Category Archives: Minute Review

Minute Review: Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic by Meghan Ciana Doidge

Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic (The Dowser, #1)
Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic by Meghan Ciana Doidge (The Dowser, Book 1)
My Rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

I quickly fell into the peaceful rhythm of baking, my hands moving and mixing while my mind and eyes were on the next ingredient. I was a particular fan of icing, sometimes piling it high enough to double the height of the cupcake. My grandmother often dropped in when I was baking–as I still did five out of seven days a week. She said watching me bake was like watching an adept witch work a spell. Flattery will get you treats from me every time.

I don’t think I would have picked this one up if it hadn’t been one of my February book club picks, but I’m glad that I did. While I wouldn’t call it a new favorite, the story was quick, some of the characters were intriguing, and it gave me a MASSIVE craving for cupcakes (which I immediately satisfied by making a batch all for myself). While the story was pretty simplistic, I think more depth comes in the later books.

Recommendation: Read this if you enjoy lighthearted urban fantasy, devil-may-care heroines that are still growing into their boots, or stories in which food wins the award for best supporting character.

The most important recommendation of all: READ THIS WITH CUPCAKES ON HAND!

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Minute Review: Mercury Striking by Rebecca Zanetti

Mercury Striking (The Scorpius Syndrome, #1)
Mercury Striking by Rebecca Zanetti (The Scorpius Syndrome, Book 1)
My Rating: 3 of 5 stars

“If there are bullets, I’m between you and them. If you get taken, I’m hunting you down till my last breath. And if you end up in hell, I’ll storm the f*cking place until the fires go out.”

Mercury Striking was a whirlwind read for me, because every time I picked it up, I couldn’t seem to put it down without knowing what was coming next. It was a little more “alpha” than my usual read, but the overarching plot was intriguing and I’m curious to see what direction book 2 will take.

Recommendation: Read this if you love action-packed, post-apocalyptic romances full of alpha heroes and heroes-to-be. I also recommend this to romance readers who like comprehensive series plot despite each book focusing on a different main couple.

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(This ARC was generously provided through Net Galley for an honest review.)

Minute Review: Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal

Shades of Milk and Honey (Glamourist Histories, #1)
Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal (Glamourist Histories, Book 1)
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars

The room had vanished, its walls replaced entirely by arching trees; the ceiling, a sky overhead which shimmered with the light of stars and the moon. The trees rustled in response to a conjured breeze, which carried with it hints of jasmine and the pleasant, spicy scent of loam.

This is a sweet, quick romance, full of the imagery of a Regency English countryside, and I really enjoyed it. The hint of fantasy added a flair to the usual Austen-esque themes without turning it into a full-fledged fantasy novel.

Recommendation: Read this if you are intrigued by the idea of Regency romance with a touch of fantasy, or if you’re curious about the artistic possibilities of folding glamours.

Minute Review: Love Me Tenor by Annabeth Albert

Love Me Tenor (Perfect Harmony, #2)
Love Me Tenor by Annabeth Albert (Perfect Harmony, Book 2)
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Release Date: 2/16/2016

He cuddled into Jalen, burrowing against him until they were both under the blankets, Trevor’s head on Jalen’s chest, Jalen’s arms around him.

Not touching. Um. Yeah. That was going to work out well.

I read this in the middle of an Annabeth Albert binge, and I’m so glad I did. Set with the reality TV backdrop of a boy band competition, the writing style is conversational and the contemporary plot of singing and romance will suck you in. It’s a perfect guilty pleasure book that can be read as a standalone or as part of its companion series.

Recommendation: Read this if you love M/M contemporary romance and the goofiness of reality TV talent competitions. Oh, and LOTS of steamy adult scenes…

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(This ARC was generously provided through Net Galley for an honest review.)

Minute Review: Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn

Silent in the Grave (Lady Julia Grey, #1)Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn (Lady Julia Grey, Book 1)
My Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband’s dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching upon the floor.

This story had me hooked from the first line (see above), and while it wasn’t a book that I raced through, I thoroughly enjoyed the journey. I loved the Victorian setting, the colorful cast of characters, and Julie Grey’s particular blend of English Gentlewoman and closeted eccentric.

Recommendation: Read this if you enjoy bumbled murder mysteries and slow burn romances set in the Victorian era, especially if you’re looking to dive into a new series. Also give this a shot if you’re a fan of Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series – they share some great qualities.

Minute Review: Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1)Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews (Kate Daniels, Book 1)
My Rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

“It’s a reflex. Hear a bell, get food. See an undead, throw a knife. Same thing, really.”

There’s a lot to like about this book: a snarky, kickass heroine, a complex paranormal setting, and a bit of a murder mystery. Unfortunately, I had a hard time getting into it. I’m not sure what the root cause was, but regardless, I’m tempted to try book 2 and give the series another shot.

Recommendation: Read this if you love a hearty paranormal series with a long-term, slow-burn romance.

Have you read any books from Ilona Andrews or the Kate Daniels series? Let me know what you thought in the comments!

Minute Review: Treble Maker by Annabeth Albert

Treble Maker (Perfect Harmony, #1)Treble Maker by Annabeth Albert (Perfect Harmony, Book 1)
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars

The timbre of his voice was like the sea salt caramel sauce Lucas had sampled in Chicago last summer–velvety and smooth caramel, with a classic timeless flavor, but then the pow of the salt–raw, gritty, and one of a kind.

This was such a guilty pleasure read for me! The writing was so-so and there were some formatting issues with the Kindle copy, but the story was upbeat, compelling, and full of steamy, very adult scenes. Overall, I enjoyed it immensely and immediately set out to find more books by Albert.

Recommendation: Definitely read this if you’re a fan of adult M/M contemporary romance, especially if you enjoy reality TV antics and a capella!