The story continues with Isadora

Isadora (Masters Among Monsters, #2)Isadora by Ella Frank

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’m not a fan of M/F these days but this one had a strong and powerful female character and it avoids all the irritating tropes which normally annoy me so I quite enjoyed it.

Diomedes is a fascinating character and I hope this triad also gets its happy ever after.

View all my reviews

Advertisements

Paranormal MF delight from Megan Erickson

Blood Guard (Mission #1)Blood Guard by Megan Erickson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First she does shifters, then she does vampires, there is nothing Megan Erickson can’t turn her hand to when it comes to creating great worlds.

I can’t think of the last time I deliberately picked up an MF romance, it was most likely a historical as that’s about the only type – outside of reviewing contemporary chick lit – where I’ll even consider it.

But I was right to trust in Megan to avoid all the tropes which have reduced traditional MF romances down to insipid pathetic heroines incapable of looking after themselves and arrogant alpha male arses for heroes.

Her Athan is an alpha male but he is a considerate, honourable, encouraging and loyal one and Tendra is no mild or meek woman, she’s strong and courageous.

The world building is good, there’s a nice cast of secondary characters and the plot narrative is interesting. The sex scenes were well crafted and I believed the chemistry between them.

This book ties up their individual story arc but leaves things open for book two, which I’m expecting to be Athan’s brother Idris and their enemy’s daughter.

#ARC received from NetGalley in return for an honest and unbiased review.

View all my reviews

Enjoyable contemporary with an Austen twist

True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop (Lonely Hearts Bookshop #2)True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop by Annie Darling

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this one, which was a surprise because it’s rare these days that I read any hetero relationships or chick lit but this certainly didn’t have any annoying alpha males or simpering females.

I thought both Verity and Johnny were well crafted characters, believable and real, human and alternatively frustrating and fascinating. Very’s obsession with Pride & Prejudice was neatly woven into the whole story narrative and never felt like a deliberate plot device and it worked well as the hook to hang their unconventional relationship on.

The introduction chapter was one of the funniest and most engaging I’ve read in a contemporary chick lit romance for a long time and actually had me chuckling out loud. Very’s mad family and bunch of friends meshed well and provided a nice contrast with Johnny’s, who were a bit posher and – at times – much more standoff ish.

Marissa, the technical villain of the piece, never became a caricature, I’ve met a fair few Marissa’s in my long years and she played true to type, a narcissistic selfish woman who couldn’t bear to let go of her devoted suitor.

The resolution was lovely but the epilogue was a bit of a waste, far too short even if it was quite sweet.

#ARC received from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest and unbiased review

View all my reviews

Regency spy romp with an Indian setting is enjoyable but nothing new

The Secret of the India Orchid (Proper Romance)The Secret of the India Orchid by Nancy Campbell Allen

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a decent Regency tale spiced up with a bit of a spy mystery and set in the British Empire out in India, which added colour and flavour to the narrative.

Unfortunately, I’d spotted the villain as soon as he first appeared on the page but that didn’t spoil the enjoyment of the story and the way the plot followed through was well done and didn’t drag endlessly on.

The romance element of the book was also well crafted, with both Sophia and Anthony appearing as properly fleshed out characters. There has been, I believe, one book before this one with the same setting and characters but concerning Sophia’s brother Jack and his romance, which I hadn’t read but it didn’t interfere with my understanding of the relationships in this book.
There was a little exposition at the start and then the story set off on its own journey without a lot more and was allowed to show itself without needless telling.

I liked Sophia, she’s a slight variant on the usual Regency heroine but her personality was rounded and her actions believable. Anthony was more on the lines of the Napoleonic spy – an earl masquerading as a rake and wastrel – and, again, his actions felt true.

Overall I enjoyed this book but it’s nothing I’ve not read before within this genre so it didn’t stand out as being new or a novel concept.

#ARC received from the publishers via NetGalley in return for an unbiased review.

View all my reviews