Thursday, September 28, 2017

Book Review: Temporary by Sarina Bowen & Sarah Mayberry

Author: Sarina Bowen, Sarah Mayberry
Series: N/A
Audience: +18
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Rennie Road Books
Release Date: September 12th 2017
My Rating: 5 Cups
Source: Author
Blurb (from Goodreads):
The most beautiful man I've ever seen is the one who can ruin everything...

The first time I lay eyes on Callan Walker, I know he’ll be trouble. With his smug grin, hot Aussie accent and thousand dollar shoes, he’s just the kind of rich guy who always gets what he wants.

And he wants two things: a night of sin, and my cooperation as he outmaneuvers his powerful mother to take control of his uncle’s estate.

I can’t afford either one. I’m the only thing standing between my little sister and the foster care system. He may have money and charm on his side, but I have something even more powerful -- pure desperation. This temp job at his mother’s company can become a full time job for me. It has to.

But when Callan’s eyes rake over my body, sometimes I forget my obligations. His piercing gaze finds the fun, optimistic girl I used to be and not the tired person I’ve become.

And it works--if only for a moment. Our night together was a mistake. I can't afford to get sucked into his high-powered family’s treachery. But the closer I get to Callan, the more layers I find beneath those expensive clothes. Though I can’t forget this is temporary. He’s temporary. I have too much to lose.

Too bad my foolish heart didn’t get the memo...
*Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from the authors in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or the content of my review in any way.

I read this book a few days ago and I have to say, it's probably one of the best contemporary books I've read in a while.

This book has a lot of pain and turmoil in it. I love that at its core, it's not just about two people falling in love, but about dysfunctional families and people who should be in your corner but aren't, just based on a tiny difference, that really is nobody's business but yours.

Callan is a very hurt individual, one that is trying really hard to get away from his family, but he seems stuck between parties, fancy yachts and hot, nameless women. It takes the death of his beloved uncle to wake him up and force him to try to do something more with his life, something meaningful. I was truly sad for him, that the only thing powerful enough to wake Callan up was the death of his uncle, and it truly shows just how lost he was. Because although he got away from his mother, who's just the most evil woman I've read about in a while, it seems like he's given up on everything that was important to him. It isn't until later in the book that we find out just why that is, why he's not even trying to do something important or useful, and why he's that lost. It really made me sad to read about his family.

On the other hand you have Grace, who's the sweetest woman I've read about in a while, one that struggles with being the best big sister and guardian for her little sister, one who is willing to give up her dreams in order to keep her sister in school, happy, fed, with a roof over her head. I really liked her dedication to her job, even if it was not the right job for her. Clearly she can do more, she deserves a better job, and it's sad that in today's economy, you have a lot of young people having to accept unfit jobs just to get by. I really respected Grace, because it takes a lot of courage and strength to take care of her little sister, to be a role model, at such a young age. I was angry for her when the shit hit the fan, so to say, because she clearly did not deserve to be treated the way she was.

The cool thing about this book is that, even though not physically present, I felt that Jack, the dead uncle, was written in such a way, that he felt like a true character, not just a plot device. I really enjoyed that, and I loved how he was portrayed. I felt like he was there the whole time, and that's something I truly enjoyed. I would love to learn more about him, if a sequel is at any point in the future in the works *makes puppy eyes*

The book is pretty fast paced, and I really enjoyed reading every single page of it. The ending was a bit surprising, and it made me hope for a sequel, because I need it in my life. But even without a sequel, this book was fantastic and I would recommend it to every contemporary romance fan out there.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Cover Reveal: Bountiful by Sarina Bowen

Author: Sarina Bowen
Series: True North #4
Audience: +18
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Rennie Road Books
Release Date: October 20th 2017
Blurb (from Goodreads):
No last names. No life stories. Those were the rules.

Once upon a time a cocky, copper-haired tourist sauntered into Zara’s bar. And even though she knew better, Zara indulged in a cure for the small-town blues. It was supposed to be an uncomplicated fling—a few sizzling weeks before he went back to his life, and she moved on.

Until an accidental pregnancy changed her life.

Two years later, she’s made peace with the notion that Dave No-Last-Name will never be found. Until one summer day when he walks into her coffee shop, leveling her with the same hot smile that always renders her defenseless.

Dave Beringer has never forgotten the intense month he spent with prickly Zara. Their nights together were the first true intimacy he’d ever experienced. But the discovery of his child is the shock of a lifetime, and his ugly past puts relationships and family out of reach.

Or does it? Vermont’s countryside has a way of nurturing even tortured souls. The fields and the orchards—and hard won love—are Bountiful.

Preorder here:


About Sarina Bowen

Sarina Bowen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. She lives in Vermont's Green Mountains with her family, six chickens and too much ski gear and hockey equipment.

In 2016, Sarina became a Rita Award winner! The Romance Writers of America honored HIM by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy with Best Contemporary Romance, Mid-Length.

Release Day Book Review & Blitz: Playing With Forever by Amy Andrews

Today is the release day blitz for PLAYING WITH FOREVER by Amy Andrews! Check it out and grab your copy today!

Author: Amy Andrews
Series: Sydney Smoke Rugby #4
Audience: +18
Genre: Erotic Romance, Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance
Publisher: Entangled Publishing (Brazen)
Release Date: September 25th 2017
My Rating: 4.5 Cups
Source: InkSlinger PR
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Country boy, Ryder Davis has the world at his feet. A stellar rugby career, a winning way with women and a beach view that keeps him in blue sky and bikini babes. He's living the dream. The last thing he needs is a Great Dane called Tiny destroying his feng shui.

Dog whisperer, Juliet Morgan is about to start living her dream and she's counting down the days. In two months she'll finally be moving to Italy and no man's going to stop her this time. Not even a rugby superstar with a badly behaved pooch.

But when Ryder skids into the animal shelter looking for help Juliet agrees to assist him with his canine issues. Pretty soon they're assisting each other out of their clothes and tumbling headlong into a sex thing with an expiry date.

Neither of them expected it to become more. But when for now starts to feel like forever Juliet hits the panic button. Ryder knows he has to play the long game and let her walk away. After all it's not over until the final hooter sounds and all's fair in love and rugby.

Each book in the Sydney Smoke Rugby series is a standalone story that can be enjoyed out of order.
*Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from InkSlinger PR in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or the content of my review in any way.

This series keeps getting better and better with each and every book that comes out and I can't help but fall in love with Sydney Smoke's players.

It was nice to read a book where the roles were flipped, where the woman wanted a no-strings attached fling, while the man is leaning towards a proper relationship, I found that very refreshing. I also loved how Andrews at one point goes to show how comfortable two people can get with each other, that it's only really a matter of perspective, really. Ryder and Juliet have very different perspectives when it comes to how they view their relationship, and it's really interesting to read about that.

I liked Ryder. He was very funny and very sexy, and I liked that he was honest about how he felt about Juliet even though she wanted none of those pesky emotions. I also loved what he did for Tiny. He's such a good man just for taking care of Tiny as if that dog was his. I also liked that he admitted he needed help in managing Tiny, which is not something that most people even think about when getting a dog.

Juliet's story was pretty heartbreaking, really. I do understand why she didn't want a real relationship, although throughout the book it was pretty obvious she was lying to herself the whole time by not giving the proper title to what she and Ryder had. That was the thing I struggled with the most, the fact that ultimately she wasn't being honest with herself and with Ryder. At the same time, I liked that she was open and honest about what she wanted from the start, she didn't lie about her intentions.

Before I finish this review, let me talk a little bit about Tiny. The book starts with Ryder being emotionally conned into taking care of Tiny, and it is incredibly funny to see how he struggled with that dog. On one hand, I laughed like a lunatic, because it is funny, especially when Ryder took Tiny for his first walk and the first morning together. On the other hand, I cringed a little bit, because it was like I was reading about my dog at times (the walking part). I felt super happy to see that Andrews did a fantastic job into working dog training into the situation, which let's be honest, is something that not a lot of people think about when getting a dog. So yay for dog training.

The book was fast paced, it was funny, and it ended almost too fast. I am in love with this series, and I can't wait for book 5, because I am definitely keeping my fingers crossed that there will be a book 5.

Series Order:
Book #1 Playing By Her Rules
Book #2 Playing It Cool
Book #3 Playing the Player
Book #4 Playing With Forever

Buy Now

Amazon | Nook | Kobo | iBooks | Google Play

Add to Goodreads



About the Author

Amy Andrews is a multi-published, award- winning author of 50+ romance novels across both traditional and digital platforms. She writes for Harlequin Mills and Boon, Entangled, Harper Collins Australia, Momentum Publishing, Escape Publishing and Tule. She's sold in excess of a million books worldwide and has been translated into over a dozen languages. In her spare time she is a PICU nurse and mother of two teenagers. She lives on acerage on the outskirts of Brisbane, Australia but secretly wishes it was the hillsides of Tuscany.


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Book Review: Destiny Disgraced by Carrie Ann Ryan

Author: Carrie Ann Ryan
Series: Talon Pack #6, Redwood Pack #13
Audience: +18
Genre: Erotic Romance, Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Pink Ink Books
Release Date: September 12th 2017
My Rating: 5 cups
Source: InkSlinger PR
Blurb (from Goodreads):
The Talon Pack continues with a new twist to the Packs and a revelation no one was prepared for.

Mitchell Brentwood is aware that others think he’s the harsh taskmaster Beta trying to keep his Pack alive, but they only see what he wants them to know. He’d once thought he had his path laid out before him, but when his future was violently ripped away, he vowed he’d never let anyone close again—especially not a young wolf from a traitorous Pack.

Dawn Levin may be younger than the war that destroyed her people, but she knows she must still pay for their sins. She’s ready to find her way in this new world where wolves and humans blend as one, but first, she needs to fight her attraction to the dark wolf that stands in her way.

While the two struggle with their feelings and burning attraction for each other, they can’t ignore the world that shakes beneath their feet. There is a new enemy on the horizon, one with revenge and the unknown on their minds. An adversary that might be closer than they realize.
*Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from InkSlinger PR in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or the content of my review in any way.

It seems that I've been on a roll lately discovering paranormal series that I need to read ASAP and that's making me super happy. I've only read Carrie Ann Ryan's contemporary books, and I am happy that I decided to try out more of her work.

As I said before, I love to see how each author describes the myth of the shifters, and while I don't know the full explanation included in the Redwood Pack/Talon Pack series, I liked what little I got to read about in Destiny Disgraced. The idea that there's an outside force, called the moon goddess, that blesses shifters with the mating and pack bonds was really interesting and new. I liked the fact that just because they received the blessing of the moon goddess didn't mean that they couldn't lose it, although some stuff revealed during the book makes me wonder about the motivation of this moon goddess. I am hoping she'll reveal herself during the next few books.

I also liked the whole mating concept. It wasn't the usual approach I've read time and again, which was really nice, and I loved the idea that Ryan introduced in her book. I'm very curious about how triads work, so I'm really keeping my fingers crossed that I'll read about that once I get to read the earlier books.

Mitchell was an interesting hero. His full story and his reasons for staying away from Dawn are revealed little by little during the story, but once you learn the full story, you can completely understand his struggle with this mating bond. It was tragic to read about, and you can tell that he has the potential of being a much stronger male, but because of his past, because of what he went through, he's truly scarred and hurt. And I found it truly amazing and it made my nerdy side really happy to see that some details from the cover of the book not only are they found in the story itself, but you also learn the why of it. Can't say more than that because of spoilers, but I had to say just that.

Dawn was also a very great heroine. I found that she was a truly strong female, one that had the potential to be something more but because of her Pack's story, she was lacking the opportunities for them. I ached for her because of that, because her true potential wasn't being fully explored due to something her ancestors did. I liked her spirit. I liked that she could be a badass and defend herself and her friends when they needed protection, and at the same time allow herself moments of vulnerability. She and Mitchell are a perfect match, really, and I was truly happy that they found themselves.

The interesting thing about this book, and I can only hope this is something that happens with all books, is that every now and then, you get a chapter told in some different character's POV. I found that intriguing, not just because it teases about the next book's main characters, but it also shows you just a tiny piece of the puzzle, just enough to get my interest piqued.

The story is truly well paced, and I managed to read it in one sitting. I found that although I knew nothing about this world, I was able to read without feeling lost. I felt the need to know more, but not in the sense that I couldn't understand what was happening or that I was confused by the lack of knowledge.

As I said in the beginning, I'm truly happy that I got to read this book and that I've found yet another great paranormal series. I plan on working my way through the Redwood and Talon series, while I'm waiting desperately for the next book in the series.

Add DESTINY DISGRACED to your Goodreads list here!

DESTINY DISGRACED is available now - pick up your copy today!

✦Amazon ✦iBooks ✦Barnes & Noble ✦Kobo ✦Google Play ✦Amazon Paperback

See the DESTINY DISGRACED trailer!


About Carrie Ann Ryan

Carrie Ann Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance. Her works include the Montgomery Ink, Redwood Pack, Talon Pack, and Gallagher Brothers series, which have sold over 2.0 million books worldwide. She started writing while in graduate school for her advanced degree in chemistry and hasn’t stopped since. Carrie Ann has written over fifty novels and novellas with more in the works. When she’s not writing about bearded tattooed men or alpha wolves that need to find their mates, she’s reading as much as she can and exploring the world of baking and gourmet cooking.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Comic Book Tuesday #26: Wonder Woman Vol. 3: The Truth (Rebirth) by Greg Rucka

Author: Greg Rucka
Series: Wonder Woman, Volume V #3
Audience: +16
Genre: Comic Book
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: August 29th 2017
My Rating: 3 cups
Source: Netgalley
Blurb (from Goodreads):
A part of DC Universe Rebirth!

New York Times best-selling writer Greg Rucka continues his return to WONDER WOMAN! Rucka is joined by fan favorite artist Liam Sharp as Diana's life is unraveling around her. Diana’s search for the truth about herself, her history, and her home Themyscira, takes her on a journey into darkness. But the price of understanding may be one sacrifice too many for Wonder Woman.

Collects WONDER WOMAN #13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25.

Rebirth honors the richest history in comics, while continuing to look towards the future. These are the most innovative and modern stories featuring the world's greatest superheroes, told by some of the finest storytellers in the business.

Honoring the past, protecting our present and looking towards the future. This is the next chapter in the ongoing saga of the DC Universe. The legacy continues.

*Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from Netgalley and DC Comics in exchange for an honest review. This does not inlfuence my rating or the content of my review in any way.

I had really high hopes for this volume, which unfortunately weren't completely met.

The book starts off with Wonder Woman having some issues, being completely unresponsive towards the outside world, and a good part of the first half of the volume shows Diana suffering from some mental issues. I enjoyed that part, but I feel like it wasn't explored as it should have, nor was it explained in a proper way. This may be because, yet again, this volume includes only select issues, so I didn't get to read about how she actually found it in her to fight her catatonic state and her delusions. I also didn't completely understand what brought the entire situation on, but that may be because I haven't read Vol. 2. So maybe it was explained there. I liked the fact that she realizes that she's not as invincible as she thought in the beginning. I also liked that eventually the laws of the Amazons are respected, in the sense that what she was warned about in the past came true. I don't want to give too many details, because I don't want to spoil it for anyone in case you haven't read it. Even so, I was pretty unimpressed with the ending. I was expecting this huge plot against Wonder Woman, at least from the way the story was told in the first volume. I do hope that the story will be picked up in the future and the implications of what Diana found out will be explored more thoroughly.

The art, as usual with the Wonder Woman Rebirth storyline, is stellar. I really have no complaints there. I hope I get to read more comic books drawn by Liam Sharp, as he is very talented and manages to capture the exact mood and tone of each panel, each dialogue, each scene, even each character.

I think I probably would have enjoyed this volume a lot more if it had all the issues, not just select ones. That way the story would have made much more sense, and I wouldn't have the feeling I'm missing something. Other than that, I hope there will be more Wonder Woman books in the future, because I am curious if some of the details from this volume will be explored more.

Release Blitz: Destiny Disgraced by Carrie Ann Ryan


Carrie Ann Ryan's DESTINY DISGRACED is available now! Find out more below about this next book in her Talon Pack series, read a sneak peek, and pick up your copy today!



The Talon Pack continues with a new twist to the Packs and a revelation no one was prepared for.

Mitchell Brentwood is aware that others think he’s the harsh taskmaster Beta trying to keep his Pack alive, but they only see what he wants them to know. He’d once thought he had his path laid out before him, but when his future was violently ripped away, he vowed he’d never let anyone close again—especially not a young wolf from a traitorous Pack.

Dawn Levin may be younger than the war that destroyed her people, but she knows she must still pay for their sins. She’s ready to find her way in this new world where wolves and humans blend as one, but first, she needs to fight her attraction to the dark wolf that stands in her way.

While the two struggle with their feelings and burning attraction for each other, they can’t ignore the world that shakes beneath their feet. There is a new enemy on the horizon, one with revenge and the unknown on their minds. An adversary that might be closer than they realize.

Add DESTINY DISGRACED to your Goodreads list here!

DESTINY DISGRACED is available now - pick up your copy today!

✦Amazon ✦iBooks ✦Barnes & Noble ✦Kobo ✦Google Play ✦Amazon Paperback

Get a sneak peek of DESTINY DISGRACED:

Mitchell cursed under his breath as soon as she walked outside to the porch. He’d come outside to get away from her scent since it seemed to permeate the small house with the sweet and floral aroma that was all Dawn, and now here she was, invading his space. Again.
He didn’t know what it was about her, but he knew he needed to get a handle on whatever was going on. He might act like a bastard most of the time, but he wasn’t cruel. Yet right then, he just wanted to yell and scream and get away from her— and he had no fucking clue why. She was so damn close, too. So near, he could feel the heat of her skin against his. He hadn’t gone far from the door when he came outside, and now they were only a few inches apart.
“So… I didn’t know you’d be out here, or I would have stayed inside. Not that I’m avoiding you per se, it’s more that I know if you’re out here, then you’re probably like me and need some space to breathe or just be, and now here I am, standing in your way and not letting you be alone. So, yes, not avoiding, but I still try to give you a wide berth. Anyway, I can go back inside if you want, and go, uh… just go. Yeah, I’ll do that.”
She basically said all of that in one breath, and Mitchell had to admire her for that even if it sort of overwhelmed him.
“And now I’m talking too much, I can see it in your eyes. Or like, the corner of your eye since you’re not actually looking at me. Anyway, thank you for listening to me ramble. I’ll go back in and check on my brother. Oh, and thank you for helping him, by the way. I know you probably have four hundred things to do a day, but coming by the den and checking on Cole when your Alpha can’t… well, that’s truly just amazing. I hope you see that even if it might just be a duty to you.”
She opened her mouth and was either about to take a breath since she hadn’t in a while or start talking again. And since Mitchell didn’t know how to politely to tell her to shut up since her voice kept sending his wolf into an odd frenzy he couldn’t figure out, he did the one thing that came to mind.
Absolutely the most idiotic thing he could have done.
He turned and kissed her.


See the DESTINY DISGRACED trailer!


About Carrie Ann Ryan

Carrie Ann Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance. Her works include the Montgomery Ink, Redwood Pack, Talon Pack, and Gallagher Brothers series, which have sold over 2.0 million books worldwide. She started writing while in graduate school for her advanced degree in chemistry and hasn’t stopped since. Carrie Ann has written over fifty novels and novellas with more in the works. When she’s not writing about bearded tattooed men or alpha wolves that need to find their mates, she’s reading as much as she can and exploring the world of baking and gourmet cooking.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Obsessed With Covers #42: Coming Home To Island House, Summer At Coastguard Cottages, Christmas At The Dancing Duck

Y'all know how much I love a pretty cover. I think about...40% of the books that end up on my shelves (be they physical or digital) do so because of the covers. Call me shallow but you have to admit that a pretty, shiny cover will catch your eye faster than a dull, boring one. Two, simple rules that I'll follow:

  • 1, 2 or 3 (no more than 3, though) covers per week;
  • books should be new-ish; no more than 2 years old.
Oh, before I share the covers that made me drool or want to stare at them for hours and hours, I have to say something. This is a semi-original idea. Why semi? Because almost every book blogger has something similar. The only thing I came up with was the title. If by any chance there's another blogger with a similar feature with the same title, I assure you I'm not stealing your idea. I'm just THAT bad with titles. Believe me, I'd love to be smarter and have a witty name for this feature, but I don't. So, no copyright infringement/theft/steal or anything of the sort was desired. All I can say is sorry :P

This week's Obsessed With Covers post will be all about vector art. You might not know this about me, but for a while there I dabbled into making really rudimentary, slightly bad-looking vector illustrations, which gave me an appreciation for really beautiful illustrations. Add to that the fact that I've always loved cartoonish/illustrated cover art, so it's no wonder my OWC posts will include this type of covers. So, without further ado, here are the prettiest covers I've seen this week.

This is such a pretty cover. I love the tiny details on the lake, just like I love the wisteria on the edges. Actually the wisteria gives the illustration the air of mystery, like you have to search for this island house somewhere in a place where you wouldn't normally find a house. I also adore the vintage car coming up on the driveway. I love vintage cars, and it makes sense that that's the car that should have been used for this illustration. I feel like any other model would have been out of place with the feel of the illustration. I am curious if there are two people in that car or if my eyesight is really that bad, and if there are two people, I wonder which one is doing the "coming home" part.

Coming Home To Island House - Erica James

This cover art makes me think of a little beach resort, that opens just for the summer season. Yes, I know, that kind of sounds very similar to the Kellerman's resort from Dirty Dancing, but can you blame me? It's the perfect summer vacation that I can think of. I love that most vector illustrated covers have some form of design on the edges, be it flowers or whatever, and it gives them this air of... how do I put it? Like the rest of the picture is hidden away, like a little corner of the world where no bad things can happen, and the people in that corner are protected from the outside world. That's what this image makes me think of. Also, those little birds flying just over the water add a sense of movement to the entire illustration. I can just imagine hearing the waves crashing on the shores, the birds singing and the smell of sea in the air. I now want for summer to come back, as well as to read this book ASAP.

Christmas themed books are starting to appear and I couldn't be happier, because that means pretty Christmas illustrations too. I love the ribbon used as a background for the author's name, I love the decorated trees, the snowflakes, the people playing in the snow, basically I love this cover. I also love the tagline, "A perfectly festive romantic read", as I feel that this is the perfect illustration for a Christmas postcard. I'm very curious if this pub, The Dancing Duck, is like any other character in the book, if somehow the pub is not only the location, but somehow much more important than simply offering the perfect setting from a winter romance.

Christmas At The Dancing Duck - Daisy James

What about you, fellow bookworms? Did you find any pretty covers lately?

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Book Tour Book Review: Treasured By A Tiger by Felicity Heaton

About the Book

Author: Felicity Heaton
Series: Eternal Mates #14
Audience: +18
Genre: Etoric Romance, Paranormal Romance
Release Date: September 9th 2017
My Rating: 4.5 cups
Source: ARC
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Despised by his tiger shifter pride as an abomination, Grey has ventured far from home, deep into the bowels of Hell in search of answers about the machinations of Archangel, the mortal hunter organisation who held his twin captive. With no knowledge of the realm, and little skill with the local languages, he quickly finds himself at a dead end—until he crosses paths with a beautiful hellcat female who rouses his darkest most dangerous instincts.

Lyra has been a fool, falling for the charms of a male whose only desire was to make a fast buck by selling her. Shackled and collared, her strength muted by magic, she awaits her time on the stage at a black-market auction, but before it can come, all hell breaks loose and she seizes a chance to escape—and runs straight into a majestic warrior who steals her breath away and tempts her like no other as he battles alone to free everyone.

When Lyra offers her services as a translator to repay Grey for saving her, will he be strong enough to resist the needs she awakens in him and spare himself the pain of her inevitable rejection when she discovers the truth about him? And when the powerful male in charge of the slave ring starts a bloody hunt for Lyra, can she escape another collar and find the courage to trust the tiger who is capturing her heart?
*Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or the content of my review in any way.

It seems I have discovered yet another great series to get hooked on. This was my first Felicity Heaton book and let me tell you, I loved it.

There are some really cool things happening in this book, starting with the characters, which are really awesome, not just the main ones, but the secondary ones too, and with the various plots woven together. I loved the description of Hell, so different than what I've read before, and I love the fact that it truly looks like a place no one would willingly go to. I'm curious what other realms are there, besides Heaven, Hell and Earth. I also want to know more about the various creatures in this series, some of which we read about in this book.

I really liked reading about Grey and Lyra. Their stories are very different, yet I liked seeing how well matched they were. Grey is a very special tiger shifter, that unfortunately has been treated like crap by his pride just because he looked differently, which made me really angry. I loved how Lyra addressed that and showed him that he wasn't a freak, that he was beautiful because he was different. I was also sad for Grey, because, judging by what he tells Lyra about himself, you can see how lost he is, now that his sister found her mate, since he no longer needs to be the one in charge of her safety. You can really tell that that's basically why he went to Hell, why he's taking the risks he's taking, because he's lost and doesn't really know what to do with himself. I wanted to hug him most of the time, to be honest.

Lyra was a fantastic heroine. I love the fact that she's as much of a badass as Grey, and that she doesn't play the role of damsel in distress, when she really could and no one would blame her. I also loved the fact that once she learns about Grey's heritage, and understands that he doesn't know how to deal with some of his instincts, she doesn't hold that against him, but actually understands them and accepts the fact that he's not like other males that she's known and heard about, and actually tries to help him.

The major subplot, that I hope will be addressed in the next book, is one involving dragons. DRAGONS! *Allow me a moment to hyperventilate in an excited puppy manner* I really loved that, and I loved what Grey did at the end for one particular dragon, I thought that was really sweet and it showed how honorable he is, and how much his pride is losing for treating him as they did.

The book is really fast paced, I managed to read it pretty quickly, and I loved how the ending was neatly tied for Grey and Lyra, but also left the possibility of seeing them in the future open. I also loved the little hints towards the next book or books. I will admit I felt a little bit lost in the beginning, just because I wished I had more background information that is most definitely in previous books, but that didn't keep me from fully enjoying the story.

Based on this book, I can tell I'll be hooked on this series forever, because it reminded me of the older paranormal series, the ones that I so love and adore. So I'll definitely go back to the beginning and read this series in order, because I don't want to miss any details. So if you love paranormal romance, definitely check this series out if you haven't already.

Purchase Links

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Grey slowed his steps and watched the male walking away. He didn’t stop at the perimeter of the village. He kept walking, heading into the darkness, going south-east.
High, bubbling laughter broke the silence.
He shook off his curiosity about the male and returned his focus to his mission, shifting his gaze back to the hut that was possibly a tavern.
Another female toppled out of it, a male following close behind her.
“Excuse me.” Grey raised his hand to snag their attention.
Both of them stared blankly at him.
They looked at each other.
In a language he didn’t know.
The female was rather animated as she prattled on, tossing her blonde hair over her bare shoulders, revealing a small top that was more strapless bra than corset. Matching black leather hugged her long legs. She was pretty too, a bright glow around her pupils that might have fooled him into believing her a shifter like him.
Only she smelled of sex and sin.
A succubus.
Her partner stood behind her, giving Grey a death glare turned up to the max.
Succubus sidled towards Grey, a wicked sway to her curvy hips and a smile tugging at her cherry red lips.
Crimson bled into the male’s eyes, his pupils stretching thin in their centres.
Another vampire.
And this one looked as if he might fight to prove who was stronger.
Grey held his hands up again and shook his head. “My mistake.”
He hurried past the male, ducking into the hut. It was cramped inside and he had to remain bent over to avoid banging his head. With all the demons, dragons and elves in Hell, he would have thought someone would have had the foresight to build the walls higher so the roof trusses didn’t pose a risk of injury.
He was barely pushing six-five and it was a struggle to reach the bar without knocking a few braincells out, or himself out with them. He didn’t want to see a demon pushing seven foot trying to move around in the cramped suffocating space.
Wooden torches rested in metal sconces spaced around the walls and clustered behind the bar area opposite him. Their flames flickered wildly, casting shadows over the males and females seated around the tables that lined the edges of the room. As if it wasn’t hot enough already. He huffed and tugged at his damp t-shirt, trying to fan himself a little as the temperature rose. Still, it was nice seeing a colour other than endless black, and having light in his life again.
He found a spot at the black stone bar, squatted there and tried to get the attention of the female serving. A very ample female. Her long mahogany corset pressed her curves inwards, and upwards, and tan leather encased powerful thighs. She poured a drink from one of the five huge wooden barrels stacked like a pyramid behind the bar and then turned back to the customer and set the clay mug down in front of him.
Her eyes glowed as she spoke with the male, a pretty shade of blue with violet hints.
Another succubus.
Was this entire village made up of them?
She brushed her fingers across the male’s jaw, and he visibly shuddered and sagged a little, his cheeks turning deep pink as he stared dazedly at her.
Another beautiful and buxom female came to him and ushered him away, out of the door and into the darkness.
The bartender finally noticed him.
Her smile lit up the room and her eyes glowed a little brighter.
Grey cleared his throat and schooled his features, his lips settling in a firm line and his silver eyebrows meeting hard above his blue eyes.
“I just want information.”
She looked disappointed.
Possibly confused.
The escorts Thorne had offered were looking more and more like they would have been a fantastic idea.
The brunette blinked and leaned against the bar, her breasts threatening to spill out of her tight corset. She reached for him.
He shook his head. “Just information.”
He wasn’t interested in anything else. He shut out the mocking voices in his head. It was his choice. He was the one uninterested in her, not the other way around.
“Infor… mace…” A little wrinkle formed between her brightly coloured eyes.
“Information.” He pulled his pack off his back, unzipped the main compartment and fished out the papers he had brought with him. He set them down on the stone slab and pointed to the name of the village. “Is this here?”
She stared at the word.
Dammit. Thorne had warned him that the ragtag groups that called this area their home had probably never left Hell so were unlikely to know the mortal tongues.
Someone peered over his shoulder.
A black clawed finger landed on the piece of paper in front of him, close to his. “Here.”
Grey jumped and growled at the male beside him. The warlock. Wizard. Whatever the hell he wanted to be called. He reeked of magic and death.
Even the succubus backed off, her usual bright smile and sultry air turning cold and dark. She said something, and the male said something back at her, a bite in his tone.
“You speak English?” Grey didn’t want to talk to the male, but he wasn’t going to get anywhere speaking with the bartender or anyone else in the joint.
The male didn’t nod.
Not a good sign.
“This is here?” He pointed to the name on the piece of paper again.
The male nodded and looked around. “Here.”
It was a start.
“You speak her tongue?” Grey pointed towards the bartender. “Speak. Her.”
The male frowned, his icy green eyes darkening a shade, and looked at the female, and then back at him. “Yes.”
Getting there.
But the male didn’t really understand him. He couldn’t ask complicated questions and have him relay them to the bartender for her to answer, and the male wouldn’t know the answer to them himself since he was clearly just passing through and using the village as a rest stop.
He needed to boil it down into something the male might understand.
“Mortals. Humans.” It was worth a shot. He pointed to himself. “I’m looking for mortals.”
The male’s eyes lit up. He pointed east. “Mortals.”
Grey looked in that direction. East. The dragon realm and the Devil’s lands were east of here. He slid his blue gaze back to the male, his hackles rising and his animal side growing restless, prowling beneath his skin.
Was the male telling him the truth?
“Mortals?” Grey pointed east, along the length of the bar.
The male nodded and attempted a smile. It came off twisted and disturbing rather than reassuring.
“Definitely?” Because he was starting to get the feeling that the male was trying to get him killed. “Because dragons are that way.”
The male shook his head. “No dragons. Mortals.”
Grey pulled the map out of his trouser pocket, spread it across the bar top and jammed a finger against the area Sable had labelled as ‘here be dragons’ and had drawn what he imagined was meant to be a dragon, but it looked more like a snake fighting a spider.
“Dragons.” He tapped the paper.
The warlock shook his head again, his eyes darkening another shade and his thin lips flattening. He jabbed a black claw against a spot west of the dragons, and east of their current location.
“Mortals. There.”
So close?
Was it possible?
“Here?” Grey pointed to the map.
The male looked as if he was going to kill him if he asked again, an inky sort of darkness growing around his pupils to devour the pale green of his irises.
“Okay. Here it is. Got it. Thanks.” Grey bundled up his papers and his backpack in his arms and left before the male could even think about muttering a spell to flay his fur off his body.
He breathed deep as he hit the village square again, shaking off his nerves and the sensation that the male was trying to get him killed. He just smelled of death, that was all it was. It had put Grey on edge.
He looked back at the tavern. Even the succubi had avoided the male. He turned away from the village and headed east, glancing at the male’s tent as he passed it. It was set up a good distance from the rest of the tents and from the huts, placed right against the perimeter wall of the village.
That struck a chord in him.
The warlock had come to the village, but had separated himself from them, was keeping his distance even though he obviously wanted to be around others.
The male had been helpful, but because he had looked different to the others, Grey had found it difficult to trust him. He had judged him on his appearance, and had believed he wanted to kill him because of that. He was no better than the others.
He should have been.
Experience should have taught him something, should have made him react differently to the male, but he had treated him with suspicion, just like the rest.
Just like his pride had treated him.
All because he was different to them.
Gods, he was no better than them.
He hated that.
It weighed him down as he trekked east, following the lead the male had given him.
It took him across the valley basin to the foot of a low mountain range.
He looked along it in both directions, and then at his map. By his calculations, the quickest route would be over the mountains, because the range stretched in both directions for miles. If he tried to go around, it would take him at least another day to reach the destination the warlock had marked for him.
By then, Archangel might have moved on.
He adjusted his pack on his shoulders, huffed and started forwards, picking a path up the gently sloping side of the mountain. He crossed a trail around two hundred metres up and followed it as it wound through the sharp towering rocks and up through tall crevasses that sliced into the black mountain. The trail grew narrow near the top, heading towards a sweeping curve between two peaks.
He brought his pack around to his front and pressed his back against the black rock as he edged sideways along the path, his eyes on the steep drop to jagged rocks below and his heart hammering against his ribs. No damn way he was going to fall. He breathed through the fear, refusing to let it get to him, and looked to his right, focusing on the path instead.
It opened up a short distance ahead.
Relief was quick to sweep through him when his boots hit the wider path and the trail led away from the edge, over the ridge.
Gods, he was tired.
He pulled a cloth from his back pocket and wiped the sweat from his brow, and ran his other hand over his silver hair. He would rest on the other side. This high up the mountain, he was unlikely to run into any wild beasts. He could spare a few minutes to catch his breath and rest his legs. He unhooked the canteen from his pack, took a swig of the tepid water, and capped it and put it back again. He was getting low.
Thorne had warned him not to trust the water in Hell.
Apparently, some of it wasn’t water at all.
Grey didn’t want to know what that meant.
He figured it wouldn’t end well for him and that was enough to have him steering clear of hitting any stream he saw for a refill of his canteen.
He reached the top of the mountain.
His breath caught.
Good gods.
It was as if he could see the entire world.
Or at least all of Hell.
Beyond the valley far below him, steeper mountains rose, forming ridge after ridge into the distance, where the sky glowed bright gold. The Devil’s domain.
Hell was bleak, grim, but had a strange sort of beauty to it from up here.
He started down the mountain, his eyes leaping back to the view whenever they could, drinking it in. It was incredible. How big was Hell? He should have looked back in the other direction at the ridge to see if he could figure it out. Maybe he would stop there and drink it all in if he came back this way.
He picked out a spot to rest as he scouted the route ahead of him, a nice flat space just a little over halfway down the mountain and only accessible from one side, giving him some protection.
He was close to it when lights in the valley caught his eye.
He slowed his steps and tracked them as they flickered and danced, a row of flaming gold spots crossing the darkness, heading to his left, deeper into the valley.
He looked in the direction they were heading, and frowned. More lights glowed there. Another village? Or a base of operations for a mortal hunter organisation up to no good?
Thoughts of resting scattered and he marched down the mountain, intent on reaching the valley floor before the people walking towards the settlement reached it. He needed to find out if they were Archangel soldiers, and he needed to do it before they joined up with the others. He could handle a few hunters, but not an entire base of operations.
His boots skidded on the loose black shale as he hurried down the mountain, and he fought for balance more than once, attempting a controlled slide that would get him down into the valley quicker than using the paths.
When he hit the valley floor, he paused for breath, his eyes scanning the dimly lit world around him. He spotted the torches off to his left, about five hundred metres out from his current position. He drew down a deep breath, held it in his lungs to steady his heart and centre himself and exhaled slowly. His senses sharpened, his animal side rising to the fore, allowing him to see into the darkness ahead of him.
Allowing him to see the people crossing the valley.
Every inch of him stilled.
And then a slow burn started in his blood.
It wasn’t Archangel.
He growled low in his throat at the sight of the large male figures, at the thick chains they gripped, and the captives they dragged along behind them.
It was slave traders.
He caught a flash of the two tiger shifter females he had found huddled naked and terrified in their cages, held against their will by Pyotr, the male Maya had been promised to as a cub.
That burn grew hotter, fiercer, blazing white hot, and he curled his hands into fists, his emerging claws digging into his palms as his tiger side raged, battered his control and pushed him to react, to obey his instincts.
To protect.
No one deserved to be treated that way. No one deserved to be abused, mistreated, held captive and condemned to a life of fear.
He snarled through his fangs.
Dumped his backpack and stripped off his t-shirt.
These bastards were going to pay for what they were doing.

Purchase Links

Books in the Series

Book 1: Kissed by a Dark Prince (FREE AT SELECTED RETAILERS)
Book 2: Claimed by a Demon King
Book 3: Tempted by a Rogue Prince
Book 4: Hunted by a Jaguar
Book 5: Craved by an Alpha
Book 6: Bitten by a Hellcat
Book 7: Taken by a Dragon
Book 8: Marked by an Assassin
Book 9: Possessed by a Dark Warrior
Book 10: Awakened by a Demoness
Book 11: Haunted by the King of Death
Book 12: Turned by a Tiger
Book 13: Tamed by a Tiger
Book 14: Treasured by a Tiger

About Felicity

Felicity Heaton is a New York Times and USA Today international best-selling author writing passionate paranormal romance books. In her books, she creates detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons! If you’re a fan of paranormal romance authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and Christine Feehan then you will enjoy her books too.
If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, the best-selling Her Angel series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires then try the Vampires Realm series or any of her stand-alone vampire romance books. If you’re looking for vampire romances that are sinful, passionate and erotic then try the best-selling Vampire Erotic Theatre series. Or if you prefer huge detailed worlds filled with hot-blooded alpha males in every species, from elves to demons to dragons to shifters and angels, then take a look at the new Eternal Mates series.
If you want to know more about Felicity, or want to get in touch, you can find her at the following places:

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Chapter Reveal: Destiny Disgraced by Carrie Ann Ryan

We're just a little under a week away from the release of DESTINY DISGRACED by Carrie Ann Ryan - are you ready to read the first chapter? Read it below!


The Talon Pack continues with a new twist to the Packs and a revelation no one was prepared for.
Mitchell Brentwood is aware that others think he’s the harsh taskmaster Beta trying to keep his Pack alive, but they only see what he wants them to know. He’d once thought he had his path laid out before him, but when his future was violently ripped away, he vowed he’d never let anyone close again—especially not a young wolf from a traitorous Pack.
Dawn Levin may be younger than the war that destroyed her people, but she knows she must still pay for their sins. She’s ready to find her way in this new world where wolves and humans blend as one, but first, she needs to fight her attraction to the dark wolf that stands in her way.
While the two struggle with their feelings and burning attraction for each other, they can’t ignore the world that shakes beneath their feet. There is a new enemy on the horizon, one with revenge and the unknown on their minds. An adversary that might be closer than they realize.
Add DESTINY DISGRACED to your Goodreads list here!

DESTINY DISGRACED releases September 12th, 2017 - preorder your copy now!

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Read the first chapter of DESTINY DISGRACED:

Death was but a whisper away, and yet Mitchell Brentwood couldn’t breathe. With a slow blink, he moved to the side as a fist came at him, his opponent struggling to keep up with Mitchell’s moves. As the youth was only a teenager and still learning while Mitchell was the Beta of the Talon Pack, he didn’t blame the pup for not being fast enough.
He’d just train the kid until he sweated and cursed Mitchell out and then maybe the teen would be ready for whatever came next.
That was how Packs worked— always ready for the next battle, the next fight.
An odd thought for a wolf without a war to face.
He’d spent his life preparing for conflict or fighting an unseen master he’d never thought to find his way out from under, and now here he was, training young wolves to help them control their beasts, yet… alone.
His cousin Kameron punched his shoulder and frowned at him. Well, if one could call it a frown considering the man rarely if ever showed any emotion— no anger, no disappointment, no sadness, and certainly not a smile. While some called Mitchell a hard-ass bastard, they called Kameron the cold-ass one.
“What?” Mitchell growled. The punch hadn’t hurt since Kameron hadn’t put any heat behind it, but he still wasn’t expecting it. And considering he and his brother, Max, had been raised with the rest of the cousins as if they were brothers, it was the principle of the thing.
“Your mind is wandering, and you’re not paying attention.” Kameron’s gaze was on the juveniles in front of them and their training and not on him, so he flipped his cousin off. “Saw that. I’m pretty sure the kids saw that, too. Good job, oh fearless leader.”
“Suck me,” Mitchell whispered so low that only Kameron could hear. Since the trainees in front of them were also wolves, they had exceptional hearing, so he had to be careful how loud he spoke when he didn’t want others to listen in.
“No, thanks, cousin. Why don’t you find yourself a woman to do that? Maybe if you finally get laid, you’ll wipe that perpetual scowl off your face.”
A familiar ache pulsated deep inside, and it took everything within him not to let the pain cascading through him show on his face. He’d spent years perfecting that ability, yet each time it seemed to grow, increasing in need and dread.
Mitchell lashed out, kicking Kameron on the back of his knee. And though Mitchell was one of the best fighters in the Pack, he wasn’t the best. That title belonged to their Enforcer— Kameron. While Mitchell was the Beta of the Talons and in charge of the day-to-day needs of the Pack, Kameron, as the Enforcer, was in charge of their defense. It only made sense that his cousin would be a slightly better fighter— it was genetic. So instead of his foot making contact, Kameron leapt out of the way so gracefully that he could have been a dancer in another life instead of a soldier.
Then, they fought.
Well, not really, as they weren’t landing their punches or kicks, but they’d spent decades learning each other’s moves and weaknesses. Even though neither of them was the Alpha or the strongest wolf in the Pack, they still fought like what they were— some of the best.
The younger wolves around them stopped what they were doing to watch the older wolves fight, and Mitchell didn’t fault them for that. There was a reason he and his family were the highest in the hierarchy of the Pack, and they were damn good at what they did to protect their people. After a few minutes, they were both sweaty, their shirts sticking to their skin. Kameron’s mouth twitched as if he were smiling. For his non-emotive cousin, that was big.
“Maybe you should think about your dick and get off mine,” Mitchell said with a sneer.
“Why does everything you’re saying today sound so dirty?” Kameron asked, wiping his face with the bottom of his shirt. A few sighs sounded from some of the women in their training group, and Mitchell held back a snort. There was always someone lusting after Kam, as if they wanted to be the one to melt his icy exterior.
Not too many panted after Mitchell, and he was just fine with that. He’d done his best to make his asshole persona permanent for a reason.
“You’re just a pervert,” Mitchell finally answered as he rolled his shoulders. “You can’t help it, though, you’re from that line of the Brentwoods.”
Kameron flipped him off and almost smiled again. Two times in one day, that had to be a record. “Like your line is any better.” He shook his head and turned to the others, watching them. “Okay, that’s a wrap for the day. Let’s cool down. Then you guys get to hear what your next assignment is.”
Mitchell nodded. “You guys did good. All of you are learning to not only use your bodies as tools, but you’re controlling your beasts more and more.” The same could not be said for some of the older wolves in the Pack. That was why tomorrow’s training sessions would be with some of the dominants, who were already on shifts around the den. Even though the Pack wasn’t at war, that didn’t mean they could slack off in their training.
It had been a year since the final battle with the rogue human factions that didn’t know if they wanted to control the wolves or wipe them from existence. The Talons and their allies, the Redwoods, had lost many and endured countless other horrors that left horrific memories that would never fade. But in the end, a great sacrifice had saved them all. Mitchell still wasn’t sure how he felt about the fact that he hadn’t been strong enough to protect his people. It was the sacrifice of the others— the pain of others, including his brother, Max— that had won the war. Mitchell had only been there to fight.
But there wasn’t a battle to be fought with claw and fang now. The humans came out on the good side in the end, and now they were in a time of peace. A calm where the wolves were no longer stuck within their wards inside the den, afraid to go out in public for fear that they’d be attacked by those anxious of what they didn’t know or understand. Now, his people could go out and do what they’d done for hundreds of years before the Unveiling, before the wolves were forced out into the open, revealing their secrets.
Almost all of his Packmates had jobs outside the den. Hell, most of them had lived on the outside before everything crumbled down around them. When they’d been at war, things were a little tight within the wards, but they’d made it work because there hadn’t been another option. So, while many of the wolves had shifts within the den depending on their strengths, they also had jobs and lives outside the Pack’s domain.
It was how it should have been all along, and his people were just now getting used to the fact that this was how it would be again. Only this time, many of them weren’t hiding in plain sight. There wasn’t a national register for the shifters, as Washington had nixed that idea after the asshole senator, McMaster, was killed, but there were still some non-government sanctioned websites out there that had lists of names and information on shifters. His cousin and Alpha, Gideon, growled daily about the mere existence of it, but there was nothing they could do about it. In this age of technology, even humans had all of that information since it was out in the public for anyone to see. The wolves could only control so much.
So, yes, Mitchell’s people could go out and have jobs like they had in the past, but now they had to deal with the added pressure of being a wolf in human’s clothing. At least, that’s what others called them. Mitchell knew he was more than that. He was both— a wolf and a human, not just one or the other. That was how all shifters were, and they struggled with that balance every day. Hence the training sessions for juveniles and young adults like they just had. Adding hormones to the mix usually just made keeping control of one’s wolf that much harder.
And yet, with all the talk of peace, Mitchell had a feeling there was something else coming. He’d spent most of his life either at war or fighting battles within his own Pack, yet he felt his sense of knowing wasn’t because he missed the tension and anxiety. He just knew there was no way that things could suddenly be perfect and harmonious after everything that happened.
Something was going to change their peace, and Mitchell would be ready for it.
No matter what it took.
“You headed over to Gideon’s?” Kameron asked, rubbing the back of his neck. “I have to go help one of the soldiers with a problem on the outer perimeter, but Gideon said he wanted to see us at some point.”
Mitchell nodded. “I planned to stop by.” Plus, it would give him a chance to see his new niece. Though Gideon and the others weren’t technically his brothers, making the newest additions to the Brentwoods second cousins or something like that, everyone had taken to calling Max and Mitchell uncles anyway.
Max didn’t have a mate, and after the attack that had scarred his brother in more ways than one, Mitchell wasn’t sure that Max wanted a mate. And as for Mitchell… well… he knew for a fact that he wouldn’t find his mate. Ever.
There were just some things set in stone, and Mitchell being alone for the rest of his unnaturally long life was one of them. “Let him and Brie know I’ll stop by before dinner,” Kameron said before lifting his chin and heading to wherever he needed to be.
Mitchell sighed and made his way over to Gideon’s since he didn’t have any other plans for a few hours. He figured he might as well see what his Alpha needed instead of sitting alone in his house, wondering what the hell to do. And, damn, he needed to stop sounding so depressing. It had been easier when he had battles and strategy to plan, or when the den was bursting at the seams with people. Since it was his job to ensure that every Pack member had a roof over their heads and was situated enough for their wolves to remain calm, he had plenty to do when everyone was forced within the den under their failing wards.
Now, the wards were rebuilt thanks to his cousin Brandon and his two mates, and people had started moving back into their homes outside the den. That meant there was less for Mitchell to do. And he hated it.
As he made his way to the front of Gideon’s house, he heard the giggle of a sweet one-year-old and pushed all those thoughts to the side. Gideon and Brie’s daughter, Fallon, toddled over to him, though she almost tripped a few times. He bent down to pick her up, brushing his lips over the top of her head when he pulled her close. She patted his mouth with her tiny hands and babbled incoherently. He was pretty sure a few of the things she said were actually words, but he couldn’t make sense of them.
Only Gideon and Brie could understand their daughter, the same as how his cousin Ryder and his wife Leah could understand their son, Bryson Roland. In the past year, there’d been three new Brentwoods born into the world— well, two Brentwoods and a Jamenson since his cousin Brynn mated a Redwood wolf named Finn. They’d had their daughter Mackenzie a couple of months ago, around the same time that Bryson was born. Still, the fact that there was three more was a whole hell of a lot, considering there hadn’t been an addition to their family in over a century. They were wolves after all, and lived ages longer than humans. They could spend lifetimes alone before eventually finding their mates, and some even waited longer to have children, preferring to spend time as a mated couple before adding to their family. The fact that the Brentwoods kept finding their mates in such quick succession would have worried Mitchell, but it wasn’t as if he would find his mate. Not with everything he’d been through in the past.
“I see,” Mitchell said solemnly, nodding his head as Fallon continued her conversation. He thought he heard something about a puppy, but that could have been any number of people in their wolf form, so he honestly didn’t know.
“You’re good with her,” Brie, his Alpha’s mate, said with a small smile. He hated the way she always seemed to see too much of him. She was a submissive wolf mated to the Alpha of their Pack. And while it might not make sense to outsiders, it made all the sense in the world to those inside the wards. She protected the Pack in her own way, her worth and contribution to the Pack’s needs something none of them even knew they were missing until she showed up and took care of them.
If he weren’t such a jerk, he might have been nicer to her, but he needed to keep her at a distance. He needed to keep everyone at arm’s length.
“She’s easy,” he said with a shrug before handing Fallon over to her mother. “Gideon said he wanted to talk to me,” he added instead of saying hello.
Brie ran her hand down Fallon’s back as the little girl started to doze off. It must have been near her naptime, or the little girl wouldn’t have started to fall asleep so easily. She was usually a burst of energy and babbles.
“He had to go meet with Kade, but he told me he texted you.” She rocked back and forth as Fallon fell fully asleep in her mother’s arms. The little girl would one day be Alpha— a first for the Talons, and maybe even all the Packs as Mitchell hadn’t heard of a female Alpha before. It wasn’t that they weren’t strong or capable because, hell, female dominants were tougher than most men he knew. No, it was because becoming the Alpha, Heir, Beta, Enforcer, Omega, or Healer wasn’t something someone could fight for or try to attain. Those titles were bestowed— he held back a mental cringe at that word— upon them by the moon goddess. The goddess had made the first wolf, the first shifter, and also determined the hierarchies needed for a Pack. Mitchell hadn’t learned until recently that those first goddess-touched were Talons. In fact, the first wolves who made the Pack were actually reincarnated as the triplets— Kameron, Walker, and Brandon.
Mitchell still wasn’t sure he quite believed that and, hell, didn’t know if he wanted to, but it wasn’t his business, so he chose not to think about it.
He shook himself out of those thoughts and held back a curse as he pulled out his phone and saw that he had indeed missed a text from Gideon. “I didn’t feel it vibrate and didn’t have the ringer on since we were training. Sorry to bother you at naptime.”
Brie just smiled and shook her head. “You’re never a bother. Do you want to come in for something to drink? I’m headed to the maternal council meeting in a bit, but I have an hour or so.”
Mitchell was shaking his head before she’d finished her sentence. He preferred being alone to having Brie so close where she saw too much of him. And it always hurt him when he remembered exactly who she reminded him of.
He quickly pushed those thoughts from his brain and did his best not to rub at the three jagged scars on his chest. He’d been too in his head today and needed to do something different, or he’d end up drowning himself in a bottle of tequila later and be of no use to anyone.
“I need to pick up a few things from town. I should get on that. Do you need anything?” The den was pretty self-sufficient and had enough land to remain that way for years, but they’d been trying to do more outside the den walls since the end of the war. Mitchell was only doing his part, he reminded himself. He wasn’t running away. Not again.
“Can you pick up a bag of coffee beans from that shop down on First?” she asked with a bright smile. “I know I can get beans in bulk online or even at another store, but now that I’m allowed caffeine again, I seemed to have found myself a new craving. If it’s out of your way, though, I can pick some up later.”
Mitchell nodded even as he went through his memory to see if he’d ever actually been inside that shop. He knew that Brynn loved that place and still went there with her mate, but he didn’t venture into coffee shops much. Too many people, and way too many scents for his wolf nose.
“Just tell me what kind you want and how much, and I’ll pick them up.” He made a note in his phone when she told him the name then gave her a nod and walked away.
His wolf had begun prowling inside him, and he wasn’t sure if it was about Brie or what she represented. Either way, he needed to get far enough away that he could calm his wolf and forget about the pain that he lived with every day.
Because the one thing they didn’t talk about when it came to mating was that if a bond broke, a wolf could still feel it. Mitchell felt the echo of what had been, the life he’d been promised, with every breath.
But he’d lost all that, and had learned to live like he was now. His mate was dead.
And wolves like him didn’t get second chances.

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About Carrie Ann Ryan

Carrie Ann Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance. Her works include the Montgomery Ink, Redwood Pack, Talon Pack, and Gallagher Brothers series, which have sold over 2.0 million books worldwide. She started writing while in graduate school for her advanced degree in chemistry and hasn’t stopped since. Carrie Ann has written over fifty novels and novellas with more in the works. When she’s not writing about bearded tattooed men or alpha wolves that need to find their mates, she’s reading as much as she can and exploring the world of baking and gourmet cooking.
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