Book Review: Spellbound After Midnight

Review

Spellbound After Midnight by Jenna Collett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Refreshing Take



I love a great fairytale retelling, and this story did not disappoint. Spellbound After Midnight crafts a new twist in the classic aged tale of a woman losing a glass slipper. Tessa, a clumsy, spellcasting witch (aka, Fairy Godmother) takes on the task of helping a woman in need. But, when murder is thrown in the mix, Tessa meets the handsome but stern detective Derrick Chambers to solve the devious mystery.

This story had an interesting world that kept me engaged and excited. The story itself had some unique twists and turns that I did not see coming and a decent “bad guy” reveal at the end.

Both main characters were both likable and worth rooting for. Each had their unique backstory and motivations that pushed the story forward. I loved Tess’ independence and willpower throughout and also liked that her stubbornness got her into trouble sometimes. Derrick is a no-nonsense guy with a soft interior, a delectable combination. Their chemistry was amazing but as their romance progressed, I was a little disappointed by the lack of tension I felt between them. When the first romantic scene happened, I was confused because I did not think that both of them were on that level.

Overall, this is a cute story with a great mystery plot. I was pleasantly surprised by its refreshing take on a well-known story. I would definitely recommend it!


Content Warning: One cursory sex scene



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Favorite Quote

He bent his head, lips claiming mine in a devastating kiss. Relief swamped me and made tears gather under my eyelids. Honesty was my new policy from here on out. The reward was too good. Lies? No way, not me.

Book Blurb

Tessa Daniels needs a miracle. Preferably, the kind that comes with cold hard cash. Her magic shop is failing, and she’ll be tossed into the street unless she clears her debt.

When a financial boon arrives in the form of a young woman determined to attend the prince’s ball, a risky spell turns out to be the miracle she needed. That is until the woman is found dead at the stroke of midnight, and Tessa comes face-to-face with the kingdom’s cold, and way too appealing, lead detective.

Detective Derrick Chambers has no use for the supernatural. As the rising star at the Royal Agency, he won’t let magic, or the pretty witch that deals in it, get in the way of solving a murder.

His logic tells him to steer clear of Tessa’s chaos, but a forced partnership soon turns into an attraction neither can resist.

With the body count rising, and the kingdom in a panic, an exposed secret will tear them apart and put Tessa in the sights of a killer where no amount of magic can save her.

Book Review: Dreamspell

Dreamspell by Tamara Leigh

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Imagine being able to time travel through dreams–I would be in heaven. 

Dreamspell is a tale that swept me up from the very beginning. Both 21st century and 14th century scenes were woven together beautifully to create an intriguing story. 

The two main characters were easy to relate with and root for. Nedy was a witty and fun character that I laughed along with. Although she acted and said things carelessly, it was forgivable due to the circumstances in which she found herself in. If I believed I was in a dream, I would probably throw a little caution to the wind as well.

Fulke was a cutie and such a gentleman. His reactions to Nedy truly were hilarious and genuine. His suspicions felt organic as well as his genteel nature. I rooted for them but was a little confused as to what he saw in her. She did come off suspiciously witchy and crazy for the time period after all. 

Nitpicking aside, I enjoyed this time traveling romance immensely. A little slow at times, I was able to forgive the pacing because the world and story was so magical. I would recommend this!

Note: This is a clean read

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Favorite Quote:

He clasped her to him and lifted a fistful of her hair to his lips. “Sweet Nedy.” He lowered his face to her neck. In spite of her stay in the tower, she smelled as he had only ever dreamed a woman might smell, and when she laid her head on his shoulder, he knew he could not let her go. Having lost so much which he had stubbornly resisted embracing, it was unbearable that he might also lose this strange, beautiful woman.

Book Blurb:

A TIME TO LIVE. A TIME TO DIE. A TIME TO DREAM.
Sleep disorders specialist Kennedy Plain has been diagnosed with a fatal brain tumor. When her research subject dies after trying to convince her he has achieved dream-induced time travel and her study is shelved, she enlists herself as a subject to complete her research. But when she dreams herself into 14th-century England and falls into the hands of Fulke Wynland, a man history has condemned as a murderer, she must not only stay alive long enough to find a way to return to her own time, but prevent Fulke from murdering his young nephews. And yet, the more time she spends with the medieval warrior, the more difficult it is to believe he is capable of committing the heinous crime for which he has been reviled for 600 years.

Baron Fulke Wynland has been granted guardianship of his brother’s heirs despite suspicions that he seeks to steal their inheritance. When the king sends a mysterious woman to care for the boys, Fulke is surprised by the lady’s hostility toward him–and more surprised to learn she is to be his wife. But when his nephews are abducted, the two must overcome their mutual dislike to discover the boys’ fate. What Fulke never expects is to feel for this woman whose peculiar speech, behavior, and talk of dream travel could see her burned as a witch. 

Book Review: To Love a God

To Love a God by Evie Kent


I love a little bit of angsty, dark romance and a strong-willed heroine. Sprinkle in a bit of Norse mythology? Perfection. I also tend to stay away from first person POV but I was pleasantly surprised at how well the writing flowed and captivated me.


Who are the stars of the show?


Nora, the female protagonist has everything that I love: wit, spunk, and a fighting spirit. From the beginning, she does not take any of the “you are my toy” crap from our mischievous God and I loved that about her. She had dreams and goals and a will to fight her circumstances. 


 Loki is an intriguing character from mythology so I was interested to see the author’s take on our anti-hero. He was a great mix of an arrogant, smirking prick and a tortured soul. His interactions with Nora were awesome and I liked that he changed his attitude about her simply being a “plaything” for him to discard after he was bored. 


So, what did I not like? 


SPOILERS


I disliked the fact that when Nora had attempted to fight against Loki, he still performed sexual acts on her that she did not verbally consent to. There is also a scene where Nora gets drunk and Loki decides to take advantage of her inebriated state and have sex with her. I cannot condone that and it left a gross pit in my stomach. Although their sexual relationship was consensual from then on out, the romance fell flat after reading those scenes. 


I understand that this is a dark romance and perhaps you may read it in a different light, and perhaps I should not be reading any more dark romances, but I personally could not get past these issues. 


Overall, I really loved certain aspects of the story. I loved the female protagonist and the angsty, dubious situation that she finds herself in. I love that she fights for herself and knows who she is. If you are into strong heroines and a cheeky, horny God then this is the book for you. But, if you detest shady sexual boundaries, then I would stay clear.

Rating: 3/5

Note: This is a 18+ book. There are many sex scenes.

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Favorite Quote:

A shiver cut down my spine; I wasn’t sure how he thought any of this was supposed to be fun for me, but being forced into sexual slavery just wasn’t my idea of a good time.

Book Blurb:

I spent my whole life training to become a ballet dancer—a soloist, a star. Today, I’m a toy, a plaything, a distraction…

An offering.

A sacrifice to a caged god, to the Norse trickster.

Loki.

Trapped in a cave for the sins of his past, he waits for the end of days. Modern worshippers curry favor with gifts and trinkets, spilled blood—and women like me.

Women who resemble his long-dead wife. We all have that look, you see. I’m supposed to be flattered that I remind him of a goddess in an age gone by.

Fuck that.

I’m furious.

The ones who came before me were sweet, docile, compliant—just like her. But I’m not sweet. I’m not docile, and I will never be compliant.

I am resilient. I am determined.

I am—not—drawn to him.

I will survive this.

I will survive him.

My name is Nora Olsen, and I will not die here.

Book Review: Bloodbond

Bloodbond by Sydney Winward


Unrequited Love turns Sweet

Zachariah Degore is not your average vampire. Being feral for ten years has affected his popularity amongst his vampire peers and a certain beautiful vampire that he is fallen in love with. Unrequited love is painful but will it always remain so sour?

If you loved the first book in this series, Bloodbond will not disappoint. From the beginning, the characters hooked me in. I wanted to learn more about them and the more I learned, the more I rooted for them. Zach is so sweet and passionate and you truly feel for him after you learn about his rough past. Laurel also surprised me and I was able to relate to her struggles with love.

I also loved how charming and natural the story turned out to be. There were several moments that made me go “awww!” Overall, I was pleasantly satisfied that this was more than just your average unrequited love story. Instead, this was also about a sweet journey of self-discovery and learning to open your heart to love.

The author did not ask me to read this book and these are my honest thoughts and opinions. I would recommend this book 100%.



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Note: Closed door sex scene

Rating: 5/5

Favorite Quote

He spun her around and couldn’t help the smile that spread across his face when she laughed gleefully. He lifted her up by the waist and she placed her hands on his shoulders as he did so. It felt wonderful to hold her in his arms, even if just for a dance.

Book Blurb

Zachariah Degore spent ten years locked under ground as a feral vampire. Now he has to redefine what it means to be healthy and whole. With his human life behind him, he starts anew in the vampire city of Ichor Knell with the vampire shah as his kin. He must prove he is worthy of his place in this new world.

Laurel Covaci is vampire elite, she would never court a feral vampire. After two hundred years she has yet to find a mate who meets with her satisfaction. She hides the pain of past hurt and abandonment behind a cold façade. Zach is confident that Laurel is the vampire for him, but can he break through her icy walls and convince her he’s the mate she’s been waiting for?