Short Take Reviews: Branded by Fire, Faking It with #41, Knotted

 


BRANDED BY FIRE
Nalini Singh
Psy-Changeling #6
Format: Kindle

It’s always fun to return to the Psy-Changeling series. In Branded by Fire, DarkRiver sentinel Mercy pairs off against SnowDancer lieutenant Riley in a battle of wills. Both dominant forces in their respective packs, neither was willing to bend to the other. That made for some fantastic banter and some off-the-charts chemistry. I grew frustrated over time with Mercy’s resistance to Riley and her refusal to admit her feelings for him, but even so, there were plenty of sweet moments that went a long way in showing her true feelings. For once the main conflict did not come from the Psy, but rather from the Human Alliance. There were so many scenes between the various pack members that were touching and emotional and it proved just how talented Singh is at creating sympathetic characters and a strong family dynamic. Events in this one had me more excited than ever for Hawke and Sienna’s story (and pulling my hair out because there are still three books in between). I become more and more invested with each book and can’t wait to see more of the story unfold.          4 STARS



FAKING IT WITH #41

Piper Rayne
Hockey Hotties #3
Format: Audio

Hockey star Ford Jacobs unexpectedly found himself a single father when a previous hook-up left their infant daughter in his care and disappeared. His father, determined to rehabilitate Ford’s image, insisted on a fake relationship with Lena, the wealthy family’s publicist. Although Ford and Lena had long butted heads, they both had their reasons for agreeing to the arrangement. I’m not usually a fan of the fake dating/fake relationship trope, but I am a fan of Piper Rayne and their hockey series, so I was pretty sure they would make it work for me. Mission accomplished because I was so on board and lapped up every page as their relationship morphed from fake to the real thing. They both had some baggage and Lena, in particular, had to make peace with her past. My heart was bursting seeing the change in Ford from previous playboy to doting dad. Watching as Ford, Lena, and Annabelle formed a family – even when they didn’t realize that’s what they were doing – was so heartwarming. The drama when Annabelle’s mother returned was handled well (I was practically cheering for Ford) and wasn’t over the top. The friendship and camaraderie of the team continues to be a big highlight for me.  4 STARS



KNOTTED

Pam Godwin
Trails of Sin #1
Format: Kindle

Brothers Jake and Jarret, siblings Conor and Lorne – all share a close friendship. For Jake and Conor it goes beyond friendship and even though they are young, their love is one that will last. One horrific night changed the lives of all four friends forever.

I wasn’t sure what to expect since Knotted was my first by Godwin, but there’s a reason she’s known for dark romance. The events at the beginning were brutal and the aftermath was heartbreaking. I was riveted from the very start. This story grabbed me and didn’t let go. There were twists that I guessed and others that floored me. A couple aspects strained belief, but I was so taken with these characters and the overall narrative that I was more than willing to just go with it. The relationship between Jake and Conor was layered and complicated. I loved his patience and the way he made sure she had a safe space with him. Knotted won’t be for everyone - Godwin doesn’t shy away from graphic content – but I was 100% hooked. This is one that I couldn’t stop thinking about long after I finished it.  4.5 STARS



HAVE YOU READ ANY OF THESE BOOKS?

10 comments

  1. There is nothing better than to indulge in the psy changeling world and most especially the changeling packs! I adore how Singh writes the pack dynamics, they are the best out there. WOW look at that rating and review of Knotted, its that good? I have had it on my kindle for a year now, I really need to get my booty in gear and read it soon.

    Great reviews darling and happy reading!

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    1. Renee - If you don't mind dark and graphic, I highly recommend Knotted. I was so hooked! I've since read the second book and plan to read the third/final one soon.

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  2. I have not read any of these, although the Hockey Hotties series sounds like one I would enjoy. I'll have to check it out.

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    1. Wendy - The Hockey Hotties series has been such fun. I'm listening to the final book now.

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  3. I haven't read any of these. Going to put that Goodwin book on my list for when I'm slumpy and need a darker read. Great reviews!

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  4. Nalini Singh is very talented and so good at making you care about her characters!

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  5. You know I am not a dark romance type, but I can feel the emotional drama via your review. Glad Knotted was such a hit.

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  6. I have not read any of these authors and these books sound very different from each other but I could see myself enjoying each of them.

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  7. Glad to see you enjoyed Knotted. I'm hoping to get to it at some point.

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