Omega and the Beast: Vale Valley Season 3 Book 1, Lorelei M. Hart

Omega & the Beast: A Summer Romance (Vale Valley Season 3 Book 1) by [Hart, Lorelei M.]
 Omega and the Beast: Vale Valley Season 3 Book 1, Lorelei M. Hart

An interesting take on Beauty and the Beast, Zane offends a magical being and suffers a consequence only to be broken by his fated mate.  I loved the premise of the story with a urisk, finding humility and love, experiencing passion...there was a lot to build from.  I wish so hard that the outcome worked for me.

The characters were easy to get to know in the beginning and their first "meeting" was entertaining.  Thinking we were on a roll, I was surprised and also quite pleased that there was a very slow build up to the more steamy aspect of the story.  I don't know if I liked the content, but taking a little longer to get to know one another is hardly a bad thing.  When they got down to it I felt like the connection they were building didn't carry through.  Their clumsy flirting wasn't exactly endearing either.  It's almost as if it was thrown in because we just hadn't gotten any solid flirt sessions before that point.

Felix began as one person in my mind and then in the middle he became a more submissive twink version and I don't think the transition felt natural.  Both versions were good, but when combined into one person, it didn't feel genuine.  His unconditional love, however, was much better portrayed than his overall bearing.  The love he felt for Zane was believable and a very sweet counterpoint to all of Zane's bluster and anxiety.

I had hoped that Zane would be a worthy counterpart to Felix and while he had the "beast" manner down, it was a lack of personal evolution that made me question him.  The circumstances of his curse were expected and he spends most of his time bemoaning the lack of physical progression with Felix, but not a lot of self-reflection that could tell us just how he changed.  Love from a good partner can help us change, definitely, but I would have liked that sentiment to be backed up a bit more than with a declaration and a grand gesture in reaction to a confrontation.

It's hard to exactly pinpoint what one thing held me back from complete enjoyment.  It wasn't a bad story and it had good bones (no pun intended), there was just something essential that was missing and since I can't tell you what that was, you get the more superficial issues I had with it.  So like I said, not a bad story, just not my cup of tea.

*$3.99 on Amazon
 Omega and the Beast: Vale Valley Season 3 Book 1, Lorelei M. Hart

Once upon a time a young man pissed off the king of the fae... Spoiler alert: don’t do that.

Alpha Zane had the perfect life: money, a hot boyfriend, and a wonderful future waiting for him.
Only that boyfriend was not who he seemed—yet, somehow, Zane was the one who ended up cursed by the King of the Fae. 

Now Zane’s a urisk—a kind of brownie fae—and tied to Lake Vale Valley. He spends his days with his cat, Pixiedoodle, his only human contact the delivery service that drops off his orders, leaving them on the front porch. 

Omega Felix makes ends meet delivering for a local company. When he’s asked to deliver outside his normal area to Vale Valley, he begrudgingly agrees.

The delivery is a disaster from the long walk up the dirt drive to the angry man shouting at him to leave the goods on the porch and go away. Which would be fine if he didn’t scent the curmudgeon as his mate. 

Sometimes having fae abilities sucks.

Zane’s too scared to let the omega see him and run away or worse—be disgusted—even as Felix chips away at the barriers Zane has set in place to protect his heart.

But he’s about to realize that in Vale Valley love conquers all, true love wins, and curses can be broken when a true mate accepts his love for exactly who he is both inside and out.

Alpha Wolf Shifters in Love: An MPreg Romance Collection, Tara Harris

Alpha Wolf Shifters in Love: A MPreg Romance Collection by [Harris, Tara]
 Alpha Wolf Shifters in Love: An MPreg Romance Collection, Tara Harris

The full collection is sweet and full of insta-love, fated mates, and overcoming obstacles.  While there is one story that stands out as being better than the others, the whole group still fits together with reconciliations, steam, and happy-ever-afters.

Wolf's Sweet Chipmunk-
This was my favorite of the three.  I bought this as a standalone a couple years ago and read it super quickly (it's not available on its own anymore though).  With an alternating point of view and a fantastic alpha, this had a lot of believability in the relationship, their happiness, and their struggle.  College should be a time for discovery and acceptance but for both James and Earnest, there's a whole lot standing in their way.  A fated meeting puts them into one another's orbit and as if they'd found the place they were always meant to be, they stand together and fight for the future they deserve.  I loved how things worked out; hearts were softened, Earnest found immense success despite being a previously undervalued omega, and James remained strong for the both of them.  The uncles were awesome as well giving the whole story a well-rounded feel as well as depth.  4 stars.

Wolf and Bunny-
So...not my favorite.  The individual characters weren't likable, the separation didn't do anything but to continue the angst, and their relationship was built on one night of passion that ended with pregnancy.  I didn't feel anything genuine about the fated mating, witness any attitude changes, nor did I see any solid foundation for a stable relationship.  With an ending that felt a bit too "perfect timing" and over the top, it was kind of a throwaway.  There was a lot of potential here but just not enough to carry it out in the end.  2 stars.

To Catch a Sheep-
I rather enjoyed the dynamic in this one and the surprise of biology was kind of intriguing.  I really didn't see that coming at all.  I've never read another mpreg story with that in it.  While there could have been a lot more in the way of building a relationship together and more description of the uniting of clan and kingdom, it was an overall nice story with a lot of passion.  There was one event that was added to increase the drama and it felt unneeded.  Instead, the original conflict with their shared unpleasant history could have been given a little more attention and finesse as they navigated that to build something.  With more of an objective eye during editing and beta reading, this could have been a really great story.  It would even benefit from a slight reworking and lengthening.  I'd read it again if that happened.  3 stars.

*$3.99 on Amazon!
 Alpha Wolf Shifters in Love: An MPreg Romance Collection, Tara Harris

Unbreakable Bond: Fated Mates Duet Book 1, Jess Bryant

Unbreakable Bond (Fated Mates Duet Book 1) by [Bryant, Jess]

Objectively speaking there's a lot of things that could be worked on in this book.  But I kind of don't really care.  The overall feelings I had while reading this story were positive.  Sure, there are a lot of inner monologues, and yeah, Rafe throws a lot of inner pity parties full of self-incrimination and insecurity.  What I loved was the interplay between him and Zoey, the steam was well-written, and Zoey is all kinds of great with her innate sense of justice, her strength, and her immense desire to belong and to love.

The beginning gives us an emotionally complicated situation with years of friendship and longing and love all mixed up in the heads and hearts of both Zoey and the Pack Alpha, Michael.  But from one moment to the next, their entire world is tossed on its head as she locks eyes with the long-lost brother, her fated mate.  No one in the group takes the revelation well.

 Unbreakable Bond: Fated Mates Duet Book 1, Jess Bryant

Watching them all work through things was more heartwarming than anything else.  While I think a few well-placed "put yourself in my shoes" comments would have truncated some of the longer, more repetitive conversations, it was clear that everyone cared a great deal for one another.  Those feelings were the foundation for all the more tense moments.  It definitely decreased the feelings of angst that could have overtaken all their interactions.

Zoey and Rafe experience the shifter fated mate brand of insta-love and super enhanced lust that is extremely common in this genre.  I generally push the thoughts of "that's way too fast of a relationship progression" to the back of my mind, I mean, this is pretty much erotic fantasy you know?  So when their connection is immediate and intense, I don't have a problem with it, but the real surprise here is the logic, reason, and determination of faith in fate that dominates the initial haze of hormones and pheromones.

 Unbreakable Bond: Fated Mates Duet Book 1, Jess Bryant

A lot of the revelations and decisions come from lengthy inner dialogues, but when they actually talk things out they do so logically, honestly, with an emotional openness that I wasn't expecting.  There was a bit of the "I kept it from you to protect you" mentality but each and every time Zoey came out guns blazing for anyone who thought to pull that on her or to treat her in any way other than an equal, a competent partner and friend.  She was articulate and feisty in all the best ways.

Needless to say, I'm a fan.  I'm not oblivious to the issues with the writing of the story or the structure of it, but I enjoyed far more than any of that detracted so I'm good with it.  I'm absolutely in for the follow up in Unbelievable Faith because I want to find out what happens with Michael's future with the damaged, submissive Luna.  If the female lead's going to surprise me the same way Zoey did I'm going to be a very happy reader.

*$2.99 on Amazon or FREE on KU!
 Unbreakable Bond: Fated Mates Duet Book 1, Jess Bryant

Sometimes fate gets it all wrong.

Zoey Kent has lived with that fact ever since she turned eighteen and learned that the man she loved could never be hers. He’s a born shifter, a wolf, and she’s a mere human. Fate doesn’t care if on paper they’re a perfect pair. She isn’t his fated mate and she’s resigned herself to the knowledge that someday, she’ll have to watch Michael mate with another. It’s never crossed her mind that there might be someone else out there for her, that she would be the one to mate another, to choose another over everything she’s ever known or wanted.

Sometimes fate gets it all right.

Rafe Hudson left his pack behind years ago. Physically and mentally scarred from an attack that left his parents and twin dead, he walked away from his responsibilities as Alpha. He never intended to return but lone wolf or not, he can’t leave Michael open to an attack he’s learned is coming for his only brother. What he didn’t know was that going home would mean scenting his mate, the one person in the world that could make him whole again, that could give him everything he thought he’d lost. His pack, his home and his family.

But fate always has a plan.

There’s no way Michael’s brother is her future, is there? Just like there’s no way that the girl his brother has loved since they were kids, was always meant to be his, right? 

Only fate knows why they were brought together but there is one thing for sure, the sparks between Zoey and Rafe are undeniable. The bond between them is unbreakable. And together… they’ll change the face of the pack forever.

Hot SEAL Hero: Hot SEAL Team Book 7, Lynn Raye Harris

A woman on the run,
A SEAL who protects,
An incendiary chemistry.
Will her past or their passion burn them first,
and what will be left among the ashes?

 Hot SEAL Hero: Hot SEAL Team Book 7, Lynn Raye Harris
Series: HOT SEAL Team #7

She fears for her life.
He’ll risk his to protect her.
Falling in love? Not part of the plan…

Chloe Cooper is on the run from an abusive ex. Living in a new state, with a new name, she’s ready to focus on rebuilding her life. She’s got a job she loves, a new home—and a sexy Navy SEAL neighbor who makes her pulse flutter in spite of her determination not to get involved. But when a threatening message arrives, her dread about what her ex will do if he finds her forces her to make a choice.

Ryan “Dirty Harry” Callahan is protective by nature. When he meets Chloe, it’s clear she’s skittish about something. When he learns why she ran from her old life, his first objective is to keep her safe. His second is to make sure she knows she can trust him—and that she’ll have a posse of Navy SEALs at her back if she ever needs them.

When the attraction between Ryan and Chloe explodes, they’re stunned by its intensity—and helpless to resist its seductive heat. Everything is finally going right for Chloe—until her worst fears come true. With Chloe missing and her life on the line, Ryan will stop at nothing to get her back. Before he loses the woman he loves forever.

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 Hot SEAL Hero: Hot SEAL Team Book 7, Lynn Raye Harris
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 Hot SEAL Hero: Hot SEAL Team Book 7, Lynn Raye Harris

Ryan “Dirty Harry” Callahan woke to the sounds of someone shouting and the beeping of a large truck backing up. His head throbbed as if someone inside chiseled away at his temples. The shouting and beeping continued and he groaned. Where the fuck was he?
He cracked an eye open and pain shot behind his eyeballs. He tried again, slowly. This time, he paid attention to his surroundings. He was in his own bed. What the hell had happened?
Then he remembered. The party at Money’s place, Ian Black, and a whole lot of drinking and laughing. He’d indulged too much, which wasn’t something he ever really did. He usually had an iron will about alcohol and he guarded himself carefully.
But yesterday—shit, yesterday had been different.
Had Neo gotten drunk too? Had they taken an Uber, or had someone brought them home? They shared a house, though they each had their own floor. The kitchen was on his floor, but he didn’t smell coffee.
He dragged his hand across his body and reached for his phone. Outside, the shouting and clunking continued. The beeping had stopped, but now the noise was just as bad.
He picked up his phone and squinted. Noon? It was fucking noon?
He dragged his body upright, groaning. Then his gaze landed on the bottle of water and the two horse sized Motrin sitting beside it. Neo had written a note, which meant Neo hadn’t been as drunk as he had.
Gone to the range. Take these, bud. Eat some cereal if you can. Man, you were drunk as shit!
Ryan grabbed the pills and twisted open the water, downing them both. He finished the water and lay back, wishing his head would either split and kill him or stop pounding. The doorbell rang and shattered whatever peace he was trying to find. He lay there like death warmed over and prayed they’d go away.
Eventually, he climbed from the bed, grabbed his Sig, holding it at his side, and stumbled down the hall toward the door. He wished like hell he had the basement floor today, but it wasn’t to be.
“Fucking stop pressing that bell,” he yelled at whoever was on the other side. And just yelling it made his head threaten to split wide open. He reached the door and peered through the peephole.
A woman stood on the other side, arms crossed, foot tapping as she waited. He jerked the door open and growled at her.
“What do you want?”
Her eyes widened as they climbed from his midsection to his face. Then they widened some more. “Oh. Oh goodness, I am so sorry.” She held up both hands as if to ward him off. He squinted at her, because the light was killing him, but what he could see looked nice.
Long golden-brown hair, wide eyes, a pretty pink mouth. Her skin was tanned. She wore a loose T-shirt and shorts with flip flops. Her legs were long, long, long for a small girl. He’d be interested if he wasn’t so fucking hungover.
Across the street, a moving van sat kind of cockeyed in the street. His truck sat next to the curb, right in front of where the van needed to go.
It dawned on him what she wanted. “You want me to move the truck, right?”
She stared hard at his face. “Um, yes? I’m sorry, you clearly look like you’re ill or something, but—” She waved a hand behind her, didn’t move her eyes from his. “I’m moving in today and the van can’t get into the driveway.”
He shoved a hand through his hair. “Fine, I’ll get the keys.”
He turned and went over to the kitchen counter, found the keys and dropped the Sig, and headed back to the door. She was still standing there, back turned as she yelled something at someone across the street. He stepped onto the porch and she turned around again. Squeaked as her gaze dropped and then she dragged it up to his face again.
“I, um, oh dear,” she said. And then she laughed, throwing her hand over her mouth and giggling in a way that made him frown. Pretty laugh, though.
“I’m sorry. Really. But, um—” She waved her hand in his general direction. “Shouldn’t you put on some pants?”
Ryan stood there, puzzling over her words. Then he looked down—and discovered he was completely and utterly naked. He was standing on the front porch in front of God and everybody, holding his keys, his dick standing at half-mast like a tired old soldier who couldn’t quite make it work.
Fucking hell…

 Hot SEAL Hero: Hot SEAL Team Book 7, Lynn Raye Harris

About Lynn...

Lynn Raye Harris is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the HOSTILE OPERATIONS TEAM SERIES of military romances as well as 20 books for Harlequin Presents. A former finalist for the Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart Award and the National Readers Choice Award, Lynn lives in Alabama with her handsome former-military husband, two crazy cats, and one spoiled American Saddlebred horse. Lynn's books have been called "exceptional and emotional," "intense," and "sizzling." Lynn's books have sold over 3 million copies worldwide.

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 Hot SEAL Hero: Hot SEAL Team Book 7, Lynn Raye Harris

The Professor's Omega Manny: Manny's Mannies Book 3, Lorelei M. Hart

The Professor's Omega Manny: An M/M Mpreg Romance (Manny's Mannies Book 3) by [Hart, Lorelei M.]

What I was expecting was not what I got.  What we ended up with was an alpha who has an open, loving heart and isn't afraid to show his affection and concern.  We got a manny who is so much more than a caregiver.  We got an omega who knows his mind and his heart and despite his concerns, he works hard to achieve success.  We got a family that is absolutely meant to be together.  I had preconceived notions based on other works I've read from this author as well as the synopsis provided and yet while most of them held, I was pleasantly surprised at how drawn I was to the characters, how quickly I loved them.

Carter was clearly out of his depth with the children and was strong enough to admit it and seek help.  He didn't seek assistance to replace him at home, but rather to teach him and for that I was immediately charmed.  If that wasn't enough, his love was clear to see for the children, his forthright honesty about his feelings for Beckham was expressed, and his profession was a passion that lent itself to complete support of his omega and his omega's professional and educational goals.

Beckham was more straightforward from the get-go regarding his life.  He'd had a hard go of it before his second encounter with Carter and it made him stronger.  We didn't really see an evolution of his character so much as seeing how he adapted and opened up to everything life was giving him in Carter's home and life.

I was supremely glad that the external drama was kept simple and that that conflict didn't bleed too deeply into their relationship.  It did give a couple stumbling blocks and brought up issues that might have been a problem, but its effect wasn't devastating or convoluted.  The relationship's drama was pretty much non-existent.  Their interactions and hesitance was more based on the external drama and what meant for how they'd proceed in their affections.  Overall, it was a sweet, fluffy story that kept conflict low and tenderness high.

*$3.99 on Amazon!
 The Professor's Omega Manny: Manny's Mannies Book 3, Lorelei M. Hart

Manny’s Mannies: Where parents find more than just childcare—they find everything.

For Carter, an alpha professor of omega studies, life comes crumbling down when two officers show up at his work with horrible news and three young children in tow. His widowed brother Joey was killed in a car accident, leaving his kids orphans. Carter immediately agrees to take them in, quickly realizing he’s in way over his head. He needs help—he needs Manny’s Mannies.

Omega Beckham was on track to become his family’s first lawyer—until his grandfather became ill and he dropped out to take care of him in his dying days. He took on a new, more feasible goal of becoming a nurse and started working as a TA. But then his employer gets arrested and he comes home to an eviction notice and discovers his roommate was stealing the rent money. Jobless and homeless, he needs a solution and fast—he needs Manny’s Mannies.

When Carter opens the door to greet his new manny, he’s shocked to see his one-night stand from years earlier—the one he could never forget. If the kids didn’t immediately love Beckham, Carter might’ve asked for a replacement. Now he has to repress his longing for the manny he once spent a magical night with.

If only it were that easy.