Category Archives: 3 star reads

Six (A Demon Hunter Romance Book 1) – Carrie Thorne

Unique paranormal romance nearly ruined with grammatical errors. Currently free on Amazon.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Blurb:

Fate sucks. Even demon hunters deserve a little normal.

Born to fight the monsters that haunt our dreams, Quinn Fischer loves her job… until a prophecy from long ago points to her plucky demon-hunting team as those destined to take down one of the most notorious monsters of all time. Despite her hesitation, she goes all in with her fearsome team. After a devastating defeat, she’s blasted from the battlefield and splashes down off the northwest coast of Alaska, without a memory to her name.

Different from his fellow demon-hunters, Ryan Hunt wanted no part in their blood-thirsty ways. Creating a covert taskforce from his loyal Coast Guard buddies, they’ve set out to protect the Pacific from the monsters that threaten humanity. He’s got a good routine, until smartass, gorgeous demon hunter lands off his bow.

Bound to their birthright, they must learn to trust each other in order to get to the source of the increased activity around the Bearing Sea… and to find out where Quinn came from.


This is a great story. I loved the characters, even the secondary ones. It’s a great romance. I might even want to read it again if there weren’t so many errors. So I would give it 5 stars but can only give it 3 as is.

Errors knock me out of the story, like roadblocks when I’m trying to fly down a highway. 99% of the errors were the same thing – action sequences attached to dialogue as if they were dialogue tags. Smiling, laughing, sighing, and doing anything else but talking are not dialogue tags! Oh my freaking gawd! There was hardly a dialogue sequence in this novel where this error did not occur! It was driving me absolutely bonkers.

It’s difficult to take a step back and think about the story without remembering the constant aggravation and frustration. And then there were a few errors where actual dialogue tags like he asked were not attached as a dialogue tag. *pulls her hair out* I would like to read the next book in the series, but I can’t. I took a peek, and it has the same action sequence as dialogue tag errors. I can’t put myself through this again. If the author ever fixes these errors, I will happily change my review to 5 stars and read the next in the series.

This series has a unique mythology behind it. Demon hunters are the descendants of a “demon” who had a child with a human. “Demons” aren’t what we normally think of with that word. They are very humanlike in appearance, and most are not evil. Demon hunters have, “Rapid healing, strong immunity, physical prowess, [and] three times the average human’s lifespan”. When a demon hunter marries a human, a ritual extends the healing power and long life of the demon hunter to the human. Demon hunters were created to protect humans from the creatures that sometimes cross the “veil” between the two worlds.

I normally hate amnesia as a plot device and almost skipped this novel because of that. I’m glad I went ahead and read this. Usually, amnesia is used to reset a story. The author loved the characters so much that she wanted to reuse them to tell a different story, so they are reset to zero with amnesia. I hate that. But here, amnesia is the start of the story. So don’t let any bad associations you may have with amnesia put you off.

I loved Quinn and Ryan. Quinn is strong, funny, and sexually assertive even when she can’t remember who she is. Ryan is strong, sexy, level-headed, and sweet. They are both bad-asses.

The story is interesting with plenty of action to go along with the emotion. The pacing would be great if not for the constant errors slowing me down.

Semi-graphic sex scenes. They are generally short and not detailed.

3rd person past tense from Ryan and Quinn with a few chapters from secondary characters.

126 instances of using an action sequence as a dialogue tag.

Alright is not a word. It’s all right, two words.

Other errors: 13 (missing words, incorrect use of semicolons, wrong words, words not capitalized that should be, and missing commas and quotation marks)

344 pages.

Currently free on Amazon.


Favorite Quote:

Infuriating man. Nice backside, though. That was the kind of ass they wrote sonnets about. None specifically that she could come up with, but worth considering. If she never found out who she was, perhaps she could make her fortune with nice ass poetry.


Western Dreams – Becky Barker

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Sweet, sensual, second-chance contemporary western romance. Currently free on Amazon.

Blurb:

A fun, sexy second chance romance. Bree Conley is back at the Blackstone ranch and Reece Blackstone is at the end of his rope. Maybe he loved her once but that’s in the past, and now she’s a total distraction. How can he get any work done when Bree’s so beautiful, so sassy and so tempting?

Bree has no intention of rekindling their romance even though he’s a perfect specimen of drool-worthy male. She has new dreams to fulfill, which includes turning the neighboring ranch into a wildlife sanctuary. Maybe, if he’s lucky, she’ll take Reece for a walk on the wild side…


This is sweet, sensual, and emotional rather than erotic. There is only one real sex scene. It’s about two people’s insecurities and not communicating the truth until it’s almost too late. I liked it and would give it four stars if the grammar and formatting weren’t so terrible. The same issues that were in the first book from the 80’s are still here.

Sort of camera obscura descriptions in the sex scenes. Language isn’t “flowery” but along those lines without being over the top. It is much more subtle.

3rd person past tense from both Bree and Reece. Head-hopping within the same chapter or sections.

There are many extra spaces at the start of paragraphs, extra spaces or tabs between words, and weird unintended carriage return (starts a new paragraph) in the middle of sentences. Beyond that, I found 23 errors.

130 pages.

Currently free on Amazon – June 2021.


Captured By A Cowboy – Becky Barker

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Note: this would be 4 stars if it were ever properly edited!

Contemporary western romance that has aged well since 1987 but needs an editor

Blurb:

Raquel was never sure why she surrendered to a total stranger. Naive impulse, primal instinct or feminine intuition? By morning she was no longer a truck stop waitress but a woman on the way to an isolated Wyoming ranch with Holt Tyler — and he wanted to know all the secrets she’d guarded so carefully these past months.

Was he kidnapping her for his own selfish reasons or trying to rescue her from a deplorable situation? Did he really want to protect her or just take advantage of her? Had she fled a wealthy, powerful father only to fall into the arms of a passionate, possessive stranger? Time would tell how much of her heart had been captured by a cowboy. This is a very sensual romance set on an isolated Wyoming ranch.


Captured By A Cowboy was originally published in 1987. It has aged very well! The story is still relevant. It’s sweet, emotional, hot, and entertaining. It is fast paced and would be more so if it weren’t for all the errors. I loved the characters, Raquel’s growth, and Holt’s decision to let her go find her independence, trusting that she would return.

Unfortunately, this has clearly been digitized using text recognition, and it has not been proofread since. If you’ve been reading my reviews, you know that my brain edits what I read even when I’m only trying to read for pleasure. There was hardly a page that I did not make a correction on, and many needed several corrections. I love that we can get old books as ebooks now. But if you are going to charge for it, you must engage the services of a proofreader. And it clearly needed a better editor to begin with as all the errors cannot be blamed on a computer!

3rd person past tense. It has a head-hopping problem, jumping from Raquel to Holt and even to some secondary characters occasionally.

There were too many errors to count or even detail their types. It was hugely distracting from the story! It’s a testament to how good the story is that I made it to the end without giving up. I’d like to read more of Becky Barker’s novels, but I don’t think I can take it right away. She is still writing, so I hope her recent novels don’t have so many errors! – Update: The latest novel Barker has written does have loads of errors.


SAVE (SAVE Me-Series Book 1) – Ella Col

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Good story about love after abuse but horrible grammar!

Blurb:

Twenty-two year old, Bree Jensen is a survivor who managed to break free from her abuser and start a new life.

Bree fights to live a normal life. She does not want to be a victim or survivor. Bree just wants to forget.

Falling in love is the last thing on her mind, now that Bree has the chance to start over.

That is…until she meets her neighbor, Josh. Josh oozes sexual charm. He’s confident, talented, and he adores her. Bree finds everything about Josh hard to resist right down to his decorated body of tattoos, piercings and shag haircut. Don’t forget about those damn green eyes.

Josh has endured his own personal hell and meeting Bree has triggered emotions he thought were buried deep.

Will they SAVE each other from their chilling pasts and begin the fairytale both so desperately want?


The story is very good if predictable. That is the only reason I made it past all the grammar and formatting errors. They were driving me batty! But at least I didn’t get a headache.

I really liked both Bree and Josh. After her abuse, she got therapy and began to love herself again. Then she met Josh who is a reformed manwhore. I never like manwhores, but I at least understand it more when they have been using sex as a drug to numb pain. And once he met Bree, he was done. There was no cheating. There is some OW drama, but Josh handled it correctly, and Bree’s reaction was very mature. 3 stars. It would be 4 if it were ever well edited.

Bree and Josh both fall in insta-love with each other. There are several hot graphic sex scenes. Occasional foul language. There is no abuse within this relationship, the abuse is in both character’s pasts.


1st person present tense from Bree and Josh.

This is a novella, just 76 pages.

This seriously needs an editor. I marked too many errors to count. There were extra words, missing words, and wrong words, wrong or missing punctuation, formatting errors like extra spaces or tabs. Laughing and smiling and such were used as dialogue tags. You can’t smile a sentence! I swear! If the story were longer, I don’t think I could have made it.


Malik (Carter Brother Series Book 1) – Lisa Helen Gray

Bullied damsel in distress gets rescued by hot guy

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Harlow’s parents were murdered, and she has to move to her grandmother’s house in a new town. The five Carter brothers live with their grandfather, next door to Harlow’s grandma. On the first day of school, Harlow makes an enemy of Davis, a bully. Malik Carter and his brothers protect Harlow from this creep. Harlow is also bullied by a girl in school.

I thought this was a bully romance at first, but it’s not. The bully is a bad guy that Harlow is definitely not going to fall in love with.

I was disappointed with how weak Harlow was. I know she had just lost her parents, but she had been bullied at her old school before they died. I really wish Harlow would have stood up and fought back more against Davis. She is bit too damsel in distress for me. Knee him in the balls, scream, scratch, tear his eyes out, anything! I wanted her to stand up to the girls more as well. She is also down on herself, thinking she is plain, when it becomes clear that she is actually beautiful. I loved the secondary characters of the girls, Denny and Charlie. They were much stronger and fought back against bullying.

Malik was great! No complaints there.

Harlow’s grandma is hilarious. She loves to pull pranks and make the grandkids feel uncomfortable. She was a big part of the humor in this book.

The pacing was good. It was a fast read. So one star for story/writing, one for Malik, and one for Harlow’s grandma!

Two of Malik’s brothers, Max and Mason, are man-whores. They each have books in this series, and I’m not excited about reading theirs. I was cautious, so I started reading the sample on Amazon of next book, Mason. There are many more errors in that one! Just reading the first few pages, I saw several issues. Malik needed another proofread, but it looks like Mason didn’t get any. A quick peek at the next one, Myles, revealed the same issues. So I won’t be continuing with this series.


Trigger warning – there is a rape scene.

There are a few graphic sex scenes.

No cheating.

Contains foul language.

1st person present tense, from Harlow except for one chapter from Malik.

This is written in British English.

Errors: 27 (missing periods, extra commas, missing/wrong words, the first letter of a sentence not being capitalized)


Favorite Quotes:

(Harlow walks in on one of Malik’s brothers taking a shower, and Malik runs in to see why she screamed…)

I want to roll my eyes at him, but I’m too embarrassed to move or to reopen my eyes. His penis was there; right there, in full view. My first live penis and it’s a complete stranger’s. I never wanted my first penis sighting to be like this. Just thinking about it has my cheeks heating.

“Come on, Harlow,” Malik orders, snapping me out of my penis trance. I let him drag me quietly out of the bathroom and into his room before I whirl around on him, my anger finally surfacing now that I’m safely away from the penis.

“How could you!’’ we say at the same time, both of us glaring at each other.

“No, how could you? How dare you remove my clothes while I’m unconscious. How could you do that to me? Did you get a good look?” I snap sarcastically as I move myself closer to him. “Did you? I can’t believe this. Not only does a boy see me naked—half-naked anyway—for the first time, but I’m also unconscious through it. Then, to top that shit list, I see my very first penis. A very fucking frightening one. They’re big, Malik. Fucking big,” I cry out, feeling hysterical.


Malik: “My first thought in the morning is no longer about an upcoming race, or my boner, but you. It’s always about you—and my boner.”


Malik (Joan is Harlow’s grandma): “Joan warned—okay, threatened me, that if I got dirt on her carpet, she was going to castrate me. I love my dick, babe, and Joan keeps threatening it.”


Joan: “Don’t go,” she groans. “I need some advice on other things too. Like, do you think I should get some Viagra? I’m known to go all night.”


(Joan and Mark, Malik’s grandfather, get caught making out on the sofa…)

I mumble, before turning to Grams. “Say goodnight, then get to bed. If I don’t hear the door shut—with Mark on the other side—I won’t be pleased, Grams.”

“Shush, child. It’s not like you haven’t got Malik upstairs,” she tells me like a sulking teenager.

She does have a point.

“Yes, but we’re kids. You’re adults. You shouldn’t be fondling on the sofa at your age,” I defend. “Say goodnight, then go to sleep.”

Walking up the stairs, I can’t help but grimace when I hear Grams asking when they can fondle again.

Jesus, pass me a bucket.


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.