Review: Amid the Winter Snow by Grace Draven, Thea Harrison, Elizabeth Hunter & Jeffe Kennedy

Reviewed by Jen

This anthology was a great mix of new worlds and familiar favorites for me.

In the Darkest Midnight is set loosely in the world of Grace Draven’s Wraith Kings, though this story stands up completely on its own. It follows young Jahna, a nobleman’s daughter with a sizable birthmark, who falls head over heels for her brother Sodrin’s instructor in swordsmanship. Radamir is a swordmaster of Ilinfan, a line renowned for its skill. He has committed to four years training Sodrin, but he is quickly taken by the intelligence and fortitude of the young woman derided by others for her appearance. It isn’t romantic between them, at first, as Jahna is only 15, but over time, they form a friendship and much later, it develops into something more. This is a very slow burn and I was a little put off at first by how long Jahna was too young for their relationship to take off. But Draven does a fantastic job crafting the longing Jahna feels for Radamir. By the time they got together, not only did I want it, I needed it to happen. Now that’s over, I’m still wanting more. [Read more…]

Review: Games of Command by Linnea Sinclair

Reviewed by Jen

I’ve been on the hunt for a good sci-fi romance and this 10 year-old stand-alone from Linnea Sinclair absolutely hit the spot. Not every element was perfect, but it was sexy and angsty and hit all my happy buttons with a virgin cyborg hero that falls in love despite the restrictions of his programming.

Tasha “Sass” Sebastian is a hotshot pilot with a unsavory past she is trying to leave behind. Her latest assignment puts her under the command of Admiral Branden Kel-Paten, her long-time  sparring partner and not-quite nemesis. The buttoned-up, icy commander is mechanically enhanced, and she enjoys matching wits with him. She has no idea that he’s secretly been in love with her for years. [Read more…]

Review: The Brightest Embers by Jeaniene Frost

Reviewed by Jen

Jeaniene Frost goes out big with this final book in her Broken Destiny series, though really, when you’re talking about an epic fight between ancient factions of good an evil, anything less would be a total letdown. This third installment picks up right on the heels of book two, where our hero Adrian has betrayed his wife yet again. It’s in his Judean blood… it’s his destiny… but this second betrayal is almost worst than the first one because A) they’re married now and B) he does it for love. On one hand, there’s no doubt of his devotion, but on the other, you just want to shake the guy for being so thickheaded. Then the waiting begins for the other shoe to drop. [Read more…]

Review: Vampire Fight Club by Larissa Ione

Reviewed by Jen

I loved dropping back into the world of Larissa Ione’s Demonica series with this novella I missed the first time around. The was originally published as part of the Supernatural anthology back in 2011, placing the story about midway through the Horsemen of the Apocalypse arc. You don’t have to be familiar with the rest of the series to understand what’s going on here, but they’re such great books, I would definitely recommend going back to Pleasure Unbound and enjoy Demonica from the beginning. [Read more…]

Review: A Duke in Shining Armor by Loretta Chase

Reviewed by Jen

There were things I really enjoyed about this book, but I had some issued that kept it from being a total hit for me. This is a runaway bride story and I don’t have any problem with that on principle, but I struggled a bit because her intended really wanted to marry her and his best friend ended up taking his place.

Olympia isn’t a great beauty. She loves books and wears glasses and she’s been voted Most Boring lady for the past several years running. But Ashmont, a disreputable duke, recognized something special in her, and decided to ask for her hand. She said yes to take care of her family, but got drunk and bolted before the ceremony. [Read more…]

Review: The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy by Julia Quinn

Reviewed by Jen

I adore Julia Quinn and I was totally psyched to jump into one of her backlist books that I somehow missed along the way. And at first, I thought I was going to love it. It had all of the light charm and wit I have come to love from this author. On top of that, the heroine is smart and likable, and I thought I could really get behind the romance. After all, the hero saw something special in her that no one else ever has. Sure he has a secret, but how bad could it be, right?

See, the thing is, I figured out the Big Secret pretty early on, and it didn’t bother me all that much at the time, but as the story played out, that changed, along with my opinion of Richard. Simply put, I ended up thinking he was a douchebag of the first order. [Read more…]

Review: Blade of Darkness by Dianne Duvall

Reviewed by Jen

It feels like a million years since I read a book in this series (translation: two years), but this story takes no time at all to pull you back into the world of the Immortal Guardians. The hero here is Aidan, the 3000 year-old warrior who was so desperate for love, he stole the group’s list of gifted women in hopes he could use it to find a mate. Sure enough, his plan works.

Dana isn’t the first woman he approached from that list, but it is apparent from their first meeting that they are destined to be together. Dana is a powerful psychic and gets visions of her future with Aidan. The cool thing is, he’s psychic too, so he see all of her visions. There’s not a whole lot of will-they-or-won’t-they, meaning their relationship development is a bit low on internal conflict. But there is plenty of external conflict to go around. [Read more…]

Review: Once Upon a Maiden Lane by Elizabeth Hoyt

Reviewed by Jen

I really enjoyed the last Maiden Lane novel, but noticeably absent was any sense of closure for the many characters and storylines the series covered over 12 installments. This novella does that a little. We get to catch up a little with the Makepeace families, the Caires, and the other couples who are now getting their Happy Ever Afters, but they’re all crammed in around the romance of Mary Whitsun.

You’ll remember Mary as one of the orphans Temperance took a shine to at the Foundling Home she ran with her brother Winter Makepeace. This goes all the way back to the first book, Wicked Intentions, so it’s a big fat shout out to the series’ beginnings. Mary now serves as the nanny to Temperance (now Lady Caire’s) two children. She is a servant, but also in a way, part of the family. [Read more…]

Review: The Silent Duke by Jess Michaels

Reviewed by Jen

I one clicked on this bad boy the minute I finished reading the blurb, and it gave me everything I wanted. Namely a mute and abused hero fighting himself over a chance at happiness with the woman he has loved his entire life. Yes, yes, 100 times yes.

Ewan (I even love his name) spent 10 years in the home of the father who hated him. It wasn’t until the man threatened to put him in an asylum over his inability to speak that his aunt and uncle took him away and decided to raise him as their own. Charlotte was only seven, but she felt a special connection to her brother’s friend, so much so that she developed a special sign language that allowed the two of them to talk. [Read more…]

Review: Into the Fire by Jeaniene Frost

Reviewed by Jen

I have long been a fan of Jeaniene Frost and the world she created with her Cat and Bones characters. She’d done such a great job building off those books with her spin-off couples, and these Night Prince books have all of the spark I loved in the originals. They’re romantic, sexy, funny, and action-packed. And though I’m sorry to say goodbye to Vlad and Leila, I know it’s not goodbye forever, as they will live on in Ian’s books. (More on that in a minute.)

This installment picks up on the heels of events that happened in the last book. Vlad is searching for his step-son/nephew Mircea who has forged a psychic connection to Leila. Not only can he speak to her telepathically, he can hurt her. Any injury he inflicts on himself will affect her. That’s bad enough, but the situation only gets worse when someone kidnaps Mircea and uses him as tool to blackmail Vlad. If the powerful vamp refuses to do what they want, they could kill Mircea, and by extension Leila. [Read more…]