Review: Omega Required by Dessa Lux

Omega Required by Dessa Lux

AN ALPHA WEREWOLF CHASING HIS DREAMS MEETS AN OMEGA FIGHTING FOR HIS LIFE IN A STRICTLY TEMPORARY MARRIAGE OF CONVENIENCE . . .

Alpha werewolf Beau Jefferies has been going it alone ever since he was cast out of his pack as a teenager for trying to help a human and endangering the pack’s secvrets during the tumultuous years when the wider world was learning the truth about werewolves. He hasn’t lost his drive to help others, and he’s about to begin a prestigious medical residency – only to learn that, as the first werewolf the program has knowingly accepted, he’ll have to follow special rules, including the one that requires him to be married when he begins his residency.

Omega werewolf Roland Lea is just trying to survive. After escaping the last and worst in a string of abusive relationships that left him scarred and unable to conceive, he’s found safety in a refuge for homeless omegas. But despite the help he’s getting at the refuge, he just keeps getting sicker instead of better, further and further from being able to make it on his own. When he’s offered the opportunity to sign up with a mate-matching agency, he figures he has nothing to lose. No alpha is ever going to want an omega like him.

When Beau sees Roland’s profile, he knews at once what’s making the omega sick, and he’s determined to help. If he can persuade Roland to marry him, he can save Roland’s life while Roland helps him get through the residency. But will their hasty partnership be enough to bring them both through what’s ahead – and can temporary necessity lead to a forever love?

Series: Wolves of the World, 1
Genre: GLBT, Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Independently published (7 April 2018)
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)

Going into Omega Required, the first book in Dessa Lux’s Wolves of the World series, I had high expectations. I first came across the book in a discussion about “typical” werewolf books, this was one of the suggestions for people who were looking for less of the stereotypical alpha males. I thought the blurb sounded interesting, so I thought I would give at least this book a try. Honestly I was not disappointed. Omega Required plays with a lot of the tropes within the werewolf genre, but I thought Lux’s take on them was interesting and it was a really enjoyable read.

This is an adult book, as there are a few graphic sex scenes. However, Lux was very careful and didn’t fall into the trap that a lot of romance writers do – sex is not a “fix it” solution. I also like the fact the way Lux handled Beau and Roland’s different issues within the text, and that something as simple as birth control is actually dealt with on the page. I really liked the fact that Beau and Roland go into things on a pretty even basis – they both want/need something from the other, and the whole marriage issue is handled pretty well in my opinion.

One of my favourite things about Omega Required is how werewolves themselves are presented within the story. It’s pretty clear from the get-go that werewolves are a known entity within the world, but also that their coming out (so to speak) is a relatively new thing. Lux uses this within the plot well, and in a really thoughtful manner. The werewolves within this world are interesting. The terms alpha and omega are used almost like a secondary gender, rather than as an indicator of status within the packs. Good packs seem to act almost like large family units that cover several generations, and they also seem very friendly even to other werewolves outside the pack who are in their territory. The pack structure seems a lot closer to a real wolf pack structure than a lot of other pack ideas within this genre.

Omega Required is very much a paranormal romance story, so there isn’t really much of a plot besides what is going on between Beau and Roland. Lux throws in a few curve balls, and that definitely keeps things interesting at least for me. I also really liked the fact that Beau and Roland alternating narrating chapters, it was interesting to see events from their perspectives. I also thought Beau wanting to be a doctor, and practise on humans, was a really interesting and unique idea. My only slight complaint is that there is a lot of scope within the story that I don’t think was explored, but maybe that will be expanded more in future books. I would have loved to see more of what life was like within a pack, and it would have been interesting to learn more about Beau and Roland’s families. Overall though I think that this was a great start to the Wolves of the World series. I’m looking forward to reading more.

Review: Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop

Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop

Title: Etched in Bone (A Novel of The Others 5)
Author: Anne Bishop
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: ROC (9th March2017)
Blurb:

New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop returns to the world of the Others, as humans struggle to survive in the shadow of shape-shifters and vampires far more powerful than they are . . .

After a human uprising was brutally put down by the Elders – a primitive and lethal form of the Others – the few cities left under human control are far-flung. And the people within them noew know to fear both the no-man’s-land beyond their borders and the darkness . . .

As some communities struggle to rebuild, Lakeside Courtyard has emerged relativelt unscathed, though Simon Wolfguard, it’s wolf-shifter leader, and blood prophet Meg Corbyn must work with the human pack to maintain the fragile peace. But all their efforts are threatened when Lieutenant Montgomery’s shady brother arrives, looking for a free ride and easy pickings.

With the humans on guard against one of their own, tensions rise, drawing the attention of the Elders, who are curious about the effect such an insignificant predator can  have on a pack. But Meg knows the dangers, for she has seen in the cards how it will end: with her standing beside a grave . . .

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

ETCHED IN BONE is the fifth book in Anne Bishop’s brilliant The Others series. This book continues the story of Meg Corbyn and the inhabitants of the Lakeside Courtyard after the events of the previous four books. With the others having taken action against the humans who threatened them, the humans who survived their anger are still struggling to find the balance that may guarantee their survival. The Lakeside Courtyard may have escaped this turbulence relatively unscathed, but all the residents are aware of how fragile the peace is. When Lieutenant Montgomery’s brother turns up, the Courtyard is thrown into chaos.

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Review: Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs

Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs (UK edition)

Title: Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson 10)
Author: Patricia Briggs
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Orbit (9th March 2017)
Blurb:

MECHANIC. SHAPESHIFTER. FIGHTER.

Mercy Thompson has found her voice in the werewolf pack. But when her bond with the pack – and her mate – is broken, she’ll learn what it truly means to be alone.

Attacked and abducted in her home territory, Mercy finds herself in the clutches of the most powerful vampire in the world, taken as a weapon to use against Alpha werewolf Adam and the ruler of the Tri-Cities vampires. In coyote form, Mercy escapes – only to discover that she is alone in the heart of Europe without money or clothes.

Unable to contact her pack, Mercy has allies to find and enemies to fight, but first she needs to figure out which is which . . .

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)
Review:

SILENCE FALLEN is the tenth book in Patricia Briggs’s brilliant Mercy Thompson series. Although not a werewolf, Mercy has settled into her place in her pack. After some pack bonding, Mercy finds herself attacked and abducted by the most powerful vampire in the world. This vampire plans to use her against her husband and the vampires of the Tri-Cities. Never one to sit and wait for rescue and unable to contact her pack, Mercy escapes from the vampire in her coyote form only to discover she is no longer in the US – instead, she finds herself without money, passport, or clothes in Europe.

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Review: Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop

Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop

Title: Marked in Flesh (A Novel of The Others, 4)
Author: Anne Bishop
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: ROC (10th March 2016)
Blurb:

For centuries, the Others and humans have lived side by side in uneasy peace. But when humankind oversteps its bounds, the Others will have to decide how much humanity they’re willing to tolerate – both within themselves and within their community . . .

Since the Others allied themselves with the cassandra sangue, the fragile yet powerful human blood prophets who were being exploited by their own kind, the delicate dynamic between humans and Others has changed. Some, such as Simon Wolfgard, wolf shifter and leader of the Lakeside Courtyard, and blood prophet Meg Corbyn see the new, closer companionship as beneficial – both personally and practically.

But not everyone is convinced. A group of radical humans is seeking to usurp land through a series of violent attacks on the Others. What they don’t realize is that there are older and more dangerous forces than shifters and vampires protecting the land that belongs to the Others – and those forces are willing to do whatever is necessary to protect what is theirs . . .

Rating: ***** (5 stars)
Review:

MARKED IN FLESH by Anne Bishop is the fourth book in The Others series. This book continues the story of Meg Corbyn and the residents of the Lakeside Courtyard. Unrest caused by a radical group of humans who seek to control land belonging to the Others attracts dangerous attention that could cause trouble for everyone.

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Review: Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs

Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs

Title: Fire Touched (Mercy Thompson, 9)
Author: Patricia Briggs
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Orbit (8th March 2016)
Blurb:

MECHANIC. SHAPESHIFTER. FIGHTER.

Mercy Thompson is back, and she’ll soon discover that when the fae stalk the human world, it’s the children who suffer . . .

Tensions between the fae and humans are coming to a head. And when coyote shapeshifter Mercy and her Alpha werewolf mate, Adam, are called upon to stop a rampaging troll, they find themselves with something that could help avert out-and-out war: a human child stolen long ago by the fae.

Defying the most powerful werewolf in the country, the humans and the fae, Mercy, Adam and their pack choose to protect the boy no matter what the cost. But who will protect them from a boy who is fire touched?

Rating: ***** (5 stars)
Review:

FIRE TOUCHED is the ninth book in the fantastic Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs. Tension between the fae and humans risk coming to a head in this book when the pack are called upon to stop a rampaging troll from wreaking havoc in the Tri-Cities. Mercy and her husband Adam, the pack’s Alpha, find themselves caught in the middle of something that could cause in a war.

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Review: Led Astray: The Best of Kelley Armstrong by Kelley Armstrong

Led Astray by Kelley Armstrong

Title: Led Astray: The Best of Kelley Armstrong
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Fantasy, Short Stories, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Tachyon Publications (15th September 2015)
Souce: Publisher
Blurb:

With her signature twists and turns, New York Times best-selling author Kelley Armstrong (Otherworld, Cainsville, Darkest Powers, Age of Legends) always gives a fresh spin on city-dwelling vampires, werewolves, and zombies. She is equally exciting when traveling further afield, to a post-apocalyptic fortress, a superstitious village, a supernatural brothel, and even feudal Japan.

Here is the first time that urban fantasy, young adult, mystery, and crime author Kelley Armstrong has had her stories collected from Otherworld and beyond. From humorous to heart-stopping, and including two original tales, Led Astray showcases Armstrong at her versatile best.

Rating: ***** (5 stars)
Review:

LED ASTRAY by Kelley Armstrong is a new collection of twenty-three short stories. The stories feature new and familiar characters, as well as new and familiar worlds. This collection brings together some favourite short stories from previous volumes, as well as two new pieces.

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Review: Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop

Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop

Title: Vision in Silver (A Novel of The Others, 3)
Author: Anne Bishop
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: ROC (3rd March 2015)
Blurb:

New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop transports readers to a “mesmerizing”* world of magic and political unrest – where the only chance at peace requires a deadly price . . .

The Others freed the cassandra sangue to protect the blood prophets from exploitation, not realizing their actions would have dire consequences. Now the fragile seers are in a greater danger than ever before – both from their own weaknesses and from those who seek to control their divinations for wicked purposes. In desperate need of answers, Simon Wolfgard, a shape-shifter leader among the Others, has no choice but to enlist blood prophet Meg Corbyn’s help, regardless of the risks she faces by aiding him.

Meg is still deep in the throes of her addiction to the euphoria she feels when she cuts and speaks prophecy. She knows each slice of her blade temps death. But Others and humans alike need answers, and her visions may be Simon’s only hope of ending the conflict.

For the shadows of war are deepening across the Atlantik, and the prejudice of a fanatic faction is threatening to bring the battle right to Meg and Simon’s doorstep . . .

*RT Book Reviews

Rating: ***** (5 stars)
Review:

VISION IN SILVER is the third book in Anne Bishop’s brilliant The Others series. In this series Bishop has moved from high fantasy to urban fantasy/paranormal romance; and she does it well. There are repercussions for the events in MURDER OF CROWS (review) which are far reaching. Meg is the only one who can help with one situation, but it means putting herself in danger something her friends oppose as it means she must put her own life at risk.

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Review: Black Dog by Rachel Neumeier

Black Dog by Rachel Neumeier

Title: Black Dog
Author: Rachel Neumeier
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Strange Chemistry (6th February 2014)
Blurb:

Natividad is Pure, one of the rare girls born able to wield magic and protect humans against the supernatural evils they only half-acknowledge – the blood kin or the black dogs.

Before Natividad’s mother can finish teaching her magic their enemies find them and their entire village in the remote hills of Mexico is slaughtered. Natividad and her brothers must flee across a strange country to the only possible shelter: the infamous black dogs of Dimilioc, who have sworn to protect the Pure.

They must pass the tests of the Dimilioc Master. But, first, they must all survive the looming battle.

Rating: **** (4 stars)
Review:

BLACK DOG tells the story of Natividad, a Pure, and her two brothers – Alejandro and Miguel – as they flee their home after the death of their parents to try and find sanctuary with the Dimilioc. But Dimilioc is not welcoming of strangers, and only desperation and their father’s words drives Natividad and her brothers there. All the while their enemies continue pursuing them.

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Review: Brazen by Kelley Armstrong

Brazen by Kelley Armstrong

Title: Brazen (Women of the Otherworld, 13.1)
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Subterranean Press (15th December 2013)
Blurb:

NICK SORRENTINO KNOWS everyone in the supernatural world considers him the Pack’s playboy, the pretty but not very useful werewolf whose only reputation involves his amorous exploits.

Usually, Nick couldn’t care less what anyone outside the Pack thinks of him. But when it affects his hunt for Malcolm Danvers, a psychotic bogeyman from the Pack’s past, it matters.

Necessity forces Nick to team up with mercenary half-demon Vanessa Callas to run Malcolm to ground in Detroit. Together, they discover Malcolm is more deadly than ever. And he wants to play.

It’s time for Nick to prove he’s not just a lover. He’s a fighter.

Rating: **** (4 stars)
Review:

BRAZEN is a novella set in Kelley Armstrong’s fantastic WOMEN OF THE OTHERWORLD series; the story is set after the events of the final book 13 (review), with the North American Pack determined to hunt down Malcolm Danvers and deliver justice. The Alpha of the pack Elena has left Nick Sorrentino in charge of hunting down clues to Malcolm’s whereabouts, and it looks like finally the Pack might be close to getting justice.

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Review: Forbidden by Kelley Armstrong

Forbidden by Kelley Armstrong

Title: Forbidden (Women of the Otherworld, 10.2)
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Subterranean Press (31st December 2012)
Blurb:

THE TEAM-SPIRIT SIGN by the side of the highway seems a good omen to loner Morgan Walsh, as he drives to what could be the most important visit of his life – a chance to join the North American Pack. Then he wakes naked in the woods, surrounded by wolf tracks and a ring of suspicious cops. The situation only gets worse when he’s bailed out by Alpha-elect Elena Michaels and Clayton Danvers, her terrifying enforcer and mate.

Disappointed that such a promising young werewolf risked exposing them, Elena isn’t expecting anything from the pesky retrieval job except some much-needed alone time with Clay. Instead, she finds a different kind of evil stalking the streets and forests of Westwood, New York. Trapped in town by a snowstorm and sabotage, Elena, Clay and Morgan must find the mysterious threat before it sets its sights on them.

Rating: **** (4 stars)
Review:

FORBIDDEN is a novella that takes place in Kelley Armstrong’s brilliant WOMEN OF THE OTHERWORLD series. FORBIDDEN is set between FROSTBITTEN (review), where we first meet Morgan Walsh, and WAKING THE WITCH (review). The novella tells the story of Morgan Walsh who decides to accept Elena’s invitation in FROSTBITTEN and see if he has the ability to join the North American Pack. Things, of course, don’t go quite to plan and Elena and Clayton find themselves in Westwood, New York having to bail Morgan out.

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