Wolf Hollow (Wolf Hollow Shifters Book 1) – Nikki Jefford

Paranormal shifter romance set in a post-apocalyptic world with unique shifter lore. Currently free on Amazon.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Blurb:

Breed or die off.

The future of Wolf Hollow is in the hands of their single shifters to claim mates and rebuild their pack after a devastating attack leaves them vulnerable.

Sasha is the only surviving female pureblooded wolf in her pack and feels the pressure to claim the pack’s only pureblooded male . . . until he runs off rather than claim her. The elders have chosen a new male for her with no concern for her feelings on the matter. None of her packmates appear to care who mates her, except for one.

An attraction that threatens the future of the pack…

Tabor, a hotheaded half-breed, is the hollow’s only wizard shifter. Constantly overlooked despite his strengths, Tabor believes Sasha is as shortsighted as the rest of the pack until she proves there’s more to her than a blindly obedient lapdog.

Unable to resist the proud and sensual pureblood, Tabor would risk everything to claim her.

Despite her vanishing bloodline, Sasha can’t resist the charismatic half-breed, even as the elders set her up to breed with another pureblood.

Predators are closing in, threatening to eliminate their pack permanently, and there are shifters within Wolf Hollow willing to do anything to prevent the pair from claiming one another.

It’s a savage, Mad Max kind of world where only the strongest survive. Meet the Wolf Hollow Shifters in Nikki Jefford’s dark and addictive dystopian romance series for adult readers.


Wolf Hollow has unique shifter lore I haven’t come across before. There are four different kinds of wolf shifters: pure-bloods who always lived in the wilderness; non-pure-bloods whose ancestors lived among humans and perhaps mated with them – I’m not clear on that point; werewolves who shift into the monster form we’ve seen in movies; and half-breeds who are a mix of wolf shifter and another magical race – the only one we know of is wizards.

This shifter world does not have fated mates. They choose their mates just like humans do. And they can cheat, having sex with other people than their “mate”, which I don’t like. Both male and female claim each other with a bite to the neck, but it doesn’t have to be during sex (as I often see).

“Wolf shifters, in both animal and human form, could only become pregnant during the full moon. The closer to the exact second, the better their chances.”

“Once a female shifter reached her second trimester, her body became incapable of shifting into wolf form until after she gave birth. With pure-blooded native wolf shifters, the opposite was true. When two purebloods mated, the female was stuck in wolf form the moment she became pregnant until she gave birth. Purebloods were considered the strongest wolf shifters in existence, but they were a dying breed.”

I loved Sasha. She is strong, fierce, and honorable. Tabor is the same but fighting against the prejudice and exclusion of his pack growing up. They both grow throughout the novel.

This was a fast paced read with a lot of action and emotion. I only found one error in this novel, so it is extremely well edited. I’m eager to read more in this series.

There are a few sex scenes, but they aren’t detailed.

SAFE – no Other People drama, cheating, or abuse.

3rd person past tense from Sasha and Tabor.

293 pages. Currently free on Amazon. There are 4 more in the series, $3.99 each.



Six (A Demon Hunter Romance Book 1) – Carrie Thorne

Unique paranormal romance nearly ruined with grammatical errors. Currently free on Amazon.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Blurb:

Fate sucks. Even demon hunters deserve a little normal.

Born to fight the monsters that haunt our dreams, Quinn Fischer loves her job… until a prophecy from long ago points to her plucky demon-hunting team as those destined to take down one of the most notorious monsters of all time. Despite her hesitation, she goes all in with her fearsome team. After a devastating defeat, she’s blasted from the battlefield and splashes down off the northwest coast of Alaska, without a memory to her name.

Different from his fellow demon-hunters, Ryan Hunt wanted no part in their blood-thirsty ways. Creating a covert taskforce from his loyal Coast Guard buddies, they’ve set out to protect the Pacific from the monsters that threaten humanity. He’s got a good routine, until smartass, gorgeous demon hunter lands off his bow.

Bound to their birthright, they must learn to trust each other in order to get to the source of the increased activity around the Bearing Sea… and to find out where Quinn came from.


This is a great story. I loved the characters, even the secondary ones. It’s a great romance. I might even want to read it again if there weren’t so many errors. So I would give it 5 stars but can only give it 3 as is.

Errors knock me out of the story, like roadblocks when I’m trying to fly down a highway. 99% of the errors were the same thing – action sequences attached to dialogue as if they were dialogue tags. Smiling, laughing, sighing, and doing anything else but talking are not dialogue tags! Oh my freaking gawd! There was hardly a dialogue sequence in this novel where this error did not occur! It was driving me absolutely bonkers.

It’s difficult to take a step back and think about the story without remembering the constant aggravation and frustration. And then there were a few errors where actual dialogue tags like he asked were not attached as a dialogue tag. *pulls her hair out* I would like to read the next book in the series, but I can’t. I took a peek, and it has the same action sequence as dialogue tag errors. I can’t put myself through this again. If the author ever fixes these errors, I will happily change my review to 5 stars and read the next in the series.

This series has a unique mythology behind it. Demon hunters are the descendants of a “demon” who had a child with a human. “Demons” aren’t what we normally think of with that word. They are very humanlike in appearance, and most are not evil. Demon hunters have, “Rapid healing, strong immunity, physical prowess, [and] three times the average human’s lifespan”. When a demon hunter marries a human, a ritual extends the healing power and long life of the demon hunter to the human. Demon hunters were created to protect humans from the creatures that sometimes cross the “veil” between the two worlds.

I normally hate amnesia as a plot device and almost skipped this novel because of that. I’m glad I went ahead and read this. Usually, amnesia is used to reset a story. The author loved the characters so much that she wanted to reuse them to tell a different story, so they are reset to zero with amnesia. I hate that. But here, amnesia is the start of the story. So don’t let any bad associations you may have with amnesia put you off.

I loved Quinn and Ryan. Quinn is strong, funny, and sexually assertive even when she can’t remember who she is. Ryan is strong, sexy, level-headed, and sweet. They are both bad-asses.

The story is interesting with plenty of action to go along with the emotion. The pacing would be great if not for the constant errors slowing me down.

Semi-graphic sex scenes. They are generally short and not detailed.

3rd person past tense from Ryan and Quinn with a few chapters from secondary characters.

126 instances of using an action sequence as a dialogue tag.

Alright is not a word. It’s all right, two words.

Other errors: 13 (missing words, incorrect use of semicolons, wrong words, words not capitalized that should be, and missing commas and quotation marks)

344 pages.

Currently free on Amazon.


Favorite Quote:

Infuriating man. Nice backside, though. That was the kind of ass they wrote sonnets about. None specifically that she could come up with, but worth considering. If she never found out who she was, perhaps she could make her fortune with nice ass poetry.


Rare Breed: Leopards Unleashed Series Book 1 – Dina Haynes

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Steamy, suspenseful, action-packed, paranormal shifter romance

Blurb:

She was exiled at birth. He terrifies the other monsters. Can two outsider wereleopards overcome prejudice and find their own way to love?

Los Angeles. MacKenzie is a loner by necessity, not choice. Hiding from the intolerance of the shifter world by living among humans, she’s terrified when she accidentally kills her date and blows her cover. Not only does she have to elude the LAPD, she’s on the run from the most feared bounty hunter in the were community.

Ramone Hernandes sees his own struggles reflected in his prey’s captivating eyes. So after tracking her down, he abandons his snatch-and-grab mission and instead attempts to clear her name. And the more time he spends with the alluring outcast, the stronger his urge to claim her as his chosen mate.

Confused by her attraction to the beast sent to take her in, MacKenzie must weigh her precarious state as a fugitive against the calls of her heart. And although he’s willing to do anything to protect her, Ramone’s failure to do his job threatens both their lives.

With their enemies aligning against them, can they survive long enough to heal their wounded hearts?

Rare Breed, formerly published as Wereleper, is the first book in the spine-tingling Leopards Unleashed paranormal romance series. If you like tough heroines, steamy scenes, and unexpected twists, then you’ll adore Dina Haynes’s suspenseful saga.



This is a romance, but it takes a while to get there. This was good. I liked it a lot, but I don’t think I would want to re-read it, so 4 stars. I read it fairly quickly, but it did drag in some parts, possibly because I wanted to get to the romance already. The romance is more of an end game thing. It is more suspense and action than romance.

Dina Haynes has built a unique shifter world here and did very well with that world-building. I’ve read many shifter romances and always enjoy the tweaks authors make to the standard shifter lore out there. In this world:

  • Humans know about shifters and live in relative peace with them. There is prejudice and hate like racism in the real world.
  • Shifters live very long lives, seems like at least 150 years.
  • Shifters can fully shapeshift from human to their were-species. There are big cats (leopards, lions), wolves, and bears mentioned.
  • Shifters heal completely if they shift from one form to another.
  • Shifters can heal with their saliva. Mates “tend” to each other this way, creating a stronger bond.
  • I was confused about how two shifters become mates. Early on, it is said one male is always careful to pull out during sex because not doing so would tie the pair together for life. This is a common part of general shifter lore, usually accompanied by a bite, which is not part of the lore here. But later in this novel, someone does not pull out, and nothing happens immediately. Beyond that, we are also told that wereleopards don’t always mate for life. I never got a clear idea of the “rules” here.

This is the story of MacKenzie, Mac, a “mutant” born to two wereleopards. Mac can’t fully shift into a leopard, so she also can’t heal quickly by shifting forms. This also makes her very weak in comparison to other shifters. Most were parents would kill a “defective” child like this at birth. Mac’s mother wanted to kill Mac, but her father refused.

Mac’s unique condition means she has almost no shifter scent, making it easy to hide from other shifters among humans. Mac had been living among humans for a long time at the start of the story. She had gotten so “human”, that she has a dog! It is very odd for a cat shifter to have a dog, but I love Chunk, the French Bulldog. He adds a lot of humor to this story.

I liked the characters. They are far from perfect, but that makes them interesting. Mac is a strong, independent woman who consistently saves herself. Her struggle is allowing emotional connections with others and accepting help.

At the beginning, Mac has a casual sex relationship with “the male”. We later learn his name is Doug. I was amused that Mac keeps thinking of Doug as “the male” long after learning his name. It was obviously a ploy to distance herself from him emotionally. From the blurb, I expected the male romantic lead to be Ramone, so I was confused and put off by the sex and other intimacy with Doug. It’s not cheating, but I still only want intimacy with the main romantic partner. This is a strong preference of mine.

There are some trigger warnings. Mac was abused by her parents. She was sent to the were-jail when she was 16, and she was routinely beaten and raped there by the guards. There is also dubious consent in some of the sex scenes – Mac is physically restricted from moving, and her partner is not taking no for an answer, but intercourse does not happen until Mac is fully along for the ride.

Some graphic sex scenes. Scenes with the male romantic lead don’t occur until after 50%. They aren’t very explicit. Common language used in erotic novels is not used here.

Occasional foul language.

HEA.

1st person past tense, all from MacKenzie.

This is very well edited. I only found 11 errors.

323 pages. $2.99 on Amazon and part of Kindle Unlimited.

I downloaded this for free via BookSirens in exchange for an honest review.


Favorite Quotes:

I pulled off the 10 freeway and rolled down the window so Chunk could suffocate himself in the wind. After a bout of snorting and hacking, he stepped back inside and looked at me as if to say, Did you see how I almost died there?

I glanced at him and said, “Glutton and punishment. Put them together in a sentence and that’s what you are, buddy.”

He stood back up and stuck his face out the window again.



The old me was thinking, Don’t trust that bitch. But the new, emotional me was like Sex is good, let’s keep him.



He caught my leg as I crawled away and pulled me to him. Chunk let go a whine. “Hey, mutt,” he said. “I’m about to do stuff to your mommy you won’t like.”

As if Chunk understood every word, he threw me a worried look, then jumped off the bed and left the room.



Western Dreams – Becky Barker

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Sweet, sensual, second-chance contemporary western romance. Currently free on Amazon.

Blurb:

A fun, sexy second chance romance. Bree Conley is back at the Blackstone ranch and Reece Blackstone is at the end of his rope. Maybe he loved her once but that’s in the past, and now she’s a total distraction. How can he get any work done when Bree’s so beautiful, so sassy and so tempting?

Bree has no intention of rekindling their romance even though he’s a perfect specimen of drool-worthy male. She has new dreams to fulfill, which includes turning the neighboring ranch into a wildlife sanctuary. Maybe, if he’s lucky, she’ll take Reece for a walk on the wild side…


This is sweet, sensual, and emotional rather than erotic. There is only one real sex scene. It’s about two people’s insecurities and not communicating the truth until it’s almost too late. I liked it and would give it four stars if the grammar and formatting weren’t so terrible. The same issues that were in the first book from the 80’s are still here.

Sort of camera obscura descriptions in the sex scenes. Language isn’t “flowery” but along those lines without being over the top. It is much more subtle.

3rd person past tense from both Bree and Reece. Head-hopping within the same chapter or sections.

There are many extra spaces at the start of paragraphs, extra spaces or tabs between words, and weird unintended carriage return (starts a new paragraph) in the middle of sentences. Beyond that, I found 23 errors.

130 pages.

Currently free on Amazon – June 2021.


Her Reluctant Rancher (Return to Stone Creek Book 1) – Anne Marie Novark

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Sweet western contemporary romance – Currently free on Amazon

Blurb:

Trevor Callahan’s grandfather is dead. As a kid, living with the stern old man had been a pure living hell. Trev returns to Stone Creek for one reason and one reason only: To sell the Rocking C Ranch. Maybe then he can put his past behind him and move on.

Beth Evans once confused lust for love and vows never to let it happen again. The bookmobile driver is trying to raise funds to build a new library. The late Hank Callahan bequeathed one million dollars for the project, but he attached one stipulation: Do not let his grandson sell the ranch.

HER RELUCTANT RANCHER

Contemporary Western Romance Novel

65,000 words/204 pp

Heat Index: Hot and Steamy

Listed on Amazon as 301 pages.

Currently free – May 2021


Beth is 24, so Trevor is 36.

Beth has a 5-year-old daughter.

Several detailed sex scenes, but they aren’t truly graphic. Sensual language is used (I wouldn’t call it flowery) instead of slang for body parts. The F word is never used.

It’s sweet, a good, fast-paced read. The characters are likeable. Both Trevor and Beth grow emotionally, which they have to do to really let someone in. HEA. SAFE. Very good grammar.

3rd person past tense from Trevor and Beth.

Head-hopping within the same chapter/section.

Errors: 9