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…]

DNF Review: Torn by Rowenna Miller

Reviewed by Sara

Torn, the debut fantasy novel of author Rowenna Miller, tells the story of Sophie, a seamstress who has used her skills with needle and thread and her ability to imbue her creations with charms to work her way out of poverty. Her brother Kristoff, a laborer, is not so lucky and is disillusioned with the way their country’s monarchy is running things. As Sophie becomes a darling of the nobility, Kristoff becomes involved with the enigmatic professor Pryord Venko and a movement to provide more rights to the working class. Soon the movement that started out as a cry for more rights becomes a full out rebellion with goals of overthrowing of the nobility. Sophie will have to decide what side she belongs on or find herself torn between the nobles and her livelihood or her love for her brother. [Read more…]

Review: His Wicked Charm by Candace Camp

Reviewed by Sara

Do you like the opposites attract trope? How about Historical Romance? What about mysteries with paranormal elements?

If you said yes to any of these you’ll probably really enjoy Candace Camp’s latest release, His Wicked Charm.

Lilah Holcutt is everything a proper lady should be. She is well-mannered, logical, even-tempered and never breaks the rules. When her best friend gets married, she’s introduced to the Moreland family, better known as the Mad Morelands. The Morelands don’t care about convention; they believe in following one’s passion and are *gasps* suffragists. Con, Lilah’s best friend’s husband’s twin brother, is the worst of these. He’s a joker, a flirt and, for some reason, has turned his attention on her. [Read more…]

Review: Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon By Kerrelyn Sparks

Reviewed by Sara

Raised on a secluded island in order to hide her magical gifts, Gwennore (Gwen), one of four women, is an innocent in all ways. However, since her sisters have started marrying, she’s seen enough of the world to know that she should hide her magical abilities and that, as a Woodwyn Elf, she is reviled and pitied.

When her niece is kidnapped by dragons of the Norveshka region, Gwen refuses to let go and finds herself in the Norveshka court where curses, plagues, and madness are threatening to destroy the country. With her gift of healing, she discovers that the so called curse is illness and that she is uniquely gifted to help the people, no matter that they don’t trust her. There’s one catch, in order to help she’ll need to pretend that she’s lovers with the gorgeous and playful General Dravenko. [Read more…]

Review: Hurts to Love You by Alisha Rai

Reviewed by Sara

In Hurts to Love You, the third and last book in the Forbidden Hearts series, Gabe is the son of the former housekeeper to the formerly wealthy Kane family. He’s the best friend to Olivia Kane and part of her wedding party. Thing is, he’s also more. Secretly he’s in love with Olivia’s soon to be sister in law, the sheltered Eve. He’s also holding on to another secret that could alter his relationship with Olivia and her family forever, a secret it’s getting harder and harder to hold on to.

Eve is the youngest of the Chandler siblings and has been treated like a child her entire life. She’s recently split from the family business and is on her own trying to develop an improved ride share business. She’s also trying to show Gabe, who she’s always had a crush on, that she’s not a little girl anymore. Which would make it a bad thing for Gabe to find out that she’s been his ubiquitous and mysterious ride share driver for the past several months. [Read more…]

Review: Thirsty by Mia Hopkins

Reviewed by Sara

Confession time! Sometimes I see book blurbs and think, “that’s going to be awful. I can eviscerate it in a snarky review,” and then I throw my head back and laugh like a deranged Bond-villain.

Such was the case when I read the blurb on Mia Hopkins’ book, Thirsty. I don’t know who wrote the blurb, but to me it read cheesy and then the devil on my shoulder pointed to a single phrase, “hipster gringo.” There, I thought, while stroking my imaginary villain moustache, for that phrase alone, I should read and review this book. Cue Bond-villain laughter.

However, and please don’t tell my husband (I have an image to uphold) I was wrong. I really, really enjoyed Thirsty and could not put it down. [Read more…]