Nia Farrell & Claire Marta-Blue

Nia and Claire have just released the newest Guarded Hearts book, Blue. This is the second book in the Hell’s Fury MC books. These guys are still gargoyles, but they mate singly, instead of in pairs like the original guys. And being an MC, they are a lot freer than the original guys. So, let’s talk about Maverick and Blue. If you haven’t read these books, you will be lost when you read this, because a lot of stuff is referenced and you won’t be sure what is going on.

So, Maverick saw Blue, a wolf shifter, fighting in an underground match a few months ago, and there has just been something about her that he has been drawn to since. He can’t get her out of his mind. When his brothers have to go on a rescue mission to save the mother of another brother’s mate, Maverick goes along. He’s there to help rescue Maria, the mother, but he is also going to rescue Blue, although no one knows that except him. He’s set up a cell in the basement, next to the one that Lilith has been staying in. Maverick has done what he can to make it all nice and homey, but still, it’s a cell in the basement. He finds Blue, sedates her, and brings her to his clubhouse. Which of course, pisses off his Prez, which ends up with him getting punished by having to be a bouncer at their bar.

Meanwhile, Blue wakes up in a cell, in a strange place, with a strange man looking at her. He tells her she’s safe, but the jackals who owned her before have spent too many years mistreating her for her to trust anyone. The only good thing is that Maria, who has kind of acted like a mother to her is right there with her. There are a whole lot of bad things, primarily the fact that her twin brother, who the jackals also run as an underground fighter and pimp out as necessary, isn’t there. He wasn’t at the clubhouse when Blue and Maria were rescued, he was out on a fight. All she can think about is the physical pain she’s in and the fact that her twin isn’t there, and she needs to get him. Maverick keeps telling her that he will save her brother for her, but she doesn’t trust him. He’s another biker, after all, and bikers lie.

I think that Maverick was a little Pollyanna Sunshine about what was going to happen. I think that he was also a little naive about some things. He really did everything with a good heart and with good motives, but I don’t think that he necessarily thought about everything that was going to happen. I just don’t think that he was prepared to handle Blue’s feelings, and how everything that has happened to her in the past has formed who she is right now. I think that he kind of pushed her too much at times. Like I said, I think that he did it with all the best intentions, but you can still fuck up and cause damage with all the best intentions.

I don’t blame Blue for not trusting anyone except Maria. I wouldn’t either. She’s basically been through hell, and now she’s been “rescued”, but she’s still in a cell. I mean, she doesn’t stay there all the time, but it’s long enough. Then there’s what her wolf does and how Maverick reacts to it. I was kinda mad at her wolf part because of that, because it’s not OK. And I thought that Maverick should’ve acted differently about it.

OK, that’s all for this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

Nia Farrell & Claire Marta-Rory

So, hey! I’m back! I had a nice break, watched a lot of TV, read a lot of books, played some games, and got high. Living in the land of legal weed and medical weed delivery is nice. I feel more like myself, and I have more energy than I’ve had in a couple of months. My husband has gotten both his shots, my son and I have both gotten our first shots. I’ve sprinkled wildflower seeds over part of my backyard, outside my kitchen, so I can stare at them while I’m working. And I can order Vanilla Coke from the grocery store again. Now that all that’s been said, let’s talk about today’s book, shall we?

Rory is the first book, sort of, in the 2nd season of Guarded Hearts. We first meet them in the Twisted Steel MC anthology. I haven’t read that story yet, but I just bought it, so I’ll be reading their story sometime today. I think that I was fine without having the backstory, but I think that it will just make things better to have read that.

So, Quake is a member of the Hell’s Fury MC. They are The Order of the Dragon, another cadre of gargoyles. Instead of being artisans and cloistered the way that the last set of gargoyles are, these guys are a motorcycle club. That comes along with a lot of drinking and fucking. The boys visit a strip club/brothel that is full of shifters, so they have a group of women who they aren’t keeping in the dark. One of those women is called Magenta, because of her hair color. She and Quake really hit it off well, and eventually they have some kind of relationship. But, some evil jackal shifters kidnap her and do terrible things. After that, she runs away, while Quake is away. She spent some time in rehab because she couldn’t control her shifting, and she met Sydney there. Sydney became her best friend and together they started a lingerie and sex toy business called Lady Chatterly’s Lover.

It’s now been a year. Rory, AKA Magenta, is living her best life, mostly. She is living with Syd, and her baby Quinn. She still has flashbacks to things that happened, and she still does have security on call, headed up by Guy. She is planning on living for Quinn, and to hell with everything and everyone else. Then Quake shows up. And all of a sudden, her best life ain’t all that great any more. She immediately tells him to leave her alone and calls her security so that she can be protected.

Quake is in New York with some of his brother, visiting the Order of the Phoenix when all hell breaks loose. In the wake of that, he discovers where Rory is working and goes to see her. He’s shocked to find out that she wants to have nothing to do with him. He follows her to her house and finds out that there is a man and another woman there, along with a baby. He figures that the kid is the child of the woman holding him, which would be Sydney, and that the man is the baby daddy, that would be Guy. With that “evidence” in front of his face, he decides that Rory is in some kind of triad with those two.

They manage to stay apart for a while, right up until Quinn gets kidnapped by the trusted nanny. Quake steps in with his brothers to help find Quinn.

I like Quake, but sometimes I want to just knock his head into a wall because he’s being a stupid asshole. I know that he’s trying to do his best, and he’s trying to be a good man, which he is, I think, but he just lets his assumptions get the better of him. Because he lets that happen, he sometimes makes some really huge mistakes, which is when I want to just smack him and tell him to stop, look, and use his brain. He really is a good guy. He has such a good heart, and we get to see it over and over in this. He is really loyal to his friends and his family. He’s also really strong and is willing to stand up for a lot of people.

Rory is remarkable. She has overcome a whole lot and has managed to put herself back together and build herself up. She is really strong, she’s a loving mother, and she’s a good friend. I really like her. I really admire her and think that she deserves all the good things.

I am seriously mad at Sydney and Guy. They can just fix themselves.

OK, that’s all for this one. Go check it out!

Claire Marta & Nia Farrell-Ash

Today we have the last book in the first season of the Guarded Hearts books. And let me tell you, I think that Ash is the perfect book to wrap up the season. I think that the main thrust of the story for the last 7 books was wrapped up well enough and the hooks were laid well enough that moving on to season 2 is going to be easy and we aren’t going to want to know what happened with what thing.

We start with Ash. She’s 18 and has been staying at a safe house owned by her step-cousin, who should be the Don of his family, but since he was too young when his father died, his uncle, Ash’s step-father and all around scumbag douchecanoe, took over, and he hasn’t stepped down yet. Ash had to get away from him for a lot of reasons, one of which is the fact that he was going to trade her to a vampire. Only now, Ash has overheard one of her cousin’s guards talking to her step-father and she has to leave. So, she sneaks out and runs. For a few days she manages to hide, but then she ends up at the Citadel, where she is able to find somewhere safe to hide. While she’s there, she sees a man working at a forge. He’s her god of the forge.

Tobias is the only one of his cadre to not have a partner or a mate. He leads the cadre, protects everyone to the best of his abilities, and does everything he can to fight the battles they are in with Etienne and his ilk. He also crafts things, usually in his forge, but not always. He’s not looking for a mate. He doesn’t think that he deserves one. He had bad things happen in his past, and he’s pretty sure that it means he’ll never have a mate. Until the day that he looks up from his forge and sees a face that he’ll never forget. And he discovers that Ash is hiding on their property. He takes her up to his apartment, and has to figure out who she is, what to do with her, and what her being there means.

I really like Ash. I think that she is this real mix of worldly and naive. She’s strong and yet she’s really fragile. She is really cynical about some things, but in a lot of other things, it’s like she’s seeing everything for the first time. It’s really interesting to read, and it makes her a really good character. I think that she’s also really protective, and she will do a fuckload of shit to make sure that she can protect the people that she loves. Frankly, I think that she and Tobias are a perfect match, really.

Tobias has been a bit of a mystery during this whole series. We’ve only really seen him as this stern and paternal leader. He makes the rules, he makes sure that everyone follows the rules, he makes the hard decisions, and he does what he can to make sure that they are going to win their battle against the dark. We don’t see much in his head during the other books, so we don’t really get to know him until this one. In fact, a few times in the older books, I actually kinda didn’t like him at all. He made decisions that I didn’t like. Oh, I understood why he made some of the decisions that he did, but they didn’t make me like him. And after reading this book and getting to know more of his past, I can understand his decisions even more. I think he has spent many years being lonely and locking himself away, convincing himself that he doesn’t need a mate, so when Ash shows up, it shocks the hell out of him, and well it should. I think that he needed her, in more ways than one.

I really do think that this wrapped up this cadre’s season really well. And it did it without sacrificing Ash and Tobias’s story, which would’ve upset me. They truly deserved to have their own story.

Nothing under the pic today. Go check it out! Happy reading!

Claire Marta & Nia Farrell-Sam

This is the 6th book in Claire and Nia’s Guarded Heart series. Sam is a slight aberration from the other books because it doesn’t follow the MFM layout that the majority of the other books do. This one is MMMF. We have our two gargoyles, Gael and Elijah, our heroine, Sam, but we have a surprise new male. So let’s get into the gig, shall we? Warning, there will be some spoilers, I’ll try to avoid them, but…

Gael, poor Gael, is suffering. He hears the song that was written for him by Etienne. He hears it al the damn time. He can’t get away from it. He’s in a very black state right now, and it’s not getting any better. The more that Etienne is thwarted, the worse it gets for Gael. He’s still holding off from his partner, Elijah. Elijah keeps trying to break through to Gael, for several reasons, but Gael keeps fighting. He barely talks to Elijah, instead staying locked him his room or hidding in the kitchen. He also is nasty to Elijah as often as possible. The only way that Gael can drown out the music he hears is to self-harm.

Elijah is suffering too. He’s not suffering in the same way Gael is, but it’s suffering all the same. He wants to have a connection with his partner. He is very attracted to his partner, so he’d like them to be partners in all kinds of ways, and he’s pretty sure that Gael is attracted to him too, since there was some serious kissing go on at one point. But now, Gael is determined to push him away, and it only gets worse. Elijah feels heartbroken too, because he wants to have that connection, and he feels so isolated from everything and everyone, and he really wants his partner and their mate.

Meanwhile, we have Sam, who is a psychic medium with a ghostly grandmother who likes to pinch the asses of hot guys and who watches Magic Mike on the regular. She also trains dogs, and works with her dog as a search and rescue team. And oh, she can talk to animals. Prince, Willow’s crazy Irish wolfhound puppy, needs some training, so Tobias assigns Gael and Elijah to take the dog to her for training. When Sam manages to work a miracle at the Citadel, everyone decides that they will go down to a local bar and celebrate.

Father James, who was a Catholic priest and who is now an activist and counselor in the area, is also at the bar. He’s bi, and sees Elijah. He and Elijah go to the back and have a significant moment together. When they come back out, there’s a huge fight, and a couple of the gargoyles get hurt. And when the dust clears, it turns out Gael is gone on top of Elijah being hurt.

I knew that this one was going to be a tough read. Not because it’s a hard book or anything, but because it was Gael’s story, and I knew, from what we’ve been able to get from the previous books about his history and from what we’ve seen of Etienne’s behavior, that whatever was going to happen to Gael or anyone involved with Gael would be brutal and possibly worse than anything anyone else went through. And I wasn’t necessarily wrong. I think that some of the stuff that happened to the ladies might’ve been worse, but what happened to Gael is pretty damn horrific, and what happens to Elijah is terrible.

I like Gael, so much. I also hurt for him, again, so much. Even without anything that Etienne may or may not be doing to him, he’s so damaged from the fire at Notre Dame, not just physically, but mentally. He has some serious PTSD and survivor’s guilt going on, and he needs some help to heal with that, more help than James, Sam, and Elijah can give him.

One thing that I really liked about James and Sam is that they are willing to stand up to Tobias and basically tell him to fuck off, only nicer. The reason that they do that is one of the things that has really annoyed me in each book, and that’s all the things that happen to the mates without telling them these things could happen. I understand the reasoning of the gargoyles for doing things the way that they do, but I think that they have seen, time and again, that it isn’t the best way to handle things.

I love Sam’s Grandma. She’s a fucking hoot. I mean, she gets drunk on the crystals at the Citadel. She pinches the asses of all the guys. She may spy on their showers. And oh yeah, she gets frisky with Andre.

I can’t wait for Tobias’ book.

OK, Etienne keeps talking about his spies. I didn’t think that Gael was the way that he was finding out information, but it looks like he was getting some that way. But there are more eyes. Does he mean the ravens or are there more? I can’t wait to find out.

OK, that’s all for this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

Claire Marta & Nia Farrell-Darcy

Darcy is the 5th book in the Guarded Heart series by Nia and Claire, and I have to say that I have a lot of feelings about Darcy. Complicated feelings. This series is not a standalone series, it has an overarching storyline and you ahve to have read the previous books to understand where we are. Each book is a complete story, so you don’t have a cliffhanger, and each trio has their HEA by the end of the book.

So, Darcy has pulled up at her new job. She’s at a boys’ school and she’s going to teach the boys martial arts and give therapeutic massages. But that’s not the only reason that she’s there. That’s just her public job. She’s also undercover. She’s looking for someone who has done some bad things, and her team suspect that the man is at this school, and may be up to his old tricks. But until she can shut him down, Darcy is left in enemy territory. And I’m really not being hyperbolic here. She doesn’t have a friend here, anywhere. The man who hired her isn’t here, but the headmaster, a Russian, is, along with his two thugs. He doesn’t like her from te very beginning, and he has no problems at all in making sure that she knows it. Trust me, he’s not a nice guy.

For Darcy, the only redeeming anything at the moment is the fact that Dr. Liu Chan is at the school. She’s been looking for him. He’s her old lover, but that’s not why she was trying to find him. You see, he likes to experiment. And he’s not all that ethical. Darcy would know.

Meanwhile, at the Citadel, we have Zana and Lukus. They are partners and they are pretty sure that Darcy is their fated mate. But, there are problems. One is that they don’t know where she is. Another is that she is permanently banned from the Citadel. A third is that no one knows what she is up to and if she can be trusted. So, you know, just a couple of issues. None of that stops Zana and Lukus from wanting her. When Darcy contacts her cousin, Raven, and suggests that they meet up, Zana tags along and manages to kiss Darcy, which lets him know that yup, she’s theirs.

When we first met Darcy, back in Raven’s book. I really liked her. I thought that she was tough, strong, caring, and loyal. She was going to do everything she could to protect her cousin Raven and Raven’s daughter Willow. Then, we got to meet her again in Riley, and my feelings changed a lot about her. She made some choices that were… harmful to many people. She was judgy mcjudgerson, and was determined to believe the absolute worst about the guys in the Citadel. So, Claire and Nia had a struggle to go to get her to a point where I might like her at the beginning of this book. They did succeed. But, I have to admit it took some time, and I didn’t want to completely trust her until more than 1/2 way through the book.

Zana and Lukus are both really good men who really just want to find their fated mate, have babies, and live a happy life. They also want to make sure that their mate, and all the mates of their brothers, are safe, and right now, that’s ain’t so much true. There is a whole bevy of enemies out there, and no one knows what’s going to happen or how to avoid it.

There are things afoot, evil sneaky things, and I want to know all the answers, RIGHT NOW.

I want to know whose eyes are being used. It wasn’t the person I thought it was at first, but now I just don’t know. I have suspiscions.

OK, that’s all for this one. Go check out the whole series! Happy reading!

Nia Farrell & Claire Marta-Casey

Casey is the second book in Nia and Claire’s Guarded Heart series. The first book was Morgan, and this one takes place mostly concurrently with Morgan. I would suggest that you read it before you read this one so that you can truly understand everything going on.

So, here’s our story. Casey is Morgan’s roommate, and that has brought her to the attention of Malik and Iosefa, two of the cadre. They are pretty sure that she is their fated mate. She is pretty sure that they are a massive pain in her ass. In fact, she tries very hard to ignore the fuck out of them, which vexes our guys. They want to get to know her and woo her, but that means that she is going to have to trust them, and trust is one thing that Casey does not do much of. She trusts Morgan, and that might be it. Oh, she trusts her godmother too, but that’s it.

Casey is a federal agent, and she’s trying to find the person who took down her brother. That’s part of the reason that she has such a hard time trusting people. Trusting means that she has to let people in, and she’s pretty sure that she has good reasons to not do that.

Then we have Malik and Iosefa. They are helping to guard Morgan while still trying to get to know Casey, and occasionally busting criminals, which has gained them a fan club, which really annoys Casey for some reason. They are so drawn to her that they will occasionally sneak away and follow her, which leads to its own problems, right there.

I like Casey. I think that she is a really strong character. She knows what she can do, she knows what she wants, and she’s not about to give up on anything. I think that she’s also annoying AF sometimes. She’s so determined to not let anyone in that she misses that there are people who actually care for her and who want to actually get to know her and love her. She would rather just shove Malik and Iosefa away, because they don’t fit into where she wants them to be.

I like the guys. I think that, for 95% of the time, they are really good, honorable guys. They are going to do everything they can to maintain their mission, as well as try to secure their fated mate. It’s that lasts 5% of the time where I didn’t like them quite as much. There were a couple of times that I thought that they overstepped a bit, and I would’ve been upset at them if they did what they did at my house, and I’m not nearly as secretive and private as Casey is. I understand *why* they did it, I just would’ve been upset in Casey’s place. Would I have done it in their place? Umm… Yeah. So, maybe I’m just a smidge of a hypocrite, LOL.

Anyway, I really can’t wait until the next book, because I know that it’s going to be really good.

passage way into a garden

I think that more needed to happen to certain people in this one. It just feels like they didn’t get their just desserts.

OK, that’s all for this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!