Tag Archives: fantasy romance

courting her monsters banner

Book Review: Courting Her Monsters, by Erin Bedford

I picked up a freebie copy of Erin Bedford‘s Courting Her Monsters during the Stuff Your Kindle event (along with about a million other books).
courting her monsters cover
Unable to hear, I live my life in silence.
Unable to argue with my father, I live my life in service, married off to the highest bidder.

Now, to save myself and my kingdom, I will have to play the part of their prisoner.
But I’m not playing anymore, and my new betrothed is more than happy to push the limits of my body and mind. He’s a monster with a handsome face…

But truer monsters wait for me, and they’re ready to give me so much more than I was prepared for.
What makes a monster and what makes a man? Only I can find that out…
And my life isn’t so silent anymore.

my review

God, what a disappointment. This was a Stuff Your Kindle freebie, and I wanted to love it. I honestly enjoyed aspects of it. Yes, it’s got some pretty significant plot holes. Yes, the heroine does some too-stupid-to-live things. Yes, it’s completely unbelievable that if the abuse she was suffering was so severe, no one noticed (and she was up and moving around with ease). Yes, it’s unbelievable that the mind-reading drake didn’t know exactly what she was up to. All true. But it was still silly, fluffy fun. I would have happily said it was a three-star, nothing serious read. But good lord, the editing. I can’t figure out how more people haven’t mentioned it in previous reviews. Maybe they were all pre-publication and thought the problems would get fixed before it went to print. Maybe they’re fake, IDK. But the fact that it’s not been mentioned by more people is…odd because it’s a significant issue.

Look, it’s one thing to not pick up on the occasional homophone, missing word, or if the spellcheck didn’t catch the use of ‘up’ instead of ‘us.’ But this book has characters who speak telepathically. This is indicated by italics, with no quotation marks or dialogue tag. But in the last 1/4 of the book, the italics just stop. So, you have dialogue with nothing to indicate it as so. In the first 3/4 of the book, there are several instances of dialogue being italicized, along with the next 3 or 4 paragraphs of the narrative. It’s clear the author simply forgot to turn italics off.

Now, I’m usually pretty forgiving about editing. It’s easy enough to miss the small stuff, even repeatedly. But if no one is noticing multiple instances of several paragraphs of erroneous courting her monsters photoitalicization, then no one read this book after the first draft, not even the author, and that’s unforgivable. Thank god it was free. I’d be incensed if I’d paid for it.

The thing is, I liked the story (as ridiculous as it was). I liked that the heroine was deaf. I liked her snark and that she refused to be a perpetual victim. I liked that one of the important men is visibly marred. I liked the dragon-men and world. I might have even read the next one. But I’m not willing to pay for someone’s drafts.

Other Reviews:

soul mage banner

Book Review: Soul Mage, by Lisa Blackwood

I picked up a freebie copy of Lisa Blackwood‘s Soul Mage from Amazon.

soul mage cover

A stoic warrior-maiden and a villainous priest-king make the most unlikely alliance in the history of the five kingdoms.

When a rescue attempt to save a clutch of dragon eggs from the soul mages goes terribly wrong, Warrior-Priestess Verdria of High Rock finds herself on the wrong side of a portal, deep in enemy territory.

She soon learns she’s in the heart of the soul mage’s empire and when Honryn, the future priest-king of the mages, takes a liking to Verdria and saves her life, she’s pretty sure she’s facing down a ‘fate worse than death’ scenario.

Just when she thinks things can’t get any worse, Priest-King Honryn introduces her to the Royal Court of the Soul Mages, the most morally corrupt and bloodthirsty court in existence.

Life is cheap.

Souls are currency.

And Verdria has caught the fancy of the young priest-king, and while he doesn’t want to steal her soul, he’s set on winning her heart.

And she’s equally set on having his heart, after she’s carved it out of his chest.

But when she discovers Honryn’s most monstrous secret, a secret he’s even hiding from his fellow soul mages, she’s moved to pity and offers to aid him.

my review

Meh, this was a fine, if shallow, read. As is so often the case with books that are both part of one series and the start of a spin-off (this is book 4 of the Huntress vs. Huntsman and book 1 of the Soul Mage Saga), the book stands alone plot-wise but is largely without any world-building or description. A person really isn’t meant to read it as a book 1, apparently. Those who have read the previous series are meant to understand that the established world is shifting to focus on side characters, but all else is the same.

Add to this lack of robustness in the world a plot that barely progresses (the whole book is about three days), a narrative that dedicates significantly more time to what characters are wearing than…well, just about anything else, and ends on a cliffhanger at precisely the moment anything big finally actually happens, and what you have is a fairly flat read. It’s not that it’s bad. I think I’d continue the series if I found it free. But it’s also not particularly engaging. I wouldn’t, for example, pay for more.

But the mechanical writing is fine. The whole thing reads easily enough. I liked the characters and that the heroine is sort of a muscly butch, but the hero is still hella attracted to her. The book is also very sweet, which I know some like. (The snippets I saw on TikTok made me think it would be dark. So, I was a bit let down by the cotton candy, personally.) But still…it was just kinda meh.

soul mage photo

Other Reviews:

Book Review: Soul Mage by Lisa Blackwood

how to get a girlfriend when you're a terrifying monster

Book Review: How to Get a Girlfriend When You’re a Terrifying Monster, by Marie Cardno

A few months back, I picked up a freebie copy of Marie Cardno‘s How to Get a Girlfriend When You’re a Terrifying Monster.

How to get a girlfriend when you're a terrigying monster cover

Life is tough when you’re an eldritch abomination.

Trillin isn’t technically a person. She’s a tiny breakaway piece of consciousness from the all-devouring Endless, doomed to eventually rejoin it. But when a human witch stumbles into her world, Trillin suddenly has a new reason to figure out individuality–one shape-shifting tentacle at a time.

Sian is sure important magical discoveries are just around the corner, if she can just get her portals to work reliably. Reaching the dimension of the Endless without being eaten on sight is a dream come true, and Sian is determined to explore every bit of it. For science, of course, not for the strangely adorable life-form who keeps popping up and trying to… flirt?

But Trillin’s world can be a dangerous place, and keeping Sian safe might risk drawing the attention of the Endless itself–which will swallow Trillin up along with all her dreams of humanity. Together, can this unlikely duo escape the Endless, figure out the optimum number of appendages, and maybe even find love?

my review

How to Get a Girlfriend When You’re a Terrifying Monster is a short little thing—barely 100 pages—and it’s silly, almost nonsensical, really. But it’s nonsensical in the best way. It’s fun and sweet, good for a lighthearted laugh at no one’s expense. I enjoyed it immensely.

But you do have to be able and willing to suspend a lot of disbelief. The how of just about everything is ignored, as is a lot of the why, and the plot is pretty constrained, considering the elements involved.

I think who will like this comes down to taste. It’s the sort of read where you legitimately expect Zaphod Beeblebrox to show up in the next scene. But if that’s your jam, I recommend checking this out.

how to get a girlfriend when you're a terrifying monster photo

Other Reviews:

Nikky the Writer Book Review: How to Get a Girlfriend When You’re a Terrifying Monster

@buffyreads 4/5⭐️ How To Get A Girlfriend (When you’re a terrifying monster) by Marie Cardno I have been on the hunt for more lesbian books so when I stumbled upon this one I was so excited to read it! #buffyreads #bookreview #monsterromance #monsterromancebooks #lgbtqbooks #wlwbooks #lesbianbooks #booktok #blackbooktok ♬ original sound – ra!! ????????