Best Selling Romance
Dragon’s Aria by Kendal Davis
Disruption in the Horse Shifter Community
Lyric was a castaway in the foster care system, intentionally acting off so she could keep moving, but she’s now an adult living on her own. At a truck stop, after being abandoned by her friend, a rambunctious toddler bowls her over, and Lyric is able to calm her. The mother, impressed by the effect Lyric has on the young girl, promptly hires her as a nanny. Being in and out of foster homes, Lyric is comfortable with small children. She finds unexpected kindness with this horse shifter family. Soon, however, a celebrity research scientist shows up wanting to spend time on the boss’s property because he feels like there is something strange going on. Julian is genuinely surprised to hear that lyric has never heard of him. He is so wrapped up in his own celebrity that he has a hard time believing it she has no clue about him.
The scientist is right, though; changes are happening in this secluded community, and they are all threatened. Julian knows some secrets about this horse shifter community, and he even knows secrets about Lyric that even she doesn’t know about herself. What secrets are this community hiding? Why are they being threatened? Who has something against them? How does Lyric fit into all this? Will Julian and Lyric help or harm the situation?
The author did an exceptional job in the alternating viewpoints of Lyric and Julian. Often, when there is more than one narrator, there isn’t enough distinction between their voices and perspectives. It is more used as a device to see the actions of the plot from different angles. Here, though, the author has actually made these two voices completely unique. When are you read Julian’s sections, you can get a sense of his arrogance and narcissism, which makes him a fascinating and sometimes funny, although not intentionally, narrator. I enjoyed seeing this story from two very individual experiences. Lyric is a strong woman who’s lived a difficult life, but yet she still sees beauty in the world through music.
Hers From the Start (Multi-Author Anthology)
Hers From The Start*
Collection of Mostly Paranormal/Fantasy Starters of Reverse Harem Series
This is a delightful collection of reverse harem prequels or first in series books. I love anthologies like this that contain work by both authors I’m familiar with and ones who are new to me. Two of the books were by authors whom I know well, but I hadn’t read these particular works, so those were particularly fun finds.
Let me tell you a little about each book. Wolf Blessed follows the adventures of a fae princess who ran away and her wolf honor guard (who recently found her) as they struggle for survival in a post-apocalyptic world. A demi-goddess’s power finally comes to the surface in Winter Princess, but to understand it and get to her mother’s realm, she needs the help of her Guardians. A young woman feels cursed to feel the elements in a book called Cursed, but she finds fellow students with connections to the elements who help her appreciate this gift when she goes to college.
Riley, in the first of the Unseen series, still hasn’t moved beyond the tragedy of losing her spouse and child, in part because she has no answers about how it happened. Suddenly, her life is full of danger after someone claiming to be from the FBI shows up at her doorstep. Who can help her? Tricking the Beasts is a prequel involving a maid and royal princes in the Hybrid trilogy. Finally, the last book in the trilogy is the first book of the contemporary Redline series, which sets up the relationship between Kayla and her hockey-playing harem.
As you can tell, the book is mostly fantasy and paranormal RH. I found it fun to explore new series and some new authors. If you enjoy the RH concept, you might enjoy this starter pack as well.
Authors: Laura Greenwood, Skye McKinnon, Grace White, L. A. Boruff, Aleera Anaya Ceres, T. B. Mann
The Hunt: The Complete Edition by Liz Meldon
The Hunt: The Complete Edition*
A Bad Angel and a Good Demon?
This box set has all four books of The Hunt series, Prey, Predator, Stalker, and Killer. In this series, Meldon has created a complex world of angels and demons, and Heaven and Hell. Severus is an incubus who is working as an escort near a hell-gate. His world shifts dramatically when college student, Moira, becomes a client. Unlike other patrons, he is unable to take in her life force energy, which he needs to survive, yet his inner demon desperately wants to connect physically with her. Moira walks out before the end of their session, frightened of the change she saw in his eyes. Unable to shake her from his mind after the encounter, he stalks her until she confronts him. He senses that she is not wholly human, but he doesn’t know what exactly she is until they talk about her past and her parentage. Then it is clear; she is an angel-human hybrid, something that is not supposed to exist. The warrior angels are on earth to protect the humans from the darkness, no matter what form it may come in, whether demons, vampires, or witches. But they aren’t supposed to mate with humans.
Though her angel father may want to destroy his mistake, Moira wants to find out more about him. She and Severus form a team of sorts. Though he fights becoming more involved with her life, he feels connected to her and more alive than he’s ever been. He also feels a strong need to protect her. After the first book, his need to protect only grows and becomes more complex as they face dangers in multiple realms.
What will happen with Moira and her father? From what evils–and in what realms–must Severus protect her? Will Moira become strong in the presence of dangers she never knew existed–or will her naivety get her into trouble? Will Severus and Moira fall for each other, or is an incubus only capable of lust?
I found this a surprisingly compelling read. The author has created a complex world about which she only gives us the relevant information as we need it. Reading about Severus’s existence before Moira scratches the surface of what it is like to live as an incubus in this story’s world. When Moira and Severus team up, we learn more about the world as Moira does. More and more gets revealed with each book.
The writing style is smooth, making the book very easy to get into. Severus was a fascinating character right from the start, and he becomes more interesting as he gets more and more involved with Moira. Moira is harder to get to know. When she relates the changes she has been going through, the reader realizes there is more to her than meets the eye; but as she doesn’t know herself early on, neither can we yet fully understand her. She sometimes did things in the later books that weren’t in her best interest, and I didn’t feel she came into her own until the journey to hell. By that point, though, both characters had such strength and purpose that the books were page-turners.
Goddess of Love by Fallyn Briggs
Goddess of Love*
What If You Shared Body and Consciousness with Aphrodite?
When Andra was a young girl, she loved the stories her mother told her about the ancient Greek gods and goddesses. Little did she know that those stories were real and would become her nightmare. According to the legends her mother shared, the Olympian gods were cursed to continue existing but only through human hosts, generation after generation. Andra’s family had often been host to these gods and goddesses. On her 18th birthday, Andra becomes host to the goddess Aphrodite. Being a goddess, Aphrodite wants to completely take over Andra’s life, which she very nearly does. Andra lives where Aphrodite wants, has the job the goddess wants her to have, and interacts with others as Aphrodite wants her to do (even, at times, making Andra black out so she won’t remember). She’s married to the host of Hephaestus; the god is kind, but his host is not. Her being the host of Aphrodite has strained other relationships in her life, particularly with her sister.
Will Andra ever be able to take control of her life from Aphrodite? Can she improve her relationship with her human husband, Kal? Is there any hope for her love life . . . and the rest of the problems created by her unique situation?
I liked the way the author introduced the mythical part of the book, having Andra’s mother relate the myths to the 8-year-old girl. The author does an excellent job of showing the mental battles between Andra and Aphrodite. She was able to show how Andra felt continually put upon by Aphrodite’s thoughts and actions. The author presented other gods and goddesses in ways that rang true to Greek mythology.
This is a very unusual book, but one that I found interesting to read. I like it when authors play around with fairytales and mythology, especially when they bring it into contemporary times. The author pulled that off very well.
I received a free copy of this book, but this did not affect my review.
Flames of Fear by A. C. Pontone
Flames of Fear*
Learning More About Her Background . . . and Theirs
After the disaster in the last book, the Drakon brothers are keeping Emma under very close watch. Emma learns many more things about this new world that she was born into, but she never knew existed, including surprises about her lineage and more information about her Twin Flames. She also gets to meet other key players in the magical realm, and she starts to understand better her role within it. Two powerful kings, though, have their own plans for her.
How will Emma’s relationship evolve with her Twin Flames? How do her father and Amy fit into it all? Who will be the master of her fate, her or someone else?
I appreciated that the author gave a little sum-up of book one from Emma’s perspective at the start; there is always time between reading books in a series, so a mini recap helps. I do feel, though, that the exposition at the beginning went on a little long, not only summarizing information of the last book but summarizing some of what has happened between the end of that book and the start of this one. Of note, this book had several cliffhangers. I like how we learned more about the background of the Drakon brothers, especially James.
If you enjoyed the previous book in this series, you will appreciate reading about their continuing adventure as well as Emma and the Drakon brothers learning more about each other. While this could be enjoyed without having read the first book since she does do a good job of summarizing it, you will have a deeper appreciation of the story if you have read book 1.
The Dragon’s Air Witch by Lisa Daniels
The Dragon's Air Witch*
Can They Find a Cure for the Creeping Rot?
The search continues to put an end to the Creeping Rot once and for all. To this end,
Will the crew even get to
The author has created a fascinating and complex world with this series about the Six Isles. The Isles are distinct, but the magic beings on board each cannot escape the Creeping Rot when it cyclically flares and runs rampant. I’ve read two books in the series now, and each book adds a layer to help better understand the history, present, and the future these worlds.
If you enjoy complex paranormal science fiction with a hint of romance and a world-saving quest, you might enjoy this book.
The Minotaur’s Kiss by Erin St. Charles
Beneath the Earth
Shifter Sci-Fi Romantic Suspense … Category Buster!
In this complex world, alien gods use human concubines to procreate as the god’s genetic lines have been tainted by inbreeding. This has also given rise to a vigorous sex trade. The world is also inhabited by shifters, who may not understand their lineage until puberty. Because of the danger inherent in the sex trade, an army of social workers seeks to protect the industry’s workers. Diana is one of them. At an office event, she hooks up with a minotaur shifter she doesn’t know for a one-night stand. Unfortunately for her, he soon turns out to be her evaluating supervisor during a case that could make her career, smoothing the handover of a concubine. During what should be a routine inspection at one of the brothels, they find a sex worker whose missing. Soon, both she and Mac, the minotaur, are drawn into dangerous unforeseen circumstances, and Diana finds herself relying on him for protection.
Max is having a hard time dealing with Diana. He is usually a one-night-stand kind of guy, but their interactions have him rethinking his stance and even pondering a longer-term relationship. Thrown together on the job, he has a hard time keeping it professional. He’s never had such a sustained attraction to a female, and he’s not quite sure what to do about it.
By the way, this is a very steamy read. Within the first few chapters, we’re giving details about their one-night stand. The author has done a very good job at setting up the complexities of this world of gods, shifters, latents, other magical characters, and humans. She did a good job of creating tension-filled action scenes. Diana is a black woman, and I found it interesting that the author had her question racism as it applied to minotaurs, which was a sneaky way to get readers to think about the harshness of racism in our own world.
If you enjoy steamy stories about gods and shifters in a fast-paced read, this book might be for you.
Coven at Callington by Shereen Vedam
Coven at Callington*
Witch Wars, Intrigue, and Romance in Fantastical Regency England
Fresh from fending off an attack by hellhounds, Guard of the Green Cross–a secret arm of the Anglican Church meant to handle evil forces and entities if they rise from darkness–the Earl of Braden gets new orders from the Archbishop that are directly opposed to a central tenet of the guard’s code: do not interfere in disputes between witches and warlocks. Centuries ago witch hunts blackened the name of guards (then known as knights), so meddling is now forbidden. Braden has been tasked with retrieving the son of a warlock, who was supposedly taken by a demon, as well as destroy the coven in the area. More is happening at Callington than Braden imagined, and he is more than tempted to enlist the aid of the coven protectress, Merryn, to help figure it all out. Merryn believes that the same warlock who killed her younger brother has taken the boy.
Will Braden succeed in rescuing the boy? What exactly is going on between the warlocks and witches in Callington? Will Braden risk his position to follow what he knows is right? Will he fall for the coven protectress?
The author has done a fantastic job of creating a magical version of Regency England. I love how the first scene in Regency times a flame in a streetlight is talking! I literally did a double take to see if I was reading correctly! There are other magical elements as well, some of which are not truly explained until later. I thought the idea of having this secret group of guards under direct orders of the Archbishop of Canterbury was inspired. Braden is a complicated, fascinating hero to watch wrestle with right and wrong, on both personal and professional levels.
With elements of fantasy, the paranormal, intrigue, and romance . . . what’s not to like!
I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
The Portrait Problem by Jamaila Brinkley
The Portrait Problem
Meddling Mothers, Wedding Planning, and Intrigue…Oh, My!
The portrait isn’t the only problem in this novella in the series supposedly taken from Anastasia Galipp’s files. Wedding planning takes on a whole other, and often hilarious, dimension when both Anastasia’s mother and Simon’s mother show up, and it becomes a double wedding with Simon’s sister, Juliet, as the other bride. Intrigue is added to the mix when Juliet feels faint after sitting briefly for a sketch for a possible wedding portrait.
Will the double wedding go off without a hitch? How does Anastasia feel about the co-opting of her wedding by their mothers? What is causing this portrait fatigue amongst certain young brides?
I found this novella to be a quick, fun read. The author was able to maintain an irreverent, dry humor throughout.
Soulswap by Laura Greenwood
What If You Were Born Into the Wrong Body?
This book takes the Freaky Friday concept and adds several twists and turns. Arya and Tate are two women born on the same day who seem to have been born into the wrong bodies. This book, Soulswap, is the story of this discovery from Tate’s perspective; Soulshift is this same story from Arya’s point of view. Tate is engaged to be married Devon, but something about their relationship has always felt off to her. She claims to love him but often pulls away from him in her discomfort. In one of the twists, Tate is actually a dragon shifter, but she has never been able to shift into a dragon. (Arya is a vampire.) In what she thinks is a dream, she awakens to a woman beside her instead of Devon. This blond woman is a stranger to Tate, yet she feels familiar, and Tate enjoys her presence. So, that is the second twist on the Freaky Friday concept. One of the relationships is heterosexual, and the other is lesbian.
The author does a good job showing Tate’s confusion first about what’s even going on with these shifts and also about her feelings for Sian. All eventually figure out that these two women are exchanging souls. What is interesting is that each is more comfortable in the other’s life. What will that mean? What will happen to these couples?
This book has an interesting combination of correct and incorrect grammar, punctuation, and usage. Sometimes commas were correctly placed while at other times they were completely forgotten or created a comma splice. But I found the reading engaging, so this did not bother me too much.
If you enjoy the Freaky Friday concept or unique paranormal romances, you might enjoy this book.
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