Early Review: Shades of Wicked by Jeaniene Frost

Shades of Wicked by Jeaniene Frost
Series: Night Rebel #1
Publication Date: October 30th 2018
Links: Ebook • Paperback • HardcoverAudible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

In this thrilling new Night Rebel series set in New York Times bestselling author Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress world, sexy and ruthless vampire Ian finally meets his match!

The Rule Breaker…

Master vampire Ian is unrepentant, shameless…and every shade of wicked. He’s made one too many enemies in his two centuries of existence, including Dagon, a demon who now lays claim to his soul. Ian’s only chance to escape Dagon is to join forces with a Law Guardian, but he’s never been able to abide by the rules for long.

The Law Maker…

Veritas’ normal role is police, judge, and jury to reprobates like Ian. But she has her own ax to grind with Dagon, so if she can use Ian as bait…well, all’s fair in law and war. As they scour supernatural hotspots to perfect their trap, Veritas soon realizes Ian’s carefully cultivated, devil-may-care roguish image hides something much more powerful. And Ian discovers Veritas has shocking secrets of her own. As they’re drawn to each other with a passion as intense as their peril, either love or justice will prevail. But each will have devastating consequences.

Shades of Wicked was one of my most anticipated reads of 2018. I love Jeaniene Frost and her Night World books (Vlad is mine, everyone), so when she announced that everyone’s favorite side character Ian would be getting his own story, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. I had no doubt I would enjoy it, but I didn’t realize I would love it THIS much. I honestly wasn’t sure how Jeaniene Frost was going to make the world’s greatest manwhore fall for one woman and one woman only, but she did it in such an impressive way. This isn’t an instalove story but rather a slow burn romance that was so worth the wait. But now I’m dying over the ending and need book two stat!

Ian is the epitome of everything a manwhore is: beyond sexual, shameless, dirty, and utterly wicked. This worked as a secondary, comic relief character in previous series, but now we get to see something deeper beyond that. Not to say that he changes an inch of his wild ways when he meets his match in Law Guardian Veritas, who is his opposite in every way. He is still his cocky self, but seeing him focus 100% of his sensuality on one woman is a heady thing.

Veritas is quickly becoming one of my favorite PNR heroines. We’ve seen glimpses of her in previous books, but now we get to know who she truly is, and she’s not the stuffy, law-abiding vampire everyone thinks she is. She makes a fantastic, strong, relatable heroine, and I’m so glad that she is the one to knock Ian off his feet (literally and figuratively).

I don’t want to talk too much about the plot, since it’s best to just experience it, but I do want to say that it’s a testament to Jeaniene Frost’s writing skill that it was so easy to dive back into this unique, fantastic paranormal world she created first in Halfway to the Grave. It felt like I never left the world, and we get plenty of cameos of old favorites, which was a plus. It’s not entirely necessary to read the Night Huntress and Night Prince series before starting Shades of Wicked, though I highly recommend it, not just because they are great series themselves. But whether you’re starting Shades of Wicked on its own or after reading 10+ Night World books, you absolutely won’t be disappointed with this sexy, action-filled paranormal romance.


lacey


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Early Review: Stripped by Zoey Castile

Stripped by Zoey Castile
Series: Happy Endings #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: August 28th 2018
Links: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Skilled, sculpted, and sexy, the men of adult entertainment are the kind of guys a woman reserves for her fantasies, not her reality. But is there more to these professional hotties than meets the eye? . . .

The day Robyn Flores meets Zac Fallon is one of those days. You know, when you’re already late for work. Mostly because you haven’t really slept since your best friend abandoned you for her fiancé and her exponentially better life. The kind of day you drag yourself to the cleaners to pick up your laundry, only to discover you’ve got the wrong bag—Star Spangled sequined thong, anyone? So Robyn is definitely not ready for the ridiculously gorgeous guy at her front door, except that they have each other’s clothes. But then, is any woman ever ready to meet the love of her life?

There’s just one problem: Zac Fallon is not the love of Robyn’s life. Zac knows, despite the all-too-intimate dinner they share, he doesn’t have a shot at her. Because the next time Zac sees Robyn, he’s front and center of the male revue headlining her best friend’s bachelorette party. So much for wooing the pretty schoolteacher, much less impressing her old-fashioned family, with his upstanding lifestyle. Now he’s only got one way to win his dream girl. It’s gonna be the steamiest, most irresistible seduction she’s ever seen. And this time it will be no act . . .

I had such high hopes for Stripped – I mean, a stripper and a fifth-grade teacher? To say I was intrigued would be an understatement, and I ended up adoring Fallon and Robyn. Their romance was surprisingly so much sweeter than I expected, but just as dirty and sexy as I was hoping a stripper romance would be. It was so easy to fall into the story, the writing, the characters. Zoey Castile is a new author you don’t want to miss. And if you’re a fan of Magic Mike, you absolutely need to read Stripped!

Robyn Flores’ life is a bit of a mess. She’s an elementary school teacher who is perpetually late getting to work. She used to have plans growing up on how exactly her life would turn out, and it’s all spiraled out from under her. But things start to change when she finds a sequined thong in her laundry… a thong that belongs to her next door neighbor, who is also one of the strippers who shows up at her best friend’s bachelorette party.

Fallon is not ashamed of being a stripper, and why should he be? He embraces his job that has led him to become successful and comfortable in life, a change from his childhood. He sees no shame in what he does, though he hates that people disrespect him and look down on him when they find out what he does for a living. He and Robyn feel an instant connection the moment they meet and the chemistry between them is on fire. I loved every moment they were together, as they banter with each other and form a closer bond. Fallon is absolutely perfect for Robyn, with the way he treats her so preciously. The way he embraces his job helps Robyn discover and embrace her own true passion in life. Robyn frustrated me a bit with her back and forth – in both life and with Fallon – but that was balanced out by how kindhearted Fallon was. Stripped was surprisingly low on drama, but it worked for their story.

As far as first books in a series go, Stripped was fantastic. It was entertaining, funny, but also had its meaningful moments. Also, Zoey Castile is way too talented at writing stripper scenes, because they just come to life right out of the pages. And they are HOT. I can’t wait to see what else she has in store for her readers with the rest of the series, and I’m so excited to see more strippers fall in love!


lacey


Reading Order: Happy Endings series

  

#1 ~ Stripped: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads (Aug. 28, 2018)
#2 ~ Hired: Ebook • PaperbackGoodreads (Feb. 26, 2019)
#3 ~ Flashed: Goodreads (2019)


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Early Review: Wild Hunger by Chloe Neill

Wild Hunger by Chloe Neill
Series: Heirs of Chicagoland #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: August 14th 2018
Links: Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

In the first thrilling installment of Chloe Neill’s spinoff to the New York Times bestselling Chicagoland Vampires series, a new vampire will find out just how deep blood ties run.

As the only vampire child ever born, some believed Elisa Sullivan had all the luck. But the magic that helped bring her into the world left her with a dark secret. Shifter Connor Keene, the only son of North American Central Pack Apex Gabriel Keene, is the only one she trusts with it. But she’s a vampire and the daughter of a Master and a Sentinel, and he’s prince of the Pack and its future king.

When the assassination of a diplomat brings old feuds to the fore again, Elisa and Connor must choose between love and family, between honor and obligation, before Chicago disappears forever.

I have been a big fan of Chloe Neill’s since I discovered her Chicagoland Vampires series years ago. The first few books are still some of my favorite paranormal/urban fantasy reads. I did however put the series on hold around book 10, but when I heard the author would be releasing a new spinoff series, I knew I had to catch up on the CV series. Fast forward to me racing through the last few books and figuring out just how Merit and Ethan ended up with a baby, and I finally get to Wild Hunger. I honestly wasn’t sure how this spinoff series about their child would turn out, but I have to say that I was not disappointed! I had so much fun returning to the world Chloe Neill created and fell in love with Elisa Sullivan.

Elisa is the only known born vampire to exist. Born to the powerhouse vampire couple of Chicago, she is the princess of Cadogan House, though that doesn’t mean she’s spoiled. She’s smart, headstrong, and responsible – she wants to be treated like any other vampire and goes training in Paris to get that equal treatment. But when she returns home to Chicago for peace treaty talks, tension is brewing between the vampires, werewolves, and fae. All hell breaks loose when one of her friends is framed for murder, with Elisa caught right in the middle.

I loved this exciting, new, fresh take on the vampire world Chloe Neill created. Elisa makes a fantastic heroine and investigator, a role previously held by her mother. I am so happy with her love interest as well: Connor Keene, the future king of the shifter Pack. They’ve known each other their whole lives, most of which they spent annoying each other, but Elisa’s years away from Chicago makes them see each other in a new light. I see so much potential for the two of them and they are definitely what I’m most excited about for the rest of the series! I loved seeing old faces, but Chloe Neill writes them in a way that doesn’t overshadow this new generation. Wild Hunger is a great start to this spinoff series, with plenty of action, political intrigue, chemistry between the main characters, and I already can’t wait for more.


lacey


Wild Hunger is the first book in the spinoff series of the Chicagoland Vampires series. Though it can be read as a standalone, I highly recommend reading the CV series as well.

Reading Order: Chicagoland Vampires series

   
 
   
   

#1 ~ Some Girls Bite: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Friday Night Bites: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Twice Bitten: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Hard Bitten: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#5 ~ Drink Deep: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#6 ~ Biting Cold: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#7 ~ House Rules: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#8 ~ Biting Bad: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#8.5 ~ Howling for You: Ebook • Goodreads
#9 ~ Wild Things: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#10 ~ Blood Games: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#10.5 ~ Lucky Break: EbookGoodreads
#11 ~ Dark Debt: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#12 ~ Midnight Marked: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#12.5 ~ Phantom Kiss: Ebook • AudibleGoodreads
#13 ~ Blade Bound: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#13.5 ~ Slaying It: EbookGoodreads


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Release Day Review: Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs

Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs
Series: Alpha & Omega #5 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: March 6th 2018
Links: Ebook • Hardcover • Audible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

In her bestselling Alpha and Omega series, Patricia Briggs “spins tales of werewolves, coyote shifters, and magic and, my, does she do it well” (USATODAY.com). Now mated werewolves Charles Cornick and Anna Latham face a threat like no other–one that lurks too close to home…

They are the wild and the broken. The werewolves too damaged to live safely among their own kind. For their own good, they have been exiled to the outskirts of Aspen Creek, Montana. Close enough to the Marrok’s pack to have its support; far enough away to not cause any harm.

With their Alpha out of the country, Charles and Anna are on call when an SOS comes in from the fae mate of one such wildling. Heading into the mountainous wilderness, they interrupt the abduction of the wolf–but can’t stop blood from being shed. Now Charles and Anna must use their skills–his as enforcer, hers as peacemaker–to track down the attackers, reopening a painful chapter in the past that springs from the darkest magic of the witchborn…

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Patricia Briggs is one of the best urban fantasy authors I’ve ever read. I adore her Mercy Thompson series, but the Alpha & Omega series is what I LIVE for. Charles and Anna are two of my all-time favorite beloved characters – the beginning of their romance was slow and sweet, but with each book, they prove just how much they are meant to be mates. I honestly could read about them forever, so to say I was excited about Burn Bright would be an understatement. If you’ve been a fan of the series, you’ll definitely want to pick up Burn Bright.

Ours, said Brother Wolf. She is perfect, our soul mate, our anchor, the reason we were created. So that we could be hers.

I don’t want to go much into detail about the plot because the blurb explains it perfectly. I do want to say that this book shouldn’t be read as a standalone – this is a complex, fascinating paranormal world that Patricia Briggs has created, and it’ll be easier to understand if you start from the beginning. Plus, more Anna and Charles 😉

Anna slipped her hand under Charles’ tee, just at the small of his back, and let her fingers rest against the skin there. Brother Wolf relaxed. Anna made Brother Wolf happier than killing their enemies would have.

The author’s writing always amazes me every time I open one of her books. It reads simply but beautifully, every word holding significance. I love the way she writes all the little details, especially about Anna and Charles, because it makes me more immersed in their world and in love with the characters. It’s usually hard for me to dive back into a series after a year or two wait, but Patricia Briggs is so skilled in bringing me back into the series as if no time has passed. It almost has me not minding the wait… almost.

Anna started to agree but then stopped and shook her head. “No. Then I wouldn’t have Charles. He’s worth all the rest.”
“Charlie?” said Sage. She started to say something else, but she shook her head and gave Anna a rueful smile. “Charlie sure thinks the sun rises and sets on you, that’s for sure.”

Each book in the A&O series is suspenseful and action-packed, and Burn Bright is no different. I loved reading about Charles and Anna again, and already want more of them. This book is a fantastic addition to an incredible series and I can’t wait to see where Patricia Briggs will take us next!


lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.


Series Order: Alpha & Omega series

Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs
Fair Game by Patricia Briggs Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs 

#1 ~ Cry Wolf: Ebook • Hardcover • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Hunting Ground: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Fair Game: Ebook • Hardcover • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Dead Heat: My Review • Ebook • Hardcover • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#5 ~ Burn Bright: Ebook • Hardcover • Audible • Goodreads

The Alpha & Omega series is a spinoff of the Mercy Thompson series!

Reading Order: Mercy Thompson series

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs
 Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs River Marked by Patricia Briggs
Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs   

#1 ~ Moon Called: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Blood Bound: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ Iron Kissed: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#4 ~ Bone Crossed: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#5 ~ Silver Borne: EbookHardcoverPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#6 ~ River Marked: EbookHardcoverPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#7 ~ Frost Burned: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#8 ~ Night Broken: EbookHardcover • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#9 ~ Fire Touched: My Review • EbookHardcover • Audible • Goodreads
#10 ~ Silence Fallen: My Review • EbookHardcover • Audible • Goodreads
#11 ~ Storm Cursed: Goodreads (March 2019)


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Early Review: Marriage of Inconvenience by Penny Reid

Marriage of Inconvenience by Penny Reid
Series: Knitting in the City #7 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: March 6th 2018
Links: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

There are three things you need to know about Kat Tanner (aka Kathleen Tyson. . . and yes, she is *that* Kathleen Tyson): 1) She’s determined to make good decisions, 2) She must get married ASAP, and 3) She knows how to knit.

Being a billionaire heiress isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, it sucks. Determined to live a quiet life, Kat Tanner changed her identity years ago and eschewed her family’s legacy. But now, Kat’s silver spoon past has finally caught up with her, and so have her youthful mistakes. To avoid imminent disaster, she must marry immediately; it is essential that the person she chooses have no romantic feelings for her whatsoever and be completely trustworthy.

Fortunately, she knows exactly who to ask. Dan O’Malley checks all the boxes: single, romantically indifferent to her, completely trustworthy. Sure, she might have a wee little crush on Dan the Security Man, but with clear rules, expectations, and a legally binding contract, Kat is certain she can make it through this debacle with her sanity—and heart—all in one piece.

Except, what happens when Dan O’Malley isn’t as indifferent—or as trustworthy—as she thought?

“Knitting means never having to say you’re sorry.”

Kat and Dan’s story has seemed like it has been a long time coming, but trust me, Penny Reid will not disappoint you! I binge read and caught up on all the KitC books I hadn’t read yet to prepare myself for Marriage of Inconvenience, which was SUCH a fun experience. It’s not necessary to read the entire series before starting Marriage of Inconvenience because I know, they are such big books, but I do recommend them, not only because they are all fantastic reads, but also for the lead-up to Kat and Dan’s romance.

Marriage of Inconvenience takes on the classic marriage of convenience trope, but in Penny Reid fashion, she delivers the trope in her own unique, intelligent, complex way. Kat has always been a bit of a mystery to not only readers, but also her group of knitting friends. We know that she’s richer than God, and has got a crush on Dan O’Malley since they first met. Both finally come into play when Kat needs a man to help save her family’s legacy, and who better than Dan the Security Man?

“I want it all, Kit-Kat. I want all of you.”
I nodded, sniffing. “I want all of you, too.”
He placed a gentle kiss over my mouth, and then brushed his lips over the tears on my cheeks before resting his forehead against mine and closing his eyes.
“And I want it to last.” It was a rough whisper.
The words sounded like a wish.

Despite it being fake, there are real, complicated feelings on both sides of this marriage. Kat and Dan both want this to work in the long run, but they’re terrified that the feelings they have for each other aren’t strong enough to last. I ADORED these two characters – they’re both clueless about love, but I couldn’t help but love them anyway. Kat is fierce and lovable – she’s had to be tough to survive in the ruthless world she grew up in. Dan is an absolute sweetheart with a heart of gold and mouth of unending curses. He is protective, kind, and devoted to making Kat happy and safe. And anyway, how can you not love a man who names his dog Bark Wahlberg? In between the lovey dovey stuff (where it’s OBVIOUS they’re meant for each other), there is some action and suspense that makes you unable to put this read down.

I don’t want to delve too much into the plot, because it’s best just to experience the wonder that is the knitting group and their men together. Penny Reid has created a wonderful, unforgettable cast of characters I could read about forever. I highly recommend Marriage of Inconvenience (and the rest of the series, for those who haven’t started) for fans of slow burn romances, with a little kick to them. And for those of you who’ve been patiently waiting for Kat and Dan, you don’t have to wait much longer!

“I’m in love with you. You’re my fucking–fucking sunshine. My goddamn everything. You’re the center of my whole fucking universe. I’d give up swearing for you, I swear. If you asked, I’d never say the word fuck every again, that’s how much I love you. I love you more than fuck, so that’s a whole-fuckavalot.”


lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.


Reading Order: Knitting in the City series

Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid Neanderthal Marries Human by Penny Reid Friends Without Benefits by Penny Reid
Love Hacked by Penny Reid Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid Ninja At First Sight by Penny Reid
Happily Ever Ninja by Penny Reid  

#1 ~ Neanderthal Seeks Human: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#1.5 ~ Neanderthal Marries Human: Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Friends Without Benefits: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Love Hacked: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Beauty and the Mustache: Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#4.5 ~ Ninja at First Sight: My Review • My Review • EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#5 ~ Happily Ever Ninja: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#6 ~ Dating-ish: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#7 ~ Marriage of Inconvenience: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads (March 6, 2017)


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