Archives for August 2018

Review: How to Claim an Undead Soul by Hailey Edwards

Reviewed by Jen

This second installment in the Beginners Guide to Necromancy solidifies this series and as another winner from Hailey Edwards. If you haven’t read book one, stop now and go back to the beginning. This book would be best enjoyed after reading that one.

Our heroine, Grier, is facing all new challenges now that her place in society has been restored. She has money again–and the possibility of a relationship with her childhood crush, Boaz, but she is far from comfortable in her skin. She is still suffering from serious PTSD from her time in supernatural prison and she is waiting for the rug to get ripped out from under her at any moment, either by losing everything she just regained or by becoming a target again for the vampires who would use her for their own purposes.

She can’t get her old job back, seeing as how she disappeared for five weeks due to a pesky kidnapping. But there is a potential place for her on what will be a haunted cruise ship. As she helps renovate the ship, she stumbles upon a sentient ghost and learns of a new big bad in town, a devourer who is eating specters. And now, she may be a target as well. [Read more…]

Review: The Illegitimate Duke by Sophie Barnes

Reviewed by Jen

I have consistently enjoyed all three installments in the Diamonds in the Rough series. Each followed the love story of one of the Matthews siblings, a trio who grew up in poverty only to join the ton later in life.

The focus on this book is Juliette, the sister who struggled with her health as a child. More recently, she contracted a bout of the measles, which is how she got to know our hero, Florian. He is a serious and dedicated physician, and now he is also the unexpected heir to a dukedom.

The promise of nobility has made Florian irresistible to the ladies of high society. Only Juliette seems to see him as a man instead of a potential title. She is intelligent and selfless, and she actually seems interested in what he does for a living. She would be a perfect wife, if only he ever planned to marry. You see, Florian is hiding a devastating secret. He is actually a bastard and his true father is a criminal of the worst sort. Most people thought the man, Bartholomew, had been hanged for his various other crimes, but as this story begins, Florian learns the man is alive and well. He would never expose Juliette to the potential scandal or danger involved with becoming his wife. [Read more…]

Review: The Governess Game by Tessa Dare

Reviewed by Jen

I always look forward to reading a new book from Tessa Dare. They are always so witty and charming. This book was no exception, although I felt that the laughs were just a little fewer and further between.

Our heroine is Alex, friend to Emma, the last book’s heroine. We do not know a lot about her off the bat, except that she is interested in astronomy, she is an orphan, and she struggles to support herself. She first met Chase at a bookstore, although met may be too strong of a word. They bumped into each other and shared a bit of a moment… a moment she has spent the past several months fantasizing about in her head.

She doesn’t truly meet Chase until several months later when she shows up at his home, hoping to set his clocks. Imagine her disappointment to find the object of her affection is really a bit of libertine. He seems interested only in picking up women and shoving off responsibility for his two young wards. He doesn’t seem to recall their meeting in the bookstore in the slightest, and in fact, mistakes Alex for a possible governess and hires her on the spot. [Read more…]

Review: The Duke With the Dragon Tattoo by Kerrigan Byrne

Reviewed by Jen

Oh wow. If you’ve been following my reviews for a while, you may remember my epic love for The Highwayman a few years back. This book is every bit as good as that one was. It gave me all the same feels. It was just as riveting. And it was the exact same brand of tortured hero catnip. Did it feel like a rehash? Absolutely not. It just recaptured the magic of that first book and I didn’t want to put it down from the first page to the last.

This is Rook’s story—and it’s not too much of a spoiler for fans of the series to reveal that Rook is actually Dorian Blackwell—the REAL Dorian Blackwell, whose identity Dougan Mackenzie co-opted in book 1. You don’t have to have read the prior books to appreciate the import of this, though I would recommend that you at least read The Highwayman. It’s not a hardship. I promise. Anyway, this nugget revealed in the very first chapter and you know immediately that his history is every bit as dark as Dougan’s was. After all, they were brothers-in-arms, facing the challenge of Newgate. Only, Dorian was supposedly killed while the bad-guys mistook him for Dougan. He was beaten and burned.

But he didn’t die. [Read more…]

Review: Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews

Reviewed by Jen

Ilona Andrews probably could have written Kate Daniels books for another 10 years and made a fortune. They are wildly successful and even after 10 books, fans love them every bit as much as they did years ago… if not more. I know I do. But that makes it all the more impressive that they decided to end this series on top. They finished Kate’s story and they did it in spectacular fashion, giving me everything I wanted and needed from an epic conclusion. I can’t imagine the kind of pressure they were under to satisfy their readers with Kate’s swan song, but somehow, they pulled it off with their trademark blend of humor, action, and heart.

There are so many things that make this book awesome, but the clearest front-runner is an adorable, fascinating, and powerful one year-old named Conlan Lennart. That’s right, Kate and Curran’s baby is born in the prologue and we scoot ahead in time a bit for the bulk of this book. It was a brilliant move, because Conlan has grown enough to feel like a real character here. He is clearly smart and extremely gifted with magic, but at the end of the day he is also a toddler that loves his mommy and daddy. And man, do they love him too. [Read more…]

Review: Diamond in the Rough by Jane Goodger

Reviewed by Jen

I’ve never read anything from Jane Goodger, including the two books before this one in the Brides of St. Ives series, but the premise of this story intrigued me enough that I wanted to give it a try. It’s a twist on a romance between a hero and heroine of different stations, which happens to be one of my favorite tropes.

Nathaniel is an impoverished Baron who is in search of a rare diamond his grandfather buried in St. Ives. The old man told him the story of the gem on his deathbed, but passed away before he could give more than the name of the property it was hidden. So Nathaniel decides to go undercover as a gardener at the home, hoping to find the lost rock and use it to put his lands back to rights.

Clara is one of the daughters who lives there. Her family is wealthy, though far from nobility. It’s her mother’s greatest wish for Clara to marry into the peerage, but even with all their money, it’s not very realistic. Blue bloods are so very disdainful of the lower class. Still, Clara tries to please her mother, even if in her heart, she wants nothing less than to surround herself with snobs. [Read more…]

Review: How To Date Your Dragon by Molly Harper

Reviewed by Sara

How to Date Your Dragon by Molly Harper is the first book of her Mystic Bayou series and was originally released as an audiobook. When I saw it released as an ebook, I grabbed it quick and happily spent an afternoon falling in love with the characters and story of this light and fun Paranormal Romance (PNR).

Mystic Bayou is a town in the Louisiana swamps where supernatural, or magie, live in veritable harmony with their mundane neighbors. So, it’s the perfect place for the League for Interspecies Cooperation to send anthropologist, Dr. Jillian Ramsay, to complete a detailed report about just that topic; how supernaturals can live out in the open with their normal neighbors. This is Jillian’s first field assignment and she is committed to doing her best, but can’t help but feel like things aren’t exactly what they seem in Mystic Bayou. It doesn’t exactly help that the mayor and the ridiculously good looking sheriff are obviously keeping things from her and steering her research in a particular direction. [Read more…]

Review: How to Save an Undead Life by Hailey Edwards

Reviewed by Jen

It can’t be easy to keep coming up with a fresh new take on urban fantasy. I read a lot in the genre and so many of the books carry similar threads or a common tone. I am finding, though, with Hailey Edwards that each one of her series has a unique flavor. This one is no exception. It is really, really good.

The heroine is Grier, a weak necromancer who has only recently been released from a supernatural prison where she spent the last five years for a crime she did not commit. This is a woman who has endured a lot. She was caged, drugged, and tortured all those years and is suffering now from a mighty case of PTSD. Add to that, she has no idea how or why she was released. She barely has two cents to rub together, but she does have the home where she grew up, a haunted house she calls Woolly, which feels like its own character in the story. [Read more…]

Review: Neighbor Dearest by Penelope Ward

Reviewed by Elise

After getting dumped, the last thing I needed was to move next door to someone who reminded me of my ex-boyfriend, Elec. Damien was a hotter version of my ex. The neighbor I’d dubbed “Angry Artist” also had two massive dogs that kept me up with their barking.

He wanted nothing to do with me. Or so I thought until one night I heard laughter coming through an apparent hole in my bedroom wall. Damien had been listening to all of my phone sessions with my therapist. The sexy artist next door now knew all of my deepest secrets and insecurities.

We got to talking. He set me straight with tips to get over my breakup. He became a good friend, but Damien made it clear that he couldn’t be anything more. Problem was, I was falling hard for him anyway. And as much as he pushed me away, I knew he felt the same…because his heartbeat didn’t lie.

I thought my heart had been broken by Elec, but it was alive and beating harder than ever for Damien. I just hoped he wouldn’t shatter it for good. [Read more…]

Review: A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole

Reviewed by Sara

A Duke by Default is the fantastic second book in Alyssa Cole’s Reluctant Royals series. The book’s main female character is Portia, a wealthy former party girl from New York City who has decided to turn over a new leaf. No drinking, no random hook-ups and she’s taken an internship with a sword maker in Scotland. She is determined to show her friends and family that she’s not flaky and that she can commit to a career path just like her extraordinary twin sister. This becomes difficult when she meets her hot boss and he doesn’t trust her enough to let her use her expertise to help the business.

Tavish MacKenzie doesn’t have time for an American woman who’s constantly looking at her phone. With a failed marriage and a business that’s going the same way he’s doing everything in his power to shut down Portia’s ideas for the business and his attraction to her. When he discovers he’s up for a Dukedom, his entire world turns upside and the fledgling romance between himself and Portia will either withstand the new realities of his life or go the way of history. [Read more…]