Book Stop – ARC Review – Cowboy in Wolf’s Clothing (Seven Range Shifters #2) by Kait Ballenger

Cowboy in Wolf’s Clothing by Kait Ballenger

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Publsihed: June 25, 2019

Series: Seven Range Shifters #2

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Fantasy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

  • I received an ARC of this via NetGalley and the publisher Sourcebooks Casablanca in exchange for an honest review.*

    3.5 Stars rounded up. Full Disclosure I have not read book 1 in this series but I felt like this book held its own pretty dang well. There are hints and its pretty obvious which characters book 1 is about, and honestly any info that was revealed about book one and its plot acted more like a teaser to me, really ramping up my interest enough for me to go search out book 1. That being said book 2 was more than satisfying. The world here is simple enough and bits and pieces of information are thrown in to give enough world building that I never felt lost despite not having the full world build from missing book 1. I would say the only downside of not having read the first in the series before this was when certain characters made their entrance there was almost a sigh of relief from the book, like some imaginary audience in the background had just been waiting for them to show up and I felt like I should love these characters but I didn’t know why lol.

    Cowboy Shifters am I right?! Its like the best of the Western Romance genre combined with the best of the Paranormal romance genre! I would say that you can’t go wrong with this combo… but I’ve seen it happen before. Lucky for me this author does it all kinds of right! We have our Cowboy, MMC Colt, with a secret/mysterious past leading his pack but terrified of loosing it, and our Rogue shifter FMC, Belle, with a tortured loner past searching for a home and pack of her own. In this story Shifters are fighting against Vampires (the yucky evil kind not the sparkly kind.) Vampires have found some sort of scientific serum that will allow them to enslave the wolves they think, but in order to make the serum work they need a pure blood wolf shifter. I will say that the downside of this story line is that the author never really went into details about the Vampires plans and this aspect of the story was secondary to the romance plot line. I feel almost like this was done on purpose as the story continues and maybe these reveals will come later in the series? I would definitely have liked a breakdown though.

    Colt stumbles across Belle during a vampire battle. Belle is on the run after being captured, she is linked with a rogue shifter gang as their Medic. Yes she is a doctor, yes she chose to heal them because she couldn’t in good conscience not perform her duties as said doctor… but that doesn’t make her evil like them.. does it? Colt believes it does, but he is hiding his own past that comes so close to Belle’s its uncanny. Colt’s biggest fear though is loosing his pack due to his past, Belle’s biggest fear is never being accepted by a pack due to her past. These two take the reader on journey about letting fears go, acceptance, and love to last a lifetime.

    I like how there isn’t any “destined mate” going on here. Though I like that also, it was refreshing to just see people opening up old wounds and really growing close to each other without all the insta mate stuff happening. I’m thoroughly intrigued by where this series is headed and I’m already “The Rogue’s” biggest fan even though we only got like 3 paragraphs about him.. I’m feeling him and Maeve but I’ll have to read further to see if my fantasies come to light! Enjoyable straight forward romantic read!

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Book Stop – ARC Review – Kingdom of Exiles by Maxym M. Martineau

Kingdom of Exiles by Maxym M. Martineau

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Published: June 25, 2019

Series: The Beast Charmer #1

Genre: NA, Fantasy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I requested and received a copy of this via NetGalley and the publisher SourceBooks Casablanca in exchange for an honest review

4-4.5 Stars! What a fantastic ride. This whole concept was right up my ally. Beast charmers, Shadow Assassins, and forbidden romance all twisted up with intrigue and maybe even a little prophecy, all these things were bound to suck me up and they of course did just that. I kept getting so many video game vibes from it. Being a gamer, especially in my younger days, I played so many games where beast tamers, and charmers were actual roles that could be played and so I had such a sense of nostalgia with this book. Even some of the newer games I’ve played like “Monster Hunter World” had some really intense similarities. I love loved this concept! Really the possibilities are endless here when it comes to the different creatures and what they can do. It would take an incredibly vast imagination to tackle something like this. It was very unique and enjoyable read.

FMC, Leena, is a beast charmer, a person who can use their very nature to sooth and tame certain beasts and collect them. Yes this was Pokemon ~esk but really they aren’t going out taming beasts in order to battle them and become the best in the world… Leena tames beasts to give them a good home in the beast world, to love them, and to keep them from those that would misuse them. After being cast out of her homeland after some shadiness and backstabbing, Lenna is living a life in exile dreaming of the home she has lost and spending all of her time trying to get back home. Unfortunately for Leena, the past she has left behind is still hunting her, and now has recruited an immortal assassins guild to do the dirty work. These assassins complete their task or forfeit their own lives in the process. Leena with the help of her beasts thwart the first assassin, and strike a deal with the leader of the guild, NOC. 4 Beasts in exchange for her freedom… Noc and his most trusted 3 guild members journey with her to collect the beasts all the while Noc plots to betray her in the end. That is until Noc starts to fall for her… but Noc has his own curse. One that literally kills everyone who loves him so for Leena to ever have any feelings for him Noc must pay a price. One he had decided already he wouldn’t pay. All the while Leeena’s enemies from home are plotting and planning..

I think, for me, the only thing that was missing was the world building and backstory. There is enough here to picture the scenes so that’s not the issue. But there was not enough for a real understanding of the world itself and how we have gotten where we are. There are vague mentions of a backstory that may or may not really influence the future so I’m thinking that the author may have left this vague so as to go into it later. I would have really liked a little better understanding of what was happening in the world tho. It would have explained why the people in it were making the decisions that they were making. I just didn’t understand really why the antagonists were after Leena.. what was going on in the world that they thought they needed to destroy her to save themselves? I understand not wanting the truth to get out but there was something else going on that we really just didn’t get into enough for me personally.

All in all this was a phenomenal concept that I hope I get to visit a lot in the upcoming years. Super great time!
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