Tagged: Fiction

Reaper of Earth

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

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Jenn & Sam review Reaper of Earth, book 1 in Jen L. Grey’s Reaper series

About the Book

Reaper of Earth; Jen L. Gray
Teen/Young Adult; Fantasy; 226 Pages

Independently published (October 3, 2018)

Hidden abilities, haunting memories, and one confused girl.

I’m a reaper. Death should come naturally to me, but it doesn’t. And the abilities I am able to conjure are forbidden by my kind. My parents try to hide my abilities, but when the elders assign my first target, they order my parents to stay back. Now I’m on my own, with no one to protect me, no idea what I’m doing, and no control over the powers I’m supposed to keep hidden. I should have known this would blow up in my face. My family name is ruined, and I have to fix what I’ve ripped. I’m not sure I have what it takes. The fate of my entire kind is on my shoulders, and I’m the only one who can make things right. But if I mess up again, it won’t just be my family that I break–our entire world will be ruined. Tomb Raider meets Touched in REAPER OF EARTH, a paranormal read for those who love a dark twist. Scroll up and one-click this hauntingly twisted tale today.

About the Author

USA Today Bestselling Author

Reading has always been one of my favorite hobbies, even as a little girl. When I was a toddler, my parents would read stories to me over and over. I would hear them so often that I had the books memorized and could recite the story word by word.

The past year, I started having stories stuck in my head and finally decided to start writing. My favorite genres are fantasy, paranormal, and contemporary romance. So of course that’s what I’m inclined to write.

​I have a husband, two young daughters, and a mini Australian Shepherd. I’ve lived in Tennessee the majority of my life and love the state.

I’m extremely addicted to caffeine and enjoy drinking coffee and lattes. 

I am so pleased that you stopped by my page! Please feel free to contact me!

Email: authorjenlgrey@gmail.com
Facebook Fan Group
​Facebook Author Page
​Twitter @authorjenlgrey

Jenn’s Review

When you’re a Reaper of souls, but you can’t make your powers behave… What’s a girl to do? Welcome to Christina’s world in Jen Gray’s Reaper of Earth, book 1 in the Artifact Reaper Saga.

On the cusp of turning 20, Christina needs to prove that she’s capable of Reaping souls on her own. It should be easy, given that she’s from a long, powerful line of Reapers. Except… Her powers don’t behave the way they should, and now, it’s more than her own future on the line.

If she fails, she and her parents will be stripped of all their wealth, power, and standing.

And her parents remind her of this. Constantly.

The Reaper council offers Christina an alternative – find a powerful artifact and all well be forgiven. Of course, the rules keep changing, her power is blocked, and everyone seems to want a piece of the artifact. And when she learns what the artifact can do, she’ll have to weigh her family’s lives against the fate of the multiverse.

This is the first book in a YA Urban Fantasy series, told in 1st person present POV. Magic and action abound, and the protagonist has a bit of a foul mouth. I give it high marks for a fast-paced plot and a well-defined fantasy world. Four stars.

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Jenn & Sam review Reaper of Earth, book 1 in Jen L. Grey’s Reaper series

Sam’s Review

The fate of Earth and other worlds lie in the hands of a misfit reaper, scorned by her powerful parents because of how different her powers are. She can bring what has been reaped back to life. She can find what she’s looking for, inside her mind. And she is the only reaper she knows who hates reaping. But as her abilities get her into trouble, she either has to find four artifacts for 4 elements, or the people she cares about will die.

Filled with panic, snark, and several modern references, Reaper of Earth will draw in readers. As a modern fantasy, it brings forth stories of old and stories of today’s cultures. I saw only one thing wrong with this, and that was the few grammar errors I found. I highly recommend to fantasy lovers.

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle, Audiobook, and paperback here.

Other books (s) in the series.

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Forget Tomorrow

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

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Sam’s Teen Reads Corner reviews Pintip Dunn’s award-winning Forget Tomorrow

About the Book

Forget Tomorrow; Pintip Dunn
12-17 Years; Science Fiction; 400 Pages

Entangled: Teen; Reprint edition (September 6, 2016)

Imagine a world where your destiny has already been decided…by your future self.

It’s Callie’s seventeenth birthday and, like everyone else, she’s eagerly awaiting her vision―a memory sent back in time to sculpt each citizen into the person they’re meant to be. A world-class swimmer. A renowned scientist.

Or in Callie’s case, a criminal.

In her vision, she sees herself murdering her gifted younger sister. Before she can process what it means, Callie is arrested and placed in prison. The only person who can help is her childhood crush, Logan, a boy she hasn’t spoken to in five years.

Logan breaks her free, but can she trust him? He’s almost the same boy she remembers, but now he’s a whole lot hotter. And he’s got his own past to deal with. Callie’s falling for him, fast, but she soon learns he has secrets of his own. Secrets that mean they can never be together.

Now, Callie’s on the run not only from the government, but also from her fate. If she wants any hope of a future with Logan, she must first find a way to protect her sister from the biggest threat of all―herself.

About the Author

Pintip Dunn is a New York Times bestselling author of young adult fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B., and received her J.D. at Yale Law School. 

Her novel FORGET TOMORROW won the 2016 RWA RITA® for Best First Book, and SEIZE TODAY won the 2018 RITA for Best Young Adult Romance. Her books have been translated into four languages, and they have been nominated for the following awards: the Grand Prix del’Imaginaire; the Japanese Sakura Medal; the MASL Truman Award; the TomeSociety It list; and the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award. 

Her other titles include REMEMBER YESTERDAY, THE DARKEST LIE, GIRL ON THE VERGE, STAR-CROSSED, and MALICE.

Sam’s Review

A wonderful dystopian has entered my life, by the name of Forget Tomorrow.  Showing just how far a sister will go to save her younger sister, and change her fate, Forget Tomorrow is an unforgettable journey. See what I did there? This book is filled with plot twists, danger, and turns at almost every page.

Callie is just a normal girl in a land where, once you hit sixteen, you get a memory from your future self. Callie sees herself killing her beloved little sister. Determined to protect her, Callie runs with her lifelong crush away to a place where those seeking to battle Fate hide in fear. The only problem, she and Logan, her crush, haven’t spoken in five years. That could bring a few issues. It doesn’t help that he and her sisters are supposedly both physics, making them both valuable to ComA.

I loved this book because it had a good, gripping story, as well as perfectly covered subplots, as in, the subplots didn’t take up half the book to be covered, or they weren’t even in there. So, that is a huge, major plus one point for this book.

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Sam’s Teen Reads Corner reviews Pintip Dunn’s award-winning Forget Tomorrow

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle, hardcover, and paperback editions here.

Other books in the series.

Find out what we’re reading and what we’re loving in our monthly newsletter, Between the Lines. You can sign up for it here.

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Southern Spirits

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

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Jenn reviews cozy mystery, Southern Spirits, by Angie Fox

About the Book

Southern Spirits; Angie Fox
Adult; Mystery; 256 Pages

Angie Fox (January 13, 2015)

When out of work graphic designer Verity Long accidentally traps a ghost on her property, she’s saddled with more than a supernatural sidekick—she gains the ability to see spirits. It leads to an offer she can’t refuse from the town’s bad boy, the brother of her ex and the last man she should ever partner with. Ellis Wyatt is in possession of a stunning historic property haunted by some of Sugarland Tennessee’s finest former citizens. Only some of them are growing restless—and destructive. He hires Verity to put an end to the disturbances. But soon, Verity learns there’s more to the mysterious estate than floating specters, secret passageways, and hidden rooms. There’s a modern day mystery afoot, one that hinges on a decades-old murder. Verity isn’t above questioning the living, or the dead. But can she discover the truth before the killer finds her?

About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Angie Fox writes sweet, fun, action-packed paranormal mystery and romance. Her characters are clever and fearless, but in real life, Angie is afraid of basements, bees, and going upstairs when it is dark behind her. Let’s face it. Angie wouldn’t last five minutes in one of her books.

Angie is best known for her Southern Ghost Hunter mysteries and for her Accidental Demon Slayer books. She lives in St. Louis, with her football-addicted husband, two kids, and Moxie the dog.

Sign up here to find out when her next release is coming out.

Visit Angie online:
Website
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Jenn’s Review

I love a good paranormal romance, and couldn’t wait to dive into Southern Spirits, by Angie Fox. Sadly, this tale left me on the fence in regards to the rest of the series (The Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries).

Verity Long has a problem: She’s lost everything, and is in the process of selling her grandmother’s estate when she accidentally unleashes the ghost of a long-dead gangster. Now, not only does she need to come up with some serious cash, find a new place to live, and try to start her life over in the aftermath of leaving her fiance, she needs to find a way to lay the gangster to rest.

When her former fiance’s brother, Ellis, discovers that Verity has a talent for seeing and communicating with ghosts, he hires her to rid his new project property of the restless spirits that are setting back his renovations, time and time again. 

This book had me rolling in laughter, page after page. The interplay between characters is entertaining, and the characters themselves pop off the page, in this first-person POV story. The mystery that winds through the plot is engaging and kept me guessing right up to the end. That said, the romantic aspect of the story left me feeling less than impressed. As friendships go, Verity and Ellis are at odds from the get-go, as Ellis only knows what happened at the wedding, where Verity stood his brother up at the altar. What he didn’t know was Verity’s reason for jilting her ex, and even when she reveals her motives to Ellis, she doesn’t tell him the whole truth. The pair form a believable friendship, but the romance didn’t sizzle for me. What love interest there was in the story felt rushed and bland – the story focuses almost exclusively on Verity’s character arc, with limited interaction between hero and heroine.

Perhaps Ms. Fox continues building this relationship in subsequent novels, but for me, this one just didn’t have enough pop to continue to the next book. Definitely, an adult read, and well-written, but if you’re looking for a love story, this probably isn’t it.

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Jenn reviews cozy mystery, Southern Spirits, by Angie Fox

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle, audiobook, paperback and MP3CD editions here.

Find out what we’re reading and what we’re loving in our monthly newsletter, Between the Lines. You can sign up for it here.

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Luna: The Lone Wolf

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

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Featured on this edition of Sam’s Teen Reads Corner – Luna the Lone Wolf by Forest Wells

About the Book

Luna: The Lone Wolf; Forest Wells
Teen; Coming of Age; 231 pages

Forest Wells (April 6, 2019)

Luna was destined to be alpha once he became an adult, but before he got the chance, his own brother, Rajor, framed him for a crime no one committed, leading to Luna being banished from the pack. Declared a lone wolf, never to know the company of another wolf, Luna turns bitter as he learns to accept his new fate. Yet even as he does, other wolves, strange two-legged creatures, and one mockingbird, force themselves into his life, driving him through a gauntlet of trials where he must reconnect with the alpha he was born to be, or turn away from it forever – assuming he survives.

Sam’s Review

Luna the Lone Wolf tells the story of a wolf destined to be the alpha of his pack. But Luna has a shock coming to him. As his jealous brother frames him for murder, he is cast out, with no pack, and no destiny. As time goes by, he earns home self a place as a feared wolf, defending what is his with unmatched ferocity. Soon, more and more wolves join his side, giving him the pack he knows he doesn’t deserve. But as the humans draw close with the intent of hunting and stealing what is Luna’s, can he gain back what he should never have lost, to begin with.

Full of danger, and powerful emotions, Luna the Lone Wolf will captivate audiences near and far. The book brings forth a different side to the story of hunters, telling it from the side of the creatures themselves. Also, as a side note, I’m fairly certain that taking in pure wolves is illegal, so it makes hating the hunters easier. I found no faults with this book. It was incredible, and I would recommend to animal lovers and people who love harsh tales.

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Featured on this edition of Sam’s Teen Reads Corner – Luna the Lone Wolf by Forest Wells

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle and paperback editions here.

Find out what we’re reading and what we’re loving in our monthly newsletter, Between the Lines. You can sign up for it here.

Thrice Read Books will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. Please let us know all the ways you would like to hear from us:

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at books@thricereadbooks.com. We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

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The Renaissance Club

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews Rachel Dacus' time travel romance, The Renaissance Club - Contemporary Romance, Time Travel, Renaissance Italy
Jenn reviews Rachel Dacus’ time travel romance, The Renaissance Club

About the Book

The Renaissance Club; Rachel Dacus
Adult; Fantasy Romance; 374 pages

Time Fold Books December 20, 2018

May Gold, an adjunct college teacher earning little more than a Starbucks barista, often dreams in her tiny, moldy office about the subject of her master’s thesis, 17th-century sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini. In her fantasies, she’s in his arms, the wildly adored partner of the man who invented the Baroque. In reality, May has just landed in Rome with her teaching colleagues and her suffocating boyfriend, Darren, who is paying her way. She feels like a precocious failure and longs for a passionate, creative life of beauty and poetry. When tour leader George St. James lends May his beautiful gold pen to take her notes, she finds herself in the year 1624, under the gilded dome of St. Peter’s, staring into Bernini’s eyes. But can she break free of her present-day life, the dead-end job, the stuffy boyfriend, and the boss who wants to thwart her rise in the Art Department? Only if she can give up everything and figure out the secret to falling through the folds of time, might she seize her unexpected chance for happiness and live in a magical future with her soul mate from another time.

A CAPTIVATING STORY illuminating love’s power over time. Perfect for fans of and Susanna Kearsley and Diana Gabaldon, for those who love Italy, art, and history.

About the Author

Rachel Dacus is a poet, essayist, and novelist who writes about love and history. In her novel, THE RENAISSANCE CLUB, a young art historian gets to meet her hero from the past, the fiery 17th century Italian sculptor Bernini. She then must choose whether she can give up everything — even the time in which she lives — to be with her soulmate. The book was praised as “enchanting, rich, and romantic”.

Dacus is at work on both a sequel and a prequel. She shows off her versatility as a writer in her four poetry collections, most recently ARABESQUE. 

She lives in Northern California with her husband and a tiny, mighty Silky Terrier. She’s a member of the Women’s Fiction Writer’s Association and Authors18. To learn more about her news and upcoming projects, sign up for her quarterly newsletter at http://racheldacus.net. A poem in every newsletter!

Jenn’s Review

A stellar story and subtle romance! Rachel Dacus’ story weaves the past and the present together in a seamless blend of prose and poetry, with subtle undertones reminiscent of a fine Italian culinary dish in The Renaissance Club.

This was not my first time-travel romance, but Ms. Dacus is easily on par with my literary heroine, Diana Gabaldon. While the heroine travels back and forth through time, she tries to keep her present-day, dead-on-arrival, relationship with Darren together; but each trip through the portal of Time, each liason with her artistic hero, Bernini, she finds herself comparing past and present in more ways than one.

The romance between May and Bernini sizzles, and the love scenes are subtle, but pack a punch and the author moves deftly through the full range of human emotions with style and sensitivity. All the while, Dacus is describing art and Italy with a deftness that leaves even the least-experienced art historian with a clear mental image of what the characters are seeing and studying.

Her characters step in and out of time seamlessly, and it would seem that all of our intrepid travelers on this particular three-week academic tour find themselves somehow changed by the magic of Italy; its pull an irresistible dare to be something more, fly higher, try something new, inspired by the innovation in artistic styles that Rome, Venice, Florence, and Assisi seethe with. And who wouldn’t find themselves forever altered by meeting Masters of their time such as Michelangelo, Bernini and Borromini?

Even those who aren’t romance fans will find something in the pages of this book to pique their imagination. Aspiring authors, poets, painters and sculptors especially, should read at least the first three chapters, and pay special heed Bernini’s advice.

You won’t find steamy sex scenes in this book, but in this reviewer’s opinion, they would have most likely detracted from the overall impact of Rachel’s work. Readers will be left with a new appreciation of art, history, love and time itself. A must for every romance reader’s book list, especially fans of time-travel romance.

Jenn reviews Rachel Dacus' time travel romance, The Renaissance Club - Contemporary Romance, Time Travel, Renaissance Italy
Jenn reviews Rachel Dacus’ time travel romance, The Renaissance Club

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle and paperback here.

Thrice Read Books will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. Please let us know all the ways you would like to hear from us:

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at books@thricereadbooks.com. We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp’s privacy practices here.

By the Assassin’s Side

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews book 3 in Katherine Hasting's Daggers of Desire series, BY THE ASSASSIN'S SIDE - historical romance - action adventure romance - pirates
Jenn reviews book 3 in Katherine Hasting’s Daggers of Desire series, By the Assassin’s Side

About the book:

By the Assassin’s Side by Katherine Hastings

Historical Fiction/ 242 Pages

Flyte Publishing – February 6, 2019

Gold may not be the only treasure they find. 

As they race to find the treasure, Simon and Vivian must fight the men hunting her down… and the feelings for each other growing each step of the way.

With part of a stolen treasure map in her possession and mercenaries hot on her trail, Vivien runs to the one person she knows will keep her safe. Captain Viktor. But when she arrives at his ship, it isn’t her oldest friend commanding it, a new man has taken his place. Captain Simon Blackmore. Though reluctant to work with this imposter, his skills both as a pirate and an assassin are exactly what she needs to find this treasure… and stay ahead of the men who want their map back.

Half the treasure as payment for protecting the fiery courtesan convinces Simon to escort her and help uncover Captain Avery’s lost loot. Danger nips at their heels every step of the way, and her obstinate personality makes the already monumental task even more difficult. But soon they are fighting for more than just staying alive… they are fighting the feelings for each other that are even more dangerous than the men hunting her down.

Can they work together to find the treasure that could change both their fates, or will they discover that the greatest treasure was there all along?

Jenn’s Review:

Katherine Hastings is back with a third installment of the Daggers of Desire series, rounding the series out with the story of Vivian and Simon.

Simon inherited the pirate vessel, Dark Shark, from his good friend and longtime partner, Viktor, when Viktor retired. While in port, waiting for the crew’s next adventure, a stubborn, determined woman demands to see the captain – only she’s quite distressed to discover Simon now carries the title.

Vivian’s found herself in a bad situation, the worst she’s ever faced. And when the tall, imposing Simon insists that Viktor has retired, Viv is at a loss. Her long-time friend and occasional lover, Viktor, is the only one she trusts to get her through her dilemma – a stolen half of a pirate treasure map.

Simon keeps his word and delivers Viv to Viktor’s doorstep, and true to the new Captain’s word, Viktor confirms his retirement and helps the pair plan their perilous journey to find Captain Avery’s lost pirate treasure.

Nothing in their journey is straight forward, and the pair repeatedly make their predicaments worse through their stubbornness. A common background is the only thing that eases the tension between them to quiet the constant sniping at each other.

This is a fun swashbuckling romance, with a quick pace and quick wit sprinkled throughout. While it is the third book in the series, it can easily be read on its own.


Jenn reviews book 3 in Katherine Hasting's Daggers of Desire series, BY THE ASSASSIN'S SIDE - historical romance - action adventure romance - pirates
Jenn reviews book 3 in Katherine Hasting’s Daggers of Desire series, By the Assassin’s Side

We interviewed Katherine back in July, 2018. You can read more here.

Buy the book:

Beneath the Assassin’s Touch

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews BENEATH THE ASSASSIN'S TOUCH by Katherine Hastings, Book 2 in the Daggers of Desire series - historical romance - romance fiction - assassin fiction - adventure romance
Jenn reviews Beneath the Assassin’s Touch by Katherine Hastings, Book 2 in the Daggers of Desire series

About the Book

Beneath the Assassin’s Touch, 
Katherine Hastings

Adult, Historical Romance, 201 Pages

Flyte Publishing, January 23, 2019

Sometimes the safest place is in the arms of the most dangerous man.

As Viktor fights to save Nora from assassins hot on her trail, it turns out they’re up against an even bigger battle… the feelings for each other they can no longer deny.

When Viktor envisioned pulling the beautiful Baroness into his arms, he was thinking he wanted a quick roll in the hay… a one-night stand like he’d had with a lengthy list of ladies before her. Tossing her over his shoulder to escape her would-be assassins wasn’t what he had in mind, yet that’s exactly how she ended up in his arms the night they met. Now Viktor is stuck protecting the willful woman until they can solve the mystery of who would want her dead. He must use all his skills, as both pirate and assassin, to save her… and all his willpower to resist the growing feelings that threaten to pull him under.

Baroness Nora Aberdeen finds herself ripped from a life of luxury, dependent on the infuriating assassin to keep her alive. Unsure who to trust, she can’t deny the safety she feels when she’s by his side. Dragged through England to places she never imagined, Nora struggles to survive while also struggling to battle the feelings the roguish pirate awakens within her.

Can they fight their feelings while they fight for their lives? Will he be able to save her, and in doing so save himself… or will pride and duty tear them apart?

About the Author

 
Katherine Hastings loves love. It’s why she writes romance novels. Getting lost writing a romantic adventure is one of her favorite pastimes. When she’s not on an adventure with her characters, she can be found at her home in Wisconsin snuggling her husband, two Boston Terriers, and the world’s naughtiest cat. Two things make Katherine want to leave her happy home these days… going for rides on her dressage pony or floating at the beach in her big inflatable raft. Writing her novels while floating in the lake is one of her ultimate pleasures… that and Fried Wisconsin Cheese Curds, of course.

Jenn’s Review

Katherine Hastings is back with book 2 in the Daggers of Desire series, Beneath the Assassin’s Touch. In book 1, we briefly met the pirate, Viktor, and he’s back with his over-the-top wit and salacious, playful antics to rescue the endangered damsel, keep her out of harm’s way, and find his own happily ever after.

Viktor hides a damaged, painful past behind his mask of daring escapades, quick sense of humor, and bawdy bosom buddies. Never one to settle down for long, he agrees to take a short stint away from his pirate ship, Dark Shark, to help John and Charlie prevent an assassination. The only catch is, they don’t know exactly who’s at risk, only that the intended victim will be at a ball at a nearby estate. He’s growing weary of the pirate’s life, even if he is a captain with his own ship.

Never one to let a little work get in the way of a flirtation, Viktor trails a beautiful baroness out onto a balcony for a bit of fresh air.

Nora doesn’t exactly like the plush life she’s carved out for herself, but the cost of turning back is too high for her to pay – so she plays her part and grits her teeth. The dashing, well-dressed man that follows her around her husband’s party is more than an annoyance, his continued affections could jeopardize all those she holds dear. But when armed men attack her in the dark, she has no choice but to flee in the handsome stranger’s arms.

Nora is all prickles and defenses, continually demanding that Viktor returns her to her home, refusing to believe that she’s in any danger. Her ongoing denial and fight for her independence could cost her her life. And Viktor refuses to let the beautiful, strong Nora out of his grasp – she’s possibly his best chance at healing old wounds and finding the happiness he never thought could be his.

Ms. Hastings has tackled yet another historical romance with a flair for witty banter, sexy tensions, and action-packed adventure. BENEATH THE ASSASSIN’S TOUCH is the second book in the series, and characters and situations from book 1 are referenced, met, and take part in some of the action, but this book can be read as a standalone in its own right. A nice break from the typical adult historical romance.

Jenn reviews BENEATH THE ASSASSIN'S TOUCH by Katherine Hastings, Book 2 in the Daggers of Desire series - historical romance - romance fiction - assassin fiction - adventure romance
Jenn reviews Beneath the Assassin’s Touch by Katherine Hastings, Book 2 in the Daggers of Desire series

We interviewed Katherine back in July 2018. You can read the article here.

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 This book is available on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback formats here:

Off the Map – Review

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews Sierra Dean's Adult Action/Suspense Romance OFF THE MAP
Jenn reviews Sierra Dean’s Adult Action/Suspense Romance Off the Map

About the Book

Off the Map, Sierra Dean

Adult, Romantic Suspense, 220 Pages

Sierra Dean (October 2, 2018)

Her last job won’t be a day at the beach.

Harper Barton has one reason and one reason only to be in Colombia, and it isn’t for fun in the sun. As an expert in “acquiring” antiquities, she’s been tasked with collecting a valuable necklace from a gala. The problem? A drug kingpin wants the piece for himself, and won’t let a cat burglar get in his way.

Diego Morales is in Colombia doing research for his next book. The mild-mannered professor was expecting dusty books and boring lecture halls, not a beautiful woman sweeping him onto the dance floor and planting a kiss on him before being chased out of the building by armed guards.

Harper and Diego find themselves neck-deep in trouble when they’re kidnapped by the drug kingpin, but things go from bad to worse when they both go overboard and end up lost in the middle of the Colombian jungle. Can they stay alive long enough to get home? Can they stop fighting long enough to realize there’s more than just jungle heat simmering between them?

Off the Map is high-stakes adventure with spark, snark, and plenty of danger. 

About the Author


Sierra Dean is a reformed historian. She was born and raised in the Canadian prairies and is allowed annual exit visas in order to continue her quest of steadily conquering the world one city at a time. Making the best of the cold Canadian winters, Sierra indulges in her less global interests: drinking too much tea and writing urban fantasy.

Ever since she was a young girl she has loved the idea of the supernatural coexisting with the mundane. As an adult, however, the idea evolved from the notion of fairies in flower beds, to imagining that the rugged-looking guy at the garage might secretly be a werewolf. She has used her overactive imagination to create her own version of the world, where vampire, werewolves, fairies, gods and monsters all walk among us, and she’ll continue to travel as much as possible until she finds it for real.

Jenn’s Review

Indiana Jones meets Tomb Raider in Sierra Dean’s action romantic suspense Off the Map, complete with a snarky, dare-devil heroine and anthropology professor (albeit far less daring) hero.

Harper Barton’s career as a specialty cat burgler goes sideways as the intelligence reports for a quick grab-and-go job in Columbia turns out to be utterly wrong. In an effort to get out alive, she wrangles an unassuming man into a dance at the museum gala, plants her prize in his pocket, steals a hot kiss and attempts to make a getaway.

Diego can’t believe his luck. He’s in Columbia to study some artifacts that appear to be from a lost warrior culture, and has a speech to give at the museum gala. So far, his trip has been less than exciting, and his sister back home has pestered him for years to have an adventure. When the beautiful woman who invited him to dance kisses him so passionately that he can’t wait to see her again, he thinks he might finally accomplish his sister’s challenge.

Until the beautiful woman dashes away, with armed guards on her heels.

The pair alternate between attraction and bickering over the course of the ensuing days, trying to survive their explosive escape from captivity and certain death at the hands of Columbia’s most notorious and insane drug lord. Free of his clutches, can Harper and Diego survive the jungle to make it back to safety?

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Dean’s world-building and character development are spot-on. The tension, both sexual and plot, kept me reading long past bedtime, and her twists in the plot kept me guessing what misfortune might befall the couple right up to the end.

This was a satisfying story, but I felt it ended very abruptly. Ms. Dean does suggest that this may have a sequel, but with so little space between the couple’s reunion and the end… The only other down-side of my review of the book is that the editing was incomplete, but not so much as to make the book unreadable.

Off the Map is an adult read, steamy, without edging off into erotica. Action-packed, thrilling, and immersive, this one gets a thumbs up.

Jenn reviews Sierra Dean's Adult Action/Suspense Romance OFF THE MAP
Jenn reviews Sierra Dean’s Adult Action/Suspense Romance Off the Map

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 This book is available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback format here:

Marjorie Diaz’s Unfortunate Introduction to Magical High Society – Review

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews Desdemona Wren's NA Paranormal Novel MARJORIE DIAZ'S UNFORTUNATE INTRODUCTION TO MAGICAL HIGH SOCIETY - diverse books - LGBTQA FIction
Jenn reviews Desdemona Wren’s NA Paranormal Novel Marjorie Diaz’s Unfortunate Introduction to Magical High Society

About the Book

Marjorie Diaz’s Unfortunate Introduction to Magical High Society, Desdemona Wren

Adult, NA Paranormal, 339 Pages

Publisher: Antler Doe Publishing; 1 edition (September 4, 2018)

Girl meets boy. Girl falls in love with boy. Boy hunts girl for sport.

Marjorie Diaz has no idea who Patrick Watkins is. When he saunters into her senior seminar class during her last semester of college, the last thing she expects is to fall in love with him. 

She’s swept up into a whirlwind—and often times fairytale-esque—romance. That is, until his family kidnaps her and sends her to the last place she ever thought she would go again. 

Now, with the help of her best friend Lucian Maravalle, she has to run for her life, and try not to think too hard about the fact that everyone important to her has been keeping a dangerous secret. A secret that could cost Marjorie her life.

Book one in the Marjorie Diaz series.

Cover art by Ariel LeAnn of Cat’s Paw Media

This title is LGBTQIA+ and features a full POC cast.

About the Author

Desdemona Wren is a novelist who writes gay fiction with monsters, witches, and actual plots. She’s from Seattle, WA, but currently resides in the mystical land of Northern California. Where everybody wears coats all the time, nobody says ‘brah’, ‘bruh’, ‘bro’ or any variation of that word, and absolutely nobody surfs.

She has two cats named Oliver and Ophelia who have traveled the world. From The Great Smoky Mountains, to the tallest peaks of The Cascades, and even to the Grand Canyon; they’ve been everywhere. For more information on future books, visit her website at http://desdemonawren.com

Jenn’s Review

New Adult fiction isn’t something I generally jump at, but I made an exception for this review request, from author Desdemona Wren, because I love paranormal fiction, and wanted to try something a little different.

Marjorie’s last semester of college isn’t off to a great start when she gets partnered with sarcastic, flirtatious Patrick on their first day of Senior Seminar for their senior project. She thought she knew everyone in her major, and Patrick seems to know her, but Marjorie has no recollection of seeing this man in any of her classes.

To complicate things further, his flirtatious behavior is followed up by a hallway make-out session. Marjorie walks out of class to be confronted by Patrick and his very beautiful girlfriend kissing.

Aside from the storyline, this book was an adventure for me – an asexual protagonist in a romance, millennial voice, and a driving plotline. Ms. Wren’s storytelling feels a tad awkward at times, with scattered dialogue that didn’t seem to drive the plot and lagging character development that picks up once it’s finally established.

That said, however, the author took the time to give each character a unique voice in the book, and to some degree, I would attribute some of the awkward narratives to the protagonist’s personality, more than the author’s writing skill (Marjorie has some deep-seated issues – she’s not glamorous by any means). Hooray for a deeply flawed heroine that isn’t swooning over every cute guy she meets!

This is definitely not a young adult read and is geared towards the New Adult level. With an asexual heroine, the book is free of any graphic sexual content, however, the language is rough enough that I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone under 16. Millennial fans of paranormal and diverse books – this one is for you.

Jenn reviews Desdemona Wren's NA Paranormal Novel MARJORIE DIAZ'S UNFORTUNATE INTRODUCTION TO MAGICAL HIGH SOCIETY - diverse books - LGBTQA FIction
Jenn reviews Desdemona Wren’s NA Paranormal Novel Marjorie Diaz’s Unfortunate Introduction to Magical High Society

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 This book is available on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback formats here:

Shark Bait

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews Nancy E. Miller's contemporary romantic suspense novel, SHARK BAIT
Jenn reviews Nancy E. Miller’s contemporary romantic suspense novel, Shark Bait

About the Book

Shark Bait, Nancy E. Miller 

Adult, Romantic Suspense, 308 Pages

Gypsy Willow Press (May 18, 2017)

Mental health counselor Kate Ainsworth received the call from Det. Rayder summoning her to the beach. Never did she guess that the trip involved a client’s head washed up on shore. Murder and mayhem ensue with Kate in the crosshairs. Ben Rayder is set to protect the woman he loves and track down the murderer, hoping it is her pesky ex-husband just so he can arrest the rich bum. Can he convince her to give love a second chance after devastating betrayal? But first, he must protect her from becoming shark bait.

About the Author

Nancy E Miller

 Greetings and thanks for visiting my author’s page. As you can tell from my biography on the book page, I am a complete sap for any four-legged creature. My husband and I live in Illinois near St. Louis, MO with our four dogs, 2 pygmy goats, and partial interest in a horse (Achilles boards here). Crystal Unicorns came out in 2011 and Shark Bait in May 2017 in multiple venues/formats. Desperate Overtures, debuted in July 2018. It is the first in the Alice Gentry series. All are romantic suspense novels…heavy on the suspense. 
I truly hope you enjoy my books. It’s been a long time coming. Feel free to contact me thru my email nancyemiller57@gmail.com or on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Nancy-E-Miller-Author-894245750641373/?ref=bookmarks

Jenn’s Review

I’ve read Nancy E. Miller’s two other suspense/romance novels, and by far, Shark Bait was my absolute favorite and falls firmly in the Romantic Suspense category.

Kate Ainsworth is a mental health counselor. She mostly enjoys her job, though her boss is a chronic headache. Unfortunately for Kate, one of her clients has washed up on the beach. In pieces. With two dead sharks. Enter Det. Ben Rayder, who is in the unfortunate position of having to call Kate to identify her client’s remains.

The situation grows more and more complicated as Ben and Kate reconnect and the danger to Kate becomes increasingly apparent. The pair has a history that didn’t end well, and Kate’s ex-husband is on the prowl to seemingly get himself back into her good graces. Can Ben keep her safe when more than her heart is on the line?

As I mentioned, this book falls squarely in the romantic suspense category, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. I read the entire book in two sittings and had to rearrange my calendar just so that I could sit and enjoy this fast-paced adventure.

Ms. Miller’s characters are well developed and multi-faceted. It was difficult to hit the end of this book because I really wanted to continue following their journey. Her world-building in this novel was superb. I think only one or two moments gave me pause enough to pull me out of the story for more than a moment. Plot twists were mostly surprises, though one or two were visible from a long way off.

Considering the plot of the book, I also give props to Ms. Miller for her deft handling of what could be very disturbing and graphic moments in the story. She’s handled potential triggers with a deft hand and dialed down the “gross”.

In short, if you only read one of Miller’s novels this year, start here. By far the best indie-published romantic suspense I’ve read in a long time.

Jenn reviews Nancy E. Miller's contemporary romantic suspense novel, SHARK BAIT
Jenn reviews Nancy E. Miller’s contemporary romantic suspense novel, Shark Bait

Buy the Book

 This book is available on Amazon in Kindle format here: