Tag Archives: Meljean Brook

The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance edited by Trisha Telep

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of paranormal romance book cover

Title: The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance
Author: Trisha Telep, Carrie Vaughn, Cheyenne McCray, Kelley Armstrong, Anna Windsor, Anya Bast, Jean Johnson, C. T. Adams, Cathy Clamp, Holly Lisle, Mary Jo Putney, Eve Silver, Ilona Andrews, Dina James, Maria V. Snyder, Catherine Mulvany, Jeaniene Frost, Lori Devoti, Sara Mackenzie, Lynda Hilburn, Alyssa Day, Michelle Rowen, Rachel Caine, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Meljean Brook & Allyson James
Series: Mammoth Books
In: The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance (Trisha Telep)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Short story collections
Dates read: 3rd July – 30th December 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: I also didn’t feel threatened, or that I should try to escape his firm but tender grip.

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Synopsis

Fall in love with someone out of this world

If love transcends all boundaries then paranormal romance is its logical conclusion. From the biggest names around, here are 24 tales to take you to another time and place.

Let Alyssa Day, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Cheyenne McCray, Jeaniene Frost, Ilona Andrews, Kelley Armstrong, Maria V. Snyder, Carrie Vaughn, Allyson James Marland and others show you powers beyond your wildest imaginings.

Within these pages mythical beasts, magical creatures of all shapes and sizes, heart-stoppingly handsome ghosts, angels, and mortals with extra-sensitive sensory perception play out the themes of extraordinary desires.

Thoughts

The thing that I love most about this collection is that it completely runs the gambit of supernatural and paranormal creatures. There are a number of standalone stories and tales that are part of series. But mostly, there’s just stories which feature vampires and werewolves; djinn and selkies. Some of the paranormal beings that feature in this are not ones that I normally come across. Which of course just made it all that much more exciting. You didn’t know what sort of paranormal creature would be next!

These stories were all sweet and incredibly easy to read. They’re tales which make you happy and kind of hopeful about true love. Something which I think everyone needs at some point in their lives. Having said that, there were a few unwieldy stories in this collection. They weren’t annoyingly so, but a few did need to be reread so that I could grasp what was really happening.

I recognised most of the authors in this collection. Which was good, because then I could turn to my shelves in some cases and grab down the books that will get me a further fix of their writing. There were a few that I need to add to my wish list. But mostly I got to enjoy the collection, without feeling the insane need to buy more, more, more books… which is probably a good thing for my bank account.

 <- The Mammoth Book of On the Road ReviewThe Temptation of Robin Green Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

In Sheep’s Clothing by Meljean Brook

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of paranormal romance book cover

Title: In Sheep’s Clothing
Author: Meljean Brook
In: The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance (Trisha Telep)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Shapeshifters, Werewolves
Dates read: 30th December 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: She’d know him if she saw him again though.

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Synopsis

There’s a rapist and murderer hunting the women of her hometown, and then she gets a flat and realises that she’s next. But the consequences of her escape? She’s probably turned him into a werewolf…

Thoughts

I’m a big fan of werewolf stories. You can probably tell from how many are on my shelves and fill my bookcases. But, one thing that doesn’t tend to happen so often is that if there’s a female werewolf, the male normally is too. Something about not having a woman more powerful than a man or such nonsense I would suppose. But, that’s not the case in this story. The woman is a werewolf, the man she loves a normal human; and ultimately, it’s the woman that saves the day.

This short story centres around a couple reconnecting as they also fight off a rapist. Or at least, try and catch a serial rapist and killer. It’s quite an intense way to reconnect, but I love that ultimately, she gets her revenge on the man who tried to take her. Rather than her being scared, she’s actually actively hunting him down. A great departure from many of the female storylines I normally find.

This short story was yet another reminder of just how much I love Meljean Brook. Her writing always draws you in. Her world building is brilliant. And the characters make you want to reach through the pages and get to know them just a little bit better. The fact that she doesn’t just do this in novels and novellas, but also short stories was a fantastic surprise to my mind.

 <- The Wager ReviewThe Dream Catcher Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

First Blood by Susan Sizemore, Erin McCarthy, Chris Marie Green & Meljean Brook

Overview
First Blood

Title: First Blood
Author: Susan Sizemore, Erin McCarthy, Chris Marie Green & Meljean Brook
In: First Blood (Susan Sizemore, Erin McCarthy, Chris Marie Green & Meljean Brook)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Short story collections, Vampires
Dates read: 26th August – 30th September 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Berkley
Year: 2008
5th sentence, 74th page: She tried to shove him off of her, but he was stronger.

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Synopsis

ONCE YOU ACQUIRE A TASTE FOR IT….

Susan Sizemore returns to the universe she created in her Laws of the Blood novels – with a sizzling story of the intimate relationship between a vampire Enforcer and a werewolf in “Cave Canem”.

In “Russian Roulette” by Erin McCarthy, fledgling vampire Sasha Chechikov flees the bright lights and dangerous slayers of Vegas for New Orleans, where she is saved by a vampire haunted by his past – and hungry for passion.

Set in the Vampire Babylon world, “Double the Bite” by Chris Marie Green puts the bond between twin female vampires to the test when one of them falls for her prey… and must choose between love and family.

And in Meljean Brook’s “Thicker Than Blood,” vampire Annie Gallagher needs help to save a young human girl named Cricket, but she doesn’t expect the help to come from the FBI agent she loved – and had to give up – when she was transformed.

These all-new darkly sensual tales will pull you into worlds that are as seductive as they are strange, where passion comes with a price… and longing is eternal.

Thoughts

This is a fantastic blood sucking selection of vampire romance tales. They’re full of lust, love and passion. Along with a little bit of kicking ass, finding yourself and forgiving the past. Everything that you want in a good collection of novellas. A little bit of spice, and a whole lot of sweet…

First Blood is a wonderful collection of tales. One that I thoroughly enjoyed sinking my fangs into and was a little bit disappointed when it ended. There is something kind of fun about vampire romances. Something which is fun and mostly sensual… if sometimes a little cliché. Luckily, none of these four novellas were able to be classified as overdone tropes… which, not so luckily, meant that I also have four series to add to my collection of to be read books.

This is a great collection of paranormal romance novellas. Every story is written by a master of her craft. And the stories are guaranteed to get your pulse racing, heart pumping, and imagination going wild. It’s just lucky that there aren’t likely to be any vampires waiting at your door for a nice romp in the dark.

 <- Thicker Than Blood ReviewCave Canem Review ->
Image source: Amazon

Enthralled by Lora Leigh, Alyssa Day, Meljean Brook & Lucy Monroe

Overview
Image result for enthralled lora leigh book cover

Title: Enthralled
Author: Lora Leigh, Alyssa Day, Meljean Brook & Lucy Monroe
In: Enthralled (Lora Leigh, Alyssa Day, Meljean Brook & Lucy Monroe)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, ShapeshiftersShort story collections
Dates read: 29th August – 30th September 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Novella
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: The first stroke of lightning-bright pain gave way to a steadily increasing inferno of pleasure Kate couldn’t fight and had no desire to escape.

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Synopsis

They Have the Power To Hold You Spellbound, To Captivate Your Senses, and to Keep You Forever in Their Control.
Forever enthralled…

1 New York Times bestselling author Lora Leigh returns to her sensual world of the Breeds…as a spirited female Wolf Breed finally meets her match, and can no longer deny her mate – or the fierce desires of her own heart.

New York Times bestselling author Alyssa Day introduces the League of the Black Swan…and the dangerous game one woman plays when her family’s curse dooms her to kill the man she loves.

New York Times bestselling author Meljean Brook delivers a new story in her steampunk world of the Iron Seas…as a man who’s lost everything returns home to find that not only is his marriage in jeopardy, but he must now fight pirates who intend to steal his one remaining treasure – his wife.

And Lucy Monroe, national bestselling author of the Children of the Moon novels, unleashes the feral passions of a werewolf on the body, mind, and soul of his prey, his lover, his mate.

Thoughts

I knew I was probably going to love this collection before I even read it – I already love three out of the four authors. Plus, it was a paranormal romance collection featuring animal shapeshifters in one form or another… topics that I absolutely adore…

Each of these four stories take place in larger, fantasy worlds. Ones that I’ve either already got an obsession with or am sure to develop an obsession with. They’re great as standalone novellas, but also fill in gaps for those series that I have read. If you want to find some new paranormal romance series and authors to add to your shelves… I’d definitely suggest trying this collection.

Enthralled is a somewhat fitting name. I was enthralled in each and every story from the very beginning. There was just enough lust and passion to make your heart beat, but so much more going on so it wasn’t one dimensional. From political intrigue to old vendettas, the extra storylines will enthral, fascinate and tie you up in knots. In the best way possible.

 <- Ecstasy Under the Moon ReviewThe Devil’s Due Review ->
Image source: Amazon

Thicker Than Blood by Meljean Brook

Overview
First Blood

Title: Thicker Than Blood
Author: Meljean Brook
Series: The Guardians #3.5
In: First Blood (Susan Sizemore, Erin McCarthy, Chris Marie Green & Meljean Brook)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: AngelsDemons, Paranormal romance, Vampires
Dates read: 30th September 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Berkley
Year: 2008
5th sentence, 74th page: All the while, telling me that I had to drink the vampire’s blood, that I had to willingly accept the change for the transformation to work.

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Synopsis

Six years ago, Jack Harrington was in love with Annie Gallagher, until her sudden death turned his world upside down. But when an intruder breaks into his home one night, the former FBI agent can barely believe his eyes – Annie’s alive… and a vampire.

After her sudden transition, Annie couldn’t bear to let Jack see all that she had become. One night she gives into temptation and decides to feed off a man who resembled Jack, only to find herself face to face with the man himself. Now that they’re together again, Jack’s not about to let Annie go, vampire or no. And Annie needs Jack’s help to find a missing girl named Cricket. Danger swirls around the pair as they search for Cricket while a demon bent on destroying all vampires closes in on the pair. Will love lost and found be able to overcome supernatural odds?

Thoughts

I found this story a little bit sad. Alright, there’s a happy ending… but the fact that a couple who so obviously loves one another is kept apart by a series of mistakes and misunderstandings… it was more than a little sad. I did like that the relationship was restored because of her constant need to be near him, and desire to find a little girl collide beautifully.

There are three tales which run through this story. Firstly, there’s the race to find Cricket with a mad man (or demon) on their trail. Secondly, a renegotiation of old relationships and sharing of the past as they try to find a future together. And, lastly, the thread which holds this novella to the rest of the Guardians series, the epic battle between light and dark that happens behind the scenes of our every day lives. Not many novellas would be able to include all of these storylines so seamlessly, but Meljean Brook managed to do this fantastically.

Thicker than Blood was a great novella with just the amount of angst and drama to keep me hooked, but not so much that I found it tedious. It made me want to run to my shelves and pick up the next book in the Guardians series, and just sink my nose into another day of fun and romance, forgetting the world and all of my responsibilities.

 <- Double the Bite ReviewFirst Blood Review ->
Image source: Amazon

Salvage by Meljean Brook

Overview
Image result for enthralled lora leigh book cover

Title: Salvage
Author: Meljean Brook
Series: The Iron Seas #3.5
In: Enthralled (Lora Leigh, Alyssa Day, Meljean Brook & Lucy Monroe)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Pirates, Steampunk romance
Dates read: 21st September 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: Suddenly her throat felt the same.

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Synopsis

New York Times bestselling author Meljean Brook delivers a new story in her steampunk world of the Iron Seas…as a man who’s lost everything returns home to find that not only is his marriage in jeopardy, but he must now fight pirates who intend to steal his one remaining treasure – his wife.

Thoughts

Men are stupid. To be fair, so are women. But in this story… men are stupid. And seriously dude, stop being so damn ignorant and love thy wife. We do not want money, we want our man. That’s it, rant over. This was actually an amazing novella. But I still left it thinking that men are kind of stupid. And need a bit of a kick up the butt to restore their brain cells.

I really enjoyed the slight revisitation to Ivy and Mad Machen in this story. They don’t actually make an appearance, but they are mentioned and their lives after the events of their story are happily alluded to a number of times. Enough to let you know that they’re enjoying their happily ever after, away from prying eyes and comfortable in their reputations.

I can’t imagine ever marrying a man that I wasn’t 100% sure of, that I knew inside and out. But there seems to be a slight theme in some of Meljean Brook’s stories about this happening. Two people who are 100% in love, but really not aware of each others’ personalities and needs. A bit of a case of jumping into the deep end, and then forgetting why you’re swimming. It’s a slightly painful trope. But also an incredibly fun one. One that I really enjoyed. And it almost worked better in this novella as their issues predominately come from misunderstandings and a desire to make each other happy. Whilst not actually understanding what their counterpart needs.

Add all of the relationship complications to the idea of pirates stealing a chest of gold; a diver trying to retrieve the treasure; and a murder or two of some rather unmoralistic mercenaries… well, it was a really good, enjoyable and fun ride. Just enough lust to make me miss my partner, but more about piracy and brigands on the seven seas… mixed in with a fantastic steampunk world.

 <- The Curse of the Black Swan ReviewEcstasy Under the Moon Review ->
Image source: Amazon

Hot Spell by Lora Leigh, Emma Holly, Shiloh Walker & Meljean Brook

Overview
Hot Spell

Title: Hot Spell
Author: Lora Leigh, Emma Holly, Shiloh Walker & Meljean Brook
In: Hot Spell (Lora Leigh, Emma Holly, Shiloh Walker & Meljean Brook)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: EroticaParanormal romance, Short story collections
Dates read: 3rd – 12th July 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2005
5th sentence, 74th page: He took his hand away.

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Synopsis

Venture into a world beyond the ordinary, where the dark passions and voracious appetites of vampires, werewolves, demons, and a few undaunted mortals combine to unleash a potent… HOT SPELL

Here are lovers like you’ve never dared to imagine: eyes that glitter with keeness born of ancient knowledge. Hands that move with a tenderness belying superhuman strength. Inviting smiles that reveal exquisitely letahl fangs. Rippling, leonine muscles. There’s danger in the air – and heat.

Steam rises up off the pages of these four scorching novellas, sensuously crafted by four acclaimed authors who beckon you to slip into the shadows and experience the otherworldly pleasures of the night…

Thoughts

Once upon a time I used to think that paranormal romance, romance and erotica stories were boring, smuttish and just not worth reading. I have changed my mind. In a big way. And it is collections like Hot Spell that really remind me of just why I did such a big turn around. These novellas and tales still include all of my favourite aspects of fantasy stories, but there is an extra layer of passion, lust and, dare I say it, cuteness to the stories that have me reaching for these stories again and again and again.

Originally I bought this book for the Meljean Brook story of Falling for Anthony. What I didn’t realise was that I would love the other three stories in this collection just as much. To the point that I now want all of these in my collection and don’t know which series to pick up next. They’re all perfect danglers for new authors and collections that I had not quite pictured wanting before.

For someone who, up until two years ago didn’t really read any romances, this collection (and others like it) have certainly drastically expanded the shelves. Alright, it’s not quite as big as my urban and paranormal fantasy collections because sometimes the sappy, happiness gets a bit much. But, if you’re looking for the perfect way to get into the more erotic side of the paranormal, I would definitely suggest adding this one to your shelves!

 <- The Blood Kiss ReviewThe Countess’s Pleasure Review ->
Image source: Meljean Brook

Novellas and Stories by Meljean Brook, Carolyn Crane & Jessica Sims

Overview
Image result for novellas and stories meljean brook book cover

Title: Novellas and Stories
Author: Meljean Brook, Carolyn Crane & Jessica Sims
In: Novellas and Stories (Meljean Brook, Carolyn Crane & Jessica Sims)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Short story collections, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 25th April – 20th June 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: The horn rang out again, and the dogs began to fall back.

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Synopsis

For the first time in print, six wild and steamy tales from three of today’s hottest paranormal and steampunk romance authors.

The Blushing Bounder by Meljean Brook – While the search for a killer puts Constable Newberry’s life in danger, he faces a danger of another kind: to his heart, by the woman forced to marry him. What will it take for this prudish bounder to convince his wife to stay?

Vixen by Jessica Sims – Miko’s denied her were-fox nature for far too long and turned her back on her vixen heritage. But when she meets two very sexy cat-shifters, she has to decide if she truly wants to give up on her frisky side, or embrace it. Because the were-fox in her doesn’t want to choose between both men… it wants them both.

Kitten-Tiger & the Monk by Carolyn Crane – Sophia Sidway, Midcity’s most dangerous memory revisionist, seeks out the mysterious Monk in the wasteland beneath the Tangle turnpike, hoping for redemption… but it turns out that the Monk is not all that pious, and the turnpike is no turnpike at all.

These lovers create their own heat, even when surrounded by ice…

Speed Mating by Jessica Sims – Estrella may be going into heat, but she’s determined to remain in control. Just because she’s ovulating doesn’t mean she has to settle for just any man (or his beast). Her sexy alpha’s determined to find her a tiger to take care of her heat and father her child… but no one seems to look quite as good as the man in charge. Will giving in to her need for her alpha ruin her tenuous relationship with her clan or be a match made in heaven?

Conjuring Max by Carolyn Crane – The witches of the world ridiculed nerdy Veronica for trying to use newfangled computers to enhance old world spellcasting. Well, it’s 1984 now, and she’s perfected her spellcasting computer program. Hey, who needs friends when you can conjure virtually anything… or anybody? So when Veronica makes powerful new enemies, she conjures Max, a pitbull of a cop, to deal with the pesky hitmen who keep coming around. But tough-guy Max is in no mood to play lapdog to a gorgeous witch.

Wrecked by Meljean Brook – Elizabeth has spent the past five years running from her father; her father’s huntsman, Caius, has spent the past five years pursuing her. But when he finally catches up to her on an airship flying above Europe’s zombie-infested cities, Elizabeth discovers that Caius isn’t the only danger she has to fear – and now that he’s found her, Caius doesn’t intend to let her go.

Thoughts

This was one of those great collections that had a really wide array of stories under the heading of paranormal romance. From incredibly erotic shapeshifter stories to tales of steampunk piracy across the worlds. Every moment of these six novellas are steamy, warm and full of passion. And of course, a little intrigue to make it impossible to put down.

Although I already knew Meljean Brook’s works, I loved being introduced to her new (to me) Iron Seas series. Which has kind of given me a new obsession – steampunk romance. But, there is another three new series that are featured in these novellas, which have now all been happily added to my wishlist in the hopes for a future time when I have some more cash.

This was one of those fun and easy reads which I will be picking up again and again. The stories are just fun and easy. Kind of cute. And a pleasure to read.

 <- Wrecked ReviewThe Blushing Bounder Review ->
Image source: Fantastic Fiction

Wrecked by Meljean Brook

Overview
Image result for novellas and stories meljean brook book cover

Title: Wrecked
Author: Meljean Brook
Series: The Iron Seas #3.4
In: Novellas and Stories (Meljean Brook, Carolyn Crane & Jessica Sims)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Pirates, Steampunk romance
Dates read: 20th June 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Novella
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: “Of course,” she said, as if she would have made exactly the same decision.

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Synopsis

Elizabeth has spent the past five years running from her father; her father’s huntsman, Caius, has spent the past five years pursuing her. But when he finally catches up to her on an airship flying above Europe’s zombie-infested cities, Elizabeth discovers that Caius isn’t the only danger she has to fear – and now that he’s found her, Caius doesn’t intend to let her go.

Thoughts

I really loved the moral questions that this novella posed. What do you do when you have the power of cloning? And, to begin with that question is just asked in a purely conservational role. And then it takes a darker, twistier turn that was distinctly uncomfortable. But it also worked into a really sweet romance (in the end, when all the twisty bits were sorted).

Wrecked bought an entirely different part of the Iron Seas world to life for me. I loved the mentions of Australia, the whirlwind flight across the skies and the discussion about just how important it was to conserve the remaining animals. Actually, it highlighted a end-of-the-world scenario that I really hadn’t imagined before. What happens to all of the animals when a plague of zombies is unleashed on the world?

My biggest complaint about this novella is that although they ride off into the sunset together, I want to know more about the happy little family that they create. Or at least the one that I’m imagining and picturing in my mind’s eye as I turn the final page.

 <- Conjuring Max ReviewNovellas and Stories Review ->
Image source: Fantastic Fiction

Mina Wentworth and the Invisible City by Meljean Brook

Overview
Image result for mina wentworth and the invisible city meljean brook book cover

Title: Mina Wentworth and the Invisible City
Author: Meljean Brook
Series: The Iron Seas #1.5
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Pirates, Steampunk romance
Dates read: 30th April 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Novella
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: When he left, Geordie asked me to ‘Take Billy.’

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

Eight months after The Iron Duke, can their marriage survive a new danger?

After Mina is called in to investigate the murder of an aristocratic bounder, her husband Rhys—known to the world as the Iron Duke—must overcome his fear for his new bride before his need to protect her tears them apart. But when she invites him to join her at the murder scene, a search for a mysterious killing machine puts her in more danger than ever before…a danger that leads straight back to Rhys.

Thoughts

One of the most frustrating things that I tend to find about paranormal romance stories are that you don’t really find out how they live their lives after they ride off into the sunset, happily ever after. It’s all well and good to have that amazing story about passion and fire and those first, loving moments together when everything finally fits. But that isn’t entirely realistic… there is another kind of love, when the fiery passions become a slow burn that continues over the years. So the fact that there is a novella about Mina and Rhys 8 months after they get married… I was much happier and more settled in their happiness.

Although this story is very much about settling into a new way of life, and understanding what it means to love another, there is also a great secondary story. Like The Iron Duke there is a bit of a mystery as to who the villain truly is. And a bit of a risk lingering for both of the primary characters. One that you know is going to come to head fairly quickly. It gave the story a little more pressure and spice than just an insight into the daily lives of this unique couple. And one that made it impossible to put down this novella… even though I really, really needed to sleep.

 <- The Iron Duke ReviewHeart of Steel Review ->
Image source: Goodreads