Book Review: Wolf Girl Series by Leia Stone

Paranormal romance is not my usual jam but I picked up the first book in a new spin-off series from this one and was intrigued by the history of many of the characters we met, so I decided to check this out. Overall, the Wolf Girl series was pretty engaging and I sped through all four books in just over a day! Despite having major #dramallama I needed to know what happened next, how Wolf City would fare, and how Demi and Sawyer’s relationship would work out. If you’re looking for an entertaining paranormal romance-heavy read that helps you escape reality and is totally binge-able, I would recommend checking this out. Beware the angsty drama though! 😂

*For those who are interested, this series is available on Kindle Unlimited!*

Wolf Girl (Wolf Girl #1)
Panda Rating:

(3 pandas)

Lost Girl (Wolf Girl #2)
Panda Rating:


(2.75 pandas)

Alpha Girl (Wolf Girl #3)
Panda Rating:


(3 pandas)

Mated Girl (Wolf Girl #4)
Panda Rating:


(3 pandas)

Wolf Girl (Wolf Girl Series #1) by Leia Stone

Wolf Girl spends a lot of time building up the world of Magic City and the various creature factions living in it: wolves, vampires, trolls, dark fae, light fae, and witches, but we also get a small glimpse into the world of banished creatures living in the magically enclosed part of the human world. I thought the world-building was done well and not overly complex. The romance is also quite heavy in this book as a majority of the plot revolves around our heroine, Demi, taking part in the ‘mate selection year’ activities which she likens to The Bachelor (but “Wolf Bachelor”) and though I’ve never watched the show, I can imagine it’s quite similar from what I’ve heard. Thankfully, there’s not a lot of angst between the women, but there’s definitely a lot of angst between our H/H! 🥲

I liked all of the characters but I wasn’t overly invested in any of them. Demi‘s family was banished from Wolf City and she grew up in the human world, so she doesn’t know a lot about Magic City or living in a wolf pack, and we discover her split shifter abilities and wolf customs alongside her. She’s a bit “not like other girls” but she doesn’t let herself get sucked into any drama. I loved her friendship with Sage though! Sawyer was a generally sweet and well-intentioned guy though he doesn’t go about things the right way (at all) and I was pretty miffed about some of the things he did. There was a big hell-no moment for me towards the middle and I was a little miffed that Demi gave in and forgave him so quickly for it. That said, the ending had me really shaking my head in disbelief as it escalated really quickly but it did the trick and made me want to continue reading on!


Lost Girl (Wolf Girl Series #2) by Leia Stone

Lost Girl picks up right where the first book ends and is pretty much non-stop until the very end. We only get Demi’s perspective, though as Demi and Sawyer are separated, it would’ve been great to get his perspective to see how the shit hit the fan back in Wolf City from the moment she was captured.

The majority of this book follows Demi as she journeys back from Troll Valley through various territories (Troll Valley, Dark Fae, Light Fae, Wildlands) and I liked getting to see how different they are. Again, I think the world-building was done well and I had a clear picture in my head of the magical races and their lands. It was slower-paced as there are a lot of reflective moments and being in Demi’s head was a bit repetitive. We do see her gain strength and we get to see her wield her powers more now that the secret is out. That said, I was honestly disappointed by Demi’s quick forgiveness of Sawyer’s actions. Like, woman, please. Stick up for yourself? Where’s your backbone? He did you real dirty and you’re gonna capitulate that easily? Hmm…

Sawyer didn’t play much of a role in this book but he grovels a lot and becomes a stage five clinger. I wasn’t impressed… We also meet new characters that I liked, such as Astra, Arrow and my new fave: Marmal. I really hope these characters come back! At this point, it’s not that I’m even particularly invested in Demi and Sawyer’s relationship or the trials they face, but I am curious to see how the war plays out.


Alpha Girl (Wolf Girl Series #3) by Leia Stone

Alright, Alpha Demi, you’re okay. I’m a little conflicted about Alpha Girl because not much happens. The war has full-on escalated, people are dying all around them, and Wolf City is frankly being destroyed as all the other territories have banded with the vampires all to get their hands on Demi’s tasty power. Demi and Sawyer are still separated and Sawyer is still kind of a stage-five clinger at the start but he does mellow down.

It’s disappointing that we don’t see more of the war because this focuses on Demi’s alpha trial in the Dark Woods. Demi has to stay until she’s shown the magic cave and can harness the Alpha’s powers, and while it’s technically supposed to take three days… we know that’d be too easy, right? 😉 The pace is definitely slow as we spend so much time on the day-to-day of Demi surviving this trial and it takes a while!

That said, one of the things I’ve enjoyed the most about this series is the friendship between Sage and Demi, so I enjoyed the focus on them. I love their unconditional support for each other and they’re truly ride or die. Give me more strong women and strong friendships like this, please!

At this point, I’m just ready to know how everything is resolved!


Mated Girl (Wolf Girl Series #4) by Leia Stone

Despite the drama piled on top of drama (because some parts were really #dramallama to the power of max), I thought Mated Girl was a pretty satisfying conclusion to this series. Plus, it sets things up nicely for the spin-off!

Wolf City might still mostly be in ruins, but I’m always a sucker for those new beginnings where people come together despite their differences in order to create a better world and more inclusive future. Demi has a great pack, and I loved that Marmal came back and this time, we even get a dragon that flies and has old magic! 😉 I love the empowered empowered women in this series and it was satisfying to see them take on this rescue mission. Demi really does make a great alpha! Sawyer also comes back a more confident alpha and is no longer a stage five clinger (phew).

I think Magic City is an interesting place and I’ve actually already read the first book in Luka’s series so I’m curious to see what happens next with the tensions still extremely high between the territories, and especially with these nasty vampires. I know I’m definitely gonna be in for a lot more drama 😂

Have you read the Wolf Girl series or is it on your TBR? If you read paranormal romances, what’s your favourite or what do you recommend I check out?

First Lines Friday – 17 September 2021

Happy Friday book lovers! We’re back with another First Lines Friday, a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? Here are the rules:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

First lines:

“The devil had a name—Cristiano de la Rosa—but from this day forward, I would call him husband.”

Do you recognise the book these first lines come from?

Continue reading “First Lines Friday – 17 September 2021”

ARC Review: With You Forever by Chloe Liese

Special thanks to the author for providing an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!

Goodreads: With You Forever (Bergman Brothers #4)
Publication date: 14 September 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Panda Rating:

(4.5 pandas)


Axel
Rooney Sullivan is sunshine incarnate. Warm, bright, always smiling, she’s everything I’m not and the last person I have any business desiring. Desperate to hide a hopeless attraction, I’ve done everything possible to keep my distance…until a charades game gone wrong brought that to a grinding halt. 

Since then, steering clear of Rooney has been impossible. In a matter of months, she’s kissed me speechless, commandeered my art career, and infiltrated not only my dreams but my home. The woman who was once avoidable has become the last thing I needed: temptingly within reach.
 
Rooney
Axel Bergman is a gorgeous grump who doesn’t have the time of day for me. Thankfully, I’ve kept my crush under wraps…well, until I kissed him. Charades got away from me, okay? It was an accident! I haven’t seen him since, which is for the best. My life is a mess, and the last thing I need is to embarrass myself further with the man who avoids me like that’s his job rather than painting modern masterpieces.
 
It seems the universe, however, has a different plan. When Axel and I unexpectedly find our paths—and problems—converging, a marriage of convenience proves the perfect solution. At least, until I’m facing my most serious problem yet: a once-loveless marriage of convenience that’s inconveniently become a love match, after all.

THIS BOOK IS OUT IN TWO DAYS!
PRE-ORDER NOW:

Continue reading “ARC Review: With You Forever by Chloe Liese”

ARC Review: Impassioned by Darcy Burke

Special thanks to NetGalley and Zealous Quill Press for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.


Goodreads: Impassioned (The Phoenix Club #2)
Publisher: Zealous Quill Press
Publish Date: 24 August 2021
Genre: Historical Regency Romance

Panda Rating:

(3.5 pandas)

In nearly two years of marriage, Sabrina Westbrook has barely spoken to her husband and shared a bed even less. Both activities would require they actually live together. As it is, the Earl of Aldington attends to his seat in the House of Commons, while she and her crippling social anxiety tend to his country house and gardens.

Their arrangement is quite civilized, and their letters are painfully polite. Their twice-yearly visits are…awkward. But, if Sabrina can muster the necessary courage, all of that is about to change. Starting tonight.

Heir to a dukedom, Constantine Westbrook knows his duty: to country, to family, and to the shy, retiring wife whose beauty stole his breath the moment they met. Whose arousing, enticing body he’s never seen in the light of day. Or any light at all.

However, there’s something different about the woman who shows up in London unannounced. For the first time in their marriage, Sabrina has a request. No, a demand. But wanting and having are two different things. And to give Sabrina her heart’s desire, they’ll both need a few lessons in love…

BUY A COPY:

Note: The quotes below are taken from an advanced/unfinished copy and are subject to change in the final version.

TL;DR: Despite this book relying on tropes I’m not overly fond of in romance (miscommunication and deception), I found myself liking the characters enough that I wanted to get to their HEA. I enjoyed seeing Sabrina and Constantine deal with their insecurities and issues that stemmed from their upbringing and troubled family relationships. I loved seeing them come out of their shells, stand up to their bullies and find confidence to pursue their wants outside of society’s expectations. The sexual tension between these two was also surprisingly steamy and it was built up in a nice slow burn fashion, complete with swoon-worthy courting, too!


It’s been a while since I read a Darcy Burke romance but it was nice to come back to her regency romance world. I enjoy her writing and the era comes alive through her descriptions and the words/phrases from this period. It feels authentic, although I can’t really comment so much on the accuracy of it, just that it feels realistic to me.

This one had a bit of a rough start and our H/H took a while to understand the real problem between them and their arranged marriage (hint: it wasn’t sex). This does lean heavily on the miscommunication trope, plus there’s also a fair bit of deception that lasts until the conflict at the end, so if these are two things you don’t like in romance, this book might not be for you. While I normally also don’t like these tropes, and they did frustrate me when I was reading, I liked both characters enough to want to continue and see them get their HEA.

Sabrina and Constantine each have their own issues to overcome that stem from their upbringing and troubled family relationships. Sabrina suffers from extreme social anxiety and that isn’t helped by her horrible parents who belittle and demean her and treat her anxiety as a joke, which causes her to retreat into herself and become a ‘wallflower‘. Constantine has been raised to be the perfectly rational, unfeeling and coldhearted Duke by his father who is more of a domineering dictator rather than a parent, and who expects his favourite son to be just like him. These personal issues have led to misunderstandings and constant miscommunication between our H/H, but both want desperately to change that and as they break down the walls in their marriage, they also learn to stand up for what they want. I enjoyed seeing them break out of their shells, find their voices and finally stand up to their bullies, though I wish we did get more details specifically about how Sabrina overcame her anxiety. It felt overly simplistic as if she decided to get over it and that was that; however, it wasn’t a “magic cure” whereby the end she didn’t feel anxiety at all because she continued to suffer from her nerves, she just got better at managing it.

There’s also a delicious tension that builds up between these two. What starts out as Sabrina boldly demanding her marital rights to get with a child, turns into a tentative and swoon-worthy courting between husband and wife, and it’s not only very sweet but also delightfully steamy—the sexual tension developed so nicely and it’s well worth the slow(ish) burn when they finally give in to their desires and get together! That said, I wish it didn’t take them so long to realise that lies and miscommunication were what made their relationship so awful in the first place and that the deception they participated in to get to their marriage on more stable ground didn’t aid in that. But you can say the journey to get there was definitely sexy and fun! 😉

Overall, despite the use of tropes I’m not very fond of, I liked our H/H and I’m glad I read this book! I’m definitely excited for the next book in the Phoenix Club series, but I’ll also go back and read the first one, too.

Have you read Impassioned or is it on your TBR?

First Lines Friday – 03 September 2021

Happy Friday book lovers! We’re back with another First Lines Friday, a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? Here are the rules:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

First lines:

“It’s all fun and games until someone shits their pants. And for once, Vlad Konnikov wasn’t the culprit.”

Do you recognize the book these first lines come from?

Continue reading “First Lines Friday – 03 September 2021”

Book Review: Sing Anyway by Anita Kelly

Goodreads: Sing Anyway (Moonlighters #1)
Publisher: Anita Kelly
Published: 01 June 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance, LGBTQ+

Panda Rating:

(4 pandas)

After a lifetime of failed relationships, non-binary history professor Sam Bell is committed to a new (non)romantic strategy: Thirst Only. It’s the actual drinking where things get too complicated, where Sam inevitably gets hurt.

Sam is good at being thirsty, though, especially when it’s karaoke night at The Moonlight Café, otherwise known as Moonie’s to its largely queer regulars. Moonie’s is fun. Comfortable. Safe. Except for tonight, when one by one, all of Sam’s friends abandon them. Disappointed, they prepare to leave—until their #1 karaoke crush catches their eye…

For Lily Fischer, karaoke at Moonie’s is the only time she can step outside of her quiet shell. When there’s a mic in her hand, she’s no longer merely a receptionist harboring big dreams. At Moonie’s, Lily can pretend to be someone else: someone bold, who takes what she wants. And tonight, what Lily wants is the way Sam looks at her across the room as she sings her signature opening song, like they see her exactly as she wants to be seen. Like Moonie’s Lily is real.

As the night progresses, both Sam’s and Lily’s personal fears are tested, and the real world outside of Moonie’s looms. But maybe sometimes, the real world should be a little more like karaoke. It’s not always about knowing all the right words or having the perfect voice. Maybe all Sam and Lily need is a little courage to pick up the mic, and sing anyway.

TL;DR: Sing Anyway was a soft and sweet romance that had me swooning! Lily and Sam were such beautiful characters and I loved watching them let their guards down and create a safe space with each other. They’re so nicely fleshed out and their romance well-developed and this gave me all the warm fuzzy happy feels!

Continue reading “Book Review: Sing Anyway by Anita Kelly”

Book Review: Taken to Lemora by Elizabeth Stephens

Goodreads: Taken to Lemora (Xiveri Mates #6)
Published: 29 July 2021
Genre: Sci-fi Romance

Panda Rating:

(3 pandas)

Raingar
My horns itch and I hate it. I’m a Lemoran clan chief and I hate that I’m being forced to schmooze with the other Quadrant dignitaries.
Looking for a way out, I run into flesh peddlers. Pagh! I hate flesh peddlers and I’m not interested in what they’re selling!
Until I see her…

Half human, Essmira’s soft, and I hate that she’s so easy to break. I hate that her beauty makes my horns and heart both ache. And most of all, I hate that she has no idea that she’s my mate.

Essmira
A female must always smile. She must always aim to please. She must always obey.
A pleasure female, that’s what I’ve spent my whole life training to be. Now that I’ve been purchased by a Lemoran clan chief, I’m more than happy to please him. But his pleasure might be out of my reach.


Because he doesn’t want me to be a pleasure female anymore. He wants me to be…me.

Taken to Lemora is a full length (85k word) SciFi alien romance that features one grumpy alien and a hybrid human female just discovering freedom and eager to grab it by the horns. Literally. Lemora is the not-too-distant neighbor of Voraxia and while this book cameos a couple familiar faces, it focuses on a new couple in a new constellation and can easily be read as a standalone.

TL;DR: Taken to Lemora was another fun, fast and entertaining book in the Xiveri Mates series. Lemora just might be my favourite alien location so far! Essmira and Raingar were a really likeable couple and I also liked them as individuals. Though I was hoping for some more character develompent, especially when it came to our hero, they were still really easy characters to root for and they got a well-deserved HEA! As with the other books, this can easily be read as a standalone.

Continue reading “Book Review: Taken to Lemora by Elizabeth Stephens”

ARC Review: Crave Thy Neighbor by Teagan Hunter

Thanks to the author for providing the ARC in exchange for an honest review!

🥳 HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY!!! 🥳

Goodreads: Crave Thy Neighbor (Roommate Romps #3)
Publication Date: 08 April 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Panda Rating:


Don’t fall for your roommate…especially when it’s only temporary.

Nolan Brooks is off limits.
Sure, he’s insanely attractive and funny and I might have almost gone home with him one night to relieve a little stress.
Big deal.

It was all just a momentary lapse in judgment…just like the kiss we shared.

He’s my temporary roommate while I wait for my new apartment to be ready. That’s it.
He’s doesn’t do relationships, and he doesn’t do attachments.

So what if I have a crush on him? We’ll only be there for two months.
Surely I can survive that long. 

BUY NOW: Amazon (US) | AMAZON (UK)

I’m a Missouri-raised gal, but currently live in North Carolina with my US Marine husband and 9-year-old dog. I spend my days begging him for a cat, and I survive off coffee, pizza, and sarcasm. When I’m not writing, you can find me binge-watching various TV shows, especially Supernatural and One Tree Hill. I like cold weather, buy more paperbacks than I’ll ever read, and I never say no to brownies.

Writing is my passion, and this is just the beginning of my journey.

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Newsletter | Reader Group

TL;DR: I honestly loved Maya and Nolan and their romance was super fun and definitely steamy! Seriously, their chemistry was just so fire! 🔥 Just like in her previous books, Hunter never fails to make me laugh with her sarcastic/dry humour. I also really loved the frequent cameos the previous two couples made in this books—it was so great to see them all again and to see how much they’re thriving 😍 I can’t wait for more Roommate Romps!

Continue reading “ARC Review: Crave Thy Neighbor by Teagan Hunter”

Cover Reveal: Crave Thy Neighbor by Teagan Hunter

FRIENDS! I’m so excited to share the cover reveal for the third book in Teagan Hunter’s awesome Roommate Romps series: Crave Thy Neighbor!

Although this is part of a series each book can be read as standalones but I’d definitely recommend checking out the first two books as we get enemies-to-lovers romance, friends-to-lovers romance, lots of cheeky sarcastic banter and a good dose of steaminess between characters that have sizzling chemistry! I’ve really enjoyed the first two books in and ever since finishing Love Thy Neighbor I’ve been eagerly anticipating the third book. I can’t wait to read Maya’s story and now that I’ve seen this cover I’m even more excited for it! 😍

Check out my reviews for Loathe Thy Neighbor and Love Thy Neighbor!

Goodreads: Crave Thy Neighbor (Roommate Romps #3)
Publication Date: 08 April 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Don’t fall for your roommate…especially when it’s only temporary.

Nolan Brooks is off limits.
Sure, he’s insanely attractive and funny and I might have almost gone home with him one night to relieve a little stress.
Big deal.
It was all just a momentary lapse in judgment…just like the kiss we shared.

He’s my temporary roommate while I wait for my new apartment to be ready. That’s it.
He’s doesn’t do relationships, and he doesn’t do attachments.
So what if I have a crush on him? We’ll only be there for two months.
Surely I can survive that long.

PRE-ORDER NOW!

Continue reading “Cover Reveal: Crave Thy Neighbor by Teagan Hunter”

ARC Review: Enjoy the View by Sarah Morgenthaler

Thanks to NetGalley and SOURCEBOOKS Casablanca for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads: Enjoy the View (Moose Springs #3)
Publisher: SOURCEBOOKS Casablanca
Publication Date: 19 January 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Panda Rating:

(3.5 pandas)

A grouchy mountaineer, a Hollywood starlet
And miles of untamed wilderness…
What could possibly go wrong?


Former Hollywood darling River Lane’s acting career is tanking fast. Determined to start fresh behind the camera, she agrees to film a documentary about the picturesque small town of Moose Springs, Alaska. The assignment should have been easy, but the quirky locals want nothing to do with River. Well, too bad: River’s going to make this film and prove herself, no matter what it takes.

Or what (literal) mountain she has to climb.

Easton Lockett may be a gentle giant, but he knows a thing or two about survival. If he can keep everyone in line, he should be able to get River and her crew up and down Mount Veil in one piece. Turns out that’s a big if. The wildlife’s wilder than usual, the camera crew’s determined to wander off a cliff, and the gorgeous actress is fearless. Falling for River only makes Easton’s job tougher, but there’s only so long he can hold out against her brilliant smile. When bad weather strikes, putting everyone at risk, it’ll take all of Easton’s skill to get them back home safely…and convince River she should stay in his arms for good.

TL;DR: I was so excited for Easton’s story because he’s my hero kryptonite and while this didn’t end up being what I expected, I still enjoyed it enough to continue the series. I loved Easton and getting his perspective and even though our heroine, River, wasn’t always my fave, I still rooted for their HEA. There were also some great laugh-out-loud moments with blush inducing ‘Sexy Hagrid’ comments and a very kooky yet adorable marmot that made the story even more enjoyable!

Continue reading “ARC Review: Enjoy the View by Sarah Morgenthaler”