Phoenix, AZ, United States | Member Since 2011
This was a pretty good story. I liked the characters and enjoyed the storyline. This is the first story I've read by this author and based off this I plan to try more of her work in the future.
Freya is a Graphic design artist. She had to grow up fast as her parents both died and she had to give up her dreams of travel and becoming and artist to take care of her little sister, Anna. Anna's in college now and Freya is helping her through college. Freya doesn't have much of a social life...the closest she's come recently to a date was spending a day with her new neighbor but she dropped him immediately upon hearing he's a lawyer because she hates lawyers.
Greg is a good guy who happens to be a divorce lawyer. He moved to town not too long before and bought the place upstairs from Freya's. He liked her immediately and loved the day they spent together. He can't understand why she all the sudden started acting like she hated him but he's been trying to get her to go out with him since then with no success.
Because her sister still depends on her, Freya can't afford to lose her job but her creations at work haven't been very good lately and with a big design for an important customer she has to do, her boss is threatening her job if she doesn't get her mojo back and come up with something great to wow the customer. Freya decides the best way to get her muse working again is to get out and date and hopefully get some good sex to get her feeling good. She decides to put an add in the paper. The very same day, as she's walking her sister out, Freya and Anna run in to Greg. Greg tries to get Freya to give him something, anything but as normal she tries to brush him off. Anna however, notices that Freya is actually attracted to Greg but just trying to hide it. Anna knows that Freya hates lawyers. This came from lawyers causing their family much heartache and loss years before. It's irrational to blame all lawyers and say that they're all automatically scheming slime because of one instance but Freya isn't exactly rational about this. Anna decides that Greg would be good for Freya and them getting together would help Freya get over her hatred of lawyers which helps Anna (for her own reasons).
Anna decides to meddle in Freya's love life and this includes checking out Greg. Greg passes inspection so Anna goes about trying to help Greg get the inside track and doing what she can to chase off the other suitors that Freya is attracting through her ad. Fortunately most of the men that answer the ad are hopeless but there is one that is a good option even if he only brings up luke-warm feelings in Freya. Greg brings up hot and spicy feelings but Freya tries to ignore that. Soon it becomes apparent that Freya only gets sparks of inspiration after Greg has done something to turn her on. She propositions him for a fling to help her get her mojo back for her project at work. Greg agrees but tells her that he's not just in it for sex...he wants it all and is going to take this chance to prove to her that they're perfect for each other. They have a wonderful first date and Greg does well at getting under Freya's skin. They spend a couple weeks together but Freya is still somewhat seeing the other man as well. As her work deadline gets closer, Freya has to decide if she's willing to give Greg up just because of his job and she's unsure what to do. There's some drama as she finds out some erroneous information and thinks that Greg is responsible for some bad behavior but the true culprit does admit their guilt and Greg and Freya are able to share their feelings with each other and start their HEA.
This was an enjoyable story. I really liked Greg and Freya (outside of her dogged insistence that all lawyers are evil) and was glad to see them work things out. I also liked Anna...she had some selfish reasons for her actions but I also felt that she was partially doing it to help her sister as well. She just didn't take in to account how things could backfire but I liked how she did the right thing wen it was needed. I'm glad I tried this story and I'll probably try more of the series in the future. I'd recommend this story. :D
This was a pretty good story. I liked Jules and Nate and their story was a good romance with low angst.
Jules is part of a very large family and is the BFF of Natalie (the heroine from book #1, Come Away with Me). Jules has a good job that she loves and doesn't want to lose. She’s been half in love with her boss, Nate, for a while but has always been able to keep things professional. Unfortunately, a one night stand between them earlier in the year makes it really hard to keep things in check around Nate.
Nate is an ex MMA fighter who has tattoos, piercings (yes, privates are pierced) and a motorcycle. At work however, no one know about his bad boy side and only sees the professional side of Nate dressed up in business suits. Nate wanted his one night stand with Jules to be more than just that but had it didn't’ work out that way since Jules basically did her best to avoid him until he stopped trying to approach her about anything non-work related.
The story begins with a glimpse at the one night that Jules and Nate had and then fast forwards to months later. Jules is at work and Nate notifies her that they need to stay and work late. Since Nate hasn't bothered Jules about personal stuff for months, Jules thinks it’s safe enough to stay and work late but that doesn't end up being true. Nate orders in dinner for while they work but Jules is confused when they start eating but aren’t working on the account they’re supposed to be meeting about. Nate admits that the reason why he invited Jules there was to get some time with her and not because of anything work related. Jules freaks and tries to leave. She wants Nate but doesn't want to lose her job and since it’s been made quite clear that they'd both be fired if anything happened between them, Jules thinks it’s a really bad idea. Nate manages to convince her to hear him out though and proposes that they spend the weekend together to see how things could progress between them. Jules is leery but surprises both Nate and herself by agreeing to the weekend.
Nate and Jules have a great weekend together and it becomes quite obvious that they're good for each other. That’s not to say that they don't have disagreements, sometimes it seemed like either Nate or Jules were intentionally making comments that could be taken the wrong way or they were intentionally trying to take things the wrong way. Thankfully this wasn't all the time and issues between Jules and Nate usually got talked out relatively quickly so it kept the angst down. Things between Nate and Jules did progress relatively quickly but since they'd been fighting their feelings for each other for quite a while it wasn't really as rushed as it might have seemed. There are some things going on to keep things interesting (including the birth of Luke and Natalie’s baby) and between the relationship stuff and everything else the story did pretty good at keeping me engaged even though there wasn't any action plot in the story. While the story was low angst/drama overall, there was some angst/drama to get through, and of course it hits just when things were looking pretty good for the couple. Things do get worked out nicely though and Nate and Jules end the story starting their HEA together.
This was a pretty enjoyable story. I liked both Jules and Nate and liked them together. Jules was a good heroine. I liked her because she was pretty strong and was still nice. She wasn't perfect but yet she seemed totally believable. Nate was a surprising mix of the bossy alpha and the teddy bear that gets his feeling hurt when things between him and his woman go wrong. I liked him but there were some times I didn't feel his reactions were the best option at the time. Overall, the characters were likable and the story was good with no major complaints. I’d recommend this story. :D
* note - Most of the story was from Jules' PoV and had a female narrator but the epilogue was from Nate's PoV and there was a male narrator for his part.
This was a very good short story. This is a story about a married couple, Isaac and Stacy. They've been married a while and have a 4 month old daughter. They had some trouble conceiving and had to go through 3 years of fertility treatments before Stacy finally got pregnant. Isaac and Stacy are very happy with their new baby but their sex life hasn't been very good for a while. When the story begins it's Thanksgiving and Stacy notices a few things that indicate that Isaac is keeping something from her. She freaks out a bit over his unusual behavior and starts to think that he might be cheating on her. Thankfully this drama doesn't last very long and most of the story centers around Stacy and Isaac reconnecting and regaining what had started getting lost in their marriage. It's a very sweet and touching story that culminates in a very sweet Christmas surprise.
I enjoyed this story very much. Isaac and Stacy are both good characters that I liked and wanted to see work things out. The story was short but since Isaac and Stacy are an established couple it worked well and didn't seem short. Overall, this was a very good story. I'd recommend it. :)
* note - I listened to the audio version of this. Most of the story was from Stacy's PoV and had a female narrator but the epilogue was from Isaac's PoV and there was a male narrator for his part. Both narrators did a pretty good job.
This was a very good story. I liked both Basil and Sherry very much and their story was enjoyable. I've read the whole series and to be honest I've been worrying that the stories would get boring but happily I haven't seen it yet.
Sherry is a nice woman in her early 30s that owns her own kitchenware store. Her mother died a few years back and she doesn't have any other close family. She's got friends but has been too busy building her business to date much.
Basil is the brother to Victor (book #7) and Lucian (book #6). He's a very old Immortal and has lived a very long life. He has been without his lifemate but has had children with a friend to give him something in life to hold on to. Basil has had many careers over the years but currently works as a lawyer (in addition to being a member of the Immortal council).
The story begins when Stephanie (a teen vamp from book #11) comes running into Sherry's office . Sherry is surprised by this and even more surprised when the one-way window into the store shows 4 men walk in and start terrorizing people. Stephanie basically decides to run and try to draw the bad guys (who are rogue Immortals) away but Sherry won't let her go alone and they both run. They're able to draw the rogues away and then escape them but they're still in danger so Stephanie calls in the rogue hunters (Immortal police). The thing is, Stephanie has some special gifts and can see energy signatures that lets her see who would be good lifemate for Immortals. She has the Immortals coming to get her bring Basil along so that he and Sherry can meet. Stephanie also explains to Sherry about Immortals and lifemates. Obviously, it's a lot to take in but Sherry does pretty good at handling things while they try to figure out if she and Basil actually are lifemates.
Basil is rather laid back for the most part but he has a bit of a dominant side that comes out when needed. Sherry is put in the Immortal version of witness protection and so Basil goes with her, both so they can get to know each other as well as so Basil can keep her safe. They end up in Port Henry for a short time but issues show up that indicate enough of a risk that they move on before long. This brings about the realization that there may be another immortal (other than the original rogue) causing them issues. Meanwhile, like most new lifemates, Sherry & Basil have a hard time keeping their hands off of each other but they do manage to spend some time talking and getting to know each other. They have to deal with a few different issues but once everything gets figured out and the rogue is dealt with, Sherry and Basil end the story starting to plan their HEA together.
I enjoyed this story very much. Sherry was a good, non-annoying heroine that I was happy to see get her guy. Basil is a good hero but as I said, he's rather calm, cool and collected and not real forceful for the most part, still he seems to do pretty good at being that way without seeming like a wimp. My only real complaint is the ending. The relationship and the main conflict got resolved nicely but the was a secondary plotline that felt like it was left hanging a bit and I wish Sands had given us a bit more of a conclusion on that part. Regardless of that, this story was very good and (as usual) the characters are very likable. I'd recommend it. :D
Note - I listened to the audio version and the narrator did a great job.
This was a great story. I really liked Josie and Jake and was sucked in to their story from the very beginning. I liked the way this series is starting out and am hopeful this will be another great series for Kristen Ashley.
Josephine (aka Josie) is a nice woman but is wounded and has been hiding it for a long time. She's 45 and for the past 23 years has been traveling around the world as an assistant to a famous photographer/video director, Henry. Josie fell for Henry decades ago but he never gave any indications of returning her interest. She's had dalliances in the last 23 years but no serious relationships. The one person she had back home was her grandmother who saved her from an abusive father when she was young and has always been there when Josie needed her. Josie came back to visit often and knew her grandmother's health was going downhill but she's still crushed by her death.
Jake is a good guy. He was a professional and rather successful boxer when he was younger and now runs a gym and a strip club. He's had 3 wives but none of them worked out and he hasn't been attached for a while. Jake does have 3 kids though and since their mom's aren't very good moms, Jake has full custody of his 2 sons and 1 daughter.
Josie comes back home for her grandmother's funeral but she originally doesn't intend to stay around any longer than she needs to in order to settle things and move on. She's greatly surprised when a man she doesn't know is the only other person at the reading of the will. Her grandmother gives Josie the family home and quite a bit of money. She gives some money to Jake for his kid's college funds as well as giving Jake Josie. While it's not legally binding Josie is rather surprised about it since her grandmother never told Josie about Jake and his family. Josie rebels at first and tries to avoid Jake when he's interested in having dinner with her so they can talk about things. She's rather rude but is also dealing with grief and some surprises so I felt she deserved some slack. It doesn't take her long to make amends and her and Jake start to become friends. Josie soon learns that they spent much time with her grandmother and there was a great deal of love shared. As she spends more time with Jake and his family she starts to realize that maybe she's not so hot to go back to her job and the constant traveling as she originally thought.
Jake and Josie start as friends as Jake thinks it's dishonorable to push her into a relationship with the death of her grandmother so fresh. He does a lot with her and for her though and they become close very quickly. She hasn't been around kids too much up to now but she meets his kids and isn't a witch so they like her and all get along pretty well. It doesn't take too long before Jake decides to make it clear to Josie that he's done holding back and after she sees his first boxing match they catch fire! From there they're pretty solid together and are very honest with each other. There are issues that come up but most of them are from outside sources. There's trouble with Henry and Josie's job situation that causes some upheaval but in the end works out for the best. There's also an issue with a long lost relative trying to cause problems by contesting the will due to greed and a developer's interest in tearing down the family home. We get a lot of interaction with Jake and his family so there are a number of side stories of the things going on with Jake's kids, specifically the 2 oldest and their problems with a bad mother and boyfriend/girlfriend issues. Things go pretty well overall though and I really liked seeing Josie and Jake getting to know each other and growing to love each other. There is a brief bout of drama between Jake and Josie toward the end when a secret comes out and Josie freaks. Fortunately they get things straightened out relatively quickly and from there it's straight in to a very sweet HEA.
This was a great story. I loved Jake...he's just such a good guy and so respectful, sweet and protective (he's been added to my "book-boyfriend" list). Josie was a nice woman and I liked her. One thing that I know some people seemed not to like is the way she talked. She talks in a very proper way, saying thins like "Indeed" instead of "yes","let's proceed" and calls Jake "Darling" as an endearment. I thought it worked because she was cool and not stuffy outside the way she talked and with her grandmother's influence and then travelling around Europe for 20+ years it made sense to me that she might talk differently than normal Americans. I'm looking forward to seeing KA's next addition to this series. I'm rooting for either Mick or Coert as the hero for the next book. I'd recommend this book. 2 thumbs up. :D
2-6-15 - I did a reread of the story listening to the audio version of the book. TBH, I think I liked the story better read over listening to the audio. I still really liked the story but the audio narration seemed to make it easier to be annoyed by some of the small stuff that didn't bother me the first time. Of course it could also be that on the second go it's easier to notice stuff that I overlooked the first time...it's hard to say. I liked the narrator alright though...she did a pretty good job at a New England accent for Jake.
This was a great story. I'll admit that I had some trouble rating it as I kind of fell right at a 4.5 and wasn't sure which way to go. It was my love of Vlad and Leila that made me decide to go up instead of down on my rating. Vlad is still overbearing but soon realises that danger can come when you think you're safest. Unfortunately, Leila has to deal with some badness at the hands of the enemy (most off page and only a no actual rape) but is saved before things get too bad. She and Vlad continue to have things to deal with as their enemy does stuff to make their lives difficult (or downright dangerous). Vlad and Leila come out of things with their relationship solid and accomplish something they've been working on since book #1. Unfortunately, there is a another enemy to deal with (a silent partner they didn't know of) and he has a dangerous tie to Leila.
I enjoyed this book so very much. I love Vlad and Leila and while it was tough to read all they had to deal with, it was worth it to see them work through it together (even if Leila had to fight to get the equal footing at times). This story moved the series storyline ahead quite a bit but there's still more to explore and I'm so looking forward to reading book #4! :-)
This was a really good story. I liked both Erin and Kelly and their story was well done. It's what you'd expect from the description but it was well written enough that it didn't seem like the same old boring co-workers turned lovers story (even though that's what it was...just not boring).
Erin is a LPN (licensed practical nurse) who is just starting a new job at a mental institution. She grew up with a mother who didn't do much in the way of taking care of Erin or her sister so Erin pretty much raised her sister. Erin went into nursing to take care of her grandmother who had dementia (who Erin spent 6 years taking care of until her death). Erin took her current position because it was the only nursing job that she could find anywhere hear her sister and nephew and she's determined to take care of them both as much as she can.
Kelly is an orderly at a mental hospital. He was raised in a home with a drunk stepfather and a mother that never protected him. He had to learn to protect himself early and this ended him up in jobs that took his size, strength and abilities into account. Kelly has had women but he's rather bossy and never found a woman that could deal with him...and it didn't help that none of the women really understood the real him.
Erin starts her job at the mental ward and is working in a closed ward that's the home of some of the more unstable patients. During her first day, Erin meets Kelly but mistakes him for a patient at first because he's so big and bad looking. Of course it doesn't help that Kelly wears grey (the same color as the patient's uniforms) as a way to make the patients feel more comfortable so her mistake is understandable. She's attracted to Kelly but sees him as the meathead type of man that her mother and now sister always get involved with and ruin their lives with. Erin decides it's best to stay away from Kelly but after a rough first day, Kelly surprises her by offering to buy her a drink and she needs one badly enough that she accepts. They go to a bar and Kelly shows his bossiness and Erin isn't pleased about it. She makes sure to tell Kelly just what she thinks about his bossiness and decides that she needs to stay away from Kelly. That doesn't exactly happen though as Kelly seems very interested in pursuing her even if she's not sure if she wants to be pursued (which is pretty much a constant battle in the back of her mind).
Things with Erin and Kelly are unsettled through most of the story, first because of the pursuit that Erin's not sure if she wants or not and then because she's not sure what they would be once Kelly catches her and what she wants to be to him. Yes, they do indulge in a sexual relationship and then aren't sure about how the other person feels and some assumptions have them both not communicating about their interest in more. The things is, this story did it in a way that I didn't feel annoyed at the drama/angst of the situation...I was wondering what would happen next but the story didn't keep me hanging on for long periods and it didn't make me want to pull my hair out at the stupidity of the MCs. It took some time but as Erin gets to know Kelly more, she realized that he's not one of the jerks like her mother and sister always date and that Kelly is actually a good guy, even if sometimes annoyingly bossy. And TBH, most of Kelly's bossiness seems to taper off as they spend more time together so it becomes kind of a moot point and Erin is tough enough that she doesn't wilt under his attitude anyways. It takes some time, but Kelly and Erin do realize they're good for each other and after they have the feelings talk and all that, they come together to start their HEA.
This was a very enjoyable story. I liked both Erina and Kelly and had no complaints about either of them. I really liked how they were together once they stopped fighting their attraction. Overall, the story was very good and kept me engaged. I'd recommend this story. :D
* note - The narrator did a very good job but I will say that the playback seemed a little slow to me so I listened to the book at a 1.25% playback speed and it still sounded very good.
This was a very good story. I really liked both Emme and Deck and got in to their story. There wasn't a major action plot but it was still engaging and a very enjoyable read.
Emme is a sweet but damaged woman. She has known fear and loss and it affected her greatly. She's made a life for herself but holds herself back and has few friends. Recently she's made more of an effort to come out of her isolation and has changed some things about herself. She even started dating a man named Dane for the last few months but she's not sure about him and is considering breaking it off.
Deck is a P.I. (for lack of a better definition...he doesn't always do things by the book) and the best friend of Chase (the hero from Breathe) and has shown up in a few previous books. He's a good guy, VERY smart and is a loyal friend. He is someone you do not want to get on the bad side of. Deck is also a bit of a ladies man and doesn't usually do serious relationships. Deck's been feeling like something is missing lately and thinks he needs to find the right girl.
Deck is in Gnaw Bone to talk to the police about a possible job when he and Emme first run in to each other. She's changed a lot in the 9 years since he last saw her and he barely recognizes her but is way happy when he realizes who she is. Deck and Emme used to be very tight for years. Deck was going out with Emme's best friend and the 3 of them hung out all the time. Deck and Emme had a special friendship that his girlfriend was jealous of but there was never a hint of something more at that time because Deck was majorly hung up on his girlfriend. When she dumps Deck for a man with more money, Emme tried to bring him some happiness, giving him a beautiful kaleidoscope and an offer for friendship. Deck kept the kaleidoscope but was too torn up to keep the friendship going and it was 9 years before they saw each other again. When Deck sees Emme again and gets to talk to her, he realizes just how much he missed their friendship and their connection. They make plans to do dinner that evening (which Dane is there to see and not to pleased about) and when they do Deck starts realizing just how stupid he was to have lost Emme from his life.
Deck's job actually has some ties to Emme's boyfriend so there's a little bit of a conflict of interest that makes things interesting but that part get done relatively quickly. Emme was already planning to break up with Dane so when things go down she's not unhappy about Dane being out of her life. She does feel a bit unsettled though because Deck makes it quite clear that as soon as Dane is out he's in and proceeds to make it that way. I liked the way Deck treated Emme, he was bossy but could be reasoned with and wasn't an alpha-hole. He decided that he wanted Emme and wasn't going to balk on that and he made a concerted effort to take care of her in important ways. Emme cares deeply for Deck and has since they first met but because of some of her past issues, Emme has trouble with letting people close and the growing seriousness of their relationship throws her into retreat. This happens on multiple occasions but fortunately, Deck is very smart and figures out that there are deeper issues. There's some drama as those issues are discovered and worked through and I liked how things worked out. There was a bit more on the action plot before the end but nothing too serious. The ending/epilogue was really good and had some touching moments (keep a tissue handy) and I enjoyed seeing Deck and Emme getting their well deserved HEA.
This was a very good story. I really liked Emme & Deck and how they interacted and worked through things. I loved the kaleidoscope as part of the story and the meanings/emotions behind it. I particularly loved the part it played in the epilogue. As always, the secondary characters are great and I loved seeing some of my faves from previous books. I did notice a few editing errors but not too many. This was a very good addition to the series and I'm looking forward to the next book. I'd recommend this book. Thumbs up. :D
This was a very good story. I really liked Serra and thought she did really well as a heroine. I really didn't get Fane's reasoning on certain things but I still liked him overall. The story was a good mix of action and romance and I never felt like the story got boring, I stayed engaged the whole way through.
Serra is a "high born" (a human with special powers) that is a very strong psychic. She was born to human parents but was lucky that they loved her regardless of her powers and spent a lot of time with Serra even after she went to live at Valhalla. Serra has loved Fane for 15 years but although he seems to be attracted to her, he wont allow them to be close at all. Serra has tried to move on with other men but has no success in finding a man that's anywhere near as attractive to Serra as Fane is.
Fane is a guardian sentinel, which is a high born that's been trained in everything needed to guard another high born that cant' protect themselves. Fane had been the guardian of Callie (from book #1, Born in Blood) but once she fell in love (and her new man became her new guardian) Fane wasn't needed as her guardian any more. Now he finds himself adrift and not sure what to do. Fane has loved Serra for as long as she's loved him but has convoluted and ultimately very stupid reasons for holding back for 15 years.
When the story begins, it's around 3 months after book #1 ends. The bond between Fane and Callie has just been broken and he's decided that he's going to move to Tibet to become a trainer for new sentinels. Up to this point, Fane has used his guardian job for Callie to push Serra away...saying he's too busy with his responsibilities to have a relationship. Because of this, Serra is pissed as hell to find out that Fane has decided to move away without even telling her he was going. She confronts him but he just pushes her away again, pushing Serra in to promising herself (not for the first time) that she'll find someone new who will love her instead of hurt her. She goes back to her apartment and finds a gift that ends up being spelled and traps Serra into a situation and she's forced to leave Valhalla (without telling anyone). Callie (who is a foster sister to Serra and very close) realizes she's missing first and goes to Fane for help. Fane checks things out and realizes there is a problem and goes after her, determined to help Serra.
Serra finds herself in St. Louis and the captive of a criminal high born named Bass that's living unknown to Valhalla and selling his powers to humans. He's a ruthless man and he's made enemies...one of which decided to kidnap his daughter. Bass may be a bad guy but he loves his daughter fiercely, however; what the kidnapper wants in exchange is really bad so Bass is reluctant to carry through. He finds a way to force Serra to help him and this threat is bad enough (and viable enough) that when Fane finds them, he can't just take Serra and go. Fane decides to stay to help and protect Serra. Once he sees Serra in lethal danger, Fane decides that he doesn't want to stay away from Serra after all, that he was being stupid to push her away for all these years and now he just wants to be with her. Unfortunately, Serra as had enough pity and rejection and isn't willing to trust Fane when he tries to show her his new intentions. She has trouble holding back from him (especially once he starts kissing her) but she does try to hold back her heart because she really doesn't feel she can trust that Fane's change of heart is true. Fane is patient while trying to convince her his feelings are true, realizing that he brought her distrust on himself and he'll have to work to get her trust back. And although Serra was wary of Fane's change of heart, she wasn't annoying at all about it. I thought she had the right amount of distrust/willingness. Fane is very protective but he and Serra still do pretty well at working together. The kidnapping plot is rather complex and difficult to figure out and it certainly kept things interesting while Fane and Serra figured out their relationship. Things get wrapped up pretty well in the end (with only Bass being an outlying loose end) and Fane and Serra get their HEA together.
I enjoyed this story very much. I really liked both Serra and Fane. I really didn't understand Fane's real reasons for pushing Serra away for so long but I kind of got the feeling that maybe he didn't either. I found that a bit frustrating but since he got past it pretty quickly in the story, it didn't really cause enough annoyance/confusion to bring down the story for me. Overall, this was a very good story with a good combo of romance and action, it was engaging and I had no major complaints. I'm looking forward to more from this series. I'd recommend this book. :D
This was a good story. TBH, the story was pretty good and Austin was a pretty good hero but the main detraction of this story is the heroine, Lexi. She is TSTL and stretched the bounds of my ability to deal with annoyance she caused. This is the first story I've read by this author...I'm unlikely to try more of her work unless I can make sure (from reviews or whatever) that the heroine isn't anywhere near Lexi's annoyance level.
Lexi works in a candy store and is 27 years old. She does her best to help look after her mom and little sister after her dad took off on them 4 years ago. Her big brother and BFF died 7 years before and Lexi still misses him greatly. She also misses his BFF, Austin, who disappeared right after her brother died and never came back.
Austin is a shape shifter and the alpha of a pack. He grew up in the area but left 7 years before and just came back recently. He's starting a pack and so far his only members are his brothers. He sees Lexi on the 7 year anniversary of her brother's death but for his own reasons he doesn't get close immediately. He does watch out for her though.
Lexi is a trouble magnet. She has an ex that cheated on her and now he keeps coming around trying to push her in to forgiving him so they "can get on with their life" no matter how many times she tells him they're over. She also seems to attract other creepazoinds that seem to have no problem with pushing the boundaries of the law around her...like a guy that she knew in high school and hasn't seen in years that suddenly sees her and thinks it's ok to try to rape her in the parking lot of her store. And she doesn't yell or anything... Thankfully, Austin is there to save her numerous times but the amount of trouble she runs in to within the first 10-15% or the story really seemed to stretch my ability to believe the plot and Lexi being TSTL on a regular basis really pushed my annoyance level.
Lexi demands an explanation of why Austin left and then stayed away for 7 years. Austin tells her and also about him being a shifter. She doesn't believe him though and seems to think he's gone nuts but doesn't fear him and continues to hang out with him. It doesn't take too long before she's got proof though and it soon becomes apparent that some trouble related to her brother's death and her missing father has shown up on her door step. Austin is determined to protect Lexi and help her with her issues but she doesn't make things easy on him as she was headstrong and constantly was getting herself in trouble and not acting smartly when she does. The relationship between Austin and Lexi doesn't develop until far in to the story and i was rather confused about why. I understood that Lexi wanted Austin but didn't think he saw her as more than a little sister but I had some confusion as to why Austin held back for so long. Probably the best part of the story was the end...from around 75% Lexi wasn't as bad and the story improved. I actually really liked the ending and the start to Lexi and Austin's HEA.
Overall, I can't say I enjoyed the whole story. Parts were very good but Lexi was annoying enough that I had trouble continuing the story at times. Austin was a good hero but not as take charge as was probably needed considering Lexi's strong tendency to draw an unnatural amount of trouble and be TSTL in the way she deals with this trouble. The plot itself wasn't perfect but I think I would have liked it if not for Lexi's annoyance factor.
This was a really good story. I liked both Smiley and Vanni both separately and together. Their story was very good and kept me engaged until the end.
Vanni is a nice lady that got sucked into a mess. She lives with her BFF, Beth and has a job she likes. Vanni starts the story engaged to a lawyer named Karl. Her last boyfriend had cheated on her so she thought that Karl was a safe bet to settle down with. She doesn't like Karl's father (who's a preacher that's a hate monger against the New Species Org) and Karl told her he wasn't close to his father. Unfortunately, she soon finds out that Karl's been lying to her.
Smiley is a NS male that's a primate. The NS come in 3 varieties, feline, canine or primate. The primates tend to be less animalistic and more emotional than the other NS. Smiley took his name because he's a friendly guy who is almost always smiling and in a good mood.
Vanni was supposed to be going out of town with Karl for a weekend getaway but when they get to their destination, she finds that they're actually at a conference to support Karl's father. Karl insists that they have to be there because they need more money for their wedding and his father is willing to give them the money to be there. Unfortunately, Vanni is expected to act and talk like the members of the church and she's not ok with that. Karl sends her off to her room (since she's not toeing the line) but Vanni isn't interested in being locked away in her room. She goes to the bar and gets an ice tea and is surprised to find that she's sitting next to a New Species. Although Karl's father is hates the NS, Vanni supports them and is disgusted by the people that treat the NS badly. She starts talking to Smiley but is embarrassed to tell her who she's at the conference with. Soon however, Vanni is feeling drunk and that makes no sense considering she didn't drink any alcohol. Smiley realizes that they've both been drugged with the mating drugs that were developed in the labs for the NS while they were in captivity. It causes horrible pain to the recipients unless they can get sexual gratification.
Once they figure out that Smiley and Vanni have been drugged, the NS try to get them back to Homeland to get medical help. They don't get very far before the drugs start affecting them strongly and in order to save Vanni pain, Smiley offers to help her (sexually). At first she's horrified (because although she's already having thoughts to break up with Karl she hasn't yet so she's still officially engaged) but soon the pain is too much to bear and she takes Smiley up on his offer. They make a connection while they're together but things go wrong and Vanni doesn't get to Homeland and her and Smiley get separated. They both miss each other and want to see each other again but Vanni's also worried because the NS may believe she had a part in the drugging so she doesn't try to make contact with Smiley. Unfortunately, the bad guys behind the drugging aren't done and decide that they're going to cause more trouble which puts Vanni in much danger. Vanni manages to escape the bad guys and ends up reunited with Smiley in Homeland. Once they're reunited, things go pretty quickly between Vanni and Smiley. Smiley knows he wants Vanni for his mate and sets out to convince her of that ASAP. Vanni is a little freaked because she's kind of shy and hasn't had much sexual experience and Smiley's tendency to talk so openly about feelings and things of a sexual nature is something she has to get used to. Smiley is patient with her but isn't afraid to push her a bit so she can open up to him. They get to know each other while the NS works on getting the bad guys taken care of and by the end of the story, Smiley and Vanni are starting their HEA together.
I really enjoyed this story. Smiley and Vanni are such a sweet couple. I lived that when things seemed to indicate that Vanni may have been behind drugging Smiley, Smiley believed her protestations of innocence and tried to convince others that she wasn't responsible. He was just so sweet and protective from the start and I was so happy to see him find happiness with Vanni. This was a really good story and addition to the series. I'd recommend this story. Thumbs up! :D
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