I can't even tell you how much I wanted to love this book, with that cover (to die for!) and all of that fabulous diversity rep, but, like the othersI can't even tell you how much I wanted to love this book, with that cover (to die for!) and all of that fabulous diversity rep, but, like the others in the Reluctant Royals series, it fell short for me. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed A Prince on Paper by Alyssa Cole, but I wanted to gush about it and I didn't get to that place.
I started off really enjoying the story. I live for a princess-fantasy story, and I also love an aloof bad boy (though that really isn't even the male MC), so the book really piqued my interest. I was sure I was going to give the story at least 4-stars, then things started to fall apart a bit for me.
The story is really, really long, clocking in at just under 400 pages, and it felt that way to me. The plot felt like it was getting more and more convoluted as it went along, with government conspiracies, a fake engagement, and multiple layers of family issues, and I felt my attention wavering away from the main couple. The plot became too busy for me.
I also didn't quite feel the true chemistry between the MCs. I mean, I felt some of the lust, but there was even a "big misunderstanding" looming until nearly the end of the story, so I didn't see how the "love" could really develop.
I adored the protective big brother character in Johan, but I felt Nya's portrayal was more disjointed. I also didn't get why Johan was so fixated on preserving the family's royal image when everything was resolved so seamlessly and without any hiccups at the end. I was picturing more traditional, uptight old monarchy-vibes and that's... not what we get. It all resolved too easily, and the whole drama felt too... simple (being vague because of spoilers).
Overall, I enjoyed the story and I enjoyed the book, but I think I just wanted to like it so darn much that that carried me through. Still, the cover and the diversity is everything, and Avon and the author should be really proud of that.
It isn't often that I'm screaming, "NO!" while listening to an audiobook, but I wanted to throw this out the window (I didn't, because I was
It isn't often that I'm screaming, "NO!" while listening to an audiobook, but I wanted to throw this out the window (I didn't, because I was listening on my phone, but still...).
This story both made no sense and also enraged me.
First of all, Slade is a huge dick. No woman should have to be nice to a guy who treats her like utter trash for literally no reason. He blames Mac for something that she actually has zero to do with (no misunderstanding, he just blames her for a reason I couldn't begin to fathom), and then repeatedly says horrible things to her. No thanks. I don't care that he was going through some "things," Mac doesn't have to be nice to him, and I think it's damaging to teach women that they have to be sweet and forgiving to a person who deserves no forgiveness, who hasn't even apologized.
Secondly, there is NO WAY a billionaire's daughter would be doing menial assistant work. If you are a billionaire (A freakin-billionaire!!), and you want to clear your head and escape, you do not take a job as cleaner/dog-walker. There is no way, in any world, that that would happen. It just wouldn't. I don't care how down to earth you are, it just doesn't make sense.
Look, I can put up with some outlandish plots, but combine all that nonsense with a narration that grated on me and I'm out.
To be honest, I didn't read this book sooner because the previous cover was... shall we say, not good. But my friends all love this author and That Alien Feeling has just been sitting on my Kindle for ages, so I figured I might as well try it.
And I totally, totally fell in love with this little fluffy, alien story. I have a weakness for a hapless virgin MC who gets sucked into a love he didn't expect, and I was getting those vibes here. In fact, it reminded me a ton of one of my all-time favorites, The Last Pure Human. So, so adorable and so, so satisfying.
Yes, the story had lots of plot holes and it felt a bit young, but I simply didn't care! I got my fix of feelz and some surprisingly hot action, and that makes me a happy camper. I even tolerated (view spoiler)[the self-lubricating asshole (hide spoiler)], which you guys know gives me the heebie jeebies.
Just so much fun. Off to buy the next in the series.
I'm a total sucker for historical romances, and I read a lot of them. No Other Duke But You is the 11th in a series that I've read sporadically, and I think you can manage it as a stand-alone. There are a ton of previous characters mentioned, so you do get a leg up if you recognize some of them, however.
I struggled with this book, practically from start to finish. The female MC reads very young and immature, and I wasn't feeling her over-the-top spastic-ness. It was grating, and I found her to be painfully imperceptive. Also, both main characters felt very underdeveloped, and I felt like I was missing something (maybe something from a previous story).
The lack of communication was insane. I hate stories that rely on communication mishaps, and that is practically this entire story. I wanted these two to just act like adults with one another, and instead they acted like young teenagers. Everything would have been solved with just one conversation. Maddening.
Not the story for me, I'm afraid, which is too bad because I was looking forward to this one.
I was really excited when I saw that Erica Ridley was starting a new series, and One Night for Seduction kicked it off right. Sure, if you are a stickler for historical accuracy, this one might be a smidge off the mark (or a lot...), but it was an entertaining read and it made me smile.
I loved how smart and independent Diana was, and I loved how she used her wits to put others in their places. She was a great character, and I rooted hard for her love story. Cole wasn't quite as strong, and the whole betting premise was a bit weak sauce.
One Night for Seduction a quick story that moves along briskly, and it's perfect for those times when you want something light and fun between more serious reads. Another Erica Ridley sure-thing.
Gah! I'm so frustrated. This story had sooooo much potential, and I'm beyond irritated that it didn't live up to all my expectations.
First of all, at least 50% of the story, if not more, is an almost word-for-word recap of the previous book. For someone who went right from one book to the other, it was almost ridiculously redundant. I mean, I was skimming at times and just scratching my head as to why the author didn't pick up from where the previous story let off instead of going back in time and rehashing everything.
That Irresistible Poison lacked the charm of the previous book. The main couple spent way, WAY too long getting their act together and actually admitting their feelings, and I felt like I missed out on the real emotions of them as a couple. We get lots of hate sex, but at the 90% mark I was still scratching my head, waiting for some feelings to come into play.
This story seems to be a love it or hate it for my friends, but I was in the frowny face camp with this one.
I read this story in anticipation of Book Lovers Con, where I try to read as many authors attending as possible.
IA totally fine paranormal romance.
I read this story in anticipation of Book Lovers Con, where I try to read as many authors attending as possible.
I read a lot of shifter romance, and this one was pleasant but wasn't a stand-out. It's novella length, which is a hard length for me to develop a believable romance, but I think the author did a good job with it. I felt the resolution was too simplistic, and it could have been more fleshed out, but it was a story worth my time.
I was really looking forward to Prince of Air and Darkness by M.A. Grant thanks to a ton of glowing reviews, and I'm happy to say I wasn't disappointed. However, it killed me a little inside to know the potential of the story and that it was this close to being amazing.
I found the pacing and the plotting to be really compelling and I stayed up WAY past my bedtime to read. I finished the story in day, which is always a good sign for me. However, my niggles just kept on coming while I was reading. I kept finding things that bothered me.
I love a magick school storyline (duh) and an enemies-to-lovers story, and this book had both. The setting was fun, even though I was a little confused as to how all of these pantheons co-existed and how the class/collegey stuff worked. The story was actually really fuzzy on many details that I thought were quite pertinent, and I wish the author had taken the time to explain those things more. In fact, if I wasn't so up on my Dresden Files series (natch, the best series), I would have been really confused about what all of these seelie/unseelie and winter/summer fae even were. Dresden Files, FTW.
It was also weird that Phin was supposed to be protected on campus but in reality never was. I was also never even sure why he was attacked so frequently, even at the end of the story (was that tied into the bad guys??). I even ended the story confused!
Still, Phin's love/hate relationship with Roark was everything, but I wish we got even more of a sense of how they got paired up and how that played out for the past 6 (!) years. I got the basics, but how did they live and defend each other side by side for so many years and not discover their dynamic sooner? Strange. I loved Roark as a character, but he was such a martyr! Geez, that guy could not catch a break.
One detail that I hated was that these two used condoms when CLEARLY an unseelie fae prince who heals from mortal-ish wounds nearly immediately would NEVER be felled by an STD! This guy isn't catching (or spreading) herpes, dude. I'm a huge proponent of safer sex in romance, but my eyes practically rolled into my head.
I also really hated one aspect of the ending, which I will spoiler tag. (view spoiler)[If the winter knight makes people go crazy, why didn't they address that when Smith took up the mantel at the end of the story?? They were just like, "Yay, immortality!" Big question mark there. (hide spoiler)]
From that title, I was expecting something fun and funny and full of romance, and that's exactly what I got.
I loved how both MCs were instantly likable. Of course I adore an outspoken female MC, but we also get a hulking, masculine male MC who loves strong women (hallelujah) and isn't afraid to be himself. In fact, both MCs were truly their own people, and it made the story a joy to read.
I enjoyed the family dynamics, I enjoyed the trajectory of the relationship, and I liked how the author didn't rely on silly misunderstandings or other plot devices to give tension to the story. Though the story edged on too long and drawn-out (it's over 350 pages), the pacing kept me glued to the story and I finished the book in under 24 hours. That's a big deal!
Though the characters and the romance really sang, what really won me over was the subtle wit and humor. The author kept the story light and fun, and I had a smile on my face the whole time I was reading. It was just so, so delightful.
If you are looking for a well done, light romance between a highlander who isn't supposed to fall in love with an English woman who is his brother's betrothed (but does), look no further than It's Getting Scot in Here.
Take this review with a HUGE grain of salt because I think these ABO stories are just not for me. Well, I know this story wasn't for me...
It took me oTake this review with a HUGE grain of salt because I think these ABO stories are just not for me. Well, I know this story wasn't for me...
It took me over 5 days to finish this story, which clocks in at only a little over 100 pages, so that's saying something. I just can't with these stories that are over 50% sex scenes. They just don't work for me.
Okay, I'm no prude when it comes to knotting and copious sex, but I still can't get over the mental hurdle of self-lubrication in M/M. I just... can't. If you are a big fan of knotting (or (view spoiler)[fisting (hide spoiler)]) then this might be for you, but it was a struggle for me. Benjy was almost painfully naive (he felt way too young for my tastes) and the cloying nicknames from JT didn't work for me.
Sure, some of the sex scenes were okay, but the book felt like one non-stop sex scene. Maybe if I had read the first in the series I would have known what to expect???
Fans of this author and ABO books, have at this one. I'm going to take a nice long break from ABO book... maybe forever.
Another good story from Valerie Bowman, though it was a little too abrupt for my tastes.
I've been really loving Valerie Bowman recently, and I thinkAnother good story from Valerie Bowman, though it was a little too abrupt for my tastes.
I've been really loving Valerie Bowman recently, and I think that this book had a lot of potential, but the novella format stopped it just short of being great.
Mr. Hunt, I Presume was a very sweet second-chance romance between a long-ago separated couple. Colin is a workaholic and Erienne is resigned to be no more than a governess. Everyone from the side characters to the main couple were great, full-fleshed out characters, which is hard to get in a novella. I enjoyed the lightness and good-natured humor in the story.
However, I didn't love the fact that all of the tension in the story relies on a long-ago misunderstanding, and I think that Erienne and Colin still had years of turmoil to work through when the story ended. I wanted more time with them as a couple, getting to know one another again. Still, the relationship was fulfilling and lovely, and it made me want to read more Playful Brides novels to find out what else Valerie Bowman can come up with with a full-length story.
I've had a string of mediocre books recently, but then Just in Time comes along and reminds me of how fecking enjoyable books can be again!
I haven'tI've had a string of mediocre books recently, but then Just in Time comes along and reminds me of how fecking enjoyable books can be again!
I haven't read Jacqueline Rohrbach before now, but she is on my radar forever more. Just in Time was funny as hell, and actually worked as a romance in under 75 pages.
The story was a cute, irreverent holiday tale. I am a sucker for a curmudgeon MC, and I loved how grumpy Evan was at the start. It was really fun to watch him with the clueless Phil. I laughed out loud at parts, and I couldn't put it down.
Maybe not everyone's cup of tea, but I found Just in Time to be smart, light, holiday goodness.
I don't get this story. I thought I was going into a funny, sweet read, but it was... not. NA surprising miss from the usually reliable Ryan Loveless.
I don't get this story. I thought I was going into a funny, sweet read, but it was... not. Not funny, and really, really confusingly bad.
I think this was a sort of Beauty and the Best retelling but I'm not sure. I mean, the MC's last name is Belle and there is a cursed Prince stuck in a castle with a "hideous face." Seems Beauty and the Beast-y to me. I didn't know that going into the story, and I'm not sure if the author intended that, but that's what I got.
The world-building is my biggest sticking point. It made no sense. There is a strange blend of very modern technology and old-world lack of technology. How are there cell phones but no email?? The combo effect was confusing and frustrating, and just felt lazy to me at the end.
I felt no chemistry between Tuck and Frederick, and I found them to both be very immature characters. They acted like children (I actually had to recheck to see if this was a middle grade/YA book part way through), and I found Frederick to be really cold and odd. I got no sense of romance, and if there was supposed to be comedy or lines that were humorous, I got NONE of that.
His Cursed Prince is a novella, but it felt like 500 pages long. I had to skim to get through the last part, and I just read it quickly because I wanted it over with. Not a good sign.
I'm not sure if I'm missing something with this one, but I did not enjoy it. A hard read to get through.
I hate, hate, hate it when authors try to blend two different series, and I hated it here. I haven't read the entire Fae Out of Water series, but I could tell that this book tied in heavily with those books. There are a ton of characters thrown in and barely introduced, and I got the distinct sense that we were already supposed to know their entire backstory. Just NO. If I had read Bad Boy's Bard, that would have helped a ton, but I DIDN'T, and I hate that I felt like I had to in order to get the nuances of this story.
I struggled with how draggy this book was. It's a fairly long story, clocking in at 320 pages, and I had to really push myself to finish. I enjoyed the individual characters, but the side plots and the extensive dating ruse got old.
I also was bummed that we didn't get the perfect match thing from the first two books. I loved the opposites-attract angle of the first two stories in the series, and I felt like this one floundered a bit. I couldn't quite see the appeal between Hamish and Zeke, and it felt a bit like they were both just... well, desperate.
The plot was too muddled for me, and the relationship too weak. I'm bummed. Not the way I wanted to finish an otherwise very good series.
I love, love, love Leta Blake but I couldn't bring myself to rate Heat for Sale more than 1-star. I really didn't like the story, and I don't think I'I love, love, love Leta Blake but I couldn't bring myself to rate Heat for Sale more than 1-star. I really didn't like the story, and I don't think I'll buy another book from Leta's Blake Moreno pen name again.
I've read omegaverse books before, and I'm no stranger to knotting or mpreg, but Heat for Sale was a WHOLE different level. I was not prepared for dripping, self-lubricating assholes, chestfeeding, expanding hips, and birthing... I just... wasn't. I got bad, unsexy flashbacks to my own pregnancy, and I literally cringed and made a face every single time I read about wet, slippery holes... every time. Self-lubrication is a hurdle in M/M that my brain just can't get around.
However, the technical squicky details played a pretty minor role in my rating: the plot is what killed it for me. I HATED Heath and I would have NEVER forgiven him for tricking Adrien into giving up his virginity and birthing his child under false pretenses. The whole plotline with Heath and Nathan and Adrien was so twisted that it became sickening to me and incest-like in my mind. Look, I've read and loved books where someone falls in love with a deceased spouses/lover's child, and those stories are tricky to pull off, but flat-out omission and deception are NOT okay with me.
I actually wanted to punch Heath during the whole story. He made me furious.
I also really didn't like how Adrien's first heat was handled. He was a sheltered virgin and Heath is debasing and forcing him into this power-exchange relationship without his knowledge of even how heat and mating works. It felt sort of dub-con to me, and I was overcome with internal clangings of "wrong!!" the whole time I read it.
In addition, there was far too much sex for me. I don't like books that are one sex scene after another (personal preference), and I always like a build-up before the first hook-up scene, so lots of sex is a hard sell for me on a good day. This book was one sex scene after another. Just SO MUCH SEX, and I grew tired of it very quickly.
Finally, I didn't feel the love between these two... at all. I was utterly confused when they started confessing their love for each other. They barely talked! All they did was have sex, and Heath kept some very fundamental and basic information from Adrien the whole time. It was way too early for love-talks, and I didn't understand the emotions at all.
Look, if you love this book, I don't blame you- I get it! We each have our own preferences and tastes, and for you to love this book is totally fine and great! I love Leta, and I want her stories to find the right audience and sell well. However, this is absolutely not the book for me.
I love, love, love Keira Andrews, and I love, love, love daddy kink, so I was sure I was going to LOVE Santa Daddy. I didn't.
This book real*2.5 stars*
I love, love, love Keira Andrews, and I love, love, love daddy kink, so I was sure I was going to LOVE Santa Daddy. I didn't.
This book really should have been a sure thing, but I think the novella format got in its way. I don't think you can just jump into daddy kink so cavalierly, and the transition from hello! to yes, daddy was too abrupt and awkward for me to believe.
I think this kind of story needed a slow burn. The plot felt smooshed down to fit the page count, and I didn't get a good sense of the main couple together. Sure, the sex was hot (this story even had a VIRGIN <--- my kryptonite!), but Hunter went from virgin to sex-pot/kink-pro in two seconds flat. It was too much, too fast for me.
I didn't buy the romance, but the story still had it's bright moments. Still, it wasn't nearly up to the level I've come to expect from Keira Andrews.
If you like angst that is unrelenting, this is for you. Joel was hard to like, and II love, love, love Leta Blake, but Mr. Frosty Pantsexhausted me.
If you like angst that is unrelenting, this is for you. Joel was hard to like, and I have a soft spot for a curmudgeon MC. Joel was such a downer, and I get why with a dad like that, but I had to force myself to pick up the book and keep reading at times because I wanted to avoid living in that negativity.
I'll admit, the sex was hot. Leta always brings it with the heat, and she always delivers with her virgins (my fave). But the sex alone didn't warm me to Joel's frosty attitude, which was tiresome rather than endearing.
I sometimes struggle with friends-to-lovers because there is already an intimacy established that the reader just has to get on board with. I struggled a little bit with that here as well, as the intensity of the relationship seemed out of line with what I saw with their communication. However, I was really rooting for them by the end, and though low self-esteem MCs aren't my thing, I even didn't hate Joel by the epilogue.
While I'm sure some readers will enjoy this a lot, it barely got 3-stars from me. Leta Blake has much stronger stories out there.
I really like Lily Maxton, who takes real chances and thinks out side the box with her historical romance. I admire that in her, and I was SUPER excited to read her F/F offering.
I'll admit that F/F is the QUILTBAG genre that I struggle with the most. I have a really hard time finding non-contemporary romances in the lesfic arena (I'm not a contemp fan), so my history with lesfic is checkered at best.
However, Lily Maxton delivered with a sweet, erotic F/F short that needed to be 100 pages longer to be truly great.
I loved, loved, loved the heat that this author brought to the story. I could have used even more sexual tension and build-up, but the love scenes were spot on.
Still, I felt like the two went from vague animocity after all those years to saying "I love you" too quickly. I needed about 50-100 more pages to build the complexity and background to the story. Even with some minor flaws, I was very pleased with this one.
I found it to be a bit... slow, and maybe with too much of an unlikely pairing. I didn't find that the chemistry grabbed me, and I felt like the story plodded along without much to reel me in.
Sometimes the dialogue felt a bit awkward for me, like it didn't match their ages or their places in life. I think NA is a hard genre to write, and I don't know if the author captured the nuances of their conversations well enough.
Parts of the story were heartfelt and very heart-wrenching, and I felt for these characters. I'd say that I enjoyed it overall, but it wasn't that LOVE like I get from most books from this author.
The book didn't feel well-plotted to me. I read a ton of historical romance, and The Girl with the Sweetest Secret was all over the place. We get a head-hopping, ever-changing POV (I really dislike that), and a plot that throws way too much in the pot. There is just too much going on for there to be any real focus, and I often lost sight of the developing romance due to the side stories and confusing POV changes.
I don't know why the book came across as boring as it did, but I was bored the entire time I was reading. I didn't dislike the story, per se, but it didn't hold my attention. I had to force myself to read in chunks, and even then I was thinking about what else I could be reading. I think there was something about the style or the multiple tangents that made it hard for me to focus.
I can't resist a holiday historical romance, and though I haven't read any of the previous books in the Playful Brides series, I decided to just jumpI can't resist a holiday historical romance, and though I haven't read any of the previous books in the Playful Brides series, I decided to just jump in. Unfortunately, while Kiss Me at Christmas by Valerie Bowman was nice, it didn't rise above that.
My favorite thing about this book was how sex-positive the female MC was. She was going to get her man and her good time, goddamnit, and I liked that about her. I also liked the male MC, who had his own reasons to resist our female MC, and his own past to contend with.
What bothered me was the plot. It seemed to ramble on, and I lost my interest at times. The end was very melodramatic, and I didn't even get that holiday spirit that I was so looking forward to.
While the story was pleasant, I need to keep searching for my 2018 historical Christmas nirvana story.
I wasn't sure that I wanted to read Boy Shattered, and, to be honest, it was a tough read all the way through. I picked a bad day to start it, a day wI wasn't sure that I wanted to read Boy Shattered, and, to be honest, it was a tough read all the way through. I picked a bad day to start it, a day when I already felt bleak, and it did not make my mood any better. However, I think Eli Easton wrote an important book, and a really moving love story.
I'm going to start off with things you should know before attempting this book.
If you've read the blurb at all, you'll know at least some of these things. It's important to know that the story is painfully angsty and sad. It is also YA, so there is little-to-no on page sex. Eli Easton can write some steamy stuff, but this isn't in that category. Also, trigger warnings: gun violence, children dying, homophobia, PTSD.
I really fought with myself over this story. I have school-aged kids, and gun violence is something that keeps me up at night in cold sweats. Did I really want to subject myself to a fiction story surrounding that very topic? Turns out, I did.
I loved the heavy, atmospheric style of Boy Shattered. It is a weighty story, but one that has moments of lightness, and the overall feeling is of something that is really powerful. After reading a number of fluffy stories, it felt good to sink my teeth into something real, even though it was my worst fears come to life.
The romance was also truly lovely. It was a pure, sweet first romance mixed with all the pain and terrible angst born of tragedy. It was a bright spot for me in the story, and I loved the innocence and weariness of these two MCs. The pacing of the romance was also just spot on.
There was also a mystery aspect that I didn't love, but I, in general, hate suspense and mystery. I always read who the killer is before watching any movie where people die, and so not knowing who was behind the shooting was torture for me, and I don't enjoy torture.
All in all, if you have the emotional fortitude to read something painful but beautifully gripping, you should try this one. Just go into it knowing what to expect and you'll reap the rewards.
Enjoyable and entertaining, Lord of Vice was another good book by Erica Ridley.
I had a little bit of trouble in the beginning believing th*3.5 stars*
Enjoyable and entertaining, Lord of Vice was another good book by Erica Ridley.
I had a little bit of trouble in the beginning believing the whole set up. I couldn't picture Bryony having the level of freedom that she did, sneaking around London with ease and without anyone from her house knowing she was missing. I also didn't buy that Max would be cool with her breaking into and chilling in his study. No, not him. I just couldn't see it.
I also thought that the romance was too fast. They were feeling these deep feelings way too quickly. I like a really slow burn where emotions and romance take a long time to develop, so the speed of their romance took me by surprise.
However, once I got past my initial obstacles and made it into the second half of the book, I couldn't put it down. I still don't think this story was very historically feasible, but I was too swept up in the romance to care. The second half of the story was very lovely and totally enjoyable, and I stayed up WAY too late to finish.
Though Lord of Vice started off a little shaky, it ended beautifully. A very nice read in the Rogues to Riches series.
Anna Bradley's writing is always solid, but I didn't like Hyacinth Somerset from the start, which is sort of a problem... it's kinda a good thing if you enjoy your heroine.
Hyacinth was tiresome and underdeveloped, and while she was made to be meek and coddled by her overprotective family, I didn't like how she just... let them. She got better as the story progressed, but at times she didn't even seem like the same character- her personality changes didn't ring true. And I couldn't see the person from the start of the book getting involved and reacting as she did to the (unnecessary) drama that happened at the end of the story.
The male MC was okay, and I liked him more, but I think his character could have been taken even farther. I was really intrigued about him at the start, but the strange fighting scene seemed to peter out and not amount to much of anything by the end. I mean, the author made it seem like it was a regular thing and then... not really.
I thought the plot moved along smoothly, and I enjoyed the story, but I just found this one to be less than the others in the series.
I liked The Artist by Bonnie Dee, so I went back and forth on my rating, wondering if I was being too hard on the story by giving it only 3-stars. HowI liked The Artist by Bonnie Dee, so I went back and forth on my rating, wondering if I was being too hard on the story by giving it only 3-stars. However, there was something about the style of the story that made me feel more removed from the characters and kept my rating from creeping upwards.
I really enjoyed having a main character who was physically very different from the typical male MC in romance. I read my fair share of romances with amputees or people missing limbs, but to have an MC with a facial abnormality is pretty rare. I loved that Bonnie Dee wasn't afraid to go there, and I got a good sense of Phin's isolation and his complicated relationship with his family. I really liked Phin and I think he carried the story.
I also liked Teddy, though I understood him a bit less. I wasn't as sure why he was so drawn to Phin as I felt that the relationship moved a little fast for me, but I enjoyed Teddy's openness and bohemian nature.
Bonnie Dee is very talented and a versatile storyteller, but she tends to feel a little "show-y" and I sometimes get a feeling like the emotions are being dictated to me. That happened in this story quite a bit. Something about it felt a little inorganic, which kept me from truly loving the book.
All in all, still a very nice effort from Ms. Dee, who always delivers thoughtful, interesting stories.
I have a thing for disabled characters in romance, and I liked caring, sweet Lorelei who suffered and survived for years under the hands of her abusive brother. I loved that Ash saw past a girl with a crippled ankle and saw her complete inner and outer beauty.
Though Ash was a cold and remote character, he completely stole the show for me. I enjoyed Lorelei, but I loved Ash, and my heart ached for him. I liked his obsessive, dark nature (yeah, I know, it was a little much but I still loved it), and his willingness to fight and kill to be with the only person he's ever loved.
The plot was brilliantly conceived, and I could hardly put the book down. I kept wanting to know what would happen next, and I loved the dark, piratey, action-packed vibe.
All-in-all, this was a very satisfying second-chance romance, and as this was my first Kerrigan Byrne, it made me want to go back and read every other story in the series.
Something that always draws me to a book is a female MC that has personality and the macabre-loving Violet worked for me. I loved how she forced Nick on all of these crazy, dark adventures and how he tried to act reasonable about them the whole time. Violet was fun to read, and I liked the book it's best when it felt lighthearted and odd (in the best way).
Nick is the kind of self-loathing male MC that I'm a total sucker for. He is a rake and has deep pain (of course), and I loved seeing him fall in love with the vivacious Violet. I think they made an interesting pairing, and they worked for me as a couple.
I almost knocked this book down to 3.5 stars because of the (insert eye-roll) big misunderstanding, but I enjoyed the whole feel of the story so much that I decided to keep it as 4-stars. Even if you aren't familiar with the Somerset Sister series, you should have no problem jumping into this delightful story.
Over and Over Again was my first book by Cole McCade and it was a whopper, clocking in at nearly 700 pages. But though the story was lengthy and took me a long time to read, I found it to be really satisfying and completely worth my time.
First of all, in case anyone is curious, Imre's name is pronounced eeee-mm-ray. TBH, I was sort of saying "Ernie" with an "m" sound and mushing it together in my head because that's just what popped in there when I started reading (yes, I know my random pronunciation doesn't make sense). It sounds much prettier the real way, though he'll always be Er-m-ie to me.
Okay, now that that's out of the way, let's get to the meat of things: the story. I was concerned a bit about the relationship between Irme and Luca because of their almost uncle/nephew relationship from childhood. I love an age gap, but I do NOT do incest, and I was worried that it would get a little... creepy. To be frank, it did get a bit close to that line for me at times, but I was able to push past it. I had to remind myself that I was also 19 when I met my older husband, and that helped a bit.
The story is very... poetic. The whole plot trudges along slowly and methodically. The goats need checking on. The food gets cooked. There is a languid pace to the story that I surprisingly liked. There is a reason that the story is so long and that is due to the plethora of farming and atmospheric details. Though I think some repetitiveness could have been paired away, I was surprisingly engaged for the whole story. Sure, I wasn't glued to my Kindle (except for the stellar final 20% or so), but I was never bored while reading. And the writing was truly like poetry at times. Very beautiful descriptors and lots of sensory details made for a lovely reading experience.
I guess I would call this a slow-burn romance, though there is an intimacy there between the MCs from the start. Both characters start off loving each other, in a way, but the physical side takes its time to develop. I thought that the slow burn was very well done, and we got the right amount of heat by the end. I also really loved how Irme was demisexual, which fit right in with his personality and his approach to relationships.
One thing that killed me about Irme was how he rarely spoke in contractions. I know the author was trying to portray the fact that English was perhaps not his first language, but it's always awkward for me to read wordy sentences sans contractions for some reason.
Though it took me over a week to read, Over and Over Again really impressed me by the end. I loved, loved, loved Cole McCade's writing style, and I could easily see him becoming a favorite author of mine. Especially in the last 20% when he made me choke up and feel a huge rush of emotions that took me by surprise. Excellent ending.
Lord of Secrets was a very nice story in the dependable Rogues to Riches series by Erica Ridley. Though it didn't blow me away, I enjoyed t*3.5 stars*
Lord of Secrets was a very nice story in the dependable Rogues to Riches series by Erica Ridley. Though it didn't blow me away, I enjoyed the story a good deal.
In historical romance, I'm a total sucker for the "royalty vs average person" pairings. There is just something dreamy about a titled man or woman finding love in an unexpected place and making things work between them, don't you think? Though, I had trouble buying that the somewhat morally and societally rigid Heath Grenville would end up with someone below his station (so to speak, though that term always makes me cringe).
I liked the talented and interesting Miss Eleanora Winfield, who always seems to see beyond a person's exterior. She was non-judgmental, and I liked how she viewed upper-crust society fairly objectively. She was a lovely female MC, and I liked being inside her head a great deal.
I found Heath Grenville to be much more one-note. I struggled with him a bit, and I was really, really anxious about how he would take the big reveal that Eleanora was hiding (it made me so nervous that I was flying through the last 20% to see what would happen). I found the tension to be resolved too anti-climacticly for my tastes, and the love to be a bit on the dull side, but I still enjoyed the writing and romance overall.
While not my favorite in the Rogues to Riches series, I always like visiting with the Grenville clan and having another strong female MC to cheer for. Erica Ridley is always a solid choice.
*Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*...more