Little Dip (Garoul 0) by Gill McKnight

The Garoul series has always been one of my most favorites to read. I have adored each book and been captivated by the characters that have jumped off their pages. I had no idea what to think about going back to the beginning and telling Connie and Sylvie’s story (set in the late 1970s) but I was in for whatever adventure Gill McKnight was going to throw my way.

Connie Fortune is in the Little Dip area to photograph and illustrate the Yellow Cukoo. A bird the has recently been placed on the endangered species list and is extremely rare to be seen in North America. Connie’s quest for the elusive bird drops her right into the path of Sylvie Garoul.

Marie Garoul has been brought back to Little Dip to help her mother/pack leader work on the family almanac. Marie and Connie clash from the minute they meet. There is that pull towards each other but their heads and smartass comments keep them circling each other the majority of the book. Tensions and high and so is the attraction.

Beware once you start this one you will have a hard time putting it down. As always Gill Mcknight dazzles us with her storytelling. You couldn’t ask for a better escape. This book is fun, sexy and so well written. I sincerely hope that we see more Garouls soon!

***Note if you haven’t read any of the books in this series you can absolutely start with this one!

5 out of 5 stars

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Heart of the Pack by Jenny Frame

Werewolf books have been a trend for a while now. What is it about shapeshifting individuals that we love so much? Is it because we love dogs? Is it because they are super powerful? Whatever the reason is I am drawn to reading these types of books especially when it involves a romantic element. Enter Jenny Frame’s second book, Heart of the Pack.

Caden Wolfgang is the second in command of the Wolfgang pack. She has always considered herself a lone wolf. She has never felt the pull to settle down and find a mate with any of the other wolves in her pack. Caden feels she is destined to be alone and as sad as that makes her, she has decided to put the pack and its needs above herself.

Selena “Lena” Miller is an outsider in her family. Her family refers to her as the baby elephant, a-hole alert! She has been subjected to a lifetime of ridicule because she does not fit into her family’s “perfect” image. Her domineering mother has driven Lena to the breaking point time and has chastised her time and time about the size of her thighs and how she is consistently letting the family down. This anxiety ridden accountant decides to flee her family’s clutches and comes to Venator Industries in Wolfgang County to do an audit for her accounting firm.

I as a rule of thumb I try to always pick books that I have a general interest in reading. As the years have gone on I have found a few of the werewolf books in this genre to be very fun, adventurous and have a great romance to them. So going into this book I tried to let all the preconceived notions and past stories go. I liked Jenny Frame’s last book, not love, but I did like it. To me, Heart of the Pack was a bit of a letdown, I expected more from this one.

First off the story is a little clunky. It was clunky, in the fact that it just didn’t flow all that well to me. Then there is a backstory that’s at play, and for a minute I literally thought I missed a book in the series. Don’t laugh that has actually happened to me more than once! This backstory is immediately thrust onto the reader and I felt a little lost. Factor in now a human coming into a company full of werewolves. The two, Cade and Selena are immediately at odds with each other, both harboring ill will because of their own personal hang-ups. The thing is that their interactions didn’t feel natural. Their relationship was stiff and felt artificial. I never invested in their story, and once they begin dating it got even worse. How is that even possible! Now for what really resonated with me, and honestly I wish I could eradicate from my brain is the sex scenes. If you have read any of L.L. Raand’s werewolf series you have read graphic werewolf scenes. No big deal. That is totally not it. What really sealed the deal, and made this book a solid NOPE, is when characters are in the throes of passion screaming “fill me up” or “fill up my belly” or “I’m going to fill you up mate”. What the hell, eww and total gross out. Why, just why. Who finds that sexy? Why the belly, no really why the belly!

So this book just wasn’t for me. I could totally me in the minority on this one. This is just my feelings on a book. My observations aside, the rest of the book is pretty standard. There are conflicts, but I didn’t think any of them were anything that hasn’t been done before and seemed a contrived.

2.5 out of 5 stars

I was given this book by Netgalley and Bold Strokes Books in return for an honest review.

Heart of the Pack
by Jenny Frame
Link: http://amzn.com/B01E852ZE6

Dyre: By Moon’s Light by Rachel E. Bailey

Werewolves, werewolves and more werewolves. Only these werewolves call themselves Loup, apparently that is French for wolf, I had to look it up (this is a reoccurring theme). These Loup have an uprising on their hands, and an assassin has taken out their leader. Upon their leader George’s death he gives his power as the head Dyre of all Loup to a Hume (human) named Ruby. Still with me?

I was on the struggle bus the whole time with this one. The book is broken into three parts. The first part I was so confused it was unreal. The author uses words like, Loup, Garoul, Dyre, Hume… and I had no way of knowing what that stood for. Context clues needed to be on point. Finally in the second part of the book one of the protagonists, Des, begins teaching the human-turned Loup, Ruby about werewolf culture, and this finally clued me in. Up till that point the dictionary and previous werewolf books were my reference point. By this juncture my frustration was peaking and I almost put the book away, but I kept reading only to be completely baffled in the third and final portion of this novel.

So, Tiff did you like it? Well, if you asked me this question I will have to say yes and no. The writing is very well done, but it feels to me that this book is really a precursor to a series. That is totally fine, I have no problem with that setup. The issue I have is that I need to be into the first book to invest my time in anything that may follow. I can’t say this is the case, this book has a lot of moving pieces, but nothing that grabbed at me and made me want to care about the outcome. I never really felt like I knew either of the main characters, Ruby and Des. The whole time in the book, they have this push pull thing going, which was really the only part holing my interest. Then all of the sudden a two other love interests begin to hookup with the leading ladies. Huh? Where did that come from, and why? Then the book ends, just leaving you hanging.

So, I guess my final opinion is that this book may have just not been for me. If you are into paranormal, and are willing to put in the time you may really like this one. Like I said the writing is done well.

2.5 stars out of 5

  • Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
  • www.boldstrokesbooks.com/
Dyre: By Moon’s Light
by Rachel E. Bailey
Amazon Link: http://amzn.com/B019G6CSO4