Review: Man Card by Sarina Bowen and Tanya Eby

Reviewed by Joanna

Back to this snort-laugh series for my first read of the New Year. Ashley Power (what a name!) is a thirty-something realtor with a driven attitude to sell sell sell, and dirty thoughts for her most despised colleague, Braht. Yep, Braht. That’s his name.

Ash hates him, but her body disagrees, and very much wants to sleep with him. A lot.

In book one (these work as standalones), they were caught getting down to business in their friend’s pantry, but Ash doesn’t want a repeat. Or does she? [Read more…]

DNF Review: Firestorm by Donna Grant

Reviewed by Ronelle

When Dr. Faith Reynold stumbles upon what appears to be an ancient dragon skeleton, she’s completely taken aback. Though she’s been raised on the mythology of the beasts, she’s a woman of science and there’s no way that such a creature can actually exist. And when the handsome and mysterious Dmitri enters her world, she ends up even further out of her comfort zone. Her curiosity soon turns into all-consuming passion; she’s never felt this way about any man before.

But Dimitri is keeping secrets and his biggest revelation will test her resolve. Can Faith learn to love the man—as well as the dragon within? [Read more…]

Review: The Duke of Her Desire by Sophie Barnes

Reviewed by Jen

This second story in Sophie Barnes’ Diamonds in the Rough series marries the fish out of water trope with an older brother’s best friend romance. Amelia is just a few months into her reintroduction to society after spending most of her life in the slums of St Giles. Her older brother, Raphe, is happily married now and wants to take his wife on a wedding trip, so he asks his friend, the Duke of Coventry, to keep an eye on his sisters while he’s away. Of course, he has no idea that Amelia is nursing a giant crush on the man.

Not only does Coventry agree to watch out for the girls, he promises to draft his mother to help Amelia find a husband. That means lessons in dancing and comportment and a little bit of matchmaking to boot. He’s only doing a favor for Raphe until two things happen which make it into something more. First, he discovers Amelia’s plan to launch a school for unfortunate children. Though she doesn’t show enough regard for her own safety, he can’t help but be impressed by her determination and smarts in creating a business-plan. His appreciation for her grows… so that when the second thing happens–and he sees her in a low cut ball gown–it gets harder to see her as just his best friend’s younger sister. [Read more…]

Review: Dark Tempest by Annette Marie

Reviewed by Ronelle

Emi has dedicated her life to becoming the perfect vessel for the goddess Amaterasu, but the betrayal of another deity has changed everything. Now Amaterasu has charged her with finding and freeing the earthly gods before mankind is brought to its knees beneath divine tyranny.

Shiro, mysterious as ever, is at her side and he is still lost, his power bound by a devastating curse and his memories obscured. His shadowed history is somehow tied to the missing gods, but he can’t remember how or why. But as their search leads them into the deepest reaches of the spirit realm, Shiro’s past begins to emerge and with each brief awakening of his true self, Emi loses a little more of him.

The fate of gods, humans, and even Shiro himself now rest in Emi’s hands. Does she have enough time to save them all? [Read more…]

Review: Blood Fury by JR Ward

Reviewed by Jen

I’m almost to the point where I can just say point blank that I like these Black Dagger Legacy books more than current incarnation of the core series. Why? More focus on the romance. The main BDB books jump all over the place, from character to character, scene to scene. There have always been parts I’ve wanted to skim to get back to the romance, but with the spinoff books, it’s all romance; there’s nothing to skim.

That’s not to say there’s no jumping around here… there is. It just happens between the two romances which equally carry the book. The blurb may be all about Peyton and Novo, but this is every bit as much about Saxton and Rhun, and frankly, it’s all the better for it. The secondary romance (and I hesitate to call it that because it had equal page time) was even better for me than the headlining love story. [Read more…]

DNF Review: Other Than by Mia Jo Celeste

Reviewed by Ronelle

It only takes one drink from the Water of Immortality to kill Evie Woods—halfway. Trapped in undead flesh, the world’s last skin-slider wakens on an island purgatory where a cursed spring bubbles with immortality, and zombie cannibals crave living flesh. Her only hope of escape rests in the hands of the one man who would see her fail. Lord Victor Lowell, the man of her dreams and darkest nightmares, preys on others to maintain his charisma and preternatural prowess.

Trapped in an ever-escalating war they can’t stop, Victor and Evie fight time for a cure, but as the long days pass, blackness tears at Evie, ripping her thoughts from her one memory at a time. Victor will do whatever it takes to prevent her from deteriorating into a rotting husk, even if it means dooming himself, but Evie won’t surrender his soul without a fight. [Read more…]

Review: Return of the Lycan King: Nicholas and Kristen by Candace Blackburn

Reviewed by Shelly

This is my first by Candace Blackburn and it’s not going to be my last. The first book in her Return of the Lycan King series is a winner. Fast paced, fun and just enough action to keep the pages turning – I found it to be a solid start to the series. I’m going to do my best to not give a spoiler because I really liked this.

When I saw the blurb for this, my eyes went big. I’m a sucker for damaged main characters and knowing it’s the heroine was the icing on the cake. The world building was good, I mean very good. Nothing over the top and all very subtle. The majority of the story is told from Kristen’s angle as the new girl on the block per se and we see the world through her eyes. It’s an interesting world. [Read more…]

Review: Heart on Fire by Amanda Bouchet

Reviewed by Jen

I have mixed feelings about (what I assume is) this final installment of The Kingmaker Chronicles. I absolutely loved the first book, A Promise a Fire. Book two was strong as well. My issue here is that I felt like this book was a little all over the place and the ending was a bit anti-climactic.

This story picks up right on the heels of Breath of Fire. Cat and Griffin are king and queen of Thalyria and expecting a baby. Cat now has her younger sister with her and a powerful new guard in the form of a former Thalryian Princess. All that is left to do is to conquer her evil mother.

But things take a detour right off the bat. First of all, I have to admit being a little overwhelmed by all of the characters. I honestly couldn’t remember who all of these people were and it hasn’t even been that long since I read the last book. A little reminding would’ve gone a long way to help me marshall my thoughts. Then there’s the fact that a big betrayal happens at the beginning. It felt more like a plot device to reveal the identities of two undercover Gods than to move forward any other arc. In fact, what happens with the offending character seems to just fall off into nowhere. I kept expecting it to come full circle, but it never did. [Read more…]

Review: The Ones Who Got Away by Roni Loren

Reviewed by Joanna

This tale deals with the second chance romance of Liv and Finn—survivors of a high school massacre where two other kids took their deadly teenage angst out on their fellow pupils.

While the tragedy of that event frames this story, it isn’t the core focus, as the story picks up several years down the line when our protagonists reunite for a documentary being made on their experience.

Liv runs into Finn—her secret ex-boyfriend—at the filming, and the trauma of it all triggers her panic attacks and she flees. Later, in the bar with friends she’s drifted apart from, the women open a time capsule they buried after the shooting, and Liv reads the words teen-her wrote to herself. The full life she expected with passion and adventure is far from her overworked existence, and she realizes all she’s missing. Then she sees Finn again, and the two come together. [Read more…]

Review: Dragon Blood by Eileen Wilks

Reviewed by Jen

Eileen Wilks drops us right back into the action with this latest installment of her World of the Lupi series and thankfully, she begins with a great recap; otherwise, I think I would have completely forgotten what was going on. You see, the last book stopped right in the middle of the action: Lily and Rule had led a group of fighters into Dis to rescue Toby and some other Lupi children who had been kidnapped. They were in the middle of a big battle; Benedict and Cullen were seriously hurt… so was Rule. A dragon snatched Lily and THEN THE BOOK WAS OVER. This book is more like a Part 2 of that story, although it has its own arc set entirely in Dragonhome, which is where Lily is spirited away to. [Read more…]