Tag Archives: PNR

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Book Review: Bite Marks, by Jenika Snow

I received a copy of Jenika Snow‘s Bite Marks in a monthly Supernatural Book Crate.
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I was ruthless, brutal. A sociopath by all accounts. The leader of the American Vampire Clan, a male who all feared because I was merciless.

And then I found my mate. Kayla. So fragile. Breakable. So human.

I’d make her mine, and she’d hate me for it. I wanted to give her pain with pleasure, wanted to break her skin and lick up the blood I spilled… take Kayla into me like she’d take me into her.

I’d have her surrendering to my needs. I’d give her my body but wouldn’t be able to give her my heart.

How could I when it wasn’t something I had to offer, when I was nothing but a coldhearted killer?

So when the threats come to my front door, it’s time to show my female she’s mated to the most dangerous vampire in the world.

my review

Everyone seems to like Jenika Snow’s books. To each their own. But I bought several of them at some point and have yet to find a single one I particularly enjoyed. This was just drivel, as far as I’m concerned. You know how people say a nice guy won’t need to tell you he’s nice, a wealthy man won’t need to flash his cash, and a true hero doesn’t need to tell you he’s a hero? There are any number of such phrases. This is all I could think of as Adryan told everyone over and over and over again how merciless, strong, psycho, vicious, deadly, etc., he is. The lady doth protest too much, methinks. Or that’s how it felt. It was as if he had to keep insisting on the fact rather than just showing himself to be scary. It felt inflated and desperate. Meanwhile, Kayla had no personality at all.

The plot was a single predictable blip, and the writing itself is unimpressive. Plus, the villain turns out to be the only LGBTQ+ character, which is hella problematic, IMO. I think I still have one Snow book on my shelf somewhere. But I also think it’s time to just accept that her writing is not for me. bite marks photo

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Book Review: Taken by the Dragon King, by Amelia Shaw

I picked up an audiobook copy of Amelia Shaw‘s Taken by the Dragon King on Google Play Books. (As it happens, I also have an e-copy. But when it came down to it, I went with the audio.)

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Stavrok won’t let anything stand between him and his mate.

There’s a beast inside of me, and there will be a time when I can’t control him.

That’s what my father told me happens when my dragon finds his mate. He will claim them. He will not be gentle. He will not be sweet.

My dragon will do whatever it takes to ensure his mate doesn’t leave, no matter the cost.

Lucy thinks soulmates are only for her dreams.

When a stranger breaks into my home and comes after me, I recognize his face. He’s the man from my dreams—the one I’m destined to fall in love with.

But I don’t believe in soulmates. That’s why I try to flee.

Stavrok takes Lucy to the snowy mountains, hellbent on proving she’s his mate.

But then his kingdom is attacked, and Lucy is stolen away from the Dragon King.

Now her only hope lies in knowing Stavrok will turn the world to ash and brimstone looking for her…and his dragon babies.

my review

Meh, this was fine, if a little bland and predictable. I don’t have a lot to say on this one. It is exactly what the title describes—no more, no less. I liked that he falls first and that she has a backbone. The writing is readable, and the plot holds together. But it is simply made up of a series of tropes we’ve all read before, and nothing feels original or even combined in a new way. So, honestly, I was bored by it. But if you happen to particularly like the tropes used, I imagine you’ll be more invested than I was.

Lastly, I listened to the audio version. Catherine Bilson did a fine job with the narration. But I rather feel she wasn’t a good fit styalistically. She was a little too prim and polite, as if she should have been reading a cozy Ms. Marple-style mysteries or sweet historical romances instead of mildly spicy PNR.taken by the dragon king photo

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Taken by the Dragon King, by Amelia Shaw | Book Review

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Book Review: Fighting Destiny, by Amelia Hutchins

I picked up a freebie copy of Amelia HutchinsFighting Destiny way back in 2015. Since then, it has come to my attention several times, either in an ad or just scrolling my TBR, etc. I finally just decided to give it a read.

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Have you ever heard of the old Celtic legends of the Fae – beautiful, magical, deadly and a love of messing with humans just for kicks and giggles?
Welcome to my world.

What started out as a strange assignment, leads to one of the most gruesome murder mysteries of our times and my friends and I are set and determined to find out who is killing off Fae and Witches alike.

Couple of problems in the way – I hate the Fae and the Prince of the Dark Fae is bound and determined that I work for him. He’s a rude, overbearing egotistical ass with a compulsive need to possess, dominate and control me. Oh – did I mention that he is absolutely sex-on-a-stick gorgeous and he makes me feel things that I never ever wanted to feel for a Fae…every time he touches me or looks at me with those golden eyes seems to pull me further in under his spell, despite my better judgment.

My friends and I can’t trust anyone and nothing is as it seems on the surface – not even me.

my review

Meh. The writing here was fine. But I simply did not like the book. Mostly, I did not like the love interest. Yes, I understand the idea of dark romance and enemies to lovers, etc. Here’s the thing, though: even in dark enemies-to-lovers romances, the reader needs to feel that no matter how dark and dangerous the male lead may be, the heroine is ultimately safe from him. I never got that sense here. Plus, there has to come a point in the book in which the male lead goes from enemy to lover and redeems his previous actions. I never reached that point in this book. They went from not having sex to having sex, but not to lovers. Even at 85%, he was still doing things I could not forgive him for. And at 99%, the author was still submitting the heroine to things I could not forgive her (the author) for.

What’s more, the whole book skimms over the fact that the fae are rapists—all of them. The author plays loose and fast with this fact, but it’s an unavoidable truth of the species as written. And, given the coercive contract and fae ability to subsume someone’s free will, I never felt the heroine had the autonomy to choose to engage in most of the acts she did. I understand dub-con and non-con stories. I do. I even enjoy them on occasion. But it’s a difficult sell and a book that doesn’t manage to walk the thin line of a hero who is willing to engage in non-con acts while still being redeemable compromises itself fully. This was exacerbated by how willing he was to threaten the use of further rape (while pretending it’s something else) but to do so when it is literally her greatest fear in life, based on extreme past trauma.

fighting destiny photoSure, I’m interested in the mysteries. But I’m not willing to read another however many pages of story in which the author ignores that the very characters we’re supposed to engage with are remorseless (and probably frequent) rapists. Let me be clear before someone comes at me with, ‘Don’t read dark romance then’ or some such. It’s the fact that the author is writing certain world and character traits while similtaneously pretending she isn’t and expecting the reader to do the same that is at issue, not the dark elements themselves. I will not be continuing the series.

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Vicarious Book Reviews: Fighting Destiny by Amelia Hutchins

Fighting Destiny by Amelia Hutchins – Book and Audio Review