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Aidee’s Anticipated Books of 2024

This list is late, which is entirely my fault. The end of 2023 felt like it snuck up on me, and I’m terrible at looking for new books when I actively have to go and find them. Also, there is not a lot of romance on this list, but I am definitely looking forward to romance novels. The theme this year seems to be reading a lot of authors I’m familiar with. You’ll notice books by my favorite authors, like Nalini Singh, Sherry Thomas, Seanan Mcguire, and Patricia Briggs, among others. The list is roughly chronological, though it doesn’t make it past July because while I’m sure that there are many authors with books in the second half of the year, I wasn’t really able to find them. Happy Reading!

Mislaid in Parts Half-Known by Seanan McGuire (January)
1000 Words: A Writer’s Guide to Staying Creative, Focused, and Productive All Year Round by Jami Attenberg (January)
Emily Wilde’s Map of the Otherlands by Heather Fawcett (January)
Filterworld: How Algorithms Flattened Culture by Kyle Chayka (January)
The Catch by Amy Lea (February)
Bride by Ali Hazelwood (February)
At First Spite: A Harlot’s Bay Novel By Olivia Dade (February)
The Imposition of Unnecessary Obstacles by Malka Older (February)
A Tempest of Tea (Blood and Tea) by Hafsah Faizal (February)
Aftermarket Afterlife by Seanan McGuire (March)
Archangel’s Lineage by Nalini Singh (March)
The Familiar by Leigh Bardugo (April)
The Dead Cat Tail Assassins by P. Djèlí Clark (April)
Evocation by S.T. Gibson (May)
The Paradise Problem by Christina Lauren (May)
A Ruse of Shadows (The Lady Sherlock Series Book 8) by Sherry Thomas (June)
The Catalyst: RNA and the Quest to Unlock Life’s Deepest Secrets by Tom Cech (June)
Running Close to the Wind by Alexandra Rowland (June)
Winter Lost (Mercy Thompson Book 14) by Patricia Briggs (June)
Primal Mirror by Nalini Singh (July)
Twisted Shadows by Allie Therin (December)

*Editor’s Note: Aidee sent this on January 14th, so it’s my fault too 😅

Review: Some Desperate Glory by Emily Tesh

Some Desperate Glory by Emily Tesh
Science Fiction released by Tor on April 11, 2023

While we live, the enemy shall fear us.

Since she was born, Kyr has trained for the day she can avenge the murder of planet Earth. Raised in the bowels of Gaea Station alongside the last scraps of humanity, she readies herself to face the Wisdom, the powerful, reality-shaping weapon that gave the majoda their victory over humanity.

They are what’s left. They are what must survive. Kyr is one of the best warriors of her generation, the sword of a dead planet. When Command assigns her brother to certain death and relegates her to Nursery to bear sons until she dies trying, she knows she must take humanity’s revenge into her own hands.

Alongside her brother’s brilliant but seditious friend and a lonely, captive alien, Kyr escapes from everything she’s known into a universe far more complicated than she was taught and far more wondrous than she could have imagined.

This was one of the books on my list of anticipated books of 2023. I read an advanced copy after reading the first chapter posted by the publisher earlier this year. One of the blurbs on the cover describes the experience of reading this book as “palm-sweating,” and I have to agree. This is not a romance, not even as a science fiction novel with romantic elements, even though sexual orientation is an important element to the society that Kyr is a member of. This is very much a character-driven novel, but that doesn’t mean that plot and setting aren’t important–the main conflict is how making different choices effects the final outcome and the lives of people that the main character doesn’t even know. Emily Tesh provides important content warnings at the beginning of the book, and she was not exaggerating them at all, so if you are the least bit triggered by any or all of the things on that list, then please take care of yourself when choosing to read this book. The book is broken up into five parts or acts, with the last two parts retelling the story so that there are different choices available to Kyr. The parts are prefaced by in-universe excerpts of books, which serve to provide a bigger picture and context to what Kyr knows and believes, but not too much. This isn’t a choose-your-own-adventure type of book, because the reader doesn’t get to make the different choices; it’s all up to Kyr and her fellow characters. The book is told from Kyr’s point of view, but not in the first-person. It is important for you to be very clear on this point—Kyr is not a likeable character. She isn’t misunderstood, or prickly on the outside and soft on the inside. The most flattering description of her I can give is that she is a self-righteous, perfectionist, rule-abiding bitch. She’s smart and very good at being a soldier, but those are her main redeeming qualities for most of the book. Continue reading

Review: Designed by Destiny by Maya Tyler

*EN: I think it’s important to note Aidee submitted this review on November 26, 2022, and the delay was entirely my fault. Apologies to all.

Designed by Destiny by Maya Tyler
Contemporary/light urban fantasy released by Tirgearr Publishing on November 15, 2022

Confirmed bachelor Nicholas Grey is more than the playboy perpetrated by the tabloids. Now his position as CEO of the architecture firm Grey & Company is on the line, and his mother’s interference is making things more difficult. Nick’s committed to his work, but, in order to be taken seriously, he needs to land a huge project. A stable personal life will help guarantee the contract.

Fairy Godmother Faye Delmore hears Nick’s plea and steps in to help. Posing as a publicist, she suggests a strategy to polish his public image, which includes convincing Beth to play his wife. Faye knows Nick needs the huge project to save his job, but she also knows he needs Beth in his life.

What happens when you add a fairy godmother who loves playing matchmaker into the equation? A future designed by destiny.

I want to start this review with a caveat. When I picked up this book, I was not in a great frame of mind, having just taken a long test which I find to be entirely pointless, but which I can’t avoid. It is entirely possible this book will work for someone out there, but it did not work for me. The premise is cute and caught my attention. However, it was difficult for me to believe in my heart that the couple actually fell in love over the course of the book or that they were going to have a fulfilling and loving relationship by the end of the book. There are elements of magic in this book, but because the main characters are not aware of them, they felt distracting, as opposed to adding depth to the world. Finally, the way the author handled the power differential in this book did not work for me – I could not stop thinking to myself, “But she’s only an intern!” Continue reading

Fire of the Frost by Jeffe Kennedy, Grace Draven, Darynda Jones, and Amanda Bouchet

*Editor’s Note: I don’t normally do this but I’d like to note Aidee submitted this review in February of 2022, so my apologies to her, and you, and think that might be why there are some unknowns in the review that have already been answered. Thanks for understanding.

Fire of the Frost by Jeffe Kennedy, Grace Draven, Darynda Jones, and Amanda Bouchet
Midwinter Holiday Fantasy Romance Anthology Released by Brightlynx Publishing on December 22, 2021

From Darynda Jones, a standalone novella set in a world where vampyres are hunted for sport. The only thing standing between them and total annihilation is Winter, a warrior bred to save them from extinction. Forbidden to fall in love, Winter cares only about her oaths… until she meets the devilish prince of the underworld.

Of Fate and Fire by Amanda Bouchet
The Kingmaker Chronicles meets modern-day New York City! Piers, an exiled warrior from Thalyria, finds himself in the Big Apple just before the holidays. The world and everything in it might be utterly foreign to him, but that won’t stop Piers from helping to complete a vital mission for Athena and protect Sophie, a French teacher from Connecticut who’s suddenly knee-deep in inexplicable phenomena, danger, and henchmen after an Olympian treasure that should never have ended up in her hands—or remained on Earth after the Greek gods abandoned it.

The King of Hel by Grace Draven
A novella-length expansion of a stand-alone short story in which a cursed mage-king from a frozen kingdom is obligated to marry a woman of high-ranking nobility but meets his soulmate in a lowly scribe.

Familiar Winter Magic by Jeffe Kennedy
It’s holiday time at Convocation Academy, but best friends Han and Iliana are finding it hard to celebrate. As a familiar, Iliana is facing her assignment to a life of servitude to a wizard, very soon. And Han… despite being tested by the oracle daily, he is still uncategorized. As Iliana and Han face being separated forever, they at last find the courage—or desperation—to break the rules and acknowledge their deeper feelings for each other. But it will take more than true love to save them from the laws of the Convocation…

This was a good winter-themed anthology from some well-known authors. It landed a little unevenly on me, because I was not familiar with one of the authors’ writing, but if you’re familiar with most or all of the authors’ books, then this anthology is pretty good. There are four novellas in this anthology, and andeach one is based in a pre-existing world by one of the authors. Grace Draven’s novella is a prequel to her upcoming novel. Jeffe Kennedy’s novella introduces some new characters in her Bonds of Magic series. Amanda Bouchet’s novella ties together her two series. Darynda Jones’s novella was the least interesting to me, but that could be because I am not familiar with her books. Continue reading

Review: Lakesedge by Lyndall Clipstone

Lakesedge by Lyndall Clipstone
Fantasy released by Henry Holt and Co. on September 28, 2021

Lakesedge by Lyndall Clipstone book coverA lush, gothic fantasy from debut author Lyndall Clipstone about monsters and magic, set on the banks of a cursed lake, perfect for fans of Naomi Novik and Brigid Kemmerer.

When Violeta Graceling and her younger brother Arien arrive at the haunted Lakesedge estate, they expect to find a monster. Leta knows the terrifying rumors about Rowan Sylvanan, who drowned his entire family when he was a boy. But neither the estate nor the monster are what they seem.

As Leta falls for Rowan, she discovers he is bound to the Lord Under, the sinister death god lurking in the black waters of the lake. A creature to whom Leta is inexplicably drawn… Now, to save Rowan—and herself—Leta must confront the darkness in her past, including unraveling the mystery of her connection to the Lord Under.

If what you are looking for is a fantasy with romantic and gothic elements, then this is the book for you. It does end on a cliff hanger, and there are descriptions of child abuse and a lot of blood, so keep that in mind. The main characters are Violeta and Rowan, though this book is narrated from Violeta’s point of view. The romance is only part of the conflict driving this book. Violeta is driven to protect her younger brother from his out of control magic, from their adoptive mother who sees that magic as dangerous and evil, and from anything else she sees as wanting to harm him. That motivation is what drives this book for the most part. Rowan is a good example of a tortured hero, who is trying to make up for his past mistakes by trying to save the world.

This novel is set in a world with magic. There is a religion, with a goddess who reigns over nature and life; the characters call her Lady most of the time. And there is the Lord Under, who reigns over death and possibly bargains. There are alchemists, who wield magic by drawing symbols, known as sigils, as well as making various concoctions. We don’t spend a lot of time on alchemists and what they are capable of doing, even though Violeta’s brother–Arien–is an alchemist. Continue reading

Review: Bright Familiar by Jeffe Kennedy

Bright Familiar (Bonds of Magic Book 2) by Jeffe Kennedy
High fantasy romance released by Brightlynx Publishing on July 9, 2021

Bright Familiar by Jeffe Kennedy book coverHe wanted her with consuming passion… and so did the monster within.

Lady Veronica Elal has been freed from her tower—and entered a life of servitude. It doesn’t matter that her wizard master has odd ideas about circumventing Convocation tradition and making their relationship equal. Nic prides herself on her practicality and that means not pretending her marriage is full of hearts and flowers. Besides she understands that, despite her new husband’s idealism, they face obstacles so great the pair of them could be crushed to nothing, even without dashing themselves brainless trying to fight the Convocation.

Lord Gabriel Phel has come this far against impossible odds. He was born with powerful wizard magic, the first in his family in generations. He’s managed to begin the process of reinstating his fallen house. And—having staked his family’s meager fortune to win a familiar to amplify his magic, a highborn daughter to be mother to his children, his lady, and lover—he rescued Nic in a distant land, successfully bringing her home to House Phel. Though she’s cynical about their chances of success, he’s certain they can defy their enemies and flourish. Together.

But, the more Gabriel discovers about working with the fiery Nic, attempting to learn the finer points of wizardry and marriage, the more illicit fantasies plague him. His need for Nic—and the dark cravings she stirs in his black wizard’s heart—grow daily. Though Nic has reconciled herself to being possessed by Gabriel—and indeed yearns for even more from her brooding and reluctant master—creating a new life for herself isn’t easy. Especially when Gabriel seems determined to subvert the foundation of her world. Starting with her father.

This is a good sequel to Dark Wizard, which I reviewed and enjoyed. I’m a bit grumpy that it ends on a cliff hanger, although I appreciated that the cliff hanger doesn’t have to do with Nic and Gabriel’s relationship. When I reread this book, I struggled a bit with the pacing, but I also found it fairly absorbing both times I read it. I would not recommend picking up this book before reading Dark Wizard because it follows closely on the events that ended Dark Wizard. Nic and Gabriel have to navigate their relationship and how it differs from the one they had imagined, figure out what their life together will look like, and deal with the repercussions from their actions in the previous book. That last part is a bit of a spoiler. Continue reading

Aidee’s Anticipated Books of 2023

*EN: Aidee sent this list on January 5, all delays are my fault.

Anticipated Books of 2023

First, this list is late because I was struggling to track down books I was truly excited about. However, it was like a slow snowball, because I now have more than ten books I’m looking forward to, and I’m sure there will be many more I grab throughout the year that aren’t on the list. As always, these books are not in order of how thrilled I am about them, but they are loosely in order of when they are supposed to be released into the wide world (presuming nothing funky will happen that affects release dates).

Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert book coverBradley Graeme is pretty much perfect. He’s a star football player, manages his OCD well (enough), and comes out on top in all his classes . . . except the ones he shares with his ex-best friend, Celine.

Celine Bangura is conspiracy-theory-obsessed. Social media followers eat up her takes on everything from UFOs to holiday overconsumption—yet, she’s still not cool enough for the popular kids’ table. Which is why Brad abandoned her for the in-crowd years ago. (At least, that’s how Celine sees it.)

These days, there’s nothing between them other than petty insults and academic rivalry. So when Celine signs up for a survival course in the woods, she’s surprised to find Brad right beside her.

Forced to work as a team for the chance to win a grand prize, these two teens must trudge through not just mud and dirt but their messy past. And as this adventure brings them closer together, they begin to remember the good bits of their history. But has too much time passed . . . or just enough to spark a whole new kind of relationship?

Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert (which is already out if you are reading this list)

Lost in the Moment and Found (Wayward Children Book 8) by Seanan McGuire *This book is also already available 

Happily: A Personal History-With Fairy Tales by Sabrina Orah Mark *This book is also already available 

Furious Heaven by Kate Elliott

The Keeper’s Six by Kate Elliott *This book is also already available 

Rogue Familiar by Jeffe Kennedy

Radiant Sin (Dark Olympus #4) by Katee Robert *This book is also already available 

A Tempest at Sea by Sherry Thomas *This book is also already available 

Mr. and Mrs. Witch by Gwenda Bond *This book is also already available 

Backpacking through Bedlam (InCryptid Book 12) by Seanan McGuire *This book is also already available 

Ana María and The Fox by Liana De la Rosa

Some Desperate Glory by Emily Tesh

Witch King by Martha Wells

Water Outlaws by S. L. Huang

Resonance Surge (Psy-Changeling Trinity Book 7) by Nalini Singh

Starter Villain by John Scalzi

A Dance of Smoke and Steel by Milla Vane

Ana María and The Fox (The Luna Sisters Book 1) by Liana De la Rosa book coverA forbidden love between a Mexican heiress and a shrewd British politician makes for a tantalizing Victorian season.

Ana María Luna Valdés has strived to be the perfect daughter, the perfect niece, and the perfect representative of the powerful Luna family. So when Ana María is secretly sent to London with her sisters to seek refuge from the French occupation of Mexico, she experiences her first taste of freedom far from the judgmental eyes of her domineering father. If only she could ignore the piercing looks she receives across ballroom floors from the austere Mr. Fox.

Gideon Fox elevated himself from the London gutters by chasing his burning desire for more: more opportunities, more choices. For everyone. Now, as a member of Parliament, Gideon is on the cusp of securing the votes he needs to put forth a measure to abolish the Atlantic slave trade once and for all—a cause that is close to his heart as the grandson of a formerly enslaved woman. The charmingly vexing Ana María is a distraction he must ignore.

But when Ana María finds herself in the crosshairs of a nefarious nobleman with his own political agenda, Gideon knows he must offer his hand as protection . . . but will this Mexican heiress win his heart as well?

Maybe Every Book Limecello Read in 2022

The subject kinda says it all but … like look – my life is a mess. I know in early January I was still recovering from surgery. (Which … 😐 stay tuned ….) I can’t recall what all I did – I’d thought it was February but also now I think it was January 2022 that I watched Schitt’s Creek in a week, and watched both seasons of Ted Lasso in something like 3 days. (I miss having Netflix access T_T) … and you do what you gotta do when your free trial of Apple TV is ending. 😜

I also don’t know the status of the HarperCollins strike – I think they’re in the process of negotiations? I also know there were a lot of suggestions/tips as to how to support the union. I truly didn’t have the bandwidth to check who published what from what I read – nor did I add “grades” this time for the same reason. Definitely I support the union though and don’t consider this reviewing or promoting – although I think the stikers said they weren’t asking for reviewers to stop? I’m not a good source for all this though – there are various places you can check.

ANYWAY. I truly don’t know how complete this list is … I also re-read a lot last year. And not just that, but I’d read the same book over and over. Especially audiobooks. As usual, the asterisk before the title means it’s a re-read. The “x#” after a book means how many times I read it in a row this time. I don’t think it’s all the books I read but it’s about as comprehensive of a list as I can get now.

January
*Crave by Evelyn Sola x2
*Indigo by Beverly Jenkins x7
*Vivid by Beverly Jenkins x4
*The Satin Sash by Red Garnier

February
Loverboy by Sarina Bowen
*Night Hawk by Beverly Jenkins x3
*The Taming of Jessi Rose by Beverly Jenkins x3
*Exorcising Sean’s Ghost by Beth Kery
Studfinder by L.B. Dunbar
*Ante Up by Christina C. Jones x6
Evil Twin by Kati Wilde
*Crave by Evelyn Sola
Black Pearl the Prequel by Tiffany Patterson
At Her Command by Joey W. Hill

March
*Black Pearl by Tiffany Patterson
*Aaron’s Patience by Tiffany Patterson
Destiny’s Embrace by Beverly Jenkins x3
Takeover by Evelyn Sola Mar 9
The Storm’s Whisper by T. A. White
*Pulling Doubles by Christina C. Jones x2
*Getting Schooled by Christina C. Jones x2
*Mr. Vega by Xyla Turner x3
*Tempest by Beverly Jenkins x2
*Destiny’s Embrace by Beverly Jenkins x2
The One Who Got Away by Cynthia Eden
Ghost of a Chance by Cynthia Eden
Say I Do by Cynthia Eden

April
Scandal Between the Sheets by Brenda Jackson
Stranded With the Tempting Stranger by Brenda Jackson
Subordinate Position by Delaney Diamond x2
Counting on Cole by Cynthia Eden
Sunshine by Robin McKinley
Mama’s Boy by Avery Flynn
What Happens on Vacation by Brenda Jackson x2
Cross My Heart by Cynthia Eden
Chase After Me by Cynthia Eden
Pretend You Want Me by Cynthia Eden
Crossing the Line by Cynthia Eden
What He Wants for Christmas by Brenda Jackson
Impromptu Seduction by Stephanie Nicole Norris
*Let Me Love You by Alexandria House
Roman Will Fall by Cynthia Eden
Intimate Seduction by Brenda Jackson x2
Her Naughty Suitor by Stephanie Nicole Norris
*I Think I Might Love You by Christina C. Jones
The Heart You Break by Cynthia Eden
Secrets of the Tycoon Bride by Emilie Rose
Tempted By You by Stephanie Nicole Norris
No Escape From War by Cynthia Eden
Don’t Play with Odin by Cynthia Eden
One Christmas Wish by Brenda Jackson
A Catalina Cove Christmas by Brenda Jackson
Anonymous Acts by Christina C. Jones
*Equivalent Exchange by Christina C. Jones x2
Perfect Fit by Brenda Jackson
Deadly Sexy by Beverly Jenkins
Sexy/Dangerous by Beverly Jenkins
*The Satin Sash by Red Garnier
*Exorcising Sean’s Ghost by Beth Kery

May
Private Arrangements by Brenda Jackson x2
Possessed by Passion by Brenda Jackson x2
Jinx You’re It by Cynthia Eden
*Deadly Sexy by Beverly Jenkins x3
One Dance with a Duke by Tessa Dare
Love Notes by Christina C. Jones x2
Behind the Scenes by Christina C. Jones
One Night with the Wealthy Rancher by Brenda Jackson
The Edge of Dawn by Beverly Jenkins
Flagrant by Alexandria House
Technical by Alexandria House
The Edge of Midnight by Beverly Jenkins
*Topaz by Beverly Jenkins
*Night Song by Beverly Jenkins

June
Never Gonna Happen by Cynthia Eden
*Scandal Never Sleeps by Shayla Black and Lexi Blake
*Something Like Love by Beverly Jenkins x2
*The Taming of Jessi Rose by Beverly Jenkins
*Smoke and Sin by Shayla Black and Lexi Blake
*Night Hawk by Beverly Jenkins
Natural Law by Joey W. Hill
*Destiny’s Embrace by Beverly Jenkins
Prior Affair by Christina C. Jones x2
*Indigo by Beverly Jenkins
*Always and Forever by Beverly Jenkins
A Duke Worth Falling For by Sarah MacLean
Daring and the Duke by Sarah MacLean
*Scent of Darkness by Christina Dodd
We Shouldn’t by Vi Keeland

July
*Guilty Pleasures by Laura Lee Guhrke
*His Every Kiss by Laura Lee Guhrke
*The Marriage Bed by Laura Lee Guhrke
Relationship Goals by Christina C. Jones x2
*Tempest by Beverly Jenkins
*And Then He Kissed Her by Laura Lee Guhrke
Back in the Day by Katrina Jackson
*Let Me Love You by Alexandria House
And They Lived Happily Ever After by Therese Beharrie
One Last Chance by Therese Beharrie
Governess Gone Rogue by Laura Lee Guhrke
Bring On the Blessings by Beverly Jenkins
Ballsy by Elise Faber
Caught by Elise Faber
The Truth About Love and Dukes by Laura Lee Guhrke
*Dirty Player by Stacey Lynn
In Bed With Her Boss by Brenda Jackson
*Equivalent Exchange by Christina C Jones x2
Remember Ramsey by Cynthia Eden

August
The House on Blueberry Lane by Brenda Jackson
*The Serpent Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt
*Equivalent Exchange by Christina C Jones
Keep Me by Stacey Kennedy
Save Me by Stacey Kennedy
Baking Lessons by Katie Allen
*Ante Up by Christina C. Jones x2
*The Wicked Ways of a Duke by Laura Lee Guhrke
*Secret Desires of a Gentleman by Laura Lee Guhrke
*Just Friends by Delaney Diamond x2
*Suddenly You by Lisa Kleypas
Something Wilder by Christina Lauren

September
*Tempt Me At Twilight by Lisa Kleypas x2
*Wild Side by Cynthia Ayman
Love in the Afternoon by Lisa Kleypas
*Aaron’s Patience by Tiffany Patterson
*Married by Morning by Lisa Kleypas
What a Westmoreland Wants by Brenda Jackson
*Safe Space by Tiffany Patterson
Unlocked by Courtney Milan
Taking Care of Business by Brenda Jackson x2
*Bad Night Stand by Elise Faber
The Scoundrel Falls Hard by Sophie Jordan
*Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas
To Catch a Raven by Beverly Jenkins x2
Something Borrowed by Eve Dangerfield
Something Else by Eve Dangerfield
Locked Box by Eve Dangerfield
Midnight by Beverly Jenkins
Out of Control by Shannon McKenna
Ex Marks the Perfect Spot by Cynthia Eden

October
The Bodyguard Next Door by Cynthia Eden
*The Black Hawk by Joanna Bourne
Bittersweet by Christina C. Jones
Billionaire’s Proposition by Leanne Banks
Cause for Scandal by Anna DePalo
Begin Again Again by Eve Dangerfield
*Scandal Never Sleeps by Shayla Black and Lexi Blake
*Winds of the Storm by Beverly Jenkins
*Something Borrowed by Eve Dangerfield
The Kracken’s Sacrifice by Katee Robert
*The Unwanted Wife by Natasha Anders
*Tempest by Beverly Jenkins
The Dragon’s Bride by Katee Robert
Not Your Shoe Size by Eve Dangerfield
*Carter’s Flame by Tiffany Patterson
*Aaron’s Patience by Tiffany Patterson x2
*The Satin Sash by Red Garnier
Maggie Moves On by Lucy Score

November
*The Unwanted Wife by Natasha Anders
*Roman Will Fall by Cynthia Eden
Frozen in Ice by Cynthia Eden
*Strictly Confidential Attraction by Brenda Jackson x2
Falling For the Ice Queen by Cynthia Eden
Ice Cold Saint by Cynthia Eden
Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward
Plus One by Christina C. Jones x2
Frosted, Whipped, Buttered by Christina C. Jones x2
Press Rewind by Christina C. Jones
Ten Dirty Demands by Laurelin Paige
Single and Ready to Jingle by Piper Rayne
*Spacer’s Cinderella by Adria Rose
Aaron’s Gift by Tiffany Patterson
How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days by Laura Lee Guhrke

December
Bad Kitty by Cari Quinn
Personal Protection by Tiffany Patterson
Captured by Beverly Jenkins
Ship Wrecked by Olivia Date
Takedown by Evelyn Sola
Takeoff by Evelyn Sola
Downfall by Evelyn Sola
Make Me by Evelyn Sola
*Wonder by Christina C. Jones
A Very Krampus Holiday by Katee Robert
*Spacer’s Cinderella by Adria Rose
*Exorcising Sean’s Ghost by Beth Kery
The Rancher’s Return by Brenda Jackson

It’s kinda funny/sad. You can kinda tell when I was depressed and in a slump. (When I’m really depressed there’s no reading at all. But also sometimes when I’m depressed it’s more reading. So … >.> levels?) As always, I apologize if there are any typos and such. And if you want more information/potentially any thoughts I jotted down, you can check my GR.

My apologies also for any DYAC typos.

Aidee’s List of Books Read from January to June of 2022

This list may have less romance than usual, but paradoxically more fluffy romance (think aliens and mythological creatures). It is, as ever, not in chronological order or any order denoting preference for particular books. Titles preceded by an asterisk are rereads; you may recognize some old favorites by this point. And this time, it is completely my fault this particular list is so incredibly late.

*Servant Mage by Kate Elliott
Grey Magic by Jeffe Kennedy
Love Notes by Christina C. Jones
*The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi [audiobook]
*Head On by John Scalzi [audiobook]
Sweep in Peace by Ilona Andrews [dramatized audiobook]
One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews [dramatized audiobook]
Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews [dramatized audiobook]
Sweep of the Blade by Ilona Andrews [dramatized audiobook]
*Harbinger by Wen Spenser
The Dating Playbook by Farrah Rochon
Entreat Me by Grace Draven
The Brush of Black Wings by Grace Draven
The Art of Deception by Stephanie Burgis
The Light Within by Grace Draven
Wildfire Griffin by Zoe Chant
Showstopper by Regina Kyle
Boyfriend by Sarina Bowen
Lucky in Leather by Holley Trent
Penric and the Shaman by Lois McMaster Bujold
Extent by H.E. Trent
Penric’s Demon by Lois McMaster Bujold
Resurrection by Karina Bliss
Redemption by Karina Bliss
A Deal with the Elf King by Elise Kova
The Grief of Stones by Katherine Addison (audiobook)
The Assassins of Thasalon by Lois McMaster Bujold (audiobook)
Kiss Hard by Nalini Singh (audiobook)
Where the Drowned Girls Go by Seanan McGuire
Spelunking Through Hell by Seanan McGuire
Not Your Average Hot Guy by Gwenda Bond
Knot of Shadows by Lois McMaster Bujold (audiobook)
The Physicians of Vilnoc by Lois McMaster Bujold (audiobook)
Thorn Bound by Stephanie Burgis
Good Neighbors by Stephanie Burgis
The Tyrant Alpha’s Rejected Mate by Cate C. Wells
The Heir Apparent’s Rejected Mate by Cate C. Wells

Team TBR Challenge Review: Shadow Wizard by Jeffe Kennedy

Shadow Wizard by Jeffe Kennedy
A Dark Fantasy Romance released by Brightlynx Publishing on September 29, 2022

Shadow Wizard by Jeffe Kennedy book coverSpy, manipulator, traitor… He might be her only salvation.

Lady Seliah Phel can’t escape feeling like she’s one of those fairytale princesses awakened from a long slumber—except that her life is no romantic story and there’s no happy ending in sight. Though she has her magic and she’s been rescued from the depths of madness that consumed her since adolescence, Selly finds that the years she lost aren’t so easily recovered. Everyone treats her like the child they remember. To prove something—perhaps only to herself—she’s recklessly volunteered to stave off a host of monsters with only the enigmatically alluring, cuttingly sarcastic, and probably deceitful wizard Jadren El-Adrel for company.

Jadren isn’t the heroic type. In fact, he’s not much of anything. Relentlessly groomed into a shadow of a man by his sadistic mother, he’s the perfect spy and tool, with no real will of his own. When he’s stranded in the wilderness with Seliah Phel, he figures the outcome is immaterial. Live or die, it’s all the same to him. But Seliah is a different story and she isn’t like anyone else. Though he reminds himself she’s basically a child in a woman’s body, he finds it increasingly difficult to resist her artless charms and relentless curiosity.

As their predicament goes from dire to disastrous, Jadren realizes his many failures have jeopardized Selly’s future, perhaps her very life. Far from home and trapped without resources, Selly has only Jadren to rely upon—the one person she can’t possibly trust. There seems no possibility of rescue from their friends and family back home at House Phel, so Jadren and Selly must work together to survive… if they can.

I was very excited about this book when I saw the cover copy. I had hoped that there would be more books in this Kennedy world, and while I would not have put Seliah and Jadren together, they do make a compelling couple. Following along as their relationship went from, “I hate you, but can’t stop thinking about your hair” as Sarah Wendell would put it, to love—if not a happily ever after, was engrossing. We met Seliah in the two previous books, but she has changed over time. We also met Jadren in the two previous books, but he has hidden depths. It helps that he isn’t a villain—he is an anti-hero. As a warning, this book does include descriptions of abuse and talks about PTSD, although not using that terminology. Also, this book does end on a cliffhanger and I feel like it would be generous to say that Seliah and Jadren have a HFN ending, but no one is in active danger, which worked for me in this case but, of course, your mileage may vary. And last but not least, this book picks up right where Grey Magic left Seliah, so while doable, I wouldn’t recommend jumping in to this world with this book; you might be confused and not as emotionally invested in the characters and their relationships. Continue reading