Review: Fan the Flames by Katie Ruggle

Fan the Flames by Katie Ruggle
Romantic Suspense published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on June 7, 2016

Fan the Flames by Katie Ruggle book coverHe’s a firefighter. He’s a Motorcycle Club member.
And if a killer has his way…he’ll take the fall for a murder he didn’t commit.

Ian Walsh is used to riding the line between the good guys and the bad. He may owe the club his life, but his heart rests with his fire station brothers…and with the girl he’s loved since they were kids. Ian would do anything for Rory. He’d die for her. Kill for her. Defend her to his last breath?and he may just have to.

Every con in the Rockies knows Rory is the go-to girl for less-than-legal firearms. When she defends herself against a brutal attack, Rory finds herself catapulted into the center of a gang war, with only Ian standing between her and a threat greater than either of them could have imagined.

In the remote Rocky Mountains, lives depend on the Search & Rescue brotherhood. But in a place this far off the map, trust is hard to come by and secrets can be murder..

I normally don’t read suspense romance, because I don’t like that kind of conflict/tension in my romance reading, and a lot of romances have the danger boner make an appearance, which is just too much. But I went in search of a suspense romance that didn’t have a cop or other form of law enforcement as the protagonist, and here I am with a review. This is the second book in a series, which you can read without having read the previous book, but it does end on a cliffhanger because there is an overarching mystery that connects all the books, so keep that in mind. There is violence and trauma in this book. I liked both Ian and Rory (who is a woman), but I found Rory’s character a bit more nuanced than Ian’s. Rory is tough because she’s had to be, but also vulnerable, and Ian is great because he mostly understands Rory but isn’t necessarily trying to change her. The mystery is what brings them together, but their relationship exists outside of solving the mystery, even before it really pushes them together. Continue reading

I DID A THING!

I know this is ridiculous and things aren’t all resolved yet (maybe?) but it kinda feels momentous and a milestone and I’m not even sure if the site is working for people or not.

BUT! If it is – could you please do me a favor and drop a line/comment?

And also let me know if the site has the https for you? 😜 Cuz I fucking paid for it. So I want it to be working.

Thank you!

 

 

Team TBR Challenge Review: Love Notes by Christina C. Jones

Love Notes by Christina C. Jones
Contemporary Romance released by Christina C. Jones on February 2, 2018

Love Notes by Christina C. Jones Book CoverLove that says something, instead of just looking like it. Love you can always trust to feel like home. For both of them, it’s something that has always been just outside of their peripheral, something to be observed rather than experienced. A depth of feeling reserved for people who were “into” that, those with a different outlook, those more… deserving. Until their paths cross. Lines are crossed. And maybe the stars are crossed too, because the connection and chemistry are so off the charts that they can’t stay away from each other, can’t avoid it… even if they think they should.

I haven’t read blue collar romances in a long time, partly because I realized that a lot of them were about secret rich people and I find that premise less interesting. If you’re going to write about rich people, then write about rich people, don’t try and disguise them. Anyway, I struggled a bit when trying to meet the prompt for this month’s TBR because it was for a blue collar romance and I had been reading entirely outrageous (in the best way) paranormal romances for the last few months. I got this book because Limecello recommended it when it was on sale a few weeks ago. And here we are. This was a fun book, and its warmth and feeling of community balanced out the darker elements. The book talks about child sexual abuse, and it is an important part of one of the love interests’ backstory. Jules is moving back to her old neighborhood and opening up a photography studio when she meets Troy, who manages a barber shop across the street from where her studio will be. Both Troy and Jules go through some character development during the book. Honestly, this is a lovely book to read. And Limecello really likes the audiobook version. Continue reading

Team TBR Challenge Review: Servant Mage by Kate Elliott

Servant Mage by Kate Elliott
Fantasy released by Tor on January 18, 2022.

Servant Mage by Kate Elliott book coverIn Kate Elliott’s Servant Mage, a lowly fire mage finds herself entangled in an empire-spanning conspiracy on her way to discovering her true power.

They choose their laws to secure their power.

Fellion is a Lamplighter, able to provide illumination through magic. A group of rebel Monarchists free her from indentured servitude and take her on a journey to rescue trapped compatriots from an underground complex of mines.

Along the way they get caught up in a conspiracy to kill the latest royal child and wipe out the Monarchist movement for good.

But Fellion has more than just her Lamplighting skills up her sleeve…

This book kept calling to me ever since Limecello assigned me this month’s TBR theme, which is “after the war.” This book is not a romance, but I think it does a wonderful job of exploring the nuances of what comes after a revolution and how it isn’t as clearcut as we might expect. It is set in a fantasy world, where there is magic, and where a revolutionary war recently took place. The main character, Fellion, has magical abilities over fire, and is working at an inn when the book begins. A major issue I had with this book is that while there are clues to Fellion’s background and motivations, we don’t fully understand them until almost the end, so that the tension between the choices she has at the end of the book hadn’t built up enough for me to be fully invested either way. I think you could say this is a coming-of-age story, though Fellion’s age was never entirely clear to me, other than young but not a child, so I hesitate to stick the book with that descriptor. Lest you be misled by the blurb, this is not going to be a rags to riches story. Continue reading

What Limecello Read in 2021

Hi friends! Nope – that’s not a typo, and yes, it’s taken me this long to write out this list. :X And in fact once I hit ~June 2021 I think I stopped writing what potential rating I gave a book – I’d also gotten bad about updating thoughts and have been quite bad about it this year too. Future me will undoubtedly be mad at past me when I try to figure out what I thought about a book I read. (Or potentially be surprised I read it 😅.)

Anyway what with the pandemic, terrible world events, terrible life events and work and such, here is a very likely incomplete but best as I can figure list. As you can tell the end of the year was really bad for me and honestly I basically read/listened to the same books on repeat from September through December so my tracking is REALLY bad, but I know I listened to the same book(s) on repeat daily and sometimes twice in one day and it got to a point where I could quote the books so … that’s something?

I’d say my big “new to me” author find of 2021 was Tiffany Patterson though. While there [iirc] are some editing issues, what stuck me is the characters and stories – her voice is very distinctive/I think I could pick up an unlabeled/marked book when I was in my glom and be like “yup this is a Patterson book” – but! Each one is also so unique and different. They didn’t feel cookie cutter or like widgets, which is impressive cuz I read like 20+ books of her in a row. She seems to be methodically taking her books out of KU, which I totally get … but it makes me kinda sad cuz people who might’ve read her/found them through KU now don’t get to do that. ANYWAY. Before I babble more/potentially get myself in trouble … here’s my list of reads.

January
Accused by Sharon C. Cooper ♪
*Let Me Love You by Alexandria House – B– ♪ x3
Marry in Scandal by Annie Gracie – D++
*Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas – A-
Hidden Sins by Selena Montgomery ♪
Carter’s #Undoing by Sherelle Green – C- ♪
Sweet Deception by Rochelle Alers
Yours to Take by Joely Sue Burkhart
Solid Soul by Brenda Jackson ♪ – at the time of my formatting this the kindle book is on sale for $1.99
Night Heat by Brenda Jackson – C ♪ – this kindle book is also on sale for $1.99 right now
The Christmas Pact by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward
Duty or Desire by Brenda Jackson ♪
Bane by Brenda Jackson ♪
Scrooged by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward
Rafe by Rebekah Weatherspoon – C ♪
*Crave by Evelyn Sola – B ♪
Cherish by Evelyn Sola – C+ ♪
Crash by Evelyn Sola – C+ ♪

February
*Crave by Evelyn Sola – B ♪
Wait for your love by AshleyNicole ♪
Claimed by a Steele by Brenda Jackson ♪
The Agent by Nancy Herkness
*Let Me Love You by Alexandria House – B– ♪ x2
The Boss and the Brat by Sosie Frost – D+
*Let Me Hold You by Alexandria House – C+ ♪
*Ante Up by Christina C. Jones – B+ ♪ x3
*Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer
My Fake Christmas Fiancé by Julie Kriss – D+
Santa Baby Maybe by S. Doyle – B
Let Me Be Your Motivation by Tay Mo’Nae ♪
The Sweet Spot by Tay Mo’Nae ♪
The Perfect Present by Rochelle Alers, Cheris Hodges, and Pamela Yaye ♪
How My Brother’s Best Friend Stole Christmas by Molly O’Keefe C–
Room Service by Rochelle Alers C — ♪
*Taming Clint Westmoreland by Brenda Jackson ♪ x2
The Hot Mess and the Heartthrob by Pippa Grant B++
Quade’s Babies by Brenda Jackson D+ ♪ x2
I Think I Might Love You by Christina C. Jones – B+ ♪ x2*

March
Pulling Doubles by Christina C. Jones – C ♪ x2
Getting Schooled by Christina C. Jones – C – ♪ x2
Guided Meditations for Self Healing: Mindfulness and Transcendental Relaxation Techniques for Anxiety and Pain Relief – Quiet the Mind and cure Panic Attacks (for Beginners) by Mindfulness Meditation Institute ♪
Transcendental Meditation: Learn Healing and Transformation Through Mindfulness Meditation by Dr Henriette Sparson ♪
*Safe With Me by Stephanie Nicole Norris – D ♪
*Crave by Evelyn Sola – B ♪ x2
Westmoreland’s Way by Brenda Jackson D++ ♪ x2*
The Boy Toy by Nicola Marsh – C+ ♪ x2*
Mr. Vega by Xyla Turner – C ♪ x2*
Mr. West by Xyla Turner – C – – ♪ x2*
[*]Want You to Want Me by Lorelei James – B ++ ♪
Strictly Professional by Christina C. Jones ♪
Unfinished Business by Christina C. Jones D- ♪
To Wake a Dragon by Naomi Lucas
A Change Had to Come by Gwynne Forster D+ ♪
Tropical Dragons Series Boxset with Bonus Exclusive Short Story: A Sci-fi Fantasy Romance Series Books 1-3 by Naomi Lucas
Beyond Temptation by Brenda Jackson – D+ ♪
Risky Pleasures by Brenda Jackson – D – ♪ x2*

April
*Tempest by Beverly Jenkins – B++ ♪
*Vivid by Beverly Jenkins – B+ ♪
*Indigo by Beverly Jenkins – B++ ♪
*The Taming of Jessi Rose by Beverly Jenkins – B+ ♪
*Night Hawk by Beverly Jenkins – A ♪
*Always and Forever by Beverly Jenkins – C+++ ♪
*Destiny’s Embrace by Beverly Jenkins – B ♪ –
*Destiny’s Surrender by Beverly Jenkins – B – x2 ♪
*Destiny’s Captive by Beverly Jenkins – C- ♪
*Rebel by Beverly Jenkins ♪x2
*Through the Storm by Beverly Jenkins – B ♪
*Crave by Evelyn Sola – B ♪ ~*
Deeper Than Love by Delaney Diamond – D— ♪
Lust by Victoria Christopher Murray D—- ♪
Give Me Fever by Niobia Bryant – D++ ♪
When the Smoke Clears by Kenya Wright D+++ ♪
Redemption by Kenya Wright ♪
Eric’s Inferno by Tiffany Patterson – C+ ♪

May
Carter’s Flame by Tiffany Patterson – C ♪
Emanuel’s Heat by Tiffany Patterson – D+ ♪
Slamdunked by Love by Jamie Wesley – C+ ♪
Tell Me Something Good by Jamie Wesley – C— ♪
The Deal with Love by Jamie Wesley – C– ♪
A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas – C—
The Wife He Needs by Brenda Jackson – C— ♪ x2*
High Stakes Holiday by Christina C. Jones – D++
Hard Love by Peyton Banks -C– ♪ x2*
The Marriage He Demands by Brenda Jackson – C ♪ x2*
Dirty Talk by Julie Kriss
The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes by Xio Axelrod – C++ ♪ X2*
Broken by Evelyn Sola – B-
Mine by Kenya Wright – D+ ♪
Aaron’s Patience by Tiffany Patterson – C
Meant to Be by Tiffany Patterson – C+
For Keeps by Tiffany Patterson – C—
Until My Last Breath by Tiffany Patterson – D+
For You by Tiffany Patterson – D+
No Coincidence by Tiffany Patterson – C++
A Holiday Temptation by Tiffany Patterson – C–
*Before the Dawn by Beverly Jenkins ♪
*Winds of the Storm by Beverly Jenkins – C+ ♪
Just Say the Word by Tiffany Patterson – C+
Safe Space (I) by Tiffany Patterson – C
A Hope Divided by Alyssa Cole – D++ ♪
Safe Space II: The Finale by Tiffany Patterson – C+
Black Pearl by Tiffany Patterson – C => currently free for kindle
Black Dahlia by Tiffany Patterson – C
Black Butterfly by Tiffany Patterson – C-
An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole – B ♪

June
Jacob’s Song by Tiffany Patterson – B–
*Ante Up by Christina C. Jones – B+ ♪ x2
A Holiday Seduction by Tiffany Patterson, C—
This Is Where I Sleep by Tiffany Patterson, B
Luke by Tiffany Patterson
*Haunted by Christina C. Jones ♪
Forever by Tiffany Patterson
Miles and Mistletoe by Tiffany Patterson
7 Degrees of Alpha by by Sara Allen, Phoenix Daniels, SK Lessly, Kasey Martin, DJ Parker, Tiffany Patterson, and Mariah Violet
My Storm by Tiffany Patterson
*Let Me Love You by Alexandria House – B – – ♪ ~
Madness of the Horde King by Zoey Draven
Coveted by Christina C. Jones ♪
In the Doctor’s Bed by Brenda Jackson ♪
Broken by the Horde King by Zoey Draven
Love in Catalina Cove by Brenda Jackson ♪
Don’s Blaze by Tiffany Patterson
Forget Me Not by Brenda Jackson ♪
Something Special by Tiffany Patterson
Wedding Season by Natasha Anders, Alissa Baxter, Marie Dry, Ashleigh Giannoccaro, Sharonlee Holder, Suzanne Jefferies, Sophia Karlson, Romy Sommer, Jo Watson, Tanya Wilde
*The Unwanted Wife by Natasha Anders
Finding Home Again by Brenda Jackson ♪
Kraving Khiva by Zoey Draven
Prince of Firestones by Zoey Draven
Follow Your Heart by Brenda Jackson ♪
Just My Type by Sophia Karlson
Two Nights in Paris by Delaney Diamond
Takeover by Evelyn Sola
Trent by Xyla Turner
Guilty Pleasures by Deborah Fletcher Mello ♪

July
Carter by Xyla Turner
A Lifetime With You by Stephanie Nicole Norris ♪
Seducing My Guardian by Katee Robert
She Said Yes by Stephanie Nicole Norris ♪
Breaking Bailey’s Rules by Brenda Jackson ♪ x2
Reclaimed by the Rancher by Brenda Jackson ♪ x2
Locked Doors by Tiffany Patterson
Bella by Tiffany Patterson
Bad Billionaires Quickies by Elise Faber
Man in Charge by Laurelin Paige
Man in Love by Laurelin Paige
*I Think I Might Love You by Christina C. Jones – B+ ♪ x3
The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren
The Pleasure Trap by Niobia Bryant ♪
Thorn’s Challenge by Brenda Jackson
The Glass Queen by Gena Showalter
*Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward – A
Catch Me If You Can by Christina C. Jones ♪ – the kindle version is on sale for $0.99
The Beauty of Being a Beast by Jennifer Estep
Release Me If You Can by Christina C. Jones ♪
Meet Cute by Elise Faber
Charging by Elise Faber
Save Me If You Can by Christina C. Jones ♪
Broken by Elise Faber
Caged by Elise Faber
Devil in Disguise by Lisa Kleypas
Mine by Stephanie Nicole Norris ♪
*Carter’s #Undoing by Sherelle Green – C- ♪
Bad Wedding by Elise Faber
Claim the Dragon by A. C. Arthur
Bad Engagement by Elise Faber
*Midnight Man by Lisa Marie Rice – C => currently free for kindle
*Let Me Love You by Alexandria House – B – – ♪

August
Bad Bridesmaid by Elise Faber
*The Stranger I Married by Sylvia Day
Face Down Fridays by Sherelle Green ♪ x3
Sins of a Saint by Sherelle Green ♪ x2
The Doctor by Nikki Sloane
The Pool Boy by Nikki Sloane
To Marry a Madden by Sherelle Green
Seduced by Moonlight by Kenya Wright ♪
Night Song by Beverly Jenkins ♪ x3
Sanguine by Sierra Simone
The Captain’s Midwinter Bride by Liana De la Rosa
Tall, Dark … Westmoreland! by Brenda Jackson ♪ x2
Temperatures Rising by Brenda Jackson ♪ x3
When She Was Naughty by Tessa Dare
The Way You Tempt Me by Elle Wright ♪
The Perks of Seducing a Wallflower by Tessa Dare
The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty ♪
The Kingdom of Copper by S. A. Chakraborty ♪

September
The Empire of Gold by S. A. Chakraborty ♪
*Brighter Than the Sun by Julia Quinn
*The Winter King by C. L. Wilson B+
*Mr. West by Xyla Turner – C– ♪ x2
The Initiation by Nikki Sloane ♪
The Obsession by Nikki Sloane ♪
The Deception by Nikki Sloane ♪
The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang ♪
Piece of Work by Staci Hart ♪
Player by Staci Hart ♪
Watch Me by Stacey Kennedy
Work in Progress by Staci Hart ♪
Well Suited by Staci Hart ♪
*Hot in Here by Sophie Renwick
Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert ♪
Work for It by Talia Hibbert
The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa ♪
His Perfect Partner by Priscilla Oliveras ♪
Her Perfect Affair by Priscilla Oliveras ♪
Their Perfect Melody by Priscilla Oliveras ♪
I Think I Might Need You by Christina C. Jones ♪

October
I Think I Might Want You by Christina C. Jones ♪
One Summer Night by Caridad Pińeiro ♪
What Happens in Summer by Caridad Pińeiro ♪
The Redemption by Nikki Sloane ♪ x2
81st & Clark by Christina C. Jones ♪ x3
The Truth: His Side, Her Side, and the Truth About Falling in Love by Christina C. Jones ♪
The Lies: The Lies We Tell About Life, Love, and Everything in Between by Christina C. Jones ♪ x5
*Ante Up by Christina C. Jones – B+ ♪

November
*The Lies: The Lies We Tell About Life, Love, and Everything in Between by Christina C. Jones ♪ x11
Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson
Beyond Benefriends by Chencia C. Higgins ♪ x 11
Bad Swipe by Elise Faber
Rum and Notes by Elise Faber
Sex on the Seats by Elise Faber
Equivalent Exchange by Christina C. Jones ♪ x 10

December
Equivalent Exchange by Christina C. Jones ♪ x 5
*The Lies: The Lies We Tell About Life, Love, and Everything in Between by Christina C. Jones ♪ x5
*The Unwanted Wife by Natasha Anders – B x2
In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren
*The Satin Sash by Red Garnier B+
*Crave by Evelyn Sola – B ♪ x 17
Three Simple Rules by Nikki Sloane

*N.B. – my apologies for typos. I wrote these lists on a thing that is aggressive with DYAC – I tried to catch things but … I keep trying!

😅 Got this done with minutes to spare. By 11:35 PM I was having some flashbacks to my school days and deadlines and … this is why I can never go back to school. 😜

Annnnd I JUST realized I’d already done my “halfway through the year” list so … Welp. You can check for discrepancies here I guess.

*ETA the “♪” means I listened to the audiobook, the asterisk before the title means it was a re-read, and though inconsistent, the asterisk after sometimes means initially I’d never read the book before but I read/listened to it 2+ times in a row after; which I started denoting with “x#” – in the future I hope to be more consistent but honestly with this list I’m just glad I got it done.

Ongoing List of Asian Pacific Islander [American] Romance Authors

Hi friends! So the world is a fucking dumpster fire, and … yeah. I hope this list brings a spot of joy though, and you discover some excellent “new to me” authors to glom. <3

The top list is “North American” Romance Authors … which sure SAPAHM/APIAHM is for the USA but … I’d posit someone living in Canada [maybe? generally?] has a closer cultural experience than someone who has never lived in N. America? And I could’ve just … omitted the “second” list but … I do want to shout out those authors – so yeah.

Melia Alexander
Bella Andre
Grace Callaway
Jax Cassidy
S.A. Chakraborty
Gloria Chao (YA)
Jeannie Chin
Mary H.K. Choi (YA)
Sylvia Day
Sara Desai
Sonali Dev
Piper J. Drake
Pintip Dunn (YA)
Vicki Essex
Hafsah Faizal (YA)
Eilis Flynn
Jen Frederick
Maan Gabriel
Jeanette Grey
Jenny Han (YA)
Karen Harbaugh
Farah Heron
Helen Hoang
Mia Hopkins
Amalie Howard
Uzma Jalaluddin
Julie Kagawa (YA)
Soniah Kamal
Coleen Kwan
Thien-Kim Lam
Ruby Lang
Jackie Lau
Loan Le (YA)
Jade Lee aka Kathy Lyons
Jayci Lee
Hudson Lin
Jeannie Lin
Marjorie Liu
Gennita Low
Tif Marcelo
Maida Malby
Sandhya Menon (YA)
Courtney Milan
Tara Pammi
Suzanne Park
Sajni Patel
Cindy Pon
Tara Quan
Alisha Rai
Amara Royce
Sophia Singh Sasson
Nisha Sharma
Royaline Sing
Suleikha Snyder
Jesse Q. Sutanto
Cecilia Tan
Sherry Thomas
Melanie Ting
Julie Tieu
Gita Trelease
Jen Trinh
Lillie Vale (YA)
[Grace Wen]
Preslaysa Williams
Ekaterine Xia
Cathy Yardley
Jennifer Yen (YA)

International Asian Pacific Islander Romance Authors
H. Bentham
Halina Cabrera
Catherine Dellosa
Carla de Guzman
Six de los Reyes
Mina V. Esguerra
Elizabeth Galit
Georgette Gonzales
Agay Llanera
Arlene Manocot
Chris Mariano
Nicola Marsh
Bianca Mori
Farrah F. Polestico
Kate Sebastian
Nalini Singh
Camilla Sisco
Marian Tee
Jay E. Tria
Celestine Trinidad
Ines Bautista-Yao

ICYMI I also compiled a list of Black Romance Authors.

Have you read any of the authors on this list? Is there anyone I missed? Obviously I’ll never be able to get/know of everyone but I’d like to be as inclusive as possible. (And as always, if you’re an author who doesn’t want to be on this list, please let me know so I can remove you.)

Thanks all, and I hope you’re doing well! <3 Thanks for sticking with ALBTALBS!

A Q&A with Jennifer Estep for the Release of Tear Down the Throne

Hi friends! I’m really pleased to have gotten the chance to ask Jennifer Estep some questions that tie into her newest release Tear Down the Throne, which came out Tuesday! I’m actually a little surprised that I’ve never had her as a guest before! She’s super nice and a great author. Congratulations on your newest release, and without further ado … Jennifer! 

Book Cover of Tear Down the Throne by Jennifer Estep

  1. What is the most interesting thing you’ve learned when researching for your books? What about for this particular series?

JE: I always say that I write fantasy books so I can make the whole thing up and so I don’t have to do any research. LOL. 

But I actually do a fair amount of research for my books, including for Tear Down the Throne and the other books in my Gargoyle Queen adult epic fantasy series. I’ve definitely gone down some Internet rabbit holes when researching things like mythology, weapons, and more. 

But most of the time, I end up researching odd little details – like, can you eat the skin on a kiwi? Things that no one will probably even notice in a book but me, but things that will bother me if I don’t know the answers. 

(I knew this one! Food 52 had a “whole thing” about it… ) Continue reading

Aidee’s List of Books Read the First Half of 2021

Aidee’s January to July 2021 Reading List

These are all the books I read from January to July, not counting any ARCs I read for August through December releases. Like I always say here, the list is not in chronological order, and it is late because there has been a lot going on in my little corner of the world, on top of the general stuff going on. I’ve marked any books with an asterisk that I’ve read more than once, and also noted audiobooks. Continue reading

Team TBR Challenge Review: The Storm’s Whisper (The Broken Lands Book 5) by T.A. White

The Storm’s Whisper (The Broken Lands Book 5) by T.A. White
Adult high fantasy romance released by T. A. White on January 22, 2022

The Storm's Whisper by T. A. White book coverThe path to peace is never easy.

As the first Caller in living memory, Eva struggles to find her footing as the bridge between her chosen people and the mythological race known as the Kyren.

When unexpected arrivals threaten to test the newly formed alliance, Eva and her protector, Caden, fight to hold together the fast-fraying bonds before peace unravels and war once again returns. Should she fail, bloodshed the likes the Broken Lands haven’t seen since the cataclysm will stain the ground red.

The mysterious abilities that lie at the heart of Eva’s power will be her salvation or lead to her becoming an evil far worse than anything seen before. Will this land fall or be reborn into a new age?

I’ve really enjoyed the Broken Lands books and was very eager to read more about Eva and Caden. The first three books are about Shea and Fallon, books four and five feature Eva and Caden. To be honest, I’d been slightly reluctant to recommend the series because although the books and stories are very enjoyable, the first three have editing issues, and I know there are people who find it quite off putting. I don’t know if the author has found a new editor, or made other changes, but I didn’t notice that while reading The Storm’s Whisper. I also want to re-read all the books now. It’s been a while since I’ve read the whole series, and I think it’d be really enjoyable to read through as book five has a rather final ending, although there are tendrils to follow. (And I REALLY HOPE THEY ARE FOLLOWED! I’d love to see more in this world.) Continue reading

Guest Author Jess Michaels on Fantasy vs. Reality

Hi friends! I’m excited to welcome Jess Michaels back to ALBTALBS! Twenty years and 100 books is an almost bewildering milestone and such an achievement. Without further ado … Jess!

Fantasy vs. Reality

Jess Michaels

The Broken Duke by Jess Michaels book coverHi everyone and a big thanks to Limecello for having me here today! If you don’t know who I am, I’m Jess Michaels, I write very steamy historical romance. I’ve been doing it for a while, too, because right now I’m counting down to my 100th book release. Time (and work) flies when you’re having fun I guess. 

When we started talking about what I might write about here today, I kept thinking about that meme “how it started, how it’s going”. You know the one, probably, it’s pretty popular on Instagram/FB/TikTok. Certainly, after over twenty years in this industry, I can see a difference, see the development of where I started and what I wanted to where I am and what I want today. 

For most authors, it starts with a dream. When I started out, I could perfectly picture what my future as a published author would look like. I wanted to write for one of the big publishing houses (which was the only way to really publish at the time…I’m old). I even knew the house I’d pick. And then I just knew it would all take off. I’d work really hard and write really good books, my publisher would see and support that, building my career. And…voila…success! Bestseller lists, being able to have an income as a writer, booksignings, whatever the trappings of “success” looked like from the outside. Continue reading