Category Archives: 4 star reads

Fostering Hope (Silver Lining Book 1) – Amanda Perry

New adult clean reverse harem

Rating: 4 out of 5.

After shuffling from one bad foster home to another, Parker is finally taken in by a good family. They have seven sons. Five of them are older than Parker.

This was a clean reverse harem romance, which I’ve never run into before. There is kissing but just that, no more. I really liked it. It was sweet and a fast read. There was no insta-love. Feelings built slowly. It had some good humor in it, especially with the character of Austyn.

1st person present tense from Parker and the guys.

I found 24 errors. A lot of them were weird like the first letter at the start of a sentence not being capitalized. Word should fix that on its own.

There is some foul language in this.

Trick Me Twice: An Enemies to Lovers High School Bully Romance – Becca Steele

Hot British high school bully romance

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Carter is a king of the school. Raine is keeping herself hidden away. She seemed weak at first, but she slowly comes out of her shell and becomes strong. I was happy with her by the end. Carter had to mature and get stronger as well. I liked both of these characters because they had flaws and grew as the story progressed. I also liked many of the secondary characters.

The writing was choppy and uncomfortable at first but quickly got better for me. It was a quick read. I wasn’t bored anywhere. I liked it a lot but didn’t love it, so four stars.

This contains three graphic sex scenes, so there is much more story than sex. There is quite a bit of foul language.

1st person past tense from Carter and Raine.

This book is well edited. It is written in British English. Only 8 errors interrupted me.

Kings of Linwood Academy – The Complete Box Set: A Dark High School Romance Series – Callie Rose

Hot reverse harem high school murder mystery

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Harlow and her mom move from Arizona to a wealthy east coast town. Her mom is hired to be the live-in Executive Housekeeper for the Black family. Their teenage son Lincoln and his best friends, River, Dax, and Chase hate Harlow immediately. They rule the school and lead her torture there. Then the five of them witness a murder by a man in a mask.

I liked this a lot, but I wouldn’t want to read it again. Murder mysteries have much lower re-readability for me, since I’m not going to forget who done it. I’m not a big fan of mystery novels in general, so it’s harder to make me love them. And this is very long. I can see why it was broken into three books, but it felt overly long. The pacing was good for most of this, but I got bored for a while in the third book.

This is definitely teen erotica. If you’re against that, walk away now. Personally, I’m a fan. I don’t want to do things with teenagers in real life, but I like to imagine myself back as a teenager. And reading about teens having sex doesn’t bother me. When I was 16, everyone I knew was having sex. I haven’t forgotten that just because I’m older now. It’s actually quite realistic in that regard. There are many sex scenes in this, some with just one guy and others with two or all of them, but there is a lot more story than sex here. Recreational marijuana use appears a few times here, which also matches my teenage experience.

I liked all the characters. Harlow isn’t timid. She’s got a mouth on her and takes the initial abuse well, doesn’t cry and moan about how unfair it all is. She just says how these rich fucks must be bored. I liked that Harlow had a very realistic reaction to seeing someone die. She goes into shock for a bit and then can’t sleep or eat for days. Too many times I see characters handling things like this like it was no big deal, the story on to something else. I’m glad to see a realistic reaction for once.

I loved that all four of the guys had distinct personalities and weren’t just clones of each other, even the twins. Chase and Dax are almost identical twins but have enough physical differences to be told apart. Their personalities are widely different. All four guys are somewhat possessive and protective, but they don’t smother Harlow. I also loved Harlow’s mom and that someone in this novel has a good parent.

1st person present tense, all from Harlow’s perspective.

This novel is well edited until the end of the third book. I found 3 errors between the first two books. I found 11 errors in the third book alone, mostly subject-verb agreements.


Favorite Quotes:

“Don’t fall in love with any rich boys. They’re trouble.”

When Harlow’s mom is going on a date: I make her promise to be home by midnight and use protection, because I’ve gotta give her a little shit while I’m at it, right?

Having four boyfriends, as amazing as it is, isn’t great for staying clean.

I grit my teeth. “Because I’m collecting boyfriends, and I want to raise the average age of my harem.”



Misconduct – Penelope Douglas

Teacher and millionaire with teenage son in New Orleans – contemporary romance

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I live in New Orleans, so it was fun to read a contemporary romance set here. The details of the setting were wonderfully accurate. I’m just left with one burning question: Do people elsewhere seriously not drink at funerals? Now, I don’t mean during the service. I’m talking about at the gathering afterwards. A character says New Orleanians drink at all events, even funerals. And I went, “What do you mean, even?”

There isn’t a funeral in this. It’s not a tearjerker. It has its drama, but it left me feeling good, optimistic. The characters are complex and believable. There were things I liked about them and things I didn’t, which makes them feel real. Would I want to date Tyler? No, but I wouldn’t be or date Easton either. Neither of them do relationships anyway. They treat sex much too casually for my taste. But many people do, so if that doesn’t turn you off right from the start, then I recommend this. It is a fast, enjoyable read with lots of humor that I have come to expect from Penelope Douglas.

The sex scenes were hot and well written. Tyler could be a little dominant, but Easton could dish it right back, playing with him in an amusing way. There is a possible trigger – she says no when she acts yes. He doesn’t stop, and she doesn’t want him to. This bothers me a little as It is so dangerous. Later he argues that she can’t say no to him, and I went, “But, actually, she did!” I got past this easily, but I like dark romance. Since this isn’t dark, maybe it bothered me more, because no should mean no, you know?

I liked and enjoyed this but didn’t love it so much that I would read it again, so 4 stars.


1st person past tense with chapters from both Easton and Tyler.

This is very well written and edited. I only caught 6 errors, and that’s amazing.


Favorite Quotes:

Easton: People didn’t trust signatures so much as they trusted your ability to bullshit while you were drunk.

Easton: Probably midthirties, judging by the faint lines around his eyes. And although that wasn’t old, it was almost outside of my generation at twenty-three. I liked that, too. If his hands were sure, maybe his tongue would be, too. Conversation-wise, I meant.

Easton: It didn’t matter if you were fourteen or twenty-three, a student, a teacher, or a parent—you still got nauseous when the principal called you down.

Tyler: She wouldn’t be easy. In fact, I had a strange feeling it would be like high school, and I’d feel like I’d scored if I just got my hand up her shirt.

The Pet Project – Amanda Milo

Oddball equals interesting, pure SciFi, not romance

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This novella is a riff on the thought, “What if aliens didn’t recognize humans as sentient and kept them as pets?”  

It must be taken at face value. It is not an allegory. I sensed no intention to comment on the history, tragedies, and foibles of humanity. If you can’t put these things aside, you will probably be offended or even disgusted.

I personally found this very easy to imagine as I *know* that my cats are sentient. They control me. I am their slave. You don’t see them going out to work or the grocery store or cleaning my toilet! They understand English but would never stoop to speaking it as they have a much more elegant language comprised of subtle nuances on the basic sound “me-ow”. Besides, they get their point across to me just fine, know it, and point this out with just a look at me from time to time. I accuse them of “being all cute again” and they say, “It’s the treats I train you with. You know you love it.” I do.

The entire novella is 1st person present tense from the alien who is conducting the breeding project. We don’t get the alien’s name until the very end, in an epilogue that is an interview with our scientist. Very little is revealed about the alien species. No gender is given. We don’t even know if these aliens have genders.

There is some forced mating between the experiment’s subjects, but it is clinical rather than violent. These are the scientific notes of the doctor, so that tone removes most of the emotion and trauma we might otherwise feel when reading about these. There is nothing sexual between the aliens and the pets. I viewed it like putting cats or dogs together for mating as that is how the doctor views it. It is clear that the doctor can’t remain an impartial observer and truly cares about the pets, so mistakes made during experimentation are corrected.

Amanda said this wasn’t funny, but I found some very amusing nuggets. Overall, I found it interesting, amusing, and a fast-paced read. I think other animal lovers or anyone who doesn’t view humans as vastly different from other animals will have an easier time accepting the spirit in which this was written and appreciating the cuteness.

There you go Amanda, being all cute again!

Favorite Quotes:

Because of the male inclination towards bellicosity, most males are not fit for household pets.

Distractedly, I’m aware of how welcome even her intrusions are to me. Her staring is so loud that I often pause whatever I’m working on to pay her some small attention. If I were wise, I would put a stop to her disruption; it is somewhat rude behavior.

(My cats!)

“No. You don’t mark the indoor plant. Only outdoor plants.” Then Dr. Xan’-Tay `్ turns to me and sighs. “You see environment enrichment? Male tenders see targets.”

Captive of the Horde King (Horde Kings of Dakkar Book 1) – Zoey Draven

Nomadic tribal alien scifi erotic romance

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Luna’s brother brings the wrath of the Dakkari down on their little human village. Luna offers to serve the horde king that comes to punish them in exchange for her brother’s life. He accepts, and her life is changed forever.

This was a fast paced read with likable characters. Luna was strong, and I liked seeing her emotional growth along the way. The horde king was good and honorable. Lots of details like regularly used alien language and an alien version of horses made for great world-building. We don’t learn much about why humans are living on this planet as refugees, but I enjoyed the snippets of information I did get. The sex scenes were titillating but not scorching. The aliens were similar to humans but had tails and black and yellow eyes with no whites. They have a built-in, vibrating, clitoral stimulator, which had me laughing. Don’t all the best aliens have sex toy equipment?

The Dakkari instantly reminded me of the Dothraki in Game of Thrones. Those names are similar, they are a nomadic alien-horse-riding culture, and the men all have long hair. “Kalles” is their word for woman and the first the horde king calls Luna, which is close to khaleesi to me. It isn’t overwhelming, and there are plenty of differences, but I would guess the author is a fan.

I don’t want to give too much away, so how do I say this? The climactic action was too easy to foresee and cliché. But I was very happy that Luna fought for herself and didn’t just wait to be rescued by her man.

First person past tense, all from Luna. No cheating. No OW/OM drama. Several graphic sex scenes. The only foul language I noted was the occasional use of the F word when referring to sex. This is the first in a series of standalone novels. HFN.

Grammar: Error count 15 – wrong, missing, or misspelled words. Missing comma between two independent clauses, but it was consistent so accepted as style. Not terrible.

I enjoyed this and would read more books in the series. I don’t think I would read this one again, so 4 stars.

Beyond the Night (The Heroes of New Vegas Book 1) – Gleason, Colleen

SciFi Mystery Romance

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Mystery, action, and romance. Elliot and his friends woke up in a cave they had been exploring to find 50 years had passed and the world as they knew it was gone. This is more SciFi than post-apocalyptic as significant time has passed since the upheaval. It’s not so much about survival as the mystery of what happened to the world and these men. We don’t get the answer in this first novel, just clues. But it’s not a cliffhanger. Subsequent novels in the series take up the mystery with other couples as the main characters.

The beginning drew me in with a sense of mystery, making me want to understand what was going on. It’s not an action start but a teaser start – a creepy feeling. We aren’t given a load of backstory at the beginning. The setting and action slowly revealed the state of the world. Great writing with quick pacing kept me reading. Little things like new slang words and names not matching the genders they are currently most often assigned to helped add realism to the future setting.

There were good action scenes, very good descriptions of the environment, good world building, and some humor to relieve the tension. The women are strong and don’t wait for the men to save them. I don’t want to give too much away, so suffice to say I adored Jade’s action during the climactic action scenes.

3rd close, past tense. Chapters from different characters, most from the mains, but a few from secondary characters. We also get some journal entries written by a secondary character at the beginning of the upheaval. I liked the glimpses of the beginning.

Occasional foul language. Significant violence. There are some graphic sex scenes. A lot of it is described with scatterings of verbs or adjectives in a poetic way.

No cheating, OW/OM drama, or nonconsent.  HFN

Error count: 11 – Pretty good. These were missing, extra, or misspelled words and missing punctuation marks. Commas are not routinely missing, so I marked where they were for a total of 38 missing commas. Head-hopping occurs in only one chapter.

Overall, I really liked this. I don’t see myself wanting to re-read it, so 4 stars. I am going to read the next in the series.

Dating in the Apocalypse The Complete Series – Christopher John Chater

Hilarious Apocalyptic Comedy

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I’ve never seen comedy mixed with an apocalypse before, but it works for me! I smiled, giggled, and laughed out loud in every chapter if not every page.

Tom Collins is a hetero metro badass trying to find the love of his life or at least have a little fun at the end of the world and doing it with style. A virus has killed off most of humanity, and New York City is in chaos. But you can’t let a little thing like an apocalypse get you down or stop you from showing a pretty girl a good time! Comedy, mystery, action, and love, this has it all.

No cliffhanger with the complete series. I found the ending satisfying, especially because Tom’s hair was perfectly styled! I loved the fashion angle and that it continued throughout. The women are all strong characters, and Tom’s mom is the best. They don’t wait around for a man to save them.

1st person past tense all from Tom, OW drama. No graphic sex scenes. Occasional foul language. I usually review romance and initially thought from the title it would be one, but it’s not a classic “romance”. We don’t really get to know the one Tom chooses. Their on-screen time together is limited.

Favorite Quotes:

Grammar: Routinely missing commas between two independent clauses and if, then statements. Filled with unnecessary dialogue tags. A few extremely long sentences and paragraphs. Other than that, the error count is 8 – not bad!

I received a free ebook in exchange for an honest review.

Skin (Flesh Series Book 2) – Kylie Scott

Post-apocalyptic dark romance with zombies

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is the second book in the Flesh Series. I gave the first, Flesh, four stars as well. I enjoyed this one just as much. Flesh was a ménage, but Skin is a dark romance. Nick buys Roslyn and chains her to the bed in the beginning. There is some nonconsensual kissing and touching but no rape. He didn’t want to keep her chained up forever and was hoping he wouldn’t have to resort to that, but she cracked his head open with a wine bottle as soon as he got her home. Watching these two sort out their differences was entertaining and often made me laugh.

Nick was not a bad guy. He was just in a bad situation and made some mistakes. He is an alpha male but not over the top. I liked that Roslyn was strong, didn’t give in to Nick right away, and had the guts to stand up to baddies. The sex scenes were hot. The action scenes were well written and paced without too much gore in the book overall.

Just like Flesh, the story grabbed me from the start. There isn’t too much backstory at the front. It is set in Australia, but if it wasn’t explicitly stated, I wouldn’t have known. There is no dialect speech, not a lot of “mate”s and such. Just a little flavor thrown in.

M/F, no cheating, no OW/OM drama, contains several graphic sex scenes, contains a bit of foul language and a good dose of violence, standalone, HFN.

Error count: 11. There are many comma splices (sentences with two independent clauses joined with a comma but not a conjunction). It happened so often that I have accepted this as style. I’m not a fan of the style, but that’s probably because my brain keeps yelling, “Error!” while I’m trying to enjoy the story. I do think it may add to the fast pacing.

Favorite Quotes:

“He was a beast, an animal reeking of sweat and ready to pounce, rock hard and hurting. His hard-on gave Godzilla a run for its money. If he swung it about, Tokyo would be leveled.”

“Men were such complicated creatures. Women were so much more straightforward.”

Flesh – Kylie Scott

Hot post-apocalyptic ménage romance with zombies

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I love The Walking Dead and Z Nation TV series, but I generally prefer post-apocalyptic novels without zombies. That said, I did enjoy this. It is a post-apocalyptic ménage romance with zombies.

Ali has been holing up in an attic since the zombie apocalypse started. When she runs out of food, she goes foraging in empty houses. There she finds Dan and points her shotgun at him.

This novel started out with a whoosh instead of a lot of backstory, which I enjoyed very much. The action kept on going, with the zombies and other humans and in the bedroom. It contains several graphic sex scenes, M/F and M/F/M, because along the way, they meet Finn. I loved the characters in this, especially Dan, who is very funny. This novel made me laugh out loud a few times. I liked that they are in their 30s and 40s. I also loved that Ali is a strong woman. She helps herself, fighting back instead of waiting to be saved. She’s no annoying damsel in distress!

It is set in Australia, but if it wasn’t explicitly stated, I wouldn’t have known. There is no dialect speech, not a lot of “mate”s and such. Just a little flavor thrown in.

Everything is totally consensual. There is no cheating or OW/OM drama. It contains foul language. There is lots of sex and quite a bit of violence. For a zombie story, I wouldn’t say it was gory.

I thought it was well written with good pacing. I caught only 6 outright errors, which is fantastic. There are many comma splices (sentences with two independent clauses joined with a comma but not a conjunction). It happened so often that I have accepted this as style. I’m not a fan of the style, but that’s probably because my brain keeps yelling, “Error!” while I’m trying to enjoy the story. I do think it may add to the fast pacing.

If you like ménage and zombies, I recommend it. I plan on reading the next in the series, Skin. This is a standalone novel but part of a series, with different characters in each book.