Joint Review: How to Live an Undead Lie by Hailey Edwards

Reviewed by Debz & Jen

Debz: Normally Jen would have reviewed this book, but I just saw her tweet that she didn’t even know it was coming out so I’m going to shoot my shot and write one anyway. I came out of my friend’s wedding rehearsal for this so it better get published lol.

Jen: Yes. Imagine my surprise when I came here to write my own review and Debz had already done it. You’ve got stones, lady. Let it be known I am squatting on this author’s stuff from here to eternity.

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Review: Not the Duke’s Darling by Elizabeth Hoyt

Reviewed by Jen

I am such a fan of Elizabeth Hoyt. Her Maiden Lane books are among my favorite historical romances. This new series has a bit of a different feel, though I did enjoy it. The story mixes tropes with the older brother’s best friend and enemies to lovers, set against an extortion scheme, a mystery, and a secret society. There’s a lot going on here.

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Review: Professor with Benefits by Mickey Miller

Reviewed by Ericka

This is an author that I recently stumbled on earlier this year and he is definitely one that I believe is underrated.  This Dom-Com is about a college student living in Blackwell named Rose that is studying to become a sex therapist. She has never had sex before, being that she wants her first time to be more for research purposes. She thinks that her teacher would be great to help her with her “research.” All she wants is sixty days, and after that everything go back to normal. [Read more…]

Review: A Gentleman in the Street by Alisha Rai

Reviewed by Caitlin

When I first started reading romance, I noticed a lot of “enemies-to-lovers” stories involved the hero being shitty to the heroine for no reason, so she responded by standing up for herself. It’s too bad, because I typically love that set-up, but it was frustrating to watch the hero be so much shittier than the heroine and still have it play out like they were both equally at fault.

The reason for this, of course, is that we (me included! I’m working on it!) are much more willing to forgive our male characters and root for their redemption arcs than we are our female characters. A female character who is unapologetically sexual and selfish and abrasive is more difficult to root for than a male character with the same traits. [Read more…]

Review: Chill Factor by Rachel Caine

Reviewed by Jen

Three books in and the Weather Warden series is keeping me on the edge of my seat. These books are so engaging and unpredictable. I think one of the things I like best about them is that Rachel Caine feels no need to stick to a formula. The trials of the heroine take her to very different places by the end of each installment, yet the series maintains a consistent feel and tone throughout.

This book picks up immediately after the events of the last one. All three installments, in fact, show the roller coaster Joanne has been on in a very short period of time. Only a couple of weeks have passed since her story began. Now she’s human again; David is bound as her djinn and the they are working together to try and contain Kevin, the troubled teenager who escaped with Jonathan. Kevin is using his djinn to keep her away from Las Vegas where he’s holed up, trying to live the high life. [Read more…]

Review: Inseparable by Siobhan Davis

Reviewed by Elise

Warning – this review does contain discussion about a number of triggering subjects… and I’m pretty much going to spoil the whole book here so click the spoiler links at your own risk. It’s hard to talk about my issues, though, without addressing what happens.

I get a lot of my book suggestions off Amazon’s ‘Kindle Recommends for You.’ This book was no different. The cover looked pretty hot so I judged that book by its lusty cover and jumped right in. I’m not really sure how I feel about this book. Just about every trope and twist you could possibly imagine was thrown in. It got to the point where I think I emotionally disengaged with the story.  As I go through the review I’m going to keep track of the tropes and twists so you will see what I mean. [Read more…]

Review: Allison’s Adventures in Underland by CM Stubich

Reviewed by Ronelle

Allison Liddell didn’t want to go to that stupid party in the first place, but her sister, Edy, knew just the card to play to convince her. She even talked her into that stupid blue-and-white dress. Of course, Edy wandered off to socialize as soon as they got there. So Allison did what came naturally: found a quiet place to read her book…which ended up being the last normal event in her young life.

A gunshot, a spray of blood, and before she knew it, she was chasing a murderer with rabbit ears through the woods. He jumped into a hole and she followed, like Alice in those books. Except in those books, there wasn’t blood everywhere. In those books, the characters weren’t all male, attractive, and interested in her.

Forget everything you know about the Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit, the March Hare… This isn’t Wonderland; this is Underland. And everything is riding on Allison. [Read more…]

Review: Billionaire’s Unwanted Black Twin Babies by Ciara Cole

Reviewed by Debz

Honestly, I have no idea why I read this book. I really don’t. It’s just that when I enter a mini reading slump, I have to find a ridiculous book to jog me out of my funk. And buy was this ridiculous. First of all, the name guys…..it’s a bit much.

The story telling wasn’t any better. As someone who has been blessed with the opportunity to beta read for authors and friends alike, it’s very obvious to me now when a book is at it’s first draft stage and when it has been refined numerously to be fit for public consumption. This books reads like a first draft, and it’s annoying. The way the words are strung together feels clunky and inorganic.

Don’t even get me started on the objectification of both men and women in this story. The characters refer to the other sex as ‘male’ or ‘female’ and I don’t know if this bugs only me, but it feels dehumanizing and patronizing to me. You might as well just go the extra mile and call them men or women. Plot twist….I’m one chapter into this book, guys. [Read more…]

Review: Merrily Ever After by Jenny Holiday

Reviewed by Caitlin

Merrily Ever After is a novella in Jenny Holiday’s lovely Bridesmaids Behaving Badly series. It follows the story of Elise and Jay, who are the couple getting married in the first book One and Only and whose actual romance is told in the (free!) novella Once Upon a Bride (which I very much recommend).

Merrily Ever After might be a bit more women’s fiction than actual romance since it deals with overcoming an obstacle in a marriage rather than two people falling in love, but it does have a lovely HEA and is a great entry into a wonderful series, so I think it’s close enough. Any fan of Jenny Holiday should absolutely read this novella. [Read more…]

DNF Review: Earl To The Rescue by Jane Ashford

Reviewed by Sara

Earl To The Rescue is the story of Gwendeline Gregory, daughter of the Baron Gregory of Brooklands and his wife Annabelle. While she was young, Baron and Baroness Brooklands spent only a week out of the year with Gwendeline and were as uninvolved in her upbringing as possible. So, when they die in an ill-defined accident, Gwendeline, is less upset about her parents being dead as she is about the fact that they spent all of their savings and have left her penniless and soon to be homeless, since their debts require their estate to be sold off.

However, Gwendeline, is rescued by a the incredibly popular Lore Merryn, who, while surprised that Gwendeline is 19 years old and not an infant, is committed, along with a group of like minded gentlemen, to caring for her and helping her be introduced favorably into the ton. Gwendeline is whisked away to London where she is put up with Lord Merryn’s mother, a novelist, and begins making the round of parties. Here, she learns that her parents were general reprobates and begins to meet various characters. [Read more…]