Review

Mini Review: Prompted 2: 14 Flash Fiction Stories, Sweet to Spicy by Elva Birch (2021)

I’m going to do something a little different for this review, because these short stories are *short*—flash fiction typically clocks in at 1,500 words. None of these stories has much in the way of plot. They’re more like snippets in time, each showing a single moment in a relationship. 

The benefit, therefore, to reading a collection like this, is in getting a sense of the author’s voice, without the time commitment. The downside is that in stories this short, you will likely not get worldbuilding AND character AND conflict AND romance, so if you want a fully immersive reading experience, flash fiction is not a good bet. 

So what did I learn about Elva Birch here? She writes shifter romances. Her stories have a sense of wit about them, which I expect would translate into her other writing. I mean, the very first one in the collection is about a Dodo shifter, and the shame he feels about turning into such a lame animal (this one was one of my favorites, by the way—even in a small space, I got a great sense of the world, the Dodo hero, and his internal conflict about asking out his co-worker). She explores different kinds of shifters beyond your standard apex predators, and how people’s animal identities might impact their lives. The stories tended to lack tension, which is likely attributable, at least in part, to the form; but given how much I got a sense of the way she plays with shifter tropes, I would say that tension and conflict is either a weak point in her writing or something she chose to downplay in this collection.

I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We disclose this in accordance with 16 CFR §255.

Buy Now: Amazon

Looking for something similar?

Anthologies!

Short Stories are tiny tasty treats of smutty delight!

Paranormal Romances means shifters galore (plus some vampires)

Tell me about Elva Birch’s full length books…

Recommended Read, Review

Review: Caressed by Ice by Nalini Singh (2007)

Psy-Changeling, Book #3

Review of Psy-Changeling, Book #1

Heat Factor: Judd destroys furniture with his mind while banging because it’s so intense 

Character Chemistry: So, the drama of “he really wants to be with her but if he engages in their emotions one of them will die” (not joking) is AWESOME

Plot: There’s a lot going on with all the Psy/Changeling politics, but also Brenna is recovering from being kidnapped and tortured, and Judd is desperately trying not to break Silence and become a serial killer.

Overall: This book totally sealed it for me. I stan Psy/Changeling now.

Continue reading “Review: Caressed by Ice by Nalini Singh (2007)”
Review

Review: All Fired Up by Jenn Burke (2021)

Ashes & Dust, Book #1

Heat Factor: Dry humping to climax is great, but have you ever tried a “whoops we woke up in the same bed and we’re aroused” hand job?

Character Chemistry: It was sweet

Plot: Someone is sucking the souls out of people with magic, so of course the vampire PI goes undercover to investigate and then ends up metaphysically bound to the soul-sucker

Overall: It took a long time to figure out what the deal was with the love interest, but the mystery and the magical creatures made for a fun read

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Recommended Read, Series Review

Series Review: Leveling Up by K.F. Breene

Heat Factor: I would argue that it’s a somewhat slow burn? The heat simmers for at least the first two books and then it really takes off.

Character Chemistry: Jacinta’s chemistry with all of the odd crew mates she attracts is off the charts. And of course, her chemistry with Austin is immediate and deeply satisfying.

Plot: Jacinta is in her 40’s and divorced after twenty fairly routine years of marriage and child-rearing. With her child off to college and nowhere else to go, she accepts a position at a house she encountered as a child and felt a deep affinity with—only to discover the house is magic and in search of a new keeper. 

Overall: This series was INCREDIBLE. So fresh, so funny, so riveting—it’s absolutely nuts.

Continue reading “Series Review: Leveling Up by K.F. Breene”
Review

Review: Bear Next Door by J.L. Wilder (2021)

Midlife Shifters, Book 1

Heat Factor: The sexytimes start by about 20%

Character Chemistry: It’s very laid back and insta

Plot: He’s a recovering alcoholic trying to reclaim his alpha position, she’s home after a 20-year abusive marriage, and (oops!) they’re having a baby.

Overall: Despite the heavy character backgrounds, this is an easy-to-read, relatively light romance with older protagonists

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