5 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Paranormal Romance, R. Cooper, Reviewed by Janet

Review: Little Wolf by R. Cooper

Title: Little Wolf (A Being(s) in Love Story)

Author: R. Cooper

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 380 Pages

At a Glance: Expect to be wowed by this book, and expect to smile for weeks after reading it.

Reviewed By: Janet

Blurb: On the run from his old-blood werewolf family, Tim Dirus finds himself in Wolf’s Paw, one of the last surviving refuges from the days when werewolves were hunted by humans and one of the last places Tim wants to be. Kept away from other wolves by his uncle, Tim knows almost nothing about his own kind except that alpha werewolves only want to control and dominate a scrawny wolf like him.

Tim isn’t in Wolf’s Paw an hour before he draws the attention of Sheriff Nathaniel Neri, the alphaest alpha in a town full of alphas. Powerful, intimidating, and the most beautiful wolf Tim has ever seen, Nathaniel makes Tim feel safe for reasons Tim doesn’t understand. For five years he’s lived on the run, in fear of his family and other wolves. Everything about Wolf’s Paw is contrary to what he thought he knew, and he is terrified. Fearing his mate will run, Sheriff Nathaniel must calm his little wolf and show him he’s more than a match for this big, bad alpha.

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Review: I truly love an author whose world building skills are so strong that I have no choice but to be pulled into the worlds they create. R. Cooper is one of the best, and Little Wolf is a fantastic addition to A Being(s) in Love Story universe.

This story is set in Wolf’s Paw, a sanctuary of sorts, a town full of humans and weres and all sorts of Beings. The town itself is a very important part of the story, as Timothy is very much in need of sanctuary when he arrives, and it gives him a comfortable place to spread his wings and learn that he has more going for him than he first thought. The character of Nathaniel is such a clever foil for Tim that his awesomeness takes a while to sink in. The strength that he has is obvious, but the openness that he displays is a reaction to the love for Tim that is growing within him, and not a natural characteristic of his. This is just one of the many delightful conflicts that are layered so cleverly in this story.

The witty dialogue and the tone that flows throughout the story are hilarious to read. That R. Cooper makes me blush right along with Tim at his ridiculous babbling is impressive. She creates emotions that sink into the reader; we are there with the characters, feeling what they feel, but omnipotent and able to see the backgrounds of where they are at the same time. The fact that their courtship is going on under the fascinated eyes of their town is another layer of humor and a display of world building craftsmanship at the same time. The whole story is just solid. There are new facts revealed on each page, and the characters are built in layers that expose them and endear them to us with every word we read. This is a book I was not able to put down until the very end. I was fully engrossed and eager for the final resolution. This is something that I have come to expect from an R. Cooper book, and it is so refreshing to find an author who can continue to expand the world she builds with every subsequent story.

I can honestly say that there is nothing gratuitous in these pages; the sex is hot and fitting to the stage of the story, there are moments of tenderness and also of violence. Moments of bumbling awkwardness and also enraging revelations of abuse, but through all of this is the overwhelming sense of hope for Nathaniel and Tim and their HEA. It is felt by the whole town, all of its people, and by the reader at the same time. It makes the ending even sweeter because we have been such an important part of the story. Expect to be wowed by this book, and expect to smile for weeks after reading it when a phrase or scene pops into your head. I can’t wait to see what is coming from this author next.

TNA_Signature_Janet







 

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3.5 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Paranormal Romance, R. Cooper, Reviewed by Sammy

Review: A Beginner’s Guide to Wooing Your Mate by R. Cooper

Title: A Beginner’s Guide to Wooing Your Mate

Author: R. Cooper

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 200 Pages

At a Glance: It is with great caution I tell you that some of this novel worked so beautifully and some…well, some did not.

Reviewed By: Sammy

Blurb: A Being(s) in Love Story

Zeki Janowitz has returned to his hometown of Wolf’s Paw to start his wizarding career. Unfortunately, Wolf’s Paw, a werewolf refuge, follows centuries of tradition and shuns human magic and a very human Zeki. He knows he’s in for a struggle, but a part of him has always belonged in the mountain town, or rather belonged to Theo Greenleaf. Years away at school haven’t lessened Zeki’s crush on the quiet werewolf. When town gossip informs him Theo still suffers from his mate’s rejection and does not date, it does little to ease Zeki’s embarrassing feelings. He decides now’s the time to get the man he’s always wanted.

Werewolves usually don’t recover from losing their mates, and Theo barely pulled through by focusing on his love of baking. It’s a daily struggle, and Zeki’s return to Wolf’s Paw shatters his peace. Theo doesn’t know what to think when Zeki attempts to woo him, talking about his wizarding business and settling in town for good. It’s like Zeki doesn’t have a clue how his words years before left Theo a shell of a werewolf.

Beginners in love, Theo and Zeki must seduce each other with a bit of heavenly baking and magic.

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Review: I need to begin this review by stating unequivocally that I have thoroughly enjoyed this author’s past work. I find the writing style to be very clever, with a healthy dose of tongue-in-cheek humor that is both witty and sharp. So, it is with great caution I tell you that some of this novel worked so beautifully and some…well, some did not. There were times when the dearth of backstory, and the process of creating the community of Weres and their customs/practices, really became confusing. I was initially so pleased that we didn’t get this huge information dump, as most paranormal books tend to do when establishing the world and describing the nuances of pack life. Instead, R. Cooper spread out the dissemination of these important ideas over almost the entire novel. However, in doing so, we came to understand the mating process of Weres and humans very slowly—so slowly I felt it detracted from the growing closeness between Theo and Zeki. Coupled with the stuttering way in which the last third of the book spoke about their courtship process, coming in a series of flashbacks,I was hard pressed to enjoy the tension filled ending of the novel where we would find out their future as potential mates.

Let me step back and give you a brief synopsis of the story and go from there. Teen life for Zeki Jankowitz was rather awful. Moving to the almost exclusive Were town of Wolf’s Paw at the age of thirteen, with his father, Zeki never really fit in to the community. Bullied by two Weres who made it their mission in life to remind him of how unimportant and inferior he was, Zeki spent his high school years crushing on Theo Greenleaf.

Theo was quiet, not your typical Were, and seemingly unaware of Zeki until he interrupts a heated confrontation between Zeki and his tormentors. Zeki is so emotionally angered that he lets the two boys, and, unwittingly, Theo, see his true self, a human who will wield great magical power one day. When Theo realizes who Zeki is, he commits a cardinal sin by approaching him and asking him to go to the upcoming town celebration—an absolute no-no in the Were rulebook. You see, if a Were recognizes his mate as a human, it is then up to the human to make the first move toward courtship. Because Theo was such a young wolf, he overstepped the boundaries and Zeki, who had just been told that Theo could never want a relationship with the likes of him, blurts out a harsh and final “no” to Theo’s request.

Now, Theo is a rejected mate, and the crushing blow to his fragile wolf pushes him to run away, leaving his community and his potential mate far behind for several months. Zeki graduates and leaves Wolf’s Paw to pursue a degree in magic. And that seems to be the end…until Zeki returns and unknowingly seems to be the only person in town who does not realize his hastily spoken “no” has left Theo with such sorrow he has been unable to date or mate ever since.

The interactions between the townspeople and Zeki were nothing short of hilarious. The poor man was clueless as to what others perceived as his rejection of Theo, and seeing the grown firefighting Were once again stirred up all the old feelings Zeki still carried for him. This was the most tender of courtships, stumbling and confused, with old hurts holding the two men back from admitting their burgeoning love for each other. I so wish this could have remained the focus of this novel. Instead, it seemed to ramble, attempting to establish the setting, the silly rules, introducing numerous side characters, and introducing two key figures that will receive their own novel later this year.

I felt there were definite plot holes that needed to be plugged. For instance, while I understood Zeki was not back in Wolf’s Paw for revenge on his bullies, the casual statement of where the two had ended up left us knowing that one of them still lived there in town. In fact, Theo muses aloud about how Zeki was bound to run into him at some point. And then, that plot line dropped. No meet up, no closure—and yet, these two boys really set up both Theo and Zeki for years of hurt and misguided sorrow. Then there was the introduction of the startlingly handsome and charismatic sheriff (also pack leader), and a love interest that obviously has a shady, mysterious past and is in hiding. I gather that the next novel will focus on those two, and yet even the attempt to establish their story seemed sketchy at best and simply served to take more focus away from the main characters and their journey together.

By novel’s end I was strongly hoping we would see a definitive path for Zeki and Theo, and a resolution to the waiting game they were playing due to Theo’s poor self-esteem in thinking he was not good enough for Zeki. Instead, I was left with questions and doubts, and more of a happy for now ending that set the way for the next novel in this series.

A Beginner’s Guide To Wooing Your Mate has all the makings of a really sweet love story, and is a deliciously humorous glimpse into a new world in which Weres and humans coexist. I will be on the lookout for the next novel in this series and hope that it clears up some of the confusing plot points this story left hanging.

TNA_Signature_Sammy






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5 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Historical Romance, R. Cooper, Reviewed by Lisa, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy, Steampunk

R. Cooper Re-imagines The Civil War In “Wicklow’s Odyssey”

“We will protect that which we love, even when we don’t want to love it and we don’t feel it loves us. Perhaps it doesn’t. That is how love works. It exists, whether or not it is returned.” – R. Cooper


Title: Wicklow’s Odyssey

Author: R. Cooper

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 350 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Union soldier Wicklow Doyle is infiltrating enemy lines to set up new radio communications technology in Confederate-held Charleston when his location is betrayed. After sacrificing himself to get his team to safety, he’s on the lam, friendless in a hostile town. Determining who betrayed him without discovery by Confederate soldiers is dangerous, but Wicklow grew up in the slums of New York and knows how to handle himself. He isn’t expecting anyone on his team to return to help him, much less Alexander Rhoades. Continue reading

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Dreamspinner Press, R. Cooper

“Medium, Sweet, Extra Shot of Geek” Is The New Black



“As long as there was coffee in the world, how bad could things be?” ― Cassandra Clare


Summary:

After returning from his third tour in the army, Tavio Reyes has been placed in a job as a barista, a welcome respite from the traumas of his past. For a whole year, the gorgeous, athletic super-geek Tommy O’Shaughnessy has been focusing his attentions on Tavio, force-feeding him comic book references and sci-fi trivia, but as Tommy starts to offer more of his personal life to Tavio, can the barista spurn the advances of the man who’s truly peaked his interest? Caring and caffeine converge as Tavio brews it hot and strong, with an extra shot of geek.
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Dreamspinner Press, R. Cooper

Let There Be Light by R. Cooper

Let There Be LightLet There Be Light by R. Cooper
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There was an amazing chemistry between the two characters in this book that was fairly visceral, knowing there was a history there that brought them together and, at the same time, tore them apart. It was deliciously aggravating because they were trying so hard to push each other away, yet the evidence was clear that they wanted nothing more than to draw closer. It was a clear and present danger for Hart and Karol to dredge up the past, and even more dangerous to consider the consequences of the circumstances that brought them together again after a three year separation.

Devotion to Queen and country is Hart’s prime directive. Karol is a brilliant scientist and inventor who has become the equivalent of England’s most valuable resource. Dedication to the safety and security of England is what brought the men together, and ultimately, part of what separated them. Now that Karol and the defenses of England herself have been threatened, Hart is once again sworn to do everything in his power to protect Karol. Or die trying.

Fighting or forging a connection—Hart and Karol did a bit of both before this story was done. And then it simply…ended…and I was the one who was frustrated, then, because there seems to be more story there and I want it all. Whether R. Cooper has a sequel planned for this one, though, I don’t know. What I do know is that these men, the machines, and the world they live in seem far larger and more extraordinary than what I got to see in these 102 pages.

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this story. Just don’t expect a neatly tied up ending.

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