One of my favorite Christina Lauren books ever, In a Holidaze was the super-sweet, friends-to-lovers Christmastime romance that my heart and mind needOne of my favorite Christina Lauren books ever, In a Holidaze was the super-sweet, friends-to-lovers Christmastime romance that my heart and mind needed right now. I adored it, and stayed up until 5 am to finish.
I have a guilty pleasure confession: I love Groundhog's Day.
Yeah, I know, some people hate it, but it always strikes me as extremely romantic, and I'm a sucker for Bill Murray. So when I read the description for In a Holidaze, I knew I needed it. And it was everything I had hoped it would be.
In a Holidaze is a low-angst, cozy, sweet read. There are lots of supporting characters (important friends and family), and instead of the plot feeling cluttered, it all made sense. I really liked the role that everyone played in the story, and I felt like I knew this family intimately.
I also fell head-over-heels for both MCs. Mae was extremely relatable, and I loved her comedic, screw-up moments as well as her honest, tender moments. She was just funny and vulnerable. Andrew was sort of the perfect male MC, but I loved him anyway. Sometimes, perfect characters are extremely annoying because real people have flaws, but Andrews's flaws are more subtle so you get to know him as a whole person the longer you read. They were magical together, and I bought the chemistry immediately.
The story is lovely and atmospheric, and felt like a glass of hot cocoa for my soul. You will want to make out in a closet, make snowmen in snowy weather, and reach for your true dreams after reading this story. It felt Christmas-y and hopeful. I couldn't get enough.
The epilogue was the perfect icing on the cake, and I had tears in my eyes through the final pages. It was worth not sleeping all night to finish the story.
An outstanding story from the talented Christina Lauren, and a book I will reread often in the coming years. It made me feel happy, and I bet it will make you happy too.
My Kind of Earl was my first book by Vivienne Lorret, and I actually thought it was pretty great. However, the lack of a proper ending frus*3.5 stars*
My Kind of Earl was my first book by Vivienne Lorret, and I actually thought it was pretty great. However, the lack of a proper ending frustrated me so much that I ended up dropping my rating 1/2 a star.
The story is actually the second in a series, but I thought it worked perfectly as a stand-alone. I think I'd go back and read the first and subsequent books in the series because there is a lot of good content there. I really enjoyed the female MC's circle of friends, and I adored the smart, industrious heroine.
I liked that the story had a little mystery element as it kept the story propelling forwards. The start of the plot was a bit outlandish, but it really came together. Jane's family and neglectful parents felt very real to me, and I liked her chemistry with Raven. There was a lot of good, meaty storyline there for the readers.
The ending was where the problems began. Raven acted in a totally uncharacteristic manner, and I had a hard time believing it was the same character. On top of that, it felt like the author was speeding to finish the book because the last 10% moved at an unrealistic, lightening pace. It left me with a bad taste in my mouth. The story needed at least one epilogue, and I even checked a few times to make sure I wasn't missing pages.
A good story that could have been much more, My Kind of Earl was a promising intro to a new-to-me author.
Melissa and The Vicar is a raw, sexual, angsty historical romance with a bisexual female MC and a virgin male MC. There was so much to love in this story, and though the plot was messy at times, I couldn't put it down.
There is a lot to unpack with this book, and S.M. LaViolette never lets us have it easy. This isn't a simple story with a titled man falling in love with a Madame and then they all live happily ever after. There are lies, there is waffling back and forth, and the path to this marriage and HEA is not at all easy. It felt real to me, honestly, and I'm glad the author put these characters through so much to get that authentic feeling.
The highlights of the story for me was the scorching hot sex scenes in this story. Magnus is a very studious pupil, and I was pleasantly surprised to see how sex-positive the story ended up being. The chemistry between these two MCs is electric and their sex life is no missionary-only, that's for sure. Fire.
My one complaint is that the plot felt overly complicated at times, but I often see that with this author. Truly, I didn't mind it much because all of the pieces fell into place, and it was almost beautifully messy. This author has such a way with words that she wins me over, every time.
I haven't read the first two books in the series by Laura Trentham, but I think it works as a stand-alone. There are MCs from past books that are woven into this story, but the focus on the book is mainly on Holt and Claire. Which, to be honest, may not have been a good thing...
The story wasn't a bad one, but the chemistry just fell really flat. It all seemed so forced. Claire was extra angsty and hard for me to warm up to, and Holt seemed really focused on her without an apparent reason or any indication that Claire was that into him. I just never connected to the plot or main characters.
I really, really wanted to like Dirty Tactics, the debut book from Emma Salah, but I found it a struggle to get through.
I'm usually a total sucker foI really, really wanted to like Dirty Tactics, the debut book from Emma Salah, but I found it a struggle to get through.
I'm usually a total sucker for a hockey book, so I was excited to try this one. Plus. the plot seemed really interesting from the summary, so I decided to take a chance on a new author (something I rarely do).
Look, I've read almost 2,000 romance books, so I'm picky and I have my pet peeves. And, to be honest, this book pushed a number of my buttons and not in good ways.
I don't love when books have lots of flashbacks interspersed in the storyline as I find it to be distracting and I don't often find that it adds anything to the story. I didn't like it here, and I found it to be disruptive and oddly inserted in random spots. I also really, really struggled with the constant telling instead of showing that the author did with the characters' emotions. I wasn't able to feel what these characters were feeling because it was just all spelled out for me. Make me feel it instead. There was also lot of characters talking to themselves in their heads, which just is another way to tell instead of show me feelings.
I also struggled with some of the sex scenes. Right out the gate, the male MC spanks her and goes BDSM-y in a closet without any sort of discussion beforehand when they aren't even dating or in a relationship. I'm big into consent and checking in with people, and it just felt really random and almost old-school romance in a bad way. I also didn't like how we were just thrown into these two mid-dynamic, and we didn't get to really discover how these two evolved organically. It felt like the middle of a story.
I know I'm focusing on the negatives, but I think the author did some things right. I liked the female MC's family and the strong bonds with her brothers, and I liked all of the sporty men, but I wished we had more technical sports content so it didn't just feel like a random profession. I love hockey romances for a reason!
Debut books are hard, but I hope this author keeps writing. It wasn't my taste, but I'm sure she'll still find her readership.
I was sort of afraid that Max woulAbout a Rogue was my first book from Caroline Linden, but it won't be my last. I found it to be utterly delightful.
I was sort of afraid that Max would be a difficult MC to like, but he was really someone I enjoyed for the entire book. He was smart and resilient, and just very, very likable. Plus. his chemistry with Bianca was electric. I really enjoyed the slow-build, enemies-to-lovers romance, and I felt as though everything evolved very organically. Bianca was a little harder to like as she hates Max at the beginning, and runs with that hatred for way longer than Max deserves. However, I liked how fiercely loyal she was and how she fought for what she believed in.
Everything from the plot to the supporting characters was really well done. It was the kind of book where I had trouble finding something I didn't enjoy. Sure, it wasn't the kind of book that I stay up all night reading, but I would recommend this book again and again to my historical romance-loving friends.
A very solid romance and a great introduction to Caroline Linden. A big win for me.
I sometimes struggle with contemporary M/F romance, but I was excited to finally dig into an Alexis Daria book. I mean, a Latinx romance with a telenoI sometimes struggle with contemporary M/F romance, but I was excited to finally dig into an Alexis Daria book. I mean, a Latinx romance with a telenovela feel? I had to try it. However, though the book was a good read overall, I had mixed emotions about the story and it took me *forever* to finish.
I enjoyed the plot of the story, even if it felt a bit slow with some pacing issues. I was genuinely interested in each of the MCs and their own journeys through their careers. I liked that they had wildly different paths and experiences in the entertainment industry, and even though I know next to nothing about that world, I was interested in what they were going through.
Personally, I found the male MC, Ashton, to be too closed off. I had a much harder time connecting to him, and I found him to be not vulnerable enough, even within his own head. I thought the romance felt a bit... strained? It didn't quite feel natural to me. In fact, I found the romance of their character that they were playing to be more organic. I also thought that the Ashton withheld too much information from the female MC, Jasmine, even when they were in a tentative relationship, for me to have much sympathy for him.
I was interested in the plotline more than the romance, to be honest. I loved the Jasmine and I'm still not convinced that Ashton is quite right for her. The drama was a bit much at the end, and I left the story not being in love with the relationship and how everything went down.
I liked the story, but I didn't love it. Contemporary romance is hard for me, folks, but I'd read another Alexis Daria book in a heartbeat.
I'm not a huge fan of novellas, but I wanted to give this one a try for my week of reading only black authors (trying to spotlight them this week!) beI'm not a huge fan of novellas, but I wanted to give this one a try for my week of reading only black authors (trying to spotlight them this week!) because my friends have all loved it. Honestly, I thought the story was fun and fast-paced, but I'm not sure if it was exactly my taste. Fart jokes and a rushed romance doesn't sing for me, and thought it tried a bit too hard to be funny on every page. However, it was an easy, light read that made me smile.
This series is erotic romance, heavBy far the best book in the So Over the Holidays series, Bottle Rocket by Erin McLellan was one hot little number.
This series is erotic romance, heavy on the erotic, and Bottle Rocket was no different. Unlike the other books in the series, however, this one really spoke to me.
First of all, we get an absolute unicorn in the romance world, which is a M/F romance with a bisexual male MC. Every other M/M romance has a bisexual main character, but in M/F it is exceedingly rare, even more rare to have a bisexual male character. And, let me tell you, I loved it.
Oh honey, we get it all. Pegging, light femdom, group sex, face slapping... I mean, this was like my little kinky wish come true! There was a TON of sex, and this book isn't for a reading who wants a strictly one-on-one sexual relationship between the main characters.
There is also a very sweet romance in there also, a lovely second chance story that warmed my heart and made me smile. The relationship between these two doesn't have a dynamic that would work for me, personally, but I got how it worked for them.
A truly great read for those of us who want to read a M/F story with a guy who wants the woman to take charge, and for readers who like their romances with LOTS of sex. Erin McLellan, keep up the good work.
I'm a huge sucker for a fake dating trope, and add in a former rugby player who loves romance books(!), and I'm sold. I really liked everything about Zafir and how real and vulnerable he felt as a character. I was very, very swoony for him.
Dani was more of a struggle for me. I liked her nerdy side and her dedication to her research, but her commitment issues felt... tiresome for me by the end. It took forever for her to admit her feelings, and I grew tired of waiting for her to get there. I understand why she felt the way that she did, but it felt myself skimming and wanting them to just communicate.
I also am not the biggest fan of social media-based plotline, and I found the overall story arc to be a bit thin. Both characters were well-developed and the side characters were endlessly interesting, I just felt like nothing much happened in the story.
I'm hoping for even better from the third in the series, and I might have to go back to listening in audio because the narrator really made this series come alive for me, British accents and all.
I'm a big Tessa Bailey fan and I've liked the entire Hot & Hammered series, so I'm happy to report that Tools of Engagement was no different. Though, I'm a big Tessa Bailey fan and I've liked the entire Hot & Hammered series, so I'm happy to report that Tools of Engagement was no different. Though, if I'm being honest, I wanted a bit more from the story.
Tessa Bailey writes sexy, fun contemporary romance, and I enjoyed the banter-y dynamic between Wes and Bethany. I like an opposites attract romance, and you throw in an age gap and I'm pretty much sold. I thought the relationship was a bit too "tease-y" for a bit too long, but I liked how it evolved over time.
The plotline with Wes's sister was a bit muddled, but I liked how he had to take responsibility for a child and the emotion that brought to the story. I wish we saw more of Wes's southern side as I kept forgetting that he wasn't from the North East constantly. I few y'alls would have been nice. I also related to Bethany's insecurities and the desire to be perfect all the time, though they got to be a bit much for me, as a reader. Also, something about the ending felt off to me.
Hot sex, as usual for Tessa Bailey, especially if you like alpha-types, and an engaging plotline, but not my favorite book in the series.
The Footman doesn't pull any punches. If you don't like your main character doing some very morally questionable behavior and having to redeem himself with chapters of intense grovelling, then this book might not be for you. I happen to like those scenes where a character royally screws up and then has to beg for forgiveness. Bring on the grovel-porn! The male main character was relentless in his quest for revenge, and I found it all to be an intensely compelling read.
I loved the female MC, though it was painful to read what she had gone through in her life. I admired her so much, and I lauded her desire to be a physician and help others, despite her physical limitations. She was so interesting and so strong.
Though this book reached 350 pages, it absolutely flew by. I couldn't stop reading, and I would have read all night to finish it. It takes a very skilled author to craft a long book that is also well-paced. Though the plot edged on too-complicated at times, it still reined it in enough to be a cohesive and thoroughly satisfying read.
My only qualm is that I still felt a bit suspicious of Stephen, even at the end. He screwed up so epically that I still questioned his moral compass. However, I thought the romance was lovely and, I'll admit, I'm a sucker for a red-headed MC. I'm weak! But he really has a lifetime of begging ahead of him...
A must-read for fans of S.M. LaViolette, I can't wait to read more in this series.
Cute story, took me exactly a month to get through the paperback. Romantic comedy with some good scenes but it never fully engaged me in the story. A Cute story, took me exactly a month to get through the paperback. Romantic comedy with some good scenes but it never fully engaged me in the story. A fun in-between read.
The Ruin of Evangeline Jones was my first read by Julia Bennet, and though my attention wandered while reading at times, I thought it was a very promising, interesting read. Though it is the second in a series, it works perfectly well as a stand-alone.
I've read a few books where the MC is a medium or spiritualist charlatan and the love interest is the person trying to figure out if they are a fraud, my favorite of which is An Unnatural Vice, so this book had big shoes to fill. I was pleased by the grim, darker tone of the story and tense feeling of the writing. I thought that the author delivered in a lot of ways with the overall atmosphere of the story. The couple was also interesting together, though I struggled with the attraction from the female MC.
However, I feel like something was a bit off with the pacing. The story felt very long, and it took me five days to finish, which is a long time for me. I also didn't quite buy that Evie was into Alex. I felt like she was a very vulnerable character, and her attraction came out of nowhere. I was more fearful for her, and I don't think romance would have been at the forefront of her mind.
I was intrigued by the side characters, and I will be very interested in reading book 3, which will probably feature Alex's cousin. I think the author did a lot right with this story, and I could see myself falling in love with her writing in the future.
I truly love everything that Kerrigan Byrne writes, so I was going into All Scot and Bothered with very high expectations. Though it took me a little I truly love everything that Kerrigan Byrne writes, so I was going into All Scot and Bothered with very high expectations. Though it took me a little while to get into the groove with this story, I'm happy to report that it fully won me over in the end.
The plot threw me for a loop, as it's... complicated, to say the least. I was trying to figure out how all of these unbelievable pieces would fit together. Sure, I think it got overly muddled at times, but I eventually got into the groove of things and became immersed in these characters.
Kerrigan Byrne writes characters with Angst, that's right, capital A. Her characters usually have to crawl their way back from hell, and I liked that she pulled no punches with this story. Both of these MCs have suffered in the past, and it made their happiness that much sweeter.
I absolutely love that we got a curvaceous heroine. Not someone who has a little extra meat on her bones, but a thick woman with curves for days. It's what I needed in my life. And the hero loves every inch of her and craves a woman like that. Yes, please! I also adored the enemies-to-lovers plotline, and the uptight male MC who was hiding a passionate soul. Just the type of characters I love to read about.
Put aside some of your logic to make the plot work and you'll be a happy camper, just like me. I swear, Kerrigan Byrne can do no wrong.
I got this adorable novella signed by the author in person, so I was hoping it would be a winner. Novellas are always hard for me because they usually aren't long enough to fully get the level of emotion that I want in my romance. The Earl's Christmas Pearl managed to get close, but I didn't get all the way there.
I enjoyed the puns, the Christmas theme, and the angst-free romance. An easy, fun read, and I'm glad I have this signed for my physical bookshelf.
I really wanted to love To Catch an Earl by Kate Bateman, but I found it to be extremely hard to get into. It took me almost two weeks to finish, whicI really wanted to love To Catch an Earl by Kate Bateman, but I found it to be extremely hard to get into. It took me almost two weeks to finish, which is nearly unheard of for me.
I found Emmy to be a frustrating character. First of all, if you have a very distinct, personalized perfume, why on earth would you wear it before stealing something extremely valuable?? It was just a TSTL move, and I was smacking my face. It was like she wanted to get caught. She kept doing things like that, just revealing herself over and over again.
I also didn't like her crimes, which weren't "crimes for noble reasons" but rather just straight up thievery. I didn't find them to be charming. I also thought the chemistry between the two MCs was lacking. It just felt forced.
To Catch an Earl never grabbed me, and, unfortunately, it was a unmemorable read for me.
What Kristan Higgins always does so well is make multi-faceted characters who are not simply likable/unlikable. I had mixed emotions about each character, and I found that the author treated each one with empathy and realism. I was riveted by the story, honestly, and found that it got better and better as it went along. It started off a bit slowly, but it picked up towards the end and became extremely engaging.
My one real sticking point is that I didn't like the switch from 1st to 3rd person between chapters. I found it to be pretty jarring, though I think the author did it to differentiate between the voices. Still, an odd choice. I also found the chapters from the father's perspective to be a bit too sentimental.
Overall, just as tight, well-edited, and interesting as I was expecting. Kristan Higgins is a pro and continues to show us why with each book.
When I requested this book to review, I was pumped to find a Passover romance, and one with a deaf main character at that. It was both exci*2.5 stars*
When I requested this book to review, I was pumped to find a Passover romance, and one with a deaf main character at that. It was both exciting and refreshing, and I couldn't wait to dive in. Of course, this year, my big at-home Passover seder with my extended family is completely cancelled (if you are reading this from the future, Covid- 19 sucks and ruins everything), so this book gave me big twangs of nostalgia and regret. While I was wistful reading some scenes and happy about how the author crafted parts of the story, other aspects of the book made me want to bang my head against the wall.
First of all, I love how the author handled the MC being deaf (as the author is hard of hearing herself, it's no wonder she did such a great job with it). I love romance books with interesting main characters, and I loved the challenge of an MC with communication barriers. I also loved the level of "Jewishness" of the story. As someone who is Jewish but, uh, a lazy practitioner, I enjoyed the culturally Jewish aspects of the story. I liked how both MCs were Jewish and related to the rituals, but weren't fanatical about the details of the holiday. Personally, that's how I practice, and so it was fun to read about as well. I also loved how the author didn't make the story out to be a Hebrew School lesson. It was mildly didactic, but mostly just something that both Jews and non-Jews could relate to and understand.
However, though the author did those aspects of the story very well, the romance was sorely lacking. I hate the "silly misunderstanding" plot device, and the author used it here and used it hard. So much could have been resolved with some simple texting. It wasn't necessary to have characters storming out on one another and not explaining things when everything was SO simple to explain. It was frustrating to no end how these two didn't communicate. You'd think that the language barrier would be the biggest issue but it was their own stupidity that did them in!
I also just didn't see why these guys liked each other all that much. I didn't get the whole "I like to fix women with issues" thing the male MC kept saying, and I didn't see how one weekend together with lots of awkwardness could possibly lead to love. Really missed the chemistry and the romance. I wish I had felt the love, since I loved that this was a Passover romance with a character with a disability, but it just wasn't there.
A decent read in many ways, but missed the mark as a romance for me. I look forward to more of these types of books from this author in the future.
I'm a big fan of Minerva Spencer, and I was very excited to read A Figure of Love after I loved the first in the series. And Minerva did it again withI'm a big fan of Minerva Spencer, and I was very excited to read A Figure of Love after I loved the first in the series. And Minerva did it again with another interesting, exciting historical romance story.
Though it doesn't explicitly say so, I loved how we got a male MC on the autistic spectrum. Autistic MCs are fairly rare in romance, though I've read a few, and it was exhilarating to find one in this story, even if he was on the very high functioning end of the spectrum. I sincerely hope that this author keeps coming up with interesting, less mainstream characters because I'm absolutely here for it.
Minerva Spencer writes characters with tortured, angsty pasts, and I liked how she balanced the true hardships they've been through without weighing down the story and making it feel overly depressing. She is an expert at that, and I really enjoyed it here.
The plot was a bit confusing and muddled at times, but I didn't want to put it down. It's fairly fast-paced, and you will want to keep reading straight through in one sitting. The great chemistry and pacing makes up for the overly complicated plot.
As always, Talia brings it with the curvy girl rep and with dynamic, diverse characters. I love that she played with wealth and class issues in this story, and that we got a main character dealing with chronic pain. As a dentist, I work with patients with fibromyalgia, and I know how they often feel that their largely invisible illness is minimized. I loved how the author explored that in her book.
Get a Life, Chloe Brown is a very character-focused story, and I always adore that. We got to see two people with real issues and real trauma discover themselves as individuals and as a couple. There are disagreements and some drama, but it didn't feel fake or manufactured. It all felt very real. Both MCs were relatable and likeable, and I enjoyed getting to know the interesting Brown family.
I listened to this story in audio, and I think that Adjoa Andoh did a very nice job narrating the book. My only issue is that her voice sounded a little older than the characters at times, and I thought her male voice could have been a big more masculine, but I eventually settled into her narration and really enjoyed it. I would listen to another story narrated by her again, any time.
A lovely contemporary romance read by the reliable Talia Hibbert. I'm excited to see what the other, spunky Brown sisters have in store for me with their stories.
There were so many tropes to love. Fake boyfriend/girlfriends, predicament rescue, and friends-to-lovers and they all worked. I'm a huge fan of the fake relationship plot device, and so I was immediately hooked. I also liked that Lucy was a girl who beat to her own drum and didn't feel pressured by society's rules. She was quirky and unique, and I love that in a heroine.
The big Scottish character always works for me (natch), and so I was predisposed to like Ciaran, but he won me over more and more as the story went on. Ciaran was just so nice. I think a lot of authors are afraid of writing nice male MCs, so they air towards making them rude or boorish. Ciaran was just a good dude, and I was so happy when he finally realized his feelings for Lucy.
Anna Bradley does a good job with side characters and accessory romances, and I loved that here. I was invested in Lucy's friends and their side plots, and it made the story feel every more exciting.
My one issue, and this is not at all the author's fault, is I had just read Scot Under the Covers by Suzanne Enoch and the two books are very similar. I kept mixing them up in my mind a bit, and that maybe affected my enjoyment of this one a tiny bit. I wouldn't recommend reading them back to back!
Overall, a romping good time romance with a fun plot and a very sweet couple. Another win for Anna Bradley.
My second ready by Suzanne Enoch and my second win! I'm beginning to think she is popular for a reason...
I really enjoyed Scot Under the Covers, the second in the Wild Wicked Highlanders series, and not just because the titles of these stories make me grin from ear to ear, but they are just dynamic, romantic, fun stories to read.
I loved the smart, capable female MC. She really knew how to think on her feet, and I instantly connected with her. She was savvy and resourceful, and I could have read about her for days.
I also have a huge weakness for a highlander, especially a big, handsome, strong highlander (I'm only human, guys), but Aden wasn't just all that in an oaf-y package. He brought real feelings and depth to his character, and I thought he played very well off of Miranda.
This wasn't an enemies-to-lovers story, like I was expecting, but a friends-to-lovers story. The relationship builds slowly over time, and by the time the end came, the love was overwhelming. I ate up every bit of the romance.
The plot also kept me on my toes. I usually don't love suspenseful plots, and I had no idea how Miranda was going to untangle herself from this mess. However, it all resolved beautifully and believably at the end. Even though I thought Miranda's brother got off way too easily...
My only issue was the "too many POVs." I like only one or two points of view in my story, and anything more than that feels cluttered, and, frankly, like lazy storytelling. It wasn't horrible here, but I didn't think that the extra POVs brought much to the table. A personal pet peeve of mine. However, despite some minor flaws, the story really sang.
A fun, exciting, well-written romance for those who love burly highlanders and smart women.
I read this book off and on between other reads because, well, it didn't hold my attention. However, it's funny because the parts I did read, I actually liked. It just didn't have the grab, that thing that keeps me riveted to a book.
I liked that Violet made James work for her affections, as he was more than a little bit of a jerk. He was self-absorbed, so I thought it was great that Violet didn't just forgive him. I also really liked the entertaining side characters and worldly plot, which was a nice change of pace from just British settings in historical romance.
I did want a little more... something. More romance at the end, more drive to the plot. However, I ended up enjoyed it as it was, and I'd recommend it to historical romance lovers.
A timely read and an important romance novella, though I really wish it was longer so the couple got more page time to develop.
Novellas ar*3.5 stars*
A timely read and an important romance novella, though I really wish it was longer so the couple got more page time to develop.
Novellas are hard to do well, but Alyssa Cole did the novella format justice with Let It Shine. I picked an incredibly relevant time to read this topical story of a romance between a Black woman and Jewish man set in the early 1960s. Whew, this book was tough to read at times, but it's such a powerful little story.
My only real gripe is that as a romance, it felt like it was on fast-forward, just zooming through to get to the end. I liked the multiple epilogues, but I really wanted more time with these two to see their romance progress. The historical aspects shined and really engaged me, but the romance was more lack-luster. Still, one of my favorites from Alyssa Cole, and I'd love to her to write more historical romances as she seems to have a knack for them.
I'm a huge fan of Minerva Spencer, and I'm an even bigger fan of atypical MCs, so I was immediately drawn to The Music of Love. And, truly, Minerva Spencer didn't let me down.
What really sets this story apart is that the male MC has albinism, which is very unusual for a character in a romance book. Now, as a person with a science background, I was a little dismayed at how the character was portrayed as there were some glaring errors (eye color, how albinism is passed down- very rare as it requires two recessive genes so it can be buried in a family for generations), but I'm hoping the author corrects some of those in the final copy.
Aside from some science-y things that may not bother most readers, I loved the story. I read the story all night long, and didn't want to put it down. It's a fairly long book, but I breezed through it. It was addictive and oh so good.
The more I read romance, especially historical romance, the more I like a feisty female MC. I'm done with meek little mouses, and I like a woman with bite. Portia did not play when it came to her emotions, desires, and temper, and I loved every second of it. She was sensual and sex-positive, and just a delight to read about.
Stacy was a good contrast, actually, and I liked that under his cool exterior he was also explosive, both in the bedroom and with his emotions. He was smart, strong, and different, and I admired all of those things. I also loved, loved how he didn't subscribe to society's expectations of who he should be and who he should associate with. He made his own rules, and he was his own man. Loved it.
Sure, the story is pretty outlandish, but I've come to realize that life is outlandish also, so who says a story like this couldn't happen. The plot moved forward with a fast, exciting pace, and it kept me interested through every page.
A story full of intrigue, deception, and a male MC with a rare genetic condition, The Music of Love was exactly the type of book I love to read.
I'm a big Kelly Bowen fan, and I've read all of the books in the Devils of Dover series, though I haven't loved all of them. However, even though thisI'm a big Kelly Bowen fan, and I've read all of the books in the Devils of Dover series, though I haven't loved all of them. However, even though this was a novella and not even a full-length story, it was one of my favorites.
Night of the Scoundrel brings back King, a character from previous books, so some background knowledge is helpful, though I think you could manage this one as a stand-alone. Even though I've read all the books in the series, it still took me a chapter to get my bearings and remember some details.
I loved Adeline and how principled and crafty she was. She was relentless in her quest for justice and truth, and I admired that about her. King was more enigmatic at first, but his story took me by surprise and really squeezed my heart.
I think the romance between them could have used some more page time, but the plot really carried me. I was hungry for revenge and justice, almost as much as these characters, and I couldn't wait to see how the story played out.
The writing was some of Kelly Bowen's best. It felt dark and dangerous, and I didn't want to put the story down. It makes me hopeful that the rest of the series could be this good.
I really liked that K.J. Charles brought trans and ace representation into her historical romance, and I enjoyed this short little novella set in the Lilywhite Boys universe.
Admittedly, I'm not a big fan of Any Old Diamonds, so I was a little hesitant to try this one, but K.J. Charles write so well and incorporates so much diversity into her historical romance that I had to give it a go.
I have to say, I wish the story was a bit longer because it was hard to get a real feel for the romance and romantic chemistry between the two MCs, but I liked what I did read. I thought it was a very nice intro to the series and a effective little story, even if it didn't wow me.
Solid read, well worth the $0.99, for those interested.
It kills me to pull the plug on this story, but I had to DNF at just over 50%. There were aspects that I LOVED, including the personality of the femalIt kills me to pull the plug on this story, but I had to DNF at just over 50%. There were aspects that I LOVED, including the personality of the female MC, but the story got SO convoluted. And I hate, hate, hate multiple POV (two is my max per story). All of the POV shifting made me so annoyed. I'm stopping while I'm ahead....more