Storms (HighTower Fairytales) by Jacque Stevens

Book Cover

Publisher: sjacquebooks

Date of publication: November 11th 2021

Genre: Fantasy, Fairy Tale, Young Adult

Series: HighTower Fairytales

Winter Falls: A Tale of the Snow Queen—Book 1 (review here)

Cry Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 2

Lone Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 3

Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 4

Between Dog and Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 5

Wolves at Bay: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 6

Depths—Book 7

Graves: A Tale of the Little Mermaid—Book 8

Storms—Book 9

Robin’s Hood: A Tale of Sherwood Forest—Book 10 (Review Here)

Marian’s Man: A Tale of Sherwood Forest—Book 11

Lion’s Heart: A Tale of Sherwood Forest—Book 12

Letters by Cinderlight: A Tale of Cinderella—Book 13 (Review Here)

Wishes by Starlight: A Tale of Cinderella—Book 14 (Review Here)

Purchase Links: Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis:

I once thought I might kill a prince. In another glance, I thought I would marry him. But then came a day I never expected.

The day I would kill a god.

When Arianna freed the soul of the prince from a dark god and shattered the underworld, she assumed she could bring peace to the world above. But there are consequences to the powers she gained and a war brewing between the provinces that will require all her magic and heart.

To master her gifts and save her home, Ari climbs to the top of Olympus and fights a war with gods on either side.

First Line:

The Prince of Solis talked so much, not even death could shut him up.

storms by jacque stevens

I am a huge fan of Jacque Steven’s books. Something about them calls to me. Maybe because she doesn’t add anything extra to the plotline, or perhaps because I can easily picture the characters and plotline in my head when she writes them. Either way, I love her books. So when she sent out the ARC for Storms, I accepted it.

Storms is the 3rd (and final) book that is based on The Little Mermaid. I will warn you that you do need to read Depths and Graves before you read Storms. I didn’t, and I was a little lost at the beginning of the book. She does explain, briefly, the backstory. But, I strongly suggest that you read the first two books first. It will make understanding what is going on in this book a lot easier.

Storms is a relatively short book (127 pages), and because of that, I could read it within a day. It is a fast-paced book, with the storyline progressing quickly. As I mentioned above, the author keeps to the storyline, and there is almost nothing extra going on or secondary characters added at the last minute. That made it a delightful book for me to read.

I wasn’t too sure what to think of Ari during the book. I went between respect and disbelief. I am sure if I had read the previous books, I would have had a better opinion of her. I will say that Ari in siren mode was scary, and I didn’t blame Jonas for running away. I did doubt her humanity at specific points in the book. But once the middle of the book rolled around, her humanity was no longer in doubt. It took a lot of courage to do what she did, and by the end of the book, I was amazed by her.

I wasn’t too sure about the end of the book. On the one hand, I was happy about how Ari’s life turned out. But on the other hand, I did have a “what if” moment when someone made an appearance.

I would recommend Storms to anyone over the age of 16. There is violence, but otherwise is a clean book.

Robin’s Hood: A Tale of Sherwood Forest (HighTower Fairytales: Book ) by Jacque Stevens

Book Cover


Date of publication: January 1st, 2021

Genre: Young Adult, Fairy Tale Retelling, Fantasy

Series: HighTower Fairytales

Winter Falls: A Tale of the Snow Queen (Review here)

Cry Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 1

Lone Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 2

Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 3

Between Dog and Wolf: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 4

Wolves at Bay: A Tale of Beauty and the Beast—Book 5

Depths—Book 6

Graves: A Tale of the Little Mermaid—Book 7

Storms—Book 8

Robin’s Hood: A Tale of Sherwood Forest—Book 9

Marian’s Man: A Tale of Sherwood Forest—Book 10

Lion’s Heart: A Tale of Sherwood Forest—Book 11

Letters by Cinderlight: A Tale of Cinderella—Book 12

Wishes by Starlight: A Tale of Cinderella—Book 13

Purchase Links: Amazon

Format Read: ARC

Received From: Author

Goodreads Synopsis:

The King of Thieves is dead. Long live the Queen.

Orphaned at five and widowed at sixteen, Marian is the sole heir of Locksley keep and the Earldom of Huntingdon. Her husband, Robin of Locksley, never returned from the crusades, leaving her at the mercy of the sheriff. He chooses her a new husband among his brutal lackeys and taxes her people to rags and starvation.

Marian is sidelined and powerless, but rumors spread of a charismatic thief who could change everything. Clever, brave, and strong, his followers claim that the hooded rogue is Robin’s spirit back from the grave.

Only Marian knows the truth. Her husband is dead, but under his hood, she could be invincible.

ROBIN’S HOOD is the first novella in the High Tower Robin Hood YA medieval fantasy series. If you like strong female characters, friends-to-lovers romance, and non-stop twists and turns, then you’ll love this gender-bent twist on the Legends of Sherwood.

First Line:

I have heard ballads of our adventures already. A few favor the sheriff, saying we’re all cutthroats and devil worshipers, but most speak of the merry outlaws doing clever deeds.

Robin’s Hood: A Tale of Sherwood Forest by Jacque Stevens

Out of all the fairy tale retellings I have read, I don’t think that I have read a retelling of Robin Hood. So, when I saw that Jacque Stevens had written a feminist retelling of Robin Hood, I was intrigued and I decided to read it. I am glad that I did because Robin’s Hood was a homerun for me.

I liked seeing a woman in the role of Robin Hood. It threw an exciting spin on the myth, one that, truthfully, I haven’t bothered to imagine. I was always stuck on Robin Hood being a man. I never thought to imagine a heartbroken woman who was trying to do what she thought was right in the role. The author was able to do that and more.

Robin’s Hood is set in medieval England, and the book reflects that. Women were often viewed as property and treated as such. So, I wasn’t too surprised to learn that Marian’s guardian decided to marry her, at 5, to his eight-year-old son. He did that to secure his son’s claim to her lands. I also wasn’t too surprised when the Sherriff of Nottingham decided to marry her to his cousin (for the same reason). There are also other examples. A woman was sent to a convent for her “confinement” (women were not allowed to be seen during pregnancy). Marian’s maid was beaten when she refused the advances of the Sherriff of Nottingham.

I enjoyed reading about Marian’s exploits as Robin Hood. I loved how she recruited her band of merry men. That one scene with Little John made me laugh, including how she tried to save him after knocking him into the river. The same goes with her scenes with Friar Tuck. I think he had no clue who Marian was because he was toasted 95% of the time.

The last few chapters of Robin’s Hood did send me into a tailspin. Everything happened so fast!!! But I still loved it. The author wrapped up most of the storylines for this book but left them open enough for the next one.

I enjoyed reading Robin’s Hood. This story was an enjoyable retelling of the myth.

I would recommend Robin’s Hood to anyone over the age of 13. There is mild violence.

Dark Alpha’s Temptation (Reaper: Book 9) by Donna Grant

Dark Alpha's Temptation: A Reaper Novel (Reapers Book 9) by [Grant, Donna]

4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperback

Date of publication: January 7th, 2020

Genre: Romance, Fantasy

Series: Reaper

Dark Alpha’s Claim—Book 1

Dark Alpha’s Embrace—Book 2

Dark Alpha’s Demand—Book 3

Dark Alpha’s Lover—Book 4

Dark Alpha’s Night-–Book 5

Dark Alpha’s Hunger—Book 6 (Review Here)

Dark Alpha’s Awakening—Book 7 (Review Here)

Dark Alpha’s Redemption—Book 8 (Review Here)

Dark Alpha’s Temptation—Book 9

Where you can find Dark Alpha’s Temptation: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

There is no escaping a Reaper. I am an elite assassin, part of a brotherhood that only answers to Death. And when Death says your time is up, I’m coming for you…

Carrying Death’s orders is my sole duty. I’ve never had reason to question her, even if I disagreed. But Kyra’s fierceness and willpower sheds light on my mission. She drives the darkness of my world away. The answers to the Others’ goals lie in her past. For Kyra, I will risk going against Death’s wishes. For her…I will battle the past and the future itself.

First Line:

It was good to be right.

Dark Alpha’s Temptation by Donna Grant

My Review:

I was excited to read Dark Alpha’s Temptation. The promise of finally getting some knowledge of who the Others are and what their agenda excited me the most. I won’t lie and say that Dark Alpha’s Temptation delivers on that promise. Instead, what it does, is add to the mystery of who the Others are.

Dark Alpha’s Temptation was a filler book. There was no progression of the Reaper storyline. Don’t get me wrong; I loved the book. It’s just that I wish the storyline progressed a little more.

The plotline of Dark Alpha’s Temptation was lightning fast. As with most fast-paced books, there was some lag in the plotline. I didn’t mind it because once the author got over the lag, the book shot along.

Kyra and Dubham’s relationship was sexually charged right from the beginning. Some serious sparks were coming off the pages. When they finally did have sex, I thought my Kindle was going to combust spontaneously. It was that good.

I liked Kyra. I wanted to know why she was so focused on Dubham. There was a twist in her plotline that I didn’t see coming. I felt terrible for her.

Dubham was your typical strong but silent type. He was suspicious of Kyra but so attracted to her. His backstory was awful to read, and how he died was even more appalling. I can’t even begin to imagine what that was like for him.

I wanted to know where Rhi went, as did everyone else. There was a colossal complication with that storyline that made me go “Hmmmm.

Like I mentioned above, the storyline with the Others got more mysterious. What was revealed at the end of the book surprised me. I want to know what their end game is!!!

The end of Dark Alpha’s Temptation was exciting. I have a feeling that the main characters in the next book were revealed. I also am looking forward to seeing what the Others are going to bring to everyone in this universe.

I would give Dark Alpha’s Temptation an Adult rating. There are sexual situations. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Dark Alpha’s Temptation. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Christmas in Harmony Harbor (Harmony Harbor: Book 9) by Debbie Mason

Christmas in Harmony Harbor: Includes a bonus story by [Mason, Debbie]

4 Stars

Publisher: Forever (Grand Central Publishing), Forever

Date of publication: October 1st 2019

Genre: Romance

Series: Harmony Harbor

Mistletoe Cottage—Book 1

Christmas with an Angel—Book 1.5

Starlight Bridge-–Book 2

Primrose Lane—Book 3

Sugarplum Way—Book 4

Driftwood Cove—Book 5

Sandpiper Shore—Book 6

The Corner of Holly and Ivy-–Book 7 (review here)

Barefoot Beach—Book 8

Christmas in Harmony Harbor—Book 9

Where you can find Christmas in Harmony Harbor: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

Evangeline Christmas will do anything to save her year-round Christmas store, Holiday House, when high-powered real-estate developer Caine Elliot uses his money and influence to push through his competing property next door. When her last desperate attempt to stop him fails, she gambles everything on a proposition she prays the handsome, blue-eyed player can’t refuse.

Caine agrees to Evie’s bargain because how hard can it be to fulfill three wishes on the Angel Tree at Holiday House? The wishes have him reliving the Christmases of his past and taking part in the holiday festivities of Christmas present. But just when he begins to believe Evie might be his Christmas future, dark secrets from his past are revealed.

Will the last wish on the Angel Tree be enough to give Caine and Evie the happy ending they deserve?

First Line:

A power outage on Black Friday was the last thing Evangeline Christmas needed.

Christmas in Harmony Harbor by Debbie Mason

My Review:

I haven’t read a Christmas based romance that I didn’t like. Reading about two people falling in love during the most magical time of the year always gets me misty-eyed. So, when I saw that Debbie Mason had written another book in her Harmony Harbor series, I couldn’t wait to read it!!

I loved the plotline of Christmas in Harmony Harbor. It was fast-paced and well written. There was a spot in the book where it lagged. But the author was able to get the book back on track.

The storyline of Christmas in Harmony Harbor was interesting. It was a mixture of A Christmas Carol and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. It reminded me of A Christmas Carol because of the journey that Caine took during the time he was with Evie. Each task he had to complete had him reflecting on his past, present, and future. It reminded me of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas because Caine’s heart grew three sizes too large towards the end of the book.

I was surprised to find out that Christmas in Harmony Harbor was going to be the last book in the Harmony Harbor series. That upset me because I didn’t want the series to end. Hopefully, the author will start a new series that features a least some of the unattached characters (thinking Clio here). That way, I can catch up on what the characters in this series have been doing.

Christmas in Harmony Harbor can be read as a standalone book. But, considering the intertwining storylines, I would read the previous books. I wish I did because some plotlines were mentioned that had me going, “Huh?

I loved Evie, but she was a hot mess. She was trying to save her family business and disrupt Caine’s plans for her house. But, she did make me laugh during the book. I thought her idea to win Caine over by using the Angel Tree was perfect. I also liked how she saw the best in everyone/thing. Like her shop. It was a rat, and mice-infested mess, yet she loved it.

I didn’t like Caine for the first half of the book. He was hellbent on getting revenge on the Gallaghers on behalf of his grandmother. But then he met Evie, and he started to thaw. He agreed to 3 wishes from the Angel Tree. It was after that scene that I began to like him. But, I wish that he stood up to his grandmother sooner.

Caine and Evie’s romance was cute. They weren’t expecting to develop feelings for each other. Caine viewed Evie as a PITA, and Evie thought Caine was the second coming of Satan. But I saw that spark. The minute that Caine went into the basement and faced down rats, I knew it. I loved it, even though it was Instalove.

I thought that the secondary characters made this book. Caine’s grandmother, GG, Seamus, Evie’s mother, and all of the characters from the previous book added depth to the story. My favorite was Seamus. I had this mental picture of this barrel-chested, handsome Irishman helping his nephew. My least favorite was Caine’s grandmother. Up until the end, she insisted on doing things that harmed everyone. I also couldn’t get past what she told and do to Caine. I did a mental “WTF” when that came out.

The end of Christmas in Harmony Harbor was bittersweet. I liked it because I got to see Caine and Evie’s HEA. But I was sad because the author is ending the series.

I would give Christmas in Harmony Harbor an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is very mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Christmas in Harmony Harbor. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

The Christmas Star (Christmas Hope: Book 9) by Donna VanLiere

The Christmas Star (Christmas Hope #9)

3 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Date of publication: October 16th, 2018

Genre: General Fiction, Christian

Series: Christmas Hope

The Christmas Shoes—Book 1

The Christmas Blessing—Book 2

The Christmas Hope—Book 3

The Christmas Promise—Book 4

The Christmas Secret—Book 5

The Christmas Note—Book 6

The Christmas Light—Book 7

The Christmas Town—Book 8

The Christmas Star—Book 9

Where you can find The Christmas Star: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Christmas Hope series comes another heartwarming, inspirational story for the holidays.

Thirty-two-year-old Amy Denison volunteers at Glory’s Place, an after school program where she meets seven-year-old Maddie, a precocious young girl who has spent her childhood in foster care. Unbeknownst to Amy, Maddie is a mini-matchmaker, with her eye on just the right man for Amy at Grandon Elementary School, where she is a student. Amy is hesitant – she’s been hurt before, and isn’t sure she’s ready to lose her heart again – but an unexpected surprise makes her reconsider her lonely lifestyle.

As Christmas nears and the town is blanketed in snow and beautiful decorations, Maddie and the charming staff at Glory’s Place help Amy to see that romance can be more than heartache and broken promises.

In The Christmas Star, Donna VanLiere delivers yet another sweet, joyous story that is sure to capture readers’ hearts.

My review:

It seems like I am reading and reviewing a lot of Christmas books lately. Christmas is one of my favorite holidays and I like reading books that put me in the holiday mood. Especially when it is the middle of October, in the mid to high 80’s and as humid as it is in mid-August. So, yes, I enjoyed reading The Christmas Star.

The Christmas Star is a cute second chance romance, even though it isn’t billed as one. Amy is volunteering at an after-school program called Glory’s Place. It is there that she meets Maddie, an adorable 7-year-old who has spent her entire life in foster care. Gabriel is a custodian at a local elementary school. He knows Maddie from school and has become fast friends with her. Maddie is not so subtle about them meeting. And when they do, surprise doesn’t even cover what they both felt. See, Amy and Gabriel were married and had gotten divorced. They try to stay apart but life keeps throwing them together. What will happen to them? Will they rekindle their romance? Or will they go their separate ways?

What I Liked About The Christmas Star:

What did I like about The Christmas Star? Hmmm, let me think for a minute. I liked reading this book and finding myself smiling during certain scenes. Mainly the ones with Maddie in them. I loved that little girl. I liked most of the characters. I liked that it was set during Christmas (duh…lol). I also liked that it was a second chance romance, even though it wasn’t billed as one. But, what I liked the most, is that there was no sex in this book at all. It was 100% a clean book. I also liked that this book was a Christian book. I liked that Christianity was discussed but not pushed down my throat.

To Recap:

  1. Certain scenes made me smile
  2. Most of the characters
  3. It was set during Christmas
  4. A second chance romance
  5. Zero sex. Not even kissing!!
  6. A Christian book but didn’t overwhelm me as I read it.

What I Disliked About The Christmas Star:

There were things that I didn’t like about this book. I was confused about why Amy and Gabriel’s relationship ended. There were two explanations. One was dumbed down to a 7-year-old (I wasn’t a good husband). The other one was when Gabriel was thinking about the past (I was a bad husband and I drank too much). I figured Gabriel drank too much but what else happened? I also didn’t like that Lauren and Travis’s story took over the book. That is something I cannot stand when I am reading a series of books. Those characters and that storyline should have been regulated to the background. I also didn’t like how happy Amy’s parents were about certain things that happened at the end of the book. Even though Gabe talked to them for 5 hours, it still struck a chord on my BS meter. And the last thing: The adoption. I know people who have adopted out of foster care before and it took months (even uncontested). There were so many hurdles that they had to jump through it wasn’t even funny. So to have one go through in under a month didn’t ring true to me.

To Recap:

  1. Confused about why Amy and Gabriel’s relationship ended
  2. Lauren and Travis’s relationship being one of the main storylines
  3. How happy Amy’s parents were about what happened at the end of the book
  4. The adoption. Not a realistic situation

What I rated the book and why:

I gave The Christmas Star a 3-star rating. I enjoyed reading the book and thought it was a sweet story. I loved that it was set around Christmas. I also liked this book was 100% clean. There was no sex. Don’t get me wrong, I loved me some sex but in this case, the book didn’t need it. But there were some things that I didn’t like about this book. The main thing, which affected the rating, was the adoption at the end of the book. It was not realistic. My other reasons were what I felt personally about certain things in the book and listed above.

I would give The Christmas Star an Older Teen rating. There is no sex or sexual situations. There is no language. There is no violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

I am on the fence if I would reread The Christmas Star. I am also on the fence if I would recommend this book to family and friends

Other stuff:

I would like to thank St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Christmas Star.

All opinions stated in this review of The Christmas Star are mine.

I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

Have you read The Christmas Star?

Love it? 

Hate it?

Meh about it?

Let me know!!!

Catch Me (The Donovan Family: Book 9) by Margaret Watson

Catch Me (The Donovan Family Book 9)

Title: Catch Me

Author: Margaret Watson

Publisher: Dragonfly Press

Date of publication: March 31st, 2017

Genre: Romance

Number of pages: 342

POV: 3rd person

Series: The Donovan Family

Love Me – Book 1

Watch Me – Book 2

Find Me – Book 3

Trust Me – Book 4

Cover Me – Book 5 (review here)

Protect Me – Book 6 (review here)

Save Me – Book 7

See Me – Book 8

Catch Me – Book 9

Where you can find Catch Me – Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

When Chicago Bearcats baseball player Sam Marini witnesses a brutal confrontation outside a bar, he can’t help the victim. So he does the next best thing – shoots a video of the attack.

He assumes he’ll hand it over and be done with the case. But when the investigating detective is Julia Carleton, a woman he’d met at his sister’s wedding, he can’t walk away. Julia, however, hides dark secrets, and can’t get involved with Sam.

As they work together to ensure justice, their simmering attraction heats to combustion. But the father of the attacker is a wealthy, powerful man who doesn’t like to lose. When Dean Kirby grows more and more desperate to protect his son, the threats against Sam and Julia escalate.

Julia vows to protect Sam, but can she keep her heart safe? Choosing him means risking the job that means everything to her.

My review:

Catch Me is Sam and Julia’s story. Sam, if you remember from the past novels in The Donovan Series, is Priscilla younger brother and Julia is a cop on the force with the Donovan siblings/Priscilla. Both Sam and Julia have made appearances in the past books, so I was waiting for them to have their own story. I was a bit surprised that it was with each other.

I loved the storyline. Sam, a professional ballplayer with the Bearcats, was walking home from the game when he witnesses a crime. Having caught the crime on his phone, he is the star witness in the case….which was just assault and battery. Julia is the first detective on the scene and takes the scene over from an overbearing, woman-hating cop who was trying to intimidate Sam into giving his phone to him. When Sam’s name is released in a police blog, he becomes a number one target for the bad guys. When that doesn’t work, they move onto his mother. Which was a mistake.

The chemistry between Same and Julia sizzled. That is one thing that I look for in a romance novel when I read it. Chemistry that comes off the pages in waves and oh boy, did they have it. Poor Julia tried to keep it under control, tried to stifle it and well, let’s just say that it made for a pretty memorable first sex scene. Talk about needing a fan.

I thought the bad guys were pretty stupid in this book and not very bright. One was a roid head and the other one thought he could use his wealth to bully people around. Not going to go much into them but they got what they deserved in the end….all of them did.

The ending was very fitting for this book and I loved that everyone was at the hospital waiting for Priscilla to have the baby. I also liked that they were taking bets. I kinda laughed at that one because I had something similar happen with my youngest. Except no one won because she was in a hurry to be born (I had her 10 mins after being admitted to L&D).

How many stars will I give Catch Me: 4

Why: A well-written romance with a great plotline and characters that had some sizzling chemistry.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Adult

Why: Sex, language, and violence

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**