Review: Any Groom Will Do by Charis Michaels

Reviewed by Jen

I’m going to admit, I had some grave reservations about this book after reading the prologue. It sets up the heroine as barren from an illness she had when she was eight years old, with what seemed like very little evidence to support it. Then, it made it sound like she grew up without ever getting her period. Does this happen from illness? Can it? I felt like this was all an elaborate set-up for a miracle baby after the woman lives to the ripe age of 27 as a spinster. I couldn’t be more happy to report that I was wrong and I could have let myself enjoy this book (even more than I did, which was quite a but) without my suspicions hanging over my head.

So the heroine is Willow, the (really) barren daughter of an earl and all she wants out of life is to go live with her aunt and uncle in London and be an apprentice in their design business. Unfortunately, her aunt is a bit of a pariah in the family and as an unmarried woman, Willow doesn’t get to make any choices about her own life. Add to that, two of her friends are just as desperate for their freedom, and she is sufficiently motivated to come up with a scheme to save them all. [Read more…]

Review: Chance by Pearl Foxx

Reviewed by Jen

I will admit, I have a soft spot for cyborg heroes who are done well. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say I have a soft spot for cyborg heroes who are done a certain way. I like them ice cold. More machine than man. Almost unfeeling. Until that perfect woman comes along and makes him feel things he shouldn’t.

This book gave me that… a little bit. Chance has essentially sworn off women because he was rejected by his love for accepting machine parts. And he considers himself unlovable. I dig that. But the romance between him and Verity was way too easy here. We are talking about insta-lust, insta-action, and a whole lot of “mine” happening in a short period of time.

Let me back up. [Read more…]

Review: Kissing the Boss by Linda Kage

Reviewed by Shelly

Book 2 of Linda Kage’s ‘Fairy Tale Quartet’ is Isobel’s brother’s story. Ezra Nash has been the co-CEO at JFI for a year. He was brought in after his father’s (Henry) company bought in. During his time at JFI his nemesis and co-CEO, aka the devil incarnate, Lana has made his life hell. Kaitlynn Judge is Lana’s stepdaughter who for the last six months has been an unpaid intern at JFI. Lana is clearly not treating Kaitlynn well, but Kaitlynn not only agreed to the conditions, she’s the one who suggested the pay scale. Kaitlynn has a long term plan and other than the devil’s spawn standing in her way, she’s got it covered. Kinda. [Read more…]

Review: Thirsty by Mia Hopkins

Reviewed by Sara

Confession time! Sometimes I see book blurbs and think, “that’s going to be awful. I can eviscerate it in a snarky review,” and then I throw my head back and laugh like a deranged Bond-villain.

Such was the case when I read the blurb on Mia Hopkins’ book, Thirsty. I don’t know who wrote the blurb, but to me it read cheesy and then the devil on my shoulder pointed to a single phrase, “hipster gringo.” There, I thought, while stroking my imaginary villain moustache, for that phrase alone, I should read and review this book. Cue Bond-villain laughter.

However, and please don’t tell my husband (I have an image to uphold) I was wrong. I really, really enjoyed Thirsty and could not put it down. [Read more…]

Review: Monster Among the Roses by Linda Kage

Reviewed by Shelly

Shaw Hollander and Isobel Nash are a fairy tale made for a happily ever after. I’ve been a fan of Linda Kage for a while now. She’s one of a handful of authors from whom I’ll read YA/NA stories from. Her ‘Forbidden Men’ series is quite good. But I’ll admit that A Fallow Heart is one of my favorite stories – ever.

Told from the hero’s POV, Monster Among the Roses was a refreshing change from the everyday retelling of the Beauty and the Beast tale. It’s actually a whole lot better than the recent movie with the same name that I couldn’t even get 1/2 way through. Shaw and Isobel are imperfect but they’re perfect for each other. Kage makes you believe that even with all of their faults – from the physical to the emotional – these two couldn’t find this level of happiness with anyone else. [Read more…]

Review: My Once and Future Duke by Caroline Linden

Reviewed by Jen

I really enjoyed this first installment in Caroline Linden’s new Wagers of Sin series, that features a stuffy duke and the independent pretend-widow that captures his interest. I’m always a sucker for a romance that features a hero and heroine of different social classes and the “forbidden” element that brings. Not only does this book have that, it also has a wonderfully stuffy hero who the heroine manages to unravel completely.

The story starts strong with a peek inside Sophie’s history. She is the granddaughter of nobility, but when her parents die, her beastly grandfather ships her off to school and cuts her off when she reaches 18… all because he never approved of her parents’ marriage. Thanks to her first 12 unconventional years, Sophie has a gift with cards and with gambling, and once she is on her own, she visits gaming hells to amass the money she needs to set herself up for marriage. She even invents a phony dead husband give her the kind of access a spinster would never enjoy. [Read more…]

Review: Lady Be Reckless by Megan Frampton

Reviewed by Jen

One of my favorite romance tropes involves a woman of higher station falling for a man beneath her social standing. So when I read the blurb about this lady trying to help an illegitimate businessman get accepted by society in order to find a wife, I thought I had found my jam.

Not exactly.

Lady Olivia is “in love” with Bennett, the lord her sister ditched in the first book and Edward (the bastard)’s best friend. I can live with that, but I knew right off the bat that Olivia was not to be a heroine I would enjoy. As the book begins, she proposes to Bennett, which hey, shows moxie, but quickly becomes evidence of her naivete and self-centeredness. Olivia has concocted a complete fantasy of a relationship between them–with feelings Bennett does not reciprocate at all–and she decides to help Edward only as a means to man she truly wants. [Read more…]

Review: Hooked on a Phoenix by Ashlyn Chase

Reviewed by Shelly

The premise of a Phoenix is one of my comic book weaknesses. So when I saw this blurb my eyes got a little big. And my excitement got a little carried away, then I was reminded that there’s going to be insta-love (not a fan of) but I was already committed so I went with it. Plus, a new to me author is always a good thing.

I feel as if I’m missing something. Maybe because this an advance reader copy, I’m not sure. Parts of the story line almost reads out of order. I feel like there’s something that I’m missing. Maybe that’s going to get more flushed out in the future installments or maybe it just is. As I read more and more paranormal, I understand there’s a world that’s either established or will be established. I’m not sure where we’re going with this one. The world building in this seems to be based on contemporary times with the paranormal setting but it’s choppy in its delivery. [Read more…]

Review: Lake Silence by Anne Bishop

Reviewed by Jen

This sixth installment in Ann Bishop’s The Others series is like a spinoff and a reboot all in one. It feels almost just like the first book, with a kind, emotionally damaged heroine in a new terre indigene community where the monsters learn through her that some humans are worth not eating. There is a very very very slow-burn/ might-be-a-romance one day. And a cop who doesn’t want to be there, but feels compelled to do the right thing. The only things different from Written in Red are the names and the particulars of the bad guys who threaten the peace of the community.

The new heroine is Vicki. She is a frumpy human divorcee. She was emotionally abused by her ex to the point where she has terrible panic attacks, is largely intimidated by men, and thinks very little of herself. She inherited the Jumble in her divorce settlement. It’s basically a bunch of cabins surrounding a rustic main house where she can rent rooms along the lake community largely populated by Others. The almost-love-interest is Julian, an Intuit and former cop who runs the local bookstore. Wayne is the highway patrol officer sent in to investigate a dead body Vicki reports as the story begins. [Read more…]

Review: Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs

Reviewed by Jen

There is something so special about this series. Yes, I love the Mercy Thompson books, but the dynamic between Charles and Anna puts the Alpha and Omega series over the top for me. If you’re not reading them, go back to the beginning and start now. You’ll be glad you did.

You really don’t even need to be up to date with the Mercy books, though the main events of Silence Fallen are addressed inasmuch as it references Bran’s trip to help Mercy out. It’s with his absence that Charles has been put in charge of the pack, a responsibility he accepts but doesn’t enjoy. As the story begins, he gets a desperate call from one of the Wildlings—the wolves on the fringe of the pack—asking for help. It turns out that someone has kidnapped one of the old ones and her mate needs the Marrok to get her back. Charles and Anna step in to mount a rescue. [Read more…]