Archives for April 2018

Review: Naughty Phantasia by various authors

Reviewed by Ronelle

I’ll start this review by stating that I did not finish all the stories, either because they didn’t interest me (“Valentine”, “How the Alien Stole Christmas”) or because I found the plot/characters unappealing (“Alien Rights”, “The Ghosts of Substation #69”). Overall, though, I enjoyed the collection and appreciated the variety. Some of the stories put more focus on external plot, while some focused almost exclusively on romance/sex.

Rather than go over each story individually, here are some of my favorites/notables from the Naughty Phantasia anthology:

WEAPON OF CHOICE by Katherine Kingston

Selvya’s gift for controlling fire made her a weapon in the hands of unscrupulous men. The king’s commander offers a chance for revenge and redemption, but it’s a risk she’s not sure she can take. [Read more…]

Review: The Thief by JR Ward

Reviewed by Jen

With her Black Dagger Brotherhood books, JR Ward has excited me, enraged me, made me fall in love, and occasionally made me scratch my head. This is the first time she has left me completely cold. The installments in the main series (less so with the spinoffs) generally have so many subplots, there is at least one that I’m interested in. Not here.

I wasn’t terribly intrigued by Assail and Sola when they were first introduced. Here, they were downright anemic. Assail had been going crazy from his withdrawals from cocaine for a while now. We could hear him screaming in the background of the past few books. As this one begins, though, he is in a coma and on the verge of death. His cousins track down Sola to talk him back from the Fade. There is nothing sexy about a man clinging to life. This was equally true in the novella which directly preceded this. The best Ward could say was that the man’s boner was undiminished by his illness. No matter that he is skin and bones; he is bald; he can’t use the bathroom or bathe himself. But his junk works and is as big as ever. Hallelujah.  [Read more…]

Review: Small Change by Roan Parrish

Reviewed by Joanna

Ginger manages a tattoo parlor. She is a small woman with a huge personality, and is angry at just about everything and everyone. In her few hours of spare time, she paints, and that’s about it. She doesn’t cook, have delicate hobbies, nurture anyone, or make any concessions for the badass she is. I loved this woman.

Fortunately, someone else intends to, too. Enter Christopher. He owns the local sandwich shop, and he has a thing for the feisty woman he sees around his locale. This is where it’s interesting. Christopher is a super sweet red-headed nurturer. He cares about everyone, likes people, is genuinely interested in how they are, and doesn’t have an ounce of snark in his body. The polar opposite to Ginger, and a nice reversal from traditional gender role expectations. And the guy is hot. Smoking. [Read more…]

Review: Married by Morning by Lisa Kleypas

Reviewed by Jen

All hail Lisa Kleypas. Two books back, I had absolutely no interest in this couple whatsoever. It seemed like it was going to be a tired rehash of reformed rake in an enemies to lovers situation with an uptight governess. But somehow, Kleypas made it so much more. She made me root for Leo and Miss Marks to make it work. Not only that, but she piqued my interest by giving me a little nuggets and breadcrumbs to follow in their backstory.

When the last book ended, we knew there was some kind of secret between Lord Ramsey and his sisters’ governess. As this story begins, we learn that they shared a kiss in the aftermath of Leo’s discovery that Catherine was related to Harry, Leo’s brother-in-law. It doesn’t take too long to work that out, but what does develop over the course of the book is the story of why she has hidden herself away as a domestic servant when her brother has more money than King Midas. I won’t spoil the particulars, but I will say it’s pretty gnarly. [Read more…]

Welcome Debz!

I’m excited to share that we have a new reviewer joining our team. Help me welcome Debz to the blog!

I am a 24 year old lawyer living in Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria. This does not give me ample time to read outside work so you can catch me reading on my way to and from work, during lunches and dinners with friends and family and trying to force/encourage my friends to read all the books I love so we can talk about them all day.

I am into romance (contemporary and historical), urban fantasy and thrillers. I also love a good serial killer/police procedural book and political romance and I’m always on the lookout for cool indie authors and self publishers.

Review: Oath Forger Book 1 by Nia Mars

Reviewed by Ronelle

After the collapse of everything Earth once was, only a few are left. Ava and Lily Smith are two such survivors, and they make their living—if it can be called that—by scavenging the ravaged surface. As the eldest of the two, Ava does what she has to for survival.

Especially after she’s kidnapped by space pirates.

Her rescue by Federation agents only makes things weirder, because now she’s suddenly been named the Oath Forger and earned the seemingly instant devotion of the five most powerful rulers in the universe. [Read more…]

Review: Ivan by Kit Rocha

Reviewed by Jen

It has to be a difficult balance for authors who have created a sweeping world and a massive cast of characters. On one hand, you have the flock of longtime fans who’ve been with you since the beginning. The ones who remember every romance, every rivalry, every child. Then on the other hand, you have newer readers who just want to enjoy the story you’re telling today. I try very hard not jump into a series in progress and I thought I was safe entering this world with Ashwin.

I was wrong.

Don’t get me wrong. I Loved Ashwin with a Capital L. And I didn’t really feel lost reading it, even though I hadn’t read the O’Kane books. The authors did a great job easing me in with enough information that I didn’t feel my own ignorance of the events of the Beyond series. Not so with this book. There were so many people and events referenced here that it was just too much. My brain was in overload with all the characters who weren’t main players in the last two stories. I’m sure it was gift for longtime readers, but for me, it detracted from a romance featuring two of my favorite tropes: a forbidden relationship and a hero who thinks he isn’t good enough for his heroine. [Read more…]

Review: His Wicked Charm by Candace Camp

Reviewed by Sara

Do you like the opposites attract trope? How about Historical Romance? What about mysteries with paranormal elements?

If you said yes to any of these you’ll probably really enjoy Candace Camp’s latest release, His Wicked Charm.

Lilah Holcutt is everything a proper lady should be. She is well-mannered, logical, even-tempered and never breaks the rules. When her best friend gets married, she’s introduced to the Moreland family, better known as the Mad Morelands. The Morelands don’t care about convention; they believe in following one’s passion and are *gasps* suffragists. Con, Lilah’s best friend’s husband’s twin brother, is the worst of these. He’s a joker, a flirt and, for some reason, has turned his attention on her. [Read more…]

Review: Hello Stranger by Lisa Kleypas

Reviewed by Shelly

I came away from this without that Ravenel-happiness that I had after reading the first 3 books in Lisa Kleypas’s ‘Ravenel’ series. Book 1, Marrying Winterborne, is still my favorite and Rhys is my favorite hero of the series.

This is Garrett Gibson and Ethan Ransom’s story. I was really looking forward to this because Garrett’s a female physician and I thought her story – being female and a physician in a time when it was virtually unheard of – would be interesting. Since she made her appearance in Marrying Winterborne and her subsequent service as Rhys employee, I saw a great romance for this rare situation.

I can’t decide if this was too long or too short. If I wanted less medical terminology or more. I can’t decide if it’s my expectations or could it possibly have been Garrett’s character didn’t live up to what I saw being developed in the first few books. And I definitely couldn’t decide if I liked Ethan as a hero. [Read more…]

Review: Drop Dead Gorgeous by Juliet Lyons

Reviewed by Elle

I admit, I have a soft spot for vampires. I hadn’t read a vampire romance for awhile, so when I was offered this one for review, I easily accepted, despite not reading the first book in the series. This book stands alone well, so you can definitely jump in here without reading the first of the Bite Nights series.

Mila is a bit of an adorable mess. Her last boyfriend dumped her to go back to a wife and family she knew nothing about. Down on her luck, she tries the hot new dating site V-Date. Yes, the V stands for Vampire. They’re out of the coffin, living in society and open to dating.

Mila’s night out becomes a bit of a drama, when her Vampire date tries to kill her. Lucky for her, Inspector Vincent Ferrer happens to be around to save her. One look at Vincent’s (Hemsworth look-alike) face, is almost enough to erase Mila’s near death experience from memory. Only problem is, he’s a Vampire too. Oh, and the killer isn’t giving up that easily. [Read more…]