Book Review

Book Review: The Gods of Men (The Gods of Men #1) by Barbara Kloss

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: New Adult Fantasy Romance
Length: 452 pages
Author: Barbara Kloss
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: June 26th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Sable hated the gods. She hated what men did in their name.

Magic is forbidden throughout the Five Provinces; those born with it are hunted and killed. Sable doesn’t know her music holds power over souls—not until, at age nine, she plays her flute before the desert court and accidentally stops her baby sister’s heart, killing her. Horrified by what she’s done and fearing for her life, she flees north, out of Provincial jurisdiction and into the frigid land of exiles and thieves, known as The Wilds. There, Sable lives in hiding, burdened by guilt, and survives as a healer. But now, ten years later, someone—or something—is hunting her.

On the run again, Sable’s best chance for survival is Jos, a lethal man from the Five Provinces, who claims to need her skills as a healer to save his dying father, and she needs the large sum of money he’s offered. There’s something about him Sable doesn’t trust, but she doesn’t have many options. A spirit of the dead is hunting her, summoned by a mysterious necromancer, and it’s getting closer.

Sable soon discovers she’s just the start of the necromancer’s plan to take over the Five Provinces, and she’s the only one with the power to stop it. But harnessing her forbidden power means revealing it to the world, and the dangerous Provincial, Jos, she’s beginning to fall for.

BETTER AND BETTER.

Off to a slow and confusing start, I wasn’t sure where the hype from my friends had come. If felt dropped into a story without a basis for the location, world or magic system which left me really lost for awhile. Once I started to figure things out, we were good to go!

The romance brought on the heat (in a low steam way) as things progressed. I love the spicy kissing scenes and the clear pull between Sable and Jeric. Oh my goodness did I adore Jeric. He’s that dark and brooding type with a heart that gets softened by Sable and I AM HERE FOR IT. All of their interactions and banter made me love this book all the more.

The magic here is wild and I’m still a little confused by it. There doesn’t seem to be a full explanation for it so far, but I did at least establish how it works [mostly]. The world is also a touch confusing too. Yet again though, it did get better over time.

I like that this had a villain I didn’t see coming. My initial choices were there own brand of awfulness. I like the unreliableness of those kind of characters. It also doesn’t leave you on a major cliffhanger. The Gods of Men reads like a full story, there’s enough strings untied though where I’m saying I MUST HAVE BOOK TWO.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult/New adult fantasy romance
  • Language: a little throughout
  • Romance: kisses, heated make-outs (with clothing removed)
  • Violence: physical, magical, murder, creature attacks
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of loved one(s), multiple instances of implied sexual assault/rape, sexual assault, attempted rape

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Book Review

Book Review: The Off-Limits Rule (It Happened in Nashville #1) by Sarah Adams

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: New Adult Contemporary
Length: 291 pages
Author: Sarah Adams
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: January 4th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

I have found rock bottom. It’s here, moving in with my older brother because I’m too broke to afford to live on my own. But that’s okay because we’ve always been close and I think I’m going to have fun living with him again.

That is until I meet Cooper…

Turns out, my brother has very strong opinions on the idea of me dating his best friend and is dead set against it. According to him, Cooper is everything I should stay away from: flirtatious, adventurous, non-committal, and freaking hot. (I added that last part because I feel like you need the whole picture.) My brother is right, though. I should stay away from Cooper James and his pretty blue eyes. He’s the opposite of what I need right now.

Nah—Who am I kidding? I’m going for him.

A MUST READ.

But really. A one sitting, absolutely loved every moment, kinda read. Sarah Adams best book [yet]. I LOVED IT SO MUCH.

Honestly, I feel like that should be the review. Just trust me. But, I’ll give you more.

I haven’t read many brother’s best friend trope books and this one nailed it. From the moment Cooper and Lucy meet, their chemistry flew off the charts. The sexy and fun banter was *chef’s kiss*. The antics they got into literally had me laughing out loud multiple times. I never laugh at books. This one brought out all the chuckles. I really fell for both of these characters and what they brought to the relationship. Everything was so tender and precious and I just want to read this book again for the first time. That’s my level of appreciation for this story.

The supportive family and friends was a wonderful change of pace. I like how those surrounding Lucy loved and cared for her throughout some difficult situations. Even when Cooper entered the picture, he never made her feel less and y’all, *swwwwooooooonnn*.

If you’re looking for a beautifully wonderful low steam (no outright love scenes, open or closed), give you all the fuzzy feelings kinda read. THIS IS IT. It brought me out of a slump I didn’t even know I was in and let me enjoy a fantastic romance for a few hundred pages. Oh this was the best.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses / make-outs; implied scene at the very end

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Book Review

Book Review: On the Second Day of Christmas (Belles of Christmas: Frost Fair #4) by Deborah M. Hathaway

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Regency Romance
Length: 228 pages
Author: Deborah M. Hathaway
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: November 21st, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Slipping on the ice is bad enough—being treated by the physician she rejected years ago is simply unbearable.

Belles of Christmas: Frost Fair
Sweet, Regency Christmas Romances

Five Christmas romances and the Frost Fair that started them all

Headstrong and independent, Miss Lucy Lincoln wishes to find a husband who shares her taste for adventure. Until then, she is determined to live her life without regrets. Well, except for the one she already has—humiliating poor Benjamin Kent after his unwanted marriage proposal years earlier. After an accident at the Frost Fair draws that same insecure gentleman to care for her injury, she finally asks for forgiveness. But Dr. Kent, now a respectable gentleman and physician, is unwilling to accept her apology.

Benjamin Kent wants nothing more than to live out his days in peace and seclusion away from London Society—and away from his memories of Lucy Lincoln. But when his conscience forces him to treat the woman, he cannot pass on the opportunity to finally let her know that she no longer has him under her spell.

Rather than being relieved with Benjamin’s indifference, Lucy struggles to accept the fact that little, shy Benjamin now shows irresistible confidence—and an unsettling apathy toward her. When sparks smolder between them, though, Benjamin must fight to keep his old feelings in the past, and Lucy must realize before it’s too late that either Benjamin has changed…or her own feelings have.

This is the fourth book in the clean and sweet Regency romance Belles of Christmas: Frost Fair series.
Although this second chance romance is a stand-alone novel, the books are best enjoyed when read in order.

A GREAT RESOLUTION.

I’ve made it through four of these books now, and they’re totally predictable and have some of the same characteristics. BUT, they are also easy reads with adorable romances and subtle moments that I’ve really enjoyed diving into. Quick Christmas regency romance reads.

I liked that this one differed from the others in the overall plot. Lucy had to try and regain Benjamin’s confidence and right several wrongs of their past. It made for great banter that had me smiling and loving the connection they were reforming. Some of the side characters were a touch too much, but they seemed to add contrast to the main’s.

Ben and Lucy both had flaws and I loved seeing those along with them growing and recognizing how they both could work together. This installment was incredibly sweet and I have been loving all of the holiday vibes.

Overall audience notes:

  • Regency romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: slips & falls, nearly falling into an icy river

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Book Review

Book Review: A Christmas Spark by Cindy Steel

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Contemporary romance novella
Length: 131 pages
Author: Cindy Steel
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: December 5th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

When my best friend found out I’d be alone over Christmas, she hooked me up with a week stay in her family’s cabin in Idaho. I was on a publishing deadline for my latest book and was really looking forward to a cozy week by the fire, cuddled up in flannel pajamas with my laptop and hot chocolate.

Alone.

So imagine my surprise when I arrived at the cabin during a blizzard, and found it already occupied. By an all too familiar face and a fine pack of chiseled abs. Even though it had been ten years since I’d last seen Chase, he had no problem picking up exactly where we left off.

I had a big problem with it.

It didn’t matter what he threw at me—the old nickname, the teasing, his charming grin, or even those chiseled abs (did I already mention those?), I refused to let him get to me after…the incident. Nope, not me. I was made of stone.

Unfortunately, I’m beginning to understand that when you strike Chase against stone…you get sparks.

Lots of them.

NEEDED MORE SPARK.

I’m having mixed thoughts over this. Probably because it’s a novella. And those either hit well for me and still feel developed or otherwise feel like they’re lacking.

This leaned more towards lacking. The initial premise was explained well and I could understand the turmoil and reasoning behind why Penny and Chase hadn’t spoken in years. All the time they spent in the cabin together, I wanted more discussions about that, not just one brief night of actual communication. The banter was was cute and the story was simple.

It was a quick read and had some adorable moments. I think it felt a little rushed, but the ending definitely made me laugh.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Holiday Romance Novella
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: falling through ice into frozen lake

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