Archives for December 2016

Review: Wolfsong by TJ Klune

Reviewed by Joanna

Lots of the books I read are great, I get into the plot, I love the heroine and fall for the hero, I immerse myself and fall into a different world for a short time.

Then occasionally a book comes along that grips me, holds me close and changes a little something about my soul. This is one of those books. (Or at least the first half was.)

To my shame, I passed it over when it was offered to the blog for an early review. I wasn’t in the mood for wolf shifters as we get a lot in that ilk which can be repetitive. Then someone recommended this book to a reader group I’m part of. It’s wonderful – you really ought to read it, they said. So I did. [Read more…]

Review: One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews

Reviewed by Jen

Another winner in Ilona Andrews’ Inkeeper series. As with the two previous books, I chose not to read this as a serial when the authors posted it to their website. I don’t have the patience to read in little snippets over time, and in reading the finished story, I can tear through it without stopping. Not only that, I get the benefit of whatever tweaks the authors choose to do to round out the book. I was not disappointed. [Read more…]

Review: Deep Down by Brenda Rothert

Reviewed by Joanna

Ah I love a cute scene with a hero who’ll do anything to get his girl. Reed drops to his knees in a cafe and belts out a line of “Build Me Up Buttercup” to convince Ivy to go out with him. It made her smile and it put a big grin on my face too. But that was after a rocky start to this small-town romance.

Ivy flees her home city after graduation, packing her pregnant ass into a car her friend gave her and driving until she finds somewhere to stay. Her pregnancy follows a vile rape, which though not covered in intimate graphic detail, was enough for me to cringe and grimace my way through the scene. [Read more…]

Review: Hers to Heal by Vonnie Davis

Reviewed by Jen

Let me start by saying there is something for everyone. Generally I am a huge fan of tortured heroes, wounded warriors, and the like. That’s the reason that I gave this book I try. And at first, while it could be a little corny at times, I thought it would be OK. Unfortunately the longer I read, the worse it got. So much so that I had to struggle to make it to the last page. [Read more…]

Shelly’s Favorites of 2016

What an amazing year for romance. I read some really good ones this year including a couple historicals.

If you’re a fan of Lisa Kleypas’s historicals and haven’t read her Ravenels series, you’re missing out. This was a new to me author and I couldn’t have been more pleased with Marrying Winterborne, book 2 in the series. Rhys and Helen’s romance was a sweet, fun and well told story about choosing what’s good for you in spite of what society says.

Each of the past few years, M.Q. Barber’s put out a story that I’ve really liked and this year was no exception. Finding their Balance is book 5 in her Neighborly Affection series and continues the story of Henry, Jay and Alice. Well worth the read in you’ve followed that series but I wouldn’t recommend as a stand alone.

I waited for Grace Draven’s book 2 in the Wraith Kings series, Eidolon, patiently. I wasn’t sure it would be worth it because I’ve been disappointed before but this one was absolutely worth the wait. Jen loved it too.

If SEALs are your thing, Embattled Road should be right up your alley. It’s the prequel to JM Madden’s Lost and Found series and it’s good short but good.

I’ve read everything put out by Christine Wenrick and when Leaving Lily Behind came out I was never so happy. It’s book 3 of the Men of Brahm Hills series continuing the saga of good versus evil, Dhampirs, vampires, humans and all things that go bump in the night. It’s tightly woven with the series just in case you’re tempted to read as a standalone.

One of my favorite writers is Allyn Lesley. She’s one of these authors who can pen a tale about an anti-hero and make you fall in love with him. Deeper, book 2 in her Descent series is no exception to that. Noah is no saint and Avi knows it.

Happy reading folks!

Honorable mention goes to:

Angel 6.0 – Concubine by Travis Luedke
A Bad Bit Nice by Josie Kerr
Happily Ever All-Star by Sosie Frost
The Devil’s Bedpost by Lena Hart
Falling by Allyn Lesley
Sucker Punched by Kelley Martin

Review: With the Dawn by Cassandra Sky West

Reviewed by Ronelle

A witch, a vampire, and a witch walk into a bar… except there’s no bar, just a trio of unlikely friends determined to stay alive.

Alexi Creed wakes up in a morgue drawer, with no knowledge of who she is, where she’s being held, or even why. Only quick thinking and newfound vampiric reflexes allow her to avoid an unpleasant death. But even as she flees the nightclub under which she’d been held, she’s jumping out of the frying pan and straight into a fire that could easily consume her.

Savanna Grace is on the run from another witch bent on her destruction. Worse yet, the other witch is her own mother and the woman is pulling out all the stops to have her revenge. Savanna has been running for far too long and her gift of precognition tells her that Alexi is her only hope of survival. She can’t run anymore. [Read more…]

Review: Cold-Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas

Reviewed by Shelly

I recently finished Marrying Winterborne – Book 2 in Kleypas’s The Ravenels series and I loved it enough to go back and read book 1. So here am I with a gleam in my eye and a bit gobsmacked about the writing.

Devon Ravenel has just inherited a lot of land, property and responsibility. Yes, it’s all under the guise of an earldom, but considering Devon’s never worked a day in his life, his new responsibilities might prove be burdensome. Kathleen is recently widowed.

There’s a lot here for me to like. Kathleen is a very strong heroine. She’s taken on quite a bit in looking out for the well-being of the Ravenel’s daughters. The ladies have been basically left without a dowry. All they truly have is their title and limited choices, but that’s another story for another day. [Read more…]

Joint Review: Winter Halo by Keri Arthur

winter-haloReviewed by Jen & Ronelle

Ronelle: After reading the first book in the Outcast series, I picked up the audiobook version of Winter Halo and loved it as much as I loved City of Light. Keri Arthur penned a fascinating continuation of Tiger’s story, and Mia Barron did an excellent job bringing it to life. Winter Halo is one of those books that reminded me why sci-fi and fantasy are so often grouped together and it’s the best of both worlds, with dystopian romance thrown in for good measure.

Jen: It took me a little while to get back in the groove with this series, though to be fair, I didn’t really feel all that connected to the characters in the first book either. I did get more interested as I kept reading and the story built, only for it come to an abrupt end. Basically, the rhythm of the story progression felt… off… and I’d imagine it would be a substantial challenge for a new reader to jump in to the series here. [Read more…]

Review: Noah by Elizabeth Reyes

Reviewed by Joanna

I picked this up because the author has a new novel coming out – a spinoff of the 5th Street series, and when I ordered the ARC, she said to go read these first because the guys crop up in her new work. It was free on Amazon, so bonus time for me.

This is the tale of an older woman (28 – ancient cougar), falling for a younger man (20 – baby) whilst not believing it can ever work out because of the age gap. The heroine felt so very old and out of style compared to the trendy kid. Yeah, it made me feel antique.

This is written in the third person remote, and it took me a long time to warm up to the story and the characters. I was at least a third into the book before I started to have any real feeling about who they were and what I wanted to happen between them. [Read more…]

Review: Moonshadow by Thea Harrison

Reviewed by Jen

Every so often I am reminded how much I truly enjoy Thea Harrison. I have not loved every single one of the Elder Races books equally, but I absolutely adored this one. This is actually something of a spin off, set in the world of Elder Races but outside of the ongoing story line. So if you’ve never tried those books, this is a fantastic place to jump in.

The heroine is an American police consultant recovering from a shooting. Her entire future opens up when she learns she may be heir to a mysterious castle. All she has to do is figure out a way in. So Sophie travels across the pond, hoping to unlock the mystery and change her life. [Read more…]