Category Archives: book review

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Book Review: Hadley House, by Olivia Lewin

I picked up an e-copy of Olivia Lewin‘s Hadley House as an Amazon freebie.

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Life had gone to hell in a handbasket when I received news that my Uncle Felix had passed away and left me an inheritance. Fired from my dream job and days away from eviction, I took the inheritance as the blessing it was.

Unfortunately, it was only a blessing until I saw the house I now had in my name.

A falling apart hovel in the middle of a decommissioned graveyard. Bad enough, right?

It got worse.

The place is overrun by creatures that shouldn’t exist. An oversized orc. A pixie-demon with an attitude. A feral wolfman. A defective basilisk. And a ghost. Have I mentioned I’m terrified of ghosts?

I need to get the hell out of here, but it’s easier said than done when the house is keeping us all captive and the only way out is untangling a series of puzzles my uncle left for me. And the kicker; the worst part of it all?

I’m stuck in an infinite time loop that always ends in me dying and resetting the day to the beginning. I have no idea who’s killing me or why time is rewinding, but I have a bad feeling it’s an important part of the puzzle. I have an even badder feeling that the men have a lot to do with the happenings in Hadley House. The men who don’t remember who I am at the beginning of each cycle, the ones I know intimately, who don’t act like the monsters society makes them out to be.

I doubt I can make it out with both my heart and my body intact, but I’ve got to try.

my review

This was entertaining enough; a little repetitive and padded in the plot, but I enjoyed it. I would have jumped into book two if it had been out yet. Having said that, I did feel like we (the readers) were denied the chance actually to get to know the men as characters. They remained pretty underdeveloped. And Hadley’s willingness and ability to forgive them was almost supernatural in and of itself.

I feel like I need to address the sex. I actually really loved that the men had been locked in with one another for a long time and were, therefore, just as comfortable having sex with one another as Hadley. But the orgey-level sex scenes played an odd role in the book. They were not particularly well-stitched into the plot. (They actually stood out as anomalies to the rest of the plot.) But this also isn’t erotica or porn without plot. This means it is a non-romance/non-erotic plot, shallow as it may be, and then the occasional full-on, multiple-partner sex scenes that felt strangely out of place.

All in all, I’d have read another book to find out what happens after the cliffhanger, and I enjoyed this well enough. But I didn’t love it.

Other Reviews:

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Book Review: Den of Vipers, by K.A. Knight

I purchased an e-copy of K.A. Knight’s Den of Vipers.
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Ryder, Garrett, Kenzo, and Diesel—The Vipers.

They run this town and everyone in it. Their deals are as sordid as their business, and their reputation is enough to bring a grown man to his knees, forcing him to beg for mercy. They are not people you mess with, yet my dad did. The old man ran up a debt with them and then sold me to cover his losses.

Yes, sold me.

They own me now.

I’m theirs in every sense of the word. But I’ve never been meek and compliant. These men, they look at me with longing. Their scarred, blood-stained hands holding me tight. They want everything I am, everything I have to give, and won’t stop until they get just that. They can own my body, but they will never have my heart.

The Vipers? I’m going to make them regret the day they took me.

This girl? She bites too.

my review

I read A Lady of Rooksgrave Manor recently, and I said in my review of it, “I have no general problem with Porn Without Plot…or without much plot. It can be a lot of fun…But I think I can officially now say that almost 400 pages of it is just too much.” Well, Den of Vipers is over 650 pages and, yes, I still feel that is too much for me. It just went on and on and on and on.

I liked Roxy in the most general sense, same for the Vipers. But past the halfway mark, I was simply done with all of them. I didn’t expect a lot of plot (which is good since I didn’t get one). But I did expect the book not to become so repetitive that I simply got bored. And OMG, all the Roxy worship just made me cringe.

To take something someone said a little out of context, as I believe they were talking specifically about fantasy, fiction doesn’t have to be realistic, but it does have to be believable. Meaning den of vipers photobelievable in the context of the world the author creates. Nothing in this was. While I appreciate that Roxy met crazy with crazy, and that worked out for her and the Vipers. It just felt like there were no limits, no constraints, no borders to the story. Which just leaves a book feeling random and sloppy.

All in all, if it were half as long, I probably would have liked it twice as much. But as it is, I’ll call this a meh, middle-of-the-road read.

Other Reviews:

Den of Vipers Book Review

Review: ‘Den of Vipers’ by K.A. Knight


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Book Review: Radiance, by Grace Draven

I purchased an e-copy of Grace Draven‘s Radiance.
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Brishen Khaskem, prince of the Kai, has lived content as the nonessential spare heir to a throne secured many times over. A trade and political alliance between the human kingdom of Gaur and the Kai kingdom of Bast-Haradis requires that he marry a Gauri woman to seal the treaty. Always a dutiful son, Brishen agrees to the marriage and discovers his bride is as ugly as he expected and more beautiful than he could have imagined.


Ildiko, niece of the Gauri king, has always known her only worth to the royal family lay in a strategic marriage. Resigned to her fate, she is horrified to learn that her intended groom isn’t just a foreign aristocrat but the younger prince of a people neither familiar nor human. Bound to her new husband, Ildiko will leave behind all she’s known to embrace a man shrouded in darkness but with a soul forged by light.

Two people brought together by the trappings of duty and politics will discover they are destined for each other, even as the powers of a hostile kingdom scheme to tear them apart.

my review

This was a surprise winner for me. Granted, it wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. I thought it was going to be a dark read. But it’s actually super sweet and relatively low-angst. And normally, that’s not a combination that works for me. I like some grit in my fantasy. But I also appreciate a practical heroine, and Ildiko is a strong one. And Brishen is just so marvelously noble.  Watching them become friends and supports to one another before lovers was nice.

Tradiance photohere was also humor, interesting side characters (who are obviously the couple for a future book), an interesting world, and a slow-burn, low-spice romance. I enjoyed the heck out of it.

As much as I liked the above aspects of the book. I did feel a tad bored at times. There isn’t a lot of action, and most of what action there is is packed toward the end. And the villain is a little cliched. All in all, though, I look forward to reading book two.

Other Reviews:

Review: Radiance by Grace Draven

A Double Review of Radiance by Grace Draven