The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

I’m an avid reader, who started writing little notes about the books I read and kept them organized on a spreadsheet to help me remember the stories. Several years ago I started to share this spreadsheet with other readers. I was surprised so many folks enjoyed my commentary and encouraged me to start my own blog.

I hope you will enjoy my reviews and follow my blog, I suspect from time to time I may post on topics I feel strongly about, but this is mostly all about the stories.

My reviews are written voluntarily and are my honest opinions. If you would like to support this blog, please follow me, click on the ads that interest you or you can donate here.

Five star rating system for books.

  • 5 – Loved it, would highly recommend
  • 4 – I liked it, a good read
  • 3 – Okay read
  • 2 – Didn’t care for the story, may have significant editing problems or story issues
  • 1 – Did not like at all

Five star rating system for heat level

  • 5 – Heat level is high, extremely detailed, adults only
  • 4 – Sensual, steamy, some things are left to the imagination
  • 3 – There’s intimacy but the details are glossed over, minimal details
  • 2 – Very little details, there may be intimacy but it’s either not discussed or glossed over
  • 1 – No sexual encounters, or nothing more than light affection

Genres I read: Romance, Historical, Urban Fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Erotica, LGBTQ, Dark Romance, Military/Spy, Suspense, Thriller, Action Adventures, Western Romance

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A Dark Guardian by Donna Grant

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Story 4 of 5 stars

Heat 4 of 5 stars

Series – The Shields

Main characters – Hugh the Righteous, Lady Mina of Stone Crest

A Dark Guardian was originally released in 2006, this re-release has a beautiful new cover for you to enjoy,

Hugh the Righteous and his fellow Shields have come to Stone Crest to rid them of a demon. They travel through time on orders of the Fae to kill the beasts set loose on Earth.

Lady Mina of Stone Crest does her best for her people, even though she’s never really fit in. Her parents neglected her, her brother blames her and her sister vilifies her. All of that doesn’t stop Mina from trying to save her people from the beast that is systemically killing her people every night.

This story takes place in Central England, 1123. Hugh and the Shields stumble upon Mina as she tries to lead the creature into a trap. When that fails she brings them back to the castle for them to regroup and make new plans to kill the creature. While Hugh finds himself drawn to Mina he quickly realizes someone in the castle is controlling the demon and his number one suspect is Mina.

Mina is strong in so many ways but it seems to only take a word from her sister or brother to make her stupid and believing her lies. She does seem to bloom under the Shields more honest reflections of who she is, while she tries to help them find who is controlling the creature. but then takes two steps back after a word from her sister.

While I enjoy paranormal historical warrior love stories, there were a couple elements I struggled with in this story:

-Hugh’s instincts focusing on Mina’s guilt and ignoring clues to her innocence drove me a bit batty. Claiming his love for her but believing she was aligned with evil and clinging to that belief for so long rubbed me wrong and took a bit of the joy of this story from me. It just went on too long for me.
-Odd moments in the fight scenes that I was like, what seasoned warrior would do that?
-Fae popping in and out 3 out of 5 times were more annoying than helpful.
-Lots of background left unexplained

Even with all of the above, I liked their story but the above things had me downgrade from loving it to just liking it.

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The Prey (prev. Hunted) by Claire Thompson

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Story 5 of 5 stars

Heat 5 of 5 stars

Series – Dark Obsessions

Main characters – Mara Stevens

Mara Stevens thought she was going for a final interview for a management position on an island resort. Little did she know it was the beginning of a nightmare. They tried to strip her down to a sexual object to be used and sold for their pleasure, definitely not hers. Her story will take you to dark places before it brings you back to the light.

Kidnapping and human sex trafficking is an ugly business and Claire Thompson holds nothing back as she takes us on Mara’s horrific journey. From her kidnapping to their systematic brutalization and mind games to break her down. Trying to make her believe she is what they want her to be, a masochistic submissive willing to be used any way they wish. But Mara his an inner strength that helps her survive and there is light at the end of the tunnel. After reading so much of the harsh Mara endured I loved the happy she found, I wish Thompson gave us more of her happily ever after to enjoy.

This story includes scenes that may be difficult for some readers due to violence, abuse and sexual practices, read at your own discretion

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An Enchantment of Thorns by Helena Rookwood and Elm Vince


Story 4 of 5 stars

Heat 1 of 5 stars

Series – Court of Fairy Tales

Main characters – Thorne, Aster Wilden, Faolan

Aster is a greenwitch. She has three half sisters by their merchant/smuggler father. She is the towns hope to keep the fae at bay until she is chosen at the annual Tithe to the Fae.

Thorne is a cursed Fae lord. Cursed to rule as a beast for his misdeeds to a human girl. He’s grumpy and seems to love to goad Aster, much to her consternation.

Faolan is a sky prince how seems to pop in and out of Thorne’s court at his own pleasure. But he has his own agenda.

Every year a human girl from Rosehill is taken at Tithe in hopes to break the curse. Thorne tells Aster she must restore the rose garden to end the curse so she may return to her home in Rosehill but it seems an impossible task and there’s more to it he hasn’t told her. She begins her time at Thorne’s court angry and afraid. The residents also begin by torturing her and playing tricks on her but as they get to know each other Aster slowly wins over many including a charming brownie named Mosswhistle. Aster also learns she is a bit more than a greenwitch, and with Thorne’s help learns to use her power but will it be in time to save everyone?

An ‘Enchantment of Thorns’ reminded me a lot of ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ similar scenes, kept giving me déja vu as I read. In saying that I still really enjoyed the story, even though nothing felt new or unexpected, even the twist at the end.

For those who enjoy beauty and the beast retellings I think you’ll enjoy this retelling, it has lots of magic and whimsy and leaves a cliffhanger for the next chapter in their lives.

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A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire by Jennifer L. Armentrout, narrated by Stina Nielsen

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Story 5 of 5 stars

Heat 3 of 5 stars

Series – Blood and Ash

Main characters – Hawke, Penellaphie of Castle Teerman, Kin of the Balfours ‘Poppy’

Listened to audio narrated well by Stina Nielsen. There’s a lot of book here to narrate and it flowed very well.

The Maiden aka Penellaphie ‘Poppy’ of Castle Teerman, Kin of the Balfours, was taken in by the Queen after her mother and father were murdered by Craven. Kept separate from others most of her life, officially only given approved education, she’s about to have her world turned upside down as the truth is revealed to her and secrets are exposed.

Hawke finally reveals his true identity, as the Prince of Atlantia and the ‘Dark One.’ The plans he’s had for Poppy since before he ever met her are about to drastically change. His story and history isn’t pretty and will simultaneously break your heart and horrify you. He finds himself falling in love with her and it’s changing everything. He must win back her trust and change his plans but it may put them all in more danger.

As these two get closer behaving ‘wildly inappropriately,’ the secrets and the truths behind who and what Poppy really is may bring everything crashing down around them. They face a multitude of challenges as they are hunted by the Ascended, trying to manage Poppy’s evolving powers and the fall out of many of the Atlanteans unwilling to accept her.

Another epic installment in the Blood and Ash series.

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Taken by the Hunter by Lynnea Lee

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Story 4 of 5 stars

Heat 4 of 5 stars

Series – Xarc’n Warriors

Main characters – Jorg’k, Connie

Connie is trying to make it as a forager for the human settlement, while they want her to become a breeder. She’s strong and resourceful and has no plans to become a breeder.

Jorg’k is an alien warrior bred to hunt and kill the scourge, genetically altered bugs that are ravaging worlds. All he’s ever wanted to do was fight until he encounters a little human’s scent.

When alien hunter’s mate bonds trigger their drive to protect takes over. Jorg’k understands his little human is afraid of him and works to win her favor and not make the mistakes his fellow warriors made with their mates.

Even though the mating bond was instant, I liked how Jorg’k got to know Connie and came up with his unique way of courting her. While the story pacing is quick, there’s bug battles, corruption busting, saving friends, a cute squirrel and steamy encounters to enjoy.

I received a free copy of this book and I’m voluntarily leaving a review. If you like my reviews I hope you will follow my blog.

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