Review: Lie Down With Dogs by Hailey Edwards

Reviewed by Jen

Dammit. Love triangles mess with my emotions. I’ve never been a fan of Shaw, but now I just don’t know how I feel. As the story begins, Thierry has been separated from her new husband, Rook, and she is back home, at least for the next year until she must return to Faerie to be crowned Queen. So she decides to go out on one last vacation with her best friend to Florida. Shaw tags along to work on a case nearby. And of course, she has her two fae guards along with her giant shape shifting cat, Diode.

It’s not all sun and surf. Thierry encounters one obstacle after another from some adversarial selkies to a mysterious phone stalker and an enigmatic fae who targeted her friend with a supernatural roofie. On one hand, Thierry just wants to relax with her best gal pal, but she can’t ignore the wrongs she encounters either. She is still a marshal at heart. [Read more…]

Review: The Rule Breaker by Cat Carmine

Reviewed by Caitlin

I always enjoy Cat Carmine books. They’re fun and sexy and the men always dominate in the bedroom (and are sometimes kinda alpha outside the bedroom too). Even if they can be kind of problematic at times – there are multiple books where the hero is the heroine’s boss and no real conversation about the ethics of that – they’re a very easy read.

Emma Holloway has always followed the rules. She even has an advice column to help others make the “right” decision. She is essentially a 21st century Emily Post. [Read more…]

Review: Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep

Reviewed by Jen

Kill the Queen is the first in Jennifer Estep’s new high fantasy series Crown of Shards. It feels remarkably like this author’s Elemental Assassin series. The particulars, of course, are different. The setting in particular. However, the heroine reminds me a lot of Gin Blanco and even the feel of the magic has something in common.

Evie is part of the royal family, but just barely. She is 17th in line for the throne, and orphan who is essentially a ward of her cousin, the queen. She is at the bottom of the family food chain. She has to do the ceremonial jobs no one else wants to do: Learn other languages, cultures, dances; she even has to bake special pies. But she does what she must keep a roof over her head and to stay in her cousin’s good graces. Even forces herself to get along with the crown princess Vasilla, who has been cruel to her since childhood. [Read more…]

Review: Consumed by JR Ward

Reviewed by Jen

I was not sure how I would feel about this new offering from JR Ward, after I was so decidedly underwhelmed by her Bourbon Kings series. But unlike that, I think this is designed to be a romance rather than women’s fiction. Overall, I liked it. Ward has a unique writing style that reminded me of her Black Dagger Brotherhood of books, even though the content was very different.

This is a contemporary romance among fire fighters, so it is very high octane. (No pun intended.) It came out of the gate, swinging, with the hero and heroine responding to a fire call. Ann and Danny serve on the same crew and as the story begins, are on the heels of their first tumble into bed. They are crazy about each other, but any relationship between them is sure to be filled with land mines. We don’t really have enough time to explore what may be between them before tragedy strikes. The fire nearly takes Ann’s life, and the only way Danny can save her is to cut off her hand.

Kind of tough to get over. [Read more…]

Review: Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone

Reviewed by Victoria

Let’s start with THIS IS NOT A ROMANCE. Jane Doe is a fantastic book, with one of the most interesting, motivated protagonists I’ve ever read, but it is NOT A ROMANCE. You’ve been warned.

This book is not my usual thing. It’s not a romance, and it’s a first-person narrative. Any other author, I probably wouldn’t have given it a second glance. But Stone, aka Victoria Dahl, writes some excellent romances. Her previous work, combined with my dreaded Book Slump, prompted me to give Jane Doe a try. And I loved it. This book is about revenge. Deliberate, meticulous, cold-hearted revenge.

The book opens with Jane subtly gaining the attention of a manager at her new job. Jane knows exactly who he is: charming at work, controlling in a relationship. The job is beneath her education and experience level, and Jane is there for one thing: to ruin Stephen’s life. [Read more…]

Review: Joy to the Earl by Nicola Davidson

Reviewed by Caitlin

I’m a sucker for a virgin hero, and this is Nicola Davidson’s SECOND virgin hero! I am usually not a sucker for a holiday romance, but I’ll make an exception for an author I like.

Jack Reynolds is a farmer in Yorkshire. He’s 6’5″ and muscled from labor, but he has a bad limp. He is socially awkward and painfully shy, which means he’s made it to the age of 28 without having had sex. A few days before Christmas, Jack finds out he was actually the son of the Earl of Lynthorpe, given away because of his “deformity.” Now he’s the next in line to inherit the title. He’s not sure he should – he knows nothing about being an earl – but the law is the law, and primogeniture insists he must be the next earl. [Read more…]

Review: Heir of the Dog by Hailey Edwards

Reviewed by Jen

After a lukewarm introduction to this series, I wasn’t sure that it would be a good fit for me. But Hailey Edwards has come through again and I am happy to report this installment has made me a fan of the Black Dog books. It makes sense, in a way, when you consider that Dog With a Bone was an added prequel to what was supposed to have been a trilogy that started here. This book is much more engaging and made me care about the heroine in a way that I just didn’t before. And if you choose not to read Dog With a Bone, I’m pretty sure you would be totally fine jumping in here. [Read more…]

Review: Last Night With the Earl by Kelly Bowen

Reviewed by Jen

The more I read from Kelly Bowen, the more I am convinced that her work is right in my lane. This second installment in Devils of Dover series features familiar characters from A Duke in the Night (which I loved!) but this holds up fine as a standalone. Honestly, I expected this installment to be the pinnacle for me. After all, it features a scarred hero, which is usually my catnip. And I did like it. There were just a couple of issues that kept if from being my all-time favorite from this author.

Eli Dawes, the Earl of Rivers, has been missing and assumed dead for years. Badly injured at Waterloo, he was ready to leave his old life behind and hide the disfigurement he endured from an artillery blast. But when solicitors tracked him down at a farm in Belgium after his father’s death, his regret and sense of duty finally drove him home to accept his title. Imagine his surprise to arrive to his family’s country estate to find it rented out to the Haywood family and their school for young ladies. [Read more…]

Review: A Notorious Vow by Joanna Shupe

Reviewed by Jen

I have enjoyed every installment in The Four Hundred series so far, but Joanna Shupe has outdone herself with this third book. It was fantastic.

The blurb sold at this as a young woman who escapes a repugnant suitor by making a marriage of convenience to a reclusive inventor. Let me just say, the blurb did not do this book justice. It leaves out so much about what makes it good. [Read more…]

Joint Review: The Lady is Daring by Megan Frampton

Reviewed by Jen & Sara

Jen: I have a hit and miss relationship with books from Megan Frampton. Sometimes I like them a lot, while some of them have just been OK. This third installment in the Duke’s Daughters series, I thought, was one of her better ones.

The heroine is intelligent, yet socially awkward sister, Ida. She is not exactly a darling of the ton as she would rather wax on about interesting facts she has learned, than titter about the weather or bonnets and fripperies. She has essentially resigned herself to a life without a husband. After all, who would welcome her eccentricities? All she wants is a little bit of freedom. That, and to find her older sister, Della, who ran away with the wrong man to elope. Ida’s timetable is pushed into high gear when her mother decides to marry her off to a man who is both dull and a little bit dumb. So at her first chance, she swipes a convenient carriage and runs away. Too bad Lord Carson is passed out in the back. [Read more…]