Tag Archives: Paranormal romance

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Book Review: Raven’s Cry, by Charlie Nottingham

In May, when the SCOTUS leak first dropped, before the Supreme Court actually made their appalling ruling on Roe vs Wade, Charlie Nottingham organized a #ReadForOurRights event over on Tiktok. She and several other authors agreed to donate the proceeds from book sales that month to campaigns fighting to reestablish and/or protect women’s rights. I ordered several books from several authors during this event. (Something like 17, if I’m remembering right.) Raven’s Cry was one of them.
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Everyone has skeletons in their closet, but Rain’s are learning to open the door.

Rain’s lost everything in the last decade. Her grandmother, her brother, and her family home might be next. All she has is Graham – a powerful Fae who illegally escaped the Fae Realm and has been her best friend ever since.

Until Ezra – the sexiest Vampire she’s ever seen – commissions her for one hell of a job. Cleansing dozens of vengeful spirits from an abandoned mansion for a life changing amount of money.

All Rain wants is to focus on her budding relationship with Ezra, but the ghosts in the mansion have awoken the ones Rain has spent a decade trying to keep locked up.

But Rain isn’t the only one with secrets. Ezra has a few of his own.

my review

This was my first Charlie Nottingham books and I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected. I liked all of the characters, the world seems interesting, and the writing flows naturally. Focus-wise, I’d consider it much more a sweet building-of-a-polyamorous-relationship than anything else. (Which makes me laugh because it’s labeled a “Dark Paranormal Romance Reverse Harem.”) I’m not suggesting the fantasy element is unimportant. But it is definitely given less page time that the romantic elements.

It’s also quite slow to build, both the 4-way relationship (with one of the men not even appearing until quite late in the book) and the fantasy/mystery/action element which only really ramps up toward the end of the book. None of this is said to discourage reading the book. I enjoyed the heck out of it. In fact, I finished it disappointed to discover book two isn’t out yet. I pre-ordered it though. So, all in all, I think I’ve found a new author to follow.

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Other Reviews:

Book Review: Raven’s Cry by Charlie Nottingham

 

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Book Review: The Dragon’s Bride, by Katee Robert

I purchased a copy of Katee Robert‘s The Dragon’s Bride.

the dragon's bride cover

Briar Rose might have a name out of a storybook, but she learned at a very young age that no prince was coming to save her. She’ll have to save herself. Unfortunately, even that is an impossible task in her current situation—trapped in a terrifying marriage to a dangerous man.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, which is how she finds herself making a deal with a demon. Freedom from her husband…in return for seven years of service.

She expects the service to be backbreaking and harsh. She doesn’t expect to be put on an auction block in a room full of literal monsters and sold to the highest bidder.

To Sol.

A dragon.

He might seem kinder than his fearsome looks imply, but she knows better than to trust the way he wants to take care of her, or how invested he is in her pleasure. In her experience, if something seems too good to be true, it certainly is.

Falling for Sol is out of the question. She’s suffered enough, and she has no intention of staying in this realm…even if she leaves her heart behind when she returns to her normal life.

my review

I had a pretty middle of the road reaction to this book. But that feels a little disappointing. I saw it raved about and recommended so very many times that anything less than utterly loving it feels like a let down. But if I force myself to let that go, I can admit that I enjoyed this book, just not as much as the reviews led me to believe I would. (That’s the danger of too much hype, right?)

On the positive side, Sol is just a doll. He’s so sweet, even with his dangerous edge. It would be hard not to appreciate him. Similarly, Briar is a fun character. I very much appreciated that she was able and willing to go for what she wanted. The overall world seems fun and the writing is easy to read.

On the negative side, I didn’t think the sex scenes fit the characters. This might take little explaining and is 100% subjective. I’m not going to be all ‘no abused woman would do x, y, or z.’ I can’t know what someone with a history of abuse would or wouldn’t do in any given scenario, the dragon's bride photolet along when faced with a dragon. But what I will say is that I didn’t feel like the characters Sol and Briar were outside of the bedroom matched the characters they became in bed. It’s hot and very on point for current spicy fantasy trends. But it felt a lot more like it was written to those same trends than to character consistency. And this annoyed me…even if it was hot, as I said.

All in all, I liked the book. I’ll read the next one. But it wasn’t the knock-it-out-of-the-ballpark I was hoping for.


Other Reviews:

Review: The Dragon’s Bride by Katee Robert

Book Review: The Dragon’s Bride by Katee Robert

Book Review: The Dragon’s Bride by Katee Robert

 

They Had Eyes of Silver

Book Review & Giveaway: They Had Eyes of Silver, by S E Davis

I accepted a review copy of S E DavisThey Had Eyes of Silver, as part of it’s blog tour with Rachel’s Random Resources. The book as also featured over on Sadie’s Spotlight. So, you can pop over there for more information on the book and author.

they had eyes of silver cover

A secret lineage. A family cursed. A forbidden love that can’t be denied.

Veterinarian Reina Kirke is exhausted. So, when her best friend suggests a European vacation, she doesn’t hesitate. A much-needed break and a chance to investigate her mysterious family tree sound perfect. Too bad she’s in no way prepared for what she finds. The fairytale town in Belgium hides family secrets grounded in the supernatural. Legends of werewolves and witches surround her, and a taboo love affair threatens to pull her into a danger she might not be able to handle.

What seems like a chance encounter with Blaise Woodward, a brooding hunk with his own secrets, sets up a sequence of events that could unravel both of their families as they realize their deep connection to each other is generations old. But only one thing is certain.

Their lives will never be the same…

my review

I am trying to walk a very narrow line with this review. Because I have to acknowledge that a lot of readers like predictability. Certain tropes and plot types are used frequently because they are enjoyed, but also because they are comforting in their predictability. For a lot of readers it’s a feature, not a bug.

But I’m not one of those readers. And when the villain was introduced—the first page they appeared—I said, that’s the villain. I even had a fairly good guess at what their motivation would turn out to be. And almost every other aspect of this book is as transparent as the villain. There is absolutely nothing new or unpredictable about this book—not in the plot, not in the world, not way wolves shift (the legend of the wolf-strap with evil origins is from Germany and Poland), not the romance, not the mystery, not the heroine’s deus ex machina save at the end, not the conclusion, etc. Nothing. I read on in hope that there might be at least one red herring in there, but there isn’t. It’s all just as obvious as at first glance.

they had eyes of silver photoBut, again, I’m not calling it a bad. Because a lot of people really do enjoy this in a book. It’s safe. And I would say the same for other aspects of the book, not just the predictability. The characters adhere to all the right mores and characterizations and the the undercurrent of kindness and care hits the right notes to appeal to those who enjoy over-arching sweetness and light in their stories. No one’s worldview is going to be challenged. Again, it’s safe…if that’s your thing.

The writing is fine. Names and endearments are used a little too often occasionally, creating an unneeded formality. But it’s mostly fine and the editing is without issue. So, whether you enjoy this book or not will come down to the question of whether you are a reader who enjoys knowing there will be no unpleasant surprises, or one who would rather go in blind and risk it.


Other Reviews:

eBook Review: They Had Eyes of Silver by S E Davies*


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