Archive for Shapeshifters
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Publication Date: March 5, 2013
Format: Mass Market
Source: Received from the publisher for review.
Status: In the order they appear in the collection, these novellas are: O.5, 3.5, 9.5, 10.5 of the Psy-Changeling series.
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Other Info: I love the Psy-Changeling books. This is a fact that has been well-established on this blog.
Description and link from Goodreads):
In Beat of Temptation , innocent Tamsyn has always had a place in her heart for Nathan, a blooded DarkRiver sentinel. But is she ready for the fierce demands of the mating bond?
In Stroke of Enticement , a wary young teacher, skeptical about love, arouses the man—and the animal—in an aggressive leopard changeling who must prove his affections are true.
Plus 2 NEVER BEFORE PUBLISHED NOVELLAS
In Declaration of Courtship , Grace, a shy submissive wolf, finds herself pursued by the last man she ever would have imagined: a SnowDancer lieutenant said to be “mad, bad, and dangerous to know.”
In Texture of Intimacy , SnowDancer healer Lara discovers the searing joys—and unexpected challenges—of being mated to quiet, powerful Walker, a man used to keeping his silence.
What with book twelve in the Psy-Changeling series being marketed as so epic that they can’t even give us a real description (read: NAMES), I was sorely in need of something to take the edge off. What better than a nice little collection of novellas? As a Nalini Singh fan, I’d already read the second novella, so I was super excited about the first story and the last two. As it turned out, I probably enjoyed Stroke of Enticement and Declaration of Courtship the most, even if one of these was a reread. But, really, I enjoyed all of them because I like the way that each story gives us a little more insight on the nature of the mating bond, which is a big part of the series’ world-building.
Beat of Temptation, as the blurb tells us, is Nathan and Tamsin’s story. It takes us into the past, before the events of Slave to Sensation. This is fun because it allows us a peek at Lucas before he became the DarkRiver alpha. It also explores what happens when the mating bond ignites between a grown man and a teenage girl. Don’t worry, though. By the time the story begins, Tamsin is an adult, and frustrated that Nathan is still making all the decisions about their relationship. Namely, that she’s not ready to be intimate with him (when she totally is). It’s a light, sweet story, but not my favorite.
Stroke of Enticement was a better read. The hero is one of Nalini Singh’s signature alpha Changelings and the heroine is a–gasp!–human. We don’t meet too many of those in this series. I loved this one because I adore it when Nalini writes children into her stories. I can just picture their little faces in the scenes she writes. Stroke packs a fair amount into its small package. None of the stories in this collection satisfied me the way a Psy-Changeling novel does, but this one came the closest.
Declaration of Courtship stood out because of its exploration of the submissive wolf. Though submissive wolves are occasionally mentioned in the Psy-Changeling books, this is the first time we’ve had one as a main character and narrator. In a way, Declaration was the most important book in this collection. If Nalini was going to create dominant heroes, it was inevitable that the dominant/submissive pairing would come up. And if you don’t know that dominant heroes are wasted on submissive heroes, well, email me and we can talk about it. However, just because the heroine in this story is a submissive does not mean she is weak-willed. In fact, I think the fact that she has to struggle against her submissive nature in order to stand up to the hero (and figure out how to be in a relationship with him without losing herself) makes her incredibly strong.
Texture of Intimacy was my least favorite story in this collection, and here’s why: I didn’t particularly enjoy Walker and Lara’s story in Kiss of Snow. I was very much: “Get back to Hawke and Sienna!” And I was completely irritated by the fact that there wasn’t a single ounce of them in this story. Sure, there’s a reference or two, but we never get to see them together. Call me a bitter grudge-holder, but if they were going to take up so much of Hawke and Sienna’s story, shouldn’t they return the favor? Okay, you caught me. I wanted this to be Kiss of Snow: The Extended Epilogue and it wasn’t. Completely my own fault, but there you have it.
Down and dirty rundown:
- Beat of Temptation: 3 Matryoshkas: I would have coffee with this novella.
- Stroke of Enticement: 4 Matryoshkas: I would make dinner for this novella.
- Declaration of Courtship: 4 Matryoshkas: I would make dinner for this novella.
- Texture of Intimacy: 2 1/2 Matryoshkas: I would glance at this novella through a store window.
Publication Date: March 20, 2012
Status: There are no spoilers for any of the other books in this series. It’s technically book 4.5, but could be read before or after any of the books in the series thus far.
Source: Received from the publisher for review
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Shifters
Location: Nirvana, Nevada
Other Info: Check out our joint interview with Thea Harrison at On a Book Bender!
Description and link (from Goodreads):
Enter to win an ecopy of Natural Evil from Thea Harrison!
Publication Date: December 13, 2011
Status: Takes place after the first three books in the Elder Races series: Dragon Bound, Storm’s Heart and Serpent’s Kiss.
Source: Purchased for my Kindle by my own self.
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Shifters
Location: New York
Other Info: I roped Amanda from On a Book Bender into reviewing this with me. Mostly just for a bit of fun. Thanks, Amanda!
Description and link (from Goodreads):
- Amanda: I finished it! Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop.
- Me: It was woefully short! It was kind of like Thea Harrison on speed.
- Amanda: It was. I wanted more of it.
- Me: Is that our joint review?
- Amanda: A short review for a short book? Ha.
- Amanda: Since this was a novella, I went into True Colors knowing that it was probably going to be too short for me. I mean, is it ever really possible to get enough Thea Harrison?
- Me: No.
- Amanda: So, yes. It was short, and the romance aspect definitely plowed over the mystery in this novella.
- Me: Actually, I thought the buildup of the mystery was pretty detailed for a short. It was the resolution that was too slap-bang-what-just-happened?
- Amanda: This is true. I’ve always been a big mystery reader, though, so while there was some detail, there wasn’t much involved in the actual solving of the mystery.
- Me: I was really into the history of the rainbow chameleon, and Alice’s part in figuring out the significance of the villain’s arrangement of, er, things. Then they had flirted and had sex for several pages and the mystery was forgotten until the bad guy showed up. Then the mystery was ovah. It was blink-and-you’ll-miss-it. #NakedWerewolves.
- Amanda: I’m okay with that.
- Me: Mm, yes and no. The end of the mystery was too fast. #NakedWerewolves.
- Amanda: The mystery portion gave Alice and Riehl a reason to find each other and the instant-mate recognition with the Wyr worked very well for such a short novel. It’s not really insta-love, but more of an acknowledgement that the two characters are meant to be mates, which is a little more believable.
- Me: Right? I think short stories in series with the “mate” concept are the only ones that work for me. #NakedWerewolves
- Amanda: It was a fun romp in the Elder Races world while we wait for the fourth book.
- Me: It whet my appetite for later books in the series. Like, I don’t know, say…Bayne’s? #NakedWerewolves–or, rather, #NakedGriffins?
- Amanda: Though True Colors is technically listed as book 3.5 in the series, it can be read as a stand alone, as it features “normal” Wyr characters that have never made an appearance in the previous three books.
- Me: Bayne, at least, has been mentioned, and I’m pretty sure he’s had at least a cameo appearance. But, on the whole, I agree that this can be read as a stand-alone. It doesn’t spoil the other books, but my guess would be that you wouldn’t appreciate it unless you’d at least read DB. #NakedWerewolves.
- Amanda: However, I would guess that having read the previous books will give the reader an added understanding of the world that True Colors is set in. This novella also gives fans of the Elder Races series a brief glimpse into every day life in the Wyr demesne, one that I would definitely like to see again.
- Me: I love the word “demesne” and would like to see you use it in a sentence in your everyday life. #NakedWerewolves.
- Amanda: Okay. I will start a #NakedWerewolf demesne. I’ll update you on how awesome it is to live around #NakedWerewolves. Your daily #NakedWerewolves demesne update.
Amanda’s #NakedWerewolves demesne update:
Thanks for stopping by Ruby’s Reads, Dani!
Werewolves make the best boyfriends. Oh yes they do! No matter what you call them – shapeshifters, Changelings (like in my new series) or lycans – werewolves totally ROCK as significant others.
Here’s why –
1. A werewolf boyfriend is always around. He never disappears when the sun comes up and he can take you the beach. He won’t sparkle or combust at the family picnic in July. (He may eat all the food – but then, Aunt Mabel will be thrilled that somebody finally liked her marshmallow salad…)
2. A werewolf boyfriend is strong. We’re talking muscles upon muscles here. You’ll never hear him complain when you ask him to move the piano. And the couch. And the refrigerator. At the same time. At the mall, he’ll carry your bags. And you, when your feet get tired.
3. A werewolf boyfriend is sexy. After all, he has that whole animal magnetism thing going on. And by the way, you don’t have to worry about him running out of steam. He has stamina and then some in the boudoir.
4. A werewolf boyfriend is protective. It’s his nature to look out for you and make sure nothing – absolutely nothing – is allowed to distress you. Not only are you safe from muggers, but used car salesmen, religious pamphlet pushers and groups asking for money will likely never bother you again. Oh, and as for your ex BF – who?
5. A werewolf boyfriend is loyal. After all, real wolves mate for life and so do werewolves. In a roomful of fashion models, movie stars and beauty queens, your BF will be focused on you and only you. Nice, huh?
My new shapeshifter series revolves around the Macleods, a family of Changelings. The men are big, strong, sexy, good-looking and intelligent. Able to become wolves at will. And they have tender hearts as big as all outdoors. Check out Changeling Moon and Changeling Dream, which are available now. What about female shapeshifters, you say? There’s one for you too. Changeling Dawn releases December 27 with an unforgettable human hero. For more info, go to http://www.daniharper.com.
My question to my readers today is this:
Why do YOU think a werewolf would make a good boyfriend? Or not?
One winner will be drawn from the commenters to receive a signed copy of one of my Changeling books (reader’s choice) and a Dani Harper tote bag to put it in! Draw is open to international entries, and ends on December 21st.
Publication Date: October 4, 2011
Format: Mass Market
Status: Third in the Elder Races series, following Dragon Bound and Storm’s Heart.
Source: Received from the publisher for review.
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Shifters (eat that Missie! Chalk up another one for the Shifter’s Challenge).
Other Info: I love Thea Harrison. End. Of. Story.
Description (from Goodreads):
Oh, Rune! How do I love thee? Enough to overlook your appalling dress sense, certainly.
Ahem. Sorry, this is meant to be a book review, not a hero review. Although… No, never mind. I admit that, when I heard who Rune’s heroine was going to be, I was a trifle disappointed. I can’t explain why exactly, but it’s probably due to the fact that I tend to dislike world-weary been-there-done-that heroines. I should have known better. I should have expected more from the very awesome Thea Harrison. Because not only did she make me like Carling, she made me really like her–and root for her and Rune.
I loved this book, but I have a confession to make. I’m still a little bit confused about the plot. It involves time travel, which is basically a big flashing red light that there’s going to be something in it to confuse me. Time travel plots always make me go, “Wait…What…?” and “But, didn’t…?” I think my brain shuts down in self-defense. I leave the physics to my brother and his Ph.D, and focus on the parts that interest me more. I.e., the hot heroes, the romance and the world-building.
It’s well-known (I hope) by this point that I’m a huge alpha hero fan. Also well-known? Thea Harrison absolutely knows how to create them. Rune is an alpha hero who Does It Right. He perfectly personifies that sexy-scary hero Thea Harrison describe in her Book Boyfriend post this week. He pushes Carling when he knows she needs it, and need it she does. It’s a sort of role reversal. In Serpent’s Kiss, Carling is the cold, closed-off half of the couple and Rune is the one that encourages her to feel by not kowtowing to her immense power. He’s also the one that encourages her to relax and have fun–he plays the role usually reserved for the quirky, off-beat heroine.
Harrison also continues with her fantastic world-building. I’m not going to touch on the time-travel plot (for the reasons mentioned above), but I will say that the trips back in time really worked for me in terms of expanding Rune and Carling’s relationship. It happens at lightning speed, which is kind of the formula for Harrison’s books. It really needs the extra connecting that happens during the time jumps. I also really dug the vampire lore, and how the concept of the serpent’s kiss played into the world’s concept of vampirism. The more I learn about Harrison’s world, the more eager I am to visit the other demesnes.
The last thing I want to touch on is Thea Harrison’s talent for introducing new characters. We met Duncan and Khalil in Storm’s Heart, but we get to know them better in Serpent’s Kiss. I absolutely adore it when authors build up anticipation for characters stories. It’s one of the things I love best about Nalini Singh, and I’m giddy with excitement to find an author who can do it with as much success. There’s an excerpt for Oracle’s Moon at the end of Serpent’s Kiss, and it did miraculous things to whet my appetite. Thea Harrison can’t write fast enough for me.