Author Archives: Sadie

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Book Review: Kingdom of Blood, by Callie Rose

Last year, I picked up a copy of Callie Rose‘s Kingdom of Blood omnibus through Amazon. It includes Blood Debt, Dark Legacy, and Vampire Wars.

I picked it up to read now because I’m really enjoying paranormal Why Choose romances, and I’m trying to focus on reading only series that I already have all of the books. My fun reading time is so limited right now that I’ve decided not to give my attention to anything that I don’t have a guarantee of reaching a conclusion.

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I’ve dedicated my life to slaying vampires. Now I’m about to offer up my blood. When my brother gets into some serious trouble with the Vampire Clan of Baltimore, there’s only one thing I can do to save his ass.

I decide to offer myself up as a blood tribute, infiltrate their underground palace, and find a way to get him out.

But playing the part of a simpering blood bag is harder than I expected, especially when my first impulse is to put a stake through the heart of every vamp I meet. To make matters worse, I’ve somehow caught the eye of three dangerous vampire men:

Bastian, an ancient prince with features as cold as ice and eyes that burn like fire.

Rome, a darkly sexy rebel who just returned from a hundred-year banishment.

And Connor, a newly turned vampire whose lopsided grin is so devastatingly human that I almost forget he’s the enemy.

Even though I want to hate them all, they keep getting under my skin in ways I can’t explain. But if I let myself lose focus for even a second, it won’t just be me who pays for it. My brother will suffer too.

I’ve danced with the devil plenty of times…

But this time, the dance might kill me.

my review

I don’t usually use star ratings here on the blog. But sometimes, giving something a numerical score really is the best way to make a point. If I were going to rate this series, I’d reluctantly round it up to a three. The first book was weak. But I stuck with it, hoping it was just first-book syndrome and the series would improve. Book two coasted on about the same. But by the third book, I was skimming, at best.

I didn’t care about anyone or anything and only finished it to have finished it. If I were rating them individually, I’d give books one and two low three stars and book three a two-star rating. Not so much because the quality dropped any lower, but because the author just wholly failed to bring the series into anything worth having stuck around through all three books.

The world is barely fleshed out. The plot is simplistic and stretches over far more pages than needed. The romance is instant and doesn’t even particularly make sense. Three times, in fact, kingdom of blood coversthe romance is instant and doesn’t even particularly make sense. The sex scenes might have been considered fine if I cared about any of the characters. But I didn’t, so they didn’t have any emotional impact. The heroine is oh-so-special for no apparent reason, while the heroes are characterless cardboard cutouts. And the narration is overblown, though I’ll acknowledge that the mechanical writing is fine.

All in all, this was tolerable. I’m just glad to be finished.

Other Reviews:

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Book Reviews: Spring Graphic Novel Binge

Very like at the end of last year, school is keeping me very busy. And honestly, more than being busy, it’s turning my brain to mush. It’s not in the sense that I can’t process information or think critically about a story, but rather in the sense that I have a hard time committing myself to anything overly long. So, graphic novels are a great middle ground. They let me still get a little bit of a fiction kick without feeling overwhelmed (in general and with guilt for not doing something school-related).

As such, I accepted a few graphic novels for review from Vault Comics (through Rockstar Book Tours). So, I’m putting together a little collection of graphic novel reviews that I will contribute to over the next week or so. (I’ve also still got a few left over from the TBR I created during my last graphic novel binge.)

shadow service coversThis is volume 3 of Shadow Service (it was also over on Sadie’s Spotlight). You can find my review of volumes 1 and 2 here.


All over the world, secret agents are being murdered by monstrous folk horrors, and not even MI666 is safe. Gina Meyer faces tragedy as a teammate turns enemy. But what of the quest to find out the truth about her past and powers?

My review:

This was a fun continuation of the series. Like with the first two volumes, you have to be comfortable with quite a lot of shock-level gore. But there’s some humor mixed in with the horror and a much more solid plot developing. I’ll be happy to continue the series.


This is book 1 of West of Sundown. It was also over on Sadie’s Spotlight.


A beautiful vampire must flee monster slayers in New York City and reclaim the ancestral soil that restores her undead flesh. But the world has changed since she was reborn in the New Mexico desert, and now, Constance Der Abend and her loyal assistant Dooley , must adapt to life in the rough frontier town of Sangre De Moro, where all sorts of monsters have settled.

My Review:

I wanted to like this a lot more than I actually did. It started out strong. I very much enjoyed Constance and Dooley’s interactions. I even appreciate some of the humor present in the rest of the story. But I was just so often confused by the sudden appearance of characters with histories I was apparently supposed to glean from context but didn’t. All in all, I’ll call it a middle-of-the-road read. I did like the art, though.


This is volume 1 of Quest Aside. It was also over on Sadie’s Spotlight.


Known to all, both far and wide!

A skeleton, an apprentice mage, and an exiled princess walk into a bar… for another shift at Quests Aside, the local watering hole run by once legendary, now retired, adventurer Barrow.

When the King privately explains that he plans to shut the place down, Barrow must find a way to hold onto his business, the friendships, and the family he’s built around it.

It’s always sunny in the realms!

My Review:

I thought this was fun. It plays with the Dungeons and Dragons type of quest-tales in interesting ways. I liked the characters, the art, and the diversity. I’d be more than happy to read more. But I also thought everything remained surface-level. I don’t feel that I particularly got to know the characters, and there wasn’t any exciting or deep plot. It’s substanceless fun. And while there isn’t anything wrong with that, it’s not particularly memorable either.


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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.)
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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