Final overall rating, 4 stars. A beautiful set of supernatural stories, even though some had some flaws. A great read for fans of something sweet and Final overall rating, 4 stars. A beautiful set of supernatural stories, even though some had some flaws. A great read for fans of something sweet and spooky at the same time.
Reparation- 3.5 stars Beautifully written, but the slavery aspect made me extremely uncomfortable. I couldn't get past it, even at the end. I thought the story gave a great sense of atmosphere, and I felt the chilling, barren vibe of the world, but I didn't enjoy the power imbalance. Still, it showcased Eli Easton's writing talents.
The Bird- 4 stars This is a gorgeous, creepy, powerful story that takes place at a Jamaican planation during British rule. The romance knocked my socks off, but I knocked a full star off of this one due to some racist undertones. Yes, I know that the MC is a plantation owner and he might view his servants certain way due to the time period, but I struggled with a few of the descriptions. Really rubbed me the wrong way, and I know it's just a few words here or there, but I wish the author had just omitted those elements. Aside from that, the story was perfect for the Gothika collection.
Among the Dead- 4 stars I really enjoyed this magical realism story. Some spooky elements with all of the dead people and a few emotional moments, but it never got into the realm of extremely sad or extremely upsetting. I got very into the story, and I had a hard time putting it down. Truly, just a well done story with some surprises and a lovely, though very quick, romance.
The Black Dog- 4 stars Another winner to round off the anthology! I really enjoyed this one, and a huge Scottish man with a brogue is never a bad thing. The romance moved a little quickly, which is to be expected in a story of this length, but I loved the cast of characters and the feel of the small, Scottish town. A few twists and turns to keep things exciting. A winner.
I've been reading Jay Hogan for some time now, but she really hit her stride with Off Balance. Though it tops out at nearly 400 pages, it i*4.5 stars*
I've been reading Jay Hogan for some time now, but she really hit her stride with Off Balance. Though it tops out at nearly 400 pages, it is a beautifully written, powerful romance, and it was exactly the kind of book I love to read.
I have a deep love of romance books that feature characters living with a chronic illness or a disability. Working in the medical field, I know a lot about rare diseases, but this book was my first experience with Ménière’s disease. I found Judah to be an extremely compelling MC, and his struggle to find his place and purpose after his dance career was ruined by the inner ear disorder was both moving and fascinating to read about.
I also loved Morgan and how he complemented Judah. He didn't run away from his feelings, and I adored how communicative and responsive he was with Judah. I liked how the author weighed Morgan's memories and time spent with his wife with his new feelings for Judah, and I think Jay Hogan struck the perfect balance in the story.
Their romance was, gah, just so good! Yes, there was a lot of initial attraction, but it built-up over time in a gorgeous way. There wasn't any manufactured drama or silly misunderstandings, and it felt extremely real and special.
I was meh about the mystery aspect of the book, and I often think the author tries to cram suspense into her contemporaries unnecessarily, but it for sure gave a little momentum to the end of a long book. I would have been happy with just a relationship-focused contemporary, but I got enough of that to make me very happy.
Jay Hogan wrote her strongest book to date with Off Balance. It felt perfectly New Zealand-y, just like her other stories, and like a great, small town romance. I adored it, and I can't wait to read more in this sure to be special series.
I'm a big fan of K.M. Neuhold's "Four Bears Construction" series, and I've read each and every one. I mean, what's n*4.5 stars*
Oh, I adored this one.
I'm a big fan of K.M. Neuhold's "Four Bears Construction" series, and I've read each and every one. I mean, what's not to like?? Hairy bears finding love and showing sweet, sweet vulnerability. Count me in, every time. I've been eagerly awaiting Screwed with the promise of Ollie's long awaited HEA, and I was NOT disappointed.
I see some mixed reviews from my friends, but I was grinning the entire time I was reading. I love, love, love a slow-burn, wake-up-married plotline with a just one bed!! plot twist to boot. Those are seriously like crack plot devices for me, and I was hooked.
Ollie was so sweet, and I loved the opposites-attract vibe I got between him and Daniel. They were so great together, and I adored how we got to see their relationship progress over a series of months. We got great depth of character and relationship development. I also, and this is a minor thing, like that we got some more mainstream, less porno-sounding names for these dudes.
Just a really nice way to wrap up the series, Screwed was a romance-y, romance for those of us who love these beefy, loveable guys. I'm a happy camper.
I have a real love of magic and paraI enjoyed The Fantastic Fluke by Sam Burns, though I wasn't quite as enthusiastic about it as many of my friends.
I have a real love of magic and paranormal books, and my bar is set quite high due to my rabid consumption of series like "The Dresden Files" by Jim Butcher and the "Hidden Legacy" series by Ilona Andrews. I expect a lot from my paranormal romances, and though I thought The Fantastic Fluke was charming, and the fox was so fantastic, I also struggled a lot with plot holes and the romance.
For one, I really don't know what Gideon actually taught Sage except for how to lust after a non-corporeal being?? There were a lot of murky details about their training and how Sage came into his powers. I had a lot more questions than answers by the end, and I was left wondering if I missed something or if my questions will be answered in the next book.
Also, the romance was a bit... weird. It was underdeveloped, IMO, but as a series I would hope that relationship building would continue in the next book. Between that and the pacing, which was quite slow, I checked out a bit in the middle before getting into the story again at the end.
I enjoyed the overall vibe and the supporting characters a great deal, but I thought the story was a bit clumsy and needed more details to make it feel real. It was a good start, but I wasn't in love.
Part of me thinks this story is great, with the stained glass details, the royal + commoner plotline, and, oh yeah, the super hot sex (!), but anotherPart of me thinks this story is great, with the stained glass details, the royal + commoner plotline, and, oh yeah, the super hot sex (!), but another part of me is eye-rolling for days.
I think this might be my first Lucy Lennox, and I'm not sure if this book is typical for her writing style or not. In any case, Felix and the Prince was a sweet, sexy, easy read that I'm sure will please a lot of people. However, it had a few things that really irked me.
For one, the insta-love is too much. Seriously. the super hot royal falls for the geeky, shy guy and *has* to have him after just one meeting together. I've read books like that time and time again, and I'm not a fan. I like interest to build over time, and I personally prefer a slow burn.
Also, was I the only reader who thought that Lio treated Felix like crap?? He does so many crappy things like lie and gaslight him, and Felix just forgives him time and time again. Don't even get me started on when Lio invited Felix to Liorland for "moral support" and made him suffer through pretending they were just friends (among other things, I won't do any spoilers). It felt icky to me.
I liked Felix's family and I liked all of the side characters, and it was a pleasant and entertaining read, but I was far from in love. I'm curious about Lucy Lennox's other books and if they will work for me (stay tuned!).
This is an extremely difficult review for me to write, so much so that I don't even want to do it. I mean, did being in quarantine during *2.5 stars*
This is an extremely difficult review for me to write, so much so that I don't even want to do it. I mean, did being in quarantine during Covid break my brain? How could I not love the final book in the Green Creek series?? I feel like crying right now, and it's not from the emotional ending to Brothersong.
Brothersong has a sea of positive, raving reviews from my friends, and I got warnings about you'll be crying your eyes out!, but I finished the book feeling, well, like nothing much at all. I enjoyed it, but I have to say, I feel epically disappointed.
Here is my honest (spoiler-free) breakdown:
I found the first part of the book to be confusing. The story in the beginning feels like you are reading it from underwater. It's all blurry, and gloomy, and muddled and the writing is purposefully vague and dark. I had a very hard time with it. At first, it was interesting to me, a stylistic choice from T.J. Klune that I was excited to try out, but then it just got flat-out difficult to read. There was so much going on, so much just thrown at us with lots of questions that I didn't feel were answered, that I felt just lost.
There are too many time jumps. The book flashes back a lot in time, and while a few of those are okay, I kept having to reorient myself and remind myself of what was going on and where I was in time. All of those flashbacks felt like clutter.
There wasn't enough focus on the romance between Carter and Gavin. I wish they had their own book prior to this final story because I felt like the romance was squashed in between the wrap up for the series. I truly didn't feel the love between these two guys, and that saddened me. There wasn't a lot of page time with just Carter and Gavin together, and I didn't feel like the romance was nearly as strong as the other pairings in the book. Gavin needed more time to show his entire personality, IMO. I really didn't feel like I knew Gavin as much as I needed to. And Carter, Carter!. He had so much potential based on his personality in the other books, and I fell like it was barely shown here.
There is too much page-time with secondary characters. I feel like it was a everyone in the pot! situation. Even minor characters got their chance in the sun, and it made the book feel unfocused for me.
I wish there were more times where Carter and Gavin got to shine, just the two of them. The story is very long and very plot-heavy, but the middle dragged on and on for me. It is extremely unusual for me to take three days to read a T.J. Klune book, but here we are.
No, I don't only have negative things to say about this story. I could see T.J. Klune's passion in Brothersong and his deep love of these characters. I felt like he really tried to show EVERYTHING in this book: the love between brothers, the love between mates, the love between pack, and the love between family. Every character gets a lot of page-time, and I feel like TJ was trying to send them off in the best way possible.
I don't know, I must be broken. BROKEN. I didn't cry, I didn't feel overly emotional, I felt sort of... nothing. And isn't that sad? I love these characters and this series, so it makes me feel truly upset that this book didn't touch me. It might be my mood, it might be the length of the story, it might have been a combination of things, but, alas, that is life. It isn't a bad book, but it didn't make me feel like I was expecting to feel.
Green Creek, I will miss you and your fantastically gay werewolves, even if this story wasn't a 5-star read for me.T.J. Klune wrote a powerful, memorable, awesome, emotional series, and I'll remember it for always. packpackpack forever.
As I first read this, my primitive brain was like daddy kink me like me like, and I sort of glossed over all of the weirdness and flaws*2.5 stars*
As I first read this, my primitive brain was like daddy kink me like me like, and I sort of glossed over all of the weirdness and flaws. I fell asleep halfway through reading and was in love with the story.
When I woke up with a clear head, my view... changed.
There are a few issues here. The weird sign here to consent to something you don't understand because SEXY wasn't great. I kept thinking about workplace laws, and my brain wouldn't let those details go. I'm a daddy kink aficionado, and I found the story to be underwhelming.
Quick and easy read with some hot scenes, but too impersonal and surface-level for me. Despite what my primal brain thinks...
DNF. No rating. There is something about the way that this series is written that doesn't work for me. Put down at 37%. I like Anyta Sunday too much tDNF. No rating. There is something about the way that this series is written that doesn't work for me. Put down at 37%. I like Anyta Sunday too much to keep reading this. ...more
Dances Long Forgotten wasn't even a blip on my radar until I started seeing this stream of 5-star reviews from my friends. I'm not a huge novella fan,Dances Long Forgotten wasn't even a blip on my radar until I started seeing this stream of 5-star reviews from my friends. I'm not a huge novella fan, so I was tempted to pass by this one, but I'm so happy I didn't. Dances Long Forgotten by Ruby Moone was lovely in every way.
I was leary of the fact that there are essentially 2+ couples in the story, but the author handled everything seamlessly. I was, admittedly, much more invested in Hugo's story, but I enjoyed the modern-day romance of James/Dylan as well. However, Hugo stole my heart. He was so vulnerable and endearing.
It's amazing how Ruby Moone was able to pack so much emotion into a novella, but she certainly did. I have a feeling that I'll be inhaling this entire series.
I'm a huge sucker for a paranormal romance, so I was really exciI enjoyed Huntsman by Morgan Brice, even if I had some issues with the writing style.
I'm a huge sucker for a paranormal romance, so I was really excited to pick up Huntsman and give it a go. I've read this author a few times before, and I think she does a good job, but I think there is often not enough world building for my taste. Huntsman was no different.
We are sort of thrust into the action with the story, which can be exciting, but I felt like it relied too much on internal dialogue and telling vs showing to clue the reader into what was happening. I like a more well-developed world so the MC doesn't constantly have to reiterate things in his head. However, even with that I was intrigued by the storyline and into all the characters, even the side ones.
I thought there was some details that needed to be fleshed out, like the relationship between the shifters and non-shifter world and the way magic plays into everything. It was too vague and too glossed over. Still, I think I would read on in this series just to find out more about how the world is structured because I think this is the type of series that would get better over time.
Of course, as a shifter romance, I come to expect instalove, but I was hoping it would be a little more developed. It was very abrupt, and I'm hoping these two grow as a couple in subsequent books.
Overall, I think a *tentitive* good start to a series, even if it didn't wow me.
I love Lisa Henry, and I really love her when she writes funny stories, so it's natural that I couldn't wait to try Red Heir. Though it was*3.5 stars*
I love Lisa Henry, and I really love her when she writes funny stories, so it's natural that I couldn't wait to try Red Heir. Though it wasn't a full home-run for me, it was charming and utterly delightful.
Red Heir really shined for me with the comedic moments. It reminded me a little bit of The Lightning-Struck Heart but dialed down a bit. There were scenes where I was shaking with laughter while reading in bed (sorry, hubby). The dialogue and the cast of character was just so fun. It was such an easy, entertaining read. However, I could have used even a wee bit more of that energy with the romance aspect of the story.
I think having only one POV made the romance feel a bit weaker for me. I didn't get into the head-space of both MCs, which made it harder to see the relationship evolving. Sure, I heard about how these guys liked it each other, but it felt very sudden when they got together. It felt too soon, like I needed more UST to really ramp up the emotions. I didn't get the whys of their relationship, and, honestly, the heat level was fairly low for Lisa Henry book. Also, the characters didn't feel as developed as I would have liked.
Though the main characters and their romance could have used some work, the story was so fun that I didn't even care all that much. Plus, I was excited to be introduced to a new author (Sarah Honey), and I'm pumped to see what else she has in store for me. As always, a very enjoyable read from the lovely Lisa Henry.
Let's be honest here, nothing can surpass the greatness that is Heated Rivalry (I mean, it made my all-time favorites list, so enough said!), but CommLet's be honest here, nothing can surpass the greatness that is Heated Rivalry (I mean, it made my all-time favorites list, so enough said!), but Common Goal is solidly the second best in the series, and is a powerhouse romance in it's own right.
First of all, we get an age gap, sexuality discovery story with a hockey player MC. That combo can only mean greatness, in my book. Rachel Reid sure know how to tick my boxes!
The MCs were charming, even if they weren't as dynamic as some of the other pairings. Eric was a very interesting character, and I fell for him right away. I loved how intelligent he was, and I adored his love of fine art. I was an art history double major in college, and a man who can appreciate and invest in art is big draw for me. He was an older MC, shyer and on the edge of retirement, and I liked his quiet, introspective nature.
Flirty Kyle was a great counter to Eric, and I thought they had great chemistry together. My only wish is that they had more page-time as a couple since a lot of their back and forth felt like work that could have been solved with better communication. I wanted more couple moments. There were also some times where the book felt a little sluggish, but those moments were few and far between.
Common Goal was a sweet, lovely romance, even if Ilya stole the show whenever he made a cameo. The writing and character development made the story a win, even if it had some plot flaws (communicate!!). I think all fans of the Game Changers series will be pleased, and I can't wait to see what Rachel Reid comes up with next.
I love Barbara Elsborg, and she is usually 4+ stars for me, so I was really looking forward to The Making of Jonty Bloom. Plus, all of my friends seemI love Barbara Elsborg, and she is usually 4+ stars for me, so I was really looking forward to The Making of Jonty Bloom. Plus, all of my friends seemed to love it, which usually is a good omen. However, though I enjoyed the story, it was too messy and chaotic for my tastes.
If you've read Barbara Elsborg before, you will definitely recognize the style. She loves to write main characters who spit out sarcastic one-liners (and I love to read them!), especially if they have a tragic backstory. I knew what to expect with The Making of Jonty Bloom, and I was excited for it. However, I think this book needed an editing eye to make the story feel less busy.
While Jonty charmed me at first, I found his constant internal monologuing to be very distracting. It was every other sentence, and I wanted more showing instead of telling. Also, the banter between the characters was cute at first, but I wanted more of a break in between puns and double entendres. It was overwhelming, and not in a good way.
I loved how Jonty brought Devan out of his shell, and I didn't even mind the plethora of evil characters, but the plot still felt cluttered. It was a good story, and I liked it the whole time I was reading, but I kept thinking that with a few adjustments, it could be great. The romance was a little rushed, and dialogue was a little too "jokey"- everything was just a little off.
Though this was was enjoyable, it wasn't the home run I was expecting. I'll look forward to my next Barbara Elsborg read.
Of course I loved this, guys, I mean it's DADDY KINK.
I'm a picky, picky reader who has read thousands of romances, but for some reason, give me a braOf course I loved this, guys, I mean it's DADDY KINK.
I'm a picky, picky reader who has read thousands of romances, but for some reason, give me a bratty boy and a stern daddy and I'm like putty.
Cabin Fever had a lot of sex in it, but unlike some readers, I found it to have enough plot to keep me more than satisfied. It was S-T-E-A-M-Y, and readers who like their books with sex, sex, and more sex will be happy.
I'm not a huge fan of suspense, but the suspense was sort of the backdrop for a predicament romance, which is something a I adore. Oh no, I'm trapped in a house with a super hot bodyguard and just these *tiny, tiny* pairs of underwear. Whatever shall I do?? I mean... Yes. Every day, yes.
I loved how utterly submissive Michael ended up being. Vincent couldn't push him far enough, though I liked to see him try. This isn't a high impact play or master/dom-ish BDSM kind of book, which is why I enjoyed it so much.
The perfect length to keep me up all night reading. Cabin Fever was a deliciously kinky, charming erotic romance. It might not suit all readers, but it suited me just fine.
All of my friends seem to be in love with this story, but although I enjoyed it, the pacing and the characters never fully came together how I wanted All of my friends seem to be in love with this story, but although I enjoyed it, the pacing and the characters never fully came together how I wanted them to.
I'm a big fan of Jay Hogan, and I've liked every book in the Southern Lights series. I was excited to start Flat Whites & Chocolate Fish, and I had really high expectations.
The plot threw me a bit. It was a bit... outlandish? At times, it was very over the top, and especially the ending seemed a bit cartoonish. I'm not a big thriller or suspense reader, so perhaps it just wasn't my type of story. I was sort of waiting for the other shoe to drop for the entire book. I'm also not a huge fan of the plot device used towards the end of the story.
The romance worked, though I wasn't 100% invested in these two and their relationship. I enjoyed it, but I just wanted more from both of them. The pacing of their romance felt a little slow, and though I loved the side characters, the main characters didn't quite shine for me.
I know I seem to be focused on the negatives, but this story wasn't quite what I was in the mood for. Still, I'm excited to continue this series and hopefully get some stories in this world.
I wasn't sure what to expect from Better Than People, but I was charmed by this story of two animal lovers, one with crippling social anxiety and the I wasn't sure what to expect from Better Than People, but I was charmed by this story of two animal lovers, one with crippling social anxiety and the other with a broken leg, both struggling to find their way.
After seeing some mixed reviews from my friends, I was bracing myself to not love Better Than People, but Roan Parrish won me over again with this story. It takes place in the same "world" as The Remaking of Corbin Wale, so if you enjoyed that story, you will probably enjoy this one as well.
As someone who doesn't have social anxiety other than the normal nice to meet you jitters, it was humbling and very interesting for me to read about someone who gets so overwhelmed with anxiety around new people that they are physically unable to talk. I thought the author handled that aspect of the story beautifully.
I'm a total sucker for an MC who is experiencing physical intimacy for the first time. And, whew, I loved the sexy times in this story. Just lots of detailed, new-to-sex goodness that I crave. Thank you, Roan Parrish!
The backstories were well developed, and I adored that both MCs were artists. There was so much to love here, with the brother and the grandma and the ridiculously named dogs, that I couldn't help but be charmed.
The story isn't a fast-paced one, but the beautiful messages about mental health and self-care as well as the relationship-focused story really did it for me. I love MCs with physical/emotional challenges as it gives depth to a story, and I really felt that with this one.
Hardwood caught me on a good day where I was able to forgive an entire book of the MC sticking his head up his ass in order to enjoy the first time wiHardwood caught me on a good day where I was able to forgive an entire book of the MC sticking his head up his ass in order to enjoy the first time with a guy-sex and the adorable second MC, Watson.
Sure, I get it. Parts of this book are totally ridiculous. Lack of communication abounds (usually a deal-breaker for me), and the dildo scene??... funny, of course, but whaaa??. But I had just read a series of serious books about serious topics, so this book just rang my bell.
I loved the fact that we got older MCs here, one who wasn't muscle-bound and stereotypically "perfect" and the other closeted for his whole life. The dynamic was really lovely and the relationship was slow-build and engaging.
Yes, the whole being in the closet thing when literally all of your friends are gay is mega dumb, but I was willing to overlook that (and, apparently, a lot of things). I stayed up late into the night to finish this one. Plus, just look at that cover!! I'm weak...
Though I own a couple of L.J. Hayward's books, The New Normal was my first time reading her work, and I'll admit I had high expectations. My friends all love this author's "Death and the Devil" series, so I was excited to try this contemporary friends-to-lovers book about a cancer survivor. Plus, you guys know how I feel about a sexuality discovery story (!!). I was expecting some sexy, sexy goodness and an engaging plot, but, sadly, I was not impressed.
First of all, this story felt like jumping into the middle of an established series. I had to stop and check to make sure this wasn't an offshoot of another series because there were WAY too many cooks in this kitchen. The multitude of characters and their interwoven relationships was a web too complicated for me to untangle. It was a mess of indistinguishable characters, and it needed a firm editor, badly.
Also, the characters were so dramatic with one another. Lots of storming off, lots of miscommunications, lots of focus on specific labels and not a lot of chemistry. In fact, by the time the romance picked up, I was barely interested anymore. Brian was... not great, the friends were meddlesome and actually a big detractor from the story, and, overall, it left me feeling underwhelmed and not engaged.
I was truly not expecting to love it. I've had mixed experiences with Alexis Hall in the past, and I honestly didn't know he could be so funny. This book is hilarious, especially if you like kind of snarky, British humor, and I found myself laughing out loud to myself in bed, shoulders positively shaking (my husband did not appreciate this).
But that's how this book gets you. Under the humor lies the feels.
The emotions that I felt for these characters snuck up on me, and before I knew it, I was hooked. I really couldn't stop reading, and I stayed up nearly all night to finish.
I know it sounds cliche, but I laughed, I cried, and I would do it all over again.
It's funny, because plot-wise, nothing much happens in the story. It's sort of a meandering series of events in the MC's life where nothing seems to go quite right. The MC screws everything up time and time again, and puts his foot in his mouth so many times it might as well be permanently lodged there. However, he grows on you. The main characters are so multilayered that they feel like real people, and the secondary characters are so unique and well-conceived that you'll want them to have their own stories.
This story has self-righteous vegans, dung beetles, banana curries, dick pics, posh/idiot co-workers, and humor woven around each and every thing that makes it all come together effortlessly. But while you are laughing, be prepared for the feelings, a surprising amount of angst, and the strong, strong chemistry to hit you right when you least expect it. These guys are great for each other, baggage and all, and I was rooting for them like I haven't in a long time. But don't read this story if you are expecting steam, because this story is fade-to-black. However, I didn't mind the lack of steam with this one.
My favorite Alexis Hall book to date, Boyfriend Material delivered right when I needed it to most. I think the author did something special with this story.
DNF at 23%. I found the POV switches to be confusing and I just wasn't getting into it. Life is too short right now to be reading books that don't graDNF at 23%. I found the POV switches to be confusing and I just wasn't getting into it. Life is too short right now to be reading books that don't grab me. ...more
I loved, loved this book in a squeeze-your-heart-stay-up-all-night kind of way. It moved me to tears at parts, and I didn't want it to end.
You need I loved, loved this book in a squeeze-your-heart-stay-up-all-night kind of way. It moved me to tears at parts, and I didn't want it to end.
You need a tiny bit of an open-minded to read this one, and be receptive to the ideas of eastern philosophy, chakras, tantric sex (where, apparently, you don't ever *physically* come and the sex just goes on... and on...), and lots of meditation. I'll admit, this isn't an area of expertise for me, so I have no idea if Eli Easton got any of the facts right, but it seemed all legit. *shrugs*
More important than the nitty gritty details, I simply found this book to be immensely satisfying. We get a lovely MC who needs healing from his devastation after losing his wife to cancer. We get a sexuality discovery story (!!!), an age-gap, lots of intense, soul-shaking eye contact, and emotions so powerful that it made me cry. I just loved this couple and their journey to one another. Plus, foodie details galore. I need to finally try some kombucha for myself.
The story is a little slow and meandering, but I loved the relationship-focused plotline and the overall vibe of the story. It was the Eli Easton book I needed in my life right now.
A lovely, emotional, powerful read that mixed lots of spirtuality with sexuality, The Redemption of River was everything I hoped it would be.
I'm a total high-end restaurant-lover, and I'm very critical of romance that involve food or chefs, so I was expecting to have some issues with Sergeant Delicious, but I was pleasantly surprised. Not only were the food details cute, but the sex was steamy and the characters were surprisingly well developed for a novella.
I wish the story was longer, and all of those epilogues were a bit strange to tack on at the end, but I truly enjoyed this entire book. More of this, please.
In the world of BDSM, daddy kink is my favorite. I'll eat up any daddy kink story, especially with strict, loving daddies. *dreamy sigh*
Sure, this book isn't that much different from the other age play book I've read from M.A. Innes, but that's just fine with me. I'm such a fan of the way this author writes daddy kink relationships that I'd probably read 100 stories with almost the same plot.
A very satisfying book for those who enjoy these types of stories.
I've never read Jay Crownover before, but I bought the paperback of her first M/M romance years ago, and finally decided to give it a sho*2.5 stars*
I've never read Jay Crownover before, but I bought the paperback of her first M/M romance years ago, and finally decided to give it a shot.
To be honest, I had pretty low expectations of this book because M/M romances from authors who primarily write M/F romances tend to be a bit... underwhelming. If you look at it one way, this book met my (low) expectations. It was a nice story with some stilted chemistry and some good plot points to keep things moving.
My main issues with the story was that it was very sex-forward, which for me means that it's insta-attraction, insta-lust, and we don't get that slow burn/relationship development that I like before things heat up. I like a very slow burn in my romances, and so if you are leading with the sexual aspect of a relationship, the chemistry and intensity must be that must stronger for me to get emotionally invested. I wasn't satisfied on that front.
I also was pretty confused because this was supposed to be a prequel to the Saints of Denver series, but there was a TON of characters (with insane names, I might add) thrown in that I felt like I was supposed to know. It felt like the middle of a series that I hadn't read yet. It was disorienting.
Even though the story was fairly enjoyable, I struggled with some of the writing. It didn't seem like the author was completely comfortable writing M/M, and some of the sex scenes felt awkward and stilted.
I could tell right away it was an older book (aI'm a huge Anyta Sunday fan, and I beta read for her often, but Better Be Sure was an odd read for me.
I could tell right away it was an older book (at least, I hope it was) because it had a lot of awkward phrasing and confusing scenes. That intro football scene was particularly disorienting for me. There was a stiffness and a forced-feeling to the writing that didn't work for me. There were also character inconsistencies that needed resolving.
What really made me struggle with this book was the absolutely unnecessarily ridiculous set up to the major tension in the plot. Books with forced conflict due to betting don't usually work for me, but a bet of this magnitude when the MC knew how much was riding on it, and a bet that was insanely easy to win (just explain things, dude, it's a pretty important bet!!) didn't make a whole lot of sense. I didn't get why the bet was made in the first place, I didn't get why Jack didn't just explain things to Ed, and I didn't get why Jack didn't just tell the frat boys to screw themselves and keep going on his merry way.
This was an unnecessarily dramatic read that felt very, very teenage drama. I was not into it, but I hope the series continues to improve as these two authors have certainly stepped up their game since this was written.
As someone who loves historical romances and loves the dynamic of a royal/commoner, I was really hoping that The King and Jai would give me those "stiAs someone who loves historical romances and loves the dynamic of a royal/commoner, I was really hoping that The King and Jai would give me those "stiff upper lip" + protocols! + gay vibes, but I didn't get that at all.
Look, for the king to have barely any staff and bodyguards, no formality whatsoever, and to be so cavalier that he was riding a dildo in an unlocked room in the castle in the middle of the day (!!!) just removed all of the royal atmosphere I was hoping to get. Fine, you want to make it a super casual, modern-day castle with basically no rules, why not just have this as an elite family, not royalty? Plus, I highly doubted that a guy who knew languages but was untrained as a tutor would be magically hired by the royal family without even knowing who was hiring him.
There was a fun story in there, but a lack of chemistry and just a weird set up made it really hard for me to enjoy this one. I'll go back to my historical romances in the English countryside with Dukes and Marquesses for days.
I'm a big fan of Bonnie Dee, and she does another fantastic job with The Thief. If you like Bonnie Dee's historical romances, you'll like this one, I I'm a big fan of Bonnie Dee, and she does another fantastic job with The Thief. If you like Bonnie Dee's historical romances, you'll like this one, I promise.
I've read a number of these type of "con-artist falls in love with his upper-class mark" types of romances, yet The Thief still felt special. I'm not sure if it was the pacing or the way the plot unfolded, but I was hooked. It was difficult for me to put down.
I liked the story being told from a duel POV, and I really liked how we got to see Jody make lots of mistakes. Too often authors have their characters make "mistakes" that are really like good deeds in order to not tarnish the characters in our eyes. Jody screws up and does things that are cringy, yet I liked how he kept redeeming himself and winning Cyril over again.
Cyril was a bit difficult for me to picture, physically, but I really got a great sense of his caring, gentle soul. He put himself fully out there, and I loved his vulnerability. I also liked how this story evolved. It was actually a pretty rapid-paced book, and I didn't want it to end. We get to take a real journey with these characters, and I felt like I knew them well.
There is a touching romance, a bit of danger, and a fresh start for these special characters. Bonnie Dee struck just the right tone with The Thief.