Oct 21

Beast’s Beauty – sci-fi alien abduction romance

Book Reviews 0

Beast’s Beauty – sci-fi alien abduction romanceBeast's Beauty by Laney Kaye, Christina Wilder
Published by CrossWorlds on September 20, 2019
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

A beauty stolen from Earth.Gifted to an alien Beast.Can love set them both free?

Amelia: Abducted by aliens and taken to their ship, my best friend and I are desperate to escape and return to Earth. I'm tossed into a cell with a reptilian alien and told I must satisfy him or they'll hurt my friend. I never thought giving in to his needs might satisfy my own...

Then they put me with a new beast and say we're going to compete in a deadly game called the Rampage. Alien Hunger Games anyone?

The beast is snarly and ferocious, and he could rip me apart with his tusks and claws. Yet in his eyes, I sense something vulnerable. Lonely. With hints of something I found with the other alien.

I'll do whatever I can to soothe the beast and convince him to help me win the Rampage. Because losing means death.

Jrecatoa: I was once a man, a Krakarian warrior.

That's all gone now. Hidden beneath this abominable exterior, far more Beast than man. Not only in appearance, either; because the scent and the sight of this female does things to me. Things that surely no man would ever feel.

Of course, I've wanted women before. Had women before.

But I've never needed them like this.

She's awoken my Hunger.

But maybe that's just as well--without the fury of the Hunger, neither of us has any chance of surviving the Rampage.

***Beast's Beauty is book one in our new Scifi Alien Abduction Romance Series, Fractured Fairytales & Mangled Myths. Look for Book two, Minotaur's Mate, releasing soon!

Our alien romance series guarantees hot males, fierce women, steamy, on-the-page romance, and a satisfying happily-ever-after. Each book features new characters and can be read as a standalone though they may be more fun if read in order.

Say WHAT?!? I was skimming through some book titles and came screeching to a halt at the tagline on this one. I’m a complete sucker for Beauty and the Beast retellings, but…alien abduction romance?? I’ve never been much of a sci-fi reader, but I did pick Garrus as the romantic interest when I played through Mass Effect years ago so I thought why not, I can give anything a try once.

Garrus was just so sweet and awkward, and he was awesome backup in a firefight.

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“Act with honor, integrity, and respect, lest the Beast control you and destroy all that you are.”

Things I Liked

  • The action never stopped – if they weren’t in mortal danger and running from aliens of ever-varying and ever-weirder shapes and sizes, they were making the pages sizzle. I love books where you never have time to sit and twiddle your thumbs. A moving plot will cover many sins, and it did in this case.
  • I was very interested in the world the authors were creating, with so many different races of aliens and cultures. There just needed to be more of it! More detail, more time spent showing the world, not just the little patch of ground the characters happened to be standing on at the time.
  • I really liked Jrec. He’s the typical alpha-male hero type, military, super sexy and fit and with a penchant for protecting those weaker than himself (which is pretty much everyone). He has a darker side to his past that is only hinted at, maybe that will show up more in future books. He really seems to get the short end of the stick as the Beast in this story, but he still tries to hold onto the better part of himself.
  • The sex scenes were actually pretty well done – at least as well done as I could imagine for sex with an alien, albeit a very human-like one.

Things I Didn’t Like

  • Okay, as I feared/thought when I read the description…the cheese is strong with this one. I got a very strong original-series-Star-Trek vibe, with all the grimacing and eye-rolling that usually comes with watching one of those old shows. I haven’t seen much Star Trek, so I’m not entirely sure if part of this book was supposed to be a spoof on it or not. But yes…much cheese.
  • The whole reason Jrec and Amelia “fall in love” so quickly is because of some idea of “one true love” in the Krakarian culture. If you like that sort of thing, great, you’ll be right on board with this. I despise the idea that we’re fated to have one true “mate” and if we miss that one person we’ll never experience true love…bullshit. I know it’s just a story and sort of a plot device here but ARGH. On top of the insta-love…it was just super annoying.
  • Amelia has no back story! Her friend Lily has even less, and even Jrec’s is barely hinted at. It’s like they just dropped onto the highway at the beginning of the story, fully formed, but with no parents or family…because they definitely never spare THEM a second thought.

2.5/5 stars

Rounded up to 3 stars. I might continue with the series. I like a little more substance to my books even if they are focused mainly on the romance, but I did enjoy aspects of the story.

 

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Oct 18

How to Capture a Duke – Giveaway and Review!

Book Reviews, Book Tours 0 ★★★★

How to Capture a Duke – Giveaway and Review!How to Capture a Duke by Tina Gabrielle
on October 14, 2019
Genres: Historical, Romance
Pages: 150
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads four-stars
four-flames

Lady Olivia, the youngest sister of the Earl of Castleton, has no patience for the boring gentlemen of aristocratic society. She longs for a more adventurous life like the ladies who visit the Raven Club. But her plans are thwarted when her family drags her to a country house party to meet the elusive Duke of Keswick.

Tristan Cameron, the Duke of Keswick, finds Olivia in his stables. She believes him to be the stable master, and he doesn’t dissuade her of the notion. He has no interest in entertaining one of the spoiled, self-indulgent ladies who’ve invaded his home. Except, Olivia is neither of those things, and their shared kiss during a ride results in combustible passion.

And a potential scandal.

Olivia is relieved when the handsome stable master comes to her aid as her alibi, but that relief fades to anger when she suddenly finds herself betrothed to the harsh, foul-tempered duke.

Tristan believes he’s been trapped by a scheming, title-seeking lady. To make matters worse, she’s utterly captivating. He plans on leaving her behind in the country immediately after their vows, but Tristan soon finds himself battling temptation and Olivia’s stubborn determination to be the Duchess he doesn’t believe he deserves...

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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Regency romances aren’t really my thing, but I was drawn in by the synopsis of this one. When the request for extended blog coverage came out I jumped on it. I’m very excited to say that I really loved it!! Totally surprised myself, and well done to the author! How to Capture a Duke is the third book in the Raven Club series, but it can completely be read as a standalone. The other two books are based around Lady Olivia’s brother and sister, and after reading this one I really want to read their stories – but it is definitely not necessary to have done so before diving into this one!

I loved Olivia’s spunk and the way she continually made the best of a bad situation, and my heart absolutely ached for Tristan. Despite his privilege as a duke, his heart and soul have been badly trampled by society. It’s really a wonder he didn’t turn out to be a complete ass! Oh, and they’re completely hot for each other. There are a couple of SIZZLING sex scenes. You have been warned! Also, Tristan’s grandmama is the bomb. I love her so much. She is absolutely amazing and I want to be her when I grow up.

I have a lovely excerpt to share, so I’m keeping my review short and sweet. You really don’t want to miss the excerpt so be sure to keep reading! There’s also a giveaway at the end of the post, so be sure to enter that as well. 🙂

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HOW TO CAPTURE A DUKE
A Raven Club Novel

Copyright © 2019 by Tina Gabrielle

 

“I don’t want my drunken duchess to cause a scene in a casino,” Tristan said.

Olivia felt her temper rise. “Your duchess!” she screeched. “You do not want a duchess.”

He leaned forward, his face inches from hers. “Now that I have one, I’ve decided to keep her.”

“Keep me? What on earth does that mean?”

“It means I expect my wife to behave like a lady, not a tavern doxy.”

He caught her hand before it made contact with his cheek. His dark gaze narrowed. “I suppose I deserve your outrage, but do not seek to strike me again.”

Perhaps if the world didn’t spin, Olivia would be afraid. But she had never feared physical harm from him. Other things, yes, but not physical harm.

She licked suddenly dry lips. His gaze lowered to her mouth, and she felt as if he’d touched her there, his stare had turned so heated. The air shifted in the carriage, like a storm that blew away. She was left with a heightened awareness of lightning about to strike. She felt warm all over, as if he’d hauled her against his chest. She should be furious. What was wrong with her?  

“You drive me mad.” He released her wrist but didn’t move, and neither did she. They stayed suspended in their seats, inches apart, eyes connecting.

“Why do you care? If you refuse to consummate our marriage, am I to stay untouched forever?” 

“No,” he said, his voice rough. “You are young and lovely and should experience passion.”

It must be the whisky that was making her bold, but she didn’t care. “Do you prefer I seek a lover, then?”

“No. The thought of you with another does not sit well with me.”

Olivia’s pulse leaped. Oh. She’d never expected him to say such things. Never expected him to make such an admission. “Why?”

“It’s my right to bed you and your right to be with me. For me to make love to my wife. To make you cry out with passion.”

Oh my.

She could get lost in the longing in his eyes. For a brief moment, she imagined things had been different between them. He wasn’t a duke, they weren’t forced to marry, and their pasts had no consequence. They were simply two strangers ensconced in the intimacy of a carriage. 

“I’d start here.” Tristan reached for her hand and drew back her glove to place a kiss on the pulse point of her wrist. She stifled a gasp at his gentleness and the brush of his lips on the sensitive spot. Then, slowly, he peeled off her glove and kissed the center of her palm. 

She watched the top of his head, and she longed to bury her fingers in the dark locks, to see if they were as soft as they appeared. Then he lifted his head and met her eyes. He was close, so close, and she wanted to kiss him so badly she ached. 

“And then?” she asked.

“Then I’d kiss your lips.”

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Tour Wide Giveaway

To celebrate the release of HOW TO CAPTURE A DUKE by Tina Gabrielle, we’re giving away a paperback copy of How to Best a Marquess by Tina Gabrielle to one lucky winner!

GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS:  Open to internationally. One winner will receive a paperback copy of How to Best a Marquess by Tina Gabrielle. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Entangled Publishing.  Giveaway ends 11/6/2019 @ 11:59pm EST.  CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

About Tina Gabrielle

Best-selling author TINA GABRIELLE is an attorney and mechanical engineer whose love of reading for pleasure helped her get through years of academia. She often picked up a romance and let her fantasies of knights in shining armor and lords and ladies carry her away. She is the author of adventurous Regency historical romances for Entangled Publishing and Kensington Books. Tina also writes best-selling cozy mysteries as Tina Kashian for Kensington Books.

Publisher’s Weekly calls her Regency Barrister’s series, “Well-matched lovers…witty comradely repartee.” Tina’s books have been Barnes & Noble top picks, and her first book, Lady Of Scandal, was nominated as best first historical by Romantic Times Book Reviews. Tina lives in New Jersey and is married to her own hero and is blessed with two daughters. She loves to hear from readers. Visit her website to learn about upcoming releases, join her newsletter, and enter free monthly contests at www.tinagabrielle.com

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon

This promotion is brought to you by Pure Textuality

four-stars

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Oct 17

Heirs and Graces (Her Royal Spyness #7)

Book Reviews 0 ★★★★

Heirs and Graces (Her Royal Spyness #7)Heirs and Graces (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #7) by Rhys Bowen
Published by The Berkley Publishing Group on August 6, 2013
Genres: Cozy, Historical, Mystery
Pages: 295
Goodreads four-stars

As thirty-fifth in line for the throne, Lady Georgiana Rannoch may not be the most sophisticated young woman, but she knows her table manners. It's forks on the left, knives on the right, not in His Majesty's back.

Here I am thinking the education I received at my posh Swiss finishing school would never come in handy. And while it hasn't landed me a job, or a husband, it has convinced Her Majesty the Queen, and the Dowager Duchess to enlist my help. I have been entrusted with grooming Jack Altringham, the Duke's newly discovered heir fresh from the Outback of Australia, for high society.

The upside is I am to live in luxury at one of England's most gorgeous stately homes. But upon arrival at Kingsdowne Place, my dearest Darcy has been sent to fetch Jack, leaving me stuck in a manor full of miscreants, none of whom are too pleased with the discovery of my new ward.

And no sooner has the lad been retrieved than the Duke announces he wants to choose his own heir. With the house in a hubbub over the news, Jack's hunting knife somehow finds its way into the Duke's back. Eyes fall, backs turn, and fingers point to the young heir. As if the rascal wasn't enough of a handful, now he's suspected of murder. Jack may be wild, but I'd bet the crown jewels it wasn't he who killed the Duke.

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Heirs and Graces is the 7th in Rhys Bowen’s Her Royal Spyness series, and I’m happy to say it continued in the vein of the 6th book, which I think was the best in the series so far.

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“Nothing more dangerous than an educated woman.”

Things I Liked

  • We got more of Darcy and Georgie together! This made me so happy, as I feel like Darcy was really in the background unnecessarily for several books.
  • Jack, the Australian heir, was a breath of fresh air to the stodgy British household of his grandmother. I loved it.
  • The mystery was one of those that was clearly a framing of another person from the very start, but I was really unsure of who I liked for the actual culprit until much closer to the end. I love mysteries like this, because it’s just not as much fun if you figure it out a quarter of the way through the book!

Overall 4/5 Stars

  • This was another solid addition to the series! Nothing spectacular, but a very enjoyable read with mostly characters we’re familiar with – which is exactly what I want out of a cozy mystery!

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Oct 16

Can’t Wait Wednesday #23 – A Murderous Relation

Books/Writing 0

I’m joining in the fun with a Can’t-Wait Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Usually the books are ones yet to be released. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

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Can’t Wait Wednesday #23 – A Murderous RelationA Murderous Relation (Veronica Speedwell, #5) by Deanna Raybourn
Published by Berkley on March 10, 2020
Pages: 320
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World WideBuy on Amazon
Goodreads

Veronica Speedwell navigates a dark world of scandal and murder in this new adventure from New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award nominated author Deanna Raybourn.

Veronica Speedwell and her natural historian colleague Stoker are asked by Lady Wellingtonia Beauclerk to help with a potential scandal so explosive it threatens to rock the monarchy. Prince Albert Victor is a regular visitor to the most exclusive private club in London, known as the Club de l'Etoile, and the proprietess, Madame Aurore, has received an expensive gift that can be traced back to the prince. Lady Wellie would like Veronica and Stoker to retrieve the jewel from the club before scandal can break.

Worse yet, London is gripped by hysteria in the autumn of 1888, terrorized by what would become the most notorious and elusive serial killer in history, Jack the Ripper--and Lady Wellie suspects the prince may be responsible.

Veronica and Stoker reluctantly agree to go undercover at Madame Aurore's high class brothel, where another body soon turns up. Many secrets are swirling around Veronica and the royal family--and it's up to Veronica and Stoker to find the truth, before it's too late for all of them.

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I’m actually caught up with this series now!! I am so so so excited for the fifth book. Things actually seemed to HAPPENING in the last one and OMG I simply can’t wait! Deanna recently announced that she’s signed a contract for books six and seven as well, so I am even more stoked. Hehe. If you enjoy historical fiction and mystery I highly recommend this series. You can read my reviews of books one, two, three, and four here and on GoodReads!

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Oct 15

Book Blitz – The Alchemist and an Amaretto (Guild Codex #5)

Book Tours 0



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WHOOHOO It’s finally here!!! I am so so so excited for this book, I can’t even tell you. 😀 😀 😀

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The Alchemist and an Amaretto
Annette Marie
(The Guild Codex: Spellbound #5)
Published by: Dark Owl Fantasy Inc.
Publication date: October 11th 2019
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy

As a guild bartender, I can handle pretty much anything—mages, sorcerers, witches, the occasional demon. But show me anything family-related and I’d rather run for the hills. It doesn’t even have to be my family.

So I have no idea why I thought spending the holidays with Aaron’s mom and pop was a good idea.

Meeting his famous parents is already terrifying enough, but I’ve got a bigger problem. Students of his family’s renowned mage academy are being attacked on the grounds—and somehow no one has seen a single assailant? Unexplained tracks litter the nearby woods, rumors of forbidden alchemy are circulating the campus…and Ezra has been acting strangely since we arrived.

Something deadly is brewing in the shadow of Sinclair Academy, and the longer we take to uncover it, the more dangerous it becomes. But no matter the risk, we’ll protect the students.

And Aaron’s parents too, I suppose. If we have to.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Ezra stopped, hands on his hips as he surveyed the lazy slope that swept up to the towering manor. “All right. Time for our final sprint.”
I snorted. “Yeah, uh-huh.”

“I’m serious. We always finish our workouts with something competitive.”

Like competitive pushups. I shivered at the reminder.

“This is the starting line. That tree is the finish. First one there wins.”

“What’s the prize?” I folded my arms, eyeing the distance. Not that far but not twenty yards either. “You, Aaron, and Kai always bet something.”

He rubbed the hint of shadow along his jaw. “Winner’s choice, I guess.”

Ooh, I liked the sound of that. Grinning, I got into a starting position. “You’re on.”

He took the same position. Clearing his throat, he deepened his voice to mimic a sports announcer. “On your mark. Get set. G—”

“What’s that?” I gasped, pointing behind him.

He snapped around to look—and I launched into a mad sprint, arms pumping. Ezra swore and took off after me, but I had a head start. I would reach the finish first and totally win this.

Right as I drew level with the target tree, hands caught my waist. Ezra swept me off the ground, still running—an impossible feat if not for his inhuman strength. He stopped just past the tree, laughing too hard to hold me up. My back slid down his chest and my feet landed in the grass.

“I can’t believe I fell for that,” he said breathlessly. “You’re such a cheater.”

Whirling to face him, I smirked. “I was manufacturing a combat advantage, not cheating. Kai’s been teaching me.”

“A race isn’t combat.”

“Maybe I was running for my life.”

“From me?” He arched a playful eyebrow. “Does that mean you don’t like being chased?” “Depends who’s doing the chasing,” I shot back teasingly.

“Oh? So is it the chase you prefer, or the catch?”

I tossed my hair with pretend haughtiness. “You think you could catch me?”

“Pretty sure I already did.”

My heart did a crazy tumble through my chest and a grin stretched my mouth. I couldn’t hold it back any more than I could stop the blush heating my cheeks.

“Well,” I began dramatically, spreading my arms as I stepped backward, “do I look—”

My heel caught on a tree root hidden in the grass. Squealing, I pitched over, arms wind-milling. My back hit the ground, the air punched from my chest, and I blinked dazedly at the overcast sky.

Damn it.

Ezra’s face appeared above mine. He crouched at my side, his expression drawn into grave concern. “Tori, are you still with me?”

I choked on a laugh and whispered, “Ezra? Is that you?”

“I’m here.” He took my hand and patted it gently. “Just hang in there.”

I fluttered my fingers. “Everything is growing dark.”

“Go toward the light, Tori.”

My eyebrows quirked. “Shouldn’t I go away from the light?”

“It doesn’t have the same ring,” he decided. “You’ll have to go toward the light.”

“Toward the light it is.” I waited a moment. “Now what?”

He took my hands and folded them on my chest in the classic body-in-casket pose—and I lost it. Cackling with laughter, I sat up and checked the grass stain on my elbow.

“Next time, I’ll make you laugh first,” I promised. He grinned as he stood. “You can try.”

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Author Bio:

Annette Marie is the author of Amazon best-selling YA urban fantasy series Steel & Stone, its prequel trilogy Spell Weaver, and romantic fantasy trilogy Red Winter. Her first love is fantasy, but fast-paced adventures and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it’s not quite that bad) with her husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

 

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Oct 14

He’s a Brute (Tough Love #1)

Book Reviews 0 ★★★★

He’s a Brute (Tough Love #1)He's a Brute (Tough Love, #1) by Chloe Liese
on May 6, 2019
Genres: Romance
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads four-stars
five-flames

Every good scientist knows the second law of thermodynamics: the universe's disorder, entropy, is always increasing. Professionally and personally speaking, Nairne’s familiar with the principle. After a streak of costly fame, now she’s set on saving the world, microscope in hand, and there’s no time for romance. Problem is, when a rude, despicably sexy Adonis shows up to run their board meeting, chemistry and its ensuing chaos become more than a formula—now they’re a burning hot reality.

Mafia prince. Professional footballer. Bad boy demeanor and a reputation for being as talented between the sheets as he is on the pitch. Rumors are the man's an absolute brute. And he turns out to be just as demanding, controlling and vicious in person as he is on paper. The Law of Attraction’s proven true, as Nairne finds herself accepting Zed’s proposal: rough, wild stress release, more orgasms than she can count, and most importantly—no falling in love.

Agreement in place. End date secured.

No attachments. No forever.What could possibly go wrong?Book One in the Tough Love Series—an enemies to lovers, suspenseful romance, full of sexy Italians, bedroom negotiations, feisty heroines, and an ending that’ll both satisfy you and leave you ready for more!

**CONTAINS SEXUAL CONTENT & EXPLICIT LANGUAGE 18+**

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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He’s a Brute was Chloe Liese’s debut novel, and wow did it pack a punch! I did admittedly read these books out of order (read She’s a Spitfire, which is Tough Love #2, first), and while technically that’s fine I would definitely recommend starting with the first book. This is a three book series involving the same couple. I enjoyed the first two books so much that I bought hard copies of all three, even though I had eARCs of the first two!

A lot of reviews said this was a 50 Shades-esque novel. I’ve never read 50 Shades, so I can’t say either way. There is dominant/submissive kinky sex between Zed and Nairne, but it is completely consensual. Zed is rough around the edges, arrogant, and emotionally closed off, but he makes sure Nairne is 100% okay with whatever he does before he does it. There’s a contract and everything.

Things I Liked

  • Consent! Consent! Consent! For this type of kink to sit well with me consent has to figure in immediately, not as an afterthought, and it totally did. Made the steamy scenes even hotter. And they were HOT. Phew!
  • Zed! I like alpha males, what can I say. Muscles and confidence. Mmmhm yes please. Besides being a pro soccer player, he’s also in the ruling levels of the Italian Mafia. Realistic? No. But romances around pro sports players AREN’T realistic, in my opinion, because they are so rare. So it didn’t bother me.
  • NAIRNE. I love Nairne so so much. She’s turned on by Zed’s dominance but she doesn’t let him push her around outside of the bedroom and I am HERE for it. My girl!! Also, she is such a strong person. As a star football (soccer) player herself, she suffered a traumatic injury that left her in a wheelchair. While this understandably caused her a great deal of mental and emotional anguish, she doesn’t let it completely consume her. She struggles – who wouldn’t – but she keeps fighting.
  • The relationship between Nairne and her best friend, Elodie! They have each other’s backs, no matter what. I loved them together so much. It was good to see a book with positive female friendships.

Things I Didn’t Like

  • There was a LOT going on in this book. I think it was because the author is introducing all of this crap that Nairne and Zed have to go through in the series of three books, but it was just like…whoa, Nellie, slow down!!
  • Zed’s older, female mentor/lover. Yick. I know things like that happen, because bad people do bad things…which would have been fine, but I didn’t feel like it was dealt with well. Zed never really did deal with it, and I feel like he needs to because that’s really messed up. Maybe in the later books? I hope so.
  • The whole thing with Nairne’s father was a little too wrapped-up-in-a-bow. It felt completely out of place and unnecessary and unlikely. I was glad it occurred at the end of the book instead of the beginning because I’m honestly not sure I would have finished it!

4/5 stars overall.

I love Zed and Nairne and if you enjoy romance with lots of steamy sex, a little danger, and a lot of banter, this one is for you!

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If you really enjoyed reading and would like to show your support for future content and help keep the blog running (my goal is to make the blog self-supporting), consider using the affiliate links on this page to buy your next book, or donate to the blog using one of the links below!

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Oct 14

Sunday Post #21 – Midterms

Uncategorized 0

Hey everyone! Back with another Sunday Post update, via Kimberly at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. I’m patterning mine off of Kimberly’s, at least for now. Maybe one day I’ll get creative and make my own graphics!

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Life Update

This last week was midterms, which I suppose went okay. Took one for vertebrate biology on Monday, and the entire class did so badly the professor made us take it again on Friday. So I had three midterms all on the same day! 😛 Glad that’s over with.

After DH got off work on Friday we headed up to Sandusky, Ohio, to go to Cedar Point’s HalloWeekend with my brother. It was FREEZING and none of us had packed for the weather! Also, even though we got there early, the park was absolutely slammed with people on Saturday and we went on a grand total of FOUR rides…we waited in line for one roller coaster for almost two and a half hours. Would love to go again but clearly we need to figure out when the less-busy times are! Unfortunately, after spending hours outside in the whipping wind, we were all completely pooped WAY before all the spooky stuff came out. We went back to the car to warm up around 4 p.m. and after about 15 minutes decided it was just too damn cold and only getting colder. Next time we’ll bring real coats…and hats, and scarves…

 

Weekly Dose of Adorableness

Another throwback, because for some reason all my photos are too large to upload now. This stuffed latte lasted all of five minutes!

Last Week on Blog

Next Week on the Blog

  • He’s a Brute – romance review
  • Heirs and Graces (Her Royal Spyness #7) – cozy historical mystery review
  • Can’t Wait Wednesday
  • How to Capture a Duke – historical romance review + blog tour

Around the Blogosphere

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Oct 10

The Twelve Clues of Christmas (Her Royal Spyness #6)

Book Reviews 0 ★★★★

The Twelve Clues of Christmas (Her Royal Spyness #6)The Twelve Clues of Christmas (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #6) by Rhys Bowen
Published by Berkley on November 6, 2012
Genres: Cozy, Historical, Mystery
Pages: 311
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Goodreads four-stars

She may be thirty-fifth in line for the throne, but Lady Georgiana Rannoch cannot wait to ring in the New Year—before a Christmas killer wrings another neck…   On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me—well, actually, my true love, Darcy O’Mara, is spending a feliz navidad tramping around South America. Meanwhile Mummy is holed up in a tiny village called Tiddleton-under-Lovey with that droll Noel Coward! And I’m snowed in at Castle Rannoch with my bumbling brother, Binky, and sourpuss sister-in-law, Fig.   So it’s a miracle when I contrive to land a position as hostess to a posh holiday party in Tiddleton. The village is like something out of A Christmas Carol! But no sooner have I arrived than a neighborhood nuisance, a fellow named Freddie, falls out of a tree dead.  On my second day, another so-called accident results in a death – and there’s yet another on my third.  Perhaps a recent prison break could have something to do with it…that, or a long-standing witch’s curse. But after Darcy shows up beneath the mistletoe, anything could be possible in this wicked wonderland.

Includes an English Christmas companion, full of holiday recipes, games, and more!

The Twelve Clues of Christmas completely rekindled my interest in this series! I was starting to debate whether or not I wanted to continue with this series after Naughty in Nice, which was lighthearted and fun but not much mystery or substance and nothing really progressed in the main plot. I’m so glad I kept reading! Book 6 was soooo much better. There was a real mystery in this one, and things kept happening at such a pace I could barely put it down and even though I had suspicions about the killer throughout the book I didn’t actually figure it out until about the last third.

Things I Liked

  • Darcy had some more page time! He and Georgie seemed to work things out a little better and I liked that.
  • Georgie is, per usual, trying to find somewhere to live and somehow to support herself and this time instead of the queen coming through with an “assignment,” she actually finds a job that suits both herself and the royal relatives. Her mother just happens to be nearby, being her usual flighty but charming self.
  • The murders – yes, more than one this time – just kept coming and getting stranger and…is it weird that I really liked that? 😛

Things I Didn’t Like

  • Thoroughly enjoyed this one, honestly, but some of it still felt a little unrealistic and a tiny bit corny. I think it’s really hard for cozy mysteries to avoid that entirely.
  • Georgie, for all her talk about wishing she was more experienced in the ways of the world and envying her carefree friend Belinda, is ridiculously straitlaced. I guess I shouldn’t be expecting anything else, given how careful she is to not bring any shame to the royal family, but still. Then again, maybe her character is written that way to keep the story’s romance in the “sweet” category.

If You Like…

…the Amelia Peabody series, or the Maisie Dobbs series, you’ll probably enjoy the Her Royal Spyness series as well!

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four-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Oct 09

Can’t Wait Wednesday #22 – Fireborne

Books/Writing 0

I’m joining in the fun with a Can’t-Wait Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Usually the books are ones yet to be released. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

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Can’t Wait Wednesday #22 – FireborneFireborne (The Aurelian Cycle, #1) by Rosaria Munda
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on October 15, 2019
Pages: 448
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Goodreads

Game of Thrones meets Red Rising in a debut young adult fantasy that's full of rivalry, romance... and dragons.

Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal revolution changed their world, giving everyone—even the lowborn—a chance to test into the governing class of dragonriders.

Now they are both rising stars in the new regime, despite backgrounds that couldn’t be more different. Annie’s lowborn family was executed by dragonfire, while Lee’s aristocratic family was murdered by revolutionaries. Growing up in the same orphanage forged their friendship, and seven years of training have made them rivals for the top position in the dragonriding fleet.

But everything changes when survivors from the old regime surface, bent on reclaiming the city.

With war on the horizon and his relationship with Annie changing fast, Lee must choose to kill the only family he has left or to betray everything he’s come to believe in. And Annie must decide whether to protect the boy she loves . . . or step up to be the champion her city needs.

From debut author Rosaria Munda comes a gripping adventure that calls into question which matters most: the family you were born into, or the one you’ve chosen.

Oh. My. God. This book sounds AMAZING. I can’t even put into words why, but I have it coming as my Book of the Month pick for October and just…

Is anyone else as excited as I am??

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Oct 07

Magnetic by Anya J. Cosgrove

Book Reviews 0 ★★★★

Magnetic by Anya J. CosgroveMagnetic by Anya J. Cosgrove
on August 8, 2019
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 209
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Goodreads four-stars
five-flames

Who said life was a fairy tale? Because I’d gladly slice that jerk’s head off.

I’m Vicky, though that’s not really my name.

I never expected to end up half-naked in the woods with my guts hanging out. I didn’t plan to stumble upon the most powerful shifter clan in North America and three of the sexiest men I’ve ever laid eyes on.

Dominic, the fun and reckless new wolf. 

Sam, the hot doctor with glacial-blue eyes.

And Gabriel, the intense, secretive alpha who wants nothing to do with me.

My real name is a one-way ticket back to hell, and my secrets need to stay buried like the girl I used to be.

Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Red Riding Hood—I can be all three.  I can use my powers to earn a place in their werewolf town, away from the bite of my past mistakes. I can use them—and their bodies—to survive.

The only thing I can’t do is fall for them.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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So, I was on the blog tour for this a couple of months ago, but when I went back to copy the review and add it to GoodReads…apparently the review part of my post wasn’t actually there?!? *cue much embarrassment* I’m not sure what happened, but….here it is.

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“I play the cool cucumber, but I’m more of a distraught apple.”

Magnetic is Vicky’s story, a spinoff from the Bloody Hearts series. Vicky is a vandella – a supernatural creature that needs sex to survive. And lots of it. She’s phenomenally attractive (to both sexes, though only M/F relationships are in this book), and amazing in bed…but her heart is bruised and broken from constant rejection of herself. People either at worst call her a slut and a whore, or at best only want her for sex and status. She presents a hard, brittle front, but inside she wants to love and be loved.  I’ll be honest, I thought she was awful when I read her brief part in Shadow Walker, but seeing her entire story was pretty awesome and it totally changed my mind. I’m hoping for a sequel or two!

Things I Liked

  • This book was a HUGE improvement over the only other reverse harem novel I’ve read (which was so horrible I’m not even linking it). The way the author made having multiple lovers acceptable was interesting (i.e., Vicky needs a LOT of sex just to maintain a normal life, one person shouldn’t have to fulfill ALL of her needs).
  • The guys are all different. They’re not identical except for their hair color or height. They have different personalities, different styles, different needs of their own. Oh, and yes, they’re all hot. Which one you like best will depend on your own preferences. 😉
  • There was a plot! This wasn’t just a sex-fest, even though there was A LOT of sex. The whole reason Vicky meets the three guys is because she’s running from a group of vampires that wants to control her and use her.
  • Vicky goes through hell, and yet doesn’t let it break her. She puts up with SO MUCH SHIT, emotionally (especially this), mentally, and physically, and yet she never gives up. She WILL rise, and she WILL get vengeance on the one who most cruelly used her. Yessssss.

Things I Didn’t Like

  • There’s one BIG secret that stays a secret until almost the end, and it just didn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense to me. Can’t say what exactly without giving a lot away, so I’m just saying it kind of jolted me out of the story and made me sit there and frown for a bit while I tried to figure out exactly how this could have been such a THING…

Overall

4/5 stars. Thoroughly enjoyable, recommended if you’re a RH fan or looking to try the genre.

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four-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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