Kay Elle Parker-The Vampire’s Captive

Kay Elle Parker takes us back into the Midnight Doms world that Lee Savino and Renee Rose created. Today, we’re going to be The Vampire’s Captive, and I wanna know where I can sign up for Colt, I mean, I wouldn’t mind overly much being his captive.

So, we’re in Arizona. Vienna is stuck on the side of the road, in short shorts, a tank top, and flip flops. This normally wouldn’t be a horrible thing in Arizona, but the problem is she’s stuck on the side of the road, 18 miles away from anything. Her tire blew, so she pulled over to the side of the road to fix it. While she was struggling, some lovely people pulled over on the side of the road to help her. And oh, to steal her car, with absolutely everything in it, including her phone, her purse, and all her money. None of the trucks or cars that are driving by stop for her, so she manages to hike herself to a rest area, where she is able to find some boulders with ledges to sit on. While she is hiding herself away there, she hears several cars pull up and a bunch of guys get out and start talking about mobile blood units. Vienna tries so hard to be quiet, but she does let loose with one little gasp.

Colt is meeting with a Russian and another vampire to talk about getting some golden blood humans through. Golden blood people are those who are Rh null. (this is a real thing, and there are legit something like only 40 people in the world have it. I think there are only like 10 people worldwide who are donors.) Anyway, in this world, people with golden blood taste like all the best things in the world combined. So, Colt and his evil associates are breeding and selling golden bloods. Colt lets everyone leave and and pretends to leave, but he comes back to see if he could find the person who gasped. That’s when he found Vienna, who he grabbed and then shoved in his trunk.

OK, this is one of the best parts. Vienna is claustrophobic. That’s not the best thing. The best thing is that after she freaks out, her brain kicks in, and she figures out that she can get the tire iron out of the compartment. So she does. And she smacks the shit out of Colt when he pulls her out of the trunk. That is the best thing. Or at least one of the best things. Superhero Vienna is also the best thing.

I love Vienna. I mean, just absolutely love her. She is strong, fierce, and she will definitely kick your ass, especially if she has steel toed boots. She’s like one of those little cute purse dogs who doesn’t realize how small she is, with a huge dog attitude, and really, she has the badassness to back up the attitude. I kinda want to be her. I think that she and Selene will get along quite well, and they might end up running the world if you let them loose.

I like Colt. He is a very good man. He’s also sneaky and tricksy and determined. He does what he has to so that he can do what is expected of him by those he’s working with. I think that he’s got enough of the Domliness to handle Vienna, but is willing to let her be Vienna, if you know what I mean.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go get some stompy boots with steel toes.

I have to admit, I really disliked Lucius at times, I mean to the point of introducing him to the sun at parts of this book. I understand his points, but I am still really mad at him.

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

Alice Winters-How to Vex a Vampire

Alice Winters is one of my favorite MM authors. She writes a damn good story, with fantastic worlds, but that’s not all. She also writes the most ridiculous, funny, charming characters. And How to Vex a Vampire fits right in with the rest of her books. I laughed my ass off while I was reading it, because it’s really impossible not to.

As you can tell from the title, this is a PNR/UF kinda thing. So, here’s our story. Finn is a human homicide detective. He walks into a crime scene, and Marcus points out that he shouldn’t be there. That’s because the vic is a vampire, and the Vampire Related Crimes department of the police is supposed to handle it. But Finn has a plan. He knows that they need to have a new person in their department, and he wants to be that person. There is a very young vampire there, and he nearly attacks the human analyst doing work, which means there’s suddenly an opening. Finn basically begs the head of the department, Brooks, to let him have the job, and he gets it. It helps that Brooks has known Finn for a long time, having been a friend of his adoptive father. So, he knows Finn’s history and abilities.

Poor Marcus, who is a very old vampire, gets stuck with Finn as a partner. It really annoys Marcus, and he does what he can to try to scare Finn off, which doesn’t work the way that he really wants it to.

Finn is just totally ridiculous and incredibly charming. He’s one of those people who never meets a stranger and knows that everyone loves him. He just can’t imagine it being any other way. And then the fact that he’s positive that you love him kind of makes it so that you do love him. He wears you down and grows on you. Or you just get too damn tired to fight him off any more. Either way, it works. But the thing is that Finn is just as smart, talented, and competent as he thinks he is. Which is almost too bad for him, because, well, that just gives him more fuel for his ego. Which really doesn’t need any more fuel. And you could almost think that he would be insufferable, but he really isn’t. He’s just this guy that you really just kinda want to take care of and be friends with. But you also want to snark at and with him.

The snarkasm is heavy in any of Alice’s books, but it’s never really mean. It’s just the way that the characters communicate.

I can’t wait for the next book in the series, and I hope it comes soon. Of course, I can’t wait for the next book in any of her series, and I definitely recommend them to everyone.

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I’m dying to find out more about Finn’s history and why certain things happened.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

Anthology-Bite Me

So, several of the usual suspects, plus a couple new ones, have gotten together and given us 9 lovely vampire stories. Bite Me has stories from Addison Cain, Zoe Blake, Alta Hensley, Myra Danvers, Eris Adderly, Livia Bourne, Sara Fields, Anita Gray, and Cassandra Faye. Cassandra Faye may sound like a totally new person, but that is Jennifer Bene’s new pen name for her more paranormal stuff.

As with any anthology that includes these ladies, there is dark and then there is DARK. That’s one of the nice things about anthologies, if you ask me, you are going to get a wide variety of darkness plus different takes on the subject. All the stories are about vampires, but there are 9 different ideas. The stories also vary in length. Some of them are prologues to new series, which I am dying for. So, with all that being said, let’s dive in, shall we?

Addison Cain-Cathedral

If you remember When the Darkness Wins, you might remember Pearl and Catacombs. Addison also released it as a standalone. Well, Cathedral is about Jade, Darius and Pearl’s daughter. I feel sorry for Jade. Having Darius as a father can’t have been easy at all. She’s nothing but a pawn in the hands of her father.

I was really excited to see this one come out, because I’ve been dying for more of that story and that world since I read Catacombs a million years ago. Or at least a few months back, whatever. Of course, Addison being the tease she is, there’s more to the story that we don’t know yet. But I’m sure we will, sooooooon. 

Zoe Blake-Till the End of Time

Zoe went back to the 1400s, and the most well-known vampire, Vlad Tepes, Voivode of Wallachia, Son of Dracul, aka Dracula. Only this origin story doesn’t start with the Impaler. It starts with his wife, Mirella. It also spans a lot of years.

I love how much research that Zoe had to have put into this one to get the true flavor of 1400s Romania. You get a real feel for Mirella and the whole geopolitical situation of the day. A whole lot of historical fact was wound into this story as well as the fiction, and it makes for a really rich story.

Alta Hensley-Master of Ceremonies

You know, I’ve often thought that a traveling carnival is a good place for supernaturals to hide, and apparently Alta did too. Cirque Romani’s MC, Valian, is more than meets the eye, and the Cirque’s audience is perfect to feed all his various hungers. Ada is his mortal assistant who madly loves him.

I really, really, really want more of this story. I mean, like sell my son’s soul for more of this story. I’d offer to sell mine, but that’s assuming that I still have one. There’s so much that happens here, and I want to see how all the events play out.

Myra Danvers-Enthralled

Myra, who is now one of my favorite authors, has given us a prequel to this. I can’t tell you exactly when it’s set, but I’m guessing mid-1800s. Axton is a new vampire, who follows his Dark Queen, his Night Princess, his Dam, Selma.

One of the things that I like about this is Myra’s language. She uses all kinds of euphemisms for various genitalia and sexual acts. It could sound silly in other places, but it really works well in this story. On top of that, I think that Myra also did a really good job of drawing us in and getting us involved in Axton’s feelings.

Eris Adderly-V Is For Vampire

Eris’s story is a prequel too. And being Eris, she gives us a totally different take on vampires. Her vampires in a couple of hundred years in the future. It’s also a genetic thing with them. You either carry the gene or you don’t. If you have the gene, you live in the underground as a vampire. If you don’t, you’re a normal and you live on the surface. November is 22V positive and a gate guard, keeping her people underground and normals aboveground.

I really like the whole futuristic dystopic world that Eris has created. I’m not quite sure that I could call it post-apocalyptic, but maybe post-apocalyptic adjacent? I’m really looking forward to what is going to happen with this, because it looks like there are some major, major changes coming.

Livia Bourne-Blinding Salvation

This is another prequel, and I may have to start counting down the days to this one. Hopefully, Livia hasn’t been taking too many lessons from Addison and won’t be a sadist. Lily was abducted to become food to Armand, a trapped vampire. But, you know, it’s never quite that interesting.

I really like Lily and Armand. Lily is very smart and very canny. I think that she is going to be really good for Armand. I like him too. I want to see more of how his mind works, because I think that he’s good and sneaky, and really creative when it comes to revenge.

Sara Fields-The Devil’s Game

Sara likes to play with us, I think. She gives us the story of Cain and Ruby. They are both strong, in their own ways, doing their own things, but then, they meet up, and sparks fly. They are fantastic together.

I wonder if there is going to be more of this. I hope so, I would really like there to be more. I think that Ruby and Cain play off each other really well. I like the whole premise of the story, and it plays back to some of the old vampire origin myths, which was always fun.

Anita Gray-To My End

Oh, this is definitely an Anita story. There’s probably a mindfuck in there somewhere. We have a Hunter named Sonny who is chasing down the Potentials and has to kill them. Then we have Vi, who doesn’t know exactly how special she is. But she sure knows how sexy new guy in town Sonny is.

You know, when I first read this one, I wanted so much for there to be more. I mean, I still do, don’t get me wrong, but I also think that the way that it ended is actually pretty much perfect. I think more story might ruin that perfectness. Does that mean I won’t read more if Anita gives it to us? Hell no. I will definitely read it. I’m sure that Anita can fix it.

Cassandra Faye-Sweet Ruin

Grace had a sexy, sexy dream. Probably a dream. Maybe a dream. Then she has a hallucination. A sexy, sexy hallucination named Nic who keeps showing up wherever she is. Sometimes he’s even dressed.

Sweet Ruin is probably the lightest story in the book. When you realize it’s a Jennifer Bene story, you might be surprised by that fact, but only if you haven’t read some of her PNR. It fits in pretty well with her books in that genre. It’s a totally different flavor to some of her other books. I loved Grace and Nic, and I think that they are really cute together.

OK, that’s all the stories and how I felt about them all. I’ve always loved a good vampire story and 9 of them is even better. Go check out the book and tell me what you think! Happy reading!

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Celia Aaron-Blood Prince

I guarantee that if Celia Aaron writes it, I will read it. Every.damn.time. I love her work so much. I’ve talked about before about how I think she’s a new chapter in Modern Southern Gothic fiction. She writes such layered stories with a lot of nuance. Her FMCs are strong characters in and of themselves, and she gives them a lot of smarts and stubbornness. Blood Prince fits in well with her style, even if it doesn’t take place in the South, unless, well, you consider the Underworld the South.

So, this is Celia’s take on the Helen of Troy story. For those who aren’t familiar with the story, Paris, the prince of Troy is asked to judge a beauty contest between Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite. They bribe him and Aphrodite offers Paris the most beautiful woman in the world. That just happens to be Helen, Queen of Sparta, wife to Menelaus. As the story goes, either he went and kidnapped her and brought her to Troy or Aphrodite spirited her away. Either way, Helen and Paris end up together in Troy and madly in love. Menelaus, understandably, is really fucking pissed, so he and his allies lay siege to Troy. Eventually, Menelaus challenges Paris to a duel, and Paris either dies or runs away, depending on which story you read. Then, the Trojan Horse shows up.

OK, that’s the way that Homer told it. Celia’s version is slightly different. In her version, Priam, Paris’ dad, is the vampire king, and the vamps aren’t bad. Menelaus is a demon lord, and demons are bad. Menelaus bought Helen, a daughter of Zeus and full of magic, at an auction to be his wife. He did terrible, terrible things to her. We don’t know most of what he did to her at any point, other than killing her brothers and torturing her mother, we just know that it was terrible. When Paris was there and saw Helen in a rose garden, lightning struck, and they fell in love. He took her home to Troy, where they lived happily ever after, at least until Menelaus showed up and tried to get her back. Paris went to fight Menelaus and he lost. Then when Menelaus came to get Helen, she killed herself so that he couldn’t have her anymore.

Flash forward a few centuries and Elena, one of the maiden warriors of Artemis and her chief strategist, is out wandering through the streets of Paris. She runs into a huge guy who ends up taking her and shoving her in his car. Right before that happens, she sees the vampire prince Paris teleporting towards her, with a really angry look on his face. Last she knew, he was dallying with Artemis, so she can’t figure out why he’s mad at her. When she gets in the car, the man sticks some silver bracelets on her which block her magic and then tells her that, oh, BTW, he’s her husband.

Paris manages to help her escape, and tells Elena that she’s actually Helen of Troy. Artemis rescued her body after death, took her memories, and turned her into one of her warriors.

Elena/Helen is pretty damn kick ass. She’s smart, tricksy, wily, and a master tactician. She pretty much strategically outthinks everyone. Paris is more than willing to go with her plans because he knows that she’s not only the best at it but that she’s already thought through all the possible steps and problems before she finalizes anything. It’s like she already has seen every possible outcome and knows what definitely happen. It’s pretty cool. I love that Elena/Helen is so kick ass and that she is seriously fierce. She isn’t necessarily a damsel in distress. She definitely causes the distress. She’s confident and sure of herself and her power. The nice thing is that Paris isn’t threatened by that. He values her, her powers, and her abilities. He knows that if she’s by his side then he can’t fail.

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Oh, Iphi. I love her. She and Helen are a pair. I think that she’s just super fun, and not quite right, but in a good way. I would love to see a story about Iphi because I’m pretty sure that she would get into all kinds of good trouble.

Apollo is such a horndog. So funny. I wonder how many upset husbands he’s left in his wake over the centuries, because you know he has. Or maybe he just managed to charm them all, who knows. I feel like he’s one of those jackasses who is such a huge asshole but you can’t help but like him because he’s a charming fuck.

OK, that’s all I have to say today. Go check this one out! Happy reading!

Candace Blevins-Leashed & An Elegant Weapon

Today we have a two-fer from Candace Blevins. I’ve been following on of her stories on Radish for a while now, and if you like paranormal and kink, Slave is a good choice. It’s got sex in just about every combination and power dynamic you can think of, set against a backdrop of a Fae court. Go check it out. Also, some of her books were up on Wattpad last I checked, so check that out too.

Today, though, we are talking about Leashed and An Elegant Weapon. They are part of her Dark Underbelly series and are directly connected. I suspect that you could read An Elegant Weapon without having read Leashed, but you would get much more enjoyment reading Leashed and then An Elegant Weapon. Talking about the one really won’t spoil the other in any significant way, so there should be no problem with me talking about them both.

Leashed

So, let’s jump right in with Leashed, shall we? This is primarily an M/m book, when it comes down to relationships and sex. There are just a few sex scenes, and they aren’t as graphic as you may see in some other books, but they are really hot, I think that it’s mostly because of the connection and caring that you see between Spencer and Abbott.

Abbott is a master vampire who had to take the area of Maryland as his own, adding to his already vast territory. This leads to a lot of problems, including the fact that there are dozens of blood-bound werewolves, many of whome don’t have the ability to control their inner wolves on their own. That means that Abbott has to figure out a way to help them with that. One way is that he binds them to himself. That’s what he does with Spencer.

Spencer was taken as a child and brought into his former Master’s house. There he was turned into a werewolf and trained as a sex slave and one who could take a lot of pain. Because he was a werewolf, he could be used hard and fed from and then forced to change and heal. When Abbott takes him into his house, he is drawn to Spencer. He wants to be with Spencer, but the problem is that Spencer is bound to him and he quite literally can’t tell him no.

However, something happens that changes their whole relationship.

An Elegant Weapon

So, AEW is Holly and Bran’s story. Holly’s first appearance was in Leashed.

Holly was a meth junky that Abbott found passed out in the park. He decided that he was going to take her home, get her clean, and give her a chance. She had already burnt through all her bridges with her family, and there really wasn’t much else out there. So, to Abbott’s house she goes. He puts her in Spencer’s care and gives her a schedule of things to do. However, she doesn’t really meet Spencer and Abbott’s expectations. Because of that, Abbott has another idea as to how to help her. He decides to let her spend the rest of her 6 month period with Bran.

Bran is one of Abbott’s trusted allies. He’s also sadistic and the only person in Abbott’s territory who can keep slaves. Bran has harsher methods to help Holly out than Abbott does. He also doesn’t have the same morals that Abbott does. He has no problem with forcing a bit on Holly or having noncon sex. She is going to his house as a slave, which means she’s petty much anyone’s meat.

When they get to Bran’s house, he decides that he sees something in her, as she’s fighting him. He has one of his men start training her to fight.

OK, I’m going to split off here. There will be some spoilers at the end, but I’m going to be careful about what I say, because we all know how I feel about leaving spoilers, and these books are fairly short. I enjoyed both of them. They are definitely worth hitting up King Zon and clicking on them.

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When it comes to L, there is a definite HEA, but then you get to AEW and it isn’t as clearly a romance. However, I do put it in that category, for a couple of reasons. One is that Bran and Holly are both getting their needs met in a beneficial manner and they have found a partner who works for them. The sex scenes are interesting. There are some MF scenes, but there is also F/m and M/F/m stuff going on. Holly is a sadist, as trained by Bran who is also a sadist. What she does with the slave that Bran gives her is really great. I need to see more of what she does to him.

The stories are pretty quick reads, and I’m going to have to go read the rest of the books, as well as all the other related books. I really enjoyed the books, the characters, the magical system, and the universe.

OK, that’s it for today. Got all kinds of good stuff coming up, so keep your eyes open. Meanwhile, happy reading

Adaline Raine-Saving Abby, Marked by Fate Bk. 1

Adaline Raine has brought us a nice Halloween treat, ducklings. This story is included in the box set, Moonlight Magic, which is packed full of Halloween thrills and chills.

Abby has been different her whole life. She never gets sick, and if she gets hurt, she heals almost immediately. This led her mother to think that she didn’t feel a lot of pain because, well, if you heal that quick, you must not hurt, right? Wrong! Anyway, as an adult, Abby decides to try and find out more about herself and her condition. She’s spent years doing research, and finally found someone who will talk to her about it. On the night that she is supposed to meet her mysterious contact, she ends up being attacked. Raven tells Abby that she is now Raven’s. However, before anything can happen, her incredibly hot boss, Chase roars up and saves her. He yells several things to Raven about her crimes and that he will end her if she doesn’t leave Abby alone, and that Abby is his.

Chase is a multi-gazillionaire workaholic. He is secretive and doesn’t do a lot of interviews so no one knows anything about him. All his employees gossip and speculate about him. Their ruling theory is that he is gay. He knows a lot more about Abby and her situation than he’s letting on. He tells her she needs to do certain things to stay safe, but Abby is headstrong. However, when Raven comes after her again, she’s more than a little frightened.

OK, we’re going to part ways here. I liked this story. Interesting view on vampires. It can be hard to write vamps since they are always there and have been written about 20 different ways, but I like Adaline’s way. I also like the marks of fate. It’s going to be an interesting series. There is sex, violence, and cursing, all the goodies. However, I wouldn’t classify it as dark, paranormal isn’t necessarily dark. Sexy, yes, but not dark. The box set is only $0.99, so check it out.

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Totally cool pic, right? I really liked it.

Anyway, there were some scenes that I was like damn, Adaline, WTF did you just do? One of them is when Chase is trying to teach Abby to defend herself. I mean, woah. That was… yeah. I have to admit, I would’ve freaked out too, just like Abby did, because.. However, it did help her out when push came to shove and she was totally badass about it too.

I really did enjoy this story. It was a nice love story, but it didn’t go smoothly into their HEA, which I like. There were bumps and bruises and misunderstandings. I really prefer the bumps and bruises more than smooth sailing because it is more realistic to me. None of us have ever had a smooth path to our HEAs, right? I know mine wasn’t. And while I’m talking about unsmooth paths, let me take a second to wish my darling husband happy 23rd anniversary. That’s the vampire one, right? Totally stakes to protect us? Or is it the zombie one, where I get another sword?

That’s all I have to say today. We have some intense stories coming up. We have an age play story from Allysa Hart, who is new to me, Kneel from Dani Rene, and Exalted from Sansa Rayne, as well as more from Kit Rocha and the world of Sector 4. Meanwhile, happy reading!

 

Kate Daniels Reread pt. 2

My next-to-last post was all about the world of Kate Daniels and such. Today we’re actually going to get into the books. I’ve read the first three, but this review may or may not talk about all three. From now on, the reviews will just be about one book at a time. I just got ahead in my reading. So, without further ado, let’s start reviewing!

Magic Bites

Magic Bites is the first book in the series. In it, we are introduced to Kate, a merc. She’s sitting in her house in Savannah, GA, drinking when a vampire shows up to ask if she’s talked to her guardian lately. Ghastek was the one who was navigating the vampire. He and Kate are going to have an interesting relationship over the series, so remember his name.

She rushes to Atlanta to find that Greg Feldman, the man who was her guardian after her father died, has been gruesomely murdered. He was the resident Knight-Diviner for the local chapter of The Order of the Knights of Merciful Aid. The Order is kind of like modern day Templars, only slightly less merciful. They will provide mercy, but sometimes that mercy is provided at the edge of a sword. The Order was founded right after the tech fell and the shift started. It is very regimented. Greg did get Kate into the Order’s Academy, and she tested out at electrum level, which is the highest you can go, and there have only ever been like 8. However, she walked out and became a merc, which drove a wedge in between her and Greg. There will be more about the Order in reviews to come. Anyway, she goes to the head of the local chapter of the Order to get help and ends up with permission to work with them to find Greg’s killer.

On the way to the solution, she goes to the morgue and meets Crest. She goes to Unicorn Lane and meets Curran, greeting him by saying “Here, kitty, kitty.” She goes to the Keep and meets Derek Gaunt, faithful, teenage, werewolf sidekick. And she goes to the Casino and has to talk to Nataraja. More to come in the spoiler section.

Magic Burns

In Magic Burns, a seven-year flare is coming. A flare is several days when the magic is extremely high. It’s a high peak of magic that plateaus during that time. Saiman, Kate’s magical expert, metamorph, and deviant extraordinaire, calls it the time of the gods. And he’s not wrong. During the flare, shifters have a hard time controlling themselves, Navigators have a harder time controlling their vampires, and magic users and magical people, like Kate, get a huge power boost.

This book starts out with Kate doing a merc job partnering Jim, a were-jaguar and the chief of security for the Pack. They are trying to track down a madman with a salamander. A salamander is a magical creature that starts fire. Just as Jim and Kate catch their firebug, he gets shot with a mysterious black arrow. Then Jim gets paged by someone in the Pack and has to leave. Remember, with the Pack, it’s us against them, and for Jim, he will drop everything when the Pack calls. He’s the Alpha cat and the security chief, so he’s super-duper responsible.

Later, Derek comes to ask Kate for help because someone has stolen maps from the Pack. Their maps are uber-accurate, and highly sought after. This person poofed in, grabbed the maps, and poofed out. While she was trying to figure out how to help with the maps, she runs across a street shaman named Red who had helped her a little bit in the last book, and his girlfriend, Julie. Julie’s mom is missing and Red tells Kate to take care of her. More in the spoiler section.

Magic Strikes

Magic Strikes starts out a few months after the flare. Kate is headed home from her job at the Order. She runs across Jim and some other shifters picking up a dead body. She offers them help, Jim turns her down. When she gets home, she gets a call from Saiman, telling her to come pick up something of hers. It turns out it’s Derek, who has snuck into his apartment to steal some tickets to the Midnight Games. The Games are an underground fighting tournament. In it, teams go into the Pit and fight each other. Derek has been working undercover in the Games and has found a young woman he’s trying to help, Livvie. That’s why he wants the tickets. Saiman extorts Kate into going to the Games with him, and Derek asks her to give Livvie a note from him. While this sounds like a minor little thing, it turns out to be pretty important.

So, we’ll leave it here until the spoiler section, which, as this is getting long, is going to actually show up tomorrow, I think. I don’t like to read long blog posts, so I don’t want to write them for people.

There is romance in the series, but there isn’t really any in the first books. Kate and Curran get a little kissy face going on, but nothing else really. It’s not until the fourth book that their romance really gets going. In these books they are still dancing around each other and kind of confrontational. Really, I think foreplay for them involves arguing and physically fighting with each other, in a sparring way, not in a bad way.

It’s a good series, well-written and enjoyable. The way the books work, they build on each other. Each book adds more to the characters and to the world, so there is always something new to find out. I really love that.

So, here is where this quick overview of books 1-3 ends, and we get ready for tomorrow’s post, which is going to be spoiler-iffic. And I’m going to leave you with this beautiful picture of a Barbary lion, just because.

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Have Mercy! The World of Patricia Briggs

Welcome to another entry in my UF category, saga, whatever you want to call it. Anyway, today is Patricia Briggs and the world of Mercedes Thompson, which also includes the Alpha and Omega books, since they are a spin-off of the series.

At first glance, Mercedes Thompson looks like a Native American mechanic who specializes in working on Volkswagens. And yes, she’s heard all the jokes about Mercedes the mechanic who works on German cars. But, when you start to look deeper at her, you find out that there is a lot more to her than you think. One of those things is that she turns into a coyote. Unlike the werewolves in this world, which take a long time to change and who go through a lot of pain during their change, Mercy can change immediately, with no pain at all. That’s because unlike the werewolves, who have to be changed into being a werewolf, Mercy’s power as a skinwalker is innate. In the first book, we learn that her mother didn’t know what to do when she went into see her baby and found a coyote pup in Mercy’s crib instead of Mercy.

Because of that fact, Mercy isn’t brought up by her mother. She had an uncle who knew Bran, the Marrok. The Marrok is the Alpha of Alphas. He is the head of all the werewolves in the US, and while he doesn’t rule the other countries, he does have some influence, mostly because he is very old and very powerful. And when I say very old, I mean centuries, as in double digits of centuries. Grendel from Beowulf may be based on Bran. Anyway, he has a pack in Montana and finds Mercy a place with a foster family, where she spends her childhood until she’s a teenager when she gets sent to live with her mother and her mother’s family, in Washington State.

Back to Bran for a minute. Bran is Welsh and has two sons, Samuel and Charles. Charles is the only born werewolf. His mother was a Native American and had her own magic. She managed to hold off the change while she was pregnant so that she could give birth. Generally, female werewolves can’t carry children because the change is too violent. Charles has his own magic through his mother, and his change is more like Mercy’s, and he can come back fully clothed. He’s only a couple of hundred years old. He is also the main character of the Alpha and Omega series, with his wife Anna. She is a rare Omega wolf who is outside of the normal pack structure and acts as a calming influence. Omegas can help out with wolves who are out of control.

Samuel is Bran’s older son and isn’t too much younger than his father. When Mercy was a teenager, he romanced her and she fell in love with him. He wanted to have children, and he saw Mercy as a way to do that, since she wouldn’t lose her children due to her shifting, since her powers are in-born.

Mercy’s garage used to be owned by Zee, a fae who identifies as a gremlin. He’s one of the few fae who can handle touching cold iron. Zee has a long and storied history that he keeps pretty secret. He is powerful enough that the Grey Lords, the leaders of the fae, don’t like to bother him much. The fae are out and have been for years, and many of them live in reservations. The one nearest her is in Walla Walla.

One of Mercy’s loyal customer is Stephan, who loves Scooby Doo and owns a VW bus that has been painted to look like the Mystery Machine. He also just happens to be a vampire, and owes allegiance to Marsilla. Stephen and Mercy are friends.

And that brings us to Adam Hauptmann. Adam is Mercy’s neighbor. He is also the Alpha of the Tri-Cities pack. He also declared that Mercy is his mate. Mercy thinks it’s just to protect her and doesn’t realize how serious it is that he did that. He gets over-protective and she does what she can to annoy him, like leaving an old VW in a field between their homes that she vandalizes, just to ruin his view. Spoiler, Mercy does eventually find out how serious Adam is about the mate thing.

I really love these books, and I run through them about once a year. Patricia Briggs has great world building, and not only has characters you love to love, but she also has characters you love to hate, *coughChristiecough*. While there is sex and language in the books, they are relatively mild, and absolutely kink free. There is violence, but that’s to be expected in books like these.

The orders of the books is:

Mercy

  • Moon Called
  • Blood Bound
  • Iron Kissed
  • Bone Crossed
  • Silver Borne
  • River Marked 
  • Frost Burned
  • Night Broken
  • Shifting Shadows
  • Fire Touched
  • Silence Fallen 

Alpha and Omega

  • “Alpha and Omega”  published in On the Prowl and Shifting Shadows 
  • Cry Wolf
  • Hunting Ground 
  • Fair Game
  • Dead Heat 

Coming up in the next couple of days, reviews of two ARCs, Tears of Surrender by Sophie Kisker and Kavven by Hannah Davenport.