Review: Wagon Train Cinderella by Shirley Kennedy

wagon train cinderellaReviewed by Janell

I bought this book on sale, because 1) I read a wagon train romance once when I was fourteen and really liked it; and 2) I like fairy tale retellings. Perhaps I should have done a little more research, because this book was not exciting and not much of a romance.

Callie is the servant/stepdaughter/Cinderella. She was left on the doorstep of the Whitaker family by someone who must have really hated their baby, because the Whitakers are horrible people. Pa is the overbearing, angry control freak whom you must not cross. Ma is bossy and lazy, and claims that her two daughters are too delicate to do any real work, so Callie does all the cooking and cleaning. They’re traveling to California, because Pa said so. [Read more…]

Review: Beast: The Untold Legend by Shoshanna Evers

beastReviewed by Jen

This is an interesting twist on Beauty and the Beast. It’s got some engaging moments and a sexy hero. But it also straddled some lines with consent and a little pseudo-bestiality that kept it from being a total win for me.

The premise here is that the same evil queen who made the Beast of fairy tales did the same thing to another man first.  And it isn’t even the worst thing she did to him. Victor is the queen’s stable boy. For years, she has forced him to be her unwilling sex partner. He hates her with everything in him, but he’s powerless to the strength of her position and magic. [Read more…]

Review: Seduced by the Baron by Amy Andrews

seduced by the baronReviewed by Shelly

By far, the best in the series. The last installment in the ‘Fairy Tales of New York,’ tells Faith Sullivan’s story – FINALLY! Faith’s been biding her time for quite a while as all of a close-knit group of friends found their HEAs; does it count that two of them were with her brothers? Her friend Merry (who’s not in a relationship with any of her brothers – thank goodness) has a friend/business acquaintance from Australia who ready to introduce his lager in the U.S. As a networking favor, Merry innocently asks her bestie, bar-owner, Faith to meet with him. [Read more…]

Review: Taming the Beast by Lucy King

taming the beastReviewed by Shelly

I enjoyed the 3rd story in the ‘Fairy Tales of New York’ series – a Beauty and the Beast theme – much more that I liked the previous book. Comparably, I thought the characters were much more likeable. As with the other stories this begins with a recap of the girls going to the same Catholic school and the night they drank stolen communion wine. Along the same lines as with the prior stories, this take place 10 years after that event. This time, it’s Mercedes Hernandez and Sebastian Madison’s turn. [Read more…]

Review: Tempting the Knight by Heidi Rice

tempting the knightReviewed by Shelly

The second story in the ‘Fairy Tales of New York’ series is a Rapunzel tale that I didn’t particular care for. In comparison to book 1, I didn’t find it particularly romantic, which had a lot to do with the lightening fast speed that these two had their initial sex encounter. For this reader, there’s no fairy tale romance (not even in this ‘oblique’ version) in that – goodness gracious, it’s within the first 24 hours and they didn’t even like each other. How am I supposed to like it/them together when they clearly don’t? [Read more…]

Joint Review: Broken by Lauren Layne

brokenReviewed by Shelly & Carrie

Shelly: I dig scars. The more the merrier and if the story can somehow be tied to traditional fairy tale then sign me up. Broken is an upper socioeconomic Beauty and the Beast. I don’t make that assumption from the story line, but because Layne tells me this a few times. I wish I were told a few other things, but oh well. This is my first story by this author and it’s completely my fault that this story didn’t register as a YA; truth be told – I’ve read a few stories in the category and I’ve enjoyed them enough to not be so brazenly against them. So in I went with all guns a blazin’ – just ready to have my socks knocked off by this story.

Carrie: I’m with you, Shelly. I love a wounded warrior story. Something about a tough military guy having to deal with vulnerabilities just gets me going. I’ve read a few of Layne’s other contemporaries and I enjoy her writing. [Read more…]

Review: Grimm Diaries Prequels 1-6 by Cameron Jace

grimm diariesReviewed by Janell

I’m reviewing the first six prequels in this series. According to Goodreads, there are ten total prequels and two actual Grimm Diaries books available now. I get the sense that the author has a lot of ideas about a lot of fairy tale characters, and there might be one unifying plot line, but it’s taking a lot of detours.

The premise, as stated in the first prequel, is that the “Brothers Grimm altered the true fairy tales, hiding the fact that the characters we thought we knew were Immortals, secretly living among us.” Somehow the Grimm fairy tales cursed these real characters, trapping them in a dreamland, but they awaken every 100 years to cause mischief and mayhem. There are also descendants of the Grimm brothers who can enter the dreams of the Immortals and kill them for real. Or maybe just trap them forever? I’m not totally sure. [Read more…]

Review: Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel

second starReviewed by Janell

Disclosure: I’m kind of a Peter Pan fangirl, in the sense that I have a weird crush on the Disney version of Peter Pan. I may have a ceramic figurine and a Barbie doll of him displayed in my basement. However, I don’t love him enough to read the original books (I tried, once, but he was too young, and my love for him felt wrong in that version), so I wouldn’t say I’m an expert on any Pan lore outside of the Disney movie. But, I’m in favor of any riff on the story that involves lurve, and this particular novel kind of sort of hinted at it. [Read more…]

Review: Lord of Snow and Ice

LORD OF SNOW Reviewed by Jen

I wanted to love this book. Beauty and the Beast retellings are among my absolute favorite stories and that’s the way this book is pitched. Not only that, but we have a hero who doesn’t think he is good enough for his heroine AND he is a virgin! Made of win, yes?  Well, not really.

Prince Stellan lives in exile.  He is feared and reviled by the Aldebaran for the magic his kind can do. Yet he is in exile from his own people for refusing to subscribe to their evil intentions.  No one wants him. Until he meet Princess Clarysa.  She witnesses his heroism as he battles the monstrous creations his people have set upon hers.  She is captivated by his power, his bravery, and his strength.  And he is enraptured by her beauty and her light.  Unfortunately, Clarysa’s family is dead set against allowing Stellan into her life.  Even worse, they refuse to heed his warnings about what his people have in store for them.  And that sets up the star-crossed love story between our couple. [Read more…]

Review: Fearless

fearlessReviewed by Janell

This is a novella that wants to be an updated, spicy Cinderella story, but given that it’s only 119 pages, it doesn’t have enough room for depth.

Gia and her girlfriends like to drink martinis, dish about sex, and make rules (a Girlz Guide) for being awesome. All of her friends have amazing sex stories, and Gia feels boring and ordinary in comparison. So she tells them that she’d love one weekend of passion with her coworker Luke, but she can’t because a) her work doesn’t allow fraternization, and, b) Luke is a god among men and she is ordinary Gia. [Read more…]