Author: Holly

Monthly Reads: January 2024

Posted February 8, 2024 by Holly in Features | 6 Comments

It’s a new month so we’re back with a list of our Monthly Reads to share with each of you. This is where you’ll see what each of us has read and what our favorite books and our least favorite books of the month are. Check it out.

Casee

Archangel’s Sun (Guild Hunter #13) by Nalini Singh (reread)(audio) | 4.5 out of 5
Slave to Sensation (Psy-Changeling #1) by Nalini Singh (reread)(audio) | 4.75 out of 5
The Tyrant Alpha’s Rejected Mate (Five Packs #1) by Cate C. Wells | 3.75 out of 5
Destined Mate (Twisted Fate Trilogy #1) by Jen L. Grey | 3 out of 5
Eclipsed Heart (Twisted Fate Trilogy #2) by Jen L. Grey | 3 out of 5
Chosen Destiny (Twisted Fate Trilogy #3) by Jen L. Grey | 3.25 out of 5
Visions of Heat (Psy-Changeling #2) by Nalini Singh (reread)(audio) | 4.5 out of 5
Caressed by Ice (Psy-Changeling #3) by Nalini Singh (reread)(audio) | 5 out of 5
Mine to Possess (Psy-Changeling #4) by Nalini Singh (reread)(audio) | 4 out of 5
Hostage to Pleasure (Psy-Changeling #5) by Nalini Singh (reread)(audio) | 5 out of 5
Branded by Fire (Psy-Changeling #6) by Nalini Singh (reread)(audio) | 4.25 out of 5
Blaze of Memory (Psy-Changeling #7) by Nalini Singh (reread)(audio) | 3.75 out of 5
Bonds of Justice (Psy-Changeling #8 by Nalini Singh (reread)(audio) | 4 out of 5

A lot of Nalini Singh rereads on audio for me in January. They’re just such fast and easy listens and I haven’t felt like reading much. My least favorite book was Destined Mate (Twisted Fate Trilogy #1) by Jen L. Grey. The story was good in this trilogy, but the FMC was annoying AF. My favorite reread was Hostage to Pleasure (Psy-Changeling #5) by Nalini Singh. I adore Dorian and Ashaya.

Holly

Steadfast (True North #2) by Sarina Bowen (reread | 4.5 out of 5
The Return of Eden McCall (Wide Open Spaces #3) by Judith Duncan (reread) | 4.25 out of 5
The Last Sky (Atrophy #1) by Jess Anastasi (audio) | 3 out of 5
The Graham Effect (Campus Diaries #1) by Elle Kennedy (audio) | 4.5 out of 5
The Deal (Off-Campus #1) by Elle Kennedy (reread) | 4.5 out of 5
The Risk (Briar U #2) by Elle Kennedy (audio) | 3.75 out of 5
The Legacy (Off-Campus #5) by Elle Kennedy | 3.5 out of 5
The Year We Hid Away (The Ivy Years #2) by Sarina Bowen (reread) | 4.75 out of 5
Rock Addiction (Rock Kiss #1) by Nalini Singh (reread) | 4.5 out of 5
The Lord of Stariel (Stariel #1) by A.J. Lancaster (audio) | 4.25 out of 5
The Prince of Secrets (Stariel #2) by A.J. Lancaster (audio) | 4.0 out of 5
The Court of Mortals (Stariel #3) by A.J. Lancaster (audio) | 3.75 out of 5
The King of Faerie (Stariel #4) by A.J. Lancaster (audio) | 4.0 out of 5
The Akseli (Aldebarian Alliance #4) by Dianne Duvall (audio) (reread) | 4.5 out of 5
The Renegade Akseli Cyborg (Aldebarian Alliance #4) by Dianne Duvall | 3.75 out of 5

My favorite read of the month was The Graham Effect by Elle Kennedy. My least favorite was The Last Sky by Jess Anastasi. It started off really well, but the longer it went on the more frustrated I got with the characters and overall story-arc.

So…what was your favorite read of the month? And your least favorite? Use the Gleam Widget to enter! Good luck!


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Books to Binge On: February 2024

Posted February 7, 2024 by Holly in Features | 2 Comments

Books to Binge On

Our Books to Binge On feature is pretty simple in its purpose. Every month, we put together a monthly new releases list of books that we’re all looking forward to. These are the books that we can’t wait to read and want everyone to add to their monthly binge-reading lists. Here are the books that we plan to binge on in February of 2024.


A Fate Inked in Blood (Saga of the Unfated #1) by Danielle L. Jensen

A shield maiden blessed by the gods battles to unite a nation under a power-hungry king—while also fighting her growing desire for his fiery son—in this Norse-inspired fantasy romance from the bestselling author of The Bridge Kingdom series.

Bound in an unwanted marriage, Freya spends her days gutting fish, but dreams of becoming a warrior. And of putting an axe in her boorish husband’s back.

Freya’s dreams abruptly become reality when her husband betrays her to the region’s jarl, landing her in a fight to the death against his son, Bjorn. To survive, Freya is forced to reveal her deepest secret: She possesses a drop of a goddess’s blood, which makes her a shield maiden with magic capable of repelling any attack. It was foretold such a magic would unite the fractured nation of Skaland beneath the one who controls the shield maiden’s fate.

Believing he’s destined to rule Skaland as king, the fanatical jarl binds Freya with a blood oath and orders Bjorn to protect her from their enemies. Desperate to prove her strength, Freya must train to fight and learn to control her magic, all while facing perilous tests set by the gods. The greatest test of all, however, may be resisting her forbidden attraction to Bjorn. If Freya succumbs to her lust for the charming and fierce warrior, she risks not only her own destiny but the fate of all the people she swore to protect.

Holly: I really loved Jensen’s The Bridge Kingdom, and I’m looking forward to something new. Plus, Vikings! Yay.


In Want of a Viscount (The Chessmen: Masters of Seduction #3) by Lorraine Heath

How far would an abandoned son go to get revenge? New York Times bestselling author Lorraine Heath’s next novel in The Masters of Seduction series where the price is always high… American Leonora Garrison has come to England in desperate search of investors to keep her family business afloat but instead finds surprising pleasure when she visits an exclusive ladies’ club and dares to kiss a stranger, who leaves her yearning for more. With a libertine for a father, Viscount Wyeth, more commonly known as Rook, vowed to live his life above reproach, with nary a hint of disgrace. Until one night, he takes a mysterious beauty into his arms, a lady who tempts him to cast his sterling reputation aside in favor of more wicked pursuits. When fate reunites the couple, they are torn between desire and duty. Leonora may want the viscount, but she needs a stakeholder not a lover. When caught in a compromising situation that places everything they hold dear at risk, they must determine how best to win. However, in this scandalous game, nothing except love takes all.

Holly: I really love Lorraine Heath as an author. I’m behind in this series, but I’ll binge read them someday soon.


Happily Ever Witch (A Kinda Fairytale #6) by Cassandra Gannon

Esmeralda the Wicked Witch is having a lousy week. She’s fallen through a rabbit hole and landed in Wonderland, a cheerful, tea-partying place that no self-respecting villain ever wants to visit. People are threatening to chop off her head, unless she wakes up a sleeping dragon with True Love’s kiss.

And not just any dragon.

Trevelyan, Last of the Green Dragons is the worst villain in the world and the sworn enemy of her chosen family. The guy is 98% Bad and 100% sure that Esmeralda now belongs to him. Soon, she’s locked an enchanted castle with the smirking maniac. If she doesn’t find a way out of this whimsical hellhole soon, Esmeralda will turn that sexy, disagreeable man into a frog. …Just as soon as she’s done falling in love with him.

Book six of A Kinda Fairytale series
M/F
Happily Ever After
Enemies to lovers
Forced Proximity
Fated Mates
148,000 + words
Standalone romance, but both main characters have appeared in other books of the series.

Holly: I didn’t realize she was still writing this series. I read and really loved The Kingpin of Camelot some number of years ago, but it kind of fell off my radar after that. I’m excited to get back into it.


The Bookbinder’s Guide to Love (Wicked Sisters #1) by Katherine Garbera

A witchy, witty, wickedly sexy tale about love, books, friendship and the unexpected connections that bind us together…

Bookbinding (verb): the art of creating something magical out of fabric, leather and paper.

As a lonely foster kid, Serafina Conte sought refuge in handmaking journals — and writing her wishes within their pages. Now, in the quirky new age store she shares with her two best friends, Sera’s intentions have paid off. Her journals are in the spotlight — and rumoured to manifest great things. Whether it’s witchy skills, real magic or not, Sera’s finally ready to be the leading lady of her life story…

Until her plot hits a twist.

After the death of her mentor, Ford Sitwell, all the loneliness and insecurity of her past returns. The only balm is the box of antique books he left to her. But Ford’s suspicious brooding grandson, Wes, is ready to think the worst of her — and get his grandfather’s books back! The first part doesn’t bother her. The second? Forget it. Sera won’t give Wes the books so easily. But it’s clear he’s seeking something more, an emotional connection no book can replace. So she offers a deal — work in her store for six weeks, and in return, she’ll help him get closure by sharing memories of his late grandfather.

Yes, Wes seems grumpy, but actually he’s hot…and maybe kind? Deep down? And when desire and vulnerability work their charms, Sera begins to wonder if the best stories aren’t the ones you intend, but the ones that take you where you least expected…

Holly: I’m not sure if I’ve read this author before, but I’m really intrigued by the premise.

What books are you looking forward to reading this month? Share in the comments!


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Lightning Review: Omens by Suzanne Wright

Posted January 29, 2024 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Lightning Review: Omens by Suzanne WrightReviewer: Holly
Omens by Suzanne Wright
Narrator: Cat Doucette
Series: The Dark in You #6
Also in this series: Blaze , Ashes , Shadows
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing, Piatkus
Publication Date: July 28, 2020
Format: Audiobook, eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 314
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

She's the one thing he can't control...

Keenan is the mistake Khloe knows she shouldn't make. As an incubus, he's got an inside track into everything that makes her tick, and even though she's immune to his supernatural (and frankly unfair) sex appeal, that doesn't stop her body - and her demon - craving him. If it were any other male she'd have worked it out of her system ages ago and moved on, but this time she's scared that if she ever gives in, she won't escape unscathed.

Since Keenan's traumatic childhood he's made sure he's always in control. Of himself, and of the world around him. But Khloe drives Keenan crazy. She's an imp, so getting under people's skin is basically her job description, but Khloe makes him - and his body - respond in ways he's never known.

After a bet escalates the simmering tension between them it's finally game on . . . and then the game turns deadly serious. A threat appears that could threaten the whole lair and Keenan's desperate to protect Khloe any way he can - but will she accept his claim, and can he accept the power she has over him?

Omens (Dark in You #5) by Suzanne Wright features Khloe and Keenan. I purchased the ebook with the audio add-on so I could switch between reading and listening.

Khloe is convinced Keenan is an alcoholic, and after dealing with her mother’s addiction all her life she isn’t interested in being with him as a result. When they make a wager that he can go week without a drink, Khloe is sure he’ll fail. But as they spend time together and she realizes there’s more to Keenan than she thought, she’ll have to guard her heart.

Khloe and Keenan weren’t my favorite characters from previous books, but I ended up enjoying their story. I really liked the external conflict in this book (Zombies!), so that helped.

Rating: 3.75

Dark in You

four-stars


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What Are You Reading? (667)

Posted January 26, 2024 by Holly in Features | 8 Comments

Casee

I’ve not really been into reading lately. I’ve been listening to audiobooks mostly. It’s sad. I’m currently reading Chosen Destiny (Twisted Fate Trilogy #3) by Jen L. Grey. It’s an okay read, but nothing spectacular. They are a somewhat entertaining and easy read. I was hoping for more, though. I was looking forward to glomming her backlist, which isn’t going to happen. See? Sad.

I decided to listen to the entire Psy-Changeling series on audio. I’m currently listening to Blaze of Memory (Psy-Changeling #7) by Nalini Singh. I don’t remember loving this one the first time around, but this time it’s pretty good.

Holly

December was kind of a crazy month for me, and January is shaping up to be more of the same. Casee and I both took on new roles in our professional lives that has left even less time for reading than before (which in my case wasn’t a lot to begin with). I’m still reading (thank you, audiobooks!), but not nearly as much as I would like to be.

I’m currently reading the Stariel series by A.J. Lancaster, a new to me author. I got the ebook and purchased the audio add-on so I could switch between reading and listening. I’m really loving the narrator. I finished The Lord of Stariel, The Prince of Secrets, and The Court of Mortals. I’m almost finished with the fourth book, The King of Faerie. I’ve really fallen into the series and I’m anxious to see where things go next.

Other books I’ve read recently include The Last Sky by Jess Anastasi (just okay), The Graham Effect by Elle Kennedy (loved) and The Legacy by Elle Kennedy (an interesting collection of “where are they now” novellas).

What are you reading this week? Any new favorites or books that drove you crazy? Share!


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Review: Shadows by Suzanne Wright

Posted January 22, 2024 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Shadows by Suzanne WrightReviewer: Holly
Shadows by Suzanne Wright
Narrator: Cat Doucette
Series: The Dark in You #5
Also in this series: Blaze , Ashes , Omens
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing, Piatkus
Publication Date: July 30, 2019
Format: Audiobook, eBook
Source: Library, Purchased
Pages: 372
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars


A match made in hell?

Devon and Tanner fight like... well, cats and dogs. Which, to be fair, makes sense since hellcats and hellhounds aren't exactly a match made in heaven. Unfortunately, their demons' antipathy towards each other is matched only by the red-hot sexual tension between Tanner and Devon. It's driving them - and their long-suffering friends Harper and Knox - mad.

When Devon is nearly kidnapped, Tanner's protective instincts kick into overdrive - he's sticking by her side, day and night. But staying so close means their hunger can no longer be denied - they know their demons won't accept the match, but after one red-hot night they'll fight to stay together for as long as they can. But shadows are gathering around them - Devon's would-be kidnapper is still on the loose, a serial killer carrying rage from a twisted past threatens the lair - and most of all, Tanner and Devon are losing themselves to the heat between them. When this relationship goes up in flames, it could be a blaze that neither of them can walk away from . . .

As with the other books in the series, I purchased the ebook and requested the audiobook from the library so I could switch between reading and listening. The narrator isn’t my favorite (some of the voices she uses for various characters are kind of annoying), but she doesn’t bother me enough not to listen when I’m not able to read.

This is the first book featuring a new couple. Both Tanner and Devon featured prettily heavily in the previous books, so I felt like I had a good baseline for their story going into this. Devin is a Hellcat and Tanner is a Hellhound, and their beasts won’t accept each other. That’s why they’ve been circling around each other instead of doing something about all their sexual tension. Until Devin is kidnapped – then Tanner and his demon are determined to keep her safe and claim her as their own. Too bad she isn’t convinced…

I’m glad that we’re going single couple HEAs now for the rest of the series. I liked both Tanner and Devon and I enjoyed learning more about them and seeing them come together as a couple.

Rating: 3.75

Dark in You

three-half-stars


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