Lightning reviews!

Trial by Fire by Jo Davis
1st in the Firefighters of Station Five series

Dont get burned...

Lieutenant Howard “Six- Pack” Paxton loves three things: being a firefighter, riding his Harley, and his bachelorhood. That is, until the curvaceous Kat McKenna falls into his arms at the scene of a fire—and melts the six-foot-six tower of bronze muscle…

But just as passion ignites between them—and they explore new heights of ecstasy—a ruthless arsonist with a deadly secret and a thirst for vengeance becomes their worst nightmare.

This was a fun, quick read.  It has some suspense in it as an arsonist is targeting Howard for some mysterious reason.  Kat and Howard work well together and I liked that it wasn't all easy for them.  Howard has some baggage from his past that's rearing its head in the way of nightmares and those nightmares have seriously affected him.  But, like many men I'm sure we all know, he can give good advice, but doesn't always take it himself (to get help).  There are also some very interesting characters who I'm sure will be getting their own stories and I like that they aren't all stereotypical macho males who tend to beat their fists against their chests. At least that's what they seem like.  Anyways, I liked the story.  And I'll read the next book in the series whenever it comes out.  It's not a perfect story, but it's not bad.

Grade: C+ (yes, I know my grading is always different)

Heart Fate by Robin D. Owens
7th in HeartMates series

Wed to a wealthy older man when she was just a girl, Lahsin Yew runs away from her abusive home to find a new life. At seventeen, she’s about to enter her Second Passage, when her Flair—and perhaps her HeartMate—will be revealed.

Lahsin finds sanctuary in a secret garden, where she meets Tinne Holly. Though he is her HeartMate, he cannot tell her, and her troubled past prevents her from trusting any man. Pretending to find her by chance, Tinne helps her through her Second Passage. But when the truth is revealed, can she forgive his deception, and learn to trust in her destiny?

Owens' HeartMates books are a definite comfort read for me.  I really enjoy the world she has created and the characters that inhabit it.  Heart Fate includes many of the characters that I've grown to really like, including the Turquoise House that many may remember from a previous book. 

I really enjoyed watching Lahsin heal from her marriage to an abusing husband.  Tinne also has to heal from his failed marriage.  Watching them become comfortable with each other is nice.  There isn't a whole lot of action, but I never felt like the book was slow.  Like I said, it's a comfort read. You know what to expect and it delivers.  It may by SF romance lite, but it's still quite filling.  It also reminds me a bit of JAK's Harmony series. 

*That guy's chest on the cover?  Scary.  And the way he looks at you?  Even scarier.

Grade: B

Hostage to Pleasure by Nalini SIngh
5th in Psy-Changeling series

Separated from her son and forced to create a neural
implant that will mean the effective enslavement of her psychically
gifted race, Ashaya Aleine is the perfect Psy--cool, calm, least on the surface. Inside, she's fighting a
desperate battle to save her son and escape the vicious cold of the
PsyNet. Yet when escape comes, it leads not to safety, but to the
lethal danger of a sniper's embrace.

sniper Dorian Christensen lost his sister to a Psy killer. Though he
lacks the changeling ability to shift into animal form, his leopard
lives within. And that leopard's rage at the brutal loss is a clawing
darkness that hungers for vengeance. Falling for a Psy has never been
on Dorian's agenda. But charged with protecting Ashaya and her son, he
discovers that passion has a way of changing the rules...

Ahh...I love this series.  It's such a nice blend of SF/dark fantasy and romance.  I have to agree with many of the reviews that say the romance is a bit weaker here, but overall the story is really good.  I like that there's not a lot of black and white in this world.  I can't wait to see where this series goes next.  The over-arching plot is almost more exciting than the romance, which honestly, works just fine.  If you haven't read this series, you definitely should.  Just don't start with this book as I really think a person needs to start at the beginning to really appreciate it all.

Grade: B/B+

Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon
?th in the Dark-Hunter series (I never know how to order this series)

Eleven thousand years ago a god was born. Cursed into the body of a human, Acheron spent a lifetime of shame. However, his human death unleashed an unspeakable horror that almost destroyed the earth. Then, brought back against his will, Acheron became the sole defender of mankind.

Only it was never that simple. For centuries, he has fought for our survival and hidden a past he’ll do anything to keep concealed. Until a lone woman who refuses to be intimidated by him threatens his very existence.

Now his survival, and ours, hinges on hers and old enemies reawaken and unite to kill them both.

War has never been more deadly... or more fun.

This is a big book.  I'm not even really sure why I read it since I thought I'd given up on the series with Wren's book.  But I read this one and actually kinda liked it.  Yes, it's got a lot of filler and I didn't actually think there was a lot of new information that hadn't already been really hinted at in previous books, but it was interesting to see what Kenyon made of Acheron's past.  Although one would think after 11k years, one would have gotten over a few decades or so of abuse.  Anyways, I was really disappointed in the romance.  She's nothing special and her sole appeal seems to be that she doesn't care what happened umpteen years ago.  So what? 

Grade: C-

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