Running Wild (The Real Werewives of Alaska, Book 1)

Running Wild cover

Author: Kristen Strassel

Series: The Real Werewives of Alaska

Genre: PNR

Publisher: Amazon Digital

 

Sebastian Connall has spent the past seven years chasing his dream of playing professional football. That dream has now led him back to the one place that he has been running from: Alaska, the home to the pack that he was kicked out of. His twin brother warned him not to return to Alaska, but Sebastian isn’t about to let him ruin his dream for him. It is the only dream that he has, since he fears that his chance to find his mate was lost when his pack was.

Naomi Hart is all about her travel blog. She isn’t really looking for love when she agrees to go on The Real Werewives of Alaska. She’s just looking for the all-expenses paid trip that will amaze her blog readers. That is, until she meets Sebastian Connall…

Y’all, I have been looking for a new, fun PNR to spend some time with (and you know how I love my shifters!!), so I was super excited when Kristen contacted me about reviewing this book for her new series. This was exactly what I have been looking for! It was so much fun, and a quick read (I read it in one sitting!). The characters are all great. They are well developed, but there is still plenty of room for them to grow in later installments. The world building was lovely. I could clearly picture the Alaska towns that were being described, and I kind of really want to go and visit them. Strassel’s writing was dynamic and fun, and took me right back to my PNR home. I can’t wait for the next installment in this series to come out, because I know it is going to be fun as well!

 

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Inked Memories (Montgomery Ink, Book 8)

Inked Memories cover

Author: Carrie Ann Ryan

Genre: PNR

Series: Montgomery Ink

Publisher: Indie

Pages: 254

 

Wes Montgomery is the last in his family to decide that it is time to settle down. The problem is that the one person that he finds himself feeling that pull towards is his brother’s ex, and an employee of Montgomery Ink- Jillian. Jillian pushed away the man that everyone thought that she should be with, so that he could live his life. Now, she finds herself attracted to the one who seems like he should be the wrong one- Wes. At a time of crisis in her life, Jillian is forced to turn to Wes for help. His help may just lead to more than the two of them ever bargained for.

I am relatively new to the Montgomery family, but have been a fam of Ryan’s Talon Pack series for a long time. When I was presented with the opportunity to review this book for her, I couldn’t turn it down, so I read a book or two prior to this one to get in the groove, and went for it. All I can say is that I need to read the whole series now! Ryan does a wonderful job of world building in this series, just as I came to expect from her Talon Pack series. What I really love from her, though, is the complexity and depth of her characters. They are all so well rounded and fleshed out that you really feel that you get to know them in a short time, yet she leaves room for them to grow and evolve as she wants them to. If you have never read anything from this author, and you are a fan of PNR, I strongly suggest that you jump on to this bandwagon now!

 

The New Dark

The New Dark cover

Author: Lorraine Thomson

Series: The Dark Times

Genre: Dystopian/Fantasy

Publisher: Bastei Entertainment

Pages: 221

 

Sorrel lives in a world with no power, little food, and limited people and entertainment. She is fairly content in her walled in village, though, where everyone works together to get by. She has her mother, her siblings, and the boy she likes seems to have chosen her back. Things seem to be ok, for the most part, until the day that the mutants came. They ripped her family from her, and took David and several other kids from the village as hostages. Sorrel sets out on a journey that she may or may not survive, determined to get David and her youngest brother, Eli, back from the mutants, or die trying.

I really enjoyed this Thomson novel. It has been a while since I have read a dystopian, so it was fun to journey back in to a dystopian land. The world-building was well done in this book. The only real issue that I had with it, is that we don’t really get any type of a back-story at all as to what lead to this new era. It would have been nice to have gotten some hint as to the past issues that lead up to the now. That may very well be a personal preference, though, and did no really detract from the visualization of the current world. The main players are all well developed, if not always likeable. Likeability in the mc’s is certainly not something that is a must-have for me to enjoy the book, although I do need to understand their motivation, which was evident in this case. One thing that this book has, that I was not expecting, was the added bonus of making me consider morality: Who truly were the “good” and “bad” beings, in this case? Was it the humans or the mutants? Were any of them truly good or bad, or is it a matter of the position that you can place yourself in to see their point of view the most easily? I was not expecting that out of this novel at all, but it was certainly there. I always enjoy it when a book can make me consider things a bit deeper. The only other criticism that I found was that it did drag a bit in some parts, although it picked back up soon after, so it was not an issue to push through those areas. Overall, this was a good start to, what will be, a new trilogy. I’m looking forward to the next installment.

 

Immortal Resistance: Division 3 (The Berkano Vampire Collection)

Immortal Resistance

Author: Lisa Carlisle

Series: The Berkano Vampire Collection

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Indie

Pages: 248

 

Nalia has held a grudge against that Makara Coven since they turned her away as a child. In order to secure their assistance in helping save her village from the vampires, she swallows her pride and agrees to return to them for help. After an attack, however, she winds up stranded. As she is alone, and attempting to find her way, a starving vampire finds her and offers to help her. That help won’t come free, though. Nalia must make a tough decision. The wrong choice could prove devastating, and not only to Nalia herself…

 

Witches and Vampires from Lisa Carlisle…do I need to day more? Ok, fine, I will! The newest work is a standalone in the Berkano Vampire Collection (No worries, they can be read in any order!). This is the first of this collection that I have read, but I definitely want to read more! Carlisle’s world building was phenomenal, as always. It was so easy to get lost in this world, and just want to stay there. The character development was also as great as her other works. Each of the characters was fully fleshed out, and it was easy to see where and why they belonged in the story. I love everything that I read from Carlisle, but this is easily one of my favorites. I hope that you guys enjoy it as much as I did!

A Vampire’s Purgatory (A Romance in Central City, Book 8)

A Vampire Purgatory cover

Author: Jordan K. Rose

Series: Romance in Central City

Genre: PNR    

Publisher: Indie

Pages: 163

 

This novella finds us back in Central City, for the last time. Panthera has, somehow, figured out a way to make their Revenants stronger and more resilient. The Guard follows one of them back to his home, and watches as he dies in the arms of his sister. This horrific incident leads to Ricard, one of The Guard’s lead scientists, feeling very strongly for Jess- the Revenant’s shocked sister. By strongly, I mean in a bond sort of way. Obviously, this is not the time for a bond to pop up, but you can’t really choose when these things happen. Ricard is determined to find the answer to the question of how vampires exist. He knows that this is the answer to stopping Panthera. Jess is determined to obtain revenge for the loss of her family, brought on by Panthera. Can the two help each other find what they are looking for, and find their happy ending?

I have loved this series from the beginning. While I am a bit sad that it is over, the story was definitely ready to come to a close. Jordan ended it in the most satisfying way that it could have been ended. It feels complete, and fully realized. Saving Ricard and Jess’ story for the end was lovely. They are both dynamic, but vulnerable characters. They were given great depth, especially considering that this is a novella. If you’re looking for a great PNR short story series, I highly recommend this one.

Smolder

Smolder cover

Author: Lisa Carlisle

Series: Underground Encounters

Genre: PNR

Publisher: Indie

Pages: 139

 

Nike spends her days in a fast paced, high stress profession: she’s a firefighter. She likes to spend her nights, along with her best & fellow firefighter Maya, unwinding at an underground goth club called Vamps. This is all well and good, until one night when her fantasy crush, Michel, the hot guy from her climbing gym shows up. Little does she know that he has a deeper and darker connection to the underground world than Nike ever dreamed could exist. When her fantasy worlds and real life collide, what choice will she make? Will it be the right one?

Smolder kicks off, what is set to be, a new trilogy from Carlisle. If this novella is an indication of what is to come, it looks to be a great addition to her publications. The one thing that I have enjoyed the most in Carlisle’s writing is that she has the ability to give great depth to each of her characters, and she certainly did not waver on that in this novella. All of the characters were very well fleshed out, but there is still plenty of room for character development in future installments. The world building was wonderful (I kind of want to go unwind at Vamps this weekend, myself!), as always. If you enjoy a great PNR, and are looking for a fun new series, I would recommend this to you!

P.S. Book 2, Fire, has been released, and I have it in my hot little hands to read this weekend, so review to come! Here is the cover and the link, if you get through Smolder & want to continue on!

Fire cover

The Secrets of My Life

Secrets of my Life cover

Author: Caitlyn Jenner

Genre: Memoir

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Pages: 336

 

Most of us have known Caitlyn Jenner as Bruce Jenner for many, many years. Bruce Jenner is an Olympic hero, a one-time greatest athlete in the world. He then became the father in one of the most famous (whether you love them, or love to hate them) families in America, if not the developed world. Bruce had a secret, though. He was living a lie. He was living with Gender Dysphoria. A very real psychological illness wherein the person feels that they were born in to the wrong gender’s body. To put it simply: Bruce was born to be Caitlyn. It wasn’t that simple, though. It took him over sixty years to finally become her, the woman that he was meant to be. In this amazing memoir, Caitlyn details her livelong journey and her struggles to become her authentic self, and everything that entailed.

I’ve wanted to read this memoir since Caitlyn published it, but I wanted to wait until I was in the right place to read it. When I felt that my mindset was correct, and I finally sat down with it, I devoured this amazing book in no time. It was beautiful, heart-breaking, emotional, poignant, funny at times, and overall- brave. I think that this is the book that everyone who wants to see what Gender Dysphoria looks like needs to read. Caitlyn is honest about everything that she did, both wrong and right, and everything that she went through in becoming who she ultimately is. I am so glad that she wrote this, and I am so glad that I read it. This is not just another “Kardashian” ploy or money-making scheme. It is a beautifully written memoir, that I believe would be helpful to anyone that is interested in the subject of Gender Dysphoria. Thank you, Caitlyn.