Title: A Gentle Kind of Strength Series: N/A Author: Kendall Mckenna Genre: Contemporary Length: 186 pages
Publisher: MLR Press (November 5, 2015) Heat Level: Moderate Blurb: A police K9 handler believes he’s lucky when a romance starts with the local veterinarian, but then his canine partner is injured in the line of duty.
Sergeant Ray Lerner is a veteran sheriff’s department K9 handler. Damien Federov is the veterinarian caring for Harley, Ray’s canine partner. When taking a man as a lover, Ray’s always been confident. Around Damien, Ray becomes uncharacteristically shy and tongue-tied. When Damien begins their romance, Ray knows he’s lucky.
His obsession with a past tragedy blinds Ray to everything he has with Damien. When Harley is injured on duty, his life is in Damien’s hands. As Ray sits vigil, he has one final chance to allow Damien in all the way, or risk losing everything important, in a single night.
As always, I am grateful and honored to get my greedy little hands on a Kendall McKenna read. A Gentle Kind of Strength hit all my awww buttons. I don’t know if it’s because of the years that I spent in corrections. Or seeing the K-9 officers in my ER, but I loved Ray and Harley.
For me this was more than a romance, it was the making of a family.
The relationship’s slow burn was refreshing. I love that the shy guy finally got his man.
But, that ending. OMG. I swear my heart stopped beating for a few beats.
Shorty’s Review: ♥♥♥♥ 3.5 Hearts
I’ve heard a lot of great things about Kendall Mckenna’s books. So was excited when I was given this book to read and review. But I have to tell you I could not see what all the hype was about myself.
Yes it’s a well written story about veterinarian Damien and Ray a K-9 handler. What I could not understand was all the details about the dog Harley and the lack of details about the main character Damien. Did I misunderstand the blurb?
This is a very slow and I mean slow romance and I use that term lightly as I would have given up. I felt that Ray that let the past rule his life instead of seeing what was right in front of him. This story takes place over a long span of time so I got to the point where I wanted to slap them both. Ray, to snap him out of the past and Damien to make him let go and move on to someone who actually sees him.
The sex scenes were hot and passionate. But I truly wish there had been more about Damien and Ray rather than the dog. This story just did not interest me after I started reading and got halfway through.
I’m sorry but I did not care for it myself.
* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *
Author: Jambrea Jo Jones, Kendal McKenna, and Cherie Noel
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal and shifter
Length: Novel (279 Pages)
Publisher: MLR Press LLC, January 23rd, 2014
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥4.5 Hearts
Blurb:Welcome to the Big Bone Lick Pack: A more friendly and hospitable group of werewolves you’ll never meet! Visit with; ‘Devil Dog & Bad Wolf’, a ‘Big Bad Bear’ and enjoy some ‘Shifty Fox Shenanigans’. Watch yourself, ’round the state park, ’cause we had a grizzly on the loose, just a bit ago. Our brave men and woman of the Boone County Sheriff’s Department have everything under control. (Except maybe their own love lives!) But if find yourself needing a doctor, head on down to Rabbit Hash clinic, or St. Elizabeth’s Hospital is just up the road a piece. We hope you enjoy your stay.
Review: Altogether, this anthology is one of the best I have come across. It shows the way true love should be, the way everyone dreams about. It has wonderful characters that you cheer on, their world you want to dwell in, a place to call home. This has three wonderful stories, which involves wolves, bears, and foxes. Six very sexy men all looking for the same thing love. I hope you enjoy them. Here is more about each one and their own review.
Devil Dogs and Bad Wolf ♥♥♥♥♥ 4.5 Hearts
I always love marines and when you throw in one hell of a werewolf, you have a great read.
When trying to prove that werewolves do not exist, it ends up having Seth camping in Kentucky. A marine a bit terrified a funny sight of wild animals. It was fun to hear about. What was unexpected though was one very big grizzly bear. A very pissed off bear attacks for no reason, ends up with a fight between the bear and a wolf. A wolf who is in fact a werewolf. One very sexy werewolf named Asa.
Seth was on leave from the Marine’s trying to decide if he wants to stay in or get out. He loved the Marines but he wondered what he truly wanted to do. So camping to prove his brother wrong was one way to get out of the house and just think. He is sexy as hell, funny, compassionate, and down to home guy. He never really thought about having a boyfriend or anything more than what he would do with his life. However coming across Asa and being injured has left him confused and horny as hell.
Asa on the other hand is a werewolf who didn’t believe in true life mates till he came across Seth. Trying to keep Seth alive and his feelings at bay were two of the hardest things to do, but first he had to get his mate to feel the same thing. Asa is a powerful and kind alpha of his pack. He is loved by all and is one hell of a good alpha. Now he just had to come to terms that mates really do exist. And he had one hell of a sexy mate to love.
I loved how both characters got along from the start, how they always looked for the other one and wanted them with them. The sex between them is gentle, caring and loving, well till Seth heals because there is just a hint of what is to come. It is full of passion and love. I would recommend this to anyone who loved to hear about a military man and a werewolf, two very hot and sexy men, great sex and all together fantastic life ahead of them. I really do hope that there are more of these types of story from Kendall because I will definitely be buying more of her stories.
The Big Bad Bear ♥♥♥♥♥4 Hearts
Well now, this book tops all books for being funny. The big bad grizzly turns out to be Dov and he had a really good reason for attacking Seth. Not really, a good reason but a reason nonetheless.
Dov had started out on a bike when he crashed into the woods. After suffering a massive head injury, he is stuck in his grizzly bear form. Confused, thinking like a bear his thoughts made him think that Seth was invading his home. After realizing that Seth and the wolf were not intending harm but the wolf keeping Seth safe, he runs off. Confused and stuck in bear form has him running quite awhile before taking refuge at the bank of the river.
Kane, beta to Asa is sent to look for the bear and to figure out what has happened. What he comes across though is his mate. A mate that has no real idea what is going on and stuck in his animal form. Knowing the dangers that could happen if he doesn’t get Dov to shift back to human form, he pushes Dov. Thankfully, it worked, but now he has a very big mate who definitely wants to mate him. Funny as hell is what it is. Both powerful in their own way they have a lot of things to overcome.
I loved this book but I needed more to this one. I did laugh at some good parts of it. I wish it had been longer though, because I want to see Asa’s reaction when Kane brings Dov to meet his alpha. I want to know how they all react to each other and I want to know more about Dov’s motorcycle accident. Was it an accident or was it more….I would recommend this book to anyone who loves two very sexy men who can’t keep their hands off of each other, bear shifters and werewolves, and great sex.
Shifty Fox Shenanigans ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts
Simon is in for a surprise of his life in more way then one. He was the nurse who had taken care of Seth when he was hurt by the Grizzly Bear who turned out to be Dov. He is a funny character what with his crazy attitude, clumsy ways and just completely loveable. You can’t help but fall in love with him. It turns out he is a very cute fox shifter. He just didn’t know it.
Josiah is the head shrink that works for the hospital and is also an omega wolf. The low man on the pole so to speak. When Simon falls into his lap, literally by accident he finds his mate. Now all he has to do is get the courage up to ask him out. He had been gone quite awhile from the pack so things were a bit different then they had been in the beginning. For one Asa was now alpha and he was mated now.
This story had me laughing my ass off throughout the story. I would definitely be recommending this story to anyone who loves sexy characters and a multitude of different shape shifters. Now in my reviews I stated I wish there was more to it…Well there is a surprise at the end just for you. It takes the stories and combines them in the end. It is an amazing anthology one that I hope I will read more than once. I also will be checking Kendall, Jambrea and Cherie’s book for future reads. Their gifts of storytelling give you a wonderful world to lose yourself into when times get tough. I hope you enjoy this great story.
Hey everyone, we have three great authors visiting us today… er two, Kendall McKenna’s been laid low by an evil flu bug but she sends her love. So lets see how Big Bone Lick Pack came to be and how Jambrea, Cherie and Kendall brainstormed this versatile pack…. oh and click on the Rafflecopter link to win a Big Bone Lick Pack T-shirt. 😉 Oh and a huge shout out to Madison Parker who snuck some pic’s of the crew from MLR Press at GLR ~Pixie~
Welcome to the Big Bone Lick Pack: A more friendly and hospitable group of werewolves you’ll never meet! Visit with; ‘Devil Dog & Bad Wolf’, a ‘Big Bad Bear’ and enjoy some ‘Shifty Fox Shenanigans’. Watch yourself, ’round the state park, ’cause we had a grizzly on the loose, just a bit ago. Our brave men and woman of the Boone County Sheriff’s Department have everything under control. (Except maybe their own love lives!) But if you find yourself needing a doctor, head on down to Rabbit Hash clinic, or St. Elizabeth’s Hospital is just up the road a piece. We hope you enjoy your stay.
Jambrea: We’ve talked about the fun multi colored google doc. I think we’ve even talked about the back and forth on Facebook, but—there was more! What could it possibly be you might ask? Well… Picture this. It’s Oct. and GRL (Gayromlit) time. Guess who is going to be there? ALL THREE of us.
Those of you who have not been might not understand how hard it is to carve out time to just sit and talk. You’re on the go all the time and this year I had a couple author things scheduled that freaked me out because I’ve never done anything like it before. I mean… I did a reading. Of my story. In front of PEOPLE! Lol
We texted back and forth a couple times and finally got together on the last day. I was standing in the lobby looking for Cherie and Kendall. I couldn’t find them for the longest time until I spotted Kendall sitting down at a table. At this point I had maybe a paragraph done of my story. Um—it was due Nov. 15th. Yes, I was cutting it close, but everyone by now should know that none of us turned the story in on time. Lol I was a couple days late.
So finally, GRL is winding down. People are leaving and I’ve got Kendall sitting with me. Cherie—I think she was outside. Or upstairs. I don’t know. She didn’t answer my text. Lol Kendall and I started to talk a bit about our characters. I mean—one of mine was going to attack hers. The talk was too short, but Cherie did join us after a bit. I had my notebook where I’d written a page at the airport going to GRL and I wrote a few notes. I need to know about Park Rangers and how they would be added. A bit about the sheriff’s office because Kane was going to work for Asa.
It wasn’t until after we got home, maybe a week or so later when Kendall sent us the first bit of her story. And I needed that because my story was going to jump off from her story and we share a scene. We did some more back and forth, but it was fun to sit down with the two people you are writing with and hash a few things out. It was one of the highlights of the project. Well—that and Kris’ reminder that we only had 3 weeks left to write the thing. I’m pretty sure that came up a bunch at GRL.
Cherie: GRL is definitely madness, mayhem, and delightful foolishness. So yes indeed it is extremely difficult to carve out time to see everyone. I had only seen Kendall a little bit over the four days we’d been there, and Jambrea a touch more. Mama Kris was absolutely breathing down our necks to get ourselves all in one spot and hash out details. Kendall and Jambrea were calmly sitting in the lobby, sipping their coffees and discussing the starting points of their respective stories. And me? I was AWOL.
Here’s a secret most don’t know about me. As much as I LOVE going to GRL, as much as I LOVE seeing everyone face to face, the big events with tons of folk around scare the pants off me. I know it doesn’t look like that on the surface, because my go-to defense mechanism is to morph into a social butterfly. Which works okay to keep me from having panic attacks, but plays merry hell on trying to get actual work done.
While Jambrea and Kendall were getting down to brass tacks and moving fictional mountains out of the way, I was outside on the smoking patio, trying to hold onto my cool. Thank goodness those two were so rock steady. In the two or three fly by sneak planning attacks I managed in the time they were sitting together in the lobby, Jambie and Kendall gave me all the information I needed to get my story rolling. I say again, I could not have done it without them. And next time we’re all in one place (GRL2014?) I’m hoping to schedule a dinner or lunch out with just the two of them and Mama Kris. Because the only way I’ll manage to get there and sit there and actually stay in one place for more than two minutes is if they take me away from all the whoopla and nail my flitterty-gibbet wings to the chair I’m sitting in.
Even so, with me doing the fly-by method of contact, just being able to see their facial expressions, hear the tone of their voices as we discussed details… well, it made all the difference for me. I left Atlanta with a firm grounding in the essence of the world we were building—not to say I didn’t stray from the clearly marked paths and have to be reined in by Kris, Jambie, and Kendall at differing times—but I recognized the paths when the three of them had to spin me around and point me ever so gently back in the right direction. I agree with Jambrea that you really can’t beat having some face time to get that extra level of comfort and trust built. It makes the project easier to accomplish.
My husband and I are not religious people. His family is close by, but very large. Mine is several hours away. His children are grown, and I never wanted to have any. My kids are my four dogs. My special boy is my five pound Yorkie, Winston. There is also an eight pound Chihuahua named Gigi. My Grande Dame is a 65 lb lab mix named Shelby. The ‘baby’ is 85 lb. Shepherd/Great Dane mix, Riley. I try not to be one of those pet parents, but occasionally, it’s fun to put a pair of reindeer antlers on their heads and take pictures! Since Hubby has grown children, he now has grandchildren. He has A LOT of grandchildren! We learned quickly that it’s impossible to have Christmas dinner with each part of his family who hosts a meal. At the same time, Hubby took a job in a 24 hour facility. His particular shift is daytime, with weekends and holidays off. He looked around and realized that parents of young children, or with ailing parents, were working on the holidays. We saw no reason why he shouldn’t volunteer to work on these days.
As a writer, I can adjust my schedule to match his, so we can make our own days to celebrate. These days, Hubby works 16-hour days on Christmas and New Year’s Day. This allows two of his coworkers, with very young children or with ailing parents, to have a holiday off. In turn, we select a day on which we visit all of his grandchildren to deliver their gifts. Afterward, he and I go out to a nice dinner, and then we see whichever holiday blockbuster movie is playing that year. This year, we’ll be seeing The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (of course). And occasionally, I humiliate my dogs by making them play dress up. But, they love me anyway.
Blurb: Major Tim Madison has his hands full. A young Alpha werewolf has stormed into his personal life, while Tim struggles to keep military werewolves from safe on the front lines.
After a fiery exit from Afghanistan, Tim Madison is promoted to major. Jeremy Wagner is a civilian, just beginning his Transition to True Alpha. As a lone wolf, he has no one to teach him the vital principles of strong leadership. After a volatile chance encounter, Tim and Jeremy form an intimate bond. As Jeremy prepares to someday lead his own pack, Tim struggles with military werewolves being needlessly maimed in combat, as well as specifically targeted by hostile forces. Despite Tim and Jeremy’s feelings, werewolf and human politics or family conflict could prevent their mate-bond.
Review: This book is part of a series best read in order.
Early this year we were introduced to The Tameness of the Wolf Series written by McKenna, and all of us who read it were ecstatic with the first book. There we met LT Young and Sgt Hammond, and their epic story took us into a wild ride suffused with all kind of action, be it military or romantic. Among the many characters that were deeply involved in the first book, Tim Madison caused great curiosity and admiration of the readers. A Captain back then, Tim gets a promotion to Major in this book, which follows his life and his struggles. However, a word of advice for new readers, Noah and Lucas follow along with Tim, they are a strong part of this book as well, and you might want to pick up book #1 first to get properly mind-blown and second to get a good idea on this world’s mechanics and rituals.
Now, what a freaking awesome story yet again!
See, I just had to exclaim and shout it our loud (literally as well as in writing) because damn it, McKenna does it again. I admit that the first book was of a faster pace, the angst and tension were higher there due to the fact that the story was happening in the middle of a freaking battlefield in addition to the True Alpha/Dominant epic relationship that Lucas was making a big issue of not falling for, for most of the story.
Here we have our team, Major Madison, Captain Young, and SSgt Hammond (yes, yes the promotion is a big deal) back in US trying to re-write the lost knowledge of were-soldiers, making things easier for them to follow pack rules, and protecting them from unnecessary harm. The night our guys and their friend celebrate their promotions, a funny thing happens. A kid challenges Noah right outside of their restaurant. The ludicrous idea, the unbelievable scene, and the intensity that follows after is amazing.
Meet Jeremy, a civilian werewolf going through Transition of True Alpha. Status: Lone Wolf, Cast Out from his former pack due to Pack’s Leader’s fear of Challenge. Basically, we have a young man who at one point is insecure and mild-mannered, and the next he goes bat-shit crazy.
Now put this petulant brat in the presence of Major Tim… Add in their hormones, lust, and pure hotness, and take a wild guess of what you get.
Oh. My. God! It was fantastic I tell you. This is what I like about Kendall’s werewolves and mate-pairs, when it hits them they don’t instantly know. They don’t go all crazy, “oh, I’m mated. It’s fate,” and all that crap. Kendall’s wolves and their mates seriously work their relationship hard to reach at any point of true intimacy and knowledge of their mate. It’s a work in progress and not instant brainwashing that makes these pairs so freaking unique.
And oh, my God (again), the sexual scenes are plain hot, freaking steamy, unbearable porn! Of the kind that makes you pant and want to do something about it before you seriously burst a vain in your damned brain. If you thought book #1 was good, you have no freaking idea what the chemistry between Tim and Jeremy is like. It’s Fever! It’s the damned Sahara! Your mouth with go completely dry while your body won’t know what the Hell hit it. God! Kendall’s choices of scenes are evil beyond imagination. And to top it all, they are un-relentless as they keep going for a substantial amount of time of text space or length, whatever you want to call it. Yeah ok, I am partial to Noah and Lucas, but this pair rises right there up with them when it comes to hot were/human sex. Where is that fan I bought just for this book again?
Back to the story, I will not go ahead and give out spoilers, at least no more than I’ve already have. This story however is a mixture of romance, military fights – as our officer to go back and forth in Iraq to supervise how their suggestions are working- and civilian human as well as werewolf things. We get a closer look to Tim’s family. We get a closer look to hidden family secrets that cause so emotional drama. We meet Adam, Tim’s brother, (is there a story coming out from him? I sure hope so). We also see Jeremy’s change from that petulant kid, to a full-blown Alpha under Noah’s (surprise!) supervision. All right, Tim helps too what with his Marine mentality bleeding into Jeremy’s core. We get to see Lone Wolves runs and mostly we get to see a pretty cool Challenge. Now if I’m gonna be totally honest I would’ve loved it if the Challenge were a bit harsher on those freaks, but never mind me, I’m always pro blood when it comes deep down to it.
So wrapping this up, I don’t need to recommend this book at all to the fans of the series. They must have already gotten a copy and dived right in, feeling ecstatic and overjoyed, even as anticipation for the next one already has made its presence. If however you’re new to the series, don’t know them, are a fan of military/werewolves then don’t wait, go grab it, grab the previous one as well, and make it a marathon out of it. Not to be missed!
Blurb: Staff Sergeant Corey Yarwood is an instructor at the Basic Reconnaissance Course. His last deployment ended in horror, but he can’t remember those events. Battling severe PTSD, Corey’s drinking is growing out of control.
Sean Chandler walks into a dive bar, and into Corey’s life. An actor and a musician, Sean has the empathy and compassion to sooth Corey’s pain, and the strength to support him as he struggles to heal.
Corey’s lost memories are pivotal to a civilian murder, and a military investigation. Remembering could mean salvation, or destruction. Will the truth be too much for Sean to handle?
Review: It takes every ounce of Marine discipline for Corey Yarwood to make it through a day. And the only sleep he gets is found at the bottom of a bottle of Jack Daniels. Living with PTSD is bad enough, but not remembering is even worse. Not to mention that one of his old unit brothers wants to pull Corey into his drama. Now is so not the time to fall in love. Good thing Sean didn’t get that memo.
*squee* I have waited 15 months to find out whatever happened to Yarwood. And man was it worth the wait. Now, don’t get me wrong I LOVED Jonah and Kellan in Brothers at Arms, but there was just something about Corey that spoke to me. He was just this dumb kid, but my mama heart just wanted him to be safe and happy. Watching Kendall break in him down and then allowing Sean to help him put the pieces back together kept me glued to my Kindle for two days. I LOVED THIS STORY!!!
The Final Line is by far, my favorite book of the year. It plays like an action adventure movie. And just like Brothers in Arms, the romance takes a backseat to a very well plotted mystery. The men react like men and the steamy stuff is thrown in all the right places. The medical details of Corey’s struggle with PTSD are spot on, as were Sean’s reactions. The secondary players were great, and I must admit, I wished Kendall wrote Het fiction so she could tell another couple of brothers’ tales. Bottom line, The Final Line had it all, romance, action, suspense and authenticity. I highly recommend this title.
And just in case you are one those readers that jumps right to chapter one, I thought I’d include the important parts of The Final Line’s dedication page. 😉
First and foremost, for Portia de Moncur, who wrote the first
ever review ofBrothers In Arms. She also holds the dubious honor
of being the first to demand Corey Yarwood be given his own
story. Her encouragement is why Jonah, Kellan and Corey live in
(Kendall, I’ll be looking for my autographed print copy in the mail. I am beyond honored that you listen to the pleadings of little ole me. ;-))
Blurb:Hired to investigate the denial of a Marine the Medal of Honor, Kellan Reynolds and Jonah Carver try to untangle a web of lies, deceit, and heroism.
Two years after the events of Brothers In Arms, Kellan Reynolds and First Sergeant Jonah Carver are struggling with their bi-coastal relationship. Following the events in Iraq, Kellan’s expertise in national security is well established and he is hired to investigate the suspicious repeated denial of a KIA Marine the Medal of Honor.
Kellan brings Jonah onto his staff and into his home, but just as their relationship settles into a routine, their investigation heats up. What begins at the Pentagon, leads to Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan, and an ambush that threatens to destroy everything they’ve built.
Review:This story is part of a series and is best enjoyed in order. Kellan and Jonah are reuniting after six months apart. Their long distance relationship might be a struggle, but they both think it is well worth it. Together they are to speak at UCLA on Military Infrastructure and Corruption, but they are asked a question that lingers in Kellan’s mind and leads to an investigation into the repeated denial of the Medal of Honor to a heroic Marine who was KIA.
Sometimes you come across a book that rips you out of reality and dumps you into a setting that makes you feel like you are living the experience yourself, and this is one of those books. Kendall McKenna doesn’t just give us a story, she gives us an experience. She digs into your imagination and has you sitting in a war zone reacting to bullets as they whizz past and diving as grenades explode, and has you praying that the cas-evac helicopter will make it in time. The investigation is based on a legitimate question, why are medals few and far between in the current conflict? Ms McKenna uses her military knowledge and her own imagination to give us answers and she does it with panache, and she adds in the love of two great men as they weave through their own relationship constricts.
Jonah and Kellan still have to hide their relationship. DADT hasn’t been repealed yet and although they know it is just around the corner they still have to be careful. When Kellan is asked to set up a committee to investigate why a Marine has been repeatedly denied the MoH he brings Jonah on board. It leads them to an unpleasant discovery and the journey places them in danger, when the convoy they are with is ambushed. This story starts with the reuniting of lovers and heat, longing, love and hot sex, it continues on giving us a mystery that needs to be uncovered and gives us a story that is a must read.
I will recommend this to those who love military men, delving into potential political corruption, finding the truth, two men who love each other, hot sex and a great ending, this is a story not to be missed.
Blurb: Love and hate. Good and evil. Life and death. The universe requires balance, whatever the cost. An ancient vampire rises, time after time, threatening the survival of the human race. An ancient warrior is reborn, again and again, with the singular purpose of halting the vampire’s bloody rampage. With each encounter throughout time, their passions burn and their emotions deepen. The vampire shares his body and the warrior shares his blood. When they are no longer able to cause one another harm, the lovers hesitate to fulfill their destinies. Will the ancient warrior sacrifice the whole of the human race, in exchange for eternity in the arms of the vampire he loves?
Review: One vampire, one warrior, destined to battle repeatedly throughout time. Destined to meet. Destined to love. Destined to end in bloodshed. Each man determined to stop the other, with one it is his destiny to put an end to evil, with the other it is his wish to turn his beloved and rule the world.
Well, hmmm, ah hell. What do you do when the man you love would bring devastation to the world? For the warrior Jesse/Imad/Jayden it gets harder each time to choose and more painful. The vampire Saul/Christophe/Kareem has only one impulse, to turn as many humans as possible and try to convince his beloved to join him. Throughout the years it is a pattern that is repeated with no end in sight. Kareem returns and soon Jayden will follow, they spend a short time together before the warrior remembers his purpose and it is repeated again.
Oh hell, this is one of those stories that is a timeless love story, but very, very bittersweet. The story is set in three lifetimes, with the first two being brief flashes, while with the third we see their entire encounter. It is a doomed love; there is no way to ever see them finally being together. But, each time they hope circumstances on Earth have changed and they can finally be together. But, each encounter leaves them both in despair as one knows his lover will kill him and one knows he has to kill his lover.
God damn you, Kendall McKenna. it’s torture reading this story because we want them to finally get their happily ever after… it even got to the stage that I wouldn’t have cared if Earth went to hell and we all died at the hands of bloodthirsty vampires as long as Jayden and Kareem could finally break their cursed love. *Sigh* Both warrior and vampire are wonderful characters. The warrior standing tall doing what is right for humanity, but destroying his heart in the process and the vampire shamelessly murdering and turning humans in his bid for the world knowing that his time will soon end with the return of his beloved. But, both of them enjoying a few days of respite having hot passionate sex before the warriors memories return.
There’s no real way to tell you how bittersweet or poignant this story really is, but if you love vampires, hopeless love and hot vampire/marine sex then you have to read this story.
Blurb: A Marine werewolf and his commander bring legends to life while surviving combat deployment in Afghanistan.
Lieutenant Lucas Young doesn’t know much about shifters. When Sergeant Noah Hammond is assigned to Lucas’ platoon, the Marine Corps’ True Alpha werewolf challenges the Lieutenant’s authority and his self-control. As Lucas learns to dominate and command Noah, he struggles against a strong attraction and deepening emotional bond. During their combat deployment to Afghanistan, Lucas and Noah begin mirroring legendary partnerships. Their bond and their power grow as they survive dangerous combat and ambushes. When one of them is wounded in battle, they both must embrace the strength of their bond before they lose each other forever.
Review: Oh my, what a book! What a ride this one was. I’m pleasantly surprised by the shifter-aspect of this novel, extremely thrilled with the military one and overjoyed with their mix.
In this novel, Ms. McKenna introduces us to a world where Shifters have co-existed with humans for years. Legends of their excellent combat skills are mostly forgotten though, because the most rare of the Werewolf-Humans relationship, that of a Dominant-True Alpha, has not happened in hundreds of years. The secret is that in relationship like that, the True Alpha Werewolf must willingly submit to his Dominant and the results of such mating are magnificent to witness.
This entire new perspective, at least for me, was thrilling to read. Up until now, shifters in books were fighting to maintain their identity secret, while in this book its common knowledge. Werewolves are maybe a little frightening, but are mostly seen from their human peers with admiration and respect for their strength. In the Armed Forces, they are considered of great value, especially their True Alpha, since he has the power to control them all.
Lt. Lucas Young though, has no experience with werewolves; his knowledge is less than basic. He is surprised when the first wolf joins his platoon and somehow exited to meet the wolf’s Pack Leader, to ask questions and to establish routine. The last thing he expected was to have the entire Marine Corps’ True Alpha assigned to his platoon. After all, he had not received the proper training on how to work with such a powerful shifter.
To make things worse the moment Lucas lays eyes on Sergeant Hammond, strong feelings assail him, attraction being one of them. How is he supposed to work with such an incredible shifter, who resembles a Nordic God, having him push at all his buttons, constantly challenging him and be insanely attracted to him? Through his inexperience and absolute lack of guidance from his Captain, Lucas misunderstands the relationship he’s developing with Noah, and when the later submits to him, Lucas believes that it’s just a werewolf ritual concerning the Pack and buries his own “selfish” feelings for Noah. In Lucas mind, he will not take advantage as a commanding officer but will do his outmost to help the Alpha deal with his Werewolf needs.
The entire book is a beautiful introduction to combat fights, war and one of the rarest relationships ever encountered. The bond that is inevitably blooming between Lucas and Noah is constantly questioned and taken apart by Lucas’ human beliefs. While he tries to give Noah everything he needs to keep control of the Pack and be more than efficient in their war, he holds back his own feelings. Their fame grows to legendary proportions due to their amazing connection, so does their frustration because this connection does not escalates beyond their duty.
In the end it takes a severe wound to make them both see things a bit more clearly. The magnitude of how much this affects both of them is not lost on Lucas, but he is still confused from the battle tales Noah has told him. He still doesn’t believe that Noah wants him as a lover, trapped in his false knowledge of the Dominant/True Alpha relationship…
I loved this book! I loved it so much I’m re-reading it. It was so much more than the stereotypical Were-books you usually encounter and adding to the pleasure there were Marines. Incredible! So very interesting, such enticing characters, such an appealing plot. You start reading it and your heart-beat starts picking up, higher and higher while the story goes, until it reaches the high peak where I frankly exclaimed out loud “It was about damn time already”. The slow building and boiling on low temperature had me frustrated at some point, yeah. J The end was a bit calmer than the rest of this novel though. It was a bit disappointing, or it was just my insatiable side manifesting, but I wanted one more glorious battle for our human/wolf pair. It felt as if it was an introduction to what is to come on the next book of the series, and yeah I would love to read Tim’s story. All in all, this book was a must read and then re-read for me.
Blurb:Kage is a Marine, newly returned from Afghanistan and having difficulty adjusting to being home. He tries to decompress with a quiet trip to Puerto Vallarta. Zach is a new college graduate, facing the realities of adulthood. Will their hot summer fling grow into something more?
Kage is a Marine, newly returned from Afghanistan and having difficulty adjusting to being home. He tries to decompress with a quiet, solo trip to Puerto Vallarta.
Zach is newly graduated from college and facing the realities of adulthood and beginning his new career. Their mutual attraction is immediate and intense. Zach is undemanding and seems to understand what Kage is going through. Kage has the physical strength that Zach desires, as well as the strength of character to let him be his own man.
Their summer vacation romance sizzles, but when the time arrives for Zach to return home, will either of them be willing–or able–to walk away?
Review: Kage has decided to have a trip by himself to Puerto Vallarta, just some time away to try to chill and relax. Zach is on holiday with a group of friends, relaxing before he has to enter the police academy and starts to be a responsible adult. But, Kage and Zach meet one night in a crowded bar and they both discover over the course of the rest of the holiday that the other understands what they want and need perfectly. But, is it enough when their holiday ends?
This is a really well written novella that delves slightly into PTSD, as a Marine on leave gets used to civilian life again. Kage is jumpy and cautious, it’s not easy to go from a war zone to a holiday resort, but he is giving it a go. When he visits a bar one night, a beautiful young man catches his eye. But, he is doubtful that such a catch would be interested in him. So, he is surprised when he is approached by the man. Zach is happy that he approached Kage, he is different from other men that he has met and not just because he is a serving Marine. But, as the holiday draws to a close can they really make a go of it?
Kage and Zach are two men that are perfectly balanced. Zach seems to understand that Kage has some limits to what he can handle at the moment and Kage just expects Zach to be himself and doesn’t have any expectations as to what he can do. With Kage, we can understand his actions and his caution, but I think there is a story behind Zach’s words and his determination to stand on his own two feet, but it adds greatly to the story of these two men, as they both have a lot to give to each other.
Their relationship moves fast, and there are a couple of hot and steamy rendezvous’ on the beach which will make you fan yourselves, but the time they spend together isn’t all about sex, they talk and get to know each other and they understand the other’s needs. *sigh* When they do make love it is something special (and really hot) and even afterwards Zach is trying to be considerate to what Kage might need. Oh so sweet.
So with this one I am going to recommend it to those who love Marine’s, hot sexy men, summer love, hot sex, and a happy for now ending.
Blurb: Jonah Carver is a Marine. He experiences a scorching night with former commander, Kellan Reynolds, but then they lose touch–to Jonah’s regret. When a V.I.P. is killed on Jonah’s watch, the FBI arrives; including Kellan! Once reunited, sparks fly.
Jonah Carver is a Marine and combat veteran. He and his former Captain, Kellan Reynolds, once shared a scorching night, but then lost touch; something Jonah has long regretted.
When an investigation into government corruption, and the murder of U.S. troops, ends in the killing of a V.I.P. on Jonah’s watch, the FBI arrives. With them is Kellan Reynolds. Together once more, Jonah begins to believe in second chances and sparks fly.
Nothing is that easy, though, as the suspects will stop at nothing to bring the investigation to an end. Jonah must keep everyone in his charge alive while helping the FBI and Kellan find the proof they need.
When Kellan is kidnapped, Jonah has to find and rescue him. If he doesn’t, not only will the investigation unravel, but he’ll lose Kellan for a second time–for good.
Review: Jonah is a career soldier. He is a highly trained RECON Marine. They are the baddest of the bad, the toughest of the tough. They are not babysitters. This story begins with Jonah and his team baby-sitting a government investigator. Unfortunately, knowing what he is investigating is above their pay grade.
In my fantasy world, where I am queen, I would love to believe that Brothers in Arms is the result of my mad rantings. In the real world, I know Kendall McKenna’s debut novel was already “headed to the presses”, when I asked the M/M collective for something new. Nonetheless, Brothers in Arms definitely fits the bill.
I cannot imagine how much research went into this book. There is a mind-blowing amount of detail to military life, both before and after deployment. But, I can appreciate the skill with which McKenna draws pictures with words of a war zone. Names that appear daily in my, became real places populated with real people as I turned page after page. The words and actions of the marines were sometimes horrifically realistic, at other times tender or silly. While I read, I was transported to the unforgiving heat of the desert. Heat that is so constant, it is almost a character.
Jonah has swag for days, a real man’s man. But, he is also the true leader of his platoon. Sometimes, he forgets that the new guys haven’t “been there and one that”. Till his memories of Kellan’s words guide him. I love him. And Jonah and Kellan together…smokin’ hot. Set before the repeal of DADT, their lovin’ is mostly secretive touches and glances across the room. But, on the few occasions when they actually get to do the nasty…they get raw and dirty with it.
But, this is so much more than a romance. Actually, it is a war thriller with a very nice little suspense thread running through it. Corrupt government officials, gun running and dodging insurrectionists make for some very nice action scenes. Then there are enough unanswered questions, that even if Jonah and Kellan don’t make it back to the desert, the intrigue can continue.
My only complaint? What the hell happened with Yarwood?
Highly recommending this title and looking forward to seeing what else the brilliant mind of Kendall McKenna will produce.