Mini-Reviews: Indie Edition #2

I’m really loving doing mini-reviews at the moment—I don’t know what it is, but they’re fun! So today I have a few Indie books to share with you all. Half of these reads are from Indie Accords back in July and the other half are from last week, so with that said, let’s jump in.

Spiked by C.P Rider

I was genuinely shocked by how much I enjoyed this. This is definitely out of my comfort zone—I hadn’t really read anything paranormal since the heyday of Twilight and that whole moment, but this has encouraged me to go back into reading that kind of thing. I don’t really know why I decided to pick this up but from the first page, I was totally intrigued by the story. I felt like I couldn’t stop reading and I was so immersed in the story that my commute to work felt like no time at all. I thought the world in this was just so interesting and I loved that it kind of had these wholesome moments because the main character, Neely, owns a bakery and the talk about all the Mexican-American food just made me extremely hungry. I don’t know that I completely got the shifter parts of the story—I’m not well-versed in the terms and the tropes, but I still enjoyed it. I also loved the fact that this is a slow-burn romance—it was just done so well. It was one of those ‘omg just kiss already!’ types of stories so I think the tension was done really well.

Pawn’s Gambit by Rob J. Hayes

Pawn’s Gambit is the kind of companion sequel to Never Die which I reviewed in my last batch of Indie mini-reviews here. I actually started this one a few days after finishing that but this one took me quite a lot longer to read. The first book is very fast-paced and action-driven and it follows a whole cast of characters, but this second one is more of a complex story. It’s still fast-paced but it follows one character more closely and delves more into the world than the previous one. It’s sort of hard to explain but both books feel like they’re paced exactly how they need to be so this never felt like it dragged or anything like that. I honestly can’t decide whether I liked this more or less than the first one—both have their strengths and weaknesses. For example, I really like the premise behind this one, which is sort of like a God & Goddess led treasure hunt, but I missed getting the full cast of characters that we had in book one. Nonetheless, I’ve loved reading this series so far and I’m very excited for the third book to be released at the end of next month and to get a chance to try some of Rob J. Hayes’ other books after that.

Fantasy of Frost by Kelly St. Clare

This is one of the books that my lovely friend Lana picked out for me as part of a book haul series I do over on my booktube channel, and I’m so glad this ended up being one of her picks. I’d never heard of this series before and I went into it without knowing anything and ended up loving it. I think this is a really fascinating world—we get lots of elemental based worlds in fantasy but I’ve never seen one done like this before. The characters are also really interesting—I especially like how the side characters develop as the protagonist learns more about them and their world. It’s like we’re in her shoes, learning more about them as we go along. The only thing that really stopped this from being a five-star for me was the fact that the romance doesn’t really start up in this one yet but I’m very excited to see how that will develop over the rest of the series.

Blood Oath by Raye Wagner and Kelly St Clare

After loving Fantasy of Frost so much, I decided that I had to read everything Kelly St Clare had put out and decided to start with this one. I mean, a dragon shifter romance? I could get into that. Unfortunately, this one was not for me at all. I found it boring as hell and really struggled to get into it. Nothing really happened apart from a decent amount of torture and that definitely didn’t hold my interest. I didn’t find any of the characters interesting either—a few of them felt quite similar and I couldn’t work out what the point of them was. Also, I don’t believe this one is a reverse harem, but there were about four different men who could’ve been the love interest and none of them were particularly interesting. So all in all, this definitely left a lot to be desired but I gave it a chance and now I know that I don’t want to continue on with this particular series.

And that’s it for these today. Have you read any of these? What Indie books are you reading lately?


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