Review of Captive of the Pirate King: A Pirate Romance by Rebecca F. Kenney

Captive of the Pirate King: A Pirate Romance (Standalone) (Dark Rulers Book 2) by [Rebecca F. Kenney]

Veronica wants nothing more than to find her brother, who sailed away years ago. But when Veronica’s ship is captured by pirates, she’s determined to save her own skin, while keeping her magic and her gender a secret. Disguised as male, she finagles a spot as a cabin boy aboard the buccaneers’ vessel–which is bound for Ravensbeck, a stronghold where the Pirate King holds sway. He may have the answers Veronica seeks–but getting those answers could cost her more than she’s willing to pay.

This book… was slow burning and great. I loved the way Veronica worked as a cabin boy, and how her relationships develop from Nick to Veronica. She is so capable and becomes so strong, so while she does have disadvantages that she has had to deal with her whole life, it is great to see her overcome what she perceives as her own shortcomings. I did quite enjoy this book and fell asleep several nights, stopping to sleep when my eyes were blurring. I quite loved how she was challenged regularly by her male counterpart, but her inability to realize how much attention he kept on her and how much he was pushing, that he had to care, was frustrating and annoying. It was also hard to empathize with her feelings for her brother as well, but the connections she made and her journey on sea and with the pirates certainly made up for it.

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯

Review of Bride to the Fiend Prince: A Dark Rulers Romance by Rebecca F. Kenney

Bride to the Fiend Prince: A Dark Rulers Romance (Standalone) by [Rebecca F. Kenney]

When her father surrenders to an invading kingdom, Amarylla doesn’t realize she’s part of the treaty until it’s too late. Drugged to prevent resistance, she’s swept away to the dark, tortured kingdom of Terelaus, where she is forced to marry the Fiend Prince. When Amarylla holds a dagger to his throat on their wedding night, she and the Prince come to a tenuous arrangement of their own. But he may not be the greatest danger lurking in the Cursed Palace.

This book. I grabbed it because I saw a Tiktok about Captive of the Pirate King and it wasn’t available for a few days! This book looked equally interesting and honestly I am so glad I read this first! I absolutely loved this book, finding Amarylla to be a damsel, who isn’t in distress, and can definitely handle herself. While she might have been betrayed previously, she didn’t let her previous preconceived notions about people and why they did things stop her from becoming compassionate and working for what is right. She’s a great heroine and I loved all of the tension (especially the dancing!!) and the spice between her and her Fiend Prince.

Update: I forgot to add that I also loved how this book made the heroine face mortality.

“He’s going to die.”
“As we all are,” said Onwe, “And those closer to the grave deserve love just as much as those with years of life left ahead of them.”

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of The Tin Rose: A Steampunk Romance by Anne Renwick

The Tin Rose: A Steampunk Romance (An Elemental Steampunk Chronicle) by [Anne Renwick]

An evening escape. A clockwork poison. A race to save a love balanced on the edge.

On the night they were to elope, a spurned lover returned. A gift, she claimed. But the clockwork contraption unwound a poisonous bloom, sending Lady Emily and Luca, her beloved, on a desperate race to reach the cure.

A very quick novel, which showed the tenacity of Lady Emily and just how far people will go for those they love. There were stakes and one was never quite sure how it would end, but it was quite short (with a print length of 58 pages). I did enjoy it, as I have all of Renwick’s books thus far.

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯

Review of Times Like These: A Rock Star Romance by Julia Wolf

Times Like These: A Rock Star Romance (Blue is the Color Book 1) by [Julia Wolf]

It all started with a concert I never wanted to attend…

Nick Fletcher is the kind of arrogant, beautiful, bad boy who draws me in like a moth to a flame. He’s also a world-famous rock star who should be untouchable to a struggling college student like me.

One impulsive decision from me, a vicious response from Nick, and we’re thrust into each other’s worlds, whether we like it or not. And he really doesn’t like it.

To him, I’m an intruder working on his summer tour. One with a sassy mouth I can’t keep shut, especially when he leans in hard to the whole sexy, grumpy rocker thing.

There’s something undeniable simmering between us, and it’s not hate. But beneath Nick’s arrogance is a broken man and my days of fixing men are behind me.

No matter what, I’m walking away when this tour is over.

Even if the heat we ignite burns hotter than the summer sun.

Found this book from booktok. A quick fast read. The characters are quirky, flawed, and stay with you. Great book, good flow. A lot of unseen twists and turns and the perfect ending. A great quick enemies to lovers romance, and the spice was great and well written.

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯

Review of United: Magiford Supernatural City by K. M. Shea

United: Magiford Supernatural City (Pack of Dawn and Destiny Book 2) by [K. M. Shea]

A wolf is attacking the humans of Timber Ridge and changing them into werewolves—against their will.

The change process is extremely dangerous and involves bloodshed. It isn’t something that happens by accident, which can only mean one thing.

Someone is doing this on purpose.

I’m going to find the rampaging sicko responsible for this outbreak, even if it means I have to master my new magic to stop them.

Thankfully, Greyson—the Pack Alpha and the most powerful wolf in the Midwest—is always down for a hunt. The only problem is that I’m starting to find him attractive—which is the worst thing I could do. He’s got an incomplete mate bond, and since I’m a hunter, I could never be a wolf’s mate.

That’s okay. I’m used to being alone. I’m a werewolf hunter, not part of the Pack. But that’s an awfully dangerous place to be when there is a rogue wolf on the loose.

United is the second book in the Pack of Dawn and Destiny urban fantasy trilogy, and is part of the Magiford Supernatural City world. It features werewolves, hunters, and fae, and is filled with humor, adventure, and a sweet romance that will have you laughing out loud.

I absolutely loved this book. Pip’s werewolf connections grew even stronger, and she tries to learn to harness her stronger wolf’s kiss powers all while trying to figure out who is turning the wolves against their will and trying to keep some semblance of personal comfort. From the beginning I had been so sure I knew what the cause of all of this was, and I was so wrong. There were lots of little twists and turns and plenty guests from other books/places in the same world. I was so glad when the elephant in the room was finally addressed at the very end of the book, just for it to end on such an amusing argument cliffhanger! I cannot wait to read the third book in the series and I’m so glad I only have to wait another month!

P. S. The Bedevilments grow on you, methinks.

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of A Lady of Rooksgrave Manor by Kathryn Moon

A Lady of Rooksgrave Manor (Tempting Monsters Book 1) by [Kathryn Moon, Jodielocks Designs]

On the brink of losing her position as a maid and with no prospects to go on, the offer of a place at Rooksgrave Manor—a house of ill and unusual repute—sounds like a perfect fit for a young woman with Esther’s inclinations. Even better, the invitation comes by the hand of the handsome Dr. Underwood, a delicate gentleman with a ferocious alter ego who knows exactly what he wants from Esther.

Upon arrival, the men and the daily decadence of the manor feel too good to be true for a girl of Esther’s station. There are rules to be followed, expectations to meet, and Esther is afraid she might be too wicked even for a place like Rooksgrave.

Temptations lurk around every shadowy corner and Esther has never been a girl able to resist. But the risk of disappointing her new gentlemen isn’t all that’s threatening Esther’s new position. Rooksgrave Manor’s protections for its unusual patrons are failing, the wards are crumbling, and Esther’s new and exquisitely pleasurable life may all come tumbling down.

The synopsis gives you no idea just how much spice you’re about to walk into. Esther is a girl who really likes sex, and there are plenty of men who are more than willing to give it to her well, good, and often… even if there is something a bit different about them. This book… I had worries that a WIP had too much spice too soon, and this definitely assuaged that fear! Not only was there a lot of sex, but it was all written quite well! Despite having lots and lots of sex, there were actually some pretty intense plotlines and depth beyond the physicality. This book had everything; believable characters, gripping plotlines, prejudice to be dealt with, and through it all–you just wanted to keep reading more.

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of Hate Notes by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward

Hate Notes by [Vi Keeland, Penelope Ward]

It all started with a mysterious blue note sewn into a wedding dress.

Something blue.

I’d gone to sell my own unworn bridal gown at a vintage clothing store. That’s when I found another bride’s “something old.”

Stitched into the lining of a fabulously feathered design was the loveliest message I’d ever read: Thank you for making all of my dreams come true.

The name embossed on the blue stationery: Reed Eastwood, obviously the most romantic man who ever lived. I also discovered he’s the most gorgeous. If only my true-love fantasies had stopped there. Because I’ve since found out something else about Mr. Starry-Eyed.

He’s arrogant, cynical, and demanding. I should know. Thanks to a twist of fate, he’s my new boss. But that’s not going to stop me from discovering the story behind his last love letter. A love letter that did not result in a happily ever after.

But that story is nothing compared to the one unfolding between us. It’s getting hotter, sweeter, and more surprising than anything I could have imagined.

Something new.

But I have no idea how this one is going to end…

This book was full of tons of twists and turns that I never really knew what was going to happen. The characterization was well done, and while we focused predominately on Reed and Charlotte, we also had a couple of great little side characters thrown in as well. I hadn’t been sure I wanted to read something else after finishing the latest Beauty and the Beast trilogy I found myself deeply embedded in, but I am so glad I randomly picked this amongst all the books I had stowed away.

There was something humourous yet so touching and personal about this; from how people’s perspectives can change based on some heavy life events and how some people take the advice of those older and wiser and manage to continue on. Charlotte has such a wonderful happy disposition, and while she falls apart, she finds how to put herself back together and pushes for more. Reed, on the other hand, is so cynical and pessimistic that I cannot help but think that everyone has had some point where we allowed life to drag too heavily on us and needed to have that breath of fresh air to remind us that we’re truly alive. While I wasn’t sure that Reed would forgive how they met, I found that this book and the characters within reminded me of exactly how important living in the moment is, and how sweet life can be.

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of Devastation: A Beauty and the Beast Retelling by M. J. Haag

Devastation: A Beauty and the Beast Retelling (A Beastly Tale Book 3) by [M.J. Haag, Ulva Eldrige]

Everything has changed…

Abused and rejected, Benella strives to regain a purpose for her life that does not involve the beast.  However, when her father loses his employment, she finds herself returning to the last place she ever wanted to see.

A beast no more…

Alec, Lord of the North, is a man once more, a man Benella doesn’t know or understand.  As she struggles to reconcile the cold, distant man with the beast she once knew, she must also learn when it is right to forgive and when it is time to move on. 

This book really put so much into perspective of how Benella felt about relationships and trust between people. There were multiple times one had to stop and wonder why she kept doing the same stupid thing without thinking, but then, people are not always wary all the time. Seeing Alec as a man as he attempts to understand and work with Benella is quite nice, especially when he slips and she is reminded of their time alone. Of course I wouldn’t wish bad things on our main character, but it did seem like there was a lot of almosts that set her mind on a course that could have made a very different end. I realized as I neared the end, constantly worried that the happily ever after wouldn’t happen, that Benella was quite a believable character, with real concerns even if the reader (omnipresent as one is) knew shouldn’t have worried. There were times she misplaced care for possession, though I couldn’t truly blame her as she hadn’t been looked after for most of her life. Many things in life could be far more easily understood if we looked from both perspectives, our own and others, after all.

There were two great quotes that I will share from this final book in the Beastly tales.

“My mother once told me time changed everything. In that moment, I realized what she meant. Nothing ever stayed the same.”

“Her search for material wealth and social standing wouldn’t bring her happiness. Happiness wasn’t so easily obtained. It took kindness and some true sacrifice, neither concept truly understood by my sister.”

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of Deceit: A Beauty and the Beast Retelling by M. J. Haag

Deceit: A Beauty and the Beast Retelling (A Beastly Tale Book 2) by [M.J. Haag, Ulva Eldrige]

Only Beauty can tame the Beast.

Safely hidden within the estate’s enchanted walls, Benella no longer has time to fear her tormentors. She’s too preoccupied attempting to determine what makes the beast so beastly. It might be the taxing visits from the aged enchantress who cursed him or his growing vexation at not being allowed to touch Benella.

In order to gain her freedom, she must find a way to break the curse, but first, she must help him become a better man while protecting her heart.

The world grew and it became larger and more coloured and I thought that Benella had truly touched the beast. I thought that despite her sisters and how horrible they were that she would turn out not differently in part because she was so sensible. We had so much more added to both knowledge of how Benella grew up to also the people who had been around the Beast and how he cared for them. The ending… how, how could he just do that?! I need to read the third book, immediately! One star off for the end!

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯

Review of Depravity: A Beauty and the Beast Novel by M. J. Haag

Depravity: A Beauty and the Beast Novel (A Beastly Tale Book 1) by [M.J. Haag, Ulva Eldridge, Allisyn Ma]

Seductively dark. Deliciously beastly.

Benella is concerned with two things–avoiding the two village boys who torment her and scrounging for food to help feed her family. Unfortunately, the best wild fruit and vegetables are near the walls of the estate, a dark misty place inhabited by an unforgiving beast.

When her tormentors lock her behind the massive gates, Benella knows her fate is sealed. Yet, the fate isn’t one she expects. Her encounter with the beast starts a bizarre cycle of bargaining for her freedom, a freedom the beast seems determined to see her lose.

I quite enjoyed this beginning of Beauty and the Beast’s tale by M. J. Haag. There wasn’t too much spice, but it set a very good scene for what Benella’s life was like, as well as how the Beast acted. Opening scene with the baker left a very lasting impression in my mind thought part of me wonders why Sara would be upset about the particular change in price since it seemed more beneficial to her. I found it very interesting that he was so kind and careful with her for so long. The duality of how she is treated depending on what she wears is not lost. I quite look forward to seeing how the story continues to unfold.

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯