Rough Terrain – Annabeth Albert

rought

starstarstarstar

Author: Annabeth Albert
Series: Out of Uniform #7

Pages: 384

contemporary_rommmsoldierstears

Navy SEAL Renzo Bianchi has a soft spot for Canaan Finley, and not only because the man makes a mean smoothie. He’s the first guy to get Renzo’s motor revving in a long time. But when he agrees to Canaan’s insane charade—one all-access fake boyfriend, coming right up—he never expects more than a fling.

Creating a hot Italian SEAL boyfriend to save face seemed like a good idea…until his friends called Canaan’s bluff. Now he’s setting off into the woods with the very man who inspired his deception, and Canaan is not the outdoorsy type. The sparks are already flying when a flash flood separates them from their group, leaving Renzo and Canaan very much trapped…very much alone in the wilderness.

Working together to come up with a plan for survival is sexier than either of them expects. But back in the real world, being a couple is bringing its own set of hazards…

I did it!! I started a new saga in 2018 and I have ended it in 2019!! Barely a year and a half to fulfill such accomplishment. It is pretty huge for me. I usually get distracted by new and shiny sagas and I forget about the ones that I had already started. The Out of Uniform series deserves that honor, even though there have been some books that are not that great. But, the last one is a nice goodbye, although it could have been better.

This last time we follow Renzo, the SEAL known as Rooster, a gym junkie and a skydiving lover who has to deal with the hero complex his family is putting on him. On the other hand, we have Canaan; the former drummer and current nurse student who is way too fond of Renzo’s tight T-Shirts. A fake boyfriend favor turns into an adventure to save their lives and they both realize that life is too precious to waste…

My first impression of the story is not a good one. It takes too long to go forward and the first chapters are a bit awkward. The initial chemistry between Renzo and Canaan was pretty low and unremarkable,  which made me be afraid I was going to face another boring couple that leaves me feeling indifferent. Thankfully, that changes little by little. The book really starts when they travel to the Colorado Canyon and have the little adventure against the elements. That was fun (for the readers, I’m not a sadist!!) and was the perfect stage for some necessary bonding between the main characters. After that, it keeps a slow pace, but steady and always forward.

The fact that I couldn’t connect with the main characters during the first chapters could have meant being bored to death during the most emotional situations; but, by the time those moments happen, the couple had already grown on me and I felt the sweet discomfort of the bumpy ride. These guys deserve happiness and I’m glad they have found a version of it. I must admit I am not altogether convinced of their arrangement. I can’t shake the feeling that the path taken has been chosen to please more Renzo’s mother thatn Renzo himself. But that could be my jelousy talking!

The characters are OK, but I have had a harder time to get to like them than I was expecting. Renzo is not the guy I thought, he is somehow better; but at the same time he is lacking something. He is a good guy, loyal, polite… He is way too good. He needed some spice, some cockiness, some player attitude. He looks the part, but doesn’t behave like that. It’s a bit disconcerting, actually. Until the author lets us know him better, Renzo is even a boring character. And Canaan… that guy is too direct. No filter or anything similar with this guy. All day talking about sex gets old very fast. He didn’t rock my world as he did with Renzo’s, but I admit they are pretty great together.

And now I will have to hunt down another of Annabeth’s sagas, because I like her style. Out of Uniform has been a welcome surprise. A sweet and emotional jouney through seven books that have shown me that Military Romance can be awesome if done properly.

paragraph1

2019 – Book Gallery

Advertisements

Uncharted – Anna Hackett

uncharted

starstarstarstar

Author: Anna Hackett
Series: Treasure Hunter Security #2

Pages: 221

rom_suspenseadventuresoldiersteachfrenzy

Former Navy SEAL Callum Ward has one motto–live life to the fullest. He saw the worst of war and lost good friends, but now he works for Treasure Hunter Security. When he’s not providing security for archeological digs and invaluable museum exhibits, or off on daring treasure hunts, he’s rock climbing, racing, or skiing. Nothing–and no one–has ever tempted him to slow down…until on an expedition into the Cambodian jungle, he has to work with one opinionated, prickly photographer, Dani Navarro. But soon their straight-forward trek to find a lost temple turns deadly, and Cal and Dani find themselves under attack from a dangerous black-market antiquities ring prepared to kill.

Dani Navarro lives for her photography. For years, it’s been her escape from her family and their frivolous lifestyle, affairs, and dramas. With her camera in hand, she travels the world, capturing other people’s moments and avoiding messy entanglements. At first, she thinks Cal Ward is no different from all the other men she’s known, but as their expedition turns into a hazardous dash through uncharted jungle, she uncovers a tough, intelligent, and sexy protector. Together, they must outwit their pursuers and find not only a lost temple…but a priceless, powerful artifact.

Sometimes, aiming for simple is what makes something greater. I think this could be the case of the Treasure Hunter Security series. I know this is just the second book of the saga, but I’m startintg to see the pattern. Quick romance full of action is nothing that will rock your world forever, but it will keep you entertain long enough. Perfect book to just relax reading.

This time we follow Declan’s brother, Callum, in a journey to Cambodia for a mission that didn’t look that difficult. He just has to make sure a group of archeologists and a photographer are safe while searching for a forgotten temple. The mentioned photographer is not other than Dani Navarro, a tough woman who doesn’t fall for Cal’s charm at first sight. What started as a promising journey, becomes a run for their lives…

I said the same thing with the first book: the little facts and curiosities about the Cambodian history and mythology are the true treasure of the story. They are simple unexpected. They are introduced during the book with an easiness worthy of any good educational article meant for the general public. A small and entertaining history lesson is not something you expect in a Romance book of this kind, so it needs to be praised properly!!

The pace is non-stop action. I think more or less the first two books are similar in size, but this second one felt shorter. Not a single stop for breathing, between meeting the characters, the journey and the constant danger they have to endure. There is not a single dull moment or uneventful passage. But even though everything goes fast, there is enough time to get to know the main characters. Maybe not enough to make them special, but just the right amount of it to make the story work.

As I said before, the characters, Cal and Dani, are OK but nothing worth mentioning beyond that. Their dynamic is pretty classic: “I’m the over confident hunk who is going to be in your bed no matter what” opposite to the “I’m the strong woman who refuses your charm like for ten seconds before investing all in“. Even though is crazy fast, I have less issues believing this romance than the one in the previous book. Don’t ask me why. They somehow feel more real. And yet is not good enough to really enjoy the sex scenes. There are not many, but it is the only part of the book that I wished were shorter. It just took room from the good parts!! And having sex in the middle of an ancient temple can’t be healthy…

The book is pure enjoyment and I will keep reading this saga if this is what I’m going to get. Simple book, but very effective.

paragraph1

2019 – Book Gallery

Tight Quarters – Annabeth Albert

toght

starstarstar

Author: Annabeth Albert
Series: Out of Uniform #6

Pages: 336

contemporary_rommmsoldiersweak

Petty Officer Bacon, a navy SEAL and ace sharpshooter, has been on the front lines of more than his fair share of dangerous ops. Yet when a minor injury relegates him to the beta team, he’s tasked with what may be his riskiest assignment yet: the silver fox journalist he’s babysitting is the hottest, most charismatic man he’s ever encountered.

Award-winning journalist Spencer Bryant may have been named one of Pride magazine’s most eligible bachelors of the year, but he’s not looking to change his relationship status. He’s a consummate professional who won’t risk his ethics or impeccable reputation by getting involved with a source. Even a sexy-as-hell military man. But while Spencer can resist his physical attraction to Bacon, he has less control over his emotions—especially when the mission goes sideways and the two men are trapped alone.

Getting out of the jungle alive turns out to be easy compared to facing the truth about their feelings for one another back in the real world. And whether or not they can build a future is a different story altogether.

Little by little I’m getting to the end of this saga. I’m so proud of myself for being able to read all of them in a couple of years instead of twenty… At least, I hope to read the last one sooner rather than later. I also hope that the last one is better than the sixth book, which I can only describe as plain.

This is the book of Bacon and I don’t mean the food. It follows the adventures of the Petty Officer we met in other books as merely a cameo. He is a SEAL through and through. One that keeps his sexuality a secret to avoid complications with his team. The one destined for rocking his world is a journalist called Spencer, who has been given the chance of being embedded in Bacon’s team to write a story. Obviously, our ace sniper is the one who must protect the journalist at all times. I have your six gets a new meaning…

The story looked like a cool cauldron for a romance to bloom. I was expecting something feral in the middle of a terrosrist crisis, full of danger everywhere with heroic and sweet situations. Something like what we read in the book of Ben and Maddox (no-prize for rembering their names!!). And there was a little bit of that, but it ends too abruptly and leaves the reader eager for more. Too bad that there is not more. The rest of the story is just about Bacon coming out and a too much drama about how incompatible their lives are. It is not boring, but this saga has always delivered emotional impact and this book lacks sorely of it.

The drama that tries to spice things up is messy and the weird elephant in the room. Why does Bacen get so pissed with the book? If he is afraid of the Navy getting thrown to the mud, he should read-proof it to bring his own point of view instead of running away and behaving which such self-righteousness. Spencer’s way of dealing with the issue is not much better. The worst part: at the end they just put what devide them on hold and keep moving… not very convincing if you ask me… Of all the love stories of this saga, this one is by far the least enjoyable.

There is also not much to say about the characters. The only interesting point of Spencer was being embedded in a SEAL team for research, but that ends quickly. So we soon get stuck with a very uncharismatic character. Thankfully, the difference in age between both characters doesn’t take part in the story. I wasm’t in the mood for a repeat of the worst parts of the second book… And Bacon is also very plain. His main trait is his pansexuality, but that is not really important for the development of the book… so that detail felt a bit empty.

I’m trying to come up with something with soemthing else to say about it, but it’s not worthy of my effort. It is not a bad book, but I can’t point to anythhing extraordinaire, either. I just hope next one is better.

paragraph1

2019 – Book Gallery

 

Saving the Seal Baby Daddy – Katie Knight

seal

starstarstar

Author: Katie Knight
Pages: 251

contemporary_romsoldiersdetectivessingle_parentsecond_chancearcangry

When Maria Blanchard asked Navy Seal Trevor Daniels to father a child with her, no strings attached, Trevor had no idea just how explosive his chemistry would be with the fiery woman who had been a wallflower during their high school years. He vowed never to contact her again after the positive pregnancy test. A year later, when one of Trevor’s dark ops missions ends with the death of his captain and suspicions aimed at him, Maria’s the only investigator he knows who can help him crack the case.

Maria Blanchard had been raised to be a proper Southern Belle, an archetype so wrong for her she’d retreated into books during her high school years. When the police academy finally gave her the guts to be the strong woman she’d always desired, she realized she didn’t need anyone to achieve her dreams. Not to get her dream job, and certainly not to get her dream baby. Still, when her childhood crush agreed to father her baby, she hadn’t expected her heart to open along with her legs.

When Trevor shows up on Maria’s doorstep in need of her help, he calls in his favor. However, being wanted for a military crime means that Maria won’t just be helping Trevor, she’ll be harboring a fugitive, and the father of her child. Unable to say no, when her pride and her heart are screaming yes, Maria agrees to help Trevor one final time before they break ties.

But as their bond grows stronger and love ignites, it becomes a rush to save Trevor’s life before they lose out on a future they could only dream of.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Book covers in the romance genre are usually meant as a bait. I do not mind that at all, it’s just part of the game. I’m much more against weird titles that do not make any justice to the book. Saving the SEAL Baby Daddy screams all the worst things for the genre that I can imagine; but, actually, the book is much better than the nightmare going on on my head before starting the story.

In this book we meet Trevor, a young SEAL soldier who is being wrongly accused of his captain’s death. Luckily for him, he knows a great private investigator, Maria, and asks for her help so they can clear up his name. So far, nothing special. The twist is, Maria’s daughter is also Trevor’s daughter. The daughter he swore to stay away from…

Let’s begin with the part that has suprised me: the investigation to prove Trevor’s innocence. With that title, I was expecting that part to be almost like an afterthought. Something to mention now and then between bouts of sex. Thankfully, it has much more weight than that, which makes the book a lot more enjoyable. Is there romance? Of course. Are there sex scenes? You bet! Is all well balanced with good timing? YES! And that, sadly, is a rara avis in the “fast processed” kind of book.

Even though I liked the story, it didn’t satiate my hunger for it. The ending is nice (the good guys win, in case you were wondering…); but, during the investigation, several clues are dropped that suggerst the issue was much bigger than expected. That it must go pretty high in the food chain. They caught the small fish, solved Trevor’s problem and they moved on… I have the feeling the real bad guys are still at large. And that saddens me a little.

My biggest issue with this book are the characters. I will start with Maria. I only have this one book to judge her, but I can’t picture her in good light. She is a fraud. We are told she is the ultimate private investigator, but the only thing she does is calling friends to do the real work… Thankfully she doesn’t take all the credit, but I wouldn’t be surprised otherwise. I didn’t like her as a PI, but as a mom she is even worse. A single parent is like a superhero. No way around that. Most of them are single parents not by choice, so when Maria took the step to become one she did something really brave. But then, her stupidity took the best of her. Rising a daughter by your own means is a nice life goal, but you have to always think about the kid first. Writing a contract to ban the father and his family for ever seeing your daughter (when you have a good relationship with them) is one of the most selfish things I have ever read. Why do you do that to youself and, more importantly, to your own kid? Under any circuntansces you should have a kid on your own just to make a point no one really cares about…

And the fact that Trevor goes along with that doesn’t help to make me like him. We are told he is the sweetest, most honorable, most loyal, the most of the most guy on our planet. But somehow he doesn’t think twice about signning a contract to renounce of his daughter. That doesn’t scream honorable, precisely. The author tries to save the day telling us that Trevor stalked his daughter through social media, but that only makes things worse. Do you care or not? Make up your mind!!

All that situation is a plot mess and, if that part were the main focus, the book would have been very forgettable and with a much lower mark. That’s why we have always been told that we should not judge a book by its cover or, in this case, by its title.

paragraph1

2019 – Book Gallery

Rough and Ready – Cathleen Ross

rr

star

Author: Cathleen Ross
Series: Outlaw Warriors #2
Release day:  April 15th 2019
Pages: 400

eroticacontemporarybdsmsoldiersbodyguardarcgreat_coverbad_sexlovecliche

Before special ops soldier Hugo Boudreaux can move on, he has one last thing to do–fulfill a wartime debt to the friend who saved his life. He must infiltrate a vicious Louisiana MC club to stop their next illegal weapons shipment and send the president to jail. What he didn’t plan on was ending up an unwilling bodyguard to the man’s daughter–innocent and attractive nurse Alice Kaintuck.

Alice wants a normal life with a nice guy. But her rough-edged bodyguard is the sexiest man she’s ever met. Suddenly she can’t stop thinking about just how hot he makes her. Before she knows it, she’s tumbling into his muscular arms…though she’ll be damned if she’ll fall in love with a man as dangerous as her father. Only Hugo doesn’t make love, he consumes her and turns her life upside down with his carnal, erotic sex. Dreams of nice guys vanish when her enemy becomes her obsession…

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

When I requested an ARC of this book I had no idea it was the second one in the saga Outlaw Warriors. I hate reading a saga out of order, so I was about to give it back (even though I think it is not possible), but I changed my mind an embraced the weird philosophy of a saga of stand-alones so common in the Romance genre. Yes, this second book can be read without feeling you are missing something. It is also true that this one hasn’t made me the least curious about the first book.

In this book we follow Hugo, a soldier who has just come back from war and wants to pay his friend Troy the favour he owes. He needs to go undercover into a rival biker gang in order to stop the delivery of some weapons to fight Troy’s gang. In the bar of their foes Hugo meets Alice, the innocent daughter of the leader of the gang he has to infiltrate. She becomes the perfect ticket to join the group and his first mission is to protect her…

I was honestly very hopeful for this book after reading the blurb. It looked like it had all the ingredients for a fun story and the perfect drama to rock the relationship. Add to that the undercover mission and the rivalry amongst bikers and the action should be served to keep the reader engaged. Sadly, none of it happens. The story has a weak first step with Hugo’s and Troy’s plan to infiltrate the other gang. They didn’t expect Alice to be at the bar, but without her there wouldn’t have been any chance of getting Glass’ attention. They were lucky. Very lucky. It’s a bit weird, but I could accept that as their lucky day and move on. But after that, the main mission is almost forgotten and the bodyguard job is practically uneventful. What should have been a huge part of the book is put aside and resolved lazily.

It is my fault for expecting more about the story in a book that falls into the Erotica genre. I knew that the romance wasn’t a priority, but I needed some kind of getting to know each other before dropping all their clothes. Zero flirting. Zero banter. Zero chemistry. The main focus is sex and more sex. I could be OK with that, but the sex scenes are just plain horrible. Hugo likes to feed his dominant side and Alice is willing to indulge him (so far, so good). The issue is in the “game” they like to play, where she has to pretend to be taken by force. I know it is just theater, but I found pretty sick that Hugo’s sexual fantasy is raping a woman… It totally made me lose interest about the intimate scenes pretty quickly and made the whole thing unbearable.

The main characters are also a mess. We are sold that Alice is a strong and independent woman, but as soon as a hunky soldier enters her door the whole world becomes about him. I aso dislike very deeply her constant “Momma” and “Daddy”. She sounds like a little kid whining about something she is denied. It was really unnerving. But the top on the worst list is for Hugo. What kind of unbalanced person carries a bag full of weapons everywhere? I think the overall goal for this character behaviour was to grant him a dark aura, but the pieces do not match together and I would try very, very hard to avoid a person like him in real life. He is not OK and I’m sorry for Alice.

When you have an overly unbelievable romance, it is way harder to shallow the classic ending in the Romance novels (you know the one). Yes, I know I have voiced many times my unhappiness about that cliché; but in cases like this one it is even more painful. I do understand the need for feeding the readers a HEA ending and I can go along with that. My problem lies in the blunt supposition that a fast wedding is the same as happiness. Sometimes I would like to read a Romance book where the HEA is something different… Surprise me a little bit, you know?

I don’t want to end this review (rant?) without saying at least one positive thing about the book. The cover is very pretty. It catches the eye easily and it willl make many readers curious about the story behind. That’s me saying the guy is hot.

paragraph1

2019 – Book Gallery

Undiscovered – Anna Hackett

undiscovered

starstarstarstar

Author: Anna Hackett
Series: Treasure Hunter Security #1

Pages: 249

rom_suspenseadventuresoldiersfrenzyteachlove

Finding undiscovered treasures is always daring, dangerous, and deadly. Perfect for the men of Treasure Hunter Security. Former Navy SEAL Declan Ward is haunted by the demons of his past and throws everything he has into his security business–Treasure Hunter Security. Dangerous archeological digs – no problem. Daring expeditions – sure thing. Museum security for invaluable exhibits – easy. But on a simple dig in the Egyptian desert, he collides with a stubborn, smart archeologist, Dr. Layne Rush, and together they get swept into a deadly treasure hunt for a mythical lost oasis. When an evil from his past reappears, Declan vows to do anything to protect Layne.

Dr. Layne Rush is dedicated to building a successful career–a promise to the parents she lost far too young. But when her dig is plagued by strange accidents, targeted by a lethal black market antiquities ring, and artifacts are stolen, she is forced to turn to Treasure Hunter Security, and to the tough, sexy, and too-used-to-giving-orders Declan. Soon her organized dig morphs into a wild treasure hunt across the desert dunes. Danger is hunting them every step of the way, and Layne and Declan must find a way to work together…to not only find the treasure but to survive.

Anna Hackett has been on my radar for quite a long time, but there were always some other book that took precedence and her work was being constantly pushed to the lowest positions of my TBR list. One of the main reasons was that I thought her books were most of them about Sci-Fi Romance, a genre I don’t pick very often. But, not so long ago I discovered that she has a saga about treasure hunters. I read the blurb and I knew I had to get my hands on them. Yes, this book has been my particular “Undsicovered”.

This books tells the story of Dr. Layne Rush, an archeologist who is digging a new discovery in Egypt. Sadly, the dig site is hit by some mercenaries and several of the relics are stolen. The University she works for hires Treasure Hunter Security to take care of the security (the company name says it all). It’s a company formed mostly by former soldiers (young, tall, muscular… you know, the whole romance package) and the owner, Declan, is the one that takes charge of the security of Layne’s work. She is not happy at first, but some flirting and life or death situations make her a believer…

I love the book as a whole. It’s more or less what the author promises and then some: lots of action and fun exchanges. There is always something hapenning in the book, which is its main strength to keep the reader entertained. When I saw the length of the book, I was afraid that the action and adventure parts would be shortened to leave more room for the romance; but it’s actually the opposite. There are hand-to-hand fights, pursuits through the desert, riddle solving and treasure hunting in general. No rest means more fun.

But it’s not just mindless action and eye candiness galore. My greatest surprise with this book were the several facts the author teaches us about Zerzura and Egyptian mythology in general. I was an utter newbie in the lost oasis legend and this book has made me check the Internet to read more about Zerzura and the expeditions to find it. A book that makes me learn something will always be a special book on my shelf. I wasn’t expecting it at all (it didn’t look like the book to enhance my Trivial Pursuits skills), so that has been a huge help to make me enjoy the story. Don’t get me wrong, without the beginner class about Zerzura, the book would still have been a really fun ride.

The characters are nothing out of the ordinary, but they fulfill their roles quite nicely, even though there are certains details that felt more unnatural than others. Layne is presented to us as a very independent woman who takes no bullshit and is capable of defending herself at any moment. At least that must be true when Declan is not around. When the former soldier is on the scene, Layne is usually reduced to a damsel in distress, so the leader of Treasure Hunter Security can polish more often his White Knight armor. I would never hate on that too strongly, otherwise I would never read Romance books, but it is something that has always rub me the wrong way. They are fun together, so I can easily forgive that misstep.

The romance itself is the weakest link of the story. At first is being brewed very slowly, as I like it. But when Hell is broken loose, the relationship speeds up so drastically that I felt dizzy. We go from a passionate kiss to “I love you” in barely a couple of chapters. I’m having a hard time to believe they have developed such strong feelings in such a short time. They barely know each other!! I know that under duress stuff is intensified, but it was too much too soon. And don’t make me start about the places they pick to keep themelves warm in a very intimate way (or to have sex, if you are not feeling poetic today). Naked time in those waters doesn’t seem a wise decision. You never know what kind of leeches or bacteria could be on those undiscovered places… I guess I’m not the adventurous type…

Very happy for having decided to start this saga. If this is what I’m going to get with the rest of it, I’m going to be a very pleased reader this year!

paragraph1

2019 – Book Gallery

Squared Away – Annabeth Albert

squared

starstarstarstarstar

Author: Annabeth Albert
Series: Out of Uniform #5

Pages: 320

contemporary_rommmsoldierstearshotgold_star

In the wake of tragedy, SEAL Mark Whitley rushed stateside to act as guardian to his sister’s three young children. But a conflicting will could give custody to someone else—someone Mark remembers as a too young, too hot, wild party boy. Even after six years, Mark can’t shake the memory of his close encounter with Isaiah James, or face up to what it says about his own sexuality.

Isaiah’s totally over the crush that made him proposition Mark all those years ago. In fact, he’s done with crushing on the wrong men altogether. For now, he’s throwing himself into proving he’s the best person to care for his cousin’s kids. But there’s no denying there’s something sexy about a big, tough military man with a baby in his arms.

As the legal details get sorted out, their long-buried attraction resurfaces, leading to intimate evenings after the kids are tucked in. A forever future is within reach for all of them, if only Mark can find the courage he needs to trust Isaiah with his secrets—and his heart.

The previous book of the Out of Uniform saga left me cold and with an uneasy feeling. I was actaully scared that the series was going down a path of mediocrity pretty fast. But, I’m always glad to be wrong. The fifth book is awesome. It’s up there with the first one or the third one. A true pleasure for a reader like me.

This time the story focuses on Mark, a.k.a. Wizard, a medic SEAL who is too used to take charge in every crisis. He is about to face the biggest crisis yet: the death of his sister and brother-in-law leaving behind three little kids… He rushes home to take care of them, but he finds Isaiah, another uncle of the kids, managing everything just fine (as fine as it can be in that situation…). They already knew each other, but the relationship is pretty strained. They have to get passed their differences to put their best faces for the kids and that’s the first step of their unlikely romance…

This is maybe the hardest story so far in the saga. It’s so unfair to see the life of those kids rattle so badly and yet getting used to their new reality so fast and stoically. Reading how Isaiah and Mark jump to claim the guardianship of the kids even though they had almost zero experience with them, when it would have been easier for them to let them be processed by the system, was an emotionally rewarding experience. It was really heart-warming and an example to follow. I would lie if I’d say I didn’t cry more than once (I kind of love crying with books. That means they have something especial). I was even a bit angry with the behaviour of the legal system and the social workers that were so worry about the well-being of the kids that, in order to protect them, their well-being and happiness were actually the first things to be in jeopardy. I have no idea how that works in Spain, so even more clueless about that in the United States, but what I read in this book… It’s crazy that the uncles were constantly questioned about their intentions when it was pretty obvious they cared for the kids.

If that drama wasn’t enough, there are obviously romantic issues to add to the mix. As in previous books, those are mainly fear to be open about the sexuality of one or more of the characters. In this case, the one having doubts was Mark. When the book gets its hands dirty explaining Mark’s sexualty I wasn’t down for it. Too much terms being thrown at the reader in a short amount of time: pansexual, demisexual, asexual, gray ace… I couldn’t follow the author. I even had to stop reading to look for the meaning of gray ace, only to discover that it was explained in the book. But, as if a mage herself, the unintended misdirection of the juggling of terms made me miss the proper explanation for the proper term… Once the first impression is passed, I’m glad Annabeth took that path in the book. Mark’s sexuality grants the hard cuddling scenes a level of eroticism I haven’t found in a book in a really long time. I tend to consider sex the boring, or the least interesting, part in a romance book, but in this case it adds so much to the story.

The characters were also a surprised. I barely remembered Wizard from other books and Isaiah was just a cameo in the Ben’s and Maddox’s book, so I wasn’s expecting to like them so much so fast. I love everything about them when they are apart and together, except the luck of trust on each other during the first weeks. If they would have talked, really talk, about the guardianship of the kids, they would have spared themselves of pretty hurtful situations. Although, in that case, I think the book would have been less enjoyable. Am I a bad person for wishing hard times for characters I love? Sometimes it’s hard to balance morals and reading passions.

In any other book I would have hated the classic end of a Romance book, but this time I will have to admit that is perfect. Yes, rushed; but utterly logic. It needed to be done for the sake of the kids and I have zero doubts in my mids that those kids are even happier now than with their real parents. How the system could doubt that is beyond my comprehension… I hope we know more about this couple in future books. I would love to check on them to see if everything is going fine.

I started this saga about a year ago and I do not regret one single momento of it, even though there have been some down times. I will always trust this author to deliver awesome stories and characters. I should start looking at her other works more seriously now. I’m almost at the end of the Out of Uniform series (just two more if the author doesn’t publish any more).

paragraph1

2019 – Book Gallery