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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Recommended Read, Review

Review: The Last Mermaid by Shana Abé (2008)

Heat Factor: It’s pretty fraught and steamy

Character Chemistry: There are four pairs in this generational story, and all of them have this desperate, meant-to-be energy

Plot: This is a romance that spans centuries and revolves around the sirens of the Island of Kell. It’s very gothic and desperate and sexy.

Overall: It was a tad slow for me in the beginning but then I got really into it and ended up loving it.

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Series Review

Series Review: Daughters of Arianne by Joey W. Hill (2008–2009)

Heat Factor: There’s lotsa sex. Some of it is sexy. Some of it is wild. Some of it is BDSMy. And some of it is completely bonkers.

Character Chemistry: My female essence submits to your male energy.

Plot: A girl with a fish tail and a guy with wings hang out, do some traveling, and engage in an epic battle against the forces of evil. 

Overall: If you’re in the mood for bonkers morality-chain paranormal romance, then these books are wildly entertaining. With a lot of caveats.

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Recommended Read, Review

Review: It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey (2021)

Heat Factor: It’s a slow-but-steady scorcher.

Character Chemistry: Folks…we have a classic Grumpy/Sunshine on our hands!!!

Plot: Piper tries to wrest control of her breakup narrative in a way that lands her in jail…so her wealthy stepfather sends her and her sister to the town they were born in, where they are meant to live in the bar apartment they inherited from their father for three months to SHAPE UP, and there she meets Brendan, the cranky sea captain who stole my heart. I mean, her heart.

Overall: Obsessed. This book was such a solid read, and so enjoyable…

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Review

Review: The Princess Stakes by Amelie Howard (2021)

Heat Factor: There’s a lot of sexual inneundo, and then they get busy on a ballroom terrace. And also in a closet. 

Character Chemistry: They love/hate each other, so they torment each other. 

Plot: Sarani’s on the run after her father’s murder, and ends up on the ship of her first love, who now wants revenge 

Overall: Eh. I found the romance lacking.

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