Review: The Undying King by Grace Draven

Reviewed by Ronelle

Tineroth and her immortal king have long since passed into legends. Few now believe the tales, though they are still told in fearful whispers. But for Imogen, the Undying King is her only hope of breaking a curse that has isolated her from the world since birth. When her foster mother dies after leaving her the map and key to Tineroth, Imogen will seek out the unknown in hopes of having a normal life.

Trapped in time and between worlds, Cededa is languishing in his immortality. Haunted by the revenants of his past and damned to be the guardian-prisoner of Tineroth, he’s given up hope of ever being free or finding the sweet relief of death. He must live with the passing millennia—and their ever-present regrets. But when the daughter of a woman who once helped him comes striding across the bridge to his city, his existence will change forever. [Read more…]

Review: Gaslight Hades by Grace Draven

Reviewed by Ronelle

As a Bonekeeper, Nathaniel Gordon haunts the borders of two worlds, acting as guardian for the dead and deterrent for grave robbers. Hideous experiments have rendered him barely human and society shrinks in horror from what he has become. The life he once led is over, the woman he once loved beyond his grasp…or so he thinks.

Standing at her father’s graveside, Lenore Kenward knows that from this day forward, her life will never be the same. Grave robbing runs rampant in London, so when the mysterious Guardian of Highgate appears at her side, she doesn’t hesitate to beg his protection of her father’s remains. But there’s something about this stranger…something achingly familiar. [Read more…]

Shelly’s Favorites of 2016

What an amazing year for romance. I read some really good ones this year including a couple historicals.

If you’re a fan of Lisa Kleypas’s historicals and haven’t read her Ravenels series, you’re missing out. This was a new to me author and I couldn’t have been more pleased with Marrying Winterborne, book 2 in the series. Rhys and Helen’s romance was a sweet, fun and well told story about choosing what’s good for you in spite of what society says.

Each of the past few years, M.Q. Barber’s put out a story that I’ve really liked and this year was no exception. Finding their Balance is book 5 in her Neighborly Affection series and continues the story of Henry, Jay and Alice. Well worth the read in you’ve followed that series but I wouldn’t recommend as a stand alone.

I waited for Grace Draven’s book 2 in the Wraith Kings series, Eidolon, patiently. I wasn’t sure it would be worth it because I’ve been disappointed before but this one was absolutely worth the wait. Jen loved it too.

If SEALs are your thing, Embattled Road should be right up your alley. It’s the prequel to JM Madden’s Lost and Found series and it’s good short but good.

I’ve read everything put out by Christine Wenrick and when Leaving Lily Behind came out I was never so happy. It’s book 3 of the Men of Brahm Hills series continuing the saga of good versus evil, Dhampirs, vampires, humans and all things that go bump in the night. It’s tightly woven with the series just in case you’re tempted to read as a standalone.

One of my favorite writers is Allyn Lesley. She’s one of these authors who can pen a tale about an anti-hero and make you fall in love with him. Deeper, book 2 in her Descent series is no exception to that. Noah is no saint and Avi knows it.

Happy reading folks!

Honorable mention goes to:

Angel 6.0 – Concubine by Travis Luedke
A Bad Bit Nice by Josie Kerr
Happily Ever All-Star by Sosie Frost
The Devil’s Bedpost by Lena Hart
Falling by Allyn Lesley
Sucker Punched by Kelley Martin

Ronelle’s Favorites of 2016

I can’t believe we’re already looking at the closing act of 2016! It feels like just yesterday I was lamenting my lack of suitable swimwear and then the literal yesterday, I was dressing up as The Grim Reaper and escorting a Witch Doctor, Mavis from Hotel Transylvania, and a little Rainbow Dash around the neighborhood to collect candy. As for books, it’s been an…interesting year; I joined the ladies here at Red Hot Books, published my first novel, started my own blog, and got a whole new perspective on the weirdness that exists in the literary world. I found some new authors I’ll be following and read some passages that were just downright strange.

So, without further ado and in no particular order, here are my Favorites of 2016:

Master of Crows by Grace Draven
Adult Gothic/Dark Fantasy Romance

No, this isn’t a new release and no, I didn’t just read it for the first time this year, so why is it on this list? Because if it were a human man, I’d put my husband out on his ass and marry it in a heartbeat!

I love everything about this book and have lost track of how many times I’ve reread it. Ms. Draven has penned an epically beautiful dark fantasy romance that has all the elements of a masterpiece. Silhara, Martise, and Gurn were complex and had the depth of actual, real-life people. The world jumped off the page and the plot had me hooked from the jump. Silhara and Martise have become one of my favorite fantasy couples of all time.

Click to purchase: Master of Crows

Lord of the Fading Lands by C.L. Wilson
Adult Paranormal Fantasy Romance

I wasn’t sure about this one at first, but I’m so glad I gave it a chance. A little slow to start and occasionally bogged down in world-building, what emerged was an excellent start to what I hope will become a favorite series. I loved Ellysetta’s strength and determination to have what her heart desired, in spite of all the cultural obstacles. As for Rain Tairen Soul, I don’t normally go for the tortured, broody type, but he did it so well and his character evolved so much that I couldn’t help but love him.

And the scene towards the end? *fans self* Not intended for young audiences and reader discretion is advised.

Click to purchase: Lord of the Fading Lands

Fletcher by AJ Adams
Adult Dark Erotic Fantasy

Here is another one I’d leave my husband for if it were a person. Ware and Lind set fire to the pages from their very first meeting and I simply could not put this down to do functional adult things, like eating, sleeping, and interacting with others. (Apparently, “Go ‘way, reading!” doesn’t count as functional interaction.) This is very much erotica rather than romance, but the plot was solid and just as enthralling as the sex—and that isn’t something I can normally say about the genre.

Read it. Right now. No, seriously, put down whatever you’re doing and get this book. You can thank me later in the comment section.

Click to purchase: Fletcher

Her Demigod Complex by Abigail Owen
Adult Paranormal Romance (Shifters)

When I saw the first line of the description “In love with her demigod billionaire boss”, I was pretty sure I was about to read some 50 Shades of Grey knock-off. I went into this expecting plotless, mindless, cotton-candy fluff, but since I was looking for a literary palate-cleanser before going on to something more serious, I figured that might not be so bad.

Wow, did I get so much more than I was anticipating!

There was a surprising amount of plot here and the characters were quite likable. So much so, that other books in this collection are on my TBR list.

Click to purchase: Her Demigod Complex

Red Winter by Annette Marie
YA Fantasy Romance

This is one of those books that will leave you breathless, hopeful, and completely devastated in the best possible way. You’ll be yelling at the author to just “hurry up and finish the next one already!” so you can find out what happens to Shiro and Emi. Or at least, I did. This book ripped my heart out at times, but then somehow managed to kiss it better and put it back. I do not usually enjoy YA, but Red Winter is very much an exception to that rule. I highly recommend this to lovers of contemporary romance with a realistic fantasy setting (you think that’s an oxymoron now, but just wait). Actually, scratch that. I just highly recommend it.

Click to purchase: Red Winter

Here are a few more ‘favorites’:
Favorite squicky line: “Today, Dugald’s cock was like a tasty roasted sausage, hot and thick in her mouth. Would it steam if she withdrew?” –Alice Derwent’s ponderings in Desire in Tartan
Favorite squee line: “Lie with me, Martise.” –Silhara of Neith
Favorite expletive by a character: Pretty much everything out of Lind’s mouth, but “Go lick Tyr’s hairy balls, fat-gut!” stands out.
Favorite couple: This one was a tie between Silhara/Martise and Ware/Lind. Both have chemistry that’s almost electric and the sparks fly from their first meetings.
Favorite cover: Challenging Destiny by Cherie Colver

Review: Eidolon by Grace Draven

eidolonReviewed by Jen

Radiance was one of my favorite books of 2015, and I have been eagerly awaiting more of Brishen and Ildiko’s story since the moment I finished this series’ first installment. This sequel is a little different, but it has to be. This is no longer a story of two members of vastly different species falling in love. That’s already happened. Now it’s the story of what comes next for them. It’s still a fantastic book, though, and it continues the thread of how this Kai man and human woman not only manage to love one another through their differences, but how their union is accepted among their people.

If you haven’t read Radiance, by the way, go do it now. [Read more…]

Shelly’s Favorite Books of 2015

I had a very good read from a new to me author, Serena Akeroyd. Menage Material, is the first in her La Belle sans Le bete series and was an absolute winner. It’s a menage (m/m/f) erotica set in France and tells the tale of a CEO, his botanist American wife and their cancer curing scientist lover.

Click to purchase: Menage Material
[Read more…]

Jen’s Favorite Books of 2015

It’s hard to believe we’re leaving another great year of reading behind us. In 2015, I found it more difficult to find books that suit my taste. I don’t care to read about billionaire bachelors, rock stars, step-brothers, biker gangs, or BDSM. Take a minute and think about how many titles fell into those categories last year.  I did a lot of backlist reading to fill in the gaps.

There were some really good new releases that I did enjoy; they were just more scarce. Here’s a look at some of the 2015 releases that really satisfied. [Read more…]

Review: Entreat Me by Grace Draven

entreat meReviewed by Jen

I really enjoyed Grace Draven’s Radiance, so when I found out that she had also written a book featuring a Beauty & the Beast trope, I sat aside my entire TBR pile and dove in.  I don’t regret it one bit. Though I think I might have loved Radiance a tad bit more, this book definitely gave me what I was looking for. And I would definitely recommend it if you’re a fan of Draven’s other work or if you, too, love a cursed or beastly hero. [Read more…]

Review: Master of Crows by Grace Draven

master of crowReviewed by Jen

As soon as I finished Radiance, I knew I simply had to jump into Grace Draven’s backlist.  I chose this one based on its glowing recommendations on Goodreads. Sadly, though, I didn’t love it as much as some of my fellow readers did.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s good stuff here. My problem was just in how long it took to get there.

Silhara is a powerful mage and an outcast. He lives in poverty because he is unwilling to bend and swear fealty to the priests of the Conclave. He is strong and proud. Unfortunately, he is facing a problem too big to conquer alone. The god Corruption wants to use him as his avatar. It would mean limitless power. Sihara knows, however, that accepting the temptation would not only destroy him, but also destroy the world. So he reaches out to the very priests he hates to send him help to figure out how to conquer his foe. [Read more…]

Review: Radiance by Grace Draven

radianceReviewed by Jen

I probably never would have picked up this book if not for the glowing recommendations of some of my trusted fellow bloggers. I know that you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but the sad fact is, sometimes I guess I do.  And if I would have ignored this book, I would have really missed out on a great fantasy romance.

This is my very first book by Grace Draven. The good news about that is, if this story is any indication, I’m going to have a grand time rolling around in her backlist. Draven has created two interesting and likeable characters, who fall in love against the odds. It is a slow burn, but all the more satisfying for it… because I believed in it, which is no small task considering the circumstances. [Read more…]