Tour’s Books Blog

January 10, 2011

eBooks: Three Recent Releases from Samhain

Well, I caught up on some ebook purchases from December and one new release this week in a series I really like, the Southern Arcana series by Moira Rogers, and really good and rather hot paranormal series that’s been a little uneven, but hit well on this entry.

  • Title: Deadlock (Southern Arcana Book #3)
  • Author:  Moira Rogers
  • Type:  Paranormal – shifters, witchcraft; Power struggles, family betrayal, and a second chance at love
  • Genre:  Werewolf society, internal political strife, involves the wrong person
  • Sub-genre:  An alpha werewolf is pushed to where he”ll risk all for change and progress
  • My Grade: B- (3.6*)
  • Rating:  PG-13 to NC-17
  • Length and price:  Full novel 90,000 words for $5.50 for ebook
  • Where Available:  Available online on the Samhain site
  • FTC Disclosure:  purchased from online bookstore

Deadlock was the pick of the litter and after Crux, my favorite favorite in the series.  The core cast of characters is here again, but this is the story of Alec Jacobson, the de-facto Alpha of New Orleans.  Years ago, Alex broke from his family when he met and fell in love with a human.  A cousin shot and killed her some 4 years later and Alec not only hunted him down and challenged him – killing him, he went after every single werewolf that was part of the movement that felt mating with humans was degrading, changed wolves should be killed, as should halfbreed wolves.  Other werewolves fear him greatly – they especially fear he might have political ambitions in the werewolf ruling Conclave.  By going after someone under his protection, the very people who fear him most actually pull him out of his self imposed isolation into the very heart of the power structure.

Alec Jacobson, like many shifters unwilling to play politics, was a military man.  After that, he and his supernatural team formed a kind of mercenary group, but then as life will, within a short span of time, several members found their mate – then Alec did too.  A human, a gentle hippie who did welded art – Heidie.  After her murder by his cousin, his vengeance that still made him one of the most feared werewolves in North American, he settled himself into self designated role of New Orleans Alpha.  He and his partner, a wizard still in training, ran a kind of private investigation agency, mostly for members of the supernatural community.

Alec gets called to a clinic open to all of NO’s supernaturals – a neutral site.  His old military buddy, a coyote shifter and MD, acquired a new younger doctor to help him, a half breed daughter of the Mendoza family, leaders in the Southern Council.  At first, Alec thought she was a Mendoza plant sent to spy on him, but Carmen’s father, a spineless schemer, left his human wife and children on orders from brother and she has nothing to do with him or her uncle.  Carmen Mendoza is working late at the clinic when Kat Richardson staggers in, the victim of an attack while on a date.   A powerful, but not well controlled psychic, Kat needs special treatment lest she hurt people by unleashing magic.  Carmen knows Kat is the secretary to Alec and his partner, warlock Jackson Holt.  Kat is afraid of what Alec will do – or her cousin Derek, a new wolf now mated to the daughter of the Supreme Alpha – when they find out.

Kat killed one of her attackers, but one got away and now there was a dead werewolf to deal with.  Alec is called.  After assuring himself Kat is OK, and being really surprised at his reaction to Carmen Mendoza, he calls Jackson and they head to Kat’s place.  Jackson had placed wards and they capture one of Kat’s attackers.  Then Carmen is kidnapped the next day as she leaves her home.  By the time Jackson and Alec find her she’s half feral with magic.  A witch had tried to use magic to turn her into a wolf, a dangerous and often fatal to the person – and the one responsible is Carmen’s father.

The attraction that Alec felt is harder to battle with the magic that Carmen is giving off.  Then a second attempt is made.  The story is a good one and the weaves together the increasingly vicious in-fighting among the werewolves, and the emergence of a secondary story that ultimately looks to be a bigger issues involving all supernaturals.  The ending is a bit rushed and pat, and the there a déjà vu bit with the second magical attack on Carmen, but otherwise, a solid read.

Is Crossroads worth $5.50?  It is, but the price on the print book will likely be a bit steep, so read the ebook!

***************************************************

  • Title: Wild Cat
  • Author:  Beverly Rae
  • Type:  Paranormal – shifters; ménage
  • Genre: Rogue shifter is hunted by both cat and wolf shifters
  • Sub-genre:  Female cat shifter is worried older brother has gone rogue and hunts him with help from old friend and another hunter, a werewolf
  • My Grade: C- (2.9*)
  • Rating:  XXX
  • Length and price:  Novella 36,000 words for $4.50 for ebook
  • Where Available:  Available online on the Samhain site
  • FTC Disclosure:  purchased from online bookstore

OK folks, here we go with a classic style novella in the erotic genre, though Beverly Rae does it better than most.  Alex, a cat shifter and her friend since childhood, Connor have sworn to hunt down the rogue killing cattle and calling a lot of unwanted attention to the pride of mountain lion shifters.  Bryer lost his wife Lara to human hunters and he’d sworn to make them pay, but Alex didn’t want to believe he’d gone rogue.  Conner and Alex find another mutilated cow when a werewolf with a smart mouth and a determination to find the rogue shows up.

Dirk Claxton of the Cannon Pack is helping a human friend of the wolves who’s afraid that the killing of cattle will get the ranchers out shooting everything, including pack members.  So Dirk is hunting for the same rogue the lions are after.  Alex is shock at her immediate sexual attraction to a werewolf.  She’s a lioness!  Maybe she’s just horny.  Conner would rather fight the wolf, or leave them in their dust, as lions moved faster than wolves.   Together, the uneasy trio set off together.  That night the three give in to temptation and have a menage – though Connor is none t pleased to be sharing the female he’d always thought of as his future mate and best friend.

More dead cows and another sexy night later and they find themselves getting closer to the rogue. At Dirk’s suggestion, they’ll head to a ranch where shifters are welcomed by the owner to spend the night and get cleaned up.   Next day, Connor has reached an unhappy conclusion.  Alex isn’t his and never will be.  It’s the wolf that draws her.    He decides to go back and give the pride and update because he can’t bear to be around Alex when he knows he’s lost her.  Alex is deeply distressed, but let’s Connor go.  She and Dirk again head out, but what they find is worse than anything Alex ever imagined.  Dirk is badly injured in the confrontation with the rogue.  Once back at the ranch, Alex finds herself kept away from Dirk when pack members show up.

The kind of bittersweet ending is something Ms Rae often chooses and here it works, but the novella format only allows for shallow character development.  The plot, though rather predictable, is decent, the tension between the characters also decent, but nothing really special or creative.  Readable, but shallow.

Is Wild Cat worth $4.50?  Well, maybe if you’re desperate for a ménage, but for a novella, it’s a bit high when you can get Crossroads for $5.50.

***************************************************************************

  • Title: Never Have I Ever
  • Author:  Alisha Rai
  • Type:  Paranormal – shifters, ménage
  • Genre:  Married couple head to a mountain cabin for very different reasons
  • Sub-genre:  Werewolf married to a human female is determined to control his is dominant nature; she’s looking to find her kink
  • My Grade: C+ to B- (3.5*)
  • Rating:  X to XX
  • Length and price:  Novella 41,000 words for $4.50 for ebook
  • Where Available:  Available online on the Samhain site
  • FTC Disclosure:  purchased from online bookstore

Alisha Rai has been a winner for me since her first book, Glutton for Pleasure, also a ménage and a good one.  If Beverly Rae trod well worn ground, Alisha Rai brings a kind a sweet kink to this story of a happily married couple that head to a friends mountain cabin for a weekend in Never Have I Ever.

Ana and Taylor Hudson are a happily married couple.  have been for awhile.  Then Ana gets pictures of a much younger Tay engaged in some very kinky sex with a woman, his best friend Eli.  Well, it was before they met, and they have a good, if plain vanilla sex life, so maybe, just maybe, Ana might want to be brave and take a little walk on the kinky side.  She loves Tay and has no doubt of his love for her, but a little spice never hurt, right?

Tay is cranky.  This cabin belongs to Eli’s family.  Although they took Tay in and raised him as one of their own after his father disowned his when it became obvious he would ever shift thanks to his human blood, he didn’t want the reminders of his wild, out of control youth here.  But it was Ana who shocked him on the last part of the long drive from Manhattan when she started playing sex games in the car that ended in their having their first ever car sex – surprising the hell out of Tay.

Ana isn’t done yet.  After a bit of a rest and getting cleaned up, she puts on a xxx movie she finds in Eli’s stash.  Things get pretty heated and unbeknownst to them, Eli arrives.  He gets quite an eyefull too.  Eli is an alpha wolf to the core and pack leadership heir.  As such, he usually surrounded by bodyguards and too many beautiful women, one of whom thought she was destined to be his mate.  An idea he squashed in no uncertain terms.  Tay wants Eli gone and his friend would oblige, but a fallen tree across the road makes him return to the cabin  The town will get there when they can. To ease the tension, because she hasn’t quite worked up the never to show Tay the photos, but she decides to make her edgy husband play the old college game of “Never have I ever” to see if she can get him to open up a bit about his sexual wants beyond what they have.

Ana gets a chance to explore her kinky side – safely, and though I am no fan of BDSM, this is very light in that area and didn’t put me off a bit.  The three end up having a good time, within strict limits set on Eli.  This is no permanent ménage, but a woman’s chance to explore an area of her sexuality she didn’t realize existed.  And through that, she also learned a great deal about her very reserved husband – including the fact he was half wolf.

The story was good.  Not something I often say about a novella.  Alisha Rai seems to have a talent for making vulnerable females that are at once gentle, reserved and yet brave enough to explore their sexuality with someone they love.  And I think that’s what sets this apart.  The fact that the bond between Tay and Ana is sincere and deep.  Sensual yet loving and sensitive.  In this, I find her far superior to Lora Leigh’s in-your-face alphahole heroes.

Was Never Have I Ever worth $4.50.  Yup.  Especially is you like real romance with your sex.

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