Endangered by Michelle Larkin

I kind of love shapeshifters. Throw in a romance and here I come running. Endangered by Michelle Larkin is a delightful novel with some heavy moments but enough lightheartedness to keep you thoroughly entertained.

The book begins by introducing us to our main character a fun-loving sugar addicted Boston police officer named Aspen Wolfe. Aspen is out on a call involving a teen runaway that is standing on the edge of a bridge moments away from committing suicide. Aspen uses her charm, wit, and resourcefulness to talk the young woman, Skye, to go for pancakes instead of making a perilous leap.

Skye and Aspen have an immediate connection. Similar backgrounds and childhoods bond the teen and the officer in a quick and unexpected way. Aspen convinces Skye to seek medical attention and that brings in Dr. Tora Madigan, our other main. A no-nonsense serious lady that immediately gets under Officer Wolfe’s skin. Let the sparks fly, these two are going to drive each other crazy til they finally admit the attraction. Their interactions are furthered by an evil US President that has just signed an emergency call to action where shapeshifters can be terminated for a bounty. These ladies face imminent death and must hide and begin a revolution to make the American people aware of their plight. The shapeshifters are in serious trouble and these three ladies and their band of friends have to help make the world see that they are friends, not foes.

This one I believe is setting up a series, there is a lot of background info given but still, some pretty big question marks linger. You are left wanting more, which has its good points and bad. A lot of info comes at you fast and I think the book would have been much better if more chapters were used to explain the history of the shapeshifters Larkin was unveiling. A good book none the less.

3 out of 5 stars

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Berlin Hungers by Justine Saracen

When you pick up a Justine Saracen novel you know that you will undoubtedly finish the book with a respect for her historical detailedness and more knowledge than you had before. I love that her stories are so intricate and well, smart.

The Berlin Hunger takes us to the direct chaos that directly followed World War II. The horrors that took place in “peacetime” are tragic and hard to stomach. There is blatant brutality and at times it is hard to read.

Gillian Somerville was a pilot for the Air Transport Axillary during the war. She loved flying for her country but when the war ends Gillian suddenly finds herself with no work as a pilot. The women are not needed for that duty anymore. Unable to just go home, her whole family has passed, she decides to join the WAAF to become an air traffic controller.

Erika Brandt was a musician before the war. Now as the Russians have control of Berlin, she is scavaging for food to keep from starving to death. The Russians men portrayed in this book are animals and Erika faces unspeakable horrors to survive in this desperate time.

Erika and Gillian meet by chance a couple of times in the book and strike up a friendship born out of kindness. As the book progresses more feelings develop. This is a star-crossed lover romance though. These two have a lot going on and cannot see each other often for a multitude of reasons. So a lot of longing from afar.

Overall, I loved the historical aspect of the book. I felt as if Saracen dropped my in Berlin post-war and I was right there with the characters. The romance wasn’t my favorite. I loved the characters don’t get me wrong, and I was absolutely rooting for their happiness. I just felt like it dragged a bit. This is more historical fiction than your hot burning romance. Still a very good read!

3 out of 5 stars

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Ask, Tell by E.J. Noyes

When you see a book get rave reviews, over an over again, you rush to read it right. Shoulda, coulda, woulda! I have had this book on my list of to-reads for months now, why the delay, I am not sure, but I am so glad I finally read this one. It was an amazing way to get 2018 started.

Captain Sabine Fleischer is an Army surgeon currently deployed in Afghanistan. Her days are filled desperately trying to save the wounded men and women that are serving in the war. When we meet Sabine she is struggling to fight her crush on her superior as well as navigate a nine-year relationship that is sinking fast. Her longtime partner is tired of military life. Vic, her girlfriend, was never a being a fan of the Army and the years of separation have created a crater that cannot be fixed. Sabine is trying to get through this deployment and navigate her life back in the States. No easy feat, and it’s all begging to crumble around her.

Colonel Rebecca Keane is Sabine’s superior as well as the object of her massive crush. She’s a gifted surgeon who is rock solid under pressure, respected by her peers and all around a good person. Sabine is drawn to Rebecca even though she knows there is no way they can ever be together. Everything is against them especially her relationship status and military policies. I won’t ruin the story for you, just know that Sabine and Rebecca have a magnetic chemistry together, and love always conquers all.

Reading this book, you feel the horrors of war, the pain of a breakup and the utter despair our service members must have felt serving in the military under DADT. This book was amazingly well written, I cannot say that enough! EJ Noyles transported me to the medical camp and put me right there with the main characters. The story is heart-breaking, romantic, sexy as hell and shows the resilience of the human spirit. It’s hard to believe that DADT only ended in 2011. Thank goodness it did! A great read well worth your time.

4.25 out of 5 stars

The Sniper’s Kiss by Justine Saracen

Justine Saracen writing is very in-depth. You know going into them they are superbly well researched and you most likely will be a bit smarter by the time you finish. Saracen’s attention to detail and an inclusion of historical facts in her novels, help make the stories and characters riveting.

Mia Kramer immigrated to the United States as a young girl. Mia, 29, comes into the story with a lot of baggage. She was raised by an emotionally abusive father, upon his highly questionable death, (was it murder or suicide), Mia takes control over her life and flees her father’s home to work for the government to support the war effort. Her vast knowledge the Russian language and culture ends her a prime job as an accountant for the Lend-Lease program under Harry Hopkins and right inside the Whitehouse.

The other main player in the book is Alexia Vassilievna Mazarova. A former teacher, Alexia enlists in the Red Army to help her country anyway she can. Striking good looks leads her to a plush assignment guarding the Kremlin and or course, Joseph Stalin. This is how she meets the Mia, and they strike up an unlikely friendship.

This book is a fascinating tale of history and friendship’s born out of horrifying circumstances. A historical fiction with just a hint of romance, while at times a bit unrealistic, overall this was a fantastic read.

4 out of 5 stars

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Blinded by Kim Pritekel

Kim Pritekel is one of the first authors I stumbled across in the lesbian romance genre. Her stories are always well thought out with interesting characters. Going into going into her stories you know you are going to get a slow burn romance and a bit of craziness.

Burton Blinde is an investigative reporter for a local Denver new station. When we first meet her she is on her way to being a star, courted by CNN, she slated to be the next Barbara Walters. Days away from her move to New York, Burton is still tracking local stories, one including the juicy gossip of a Colorado senator being blackmailed by his former lover. As Burton is questioning the politician all hell breaks loose and a madman throws a grenade into the car, killing everyone but the reporter. Suffering horrific injuries Burton closes her friends out and retreats to the wilderness to live in near isolation.

Years later, after going through some of her old boxes from her reporter days, Burton comes across cryptic postcards. Her inquisitive mind will not let it go so she begins trying to find the old clues as to what the anonymous postcards were trying to clue her in on.
Okay so up until this point right here, I am digging this book. A great foundation is been laid out and I’m like oh yeah where we going with this. Then it kind of went haywire. So to make it quick, a small country, Chilvokia, near Russia is under attack, total warfare and has been for years. Dr. Lilli Novikoff, while studying medicine in Denver was the one trying to reach out to Burton to tell her of her country’s strife. First off, just tell her, she’s a reporter they are always looking for a story. Second, maybe contact the UN or NATO, just a thought. I think they would like to know if there has been coup, slaughtering person in the streets.

So any who Button goes to Chilvokia, it’s damn war zone, meets back up with Dr. Lilli, saves the king, falls in love…and goes home a hero. I can’t give you more because I was lost in the second half of the book numerous times. I wasn’t always sure who was who, and what was happening. What was the point of the war, I am still not sure, and something about selling women, kids and weapons, maybe. I was swimming in muddy water. It was fun and I enjoyed it but sometimes I had no idea my left from my right if that makes any sense at all. Also, I needed way more time with Burton and Lilli the couple, the romance part of Blinded was lacking.

Blinded is good, not great like Pritekel’s other books. I felt like she needed more chapters to explain what was happening. I think if the story had been longer, it could have cleared up the confusing pieces. Her characters definitely had chemistry I just needed more time with them together to solidify a stellar romance.

2.75 out of 5 stars

  • Publisher: Sapphire Books Publishing
  • www.sapphirebooks.com

To Purchase on Amazon: Blinded

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