Review: Someone to Hold by Mary Balogh

Reviewed by Jen

As a whole, I enjoyed this second installment of Mary Balogh’s Wescott series better than I did its predecessor, though it was a decidedly slow build. My chief problem with Someone to Love was that I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of characters and the interchangeable use of their names and titles. Here, that wasn’t as much as an issue because the supporting cast was brought in more slowly, after the primary leads were well established. Add to that my familiarity with the players from book one, plus a (somewhat complicated) family tree drawn out at the beginning, and I think most people will be able to follow along. [Read more…]

Review: The Turn by Kim Harrison

Reviewed by Jen

When you are away from a beloved series for a while, it’s easy to forget just how much you loved it. And boy, do I love The Hollows. I was so sad to see it end, but Kim Harrison did such an amazing and satisfying job it was hard to argue with the results. She ended it so well, in fact, that I questioned whether I wanted to give this book a try. What if it didn’t measure up? How could it measure up? I am so very happy to report that it absolutely measures up. And it has left me hungry to return to this world again and again. [Read more…]

Review: The Duke by Kerrigan Byrne

Reviewed by Jen

I am such a fan of this series. It has made Kerrigan Byrne an auto-buy for me. I read this entire book in one sitting, as I have done with all the installments before it. It wasn’t my favorite of hers, for a few reasons. But even at her worst, this author has become one of my faves in the historical romance genre.

This is the Duke of Trenwyth’s story. It begins before the events of the last book. Cole is about to go off on a secret spy mission, the one where he was taken hostage and ultimately rescued in an earlier book. Before he embarks on his perilous journey, he visits a brothel with his buddies. That is where he meets Imogen. [Read more…]

Review: Between the Devil and the Duke by Kelly Bowen

Reviewed by Jen

I have enjoyed every single book in the Season for Scandal series by Kelly Bowen. In fact, I think this one was my favorite. It features Alex Lavoie, the male member of the Chagarre and Associates team. He’s also a spy of sorts and owner of a gaming hell. That is where he meets our heroine, Angelique. [Read more…]

Review: Fury on Fire by Sophie Jordan

Reviewed by Jen

Fury on Fire is book 3 in the Devils Rock series by Sophie Jordan. I did not read books one or two, but I didn’t really feel the lack. It seems the series surrounds three guys who served time together in prison. The hero of this book, North, was there for 12 years. His crime? Accidentally killing the man who raped his cousin.

As the story begins, North is two years out of jail and hasn’t truly recovered from his time there. He thinks he’s damaged goods and doesn’t see any hope for living a normal life. He does not consider himself relationship material. But he has sex with a new woman every night and apparently he’s so hot and so good, no one minds that there are no strings attached. [Read more…]

Review: Eleventh Grave in the Moonlight by Darynda Jones

Reviewed by Jen

Somehow Darynda Jones manages to up the stakes with every single installment of this series. I will admit, there have been times that the shockers or cliffhangers frustrated me. But not this time. The end of this book left me hungry for more. I am already anxiously awaiting 12th Grave to see where the story goes next.

But I suppose I should back up and talk about what happened before the last few pages. This series lost a little something for me in the installment where Charley had amnesia. The book after that was an improvement and this one has all of the magic of my favorites in the series. Sometimes it takes me a minute to reacclimate to just how snarky and out there Charley’s internal dialogue is. But as I sink back into it, I really do enjoy her silliness and irreverence. That’s especially true now in juxtaposition to the power she has turned out to be. [Read more…]

Review: Black Bullet by LD Rose

Reviewed by Jen

Part of me wishes I had waited longer to try this series because then I would have more books to glom through at once. I picked this up right on the heels of Releasing the Demons, and now I am sad I have to leave this world. LD Rose is one heck of a writer.

If you like your PNR dark, then you should definitely give this a try. (Though I advise you to start with the first book in the series.) The vampires in this book are not sparkly or shiny. They’re not misunderstood or romantic. They are killers. They believe in torture. And they will do anything to get what they want. Or who they want. [Read more…]

Review: Breath of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

Reviewed by Jen

A Promise of Fire was one of my favorite books of last year. I have been anxiously awaiting this sequel, and I’m happy to report that it absolutely lived up to my expectations. It is not exactly like its predecessor. The core of what makes it so good is still there. The heroine is still feisty and loyal, powerful yet vulnerable. The hero is fierce and sexy and completely in love with her. The world building is fascinating and the secondary characters are rich and interesting.

So what’s different? Sex. Lots and lots of sex. In fact, the first 20% or so felt like it was entirely about the hero and heroine getting it on. That’s not the worst thing in the world. The scenes were hot and satisfying. But it was definitely a departure. And I’m not sure everyone will love the change in equal measure. [Read more…]

Review: Releasing the Demons by LD Rose

Reviewed by Jen

I haven’t read a good PNR book from a new author in a long time. So many of them barely scratch the surface of any kind of emotion. They are rarely very dark. It’s usually some kind of Insta love-at-first sight/ mate bond/ fated whatever. But I am excited to say that not only did I find this book good, I found it very good. And it was super dark. The hero was super tortured. And I enjoyed it from start to finish.

This book got me hooked from the very first page with an extremely compelling first chapter. Now if you are put off by torture, this may not be right for you. But it is necessary to the story because it is the fodder that drives our hero’s story. Blaze is a human-vampire hybrid. He endured seven months of abject horror at the hands of a powerful vamp. It’s been years, but it still haunts him. Now he works with his band of brothers, the Order of the Senary, to put down as many vampires as possible and to use their special hybrid gifts to keep humanity safe. [Read more…]

Review: Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas

Reviewed by Jen

It seems like people have been telling me forever that I need to try a Lisa Kleypas historical. Better late than never, I finally got around to taking their advice, and I have to say –they were right. This book was great.

Annabelle is a beautiful young lady whose family is on the brink of financial ruin. Since her father’s death, she, her mother and brother have been in a slow decline from the aristocratic lifestyle they knew. Now, their bills are past due, there is nothing left to sell and this is Annabelle’s last season. She would definitely be a good wife to any peer, but she has no dowry, and because of that, her prospects are dim. The only man who seems to really want her is Simon, a wealthy commoner who will never be accepted among the ton. [Read more…]