Review: Out of the Ashes by Jenn Burke (2022)

Ashes & Dust, Book #3

Review of Ashes & Dust, Book #1 and Book #2

Heat Factor: They do have sex, but the story is focused on the mystery first and the repair of their relationship second, plus other stuff, so sex might not even be in third place in the plot agenda

Character Chemistry: They really get to choose each other this time

Plot: Left with an amnesiac boyfriend who intentionally severed their bond, Evan grapples with his changing relationship at the same time as people are somehow still trying to murder paranormals all over Toronto. Plus there’s a demon on the loose again.

Overall: What a lovely end to this series. I’m all heart eyes.

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Hot Takes by Holly

Let’s Talk About Revel vs. Relish

Hi Friends! 

I’m going to take a minute to talk about the difference between “reveling” and “relishing” because if I read another book that says “relishing in” (which I absolutely will, probably this week, even) I am going to SCREAM. 

Please give me a little bit of credit (Just a little bit! I am trying!) for constantly reminding myself that the English language is a living language and is therefore constantly evolving. We don’t need to be huge snobs. We can roll with an evolving language. 
But, like the time I was told “in lieu of” when the speaker meant “in view of,” I simply cannot get behind the use of “relishing” combined with “in”. Can’t do it. You don’t relish in an ice cream cone. You just relish it.

Notice how no one is in the ice cream

Just look at the definitions of these words (courtesy of Merriam Webster):

relish verb

relished; relishing; relishes

Definition of relish 

transitive verb

1: to add relish to (not relevant to our purposes)

2: to be pleased or gratified by : ENJOY ( ← this one here)

3: to eat or drink with pleasure (tangentially related)

4: to appreciate with taste and discernment (this also works-ish)

intransitive verb

: to have a characteristic or pleasing taste (also not relevant to our purposes)

revel verb

reveled or revelled; reveling or revelling

Definition of revel

intransitive verb

1: to take part in a revel : CAROUSE (relevant probably only from a metaphorical standpoint)

2: to take intense pleasure or satisfaction ( ← this one here)

It pretty much boils down to the fact that, in use, revel is an intransitive verb while relish is a transitive verb, meaning that relish has a direct object while revel doesn’t. Meaning that whatever is being relished is being acted upon. If the verb is acting on an object (Sam relished(v) the taste(direct object) of Taylor’s mouth(prepositional object).), then there is no need for a prepositional phrase to describe where the verb is occurring (Alex reveled(v) in the heat(prepositional object) of Jaime’s embrace(prepositional object).) Or, because it’s an intransitive verb, Alex could, I suppose, simply revel, no further words required. But we need to know what it is that Sam is relishing or the sentence does not make sense.

So I’m begging for characters that are relishing in things to pretty please just not do that.


Review: Book Boyfriend by Kris Ripper (2022)

Heat Factor: This one’s a proper slooow burn: no sex, barely even kisses

Character Chemistry: heavily centered on PK’s pining for Art

Plot: PK’s been in love with his best friend since college, and just when he thinks that Art will finally realize PK’s the boyfriend they’ve always wanted, Art’s dismissive comments crush PK into writing the perfect boyfriend into a romance novel

Overall: This one’s for readers who like single-protagonist personal growth arcs, super slow burns, and personal accountability

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Review: Mad for a Mate by MaryJanice Davidson (2022)

BeWere My Heart, Book #3 

(It doesn’t say it’s part of the series on Goodreads or NetGalley, but it is.)

Reviews of BeWere My Heart Book #1 and Book #2

Heat Factor: The slowest of horny slow burns, with hot fading to deep purple after 90%

Character Chemistry: I liked them for each other, but there was more focus on the banter and the danger than on the emotional development

Plot: A loner werebear with a checkered past finds a naked woman washed up on his island. Then she hops up and swims off, and he goes after her. Banter ensues.

Overall: I definitely laughed out loud.

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Recommended Read, Review

Review: Honeytrap by Aster Glenn Gray (2020)

Heat Factor: The moments when they connect are really special, but it doesn’t happen often

Character Chemistry: Gennady’s a bit of a cynic, and Daniel just can’t help falling in love

Plot: Wise Spies – they both know very well the games their governments are playing, and that connection forges unexpectedly deep trusts that carry through years and separations

Overall: Oof. Wow. How can I read another book now?

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