Tag Archives: fantasy

Review of New Beginnings, by Brandy L. Rivers

I picked New Beginnings, by Brandy L. Rivers up for free on Amazon. I later picked up the compilation of books 1-3 in the series. Thus, I actually have two copies of it. Lucky me.

Description from Goodreads:
Jess knew her life would never move forward if she remained a part of Gregory’s pack. Some Alpha’s just don’t know how to take care of their wolves. She had managed Gregory’s bar for years but she knew he would never sell it to her. 

After one giant mistake, he went from bad to worse. As a psychic, she knew it was a downward spiral. 

Taking her future in her own hands, she contacts the Alpha in Edenton. He is happy to sell the empty bar no one has the time, nor desire to renovate, much less run. 

Their attraction is unexpected and the last thing either want, but they find the only thing they need in each other. 

There is just one problem. Slater’s second in command is plotting against him. Liam will use anything to take over as Alpha. 

Plenty of werewolves, an old vampire flame, plus a paranoid second, and don’t forget the psychic with a whole lot of attitude.

I’m gonna have to go with, “No.” I read this as part of a compilation of the first 3 books in the series. I’m fairly sure it’ll be the only one I actually read. My god, the main character is so incredibly unlikeable. Why do so many authors fail utterly when they try and write strong, independent women? This is no doubt what the author was going for, but instead she wrote a raging, insensitive bitch. The sort I’d cross the road before saying, “Good Morning,” to for fear she’s respond, “Fuck off,” even if we’re perfect strangers. She was rude to everyone on sight. There was nothing likable about her, so I have no clue what the male main character saw in her.

Characters were presented with no history and developed to have no depth. The ‘romance’ was ultra-instant, as in the fell in lust OVER THE PHONE, during a conversation about moving logistics. The villain was bad for no apparent reason and just happened to have been turned bad by his secret boyfriend, which I read as he’s gay, therefore he’s evil. The whole thing was as subtle as a stun gun to the temple and it’s chocked full of subtle, internalized misogyny.

Nope, I need no more of this series.

As a side note, I don’t know what the name of the dude on the above edition is, but I am so sick of seeing him on the cover of romance novels that I legitimately avoid books with him on the front. And the dude on the second edition I’ve seen is pretty close behind.

He’s third behind this guy:

And just because I’ve gone off on a little tangent here, this guy and this guy and this guy are climbing the ranks too.

Are there really so few cover models available in the world?

Review of Spectred Isle (Green Men #1) by K. J. Charles

I received a copy of K. J. CharlesSpectred Isle from the author.

Description from Goodreads:
Archaeologist Saul Lazenby has been all but unemployable since his disgrace during the War. Now he scrapes a living working for a rich eccentric who believes in magic. Saul knows it’s a lot of nonsense…except that he begins to find himself in increasingly strange and frightening situations. And at every turn he runs into the sardonic, mysterious Randolph Glyde.

Randolph is the last of an ancient line of arcanists, commanding deep secrets and extraordinary powers as he struggles to fulfil his family duties in a war-torn world. He knows there’s something odd going on with the haunted-looking man who keeps turning up in all the wrong places. The only question for Randolph is whether Saul is victim or villain.

Saul hasn’t trusted anyone in a long time. But as the supernatural threat grows, along with the desire between them, he’ll need to believe in evasive, enraging, devastatingly attractive Randolph. Because he may be the only man who can save Saul’s life—or his soul.

Honestly, I didn’t love it. I liked it. Charles’ quality is still there and she simply does historical so well. But I really felt like I’d been dropped into the middle of this story. Maybe it’s because I’ve not read The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal, which is set in the same world, but this isn’t supposed to be a sequel to. Maybe it’s because Saul and Randolph each have so much history that we’re told about, but don’t engage in. I don’t know, but I never ever felt connected to them or the side characters. I liked the story, was invested in the mystery, but it’s just another book I’ve read, not something that will stick with me, like most of Charles books are.

Review of Rites of Spring (Rites #1), by J.V. Speyer

I received a copy of J. V. Speyer‘s Rites of Spring from Netgalley.

Description from Goodreads:
Cameron has given up on romance, after a difficult childhood made it difficult for him to trust enough for intimate relationships to develop. But mostly he’s happy with the life he’s built for himself. 

When two paranormal investigators show up at the home he recently inherited, claiming he may be in danger, he sends them packing, convinced they’re nothing but con men.

Until several incidents prove they’re telling the truth. The past Cameron tried so hard to leave behind is coming for him, and its angry.

Honestly, I wasn’t all that impressed. It was a serious case of an interesting plot let down by lackluster writing. I mean, there was just not tension in the writing and absolutely no realistic emotions. Ghosts are real…no reaction. Psychic are real…no reaction. Werewolves are real…no reaction. Someone from you past is trying to kill you…no reaction. The occult…no reaction. Demons…no reaction. Oh, but a stranger knock on your door…go bat-shit crazy aggressive on them.

Then there was the romance. Cameron and Jason’s back and forwards aggression, affection, aggression affection made no sense, was not believable and felt horribly contrived. Then it ended on a pretty week Happy For Now. I’m not sure if it even qualifies, to be honest.

Speyer did an adequate job with attachment disorder and PTSD. The book had a racially diverse cast and presented immigrants in a positive light. It also addressed some important themes like racism and discrimination against queer people. Unfortunately it did it with the subtlety of a sledgehammer, but it did it all the same.