I finally have some more mini romance reviews to share with you all today. I’ve been putting this together for a few months, but quite a few of the romances I’ve read lately have been parts of other posts. So today I’ve got a mix—a Beverly Jenkins, two Katee Robert and a Nalini Singh review, let’s jump in.
Rebel by Beverly Jenkins
This one actually checks off quite a few projects and whatnot I’d set myself this year, so I’ll share those and then I’ll talk about my actual feelings of this book. Firstly, back at the very start of January, I picked out Beverly Jenkins as one of the romance authors I really wanted to read this year so that’s another one of that list. A few days later Angel actually picked this one out for me as part of our Best Friend Picks My TBR challenge and then I added it to my list of romance books to read next in February. Now onto my actual feelings—I had seriously high hopes for this. On top of everything I just mentioned, I’ve been listening to other romance readers wax poetically about Beverly Jenkins for about a year now, so it honestly hurts me to say I didn’t love this one. Right from the start, I didn’t get on with Jenkins’ writing style at all—it felt very ‘he did this, and then she said this and then…’ etc. etc. It felt very stunted in that way and it meant I really struggled with it. Things also felt very convenient and not very fleshed out—I don’t want to spoil anything, but there’s a part towards the end where the characters say this one thing will probably happen and then that thing happens two pages later just in the middle of a completely random scene. I don’t want to sound rude when I say this, but to me, this felt like the first draft of a first book. It just needed some narrative and pacing work in my opinion. That being said, I did enjoy the characters for the most part and I don’t want to write Jenkins off as an author yet. I have Destiny’s Embrace as an ebook, which is a part of a different series, so I figure I might as well give that one a chance to see if that’s more my style.
Neon Gods by Kate Robert
We’re about to completely switch gears, are you ready for it? Neon Gods. Wow. Neon freaking Gods. I’m not by any means a reader of those darker romances—usually, I just find them super uncomfortable and I can barely get past a few pages, but I gave Neon Gods a go because who doesn’t love a good Hades & Persephone retelling? And oh boy, I’m glad I did. I thought this was incredible—right from the very beginning I just knew this would end up being one of my favourites of the year and I was definitely right. This is hands down one of the sexiest books I’ve ever read, even if you took out all smut in this book, I swear it would still be steamy as hell. But it’s also strangely wholesome in the way that Hades and Persephone care for one another. I absolutely love romance books that manage to find that balance between things. I also really liked the premise and how the Gods still all had their domains but in a different way than God of the Underworld, of the Sea etc. Since this is the first book in the series and takes place sort of away from all the ‘action’ if you will, I really hope we’ll get to see more of how that all works in the next few books. But I have a feeling that even if we don’t, this is going to end up being one of my favourite series.
Desperate Measures by Katee Robert
I thought Neon Gods was hot, but wow, helllllo Desperate Measures. This book made me feel like I genuinely needed to like fan myself, because goddamn it is spicy. Like I said above, this is not my usual style of romance at all but I couldn’t resist trying something else of Katee Robert’s while I wait for the next Dark Olympus book to come out next year. On top of that, I’m not usually into this sort of dark Disney retelling style either but holy shit. I have to admit, I didn’t love this as much of Neon Gods in terms of plot or characters, but I still really enjoyed it. I honestly never thought that I’d find Jafar hot, but here we are. I still don’t really understand what kind of world this is meant to be set in, so I’m hoping that becomes a little more obvious in the next book but we’ll see. So I’ve already bought the rest of the books in the series because I clearly have a problem. I guess this is my year of Katee Robert, then?
Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh
I’ve been listening to Angel talk about this series for like an entire year now and have kept telling her that I’d eventually get around to starting it. Then I read the first two books of Nalini’s other series and fell in love so I knew I’d have to read this one soon. I’m glad to say I ended up loving this one just as much. I have to say, just from these first two books that there are a lot of similarities between the two—the plots feel kind of similar as well sort of the set-up of the characters if that makes sense. That being said, I didn’t hate that. Nalini knows how to make those elements work and I’m excited to see what direction book two of this series is going to go. Just like with the Katee Robert’s, I’m sure I’ll be reading the rest of the series as soon as I can too.
And that’s it for today’s mini-reviews. I will catch you all again tomorrow!