ARC Review: Throne of Oak by Dana Marie Bell

The Particulars: Paranormal Romance, Carina Press, available as e-book

The Source: Net Galley
The Grade: C+
The Blurb:
Vampire Dragos Ibanescu, Mayor of Maggie’s Grove, is about to lose his mind. His mate, the dryad queen Mina Chainey, refuses to have anything to do with him after her ordeal at the hands of an evil witch. If he doesn’t mate with her soon, he may lose control of the beast within him—a force far more dangerous than anyone in town knows…

Mina’s nightmares of her time with the witch haunt her. The Queen of the Forest can’t muster the strength needed to fight her terror. Unable to leave the Throne, she vows she will not accept Dragos until she can stand at his side as an equal. But the nightmares are only growing in strength, and soon she realizes that there’s more to her pain than simple fear.

Dark forces are converging on Maggie’s Grove, and a horde of hunters stalk supernaturals from the shadows. Only by uniting in body and mind will Mina and Dragos find the strength to defend their home.

The Review:
I have been waiting for this book ever since I read Blood of the Maple, so when I saw the galley at Netgalley I requested it on the spot. I must admit that I have mixed feelings after reading it, though. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t as good as her other novels and novellas.
It was nice to revisit Maggie’s Grove. I liked how Ms Bell revealed more and more of Dragos background through the novel. It was also intresting to find out how the Dryad rulers lived and what a dryad could do.
The main characters was intresting. It was fascinating to get know them, and to find out how the past had scarred them. I liked that both of them were strong leaders, but they weren’t invincible.
It was also intresting to see the interaction between Dragos and the other leaders of Maggies Grove. I was amazed at how patient Dragos could be sometimes. Sure, he had a temper, and he let it loose when it was needed. But he showed a lot of restraint.
The big weakness for me was the plot. Or rather the first quarter or so. It felt very… jumpy. It jumped in time. One week here, one week there. And as a result, I struggled with  feeling the romance between Dragos and Mina. Don’t get me wrong, I liked them a lot and I apprecitated that both of them had their own problems to face that propelled the plot forward. But when it came to romance I was more intrested in the romance between Eddy and his mate.

Review: The Hob by Dana Marie Bell

The Particulars: Paranormal Romance, Samhain Publishing, available as e-book
The Source: Purchased at Allromance
The Grade: B+
The Blurb:
When the Black Queen kidnaps one of the White Queen’s nephews, Robin Goodfellow is sent to ensure that the young prince safely returns to the bosom of his family. True to his role as Oberon’s Hobgoblin, he is ready for anything…except meeting his truebond, the very delicious, very human Michaela Exton.

Michaela has dreamed about a flame-haired rogue named Robin Goodfellow since she was a little girl, but everyone knows Puck doesn’t really exist. In real life, it’s a dark-eyed man named Ringo who makes her heart beat faster.

She is closer to her dream man than she thinks, and nobody knows it better than Robin, who wears the guise of Ringo. But there’s competition for her love in the form of Lord Raven, who holds a secret that will rock the foundation of Robin’s world. As a Black Court delegate does the unthinkable, leaving an enraged, grief-stricken Robin hanging onto his humanity by a thread, only Michaela has the power to bring him back from the killing edge—if she survives.

The Review:
I have wanted to read the Hob’s story ever since I read Believe in Me. And it was well worth the wait.
I loved this book in so many ways. There was the setting, a Fairy Con in Philadelphia. It was a stroke of genius to have the latest dance of between the courts taking place there, hiding in plain sight. It was intresting to get a glimpse of how the different courts viewed humans.
Both the main characters and the secondary characters fascinated me. I loved Michaela for her open heart, and her dedication to her craft. Robin.. was his normal awesome, ass kicking self, despite courting Miranda. I could totally, understand his friends mirth. ( And that’s all I am saying, or I’ll wind up in spoiler territory) It was intresting to get to know new secondary characters. Both Kael and Raven was intriguing, but in their own way. I also liked how they gave a glimpse into life at the White Court and the Black Court.
The plot was fast paced, and filled with unexpected twists. I couldn’t stop reading as Robin and Michaela started to fall in love. I loved how they did it surrounded by members of all the courts, some of them friendly, some of them less friendly. While there was no doubt who Michaela would choose, it was intresting to follow the interaction between her, Robin and Raven.
The only weakness in this book was that I wish there had been some scenes showing Michaela’s reaction to Oberon’s decision. Since it did affect her life, in a way that would at least have me freak out a bit.

Review: Bear Necessites by Dana Marie Bell

Bear Necessities by Dana Marie Bell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The blurb:

To Bear Necessities (Halle Shifters, #1)hold onto his love, he must release his beast. Halle Shifters, Book 1 Once a Bear sets his mind on a mission, it’s best to stay out of his way. Alexander “Bunny” Bunsun is that Bear. Something’s not right with his cousin Chloe, and he’s come to Halle, PA, to sort it out, turn his Harley around and head home to Oregon. Until an enticing scent lures him into the local tattoo shop. There she is. An inked, Southern-drawled she-Wolf with lime-green hair. His perfect mate.
Tabitha Garwood’s rotten day just got worse. Her Outcast status makes her a target for harassment with alarming regularity. And now, in the middle of a root touch-up, looking like a half-melted Skittle, she’s met her destined mate.
The only upside? She finally has a protector in the form of a huge, tattooed, shaved-head Bear who vibrates with carefully restrained power. When Chloe is left for dead and Tabby is threatened, only Alex can keep his growing family safe.
Giving Tabby the loving home she needs, though, could come at a price-Alex must give up the control he’s worked a lifetime to attain. Which means someone could die at the hands-and claws-of his beast.
Warning: This novel contains explicit sex, graphic language, a hunky Bear named Bunny and . . . Yes. I said a Bear named Bunny. I don’t know about you but I’m not brave enough to make fun of it

The Review:
I picked up this book after finishing Blood of the Maple, mainly because I wanted to read Dana Marie Bells Samhain titles. The title of this book caught my attention, were-bears sounded like an unusual twist. In fact, this book was full of unusual twists. There are mates, a standard trope in Paranormal Romance. I loved how both Alexander and Tabby accepted that they were mates, just like that. Which means that their HEA never really in question. That doesn’t mean they have an easy path, far from it. I loved how they slowly started to trust each other, especially Tabby. Tabby has a reason for not trusting people, and I loved how the author handled the solution to that, showing Tabby that she wasn’t alone. ( I am not going into any details, read the book  )
What made me like this book so much, wasn’t the characters, or the plot. No, it was the way all of it worked together to create a story that left me satisfied. And in my mind, there is no bigger praise.

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