The Naughty Vixen

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Archive for the category “Novella”

The Changeling Soldier by Shona Husk

cover48741-mediumTitle:  The Changeling Soldier

Series:  Annwyn Series Book #2.5 (novella)

Author:  Shona Husk

Rating:  B-

Her time in the mortal world is running out…

After fleeing Annwyn three centuries ago, Ella built a life in the mortal world making gowns for European royalty and playing in mortal intrigues. Now those Courts are long gone, and she dresses Hollywood starlets. Mortals come and go, but Ella always ends up alone. She longs for the home she left behind.

He’s been dreaming of the coming battle all his life…

Isaac Norton is a returned soldier. Now home, he’s restless and his recurring dream is becoming more frequent: he’s fighting on a snow-covered field stained with blue blood. When he sees Ella, he knows she isn’t human. And she knows what he is, a changeling.

Ella can give Isaac the answers he needs, but there will be a price to pay: his soul.

Review:  This is a new author for, and I have to say I definitely plan on reading more from her.  The blurb really caught me as something a little different from my usual read, and I was intrigued with the world of Annwyn.  And that didn’t change with the reading of this novella.  While the majority of the book (other than dreams) takes place on Earth rather than in Annwyn, it was enough to leave me wanting to get to know more about this world – and this series.  I definitely plan to backtrack and read the first book in this series, Outcast Prince.

That being said, it was not without its faults.  First off that it is novella length.  We spend the whole book leading up to Isaac making his way with Ella to Annwyn – just as fate intends – but then we are just abruptly dumped at the end that leaves us with far more questions than answers.  Great potential, but the end left me wondering what in the world happened.  I hope this is cleared up in the next book in the series, and that we get another book featuring Isaac and Ella.  My other complaint is really Isaac’s sister – which is totally bat shit crazy…LOL  While it fit with the story, I thought she was a bit too predictable, cliché, and over-the-top.

But I still find myself wanting more from this world and this series.  Can’t wait to read more!

 

Moonlight by Katie Salidas

818G6f7fJGL._SL1500_Title:  Moonlight (novella)

Series:  Immortalis Vampire Series Book #5

Author:  Katie Salidas

Rating:  C

Good girls don’t wear fur or fight over men, and they certainly don’t run around naked, howling at the moon.  But then, no-one ever called Fallon a good girl.  As a human unofficially mated to an Alpha werewolf, Fallon is being pressured to “become”… or be gone.  Her mate Aiden, the interim leader of the Olde Town Pack, is in a position that demands he either choose a wolf mate or leave the pack forever. No matter how hot the sex with Fallon is, he can’t ignore centuries of tradition.  Become a wolf or not: If only the choice were that simple! Fallon’s options are further clouded by the overt presence of other females desperate to be the Alpha’s mate. And when these bitches get serious, it’s not just claws that come out. If Fallon wants to keep her man and take the title, she’ll have to exert a little dominance of her own.

Review:  I am new to this series, and I had not realized that this was book 5 in a series before I started.  Given that, it was understandable that I found it a bit confusing at times.  I was also a bit confused and perturbed by the vibes I received while reading it as well – for the most part – at least to me – the story, dialogue, etc. read a bit like a new adult book, containing a certain level of immaturity.  However, it does contain adult content, and the odd mix of vibes from the book kindof left me not quite knowing what to think of it.  All in all, I will definitely have to go back and try reading from book one and see if that changes my perceptions somewhat.

 

Guarded by J.D Rivera

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Title:  Guarded

Series:  Guarded Heart Book .5 (novella)

Author:  J.D Rivera

Rating:  A

Vanessa Smith has her heart guarded. She’s been married to a man that sleeps around and has made her think she’s ugly and undeserving. Everything changes when she is knocked down by the famous basketball player, Jackson Berrios. A friendship ensues and everything she thought she knew about men turns out to be wrong.  Jackson Berrios was out for a run in a new city when he made contact with the beautiful Vanessa Smith. He instantly knew she was different from most girls but can he make her see that he’s different from her cheating husband?

Review:  Guarded is a very cute, sweet, feel-good romance that I enjoyed very much.  I would have enjoyed it even more had it been a longer length book rather than a novella.  Usually I don’t enjoy them because I feel the length doesn’t usually give you enough time to get the full story behind the plot or the characters – and even less so when they are used as a prelude to a full length novel, with really dramatic cliff hangers.  That is not the case with this one – while this one is novella length, it is a complete story, and doesn’t leave you frustrated.

I loved the characters!  Vanessa is a gorgeous girl that is not really fully aware of how beautiful she is thanks to her lovely ex-husband.  While it sucks that we went through all this, it also makes her more relatable as a character.  I loved her honesty and frankness, and that is what really made me love her!  Jackson is amazing in his own way – he’s your typical playboy, but with a good heart.  And he certainly has his work cut out for him when it comes to wooing Vanessa!

While some readers might think it is too much of a ‘typical’ storyline, that it’s a shade to predictable, that it has nothing that really stands out, I have to say that I can see where they may feel that way.  However, that shouldn’t take anything away from this story.  There is nothing wrong with a good, solid romance – and the characters alone are enough to really a joy to read, and the way the writer tells it gives a nice interesting take on it.  If you’re a fan of a good romance, and in the mood for something that’s quick to read, you really can’t go wrong with this one.

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Picture Her Bound by Sidney Bristol

81UakoV6M1L._SL1500_Blurb:  Officer Odalia Foucheaux is a desperate woman. Incriminating photographs of her after-hours job as a fetish model have been stolen, and she’s willing to break rules to get them back. Standing in her way? The very dominant bounty hunter Jacques Savoy.   
Jacques has been watching out for Officer Foucheaux. He wants her safe from harm as much as he desires her body, her soul—and her submission. Odalia’s in trouble and struggling to walk the line of the law. His solution? Work together to find out who stole her pictures, what the thief wants and how to stop him. And if they find a pleasure unlike any other along the way, well, laissez les bons temps rouler. 
Let the good times roll.

Excerpt:  Odalia Foucheaux pulled her hair up in a messy knot on top of her head and glared at the man strapped to a metal pole in the men’s restroom. Through the windows behind her victim, the lights of New Orleans glittered as another Christmas drew to a close on the bayou. The drunken carousing was in full swing, but tonight it wasn’t her problem.

Tonight she was just a woman with a gun and a mission she hated more than her worst enemy.

The sounds of the loud bar echoed through the restroom, disguising the snitch’s babbling.

Kenny Douglas was a police informant known for caving under pressure. He’d given a lot of bad information over the years, and at least one officer had taken a bullet for this piece of shit’s bad intel.

“You’re crazy, bitch. Someone, help!” Kenny tried to twist, but the leather belt held him in place. He had a bump on his head, but she hadn’t been able to help that. He was a small man, about five-eight, just her size. Taking him by surprise had been her best option.

The law-abiding cop in her screamed, revolted by how low she’d sunk. But if she didn’t protect herself, no one would. It was a lesson she’d learned early on in life, but never had it brought her to such a dark place.

“I’m off the clock, Kenny. This little chat? It’s just between you and me.” Odalia sauntered toward him, hating herself and Kenny for putting her in this position. If she could put it all to rights, she could pretend like this chapter in her life had never happened at all.

“What do you want?” Sweat poured down Kenny’s brow, and his skin was bright red from the large quantities of alcohol he’d sucked down before going to relieve himself. Idiot hadn’t even realized who’d sent him more drinks through the course of the evening.

Besides, Odalia had needed the time to talk herself into this. There was no turning back once she’d begun. She’d always followed the rules, kept her nose clean and kept her life outside the uniform quiet. Until now.

“I’m going to ask you once, Kenny. Who wanted you to steal the camera?” She pushed her leather jacket back over her hips, letting the petty criminal catch a glimpse of the piece she carried. Not her officer-issued gun, she wasn’t stupid.

“I didn’t steal no camera. You got to believe me,” he wailed.

Odalia glared at the man. After the camera had turned up missing during a break in the photo shoot, she’d found a jacket with Kenny’s name stitched on the breast. It had been tossed over the barbed-wire fence around the studio her blazing-hot photographer friend had rented for the Christmas Eve shoot. She knew Kenny had been there. And she knew someone must have put him up to stealing the camera. Kenny wasn’t the brightest crayon in the box.

Which made her wonder, who put him up to it? Who knew about her off-the-clock gig?

She modeled lingerie, underwear and funky clothing for a couple of small businesses for their websites and advertisements, never showing her face. The work was commercial, but she’d wanted to do something different. Something more artistic, like the Inked photo shoot.

A local Dominant had asked her to do an artistic BDSM photo shoot, one that touched on that most private aspect of her lifestyle. For anyone else she’d have said no. But there was something about the chocolate-skinned man that got to her. The shoot had been more intense than many play sessions she’d had, and she’d allowed herself to go further than she would have with a new scene partner.

Her commanding officer wouldn’t understand the kinky nature of the photographs, wouldn’t see them for the beautiful portrayal of bondage and submission that they were.

She pulled the empty gun from her waistband. Her piece normally gave her comfort, but now it was a dead weight, pulling her down to the ground.

“Oh fuck.” Kenny thrashed, twisting around the pole, but the belt held him fast.

“Kenny, I’m not going to ask again.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, crazy bitch!”

I don’t want to do this. I wish there was another way.

Odalia shook her head and sighed. “Kenny—”

Someone pounded on the bathroom door.

“Hey—” Kenny snapped his teeth together so loud they clicked.

Odalia lifted the gun and laid a finger over his lips. “Just a second,” she yelled over her shoulder.

The door burst inward. A man clothed head-to-toe in black barged in and tackled Odalia, wrapping his arms around her from behind.

She went down hard, grunting as she banged her knee, and the gun slid from her grasp. She knocked the side of her head on the floor, jarring her teeth. The scent of urine, grime and sweat filled her nostrils and her skin crawled, disgust churning her stomach. She kicked and thrashed, but the man was bigger and stronger than her.

“Don’t fight me, bébé,” a deep, husky voice said.

Odalia gasped. What the fuck was he doing here?

“This ain’t the way.” He hoisted her to her feet and grabbed the gun, shoving it in a deep coat pocket.

Fils de putain,” she spat and twisted in his hold, but his grip on her arm was like iron.

“You.” He pointed at Kenny with his free hand. “Don’t utter a word of this. Do you know who I am?”

Kenny’s complexion resembled a ghost’s on All Hallow’s Eve. He nodded, eyes large. “Bounty hunter. Y-you’re Savoy.”

“You know who I work with?”

“B-Bayou Hunters.”

“A peep outta you and the gators’ll be your best friends,” he drawled, voice low and dangerous. “If I don’t get you, one of my team will.”

“Y-yes.” Kenny nodded hard enough that he cracked the back of his head against the metal pole.

Jacques Savoy turned toward her. His dark complexion communicated tightly wound aggression. “I’d appreciate it if you didn’t speak disrespectfully of my mamma. Now, you’re coming with me,bébé.”

“No, I am not.”

Odalia tried to wrench her arm out of his grasp, but the bastard wasn’t letting her go. He dragged her through the drunken crowd of the Bourbon Street bar and out onto the strip, ducking onto a side street at the first opportunity. The entire district around the iconic street was one big party every night of the year, but the side streets were quieter, though no cleaner. She smelled the build-up of refuse over the Christmas holiday, stale beer and other elements she didn’t want to identify.

“Let. Go. Of. Me.” She kicked the back of his leg and twisted, getting free of his grasp and whirling away.

Odalia dashed toward the beckoning light of the street, only to be jerked back by her jacket. She threw an elbow and hit his ribs. Her lower arm went numb, and he didn’t so much as grunt.

“That’s it,” he grumbled and shoved her into the nearest brick wall, pinning her.

“Fuck you,” she growled and tried to throw her weight against him. She might have been obedient and eager during their photo shoot, but this wasn’t the set, and it wasn’t a dungeon.

“Take a deep breath and use your fucking head, officer.” He spat the last word.

Odalia bit her lip. His voice jarred her to clarity. Her body reacted to him despite her resolve not to. He was too potent to resist. She hated whoever had orchestrated the theft. She hated herself for sinking low. And she hated this man for seeing her at her worst.

Hot tears of rage fell on her cheek. She was powerless, completely helpless after she’d vowed to never again allow herself to be a victim. And here she was. A victim once more.

“Shh, bébé. Shh. I’m here. We’re going to fix this.” His arms wrapped around her from behind, and his big body cradled her.

For once in her life, she wanted to believe the lies someone spoke.

If only Jacques could fix it.

Review for Picture Her Bound:  Series:  Bayou Bound Book #1  Rating:  B

     This was a cute, quick read, and one that I enjoyed.  You should be aware however, that it is novella length – which is what I found most disappointing about it.  The storyline is a good one, the characters captivating enough that you want to see more of them, and enough of a mystery/conflict that it could have made for an even better full length novel.  I, personally, would have liked a to see a bit more of the build-up of attraction between these two characters – but that’s my own personal opinion on what I like to see.  That is part of my own personal dissatisfaction with novellas – these authors are such amazing writers with such good, intriguing storylines that I want so much more!  It is really a credit to the author’s writing…:)  Disregarding my opinion, it is certainly a solid read.

This one wastes no time in kicking off the storyline, and things really roll quite smoothly and efficiently.  There are no ebbs or lulls, and it wastes no time with fluff….just gets straight to the nitty-gritty bare-bones of the story.  I thought the ‘thief’ aspect would up a little too quickly, and simply not enough reasoning behind why he was willing to go to such lengths to go against Odalia – for all the drama about it, it was just a little too easy.  I guess that is the real crux of the matter – it lacks a little depth in the overall execution of the story.  Things are a little too pat and a little too simplistic for a novel full of intrigue and suspicion.

Of course, if you’re in the mood for a ‘quickie’ read, you can’t really go wrong with this one!

Buy Link:  Amazon

Ablaze by Morgan Black

cover41920-smallTitle:  Ablaze

Series:  Fireside Series Book #1  (novella)

Author:  Morgan Black

Rating:  D

What if love was like gasoline? Light a match and become engulfed in it’s flame.  Cheyenne is attempting to run into the arm’s of her betrothed Collin, when fate intervenes and she becomes trapped at her family’s cabin with another man. Luke, a ranch hand at her father’s farm, makes her heart race. When the lights go out, she finds herself falling into his arms, and into his bed.

Review:  This book is perfect if you’re looking for the a short length erotic novella about the standard rich girl who sleeps with the ‘hired help’ – in this case one of her father’s ranch hands.  She’s pretty much engaged to an ‘appropriate’ guy – one her family deems worthy of their breeding and class – and she’s been brought up knowing what was expected of her.  She’s always been attracted to Luke however, but not in an “I can’t resist him” kind of way.  She never intended to act on her desire, and certainly not enough to defy her family.

The problem with this story for me, first off, is the length.  It actually seems more like a chapter or two rather than a novella, and the length did not give me enough time to get invested in these characters, or even get to know them really.  What little I learned about them however, I didn’t like.  When they find themselves trapped in a cabin together – snowed in unexpectedly, Cheyenne decides to take advantage of this one opportunity to pretty much get the desire out of her system.  And all I can say, is sex with Luke must be as hot as the cover of this book, because all of sudden Cheyenne does an about face in her attitude.  It’s wrapped up with a very abrupt cliffhanger that is supposed to get you wound up for the next book.

For me, it seemed a little too standard, a little too pat, a little too cliché….and the whole ‘hired help’ fantasy left me rolling my eyes and feeling like I was stuck in a time more suited to the 1800’s rather than the present day.  While I don’t mind that type of fantasy, the tone for this one just turned me off completely.  I think the potential is there, but the execution just missed the mark.

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