Tag Archives: shifters

the hunter and the spider

Book Review: The Hunter and the Spider series, by E.M. Jeanmougin & Jay Wright

I picked up copies of E.M. Jeanmougin and Jay Wright’s Strangers in the Night and Friends in Low Places (The Hunder and the Spider series, #1 & 2) when they were freebies on Amazon. I’m afraid of spiders, so the idea of an MM Urban Fantasy with a werespider both horrified and intrigued me!


Where there’s demons, there’s bound to be demon hunters and in Brooklyn there’s no shortage of either.

Jasper Craig is a hunter at New York’s secret St. James Academy, and he’s one of the best. With superior strength, agility, and a handy ability to sense demonic energy, it’s like he was born for the job. Since he was orphaned at a young age, his parents took the secret of what, exactly, he is to their graves. And if his adoptive father knows, he’s not telling.

Loyal to the cause of keeping the mortal world safe from the evils of demons, there isn’t anything Jasper wouldn’t do. So when his father and superior officer tells him to go undercover to trick a rare and dangerous werespider, Jasper agrees.

Crimson Apocalypse is one of New York’s oldest residents and the only known werespider in the north eastern United States. He’s the sort of guy who lives as fast as he talks and talks as fast as he drives, and if Jasper wants to get closer to the werespider he’s going to have to keep up.

But getting closer might be dangerous in more ways than one and what Jasper learns may not be what he expects.

my review

This had a strong start, sagged in the middle, and then ended well. Now, don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed all of it, even the saggy middle. I liked Jasper and Crimson (and Al and Max) a lot and loved the slow-SLOW burn of their relationship. But the book doesn’t have one over-arching plot or villain to defeat, etc. It’s mostly two people who meet, are given a reason to be thrown together, and then go about their daily lives together. It just so happens that those lives are quite exciting. It just felt like the middle went on a little too long and got a little too creative (ridiculous) before finally tapering off to a cliffhanger ending. I am jumping right into book two though, so I obviously liked it (even if I’m afraid of spiders and therefor a little horrified by the giant werespider).


friends in low places

No one ever said being a Hunter would be easy, but Jasper Craig is finding it much more difficult these days.

Following the events of an eye-opening summer spent in the field, Jasper is back within the walls of St. James Academy – New York City’s world-renowned Hunting agency and training school.

And he’s hating every minute of it.

Unfortunately, the only way out is through, and so, with all eyes on him, Jasper once again rejoins the ranks of Hunters keeping the city “safe” from demonic threat.

But St. James’ dogma has lost its luster for Jasper. Not every demon deserves to die due to their inhumanity. Jasper’s (ex?) boyfriend, Crimson Apocalypse, taught him that.

Speaking of Crimson, when a series of mutilated corpses bearing Jasper’s name begin showing up around town, the Hunters suspect the three-thousand-year-old werespider may be to blame. Even worse, there’s plenty of evidence to support the claim. Only Jasper, who knows the man within the monster, believes otherwise. But can he slip through St. James’ iron-clad grip and catch the real culprit before it’s too late?

my review

I enjoyed this, though not as much as book one, and more in the second half than the first. The problem, for me, was that the two main characters aren’t together in the book until the 55% mark. They are apart and miserable that whole time, and it felt longer than need be to make the point it was making. However, once they got back together and the pace picked up, I was a happier camper. The whole thing wrapped up satisfactorily, but with several open threads. I look forward to finding out what happens in the next book (whenever it comes out).

the awakening by christine feehan

Book Review: The Awakening, by Christine Feehan

I wanted a shortish audio book to listen to while I did chores this afternoon. While I have audio books I could have listened to, I decided to see if I could find one to download from the library that was on theme for my March reading challenge, which I have named the Awakening Challenge. I set out to read eight books titled Awakening. But, like with this one, I’ve been adding books. here and there I call them Bonus Awakenings. They may not meet the challenge criteria I set out exactly, or even if they do, I picked them up after I set the initial challenge. Christine Feehan‘s The Awakening is one such book.

the awakening Christine Feehan

Maggie returns to the place of her birth and her world suddenly turns into a sensual, but dangerous delight. The rainforest holds secrets of her birthright and a mysterious man, as predatory as any of the animals, waiting in the very heart of the jungle for her arrival.

Under the blazing heat of the Borneo sun, a beautiful naturalist’s dream comes true – to live among the feral jungle creatures. But an untamed, irresistible beast of another sort forces her to explore her own wild side.

This was fine for what it is. But it should be kept in mind that what it is is a bit of erotic fluff written over a decade ago. The Paranormal Romance genre has come a long way since then, but Feehan’s The Awakening is an example of what it used to be. Heroes were meant to be predatory and virginal heroines swooned and became ‘aware of their femininity’ (code for sexuality) in their presence. It tiptoes awful close to the men-writing-women meme sometimes, even though it’s obviously something else entirely. But the descriptions of all but anthropomorphized breasts can comes close.

There’s not much to this honestly. The plot is just a backdrop to paint the angst and eventual sex on. The relationship is based on sexual attraction and the mythical shifter mate bond. It didn’t light me on fire in any manner. But, again, it is what it is and should be judged accordingly.

marked title

Book Review: Marked, by Lacey Silks

I purchased a paperback copy of Marked, by Lacey Silks.

Marked Lacey Silks

The underworld is stirring. And it’s calling out my name.

One kill. One life. One snap of a demon’s neck and I will be marked with a sphere. It will not only give me purpose and strength but it will also bind me and my sister to a demon lord, Aseret.

He’s killed our kin, disturbed the underworld’s resting souls and now he’s preparing to strike at the humans and vampires. If we don’t stop him, another genocide will ensue.

Gifted with abilities from our ancestors, we are the last shifters. Except my sister believes that our destiny is to bear the water mark instead.

Fortunately for me, every marking comes with a price. For me, her name is Xela. The sinfully sexy dark witch with secrets flips my world upside down. She takes hold of my heart, opening the door to the underworld.

After all, there’s something good about being bad.

Note: Marked is Book 1 in the Two Halves Series with a HFN ending. Contains mature themes and is suitable for adult audience only.

I’ll start by saying the writing here is fine. But beyond that I don’t have a lot of praise to lavish on it. I thought the whole thing too full of talking about doing things and not enough actual doing of things. And when the action finally started RIGHT AT THE END, the main characters were barely part of it. They were there, but not much more. The big fight the book was leading up to was quite anticlimactic.

Plus, Xander felt about 15-years-old but the book is full of sex. Not all of it was explicit but there was a lot of it. So much, in fact, that I wondered if a man really should be able to come that many times in a night. That was practically more of a fantasy element that the witches and shifters.

But my big complaint comes with that note you see in the last paragraph of the blurb. “Marked is Book 1 in the Two Halves Series with a HFN ending.” It is a lie on two fronts. Happy for now infers that the plot has reached some sort of plateau and the couple has reached a moment of happiness, even if it isn’t for ever. This book ends on a precipitous cliffhanger. There is no sense of anything being completed. This feels very much like half (if not a quarter) of a book. And as it’s only 143 pages long, there isn’t really any reason it couldn’t have continued. It didn’t stop at any sort of natural stopping point.

Second, and more importantly, HFN required the characters have found some sort of happiness, preferably together. This books ends with one character essentially dead (for the moment) and the other running away and knowing they can’t even look for the other for years. There is nothing about that that is happy, for now or otherwise. NOTHING. That sentence is a lie and an important one. I wouldn’t have purchased the book if I’d known how it would end…or not end.

Just about the only thing I enjoyed about this book was the laugh I got at the printing mishap on the cover. I read the blurb when I bought it. But then it took a little while to arrive and sat on my table for days. I didn’t really remember what it was about when I picked it up to read. So, I read the back of cover. OK. I dove in and nothing made sense. The character names were wrong, the plot wrong, it didn’t even feel like the same book.

So, I did a little googling and realized it didn’t feel like the same book because it’s not!

Marked wrong back

That blurd you see on the back of my copy of Marked belongs to Baby Me. I can’t imagine how printing the wrong blurb on a book happened, but I got a kick out of it and it made me laugh.

Since I’m talking about covers I’ll also mention that the man on the cover, who one assumes is Xander (the main character) is wearing the wrong mark in the wrong place. That will only make sense if you’ve read the book. But I noticed. Reader notice these things.