Review of The Fae King’s Dream by Jamie Schlosser

Synopsis:
The first time I meet Damon, he rescues me from a nightmare. Literally. I’m stuck in a coma, and my mind is forcing me to relive the horrific accident that put me in this state over and over again. The gorgeous fae king is the only one who can give me peace.

As if the dream can’t get any weirder, he tells me we’re soul mates. He says he can fix my banged-up brain. He wants to be my hero.

Little does he know, I just might end up saving him. Because once I wake up, the real challenge begins. A bunch of vengeful witches want him dead, and they’ll stop at nothing to seal his fate.

But I’ve got plans of my own. The coven has caused too much tragedy, and I’ll defend my newfound love, even if it’s the last thing I do. And it just might be, because if Damon doesn’t survive, neither will I.

The Fae King’s Dream can be read as a standalone novel, though it’s interconnected with the other books in the Between Dawn and Dusk series.

Review:
This book lost me. There was such potential, but no real development and growth for the main characters. Their instant love was very much an excuse to think all sex all the time, which might work in some cases, but this was almost like an explicit movie with very little plot. The main character cared far too little about the life she lost/her parents, and merely fell into the fae life entirely as if she’d never lived a life prior. When we did get some story building and content it was good, but having sex constantly be at the forefront of the main characters mind, with no lead up/anticipation/build up of a relationship between them was frustrating. There was specific mention of a saddle horn stimulating the heroine, which is ridiculous because even riding double you would not be against a saddle’s horn. If you’re looking for pure smut, I’d recommend A Lady of Rooksgrave Manor by Kathryn Moon instead (Amazon link to that here, and my review of that here).

Star rating: ✯✯✯

Review of Cruel Princes by Jillian Frost

Synopsis:
I hate the princes of Devil’s Creek.

Luca, Bastian, Marcello, and Damian.

For most of my life, no one wanted me… not until they needed me. Turns out I’m the lost heiress to a multi-billion dollar fortune and a pawn in their game.

They keep me locked in their seaside estate, completely at their mercy. All four of them are bullies, taking out their hatred for me in the form of punishments, each with their own reason for keeping me around.

I’m sick to want them.
It’s dangerous to need them.

I think I’m finding my place among these depraved monsters.

Except there’s one small problem.
They’re not the only men who want me.

There are far more dangerous men looking for the heir to the Wellington fortune… which means I’ll be staying in their beds and under their protection for the foreseeable future.

Cruel Princes is a DARK enemies to lovers romance about four possessive men and one ruthless woman who will bring them to their knees. The main character will end up with more than one love interest.

Review:
I didn’t love this book. I picked it up because I’d seen it mentioned on Booktok, but honestly, I could have left this one alone. When it got there, the spice was done well, but I almost stopped reading after the first chapter. It was over the top, and while unbelievable set a bad tone for abuse and punishment. The princes are set to be unlikeable, and while they may become a bit redeemed, I was not enamoured enough with the harem style love scene(s) to be able to definitively say I intend to ever finish this series.

Star rating: ✯✯✯

Review of Copper & Ink by Mindy Michele

Synopsis:
A weekend camping trip with friends unveils their attraction. What will one week expose?

Brynn Harris lives an idyllic life until love deals her a wicked hand. Crushed, she returns to Seaside Pointe and barricades her heart. The plan works well for two years until a weekend spent around her brother’s former college roommate sparks a complicated attraction.

The tattooed and pierced Hayden Fox is nothing like the men from Brynn’s past, but their differences don’t lessen their chemistry, especially when Hayden spends one week in Seaside helping Chloe Lockwood on her flower farm.

Hayden has no plans for a happily ever after he doesn’t think he deserves, but when the tempting redhead shows up for a dinner among friends, desire wages a battle. Soon, the lines between physical and emotional blur. With relationships on the line, Hayden and Brynn must reconcile their damaged pasts. Pasts not yet finished with them.

This is the second installment in a four-book series. While the romance stands alone, the plot is a continuation of events that occurred in book 1: Blossoms & Steel. It is recommended you read the series in order.

Review:
I did like this book. We had characters that weren’t perfect, and were flawed, and had to work through their past trauma to try to find something for the future. I quite enjoyed getting to know Brynn, and I didn’t expect everything that happened to her especially towards the end. The same goes for Hayden, learning of his past, his life, and why he is how he is. The intimacy was well written and on the border of PG13; nothing too explicitly stated or detailed. That being said, the connection and heat was certainly still there. I do wish there had been more at the end– and perhaps there would be more mentioned offhand if you continued to read the series.

This read brought to you by BookswithSierra on TikTok.

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯

Review of The Fae King’s Curse by Jamie Schlosser

Synopsis:
Kirian and I were just twelve years old when I pulled him from the icy waters of the creek behind my house. As he looked in my direction with unseeing lavender eyes, I quickly realized our age was just about the only thing we had in common. He spoke with an accent, he had pointy ears, and he was so beautiful it made my heart ache. Oh, and he claimed to be a fae prince cursed by witches who stole his sight.

I thought he was crazy from hypothermia. Turns out, he wasn’t, and for some reason he keeps coming back. But a day in my world is a year in his. Every time I see him, he’s older. Wiser. Hotter.

Over the past six years, I’ve tried not to fall in love with him because the terms of the curse are clear: If he doesn’t wait for his fated mate in all ways, including an innocent (or not-so-innocent) kiss, he’ll be blind forever.

So when Kirian kisses me and pulls me through the portal to his realm, I make it my mission to do some damage control. It’d be a whole lot easier if he wasn’t determined to marry me… And if someone wasn’t trying to murder me every step of the way.

The Fae King’s Curse is a full-length novel with no cliffhanger.

Review:
I will say this book has a nice slow burn, though some of the major plot twists were a bit obvious. I actually really loved how Quinn wasn’t your typical heroine; she had faults, and she didn’t think being transported to a magical place was going to make everything and everyone suddenly accept her–far more realistic than what happens in most novels. I loved this book and couldn’t put it down. The other world was brilliant and well described. While I did think there were several well done intimate scenes, the mention of constantly always being in need seemed a bit much and almost like an excuse to bring up sex when there was more pressing plot points going on.

I certainly have some expectations for Damon’s story and I look forward to reading on!

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯

Review of Disowned: A Cinderella and Snow White origin story by M. J. Haag

Synopsis:
Not all fairy tales are ribbons and roses.

In a world where the measure of a person rarely goes beneath the surface, Margaret Thoning refuses to play by its rules. Unwilling to compromise her ideals, she walks away from everything she’s ever known to risk her heart and her life for the people who matter most.

Welcome to the Tales of Cinder and Snow.


Review:
So I read this after the Cinder trilogy. Oops. I will say that it did not detract from how much I loved the novella, and I will say I think I actually liked it more because it answered a lot of questions that Eloise and Kellen had–answers I would have already known had I read this first. It is a sweet little tale, and it gives us a really nice background on how Margaret got involved in magic, and just what she was willing to do for the royal house, and to have the life of equality that she wanted.

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of Damnation: A Cinderella Retelling by M. J. Haag

Synopsis:
Abused but not beaten, I will break the curse.
With the reason behind her mother’s death revealed, it’s a race for Eloise to exact her revenge and prevent her stepsisters from marrying the prince. However, amidst the glittering jewels and colorful ball gowns, the royal court holds secrets of its own that will devastate Eloise and strike a final blow to her plans. Betrayed by the one person she thought she could trust, Eloise questions how far she’s willing to go for revenge.


After all, in the game of kingdoms, everyone is a pawn.

Review:
Ooo, we had the heat, the romance, and enough twists and turns that I wasn’t sure exactly how it might end. I absolutely loved the twist with Prince Greydon, and I had expected it since the first book so I wasn’t terribly surprised. I loved how drawn to the right thing Eloise stays, and how she has to fight with her heart to consider if the things she has had to do for survival make her bad, or if she is bad to wish the things others have done onto them. There were so many neat twists and turns, and I especially loved the part with her hair. It was never fully explained but lovely all the while.

In the end I am left with a couple of questions: I wonder if Eloise and/or Kellen end up as magic users, if Eloise kept her second promise to Rose, and when Kellen’s book is going to be out! I am impatiently awaiting the continue of this series.

All in all, while I loved this series and thought it was very different and dark but in other ways from The Beastly Tales, I wouldn’t necessarily say you’d like this one because you liked the other. I clearly tend to love fairy tales and retellings, but while these may be in the same universe, the feel, story… everything is quite different. That doesn’t make it better or worse, and I love them both quite a lot, just don’t expect you’re getting the intensity and same level of adult themed content from this series as the last. That being said, this is in no way a clean story; just not as… detailed or sexually oriented.

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of Disdain: A Cinderella Retelling by M. J. Haag

Synopsis:
A single blow shattered my life of glass. They shouldn’t have left me with the shards.

Eloise knows the name of her mother’s murderer, but she cannot speak it. A curse keeps her silent and locked in the tattered remains of her once charming life. Though magic holds her tongue, it doesn’t quell the smoldering spark of her anger or her need to learn the reason behind her mother’s death.

However, games of magic have dire consequences. Desperate to keep those she loves safe from the repercussions of her actions, Eloise must make a bold gamble with her safety that could win her everything or destroy her forever.

Two lives hang in the balance. For, if Cinder fails, Snow will fall, too.

Review:
This book is certainly darker than the first, as promised. Eloise knows more than she should, but she’s proven herself to be quite resourceful. There are so many things left unsaid that you merely will have to read on to learn about. I love her resourcefulness and wit, and cannot wait to see what the third book has in store!

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of Defiant: A Cinderella Retelling by M. J. Haag

Synopsis:
A dark, twisted Cinderella retelling that fans of Sarah J. Maas and/or Melanie Dickerson are sure to enjoy.

Magic can have deadly consequences.

When the sudden and suspicious death of Eloise’s mother points to forbidden magic, Eloise is determined to bring her mother’s murderer to justice. She will stop at nothing to find the killer…even if the clues lead right to the palace gates and the prince’s manservant, Kaven. He is irrational, volatile, and prone to knocking women off horses. Given his personality, it should be easy to find the proof she needs to place him in irons.

However, when dark magic is used, nothing is as it seems, and Eloise is about to learn that nightmares often hide behind fairy tale lives.

Fans of the Beastly Tales will not want to miss this new addition to the same world. Filled with magic, unexpected foes, and brooding, impossible men, this Tale of Cinder is sure to leave you burning for more!

Review:
I bought this book as soon as I finished The Beastly Tales, but I wasn’t sure I was ready to fall into another world like that one; so in depth and gripping. So I waited, and finally- the time came to crack this open. Without any more preamble, I quite loved it. This story wasn’t all that similar to The Beastly Tales from my perspective. There was a good set up of characters, a nice revolving door, and there was no mention of anything of a particular adult nature in detail until I believe chapter 16. That being said, the set up and landscape are brilliant, and I found myself immersed and enthralled from the start. I had my suspicions about what was going on, and I was pleasantly surprised that I had not managed to figure out exactly what was going on. I quite love how the bookseller knows the difference in taste of books between the two girls, and never judges them or says anything about it, other than “these books are good for you, these are good for your sister”, and nor does he attempt to censure them. Amazing man! There is mention that the next books are darker, and I look forward to seeing what that entails. Off to buy the next…

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Review of The Cowboy’s Forbidden Crush by Deborah Garland

Synopsis:
Don’t tempt a cowboy if you’re not prepared to go for a ride.

Meet Dr. Walker Rhodes, DVM. He has rules about sleeping with his students. He doesn’t go there. But when Emmaline Phillips waltzes into his class, all bets are off.

Emma is smart and beautiful and those haunting caramel eyes will be my undoing. I’m watching her every move while I wait to make her mine. The way she looks at me tells me: She’s mine.

With graduation just days away, I’ll get her in my bed and keep her there until she leaves this small Texas town to chase her dreams in the Kentucky Bluegrass. She’s got plans that don’t include me.

And I’m not looking for anything long-term. I don’t do relationships.

I just need enough time with Emma to satisfy us both and get her out of my head.

Only, when she shows up on my ranch with tight jeans, boots and ready to work as my intern, I’m ready to lose it. Emma Phillips will be my downfall.

There’s only so much a cowboy can take…

Review:
This book was amazing. Yes, there is an age gap, but not in a weird or creepy way like some books/situations tend to be. Emma is about to graduate vet school and she definitely sees something in Rhodes. While there are some uncertainties with both of them set for different things in life, the way they came together and found themselves changing, for the better, from working together and having a deeper understanding of the way they each are, was great to see. There are twists and turns and the ending leaves you wishing for something a bit more concrete, yet knowing that they will likely feature in the rest of the books in the series. One of the things that I, as a horse owner, personally appreciated was that they Garland didn’t make the profession out to be easy, and did show that being a large animal vet with horses, which are prey animals, means dealing with unpredictability and dangerous situations sometimes. I found it quite realistic, and it was a very enjoyable, quick read.

Star rating: ✯✯✯✯

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]

Synopsis:
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.

Review:
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: ✯✯✯✯