Tooth & Claw #1
Levi finally persuaded his wolf clan to allow him to bond to Ian instead of his predestined female mate. The catch? They have to spend a year apart after the bonding ritual. Then Ian must—using only their newly-forged spiritual connection—seek Levi out, proving the bond actually worked despite Ian being human.
Now the year is over, and Levi is desperate to have Ian back in his arms, but there’s one problem—Ian’s changed. In a moment of weakness during that agonizing year apart, Ian cheated… with a vampire. Now Ian himself is a vampire, and a devastated, furious Levi wants nothing to do with him.
That is until he learns his clan wants Ian brought to justice for desecrating their most sacred ritual. If they find him, they’ll learn he’s a vampire, and kill him. Afraid for Ian’s safety, Levi rushes to find him.
Darius, the vampire who converted Ian, tries to take him someplace safe, but when Levi catches up, all hell breaks loose. Now Ian’s on the run with a dead wolf’s blood on his hands, and the only way Levi or Darius are going to get near him is to work together.
They need to get to him before the rest of the clan… assuming they don’t kill each other first.
When Levi and Ian agreed the year separation after the bonding ceremony they knew it would be difficult but they had no idea it would be as difficult and life-changing as it was. Upon reuniting, Levi finds Ian changed. Ian is now a vampire and Levi wants nothing to do with him. When he returns to his pack and learns what their plan for Ian is, Levi rushes to reach him first . When Levi finds himself having to work with Darius, the vampire who changed Ian, to save Ian's life will they reach him before they kill each other or will the attraction they feel win out? And where will that leave Ian when they find him?
WOW! There is no other word that will better describe the awesomeness of The Given and the Taken. Just brilliantly WOW! One of the things that I appreciated the most was that these men live in a world where people know about vampires and werewolves, where they are more than just myth and legend. It probably occurs more than I think but not nearly enough for my liking so when I realized that humans knew about the vamps and wolves I loved this story even more.
As for the characters, I love them all, well not the pack elders but the four main characters were just awesome. Sure I wanted to kick Levi's butt for awhile but let's be honest if we were in his shoes you know you'd be quick to judge Ian too and then have to spend the rest of the time fixing your mistake, so I can forgive him for that😉 Ian makes some mistakes but he was human after all, was being the operative word. Darius may be a deadly vampire but I found him absolutely lovely and adorable. Selena, Levi's best friend and would-be-mate if Ian hadn't come along, was honest and in-your-face, not letting Levi get away with his shoddy treatment of Ian not to mention making sure Levi and Darius don't kill each other. What a great cast of characters.
I don't do spoilers but I have to say that I found Levi's faith in the pack laws evolving from trust to despising to be very believable. Unfortunately, at some point we all lose faith in something or see what everyone else has been telling us so I was able to really connect with Levi in that instance. Just brilliantly done from beginning to end and I can't wait to read parts 2 & 3 of the Tooth & Claw trilogy.
Blogger Update: Circumstances have kept me from reading books 2 & 3 but they are still very high on my TBR list.
Beholden by Kris T Bethke
Julian Thomas made the unpopular decision to become Beholden and focus his magic only on scrying. Because of it, he's the best at his job and the top scryer for the Department of Extranormal and Magical Affairs. Which why Investigations Agent Wes Caldwell goes right to Julian for help locating a missing person.
When Wes needs to use his magic to boost Julian's, they find a magical resonance between them that quickly leads to more. Julian doesn't want to move too fast, but Wes knows Julian is it for him. He's fine with waiting, as long as Julian stays close as they work through it.
But then Julian falls ill, and it's clear there's a magical reason. Wes will stop at nothing to find out what's plaguing Julian, and when they realize just how deep the plot goes, they have more questions than answers. Magic is increasing in the world, and no one can figure out why. Julian and Wes have found love, but will it be enough to get them through what's to come?
Butterfly Assassin by Annabelle Jacobs
🐺Set in the Regent’s Park pack world🐺
Clapham Common—a new pack with their own set of problems…
Shifter Aaron Harper gets drawn into illegal underground fighting to keep an eye on his best friend. The thrill of the fight keeps him coming back for more, but discovery could mean imprisonment and banishment from their pack. Without a beta to watch over them, common sense takes a back seat.
Michael Archer of the Shifter Crimes Task Force is investigating recent murders. Despite the brutal cause of death pointing to the work of a shifter’s claws, instinct tells him a well-known nightclub owner is involved, but they have no proof.
Aaron and Michael’s paths cross after another body with the same injuries is discovered. With Aaron finding himself on the wrong side of the SCTF and Michael looking for a killer, any attraction between them is both ill-advised and unlikely. But fate has other ideas.
Witchbane by Morgan Brice
Seth Tanner and his brother Jesse's fun evening debunking local urban legends ends with Jesse's gruesome murder. Seth vows revenge on Jesse's killer--too bad the murderer has been dead for a hundred years. Seth uncovers a cycle of ritual killings that feed the power of a dark warlock's immortal witch-disciples, and he's hell bent on stopping Jackson Malone from becoming the next victim. He's used to risking his neck. He never intended to risk his heart.
Lost in Time by AL Lester
Lew’s life is pleasantly boring until his friend Mira messes with magic she doesn't understand. While searching for her, he is pulled back in time to 1919 by a catastrophic magical accident. As he tries to navigate a strange time and find his friend in the smoky music clubs of Soho, the last thing he needs is D etective Alec Carter suspecting him of murder.
London in 1919 is cold, wet, and tired from four years of war. Alec is back in the Metropolitan Police after slogging out his army service on the Western Front. Falling for a suspect in a gruesome murder case is not on his agenda, however attractive he finds the other man.
They are both floundering and out of their depth, struggling to come to terms with feelings they didn’t ask for and didn’t expect. Both have secrets that could get them arrested or killed. In the middle of a murder investigation that involves wild magic, mysterious creatures, and illegal sexual desire, who is safe to trust?
Original Review January 2018:
When Lew's friend, Mira, went missing he knew he had to find her at whatever the cost. Well that cost was waking up in 1919. Not only does Lew search for Mira but he also finds himself in the middle of a gruesome murder investigation. The attraction between Lew and the lead investigator, Detective Alec Carter, is something neither man asked for but exists all the same. As Lew learns to navigate through the past and Alec learns to readjust to civilian life after four years of blood, mud, and death in the trenches will they solve the mystery, find happiness, and discover a love that is illegal in the eyes of the law?
I want to start off by saying that most of you know I don't do spoilers but I even do less of them when it comes to mysteries and paranormals because even tiny little "throwaway" factors can be huge tip-offs. What I will say in regard to the plot is I found it to be ingenious. I always enjoy time-travel stories more where it happens more due to paranormal/magic than science, I think it just adds a special element that can actually heighten the mystery and even might border on horror.
As for the characters, they intrigued me and kept my interest from beginning to end. I loved Lew's dedication to finding Mira, personally I don't know that I would have been able to keep my focus if I woke up in 1919 nearly a hundred years in the past. As for Alec, despite having returned from four bloody years of war he is able to adjust somewhat "normally" back to civilian life. That's not to say either character doesn't have issues with their circumstances but it makes them that much more rounded and believable.
Finally, I should note that there are some grammatical errors that some might find off putting or have issue with, but for this reader I did not. Perhaps its because I tend to just mentally fix them as I read or perhaps I like to put my focus on the story and AL Lester's Lost in Time kept me intrigued from the first page to the last. I look forward to what this new author brings us next.
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Random Paranormal Tales of 2018
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Kris T Bethke
The Given & the Taken by LA Witt
Beholden by Kris T Bethke
Witchbane by Morgan Brice