Review: Single Malt by Layla Reyne

Reviewed by Jen

Feeling nostalgic for the Cut & Run books I loved so much, I asked Twitter to give me some recommendations of books with a similar feel and this one rose to the top. I can see the similarities for sure and they were close enough to scratch my itch, but there were enough differences that no one would confuse the two.

Like my beloved C&R books, this series centers around two FBI agents who are paired as unlikely partners. But these two guys are markedly different from Ty and Zane, who were always on the edge of spiraling out of control. Aidan is one of the FBI’s best agents, but he is just returning to work after an eight-month leave to recover from the accident that killed both his partner and his husband. His boss, Mel–his dead husband’s sister–assigns him to work with Jamie, a brilliant cyber-agent who is also a handsome former NCAA basketball star. Aidan is tasked with evaluating Jamie for field work. [Read more…]

Review: Immortal Fire by Annette Marie

Reviewed by Ronelle

Once upon a time, Emi’s world was simple. Gods were righteous and wise, yokai were bloodthirsty and evil, and her duty as the kamigakari was straightforward. But when one of the kami sets out to destroy the mortal world as it’s known and the yokai are the only ones standing in her way, she’s faced with a far more terrifying reality.

Looming threat or no, Emi can’t escape her greatest distraction: Shiro, the fox yokai who has so deftly claimed her heart for his own. She’s promised to break the curse that binds his magic and memories, and once his true self awakens, she’s afraid she’ll lose him forever. But his power and knowledge are needed for the impending war, and so they’ll gamble everything to turn the tide against their immortal, all-powerful foes.

Together, they will find a way to save her world—but can they save each other? [Read more…]

Review: The Tears of the Rose by Jeffe Kennedy

Reviewed by Jen

It was the love story between Ami and Ash that made me jump in to the backlist of this series. They were the couple featured in the anthology Amid the Winter Snow, set much later in the series. I was so taken with them and with the world building in that novella that I went back to start the series from the beginning. Overall, I found the book captivating and I read it all in one sitting much like the first in the series. It wasn’t exactly like I expected, though.

Obviously, the novella meant massive spoilers. I feel like I would have enjoyed the surprises of this book much more if I didn’t know what was going to happen. That is not the book’s fault, so I won’t complain about that, but I will give my small gripe that I wish there was more time devoted to the romance that made me read the series in the first place. I understand it; there are reasons it takes so long for the love story to get off the ground, but that doesn’t change the fact that I wanted more of it… and much like book one, this ended too abruptly for my taste. Even though the larger arc will continue in the next book, this romance won’t. [Read more…]

Review: Unexpected Claim by Alexa Riley

Reviewed by Shelly

No no no. This was supposed to be a good story and I don’t like that it wasn’t. I don’t know why but I didn’t equate ‘adult club’ with sex club.

‘It’s a sex club. It just so happens to be orgy night.’

When that happened, I almost put this down. But I said nay nay and that’s how I ended up here writing a review about a non existent character development story line that in all honesty is a stroke piece.

Ivy, the very petite heroine who ‘probably only comes up to my stomach’ is a virgin. Ivy’s best friend talks her into going to the sex club because she’s a bit of a home body who’s been minding her Ps & Qs. Yeah, that’s the best way to get that v-card over with. Sure it is. [Read more…]

Review: Man Card by Sarina Bowen and Tanya Eby

Reviewed by Joanna

Back to this snort-laugh series for my first read of the New Year. Ashley Power (what a name!) is a thirty-something realtor with a driven attitude to sell sell sell, and dirty thoughts for her most despised colleague, Braht. Yep, Braht. That’s his name.

Ash hates him, but her body disagrees, and very much wants to sleep with him. A lot.

In book one (these work as standalones), they were caught getting down to business in their friend’s pantry, but Ash doesn’t want a repeat. Or does she? [Read more…]

DNF Review: Firestorm by Donna Grant

Reviewed by Ronelle

When Dr. Faith Reynold stumbles upon what appears to be an ancient dragon skeleton, she’s completely taken aback. Though she’s been raised on the mythology of the beasts, she’s a woman of science and there’s no way that such a creature can actually exist. And when the handsome and mysterious Dmitri enters her world, she ends up even further out of her comfort zone. Her curiosity soon turns into all-consuming passion; she’s never felt this way about any man before.

But Dimitri is keeping secrets and his biggest revelation will test her resolve. Can Faith learn to love the man—as well as the dragon within? [Read more…]

Review: Stay Close by Alexa Riley

Reviewed by Shelly

If you’ve not read anything from the duo that is Alexa Riley you’re missing out. Okay, well that might be a little strong but they’re a fun read. My only warning is make sure you keep your expectations low and here’s why. I think they have a plug and play template. I read this story after reading book 3 in their ‘For You’ series.

This is a novella with insta-love and is book one in the series. The heroine is a virgin. The hero is her bodyguard and is not a virgin. The ‘friend’s young daughter’ thing mentioned in the blurb should have deterred me because I find May/December romance to be…well, let’s just say I’m not a fan. Ivan, of the indeterminable age, grew up in the Russian mob. He was able to get out because of some snitching and ended up working for twins Penelope and Pandora Justice’s parents. [Read more…]

Review: The Duke of Her Desire by Sophie Barnes

Reviewed by Jen

This second story in Sophie Barnes’ Diamonds in the Rough series marries the fish out of water trope with an older brother’s best friend romance. Amelia is just a few months into her reintroduction to society after spending most of her life in the slums of St Giles. Her older brother, Raphe, is happily married now and wants to take his wife on a wedding trip, so he asks his friend, the Duke of Coventry, to keep an eye on his sisters while he’s away. Of course, he has no idea that Amelia is nursing a giant crush on the man.

Not only does Coventry agree to watch out for the girls, he promises to draft his mother to help Amelia find a husband. That means lessons in dancing and comportment and a little bit of matchmaking to boot. He’s only doing a favor for Raphe until two things happen which make it into something more. First, he discovers Amelia’s plan to launch a school for unfortunate children. Though she doesn’t show enough regard for her own safety, he can’t help but be impressed by her determination and smarts in creating a business-plan. His appreciation for her grows… so that when the second thing happens–and he sees her in a low cut ball gown–it gets harder to see her as just his best friend’s younger sister. [Read more…]

Review: The Mark of the Tala by Jeffe Kennedy

Reviewed by Jen

I was turned on to this series with the novella Jeffe Kennedy included in the Amid the Winter Snow anthology. It was good enough that I needed to go check out the back list in The Twelve Kingdoms and I was not disappointed. This was a good fantasy romance that reads quickly and easily enough that I devoured it all in one sitting.

Princess Andromeda is the middle daughter sandwiched between two other princesses who seem far more remarkable. Her older sister is strong and powerful, the heir apparent to their father’s kingdom. Her younger sister is an unparalleled beauty. Andi, meanwhile, tends to fade into invisibility. That is, until she meets Rayfe. [Read more…]

Review: Dark Tempest by Annette Marie

Reviewed by Ronelle

Emi has dedicated her life to becoming the perfect vessel for the goddess Amaterasu, but the betrayal of another deity has changed everything. Now Amaterasu has charged her with finding and freeing the earthly gods before mankind is brought to its knees beneath divine tyranny.

Shiro, mysterious as ever, is at her side and he is still lost, his power bound by a devastating curse and his memories obscured. His shadowed history is somehow tied to the missing gods, but he can’t remember how or why. But as their search leads them into the deepest reaches of the spirit realm, Shiro’s past begins to emerge and with each brief awakening of his true self, Emi loses a little more of him.

The fate of gods, humans, and even Shiro himself now rest in Emi’s hands. Does she have enough time to save them all? [Read more…]