LGBT, New Adult, New Adult Romance, Romance

My Review: Hat Trick Heart (Thunderclap #1): by Ella Market

Publish Date: October 4th, 2022
Number of Pages:
Publisher: Independently Published
Genre(s): New Adult Romance, Sports Romance, Reverse Harem

Total Star Rating: 3.75 Stars

‘. . . there are team superstitions. The traditional shoulder check line or locker room song.‘ He pauses, and I force myself to look up at him, his blue eyes piercing me in a way that makes me squirm in my seat. ‘You, Macey, are a team superstition.’

– Ella Market, “Hat Trick Heart”

What It’s About:

The official synopsis:

When your agent calls and tells you that your publisher wants “something new,” you do the only thing you can do:
Draw from real life experience.

Successful romance writer Macey Veronica’s life has revolved around hockey for as long as she can remember. When a blast from the past is forced in to her life again, six year old secrets are uncovered, and Macey V finds herself wondering how to fit feelings for three alpha hockey players into her one heart.

Max, Rafe, and Andy were the closest that three people could be without sharing blood while playing hockey together in college. Macey was their center, their grounding point, and they would have given her the world if asked. One fateful graduation party forced a rift between two that irrevocably changed everything…. Until years later when they find themselves all playing for the Tampa Thunder.

Macey loves them all, and always has. But is that enough to get them through this next chapter? Or will their pride prove to be too much to overcome?


Hat Trick Heart is a standalone reverse harem romance where the main character gets a guaranteed HEA with multiple love interests. It is intended for audiences 18+ for explicit language and sexual content, including MM, MMF, and MMFM scenes.

~~~

Okay, here is me trying to get caught up on book reviews that are LONG overdue….whoops! what ‘cha gonna do? Sometimes they just fall through the cracks when you get into a certain reading groove, BUT here I am trying to make up for it!

So I actually read this book back in November–again, whoops–but better late than never!

Do you like Hockey?

Do you like Hockey PLAYERS?

Do you like Hockey Players who are up for sharing the main character?

Do you like reverse harems/why choose romances?

Do you like Philipino representation?

Do you like second chance, found family, and/or friends-to-lovers tropes?

…If you said YES to all of these, or even most of them, then I definitely say you need to give this debut novel a shot! Pun slightly intended there….you know, shooting a puck? a shot at goal? okay…….

It was a lighter toned, equally fun and sexy romance novel that anyone who’s a fan of multiple love interests or Hockey in general can easily get into! It’s also an easy read to pick up and get into whenever and wherever without getting lost; whether you’re reading at the beach, or in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, on your lunch break, or literally just whenever you can squeeze in some quick reading time!

The story revolves around Macey Veronica, a romance author on the cusp of writing her next big hit, and it just so happens to be somewhat replicating her very REAL life romance that’s developing between her and her three best friends: Max, Rafe, and Andy.

The three of them just so happen to ALL be professional hockey players, and Rafe was actually out of the picture for a few years and there’s a mystery as to why exactly. There’s definitely some history that gets rehashed and comes to a boil with three alpha personalities.

There was also a nice balance of history with Max and Macey, who’ve been best friends since they were 8 years old, who then met Rafe and Andy in college, and I’m personally glad there wasn’t a whole lot of time wasted with them all being awkward and second guessing the whole “can we be more than friends? Will this ruin our relationship? Do I view them as someone other than a friend?” I mean, those thoughts all make sense and are entirely valid, but when the book is advertised as an RH romance that’s defs going to have some spice, we ain’t looking for that uncertainty, we want to see things freakin HAPPEN! I’d say the author did just the right amount of time of them being just friends and them making the jump to take things horizontally and even further.

The book is told in four perspectives and is also told in just the right amount of balance between the four of them too in my opinion. Each character besides Andy has their own little subplot that they’re dealing with while the romantic relationship between them all develops, but honestly that’s okay in my opinion. He’s the more easy going of them all, and I don’t think he needed to add more drama to the story, there was plenty already going on. He felt like the bridge and/or mediator between them all, and I think maybe why so many others who’ve read this book consider him their favorite! I’m totally speculating on how friends and some strangers read this book, but you know…I could see it!

Besides these four, there’s also a few side characters who catch some of the spotlight–and reader’s hearts–like Macey’s gal pals and the hot young head coach, so it definitely gives you the idea that the story here isn’t entirely done and there’s more to be explored besides just Macey’s little line of men that have her heart! If the author herself says the coach looks like model Chase Mattson, I’m all for getting a closer look into his love life!!

~~~

What I Liked:

  1. Reverse Harem, ‘nuf said! Reverse Harems, or “why choose” romances, are becoming more and more popular in the bookish community. Why pick just one love interest when you could have several? Now whether sharing is going on or they’re competing against each other for time and affection depends on the book/group dynamic, but in this book it’s all amongst a group of friends who turn to lovers, but with two side relationships too. It’s certainly an interesting set-up to say the least, and I gotta say Macey is the luckiest girl in the world to have it this good with three pro hockey players!
  2. An Actual Hockey Fan Wrote This! A good hockey romance also NEEDS actual hockey playing content in my opinion…otherwise it’s not really a sports/hockey romance specifically, it’s just a regular romance and the guy (or gal) just happens to be a hockey player. Sports romance stories need actual sports being played within the pages to count as an actual sports romance, and it’s good to know that this author not only provides actual sports content in this book, but that she actually has a vast knowledge of it and is a huge fan of it in her personal life too! It helps the reader feel the story is more authentic when the author actually knows what they’re writing about in this case.
  3. Low Angst, Low Thoughts! What I mean by this is just that it’s nice to have a book like this that’s just easy, breezy, and doesn’t require a whole lot of thought and concentration. The beach reads that you can take just about anywhere and pick up and not get lost. The low angst is because most of the story is about the four main characters and how they come to terms with their poly relationship and explore it, thus adding to some spicy scenes to enjoy for the readers who enjoy that kind of extra seasoning in their books *wink*wink.*

What I Didn’t Like:

  1. Max Needed to Be More Open to Trying New Things…This isn’t really a critique, more like a personal preference…and also SPOILERS AHEAD……………….okay, so Max is cool with the whole “sharing” Macey part, but most likely mainly because he gets to be seen with her in public like they’re a regular couple. He’s even cool with being in bed with the other guys, and even maybe MAYBE get s a little curious….but then that’s it! NO MAX, explore that curiosity!!! Go with that feeling, and take it further! He admitted watching Rafe and Andy was kind of hot at one point, and here I’m like “yes, but there could be something even hotter…” Basically I wanted to see more bisexual curiosity/exploration from Max with the other guys…like let one of them suck your dick or top one of them! Respectfully and consensually, of course!
  2. The Mom And What’s Her Deal?…I will admit the whole issue with the mom of that super fan and the whole conflict that came because of it felt a little out of left field and should’ve been explored further in this book. It could’ve made more sense if she wasn’t in like only one scene in the whole dang book! Like maybe she’s a rival author/publisher to Macey and the company she works for or something! I don’t know, even just having her in more scenes would make this aspect of the story stronger in my opinion!

Conclusion:

Overall, this was a fun, easy, and defs sexy reverse harem/why choose Hockey romance that I think anyone could get into if they love sports romance and RH’s in general! It’s mainly a lighter, sweet tone of a book too, so I’d say it’s even a good one for someone who’s never gone down the RH rabbit-hole and is curious to give it a try.

I’d say it’s an impressive debut novel, and Ella Market is for sure an author to keep an eye on because things can only go up from here, and there’s also an X-mas novella with all these characters if you can’t get enough of them in this fabulous book that’s called Hat Trick Holiday, PLUS the sequel coming out later this year: Power Play Pieces!

Much Excite!

Thanks for Reading!

— Nick Goodsell

Erotica, LGBT, New Adult, New Adult Romance

My Review: Show Me (Extracurricular Activities #3): by Neve Wilder

Publish Date: March 21st, 2021
Number of Pages: 318 pages
Publisher: Independently Published
Genre(s): LGBT, Erotica, New Adult Romance

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

To see my review for book #1 – Want Me – Click HERE

To see my review for book #2 – Try Me – Click HERE

Total Star Rating: 4.25 Stars

You’re ridiculously simple at times and incredibly complex at others. I can’t pin you at all.

– Neve Wilder, “Show Me”

What It’s About:

The official blurb:

Two Roommates. One Camera. A whole lot of action.

I get crushes the way some people get seasonal allergies.
And sharing a house with four hot roommates is like being stuck in permanent spring.
Too bad I keep getting friend-zoned.

But it’s senior year now, and I’m done pining for the impossible.
Time to live it up and go out with a bang.
Or a lot of bangs.

And I’m definitely, definitely not getting attached to anyone.
Especially not my straight, gym-loving, football-player roommate Sam whose impressively large… smile I caught a glimpse of once.
Or several times.

That’s why, when Sam asks me for help with a very special, very NSFW project so he can make a little cash, of course I agree. In the name of friendship.

And if it turns out that Sam’s more than just muscles—that he’s sweet, and smart, and a little bit filthy, and a whole lot less straight than I thought—well, that’s neither here nor there, because this time I’m gonna be smart. This time, I’m friend-zoning myself.

We’ve got a list of deliciously hot scenarios, a camera, and Sam’s huge… smile. What could possibly go wrong?

From the author of Want Me comes the third new adult college romance in the Extracurricular Activities series. Expect low angst, high heat, plenty of laughs, a flustered redhead, a gentle giant of a football player, and enough BDE to power a mid-size city.

~~~

Sometimes you just need a book NOT because it’s some literary masterpiece or because it’s the latest trending title on social media or because it’s some epic, grand adventure with an exciting plot…readers like me sometimes just seek out books for the hot sex scenes! I have no shame in admitting I’m a spicy smut reader, and this trilogy has been just a total delight in this sense! Neve Wilder is now one of my go-to’s when it comes to me looking for sexier books that I know will have some absolutely scorching scenes to enjoy.

If you liked the first two books of these, you most likely will appreciate this one too, and I personally thought the author didn’t disappoint with this final installment into this college romance story.

This final book revolves around Jesse and Sam. There’s a prequel scene at the beginning of the guys back in freshman year, and Jesse discovers his boyfriend in a compromising position with someone else…thus making him to believe he has the absolute worst luck in love…It makes him twice as snarky, and The Great British Bakeoff fan vows to have a smutty good time when it’s back to present day, senior year, and all the other guys in the house have surprisingly all gotten in serious relationships but him. Then there’s Sam: large, boy next door, football player, seemingly straight, and literal human golden retriever who has a secret of his own that Jesse finds out about…

I especially enjoyed both Sam and Jesse equally, I think they both felt fleshed out and had great personalities that fit each other well. There was definitely some chemistry there from the get go that only becomes more obvious as they keep hanging out and become closer as friends and more.

Was this book as strong as the other books? Yes and No.

The sex was hot as all the other scenes, but if I’m being a little critical, the actual relationship didn’t feel as strong as Nate/Eric’s and Chet/Mark’s. There wasn’t as much actual ROMANCE involved or tender hearted moments to make you swoon. I’m not saying this is a bad thing at all, and like I said Sam and Jesse defs have some chemistry between them, I guess it’s more that the author just doesn’t really show it as well this time around. Heck, even some moments only fade to black in the back half of the book which didn’t make the most sense.

I would say as far as content goes: this book is right up there with the others in terms of spice rating (which it gets a 4 peppers from me), but if you’re someone who likes to see deeper connections and have your heart feel like its fluttering out of your chest and want to read relationships that make you think true love is real…this might not be the one.

Personally, I didn’t have a problem with that in this story because by this point I knew what to expect in the overall tone of these books, but I can see other readers maybe turning away because out of them all this feels like the weakest of the connections.

I guess you’ll have to read it yourself to see what you think! Besides the fade to blacks, I immensely enjoyed this book!

~~~

“You’re the first person I look for in any room. I hear you louder than anyone else. Even when you’re quiet. Sometimes especially when you’re quiet. I’ve never wanted to be with someone else as much as I want to be with you. Making you happy makes me happy. I’ve never felt that way with someone else either. Everything about you makes me feel impulsive and excitable, and it’s both scary and exhilarating as hell.

– Neve Wilder, “Show Me”

~~~

What I Liked:

  1. Neve Wilder Writes Really Good Smut! This author skyrocketed up my list of authors whom I know will add the fire and steam to their stories! And the fact that it’s MM makes it even better! If you’re looking for hot, graphic scenes between younger and eager college age guys, these are an excellent option!
  2. Sam is Total Book Book Boyfriend Material! I totally adored Sam in this book! I’m a sucker for the big muscles, bigger smile, slight himbo jock vibes that he gives off and how he’s probably one of the most easy-going characters I’ve ever come across…I didn’t think much of him when he was a background character in the previous books, but once the spotlight shined upon him, oh did it ever shine so brightly!
  3. Surprisingly No Angst About Queer Self Discovery! With Sam being so go-with-the-flow and super chill about literally everything, he was even this way during his journey of self discovery. Before him and Jesse start going at it, he’d never done anything with another guy or really even thought of it, but then he realized he had feelings and just kind of shrugged and went “Well… I guess I’m bi or whatever.”

What I Didn’t Like:

  1. Either Needed to Be Shorter or It Needed More Conflict… If I’m going to be critical–I’m a Gemini and we ALWAYS have something to say–I would say maybe this book could be a little shorter, or if not shorter, maybe it could’ve actually added more angst or conflict to the story. I’m good if it’s not about gay discovery since Sam seemed actually pretty chill about all that, but maybe Neve could’ve added more drama with Jesse’s ex or something to maybe push the story a little faster?
  2. Later Sex Scenes Were Fade to Black…the first chunk of the book is phenomenal, but then the last bit feels a little rushed in this sense and the spicy scenes start to fade into the background, literally…for some of the scenes, it felt like a real missed opportunity.
  3. There’s Not Much Actual Romance…While there is a LOT of sex–no complaints there–there’s not actually a whole lot of softer moments that make you really believe that its a deeper, more serious relationship…Personally I didn’t mind this too much, but I can see other readers being disappointed by this.

Conclusion:

Overall, this was another great addition to a smokin’ hot MM college romance series that Neve Wilder has come out with! Sam was an absolute favorite of mine, and Jesse was a great fit with him too with his sassy snark. It couldve ended on a stronger note, but I think this book is still perfectly fine for what it is: a spicy new adult college romance.

Neve Wilder has totally gained a fan in me for these books now, and you can definitely bet I’m going to be exploring other titles too!

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

Fantasy, New Adult, New Adult Romance

My Review: These Wicked Lies (These Wicked Lies #1): by Miranda Joy

Publish Date: June 22nd, 2022
Number of Pages: N/A
Publisher: Self Published
Genre(s): Fantasy, New Adult Romance

Total Star Rating: 4 Stars

I’m not in the mood to murder someone tonight, but I must.

– Miranda Joy, “These Wicked Lies”

What It’s About:

the official synopsis:

When a princess with the ability to absorb and transfer life force energy discovers her mother, the queen, is manipulating her, she works with unexpected allies to steal the throne, battling magic-induced anxiety and unexpected attractions along the way.

Astrid is a vygora—a rare being that can absorb one’s life force energy and transfer it to another with a touch. Only two people know what she’s truly capable of: her best friend, Ilona, and her mother, the Queen of Hakran, a powerful myndox.

When foreign royalty and their handsome guard, Dashiel Dargan, show up unexpectedly with the ability to mute myndox manipulation, Astrid discovers she’s been a prisoner to her mother’s power her entire life, and she’s not the only one. Faced with a lifetime of memories built on lies, she’s caught between the story she thinks she knows, and the one she doesn’t remember.

But when she can’t trust anyone, how can she figure out which story is true?

~~~

This book actually already holds a special place in my heart because I’ve actually become a friend with the author on #bookstagram! NO, she’s not bribing me with this review in any way, shape, or form either…in fact, with this information I’m actually feeling more pressure NOT to make this a simply glowing review of the book.

BUT I can admit it’s become so cool to meet someone who’s published a book and that it’s totally a book you wanted to read too!

Okay so back to this review: For a debut novel, this was a pretty impressive story to get into. It was so easy to get wrapped into this world and meet Astrid, who’s more than just a regular Princess. She’s got some depth to her, and some morally gray traits to her personality. She’s got some fire to her spirit!

She’s feeling very conflicted in her position: Princess by day and lifeforce sucker by night. She disguises herself in a veiled costume and takes the life of a willing victim as a sacrifice in order to pass it to her mother in order to keep her alive and keep their whole island safe. The seeds of doubt were already planted that something more nefarious may be going on with all this, but it takes some foreign company visiting their lush island home to really set things in motion.

I’ll be honest, I got some major From Blood and Ash/A Shadow in the Ember vibes from this book, which isn’t a bad thing! If anyone reading this has followed my reviews on here, they should know the FBAA series is a big favorite of mine! I wouldn’t say this even comes close to copying it , TWL definitely still feels like it’s own entity, but I can definitely see some comparisons between the two or possibly the author even drew some inspiration from the story! Who knows?

Reading this book, I was easily sucked in to the exotic and tropical world the author created, and created fun and familiar dynamics between the cast of characters. Dashiel and Astrid had some great chemistry and lots of playful banter—think a similar vibe to Cassian and Nesta in the Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas—and I really got into their slow burn romance throughout. Dash was an easy guy to like, and Astrid wasn’t afraid to humble him and put him in his place when he (maybe) needed it.

The midpoint got a little slow for me, only because we already knew about the Queen’s manipulation of Astrid and her people because it’s in the synopsis, so that part wasn’t all that shocking to see develop. There is a question of which side everyone is on exactly, and the unknown of what everyone’s intentions are definitely keep you interested. Astrid and her friend Ilona grow closer to Dashiel and Prince Zale, but also more weary of them as questionable behavior shows; there’s definitely more going on beneath the surface.

You meet Lex later on in the story, and once again complete and total mystery surrounds him, but he’s a major character believe me! He’s not just a random addition to the story at all…

The ending sequences are the piece-de-resistance of the whole book. I’ll admit I didn’t see it coming, and it certainly leaves you with a brow-raising expression, and the final page ends on a dark and sexy way that leaves you yearning to see what could possibly happen next, and also wanting the next book, like, yesterday.

Once again, even if I didn’t get to personally know the author, I’d say this is a pretty remarkable debut novel that shows so much promise for bigger and better things! Miranda Joy is certainly a name to remember if she keeps this up!

~~~

I hate how alluring his accent is. I hate how everything sounds good coming out of his mouth, even my impending death.

– Miranda Joy, “These Wicked Lies”

What I Liked:

  1. Astrid is a Morally Grey Heroine! I love it when the MC’s have a dark side to them, they just become so much more interesting of a character. Everyone complains that Superman is boring because he always takes the moral high ground, and I have to agree. Astrid has dangerous magical abilities, and she also isn’t afraid to get violent when needed. the anxiety of all that happens to her and all that everyone isn’t telling her really wears on her psyche, and even I can agree sometimes it can just drive you a little crazy and want to pull a dagger on someone *shrugs*
  2. That Twist Towards the End! I totally didn’t see this twist coming towards the end, and the best ones are like that but they also totally make sense when you think about it afterwards. Bravo to the author, it was wonderfully done!
  3. Dash! Helloooooo new addition to my book boyfriend list! Dash was hot, not much more to say. I will however say that I’m curious what kind of decisions he’s going to make in the next installment in this story. It will be a determining factor as to how this relationship between us is going to continue and if we can stay together…we’ll see!

What I Didn’t Like:

  1. You Don’t Meet A Major Character Until Much Later In The Book…Their appearance into the story raised a lot of questions, which I suppose is a good thing to get the reader to keep with the book, but part of the questions had me wondering if he really was an important character at all to be begin with. Part of me wonders if maybe this character made more appearances throughout the beginning a little more, even if they were short and brief, that this could’ve made the last minute addition feel less confusing?
  2. The Twist With The Queen…Part of got a little bored with the middle because the mystery of the queen wasn’t really even a mystery: we knew she was evil/the villain even from the synopsis of the book. With that already revealed, part of the allure wasn’t there, and I feel like it would’ve made the story stronger if we (the readers) discovered it for ourselves.
  3. I Want More Spice…This isn’t really a critique, but more a hope/request/plea: book two needs more sex. And don’t worry, I did say this to Miranda, and she confirms there will be 😉

Conclusion:

Overall, this was such an entertaining read that I for the most part really enjoyed! The warm and tropical climate and how things get heated in more ways than one makes for a fun book that I think fans of Sarah J. Maas, Holly Black, and Jennifer L. Armentrout would enjoy. It definitely shares a lot of the similar elements that these ladies of romantic fantasy used to put their names on the map!

I will definitely be reading the next book in this series; Miranda Joy ended it in such a juicy way, how could I not?

Thanks for Reading!

— Nick Goodsell