the plot and thought that Echo and Hawke were really great for each other. Both of them were extremely thoughtful and caring.

Also, I absolutely loved the character of Martha. She was completely relatable and super sweet!

"It wasn't like there was a dating and mating website for bear shifters. If there had been, its mascot would have been that yellow Care Bear with the heart on its stomach."

"This was more than the mate-claim. It was more than love. More than a fluttering of our hearts, or a tingle when she entered a room."

"She paced back and forth while I rinsed and decided to face the music - or the Echo." 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Book Review: Protect Me (Donovan Family Book 6) by Margaret Watson

The Donovan Family Book 6
Title: Protect Me
Author: Margaret Watson
Series: Donovan Family #6
Pages: 329
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Police officer Mia Donovan is studying for the detective's exam when her captain offers her an assignment – be Finn O'Rourke's personal bodyguard for the next three weeks. He's in town to film a movie, he has a stalker, and the threats are escalating.

Mia isn't interested – she's focused on the looming exam. But her captain convinces her that successfully protecting Finn will look very good on her record when promotion decisions are made. So, reluctantly, she takes the assignment.

Finn isn't the arrogant, egotistical actor Mia expected. There's more than meets the eye when it comes to the 'most hated man in America', Finn's nickname since he cheated on his girlfriend, a beloved pop star.

But his stalker is lurking and the threat is escalating. Although Mia's feelings for Finn are growing, her job is to protect Finn, not fall in love with him.

*I received a free copy of Protect Me in exchange for an honest review*

Besides reading, one of my favorite things to do is watch crime shows. From NCIS to Criminal Minds and everything in-between, I watch it all. So, when this books description offered romance and some cool crime action, I knew that I'd like it! 

I absolutely loved both Finn and Mia! They have this banter that is extremely entertaining. They actually remind me a lot of Castle and Beckett from one of my all time favorite shows, Castle. It's hard not to see the similarities. A witty woman with a badge pitted against a charming "ruggedly handsome" celebrity. You know that's the perfect recipe for something great!

Okay, so combine that idea with the fact that Mia is so close to her cop family, and you get a sort of cross between Castle and the tv show Blue Bloods. Mia's family even meets up at least once a month to eat dinner together. This was my first Donovan book, but from what I've seen, Mia's family is absolutely great! I couldn't imagine growing up with four older brothers! 

Overall, this was a good fun read! The dialogue between our two protagonists was great and truly entertaining. And the stalker plot line also helped keep things interesting. Also, I'm ready to try some of that Oscar's Mac-and-Cheese (trust me, you will too after you read this)!!

"She thinks you're stalking me."
"Why the hell would I do that? I see too much of your ugly mug as it is." 


Book Review: Fated (The Soul Seekers Book 1) by Alyson Noel

The Soul Seekers Book 1
Title: Fated
Author: Alyson Noel
Series: The Soul Seekers #1
Pages: 352
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Until now, he's existed only in her dreams - but fate is about to bring them together.

I shove through the crowd, knocking into girls and bouncing off boys, until one in particular catches me, steadies me. I feel so secure, so at home in his arms. I melt against his chest-lift my gaze to meet his. Gasping when I stare into a pair of icy blue eyes banded by brilliant flecks of gold that shine like kaleidoscopes, reflecting my image thousands of times. The boy from my dream. The one who died in my arms.

Strange things are happening to Daire Santos. Crows mock her, glowing people stalk her, time stops without warning, and a beautiful boy with unearthly blue eyes haunts all her dreams. Fearing for her daughter’s sanity, Daire’s mother sends her to live with the grandmother she’s never met. A woman who recognizes the visions for what they truly are—the call to her destiny as a Soul Seeker—one who can navigate the worlds between the living and dead.

There on the dusty plains of Enchantment, New Mexico, Daire sets out to harness her mystical powers. But it’s when she meets Dace, the boy from her dreams, that her whole world is shaken to its core. Now Daire is forced to discover if Dace is the one guy she's meant to be with...or if he’s allied with the enemy she's destined to destroy.

I read Noel's Immortals series a few years ago and really enjoyed it. So, when I came across Fated, I knew that I had to pick it up. Once again, she did not disappoint!

This series is definitely different from her immortals series, but is just as amazing! For her whole life, our main heroine has never remained in one place for long. Her Hollywood make-up artist mom has just dragged her from movie set to movie set. However, Daire's life isn't as glamorous as it may appear. Due to her constant bouncing around, she has learned that nothing lasts forever and chooses to not form attachments. In reality, she is actually really lonely...

Strange things start to happen to her and when one thing leads to another, she is forced to stay with a relative in New Mexico. Despite her protests, this town, this place, turns out to be one of the best things that have ever happened to her. 

The mythology that Noel weaves into the story is really interesting, and I absolutely love how it all unfolds. I mean, who wouldn't want their very own spirit animal? And, all of this with a beautiful New Mexico landscape makes for a very ENCHANTING story.

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