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Book Review: No Man Left Behind, by W.R. Gingell

I pre-ordered a copy of W.R. Gingell‘s No Man Left Behind. Reviews for the previous books in the series can be found here and here.
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Revenge. Restoration. Romance. A few deadly wishes.

The Glass Elder wants wishes. Three, to be exact. Athelas wants a way in, and those wishes may well be that way—but giving the Elder what he wants means putting Camellia in harm’s way. It also means that YeoWoo will have to choose between trusting Athelas one last time, and taking a bite at suddenly hot revenge that could swiftly go cold if she misses her chance.

Now that revenge is within reach of her teeth, will YeoWoo manage to tear out one last, bloody heart? Can Athelas put aside his own ends for long enough to protect all those dearest to him from threats outside—and from himself?

Can a family that began in blood survive one too many wishes and a far-too-wily Elder, or will the world as they know it fall apart into the chaos of wishes-gone-wrong?

my review

This was a full, fabulous five stars. The whole series is a redemption arc, picking up from the end of The City Between series’ ending. You see it coming and anticipate it. But getting to see it all finally coming together with everyone who needs closure, revenge, forgiveness, or acceptance receiving it is wonderful. The character growth! The found family! The banter! All of it, *Chef’s Kiss* I will legitimately miss these characters now that the series is over. Gingell has quickly become a favorite auto-buy author. I cannot wait to see what she does next.

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Book Review: Enticed by the Orc, by Tabitha Black

I picked up a copy of Tabitha Black‘s Enticed by the Orc as an Amazon freebie.

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Are you feeling lost? Lonely? Disenchanted?

In my case, it was yes to all of the above. So when I saw the ad promising to fulfill my biggest wish, I chugged the rest of my wine… and said the I deserve happiness. Love. Belonging.

I should’ve read the fine print.

Now I’m in another world, filled with Fae folk. There are witches, minotaurs, and trolls. The dark elf king has put a bounty on my head. And the only protector I have is a huge, grumpy orc who loathes humankind – including me. But his brusque commands and intense stare make my belly flip and my breath catch. And when he touches me… oh, my heart…

Despite our undeniable chemistry, the orc is determined to help me get home. Problem is, I’m not sure I want to go.

I kinda want to stay here…

With him.

my review

This started out really well. Throughout, I appreciated the DV rep and the way that the author handled a woman leaving an abusive relationship with a narcissist. Plus, the heroine had some characteristics you don’t too often see in romance characters (having gotten a boob job, for example), which was fun.

Unfortunately, the whole thing fell apart pretty quickly. It became predictable and dull. The transition from barely tolerating each other to falling in bed and love was too abrupt and without any reasoning behind it. Just one minute, they dislike one another; the next, they can’t keep their hands off one another.

I had two main issues that kept me from liking the book, though. One, Orakh (yeah, the orc is basically named Orc), never solidified himself as a male lead worth my time. He was dismissive of her (and just about anything feminine) from the start and then abandoned her in her time of need. Second, the kink felt unbelievably out of place. I know BDSM was all the rage for a while, and some authors try to write for the market. But to say it didn’t fit in this story would be a vast understatement.

All in all, I’m just glad to have finished it, which is a shame because it started out well.

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Book Review: Noxx, by Tasha Black

I picked up a copy of Tasha Black‘s Noxx as an Amazon freebie.

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The Alien Adoption Agency is going to make all of Luna’s dreams come true.

At least, that’s what Luna believes when she boards a rickety space craft headed for a frontier moon to meet the child she will raise in exchange for 100 acres of land and a modest stipend. But she doesn’t count on the dangerous animals, the short but lonely nights, or the big blue warrior who informs her he is on permanent security duty for the baby.

Noxx is a proud dragon warrior of the Invicta, dedicated to use his strength, strategy and endurance to protect his homeland. When his commander assigns him guard duty for a baby, he resents the interruption of his career. It’s bad enough that he’s starting to bond with the little whelp, but the instant he sees the child’s adoptive mother, he knows she is his fated mate. Noxx will have to deny his desperate craving for the dark-haired beauty if he wants to hold on to his chance at redemption.

When a last-minute trek through the forest of Clotho gets them entangled in a dangerous battle, Luna will have to learn to trust the hunky blue warrior. But can the dragon let go of his duty long enough to let himself love someone, and be loved in return?

my review

I liked this in the least invested way possible, which is all it really allowed for. Sure, it filled a couple of hours with entertainment. But there is far too little to it to be anything significant.

Look, I am wholly on board with fated mates and insta-lust that grows into love. But this book tried to convince me that two people from completely different cultures (let alone species) fell into true abiding love in less than three days. To say the plot is rushed is an enormous understatement. It’s such a shame, too, because the plot has so much potential to develop in interesting ways. But Black didn’t choose to pursue any of them.

For the record, it’s not overly steamy. So, it’s not erotica where sex is the point. The book is intended to have a plot, and it does. But it is so rushed that one feels as if they are reading an outline rather than a fully fleshed-out book.

Having said all of that. I liked the characters. It is a sweet read, and, as I said, it passed a few pleasant enough hours.

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