This is the last of the November batch reviews! Huzzah!
As a sidenote, I wanted to let everyone know that Marvel Unlimited has a promo going for a free month’s subscription using the code FORCE. If you’ve been wanting to read series like Hawkeye, Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, Deadpool, etc., this would be a really great way to get ahold of them for cheap!
Hemovore – Jordan Castillo Price ★★★★
This is (so far) my favorite JCP book; it’s set in an alternate world where vampirism is an extremely contagious disease and the two heroes are desperately in love but can’t do anything about it because one’s a vampire and one isn’t, and to even KISS would mean infection. Also, the vampire hero’s ex-boyfriend is stalking them and they have to go on the run and it is VERY EXCITING and ROMANTIC and extremely well-written and there are funny parts and sad parts and the characters are wonderful and I really, really enjoyed it.
Ghost Star Night – Nicole Kimberling ★★★½
I put this with the rest of the romances for November, but actually I think the romance is more of a subplot.1 The main plot is a fantasy-mystery centered around a royal conspiracy! Yay, conspiracies! The best part, though, was the world-building, which had some very interesting elements I haven’t seen much elsewhere.2 Would definitely read other books by the author, if only to see what else she comes up with.
The Christmas Mansion – Hollis Shiloh ★★★
This is, quite possibly, the sweetest holiday story I’ve read this year. It’s almost TOO sweet! But pretty perfect for the holidays, despite that. It’s about a extremely shy magician and a man who just wants to fix up his house before the holidays; they meet, slowly fall in love, and have conversations about self-confidence and family obligation and how just because you love someone doesn’t mean you should tell them how to live their life all the time. Lots of neat things packed into a short story!
Catch a Ghost – S.E. Jakes ★★★½
This is a urban fantasy mystery-thriller, starring two secret agents who both have issues and don’t want to talk about anything but DO want to do each other, between getting kidnapped and beat-up and having traumatizing flashbacks. I ended up really liking those two stupid guys, and I rooted for them so hard I think I pulled something by the end of the book. I didn’t like how characters kept talking about things they did in previous scenes that weren’t shown (important stuff, too!), as it made the plot a little difficult to follow, but I liked the rest of it. Dumb angsty men, underground fights, some international conspiracy stuff, spies!
Crossing Borders – ZA Maxfield ★★★
ZA Maxfield’s first book, and it kinda shows in characterization and some of the writing style choices. But it’s still pretty good, actually! This is a contemporary romance set in California, with a cop and a college student falling in love. There’s some good relationship-building elements, as it’s the college student’s first real relationship, there’s an age difference, some class stuff, etc. It’s cute, a little angsty, and I enjoyed reading it. By-the-by, there’s a cute author’s note in the beginning talking about how many things have changed since the book was first published in 2008. It’s a good way to address things that date the book (phones with buttons) without having to do massive edits.