Tag Archives: shifters

Review of Shifting Dreams (Cambio Springs #1), by Elizabeth Hunter

I downloaded a copy of Shifting Dreams (by Elizabet Hunter) from Amazon, when it was free. It was still free at the time of posting.

Description from Gooreads:
Somedays, Jena Crowe just can’t get a break. Work at her diner never ends, her two boys are bundles of energy, and she’s pretty sure her oldest is about to shift into something furry or feathery. Added to that, changes seem to be coming to the tiny town of Cambio Springs—big changes that not everyone in the isolated town of shapeshifters is thrilled about.

Caleb Gilbert was looking for change, and the quiet desert town seemed just the ticket for a more peaceful life. He never counted on violence finding him, nor could he have predicted just how crazy his new life would become.

When murder rocks their small community, Caleb and Jena will have to work together. And when the new Chief of Police isn’t put off by any of her usual defenses, Jena may be faced with the most frightening change of all: lowering the defenses around her carefully guarded heart.

Surprisingly good

I found that I appreciated an Urban Fantasy comprised of characters with families, children. It was a change from the almost always early twenties UF heroine we’re so often handed. I liked Jena and Caleb, Caleb especially, and both of her children were adorable. And the mythos of Cambio Springs was interesting.

I did get lost in all the names. There were a lot of side characters and they were hard to keep track of. I also thought Jena’s freakout about sex (or moving forward with a relationship, signaled by sex) was cliched for a 30+ year old, widowed, mother or two. I wanted her to be more in control of that aspect of herself, but I also feel that such a reaction has become sadly expected in this sort of book and I hate that Hunter fell in line so easily.

All in all, however, I’d be happy to read more of this series.

Review of Beauty and the Clockwork Beast, by Nancy Campbell Allen

I borrowed a copy of Beauty and the Clockwork Beast, by Nancy Campbell Allen, from my local library.

Description from Goodreads:
When Lucy Pickett arrives at Blackwell Manor to tend to her ailing cousin, Kate, she finds more than she bargained for. A restless ghost roams the hallways, werewolves have been reported in the area, and vampires lurk across the Scottish border. Lord Miles himself is clearly hiding a secret. He is brash and inhospitable, and does not take kindly to visitors—even one as smart and attractive as Miss Pickett. He is unsettled by the mysterious deaths of his new wife, Clara, and his sister, Marie. Working together, Miles and Lucy attempt to restore peace to Blackwell Manor. But can Lucy solve the mystery of Miles? Can she love the man—beast and all?

Amusing, but nothing exceptional. Lucy is your oft-seen plucky, science-minded, Victorian lady and Blackwell is charmed by her almost immediately, despite being a beastly grump. They were sweet. But so much of the book is established but never explored. There was a war apparently, Blackwell and his three besties fought in it. No idea what it was about, but there were laser guns. There are vampires and they’re bad apparently, and there’s some sort of “vampiric assimilation aide” that lets them blend in with people. But no depth to the vampire mythos. Same can be said for werewolves. There are steamships and telegraphers and tesla coils, but no real clues about how this effects society. Really, no proof that this is ‘steampunk’ as the cover proclaims and not electro-punk, ether-punk, diesel-punk, etc because the technology is kept vague. I didn’t dislike it. I enjoyed the read, but I wasn’t blown away.

Review of The Wilde Crew: Rhett (The Shifters of Wilde Ranch #1), by Kim Fox

I downloaded a copy of Kim Fox‘s The Wilde Crew: Rhett when it was free on Amazon.

Description from Goodreads:
Skin Shifter, Rhett Jones, is the new shifter cop in Colwood, Montana. His first day on the job has him going toe to paw with a truly dominant grizzly bear shifter and the beautiful girl who is desperately trying to keep the fierce animal under control. He thought the bear was tough but she was nothing compared to the feisty girl hiding inside.

Bear shifter, Joan Heller, is just trying to find a new home but her out of control grizzly bear is ruining everything once again. She’s one phase away from being kicked out of town until she meets up with the sexy cop with the entourage of ravens who offers his help and his home to her.

Things get wild when the Wilde Crew get thrown into the mix and threaten to make the unstable situation explode. Will the new boys in town be the new family that Rhett and Joan need? Or will they be the detonator that blows everything to pieces?

Well, this book has good reviews and it started well, with the main character and his friends being lovable screw-ups. And it was funny. Unfortunately that wasn’t enough to carry the book when the rest of it fell apart.

There is no conflict in this book, not really. The author threw a half-baked love triangle in for no conceivable reason that substitutes for one for a little while. Let me think, hmm, no that was it and it wasn’t even solved by the end of the book. There was no other conflict, so the book was dull.

It’s basically insta-love, but fails even at that since the pitiful triangle meant the main female was admiring two men when the plot should have been solidifying the love between the two main characters. The sex is abrupt, out of no where and includes role play, which would be fine if the characters had known each-other more than 2 days and either of them had a personality that lead the reader to believe they’d be into that kind of thing. Or done anything to suggest to the other that they’d be open to it. I literally rolled my eyes at the sex scenes.

I appreciated the female alpha. (Though it should be noted she still needed a man to become Alpha.) The writing isn’t horrible, like I said it’s funny, but there is too much tell, not enough show, almost no development of characters, world or plot and it doesn’t really accomplish anything. I finished the book wondering what the point had been.