Tag Archives: shifters

Review of New Beginnings, by Brandy L. Rivers

I picked New Beginnings, by Brandy L. Rivers up for free on Amazon. I later picked up the compilation of books 1-3 in the series. Thus, I actually have two copies of it. Lucky me.

Description from Goodreads:
Jess knew her life would never move forward if she remained a part of Gregory’s pack. Some Alpha’s just don’t know how to take care of their wolves. She had managed Gregory’s bar for years but she knew he would never sell it to her. 

After one giant mistake, he went from bad to worse. As a psychic, she knew it was a downward spiral. 

Taking her future in her own hands, she contacts the Alpha in Edenton. He is happy to sell the empty bar no one has the time, nor desire to renovate, much less run. 

Their attraction is unexpected and the last thing either want, but they find the only thing they need in each other. 

There is just one problem. Slater’s second in command is plotting against him. Liam will use anything to take over as Alpha. 

Plenty of werewolves, an old vampire flame, plus a paranoid second, and don’t forget the psychic with a whole lot of attitude.

Review:
I’m gonna have to go with, “No.” I read this as part of a compilation of the first 3 books in the series. I’m fairly sure it’ll be the only one I actually read. My god, the main character is so incredibly unlikeable. Why do so many authors fail utterly when they try and write strong, independent women? This is no doubt what the author was going for, but instead she wrote a raging, insensitive bitch. The sort I’d cross the road before saying, “Good Morning,” to for fear she’s respond, “Fuck off,” even if we’re perfect strangers. She was rude to everyone on sight. There was nothing likable about her, so I have no clue what the male main character saw in her.

Characters were presented with no history and developed to have no depth. The ‘romance’ was ultra-instant, as in the fell in lust OVER THE PHONE, during a conversation about moving logistics. The villain was bad for no apparent reason and just happened to have been turned bad by his secret boyfriend, which I read as he’s gay, therefore he’s evil. The whole thing was as subtle as a stun gun to the temple and it’s chocked full of subtle, internalized misogyny.

Nope, I need no more of this series.

As a side note, I don’t know what the name of the dude on the above edition is, but I am so sick of seeing him on the cover of romance novels that I legitimately avoid books with him on the front. And the dude on the second edition I’ve seen is pretty close behind.

He’s third behind this guy:

And just because I’ve gone off on a little tangent here, this guy and this guy and this guy are climbing the ranks too.

Are there really so few cover models available in the world?

Review of The Sumage Solution (San Andreas Shifters #1), by G. L. Carriger

I purchased a copy of The Sumage Solution, by G. L. Carriger.

Description from Goodreads:
NYT bestseller Gail Carriger, writing as G. L. Carriger, presents an offbeat gay romance in which a sexy werewolf with a white knight complex meets a bad boy mage with an attitude problem. Sparks (and other things) fly.

Max fails everything – magic, relationships, life. So he works for DURPS (the DMV for supernatural creatures) as a sumage, cleaning up other mages’ messes. The job sucks and he’s in no mood to cope with redneck biker werewolves. Unfortunately, there’s something oddly appealing about the huge, muscled Beta visiting his office for processing.

Bryan AKA Biff (yeah, he knows) is gay but he’s not out. There’s a good chance Max might be reason enough to leave the closet, if he can only get the man to go on a date. Everyone knows werewolves hate mages, but Bryan is determined to prove everyone wrong, even the mage in question.

Review:
I really quite enjoyed this. True, I thought some of the humor—fizzy jizz, spicy cum, etc—crossed the line into stupid-funny and made me roll my eyes and cringe, instead of laugh. And the endless banter sounded exactly the same, regardless of which two characters were actually bantering, which kind of sucked. But for the vast majority of the book I was thrilled. Bryan is one of the sweetest shifter leads I’ve read in a while and Max was a good pairing for him.

I’ve not read the prequel, but I was able to follow the plot and world easily. It does seem a well developed world, though it’s just barely laid out here. I was left with a few questions, but not enough to be dissatisfied at the end.

There were a few editing mishaps. Maximilian, who goes by Max was named Mac on more than one occasion, for example. (Yeah, X and C are next to one another on the keyboard.) But it is pretty clean.

All in all, I was pleased. I’m always a little wary when M/F authors cross over into LGBTQ+ stories. But in the Carriger books I’ve read, she always had strong, positive queer characters anyhow, so she made this transition well. I’ll be looking forward to more of The San Andreas Shifters.

Review of Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson #10), by Patricia Briggs

I borrowed Silence Fallen, by Patricia Briggs, from my local library.

Description from Goodreads:
Attacked and abducted in her home territory, Mercy finds herself in the clutches of the most powerful vampire in the world, taken as a weapon to use against alpha werewolf Adam and the ruler of the Tri-Cities vampires. In coyote form, Mercy escapes—only to find herself without money, without clothing, and alone in the heart of Europe… 
 
Unable to contact Adam and the rest of the pack, Mercy has allies to find and enemies to fight, and she needs to figure out which is which. Ancient powers stir, and Mercy must be her agile best to avoid causing a war between vampires and werewolves, and between werewolves and werewolves. And in the heart of the ancient city of Prague, old ghosts rise…

Review;
Sloppy. I really hope that this isn’t ANOTHER series that’s become so popular that the author has become complacent about it.

I disliked the little, sarcastic comments by Mercy at the start of each chapter. I saw no reason for the story to be told out of chronological order, requiring these comments to break the third wall to explain where they fall in relation to one another. In fact, if seemed to me as if Briggs just couldn’t be bothered to clean her timeline up. I found it jarring that the whole book, except one or two small snippets were from either Mercy or Adam’s POV. Those sections felt out of place and lazy. And honestly, I just wasn’t all that invested in the story as a whole. We didn’t get to see much of the pack. Adam and Mercy weren’t together, so we didn’t get any of their byplay and it never settled into anything truly engaging, compared to past books in the series.

It’s still better than a lot of urban fantasy on the market. But no where near as good as early Mercy Thompson books.