Sci-Fi Romance Review: The Silvers by Jill Smith

the silversThe Silvers by Jill Smith

Published by: Bold Strokes Books

Format: Kindle edition

Genre: Sci-Fi Romance (possibly mm but there’s an alien so…it’s actually m/a?)

Reviewed by: Judith

Score: 9/10

While the cover has been the subject of many a disturbing tweet (note to publishers: that cover is not…the greatest. You think I kid but I’m asking seriously, why would you use that? I would never in a million years have purchased this book except for the urging of trusted sources. No, really, not at all. EVER. It’s – what’s the word? Oh yes, AWFUL), the book itself is a rich and beautifully written find that lingered far longer than it should have and actually had me questioning my own humanity at points. It’s a rare romance novel that is able to do that!

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Novella Review: Strange Magic, Part I by Michelle Mankin

SM-part1Strange Magic Part I by Michelle Mankin

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Score: 7/10 

Plot: Billy Blade is a hardworking, hard living, razor sharp musical force. Mysterious behind his dark shades, the rough around the edges Texan mesmerizes with his haunting harmonica and tantalizes with his dangerous looks and smooth country charm. His latest album is topping the charts. He’s the newly crowned King of the Bacchus Krewe. He’s definitely living the rock star dream.

Exotic Creole beauty Thyme Bellerose couldn’t be more content. She has it all. An adoring grandmother. A handsome Tulane medical student beau. A satisfying job in the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter. Her life is as rich as the ice cream she creates. She’s got everything under control.

But control is an illusion. Dreams can turn into nightmares. And now during Mardi Gras, otherworldly powers stand ready to shape their destinies in ways they could never imagine.

Shadow and light. Magic and mystery. Reality and myth. All come together in a place where rules bend and lines blur. Even those between life and death.

Please note: This is Part One of a Two part novel. It does NOT stand alone. Part Two is available for pre-sale exclusively on Amazon.

Review: Get ready to ride one wild paranormal train straight to voodoo drenched New Orleans! Strange Magic is a fun, flirty read that you will fly through in a matter of hours as you try to guess what exactly is happening to boring old Thyme Bellerose. On the surface, her life seems perfect…too perfect – a gorgeous, successful fiance; loving family and neighbors; and not much to complain about. But as soon as she crosses night club owner, Leon Johnson, her life spirals out of control and magic crops up in the most unlikely of places.

Told in alternating points of view, Thyme’s journey is one of self-discovery and by the end of it, magic becomes all too real for her to rule out as impossible. This is one sexy read that ends on a big cliffhanger as Thyme struggles to save her fiance from uncertain doom and herself from the clutches of a psychotic voodoo queen.

What you may like: New Orleans is lushly portrayed with its dim, magical corners and terrifying voodoo practitioners. There’s magic and mystery and a whole lot of entertaining paranormal beings. There’s a hunky med student fiance and a crooning sexy as sin rocker.  There’s the hint of sexy times to come (though we don’t get to see much…yet).

What you may not like: this is a short novella so the action and drama flies fast and furious – sometimes too fast. There is also a huge cliffhanger, which if you’re a mystery hater like me, leaves too many questions than should be allowed. Billy Blade, the sexy musician, is only a brief presence in Part I and that taste is just not enough.

All in all, an enjoyable beginning to what is sure to be a hot, supernatural ride. Final score: 6.5/7 – the big cliffhanger (of which I am not a fan) and shortened length pushed the score down but I have high hopes for part 2.

Strange Magic Teaser 2

Quickie Review: Five Dates by Amy Jo Cousins

Five Dates by Amy Jo Cousins

Genre: m/m romance

Score: 9/10

Plot: Helping his sister Lucy raise her kid has put Devin’s love life on hold. When he loses a bet to her and the penalty is to go out on five dates with men she’s chosen from Guys4Guys.com, he thinks that’s bad enough. Finding out she used a thirteen-year-old picture of him to score a date with a young guy who looks like a rock star? Epically bad.

Jay thought he wanted to fall for an older man. But his last boyfriend left him feeling humiliated and determined to stick to guys his own age. When he realizes he’s been conned into a date with exactly the kind of man he’s sworn to avoid, he’s ready to walk away on the spot. Only Devin’s swift apologies convince Jay to accept dinner to make up for the deception.

Review: Five Dates is one of those books that’s just so much fun to read you’ll devour it in one sitting. It’s a light hearted comedy of errors wherein Devin loses a bet and his sister decides to make due on it by forcing him on five dates blind dates culled from a gay dating site. First up is the latino god, Jay. Devin knows Jay’s out of his league but he meets the younger man anyway. Devin and Jay’s attraction really sizzles and the rest of the story rests on the “will they? won’t they?” aspect of their relationship. They have fantastic chemistry, uber sexy scenes, and some pretty hilarious moments where Jay rescues Devin from disastrous dates.

You’ll enjoy: the humorous writing style and easy flowing conversation; the infrequent naughty scenes that will have you fanning yourself; self-deprecating hero, Devin, who just wants to live his life if his sister would let him; the funny and gorgeous love interest, Jay, who is fierce and loyal and exactly what you would want in boyfriend.

You might not enjoy: the buildup to their relationship happens in the blink of an eye and Jay seems to really get into playing “the other man” though a few days prior he couldn’t stand it; there isn’t enough naughty; all the problems they seem to have at the beginning are breezed by in favor of a quickie ending.

Final score: 9/10

Romance/NA review: Just Between Us by J.H. Trumble


just between usJust Between Us by J.H. Trumble

Published by: Kensington

Format: Kindle edition

Genre: MM Romance/NA

Reviewed by: Judith

Score: 9/10

Let’s get this out of the way right now: this is not a typical romance – this is so far beyond typical that typical isn’t even a blip on its radar. This isn’t a book about the s-e-x and it’s not about watching two pretty boys fall in love. It is a very gritty, very real book about 2 men learning to live and love while battling HIV for one and homophobia in the home for the other. Warning: so so good and you will most certainly cry. Like buckets full. In public.

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Happy Holidays, a year in review, and here’s a list of books to read!

First off, Happy Holidays (if you celebrate that sort of thing)! Happy Wednesday/Thursday if you do not.

So this year was a tough one. Not to give you guys too big a glimpse into my personal life but basically it went like this:

January: wow! Look at all these books on my TBR! I have such a big reading and reviewing schedule planned. I love reading. I love blogging. I love the give and take between writers and readers! I need to do this more often. My mind is made up. Our readers better watch out cause they’re about to be astounded by the sheer number and beauty of these reviews!!!

February – August: …

September: wow! I have not blogged in months! Read a lot though…I kinda miss the blog. And facebook. And twitter. So what the heck, I’ll get back into it. {saunters slowly over to iloveyafiction.com}

October – December: Blog/Read/Social Media repeat

If you felt like skipping Judith’s year in review, that’s ok. In a nutshell, I didn’t review a lot and I’m sorry. Hope you managed to get by and found some other stuff to read. If you did, please email me with a title/author cause I will have ten days to do nothing but read.

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Romance Review: Angel by Laura Lee…you must buy this book!

Angel by Laura Lee

Published by: Itineris Press

Format: Paperback ARC/Kindle PDF

Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance

Reviewed by: Judith

2 years ago, I was at Book Expo America for the first time, generally walking around a big open space in a book daze. People would look at my badge, see “Reviewer”, and thrust books right into my open hands. Free books were everywhere! And I took them ALL! Thank god I did because little did I know that I held in my hands a book that was to become my top M/M read of all time. I’m serious here. This book is the one I urge everyone to read.

I’ll give you fair warning now: Angel isn’t a flashy book; there’s no crazy drama or gorgeous hunks. There’s no fantastic sex, trash talk, or impossible situations. There’s not even a happily ever after. But what there is, is a finely crafted love story which really spoke to me on a deeper level than I could ever describe adequately here. All I can say is you must give this book a chance and hopefully it will touch you as deeply as it did me.

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Let’s rant about NA!

Hi, guys! 2014 is coming to a fast and ignoble end and finally it happened. We’ve hit that point – you know that point. The one we hit where we’ve read so many books, this time of the New Adult variety, that quite a few commonalities have begun to surface and we just can’t take it anymore. We have to rant! Let’s just jump right into this shall we cause we can’t hold off and be nice any longer. BTW this is so NSFW or people under the age of 18 or anyone but us really cause we are all about to start swearing and talking about girl bits and it won’t be pretty.

You’ve been warned.

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Romance Review: The Backup Boyfriend by River Jaymes

The Backup Boyfriend by River JaymesThe Backup Boyfriend by River Jaymes

Published by: Amazon Digital Services

Format: Kindle Edition

Genre: M/M Romance

Reviewed by: Judith

Will a hot doctor and his sweaty mechanic ever get their acts together to turn a fake relationship into something real? Heck YEAH and it is hot hot HOT!

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YA/NA Review: How to Repair a Mechanical Heart by JC Lillis

how to repair a mechanical heartHow to Repair a Mechanical Heart by JC Lillis

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services Inc

Format: Kindle edition

Genre: Contemporary YA

Reviewed by: Judith

Score: 10/10

Let me tell you a secret: I’m not sure why but I had it in my head that I didn’t like this book. Don’t look at me like that. Stop. Let me explain. I have a notoriously bad memory and it told me (repeatedly) that I’d tried How to Repair a Mechanical Heart before and for whatever reason, I just didn’t like it. No idea as to why and no idea where that came from but that voice inside of me kept whispering this crap for ages and it WAS WRONG! Dead wrong. Now, I don’t admit mistakes often – I’m an Aries, we’re perfect…and beautiful and wonderful and funny and amazingly humble – but I’m stating it for the record now, mea culpa and all that. This book is fabulous. No, wait. It’s more than that. It’s so cool that I’m sure in some alternate universe I have neon glitter pink font and some blinking gifs of celebrities screaming at anyone who will listen in order to show what an excellent read this is…cause it truly is!

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NA Review: The Year We Fell Down (The Ivy Years Book #1) by Sarina Bowen

The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen

Series: The Ivy Years

Publisher: Rennie Road Books

Format: Kindle edition

Genre: Contemporary NA

Reviewed by: Judith

Score: 8/10

This book is home to the three S’s of New Adult lit: solid writing, sucky situations, and sexy broken hockey players…

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