There's some discussion on Nalini Singh Goodreads Group (not her official group, just formed by her readers) about this book. Either this will be IlliThere's some discussion on Nalini Singh Goodreads Group (not her official group, just formed by her readers) about this book. Either this will be Illium's or Aodhan's (or for many, them both, lol). Some think maybe it will feature Tasha, that..gosh, NO.
Big NO. NOPE NOPE BIGGITY NOPE :P.
I don't need to read Raphael's ex story and while I can tolerate ex-lover subplot, to read her/him become a main character is still a big No for me. No clue for the MCs tho for the blurb in the Amazon is kinda vague. But prophecy kinda make me think that this will be back to Elena-Raphael again (but yes, please no Tasha :P)...more
First book to read and finish in 2018, so...yay me? :D
The Black Lily is the first installment of Vampire Blood series (pretty generic series3,5 stars
First book to read and finish in 2018, so...yay me? :D
The Black Lily is the first installment of Vampire Blood series (pretty generic series title for an interesting book title :/), with, obviously, vampire as the main theme. The premise kinda remind me a little with Bec McMaster's London Steampunk tho, with vampire and human coexist together but human is kinda second class, especially the working class and peasants. I don't know where exactly The Blood Lily setting. Sure not in England or Albion even they talk English, but the names are varies (Marius, Nikolai, Morgrid, Arabelle,Sienna, etc), so the author took many liberties with this one. I'm fine tho, just wishing there were some maps so I know where exactly the setting of this Varis kingdom and some important places too.
I can said the story is pretty generic with "enemies to lovers" as main trope. But, it's still enjoyable. Cross make her own vampiric lore, but for me at first the myth can be too convoluted or maybe I'm just not paying much attention. Some of the vampire myth will answered through the end tho, with a little twist. Story wise, this is a re-telling of Cinderella of sort with some other fairy tale element that will be the bridge for the next book.
The heroine, Arabelle is not the stepdaughter of the wicked stepmom, instead she was a servant under cruel family after her mother died. The hero, Marius is the prince of Varis, and surprisely....he's nice. Not a sweet nice, but nice alpha hero bordering beta (haha, I can't explain XD). I like that he didn't go alpha macho and understand the concept of "consent". Heck, he's so nice to his "blood concubine", consider their feeling too and try to treat them as humanly possible. Marius is easy to like, while Arabelle...well, she can be judgmental of sort. Even I understand her judgment because what she going through. There's some slut-shaming, that I wished..come on author, this is getting old. So beware if slut-shaming can triggered you. Like I stated before, I understand why Arabelle did it (slut-shaming, judgmental thought), but that didn't mean I approve it. Although Arabelle indeed change her perspective after what going on with her and Marius.
The next story is the Red Lily, feature Sienna, the red-haired woman that Arabelle befriend, and she kinda can control wolves, and Nikolai, Marius's best friend. Well, you can guess that their story will be the retelling of "Little Red Riding Hood". I'm in the middle of read it when wrote this review...and..welp Sienna is no better than Arabelle tho about this slut-shaming thing (what happen with you all guys? -.-), so I will try to be patient when read it. Nikolai is a little bit wild compare to Marius, but well I'm still read it in 20% mark, so maybe some interesting things will happen :D.
A nice start for a series with vampire as the main theme and if you like paranormal romance in general....more
Another new installment by one of my fave author, Bec McMaster. First published in "Myth and Magic" boxset, now McMaster released Heart of Fi 4 stars
Another new installment by one of my fave author, Bec McMaster. First published in "Myth and Magic" boxset, now McMaster released Heart of Fire in single edition. I prefer this edition rather than boxset with a bunch of new authors that I don't know. I know that its an opportunity to find new authors to read or hidden gems, but sadly, I don't have many time ;(.
Heart of Fire is the first title of Legends of the Storm. I see from the back cover, this series will have 4 books. I believe that this series will tell the story of the drekis siblings, Rurik and his younger sister, Ardis, and brother, Marduk. Now wonder whom story will be told in book 4! McMaster said that she wrote Heart of Fire back then before London Steampunk. I think that this book need more words count, because I feel that the ending is a tad bit rushed for my taste :/.
Reading Heart of Fire remind me so much of Dragon Kin, one of my favorite dragon shifter series, without the crazysaucyness of course! :D I like that the drekis act like dragon, not like how Aiken wrote her dragons, that imho, weird. But that's just me. McMaster wield her own dragon myth with saying that the drekis are beings higher than dragons. Interesting to read how the heroine, Freyja see dreki as the wyrm. Because, wyrm are supposedly lower being compared to dragon in the dragon hierarchy. I also love how McMaster combine Sumerian mythology, about drekis become children of Tiamat, the Beast Mother (she also naming Rurik's brother "Marduk", the slayer of Tiamat). It's pretty unique, considered that the story set in Iceland. She also put some insight into Iceland's religion system, how druidic beliefs considered as pagan. How people in Freyja's village consider her uniqueness as a curse and accused her of being hurdufolk (or Fair Folk. Some may know them with "changeling" myth).
Characters wise, I feel Rurik just ordinary alpha hero, but I do like how he still respect Freyja wish despite his alpha manliness and "Tarzan" tendencies. I like Freyja with her pragmatism views. Love how Rurik tried to court Freyja and I understand why Frejya seems to brush off Rurik at the first place. Alas, I don't like their mating scene. Whyyyyy put it in the last chapter, make it so rushed! Happen in the barn too! My romantic heart can't accept it! :( Another character I liked is Haakon, the dragon hunter. His character development is the best, compared to our main characters. And wow, he will get his own book too. His story seems like second chance kind of trope, and well, that's my favorite trope!
Heart of Fire is not McMaster's strongest book, but I did enjoy read it, since dragon is my favorite fantasy creature and it's not McMaster if she didn't write a story with some twist and unfinished conflict to connect it into the next book. I hardly can't wait to read the next installment....more
A very diverse erotica anthology, written by women and for women. Some short stories is too vanilla for me (despite this entitled as "eroti 3,5 stars
A very diverse erotica anthology, written by women and for women. Some short stories is too vanilla for me (despite this entitled as "erotica"), some are "wtf I just read", some make me yawn aka pretty boring and some make me beg for more.
A New Canvas
For a first story, it's pretty yawn for me. Didn't left impression too to make me want to read another. But, hey, this is still the beginning.
Pretty generic historical romance. Didn't find it erotic at all (if you can say that quick tumble in the carriage is erotic), except that the heroine find her awakening. Disappointed that the author didn't explore much to the masquerade debauchery.
Ophelia the Second
Inspired by Hamlet..but this is not Hamlet re-telling. Too simple for me and not erotic at all. Gosh, did I need to continue the rest? Well, I can endure this.
Revisiting Youth The first diverse story (finally). Set in Japan about widower past her 30 (40 maybe?) and she is Asian as well. Have menage with young men. I like that the author write about love hotel, as a manga reader, I appreciate this, lol.
Date Night Story is usual but the sex steamy. If you want to spice up your relationship with your husband, that is.
Flying Solo Wow, just wow. I might be find the first gem. Never read any by Rachel Kramer Bussel (whom happen to be editor of this anthology) and may check her others work. A good combination between 1st PoV and 2nd PoV as well, which is rare. Steamy is another bonus. Very recommended.
Drawn by Nic A quickie story. Not enough to burn. I have no slightest idea who this Nic is.
The Ropes Old flames rekindle in the outing. Maybe you may consider to go to company training if it will end you up with your office crush. So hard to imagine they have sex in the height and just by ropes. I keep screaming "what if they fall??"
Starstruck Another favorites. The heroine is PoC, past her prime (she's about 40-ish), and nerd. I like that finally she can meet her teenage crush and well..have sex with him is a cherry on the top of geeky sundae. Recommended.
The Altar of Lamented Toys The world might be near its ending, but not your love and passion. You can always find the heat in the hopeless situation. A nice erotic short story in the post-apocalyptic era.
Matilda's Secret This story maybe part of the author's series, but can be read as stand alone as well. Its also give a nice ending, not just a quick meeting or open ending.
Scents & Sexuality Well.. a little bit weird for my taste. Just weird (aka I forgot what the story, lol)
Alvin's Night Very much alike Date Night, but with third party named Alvin. I can said it almost the same with Flying Solo, but just with a little spice aka no actual sex.
Enter Me This is the first time I read a story about deaf character. The author masterfully write what its feel to can't hear anything, how its affect the character's life. I can relate a bit since my hearing is not good (I'm not deaf, just my right ear is not functioning properly). The story feel melancholy too me, but also hopeful.
The Wolf at His Door Supposedly to be BDSM story...but..eh..feel vanilla for me
Out of Ordinary The first story feature transgender character. Took me a little bit to realize one of the characters is trans. It's a nice and steamy story and the author insert some insight how the trans character family treat him with his condition. A little bit sad, tbh.
Lighting the Pyre A story about breast cancer survivor. Start with her having tattoo and then have outdoor sex with her girlfriend. Some make me confused, like when she using condom? Maybe she used strap-on? :/
Restitution An artist make a scandal to buzz her new single. I already new that her interrogation is just a cover up, lol
The Carnalarium A lesbian story, with one girl is commitment phobic, want to leave her lover to travel around the world. I almost irritated by her. Like if she afraid of commitment, why she suddenly act jealous when her girlfriend try to forget her and move on with new lover. The ending is bittersweet but I guess it's perfect for the phobic commitment character. You must deal with the consequences of your choice.
Waiting to Pee All I can said is..yuck, yuck, gross. The title already said it. Sorry, can't find how the story is erotic!
Two Doms for Dinner Pretty ho-hum for BDSM short stories. Not enough steam, despite its have two Doms. Just barely scratch the itch.
The Assistant Save the best for the last! Written by Tiffany Reisz, I know that she will always deliver even with just short story. I must make time to read her Original Sinners series!
I can't said that this is "Best" collection, for some stories is pretty mediocre for me. I guess it's hard to choose 20 stories from hundred stories that meet the editor standards (I know how it feels. Been there done that), and maybe my taste and her is somehow a little bit different. What she or others reader dubbed as erotic is not erotic at all for me (example: Waiting to Pee). BUT, I won't said that this anthology is bad, because I enjoy some of the stories. Its diverse and give some new perspective for me like, a deaf character, PoC, lesbians, trans character and women past her prime age. ...more