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WhiskeyintheJar Romance

Romance book talk, reviews, recipes, and dog pictures

Blogger Site: WhiskeyintheJar Romance

Guest Reviewer at:  Reading Between the Wines book club

Currently reading

An Unseen Attraction
K.J. Charles
There's Only Been You
Donna Marie Rogers

Kyraryker’s quotes


"She thought it over, but couldn’t see any immediate loopholes other than the threat of her inner slut emerging, and she could darned well control that little bitch."— Susan Elizabeth Phillips

50%

A Gentleman Never Keeps Score - Cat Sebastian

He didn’t know what Sam wanted to hear, but he had a sinking feeling that whatever it was, he couldn’t say it.

30%

Flesh and the Devil (Troubadour Books) - Teresa Denys

Bodice Ripping element was strong in this part :/ and some uh-oh for heroine character flip scripting.

For comments and quotes - Buddy Read The Flesh and the Devil

Reading Update: 20%

A Gentleman Never Keeps Score - Cat Sebastian

He reminded himself that rich people, including the pretty one sitting across from him, were a puzzle he didn’t want to solve. Even if they did have misbuttoned waistcoats.

Reading Update: 15%

Flesh and the Devil (Troubadour Books) - Teresa Denys

"Enjoying this dark, ominous, twisty-turny atmosphere. 

For comments and quotes - Buddy Read The Flesh and the Devil

Reading Update: 30%

Alaska Wild - Helena Newbury

"Because suddenly, all of that wild that had made me so nervous outside was standing right in front of me, distilled into six feet plus of muscle and stubble. His eyes were the same brutal, frozen blue as the sky outside. Alaskan blue.

Cover model is giving me mountain man Jake Gyllenhaal vibes

Historical women shout-outs

Breathless - Beverly Jenkins

The heat now glittering in his eyes touched her like a hand. “You are going to be in so much trouble, Miss Bookkeeper.” 

I was really enjoying this one, more so than the first one because I thought the hero and heroine had better back and forth (I still had moments where I thought the dialogue was a bit stop and go), but the last 40% or so was pretty full of dropped in and random threads. 
There was some awesome shout-outs to historical women figures and Jenkins does a great job of setting the scene, made you feel the West. There's not a lot of angst between our couple but I enjoyed their chemistry, not scorching but playful. 
I just don't understand how the last half ending wasn't cleaned up more, it left you feeling as if alternate endings were dropped in together and messily meshed together.
Going to read the third because Regan was a character that grabbed my attention and Jenkins gives good historical feel and context (There's a tiny Geronimo and Lozen guest appearance here!).

50%

Breathless - Beverly Jenkins

Ada took issue with the way the great Sojourner Truth was being held up as ignorant and illiterate. “The manner in which her words are portrayed in some of the pamphlets irks me to no end. She speaks English and Dutch, which is one more language than any of those other women speak.”

Fascinated, Portia admitted, “I didn’t know that.”

“She began life as a Dutch slave. English is not her first language, but to hear the movement’s leaders tell it, she speaks like an unschooled Deep South slave. And why they refuse to allow Colored women in their ranks says a lot about who they are. Especially Elizabeth Cady Stanton. This phrase they’re beginning to use—intelligent suffrage—is designed to leave women of our race on the side of the road. As if they’re the only ones with enough smarts to read a ballot.”

Portia had seen the phrase bandied about in the newspapers. Stanton and some of the other leaders were advancing the notion that a test of some sort be applied to ensure that only women of sound mind be given the vote, which of course everyone knew would be applied specifically to women of color. Stanton was still smarting from Colored men having been given the access to the voting booth ahead of them with the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment. In Portia’s mind, if they were all so keen on an immediate solution they should be advocating a movement to Wyoming Territory where women were given the vote in 1869.

Reading Update: 30%

Breathless - Beverly Jenkins

“I do like those high-collared blouses you wear.”

She looked down at herself.

“Makes me want to undo all the little buttons and see how you manage with my kisses against your bare throat. Curious about what scent you place there, too.”

Emotional

Forbidden - Helen Kirkman

For more comments and quotes - Buddy Read Forbidden

"The marks that are on me will be there all my life, not to be hidden by overlong hair, or by clothing, so that no one asks any awkward questions. They will always be there and even if they were not, even if it were possible to be rid of them it would not matter. 
Because they are nothing to what is on the inside."
 


Written in a different tone, think languid, poetic, and atmospheric, and voice, think internal/emotional, this story felt quite unique and unlike a lot of romance books. I'm usually a fast reader but this story made me slow down and take breaks, instead of my read in one to three sittings. The tone can drag you down at times as a lot of the action takes place from our hero and heroine's internal thoughts but it ramps up the emotional aspects. The writing style won't be for everyone but if you can let the characters and setting seep into you, you'll enjoy and get lost in Rowena's struggle to survive as a woman in limited power and the thrall Wulf she buys to help her. 

The author did a good job with the power dynamics, Wulf is the slave but as a man and more strength than Rowena, he has his own sense of power. Their relationship was slow burning and sparking at different turns and as most the story depends on them together, their chemistry does not disappoint. Rowena was a great heroine who acknowledges and uses what powers she has and while I liked Wulf, I would have liked his backstory to have been revealed earlier, would have filled out his character more. 

You will definitely enjoy the historical aspect of the story. The author does an incredible job setting the time and place with harvest festivals mentioned, terminology, and even an inclusion of King Ines (who I think gets overshadowed by Alfred the Great too often). 

There's heat, passion, and betrayal in this one. I enjoyed going to a different time and place and while the tone and slower pace may not be for everyone, if you're looking to escape the typical romance, this one would fit the bill.

60%

A Devil in the Details: A Jesse James Dawson Novel   [DEVIL IN THE DETAILS] [Mass Market Paperback] - By (author) K A Stewart

Ivan cursed, using words and terms I didn’t want to understand. “You and this honor of yours. Sometimes, honor must be put aside!”

“And that’s usually when you need it the most.”

Reading Update: 20%

A Devil in the Details: A Jesse James Dawson Novel   [DEVIL IN THE DETAILS] [Mass Market Paperback] - By (author) K A Stewart

A samurai who turns his back on those in need is no better than any other common thug. He should protect the weak and advocate for good over evil. Shirking that duty would be a great act of dishonor. And that’s just not who I am.

35%

Forbidden - Helen Kirkman

She had placed her body between him and his target. She had no weapons. None but those that women had. Words and looks. And the hidden thoughts of the mind.

More comments and quotes - Buddy Read Forbidden

Reading Update: 15%

Forbidden - Helen Kirkman

Weakness. The weak got trampled on. The weak were killed. And they brought death where they should have been able to protect. She would never walk that road again.

Intrigued by heroine,enjoying atmosphere created so far

More quotes,comments - Buddy Read Forbidden

Reading Update: 30%

Midnight Kiss - Rebecca York

"What mythical creature has cloven hoofs and walks on two legs?" Matthew suddenly demanded.

Jessica's head snapped up.  "Pan.  The Greek God of the Forests.  Or the... the devil."

Stray Magic by Kelly Meding

Stray Magic - Kelly Meding

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Shiloh is a U.S. Marshall in the Paranormal Investigation Unit. Her have to be available at all hours job makes relationships difficult, to say the least. However, her current boyfriend Vincent has her wondering if maybe more could be on the horizon, until a Vampire decides to take over a trailer park.
It is all on Shiloh as her boss goes missing, black magic is creeping around, and enemies and allies get switched around. 
 
First in a new Urban Fantasy series, Stray Magic doesn't mess around in dropping you into the world, so much so, I felt a bit lost and overwhelmed in the beginning. This is the first in the series but I couldn't help feeling I was missing some background in regards to character relationships. There are some info dumps for the world building but with references to super computers and advanced technology alongside a video rental store and flip phones, it was hard to set the story in a time and place. The acknowledgment of some supernatural and paranormal beings, being known to the world, is just that, a brief acknowledgement. I would have liked a more thorough explanation of the world; this feeling was tied into feeling like this wasn't the start of the series. 
 
Told in first person from our heroine Shiloh's point-of-view, she is our leader through the story. She is half djinn half human with abilities to grant three wishes and has Quarrel pheromones that are hard for her to control. She is tough, snarky, and fun to follow along with but it was hard to feel her emotional connection to the other characters, thus, making secondary characters feel vaguer. 
 
This story is basically Shiloh trying to solve a mystery with supernatural beings and seemingly involved in, not a love triangle, but love quad. Shiloh has her boyfriend Vincent, who, she keeps saying, she wants more with, the vampire Tennyson who she spends the most time with and while it seems there may be more on his side, there are leanings from her, and her co-worker and ex, Jaxon. What we get from her thoughts about Jaxon are mostly, her observations about how hot he looks, how pretty his eyes are, and remembering how much she liked him in the bedroom; it doesn't feel deep. There seems to be or was a deeper relationship between them but we never see it and I never felt it. 
 
The mystery/thriller angle of investigating who is behind the necromancy and black magic was fun to follow along with but we barely got to know the villain and the wrap-up of that part was rushed. There are some shocking twists along the way but some felt unsupported making the plot threads feel wild and loosely thrown about. 
 
Shiloh was a solid character but emotional connections to secondary characters helping us get to know them and create a setting and world was lacking. There was an outline of the supernatural world but random components (Shiloh's quarrel pheromones, Crux sexual transport) were thrown out there and never really integrated with the story and characters. There are loose ends at the end of the story with part of the mystery not solved and the quad love angle getting a twist. If looking for a female lead urban fantasy with supernatural beings running amok, this would fit the bill, just be prepared for this to feel more like a dry first reading and hope for emotional connections/understandings/payoffs to come in the second.

Reading Update: 50%

Barely A Bride - Rebecca Hagan Lee

“You read too much,” Lady Tressingham said flatly. “And you think too much. It puts silly notions in your head.”

More quotes and comments - Buddy Read Barely A Bride