Midnight Ruin by Katee Robert

Midnight Ruin by Katee Robert
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Erotic Romance, LGBTQ, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Dicentra

Eurydice Dimitriou has always been the innocent sister, but she’s finally ready to step out of the long shadow cast by her powerful family…and the ex who shattered her heart. Perhaps rough hands on soft skin are exactly what she needs to forget her heartbreak once and for all?

Charon Ariti has been Hades’s right-hand man for years. He’s given everything to the lower city, but now he’s ready to take something for himself. He’s only too happy to give Eurydice a special kind of education…but is her heart really free enough to be claimed?

Orpheus Makos will do whatever it takes to make things right. Once the golden boy of the upper city, he’s now a shadow of his former self. He’ll do anything to get Eurydice back…even if it means she’s not coming into his arms alone. Three hearts. Three futures. Countless ways to get it wrong.

But with enemies slipping through Olympus’s faltering barrier to lay siege on the lower city, a trio of broken hearts will be the least of these would-be lovers’ worries…

Katee Robert’s next book in the Dark Olympus series, Midnight Ruin, was just as good as the previous installments. Focusing on Charon, Eurydice, and Orpheus in another very loose reimagining of the original Greek myths, the book takes place in the lower city (a.k.a. Hades’ domain) with the violence in Olympus coming to a fever pitch.

If you’ve been following along with the series, you’ll know that there are major forces at work trying to destabilize the city (and likely prepare it to be invaded). There is a major reveal in this book regarding who those forces are led by, and they make a major move to challenge the power players in the city (a.k.a. the Thirteen). I’m super excited to see where that goes, and how the eventual climax of the conflict plays out. The worldbuilding of each book in the series has been building off of each other; while the plots of each book are constructed such that one could theoretically read them out of order, I do recommend reading in order for the best experience (especially with the events that have been building since the third book in the series).

I really loved the growth and dynamics between our three main characters. Eurydice, unlike Helen/Ares, has been underestimated and babied her entire life. After Orpheus initially broke her heart with his actions, Charon was the one to help her put the pieces back together. However, neither Eurydice nor Orpheus were ready to give the other up as there were a lot of unresolved feelings there. It ends up becoming a polyamorous triangle where both men are in love with her (and eventually grow to love each other). As a reader, it was really enjoyable to see. And of course, as a reminder for those who may not have read a Katee Robert book before, I do want to warn you that the spiciness rating is very high and there are multiple explicit and intimate lovemaking scenes scattered throughout the book.

Overall, this was another excellent read that’s left me excited for more. After how this book ended, I can’t wait to read Ariadne and the Minotaur’s story in Dark Restraint when it comes out later this year. Audiobook narrators Alex Moorcock and Zara Hampton-Brown did an excellent job once again bringing multiple perspectives to life with the performances. If you love polyamorous love triangles (like the previous one in the series in Wicked Beauty) or any romance influenced by Greek mythology, you’ll enjoy this book.

CONTENT WARNINGS: Violence, Murder, Blood, Guns, Pregnancy (not the heroine/main character), Abortion (not the heroine/main character)

Cruel Seduction by Katee Robert

Cruel Seduction by Katee Robert
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Erotic Romance, LGBTQ, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Dicentra

Aphrodite has never flinched at getting her perfectly manicured hands dirty, and she’s not about to start now—even if that means marrying Olympus’s enemy number one, the new Hephaestus. She has a wicked plan to keep her deadly new husband off-balance, seducing the one person he seems to care about most in this world: Pandora, a woman as beautiful as she is sweet.

Two can play the seduction game, however, and Hephaestus is all too happy to put his new wife in her place. Her ex, Adonis, seems like he’ll do the trick. It doesn’t hurt that he’s gorgeous in the way of fallen angels, either.

The only problem with using seduction as a weapon? Hearts are all too quick to get involved. With Hephaestus and Aphrodite trading venomous strikes that feel a whole lot like foreplay, lines become blurred and emotions entangled. But a broken heart may be the least of their worries. With unrest in Olympus reaching new heights, these bedroom games may have deadly consequences for themselves, their city, and everyone they’ve come to love.

As someone who enjoys anything related to Greek mythology, I’ve been a big fan of Katee Robert’s ongoing Dark Olympus series. One of the latest releases, Cruel Seduction, centers on the Aphrodite and Hephaestus myth. A very loose re-imagining of the original story, the author does a great job honoring the tone and heart of the source material while still weaving in their own trademark spiciness and complexities.

If you had to sum up Aphrodite and Hephaestus’ relationship in one word, it would be complicated. In almost every version of the myth, Aphrodite was not exactly thrilled about getting married to her husband. That holds true in this book as Aphrodite (formerly known as Eris) is forced to marry the new Hephaestus in order to secure his cooperation in working with the other members of the Thirteen for the good of Olympus. Those who have read the previous books in the series know that both are very talented when it comes to manipulation and politics. Since they can’t physically hurt their spouse, they choose to go for the emotional jugular and seduce their spouses’ former lovers (Adonis and Pandora, respectively). Romance readers who pick their books by trope will be pleased to know that the ‘marriage of convenience’ and ‘second chance romance’ feature very heavily in this book. The whole situation between Hephaestus and Aphrodite gets very complicated very quickly (turning into what the author terms as a ‘polyamorous knot’) and it was quite entertaining as a reader to follow along.

The worldbuilding of each book in the series works off of the foundation that previous books have laid. I’ve really enjoyed getting to learn more about how the city works, and what forces are working against it. While the plots of each book are constructed such that they can be read in any order and independently of each other, I do recommend reading it in order for the best experience. If you read this and subsequently start reading more of Katee Robert’s books, you will also notice that her different series are interconnected. I highly recommend checking out their graphics on Instagram to see the different connections. As a side note, for those who might be going into this as your first Katee Robert read, I do want to warn you that the spiciness rating is very high; multiple explicit and intimate lovemaking scenes are scattered throughout the book.

Overall, this was an excellent read that’s left me excited for more. Audiobook narrators Alex Moorcock and Zara Hampton-Brown did an excellent job bringing multiple perspectives to life with their performances in the audiobook version of the story. I’m super excited for the next installment in the series (due out January 2024), which features Charon, Eurydice, and Orpheus.

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Genre: Historical, Fiction
Rating: 5 stars
Review by Snowdrop

The bestselling historical fiction novel from Kim Michele Richardson, this is a novel following Cussy Mary, a packhorse librarian and her quest to bring books to the Appalachian community she loves, perfect for readers of William Kent Kreuger and Lisa Wingate. The perfect addition to your next book club!

The hardscrabble folks of Troublesome Creek have to scrap for everything—everything except books, that is. Thanks to Roosevelt’s Kentucky Pack Horse Library Project, Troublesome’s got its very own traveling librarian, Cussy Mary Carter.

Cussy’s not only a book woman, however, she’s also the last of her kind, her skin a shade of blue unlike most anyone else. Not everyone is keen on Cussy’s family or the Library Project, and a Blue is often blamed for any whiff of trouble. If Cussy wants to bring the joy of books to the hill folks, she’s going to have to confront prejudice as old as the Appalachias and suspicion as deep as the holler.

Inspired by the true blue-skinned people of Kentucky and the brave and dedicated Kentucky Pack Horse library service of the 1930s, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a story of raw courage, fierce strength, and one woman’s belief that books can carry us anywhere—even back home.

What a great story. I can’t find a thing wrong with it. It isn’t all filled with good things. It’s also full of poverty-stricken people and racism that we all hope would go away. Although you might think of these atrocities in the big city, this story is set in the 1930’s right in the heart of the Appalachia’s. Cussy Mary, a 19-year-old young lady, takes care of her father who works in the mines. It’s just the two of them, and they struggle to even keep food on the table.

Cussy Mary takes on a book delivery job. It was The Pack Horse Librarian Project, established as part of President Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration. It was exactly as it sounds…ladies delivering books via horses to people all over the hills and trails. Some of the trails were quite treacherous to travel. Cussy Mary used a sure-footed cantankerous old mule to get to some of the families and people on her route. She had people that could not wait to see her no matter the kind of book she had for them and yet others were afraid of her because she was what people in Kentucky called the “Blues”. Her skin was blue, and the prejudice just as real as any other you are familiar with.

Somehow, I’m sure you can already tell I enjoyed this story. There’s another aspect to this little bit of historical fiction that was very important to me. I kept running to my computer to see if all these things were true, and they were. Roosevelt’s Project, the Pack Horse Librarians, and unfortunately, the poverty and prejudice. What a joy to read an enjoyable story of fiction and soak up all of those facts at the same time. Well-written and great to read.

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Genre: Historical, Fiction, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

In December 1926, Agatha Christie goes missing. Investigators find her empty car on the edge of a deep, gloomy pond, the only clues some tire tracks nearby and a fur coat left in the car—strange for a frigid night. Her World War I veteran husband and her daughter have no knowledge of her whereabouts, and England unleashes an unprecedented manhunt to find the up-and-coming mystery author. Eleven days later, she reappears, just as mysteriously as she disappeared, claiming amnesia and providing no explanations for her time away.

The puzzle of those missing eleven days has persisted. With her trademark historical fiction exploration into the shadows of the past, acclaimed author Marie Benedict brings us into the world of Agatha Christie, imagining why such a brilliant woman would find herself at the center of such murky historical mysteries.

What is real, and what is mystery? What role did her unfaithful husband play, and what was he not telling investigators?

Agatha Christie novels have withstood the test of time, due in no small part to Christie’s masterful storytelling and clever mind that may never be matched, but Agatha Christie’s untold history offers perhaps her greatest mystery of all.

Her heart has been devoted to him, but he’s ready to move on. What’s a girl to do when she can’t immediately write her perfect ending? Take a day trip!

I picked up this book upon recommendation from a friend and I do like the work of Agatha Christie, so I thought I’d try it. This is a fictionalized version of Agatha Christie’s disappearance, and one must keep that in mind. Some of the details are a bit…fudged. I don’t know how to get into the head of Agatha Christie, but I applaud the author for trying.

This book was a good read, but it was a bit jarring at times. I wanted to know more of how Archie might have felt, but he was portrayed more as a bumbling, guilty man who didn’t understand the mess he’d made. The book had a bit of a feminist slant in that Agatha Christie took control of her own narrative and had to make some changes to come into her own, but it also feels a little naïve in that she seems to defer to her husband more than appeared necessary.

Agatha Christie was a strong woman, stronger than the women of her time. She made her own money and wasn’t afraid to have a career as an author, even when it annoyed her husband. I don’t know if this is exactly how the incident of her disappearance played out, but it’s a good enough read for an afternoon.

It’s interesting to wonder what it would’ve been like to be Agatha Christie and to understand what made her feel a disappearance was best. I liked reading the fictionalized version of her life.

If you’re interested in Agatha Christie, the mystery of her disappearance or just want a different kind of mystery, then give this one a try.

Little Red Sleigh by Erin Guendelsberger

Little Red Sleigh by Erin Guendelsberger
Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland
Genre: Children’s (0 – 6 y.o.), Holiday, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Contemporary
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

The Little Red Sleigh has one big dream―to one day become Santa’s big red sleigh! But all her life, she’s been told she’s too small, she’s too young, she can’t fly, and she certainly can’t meet Santa. Well, this Christmas, with the help of some friends, she’s determined to do the impossible. Little Red Sleigh is a heartwarming children’s Christmas book you’ll want to read again and again. Full of winter joy and Christmas magic, this Christmas book for kids will remind you that no dream is out of reach if you believe.

Some Christmas wishes require a lot of hard work to come true.

As soon as I met Little Red Sleigh, I immediately liked her spunky and optimistic personality. She knew exactly what she wanted out of life, and she wasn’t afraid to chase her dreams no matter what she had to do. Her perseverance was impressive. What a wonderful role model she was for kids and adults alike!

I would have preferred to see more time spent on world building. Sleds and trucks seem to be living creatures in this world, but the narrator didn’t dig too deeply into why some inanimate objects are like this and how they grow and change over their lifetimes. This was such an important part of the plot that I would have loved to learn more about it. The storyline was fun as it was written, but I still walked away from it with some unanswered questions about how it all worked that would have propelled this tale into five star territory.

With that being said, I loved the messages about taking small steps towards a goal and never giving up no matter what happens. It’s so much easier to gradually learn new skills or make little changes in behavior than it is to try to do everything at once. This is equally true for young children, so it was delightful to see the process of achieving big dreams being broken down into such age-appropriate language for little ones.

Little Red Sleigh was a heartwarming and encouraging Christmas read.

Country Music Cowboy by Sasha Summers

*Country Music Cowboy by Sasha Summers
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Larkspur

What’s a country music star to do when his world is falling apart around him?
Can he find his way back home?

According to his record label, Travis King’s drinking and partying has to stop. Or else… Image rebranding means joining AA and singing opposite one of the industry’s rising stars at an upcoming awards show. It wouldn’t be so bad if Loretta Gram wasn’t cold as ice. No matter how hard he turns on the charm, she won’t give him a break. It looks like this cowboy has finally met his match.

Loretta is still grieving the death of her original singing partner, and she doesn’t have it in her to deal with playboy Travis King. But her career is all she has, so if singing with the Three Kings is what she needs, she’ll do it. Loretta isn’t as cold as she lets on, but she’s had more than her share of heartache. When she finally shows Travis who she is, he knows he’ll do anything to be her forever cowboy.

Even famous country music stars have insecurities. That’s the premise of Sasha Summers newest book Country Music Cowboy. This story is filled with emotion and heartache but also optimism and good feelings. Loretta and Travis are both successful country music stars and they have one thing in common, they each have a whole lot of baggage.

I loved reading Travis and Loretta’s story, they have loads of chemistry and great dynamics between them. I enjoyed reading this touching story filled with scorching looks and underlying tension. Travis and Loretta are complex characters and they have been through so much, I kept hoping they would have the HEA they deserve. I knew if they just let their guard down and believed in the power of love, they would find happiness together.

Travis King and his family have been part of the country music scene for years. Travis has a well deserved bad boy reputation and is a recovering alcoholic working hard every day to stay sober. Travis has demons and even though he is successful and handsome, he is full of self doubts and insecurities.

Besides being a country music star, Loretta hasn’t had too much good luck in her life. The last thing Loretta wants to do is to get involved with Travis, but she can’t seem to help herself.

I enjoyed being immersed in the country music scene. This is a moving story with an interesting plot, the pacing is good and although the characters are celebrities, they felt real to me. I was quickly turning the pages to find out what would happen next.

I found it easy to relate to Travis and Loretta, plus I loved the entertaining secondary characters included in this story. I have read all the books in this series and each one is about a different sibling in the King family. This tender and uplifting story left me with a smile on my face.

High Country Justice by Nik James

High Country Justice by Nik James
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Historical, Romance, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Snowdrop

It will take all this lone frontiersman’s skills to save his only friend from murderous outlaws.

Caleb Marlowe carved out his own legend as a frontier scout and lawman before arriving in the Colorado boomtown of Elkhorn. Famous for a lightning-quick draw and nerves of steel, he is mysterious, guarded, and unpredictable. Now, he wants to leave the past behind. But the past has a way of dogging a man…

When Doc Burnett, Caleb’s only friend in town, goes missing, his daughter Sheila comes seeking Caleb’s help. Newly arrived from the East, she hotly condemns the bloody frontier justice of the rifle and the six-gun. But this is outlaw country.

Murderous road agents have Doc trapped in their mountain hideaway. To free Doc, Marlowe tracks his kidnappers through wild, uncharted territory, battling animals and bushwhackers. But when Sheila is captured by the ruthless gunhawks with a score to settle, Marlowe will have to take them down one by one, until no outlaw remains standing.

I love a good western and that’s what this was…a really good western. It had all the elements. A dangerous small town filled with down and out of luck silver miners whose mines were played out. A shifty-eyed sheriff and trouble in “them thar hills”.

This is very easy reading, and the words seem to flow like water. Reading a Nik James book is like watching a movie. Their description of the country as well as their crafting of characters made everything as clear as watching it. Never once did I mix up names of characters. They gave them all distinct personalities. I think that’s why I made the comment about watching a show. I felt like I could see the characters, the good ones as well as the bad ones. This western had plenty of both.

An excellent read. High Country Justice is Book 1 of a series titled the “Caleb Marlowe series”.

It looks to me as if there are 2 more books in the series and, I intend to read them all.

Jackson by LaQuette

Jackson by LaQuette
Restoration Ranch Book 1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

From celebrated author LaQuette comes a sizzling opposites attract Texas Ranger romance that will leave you breathless…

Aja Everett longs to turn her old family ranch into a place where anyone can find rest and healing. But her big heart’s bound to get her in trouble if she’s not careful—someone wants her gone, and they’ll do whatever it takes to drive her away from the land that’s her lifeblood. Whether she’s willing to admit it or not, she needs help.

She needs a man like Ranger Jackson Dean.
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Jackson doesn’t trust love. He once made the mistake of following his heart and all he’d gotten was pain in return. But when city-slicking do-gooder Aja Everett asks for his help, he can’t stay away…and as attraction sizzles and protective instincts flare, she may be the only woman able to restore the heart of this Texas Ranger.

Get out your fans for this steamy contemporary romance which features a hunky Texas Ranger with trust issues and a confident, sexy, full-figured heroine who believes in the best in people. Sometimes oil and water are meant to mix.

Okay, when does book two come out? I am the queen of no patience. I didn’t realize Jackson was book one in a series. I cruised through this book loving life, then the end came and I panicked – I looked for more pages to turn. I was at the end already?!! While I loved the romance between the hero, Jackson, and the heroine, Aja, and I appreciated they achieved a happily ever after, I was not tickled that a major plot thread was left open to continue in book two. Although, I do recognize that making me crave for more is what makes a thrilling series. I’m already hooked on the Restoration Ranch series.

I’ve never read a book by LaQuette nor have I read a multicultural book, but I was head over heels while reading Jackson. With all those amazing plot twists, the writing style was riveting. I didn’t see the ending coming and being able to pull that off makes me classify this story as an original, well-done, unpredictable mystery. I was on the edge of my seat a few times during the action scenes.

The romance between Aja and Jackson was sizzling to boot. Jackson’s natural instincts to protect and Aja’s desire to help others often crossed hairs, but each had the best of intentions at heart.

The other characters in the story were well developed and I look forward to meeting with them all again when the second book comes out.

In conclusion, I can with good conscience enthusiastically recommend Jackson with the warning it might leave other readers like it left me, wanting the next book to be released as soon as possible.

Paws for Love by Mara Wells

Paws for Love by Mara Wells
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 5 Stars
Review by Dryas

Damaged hearts―man, woman, and dog―have a second chance for love, healing and happiness under the warm Miami Beach sun in this endearing contemporary romance…

Danielle Morrow works tirelessly for the greyhound rescue as an adoption coordinator, rehabilitating retired racing dogs and helping them find forever homes. She guards her heart as vigilantly as her two adopted greyhounds guard her home. One heartbreak per lifetime is enough for any woman, and no one she’s met since her high school boyfriend dumped her to join the military has ever tempted her enough to risk love again.

Knox Donovan expected to be career military, but an injury has resulted in an honorable discharge that leaves him uncertain of his future. When his brothers ask him to come back to Miami Beach to help manage their new condo conversion, he figures he can at least advise them about security systems before declining the job. He has no intention of staying in the city that has so many bad memories for him.

Knox is reminded that not all his memories of growing up in Miami Beach are bad when he sees Danielle again at the Grand Opening of the new Fur Haven Dog Park. Fifteen years haven’t softened the pain of their breakup. But Knox is different now, more hard-edged and suspicious, and when he bonds with the retired racing greyhound, Sarge, Danielle’s cool reserve begins to melt. Sarge needs special care after the injuries that ended his racing career, and it’s not long before Danielle realizes that Knox does too. Can Danielle trust her heart to the one man who’s ever broken it?

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I absolutely loved this book.  It helps that I am also crazy about dogs. The plot is interesting but also can make your blood boil if you love dogs, especially the greyhounds. Danielle Morrow owns a rescue company for greyhounds that are in great need especially since racing was banned in Florida. I had to keep tears from falling when I learned so many of the dogs were euthanized because the trainers had no more use for them. We get to meet her new project, a greyhound she recently rescued that had a horrible break in his leg, was starving, and didn’t trust humans.

She is lucky that her father owned a vet practice. Dr. Alan Morrow helped his daughter heal the physical wounds while she concentrated on the rehabilitation. Their newest acquisition impressed them by his fighting spirit, so Danielle decided to call him Sarge.

Danielle is an exceptionally complex character with a heart of gold. She has many secrets and a disappointment in not pursuing her dream to become a vet. Something in her past has blocked her and now she considered herself to old to go back to college. She lives in the guest house on her father’s property with her two greyhounds, Luna and Flurry. You can feel the passion, love and pride she has for her rescue, Home Stretch. There is also the awesome dog park that was designed and built by the Donovan brothers. I wish I had a place like that, where you could see the Atlantic Ocean, a large fenced in yard which had a gate to keep the small dogs and large dogs separate. I found it adorable that there were bone shaped benches.

Then there is a complex man named Knox Donovan who was discharged from the military because of an injury to his leg from an IED. He is stubborn and believes that if he pushes himself, he will regain the strength in his leg and go back to the military and take care of his men. Unfortunately, his dream won’t come true as his knee is beyond repair. He did find some purpose with working with his brothers Caleb and Lance in demolishing and rebuilding the Dorothy building into luxury apartments. He still holds a flame for Danielle and when he sees her at the park on the grand opening, his feelings are mixed. He didn’t mean to approach her, but he couldn’t help himself.

Their first meeting is awkward as there are many things that were left unsaid and actions taken that can’t be undone. I enjoyed watching the connection that Sarge made with him in an instant. Danielle recognizes it and does her best to make sure that Knox does too. They both have things in common including a bum leg and the mistrust and inability to connect to others unless they know they can trust them. Both dog and human can be stubborn but once you get past their guard you will have a friend for life.

Knox and Danielle’s relationship is hard to define, at first it evolves around her trying to get Knox to adopt Sarge by texting him cute pictures of the dog. Then when Knox ends up buying a house from an elderly woman that Danielle is close to, they are thrown together as she helps him move in. Their relationship is a slow building one with mistakes made on both sides. In fact I think it was a little to slow, although there are reasons. I believe that it could have been sped up a little and I wish that Danielle told Knox her secret a lot earlier.

Their relationship is sweet, loving, and hot. The lovemaking between them is like nothing they felt except when they were going out in high school. That spark didn’t take much to rekindle into a flame. A wonderful romance I heartily recommend.

A Wolf After My Own Heart by MaryJanice Davidson

A Wolf After My Own Heart by MaryJanice Davidson
BeWere My Heart Book 2
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, Contemporary
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Things are hot and getting hotter… Escape into this delicious shifter romance from bestselling author MaryJanice Davidson.

Oz Adway is a rare breed: an accountant who wants to get dirty. He’s a werewolf working for the Interspecies Placement Agency so it’s not long before he gets the opportunity to break out of his boring, safe office job. He volunteers to find runaway bear cub Sally Smalls, recently orphaned by a plane crash. Piece of cake, right? Unfortunately, Sally’s taken refuge with “ordinary” human Lila Kai. Lila has no idea what’s going on, but she’ll destroy anyone who tries to take the cub. Oz is not about to let a human jeopardize his daring career move, no matter how attractive he finds her.

Lila knows something’s different about the sexy weirdo who keeps popping up in the wrong place at the right time. She’s determined to figure out what, regardless of the escalating threats to her safety and Oz’s distracting hotness. She didn’t move into a cursed house and take in a werebear just to run when things get complicated. Together, Oz and Lila will prevail! But only if they can keep their hands off each other…
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Put away your pocket protectors: This hilarious story includes a nerdy shifter accountant with a bad-boy side, a fiercely protective human heroine, and a baby bear cub who will make every reader sigh in cuteness. Fans of Shelly Laurenston and paranormal adventure won’t want to miss the newest installment in the BeWere My Heart series!

The zany and crazy starts off really fast in this novel. An ambulance that isn’t an ambulance, wolves where there shouldn’t be, crazy pizza delivery guys that really aren’t, kids that aren’t exactly kids, a house that is rumored to be cursed and a heroine just trying to put down roots and have a normal life. She has no idea what she’s in for.

One very unusual, but charming and eccentric detail is how the inner wolf-speak is so different than an adult’s articulated speech. It’s almost childlike, you know, innocent, simple, repetitive and very, very enthusiastic. The author used that technique to good effect whenever the hero was in his furry form.

Another cute aspect of the novel is the building community. Lila meets the main characters of her neighborhood at warp speed, from trespassing, to bear repair, fairy bread and repairs of doors busted of their hinges. Odd hours, odd conversations and Oz loving the fact that Lila is not only capable, but seemingly unflappable, calm and has a gun and not afraid to us it. The teenagers find her cool, little Sally trusts Lila and the adults slowly do the same. I like Lila’s personality, and Oz’s reaction to her is charming and cute. True, he can be formidable, he is a werewolf after all, but when it comes to the heroine, he’s a handsome, well-dressed lovable marshmallow.

Speaking of Sally; she’s a pivotal secondary character that is integral to the plot, mystery and pace of the story. I enjoyed how I was introduced to her, how she won the hearts of all the other characters and how helping her, helped solve a much bigger and serious plot thread.

I startled my hubby so bad when I barked out a huge HA! at the part with the shorty robe. Then I snickered. Those two sentences in that scene totally tickled my funny bone. So, yes, there is a smorgasbord of reasons to smile during this novel, so even though the fires, drama and a bit of suspense is to be taken seriously, the author managed to keep the overall feeling of the novel, upbeat.

There are truly too many points, fun parts, interesting character interactions, dialogue and surprises to do justice in explaining how much I enjoyed the story. There were a few language choices that I personally cringed at, but take them out of the picture, and A Wolf After My Own Heart is a perfect MaryJanice Davidson read. I enjoyed the first book in the series, but I like this one a lot better.