Review: Demon From The Dark by Kresley Cole

Demon From the Dark by Kresley Cole
Demon From the Dark
Kresley Cole
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication Date: August 24, 2010
Series or Standalone: Immortals After Dark #9
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating:3.5 Stars

MY REVIEW

CW: Slavery; sexual abuse; rape; violence; torture; kidnapping; murder

I will fully admit, it’s been a few months since I read this, as I’m still playing catch up on some reviews, so this might not be as detailed as usual. 

Demon From the Dark is book nine in the Immortals After Dark series and kicks off a bit of a dark phase on what has been dubbed in the book community “Torture Island.” I enjoyed this one while reading it as it starts with a bang and continues to take you on a ride filled with adventure, romance, heartache, torture, and so much more.

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Review: Since the Surrender by Julie Anne Long

Since the Surrender by Julie Anne Long
Since the Surrender
Julie Anne Long
Publisher:Avon
Publication Date: January 29, 2008
Series or Standalone: Pennyroyal Green #3
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating: 3.5 Stars

MY REVIEW

CW: Kidnapping; infidelity/cheating; sex trafficking

Who would have guessed that this book would have so many puppets in it and that the puppets would actually be so important to the story? I certainly didn’t expect that going in, but somehow Julie Anne Long has a way of making the unexpected work. I’ll be honest – this one felt like a little bit of a letdown after how amazing Like No Other Lover was. That’s not to say this is a bad book. I still really enjoyed this one, but it felt like it was missing that special something to make it truly shine. 

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Review: Hook, Line, and Sinker by Tessa Bailey

Hook, Line, and Sinker by Tessa Bailey
Hook, Line, and Sinker
Tessa Bailey
Publisher: Avon Books
Publication Date: March 1, 2022
Series or Standalone: Bellinger Sisters #2
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating: 3.5 Stars

MY REVIEW

After not liking It Happened One Summer, I went into this book with slightly lower expectations. And I’ve got to be honest – my feelings on this are a bit mixed. I liked the beginning and the build-up in Fox and Hannah’s relationship (something sorely lacking in Piper and Brendan’s relationship), but the final act of this novel is where the story lost me and made me a bit iffy on my overall feelings on it. 

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ARC Review: The Good Girl’s Guide to Rakes by Eva Leigh

The Good Girl's Guide to Rakes by Eva Leigh
The Good Girl’s Guide to Rakes
Evan Leigh
Publisher: Avon Books
Publication Date: February 22, 2022
Series or Standalone: Last Chance Scoundrels #1
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating:3.5 Stars

MY REVIEW

I’ve been trying to sort out my feelings on The Good Girl’s Guide to Rakes for about a month. On the one hand, I enjoyed reading it and liked the story, but I also found it not all that memorable in the long run. I feel like it was missing that special something to make it stand out. All that to say is I did enjoy it, but I don’t think I loved it. 

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Review: The Warlord Wants Forever by Kresley Cole

The Warlord Wants Forever by Kresley Cole
The Warlord Wants Forever
Kresley Cole
Publisher: Pocket Star
Publication Date: September 25, 2017 (originally published February 7, 2006)
Series or Standalone: Immortals After Dark #0.5
Links:
AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating:3.5 Stars

MY REVIEW

CW: sexual assault; non-consensual sexual encounters; confinement; violence

I totally missed reading this book when I started diving into the Immortals After Dark, so I decided to revisit it after reading Untouchable to finish all the books focused on the Wroth brothers. As a note, I read the revised version of this story released in 2017. While I’m not sure precisely what was changed, from what I’ve seen and heard, the changes were to make this book a bit less problematic, though it still is problematic (more on that later.)

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Review: Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night by Kresley Cole

Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night
Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night
Kresley Cole
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication Date: September 24, 2007
Series or Standalone: Immortals After Dark #3
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating:3.5 Stars

MY REVIEW

I was excited to dive into the third installment of the Immortals After Dark series as poor Bowen went through the wringer in No Rest for the Wicked. This book ended up being a very weird reading experience for me – I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it either. The plot was what really threw me and not in a good way. 

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Review: Lady Derring Takes a Lover by Julie Anne Long

Lady Derring Takes a Lover by Julie Anne Long
Lady Derring Takes a Lover
Julie Anne Long
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: February 26, 2019
Series or Standalone: The Palace of Rogues #1
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating: 3.5 Stars

MY REVIEW

CW: sexual assualt

I’ve been meaning to read more of Julie Anne Long for ages, and I have finally taken the plunge! I have an ARC of the newest Palace of Rogues book so I decided now is the perfect time to dive into this series. Lady Derring Takes a Lover is the series starter and introduces us to the lovely Grand Palace on the Thames, which serves as the central location for the books in the series. While I’m enjoying this series and the characters, the romance in this fell a bit flat.

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Review: His Lady to Protect by Justine Covington

His Lady to Protect by Justine Covington
His Lady to Protect
Justine Covington
Publisher: Justine Covington Books LLC
Publication Date: February 14, 2020
Series or Standalone: The Beggars Club #1
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating:3.5 Stars

MY REVIEW

CW: Sexual assault, murder, death of a family member

I enjoyed His Lady to Protect, but something was missing from it to make me love it.  I think I wanted a bit more from the central romance, even though it had some tropes that I absolutely adore. 

Nate Kinlain, the Earl of Rainsford, promised to protect his best friend’s sister, Susannah, from her treacherous uncle. However, that’s easier said than done as Susannah blames Nate for her brother’s death. When Nate proposes a marriage of convenience to get Susannah out from under her uncle’s thumb, Susannah has no choice but to agree. However, as she starts to spend more time with Nate, she wonders if there is more to him than meets the eye and old feelings for her childhood friend begin to bubble up again. 

I enjoyed the main story, yet I felt the romance between Nate and Susannah was missing that special something. I loved that Covington combined the marriage of convenience with also a bit of a faking dating trope. They were also childhood sweethearts, so there is a bit of a second-chance romance trope in this book. However, I felt like Nate and Susannah didn’t have as much chemistry as I was expecting. I wish the romance between Nate and Susannah had a bit more time to blossom and grow. Susannah truly hated Nate’s guts initially as she felt he abandoned her and led his brother to his death, yet she accepted him back a little too quickly for my liking. As the reader, we know Nate’s not the bad guy Susannah thinks he is, but I would have liked him to have to work a little harder to win her trust back. Susannah forgave Nate pretty quickly once she learned the truth about him, and it felt like all her past anger was just washed away, never to be mentioned again when he did deceive her.

While the central romance might not have been my favorite, one thing I really liked about this book was that it felt incredibly thoroughly researched. We learn pretty early on that Nate is working as a spy for the Home Office to figure out how Susannah’s Uncle is trying to aid Napoleon’s cause. I really appreciated how Covington wove the historical events related to Napoleon’s return to Europe after his exile to Elba into action and romance. It helped ground the story in the time and up the stakes, especially as the reader knows Napoleon does escape from his exile. 

I ended up way more invested in the plot to expose Susannah’s uncle than I was invested in the romance. Mainly, it’s because Covington did a fantastic job in creating a truly evil villain with Susannah’s uncle, Captain Cressingham. That man was downright heinous. He honestly did not care one wit for anyone but himself and his own cause, treating Susannah and her siblings terribly. I hated that Nate had to try to bow down to him to get under his guard in Nate’s efforts to expose him for the horrible person he was. He truly deserved the worst possible ending as he was such a slimy, sleazy, villainous person. 

Susannah and Nate as characters were fine, though I didn’t find them particularly memorable. However, I enjoyed the secondary characters in this novel. I loved Nate’s three sisters and his friend Tradwick. If there are more books in the series, I hope they’ll focus on some of the secondary characters as they brought me a lot of joy while reading.

Overall, I would have liked a bit more from the central romance, but I still found the story enjoyable thanks to the fabulous villain in the story. Truly, Captain Cressingham is one of the most heinous villains I’ve seen in a romance novel, and I loved just how terrible he was since it upped the stakes in the story.

I’m intrigued enough by Covington’s writing and secondary characters that I’d love to read more from her, especially if she continues with the Beggars Club series. If you have Kindle Unlimited and are a historical romance fan, this is one you should consider checking out as there are some delightful elements to the story.

I was given a free copy from the author for my fair and honest review. All thoughts, ideas and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Review: Do You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare

Do You Want to Start a Scandal
Do You Want to Start a Scandal
Tessa Dare
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: September 27, 2016
Series or Standalone: Castles Ever After #4 & Spindle Cove #5
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating:3.5 Stars

MY REVIEW

CW: Discussion of suicide; bullying

Do You Want To Scandal brings together two of my favorite Tessa Dare series: Spindle Cove and Castles Ever After. I originally read this book right when it was published and recently reread it as part of the But Do They Bang? Readalong. I somehow forgot a lot of the major plot points. Overall, I liked this one, but the ending stopped me from loving it. 

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Review: Neon Gods by Katee Robert 

Neon Gods by Katee Robert
Neon Gods
By Katee Robert
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: June 1, 2021
Series or Standalone: Dark Olympus #1
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating: 3.5 Stars

MY REVIEW

Neon Gods has been everywhere on bookstagram recently and I knew I had to give it a try. Plus, it’s a Hades/Persephone retelling so I’m a sucker for that. However, my thoughts on this book are complicated. Did I enjoy the experience of reading it? Yes. Did I enjoy the story? Yes. Did I stay up too late reading it? Yes. But did I like the book overall? Unsure.

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