Archives for December 2017

Review: Fire’s Kiss by Brittany Pate

Reviewed by Ronelle

Embyr has finally found a place where she can settle peacefully, and while the life of a tavern owner might not be the most thrilling, it allows her to keep her secrets. That is, until she’s attacked by a hellhound and saved by one of the most feared men in history.

Ryder McLennon, the infamous leader of Death’s Horsemen, has spent 800 years hunting the vampire who killed his wife. He’s earned a reputation as a murderous madman and he’s fine with that. But what begins as a bid to add a beautiful—but more importantly, powerful—half-demon to his army soon becomes a battle to keep his heart at bay. [Read more…]

Review: If the Fates Allow (An LGBTQ Romance Anthology)

Reviewed by Joanna

This anthology features Christmas shorts from a number of LGBTQ+ authors. All festive, romantic and in most cases super sweet.

Gracious Living Magazine Says It Must Be a Real Tree by Killian B. Brewer

Marcus works in a small-town diner. He loves his job, his boyfriend Hank, who’s the local mechanic, and he adores his deceased grandmother’s interfering friends. As Marcus never knew a traditional Christmas, he’s determined to make this year perfect. Suspecting Hank is going to propose, Marcus freaks out, and his grandmother’s friends only make it worse by giving him too much advice on exactly how to perfect his proposal scenario. [Read more…]

Review: The Lady in Red by Kelly Bowen

Reviewed by Jen

I’ve enjoyed every installment in this series so far and though this novella veered a little from thread of the main books, it was still a hit for me. This story had nothing to do with the Chegarre & Associates firm who does such a great job fixing problems for the ton. But it’s linked to the other installments by the enigmatic and thoroughly fascinating King character. This is a man who can make anything happen. Here, he is helping Lady Charlotte find a post as an artist.

Charlotte is very gifted at her craft, but no one would ever take a Lady seriously as an artist. So King sets her up with a phony male identity to work on a major project. Her unwitting partner is Flynn Rutledge, a talented artist from the wrong side of the tracks with a chip on his shoulder and a distaste for aristocratic women. Thank Goodness, he only knows Charlotte as “Charlie,” at least for a time. [Read more…]

Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Reviewed by Joanna

I don’t usually bring YA to this site, for the reasons our name suggests, but this is just so adorable and lovely I want you all to read it then go see the film with me next March, m’kay?

Simon is a sixteen-year-old high school student, who is gay and hasn’t told anyone, and he recently started chatting via email with an unknown boy at his school in similar circumstances. Blue, the mystery boy, intrigues him, and they quickly fall into a screen-based friendship.

He talked about the ocean between people. And how the whole point of everything is to find a shore worth swimming to. I mean, I just had to know him. [Read more…]

Jen’s Favorites of 2017

For me, 2017 meant a lot of writing, moving (again!), and some new responsibilities at work. When you put all of that together, it equals less reading time for me than ever before. I came across a few stinkers (which I had to mark DNF despite my best efforts,) but I also added a few awesome books to my keeper-shelf.

Every year, Ilona Andrews tops my list. Part of me is embarrassed that I must be so predictable by now, but it’s not my fault. I swear if she ever writes something I don’t love, I’ll tell you the truth. In this case, it’s a two-fer in her Hidden Legacy series. White Hot and Wildfire came out really close together and that was a huge win for fans who had to wait an age after Burn For Me. These books feature such fantastic world building, awesome characters, and an exciting enemies-to-lovers romance that hit all my happy buttons. If you’re a Kate Daniels fan or heck, if you like UF/PNR at all… jump into this series with both feet. I promise you won’t regret it. [Read more…]

Review: Cottonwood by R Lee Smith

Reviewed by Jen

I’ve been on a sci-fi romance kick lately and this one showed up in my Goodreads recommendations with a pretty high average rating. I was intrigued because this the same author who wrote The Last Hour of Gann, which I found riveting. The only thing holding me back: roaches. (DON’T CLICK AWAY!!)

If you’re familiar with Gann, you know the alien hero in that book is a lizardman and that was enough to swallow. Here, the alien hero is a roachman and that might be the single unsexist thing I’ve ever heard of in my life. So I read a bunch of reviews. I stewed on it, then I bought the book. And it was so very good.

The roach thing is real, and the author never lets you forget about it. The thing is, even though I find no living thing as disgusting as a roach, I not only adored this hero, I rooted for the romance 1000%. That is some pretty amazing character building, folks. [Read more…]

DNF Review: A Deep Dark Call by Rose Vane

Reviewed by Jen

I was really excited about this book. It was supposed to be a gothic style PNR, with an English-governess in Wallachia who falls for her enigmatic employer. The blurb promised a sinister manor house, a possible curse, and questionable circumstances surrounding the death of the hero’s first wife. I was expecting Rebecca meets Dracula or something. What I got was a story I had to put down three times in eye-rolling frustration before I finally walked away for good around the halfway point. It should tell you a lot that I couldn’t get any further, since the book was only about 43,000 words.

It started out with a lot of scene setting, which ok, the author was trying to set the mood. Wallachia is very different from London and wolves howl a lot. Lucy, the heroine, has some kind of Past which forced her to leave her home and strike out somewhere entirely new. At first, I figured someone must have deflowered her, especially since she wondered if her new employer was going to ravage her the first time they met (an idea she was clearly not adverse to) but since we later discover she’s a virgin, I can tell you that wasn’t it. [Read more…]

Review: Once Upon a Christmas Eve by Elizabeth Hoyt

Reviewed by Jen

Elizabeth Hoyt gives us one more Maiden Lane story to love in this short holiday read. The heroine is Sarah St. John (younger sister to Godric for those of your familiar with the series.) At 27, she is a bit old to be an unmarried miss, but a house party courtesy of her mother might find her the perfect husband. Then Adam, Viscount d’Arque, shows up at the front door. His carriage has had an accident with his grandmother inside and they need a place to stay. Of course, the St. John family can’t say no even if Godric would love nothing better than to send the man packing… after all, he flirted shamelessly with Godric’s wife back in the day and the memory is still irksome. [Read more…]

Review: Amid the Winter Snow by Grace Draven, Thea Harrison, Elizabeth Hunter & Jeffe Kennedy

Reviewed by Jen

This anthology was a great mix of new worlds and familiar favorites for me.

In the Darkest Midnight is set loosely in the world of Grace Draven’s Wraith Kings, though this story stands up completely on its own. It follows young Jahna, a nobleman’s daughter with a sizable birthmark, who falls head over heels for her brother Sodrin’s instructor in swordsmanship. Radamir is a swordmaster of Ilinfan, a line renowned for its skill. He has committed to four years training Sodrin, but he is quickly taken by the intelligence and fortitude of the young woman derided by others for her appearance. It isn’t romantic between them, at first, as Jahna is only 15, but over time, they form a friendship and much later, it develops into something more. This is a very slow burn and I was a little put off at first by how long Jahna was too young for their relationship to take off. But Draven does a fantastic job crafting the longing Jahna feels for Radamir. By the time they got together, not only did I want it, I needed it to happen. Now that’s over, I’m still wanting more. [Read more…]

Review: Man Hands by Sarina Bowen and Tanya Eby

Reviewed by Joanna

As a long-term Sarina Bowen fan, I look forward to the author collaborations she does, and this story, co-written with Tanya Eby, featuring a sex tape, a TV Mr Fixit and a larger lady, is another winner. It’s heavy on the comedy to make you giggle-snort, alongside a sexy angst free romance that I’ve come to expect from this author. I needed the light relief this week, and it delivered.

Brynn is an unhappy divorcee. She’s glad to have left her passionless ex behind, but she lost her job in the process and feels like a failure. What better to do than go to a fancy party with your friends, and run and jump (literally) on the first handsome guy you see?

Tom is on a lady-hiatus after an unpleasant ending to his last relationship. He’s a big, tall, TV celebrity, with nine seasons of a house renovation show under his (tool) belt, and he’s very good with his sizeable hands. Helpful for when a woman flies through the air at him, and super useful for helping her take off her wrap dress when a kiss leads to explosive passion and a quickie in the boat house. [Read more…]