This review was originally posted at Wicked Lil Pixie
on August 22, 2013

I loved this book. I loved this book so much I’ve read it twice in the last 6 weeks. Believe me, that’s pretty unheard of in my world. Usually I need to space it out further. I think Tyler has to be one of my favorite heroes of Vivian Arend’s. Tyler Harrison is wonderful. He’s funny, smart, protective, caring, and a bear.

That’s right. I said bear.

Tyler’s a bear shifter, to be precise, and where can I get one of my own? He’s the head of the Harrison Delegation who are headed to Whitehorse to meet in Conclave, which is the Bear version of…well…Conclave. They’re there to choose a new leader, and Tyler means to be the one chosen. The problem is there’s another delegation who is just as determined, but not nearly as worthy as Tyler. Of course.

Caroline is a human who grew up with a stepfather and half-sister who are wolf shifters, so she knows how shifters operate. She also has been having a long-term relationship with Evan who is the Alpha of the Takhini pack, as well as running the hotel the Takhini pack own. She may be human, but NOBODY crosses Caroline. Whether its fear of her or of Evan, she’s not sure, but whatever it is, it works.

Evan and Caroline are really more like best friends who have a lot of sex, which is good news for Tyler! Evan breaks up with Caroline right as Tyler arrives to town, and I’ll let Evan fill you on the reasons. Poor Evan. Ms. Arend tortures him so in this book. Once Tyler comes to town, things heat up FAST. He needs help schmoozing the Bear community, and maybe some help smoothing things over with the Takhini pack wouldn’t hurt, either. Caroline decides to help him, because she sees the potential disaster within the shifter community if someone unworthy is the head of the Bear shifters.

Caroline and Tyler are a good team. She sees things within the community which Tyler, being so used to how things are, doesn’t notice. Caroline ends up being invaluable to Tyler in helping win over a large part of the population, but what made this book so special for me is how Tyler is this big, gruff, bear. He’s a total take charge kind of guy and he’s used to being the biggest threat around. And because of those traits, he could just run right over Caroline, but he doesn’t. He realizes what she needs more than anything is to really be heard. For someone to listen and understand just what she needs, even if she doesn’t necessarily articulate those needs. He ASKS her what she wants, he doesn’t demand to know. He’s also very affectionate.

“Who said anything about leaving the bed?” He rolled far enough to tip her to the mattress then bundled her into his arms, nuzzling her neck and dropping kisses on her face.

Well, this was sweet. “Okay, I know guys are usually, well, up in the morning, but you’re, like, way affectionate.”

Tyler adjusted position to look into her eyes. “You were nice to my bear. He appreciates that.”

Really, you should give Tyler a chance. Vivian Arend’s shifters are really such wonderful characters, and Tyler is my absolute favorite.

For now.

Ask me again after Evan’s book.

Lynda the Guppy
A Bear?! Bears Are Sweet!
aka The Fish With Sticks

RATING: 4.5 Stars

Guppy Note: While at the RT Convention WAAAAAAAY back in May, I was lucky enough to get an ARC for this book. Unfortunately, I rarely read historical romances, but my cousin is a fan of both the genre and Ms. Laurens, so she pounced on the book and decided to try her hand at reviewing.

Be gentle. It’s her first time.

Well this is my first attempt at a book review so bear with me…Before I decided to review the latest Cynster Novel by Stephanie Laurens I thought I should re-read some of the books prior and any I hadn’t yet read to re-familiarize myself with the main characters and to get into the Cynster mind-frame.  I had forgotten how much I missed these books.

All told I re-read 6 books before I decided I was ready for The Taming of Ryder Cavanaugh so when I finished the book I was sorely upset when it didn’t reach out and hold my attention like all the books leading up to it.  Now this could be that perhaps I read too many Cynster novels in a short time, or what makes a Cynster novel a CYNSTER novel just wasn’t there.  If you have read any of the Cynster books or even the Bastion Club books by Stephanie Laurens you know what I am talking about: the strong male that you sometimes want to bash upside the head, the female who knows she is in the right but still manages to screw something up and you laugh out loud at scenes or you sniffle through others.  For some reason this book just didn’t hit those marks for me.  We had heard about both Mary and Ryder in the books leading up to this and I couldn’t wait for the book to come out knowing Ryder was going to be an interesting character and that strong-headed Mary would be his match. Perhaps some of the lack of entertainment in this book was missing because there were so many scenes when other characters were taking the main lead and you had to get through those scenes to get back to Ryder and Mary.  Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed catching up with everyone (as I always do), but like I said something was just missing for me.

I look forward to the next Cynster novel and maybe this time I won’t re-read so many books prior and maybe I will love that book like I have loved so many others.

This review was originally posted at Wicked Lil Pixie
on August 5, 2013

This was an interesting book. When I first heard Ms. Hill wrote another Knights of the Boardroom book, I was confused. Who was left? She had already written about all five Knights of the Boardroom, and I was unsure where she was going. I found out this book featured Janet, the Admin for Matt Kensington, and Max, driver for Matt’s company and Dana Winston’s regular driver. Now I was REALLY confused. I had always had the impression that Janet was much older than Matt and the Knights. I always thought she was in her sixties at least. Obviously I was wrong. This isn’t the first time, either. Some day ask me how long it was before I realized Draco Malfoy was a blonde. (Spoiler: The first movie. I was pretty stunned.)

Once I readjusted my image of Janet, I got sucked into the book, just as I have all the Knights books. In this one, Janet is the Domme and Max is the sub…kind of. LOL He’s a little too alpha to truly sub for Janet, but she pretty much tops him all the time. Even when she lets him be in charge, it is clear that it is at HER discretion and HER wish. It’s nice to see that role reversal once in a while, and it was a bonus that it was done well. Max was allowed to be the strong and tough former Navy SEAL and Janet could be the damaged Domme and neither of them really played head games. They allowed the other the time and space and support needed for each to work through their individual issues.

I’ve been reading this series since the first book came out, and I’ve enjoyed every book. Because these stories are often so intense, they tend to focus mostly on the couple, and the other Knights and their women show up only sporadically. This book had all the couples from the previous books throughout the entire book. It was great to see how the couples have evolved and what emotional strides they’ve made since each of their stories. It was especially great to see Ben and what he’s putting himself through to be the best man he can be for Marcie.

All in all, I enjoyed it. It was a sexy read, but it has an emotional depth which can be missing in books of this genre. While the sex scenes were plentiful, you never felt like the scenes in between were stuck there simply as filler until the characters could get back into bed (or a tent, a truck, a hot tub…). I was very pleased with this book and feel its a wonderful addition to the Knights of the Boardroom series.

Although I wouldn’t complain if Ms. Hill took us back to the infamous boardroom for some fun. *eyebrow waggle*

Lynda the Guppy
aka Fish with Sticks

Rating: 3.5 Stars

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