Review: American Fairytale by Adriana Herrera

Reviewed by Olive

Camilo Santiago Briggs is a social worker with a heart of gold … and a past that leaves him unwilling to trust anything he didn’t earn for himself. Thomas Hughes is a retired billionaire looking to fund worthwhile projects close to his heart.

When the two meet briefly at a gala, there’s undeniable chemistry. When they meet again in a conference room to discuss project logistics, Milo is shocked but sure he can keep things professional. Tom, on the other hand, is looking to be Milo’s Prince Charming.

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Review: Private Eye by Katrina Jackson

Reviewed by Olive

Private Eye is the second book in Katrina Jackson’s The Spies Who Loved Her series. It follows cam model and awesome business woman Maya (ThickaThanASnicka) and her favourite private chat client, MasquerAsiaN. Maya has been fantasising about this mysterious client for ages and she doesn’t even know his real name…

Until, that is, her best friend and roommate comes out to her as an assistant to spies that need her help. Her partner in this mission? None other than MasquerAsiaN, aka Kenny. Maya has to decide how to handle all this new information and determine if she can trust her feelings, Kenny, or anything ever again.

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Review: The Takeover Effect by Nisha Sharma

Reviewed by Olive

The Takeover Effect is the first book in Nisha Sharma’s Singh Family trilogy. It tells the story of the eldest Singh brother, Hemdeep, who broke his father’s heart when he left the family multinational corporation to create his own legacy. At the start of our tale, sales and profits are down far enough that a buyout offer is made and Daddy Singh has a heart attack. As the Singh brothers scramble to respond without disclosing the health issues, lawyer Mina Kohli shows up to lead the Board committee reviewing the offer.

Mina is trying to rebuild her mother’s legacy, tarnished by her younger brothers when they kicked her out of the firm she started. To accomplish her planned coup, Mina needs to make partner and her uncle dangles that cheery in front of her on the condition that her recommendation aligns with his interests. She can smell a rat but what other option does she have?

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Review: Mrs. Martin’s Incomparable Adventure by Courtney Milan

Reviewed by Olive

Mrs. Martin’s Incomparable Adventure, a novella in Milan’s Worth Saga series, tells the story of the seventy-three years young widow Bertrice Martin, the bad behaviour of her Terrible Nephew, and how she finally decided to do something about it & him. She’s inspired to take action by Violetta Beauchamps, the manager of the boarding house where Terrible Nephew has his rooms.

Violetta is looking for a little boost to her financials, now that she’s been forcibly retired, and she’s not above a little fraud to get it. Cut off without her promised pension, exhausted at the idea of looking for more work at sixty-nine, and fed up with the Terrible Nephew and the two years of arrears he owes, she’s determined to get the needed funds from Mrs. Martin.

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Review: The Wolf at the Door by Charlie Adhara

Reviewed by Olive

The Wolf at the Door is the debut romance from Charlie Adhara and the start of her Big Bad Wolf series. The books follow a single relationship ARC and, unlike many urban fantasies with romantic elements, each instalment has hot sex and the critical HFN.

FBI Agent Cooper Dayton was attacked by …something… that left him only 70% of his intestine and stuck in the hospital for ages. In order to discover more, he took what he thought would be a lateral career move to the BSI (Bureau of Special Investigations) where he found out werewolves were real and living among us. That was six months ago.

Since then, he’s been partnered with a long standing BSI agent teaching him all about recognising wolf involvement in crime and tracking down the guilty wolves to remand them into local LEO custody. He’s learning that when there’s violent crime with wolf connections, the closest wolf you can find is probably the guilty one. Cooper is bummed at becoming a glorified bounty hunter but still glad to be doing his part. Until he gets called into his boss’s office on his day off to discover he’s been partnered with one of …them…

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Review: The Ultimate Pi Day Party by Jackie Lau

Reviewed by Olive

The Ultimate Pi Day Party is the first book in Jackie Lau’s new Baldwin Village series, set in the eponymous foodie artistic neighbourhood of Toronto. The story follows Josh, a tech CEO with massive daddy issues, as he falls for Sarah, the owner of a local pie shop. After testing the delicious sweet and savoury concoctions dreamt up by Sarah, he concocts a scheme to throw the ultimate Pi Day party and win his way back into his father’s notice (Josh’s estranged dad is a retired math teacher). Turns out, Sarah is just as irresistible as her pie and romance ensues.

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Review: American Dreamer by Adriana Herrera

Reviewed by Olive

American Dreamer is the debut romance from Adrianna Herrera and follows Nesto Vasquez as he tries to transform his dream from one more struggling but up-and-coming NYC food truck into a successful business Upstate. On arrival, he meets Jude Fuller, a sexy librarian with some dreams of his own, and the proverbial spanner is thrown into the works.

I’m gonna get the not-so-good out of the way first so that I can gush unrestrained about this. There are some editing issues, especially around how the timeline is managed, and the dual-first-person POV is a bit jarring initially as though the author is working a little too hard to differentiate them and not just letting their personalities shine though. That’s really it though.

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Review: In the Wreckage by Hailey Turner

Reviewed by Olive

In the Wreckage is the first book in Hailey Turner’s Metahuman Files series. In a future world, a deadly virus called ‘Splice’ is being used as a biological weapon, killing nearly anyone it comes into contact with by destabilising their DNA. A small percentage of people infected not only survive but come away with newly activated metahuman abilities. The story follows Captain Jamie Callahan, former Recon Marine turned Metahuman Defense Fund officer, and his paranormally enhanced team as they go out on missions standard issue humans can’t cope with.

Alas, Alpha Team hasn’t been able to keep a sniper. Enter Staff Sergeant Kyle Brannigan, a one-night stand that turns into the sniper newly assigned to Jamie’s team. Awkward much? Yep, and I’m so here for it. (Caution: low level spoilers ahead!)

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Review: Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat

Reviewed by Olive

Captive Prince is the first book of a trilogy about the relationship between Damen and Laurent. Damen is Crown Prince Damianos, the heir to Akielos, who, on the eve of his father’s death (and his ascension), is beaten, bound, drugged, and given as a gift to Laurent, the Crown Prince of neighboring enemy Vere.

The story is told entirely from Damen’s perspective. A good chunk of this first book is his struggle to wrap his head around his new circumstances. He must learn how to survive (and, hopefully, escape) his enslavement and to navigate the intensive culture clash between the decadent, indolent, and abusive Royal Court of Vere and his idealised homeland.

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Review: Lady Bridget’s Diary by Maya Rodale

Reviewed by Olive

Lady Bridget’s Diary is the first book of the ‘Keeping Up With the Cavendishes’ series by Maya Rodale (click here for a review of Book 2: Chasing Lady Amelia). I have to admit – I was more than a little skeptical at the idea of a Regency romance based on Bridget Jones’s Diary (BJD), a modern romantic comedy based on Pride and Prejudice (PnP), a Regency romance. It was either going to be amazingly meta … or amazingly mediocre. I’m happy to say this landed firmly in the former camp 😉

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