Tag Archives: werewolf

Review of Mission: Improper (London Steampunk: The Blue Blood Conspiracy #1), by Bec McMaster

I snagged a copy of Bec McMaster‘s Mission: Improper from Amazon.

Description from Goodreads:
Three years ago, London society changed forever, with a revolution placing the widowed Queen firmly on the throne her blue blood husband tried to take from her. Humans, verwulfen and mechs are no longer considered the lesser classes, but not everybody is happy with the new order… 

Entire families have gone missing in the East End. When Caleb Byrnes receives an invitation to join the Company of Rogues as an undercover agent pledged to protect the crown, he jumps at the chance to find out who, or what, is behind the disappearances. Hunting criminals is what the darkly driven blue blood does best, and though he prefers to work alone, the opportunity is too good to resist. 

The problem? He’s partnered with Ingrid Miller, the fiery and passionate verwulfen woman who won a private bet against him a year ago. Byrnes has a score to settle, but one stolen kiss and suddenly the killer is not the only thing Byrnes is interested in hunting. 

Soon they’re chasing whispered rumours of a secret project gone wrong, and a monster that just might be more dangerous than either of them combined. The only way to find out more is to go undercover among the blue blood elite… But when their hunt uncovers a mysterious conspiracy, Byrnes and Ingrid must set aside their age-old rivalry if they have any chance at surviving a treacherous plot.

This was ok, not great for me, but not too bad either. It’s the sort of book that tempts me, but generally disappoints me in the end. It presents a strong-willed, self-reliant woman, one that even takes charge in the bedroom. But then always somehow turns the plotting just so, leaving her waiting passively to be claimed by the man. So close to something I love, just to turn into something that annoys me.

But I still might have enjoyed this a lot, McMaster’s can write well, except for a SERIOUS PET PEEVE. Some authors and/or publishers have this infuriating habit of looking at a running series and, I don’t know, deciding not enough people will but a sixth book in a series. So, they go, “Hey, let’s just make it a spinoff series and then we can call it book 1 and people who haven’t read the previous 5 books will still buy it.” Yay, sounds great. NO.

You see, Mission: Improper is labeled book 1. But it is book 6. Sure, I could follow the plot. But I could definitely feel I was missing a lot. All the characters knew one another. They had and discussed history that I’m fairly sure was the plot of past books in the London Steampunk series. I never felt I got to know the main characters, because they had already met before the start of this book. It’s a continuation of something. While technically this book stands on its own, you feel the lack of past books A LOT. And that’s seriously annoying when you are reading a ‘BOOK 1.’

Review of Fight or Flight, by Noah Harris

I picked up a copy of Noah HarrisFight or Flight at Amazon when it was free. It was still free at the time of posting.

Description from Goodreads:
Bryant had always been a fighter. He had fought to keep his family together, and after his father’s death, he had fought to get custody over his little sister. He fought to keep them fed, and he fought to keep a roof over their heads. And he did so by picking up his father’s old profession: illegal werewolf fights. It was a dangerous profession, but he made good money. It didn’t leave much room for a social life or romance, but he liked it that way. Those were just distractions from what needed to be done. He was convinced he didn’t want a relationship.

That is, until Jake walked into his life: an inexperienced rookie with firm determination, an eagerness to learn, and a secret of his own: he’s actually an Omega. Against his better judgement, Bryant agrees to train him but soon finds himself fighting once again. Only this time, he’s fighting himself and his overwhelming attraction for Jake. He soon learns that some fights aren’t meant to be won.

Sooo, this might have made a good novella, but there really isn’t enough of it to fill 300+ pages. It’s repetitive and slow. Plus, the Amazon description states, “Set amidst a strongly constructed shifter world of werewolf fighting…” But the reality is that there basically isn’t ANY world-building at all. And what very little there is, like alpha’s going into rut and trying to rape any omega they scent, doesn’t really even make sense. Plus, there is very little werewolf action in this werewolf novel. 90% of it might as well be a contemporary m/m romance. The mechanical writing is fine (though heavy on the tell) and I liked the characters (though I thought Jake was stupid and selfish for continuing to knowingly endanger everyone). But the book was less than satisfying.

Review of Off the Beaten Path, by Cari Z.

I borrowed a copy of Cari Z.’s Off the Beaten Path through Hoopla.

Description from Goodreads:
When Ward Johannsen’s little girl Ava shifted into a werewolf, she was taken into custody by the feds and shipped off to the nearest pack, all ties between father and daughter severed. Ward burned every bridge he had discovering her location, and then almost froze to death in the Colorado mountains tracking her new pack down. And that’s just the beginning of his struggle.

Henry Dormer is an alpha werewolf and an elite black ops soldier who failed his last mission. He returns home, hoping for some time to recuperate and help settle the pack’s newest member, a little pup named Ava who can’t shift back to her human form. Instead he meets Ward, who refuses to leave his daughter without a fight. The two men are as different as night and day, but their respect for each other strikes a spark of mutual interest that quickly grows into a flame. They might find something special together—love, passion, and even a family—if they can survive trigger-happy pack guardians, violent werewolf politics, and meddling government agencies that are just as likely to get their alpha soldiers killed as bring them home safely.

This is a fairly basic M/M, shifter romance, much like we’ve all see before. Having said that, I also thought it was very sweet. I appreciated that it was a bit of a slow burn and I very much liked the way Henry found himself falling for Ward. I liked that Ward was sickly, but still perfectly capable. I did, however, think that the way everything was solved in the end was a little too easy and off-page to be satisfying.