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Book Reviews: Lifting the Veil #1-2, by Susan Laine

The Wolfing Way - Susan Laine Genie's Wish - Susan Laine

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Book 1: The Wolfing Way

Kris Ellis thought that the time of arranged marriages was long past but that was before the Great Unveiling revealed creatures of myth living among humans. Now a routine medical test has determined that Kris has a mate, a werewolf named Rafael King.

Kris is fresh out of college and has plans for his life. None of them include being tied forever to someone he s never met. But then Rafe calls him, and Kris starts to reconsider. After all, what must it be like to wait for your soul mate for two hundred years?

Rafe is patient, strong, and kind, not to mention attractive. True to what Kris has heard about mates, sparks fly the second they meet. But Kris and Rafe are very different, and the werewolf way of life is dangerous. Is the fight for love really worth it?

Book 2: Genie’s Wish

Ten years ago, the Great Unveiling revealed the presence of supernatural beings living on Earth. But the residents of the ruined city discovered in Majlis al-Jinn are long dead—or so junior archaeologist Pip Butler thought until he accidentally unleashed a very naked genie named Jinn.

Even though he’s been shyly pining for his charismatic supervisor, Val Velde, Pip has a hard time refusing Jinn’s flirtatious advances. He barely has time to even consider the fact that he has an all-powerful genie and three glorious wishes at his fingertips when ruthless mercenaries sweep down on the dig to collect the most valuable artifact of all—Jinn’s lamp.

So Pip, Val, and Jinn have to work together in a race against the clock to discover the secrets of the ancient city, free their captive colleagues, and keep Jinn from the mercenaries’ clutches—all while trying to sort out their romantic tangle.

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Book – The Wolfing Way (Lifting the Veil #1)

Author – Susan Laine

Star rating – ★★★★★

No. of Pages – 114

Movie Potential – ★★★★ (This would make an awesome movie!)

Ease of reading – very easy to read and follow

Would I read it again – Definitely!

I’m a sucker for a good series, especially when it involves fated mates or supernatural creatures. This one didn’t disappoint. I’ve been in love with the book covers for this entire series ever since I first saw them. They are magical in their own way and supremely tempting.

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For those who follow my reviews, you’ll know that I generally divide up my notes into Plot, Characters and an Overall sense of the story. I don’t need to do that here. In fact, I don’t need to say very much.

The story was fantastic, from beginning to end. There wasn’t one thing I didn’t love about it. Kris, our human MC, reacts the way any other sane person would react to finding out that they were mated to a werewolf against their choice. He’s angry, he’s irritable and he fights it for as long as he can. In the same way, he’s feisty and smart enough to figure things out in his own time. Rafe is just as uncertain, but more trusting in the mate bond and what it can do for people. Having spent two centuries searching for his mate, you an really feel his desperation and sadness, when Kris doesn’t want anything to do with him. Then they have their phone conversation, which had me smiling all the way through to the end, and you see a spark of hope for Rafe and Kris readjusting his preconceptions.

I kind of love Isaiah’s protectiveness towards Kris, as his brother, but I also cringed every time that he caused more problems, just as Kris was starting to figure things out. I think the idea of the whole two families getting together for a week and hashing things out between them is genius.

The entire concept of the plot, the way it’s written and executed, the chemistry that is so simply but well portrayed is excellent. I could feel every moment of excitement, hope, sadness and pain from both main characters. There were no information dumps, because this strange new world was introduced to use gradually, in a way that meant information was given only as and when it was appropriate. The world building and characterisation was unique and wonderful.

Quite honestly, I was so hynotised by the entire story that I barely made any notes as I went along. Everything I highlighted was quotes of brilliant writing moments or amazing dialogue that had me laughing or crying.

This is a true gem and one I’ll be turning to again, whenever I need a pick-me-up.

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FAVOURITE QUOTE

“Nearly fainting at the tender taunting in Rafe’s voice, Kris was dying to exclaim that Rafe was all that Kris had ever dreamed of – and more. But surely it was too soon for declarations of that sort…”

“Tonight he had almost lost his mate.

No. He had almost lost Kris – and lost him because Kris was his mate.

The thought crushed all the hope he had within his soul of ever being with his mate.”

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Book – Genie’s Wish (Lifting the Veil #2)

Author – Susan Laine

Star rating – ★★★☆☆

No. of Pages – 200

Movie Potential – ★★☆☆☆

Ease of reading – moderately easy to follow

Would I read it again – Probably not.

Book 1 gave me such high expectations and that may be why this one fell a little flat. I still love the originality of a Genie/Jinn and a Norse God, and I especially love archaeology, but it didn’t have the same pizzazz or feeling that book 1 had.

The characters were strange. I find Pip really quite naive and a muddle of strong and weak characteristics. He’s skittish, frightened a lot of the time and a geek with self esteem issues. He cries a lot, he panics a lot and yet there are times of strength, when he’s the only one making sense. Strangely, though, Pip was my favourite character. Jinn was a little too mysterious and all-knowing for my liking, as the distinct Alpha force, while Val was quick to judge and shoot off his mouth. As a trouple, they didn’t work for me. There was too much acceptance of weird, ridiculous situations.

I found some of the plot a little hard to follow. There was a lot of intricacy in the things the author introduced here – the site itself, the maze and often the puzzles they had to work out. They weren’t always written in a way that was easy to follow. These were the times when I skimmed or had to re-read entire pages, just to try to get it to make sense. Which it often didn’t.

There are also a lot of run-on sentences, that take nearly a paragraph or a half paragraph. That’s too long to keep track of what’s going on and they often read quite confused. In amongst that are a few grammar/sentence issues (e.g. sight instead of site).

Everything was fine, plot wise, until the 50% mark and then it all got very strange, quite childish and kind of ridiculous. The whole maze part was the problem and it really dampened my enjoyment of this book. The Hall of Earthly Desires was less like a hall of temptation, with gold/men/woman/treasure images that I’d imagined and a lot of deadly arrows with one glimpse of gold that felt like an after thought.

I was also a little angry with the admission of the “door riddle” challenge they faced. It read like a rip off from Labyrinth, which had an almost identical scene, solution and everything. Jinn’s punishments for the mercenaries who were chasing them also seemed ridiculous and childish.

There was so much to take it, at all times, that it got a little exhausting to read it and follow the story at the same time. Not to mention that the “romance” aspect was more lust than love.

I think I must have skimmed at least the last 10%, because it was ALL sex. And I mean that, I’m not exaggerating. There were so many pages of sex that it made my head spin to skip past them all. I skimmed each page for dialogue or anything resembling plot, but it was just way too much sex and in a way that I don’t like to read it. A lot of flowery speech and begging in slightly ridiculous ways.

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OVERALL

A lot of flowery prose, a lot of strange events that bordered on the ridiculous and over all, too many words. If this book had been half the size, without the maze scenes and some small adventure/danger in its place, I’d have ranked this much higher. As it is, compared to book 1, it lacks romance and depth.

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FAVOURITE QUOTE

“When Philip moved out of his arms, Valdemar saw the love-filled castles in the sky of his dreams come crumbling down and turn to dust.”

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