Here are some additional reviews of books I read in December….
All the Wrong Reasons by Sebastian Hansen
The day after telekinetic supervillain (and billionaire philanthropist), Stetson Nadenheimer dies, he wakes up on the autopsy table and falls in lust with the man hired to cut his cold, dead corpse open. The problem is that the forensic pathologist is Doctor Julian Dandridge, the part-time superhero, Scatter. It’s probably a bad idea for a supervillain to get into bed with a superhero. Probably.
Not that it stops him, but trying to start a relationship with a reluctant hero without getting caught turns out to be easier said than done. Between midnight meetings over games of checkers and kinky secrets, Stetson and Julian begin a tremulous romance. Unfortunately for them, there’s an actual villain watching from the shadows, waiting for Stetson to stumble. Read an Excerpt here.
Warning: References to past child abuse, violence, death, drugging, reference to suicide
Everything about this premise should have nailed the book for me. It has superheroes. It has a nonbinary main character. There is kink play. For some reason that I can’t quite pin down, I was bored. I like both characters. Stetson is the Robin Hood you want even if you break it down to daddy issues. Julian is the doctor you want giving you mouth to mouth. I love their chemistry. I just don’t know where I lost interest, but I was no longer invested before half the book was finished.
I received a free copy of this book, and I am writing a review without prejudice and voluntarily. Please do not take my opinion as anything other than a reader who lost their connection.
Outlawed by Anna North
In the year of our Lord 1894, I became an outlaw.
The day of her wedding, 17 year old Ada’s life looks good; she loves her husband, and she loves working as an apprentice to her mother, a respected midwife. But after a year of marriage and no pregnancy, in a town where barren women are routinely hanged as witches, her survival depends on leaving behind everything she knows.
She joins up with the notorious Hole in the Wall Gang, a band of outlaws led by a preacher-turned-robber known to all as the Kid. Charismatic, grandiose, and mercurial, the Kid is determined to create a safe haven for outcast women. But to make this dream a reality, the Gang hatches a treacherous plan that may get them all killed. And Ada must decide whether she’s willing to risk her life for the possibility of a new kind of future for them all.
Featuring an irresistibly no-nonsense, courageous, and determined heroine, Outlawed dusts off the myth of the old West and reignites the glimmering promise of the frontier with an entirely new set of feminist stakes. Anna North has crafted a pulse-racing, page-turning saga about the search for hope in the wake of death, and for truth in a climate of small-mindedness and fear.4
In Outlawed’s defense, I am not a huge fan of westerns. Anna North’s premise is solid and the characters are relatable. I just could not get into the rest of the story. This is more than likely just me and my aversion to westerns. I picked up the book because I had heard so many good things about it. This is no fault of the author’s or of the story. I just didn’t connect with it. Goodreads. Amazon. (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2021, pp. 272).
I got this book from my library. I love my local library and you should check out yours too. Request LGBTQ+ books and they will stock them! #ebooksforall
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Nero by Valden Bush
Banished and abandoned, will her destiny reunite her with the love of her life?
Stele Hosun has been banished. On Nero, gem shards match people’s eyes and give them their special powers and purpose. But Stele has completely black eyes, and although legend recorded that she could be the chosen one to touch the legendary black shard, fear of her potential power makes her an outcast.
Exiled to Alton, she’s torn from Ariane, her one and only love, who has always accepted Stele for who she is. She drowns her sorrows and wallows in her loneliness until Colonel Kian Ray of the Alton Defense Force offers her the chance to join the ADF and make something of herself. Begrudgingly, Stele accepts, and with the help of new friends, Questa and Domino, she finds new purpose and perhaps even a home.
But Ariane remains the woman Stele wants, the one she needs. When pirates invade Nero to find the fabled and all-powerful black shard, putting Ariane in danger, Stele must lead a rescue that will either destroy them all or fulfil her ultimate destiny.4
I was going to start this review by stating that Nero should have been split into two books because it was so long and then realized it is only 258 pages. Valden Bush gives readers a great story about defeating the odds and becoming a champion. I kept hearing the Rocky theme in my head while I was reading it.
I think that Bush could have expanded more on the relationships between Stele and the rest of the beings that end up standing up with her. This is one of the reasons why I thought the book should be split into two parts. Now I’m wondering what else should be added because I thought the book was about 200 pages longer than what Goodreads states it is. (Things that make you go hmmmm.)
This is a fantastic world that Bush has created, but something was missing. I think a rewrite and split the book into two would work. The first novella could focus on the “Rocky” portion and the second could focus on the rescue and romance through current and flashback to connect Stele and Ariane more for readers. Then I would expand the series to the secondary characters as I loved them for their uniqueness. Bush has something here, I just wanted more. Goodreads. Amazon. (Butterworth Books, 2021, pp. 258).
I received a free copy of this book and I am writing a review without prejudice and voluntarily.
December Photo Credits:
Last Blue Christmas Promo Photo Background: Photo by Candis Hidalgo on <a href=”https://www.pexels.com/photo/white-wooden-panel-639110/”
Twelve Weeks Venture Promo Photo Background: Photo by Ksenia Chernaya on <a href=”https://www.pexels.com/photo/brown-wooden-rocking-horse-near-white-wooden-door-3965515/” rel=”nofollow”>Pexels.com</a>