Tag Archives: great secondary characters

Can I keep Talis forever please Annabelle?!

Guarding Axel coverGuarding Axel by Annabelle Jacobs

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mine to keep forever

I’ve been waiting for Axel and Talis’ story since book one and Annabelle does not disappoint with this fabulous entry in her Dark Forest Pack series.

We already know there’s a history between them from Rys and Gabriel’s book, we’ve seen how Talis almost killed Rys’s paranormal police officer cousin Max trying to protect Axel after he’d been poisoned by the bad guy and was out of his mind.

We’ve seen how Axel has a magic which he, understandably, has such fear about people finding out how it works because of what’s already happened to him, made doubly worse by the betrayal being at the hands of the fae he was in love with.

But we’ve also seen the sparks and the almost naked want which flows between them every time they’re in the same space.

With Axel’s betrayer on the loose, tensions are understandably high as this story carries on from the events of Dathal and Nick’s story and brings more danger to the world of the pack when Lady Sarhin arrives with news of a hidden magic cache that includes witch potions.

And OMG the pining in this book is delicious. There’s a rawness about the pain which you can see Talis is hiding, there’s an ache to the hurt which Axel knows he’s caused the man he has feelings for which he’s desperately trying to repress.

As the narrative unfolds, the two men’s relationship hits the lowest of lows and the future looks bleak for all involved in both the pack and the fae world. With only Max and Jake’s story to come, the pacing steps up another gear here as the hunt for Axel’s former lover uncovers further complications.

Then, just when the reader thinks all has been resolved, after Axel and Talis finally have a heart to heart which reveals just what went down all those months before, we get hit by the equivalent of a bomb explosion.

Danger surrounds Axel and Talis from an unexpected source, and with Lady Sarhin also in the line of fire, it becomes a race against time for everyone else.

You’ll get no spoilers here, but let’s just say I was on the edge of my seat as I got closer and closer to the end of the book and the adrenaline was flowing high!

Now, we wait for Max and Jake and the discovery of what’s been causing the misery and tension we keep getting glimpses of between them and their pack.

I’m in no doubts it will be just as spectacular as the rest of this series!

ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review

As with the rest of the series, I beta read this book for Annabelle.

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Tal delivers on this ice hockey romance with all the feels

Gravity CoverGravity by Tal Bauer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Urm I’m not sure where to begin with this review.

It’s a Tal Bauer book, so you better believe it doesn’t follow a traditional rule for how a specific trope should be written.

It’s a Tal Bauer book, so expect surprises and an unlikely event which hinges a twist in the plotline.

It’s a Tal Bauer book, so expect a gloriously satisfying romance which might take place in a relatively short space of time but which will very much have you believing the universe conspired to bring these two young men together.

And, as it’s a Tal Bauer book, you’re going to be gasping, cursing his name, and probably reaching for a stiff drink, tissues and a box of chocolates at some point.

With Gravity though, the angst is the lowest I’ve ever read in one of his books. But when the gut punch comes, it’ll still take the wind out of your sails.

Tal gives us two young men, Bryce is 26, Hunter just 22, and a random encounter that should never have happened really given the difference in their playing circumstances.

And because Tal has such a knack for creating visuality in his books, we feel the actions, we sense the emotions, we embrace the consequences of what’s happening on page.

It’s a tough journey being an NHL player, the Stanley Cup playoffs are among the most gruelling in any sport imho and here we’re taken along for all of the punishing journey as the Montreal team strives for glory.

Even if you’re not an ice hockey fan, I guarantee the connection between the two men will have you smiling, sighing and then desperately willing them on to the happy ending they deserve.

For sports fans like me though, there’s plenty of page time given to all the on ice action Tal embeds into the narrative he’s unfolding.

I adored Bryce’s teammates, his coach and the staff, there’s a wonderful secondary character who has an important moment that I won’t spoil but I loved them too.

With the smattering of Québécois French adding to the romantic moments, this book will – like its title – pull you deep into the storytelling and won’t let go until you’re as in love with it as the two protagonists are with each other.

Bravo Tal, you really did write a low angst swoony romance 😉

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Enemies to lovers and then some in this new shifter series opener

61433893._SY475_Claiming Rys by Annabelle Jacobs

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Can I have another five stars please?

This is, hands down, my favourite shifter book from Annabelle so far and, considering I’ve pretty much 5*-ed nearly all of her releases, that’s saying something.

Enemies to lovers with a second chance plotline is so hard to pull off.

If the past relationship was troublesome, why would someone want to try again? Or you might get some piddling little misunderstanding splitting a couple up.

Here we get neither. Rys and Gabriel were full on properly in love, both foolish teenagers keeping secrets.

When that situation blew up in a violent incident, it left them both reeling, Rys seething with hatred and hurt and Gabriel sorrowful and alone again.

How Annabelle then uses the investigation at the heart of this series to draw them back together and reveal hints to the reader of more than either man originally knew about the other is very clever.

The setting in and around Nottinghamshire’s Sherwood Forest and Clumber Park is perfect, allowing for supernatural creatures of all types to live in and around Rys’ pack.

Chuck in a gateway to the Fae world and you just know things are going to get complicated!

I’m not going into the plot itself because it works best when it’s slowly revealed as Rys and Gabriel reconnect with all their spikey feelings firmly in place.

I will say though, when they finally move beyond their past and admit all the emotions are still in place, it’s scorching hot and powerfully moving.

As all the clues to who’s behind the deaths Gabriel has been investigating with Rys’ cousin Max begin to line up, tensions rise and the connection between them brings its own dangerous risks.

In an adrenaline-packed final few chapters – although there is a series long narrative still in play – the story weaves its threads into a stunning conclusion.

There are so many amazing characters in this book, even though Rys and Gabriel are the focus, I was drawn to the others too and I can’t wait for more in the series.

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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