Tag Archives: 7.00 out of 10

Romancing the Duke, by Tessa Dare

18 Feb
Cover for Romancing the Duke; white woman with black hair in an updo, wearing red gown with a deep neckline. Some stone walls and crenelations in the background.

Anther review, another historical romance; this time, the first title in the Castles Ever After series. 1 (Also, apparently my first review of a Tessa Dare book, which I find baffling.)

Reader beware: parents neglecting, using, and abusing their children; graphic sex on page, and the looming threat of declaring a character insane and committing them to an asylum.

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The Last Wolf, by Maria Vale

16 Feb
Cover or The Last Wolf; the face of a wolf, yellow eyes watching out the cover, superimposed over the bare torso of a man, his head bowed.

I’m trying to do SuperWendy’s TBR Challenge this year, and the theme this month is ‘fairy tales’. What could be easier, right? Genre romance is chock-full of Beauty and the Beast retellings 1 , to say nothing of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and all the rest.

Of course, as I scrolled through my digital TBR shelves and scanned the print TBR cordillera of Doom, not one title jumped out and yelled, “me, me! I’m an obvious fairy tale retelling”. 2

Which is why I have decided that wolf shifters in the woods totally works. (Because Red Riding Hood. Work with me here, people.)

Reader beware: abusive parent, graphic violence, graphic language, sex on page, maternal death, stillbirth. Narrated in first person present tense.

Also, I go on a bit of a rant.

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A Gifts of Ghosts, by Sarah Wynde

12 Jan
Cover, A Gift of Ghosts; a field of dark clouds at the top, with two streaks of lightning coming down, and a three on the middle ground. Tag line: "Akira has secrets. So does the town of Tassamara."

I am not entirely sure why I got this one, though I have a vague memory of it being one of those, ‘this cute story is on sale right now, grab it’ tweets passing my feed in late December 2021, so I did. And it is a cute story in the “quirky small town” subgenre of romance, and honestly a refreshing take on paranormals.

If you want to skip the review, this is mostly a fluffy, just over category-length, 1 paranormal story with a romance tacked on.

A couple of warnings, though: there’s a history of physical child abuse, which is explained as loving concern (me: hell, no). There are also mentions of traumatic deaths for some of the ghosts in the story, including a suicide and the accidental drug overdose of a teenager.

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Wild Embrace, by Nalini Singh

5 Jul

Wild Embrace, by Nalini Singh

This is the second all Psy/Changeling anthology, and the first with all new stories. (I reviewed Wild Invitation, the first anthology, here.)

Wild Embrace was released last year, after Allegiance of Honor came out; despite my utter disenchantment with that novel, I had already decided I would read the anthology, so I did at some point later in the year. I wasn’t awed by it, but I remembered enjoying it well enough.

After reading Silver Silence, I decided to re-read and review it, to satisfy my ‘completist’ tendencies.

I probably shouldn’t have done it so soon after, though, because I was hyper aware of all the worst of Ms Singh’s writing tics; none of these stories have aged well for me.

Reader warning: This anthology is part of a long series, so the review by necessity spoils some of the stories that came before. As with the rest of the series, there’s some adult language and explicit sex. Finally, I rant–a hell of a lot–about one of the novellas in this book. Continue reading