Tag Archives: fated mates

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Book Review: Bite Marks, by Jenika Snow

I received a copy of Jenika Snow‘s Bite Marks in a monthly Supernatural Book Crate.
bite marks cover

Adryan

I was ruthless, brutal. A sociopath by all accounts. The leader of the American Vampire Clan, a male who all feared because I was merciless.

And then I found my mate. Kayla. So fragile. Breakable. So human.

I’d make her mine, and she’d hate me for it. I wanted to give her pain with pleasure, wanted to break her skin and lick up the blood I spilled… take Kayla into me like she’d take me into her.

I’d have her surrendering to my needs. I’d give her my body but wouldn’t be able to give her my heart.

How could I when it wasn’t something I had to offer, when I was nothing but a coldhearted killer?

So when the threats come to my front door, it’s time to show my female she’s mated to the most dangerous vampire in the world.

my review

Everyone seems to like Jenika Snow’s books. To each their own. But I bought several of them at some point and have yet to find a single one I particularly enjoyed. This was just drivel, as far as I’m concerned. You know how people say a nice guy won’t need to tell you he’s nice, a wealthy man won’t need to flash his cash, and a true hero doesn’t need to tell you he’s a hero? There are any number of such phrases. This is all I could think of as Adryan told everyone over and over and over again how merciless, strong, psycho, vicious, deadly, etc., he is. The lady doth protest too much, methinks. Or that’s how it felt. It was as if he had to keep insisting on the fact rather than just showing himself to be scary. It felt inflated and desperate. Meanwhile, Kayla had no personality at all.

The plot was a single predictable blip, and the writing itself is unimpressive. Plus, the villain turns out to be the only LGBTQ+ character, which is hella problematic, IMO. I think I still have one Snow book on my shelf somewhere. But I also think it’s time to just accept that her writing is not for me. bite marks photo


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Book Review: Iriduan Test Subjects (#1-2), by Susan Trombley

I received copies of Susan Trombley’s The Scorpion’s Mate and The Kraken’s Mate in a Renegade Romance book box.
Iriduan Test Subjects covers

The Scorpion’s Mate:

Claire has never really fit in with everyone around her, but she’s carved out a life for herself using her own unique style and artistic ability to support herself on the Internet. The last thing she expects is to be abducted by aliens and dropped into a research facility, where a genetically-engineered alien soldier chooses her as his life-mate.

Thrax’s pheromones are compelling, and his status as a fellow unwilling test subject makes them allies, but Claire isn’t certain she can trust someone who is convinced she belongs to him, when all she wants to do is find a way to return home to Earth—a place that her devoted alien can never follow, because there’s no way the scorpion-like alien would ever be able to pass for human.

Still, she’ll accept help where she can find it, so she doesn’t hesitate to escape with Thrax from the facility, though their time running from their pursuers in the warrens beneath the research facility will forever change Claire, and could make it impossible for her to return to Earth.

But will there be anywhere else in the galaxy they can go where their love will be accepted?

My Review:

I thought this was cute. I appreciated a male lead that, while martially advanced, was gooey soft on the inside. What’s more, he was literally willing (and circumstantially able) to change himself to be anyone his mate wanted him to be. You see a lot of socio-cultural growth in him, even if it is only to make Claire happy. The flip side of this coin, of course, is that he lacked a little characterization. I also found the dichotomy between Thrax’s before-time life and questionable personhood and his now-time personality one of the most interesting aspects of the book. There could be a lot of moral issues to explore.

I did find the plot a little lackluster, however. The actual nuts and bolts of the story are very simple, and there isn’t anything that rises above the humdrum of interest. All in all, it was amusing enough to keep me interested but not anything overly special.

susan trombley covers

The Kraken’s Mate:

A desperate escape from a prison cell inside an alien research facility leaves Joanie in the clutches of an alien with a handsome face, a great body, and tentacles that could have come out of a horror movie. Her life back on Earth is a mess, but nowhere near as complicated as her new situation becomes when the alien test subject named Nemon decides that she’s his mate.

Nemon knows that Joanie is the mate he’s hoping for as soon as Thrax hands her to him, but he can also see that she’s frightened and traumatized. He must win a battle against his own body – which has a mind of its own–to maintain control, so he can win her trust and avoid frightening her further. His newfound friends warn him that Joanie will need time to accept him, and Nemon is willing to wait, but they all may have underestimated Joanie.

They have escaped their fate as Iriduan test subjects, but Nemon and Joanie can’t escape the legacy left behind by their captors. A legacy that brings them together – a legacy that also threatens to tear them apart.

My Review:

Do you like a cinnamon roll hero? Then Nemon is your man. Cinnamon roll describes him to a tee. I appreciated that about him and the book. It’s very sweet. And while I enjoyed the book generally, I also found it too constrained for me. The plot is contained in a very small microcosm that just wasn’t enough to feel satisfying. Here, you have a series about women being kidnapped by aliens, discovering the existence of aliens, discovering the galaxy, and this book occurs almost entirely in one room, focusing on two characters. There is so much sense of what is missing as the reader is given such a small window of focus. I won’t go so far as to say it was boring, as it is sweet. But there just wasn’t enough to it to truly grab and keep my broader interests.


Other Reviews:

The Scorpion’s Mate (Iriduan Test Subjects Book 1) – Susan Trombley

The Kraken’s Mate by Susan Trombley

 

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Book Review: Bonded to the Alien Warrior, by Kyla Quinn

I picked up a copy of Kyla Quinn‘s Bonded to the Alien Warrior as an Amazon freebie.
bonded to the alien warrior cover

An abducted human female. An alien warrior on a secret mission. A bond created by the stars.

I have a sneaking suspicion aliens abducted me last night. My first clue? The muscular blue guys with horns and tails. My second? I’m locked in a room, and I can see two suns in the sky outside the window.

I’ve no memory of how I reached this planet, and neither have the women with me. One thing’s sure—we’re stuck. Nobody tells us why we’re here, or what happens to the women who are taken by the guards and never return.

The guards are sleazy assholes, and I’m glad I can’t understand what they say to me when they leer. Apart from one. There’s something strange about the way he protects me from the other guards but pretends he doesn’t. When this fierce alien touches me my blood runs hot, and the physical effect I have on him is um… obvious.

But instead of taking what he wants, this guard offers me something I never dreamed of—a way out.

Will escaping with my alien warrior save me, or am I walking into a worse situation? Because this domineering blue guy tells me I’m his mate and that if I want to stay alive, I must do exactly what he says.

Exactly what he says? This should be interesting.

my review

This was a failure for me. I’ll grant it is competently written, even if it was a competently written story that I did not at all enjoy. For one, it’s written in the first-person PRESENT tense. No judgment to those who might enjoy this, but I HATE it. Honestly, I read this book as part of an author alphabet challenge and needed a Q. I might have DNFed very early otherwise.

But outside of the first-person present tense issue, I also make a concerted effort to avoid rape in the books I read for enjoyment. And while there is no on-page rape here, the WHOLE BOOK is basically just having to read the disgusting comments of rapists about the women they are going to rape (the game of it), the groping and torment of the women, the women’s fear of being raped, and the complete discord of an author trying to convince readers that some of these men are honorable while allowing this to happen around them. That’s it. That’s the plot…all of it. There is NOTHING in that for me to enjoy, sadly, not even the romance.

Jex is complicit in the whole rape situation and would have remained so, except that he found his fated mate among the victims. But he makes it VERY CLEAR over and over again that he only cares about protecting her (not the other women) because she’s his mate. This leaves the reader painfully aware that, if not for this mystical connection, he’d leave her to be raped and bred, just like every other woman. There is nothing romantic about that! There’s also no build-up or getting to know one another. So, the whole thing hinges solely on the instant mate bond. Again, nothing to go “aww” about. But there also is very little sex (and only at the end), so there’s also nothing satisfyingly steamy either.

All in all, I pretty much hated this. Do you know what it felt like? It felt like it was written by a man. If you know what I mean, you know what I mean. It was 100% the wrong book for my bonded to the alien warrior phototaste.

On a side note: The cover says book 1, and I read it as such. But according to GR and Amazon (and the fact that we meet the previous couple in this book), this is actually book 2 in the Fated Star Mates series. This annoys me because I apparently even have the previous book, but being labeled book 1, I didn’t even search my shelves to check if I had a previous book. So, now I’ve read it out of order.


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