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Urban Fantasy Review: Destined for Shadows by Susan Illene

Destined for Shadows by Susan Illene (Dark Destiny #1)


ecopy thanks to the author

Synopsis from Goodreads
When you’re human in a supernatural world, life can have unexpected twists.

Cori has spent the last few years trying to get herself back on track after tragedy struck in the worst possible way. She’s opened a business, made new friends, and even helped save lives. Sure, she doesn’t tell anyone about the dark deeds haunting her, but she does her best to make up for them whenever she can. That includes helping her new neighbor, a half-angel who has just spent a hundred years in Purgatory, adjust to modern life.

Bartol is damaged inside and out. The torture he has suffered left him with no desire to interact with the outside world, and so far he’s pushed everyone he knows away. Cori can’t help wanting to do what she can for the traumatized immortal—even if it requires being a little pushy—because she’s drawn to him for reasons she can’t explain. And, anyway, a little crankiness has never been enough to scare her off.

But her plans are about to come crashing down when a man from her past returns with vengeance on his mind. He’s not human anymore, and he wants Cori dead. In the end, it might not be her saving Bartol, but the other way around.


Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK

7/10

* * *

As a spin off, this is off to a solid start. It sets the scene nicely, it delves into the backstory of two main characters, and it's keeping us up to date with what's happening in Fairbanks.

My only complaint is that Cori & Bartol's interactions are very muted and sparse until they aren't. I needed them to build themselves up to that spark and sexual heat slower, especially considering how damaged they both are.

Friday Mini Reviews #108: Ben Aaronovitch, Eloisa James & Tiffany Reisz



A Rare Book of Cunning Device (Peter Grant #5.6)

free on audio

Synopsis from Goodreads
Somewhere amongst the shadowy stacks and the many basements of the British library, something is very much amiss - and we're not talking late returns here. Is it a ghost, or something much worse? PC Peter Grant really isn't looking forward to finding out....
 
Audible US/UK
 
7/10
 
It's a tiny short story, one of Peter Grant's numerous errands, I picked up for free on audio. It's fun and it even manages to replicate a rich background of British library, among stacks of which Peter and a designated to the task librarian are hunting weird mechanical spiders. Enjoyed it.
                                                               * * *
Это повесть - малютка, описывающая одну из многочисленных ежедневных задач, стоящих перед Питером Грантом. Автору, несмотря на краткость истории, удалось передать красоту и величественность Британской библиотеки, среди полок которой Питер вместе с коллегой-библиотекарем охотится на странных механических пауков.
 
 
 The Duke is Mine by Eloisa James (Fairy Tales #3)

bought

Synopsis from Goodreads

Destiny will be decided between the sheets in this all-new tale of The Princess and the Pea.

For Olivia Lytton, betrothal to the Duke of Canterwick—hardly a Prince Charming—feels more like a curse than a happily-ever-after. At least his noble status will help her sister, Georgiana, secure an engagement with the brooding, handsome Tarquin, Duke of Sconce, a perfect match for her in every way . . . every way but one. Tarquin has fallen in love with Olivia. Quin never puts passion before reason. And reason says that Georgiana is his ideal bride. But the sensual, fiery, strong-willed Olivia ignites an unknown longing in him—a desire they are both powerless to resist. When a scandalous affair begins, they risk losing everything—Olivia's engagement, her sister's friendship, and their own fragile love. Only one thing can save them—and it awaits in the bedroom, where a magnificent mattress holds life-changing answers to the greatest romantic riddle of all.
 
Audible US | Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | Book Depository
 
7/10
 
Okay, it started great, witty, sparkling and fun. I loved Olivia, her hapless intended, her reserved sister and of course Quinn, the main hero. But then, it turned into a hot mess. The weird seduction and especially the bizarre French adventure read like they were written by a different person. I don't know what happened but I did not like it.
                                                          * * *
Ну, началась книга весело, с задором и искорками. Мне нравились здесь все: и язвительная Оливия и ее рассудительная сестра, ее простачок-жених и конечно же главный герой, Куин. Потом произошло нелепое сооблазнение и карикатурное французское приключение в стиле Блакаддэра, и у меня было такое впечатление, что я читала двух разных авторов. Не лучшая работа автора.
 


Mischief by Tiffany Reisz (The Original Sinners #8.6)

kindle freebie

Synopsis from Goodreads
When Nora's young lover Nico admits he's always wanted to celebrate a real American Halloween, she summons him to Halloween Town, USA—a.k.a. Salem, Massachusetts—for two nights of nothing but candy, sex, and mischief.

If necessary, they can skip the candy.


Amazon kindle US/UK

8/10

Oooh, it was lovely! Nico, you naughty boy! I freaking adored this novella, it was snarkalicious, hot and peppery. A pure Halloween treat.
                                                       * * *
Милейшая короткая история! Нико, какой же ты хулиган! Ну жутко понравилось... язвительно, горячо и с перчиком. Настоящая конфетка на Хэллоуин.

Steampunk Mystery Audiobook Review: Firebrand by A.J. Hartley

Firebrand by A.J. Hartley (Alternative Detective #2)


audiocopy courtesy of Audible Studios

Synopsis from Goodreads
Once a steeplejack, Anglet Sutonga is used to scaling the heights of Bar-Selehm. Nowadays she assists politician Josiah Willinghouse behind the scenes of Parliament. When government plans for a secret weapon are stolen, their investigation leads right to the doorsteps of the city’s superexclusive social club, Elitus. Ang has a chance to catch the thief, but only if she can pass for a foreign princess. Her best chance to learn the ways of royalty lies in the aloof Dahria Willinghouse and the intense Madame Nahreem, a woman possessing high standards and unusual pets.

Yet Ang has other things on her mind. Refugees from the north are trickling into the city, but an ambitious politician is proposing extreme measures to get rid of them. She soon discovers that one theft could spark a conflagration of conspiracy that threatens the most vulnerable of Bar-Selehm. Unless she can stop it.


Audible US/UK | Amazon US/UKBook Depository

8/10

* * *

Firebrand gets another high rating from yours truly, because it's an exceptionally original story with a unique voice.

First, the narrator on audio, Noma Dimezweni. I adore her! She truly brought Ang and all the supporting characters to life.

Historical Romance Review: Luck Be a Lady by Meredith Duran

Luck Be a Lady by Meredith Duran (Rules for The Reckless #4)


bought

Synopsis from Goodreads
Romance sizzles between a famous heiress and an infamous crime lord in this fourth sexy novel in the Rules for the Reckless series from the USA Today bestselling author of Fool Me Twice.

The Wallflower

They call her the “Ice Queen.” Catherine Everleigh is London’s loveliest heiress, but a bitter lesson in heartbreak has taught her to keep to herself. All she wants is her birthright—the auction house that was stolen from her. To win this war, she’ll need a powerful ally. Who better than infamous and merciless crime lord Nicholas O’Shea? A marriage of convenience will no doubt serve them both.

The Crime Lord

Having conquered the city’s underworld, Nick seeks a new challenge. Marrying Catherine will give him the appearance of legitimacy—and access to her world of the law-abiding elite. No one needs to know he’s coveted Catherine for a year now—their arrangement is strictly business, free from the troubling weaknesses of love. Seduction, however, is a different matter—an enticing game he means to ensure she enjoys, whether she wishes to or not...


Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | Book Depository

8/10

* * *
While I powered through Lady Be Good, I lost some of my steam with Luck Be A Lady.

The reason? I didn't think the characters lived up to their potential.

Paranormal Fantasy Early Review: Midnight Labyrinth by Elizabeth Hunter

Midnight Labyrinth by Elizabeth Hunter (Elemental Legacy #4)


ecopy thanks to the author

Synopsis from Goodreads
He’s one human caught in a tangled maze of theft, politics, magic, and blood.
 In other words, it’s just another night.


Benjamin Vecchio escaped a chaotic childhood and grew to adulthood under the protection and training of one of the Elemental world’s most feared vampire assassins. He’s traveled the world and battled immortal enemies.


But everyone has to go home sometime.


New York means new opportunities and allies for Ben and his vampire partner, Tenzin. It also means new politics and new threats. Their antiquities business is taking off, and their client list is growing. When Ben is challenged to find a painting lost since the second world war, he jumps at the chance. This job will keep him closer to home, but it might just land him in hot water with the insular clan of earth vampires who run Manhattan.


Tenzin knew the painting would be trouble before she laid eyes on it, but she can’t deny the challenge intrigues her. Human laws mean little to a vampire with a few millennia behind her, and Tenzin misses the rush of taking what isn’t hers.


But nothing is more dangerous than a human with half the story, and Ben and Tenzin might end up risking their reputations and their lives before they escape the Midnight Labyrinth.


MIDNIGHT LABYRINTH is the first book in an all new contemporary fantasy series by Elizabeth Hunter, author of the Elemental Mysteries and the Irin Chronicles


Release date: November 7, 2017.

Amazon kindle US/UK

9/10

* * *

I knew, I just knew that a full-size novel with Ben and Tenzin in it would be a riot.

These two are a perfect combination of warm familiarity and ridiculous amounts of snappy dialogues between a cranky, antisocial vampire legend and a charming, quick-witted and too curious for his own good human.

Friday Mini-Reviews #107 Erotic Romance Edition: Tiffany Reisz, Lydia Michaels and Allyson Young & Alisha Rai



Michael's Wings by Tiffany Reisz (The Original Sinners #6.3)

egalley thanks to 8th Circle Press

Synopsis from Goodreads
Griffin has just popped the question—yes, that question—and Michael doesn’t have an answer. He flees town for New Orleans to see his confidante and sometime-Domme, Mistress Nora. Will a weekend of beignets and beatings help him untangle his knotted-up heart?

Thus begins Michael's Wings, the eponymous novella that kicks off the latest entry in Tiffany Reisz's LAMBDA Literary Award-winning* Original Sinners series.

This companion collection to fan-favorite The Angel also contains six previously-published stories starring Mistress Nora's favorite angel and Griffin—his master, his true love, and the sexy-as-hell bane of Michael's existence.


Release date: November 7, 2017.

Amazon kindle US/UK

7.5/10

Michael's Wings is about Griffin popping the question to Mike who is freaking out about it.
 

Griffin in Wonderland describes Griffin and Kingsley crossing paths for the first time, which was the making of Griffin as we know him.
 

Gauze talks about Michael's accident and how him and Griffin deal with the trauma.
 

The Theory of the Moment describes Griffin and Melissa, Michael's mom meeting and conversation.
 

The Couch talks about the boys first serious argument with some naughty and wise advise from Nora.
 

A Better Distraction is about Griffin trying to let Michael study with mixed results.

Finally, Christmas in Suite 37A describes couple reconciling after a long break.

Bottom line, this is a sweet and totally adorable collection of everyday and pivotal moments in Griffin and Michael's life with Nora's subtle coaching in between. Loved it, recommended to all the fans.



* * *

"Крылья Майкла" о том, как Гриффин просит руки Майкла.

"Гриффин в Стране Чудес" рассказывает о встрече Гриффина с Кингсли, когда Кинг ставит нашего золотого мальчика на правильный путь.

"Марля" - о несчастном случае Майкла и о том, как он с Гриффином справляются с травмой.

"Теория Момента" - о милейшей встрече Гриффина с Мелиссой и их разговоре о ее сыне, Майкле.

"Диван" - о первой большой ссоре между ребятами и лукавом совете от Норы .

"Отвлечение Получше" - о попытке Гриффина оставить Майка заниматься уроками, и что из этого выходит.

И наконец, "Рождество в Номере 37А" - о примирении пары после долгой разлуки.

Если подытожить, то это - очаровательная коллекция историй о бытовых и важных моментов из жизни пары, с незаметным курированием от Норы. Советую всем фанатам автора.  




Forfeit by Lydia Michaels and Allyson Young (Degrees of Separation #1)

bought

Synopsis from Goodreads

The debut novel of a masterfully emotional, high stakes trilogy that will have readers forfeiting tradition to gamble with love…

December and Austin have a traditional, storybook marriage complete with defined roles. Married young, they’ve shared nearly a decade of passion and love. December’s submissive nature is perfectly suited for her husband’s authoritative, yet adoring personality and he seamlessly holds the indisputable role of head of the household.

But Austin harbors secrets, and the pressure of losing his job makes those festering skeletons impossible to ignore.

Turning to alcohol instead of his wife, Austin finally drives December into the arms of their closest friend, Cord, despite her intense loyalty. Cord has loved December since the day they met. His moral compass is challenged and lines are blurred when Austin steps aside and insists Cord take his place.

Forfeiting all, Austin must face a harsh truth. Take control of his life, or forever lose the woman he loves.


WARNING: This book contains subject matter suitable for mature reading audiences. Some content may be offensive to sensitive readers. Degrees of Separation is a ménage trilogy with many emotionally graphic encounters and challenging situations that break the rules of traditional romance.


Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | Book Depository

6/10

On one hand, I have all the sympathy for the main heroine. Girl, I've been there, done that, got a t-shirt. December herself is a sweet and kind soul. I instantly liked her. Cord was a typical hero material, and I enjoyed him as well. Austin was a typical alcoholic unable to get over his failures and major wounds to his ego.

What infuriated me was this complete lack of understanding of how to deal with alcoholism. Come on, guys! Have you heard of googling it? If my spouse or loved one had it, I'd sure as hell research everything I could to help them out. Telling someone to pull yourself together and stop doesn't cut it. That person can DIE from following such advice. You need medical help and supervision. Ugh! So, I don't recommend this book for this reason and probably won't bother reading the rest.
* * *
 С одной стороны, я испытываю симпатию к главной героине. Я там был, мед, пиво пил и футболку получил. Декабрь - милая женщина, добрая и светлая. Да и Корд - лучший друг ее муж, герой, которого легко полюбить. Остин - типичный запойный алкоголик, потерявший работу и запивший, не в состоянии смриться с неудачей из-за своей гордыни.

Что довело меня до белого каления - это наивная вера Декабрь и Корда в то, что Остину надо просто собраться волей, бросить пить и привести себя в порядок. Ну, ребята, погуглите вы алкоголизм! Если он последует вот такому совету, он и умереть может! Ему нужна в начале медицинская помощь и наблюдение, чтобы высохнуть. Вот идиоты! Из-за этого продолжение прям читать не хочу.



Glutton for Pleasure by Alisha Rai (Pleasure #1)

bought

Synopsis from Goodreads
They’re craving something sweet. She likes it spicy.
 
Devi Malik knows how to heat things up. She does it every night as head chef in her family’s Indian restaurant. Her love life, though, is stuck in the subzero freezer. Now, with a chance to fulfill a secret fantasy with her long-time crush and his brother, it’s time to put her desire on the front two burners.
 
For Marcus Callahan, a love-’em-and-leave-’em attitude isn’t only a necessary evil of their kink. It’s a protective device. Lately, though, his brother Jace has been making noises about craving something more.
 
Jace’s dissatisfaction with their lifestyle grows with every glimpse of sweet little Devi. Yet Marcus is too haunted by the pain of their shared past to give love a chance.
 
Despite their reputation for vanishing with the dawn, they discover one night with Devi isn’t nearly enough. And Devi finds herself falling in love with two very different men.
 
It’ll take more than explosive sex to light up the shadows surrounding the Callahan brothers’ secrets. But Devi’s never been afraid of the dark…


Warning: This title contains two sizzling men for the price of one, ménage a trois, oral sex, anal sex, fun toys, great food, and creative uses for syrup and dressing rooms.


Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | Book Depository

6/10

I freaking loved Alisha Rai's latest, so I thought I'd go through her backlist starting with Glutton for Pleasure especially as it's written in the same universe.

What can I say? It's her first published work, so the quality is nowhere near her latest, Hate to Want You. It's straight off erotica instead of erotic romance, so while Devi is a lovely tease of a potentiality awesome character, Jace and Marcus are mostly cardboard. Some good moments, but shaky at best.


* * *

Честно, купила " Жадную до Удовольствия" из-за того, что прочитала последнюю книгу Алишы Рай запоем. Книга эта - ее первый блин и как видно, комом. Ну, первая изданная книга; со стилем и уверенностью пера она еще здесь не сообразилась, и это очень видно.

Дэви - хорошенькая героиня, и в проблесках ее жизни чувствуется большой потенциал. А вот Джейс и Маркус совсем картонные. Да и жанр здесь - чистая эротика вместо эротического романа. Советовать не буду, но и отпугивать не хочу.

November Book Releases I'm Dying to Read!


So many heavy hitters released this month!!! Midnight Labyrinth is AMAZING! Michael's Wings is lovely, and I am beyond excted to read Fence from C.S. Pacat!

What are you waiting for in November?

Fantasy Romance Early Review: The Sea King by C.L. Wilson

The Sea King by C. L. Wilson (Weathermages of Mystral #2)


egalley courtesy of Avon

Synopsis from Goodreads
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Winter King comes a breathtaking new tale of love and adventure set in the mystical land of Mystral...

He wasn't supposed to choose her...

Seafaring prince Dilys Merimydion has been invited to court the three magical princesses of Summerlea. To eradicate the pirates threatening Calberna and to secure the power of the Sea Throne, Dilys vows to return home with a fierce warrior-queen as his bride. But politics has nothing to do with unexpected temptation.

She didn't dare wed him...

A weathermage like her sisters, Gabriella Coruscate's gentleness exemplifies the qualities of her season name, Summer. Yet her quiet poise conceals dangerous powers she cannot begin to wield. Better to live without excitement, she reasons, than risk her heart and lose control— until an irresistible Sealord jolts her awake with a thunderclap of raw desire.

Until evil threatens everything they hold dear...

When pirates kidnap Summer and her sisters, Dilys is in a desperate quest to save the woman he loves. Only by combining his command of the seas with the unleashed fury of Summer's formidable gifts can they defeat their brutal enemies and claim the most priceless victory of all: true love.


Release date: Oct 31st, 2017.

Audible US/UK | Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | Book Depository

8.5/10

* * *
 Not for the first time I've noticed the similarities between C.L. Wilson's writing and Ann Bishop's Black Jewels series.

They both have rich world-building with main characters who are often damaged physically and psychologically, and who, at some point, face an unspeakable evil to only come out of the encounter stronger and more savage.

Friday Mini Reviews #106: Roshani Chokshi, C.L. Wilson & Julia Kent




The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi (The Star-Touched Queen #1)

bought on audio

Synopsis from Goodreads
Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.


Audible US/UK | Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | Book Depository

7/10

The prose is interesting, but uneven. I listened to it on audio, and while some parts held me captivated, others I couldn't care less about. This is a classic myth where a girl is repeatedly told not to do something specific so she can continue to live her charmed life, and when her curiosity wins, she loses the person she loves, then sets off on a quest to get them back.

While I didn't care much for the wishy-washy pre-quest romance as the characters weren't doing it for me, Maya found her spine after starting her journey, and some of the secondary characters ( like Kamala) spiced things up considerably.

Verdict: not bad, but not sure if i want to continue.

                                                                      * * *

Интересная, но неровная проза. Я эту книгу слушала на аудио и где-то заслушивалась, а где-то пропускала мимо ушей. Это классическая сказка, в которой героине запрещено что-то специфически, иначе она потеряет свою заговоренную жизнь. Правило это она нарушает и теряет свою любовь. Теперь ей нужно пройти испытания и исправить совершенную ошибку, чтобы его вернуть.

До квеста Майя и Амар меня совершенно не вставляли. Какие-то они были деревянные и приторно-сладкие. А вот как Майя начала свое путешествие, она нашла в себе несгибаемую волю, да и сделать ее более интересной помогла ее помощница и шикарнейшая второстепенная героиня - Камала.

Вердикт: не все так плохо, но читать продолжение не хочу.


 Lord of The Fading Lands by C.L. Wilson (Tairen Soul #1)

bought

Synopsis from Goodreads

Once he drove back the darkness.
Once he loved with such passion his name was legend.

Once, driven wild with grief over the murder of his beloved, the majestic Fey King Rain Tairen Soul had laid waste to the world before vanishing into the Fading Lands. Now, a thousand years later, a new threat draws him back into the world—and a new love reawakens the heart he thought long dead.

Ellysetta, a woodcarver’s daughter, calls to Rain in a way no other ever had. Mysterious and magical, her soul beckons him with a compelling, seductive song—and no matter the cost, the wildness in his blood will not be denied.

As an ancient, familiar evil regains its strength, causing centuries-old alliances to crumble and threatening doom for Rain and his people... he must claim his truemate to embrace the destiny woven for them both in the mists of time.
 


Audible US/UK | Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | Book Depository

7.5/10
  
You know why this book gets a lower rating? It does one of the worst things a book can do to me: finishes mid-sentence, metaphorically speaking. Someone somewhere along the line decided it was a good idea to simply split one book in two and sell two instead of one. Yeah, it didn't cut it!

Otherwise, it's a fascinating setting and characters strongly reminiscent of the ones from Black Jewels series by Ann Bishop. I want to read more, but I am pretty miffed at the same time...

                                                                      * * *

Знаете, я занизила оценку этой книги по одной причине - она фигурально заканчивается на полуслове. Такое впечатление, что у кого-то в издательстве появилась гениальная идея из одной книги сделать две , вот ее и поделили безо всякой обработки...

А так, очень интересное построение мира и герои, сильно напоминающие персонажей из серии Черные Драгоценности от Энн Бишоп. Чертовски раздражена концовкой, поэтому не знаю когда куплю продолжение.



Random Acts of Fantasy by Julia Kent (Random #3)

ecopy from the author

Synopsis from Goodreads
You ever really think that you'll win the lottery? Meet Mr. Right? How about two Mr. Rights?

Somehow the universe is handing me everything I want (except for that lottery part...), and I don't like it. Not one little bit. Because just when you get all your dreams handed to you on a silver platter, that's when an airplane dumps its sewage on your house. Or your mama's diabetes takes a bad turn. Or your mobile phone gets stuck in your hoohaw.

(What? It happens…)

Boring old average me got everything I wanted already, moving from small-town Ohio to big-city Boston to follow my heart. So when the fancy invitation offering me a pile of money to come with the band, Random Acts of Crazy, to perform on an island resort and be their manager arrived, I thought it was a cosmic joke. Enough money to help my mama get what she needed, five days in sunny paradise, and a shot at greatness for the band? Unreal. One big shoe was waiting to drop. On my head.

Just like no one really ever finds a naked man wearing only a guitar standing by the side of the road hitchhiking and ends up falling in love with him and his friend and moving halfway across the country for true love, no one gets an invitation to come to what turns out to be a resort where people make what me and Joe and Trevor do together look like a chaste peck on the cheek. But...

Well.

I guess these things do happen.

To me.
  

Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | Book Depository

6/10

Well, what can I say? This is a short story from miss Kent involving her usual cringeworthy and at the same time hilarious slapstick humour. Random Acts of Crazy are invited to play on a private island which, surprise surprise!, is a kinky sex resort. Darla, Trevor and Joe finally solve some issues in their relationship and move on to the next level. It's funny, chaotic and very, very silly. Recommended for a light read.
                                                          * * *
Ну, что я могу сказать? Это короткая повесть от мисс Кент, полная характерной для нее смеси пошлого, туалетного юмора, от которого временами перекашивает. Случайные Акты Сумасшествия приглашены играть, сюрприз сюрприз! на элитный секс курорт. Дарла, Тревор и Джо наконец решают проблемы в их отношениях и выходят на новый уровень. Смешно, хаотично и дурачливо. Рекомендую если хочется чего-то очень легкого и с каким-то подростковым юмором.


Fantasy Romance Review: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas


 A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2)


bought on audio

Synopsis from Goodreads

Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.
 


Audible US/UK | Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | Book Depository

8.5/10

* * *
By now it's easy to see a pattern in Miss Maas' heroines. They fall in love with the wrong person on their first try. They fall for self-righteous, pompous jerks with a bad temper. Chaol, anyone? Tamlin? I'm not sure I approve of this pattern, especially, after the sacrifices made by the heroine.

Erotic Romance Review: Sex Love Repeat by Alessandra Torre

Sex Love Repeat by Alessandra Torre


bought

Synopsis from Goodreads
In Malibu, I sleep late in our worn out bed. Dance to Bob Marley in the sand. Find love and peace in Paul's arms.

In Hollywood, I drink champagne and watch our chef fix dinner. I visit Stewart at work and let him take me on top of his desk.

Two separate lives. Two separate men. A woman that watched us all.

I should have known that it wouldn't work out.


 
Audible US/UK | Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | Book Depository 



8/10

* * *
This was my first Alessandra Torre book, and it won't be the last. She's got soul, she's got balls, and she has a raw integrity which takes a plotline that could have made me roll my eyes in exasperation with a lesser writer, and makes it touching and meaningful.

Historical Romance Review: Lady Be Good by Meredith Duran

Lady Be Good by Meredith Duran (Rules for the Reckless #3)


bought

Synopsis from Goodreads
The third searing novel in the Rules for the Reckless series by Meredith Duran, the USA Today bestselling author of sexy and evocative Regency romances in the tradition of Sarah MacLean.

Catching the Lady Red-Handed

Born to a family of infamous criminals, Lilah Marshall has left behind her past and made herself into the perfect lady. Working as a hostess at Eveleigh's, London’s premier auction house, she leads a life full of art, culture, and virtue. All her dreams are within reach—until a gorgeous and enigmatic viscount catches her in the act of one last, very reluctant theft.

Chasing One Red-Hot Passion

Christian “Kit” Stratton, Viscount Palmer, is society's most dashing war hero. But Kit’s easy smiles hide a dark secret: he is haunted by a madman’s vow to destroy anyone he loves. When his hunt for the enemy leads to Everleigh’s Auction Rooms, he compels Lilah to help him. But one tempting touch may be their undoing—for what Kit needs threatens all Lilah holds dear, and losing her may destroy Kit.
 


Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | Book Depository

9/10

* * *
 God, I loved this book so much! I haven't read a historical for awhile, and to stumble on such little gem was everything.

Why read this one? you'd ask.

The heroine is a total badass who does not take mansplaining kindly. A former thief determined to climb out of the gutter and onto the social ladder, Lilah Marshall works as a hostess in an auction house where she manipulates guests with her refined accent, easy smiles and witty flirtations.

Urban Fantasy Novel Review: Wildfire by Ilona Andrews

Wildfire by Ilona Andrews (Hidden Legacy #3)


bought

Synopsis from Goodreads
Just when Nevada Baylor has finally come to accept the depths of her magical powers, she also realizes she’s fallen in love. Connor “Mad” Rogan is in many ways her equal when it comes to magic, but she’s completely out of her elements when it comes to her feelings for him. To make matters more complicated, an old flame comes back into Rogan’s life…

Rogan knows there’s nothing between him and his ex-fiance, Rynda Sherwood. But as Nevada begins to learn more about her past, her power, and her potential future, he knows she will be faced with choices she never dreamed of and the promise of a life spent without him.

As Nevada and Rogan race to discover the whereabouts of Rynda’s kidnapped husband and are forced to confront Nevada’s grandmother, who may or may not have evil motives, these two people must decide if they can trust in each other or allow everything to go up in smoke.
 


Audible US/UK | Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | Book Depository

9.5/10

* * *
One thing for sure, I'll be re-reading this in the near future as I gulped it down way too fast instead of savouring.

Explosive. Snarky. Poignant. Exhilarating. These are just some of the suitable epitomes for Ilona Andrews' books. I honestly can't get enough of them, and this series is one of the finest in urban fantasy, from my point of view.

Contemporary Romance Review: Beard in Mind by Penny Reid

Beard in Mind by Penny Reid (Winston Brothers #4)


ecopy thanks to the author

Synopsis from Goodreads
All's fair in love and auto maintenance.


Beau Winston is the nicest, most accommodating guy in the world. Usually.
Handsome as the devil and twice as charismatic, Beau lives a charmed life as everyone’s favorite Winston Brother. But since his twin decided to leave town, and his other brother hired a stunning human-porcupine hybrid as a replacement mechanic for their auto shop, Beau Winston’s charmed life has gone to hell in a handbasket.


Shelly Sullivan is not nice and is never accommodating. Ever.
She mumbles to herself, but won’t respond when asked a question. She glares at everyone, especially babies. She won’t shake hands with or touch another person, but has no problems cuddling with a dog. And her damn parrot speaks only in curse words.


Beau wants her gone. He wants her out of his auto shop, out of Tennessee, and out of his life.


The only problem is, learning why this porcupine wears her coat of spikes opens a Pandora’s box of complexity—exquisite, tempting, heartbreaking complexity—and Beau Winston soon discovers being nice and accommodating might mean missing out on what matters most.


Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK

8.5/10

* * *
 I'll be honest with you, peeps. Cletus and Jennifer's shennanigans was a very tough act to follow, and it didn't help that the timeline of Beard in Mind was overlapping the events of Beard Science.

Saying all that, Beau's book has a less comedic vibe and takes on a very serious, heartbreaking issue of mental illness very well. I loved and appreciated that.

Erotic Romance Review: Team Player by Cate Ellink

Team Player by Cate Ellink


Egalley courtesy of Escape Publishing

Synopsis from Goodreads
She’s never been shy about what she wants – and now she wants them both...

Hannah Maynard, sports reporter, is sure it’s only her lust-filled fantasies linking Australian rugby league captain, Charlie Maxxin, with relative newcomer, Lyle Smythe-Jones. She and Charlie have shared quite a few steamy sessions over the years, so surely he’s not in a relationship with the young, unflappable player she’s dubbed Marble Boy?

Hannah lures Charlie to dinner and his reaction is all the answer she needs. But she doesn’t want to report on the biggest secret in Australian sport – she wants to take part. However, it’s not just Charlie’s decision and it can’t be just casual. If Hannah wants in, she has to be all in, with Lyle, with Charlie, and with the hottest action any of them have ever experienced.


Amazon kindle US/UK | Book Depository

5/10

* * *

Right, I'm going to try and be short explaining why this didn't work for me.

You know that I review plenty of erotic romances exploring topics of MMF/MFM relationship? I hope the experience gave me an understanding that this kind of dynamics can be tricky to pull off, and I can count the authors who managed to do it on one hand. Unfortunately, Miss Ellink isn't one of them.

Paranormal Fantasy Review: The Silent by Elizabeth Hunter

The Silent by Elizabeth Hunter (Irin Chronicles #5)


ecopy thanks to the author

Synopsis from Goodreads
They are called kareshta, the silent ones.
But the silent are waking.

Kyra has lived her life in the shadow of a powerful Grigori brother. She’s ignored her own desires for the good of her family, but an unexpected request from Thailand sends her on a mission that could change her life and alter the fate of free Grigori all over the world. Sons of the Fallen hidden in the mountains of Thailand have adapted an ancient human magic for their own purposes. Will this practice bring peace or lead to even greater danger for the Irin race?

A simple diplomatic mission sends Leo to Bangkok, but he didn’t expect to see a familiar face in surveillance photographs. He’s tried everything to drive Kyra from his mind, since he was convinced the gentle kareshta wanted to hide from the world. How did she turn up halfway across the globe, living with Grigori who may or may not be Irin allies?

Leo has bided his time. He’s given Kyra her space.

But this scribe is ready to hear a kareshta sing.

THE SILENT is a romantic fantasy, and the fifth book in the Irin Chronicles series.
 


Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | Book Depository

8.5/10

* * *
 The Silent is an intriguing read as it expands the Irin mythology considerably.

I love how things stopped being black and white. Not all Grigori are evil, some choose to fight their nature and protect their sisters, kareshta.

Not all kareshta are meek and helpless. Some fought the tide of madness and won, others succumbed to it and went dark.
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