Phoenix Reborn by J.D. Tyler #AfternoonDelight #DuoReview

Phoenix Reborn by J.D. Tyler #AfternoonDelight #DuoReviewPhoenix Reborn by J.D. Tyler

Series: Alpha Pack #7.5
Genres: M/M Romance, Paranormal Romance
Published by Intermix on March 15, 2016
Pages: 105
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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four-stars      three-half-flames

J.D. Tyler has been teasing us with Noah and Nix’s romance. This is the first M/M romance we have had in the Alpha series and I for one am happy it is finally here. This story deals with some issues extremely fast when I think it needed a little more time to flush out.

Noah is the lovable nurse that takes care of all the paranormal creatures, humans and fae, etc. that come through the hospital doors on the compound. He has never come out as flamboyant in the other books that I remember, but in this one he does have a flamboyant style with lots of colors. Phoenix or Nix for short is the opposite. Kind of buff, a shifter and all out muscled up. Hubba hubba.

Noah and Nix are fated mates. It helps that both are attracted to each other, but Nix has a whole lot of baggage to get over before this can happen. Unfortunately, if you don’t claim your mate, you start to get sick and eventually die. Surprisingly, Nix is doing neither. Nix’s problems lie with a father is was brutal and a homophobe. He made threats on Nix’s future love and Nix isn’t taking any chances of it happening.

The story is short, but filled with hope and lots of love. Throw in some action and you have a pretty neat little romance with acceptance for all kinds of love.

Challenge Info:

Literary Pickers: Fated Mates
Pervy Girl: Mix-matched mates

Sophia Rose’s Review

Phoenix Reborn by J.D. Tyler #AfternoonDelight #DuoReviewthree-stars      four-flames

This was a story for which I had great curiosity since it’s been coming for some time as the series progressed.  I was really hoping for something special since the author chose to put a greater amount of diversity in her series by having a same-sex mated pair.  I didn’t think I was expecting too much since, to my knowledge, this was her first foray into that type of couple, but I was left on the disappointed side when all was said and done.

The story is part of an ongoing series and makes more sense read within the context of the series since the story arc began earlier.

The story opens with human nurse, Noah, injured while caring for a frightened and out of his mind tiger shifter.  Seeing Noah in deadly danger and injured so badly is the catalyst it takes to break through to Nix and begin the end of his resistance toward his true mate.

Nix’s wolf side sensed Noah was his mate long ago, but Nix has been posing as a straight guy all his life and did not welcome the fact that the bond understood his true nature and need even if he wanted to deny it.  Noah has been patient with him even though Nix knows that his resistance and denial has hurt Noah.  Even his fellow Alpha Pack members try to give him a boot up the butt about Noah, but ingrained fear has kept him in hiding.

Now, seeing his mate nearly killed and badly injured, he realizes what he stood to lose even before he had it.  Nix is determined to try.  First, privately with Noah and slowly going public with his true gay nature and relationship with Noah.  But if he can’t get a lid on his fears, he knows that he will push Noah away for good.

Noah agrees to take it slowly and is hopeful that Nix will finally bond with him and claim him.  Having the guy destined to be his mate publicly and repeatedly reject the bond and keep him at a distance after being shoved away by everyone in his past has been hard on him.

Noah is a naturally sunny, optimistic guy.  He knows his gentle, flamboyant nature and desire to be in an open, unapologetic touchy-feely relationship has the potential to push Nix too far since they are opposites.  Noah has decided that he must prove his worth to Nix and goes to Blue and Kaelen to help him develop a gift he has kept hidden and they are happy to do so.

Meanwhile, a malevolent force watches and plots in the shadows to take and use Noah while he is vulnerable.

Alright, this was very short and that played a role in the disconnect for me with this one, but I also felt it took on way too much so it was a mile wide and an inch deep if you get the picture.

I’m going to get pointed here.  This story had the opportunity to have heart and engage the reader on several levels, but it felt slapped together to me.  My disappointment goes well beyond the handling of a gay couple to the handling of the story in general- though the handling of these characters and relationship didn’t do it justice.  I could pick apart most of the major elements in this story, but I won’t because, sadly, that is a long list.  The romance was stilted and felt scripted, the character and plot development barely there, and the usual strengths of the series were absent.

It’s not that hard to get me emotionally engaged in a story and cheering for the romance.  I tried and there were a few brief moments that I did connect.  But it’s telling that a death, a near death, and a potentially big-conflict romance left me entirely unmoved.  I should have been biting my nails and bawling my eyes out instead of steadily reading just to see the end.  If this hadn’t been short, it would have been a DNF.  Then again, if it hadn’t been short, maybe it would have been developed and I would have loved it.

On the positive side, I like where the author went with the opposites attract to the pair of lovers.  I like the surprise of Noah’s gift.  I did enjoy a few sweet scenes with Nix and Noah like when they went into the woods for the day or out on the town to eat.  Time with Blue is always a good thing.  Nix’s reaction to Noah’s decorating was amusing.  But sadly, the bigger picture didn’t do it for me.

That twist over Nix’s ‘gift’ was swiftly introduced in time for it to come in handy, but I never got the explanation.  And I was thoroughly confused about that slavery thing for Noah with Jinn there at the end.  No clue what that was about.  I’m going to give the benefit of the doubt that things will get explained further along and this was meant to be mysterious.  If not, this was left as one huginormous dangling plot thread.

So, yeah, I was disappointed that this wasn’t up to par with what I’m used to seeing with this series.  I’ll still keep going with the series, but I have to say don’t judge the series based on this entry because I can’t really recommend it other than to series fans who want to keep up with each installment.

My thanks to Penguin Group for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges Met:

Romance Roundabout #99 PNR

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Shari is the Delighted Reader. Married to her Prince Charming and mother to two Princesses and one Prince. When she is not slaving away as Cinderella she loves to get lost in the pages of a good book. Never without a reading device and a few good paperback books, because she never knows when she might get 5 minutes to read!
  • Great reviews ladies. I really like this author and this series is fantastic. I am looking forward to this novella, mostly because we have see the chemistry between these two and I can’t wait to see them get a HEA.

    • I love the series, too. I do indeed hope you get the chemistry you’re looking for. I really wanted them to get their HEA, too.

    • Shari Delighted Read

      I love this series as well. Like Sophia, I think this needed to be a bigger story, but I also felt the author was uncomfortable writing this one. Nix irritated me a lot while Noah was so sweet.

  • I just listened to this today and still need to write my review. Is it me or was Nix’s homosexuality not mentioned at all before this book? I thought I remembered seeing this pairing and being a little disappointed in a heterosexual and homosexual being paired together. I know we find out very quickly in this story that Nix is in fact gay and has been hiding it for good reason (I guess). I almost skipped this story because of that, but had forgotten about it when I requested the audio. I agree with everything that both of you said. I thought that this story felt thrown together. I was willing to give her a bit of a pass since this is her first M/M, but the entire story, not just romance, is lacking. I also have an issue that they slept together before discussing Nix’s issues.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

    • There was no mention of him being secretly gay before this story. I suspected it, but he never ‘thinks’ it or says anything to make others wonder. I chose to read the story, but there was a little doubt about the forced mate bond for a straight guy with me, too.
      Yeah, as you can tell, I wanted this story to have more development, too.

    • Shari Delighted Read

      No they don’t mention Nix’s homosexuality until this book. That is what I thought he was struggling with and I thought the real reason was weak. It felt like the author was a little uncomfortable writing a M/M romance. The story felt a little off but it did have a lot of hope and love to it. Mostly I felt it needed a longer plot to deal with everything correctly.

  • There’s a lot of things going on here squeezed into 100+ pages. Maybe the length took away much of the story’s development?

    • That’s pretty much how it felt. So much was crammed in and it was all good stuff that deserved some more development.

    • Shari Delighted Read

      It’s pretty short and crammed with action and not as much of the dealing with their emotions. I think it needed to be a little longer.

  • I do like when oposites attract. I have been enjoying PNR and UF lately..nice reviews ladies!

    • These are definitely opposites. 😉 There are some good stories out lately to tease your PNR/UF need. Enjoy, Kimberly!

    • Shari Delighted Read

      One thing that got me is Noah has never felt over the top gay until this book to me. I didn’t like that feeling that he was flamboyant and stereotypical.

  • There are often one of those books in a series that just don’t feel up to par. I want to read the series for sure though.

    • That is true. This is an exciting and fun paranormal romantic suspense series. Hope you like it, Christy.

    • Shari Delighted Read

      The series is awesome, but this one was still good, just needed some time to develop.

  • Woah, I didn’t recognize the blog for a minute..I love it! I do want to try this series, it always seems you enjoy them

    • Shari Delighted Read

      Putting in new changes as I went with a new theme and logo. Still making changes, but I had to stop since we are migrating to a new host hopefully soon!.

      This series is pretty awesome!

  • Oh a duo review, how exciting! It sounds like a fun series. i am sorry to hear this one was a bit disappointing, Sophia. It does sound daring for an author to add a same sex couple to a hetero series, I’ve seen a contemporary romance series where an author did that and it makes me curious about how that worked out. I like those long running story arc’s in a series, but it does make it necessary to read them in order.
    That must have been hard for Noah to get pushed away by his mate like that, but it does sound like Nix is finally changing that in this book. It’s a shame this one was a bit short and felt rushed because of that and wasn’t as good as the previous books in the series. I hope the next book is better again. Great reviews!

    • This is an exciting, fun series. Yeah, I was bummed and wanted more from this story, but oh well. That happens. It was nice to see Nix finally get it together and accept Noah b/c that was hard to watch them in the last couple of books the way Nix pushed Noah away. Looking forward to seeing where the series goes next.