Flora Reviews… Thanks Fur Last Night by Eve Langlais, Milly Taiden and Kate Baxter

Flora Reviews…

Thanks Fur Last Night

by Eve Langlais, Milly Taiden and Kate Baxter

 

Read: 21st – 23rd January 2018

Format: Kindle

My Overall Goodreads Rating: 2 Stars

 

So, before we get into what I thought about this book, I want you to know that I was lucky enough to be given a digital version of this book for free from the publisher (St Martin’s Press) via Netgally.com in exchange for an honest review.

The expected publication date is 30th January 2018.

Thanks for the advance reader copy.

 

So what’s this book about?

This book is a collection of three original paranormal romance novellas from international best-selling authors Eve Langlais, Milly Taiden and Kate Baxter featuring various species of shapeshifters including werewolves and bear shifters.  I am already a big fan of Kate Baxter’s Last True Vampire series but Eve Langlais and Milly Taiden are new-to-me authors.

If you’ve read any of my reviews before, you’ll know that I don’t post spoilers of any kind or reveal any plot twists in my book reviews, so I’ve included the official blurb for each story together with my review and rating:

Enter a world of smoldering shifters in this scintillating anthology headlined by New York Times bestselling authors Eve Langlais and Milly Taiden with brand-new, never published novellas!

Novella 1 – Bearing His Sin by Eve Langlais

The blurb says;

Cole should have killed Anja the moment he realized she was his mate. Instead, he let her live and now they’re on the hunt, chasing the morons who think they can force her to marry another man. Like hell. And while this shapeshifting bear might have his share of sins, he’s not going to let little things like murder and mayhem prevent him from having the woman meant to be the keeper of his heart.

So, what did I think about this story?

Eve Langlais is a new-to-me author but I don’t think that she writes my kind of stories.

In the first chapter, we meet Cole, a bear shifter and our story’s hero. I didn’t like him at all; he isn’t my kind of swoon worthy hero due to his many personality flaws. Our heroine, Anja, is more like the strong female leads that I like but I felt disappointed with the insta lust between the pair; it didn’t feel natural or believable.

I prefer paranormal stories that aren’t as far-fetched as this, both in the plot lines and characterizations.  If the setting is now in our world, I prefer it if the author writes more complex human facets, temperament and foibles onto their supernatural beings. With a paranormal romance set in a fantasy world, I feel there’s more poetic licence, for example, I like the Dragon Kin books by G.A. Aiken, I can suspend my dislike of male chauvinistic behaviour and insta love/lust and just go with the flow. The characters in Bearing His Sin feels similar to this series so I tried to forget that the story takes place in our world and just go with the flow… but I struggled. 😦

There are certainly a great many twists and turns in this plot which kept me wondering what would happen next, however, they weren’t as smooth as I’ve read in novellas from other authors. While we’re on the subject of smooth, although I enjoyed the way the relationship aspect of this tale was concluded, the very end had flummoxed me, did I miss something?

My Goodreads Rating For This Novella: 2 Stars (It was OK)

Novella 2 – Bought by the Bear by Milly Taiden

The blurb says;

Josilyn Martinez just needed the money to help raise her nephew. That’s it. There’s no other reason she would take a job posing as a shifter’s mate so he can assure his grandmother he’s settled down. There’s no reason to stay at his place so they learn “more about each other.” And there’s definitely no good reason she should get involved with the hard, hot, and handsome shifter that’s hired her.

Xander just needs a fake mate for a week to get his grandmother off his back. But what’s a bear shifter to do when the impostor mate he hired turns out to be his actual mate? All sweet, luscious curves and a heart of gold, Xander’s not going to let his mate get away. Now all he has to do is show her that they belong together, one kiss and touch at a time…

So, what did I think about it?

Milly Taiden is another new-to-me author. I really liked the concept for this story and I found it very easy to read, however, there were some aspects of her writing style that jarred; I thought that the way Ms Taiden laid out Josie’s background story wasn’t as smooth as it could have been, both the order in which she described incidents and facts and some of the prose she used (as a pre-proofed arc, I tried to ignore the editing needs I encountered assuming that they would be fixed before publication) and some of the dialogue between characters felt forced, out of context and a bit unnatural at times.

In the first chapter we meet our heroine, Josie. I liked her, she’s got gumption; although she’s lost everything she’s still fighting, she’s loyal, still has a sense of humour and is looking after her young nephew. We’re introduced to our hero, Xander in the next chapter and I thought that he had potential. He’s an alpha bear shifter in charge of a huge company but he still has an honourable humanity about him, a sense of humour (I liked the banter between him and Keir) and a kind heart; I chuckled at his “problem” of needing a fake mate to placate his human grandmother – so sweet. I liked the personalities of our romantic couple and I enjoyed the emotional turmoil that their situation caused.

Having said that, I must just say that the “you are mine” declarations in these types of stories only gets me hot when the male also declares that he is hers completely too otherwise it’s just a chauvinistic pig statement for me and the magic’s gone. Unfortunately, Xander fell into this box all too often. Shame. 😦

I understand that writing a standalone novella is challenging; creating a full, engaging story within so few pages. Bought by the Bear is crammed pack with storylines – Xander’s need for a fake mate to satisfy his human grandmother, Julia, for him to settle down and have kids, Josie’s custody battle for her nephew Nick with his snobby grandmother, Mildred, Josie’s dire financial situation following her very messy divorce from Michael, a deranged wolf shifter on the loose, the prejudices Josie regularly experiences due to her size and cleaning job together with a mystery stalker/psycho fixated on her – all running alongside the romance/relationship aspect! With so much going on, I felt that this story was rushed, especially towards the end, to enable all the loose ends to get neatly tied up.

My Goodreads Rating For This Novella: 2 Stars (It was OK)

Novella 3 – The Alpha and I by Kate Baxter

The blurb says;

Devon Kincaid is happy with her new life in Lowman, Idaho. Her little bar on the outskirts of the tiny, isolated town is doing well, and she’s not even interested in finding a man. But when she finds a bleeding man—a hot, hard, handsome, naked bleeding man—in the snow one night, Devon brings him home to care for him. He’s definitely not like any man she’s ever met before, but what she doesn’t realize is that he’s not just a man…

Liam Murphy isn’t simply a werewolf. He’s the Alpha. In a heated battle with a deadly bear shifter, he’s moved his pack to the Sawtooth Wilderness in order to draw danger from them. He was hoping to escape his problems—but the last thing he expects to find in the isolated Idaho wilderness was his mate. Fragile and unfamiliar with the violent supernatural world, the only way he can protect Devon is to make her what he is: a werewolf. He only hopes that in the process convincing her to enter fully into his world, that he doesn’t drive away the one woman he can’t live without.

So, what did I think about this story?

I am already a fan of Ms Baxter’s books; I find her writing style very easy to read, her plots engaging and her characters intelligently written and full of depth, including the supporting cast. I was delighted to find the same level of care and proficiency in this novella, The Alpha and I.

We meet both our male and female lead characters in the first chapter; I liked Devon straight away, she’s what I look for in a heroine, intelligent, witty, resilient and self reliant – she had gumption – but life hasn’t been a bunch of roses, Devon comes with her own troubles and backstory. Our hero, Liam, is a werewolf and Alpha to a local(ish) pack and has his own troubles nipping at his heels. I liked the humour and the way our romantic couple dealt with their feelings for each other and I appreciated the fact that Liam had had to earn Devon’s trust, I think that made this paranormal tale feel more believable.

I really enjoyed The Alpha and I, my only niggle is that Devon’s dog, Mac, wasn’t mentioned after they left him in her cabin to go to Liam’s pack in Stanley. I’m sure Devon wouldn’t have forgotten Mac but it would have been nice to get a sentence or two confirming this after the threat had ended.

Oh and I must just say that I liked the “can’t lie to a mate without pain” addition to the traditional werewolf lore that Ms Baxter created here. In short, I laughed, I cried, I held my breath in anxiety and I felt the flutters of arousal; I was gripped from beginning to end.

My Goodreads Rating For This Novella: 5 Stars (It was amazing)

So, basically what I’m saying is…

Now before I go on to summarise my thoughts for the book as a whole, I want to say that I do love paranormal romance stories with titillating sex scenes; my favourite authors manage to make the most explicit sexual scenes still feel very romantic –I’m a soppy sod at heart. I think that it takes a very talented writer to accomplish this because often, when reading ‘erotic’ or ‘passionate’ stories in this genre, I feel that romance is sacrificed for porn-esque sex and for me, a story is only really erotic if I’m emotionally connected to the characters involved.

So bearing that in mind, I think that this paranormal romance anthology is OK, I enjoyed reading it. Of the three novellas I really liked one (I’m sure you can guess which one, lol!) but still thought the other two were OK. I felt that this book was a good opportunity for me to read a couple of new-to-me authors who keep popping up on my Amazon and Goodreads “recommended book” feeds and read a new story from a firm favourite, having said that I think I would have felt a bit disappointed if I had actually purchased this for myself (n.b. the current Kindle selling price of £7.59 seems a bit steep to me).

Due to the graphic violence and sexual content in these novellas – they are definitely steamy and not blood-shy – I’d recommend this book to existing fans of Eve Langlais, Milly Taiden or Kate Baxter and adults who are fans of relationship and romance stories with oodles of action and passion galore.

So, has my review of THANKS FUR LAST NIGHT encouraged you to find out more? Just click on any of the links below to check out the book yourself or to find out more about the authors. To see other books that I’ve read, take a look at my profile on Goodreads.

See THANKS FUR LAST NIGHT on Goodreads.com

Buy THANKS FUR LAST NIGHT in print and eBook formats through the usual sources, including Amazon UK or Amazon US, or through Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo or Google Books

Visit EVE LANGLAIS‘s own little corner of the web, connect to her on social media via Twitter or Facebook

Visit MILLY TAIDEN‘s own little corner of the web, read her blog, connect to her on social media via Twitter or Facebook

Visit KATE BAXTER‘s own little corner of the web, connect to her on social media via Facebook  or Twitter or Goodreads


5 thoughts on “Flora Reviews… Thanks Fur Last Night by Eve Langlais, Milly Taiden and Kate Baxter

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