Audiobook Review by Kristie: Once Upon a Wolf, by Rhys Ford (Narration by Derrick McClain)

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Once Upon a Wolf, by Rhys Ford
Narration by: Derrick McClain
Series: The Wayward Wolves, Book 1
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 16, 2018

Book Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Audio Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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Blog Tour: Uncaged, by Lisa Oliver and T.J. Oliver (Excerpt, Interview, & Giveaway!)

Cover Artist: Lisa Oliver

 Uncaged, by Lisa Oliver and T.J. Oliver
Series: Shifter Uprising, Book One
Publisher: Oliver Group Publications (June 2015)
Word Count: 44,000 words
Genre: Gay (M/M) Paranormal, Romance/Erotica

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I’m really excited to be hosting the blog tour for Uncaged today, by Lisa Oliver and T.J. Oliver! This is an action-packed shifter romance with a “growly Alpha who lets his emotions get the best of him, and a hybrid shifter with a wicked imagination”… sounds pretty good to me!

I’m also thrilled to have Lisa Oliver join me today for an interview!

So keep reading for an excerpt from the novel, an interview with Lisa, and your chance to win an e-copy of the book for yourself!

Summary:

Carlin is an Alpha Wolf Fighter, one of only three in the top spots at the Souterrain – an underground fighting club, run by the Elite to punish shifters who have gone outside of the laws. He’s happy enough, only has to fight exhibition matches, has his own apartment space, food and sex on tap – yep, life it good. So when Martin offers him the chance to fight for his freedom, Carlin turns it down. It’s no fun being a lone wolf and Carlin is quite happy where he is.

Then Lucas catches his eye. A handsome man, a stunning fighter, moving up through the ranks fast. Lucas might not have the killer attitude that most men at the Souterrain have, but he’s got the moves. Carlin has no problems insisting the man is bought to his apartment – sex is never a bad idea. But when he catches Lucas’s scent and realizes the man is his fated mate, suddenly getting him to bed is the least of his problems. Lucas wants to be free, and for the first time in a long time, so does Carlin.

Unfortunately there is more to Lucas than meets the eye. Martin certainly has no intention of letting them go, and if he has to have Carlin killed to keep Lucas at the Souterrain, then the man has no problems with that either. Suddenly the deal Carlin makes with Martin goes horribly wrong, and Carlin and Lucas realize that the price for freedom might be Carlin’s life, and even then Lucas will not be free.

Final

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Review: House of the Rising Son, by Trevann Rogers (Rating: 3/5)

rogers-house-of-rising-sonHouse of the Rising Son, by Trevann Rogers (Living After Midnight, Book 1)
Publisher: Samhain Publishing (September 22, 2015)
Page Count:257 pages
Genre: Bisexual (M/M) Romance, Paranormal/Shifter

Rating: 3 out of 5

* I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review. *

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Summary:

Sex. Rebellion. Rock and roll.

Cheyenne is a half-human incubus whose star is on the rise in the Unakite City rock scene. His father, the leader of the supernatural races, would prefer he keep a “low profile”, but screw that. Cheyenne has as much music in his veins as royal incubi blood.

Alexander’s future is all set—finish law school, join the family firm, and marry someone who’d be good for business. Not that he has a say in any of it. He’s barely met the woman his father expects him to marry.

As Cheyenne’s musical career takes off, his carefully constructed life begins to unravel, exacerbated by an ex-lover who can’t let go, a crotchety barkeeper with a dirty mind and a pure heart, a drag queen who moonlights as a nanny, and Alexander—who’s not sure if he’s falling for the incubus or the rocker.

Cheyenne denies who he is, while Alexander hides what he wants. Together, they learn that getting what they truly want means being who they truly are.

Warning: Contains hot were-tiger sex, a Thanksgiving celebration that makes the Inquisition look like a tea party, and an incubus who’ll rock your world.


My Review:

A paranormal/shifter romance with a few very intriguing twists… I have to admit, the plot for this novel definitely makes it stand out among other novels in the genre. An heir to Incubus royalty who doesn’t want a thing to do with his family, and a reluctant (and incredibly confused) newly-turned shifter? Sounds good to me!

“You may have caught a virus that’s causing you to heal quickly.”

Alexander quickly adjusted his shirt. “Kind of a helpful virus, isn’t it? I never heard of anything like that.”

“Yes, you probably have. It’s called Lycanthropy.” (Kindle Loc. 1216)

Cheyenne is not your typical Incubus. For one thing, he has no Powers, meaning he’s mostly human. I really liked that aspect, because normally in supernatural fiction the Incubus is extremely sexual, and their sexuality is a central part of who they are. But for Chey, his entire character revolves around his music and his love of his two kids. He doesn’t care about the Incubus part of his bloodline; he just wants to play guitar and live life.

I didn’t like Alexander’s character quite so much. He folds too easily to other people’s wills, and it was frustrating to read a character who really can’t (or won’t) stand up for himself. Even when he finally resolves to say no to his father, he finds himself backing down at the last second.

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Consuela, the sassy trans lady who babysits Chey’s kids, was a total hero. She was funny, badass, and a heck of a lot of fun!

However, the writing here was just not very good. Plain and simple. Maybe it’s because there were two writers, but the entire time I read the novel I kept highlighting scenes where authors told instead of showing. Don’t say “He was a complex man”, SHOW ME that he’s complex (Loc. 457)! Language was awkward and word choice was sometimes baffling (eg, “ooze” is not a sexy word (Loc. 1315/2148)!

The writing and language are what bumped this from a 4 or 5 star novel to a 3. The plot was great, but the writing was frankly not very good, and I struggled over and over to keep interest in what was happening. There were also some very weak sub-plots that could have been firmed up or erased altogether, which detracted from overall enjoyment.

I’d say give it a shot if you enjoy shifter/paranormal m/m romances, because it’s an original, interesting plot.

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