Dark Debt, A Chicagoland Vampires Novel, Chloe Neill

 

Dark Debt, A Chicagoland Vampires Novel, Chloe Neill
Genre:  Fantasy/Paranormal romance,
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
I first started reading this series before I had a kindle – so that’s a few years back! though I loved those earlier reads I lost the magic of it when Ethan died, though thankfully was resurrected. Somehow though it never quite picked up for me, doesn’t have that “must read” factor of the early books. Maybe its the books, maybe its just that my taste has changed over the years. Its still a great read, just not a five star one for me.
I actually didn’t get round to buying the last book, and wasn’t going to continue til I saw this for review and got into it again. I’m glad I did as it’s got some of the early magic for me, and I think that’s because we’re back to Vampire focus, to the Houses being the main theme. I love the sorcerers and shifters, especially Jeff and the River Nymphs – they were terrific, but want them as secondary plots and not the main focus.
Once again everything hits with a bang and there’s danger from not just one area but two – Morgan, head of Navarre is in trouble, the previous Head, Celina, got the house embroiled into serious debt with some very bad money lenders. He’s struggling too as there is still a large contingent of Celina devotees who aren’t happy with him as Master. As if that’s not enough there’s a return of someone from Ethan’s past whose making a move to take over everything Ethan holds dear. Of course there’s the new AAM finding its feet too…..
Its a puzzle to work out, involving the Vampires, the CPD, the Ombudsman dept. and the dangers stack up all round. Its a long string of disasters and action, and Merit seems to be in the thick of most of it. For me this has much of the feel of those early books, and the only things stopping it being 5 star from me is – once again its Merit to the rescue, and I get tired of it always being her that is the heroine – she’s only been a vampire for such a short time, not just in Vampire terms but human too – a few years maybe? It seems somehow wrong to me that with vampires hundreds of years old, it’s always Merit that finds the answers. The other problem I had was the solution to Navarre’s problems – after that long and dangerous build-up, once it got sorted it felt very simplistic and anti climatic to me.
Overall though its an excellent read, and one that’s brought me back into the series and enjoying the subtlety of some of the dialogue, the snark between Merit and Ethan ( and Mallory), and of course Mallory and Catcher. Those four to me are the core of the series, and need to play a solid role in all books. Darth Sullivan – oh what a great reveal, and Ethan’s reaction! Loved it… He’s come along way from the guy we first met, who had little sense of humour and needed modernising – Merit and her  independence have done him a lot of good, he needed someone to argue with him, to tell him when they thought he was wrong.
I really enjoy the way the plots emerge slowly, building our knowledge little by little, and gradually we begin to join the dots and work out who might be behind things – and why, and of course the way each book is connected, how what happened in earlier novels plays a part in what’s going on now.
Stars: Four and a half, I hovered over four or four and a half, but the two things that bothered me weren’t really worth dropping a whole star.
ARC provided by Netgalley and publishers.

Vision In Silver, A Novel of the Others, Anne Bishop

Vision In Silver, A Novel of the Others, Anne Bishop
Genre:  Sci-fi and fantasy
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Well this is the third in the series and I’d not read the first two so I read the amazon samples and got some idea of the world created. Its an incredibly complex world, with multi tiers of people/creatures, and very different from the usual paranormal reads. I love it – its refreshing to have such a different take on types.
The Others here are  Wolf, Bear etc first who can hold human shape. All the animals and bird types are like this, and when in human shape they still think as wolf, bear, bird etc. rather than the reverse so often seen, where werewolves are human first and when wolf still think as human. The way they think and act leads to some fun at times with for instance, one of the wolves muttering that if the whingy human child (pup!) was a wolf they’d just nip her but they aren’t allowed to…I really enjoyed working out the complexities of the different groups from the original natives who inhabit the wild inner lands but seem to own almost everywhere, the animal/birds Gard ones, who can take human shape and act as a kind of liaison between humans and the natives, all the while watching for anything that may endanger them, and of course the humans – with all the mix of good and bad. There are also wolves, bears etc. who are just that and don’t shape shift. There is an explanation of the different groups at the beginning of the book, along with some useful maps.
In this book there’s a new political group evolving called Humans First and Last, who see everyone other than humans as a threat, and feel that humans should be top of the chain. There’ naive though – the natives and the Gards allow them to live so long as they keep away and don’t cause trouble. When there was some recently the elementals that control fire, air, the sea etc and the Gards sunk ships, and made humans move off the land. The humans can buy property but never the land it sits on, and seem to forget that as they’ve been allowed to live this way for so long – and they forget that when leases are due, or if they breach conditions they can be evicted…or eaten!  To the Others humans are really just another meat, prey,  and its only through Simon being a progressive leader and Meg finding herself at the courtyard that things have really changed. Its timely too for humans as before when there were problems ultimately the Original inhabitants, those that still live in the wild centre, would just eradicate them all…this time they might stand a chance if enough of them can follow Simons lead and work with the Others instead of against them. The big question is though – can they? Do they want to or are they so arrogant as to think they don’t need to? Currently the HFL are causing much trouble with spinning stories to whip up humans against Others and committing attacks that result in deaths of Others. they are heading for a huge downfall of Simon and his people can’t get enough of them onside.
As always though the humans are out for trouble, have an inflated sense of superiority and lie through their teeth. Just like real life and politics isn’t it? The HFL group remind me so much of the UK National Front who don’t want any one they consider foreign to be in UK, and I’m sure other countries have similar groups. Although in this book its the humans that are foreign in truth, with the others being the original inhabitants they act as if the world belongs to them – think back to the UK and the days of The British Empire, the USA and the Native Indians/Americans, the Australians and the Aborigines and it all sounds far too familiar. Why do some humans have such a lust for power and land? In a way this book made me think a lot – I usually read a book straight through, but read this one in three sessions, and that allowed me to mull over the issues raised. So many of them mirror our society, and I could really imagine the problems being just like this if the world was as this book.
Its not all gloom though, there’s some humour, mainly through the Gards understanding – or not – of humans…when Simon prides himself on not having eaten someone obnoxious, when a young Wolf doesn’t understand why he can pee outside when wolf but not when in human shape, when the Vampires talk about how the cars of intruders may be found, but no bodies…the blood and the “special meat” will be used for those that want it….and how can we judge when those people were out to cause trouble deliberately, knowing it may be the death of some others, so arrogant in their belief of humans supposed superiority. They’re meat just as cows, sheep, pigs are to us.
Meg and the blood Prophets are a real example of some humans greed and inhumanity – they’ve been used for profit for so long, regardless of the harm to the girls, and there’s even more shocking revelations in this book. The humans are still trying to spin any news in the best light, blaming the natives and the Others etc for any problems. I can see they’ve a real shock to come if they don’t lose the sense of superiority and arrogance they’ve got. The trouble is as always the more moderate people, the ones who want to live and let live, be part of a society encompassing all groups will also die. I love the slowly growing relationship between Meg and Simon, its a very different sort of romance, and incredibly moving. It’s clear what Simon feels is beyond what he understands and I enjoy reading his thoughts and actions.  The whole story is so full of complex lesser plots that are tied in to the growing divide between humans and other groups. I can’t wait ( but have to!) to see where the story goes next.

Stars: Five, a great read, a solid and dense book that will definitely join my keepers file. .
ARC provided by Netgalley and publishers.

 

Exclusively Logan’s, In Bed with the Enemy- book 3, Evie Knight

Exclusively Logan’s, In Bed with the Enemy- book 3, Evie Knight
Genre: Romance, Erotica.
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
I hadn’t read the first two in the series, but didn’t think that would matter as they seemed to be complete novels in themselves. After reading this one though I’m not so sure. We do get to meet the previous characters in this novel and that was fine, but reading the story I just felt like I was missing some essential information – I felt a bit confused over the whole rape/suicide issue and the Ponzi scheme, and even now I’ve finished I’m not entirely sure whether they were connected or not. Still, the main plot over Logan and Marissa wasn’t affected, only at the end where there was an overlap, but my confusion didn’t make any difference, that part showed me and them just what was important and what needed to be left aside.
Logan – I liked the man, but he was a bit of a steamroller at times. He’d been attracted to Marissa ever since she’d worked for him but held off, he has a hands off policy with staff. Then she hands in her notice as she’s the opportunity to return to Ballet – the career she loves and thought her accident had ruined. ( I’m not sure how realistic a return to principle dancer is for someone who’d been out of that world for such a long time through injury but…) Now he doesn’t have to hold back, and moves in for the kill. Boy has he got the moves – it’s not long before they’re involved in a hot and sensual relationship. They both have time consuming careers though, and things happen within them and with external influences that pull them apart unless they work really hard to make things happen.
As an erotic novel it was excellent, well written and seductive sex scenes but as a romance it didn’t really work so well for me. Maybe if I’d read the other books? I don’t know…but somehow I just didn’t feel that this could have been real, it felt very superficial to me and I need to feel There with the characters, getting happy and sad along with them.
Stars: Three and a half, a good read just for me not a great one.
ARC provided by Netgalley and publishers.

The Curse Servant, J.P. Sloan

The Curse Servant, J.P. Sloan
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal,
Well, I loved the first book, so was pleased to see Dorian’s world once again. I’m one of those people who don’t find it hard to believe in the possibility of the paranormal, so I can relate to this world easily. Maybe I’m open minded, or maybe I’m just gullible…. but to me J P Sloan’s world is  just like the one we live in, except with an extra, mostly hidden, dimension. Throughout history the idea of magic has been considered and believed in to different degrees. In a way its no more impossible to think it could be real that it is to believe in the concept of God – any God or God( s ).
Anyway, at the end of the last book Dorian had lost his soul and is desperate to get it back. Poor Dorian, he’s a good guy, tries to keep his hands clean, not to do harm, and yet somehow he’s a magnet for trouble. Once again his actions lead to more danger and disaster. On the track of his soul he comes into contract with some Practitioners who aren’t so bothered as he is about the morality of what they do. Sadly there’s always people like that, who want the gain today and worry about the future later. Even though he tries to keep on the right side of Karma he gets thrust over to the Dark side by circumstances. And seeing and knowing what he does, would anyone else who cares about people have taken a different decision.
Its a great read, starting from a simple search for the return of his soul, he somehow stumbles into some Dark magic, that puts all those around him into real danger. Politics rears its ugly side too – he’d only joined the Mayor’s team as a job, to boost his finances, and yet its pulled him into some awful circumstances, and its hard to know who to trust. I love the way everything builds on what’s gone before, what starts off simple becomes complex, and of course just how narrow this part of the world is, with everyone knowing each other. Dorian has a very fine line to tread, and trust is something he needs to be very careful of.
I feel I’ve got to grips more now of the particular flavour of magic these books use. Its complex and I love reading about the practicalities Dorian uses when making a hex, the actual ingredients used, the sigils written etc, and it’s clear JP has either great personal knowledge of this  Craft, or has done an incredible amount of research. I know a few terms from other books, and when I found an unfamiliar word or term I used the kindle look-up function and found its all genuine, that he hasn’t just thrown in mumbo-jumbo sounding words and terms to make it look good, but used genuine terminology and formulae. It makes reading it a treat because I can feel I’m there, and I’m wanting things to go well as I really like Dorian – and his friends Edgar, Wren and the kids. I often stay away from books written by men, not because of sexism but simply I’ve found very often they get complex in areas that simply don’t interest me, and much of the story just goes over my head. This book though, and the one before, is perfect for me, enough complexities of plot and method to keep me interested, a hint of romance, lots of twists and turns that led me right down the wrong roads!! I really didn’t see what was coming – and I love to be surprised, especially once it all comes out and I can look back and see little clues I missed. I’d happily re read this and the first book again.

Stars: Five, a great read and I hope there’s more to come.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

Into His Dark (The Cimarron Series 1), Angel Payne

Into His Dark (The Cimarron Series 1),  Angel Payne
Genre: Romance, erotica
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
I love complex reads, paranormals, romance and contemporary, but sometimes I just want a fun read, a good old fashioned sexy romance. This was just perfect. I don’t think I’ve ever read such a sensual, erotic scene where the participants don’t actually have penetrative sex together – that really amazed me, that a scene could be so incredibly tempting, tantalising and moving without going the whole hog. Such a beautiful change from the endless pages and pages and pages of samey sex we often get in erotic reads, and somehow Angel continued it for some time without repeating parts.
Poor Cam, still pining for Harry after the end of their affair, but they’re just friends now and he’s bringing along Beth, his new girlfriend, to the filming. She wants to dislike her but can’t even get the satisfaction of that – Beth’s a nice girl…Harry is still oblivious to her feelings – the man is very single minded, and I got the impression only filming and directing are the true passions in his life, leaving little room for relationships. Then she sees Evrest and its like lightening strikes between them. Its a formal dinner and he breaks protocol by coming over to her. Of course one of his twelve would be wives – the alpha one – isn’t happy about that!
Evrest was hoping she’d be there, thought it really unlikely, a very tenuous connection that she’s know Harry and be asked to help but after seeing her years ago when visiting her university he can’t get her out of his mind. He doesn’t even know if she knows Harry but is hoping, pleading with the Creator.  When they meet it’s as if there’s some kind of supernatural connection between them. He knows nothing can come of it, she knows in six weeks he has to choose a wife from one of the twelve and yet….they can’t keep away from each other, and very quickly have some torrid, secret liaisons. Someone is watching though, and determined Cam won’t get to upset what she thinks is rightfully hers. There are some real dangers ahead for Cam, and she needs to take care.
Its a great read, very full of heat and with a decent plot backing it. The only thing that’s not right for me is the time span, the main thrust of the book and their romance covers just a few days, and I just find that a bit hard to believe. If it was a few weeks, preferable 2-3 months for me, I’d have found it more realistic. I know people do fall in love instantly, but with all the barriers here its hard to see how in such a short time. Longer would have allowed full flow for Chiarra, the Alpha distinct, to really let her jealousies flow – and I love a good jealous b itch! .
Stars: Four and a half, a very sensual read.
ARC provided by netgalley and publishers

Travel Glasses, The Call to Search Everywhen 1, Chess Desalls

 

Travel Glasses, The Call to Search Everywhen 1, Chess Desalls
Genre: Teens and YA, fantasy
.Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Some YA reads contain a story that appeals to all ages, the only different from adult reads is that the plot is solid but the text is easy to follow and this is one of those. Well written and intriguing it caught and kept my attention right through, and was what so often appeals to me about YA, a great story and relaxing to read. I certainly want to know more…
Calla, she’d had a bit of a tough upbringing, and in recent years been a loner to due some horrific cyber bullying by an online “friend”. She’s a bright girl, and her uncle who she lives with worries about her and her isolations. So when she comes across Valcas and he asks her to dinner that night she accepts, thinking it will please uncle Al. It does, but in also starts a chain of events that take her to other worlds and times, with danger shadowing her every step.
Its a really fun read, very unusual and with some novels like this I’ve a shedload of questions that never get answered, but here – each time I think “ I wonder why/how/who/what?” the answer comes, and not through that horrible device so often used of simply telling the reader the answers, but by Calla thinking her way through, using logic to find them, or by looking at what’s happening to her, or sometimes just asking questions of another traveller. That makes the story so much more realistic, more interesting than what often happens, where we just read pages of text giving the reader the answer. I want to feel as if I’m Calla, and learning along with her from events and mistakes. I need to feel “in” the story to fully enjoy it, not just be an onlooker.
Its a real fun journey, but fraught with danger, and Valcas, from seeming a young, kind and good looking man, now seems to be so much more and to be pursuing Calla possibly to harm her. I really liked him, and being an incurable romantic can’t help hoping there’s some solid reasons behind his behaviour. We learn so much about him through her travels, and about other travellers, and I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the next.
Stars: Five, a great read full of fun and drama and suitable for teens and adults alike.
ARC provided by Netgalley and publishers.

Dead Heat, Patricia Briggs

Dead Heat, Patricia Briggs
Genre:  Romance, Sci-fi and Fantasy.
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
I love Patricia Briggs writing, bought the Mercy Thompson novels as paperbacks, and then once I’d moved forward to Kindle I bought them all over again as I love to re read them….the really best type of five star reads. Then I found the first couple of Alpha and Omega novels and fell in love with them too. Both series interlink, with Bran and the Wolves being central but involving vampires and Fae. Patricia vampires aren’t sweet and romantic, and the Fae aren’t pretty but blood thirsty and cruel at times. I think you could read either series without the other ( but why when they are so good?) but to get the best from either of them they need to be read in order.
Charles and Anna are Mates, sharing a special bond. Anna is an Omega wolf, very rare and much needed as she’s able to calm aggression, and not subject to Alpha control. It gives her a special place and skills necessary for many of the journeys she takes with Charles. He’s special too – the only born werewolf, with a background that involves magic and which he is able to tap into at times. He’s known as his fathers enforcer, the man sent to kill werewolves when its necessary, and he’s been a very solitary man until he met Anna.
Its coming up to Anna’s birthday, and he has an old (human) friend that breed horses and he wants to take Anna to see of they can find one for her. Of course its never that simple, and while they are there his old friend’s daughter in law is subject to a Fae attack. After the events of the last book the Fae withdrew to their own places, and have kept away. A war between Fae and humans would be a massacre for the humans, there’s no defence they have against them, and Bran doesn’t want to involve the wolves if he can help it – far better to try to head off this before it erupts. Fortunately the humans have created special forces to police the supernatural, though of course the people in them vary greatly. We meet FBI Leslie from the last book, one of the sensible ones who will listen and take advice, and who knows how Anna and Charles work. Alongside them are two more police agents, Marsden and Leeds, who are thankfully open minded. Not all of them are and that’s when the problems get larger. This group can work with the wolves, and listen to them. Leeds is a great guy, I hope we see more of him. When he’s looking at the Fae object where we first meet them he’s like a big kid, beery excited, very enthusiastic and keen to know and learn everything he can. He’s a surprising amount of knowledge already, and the two prove a great help.
The story bring in so many things, the humans and their relationships. There’s Charles old friend Joseph and his wife Maggie, their son Kade and his wife Chelsea and their children and Hosteen, their friend who’s the local pack Alpha. Its soon clear Hosteen doesn’t like Chelsea, Maggie is  jealous of Anna, and Kade wants Charles to Change his father as he’s dying….a really tangled mix into which the Fae drop.  Chelsea is attacked leading to serious consequences for her, and Charles and Anna become involved, having the best skills when its become clear the attack is supernatural. Then they discover its a Fae attack, and link to other strange events locally. Its becomes ever more dangerous and the story spreads to encompass a missing child, linked to others in the past. Of course before the Fae and Wolves were Out humans passed off any descriptions involving green men etc.  but now going back to cold cases they can see some links.
As ever Charles and Anna get brought into danger, and we see a story that seems to grow and grow, taking in more and more people and supernatural elements. There’s the frustrations the police feel of trying to fight a foe they have no defence against, Charles trying to avoid a war between them that may involve the wolves and lead to huge losses for all, and at the heart a missing child for whom time is running out. Against all that adventure is the day to day life of the horse ranch, the search for a mount for Anna, and the human daily life of Joseph’s family. The grandchildren, especially Max, are terrific and make the story real, not just a fantasy adventure, but feeling that If Fae are real ( and other Supernaturals ) then this scenario is just what could happen. I need that root of reality even in fantasy to enjoy it – I like to feel I could be there, be part of it even as just an onlooker.
Once again its a fabulous read, and one I’ll re read over and over. In the best books such as these I find on second and subsequent reading I find things I missed first time round, little clues that now I see knowing what’s coming. That keeps the story feeling fresh and I get great satisfaction from it. Although its part of a series each novel is complete in itself, and it’s characters and background events that are linked.
Stars: Five, a great read for fans of Patricia Briggs, and a terrific addition to the series.
ARC provided by Netgalley and publishers.

Sing Sweet Nightingale, The Dream War Saga, Erica Cameron

Sing Sweet Nightingale, The Dream War Saga, Erica Cameron
Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Teens and YA
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
This was a fun read, at the upper end of YA I think, and suitable for adults who enjoy a well written and easy to follow story.
Its something very different to most paranormal reads, where there are Demons but they visit young people via dreams, posing as angels, promising them a life in Paradise as a specially chosen one, something no-one else can have, if only they give up something. Of course in reality Paradise doesn’t exist, and the demons simply want to obtain whatever talent that person has, strength, artistic skill or in Mari’s case a wonderful voice. Orane asks her to pledge not to speak, and she’s been electively mute for four years now. Its not just that though, her memory seems to be going and she’s withdrawing more and more from life, to the concern of her loving parents.
Hudson – he managed to escape his demon and kill her, but its left him with some odd side effects, weird eyes, quick healing and an ability to see those who are being sucked in by the demons. He’s been dreaming about someone in this town, so he and Horace have moved here to find them and see if they can save her. Horace has kind of adopted Hudson after his parents threw him out, as Hudson had saved his life some time before. Luckily he’s very rich so money for the much needed crystals etc isn’t a problem.
Its a fascinating read, and I really enjoyed the way the crystals were brought in. I’m a bit of a crystal fanatic myself, have different ones dotted around, I just love the colures and textures, and as they are so old I can’t help but believe they “may” have some other uses…
The story flows well, is easy to read and intriguing. and although this particular problem with Mari gets sorted, it opens up a way for the novel to continue into a further series and the plots are certainly strong enough and have potential for more stories.
Stars: Four, it’s a solid read, satisfying ending and opening to the next story. .
ARC provided by Netgalley and publishers.

Intimate Geography, Book 2 of The Compass Series, Tamsen Parker

Intimate Geography, Book 2 of The Compass Series, Tamsen Parker
Genre:  Romance, Erotica.
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
This picks up where book one left off, and India has dropped everything to be with Cris in the hospital. She barely moves from his side while he’s unconscious. He’s of course delighted to see her after she broke things off once he wakes, and it seems as though she’s taken a huge step forward with what she can give emotionally. Soon he’s home with a private nurse staying, and though India stays at first she has to return to work. It seems hard now being away from Cris, but they phone frequently and she’s back to visiting when she can. Cris cautiously makes a huge breakthrough with her when she agrees to meet his parents, but the anxiety it causes is huge, even though she was fine talking to them in the hospital.
Work is giving her problems too – she’s doing really well but two key staff members leave at a really bad time. It means she has to take on even more, and of course Jack is always seeking new work – that’s the point of owing a business of course, so there doesn’t seem to be any let up. Pressures mount and what she’s been avoiding for many years happens, she gets sent to troubleshoot a problem in Chicago…..the city which she swore never to return.The work pressures are mounting, her worry over Chicago is taking over her thoughts, and its only her time with Cris that keeps her going. This continues over the next few months, and its hard for both with her free time being very restricted.
Its an on-off round about romance. They’ve moved forward a few steps but India seems to Cris to drag her heels every step, and there comes a time when it looks like she can’t or won’t move forward any further. In the midst of this she and Cris split. He wants more than she can give, of course he does. They’re clearly far closer than just Dom and sub, but India is clinging to her rules, to the format that’s kept her mentally sound for so long. Cris wants more – or at least the hope of more, and she just can’t give it. He has to decide – is this weird half life romance going to be enough for him or is it time to cut loose? Its comes at a harsh cost for both of them. She’s heartbroken all over again and the wonderful Rey once more steps up. She can’t go back to her old casual one off weekends though – Cris has changed her and that just doesn’t appeal any more. It means she makes what could be a very dangerous decision.
I love Cris, he’s a really wonderful, thoughtful, giving man and what he wants is really very simple, someone to share his life as a partner, not as a sub with rules and restrictions on what he can do and say. Its not really so much to ask is it – especially as he’s clearly very understanding of India and her problems? After all if you love someone you don’t want to hurt them do you? I so felt for him, he seemed to be the one doing all the giving, making time to understand India, to work with her and help her and she seemed to me to be all take.
India – I found it hard to like her to be honest, and I think that’s the root of my problems with the novel. I know she’s had a traumatic childhood, and then the disastrous years with Hunter, but one can’t keep hanging on to hurt forever, and using it as an excuse to keep others at a distance. That’s putting the blame on them for things they haven’t done.  She seems to do just that though.
Rey, what an incredible friend, he gives up so much for her, drops everything to be with her when she needs him, no matter how important it is. He’s looked after her for so long and yet I can’t seem to pinpoint anything she’s actually done for him – it’s a very one sided relationship, much as I see her relationship with Cris. Her need to keep her life compartmentalised just isn’t working any more, but she’s stubbornly clinging on. Then Rey does something, it’s needed and had a good outcome but she’s distraught, angry at him, hurt, and she cuts him off. He knew this would likely result and yet as a true friend he put what she needed first. She can’t see that, can’t see how much she’s hurting him and once again I get the feeling she’s very self centred.
Can she find a way forward with Cris, can she find the right life/work balance and can she ever forgive Rey, and get back their friendship? Its all in the balance, and we see much more of her life at work and outside the sexual side, in this part of the story. We see how she’s slowly changing, how she overcomes some of her huge fears that have held her back, and through that she looks at herself IMO and sees how difficult she makes life for others, even her subordinates at work.
I enjoyed this book more than the first, there seemed much more story, and I enjoyed that, looking between the lines, the events, to see what I thought would be the outcome. There’s a brief epilogue too, showing the reader how things turn out. I like those, they satisfy my curiosity about things – that the HEA really is going to work and isn’t just a quick fix that falls apart once again.

Stars: Four. I felt this had much more balance and story that part one and I enjoyed it. I could see India moving forward but TBH I still found her hard to like, and that’s probably why this isn’t a five star for me.
ARC provided by Netgalley and publishers.

Hazzard Blue, Tabitha A Lane

Hazzard Blue, Tabitha A Lane
Genre:  Erotica, Romance.
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Well, after reading so many novels that end up with a second or more part to follow it was great to see this in the description -Hazzard Blue is an erotic romance with no cliff hanger! It’s good to get all of the story rather than in bits
As an erotic novel its certainly hot – very sensual and carnal at times, and the attraction between Kathryn and Daniel was clear from the first glance. The sex scenes were very well written, and fitted perfectly within the plot. I had no problems with that part of the novel – its when the romance and suspense angle came that it didn’t work so well for me. I just felt the two themes can work; do work in some books, but somehow here it didn’t for me. I wasn’t convinced of the dangers, and the separation between them – after the closeness they felt I didn’t understand why they didn’t just talk it over…but then there’s be no story eh?
Kathryn, somehow I just didn’t really connect with her ( or Daniel TBH) and I’m not sure why. I like to have an older main character – IMO it doesn’t happen enough sadly, but I didn’t really get a sense of her personality, didn’t feel I knew her. Same with Daniel. Usually that comes out in the story via interactions with others, or learning their history, what drives them, but for me I never seemed to see them as real people, and they remained just book characters….and I need to feel the people and events could be real, to empathise with them, to understand why they do what they do, and to laugh and cry with them.
Its a well written novel, and certainly took me by surprise when the person behind the …problem? …not sure how to put it –was revealed  but whatever its called, I had no idea That person was to blame! I do like to be surprised, and never saw that coming despite with hindsight seeing the clues. That disconnection between me and the story and characters though made it just a three star good read and not higher. Of course everyone has different tastes and I’m sure this will have its five star fans, it does deserve it with the right reader.

Stars: Three, some really good points, hot sex but I needed a bit more from the main characters.
ARC provided by Netgalley and publishers.

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