Always, Almond Fudge by Charlotte O’Shay

“It’s never a bad time to tell someone you love them.” This novella is as short and sweet as a scoop or two of your favorite ice cream.

What’s it About?

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On a lengthy car ride to their annual seaside vacation, a mother recounts the true story of a sweet family tradition.

It’s the summer of 1941 in the seaside town of Langford, Rhode Island, and seventeen-year-old Meredith Franklin works as a server at Seymore’s Ice Cream Shoppe. When aspiring baseball player Anthony Fanelli strolls into the ice cream shop, his teasing banter leads to romantic sparks and dreams of forever love. Their whirlwind courtship comes to an abrupt halt on December 7, 1941, when America enters World War Two, forcing the couple to put their future on hold.

Decades later, a treasure trove of wartime letters details the romance of Merry and Anthony and the sacrifices of a generation.

First Impressions

How does one keep their bored teenage son entertained during a lengthy traffic jam in the midst of their summer road trip? Easy! There’s nothing better than sharing a family tale of summer love that takes place in the shadow of war. The bulk of this novella plays out during the summer of 1941, but it is juxtaposed against a mother telling her son, Sebastian, this story of romance during the present day. I must say these few brief scenes involving the mother and son were a delightful comedic break, especially when Sebastian requests that his mother gloss over the kissing parts of the tale to instead focus on the exciting baseball prowess of his great-grandfather. It was almost a fond call-back to the young boy in the Princess Bride who solemnly asks, “Is this a kissing book?”. As it turns out, the scenes involving Anthony and Merry weren’t filled too heavily with smooches, but it was a sweet tale that will put a cheesy grin on your face from their meet-cute over ice cream, to their letters of love exchanged during wartime.

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The Events of December

Anthony and Merry’s story of romance begins during the steamy summer months of 1941. Their attraction was instant, with zings of electricity felt throughout the small ice cream shop where they first met. As their relationship progresses we see their romance extend beyond the heat of the summer into fall. When they celebrate Thanksgiving together we sigh at how their summer fling seems to be turning into a forever kind of love. However, with the progression of the seasons, we increasingly start to hold our breath in anticipation of the tragic events of December which we know are lying in wait just around the corner. This novella might be brief, but you can’t help but commend Charlotte O’Shay for her ability to capture our attention from the get-go, and instill such a wide-range of emotions throughout the pages, from infatuation to suspense and an overall captivating level of enjoyment. If you’re looking for a quick, sweet summer read that has a hint of drama, then this is the story for you!

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*A copy of this novella was provided for an honest review*

Series: One Scoop or Two. I would actually love to see this novella turned into a full-length novel. There is such strong content filled throughout this short novella that I could see myself becoming even more invested in their story the more time I spent with these characters.

Final Impressions: When I first received this novella I had every intention of saving it for the beach. However, I ended up finishing the whole thing before I could even get there! It only takes about 30 minutes to read, and has a little bit of everything you could possibly want in a summer romance. A small seaside town, sweet ice cream treats, a charming tale of love, a tad of wartime suspense, the importance of family, and a happily ever after that is simply the perfect cherry on top of the whole thing.

Smut Level: This is a clean read from start to finish. There are a few exchanges of blushing glances, a stroke of the arm, and a gentle kiss or two to make you sigh with appreciation.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $1.99 Kindle Price. The Wild Rose Press, Inc. 53 Pages.

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Starting Over by Pamela Q. Fernandes

If you’re looking for a sweet fall romance that you can finish in one sitting, then this is the book for you!

What’s it About?

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Cara Wallace is stunned to find Nathan Reynolds back in Henderson County. His sudden arrival brings to the fore unresolved questions of what might have been.
How could she unwrite the past?
How could she undo the mistakes?
How could she unlove him?

Nathan Reynolds can’t understand why Cara chose to stay in this small town. How could she sacrifice her career, her future and their love for a small run-down cottage in the middle of nowheresville? Whatever her reasons, Nathan intends to find out and start over again!

First Impressions

This is a short read, at just 64 pages, which means this review here is gonna be brief, or else I’ll risk spoiling the entire sequence of events! In spite of it’s short length, I was surprised to find out how much story and emotion could be packed into this novella without it feeling rushed. We have the opportunity to really get to know our characters, as well as the tragic reasons behind their break-up years before on the cusp of going away to college. Back then, Cara gave Nathan minimal excuses as to why there was no point in continuing their relationship, but when they reconnect after all these years he is determined to figure out the real reason behind her withdrawal. The details are devastating, but beyond them all we see a second chance at love which was seemingly lost years ago. Their years apart and previous misunderstandings can’t stop their old feelings from coming back to the forefront.

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Overcoming the Past

The bulk of this novella observes Nathan and Cara finding their way back into each other’s lives, and overcoming the ghosts of their pasts. Everything comes together to end on a big note which is so freakin’ adorable (bonfire included), but I think we needed just one more scene of Cara and Nathan connecting in the present. There’s such a focus on their past, and on how Cara’s niece, Brooke, might fit into any relationship Cara chooses to explore with Nathan.

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If we push all of that aside though I think we needed one more moment of them falling back in love after so many years apart to highlight their current emotional connection. Not only could it have allowed them to fall in love with who the other person is today rather than focusing on memories of the past, but it also could have helped to compliment the big ending scene. Because we didn’t get that the end scene felt slightly rushed in regards to the progression of Cara and Nathan’s relationship, but I don’t want to give too much away! You’ll just have to pick this book up and read it for yourself 🙂

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*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: A Sweet Fall Romance. Personally I would love if this turned into a series which highlighted every season of the year. Mkay, now I definitely want to see that happen. I’d read every single one.

Final Impression: For those of you looking for a sweet, short read as you wait for trick-or-treaters to arrive, or for your turkey to finish baking, or heck if it’s just a cold, grey fall day and you don’t feel like getting out of bed until noon, this would be the perfect solution for you. It’s a beautiful look at second chances, coming home, and recognizing that the love of your life is right in front of you. I always worry that short novellas of this length will result in us receiving just a preliminary glimpse of the characters and story, but this one presents us with almost the perfect blend of character development, romance, and the importance of family.

Smut Level: A steamy kiss here or there, but overall a clean read.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $0.99 Kindle Price. Self-Published. 64 Pages.

Hurricane Crimes by Chrys Fey

This story of murder in the midst of a deadly hurricane certainly packs a punch. And in just 43 pages!!

What’s it About?

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After her car breaks down, Beth Kennedy is forced to stay in Florida, the target of Hurricane Sabrina. She stocks up supplies, boards up windows, and hunkers down to wait out the storm, but her plan unravels when she witnesses a car accident. Risking her life, she braves the winds to save the driver. Just when she believes they are safe, she finds out the man she saved could possibly be more dangerous than the severe weather.

Donovan Goldwyn only wanted to hide from the police, but the hurricane shoved his car into a tree. Now he’s trapped with a beautiful woman while the evidence that can prove his innocence to a brutal crime is out there for anyone to find. As Hurricane Sabrina wreaks havoc, Beth has no other choice but to trust Donovan to stay alive. But will she survive, or will she become another hurricane crime?

First Impressions

I started this book before leaving for work one morning, thinking it’d be a somewhat low stakes novella to start and leave without finishing. Lemme say, bad idea! I read just 10 minutes of this before walking out the door, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it all day long. I seriously considered whipping my Kindle out during my lunch break to finish the rest of it all up in one sitting. Unfortunately that would have left my coworker to just watch me eat and read at the same time, and may have been slightly awkward. No talking allowed!!

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I was completely shocked at how much story the author was able to pack in here in just under 50 pages. Overall it was an absolute perfect blend of romance, suspense, and mother nature trying to knock down the front door. It’s not just a story of two strangers waiting out a storm together. We have the added drama of Donovan being framed for his brother’s murder, and it becomes a fascinating tale of trust. Beth has no reason to believe this stranger when he declares his innocence, but when she sees the desperation shining through his sultry violet eyes? Who could say no to that?

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A Bathtub Fit for Two

Although it was short in length, I never felt like any part of the story was rushed, or that any key plot points were left out. Did Beth and Donovan become intimate rather quickly considering the time frame? Sure, but hell, you can’t blame ’em! It’s an intense situation, and quite possibly their last moments alive as a deadly hurricane passes over them. And seriously, the dude has violet eyes. I say go for it! The only question I have is what the hell kind of bathtub did this woman have in her house where it could not only fit two people, but they had a bit of extra room to remove their jeans for some sweet, sweet, lovin’? (Note: as someone with a ridiculously shallow and narrow tub, this is just pure jealousy).

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Beth, Donovan, and Sabrina

The key players in this little novella are Beth and Donovan. However, through the brilliant use of metaphors, Hurricane Sabrina becomes a third main character in her own right. The descriptions or her rapid approach and violent wrath can practically be characterized as poetic. My favorite scene would have to be at the beginning when Beth struggles to make it to Donovan’s car which has crashed into a tree outside her house as the hurricane ravages on. You’re transported into the moment with Beth. You can feel the wind and rain lashing upon your face, feel the gravel digging into your hands as you crawl along the ground. Feel the tightening in your stomach from fear wondering if you’ll ever make it to this man before the storm carries you both away. For all of you authors out there wondering how to craft the perfect novella, I say use this as your template. Honestly, I really don’t have any criticisms! A rarity indeed 😉

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*A copy of this novella was provided for an honest review*

Series: Disaster Crimes, book 1. I officially want to read this whole series.

Should you read it? Yes! It’s less than 50 pages, you’ve got nothing to lose. Normally with novellas I make the comment that I wish it were a full-length novel. Is that the case here? Kind of. I loved the characters, the story, the drama of the storm and our murderous side plot. A full-length novel would have just given me more to enjoy. What can I say, I’m greedy at times 🙂 However!! I can honestly say that having a full-length novel was in no way a necessity. It’s perfectly wonderful as a novella, and I didn’t feel for one second that I was missing out on anything. Who needs extra fluff when you can just get to the meat of the story? Maybe instead of having a longer version I’ll just have to give it a second read!

Smut Level: We get some sexy kisses, but no details for the act itself. Considering the short length, probably a wise decision to use every bit of limited space towards the plot rather than the naked times. Never thought I’d say that!

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $1.99 Kindle Price. The Wild Rose Press, Inc. 43 Pages.

Only Yours by Nancy Fraser

The time of poodle skirts and letterman jackets is over. Let the sexual revolution begin!

What’s it About? 

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Everyone expects Rebecca Winston to marry her high school/college sweetheart, Garrett Langley. The problem is, the flame’s gone out on their romance. They’re still best of friends, but only friends. When Garrett’s father has a heart attack, his older brother Wyatt (an L.A. attorney) returns home for the first time in years. The attraction between Rebecca and Wyatt is immediate. Can Rebecca expect her family and, especially, Garrett to understand that her desires have changed and turned toward Wyatt? Can Wyatt get past the feeling that he’s poaching his younger brother’s girl?

First Impressions

Ok, so it might not be as outrageous as a sexual revolution, but the plot of the story is pretty scandalous for the time period. Although it reads like a contemporary romance, this novella is set in the early 60s. As the attraction for her boyfriend Garrett wanes, Rebecca finds that she starts to have feelings for his brother, Wyatt. Gotta say, definitely a ballsy plot for a romance! We as the readers will either sympathize with the lovebirds, or view them as cheating hypocrites. When it comes to this particular novella, I found that you do end up rooting for Rebecca and Wyatt to get together. They just have all the chemistry which her relationship with Garrett is obviously lacking.

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Attraction: Old and New

So why is it that we hope Rebecca will leave her current boyfriend for the man’s brother? Simple, she and Garrett have clearly grown apart these last few years, and it seems they’re just sticking together because it’s familiar. Even though their respective family members are all hoping they’ll finally get engaged, it’s blatantly obvious to the readers that there’s really nothing between them anymore except friendship.

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Then Wyatt comes to town, and it’s like, “Well hello spark of attraction!” Now, is it possible that Rebecca is drawn to Wyatt because she identifies in him all of the excitement and passion that she used to have in her relationship with Garrett? How the hell should I know? I’m not a therapist! It’s possible though. I will say I still did like Rebecca and Wyatt together. They share a love scene that is described in such amazingly slow detail that you can’t help but be entranced. That being said, I imagine family dinners in the future could get kind of awkward. Not to mention the bedroom. I mean, is it really a good idea to start a relationship with someone when you can actually say, “Oh, that’s not how your brother does it.”

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*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: A Candy Hearts Romance. I kind of wish the candy hearts and Valentine’s Day aspect of this series would have played in a bit more, but still a good read!

Should you read it? Now, spoiler alert that Rebecca and Wyatt do share a passionate kiss while she is still dating his brother, but that’s as far as they go. I get that this might bother some people but overall it’s still a sweet romance with a happy ending for all parties involved. Even Garrett.

Smut Level: Nothing too graphic. There are some kisses, touches, and clothing removal though.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here– this novella just came out today! $1.99 Kindle Price. The Wild Rose Press, Inc. 59 Pages.

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Be My Love by J.C. McKenzie

When this book ended I think I actually sighed. Not because I was happy it was over! No, it was just so darn sweet I couldn’t help it.

What’s it About? 

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Broken-hearted and bitter, Brenna Jones plans to spend Valentine’s weekend at her parents’ cabin, reading romance novels and devouring heart-shaped candy. When her truck hits a snowdrift and plows into a bank—during a storm, no less—her plans take a drastic detour. Eric Buchanan, the playboy jerk from her past, comes to her aid. He’s her only option for reaching safety.

Eric can’t wait to escape his parents’ latest attempt to set him up. He’s given up on happiness, knowing he blew his chance at love a decade ago. When his snowmobile ride turns into a harrying escape from a blizzard, he discovers Brenna stranded in the storm. After he ensures her safety, he plans to explain the misunderstanding that tore them apart. Can a secluded cabin help Eric convince Brenna to be his love?

First Impressions

I think most of us can agree that Brenna’s initial Valentine’s Day plans sounded pretty freakin’ awesome. I mean, she gets to find some peace and quiet at her parent’s cabin while reading romance novels, eating candy hearts, and spending some quality alone time with her vibrator. Gotta love it. But then she crashes her car, and is rescued by her former crush. Neither has completely gotten over the other, and they are now stuck in a cabin with no electricity, a fire blazing, hot cocoa and a winter storm blowing outside. Can I switch places with Brenna? Pleeeeease!!!

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Sweeter than Candy

This book is sexy as hell while Brenna and Eric fulfill a large number of their repressed sexual fantasies. You also just know these two are meant to be together. Their minds are completely in sync! Example: when Brenna spills hot cocoa on him, Eric’s first reaction is to ask her to lick it off, and her first thought is to lick it off without asking. See what I mean? In sync! Brenna definitely listens to the devil on her shoulder throughout the novella, and I really can’t blame her considering Eric has one of those sexy V-shaped pathways, if you know what I mean. In addition to all the sensual sex scenes going on between these two, there are also a bunch of funny moments between them as well, and the end is sweeter than candy!

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*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: A Candy Hearts Romance. I have read quite a few of the novellas in this series, and I am seriously craving those heart-shaped candies now! Must go and purchase some.

Should you read it? Absolutely! This is a great Valentine’s Day read, and one that you can finish in one sitting. It’s sweet, sexy, funny, and will give you and your significant other some unique ideas when it comes to using those candy hearts in the bedroom.

Smut Level: My favorite line of the novel is one said by Brenna: “I want to ride you until you scream my name.” You go girl!

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $1.99 Kindle Price. The Wild Rose Press, Inc. 66 Pages.

Charm Me by Tena Stetler

Alright ladies and gentlemen, we are about a month away from Valentine’s Day, so let’s start getting in the romantic mood with a short novella from the Candy Hearts Romance series!

What’s it About? 

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Summer Dawn Riley’s an extraordinary elemental witch whose troubled past haunts her. She’s created a calm life for herself teaching yoga and keeping people at a distance. Her life takes a one eighty degree turn when she enrolls in a woman’s weapon’s class and meets ruggedly handsome Devlin Sawyer. Devlin, a former Navy Seal, has sworn off women after two long-term failed relationships, but there is no denying his attraction to Summer. She intrigues him like no other woman ever has. Despite her attempts to ignore him, Summer is drawn to Devlin. His magic signature is strong, but he’s no warlock. Will Valentine’s Day magic find them a future together?

First Impressions

You guys! After reading this novella I might actually have to stop saying that paranormal romances aren’t my cup of tea. For some reason I’m always surprised when I come across a paranormal romance that I like, so the fact that I loved this romance was kind of a shock to my system. But you simply can’t help but be drawn in by the simmering electricity between Devlin and Summer. And I’m talking literal electricity here. Romance characters always talk about feeling a spark of passion with their love interest, but in this instance our lovebirds can actually see the sparks between them.

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Magical Chemistry

Although Devlin is only technically a half-werewolf who can’t shift into his animal form, he is the prime example of a strong alpha male with strong alpha male desires. These two definitely have chemistry, and the couch seems to be their preferred location to explore/explode their passions for each other around Valentine’s Day weekend.

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In addition to the simmering romance between Devlin and Summer, there is another dramatic story-line taking place on the sidelines. Summer is wary to use her magical powers after a rather unpleasant incident involving her brother’s vampire girlfriend. As a result of this unfortunate incident, Summer has a strained relationship with her family. I absolutely loved reading about the sexual couch explorations of Devlin and Summer, but I wish we could have explored this side story just a bit more to fully understand what happened with this treacherous vampire, and how it influenced Summer’s relationship with her fellow witches.

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*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: A Candy Hearts Romance. I’ll be featuring a few more novellas from this series between now and Valentine’s Day. Each one revolves around the holiday of love, and features a protagonist who loves candy hearts.

Should you read it? It’s a cute, short, romantic novella to read before February 14th. Just be sure to have a box of candy hearts on hand when you read it! We also have an adorable dog in here too!

Smut Level: Devlin becomes so enthralled with their love-making that his eyes glow golden. He also cooks! Tiramisu!! So he just might be the perfect book boyfriend.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $1.99 Kindle version. The Wild Rose Press, Inc. 65 pages.

Seven Sinners Anthology: Seven Sizzling Stories!

This collection of short stories all relate to a different deadly sin, and they are all sexy as sin! See what I did there? Sexy as sin? Gotta love it!

What’s it About? 

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Can’t get enough of hot contemporary romance? For a LIMITED time buy this sexy, EXCLUSIVE anthology with seven ALL NEW stories from top authors, including USA Today Bestsellers, and discover your favorite sin today! All seven sins are represented: Envy, Gluttony, Lust, Wrath, Sloth, Pride and Greed. USA TODAY bestselling authors Amy Andrews and Natalie Anderson, and Rock and Roll romance authors Robin Covington, Avery Flynn, Michele de Winton, Carmen Falcone & Talia Hunter have brought together a sizzling, lip-smacking anthology.

First Impressions: 

I don’t know why, but for some reason I love anything and everything related to the seven deadly sins, and this anthology was no exception. From start to finish, it was an entertaining read, and I’ll admit I had a lot of trouble putting it down! When one story ended I immediately wanted to go on to the next. They just suck you in. Sure, some were better than others, but I loved that every novella had an interesting story or connection between our main characters, not to mention some passionately descriptive sex scenes. Even though each story represents a different sin, you can’t ignore the fact that lust runs rampant through them all. What’s not to like?!

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The Benefit of the Format

Novellas can be both a blessing and a curse. They’re short, so you can get through them quickly, but more times than not you are left wanting more in regards to the story. In my opinion, that wasn’t really an issue with any of the novellas in this anthology. Each one had some kind of interesting back story or new-found chemistry between the characters, and I think there was only one that I felt was too short. All of the others were the perfect length, and left me more than satisfied. Just like the lovers. Tee hee. Also, because each novella was so short, you didn’t have to worry about waiting around forever for our couples to come together and get to the good stuff.

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My Favorites

There were two stories that were my absolute favorites, and surprisingly they were actually the first two novellas of the anthology. The first was surrounding the sin of envy, “Blaze for Me” by Natalie Anderson, and told the story of a female skier and her sinfully sexy sports doctor. She was envious of the love and passion that other couples had, and wanted to experience it for herself. He was more than happy to give it to her. Multiple times. I must say that if this novella was ever turned into a full length series, I would definitely be a reader.

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My second favorite was the story of gluttony called “Glutton for Punishment” by Amy Andrews. When I first considered what each sinful story would be about, I was kind of hoping that gluttony would deal with food. You know what I mean. Strawberries, whipped cream, maybe some chocolate sauce. But alas, this was actually the BDSM novella of the bunch, and I must say it was freakin’ hilarious! By far the best BDSM story I’ve ever read. Why, you ask? Because the heroine insists that she wants to try some BDSM elements for the first time, but after a few good spanks from her lover she can’t help but jump up and rub her bottom from the pain. Turns out BDSM isn’t exactly her thing. But that doesn’t mean their sexual relationship is purely vanilla! They can dirty it up pretty quickly. So ironic and awesome!

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*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: Nope, just an anthology of short stories.

Should you read it? I think the order in which the stories were presented could have been switched up, and at times the link between the story and the deadly sin was a bit of a stretch. That being said, this would be perfect for all of you out there looking for some short, sexy reads. Especially if you don’t have the time to sit down and read a full length novel, and want something you can leave and come back to later.

Smut Level: We’ve got naughty talkers, dirty talkers, and downright filthy talkers.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. The Kindle version is only $0.99, and it came out today! Amazon Digital Services. 426 pages. Also check out http://sevensinsbook.com/.

Enchantress’ Destiny by Beth Caudill

This short novella was sort of a mix between Sleeping Beauty and Lord of the Rings. We’ve got elven clans and curses running rampant all over the place!

What’s it About? 

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One dark curse, two elves and a destiny neither could escape. Disregarded by her betrothed, elven princess Clairessa Bellehaven analyzes spell books and dreams of finding someone to share her life. Betrayed by her unfaithful witch boyfriend, she convinces herself a single night with another elf will do no harm. Except the Goddess has a plan and Clairessa will have to fight to save the man who seized her heart and refused to let her go. Clan prince Rowe Calder arrived in Wildeloch to settle problems with his family’s business. What he found was the one elf he’d spent his life avoiding. His bondmate. The woman destined to bring about his death. Now he must find a way to keep his family safe when the dark elf comes to claim his soul. Will a love long denied be strong enough to save them when darkness seeks retribution. 

First Impressions

So right off the bat, the title isn’t my favorite. Mainly because I seem to spit saliva whenever I try and say it. Enchantressssss’ssss doesn’t really roll of the tongue. Ok, moving on to discussions that don’t involve spit. To be honest, fantasy romances aren’t always my favorite, and I think this book highlighted the main reasoning behind my feelings towards them. It was really hard for me to picture the world these elves were living in. It sounded like they lived in a big city with night clubs and traveling discs, but at the same time they are all about being connected to nature and surrounded by the forest. That, and other fantastical elements, such as a dark elf, Goddess, and shadow cat made it hard for me to really get lost in the story as I was having so much trouble visualizing what was actually happening.

The Relationship

Clairessa and Rowe (best name ever) are both destined to marry elves they’ve never met before, thereby linking two very powerful clans. Right when these two meet it’s blatantly obvious to the reader that they are actually destined for each other, but it takes them a while to figure it out. They’re too busy being swept away by their lust. I must say, reading such a vivid sex scene involving magical powers was definitely entertaining. Step back Christian Grey, Rowe can bind Clairessa’s hands together using only his mind. Beat that sucker!

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After they lose themselves in a night of pleasure, Clairessa winds up prego, and she and Rowe immediately fall deeply in love. That must have been some really good lovin’. Once they both find out they were destined to marry, they decide to follow through with the binding ceremony. This is where I was a little confused. The reason Rowe was so hesitant to marry in the first place wasn’t because he was a playboy bachelor looking for endless elf booty. Instead, a dark elf had placed a curse on him whereby he would die upon marrying his beloved. Even though everyone knows this curse is in place, Rowe and Clairessa still want to marry. Now I’m not exactly petitioning for full acceptance of procreating outside of wedlock, but in this case it seems like maybe it would be ok if they just co-habitate for a while. That way Rowe could, you know, live? Or actually find and destroy this dark elf?

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*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: Paranormals of Arilase, book 2. I haven’t read book 1, and honestly I think it would’ve helped some, as there are references to previous characters.

Should you read it?  Overall it was a very interesting and complex story line, but I think an extra 100 pages would’ve gone a long way. I wish that Clairessa and Rowe would’ve had more time to connect as a couple, and some more back story surrounding the dark elf and shadow cat would’ve been welcome.

Smut Level: The one descriptive smutty scene in this novella is magically smutty. Literally.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $1.99 Kindle Price. Moonlight Mountain Books. 85 Pages

Short Stories by Marcia Carrington

Below are mini reviews of two short stories written by Marcia Carrington. The tales are both very distinct, but they are definitely quick reads. Like, really quick. Like, the one is only 15 pages.

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Nancy is at the end of her rope. Her husband has left, she’s been convinced that she committed a crime at work, and believes her family is too busy to listen to her woes. All of these unfortunate circumstances have led her to the seaside, where she’s contemplating ending it all by committing suicide. As she rethinks all of the things which are going wrong in her life, a man appears out of the ocean. He’s her guardian angel, Adam. Definitely a serious scenario, but I couldn’t help but wonder what the guy was wearing. Swim trunks? Speedo? Angel toga? Or totally commando?

All joking aside, it was heartbreaking to read about someone who has given up on life, and thinks that there is no other option but suicide. Adam helps her to see she still has something to live for: her family. It makes you realize that even if you don’t have a guardian angel, there is usually somebody out there who is willing to listen. Whether it be a friend, a family member, or even a stranger, help is out there. My favorite part of this short story was the ending. It describes how Nancy was able to move on with her life after her talk with Adam on that beach. She was able to repair her relationship with her family, and open up to them about what’s been troubling her. And although she still encountered hardships in life, it showed that life is still worth living, even if you encounter a few speed bumps along the way.

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Jeremiah and Georgina’s Christmas

In the week before Christmas, Georgina is stuck working on an ad campaign in a woodsy hotel with her arch nemesis colleague, Jeremiah. He’s the ultimate lady’s man, and annoys Georgina to no end. But as the two are forced to work together, will they be able to fight their growing attraction for one another? Kind of sounds like a Hallmark Christmas special, doesn’t it? I mean, can you think of a more romantic setting than being in a secluded hotel with snow all around? I guess it could also be a horror film in the making.

jeremiahIdyllic setting aside, I did have a few issues with this story. Firstly, the writing was a tad simplistic. Practically every sentence of dialogue ended with “he said”, or “she said”. Sounds silly, I know, but it was really distracting after a while. It wouldn’t hurt to maybe throw in a “he exclaimed”, or “she responded” in there. Secondly, her relationship with Jeremiah could have used another layer of depth. Instead of just hating him for being a womanizer, maybe they could have also had a work rivalry going on.

All in all, my biggest issue with this story was how Jeremiah and Georgina came together at the end. She has hated this man for years, and the only reason she starts to look at him any differently is because other people basically tell her to do so. It’s not that he started acting any differently, or even treating her with more respect, for her to suddenly change her opinion of him. Lastly, just when Georgina starts to open up to the idea of being with Jeremiah, he proposes! Talk about jumping the gun! Maybe they should go out on a date first? See if they have the same taste in movies? Does he keep his socks on while having sex? Does he pick his teeth with a straw after eating? Do you know this man at all?!?!

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Romantic Heart Beats by Alexandra Isobel

So I woke up earlier than I wanted to last Sunday, and thought it would be fun to have a lazy morning in bed with a sweet romance novel. I was looking through the hundreds of books on my Kindle when this little number caught my eye, and considering it was a novella I figured it’d be something I could breeze through on this lovely lazy Sunday. The first page opens with gunfire, and then proceeds with explosions, body parts flying everywhere and an intense chase scene. Well…so much for my relaxing morning. romantic

Even though this novella didn’t exactly start off how I was expecting/hoping it would, it was actually a very interesting and enjoyable read. This really surprised me because the book is composed of three short stories, and in the past I haven’t had the best of luck with novellas in this kind of format. It always seems you don’t have enough time to really connect with the characters. Although these were good, I am still keeping my fingers crossed that they’ll turn into full-length novels one day, because I wanted more, more, MORE! Sorry, all that extensive gunfire and running got me really pumped!

Each story follows a different couple, but there is a common theme stringing them all together in that the male leads are part of the Chimera Team, which is an elite team of soldiers within the Canadian Armed Forces. Go Canada! I may be an American, but I went to a Canadian university for 4 years, so I have a definite soft spot for Canada. Each story is unique, but rest assured that all of these soldiers are well-built (abs and bulging muscles are mentioned multiple times), possessive, and consistently have a ridiculous amount of pent up adrenaline that they need to work off. Enter our female leads.

The first story in this novella was the most action-packed by far, and definitely my favorite of the whole bunch. It takes place during a rebel uprising in Indonesia, and our beloved heroine is trying to get to safety with her muscle-bulging security specialist, Mercury. Honestly, his name was probably one of my least favorite things about this story. Other than that, it was very suspenseful, and I loved that although he was her protector she was a strong character as well. She didn’t let her strong-willed mother dictate her future for her, and instead chose to take a chance with the burly hunk of man pulling her through the city sewers to get to freedom. When I first started reading this story I questioned how the hell the author was going to fit in a steamy love scene considering our two lead characters were on the run for their lives. I must say though, it was very well done in that our female lead thinks back on the night before when they first danced the horizontal mambo, and wonders what will happen if they ever make it out alive. My one complaint with this story was that it ended pretty abruptly, and was just too dang short. Unlike most romantic short stories it was easy to connect with these characters, and I wanted to find out more about their history together, and hopefully their future as a couple. Should the author ever turn this into a full length novel I am definitely getting myself a copy.

Our second story deals with a soldier and a woman he’s known since childhood. They fall off a ledge into some water, proceed to get out through a cave, and whilst they are wringing out their clothes they get a little frisky. Fast forward a day and the two get downright raunchy. Overall this was probably my least favorite, mainly because the timeline was a little confusing, and their love scene wasn’t my favorite. The last story was really good, and you see that all of the soldiers from these stories are on the same Special Ops team. It was sort of an, “Aw, ain’t that sweet” kind of moment. This last story was probably the most emotional because our hero falls in love with the widow of one of his fallen teammates, who asked that he look after his wife and kids after he died. However, years later our soldier still feels a sense of hesitancy making a move. Spoiler alert: don’t worry, he makes a move. Takes her right up against a door and everything.

Every story in this novella is sexy, sweet, and I think each guy refers to his woman as “mine” at least once. Gotta love it. I think I would have liked though if at least one story followed a Special Ops team member who was a woman. It would have been interesting to have such a strong female character, which a lot of readers seem to be looking for these days. Although, I really don’t know if they have women soldiers in the Canadian Special Ops, but you catch my drift. One thing that wasn’t really addressed in any of these short stories was how hard it could be for these women to enter into relationships with men who go on missions which last for months, and when they return they can’t say anything about the horrors they’ve witnessed. Because each story showed us the start of the relationships, we don’t necessarily know what they’ll look like two or three years down the road, if they even make it that long. This is definitely the type of issue which would need to be explained in a full-length novel, and I’m sitting here with all of my fingers and toes crossed that we’ll get to see them one day.

*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: Nada

Should you read it? I finished it in about an hour and a half, so it definitely won’t take you very long. If you really like romance novels featuring soldiers than I’d say this is a good opportunity to read something in a different format.

Smut Level: These boys are well-trained and strong, which means they have plenty of muscle to lift up their women and do all sorts of naughty things with them.

Get it on Amazon: Click here