Review: Dragon Bites

Review: Dragon BitesDragon Bites (Stormwalker, #6) by Allyson James
Series: Stormwalker #6
Published by JA/AG on March 20, 2018
Genres: Paranormal

FINAL DECISION: I was disappointed that this book focused on Gabrielle who I don’t find as interesting a character as Janet. While I enjoyed the action and the plot, I couldn’t get immersed in the characters with the shifting points of view.

THE STORY: Janet has come to Las Vegas for some girl time. She stumbles into a situation with her dragon boyfriend, Mick. In the process of rescuing him, Janet’s sister, Gabrielle, ends up helping and triggering something really bad. Now Gabrielle is determined to make her own way and prove that she can handle things.

OPINION: Just too many points of view for me. The story is told in first person, but with four different voices. I found it distracting while trying to learn new characters. Perhaps if it had been only Gabrielle’s point of view, I could have felt more connected to her. Because of the four different views with people telling different stories, I just felt adrift from the characters.

I also just didn’t find Gabrielle as compelling a characters as Janet. I was interested in what was going on in the plot of the story and that kept me going through the pages.

By the end of the book, I did like Gabrielle better than in the beginning, so I expect her story might continue and I think I would be better prepared.

WORTH MENTIONING: There is a new romance here, but I’m not giving it away.

CONNECTED BOOKS: DRAGON BITES is the sixth book in the Stormwalker series. Although this story is self-contained, the characters are the same throughout the series and thus, this book is better read as part of the series because a reader would have to catch up on the storyline and the prior events.

STAR RATING: I give this book 2.5 stars.


Review: Dreamwalker

Dreamwalker by Allyson James
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Return to Stormwalkers Universe

FINAL DECISION: A book ultimately about connections, caring and relationship wrapped in a paranormal shell, this book moves the mythology of the Stormwalkers series forward with the presence of all of Janet’s family and friends.

THE STORY: Janet Begay, Stormwalker and half-goddess, is planning her wedding to dragon Mick when the most powerful mage Emmett Smith demands her magic mirror or else he will take it from her — and he doesn’t care who gets hurt. When a battle with demons knocks Janet out and sends her to a dream world in the past, Janet and her friends and family begin to live in a world where the dreams of the past may not happen like before and where there are real dangers. Janet needs to find a way back to the present and defeat Emmett before everyone she loves is destroyed.

OPINION: This book has a lot of drama as Janet struggles through her dreams. Janet struggles with her ever increasing group of loved ones and friends. The more she cares about others, she is both more powerful and also more vulnerable. I especially liked how Janet’s relationship with her sister continues to evolve. In this book, they have a breakthrough. I also enjoyed being able to see Janet evaluate her relationship with Mick in her dreams. After reading the other books in the series, this book gives a sense of how far the two have traveled together and developed. While this book has a lot of action in it, I appreciate the relationships more.

WORTH MENTIONING: This is the first Stormwalker novel after a several year hiatus. Thankfully, the tone of the novels and the characters blend in nicely with the previous novels.

CONNECTED BOOKS: DREAMWALKER is the fifth book in the Stormwalkers series. The story here can be read as a standalone although there is a continuing mythology.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.

Review: Nightwalker

Nightwalker by Allyson James
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Action Packed with Overlapping Mysteries in this Paranormal Series

FINAL DECISION: An exciting, action packed entry in the Stormwalkers series. All the series favorites make appearances here and the mythology of the series continues to develop in new and unexpected ways.

THE STORY: Stormwalker Janet Begay owns the Crossroads Hotel. The friends, family and fiance consists of a variety of magical and non-magical creatures. When Ansel, a Nightwalker (aka vampire) is being sought for the murder of his girlfriend, Janet and her fiance Mick don’t believe that Ansel would have committed the crime. Unfortunately, Ansel himself is not sure that he did not kill her in a blood frenzy. When powerful magical creatures come after Ansel, Janet realizes that more is going on here than a possible murder.

OPINION: This book is an exciting chapter in the Stormwalkers series. There is much ambiguity here which is where this series excels. It is not certain that Ansel is innocent — in fact everyone and everything points to guilt on his behalf. Janet’s defense of him threatens her life and those she loves. The struggle with power, the betrayal of friends, mistakes made. All these themes are present here. This book is filled with a whole cast of characters from the series as it appears that everyone is after Ansel. Janet and Mick’s relationship opens in new directions in small ways in this book. Mick opens up in ways he hasn’t in previous books in the series. All this combines into a good paranormal mystery adventure.

WORTH MENTIONING: What is Mick up to?

CONNECTED BOOKS: NIGHTWALKER is the fourth book in the Stormwalkers series. The story is self contained and can be read as a standalone, however, there are ongoing personal stories regarding the characters that span the series of books and are not necessarily understood by reading only this book.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.

Review: Shadow Walker

Shadow Walker
Shadow Walker by Allyson James
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

My Favorite of the Series

“Nothing quite makes your night like falling two hundred feet into a sinkhole.”

FINAL DECISION: This is my favorite book in the series. The drama with the relationship between Janet and Mick raised the importance and tension in the story.

THE STORY: Janet Begay is a Stormwalker with a boyfriend, Mick, who is a dragon. When the ground collapses beneath Janet, she finds something dark under the ground. Even worse, it seems like darkness is all around and even Mick begins to act strangely.

OPINION: For me the best part of this book is the change in Mick and the threat to his relationship with Janet. Janet is challenged here because she realizes the real possibility of losing Mick. In many ways, she has taken their relationship for granted. The story in this book forces her to consider how much Mick means to her. There are other strange things going on in this town, but, for me, this book is best when Janet is having to consider how much the relationship and Mick means to her. This book is sad and at times very filled with angst. Because of the development in the relationship, this book is my favorite.

WORTH MENTIONING: One of the interesting things about this series is that the end of each book gives a little teaser about what is coming up in the future setting up one of the continuing stories.

CONNECTED BOOKS: SHADOW WALKER is the third book in the Stormwalker series. The story is self-contained although the continuing character relationships and some of the stories are continuing throughout the series.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.

Review: Double Hexed

Double Hexed
Double Hexed by Allyson James
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Novella About Janet and All Her Friends Trapped in Her Hotel by an Evil Spell

“That was my MIck. Forgiving me for turning into a crazy, murderous, insulting bitch who’d just tried to kill him. Times like these kept a relationship strong.”

FINAL DECISION: A book that takes all the main characters from the series and traps them in the hotel, this book ups the drama and the angst from the main series. Everything is condensed to good effect.

THE STORY: Janet Begay is a half-Navajo, half-underworld goddess with the power to control storms. She also runs a hotel in the Southwest. When her hotel is hexed, Janet along with her friends are trapped in the hotel. Cassandra, a witch believes that her past has caught up with her and she is the reason the hotel has been hexed.

OPINION: I enjoyed this book because it has all the good aspects of a Stormwalker book but everything has been condensed. Janet’s concerns about her powers, her love for her friends. The quirky personalities of the series cast of characters, the intense relationship between Janet and Mick, a weird paranormal mystery and serious action and danger. Sometimes novellas don’t accurately represent the tone or pace of the series, but this one does very well.

WORTH MENTIONING: This novella has a full storyline with a lot of drama and angst for such a short story.

CONNECTED BOOKS: DOUBLE HEXED is book 2.5 of the Stormwawlkers series. It can be read as a standalone another many of the nuances of relationships between the characters will be lost without the background of the other books.

STAR RATING: I give this novella 4 stars.

Review: Firewalker

Firewalker by Allyson James
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Expanding Mythology Makes This Book Better Than the First in the Series

“Despite everything Mick and I had been through, despite what we had together, I knew that Mick still watched me with wariness. He loved me, protected me, shared a bed with me, yes. Had complete faith that I wasn’t a danger to every living being on the planet, no.”

FINAL DECISION: FIREWALKER which improves and expands upon the paranormal world of the first book in the series has more emotional conflict between the characters and within Janet herself.

THE STORY: Janet Begay, a Stormwalker with goddess power from her evil mother, is concerned that her boyfriend MIck, a dragon, will be put on trial by the dragons for failing to kill her. She wants to help and Mick wants her to stay out of it. Janet is also struggling with her goddess powers that she cannot control. She has been warned that her friends might have to kill her as she becomes a danger to everyone. Also, there is a resurrected killer running around.

OPINION: The problem of Janet’s powers and the conflict it brings with her friends and lover was the best part of this book. Janet struggles with the powers she inherited from her mother. Those powers threaten to overcome the person that Janet is. I found this storyline to be more intriguing than the story in the first book in the series. In addition, this book assumes knowledge of the first book and thus there is less worldbuilding than in the first book. Additionally, the relationship between Janet and Mick feels more developed as well. This is a long term series where the character relationships are more slowly developed and there are ongoing and overlapping stories. This book is an episode, but there are many things left unresolved.

WORTH MENTIONING: The relationship between Janet and Mick feels much more developed in this book at by the end of the book has become much more a pairing of equals.

CONNECTED BOOKS: FIREWALKER is the second book in the Stormwalker series. The books should be read in order because the mythology builds upon itself.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.

Review: Stormwalker

Stormwalker by Allyson James
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Paranormal Based on a Mix of Native American and European Myths with an Erotic Romance Taste

“The only thing I knew was that MIck, whose last name was not Burns, was very dangerous, more dangerous than most things out there. I’d known that from the very first night I met him.”

FINAL OPINION: I liked much about this book. The characters and the situation were intriguing but, for me, the book suffered from too much necessary explanation and world building.

THE STORY: Janet Begay is half-Navajo and can harness the power of storms. She lives in Magellan where strange happenings occur. Janet owns a hotel in town that she is renovating. One day her lover from five years ago reappears in her life. Mick can wield fire and not be burned. Janet knows that Mick is not human but doesn;t know who or what he is. Mick has returned to protect Janet from some strange things that begin to occur.

OPINION: This book is the first in the paranormal action series. There is also an ongoing romance between Janet and Mick, but that relationship is not resolved here, nor is it the focus of the story. This world combines many elements of Native American myths along with witches, vampires and other European and pan-myths. The addition of the Native American culture and myths give this paranormal series an interesting point of view. This book focuses on Janet and her gaining knowledge of her own background and her powers. I didn’t feel Janet’s relationship with her boyfriend as much because he remains very mysterious and much of their relationship feels uneven. By the end, however, their connection felt better. This book has some erotic romance language and situations without much of the emphasis on the sexual relationship from erotic romances. I missed some of that here.

WORTH MENTIONING: This book is really focused on the paranormal with only a smattering of romance. This is part of a series where the romance is not completed in one book.

CONNECTED BOOKS: STORMWALKER Is book one of the Stormwalker series.

STAR RATING: I give this book 3.5 stars.

Review: Hot for the Holidays

Hot for the Holidays
Hot for the Holidays by Lora Leigh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sexy Paranomal Collection of Novellas

HOT FOR THE HOLIDAYS contains four novellas that are paranomal romances and which have a small relationship with Christmas season.

VAMPIRE BALL by Angela Knight — This novella is part of the Mageverse series. Kat Danilo finds out at the age of 26 that her father is one of the Knights of the Round Table and a vampire and that Kat herself might become a witch. Kat decides to try and become an immortal in order find out who killed her sister and seek justice. In order to be transformed, Kat must convince Ridge Champion (himself a vampire) that she is worthy. I thought the connection between these two characters was weak in the beginning but it got better as the novella progressed. For me, the problem was the sexual relationship started without any real interaction between the main characters. I thought their relationship got better as the story continued. Rating: 3 stars.

A LITTLE NIGHT MAGIC by Allyson James — This is the prequel to the Stormwalkers series. Naomi is an Unbeliever who doesn’t believe in the magical energy to be found in the town of Magellan. She has a deaf daughter. Several years ago, she had a Navajo lover named Jamison Kee until he disappeared without a word to her. After two years, he has returned and he tells her that he is in fact a Changer — a shapeshifter. This was my favorite of the book. I liked the interesting twist on the shapeshifter theme. Jamison and Noami were a treat together and Noami’s daughter was so cute. I would read more of this series based on this novella. Rating: 4.25 stars.

SWEET ENCHANTMENT by Anya Bast — This is a second chance romance story about Bella Mac Lyr and Ronan Achais. The two reside in a realm of magic. Bella is supposedly possessing light magic and Ronan has dark magic. When Bella comes to offer marriage to save Ronan’s life, he rejects her. He wants her to come to him, but only for one reason. Years ago, he rejected her because he did not want her tainted by his blood. Now the two may have another chance, if Ronan doesn’t get executed and if they can find a place for themselves. I enjoyed this story although there was a lot of world building involved that limited the romance from my perspective. I still didn’t really understand Ronan’s motivations in the past for rejecting Bella in such a cruel fashion. Despite this, I enjoyed the story. Rating 3.5 stars.

A CHRISTMAS KISS by Lora Leigh — This novella is number 19 in Leigh’s Breed series. It is the story of Jessica Raines a human who unwillingly betrayed the breeds when her father drugged her. After a year, she has been released from custody although her movements are still restricted. Now Hawke Esteban has come back into her life. As a breed, Hawke has keep his distance from Jessica in order to allow her to be cleared, but now he is ready to claim his mate. I loved the connection between Jess and Hawke. They have a sweet romance despite all the drama surround it. I haven’t read the other books in this series, but I would read more based on this story. Rating: 4 stars.