Devious Maidens by Maryse Dawson

Ruth West - Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Title: Devious Maidens
Author: Maryse Dawson
Publisher: Blushing Books
Published: July 19, 2017
Genre: Historical, Medieval

I used to read medieval novels all the time, but haven’t picked one up in a while. I was excited to read this collection of short stories. First off, the “old world” language was very distracting. It almost made me not want to continue. Once I got passed that, the stories were entertaining, light but kind of forgettable. These stories have spanking in them, so if this is not your thing then don’t pick it up. Overall I give it a 3 star rating with probably my favorite the 2nd story in the lot.
Reviewed by: Noni Fro

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Keep Away From the Heat by Amelia James

Ruth West - Saturday, August 12, 2017

Title: Keep Away From the Heat
Author: Amelia James
Publisher: Limitless Publishing, LLC
Published: March 29, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance

Dash Ryder and Simone Leveque had been high school sweethearts torn apart by an apparent betrayal. Thirteen years later, he is superintendent of a county’s wildfire crew and she has just been hired as the manager of Emergency Management Services for said county, and is his new boss.

This is an erotic romance with a second chance at romance trope. I had difficulty with the story primarily because I did not find the heroine very likeable. She is shown as a seemingly strong woman who has some self-doubt. However, the scenes where she portrayed the weakness felt contrived. Her need to argue or bicker with the hero was fairly constant and though the why of it was explained in the story, it did not lead me to find her any more appealing. And the emotional outbursts lead mostly to bouts of angry sex, over and over, again.

I had more sympathy for the hero but was not much of a fan in regards to his part in a “big misunderstanding.” However, this may simply be a quirk of mine and other readers who don’t mind this device may be more content.

The author does a good job in writing the action-packed scenes with wildfire and other emergency situations. She also manages to tie together loose ends and explain motivation of her main characters well. And frankly, the last bit of the book was satisfyingly romantic. In the end, it was an ok read.

Reviewed by Lil

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Steal by Rachel Van Dyken

Ruth West - Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Title: Steal
Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: July 2, 2017
Publisher: Van Dyken Enterprises INC

Will and Angelica have a tangled past, mixed with drug abuse. Steal starts out slow as we gain insight into Will and Angelica's history together. There is no instalove since the characters already know one another. There's a definite dislike between Will and Angelica which makes sense given their history, yet I wasn't feeling any overt sexual tension between them or warmth toward either characters as the book progressed. In fact all their bickering and anger toward one another made me not care what happened between them. It was a little too much early on, causing a disconnect for the reader. The writing is clean and on occasion slightly poetic. There are moments of humor that do lighten up the story, making it fall somewhat into the romantic comedy category, though I personally would classify this novel solely as Contemporary and if it were a movie: Drama.

Reviewed by Samantha Peters

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