Review Tuesday: A Lady’s Heart by Vivian Arend

I don’t remember how I stumbled across Vivian Arend, but I’m so glad that I did. I love the shifter series (fantasy + romance) and the cowboy series that she has. They’re so entertaining. You fall in love with her characters so easily in these two series.

I think that I read A Lady’s Heart in about a day – maybe a day and a half. It was a quick read, with an engrossing story. I also really enjoyed the fact that the story was about Mandy. Readers met her in a previous book in the series. She was a character that you felt terribly for, and who you really wanted to get a happily-ever-after.

a-ladys-heartFrom Goodreads:

Lady Amanda Ainsworth found a safe place to pull herself together under the roof of the loud, boisterous Takhini Wolf pack. Safe—except for the sexy grizzly shifter with the oversized biceps and the steely-grey eyes who’s also hanging his hat with the Whitehorse wolves. Justin Cullinan makes her light up and shimmer inside like the Northern Lights, and she knows it’s time to start her new life.

He may be the bodyguard and not the CEO, but Justin’s powerful in his own right. He gets what he wants—and who he wants is the sweet seductive Mandy. He’ll go as slowly as necessary, but he has no intention of stopping until she admits they’re meant to be.

But when her safety is threatened, all bets are off. Justin’s going to keep his lady safe and find out who’s stalking her, and the best place is hidden in plain sight in the biggest shifter town in the north.

That is, if they aren’t running into a trap…

Like I said earlier, you met Justin and Mandy in an earlier book. In that book you immediately feel sorry for Mandy, and you instantly like Justin. So the fact that this book is about the two of them is awesome.

One of the things that I love about this  book is that Mandy learns how to stand up for herself. She decides what she wants and Justin helps her, in any way that he can, get it. It was so empowering watching her take bigger and bigger steps towards the person that she wanted to become. And I love that Justin always built her up. There were things that she wanted to do that she thought was silly and small, but he was always there to remind her when she gave in to self-doubt that if she wanted to do them, then they weren’t silly or small. It was simply what she wanted to do. Mandy gaining back her self-confidence, and trusting herself was a highlight of this book for me.

I also just enjoyed her and Justin’s relationship. There is a little zest of danger thrown into the story because someone is following Mandy and they’re not sure who is and what their motiviation is, but it does add  some heat to the story and to their romance.

In this story you also of course run into characters from previous books, and it’s just so wonderful seeing them all again. It’s like running into an old friend and playing a quick catch up. And what I like about it to is that you don’t run into ALL of the previous characters, just enough that you enjoy the catch up without being overrun with information that hinders the flow of the storyline.

There are of course hints dropped about upcoming books – there are at least 2 different sets of would-be couples, though one more than the other, that I’m excited about reading.

This was a quick read, and an enjoyable storyline. If you haven’t read any of her shifter series, and you’re into fantasy and romance then definitely give this series a go!



Review Tuesday: Takhini Wolves Series by Vivian Arend

I have a couple of romance authors that I really love, and Vivian Arend is one of those. Vivian has a couple of series that I love like Six Pack Ranch, Thompson & Sons, and Granite Lake Wolves.  But now I can add the Takhini Wolves series to my list as well.

I read these four books in less than a week. They were impossible for me to put down.

The books are about a group of characters that are shapeshifters – wolf shapeshifters specifically, though there are different kinds like bears and cougars – and them essentially finding their perfect match or mate. It’s romance and fantasy in once nice entertaining package and made it impossible to stop reading. Black Gold

Book one in the series is called Black Gold and it’s about Shaun and Gem. You meet Shaun in the Granite Lake Wolves series and I really like both of the series intertwine with each other. It’s nice to hear about characters that you read about earlier and what they’re doing and how they’re doing.

Silver Mine is book two and it’s about Chase and Shelley. There was a slight overlap in character I found between Shelley of this book and Maggie from Wolf Games as they were both in the habit of denying who they are because of bad past experiences, however I enjoyed Chase – he’s a great character, and Chase and Shelley together were great. I do wish in their story though it went into more detail about the disease that was spreading through the province – I thought it was a bit abrupt how that was sorted.

The third book is Diamond Dust, and is about Tyler a bear shifter and Caroline a human. Caroline has been in the series since book one, and she’s a fire cracker. She is strong, resilient, and runs her world and the world of the Takhini wolves with such control and power it’s awesome to read. Tyler, is a bear shifter and a major contender to be their ruler in their next election. The two of them together are dynamite and explode a couple of times as they try to get themselves sorted out. It’s one of my favourite of hers. Diamond Dust

The fourth and, sadly, last book in this series is Moon Shine, and is about Evan the Alpha wolf of the Takhini pack, who you’ve met in book one and read about all the way through the series, and his mate Amy. The two of them are Alpha’s over two separate packs and they have to get through a ton of past history, as well as some future problems before they can be together.

My biggest complaint about these books is that I wished that they were longer (which is really a good complaint to make). Sometimes I did feel like things ended too abruptly or weren’t explained in as much detail as I wanted, and other times I just wanted to read more about the characters.

If fantasy and romance are genres that you like to read, then you should definitely check out this series as well as the Granite Lake Wolves series. These are books that I will definitely be reading again.