Tag Archives: fantasy romance

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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: Enticed by the Orc, by Tabitha Black

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

enticed by the orc cover

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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Other Reviews:

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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.


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.


Other Reviews:

Myth and Magic Bookclub: Bleeding Hearts, by Emma Hamm