Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Hot Alphas Anthology by Lora Leigh, Laurelin McGee, Shiloh Walker, Kate Douglas

Type: Contemporary Romance w/ Light Suspense

AmazonAll Romance | Book Depository | BAM | Goodreads
*noms* I love a sexy alpha so I was all in when I saw Hot Alphas. Plus the fact that Leigh, Walker and Douglas are favorites? <looks around dreamily> Yes, please! Some good loving, a nice variety of set ups and a tiny bit of suspense made for some good reads for the most part.

I totally expected this to be a complete knock out. But it didn't quite make it there. Douglas and Walker came through with stellar reads that were fun and sexy--though Walker's was a previous release, Leigh brought the only real alpha in the bunch and great characters but McGee. Well. The McGee contribution left me truly livid and wicked pissed. It also brought down the rating to a 3 star and a suggestion that if you want to read this one try to get it via the library. For the price and how insulting I felt the McGee read was I'd have a hard time suggesting otherwise...

Ex-Marine Turk has become Erin’s sworn protector. The consistent target of her CIA-operative brother’s deadly foes, Turk is the only port Erin has to cling to in a storm. He promised her brother long ago never to touch her—but how can he resist a woman who aches to be with him as much as he burns for her?
Heat: 3 out of 5          Rating: 3 out of 5
Leigh is always good for a hot alpha, some hotter lovin' and kick ass heroines. Turk and Erin were definitely a good time--they both work undercover at a bar getting intel for their organization. I enjoyed Erin's Kiss and watching these two as they finally stopped dancing around each other and went for it after months of denying their desires. Things heat up and nommy sex ensues.

Of course there are some bad guys who want to use Erin against her organization and come after her. Some quick escapes, family frustrations and passion squeezed in during the down time made for a fast and enjoyable read but at the same time felt like it was missing too many bits to the story. Things just happening with no explanation when really they were needed for it to be believable or transition well and I never would have connected the blurb to what was actually in the story other than their names. It is part of a series so maybe that's why and it would have worked better not being a stand alone read.

Jaylene Kim is a strong independent woman whose feminist values run deep. Even though attractive men are her weakness the last thing she wants is one telling her what to do. Until she meets her mysterious new neighbor. He makes her realize that you can still be strong and relinquish control . . . in the bedroom. But as their passion consumes them both Jaylene isn't so sure he is who he says he is.

Heat: 3 out of 5          Rating: 1 out of 5
This was one of the few books that has truly left me livid and beyond pissed. Rant on FB, near throwing the kindle pissed. And that surprised the hell out of me because in the first chapter I was thinking omg this is fantastic and going to be so fun. It had great potential of next door neighbors, a Korean heroine--you just don't see that often--and a hero with a fun secret. But it all just, well, any potential squeals crashed and burned quickly. And while I don't like to give pissed off reviews--I try to be level headed and fair even when I don't like a read--there's really nothing nice to say about this one other than it was blessedly short--8 chapters.

So what had this one getting me so freaking hostile?

The heroine for starters.

She's an ultra feminist and the type that gives women a bad name. She's judgmental and harsh. Ill tempered and won't cut anyone a break. She had little realizations that she was wrong about whatever the topic was but then would go right back to her previous behavior. There was absolutely no character growth. She threw a shoe at what she thought was a squirrel though it turned out to be the hero--I just am NOT okay with violence towards animals. She also railed against romance books and their readers as being trashy and stupid multiple times and, you know, that's just a shitty thing to do in a romance book that's going to be read by those women the heroine is putting down. Something she continued on for the entire novella-- even judging the hero for writing romances and not telling her--she assumed because he was embarrassed that he wrote erotica and I quote "as he should be".

Amazingly though even after having this realization in the above image...she doesn't change and continues her bitchy ways and attitude the rest of the story. She did finally come the last 2 pages because she finally read a romance and was wrong. It was wonderful. *rolls eyes*

No condoms were used. Even though they'd barely gotten to know each other.

The hero was anything but alpha. The heroine was the alpha in this one.

The sex scenes were mediocre and out of place in the story. They tried to pull in bdsm and The hero claimed to like to dominate women but he wasn't--in his words--a Dominant because he didn't do the whole club thing...yada yada. Because that's what makes someone a Dominant? And regardless he let her top from the bottom, the scenes weren't believable and the bondage and discipline felt very forced and like it was trying too hard to be erotic.

There were some digs about reviewers and how they're ridiculous for marking down reviews for certain things. In this case it was for not liking author wordage choices for cock and pussy. Which may seem silly to some but I did not like that type of dig being brought into play by authors.

There was just very little in this novella that was redeeming. Hours later I'm still really ticked off about this one. It's possible the authors meant this to be cheeky and funny but it came off insulting and mocking. I'm not willing, at this point, to give either author in the writing duo another chance. I've removed all of their books from my to read pile. 

In Burn for Me by Shiloh Walker, Tate longs to spend his nights with Ali, a woman he’s loved for years. But while Ali’s heart pines to be with Tate, her head has reservations. Ali knows that Tate has never forgiven his father for the fight he had with his mother right before she left the house—and was never heard from again. Tate's unresolved anger is a force to be reckoned with . . . but the heat that blazes between them is undeniable. Now both Tate and Ali are left to wonder: Can love really conquer all?

Heat: 3 out of 5         Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Burn for Me was previously released as a stand alone novella and I read it at that time and enjoyed it quite a bit--Sexy, sweet and full of steam. Just what I expect from Shiloh Walker! Burn for Me was a little heartbreaking but at the same time a completely heartwarming glimpse inside the life of Tate as he hits a crossroads in his life. One where he has to decide if holding on to his childhood traumas and anger will keep him from the woman he loves and a future he desperately needs with her and her sons. It's a quick read--only about 80 pages--but pretty satisfying.

I really liked both Tate and Ali. The story starts up mid relationship. They've been friends with benefits for a while now but they have an agreement. It's just physical and can't be anything more. Hearts though can't be denied and even though neither has admitted how much they care for the other it's clear as day and something's got to give. They either move forward or need to call it quits.

Burn for Me is pretty steamy and starts with a bang--literally--since the two are friends with benefits and really enjoy each other. Things move at a nice clip and have a slight suspenseful or mystery feel to them. Tate and Ali had some nice chemistry going and dang I would have loved spending more time with them instead of just getting this quickie glimpse. I am curious to see what will happen with the series and how it'll play out after his sibling's stories are told in a couple novellas prior to the first full length story happening. I'm hoping some of the loose ends--like what really happened to his mom--will be uncovered along the way. This one definitely has me curious.

Full Review HERE

Nate shows up to work at Tangled Vineyards ready to do all the things he loves best—work with his hands, grow the grapes, and craft award-winning, full-bodied wines. But when something better comes along in the form of Cassie, the winemaker and former owner of the vineyard, Nate becomes completely love-drunk. Getting involved with Tangled’s number-one mixologist is a bad way to start off a new job, but with Cassie as a constant temptation, Nate doesn’t stand a chance… (less)

Heat: 3 out of 5        Rating: 4 out of 5
Tangled went a long way towards soothing my reader soul after the debacle of misTaken. Douglas writes the best steamy goodness and totally pulled through on some hot lovin', an awesome story set up and likable characters as Nate is hired to work at the winery Cassie's family used to own. Attractions hit hard and fast, a little awkwardness over hooking up then working together, a little mystery as someone starts poking around the grounds. It was sweet and sexy and a great way to end the anthology. 

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