Category Archives: Contemporary

Review: Sweet and Sour

Sweet and Sour
Sweet and Sour by Astrid Amara
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

One thing I appreciate and count on with Astrid Amara is her feel good holiday stories. They aren’t necessarily memorable but I always enjoy reading them and I specifically look for this author during the holidays. I think she’s one of the better holiday-orientated authors. The settings always feel genuine and end on a positive note. Sweet and Sour is no exception. It’s cute, entertaining, and has just a little bit of sex sprinkled through the pages. I had some issues with the story and didn’t think it was perfect but it was still exactly what I wanted to read when I choose SaS. So for that I’d easily recommend it. Continue reading

Review: Like It or Not

Like It or Not
Like It or Not by S.L. Armstrong
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This anthology has been around a while, but like always I’m late to the party reading it. The theme of dubious non-con is always a hot button with some readers loving it and others not so much. I think this anthology does a good job of attempting to appeal to all those readers – something for everyone – without really gelling as a single theme. I think the stories work better individually or perhaps sticking with other stories closer to their general feeling. For example some of these stories are more romantic while others are straight up BDSM erotica. Like I said, something for everyone, but it’s unlikely that all these stories will appeal to the same reader. It might suit a reader more to pick and choose which of the anthology hits a particular sweet spot. Continue reading

Review: Merry Gentlemen

Merry Gentlemen
Merry Gentlemen by Josephine Myles
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cute, fun, and lots of campy singing. What else does a holiday novella need? Myles is a great author and she’s once again delivered with this entertaining and enjoyable story about a city-slicker who falls back in love with his country ex. The two may live seemingly very different lives but the power of love wins out. The characters are adorable and the story reads incredibly fast. There’s enough minor action and witty dialogue to keep the pages turning. The ending is a bit optimistic and overly simplified to be believed but I like the concept of love winning out anyway. I especially appreciated the touch with the cranky gull. Continue reading

Review: Truth Or Lie

Truth Or Lie
Truth Or Lie by Lynn Lorenz
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Lynn Lorenz’s work always seems to land in the middle of the range for me. It’s not great but not bad either. It’s pleasant for the time to read it and ultimately very forgettable. Truth or Lie goes along with that trend. It’s very easy to read, the characters fall in love nearly instantly, there’s a brief hint of tension but it’s smoothed over very quickly with a touch of a lesson for everyone. I think fans of the author may like this one more than those new readers but either way it’s an easy and mildly pleasant way to pass the time. Continue reading

Review: Carlyle’s Crossing

Carlyle's Crossing
Carlyle’s Crossing by Chris Quinton
My rating: 1 of 5 stars


Although I like several books Quinton has done, I couldn’t get through this one. I took the chance on it even though it was from TEB, which I generally stay away from. The story should be fine and it has all the necessary elements but it just bored me. There’s no tension, no action, no real purpose to the story. Actually it does have a purpose but the book and characters are taking their sweet time to getting around to it and I can’t read anymore. I made it a little over half way (pg. 110 out of 170) and just couldn’t take the repetitive scenes anymore. Each time I thought about it reading I would groan aloud and realized I was done with this one. Continue reading

Review: Gumption & Gumshoes

Gumption & Gumshoes
Gumption & Gumshoes by Alex Kidwell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was one of those books that starts off really strong, so strong that it carries the book when the second half drops off entirely. I’d be interested in reading more books about these characters as long as the focus is on the cases they’re trying to solve and less about the relationship. The strengths of the story are the fun characters, the shapeshifting to a chinchilla, the bumbling antics that actually solve a case, and the sly wink at private detectives in general. I think this author really gets the heart of the character she was portraying and it makes me buy into the humor. It helped smooth over the second half of the book when the tension disappears, the sex scenes take over, and instant love rules the day. Continue reading

Review: Forever is Now

Forever is Now
Forever is Now by Kimber Vale or K. Vale
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Although I do enjoy a good rock star elicit love story, I struggled with this one. The plot is fine, if extremely familiar and predictable, and the characters are decent, though bland. There’s a lot of sex and I was done with these scenes halfway through the book. Although the story isn’t unique or different in any way, that’s not what bothered me. The biggest problem is that I felt there was no real tension and I got bored very early on. I powered through to the end, forcing myself to read it and taking much longer than the length would have dictated, only to get a ridiculous ending. I was thinking this book would land in the “ok” region until I got to the end, which annoyed me greatly. For that and my general boredom with it, I can’t recommend this novel. Continue reading

Review: Werecat: The Rearing

Werecat: The Rearing
Werecat: The Rearing by Andrew J. Peters
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’m not really sure what to think of this introductory novella into a new series and author. It’s intriguing and caught my attention, but I didn’t exactly enjoy it. It’s different and in a genre saturated with more of the same, that alone recommends this short story. There is also no happy ending – for those that require such things – but the ending is easy to see coming so I wasn’t bothered by it. The story is also the first in an obvious series so the happy ending may be much further down the road. I’m intrigued enough to want to continue if the stories are also novellas. I’m not sure I’m invested enough to sink the time into a full-length novel. Continue reading

Review: Dark Around the Edges Find Me

Dark Around the Edges Find Me
Dark Around the Edges Find Me by Cari Z.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Endings are so sad. It’s tough to get to the final chapter in a serial and know it’s over. At least Cambion ends with a bang and hopefully a glimpse into the future of the series. This installment is action packed and well written, as I’ve come to expect from this series. However, once all put together I wonder if the story would really hold up in one reading. I worry that the characterizations are sacrificed episode after episode in favor of action. Not a bad concept to entice readers each month, but I’m not sold on the main characters. Oh I love them make no mistake, but I’m not sure they’re fully fleshed out. That said, it doesn’t take away too much enjoyment from this fun and highly entertaining urban fantasy series. It’s an easy one to recommend. Continue reading

Review: The Voice

The Voice
The Voice by Jordan Castillo Price
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love Price and when looking at things to re-read, she is at the top of the list. However, there are so many choices! I’m seriously considering doing a re-read of her series, are they available in audiobook?, but I found this little gem tucked away. I had rated it 5 stars without a review so I plucked it out the folder happily to indulge. To be fair, I remembered nothing about the book. I’m kind of bad like that. But if I gave it 5 stars it must be outstanding. Continue reading


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