Review: Jaeger’s Lost and Found by Ofelia Gränd

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Archie, Archibald Jaeger, is from a long line of respected finders. Unfortunately, his talent for finding doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to. His business partner and best friend Edie, is the only person keeping him from being a hermit. When a vampire named Gael comes looking for a finder to help with his missing coven, there is more on the line than ever before. Archie is completely out of his comfort zone with someone’s life in his hands. Gael is having to face home truths in the face of his imminent death. Coming to care about each other in these circumstances, no one saw coming.

What made this novella work for me was all of Archie’s quirks, compulsions, and neuroses. Gael has to face his own bad judgments, regrets, and mistakes. They had no room to judge each other, and with the clock ticking down, no time. It’s their foibles that make them dimensional. Their support of each other is uncharacteristic of how they interact with others. They just fit together. The author does a good job of capturing steamy moments of carpe diem. I enjoyed the flashes of humor. The moments that tugged my heart made this worth reading.

Unfortunately, there is not much world building so details about nagi, shifter, or vampire culture, or life in the human or nonhuman zones aren’t explored. Edie is a large part of the plot and is only on page at the beginning and the end. The big issue is how Gael’s mental connection to his coven is described as a “Milky Way of linked minds, his internal sky of diamonds” which seems too similar to the Psy-Changling series by Nalini Singh. With the way this was resolved, I do wonder about what changes in character Archie would have, but there is no way to know.

The cover design was done by Written Ink Designs. I think that is supposed to be rain, which most of the story takes place in. There is also supposed to be a ghostly hand, so it could be that? I’m not really sure this cover communicates anything about the story at all except showing Archie.

Sales Links: JMS Books LLC | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Book Details: Kindle Edition, 100 pages
Published June 1st 2019 by JMS Books LLC
ASINB07S9PP8L5
Edition Language: English

via A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Jaeger’s Lost and Found by Ofelia Gränd — Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Review: Love Is All: Volume 2 edited by Xio Axelrod

LoveIsAllVol2
Copyright © 2019 by Xio Axelrod LLC

I would rate this whole collection 3.75 stars.

This is a charity anthology, so I tend to think of the stories as a thank you for donating money. All anthologies are a mixed bag and people will like different stories than I do, but here are a few of my favorites from this collection. There is a variety of combinations (M/M, F/F, M/M/F, M/F) with bisexual, trans, and ace represented. They are all contemporary except for the one historical, paranormal romance. The foreword by Roan Parrish is quite eloquent.

R.L. Merrill, Pinups and Puppies (F/F, 4 stars)

This is told from the first person POV of Marianne, who is struggling with grief and reintegration after her retirement from the Air Force. She owns a vintage plane and volunteers to transport dogs to help shelters who find them homes. That’s how she meets Dinah, who co-owns the shelter. They both seem to have great support systems filled with family and friends. With great chemistry, their lives and interests slot nicely together, making them a cute couple.

Susan Scott Shelley, Sugar Crush (Bliss Bakery Series) (M/M, 4.5 stars)

Jack, a horror novelist, gets to know a baker named Gabriel when he joins a softball team to help his friend Shane. This has an opposites attract trope with great sexual tension and friends as extended family. This is about fitting into someone’s life and making room for them to fit into yours–giving each other a safe space and carving out shared time, while still having their own interests. Also, not letting fear or the past get in the way of the future.

Xio Axelrod When Frankie Meets Johnny (M/M, 4.25 stars)

DJ meets contractor/teacher in this hurt/comfort tale with an age gap. This story is what you make it. I highly recommend listening to all the songs that he plays for a hell of a good time. If an artist is mentioned, but not a song, pick one that has a title that fits the scene. I would have rated this higher, but I couldn’t tell if this was Johnny’s first time with a man or he was demisexual? There is certainly a misunderstanding I think could have been handled better, but the story is charming.

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Review: No Fae is an Island (Endangered Fae #4) by Angel Martinez

Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

This is book four and you need to read these in order as it starts three years after the previous book. It took me a while to warm up to this series, but by book three I was completely sucked in. As Diego and Finn return to the world after Diego’s exile, everyone is still dealing with the aftermath of what he did. Zack is acting Consul and will have to remain so as having Diego return to the job might not be in their best interests. Magic legislation is still very much as issue. Neither Diego nor Theo have forgiven themselves. It has become unsafe in certain parts of the world to be magical. Trying to be useful and help rescue three Canadian students arrested in a country that is anti-magic, Diego and Finn find themselves also taken prisoner. The social commentary is about bigotry and the corruption of power. How are we still here fighting issues we thought had been addressed and dealt with?

While Diego was in exile, he learned as much as he could from the dragons and studied the wild fae. A young selkie, Limpet, follows Diego across the veil when he comes home. His POV keeps this fresh as he is innocent, curious, and naive about the human world. The pairing of Limpet with Theo is unlikely, but seems to be because Theo needs that kind of outlook to help him move forward and enjoy life again. I have to admit I didn’t like that Theo tends to tune Limpet out and not really listen to what he is saying, or worse tells him to not talk. That’s fine when they are in danger or hiding and Limpet doesn’t know any better, not so fine the rest of the time. Being excited, talking a lot, and being curious (which means asking a lot of questions) is part of who Limpet is. While the sexual compatibility isn’t in question, for me, the communication left something to be desired.

While Diego and Finn are in captivity, Diego gets everyone to band together, reminding them that they are stronger as a community rather than individuals living in fear. Finn, who is not my favorite character, spends much of this book subdued by steel. He does get to be a hero here, and there is none of the melodrama of previous books. Maybe being with Diego during his banishment in the Otherworld calmed him a bit. The author establishes a djinn character called Nusair, and a half human/fae named Asif, both of whom I expect to see in the future. Nusair is by far the more intriguing of the two. It’s a shame that the The Silver Adepts coven is left simmering in the background, but this book is about Diego finding his footing again. It’s a necessary step to make the whole series more cohesive. I’m hoping now that Diego and Theo are sorted, the next book will go back to some of the previous characters on new adventures.

The cover art is by Emmy @studioenp. It features Diego, the desert, and Finn as the bird. It’s in keeping with the rest of the series and I really like the golden color.

Sales Links:  Pride Publishing | Amazon

Book Details: ebook, 281 pages
Published January 15th 2019 by Pride Publishing (first published September 5th 2014)
ISBN 139781786517029
Edition Language: English
Series: Endangered Fae

 

via A Chaos Moondrawn Review: No Fae is an Island (Endangered Fae #4) by Angel Martinez — Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words