So, as you know, I'm not doing a ton of romance novel reviews these days. I have my reasons, but that doesn't mean I'll NEVER review again. In fact, here are some lightning-quick reviews for books I've read recently:
The Mindf*ck series by ST Abby
My review: Look, if this one hadn't been recommended to me by an author I adore, I probably would've ignored it. I mean, the covers for this series are...off-putting. But I buzzed through this series in 2 days and I'm so glad I did. It's not going to be for everyone (it is, after all, about a female serial killer out for revenge on those who hurt her falling for the FBI profiler who is investigating her kills), but it is dark, twisty, and EVER SO engaging. If you're a fan of romance that's not afraid to get gritty, then I recommend taking a look at this series. (Each book in the series is short. Reading all 5 is not a huge time commitment.) Rating: 3 out of 5 for heat, and 4.5 out of 5 overall.
Abducted by Bella Klaus
My review: I liked the cover, OK? That's why I downloaded the book, even though the blurb left me a little cold. This is a Hades/Persephone retelling, but with really intricate and often confusing world building. There was magic and all manner of supernatural creatures, and all that would've been OK if the writing was really great, but overall, it felt rushed and frankly, a little weird. I started frowning at the 2% mark of the story where the heroine was comparing her 34DD breasts to the breasts of her small-chested friend and didn't stop frowning until I deleted the book from my Kindle. Rating for heat: Unknown. I didn't get to any sexy times. DNF at 10%.
Remembering Ivy by Claire Kingsley
My review: This is a very emotional read about a lonely heroine (Ivy) who meets a mysterious man (William) with no past. He knows things about her that it's just not possible for anyone to know--and if she didn't know better, she'd say he was stalking her. But the truth of who William is and how he knows so much about Ivy is INCREDIBLY interesting and not something I've ever read about before. That alone would make me give the book a 5-star rating, but then there's William to consider. He's pretty damned delightful and has definitely earned a spot of honor on my "favorite book boyfriends of all time" list. Do yourselves a favor and give this one a read. Heat level: 3.5 out of 5, and overall rating: 5 out of 5.
Crushing on my Billionaire Best Friend by Jolie Day
My review: The heroine's house burns down, so she's forced to stay with her billionaire best friend for a while. She's had a crush on him for years, and he's, of course, totally clueless. She's also the smart, nerdy, frizzy-haired friend, and he's the charming playboy type. For once, I'd like to see one of these types of stories where the woman is self-assured and knows she's attractive. Or, what about we have a hot, sexually free heroine and a nerdy, frizzy-haired, billionaire hero who has been pining for years? Overall, I just couldn't get excited about this one because it all felt so cliched...and it made me think this was written for the sole purpose of squeezing highly searched Amazon keywords into the title, so I DNF'd at about 30%. Heat rating: Unknown. I didn't get that far. Overall rating: DNF.
Flirting with the Rockstar Next Door by Nadia Lee
My review: Romance author with writer's block gets "inspired" by her rockstar next-door neighbor. Overall, the writing was fine. I liked the hero OK. But the heroine...man, she was a piece of work. Rude, and hateful at times, selfish, and just generally unpleasant. Now, y'all know I don't mind a prickly, grumpy heroine. But this one (whose name I honestly can't remember...sorry) crossed the line between snarky/grumpy right on over into unlikeable territory. The hero also made lots of interal comments about the heroine's disheveled appearance that I didn't care for. (I mean, are people who work at home REALLY supposed to do their hair and put on makeup? Why???) I DNF'd at 30% and never looked back. Heat level: I dunno. Didn't hang in there that long. Overall rating: DNF.