Category Archives: 3 star reads

The Sainthood : A Dark High School Romance (The Complete Series) – Siobhan Davis

Dark, reverse harem, high school, organized crime, romance

Rating: 3 out of 5.

There is a ton of sex in these books! It’s very long, and it has a lot of story too. But the sex to story ratio is much higher than I usually see. Harlow could be a nymphomaniac, so it’s good she has four guys to keep up with her. I mean there is sexually confident, and then there is, “I draw the line at full-on prostitution, but most everything else is fair game.” It’s downright raunchy. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of it is hot, but some of it was a bit much for me, mostly the hate sex. And I regularly read and enjoy novels with graphic sexual content.

The beginning of this is a bully story but make that a gang, as in large criminal organization, bullying the girl. The whole backstory for this novel is disgusting. I hate that all the teens treat sex so casually, completely separating it from emotions. It’s difficult to get past all this. If this were me, I would have gotten the hell out of there, moved to a different country or something.

The gang stuff and what the guys do to Harlow in the beginning was crazy. I was having trouble suspending disbelief. Harlow’s superhero level skill set, strength, and attitude in the face of all this was stretching credibility. It’s like all the main characters are a trained army. Death means nothing to them. Natural born killers.

By Chapter 18 of the first book, I was feeling like this was going to be too long. I was waiting for something to actually happen. By Chapter 26, 22% into the box set, I’d had enough of the hate sex and was still waiting for something to happen. I had to take a break and read something else. I am glad I went back to this because it got much better, but I can see a lot of readers dropping out at or before this point. When I got back into it, things really started to happen in the story, and the sex scenes got very hot. By the end, I was happy I had read this. But I can only give it 3 stars. I liked Surviving Amber Springs so much better!

It’s got an HEA with a cute bonus novella at the end.

1st person present tense, mostly from Harlow, but with a smattering of chapters from each of the guys.

This is well edited. I only found 9 errors.



Favorite Quotes:

Harlow: I have zero desire to live in my own twisted romance novel.

“They built the facility in the middle of Mantiss Forest and—”

“The Sainthood sure is obsessed with forests,” I interject.

“It’s ideal burial ground,” Saint replies, glancing at me as he steers the Land Rover out onto the highway. “Perfect for disposing of enemies and annoying girls who interrupt people midsentence.”

“I think I got pregnant just watching that,” Caz jokes.

“I was so tempted to slice off his dick,” I admit. “Like, I seriously had to talk myself off that ledge.”

Caz chuckles. “You couldn’t deprive us of that sight. When you chop his cock off, I want a front-row seat.”

I lean back for a knuckle touch. “Deal, dude. Wouldn’t want to deprive you of such quality entertainment.” “


Clearwater University: The Complete Series: An Enemies-to-Lovers Romance – Eva Ashwood

Reverse harem doesn’t occur to them for quite a while!

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Emma became best friends with three boys her sophomore year of high school. In her junior year, they turned on her and became her bullies. She and her father moved away but are back in town two years later. Emma starts college, and her tormentors are there and still hating her.

This one was different for several reasons:

1. The hate part of this hate to love goes on for quite a while, well into the second book. I’m more accustomed to the hate part ending much sooner, so that was a twist. And we still get sex scenes while the hate is still strong. So if you like hate sex, you’ll enjoy this.

2. The reverse harem or menage relationship idea doesn’t occur to the group for quite a while. In most of these, the characters are aware of the possibility from the start. Sometimes they know people in poly relationships. Sometimes at least one of the characters has read books like we are reading right now. But in Clearwater, they don’t realize it is a thing for quite a while and then don’t think it would work because –

3. The guys are competitive, jealous, and angry at each other for most of this. They have been best friends forever, but their relationship has been beaten down by what they have done to Emma. Most of the time, the guys are a team from the start. So I liked they we got some unusual twists here!

The writing was very good. It is long with the three novels together, but it was fast paced. I liked the characters, that the guys all had distinct personalities, and that they all grew over the course of the story.

I didn’t like that Trent’s reason for turning on Emma is immature. We know what it is early on, so I don’t think this is a spoiler. Trent thinks Emma told his father that they saw Trent’s mom kissing Emma’s dad. And this results in his parents getting divorced. By the time I was 16/17, I knew that marriages are complicated, and cheating is a symptom of greater issues. Trent’s anger at this small thing, even if true, seemed like an 8-10 year old’s perspective. And then, he gets even angrier when he finds out that Emma introduced his mother to her father at a school event. Why hadn’t Emma and the guys all introduced their parents around when they were still friends in high school? It seems very weird that their parents would let them hang out so much and be best friends without ever meeting their parents. We only see Emma’s dad and Trent’s mom, but they don’t seem like disconnected, neglectful parents. These are the type of parents that I believe would have insisted on meeting the parents of their kid’s friends. Even if not, they are treating the introduction of their parents as something unusual. Especially when the parents are at the same school event, you just would introduce them. So I had a difficult time suspending disbelief for this.

Another complaint I have is more difficult to talk about without spoilers. It’s the total 180 of a character that came out of nowhere. It felt like we didn’t get any lead in to this, like we suddenly need a villain, so we’ll change this character completely. I would have preferred more detail on the character and on their past actions, which would make this turnaround more natural and believable.

Because of these two things, I can only give this three stars. But if they won’t bother you as much as they did me, and you mostly want the hot sex scenes, you may enjoy this more than I did.

Contains many graphic sex scenes. Some are one-on-one and some are group. There is no cheating, scenes with Other People, or Other People drama. There is no non or dubious consent. So this is SAFE. No trigger warnings. Contains foul language. It is well edited. I found 5 little errors.

Broken In: A Cowboy Reverse Harem Romance – Cassie Cole

Contemporary western reverse harem romance

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Cindy just inherited a broken-down ranch. Three brothers just lost their jobs as ranch hands. They all come together to meet each other’s needs.

This was a hot, quick read. It was entertaining, not too long, and didn’t have too much angst. It’s a nice spicy read when you just want to relax. It’s not fantastic or particularly memorable, so I can only give it three stars. But this is perfect when I just want a break from angst, drama, and serious feelings.

Cindy is a strong, independent, and sexually confident woman. The three guys are different enough for my tastes. I don’t like when they are just clones of each other, so I was happy. The story is good enough to keep it going. It didn’t just feel like word porn. I don’t want to give anything away, but I was disappointed not to learn exactly what consequences a villain got in the end. Did they go to jail? Have to pay a lot of monetary damages? We just don’t know.

There is no Other People drama, no cheating, and no slut shaming. So this is SAFE.

1st person past tense from Cindy and the guys.

There were many unnecessary dialogue tags, but they didn’t distract me too much. Mom, Momma, Dad, and so on should be capitalized when not my mom, her mom, etc. like it is a proper name, and that doesn’t happen here. Little things like this grab my attention away. Beyond this, I found 11 other errors – quotation mark issues and missing words mostly. Not too bad.


Favorite Quote:

Once everything was sorted, I pulled out my laptop and opened up Excel. Without internet I couldn’t connect to my cloud storage; I had to save the file locally, like a peasant.


Die For You: A Dark Post-Apocalyptic Romance (Catastrophe Series Book 1) – Michele Mills

Possessive alpha male post-apocalyptic romance with a ménage kink

Rating: 3 out of 5.

A strain of Ebola has just killed 99.99% of the world’s population. Rachel is somehow immune. As soon as she leaves her home in San Diego, she runs into Adam, a Hispanic former marine. Adam is much older and has a kink – he likes to share his woman with other men in ménage situations he controls completely. Rachel is a virgin, and Adam tries to stay hands off, but he’s only human.

It was good, but I’m not fangirling. I’m curious about the next book, thinking of reading it, but thinking there’s got to be better stuff out there. Why? It dragged a little. The writing just didn’t keep me needing more. I read this in pieces during my lunch breaks and wasn’t compelled to read it at home instead of watching movies or while I’m supposed to be working.

There were some very good descriptions of the changed world in the beginning, full of dead bodies, some gore, and reminiscent of The Stand. The cause of the virus is known, opening a strong plot element that wasn’t explored, at least not in this first novel. I liked the mixed-race aspect. There were some funny scenes. I appreciated them but wanted more.

I did love that our lead female didn’t need her man to save her. She kicked ass when it counted. I wasn’t a fan of her starting virgin status, but it didn’t bother me too much. Her horrible self-image got annoying.

The sex scenes were okay. It was hotter when they were just talking about sex than when it was actually going on. There was a little bit of talking during sex, which I liked, but not enough. Overall there weren’t enough sex scenes to really make this an erotic novel. There also weren’t enough plot elements to make it a good non-erotic novel. So I’m stuck in mediocre.

3rd person past tense alternating between the main characters. HEA, graphic sex scenes, some foul language, some violence. Contains an off-camera rape concerning a secondary character. No cheating. No OW/OM drama. Does contain one consensual ménage scene. Speaking of, a huge deal was made of Adam’s kink. Rachel not being able to accept it and Adam not being able to be himself sexually was touted as a deal breaker. But we got one sex scene and the issue goes away at the end. This was very unrealistic. Either the setup or the ending was false.

Very few grammar mistakes other than no commas between independent clauses, which is consistent so accepted as style. Three missing words. One wrong word. One missing comma after an introductory clause. One case of head-hopping within a section. One unnecessary dialogue tag.

Favorite Quotes:

“Unfortunately for you, I’m a breast man.” – Adam

“He was so confident, so sure of himself. Like Babe Ruth pointing and calling an out-of-the-park homerun before he’d even picked up the bat.”

“She glanced at all three men, still amazed to have been left alive with these three perfect specimens of masculinity. How did this happen? Apparently, in this new world there would be no potbellies, no receding hairlines and no man boobs. No, not here. It was like they’d been outlawed.”

“Nice man.” He chuckled. “Have you seen my gun collection? I think you have me confused with someone else.” – Adam

Broken Hero – Olivia Hayle

PTSD and Small-Town Gossip Threaten Contemporary Romance

Rating: 3 out of 5.

It’s a standard romance formula – a woman is cheated on and loses her job, so she moves home to a small town where she meets a great guy. The twists here are that he’s an ex-soldier with PTSD, and she’s a massage therapist dealing with the profession’s negative reputation- that sometimes massages come with “happy endings”.

It’s cute, sweet, and has some good laughs and steamy sex scenes. I liked the characters both main and secondary, especially their maturity. Misunderstandings were handled pretty quickly by talking them out. I loved the banter between them. They come out with some zingers. They aren’t perfect but grow with the story, working on their issues. PTSD is realistically shown as something that requires ongoing treatment and self-awareness. It has relapses with good and bad days, months, and years. This issue isn’t a major focus of the story but is part of the greater theme of self-acceptance and learning to ignore the haters in life.

Overall, I enjoyed this but was heavily distracted by grammar mistakes. I’d probably have given it a 4 but must knock it down to a 3 due to this.

1st person present tense with a few slips into past tense. Chapters from alternating main characters.

HEA, graphic sex scenes, no OW/OM drama, very little foul language.

Grammar: tons of missing commas mostly between two independent clauses, but they weren’t all missing. So it wasn’t a conscious style choice. Missing comma count: 150. Other error count: 36 – Wrong or missing punctuation marks. Missing, wrong, and misspelled words. Dialogue separated from action sequences which identified the speaker. Missing dialogue tags where needed, so I couldn’t tell who said some things. Mixed tenses.

Least Favorite Quote: “Mandy leans closer t me.” T with no O. It makes me 1) wonder if even Word’s simple grammar check was run and 2) want to cry.

I received a free copy of this book from BookSirens and am voluntarily leaving my honest review.

Surviving Seduction (The Shattered World #2) – Maia Underwood

Entertaining But OM/OW Drama Is The Story

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This is the second book in the series and continues right where the first left off. There wasn’t a cliffhanger, so you don’t have to read this one.

I enjoyed parts of this. The fight scenes were especially good.

Other Man and Other Woman drama is the core story here, so if you hate that, stay away. There is a fake out dream scene – we are subjected to a sex scene with OM. Even if it isn’t real, we still had to read it.

If you enjoy OM/OW drama, go for it!

I would love to read the third book the author planned, but she seems to have disappeared from the book world around 2012.