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[November] Team TBR Challenge Not Review: Single and Ready to Jingle by Piper Rayne

Single and Ready to Jingle by Piper Rayne
Contemporary romance released by Piper Rayne on November 15, 2022

The girl who loves Christmas falls for the Grinch—it’s a Christmas miracle.

What started as a dumpster fire of a blind date turns into a deal.

In truth, it probably didn’t help that I showed up dressed like an elf but that’s a story for another time. Our start was rocky at best which is why it’s so frustrating that I can’t stop thinking about his sexy British accent. Or the way his chest and arms fill out his suit. Or his perfect hair with that single streak of grey at the front.

Santa likes lists and so do I, so here’s all the reasons why Andrew and I aren’t right for each other:

He’s my brother’s best friend
He’s the biggest grump I’ve ever met.
He hates Christmas.

That last one is big for a girl like me who thinks that the entire month of December should be a national holiday. So, when he calls for my help in planning his firm’s holiday party, I can’t pass up the opportunity to grow my small business. Bonus, we make a deal, and he agrees to attend three holiday events with me so I can make him fall in love with Christmas. As if I’d pass up an opportunity to make a Grinch’s heart grow three times its size.

It isn’t long until I discover Andrew has a very real reason to hate Christmas and I start to see him in a different light. That’s when the Christmas miracle begins.

Ok first of all, let’s just pretend it’s still November, shall we? Because somehow this week got away from me. (Like all the other weeks and years…) Anyway. secondly, I want to say overall I enjoyed this book. I’m not at all mad I read it. That being said though, there are some things that bothered me about it. And I’m just … too crushed by endless migraines to write a real review right now. So we’re going with just the lies in the book. (ETA the November TBR Challenge “prompt” was “Lies.”)

I picked up Single and Ready to Jingle because I’ve enjoyed some Piper Rayne books in the past, and “best friend’s sibling” is one of my romance catnip tropes. The heroine is 28 (god forbid she be over 30, right?) And the hero is 34. They get matched on a dating app, and realize he’s her brother’s best friend. But the thing is – they don’t exchange actual names until the actual date. (They’d also never met prior to this first date.) As the blurb says, it goes badly. With good reason. I have to admit I’m leaning a bit towards Andrew’s side on this one because Kenzie shows up at a posh Manhattan restaurant literally in full Christmas elf getup with literal bells on.  Why… not just message you’ll be late? And change?

Both characters have a lot – a lot – of understandable baggage. I totally was okay with that. November’s TBR challenge prompt was lies … so I guess I’ll discuss the two biggest ones in the book that I remember. Continue reading

Release Day Guest Author Maya Tyler on The Meet-Cute Point of View + An Exclusive Excerpt

Hi friends! I’m excited to welcome Maya Tyler to ALBTALBS! She emailed a while back asking if anyone was interested in reviewing her newest book (look for that sometime), and I responded with “and how about a guest post too?! 😁” And here we are! Everyone give Maya a warm welcome!

The Meet-Cute Point of View by Maya Tyler

Thank you, Limecello and A Little Bit Tart, A Little Bit Sweet, for inviting me to visit on Release Day for Designed by Destiny, my 7th published title.

I embarked on my publishing journey in 2014, and I’m sure you “hear” this all the time, but being a writer—especially a published writer—was a lifelong dream of mine. I just want to write. (Think to the tune of The Flash theme song “I Just Wanna Run” because that’s what I’m humming.)

I’ve planned an “old school” release for Designed by Destiny with two book tours, additional guest posts, and several book spotlights. I want to get my book in front of as many readers as I can because it’s a great story. A classic fake relationship trope with my own personal twist. My couple have the assistance of a fairy godmother as they navigate their fake-turned-real relationship. Continue reading

Really Super Late Not TBR Review: on Carter’s Flame by Tiffany Patterson and The Story of Yanxi Palace.

To be honest, I had thought I had a review on hand for October … but it turned out to be not a review. And then I haven’t felt like I’ve been reading much lately. Some good books but more books that were just okay in that I wasn’t mad I read them but … I don’t know that I’d recommend them widely. I have however, but re-reading a lot of books this year … and recently began another binge re-watch of The Story of Yanxi Palace. This … very well may be my seventh (if not more) rewatch. Granted certain parts I forward through – but it’s an intensive experience.
Anyway, the October suggested prompt was “Flirting with Danger” … and I thought about it for a bit, and felt like the closest recent book I’ve read, or more accurately re-read would be Carter’s Flame by Tiffany Patterson. Although I think it’s more a straight contemporary romance than a romantic suspense. The hero is former special forces, and currently a firefighter working in the rescue squad. He meets the heroine when he rescues her from her car after a crash.
Carter and Michelle are great. Michelle is a single mother, and Carter goes all in on having a built in family. If you like really possessive alpha heroes, than Tiffany Patterson will be your new catnip. I personally love smitten heroes, so when I first discovered Tiffany Patterson’s book, I literally read her entire backlist in one go. (At the time it was a little over 30 books and I think it took me about three to four weeks.) What I like about her heroes is that they’re smitten and jealous, possessive but not controlling. They’re very “hey back off my woman, asshole” … but they don’t try to control her. For her part, Michelle “flirts with danger” because the father of her son is someone … well, it’s a spoiler but not a major factor – someone she thought she was in a relationship with, but she was actually his sidepiece. (She was only 19, he was a predator. She was vulnerable and obviously young. Thee ex provides for her son in paying for the tuition of his very expensive private school… and that’s it – however he threatens her with withdrawing that support or worse taking custody if she dates anyone else. This actually really annoyed me because it would be highly unlikely for a court to take away a child from his sole custodial parent, but it becomes a whole thing. I get the drama but I irked me. While this isn’t my area of legal practice, I know more about it than the average [legal] bear. Carter’s “flirting with danger” is pretty obvious what with running into burning buildings and such.
For the relationship itself, there’s very little danger. Like I said, Carter (and most Patterson heroes) are all in once they meet their loves/are ready for a relationship, and they will systematically destroy any barrier to it.
As for The Story of Yanxi Palace … it’s a Chinese historical drama set during the Qing dynasty. The heroine is a palace maid set on revenge, and honestly her entire life is just careening from one danger to another. She’s very bold, angry and petty in the best ways … and smart. She can’t stand injustice and is so steadfast. Yingluo is crafty but also lucky. Help comes when it’s most needed, but things are not easy for her – at all. It’s probably my favorite series ever though, so I’ve rewatched it a number of times since first seeing it. I watched it shortly after it first came out … I know Ilona Andrews watched it (I think some time in 2019 and blogged about it but for the life of me I can’t find details now…) Anyway the fact that it has a happy ending is a big part of why I like it so much. And I’ve a vengeful bitch so playing the long revenge game is something I respect. Fully.
Here’s the cover and back cover copy of Carter’s Flame if you’re interested.

Carter's Flame by Tiffany Patterson book coverI was born into a world of wealth and privilege. My birthright was to be at the helm of one of the world’s leading energy companies. But that wasn’t my purpose in life. Sitting behind a desk of a fortune 500 isn’t what gets me going. I’ll leave that life to my brothers. No. It took me years to find my true purpose. Saving lives. Walking into the depths of hell to pull out survivors. It’s what gets me out of my bed in the morning, and eventually, it’s what led me to her.
On a day that, to her, must’ve seemed like the wrong place and wrong time, is where I met my destiny. Michelle Clarke. Our worlds collided and I knew instantly that she was mine. Everything in my life up until this point has been preparing me for her.
My childhood.
The eight years I spent in special forces.
And the last six years spent as a proud member of the Williamsport Fire Department’s Rescue 4 squad.
All of it was preparation for her. And nothing, not her reluctance, not my brother, and not even her son’s father will stand in the way of what belongs to me. My job is to rescue people and put out fires, but I will set anyone who stands in our way, ablaze. I will happily pour the gasoline and light the match and set all of this shit aflame, just to ensure she is where she belongs … with me.

And if you’re interested …

Here’s a link to start you out on Yanxi Palace. From what I’ve seen of it the translations are overall quite good. This is actually my first time watching the series with English subtitles. There are a few things I’d quibble about but all told they aren’t that serious. And they’re much better than many others I’ve seen generally. (Definitely whatever was put up on Amazon Prime is some like terrible bootleg version.)

Anyway I’d love if more of you read Tiffany Patterson and watched Yanxi Palace because I have things to discuss.

Review: How to Find a Princess by Alyssa Cole

How to Find a Princess (Runaway Royals Book 2) by Alyssa Cole
Contemporary romance released by Avon on May 25, 2021

How to Find a Princess by Alyssa Cole book coverAlyssa Cole’s second Runaway Royals novel is a queer Anastasia retelling, featuring a long-lost princess who finds love with the female investigator tasked with tracking her down.
Makeda Hicks has lost her job and her girlfriend in one fell swoop. The last thing she’s in the mood for is to rehash the story of her grandmother’s infamous summer fling with a runaway prince from Ibarania, or the investigator from the World Federation of Monarchies tasked with searching for Ibarania’s missing heir.

Yet when Beznaria Chetchevaliere crashes into her life, the sleek and sexy investigator exudes exactly the kind of chaos that organized and efficient Makeda finds irresistible, even if Bez is determined to drag her into a world of royal duty Makeda wants nothing to do with.

When a threat to her grandmother’s livelihood pushes Makeda to agree to return to Ibarania, Bez takes her on a transatlantic adventure with a crew of lovable weirdos, a fake marriage, and one-bed hijinks on the high seas. When they finally make it to Ibarania, they realize there’s more at stake than just cash and crown, and Makeda must learn what it means to fight for what she desires and not what she feels bound to by duty.

This was a wonderful romp with two very different main characters. I only wish we got to see more of them as a long-standing couple. Readers of this series and the Reluctant Royals series will recognize Beznaria from her appearance in How to Catch a Queen, as well as other characters. I think you can read this book without having read How to Catch a Queen, or the Reluctant Royals series, but you might miss out on a lot of the subplots going on. What This book is told in loosely alternating chapters in Beznaria and Makeda’s voices, and you get a really good sense of their personalities and way of moving through the world. This has become a fairly common way of structuring stories, but not everyone is good a capturing and conveying a character’s voice outside of dialogue, which you need to be able to do in order for this structure to live up to its full potential. Makeda and Beznaria both have a lot going on when they first meet, and much of the book is both of them sorting themselves out and figuring out that they love each other. Both also have complicated families that love them.

Makeda is stuck when the book begins, and a lot of the book is her learning how to break the pattern she is stuck in. She is a fixer, by habit and because it was how she survived an unstable childhood, but her fixing tendencies are mostly externalized, so that she helps other people with their problems–even really little ones. She has realized this by the time Beznaria shows up–Makeda describes Beznaria as having chaos vibes that draw her in. Makeda is eventually swept up by Beznaria, but even so, she figures out how to love Beznaria without fixing her. That’s not to say that everything is great when they arrive in Beznaria’s home country, because they both kept some pretty big secrets from each other that have major consequences. They don’t tell each other these secrets until they’re just about to arrive in Beznaria’s country, but we know them because of how the story is narrated so it isn’t suspenseful in that way. Continue reading

Review: Final Heir by Faith Hunter

Final Heir (Jane Yellowrock #15) by Faith Hunter
Urban fantasy released by Ace on September 6, 2022

The stakes couldn’t be higher in the newest novel in the New York Times bestselling, pulse-pounding Jane Yellowrock series.

Jane Yellowrock is the queen of the vampires, and that makes her a target as she fights to maintain control and keep peace in the city of New Orleans. She has enemies at every turn, because vampires live forever, and they keep their grudges alive with them. That includes the Heir, the vampire sire of the Pellissier bloodline, which gave rise to Leo Pellissier himself—Jane’s old boss and the former master of the city.

With the Heir and all the forces of darkness he can muster arrayed against her, Jane will need all the help she can get. She’ll find it in her city, her friends, her found family, and, of course, the Beast inside of her.

I’ve been reading this series at least since college, if not earlier. I think, but am not sure, this is the last book in the series, based on how it ends; I could be wrong. If it is the end, I think it does a good job of capping off the series, ending it with Jane in a different place than she was as a character, but just as gritty and powerful as she was in the first book. This is definitely not the book to start reading if this series is new to you, because it wraps up plotlines that have extended through many books, so if you weren’t invested in them previously, this is not the point to try. However, if you’re looking for an urban fantasy series that is complete, this is probably a good bet. Jane is the central character in the story, and her relationship with George, her love interest, doesn’t take up a lot of conflict space, the way it did in previous books; the focus here is on Jane and resolving what the last big bad villain wants. Continue reading

Release Day Exclusive Excerpt: Shadow Wizard by Jeffe Kennedy

Hi friends! I’m so excited we’ve got another adult high fantasy romance from Jeffe Kennedy! Congratulations to her on this newest release! She (& her assistant) was also generous enough to share – as it says – an exclusive excerpt of the book with ALBTALBS readers! Hooray!

Spy, 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.

 

Shadow Wizard Excerpt:

Jadren eyed the small clearing Selly had picked out. Yes, it was off the road, reasonably concealed from anyone passing by, and—thankfully—not a bog, which satisfied her major requirements. Nothing else made it look like a place he wanted to spend any time, however. Long ferny plant tendrils draped from the trees, waving in the evening air uncannily like spirits. He’d nearly jumped out of his skin, thinking Elal had sent some sentry spirits after them after all. Continue reading

Team TBR Challenge Review: Oak King Holly King by Sebastian Nothwell

Oak King Holly King by Sebastian Nothwell
Fantasy romance released by Sebastian Nothwell on February 14, 2022

Shrike, the Butcher of Blackthorn, is a legendary warrior of the fae realms. When he wins a tournament in the Court of the Silver Wheel, its queen names him her Oak King – a figurehead destined to die in a ritual duel to invoke the change of seasons. Shrike is determined to survive. Even if it means he must put his heart as well as his life into a mere mortal’s hands.

Wren Lofthouse, a London clerk, has long ago resigned himself to a life of tedium and given up his fanciful dreams. When a medieval-looking brute arrives at his office to murmur of destiny, he’s inclined to think his old enemies are playing an elaborate prank. Still, he can’t help feeling intrigued by the bizarre-yet-handsome stranger and his fantastical ramblings, whose presence stirs up emotions Wren has tried to lock away in the withered husk of his heart.

As Shrike whisks Wren away to a world of Wild Hunts and arcane rites, Wren is freed from the repression of Victorian society. But both the fae and mortal realms prove treacherous to their growing bond. Wren and Shrike must fight side-by-side to see who will claim victory – Oak King or Holly King.

It has been so long since I bought this one that I actually don’t remember why I picked it up, other than I am always a sucker for a good shifter romance. (My assigned theme for this month was “animals” and I’m going to say two characters named after birds one of whom IS a bird is, uh. close enough.) Anyway – love a shifter romance, also love a historical romance, historical + shifter + supernatural shenanigans = autobuy, for me. Also the cover is beautiful. Continue reading

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

What Sailorstkwrning Read in 2021

Cookbooks – The National Trust books are FANTASTIC, but you do have to convert from English to American measurements if you, like me, are American.

The Great Northern Cookbook, Sean Wilson
The National Trust Book of Scones: 50 delicious recipes and some curious crumbs of history, Sarah Clelland Merker
The National Trust Book of Crumbles, Laura Mason

Non-fiction – These are all A-B rated, some denser and harder to get through than others, but nothing absolutely unbearable.

John Brown, Abolitionist: The Man Who Killed Slavery, Sparked the Civil War, and Seeded Civil Rights, David S. Reynolds
Medical Downfall of the Tudors: Sex, Reproduction & Succession, Sylvia Barbara Soberton
Leaving Isn’t the Hardest Thing: Essays, Lauren Hough
The Address Book: What Street Addresses Reveal About Identity, Race, Wealth, and Power, Deirdre Mask
Country House Society: The Private Lives of England’s Upper Class After the First World War, Pamela Horn
The Long Weekend: Life in the English Country House, 1918-1939, Adrian Tinniswood
The House Party: A Short History of Leisure, Pleasure and the Country House Weekend, Adrian Tinniswood
Romps, Tots and Boffins: The Strange Language of News, Robert Hutton
A Field Guide to the English Clergy: A Compendium of Diverse Eccentrics, Pirates, Prelates and Adventurers; All Anglican, Some Even Practising The Revd Fergus Butler-Gallie
Dead Famous: An Unexpected History of Celebrity from Bronze Age to Silver Screen, Greg Jenner
The King in the North: The Life and Times of Oswald of Northumbria, Max Adams
The White King: Charles I, Traitor, Murderer, Martyr, Leanda de Lisle
The White Ship: Conquest, Anarchy and the Wrecking of Henry I’s Dream, Charles Spencer
.

Fiction
Old “friends” and auto-buys: works by authors I purchase whatever it is because it’s always good, every time:
The Gentle Art of Fortune Hunting, KJ Charles
Subtle Blood (The Will Darling Adventures Book 3), KJ Charles
Paladin’s Strength (The Saint of Steel Book 2) T. Kingfisher
Paladin’s Hope (The Saint of Steel Book 3), T. Kingfisher
Tommy Cabot Was Here (The Cabots), Cat Sebastian
Peter Cabot Gets Lost (The Cabots Book 1) Cat Sebastian
The Queer Principles of Kit Webb: A Novel, Cat Sebastian
The Nobleman’s Guide to Scandal and Shipwrecks (Montague Siblings Book 3), Mackenzi Lee
His Sacred Incantations (The Warrior’s Guild Book 2), Scarlett Gale
Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake (Winner Bakes All Book 1), Alexis Hall
Seducing the Sorcerer, Lee Welch
The Blackwing War (The Deep Witches Trilogy Book 1), K.B. Spangler
.

Series I took a chance on and then main-lined once I had a taste:

The Knight and the Necromancer: Book One: The Capital, A. H. Lee
The Knight and the Necromancer: Book Two: The Border, A. H. Lee
The Knight and the Necromancer: Book Three: The Sea, A. H. Lee
Enthralled: A Short Novel Related to The Knight and the Necromancer, A. H. Lee
Saffron Alley (Sword Dance Book 2) A.J. Demas
Strong Wine (Sword Dance Book 3), A.J. Demas
Something Human A.J. Demas
One Night in Boukos, A.J. Demas
Rogue Protocol: The Murderbot Diaries, Martha Wells
All Systems Red (Kindle Single): The Murderbot Diaries By: Martha Wells
Fugitive Telemetry (The Murderbot Diaries Book 6),  By: Martha Wells
Network Effect: A Murderbot Novel (The Murderbot Diaries Book 5),  By: Martha Wells
Exit Strategy: The Murderbot Diaries By: Martha Wells
Artificial Condition: The Murderbot Diaries By: Martha Wells
Home: Habitat, Range, Niche, Territory: A Tor.com Original Murderbot Diaries Short Story (The Murderbot Diaries Book 7), Martha Wells
Spellbound: A Paranormal Historical Romance (Magic in Manhattan Book 1)
Allie Therin
Wonderstruck: A Paranormal Historical Romance (Magic in Manhattan Book 3)
Allie Therin
Starcrossed: A Paranormal Historical Romance (Magic in Manhattan Book 2)
Allie Therin
Highland Dragon Warrior: Sexy Shape Shifting Laird Fights for His Perfect Mate (Dawn of the Highland Dragon Book 1)
 Isabel Cooper
Highland Dragon Rebel (Dawn of the Highland Dragon Book 2)
Isabel Cooper
Highland Dragon Master (Dawn of the Highland Dragon Book 3)
Isabel Cooper

Series I liked but have not yet finished:

The Way Into Chaos: Book One of the Great Way, Harry Connolly: This very well done but VERY dense and requires a lot of attention. I bought the rest of the series on the strength of this book but haven’t had the braincells to read them yet.
The Bone Ships (The Tide Child Trilogy Book 1), RJ Barker – This one is also good, very strong characters, excellent worldbuilding, will suck you in like a whirlpool but also does demand  you focus.
Heaven Official’s Blessing: Tian Guan Ci Fu (Novel) Vol. 1 – Mo Xiang Tong Xiu, ZeldaCW, Tai3_3 – Finally available in translation!!

The rest: These are also all in the A-B range except where otherwise noted.

Interface: A Novel, Neal Stephenson, J. Frederick George
Empire City: A Novel, Matt Gallagher
These two are both novels about insurrections, which I bought after, well, y’all can probabaly guess. Stephenson was as usual eerily prophetic.
The Apple-Tree Throne, Premee Mohamed – Excellent but also kind of a downer? I needed something warm and fuzzy afterwards as a palate cleanser.
100 Boyfriends, Brontez Purnell – this one is SUPER RAUNCHY but also very good. Walks the line between autobiography and fiction.
Lord of the Last Heartbeat: A Fantasy Romance (The Sacred Dark Book 1), May Peterson – Well written but – for me! – hard going. Again I may just not have been in the right headspace for it. I haven’t finished it yet but I don’t class it as a DNF, just that I have put a pin in it for now.
Under the Whispering Door, TJ Klune – A+ – very good but also very hard to get through, for some reason. Possibly reading a romance where one of the main characters is associated with Death during a pandemic is . . . not the best of ideas, IDK. That said: it was sharp and sweet and even funny, in places, and if you liked the Cerulean Sea book, you’ll (probably) like this one.
We Ride Upon Sticks: A Novel. Quan Barry – Really fantastic young adult novel. Will make you crave bananas.
The Quiet House (Black and Blue Series Book 2) Lily Morton
Geoffrey the Very Strange: A M/M Fantasy Romance, Angel Martinez, Jude Dunn
Haven: A MM Paranormal Mystery Romance, Morgan Brice
The Hands of the Emperor, Victoria Goddard – This book is ENORMOUS and it is SO GOOD. Not a romance but also not not a romance? A story of two men who love each other in multiple different ways. Look, it’s magnificent, just READ IT. A++
The Snails of Dun Nas, K.L. Noone – Yes it really is about giant snails. There’s also a non-binary character! There’s some magic (obviously) and some derring-do. Escapism at it’s finest, A+
White Trash Warlock (The Adam Binder Novels Book 1) David R. Slayton
Trailer Park Trickster (The Adam Binder Novels Book 2) David R. Slayton
The world building is at times a little wobbly but on the whole very good.

A
nd finally, my sole actual “book I wished I could have thrown across the room”:
Summons: A demon/mage story (Quirk of Fate Book 1), Lisa Oliver – this one gets a big fat F for having a vibe that was really unpleasant, specifically, it felt subtly but distinctly anti-Semitic and I noped out after two chapters and returned it.

Blogiversary Guest: Janice Maynard!

Hi friends! I’m so thrilled to welcome back Janice Maynard on the last day of January! We’re just doing things all over the place and offering giveaways galore here at ALBTALBS! 😀 It’s been ten years! We do what we want! 😜 Anyway Janice was kind enough to write a post and offer a prize, so read on!  <3

Happy Blogiversary to Limecello! I’m honored to be here today celebrating such a fun milestone!

As I was debating what to share with you, it occurred to me that Valentine’s Day is coming up soon. It will look different this year, of course. (My husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary in a restaurant parking lot eating carry-out.)

Whether you’ll be observing Gal-entine’s Day, or maybe you and your significant other are lifting a glass, because you’ve managed not to strangle each other during quarantine, this year’s events will be unlike any others.

Instead of reporting on a new release, I’d like to tell you about an older book that takes place in exactly this time of year. As you probably know, publishers “buy” the rights to publish books for a certain period of time. Eventually, those rights revert to the authors who can then re-publish the books. Continue reading