Ice Cream Castles Review

Ice Cream Castles
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Ice Cream Castles is a short novel by Clarke Collins. Naomi is a woman in her late 40s who has given up on looking for love. Her boyfriend Ray had proposed to her, but then his wife showed up at her front door and ruined that relationship. Now, she focuses on running her frozen yogurt place Scoopy’s. When a rude customer comes in one day, she hopes that she never sees him again. But soon, Eli walks back into her life, and they start to talk to each other more. Soon, they find that they will be able to help each other in more ways than they could have originally dreamed of.

Usually I don’t go for age gap romances, and I didn’t think that this novel would be a romance at all when I first started it. Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised twice whilst reading. Not only is this age gap romance sweet, it is also so well-written that I couldn’t put it down.

Naomi is such a sad yet realistic character. She has had so many tragic things occur to her that she had just given up on having a happy life. She had resigned herself to simply going to work and coming home to an empty house, and she was trying to make herself okay with it. Then, Eli comes into her life. He has a fresh view of the world at only 30 years old, and he makes her see that things might not be over for her yet. She may have been able to get herself out of her rut without Eli’s help, but Eli definitely forced her to see the bright side of things more often. Naomi forced Eli to see people as people more often and to not overlook people simply because of where they work. Originally, I hated the character because he was so rude to Naomi, but I eventually warmed up to him.

Clarke Collins does an excellent job of discussing the intricacies of an interracial relationship in this romance novel. Their relationship is going to be more difficult because of the age difference, and people may judge them more because Eli is white and Naomi is black. They also come from almost completely different walks of life. But this book discusses how they overcome these adversities and get closer to each other rather than driving one another away.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an interracial adult romance novel.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 books

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A Journey of Flames and Love Review (Hearts of Love and Faith #1)

A Journey of Flames and Love: Hearts of Love and Faith Series: Book 1

Have you ever honored the legacy of a loved one? Were you willing to do whatever it took to achieve that goal?

My mother was my world and it won’t be easy to find the Firebird which was her final wish. I’ve got fallen angels seeking the bird because they believe it to be a powerful weapon of chaos and ruin. And I’ve got a hunter on my trail trying to capture my heart. 

My name is Audry Duvessa. I’m a witch from the world Kimmeria. My world borders the Realm of Darkness. Before my mother died in the Civil War of Eight, she left me a letter detailing her last request.

Roei Shurwud is a hunter from the world Terradora. His world borders the Realm of Light. Hunters have dedicated their lives to protecting the light from darkness. They hunt magical beings such as me, as well as dark creatures such as vampires or werewolves. The hunter has chosen to join me on my quest. He feels guilty for causing my family to perish during the Civil War of Eight. Roei may have led the troops, but he didn’t fire the deadly shot. Someday, Roei must forgive himself.

I must find all seven of the Firebird’s tail feathers in three days before the fallen angel Apollo does. Legend states the Firebird is a weapon of chaos and ruin. Apollo and his lackeys want to seek revenge against God for kicking them out of heaven after the first holy war. Our world has become their battleground because God’s word is law here. So, the Fallen want to make a statement by destroying God’s creation. 

Now, it falls to me and Roei. I will complete the quest and honor my mother’s legacy. And together, we must stop Apollo from destroying the worlds with darkness.


I was so excited to read this book that I read the entire thing in one sitting. This book is a whirlwind tale of love, war, and adventure as Audrey races against time with Roei in order to try to get all of the Firebird’s feathers in time.

The story starts with Audrey’s parents’ death. Roei and Audrey were both younger here, and they were fighting on different sides of the war. This was probably my favorite overall part of the book, as I really got to understand what Audrey was a part of. It was sad to see her have to watch her parents die, but I was glad that I got to see it from both Audrey and Roei’s perspectives.

Unfortunately, there were many things that I ended up not liking about this story. For starters, it was too fast. One minute we were talking about Audrey’s parents dying, the next we are talking about her trying to find three kids from her ex-husband and 20-30 years have gone by. And I didn’t even figure out that 20-30 years had passed until the end of the story where the ages of the children started to add up. This is a rather large timeskip for a book that is only around 134 pages long.

I felt that this was more of an insta-love story rather than a gradual buildup, which was a bit confusing. This should have been more of a hate to love gradual story or series, but it just wasn’t. Enemies to lovers in a few minutes.

The action scenes in this book were fairly suspenseful. A few were really too short, but most kept me on the edge of my seat. This did keep me interested until the end, and I still enjoyed the overall story.

Overall, I think that this book could have been amazing if the author would flesh it out a little bit and not make the characters move as fast. For now, it is still a pretty good novella, but it could be great.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review. 

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 books

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Fields of Fire Review

Fields of Fire (The Nissera Chronicles, #1.5)Across the land, the powerful sorceresses Bristal and Tamarice are marshalling their armies, readying for a climactic battle to decide the fate of their world. But in a hay-filled barn far off in the countryside, a small group of spies led by a courageous young warrior named Drell is about to launch an offensive in order to root out the identity of a shadowy alchemist. If Drell’s team is successful, one of Tamarice’s most dangerous accomplices will be destroyed. If they fail, the sorceress will come into possession of a weapon that could turn the tide of the war against them. Drell knows everything must play out perfectly for their mission to be successful, but even she cannot fathom the depths of the alchemist’s cruelty—or the sacrifices her own spies are willing to make to stop him…

In Kingdom of Ash and Briars, West wove together classic fairy tale motifs with her own lyrical prose and captivating characters to introduce the world of Nissera and the sorcerous powers battling over it. In Fields of Fire, we see another facet of that war—fought by ordinary women and men as well as powerful Elicromancers—setting the stage for Realm of Ruins… in which the peaceful future Drell and Bristal fought for so fiercely is threatened by a powerful enemy from the distant past.

I’m not truly sure how to even describe this novella? It was a nice short story, but it didn’t really add anything to the series for me. I didn’t remember most of the characters, even though some were from the previous novel. It was also far too short for me to really get any sort of story feel. I didn’t read the synopsis before reading this short story at the end of book 1, so I read it blind. When I read the synopsis when preparing to write this short review, I thought that I was reading the synopsis of a completely different book. It was so confusing.

I flew through the 20 pages, and then it was over. I’m not going to give this a rating, as I feel that maybe I missed something while reading this? But I am not going to try and reread this and make out some sort of a story. I still plan to read Realm of Ruins though, as this is a prequel to that book, and maybe I will enjoy it more!

Dragon Night Blog Tour Plus Review

 

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About DRAGON NIGHT:

New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant brings you another sizzling Dark Kings novella.

Governed by honor and ruled by desire

There has never been a hunt that Dorian has lost. With his sights sent on a relic the Dragon Kings need to battle an ancient foe, he won’t let anything stand in his way – especially not the beautiful owner. Alexandra is smart and cautious. Yet the attraction between them is impossible to deny – or ignore. But is it a road Dorian dares to travel down again?

With her vast family fortune, Alexandra Sheridan is never without suitors. No one is more surprised than she when the charming, devilish Scotsman snags her attention. But the secrets Dorian holds is like a wall between them until one fateful night when he shares everything. In his arms she finds passion like no other – and a love that will transcend time. But can she give her heart to a dragon??

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**

Add DRAGON NIGHT to your Goodreads TBR here!

Purchase your copy of DRAGON NIGHT today!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

My Review

Dorian never wanted to deal with humans again. He didn’t know how he would control himself around them, he just wanted to kill them all and avenge the ones he has lost. But when he is sent on a mission to collect an artifact from a human, he knows he cannot fail. It is just so hard for him to control his anger, but then he meets Alex. She calms him down in a way no one else can and actually manages to convince him that humans might not be so bad. Now, they must work together to figure out who is trying to destroy the Dragon Kings.

This book may have been called a novella, but it felt like a full-length novel. Dorian was such a tragic character who had lost so much and isolated himself, he definitely deserved to have someone like Alex in his life. Alex had also been through her own share of hardships, and Dorian really allowed her to move past that.

This book’s plot moves smoothly, and there was far more character development than I had expected for a novella. I fell in love with both characters by the time I was done with the novel, and I know you will too. Alex is a determined young woman and Dorian is a troubled young man who needs someone to take the time and love him. There were no editing errors or grammar errors in this advanced copy of the book I received.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a new dragon-shifter romance novel that includes some Highlander romance themes. It seems like a strange mash-up, but I promise you that it works by the end!

I received an advance copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

 

BOOK TRAILER

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About DONNA GRANT

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Donna Grant has been praised for her “totally addictive” and “unique and sensual” stories. Her latest acclaimed series, Dark Kings, features a thrilling combination of dragons, Fae, and immortal Highlanders who are dark, dangerous, and irresistible. She lives with her two children and an assortment of animals in Texas.
Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Goodreads

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner Review (Twilight 3.5)

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner (Twilight, #3.5)Bree Tanner can barely remember life before she had uncannily powerful senses, superhuman reflexes, and unstoppable physical strength. Life before she had a relentless thirst for blood…life before she became a vampire.

All Bree knows is that living with her fellow newborns has few certainties and even fewer rules: watch your back, don’t draw attention to yourself, and above all, make it home by sunrise or die. What she doesn’t know: her time as an immortal is quickly running out.

Then Bree finds an unexpected friend in Diego, a newborn just as curious as Bree about their mysterious creator, whom they only know as her. As they come to realize that the newborns are pawns in a game larger than anything they could have imagined, Bree and Diego must choose sides and decide whom to trust. But when everything you know about vampires is based on a lie, how do you find the truth?

I was not expecting to like this book more than the normal Twilight series, but I did. I definitely did. Bree and Diego were “raised” by Riley. They weren’t taught how to be proper vampires. They were obsessed with bloodlust, thought that they couldn’t go out in the sun, and had their limbs ripped off as part of his sick games. The future looked bleak, but it was the only thing that they had ever known. They had barely any memory of their human lives, and those who remembered something didn’t remember anything good.

Bree and Diego found solace in each other in the midst of their living hell, and I truly loved both characters. They both had truly unique backstories, even if they were dulled by the venom haze, and they had to become strong in order to survive Riley’s “training.” I didn’t know whether or not this was going to be a story that focused on romance, but it didn’t focus on it. Instead, it used it as a way to show how close the two were growing together. But to me, they seemed to be more like friends than a couple. But their romance was definitely healthier than Bella and Edward’s in the main series.

The characters in this story were just full of life. In the Twilight trilogy they were painted to be the villains, but here, they seemed to be the victims. They never wanted to be changed, Riley just preyed on their situations to trick them into coming with him. They weren’t gifted with powers like many of the “special” Twilight characters, they were simply normal vampires who were “evil” because they decided to drink from humans.

By the end of the story, which wasn’t even that short, I wanted the two to succeed. I wanted them to live happy lives and get to be married and immortal. But of course, as we knew from Eclipse, this could never happen. The “heroes” had to win, and the “villains” had to lose.

Overall, this definitely opened my eyes to how the Twilight universe truly worked. It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for these characters, not everyone in this universe had the chance to live “happily ever after” with their “true love.” There had to be some sadness for Bella and Edward to succeed, and this novella showed who paid the price for their happiness.

I would recommend this book to anyone who has already read Eclipse in the Twilight series, or who has already read the entire series. To be honest, I might even recommend it to those who haven’t even touched the Twilight series. It is good enough that I would definitely read it on its own.

Overall Rating: 6 out of 5 stars

The Redeemed (The Almosts #3)

The Redeemed: A Snowverse Novella (The Almosts, #3)Fiona has returned from the dead, just as Kara had finally been able to find peace with herself for killing her. Kara has to complete a mission for Moira, but most of the team is planning on retiring. This is going to be their toughest mission yet, but Kara can’t even focus due to Fiona’s return.

I have had my ups and downs with this series, but I definitely liked this ending. Kara is finally able to talk to Fiona about what happened in Book 1. She is able to truly get over that event, and lose at least some of the guilt. She doesn’t feel like a murderer since Fiona survived, but now she has to learn how to work with a woman that she already tried to kill.

This was also my favorite book in the series because it relates more to the rest of Snowverse. Finally, I was able to see how the characters and stories truly lined up, as these events are almost parallel to some of those in the main Freya Snow series and the Lady Caroline series. I was happy to see some old faces, and I was also glad to see how the new faces in the other series made their way onto the team.

This also felt like one of the shortest books in the trilogy, even though it wasn’t, which was sad because I actually wanted to learn more about these characters. I had struggled through the first few books, but just as the characters started to become likable to me, the series was over. I hope to see some of them in future books!

I won’t spoil too much, but this was definitely a good trilogy that I would recommend to Snowverse fanatics like me. If you are new, I suggest that you read the Freya Snow series up to the current novel and then get started on these novellas, just so that you don’t spoil anything for yourself.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Flip the Beat Blog Tour Plus Review

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Roxanne D. Howard will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

WHEN YOU WISH UPON A STAR

Molly Ivers thought she found Prince Charming, but without a devilishly sexy accent, and six months ago she gave into their undeniable attraction. But the swarm of ever-present groupies was so not part of the fairy tale. As much as it hurt her heart, she shut out rocker Evan Castle.Mbr>

Now, on the verge of finishing her graduate degree and moving to Paris—she even hires a French life coach—Molly begins to realize Evan, who hasn’t given up on her, might be the man of her dreams after all.

My Review

Even though this was mostly a smutty romance without a ton of plot, I still got to know Molly and Evan enough to see their chemistry. Unlike some other romance stories where the characters instantly fall in love and stay together forever, this couple stayed away from each other for 6 months. Molly tried to date other guys in that time, but she had such bad experiences that she fell for Evan even harder the second time around.

There wasn’t that much character development as the story was fairly short, but it was interesting to see how Evan and Molly had changed in the six-month period.

The setting was also fairly unique, as Molly is a successful woman who wants to move to France and Evan is a mysterious guitarist in a small band. It seemed rather strange that Evan’s band was small, but he had a lot of groupies that caused them to separate at the start of the novel. Do the lead singers in small bands really have that many groupies while still playing at small bars and restaurants?

Also, I thought that this entire issue could have been worked out if they just had a real discussion about the groupies before separating. They seemed to be good at talking to each other after the six months were up, but these communication issues could still be “present” in the relationship since the story showed only a small part of it.

The only weak thing that I had really noticed besides the lack of communication was the “damsel in distress” scene. Almost all short romance novels have at least one, and I never really get mad at them for having it. However, most of them have a little bit of a unique quirk to the “villain” that shows up as a little bit of hero action for the main male character. This “villain” just seemed rather unimportant to the story, and it made the “hero” scene just seem random and a bit cheesy.

Other than this, I had no issues with the book. The plot flowed well, steamy scenes were steamy, and it was just a nice quick afternoon read for me. I would recommend this novel to anyone looking for a new adult romance short story.

I received an advance copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Read an Excerpt:

“Thanks, guys.” Evan’s smooth voice came over the mic while the guitar music died. “We’re gonna take a quick break, but we’ll be back in ten, so stick around.” He hopped off the low stage to scattered applause and whistles. Molly schooled the smirk on her face as he sidled past the flirting girls and made his way toward their table.

“Well, well, well, if it isn’t the Wonder Twins, TWT, Inc.”

He slid into the empty space beside Molly in the booth. She exchanged an amused look with Nell. He’d christened them with the moniker upon moving in. They were never Nell and Molly, but Fischer and Ivers, TWT. Their eye color, skin, and facial features couldn’t be more different, but they were both the same height, petite-figured, and had wide, generous mouths and lots of hair.

“So, where’s the right-wing Republican boyfriend tonight?” he asked.

He stretched his arm over the back of Molly’s seat in a casual way. His forefinger grazed the edge of her earlobe, and a pleasant shiver ran through her.

“I thought you two were attached at the hip.”

Molly went silent and looked at her drink. Great, here it came.

“They broke up,” Nell chipped in.

Molly gave her a look of mock gratitude from across the table as Evan turned to her in surprise. His sexy hazel eyes searched hers. She waited for one of his classic Evan Castle comments, but the solemnity in his expression told her he wouldn’t give any.

He whistled low. “Sorry, Ivers, that sucks. You guys were together for a while.”

She hid her cringe as she took another sip of her drink. “Yeah…” Gulp, gulp, uncomfortable silence.

The drummer in Evan’s band called over to him, and Evan told him he’d be right there. He rapped his knuckles on the table and flashed them both a flirty smile.

“Well, Ivers,” he said as he slid out of the booth. “You’ll have a lot of attention to deal with, now that you’re back in the jungle with the rest of us primates. Do me a favor, eh, and don’t forget to put a bag over your head when you go out from now on, or you’ll have every guy in the room at your feet and beating down your door. Then I’ll never be able to talk to you.” He gave her a cheeky wink and walked off.

Molly turned crimson. Nell mouthed, Wow! as she put her palm over heart, and her jaw dropped open. They watched him walk off.

“What a compliment and a half! I did wonder why you two never got together. He always looks at you like he’s about to walk you against a wall and have at you.”

“What? No, he looks at all the girls like that. He’s just sweet and being a total flirt.” Molly waved it off, but her heartbeat accelerated as she remembered when he had, indeed, taken her against a wall their third time the night they’d spent together.

About the Author:

Roxanne D. Howard writes sizzling erotic romance with Boroughs Publishing Group and The Wild Rose Press. She is a U.S. Army veteran, and a Columbia College alumni. She loves to read poetry, classical literature, and Stephen King. Also, she is an avid Star Wars fan, musical theater nut, and marine biology geek. Roxanne resides in the western U.S., and when she’s not writing, she enjoys spending quality time with her husband, children, and furry companions. Roxanne loves to hear from her readers, and encourages you to contact her via her website and social media.

Check out the Official Book Trailer on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faxzY55-rqk

Follow Roxanne’s book releases over the next six months. Be sure to add the books to your TBR pile!

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Switch Review

SwitchGreg is starting to worry about his friend Kyle, who seems to have made a habit of sleeping with a different man every night. He doesn’t want him to get hurt, and he doesn’t want Kyle to hurt himself by drinking too much and getting into trouble. Usually when things get like this, Greg tries to help Kyle get back on his feet. Now, Kyle is rejecting his help and seems to be hiding something. If this secret got out, it could change both of their lives forever. If Kyle continues to be secretive, their relationship could be permanently damaged.

For a short novella, this had a lot of different story elements. I don’t want to spoil anything, but the secret was definitely interesting to find out.

There was even a bit of character development in this 30-page novel, as the two boys learn things about each other that they had never known before.

My only true complaint was that the novel was so short! This was truly an interesting storyline that I would have liked to see expanded upon, but instead, it is limited by the number of pages. I would have liked to learn more about Greg and Kyle’s relationship before these events, and how it changed after they occurred.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a short read that will draw them in and tell a fun tale.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

New Enemies Review (Discordant Earth Series)

New Enemies (The Discordant Earth Series, #0.25)

The year is 2020 and 14-year-old  Bas is drafted into the military with his best friend, Becky. The war seems hopeless until aliens arrive to stop it. Now, Bas must reunite with his family and learn how to find a home in this wartorn world.

I haven’t read a Melony Paradise book before (I think?) but this book definitely set my expectations high! The pacing was perfect and I was drawn into the storyline completely, which is hard to do in a book that is only 88 pages. I hope to be able to read the rest of the Discordant Earth series soon! I am not sure if Bas will be included in the other books, but I hope he is because I definitely fell in love with his character.

I received this book for free and voluntarily gave a review!

Overall Rating: 5/5

Mother’s Misfortune Review (Perrault Chronicles 1.4)

Mother’s Misfortune

This short story is about Rilla’s stepmother and stepsisters, and what happens to them after Rilla is gone. I won’t spoil this short story, but I definitely enjoyed the stepmother being less of a one-dimensional character like she is in the fairytale and actually being given an interesting backstory. The mother and daughters go on a journey over land and sea, and we get to see more of their true colors shine through.

My only complaint about this story was that it was a little on the short side. Even though it is a novelette, I found myself being so drawn into the story that I wanted to see more of the stepsisters and their mother’s storyline. I always feel that fairytale retellings forgot them, but this one didn’t and I enjoyed every minute of the backstory.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5