Series Review

Series Review: Daughters of Arianne by Joey W. Hill (2008–2009)

Heat Factor: There’s lotsa sex. Some of it is sexy. Some of it is wild. Some of it is BDSMy. And some of it is completely bonkers.

Character Chemistry: My female essence submits to your male energy.

Plot: A girl with a fish tail and a guy with wings hang out, do some traveling, and engage in an epic battle against the forces of evil. 

Overall: If you’re in the mood for bonkers morality-chain paranormal romance, then these books are wildly entertaining. With a lot of caveats.

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Review: Mermaid Steel by Jay Hartlove (2020)

Heat Factor: It takes them a while to figure out how to fit their anatomy together.

Character Chemistry: They say they love each other, but I wouldn’t say they have chemistry.

Plot: Sten the blacksmith and Chielle the mermaid meet and fall in love. Sadly, humans and mermaids don’t get along.

Overall: There’s nothing subtle about this book.

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Review: Sea Change by Jessica Marting (2021)

Magic & Mechanicals, Book #2

Heat Factor: Not as cold as the North Atlantic waters Calla likes swimming in, but not high heat by any means

Character Chemistry: She gets all shivery when he touches her scales

Plot: Writer and mermaid hang out in a maybe-haunted house with very rude neighbors

Overall: This book feels very “social justice-y”

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Hot Takes by Holly

Give me paperbacks or give me death

A couple of things all happened at once:

  1. I read this article about how much publishers charge libraries for e-books. Let’s just say it’s upsetting.
  2. I read a paperback for the first time in weeks after all ARCs on my phone, all the time. (It was a Theresa Romain novel and it was DELIGHTFUL.) 
  3. I also read, more slowly, How To Do Nothing by Jenny Odell. Because I do, occasionally, read things that are not smut, thank you very much. 
  4. I wanted to revisit a book that I had already read, that I swore that I had purchased an e-copy of, only to discover that it had vanished without a trace from my kindle. 

Look, e-books are extremely convenient. I love being able to choose from a selection of books when I find myself waiting at the doctor’s office or when I’m getting an oil change. (As long as I’ve remembered to actually download them…which is not always a given.) Packing my kindle when I’m going on a trip is much easier than packing 8 paperbacks and 2 hardbacks and then reading none of them. When I have midnight insomnia, it’s nice to be able to read without turning on a light. And it’s way easier to annotate e-books—or rather, it’s way easier to actually go back and *find* my annotations if I’m writing a book up. And the bonus feature of easily being able to search how many times the author uses the word “turgid” is always fun. 

But there is something about reading a book on paper that really works for me. 

I love the physicality of books. I like the way they feel in my hands. I like turning pages and finding a bookmark when I want to set the book down. 

I love the focus I can bring to physical books. It’s so much easier to click away and get sucked into something else when I’m reading on a device. With a physical book, I can tune out distractions and immerse myself more fully in the story. 

I love being able to share books. This is the biggest thing for me. When I read a book I love, the first thing I do is encourage someone else to read it. And the easiest way for me to do that? Give them my copy of the book. When I read a book that was pretty good but that I didn’t love? I give it away, so someone else can enjoy it. And when I read a book that really wasn’t for me? Well, someone else might like it. Truly, the Little Free Library is a gift that keeps on giving.

And you can’t share ebooks. (I mean, I’m sure there are ways to pirate ebooks, but I don’t encourage them.) As evidenced by the case of the mysterious disappearing books, I don’t even fully have ownership over the ebooks I do have. I can’t lend them or give them away when I’m finished. 

Do I read mostly on my kindle these days? Admittedly yes. But paperbacks will always have a place in my heart. And if you want something to read, let me know—I probably have something I can send you.


Review: A Touch of Stone and Snow by Milla Vane

A Gathering of Dragons, Book #2

Reviews of A Gathering of Dragons Prequel Novella and Book #1

Heat Factor: Lots of non-penetrative sex

Character Chemistry: “I love you so much that I will sacrifice myself to save you!” “Don’t do that, I will sacrifice myself to save you from sacrificing yourself!”

Plot: Second-chance forbidden romance plus a road trip to kill a demon

Overall: This one is capital-R Romantic.

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