This week at Smexy…
B+ review – Turn and Burn by Lorelei James (erotic)
B+ review – Rock Chick Revolution by Kristen Ashley (contemporary)
B review – Sanctuary Island by Lily Everett (contemporary)
B- review – Biting Bad by Chloe Neill (urban fantasy)
B- review – Most Wanted by E. L Friel (urban fantasy)
C+ review – Spin by Bella Love (new adult)
C+ review – Burden by Annmarie McKenna (m/m suspense)
C+ review – From the Ashes by Daisy Harris (m/m)
News From Mandi: I’ve DNF’d a couple this week. Her Protector’s Pleasure by Grace Callaway, Unscrupulous by Avery Aster and Bittersweet Junction by Ivy Sinclair all didn’t work for me. I accept a lot of books for review as I love to try new to me authors or basically books that have blurbs that appeal to me. Good blurbs don’t always translate to good books. But at least I tried.
Into the Deep by Samantha Young is a new adult that was okay. I didn’t like it as much as her Dublin series, but I didn’t dislike it. It was very – new adult. Young angst, second chance love. A solid end but still room for a second book. I’ll skip the second book and wait patiently for another adult contemporary from her.
Glitterland by Alexis Hall is an interesting contemporary m/m about a hero who is suffering from sever depression and anxiety who meets a guy who is a very eccentric, outgoing model. At first I thought I wouldn’t like these two together, but by the end I was definitely convinced of their HEA. There are moments of brilliant dialogue in this one. There are also some really slow parts. My biggest complaint is that the model hero has an extreme accent that threw me out of the story. Review coming.
Handcuffed in Housewares by Nikki Duncan was a book with very wooden, rigid dialogue and no chemistry or emotion. I’ll be reviewing it soon. It was disappointing.
The highlight of my week was the novella by Amber Lin called, Tempting Fate. Heroine falls for her older brother’s best friend. He is her brother’s lawyer, and her brother walks a fine line between business and crime. That gives the story a darker edge. The heroine is young but daring. I really liked this one. I wish it had been longer. I’ll be reviewing soon.
Tori’s news. It’s been a rather meh reading week. Not much of what I read engaged me in the manner I expected or rather hoped for.
Viper by Patricia A. Rasey presents as Sons of Anarchy meets Twilight. What we get is an uninspiring romance with insta love, underdeveloped characters, repetitive dialogue, and a storyline that was all over the place.
Chloe Neill’s Biting Bad was enjoyable read though I had a strong deju vu feeling when reading it. it played out remarkably similar to House Rules. Not much arc development and while the conflict resolved itself, we are left hanging. Review HERE.
Rowan Speedwell’s Illumination is well written erotic m/m that addresses a romance between a rock star and a man with brain trauma. Very sexy and emotional with some nicely done love scenes. Review will post in Oct issue of RT Book Reviews Magazine.
Heavy Metal Heart by Nico Russo, an erotic PNR whose execution raised eyebrows. Review will post in Oct issue of RT Book Reviews Magazine.
I read two Lauren Dane’s this week. Cake, her Cosmo Red Hot Read and Drawn Together, the sixth installment in her Brown Sibling series. Cake was a cute, predictably romantic, fast read. I loved the heroine, Wren. She knew what she wanted and no problems going after it. Drawn Together, which is Raven’s story, was an enjoyable but I honestly felt that Raven was a shadow of her former self. I also felt her romance was a little too pat. There was no conflict and the Raven I remember would have shown some resistance. Review to come for both.
Into The Deep by Samantha Young is the first in her new NA series. An appropriately and expected emo angsty tale of lost love and second chances when our heroine sees the ex boyfriend who shattered her heart, at college and in the arms of another girl. Le sigh. It’s not the pure magic that her adult series-On Dublin Street-is but it’s a comfortable read for those who love NA romances.
Elysian Fields by Suzanne Johnson is a hit and miss series for me. I wasn’t impressed with the first book, loved the second book, and am now back to unimpressed with third. I have heard Johnson has a new editor. If this is true, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE go back to the DJ in River Roads. Romance and love triangles do not make all stories better. Trust me on this.
Meet Me In The Middle by LA Wittis an m/m love story about lost loves and second chances between two former best friends & lovers who took twenty years to find their way back to one another. While i enjoyed it overall, I think the story would have been better served presented in both of the heroes POVs and the ending was just convenient. I didn’t buy the commitment and I really hope Witt writes a followup to this one.
A true winner this week was Anne Calhoun’s Uncommon Passion. It blew me away. An erotic romance with a phenomenal heroine whose strength and compassion and a hero whose struggles with grief and pain made me want to weep. Love, loss, regret, and forgiveness all wind together to create a love story tale that will stay with me a long time. Fans of Liberating lacey will gobble this one up. J’adore.
Now, for my number one disappointment.Robin D. Owen’s Heart Fortune. I adore this series. It’s one of the few Sci Fi/Fantasy series I enjoy and I look forward to each new installment. But this one felt odd. It wasn’t as plum or fleshed out as her previous novels. Every aspect from the romance to plot lines felt contrived and emotionally watered down. By the end I was numb from boredom. Review to come.
I’m getting ready to start Jus Accardo’s Darker Days and a couple books that the cover hore in me screamed to get. Tess Oliver’s Freefall and Vickie McKeehan The Bones of Others.