Tracks of Her Tears by Melinda Leigh

Rating: 3 stars

Series: Rogue Winter #1

Although this is technically the first book of a new series, it would be best to read the Rogue River series first since both series have the same characters. This can be read without reading the other series, but I like to know the background of characters when possible. Character wise this is a continuation of the other series. The difference is that each series contains a new mystery.

This novella was from the perspectives of Carly and Seth. Someone was murdered in the town of Solitude, and Seth was investigating it. The woman murdered had a baby, so Carly was involved as a social worker. I enjoyed the mystery although it wasn’t too complex since this is a novella.

I would have liked this a bit more, but I find Carly and Seth to be dull. Their romance lacked a spark that truly made me believe in them as a couple. They are committed to making their relationship work. At the same time they both seemed highly work oriented. It was hard for me to relate to a couple who struggled between balancing their personal lives and work. Nonetheless this was a good continuation of the prior series.

I received this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Pleasure Unbound by Larissa Ione

Rating: 2.5 stars

Series: Demonica #1

There wasn’t anything special about this. It was your standard PNR storyline. Frankly I was kind of bored through most of it. A week from now I probably won’t even remember what this was about. Some of it was so damn cheesy. The book started off with Tayla being brought to the demon hospital on the verge of death. As she laid there dying all she thought about was how sexy the doctor was. Sure because that’s what I’d be thinking about if I were dying. Anyway this was just another story with insta-love.

Obviously I’ve been reading too much smut lately because at one point I actually thought this book has too much of a storyline. I wasn’t feeling the connection with Eidolon and Tayla. The sex wasn’t all that hot either. Too much time was spent focusing on Tayla’s problems. Considering she was willfully ignorant and hateful for half of the book, I couldn’t bring myself to care about her. I didn’t care at all about Wraith’s or Gem’s issues. I’m sure it was there to set things up for future books, but I’m not interested enough to read them.

Nocte by Courtney Cole

Rating: 2.5 stars

Series: The Nocte Trilogy #1

The best word to sum up how I felt about this book is boring. Nothing happened for most of the book. It completely lacked suspense. Talk about a dull romance. Calla and Dare spent most of the book getting to know each other. Yet they really didn’t get to know each other because they managed to say a lot without really saying anything significant.

There were very few characters in the book. You’d think this would allow for lots of character development amongst those few characters, but sadly it did not. Most of the time the relationships were explained, but the intimacy of them did not come across on the page. The dad just made some random appearances that contributed nothing to the overall storyline. A key element of the story was the deep twin bond between Calla and Fin. Yet in every interaction they seemed highly detached. Then there was Dare. He had a considerable amount of page time, but literally no development throughout the whole book. I understood so little about him that I didn’t care about him at all. I couldn’t even figure out why Calla was attracted to him. Calla’s feelings for him were explained often enough, but I didn’t feel them.

There was a valid reason for the detachment and secrecy of the characters. Those elements had to be there for the ending to play out. If it could have been done in a way that actually made me give a shit about any character in this book, it would have been a five star book because the big reveal was fantastic. I figured something along those lines would happen since the story heavily focused on mental illness and hallucinations, but I couldn’t figure out what was real and what wasn’t.

Of course the book had to end on a cliffhanger. Frankly I don’t give a shit why Dare was there although the book gave enough hints that it seemed obvious to me. There are obviously plenty of details to be explained Dare’s past, but I just don’t want to know about them. I’m done with this series. I’ve got better things to do with my time.

Wicked Ever After by Delilah S. Dawson

Rating: 3 stars

Series: Blud #4

Criminy wanted Tish to become a bludwoman. She wanted to remain human since it was the only way to get back to her dying grandmother. When the grandmother wound up in Sang, things took a drastic turn.

Ruby’s (aka the grandmother) actions were surprising but not appealing. Tish was emotional as a result and didn’t make the best decisions. Criminy was supportive but didn’t really try to understand things from Tish’s POV, which really bothered me. All of the drama with Ruby was lame. I didn’t feel like anything truly interesting came as a result because I think Tish would have had the same HEA just not as quickly without Ruby’s meddling.

Other characters from the series made an appearance, and their HEA was explained in a bit more detail. Everything wrapped up nicely for the conclusion of the series. I wasn’t impressed with this. It was just standard PNR, so it was obvious where things were going to end up, which is fine I guess if you’re in the mood for that kind of thing.

I received this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Dark Heart of Magic by Jennifer Estep

Rating: 3.5 stars

Series: Black Blade #2

Parts of this were really good, and other parts were a little boring. I really have mixed feelings about it. I didn’t like it as much as Cold Burn of Magic. The Sinclairs were trying to figure out what evil plans Victor Draconi had. That part of the story was interesting.

There was an annual tournament where teenagers from all of the different families showed off their skills. This was the setting for interaction amongst the families. The tournament did serve a purpose, but it dragged in some parts. I just wasn’t that interested in reading about the battles in the tournament. It was obvious who was the best from the start, so nothing of interest was gleaned from those scenes. It would have been better if some of that time was devoted to the troll murders, which it seemed like everyone forgot about most of the time.

Lila went in search of more information on Victor. The way she went about obtaining information wasn’t the best. She was lucky she didn’t get killed as a result. What she discovered was not what she expected. Many secrets from the past were coming to the forefront, and they had a big impact on Lila. The family secrets were my favorite part of the story.

The YA part of this was really prevalent. I hadn’t remembered the characters being so immature in the last book. Most of them bickered and made snarky remarks. Teenagers can be quite nasty, but they are capable of being nice too. Devon and Deah stood out because they refrained from acting this way. The jealousy amongst some characters was irritating too. All of this was the perfect example of why I usually don’t read YA.

Middle book syndrome was definitely an issue with this story. I really like the overarching plot and the direction that the story is headed, so I definitely want to read the next one.

I received this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Hansel by Ella James

hansel 1 hansel2 hansel 3 hansel 4

Rating: 4 stars

Series: Hansel #1-4

Hansel gets 4 stars just for the enjoyment factor. This is no literary masterpiece. There were some plot holes and other details were left open ended, but I don’t give it shit. I had a damn good time reading this. Besides my investment in the story was in their relationship, not in the minor details of their kidnapping. Hansel is a 4 part serial. My review is for the whole series since it is the length of one book.

Hansel and Leah went through a harrowing experience together when they were young. Neither of them had any contact in years when they unexpectedly crossed each other’s paths. Both of them were still so messed up over what happened that they don’t know how to react to each other. I liked Leah because she was flawed and insecure but managed to be strong at the same time. Hansel was an asshole most of the time. Since some chapters were from his POV, it was easy to understand why he acted the way he did. I wish some history had been given about how Hansel became successful. Statistically speaking emotionally damaged kids with no money or family usually don’t fare well as adults. It wasn’t important in the context of the story, but I still would have liked to know.

There were some revelations that were truly shocking in parts 3 and 4. I hadn’t seen them coming at all. It was twisted and demented, and I loved it! Overall I liked how it ended. The very end was a little abrupt; it seemed like there should have been an epilogue. It didn’t ruin anything not to have one though.