Saturday, December 24, 2011

Men Under the Mistletoe anthology

My True Love Gave to Me by Ava March B-  A hot sexy Regency.  Alexander Norton had his heart broken on Christmas Eve four years earlier by Thomas Bennett who abruptly moved to New York.  Thomas has come back at last, realising that he made a mistake in leaving and he tries to win Alex over/back.
I would have liked a little on how they were going to manage their HEA in the circumstances of their time, but otherwise, quite enjoyable if a little melodramatic (I suspect it was because they were young - only 19 when the novella commences).

Winter Knights by Harper Fox  - A   *the pick of the bunch for me* Harper Fox writes angst so very well and there is a definite bittersweet tone to this story which was just delicious.
Gavin Lowden is an historian researching Arthur and Lancelot, waiting for his lover, Piers, to join him for their first Christmas together.  But first Piers has to come out to his parents.  He bails and calls Gavin to say he's not coming and Gavin, lonely and sad, goes for a walk on the moor where he falls into a cave and is rescued by "Arty" and "Lance" who then proceed to teach him a couple of lessons about himself and about sex.  Yes, there is some m/m/m action.  :D  Strangely, it didn't feel like Gavin was cheating on Piers at all so I was happy enough to go with it.  Besides there was definitely an otherworldly aspect to the story which made it seem more acceptable.
Piers, worried that Gavin has gone missing, comes to Northumberland to find him and they then proceed to work out their HEA.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Liar Bird by Lisa Walker

This review originally appeared in the December ARRA newsletter.   I saw another review of it over at All About Romance and the reviewer there gave it an A- so YMMV.
Why I read it:  I was offered a digital ARC by the publisher via NetGalley.
What it's about:  Part chick-lit/women’s fiction, part farce, part mystery with a dash of sweet romance on the side, Liar Bird is the story of Cassandra Daley, shining star of the Sydney PR circuit.  The story begins when one of Cassandra’s houses of spin falls in a heap, leaving her covered in scandal and persona non grata in her home city.  She accepts a job as a PR rep in the small town of Beechville on the North Coast of New South Wales, where she meets a cast of quirky characters and one grouchy wildlife ranger, Mac.  It seems that Mac, isn’t happy about Cassandra’s arrival and pretty soon, a series of unfortunate events which appear designed to force her back to Sydney occur – and all can be laid at Mac’s door.  It’s difficult to explain the story more without giving away spoilers, but let’s just say it involves feral pigs, endangered species, lies, a media circus, a flood and wild chickens. It’s the classic fish-out-of-water story, complete with a green tree frog in the toilet!  

What worked for me (and what didn't):  Cassandra takes inspiration from Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass:

“Like me, my mother believes there are guiding forces at play in our lives.  Unlike me, she isn’t satisfied with allowing a children’s book to channel these forces for her.”
And there are wonderful and (in the context of this book) pithy quotes from the book interspersed with the text.  Cassandra also subscribes to the philosophy of Rene Descartes and, after meeting said green tree frog in her toilet, has imaginary philosophical discussions with Rene Treefrog.  Told in the first person, the story shines with Cassandra’s dry humour, from the discussions with her Blacktown family, her thoughts about the Sydney social sharks and her experiences in Beechville.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My Top 10 Suggestions for the next Turner series books Courtney Milan should NOT write

I'm reading the deliciousness that is Courtney Milan's Unraveled at the moment and I devoured Unclaimed and Unveiled earlier this year, as well as the Turner novella Unlocked.  Last night, while putting myself to sleep, instead of counting sheep, I came up with my top 10 list of the next books in the Turner series Courtney Milan should NOT write (I'm seriously hoping the Turner series isn't finished yet, so you never know, Ms. Milan may find these un-suggestions useful).   

Anyway, it amused me, so I thought I would share.  Of course, it was VERY late and I was VERY tired.

In no particular order:-

Uncoordinated - she's clumsy and he's a fashion nightmare

Unedited - she can't spell and he has Tourette's

Unhinged - he's a carpenter and she's insane

Unabridged - she can't shut up and he's well endowed

Unzipped -  she's a gossip and he's a flasher

Unearthed - the paranormal Turner book, he's a vampire, she's a zombie

Unassembled - the contemporary Turner book, she's flaky and he works for Ikea

Unplanned - secret baby plot

Unpuckered - I'll give you three guesses

Unstrapped - the BDSM Turner book, she likes control and he likes it hard

Got any more suggestions for Turner books Courtney Milan should NOT write?  Leave them in the comments!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Head Over Heels by Jill Shalvis

Why I read it:  I've been a Jill Shalvis fan for many years.  I first read a story of hers in an anthology and after I glommed on her Blaze's from my local UBS until I had some money to buy her later works.  I got this one from NetGalley.

What it's about:  This is Chloe's book.  Maddie (Simply Irresistible), Tara (The Sweetest Thing) and Chloe are sisters who share the same mother but all have different fathers.  They didn't grow up together and barely know each other.  When their mother dies, they meet up at Lucky Harbor to find out they have inherited an inn.  I'd recommend reading the series from the start (apart from anything else, they're all good) to understand the full story arc but the romance can certainly be read as a stand alone.

Chloe is a "wild child" who is a trouble magnet.  Sheriff Sawyer Thompson had a wild youth but sticks firmly to the straight and narrow.   There are buckets of chemistry between the two but both wonder if it could really go anywhere - they are too different and a fling could cause problems as Sawyer is best friends with Jax (Maddie's fiance) and Ford (Tara's SO).

What I thought (aka What worked for me and what didn't): This is a light, sexy, fun read with a hot Sheriff hero and a ballsy but vulnerable heroine.   If I were to equate this book with food I would equate it to popcorn (if I liked popcorn) - I dive into it and then I can't stop reading.  It's easy to read - while it's not without depth it doesn't tax the brain.  Before you know it, I've devoured the whole book.  Except, I don't feel sick or regretful afterward (which I may do if it was popcorn - if I liked popcorn).  It would be like if popcorn was healthy or something and after devouring a whole bowl of it, I felt happy and satisfied.  So, not really like popcorn at all.... :P

There is some depth to the story - one of the secondary characters (Lance) has Cystic Fibrosis.  As Chloe's best friend, he has a fair share of page time and even a little bit of a secondary romance himself.   Chloe has asthma which is quite serious.  She can't run or do anything too strenuous - having sex means using the inhaler at the least and a trip to the emergency room at best.  Emotional stress bring on asthma attacks too.  I liked that the asthma didn't magically go away - Chloe and Sawyer had to deal with it.  Sawyer does research and he takes things slooow *sigh* so Chloe doesn't get too worked up.

The conflict between the two was largely about how Chloe was too wild for Sawyer and Sawyer was too uptight for Chloe and if they got together it would be destined to end badly and therefore cause grief in the family given the relationships between the sisters and Sawyer's best friends.  As conflicts go, it was fairly light but it was nevertheless believable.  Both Chloe and Sawyer are reluctant to get involved but too attracted to stop.   I liked that there wasn't anything huge stopping them from getting together but at the same time, it wasn't non existent either.  I would have liked to have seen how Sawyer got from "she's no good for me" to "I love her and we're great together".  I felt the shift was a bit abrupt and there was a lack of exposition there.

Chloe isn't as wild as everyone thinks.  I think the book does a great job of showing that Chloe, due to her unusual upbringing, is suspicious of "I love you" and the "stickability" of people.  Her experience is that people don't stick and her expectations are very low.  At the same time, she wants to have a home and a family, she's just scared to trust it when it appears.  I've read reviews around the place which have criticised the book for Chloe's acceptance being linked to conformity.  Certainly, there did seem to be a bit of that on the part of her sisters - they were disapproving of her "flightiness" and wanted her to settle down.  But (and this was the most important for me), that wasn't the case with Sawyer.  He did not require or want Chloe to change at all. He loved her as is.  And, he understood her.   In the end, I felt that if Chloe settled, she mainly did so for her own reasons.  As she began to trust in her relationship with her sisters and feel at home in Lucky Harbor, she felt comfortable putting down roots.  It felt very organic to me.  I don't think Chloe's going to stop rescuing dogs from abusive owners or hang-gliding or other dangerous activities, but she'll do it from a home base and won't take off at the drop of a hat.  

There was substance cleverly hidden amongst the light and fun and it was a delight for me to read - like when I eat something which happens to be healthy but also unexpectedly tastes really good and which I happen to find I want at exactly that time. 

Best of all for me in a Jill Shalvis book, is the humour.  I think Jill Shalvis writes guys and their interactions very believably and she usually makes me laugh - like here:
Chloe was giving him a go-on gesture with her hand.
"All I have left is my pants,, " he said.
"Yes, please."
"It's cold, Chloe."
She tilted her head.  "Are you worried about shrinkage?"
Well, he was now.

Sawyer reached up and manually turned off the TV because a new episode was starting and if The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song got stuck in his head, he was going to have to kill himself.

What else?  It occurs to me that I have given the same grade to Head Over Heels as I did for The Black Hawk.  When I thought about it it seemed somehow wrong.  They are such different books even though they are both romance.  But, if Head Over Heels is popcorn (except good for you), The Black Hawk is a rich dense dessert.    They both absolutely have their place on the menu and, at the right time, the enjoyment of consuming both can be equally wonderful.   I read Head Over Heels at exactly the right time I think. 

Grade:  B+

A (very) slightly cut down version (for space reasons) of this review appeared in the December ARRA newsletter.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Black Hawk by Joanna Bourne

Why I read it:  I'm a fan.  Adrian = Rowr.

What it's about:  Fans of the series will know that this is Adrian and Justine's story.  If you haven't read the other books, I'd recommend doing so as it will make this read a richer experience.  So, get thee to a bookshop stat and come back once you've read the others. 
It doesn't really tell you much, but here's the blurb from Goodreads - Attacked on a rainy London street, veteran spy Justine DeCabrillan knows only one man can help her: Hawker, who also happens to be the enemy. With London crawling with hidden assassins and someone out to frame Hawker for the assault, the two spies must work together to find who's out to destroy them...

What I thought (aka What worked for me and what didn't):  I've been sitting on this review for a few weeks now, letting things percolate in my head.   In my desire to savour the joy that is the lyricism of Joanna Bourne's prose and to soak up all the lovely goodness, I think I did this book a disservice.  The further away from it I get, the more disconnected I feel.  Yet, when I refresh myself with some quotes from the book, I'm immediately sucked back into the vortex (in a good way!).  I think I took too long to read it. I think maybe I should have allowed myself to glom and then savoured on a re-read. Or, maybe, now that I have savoured, I need to re-read and glom to properly appreciate this book.  I'm convinced it is all me in any event.    The book is wonderful, Adrian is a glorious hero and Justine is pretty darn special too.   It's just that for some reason when I finished, I felt disconnected; like I'd missed something somehow.   
There are so many scenes in this book which, when I remind myself of them, I sigh over.  The first love scene is just beautiful.  Justine had been sold to a brothel as a child and she has a very understandable fear/disdain of physical intimacy.  However, she loves Adrian and feels passion for him.  Adrian is fully aware of Justine's past and his constant (but not in an annoying way) - "look at me, it's me, Adrian" (that's not a direct quote by the way) just showed how well he knew her.  He knew what she needed to be able to have a happy sexual experience with him.  I love the way Adrian knows her completely and loves her,  not in spite of it and not quite because of it but rather,  in everything and without any kind of judgement.    Oh, he says it better really:
"I liked you as a pretty young girl." He let men and women brush past on either side of him and only looked at her.  "I like the woman you became better than the girl you were.  I like the story you've written on your face."
(my emphasis)
And yet, he's not so sensitive that he won't take his chances when he can get them:
"Wait a minute.  I'm still back thinking about you opening the window and letting me in.  What were you wearing?"
Adrian has a cutting sense of humour and he's not afraid to use it, even just in his own head.
Reams looked particularly self-satisfied this morning.  Possibly he felt he'd done something clever.  He was probably wrong.

I found the flashbacks, not disorienting, but in some way a little frustrating.  I think it's that I wanted the WHOLE story - I would have been happy to read everything and not just the 'excerpts' of their lives that made it into the book - does that make sense.

What else?  The cover is something of a disappointment to me.  At the same time as I feel I'm being unnecessarily picky, I'm still going to say that the cover model doesn't look anything like Adrian and the step back had a really boring picture of the Eiffel Tower and no picture of Justine.  Just as well I don't buy books because of their covers.

I think this whole series will be a re-read for me at some point (I've already read The Spymaster's Lady twice and listened to it on audio) and I suspect I will find more hidden gems and nuance in the books as I do so.   

Pax has an important part to play in this book and his book is next. As much as I had been looking forward to Adrian's book, I'm kind of surprised that my level of anticipation for Pax's book is nearly as high. 

I still think my favourite book of the series so far is The Forbidden Rose but the whole series is sitting on my keeper shelf.

Grade:  B+

Monday, December 12, 2011


16 December 2011 ETA:  Unfortunately Sammy2008 didn't get back to me and left me no way to contact her.  So, as promised, I have drawn a new winner for the Sean Kennedy books.  And, the winner is:  


I've emailed you Marissa, so please check your inbox!

Using the power of the draw straws programme available from, the winners of the the 20 Followers Giveaway Extravaganza are:

(drumroll please)

who won the book from the Book Depository to the value of $10AUD

I've emailed you Kris, so please check your inbox.


Sammy2008 (see ETA above - new winner selected))
who won both* books by Sean Kennedy (Tigers and Devils and I Fell in Love with a Zombie)

Unfortunately Sammy2008 didn't leave me an email address so I can't contact her.  So, Sammy2008, if you're out there! get in touch with me at kaetrin67 AT gmail DOT com so I can arrange to get your prizes to you!  (If I don't hear within 72 hours, I'll draw a new winner).

Thank you to everyone who visited, commented, entered the giveaway, tweeted or retweeted and helped me celebrate.  And special thanks to Sean Kennedy for prize donation.   *hugs*

(*as nobody specifically asked for I Fell in Love with a Zombie, I decided to award both books as one prize instead of having 3 separate winners).

Sunday, December 11, 2011

November Reads

on Paper/eBook

Where Demons Fear to Tread by Stephanie Chong - DNF Not a success.  See why here.

Something Different by SA Reid - A-/B+ see my full review here.

No Holds Barred by Callie Croix - C  A somewhat undeveloped sexy short about a couple sharing a threesome with his best buddy. There were some serious issues not really fleshed out, I wasn't 100% convinced of her consent at first and it ended on kind of a weird note for me.  But it was certainly sexy.

Happily Never After by Jeaniene Frost - C+Here's a review I wrote which appeared in the November ARRA newsletter.
This is a cute e-short featuring Bones’ good friend Chance.   Greta, an old acquaintance of Bones, asks a favour of him. As he is unable to do it himself, he asks Chance to go in his stead.  Greta’s grandson is missing and her granddaughter is being harassed by a mafioso type.  Chance takes one look at Isabella and decides he really needs to get to know her better and he’s definitely not going to allow her to be forced into marriage with a mafia don wannabe.
The mafia aspects to the story were very tongue-in-cheek and amusing, if somewhat improbable.  Chance and Isabella have an instant attraction and a very smexy scene.   Ms. Frost writes strong heroines and Isabella, even without vampire strength and ability is not entirely powerless and is able to help take down the bad guys.  Plus, she uses Vagisil as a weapon! :D
It’s a steamy short read and fans of the Night Huntress series will enjoy.

 A Little Harmless Surprise - C+.  A free short featuring characters from a previous story (which I haven't read).  It was sexy and hot but as I hadn't read the earlier book, I didn't have the same connection that those who have read it would not doubt have.  It did make me want to try a full length story though - I think I have one on my TBR somewhere.... *fossick, rustle*
ETA:  Actually, I don't - must remedy that stat.

The Debutante's Dilemma - Elyse Mady - D  *spoilers ahoy* Improbable story of a Regency Debutante who wants a marriage of passion.  With two highly eligible suitors, she is unable to choose from, she decides to meet them to see if she has chemistry with either of them.  It felt to me like the author had a Regency thesaurus or something and kept throwing likely words in so I wouldn't forget the time period.  It didn't feel natural.  Also, Suitor 1 is a Duke and Suitor 2 is an Earl.  Both have responsibilities to their estates and to think that she could actually marry one and have some kind of permanent menage with both was just too much for me to bear.  Also, she is a virgin debutante with virtually no experience or knowledge, but you wouldn't know that from her behaviour in the greenhouse.  And, having twins 10 months after the marriage with one fair haired and one dark haired child - um, hur??  Am I supposed to believe that she's had a child of each in one pregnancy?  Really?  I only finished it because it was short. 
I have however, heard good things about this author's contemporaries so I might give her another go in that subgenre - her style might work better for me there.

Convincing Arthur by Ava March - C+  Good sexy short about a man (Leopold) who has been in love with another (Arthur) for 10 years but has been waiting for Arthur to be available.  Leopold has a bit of a reputation for gambling, drinking and whoring and Arthur is all about discretion.   Can Leopold convince Arthur to take a chance on a relationship with him?

My Lord and Spymaster by Joanna Bourne - B  see my full review here.

The Black Hawk by Joanna Bourne - B+  full review to come.

Head Over Heels (Lucky Harbor #3) by Jill Shalvis - B+  full review to come.

Holiday Kisses Anthology - 4 contemporary Christmas novellas.  So far I have only read 2 of them. Warning. I seem to be an outlier on these two novellas.  I liked, but did not love them.
I'll review the other 2 stories in December's round up.  Maybe I'll be feeling more of the love by then :)

This Time Next Year by Alison Kent  - C+  Brenna is driving up a snowy mountain to visit her Gran for Christmas.  Afterward, she is jetting off to Malawi to volunteer in a clinic there for a year (she's a nurse).  Brenna has an accident after narrowly missing a deer in the road and ends up in a deep snowdrift.  Riding to the rescue, literally, comes Dillon, a doctor and former military man who carries scars from his tours in  Afghanistan. This one had its moments for me but there were some things which struck me as a little odd - hello stranger danger - I mean, he could have been a serial killer - he wasn't of course, heroes never are, but she didn't know that.  Also there were some leaps taken emotionally  (from attraction to love) in 2 or 3 days which I couldn't quite get on board with.   The last little bit was unusual as they only had access to each other via snail mail and in this day and age, I would have thought that skype or email would have been possible even from Malawi.
I did like that Brenna still went to Malawi, that she didn't just chuck her life in to be with him but I would have liked a previous connection or a slower fall into love to fully believe the HEA.  Still, a year had passed and they had each had time to process and Dillon had had time to heal.  Part of me was sad this was done off page as more Dillon is not a bad thing - I would have liked to have a deeper understanding of him.  Part of me was very glad that his healing wasn't actually because of her.  He did it for himself.  Maybe she was the inspiration but the rest was all him.  I felt that by the end they were each getting whole people as partners but I wondered if the story was just too big for the length of the novella?

A Rare Gift by Jaci Burton - C  We first met Wyatt Kent in Jaci Burton's 2010 holiday novella All She Wants for Christmas, which was brother Ethan's story.  Wyatt is cynical and solitary after a bitter divorce. Calliope Andrews is the sister of Wyatt's ex-wife.  The Kent brothers have a construction company and Calliope runs a day care centre that needs an extension.   That is what brings the couple together and the URST is obvious once their in the same room together.
The sticking point for me was the whole dating-my-sister's-ex-husband thing.  There was very little, particularly early in the book, which addressed the squick factor of the former sister-in-law becoming the the new lover/wife.  It's not my favourite type of story as I do see a squick factor here but I feel if it's going to be done, the elephant in the room needs to be addressed.  Maybe it's only me who sees the elephant though because it seemed to be glossed over to me.    
The other aspect which didn't ring true was that bitter, twisted Wyatt had ONE conversation with his ex-wife and all of a sudden the bitterness was gone.  I'm not sure I really understood why he was so bitter in the first place, especially given that it seemed to be solved so easily.  Leaving aside those 2 things, I did enjoy the rest of the book.  Ms. Burton can surely write a smokin' sex scene!  Apart from that though, there was connection and affection between Calliope and Wyatt and I liked them, separately and as a couple,  but the "elephants" were too big for me to truly buy into the premise and that has affected my grading.

on Audio

Storm's Heart by Thea Harrison, narrated by Sophie Eastlake B+. See my full review here.

A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole, narrated by Robert Petkoff - B-  Lachlain MacReive has been imprisoned and tortured by the Vampire Horde for 150 years when he scents his mate.  Emmaline Troy is a half vampire/half Valkyrie who feels she doesn't quite belong anywhere.  The first scenes between Emma and Lachlain are a bit uncomfortable as there is a lack of consent to his initial sexual advances and Emma is clearly powerless against him.  However, once the story gets going, Emma is able to exert her authority and things start to balance out.    I find I'm becoming more sensitive to consent issues and that has affected my grade - otherwise it would have been a solid B.  Mr. Petkoff does a good job with the narration and for the most part, has a really good female voice.  I thought Emma's got a bit deeper (and therefore drag-y) toward the middle of the book, but the beginning and the end of the story, were very well done.  Much of the book was told from Lachlain's POV and Mr. Petkoff had a very good Scottish accent and a nice deep voice which was pleasant on the ears.  I'm looking forward to the next books in the series.

The Warlord Wants Forever by Kresley Cole, narrated by Simone Fomhar and Hagan Verrett - C  Simone Fomhar narrates the female POV and Hagan Verrett the male POV in this one.  I didn't love Ms. Fomhar's narration - her pacing was just a little too fast for me.  I like Ms. Verrett's better, although there were times where his Myst voice veered into drag territory, he mostly stayed out of it.  He had a much better accent for Nikolai.  It's been a fair while since I read this story in print and I'd forgotten how rape-y it was. There is quite a bit of dubious consent going on which made me a little uncomfortable.  Also, really ugly cover.

Survivor in Death by JD Robb, narrated by Susan Ericksen - B+.  This is one of those books which made me cry in print and the audio was no exception.  Susan Ericksen is so good at conveying the emotion of Nixie, the little girl whose family is killed while they were sleeping.  I've always thought that this author excels at making me care in a few short paragraphs about the victims in this series and there are plenty of examples of just that in this book. Also, because one of the children killed was a sleepover guest who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, as a parent, this story had me a bit chilly.

Gideon by Jacquelyn Frank, narrated by Xe Sands - C+ As much as it amazes me that Xe Sands can make her voice do that low growly baritone and not hack up a lung after, I found this book a bit....slow.  There was a lot of time when nothing really happened and I think there is a contender for longest love scene ever in here.   Because there was little action and I can't skim listen the way I can skim read, this was less enjoyable for me than I'd hoped.  I did enjoy Xe's narration though.

Born in Fire by Nora Roberts, narrated by Fiacre Douglas - B-. watch out for a review over at AAR.

Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs, narrated by Holter Graham - A-  First of all, why why WHY is the novella Alpha and Omega not available on audio?  :(  I've read the novella so the story makes much more sense to me but without it I really wonder about how listeners can get the true Charles/Anna relationship.  The novella is a complete story but it also serves as the (effectively) first few chapters of Cry Wolf, as the book starts off right after the novella.  It's a crying shame I tell you!!
Now that I've got that off my chest, on to the actual review. I love this book.  I've read it twice and now listened to it as well.  Anna is an amazing character - abused and scared, she is nevertheless brave and strong and heroic.  What I like about Patricia Briggs' female leads is that they always participate in the final takedown of the bad guys.  Charles rescues Anna from a bad situation in Chicago (in Alpha and Omega) but Anna's skills and courage are needed to defeat the evil in Cry Wolf.  I love that Anna is part of it rather than that things just happen to her.
This book starts when Bran and Charles return to Montana with Anna, after the events in Alpha and Omega.  There is a rogue werewolf killing humans in the Cascade mountains and Charles and Anna head into the cold to find and deal with the threat, which, of course, is not all as it first seems to be.
I enjoyed Holter Graham's narration quite a bit.  He doesn't try to do a female voice for Anna, he just softens his tone a little and this was quite effective.  At first I thought his voice for Charles was a bit... wrong but after some thought, I changed my view.  Charles is not a talker.  He's not good with words and he thinks before he speaks (and during the speaking too).  Mr. Graham had him talking in a deep slow voice which reflected that.  Initially I mistook the slow for stupid.  And Charles is NOT stupid.  But, when I listened to the words in the description of Charles, Mr. Graham was right - Charles does speak slowly.
This series is more romantic than the Mercy Thompson series, mainly because it features Charles and Anna as a couple working together to solve various conflicts.  Having said that, it is more on the "sweet" side of the heat level.  Which just goes to prove that hot smex does not necessarily a great book make.

Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs, narrated by Holter Graham - B+  Hunting Ground takes place shortly after Cry Wolf ends and the relationship between Anna and Charles is still quite new.  They are dealing with the fallout of the abuse suffered at the hands of her former pack in Chicago and Charles is getting used to having a wife - he's been a loner for most of his life.  Charles and Anna head to Seattle  as ambassadors for Bran to meet with the European delegation regarding their opposition to Bran's plan to reveal the existence of werewolves to the world.  The European wolves can't stop it from happening - Bran is the Marrok and in the US, his word is law for werewolves, but he wants to calm their fears and help them out as much as possible.  While in Seattle, a group of hired vampires attack and/or kill various cast members and it becomes clear that Anna is a target.
I liked this book but not quite as much as Cry Wolf.  In this one, I kind of had to cross my eyes and hunch to make the plot make sense to me (in terms of who the 'bad guy' was) and, after getting used to.  Also, after coming to the conclusion that Holter Graham's voice for Charles in Cry Wolf was spot on, he went and changed it for this book!!  It is particularly noticeable listening to the books back to back.  In this one, Charles had a normal guy's voice - deep and pleasant to the ear but different to the one previously used.  I liked the first one better.  Still, a very good listen and I highly recommend this series as well as the Mercy Thompson series - either on audio or on paper/ebook.