Review: How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days by Kerrelyn Sparks

Reviewed by Jen

I was really excited about the premise for this book. I am a sucker for a tortured hero and Leo is described as the Beast of Benwick. He carries the power of lightning, but that means he is a danger to anyone around him. He cannot touch anyone. And no one can touch him. Except maybe the heroine. How delicious does that sound?

The leading lady is Luciana. She is one of the Embraced, people born on a specific day when the moons are aligned and as a result have special powers. Hers is the ability to see ghosts. Anyway, she has been raised in a convent away from her family thinking she was an orphan her whole life. Until her father shows up to let her know her twin sister is dead and she must now impersonate her and marry the beast or else her father’s life is forfeit. [Read more…]

Review: Breath of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

Reviewed by Jen

A Promise of Fire was one of my favorite books of last year. I have been anxiously awaiting this sequel, and I’m happy to report that it absolutely lived up to my expectations. It is not exactly like its predecessor. The core of what makes it so good is still there. The heroine is still feisty and loyal, powerful yet vulnerable. The hero is fierce and sexy and completely in love with her. The world building is fascinating and the secondary characters are rich and interesting.

So what’s different? Sex. Lots and lots of sex. In fact, the first 20% or so felt like it was entirely about the hero and heroine getting it on. That’s not the worst thing in the world. The scenes were hot and satisfying. But it was definitely a departure. And I’m not sure everyone will love the change in equal measure. [Read more…]

Review: Red Winter by Annette Marie

red-winterReviewed by Janelle

Kimura Emi has dedicated every waking moment of the last ten years to being the perfect kamigakari. Now, only a few short weeks remain before her life as a mortal will end and her new existence as the human host of a goddess begins. She’s heard tales of the good she will be capable of once she’s imbued with Amaterasu’s divine power. Not once has she doubted her responsibility, her purpose, nor has she deviated from the stringent preparation of mind, body, and soul.

That is, until the discovery of a book in an abandoned storehouse shatters her perceptions of what it means to be a kamigakari. Angry, frightened, and desperate to have one experience for herself, she makes a reckless choice that puts her in the path of danger… and Shiro. [Read more…]

Review: Den of Wolves by Juliet Marillier

den-of-wolvesReviewed by Jen

This book gave me everything I wanted to wrap up the trilogy of Blackthorn and Grim. Sadly, when I started, I didn’t realize this was the last story in the series, but by about halfway through, I had no doubts. These characters have come so far, their relationship forged in fire. Finally, here, we see the fruit of all their labors, the light at the end of the tunnel. There’s just one more set of trials they must endure before they get there.

A teenage girl, Cara, has been sent away by her father to live with Prince Oran and his wife, Flidais. This, after a strange, wild man named Bardan arrived at their home.  Her father doesn’t explain much to her, but Bardan was once the builder of the unfinished “heart house” that was started before Cara’s mother died. Now her dad is hellbent on resuming the project, only it’s shrouded in secret. Grim is tasked with helping Bardan complete the design. [Read more…]

Review: Fletcher by AJ Adams

fletcherReviewed by Ronelle

Ware Fletcher, Master Craftsman and archer extraordinaire, returns from a sojourn to the east to find his home burned to the ground. His family shrine has been destroyed and Apollo’s Arrow is missing. Determined to avenge his family, Ware begins hunting for the rogue knight responsible for the decimation. His search leads him to the city of Caern, where he buys his first thrall, a thrall whose skills will secure his revenge. What he does not bargain for, however, is how difficult, cheeky, foul-mouthed, disrespectful… and utterly life-changing she will be.

Lind has been a thrall since she was a young child. She’s been used, abused, and sold almost more times than she can count. The experience has left her hard, sour, and determined to secure her freedom by any means. But then she is bought—and consequently saved from a death sentence—by Ware Fletcher, a craftsman with a mysterious black rage simmering just under his alluring and attractive surface. To her surprise, he treats her like a person… even if that treatment is intended to train her into meekness. Sure, the sex is amazing and he doesn’t hit her, but his tactics won’t work; Lind has sworn to never again call any man Master. [Read more…]

Review: Destined for a King by Ashlyn MacNamara

destined-for-a-kingReviewed by Janell

You should know that I don’t read fantasies. Generally, I don’t enjoy books with invented words, maps, and/or glossaries. But I was in a slump and thought that this sounded different, yet not too different. It has some invented words, but no appendices, and the poppy plant is still a pain reliever. So here we go.

Calista is the daughter of some minor nobleman guy who’s in charge of Blackbriar Keep. In a political maneuver, she’s been promised to the king, an old guy she’s never met. When the book opens, Calista is in armor, defending the keep from the invading Bastard Brotherhood. She manages to send an arrow into the thigh of the leader, Torch, but the castle falls anyway. [Read more…]

Review: A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

promise of fireReviewed by Jen

Just when I start to worry that there is nothing new and fresh on the market to wow me, along comes this really awesome fantasy romance to put my fears to rest. This book engaged me from the very beginning. It’s interesting. The world building is a cool blend of Greek mythology, magic, and elements unique to the story. The main characters are solid, and best of all, I cared about them. It’s got that indefinable spark that made me connect and invest in what was happening.  Still not sold? Let me back up. [Read more…]

Review: Entreat Me by Grace Draven

entreat meReviewed by Jen

I really enjoyed Grace Draven’s Radiance, so when I found out that she had also written a book featuring a Beauty & the Beast trope, I sat aside my entire TBR pile and dove in.  I don’t regret it one bit. Though I think I might have loved Radiance a tad bit more, this book definitely gave me what I was looking for. And I would definitely recommend it if you’re a fan of Draven’s other work or if you, too, love a cursed or beastly hero. [Read more…]

Review: Warcry by Elizabeth Vaughan

warcryReviewed by Jen

I wasn’t sure how I would feel about Elizabeth Vaughan changing the focus on this series from my beloved Keir and Lara to Heath and Atira.  Thankfully, the shift did not leave the royal couple behind. In fact, the Warlord and his Warprize get almost as much page time as the new featured couple.  To be fair, it does take away some from the main romance, but it also helps the book feel more like a continuation of the same story, rather than a spinoff.

This story picks up shortly after the events of Warlord.  It follows our characters as they journey from the Heart of the Plains back to Xy. Lara is 9 months pregnant and is facing some staunch political opposition from some of her detractors. She must take her place as queen and ensure the future of her child as her heir.  Heath is one of her strongest allies. He travels with her, both to help ease her transition back into power and to try to convince Atira to bond with him. [Read more…]

Review: Warlord by Elizabeth Vaughan

warlordReviewed by Jen

Elizabeth Vaughan crafts a satisfying conclusion to her Chronicles of the Warlands trilogy, with this installment that brings the Warlord and his Warprize back to the Heart of the Plains.  This is definitely more engaging than the last book, though the original Warprize holds up as the strongest installment.  This is not a standalone –new readers need to start at the beginning of the series. [Read more…]