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: The Beast and the Sibyl by AJ Adams

Reviewed by Ronelle

When a vicious Beast is dragged into the village, Bliss knows she should mind her own business. After all, everyone knows that the Beasts are violent and dangerous…but he is still a living creature and her conscience won’t let her turn away from the cruelty of the villagers. And so she steps in, unknowingly putting her on a path of life-changing consequences.

When Siv first lays eyes on Bliss, he knows she’s one of them. That pale hair and those big blue eyes are Skraeling through-and-through. He wants her and is determined to have her as his mate, objections be damned. The time he spends hidden in her home, healing from the horrible wounds inflicted by the villagers and their Patriarch, is time he can use to convince her to leave with him…or so he thinks. [Read more…]

Review: The Shift of the Tide by Jeffe Kennedy

Reviewed by Jen

As much as I’ve enjoyed this series –and I still do– this was probably the weakest installment for me at this point. This was primarily for two reasons: the hero and the heroine.

Wait. Wait. Stay with me. Let’s talk about the heroine first. This is Zynda’s book. She’s the Tala cousin to Ursula, Andi, and Ami. (If you don’t know who those women are, now seems like a good time to direct you to start this series at the beginning. I can’t imagine this sixth installment would be a satisfying standalone.) Anyway, Zynda has always been a character who has played her cards close to the vest, and in this book, her secrets are finally revealed. She is looking to meet up with the dragon freed in Dafne’s book in order to learn how to shift into a dragon herself. She believes this Final Form will give her the ability to guide her people into better fertility and healthier babies. [Read more…]

Review: The Edge of the Blade by Jeffe Kennedy

Reviewed by Jen

I have to say that I was very curious about what kind of heroine Jepp was going to be. One of Queen Ursula’s Hawks, she has been part of the Twelve Kingdoms since the very beginning. The only thing we really knew about her was that she was a great scout out and really, really enjoyed having sex. Unfortunately for her, she jumped into bed with Harlan’s brother, Prince Kral, without understanding the consequences. In the Dasnarian culture, there is no such thing as a one night stand. Either you become a man’s wife, his concubine, or his bed slave; Jepp has no interest in being any of those things. Therefore, it was totally awkward when Kral found her in bed with another guy. Even more awkward than that, was when she was tapped to go back to his home country with him to be a spy for Ursula.

All of that is backstory. This book follows Jepp as she and Kral sail into Dasnaria and attempt to navigate this society that oppresses women in ways Jepp has never even imagined. For goodness sake’s, this culture doesn’t even let women wear shoes. And Jepp is this fiercely independent, firecracker of a woman. She is a fish out of water in every way possible. [Read more…]

Review: Exchanged by Dante Silva and Vanessa Mozes

Reviewed by Ronelle

Aubriel has loved Elston since they were children and admired him for his dedication as a paladin to their god. She sadly learns his true colors when it comes time for him to choose between her and the treasure she unwittingly leads him to. His betrayal is shocking, but it also has unintended consequences in the form of the fey lord, Callannon Thray.

When Callannon arrives to defend his treasure, he’s surprised to find a beautiful elven woman already defending it for him. Aubriel is everything he’s wanted but failed to find in a fey woman—kind, honest, trustworthy—but there’s one problem: she’s mortal.

When she agrees to go with him to the fey realm, Callannon has no choice but to hide her mortality, not only to protect her from those who would use her against him. Among enemies and amid political turmoil, Callannon and Aubriel must hide the truth of her mortality or risk Callannon’s ruin and Aubriel’s freedom. [Read more…]

Review: For Crown and Kingdom by Grace Draven and Jeffe Kennedy

Reviewed by Jen

I’ve really enjoyed Jeffe Kennedy’s Twelve Kingdom books, and it was an anthology that led me to it. Imagine how excited I was to see this story nestled in another anthology with one of the same authors who took part in Amid the Winter Snow! I was already a Grace Draven fan, thanks to Wraith King series, so I’m always down to read something else from her.

Let’s start with the Kennedy short. The Crown of the Queen is a novella told from Dafne’s point of view, but be forewarned, this is not a romance. (I think that comes in the next book.) Instead, this is like an extended epilogue to The Talon of the Hawk. It takes place immediately after Ursula took the life of her father, the king. Dafne has been hanging out in Annfwn for the past few weeks, but when she gets to Ordnung, Ursula still has not been crowned High Queen. The entire story follows Dafne’s efforts to guide Ursula through the process of taking the throne. [Read more…]

Review: The Talon of the Hawk by Jeffe Kennedy

Reviewed by Jen

Oh wow. Jeffe Kennedy really takes it to the next level with this third book in her Twelve Kingdoms series. I didn’t realize that I needed Ursula’s book until I started reading it and I’ve got to tell you, this book is not for the faint of heart.

So far, we’ve only seen Ursula through the eyes of her younger sisters. We know she is strong and powerful, almost masculine. The heir to their father’s throne, she leads armies, she eschews relationships, and she demonstrates unwavering loyalty to the king. All of those things are true, but what we could never see through the first person POVs of Amelia and Andromeda is that her power and strength have come at a very steep price.

The King has grown wilder and more power hungry with each book. Or maybe, it would be more accurate to say, it’s become more obvious with each book. What’s also obvious now is that the journey each sister has taken has been in tandem with each identifying with one of the three goddesses. As they each come into their power, they come closer to balancing the gifts each goddess represents. Ursula is the sword. [Read more…]

Review: Immortal Fire by Annette Marie

Reviewed by Ronelle

Once upon a time, Emi’s world was simple. Gods were righteous and wise, yokai were bloodthirsty and evil, and her duty as the kamigakari was straightforward. But when one of the kami sets out to destroy the mortal world as it’s known and the yokai are the only ones standing in her way, she’s faced with a far more terrifying reality.

Looming threat or no, Emi can’t escape her greatest distraction: Shiro, the fox yokai who has so deftly claimed her heart for his own. She’s promised to break the curse that binds his magic and memories, and once his true self awakens, she’s afraid she’ll lose him forever. But his power and knowledge are needed for the impending war, and so they’ll gamble everything to turn the tide against their immortal, all-powerful foes.

Together, they will find a way to save her world—but can they save each other? [Read more…]

Review: The Tears of the Rose by Jeffe Kennedy

Reviewed by Jen

It was the love story between Ami and Ash that made me jump in to the backlist of this series. They were the couple featured in the anthology Amid the Winter Snow, set much later in the series. I was so taken with them and with the world building in that novella that I went back to start the series from the beginning. Overall, I found the book captivating and I read it all in one sitting much like the first in the series. It wasn’t exactly like I expected, though.

Obviously, the novella meant massive spoilers. I feel like I would have enjoyed the surprises of this book much more if I didn’t know what was going to happen. That is not the book’s fault, so I won’t complain about that, but I will give my small gripe that I wish there was more time devoted to the romance that made me read the series in the first place. I understand it; there are reasons it takes so long for the love story to get off the ground, but that doesn’t change the fact that I wanted more of it… and much like book one, this ended too abruptly for my taste. Even though the larger arc will continue in the next book, this romance won’t. [Read more…]

Review: The Mark of the Tala by Jeffe Kennedy

Reviewed by Jen

I was turned on to this series with the novella Jeffe Kennedy included in the Amid the Winter Snow anthology. It was good enough that I needed to go check out the back list in The Twelve Kingdoms and I was not disappointed. This was a good fantasy romance that reads quickly and easily enough that I devoured it all in one sitting.

Princess Andromeda is the middle daughter sandwiched between two other princesses who seem far more remarkable. Her older sister is strong and powerful, the heir apparent to their father’s kingdom. Her younger sister is an unparalleled beauty. Andi, meanwhile, tends to fade into invisibility. That is, until she meets Rayfe. [Read more…]