Review

Review: Lucky Leap Day by Ann Marie Walker (2022)

Heat Factor: The door closes early! And I don’t often feel this way, but it’s actually disappointing because there’s a lot of possibility there for building the relationship during those scenes.

Character Chemistry: I honestly didn’t care what else was happening when Finn kept saying “my wife” (swoon!)

Plot: Woke up married (Irish tourist edition) plus Hollywood politics drama

Overall: The epilogue is from the dog’s perspective. 😐

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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: Electric Idol by Katee Robert (2021)

Dark Olympus, Book #2

Review of Dark Olympus, Book #1

Heat Factor: There’s a lot of sex, but I wouldn’t call it spicy

Character Chemistry: If you say so

Plot: Eros is supposed to kill Psyche, and marries her instead

Overall: Decidedly meh

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Recommended Read, Review

Review: A Lady’s Lesson in Scandal by Meredith Duran (2011)

Thank you to Kay of Miss Bates Reads Romance for the recommendation! 

Heat Factor: A few open-door scenes where the focus is more on the emotions than the moving pieces.

Character Chemistry: They have some serious trust issues, but that’s the whole point. 

Plot: Guttersnipe + Rake in a Marriage of Convenience 

Overall: The emotional beats in this book are PERFECTION.

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Dueling Review, Monster Mash Smashdown, Rant

Monster Mash Smashdown: Non-Humanoid Alien Week

I Married a Lizardman by Regine Abel (2021)

Heat Factor: Y’all remember when Khal Drogo needed to be taught how to do it face to face by Khaleesi and then their marriage did a 180?

Character Chemistry: “You may look weird, but I find you oddly attractive.”

Plot: Benevolent colonialism + how to start seeds + sexytimes

Overall: We have some THOUGHTS about the politics of this book.


versus


A Winged Embrace by S.J. Sanders (2021)

Heat Factor: “Let’s start this whole marriage thing slow.” *sees giant alien penis with alien penis accoutrements* “Just kidding, let’s bone against the wall.”

Character Chemistry: Fully 30% of the book is him embracing her with his wings.

Plot: Jewel thief agrees to be a mail order bride to get out of jail and ends up married to a gargoyle-alien cop. Freak outs and boning ensue. 

Overall: Fresh and fun, but you’ll never look at spaghetti the same way again.


Both of these books feature the same basic premise: a human woman agrees to be a mail-order bride to an alien, sight unseen. She is not entirely honest with her spouse about her background and/or motivations. Her apex predator partner is a giant cinnamon roll who wants nothing more than to please his new bride. And while both books end with love and alien babies, there are some glaring differences between how these books present the alien Other. Let’s dive in!

Continue reading “Monster Mash Smashdown: Non-Humanoid Alien Week”