Erotica, New Adult, New Adult Romance

Exodus (The Ravenhood #2): by Kate Stewart

Publish Date: July 31st, 2020
Number of Pages: 450 Pages
Publisher: Independently Published
Genre(s): New Adult Romance, Erotica

***Warning! This book contains spoilers from the previous book in the series, so continue reading at your own risk! You’ve officially been warned!***

To see my review of book #1 – Flock – Click HERE

Total Star Rating: 4.5 Stars

Until we meet again. Until we can feel the rain on both our faces. There has to be a time for us in the next life. I don’t want any part of a heaven where I don’t see you.

– Kate Stewart, “Exodus”

What It’s About:

The official synopsis:

Can you live a lie?

It’s a ghost town, this place that haunts me, the one that made me.

It’s clear to me that I’ll never outgrow Triple Falls or outlive the time I spent here.

I can still feel them all, my boys of summer.

Even when I’d sensed the danger, I gave in.

I didn’t heed a single warning. I let my sickness, my love, both rule and ruin me. I played my part, eyes wide open, tempting fate until it delivered.

There was never going to be an escape.

All of us are to blame for what happened. All of us serving our own sentences. We were careless and reckless, thinking our youth made us indestructible, exempt from our sins, and it cost us all.

I’m done pretending I didn’t leave the largest part of me between these hills and valleys, between the sea of trees that hold my secrets.

It’s the reason I’m back. To make peace with my fate.

And if I can’t grieve enough to cure myself in my time here, I’ll remain sick. That will be my curse.

But it’s time to confess, to myself more so than any other, that I’d hindered my chances because of the way I was built, and because of the men who built me.

At this point, I just want to make peace with who I am, no matter what ending I get.

Because I can no longer live a lie.

~~~

dfgdfbh…

…That’s it.

That’s my review of this book.

No I’m totally kidding!

…But in all honesty, I have NEVER needed a cigarette more than after I read this book…or therapy. And lets be clear: I DON’T SMOKE CANCER STICKS, but after this book…… I get it now!

I couldn’t wrap my head around all that happens in this book and the emotions it all brought with it. I started reading these books to hopefully get over this reading slump I’m in, but little did I know I was going to put myself in an even WORSE book hangover after this book! Holy Moly….

The last time I remember feeling this whack after taking in some sort of media (movie, tv show, book, etc) was when I watched the infamous Tiger King documentary series on Netflix and couldn’t help but crazy laugh to myself at how crazy the story got and wonder what could possibly happen next and how things could possibly get worse, but they somehow do!

This book immediately picks up where “Flock” left off where Cecilia and us meet the big head honcho in charge of the operation: The Frenchman. Everything we thought we had figured out from the first book is completely out the window and everything has changed. Like you literally have no idea what to expect if you’re going off just the previous book. It’s so chaotic and mindboggling!

At this point it’s almost needless to say Cecilia’s (and YOUR) lives are flipped upside down.

Kate Stewart really surprised me with this one; the tone was a lot darker and instead of a seemingly normal new adult summer romance, this all of sudden turned into a dark mafia story…that’s all I’m going to say about that. Actually, I’m going to say just a little bit more because honestly, it’s hard to talk about this book without getting spoilery, so really I say go check out what I liked and disliked but beware of spoilers….

~~~

We love rainy days don’t we baby?

– Kate Stewart, “Exodus”

~~~

What I Liked:

  1. The Tone Got More Urgent & Dark! The tone in this sequel got a lot darker and things are moving at a much faster speed and overall just so much more is happening…so much so that it’s actually a lot to take in. More than I was honestly expecting. All of a sudden I’m reading a dark mafia romance and there’s worry of people getting shot! It was chaotic, but I liked it! I was definitely hooked!
  2. More Spice! Awwwwwww yeahhhhhh just what the dick-tor ordered! (I’ll see myself out for that one)
  3. The Story Goes So Deep and EVERYTHING is Connected! I was majorly impressed with how well Kate Stewart connected everything within the story and how literally ALL the characters had a specific role in how things played out. I love it when you discover that every character served a purpose like that, even if it doesn’t happen in present time within the book.

What I Didn’t Like:

  1. Weird How Dominic and Sean get Shafted…I liked Sean, and I was a sucker for Dom, but wow did I feel like they got the biggest brush-off in this book! The Frenchman, Tobias, swoops in and shakes things up even bigger than Rhysand did in A Court of Thorns and Roses, but luckily the two guys didn’t get reduced to being two Tamlins…still, I was hoping they’d play a bigger part in this book than what we actually got.
  2. That Death…It was definitely one of those scenes where I had to triple check I’d just read what I actually read…this reminded me of when I first read Finnick Odair’s death in Mockingjay and part of me was inwardly panicking as to what just happened and if it was somehow not true….but it was, and wow did it hurt right in the chest.
  3. I’m VERY Torn on Tobias…I’m just gonna start this one off and say that Tobias isn’t a good guy. And his relationship that develops with Cecilia is definitely toxic. I’m not sure if they’re actually meant to be, but damn does Kate Stewart write them to convince me that they are! Honestly, both of them are complete messes, but they certainly did have a unique kind of dynamic that I don’t see a whole lot of in books, so that was really refreshing! I loved the whole “hating you-to-loving you” dynamic with lots of spice. It was dark, but I was here for it. Tobias just was also a very unlikable character which is also interesting, and I was torn on whether I liked him or not. I both liked it and didn’t like it, but again, I did like how it kept me guessing on his motives and what his true feelings were. The romance genre is unfortunately a fairly predictable genre to read, so the fact that this book and this character were anything but did make me appreciate it more!

Conclusion:

Overall, I was not prepared for how much this book was going to sweep the rug out from underneath me! I was warned by my #bookstagram friends that it will tear me apart, to which I was cynical about, but I will say this book really took more out of me than I was expecting. I wasn’t a weeping ball of emotions on the floor, but I started these books to try and cure a reading slump I feel like I’ve been in this whole year, and little did I know that this one was going to put me into a whole other book hangover…But I can say I did really enjoy these and absolutely plowed through them like they were a fresh meal placed right in front of me and I hadn’t eaten in about a week!

It’s really hard to say “If you liked _________, then you’ll like these books too!” I can’t say I’ve ever read romance books quite like these before. I guess I should say if you’re not afraid of darker themes and the relationships somewhat–putting that mildly–toxic, and the characters VERY morally grey and not entirely likable, then this will be right up your alley! Good luck with therapy….

Thanks for Reading!

— Nick Goodsell

Erotica, New Adult, New Adult Romance

My Review: Flock (The Ravenhood #1): by Kate Stewart

Publish Date: July 27th , 2020
Number of Pages: 364 Pages
Publisher: Independently Published
Genre(s): New Adult Romance, Erotica

Total Star Rating: 4.5 Stars

The truth is, I do expect a lot out of my love story and the man I’ll share it with. I expect passion and butterflies, and one or two fairy tale moments. When we fight, I want it to hurt. When we fuck, I want to feel it with every fiber of my being. When a man confesses his love to me, I expect him to mean it. I don’t want to question the words’ authenticity. I want to be claimed and owned and ruled and possessed by love.

– Kate Stewart, “Flock”

What It’s About:

The official synopsis:

Can you keep a secret?

I grew up sick.⁣

Let me clarify.⁣

I grew up believing that real love stories include a martyr or demand great sacrifice to be worthy.⁣

Because of that, I believed it, because I made myself believe it, and I bred the most masochistic of romantic hearts, which resulted in my illness.⁣

When I lived this story, my own twisted fairy tale, it was unbeknownst to me at the time because I was young and naïve. I gave into temptation and fed the beating beast, which grew thirstier with every slash, every strike, every blow.⁣

Triple Falls wasn’t at all what it seemed, nor were the men that swept me under their wing. But in order to keep them, I had to be in on their secrets.⁣

Secrets that cost us everything to keep.⁣

That’s the novelty of fiction versus reality. You can’t re-live your own love story, because by the time you’ve realized you’re living it, it’s over. At least that was the case for me and the men I trusted my foolish heart to.⁣

Looking back, I’m convinced I willed my story into existence due to my illness.⁣

And all were punished.

~~~

Okay, so I can definitely see what the hype about with this book was all about!

I don’t remember when exactly, but it felt like not too long ago this trilogy made a big sweep into bookish social media and it was EVERYWHERE…so many people were all of a sudden talking about these books, but also how they tore open their chest and made them cry their eyes out and stole a piece of their soul….you know, normal stuff booklovers say. I even had friends send me pics of them bawling their eyes out from these books and I’m more like “okay……….consider me more intrigued!”

It was a fast read despite being a character-driven storyline; the fact that the main drive of the story is told through the perspective of the main character, and she’s constantly guessing what’s happening and is obviously being kept out of the loop on A LOT of things going on….and so of course, we as readers are too.

The story revolves around Cecilia moving to a small town named Triple Falls to move in with her estranged father. Things had been tense growing up as he’s abandoned her and her mother but suddenly wants to change all that and have her in his life. He is defs not winning any father of the year awards and remains cold and distant and even has her refer to him as “sir” whenever they actually speak amongst one another. Her father is the richest man in town and owns the largest factory where she’ll have to work for one whole year in order to get an inheritance and own the business herself one day. The reason she even decides to go with this ridiculous sounding plan is because her mom’s health is deteriorating, and Cecilia figures her father can pay them back for all he’s robbed them of since her birth.

Cecilia also meets two particular boys: Sean and Dominic. Sean is like a golden Cali-surfer boy without a care in the world, and Dominic at first feels like a very stereotypical teen romance love interest: stoic, broody, tall, dark, handsome, and a total asshole that the girl somehow still gets the hots for. Despite being polar opposites, both are drawn to Cecilia–oh and she’s feelin it too–and the book follows the three of them on what is an eventual summer for the three of them…in more ways than one!

The book was both intriguing and frustrating at the same time with the guessing, but I will admit it definitely keeps you wanting to read to see how the answers are laid out before you.

~~~

That’s the truth,’ I add, ‘people don’t want the brutal truth in love stories anymore, but that, there,’ I gesture at the screen, ‘is the brutal, ugly truth.’

– Kate Stewart, “Flock”

~~~

What I Liked:

  1. It Really Keeps You Guessing! The main drive of this story is that the author really does a wonderful job of keeping you out of the loop with what is all going down for so much of the story.
  2. The Characters! Cecilia had some sass to her, which I can appreciate! She was very typical feisty teen heroine, but that’s honestly okay with me! She was still likable which is the most important part for a main character for me. The author made me care about her and root for her in the end!
  3. The Spice! Insert pun about things heating up in the summer with this book! There’s a float scene that was very eyebrow raising and I wish more scenes like that appeared throughout!

What I Didn’t Like:

  1. Not Much of an Outer Plot Until End of Book…Until you reach the near end of the book and an outer plot is finally revealed to you, most of this book is very character driven with it being told by Cecilia’s perspective with plenty of guessing games, but @chan on Goodreads says it perfectly in her review: imagine if in Twilight when Edward is being all sketchy and shady and eventually reveals he’s a vampire…imagine if that was the end of the book and that’s kind of the situation here a little bit. Once the big reveal of Flock makes itself known, a lot of things start to make sense and things tie together and you become invested, but again…some readers might not enjoy that this doesn’t happen until 95% into the book.
  2. The Guessing Got Tedious…Part of you definitely becomes frustrated alongside Cecilia when over and over again she asks questions and she gets no answers, or a lot of it is simply left up in the air. Most of it is even with Sean, who even says he’s more open and honest than most people so that felt really contradictory, and I feel like maybe even the author does this a little too much to drive the fact home about how well kept the secrets are and how tightly knit it all is. Or maybe not…I’m kind of torn on it. I think I’m not too annoyed about it, but I can see other readers really turned off by this. I’ll admit I got frustrated, but more in the sense that kept me wanting to read and get answers, so in a way it works! I guess this critique depends on the type of reader you are…

Conclusion:

Overall, I easily got into this book and saw what the hype about it was! It kept me reading late into the night and can say I think this book is a great choice for anyone to read who is in a slump and just needs something to jolt themselves awake with their reading. It definitely did just that for me!

I was happy to say this book didn’t tear apart my insides and rip my heart from my chest and leave me a broken husk of a human…I’m still going strong!

Fair warning, there is a major cliffhanger at the end of the book so if you do start reading this, I do recommend having Exodus either close by or on the way in the mail because if you like this book, you’ll defs want to start the next one IMMEDIATELY!

Thanks for Reading!

— Nick Goodsell

Erotica, New Adult Romance, Paranormal

My Review: Tricky Princess (Tricky Magic #2) [ARC]

***ARC Review***
Publish Date: September 13th, 2022
Number of Pages: N/A
Publisher: Self Published
Genre(s): New Adult Romance, Paranormal, Erotica

***Warning!! This review contains spoilers to the previous book in the series, so continue reading at your own risk! You’ve officially been warned!!***

To see my full review of book #1 – Tricky Magic – Click HERE

Total Star Rating: 4.25 Stars

Even though she was sad, she had love. They whispered it to each other every morning and night and when they were wrapped around each other so deeply that their magic became one.”

– L.L. Campbell, “Tricky Princess”

What It’s About:

The official synopsis:

A Shadowborn Prince of Hel and a feared, all-powerful Trickster Witch will learn once again that not everything is as it seems in this second installment of the Tricky Magic series.

Travel to Hel with this steamy dark romance that has all your favorite things: Shadow play, supernaturals, loveable characters, and some tricky magic.

Rosier, crown prince and commander of Hel’s four armies, has been desperately avoiding his destiny as a ruler. When his father kidnaps Ellea, the Trickster Witch who gave him something worth living for, he has no choice but to return home. He must leave the comfort of his secluded life to journey to Hel—a path that is full of monsters, beasts, and terrible memories.

Nothing will stand in his way of saving Ellea—not his father, not Hel, and not the Gods. The funny thing is, he will be reminded once again that she never needed saving.

Ellea never saw herself stowed away in a castle, surrounded by the dead, sleeping Gods, and demons. While navigating her powers with her captor and newfound friend, she realizes that Hel itself needs work. She misses Ros every second they’re apart, but she can’t shake the feeling that she is exactly where she belongs.

A string of attacks will disrupt Ros and Ellea’s magical and steamy reunion. Only Ellea can stop her parents from ruining the balance between mortals and supernaturals, but she may have to give up a piece of her soul to do it.

Tricky Princess is a dark paranormal and mythological romance that contains detailed sex scenes, violence, swearing, and emotional trauma.

~~~

First off, I want to personally throw out a big THANK YOU to Lexi for sending me out an E-ARC copy of this book! It was so sweet of her, I’ve really liked chatting with her and getting to know her and show support for an indie book series that I’m really enjoying. Of course, this also means I want to reassure and say this review is ENTIRELY my own!

…now THIS is what I’m talking about! I love it when a sequel surpasses the first book in a series. I fairly enjoyed Tricky Magic, but Tricky Princess felt enhanced in almost every way. I read through this sequel much faster as more was happening and the plot has certainly thickened with how book 1 ended. There were more battles, bloodshed, intrigue, and of course spice!

This time around, you get more side-to-side perspectives from both Rosier and Ellea, but what I mean is it really feels like both characters really went through some change this time. I felt like Ros especially got a lot more attention this time around which I appreciated.

So the story starts off immediately where you were left off: Ellea has been kidnapped by Asmodeus, King of Hel and Ros’s father, and brings her to the underworld, and Ros and the gang set out to rescue her and bring her back. The road to Hel is a long and dangerous trek, and is filled with terrible obstacles…little do they know is that Ellea is being her usual Ellea self and casually wins the heart of the land and feels a sense of belonging down in Ros’s homeland!

The story felt more urgent and the raised stakes with Ellea’s parents starting a war with the supernaturals and even the worry of Belias and what he could possibly be up to—I also don’t remember if it was mentioned at all in book 1 but I thought it was cool that his father ended up being Beelzebub—but overall the pacing felt faster which really helps make you read through this one quicker.

The sex scenes were OF COURSE a major highlight, the author is really good at writing paranormal smut. I especially loved the scene of how Ellea wakes up Ros one morning…..you’ll have to read yourself to see what I mean 😉

~~~

She was goading him, trying to take back some control with her dirty mouth.

‘The goal is to make you not walk.’ He said it with a snarl, snapping his hips hard, enough to bruise, but she didn’t flinch, didn’t balk.

She smirked. ‘Then I would go harder.’

What a brat.

– L.L. Campbell, “Tricky Princess”

~~~

What I Liked:

  1. More Spice! HOT DAMN do Ros and Ellea not know how to slow down! The amount of spice in this book is a major plus for people like me who enjoy lots of “flavor” in their reading material! They go at it with MUCH enthusiasm, and get very inventive in some circumstances too, spice lovers will very much enjoy these parts of the books!
  2. Lots of New Characters! Holy Characters, Batman! There’s a LOT of new characters who make for an interesting read for sure! Most notably is Asmodeus, who is Ros’s father and King of Hel. Another character to look out for is Florence, who is a demon who knows ALL the secrets–it’s why her hair is so big!
  3. The Worldbuilding Really Expanded! The world of Hel really opens up and has a unique version told in this book. Ellea explores this underworld and lets us discover it all alongside with her!
  4. Ellea’s and Asmodeus’s Relationship! Ellea had such a fun dynamic with Ros’s father as he trained her down in Hel and they grew closer, she got a father figure she never really had, and he had a possible future daughter-in-law that he got along with too! Plus she tried to come up with a cute pet name for him like Azzy, Mod, etc. It was also funny how when Ros eventually storms the castle and expects her to be tortured and hanging by her ankles in a dungeon, she’s actually sipping tea with his dad in the library!
  5. More Was Going On In the Story! Even though I still consider this series to be character-driven, it felt like a lot more was happening and the stakes definitely felt raised to drive the story forward in a faster pace.

What I Didn’t Like:

  1. A Lot of Characters Didn’t Reappear…I was disappointed to not see a few characters return this time around, like Sybil and a lot of the other witches and warlocks. Sam, Devon, Garm, Billy, Belias, and even Ellea’s harem of boys make appearances, but some felt shortened and revolved purely around Ellea and Ros and their character development, which makes sense for the story. I guess I was just maybe hoping for more in this regard? Like I wish we got more from Belias even with his scheming, and I think it would’ve added to the story to see him get away with more or rage with his temper to make him feel like a bigger threat, just something to add more to his character would’ve really helped him.

Conclusion:

Overall, this was a fun sequel that really added to the whole story. The writing felt smoother, the excitement and pacing definitely picked up, and the spice got even hotter! I think those who enjoyed the first book will REALLY enjoy this second installment!

I would also say those who really enjoyed other books like Kerri Maniscalco’s Kingdom of the Wicked series and the Hades and Persephone books by Scarlett St. Clair (A Touch of Darkness) will also really enjoy this book! I feel like the readers who want more spicy details with Wrath and Emilia and wish Wrath would just rip their clothes off already……… well, you get what I’m saying. Obviously, just be sure to read the first book before this one…

Thanks for Reading!

— Nick Goodsell

Erotica, LGBT, New Adult, New Adult Romance

My Review: Want Me (Extracurriculars #1): by Neve Wilder

Publish Date: May 6th, 2019
Number of Pages: 304 Pages
Publisher: Kindle Edition
Genre(s): New Adult Romance, LGBT, Erotica

Total Star Rating: 4.25 Stars

That’s not handholding. That’s like … hand fucking. Or hand seduction. Your hand is seducing mine and my hand has zero game. It’s just gonna hop into bed with yours without dinner or a drink first. Maybe I need to give it a lecture about standards.

– Neve Wilder, “Want Me”

What It’s About:

The official synopsis:

Two roommates. One calculus exam. A whole lot of extracurricular activity.

Nate:
Living with four other guys, it’s bound to happen.
Every guy’s been caught taking care of business at least once, right?
It shouldn’t be a big deal.

But I don’t know Eric as well as my other roommates, and things are a little awkward now.
He’s a loner. A mystery. Quietly confident. Smart.
Sexy as hell.

I’ve been happily subsisting on the typical frat guy diet of booze and sorority girls.
But the way Eric looked at me that night?
There was something there.
Something that’s got me curious.
Something that’s stirring up feelings I thought I’d left behind for good.

Something that’s making me think I’m not as straight as I thought I was.

I can’t get him off of my mind.
I don’t think I want to.

So when he offers to help me study for a midterm, I take him up on it.

It’s innocent.
Probably. Maybe.

There’s no way I could’ve known what it’d start…

~~~

Lately I’ve been in a reading slump, which I’m starting to notice is a normal thing for me in the spring time. Maybe it’s how the weather is nicer so I’m more likely to be out and about, and life just gets busier because of it to the point where I’m not concentrating as much on the books I read, and I feel the struggle with high octane, fantasy genre stories…

…this is where I turn to hot, quick, mindless smutty books to ward off the slump!

After DNFing several books prior to this one, I was relieved when I flew through this one no problem at all! It’s exactly what I’m looking for when I’m in this reading mood.

This MM romance book is HOT. Plain and simple. There’s so much sex in this story I almost want to say it’s ridiculous, but I enjoyed it way too much to even complain about it!

The story revolves around Nate and Eric, two college guys who are also roommates in the same house with three other guys living with them. Nate gets caught by Eric when he’s….taming the dragon? Having some fun with “Jill?” Whatever you want to call it, but after the initial shock, there’s a curiosity that grows between them, and then the extra push is when Nate needs help with an algebra exam coming up…Eric is right there to help him out in more ways than one!

The story is told through Nate’s perspective, and he’s an absolute delight to follow along with. His commentary is hilarious, and he’s a pretty standup guy who’s awkward and charming and easily likable. Eric is a lot more mysterious and alluring at first, and part of you questions his intentions at first, but he grows on you too as you get to know him better.

~~~

I didn’t know a lot about him beyond that he was majoring in structural engineering. And currently minoring in confusing my dick.

– Neve Wilder, “Want Me”

What I Liked:

  1. There Is SO Much Sex! I mean….we’re talking hot AF hooking up in almost every chapter!! There definitely wasn’t a shortage of spice in this book!
  2. There Wasn’t A Random Break-Up Right Before The End! One thing I see all the time in romance novels is that dramatic breakup the couple always has to have right towards the end…like a secret gets out or there’s some last minute drama that comes between them, and luckily this sort of thing happens earlier in the book! It was refreshing because I’m always like “Okay….we know they’re gonna end up together…cut the shit!”
  3. The Banter & Dirty Talk! Eric is a sexy dirty mouthed bastard, and I love him for it! The conversations between him and Nate are a highlight, no doubt!
  4. Its Hilarious As Much As It Is Sexy! This goes with the banter a little bit, but even the narration with Nate telling the story was pretty funny! The author really knew how to sound like a guy in college!

What I Didn’t Like:

  1. There Wasn’t As Much Build Up With Other Main Characters for The Next Books…this one is kinda nit-picky, but hey, I have to include something in this section at least! There wasn’t a whole lot of development with many other characters except for maybe Marc, but he’s off screen—or page?—so often that it doesn’t feel like he does much…the author throws subtle hints that more is to come with some drama with Marc and another character, but it’s barely touched on to the point that this book feels like it could just be a standalone because it didn’t really make you feel a whole lot for the other characters.

Conclusion:

Overall, this book was EXACTLY what I needed after DNFing several books prior to it! It was hot, sweet, quick, and sexy as hell with some equally cute and tender moments between the two main characters!

There’s two more books to make this a trilogy, and while the author didn’t build up the other characters quite as much as I’d liked, the fact that this is the steamiest book I’ve read this year so far is what makes me want to keep reading and see what happens next!

Thanks for Reading!

— Nick Goodsell

Erotica, Fantasy, LGBT

My Review: Iron and Fire (Silk and Steel #2): by Ariana Nash

*Kindle Edition*
Publish Date: April 19th, 2019
Number of Pages: 411 Pages
Publisher: Crazy Ace Publishing
Genre(s): Fantasy, LGBT, Erotica

***Warning! This review contains spoilers from the previous book in the series, so continue reading at your own risk! You’ve officially been warned!***

To see my review of book #1 – Silk & Steel – Click HERE

Total Star Rating: 4.5 Stars

Because…’ he said, ‘in the one place I expected to die, you gave me a reason to live.

– Ariana Nash, “Iron & Fire”

What It’s About:

The official blurb:

Alliances are forged and broken, friendships shattered, and despite the odds stacked against them, two hearts collide in this explosive sequel to Silk & Steel.

From his mother’s cage to a human one, but Lysander’s captors are the least of his concerns. Rumors of a monstrous bronze dragon ripple through human camps, a dragon tearing great holes in the world as though searching for something… or someone.

It’s just a matter of time before the bronze chief, Dokul, finds Lysander and makes good on his promises. And should he find him, Lysander knows Dokul will not be merciful.

Amidst the greatest of elven victories, Eroan failed. Failed his people, failed himself, and failed the dragon who saved him. But he will not falter. The dragonkin are in disarray, there will never be a greater opportunity to strike. Eroan Ilanea will not fail his people again.

But when rumors of the dragon prince’s survival reach him, he must choose: Fight for his people or fight for the prince who nobody thought to save?

***

***Contains adult themes, triggering content, a bisexual elf, and a gay dragon shifter.***

~~~

Oh boy!

This book got even better than the first book; no second book syndrome in sight!

The story continues right after how the previous book ended, and what heartache we must face as Lysander and Eroan were tragically separated and Eroan later believes he sent the dragon shifter to his death with the humans. But really, the Dragon lord, Dokul, knows he’s still alive and is after him still.

Again, I’m shocked how much I enjoy this story because it’s a gay romance Game of Thrones—Gay of Thrones?—and the sexual tension and overall development between them and their relationship is done so spectacularly well, It was by far the biggest driving force that kept my eyes glued to the page and seeing what possibly happened next. I loved it whenever they reunited and was sad whenever they got separated again and again.

The worldbuilding more or less stayed the same, not much really changed in that regard, but the world still remained so brutalistic and violent and harsh as everyone is doing whatever is necessary to come out on top of this game of thrones. We have Lysander’s brother Akiem popping up and causing destruction whenever he appears, Dokul and Mirann are also still like a dragon-shifter version of Cersei and Tywin Lannister, and Seraph is still Eroan’s best friend and kind of being like an elven Arya in her way too.

Lysander continues to be the MVP of these books, but also the one who unfortunately gets the most abuse out of the characters…like, holy moly does he really get put through the wringer, and my heart aches for him because deep down he really just wants to find a place to belong and not feel like a waste of space. He feels that with Eroan and has such a deep connection with him, but of course the forbidden aspect of their romance makes that plenty complicated too. BUT they really fight for their relationship and did what they can, plus there was a ton more steam and spice between them this time too!

~~~

What is this thing between us?

Eroan’s chin rubbed his head and when he spoke, his voice rumbled through Lysander. ‘It is everything.

– Ariana Nash, “Iron & Fire”

What I Liked:

  1. The Sexual Tension Between Lysander & Eroan! There was way more romance with these two in this second book, which made the overall storyline sooooooooooo much more interesting to me too! The tables have turned and this time it’s Eroan who’s rescuing Lysander and they’re hiding out together, keeping each other warm by staying super close…I’m just so glad this was a bigger focus now that the world has fully been introduced and there’s no need to further explain a bunch of other things, I’m ready for the smut! I’m ready for the romance! I’m ready for the fluff too, because both these tortured beings deserve some freakin’ happiness.
  2. Dragons! I said this in the last review too I’m pretty sure—I don’t feel like looking back to confirm—but I love that this is so dragon-centric! It’s dragon-shifters to be exact, but either way, they’re big scaly flying lizards of death that can breathe fire! Honestly that’s enough for certain readers to want to read this
  3. How Dark and Brutal This Story Gets! The author isn’t afraid to get to the dark and dirty content with how descriptive the more violent scenes can get. There’s also a lot of rape, which is pretty triggering content, there’s also a sex scene that’s actually kind of manipulative and was meant as a tactic to get one character to hate the other, so I know the previous review said this, but this book continues with the similar trigger warnings so there’s my PSA on the subject! It was also pretty unpredictable in a few parts that did somewhat surprise me! It was mainly battles and the big climax, but either way, I always appreciate when something raises my eyebrows and gets me to say “huh, I didn’t see that coming!”

What I Didn’t Like:

  1. Too Many Side Characters That I Can’t Remember… I don’t know if it was just me, because I’ve been weird with books lately and my attention span has been suffering as of late, but there were quite a few side characters in this book, and half of the time I was struggling to remember who was who. It was either I wasn’t paying attention as much as I should’ve been or I simply didn’t care because I was more wrapped up in the sexual tension between Eroan and Lysander, but I struggled with this aspect of this book.

Conclusion:

Overall, I enjoyed this book even more than the first one, but mainly because there was a ton more romance this time around. The worldbuilding and history of the world is nothing too special, but if you’re looking for some dark fantasy/smutty M/M romance that’s pretty well written, this is a great option for you! (obviously, just start with the first book obviously)

Thanks for Reading!

— Nick Goodsell