Tag Archives: shifters

Review of Shifted Under Construction, by C.E. Black

I snagged a copy of C. E. Black‘s Shifted Under Construction on Amazon when it was free.

Description from Goodreads:
Bedroom eyes and rock hard abs make for yummy eye candy, but Harper Mattox knows a bad boy when she sees him. She’s been there, done that, and refuses to buy the T-shirt. The scar was enough of a souvenir.

When Harper agrees to be the temporary secretary at H&V Construction as a favor to her best friends’ husband, Adam Hughes, she thought her days would be spent behind the desk, organizing until her heart was content. She had no idea she’d have to put up with the walking sex-on-a-stick Christian Viera. AKA, her other boss. No matter how many times she turns him down, he just oozes more charm in her direction, weakening her knees, as well as her resolve. And it’s only her first day!

When Harper’s life is threatened, Chris is ready and willing to protect her, showing off an animalistic side she never knew existed. She’s known violence in her past and has no room for it in her life now. Is the fiery passion between them enough to stick it out? Can she accept him? Fur, claws, fangs, and all?

This was entertaining enough for an evening read, but it’s one we’ve all read a couple dozen times by now. Abused woman meets shifter in the morning, insta-love, explosive sex before lunch, a little unnecessary drama to fill out the pages, more sex, and in love by dinner. Meh. Nothing special there, no world-building, character development, or base for the love.

I did like how Harper stood up for herself and how Chris was often described as looking panicked or confused. It was cute. But I disliked how he came on so strong from the moment he met Harper and wouldn’t back off, even when she clearly told him to. He felt like a player, which he’s supposed to have been, but the sort that pressures women into sex they don’t want to get him to go away. It did not make him endearing.

Further, everyone kept saying, “Yeah, he’s a player, but he’s really a nice guy” or “He doesn’t treat women well, but he’s a good person.” Um, how exactly can you take that aspect of his character out, exclude it and say he’s good. They are one and the same, there is no BUT. If he’s a dick to women, he’s a dick, period. He sure felt like one to me and never redeemed himself. He got what he wanted from Harper, pusher her away, got possessive, told her didn’t want a relationship but still wanted sex, then claimed her again. And she just went along with his every whim on this issue. Meh. I never came to like him.

For a quick read that you can go into knowing what to expect, get a couple chuckles out of this is worth picking up. Just don’t expect anything deep or well-developed.

Review of Thrill of the Chase, by Layla Nash

I downloaded a copy of Layla Nash‘s Thrill of the Chase when it was free on Amazon.

Description from Goodreads:
Up-and-coming chef Natalia Spencer has enough on her plate dealing with a struggling restaurant and a corrupt manager selling her out of pantry and kitchen. She doesn’t have time for arrogant customers, even a gorgeous corporate raider in a bespoke suit with muscles that just don’t stop. Until, of course, he buys her restaurant and saves her life. 

Logan Chase, alpha of his lion shifter pride, is intrigued when the feisty chef kicks him out of her restaurant. He’s enraged when someone attacks her. And he’s intoxicated when he finally gets close enough to kiss her. But when he shifts in front of her and his lion comes out to play, he risks losing Natalia forever. 

Natalia just wants to cook and snuggle with a nice guy. Shacking up with a man who’s also a lion means inviting a new level of crazy into her life, along with his unruly brothers, and even her werewolf best friends warn her away. Can she and Logan create a steamy relationship from scratch, or are they a recipe for disaster?

So, the mechanical writing is fine and I thought the outline of an interesting story was too, but…BUT at one point, in the beginning, I flipped back and forwards between pages and even came to the internet to ensure I had an up to date copy, because I was sure I was missing a chapter or two (or five).

Let me lay it out this way, despite being 130 pages long, there is nothing in the book beyond what is in the blurb, almost literally. Natalia throws Logan out of her restaurant, or at least tells him he can’t eat. He then hires her to cook him a meal, her not knowing it’s him until she arrives. When she arrives he’s already decided to treat her like a mate, she is his mate. There are no interactions between the two of them between the two events and no internal thoughts given to the reader. So, as a reader, I was just like, what? When did that happen? How did that happen?

Then within two days they’re declaring love, making plans to move in with each other, etc. There is no development of a relationship AT ALL.

The closest thing to a plot development is her getting attacked. Because of course all women are victims all the time. And the closest thing to character development is the fact that she’s been some sort of undisclosed victim in the past.

Lastly, as a major point of contention for me, big cats like lions don’t purr. They can’t. They don’t have the connection of small bones that are vibrated to make the sound. They are literally unable to purr, which made Logan’s constant purring a grating inconsistency everytime it happened. I know this is fantasy, so it probably doesn’t matter. But I’m pretty sure this is an oversight on the part of the author and an annoying one.

I did like the characters, even the side ones. I thought Logan’s confused desperation was cute and his brother gave some very sage advice on more than one occasion. And again, the writing is ok. The book isn’t even unfun to read. But it’s no where near developed or fleshed out enough to feel real and substantial.

Review of Rebel Wolf (Shifter Falls #1), by Amy Green

I picked up a copy of Amy Green’s Rebel Wolf when it was free on Amazon. It was still free at the time of posting.

Description from Goodreads:
Ian Donovan lives a life on the edge. The bastard son of an alpha, he’s a lone wolf fighting to survive in the Colorado wilds. No pack. No code.

Until the woman showed up.

Anna Gold studies shifters – their secret rituals, their renegade lives. Everyone knows shifters are untrustworthy and deadly, especially in the hard-luck, shifter-only town of Shifter Falls. But Anna has never met a wolf until the day she springs Ian from prison to study him.

Not only is Ian so hot he’s a distraction, he’s definitely dangerous. And he’s the wrong guy to fall for. Because the pack alpha is dead. A new leader must be chosen. An Ian’s three brothers want to kill him for it. No one said life in the Falls was easy…

This is pretty standard shifter paranormal romance. There isn’t a lot to make it stand out as superb or unusual. But for being bog standard PNR it does what it does quite well. The writing is good, the editing non-distracting, the dialogue smooth, the characters likable and the romance not insta-love (though being so short it doesn’t have a lot of time to develop). What I liked most was that Ian and Anna never played coy, dragging out a lot of misunderstandings and hidden feelings. She was willing to ask the obvious questions and he was willing to give honest answers about his feelings. That was quite satisfying.

As always, I thought the need to make the bad guy threaten to rape the heroine was unneeded. I really don’t understand why authors think they HAVE to make a villain a sexual deviant to make him evil. I mean, being a murder is enough all by its self. But somehow the heroine in such books always has to almost get raped. This is a trope I could do without, but seems to be as expected in the plot as a HEA. It’s so common I’m tempted to call it cliched, and how sad is that?!

For the most part, however, I enjoyed the book and I’d be willing to read more of the series.

Edit: As an aside, concerning the cover, I know it’s a small thing and authors don’t always have a lot of control over it, but when the character has very specific tattoos that are well described and play a part in the book, but the character on the cover has very different, non-related tattoos, readers notice. It’s a disconnect and annoying. Not to mention that the character is described as having longish hair, a beard and prominent scars on his back. People notice these things.