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Book Review: Threads of Fate, by Lexi Esme

I picked up a copy of Lexi Esme‘s Threads of Fate as an Amazon freebie.
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A woman hunted. A monster broken. A desire that may just consume them both.


With my car dead, and no way home, an inconvenient night quickly takes a turn for the worse.

I’m pursued deep into the woods, my heart pounding with unbridled fear, and I’m certain this is it. I’m going to die out here, in the cold and dark. Just when I think all hope is lost I’m saved by the most unexpected rescuer.

My savior is a monster.

I don’t know whether I should be terrified or enchanted. Hidden in the shadows, his bright red eyes lure me, drawing me in until I can no longer resist him.


Until that fateful night, I’d fought my desires for so long. I would have stayed away from her if that were possible, but I needed her…

Dark and smooth, captivating and delectable, she is gorgeous, a feast for my senses. My desire for her burns in every fiber of my being, my lust undeniable. She is my every fantasy made real, temptation embodied… The very thought of being her lover is devastating torture.

I’m a monster. She is a human.
I’m dangerous. She is untainted.
But I want her.
My feelings for her are consuming me.

I should stay away from her but the temptation is too great, the need too deep. Rhianne has captured my heart, and now the threads of our fates are tied, she is bound to me as I am to her.

my review

threads of fate photoDespite the gorgeous cover, I’m afraid this just wasn’t very good. I think that the author had an interesting idea, but it was not well executed. While I liked the characters, they were not well-developed. It’s more tell than show. The plotting is inconsistent and herky-jerky; scenes and plot progressions do not flow well from one to the next, etc. It’s plenty spicy, especially if you are into light bondage kind of scenes, and I liked the ending. But, all in all, this was a flop for me.

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Threads of Fate by Lexi Esme


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Book Review: Stolen Queen, by Jesi Donovan

I picked up a copy of Jesi Donovan‘s Stolen Queen as an Amazon freebie.
Stolen Queen cover

They are handsome.
They are monsters.
They are my husbands.

My grandfather stole from the Mad Kings; now they’ve taken me prisoner to pay his debts.

They know that I’m innocent. They know I don’t deserve to be caged like an animal. But they don’t care. They will break me and make me their Queen. They will mate me and make me the mother of their children. No matter what it takes, the Mad Kings will have what’s theirs.

my review

Yeah…I hated this. To each their own, but this was not for me. I have so many complaints, but I’ll state up front that the mechanical writing is fine. It’s perfectly readable. That’ll be my only compliment.

This might be a little spoiler-ish, but it doesn’t give much more away than is in the blurb. The kings kidnap her, throw her in the dungeon, and are consistently horrible to her. However, their goal is for her to become their queen, bear their children, and eventually (hopefully) love them. Nothing about that plotting makes sense. If you, by chance, think, “Well, maybe in context…” No, not even in context does it make sense. It simply does not make any sense.

None of the characters are even tolerable, let alone likable. We are given all four character’s POVs. One might hope that even as the men are being horrible to her, their internal monologue shows them to have some affection for her. But no, they are all about getting a return for their investment, deserving to get their dick wet, entitled to her, etc. They want her because she is the rightful queen (we’ll just overlook the fact that her grandmother is apparently still alive, so….) and will therefore legitimize their rule. She literally might as well be a physical crown for how much concern they have for her as a person, even in their own thoughts. There is nothing romantic or erotic about any of it.

Then, on page 142, I came across this quote and decided I was done. “…[B]ehind closed doors, whatever happens, happens. If we take the Queen by force and it happens to work in our favor, so be it. She will come around, boys, because we’ll make her.” Yeah, that’s them deciding amongst themselves to rape their queen. Ho-hum. They then gang up and coerce her into sex. It’s the only sex in the book, minus one totally out-of-place touching scene. I skimmed the rest stolen queen photoof the book to finish it. But there was no redeeming the story for me. Again, there is nothing romantic, despite being called a Dark Captive Romance. Not even the dark can bring this in line with romance.

I recently commented in another book review that enemies-lovers tropes (which captive romance basically is) need push and pull to work. These men consistently push, but there is no pull for the reader to get invested in. I hated this and just want to go wash my brain out now.

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Book Review: Seeking Snow Falls, by Jenn D. Young

I have had a copy of Jenn D. Young‘s Seeking Snow Falls since 2021. So, my memory of where exactly I got it is vague. However, the book was featured over at Sadie’s Spotlight. So, there is a good chance I received a copy as part of the tour material. seeking snow falls cover

It was supposed to be a fun getaway with my best friend, until I ran out of gas in the middle of nowhere Montana.

There I was, freezing to death, when three men came to my rescue and thawed the icicles around my heart.

There’s one little problem: they aren’t human.

When my own haunted past comes calling, they stand by my side and protect me.

But can I overcome my own demons and accept I have mates? Or will my own fears cripple me?

my review

I wanted very badly to like this book. I went into it with high hopes. They all crumbled pretty quickly, however. I don’t hate insta-lust/love on principle. Sometimes, it is done well, sometimes not. It would have been fine here if the book had enough other development to accompany it. But the lust/love is instant, and there is very little further development in the book, which made the insta-lust/love just one more underdevelopment. It’s the one more that is at issue here and is with most of my complaints.

Most of what I turned out not to like about this book I disliked because of the cluster it is part of, rather than a problem by itself. Here are some examples. Laney is constantly crying. I mean constantly! Everything makes her cry—happy, sad, scared, panicking, sympathy, empathy, acceptance, rejection, everything! I am not exaggerating when I say I think a count of crying-related words (tears, sobbing, crying, etc.) would average out to one per page—AT LEAST—if I were able to count them. I don’t mind crying, but by 55%, I was literally rolling my eyes and exclaiming out loud, “Oh My God, again!? ”

To go with the crying, there is a pretty thin line between an author writing a female character with some trauma and room for growth and flat-out infantilizing that character. This book went with infantilization. All of the descriptors of Laney are childlike. Visualize this character for me. There’s the crying. She curls up on the men’s chests with her fist curled under her chin. She sits up and sleepily rubs her eyes. She never laughs; she giggles. When they get in vehicles, the men always buckle her seat belt for her. They often put their chin on top of her head (because she is so much smaller) and kiss her forehead. She is constantly falling asleep or waking up. They put her to bed repeatedly and often even get her ready for bed (like one would a child at nap time). What does the character in your head look like, a 29-year-old woman or a child?

On a side note, female characters constantly being put to bed is also a pet peeve for me. Because it so often simply serves the purpose of putting the toy on the shelf when the men-folk are busy. It shows precisely how much of an object a female character is. Not in this scene? Put the toy away. From the reader’s perspective, she literally has no consciousness when not in the presence of the men.

And all of this childlikeness doesn’t even address her lack of adult decision-making abilities. She has panic attacks at the drop of a hat. She almost freezes to death in her car while parked in front of a heated building. How many people would freeze to death before breaking a window to crawl into the heat? A person can apologize and pay for the damages later. Or be rescued by the police, who show up when the alarm goes off. Either way, survival is literally 6 feet away, and she never even considers it because she does not have adult mental facilities.

Which makes the explicit sex scenes feel jarring. I’m not making any moral or prudish objection, not even to the child-likeness of the character juxtaposed with sex. It’s just that the sexplicit sex felt out of place when handed a child-like heroine. It felt like a plotting disconnect.

The book also needs more editing to catch all the wrong words. The mistakes aren’t even all homophones. Most are simply close but not quite right words—widely used when wildly is what is meant, for example.

The book is pretty formulaic. There is nothing new here. But people (myself included) read so many such books because we enjoy the formula. This means what I so disliked here was the content itself, and most of that is personal preference (or peeves) rather than outright quality seeking snow falls photoissues. Plus, it ends on a cliffhanger, which wouldn’t be an issue except that it is very clearly labeled as a standalone.

I did appreciate that Laney is a plus-sized character and that there was a pre-existing sexual relationship within the trio of mates that persisted even once Laney is introduced to the dynamic. And the cover is pretty. So, I think my last word is that this is probably great for the right reader. I’m just not that reader. I’m really not the right reader.

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