Donna Reads: Unleashed (The Amoveo Legend, #1) by Sara Humphreys

4001C208-DC6F-4377-BC80-B314FBB479D1.jpegSamantha Logan is half Amoveo (a race of shifters), but she doesn’t know it. Raised by a grandmother who only wanted to keep her safe after her parents were killed, she doesn’t have a clue she’s different. She moves home to live with her grandmother when she fails as an artist in New York City, and when she meets her new neighbor things begin to change.

Malcolm Drew is full blooded Amoveo, and he has always known that Samantha is his lifemate. If she were full blooded Amoveo, she would’ve known him on sight, too. Since she isn’t, he is forced to date her like a human. As he gets to know her, and they begin to develop a bond, he realizes someone is stalking her. Someone is trying to destroy the Amoveo.

I liked this shifter romance. It was different than I expected. It was romantic, and the world building was well done and interesting. I liked the characters, and the supporting cast is clearly being developed to star in future installments. I would recommend this one.

Donna Reads: Feral Sins (The Phoenix Pack, #1) by Suzanne Wright

5 of 5 Goodreads stars.

Taryn Warner is a female wolf shifter who’s a gifted healer. She’s also latent (she’s never been able to shift into her wolf form). As such, she has always been a great disappointment to her widowed father who is Alpha of their pack. Eager to be rid of her, he approves of an arranged mating. When she is kidnapped by a different pack, she meets Trey Coleman. Trey’s pack is interested in her political connections and a possible alliance with her father. She is wary of the handsome Alpha wolf. Trey has a reputation of being a slightly off-balance, dangerous wolf, rumored to have gone feral. Trey proposes that he publicly claim her, and they act as true mates to help each other out. He will gain political connections needed to help him defeat a challenge for control of his pack from his uncle, and she will escape the arranged mating. They will have to work hard to convince the members of their packs and others that they are a mated couple with a true bond.

I was looking for a good shifter romance, and I found a list of recommendations on another blogger’s website. Suzanne Wright was a new author to me. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and I was pleasantly surprised. This book was certainly off the charts hot. I read and listened to it in one day.

Trey was a dominant Alpha male who had difficulty expressing emotions. For all his over-the-top dominant behavior, though, he was actually sweet and protective of Taryn. Taryn was an assertive Alpha female. After many years of being bullied within her own pack, she had learned how to take care of herself. I liked that she stood up for herself, but there were times when it seemed like she fought with Trey just for the sake of being contrary. For the most part, he stuck to his end of the deal that they had made. I liked his character. He had a lot of tragedy in his life, but then so did Taryn. They really were meant for each other.

I recommend this one if you like XXX romance.

Donna Reads: Angels’ Blood (a Guild Hunter Novel) by Nailini Singh

85E2F65A-EDE9-4765-B3BF-031C1E2E30F7I love Nailini Singh’s writing; I’m just not sure I love this series. I waited a long time to start it. I really enjoyed her rockstar series, but that had dark edges to it. In this guild hunter series, the dark edges are front and center.

Elena Devereaux is a guild hunter. She hunts rogue vampires for the angels. The angels are the ones who make vampires. Once made they owe years of service to their creator. When they run away, Elena tracks them down.

Angels also rule the world. They rule humans and vampires. The angels in this book are also phenomenally cruel and swift to punish. Vampires are their servants or underlings. Humans almost seem to be a joke or an afterthought.

Elena is human. She is also hunter born. Raphael is an archangel, thousands of years old. He’s also part of the cadre, a ruling body of ten immensely powerful and cruel archangels. Although Elena can scent and hunt vampires, he hires her to track and catch an archangel, one of the cadre, who has gone bloodborn.

What I disliked about this story is that it seems to start in the middle. There is no backstory and no explanation. Apparently Elena’s mother and two older sisters were murdered by a vicious killer (a vampire?) when she was a child and she was abused and forced to taste their blood. However, that graphic horror is only alluded to in her nightmares and flashbacks. The entire backstory is never told. She won’t discuss it or think about it.

Her friends, the other hunters, were also a mystery to me. There was no explanation. The guild director, her best friend, Sarah is married and every scene with her and her husband Deacon and their baby Zoe seemed to hint at an HEA that I missed in some previous book. I kept looking to see where that story began. There seemed to be a lot more to her friend, Ransom, too, than was explained.

Elena’s first meetings with Raphael were confusing, too. He was ancient and immensely powerful. He was supposed to be immortal and full of power. Yet she gets all pissy and scared when he reads her mind so she shoots him with a special hunter gun that shreds his wings. And he almost dies. Seriously? I hated that. Why did she do it? She supposedly made him a little bit mortal. That made no sense. It made him seem weak.

Meanwhile the vampires and angels that make up his personal guard, the Seven, are also extremely powerful. For most of the beginning of the book, I found Dmitri, the thousand year old vampire more interesting and stronger. He was stronger than Rafael in many ways or maybe he just showed his power more. Elena slit Dmitri’s throat at one point and he laughed.

This was an odd read. I stuck with it because I wanted to see where Nailini would go with it. I have yet to read a story about angels that I actually like or enjoy.

At the end of this one, Elena and Raphael are dying, but true love allows him to make her immortal, and the series continues. I hope future books don’t continue to make him more human and weaker in the process. I like an alpha male hero, and he showed promise. Strong heroines are nice, but Elena is over the top and shades towards mean. She needs to be toned down or explained better.

Donna Reads: Blood Laws (Immortal Curse #1) by Lexi C. Foss

This is a different cover from the one I see on my Kindle. These models don’t match the images in my head, but then this entire novel was a mixed-up mess for me. There was no feeling of satisfaction when I finished it. 

I have such mixed feelings about this book. I think I’m leaning towards not liking it. It was frustrating. I admire the author’s ability to create a unique and diverse world of non-human beings. However, I was often confused as the hero is an Ichorian who is half-brother to a different race of beings, the Hydraians. I believe one can create the other but not the other way around, but it’s confusing. The Ichorians seem to be similar to vampires. I’m not sure at all what a Hydraian is other than immortal. I frequently had trouble telling who was who, and at times it all jumbled up in my mind.

I got annoyed with the idea that we STILL don’t know exactly what the heroine is. Everyone kept saying she wasn’t ready to hear certain things about herself. Then when she has a key piece of information about her mother that might be crucial to understanding her heritage and who or what she is, she withholds the information and never did tell anyone. I wanted to scream.

There are a lot of bad guys in this book, and it’s not always clear who could be trusted. At book’s end, the heroine volunteers for and puts herself in an extremely stupid situation. Apparently all for nothing. The person she was trying to save (the MC in book 2) is being moved out of her reach.

I hate that this novel is not a standalone. It ends on a cliffhanger with no resolution of 95% of the issues. I have book 2, but I’m not even certain I want to read it just now. I’m not sure I care enough to continue muddling my way through another frustrating read. I don’t mind series; in fact, I love them. I just need more of a happy ending when I turn the last page.