Tag Archives: urban fantasy

welcome to nevermore bookshop banner

Book Review: Welcome to Nevermore Bookshop, by Steffanie Holmes

I’m pretty sure I picked up the first book in Steffanie HolmesNevermore Bookshop as an Amazon freebie. Then, I went back and bought this compilation of the first three books (A Dead and Stormy Night, Of Mice and Murder, Pride and Premeditation) so that I could continue the series. (I’m trying to focus more on series at the moment since my reading time is limited. I want to know going in that I’ll be able to reach an ending and a conclusion.)
welcome to nevermore bookshop cover

What do you get when you cross a cursed bookshop, three hot fictional men, and a punk rock heroine nursing a broken heart?

You get the Nevermore Bookshop Mysteries – where all your book boyfriends come to life.

When Mina Wilde’s ex-best friend shows up dead with a knife in her back, she’ll have to solve the murder if she wants to clear her name. Will Heathcliff, Moriarty and Quoth the Raven be able to keep her out of prison?

More importantly, will she be able to keep her hands off the three fictional men who’ve taken up residence in her bookshop… and her heart.

Agatha Christie meets Black Books in this steamy paranormal romance. Join a brooding antihero, a master criminal, a cheeky raven, and a heroine with a big heart (and an even bigger book collection) in this brand new steamy reverse harem mystery series by USA Today bestselling author Steffanie Holmes.

This collection includes books 1-3 in the Nevermore Bookshop series, plus Heathcliff’s shop rules, and alternative POV scenes from Mina’s heroes. Read on only if you believe one book boyfriend isn’t enough.

my review

When I write reviews for books in a series, sometimes I write a review for each individual book, and sometimes I write a single review that encompasses all the books (more accurately, a review of the series). For this series, however (or at least these first three books in the series), I think I could write reviews, and they would be the same for each book. A single review could be posted interchangeably for each one. I feel like there is that little difference between these three books. The murder victims changed, but that’s about it.

I did think that the author handled Mina’s impending blindness well. I felt her fear, frustration, and uncertainty. She had personal growth around the issue. And so far, there hasn’t been any magical cure, and I don’t see one on the horizon. So, that’s a plus. I also simply liked Mina herself. And I thought the writing was quite readable.

However, I never really came to love the men. I liked them, OK, but that’s about it. What’s more. While the murder mysteries were fine, I chose the series for the fantasy elements and the welcome to nevermore bookshop photoromance. Other than the fantastical existence of the men and the bookshop themselves (and Morri’s ability to hack with his phone), the fantasy elements were fairly light. And the romance was definitely a slow-moving subplot. Both of these are fine, but not what I was looking for. So, the result was that I was often bored.

All in all, I think this is a fine series that just wasn’t a great match for me.

Other Reviews:

Isabella August Reviews: Dead and Story Night



Harmony Ends banner

Book Review: Harmony Ends series, by L.A. Magill

I picked up half of the Harmony Ends series as Amazon freebies and purchased the other half.

I know I technically have all four books in the picture, but as of now, I’ve only actually read Earth Song, Blood Shield, and Wing Strike. Storm Claw is a prequel, and I didn’t pick it up until I was about halfway through the series. But now that I’ve finished, I need a break before I jump into a prequel that won’t have any (or many) of the side characters I’m used to. I need to give it a little time so that it can stand on its own. I’ll come back and add a review for Storm Claw once I read it.

Harmony Ends covers

Earth magic suffers at the hands of humans.
Atomic warfare unleashed poisonous Rot forever.
But shifter life can’t stop for Earth magic’s demise.

Lucky loves working for her family’s bear shifter security firm. She can keep her secret abilities hidden in plain sight. The drawback? The higher she climbs, the more she has to work with humans in their Rotting cities.

When a human requests her for an unusual contract in DC, Lucky wants to refuse—until she learns the client probably knows her secrets. There’s only one man who could have betrayed her. Again. Lucky delves into the contract to bury the past… but Earth magic has other plans.

my review

I liked this series a lot. I thought the world was interesting, the shifter magics innovative, the Native American aspect unique, the platonic cross-gender love and friendship refreshing, the diversity satisfying, the characters engaging, and the writing easily readable. I was kept entertained throughout.

I like Lucky a lot. I thought her strong while still feeling like a woman. (As opposed to the ‘strong female’ that reads as if the author wrote a man and then grafted on some boobs.) She grew a lot over the course of the books—forced to face her own prejudices and accept hard changes for herself and her world.

I adored the side characters but felt a little let down by the romance. I liked Rohan as a character and how open the two were with each other, but the spark didn’t ignite for me. I found this aspect of the story pretty lackluster, if I’m honest. I also thought the books could have done with one more mechanical editing pass. The editing isn’t bad, mind you, but I did notice a few mishaps (and they get more frequent as the series progresses).

harmony ends series photo

Lastly, I’m also going to include two points that aren’t really the author’s fault (I didn’t detract stars or anything when I cross-posted) but definitely adversely affected my enjoyment. One, I’m sick to death of cliffhangers. So, I’ve committed to only reading standalone books and completed series for a while.

Amazon has Wing Strike (book 3) listed as book 3 of 3. So, I picked it up, thinking it was the last book in a 3-book series. Imagine my disappointment when I finished it to discover the series is not finished and no fourth book is on the horizon. I’m not complaining that the author isn’t writing fast enough; Wing Strike just came out. But I feel like being listed as book 3 of 3 infers that there are 3 books in the series, not that there are 3 books now with an indeterminant number to come.

Second, I discovered this series because the author posts promo videos on Tiktok a lot. I saw recently that, though this version is fade-to-black, she is publishing a spicy version too. This publishing of several versions of the same story is a huge pet peeve for me. I want to read the story, not a version of the story. I don’t want to forever wonder if I’d have liked the other version more or less*.

*I just had déjà vu as I typed that sentence. A quick search of the blog shows me I wrote almost the exact thing in a review early last year. At least my feelings are consistent.

Other Reviews:

Fire and Ice covers

Book Review: Fire and Ice series, K.F. Breene

Before I get to the review, a quick housekeeping note. I’ve returned to university and am now working on a Ph.D. As such, the time I can give to reading fiction (my favorite thing) is sadly constricted. It will likely take me a little while to find my feet and my new normal. But at the moment, I’m experimenting with reading and reviewing series instead of individual books. (I even made a whole post asking for omnibus recommendations.) This makes for longer posts a lot of the time but also allows for more time between postings. But I also acknowledge that I don’t usually tend to be quite as detailed when I’m reviewing several books together.  So, I may not stick with it. But for now, expect series reviews more often than individual book reviews.

OK, on to the review.

I tend to pick up any of K.F. Breene‘s books that I see pop up as freebies. Some of the series are really big, though. So, I also have a tendency to pick the books up and then ignore them for a while, assuming I don’t have them all. I grabbed Born in Fire in 2018, then Raised in Fire, and Fused in Fire in 2021.

Fire and Ice covers

Supernatural Bounty Hunter isn’t the sort of thing you see on LinkedIn. But with a rare type of magic like mine, I don’t have many options.

So dangerous or not, the job is mine. And it was going fine, until an old as sin vampire stole my mark, and with it, my pay day.

Knowing I’m poor and desperate, he has offered me a job. I’ll have to work by his side to help solve a top secret case.

Everyone knows not to trust vampires. Especially a hot elder vampire. But without any other jobs coming up, I’m stuck. As I uncover a web of lies and treachery, revealing an enemy I didn’t know existed, the truth of my identity is threatened. I might make it out alive, only to end up in a gilded cage.

my review

I suppose this series was OK. It definitely wasn’t a favorite of the Breene series I’ve read so far. I thought the world was interesting enough. And I liked the main character well enough. But I was just kind of underwhelming on the whole. Honestly, the side characters were my favorite part of the whole thing, and when the heroine and hero can so easily be outshone, there’s a problem of some sort.

Fire and ice trilogyI initially liked Reagan’s snark. But eventually, it just became a shtick. I liked that she’s strong and resourceful. But eventually, she just became so overpowered that the deus ex machina saves became the norm rather than the exception. I liked the love interest, but I never really felt the romance develop. 

So, all in all, I’d call this a middling read. It’s not bad enough that I regret reading it. But it’s also not good enough that I continued into the next part of the series (focusing on Penny), even though I have it.

Other Reviews:

Dyslexic Reader – Fire and Ice Trilogy

Book Binge – Fire and Ice Trilogy