A spirited and compulsively readable paranormal-romance series entry.


From the League of Lords series , Vol. 2

A fantasy romance featuring two superpowered lovers in Victorian-era England.

This new installment in Sumner’s League of Lords series takes a secondary character from its predecessor, The Lady Is Trouble (2020), and puts him center stage. In 1855, Finn Alexander, the adopted son of a viscount, has the paranormal ability to read people’s minds, and he’s set up a gambling den that’s become wildly popular among the well-to-do. But his special talent comes with a price, as his mind is constantly filled with the background noise of others’ thoughts. This, in part, leads to his deep interest in the engaged Lady Victoria Hamilton, whose own powers allow her to erase people’s short-term memories and block others’ powers from working. He experiences the latter power firsthand, and the experience is a first for him: “Added to the bizarre circumstance of not being able to read her, being close to her obscured his ability to read others, like she’d dimmed the flame on the gaslamp of his mind, leaving only his thoughts to contend with.” Finn finds himself truly intrigued by her on multiple levels, and he soon introduces her to a clandestine group of similarly superpowered men and women. As in the previous volume, Sumner seamlessly blends gaslight-era fantasy and conventional historical romance. She also perfectly incorporates detailed supernatural elements into her well-researched setting. Her two central characters are compelling and believably damaged; each comes from a radically different segment of society, and each finds themselves in a relationship that they weren’t expecting. Finn, in particular, is a highly rewarding fictional creation—a well-drawn combination of roguery and vulnerability. Readers may be initially drawn to the book for its exciting paranormal aspects, but they’ll stay for the electric dialogue between Finn and Victoria, which includes plenty of comic banter. (Those expecting X-Men–style superheroics, though, won’t find it here.) Overall, it’s a sparkling addition to this promising series.

A spirited and compulsively readable paranormal-romance series entry.

Pub Date: May 23, 2020


Page Count: 258

Publisher: Self

Review Posted Online: July 31, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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A smutfest of epic proportions.


A woman who's half human and half vampire is offered as a sacrifice to a trio of powerful vampires in this dark, erotic paranormal romance.

Mina's father, Cornelius, is the head of one of seven powerful vampire bloodlines. His goal is to restore the vampires to their rightful place at the top of the food chain, and he needs more progeny and bloodlines under his control to enact his plans. He has no fond feelings for his dhampir daughter, as half-vampire, half-humans are known. She possesses neither the godly strength of his kind nor the magical affinity that humans have, so he sends her off to be a sacrifice to Malachi, a vampire of another bloodline. Confined to a Gothic mansion, Malachi knows why Mina was sent to him. Her father hopes he’ll either kill her or impregnate her, adding the heir of Malachi's bloodline to his own. Malachi's home quickly becomes more crowded as Wolf and Rylan, two other vampires from his past, arrive. All three take an interest in Mina, whose blood tastes different than other dhampirs’, and they begin to unravel Mina's mysterious heritage and the deadly power play in which her father has involved them. Readers unaccustomed to dark romances may want to steer clear of this one, as there is dubious consent and graphically described violence. The sex is steamy, a nonstop carousel that sometime buries the plot. For a mindless sexual romp with seductive vampires and a woman who begins to recognize her own worth, it can be a fun read, though seeing women used as political pawns and broodmares can be distasteful, especially now.

A smutfest of epic proportions.

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-72826-469-1

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Review Posted Online: July 12, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2022

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For readers who might like Greek myth fanfic with a hint of BDSM and Survivor.


Cassandra’s predictions of doom come true, though not for her own love life with Apollo, in a new Dark Olympus novel.

Following the events of Wicked Beauty (2022), which introduced a new player to the oligarchy that runs the city of Olympus, this story spotlights Cassandra Gataki and her boss, Apollo. She’s the oldest daughter of overreaching parents who tried to murder their way into the circle of the Thirteen who control the city. Haunted by the ignominy, she’s focused on raising her younger sister, Alexandra, and keeping everyone at bay with her prickly personality, even the man who holds the title of Apollo—and with whom she’s in love. Her goal is to save up enough to leave the city with Alexandra, but the plan is both accelerated and derailed by political events that put the ruling powers on high alert. When Minos, who clearly has plans to upend Olympus, invites Apollo to a weeklong house party, he asks Cassandra to accompany him under the cover of a fake relationship so she can help him snoop out information. Even as the high-stakes games commence, the tension and forced proximity lead them to give in to their feelings and have sex. Written in the present tense and from Cassandra's and Apollo’s alternating first-person perspectives, the novel has a sense of immediacy. But the couple’s emotional lives feel limited and the kink-light scenes, with some references to rope play and safe words, feel forced onto the narrative. The political coup plot is less of a whodunit than a when-will-they-do-it. Moreover, the high-concept idea that the Greek pantheon is made up of job titles that can be inherited/earned/stolen necessitates an explanation of which character is/was whom; keeping track of histories, past relationships, and alliances becomes taxing as the series progresses. The romance is quickly wrapped up even as the story ends on a cliffhanger regarding the longer arc of the series.

For readers who might like Greek myth fanfic with a hint of BDSM and Survivor.

Pub Date: Feb. 7, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-72825-700-6

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Review Posted Online: Nov. 15, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2022

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