Category Archives: Review

Crossing the Line – Joy Slaughter

Great EMS Romance

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Crossing the Line grabbed me and held on. It’s a story about building trust, not only with others but with yourself. With trust, comes love. It’s a romance between a man and a woman, but it’s also about both of them rebuilding themselves to be capable of giving and receiving love after life has broken them down.

The setting for this is the Emergency Medical Services, and it’s compelling. EMS is a completely new world for me, and I loved it. So you won’t need to know anything going in to enjoy it. It’s certainly not just for EMS workers or those who know them. My curiosity compelled me to Google several things, but it wasn’t necessary. It felt like reading science fiction or watching a medical drama, where I trust the characters know what they’re talking about or doing when I don’t. I found several things shocking, like the work hours. I found all of the little details interesting.

Both Megan and Nathan are complex, interesting characters. They have their strong and weak moments. They do good, bad, wise, and stupid things, and I liked them. I hated Todd and wanted to torture him slowly, so he’s a very good bad guy. The supporting characters provided flavor and were memorable, even a radiologist who only appears for a page (See? I remember her!)

The writing is very good, fast paced and entertaining throughout. We are shown instead of told. We don’t get a load of backstory at the start. Many things are slowly revealed with hints, like light slaps to the face, telling us something is not okay.

I liked the occupational slang and that it wasn’t dumbed down or explained to the reader, even if I didn’t understand it. It gave me that fly on the wall feeling of realism.

A staccato rhythm of thoughts and feelings, leaving sentence structure behind, is used to convey indescribable terror and pain in a very credible way. This is how the mind works, or doesn’t work, when we can’t deal.

I also laughed out loud many times. The humor is great at relieving tension, just as it is in life, and keeps this from being a depressing read. It made me sad, angry, hopeful, shocked, proud, amused – It made me feel!

Favorite quotes:

Past tense. 3rd person close to both Megan and Nathan but no head-hopping.

Sections are separated with time and place headings. I find this format difficult to follow at times, needing to flip back to see how much time passed.

Almost clean romance – no graphic sex scenes. What is shown is camera obscura or high-level lens.

No cheating or OW/OM drama.

Triggers: Verbal and physical abuse and rape, not graphically described. Some other violence and medical gore. Suicidal ideation.

Occasional foul language.

Grammar was great for most of this. I was reading an ARC and sent what I did find to the author. Fellow grammar curmudgeon’s need not beware.

Sort of HEA but definitely a satisfying ending. No cliffhanger.

Loved it. Would I want to read it again? Yes! So 5 stars. I highly recommend this!

Dating in the Apocalypse The Complete Series – Christopher John Chater

Hilarious Apocalyptic Comedy

⭐⭐⭐⭐

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.

More than Survival: A Post-apocalyptic Love Story – Camryn Lynn

Post-apocalypse is just a backdrop for this set of sex scenes

I didn’t enjoy this. It has many positive reviews, so I wasn’t expecting to be so disappointed. I’m a huge fan of post-apocalyptic romance, especially those with some smut in them. But this just didn’t do it for me.

There isn’t much world building here. The story doesn’t leave the cabin. Uncle Seamus disappears and Sawyer appears. Nothing else happens besides sex. There really isn’t a plot here. A post-apocalypse is just a backdrop for this set of sex scenes

There was too much sex, and I found the sex scenes unrealistic and somewhat boring. There was barely any dialogue during the sex scenes. The dialogue is usually my favorite part and what makes a sex scene hot for me. I didn’t find any of these hot.

I didn’t like how ignorant Lucy was about sex. At 18, she hadn’t learned the basics and had never tried touching herself. This is difficult to believe. I hated that she tried to get pregnant on purpose to keep Sawyer with her and that after she had decided she wanted to wait, he decided to chance it. There was never a discussion about having children.

I never connected with Lucy. She was a survivor and able to take care of herself, hunting, cooking, chopping wood, etc. But she didn’t feel emotionally strong. She was lonely, and her focus was on keeping Sawyer happy so he would stay. I got the impression that if she hadn’t been lucky and some abuser had come along instead of a nice guy, she would have accepted the abuse to not be alone.

Fortunately, Sawyer was a nice guy. I didn’t feel that Sawyer was a developed character either. We never get his point of view or learn much about him. Both characters were unrealistically beautiful and perfect.

I hated that it ended on a cliffhanger. We never find out what happened to Seamus or if Sawyer returns. Near the end, I was so bored that I started skimming, looking for something to happen, and then it ended abruptly. I thought there was much more to the story because I was only at about 70%, but the rest is another novella. So turned out I had started skimming during what should have been the climax of the novel. Not good.

Error count: 12 before I started skimming in Chapter 8. 4 in the Prologue, but they became less frequent after.

M/F, no cheating, no OW/OM drama. 3rd close to h only, past tense. Lucy is a virgin, but Sawyer is not. His sexual history is not revealed.

Werewolf Cinderella – Amanda Milo

Cinderella done right! With the werewolves and laughter it always needed!

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Fairytale retellings aren’t my thing, but when I saw this was about werewolves, was written by Amanda Milo, and turned the stepmother around, I one-clicked it and read it right away. No regrets! This was awesome! I’ve loved everything Amanda Milo has written. She has a great sense of humor and fast paced writing style that hits all the right notes for me.

This started off in a unique way, grabbing me and holding me with the second start. The young people’s sexual exploration was hilariously written. It’s so funny but probably accurate! Poor sheltered humans for centuries trying to figure sex out on their own without any information at all. Ugh! Amanda Milo really depicted this well!

I loved how the old fairytale was turned around like the mean stepmother and stepsisters. The references to other fairytales were also great. I promise, even if fairytales aren’t your thing either, you’ll love this!

SAFE, M/F, no cheating, no OM/OW drama, bit of violence, occasional foul language, HEA. First person present tense. Graphic sex scenes.

This was 98 pages – a quick read I read in a few hours.

Error count: 2 – Amazing!

Favorite Quotes:

“My heart is so easy for him. It flops beneath him like a besotted puppy, wanting all the belly rubs.”

“When questioned about my strange behaviors, I claimed I was suffering from an onset of menses madness. Evidently, everyone everywhere is willing to accept this as explanation enough for an eighteen-year-old lass like myself to change moods at the speed water rushes past in a brook.”

““Let me drive this pony,” Gareth orders hoarsely. “After all, I’ve handled this sword all my life. You’re liable to stab yourself.””

Skin (Flesh Series Book 2) – Kylie Scott

Post-apocalyptic dark romance with zombies

⭐⭐⭐⭐

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.”

Pursuit – Lynda Chance

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Hot! Jealous, protective, possessive alpha male but no pain (spanking, BDSM, etc)

Lynda Chance is one of my all-time favorite authors. There hasn’t been a Lynda Chance story that I haven’t loved, but this might be my favorite.

Lynda writes dominant alpha males, possessive, jealous, caveman instincts, but no pain (spanking, BDSM, etc.), no cheating ever, no OM/OW drama, no abuse (verbal, emotional, or physical). These men are only controlling in the bedroom, about safety issues, and about getting their woman. They don’t try to isolate or keep their women dependent on them financially.

Logan gets hit by the thunderbolt when he sees Lauren in a coffee shop, and he refuses to accept her rejection. He works at her with single-minded purpose to make her his!

Logan is an OTT alpha male that says and does everything right for me. Lauren is a strong woman who can handle him. I laughed out loud several times and like to re-read this every few years.

This one is SAFE. As in all her books, there is no cheating, OW/OM drama, or love triangle. This one doesn’t even have dubious consent or a virgin h. So I recommend it for everyone without reservation! I think this might be Lynda’s favorite too because she revisits this couple with three short stories. This novel is a standalone with a HEA. The shorts are slice of life, further adventures of, type stories.

Favorite Quotes:

“He’d have her, and sooner, rather than later, if he had his way about it. She was like the proverbial Little Red Riding Hood, taking one step too close to the Big, Bad Wolf.  And when she did, he’d have her. And that would be that.”

“He showed no signs of even being interested in other women. Like, she didn’t think he even registered that there were other women alive. Like there were no other women but her living on the planet.”

The only problem with grammar I found was missing commas between two independent clauses joined by a conjunction. It happened regularly but not consistently, making them mistakes rather than a style choice. Most readers may not even notice the issue.

The short stories are, in order:

  • Temptation in Texas Logan and Lauren
  • Temptation in Texas: A Christmas Special
  • Logan and Lauren: A Valentine’s Special

Flesh – Kylie Scott

Hot post-apocalyptic ménage romance with zombies

⭐⭐⭐⭐

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.