Her Stepbrother is a Monster

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Her Stepbrother is a Monster by Trinity Blacio

Rating: 5 stars

This book was provided by Netgalley and Riverdale Avenue Books in exchange for my honest review. 

 

This book offered a bit of a different take on dragon shifters. I liked that it was pretty original in that sense. There were times, like I have indicated in the past, where a better editor is needed as sometimes it gets confusing on what I am reading.

Maven finds out that she is a dragon, her mother is a dragon, and that her father and new stepfather were also dragons at her mother and stepfather’s wedding. She also meets her mate, Azure there. Maven was in a horrible marriage where she was abused. Turns out, this guy was disguising himself and was also the cousin of Azure. She realizes this, also at the wedding, when she can’t figure out why she wants to deck this man she meets. Maven’s dragon is one of the original royal children who have not been seen for many years. Upon the awakening of this royal dragon, Chandrass, towards the end other royals start popping up as well.

I felt the story was way too short and that when things started getting good, it just ended and I was left very WTF-ish and had to check to see if that really was the end. There was not much sex, and to be honest, I forgot that they actually had sex the first time. The rest of the story is really what made this so great that I would give it a 5 star rating.

Fox and Raccoon

Fox and Raccoon by Lesley-Anne Green

Rating: 5 stars

 

Fox and Raccoon was provided to me free in exchange for my honest review through Netgalley. This review is composed of my own thoughts. 

Fox and Raccoon is the cute tale of a Fox and a Raccoon who are friends. Fox and Raccoon played almost every day, and enjoyed each other’s company. Raccoon went to Fox’s house one morning, however, Fox was way too busy to play. Raccoon decided he would help Fox with doing her chores and began completing them. After each chore, Raccoon would return to Fox’s home to see if she could play. But each time, Fox still had something to be done and was to busy to play. So Raccoon would start off with the next task. Finally, at the end of the day, after the last chore complete, and Raccoon returned to Fox’s house, there was a surprise birthday party waiting for him. Raccoon forgot it was his birthday, and each task he aided Fox with, actually was apart of getting the party together.

The illustrations were cute, and I liked the 3Dness to them. I bet the physical copy of this book is gorgeous as the illustrations followed along with the story. I loved the ending and how selfless little Raccoon was that he did not know he was helping set up for his own birthday surprise party, and that he forgot it was even his birthday. This is a great book for parents to share with their kids, and I believe their children can get a lot out of this story and the underlying lesson that is there.

If A Horse Had Words

If A Horse Had Words by Kelly Cooper and Lucy Eldridge

Rating: 5 stars

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review through Netgalley. This review is of my own thoughts.

 

This is the story about a foal that was born on a spring morning and her feelings as she grew. From the time she learned how to stand, the bond she made with “the boy” to being sold of for cowboys to ride in shows, it follows how she feels through each stage and words she would use to describe that feeling. This story actually did make me tear up a bit when the horse bucked the boy off and ended up being sold at an auction. I loved that it came full circle, and after no cowboy could ride her, this boy, now more grown, came to soothe her.

The illustrations were beautifully done and were appropriate for the story. Overall, this story is sweet and I hope to get my hands on a physical copy one day for my own future little ones to read.

Escaped

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Escaped by Trinity Blacio

Goodreads: 4 stars

Actual Rating: 3.5 stars

 

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. 

Escaped is the first book in the Running in Fear series by Trinity Blacio. I have really turned into a fan of Blacio and my expectations were high.

I want to start with what I did not like about this story. My biggest issue with the overall story is that the leading lady, Jaycee, had been brutally raped as a child, and was in an abusive relationship and entered into a relationship that she didn’t fully understand AND the  men in that relationship did not take into consideration what she has gone through. I believe that many instances of “control” are abusive in themselves. My fear has always been when BDSM relationships begin to boarder controlling, abusive, relationships. Blacio does clearly identify both of these in the story, however, I believe Jaycee’s mates are blurring the lines. I often find that the males in Blacio’s stories are bullheaded and need knocked down a peg or two.

I did like everything else in the story. I thought there was excitement, great sex, action, and romance. The story was fairly quickly and I was ready to move on to the second book immediately. As usual, I really enjoyed the sexy scenes and thought they were done nicely.

If you haven’t read one of Blacio’s stories, I do encourage it. My biggest remark to the publisher is that a better editor is needed. Sometimes the wrong names are used, as was the case in this story, and in another story I am reading, the setting is wrong. I think this can really turn off some new, potential, readers.

The Princess and The Clown

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The Princess and The Clown by Ian Thomas Malone

Goodreads Rating: 2 stars

I was given a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

 

This book is an erotic satire, of which, I have never read before. I found it difficult to get through. I thought the relationship between Ralph and Jules was…toxic and interesting.

The sex scenes were a bit much, even I could hardly tolerate them. (and I can tolerate just about anything). The satire stems around the fact that both Ralph and Jules are “trailer trash.” Both are deadbeats with no future.

I learned that you can use hot sauce for anal lube. Which is weird, and I am not certain how that is okay for anyone to use. I actually had to stop when I read that to see if that was really a thing. It was definitely new to me. I still cringe thinking about it.

I wasn’t quite prepared for this story. I am sure there are people out there who will find it entertaining. I really enjoy erotica, so I feel this book was kind of a kick to the face and it didn’t make me feel happy. I didn’t connect with the grotesqueness of the characters.

The Naughty Stepbrothers

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The Naughty Stepbrothers by Trinity Blacio

Goodreads Rating: 4 stars

Actual Rating: 3.5 stars

 

I received The Naughty Stepbrothers from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

The Naughty Stepbrothers is the 3rd installment of the Naughty Angel series. I felt this installment was an afterthought, however, if more books are to come in this series, these particular characters needed to be introduced into the story. The story is very short, around 50 pages. Everything moved very fast paced which means there were things that we don’t get to see as the reader.

I am not really sure who the stepbrothers are, paranormal wise. In the beginning of the book, they are wolves, but later find out they are part Fae part demon. I felt that logistics weren’t thought out and I often felt a little lost. I also hoped the big scene with the evil step mother would have been something spectacular, however, we weren’t even present for it and had to hear about it through the alpha males in the series. The story left me confused more than provided any information to further the series along.

That being said, there was only one sex scene in the short 50 pages, and that was right after the wedding ceremony. I found it both steamy and fell short at the same time. I like many of Blacio’s sex scenes and I felt this scene could have had more umph. I am still unsure how I feel about Xena. I felt that, based on Annabelle’s reactions in past books, she should have reacted in some way when Xena was checking out Annabelle’s mates.

In this book, Annabelle also had a set of twins since book 2. We did not get to see any of the 5 children in the story. I look forward to seeing them more in future books. I am curious to see where Xena will end in the story line, and if her character has some legend as well.

The Naughty Angel and Her Three Very Wise Men

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The Naughty Angel and Her Three Very Wise Men by Trinity Blacio

Goodreads Rating 5 stars

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

I have really enjoyed Trinity Blacio books. This one wasn’t much different. My main issue with the story was that Marcus and Lance were controlling, not DOMS. I was in an abusive relationship, and this really borders abusive. Marcus and Lance have some SERIOUS issues that never really get addressed in the book. But I am not going to rip apart that part of the story for now. The other issue I have with Trinity’s books is that she needs a better editor. There are some crazy editing issues. I have never read a single book of hers that was not poorly edited.

So why did I give it 5 stars? Looking past the editing issues, and trying to look past Marcus and Lance’s behaviors, the story was good. The sex scenes were smoking hot. I loved Annabelle. She was fiery and hot. I think it was a great start to a new series, and I hope to read more about Annabelle and the growth of their legend.

What I would REALLY love to see is crossover between the Wicked Sisters series, the Naughty Angel series, and a continuation of Hot for Xmas.

The Bear and the Nightingale

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The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Goodreads Rating: 4 stars

Actual Rating: 4.5 stars

 

I received an advanced copy of The Bear and the Nightingale from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. 

 

The Bear and the Nightingale is based in Russia during the Rise of Christianity, but still full of the ‘old ways.’ This story is based in a small northern Russian village that still holds the old ways of paying tribute for protection to these deities. They leave tiny offerings to the small ‘demons’ (as they are referred to in story) such as bread, honeymead, and in some cases, blood. This story is rich in Russian folklore and it is obvious that the author has done her research. The main character in the story is Vasya, who was the last born of the village leader’s wife, Marina. Marina’s family has unique origins and many people refer to them as a witch. Vasya can see the tiny gods and makes friends with many. Marina dies after giving birth to Vasya, whom she knows is going to do great things and have the gifts of her family. When Vasya is young, her father sets to Moscow to obtain a wife for himself and a husband for his eldest daughter. He marries the Grand Prince’s daughter, Anna, who also has the sight. She is of the same blood line of Vasya. Whenever Anna sees the gods, she refers to them as demons and freaks out. She is often referred to as “mad.” On the way back to the tiny village, a mysterious stranger provides Vasya’s father with a necklace and instructs him to give it to Vasya and to keep by her always. The father provides this trinket with Dunya, the caregiver/nanny, and she decides to hold it until Vasya is much older. At a point in time later, a priest from Moscow is sent to this village once the village priest dies. He is set to “fix” the village and scare them with the love of God. They begin to stop providing offerings to these deities which causes them to slowly grow weaker. Ultimately, this leads to incidents that cause Vasya to go into the forest. She is chased by The Bear, a little one eyed being she has seen approximately 4 times in her life. Just when she thinks the Bear will get her, the mysterious stranger steps in to rescue her. This stranger is actually the frost demon. She resides with him for a period of time to grow stronger, and eventually goes back to her home village to try and save the village from destruction brought on by this priest.

This story is very beautifully written. The story flows well together and is interesting throughout the story. The events leading to the climax is that of a slow burn resulting in a big boom at the end. I fell in love with Vasya. I wished there was more to the story about the Frost Demon and his purpose for Vasya, it was only  mildly hinted at during her stay in his realm. I have learned that there are 3 books in this story so it is my hope that the Frost Demon appears and this development can go further. My main issue with the book is that there were a lot of words that I didn’t understand. At the end, I saw a dictionary, however, on a Kindle, I didn’t know until the end. I also felt some adjectives used were overused and I felt like I was constantly seeing them. There were also many names used for one character and that was often confusing. There were words that, even at me being almost 32, I had no clue what they meant and had never seen them before. All of this can be harmful to a reader. I felt very confused in many instances. As someone who does not know much about Russian Folklore, I had to tap on the words in the story for a wiki snippet, and in many cases there were none found. I feel like, for those readers who do not know Russian Folklore, this would have been an excellent opportunity to influence a reader that is unfamiliar to want to know more. After reading a Q& A on Goodreads for this book with the author, I am more intrigued. It would have been nice to have that translated, or at least more clear, in this story. As the series continues, I believe some of these ideas will become more apparent.

As I said above, this story is beautifully written. I like the character development, not only of Vasya, but of all of the characters. They are each a unique part to this story. The character sketch for each are pretty spot on. You cannot truly have had this story without any of these characters. I appreciate Vasya in so many ways it is ridiculous. I always complain about weak main female characters, and Vasya is not that. She is strong, she is independent, she is smart. Everyone turns against her, and she does not falter. At times, she shows her vulnerability, and she shows her strength. She is an ideal lead female character in a story. Vasya is strong willed, and “wild”, and outside the norm of females in that time period. I think it translates well to young females today. I like that Vasya is not a damsel in distress. She does not need or want to be saved, and she makes that very known in the story. She is a female that will love when she finds someone she wants to love. Not someone she is forced to be with. She specifically told the frost demon that she was going to be forced to marry and be her “husband’s mare”, or someone specifically for baby making purposes, and that she did not want that. It doesn’t say she doesn’t want to be married or have kids, but it hints that she will choose that only when she wants to, if at all. That was brilliant.

Finally, I do recommend this book. I am intrigued with knowing more about Russian folklore and hopefully I can learn some more so I am not totally confused in the future 🙂 I would recommend this book in physical form over Kindle format, especially for the use of the dictionary. My 4 star Goodreads Rating may have been a 5 star rating had I had some of the readily available to look. I will purchase the physical copy once it is released so that I can have the set as a whole once it is finished. The dictionary aspect will be very helpful and a lot less confusing.

Desire Under the Dark Moon

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Desire Under the Dark Moon by Trinity Blacio

Goodreads Rating 4 stars

Actual rating 3.5 stars

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. 

 

This is the third installment of the Wicked Sisters Series. Finally, it has become clear why it is called the Wicked Sisters! In this particular story Allie, the final single sister, came back after a year of being kidnapped. This is also 2 years since the mating of Whitney with her mates in Frankenstein’s Submissive.  The basis of this story is that, even though all 3 sisters are mated, their mates have to fight to keep them. The Dark Moon happens once every 1000 years and all males of every supernatural species has the right to challenge for any one of the sisters to become their mates, regardless if they are already mated. Then, as a whole family unit, all three sisters and their mates basically run the supernatural world and can go through multiple dimensions/planes.

I did not like this one AS much as I enjoyed the other two in the series. I felt the whole book was focused more on this Dark Moon, and there was not enough sex, and the sex scenes they did have weren’t as exciting.

I did like that we find Whitney has had a kid, but it is unclear if Marci has as she wanted one at the end of book 2. I liked Darwin and Steel. I was a little confused by the trio. The book does not really explain how a wolf, demon, and bear came together as a set. Lance appeared to be the “head” of the group much the way Frank and Garth are the head of their little groups in the previous stories, however, he did not seem “strong” enough to be the head of the group. Darwin seemed to have stronger features and bigger ties. It was a little confusing determining their mate structure. I gave this a 4 star rating on Goodreads because i felt that it was better than a 3 star, though the actual rating is somewhere in the middle. It would have gotten a higher rating if there were some pretty WOW sex scenes like her books previous had and if some of the fight scenes had some more details. The epic battle was very brief. If this installment was to focus on the Dark Moon and it’s meaning, I felt it should have had more umph.

Overall, I did enjoy this book but felt it did not hold up to par compared to the other books I have read by this author. Also, I was very happy that the editing was MUCH better than previous stories I have read from this author.

Hot for Xmas

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Hot for Xmas by Trinity Blacio

Goodreads Rating 4 stars

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. 

 

The title Hot for Xmas is very true to it’s title. This is a short story about a social worker (an author after my own heart)named Emily who receives a case about a mother and her three children being badly beaten by the husband/father. This case happens to be a supernatural case, and it is her first of this type of case. While at the family’s house, the local Alpha pack (National Alphas) came and it was instant chemistry, as Emily was their mate. I really liked Baas’ character, though Sam is my favorite wolf for sure 🙂

My major reason for deducting a star, is that it is sometimes hard to follow. There were also some typos and structural errors that can easily be edited. Also, the biggest reason is in my copy, the little girl’s name was Rain when Emily first went to the family’s home, but later she was called Betsey. Also, in the beginning the younger brother’s name is Duke, where he is called Tucker later in the story.

This story has a suspenseful element, which I liked. There are a lot of steamy sex scenes, which includes some light BDSM. I enjoyed the mating ceremony, though it was a little hard to follow at times. I especially LOVED the playroom/cabin scenes. I definitely went finished this story needing a cold shower!! At this time it is a standalone,(I asked), but I would love to have some closure on this group as Emily is pregnant. I would actually like that closure in a few of the books I have read by Trinity Blacio so maybe in later books this can happen 🙂