I am very good at starting series and not so good at finishing them. This means that I have started four new SFF romance series in the last two months that I can now write mini reviews for but have not read a single sequel yet. I am, however, planning on continuing will all the series because I did like each first book enough to want to see where the story goes next.
Tempting Danger (World of the Lupi #1) by Eileen Wilks
This book is more on the urban fantasy than paranormal romance spectrum but what we get of the couple really worked for me. Lily Yu is a police detective investigating a murder, Rule Turner is one of the suspects – this is, admittedly, a fairly common storyline for UF, but I really enjoyed the world and most importantly Lily Yu who is prickly and clever and just kickass. The “mating” angle is approached with about as much horror by Yu as I would approach it and I appreciated that – and I appreciated that Turner gives her as much room to come to terms with what this mating means for her as he can give her.
3 out of 5 stars
Polaris Rising (Consortium Rebellion #1) by Jessie Mihalik
The strongest part of this space opera kind of romance is the chemistry between the two main characters. The world building is nothing super spectacular but exciting enough for me to want to keep reading, my usual problems with scifi were not as strong, and Ada is a kickass space princess. She is my favourite kind of heroine: seriously kickass, snarky, but also vulnerable. I appreciated the emphasis on consent and the way the relationship developed – and that these two difficul people at least tried to communicate with each other. The narrative voice did not always work for me (probably because I could not help compare it to Kate Daniels’ voice in Ilona Andrews’ series) but I am excited to see where the story goes next.
3 out of 5 stars
Dragon Bound (Elder Races #1) by Thea Harrison
This one is pure and simple popcorn paranormal romance and I had so much fun reading it. I liked the world with its many warring factions and different kind of mythical creatures enough to overlook a lot of what was trope-y here – and if the ending had not pivoted to one of my all-time least favourite plotpoints, my overall rating would have been higher. I enjoyed the “fated mates” romance angle and liked that Dragos really tries to treat Pia the best possible way and to learn from his mistakes. As always, I like how kickass Pia is once she stops hiding from what she is, I am easily pleased like that.
3.5 out of 5 stars
A Heart of Blood and Ashes (A Gathering of Dragons #1) by Milla Vane
The dark, angsty, brutal fantasy romance of my dreams. While Maddek is often kind of awful, he does admit when he is wrong and gives good grovel, but the star of the show is definitely Yvenne, an unlikely warrior-queen who just kicks ass in all the ways I adore while being different from the usual heroines. The world-building is impeccable and always congruent with the character development in a way that I really appreciated. The language is interesting and kind of old-timey in a way that just completely worked for me. I cannot wait for the next book in the series to come out.
Content warning: rape (world building), torture, gore, forced abortion, dismemberment, abuse, so much blood
4 out of 5 stars