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Book Review: War Queen & War Mistress, by Jordyn Alexander

I picked up a copy of Jordyn Alexander‘s War Queen as an Amazon freebie, then purchased a copy of War Mistress. (I also preordered book three, War Maiden.)

the war brides of adrik covers

About War Bride:

Cursed at birth with fairy-like beauty, Queen Adalind has only ever known pain and death at the hands of men.

Always a prize to be coveted, she doesn’t know that she can trust any male. When Adalind must save her kingdom after the death of her cruel husband during a war he started with the nearby orc kingdom, the jaded queen offers herself up as a sacrifice. The orc king will receive a bride with magical beauty and she will save her subjects from more slaughter. What she doesn’t expect is to be attracted to her future husband or find him to an honorable orc.

King Rognar is merely seeking to end the war started by the humans, take his pound of flesh and go home.

What he is not expecting is to be challenged by a beautiful, politically savvy queen, who seems to offer him everything he could ever want. But as he gets to see the real woman beneath her icy exterior, he finds that what he truly wants is Adalind’s heart. As passion ignites between war queen photothem, can they trust each other and rule two kingdoms?

Or will all the forces that conspire against them tear them and their kingdoms, apart?


Honestly, this was a pleasant surprise. I picked the book up as an Amazon freebie, and the cover is doing it no favors. But I thought this to be one of the better orc romances I’ve read. Often, I want to like them more than I turn out to. But Alexander walks a thin line here with her hero. He’s the ‘great king,’ alpha of alphas among the orcs, etc. But he’s no alpha-hole. In fact, he’s the opposite, a man confident enough in himself, his power, and his position to be willing to bend and follow his mate’s lead. He is so amazingly careful of Adalind and I adored him.

Adalind, in turn, is a strong, resilient character. There are some trigger warnings on this one. But even I, who is generally very critical of rape’s use in fiction (I generally think it is far too often used as cheap, lazy plotting), have no issue with its use here. There is none on-page; it is integral to the plot, tactfully dealt with, and the resulting trauma wasn’t magiced away.

I did feel like the last quarter was somehow just not as tight and well-written as the first 3/4, though I don’t know that I could articulate why. (The villain’s POV probably has something to do with it.) But I’ve already bought book 2 and pre-ordered book three, which should tell you more about how I felt than anything else.

About War Mistress:

Pellia Santir has always had her choices taken from her, since she was a child.

Finally free from the abusive king she was forced to serve as mistress, Pellia is looking for a fresh start. A new path. And a new lover. When she is installed as Regent of Adrik alongside the quiet and brooding Verrick, she believes she has found that lover. If only she can convince him of that fact.

Verrick ka Roknir is an orc who has been burned by human women before.

Haunted by the memory of a treacherous past-mate, Verrick is determined to never be blinded by beauty again. Even if the flirtatious human regent is oh, so tempting. He resolves for his heart to be as stone, but the pretty human has a way of getting behind his defenses.

When fires break out in the south of the country, caused by an insidious force, Pellia and Verrick are put to the test.

war mistress photoCan they come together to save the country from those that threaten it and ignite the passion growing between them? Or will the enemy destroy them and the land they swore to protect?


War Mistress is fine, which is itself fine. But it is also disappointing because when I read book one, War Bride, I thought it something special. War Mistress is fine, but it didn’t have anything that struck me as particularly excellent or unusual. It is a fine orc romance. I mean, I liked the characters fine. The villian is super obvious with underwhelming and cliched motivation. But we’ve all read such a thousand times before. So, there’s no reason to complain about it more than elsewhere. So, it is fine. The romance borders on fated mates and, therefore, doesn’t particularly grow so much as just burgen with the characters’ proximity to one another. But again, that’s nothing new. So, it’s fine. The third-act breakup is predictable and too easily resolved. But third-act breakups are super common plot points. So, again, fine. All in all, this is a fine romantasy. If I hadn’t liked book one so much more than this one, I don’t think my enjoyment of this one would feel so tarnished in comparison. But I did. So this one just feels like a less polished, less interesting book.

Other Reviews:

Do You Dogear: War Queen, by Jordyn Alexander


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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.

enticed by the orc photot

Other Reviews:

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Book Review: Live and Let Orc, by Dani Wyatt

I picked up a copy of Dani Wyatt‘s Live and Let Orc as an Amazon freebie, earlier this year.

live and let orc cover

I’m loaded down with a backpack full of stolen weapons when a seven-foot wall of orc steps in front of me. He’s got three-inch tusks pressing into a curling upper lip, eight-pack abs, fists the size of cantaloupes and his heated gaze devours me.

I make it out of there alive, barely.

The next day, the same orc that blasted my panties and made me wonder what a tusk laced kiss would feel like turns up at my festival booth sending my customers running for their lives.

I’m ready to blast him with both barrels but, before I get a word out, I’m over his shoulder wondering less about those tusks and more about what’s under that leather kilt he’s wearing.

Soon, I’m falling hard for this primal monster. But, will the burning bridges between our two worlds keep us apart or will we forge our own path to our happily ever after?

This actually started out really well. I thought I’d lucked out. Then the two of them met, and the whole thing went to shit. Look, I’ll fully admit that daddy-kink is not my thing on the best of days. But something about the way it is used here gave me a special sense of ick. And everything about it just seemed to get worse the longer the book went on. They have translators that translate all the languages and he can speak perfectly well. But his syntax deteriorated when speaking to her for no apparent reason. The sex (and it’s erotica; most of the books are sex) just sounds painful. His possessiveness doesn’t come across as endearing or even bad-boy alpha but just as a huge flying red flag. And honestly, the way he behaved and talked during coitus didn’t match what little we learned of him outside the bedroom. All in all, it may be a matter of taste, but despite the moment of high hopes in the beginning, this was a flop for me.live and let orc photo

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