Tailored for Trouble by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Tailored for Trouble by Mimi Jean PamfiloffTailored For Trouble by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
on August 9, 2016
Source: Publisher
four-stars

A sassy, sexy, laugh-out-loud rom-com between the hottest man never to be tamed and the woman crazy enough to try

SHE WANTS TO CHANGE THE WORLD.

Taylor Reed is no stranger to selfish, uncaring CEOs. She was fired by one, which is why she has created her own executive training program—helping heartless bosses become more human. So Taylor shocks even herself when she agrees to coach Bennett Wade, the cutthroat exec who got her unceremoniously canned. She’d love to slam the door in his annoying but very handsome face, but the customers aren’t exactly lining up at her door. Plus, this extreme makeover will give Taylor the golden opportunity to prove that her program works like a charm.

HE WANTS TO BUY IT.

Bennett Wade is many things—arrogant, smug, brusque—but trusting isn’t one of them. Women just seem to be after his billions. So when he hires Taylor Reed, he has no desire to change. Bennett is trying to win over the feminist owner of a company he desperately wants to buy, but something about the fiery Taylor thaws the ice around his heart, making Bennett feel things he never quite planned on. And if there’s one thing Bennett can’t stand, it’s when things don’t go according to plan.

They are a match tailor-made for trouble.

I’ve never read a Mimi Jean Pamfiloff story before, so I didn’t know what to expect with Tailored for Trouble, but having a slew of hilarious supporting characters, excellent writing, and relatable and real characters it turned out better than I thought.

The battle of wills between Bennett Wade and Taylor Reed was so hilarious, steamy, and so right that putting down Tailored for Trouble was almost impossible for me. Usually when two of the main characters are pitted against each other, as Bennett and Taylor were, I find myself a little anxious as to how I will (1) like it, (2) wonder if it has done it’s job of fitting into the rest of the storyline, and (3) rate the story based off the success of number 2.

In having a battle of wills between characters the execution has been off the mark for a lot of books that I’ve read, and the reason this happens (I believe) is because authors try to do too much with this type of character interaction that it sometimes comes off as arrogant, cheesy, or downright high schoolish. But, what Pamfiloff did for Tailored for Trouble was present Bennett and Taylor as they were in their current state of mind, circumstances, and what they were hoping to achieve by the end of their story. She didn’t give us any background on them until the stage was already set for this battle, and in doing this I was able to get to know and connect with Bennett and Taylor before the main portion of the story took off; I learned that Taylor was a control freak and was somewhat riddled with insecurities, and that Bennett was a jerk because he felt that he had to be in order to survive in the corporate world.

Now while Tailored for Trouble was a good story and kept me highly entertained, it was sometimes the expectancy, as well as the judgmental approach and attitude, Taylor would have of wanting to be shown a sense of chilvary where billionaire’s were concerned that would irritate the heck out of me. When she would get into this mindset my irritation at her would flare up mostly because she would rave and rant because her expectations weren’t met by either her co-workers or people she thought should’ve known better. There were many times that I’ve wanted to yell to her, “You really can’t control what other people do honey.” But, at the same time I would find myself admiring her for having the balls for demanding more from those she surrounded herself with because of the belief that everyone should be treated with respect regardless of the amount in their bank account(s).

Bennett Wade, on the other hand, was a surprise to me. At the beginning of Tailored for Trouble I wasn’t sure if I liked him or wanted to punch him in his face, but it’s now that I’ve finished this dynamic story that I now know that Bennett was someone who at his core wasn’t a bad guy. Funny enough, as the clues would drop page by page that Bennett was more than his a-hole self I would sometimes feel sorry for him for the things that Taylor would put him through.

Seeing as billionaire romances and me don’t have that good of a track record, I’m glad that Tailored for Trouble ended up being the exception. I appreciated it so much that Bennett was so unique from any other billionaire alpha out in the romance world, I seriously don’t know if I would’ve been able to take another billionaire Hero who had an f’d up childhood and a slew of sexual kinks. Because of how well I connected with Tailored for Trouble and how dynamic the characters were, I can definitely see myself reading more Mimi Jean Pamfiloff stories.

Blood of the Earth by Faith Hunter

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Blood of the Earth by Faith HunterBlood of the Earth by Faith Hunter
Series: Soulwood #1
on August 2, 2016
Source: Publisher
three-half-stars

Set in the same world as the New York Times bestselling Jane Yellowrock novels, an all-new series starring Nell Ingram, who wields powers as old as the earth.

When Nell Ingram met skinwalker Jane Yellowrock, she was almost alone in the world, exiled by both choice and fear from the cult she was raised in, defending herself with the magic she drew from her deep connection to the forest that surrounds her.

Now, Jane has referred Nell to PsyLED, a Homeland Security agency policing paranormals, and agent Rick LaFleur has shown up at Nell’s doorstep. His appearance forces her out of her isolated life into an investigation that leads to the vampire Blood Master of Nashville.

Nell has a team—and a mission. But to find the Master’s kidnapped vassal, Nell and the PsyLED team will be forced to go deep into the heart of the very cult Nell fears, infiltrating the cult and a humans-only terrorist group before time runs out…

When I started Blood of the Earth my excitement spiked because I knew with a Faith Hunter story I would get a great dose of fantasy and suspense. What I didn’t expect, though, was to end up only liking two characters out of Blood of the Earth and struggling to get through the beginning portion. Now, when I hit the 60% mark and worked my way to the end, Blood of the Earth was definitely a winner.

The struggle I had with the beginning of Blood of the Earth stemmed from a disconnect I had with the reason behind it spinning off from the Jane Yellowrock series. At the mention of a particular mission that Jane needed Nell’s help with, the urge to stop reading and continue the Jane Yellowrock series became strong (I feel that Blood of the Earth shouldn’t and can’t be read as a standalone unless you’ve caught up in the Jane Yellowrock series). Another thing, I remember Rick from Skinwalker and Blood Cross, but the state he’s in here in Blood of the Earth also had me wanting to continue on in the Jane Yellowrock series; I kept asking myself what chain of events happened that made him the man he was in Blood of the Earth.

The first half and a tenth of Blood of the Earth was full of world building, but it was also filled with the prejudice and disrespect Rick and some of his bosses treated Nell with simply because of her ties, or lack there of, with the polygamist church she grew up in. Even though she had a hard time stepping away from their teachings she was nothing but straightforward and respectful to all that she encountered.

There wasn’t really a main male character in Blood of the Earth because Rick was sometimes not the top male in charge even though he was the head of the PsyLED unit that came seeking Nell’s help. Occam, a were-leopard and a member of the PsyLED unit, helped make Blood of the Earth more a story I couldn’t tear my eyes from reading. His devotion and willingness to be all that Nell needed to get through the challenges this mission created really endeared me to him. For the fact that he had no problem going toe to toe with Rick on behalf of Nell really showed me and Nell that he’s someone trustworthy when everything around Nell was so iffy and uncertain.

With all that said, the story of Blood of the Earth in the end worked out for me. Nell’s character was so interesting to me that I couldn’t give up on Blood of the Earth. She’s a fighter and she got dealt a crappy hand so I really wanted her to get answers, a sense of purpose, and justice for all she’d been through.

Seriously, that 60% to the end definitely made the eye-rolling irritation I felt towards Rick during more than the first half of the story worthwhile. I hope in the next installment that Nell starts to get answers to what she actually is and how she can remove the taint that Brother Ephraim placed in her woods.

As I’m writing this review I’m debating on whether I would’ve connected more with Blood of the Earth if I had listened to it on audio rather than reading it myself? But, I don’t think that I would’ve. The audio, in my opinion, would do nothing but make me like certain scenes more than I did with the voice dramatization and production.

Blood of the Earth is simply a story that shouldn’t be missed even though I had some challenges with it. I would recommend, though, catching up in the Jane Yellowrock series first.

Blood of the Earth GIVEAWAY:

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About Faith Hunter

Faith Hunter, fantasy writer, was born in Louisiana and raised all over the south. She writes three Urban Fantasy series: the Skinwalker series, featuring Jane Yellowrock, a Cherokee skinwalker who hunts rogue vampires. The Soulwood series, featuring earth magic user Nell Ingram. And the Rogue Mage novels, a dark, urban, post-apocalyptic, fantasy series featuring Thorn St. Croix, a stone mage. (There is a role playing game based on the series, ROGUE MAGE.)
Under the pen name Gwen Hunter, she writes action-adventure, mysteries, and thrillers. As Faith and Gwen, she has 30+ books in print in 29 countries.
Hunter writes full-time, tries to keep house, and is a workaholic with a passion for travel, jewelry making, white-water kayaking, and writing. She and her husband love to RV, traveling with their rescued Pomeranians to whitewater rivers all over the Southeast.

Blood Cross by Faith Hunter

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Blood Cross by Faith HunterBlood Cross by Faith Hunter
Series: Jane Yellowrock #2
on May 3, 2016
Source: Publisher
three-half-stars

Jane Yellowrock is back on the prowl against the children of the night...

The vampire council has hired skinwalker Jane Yellowrock to hunt and kill one of their own who has broken sacred ancient rules — but Jane quickly realizes that in a community that is thousands of years old, loyalties run deep...

With the help of her witch best friend and local vigilantes, Jane finds herself caught between bitter rivalries — and closer than ever to the secret origin of the entire vampire race. But in a city of old grudges and dark magic, Jane will have to fight to protect both sides, even if no one will protect her.

In my review of Skinwalker I hinted, somewhat, at how I thought that Blood Cross and I wouldn’t get along, but I am glad to say that my assumption was way off the mark; like football field size.

In Blood Cross, the 2nd installation of the Jane Yellowrock series, we are given more of an isight into the relationship Jane has with Molly and her 2 precious babies, but most importantly the baby girl Angie (I have to say, out of all that went on in Blood Cross the relationship between Jane and Angie-baby – as Jane calls her – ended up being the highlight of the book for me). Furthermore, we were given a different look into what makes Jane the way she is, and the author uses Beast to do this; their two personalities are polar opposites and in their differences I found myself siding with one or the other the majority of the book. Additionally, we’re given a romance between Jane and some very unsuspecting characters (unsuspecting meaning I in no way shape or form thought that she would ever go there with them); in these sections I found myself torn because while one suitor I could actually see the potential, the other was a complete no go for me.

Every issue I had with Skinwalker was improved and cleared up in Blood Cross. Jane’s divide or separation, both emotionally and mentally, with Beast was seriously placed under a magnifying glass where, at first, I became frustrated with Jane and sympathized with Beast (Jane would sometimes get very emotional and resistant to decisions that was obvious to everyone needed to be taken) until I realized that having Beast without Jane or Jane without Beast would never work and that they needed each other to do what they’re paid to do and to survive in a world that is always pitted against them.

Jane has grown a lot in Blood Cross from what I saw of her in Skinwalker, but she has a long way to go in becoming someone I’ll feel comfortable rooting for 100%.

Since I’ve read Blood of the Earth before I listened to Blood Cross I already know the end result of this Rick and Jane “thing,” so I’m not going to waste a lot of paragraph/post space on my dislike of this “relationship.” But, while the sexual tension between the two in Blood Cross was very evident I couldn’t help but to find myself grimacing through their flirtation and the start of their relationship. I just don’t see how a relationship of any kind works for them when, other than attraction there’s nothing between them, and their “relationship” almost feels like it’s of the filler category. I understand Jane’s aversion to Bruiser, but come on, there’s more there than what she has with Rick.

Blood Cross also had a lot of badass moments that contributed to my unhealthy obsession with having my headphones attached to my head more hours than I’d like to admit. Khristine Hvam, once again, did an excellent job on all the voices in Blood Cross and also became one of the reasons I couldn’t put this story down.

Having learned my lesson from the sneak peek at the end Skinwalker, I refrained from listening to the sneak peek into Mercy Blade, book 3 in the Jane Yellowrock series, because I’m pretty sure with the way Blood Cross ended, gag, that I’ll be left with a hesitancy towards reading/listening to Mercy Blade. Because of this this wisdom I am now, lol, looking forward too reading/listening to Mercy Blade.

About Faith Hunter

Faith Hunter, fantasy writer, was born in Louisiana and raised all over the south. She writes three Urban Fantasy series: the Skinwalker series, featuring Jane Yellowrock, a Cherokee skinwalker who hunts rogue vampires. The Soulwood series, featuring earth magic user Nell Ingram. And the Rogue Mage novels, a dark, urban, post-apocalyptic, fantasy series featuring Thorn St. Croix, a stone mage. (There is a role playing game based on the series, ROGUE MAGE.)
Under the pen name Gwen Hunter, she writes action-adventure, mysteries, and thrillers. As Faith and Gwen, she has 30+ books in print in 29 countries.
Hunter writes full-time, tries to keep house, and is a workaholic with a passion for travel, jewelry making, white-water kayaking, and writing. She and her husband love to RV, traveling with their rescued Pomeranians to whitewater rivers all over the Southeast.

Barbarian Lover by Ruby Dixon

Barbarian Lover by Ruby DixonBarbarian Lover by Ruby Dixon
on August 28, 2015
Source: Kindle Unlimited
three-stars

As one of the few humans stranded on the ice planet, I should be happy that I have a new home. Human women are treasured here, and one alien in particular has made it clear that he wants me. It's hard to push away the sexy, flirtatious Aehako, when all I want to do is grab him by his horns and insist he take me to his furs.

But I've got a terrible secret - the aliens who abducted me are back, and thanks to the translator in my ear, they can find me. My presence here endangers everyone... but can I give up my new life and the man I want more than anything?

I wasn’t going to write a review on Barbarian Lover because I didn’t think that I had a whole lot to say about it (I seriously need to stop doubting my reactions to any book that happens to be in my hands), but after a day or so went by I couldn’t get its story out of my mind. From all that went on from the beginning to the end of Barbarian Lover I was seriously being haunted, the whole story was on my mind all the time.

Barbarian Alien is still fresh on my mind since I reviewed it a few days ago, and as I’m writing this review I can’t help but compare it to Barbarian Lover. The two stories were polar opposites; I have to admit I took a moment to feel relief that I wouldn’t have to endure all that I did with Liz’s character in Kira. Where in Barbarian Alien the focus was all about Liz getting in line with the new world order, and with Kira in Barbarian Lover it was about her finding her value/worth in not what she could or couldn’t give to whichever mate she resonated for, but in her intelligence and sensuality as a woman.

The hero of the story, Aehako, I seriously loved. He loved Kira, not for what she could do for him but for who she was, and in his willingness to still be her mate even though they hadn’t resonated (a biological sign that the males and females on this planet are destined mates) with each other really had me swooning at his feet. Basically, any man who goes against the grain for those they love and for what they believe in is always a winner in my book.

Since I’m only 3 books into this series I really didn’t think that I would be able to pinpoint a favorite just yet. I have to say, though, Barbarian Lover is a strong candidate for that title. It not only had romance, but the tale of self-discovery, mainly for Kira, was done so wonderfully that the romance and steam played as an enhancement instead of a deterrent.

The one complaint I have, though, was at the end of Barbarian Lover when Kira was so quick to accept that her fellow human, Harlow, just up and left Aehako and another alien companion stranded while they were injured. I sort of gave her the benefit of the doubt because she was actively grieving Aehako, and she didn’t know if she would survive. Sadly, it was soon after that I had to squash those good intentions because when they got back to the cave her and Georgie willingly accepted Vektal and Aehako’s decision not to send a search party for Harlow (I mean the woman could be dead because the planet is freaking cold hence Ice Planet Barbarians being the name of the series!).

Thankfully, those aggravated feelings got pushed to the back burner when I found out that Harlow’s story was next. I immediately had to scoop that up.

About Ruby Dixon

Ruby Dixon loves to write sexy, dirty things. Right now she’s obsessed with dirty aliens. She’s also dabbled in dirty bikers, dirty bears, and well, just dirty things in general.

Barbarian Alien by Ruby Dixon

Barbarian Alien by Ruby DixonBarbarian Alien by Ruby Dixon
on July 24, 2015
Source: Kindle Unlimited
three-half-stars

Twelve humans are left stranded on a wintry alien planet. I’m one of them. Yay, me.

In order to survive, we have to take on a symbiont that wants to rewire our bodies to live in this brutal place. I like to call it a cootie. And my cootie’s a jerk, because it also thinks I’m the mate to the biggest, surliest alien of the group.

Before reading Barbarian Alien, I was seriously on the fence about whether or not I would even read its story, or if I wanted to skip it and move on to book 3 in this series. The reason behind my indecision and my back and forth behavior falls onto one character’s shoulders alone, Liz’s – the heroine of Barbarian Alien. What pushed me over that fence to reading Barbarian Alien came in the form of my desire to read something steamy and different from the books I needed to finish.

Barbarian Alien featured two head strong characters that were seriously unwilling to back down to anyone, let alone each other. While Georgie seemed to have taken a liking to the alien planet, as we saw in Ice Planet Barbarians, Liz wasn’t having it and she had no problem vocalizing that even if her words ended up hurting others.

From the glimpses I got of her character from Ice Planet Barbarians I had a hard time tolerating her character. She was very negative in an already hostile situation – being kidnapped and spaceship-wrecked on an alien planet with blue beasts – to the point where I would not have minded if they all of a sudden lost her in the mission of getting to safety. She was very sarcastic and unconsciously self-centered – who turns away help just because the help doesn’t come in the form that they were expecting?! Her antics to prove that the way of surviving and living on the planet they were stranding on was just a ploy by the aliens to mate and breed them really pissed me off. Any situation was better than the one that her alien captors first placed her and the rest of the ladies in, and she would rather complain about Georgie finding her happy ever after and how it didn’t mean that she had to take that same route – what other option do you have?! She nitpicked and complained about everything that wasn’t within her control, and for the fact that Raahosh stood by her and didn’t give up on her shows his love and devotion for/to her.

Raahosh’s character was something I wasn’t expecting. I wasn’t expecting to feel sympathy for him for the way that Liz and his clan treated him, nor was I ready to love him and want him for my own. All Raahosh cared about was having someone of his own, someone to love him and never abandon or despise him for his scars. My heartstrings were being played like a violin all through Barbarian Alien because of the lengths he went to in making Liz see that he was the one for her and that he could be everything she could ever want in a mate, he went above and beyond. What cemented his place in my heart was that he was a virgin and had never shown affection as he had on display for Liz, it warmed my heart.

By the end of Barbarian Alien, though, I ended up enjoying the story. Liz finally got her head out of her butt and smelled the roses – Rahoosh’s love for her, and how because of that love she would always have someone in her corner.

About Ruby Dixon

Ruby Dixon loves to write sexy, dirty things. Right now she’s obsessed with dirty aliens. She’s also dabbled in dirty bikers, dirty bears, and well, just dirty things in general.