Review: Venom in the Veins by Jennifer Estep

Reviewed by Jen

Sliding in to an Elemental Assassin book for me is like donning a comfortable old sweater at the beginning of fall. It’s pleasant and familiar. Not really flashy or new, but that’s not why I pick it up. I know what to expect and I like it.

As this installment begins, Gin still searching for answers about the mysterious Circle. But more pressing right now is the fact that someone seems to be targeting Finn’s boss at the bank, Moseley. He is attacked early in the book and Gin is convinced it has something to do with the bigger picture. She goes on high alert, determined to protect him as he puts on a high profile auction of Mab Munro‘s personal effects.

As in several recent books, the current happenings end up tying in to old memories of Gin’s and they manifest in dreams. That, along with one of Fletcher’s old files tip her off that it all has something to do with a vampire she killed many years ago. The story follows her as she unravels those connections and works to keep Mosley safe. [Read more…]

Review: Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Reviewed by Debz

You will not believe how excited I was for this book to be made a movie. I had just finished reading the trilogy when it was announced that the first book would be made into a movie. I was ecstatic. I googled everyone announced to be in the movie and singlehandedly watched the trailer more than 50 times. I made sure I was free on the day it came out and pestered my local cinema for a week to make sure it was coming out on the day they said it was coming out. I watched it twice, consecutively and loved every minute of it.

After my haze of obsession has worn off, I have come to the conclusion (and this is the right conclusion guys, don’t argue) ……Nick Young is a wuss. The first time I read this, I swooned over Nick. Gorgeous, rich yet humble, good friend, good son, yet good boyfriend. The list goes on and on, but after 2 viewings and 1 extra reading, his shortcomings just shine through, and all I could do was scoff and roll my eyes. How does he not prepare Rachel for any part of his life in Singapore? How is he okay with throwing her to the sharks and just hoping she survives? He literally tells her how about how hard something is going to be one scene before it actually happens and expects her to just ride with it. Dick move Nick, dick move. [Read more…]

Review: Highland Wolf by Hannah Howell

Reviewed by Jen

I cannot remember the last time I struggled so hard to finish a book. My problems with Highland Wolf kicked off at the very beginning and then only intensified as the story continued. I did a little research after reading a review copy and discovered this is book 15 in a long running series and it is a reissue from 10 years ago. Interesting, but neither was the real root of my problem.

The simplest explanation is that I thought this book was boring. I liked the setup well enough. James was the laird of Dunncraig Keep but was framed for the death of his wife three years ago. Now he is posing as a woodcarver to get close to his enemy, reclaim his land, and rescue his young daughter. Meanwhile, Annora is the bastard cousin of that enemy. She takes care of the little girl to earn her keep and she has grown to love her. She hates her cousin and his awful men, but she wants to protect the little girl and will not leave her. [Read more…]

Review: Gravity by Dannika Dark

Reviewed by Jen

This book was… difficult to read. Generally speaking, I love angst in a romance. But I Hate the Big Secret trope. Granted, this is not a straight up romance. This is urban fantasy with romantic elements. But if we are being real, the big crux of this installment surrounds the relationship between Silver and Logan. And thanks to Tarek, Logan’s nemesis among the Chitah, things are not looking good for this couple.

I’ve said before how much I adore Logan and what a great pairing he and Silver make. But, in most books, when things look awesome, you know a giant bomb is about to drop. That bomb drops here. Basically, Tarek moves into a position of power among his people and he uses that as leverage to blackmail Silver. He can kill everyone she’s ever loved, essentially with impunity. So she must throw over Logan or watch him die along with everyone else who matters to her. [Read more…]

Review: Dil Or No Dil by Suleikha Snyder

Reviewed by Sara

To be honest, I don’t generally read a lot of short story collections. I usually find them slightly frustrating because, if the stories and character are good, I generally want more than what a short story has to offer. Furthermore, I’ve never read anything by author Suleikha Snyder. So, I was a little unsure about how I would enjoy Dil or No Dil, but it was on sale and I was between books. Spoiler alert: It was fantastic!

The collection contains older stories, dating as far back as 2011, and new stories made available for the first time in this collection. There are eight in all. The stories range in length from several pages to as many as 13 chapters and contain many elements of and references to the author’s Indian background. I was really blown away by how much I really enjoyed Dil or No Dil and especially the variations of the stories. Some of the stories, were f/f, others were m/m, most were typical m/f pairings, but then some the m/f stories included older female characters and younger male love interests which aren’t typical of Romance as a genre at all. Some of the stories were of the insta-lust/love variety and other were love stories that, while told over only a couple of pages, spanned decades. [Read more…]

Review: Mating the Huntress by Talia Hibbert

Reviewed by Caitlin

A Talia Hibbert novella is the perfect antidote to a reading slump or a terrible week or anything bad ever in your life. The heroine is going to be tough and not particularly interesting in being likable. The hero is going to be big and strong and a total fucking cinnamon roll. And the romance is going to be sweet and sexy.

“Mating the Huntress” was Hibbert’s first paranormal story, but it was a typical Hibbert story in every other way. The heroine, Chastity Adofo, is a total badass who can handle herself in a fight. She comes from a line of werewolf hunters, but because of a prophecy that predicted “her first kill would rip out her own heart.” [Read more…]

Review: Diamond Fire by Ilona Andrews

Reviewed by Jen

You can never go wrong with an Ilona Andrews book! I loved the initial trilogy in the Hidden Legacy series for a ton of reasons, but mostly because of the main couple, Rogan and Nevada. Sadly, their primary story is over, but the series lives on, switching focus to Nevada’s younger sister, Catalina. And this story serves as a changing of the guards, beginning first in Nevada’s POV, then switching to Catalina’s, and I’m happy to say I have no doubt the middle Baylor sister will deliver as a lead.

The story surrounds Rogan and Nevada’s wedding. Let me just say how much I loved his mom. Mrs. Rogan was an unexpected treat, with a cool backstory and a will of steel. She decides she wants a wedding that includes her entire family, which is no small feat. Half of them are money grubbers, nursing a serious sense of entitlement. We switch to Catalina’s perspective when one of them steals the family wedding tiara and she needs to figure out who did it before her sister walks down the aisle. [Read more…]

Review: The Royal Runaway by Lindsay Emory

Reviewed by Debz

So I saw pictures from Princess Eugene’s wedding and she looked absolutely stunning. Her dress was, dare I say, the best royal bridal gown this year and it took a lot of confidence for her to break with royal tradition and show her scars for the world to see. She rocked it!!!

It was also serendipitous that at the same time the wedding was going on, I was reading about another bad ass princess (albeit fictional) and her journey to happy ever after. This one was a rocky journey, though; boy were there twists and turns.

Princess Theodora Isabella Victoria is second in line to the throne of Drieden and is supposed to marry dashing Scottish Duke, Christian Fraser-Campbell in the wedding of the decade….except he doesn’t show up for the wedding. That must have been super devastating and embarrassing. It is a bother to say the least, to be stood up at the altar, but to do that at a Royal wedding!!! With all the preparation and money and time that had been put into it!!!!! A disaster of epic proportions. [Read more…]

Review: The Unlikeable Demon Hunter by Deborah Wilde

Reviewed by Elise

This one popped up on my recommendations through Audible. I was all out of good audiobooks so I figured, why not? I’m glad I took a chance because it was an unexpected diamond in the rough. Nava Katz is a 20 year old with no clear direction in life. Except for sex. She has a voracious appetite for sex, having fun, and generally floating through life. Her twin brother, Ari, on the other hand is diligent and studious. Ari has been working his whole life towards being inducted into the Brotherhood of David, the preordained ‘chosen ones’. Those who fight demons and keep humans safe.

The book starts with Nava coming home from a big night out, seeking a hangover cure, and imbibing in the ceremonial wine that was to be included in the ceremony inducting Ari into the brotherhood. Everyone is shocked when Nava develops the power that was meant for Ari. This first installment of the series follows Nava as she becomes the lone woman to enter the brotherhood. [Read more…]

Review: Impulse by Dannika Dark

Reviewed by Jen

Dannika Dark continues to enthrall me with this third book in her Mageri series. This installment dips a little more into the romance than the first two did. Maybe because Silver is finally getting a chance to explore a real relationship with just one man. Let me just say again how much I adore Logan and the dynamic between these two. It is really the heart of this book, even though there is some action on the side.

Logan is slowly and methodically courting Silver now in the ways of his people. They do not take physical intimacy lightly. It is a commitment. He wants Silver for a lifetime. Meanwhile, though, the yearly gathering is about to take place. For the Chitah, it is an opportunity to look for a soulmate and Silver worries that she is keeping Logan from his destiny. [Read more…]