Penumbra, The Spook Squad 3, Keri Arthur

Penumbra: Spook Squad Trilogy: Book 3

 

Penumbra, The Spook Squad 3, Keri Arthur
Review from jeannie zelos book reviews
I was lucky enough to get book two for review and loved it. I’m a great fan of Keri’s work anyway, and this world is such fun, though at times confusing….with the shape-changers, shape-shifters ( yes there’s a difference) and multi-shifters.  Its bad enough just sorting them out,  but now we’ve clones too it seems…and of course there’s Sam with her unknown background and abilities. Then there’s Joshua and Joe, who is Joe, where does he fit in and what does he want with Sam, and is Joshua – her dream person – real? They seem to share memories or is it all a figment of imagination. The more Sam seeks answers the deeper the danger to her seems to get.Throw in the Gabriel problem – there’s a connection between them that he won’t acknowledge, more than just the weird bond they share that lets them feel what the other is feeling – and Sam’s had enough of being pushed aside by him. He doesn’t want her as a partner so she asks for and gets a transfer. He’s shocked though at where she’s going. It’s placing her in very grave danger and finally he needs to look at how he feels about her.
Its a great read. I was wary as I’d read that this was intended to be a four book series, and it stopped at three leaving things unresolved. I was afraid I’d be left in some weird book limbo, with a cliff-hanger ending and no resolution coming. For some people the book of the moment is all, and they don’t mind reading unfinished series or waiting ages for next book. Not me, I feel I’ve wasted my reading time when that happens. I need an ending of some kind, and though there are question unanswered here the basic ones are given an insight, and we got a form of ending. The Sam/Gabriel conundrum is resolved and that made me happy!
Its a fun read, some complex problems to work out, but I enjoy that. Its interesting speculating who was behind what, and for what reason. I’m a bit of a cynic when it comes to governments and Military so this kind of world where things happen feels very possible to me – maybe I’m not just a cynic, bit too gullible  but it makes for a book I really enjoyed and a series I’d re read despite it being “unfinished”. I’d rather that than Keri pick it up now, many years and other books later and make a poor fourth book. Writing is tough – I’ve tried and failed miserably, so when she says she can’t get back into that world again I’m OK with that.
Stars: Five.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

Flight of Magpies, KJ Charles

Flight of Magpies (A Charm of Magpies)

Flight of Magpies, KJ Charles
Review from jeannie zelos book reviews

I noticed this was the third of a trilogy after I’d requested it, so read the sample of book one a case of Possession, and was hooked so bought that and book two The Magpie Lord prior to reading this one. Its a great escape from reality, a world you can lose yourself in, back to a time when homosexuality was against the Law. Even Crane’s money and title can’t protect him if it gets out in the wrong quarters about his sexuality. Of course prior to meeting Stephan he’d just have shipped back to China before the law caught him, he loved it there and would return in a flash. Indeed that was the original plan…. Lord Crane has lived there for the last 20 years, since his banishment by his father at 17, only returning to England after his father and elder brother died, so he could sort out the legal affairs of his inheritance. China is far more relaxed and he’s not used to hiding what he is. Here though he’s got to take care, and he’s struggling with hiding the relationship with his recent lover, Justiciar Stephen Day. Stephen is a most unlikely partner for the tall, wealthy and titled Lord. He’s no family, few friends, and only his team of four others connected to or part of his Justiciary affairs are in any way close to him, and they don’t know about his sexuality. As someone with magical talent he’s even more forced to hide what he is as most of the population regard it with deep mistrust, so a few back street one offs is what he’s used to. The two have a long way to go to learn to accept each other. Love ought to conquer all but theirs is compounded by the times, the magic and the differences in their social scale. That doesn’t bother Crane but Stephen struggles with his wealth. In this final adventure they are fighting for their right to be together as well as their lives yet again. Things happen that make them doubt each other, and it seems like the whole Justiciary council are out to get to Stephen. Sadly he’s one of the very few moral Practitioners, certainly the rest of the council and some of his few colleagues don’t seem that way. The stress of coping with an ever reducing team is getting to him and Crane as he’s working longer and longer hours, struggling with the workload and things are losing control for him. I love this short series, and its one that will be in my keeper files. Its full of magic, the sort that seems possible if you can open your mind a bit…I can Winking smile and Stephen is a great man. I love the contrast between him and Crane, physically, mentally and socially and the way they work so hard to make their love come through. Although they seem so opposite they are perfect for each other. Stephen is small in stature, but very strong in power and could kill Crane with just a thought, so when he lets Crane have control Crane knows just what Stephen is allowing him – trust along with his love. Of course I can’t forget Merrick – here in all three books, long time friend and ostensible manservant of Crane. They’ve been through much together in China and he’s a great and much needed person to make the stories work. Stars: Cracking read, full five. ARC supplied via Netgalley and publishers
Notes

Out of Control, Alexandra Ivy,

Out of Control (The Sentinels)

 

Out of Control, Alexandra Ivy,
Genre: Paranormal.

Review from jeannie zelos book reviews

This is book 0.5 – a sort of introductions to the world and characters in a new series I guess. It makes sense now why it was so light – when I read it I was surprised it was so short and simplistic, just an uncomplicated plot centred around a few main characters. As a book on its own it didn’t do much for me, well written of course and the romance is sweet – I’d have liked a bit more friction, sensuality, angst from it but space is limited. Its one of the reasons I don’t often read novellas, and I hadn’t realised this wasn’t a full novel. I just saw Alexandra was the author and assumed I’d enjoy it as I love some of her books. My mistake.
Anyway it works well as an introduction to the series, but its very unsubstantial, being a light easy read so bear that in mind when you buy. I think I’ll enjoy the series more as full length novels
Stars: three, good start but too light on it’s own.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers.

Exposed by Fate Tessa Bailey Tempting Her Fake Fiancé Julie Particka. Protecting His Witch Zoe Forward

Exposed by Fate (a Serve novel) (Entangled Brazen)

 

Exposed by Fate (Serve 2)  Tessa Bailey
Review from jeannie zelos book reviews
Genre: Erotic Romance
I’ve not read Serve 1, but that’s not a problem as these are standalone books, connected but complete in themselves. The action takes place over a short time, just a couple of weeks, so there’s no long build up, no drawn out sensual attraction, just a quick burst of Must Have heat from both Eliza and Oliver.
Eliza is out with her best friend at the friend’s husband’s club. She’s shocked at how turned on she is in the club, and when sexy Parker flirts with her, assuming she knows what she’s there for she’s a bit….taken aback. She wants what he’s offering, though doesn’t want to show her naivety in the practice. Her friends brother Oliver comes along just at the right moment.
Oliver is a kind of jaded playboy type, been there, done them all…and then he sees his sisters friend Eliza flirting with Parker. He’s always been attracted to her, and the thought of her with Parker has him seeing red, and between them they come up with this idea of three “lessons”, and then she can move on to Parker, having gained some experience. Of course once they start they get in deep, so deep that neither wants to give up, but can’t bring themselves to let the other know. Eliza thinks Oliver is the playboy of his reputation, however nice he is to her she’s sure he’s just toying with her, and will drop her once he’s bored.  Oliver – well, he’s finally reaping what he sowed, can see how the other ladies ignore the fact he’s with Eliza, ignore her as irrelevant and just a fling. He realises Eliza deserves better than him, and feels she’ll suffer a loss of respect of he tries to get her to stay.  He just can’t bring himself to let her go though, and they tread a fine line trying to prolong the contact.
Its a fun read, very sensual and erotic, though the BDSM element is minimal, so if that bothers you don’t be put off. I liked the characters of both Eliza and Oliver and was hoping they’d find a way through their problems.
Its a story I enjoyed but didn’t feel completely convinced by, and I’d have liked a bit more drama in the “down” part – the bit where it goes wrong. For me that makes the HEA so much more satisfying but that’s not for everybody of course.
Stars: Three and a half
ARC supplied by publishers.

Tempting Her Fake Fiancé (a Gone Hollywood novel) (Entangled Brazen)

 

Tempting Her Fake Fiancé (a Gone Hollywood novel) (Entangled Brazen) Julie Particka
Review from jeannie zelos book reviews
Genre: contemporary romance

well, I thought this would be quite a light read, and its not complex but it does have a much more interesting and developed plot than I expected. Sometimes these reads are very simplistic, constrained by the length requirements, but this one has some solid plots and realistic characters – oh and sex…lots of hot and spicy well written sex!!
I loved Stasia and wondered how on earth she put up with the jerk ex. People do though don’t they, beaten down but the constant subtle put downs, gradually losing all sense of self. In a way, cruel though it was, he did her a favour by leaving. Now she just needs to shake his arrogance by moving on. At the same time Evan needs to clean up his image for his career. He’s intrigued by Stasia at the interview and makes her a proposition which she accepts.
At first its all going to be very public only, and in private hands off – but the sensuality between them is steaming and Stasia thinks why not? After all she’s single, he’s hot and wants her and who in their right mind turns down a fling with a hot, sexy film star. As the week goes on though she learns he’s more than just his public image, and she gets to know the real man and fall in love. He’s equally entranced by her, she wants nothing from him at a time when everyone wants something, and he’s enjoying this genuine friendship, and of course how he reacts to her sexually – he just can’t get enough of her.
Then of course he blows it and poor poor Stasia – I’d have felt like she did…Evan didn’t mean to insult her but he did! His sister soon tells him and puts him right but can he make up for it?
I loved the way we actually got some of the film star effect in this book, so many I’ve read lately only pay lip service to the role, but this is set in the film world with media interviews, paparazzi and all the terrain that goes with fame.
Stars: Five. For such a short read its a great one, hot and sensual and full of a great story.
ARC supplied by publishers

Protecting His Witch (a Keepers of the Veil novel) (Entangled Covet)

Protecting His Witch (a Keepers of the Veil novel)  Zoe Forward
Review from jeannie zelos book reviews
Genre: Paranormal Romance
I was expecting a kind of paranormal M&B fluffy read with this – but its actually got a lot more depth than I expected. Its an interesting idea, this one of parallel worlds, and Kat is able to jump form one to the other. She doesn’t know why though, or why she seems to have some other odd quirks such as hearing people’s thoughts. It may be a family thing – but she knows nothing of her parents, and its not the kind of question you can ask without sounding nuts. So she keeps her head down, her fingers crossed and gets on with life. I really liked Kat, she’s not a weeping, simpering miss, but a get on with it girl who makes the best of a situation. She a bit out of her depth now though, when her “jumps” seem to have stepped up from none for several years to several within days. Not only that there seems to be some weird people out to get her, and she doesn’t know why or what they want. Throw in too that she keeps jumping to the one man she’d like to avoid, the one she had a really embarrassing but searingly hot one night stand with. He believes she cursed him, but she doesn’t know how to do a curse. He knows more about her world than he’s telling, trying to find out if she genuinely doesn’t know what he’s talking about – and they’re both hampered by an insane attraction that seems to leave them both with a desperate and raging desire to get naked together…anywhere, anytime it seems!
Matt, he’s his own reasons for staying out of the supernatural world, but it just won’t leave him alone. He’s been targeted by the group after Kat before,  and knows just how evil they can be, they’re responsible for his fathers death. Now there’s a deadline coming close for Kat to attend an important ceremony in the Otherworld, one she knows nothing about, and there are two groups wanting her. One to save the world by having her at the ceremony, the other who just want to capture her and experiment on her, dead or not…
The heat between her and Matt was tangible and believable, and the way he’d no intention of bonding with anyone, and kept talking himself out of the attraction for Kat, making excuses for his feelings, and then going nuts when another Druid tries to claim her was amusing. The story itself was realistic – within the paradigms of fantasy of course – and the two lead characters were good. I liked meeting the secondary ones too, Kat’s friend, the loud and proud gay dancer, and Matt’s brother and the other druids. Its a small group of people here, but they fit well together and made for an entertaining read.
Stars: Four and a half, a great read to escape into for a few hours
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

The Paper Magician, Charlie N. Holmberg

The Paper Magician (The Paper Magician Series Book 1)

 

The Paper Magician, Charlie N. Holmberg
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Genre: Sci Fi & Fantasy, Teens & YA
One of the things about reading a debut book is that it’s a leap into the unknown, you’ve no idea of the writing style of the author. I love books about magic though, and this sounded such fun I couldn’t resist it. I’m really glad I did as it’s a fabulous, magical read.
Its classed as Teens and YA, but it’s one of those that really has enough appeal, and is written strongly enough to appeal to all ages. Its not a dumbed down language type of novel either – so many YA reads are potentially interesting to older readers but I find the language so simplistic and bland that I switch off. Not here, I was interested right from the first page.
Ceony is a great character, she’s done magical school on a scholarship and now is apprenticed to Mg Thane as a Folder, a magician that works in paper. She really wanted to work with metals, as a Smelter but there’s a huge shortage of Folders with only 12 remaining, so she accepts her fate though inside she’s still a little chagrined, paper seems so boring. Its not though, and soon she’s learning how to create animated creatures and bring story books to life. Everything is going well and then…along comes someone from Mg Thane’s past and disaster strikes. Ceony by now is halfway in love with Emory Thane, and can’t just sit back and let him die, but uses what she’s learned to try to save him.
That takes us on a magical ( literally and mentally ) journey, where we learn about some of both Ceony’s and Emory’s history though I’m sure we’ve still lots more to learn. At first, when Ceony was – how can I put it without spoilers – when she’s on a special journey, I thought it was a bit dull but then it took me on a ride though Emory’s memories, and the things she saw and learned were fascinating.
I’ve always had a secret admiration of magic and wished it was real. I recall age 4 when I asked dad for a magic wand for Christmas, entranced by the things Sooty ( a UK childrens TV prog hand puppet ) did with his. Dad said they were very expensive and he’d not be able to afford anything for everyone else – my reply was I could just magic it…didn’t get one though! There’s still a part of me that has a hankering for it to be real, and the way its created here, by use of spells alongside physical substances is so entrancing – I just fell right into the world alongside Ceony, and that’s what I really want in a story, to be taken away from the real world into an imaginary one. There are two more books to come, and I’m looking forward to where the story goes next. Its not a cliff-hanger, in fact you could read this as a standalone, but I think once into it like me you’ll want more.
Stars: Five, fabulous read.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers.

Cold Spring, Bernadette Walsh

Cold Spring

 

Cold Spring, Bernadette Walsh
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Genre: Contemporary Romance
I loved Bernadette’s Devlin series so was eager to read this novel, even though its not paranormal. Its a sad story, full of secrets, lots of emotion that made me a bit tearful at times – and I do like that. I want a story that can move me, characters that feel real, a puzzle I need to work out and this novel delivered all of those.
Poor Maura, we only get to see what happened to her from the past in small dribbles, little flashbacks to her fifteen year old self, and its only in the last quarter all gets revealed. What a sad story, and I really felt for her. She wasn’t able to let go of the past, seeming to drift through life, head down, not letting herself feel pleasure or get involved with anyone. She’s so scared of the press raking things up again. Even though she was just a child her family seemed to hold her to blame for everything, and still blamed her for the effects of the drama on them. It would be good to think all families support their children, but only her aunt and uncle were supportive, her parents and sisters seemed to just want her hidden away out of sight. Now the 20 year anniversary of the scandal is coming up and the press are sniffing round once again, her mum is dying and the bulk of the care falls on her, and her recent patient seems to want more from her than just being his nurse. Scott is attractive and one of those men who want their own way, and he wants Maura. They soon slide into a torrid romance, and with the press sniffing round her family are terrified she’ll bring down more scandal. They seem to care more about that than Maura’s happiness.
Its a sad novel, and shows what happens when money and prestige are involved in scandal. Deepest pockets win usually. Maura is made a scapegoat and yet she’s just a child, that doesn’t seem to matter though for those out for her blood, and some have long memories and long term plans. Its a very bittersweet novel at times, and although the clues are there I didn’t see what was in the big reveal til it happened. Once the secrets are out it moves quite fast, and we do get a HEA – I want those, I hate a romance that isn’t, where things happen and everything falls apart and stays that way. Here we get all the drama and sadness but some happy times too – that’s what I need.
Stars: Five, a great emotional read.
ARC supplied by author

I Need You, Jane Lark

I Need You: HarperImpulse New Adult Romance

 

I Need You, Jane Lark
Review from jeannie zelos book reviews
Genre: Contemporary Romance
I’ve enjoyed several of Jane’s novels and was keen to get stuck into this one but…it didn’t really work for me. Just proves I guess that even if you enjoy the majority of an authors novels there can be some that don’t fit your tastes.
So, Lindy, she’s in a bad place, depressed by being dumped by her ex, who promptly married someone else and they’ve just had a baby. She’s lost the man who’s been the love of her life for years, the man she chose to be with instead of staying close to friends, the man whose father owned the shop she worked in. She feels she’s lost everything and she’s distraught…and takes an overdose. Jason and Billy are the ones to find her and get help.
To be honest put that way I sympathise with Lindy, and yet when we meet her I just didn’t like her, she’s very self centred it seems, and rebuffs Billy’s attempts to help in a very bitchy way. I just couldn’t get into her mind, she seems to blame everyone but herself, and she’s become isolated. Billy though won’t take no for an answer. He still loves her and is determined to take a chance to get closer. He’s held back for years, now he’s going an all or nothing approach. I loved Billy, he’s a genuinely caring man and does so much for Lindy, and yet she’s so rude to him, she seems to be a taker and suck all the life out of every situation. When we know a bit more about her though I understood her better. Billy was spot on in what he did, and he persuades her to look at herself differently. In one of their talks he discovers she’s very repressed sexually, and somehow he becomes a tutor to her and they soon are in some hot and steamy clinches. Billy was such a patient man, and did so much for her confidence, but he’s still uncertain of just what he means to her.
It kind of goes like that all the way through for me, with Billy being a real gem, so caring and full of love, and Lindy just so self absorbed. She does begin to realise her faults though, and makes a real effort to change and that’s when i began to like her more. Things had built up over a number of years, and there were problems no one knew about that contributed to her outlook. Its a bittersweet romance, and there was some heart-breaking moments for Billy. Overall though I enjoyed it its not one I’d re read, and it didn’t really move me emotionally.
Stars: Three.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

Beneath Beautiful, Allison Rushby

 

Beneath Beautiful, Allison Rushby
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Genre: N/A.
Some books take a while to get into, this one had me not hooked exactly but intrigued, right from the start. It kind of keeps me feeling that way through the story. Cassie’s first encounter with Cameron is innocuous, until she suddenly realises he’s a celebrity artist and she hasn’t recognised him. She’s no stranger to fame herself, she’s got a childrens bestseller series out, but she sees that as almost accidental and doesn’t see herself as famous. She’s in Paris while she tries to drum up inspiration for a new book, something more than just a kids series. So far she’s come up with nothing, so when Cameron finds her again and asks her to sit for him she agrees, thinking she’s got time, and maybe it’ll inspire her in some way.
Cassie can feel a pull between them and wonders if they might get closer, but she’s worried, her father is a politician, a somewhat cold man for whom his daughters must look to his career at all times, and the impact of what they do upon it. She knows he won’t approve of her sitting for Cameron, and as for anything more – no way. At times I wondered if the attraction was all in Cassie’s mind, then Cameron would say something and I’d think is wasn’t, that there was a real spark there. Being an incurable romantic I wanted it to be more, I wanted them to get together, so I wasn’t best pleased when they’re in US and her friend with whom she;’s staying introduces another person, James, a reporter hoping to interview Cameron. It puts Cassie in an awkward place, she hasn’t told anyone except her big sister about the sitting, and feels she’s not able to tell James but makes her also feel duplicitous at keeping it secret.
I loved all the characters, even the curious Plum, an artist friend of Cameron’s who knows Cassie’s sister, and seems to have an unseen agenda towards Cassie. The book is full of little puzzles, teasers, things where the reader needs to read between the lines. It flows easily and we see Cassie go from confident in some things and cautious in others, to someone who’d grown, develops self confidence. I loved the descriptions of Cameron’s art, and the processes behind it, and like Cassie wondered just what it was he was seeking from her for the piece. He kept saying she was in control, it all depended on her, and he was clearly looking for something but wouldn’t/couldn’t tell her what, and she was in the dark as to what it was ( me too). Then the penny dropped, by way of a scandal and a good bit of pushing from Plum, and it made sense to me. I finally understood what he wanted and why he couldn’t just tell her, and I was so in admiration of Cassie for committing to something she needed to do, but that she knew would cause her grief from her father.
It ends kind of ambiguously, where its not really clear ( to me at least) as to the romance side of things, but in a way that’s good as I can “write” my own conclusion and have Cassie and xyz living happily ever after Smile . I’m not sure its a book I’d re read, but its still one I loved and am glad I read.
Stars: five
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

Tempted by the Billionaire Tycoon, Jennifer St George

Tempted by the Billionaire Tycoon: Billionaire Romance Book 2

 

Tempted by the Billionaire Tycoon, Jennifer St George
Review from jeannie zelos book reviews
Genre: Contemporary romance
Sometimes I just want a simple, uncomplicated romance and this books delivers that. Kind of like an updated 70’s M&B….simple romance but with some hot, spicy sex thrown in!
Nic’s a typical book billionaire, dragged himself up from nothing after refusing to do what his father wants. He was a bully, and made his money by crime, including gambling, drugs and alcohol, so it’s easy to see why Nic is so against those things. He wants his sisters and mother to leave his dad, but they’re too scared of repercussions, so Nic is driven to make more and more money to prove to them they will be safe. Money is power after all – that never changes and was an easy to believe in motive for his striving to be better all the while, to make more money by the success of his business. As a person he’s very confident and hasn’t really got a personal life, just some flings when he needs them – nothing serious, the only thing he’s serious about is business. Now he’s about to float it on the stock market and the English division is causing huge problems in the media, and losing money hand over fist after a series of recent dramas. He wants to fire the GM but his second there says no, it’ll cause problems. Nic decides he’ll go in undercover and catch her out then he can fire her.
Poppy is hiding a secret only Luke, Nic’s second at the resort, knows about. It means she really needs her job, and when she finds out what Nic’s doing she’s desperate to convince him she can sort everything. He’s really attracted to her but doesn’t mix pleasure with business – usually. Something in Poppy keeps making him lose all his sensible reasons though, tempting him to break his resolve. Then part of her secret comes out…just after they’d got closer, very much closer and its a dramatic scene. I understood what she was doing and why, but also that Nic had to stick to his line, make one exception and others will be complaining. The system only works if its rigidly followed, that’s the only fair way but its heart-breaking for Poppy. Even Nic I felt sorry for – he didn’t know the full story so how could he guess what motivated Poppy.
Then there’s the dangers running through the story, which seem to be stacking up and becoming more personal and aimed at Poppy – I had a couple of guesses at who was behind them, but Jennifer threw in some diversions that put me off track!
Its a fun read, nothing too dramatic and heart stopping but a fun read and a HEA – I need those.
Stars: Four, excellent easy to read romance.
ARC supplied via Netgalley

Crash Morph, J C Andrijeski

Crash Morph (The Gate Shifter Series Book 2)

 

Crash Morph, J C Andrijeski
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Genre: Sci-fi, Fantasy, Urban fiction.
It’s no secret Allie’s War is one of my all time favourite series, so I was excited to read of a new one coming out, Gate Shifters. I loved book one, and quickly got into the new world JC has written. Dakota and Nik are tow very different people, and yet from the moment they met there’s been an underlying sizzling attraction. Dakota, spunky human PI, and Nik an ..alien? person from another world? It’s kind of hard to categorise what Morph’s are – they’re complex shape shifters who can take on human form, and have a complication in the form of a Lock, a connection that’s fixed with another person that controls when they can shift, and allows things such as telepathic communication and ability to feel each others emptions. That’s where this reminded me of Allie and Revik, ( ah, Revik…swoon) that close connection…and now that they’re back on earth – along with a couple of hundred other Morph – they need that connection. Dakota has got a contract out on her, the Ted Bundy character she fell foul of right in the beginning is out to get her, and of course Razmun, terrorist leader of the other Morph wants to use her to control Nik. He needs Nik’s ability to open gates for the group to escape, but creating one large enough for all of them isn’t easy. Nik is the only one capable of  doing it, and it’s going to be hard for him especially as they need to hide it, and how can you hide a huge stone construct on a golf course, the place it needs to be…While Nik is researching that they need to lie low, and keep Nik out of Government eyes. What Dakota went through on Nik’s planet is close to what will happen to Nik here. Dakota and lie low though, that’s hard. She needs to earn money and her long time friend Gantry, ex part time lover, comes up with a job for her that looks straightforward but brings her into great danger.
Nik, he’s changed since we first met him but still has trouble with human ways, such as not discussing sex and erections with everyone at breakfast! Gantry is still very suspicious of him, and to me he’s jealous too of what he shares with Dakota. Nik too is jealous of Gantry and very protective of Dakota, he worries about her safety and wants to be with her all the time, but its just not possible. Jake, her brother is back, he’s always on the lookout for someone new, rich and able to take care of him. Male or female he doesn’t worry, he’s an equal opportunity lover. Its how he lives, touring the world with whatever rich person wants him at the time. He’s fascinated by Nik and very attracted to him, loving the way Nik is so innocent of the intricacies of human life, and Dakota gets really irritated at the way he’s so openly admiring of Nik. Irene, she owns the house where they’re all currently staying and is the back force to the PI part of Dakota’s life. She does all the research, the internet investigations on people and places, while Dakota does the field work. Gantry has his own crew, and is helping Dakota and Nik while they work out what to do.
Its scary seeing Razmun playing human and as a would be Politician. Its similar to what he did on their home planet, and he’s very good in the public eye. Knowing how much he hates humans ( they’ve enslaved and controlled Morph as little more than useful pets for generations so its understandable) Dakota is worried about what he’s doing. They need to find that out, find out how to construct a gate, find out where the others are, and if they’re willing to leave if they can get the means for it sorted. All the while trying to keep Nik away from official eyes, and keep Dakota safe from those out to harm her – its not an easy task.
Once again its a terrific read. It doesn’t have the open sexuality of the AW series, but Nik and Dakota are getting closer and there are some very sensual interludes. This novel takes place on earth and its scary how real it feels, and how easy it would be for it to happen. I can just see what would happen to Nik if Gov officials got to him as happening in real life – testing as if he’s sub human, treated along the lines of animal sentience not human sentience. It would be a “ greater good “ argument not a humanity/cruelty one they’d use, and that’s really sad..anyway enough of my ramblings, if you loved AW you’ll love this. Its less complex in world building and characters but the same imaginative and gripping storylines, where you just have to know more, to know what’s going to happen next and wonder how the heck JC is going to get them out of danger once again.
Stars: Five, fantastic read, and I’m looking forward to what happens next. Unlike the AW series these can be read as stand-alone books, though I think it’s best to read book one first and they are great value for money. Definitely a keeper for re reading.
ARC supplied by author

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