Romance Books

#BookReview – “Playing Easy to Get” anthology by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Jaid Black, and Kresley Cole

Book Review graphic


New York Times bestselling author Sherrilyn Kenyon and rising stars Jaid Black and Kresley Cole unlock the pleasures and perils of embracing the boldest and most powerful of lovers — 100% alpha males — in three sensually erotic tales. Discover the physical rapture of his muscular arms…. Become a prisoner of passion, swept away by an encounter with his primal side…. And get lost in the all-consuming thrill of white-hot pursuit by a relentless stranger who may be your most dangerous foe, the best lover you’ve ever had — or both. Let your fantasies run wild with these unforgettable novellas where bigger is most definitely better — and playing easy-to-get is the only way to go!

“Turn Up The Heat” / Sherrilyn Kenyon
The story of an average woman who wins the vacation of a lifetime – a trip to Sex Camp. But what Allison George gets is a race for her life with an ex-Mafia who is now being sought by his previous employer. Vince Cappelleti knew the island was a risky proposition, but he’d run out of options. Now the only thing he wants in his sights is Allison, but in order to have a future with her, he must first deal with his past.

“Hunter’s Oath” / Jaid Black
What was supposed to be a simple taxi ride to Fairbanks, Alaska for Sofia Rowley ends up becoming a terrifying fight for her freedom. Sold by the cab driver to a mysterious man who imprisons her in a lost Viking world, Sofia is forced to stand all but naked on a bride auction block, her fate now in the hands of the highest bidder.

“The Warlord Wants Forever” / Kresley Cole
Nikolai Wroth, a ruthless vampire general, will stop at nothing to find his Bride, the one woman who can “blood” him, making his heart beat and filling him with strength. Coldly interested only in the power his mate will bring, he can hardly believe when Myst the Coveted, his army’s new immortal captive, awakens him body — and soul. Famed throughout the world as the most beautiful Valkyrie, Myst has devoted her life to protecting a magical jewel and to fighting the vampires. 


In “Turn Up the Heat” by Sherrilyn Kenyon (book 5 in the BAD series), Allison George wins the Heroine Hideaway sweepstakes and flies to a tropical island to enact the plot of her favorite romance novel. While there, she meets Vince and her safe, planned fantasy goes awry.

Vince Cappelleti is a mob hitman on the run from the “family.” His old childhood friend Z, now a rich and legit businessman, smuggles him out of the US and hides him on his island. Vince knows the mob will eventually catch up with him, so he keeps to himself and avoids people, but he’s bored and lonely. Then he meets Allison, a sweet woman who’s far too good for him.

Allison and Vince are in lust at first sight. I wish the novella would’ve been longer to give more detail about Vince’s past and to show the H/h falling in love, but at least there’s attraction to build their relationship on.

The head hopping annoyed me, but I managed to figure out whose POV I was reading in easily enough. I’m a big fan of Ms. Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series, but I haven’t read many of her BAD books. From what I know of the series, the BAD agency didn’t play a big role in this book, and I felt a little lost during the climax because I didn’t know who some of the people were, people who’d surely played a bigger role in the previous stories.

Still, this is a good, fast-paced action/adventure romance.

4 Stars

In “Hunter’s Oath” by Jaid Black, a civilization of Vikings flourishes beneath the surface of the earth and has done so for thousands of years. It’s custom for bride-hunters to go aboveground and find suitable wives to steal, so the men can bid on the women at the auction block.

As the leader of the Viking sector of Hannu, Lord Johen Stefsson only cares about helping his people and trying to make peace with his corrupt king. Though he’s not in want of a wife, especially an Outsider (a woman from aboveground), the naked blonde woman on the stage captures his attention.

Sofia Rowley flew to Alaska to attend her brother’s funeral, and then found herself kidnapped and hauled to a cabin in the snowy mountains. Her strange captors transported her underground, and she soon winds up married to the hottest, biggest man she’s ever seen.

Johen and Sofia are interesting characters. He’s totally smitten with her at first sight, and it’s so much fun to see a big, burly man fall head over heels for a woman. Sofia longs for freedom but can’t deny the happiness she’s found in Johen’s arms.

Though the novella ends with a HEA, there are loose ends concerning the bride-hunters’ punishment and the revolution that’s going to take place in New Sweden. If not for that (and a few typos), I would’ve rated this story with 5 stars because I really enjoyed it.

4 Stars

In “The Warlord Wants Forever” by Kresley Cole (the prequel to the Immortals After Dark series), Nikolai Wroth died as a human three hundred years earlier and awoke a vampire. As a forbearer, a turned human, he willingly serves the full-blooded vampire who turned and has pledged his loyalty to the vampire faction, which is made up of other forbearers. None of them know anything about vampire history or the history of other supposedly mythological creatures, and they’re desperate for information. He doesn’t breathe, his heart doesn’t beat, and he cannot feel sexual desire. Then he meets Myst, a strange woman who changes everything. She’s his Bride, and he has to have her.

Myst is a Valkyrie and is always used as bait by her sisters to catch and kill their enemies. Valkyries and vampires are mortal enemies, and she finds it hilarious Wroth doesn’t know that. Instead of giving him the information he and the faction needs to survive, she teases him and bloods him (she makes his dead-like body respond to her), and then leaves him in a state of sexual torment for five long years. When he finally catches up with her, the furious vampire will finally claim her as his own.

I liked Wroth for the most part, but I didn’t like Myst. She was selfish, cruel, and so hardened that she kept her gentleness far from the surface. She didn’t care how much she hurt Worth and wouldn’t apologize even when she felt a little guilty. Her Valkyrie sisters were just as slutty and heartless, but I hope a lot of if was just act.

I’ve heard great things about this series, and this is the first IAD book I’ve read. Unfortunately, I found it confusing. The history of the Lore was scattered throughout the story and wasn’t straightforward. I didn’t understand the animosity between the warring species and why they warred within themselves.

I plan on reading the other books, and hopefully, I’ll understand them better than I did this one.

3 Stars

Book Overall – 4 Stars

— If you’ve read this book, I’d love to know what you think of it. Please comment below.