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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Review

Review: Duke, Actually by Jenny Holiday (2021)

Sequel to A Princess for Christmas

Heat Factor: This is a slow burn with a bit of boning at the end; if you’ve read other Jenny Holiday books, this one is on the tame side. 

Character Chemistry: Dani and Max are adorable, separately and together. 

Plot: Dani and Max become best friends. Then they fall in love, but can’t admit it—not to themselves, and definitely not to each other.

Overall: It’s cute.

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Review

Review: How to Find a Princess by Alyssa Cole (2021)

Runaway Royals, Book #2

Heat Factor: Low heat

Character Chemistry: Sparkling

Plot: A Royal Investigator who follows the letter of the law but not the spirit + A Long-Lost Princess who has no interest in claiming the throne + A Transatlantic Voyage = Hijinks on the High Seas

Overall: It wrapped up abruptly, leaving me feeling vaguely dissatisfied

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Review

Review: Serving Sin by Angelina M. Lopez (2021)

Filthy Rich, Book #3

Reviews of Filthy Rich Book #1 and Book #2

Heat Factor: Frequently interrupted, so there’s lots of foreplay, but full penetration doesn’t happen until the very end. It must be noted that Lopez’s sex writing is top-notch, with or without penetration. 

Character Chemistry: Is there a grade higher than A+?

Plot: I must protect you! / I am a powerful woman, but I accept your protection. 

Overall: A satisfying end to the series

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Review

Review: Stolen to Wear His Crown by Marcella Bell (2020)

The Queen’s Guard, Book 1

Heat Factor: 🍆🍆 ← that’s two sexy rumpuses

Character Chemistry: It gets better

Plot: She gets forcibly married to the king and then makes the best of it. It’s good to be queen!

Overall: The opening is extremely YIKES but the second half is excellent

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