Posted in Spicy Romance

We’re All Mad Here

By Leann Belle

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

Let me start off by saying, I love a good Alice in Wonderland retelling. I love retellings in general. I like that an author can really do what they want with it and transform it and it still be respectful to the original classic. I also enjoy a good reverse harem. We’re All Mad Here brings these two things together in a twisted, dark, psychotic, steamy romance.

Alices are stolen by the White Rabbit, drugged, and brought to Wonderland, where they go through a series of trials in hopes to get rid of the Red Queen, who is the original Alice. Each time an Alice dies, the world resets. Everyone who died comes back, and they start over. Typically they have gone for young Alices, 18 or 19 years old. But this time, they went for 30 something Alice who is in a rut in her life. She is strong, confident, and smart. Her goal is to just live, to get through the trials. Along the way, she learns a lot more about herself and becomes stronger.

There is a lot of steamy romance in this book and it starts off pretty quickly. I like not having to wait around and watch all the characters awkwardly beat around the bush, so to speak. After each successful trial, each character falls in love with Alice. They want to see her succeed. I really loved Mau, the Cheshire Cat. All of the characters are so twisted, it is nice to see them change and transform because of Alice’s will to live.

This book includes primal kink, CNC, death, and some other potentially triggering topics.

I only gave it 4 stars because something wasn’t connecting for me. I can’t really place it. I felt like I was missing something. A bonus epilogue might be nice, to kind of see what happens after everything is over and through. It is good, I really enjoyed it and I liked the writing style. I am definitely interested in reading more by this author. I am not huge on dark romance, but I feel that what I normally find lacking in dark romances, this one does not lack. The FMC is not wishy washy. This book is quite unique and I do recommend it!

Posted in Romance

Death’s Captive

By G.K. DeRosa

3 out of 5 stars

I read this book because I realized I committed to an ARC of book 2 when I hadn’t read the first one yet. This story is about Atropos and Thanatos, and a curse put on them by Hecate and Luna to be star crossed lovers for all eternity. They are currently living as Astra and Thane. Astra is a human female while this time around Thanatos has appeared as Thane, the son of the alpha demon wolf. Just so happens, Thane sees Astra, and she is his fated mate. This is book 1 in an unfinished series. Book 2, Death’s Fate, is about to be released.

I was very confused through most of this book. Most of it was because I was not familiar with these two particular Greek myths. I know of the Three Fates, but I did not make the connection for quite a while. I felt the story was too muddled and very repetitive. The bulk of the story was the same scene over and over again until the end, which ends on a cliff hanger. I was not a fan of this story at all. I had to force myself through it so I could read my ARC.

I will mention this in my review for book 2 as well, but, maybe it is my ADHD, but I notice repetitions in words and I hone in on it like a hawk. So, I am quite honestly over the following descriptive words: azure orbs/eyes, lupine, and coalescence. Literally do not want to see them anymore. Surely there are other words…. we get it, he is a wolf and has wolfish features when he is a wolf. Again, it could be my ADHD that I noticed it way too many times.

So why did I give it 3 stars instead of lower? No, not because I was given a free ARC. I fully recognize that maybe I did not like this particular writing style, or something just didn’t connect with me. I really like Azar and the stories she has produced. I kind of got a late start with this realm, but the writing style of this book was very different from the introduction to G.K. DeRosa that I got. Reading other people’s reviews, it looks like, while it is not fully necessary, I should have read another series first to learn more about these two. There are snippets of memories throughout the story from their past times together.

There is a lot of sexual tension in the book with no explosion, and it was kind of a let down. I have read some spicier bits from her, so it was kind of a let down. It feels like DeRosa is just kind of dipping her toes in but not really ready to jump in. The one scene we had was very short and Astra tucked tail and RAN. So, that is where we are left.