Review: Sin and Ink by Naima Simone

Reviewed by Sara

Sin and Ink is a Contemporary Romance that follows the story of Knox, a former MMA fighter and now proprietor of Chicago tattoo shop, and Eden, Knox’s office manager and his late brother Connor’s widow. Eden’s was widowed two years before the book begins when her husband, also an MMA fighter, was knocked out and a previously undetected aneurysm bursts. She’s just now starting to crawl out from under her crushing grief and gain her independence. She is also in love with Knox.

Luckily for Eden, Knox has been secretly in love with her since the first time he saw her, before her marriage to his brother. He never would have said anything or done anything, but his mother saw and when Connor died, Knox’s mother confronted him in a state of hysteria accusing him of Connor’s death and making him promise never to touch Eden. Knox tries to bury his feelings in meaningless sex and by treating Eden as if she were a sister. One chance encounter ruins all Knox’s best laid plans and the two discover their feelings for each other and give in to the chemistry they create. The question is, will it last? Can Eden become independent and begin her life again, this time with Knox by her side and will Knox allow the secrets of his past and the accusations of his mother destroy his chance at love? [Read more…]

Review: Rafe by Rebekah Weatherspoon

Reviewed by Sara

There are plenty of books about nannies. Usually they’re women seduced by the attractive billionaire, mysterious Greek tycoon or the rakish duke.

*yawn*  So, when I saw author Rebekah Weatherspoon tweet about a ginger, bearded and tattooed, motorcycle riding nanny helping a successful and smart single-mom, I was in.

Dr. Sloan Copeland is a young cardiac surgeon in L.A. with two adorable twin 6 year olds. A former child prodigy with an obnoxious ex-husband trying to win her back, she’s left in the lurch when her nanny up and leaves mid-shift. Luckily, she’s got good friends who recommend Rafe Whitcomb. Sloan’s immediately attracted to Rafe, but isn’t sure about how the hot, tattooed white guy will be with her girls. Thankfully Rafe quickly demonstrates a well of limitless compassion and excellent child-tending skills. These and Rafe’s excellent references help Sloan decide to bring Rafe into her family. [Read more…]

Review: Duchess By Design by Maya Rodale

Reviewed by Jen

If you’re looking for a historical with a somewhat different flair, look no further. Duchess by Design features the requisite duke the title suggests, but it takes us out of Regency England to New York’s Gilded Age, while he searches for his bride. It’s fresh and fun, and it’s filled with the kind of feminism and empowerment that made me want to cheer out loud.

Brandon is the stereotypical impoverished duke, in need of an heiress to help fill the coffers of his estate. The well of women who fit the bill in London is running dry, so he travels to America to take advantage of the surfeit families with new money. It’s when he first arrives that he lays eyes on Adeline. Since she is well dressed and appears to be staying in his high-class hotel, he believes her to be the kind of lady he’s searching for. But that would be too easy. Adeline is actually a seamstress visiting a client at the establishment. [Read more…]

Review: Shadow and Ice by Gena Showalter

Reviewed by Sara

Several years ago I was a pretty huge fan of Gena Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld (LOTU) series. I eventually fell away from the series and haven’t read anything from Showalter since. When I saw that she was beginning a new series unrelated to LOTU, I was excited to see what she was writing and how it would differ from her previous work.

Shadow and Ice, the debut novel in Showalter’s Gods of War series follows the adventures of Knox and Vale. On a disastrous trip abroad, Vale and her sister Nola come across what looks like a group of otherworldly warriors frozen in blocks of ice. Little do they know that the immortal warriors have been frozen for centuries and are part of an interstellar, winner takes all battle for the ownership of Earth. Believing that they’ve come across a movie set, they’re surprised when the warriors burst into life. Things soon spiral out of control and Vale is taken by Knox and Nola by the warrior Zion. Fearful for her sister who suffers from debilitating fibromyalgia, Vale makes a deal with Knox to help him in exchange for assistance getting her sister back. [Read more…]

Review: Lionheart by Thea Harrison

Reviewed by Jen

I can always count on Thea Harrison to satisfy my PNR itch. Lionheart is the third in her Moonshadow trilogy based on the world of the Elder Races. This story features Dr. Kathryn Shaw, trauma surgeon to Dragos Caluebre and his sentinels. Her hero is none other than Oberon, king of the dark fae.

Oberon has been in something like a magical coma for the past 15. Isabeau, Queen of the Light Court, orchestrated an attempt on his life along time ago and she used Morgan La Fae to do it. Oberon tried many things to slow down the effects of the poison that was used, but eventually he had to put himself in stasis to keep from dying. Unfortunately, his power is leaking out and wreaking havoc on his lands. His cousin, Annwyn, reaches out to Kathyrn, knowing if he is not healed, he may have to die to save everything he holds dear. [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: 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…]