Recommended Read, Series Review

Series Review: Maiden Lane by Elizabeth Hoyt (2010-2017)

Heat Factor: Above-average historical romance heat

Character Chemistry: Always solid—even if I hated the characters, they always seemed to like each other.

Plot: Something bonkers is definitely going down.

Overall: I binge-read this whole series over the course of about a month in the fall of 2021, and I have no regrets. These books are the perfect mix of romantic and bonkers.

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Dueling Review, Recommended Read

Dueling Review: Something Fabulous by Alexis Hall (2022)

Holly got an ARC of Something Fabulous for herself, and Erin was like, “You got that for me, right?” Obviously, that meant we had to review this book together. It’s time for a Dueling Review!

Something Fabulous, Book #1

Erin’s Take

Heat Factor: I don’t think I’ve ever read (highly enthusiastic) rimming as the first interlude, and it was a refreshing change of pace 

Character Chemistry: In its essentials, the grumpy one is soft for the sunshine one. Or, rather, the rigid one is soft for the free spirited one. 

Plot: A very bad proposal of marriage leads to a road trip of personal discovery

Overall: I laughed, I cried, I laughed some more, and then I sighed with happiness

Holly’s Take

Heat Factor: Unexpectedly explicit about arseholes

Character Chemistry: Utterly irritating, utterly captivated

Plot: Valentine finds himself the villain in a gothic novel

Overall: I found the silly first half a slog, but my heart went pitter-pat in the end

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Rant, Review

Review: Dream Keeper by Kristen Ashley (2021)

Dream Team, Book #4

Review of Dream Team, Book #3

Heat Factor: They didn’t have on-page sex until after 60%… Is this even a Kristen Ashley novel?

Character Chemistry: Eh

Plot: It wasn’t what I was expecting it to be, that’s for sure.

Overall: How very dare

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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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