Review: Heaven’s Queen by Rachel Bach

Reviewed by Jen

I am struggling to find the words to tell you how much I loved this without sounding like a mindless squee-machine. The first book in the series, Fortune’s Pawn, was great… I had a little trouble with parts of book two. But this final book in the trilogy gave me everything I wanted and everything I needed. It’s action-packed, emotional, and satisfying in every way. I’m still cheering inside.

If you haven’t read the books leading up to this, stop here and pick up Fortune’s Pawn. You’ll thank me. Spoilers for the previous installments are ahead.

We pick up right where Honor’s Knight left off. Devi and Rupert are in an escape pod, separated from the rest of their crew, under pursuit from the leglis. They land on a pirate colony and have to hide and regroup, trying to figure out their next move. Devi has agreed to work with the Eyes, but the captain is missing and after their escape through hyperspace, there’s no telling when he could reappear. So when a team of Eyes show up to nab them, they run. Without Caldwell, there’s no telling what the Eyes have in mind for Devi. [Read more…]

Review: My Once and Future Duke by Caroline Linden

Reviewed by Jen

I really enjoyed this first installment in Caroline Linden’s new Wagers of Sin series, that features a stuffy duke and the independent pretend-widow that captures his interest. I’m always a sucker for a romance that features a hero and heroine of different social classes and the “forbidden” element that brings. Not only does this book have that, it also has a wonderfully stuffy hero who the heroine manages to unravel completely.

The story starts strong with a peek inside Sophie’s history. She is the granddaughter of nobility, but when her parents die, her beastly grandfather ships her off to school and cuts her off when she reaches 18… all because he never approved of her parents’ marriage. Thanks to her first 12 unconventional years, Sophie has a gift with cards and with gambling, and once she is on her own, she visits gaming hells to amass the money she needs to set herself up for marriage. She even invents a phony dead husband give her the kind of access a spinster would never enjoy. [Read more…]

Review: Honor’s Knight by Rachel Bach

Reviewed by Jen

If you caught my review of book one in this series, you know how much I adored it. You would also know that installment ended on a gnarly cliffhanger. The events of that book are going to be spoiled in this review, so if you haven’t read Fortune’s Pawn, stop now and check it out before you go any further.

Still with me? OK. This book kicks off right on the heels of that one, where Rupert has wiped Devi’s memory of what he is, their relationship, and the truth about their captain. Not only that, he did something to her mind to make her feel revulsion just from looking at him. It was the only way to protect her from knowledge that could endanger her life. It was a great holy crap moment, but it made for a frustrating first third of this book. Devi is still Devi… she is still brash and bold with great instincts and even greater ambition. But there is a hole in her memories which has her stumbling around in the dark. [Read more…]

Review: How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper

Reviewed by Joanna

Mo is the daughter of outrageously maniacal hippies, and so damaged by their overbearing nature that, at age twenty-nine, she relocates north to Alaska to get away from them. She needs a period of small-town living to feel normal, and settles into the little town of Grundy, working in the local diner as short order cook.

But Grundy has one resident who has an even stranger background than Mo does. Cooper is definitely not normal. He’s the naked werewolf from the title. At least he’s naked the day he turns up at Mo’s cabin with a bear trap around his leg.

Ah, I do love a good shifter story, particularly a refreshingly gentle sort of tale, as this one is. A few dramatic things happen, but really only as a background plot to allow the characters’ story to progress. The nutshell of this yarn is a woman with her own complicated backstory meets a werewolf, and they have a amusing time falling in love. [Read more…]

Review: Lady Be Reckless by Megan Frampton

Reviewed by Jen

One of my favorite romance tropes involves a woman of higher station falling for a man beneath her social standing. So when I read the blurb about this lady trying to help an illegitimate businessman get accepted by society in order to find a wife, I thought I had found my jam.

Not exactly.

Lady Olivia is “in love” with Bennett, the lord her sister ditched in the first book and Edward (the bastard)’s best friend. I can live with that, but I knew right off the bat that Olivia was not to be a heroine I would enjoy. As the book begins, she proposes to Bennett, which hey, shows moxie, but quickly becomes evidence of her naivete and self-centeredness. Olivia has concocted a complete fantasy of a relationship between them–with feelings Bennett does not reciprocate at all–and she decides to help Edward only as a means to man she truly wants. [Read more…]

Review: Lake Silence by Anne Bishop

Reviewed by Jen

This sixth installment in Ann Bishop’s The Others series is like a spinoff and a reboot all in one. It feels almost just like the first book, with a kind, emotionally damaged heroine in a new terre indigene community where the monsters learn through her that some humans are worth not eating. There is a very very very slow-burn/ might-be-a-romance one day. And a cop who doesn’t want to be there, but feels compelled to do the right thing. The only things different from Written in Red are the names and the particulars of the bad guys who threaten the peace of the community.

The new heroine is Vicki. She is a frumpy human divorcee. She was emotionally abused by her ex to the point where she has terrible panic attacks, is largely intimidated by men, and thinks very little of herself. She inherited the Jumble in her divorce settlement. It’s basically a bunch of cabins surrounding a rustic main house where she can rent rooms along the lake community largely populated by Others. The almost-love-interest is Julian, an Intuit and former cop who runs the local bookstore. Wayne is the highway patrol officer sent in to investigate a dead body Vicki reports as the story begins. [Read more…]

Review: Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs

Reviewed by Jen

There is something so special about this series. Yes, I love the Mercy Thompson books, but the dynamic between Charles and Anna puts the Alpha and Omega series over the top for me. If you’re not reading them, go back to the beginning and start now. You’ll be glad you did.

You really don’t even need to be up to date with the Mercy books, though the main events of Silence Fallen are addressed inasmuch as it references Bran’s trip to help Mercy out. It’s with his absence that Charles has been put in charge of the pack, a responsibility he accepts but doesn’t enjoy. As the story begins, he gets a desperate call from one of the Wildlings—the wolves on the fringe of the pack—asking for help. It turns out that someone has kidnapped one of the old ones and her mate needs the Marrok to get her back. Charles and Anna step in to mount a rescue. [Read more…]

Review: Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach

Reviewed by Jen

I have so many things to say now that I have finished this book. The one first and foremost in my mind: HOW DARE IT END THIS WAY??? Seriously, I cursed words most foul at my ereader when I realized it was over. I won’t spoil it, but I guarantee it will leave you one-clicking book two before you can blink. (Thank God I am reading this years after it released or there might be a hole in the wall from my temper tantrum.) That leads me to point two: this book is expensive! You’ll rarely find me reference a price tag in the review but the ebook on this was $10 on Amazon (which is more than I want to spend on an older title) – BUT I was lucky enough to find it at the library. I don’t know if book 2 is there, but that brings me to my third and final point. This book was so good, I will totally pay 10 bucks for the sequel if the library doesn’t have it, because I am totally hooked. [Read more…]

Review: The Sins of Lord Lockwood by Meredith Duran

Reviewed by Jen

This is book six in Meredith Duran’s Rules for the Reckless series, but if you haven’t read the earlier installments, don’t worry. I didn’t read them either and not only does this book stand-up fine all on its own, I didn’t want to put it down. I read the whole thing in one sitting.

Tortured heroes are my jam and Lockwood fits the bill in spades. The man was kidnapped right after his wedding and sent to a penal colony under a false name. For years, he was subjected to one misery after another. Only his survival instinct kept him alive and helped him topple his cruel captors. Now that he is back in England, he is on a mission for vengeance against the greedy cousin who arranged for his captivity. Sadly, he wasn’t thinking much about the wife he left behind. [Read more…]

Review: The Shift of the Tide by Jeffe Kennedy

Reviewed by Jen

As much as I’ve enjoyed this series –and I still do– this was probably the weakest installment for me at this point. This was primarily for two reasons: the hero and the heroine.

Wait. Wait. Stay with me. Let’s talk about the heroine first. This is Zynda’s book. She’s the Tala cousin to Ursula, Andi, and Ami. (If you don’t know who those women are, now seems like a good time to direct you to start this series at the beginning. I can’t imagine this sixth installment would be a satisfying standalone.) Anyway, Zynda has always been a character who has played her cards close to the vest, and in this book, her secrets are finally revealed. She is looking to meet up with the dragon freed in Dafne’s book in order to learn how to shift into a dragon herself. She believes this Final Form will give her the ability to guide her people into better fertility and healthier babies. [Read more…]