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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Recommended Read, Review

Review: Breath to Bear by Paula Dombrowiak (2021)

Blood and Bone, Book #2

Review of Blood and Bone, Book #1

Heat Factor: It’s hot but it’s also really deep and intense.

Character Chemistry: Having been a Team Mia fan in the first book, I am shocked to find myself fully team Erin in this one.

Plot: Having researched and ghostwritten singer Jack’s memoir, Erin is stuck in a situation of her own making–she’s fallen in love with her subject, he’s famous, and she’s pretty sure he’s still in love with his late lifelong love and bandmate Mia. 

Overall: This was such a satisfying ending to the first book–Mia and Jack’s happily ever after is hard-earned, slow, and satisfying.

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Review

Review: The Donut Trap by Julie Tieu (2021)

Heat Factor: There’s a closed door scene that I’m not totally sure added anything

Character Chemistry: If not getting along most of the time is your love language then yes, there’s chemistry

Plot: Jasmine is in her early 20s and her life’s a mess

Overall: Women’s fiction marketed as romance strikes again!

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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: Ink and Claw by Ellen Mint (2021)

Coven of Desire, Book # .5 & 1

Heat Factor: There’s definitely a lot of horniness. A lot. A lot, a lot, a lot.

Character Chemistry: There’s an insouciant horny demon who’s present for sex and not emotions, and there’s a werewolf who’s…complicated

Plot: Layla is a witch, and she’s got an incubus attached to her soul, and also she has a crush on a werewolf who (might be but probably isn’t) murdering women

Overall: Didn’t work for me but if you like totally horny, totally bonkers witchy fantasy, it might work for you?

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