The Runes of Destiny – Christina Courtenay

Welcome back everyone, this will be my last review of the year and I’m so glad it’s ending on this one!

In a kind of Outlander feel, Linnea travels back to Viking times and finds herself stuck there. As the story went on, I thought this would be similar to Jennifer Macaire’s books where once you’ve travelled back in time, that’s it. You’re stuck.

As Linnea’s relationship with Hrafn continues to develop I thought for sure that that’d be it. If given a choice of being able to return to her own time she’d stay with Hrafn. Yet in some twists I didn’t see coming Christina creates a unique twist to time travel that both Outlander and Jennifer Macaire don’t include.

Not only does this help build the story and create even MORE drama. It creates an ending that’s so different to many other time travel stories. The only downside to this is that I really wish I had’ve seen the promised visit as an epilogue. I got to the last chapter and I was like “yeap, this is the end of the story but the epilogue will close it all off sweetly with this little bit I want to see.”

But then you reach the end of the chapter and that’s it. You’ve finished.

No super sweet ending to round out everything else that’s happened to Linnea and Hrafn over the previous year.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review as I take a break until the new year, I’m planning to make some changes to how this all looks so I hope you’ll come back then to check it out. It might take me a little while to transition existing reviews into the new look (because I don’t think I can get it done before the new year begins!) but all new reviews moving forwards will look a little different.

Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available and I look forward to you coming back to a fresh look in the new year.

Author Bio

Christina Courtenay writes historical romance, time slip and time travel stories, and lives in Herefordshire (near the Welsh border) in the UK. Although born in England, she has a Swedish mother and was brought up in Sweden – hence her abiding interest in the Vikings. Christina is a former chairman of the UK’s Romantic Novelists’ Association and has won several awards, including the RoNA for Best Historical Romantic Novel twice with Highland Storms (2012) and The Gilded Fan (2014).  The Runes of Destiny (time travel published by Headline 10th December 2020) is her latest novel. Christina is a keen amateur genealogist and loves history and archaeology (the armchair variety).

Lost Time – D.L. Orton

Welcome back everyone, I’m finally back with the second book in the Between Two Evils series. I’d hoped I could bring you books 2, 3 and 4 in 3 consecutive weeks but it looks like book 4 will need to wait since it’s still a work in progress.

The first thing I need to say is, I HATE CLIFF HANGERS!

Like, I love them, coz it means the author has well and truly hooked me in their story. But I hate them because I need to get the next book to find out what happens. In this case I was lucky enough to have the next book ready to go. But we’re not always that lucky.

Moving onto the story and why you should read this series (because yes, I think you really should read this series). In a way I was expecting to start off with Isabel, or maybe go to Diego then back to Isabel like the first book.

Nope.

The whole book followed Diego. And what a story it was! I saw some glimpses of some things that explained a few things from the end of the first book. No solid answers, but little hints that suggest at something interesting. And I’m looking forward to reading all the in-between bits!

I’m not sure how I feel about one of the romances, but we can’t love everything every time. Even then, Orton did it so well that it was more of a suggested romance and more of a friendship than a true romance. That made it ok for me because it didn’t take away from the wider story, even when it felt like for a bit there it might.

And then all hell broke loose, drama began, everything that could go wrong was suddenly going wrong. Only for Orton to end on a line that normally doesn’t even end a chapter! Let alone a book!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing The Secret Letters by Taryn Leigh.

Dead Time – D.L. Orton

Welcome back everyone, it’s double trouble today! I bet you weren’t expecting a second review today!

Well I jumped into this as soon as I finished the second book, Lost Time so figured I could bring it to you at the same time as well since I technically forgot to set up Lost Time for you last week. Whoops!

We get another book where we don’t see Isabel at all. So I feel like my theory is holding true, don’t worry, I won’t ruin it for you! And some things are consistent with the previous books which really intrigues me!

Since you’ve figured out by now from the blurbs that we’re time travelling, we’re also universe travelling! Making the similarities and differences a really interesting point to consider and track. Which points are so key to the whole problem that they’re the same regardless, and which are the points that change whether they survive or not?

D.L. Orton suggested I’d be unhappy with the ending because of a cliffhanger, and yet this felt like it had a really smooth ending. The last book felt like it ended mid-paragraph. Whereas this had a natural ending and I can picture in my mind how the next book will pick up.

Am I going to be right? Who knows!

Am I looking forward to the next book? You bet cha! Can’t wait for her to finish writing it so I can bring you a review for it!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Monday I’ll be reviewing The Secret Letters by Taryn Leigh.

Crossing in Time – D.L. Orton

Welcome back everyone, Dave over at The Write Reads knows how to find me good fantasy and sci-fi books. And this isn’t any different, how does he keep finding books that leave me wanting more?

I’m a fan of time travel, especially when it’s about finding your lost love. It just screams amazing, epic, love story. What other kind of story can give you all the feels and leave you wanting more?

Based on the blurb, I thought more time would be spent in the past. I thought the way time travel would work would be different.

One of the great things about time travel is that every author can make it their own thing. I’ve seen quite a few different types of time travel of the years and explored the laws surrounding it. And still I was totally surprised about how this works!

Before I talk about the ending, I want to say one thing. The prologue doesn’t seem to fit with the story and when it occurs. The information in it felt conflicting once I got to the part of the story it sat in. I’m not sure if this was just something small that got overlooked, but a couple of sentences really made it feel weird to me. And it’s something that can be easily fixed so I wanted to call it out.

Ok. The ending.

What an ending!

Of all the twists and turns we’d already experienced in the story that ending was NOT one I saw coming!

I got to the end and all I could think was “But…but…wait…no…what? What just happened?” Obviously, that means I need the next book. I need to know what happens next. I need to understand which of the theories going through my head might be right!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Friday I’ll be starting my reviews of the Boys of Jackson Harbour series by Lexi Ryan with Straight up Love. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

DL ORTON, THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR of the BETWEEN TWO EVILS series, lives in the foothills of the Rockies where she and her husband are raising three boys, a golden retriever, two Siberian cats, and an extremely long-lived Triops.‍

In her spare time, she’s building a time machine so that someone can go back and do the laundry.

Holding Out for a Hero – T.E. Kessler and Louise Wise

Welcome back everyone, I’m desperately trying to keep up with my commitments. Especially those I made with Rachel.

I love sci-fi, alien romances and romances in general. So I jumped on the opportunity to read this series, one I hadn’t heard of before. In some ways this book is amazing, and then in others I hated it and felt the writer was immature, out of touch and generally needed help writing romances.

The politics, the intrigue, the action. It all kept me engaged, interested and wanting to read more.

What fell apart for me was the romance and sex scenes. They felt weird, out of touch and unrealistic. What really made this obvious for me was when Nacifer’s kinkiness came out. I’ve nothing against that kind of sexual antics, but it felt weird to bring it out within a couple of days of properly meeting and starting to date someone.

You’ve barely begun to explore each other’s bodies. How can you be bored enough to need to move onto other exploits so soon?

I also realised at that point that the book spans less than a week. I get instant attraction, lust etc. But love to the point of willing to die for the other, break oaths, turn your back on your own species? It just felt weird to me.

I also found the language used in all of the sex scenes was clinical, rushed and generally made me think the author was a guy trying to get into the female psyche. You know when guys try to talk dirty and as a woman, you’re like “that just feels gross, no, just stop talking, that’s not sexy”. That’s how I felt reading those sex scenes.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Friday I’ll be reviewing Battle Magic by Tamora Pierce. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

Tina Kessler writes steamy romance for the 18+ market and is the pen name of Louise Wise.

Louise Wise is a British author from the Midlands in England. Her debut novel is the acclaimed sci-fi romance titled EDEN, which was followed by its sequel HUNTED in 2013.

Forthcoming, JELVIA: NOT HUMAN series is themed on the above Eden and Hunted books.

  • HOLDING OUT FOR A HERO book 1
  • SURVIVING HER DOMINANT book 2
  • SPIDER book 3 will be released late spring, 2020.

Wise took the decision to write under the name of T. E Kessler for her JELVIA: NOT HUMAN series to separate them from her regular novels to the mature material. Her other works include:

  • Eden (sci-fi romance) – slight sex references
  • Hunted (sci-fi romance) slight sex references
  • A Proper Charlie (romantic comedy)
  • Oh No, I’ve Fallen in Love! (dark, comedy romance)
  • Wide Awake Asleep (time travel, romance)

Wise enjoys writing comedy and finds a place for it in ALL her books. She has written numerous short stories for women’s magazines such as Take a Break and Woman’s Own.

Cold Temptation – Zoe Ashwood

Welcome back everyone, I have a bonus review for you, courtesy of Zoe Ashwood!

I’ve been looking forward to reading this since Zoe announced this world was turning into a series. And I want to lead with the fact that I’m already looking forward to the final instalment. Not that I’m sure when that’s coming out… Hopefully later this yr!

I loved the way the Mika and Kol were fighting their attraction yet fighting to be together as well. Like Cold Attraction, we come in after the initial romantic feelings begin, and get the story after that. In this case we begin at the funeral of the previous King of Rendu.

Unlike the previous book, the drama doesn’t come from external forces and the human need to know more. This time it comes purely from Mika and her desire to know more about the animals of Rendu while also proving to be incredibly unlucky.

I mean, who else falls down a glacier, goes walking in a blizzard and gets sick?

Those trails and tribulations put a lot of pressure on them and their relationship. Following both of them as they learn about the other customs, world, dangers, weaknesses, strengths and their place in each other’s lives was so enjoyable.

I know whenever I read one of Zoe’s book’s I’m in for a quick, fun, action packed romance that’s a little different to her previous books. It feels like with every book she writes she does something a little bit different.

The only thing I was really surprised about was the epilogue. The first book had the epilogue months after from Adriana’s point of view. Having this one be from Hanna’s point of view was quite a surprise. Yet it’s what’s driving my excitement about the final book. So I kinda get why Zoe decided to change her pace for the epilogue this time.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Monday I’ll be reviewing Clover Cottage by Christie Barlow.

Cold Attraction – Zoe Ashwood

Welcome back everyone, I bet you weren’t expecting a review today!

Well neither was I!

Zoe gave me the heads-up last week that she had a new release ready to be read and reviewed and I just so happened to be finishing up another book and am way ahead of schedule. So, I figured why not throw in a surprise review for you! Especially since this was released YESTERDAY! So it’s really fresh off the press for you.

Zoe has written paranormal romance and sweet romance before, and I will admit to preferring the paranormal romance. But I think that has more to do with my ambivalence to sweet romance than anything else. With the new series being an alien romance, I was hoping it’d lean back towards the style I like.

Right from the start it was infused with political intrigue, sexual attraction and verbal sparring. We come in after Adriana and Taron have already had a kiss that was interrupted so there’s already some history. Meaning we skip all the awkward meeting, will it, won’t it initial kind of insecurities.

With some handy gadgets that translate any language spoken to one the wearer understands, Adriana and Taron skip a lot of potential misunderstandings that happen when people speak different languages. I was left a little confused when he understood some sayings, but not others. I mean, people from another language probably don’t understand any of my Aussie sayings and phrases, so how is it that an alien species understand half of them?

Do I seem to have some weird love of alien romance? Apparently, I do!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be back to my regular Monday reviews, this time with Intimate Strangers by Lasairiona E. McMaster.

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