@maradanewrites graciously provided me with an eARC of this book when I shamelessly asked for one. It is now on Kindle Unlimited, if you are so inclined.
Wowza, what a good time that was! Dane wrote a delighfully quick book that is fun to read and easy to enjoy. Viv accidentally (or is it fatefully??) unlocks a mummy’s curse when she stumbles on an ancient artifact at a demolition site in her town of New Memphis, Indiana. Next thing she knows, a handsome man in a loincloth is seducing her in order to impart the all of the goddess Bast’s knowledge so that Viv can fight off the forces of evil! He’s a reincarnated mummy from Ancient Egypt! And she’s destined to be a great hero, he swears it! But can Viv believe him?
Both Viv and Khensuhotep (or Khen, as we Muricans call him) are great characters that compliment each other wonderfully. The have an overwhelming attraction to each other– almost a fated mates kind of thing– which I know some people don’t love, but which I enjoyed immensely. Nicely, they don’t just blindly shrug and give in to fate, they negotiate and test the boundaries, causing delicious and fun sexual and emotional tension between the two. And the book itself is action packed, a real page turner. I picked it up expecting to just try a few chapters and found myself hooked, reading through the night. 4 stars.
I guess Zapata is known for her slow burn romances? I did not know that going into this book. So when I get to the 80% mark and I can count the number of kisses with one hand, minus a few fingers, I should have been peeved, right? Except I wasn’t! I was totally into it! Wow, Zapata is good!
Vanessa is the put upon, totally undervalued assistant to the famous football player, Aiden Graves. She’s scrimped and saved and done everything in her power to be able to pursue her dreams. So, even though she was planning to quit, when Aiden pushes her over the edge with some real shitty behavior, she decides it’s time to burn some bridges. Guess what happens? Aiden shows up at her door and demands that she marry him so he can get his greencard! And he’s willing to pay her quite a lot to do it!
Heck yeah, Zapata uses that forced proximity trope to push her characters together! But once they are in the same house, there are a lot of little, quiet scenes, moments really, where Aiden and Vanessa connect or exchange a touch, a look, that builds the tension and romance between them. I lived and died for these moments. I loved them so much, I wasn’t even that mad that because of the first person POV, Aiden remains a bit of a brick wall (pun!) even through the end of the book. 4 stars.
A big problem with the MC romance genre is how often it relies on violence against women as plot fodder. And Rough Ride opens with Rosalie getting the shit kicked out of her by her biker boyfriend. See, she wanted to save him from himself, so she spied on him and his brethren to the Chaos MC. She had good intentions, but she broke biker code. In comes her Chaos handler, Snapper, who is now convinced Rosalie is his girl and only he can keep her safe since she’s been beat to hell and back.
This is too much for a novella. Someone who is so deeply hurt, both physically and emotionally, by an ex while also struggling with burgeoning feelings for a new man deserves a full length novel. This is maybe the first time I’ve ever thought an Ashley novel should be longer! But because of the length, a lot of Rosalie’s recovery just felt superficial and the will they/won’t they tension between her and Snapper was totally undercut. Rosalie’s victimization felt like a cheap plot device. 3 stars.
Ariana finds herself on an ice planet, essentially married to an alien. And she has an anxiety disorder. There is no Xanax on blue barbarian alien planets, apparently. Dixon does a really good job of showing the best and worst of Ariana, the way her disorder affects her and how she is able to live with it. And Zolaya, that horned furry beast man, is a real treasure of patience and care. Maybe he’s a little too perfectly perfect, but the book is already treading a fine line between believability and fantasy in setting and plot, so it’s not a stretch to have a beta alien hero who immediately “gets” the ins and outs of an anxiety disorder and says/does all the right things for Ariana. Overall, I commend Dixon for tackling a difficult subject and making it not only sympathetic but interesting and compelling to read. 4 stars.
These are interesting books because the whole concept of MC culture is challenged by the heroines. The words “archaic masculinity” are thrown around. Do the heroines eventually roll over and accept their men for the alphaholes they are? Yeah, duh, of course. But it was fun watching the limits and boundaries of MC life get pushed around a bit. 3 stars for each book.
Lot’s of biker romance novels feature vets. This is one of the only I have read that has a physically disabled vet who has to deal with erectile dysfunction due to his disability. You read that right! A romance novel hero who can’t get it up! Plus, the hero isn’t one of those crazy ass biker alphahole typical to the genre– he has the “let’s be boyfriend/girlfriend” convo with the heroine practically upon meeting her. Overall, the book is more sweet and sedate than other MC books I have read. 3 stars.
This is a pretty MC lite biker book (diet MC?). Sure, Dex is a biker and there is a subplot featuring a rival MC, but really this is a slow burn romance between snarly, grumpy Dex and sensitive-but-tough Iris. Biker culture is just window dressing. And wow, Zapata is really a master of slow burns. I usually give up on books that dole out physical affection bit by bit but Zapata kept the tension going so that I was compelled to turn the page and get to the kissing parts! Did I think Iris was a bit of a grudge-holder and maybe a little too sensitive about Dex’s temper? Sure. But overall, I really enjoyed the book. 4 stars.
honestly like 98% of the reason i’m writing this may/december is because i’m absolutely starved for good, healthy age difference content and i can’t really find it anywhere, and trying to look up ‘silver fox’ anywhere on the internet results in Truly Unfortunate Circumstances, so.
here i am
doing what i can to contribute to the effort
(and if any of you know some good may/december content, please for the love of all that’s holy, send it my way)
I’m currently re-reading Ride Hard by Laura Kaye and it’s got a sorta may/december relationship thing happening. He’s 37 and she’s 22. May/October?
Anyway, it’s a biker book but don’t let that scare you off. The bikers are good guys, not alphahole anti-heroes. There is a decent amount of “she’s too young”/ “i’m too jaded” tension in the story, which is delicious.
I made this. Not that I have any discord expertise. But all you romance nerds should come hang out with me. There’s the general channel, one for new releases, one for writing and writer struggles, and one called “i have to talk about this book i just read”
A guy I know just got dumped and is pretty upset about it. His friends have recommended porn. He says he’s not interested in that, he wants something sweet: cuddling, holding hands, etc.
He wants romance, I’m thinking.
Can you recommend some good beginner-friendly contemporary romances I can suggest to him? I’m thinking probably sports romances or average-joes rather than billionaires. Faith in humanity and love and HEA restorers, basically.
I recommend Jennifer Crusie. Her stuff is zany rom-com-esque, sweet, heartwarming, etc. featuring average people falling in love and getting along with each other. My favs are Faking It and Getting Rid of Bradley, but a lot of people really love Bet Me or Welcome to Temptation, too.
Dommik is a monster hunter and a monster himself. He’s part cyborg, a mix of human and machine, and part something else. Katalina has been surrounded by death her whole life. At the spur of a moment, she takes a chance on living and signs on to be Dommik’s new assistant. Then they go off into space and have wicked crazy adventures and wicked crazy cyborg sex and Dommik shows his true self, which is truly monstrous and horrible and wonderful!
Ok, so Dommik is over the top dramatic. He’s broody, he’s surly, his skin is super pale and his hair is very dark and yeah, he’s basically a goth. Kat is a little bit of a wilting flower, compared to the wealth of everything that is Dommik. Sometimes, Lucas seemed to struggle a bit with Kat’s character and the overall flow of her story. It felt a little uneven at parts.
But here is what Lucas did really well: mix elements of the horrific with the romantic. This book was surprisingly suspenseful and eerily scary at points. I stayed up late reading it because I wanted, no I needed, to know what was going to happen. Dommik is truly a monster– and Lucas is willing to explore that, in detail, while building the romance between the leads.
So if you are into scifi romance and crazy space adventures with aliens and weird space stuff and want to be scared while also falling in love, Naomi Lucas is for you. She’s totally for me. 4 stars.