Review // Fuse Series by E.L. Todd

February 10, 2023

The Fuse series by E.L. Todd is an action-packed fantasy adventure with a taste of adventure, romance, magic, and dragons!

Fuse by EL Todd

Fuse by E.L. Todd

Fuse #1
Release - December 18, 2020
Genre - Fantasy
POV - 3rd person
Heat - none
Format - ebook
Length - 315 pages

Growing up in a small village, Cora was destined for an ordinary life.

But fate had other plans.

The shamans, dark servants of the empire, invade her village, searching for something…or someone. Before they can feed on the soul of an innocent boy, she stabs them with her blade. It’s a dire mistake—because they’re invincible.

She flees into the wildlands until a voice commands her attention.

Come to me.

Her curiosity too great, she follows the voice inside her head…and comes across a fiery red dragon. Every free dragon has been enslaved by King Lux, forced into a nonconsensual fuse between man and dragon.

Except this one.

As the last free dragon in Anastille, he’s also on the run.

They realize they need to work together to overthrow the empire…or neither will be free.

Ashe by EL Todd

Ashe by E.L. Todd

Fuse #2
Release - July 6, 2021
Genre - Fantasy
POV - Dual 3rd person
Heat - None
Format - ebook
Length - 548 pages

Cora's visit with the elves proves to be more than she bargained for.
She learns her parentage, but it's the last thing she ever expected to hear.
She came to the elves for help to defeat King Lux, to free the dragons still trapped in captivity, but she discovers a timeless place, where outside matters mean nothing.
There's little chance to convince them of anything, especially when her human heritage has permanently marked her as an outsider.
Rush returns to Bridge to begin their plans, but there's also a fear in the back of his mind.
Is she safe?
Flare shares the same concern. Will they hurt Pretty?
Elven magic separates their borders, but perhaps the connection between Rush and Cora is enough to keep the channel open between them, to exchange thoughts and feelings, until she departs the forest and reunites with him once more.
Forces are moving in the world, and they have to move quickly before King Lux finds them both--and destroys them.

Fury by EL Todd

Fury by E.L. Todd

Fuse #3
Release - October 26, 2021
Genre - Fantasy
POV - Dual 3rd person
Heat - none
Format - ebook
Length - 568 pages

Cora and her allies must defeat the most vile king in Anastille's history.
Will they find victory?
Or lose everything they have left?

Slay by EL Todd

Slay by E.L. Todd

Fuse #4
Release - April 25, 2022
Genre - Fantasy
POV - Dual 3rd person
Heat - none
Format - ebook
Length - 740 pages

The events of Anastille have unfolded in the most unexpected ways, and with the odds stacked against them, victory is merely a hope. But our heroes will do what they can to free the imprisoned dragons, to overthrow King Lux from his throne, and heal the divided factions of a war-torn country.

My review of the series ~ 3 stars

Book One
The world these characters inhabited was very easy to visualize. The forests were lush, the deserts were arid, and the wonders beyond Cora’s village were just that… wondrous.

The mystery surrounding Flare’s character... I had a feeling I knew exactly who he was and I was curious to see how it would affect the story to come. I wasn’t wrong.

I have a strange fascination with Flare and the process of dragons fusing with humans. This is such a unique take on the supernatural. The bond they share, becoming one, seems like something so special.

While Cora was nosy (or inquisitive if you want to romanticize it), I found her a bit annoying. People don’t have to share everything about themselves just because you have. It doesn’t necessarily mean a lack of trust. It could just be an individual’s preference.

Orcs, giant frogs, evil men in power, elves, dwarves, dragons, shamans (shadow-like figures who can suck the soul right out of you, can fly, and are impossible to kill… or are they?). I'm on edge and can't wait to dive into the next book!

Book Two
Is it wrong that when Rush and Cora finally ‘got together’ I wanted it to be somewhat descriptive? I thought this was an adult fantasy novel, especially with all of the cussing. I’m grown. Screw the fade to black theatrics!

I’m in awe of Ashe and everything he’s been through, what he’s accomplished, and what he has yet to do.

Finding out Cora’s parentage, at least who her father was, was a tough blow. I knew it was going to wreck whatever she and Ashe could have. And why does Cora try so hard to stand in her own way of happiness?

I’m still very much in love with Flare and Rush. Their connection is hilarious, sweet, and so touching.

Book Three
I’m all for Rush’s road to redemption. I only wish that this journey changes his mind about sacrificing himself at the end.

I’m still pretty blown away by the imagery this author has created. Once they were stuck in the mountain, I could feel the walls closing in around me. I could sense the dampness in the air.

The action scenes were fantastic. Whether it was Rush chopping off heads and not bothering to take names, or Cora using her magic to surprise attack the previously undefeatable, it was exciting and so entertaining.

Book Four
Favorite character: Callon. Dude, this man was everything. I did get frustrated a bit because his hate game was so strong, but I understood his reasons.

Understanding Cora’s parentage explained a lot about her powers and her innate nature. I was tired of her always being right, even when she was wrong. I was tired of people defending her when it was obvious she needed to be corrected. She got away with way too much and I needed her to come down a peg. She wasn’t better than anybody.

The final battle: better than expected. It was so well written, so intense, so terror-inducing. I didn't know who would even be alive in the end.

Rush was still a phenomenal character, with his horrific past, his attempts to right all of his wrongs, his redemption. He just needs people to see the great strides he’s made and the hero he has turned out to be.

January 2023 Bookish Recap

February 05, 2023

Hello hello and Happy Black History Month!

I can't believe we're in February already. Right now, my reading is at an all-time low. I'm not sure what's happening, but I can only hope things get better. Aren't reading slumps the freaking worst???


Total Books Read: 20
Total Pages Read: 5050
DNFS or No Ratings: 6
From my TBR: 17
Avg. Rating: 2.34

All the Books

There weren't any real standouts this month, but the my recommendations this month include:

Broken Angel by Cynthia Eden
The Law of Moses by Amy Harmon
Cute But Psycho by Lani Lynn Vale
Marcus by Anna Hackett
Hunter Avenged by N.J. Walters
Darkest Night by Alessa Thorn
Priest by Sierra Simone

Added to my tbr

Book Haul

I got nada. I'm doing so well at this!!

I hope you find only the best reads!

Talk soon,

xo, Natalie

Review // Crossroads, Love & Ink, and King of Code

I've been doing a lot of reading, but I'm finding it hard to come up with words to review what I've read. So here I am again, taking inspiration from the wonderful Deanna from A Novel Glimpse, with some mini reviews.

King of Code by CD Reiss

King of Code by CD Reiss ~ 3 stars

Genre - Contemporary Romance / Enemies to lovers
POV - Hero 1st person
Heat - 4 out of 5
Format - ebook from Amazon
Length - 470 pages

Taylor Harden's on the edge of fame and untold wealth, until a hacker freezes his company and holds it hostage.
Life as he know it is ruined unless he find out what he wants...or what she wants.

Harper doesn't want much from Taylor.
All he has to do to get his company back is teach her how to please a man. Step by step, and for every step she'll unlock a piece of his system.

Kissing unlocks a partition.
Touching unlocks another.
Using your mouth to...

How far is this crazy woman going to go?

They hate each other. They can't keep away from each other. They're decoding each other with every step, until all Harper's secrets are revealed, and Taylor risks losing his heart as well as his company.

REVIEW ~ It took me 9 days to finish this book. It was hard to read and hard to follow. I just couldn't wrap my mind around the fact that a romance was supposed to bloom out of the mess that was made. The writing was awkward and I guess that suits because the characters were very awkward. I'm oddly intrigued by Keaton, however, I didn't like either protagonist for a list of reasons.

If someone were to jack up my life, try to ruin everything I was working towards, there is no way, no matter how hot or sexy or attractive I found them to be… there’s no way I would get involved with them aside from exacting some swift justice. Taylor was a freaking punk for allowing Harper to get away with what she did. And she came off as a callous, inconsiderate, rude person who didn’t deserve the least bit of compassion.

I did feel bad for the folks of Barrington though.

Love & Ink by JD Hawkins

Love & Ink by JD Hawkins ~ 3 stars

Genre - Contemporary Romance / second chance
POV - Dual 1st person
Heat - 3.5 out of 5
Format - ebook from Amazon
Length - 246 pages

The only thing more permanent than tattoos is love--and she's inked all over my heart.

I've spent the last seven years screwing half the women in the northern hemisphere, but nobody comes close to the girl I left behind. In the meantime, I've built my reputation as a world-renowned tattoo artist with a six-month waitlist.

All of LA is begging me to put my mark on them.

The last thing I expect is for Ash Carter to walk into my shop and blow me off.

She doesn't know I left her to protect her. That she was my entire world, and that was my only choice. That it was a mistake I've regretted every day for seven years.

Now she's back, and she's everything I remember--stubborn, feisty, sexy as hell. And I'll do anything to make her mine again.

But how can I convince Ash to forgive and forget when I can't even forgive myself?

REVIEW - This was a sweet second chance romance about a yummy tattoo artist (Teo) and a bubble gum heroine (Ash). I loved the idea that seven years apart hadn't lessened or cheapened the connection these two shared. I did wish Ash had a bit more faith in Teo, but I guess her doubts were necessary to drive the plot.

There was a great cast of secondary characters as well and they were very easy to enjoy, even Candace. I find there to be a certain kind of charm to Hawkins's writing that I always find appealing. I'm certainly always entertained.

Crossroads by Riley Hart

Crossroads by Riley Hart ~ 3 stars

Genre - Contemporary Romance / MM
POV - Dual 3rd person
Heat - 5 out of 5
Format - ebook from Amazon
Length - 341 pages

After divorcing the woman he’d been with since he was seventeen, Nick Fuller is starting over. He owns the restaurant of his dreams and he’s determined to meet new people, find new passions, and experience life to its fullest. Easier said than done—that is until he meets his new neighbor, Bryce Tanner…

Bryce is all about a good time. He plans to show Nick how it’s done, help him meet a few women, and enjoy the gift of the single life he’s been given. But things don’t go as planned, and soon they realize they’d rather be together than with anyone else.

Neither man has ever wanted another guy, but there’s a connection between them from the start—a spark they can’t deny. They find themselves navigating an unfamiliar new world and dealing with unforeseen obstacles. Physical desire isn’t enough, and now Nick and Bryce are at a crossroads. They have to decide which way to go: the easy path they’ve always followed, or the one that's determined to trip them up at every turn.

REVIEW - There wasn't too much as far as depth, but I sure enjoyed the heck out of it. Nick and Bryce were both very easy to like and I loved everything they became together.

Aside from Try by Ella Frank, I haven't come across a story about a straight man realizing he was attracted to a man. And once again, I had to suspend belief. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, because I really don't know, but the circumstances surrounding the reveals just seem really bizarre. Entertaining and bizarre.

I liked how these men were so real with each other. And how they loved each other, warts and all. They both had insecurities and helped each other conquer their fears. It was them against the world.

They were hot together. Super freaking hot!

Review // Priest by Sierra Simone

January 30, 2023

Priest by Sierra Simone

Could a vow be not all the way broken?
Could a sin be not all the way committed?

────── ♔ ──────

Priest by Sierra Simone

Priest by Sierra Simone

Standalone - Priest #1
Release - June 29, 2015
Genre - Contemporary Romance / forbidden
POV - Hero 1st person
Heat - 5 out of 5
Format - ebook from Amazon
Length - 354 pages
Publisher - Indie

There are many rules a priest can't break.
A priest cannot marry. A priest cannot abandon his flock. A priest cannot forsake his God.

I've always been good at following rules.
Until she came.
My name is Tyler Anselm Bell. I'm twenty-nine years old. Six months ago, I broke my vow of celibacy on the altar of my own church, and God help me, I would do it again.
I am a priest and this is my confession.

My Two Cents

3.5 "Let him without sin cast the first stone" stars

You better clutch your pearls because this book is absolutely filthy... and I enjoyed the heck out of it!

Tyler and Poppy were two clueless, love-struck people caught up in an impossible situation. He was a priest and she was his greatest temptation. Their lust game was strong. And while I didn't love how predictable this story was, I liked it. I liked how dirty these characters got, desecrating altars and such.

Poppy was hard to take seriously and Tyler came off as a bit pathetic... and yet I still liked them. I did believe that there was too much religion talk. Tyler was feeling guilty all over the place, which was understandable, but if you're not planning on stopping, figure your ish out!

Overall, it was a delicious smutty story and I recommend it to anyone who loves reading anything taboo.

────── ♔ ──────

Midnight Mass by Sierra Simone

Priest #1.5
Release - December 8, 2015
Genre - Contemporary Romance novella
POV - Hero 1st person
Heat - 5 out of 5
Format - ebook from Amazon
Length - 193 pages
Publisher - Indie

We are told that God will punish the wicked. That sinful men will reap what they sow. We are told to scourge our souls with prayer and pain to become clean once again.

Well, here I am. Wicked and sinful. Desperate to become clean…even though it feels so good to be dirty.

But even I never expected what came next.

Even I never expected my punishment to come so soon.

MY REVIEW - 3 stars

I enjoyed the conflict that existed within Tyler. He’d left the church, married his temptation, and was steps away from achieving his doctorate. He should have been happy. Instead, he was a steaming pile of insecurity. He and Poppy were dealing with their new normal, and it wasn’t without its pitfalls. Their happily ever after definitely wasn't easily achieved.

My Two Cents

Sierra is a voracious reader of all things including the smuttiest smut, young adult, piles of non-fiction for research, and everything Bill Bryson (especially on audio).

She loves writing the dirtiest things that she can think of, King Arthur, sparkling water, Tarot, coffee, leggings, and learning new words daily.

Her previous jobs have included firing ceramics, teaching living history lessons in one-room school house in full, 1904-approved school marm attire, and working as a librarian for several years—not in that order

She lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, two children, and two giant dogs. (And two cats, but they're so naughty we don't talk about them.)

Visit for more information

Review // Darkest Night by Alessa Thorn

January 25, 2023

Darkest Night by Alessa Thorn

Kon was the only thing that made sense anymore

────── ♔ ──────

Darkest Night by Alessa Thorn

Darkest Night by Alessa Thorn

Standalone - Mercenaries and Magic #1
Release - October 6, 2021
Genre - Paranormal Romance / enemies to lovers
POV - Primarily Dual 3rd person
Heat - 4 out of 5 / frequent
Format - ebook from Kindle Unlimited
Length - 230 pages
Publisher - Thornstar Publishing Pty Ltd

Three years ago, Kon seduced a mysterious woman and stole a magical artifact from her. He thought their paths would never cross again. He had just made the biggest mistake of his life.

Found as a bloody child in a forest, and raised by one of the most ruthless and calculating mercenaries dirty money can buy, Athena Edgeworth isn't the kind of person you betray and get to walk away unscathed.

It was the perfect rivalry waiting to happen.

Both know they should end their dangerous game once and for all, but they are addicted to the thrill of the chase...and to each other.

When they get a common enemy hunting them, they will have to put their vicious rivalry aside and work together.

Kon's only ever wanted revenge, but Athena Edgeworth's dark heart might be the prize he's always been searching for. And she's not about to let him have it without a fight.

My Two Cents

4.25 "Damaged and Deadly" stars

I really freaking enjoyed this book!

Kon: as a small boy, he witnessed the murder of his parents and spent his whole life searching for the man who needs killing.
Athena: as a small girl, she was found bloody and alone in a forest and she's spent her whole life fascinated with living on the edge.

On a mission, Kon steals from Athena and starts the hottest cat-and-mouse game I've ever read!

I loved the love/hate relationship that Kon and Athena shared. It was obvious from the start that these two were hot for each other. That they had finally met their match. And I had a blast watching them catch all of the feelings.

There's plenty of action and heat, a bunch of intriguing side characters, and a plot that seems to lead into the books to come. This was such a solid story and I'm excited to read the rest of the series.

Darkest Night by Alessa Thorn

The Author

Alessa Thorn believes that all monsters and villains deserve their happy endings. She prefers her clothes black, eyeliner winged and books full of hot romance. She thinks heroes are boring, so her first series 'The Court of the Underworld' centers around dark gods, monsters and villains from her favorite Greek Myths.

Find out more about this author at

Books That Didn't Make the Cut Pt.9

January 22, 2023

Hello hello! I'm back with some more books that didn't really work for me, but might be winners for you. These all rated pretty well on Goodreads and Amazon, so I think, once again, that this is a ME problem more than anything wrong with the actual books.

Dec the Holls by Jasinda Wilder Cuff Me by London Hale

Genre - Contemporary Novella
Release - December 19, 2014
Genre - Contemporary Novella
Release - July 11, 2017

A week before Christmas, and all through office not a soul is stirring, not even a mouse. Holly is working overtime, cold and lonely and broke. Across the hall, Declan is lonely too, and thinking this Christmas is going to be a joke. Then one blustery night Holly’s car won’t start and Declan is there to help with a little love in his heart. From the moment Lola moved into my apartment building, I’ve wanted her. She’s too sweet and seemingly innocent, but it doesn’t stop me from lusting after her. There’s something about the hours she keeps, though. Something about the life she leads that has warning bells going off in my cop brain. Yet I can’t stay away. Not when she needs my help. Not when she needs me. Even if being with her could cost me my future.

My Rating - 2 stars

I found that I didn’t care for this book. The story didn’t really have a chance to grab me and I was really hoping it would. I could see myself probably liking both Dec and Holly if given more time.
My Rating - 2 stars

I’ve actually really enjoyed other books from this author… just not this one. The heroine, who believed that the only job she was qualified for was as an escort… she really tried my nerves. From there, I just didn’t care whether or not she got a happily ever after with the hero. Honestly, I didn’t even know why he liked her so much.

Pitch Black by Elise Noble When Gargoyles Rise by Ashley C. Harris

Genre - Suspense/Mystery
Release - December 1, 2015
Genre - YA Paranormal Romance
Release - September 5, 2017

After the owner of a security company is murdered, his sharp-edged wife goes on the run. Forced to abandon everything she holds dear - her home, her friends, her job in special ops - she builds a new life for herself in England. As Ashlyn Hale, she meets Luke, a handsome local who makes her realise just how lonely she is.

Yet, even in the sleepy village of Lower Foxford, the dark side of life dogs Diamond’s trail when the unthinkable strikes. Forced out of hiding, she races against time to save those she cares about. But is it too little, too late?
When Rose was born in the year 1544, she and the other gargoyles were a beautiful race of humans with dragon's wings. Created by magic, the gargoyles were able to do and take whatever they wanted... Until the vampires came, and with them, they brought a curse.

Almost five hundred years later, Rose awakens from stone in Washington DC, to a world that's very much changed. The kingdom of the gargoyles is no more; instead, the same group of blood suckers that cursed Rose's family now rule a hierarchy of shades and shadows.

Desperate to awaken her loved ones and break the spell, Rose learns she must convince Sean Noble, a human, to fall in love with her. Something that should have been easy... if he and Rose weren't only seventeen, and required to attend school.

Sean and his high school girlfriend dislike Rose as much as they do homework. And to make things worse, the handsome vampire prince, Adamus, who betrayed Rose in the year 1556, he and his bad boy brother have surfaced...

Rose, before graduation, must find a way to keep her identity secret from Adamus, not let him get too close, and trick Sean into falling in love. Easy if you have wings, right? Not so much.

My Rating - DNF

The story sounds intriguing, but I’m not a fan of single perspectives and I could feel myself getting bored with just the one voice.
My Rating - DNF

I just can’t. No.

Beast by Measha Stone Passion & Venom by Shanora Williams

Genre - Contemporary Romance Retelling
Release - February 27, 2018
Genre - Dark Romance
Release - September 12, 2016

Wouldn't you give up everything for the one you love?

When Ellie's father is taken by a group of thugs planning to take his life in exchange for his debts, it’s no surprise she goes running straight into the beast’s lair. After all, Ellie Stevens has been her father’s keeper for as long as she can remember.

However, Ashland Titon isn’t a man of mercy. If you owe, you pay. End of story. His unrelenting control has built his empire, and he’s not going to give over that power now. But when Ellie charges into his life with her demands and possibilities of sweet surrender, her offer proves too tempting to pass up.

Yet there’s more at play here than just working off a debt. There are secrets buried in the shadows, and dangerous desires to be explored. While the two of them dance to an erotic beat, outside forces threaten Ashland's empire and Ellie must decide where her heart truly lies - and what she's truly willing to risk for love.
Imagine this:
Your husband is murdered on your wedding day.
Your gown is soiled in his blood.
You are taken hostage...
Treated like a caged animal.
The man behind your husband's murder is revealed.
His name is Draco Molina.
Draco has power. Respect. Wealth.
He is a savage beast of a man - dominant in every way.
Soon after, he makes you an offer that you can't refuse.
All you have do is submit to him, and in return you won't be punished.
He will reward you handsomely.
But if you disobey, you must be prepared to face the consequences.
What do you do when the most wanted man in the world . . . wants you?

My Rating - DNF

The heroine fell into every bad trap a heroine could fall into. And while I like retellings and can see why she was prone to pitfalls, I found it hard to care.
My Rating - DNF

I was set to love this story. I was warned that it got really dark and from what I’ve read, it was heading there. Gia’s husband is murdered right in front of her on their wedding day. And then she’s kidnapped, beaten and humiliated. So far, so good. Then Gia’s thoughts about her fellow captive, whose arms have been amputated via torture, made her an unsympathetic heroine and I struggled to continue.

Yes, he has been helpful at times, but he is a complete jackass. It’s no wonder he’s here–or why those men did that to him. He has a smart mouth. I’m sure he doesn’t control anything he says.

I still tried, but then I read this:

Those thin, dark brown eyes are…

How are the eyes thin? And then this type of phrasing kept happening and I gave up.

Review // Want Me, Slow Burn, Stygian

January 21, 2023

Want Me by Cynthia Eden

Standalone - Dark Obsession #2
Release - January 27, 2015
Genre - Romantic Suspense
POV - Dual 3rd person
Heat - 3.5 out of 5
Format - ebook from Amazon
Length - 140 pages

She doesn’t play it safe...

Sophie Sarantos has a weakness for dangerous men. She doesn’t like safe lovers—she likes men with a wild, rough edge. But Sophie may have attracted a lover who is too dangerous, even for her. Someone is stalking Sophie, slipping into her home, watching her day and night. The stranger seems to know all of Sophie’s darkest secrets, secrets that should never be revealed.

Out of options, Sophie turns to ex-solider Lex Jensen for protection. Lex is part owner of VJS Protection, Inc., and Sophie hires him as her bodyguard. She thinks Lex is one of the “good guys” out there, but she couldn’t be more wrong.

He doesn’t play at all...

Lex has his own secrets. Dark, deadly secrets. And as his feelings for Sophie grow, Lex knows that he is going to have to stop pretending to be a gentleman and, instead, he’ll have to show Sophie who he really is. A man trained to kill. A man too used to evil. A man who will take any risk... as long as he can claim Sophie.

Because there is one thing that Lex wants in this world…one person he desires above all others... Sophie. And no one will hurt her, not on his watch.

My Review - 4 stars

When I can’t figure out who the killer is until the author reveals them, that story’s a winner.

Gwen’s got a stalker… or really more than one. Someone wants to protect her. Someone wants her dead. And someone just wants her.

Chance gave up his chance to be with her. Once her bodyguard, he didn’t believe he deserved her. Now that she’s in danger, now that she needs him, he’s not letting her out of his sight. He’ll put himself between her and whoever is out there to hurt her. He’s not giving her up ever again.

Things were intense for the entire book. From the intimacy between the characters to trying to suss out who was doing what, I had a great time. I haven’t looked ahead for this series and I’m hoping Ethan gets a book because dude deserves some happiness.

Slow Burn by Autumn Jones Lake

Standalone - Lost Kings MC #1
Release - October 9, 2014
Genre - Contemporary MC Romance
POV - Dual
Heat - 4 out of 5
Format - ebook from Amazon
Length - 242 pages

President of the Lost Kings MC, Rochlan "Rock" North, hasn't managed to find a woman capable of making him want to curb his wild ways—until he meets sweet, innocent, married lawyer Hope Kendall.

Forced to represent the outlaw biker, Hope is rattled by her immediate attraction to Rock. Hope is a good girl in a good marriage. Rock thrills her, but she's not going to throw away everything she's built on a fling with her criminal client.

Rock respects Hope enough to leave her alone, even as he realizes he's become a little obsessed with her. When their connection endangers her life, he'll have to destroy her in order to save her.

After tragedy strikes, Rock is determined to earn Hope's forgiveness and convince her that even with their staggering differences, they're meant to be together.

My Review - 3 stars

While I was entertained by this story, I failed to really connect with it. Both Rock and Hope came off as one-dimensional characters. Their lives were described with vague references. The only thing I could cling to was their connection. There was denying their feelings for one another. I’m still unsure why she needed to have a husband and go through mourning in order for this story to reach somewhere. If the husband didn’t exist, I guess half the book wouldn’t either.

I did enjoy the writing so I can definitely see myself reading from this author again.

Stygian by Nashoda Rose

Scars of the Wraiths #1
Release - March 19, 2015
Genre - Paranormal Romance
POV - Dual
Heat - 3 out of 5
Format - ebook from Amazon
Length - 277 pages

Danni: Mortal

I remember nothing of my abduction two years ago. Sounds and scents trigger horrific flashes, but it’s all a blur except for one man with brilliant green eyes. When the tatted six foot two Adonis shows up at my door, my knowledge of the world is shattered.

Bound to the immortal Scar by an ancient spell, we are on the run. Because Balen is the hunted.

And if he dies, so do I.

Balen: Scar Tracker

My code of honor was respected without question … until I consumed the blood of a vampire in exchange for a mortal woman’s freedom.

The Scars want me imprisoned. The Wraiths want me dead.

But the woman I can’t forget needs me. And I’ll risk everything to protect her.

Even if it means killing her.

Because in order for her to live—first she must die.

My Review - 3 stars

I am strangely fascinated with the world of Scars and Wraiths. This book, for the first in the series, did feel like I was dumped in the middle of a story, but I did enjoy myself. As lost and confused as I sometimes was… I enjoyed myself. I didn’t have a lot of love for Danni. She was incredibly immature, impulsive, rude, and irrational. I think I liked Balen, but with how vague this story was, I’m still not sure. I enjoyed meeting all of the other characters and am fascinated by them and what their stories might be.

Interested enough to read more from this series?


Review // Hunter Avenged by N.J. Walters

January 18, 2023

Hunter Avenged by N.J. Walters

Nothing in Heaven compared to the pure pleasure of kissing Sven.

────── ♔ ──────

Hunter Avenged by N.J. Walters

Hunter Avenged by N.J. Walters

Standalone - Forgotten Brotherhood #6
Release - January 16, 2023
Genre - Paranormal Romance / forbidden
POV - Dual 3rd person
Heat - 3 out of 5
Format - eARC provided by the publisher
Length - 344 pages
Publisher - Entangled: Amara

It’s taken Viking hunter Sven Knutson six frustrating months to find her. To track down the angel responsible for compromising the Forgotten Brotherhood and waking the drakon. She may be clever. Resourceful. But no one ever gets away from Sven. Ever.

All Rivka longed for as an angel was a chance to serve on Earth and help humans. Instead, it all went impossibly, horribly wrong, and she still doesn’t understand how or even why. All she knows is that she’s on the run—not only from Heaven’s dangerous elite guard, but also from the Brotherhood, who want answers.

She might just have to trust the immortal Viking whose icy blue eyes make her feel almost wickedly human. Because someone wants Rivka dead and the Brotherhood eliminated. Someone powerful enough to take on the most dangerous assassins who have ever lived. Someone who could unleash the fury of both Heaven and Hell…and Rivka is the key.

My Two Cents

4 "Anything for Sven" stars

When I finished reading Bjorn Cursed and met Sven, I knew I needed him to have his own book. And I've been eager for it ever since. I can't begin to tell you how excited I was to finally get his story in my hands. I don't often fangirl the heck out of myself, but I'm fangirling people!

I already knew that Sven was saved and enslaved by the goddess Freya and was now free to live any life he chose. His parents were alive and he could have a relationship with them, but aside from joining The Brotherhood, he's kept his distance.

And maybe, with the weight of destiny on his shoulders, he'll finally give himself a chance to be truly happy and embrace all of his blessings.

I really enjoyed this story. As the conclusion to an incredible series, I was happy to see most of the past characters make an appearance and in such impactful ways. I loved what blossomed between Sven and Rivka. From the way he hunted her around the world to bring her to justice in the plot against The Brotherhood, to his realizing that all he wanted to do was protect her from any and everyone who might have reason to do her harm. Sven was such an amazing hero and Rivka came into her own in such a wonderful way!

She yearned for his touch, enjoyed his intellect, respected his skills, and admired his dedication to the Brotherhood.

This series made N.J. Walters a must-read and must-buy author for me. There are incredibly gifted heroes, exciting plots and connections, and so much freaking love!

The Author

Once upon a time N.J. had the idea that she would like to quit her job at the bookstore, sell everything she owned, leave her hometown, and write romance novels in a place where no one knew her. And she did. Two years later, she went back to the bookstore and her hometown and settled in for another seven years.

One day she gave notice at her job on a Friday morning. On Sunday afternoon, she received a tentative acceptance for her first erotic romance novel and life would never be the same. N.J. has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, werewolves, dragons, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next-door neighbors with smoldering good looks—all vie for her attention. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it.

Visit for more information!

Review // Marcus by Anna Hackett

January 10, 2023

Marcus by Anna Hackett

She was why he fought through the muck every day. So she could live and the goodness in her would survive. She deserved more than blood and death and killing. And she sure as hell deserved more than a battled-scarred, bloodstained soldier.

────── ♔ ──────

Marcus by Anna Hackett

Hell Squad: Marcus by Anna Hackett

Standalone - Hell Squad #1
Release - April 19, 2015
Genre - Scifi Romance / apocalypse
POV - Dual 3rd person
Heat - 3.5 out of 5
Format - ebook purchase from Amazon
Length - 217 pages
Publisher - Indie

In a world gone to hell, Elle Milton—once the darling of the Sydney social scene—has carved a role for herself as the communications officer for the toughest commando team fighting for humanity’s survival—Hell Squad. It’s her chance to make a difference and make up for horrible past mistakes…despite the fact that its battle-hardened commander never wanted her on his team.

When Hell Squad is tasked with destroying a strategic alien facility, Elle knows they need her skills in the field. But first she must go head to head with Marcus Steele and convince him she won’t be a liability.

Marcus Steele is a warrior through and through. He fights to protect the innocent and give the human race a chance to survive. And that includes the beautiful, gutsy Elle who twists him up inside with a single look. The last thing he wants is to take her into a warzone, but soon they are thrown together battling both the alien invaders and their overwhelming attraction. And Marcus will learn just how much he’ll sacrifice to keep her safe.

My Two Cents

4 "Fighting to Survive" stars

I haven’t read much in the way of apocalyptic romance, but this author set this one up so well that I feel like adding this trope to my must-read list.

The world has been overtaken by an alien invasion and the few human survivors left are waging a war to get the planet back. The Earth has been ravaged and aside from a few bases around the world, nowhere is safe.

The elite force of Hell Squad has been kicking ass and taking names. As the team leader, Marcus seems to have the entire world on his shoulders. I really liked this character. He knows loss and he knows pain. He also knows want and need. Battle-scarred and battle-weary, he doesn’t think he’s good enough for Elle. But when he learns that he’s the only man she sees, he has to start seeing things her way.

I liked Elle. She was a selfish and superficial party girl before the invasion. Now she is the best communications officer on the base. She provides reliable intel and is one of the few people who can translate the alien language for recon. She’s also consumed by her want and need of Marcus, but feels he’s out of her league. When he lets her in, she’s all in.

However, I did have one major issue with this book and it was one scene...

Her face turned mutinous. “Enough with the orders. You can order them around–” she jerked a thumb at the team “--but not me.” Marcus was speechless. He heard one of the others snicker.


This is how you talk to your squad leader in front of his squad? Why, because you’re sleeping together? In a relationship? It was so weird and what was even weirder… he was okay with it.

The Author

Anna Hackett is a USA Today bestselling romance author who’s passionate about fast-paced, emotion-filled romantic suspense and science-fiction romance. She loves writing about people overcoming unbeatable odds and achieving seemingly impossible goals. Some of her bestselling series include Norcross Security, Team 52, Galactic Gladiators, and Eon Warriors.

Anna lives in Australia with her real-life hero and their two little boys. For more information on Anna and her books visit:

Books That Didn't Make the Cut Pt.8

January 07, 2023

I'm back with three more books that just didn't work for me, but might be right up your alley. If you've read any of these or plan to, please think about letting me know what you thought in the comments below!

Queen of Diamonds by Natalie Bennett

Genre - Mafia Romance

His enemy. His partner. His whore.
His mind games. Her morals.

The road to hell...
Well, there is no road to hell.
I already live there.

I was forced to partake in a rigged game of seduction, manipulation, and murder.

Mateo Remmington is my formidable opponent.

He makes the devil look like a saint.

He’s immoral.
He's ruthless.
He's a goddamn king.

King of a clandestine empire who sits on a throne covered in innocents’ blood.

I’ve become his obsession.
He’s becoming my deadly addiction.

And if I make one wrong move he’ll end my life.

My Review: DNF

I couldn't get into this story. I wasn't sure if it was supposed to be dark or mysterious or whatever. I was lost before the story even really started. And now I'm sad because I have the entire series SIGNED on my bookshelves. I wish I could have dived in and loved it.

Ghosted by J.M. Darhower

Genre - Contemporary Second Chance Romance

He's a troubled young actor, Hollywood's newest heartthrob, struggling with fame as the star of the latest superhero franchise. Through scandal after scandal, addiction on top of addiction, a flurry of paparazzi hunt him as he fights to conquer his demons.

She's a single mother, assistant manager at a grocery store, existing in monotony with her five-year-old daughter. Every day when she goes to work, lurid tabloids surround her, the face of a notorious bad boy haunting her from their covers.

A man and a woman, living vastly different lives, but that wasn't always the case. Once, they were just a boy and a girl who bonded over comic books and fell in love unexpectedly.

When Kennedy Garfield met Jonathan Cunningham back in high school, she knew he had all the makings of a tragic hero. With stars in his eyes, and her heart on her sleeve, the pair ran away together to follow their dreams.

But dreams, sometimes, turn into nightmares.

Now, years later, the only thing they share is a daughter—one who has no idea her father plays her favorite superhero. But Jonathan is desperate to make amends, and at the top of his list is the woman who gave up everything for him and the little girl he hasn't yet met.

My Review: DNF

The heroine was so wrong. And while I couldn't really connect with Jonathan, the ways in which Kennedy had him jumping through hoops so he could connect with the daughter he didn't know he had... wrong! The secret baby trope is so hard to do well and this one didn't work for me.

Down On Me by J. Kenner

Genre - Contemporary Friends-to-Lovers Romance

Tight muscles. Vibrant Ink.
Meet Mr. January. Winter’s never looked so hot…

Certified bachelor Reece Walker wants two things — to save the local bar he manages and to get Jenna Montgomery into his bed.

He has a few ideas for the bar. But Jenna... well, he’s going to have to rely on cold showers, because she’s been his best friend for years, and that’s a line he just can’t cross.

Until one wild kiss on a dark night changes everything. Now Reece is certain Jenna’s meant to be his.

And with long nights in bed, sensual caresses, and deep, lingering kisses, he sets out to thoroughly convince her that friends can be lovers, too.

My Review: 2 stars

Overall, this was a decent story. I loved the friendship that Reece, Jenna and Brent shared. Best friends for life, they knew everything there was to know about each other and supported each other in all things. And that's where my problem lies. Jenna knew Reece. She knew his hangups. So why... why when they FINALLY get together... why did she try to change him? And not only change him, but give him an ultimatum to try to force him to change?

I stopped liking Jenna after that. All of her thoughts on how to sway Reece to her side made me physically ill. If you love someone, love them. No conditions. No doubts.