Tag Archives: Emma Hamm

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Book Review: Fire Heart, by Emma Hamm

I purchased a copy of Emma Hamm‘s Fire Heart.

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They handed her a sword and bid her to take a throne…Lorelei is half elf in a kingdom where that bloodline is synonymous with “slave”. The Umbra King holds everyone captive with his pet dragon who knows no mercy. She hides in the shadows and steals to stay alive, until a rebel group gives her an offer she can’t refuse.

The King seeks a bride. If she can get close enough, she could drive a dagger into that wicked man’s heart. But the bridal games are more difficult than most. Lorelei must prove herself not only beautiful, but talented, poised, and deadly as the king. However, the closer she gets to saving her kingdom, the more she realizes a singular problem stands in her way.

The dragon.

The King’s bodyguard is more than a slathering beast. He’s a man. And the longer she’s near him, the more she realizes that perhaps the king isn’t the most dangerous person in the kingdom. Perhaps she had to guard not only her body, but her heart. For a dragon mates for life, and they’re hard pressed to give up their treasures.

my review

My experience with Emma Hamm’s books has been inconsistent. I’ve read some that I absolutely loved (such as the Otherworld Series) and others that I’ve just been bored silly by (Bleeding Hearts). This was one of the latter. Maybe I just need to avoid any of her titles with Heart in it.

The writing in Fire Heart is good, and I liked the characters well enough. But the plot just left something to be desired. The main character was little more than a patsy. The main love interest was bland, though I did appreciate his fatherly attributes. The villain was a caricature. The side characters were largely uninteresting. It was all just kind of mid.

Maybe, despite the heroine being a couple of hundred years old, the story just felt too YA for me. Maybe I just expected more from this author. Who knows? All in all, I probably won’t pick up the next in the series unless it’s a freebie. But I’m still open to trying others of Hamm’s books.

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Other Reviews:

ARC Review: Fire Heart by Emma Hamm

The Rambling Book Nerd: Fire Heart, by Emma Hamm

 

 

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Book Review: Bleeding Hearts, by Emma Hamm

I bought a copy of Emma Hamm‘s Bleeding Hearts, way back in late 2021.

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Find the Duke. Prove he’s a vampire. And kill him.

Maeve Winchester is out of the vampire hunting game. She’s killed enough of them, and risked her life for long enough. Working for the Holy Brotherhood didn’t make that easy, however. Especially when she has witch blood. Regardless of her past, the Inquisition agrees to release her and her magical sisters, under one circumstance.

She has to complete one more job.

Through the moors and mire, she travels to the illusive Castra Nocte. Home of the Carmine Duke. His gothic castle has stood for centuries with a single rule. If you enter, you will never leave. It is here Maeve makes her last stand. She must prove the Duke is a vampire and then kill him as she has so many others.

When she enters the castle, not all is as it seems. The Duke is charming. The castle grounds clean. His words tantalizing. She will have to keep her wits about her if she is to save her sisters… and her heart.

my review

This was entertaining enough. I generally enjoyed it. I didn’t quite feel Maeve’s transition from enemy to lover, though. It was too abrupt and required she show a level of trust and naivete that everything up to that point suggested she would not do. I also felt that she was seduced as much (if not more) by the glitz, glamour, and wealth that the Duke could provide her as by the man himself, and that didn’t feel very romantic. I did appreciate that he fell first in a truly obsessive way. It felt a little like love-bombing. But I also thought the banter between him and his butler provided the levity the plot needed.

I liked the world Hamm created, though it’s only lightly sketched out and doesn’t stray far from ‘the church’ as we are all familiar with it as the villain. However, the side characters that are in the future books look fun. I’ll probably read their books.

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Other Reviews:

Myth and Magic Bookclub: Bleeding Hearts, by Emma Hamm

 

the ravens ballad

Book Review of The Raven’s Ballad (The Otherworld #5), by Emma Hamm

I’ve been very into Emma Hamm‘s books lately. This is book five in the Otherworld series. However, books one and two are a duology, as are books four and five. (I’ve not read the standalone third book). I borrowed this fifth book, The Raven’s Ballad, through Amazon Prime.

Description from Goodreads:

Once upon a time…

A curse can only be broken by luck or an impossible feat, and Aisling has tried numerous impossible feats. Every morning she changes into a swan. Every dusk she has a few moments with the man she loves, only to watch him forced into the form of a raven by the same curse.

When it becomes clear the curse is directly connected with an ancient, awakening evil, she sets off into the depths of Underhill to find answers. Unfortunately, this is a journey that must be made alone.

Bran refuses to believe there isn’t another way. Split off from his queen, he joins forces with the Seelie Fae and the Druids. Darkness spreads throughout the Raven Kingdom. Both king and queen fight to protect their people, their home, and the love they have for each other.

Review:

As I said, this is the fourth book by Emma Hamm I’ve read and I have to say it was my least favorite. That isn’t to say I didn’t like it, just that it wasn’t as strong in the things that made me love the others. Also, it’s the only one I got in kindle instead of audio. So, I suppose there’s a chance that the lack of Siobhan Waring’s narration affected me. Though, I don’t think that was the case.

The reason I say I didn’t love this one as much, is that what I liked about the previous three books in this series is that Hamm subverted a lot of the expected tropes, especially around women. Here she played into them. While this still made a readable story that I enjoyed, it didn’t light me up as much as it would have if she hadn’t. As examples (and this is a spoiler), the female villain is trying to destroy the world because she was spurned by a man. This has to be the number one most common reason women in fiction go bad. *yawn*

Also, what I most enjoyed in The Faceless Woman (the beginning of this duology) was the banter between Aisling and Bran. They spend 95% of this book apart and I missed them as a couple, even if I understood why it had to be that way.

Lastly, I noticed several copy edit mistakes. For example, ‘she’ is ‘se’ at one point and Aisling came out AIsling more than once. None of them disrupted my reading and they aren’t super common, but they are there. They may be in all the previous books too. But as I said, I listened to them, rather than read, so I wouldn’t have noticed.

I did appreciate the presence of a strong M/F platonic friendship. Neither character was even gay, thereby prohibiting a romance. Two people of opposite genders were simply allowed to love each other as family, despite there being no blood between them. I wish we could see that more often. (As a side note, I would love to see a gay pairing in this universe somewhere. I don’t even understand why creatures like the fae would conform to heteronormativity. I mean, that just seems so human and beneath them. *shrug*)

I also still liked Aisling and Bran as characters and recognize how much they grew as people, especially Bran. I look forward to reading more of Hamm’s writing.