Friday, August 12, 2016

Kayden/Simon by Alexandra Ivy and Laura Wright - Review

Author: Alexandra Ivy and Laura Wright
Publication Date:  9 August, 2016
Publisher: Evil Eye Concepts
Series:  Bayou Heat, books 21 and 22
Genre:  Paranormal Romance, Shifter
Age Recommendation: 18 and up
Rating: 4 stars

~ I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review ~ 

Book Description:

Kayden is obsessed with revenge after his parents disappeared when he was just a cub. Now the gorgeous Hunter has discovered the man responsible for betraying them - Joshua Ford - and it’s time for payback. Beginning with the kidnapping of Joshua’s daughter, Bianca. But last thing he expects is to be confronted with the horrifying realization that Bianca is his mate. Will he put revenge before his chance for eternal happiness?

Sexy male model, Simon refuses to give up his exciting life in New York City to return to the slow heat of the Wildlands. For a decade, many pantera have tried to capture the rogue Diplomat and bring him home, but all have failed. Now it’s Tryst’s turn. The hard, brilliant, and gorgeous, Hunter is the ultimate tracker. But can the admitted beast-girl of the Wildlands capture her prey without losing her heart in the process?

My Review:

I always enjoy coming back to the world of the Pantera and this time was no different.  In fact I think i can safely say that Kayden and Simon's stories easily became two of my favorite stories in the entire series.  I haven't felt this good about the couples since the first few stories when we were just becoming a part of the world of the Pantera.  Since Raphael and Parish.

After so many stories, we are up to 22 now, even just novellas it is easy to start to get lost in the world being built.  To lose the connection you made when you first began to read the series, to have things start to feel stale and replayed.  That isn't  the case with this release.  I will admit that mid way through the series I started to feel a bit bogged down by it all, never enough to stop reading them though because I truly love this world, but these two stories felt new and refreshing.  Yes, the back story is still there...the Pantera are still fighting against Christopher and his terrible actions against the Pantera, but we only got a small glimpse of that battle in Kayden  and Simon's stories.  These two books revolved almost strictly around the relationship between the two couples and I think it was much like a palate cleaner.  The will leave you feeling satisfied while still wanting more.  They will leave you invested but refreshed.  

Something else that I find keeps happening to me more and more as we get deeper into the series is that I want longer stories.  I could have had a full length story about Simon and Tryst and still wanted more I think.  I am particularly in love with their story, I am not at all let down by the story itself but wow, how amazing would it have been if they had 400+ pages instead of 75?  I am all anxious just thinking about it, and anxious in a very good way.

If you are a fan of the Bayou Heat series you will not be disappointed in these two stories!  If you are new...once again the authors and 1,001 Dark Nights pull off a perfect opener to a new world in the middle of its own story.  They give you a beautiful glimpse into something new to you with out spoiling the story for you.  You can safely read this novella with out having read the previous books but you will want to and if you decide you do want to make sure you go back to the beginning.  The Pantera have been on a wild ride for 22 books now, every book has built upon the ones that have come before it, you most definitely want to start at the beginning.  These are great books because you can pick them up anytime you need a quick read and walk away feeling like you got the entire story, perfect for your busy summer days when you just need some downtime.  If you are a fan of shifter books this series is a must read!  


I'm not exactly sure when I fell in love with books. Probably on my mother's knee listening to her read Dr. Seuss to me. I do remember that I was barely old enough to cross the street by myself when I discovered the delights of the local library. Could anything be more wonderful than spending summer days surrounded by stacks of Nancy Drew mysteries? Over the years I fell in love with Victoria Holt, Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, and J.R.R. Tolkien just to name a few. I read poetry, essays, biographies, and plays. In fact, I read anything I could get my hands on.

Years later (no, I'm not admitting how many) I'm still an avid reader, and my tastes are still as varied as they were in my youth, which I suppose helps to explain why I enjoy writing regency historicals under the name of Deborah Raleigh, as well as my contemporary paranormals as Alexandra Ivy. For now that is enough to keep me busy, but who knows what the future might hold!

I do have a few other loves in my life besides reading and writing, the most important being my unbelievably patient husband, David, and my two sons, Chance and Alexander. Without their constant support and belief in me, I never could have been able to follow my dreams. They are truly my heroes.

Unlike many of my peers in the writing world, I wasn’t a writer or a reader until I left high school. During my youth I was into theater, song and dance, commercials and boys. I loved romance surely, but I had never read a romance novel until my late teens. With that said, I remember the day I did like it was a moment ago – my aunt gave me the Jude Deveraux novel, Knight in Shining Armor and I couldn’t put it down until the very last word. Then I went straight to the library and got another – then another until I’d read everything she’d ever written. After that, it was McNaught, Howard, Schone, Kleypas, and the Silhouette line, Desire. I instantly loved those emotional, sexy reads, so much so that I began to carve out ideas for my own stories, themes that were unique to me and moved me. In 1997 I enrolled in UCLA extension writing classes, met my mentor and critique partners and since have never stopped writing. I was committed then and I still am now; the need to tell my own romantic stories a full on obsession. My first manuscript was rejected, and though the second one was as well the editor who’d rejected it wanted to see something else from me. I had something (note to authors; always keep working, even after you’ve sent in a proposal) and sent it right away. The day I got the call telling me Desire wanted to buy Cinderella and the Playboy was the best day of my life. That is until I married my husband, and had my two beautiful children. But I must say, writing is much like motherhood – tough, grueling, surprising, delicious and for me, a dream come true.

I was born and raised in Minnesota. It’s where my love of all things green, wet and grown in the ground comes from. As you read above, before writing I was an actor, singer and dancer, specifically a BALLROOM dancer – an instructor and competitor as well. That work took me to many places like New York, Ohio and Wisconsin. I live in Los Angeles now, but I’m always thinking about greener pastures – literally.


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