BOOK REVIEW: Monsters (Prodigium Academy) by Katie May #ReverseHarem #Horror

Monsters (Prodigium Academy Book 1) by [Katie May]

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As the daughter of Dracula, you would think I’d be born the perfect monster.

You couldn’t be more wrong.

As far as monsters go, I’m a screw up—if I’m not tripping over my own feet, I’m accidentally murdering someone (it’s a real issue, guys).

Left with no choice, Dad decides to send me to Prodigium—otherwise known as Monster Academy—to train me on how to be a better monster.

When bodies turn up on campus, I’m the prime suspect (not that I can blame them. I’ll be pretty suspicious too if bodies drained of blood show up right after Dracula’s daughter arrives).

With the help of my mortal-nemesis Vin, Van Helsing’s son

Frankie, Frankenstein’s son

Mason, Medusa’s son

And Jack (sometimes Hux), Dr. Jekyll’s son

I might have a chance of uncovering the truth.

If I’m not murdered first.

The struggles of being a vampire, am I right?

This is a horror comedy reverse harem with some dark elements. After all, you can’t have a bunch of monsters without some darkness. This is book one of a series.

MY REVIEW

5 stars!

First, let me say that I don’t often read reverse harem books. I tend to prefer a guy who is so alpha that there’s only room for him and his woman in the relationship. But… that being said, the idea of Dracula’s daughter and the sons of all those other monsters was just too intriguing. And once I started reading, I couldn’t stop!

There’s humor, carnage, and Violet’s men are each so different, and yet similar in some ways. With a hint of mystery, danger around every corner, and love blossoming between Violet and her men, it kept me enterained from beginning to end. I flipped the pages, eager to find out what happened next. And when the book ended, I immediately went to look for book 2.

While there’s some sexiness in this story, and a lot of adult language and situations, the overall setting still gives the book a Young Adult feel (but it’s definitely not for younger readers). If you like fantasy, horror, mystery, humor, and romance, then you can’t go wrong with Monsters. Go grab your copy!

BOOK REVIEW: Dead Man Walking by Giana Darling #MCromance #darkromance

From USA Today & Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author Giana Darling comes a dark MC romance about a broken enforcer and the beautiful, innocent woman who shows him that light can exist even in the dark…

A killer. A criminal.
A psychopath.
The Irish enforcer for The Fallen Men MC is everything good girls are taught to stay away from.
Only, I found myself inexorably drawn into his dark gravitational pull. I wanted to know what it would be like to walk beside the human personification of Death and hold his hand, feel his kiss, and maybe even earn his undying love.
But Priest McKenna is older, cold as ice, and notoriously unfeeling.
So what are the odds that a dead man walking would come to life for little, insignificant me?
When a serial killer begins to target the women of Entrance, BC, and The Fallen suffers another terrible blow, Priest resolves to hunt down the killer himself.
And when the murderer sets his eyes on me?
My very own psychopath steps between me and certain death, thrusting us into an intimacy I prayed we would never recover from.

*A standalone book in The Fallen Men Series.*

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MY REVIEW

4 stars

A minister’s granddaughter and the club’s enforcer – a man who thinks of himself as a psychopath, a killer, a man without a heart or conscience. If dark romances are your thing, with an MC theme, you’ll enjoy Dead Man Walking.

Bea has long been the good girl, doing what’s expected — on the outside. Inside, she feels the pull of the darkness, and the man called Priest. Like a moth to a flame, she can’t keep away, looking beyond what everyone else sees to the lonely man who hides in the shadows. While her family wants to keep her from Priest, fearing he’ll hurt her, there’s another man stalking her. Someone worse than the monster she loves – or so he thinks. But once Priest claims Bea, there’s no going back. He’ll walk through fire for her. Die for her. And he will damn sure protect her at all costs.

Be warned, there’s knife play and Priest has a certain fascination with Bea’s blood. If that’s a hard pass for you, this may not be the right book for you. But if you like the thought of a good girl who’s not so good, not trying to tame the beast but live in the darkness with him, go one-click! You won’t be disappointed.

*Disclaimer: The review above is only my opinion. I purchased a copy at Amazon. The author did not request a review.

BOOK REVIEW: The Fate of Crowns by Rebecca Garcia #YoungAdult #Fantasy @rlgarciabooks

With my brother’s death came the crown and all the trappings that accompany it. Now, my father—the most dangerous man in Magaelor—seeks to control my future.

But fate has other plans.

Thrown into mer-filled waters, I’m dragged into the rival kingdom of Berovia. Surrounded by those who murdered my brother and wished my entire family dead, I must find my way back to my kingdom. There, a marriage between myself and the dark fae prince could bring peace to a century’s old division between the fae and sorcerers.

But dark revelations and deadly lies threaten to destroy my destiny. I must make the choice between my duty, family, and heart before it’s too late.

Will I allow myself to become the exalted Queen of everything? Or be reduced to a cautionary tale as the shattered princess of nothing?

The Fate of Crowns is a young adult fantasy, perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Laura Sebastian, Holly Black and Kendare Blake.

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MY REVIEW

5 stars!

Magic, intrigue, betrayal, and a princess determined to protect her people,

In a time of fae and magic-wielding humans, when prejudices run deep, there’s one girl who could save them all. The princess first has to learn to see the world with her own eyes and stop believing the lies she’s been told her entire life. Her family isn’t as perfect as she believes, and those closest to her will cause her the most pain. Even when she finds herself in enemy lands, Winter can’t accept that things aren’t what they seem. So eager to please and protect her family, she’s blinded to the truths she faces every day. Will she ever be able to accept her entire life has been a lie?

The book was beautifully written, full of mystery and fantasy, friendship, and so much more. With strong characters, the tried and true plot of corrupt kingdoms, and enough action and drama to keep you turning the pages, The Fate of Crowns has proven to be a memorable tale. But be warned, it does end with a cliffhanger. I’ll be eagerly anticipating the next installment in this series.

The Fate of Crowns is a must-read!

*Disclaimer: The review above is only my opinion. I received a copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

BOOK REVIEW: One Hundred Excuses by Kelly Collins #ContemporaryRomance #bookreview

Author Kelly Collins takes you back to Aspen Cove where life is sweet, the tea is sweeter, and love is the sweetest of all.

Marina Caswell didn’t expect to find herself broken and alone with a four-year-old daughter. She could offer a hundred excuses as to why her marriage failed, but the truth was she’d chosen poorly. After a painful marriage and an ugly divorce, she flees with her little girl to Aspen Cove looking for a place to heal their wounded spirits and mend their shattered hearts. What she doesn’t expect to find in the quirky little town is love in the form of Sheriff Cooper, a man who insists that everything including trust, love, and respect is grown like a garden. All it needs is a bit of attention and care, something Marina has never experienced.

As the local sheriff, Aiden Cooper can recognize trouble at a glance. It usually looks pretty, smells nice, and wears heels. After his last relationship failure, Aiden doesn’t expect love to bloom when single mom Marina Caswell plants roots next door, but when he sees the sadness in her eyes, he makes it his mission to sow seeds of hope and happiness in her heart.

The tiniest kernel of love can grow when the conditions are right, but a weed from Marina’s past threatens to choke out what they’ve cultivated together. Can Aiden and Marina’s love grow and thrive, or will the past seek its revenge, causing their love to wilt and die before it can ever take root?

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MY REVIEW

3 1/2 stars

One Hundred Excuses is a light read, even with the domestic abuse theme. I’ve found most books falling into that category have a bit more suspense and action. This one was very light on both. Or perhaps that’s because I had a hard time reading the book as the character and not an outside observer. It was almost as if someone was telling me the events, so I didn’t feel like I’d been immersed in the story. While there is sex, it isn’t overly hot. I did find the romance between Marina and Aiden to be sweet, and I adored Kellyn.

If you want a quick read to give you that feel-good boost, then you may very well enjoy One Hundred Excuses.

*Disclaimer: The above review is only my opinion. Neither the author nor publisher requested a review. I purchased this title from Amazon.

BOOK REVIEW: My Dad’s Best Friend by Katee Robert #bookreview

My Dad's Best Friend (A Touch of Taboo #3)

He’s the one man I’m not supposed to want… My dad’s best friend.

After he rejected me six years ago, I’ve steered clear of Jonas. Until now. I need his help, and I won’t take no for an answer. The plan is to show up at his house and plead my case, but a rainstorm derails everything, trapping us together for the weekend.

When he catches me in a compromising position, things quickly spiral out of control. We promise each other the weekend to purge the desire that’s been simmering for six long years. No fantasy is too dark, too filthy, too forbidden, to play out.

The only rule is that this thing between us ends when the storm does.

Surely it’s the one rule I can keep from breaking?

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MY REVIEW

3 stars

I’ve really enjoyed Katee’s books in the past, but this one completely missed the mark for me. If the book description had made it clear this was a “daddy” erotica and not the dad’s best friend romance I expected, I wouldn’t have bought it. Calling a lover “daddy” is just a hard no for me and it honestly made it difficult for me to even finish reading the book.

I’m giving it three stars for the quality of writing. The story itself would get a lot less. Mostly because there isn’t one.

If you’re looking for romance, this book doesn’t have any.

My Dad’s Best Friend is erotica with little to no plot, minimum character development, and zero romance. But if daddy kink is your thing and you want a book that’s 90% sex, you’ll probably love this one.

Katee is a fabulous writer. This just isn’t the sort of book I’ve come to expect from her. I’ll be giving the rest of this series a pass.

*Disclaimer: The review above is only my opinion. I purchased a copy of this book from Amazon. Neither the publisher nor author requested a review.

BOOK REVIEW: Wicked Blaze Correctional (The Wronged Series #1) by M. Sinclair #ReverseHarem #FantasyRomance

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Wicked Blaze Correctional. The home to the most dangerous criminals of each realm. A private correctional institution that had to be placed on a separate realm because of the threat the inmates posed. Drake had sent me here, to ruin me. To destroy me and any memory of his egregious act that could incriminate him for being the homicidal maniac he was.

What he hadn’t counted on? Me. He hadn’t counted on my strength and my magic rising up to become the scariest damn thing in this place.

It helped that I had a human by my side that showed up to breakfast every morning covered in blood. I should probably ask Dimitri what that was about one of these days. Don’t forget Milo! An Ink Mage with the nifty ability to not only interpret dreams but to change them, as well as reality itself. Did I mention he was absolutely mental, maybe it was because of the insomnia? I don’t know what to tell them about one of the lead guards, Vaughn, who keeps claiming I am his ‘mate’ and promising to get me out. Or how to explain the odd feeling I have about the new inmate that just showed up, seeming a bit too sweet for this place.

There is something changing in the air though, something different than what has been going on the past six months, so what has been changing? Maybe it’s the magic eater that keeps floating by my cell every morning? I didn’t care what the change was as long as I got out. I had a witch to kill and I wasn’t going to be able to put Drake in the ground from here.

Welcome to Wicked Blaze Correctional – Book 1 of the Wronged Series. This trilogy will be a fast burn reverse harem filled with dark subject matters, a strong FMC, and insane men. This institution isn’t like any correctional facility you’ve read about before. It’s brutal, cutthroat, and there are no rules except that you can’t leave until your sentence is done… which is never. Follow Valentina and her men on a journey filled with revenge, steam, and strong characters that don’t fit the norm of society. A bit crazy? That is just normal.

This Fantasy medium/fast burn RH contains several dark themes that readers should be aware of: swearing (I know surprising, right?), gore, violence, assault, and sexual themes suitable for +18. Additionally, this book does have a mature light m/m themes that develop over time. 

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MY REVIEW

5 stars!

For fans of dark reverse harem romances, with a fantasy bent and a bit of humor, this book is a must-read!

A druid wrongly accused does what she must to survive. Valentina is a strong character with a lot of personality – and more than a bit of anger. She’s powerful, but isn’t until later in the book that she realizes just how much power she holds. I found myself not only rooting for her to have a happily-ever-after, but I also found myself eager to watch her punish those who stood against her. She’s the perfect blend of innocent and psycho.

Her “harem” of men are no less exceptional. Even the “human” is a serial killer who only takes out those who hurt his Valentina. With shifters, fae, and a magic eater who seems to be something more, you’ll find yourself falling for each of these heroes. They all bring a uniqueness to the story, and yet their personalities blend rather well together.

Action, intrigue, magical powers and so much more fill the pages of this book. And yes, there’s hot sex too. But be warned… there is a cliffhanger, and you’ll be so entrenched in this world, you’ll have no choice but to go download the next installment — because if you’re like me, you’ll have to know what happens next!

Two thumbs up. Five stars. And a 10 out of 10.

Amazing book! Couldn’t put it down.

*Disclaimer: The review above is only my opinion. Neither the publisher nor author requested a review. I downloaded a copy from Amazon.

BOOK REVIEW: Her Marine Next Door by Aliyah Burke #ContemporaryRomance #NetGalley @entangledpub

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My next door neighbor Parker Jax is not my type. He’s covered in tats, rides a motorcycle, and his parties keep me up all night. The fact he’s sexy as sin doesn’t change the fact we are oil and water.

I’m a quiet artist. He’s a rowdy marine. I’ve got a broken heart. I’m convinced he doesn’t have a heart at all.

Thankfully, my bad-boy neighbor is on leave from the Marines for only thirty days. But then the jerk has to go and show me that he has a soft side beneath all those hard muscles. He actually leaves his own party to help me, and he didn’t even have to.

Fantastic. Now I owe him.

I’m not worried, though. What are the chances he’ll need me to do anything before the month is up?

But when a woman shows up with a kid at her side, knocking on Parker’s door, it turns out those chances are pretty good…

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My Review

5 stars!

He’s wanted her from the beginning, but Parker Jax can’t seem to go after the only woman who matters in this page-turning romance.

Love an alpha bad boy? Fake fiancé? Secret baby? This book has all that and more. Toss in a spurned woman bent on ruining Skylar, a hero who tends to fuck up, and a monster-in-law and that still doesn’t sum up this book. I was skeptical mixing so many tropes could work, but Ms. Burke pulled it off.

There were times I wanted to smack Parker for being an idiot, yell at Skylar for not sharing her past with him, and don’t get me started on Parker’s mom. I nearly disliked her character more than the one-night stand turned baby momma.

Want a drama filled ride full of heat, sweet moments, and even a little heartbreak? You can’t go wrong with Her Marine Next Door. You’ll be turning the pages, unable to stop reading until the very end.

*Disclaimer: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley. The review above is only my opinion.

Book Review: Depends on Who’s Asking by Lani Lynn Vale #MilitaryRomance #bookreview @LanilynnVale

MY REVIEW:

5 stars!

The warmth of a holiday romance with the suspense and heat you’d expect from a Lani Lynn Vale book … Depends on Who’s Asking is a must read!

Saint isn’t who he seems, but he has his reasons for keeping his distance. When his past comes knocking, and Caro is put in harms way, he knows it’s time to stop hiding. And let me say I never saw this one coming! I hate spoilers, so I won’t divulge more, but be prepared for a bumpy ride. Saint is a bit like Clark Kent and Superman. Which side of him will you fall for?

Caro fell for Saint the moment she met him, so being stuck in quarantine with him isn’t so horrible—once she realizes he likes her too. It’s what happens after that will have you on the edge of your seat.

Romance. Intrigue. Action. And lots of heat… what more could you want in a holiday read?

*Disclaimer: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. The review above is only my opinion.

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Book Review: Captive of Wolves by Eva Chase #FantasyRomance #NetGalley @AuthorEvaChase

My blood is their salvation… and my ruin.

For years, the monsters who killed my family have held me in a cage. Brutalized and half-starved. Only kept alive so they can steal my blood.

Until one evening when four eerily gorgeous men break me out of my prison.

They give me a soft bed and delicious food. They say they’ll protect me—but their generosity may come at a price.

My rescuers are monsters like my captors: fae who shift into wolves. A curse gripping the faerie realm turns them wild under the full moon. Only my blood can cure their rage.

These fearsome men need me, and not just to lift the curse. A tragedy left them outcasts, and offering me to their rulers could win them back the home and the power they lost.

No matter how kindly they treat me, no matter how their smoldering eyes and strong hands stir unfamiliar desires in both my body and my heart, their castle is just another prison. As long as I’m a prize more than a person, my life will never be my own.

I’ve survived this long without giving up. I won’t roll over now. But how can one damaged human girl hold her own against the savage fae?

*Captive of Wolves is the first in a new paranormal romance saga featuring possessive wolf shifters, fraught fae politics, and a wounded heroine coming into her own. Grab it now and get swept away in the fantasy!*

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MY REVIEW:

5 stars!

Cliffhanger ahead!

I generally dislike cliffhangers. I’ve always needed my happily-ever-after by the last page of a book, but the way Captive of Wolves ends only left me eager for the next book.

I loved the determination and spirit of Talia. No matter the odds, she refused to give up. Even frail and injured, she held on to a spark of hope. When she’s freed and taken in by another cadre of wolves, she’s scared to trust them, no matter how nice most of them seem to be.

Watching August and Sylas fight their attraction to Talia, had me eagerly waiting on them to completely fall for her. And while Whitt comes off as a drunkard who dislikes Talia, we soon learn there’s much more to him.

Wolf fights. A curse. Meddling fae. And a human who is more than ordinary. Captive of Wolves is a page-turning fantasy that will leave you wanting more.

**Disclaimer: I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The review above is only my opinion.

Book Blitz: Igniting Love by Sara Ohlin #ContemporaryRomance @SaraOhlin222

Igniting Love
Sara Ohlin
(Rescue Me Series, #2)
Publication date: November 17th 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

When an embittered artist crosses paths with a young widow, the heat is on…

When personal chef and single mom Katie Walsh jumps back into the dating game, Leo Treversini’s gaze in the doorway of a local bar lights up her whole body. Bumping into him a week later, Kate thinks fate is calling—until Leo’s bitter words hit her like a punch to the gut.

Recently returned to the up-and-coming Corvallis neighborhood, metal artist and loner Leo feels the beautiful power of Katie’s eyes like the flame from his torch, but discovering his muse is married and the young mother of three daughters cuts him to the quick.

Except…Katie is widowed, which means she’s free to love again—if she can trust a man with her heart and her most precious gifts, her daughters. As Leo is free to love her, if he can overcome a past betrayal and believe in Katie’s love. Add in the meddling community, Katie’s family and teenage internet crime and it’s going to be far from easy…or even likely.

Katie’s love might be just the balm Leo’s wounded heart needs, but will he have the courage to face his crushing past to accept it?

Can the artist with the wounded heart love his muse?

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EXCERPT:

He was so fierce and striking, almost a mirage as the heat swirled around him, and something pulled her to him, almost as it pushed her away. Fire, flame and heat and it was all consuming and not enough at the same time. She dragged her arm up and pushed her hair back off her neck. Gosh I’m hot! Is the entire fricking sky the sun? It’s relentless. “Um.” She smiled because for some reason her body whispered ancient words, You know him.

She wanted to run her hands all over him. See if he felt as beautiful as he looked. Oh my God. She smacked her hand over her eyes. She was having a conversation with herself and she wasn’t sure how many selves were involved. Her brain was trying to talk her down from the cliff of ridiculousness, but her soul was electrified for the first time ever. Or was it woozy, icky and hot? I don’t feel so good.

“It’s hot out.” Wow, she was such a stellar linguist. But she didn’t dwell on how stupid she sounded, because his eyes blazed over her, like he wanted to devour her, but would hate every second of it. He is angry. The veil was back from the other night, and not a hint of a smile graced his beautiful face…more like scorn. His weird demeanor was one more thing she could add to the crazy list of things happening at the moment. She liked lists. Car in ruins, check. Feel like I might faint, check. Sweating like pig, check. Beautiful mystery man I can’t stop dreaming about from the bar Friday night glaring at me, check. She unstuck herself from her car and tried to communicate even while her thoughts tornadoed together.

“I need a mechanic,” she said, taking a step toward him. She wanted to be closer. “My uh…” She gestured to her van. “I think my starter’s having a tantrum again.” She wiped the sweat off her forehead. Not one single muscle moved in his body. He waited, his arms tight across his chest. She couldn’t even tell if he’d heard her. “Can you, uh, are you… Do you work for Matt?”

“Nope.” That one word, again. She wasn’t sure whether to feel lucky, relieved or insulted. Why did she feel such burning around him? And why did he glare at her like he hated her?

“Did I, um, do something?” she asked. Lordy her tongue was like sludge.

He pulled a water bottle out of his back pocket and guzzled some down. Oh, cold water. “We’re booked up. You’ll have to take your infidelity and your piece-of-shit car somewhere else.” And with his final punch thrown, he tossed the empty water bottle in the dumpster, turned and walked away.

“What?” she whispered. Standing there boiling under the sweltering day on asphalt so hot it even smelled like fresh tar, with sweat sticking her curls to her cheek and forehead, his words hit her like a lance. A hidden thorn from the most beautiful rosebush. Unexpected pain.

My Review: 4 stars

Grumpy artist meets quirky single mom in this cute yet steamy romance.

Our first few glimpses of Leo show us an angsty, brooding man who has the soul of an artist and the outward appearance of a bear. I loved him at once. Having lived with a moody artist, I wanted to smack Leo upside the head when he’d jump to conclusions without giving Katie a chance to explain, but overall he was a sweet, thoughtful, smart man and perfect for Katie.

Katie might be a tough single mom, but like most moms she’s put herself last for so long she’s not sure she’s allowed to grab hold of a new relationship with Leo. She’s smart and determined, and her love for her daughters is inspiring.

Seeing the heat between these two, as well as their family moments with the girls, made this a sweet story that kept me smiling. If you want a romance with insta-love, lots of heat, and a big bear of a man with a gentle touch, you can’t go wrong with Igniting Love… but be warned, Katie’s youngest, little CeCe will steal your heart. That girl is too adorable for words.

*I received an ARC of Igniting Love. The review above is my honest opinion.

Author Bio:

Puget Sound based writer, Sara Ohlin is a mom, wannabe photographer, obsessive reader, ridiculous foodie, and the author of the contemporary romance novels, Handling the Rancher, Salvaging Love, Seducing the Dragonfly and Igniting Love.

She has over fifteen years of creative non-fiction and memoir writing experience, and you can find her essays at Anderbo.com, Feminine Collective, Mothers Always Write, Her View from Home, and in anthologies such as Are We Feeling Better Yet? Women Speak about Healthcare in America, Take Care: Tales, Tips, & Love from Women Caregivers, and Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Although she’s the author of many essays about life, grief, motherhood and the connections we make through delicious food and shared meals, Sara loves creating imaginary worlds with tight-knit communities in her romance novels. She credits her mother, Mary, Nora Roberts and Rosamunde Pilcher for her love of romance.

If she’s not reading or writing, you will most likely find her in the kitchen creating scrumptious meals with her two kids and amazing husband, or perhaps cooking up her next love story.
She once met a person who both “didn’t read books” and wasn’t “that into food” and it nearly broke her heart.

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