Book Review: The Dane Law

reviewcover-the dane lawTitle: The Dane Law [The Atheling Chronicles 2]

Author: Garth Pettersen

Genre: Historical Romance

Rating: 4 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

After a peaceful year running their Frisian estate, Harald and Selia are called to Engla-lond.

Their return is marked by violence and intrigue. The king has vowed to Queen Emma that their son, Harthacnute, will inherit the throne, but the atheling is cruel and reckless. Many view Harald as the better choice, which makes him a target for the unseen supporters of his half-brother. King Cnute urges Harald to be prepared to assume the throne should Harthacnute prove inadequate. Harald resists being swept up by forces beyond his control, but doubts he will survive the reign of King Hartha.

And what of his older brother, Sweyn?

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

If you are a fan of historical tales full of romance, intrigue, and action, The Dane Law by Garth Pettersen will be right up your alley.

The book is wonderfully well-written, full of beautiful historical detail and vibrant atmosphere. The narrative is well-paced and sucks you into the time period effortlessly.

I truly enjoyed the characters and the little bits of humor thrown in especially. It is a bit of a heavy read, but well worth it.

Book Review: Night Demon

reviewcover-nightdemonTitle: Night Demon [Night 2]

Author: Lisa Kessler

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Rating: 3 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

Gretchen Finch’s job would be much easier if she weren’t alone in the jungle with a brilliant recluse whose every glance sets her on fire. But the more she focuses on her work, the closer she gets to unlocking the mysteries of a terrible creature – the Night Demon – that threatens the world as she knows it. Though her scientific mind tells her it’s impossible, she’s beginning to believe the ancient Mayan tales as the sinister jungle comes alive around her.

Lukas Smith has spent hundreds of years searching for answers to his immortal Night Walker nature. As a series of ancient glyphs become clear, he’s about to find out more than he’d ever hoped, but the more he learns, the more his fate intertwines with the Night Demon, and the harder it becomes to hide his immortal secret from the beautiful, intelligent Gretchen.

Together, they must find a way to stop the inexplicable violence and mass destruction surging across the earth before the Night Demon destroys more than just mankind.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I have mixed feelings about Night Demon by Lisa Kessler. Overall, it’s a decent read. I liked the location the majority of the book took place in. I liked the characters, the romance, and the writing style. The world-building was a bit vaguer than I would have liked, but still substantial enough to carry the story. I enjoyed the overall plot and the sequence of events. 
 
What I didn’t like, was how large the cast of the book was, and how much time was spent hopping between the different characters. I don’t feel like hopping between the points of view of the guardian, or the gods who created him was necessary to the plot, and in some ways, it detracted from the narrative by pulling the reader’s attention away from the two main characters. It felt too much like the author was revisiting characters from elsewhere in the series, rather than letting them go so the focus could stay on the romance plot of this book. It was distracting.
 
Did I hate the book? No. As I said, for the most part, I enjoyed the book. If you like paranormal romance reads, this one wasn’t bad – I just think it could have been better. I gave this book 3 stars because it’s a mixed bag. Not great, not terrible. It’s worth reading, but I wouldn’t keep a copy on my bookshelf.

Book Review: Would I Lie To The Duke

review-cover-would i lie to the dukeTitle: Would I Lie To The Duke [The Union of the Rakes 2]

Author: Eva Leigh

Genre: Historical Romance

Rating: 5 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

Jessica McGale’s family business desperately needs investors, and she’s determined to succeed at any cost. But she knows London’s elite will never look twice at a humble farm girl like herself. Posing as “Lady Whitfield,” however, places her in the orbit of wealthy, powerful people—most notably the Duke of Rotherby. His influence and support could save her company, but Jess never expected the effect he’d have on her.

Society thinks Noel is a notorious, carefree duke who dabbles in investments, but there’s a side to him that only his closest friends see. When he crosses paths with Lady Whitfield at a business bazaar, his world tilts on its axis. She’s brilliant and compelling, and brings him to his knees like no woman has before. Trust is difficult for Noel, but Jess makes him believe anything is possible…

As time ticks down on her Cinderella scheme, the thought of achieving her goal at Noel’s expense breaks Jess’ heart. He doesn’t just want her now, he wants her forever. But will her secret end their future before it begins?

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I thoroughly enjoyed Would I Lie To The Duke by Eva Leigh. I read a lot of historical romance, and it was nice to come across one that not only fit snugly into the genre comfortably but also pushed the envelope a little. The writing was fantastic, the characters were charming and well-edited.

The main female lead was intelligent, driven, and well aware of her shortcomings, even as they got in her way, which was a nice change from the usual simpering damsel. I found the plot to be smart and seductive, full of deception and escapades, with a healthy dose of romance to round it all off. There was an underlying theme of the characters continually trying to break societal barriers in both small, and great ways.

If you are a fan of historical romances, this is a great one to pick up.

Book Review: Onyx

cover-onyxTitle: Onyx [Lux 2]

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance

Rating: 5 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

BEING CONNECTED TO DAEMON BLACK SUCKS…

Thanks to his alien mojo, Daemon’s determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizarro connection. So I’ve sworn him off, even though he’s running more hot than cold these days. But we’ve got bigger problems.

SOMETHING WORSE THAN ARUM HAS COME TO TOWN

The Department of Defense is here. If they ever find out what Daemon can do and that we’re linked, I’m a goner. So is he. And there’s this new boy in school who’s got a secret of his own. He knows what’s happened to me and he can help, but to do so, I have to lie to Daemon and stay away from him. Like that’s possible. Against all common sense, I’m falling for Daemon. Hard.

BUT THEN, EVERYTHING CHANGES

I’ve seen someone who shouldn’t be alive. And I have to tell Daemon, even though I know he’s never going to stop searching until he gets the truth. What happened to his brother? Who betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them—from me?

NO ONE IS WHO THEY SEEM. AND NOT EVERYONE WILL SURVIVE THE LIES.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout, was once again, a fantastic and gripping addition to the Lux series – but man, was this one heart wrenching. The tension throughout the book, both in romantic relationships, friendships, and general plotline did not let up. I was gripped from the first page until the last and didn’t come up for air until it was over.

A lot was going on in this book – a lot – and yes, some of it was obvious to anyone paying attention, but that didn’t keep it from being deliciously dramatic in the best possible way. I enjoyed the characters, even though I learned to hate by the end of the book. The world-building held up to the first book in the series and is getting more complicated as it goes.

If you enjoy Young Adult Science Fiction Romances, I highly recommend you take a look at this series. It is well-written, and fun read.

Book Review: Bound By The Earl

review-cover-bound by the earlTitle: Bound By The Earl [Lords of Discipline 2]

Author: Alyson Chase

Genre: BDSM, Historical, Romance

Rating: 5 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

The ties that bind…

After surviving a living hell, Miss Amanda Wilcox craves a peaceful life. Time with her sister and quiet fireside nights are all she desires. That, and some lessons in pleasure. Too disgraced to ever marry, with no virtue left to protect, she has no qualms indulging in a liaison. And she’s found the perfect man to satisfy her.

Julius Blackwell, Earl of Rothchild was tasked with one job – look after his absent best friend’s new sister-in-law. Bedding his charge is out of the question. Too timid to even leave her home, he can’t imagine she’d submit to his more adventuresome tastes. She’s a distraction he can’t afford, especially as the Crown has asked him to uncover a dangerous blackmail ring.

But when Amanda catches the blackmailers’ attention, Julius will do anything to ensure her safety, even if that means tying her to his bed. With loyalties tested and lives on the line, Julius will need Amanda’s help to outwit the cutthroats. They’ll have to learn to trust each other, in and out of the bedroom, or they’ll find themselves and their loved ones at the end of their ropes.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I don’t usually opt to read BDSM flavored romances. It isn’t that I have anything against the practices in general – to each their own – but I find that it is simply isn’t my thing. So, understand that going into a book like Bound By The Earl by Alyson Chase, I am usually not fully engaged with the story.

That didn’t matter here. Despite any misgivings about the predilections of the main characters and their sexual escapades, I do happen to adore historical romance, and this book handled both aspects exceptionally well.

The characters had depth. They had flaws. The narrative flowed easily and was well edited (and researched I might add). The over-arching plot was full of delightful spy hijinks, and most importantly, the relationship between the main characters was both blazing hot, and incredibly sweet. The author did a fantastic job of portraying the difficulties of the characters and treating their phobias and needs with respect. Everything was handled incredibly well, and it made for a wonderful read.

Book Review: Hers, Unbroken

review-cover-hers, unbrokenTitle: Hers, Unbroken [Hers 2]

Author: Anna Adler

Genre: Science Fiction, Erotica

Rating: 4 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

Ever since Chase heard about Silenia, he wanted to go there. A planet where human-alien hybrids such as him are kept as sex pets is the realization of his darkest fantasies. The only downside? He’ll be killed if he tries to escape, but Chase won’t let inconvenient little details get in his way. He lets himself get caught. Now, all he has to do is pass the pet training program and wait for a sexy female to buy him.

Holly is the head trainer in Silenia’s best pet training center. She hates her job. She secretly wants to set free all the enslaved aliens on Silenia, but she’s powerless to realize her dream. Meeting Chase turns her life upside down. All of a sudden she has an ally: a man who matches her deepest fantasies. But then Chase’s misbehavior marks him for death and the clock is ticking. Can the two of them change an entire world in 48 hours?

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

Hers, Unbroken by Anna Adler was a fun sci-fi twist on the usual BDSM genre. Though I must warn you, it isn’t going to be for everyone. Some people will be triggered by this book – it has a heavy slavery aspect to the plotline. That being said, the author did a good job of making it very clear that everyone involved was well aware that slavery is not okay, and also, that the characters are very much involved in a consensual relationship.

The book itself was well-written, well-explained, sexy, and fast-paced… and if BDSM is of interest to you, you’ll probably find this book fun and entertaining. If this kind of read seems up your alley, I recommend you give it a try.

Book Review: Adored by the Mountain Wolf

cover-review-adored by the mountain wolfTitle: Adored by the Mountain Wolf [Mountain Wolf Protectors 2]

Author: Emilia Hartley

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Rating: 4 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

Two weeks after she started living on the Compound – the home of the Mountain Wolves – Amara was getting anxious to return to her life. She had a job, friends and family to return to. Not only that, she had to make sure her sister was safe from her psychopath boyfriend, Kal. If only she could tell Sadie the truth, that he was the wolf shifter who wreaked havoc on Strathford for all these years.

As much as he wanted to protect her, Nova knew that he couldn’t keep Amara from her life forever. He and the Mountain Wolves have been vigilant in the fight against the Valley Clan, but they begin to lose their footing as the attacks increase in frequency. When Nova is reminded he has to protect his pack he has no choice but to bring Amara with him, for her safety.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

Adored By The Mountain Wolf by Emilia Hartley was a solid addition to the Mountain Wolf Protectors series. The book was fast-paced and easy to sink into. The characters were familiar from the previous book and the romance was just as sexy and heated as I’d hoped.

If anything, my one complaint about this book is that it wasn’t long enough. I read through the story in less than 2 hours, and even though it was a great read, I couldn’t help but feel that there should have been more to it. The book ended abruptly and the tension of the war between the wolf clans kind of petered out. I wish more time had been spent developing the characters, their relationships, and the plot’s tension – I think we only scratched the surface here.

All that aside, it was a solid read, perfect for readers looking for something sexy and short to sink into, and I recommend it to all paranormal romance readers looking for a new shifter book to get into.

Book Review: Revenant

cover-review-revenantTitle: Revenant [The Apparition Trilogy 2]

Author: Dylan White

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance

Rating: 3 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

After everything Jade has been through, Sean wants to make life as normal as possible for her. But being in love with a ghost is anything but normal. The threat of Feeders has grown worse. Despite Sean’s efforts to keep Jade safe, he might not be able to help her anymore. When Ray senses a dark spirit has descended on the house, he will do anything to dispel it. And that could mean eliminating Sean, as well …

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

Like the previous book in the series, I am torn on giving Revenant by Dylan White a rating. On the one hand, I like the characters, the romance, and the plot. However, I am not a fan of the narrative voice, the omnipotent 3rd person point of view, or the penchant the author seems to have for giving the reader backstory through little asides. I find the narrative voice distancing to the reader, and I am constantly pulled away from the characters by the frequent head hopping.

I did spot less glaring typos and textual errors in this installment, which is a plus, but I also feel like I didn’t learn anything new. Most of the drama of the plot revolved around ghosts interrupting the main character’s life, but for the most part, it was the same old thing. We got very little new information regarding Sean or his place in the afterlife. It was a bit frustrating to close the second book feeling like little had been gained.

Overall, the book was okay. There are parts of it I liked, and parts of it I didn’t. I was entertained for a few short hours, and I guess that’s what matters.

Book Review: The Girl Who Talks To Ghosts

reivew-cover-the girl who talks to ghostsTitle:  The Girl Who Talks to Ghosts [GhostWriters 2]

Author: J.H. Moncrieff

Genre: Contemporary, Horror, Paranormal, Mystery

Rating: 5 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

Would you risk everything to save a stranger?

Off the coast of Venice lurks Poveglia, the world’s most haunted isle, steeped in centuries of innocent blood. A deranged doctor who took great joy in torturing his patients in life continues to rule his abandoned asylum after death.

Few go to Poveglia willingly, but medium Kate Carlsson has no choice. It’s her job.

While struggling to retrieve a young girl’s soul, Kate uncovers some shocking truths about the evil on the island that challenges her own convictions and morals—and even her life.

Is saving Lily worth making a deal with the infamous Doctor of Death, or is the price too high to pay?

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

It took me awhile to decide how I was going to rate The Girl Who Talks to Ghosts by J.H. Moncrieff—the second book in the GhostWriters series. I honestly can’t decide if I liked it more than the first book or not. Personally, the ghost story and surrounding aspects of the plotline were a lot more interesting for me than those of the first book. I liked Lily’s POV as well as Kate’s much better than I liked Jackson’s (even though I didn’t know it at the time). It was fun following Kate around as she delved further into the paranormal than the author had been willing to in the first book.

Unfortunately, not all was hugs and puppies. I think an unfortunate consequence of Kate and Lily’s POVs being so interesting, was that Jackson fell a bit by the wayside. He was definitely more of a supporting character in this story, and honestly, kind of a useless one. He seemed to be around mostly to illustrate his ignorance about the paranormal, and to fail at being diplomatic. I don’t think he was necessarily as integral to the plot as he was intended to be, and so his character fell a bit flat.

As a smaller note, there were also a few plot holes. Most were minor, and they didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the story as a whole, so I’ll leave it at that.  If you’re looking for a solid paranormal ghost story, I highly recommend you check out this author and the various books in this series.

Book Review: Broken Prince

review-cover-broken princeTitle: Broken Prince [The Royals 2]

Author: Erin Watt

Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary

Rating: 3 Stars (2.5)

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Description/Synopsis:

Reed Royal has it all—looks, status, money. The girls at his elite prep school line up to date him, the guys want to be him, but Reed never gave a damn about anyone but his family until Ella Harper walked into his life.

What started off as burning resentment and the need to make his father’s new ward suffer turned into something else entirely—keep Ella close. Keep Ella safe. But when one foolish mistake drives her out of Reed’s arms and brings chaos to the Royal household, Reed’s entire world begins to fall apart around him.

Ella doesn’t want him anymore. She says they’ll only destroy each other.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

Much like the first book in the series, Broken Prince by Erin Watt left me feeling conflicted. Again, the technical aspects of the book were pretty spot-on. I didn’t run into a lot of grammatical errors, typos, or formatting issues. The narrative was clean and easy to read, and it was simple to get sucked into the story because of it—but the plotline and the characters were painful to experience. The romance between Ella and Reed felt so wrong because of the way they’d treated each other throughout the first book. Their relationship was unbelievably unhealthy.

On some levels, this book was possibly worse than the first. Not a lot happened other than pure fluff drama that’s so ridiculously overblown that I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. The content was far from being YA appropriate, and the characters left me disgusted… and yet I kept reading. I guess I love drama.

I want to like this series because I’m being entertained, but the entertainment value is like watching a reality show about the Trumps: it’s gross and cringy, and completely unrelatable—but you watch it anyway just to see what’ll happen. Overall, I’m not impressed with this series thus far, and I certainly wouldn’t recommend it to a teen, but if you enjoy this kind of social abuse, drugs, sex, and scandal, you might find this entertaining.