ARC Review: Diamond Dust by Vivian Arend

16118795The Particulars: Paranormal Romance, Samhain Publishing, available as e-book

The Grade: B

The Source: ARC from the Author

The Blurb:

She can’t shift, but she can shake their world.

Caroline Bradley is having one hell of a week. Her wolf lover has sniffed out his mate, making her an instant free agent. Not only that, Takhini territory has been overrun with aggressive bear-shifters electing a clan leader, and the wolf pack is feeling the effects—pushing her diplomatic skills to the limit.

Tyler Harrison is a grizzly on a mission. If he’s going to win the majority of the bears’ votes, he needs one final thing: a female companion. The only woman in town with influence over wolves, humans, and more bears than he’d like to admit, is Caroline.

Despite the sexual pull between them, though, Tyler’s not seeking a permanent relationship. And Caroline isn’t looking to be anyone else’s political pawn. But she should have remembered that when shifters are involved, changes happen in the blink of an eye.

Warning: Billionaire bear hero plus kick-ass human heroine equals a sexually volatile power struggle. Get ready for what might be the naughtiest game of tag that’s ever been played in the great outdoors.


The Review:

I love Vivian Arend’s Takhini Wolves novels, and I am really glad that I requested this ARC.

It was interesting to revisit Whitehorse, and see how the Takhini pack prepared for the Bears Convent. It was interesting to get to know the Bears, and see how they handled the politics.

This was Tyler and Caroline’s story, and I really enjoyed it. I loved the fact that bears doesn’t have insta-mates like the wolves does, and that have resulted in a tradition of arranged marriages. It was interesting to watch Caroline deal with the bears and their traditions. She is used to manipulating shifters, and got a spine. She needed it to deal with Tyler. Tyler was a bit arrogant, at times bordering on jerk. But he was also tender and protective toward Caroline.

It wasn’t a smooth romance. I loved to see how their world met and clashed in the beginning. Caroline is independent and used to deciding her own life. Tyler is used to giving orders. But I felt that they was a good match, and that they can bring change to the Bear society.

I really liked the other subplot that followed  the beginning of Evan’s romance with his mate. I think I know who his mate is, but I am not telling.

I had a bit trouble feeling that the romance built towards a HEA. Paradoxically, the source of that was  the interlude in the beginning was their wedding. Which removed a bit part of the feeling that they were building toward their HEA.


Anthology of Awesomeness: Marked

Look what Lauren Dane just posted! I knew something was up from the hints they dropped on twitter. Squee! The only drawback is the release date: Feb 2014.
The blurb:

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Lauren Dane takes you into a brand new world in ALL THAT REMAINS. Summer Killian falls fast and hard when Charlie arrives in Paradise Village. But the heat turns all the way up when she learns Charlie is also with Hatch – the man she loved three years before. While she’s not sure she’s cut out for a triad, neither man is going to give her up.
Take a ROCKY RIDE with New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Vivian Arend as she leads you back to the Six Pack Ranch. Anna Coleman might be the law around Rocky Mountain House, but bad boy Mitch Thompson knows that under the stiff RCMP uniform is a woman with a passion for speed and pleasure that matches his own, and he’s not giving up until she’s his.

Kit Rocha returns to Sector Four in BEYOND TEMPTATION. A promise to a dying friend backfires when Noah Madsen finds that the girl he was supposed to rescue is all grown up–and wearing O’Kane ink. He wants to protect her from the secrets of their past, but she wants him. And an O’Kane woman always gets what she wants.

Friday Bargains: Only print books

Normally, most of my bargains are e-books. Not today. I just discovered Book depository’s bargain bin and thought I would high light some deals.  NOTE: Some of these are for the UK editions, which are more expensive than the US edition.

They have Cursed by Benedict Jacka. If you like Urban Fantasy, without any romance, I HIGHLY recommend this, I have a review of it scheduled for next week. 

The Uk edition of Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison is discounted to 4.50 Euro, which means a 66% discount.  Great book.

They also have great deals on Larissa Ione.  I liked the only book by her I have read, and I think I’ll re-read it before buying any more.

They also offers a handful of midseries novels by Keri Arthur, which made me a bit bummed since I have wanted to read her, but if you need to catch up this is a great chance.

Amazon have discounted the pre-order of High Passion by Vivian Arend to 4.69
They have also discounted the pre-order for the Print version of Silver Mine to 9 dollar.

ARC Review: Wolf Nip by Vivian Arend

The Particulars: Paranormal Romance, Samhain Publishing, available as e-book
The source: ARC from the author
The Grade: B
The Blurb:
Cat got your tongue?

Tessa Williams is looking to make her mark outside the family business, and the unusual landlocked paddle wheeler she spots in Haines, Alaska, strikes her as the perfect location. Only the owner is being difficult, refusing to sell. Still, she’s sure that replacing her written queries with a little in-person charm is all she’ll need to shortly have her Eco-tour B&B on the road to success.

Local wolf-slash-owner of said vessel, Mark Weaver, isn’t hanging on to the landmark building out of spite. There are more reasons for holding back the sale than are easily explained on paper. A face-to-face meeting to resolve the matter only confounds it—when Mark recognizes Tessa as his mate.

But she’s a cat…and cats don’t do insta-mates.

The sexual attraction between them isn’t in question, just everything else. He wants her. She wants twue wuv. His wolf can’t figure out what the holdup is. Her cat thinks the entire situation, and the pack, are rather amusing.

Somewhere in here is the beginning of a beautiful relationship—if they don’t drive each other mad.

Warning: One hyper cat, one laid-back wolf. Inappropriate use of permanent markers, and a heaping side dish of cat/dog jokes. Shenanigans (read: nookie) in front of a roaring fire. Spiced liberally with sarcasm. Enjoy!

The Review:
This is the latest Granite Wolves novella, and I had a blast reading it.
I enjoyed reading about Tessa and Marks romance. From their first meeting, when Mark’s wolf says ” Mate!” and Tessa balks. It was intresting to see the differences between wolves and cats, and how their animals tried to nudge them into mating.
That said, I admired Tessa for her strength to hit the brakes, and insisting that they got to know each other first.
Following Tessa and Mark as they worked on renovating the paddlewheeler was a crashcourse in compromises. But it was also a case of mates complimenting each other, which they did in a beautiful way.
I giggled when I read about Tessa’s meeting with the pack. I liked how she held her ground, and grudingly won the pack’s respect.
The biggest problem I had was with Tessa. I liked her, but I never felt I saw how her emotions to Mark developed from attraction to love. Maybe that was why her lightbulb moment that she loved Mark felt rushed.

Amazon’s Gold Deal: 6 Harlequin novels for 1.99

In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one…except the “thing” inside her

When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch.

Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she’s special, says she’s one of them. The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets, against the wishes of his band of misfits. And Finley thinks she might finally be a part of something, finally fit in—until a criminal mastermind known as the Machinist threatens to tear the group apart….

Included for the first time in print, meet Finley in her first adventure The Strange Case of Finley Jayne the novella prequel to The Girl in the Steel Corset!

Emma Shaw needs a husband, and fast! Not because she’s interested in romance—after all, she’s too busy with her landscaping company—but because Grandma Shaw is coming to town, and she will have nonstop questions about Emma’s (stagnant) love life.
Sean Kowalski no sooner leaves the army than he’s recruited by Emma to be her fake fiancé. Sean doesn’t like the deception, but he can’t help his attraction to the feisty brunette. A little pretend kissing won’t hurt anyone—especially when there’s no chance he’ll fall for a woman with deep roots in a town he’s not planning to call home. But when fake, innocent kisses lead to very real, explosive sparks, Emma and Sean discover that their big ruse might just lead to happily-ever-after….

Could a cordon bleu chef be a junkfood addict? The more Blake Cocharan learned about Summer Lyndon, dessert chef extraordinaire, the more intrigued he becameand the more determined he was to hire her. Blake wanted the Best, and Summer looked extremely good to him. Her superb credentials were icing on the cake.
Summer was accustomed to traveling around the world, creating the perfect ending to perfect meals. But Blake had a unique appeal. Summer found herself responding to the challenge, both professionally…and personally…. For the first time, Summer was planning a meal from start to finish—and creating a perfect ending all her own.

After nearly a decade as a sous-chef in a trendy eatery, and fresh off a divorce from the owner, Jenna Stevens is desperate for a change. So when she spots a for-lease sign in her hometown, she impulsively decides to open her very own cooking store. Her crash course in business is aided by a streetwise store manager and Jenna’s adoptive mother. But as soon as she gains a foothold in her new life, in walk her birth parents—aging hippies on a quest to reconnect.

Now Jenna must figure out how to reconcile the free-spirited Serenity and Tom with the parents who raised her and decide whether to open her heart to a man who just might be the best thing to happen to her in years. All without sacrificing her newly found dreams. In the end, Jenna will find that there is no perfect family, only the people we love….

It’s been years since Abby O’Brien Winters set foot in Chesapeake Shores. The Maryland town her father built has too many sad memories and Abby too few spare moments, thanks to her demanding Wall Street career, the crumbling of her marriage and energetic twin daughters. Then one panicked phone call from her youngest sister brings her racing back home to protect Jess’s dream of renovating the charming Inn at Eagle Point.

But saving the inn from foreclosure means dealing not only with her own fractured family, but also with Trace Riley, the man Abby left ten years ago. Trace can be a roadblock to her plans…or proof that second chances happen in the most unexpected ways.

Undercover agent Gideon Yarbro is renowned for stopping outlaws almost before they commit a crime. But now he must stop a wedding—despite the bride’s resistance. Lydia Fairmont will lose everything if she doesn’t honor her betrothal to a heartless banker. Unless she marries someone else instead…whether it’s a love match or not.

Determined to honor his own decade-old promise to help Lydia, Gideon carries her off to Stone Creek and makes her his reluctant wife. Forget a honeymoon for “show”—not with a vengeful ex-fiancé on their trail and a hired gun on the loose. But there just might be hope for the marriage…and two hearts meant for each other.

To get to the deals, just click on the covers. Also, I think the deal prices works outside the US too ( at least there’s no Whispernet fees for me!)

Friday Bargains: Discounts and coupons

Penguin have discounted the following books.( hat tip to Apesmom at Mobileread for compiling the list.  Several of them are on my Wishlist and I cannot buy them, since the discounts are US only. *sniffle*)

Magic Unchained by Jessica Andersen Kindle | Kobo
Irresistible by Mary Balogh Kindle | Kobo
In the company of Witches by Joey W. Hill Kindle | Kobo
If I fall by Kate Noble  Kindle | Kobo
Hunter’s Rise by Shiloh Walker   Kindle | Kobo
Wedded in Scandal by Jade Lee Kindle | Kobo
Shadow’s Fall by Dianne Sylvann Kindle | Kobo

Carina Press has discounted their upcoming releases to 2.99 this month at all stores. 
Rush by Maya Banks is discounted to 7.99 ( This one has a lot of mixed reviews. It seems that reviewers either hate it or love it)
Books on Board has a new coupon that gives 40 % off:  happy price (  I strongly recommend that you download the books you buy immediately, since I have had problem with their site recently)

Review: Wolf Games by Vivian Arend

The particulars: Paranormal Romance, Samhain Publishing, available in print and as e-book.
The Source: Purchased at Kobo
The Grade: B-
The blurb:

True love’s path never did run smooth.

Granite Lake Wolves, Book 3

After seven years of total denial, Maggie Raynor’s body–and her inner wolf–are in full revolt. Weak and shaky, she literally falls into the very large and capable arms of the Granite Lake Beta, Erik Costanov. The last thing she wants is a mate, particularly when just looking at another wolf scares her to death. And one as big and sexy as Erik? Really bad idea, no matter what her libido says.

Erik expected to meet Maggie in Whitehorse to escort her to the home of her sister, his pack’s Omega. Sheer chance puts him in the right place at the right time to catch her, but the realization that hits him with the force of a full body shot is no accident. She’s his mate. An even bigger shock? She wants no part of him–not until she resolves her issues.

She’ll have to work fast, because they’re both selected to represent the pack during the premier sporting event for wolves in the north. Not only will she have to work as a team with Erik, she’ll have to face down her fear of wolves. Let the Games begin

The Review:

This is the third story, and like the others I enjoyed it a lot.  

It was intresting to see another glimpse of the world Vivian Arend has created, in the shape of the Arctic Wolf Games.  I liked how it was a mix of outdoor sports and cleverness that won the games.

Maggie and Eric’s romance was sweet to follow.  Both of them recognized they were mates, but I really liked how they took it sloow.  Part of the reason was Maggie’s scars from the past ( and I loved the fact that she had them, since that often  is missing in PNR).
I cheered for Maggie as she regained her self confidence, and started to blossom into the strong wolf that she was.   Eric was the perfect compliment to Maggie. He was big, solid and confident. And when he focused on Maggie and what Maggie needed

The biggest problem I had was due to the fact I read three of the stories in a row. It was wonderful, but it also meant that  after awhile my attention started to wander a bit.

Review: Wolf Flight by Vivian Arend

 The Particulars: Paranormal Romance, Samhain publishing, available in Print and Digital
The source: purchased at allromance
The grade: B+
The blurb:
Tad Maxwell’s workaholism serves to keep his bush-pilot company in the air, and his inner werewolf in check. In the two years since he discovered his heritage, he’s resisted the longing to test the power of his wolf side. It would mean compromising his human principles.

Then Missy Leason re-enters his life. Ten years ago, their teenage attraction never went beyond hand-holding. Now their chemistry is off the charts, pushing him closer to the step he’s not sure it’s safe to take, especially with a human.

But Missy is more like Tad than he realizes. She’s wolf too,and a wolf pack is a dangerous place to have secrets. Missy’s Alpha has sniffed out her carefully hidden Omega powers. Her first response: run from the corrupt Alpha’s plan to make her his mate. Step two: get to Tad, and hope like hell his untapped powers are strong enough to negate her own.

Every touch with Missy is hot, hot, hot, but even finding out she’s pure wolf doesn’t solve Tad’s dilemma. Is she using him, or are they truly destined mates? Only one thing is certain. He will defend her to his last breath—on his terms. Even if it means losing his life.

The review:
This is Missy and Tad’s story. This isn’t the first time I read it, but I fell in love again with them. 

It was fascinating to get a glimpse, albeit brief, into how another pack worked.  It showed what good Alpha’s Keil and Robyn was.  But it was equally fascinating to find out about Omegas. What they could and couldn’t do.  I was also intrigued by the concept of First Mates, and the dangers that held.

The plot was gripping, I enjoyed the mix of romance and suspense. As Tad and Missy fumbled through the first step of their relationship, both of them were uncertain, and struggled with their secrets. But, it made it oh so much sweeter when they started to work together to defeat the bad guys.
In fact, my only problem with this book is that the Whistler alpha felt a bit predictable. Both in how he acted, and how he was described. .

Review: Wolf Signs by Vivian Arend

The Particulars:  Paranormal Romance, Samhain Publishing, available in Print  and as e-book.
The Source: Purchased at All romance. 
The Grade: B+
The blurb: 
Talk about getting your signals crossed…
Robyn Maxwell doesn’t care that her brother has to cancel out on their backcountry ski trip. She can do it alone. The fact she’s deaf doesn’t make her survival skills any weaker. The chance to get away from it all and relax in the Yukon wilderness is just what she’s been craving.
Meeting wilderness guide Keil at the cabin starts cravings of another kind. Keil’s one hot hunk of ripped, tasty male. Now she has to deal with raging hormones as well as strange questions about wolves and mates and challenges to the death. Keil was trying for a nice reflective retreat before challenging for the Alpha position of his Alaskan pack. He wasn’t planning on meeting the woman destined to be his mate, or finding out she’s not aware she has the genes of a wolf.
Between dealing with his accident-prone younger brother, a deaf mate with an attitude and an impending duel to the death, his week—and his bed—is suddenly full.
Far from the relaxing getaway any of them had in mind…
Warning: Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘talking with your hands.’ Includes dangerous use of sarcasm and hot nookie in a remote wilderness sauna.

The review:

I love Vivian Arend’s Granite Wolves series, and  I have been intending to review them for awhile.
It was a delight to re-visit the pack again.  

The setting in wilderness at the border between Alaska and Yukon felt believable.  I could almost feel the cold air, hear the sound of skis flying over the snow covered lake.  And it felt utterly logical that there was a werewolf pack in the area.  

Normally, I don’t like instant love, but Ms Arend managed to make Robyn and Keil’s romance feel very believable. Part of the reason was that she allowed them to get to know each other before making love.  Another part was that she gave Robyn time to adjust to the fact that werewolves existed.

I loved the banter between Keil and TJ, although Keil wished TJ wasn’t there occassionally.  

I just wish it had been a bit longer, but that’s the greedy reader in me. LOL!

Read along: The Granite Wolves series by Vivian Arend

Book 6, Wolf Nip, will be released in February, so  to celebrate Vivian Arend is hosting a read a long of the first 5 novellas.  And, she is giving away prices too.  Join  the fun at her blog.   
( I definitely plan to. Also, this gives me a reason to review the first 4 novellas. Something I have planned to do for a long time.)