Review: Lord of Snow and Ice

LORD OF SNOW Reviewed by Jen

I wanted to love this book. Beauty and the Beast retellings are among my absolute favorite stories and that’s the way this book is pitched. Not only that, but we have a hero who doesn’t think he is good enough for his heroine AND he is a virgin! Made of win, yes?  Well, not really.

Prince Stellan lives in exile.  He is feared and reviled by the Aldebaran for the magic his kind can do. Yet he is in exile from his own people for refusing to subscribe to their evil intentions.  No one wants him. Until he meet Princess Clarysa.  She witnesses his heroism as he battles the monstrous creations his people have set upon hers.  She is captivated by his power, his bravery, and his strength.  And he is enraptured by her beauty and her light.  Unfortunately, Clarysa’s family is dead set against allowing Stellan into her life.  Even worse, they refuse to heed his warnings about what his people have in store for them.  And that sets up the star-crossed love story between our couple. [Read more…]

Review: The Blacksmith’s Lover

Reviewed by Jen

Sarah has spent the past five years as a scullery maid for a wealthy couple. She’s kept her head down and stayed out of trouble, until the man of the house tries to force her into a liaison.  To make matters worse, his wife walks in and catches them in a compromising position.  The man blames Sarah for seducing him.  The woman attacks her, sending Sarah on the run.  Determined to keep Sarah from spreading the tale, they send men to chase her down.

Sarah flees to another town, seeking refuge with the local blacksmith. He is searching for an apprentice and she begs him for the chance to fill the position.  He declines at first, but then takes pity on her. He takes her in and agrees to hide her under the guise of a young man, learning his trade.

Viktor is a big, burly Russian dude and Sarah is attracted to him right from the beginning. But it’s months and months before the two of them act on their attraction.  I loved the idea of this super-manly blacksmith (though I could have done with a little less imagery of his wealth of body hair.)  He is definitely the strong, silent type and when push comes to shove, he really comes through for Sarah.

As for our heroine… well, she’s not the sharpest tool in the shed.  She makes a couple of selfish and unthinking moves in the course of the story.  She also really likes, er, rubbin’ her nubbin’. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against a little self-love, but I don’t quite buy the idea that she was so overwhelmed by lust that she needed to go spelunking right out in the open at the well, or laying next to someone in the bed.

I liked the sexual tension between Sarah and Viktor and due to the elapsed time in the story, an emotional connection was more believable to me.  But I thought the steampunk element of the story kind of blew up at the end.  I was down with Viktor having some neat contraptions in his forge, but once we got to the showdown with the bad guys at the end… Suffice it to say, they lost me with the giant robot.  It’s one thing to believe that Viktor has these advanced and special abilities, but that his adversaries could find and produce another inventor with similar skills to battle him, was just too much to accept.

It’s hard to rate this one because there were things I did like about it, but the things that bothered me felt really “out there.” I’m going with a C-.

*ARC provided by author for review

Click to purchase: Amazon
The Blacksmith’s Lover
by Heather Massey
Release Date: June 1, 2012
Publisher: Red Sage Publishing

Review: Queenie’s Brigade

Reviewed by Jen

The fight for Earth isn’t going very well for humanity. Captain Michael Drake leads one of the last starships still battling the alien race trying to take over the planet. But the aliens are winning. Just before they completely destroy his ship, his crew manages a space jump… which lands them near a remote penal colony.

The colony is run by Queenie, a tough yet seductive woman, who takes Drake and his crew as prisoners. She wants to use his ship to get her people off the long-abandoned planet. But they’ll all need to work together to repair the ship enough to make it ready for flight. Drake holds out hope he can convince her to join his cause to defend Earth, but she wants no part of his plans. So he is in a race against time to change her mind before the aliens find them next.

There’s a definite attraction between Drake and Queenie, but there’s very little romance to speak of. We do get one short love scene, but it’s not until the very end. The bulk of the story is about the battle of wills between Drake and Queenie. She is a difficult character to like. I understand that her life has forced her to be a hard person, but she was very hard for me to empathize with. Drake was pretty likable though. Overall, it was a quick, easy sci-fi read, with a dash of sexy times. 3 stars.

*ARC provided by author for review

Click to purchase: Amazon
Queenie’s Brigade
by Heather Massey
Release Date: July 2, 2011
Publisher: Red Sage Publishing