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Thursday, May 14, 2015

ARC #Review: Hot Alphas by Lora Leigh, Laurelin McGee, Shiloh Walker, Kate Douglas - 2.5 Wine Glasses



23014762Title: Hot Alphas anthology
Series: Wounded Warriors  #3
Authors: Lora Leigh, Laurelin McGee, Shiloh Walker, Kate Douglas 
Format:  eBook/Paperback & eBook, 369 pages
Published: May 19, 2015 by St. Martin's Griffin
ASIN: B00OXLEKBW
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N 
Source: Netgalley
Reviewer: Kimberly
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Wine Glasses

In Erin’s Kiss by Lora Leigh, ex-Marine Turk has become Erin’s sworn protector. The consistent target of her CIA-operative brother’s deadly foes, Turk is the only port Erin has to cling to in a storm. He promised her brother long ago never to touch her—but how can he resist a woman who aches to be with him as much as he burns for her?

In misTaken by Laurelin McGee, Jaylene Kim is a strong independent woman whose feminist values run deep. Even though attractive men are her weakness the last thing she wants is one telling her what to do. Until she meets her mysterious new neighbor. He makes her realize that you can still be strong and relinquish control . . . in the bedroom. But as their passion consumes them both Jaylene isn't so sure he is who he says he is.

In Burn for Me by Shiloh Walker, Tate longs to spend his nights with Ali, a woman he’s loved for years. But while Ali’s heart pines to be with Tate, her head has reservations. Ali knows that Tate has never forgiven his father for the fight he had with his mother right before she left the house—and was never heard from again. Tate's unresolved anger is a force to be reckoned with . . . but the heat that blazes between them is undeniable. Now both Tate and Ali are left to wonder: Can love really conquer all?

In Tangled by Kate Douglas, Nate shows up to work at Tangled Vineyards ready to do all the things he loves best—work with his hands, grow the grapes, and craft award-winning, full-bodied wines. But when something better comes along in the form of Cassie, the winemaker and former owner of the vineyard, Nate becomes completely love-drunk. Getting involved with Tangled’s number-one mixologist is a bad way to start off a new job, but with Cassie as a constant temptation, Nate doesn’t stand a chance…



Kimberly’s Thoughts:
Overall, the stories didn't really work separately or together as their feeling and themes didn't mesh well under the title Hot Alphas.  The first story probably fits the bill the best for what you're looking for when you pick up such a titled collection, plenty of boners and wet panties.  Shiloh Walker's contribution was the best written and most interesting with the rest barely making a blip on the radar.

Erin's Kiss by Lora Leigh
2 stars

This story is obviously supposed to be part of a series and if you haven't read the other books you are going to be lost, like I was.  Our heroine is working undercover for her stepfather in his undercover security business and suppose to spy on his employees to find a leak.  Our hero also works for this undercover security company and has the hots for our leading lady.  There were a plethora of characters bobbing and weaving in and out but as I had no reference point, they were mostly a jumbled mass of people who I kept getting confused in my mind (J.D. is the name of the stepfather and John D. is his son, come on help me out a little bit to help keep people separate!).  The purpose of the heroine's job made little sense without a greater context and our hero was a very one dimensional, well, alpha.  They were zipper bulging, wet panty hot for each other, banged, were in danger, can't possibly be together, and finally in luv together forever.  I finished the story having more questions than answers and no steamed up glasses.

MisTaken by Laurelin McGee 
2 stars

In this story we have a feminist finding herself attracted to a Dominate male who writes erotica.  I see what the authors were trying to do here, an overall commentary on how women who read erotica and identify as submissive can be viewed harshly by society and other women, unfortunately, it didn't work.  Our feminist heroine comes across as an aggressive stereotype of a feminist and quite judgmental.  Now, our hero is suppose to act as the mirror that reflects our heroine's negative judgments back to her but without the depth and breadth afforded to short stories in collections like this, there was not enough follow through.  We don't get to see a realistic and sometimes any, growth from our heroine.  In the end, it seems she only accepts the validity of D/s relationship because she has found out she likes it, therefore, it's acceptable.  There were also a couple moments where the heroine calls a group of women Basic Bitches and the hero author remarks about how readers review books.  I know all about irony/satire/meta or what have you, these points came off like neither and instead left a bad taste in my mouth.  Our alpha from the story was mostly hidden and their romance felt forced.

Burn for Me by Shiloh Walker
3.5 stars

As I said, Burn for Me was the best addition to this collection and the first book (.5) in the Shadows and Secrets series by Shiloh Walker.  The story centers on Ali, a single mother of two and Tate, a man still tormented by his mother's disappearance from more than a decade ago.  For three years Ali and Tate have had a friend with benefits relationship but lately Ali has begun to feel too attached to Tate and wants and needs more from him.  As Tate can't escape the dark voices in his head while reliving the night his mother disappeared and the thought that his father killed her, he's scared to fully give himself to Ali, least he turn out to be too much like his father.  It's a tormented and dark read that didn't feel like it fit in with the rest of the stories but sets the reader up nicely if they want to continue on in the Shadows and Secrets series.  (I've read the second book in Shadows and Secrets and if you're looking for an incredibly, seriously, INCREDIBLY dark small town mystery series this would be a go to)  The first half of the story focuses more on Ali and her desire for more from Tate, the middle is Tate being scared and trying to work through his issues, then a little bit of Ali and Tate coming together, and finally Tate coming to a reconciliation with his past and father.  It's a heavier read with the romantic relationship taking more of a backseat to Tate's emotional issues. 

 Tangled by Kate Douglas
2 stars

For a story included in a collection titled "Hot Alphas" I'm not sure there was one to be found here, unless you say it was the heroine's father and that just seems wrong (he is former Secret Service and takes out the bad guy in the end) .  Cassie had to sell her vineyard after her father's dementia becomes too much and they are in danger of going bankrupt.  Fortunately, the new owner allows Cassie to stay on and run things.  When Nate, the new wine manager arrives, sparks fly immediately, like say hello and jump into the sack immediately.  Cassie and Nate's romance was rushed and felt more like two characters who just had sex and discovered each other to be the others one true bang.  I didn't feel or believe their chemistry, which could definitely be laid at the feet of this being a little over 50pg story.  Cassie's father and his shady secret service past was the most interesting aspect of this story but the fall out of his super secrets buried in a brief case and the danger it put Cassie in felt very tagged on, there just weren’t enough pages to work with here.  Our couple knows each other a total of two months before the all important question is popped and forever happiness reigns; rushed and not very investing.  

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