Tag Archives: monster romance

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Book Review: Fate Awakened, by Jocelyn Montana

I accepted a review copy of Fate Awakened, by Jocelyn Montana as part of its book tour with Rockstar Book Tours. The book was also featured over on Sadie’s Spotlight. So, you can hop over there for author information, an excerpt, tour schedule, and chance to win a copy of the book for yourself.

 

A fierce werewolf consumed by his past. A human used as bait. A connection neither expects.

A MONSTER TO EVERYONE BUT HER …
Hans lives only for vengeance. No more Pack. No friends. Only the dark void inside him tormenting him about his past. Yet when he meets a dark-haired beauty, desire tears through him and changes everything. But werewolves never take mates, and to claim her would doom him and ensure the rising evil wins.

AN ORDINARY HUMAN TO EVERYONE BUT HIM …
One moment Briony’s eating in the tavern, and the next a necromancer has her tied up in a cave as bait for a werewolf. Stuck in the middle of a centuries old battle, she needs to escape. Now. Except when the werewolf arrives and she gets her chance, she doesn’t run. No—she helps him and decides to join him to face a formidable enemy who will do anything to kill her. And with each day that passes, every gentle touch, every silky purr, the werewolf claws his way further into her heart.

BOUND TOGETHER AGAINST AN ANCIENT EVIL …
They have one month to work together to take down a sorceress. One month to decide to remain together forever. Everyone in Briony’s life has left her, and she doesn’t believe in love anymore. Secrets in Hans’s past prevent him from making Briony his. They may save the world, but will they save each other?

my reviewI thought that this book was OK. It didn’t light me on fire. But I strongly suspect that it will some people, depending on what you’re looking for in a monster romance. The writing and editing is mechanically fine. The plot holds together and the characters are likeable enough. So, it all just comes down to personal preference. And this is where I was left to just kind of shrug.

Sure, Hans is a monster who doesn’t take human form. But he feels awfully human-like. This is  exacerbated by just how colloquial a lot of the dialogue is. I was often yanked out of the narrative by some particular turn of phrase that just felt a little too normal to be coming out of the mouth of a non-human who presumably wasn’t socialized in modern America.

Similarly, despite being a planet with two suns, two moons, and fantasy creatures, surprisingly recognizable things would pop up—like Baba Yaga. I mean sure, all the monsters were recognizable ones. Though sometimes called something different, there were elves, shifters, goblins, trolls, etc. But when mythological characters show up by name, I’m left wondering if this is a different world or a far future post-apocalyptic Earth. Either is fine. But the fact that I’ve finished the book and can’t tell you isn’t. In the end, it just felt inconsistent.

fate awakened photoMostly though, I found that I was just bored with a lot of it. There’s an interesting fight to save the world going on. But it feels like set dressing to the romance. And, as sweet as that romance is, it wasn’t enough to keep me interested for 330 pages.

So, all in all, I’ll call this a middle of the road read for me, while acknowledging that it’ll float someone’s boat for sure.


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Beers Books Boos: Fate Awakened

 

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Book Review: Heir of Monsters, by G. Bailey

I received a copy of G. Bailey‘s Heir of Monsters as park of my September Supernatural Book Crate. Which, as an aside, I find hilarious, because last there was a book called An Inheritance of Monsters in the August box. I’m sensing a theme…that’s not a complaint. I’m all about the monster romance lately.

heir of monsters

A monster has stalked me.
But now I’m hunting him.

My job is to hunt monsters and I’m damn good at it—until a monster breaks into my apartment in the middle of the night and kidnaps me.

Turns out he isn’t just a monster.

He’s the Wyern king.

Wyern’s, a race feared by everyone, are known to be stronger than the fae who rule my world, and no one has seen them in years. The king needs my help to track down his missing sister from within a city his race is banished from and I’m the best he can find.

Only, he isn’t the only one looking for monsters in Ethereal City.

The Fae Queen’s grandson is missing.

Working for fae, monster or not, is risky. Most end up dead and I have too much to lose to end up as one of them.

I’m going to find the missing royals and be careful about it, especially with my grumpy boss breathing down my neck and watching my every move.

The Wyern King is cruel, cold, and unbelievably beautiful for a male… and my new enemy.

my review

I thought this was a middle of the road read. There wasn’t anything especially bad about it, but nothing wowed me either. I liked Calliophe a lot, the writing was readable, and the world seemed interesting. However, I was always a little vague on what made a monster a monster. I sensed this was more than just a non-human with scary features, but rather a going bad of some, turning them into monsters. But I’m not sure, and that’s the problem. Plus, the twist/villain was super predictable.

heir of monsters photoI also wasn’t particularly invested in the romance for most of the book. Emerson was just such a jerk for so very long and. When Calliophe suddenly ‘caught feelings,’ I was left wondering why. By the end, I at least accepted that they had feelings for one another. But I didn’t feel like, as a reader, I’d been party to them developing. And there is no spice, FYI. I saw this described as a slow burn, but there’s basically no romantic progression here.

So, as I said, middle of the road (with a pretty steep cliffie at the end). I’d probably read the next book if it passed my feed. But I’m not racing out to buy it.


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Book Review: The Librarian and the Orc, by Finley Fenn

I picked up a freebie copy of Finley Fenn‘s The Librarian and the Orc after seeing the series recommended on Tiktok. It’s third in the Orc Sworn series, but I was assured it could be read as a stand alone.

the librarian and the orc cover

He’s a fierce, ferocious, death-dealing beast. And he’s reading a book in her library…

In a world of recently warring orcs and men, Rosa Rolfe leads a quiet, scholarly life as an impoverished librarian — until the day she finds an orc. In her library. Reading a book.

He’s rude, aggressive, and deeply terrifying, with his huge muscled form, sharp black claws, and cold, dismissive commands. But he doesn’t seem truly dangerous… at least, until night falls. And he makes Rosa a shocking, scandalous offer…

Her books, for her surrender.
Her ecstasy.
Her enlightenment…

Rosa’s no fool, and she knows she can’t possibly risk her precious library for this brazen, belligerent orc. Even if he is surprisingly well-read. Even if he smells like sweet, heated honey. Even if he makes Rosa’s heart race with fear, and ignites all her deepest, darkest cravings at once…

But surrender demands a dangerous, devastating price. A bond that can’t easily be broken. And a breakneck journey to the fearsome, forbidding Orc Mountain, where a curious, clever librarian might be just what’s needed to stop another war…

my review

I am in a really odd place in reviewing this book. I liked the writing and the premise. I think the series seems interesting (in a totally over the top ridiculous sort of way) and I’m interested in reading more of it. But I didn’t like this book. But Sadie, why would you want more then? I don’t, not more of the same anyway. But one would presume every book in the series can’t be exactly the same.

What I disliked about this book was the characters. I thought he was an alpha a-hole for far too long. So, by the time he stopped and showed his softer side, it was too late. (Even if I appreciated that he valued her intellect as much as her deep throat.) I never could come around to like him. And I thought she was a limp dishrag and a doormat. Yes, I saw that Fenn was allowing them to both have been crafted by their past traumas. Yes, I saw that Fenn was allowing for flawed characterization (saying cruel things you don’t really mean, when angry, for example). Yes, I saw that Fenn was allowing their broken pieces to fit together in to a stronger whole. I saw it. But I didn’t enjoy it.

I feel like Rosa’s scrabbling, scrambling, desperate need to please her master just felt like an abused woman keeping her abuser happy as a means of self-protection (which she’d done her whole life, yes). But I felt like there was no growth past this. Instead it was just eroticized and John took advantage of it for his own gain. Yes, yes, I know that’s not how Fenn meant it. But the librarian and the orc photothat’s how it felt to me and I didn’t enjoy reading it. I almost DNFed more times than I can count.

So, I’ll probably give another book in the series a try. But this particular one was a failure for me. (I much preferred The Sorceress’s Orc.) It did stand alone though. I read it without having read any of the previous books and the only confusion I had was the fact that orcs only bare sons and I didn’t know why. I just had to accept it as the way of things.


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