Bear Temptation (Shifter Town Book 1) by Novalee Swan: FIRST FIVE©

~~~BLURB~~~

Enter the world of Shifter Town with the first book in this captivating new series by Amazon bestselling author Novalee Swan.

A bar. A game of pool. A bet…

When grizzly shifter Bear Reid arrives in Rosewood, Tennessee, he doesn’t expect to find a luscious redhead waiting tables and fending off barflies with sugar-coated threats. She’s a ray of sunshine in purgatory and he wants her. Bad.

So he buys the bar.

Kelly McKenna has a head for numbers, but she takes one look at her enigmatic new boss—all malt hair and whiskey eyes—and finally understands what it means to crave. Eventually, sweet flirtation leads to a not-so-sweet game of pool. And a bet.

Winner takes all.

But there’s something Kelly doesn’t know about Bear. A secret that could destroy her trust and her heart forever.

Bear Temptation is the first book in Novalee Swan’s Shifter Town series. It features her trademark heat and emotional intensity and is perfect for readers who love sexy shifter romance and small-town charm.

~~~~DISCLAIMER~~~~

THIS REVIEW IS BASED ON THE FIRST FIVE© SENTENCES OF THIS BOOK, BEAR TEMPTATION BOOK 1 BY NOVALEE SWAN, FREE AS OF 6/16/21. THIS READ IS FREE FOR KINDLE APP. AND HAS NO AUDIBLE ANYTHING. AS ALWAYS, THIS REVIEW IS BASED ON MY, JENNIFER STARKS, OPINION OF THE FIRST FIVE© SENTENCES OF THIS BOOK.

~~~~~~~~

Sentence One: “Sugar. . . if you don’t want to lose that hand, you better detach it from my ass before I detach it from your arm.”

THOUGHTS: Great opener for so many reasons. First, we, the reader, are starting with action, movement and dialogue. These factors allow for instant reader immersion. The more natural the dialogue? The quicker events move. Pace is a MUST when opening this way. If an author opens with action then instantly moves into an info dump or movement lull? IMO, they’ll lose reader interest just as quickly as they’ve gained it. Let’s make sure the pace keeps on, shall we?

Sentence Two: The soft threat was issued like an invitation for sweet tea on the porch, and it was accompanied by a smile that was both saccharine and steel.

THOUGHTS: I love EVERYTHING about this sentence because it truly encompasses the southern woman. For real. They’re a polite kinda vicious most people don’t understand. As a character trait? I totally dig it. And that last part? “was both saccharine and steel?” Best line I’ve come across in a while. Fits perfect. It’s wonderfully accurate and the visual is easy as hell to come by. Also? It would seem the movement is still on par.

Sentence Three: From a dim booth in the corner of the bar, Bear Reid watched the redheaded waitress, hands full with a tray of long-necks, stare down the drunk redneck who was simultaneously touching paradise and courting death.

THOUGHTS: Another brilliant line. Love the original sound of “touching paradise and courting death.” Movement is well on it’s way. I’m an impressed and happy reader so far. (Plus? A redheaded waitress? In a bar? That’s quite the drama setup all on it’s own, right?)

Sentence Four: Bear’s jaw flexed, but he didn’t move.

THOUGHTS: I like a man with self-control. When they lose their temper? Drama is usually too tame a word to describe what happens next.

Sentence Five: Across the crowded taproom, he heard the redneck telling her to lighten up–that it was just a little harmless fun.

FINAL THOUGHTS: To be honest? I didn’t need to read THE FIRST FIVE© before hitting download. I trusted this author’s ability to take me on a great adventure instantly, and I hope you do too. If not? This paragraph should help A LOT, but if you’re not a big shifter world fan? I don’t know how happy you’ll be with a book that literally has ‘shifter’ in the title. I will comment on this book when I’ve finished it. Don’t worry. I’m very good at keeping updates spoiler FREE. So go forth, curious readers. Book adventure awaits.

Moon Kissed: Wolves of Midnight Bundle by Multiple Authors: FIRST FIVE©

~~~BLURB~~~

Dive into four full-length novels full of kick-ass heroines and the sexy wolves who love them. From fated mates and enemies-to-lovers to heart-pounding adventures starring shifters, vampires, and witches, this paranormal box set will leave you breathless and anxious for more.

Contents:

Half Wolf by Aimee Easterling – When half-shifter Fen is cast out of her home pack, she and an unlikely ally are forced to shore up her waning power in an effort to save half-breeds everywhere.

Lost Wolf by Stacy Claflin – Victoria is troubled by a secret that already killed her once. Can she unravel the mystery surrounding the sexy alpha before it kills her again?

Descendant by S.M. Gaither – Infected by a werewolf bite, Alex is plunged into a supernatural war — and discovers her family’s bloodline holds the key to saving the world.

A Shifter’s Curse by Raven Steele and Ava Mason – With a dagger in her boot and blades in her bra, Briar’s only goal is to kill the Alpha responsible for the destruction of her entire family. But she soon discovers the only way to get close enough to kill him is to join his pack.

~~~~~~

~~~~DISCLAIMER~~~~

THIS REVIEW IS BASED ON THE FIRST FIVE© SENTENCES OF THIS BOOK, MOON KISSED: WOLVES OF MIDNIGHT BUNDLE, WHICH IS FREE AS OF TODAY, 6-9-21. THIS READ IS FOR THE REGULAR KINDLE APP. AUDIBLE NOT AVAILABLE. AS ALWAYS, THIS REVIEW IS BASED ON MY, JENNIFER STARKS, OPINION OF THE FIRST FIVE© SENTENCES OF THIS BOOK.

~~~~~~~~

Sentence One: Three shifters walked into a bar.

THOUGHTS: Sounds like an interesting joke…

Sentence Two: It sounds like the beginning of a corny joke, doesn’t it?

THOUGHTS: Yes. It absolutely does. Let’s hope it doesn’t get too corny.

Sentence Three: But here’s a little more information for you.

THOUGHTS: Okay. Good. I like information as long as it’s not in the dreaded info-dump form. *holding breath*

Sentence Four: I was those shifters’ alpha and den mother rolled into one.

THOUGHTS: Ohhhhhhhh. Interesting. How’s this gonna work? Kinky alpha mom romance? Or is there something less tawdry going on here?

Sentence Five: Two of those barhoppers were jailbait or close to it.

THOUGHTS: Okay. So not a tawdry thing. Not with kids who aren’t ‘of age‘ yet. Please, God. Don’t let it go that way… I don’t like to read stuff that can get me arrested.

BONUS SENTENCES: And the establishment in question was filled to the brim with horny, lawless, outpack males. No wonder I wasn’t laughing and was in a big hurry.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I’m a sucker for beginnings like this one. In case you haven’t guessed. I love the easy, casual, yet intriguing, internal, or external, dialogue. I love the bar set up, and I especially love the addition of ‘horny, lawless’ wolves. Then there’s the whole baby wolves exploring the big bad world vibe. Fun. This bundle is gonna be awesome. Not just because it’s exactly that. Awesome. But, also because this is four reads! Four books for zero dollars? CRAZY. I’m gonna hype these authors up because bundles are just super cool.

I know! I’ll let you explore their author worlds by linking their pages in this post. Remember: adventure is only a DOWNLOAD away. Get it! {AUTHORS LINKED IN ACTUAL BLURB.}

Temptation (The Hunted Series Book 1) by Ivy Smoak: FIRST FIVE©

~~~BLURB~~~

Shy student Penny Taylor always follows the rules. At least, that’s how it appears to her classmates. But she has one illicit secret – she’s fallen hard for her professor. And she’s pretty sure he’s fallen for her too.

Everyone loves Professor Hunter. He’s tall, dark, and handsome. And completely unobtainable. But it’s the secrets hiding behind his deep brown eyes that allures Penny. Secrets darker than she could ever imagine.

James Hunter gave up his billionaire lifestyle in NYC last year to become a professor. The easiest new rule to follow: don’t fraternize with the students. It’s easy to follow because he’s become quite the recluse in his new town – the only way he knows how to keep his secrets buried.

But he never expected to be teaching such a beautiful student. He has to resist her. He needs to walk away. Penny deserves better than a man with his demons. But she’s daring him to cross the line. And he’s never been one to resist temptation.

~~~~DISCLAIMER~~~~

THIS REVIEW IS BASED ON THE FIRST FIVE© SENTENCES OF THIS BOOK, Temptation (Book 1) by Ivy Smoak, WHICH IS FREE AS OF TODAY, 5/15/21, FOR KINDLE APP, AND AUDIBLE (IF YOU HAVE FREE AUDIBLE TRIAL) AVAILABLE. THERE IS ALSO AN AUDIBLE SAMPLE. THIS REVIEW IS BASED ON MY, JENNIFER STARKS, OPINION OF THE FIRST FIVE© OF THIS BOOK.

~~~~~~~~

Sentence One: I pulled my phone out of my backpack and scrolled through my messages.

THOUGHTS: Mundane actions give the reader a sense of realism. It’s also a super easy way to put our MC in a specific setting. Nice job, Ivy Smoak.

Sentence Two: There were still no new ones.

THOUGHTS: I hate that. Especially when you’re really hoping for a new message. Totally relatable. Our MC has been disappointed and I feel that.

Sentence Three: I dropped it back into my bag and stared into my coffee cup.

THOUGHTS: I can see it. Perfectly. I mean, seriously. Do you know how many times I’ve dropped my phone in an angry huff because there weren’t any new messages? Literally, thousands of times.

Sentence Four: He had told me he missed me, so I had come up to campus early to surprise him, but he hadn’t returned my two calls. 

THOUGHTS: This sentence feels a little clunky to be honest. I think it would’ve read better with less of an info dump, BUT as-is? This sentence gives the reader a pit in their stomach. The ‘boy pit of doom.’ Must read on.

Sentence Five: I shouldn’t have made that second call.

THOUGHTS: Oh. The “called too many times” regret. It’s a b*#ch, right? Again. I feel this.

FINAL THOUGHTS: It’s the realism for me. The author has me invested, and while I did admittedly read more than five sentences before DOWNLOADING, I only did so out of sheer enjoyment. I’m not sharing because if you’re smarter than me? You’ll DOWNLOAD right now.

Wicked Good Witches Books 1-3 by Ruby Raine: FIRST FIVE©

~~~BLURB~~~

The Motto of the Howard Witches: 
Protect magic.
Bring new witches into the world to replenish the bloodline. 
Don’t expect to live long enough to meet your grandchildren…
But when you’re the last of your bloodline, how do you fulfill your duty when you’ve got everything to lose? 

If you enjoy humorous and thrilling suspense plus steamy romance all wrapped up in a series that doesn’t take itself too seriously but will give you all the feels… Get Wicked Good Witches Today! It starts with Magic, Blood, and Bone, and ends 14 books later with, Who Wants to Witch Forever? 

Charlie, Michael, and Melinda are the last three witches alive in their bloodline. 
A werewolf with an over-the-top big brother complex.
An empath who wishes he could stay out of his sibling’s love lives. 
And a witch whose job it is to save people she dreams will die, but has a panic attack whenever she has to leave the house… 

However, when she has a prophetic dream of Michael’s should-be girlfriend dying, Melinda needs to act fast. But saving their friend means doing one of three things Melinda dreads:
Ask her brothers for help. 
Ask the vampire she’s crushing on hard, and who’s off limits, for help. 
Or worse, do it herself—but this means doing the hardest thing ever—leaving her house and stepping into the hectic, crowded, no-room-to-breathe tourist trap that is The Demon Isle…

And to make matters worse, the body of a dead tourist is found and the murder linked to a beloved, but deceased, family member of the Howard Witches. The three siblings and their long-time family friend and mentor, an aged vampire named William, launch a supernatural mission to prove their innocence or guilt. 

They down their liquid energy—erm, coffee—nature’s magic—and follow every clue, down into the very depths of the ocean and into the cave filled with frightful supernatural creatures. They have more caffeinated courage after rescuing a mysterious damsel in distress. Then visit the Wicked Muddy Café for well, more coffee, plus an earful of local gossip. Have a race with a ghost. Reveal a new magical power. Yet more coffee—because, is there ever enough when you’re trying to solve a murder? And deal with an unexpected side-mission that blazes the trail of a new mystery, even more supernatural trouble, sparks a sizzling romance or three, has impossible levels of coffee drinking, and leaves their hearts both shattered and hopeful about their future as witches… 

The magical struggle is real, folks. And it’s just getting started.

~~~~DISCLAIMER~~~~

THIS REVIEW IS BASED ON THE FIRST FIVE© SENTENCES OF THIS BOOK, WICKED GOOD WITCHES BY RUBY RAINE, WHICH IS FREE AS OF TODAY, 5/13/21, FOR KINDLE APP, AND DOES NOT HAVE AN AUDIBLE PREVIEW AVAILABLE. THIS REVIEW IS BASED ON MY, JENNIFER STARKS, OPINION OF THE FIRST FIVE© OF THIS BOOK.

~~~~~~~~

Sentence One: Melinda Howard poured a potion into a small glass vial.

THOUGHTS: Starting off with action is my FAVORITE. Here we meet the MC and immediately learn she is doing her witchy thang. Love it! From this one action we, the reader, can safely assume this story won’t be about a new witches journey into her powers, but rather the tale of an educated Witch maneuvering her way through a world that will be new to us. EXCITING!

Sentence Two: She used a funnel, not trusting her unsteady fingers.

THOUGHTS: So, she’s nervous, scared, uncertain. Our MC is stressed, or she’s a new witch after all.

Sentence Three: It was her first time making this particular potion and if the results were anything less than perfect, the consequences would be fatal to the vampire standing in her kitchen.

THOUGHTS: Whoa. That escalated ever-so quickly. Two sentences ago? Our MC was just a nervous witch brewing in her kitchen. Now? She’s making a potion that is new-ish to her while a vampire stands in her kitchen watching. Oh yeah. If she messes up? Dead vampire on the kitchen floor. Those are some high stakes, (get it *winkwink*) and I’m here for it.

Sentence Four-Five: He was across the room. A good fifteen feet away, but she’d have sworn he was hovering just inches behind her, watching her every move.

Bonus Sentences: Movements that suddenly became heavy and awkward. A sudden self-awareness creeping across her skin she’d never worried about before. At least not in front of the vampire.

FINAL THOUGHTS: So. This potion is very important to the vampire and the vampire is someone our MC knows. These are very interesting bits of information. To be honest? I hit DOWNLOAD at sentence three. BUT. I figured someone might need some more convincing. If you need just a little bit more? Listen here: this DOWNLOAD is THREE books for the price of NONE. Thank you, Ruby Raine. C’mon. What’re you waiting for? Take a chance. I KNOW you won’t regret it. This adventure is for you, readers. Get lost in it.

LIVING with MS and Finding Support.

I don’t think I’ve ever been the ‘help me’ type. The moment I got diagnosed, even in the thick of my very debilitating symptoms, it was ALL about, ‘how do I make MYSELF better so I can take care of my kids?’

So, I asked my neurologist for the most aggressive MS treatment I could get. After I started my meds, I never stopped researching. There had to be a reason for my sudden illness. I had been such a healthy person.

Yes. Healthy people get sick all of the time, but this was different. I felt it in my bones. So. after doing a ton of my own research, I stumbled upon the (untreated) Lyme and Multiple Sclerosis theory. Which, from my understanding, is basically a theory that if left untreated? Lyme might turn in to MS.

To be fair, this isn’t a theory that has been scientifically proven, proven, but something about it spoke to me, so? I found an infectious disease specialist. He took me on as a patient, and after what I refer to as ‘the deep lyme test,‘ I was able to start a treatment.

So, I began treatment. It was rough. WAY worse than giving myself BETASERON® shots every other day. Eventually though? The Lyme treatment (I couldn’t find the one I was on. It’s individualized. But, here’s one) had helped my MS symptoms more than the MS drug.

Fast forward 2.5 years and I feel well enough that I have all but stopped my MS shots. Then, life went crazy and my insurance was gone, due to divorce. Then, my Lyme doctor was gone, my neurologist had moved his practice and I was off all meds.

For a while? I was doing…eh. Not good. Not bad. Just doing, I guess. When I look back at the amount of stress I was under? I am nothing but proud of myself for making it through. Sanity semi intact. All the same, I needed to stay as healthy as I could, so I hit research mode again.

This was when I came across, Dr. Nicole Apelian’s tinctures, and it was a game changer. Holistically speaking. BUT, after almost 7 years of dealing with MS and Lyme, plus my journey through tinctures, crystals, herbs and more: I can honestly see why a community of like-minded folks could be so very helpful.

Does that mean I’ve joined an MS community as of late? No. But I’m getting closer to committing to a group. I’m taking my time. Seeing what’s out there. That being said, crystals have gotten me to this point in life.

What point, you ask? The point where I can see the benefit of a community instead of potential humiliation. Crystal groups have taught me that people who share your interests make you feel welcome and at ease. Okay, okay. MS is not an interest or a hobby and it DOES NOT make you feel welcome or at ease.

MS comes with a lot of symptoms and baggage many can never understand.

Isolation happens more often than not with MS, but the crystal community has helped me see that there might be a spot for me in a place where being sick is normal.

MS Warriors live a battle that is moment to moment.

Being part of a community that understands that? Well. It intrigues me. Yes. I have joined a few groups before, but I wasn’t ready to commit to them. Now? Maybe. If you’re interested, HERE’S a few Warriors you can follow on instagram. I know. This isn’t an MS group, per say, but it could lead to one. Or many.

You never know where the next mouse click will take ya.

Before I go, here is a (GREAT) resource I plan to check out.

Crystal lovers: I have received my Shungite. LET THE RESEARCH begin. Um. Tomorrow.

MS and Crystals: Shungite.

I am getting my Shungite soon, but wanted to prep anybody interested in it’s healing properties. That way my next Shungite Crystal post can be ALL about my MS interactions with it.

Right off the bat, I can tell you that MS Warriors are gonna LOVE the idea of having help with the dreaded inflammation.

There are diets and such to keep inflammation down too, but I restrict myself so much as-is that I’m just not going THAT strict with my food. Plus. Gluten FREE dieting did NOTHING for my MS symptoms. NOTHING.

Now, let’s talk about Shungite. I’ve learned that it is not technically a crystal but a mineraloid (like amber, opal, or obsidian). This has to do with its structure or something. Shungite can be shiny making it look metallic. Author, Karen Frazier notes that Shungite is extremely grounding and that it’s also believed to help shield from electromagnetic frequencies.

This, along with thinking the material would look sexy on Mister, is why I bought him his Shungite bracelet I’ve been playing with as of late. I’ve already identified the grounding property as being 100% real. But it is so much more than that. Shungite boosts the regenerative ability of tissue and influences the exchange of neurotransmitters.

Neurotransmitters can improve a person’s resistance to stress. In general? Shungite has the potential to be used for ALL these afflicted systems:

Cardiovascular

Kidney

Liver

Pancreas

Gastric

Gallbladder

Anemia

Asthma

Allergies – antihistamine

Chronic fatigue

Arthritis – anti-inflammatory

Shungite also purifies H2O. Shungite-filtered water is safe to drink without any additional purification. Good to know if you’re stuck in the wilderness with only a ‘Shungy’ bracelet and the will to clean your drinking water. *winkwink*

If you’d like your own purified tap H2O, here are some steps to obtain Shungite clean water:

Purchase BPA-free gallon water dispensers. (Amazon is always the way to go.)

Buy 4 bags/packets of Shungite stone. 100 grams. (Amazon) Elite is the grade you’re looking for.

Buy some (at least two) cold brew filter bags. (Amazon.)

Rinse stones thoroughly. (Use a strainer if possible.)

Add bags/packets to the coffee filters you bought for your BPA-free containers.

Drop ’em in.

Fill ’em up with H2O.

Allow BPA-Free bottles to sit (with the filtered Shungite in them) for six hours before using–the first three hours make the water very acidic so NO DRINKING during this time.

After the sixth hour mark, water pH is perfect. Little bubbles will collect on the side of BPA containers when the H2O is ready. I obtained this info at this website. (I DID NOT DO TRY THIS MYSELF. I WILL TRY IT AT SOME POINT THOUGH.)

I’d love to stay and list even more benefits, but THIS post is a precursor to MY Shungite research post. Something to wet your appetite for my upcoming MS findings. For now? I will leave you one last meme. Read ya later, MS Crystal Warriors!

Let’s Talk About MS Crystals, Baby. Let’s Talk About You and Me.

I’ve heard a lot about Shungite, ya’ll. I mean A LOT. The one thing that never gets old is hearing how well it has worked for other people. I’ve heard these claims so much that I just had to buy a bracelet for my Mister cuz I thought seeing him wear a bracelet, black of course, would be crazy sexy. Spoiler ALERT! It was.

Annnnyway, what I didn’t expect was how attracted to the actual stone I would be. He puts it on his nightstand every night and when he’s not paying attention? I continuously find myself playing with it.

It hasn’t cured any of my MS symptoms. It hasn’t opened any Chakras or anything like that. Truthfully? I haven’t actually tested ANY of these black beauties. Not the way I normally would.

No. This post is just a post to say that the next Crystal I’ll be talking about HAS TO BE Shungite. I’ve been drawn to it for a while now and catching myself kidnapping Mister’s bracelet so often made me realize (again) that Crystal power is real. It should NEVER be ignored. So. I look forward to our next post chat and for now MY Crystal list still looks like this:

**Selenite = helped disperse my nerve/bone/joint pain with direct skin to crystal contact as well as keeping it on my person. Against my skin.

**Hematite = helped my unsteady, dizzy body feel more grounded and solid. Released a kind of unshakeable confidence inside of me. I handled it a few times then kept it near me for the rest of the night.

**Lapis Lazuli** = Eagerness to help. Sense of calm. (still gathering info)

**Malingano Jasper** = Increased happiness and calm. Dulled headache pain. (still gathering info)

Stay strong my MS Warriors.

Curse of the Alpha: Episodes 1 & 2: A Tarker’s Hollow Serial (BBW Shifter Paranormal Romance) (Box set) by Tasha Black: FIRST FIVE©

~~~BLURB~~~

Ainsley Connor is determined to turn her back on her shifter past.

But the wolves of Tarker’s Hollow call on her to choose the next alpha, and Ainsley becomes the object of desire for every eligible wolf in the quiet college town.

Surrounded by seductive shifters, all desperate to claim her, Ainsley wants nothing more than to leave the pack behind forever. But her newfound passions will not be ignored.

Ainsley soon finds herself torn between the mysterious stranger with the dark secret, the gorgeous and loyal friend from her past, and the hunky sheriff that wants her all to himself.

And the shifters aren’t even the strangest part of Tarker’s Hollow.

As she struggles to come to terms with her true nature, Ainsley is thrust into the center of a steamy web of shifters, ghosts, witches and warlocks, caught up in a life-and-death struggle for control of the pack she tried to abandon.

But for Ainsley Connor, the toughest wolf she must face might just be the one inside herself. 

~~~~~~

~~~~DISCLAIMER~~~~

THIS REVIEW IS BASED ON THE FIRST FIVE© SENTENCES OF THIS BOOK, CURSE OF THE ALPHA BY TASHA BLACK, WHICH IS FREE AS OF TODAY, 4/15/21, FOR KINDLE APP AND HAS AUDIBLE AVAILABLE. AS ALWAYS, THIS REVIEW IS BASED ON MY, JENNIFER STARKS, OPINION OF THE FIRST FIVE© OF THIS BOOK.

~~~~~~~~

Sentence One: Ainsley was having the dream again.

THOUGHTS: I like that the reader is immediately made aware of the potential for weird. This gives the beginning paragraph a platform of excitement to stand and build on. It has absolutely peeked my interest already. Nice job, Tasha Black.

Sentence Two: She had worried that coming home to Tarker’s Hollow would bring it back.

THOUGHTS: This is another great mystery sentence as it instantly has the reader wondering ‘bring back what?’ I have been propelled forward. It is beyond my control.

Sentence Three: Her hands twisted the sheets as she tossed in her old childhood bed.

THOUGHTS: This sentence is giving the reader a vague location to imagine our MC (MAIN CHARACTER) in. It’s good that there is not a ton of pointless description here. Although some readers do enjoy that kind of thing, the FIRST FIVE©, IMO, should be as concise as lyrically possible. REMEMBER WRITERS: The goal of a first paragraph should ALWAYS be to intrigue (NOT TRICK) the reader into investing in your MC’s journey.

Sentence Four: At the same time, she smelled the pine needles crunching underfoot as her dream-self ran through the college woods.

THOUGHTS: Having a few details of the MC’s dream gives it validity and reminds us to pay attention to detail. This sentence lends an air of tension to our MC’s situation. Here, the Author wants to immerse her readers in their experience without overwhelming them with an info dump. Nothing kills a FIRST FIVE© faster than drowning a reader in the boring logistics of a situation. Bravo on another great sentence, Tasha Black. Bravo.

Sentence Five: In the dream she was always a teenager again.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I don’t need to overthink or over question this FREE read at all. First? It’s two in one. Two books in one download you say? To that I say yes! Second? There are some GREAT deals attached to this read. As in, if you find yourself wanting to read on you might be able to get the next installment without paying full price. Third? While I initially overlooked this book because I thought it was more of a YA (YOUNG ADULT) read, I now see, clearly, how wrong I was. PLUS! The awesomeness of Tasha Black’s FIRST FIVE© would never allow me to pass this download up. Go ahead; get it. And HAPPY READING.

Meow (Catnip Assassins Book 1) by Skye MacKinnon: FIRST FIVE©

~~~BLURB~~~

Assassin. Private Investigator. Cat shifter.

Kat is used to killing people, but for a blank cheque, she’s willing to do the opposite and help solve a murder – even though it sounds boring as hell. That is, until she finds some body parts in her fridge, makes friends with the neighbourhood cats and realises there may be an assassin better than her…

Suddenly, things have become purrfectly exciting.

An urban fantasy full of cats, secrets and murders. This is a slow-burn reverse harem where Kat will find her love interests over time. Book one in the Catnip Assassins series.

Reading order:

  1. Meow (also available as audiobook)
  2. Scratch
  3. Purrr
  4. Hisss
  5. Lick
  6. Claw
  7. Roar

~~~~DISCLAIMER~~~~

THIS REVIEW IS BASED ON THE FIRST FIVE© SENTENCES OF THIS BOOK, MEOW (CATNIP ASSASSINS BOOK 1) BY SKYE MACKINNON. IT IS FREE FOR KINDLE, AS OF 4/15/21. THIS BOOK DOES HAVE AN AUDIBLE OPTION. AS ALWAYS, THIS REVIEW IS BASED ON MY, JENNIFER STARKS, OPINION OF THE FIRST FIVE© (SOMETIMES MORE) OF THIS BOOK.

~~~~~~~~

Sentence One: He smells of sweat and fear.

THOUGHTS: This is a telling, fast paced first sentence. It alludes to many things. I dig it.

Sentence Two: I cross my legs, the heels of my feet on the desk I’m currently sitting behind.

THOUGHTS: I don’t mind an easy picture; writers have been using the arrogant feet-on-desk pose to convey their messages for a very long time, but a new spin on this imagery would be appreciated.

Sentence Three: Although lounging would be a better term.

THOUGHTS: Okay. This seems very contradictory to the first sentence. If someone in the room smells of sweat and fear, why would anybody choose to lounge through their presence? My questions are mounting.

Sentence Four: Mud is dripping from the soles of my boots.

THOUGHTS: You’re lounging. There’s the smell of fear and sweat in the air. From this, I assume a chase has taken place and the one wearing muddy boots has won. Am I right?

Sentence Five: I’ll have to clean that up later, but it works well for the badass appearance I’m trying to exude.

THOUGHTS: Well. I’m gonna have to read some more and share, so MacKinnon has done her job.

Sentence Six–?: I’m not someone to mess with. I don’t care about rules, conventions and dress codes. While the man on the other side of the desk is wearing a pristine suit, I’m in my usual leather tights and tunic.Tights because they don’t get in the way when fighting or jumping off buildings, and a tunic because it’s longer than a shirt and therefore has more space for hidden pockets. All in black, of course. Bloodstains are a pain to get out of clothes. I’m nothing but practical. My hair is hidden beneath the black cap I’ve started wearing recently.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I must know what this main character is all about. I have to DOWNLOAD and read. This read is part of a series so be prepared to invest. Happy reading.

Where Sleeping Dragons Lie (Dragon Shifters of Elysia Book 1) by Cristina Rayne: FIRST FIVE©

~~~BLURB~~~

She just wants answers to a mystery.
He thinks she’s the key to ending his exile in her world.
Love was never supposed to enter the equation…

It’s in her friend’s rare books shop that Briana Wright first sees Taron Hildebrand, a too-gorgeous-to-be-real twenty-something Englishman dressed for a night at the opera rather than an obscure shop in midtown. Already unnerved by his uncanny, orange-tinted eyes, her alarm skyrockets with Taron’s powerful reaction to seeing the old hand-bound book she is carrying that nearly has her racing to the exit. A find in her recently deceased grandmother’s collection, it was written in a strange alphabet that Briana is dying to decipher. No way is she going to sell it, even when Taron offers her an obscene amount of money.

However, when Taron confesses that he thinks the book may be an old family heirloom he’s been trying to locate for years and professes to be able to read it, Briana never imagines losing her life could be the cost of learning its secrets. An enemy is hunting Taron for the precious item he carries, and to secure her help, Taron will have to come clean about his dragon shifter identity, his true reason for wanting her book, and his suspicions of Briana’s own heritage if he has any hope of finding his way home again in a time when his people need the item he is protecting the most.

Their hearts were never supposed to be part of their deal…

Contains mature content, language, and hot dragon shifters.
This is a complete story with a HEA.

DRAGON SHIFTERS OF ELYSIA SERIES

~~~~~~

~~~~DISCLAIMER~~~~

THIS REVIEW IS BASED ON THE FIRST FIVE© SENTENCES OF THIS BOOK, WHERE SLEEPING DRAGONS LIE BOOK 1 BY CRISTINA RAYNE. IT IS FREE FOR KINDLE. AS ALWAYS, THIS REVIEW IS BASED ON MY, JENNIFER STARKS, OPINION OF THE FIRST FIVE© (SOMETIMES MORE) OF THIS BOOK.

~~~~~~~~

Sentence One: “You know, you’re practically drooling, right?” Briana said with amusement as she watched her friend, Carol, stare down with bright, excited eyes at the book she had brought from her late grandmother’s collection as though the book was the true Book of the Dead.

THOUGHTS: Oh! Book of the Dead, eh? Interested already.

Sentence Two: “If there weren’t customers milling about, I would be squealing like a little girl seeing a unicorn in her backyard,” Carol joked.

THOUGHTS: Okay. Both of theses sentences feel a bit clunky for First Fives, BUT the content has me so very interested. I must keep going.

Sentence Three: “From your reaction, I take it Granny Ruth never showed this book to you, either?”

THOUGHTS: A secret keeping granny is my kind of granny! Now. This always bares repeating: starting a book off with dialogue can either be really good or really bad. IMO, there’s no grey area. IF the dialogue is great, a reader will obviously keep going. Even if the conversation isn’t 100% enthralling, readers will usually give the book another chance to hook them. If the dialogue is really bad? Like all info dumpy and confusing? The reader gets instantly bored and jumps ship. (Again, these are only my humble opinions. I do not speak for the entire human race.) Bad dialogue doesn’t breed second chances. So you see? Starting your book with the yakky yakky can lead to no turning backy backy. (Yes. I consider myself a clever, funny AND entertaining woman. lol.) Cristina Rayne doesn’t have anything to worry about in this department though because her dialogue is spot on, so I myself will be reading on. (See what I did there? Told ya. Clever. *winkwink*)

Sentence Four: Some of the excitement dimmed from the older woman’s eyes.

THOUGHTS: Okay. This must be someone who cares for the MC’s (main character’s) granny.

Sentence Five-Seven: “No. She must’ve acquired it right before she–passed. Or rather, I imagine it was a sudden, unexpected find given that she never mentioned that she was hunting for anything even remotely like this beauty.”

FINAL THOUGHTS: These sentences seem like an incredible set-up to a very interesting first chapter. I suppose I can’t deny my sudden dragon fever. Not based on my recent FIRST FIVES, anyway. You might be wondering if a woman like me ever gets sick of reading about these sexy, fire breathing types? Well. The answer is…no. I may not be as blonde as the Mother of Dragons, but I’m just as obsessed. (Yeah. Yeah. That was my second GOT reference and ya’ll love it. I know you do. Don’t hate.) This FREE DOWNLOAD seems very worth the time, so go on. Get to reading.