Archives for May 2018

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…]

Review: The Makeover: A Modern Love Story by Nia Forrester

Reviewed by Debz

This is a contemporary romance between best friends, Sam and Colt. They have been best friends since they were in diapers and this was a story of their trip, ehhh, fall into love.

I admit, the name of the book had nothing to do with the story, so that confused me a little bit. I was hoping there would be no story arc where the heroine had to change herself to suit the expectations of love interest. Now back to the story.

The story begins with Sam and Colt in their habitat, Sam calling Colt to fix a faulty toilet and him dropping his date plans to do it for her. From the first sentence, you can tell and see and feel the romantic tension between our two main characters. Colt convinces Sam to come on his date/hangout type situation and then gets really jealous when Sam gets into a conversation with another guy at the bar whilst on his date. He ends the date abruptly and takes a drunk Sam home and there, the magic happens. Or starts to anyway. [Read more…]

Review: Love Me Again by Jaci Burton

Reviewed by Jaimie

Love Me Again is the seventh book in the Hope series by Jaci Burton. I was introduced to Ms. Burton’s work with her Wild Riders series and even though this one is quite different, I love everything she writes. The Hope series typically has sweet, loveable stories and this one is no exception.

Loretta Simmons returns to Hope, Oklahoma, after her marriage went down in flames. She allowed her parents to influence her as a teenager so she dumped the man she really loved to marry the now ex-husband. She works hard to make life as stable as possible for her daughter, running a bookstore in town, starting a book club and doing her best to be an independent woman. The only thing that could throw her new life out of balance is the man renovating the building next door. After avoiding him when she returned to town, she can’t avoid it any longer. [Read more…]

Welcome Caitlin!

A bittersweet announcement to share. Shelly, a longtime member of Red Hot Books, is hanging up her reviewing hat. And though no one can ever take her place, I am excited to introduce you to our new team member, Caitlin.
Caitlin’s entry into Romancelandia was Regency Historical, but she now loves the whole dang 19th century, contemporary (both angst and comedy, with a soft spot for comedy), reverse harem, erotica, and anything LGBT friendly. She also has a soft spot for heroines who know a thing or two about sexy fun times even before the hero shows up 😉
You can find Caitlin on Goodreads and Twitter (@caitmeister). Her email is cmcohen11@gmail.com.

Review: After the Wedding by Courtney Milan

Reviewed by Jen

Let me be honest. When I started this book I had absolutely no recollection of the first installment in the series. I wasn’t even sure if I had read it until I went back and looked on Goodreads. No wonder I had forgotten. It’s been three years since Courtney Milan wrote the beginning of this series. But don’t worry, you don’t need to remember of have even read that book in order to jump right into this one.

This is an interracial historical romance, which is a bit of a rarity. But one of the things I like best about it was how low key the race element was. Yes, the hero and heroine are of different ethnicities, but this love story isn’t about their race. It was about love and acceptance. About choosing someone to love and who chooses to love you in return. [Read more…]

Review: Loving the Secret Billionaire by Adriana Anders

Reviewed by Sara

I became a huge fan of Adriana Anders last year after reading her Blank Canvas series, a dark and moody romance trilogy. So, I was very excited to see that she was publishing more books and then I saw the title. The title, Loving the Secret Billionaire, is the kind of title that usually has me automatically passing a book up. I’m tired of billionaires; they’ve literally and figuratively been done to death, and I don’t like secrets, but I took a chance on this novel and was thankfully pleasantly surprised.

Loving the Secret Billionaire is a beefed up and fleshed out revision of Adriana Anders’ novelette of the same name that was published in the Rogue Desire anthology (January 2018). The novel follows preschool teacher Veronica Cruz as she campaigns for city council against a sketchy, good ol’ boy opponent. Veronica is from a poor family, she takes the bus to campaign events because she can’t afford a car and she believes in helping people, saving lunch programs and keeping libraries open. She doesn’t espouse any particular party but it’s clear she leans left in her politics. I found her to be a truly lovely character, not preachy, but passionate and I wanted to see her get both the city council seat and her man. [Read more…]