Review: Breathless by Celeste Bradley and Susan Donovan

Reviewed by Sara

In Breathless, Celeste Bradley and Susan Donovan have taken two stories and woven them together into an epic love story that crosses centuries and continents.

The historical portion of the book centers on The Swan, London’s premiere courtesan. The Swan has worked her way up from the bowels of Newgate Prison to the height of the London ton. She is independently wealthy, dictates fashion, and can have any man she wants. A man, however, is how she finds herself shipwrecked with amnesia on the coast of Catalonia. Here, she is taken in by The Artist, an immensely private, British deserter of the Napoleonic Wars. As The Swan finds herself in The Artist’s humble, coastal cottage, as well as on The Artist’s canvas she also finds the greatest love of her life.

In the Contemporary portion of Breathless, we meet Brenna Anderson, an Art History professor who, like many in the art community, is obsessed with a series of painting of a woman known as The Siren. When she discovers that The Siren may in fact be The Swan, a courtesan of renown who disappeared out of history she believes she may have the key to a centuries old mystery. However, to prove her theory correct she’ll have to except the help of her rival, Fitch Wilder, a treasure hunter with no formal training who seems to always be two steps ahead of her professionally. Brenna knows men like Fitch and refuses to be swayed by his charm, but the closer they get to uncovering the mystery of The Siren, the harder it is for her to deny her feelings for the handsome adventurer. [Read more…]

Review: How to Marry a Werewolf by Gail Carriger

Reviewed by Sara

How to Marry a Werewolf is a novella that takes place after the events of Gail Carriger’s popular Parasol Protectorate series. The novella can technically be read as a standalone although there are some elements that might be a bit lost on a reader new to the world Carriger has meticulously built. However, the story and characters are written with enough depth and explanation that anyone with should be able to lose themselves in this fantastic story.

As the story begins, we meet Bostonian Faith Wigglesworth, who, after causing a scandal, has been banished to the British Isles with one job, she is to find herself a werewolf to marry. In America, the supernaturals are barely tolerated and in many cases viewed as abominations. Faith is being punished by a family that it is immediately clear are horrible. [Read more…]

Review: Coming Home to Crimson by Michelle Major

Reviewed by Sara

When Cole, the sheriff of small town Crimson, Colorado, pulls over a speeding Porsche, he’s more annoyed than curious about the car’s occupant. Inside is Sienna Crenshaw, the estranged sister of the beleaguered mayor of Crimson, Jase, and to say that she has issues is a huge understatement. Sienna hasn’t been back to Crimson since her parents split up and she and her mother left her father and brother. It’s been 20 years and she hasn’t heard from her father or brother. She is hurt and angry and, thanks to a cheating fiance and a mother who wants her to forgive him, very, very alone. Cole’s annoyance doesn’t last long and he soon finds himself drawn to the Crimson newcomer, but Cole has his own demons. Coming Home to Crimson follows Cole and Sienna as they battle the past towards a future together. [Read more…]

Review: The Greatest Risk by Kristen Ashley

Reviewed by Sara

The Greatest Risk is book three in Kristen Ashley’s erotic BDSM Romance series. The books center around a Phoenix, AZ sex club, The Bee’s Honey and the members within. I really enjoyed books one and two and was excited when book 3 released.

It follows characters Sixx (real name: Simone) and Stellan as they grapple with dark pasts on the way to love and happiness. Sixx is a private investigator that has no problem living dangerously and skirting the law. She’s the premiere Domme at The Honey, but due to a traumatic childhood she believes she’s unworthy and holds everyone, friends, lovers and Subs, at arm’s length. Sixx has desperately wanted Stellan since she first laid eyes on him, but because of her sense of unworthiness and his preference as a Dom, she refuses to go there, even if he is the thing most likely to make her happy. Stellan has also had an awful childhood too, but for whatever reason he’s risen above it to become a successful and endearingly arrogant businessman and Dom. He’s wanted Sixx as his for ages and has grown tired of waiting. Stellan pulls out all the stops to convince Sixx that they’d be perfect together, but it’s a fight against the ghosts of Sixx’s past. [Read more…]

Review: Disturbing His Peace by Tessa Bailey

Reviewed by Sara

In all honesty, I wasn’t going to read Disturbing His Peace. I wasn’t a huge fan of the other books in this series and figured I’d just leave it. That was, until I saw a couple posts Tessa Bailey put up on Instagram about the book. I snatched it up on release day and I am so glad I did.

Dannika is a people-pleaser, she’s always the one her family comes to for helps. So, it only makes sense that her dream job is helping the citizens of New York. She’s at the top of her class in the police academy and would love it if it wasn’t for Greer. Greer is Dannika’s incredibly good looking, incredibly demanding instructor and she hates him. However, there’s more to Greer than meets the eye; he’s hard on his students because he knows what happens when you’re not perfect at this job. Greer’s partner died on the job, and between that and a very man’s man kind of upbringing, he holds people at arm’s length. Except it’s getting harder and harder to keep his brightest and most tempting student, Dannika at a distance. A slip up on Greer’s part, as well as a potentially dangerous mistake on Dannika’s brings the two together and the sparks fly. [Read more…]

Review: Wanna Bet? by Talia Hibbert

Reviewed by Sara

I’ve been in a bit of a book slump lately, but I came across Wanna Bet? while scrolling through Twitter. Another blogger was live tweeting quotes from the book and it looked just different enough that I decided to give it a try.

Jasmine and Rahul have known each other since university. Jasmine is now a lawyer (solicitor really, because this story takes place in England) working with low income families to resolve housing disputes. A leak in her apartment has her calling her friend Rahul. Rahul is a very successful and well off accountant with a spare bedroom. Based on what I’ve just written, you probably think that the conclusion of Wanna Bet? is, well, a foregone conclusion. However, while Jas and Rahul do get together in the end (not a spoiler, it’s a Romance after all) the circumstances around their eventual coming together are what makes this book different enough that I completely fell in love with it. [Read more…]

Review: Song of Blood and Stone by L. Penelope

Reviewed by Sara

A multifaceted fantasy, Song of Blood and Stone’s main character, Jasminda, is an orphaned goat farmer attempting to survive in a land where her race and magical ability mean she is a pariah. When she saves the life of soldier Jack she is thrust into an epic journey to save the nations of Lagrimari and Elsira and set right a century’s old wrong.

Jack is more than a spy or soldier, he’s the prince regent of Elsira and in the kindness and resolve of Jasminda, he’s found love, but can he and Jasminda be together when the nation, history and his own mistakes work against them?

More than once I’ve reviewed a book and complained about too much going on within the plot. While Song of Blood and Stone has a lot (A LOT!) going on, including the romance of Jack and Jasminda, Jasminda finding belonging, the story of Oola and Eero, the war with the True Father, etc, all are woven together to create what really is a complicated, but cohesive and truly epic story. I never once felt overwhelmed with the amount of plot points, but was eager to read more. [Read more…]

Review: Loving the Secret Billionaire by Adriana Anders

Reviewed by Sara

I became a huge fan of Adriana Anders last year after reading her Blank Canvas series, a dark and moody romance trilogy. So, I was very excited to see that she was publishing more books and then I saw the title. The title, Loving the Secret Billionaire, is the kind of title that usually has me automatically passing a book up. I’m tired of billionaires; they’ve literally and figuratively been done to death, and I don’t like secrets, but I took a chance on this novel and was thankfully pleasantly surprised.

Loving the Secret Billionaire is a beefed up and fleshed out revision of Adriana Anders’ novelette of the same name that was published in the Rogue Desire anthology (January 2018). The novel follows preschool teacher Veronica Cruz as she campaigns for city council against a sketchy, good ol’ boy opponent. Veronica is from a poor family, she takes the bus to campaign events because she can’t afford a car and she believes in helping people, saving lunch programs and keeping libraries open. She doesn’t espouse any particular party but it’s clear she leans left in her politics. I found her to be a truly lovely character, not preachy, but passionate and I wanted to see her get both the city council seat and her man. [Read more…]

Review: Total Bravery by Piper J Drake

Reviewed by Sara

On the beautiful islands of Hawaii, Mali is studying the ugliness of human trafficking. While interviewing victims, she becomes the focus of a dangerous group determined to keep their criminal activities quietly expanding. When she calls her sister’s paramilitary group, Search and Rescue Corporation, for help she reaches newest employee Raul.

Raul and his trained German Shepherd, quickly and efficiently save Mali, but she is still in danger and Raul is the best able to keep her safe –or at least that’s what he’s telling himself. Keeping Mali safe from a increasingly dangerous threat is proving difficult, but keeping himself from falling in love with the beautiful, smart and courageous researcher is proving to be the hardest part of his new job. [Read more…]

Review: Rock Chick Reborn by Kristen Ashley

Reviewed by Sara

I’m a huge fan of Kristen Ashley and her Rock Chick series (also just about all of her other series too!) I like alpha, slightly overbearing dudes and sassy, kickass ladies. I like the fact that I know when I read a Rock Chick book that I’m going to bust a gut laughing, ugly cry and seriously consider packing up and moving to Denver.
So, when I woke up this morning to see a surprise release of a new Rock Chick novella, I was more than a little excited.

Rock Chick Reborn is Shirleen’s book. Fans will remember that when smart mouthed, Afro-wearing Shirleen was first introduced back in 2011’s Rock Chick Renegade, she was a one of Denver’s major drug dealers and ran illegal poker games. Of course she’s changed since then and, while she still rocks the ‘fro, she’s left the Denver crime scene behind to become the receptionist for Nightingale Investigations and devoted foster mother to teenagers Roam and Sniff. [Read more…]