Review: Rebels and Lovers by Linnea Sinclair

Reviewed by Jen

It hurts my heart to say this, but I did not love this book.

That stinks for a lot of reasons. Like the fact that I adored the earlier installments in the series. Or that I was starting to think that Linnea Sinclair could do no wrong. Or perhaps because this is the last in the Dock Five series. More than likely, it’s all of these things put together. And though this book wasn’t bad, I am walking away bummed from a series that has, by and large, rocked my socks off until now.

The story centers on Devin Guthrie, younger brother to the last book’s hero, Philip. He’s about to be strong-armed by his father into a society marriage when his nephew, Trippy, goes missing. Devin defies his family’s wishes to go in search of the young man in fear for his safety. Armed with his super-smarts, his ninja-like elderly butler, and determination, he embarks on a journey to the seedy Dock Five to track him down. [Read more…]

Review: The Queen of Traitors by Laura Thalassa

Reviewed by Jen

This book was an awful lot like the first one in the series. For some readers, that is going to be a major plus, but others might find it a little too familiar. Of course, I want a series to maintain its tone and feel from book to book. But with the amnesia Serenity has at the beginning of the story, she ends up following a very very similar emotional journey to the one she had in The Queen of All That Dies.

The amnesia itself does not last all that long, but the fallout takes us, I don’t know, nearly midway through the book. And as she recovers her memories, it’s almost like she is living them again, working through them the same way she did initially. Which means hating her husband, plotting his death, fighting her feelings for him. [Read more…]

Review: Hope’s Folly by Linnea Sinclair

Reviewed by Jen

Just when I thought I knew exactly where this series was going, this book proved me wrong. This is not a third installment of Chas and Sully’s story. Now we are breaking away to see Phillip get his HEA.

This is a standalone romance, but the bigger picture of the story arc is really a continuation from the first two books, so I would suggest you read those first. When we first met Philip in Gabriel’s Ghost, I really thought he would be fodder for a love triangle, but it didn’t go that way. And though the author did establish he was not the right man for Chas, she did a great job of setting him up as a guy who deserved a happy ending. Philip is a good man who takes his service seriously. And now he has joined the rag tag group of rebels fighting against those plotting to unravel society. [Read more…]

Review: The Vixen by Christi Caldwell

Reviewed by Jen

I am a big fan of angst in my romance. I actively seek it out and the blurb on this story promised me a healthy dose. It did not disappoint.

Ophelia grew up on the streets of Saint Giles, the daughter of its worst criminal. She did what she had to in order to survive, from picking pockets to using her knife, to putting herself at risk among those who would take advantage of a beautiful young girl. She was hard and tough, but for some reason she could not follow one particular order. She could not force her self to kill the boy who her father called “the one who got away.”

Connor refused to join the gang of the man who killed his parents. He knew he risked his own life with that refusal, but on three different occasions, Ophelia found him and each time she let him escape. So when she was almost arrested for picking the wrong pocket, he sacrificed himself and claimed the crime as his own. It changed his life forever. [Read more…]

Review: Redemption by S. Usher Evans

Reviewed by Jen

This final book in the Demon Spring trilogy was not what I expected. That’s not necessarily a bad thing–it gave me all the resolution I needed and an HEA that I wanted–just not on the path I anticipated. One of the things that attracted me to the first book was the male main character, Jack, and a set-up that I haven’t seen before in Urban Fantasy. All the great world-building is still in place and we’re still working toward the same goal, only Jack isn’t the main character anymore… and I missed him.

To be fair, Jack’s best friend, Cam, and his love interest, Anya, have always featured prominently. I’ve said before how much I liked the strong platonic relationship between Jack and Cam and she is quite the firecracker. But she kind of takes Jack’s place here. This is definitely Cam and Anya’s book as they team up to rescue Jack from the clutches of Bael. We see him in some cut-scenes, but the idea of him played a bigger role than the character himself. Again, not bad, but different. [Read more…]

Review: The Queen of All That Dies by Laura Thalassa

Reviewed by Jen

Though there were a few things that kept me from loving this book, I thought Laura Thalassa did a fantastic job painting the landscape of this world and drawing me into it. This is set in a post apocalyptic future, the devastation created by the hero. That’s right, the leading man is a bad guy and one the heroine ends up falling for despite her best efforts.

Serenity is a product of a war torn environment. Her mother died when she was a young teenager, the day the first bombs hit. As Serenity grew older, she became a fighter. It was the only way to survive. Her father put her first gun in her hand, knowing she needed to kill or be killed. He was right. [Read more…]

Review: The Warrior of Clan Kincaid by Lily Blackwood

Reviewed by Jen

This third book in Lily Blackwood’s Highland Warrior series tells a familiar story, but one I did not mind retreading. The titular character here is Cull the Nameless, a man who was kept as a slave for many of his formative years before someone bought him his freedom and lead him to a life as a soldier of the king. As the story begins, his benefactor has tapped him to lead a mission to relieve the Kincaid clan of their land.

Wait, you may say, the book is called of The Warrior of Clan Kincaid, but our hero is fighting against that clan? Well, yes and no. You see, the Kincaid men are missing one of their brothers. Or rather, he was presumed dead when their parents were killed. And did I mention that Cull has no recollection of his life before slavery? I don’t mean to spoil anything, really, but it does not take a rocket science to connect the dots. You would have figured it out on your own pretty quickly, I promise. And even though it takes a little while to spell it out on page, the big reveal is in the book’s blurb, so I don’t feel too guilty for mentioning it here.

This is a premise I have read several times over the years, but Lily Blackwood does a pretty good job with it. [Read more…]

Review: Born to Be Wilde by Eloisa James

Reviewed by Jen

Generally, I’m down for a good enemies to lovers story, mostly because they’ve usually got a fair amount of fire and angst. It was the reason I was looking forward to this book. Eloisa James did a good job laying the groundwork for this constantly sniping duo over the course of the series’ first two books. The story itself was slightly less exciting.

I feel like I already knew Lavina from her association with the first two heroines. She is lovely, though maybe a bit flighty, and there isn’t a man around who doesn’t want to make her his bride. Well, nobody except for Parth. For some reason, the adopted brother of the Wilde clan treated her with mild disdain and she reciprocated with unflattering nicknames every time she spoke of him. But now, as this story begins, she is ready to propose to him. [Read more…]

Review: The Duke I Tempted by Scarlett Peckham

Reviewed by Jen

There is more to cheating than just having sex with someone. I say this because other readers might argue with me when I say there is cheating in this book. But there is. And for me, it ruined what was otherwise a very well written, sexy, and angsty read that was so cracktacular, I had to fight the urge to open my Kindle app while I was driving home from work. IT RUINED IT. And it’s the kind of spoiler I don’t feel bad about writing, because if I had known this was going to happen before I started reading, I would have walked the other way. I would have never chosen to invest in these characters, to yearn with them–and for them–the way I ultimately did.

I would have never been so thoroughly disappointed.

So now you’re warned. Let me go back to the beginning. [Read more…]

Review: Shadow’s Bane by Karen Chance

Reviewed by Jen

It’s been six years since the last book in this series was released. Six. Years. And yet, when I jumped back into the world of Dorina Basarab, I remembered right away why I always enjoyed it so much. That’s not to say I remembered everything that was going on. To say that would be a lie, so if you’re wondering if you should do a re-read of the series, I would not advise against it. And why not? Those books were awesome. And so is Dory herself.

As the story begins, Dory’s life is in a place she never expected it to be. She has been tapped to join the vampire Senate. She is in love with Louis Cesar. She has vampires she is responsible for, as well as trolls, her roommate’s baby and her own sort of adopted child, albeit one that is pretty far from human. The bottom line, she has family. People who love her and depend on her. She is not everyone’s enemy. [Read more…]