Archives for May 2018

Review: An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors by Curtis Craddock

Reviewed by Ronelle

Being born with an obvious physical deformity and no magic in a world that fears the former and looks down upon the latter, Princess Isabelle des Zephyrs should have been given to the sky at birth. Instead, the quick-thinking and clever maneuvering of the musketeer Jean-Claude spared her life. Underestimated by her family and her kingdom, she is hidden away and nearly forgotten…

…until the day a marriage proposal to the second son of a dying king in an empire on the verge of civil war is laid at her feet.

Isabelle grabs onto the promise inherent in such an unexpected escape from her family, but she soon learns she is not the first. In fact, the last two women betrothed to this prince were murdered, and a sorcerer-assassin is bent on making Isabelle the third. Isabelle and Jean-Claude quickly find themselves ensnared in a web of prophecy, intrigue, betrayal, and madness where everyone wears masks of glamour and lies. It’s up to Isabelle to unravel the lies of her enemies and discovers a truth more perilous than any deception…and the clock is ticking. [Read more…]

Review: Dark Justice: Hunt by Jenna Ryan

Reviewed by Jaimie

I love a good romantic suspense book and I’m always on the look-out for new authors. Dark Justice: Hunt is the second book in the Dark Justice series by Jenna Ryan, and this one kept me reading from the start! I had not read any of Ms. Ryan’s books before and I didn’t start at the beginning of the series. I definitely plan to go back and read the first one but I was still able to enjoy this one.

Dr. Melia Rose thought she had it all – great career, perfect marriage – she really couldn’t have asked for more. Until one night saw her life go up in flames. She’s not even sure what happened, but she blames herself for the end of her marriage. She spends three years jumping from city to city trying to avoid her pain but settles back in her home town. Dr. Rose takes over the local GP practice and wants to focus on getting back to “normal”. And just when she starts to get in a groove, an associate of her ex-husband shows up and blows her comfortable lie to hell. [Read more…]

Review: Disturbing His Peace by Tessa Bailey

Reviewed by Sara

In all honesty, I wasn’t going to read Disturbing His Peace. I wasn’t a huge fan of the other books in this series and figured I’d just leave it. That was, until I saw a couple posts Tessa Bailey put up on Instagram about the book. I snatched it up on release day and I am so glad I did.

Dannika is a people-pleaser, she’s always the one her family comes to for helps. So, it only makes sense that her dream job is helping the citizens of New York. She’s at the top of her class in the police academy and would love it if it wasn’t for Greer. Greer is Dannika’s incredibly good looking, incredibly demanding instructor and she hates him. However, there’s more to Greer than meets the eye; he’s hard on his students because he knows what happens when you’re not perfect at this job. Greer’s partner died on the job, and between that and a very man’s man kind of upbringing, he holds people at arm’s length. Except it’s getting harder and harder to keep his brightest and most tempting student, Dannika at a distance. A slip up on Greer’s part, as well as a potentially dangerous mistake on Dannika’s brings the two together and the sparks fly. [Read more…]

Review: Once Upon a Hallow’s Eve by Danielle Garrett

Reviewed by Debz

This is an urban fantasy romance with vampires (wooohooo!!!!!) The heroine here is Lacey Vaughn, basically the princess of American vampires and her love interest, Matthias Hartford.

Lady Lacey, daughter of the ‘Baron of the East’ has been summoned by her father back into the fold. After being on self imposed exile for 3 or so years, her father has commanded her to come back home and she has two options, come voluntarily or be brought back.

Upon her return, her father informs her and the court that she will be wedded on the annual Hallow’s Eve all. Not only will she be married, her husband will be chosen via a tournament of the blood. For context on the tournament of the blood, think of sweaty men, fighting each other in pairs, until one surrenders or dies until there is one victor. [Read more…]

Review: Melt For You by JT Geissinger

Reviewed by Joanna

Joellen, a NYC-based editor, has zero self-esteem. In love for a decade with her boss at her publishing house, she can’t believe the guy would ever look at her twice, even if he’s about to get a divorce and has started hanging around her desk. She’s thirty-six and considers herself old, overweight and unattractive. Her life gets worse when her annoying new neighbor, a giant of a Scottish sportsman, plays rap music until the walls shake. Joellen has no problem giving him a piece of her mind, even if every time he answers the door, he’s half-naked (top half, silly. Where did your mind just go?)

To get him to shut up, Joellen bribes him with home-cooked meals, and for comfort-starved Cameron, this is a deal he can’t refuse. Despite Joellen’s frosty snark, they become kind of friends, and she confides in Cameron about her unrequited love. Overconfident Cameron, who’s constantly trying to get Joellen to admit she fancies him, decides he needs to teach this woman to kiss. After all, the boss is starting to pay attention, and she’s out of practice. [Read more…]

Review: Wanna Bet? by Talia Hibbert

Reviewed by Sara

I’ve been in a bit of a book slump lately, but I came across Wanna Bet? while scrolling through Twitter. Another blogger was live tweeting quotes from the book and it looked just different enough that I decided to give it a try.

Jasmine and Rahul have known each other since university. Jasmine is now a lawyer (solicitor really, because this story takes place in England) working with low income families to resolve housing disputes. A leak in her apartment has her calling her friend Rahul. Rahul is a very successful and well off accountant with a spare bedroom. Based on what I’ve just written, you probably think that the conclusion of Wanna Bet? is, well, a foregone conclusion. However, while Jas and Rahul do get together in the end (not a spoiler, it’s a Romance after all) the circumstances around their eventual coming together are what makes this book different enough that I completely fell in love with it. [Read more…]

Review: Planet Dragos by Thea Harrison

Reviewed by Jen

This last novella in the Dragos & Pia POV reminded me quickly of why I fell in love with the Elder Races in the first place. It’s been an age since the last time we had a full length book featuring these two, but Thea Harrison has given us a half dozen novellas over the years to keep us in the loop with their relationship and growing family. With this story, they are visiting Las Vegas to see Rune and Carling get married. Pia is very pregnant with baby number two –and everything goes to hell when someone with an axe to grind with Dragos kidnaps her to hurt him.

The book isn’t very long and I don’t want to spoil the particulars, but I will say that I really enjoyed returning to this world and these characters. Dragos is so fascinating to me. He’s the alpha among alphas, so much of a dragon, even when he’s wearing his human skin. Yet his love for Pia shapes him. He worships her; he would burn the world for her, and more to the point, he could. It’s awesome. I love Pia, too. She has her own brand of strength. Though her husband has been around for thousands of years, and she is less than 30, she has a lot to teach him about other ways to see life and the world. And the best part is that he listens. [Read more…]

Review: The Highlander’s Crusader Bride by Cathy & DD MacRae

Reviewed by Ronelle

Half-Armenian, half-Scot Arbela MacLean is a true daughter of the desert, a princess born in the Holy Land only a few years after the Third Crusade. Determined not to be as helpless as her mother was, she’s forsaken the gentler, feminine pursuits of women her age for Turkish bow and arrow, a sword, and throwing darts. She is a warrior who fears nothing—except perhaps the day a husband is chosen for her. That day becomes much too close for comfort when her father is recalled to Scotland to take up leadership of clan MacLean.

Caelen MacKern, known as the Bull of the Highlands, has no use for a wife. His first marriage formed an alliance, and he did not grieve when his spoiled, immature bride passed away not long after giving birth to their only son, Bram. But after a devastating pestilence nearly wiped them out, clan MacKern is in desperate need of help. Against his better judgement, Caelen agrees to an offer he can’t in good conscience refuse; convince Arbela to marry him and receive the men, means, and coin he needs to rebuild. Considering the tone of their initial encounter, it doesn’t entirely surprise him when the exotic, outspoken lass has some terms of her own. [Read more…]

Review: Song of Blood and Stone by L. Penelope

Reviewed by Sara

A multifaceted fantasy, Song of Blood and Stone’s main character, Jasminda, is an orphaned goat farmer attempting to survive in a land where her race and magical ability mean she is a pariah. When she saves the life of soldier Jack she is thrust into an epic journey to save the nations of Lagrimari and Elsira and set right a century’s old wrong.

Jack is more than a spy or soldier, he’s the prince regent of Elsira and in the kindness and resolve of Jasminda, he’s found love, but can he and Jasminda be together when the nation, history and his own mistakes work against them?

More than once I’ve reviewed a book and complained about too much going on within the plot. While Song of Blood and Stone has a lot (A LOT!) going on, including the romance of Jack and Jasminda, Jasminda finding belonging, the story of Oola and Eero, the war with the True Father, etc, all are woven together to create what really is a complicated, but cohesive and truly epic story. I never once felt overwhelmed with the amount of plot points, but was eager to read more. [Read more…]

Review: Revival by S Usher Evans

Reviewed by Jen

I’m still reeling a bit from the ending on this one, folks. I don’t know if it counts completely as a cliffhanger, but it definitely pulled the rug out from under me and left me anxious to see what happens next.

This story picks up right on the heels of Resurgence, and if you haven’t read that one, go back now and pick it up. You don’t want to jump in to the action in progress. As we begin, demon-hunter Jack has gone on the run with (sort-of) reformed demon Anya, on a mission to understand the curse that has forced her path to redemption. There is a bit of an info dump recapping the events of book one, but it doesn’t last too long and may be a good refresher if it’s been a while since you read that installment. [Read more…]