book review

The Cruel Prince

I’m a few years late on The Cruel Prince train, but it’s better late than never when it comes to The Folk of the Air series by Holly black.

  • Genre: YA Fantasy
  • Heat Level: ❤️
  • Overall Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers

Jude and her sisters lived a normal human life until a man broke into their home one day, killing their parents and taking them away to a land across the water that they’ve only dreamed of. The man, Madoc, is a fairy, and her oldest sister Vivienne’s real father. He raises Jude and her twin sister as his own, but there’s no place for humans in the beautiful, dangerous world of Elfhame.

As Jude fights to earn her place as one of the royal knights, she also fights the young Prince Cardan and his friends, who delight in torturing mortals. But as much as her mortality is a curse, it’s also a benefit when the elder prince Dain, next in line to the throne, welcomes her into his underground network of spies. After all, humans can lie, making her mortality a very useful thing to have.

Jude longs to fit in and finally find where she belongs, but even her own family seems to work against her. As she unravels court secrets and tries to keep herself alive, it seems she might belong in the fairly world after all.


I wasn’t sure how I would like this book. I’ve heard mixed reviews and didn’t know how the book being YA would affect my score. But I was pleasant surprised by how much I enjoyed it, even without the dramatic romance I was promised. That is literally the only thing I felt was missing, but it is a YA book, so I didn’t expect Jude and Prince Cardan to get freaky in fairy land right off the bat.

The world building was amazing. I grew up on books like The Hobbit, Abhorsen series, and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, so I appreciate the level of care and creativity Black put into this book. But it’s clear she also did her research into real fairly lore to build her characters and the rules by which they live by. She showed the fae as beautiful but dangerous, tricky and deadly. Perfection.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and have already begun book two. I recommend it to all fantasy fans who love strong female characters, lovely world building, and court intrigue.

book review

Almost Christmas in July!

Sure, it’s summer and we’re largely more interested in barbecuing and slipping into some new swimwear then worrying about Christmas trees… okay, maybe we’re a little worried about Christmas trees. What better way to beat the heat than to sit by the water with a snowy, sweet romance that takes place during one of the most beloved holidays? As a long time reading and writing friends know, we have written two Christmas romance novels together!

When mistletoe is not enough…

With her only son still single, Mrs. Claus is rolling up her red sleeves and playing matchmaker. With a little advice from Cupid and a list of potential brides, she’s convinced a dash of magic will get the snowball rolling. There’s just one problem, Nick isn’t looking for love. All he wants to do is fill his father’s boots as he prepares to take over as Santa Claus.

While Mrs. Claus is scheming away, Nick meets Heather, a charming artist with a giving heart and a loving smile. Preparing for her first Christmas alone, Heather is looking for adventure. Nick becomes a kindred spirit as they both remember what it’s like to live in the moment. Just as they think they found a fairytale romance, Nick discovers his mother’s magical meddling.

With Christmas Eve quickly approaching, Nick must decide if his love for Heather was the real magic all along or if it was just the work of Cupid Claus?

Order your copy of Cupid Claus in ebook or paperback HERE

A seat on the throne or a place in her heart?

Greyson Montgomerydreams of a simple life, but as the crown prince of Aldora, simple is not in his future. Before ascending the throne on Christmas Eve, Greyson is given one month to explore how the other half lives. Armed with a few hundred dollars and a fake backstory, Greyson flies to Savannah, Georgia, to see if he has what it takes to chase the American Dream.

Scarlett Calhoun is a Southern Belle with a heart as big as a Georgia peach. When she meets the charming construction worker, Greyson, it isn’t long before she is embracing the holiday cheer. Soon, she’s teaching him how to cook, falling for his exotic accent and soulful eyes, and joining him on picnic lunches where they talk for hours.

With Christmas Eve nearing, Greyson must fly back to Aldora and either abdicate the throne, or take his rightful place as king. Will he ignore his birthright to remain with Scarlett or will she be royally abandoned?

Order your copy of Royally Abandoned in ebook or paperback HERE

book review

Ice Planet Barbarians

That’s right, I gave into Booktok peer pressure and read what’s basically being called the biggest book of 2021…although it came out years ago. Ice Planet Barbarians is in a class of its own, and with more than twenty books in the series, I’m still not entirely sure what to think…though for some reason, I can’t stop reading.

  • Genre: SciFi Romance
  • Heat Level: ❤️❤️❤️❤️
  • Overall Rating: 4/6 Glass Slippers

Georgie awakens in the cargo hold of an alien ship with several other women. They’ve all been kidnapped in the dead of night by orange headed aliens who plan to sell them on the intergalactic black market as slaves. The women are scared, tired, and confused, feelings that get worse when the ship crashes into an ice covered planet. Georgie is tasked with looking for help and seeing where exactly they are, but her journey doesn’t last too long.

Vektal is huge, strong, horned, blue, and the chief of his people. While out hunting, the last thing he expects to find is a strange, pink creature who speaks a strange language and has no idea how to keep herself alive. But the pull he feels towards her is full animal magnetism and he knows he’ll do anything to keep her alive and with him.


So the main themes in this book are obviously aliens, but also soulmates, and breeding. I enjoy a good instant soulmate troupe when reading fantasy and sci-fi, so that was easy for me to enjoy. The breeding? Well, as someone who literally just had a baby, the idea of getting pregnant right now has me wishing for intergalactic condoms for Georgie’s sake. But the themes paired well together, making it an easy read. If you’re into breeding, I’m going to say this entire series is for you!

I also enjoy a good “himbo” main character. Give me muscles, a chiseled jaw, and an obsession with their love interest, and I’m happy. Vektal gave me George of the Jungle vibes which I thought was fitting, given Georgie’s needs. They paired well together, making the soul mate connection more believable. Something endearing about these aliens is that they worship women, almost literally. Sure, you’re going to live in a cave or hut, with no running water, but your mate will cut off their left arm if you asked.

As I’ve said, there’s more than twenty books in this series, but I’m not sure if I’ll review each one. Although a trip to NotHoth/Icehome is a nice change of pace when it comes to romance. They’re fast reads that work with a formula that makes them predictable, but not in a bad way. I will say I wished for more depth when it comes to background and history of the clan, but since I’m only a dozen books in, who knows what’s next? While I’m not saying this is the new great American novel, it’s worth a read if you’re into breeding, worship, and rugged living.

book review, New Book

Foreplay on Words

Who needs summer when you have a book that really knows how to bring the heat? E.L Koslo’s debut novel Foreplay on Words doesn’t disappoint.

  • Genre: Contemporary Romance
  • Heat Level: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
  • Overall Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers

Chase Rodgers, also known as Chastity Rose on the romance novel scene, has just added something new to her schedule, helping a fellow author work on their sex scene writing game. They’re in a bit of a slump, and although Chase doesn’t feel like babysitting someone through their romance novel, her editor knows how to get her way.

Evan Stineman, pen-name Stone Evans, isn’t new to the writing world. With a few Time’s bestsellers under his belt, he’s well respected. But he doesn’t really know romance, mystery being his genre of choice. Though he knows exactly which romance novelist can help him through the sex scene slump.

Sparks fly between them as they put words to paper, but writing someone else’s love story is always easier than living your own. Is what the pair feeling really something more, or are the two authors just wrapped up in crafting the perfect romance?


As a reader (and writer) of romance, I was really interested in the premise of this book. It’s so easy to invest in characters and their emotions when writing, so I could see how Chase and Evan might get fiction and reality twisted. But as we all know as readers, sometimes the couple that doesn’t get along at first make for the best stories.

I loved the witty banter and sarcastic one liners that filled this book. Chase really knew how to dish it out and hold her own against anyone. And the heat jumped off the pages. The chemistry between Chase and Evan made for amazing sex scenes that Evan took more than a little inspiration from…not that I blame him!

Overall, I think this book would be enjoyed by all romance lovers who seek a little spice.

New Book

Perception

Congrats to Amélia Cognet on the release of her debut novel Perception!

After escaping an abusive relationship that nearly killed her, Parker tries to build herself back up the best she can, forced to live with the terrible memories that plague her.

She has found love again and believes she can move on with her life, but her relative happiness is short-lived when she starts having visions of other women being abused. After questioning her sanity, Parker decides to do whatever it takes to help the victims, desperate to save them from a fate that could have been hers…

And could still very well be.


About the Author

Amélia is an emerging suspense and horror writer who loves anything creepy and has always been drawn to the supernatural in particular.

Although from France, she lives in Huntington Beach, CA, with her husband Christophe and her daughter Kara. The years spent living in New England before moving to California are a great inspiration and often impact her writing.

  • Follow Amélia on Instagram HERE
  • Follow Amélia on Facebook HERE
sale

To Wrangle a Rancher – $.99

Looking for a new ebook to add to your summer reading list? To Wrangle a Rancher, book one in The Hollingsworth Sisters series is on sale for only $.99!

They may have more in common than they ever imagined…

Olivia Hollingsworth is shocked when she’s passed over for VP at Hollingsworth Publishing in favor of her do-nothing cousin. She’s worked harder than anyone and decides to take her talent elsewhere—restoring the failing home improvement magazine that her grandmother loved and her father is axing. Olivia heads to Montana with a plan and a tight timeline…until she comes face-to-face with a sexy as sin cowboy who just might out-stubborn her.

Kit Granger’s family has lived on the same Marietta cattle ranch for generations. But his father ran their business into the ground, leaving Kit to sell off parcels of land to slowly rebuild his family legacy. For years he’s had an agreement to graze his herd on Hollingsworth property in exchange for caretaking duties. And then the eldest Hollingsworth arrives. Her first demand? Corral his cows.

Kit’s not about to let a beautiful heiress derail everything he’s worked toward without a fight. Can they reach a compromise so that they both win without falling in love first?

Start reading now on your Kindle for only $.99 HERE!

book review

Island Charm

It’s summer at last, which means beach books and poolside reads. My first waterside reading was Island Charm by Audrey Wick.

  • Genre: Christian Romance
  • Heat Level: ❤️
  • Overall Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers

Anna didn’t plan to end up going on her sister’s honeymoon in Key West, Florida alone. Her jilted at the alter twin sister ditched her at the airport, leaving her to visit the sandy shores and clear waters of the Keys. But a suitcase mixup left her with her heartbroken sister’s luggage, and vacation bucket list, which Anna feels she has to do. All she needs now is a local to help her find the perfect Key Lime pie.

Local Gunnar is on the hunt for his favorite pie when he, literally, bumps into a pretty, strawberry blonde. But his full time job has him running into beautiful tourists all the time, when he’s not literally running after his older friend, Jack, to make sure he isn’t causing any trouble. But thoughts of Anna are hard to shake.

What began with an accidental vacation and a bucket list turns into something more when Gunnar and Anna can’t seem to stay away.


My parents have lived in the keys for six years, so I’m pretty familiar with the ins and outs of Key West. I know where to get the best cupcakes, which for your information is Key West Cakes, and I know who has the best frozen drinks, that would be Flying Monkeys. I thought Wick did a wonderful job capturing the feeling of the Keys. It seemed like the only thing that was missing were the dozens of chickens and their fluffy, little babies who seem to be everywhere.

While this book is technically a Christian romance, it isn’t heavily religious, nor is it lacking in the religious undertones that makes it fit the genre so well. This story was cute, funny, and…well, charming. It would easily be enjoyed by those, like me, who don’t necessarily seek out Christian romances on a regular basis. Really, I recommend this book to all romance lovers looking for an easy read by the water this summer.

Book Lists

Recommended Reading

The world’s been both watching, and largely ignoring, the finding of indigenous children at a so-called school in Canada. Shocking as it sounds, it isn’t the first mass grave uncovered and then forgotten by all those it didn’t affect.

My husband is part Native American, as are my children. We’ve lucky that his small tribe still exists while so many have been decimated. I’m a historian by degree and have a minor in genocidal studies. I can tell you the locations of concentration camps across Europe and name the main players in the Rwandan genocide. But the murder and plights of the indigenous peoples across America is largely ignored. Anything I know about Native Americans, that isn’t the ridiculous “happy pilgrims” nonsense, I’ve learned myself.

As always, I think the best resources for understanding any genocide is reading the firsthand accounts of those that lived through it.

From Bear Rock Mountain by Antoine Mountain

Mountain spent twelve years in three different residential schools run by the Catholic Church in Canada. His youth was spent dealing with identity erasure while his adulthood was spent reclaiming what was stolen from him.

You Will Wear a White Shirt by Nick Sibbeston

Now serving in the Senate in Canada, Sibbeston started his life by being sent to a residential school where he was horribly abused. As an adult, he seems to be a success, but the ghosts of the past still haunt him and he works tirelessly to advocate for his people.

They Called me Number One by Bev Sellars

Sellars writes about her experiences at the Canadian, Catholic Saint Joseph’s Mission School, a place rife with abuse and scandal. She explores how this touched her, her mother, and grandmother, then what led her to become the Chief of her people.

Broken Circle by Theodore Fontaine

At the age of seven, Theodore was forced into a residential school. Torn from his family, he had difficulties adjusting, causing problems as he grew into adulthood. His horrible experiences took his youth, but now he’s ready to tell his tale of survival.

Call Me Indian by Fred Sasakamoose

People know Fred Sasakamoose as the first indigenous NHL player, the one who got his contract to play hockey before his people had the right to vote. He spent his childhood in a residential school, and after his NHL career took off, he decided to return to his roots, reclaiming what was stolen from him.

Residential Schools by Larry Loyie

Loyie, a survivor of residential schooling, has compiled the accounts and images of more than 70 former students. These accounts, while varied, each tell a similar story of childhoods full of trauma and forced assimilation.

New Book

Cold Case True Crime

Like some romance with your mystery? A bit of love with your thrills? Then check out Cold Case True Crime by Denise N. Wheatley. Which is available HERE.

True crime is her beat.

But this cold case is personal…

Samantha Vincent has turned her fascination with true crime into a popular blog. When an old friend asks her to investigate a murder the police couldn’t solve, she begins to suspect that the cops want this case to go cold. Sam is confident she’ll catch the killer when Detective Gregory Harris agrees to help her, but everything changes when she becomes a target…


Discover more action-packed stories in the An Unsolved Mystery Book series by Denise N. Wheatley. All books are stand-alone with uplifting endings but were published in the following order:

  • Book 1: Cold Case Colorado by Cassie Miles
  • Book 2: Cold Case Reopened by Caridad Piñeiro
  • Book 3: Alaska Mountain Rescue by Elizabeth Heiter
  • Book 4: Cold Case Flashbacks by Janice Kay Johnson
  • Book 5: Cold Case True Crime by Denise N. Wheatley

About the Author

Denise N. Wheatley is a lover of happily-ever-afters and the art of storytelling. She has written (and ghostwritten) numerous novels and novellas that run the romance gamut, from contemporary to paranormal, sweet to steamy. Denise strives to pen entertaining stories that embody matters of the heart, while creating strong characters who are colorful and relatable. 

She is an RWA member and received a B.A. in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago, the city where she was born and raised. When Denise isn’t sitting behind a computer, you can find her at home reading a great romance novel, on a tennis court, watching true crime television or chatting on social media.

Speaking of social media, here’s where you can find her:

Instagram: @denise_wheatley_writer
Twitter: @denisewheatley
Facebook: @DeniseNWheatley
BookBub: denise-n-wheatley
Goodreads: Denise_Wheatley
Writer’s Blog: http://www.denisenwheatley.com

book review, New Book

An Acquired Taste

Did you know it’s possible for a romance novel to make you hungry for more than just a good read? I didn’t, until the first book in Kelly Cain’s The Everheart Brothers of Texas series, An Acquired Taste.

  • Genre: Contemporary Romance
  • Heat Level: ❤️❤️❤️
  • Overall Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers

Rowan has a passion for soul food and wants to see her family restaurant thrive. But she also longs to spread her wings and strike out on her own so she can finally update the menu her mother will never let her alter. She thinks it’s all a pipe dream until she learns about a cooking competition show that offers the prize of a lifetime.

Knox is the one person who knows how to wind Rowan up with just one look, and she hates him for it. Their rivalry began when he was nothing more than the spoiled rich kid at culinary school and only gets worse when he also signs up to be on TV. He’s annoying, headstrong, cocky, and worst of all, ridiculously handsome.

While worrying about her mom’s health, her brother’s engagement, and the course of her own life, Rowan now has to worry about what being in close quarters with Knox will bring. Because she knows what happens when there’s too many cooks in the kitchen.


Never before have I read a romance novel that left me famished in more ways than one. Cain pared a spicy, enemies to lovers slow burn with a collection of recipes that had me looking up the nearest soul food restaurant. Really though, the added touch of a recipe, both real ones and a few a little more tongue in cheek, at the end of each chapter made this book half romance and half cookbook. Now that I’m down the story part, I want to try more than one of Rowan’s recipes.

Rowan and Knox had the sort of deep seeded rivalry that made you feel the tension from the first page. While Rowan can throw the sarcastic zingers, Knox can send them right back. They know how to push each other’s buttons, which adds another layer to their love/hate. Their relationship had a wonderful arc that was just as satisfying as Rowan’s recipes.

Overall, I would recommend this book to all readers who want a side of sarcasm with their romantic main course.