I veered off my TBR list because I saw these four novellas released this month. Also, what kind of KU list would this be without a Ruby Dixon somewhere in the mix? I didn’t read them in order, but instead read based on my interest in the genre and blurbs.
WHAT I READ IN NOVEMBER:
The Midwinter Mail-Order Bride by Kati Wilde – AMZ
Mail Order Brides Book 4
Some might call Princess Anja of Ivermere brave for offering herself up as a bride to Kael the Conqueror, a barbarian warlord who’d won his crown by the bloodied edge of his sword. It was not courage that drove Anja from her magic-wielding family’s enchanted palace, however, but a desperate attempt to secure a kingdom of her own—even if she has to kill the Conqueror to do it. She expects pain beneath his brutal touch as she awaits her chance. She expects death if he discovers the truth of her intentions.
She didn’t expect Kael to reject her and send her back to Ivermere.
Raised in the ashes of the Dead Lands, Kael fears nothing—certainly not the beautiful sorceress who arrives at his mountain stronghold. And no matter how painful his need for her, he has no use for a bride who would only tolerate his kiss. Yet the more of Anja’s secrets he uncovers during their journey to return her home, the more determined he becomes to win the princess’s wary heart.
And Kael the Conqueror has never been defeated…
No surprise that I would pick the fantasy to read first, even though this is technically listed as the fourth book in the series. Not that the order really matters because none of these novellas are linked in any way other than they have the common thread of mail order brides running from something and finding their HEA along the way.
Out of the four books released Midwinter Mail-Order Bride felt the most complete. The world building is unique and interesting, and set up very well in my opinion. I liked the concept of a world full of magic that has consequences. You can’t create or heal something unless you take away or injure something else. Anja as grown up with this concept her whole life, and doesn’t see it as wrong until she meets Kael.
He is a king who hates all the tediousness of being king. He makes no excuses for himself, when his new subjects accuse him of being a bloodthirsty killer, he agrees. Yet, Anja sees a different man who is fair and protective. He accompanies Anja back to her home when she insists her mother and father are in danger and during that journey their relationship develops from enemies, to friends, to true love.
The Verdict: I could easily fall into this world again.
The Alien’s Mail-Order Bride by Ruby Dixon – AMZ
Mail Order Brides Book 1
Though still carrying the scars of his past as an intergalactic soldier, Emvor doesn’t mind the quiet of his chosen life as a farmer. He doesn’t even mind that most nights are lonely on remote Cassa, but he does need help around his farm. A mail-order bride from his homeworld seems like the perfect solution. She’ll be a tall, sturdy female to help with the chores and bear his children.
Unfortunately, the person that arrives is Nicola. She’s small, delicate…and human. She also knows nothing about farming, and she’s lied and deceived her way across the galaxy to get to Cassa so she can hide from those that would capture her. She’s a problem, and also the most enticing thing he’s ever seen.
Now Emvor has to decide…can he keep the woman who’s nothing like what he asked for but is everything he needs?
In the same world as Ice Planet Barbarians and Icehome, and really all of her sci/fi non-motorcycle club/PNR titles, Ms. Dixon pairs a human on the run from a life of slavery and a big, blue alien who just wants some help on his farm and maybe a willing bed partner. They get way more than they bargain for when they realize that they get on together quite well.
The Verdict: I enjoyed very much.
The Wolf’s Mail-Order Bride by Ella Goode – AMZ
Mail Order Brides Book 2
Cassie Madson doesn’t believe in true love, fated mates or happy ever after which is why when she’s approached by a matchmaker for a marriage of convenience, she agrees immediately. She needs a place to hide from her dangerous ex-boyfriend and the backwoods of upstate New York sounds perfect. She’ll vow to honor this stranger sight unseen, but she won’t love him.
Edon Rule believes in two things—the importance of his pack and the sanctity of the mate bond. When his new bride arrives, he recognizes instantly that Cassie is the only woman for him. He’s shocked when she doesn’t know he’s a shifter. Even worse, she declares that the marriage is only a business deal.
With the full moon nine days away, Edon has only a short time to convince Cassie that her true love exists—in the form of a werewolf!
I actually enjoyed this one quite a bit. I’m a sucker for a good PNR and I couldn’t help but like both Cassie and her virgin alpha male hero. She’s on the run from her ex, he’s just learned his pack has set him up with a bride, when they first meet she realizes he’s nothing like what she expected and he realizes she is his mate. Sexy shifter times ensue and the ex is taken care of.
The Verdict: Fingers crossed Ms. Goode decides all the pack members need their own HEAs.
The Runaway Mail-Order Bride by Alexa Riley – AMZ
Mail Order Brides Book 3
Willow Adams has been left with no choice. She’s run away from home and straight to a mail-order bride agency. She has no idea what to expect, but never in her wildest dreams did she anticipate him.
Dane York needs a marriage of convenience. He doesn’t have time to date, but he needs to have a certain image for his company, and some things are expected. Everything is perfectly planned out… That is, until he lays eyes on his new bride.
I’m kind of over the whole billionaire alpha male thing, but there was no way I was not going to finish this set. I read this last and it was just okay. Instalove, instalust, and a billionaire who needs a fake bride to get his mom to stop setting him up so he can concentrate on work. The only surprise to this story was the extra epilogues set years apart in the future so readers could catch up with Willow and Dane.
The Verdict: Just okay for me, but I suspect this will be a favorite for many.
Agent of the Fae by C.N. Crawford and Alex Rivers – AMZ
The final book in the Dark Fae FBI series.
The Fae war is coming, and I’m caught right in the middle.
My father, the ruthless Unseelie king, is dead. It should have been our moment of triumph. Instead, we find ourselves hiding in London from our ancient enemies, the Seelie.
From Roan’s city mansion, we need to unite the six Unseelie courts to fight back. Unfortunately, centuries-old feuds make this almost impossible. To make things worse, there’s no good reason for anyone to listen to us. After all, I’m just a pixie bastard. Did I mention that my dread powers are gone?
If that weren’t enough, I need to decide if I want to live forever in the world of the humans, or the world of the fae with Roan. Sure—he’s gorgeous and loyal, but do I want to spend forever in this chaos? As the Seelie encroach on our territory, it’s time to see if Roan and I—terror and love–can really change the world together.
So, I checked my email the other day and a newsletter from this author duo popped up in my inbox announcing the release of the last book in The Dark Fae FBI. What was I supposed to do? I had to finish out this series. Also, I wanted to know how Cass and Roan were getting along after the revelations from the previous book about their soul bond.
Okay, so first off… Roan has turned his dickish ways around. He kind of morphed into a loving, caring guy that is ˜GASP˜ sharing information with Cass. That’s a good thing, because the Seelie have waged war on the Unseelie and it’ll take everything they have to bring the six courts of the Unseelie together to defeat them. I’ve enjoyed this series quite a bit. Cass has evolved from a human FBI agent to the ruler of the Court of Terror who has embraced both her mirror and terror magic. There have been some painful character deaths along the way, but after finishing the series I realized they were probably necessary for the series arc to move forward. Still a bit upset over Gabe though.
The Verdict: I’m happy with the way this series wrapped up, but hoping this isn’t the last we’ll see of this world.
WHAT’S UP NEXT: (I PROMISE)
Dead Stop by Barbara Nickless – AMZ
The search for a missing child leads a courageous railway cop down a twisted trail of murder.
It’s been five months since Special Agent Sydney Parnell survived a violent confrontation with a gang of brutal thugs, an encounter that left her physically and emotionally scarred. Deep down, Sydney fears she isn’t ready for another investigation. But when a woman is murdered on the train tracks and a child is kidnapped, she knows she’s the only one who can lead the hunt for the killer. While Denver police and the FBI chase down blind alleys, Sydney focuses on a single cryptic clue left behind at the crime scene—one that will send her down a path of greed, violence, and long-ago love.
With Denver beset by a series of monsoonlike thunderstorms that threaten to flood the city, Sydney and her K9 partner, Clyde, must wade through a murky trail of murder that stretches back thirty years—all to rescue a child…and catch a killer with a long memory and an insatiable appetite for destruction.
I’m only one chapter in and have been for a month. Not because I’m not interested, I just got distracted by new and shiny and also felt a bit guilty because I’m WAY behind on review books. My poor spreadsheet is giving me the side-eye.
Mark of Truth by Graceley Knox – AMZ
Ever Leath, leader of the deadliest crew within the Magical Enforcement and Containment Agency’s ranks, has always known she’s a half-breed—until a visit from her estranged mother changes everything. She’s determined to marry Ever off for political gain, no matter the consequences—even if it means Ever’s life.
Searching for the truth leads to disturbing doubts about Ever’s heritage, and just as answers appear, so does Dare Fitzpatrick. Captain of the Royal Goblin Guards and son to the current Goblin King, he claims he knows who Ever’s real father is and that she could be in danger. Ever doubts Dare, until he helps her escape the clutches of her would-be suitor and grants her shelter within the Goblin Kingdom.
Staying in Goblin, which has previously been off-limits to half-breeds, is a risk Ever has to take to keep everyone she loves safe. Neither of them planned on the fiery heat between them, but Dare won’t take no for an answer. Ever knows she can’t risk losing her heart to the cocky goblin, despite her attraction to him. At least that’s the plan.
Until it all falls apart.
I’ve heard good things.
Protecting Their Mate by Moira Rogers – AMZ
The complete serial of Protecting Their Mate.
Blake is on a mission from his alpha–to track down a werewolf whose parents dragged her into the human world years ago, one who may be in danger. He expects the lead to go nowhere, given how few wolves live among humans, but he discovers something rare indeed, caged in a basement: a beautiful, curvy woman gripped by the fever, ready to mate.
Ashley Todd has never fit in. She’s always been too much–too big, too demanding, too aware of the wolf hiding beneath her skin. She’s been locked away for months–been alone for a lifetime–and in walks Blake to save her from her prison. Her rescuer is hard, intense–a dominant wolf whose bossy attitude makes her growl…and yearn to submit.
Soothing Ashley’s mating fever is Blake’s responsibility–and his pleasure. Their passion is explosive, undeniable. But what started out as a job for Blake quickly becomes something more, and the toughest part of his mission looms: taking Ashley back to his pack so she can choose her permanent mate from amongst his brethren.
Ashley is drawn to dominant Blake, but meeting the rest of the pack reignites her desire. She is overwhelmed by her new life and all it entails, but embracing her inner wolf means embracing the truth: if she doesn’t explore her attraction to the other members of the pack, she’ll never find her forever mate .
Protecting Their Mate was originally published as an eight part serial under the penname Mia Thorne. It has been repackaged, but the story remains the same.
I’ve been kind of saving this for when I get into a book funk. But I plan on finally jumping in during the holidays. A little present for myself.