Books

Mini Reviews 2021

1. Son of a Beach by Mia Sosa (m/f, black/latina, work rivals to lovers) Beta read of Audible original out in April.  I love Mia’s prickly heroines who are secretly super attracted to their work nemesis!  Short & fun with sequel bait.  (CWs: past parental loss, past betrayal).

2. Until the Sun Falls From the Sky by Kristen Ashley (m/f, white, PNR Saga).  After its promising OTT beginning, this book deeply disappointed. It lost all momentum in the 2nd half and was hugely anti-climactic. I mostly skimmed to the end. (CW: Non-con, dub-con, violence).

3. A lot like Adios by Alexis Daria (beta read, bi, m/f, 2nd chance, former BFFs) Great sexual tension/chemistry between old friends who need to forgive each other and deal with unresolved conflicts before they can see a future.

4. Wild Sign by Patricia Briggs (UF). 

This like most Briggs books is brutal, but totally engrossing.  Charles & Anna are deeply tested but endure. Bran & Leah wow! So much growth. 

(CW: ref to off-page rapes & incest, magical coercion, references to elder abuse, past pet death).

5. Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs. (UF).  2nd audio in as many days!! Mercy absorbs so much trauma, but having read Wild Sign I need to go back and see the Hardisty Witches, Sherwood & Mercy in action as Coyote interferes. CWs: death, gore, violence, betrayals, A is republican.

6. Smoke Bitten by Patricia Briggs (Uf). I read a book with my eyes!! This book spends as much time in dreamscape as it does in the real world and it is deadly and hard to put Down. I need some short stories where they are happy!  (CW: suicidal ideation, trauma, self-hatred).

7. Shifting Shadows by P. Briggs (UF short stories). There were several stories in this I really loved, especially the outtakes, others not so much. I did like the ghost/vampire reunion romance. Cw: violence, racism, murder, gore, medical procedures, incarceration, SA, harassment

8. How to flirt with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper (PNR-light, m/w)  I’m trying to ride my PNR mood out of my slump and this was funny, a little silly and just what I needed.  Dislike to love with family baggage on both sides. (CWs: attempted SA, violence).

9. Nice Werewolves don’t bite Vampires ( PNR-light) chafing under her controlling packs’s plans to match her when all she wants is a little quiet abs her own space, Tyleene find unexpected community & friendship with Half moon hollow vamps.  CWs: emotionally abusive family.

10. How to Seduce a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper (PNR-light)  romance reading arranged marriage avoiding alpha wolf Maggie falls for bespectacled nerdy hero, searching for proof that werewolves exist.  So absolutely the wrong person but just perfect.  (CWs: stalker, feuds).

11.  How to Run with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper (PNR-light) Abused wife in hiding is back on the run after her secret identity is compromised and she run right into a bounty-hunting werewolf who doesn’t want her to run.(CWs:abuse,violence, abductions).

12. The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires by Molly Harper.  (PNR m/w). Still binging light PNR and really liked this one so much more now. I DNFed the first time around due to wrong mood. (CWs: threats of SA, graphic violence, blood, medical procedures).

13. Peace, Blood and Understanding (PNR, m/w, hate to love, found family)Meadow’s HEA includes finally cutting out her harmful family from her life and honestly not enough books do that. CWs: violence, betrayal, past trauma: parental abuse.

14. Beta Read of Latinx Author’s novella.  I love some good Latinx brujeria!

15. A witch’s Handbook of Kisses and Curses (WF with rom elements, m/w) UGH I didn’t like this one.  The romance was in background for half the book and then rushed in the last half.  And sort of boring. Read it for chronology reason (CWs: violence, family betrayal, secrets).

16. The Dangers of Dating a Rebound vampire By Molly Harper (PNR, m/w, age difference, forbidden) a riff on Twilight needs to be funny & not boring. this book had too much random plot and too little character development, skimmed to the end. Gigi deserved better. (CWs: stalker)

17. Single Undead Mom’s Club by Molly Harper (PNR, found family versus toxic family) 

 

After a couple that didn’t work for me, this one did again. Over the top antic but grounded by Libby’s desire to be there for her son. (CWs: toxic family, abandonment, violence, stalking).

18. Where the Wild Things Bite by Molly Harper. (WM/WW, PNR, anti-hero, anxiety rep) a book delivery goes terribly wrong. Charming rogue and a bookworm survive the woods & killer shifters.  (CWs: Mental possession)


19. Accidental Sire by Molly Harper (Guatemalan-American  W/WM PNR, worst end to a meet-cute, found family).   I really liked this one, love prickly wounded heroines and Ben gets swoony. (CWs: abductions, non-consensual medical procedures)

20. Fangs for the Memories by Molly Harper (WM/WW, PNR, caretaking rogue) Dick is there when Andrea needs him most (CWs: family estrangement, grief, near-death experience).

21. Big Vamps on Campus  by Molly Harper (WM/WW) Harper actually made me care for the amoral & devious Ophelia as she grows up a little and starts carrying a bit more for those around her. (CWs: violence, blood)


22. Forever Strong by Piper J Drake (BM/AW, Thai American author)  Ying Yue and Zu’s attraction is amped up by the danger that puts them together but as she recovers her agency she also makes choices for their HEA. Fun lots of dogs! CWs: violence, abduction

23. Extreme Honor by Piper J Drake (WM/WW, Thai American author, RS) David is helping to rehabilitate Atlas but also hoping to discover why his handler was killed.  Lyn has the skills but also hidden complications.  CWs: violence, abduction, secret plot, familial baggage.

24. Ultimate Courage by Piper J Drake (Peruvian M/ WW, Thai American author, RS) Elise is on the run but Alex and Kennel guys offer her a place rest, work & security.  Hero always works to give her choices & consent. (CWs: PTSD, stalker, DV, gaslighting, violence)

25. Absolute Trust by Piper J Drake (WM/Korean American W, RS, 2nd chance, friends to lovers).  It takes a bomb to make Brandon see that he could lose Sophie at a moments notice and she wouldn’t know how much he still/always has loved her.  Cw: fun violence, secrets, abandonment

26. Total Bravery by Piper J Drake (WM/ Thai American W, RS, BFF’s little sister) Raul rescues Mali when she needs him & the attraction is undeniable, things get complicated when her sister comes back but she worries sis will break his ♥️ cws: human trafficking, gun violence.

27. Fierce Justice by Piper J Drake (WM/Thai American W, RS, instant connection) Arin stopped Jason in his tracks figuratively and literally and once they connect, they will never be the same, explosive even! (CW: guns, human trafficking, violence)  Series Binge complete!!!

28. Shifters in the Night by Molly Harper. (light-PNR, audio) empathic hind & former hermit Selkie find a way through misunderstandings.  Love this quirky town growing pains and all.  (CWs: stalker, hammer violence).

29. Red by Piper J Drake ( reissue of PNR ) A loner wolf & stubborn woman & an adoptive pack that needs to let Red chose her big bad Wolf. CW: hypoglycemia, violence)

30. One Fine Fae by Molly Harper ( light PNR, audio). A fae midwife falls for a fae-cursed human and must negotiate consent & mutual trust to break his spell ( CWs: magical childbirth, failed BC, office pettiness).

31. Junkyard Cats & 32. Junkyard Bargain by Faith Hunter.  UF audio original novellas m/w. Gritty, busy, violent and somewhat unsatisfying.   Cw: human trafficking, sex work, mentions of past rape/abuse, gun, gore & violence.

32. Charge by Cate C Wells (MC, wm/ww) Vulnerable single mom will do anything to keep her son, finds an unlikely champion. (cw: shitty father/stepmom, family betrayal, mentions of Post-partum depression, lack of family’s support, past trauma: rape, slut-shaming, victim-blaming)

33. Nickel’s Story by Cate C Wells (MC, wm/ww, therapy, stripper/enforcer) Nickel obsesses over Story from the wings, sure he would hurt her if he keys her close. Cw: violence, murder, past trauma: Domestic violence, sexual abuse

DNFed Scrap by Cate C Wells MC rom, he killed the man who hurt her and now he is back for her. (CWs: past sexual assault, murder, severe anxiety)

34.  Plum by Cate C Wells ( MC, wm/ww, stripper-millionaire) Plum does anything she needs to do to pay for her home, Adam knows all about that. He swallowed his pride & more for his place too. (CW: sex work, slut-shaming, violence Past trauma: abandonment, sexual abuse).

35. Wall by Cate C Wells ( wm/ww, marriage in trouble, depression) Wall let his wife and himself down when her post multiple miscarriage depression spirals, he got out but didn’t let go waiting on her.(CWs: past infidelity, multiple miscarriages, addiction, depression, violence).

36. Forty by Cate C Wells (wm/ww, 2nd chance,  depression, ptsd, adhd).   Forty has been angry at Neveah for a long time, but her betrayal 10yrs was not what he thought and he won’t let her be hurt again (CWs: DV, abduction, murder, past trauma: sexual abuse, traumatic accident)

37. Roosevelt by Cate C Wells (LM/ww, age gap).  Theo has wanted Carmen since he was a teen, tried to stand by her when her brother betrayed her, but she can’t face it, not until she almost loses him. (CWs: violence, medical procedures, familial betrayal).

38. The Crossover and 39. Rebound by Kwame Alexander. (novels in verse, MG/YA) How basketball, loss and friendship tie up a black family across generations. Beautiful, funny and moving. (CW: death of fathers, encounters with police, medical procedures).

40. Hitting the Wall by Cate C Wells (m/w, secret baby, contemporary).  The books had great tension and steam and stalled out in the last chapter, telling us rather than showing us the resolution. Like we need the perp walks.  (CWs: undue pressure, abuse of power, neglect).

41. Run Posy Run by Cate C Wells (m/w, morality chain, sooo violent)

Okay this was captivating. Totally horror mind fuck but it totally worked. Posy is vulnerable, brave, stupid, full of contradictions, and it was fascinating to read her journey. (CWs: Murder, violence, abuse)

42. Hidden Impact by Piper J Drake (Brazilian American M, Chinese American W) Bodyguard RS Gabe is just killing time with security details while he recovers enough to go back overseas, but when Maylin is almost killed in front of him, he can’t deny her help. (cw: guns, violence)

43. Deadly Testimony by Piper J Drake (Korean M/WW) Bodyguard RS, As a sniper Lizzie excells at going at it alone,and now she is tied at the hip to the sexiest but must infuriating man alive.  cw: threats to family, violence, guns

44. Contracted Defense by Piper J Drake (Maori M/WW) RS. A shared fight leads to a scorching one-night stand. All is well till they are introduced to each other new partner.  Can they be professional, figure out how to save the client and not burn up in lust?  CWs: violence, guns

 

45. Cherish Hard by Nalini Singh (WM/WW, contemporary) 2nd time is the charm, sort of. I bounced off this one early when it first came out, but I needed some Singh magic, so I tried again. I didn't love the set up with Isa's mom.  Still meh, but I loved Nayna a lot.

 

46. Rebel Hard by Nalini Singh (AM/AW, contemporary, arranged?? marriage)  I loved Nayna and Raj as supporting characters in Cherish Hard and seeing their complicated romance bloom & the fact that they are both virgins & working so hard to balance self vs family's traditions.

47. Beta Read for Latinx author (WM/Afro-Latinx W, contemporary)  Tons of fun to return to this series, raucous, raunchy and lot of fun. Can't wait till 2022 when the the rest of you can read it.

48. Last Guard by Nalini Singh (disabled Filipino Man/ neurodivergent Indian Woman, PNR)

Bonded as traumatized children, Canto & Payal rediscover each other and their trust for each other as they dive deep into the foundations of the psy-net.   This book was a joy (PT: abuse)

49. Love Hard by Nalini Singh (Samoan Kiwi M/Samoan Kiwi W, Sports contemporary). This is my favorite of the series, Dislike to love with great found family actions ( CWs: past trauma Neglect,  death).

50. Sexy/Dangerous by Beverly Jenkins (BM/BW, RS, bad first impressions, lust to love) A scientist working on world changing prototype needs protection. Max will protect Adam but she won’t make it easy on him.  Super fun world building. (CWs: past trauma: dog attack).

51. Deadly Sexy by Beverly Jenkins (BM/BW, RS, hidden identity) When JT’s car is sabotaged a fine black trucker comes to her rescue, but there is more to him than that. Sports, drugs & bombs all get in the way till JT claims what is hers.  CWs: past trauma assault, violence, guns

52. Edge of Dawn by Beverly Jenkins (BM/BW, RS) Saint & Narice are drawn together on a deadly high-pressure treasure hunt. Lots of explosions & fast cars and decoding of quilts.  Fun to see what Galen & Hester’s descendants are up to in Detroit!

53. Edge of Midnight by Beverly Jenkins (BM/BW, RS)  Black Detroit Batman/architect with a thing for dragons, who decides to strong arm the most stubborn community activist on the eastside who shot him into a MoC to protect his secret crimefighting. CW: violence, mentions of rape

54. Black Lace by Beverly Jenkins.  A love letter to Detroit and Michigan, featuring a determined environmental official Lacy and His Finess Dr.Drake Randolph as they run down illegal dumpers & study up on love & romance. CWs: guns, mentions of murder, gore.

55. Barely Breathing by Pamela Clare (WM/WW, RS, 2nd chance, quirky small town)  They were inseparable in HS, but she dreamed about getting away from her difficult dad & their small town. 10 yrs later. cw: guns, assault, alcoholism,past trauma: sexual harassment, death of mom

56. Slow Burn  by Pamela Clare (WM/WW, RS, small town/city girl, wedding party shenanigans) Victoria & Eric got off on the wrong foot, but thrown together during Lexi & Austin’s wedding week, they chemistry ignites. CWs: blackmail, sexual assault, non-consensual sex tape.

57. Falling Hard by Pamela Clare (WM/WW, RS, ⭐️widow w/kids & next-door). Stranded & sick w her twins, Jesse step in. He’s watched out for her in secret, scared to get emotionally involved but he can’t stay away Cw: suicidal ideation, PTSD, grief, ptrauma: DV/abuse, war

58. Tempting Fate by Pamela Clare (Lakota M/biracial W, RS, fated mates, found family) Naomi campsite invaded by violent escapees & left for dead where Chaska & his sis Win find & rescue her.  She finds more than love but family. CWs: violence, guns, pt: cult, abuse, abandonment

59. Close to Heaven (WM/WW, secret pining) Joe wants to atone for his family’s exploitation of Scarlet Springs, secretly giving back.  Rain has worked for Joe since she arrived a homeless teen mom. 20 yrs ago, Now or never.  CWs: unplanned pregnancy past trauma, rape, murder.

60. Holding On by Pamela Clare (WM/WW, RS, PTSD) elite Mt.Climber Conrad is still paralyzed  by grief 15 mo. after a tragedy on Everest. A cute dog & an even cuter trainer, motivate him to make progress.  Cw: grief, violence, assault, gore, past trauma: death of parent.

61. Chasing Fire ( ensemble sequel) fire threatens Scarlet Springs and it residents. Lots of action, adventures and tears but everyone gets their HEAs even Shota the wolf.

62. Breaking Free by Pamela Clare (O’odham M/Lakota W, RS, half-sides) Jason is only visiting, bound by promises to go back to his people but he can’t resist loving Winona, also tied to her people & work in Scarlet Springs.  CWs: guns, poachers, animal abuse, medical trauma

63. Soul Deep by Pamela Clare (WM/WW, bad 1st impressions, snowed in, age gap 45/63, RS).Loved this one.  Good thing I’m a sucker for some of PC recurring motifs as I’ve noticed many during this binge! But I loved the chemistry of these two!CWs: violence, guns, medical procedures

64. Breaking Point by Pamela Clare (WM/WW, RS) I now know why Clare categorizes the Scarlet Spring books action adventure while the Iteam books are RS, non-stop danger.  Neat to see origins of characters I already know. CWs: murder, violence, torture, sexual assault.

65. Extreme Exposure (WM/WW, RS) investigative reporter & idealistic politicians get caught up in maze of greedy corruption. CWs: harassment, death threats, assault, violence, guns, abandonment, slut shaming.

66. Hard Evidence by Pamela Clare (WM/WW, RS)when a a teen is gunned down in front of her Tessa, takes it upon her self to learn why and straight into the crosshairs of Undercover agent with a big street cred & the big bad he is after. Cw: sexual assault, human trafficking, guns

67. Unlawful Contact by Pamela Clare (WM/WW, RS) Sophie never expected to see Hunt again, and certainly not to kidnap her. Drawn together by his missing sister, they know their relationship is doomed. CW: sexual assaults, imprisonments, ptsd, survivor guilt, addiction, murder

68. Naked Edge by Pamela Clare (WM/Navajo W, RS). Extremely Sexy but emotionally cutoff Gabe keeps finding himself saving tenacious journalist Kat as she unearths a terrible crime on the sacred Mesa Butte CWs:murder, racism, harassment, slut shaming, medical procedures, violence

69. Skin Deep by Pamela Clare (WM/WM, RS, novella) I’ve been waiting for Megan’s story since Marc’s book. So sweet. Cw: scars, attempted SA, rape survivor, drug use, violence, guns.

70. Striking Distance (PR/Cherokee M/WW, RS) although an I-team book it felt pretty distanced from the core group, clearly launching the Cobra Elite series.  PR rep was medio/medio.  CWs: rape, abuse, forced pregnancy, PTSD, racism, murder, terrorism.

71. Seduction Game by Pamela Clare (WM/WW, RS)  really liked this one. The ditzy/horny blonde entertainment reporter who they all love is really CIA.  CWs: abduction, torture, murder, shootings, threats of sexual assault.

72. Deadly Intent by Pamela Clare (Mexican American M, WW, RS) negative first impressions, intense  bonding under fire, sex/salsa dancing, CWs: medical procedures, guns, stalking, violence, past trauma, sexual assault, harassment, bad parents, war,

73. Hard Target by Pamela Clare ( WM/WW, RS, dead bff’s sister, private army, Afghanistan, midwife) Derek & Jenna fall fast and hard in the worst possible time.  Eh.  CWs: war, threats of rape, rape as a tool of war, childbirth, medical procedures, torture, murder, abduction)

74. Hard Asset by Pamela Clare ( WM/Bangladeshi- American W, RS, bodyguard, war criminal prosecutor)  Shanti needs protection while securing evidence against a Burmese War Criminal, can a w of peace love a soldier?CWs: war crimes, threats of rape, genocide, kidnapping, murder,

 

75. Hard Justice by Pamela Clare (WM Scottish/WW, RS, murder solving vacation.  When Quinn’s BFF is murdered & tarred in the press, Shields flies in to help him & keep him out of Jail CWs: drugs, child sexual abuse, human trafficking, murder, alcoholism, domestic violence.

 

76. Hard Edge by Pamela Clare. (Puerto Rican M/Venezuelan-American W, RS, hidden identity) almost skipped this one because I’m spoiled by awesome PR rep by PR writers. Did enjoy Gabi and the impact posing as a nun had on her life. CWs: guns, murder, drug dealing, threats of rape

77. Hard Pursuit by Pamela Clare (BM, Chinese-American W, RS, nurse abducted, one-man rescue) Malik & Kristi were meant to be a fling with no strings but when she is kidnapped, Malik drops everything to find her. CWs: rape threats, child soldiers, guns, violence, abduction

78. Hard Line by Pamela Clare ( WM/WW, RS, trapped in Antarctica with a killer) when Sam’s  BFF is killed, she takes her place on a dangerous secret mission  & unexpectedly discovers there is more to life than science. Stoic Thor finally loses his cool CWs: guns, murder, poison

79. Better Homes & Hauntings by Molly Harper (audio, close quarters with ghosts.) I really enjoyed this, with its dual love stories, murder mystery and found family elements. 

CWs: abusive, controlling ex, murder, violence, ghostly encounters

80. Edge of the Woods by Jules Kelly  (WM/WW, bi mc, PNR) New human deputy moves to unknowingly into a Wolf town and falls for the alpha who can’t tell him their secrets.  Promising, but pacing stalled as the secrets were held a bit long CWs: violence, murder, past trauma abuse.

81. Her Viking Wolf (WM/BW, time travel fates mates). Loved the worldbuilding & the heroine. Chloe wants to marry her best friend, She is in deep denial when Viking Wolf king tumbles out of a portal, looking for her. CWs:violence, abandonment, childbirth, mating heat, kidnapping.

 

82. A Christmas Spark by Diana Biller (WM/WW, kisses only novella, scientists find love) lovely, swoony and delightful as John & Winnifred do science, fail at tea & ice skating and fall in explosive love.  CWs: gender discrimination, family rejection.

83. The Scottish Wolf by Theodora Taylor (WM/BW, PNR, boss/employee, mating fever,cancer, miracle pregnancy, KU) For the first 1/3 of this book her boss is such an asshole and then Taylor flips it all around and it is hilarious and so wrong. (CW: cancer, miracle baby, turning)

84. The Scottish King by Theodora Taylor (WM/BW, PNR, enemies to lovers, mating fever, kidnapping, KU) Continues the drama from the last book and dials it up a notch. So soapy but there is story cliffhanger and no book 3 yet!! (CW: coercive/forced matings, kidnapping),

85. Hold Your Breath by Katie Ruggle (WM/WW, RS, boss/employee, opposites/attract stalker, KU) Another RS series I can binge!! Lou is chaos sprite & Callum is all about order, but they sizzle, they just have to survive her stalker & solve a murder. CW: murder, terrible family).

86. Fan the Flames by Katie Ruggle (WM/WW, friends to lovers, grumpy/sunshine, prepper/MC) Ian is torn between his Fire Co & MC he grew up in until they start targeting the solitary Rory who he has loved for years.CWs: guns, alcoholism, murder, arson, harassment, parental suicide

87. Gone too Deep by Katie Ruggle(WM/WM, city girl/mountain man, virgin hero) Ellie arrives unprepared but ready to track her missing father but she needs George’s help to track him. CWs:threats of SA, murder, guns, violence, parent with mental illness, arson

88. In Safe Hands by Katie Ruggle, (WM/WW, friends to lovers, agoraphobic traumatized MC, cop MC) Daisy watches her neighbors from her fortress-like home, until it brings danger to her door. Found family,  CWs: murder, arson, gaslighting, past trauma, mental illness.

89.After the End by Katie Ruggle (WM/WM, HEA epilogues with weddings, proposals, babies, continued healing & a crate of stolen/rescued puppies. CWs: theft, car accidents.

90. Run to Ground by Katie Ruggle (WM/WW, RS, evil stepmother, kids in peril, kidnapping) Jules does what she must to keep her siblings safe, an then falls for a grumpy cop who chooses to trust her and not as too many questions (CWs: child abuse)

91. On the Chase by Katie Ruggle (WM/WW, RS,  witness hiding) Theo might not as questions but Hugh has dozens for Grace because her story is super squirrelly, but he is not going let anyone get to her. ( CWs: violence, guns)

92. Survive the Night by Katie Ruggle (WM/WW, RS, mob princess escapes) Sarah has been terrorized in that gilded cage for too long, so she jumps at the chance of escape.  Otto will take on anything for her. (CWs: violence, guns, dirty cops, murder, abuse)

93. Heavy by Cate C Wells ( WM/WW, autistic MC, marriage of convenience) Justice, revenge, guilt & a “not-real/too-real wedding in Vegas. When sheltered Dina blackmails Heavy into covering up a planned murder, neither of them expected to fall in love. (CWs: past SA, murder)

94. Dangerous Ground by Rachel Grant (WM/WW, Suspense/thriller with rom elements, 1st in series (no HEA yet, stranded, missing sibling, grief). This book was fantastic and I can’t wait for Bk2 out in January). Loved getting to know the MCs, CWs: violence, murder, fake SA claims).

95. Concrete Evidence by Rachel Grant (WM/WW, RS, political intrigue) Erica is trying to eek out a living, living in fear looking for a way to clear her name, when she is saddled with a lazy intern, who is more than he says he is. (CWs: abuse, abandonment, murder, lies, Past SA).

96. Body of Evidence by Rachel Grant (WM/WW, RS, attorney/witness, enemies to lovers, road trip)

Curt’s ideals are everything to him but Mara makes him want to shred them but he prosecuting her uncle (CWs: smallpox, kidnapping, death sentence, SA, stalker, murder, war crimes)

97. Withholding Evidence by Rachel Grant (WM/WW, RS, bad first impressions) Trina has a job to do and Keith secrets he will never tell anyone but they are just right for each other (CWs: harassment, sexual discrimination, explosions, murder, kidnapping, mentions of genocide)

98. Night Owl by Rachel Grant (WM/WW, no-strings) Jenna & Brad have been circling each other for years, hiding their mutual desire because he plans to leave their small town as soon as he can but when they are finally thrown together, they can’t stay apart. (CWs: threats).

99. Incriminating Evidence by Rachel Grant (WM/WW, enemies to lovers) She is a threat to his company & campaign but she is also the only person he can trust to help him find out the truth. (CWs: kidnapping, torture, stalking, violence, murder).

100. Covert Evidence by Rachel Grant (WM/WW, no trust, kidnapped for your own good) Cressida is in over her head and can't trust anyone while on the run in eastern turkey, especially the hot CIA agent who kidnapped her.  CW: kidnapping, murder, past trauma: abuse, SA, violence.

101. Cold Evidence by Rachel Grant (WM/WW, RS, 2nd chance, hate to love).  Undine needs the help of the last man who would ever help her, the man whose life she wrecked(CWs: betrayal, explosions, fire, false accusations, murder) .

102. Poison Evidence (WM/WW, secret identity, spy, lies) Ivy’s thought her life imploded & then she found out her scummy cheating ex was a terrorist-backing traitors who sold her invention & the govt set her up for a dangerous mission! (CWs: kidnapping, violence, threats of SA)

103. Silent Evidence by Rachel Grant ( BM/WW, IR, RS, about time!) Sean & Hazel have been circling each other for years but the deep secrets of their friendship circle endanger them, it is finally the time for the truth.A crowded book & lots of hot/cold (CWs: racism, murder)

104. Winter Hawk by Rachel Grant (WM/WW, Jewish MC) Nate pick up a fare for his brother’s company and ends up rescuing a computer program, whose whole like is about to be hacked.  (CWs: past sexual harassment, past dead parent, incels, fire, murder).

105. Tainted Evidence by Rachel Grant ( Jewish WM, Bi WW)  Loved Maddie, she is a totally a save herself kind of heroine and Josh who is compulsive caretaker needs her NO BS kind of energy in his life.  (CWs:looted bones,  past miscarriage, doxxing, white supremacists, racists).

106. Tinderbox by Rachel Grant(WM/WW, military RS)An Archeological survey uncovers more than a historic trove of bones…it might change the history of a nation. CWs: war, racism, bombs, threats of SA, guns, colonialism, violence, slavery, kidnapping, human trafficking, toxic dad

107. Catalyst by Rachel Grant (Native M/WW, military RS) Is the a victim or the cause? Enemies to lovers (CWs: toxic family, SA, human trafficking, violence, guns, past: addiction, past trauma: sexual exploitation, attempted genocide)  Easter egg for Evidence series readers.

108. Firestorm by Rachel Grant (BM/WW, IR, Military RS, covert ops, fake relationship, secrets) Cal & Savvy’s long dance of attraction denial combusts in the Congo, ignited by mutual respect. CWs: SA, CIA political  fuckery, Human trafficking, violence, guns, murder, war.

109. Archangel’s Light by Nalini Singh (WM/WM, UF/PNR, friends to lovers, sloooowburn, flashbacks)

 

Aodhan & Ilium’s lifelong bond is unwound & reforged, negotiating how to love a new way. 

 

CWs: murder, child abuse, mental illness, PTSD, past trauma: SA, kidnapping, abandonment

110. Broken Falcon by Rachel Grant (WM/WW, RS, MC sex worker, SA survivor MC)  We get Chase’s story at last and it is a twisty story with double hidden identities, lots of mind fucking (of the good & bad kind!).  CWs: SA, harassment, rape threats, murder, human trafficking)

111. Inferno by Rachel Grant (Latinx M/BW , military RS) coda to the Tinderbox series, with its own condensed fake relationship, just one night, terror plot!  Sweet, sexy & intense. Running out of RG books!  ( CWs: rape threats, bombs, kidnapping, betrayal, violence, guns).

112. Grave Danger by Rachel Grant ( WM/WW, cop MC, Archeologist discovers a murder victim at indigenous site and has her credibility systematically destroyed to help hide the murder. Cw: stalker ex was an abusive cop, generational trauma, domestic abuse, racism, murder, stalking

113. Midnight Sun ( WM/WM, Paranormal Mystery)  a stolen indigenous mask that might be haunted throws suspicious museum consultant Sienna and ADA Rhys Vaughn together as they figure out who is stealing artifacts from the tribal corporation & more.  Cw: emotional manipulation

114. Diablo Lake: Awakened by Lauren Dane (BW/WM, witchy PNR) Gentle, slice-of-life small town 2nd chance romance, where nothing much happens beyond sexy courting, setting up a new practice, building a house, family visits and bonding with cute dogs. Cw: racism, secrets.

115. Black Hat, White Witch by Hailey Edwards (PNR/mystery)  loved loved this book. I loved Rue, her determination to keep Colby safe & the rediscovery of the work friends & work she once was so good at.  Very cool small town & magical world building.  Cw: murder, kidnapping

116. Black Arts, White Craft by Hailey Edwards (ww/dae m, PNR, Mystery)  aaah, I love this series and it’s great banter and flirting, just so much found family goodness.  I want to read all of these… but I don’t think they are out yet! Cw: gore, guns, murder, stalking.

 

117. Bayou Born by Hailey Edwards ( UF, WW lead, cop MC) Double layers of found family as the hard-fought normality of Luce’s life disintegrates a bad she has to fight for her friends & sanity (Cw: slavery, abduction, violence, gore)

118. Bone Driven by Hailey Edwards (m/f, UF with romantic elements) life gets more complicated and painful for Luce. No punches pulled. Cw: violence, murder, coercion)

119. Death Knell by Hailey Edwards (m/f, UF with romantic elements)staying Luce and not Conquest is getting harder and the end game more complicated.  Cw: violence, murder, coercion)

120. Rise Against by Hailey Edwards (m/f, UF with romantic elements) loved the complicated relationships that Luce and her crew are trying to negotiate while saving the world. Cw: violence, murder, coercion)

121. End Game by Hailey Edwards (m/f, UF with romantic elements) lots of twists and turns, and lots tears and double/triple crossing but HEA is right there for everyone. Cw: violence, murder, coercion)

122. Rare Danger by the Great Ms.Beverly Jenkins (BM/BW, m/f, personal librarian MC, Detroit-set RS, fade to black) Stolen rare books, missing hands, a independent romance loving MC and the finest mystery man to research with.  (Cw: violence, abduction and guns)

123. Reckless at Heart by Zoe York (m/f, single dad, just a fling, mutual pining) Kerry’s biological clock is ticking but she is deeply attracted to the grumpy dad of her young patients.  Owen had a plan but feelings, big feelings derailed them.  (Cw: pregnancy (not MCs))

124. Fierce at Heart by Zoe York (m/f, friends to lovers, fake relationship, platonic marriage)  Adam thinks he can’t love, but he jumps at the chance of marrying his old friend so she can buy a bakery for $1!  They vow to be each other cheerleader 💕💕( Cw: abusive stalker ex) 

125. Fated Blades by Ilona Andrews (m/f, SFR, Kinsmen U, enemies to lovers). Betrayed by their spouses and their families in peril, Ramona & Matias must fight & dance together to keep their powerful research safe (Cw: murder, past trauma: witness to massacre, violence) .

126. Love in a Snowstorm by Zoe York (m/f, age gap, bff’s little sister, mutual pining) . Dani and Jake’s timing has never been right, in no small part because he is 5 yrs older & she is the little sister of his best friend.  I loved the complicating wrench played by York.

127. Love on the Outskirts of Town by Zoe York (m/f, single mom, former  players (both MCs), anxiety, trauma & PTSD).  Loved loved Natasha & Matt’s story. Their acceptance of each other, the fierceness of their love. (Cw: abandonment, custody threat, medical procedures)

128. Love on a Summer Night by Zoe York ( m/f, widowed mom, writer mc, “research”, biker bad boy??) Faith has been cocooning since her husband’s unexpected death, until Zander zings into town & steals her heart and reawakens her longing for adventure. (Cw: grief, child in peril).

129. Love on the Run by Zoe York (m/f, singer/bodyguard, terrible ex, anxiety)  Liana is hiding out in her bff's house, but she has to go back to the tour and her life as country music star...but gah big feelings.  Dean is getting a crash course in bodyguarding...but big feelings

130. Love in a Sandstorm by Zoe York (wm/ww, whirlwind, separation, war injuries, disability). Sean and Jenna fall in love but have to fight to stay marry after he is injured and no one knows they are married. (Cw: abandonment, parental neglect, medical procedures, war).

131. Love on the Edge of Reason by Zoe York (wm/ww, secret affair, surprise pregnancy)  secret no strings affair and hidden feelings get complicated quick for gestating Chloe but Tom is set on being the partner she needs, even if she is still scared of commitment. (Labor, birth)

132. Wild at Heart by Zoe York (m/f, nemesis rom, old crushes, grief).  Catie has thrown herself into making Pine Harbor a better place since she moved back.  Will finds her kind of bossy and has been holding a grudge for a perceived slights…but they throw serious 💕sparks!

133. Black Truth, White Lies by Hailey Edwards (UF, m/ww, found family, magic) Rue expands her family and faces some hard truths. Love the slow burn btw her and Asa.  (Cw: animal mutilation, gore, violence, abuse)

134. The Missing Page by Cat Sebastian (WM/WM, cozy mystery, queer found family).  Secrets and unpleasantness dutifully ignored until a will full of strange bequests cracks them open ( Cw: queer phobia, death, grief).

135. Siren’s Calling by Piper J Drake (WM/BW, PNR/Fantasy) Exiled Merwoman teams up with a selkie to save the orcas of Puget from a new predator…and uncovers terrible secrets.  Really enjoyed the “fish-out-water” dynamic of Amae’s Cw: violence, mentions of past genocide.

136. Scales and Sensibilities by Stephanie Burgis (WM/WW, magic) Elinor snaps under her cruel cousins’ tyranny and ends up a caught up in a web of deception of her own Wishing.  Fun & funny, can’t wait for more (Cw: past parental deaths, verbal abuse, threats of prison).

137. Dead in the Water by Hailey Edwards ( WM/WW, UF, shifters/fae, magical serial killer, found family, grief) Cam punishes herself for her sister’s death by investigating magical drownings but stumbles into something even deadlier and more sinister (cw: murder, violence) .

138. Hell or High Water by Hailey Edwards (WM/WW, UF, shifters/fae, serial killer, therapy) Can’t say I loved how the central mystery resolved as it relates to Lori but I did love the deep work Cam has to do to heal emotionally. (Cw: murder, dead of disabled sibling, violence)

139. Fish out of Water by Hailey Edwards (WM/WW, novella, love talker/sort-of-mermaid), trauma recovery)  sweet and gentle romance for Harlow as she heals and update on Bianca’s healing. Cw: mind manipulation, gore, bullying

140. Dog with a Bone by Hailey Edwards (m/w, UF, magic bounty Hunter) bounced off this book when it first came out…just didn’t click. Having read 4 bks in a later series I came back…almost bounced again…it starts in the middle…but this time it clicked. (Cw: violence, murder)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Mini-Reviews 2022: November

72585F0C-D2DE-4D4E-B454-0E874F97F407
106. The Witness by Nora Roberts ( ND fugitive/small town cop) One night of rebellion, twelve years on the run, and affectionate persistent man who helps find a way to stop running.  I got stuck halfway because I worried so much about how it might go wrong! ( Cw: guns, murders). 11/14/22

 

107. Voice of Fear by Heather Graham (WM/WW, ghost-seeing FBI) hoping I can let this series go now that I’ve finished this arc.  Lost its charm a while ago.  But hooray for no confederate ghosts in this one!  Cw: murder, human trafficking, kidnapping ( 11/17/22)

 

108. Public Secrets by Nora Roberts ( WM/WW, rock royalty/cop)  Emma’s tragic childhood in the public eye dominate this WF/thriller.  Had to skim parts! Really enjoyed how messy the Love interest is. 

 Cw: depictions of child abuse, death, grief, drug use, depictions of homophobia, intimate partner, violence, guns, fatphobia 11/ 22/22

 

109. Sacred Sins by Nora Roberts (WM/WW, serial killer) button-down psychiatrist teams up with cops to stop a religiously motivated murderer. Nora leaves so many sequel bait 2ndary  characters on the table!   So much smoking! Cw: murder, suicidal ideation, grief, guns. 11/25/22

Update:  Ed gets the next book! It wasn’t a standalone after all! Sequel bait pays off! 

 

110. Brazen Virtue by Nora Roberts

Grace is shattered when her sister is violently murdered and she needs to make sense of it by involving herself in the investigation…I loved Ed’s steadfastness as he falls for Grace.  

 

Cw: slut-shaming, fatphobia, violence, murder, SA

 


Mini-Reviews 2022 : September

96. Aura of Night by Heather Graham (RS, WM/WW, ghosts, serial killers) oooh so boring.  Editor heroine (cw: murder,guns, abduction) 9/4/22

97. High Noon by Nora Roberts (RS, WM/WW, hostage negotiator heroine ) Loved this couple and their dynamic. Tons of competence and found family but I need an epilogue! FTW (cw: transphobia, SA, Harassment, stalking, murder, gore) 9/4/22

98. The Villa by Nora Roberts ( WM/WW, RS, family saga)   Wow La Nora surprised me with how she wrapped this up.  I was on the edge of my seat.  Loved Pilar & her 2ndary romance.  And Maddy!! ( Cw: stalking, murder, violence, harassment ) 9/14/22

99. The Tribute (WM/WW, RS, generational trauma).  3rd Gen. Hollywood royalty turned contractor & house flipper returns to her family’s neglected family home to restore it and make a home but unearths secrets, falls for the nerd next-dr. Cw: murder, ableism harassment, vandalism. 9/18/22

100. Cold Pursuit by Toni Anderson (WM/WW, RS, mall shooting, terrorist false flag attack).  So I finished but mostly out of frustrated bafflement. There were some intense good moments but mostly this was a big no. Cw: murder, slut-shaming, DV, poor “maybe it’s autism”rep) 9/24/22

 

 


Mini Reviews 2022: August

91. Chasing Fire by Nora Roberts (WM/WW, RS). For Rowan Smoke jumping is not just her job but her family and passion.  But her job doesn’t make relationships easy…so she has rules and Gull makes her  breaks all of them (Cw: murder, slut-shaming, violence, abandonment issues) 8/16/22

92. Fire and Rain by Pamela Clare ( WM/Indigenous W, Kodiak AK, Coast Guard Helo rescue, RS, survivor guilt BFF & widow, single parent) Sean is doing his best to fill Justin’s shoes but feel guilty and conflicted when he starts falling for his widow. Cw: drugs, guns, violence 8/20/22

93. Sanctuary by Nora Roberts (WM/WW, RS, serial killer, past trauma) a family fractured by a long ago loss, reopens old wounds and finally heals.  Intense trauma. Heroine and Dad read as ND. MMC kept secrets too long.  Cw: graphic on page SA, abandonment, murder, lying 8/21/22

94. Homeport by Nora Roberts ( WM/WW, RS, thief hero!) Prim, proper Dr. Jones is having her professional reputation shredded by and thru an unexpected series of events the thief that stole from her might be her best ally! Cw: murder, toxic parents, violence, stalking. 8/23/22

95. Ruby Fever by Ilona Andrews (Hidden Legacy series, WM/WW, UFR, resolution) aaaaaaaaaaaaah, so many plot threads resolved, new avenues hinted at.  (Cw: violence, guns, war, past trauma: abuse, also lots of imperial Russians. ) 8/26/22

 


Mini-Reviews 2022: July

82. Sound of Darkness by Heather Graham (Paranormal RS, WM/WW) the romance was pretty perfunctory, dislike to love, only the dog and the amusement of Ragnar over the couple and the serial killer got me through it.  Cw: murder, rape, emotional abuse. 7/1/22

83. Hostile Pursuit by Juno Rushdan ( bodyguard/witness, WM/WW, LEO excessive force history).   Last days in WITSEC and all hell breaks loose, non-stop action and a hero that needs therapy and a new line of work.  Liked the backstory and supporting characters. Cw: assassinations 7/1/22

84. Finding His Mark by Piper J Drake (RS, WM/Thai-Am W, fake girlfriend, assassins). I loved the tension in this story as Su & Michael as they figure out if the can have a future together. Cw: murder attempt, past trauma: rape) 7/1/22

85. Storm Echo by Nalini Singh (m/f, PNR, amnesia, healer/self-hating killer pairing) I feel like I forgot everything that happened in Payal & Canto’s book but I got very invested on Lei & Ivan’s love anyway. Cw: violence, murder, drug addiction, past trauma: parental neglect). 7/1/22

86. The Search by Nora Roberts ( RS, WM/WW, serial killer, competence p rn) dog trainer heroine, serial killer survivor/widow & grumpy wood artist.  Loved it. Great supporting characters, small town vibes. Cw: abduction, murder, SA, guns.7/11/22

87. The Locked Room by Elly Griffiths (mystery with rom elements, Covid-19/lockdown) set in the early days of the pandemic, the team explores suspicious suicides and Ruth uncovers an unexpected family connection to her cottage by the sea. (Cw: suicide, abduction, medical drama). 7/14/22

88. Blue Smoke by Nora Roberts (m/f, missed connections, arson, revenge murders, LEO) family drama, felt sad about the sister’s non-HEA but I loved BO fumbling so hard when he finally meet her.  Cw: stalker, murder, SA, arson. 7/17/22

89. The Collector by Nora Roberts (WM/WW, RS, caretaking Artist/commitment phobic house-sitting-author). She witnessed a murder while watching “window show” and his need for answers tangles them up in deadly treasure hunt. The BFFs get HEAs! (Cw: murder, torture, g*psy imagery) 7/20/22

90. Angels Fall by Nora Roberts ( WM/WW, RS, grumpy writer/wounded chef, violence survivor) living nomadically while healing from a mass shooting, Reese stops in small town & unexpectedly witness a murder… but few believe her (Cw: gaslighting, murder, stalking, guns, G*psy slur) 7/23/22

 


Mini Reviews 2022: June

76. Always Time to Die by Elizabeth Lowell (NM-set, WM/WW, RS) Incest, rape, casual racism and slut-shaming run rampant through this tangled story of an family historian & genealogist who newest job makes her a target of a murderer intent in keeping family secrets quiet. 6/4/22

77. Northern Lights by Nora Roberts ( WM/WW, RS, Alaska, bush pilot/ depressed chief of police)  Missing kids, a cooooold murder case and small town, city boy in the small Alaskan town. Loved it. (Cw: murder, suicidal ideation, guns, gore, dead dog) 6/7/22

78. The Obsession by Nora Roberts ( WM/WW, serial killer stalker, house renovations) a review I read critiqued  just how much house renovations is part of this book but I loved it. From her awesome gay uncles to her rock mechanic. (Cw: murder, abuse, suicide, rape, abduction) 6/10/22

79. Murder Takes the High Road by Josh Landon (WM/WM, mystery rom, librarian, fandom)  secrets, jealously, bad blood and other intrigues on a Literary Bus Tour Hijinks. Cw: murder, guns. 6/13/22

80. Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts (WM/WW, RomSus, false accusations, family secrets). I really love this mini-genre of sadman with lots of baggage gets bulldozed by quirky woman in this case with bossy post-it notes, (Cw: murder, family secrets, past trauma: rape, stalking). 6/15/22

81. Under Currents by Nora Roberts (WM/WW, Abuse, IPViolence, Stalking)  I only had the audio for this and some of the sections were so hard to listen to.  Did love Darby/Zane and the whole family HEAs. Cw: murder, abuse, stalking, harassment, children in peril, guns… 6/18/22

 


Mini-Reviews 2022: May

58. The unforgiven by Heather Graham (m/f, white mc’s) survivor of brutal slaying is out to get the ax murder who is out for blood once again. (Cw: betrayal, murder, gore).
5/1/22

59. The Postscript Murders by Elly Griffiths (multiple POVs, queer Anglo-Indian detective, romantic elements). Twisty, turny and engrossing mystery about an quirky old lady’s murder, her passion for crime novels and her friends who seek to find out what happens. Cw: guns,murder. 5/2/22

60. The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths (UK  mystery with a Gothic twist) Multiple POVs, Divorced English teacher, her daughter & the Detective Srgt on the case with their narrations Intercut with passages from gothic horror story. Sublimely engrossing. (Cw: murder, stalking) 5/4/22

61. The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths (Ruth Galloway series: mystery, archeologist bone expert). Moody, engrossing, w/vulnerable but solitary, judgmental, idealist & brilliant protagonist (Cw: fatphobia, murder, abduction, child death, pet death) 5/5/22

62. Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths (RGM #2)  Love how the relationships continue to change, grow & complicate. Cw: fatphobia, child murder, grief, abduction, secret pregnancy. 5/8/22

63. The House at Sea’s End by Elly Griffiths (RGM#3) childcare, new parental worries & precarious secrets dominate in this subdued mystery.  Cathbad is the best. Cw: child death(past), war crimes, murder, grief, secrets. 5/8/22

64.  The Room Full of bones by Elly Griffiths (RGM#4) 

A lot happens & I'm squint at a lot of it. Cathbad continues to be the best, and I am fascinated by the complicated relationship developing btw Nelson, Michelle & Ruth

Cw: Transphobia, medical procedures, murder, animal abuse 5/9/22

65. A Dying Fall by Elly Griffiths (RGM #5) Really felt like a mid-season ending. Lots of new faces, goodbyes, endings, changes & grief. 

 

Cw: murder, arson, grief, cancer, child peril, white supremacy, transphobia, homophobia, racism, ableism. 5/10/22

66. The Outcast Dead by Elly Griffiths (RGM #6)  finally some romantic resolutions to one of the set of secret baby having lovers!  Two of my faves get their HEA! 

 

Cw: murder, child death, child peril, ableism, abduction. 5/11/22

67. Ghost Fields by Elly Griffiths (RGM #7) oh Ruth!  That is all I got.  Also super creepy!  And I love that Cathbad is so happy even when he is wrong.  

 

Cw: murder, assault, pigs that eat people. 5/12/22

68. The Woman in Blue (RGM #8) The intersection of misogyny and religion converge in pilgrimage town and Ruth, Cathbad and Nelson get involved in another murder together.  This one kept me guessing.

 

Cw: Murder, assault, threatening letters, addiction, suicide. 5/16/22

69. The Chalk Pit (RGM #9) Creepy tunnels, murdered street people and kidnapped women.  Nelson & Ruth's relationship gets even more complicated!

 

Cw: murder, kidnapping, addiction,  and as always fatphobia! 5/16/22

70. The Dark Angel (RGM #10)  Loved Ruth and Nelson in Italy, and Michelle, wow what a journey she's had. 

 

Cw: murder, threats, fatphobia, eating disorders, death of supporting character. 5/16/22

71. Stone Circle (RGM #11) lots of lies, deaths and relationships come full circle in this episode. Everyone continues to grow and change. 

 

CWs: murder, grief, guns, secrets, child abduction, fatphobia 5/17/22

72. The Lantern Men (RGM #12) I really liked this one. Creepy, unexpected resolution and the two most repressed lovers start coming closer to acknowledging their feelings and trusting their instincts  Cw: murder, grief, medical procedures, eating disorders, fatphobia 5/18/22

73. Night Hawks by Elly Griffiths (RGM #13). I need the next book right now.  Wow. Really glad I read this series I’ve become so invested in all the characters, flawed and stubborn as they are. 

 

Cw: murder, child abuse, guns, grief, medical procedures 5/19/22

74. Miss Moriarty, I presume.  by Sherry Thomas ( Lady Sherlock #6) oh I loved this! So many cyphers, conspiracies and counter-moves!  (Cw: hostages, guns) 5/21/22

75. The Zig Zag Girl by Elly Griffiths (1950’s Brighton UK, Police Detective/Magician team up) great odd-ball friendship, post-war angst, and secrets unraveling.  (Cw: murder, kidnapping) 5/30/22

 


Mini-reviews March 2022

29. The Forbidden by Heather Graham (WM/WW, PNR/RS, ghosts help stop serial killers, actress/detective) A horror movie set becomes a crime scene.  Cw: murder, SA, gore, guns, knives. 3/2/22

30. Heart of Evil by Heather Graham (WM/WW, PNR/RS, plantation-set, serial killer) there are so many sympathetic confederate ghosts in these books…I just…what?? (Murder, abduction, Past: rape, murder, slavery, war). 3/6/22

31. Sacred Evil by Heather Graham (WM/BW, PNR/RS, Jack the Ripper, serial killer).  No confederateghosts!!  But she wrote more than two ripper related books??  Will everyone the team eventually see ghosts…so many flaws but still.  (Cw: murder, rape, gore, violence, suicide) 3/7/22

32. The Evil Inside by Heather Graham (WM/WW, PNR RS) when a gentle boy is framed for murder the team unofficially makes it presence felt uncovering a conspiracy (Cw: bullying, gore, murder.) 3/10/22

33. Crowbones by Anne Bishop (Alt Fantasy) brutal like all Bishop’s books but it felt good to visit the Jumble and Sproing again as they heal and survive another case of trouble & murder. (Cw: murder, gore, abuse, drug-use, abduction). 3/12/22

34. The Unseen by Heather Graham (Native M/WW, serial killer & ghosts, new team)  eh didn’t sink into this one as much the beats are a bit too obvious Cw: murder, SA, human trafficking, drugs, abduction 3/15/22

35. The Unholy by Heather Graham (WM/WW, FBI/special effects Queen) Humphrey Boggart’s ghost is her undead roomie and he constantly quotes his famous lines!  I just what did I read?? Cw: murder, suicide, gore, biphobia. 3/18/22

 

36. The Unspoken by Heather Graham (Mixed race M/WW) Krewe Crossover, with negative first impressions. A cursed shipwreck and lost Egyptian treasures.  Cw: Murder, gore, betrayal 3/23/22

 

37. The Uninvited by Heather Graham (WM/WW) Revolutionary spy mystery, uncanny ghostly doppelganger, lies and families secrets uncovered by a historian  brings deaths to the current day (Cw: murder, betrayal, snakes, magic tricks). 3/23/22

 

38. The Night is Watching  by Heather Graham (WM/WW, ghost-town AZ) Ghost haunted ghost town, tourists & locals looking to unravel the mystery of missing gold cache. (Cw: sympathetic former confederate ghost) 3/23/22

 

39. The Night is Alive by Heather Graham (WM/WW, haunted savannah tavern) Young women are being kidnapped by pirate wannabe. Cw: rape, kidnapping, murder 3/28/22

 

40. The Night is Forever by Heather Graham (WM/WW, haunted horse farm)  a rash of unlikely accidents nearly destroy a therapy horse farm before the killer is stopped Cw: murder, kidnapping 3/38/22

 

 

 


Mini-reviews: February 2022

14 & 15. Last to Die & As Good as Dead by Beverly Barton (mystery/thriller with romantic elements, fatphobia, slut-shaming, racial slurs).  So much rape, but I was invested in Genny, Recs & Jazzy’s survival so I kept at it. Need a sweet palate cleanser (violence, murder, rape). 2/5/22

16. Hawaii Magic by Beverly Jenkins ( contp/survival novella , BM/BW, lawyer/pilot) Workaholic Anita is forced into a Hawaiian vacation which starts with her fiancée dumping her via text!  Can she relax & have fun with a cocky ex-marine ? (Cw: toxic parent, crash)  loved it! 2/5/22

16b. One Masked Night by Beverly Jenkins (cont/novella, arson investigator/ATF agent, one anonymous night). This was super sexy and sweet. Loved Eve & Leyton’s flirtations and overcoming their walls. (Cw: arson).  Fabulous love Ms.Bev’s Detroit novellas. 2/5/22 

 

17. You Sang to Me by Beverly Jenkins (BM/BW, cynical hotel maid/record producer, musical Cinderella) loved. Loved Regina, her strength, her sense of justice and her loyalty and Jamal is just gone for her! 2/6/22

 

18. I'll be Home for Christmas by Beverly Jenkins (BM/BW, celebrity chef/Broadway star, 2nd chance, past infidelity, neighbors, public proposal)  Morgan has grown up, and made changes, but Dina needs think hard before giving him a 2nd chance. 2/7/22

 

19. Dead by Midnight by Beverly Barton (m/f, suspense with romantic elements, 2nd chance) A decade old bit part in a p rn flick makes Lori a target for serial killer. Mike her old beau needs to keep her safe Cw: slut-shaming, murder of sex workers, did i mention the slut-shaming? 2/12/22

 

20. Dead by Morning by Beverly Barton (wm/ww, suspense with romantic elements, oil/water, toxic parents). A copy-cat serial killer targeting Powell agents. Derek and Maleah race against time to figure out why. cw: murder, gore). 2/16/22

 

21. Dead by Nightfall by Beverly Barton (wm/ww, suspense with romantic elements)  Griff's secrets haunt his relationship with Nic and a dead man kidnaps her.   Cw: human trafficking, rape, murder, hunting of humans). 2/16/22

 

22. Danger in Numbers by Heather Graham (wm/ww, suspense with Rom Elem. Both MC are Law Enforcement) FBI/FLDE agents hunt down a cult killing women. Really like Amy & Hunter's dynamic. ( Cw: human trafficking, cults, ritual sacrifice, misogyny, abduction, violence, guns. ) 2/18/22

 

23. Phantom Evil (biracial Cherokee M/WM,  paranormal investigators, 1st in series, set in New Orleans) ghosts & skeptics, x-files vibes with political intrigue. ( Cw: human trafficking, murder, suicide). 2/19/22

 

24. Hideaway by Nora Roberts (WM/WW, family saga with Romance, toxic parent, trauma)  I skimmed a lot of this because I didn’t expect 3/4 of the book to be set-up/growing up. Once I settled on it being a slow-roll I enjoyed the characters (Cw: murder, abduction, guns). 2/23/22

 

25. The Unknown by Heather Graham ( WM/WW, they both see ghosts, PNR RS) unraveling a ten year mystery and stopping a firebug in NOLA. CW: murder, guns, betrayal. 2/25/22

 

26. Seeing Darkness by Heather Graham (WM/WW, PNR/RS, Salem, serial killer). Kylie’s hypnosis session doesn’t go as planned…she witness a murder!  Jon is the Krewe FBI agent on the hunt, they team up! Cw: murder, guns, knives, child endangerment 2/25/22

 

27. Bound to Fall by Pamela Clare (WM/WW, detective/pro climber). Jaded and extremely buttoned up,  Darius is disarmed by Sasha’s openness, when he comes to Scarlet to find who tried to kill her.  Cw: guns, violence, betrayal, past trauma: sexual harassment, grief. 2/26/22

 

28. Deadly Touch by Heather Graham (Native American M/WW, Everglades, PNR/RS) A newly discovered psych gift unravels a decades old series of bodies  dumped in the Everglades. Cw: murder, guns, knives, abduction, betrayal. 2/28/22

 

 

 


#RomBkLove 2021 Day 1: Survival

#rombklove 2021 DAY 1 SURVIVAL
As we begin this 2nd Pandemic #RomBkLove, we've all had to grapple how life-changing this experience have been. Some have left jobs, relationships, communities in order to do what they need to survive.  Even from positions of comfort and privilege (able to work remotely, access to vaccines, etc.)  I have witnessed the gaps communal safety net, how social isolation can leave people unprotected and how so many live on a razor's edge.  In times like these romances that grapple these issues, which stark stakes, remind me of our human resilience and the power we have to help those arounds us, strangers or friends when they are in need.  I find comfort in these exercises of hope that are happily ever afters even after trauma and disaster.

WILD-RAIN-final-252x400Beverly Jenkins writes survivors.  So many of her MCs have survived traumatic pasts, including enslavement, abandonment & abuse, defiantly flourishing despite the many obstacles racism and bigotry place in their ways.  Be it Hester & Galen in Indigo, Maggie & Preacher in Night Hawk, Rhine & Eddy in Forbidden or Spring & Garrett in Wild Rain  her MCs, stand their ground, face down bullies and oppressors and do more than simply survive, they thrive, building families and communities.  US Based Historical Romance, (CW: Racism, abductions, guns, violence, threats of bodily harm, grief, Past trauma: Enslavement, sexual assault, emotional & physical abuse) (Rep:  cis BM/BW, Black author) 

Rebekah Weatherspoon is another author I turn to when I want to read survivors in a contemporary setting. Her MCs face everything from financial insecurity (Sugar Baby Series), family rejection (Xeni's Angus) to attempted murder (Beards and Bondage series)!   Her MC's creative solutions, devotion to found family and persistence in the midst of traumatic events are inspiring and comforting to me as a reader.  I love how the rejected and abandoned find home in others, how trauma is overcome and fails to define them. IR Contemporary romances  (CWs: attempted murder, betrayal, familial abandonment, secrets, kink, grief past trauma: biphobia.)( Rep: cis BW/WM, Queer Black author)

I started out 2020 by reading Anna Zabo's Reverb, little knowing how much it themes of authenticity and survival would come to mean to me. In Reverb, a when Mish, a certifiable Rock Goddess is being stalked and despite her desires to ignore it, she finds her life, band, and voice threatened,  she must come to trust David not just with her safety but with her heart and David must figure out how protect and love Mish.

David and Mish are both survivors. Both have made many sacrifices and endured much to live authentically and are able to navigate power imbalances, career demands to find love in each other.  Contemporary romance with RS tinge, bodyguard / rock queen, (CWs: stalking, grief, loss) (Rep: trans WM /WW bi, White Trans author)

In Olivia Waite's The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics,  Lucy and Catherine have survived different kinds of intellectual stifling due to sexism and abuse at the hand of the men in their lives.  In each other they find enthusiastic support, and unexpected attraction.  They are able to reclaim their intellectual and social agency, and strike blows against sexism in science, reclaiming their confidence, art and work.  Sexy and full of longing and pining.  They are stronger for what they have endured and will strive to make room for others. UK-Based Queer Historical (CWs: betrayal, intellectual theft Past trauma: domestic abuse) (Rep: bi WW/WW, Queer White Author).

 

What kinds of survival stories draw you?  What do you find compelling? Do these high stakes stories comfort you?

Archive: Day 1's Tweets

For a full list of prompts visit: https://www.anacoqui.com/2021/04/rombklove-2021.html