Review

Review: Lies & Lullabies by Sarina Bowen (2020)

Hush Note, Book #1

Heat Factor: They have very gentle loving sex because of Kira’s past

Character Chemistry: I got sucked in by all their drama, so I guess it worked

Plot: “OMG I am SO happy to see you again!” → “WTF I have a CHILD?!” → “Let’s be together forever, I promise that me being a rock star who tours for months every year will not be a problem.”

Overall: I was expecting to get bent out of shape about the secret baby drama, but I got some bonus annoyance as well.

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Dueling Review, Monster Mash Smashdown

Monster Mash Smashdown: Tentacles Week

Mandy and the Tentacle Monster by Bebe Harper (2021)

Heat Factor: Sort of perfunctory

Character Chemistry: They are brought together by a series of epic misunderstandings. 

Plot: Mandy is abducted by nefarious aliens who sold her to himbos with tentacles who don’t realize that humans are sentient. Mandy feels like a pomeranian until the translation implant is installed.

Overall: The plot is not really well-developed, and we had some feelings about the breeder kink, but the writing is so fun that we kind of didn’t care.


versus


Stalked by the Kraken by Lillian Lark (2021)

Heat Factor: I can totally envision an octopus twirling its tentacle to make it fit in a, ah, space, and why is that so hot?

Character Chemistry: Him: “I want to woo her, let’s have convenience sex.” Her: “I am having an existential meltdown.”

Plot: She’s having business troubles. He’s on a treasure hunt. They’re having a lot of sex. 

Overall: Fun and (depending on how much you like tentacles) sexy, but nothing particularly unexpected or surprising.

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Review

Review: Memento Mori by Jane Morris (2021)

Heat Factor: It’s hot and a bit gritty.

Character Chemistry: It’s very much like the sleeve of cookies in my cupboard at 9:30pm–we know better, we know it’s not going to feel good tonight, and we know we’ll regret it tomorrow, but do we eat the cookies anyway? We do.

Plot: Jane and Gabriel meet at a museum and are instantly and deeply aflame–even though Jane stubbornly leads Gabriel on a teasing chase. Gabriel insists they are lovers who have connected and failed to secure their future together over and over throughout the years, and it’s hard to tell if they’ll manage to end up together this time around.

Overall: This was a DNF for complicated reasons that I will happily elaborate on below.

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Review

Review: Winter’s Heat by Denise Domning (1994)

The Graistan Chronicles, Book #1

Heat Factor: Sex happens early, but not often.

Character Chemistry: They are the worst communicators. Also he doesn’t respect her. 

Plot: Rowena is married off to Rannulf, and decides to make the best of it. Plus there’s a lot of drama with her inheritance and the Evil Other Woman. 

Overall: This was an interesting read when approached as an artifact of romance written in the 1990s, but it didn’t make my heart go pitter-pat.

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Review

Review: Bear Next Door by J.L. Wilder (2021)

Midlife Shifters, Book 1

Heat Factor: The sexytimes start by about 20%

Character Chemistry: It’s very laid back and insta

Plot: He’s a recovering alcoholic trying to reclaim his alpha position, she’s home after a 20-year abusive marriage, and (oops!) they’re having a baby.

Overall: Despite the heavy character backgrounds, this is an easy-to-read, relatively light romance with older protagonists

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