Review: Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas

Reviewed by Elise

This is the final and much anticipated final novel in the Throne of Glass series. This is one of my favorite series and I have been waiting a long time for this book. I listened to the audiobook in order to savor the experience. Savor it I did, all 33 hours of audio. My poor family very much played second fiddle to the book. It’s lucky I have a very loving and supportive husband. He is completely understanding of book hibernation.

There were a lot of loose ends to tie up in this book. At the end of the last book, the main characters were headed their separate ways with their own missions to complete. I liked the time taken to really delve into each of these story lines. The plot wasn’t rushed, but at the same time I didn’t lose interest in what was happening. There was a lot of battle descriptions and the book is very heavy on the conflict. Given that this is the final book and what we have been working up to, it did justice to just how how big the scope of the problem was. I felt like previous works by this author didn’t go too deeply into the conflicts and book suffered for it. Not so in this book. [Read more…]

Review: Cinder & Ella by Kelly Oram

Reviewed by Debz

Don’t judge me guys, but this is hands down one of my favorite books to read, ever. I was on twitter yesterday and there was an ongoing conversation about books that bring you out of a reading slump, and this is it for me. It never fails to bring me out of that dark place when books have to meaning and I’m unmotivated. I absolutely love it.

This book is about this amazing human Ella Rodriguez and her online bff and real life celebrity hottie Brian Oliver (unbeknownst to Ella of course). They met on her blog when she wrote a post bashing the casting of Brian as the main character in her favorite book series and have been friends ever since.

It’s super heartbreaking what Ella goes through in this book. On her birthday, she and her mum, her only parent and her rock get into an accident that kills her mum and leaves her almost crippled and scarred. She’s not only forced to live without her mum, she has to move to California with her father who abandoned her and his resentful new family. I honestly couldn’t do it. [Read more…]

Review: The Good, the Bad, and the Duke by Janna MacGregor

Reviewed by Jen

This is the fourth book in Janna MacGregor’s Cavensham Heiresses series, and though I did read book three, apparently the threads in this story harken back to the first two installments that I didn’t read. Unlike The Luck of the Bride, which held up very well as a standalone, there is a ton of backstory that’s relevant here. Could I follow along? Yes. But it was obvious I was joining these characters with a story that was already in progress.

Honestly, that part didn’t bother me all that much. I wanted to read this because the blurb promised a redemption story for the male lead, who was a villain in stories past. I love this trope, so I jumped right in. Paul grew up as the best friend of Daphne’s older brother. The prologue sets up their dynamic well, when a teenage Paul saves a baby bird and earns young Daphne’s unending affection. Unfortunately, as the years go on, Paul becomes a rake and a bit of a scoundrel, so she must keep her tender feelings to herself. [Read more…]

Review: Someone to Trust by Mary Balogh

Reviewed by Jen

This book was not my favorite from Mary Balogh. It got off to a very slow start for me, though it did improve once it finally got around to the romance. This is book five in the Westcott series, and I have read the previous four books. Even with the backstory I know, however, there are just too many characters for anyone to keep straight. For the first 10 chapters, I found myself tempted to keep flipping back to the birth chart at the beginning, and that’s no way to really lose yourself in a story.

Probably the first third of the book was spent reminding us who everyone was, how they were related, and why they were all together for Christmas. There was a great deal of narration and very little feeling from either main character. Basically, the only thing established was that Elizabeth and Colin thought well of each other but were nine years apart in age. Yes, this is an older woman younger man story. And it completely dominated the dynamic of their relationship. [Read more…]

DNF Review: Want Me, Cowboy by Maisey Yates

Reviewed by Sara

I like to think of myself as a pretty discerning Romance reader; I know what I like, I know what I don’t like, and I know what I’m willing to try. At the moment, though, I’m feeling pretty bamboozled, a little hoodwinked, and kind of annoyed.

I like the concept of Maisey Yates’ third Cooper Ridge book, Want Me, Cowboy and I assumed I’d really like the book. Maisey Yates writes about Isaiah, a rugged, cowboy-esque, billionaire who wants to find a wife, but he’s been hurt by a past relationship and has trouble expressing his emotions. So he does what anyone in his shoes would do. (That’s sarcasm. Be prepared for lots of that.) He asks his assistant, Poppy, to put a want ad out for a wife. After several interviews, he discovers, to his complete surprise, that Poppy, his assistant of over a decade, is the perfect candidate for all things wife related. [Read more…]

Review: Closer by Dannika Dark

Reviewed by Jen

Eh. You can’t have everything. But I mean when I say that, is as much as I enjoyed the five main books of the Mageri series, I should’ve taken a pass on this spin off story.

It features Sunny’s brother Kane and lays out what happened that led him into breed prison. Technically, it takes place before the events of the last book, but I think it could be read just as easily afterward. Having skipped it, it distracted in no way from my enjoyment of Shine. In fact, skipping it entirely probably would have been A-OK with me, and I would’ve saved myself three bucks.

The problem I had with this book is the turbo insta-love. The hero meets the heroine and they fall in love in a matter of hours. Even worse, they don’t actually meet in real life, but inside of her mind. Both Kane and Caroline are sensors, though each has a problem with their gift. Kane feels things too strongly and Caroline is unable to transmit her feelings. [Read more…]

Review: Never Better by Charlotte Stein

Reviewed by Caitlin

Never Better is the third in the Dark Obsessions trilogy, a new adult romance series by Charlotte Stein. I didn’t like it quite as much as Never Sweeter, but I still thoroughly enjoyed myself reading it. It was darker and heavier with (*slight spoiler*) an ending that’s a little bit more ambiguous than most romance novels, but I still ate it up in about a day and a half.

Lydia, Letty from Never Sweeter‘s best friend, is dealing with the fallout of almost being raped when two men invaded the house where she was babysitting. One of the home invaders assaulted her and held her down when the other one shot him in the head and made sure she was okay before disappearing. [Read more…]

Review: Saved by the Rockstar by Michelle Pennington

Reviewed by Debz

Full disclosure guys, I just started binging Korean Dramas thanks to my sister and my best friend and I would love to announce to the world, right now, that I’m in love with Park Bo Gum. In addition to Chris Evans of course. You can watch Moonlight Drawn by Cloud to see why I’m super smitten.

That’s why I’m always drawn to celebrity romances. It is always super interesting to see how two very different people get together, fall in love and overcome rabid fangirls. And the premise of this book was even more interesting since the heroine is a bestselling author with an anxiety disorder and debilitating fear of crowds. It had my two favorite tropes; bad boy rock star and women with well explained and well rounded mental disorders. [Read more…]

Review: The Other Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

Reviewed by Jen

Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton books consistently deliver for me. This one was fun and engaging, with a hero and heroine easy to love –both as individuals and as a couple.

Andrew Roskesby traffics information for the crown under the guise of a pirate captain. To protect his family and his identity, he does it under the name Captain Andrew James. He is about to embark on a trip to deliver information to Portugal when two of his men drag Poppy Bridgerton aboard his ship. The woman had stumbled across the cave where his men stored their booty and kidnapped her to prevent her from telling anyone their secrets. Andrew wants her nowhere near his mission, but the job can’t wait, so he takes her along with the promise to return her to her family once the voyage is complete. [Read more…]

Review: Shades of Wicked by Jeaniene Frost

Reviewed by Sara

Shades of Wicked by Jeaniene Frost is a Paranormal Romance, book one in her Night Rebel series and set in the world of her highly acclaimed (at least by me) Night Huntress series. It is the story of Master Vampire, Ian, and vampire Law Guardian, Veritas. The two characters are as different from each other as oil and water; Ian being a hedonist of the highest order and Veritas an employee of what is essentially the vampire community’s version of a police force. What they do have in common is a demon named Dagon.

Thousands of years ago, Veritas was the prisoner of Dagon and forced to do horrible things in his name. Now, she sees an opportunity for justice, but needs a way to get Dagon’s attention when her plan is ready. When Ian sold his soul to Dagon he made it possible for Dagon to teleport to him any time the demon wishes. Veritas sees Ian as a means to an end and hopes to use him, but she wasn’t expecting him to be such an accomplished magic user, something illegal in the vampire world, or to be so honorable. Soon what starts as as her using Ian becomes an uneasy alliance and then a partnership as Veritas begins to development feelings for Ian. [Read more…]