The Morph, Gate Shifter Book One, JC Andrijeski
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Well, I love JC Andrijeski Allie’s War series and this is another paranormal romance. I tend to stay away from books which involve other planets/space travel as being too far in the sci-fi genre for me. Still, I found after the first book I was hooked on Allie’s War, although I wasn’t sure it would be a good fit initially, so knowing I love JC’s writing style I thought I’d try this one. I’m so glad I did, as I love it.
I can see similarities in the two series, and what works for me is there is a strong romantic element in them, though this book is far less sensual so far that the AW series. In fact though I can see a romance beginning they’re still finding their way, and have done little more than a few kisses so far. Still, you can feel the attraction and that puzzles Dakota, knowing Nihkil is from another planet, another race, how she feels about him. It takes some getting used to. I really enjoyed the way the other characters were explained, how we saw their actions, and how they fit into the story. As ever there’s a power hungry group heading everyone, and the Morphs are regarded as lesser than the Humans. They can interbreed, and very occasionally produce a totally different group, the Supernaturals. The children may be Morph, Human or Supernatural but if not Human then they can be removed from the parents. It reminds me very much of the slavery issues we used to have, and that still exist in some cultures….People can be very cruel and kid themselves they’re doing what’s best, when really its just a way to keep their place at the top 😦
I liked Dakota, she’s had a tough life and its made her very self reliant and suspicious of others motives. That stands her in good stead when she and Nihkil reach his home planet. The people there want to know how she crossed with Nihkil, she shouldn’t have been able to do it, and so they think her DNA may hold the key to many of their problems, not least their fertility issues. She’s not ready to become an incubator though, and there are some scary suggestions such as removing her ovaries etc. Nihkil registers a claim on her, though as a Morph he is subject to human laws he can claim her as his, and give her a measure of protection. She’s his lock holder too although she doesn’t understand how that happened, or how to control it…and that creates problems. She needs that lock open if Nihkil is to take her home, but first they need to find a way to get out from the clutches of the ruling group.
As in the AW series, there are people who are more than they seem. One who claims to be Nihkil’s friend certainly reminds me of Terian from AW…and it’s difficult to know if they can trust anyone, or what is planned for them. Its a struggle to stay together with Nihkil using existing laws to help protect them, and Dakota having to trust him. Nihkil is a strange man… a full blood Morph… and we seem him change hugely through the book. From the start there’s a real link between them and that grows, with Dakota getting jealous of his time with other women, but not knowing enough to ask him about it. It turns out that as a full Morph it’s part of his contract to try to reproduce with others. There’s a lot to learn for both of them, and I enjoyed how things brought them closer but not without some real problems along the way. They can’t leave, the rulers want to learn as much as possible from Dakota, and seem to regard her as property, and Nihkil is already regarded as “belonging” to them. Add on to that those who see them as troublemakers, and want to be rid of them and you can see what a thin line they tread. I love how Nihkil gets more and more protective of Dakota as they get closer, she has feelings of jealousy around him and yet they are both dancing around the question of attraction.
A great read – similarities to AW series but overall a different, lighter feel. the world building and characters aren’t ( yet!!) as complex and its an easier to follow story.
ARC supplied via Netgalley and author
Come Back To Me, Mila Gray.
Review from jeannie zelos book reviews
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book, Mila writes YA fiction under another name, but I could find little about this book anywhere. Still, it sounded good so I requested it – and how glad I am that I did!
Some books end on a cliffhanger – and I hate that, really hate it but this one…well, it Starts with a cliffhanger 🙂 and just as I got into worrying whether its Kit or Riley we go right back to the start leaving that question for later…( OK – I put my hand up, I did sneak just to see if it was a HEA or I needed to prepare myself..)
It’s one of those books where every word counts, every line means sopmething. There’s a small section where we very briefly meet someone in a quick interlude…and he shows up later as a more major part of the novel. Having already met him, we know about his background already, so he slots in seamlessly. It’s clever things like this that makes the writing flow so well in this novel. I read a “how to write “ book once, and the author had said at the end of each section ask yourself “does this line/passage/paragraph add to the book?” if the answer is no then cut it. I’ve read so many books where lots could be cut, where so much is just waffle and leads the reader away from the main story in an effort to fill pages. Well, this book isn’t short at around 373 pages on ebook but every line counts. I love longer books and when they are written and plotted as well as this they’re a treat to read.
Anyway – the book and the people…I loved Kit, could feel just how serious he was about Jessa. Jessa too, she’d had a crush on Kit for so long it was a joy when they got together. The slow attraction, slow romance buildup was a gem, they don’t kiss, embrace and get straight to sex, but let it flow naturally over the following days and weeks of getting to really know each other. For Kit Jessa is special, not one of his casual hookups, but much, much more. Poor Jessa though, she knows because of Kit’s repuation her big brother Riley won’t approve, even though they are long time best friends and work together in the Marines, and as for her dad…well, he’s always hated Kit and his dad, and is a very controlling, angry, bullying autocrat. Her mum, like the rest of them, walks on eggshells around him. It’s not always been like that, but something happened to him at some point in his service career that affected him, and the family bear the brunt of it. He refuses to get help for what seems like PTSD, won’t acknowledge he has a problem but just expects the family to fall in line. There’s a big secret around why he hates Kit and his dad, that I was desparate to know.,..we do get it in the end, and it does explain things. Kits dad, Riley and his girlfreind Jo, Jessa best friend – they all make up some fantastic characters in the book and play great supporting roles.
It’s a wonderful read, beautiful romance, full of tender moments and smiles, great passion, sensual sex scenes, deep insights and heartbreaking sadness too – yes, its one of those that made me cry. Made up for that though with a lovely, satisfying conclusion. A solid standalone, emotional, dramatic romance.
Stars: a cracker – full five and well deserved.
ARC supplied via Netgalley
Come back to me. That was the very last thing I said to him. Always. The very last thing he said to me.
Home on leave in sunny California, Marine and local lothario Kit Ryan finds himself dangerously drawn to his best friend’s sister, Jessa – the one girl he can’t have.
But Kit’s not about to let a few obstacles stand in his way and soon Jessa’s falling for his irresistible charms.
What starts out as a summer romance of secret hook-ups and magical first times quickly develops into a passionate love affair that turns both their worlds upside down.
When summer’s over and it’s time for Kit to redeploy, neither Kit nor Jessa are ready to say goodbye. Jessa’s finally following her dreams and Kit’s discovered there’s someone he’d sacrifice everything for.
Jessa’s prepared to wait for Kit no matter what. But when something more than distance and time rips them apart they’re forced to decide whether what they have is really worth fighting for.
A breathtaking, scorchingly hot story about love, friendship, family and finding your way back from the edge of heartbreak.
Mila Gray is the pseudonym for author Sarah Alderson. Having spent most of her life in London, Sarah quit her job in the non-profit sector in 2009 and took off on a round the world trip with her husband and tutu-wearing daughter on a mission to find a new place to call home. She now lives in Bali.
She is the author of YA novels Hunting Lila and Losing Lila, as well as a further four novels and several short stories.
For more information please contact Lucie Cuthbertson –Twiggs on firstname.lastname@example.org
Wolf Slayer, Angela Addams
Review from jeannie zelos book reviews
So… this is book two, and I hadn’t read book one but didn’t think that would matter. What I missed though was it’s a novella and I find those difficult to enjoy Usually I just feel they are too short to really get into, to get to know characters and to enjoy the story. I loved the sound of the premise, and think this would be great as a longer novel, but the short length doesn’t do the story justice.
Aubrey is a twin, born into a Hunter family and waiting for her Hunter mate to appear…but times getting short and then to her shock it’s her sister that gets chosen. That’s a blow to her, so she takes a job in security for a band. She doesn’t know that one of the players is her destined mate – he does, but to Jaylon romance isn’t something that comes easy. In fact he’s all round a difficult person, very abrupt and easy to antagonise. Aubrey does just that when they first meet, and though he’s kicking himself later his surliness puts her off….then things heat up and before long they are hot and heavy, having erotic encounters every time they meet it seems, although he still hasn’t told her the truth, that he’s her mate and a werewolf. How’s that going to work with a trained would-be Hunter? Times getting short too – he’s only a few days left to convince her, or she will be killed.
Well, the story goes on, with lots of hot sex, some drama and danger and an interlude with Aubrey’s sister and Hunter mate.
To be honest I think had this book been longer I may have enjoyed it more. As it was there was so much packed in to such a short space it left me with too many unanswered questions. Some may have been explained in book one of course, and though usually subsequent books in a series carry some brief essential info as the story continues, this one didn’t. So I didn’t understand for instance what was behind the werewolf/Hunter thing, why the wolves are shot on sight. These lads were in a band, not mass murderers, and didn’t seem to have any evil intentions so why did the Hunters want to kill them? That was my big one, and then of course the way Aubrey gets together with Jaylon so quickly, despite not liking him…it’s the limitations of the format that there wasn’t space to explore these questions but that made it a – well, not a fail, but not a good book for me either.
Stars: two and a half, too short for me but for readers who want a quick, sexy paranormal story it’s spot on.
ARC supplied via Netgalley.