enemies to lovers

The Problematic, Yet Entertaining “A Promise of Fire”

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A Promise of Fire by Amanada Bouchet
Sourcebooks Casablanca: August 2, 2016
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Source: Free From Publisher

I’d go there again!
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A Promise of Fire is one of those books that’s a bit tricky to review. On the one hand, it’s a bit of a problematic read considering that it’s a romance and the so-called hero kidnaps the heroine. On the other hand, I found it an entertaining read that I couldn’t peel my eyes away from. So keep in mind that you too may be frustrated by some character’s actions in A Promise of Fire but you will ultimately enjoy this one for being a breath of fresh air in the romance genre.

Catalia “Cat” Fisa is a psychic who works in a circus. Cat is also in hiding from the powerful Fisa family. Cat’s powers make her unique; she can sense when a person is lying, which makes her valuable as a political tool. Due to her ability to sense a lie (just one of many fantastical abilities) Cat is known as a Kingmaker. Since escaping the Fisa family Cat has successfully hidden her abilities and carved out a life for herself in the circus. Naturally, that life is not mean to be and Cat is kidnapped by the Sintan warlord Griffin who wants to use Cat’s ability to solidify his sister’s leadership after overthrowing the previous leaders of the Sinta and bringing in a non-magical leader. Enter magic and mayhem and things get complicated very quickly. (more…)

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Who’s the Winner in “The Hating Game”

27213238The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
William Morrow: August 9, 2016
Genre: Romance
Source: Free From Publisher

Outstanding Adventure!
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The Hating Game is an absolutely delightful contemporary romance, which is an unusual pick for me, but one I do not regret since it is one of the best contemporary romance novels that I’ve read in a long time. If you’re in the mood for something light yet smart and sassy, The Hatting Game is a must read.

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman work together. Both are assistants to two CEOs of a publishing house that has merged and it was not an amicable amalgamation. For Lucy and Josh it was pretty much hate at first sight. Lucy tried to befriend Josh and when that didn’t work, the hating game was born. When you sit across from your mortal enemy each and every day it’s quite natural to turn your mutual animosity into a childish game. However, things start to change when both Lucy and Josh are considered for a new position within the company. The best person might win, but it just might be at the expense of a newfound romance.
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“A Gift For Guile” is a Must When Romancing a Detective

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A Gift for Guile by Alissa Johnson
Sourcebooks Casablanca: July 5, 2016
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Free From Publisher

Outstanding Adventure!
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A Gift for Guile is the second in Johnson’s Thief Takers series. As much as I enjoyed the first one, I think I have to admit that I liked A Gift for Guile just a tad bit more. Intrigued by the character of Esther Walker Bales in A Talent for Trickery, I was curious to see how the author would pull off a romance between a cunning woman and a private investigator. Let me tell you, it really, really worked.

Esther Walker has come to London to make amends. However, London is the last place she should be because of her and her family’s disreputable past. Esther’s father was a con artist and unbelievably as it sounds, Esther was his muscle. Despite her small stature, Esther is a wizard with knives and that was all it took for her father to put her to work as an accomplice. Now that her father is dead, Esther can move forward and away from her past, which means that she wants to meet her  biological father. The problem is that Esther is all too recognizable in London and if she’s discovered she could be in big trouble especially with her father’s enemies. (more…)

Where the Magic’s At: “On the Edge”

6329547On the Edge by Ilona Andrews
Ace: September 29, 2009
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Source: Free From Library

I’d go there again!
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I’m a fairly recent addition to the Ilona Andrews bandwagon. I recently caught up on Andrews’ fabulous Kate Daniels series and was left with a void as I await the newest installment (coming September 2016). Luckily, Andrews has more books out in the wild that do not feature Kate Daniels and On the Edge is one such book.

On the Edge is the first in Andrews’ Edge quartet. In this world there are three worlds. First is the human world, the Broken, where magic doesn’t exist. Second, is the Weird, where magic is king and the world is ruled by the aristocratic bluebloods. In between these two worlds is the Edge. In the Edge magic is present, but its a kind of mixture of the Broken and the Weird. In the Edge, magic can cement your power, but the level of your power can come at a terrible price, a fact that Rose Drayton knows all too well. (more…)

On the Bandwagon with “The Winner’s Curse”

16069030The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski
Farrar Straus Girou: March 4, 2014
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Source: Free From Library

I’d go there again!
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So, I’ve finally jumped on The Winner’s Curse bandwagon, only committing to read the first book in the trilogy now that I have both the second and third on hand (cliffhangers, I’m no friend of yours). For the most part, I think Winner’s Curse lives up to the hype that it has received. The writing is gorgeous, and that alone will have me picking up the second book.

For those that have been living in a cave and haven’t heard of this trilogy, let me summarize. Kestrel is a general’s daughter, and it was her father that conquered the Herrani on behalf of his emperor. Now, ten years after the war, Kestrel is living in the city of the fallen and the Herrani serve the Valorian as slaves. When Kestrel purchases a young man at an auction, she sets off a chain of events that leads to revolution. (more…)

Funny, Charming, Uplifting: “Because of Miss Bridgerton”

25657772Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
Avon: March 29, 2016
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Free From Publisher

I’d go there again!
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Julia Quinn returns to her beloved Bridgerton family with a new series. Set in 1779, this new series focuses on the well known Bridgerton’s predecessors (I suspect we’re going to see the Bridgerton’s parents featured at some point. Fingers crossed.).

Miss Billie Bridgerton is always getting into scrapes and she’s just fine with that. However, when her latest scrape strands her on the top of a building she is dismayed to be assisted to safety by George Rokesby. George is the heir to the Rokesby family, and the one Rokesby that she doesn’t get along with. That feeling of animosity is mutual; George really doesn’t understand why Billie must take the risks she does, but he’s honor bound to help her out. And so begins a surprising courtship.  (more…)

1421990Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
Avon: October 30, 2007
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: Free From Library

I’d go there again!
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Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series is a series that I’ve heard a lot good things about over the years, but not a series that I’ve felt inclined to pick up. When I came across it in audio format I thought I would finally give it a try and see what all the fuss was about. And I’ve come to the conclusion that I should pay attention to the “fuss” more often.

Catherine Crawfield is a half-vampire who’s been stalking the undead for a number of years. Her mother has a hate on for all vampires and isn’t really cool with the fact that Cat is half-vampire. To atone for something that’s not her fault, Cat hunts for vampires. Things get interesting when Cat attempts to kill Bones, an old vampire who objects to Cat’s attempt to murder him. Instead of killing Cat, Bones decides to train her. After all, Cat does not give any obvious signs that she’s stronger than the average human, which just might be the ace in the hole that he needs to take down the vampires that he’s hunting.

For her part, Cat is uneasy about teaming up with a vampire. All she knows about vampires is what her mother has told her. So, to Cat’s mind, all vampires are murderers who deserve to die. Bones slowly challenges that opinion while simultaneously encouraging Cat to embrace the fact that vampire blood is also running through her veins. Ever so slowly does Cat start to accept the interesting bits of her nature, and with that subsequent acceptance, Cat also starts to feel something more than antagonism for Bones. (more…)

Space Adventure Goes Sideways in “Starflight”

21793182Starflight by Melissa Landers
Disney-Hyperion: February 2, 2016
Genre: Science Fiction
Source: Free from publisher

Beach Vacation
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Space adventure? Count me in!

When I heard about Melissa Lander’s Starflight I was pretty darn excited. I am a huge fan of anything set in space and if there isn’t an over abundance of science-y things, that makes things even better (for me, at least). Facts matter not! Starflight was a fun, space-set adventure, perfect for readers looking for something fast-paced and entertaining.

Solara Brooks is a young woman with a past. She’s branded as a criminal and because of that she can’t get a job. Desperate times call for desperate measures and Solara indentures herself to former classmate, Doran Spaulding, so that she can get passage aboard a ship. Doran had made Solara’s high school life…not pleasant and doesn’t do much better now that she’s working for him (and I do mean that she works, she’s doing his laundry, fetching his meals etc. I thought the whole servant thing would be more problematic than it was). Of course, the tide turns when Doran’s framed for a crime he didn’t commit and now has to rely on the very woman that he’d rather ignore. Space adventure gone sideways.
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“The Art of Taming a Rake”: A Feat Not As Challenging As One Would Assume

22037784The Art of Taming a Rake by Nicole Jordan
Ballantine Book: January 26, 2016
Genre: Historical Romance
Review Source: Free from publisher.

Beach Vacation
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The Art of Taming a Rake features one of my favourite historical romance tropes: the marriage of convenience.

Venetia Stratham has returned from the continent after hearing rumours that Quinn Wilde, Earl of Traherne is paying court to her younger sister. Not on Venetia’s watch he’s not.

Burned by her rakish betrothed years ago, Venetia sets out to make sure that her sister does not suffer a relationship with a lord that is incapable of being faithful. Naturally, Venetia decides she must confront Quinn in a gentleman’s. Just managing to skate ruin (again), Venetia heads over to Quinn’s mansion to confront him once again having not received the definitive answer she wanted. When Quinn’s shot and Venetia found holding the pistol, Quinn decides to do the honorable thing and proposes marriage, otherwise Venetia will be the talk of the ton and her sister’s chances at a successful marriage will be ruined. Since saving her sister was the whole point of her escapes, Venetia reluctantly agrees to the marriage with the caveat that she can return to the continent when Quinn determines who’s out to harm his person. As is expected, this marriage of convenience becomes something less than convenient very quickly. (more…)

The Quirky “Magenta Mine”

24819880Magenta Mine by Janet Elizabeth Henderson
Createspace: December 31, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Review Source: Personal purchase.

I’d go there again!
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I discovered this little gem a series on Goodreads and promptly went out and purchased a number of the books in the series. This is what happens when you do online shopping. I regret nothing.

I decided that I’d start with Magenta Mine rather than one of the first two books in the Invertary series since it was a novella and I was pressed for time. This was such a great introduction to a hilarious cast of characters in a small town in Scotland. (more…)