Close Up by Virginia Kantra | 5 Stars

I LOVE the compound-related storyline, SO intriguing and very timeless. The relationship between the compound and the town was also handled very nicely. The compound’s people weren’t painted to be the “bad guys.” Instead, the author showed how they were a peaceful if radical people and the townspeople lived alongside them harmoniously.

I also found the characters very believable. Sometimes with crime/investigation stories, the character who isn’t a police officer is either completely helpless or so experienced with law practices that it doesn’t make sense. In this case, the heroine’s experience and inexperience were perfectly balanced, and I really enjoyed a character who sometimes needed to be saved but who could also save herself.

I think my favorite part about this story was that I truly believe that our hero and heroine belong together. It’s easy for the adrenaline of a life-and-death situation (like theirs) to create an ideal atmosphere to fall in love, or at least in lust, but I felt that these two characters fit together so well that if they’d met at a coffee shop or on the street somewhere, they would have fallen in love just the same.

Tempests & Slaughter | 3 Stars

Tempests & Slaughter
By Tamora Pierce
3 Stars

Let me start out by saying that I have been waiting for this book for 15 years. Well, since I first heard that Numair was going to get his own book. So I came into this with a lot of expectations – 15 years of pent up hopes and dreams.

Basically, I spent the whole book waiting for something to happen, and nothing ever did. There was no climax. I never felt like we were building toward anything, and there was nothing to overcome. Essentially the entire book is spent watching Arram go to class and hang out with Varice and Ozorne. I understand that we need to set up Arram’s relationship with these two, but there really was no story. I felt like the author started the book too soon, and we simply followed Arram along while waiting for the actual story to begin – which hopefully will be book 2.

That being said, Arram’s character was on point. There were so many times when what I was reading about his childhood completely clicked with his adulthood. You could tell that the author really knew her character inside and out, which was great to read. That was probably the best part of the book – really feeling like I was reading about the younger days of a character, not reading about a different person.

For someone who’s never read the Wild Magic series (the adult years of our main character), I wouldn’t recommend Tempests & Slaughter because it doesn’t pack enough punch to stand on its own. For fans of the character, however, we will all read this story, regardless of reviews.

Z-Bot | 3 Stars

This was a fun sci-fi romance. What really drew me in was the incredible wealth of knowledge the author has of computers, technology, and the complex functions that all work together. There were layers upon layers of technical plots, things I never would have even dreamed about. I am not a tech savvy person, but the author presents the information in such a way that I was never confused by the information or doubted its authenticity. Really, for me, the technical information was what made this book so fun and exciting, even more than the thrilling plot: after a man dies, his body is reanimated by a computer—but then his soul returns to his body and he must fight to regain control not just of his body, but of his new life.

The romance between the two characters was sweet and believable. I particularly enjoyed that Chris, our hero, was a nerd. Sure, he had recently hit the gym as part of his plan to gain confidence and appeal with women, which he completely succeeded at, but he’s also still somewhat shy and sweet—very refreshing traits in a genre often filled with alpha males.

A Scot In The Dark | 4 Stars

A Scot In The Dark
by Sarah MacLean
4 Stars

I didn’t like the tone of this book at first, and I was very tempted to put it down. But I’m so glad I didn’t! I quickly fell in love with the hero who had been so tragically misunderstood and scorned in the past. I really loved the hero’s backstory, his internal narrative, and the way he acts around the heroine. Also – what’s sexier than a man whose Scottish accent sneaks out whenever he gets lost in the moment with the heroine? Swoon!

There was also a sweet line questioning why we put so much importance on “firsts” or “seconds” rather than who we spend our lives with. I thought that in a genre often populated with virgins, this was particularly poignant.

Carolina Home | 5 Stars

Carolina Home
by Virginia Kantra
5 Stars

If you’re a lover of romance that’s small-town sweet AND super hot, you’re going to love Carolina Home! I immediately fell in love with both our characters, and I found that their romance-that’s-not-a-romance was very natural and believable. It didn’t feel at all that it was being forced or manipulated to fit the story. I also particularly enjoyed the involvement of the secondary characters. The subtle secondary plots hint at future books in the series, and I’m excited to read more!

Hit The Spot | 5 Stars

Hit The Spot
by J. Daniels
5 Stars

Another book that I stayed up all night reading because I HAD to finish! I love the angst between the characters and how their relationship develops from a love/hate relationship based solely on physical attraction to a true love story. And boy, is their love a steamy one! Be prepared for a super hot read from beginning to end!

I’ll be honest – in the opening pages, I did not like Jamie, our hero. He was arrogant, very sexual, and maybe not too respectful of relationships. I was scared, and wondered, how are we going to redeem this jerk? But as I read on and fell in love with him, I realized that if we want a bad-boy-turned-good, we have to let him actually be a bad boy in the beginning. So, stick with it, even if you want to treat him the way our heroine does (I won’t ruin it by telling you, but you’re going to love it), and I promise you’ll fall head over heels in love with him too. This is a book I can’t stop rereading. The emotional journey, especially for the heroine, is just so intense. Love it!

Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake | 5 Stars

Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake
by Sarah MacLean
5 Stars

I loved this story! The heroine was absolutely fabulous, sassy, and witty. She was completely unwilling to be shackled by her status as a female or spinster, and watching her complete her bucket list was wicked fun! The romance is so sweet as well, with a wide and believable range of emotions not limited by the characters’ roles in society. I have no complaints whatsoever, other than that the book had to end.

How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days | 3 Stars

How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days
by Kerrelyn Sparks
3 Stars

Right off the bat, the narrative read like a historical, but in a way that it sounded like a bard was reading me a story. It made it a little difficult to get immersed in the story because the narrative style kept reminding me that I was reading a book. Another difficulty I had was in determining what age group the story was written for, not that it stopped me from reading it either way. To me, it seems that the story is written in a YA tone, but I was surprised by the high heat level. It was an interesting story, and it definitely improved after the first few pages of overwhelming backstory on the world we are thrust into. If you enjoy stories with an awkward “first time” scene, this one takes the cake. It was actually so awkward that I was a bit mortified for both of them – but again, if that’s something you enjoy, then you will love this scene. I will probably read the next book in this series, because I am intrigued by the world and the characters, it’s just the narrative style that isn’t quite what I usually read.

Nobility Was Inspired By Shrek

Nobility was inspired by Shrek, one of my favorite movies to listen to while I write. I really liked the idea of a princess locked away in a tower, being rescued by a knight in shining armor… and neither of them actually fitting the stereotype they’re playing. In Nobility, Danna is a princess locked away in a tower, but she wasn’t cursed. Actually, she ASKED her fairy godmother to put her there to escape an arranged marriage. Nobelle is a thief with her face plastered on wanted posters all over the kingdom. Her only chance to escape the noose is to rescue and marry the princess, even though she doesn’t want to rescue the princess and the princess doesn’t want to be rescued.

Fun fact? This story was originally published as a m/m romance several years ago, before I revamped it to be f/f. I personally prefer this version myself, but maybe one day I’ll release them both together and let readers decide.

Check out Nobility today!

A Million Little Things | 4 Stars

A Million Little Things
By Susan Mallery
4 Stars

I love this author’s writing style. That’s the first thing that sucks you in and does not let you go. Seriously, it was hard to put down this book to go back to things that needed to be done. Like, going to work. I particularly enjoyed that the three storylines we’re following are all of different aged women at different points in their relationships: a young woman dating, a married woman and her husband, and a widow venturing into the dating world again. I thought it was an intriguing angle to view relationships from different points in life, all from within the same book. As a younger reader, I don’t go looking for books about grandma’s falling in love again. It’s just not something I go looking for. I thought it was very clever for the author to combine these three age groups/markets in one book, so that even if one of the storylines isn’t something you usually read, there’s still something in the story for everyone.

Other than the author’s cleverness in that regard, the book was definitely a fun and delightful read. Did I mention how much I love her writing style? I did, but I’ll say it again. Her voice is fun, charming, and clever, and this is a book that you will enjoy reading!