Review: The Viking Queen’s Men (The Afótama Legacy #1) by Holley Trent

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Author: Holley Trent
Publication Date: November 1, 2014
Format: E-Book
Page Length: 311 pages
My Rating: 3 / 5 stars

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SYNOPSIS

Contessa Dahl has spent most of her life in a daze. A rudderless orphan, most decisions involved her fists and feet: should she fight or should she run? At twenty-eight, she’s ready to clean up her act, but Tess might be a bit premature because she’s destined to be a special kind of leader.

Born into a group of desert-dwelling telepathic descendants of Vikings, Tess was meant to become a link for them all—their queen and conduit. Her kidnapping and the subsequent death of her parents meant her people, the Afótama, have had a hole in their web for too long. Now that she’s back at home, it’s Tess’s job to mend it. But, she can’t do it alone.

She needs a perfect mate to fill in her psychic gaps, and two men claim to be fated for the job. Harvey Lang, her childhood champion, and the group outsider Oliver Gilisson would fight to the death to win her. However, to gain full control of her considerable power, she must find a way to keep them both.

THE VIKING QUEEN’S MEN is an M/F/M ménage romance that contains hot sex, bar brawls, and psychic snark.

I feel like I was slightly mislead about this book when I first started it, and so I started out this book with disappointment that just never went away as I kept reading. There is literally nothing to suggest that this book takes place in modern-day society, and yet it does. When I hear the words “viking”, my first thought is that this is going to be historical or set in a fantasy world drawn from history.

Instead, I felt let down to realize that the books take place current day. The writing is addicting, and I did get hooked into the story, but there were other things that cropped up along the way that kept me from fully enjoying this book as much as I wanted to.

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Review: Bad Company (Bad in Baltimore #1) by K.A. Mitchell

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Author: K.A. Mitchell
Publication Date: January 2, 2018 (re-release)
Format: E-Book
Page Length: 193 pages
My Rating: 2 / 5 stars

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SYNOPSIS

Some things are sweeter than revenge.

“I need a boyfriend.”

Hearing those words from his very straight, very ex-best friend doesn’t put Nate in a helpful mood. Not only did Kellan Brooks’s father destroy Nate’s family in his quest for power, but Kellan broke Nate’s heart back in high school. Nate thought he could trust his best friend with the revelation that he might be gay, only to find out he was horribly wrong and become the laughingstock of the whole school. Kellan must be truly desperate if he’s turning to Nate now.

Kellan’s through letting his father run his life, and he wants to make the man pay for cutting him off. What better way to stick it to the bigot than to come out as gay himself—especially with the son of the very man his father crushed on his quest for money and power. Kellan can’t blame Nate for wanting nothing to do with him, though. Kellan will have to convince him to play along, but it’s even harder to convince himself that the heat between them is only an act….

This book had potential, but it just fell flat for me. It was a huge disappointment, because look at how sharp and pretty the new cover is! The covers in this series are also misleading because they make the books seems like they might be suspense romance (which is a sub-genre I LOVE), but the series is not.

There are a few good points that the story seemed to be inching towards, but it ultimately deliver on anything and the ending left a lot to be desired.

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ARC Review: Blood Veil (Mission #2) by Megan Erickson

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Author: Megan Erickson
Publication Date: April 3, 2018
Format: ARC
Page Length: 220 pages
My Rating: 2 / 5 stars

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SYNOPSIS

In the midst of supernatural chaos, worlds and hearts collide.

Celia: Having never known my parents, I’ve always felt like an orphan. All I want is a normal life. But after I’m attacked in my bedroom by one vampire—and rescued by another—it’s about time to give up on “normal” once and for all. Idris, the second in command of the Gregorie vampire clan, has come to my aid, but his motives for saving me are unclear. And what surprises me most is my attraction to his heated gaze…

Idris: Terror. Curiosity. Arousal. These are the natural impulses of a human female, not the spawn of the ruthless Valarian king. Is it possible that Celia is unaware of her bloodline—and the power coursing through her veins? As the daughter of my archenemy, she was supposed to be my ransom. But how quickly the heat of desire changes everything. Now the family Celia has always craved is trying to kill her, and it’s up to me to save her again—when all I really want to do is make her mine.

I don’t know, you guys. I was super looking forward to this book, but I just…didn’t really like it all that much? All the issues I had with Blood Guard wasn’t necessarily taken out in this story, but everything just got worse with this one. I already had reservations about this series. and while I liked the world-building, the way the characters get together is a little bit on the iffy side for me.

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ARC Review: Syncopation (Twisted Wishes #1) by Anna Zabo

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Author: Anna Zabo
Publication Date: April 9, 2018
Format: ARC
Page Length: 295 pages
My Rating: 5 / 5 stars

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SYNOPSIS

There’s no resisting the thrum of temptation in this male/male rock-star romance from genre-favorite author Anna Zabo!

Twisted Wishes front man Ray Van Zeller is in one hell of a tight spot. After a heated confrontation with his bandmate goes viral, Ray is hit with a PR nightmare the fledgling band so doesn’t need. But his problems only multiply when they snag a talented new drummer—insufferably sexy Zavier Demos, the high school crush Ray barely survived.

Zavier’s kept a casual eye on Twisted Wishes for years, and lately, he likes what he sees. What he doesn’t like is how out of control Ray seems—something Zavier’s aching to correct after their first pulse-pounding encounter. If Ray’s up for the challenge.

Despite the prospect of a glorious sexual encore, Ray is reluctant to trust Zavier with his band—or his heart. And Zavier has always had big dreams; this gig was supposed to be temporary. But touring together has opened their eyes to new passions and new possibilities, making them rethink their commitments, both to the band and to each other.

This story is intense. There’s usually not a clear-cut, all-out villain in contemporary books, unless it’s a mystery, or something in suspense romance. But OH. There is a straight-up villain in this book that I wanted to die every time he showed up on the page. It’s actually very thrilling to feel so passionate about a character, even if it is just because I hate him so very much.

But I’m getting a little off-topic. This story is about two sweet characters named Ray and Zavier. Ray and Zavier are absolute cinnamon rolls. They have a bit of a past, but one that’s more in passing from their high school days. Ray started a band in high school and had a crush on Zavier for years now. We come to realize that Ray is extremely talented, and definitely more gifted in music than anyone really gives him credit for. Zavier is a classically trained musician and had turned down Ray’s offer to join his band in high school.

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ARC Review: Soul to Keep (Rented Heart #2) by Garrett Leigh

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Author: Garrett Leigh
Publication Date: April 2, 2018
Format: ARC
Page Length: 236 pages
My Rating: 4 / 5 stars

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SYNOPSIS

Recovering addict Jamie Yorke has returned to England from California. With no home or family to speak of, he sticks a pin in a map and finds a small town in the Derbyshire Peak District. Matlock Bath is a quiet place—he just needs to get there, keep his head down, and stay clean. Simple, right? Until a chance meeting on the flight home alters the course of his so-called life forever.

Ex-Army medic Marc Ramsey is recovering from life-changing combat injuries while pulling nights as a trauma specialist at the local hospital. Keeping busy is a habit he can’t quit, but when Jamie—so wild and beautiful—bursts into his life, working himself into the ground isn’t as compelling as it used to be.

Marc falls hard, but chaos lurks behind Jamie’s fragile facade. He’s winning his battle against addiction, but another old foe is slowly consuming him. Both men have weathered many storms, but the path to the peace they deserve might prove the roughest ride yet..

I have been waiting for this book after since I finished reading Rented Heart. Jamie was a character in Rented Heart, and I would also recommend checking out Between Ghosts for Marc’s story as well. I haven’t read Between Ghosts yet, but I definitely plan to. This story does work as a standalone, but I think you getting a better sense of the characters’ backgrounds by reading the previous books. This is a slow-burn romance with an age-gap, and it is oh so good.
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Audiobook Review: Obsidio (The Illuminae Files #3) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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Author(s): Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Narrator(s): Olivia Taylor Dudley (Kady Grant), Johnathan McClain (Ezra Mason), Carla Corvo (Hanna Donnelly), MacCleod Andrews (Nik Malikov), Erin Spencer (Asha Grant), Andrew Eiden (Rhys Lindstom), Lisa Cordileone (Ella Malikova), Lincoln Hoppe (AIDAN), Matthew Frow (Analyst ID 0089), Olivia Mackenzie-Smith (Analyst ID 0094), Ryan Gessel (Report Narrator), Vikas Adam (Bruno Way), Sile Bermingham (Syra Boll), Mike Chamberlin (Issac Grant), Feodor Chin (Yulin Zhuang), Charlotte Cole (Katya Kowalska), Kimberly Farr (Leanna Frobisher), Kaleo Griffith (Corey Markham), Hillary Huber (Zoraida Cardova), JD Jackson (Duke Wozniak), David Jung (Admiral Sun Huojin), Greta Jung (Steph Park), Joshua Kane (Lt. Jake Christie), Jolene Kim (Yuki Hirano), David H Lawrence XVII (Chris Howard), Nick Martorelli (Magellan Computer), Donnabella Mortel (Winifred McCall), PJ Ochlan (Ben Garver), Ray Porter (Joran Karalis), Ray Shappell (Ray Shappell), Emily Woo Zeller (Yukiko Oshiro), and Dan Zitt (Frederick McCubbin)
Publication Date: March 13, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Audiobook Length: 13 hours
Page Length: 624 pages
My Rating:  5 / 5 stars

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SYNOPSIS

Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza—but who knows what they’ll find seven months after the invasion?

Meanwhile, Kady’s cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza’s ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys—an old flame from Asha’s past—reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict. With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heros will fall, and hearts will be broken.

Oh my goodness. This book wraps up the series with a bang. Everything gets tied together, there’s fighting, you have all your faves in one room, and it brings back the intensity that was in Illuminae. Don’t get me wrong. I loved both Illuminae and Gemina, but they were just very two different books. But, somehow Obsidio manages to give us the best of both stories and ends on a…happy note, of sorts.

Kady, Ezra, Hanna, Nik, and quite a few other characters from the first two books (but mainly from the first) are back in this story and resources are running low. They need a way to get their findings of what BeiTech did out and into public hands. And while our faves are out in space scrambling for a solution, we meet two new characters – Asha and Rhys. Asha is Kady’s cousin and never made it off Kerenza. Kerenza is under BeiTech command while they get their jump station fixed after the invasion. It’s a nightmare on Kerenza, where people get killed for little to no reason, and the invasion wiped out anyone BeiTech deemed non-essential. Asha’s ex-boyfriend, Rhys, is brought onto Kerenza months after the invasion, and things are tense when Asha discovers that Rhys is working for BeiTech.

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Carol’s Corner: The Captive Prince Series by C.S. Pacat

Author: C.S. Pacat
Publication Date: April 7, 2015 – February 2, 2016
Format: Paperback
Page Length: 270-404 pages
My Rating: 5 / 5 stars

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SYNOPSIS

Damen is a warrior hero to his people, and the rightful heir to the throne of Akielos. But when his half brother seizes power, Damen is captured, stripped of his identity, and sent to serve the prince of an enemy nation as a pleasure slave.

Beautiful, manipulative, and deadly, his new master, Prince Laurent, epitomizes the worst of the court at Vere. But in the lethal political web of the Veretian court, nothing is as it seems, and when Damen finds himself caught up in a play for the throne, he must work together with Laurent to survive and save his country.

For Damen, there is just one rule: never, ever reveal his true identity. Because the one man Damen needs is the one man who has more reason to hate him than anyone else…

Interestingly, I have never properly reviewed this series. I had a mini write-up for the last book, but I had read the first two books long before I started reviewing books at all. So. I think most people know about this series already, but I just wanted to make a post about these books because I love them and I recently did a re-read of the books. This is also the first time I’ve re-read them completely and had the epilogue chapter, or “The Summer Palace” short, available right after reading Kings Rising.

This is a completely self-indulgent post, with no clear ending, but it’s my blog and I can do whatever I want. So, bare with me. ❤

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