Dueling Review, Rant

Dueling Review: Luna and the Lie by Mariana Zapata (2018)

Erin really wanted to rant about this book, but while Ingrid might not enthusiastically recommend it, she isn’t about to agree with Erin that it’s rant-worthy. Clearly, we needed to review this book together. 

Welcome to Dueling Reviews

Moderated by Holly, who had no interest in reading this book but still asked a gazillion questions.

Erin’s Take:

Heat Factor: Not much heat. Mostly yearning.

Character Chemistry: I both like and hate their chemistry at once 

Plot: Luna has a really weird relationship with both of her bosses, but one’s like her dad and the other she has a crush on

Overall: I’ve read this more than once because I really like the idea of it, but every time I get into it I am totally enraged

Ingrid’s Take:

Heat Factor: Zapata starts fires with sticks, really

Character Chemistry: It makes sense. I stand by that.

Plot: Luna spends her life making everyone happy except her boss, Rip

Overall: I mean, it’s a classic Mariana Zapata–so it’s messy, sure. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t satisfying.

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Review

Review: Calhoun by Diana Palmer (1988)

Long, Tall Texans, Book #1

Heat Factor: There’s a little topless fooling around but no (extremely euphemistic) orgasms until wedding bands are exchanged

Character Chemistry: If I’m using my lizard brain, it’s awesome, but if I’m using my emotionally mature brain I have concerns

Plot: “How best can I manufacture drama to ensure that my hopeless, loveless vision for the future will actually come to pass?”

Overall: OMG this book is SO 80s and I love it

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Review

Review: Persephone’s Curse by Sandra Bats (2018)

Persephone’s Curse, Book #1

Heat Factor: It’s pretty steamy—kind of like the warmth emanating from the alleyway trash can fires of this dystopian world

Character Chemistry: There’s certainly a “us against the world” dynamic that is immediate and satisfying

Plot: Elin is the only successful escapee from government run insemination labs created to attempt to evade a fatal virus called Persephone’s Curse. Jayden is an escaped soldier who has successfully created a haven for government outcasts in an old school. Together they try to save their sisters and their newfound family while they navigate a relationship in what is (TW) a pretty cruel world where rape has become a way of life.

Overall: I wish I had DNFed this book because I was really upset when I finished reading it.

The setting is a world almost entirely based around victimizing women, so I would advise those who have difficulty reading about rape and assult to skip this review (and book).

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Review

Review: Dream Spinner by Kristen Ashley (2021)

Dream Team, Book #3

Heat Factor: There is some explicit sexy sex, but for a KA novel, it’s surprisingly tame

Character Chemistry: One thing I enjoy about this series is that the relationship hangups are resolved pretty early on, and sometimes instead of huge relationship angst it’s nice to think about those early days of playing house and enjoying little things like your new lover cooking dinner for you or bringing you coffee in the morning. 

Plot: The Super Bad Guys are messing with everybody (so, real talk, this one doesn’t really come through as a stand alone)

Overall: My feelings are mixed.

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Review

Review: Shame by Ainsley Booth (2021)

Secrets and Lies, Book #2

Heat Factor: It’s a slow burn, but then there’s some dirty talkin’ daddy kink funtimes

Character Chemistry: Angst level 1000

Plot: Marriage in trouble after cheating

Overall: I wanted this to be the cheating romance we never get, and I think it largely succeeded

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