Reviews and Recommendations

Review Roundup – February 22nd to March 15th, 2021

Except for the first book, I had a great week in reading.

This week, I read a few romances that handled their secondary genres very well.

That being said, the first book is not one of them. I’m literally only posted it because it falls within the dates, but it’s a duplicate of my last #FridayReads post.

The Seer’s Destiny: A Paranormal Romance by Courtney Dean

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

What did Aretha Franklin say once? Oh, yes! Nice covers, beautiful covers.

In Courtney Dean’s The Seer’s Destiny, Eva St. John has just gotten out of an abusive marriage with a nightmare husband that doesn’t seem to want to give up. Finding out that she’s Christoff Kamanev’s True Mate was not in her plans, especially since she has no idea what that is. Christoff’s whole life is devoted to the Vampire King and his Witch Queen, and has no interest in complicating that with a mate. However, Fate has bigger plans for Eva and Christoff.

I’ve probably made this book sound better than it is. To be fair, the book had the makings to be better than it was.That being said, The Seer’s Destiny was an absolute disappointment, and I can’t be bothered to read the first one to see if it was actually good enough to warrant a sequel.

You know, I hate trashing books because I know my time is coming, but it hurts my heart to know how this one turns out. In all honesty, it just moves too quickly. I don’t want to say that there’s a pacing problem, but there’s a pacing problem here. We go from one point to the other with no stops. The prologue, the setup, the meetup, the get-together, the problem, the solution, and a very hasty epilogue. There is very little development of anything here. No world-building, no character building, no relationship building, no nothing.

This novel is very promising in that it involves vampires, witches, and ancient bloodlines, but the lack of world-building fails all of these elements. The two main characters had valid reasons for not jumping into love, but we don’t really see much of a change in their characters. And you just have to accept that the relationship works because there’s a happily ever after at the end.

You just have to assume that the vampires are not of the undead kind because they can walk around in daylight, don’t have to drink blood to survive, and can apparently conceive children. The joke is, the write up for this arc states that it can be read as a standalone. Considering the amount that the author is not telling us, that is most definitely a lie.

It’s just so frustrating, because The Seer’s Destiny should have been great. It has too many elements that should have worked, but I don’t think that the author took the time to develop any of them correctly. And what makes it worse is that the covers for this series are actually very good. I wish that some of the ebooks I’ve read had covers like this.

Such is life.

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An Ignoble Invitation: The Aelven Dominion by Dani Morrison

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Miri Third-Born just wanted to open a store with her best friend, and move up a bit in the caste system. Aisalan Vinhar could provide that, but he needs her to do something for him first. Miri’s not too sure, but it just might be worth it to get her store.

This book was exactly what I wanted in this age of Fantasy Romance. There was a good amount of world-building, character development, and an interesting plot to further my enjoyment.

I think that what I liked the best was that this was so clearly a contemporary Romance trope wrapped in a fantasy setting, but the author put in the work to make it better. You know it’s going to be a HEA, but the journey there is still an interesting one. I like that the author really bothered to flesh out some of the background details.

I recommend this to anyone who likes black girls is Fantasy settings, or just basic Romance tropes wrapped in fantasy settings.

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Explosive by Lisa Ryan Campbell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Carrie Wallace has found herself in the middle of a murder investigation and only her ex-husband can help her. That is, if she could remember him.

I don’t know what I expected from this book, but what I got was much better. The relationship and the plot kept me on edge. I loved every bit of it. Carrie and Brian’s original story was full of miscommunication, but I liked that they got the chance to try again for themselves. I also liked that we got to get into the minds of the “villains”.

There were minor formatting issues, but I suspect that it was the eBook conversion. Other than that, this one deserved its five stars. The suspense was great, the characters were great, and the plot was really wild.

I recommend this to anyone who likes a good Romance Thriller.

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How the Other Half Banks: Exclusion, Exploitation, and the Threat to Democracy by Mehrsa Baradaran

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I picked this audio book not paying attention to anything more than the main title. I finished it having learned a lot about a subject I had only heard in passing.

Learning about the history of banking in the United States, and the efforts made to “bank the unbanked”, really opened my eyes to what it really takes to bridge a gap between the financial classes. I found the books to be very comprehensive in the information that it provided. I can honestly say that I am now interested in postal banking and small loans for people with lower wages. Anything to get out of payday and title loans.

I am curious to read the authors other book on banking within the black community, but I definitely recommend this one to those who are interested in US banking history or the Recession of 2008.

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If you would like to keep up with me and my adventures in appreciating the many different types of literature, please be sure to subscribe to this blog. If you just want to chat with me about these particular novels, make sure to hit me up in the comment section.

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