Review: The Royals Next Door by Karina Halle

The Royals Next Door
by Karina Halle
Publisher: Berkley
Publication date: Aug. 31, 2021
Genre: Romance
Rating:

Piper Evans: elementary school teacher by day–avid romance reader and anonymous podcaster by night. She lives a quiet, reclusive life, taking care of her mother, who struggles with mental illness, avoiding her regrettable ex, who bartends in town, and trying to make inroads in the tight-knit island community that still sees her, five years in, as an outsider.

And she’s happy with how things are–really–until British royals rent the property next to hers and their brooding bodyguard decides she’s a security threat. Piper quickly realizes that one person’s fairy tale is an ordinary woman’s nightmare as a media frenzy takes over the island and each run-in with Harrison Cole is hotter and more confusing than the last. But beneath Harrison’s no-nonsense exterior lies a soft heart, one that could tempt a woman who’s sworn off attachments into believing in white knights.

But when Piper finds herself smack in the middle of a royal scandal that rocks the island she’ll need more than Harrison’s strong arms to shield her–she’ll have to do a little rescuing herself. With careers, hearts, and friendships on the line, Piper and Harrison will have to decide what they’re willing to give up for a chance at their own happily ever after.

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Review: My Almost Ex by Piper Rayne

My Almost Ex
(The Greene Family #2)
by Piper Rayne
Publisher: Self-published
Publication date: April 6, 2021
Genre: Romance
Rating:

In the middle of a crowded bar in our small Alaskan town, my estranged wife snuggles up to me as if we’re still a happy couple.

Don’t get me wrong, we were a happy couple—before she walked out on me a year ago. We were the high school sweethearts everyone thought were destined to be together forever. We thought so too, which is why we married shortly after graduation.

We had a good marriage. Until she left me without any real explanation.

Now, she’s back—and this is the real kicker—she has amnesia and thinks I’m still her husband. Technically I am, although the divorce papers are sitting at the lawyer’s office.

She’s desperate to remember her life in Sunrise Bay but I only want to find out why she left me. Once we conjure that memory up, it’s sayonara because there’s no second chances here. But as you probably already figured out, things didn’t go quite as I planned.

 

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Snuggly Weather Should Mean More Reading…

I’m linking this post to Sunday Post, Mailbox Monday, and It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

I hope everyone is enjoying the cooler weather. I know that I am.

This month was pretty successful as far as TNR goes. I caught 5 cats, got them fixed, and then returned to their colonies. I also got Nezuko into the rescue organization on the island. She’s currently getting loved on by her new foster mom and I’m sure she will be adopted out soon enough. While I was sad to see her go, and definitely shed a few tears, I am not equipped to find her a good home. My intentions would be in the right place, but the organization I got her into had a six page questionnaire for potential adopters, then once they find an adopter, they make them sign contracts, and continue to check up on the animal after adoption. So, I was very relieved that they had a foster home ready for her. I know that they have the capability to make sure she finds a forever home and not just simply an “Oki pet” for military members while stationed on the island.

I’d like to say that I killed it with my reading, but I didn’t. I suppose I read more than I have been lately, but still nowhere near as many books as I used to read pre-pandemic. I’m sure that’s going to decrease even more now that I have my Hiragana and Kana textbooks to help me learn Japanese. Figured it might be useful to know more than a few polite words if I’m going to be living here for a handful of years. So, I really want to buckle down on that now that my textbooks arrived.

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Review: Her Wolf by Fiona Davenport

Her Wolf
(Shifted Love #1)
by Fiona Davenport
Publisher: self-published
Publication date: May 18, 2020
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Rating:

Allegra Hale had no idea shifters existed when she headed off to college with her two best friends. Let alone that her campus was near a shifter town. But that all changed when she got into a crash and was rescued by Zeke Blakesley—the wolf shifter who insisted they belonged together.

Zeke knew Allegra was his fated mate the moment he caught her scent. Now that he has found the woman who was born to be his, he’ll never let her go.

 

I loved the idea of this story but it didn’t really work for me. Let’s just say that the romance moves a lil too quickly for me. I mean, I get that the author tries to explain it away as the mate link, I needed a moment to warm up to the idea. I mean, they haven’t even known each other an hour and we’re already hot for each other… two virgins. Now, I get that Zeke’s 30 year old self has definitely got some serious hormones going, and being a shifter, he would feel that mate pull pretty hard. However, Allegra is a human, and although she feels the pull, I would think it would just be an attraction. I didn’t expect her to be totally okay with a stranger taking her to his house, touching her (not inappropriately but still, I have a thing called personal space), and when he reveals he’s a wolf shifter, she’s just like “okay, take me now!”. I just wish that the author did a little bit of background on both of them as individuals as well as the building romance. I just felt like the romance was so rushed. Considering this is the first book in the series, a little bit more info on the pack and their town, let alone going in depth of the mate pull/bond would have been nice.

Maybe because this is a novella at only 100 pages, but there was just no information and no plot. We get nothing about the pack, even after finishing the book. There’s a small epilogue at the end that says it’s 5 years later and everything’s great, nothing more. I just wish we had actually seen her introduction into the pack. However all we got were about 100 pages of them being horny for each other and rushing things way too quickly in the span of a day. This sounded like it could have been a really good story, but there was just no substance to it.

 

 

Review: The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang

The Heart Principle
(The Kiss Quotient #3)
by Helen Hoang
Publisher: Berkley
Publication date: Aug. 31, 2021
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Rating:

When violinist Anna Sun accidentally achieves career success with a viral YouTube video, she finds herself incapacitated and burned out from her attempts to replicate that moment. And when her longtime boyfriend announces he wants an open relationship before making a final commitment, a hurt and angry Anna decides that if he wants an open relationship, then she does, too. Translation: She’s going to embark on a string of one-night stands. The more unacceptable the men, the better.

That’s where tattooed, motorcycle-riding Quan Diep comes in. Their first attempt at a one-night stand fails, as does their second, and their third, because being with Quan is more than sex—he accepts Anna on an unconditional level that she herself has just started to understand. However, when tragedy strikes Anna’s family she takes on a role that she is ill-suited for, until the burden of expectations threatens to destroy her. Anna and Quan have to fight for their chance at love, but to do that, they also have to fight for themselves.

 

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Sneak Peek Wednesday: Wolf Reborn by Sara Snow (Giveaway)

Wolf Reborn
by Sara Snow
Publisher: Self-published
Publication date: Nov. 12, 2021
Genre: Paranormal Romance

As an Enchanted, I might not be able to shift like other wolves, but I’ve saved countless lives through the visions I receive. And in the end, saving others cost me my life.

That sacrifice buys me a one-way ticket to my LAST chance at happiness: an afterlife in the God Realm.

Sounds great, right?

Wrong.

The problem is, the perfect afterlife for me includes settling down with my fated mate. And whoever he is, he’s probably back down on Earth wondering where the hell I am.

When I actually find my fated mate, the gorgeous but scarred white wolf Lucian, in the God Realm with me, I learn that the wolf of my dreams, my other half, the wolf that was created to complete me…

…wants absolutely nothing to do with me.

Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, a second fated mate shows up out of nowhere… and he’s not even a werewolf. Just my luck.

It turns out my two mates can’t stand each other. And while Lucian may not want me himself, he doesn’t want Remir to have me either. Seriously?

All I know is, if either one of these two hotheads rejects me, my one last chance at a perfect afterlife could turn into an eternal hell—or worse…

 

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Review: The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

The Love Hypothesis
by Ali Hazelwood
Publisher: Berkley
Publication date: Sept. 14, 2021
Genre: Romance
Rating:

As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn’t believe in lasting romantic relationships–but her best friend does, and that’s what got her into this situation. Convincing Anh that Olive is dating and well on her way to a happily ever after was always going to take more than hand-wavy Jedi mind tricks: Scientists require proof. So, like any self-respecting biologist, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees.

That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, a young hotshot professor–and well-known ass. Which is why Olive is positively floored when Stanford’s reigning lab tyrant agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend. But when a big science conference goes haywire, putting Olive’s career on the Bunsen burner, Adam surprises her again with his unyielding support and even more unyielding…six-pack abs.

Suddenly their little experiment feels dangerously close to combustion. And Olive discovers that the only thing more complicated than a hypothesis on love is putting her own heart under the microscope.

 

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Review: Stealing the Dragon’s Heart by Kiersten Fay

Stealing the Dragon’s Heart
(Dragon Lords #3)
by Kiersten Fay
Publisher: Self-published
Publication date: Aug. 25, 2021
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Rating:

Aidan never intended to enter Phase Nine, a deadly race through the universe that had once cost him everything, but he’d made an impossible bargain. While gearing up for the challenge, he is surprised to find two extra crew members aboard his ship, one of them a mysterious female named Onnika who tempts him beyond reason.

Onnika’s special brand of magic has always been the key to her survival…and the reason she and her sister Caryn are constantly on the run. While escaping a ruthless band of outlaws bent on exploiting her powers, she entangles herself with a dangerously handsome dragon shifter named Aidan and an infamous race that could ultimately lead her home. With everything on the line, she must use every devious trick in her book to gain Aidan’s trust while concealing her true identity.

 

 

This was one heck of a story. Since the story revolves around the Phase Nine race, there is a lot of action. Then to add on the suspense of Onnika and Caryn’s captors catching up to them, Aidan tossing them off of his ship, and figuring out what Onnika and Caryn actually are. Well, let’s just say this story didn’t have any boring parts.

The pairing of Onnika and Aidan was great. Aidan is this very serious, almost jaded person. He doesn’t trust easy, and it’s clear that he’s kind of given up on life. However, when paired with the lively Onnika, he comes to life. Here’s this beautiful woman who will lie, cheat, and steal and she pushes all of his buttons. Little does he know she’s not simply just a thief, but it’s a means for her and her sister’s survival. Only, he has no clue what they are running from, why they are running from it, and why she hides her identity with a hologram device.

I also really liked the secondary characters and the developing story with Caryn (Onnika’s sister). It would appear that she gained the attention of a dragon and a stone giant. There’s also other crew members on the ship but the one that gets the most air time is Zeek. I bet he will also get his own story in the upcoming books.

All in all, this was a solid read. It had romance, suspense, mystery, and a lot of Indiana Jones moments that left me on the edge of my seat. I look forward to reading the next book, and if you’re in the market for a high suspense, romantic fantasy, then I would recommend you check this out. You do not need to have read the previous books to understand what’s going on since this story stands on its own.

 

Previous reviews from Dragon Lords
Seduced by the Dragon Lord

 

 

 

Sneak Peek Wednesday: Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova

Labyrinth Lost
(Brooklyn Brujas #1)
by Zoraida Córdova
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication date: Aug. 1, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

The only way to get her family back is to travel to a land in between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic.

At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she’s not sure she can trust, but who may be Alex’s only chance at saving her family.

 

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Review: My Beautiful Neighbor by Piper Rayne

My Beautiful Neighbor
(The Greene Family #1)
by Piper Rayne
Publisher: Self-published
Publication date: Feb. 23, 2021
Genre: Romance
Rating:

Who’s the mystery woman who just walked into my brewery?

I’m not the only one from my Alaskan small town asking themselves that question. But I’m positive, I’m the only one in Sunrise Bay undressing the pretty blonde in my head. Everything about her, from her make-up to her high heels says she’s a fish out of water.

Whispers and speculations run rampant until the secret of who she is gets uncovered. Then the rumor mill goes into overdrive when she announces she’s staying to open a bookstore in the building next to mine—throwing a big wrench into my plans to buy that empty building.

I quickly find myself in a tug-of-war since my business partner/brother is upset she’s ruined the opportunity to expand our business. I try to keep my distance, but I’ve got one sister with a gossip column on the local radio station and two meddling grandmas setting me up as a tour director.

And now I kind of like the idea of our new neighbor staying. But small-town life isn’t for the weak—time will tell if she has what it takes to be one of us.

 

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