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Book Review: A Wolf in Duke’s Clothing, by Susanna Allen

I borrowed a copy of Susanna Allen‘s A Wolf in Duke’s Clothing through Hoopla.
a wolf in dukes clothing

A Duke in want of a wife…

Alfred Blakesley, Duke of Lowell, has long been an enigma. No one dares to give a man of his status the cut direct, but there’s simply something not quite right about him. What would the society ladies say if they learned the truth―that the Duke of Lowell is a wolf shifter and the leader of a pack facing extinction if he doesn’t find his true love? So now he’s on the hunt…for a wife.

Felicity Templeton has a goal of her own: to remain unwed until her twenty-fifth birthday, when she will inherit a significant fortune. But that all changes when she meets Alfred, the dashing duke who’s determined to have her for his very own…

my review

This was absolutely ridiculous. Nothing about Felicity’s reactions felt believable. So, it took a lot of suspension of disbelief. But it was ridiculous in a cute way. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I appreciated Felicity’s backbone and how unflinchingly and openly willing to want Alfred was.

I was annoyed at how often Felicity fell asleep and was able to be picked up, moved, undressed, etc, in her sleep. This is a scenario that only really makes sense with small children and I find it a wolf in duke's clothing photohorrendously infantilizing when authors subject their adult female characters to this. (It’s only ever women too. I can’t think of a single male character this happens to.) Additionally, this is labeled “a steamy shapeshifter regency romance” on Amazon. But that calling that is a stretch. There’s basically nothing more than angst and a kiss at the very end, and even then, the sex is very tame. So, I don’t know what steamy scale it’s rated on, but don’t expect much.

All in all, for a bit of light fluff, this was fun. But I wouldn’t call it anymore than that.

Other Reviews:

ARC Review: A Wolf in Duke’s Clothing by Susanna Allen

Review: A Wolf in Duke’s Clothing – Susanna Allen



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Book Review: Of Boys and Beasts & Of Beasts and Demons, by Mona Black

Of Boys and Beasts, by Mona Black is a freebie on Amazon. I then chose to purchase a copy of Of Beasts and Demons in order to continue the series. This second book was also featured over on Sadie’s Spotlight earlier in the year.

of boys and beasts

About the book:

One’s a werewolf with an ax to grind
Two’s a vampire with a heart of coal
Three’s a demon with a taste for pain
Four’s a fae with a past of woe
Five’s a girl who will take them down all
In revenge for the pain they’ve sown
So what if they’re gorgeous? They must atone…

My name is Mia Solace. You know, the girl who will take them down all? That’s me.

When my cousin is returned to us by Pandemonium Academy in a glass coffin, in an enchanted sleep she isn’t expected to wake up from, I grab her diary and head to the academy myself.

Because her diary, you see, tells of four cruel boys who bullied her and broke her heart until she sought oblivion through a spell.

Four magical boys, because that’s the world we live in now, heirs of powerful families attending this elite academy where the privileged scions of the human and magical races are brought together in the noble pursuit of education.

As for me, I cheat to get on the student roster, and once I’m in, well… it’s war, baby. I’ll get those four sons of guns, steal their secrets, make them hurt. I’ll transform into an avenging angel for my cousin, for all the girls they’ve wronged, and I bet there are plenty of those.

While growing up, my cousin was my only friend. Now I’ll be her champion.

Only these boys aren’t exactly as I pictured them. Devastatingly handsome, deliciously brooding, strangely haunted, they’re getting under my skin and through my defenses.

Kissing them surely wasn’t part of my plan…

Getting into bed with them even less.

my review

I was invested enough to want to read book two and see where the series goes. So, I can’t claim to have entirely disliked it. But I think I was also invested in the story in the same way one is a train wreck. It’s a mess, but I couldn’t seem to look away. Also, the book doesn’t conclude. I won’t call it a cliffhanger. It’s just another book that doesn’t end. I cannot tell you how much I resent this trend. But I decided to give the second a chance to redeem itself. You’ll notice I stopped at two.

I think that the author doesn’t quite pull off what she’s aiming for. The boys, who are supposed to be dark, brooding bullies come across as broken children. It’s awful hard to find boys sexy, as we’re intended to. I’ll grant that the title is Of Boys and Beasts, but I have to admit to assuming that was just alliterative. Guess not.

Plus, the book is really bad about almost all non-main character girls being disposable sexual commodities. This isn’t uncommon in romance books, but the older I get the less patient I get with this authorial habit. In fact it kind of makes me rage. Can’t we do better by and for ourselves as women and female authors?

The premise is patently ridiculous. It’s fun in the beginning to see Mia’s blind determination. I honestly started to wonder if she wasn’t on the autism spectrum at one point, because of the way she plows of boys and beast photothrough so many social cues. I honestly think that would have been more interesting that what we were eventually given. Because the fact that Mia stays so on course starts to stretch the bounds of credulity.

Lastly, the book feels  a little to Young Adult, which be fine if it didn’t also feel so much like it is aiming for New Adult instead. Certainly the subject matter and sexual content is more NA than YA. So, there’s a disconnect.

But, as I said, I did buy book two. So, I can’t pretend nothing intrigued me.

of beasts and demons

About the Book:

Everyone now thinks I am a witch – a member of the Apollinari House. They couldn’t be more wrong since I was adopted when I was little, but they don’t know that and I won’t squander this advantage by telling them.

The boys have decided that they need a witch to help them fight the magical surges, and what better way to slip through their defenses and find out their dirty secrets?

Find them, expose them and get my revenge on behalf of my cousin who is lying in a deadly enchanted sleep back home. It shouldn’t be that hard. The boys, after all, seem interested in getting to know me better.

But that’s because I am a witch, someone they need. Which suits me just fine. Who cares why, right?

It shouldn’t hurt. I shouldn’t want them to want me for who I really am, to feel anything for me. That’s nonsense. I’m not here to court them; I’m here to hurt them.

So why is it so hard to go through with my plan?

After all, since when do I care for them?

my review

So, we have some serious magical Vajayjay going on here. And honestly it just took over too much of the plot. There was nothing new or interesting in it. The same exact thing happened with each boy, such that it just felt redundant and predictable. There was nothing left to keep me interested in that department.

What’s worse, the author’s continued insistence on having the character both playing the virginal ingénue and the whore, while also insisting to herself she was still out to hurt these boys while simultaneously being nothing but kind and falling for them stopped working looooong before the author gave it up. I realize she meant the character to be conflicted. But it just felt contradictory and like an artifice.

of beasts and demons photoI won’t say I was wholly uninterested. I’d like to read on to see what comes of the boy’s (and I do mean boys, despite the sex, they all seem super immature) tragic backstories and the four of them coming together (which I found far more interesting than their obsession with Mia). But honestly, I’m not interested enough to buy the next book. If it popped up as an Amazon freebie or at the library, sure. But I don’t think I’d put more money into the series.

Other Reviews:

BOOK REVIEW: Of Boys and Beasts by Mona Black #reverseharem #paranormalromance #bookreview


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Book Review: Forbidden, by Jewels Arthur

I picked up an e-copy of Jewels Arthur‘s Forbidden on Amazon the other day.

forbidden cover

When a little girl, all alone in the big bad woods, lets it slip that she’s on her way to visit her sick gran, I can’t help but take advantage. Don’t judge me. I’m hungry and let’s be real… What tastes better than a meal that doesn’t struggle—much.

Little do I know, my blood-thirsty plot is about to be foiled by a set of five werewolves that have decided to eat gran, take her place, and eat the little girl! I wish I had thought of that last bit myself.

The worst part is that I have been a lone vampire for years now so I have no one to watch my back. I am just easy prey to them and their beastly desires. If I can’t escape, I just may become victim to those desires and they are more than willing to huff and puff and blow my resolve away.

my review

Before I read this, I couldn’t figure out how it had so many good reviews. It’s a little counterintuitive, but I understand now. Put simply, this is objectively bad—but in the absolute best way!

Years ago, before the time constraints of children, my now-husband and I used to do something called Good Wine/Bad Movie Night. One of us would pick up a good bottle of wine (Mind you, we were young and broke. So, our idea of ‘good wine’ was probably suspect.) and the other would pick out a bad movie. The idea was that the more you drank, the better the movie got. We forbidden photowatched a lot of B-grade sci-fi and questionable anime. But, my goodness, did we have fun with it.

If it were a movie, Forbidden would be a prime contender. It is bad. It’s ‘staying up until 2 am covered in Cheetos dust and cheap wine with your best friend’ bad. It’s cringe at the dialogue and sudden, inexplicable changes in character attitudes bad. It’s porn with minimal plot bad. But it’s not trying to be anything else. Which means you can laugh with it, instead of at it, and bask in its badness. I just had a ton of fun with it and will absolutely try the rest of the series.

Other Reviews: