Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Review: Halle Pumas – The Wallflower & Sweet Dreams © Dana Marie Bell

Title: The Wallflower

Author: Dana Marie Bell

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Main Character:  Emma Carter & Max Cannon (Halle Pride Alpha)

Is Emma ready for a bite?

A Hunting Love story, Halle Puma Series Book 1.

Emma Carter has been in love with Max Cannon since high school, but he barely knew she existed. Now she runs her own unique curio shop, and she’s finally come out her shell and into her own.

When Max returns to his small home town to take up his duties as the Halle Pride’s Alpha, he finds that shy little Emma has grown up. That small spark of something he’d always felt around the teenager has blossomed into something more—his mate!

Taking her “out for a bite” ensures that the luscious Emma will be permanently his.

But Max’s ex has plans of her own. Plans that don’t include Emma being around to interfere. To keep her Alpha, Emma must prove to the Pride that she has what it takes to be Max’s mate.

 

Max Cannon has been away from Halle for the past decade and now that he has returned to take up his duty as alpha of the Halle Pride – he find more than just the pride awaiting his return.

While Max is pleased at how much Halle has remained the same alot of things have change – and after a few weeks back in town one of his biggest surprise is the change in Emma Carter. Max’s memory of Emma are no way near anything like he is experiencing just by hearing her voice – Emma over the past decade has become the “little general” and he was loving it.

Emma has always lusted after Max but the lust was only on her part as  Max never saw her in that light so she was never on his radar. Now that Max was back and no less than in her humble place of business, Emma was pleased as punch. Not one to let her snarkier side hide – Emma does what she does best – be herself- and Max was so in for a surprise.

 

He leaned down, his lips tickling her ear, his hair brushing hers, blending with hers. His other arm came around her waist, pulling her tighter into his body. She felt completely surrounded. She could feel his erection against her lower back, hot and hard as an iron bar, and gulped. “Why do you carry mace, Emma?”

“Why do you care, Max?” She tried to ignore the feel of his lips as he—

Did he just kiss my ear?

“Emma. Tell me what I want to know.”

“And you’ll go away?” She tried to ignore the incredible feeling of him gently rocking her in his arms. Yeah. That’s it, I’m gonna start struggling any minute now. Any minute…

“Hell, no.” He laughed gruffly. He put his chin on the top of her head and continued to rock her. When her stomach rumbled embarrassingly beneath his hands, he stilled. “Emma? Am I keeping you from your dinner?”

“At this point, you’re keeping me from my dinner AND late night snack.”

“Hmmm. In that case, I suggest we go out to eat. Maybe after I feed you you’ll be more willing to tell me what I want to know.” He sounded positively cheerful as he grabbed her hand, whirled her around and half dragged her towards his blue Durango.

“Gee, Captain Caveman, care to slow down? I didn’t agree to go out to dinner with you.”

He huffed out another laugh and opened the SUV’s door. “In you go!” He gently lifted her into the seat. “Food. Then fight. Okay?” And with a smile he pushed her legs inside the SUV and shut the door.

She considered opening the door and hopping out, but part of her (okay, the majority of her) wanted to see what the hell Max was up to. Plus, hello! Dinner with Max! Could there be a downside to this?

She snapped on her seat belt as he got into the car. She hadn’t enjoyed sparring with someone this much for a long time. “Don’t think you’re going to get what you want just because you buy me dinner.”

“I wouldn’t dream of it,” Max purred, starting the SUV.

“Oh, boy,” Emma muttered as Max, with another choked off laugh, drove out of the parking lot

The Wallflower © Dana Marie Bell

 

I came across this series the other day during the Samhain birthday party and just from the cover and the blurb I was hooked. Yup hooked – I just had a feeling I was going to love this series warts and all.

The good thing about finding these books now is that there is five books in the series already released and I have read all five already – so I am not waiting on anything and I can see the whole picture so far…

THE WALLFLOWER is the first book and it is more than an introduction book. It does goes into some detail of the Halle pumas and we meet an array of support cast. However where this book shines is the with the angst surrounding the relationship between Max and Emma and the sarcastic undertone that Ms Bell does really well.

Emma  is human and not only is she sarcastically  funny but she is opinionated, determined and a pain in the ass and Max was in lust just from the sound of her voice. When the two gets together there is not the usual scared meeting of a non shifter getting the dreaded news – nope Emma with her own style takes the cat by the whiskers and give him all she had.

Max is more a contradiction – quite laid back on the surface – but packs a punch when he is riled up or just had enough and he is reaching that point, as right from the moment he meets Emma he knows she is his mate – but he may not get the chance to make her his Curana, as Max’s ex is out for blood and she has claws.

I love this book – don’t be under the impression that it’s perfect – I thought Max could have been developed a little more. the town setting was very minimalistic but It’s the first books so I am looking forward to seeing how much more these are developed on.

Not withstanding none of the above – the emotion were off the charts in this one, Alpha male going after his mate with single minded purpose and I was having that feeling of all is well in my world – just by reading this book. The support cast were perfect, simply perfect – with attitude, issues and more possibility than an unmade bed…

There is a secondary storyline that run parallel to Emma and Max’s story and it is so sweet – I am looking forward to the culmination of that story line.

This is my first book by this author, but I like her style a lot – she makes her character comes alive in little ways that just make you overlook their many fault to see the beauty of who they are. She is very descriptive and rather than harp on about the dangers of cat – she has highlighted their strengths and the grace of the pride.

Wonderful first book – swiftly moving on to the second book…

 

 

 

Title: Halle pumas Bk 2 - Sweet Dreams

Author: Dana Marie Bell

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Main Character: Rebecca Yaeger’s  & Simon (Halle Pride Beta)

Sweet dreams can easily become nightmares…

A Halle Pumas story.

Getting attacked by some crazed she-devil, complete with claws and fangs, certainly wasn’t on Rebecca Yaeger’s agenda when she agreed to attend a local masquerade. In a few slashing moments, Becky learns things about her friends and the man she loves that she never would have suspected.

When Simon rescues Becky from an unprovoked attack by one of his Pride, he finally confirms what he’s long suspected: she’s his mate. Carrying her off to his home and dressing her wounds gives him the chance he’s been waiting for—to taste her and mark her as his. And she’s far sweeter than anything, or anyone, he’s ever had before.

Just as their problems seem a thing of the past, a strange illness begins to haunt Becky, threatening to turn their sweet dreams into a nightmare.

That single word held a dark promise Becky did her best to ignore. He was scanning the large driveway like he expected an ambush. When Belinda stepped out from between two of the parked cars, Becky smiled cynically.

“Oh, look, it’s Bondage Barbie.” She ignored his snort of laughter as she remembered the way the blonde had been all over him during the masquerade. “Simon, your date’s here, you can put me down now.”

His only answer was to tighten his arms around her.

“Not now, Belinda. Becky’s hurt.”

Belinda’s horrified gaze fastened on Becky’s stomach. “Livia did that?”

Simon turned on the other woman with a low, warning growl. “If I find out that you had a hand in helping Livia hurt my mate I will kick your ass so hard you’ll shit out of your mouth after I have you cast out of the Pride. You understand me?”

Becky groaned, “She’s one too?” just as Belinda gasped, “Mate? Her?”

“I said, do you understand me?” He drawled out the syllables as if Belinda were an idiot.

“She can’t be your mate.” Belinda looked horrified.

“Damn straight.”

Becky jumped when Simon pressed a quick kiss on her forehead. “You shut up.” His voice was oddly affectionate as he looked down at her. His gaze, when he turned back to Belinda, was sharp. “I expect my mate to be welcomed by the Pride. Do you understand me?”

Belinda sniffed. “She’s not even one of us.”

“She will be.”

“Will not!” Becky tried to straighten up and glare at him but the pain made her gasp and settle right back down. Note to self: stomach wounds and sit-ups don’t mix. Ow.

“Will too. Now shush.” His gaze never left the woman in front of him, but Becky knew he was well aware of her glare.

“Ass wipe.” She folded her arms across her chest with a sniff.

He looked down at her and frowned. “What did you just call me?”

“You heard me. You have been, and always shall be, an ass wipe.”

“But… I thought we would mate.” Belinda’s voice was shaky with unshed tears.

“What on earth would make you think that?” Simon looked totally confused.

Becky saw a shudder pass through Belinda, and wondered just how much the other woman loved Simon. If she did, she felt sorry for her. Simon had never been the type to settle down.Although he did call me his mate… Better not go there. That way leads to heartache a la Belinda. “Put me down, Simon. I’m bleeding and I need to go to the hospital.”

“Good point. Good night, Belinda.” He strode away, Becky still held firmly in his arms.

Over Simon’s shoulder she saw the other woman lower her head into her hands. An unexpected wave of pity went through her. Belinda was a pain, but she’d never been as bad as Livia. The fact that Simon had dated her off and on for years had probably contributed to the other woman’s belief that he was meant to be hers.

They reached Simon’s truck. “C’mon, put me down. Seriously. I can go to the emergency room. It’s just chock full of people docs.”

His eyebrows rose in disbelief. “And how will you explain your wounds?” Simon put one foot on the running board and propped her butt on his leg, thus freeing a hand to dig out his keys. “Hello, I got bit by a were puma, can I have some stitches and a rabies shot? Or will you send the county on a cougar hunt?”

“Considering who bit me, maybe a rabies shot isn’t a bad idea.” She winced when he had to shift her slightly.

Sweet Dreams © Dana Marie Bell

 

Review

SWEET DREAMS literally picks up somewhere just about the end of the THE WALLFLOWER and we get this story from Simon and Rebecca’s point of view…

Simon is placed in a position of declaring his interest in Rebecca under the most bizarre of circumstances. Once he has made the decision however it still is not as easy as he hoped claiming his mate would be. Simon is the beta of the Halle Pride and he has been attracted to Rebecca for some time now but only recently has he figured out that she is his mate – but Rebecca tries never to be in the same room with him so he never has a chance to look her in the eyes much less express all that he is feeling for her.

Rebecca is the mouthy friend of Emma, now queen alpha – she is also the business head behind “The Wallflower” – the speciality shop that is co owned by Emma and herself. There is very little little that phases her and the few things that do, none are more scarier than her huge crush on Simon. She has known Simon for as long as she has lived in Halle and as far as Rebecca was concerned Simon played with everyone and everyone way outside of her league.

When she ends up in Simons arm after a rather bizarre night – there is more than just a quick shag on his mind. Rebecca is Simon’s mate and he is not prepared to wait to make her his own – Rebecca however has a whole lot to say about that.

The two are fun together and they soon are on the same page – Rebecca unfortunately gets sick and more than that  something is just not right in Halle and Rebecca and Simon seem to be the target.

SWEET DREAMS is the second book in the Halle Pumas series and to be honest all of this book could have been condensed into the first book. The first half of this novella is more or less Simon’s and Becky’s history from the first book.

Despite all that however – you have to read it – As both Simon’s and Becky’s Characters are further developed, I got to see the positive and the negatives of both party... they are so perfect for each other, Simon is a beta through and through and you really can’t help but liking him – however he has faults that I thought made him a better beta… you got to love these beta heroes…

Becky is her usual self – cuts right to the chase when needed, but she knows how to skirt an issue when she wants to hide something and this aspect of her personality I also thought was well written.

This is a short book and the little angst that is presented is mostly for clearing up issues from book one – So all in all not a bad read and it really only leaved me hurrying through to get to book three – my anticipation level is very high… 

 

P.S. – Be warned this is not a stand alone book – IT CANNOT BE READ OUT OF SEQUENCE – most of the review for SWEET DREAMS is a combination of info from the first book.

 

4 Speak To Me:

Blodeuedd on 11 November 2009 at 15:33 said...

Hm, I kind of looked at the cover, and where he is holding his hands and looking at the lion. Bf reached the same conclusion without me saying what I saw. Hm Dirty minds think alike?

Erotic Horizon on 11 November 2009 at 19:38 said...

@Blodeuedd

You wicked girl _I know you have been hanging around Cecile the cover hussy too much...

E.H>

Smokinhotbooks on 11 November 2009 at 20:05 said...

EH I am going to do what I've never done before...but down my current read and switch to Halle Pumas series!!! The covers are boo-ti-ful.

Erotic Horizon on 11 November 2009 at 20:09 said...

@Hey K.C

I knew I would corrupt you yet - my work for the day is done....

Yup..

LOL

E.H>