Publisher: Indie

Review: Fate of Dragons by Olivia Ash

Posted June 2, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Fate of Dragons by Olivia AshReviewer: Holly
Fate of Dragons by Olivia Ash
Series: Dragon Dojo Brotherhood #2
Also in this series: Reign of Dragons
Publisher: Wispvine Publishing
Publication Date: April 8, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: First Person
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 422
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2021 Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2021 New to Me Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A dangerous and cruel dragon shifter is holding my sister hostage.

And I am going to kill him. With my bare hands, if I have to.

He wants to trade—Irena’s life, for mine.

For my freedom. For the ancient and deadly dragon magic I fused with when his cronies kicked me into a pit to die.

I came back from the dead, and I brought the fury of hell with me. Now, they’re running scared—as they should. All of them, except this guy.

As the cherry on this toxic pie, my mentor is hunting me, too. She’s using every skill she ever taught me to track me down and lock me away.

My mentor trained me to obey her, and she’s pissed that I won’t bow down to her anymore. Determined to drain my magic, Zurie wants to reprogram my brain with enough drugs to make me an obedient little assassin again.

It won’t happen. And the poor fool who hurts my sister—well, he’s in for an early grave.

Fate of Dragons is a full-length novel with a badass heroine, a riveting storyline, and an alternative relationship dynamic. Get ready for a heart-pounding story filled with a dragon shifter romance unlike anything you’ve read before.

Buckle in for heart-pounding action, breathtaking magic, deadly assassins, four drop-dead gorgeous leading men, lots of toned muscles, and most importantly—a young woman’s journey of justice, self-discovery, and freedom.

Publisher’s Note: The Dragon Dojo Brotherhood is an adult urban fantasy series with explicit scenes and is meant for mature readers who enjoy spellbinding stories with a few fan-your-face moments in their fantasy fiction.

Fate of Dragons is the second book in the Dragon Dojo Brotherhood series by Oliva Ash. It picks up right were Reign of Dragons, book 1, left off. Rory is working with Jace to master her powers and find her sister. Her mentor, Zurie, has escaped and is plotting to bring Rory back into the fold, but Rory is done with her life as a Spectre. Now that she’s tasted freedom, there’s no going back.

As she, Jace, Drew, Tucker and Levi work on a plan to find her sister, she has to deal with more of Jace being an overbearing jerk, and her lack of trust in the mysterious Drew. She wants to believe in him – in them all – but Drew is being too secretive.

I didn’t enjoy this book as much first. I still like Rory, and I appreciate how capable she is, but this book felt like a lot of filler. Not a whole lot happens, aside from her fighting with Jace and sitting around waiting for Jace and Drew to come forward with some kind of information about where her sister is. I wish there had been more progression with either her powers or her search for her sister. I did enjoy the way her relationship with Drew developed. I also feel for Levi. He’s my favorite.

I do plan to continue the series, but I hope the next book has more substance.

3.5 out of 5

Dragon Dojo Brotherhood

three-half-stars


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Review: Reign of Dragons by Olivia Ash

Posted May 31, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Reign of Dragons by Olivia AshReviewer: Holly
Reign of Dragons by Olivia Ash
Series: Dragon Dojo Brotherhood #1
Also in this series: Fate of Dragons
Publisher: Wispvine Publishing
Publication Date: March 11, 2019
Format: eBook, Audiobook
Source: Kindle Unlimited, Audible Plus
Point-of-View: First Person
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 624
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2021 Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2021 New to Me Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

No one screws with my family.

My sister and I are human orphans raised by the world’s best assassin, taught to steal and kill our way through the dragonlands under her watchful eye. Grown men fear us, and no one knows we’re coming until it’s too late to run.

Irena and I—we’re good. The best. In a dog-eat-dragon kind of world, we have to be. But someone betrayed us. Someone we trusted with our lives.
Irena is missing. My mentor is gone. And as for me… the man responsible for this mess thought he killed me. He kicked me into a pit, and he left me to die.

But I don’t give up that easy.

In the darkness, facing death itself, I fused with dragons. I had no choice. This is ancient magic, and dangerous people want it. They want me, dead or alive, and they’ll start a war if that’s what it takes to control me.

The magic I discovered—the magic these brutal people want—it’s mine, plain and simple. No one can take it from me. And I’m coming back from the dead.
For blood. For vengeance.

For Irena.

Reign of Dragons is a full-length novel with a badass heroine, a riveting storyline, and an alternative relationship dynamic. Get ready for a heart-pounding story filled with a dragon shifter romance unlike anything you’ve read before.

Buckle in for heart-pounding action, breathtaking magic, deadly assassins, four drop-dead gorgeous leading men, lots of toned muscles, and most importantly—a young woman’s journey of justice, self-discovery, and freedom.

Publisher’s Note: The Dragon Dojo Brotherhood is an adult urban fantasy series with explicit scenes and is meant for mature readers who enjoy spellbinding stories with a few fan-your-face moments in their fantasy fiction.

I found this while browsing Audible Plus and decided to give it a try after listening to a sample. I enjoyed the narrator and the story immediately pulled me in. I ended up getting the ebook from KU so I could read when I wasn’t able to listen.

Rory Quinn was raised in an order of elite dragon assassins. When her sister is poisoned, she and her mentor infiltrate a dragon stronghold to steal the antidote…only her mentor is taken in the process and Rory is tossed into a magic pit. They thought it would kill her, but instead the magic of ancient dragon gods is awakened and she is found worthy and ends up absorbing the magic. Now she’s being hunted by all the dragon clans, and she still needs to find her sister, the antidote and free her mentor.

A red dragon sends her to the Fairfax Dragon Dojo, to be trained and protected by Jace, the Dragon Master. Along the way she collects an assortment of men – Tucker, a charming weapons expert; Levi, a feral dragon who can no longer shift to human; Drew, the red dragon – who end up becoming very protective of her.

As I said, I enjoyed the narration and the story, though it did drag on quite a bit, especially in the middle. The book clocks in at over 600 pages (the Kindle version) and it could have been half that. I really loved Levi, and I came to enjoy Drew and Tucker, but Jace will never be my favorite.

As for Rory, I liked her. She was a strong, capable woman. I liked the way her story progressed and I was definitely invested in her mission to free her mentor and find and save her sister. Still, there were times she frustrated me. Or maybe it was just the writing. It was very repetitive. She would think something, then say it, then think it again a page or two later. I felt like I was constantly being reminded that she was amazing and badass. She showed it, so the telling was unnecessary.

The thing that bothered me the most about this book is the reverse-harem theme. I didn’t realize this was a reverse-harem novel (a term I hate, btw), especially since the title on Amazon and Audible says “Reign of Dragons: a dragon fantasy romance”. I don’t necessarily hate that part of the story but it’s not my favorite trope.

Still, this was a good find and I’m looking forward to seeing where things go from here.

4 out of 5

Dragon Dojo Brotherhood

four-stars


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Review: The Traitor Queen by Danielle L. Jensen

Posted March 1, 2021 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Traitor Queen by Danielle L. JensenReviewer: Rowena
The Traitor Queen by Danielle L. Jensen
Series: The Bridge Kingdom #2
Also in this series: The Bridge Kingdom, The Traitor Queen, The Bridge Kingdom , The Traitor Queen , The Bridge Kingdom
Publisher: Context Literary Agency
Publication Date: September 1, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Third Person
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 352
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

A queen now in exile as a traitor, Lara has watched Ithicana be conquered by her own father, helpless to do anything to stop the destruction. But when she learns her husband, Aren, has been captured in battle, Lara knows there is only one reason her father is keeping him alive: as bait for his traitorous daughter.

And it is bait she fully intends to take.

Risking her life to the Tempest Seas, Lara returns to Ithicana with a plan not only to free its king, but for liberating the Bridge Kingdom from her father’s clutches using his own weapons: the sisters whose lives she spared. But not only is the palace inescapable, there are more players in the game than Lara ever realized, enemies and allies switching sides in the fight for crowns, kingdoms, and bridges. But her greatest adversary of all might be the very man she’s trying to free – the husband she betrayed.

With everything she loves in jeopardy, Lara must decide who – and what – she is fighting for: her kingdom, her husband, or herself.

The Traitor Queen is the second book in the Bridge Kingdom series by Danielle L. Jensen and it was another emotionally charged, action-packed story that I was invested in from beginning to end. My heart hurt at every turn for Lara in this book. From her broken romance with her husband to the trust she broke with the people of Ithicana, lots of stuff was going on and Lara was determined to do what she can for the people whose trust she broke and fix whatever she could fix.

This book starts off and Lara’s husband Aren has been captured by her father and she becomes even more enraged than she was before. She starts plotting to figure out how to get Aren free and how to make her father pay for everything that he’s put her and her sisters through, not to mention the people of their home country. She’s got a lot of atoning to do and she’s got to work quickly because who knows what her Dad’s got up his evil sleeves. So she’s got her work cut out for her and her first order of business was gathering her forces on both Aren’s side and her own side.

This book was jam-packed with action from beginning to end. On top of the action, there’s a lot of soul-searching from the guilt that Lara feels on her part in where Aren’s country is right now. After the ending of The Bridge Kingdom, I was really curious to see where Lara and Aren would end up. Seeing Lara strive to make things right, seeing her take what she felt she deserved, and then to see her crew come to her defense made me cry a lot. I felt her pain, her guilt, her love for everyone around her and I thought Danielle L. Jensen handled the telling of her and Aren’s story so well.

This wasn’t an easy story to read at all but I loved it. There were times that I got mad even though I knew that everyone was feeling exactly how they should have felt considering what they knew to be true. There were times when I got so frustrated with Aren because his emotions were all over the place and even though I knew he had a right to feel what he was feeling, I was still mad as hell at him. LOL. I finished this book and immediately had to discuss it with Ames and Holly because I was so filled up with every emotion. This was a damn great story and I am so looking forward to wherever Jensen takes us next. I’m so curious about so many things in this world so I can’t wait for more. Do I recommend it? Hella.

Final Rating

4.5 out of 5

The Bridge Kingdom

four-half-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: The Accidental Fiancé by Christi Barth

Posted February 21, 2021 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 2 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight: The Accidental Fiancé by Christi BarthThe Accidental Fiancé by Christi Barth
Series: Love Lottery #1
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Publication Date: February 23, 2021
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books

Is it the chance of a lifetime or his biggest mistake?

When former hotel manager Alex Kirkland, his sister and their best friends pooled their money for an unusual lottery prize—a historic, dilapidated inn on the Maryland shore—as a last-ditch attempt to escape rotten circumstances, they never expected to win. But they’re all looking for a fresh start and a second chance, so Alex convinces everyone to move in and repair the building in time for the spring wedding season.

Sydney Darrow never planned to return to her hometown. But her family needs her and Sydney can endure anything for 90 days—including making sandwiches and serving coffee with a smile until she returns to her jet-setter career. When her grandma mistakes a handsome customer for the “fiancé” Sydney created when she thought her grandma was on death’s door, well...Sydney will do anything to keep her spirits up during treatment. She can persuade him to keep up the charade for a few months, right?

But when Alex agrees to play along, will they both fall for their own fiction?

Excerpt

Alex’s expression morphed into straight-up solemnity, like he’d slipped on a mask. “The four of us have no incoming income until we get this inn running. Damn straight I’m all about the bottom line.”

“I guess I can add practical to your list of traits.” Which she appreciated. It was the people who pretended not to care about money but pinched every penny in secret that were difficult. Hiding things—anything, big or small—never turned out well.

In a tone drier than Death Valley, Alex said, “That is just what every man longs to hear during a proposal. That practicality came in ahead of good looks and sex appeal.”

“I didn’t say that.” Did he truly not know that he smoldered with sex appeal? That he could be the man in a cologne/watch/champagne ad? It was actually endearing that he needed a bit of an ego stroke. “Alex, you’re suavely handsome. Your smiles are rare, and all the more potent because of it.”

Those icy eyes widened in…disbelief? Appreciation? Hard to tell. But then he dipped his chin. “Nice to hear. Was that so hard?”

“I didn’t realize you needed a bit of flirting to consider this favor. It seemed…forward to lead off with cataloging your physical traits.”

“Forward?” A huge belly laugh rolled out of him. It was warm and contagious, even though Sydney knew it was aimed at her. “You just proposed after a grand total of ten minutes of conversation, over two days.”

Men had a tendency to be so darned literal. “I’m not proposing for real. I’m asking for your help. You will, in no way, be obligated to follow through into a fake marriage.”

“Then where does the line get drawn?” Alex braced a hand on the back of the couch and leaned forward. He leaned in so close that his breath warmed her ear. “How interesting does this get?”

For a moment—okay, three—Sydney let herself enjoy the closeness. The heat pumping off him through the waffle-weave shirt onto her chest. The brush of his biceps against the back of her head. How their knees pressed together. It was all intimate and on the edge of…something. She just wasn’t sure what.

Love Lottery

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: February 2021

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About Christi Barth

Christi Barth Author Photo

Christi Barth earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage.

A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning. Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes award-winning contemporary romance, including the Naked Men and Aisle Bound series. Christi can always be found whipping up gourmet meals (for fun, honest!) or with her nose in a book. She lives in Maryland with the best husband in the world.


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Review: Shadow of Doubt by Hailey Edwards

Posted February 15, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Shadow of Doubt by Hailey EdwardsReviewer: Holly
Shadow of Doubt by Hailey Edwards
Series: The Potentate of Atlanta #1
Publisher: Black Dog Books LLC
Publication Date: August 7, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 259
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2020 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Hadley Whitaker is a liar, a killer, and a chocoholic, but she’s getting better about the first two. Or maybe she’s just getting better at them.

Some days it’s hard for her to tell fact from fiction, but only one truth matters. Goddess willing, she’s going to be the next Potentate of Atlanta. Even if it means playing nice with Midas Kinase, a shifter whose mysterious past might just be grimmer than her own.

When a bloodthirsty rogue begins hunting the city’s paranormals, Hadley ropes Midas into letting her work the case. But that rope starts to feel more like a noose as they come closer to discovering not only the rogue’s identity, but each other’s darkest secrets.

Hadley Whitaker has been given a second chance at life. She’s hoping to earn her place as the new Potentate of Atlanta. Her mentor, Linus, is staying with his fiancé in Savannah, so Hadley is working her first case alone. The case puts her in the path of Midas Kinase, someone connected to her old life – though he doesn’t realize it. Hadley is determined to keep Midas in the dark, and embrace this new chance at life she’s been given. But between Midas and the watch-dog he put on her, Hadley has a hard time keeping all her secrets safe.

Bent, not broken. That was me. I hoped it was me. I wanted it to be.

We first met Hadley in the previous series, The Beginners Guide to Necromancy. I don’t want to spoil things, so I won’t go into detail about her actions there. I will say, I didn’t love Hadley in the previous series, but I’m coming around. She accepts the mistakes she made and is working to atone. She’s suspicious of the actions of those who know how she came to be in the position she is, and I sympathized with her there. Not knowing if someone is genuinely offering friendship, or just doing so to keep you close and keep an eye on you must weigh on a person.

“You’ve got friends here,” he called to my back. “I’m not as pretty as Ford, but I care.” I didn’t slow to answer, because I wasn’t sure about Bishop either. The POA had stuck us together, much the same as Midas had volunteered Ford. Neither of them had chosen to work with me. They were both doing a job, and I was a part of that.

I really loved Midas here and I can’t wait to learn more about him. There were hints of his backstory that left me wanting more. I enjoyed his protectiveness toward his pack, but he was also a bit of a loner.

Neither Midas nor Hadley are interested in starting anything. Midas has accepted the beta position in his pack after his sister decided to form her own pack and left the city. He never wanted to be Beta and he’s struggling with the role. Hadley is trying to find her feet and get out from under the weight of her past, plus secure the position of Potentate. But they form a sort of friendship here that was touching. I enjoyed how neither of them willingly came to the friendship, but it sort of happened anyway.

Although there are some darker themes here, there was quite a bit of humor. I can’t say this was my favorite novel by Edwards, but I enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to seeing where the series goes.

“Life isn’t black and white, Lee. There’s a whole spectrum. You can’t go through life colorblind.”

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

The Potentate of Atlanta

three-half-stars


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