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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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Book Review: Stolen by the Orc Commander, by K.L. Wyatt

This was a Tiktok made me do it purchase. I bought a signed copy of K.L. Wyatt‘s Stolen By the Orc Commander.

stolen by the orc commander cover

A human girl set on revenge…

Orcs and humans have been at war with each other for as long as Snow can remember. Orphaned as a child, she has spent her years as a tracker, known only as the ‘Hooded Bandit’ by the king’s men. Stealing anything she can in order to survive the harsh human lands of Everdean. The only thing keeping her going is the determination to make those responsible for her family’s death suffer.

When a routine carriage robbery goes south, Snow finds herself face to face with the notorious orc commander himself. Taken as his captive and returned to Orc Mountain, Snow has a new goal: escape from the mountain no matter the cost.

An orc commander determined to end the war…

Azogg the Destroyer is a skilled fighter. As leader of the orc army, he despises humans more than most. The war has destroyed their homelands, leaving them all to suffer in the mountains. As commander, he knows that he must find a way to end this conflict once and for all.

With no other choice, Azogg finds himself tracking a royal advisor…only to have his plans upended by a sickly human female. One he quickly discovers is not what she seems. Azogg is resistant to trusting a human, but her extensive knowledge of the royal trade routes makes her the ultimate find.

Could this human be the key to ending the war?

Tempers and passion flare as both Snow and Azogg realize the only way forward is for them to work together. Will this unlikely pair be able to put aside decades of hate and distrust? Or will factors beyond their control drive them apart before they get the chance?

Welcome to Orc Mountain.

my review

Note: Spoilery rant incoming. 

I wanted so badly to love this. The cover is awesome. I’m all about the orc romances, any monsters, really. I had high hopes. But I hated this. The editing is a hit or miss and the plotting leaves a lot to be desired, but the mechanical writing is perfectly readable. I just hated the story.

I spent too much time like, What? Just because we see his internal monologue and that he’s torn up about things (that’s sarcasm because we actually see very little of it), I’m supposed to miss the fact that he treats her like complete shit in every single interaction? There is absolutely nothing for a reader to connect with in this romance. Not even sex, because we don’t get a sex scene until around page 130 (in a 178-page book). So, it doesn’t even have being porn-with-plot as an excuse for its lack of anything to connect to.

There is just a male who avoids the woman we are supposed to believe he falls in love with, then shows up to treat her like garbage, and then avoids her some more before showing up to mistreat her again, over and over and over again. And a female main character who suddenly loses her heart literally like a day into the whole ordeal (not counting the unconscious one). Again, I was just like, What? Why? WTF?

It was so bad that by the time we finally did get the sex scenes, I was just pissed off that she accepted him. I was flat-out mad. The breaking point for me was when he crushed her by cruelly telling her she was worthless and should leave, and she was still there when he got back. Fair enough, you need a few days to get supplies and make preparations. But that wasn’t it. She chose to stay for him. At that moment, I was done. I finished the book just to finish it.

But, Nah, there was nothing for me here. I was flat-out pissed off for her. Fuck that guy, and not in a good way. And fuck her for being willing to let that man consistently treat her like he did and mysteriously fall in love with him. There was no romance in this romance. And, for the record, it’s not dark romance. I can’t even console myself that the darkness is the point. It’s not. It’s trying to be a romance and just completely failing.

I see what the author was going for, but it apparently takes a defter hand than she has. What she was going for requires push and pull, and there is no pull here. So, the relationship progression made no sense in context. Not even the fated mate aspect could rescue it for me.

The dude basically abandoned her in Orc Mountain, and she makes a whole life for herself—friends, accomplishments, she even gets a god damned pet—and he isn’t part of any of it. He’s nowhere to be found. Well, he pops up to be a dick every now and again. What am I, as a reader, supposed to find appealing in that? There are no scenes that make you go “aww,” no hot sex scenes to divert your attention, no challenge overcome together, no deep conversations (hardly any conversations at all), there is nothing prior to the sudden and unexplainable love that explains it or engages the reader.

Sure, he groveled a bit. But it was far too little, far too late. By that point, the fact that she was there to hear him out at all, let alone willing to hear him out, made no sense to me and pissed me off.

The ending was also just ridiculously predictable but somehow unnecessary. She had to sneak stolen by the orc commander photoin somewhere through a convenient secret tunnel (because, of course, she did), and then he was immediately sent in after her. So, why did she specifically need to sneak in in the first place? Obviously, so that the plot could contort so he can save her. But I’d have rathered she be the hero if I had to sit through such predictability. The book felt about a million pages long.

I appreciated the full-figured heroine and the LGBTQ rep. But I just didn’t enjoy the characters at all, and that meant I couldn’t enjoy the story. This was a big ol’ flop for me, and it was 100% because of choices the author made in plotting.


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@whatsgnat I really like the characters and world, but everything else around it just wasn’t a hit for me. #booktok #books #bookishtiktok #bookishthoughts #booktiktok #bookish #book #monsterromance #monsterromancebooks #????booktok #????book #bookreview #bookreviews #bookreviewer #booksididntlike #bookfyp #fyp #bookthoughts ♬ original sound – Nat ✨️

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Book Review: Olivia and the Orc, by Honey Phillips

I was feeling a little sassy the other night and picked up a freebie copy of Olivia and the Orc (by Honey Phillips) from Amazon.

olivia and the orc cover

An orc guard. A kidnapped human. A treacherous journey…

The last thing Olivia remembers is celebrating a friend’s birthday. The next thing she knows, she and her friends are being marched across an alien desert by a gang of small lizardmen – and one very large and forbidding green alien.

He looks like a terrifying orc, but when they’re separated from the rest of the group, the fierce alien is the only one who can keep her safe. He can’t speak a word of her language, but there are other ways to communicate…

Baldric’s job as a guard for a caravan of Sleestik merchants is just the kind he likes – simple and uncomplicated. Until they discover a cache of precious females. The Sleestik plan to sell them, but he is equally determined to protect them – especially the small curvy female with the fiery hair of the goddess.

When a tragic accident leaves them isolated, he sees no alternative but to seek the assistance of the tribe he left so many years ago. But will his people be willing to help him? And even if they are, how can he return Olivia to her friends when all he wants to do is keep her with him forever?

my review

I finished this last week and apparently forgot to review it. I rather suspect that I finished this last week and simply immediately forgot it. It’s not that the book is necessarily bad. It’s just that nothing about it stood out as special, and much of it annoyed me.

I’ll start with a positive. Baldric is marvelous. He’s kind and patient and trying to do the right thing.

Olivia, however, annoyed me from start to finish. And mostly, it was the author’s fault rather than hers. It was the author who decided to make her go off and repeatedly do things too stupid to be believable.

I recently heard a quote that said, “I don’t need my fantasy to be realistic, but I do need it to be believable.” The idea is that I need to be able to read it and now be pulled out of the story too often with “I don’t believe that character would do that.”

This was the problem with Olivia. She impulsively ran off in suicidal endeavors so often that I grew to hate her. (The final straw was when she did so because she saw Baldric speak to another woman. The instant, ‘I’m jealous, going to misunderstand, and not speak to anyone before doing something monumentally stupid and suicidal’ stank so strongly of authorial manipulation of a plot and character that I literally almost DNFed the book).

All in all, I didn’t hate the book. I just hated the heroine. I might be willing to give other books in the series a try if I could find legitimately free copies. I don’t think I’d spend money on them.


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