Tuesday, 1 September 2015

There is nothing more toxic for animals than chocolate

Genre:  Vampires & Shapeshifters
Series: Truckee Wolves

There are three things that Dr Briony Theale loves.  Her job as a veterinarian, a good bar of rich, dark chocolate, and Rico, the ranger in charge of the Wildlife Rescue center.  When a casual dinner with Rico turns surprisingly intimate, Briony realises that she must just have a chance with him after all, if only she could lose a few pounds.  It's the ultimate sacrifice, but Briony goes cold turkey, and swears off chocolate forever.

Rico Montgomery fell hard for Briony the first time he set eyes on the curvy little doctor.  Her rich brown hair and cocoa skin trigger cravings he can barely control, and her fragrance is like the sweetest, richest chocolate he's ever scented in his life.  That's the bad thing for Rico, because to a werewolf like him, chocolate is literally a toxin.  After his pack warns him off the very human doctor, Rico finds himself even more drawn to Briony.

Rico can't live with it, and Briony can't live without it.  And when a certain wandering wolf finds a bag of chocolate in the trash near Briony's clinic, these two will find out just how toxic love can be.

An ex special ops person is called upon to become a mother to two special children.  This story deals with one of those children – Briony.  A chocolate addicted vet, who is super curvaceous, sexy and delicious smelling (it is rather refreshing to have a voluptuous woman as the object of the male’s attraction), she is able to calm animals with her touch and spirit.

Her love element is Rico, a rancher with a difference.  He loves her in secret especially her chocolate smell.  Most nights he checks on her as she leaves her veterinary practice and therein lies the main point of the story.

Briony has a special skill which eventually means they join the fray.

I did find the way Briony dealt with the rather large reveal too far-fetched even for this paranormal romance.  And even when her adopted mother was let into the secret her reaction was just too accepting.

At the end of the novel, there are just too many unanswered questions remaining.  But then that is the hook to get the reader wanting to know more and investing in the second instalment.

All that said the story is the first in the series and the way the characters are written does draw the reader in.  Even if it is somewhat unbelievable, there was a nice mix of humour, romance and some suspense.  If paranormal, slightly DBSM stories are your thing then you cannot go far wrong with this novel.

Full Disclosure: I received a free copy from Netgalley for an honest review.

Rated as 4 stars on Netgalley and 'It was OK' on Amazon (3 stars) and Goodreads (2 stars).

In the words of Sir Cliff Richard, "Got myself a cryin', talkin' / Sleepin', walkin', livin' doll"

Information specialist Vanessa 'Michael' Munroe has a global reputation for getting things done, often dangerous and violent things.

But her reputation has brought her dangerous enemies.

On a busy Dallas street, Munroe is kidnapped by an unseen opponent and thrust into an underground world where women and girls are merchandise and a shadowy figure known as The Doll Maker controls her every move.

Now everything pivots on one simple choice:  Munroe must use her unique set of skills to deliver a high-profile young woman into the same nightmare that she once endured, or condemn to torture and certain death the one person she loves above all else.

I am obviously reading this series backwards.  I started with book 4 and am now reading book 3.  And as with the previous novel, this feels like I have come in part way through the story.  I am sure that if I had read the previous two novels I would have got so much more from this novel.  (Without giving too much away, it would be nice if the author could give a précis of the characters and what has happened for new readers starting with this novel.)

As in book 4 Munroe is involved in a scenario that was unwanted but agrees to protect those she loves most.  In this novel the object of Munroe’s focus is an upcoming starlet with equally famous parents.  She required Munroe’s protection.  She initially comes over as a spoilt brat, and not someone that I would be interested in protecting not matter what the cost; even though the hostage is also rooting for her own life.

As a first time reader this author has created a wonder woman.  Is there nothing that Michael cannot do?  She can understand language just by listening to them (which we are constantly reminded of) and can get out of the tightest spot imaginable.  This reader is also at a loss as to what the ending was all about!

Even though this is the third book in the series all the characters and especially Michael still seemed to be rather one dimensional.  They had not redeemable characteristics with which the reader could identify with or latch on to.  And in no way do these characters make me want to follow their stories forward to their conclusion.

This novel was well written but rather wordy and although the plot was well researched the ‘hero’ left me cold.  Indeed the plot was rather too complex for the ‘normal’ reader.  The chapters are too long and the dialogues were unrealistic.

There is just too much going on and too many lesser characters for this reader to care about.  Indeed, I am not sure I would like ‘Michael’; and we do not really know any more about her at the end of the story than we did at the beginning of the story.

Although I read this as a stand-alone novel I would suggest that you start this series at book 1 so that you know the entire back story which seems integral to the forward plot.

Full Disclosure: I received a free copy from Netgalley for an honest review.

I rated this 3 stars on Netgalley and 'It was OK' on Goodreads (2 stars) and Amazon (3 stars).