Sunday, November 12, 2023

Lassiter by J.R. Ward
Black Dagger Brotherhood #21

Title: Lassiter
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #21
Author:  J.R. Ward
Publisher: Gallery Books
Release Date:  April 11, 2023

Destiny, duty, and desire clash in this epic new novel in J.R. Ward’s #1 New York Times bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood series.

Lassiter, the fallen angel, is too good at the savior business. In his new role overseeing the fates of all vampires, he’s influenced outcomes he shouldn’t have—so the Creator is calling him home. But the angel has a reason to stay in Caldwell. He’s bonded with a mysterious female who seemed to appear from out of nowhere...and has powers that defy all reason.

Rahvyn is well aware that she doesn’t belong in the present. And she never intended to stay, for her true place is in the past. Lassiter proves to be undeniable, however, and she lets herself fall for the angel—until a secret he’s been keeping comes out and she fears that for him, it’s not about love, but duty.

As the Omega’s son reestablishes the Lessening Society, and the Brotherhood must resume the deadly war, an unfathomable tragedy occurs. In the aftermath, Rahvyn has to decide whether to stay and help—or save herself from an immortal heartbreak she knows will crush her very soul...

In my opinion, this book can't be read as a standalone.

I was looking forward to finally reading Lassiter's book and loving it but it turns out it was not as fantastic as I hoped.

A few books ago, Lassiter took over the Scribe Virgin's job. He has been there interfering in the right way to help the good guys get their happy endings. When it was finally his turn, I thought the lady he fell for would be fantastic.  Yet, I found myself not crazy for Rahvyne's character. She has so many special powers but I don't think she used them as much as she should or at the right time she could. An incredible loss of opportunity.  Furthermore, Lassiter didn't act like himself. He was not the jokester he usually is. He was more serious than ever. 

The other thing that bothered me was the way Devina and Lash behaved. She could be formidable but spent most of her time trying to get Lash's attention and love while he was trying to escape her when he could. 

The last thing that made me upset was what J.R. Ward did to a beloved couple. You don't do that. They already had a difficult time during their own HEA trajectory so no reason to make them suffer again. 

Will I continue reading this series?

Of course I will, I need to know what happens next. 

Cliffhanger: No

3/5 Fangs

I Didn't Do It by Jaime Lynn Hendricks

Title: I Didn't Do It
Author: Jaime Lynn Hendricks
Publisher: Scarlet
Release Date: May 23, 2023

"Brisk, snarky, and delicious." ― People Magazine A murder at a suspense writer convention makes everyone a suspect―especially the victim’s literary rivals.Murderpalooza, the premier thriller writers conference, is meant to be an exciting celebration of the genre and its preeminent writers. But when bestselling author and industry favorite Kristin Bailey is found dead in her hotel room, four rival authors―a midlister, an egomaniac, a has-been, and a newbie―also get targeted by an anonymous social media account and wonder if they’re next.

First, they find themselves bonding to try to find out who’s behind it. As the account taunts them, it slowly reveals secrets that each of them have connected to Kristin―secrets that make them a suspect in each other’s eyes. Soon, they are turning on each other and silently accusing each as a killer. With time running out until the awards ceremony where the social media account has promised a big reveal, the only thing they know for sure is that no one is better at both creating and solving a mystery than the people who write them for a living.

Jaime Lynn Hendricks gives the reader a thrilling peek into the thriller writing world and those that inhabit it in this gripping suspense novel.

It sucked me in!

It's time for Murderpalooza! The main thriller conference is for fans to get closer to their idols and for writers to network into their next book deal. The last evening of the conference, it finishes with an award ceremony.

Then, on the first morning of the event, one of the nominees to win the award, Kristin Bailey is found murdered in her hotel room. Kristin was quite famous and successful. She was liked well by other writers. Who would want to hurt her?

Suddenly, a new Twitter account pops up and goes by the handle @MpaloozaNxt2Die. This account is only following four writers, all with connections to Kristin:

Vicky Overton is another nominee. She lives in Florida (yay) with her boyfriend Jim. She is hoping to get her agent/publisher to promote her second book.

Davis Walton is the most famous author despite his novel not being published yet. He already has a movie deal and women are sweet on him.

Mike Brooks is the Has Been. He had a super successful first few years but now his books are not selling. He is working on promoting his newest novel which he co-wrote with a mystery author.

The last one in this quartet is Suzanne Shih. She has signed with an agent for her first novel. She is super excited about the whole event as a fan and a newbie writer. She is also Kristin's stalker.

Did one of them do it or is one of them the next one to die?

My favorite characters were Vicky and Mike. Davis was hateful for the most part and Suzanne needed to be committed.

I was able to guess the main twist but there was a couple that I didn't see coming

I truly enjoyed, Jaime Lynn Hendricks's Finding Tessa, didn't read her sophomore book but I'm glad I read I Didn't Do It.

I can't wait for what she has planned next.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by Scarlet via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

A Little Ray of Sunshine by Kristan Higgins


Title: A Little Ray of Sunshine
Author: Kristan Higgins
Publisher: Berkley Books
Release Date: June 6, 2023

An emotional and heart-warming novel from the bestselling author of TikTok sensation Pack up the Moon.

'A raw and genuine look at motherhood, A Little Ray of Sunshine is a lovely ode to love in all of its many forms, family lost and found' Ashley Poston, author of The Dead Romantics

A kid walks into your bookstore and... guess what? He's your son. The one you put up for adoption eighteen years ago. The one you never told anyone about. Surprise!

And a huge surprise it is.

It's a huge surprise to his adoptive mother, Monica, who thought she had a close relationship with Matthew, her nearly adult son. Until he secretly arranged a vacation to Cape Cod so he could meet his birth mother... without a word to her.

It's also a surprise to Harlow, the woman who secretly placed him for adoption so many years ago. She has built a quiet life, running a bookstore with her grandfather, and is happily single... though she can't help gravitating toward Grady Byrne, an old friend who has moved back to town, three-year-old daughter in tow, and no wife in the picture.

When Matthew walks into Harlow's store, she faints. Monica panics. And all their assumptions about what being a parent really means explode...

This summer will be full of more surprises as both their families are redefined...and as both women learn that for them, there's no limit to a mother's love.

As a huge Kristan Higgins fan, I knew I had to read A Little Ray of Sunshine.

This novel deals with adoption and all the feelings surrounding it from the mom who gives her child to strangers, to the parents who get the new baby, to the child wanting to know more about his birth parents.

Harlow lives in Cape Cod with her family. She is a part owner of a bookstore in conjunction with her grandfather and her distant cousin, Cynthia.

Harlow receives the shock of her life when the child she gave away when she was seventeen walks into her bookstore. Of course, she was not ready and proceeded to faint. When she comes back, she realizes her son Matthew is truly there with his adoptive father. Harlow couldn't be happier that Matthew came looking for her but how is she going to explain it to her family who have no clue she did this in college. The only person who knows of her devastation and sorrow was her roommate at that time.

Monica Patel works hard to make sure her family has what they need. She is always providing for them and her children's future. Since the moment she got Matthew in her arms, Monica has dedicated herself to being the best mom she could be. 

As part of the summer, the Patels have always taken a vacation together, and this year the place her son picked was Cape Cod. When she finds out that he did it because of Harlow, she can't believe how sneaky he has become. She is so mad that he blindsided them and Harlow.

Cynthia Millstone is part owner of the bookstore too. Her personality is off-putting. She believes she is above others and more refined than the Smiths but her marriage fails and without any money, the only choice she had was to move to Cap Cod. The only person from that family she likes is Grandpop.

There are pretty interesting and well-developed characters in this book. I do have favorites. I love Grandpop, Oliver Twist (the dog), and Grady Byrne.

I was able to see both sides of the coin in regard to Harlow and Monica. Felt super bad for Monica and all the sacrifices she had to make to give her family what they needed.

I'm not going to lie, I do miss some of Kristan's earlier books when the romance was forefront but I will read anything she writes.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by Berkley Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Lover Arisen by J.R. Ward
Black Dagger Brotherhood #20

Title: Lover Arisen
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #20
Author: .R. Ward
Publisher: Gallery Books
Release Date: April 5, 2022

True love brings a deadly threat to the Black Dagger Brotherhood in this sizzling new novel in J.R. Ward’s #1 New York Times bestselling series.

Possessed by the demon Devina, Balthazar is once again on the hunt for the Book of Spells—and fighting an undeniable attraction to a woman. As a thief, he has stolen a lot of things…but he never thought his heart would be taken by another. Especially not a human.

As a homicide detective, Erika Saunders knows there is something otherworldly going on in Caldwell, New York. Mutilated bodies that cannot be explained are all over her case list—and then there are her nightmares in which she’s hunted by shadows and captivated by a mysterious man who is both a suspect and a savior.

When Devina’s wish for true love is finally granted, Balthazar and Erika unwittingly become the gateway for the rebirth of an old enemy of the Brothers. Will the very thing that brings them together lead to the ultimate destruction of the Brotherhood? Or will they have to lose everything in order to save the race’s most sacred defenders?

This time is Balthazar and Erika's story.

Balthazar is part of the Band of Bastards. He is also a thief and a great one as well. Think of him more like Robin Hood. Stealing from the wealthy and giving to the poor. He won't apologize for it.

Erika Saunders is the cop we have met in prior books. She suffered a tragedy as a teenager and because of it, she became a cop to try to help people or maybe to atone for her guilt.

When these two meet, the sparks are heavy in the ambiance. There is just a little problem, Balthazar has been possessed by the demon, Devina.

Lover Arisen also sets the chain of events for the next book in this series since we get some Nate, Rayven, and Lassiter.

I don't get tired of reading these books. Even though, they all have the same format in regards to Hero and Heroine that fall in love and fight adversity to end up with their Happily Ever After.

I did like both characters. Erika was self-sufficient and she was not scared of fighting Devina with whatever she had. Balthazar has always been a favorite since he was introduced into the series. I wish he had more talks with the other Bastards since they are his true brothers.

I don't like that an old baddie has made a comeback but we shall see what happens because of it.

The next one should be interesting for sure.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

Skip to the End by Molly James


Title: Skip to the End
Author: Molly James
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: August 15, 2023

In this joyful romance, one wild night results in three kisses—only one successful—and leaves a perpetually single Amy searching for her perfect match so she can find a happy ending.

Amy Daniels has a pretty nice life. Her career is on the up, she loves her friends, and she's about to buy her very own flat. On a good day, Amy could be described as a catch—so why is she perpetually single?

The trouble is, Amy can see something no one else the end. As soon as she kisses someone, she knows, in intimate, vivid detail, how their relationship will finish. A screaming argument in the middle of the supermarket over milk. An explicit email sent to the wrong address. A hasty escape through a bathroom window on the second date. At the altar—runaway-bride style. There seems to be no end to the unhappy endings.

After years of trying, and failing, to change a pre-written future, Amy has given up. But then she drunkenly kisses three men at her best friend's wedding and sees three possible two painful, one perfect. The problem is, Amy can't really remember who she kissed, and worse, what ending belongs to which person—the only thing she knows for certain is that she's determined to find out...

LOVED IT. A 5 for me!

Skip to the End is about Amy Daniels. She is doing well in life. She has great friends but she doesn't do well in the love department. 

Amy has a gift. Women in her family all do. When Amy kisses a man, she knows exactly how the relationship will end. Is the guy a cheater? is the guy dangerous? Will Amy get hurt physically or emotionally? So you can see, how this would make her fearful of failure. 

Then, during her friend Charlotte's wedding, she drinks a little too much and she kisses three men. The next day, she knows one of the three was her happy ending. The problem is that she can't recall who was the right guy for her and who wasn't. 

Amy will embark on a quest to find the right guy with the few clues she has. 

I knew her HEA from the very beginning but I was not going to tell Amy. She needed to go through the motions of realizing who was the right guy for her.

I thought this was a great premise with wonderful characters and situations. 

Cliffhanger: No

5/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by Forever via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sleep No More by Seanan McGuire
October Daye #17

Title: Sleep No More
Series: October Daye #17
Author: Seanan McGuire
Publisher: DAW Books
Release Date: September 5, 2023

October is very happy with her life as the second daughter of her pureblood parents, Amandine and Simon Torquill. Born to be the changeling handmaid to her beloved sister August, she spends her days working in her family’s tower, serving as August’s companion, and waiting for the day when her sister sets up a household of her own. Everything is right in October’s Faerie. Everything is perfect.
Everything is a lie.

October has been pulled from her own reality and thrown into a twisted reinterpretation of Faerie where nothing is as it should be and everything has been distorted to support Titania’s ideals. Bound by the Summer Queen’s magic and thrust into a world turned upside down, October has no way of knowing who she can trust, where she can turn, or even who she really is. As strangers who claim to know her begin to appear and the edges of Titania’s paradise begin to unravel, Toby will have to decide whether she can risk everything she knows based on only their stories of another world.

But first she’ll have to survive this one, as Titania demonstrates why she needed to be banished in the first place—and this time, much more than Toby’s own life is at stake.

Gosh, how did I miss a new Toby book? My only excuse will be (once again) my work. 

I strongly recommend reading these books in order to experience the world Seanan McGuire has created.

Toby is like a dear old friend who runs into trouble but has learned to have others with her when the battle is about to happen.

The last book was a shock for all of us.  It also ended in a HUGE cliffhanger. So please don’t read below if you don’t want to get spoiled about the last book.


In this new world that Titania has created, Toby is no one. She has been placed in Faerie with the sole purpose of caring for her sister August. Her father Simon treats her well and her mother, Amandine is still not a good mother.

Toby who is a changeling is delegated as the "help". She is not a fighter. She follows the rules she is given.  She is meek and living in a tower without any real interaction with the courts. She is no hero.

Then the weirdest thing happens, Toby is told that her current reality is nothing but a lie created by Titania. The more blood Toby is in contact with, the more flashes she sees of another life that she doesn't know but maybe she should be part of.

I’m not going to lie, it was extremely hard to see Toby so weak. This Toby wouldn’t dream of talking back to any pureblood or of breaking the mold, fighting for a different life for all changelings. 

The only thing that made it bearable was seeing how little by little we got glimpses of the real Toby and by the end, you knew she was going to do what she does best: Create some chaos and defeat the current threat.

If I could change something from Sleep No More it would be the amount of pages Tybalt has. He deserves so much more. A true King of Cats.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs