Review: Defy by L.J. Shen

Reviewed by Joanna

This novella is the tale of Melody, a twenty-six-year-old teacher who falls for Jaime, her eighteen-year-old student. It’s unapologetically instalove on Jaime’s behalf (and instalust on Melody’s), and I was interested in whether I’d feel icked out by the abuse of power and age difference between the two. I’d met Jaime in book one – Vicious – and here I found myself warmed by just how dedicated a hero he is in his own story.

Melody hates her job. She was meant to be a ballerina but a bad leg break put paid to her career. Teaching literature is her alternative but she isn’t very good at it and her students don’t pay any attention to her. Apart from Jaime Followhill. The six-three blond man-bunned stud is all about the teacher. He stalks Ms Greene until he finds a way to blackmail her into seeing him. She puts up a feeble resistance – based mainly on the fact his mother is the school principal – but they end up in bed together (I say ‘bed’ but it is mostly other places). [Read more…]

Review: Bluebeard’s Curse by Regine Abel

Reviewed by Ronelle

King Eric Thorsen of the Rathlin Islands, known as Bluebeard, has been widowed once more. Though his last wife resisted the lure of the curse for six months, she eventually succumbed and Eric must marry again. Will any woman survive to truly become his queen?

Astrid Halvar will not see her family become destitute, no matter the cost. In defiance of her father’s wishes, she attends the king’s ball with a number of other eligible maidens. She is the least among them in wealth and power, so it is an utter shock when the king chooses her. Will she be able to succeed where so many other women have failed? [Read more…]

Review: Murder of Crows by Annie Bellet

Reviewed by Joanna

This is book two of the urban fantasy series I was excited to start. Am I still excited? Maybe, though this story wasn’t as good as the first.

Jade is stretching and practicing her sorceress magic, ready for when her evil ex-boyfriend comes. We’re three months on from book one when her cover was blown, and her friends now know she’s more than the hedge witch she was pretending to be. They stick by her, and she’s decided to stay in town at her store, Pwned Comics and Games, instead of running. [Read more…]

Review: A Journey’s End by Ann Christopher

Reviewed by Shelly

A surprisingly sweet, sexy and compelling novella. That’s a rarity. This is my first story by Ann Christopher and will not be my last. Miranda Lowe moved to Journey’s End to open her dream business – Java Nectar. She loves her life. She loves her twin boys. She might still have a wee bit of resentment towards her ex-husband because of who he broke his marriage vows with, but it is what it is. Who she can’t get over is James Harper. James’s business is right next door and he stops in every morning for a cup of java. I really wanted to know more about him and the relationship he has with his younger brothers.

In a few short pages Christopher got me to care about Miranda, her sons and even her best friend. I liked this small town. I liked the way the residents treated each other and I especially the way they welcomed Miranda. [Read more…]

Review: Lessons from the Professor by Shyla Colt

Reviewed by Shelly

This read like an experiment. It read like the author was testing her established target audience to see if they like BDSM elements in their stories.

This is my 2nd book by Shyla Colt and as with the first one, this didn’t work for me either. There ware too many elements for the length of this story. If might have worked if it was longer and there was more time to work through a heroine who is brand spanking new to BDSM (hearing about it doesn’t count as experience), a hero who is 20 years older than the heroine, and least of all, the disapproving family (but not for the reasons you might think). [Read more…]

Review: Dual Desires by Shyla Colt

Reviewed by Shelly

This is a new to me author, but not my first IR MC themed story. It’s part 1 of Shyla Holt’s ‘Dueling Devils’ series and tells of Ardy Larking and Demon’s (no idea of his real name) relationship. Because of the ending which was abrupt, not really HFN or HEA – like someone just stopped writing or chopped a longer story in two, I clicked on a few links and found out that Ardy and Demon’s story continues in book 2 – Payback.

Ardy’s and her siblings are from a caucasian Catholic father and an African-American Baptist mother. As the oldest, she’s been working in the family bar and taking care of her brothers and sisters for a long time. Somewhere along the line, the bar was in financial struggles and took a loan or some kind of assistance from Demon’s group. What I don’t know is if Demon caused the struggle so he could have the bar owner indebted or if it was for some other reason. There aren’t a lot of explanations in this story – circumstances just seem to be what they are. [Read more…]

Review: The Luck of Love by Serena Akeroyd

Reviewed by Shelly

I’ve read this author before. Menage Material, the first book in her ‘La Belle sans la Bête’ series, is splendid. I’ve re-read it a few times it’s so good. A Menage Made on Madison, the first book in her ‘The Federation’ series was decent enough that I didn’t write off the series. I’ve had a few misses, but the hits have outnumbered them.

This is the 3rd, yes I’m keeping score, book I’ve read (not all by the same author) with the following content and no warning. If you’re going to put it in a story, I don’t care but warn me first, please. [Read more…]

Review: The Pacifist by Jenny Holiday

pacifistReviewed by Janell

This is the third in Jenny Holiday’s adorable eighties-set New Wave Newsroom Series. In the first, we met Jenny and hot moody art guy Matthew (excuse me I died of his hotness). In the second, Dawn stood out as the smart, driven investigator who’s noticed by the campus cop (swoon). Here, newspaper photographer Tony pursues Laraline, the grad student just itching to break free from her father’s control.

I have to say off the bat that Tony didn’t do it for me. Usually I’m all about the less alpha hero, but his casual demeanor didn’t have enough fire for me. Tony loves women. He has a twin sister, he’s friends with a lot of women, he enjoys sex with them. He’s a nice guy who’s gotten distracted in college, so now he’s in his fifth year, trying really hard to graduate. [Read more…]

Review: The Gossip by Jenny Holiday

gossipReviewed by Janell

This is the second adorable novella in the New Wave Newsroom series. I gushed about the first here, when it was part of an anthology, and now it’s a standalone called The Fixer, and you should get it.

Dawn is the gossip columnist for the school paper. We first meet her when she’s a freshman trying to buy alcohol, hoping to get into the right sorority. Frankly, I wasn’t excited about Dawn. She seemed like a ditsy social climber.

We first meet Arturo, Officer Perez, when he busts Dawn for said alcohol purchase. Arturo is a campus cop, nine years older than Dawn. I’ll admit that I was wary about such an age difference, especially with Dawn being such a clueless freshman. But then something wonderful happened: the book skipped ahead. [Read more…]

Joint Review: Reapers Mate by Celia Aaron

reapers-mateReviewed by Joanna & Ronelle

Joanna – Here’s a short and sweet read of Grim Reapers and angels, just in time for Halloween. I’ve liked other work by Celia Aaron, so when this popped up on the request feed, I was excited to dive on in.

Ronelle – Unlike Jo, I’ve never read anything by this author before, and I also rarely read novellas. But the synopsis intrigued me. Plus, It’s October, so why not? Grim Reapers felt pretty appropriate.

Joanna – So, to the story. Annabelle’s a party planner in New Orleans. Her prestigious French Quarter Halloween event is in full swing when, amongst the guests dressed as sexy fairies or killer clowns, a seven-foot tall dark-haired hunk of lovin’ comes. [Read more…]