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[Audiobook Review] Scattered Showers by Rainbow Rowell

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Publisher's synopsis:   Fr om #1  New York Times  bestselling author Rainbow Rowell comes her first short-story collection,  Scattered Showers Rainbow Rowell has won fans all over the world by writing about love and life in a way that feels true. In her first collection, she gives us nine beautifully crafted love stories. Girl meets boy camping outside a movie theater. Best friends debate the merits of high school dances. A prince romances a troll. A girl romances an imaginary boy. And Simon Snow himself returns for a holiday adventure. It’s a feast of irresistible characters, hilarious dialogue, and masterful storytelling—in short, everything you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell book. My thoughts: There's just something about Rainbow Rowell's writing - a universal something - that makes it feel like so many of these stories were written just for me. From nerdy to meta, so many of these stories gave me a feeling like Rowell knows me, and gets me, and wanted to give me a comf

[Review] Immortal Inheritance by L.A. McGinnis

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Publisher's synopsis:   Constantine Darke was the altar I wanted to sin on—my darkest desires made flesh—a beautiful predator I’d make mine, no matter how many scars I had to endure. I’ve always been a survivor—death, violence, cruelty—I’ve seen it all, and I’m still here. But nothing prepared me for Con, King of the Blackstone Vampire Clan. Nor for Robert Lockhart, who might be able to draw me out of the shadows, after nine long years in hell. Our history goes back a long time, five hundred years to be exact. Generations for me, a single lifetime for them. As I’m drawn deeper into their savage world of blood feuds and death curses, I feel more alive than ever, despite the dangers. My enemies are no longer human. They’re faster than me, they’re stronger than me, and they have fangs. But I have magic. And that will be their downfall. My thoughts: I honestly did not expect to fall so quickly for our three main characters. I hadn't read the original series this spin off was based

[ARC Review] On the Line by Amanda Chaperon

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Publisher's synopsis:   Two years ago, professional hockey player Mitch Frambough and headhunter Lexie Monroe met on a late-October night and sparks flew. They fell hard for each other, and everyone thought they were endgame. But now they’re not together. In fact, they don’t even live in the same state. When Mitch was traded from the Warriors to the Los Angeles Knights, his entire life changed with one phone call. His relationship with Lexie was in ruins, and the only way he could prevent further heartbreak was to leave Michigan without a backwards glance. Except, when his life is once again upended in a split second, he finds himself back in the Mitten. Surprisingly, everyone welcomes him home with open arms. Everyone except the one person he desperately wants: Lexie. Lexie has never believed in love, and for good reason. The one time she gave it a shot—her relationship with Mitch—it ended in disaster. Now she’s washed her hands of the whole thing: love, relationships, him. Having

[ARC Review] Well Traveled by Jen DeLuca

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Publisher's synopsis:   A high-powered attorney from a success-oriented family, Louisa "Lulu" Malone lives to work, and everything seems to be going right, until the day she realizes it’s all wrong. Lulu’s cousin Mitch introduced her to the world of Renaissance Faires, and when she spies one at a time just when she needs an escape, she leaps into the welcoming environment of turkey legs, taverns, and tarot readers. The only drawback? Dex MacLean: a guitarist with a killer smile, the Casanova of the Faire… and her traveling companion for the summer. Dex has never had to work for much in his life, and why should he? Touring with his brothers as The Dueling Kilts is going great, and he always finds a woman at every Faire. But when Lulu proves indifferent to his many plaid charms and a shake-up threatens the fate of the band, Dex must confront something he never has before: his future.   Forced to spend days and nights together on the road, Lulu’s interest in the kilted bad b

[Review] Queen of Vampire Hearts by Jeanette Rose

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Publisher's synopsis:   A Woman Fleeing Persecution... Phoebe Atreus is a witch on the run, her carefully crafted rules have kept her alive for the last decade, each one a product of a hard learned lesson. Rule Number One?  Trust No One.  She's been betrayed one time too many to put her faith in anyone else's hands. Even if the legendary vampire king might be the one person who could protect her from the enemies always one step behind. A Man Whose Abandonment Issues Span Thousands of Years... Lucien Silvano has been king of the vampires for the last ten thousand years, he's fought in wars that have been reduced to legend, rescued damsels in distress, seduced said damsels, and moved on. Immortal life has become a never-ending battle against boredom. Nothing has truly stirred his interest in years, except her. She's the exception to every rule, his Queen, his mate, the one-person Fate declared to be his.  The problem?  She wants nothing to do with him. What could poss

[Review] A Very Cryptid Christmas anthology

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Publisher's synopsis: This holiday season it's nice to be naughty. We've got some tales that are truly bawdy. In the coldest months of the year, the hottest cryptids come with holiday cheer. Choose from our menu ala carte but remember - rendezvous with these beasts aren't for the faint of heart! Want to get wet with a Waterhorse, kanoodle with Krampus, and seduce a Sasquatch or two? Maybe get jiggy with the Jersey Devil, wrangle a Jackalope rancher, and snuggle a Squonk? How about leaping on the Lizard man or zinging with a zlatorog?  Take a romp on the wild side with this series of sexy adventures guaranteed to satisfy your naughtiest, most forbidden fantasies. There's something for every she/he/they/them.  Can you handle the steam? My thoughts: One of my favorite parts about anthologies is the fact they cover a lot of ground so there's something for everyone, and this anthology is no different. Some of these short, cryptid romances were more enjoyable for me

[ARC Review] Resting Scrooge Face by Meghan Quinn

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Publisher's synopsis:   After a bad breakup, Nola wants nothing to do with Christmas, especially in her quaint hometown of Bright Harbor, Maine. Infuriatingly charming and cheery, Nola’s surroundings only worsen her sour mood. To make matters worse, Caleb, the boy who broke her heart years ago, is all grown up and still living in town. While doing her best to avoid him, Nola bumps into the local mailman, who gives her a mysterious letter. And when she finds that the writer is a fellow Scrooge, she can’t help but feel her spirit lifting. Nola writes back to her new pen pal—who, unbeknownst to Nola, is none other than Caleb. When Caleb gets a response hand delivered by the mailman, he’s intrigued by the mystery sender. A friendly correspondence develops—and quickly turns flirtatious. Although Nola and Caleb claim they can’t stand each other, they can’t deny the simmering attraction that brought them together in the first place. Can these nameless pen pals write their own love story—o

[Blog Tour] A Light in the Flame by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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The last thing they need is the undeniable passion between them. A Light in the Flame, the addictive and unputdownable fantasy romance and book two in the bestselling Flesh and Fire series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout is now available! From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout comes book two in her Flesh and Fire series… The only one who can save Sera now is the one she spent her life planning to kill. The truth about Sera’s plan is out, shattering the fragile trust forged between her and Nyktos. Surrounded by those distrustful of her, all Sera has is her duty. She will do anything to end Kolis, the false King of Gods, and his tyrannical rule of Iliseeum, thus stopping the threat he poses to the mortal realm. Nyktos has a plan, though, and as they work together, the last thing they need is the undeniable, scorching passion that continues to ignite between them. Sera cannot afford to fall for

[ARC Review] After the Bite by Lynsay Sands

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Publisher's synopsis:   Immortal Enforcer Valerian just wants to relax. His last assignment had been more grueling than he’d care to admit, and golf has always helped him unwind. If golf course owner Natalie thinks it’s a little odd for him to tee off at sunset every evening, she’s keeping it to herself. The single mom is sexy as hell, and her little daughter Mia only adds to his delight. He knows Natalie is wary of a relationship of any kind…what will she think when she discovers he’s an Immortal? His best course of action is to woo her the old-fashioned way. But the course of true love never did run smooth—especially for a vampire and a mortal. And when danger stalks Natalie, Valerian realizes he’s playing a game of life and death and if he loses this round, he risks losing her forever. My thoughts: I'll admit it: I was skeptical when I read the blurb for this one. Valerian... and golf? I never really had the opportunity to love Valerian in previous books, and golf has never

[ARC Review] Some Dukes Have All the Luck by Christina Britton

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Publisher's synopsis:   Ash Hawkins, Duke of Buckley, no more wants to marry than he wants a stick in his eye. As the owner of a gaming hell, he is all too aware the odds of a happy marriage are against him. But raising his three rebellious wards alone is proving more than he can handle. He needs to find someone who stands to benefit from a marriage of convenience as much as he does. Someone logical, clinical, and rational. And in a stroke of luck, he quite literally stumbles over just such a woman. After years of ridicule for being more interested in bugs than boys, Bronwyn has accepted that she’ll never marry for love. Her parents, however, are threatening to find her a husband. Bronwyn doesn’t need any scientific research to show her Ash has secrets. But his proposal would give her the freedom to continue her entomology research and perhaps finally get published. Just as long as she can keep her mind on her work and off his piercing eyes, broad shoulders, and wicked, wicked tong

[Audiobook Review] Extra Witchy by Ann Aguirre

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Publisher's synopsis:   After two failed marriages, Leanne Vanderpol is here for a good time, not for a long time. She only loves the witches in her coven, and she cares more about her career than happily ever after. A difficult past makes her skittish, and she doesn't trust relationships to stick. But when she decides to run for city council instead of wasting her talents cleaning up messes for the mayor's office, she fears her past could be used against her—unless she can find the right husband to shore up her political career... Trevor Montgomery might have peaked in high school. He was popular then, and in college as well, but he partied away his future, met the wrong person, and everything fell apart. Now he's jobless, dateless, and hopeless—at least, according to his toxic family. Then a chance meeting with the redhead of his dreams offers an unexpected ray of light just when he needs it most. Can a woman who doesn't believe in forever find true love with a ma

[ARC Review] Miles and Miles of You by Jennifer Bonds

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Publisher's synopsis:   Lucy Gonzalez might have once been a stressed personal assistant, but now she’s hitched up her grandma’s bitchin’ vintage Airstream and hitting the road with all the best places to find cheap eats and see the sights on a shoestring budget. And she has company along for the ride. If those thirst-worthy abs seem familiar, it’s because they belong to billionaire Miles Hart. True story, he used to be Lucy’s boss until she quit on him. Something about not being appreciated? Anyway,  you  will appreciate Miles—and his groveling—plenty on this trip. Now, you have front-row seats to the hottest trip of the year. Sparks! Fireworks! Unexpected smooching! And you won’t want to miss the jaw-dropping surprise that will make this destination totally worth the hilarious journey… My thoughts: Whew, there was a lot to love about Miles and Miles of You : a road trip (that hit up some places I'm all too familiar with), some very close proximity, mutual unrequited pining,

[ARC Review] Song of the Sea by Duckie Mack

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Publisher's synopsis:   A merprince running from destiny and a romance on borrowed time. Calder is a merman and a Prince of the Seas. A marriage has been arranged for him to unite two kingdoms. In an attempt to flee a fate he doesn’t want, Calder barters for a year on land. Denver’s dreams of being a musician fall apart when he loses his father. To carry on his legacy, he takes over their family shop, while learning how to live on without him. Fate brings the two together, music the tie that binds them. Their connection is powerful and healing, but the clock never stops ticking, the end of the year drawing near. Will the song in their hearts unite them or is the call of the sea too strong? My thoughts:   I've officially read more merfolk romances in 2022 than I have in any year prior, but Song of the Sea by Duckie Mack is the first M/M merfolk romance I've read this year. A prince in his kingdom, Calder has higher ambitions than being the fodder for royal alliances. But wh

[Audiobook Review] Ghost 19 by Simone St. James

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Publisher's synopsis:   Is there something wrong with Ginette Cox? It’s what everyone seems to think. When a doctor suggests that what she might need is less excitement, she packs up and moves from New York City to a house in suburban NY: 19 Howard Ave. The town offers Ginette little in the way of entertainment in 1959, but at least she has interesting neighbors. Whether it’s the little girl with her doll or the couple and their mother-in-law, Ginette watches them from her window and makes up names and stories for them. But it’s not all peaceful in suburbia. Ginette finds it hard to sleep in her new house. There are strange and scary noises coming from the basement, and she is trapped, either by a ghost or her own madness. But when Ginette starts to think a murder has taken place and a mysterious man starts making terrifying appearances outside her window, it’s clear she must deal with whatever isn’t allowing her to escape this house… My thoughts: I thought Ghost 19  was a great,

[ARC Review] Imperfect Angel by Christi Barth

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Publisher's synopsis:   Three days ago, all Maisy Norgate had was a stack of bills, about a gazillion jobs, and her sunny-as-hell outlook. Now, thanks to an uncle she never knew about, she’s inherited an ornate skeleton key with absolutely no idea what it’s for—or why she has it. Which is exactly when a ridiculously handsome guy claiming to be an angel shows up at her door and all hell breaks loose… Nephilim Rhys Boyce cannot  believe  that Maisy is the new Keeper of the Key. Why would anyone bequeath this warm, bubbly redhead the key to Hell? And to make matters worse, she’s given the key to the first person who asked for it.  A demon . Yep, Maisy is determined to make his job—not to mention some seriously inconvenient temptation—as hard as possible. First a half angel with a very human chip on his shoulder must find a way to convince Maisy that angels and demons  do  exist. Then Rhys will have to break the really bad news…that she might have accidentally ended the world. My thoug

[ARC Review] Twelve Graves of Christmas by Gena Showalter and Jill Monroe

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Publisher's synopsis:   Jane Ladling presents the perfect fail-proof recipe to spice up the holidays. Or ruin them. Baker’s choice! Mix a murderous cat with a goofy corgi. (Ignore any hissing. That definitely probably means the two ingredients are blending amazingly well.) Then add a landlocked cemetery allegedly peppered with gold-stuffed coffins. Whisk in a gravekeeper convinced a family curse forever dooms her to lose any man she loves. Marinate with a ridiculously charming special agent whose muscles and lopsided smile make her forget said curse. Toss in a pinch of mystery courtesy of an old, coded treasure map and crank up the heat. Broil, baby! If no one dies, serve with a smile. If they do, smile wider. And maybe, just maybe, Jane can solve a series of bewildering clues, end the curse for good, and finally find her own happily ever after. Or not. My thoughts: At this point, I will read any and all Jane Ladling stories that Gena and Jill decide to write, no questions asked.

[ARC Review] Count Down by Hollie Hartwright

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Publisher's synopsis:   Tessa wasn't looking for forever. It found her anyway. When Tessa goes to the Advena Club, all she wants is a gin and tonic, a dance, and maybe - just maybe - a make-out session. What she finds is a man with glowing golden eyes too beautiful to resist. The only issue is, he isn't human. He also comes as part of a package deal. Aster, Morgan, and Cy have been travelling for five years straight to find their  elyn  - a being fated to bring harmony to their world. Tessa is everything they've dreamed - but she might not be willing to give up Earth for the stars. They have eight hours to convince her. Let the count down begin. My thoughts: I was immediately hooked by the premise of this story, and Hartwright did not disappoint. I've read a lot of poly romances. I've read a lot of monster and alien romances. But I haven't read a poly monster/alien romance that involves four different species, so Count Down really stood out to me.  At just