Novellas are the perfect medium for Christmas themed stories: perfect to read in one sitting under a blanket on a gray day. That said, I think I would have gladly read a full length novel about Ryan and Winter and their roller-coaster week before Christmas. BITTERSWEET CHRISTMAS featured characters that got you invested quickly and kept you hooked until the end.
GRIGORI is a modern fairy tale set in Russia, in deep dark libraries, high rise condos, and sprawling estates in the forests. It stars fun new mythology and just enough tropes to be fun.
Madelyn is a university professor on sabbatical, researching dragon mythology in Russia, when she stumbles on a secret and gets kidnapped by the very rich, very imposing Grigori.
If you were one sexual encounter away from being permanently beautiful, would you do it? In Image Comics’ THE BEAUTY, physical perfection is a sexually transmitted disease and a lot of people have taken the plunge. Despite the constant low-level fever all the infected have, there’s no harm in it, is there?
“If you marry me I’ll save your business” is a tried and true Harlequin Romance trope. I’ve seen it done with restaurants, bed and breakfasts and even an auction house. Usually, the big reveal is that they can be attracted to each other and still hold differences of opinion. This time, the reveal has a bit more fur and fang.
URBAN ENEMIES is a pretty fun romp into the twisted minds of the bad guys from various urban fantasy series. There were of course some characters who I had no clue about. Luckily each story starts off with a general summary of the series the character(s) appear in so there was some idea of what was going on.
Authors sometimes make confusing choices, adding a mythology or a plot twist that is such unnecessary deus ex machina that it almost ruins a book. NEVER DARE A DRAGON has characters who feel real, and it’s disappointing to have most of their problems disappear in the last quarter of the book.
Sometimes it’s fun to escape. Sometimes you want to read something that will make you smile, laugh, and feel warm and fuzzy inside. CUTIE AND THE BEAST is one of the super fuzzy books! If you love it when our world clashes with the world of fairies, dragons and magic, this book is for you.
I was so disappointed by the second half of this book that I only kept reading out of disbelief that a book with such a promising start had taken such a weird turn for the terrible. ELEMENTAL MATING began with an intelligent protagonist, living in Africa, doing her thing. By the end of the book she had not used her brains or her photographic memory in about a hundred pages.
GAUNTLET is all about seeking a balance — in life and in virtual reality. After exposing the corruption within the Virtual Gaming League, Kali Ling has a placed a target on her back. It turns out that owning a team is expensive, demanding, and a lot more responsibility than expected.
BORDERLINE, by Mishell Baker, is a strange book, and I was never quite sure what it was trying to be; serious exploration of mental health disorders in a fantasy setting, a love letter to Hollywood, a dark fantasy world occasionally peppered with clever observation? The main character was super engaging (if not always particularly likeable), but the urban fantasy part left me wanting more.