Book Review | A Kiss to Revive Me by Michele Notaro

A prickly mage has me under his spell, and I think I kinda like it.

The first time I met him, I knew I was in trouble, but I hadn’t known just how much. I hadn’t been looking for a relationship, hadn’t wanted one, but it seems that a stubborn little mage did it for me because he’s impossible to resist.

When the NHSO goes on a manhunt for an unregistered mage, I can tell it’s upsetting for Mads and Jude. It’s upsetting for me, too, but even more so when I find out exactly why Mads is so worried about this kid. The more I find out about Madeo’s past and his world, the more I realize how special he is. No one who’s gone through what he has should come out the other side sane, let alone as kindhearted as him. I just hope he wants this thing between us to continue as badly as I do. And I want it to. Bad.

A Kiss To Revive Me is a 30K word MM urban fantasy novella and meant to be read AFTER The Scars That Bind Us (The Magi Accounts 1).

*Intended for adults only. Please read the trigger warnings at the beginning of this novella.

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How was it? Taking place between book one and two of The Magi Accounts, A kiss to Revive Me is a novella from Cosmo’s perspective, the Alpha pride shifter that Madeo falls for.

In fact while reading The Scars That Bind Us I did feel that Cosmo wasn’t as fleshed out as the Magi, meaning Madeo, Jude, and even Logan but it completely made sense given the rich and dark history regarding the Magi. Having Cosmo’s point of view adds to his character but also gives us a broader understanding of this world. Since Shifters, Magi, and Humans have been segregated it’s interesting to see how his perspective of their world is evolving by being around Mads. They’re learning about each as much as we are learning about them, and this story teases some potential changes in Cosmo’s future that I can’t wait to see happen.

This novella may start by retelling Cosmo’s pride arrival at the NHSO through the alpha’s eyes but it quickly its own thing, with an emotional case that affects all the parties involves, making it a great end-credit scene for book one and a good teaser for what’s to come in The Shackles That Hold Us (The Magi Accounts 2).

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

A Kiss to Revive Me is available on Amazon and other book retailers near you.

This story continues in The Shackles That Hold Us (The Magi Accounts 2). Pre-order now!

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I received an advanced copy of this book and this is my fair and unbiased review.

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TV Review: Agent Hamilton (S1) | More Complicated than it Needs to Be

The Scandinavian spy thriller is loosely based on the Carl Hamilton novels book series by French-Swedish author and journalist Jan Guillou. Written for the screen by Petter S. Rosenlund, the show stars Jakob Oftebro (The Letter for the King) as the title character Carl Hamilton; Nina Zanjani as Kristin Ek aember of the SÄPO black ops division; Peter Andersson (Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit) as Christer Näslund, Head of SÄPO; Krister Henriksson as ‘DG’, the head of the most classified part of the Swedish Military Intelligence Agency, OP5; Katia Winter (Sleepy Hollow, Dexter) as Sonja Widén, and Chris Austin as Sami al-Ahfiz.

Premise: Carl Hamilton has just returned to Stockholm as a series of cyberattacks and bombings are plaguing the city. An ex-member of the Swedish Military Intelligence, he is asked to work with the Swedish Security Service (SÄPO) to identify the attack source. Hamilton soon finds himself on a life threatening mission against an invisible enemy with traces leading to the Russian, Swedish, and American intelligence services

Review: The premiere is light on action and that pretty much sets the tone for the whole series. It’s a lot of mystery and suspense with antagonists seeming to come from all sides. There’s of course some action but it’s far what most spy thrillers offer. The story is also a bit wonky and convoluted but it kind of works. There are no clear bad guys or good guys – maybe one -, which is why I said antagonists earlier, because everyone seems to be operating in a gray area. Their actions motivated by gains rather than believes.

The series explores many things, or at least tries to. At first it seemed like the show centered around loyalty and patriotism, the struggle between work related duties and one’s home country’s self interests – when these two don’t align. However, the focus sort of shifted from that, going into foreign and national intelligence agencies rivalries to the characters’ own self interests rather than their countries’. It’s also when the plot got a bit muddied, when the twists and turns got to be too many. Not that it’s too hard to follow but it’s not smooth or well written enough.

The acting is solid it’s the main reason why I wasn’t completely bored out of my mind at times. Although Oftebro is the title character, Zanjani is the most interesting and less polarizing one in the series.
In conclusion Agent Hamilton is slow to start, well acted, over-complicated, yet entertaining.

Rating: 6 out of 10.

Agent Hamilton has been renewed for a second season that premieres on April, 18th, 2022

Book Review | My Iron Knight: An Enemy Territory Story by S.J. Coles

Dash Cassidy loves his town even more than his bike, but his priorities have a violent shift in gear when an irresistible Russian hitman comes along.

Blurb

Darius ‘Dash’ Cassidy has ended up president of the small town of Salvation’s Iron Knights motorcycle gang, almost by accident. His sister, Zara, is the more business-savvy and ambitious of the two, but their father—the infamous Butch Cassidy—was far from politically correct, so Dash was left in charge.

Up to now, Dash has been more than happy to muscle his way through life as his father did before him, even if he is starting to suspect that something might be missing.

But now there’s a new player in town. Iris Damaro has plans to make Salvation the center of her international smuggling operation. Dash isn’t going to sit still while Damaro steamrolls through his town, but when the crime boss sends her alluring Russian number two, Nikita Vasiliev, to do her negotiating, Dash realizes he may be in over his head.

Can Dash figure out where his priorities lie before his town—or his heart—is lost forever?

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How was it?

This story is dark and gritty, a good enemy to lovers, action packed read. The chemistry between the main characters, Dash Cassidy and Nikita Vasiliev, is intense and explosive. Emotions are high and the heat searing and hot, for a short-story it’s completely engaging and very entertaining.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

My Iron Knight is available on Amazon.

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I received an advanced copy of this book and this is my fair and unbiased review.

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Book Review | The Dragon King’s Heart by C.K. Noel

Krispin Adair has been alone for years. After his family was killed by his brother in the ultimate betrayal, Krispin accepted his lonely fate. Until a chance encounter brought him face to face with his fated mate…

Ben Morgan, on the trail of a rogue gargoyle, finds himself in an ambush. Attacked and left for dead, he knows there’s no hope for him. But when he wakes, he finds himself face to face with his Beloved and an ultimatum; if he wants to live, he must bond with the dragon king… and bear his son.

While the pair are making things work, they learn that Ben’s attack was just the start of something bigger–a war between the species. As if that wasn’t bad enough, an old shadow emerges with one wish–destroy all dragons. Can they stop the war? Will the figures determined to kill dragons get their wish?

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How was it?

Now available as an audiobook, the first book in The High Garden Dragons series is short but has a lot of story. A lot happens in this novella and it’s quite entertaining throughout. There’s a decent amount of world building, some political intrigue, and a few surprises.

Although quick to happen, Krispin and Ben’s romance was sweet. I liked their chance encounter and how their relationship evolved. The Dragon King’s Heart is an mpreg story and I laughed out loud at how casually Kris sprung this information on Ben. The story in general moves fast and there’s enough action in and out of the bedroom to entertain.

This is the first audiobook, I’ve listened to where I feel like the story is far better than the narration suggested. I still think that Aaron Ross did a decent job with it but at times I had to rely on what was said to figure out who’s p.o.v we were on.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Dragon King’s Heart is available on Amazon, Audible and other book retailers near you.

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Book Review | Primal by K.A. Merikan

Jag. Uninhibited. Possessive. Walks on the wild side.

Dane. Gentle giant. Monster lover. Plays it safe.

Dane always knew his illicit fantasies of rough sex and dangerous men would one day lead him down a path of no return, but no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t stay away.

After being beaten half to death by his ex, he wakes up in a collar, chained to a wall by a wild man who claims Dane as his property.

From the moment Jag lays his eyes on Dane, he knows he wants to keep him. Big, strong, with colorful ink all over, he is the most unique man Jag had ever seen. But Dane has to be tamed if he is to become Jag’s mate for life.

All Jag needs to do is assure Dane that he will be protected and provided for, because the sparks are already flying. But Dane keeps nagging about irrelevant things like his family, responsibilities, and the Internet. No wonder Jag needs to keep him chained for longer than he expected.

The only way out for Dane is to play the role of Jag’s obedient, loving ‘mate’, and bide his time until he can escape. But while Jag is absolutely batshit, and his junkyard den lifestyle is insanity, he also showers Dane with treats, worships the ground he walks on, and f*cks him like a monster, the way Dane always dreamed of in his most secret fantasies.

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How was it?

Primal was  a roller coaster of emotions for me, I went in blind like I most often do, and immediately started feeling really bad for Jaguar, who seemed sweet but rough around the edges. However this sweet wild man got me worried that he was slowly becoming irredeemable, because the situation he got himself in was getting from bad to worse at one point. While I understood where Jaguar was coming from, I found him brave and loved that he followed his instincts when it came to his attraction to men, I still did not excusing his actions regarding Dane.

It is real skill that Merikan has to make this crazy, f’ed up situation engaging, somewhat cute and…rational? Because I believed in Jaguar’s intentions and Dane’s feelings for him. I didn’t feel like the wrong things were getting glorified, Jaguar’s actions, as misguided as they were, seemed understandable once I got who he was. Jag left his unconventional family behind years ago, but he didn’t let go of his father’s teachings and beliefs. We may not go as in depth with Dane as we go with Jag but Dane is so much the average Joe, the guy next door, a canvas for readers to see themselves in that he didn’t need it as much as Jag did. Because Jaguar’s “crazy” needed to be explained and understood.

The second entry in the Wrong Side of the Tracks series is a book that I would have ignored because of the premise alone and maybe some of my prejudices about how romances featuring captivity or kidnapping are written and what they seem to promote. This was scary, lovely and sweet with a gem of a character that is the definition of a diamond in the rough. this book didn’t disappoint and I love how it all turned out in the end.

One thing I have to admit though, is that for a little while I thought this was a shifter romance because of how Jaguar talks and acts but he’s just a wild.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Primal is available on Amazon, Audible and other book retailers near you.

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I received an advanced copy of this book and this is my fair and unbiased review.

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