Tag Archives: urban fantasy

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Book Review: Blood Sugar, by Michaela Haze

I picked up Michaela Haze‘s Blood Sugar as an Amazon freebie.

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They call my family a cult.

I’m not allowed to tell anyone what happens behind closed doors.

Our Sect worships the Old Gods. Our little community is surrounded by the Never Forest. A place neither Here nor There.
“The people that can dance with the dead will make their homes with the Demons.”

My family can do wondrous feats. Animate corpses, and see the future through the eyes of the dead.
I can do none of those things.

But the Gods have set their eye on my virtue.
There is one for each of the Seven Sins.
And I am theirs.

my review

I went into this with pretty low expectations. It was an Amazon freebie, and let’s be honest, those are pretty hit or miss. But Blood Sugar was a hit. I really enjoyed it. Now, admittedly, it wasn’t at all what I expected. Don’t—like me—go into this expecting steam and a bunch of growly alpha a-holes. That isn’t what you’ll find.

In fact, there is very little sex in the book, and what there is is past the 75% mark and pretty mild. And while the Sin’s might be a little stand-offish at times, they aren’t a-holes. These men are broken and sweet, even if they don’t always show it. Ophelia is the growly one, and I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed that switch. She’s also capable, loyal, and broken herself.

Now, fair warning, though there is no on-page rape, a TW for it is probably appropriate. It plays blood sugar photoa fairly large part in the plot. I probably wouldn’t have read the book if I had known that, since I try to avoid rape in the books I read for fun. But in this case, I can honestly say it’s incorporated into the plot, not a cheap device (which is one of my most common complaints when it is used in a book).

The book isn’t perfect. It could use another editing pass, and there are several times that villains are defeated; all of them are anti-climactic. As was the ending, in that it just kind of ended with a bit of a bang but no wrap-up. Despite that, Haze just went on my author-to-watch list.

Other Reviews:

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Book Review: Wilde City, by Evie Marceau

I won a copy of Evie Marceau‘s Wilde City…on Instagram, I think.

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One job application turns into me falling for my wickedly hot *fae* boss…

When Willow answers a mysterious nanny ad, she’s shocked to learn the employer is the handsome and reclusive billionaire Severn Wilde—and even more surprised when he reveals himself to be a fae prince in disguise.

Willow never dreamed that the fae bedtime stories her mother told her as a child were real. Now, Severn grants Willow the fae sight, allowing her to see the hidden magical world of the Gifted Ones. But as wondrous as his realm is, rival fae courts, witches, and shifters make it fiercely dangerous. Willow and the children she’s been hired to care for are targeted by Severn’s Los Angeles-based rivals and their merciless leader, who will stop at nothing to strike Severn where it hurts most—those closest to him.

Swept up in a dangerous new world, Willow discovers that the greatest risk of all might be falling for her arrogant, cold, achingly handsome employer—the one person she can’t have.

Review (with spoilers)

I’m not going to go so far as to say this book is bad. The writing is perfectly fine. But I will say there’s absolutely nothing new or interesting here.

Young, innocent virgin is hired by hundreds-of-years-old, powerful paranormal. By virtue of (literally) nothing more than her ability to say no to him when no one else in his life can, he becomes enamored with her. And, despite never previously choosing love or a relationship, he does so for her. (Because she’s special.) Based on seemingly nothing but his beauty and toxicity, she falls in love with the walking red flag. She is then kidnapped by his enemy, who she also Wilde City coverfeels drawn to for reasons. There the book ends.

See, there’s nothing new, which makes it predictable. And since it was originally written for Vella, it is full of filler and thus far longer than need be, on top of it.

The interests of a reader who hasn’t read as widely in the genre might have been held more than mine. But I was just kind of bored by it. So, I’m calling this a ‘Meh.’

Other Reviews:

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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