Dueling Review

Dueling Review: Wish Out of Water by Holley Trent (2022)

Hooked, Book #1

Holly’s Take

Heat Factor: The two sex scenes are pretty detailed, but there are only two of them

Character Chemistry: Her magic doesn’t suck his happiness away. It’s fate!

Plot: Cooper doesn’t want to be king, so he asks Brook to do a marriage of convenience with him. Apparently marrying an American means he automatically abdicates. (???) Plot twist: Brook is a mermaid and discovers she’s the real heir to the throne.

Overall: The pacing was off…it was like: solid start, slow, slow, slow, INTRIGUE!, denouement.

Ingrid’s Take

Heat Factor: It had moments of heat but was largely pretty mild.

Character Chemistry: They’re fated mates and I guess fated rulers.

Plot: He’s supposed to be king. She’s supposed to be a human nobody. But actually she’s a mermaid with royal lineage and it’s enough to throw everything into chaos.

Overall: It feels like a very long start to something and that didn’t actually develop into its cohesive, finished result.

Erin’s Take

Heat Factor: There’s a bit of dissonance between the perfection of their coming together and, like, everything else about their relationship. 

Character Chemistry: They’re basically fated mates.

Plot: She’s a nobody, except she just has no idea that she’s not a nobody, and he’s a bastard prince who grew up outside the kingdom but is somehow inheriting the throne because of Reasons, which she is supposed to fix but doesn’t.

Overall: I was extremely confused. Also this relationship contains most of the “I’m leaving now” drama that I actively dislike.

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Recommended Read, Review

Review: The Last Mermaid by Shana Abé (2008)

Heat Factor: It’s pretty fraught and steamy

Character Chemistry: There are four pairs in this generational story, and all of them have this desperate, meant-to-be energy

Plot: This is a romance that spans centuries and revolves around the sirens of the Island of Kell. It’s very gothic and desperate and sexy.

Overall: It was a tad slow for me in the beginning but then I got really into it and ended up loving it.

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Review

Review: Oak King Holly King by Sebastian Nothwell (2022)

Heat Factor: It’s a lot of handies starting at 20%, with some other play mixed in, but the text is not especially focused on the sex

Character Chemistry: Insta affectionate and tender love

Plot: Shrike has to figure out how to survive being crowned Oak King; meanwhile, in the mortal realm, Wren is wound up in his employer’s guardianship drama probably more than he should be

Overall: If you like lush descriptions and the slower pacing of a historical faerie fantasy, I have a book for you.

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Review

Review: The Beast of Blackmoor by Milla Vane (2014)

A Gathering of Dragons, Prequel Novella

Review of A Gathering of Dragons, Book 1

Heat Factor: Oral sex on the table in a pub full of people.

Character Chemistry: Instalove, but it’s willed by a goddess, so we’ll go with it.

Plot: Mala is on a divine quest to “tame the Beast of Blackmoor.” She thinks that means destroying the demon that’s been ravaging the land. Imagine her surprise when she learns that that zombie-fighting hottie she saw is *actually* the Beast of Blackmoor…and he will *never* be tamed. 

Overall: Quick, sexy, satisfying

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Review

Review: The Demon Equilibrium by Cathy Pegau (2021)

Heat Factor: They’re mostly too busy fighting demons (no danger banging here!)

Character Chemistry: Their magic blends perfectly

Plot: Lesbian demon hunters in the wild west, except we start the story in the middle and one has amnesia

Overall: I liked it, mainly because the setup is very very cool

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