Ervin's Dilemma (Wayne County Wolves 1) by Stephani Hecht
Genre: paranormal M/M romance (shifters - werewolves)
Length: novella (75 pgs.)
TBR Reviewer: Amanda
The new spin-off of Stephani Hecht's Lost Shifters series focuses on the Wayne County Wolves (Chris and Cassie's pack). In the same way as in the Lost Shifters, this story focuses on a member of the pack as he finds his mate. Ervin used to be part of Russell's criminal pack, but when Chris's pack took them in and forgave them for all their bad ways, Ervin was left feeling a little lost. He missed being a badass, even if they were only the "Diet Coke of evil". When he meets Miles, the barista at a crappy coffee shop, he suddenly finds something more important than the adrenaline rush of crime.
Within a short framework, a great story and quick read evolves. I enjoyed the snark between the characters in the story and how taking care of Miles and his family made Ervin finally appreciate what he has. Although there is plenty of explanation so that anyone could read this story alone, if you have read the Lost Shifters series first, many characters are mentioned or appear whose stories were told before, allowing a fuller picture of the world in which this story is set.
Tagged and Bagged by Stephanie Hecht
TBR reviewer: Luta Wolf
Page Count: 66 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance, m/m
Houston is in a jam and nobody is answering the phone, don’t they understand he is surrounded! The last thing Rich wanted to do was answer the text sent from “Avoid At All Cost” but how do you ignore a text message that says trapped in a pair of handcuffs.
I was sucked in by the first sentence because it had me giggling, that’s one of my favorite things about Ms. Hecht is she writes these ridicules scenarios that you can’t help but love. She writes with such vividly that you can’t help but see it, it’s as though you’re watching it happen on a big screen t.v. and you just want to throw a blanket over your head out of embarrassment for the characters. Can you tell that I’ve read quite a bit of her work?
Now here is the sad part, the plot just didn’t hold up to the rest of the writing. Maybe the author just got so caught up in writing these amazing scenarios, including a pretty hot sex scene, that she perhaps lost the scope of things. While I loved the characters, especially dorky Houston, I didn’t feel the connection between Houston and Rich. Sure there were some fireworks but nothing that said, oh yeah these two are going to last.
Contemporary, M/M - novel
TBR Reviewer: Daniella
Newbie paramedic Dakota hasn´t been on the job long, but has managed to be involved in enough trouble (a crashed rig or two, public break ups and discovering corpses by falling through the floor, to name some) to earn the nickname Status Dramaticus. Police officer Charlie recently moved to the city of Flint to get away from drama, just to be sucked into the drama surrounding Dakota. Charlie though can´t help being fascinated by Dakota.
He hopes that he can find some time among all the things happening around them to
get to know Dakota better.
I really liked Dakota. He is new at his job and he works really hard to do it well, even though strange things keep happening around him. Charlie is a player with a reputation, but he seems to see more in Dakota than just a one night thing. This was a short, cute read where Dakota is the big star. You can´t help but like him. If you have read any of the other books in the series you also get to revisit some of the previous characters which is fun too.
I do have two issues with this book. I wished it had been a little longer, because it al lfelt a rushed, and that it would have gone a little further past the current ending. I liked Dakota so much and want him to have a happy ever after, but I don´t really feel that Charlie is such a sure thing. The other thing is that Dakota says that Charlie is the first man he has ever kissed or done anything else with, and still there is talk about a previous boyfriend and a big public breakup. Can´t have been much of a relationship without even a shared kiss.
This was still a good read and I hope I get to read the story of Dakota´s twin soon.
M/M, Paranormal - novel
TBR reviewer: Amanda
In Lost Shifters #16, another of the small band of shifters rescued from slavery earlier in the series finally gets his story. Gage is a Hawk shifter with a desperate crush on Branson, the blind Lion who runs the historical archives of the shifter coalition. As is expected in this series, both characters bring plenty of baggage into the romance and it is interesting to
watch how the past is both revealed and begun to be put to rest. Everyone in the coalition also continues to deal with the fall-out from the Ravens' very public attack that has drawn the shifters out of obscurity and into human notice, so many favorite characters from previous stories put in brief cameos.
I appreciated the way that Gage and Branson kept mis-reading each other because of the way they filtered their current interactions through past memories. Branson spent so much time being picked on that he just thought Gage was taunting him when Gage made his interest known. Gage's ugly childhood and young adulthood made rejection even harder to deal with. I loved the way Branson's younger brother sneakily pushed everyone's buttons to force the issue and I think my favorite scene was when Branson chased Gage down in front of all his friends.
I think my favorite part of this series as a whole is the way that Ms. Hecht takes damaged, dysfunctional characters and pairs them together with beautiful results. Gage and Branson definitely fit each other and their story is a great addition to the Lost Shifters series.
M/M, paranormal - novella
TBR Reviewer: Amanda
Russell is a rogue wolf shapeshifter; thrown out of his pack as a teenager for being gay by his uncle, the alpha, he has made his own pack of criminals that sell guns but do not take sides in the shapeshifter war. When he meets Dalton, a lynx shifter eleven years his junior, he begins to get out of his more illegal businesses in order to be worthy of the young man that has his heart. As Russell and Dalton have a day out at a winter festival, Ravens take the shapeshifter war to a whole new level by attacking in the center of many humans and deliberately targeting humans, breaking the secrecy the other shifters are trying to protect.
Hecht's Lost Shifters series needs to be read in order; otherwise, the war between species and many of the other characters that are backstory for this book will not be understood. Dalton and Russell's romance is entirely contained in this book because the previous free story where they met is included.
Russell tries so hard to act tough, but Dalton is able to get under his skin and pull him out of the shell he has created around himself. Dalton, although he watched his family murdered and was kept as a slave , has a sweet heart. He's willing to risk a lot for his mate. However, they come to a point where the past comes back to haunt them both. I enjoy the way they both seem to bring out the best in each other.
I really enjoy this series, and this installment does not disappoint. Although you expect an happily-ever-after ending. I also find the continuing war between the shifter species interesting and look forward to continuing to see how it turns out. My only complaint is that it could have been fleshed out better. If the story was longer the entire plot would have come together more cohesively.