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Scarlet Princess (Lochlann Feuds Book 1) by Robin D. Mahle and Elle Madison – Review by Netania Lim

Scarlet Princess (The Lochlann Feuds, #1)Scarlet Princess by Robin D. Mahle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the first book I’ve read by the authors. I loved this fantasy romance. It’s an easy read and I really fell in love with the characters Rowan, who is sarcastic and forever getting into trouble, and Theo, whom Rowan is basically forbidden from falling in love with because they come from families with a history of being enemies. Rowan is a character of depth and even with her flaws and slight immaturity she’s a very likeable character. There’s plenty of action, the world-building is immersive, and the pacing and writing flow easily. I am now eagerly awaiting the next book in this series.

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Notebook Mysteries ~ Decisions and Possibilities by Kimberly Mullins – Review by Netania Lim

Notebook Mysteries ~ Decisions and PossibilitiesNotebook Mysteries ~ Decisions and Possibilities by Kimberly Mullins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I didn’t realise before I started this that this is a sequel so I would probably recommend reading the first book beforehand. In any case, I caught on to Emma, the main character and the wide cast of characters. I liked this YA tale of an 18-year-old solving mysteries in 1880s Chicago, at a time when women were meant to be seen, not heard. I also really enjoyed all the historical details that were weaved into the story. Because there are several cases that Emma solves, there were a few time jumps and new characters introduced rapidly, but it kept the story moving. Cosy mystery!

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Dark Bastard (Dark Sparrow Novel Book 5) by India Kells – Review by Netania Lim

Dark Bastard (Dark Sparrow, #5)Dark Bastard by India Kells
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve read several of India Kells’ books and I love their romantic suspense, especially in this Dark Sparrow series. In this novel, Sam and Ellie are drawn to each other by a connection where sparks fly immediately, but they both have dark pasts that they have to overcome to be with each other. I felt like I wanted more depth, as this was quite a short read and the resolution seemed too easy. I also wanted to know more about the characters, rather than the plot. I would also mention trigger warnings for childhood sexual abuse and suicidal thoughts. Overall, a quick romance read.

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Caim (Antipodes 4) by T.S. Simons – Review by Netania Lim

Caim (Antipodes #4)Caim by T.S. Simons
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve enjoyed all the books in the Antipodes series so far. Caim probably has the most moral dilemmas of them all which make for a more challenging but nevertheless still enjoyable read. I was a bit confused at the start as this book is written from Freyja’s point of view rather than Cam’s but it was great to be able to get into her headspace because the plot is based on her character. Visitors come to Lewis where Freyja and Cam live, and bring horrifying information about a forced breeding program being implemented. In that sense, the utopia of previous novels quickly falls into a dystopia, in the same vein as other novels in the feminist dystopian genre that question whether the end justifies the means. It was also interesting to see how the community has attempted to become a more socially conscious/non-offensive society but perhaps humans are still sometimes not good people. This novel gets dark and probably needs some trigger warnings. Although the story centres on Freyja, I did enjoy getting to know more about some of the other characters in the book we’ve seen before but not gotten to know. Overall, a gripping read.

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Lake of Flowers (The Lord Hani Mysteries, book 5) by N.L. Holmes – Review by Netania Lim

Lake of Flowers (Lord Hani #5)Lake of Flowers by N.L. Holmes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve read several of the novels in this series. Just like in previous ones I’ve read, Lake of Flowers (Lord Hani #5) is full of intrigue and mystery, both personal and political. This is a really fascinating period in Ancient Egyptian history, as the records were destroyed by later kings, so I loved being able to read a fictionalised version of what may have happened. The writing is so detailed and the historical aspects were so interesting. What really makes the novel interesting is Hani’s character development, as his ideals and his loyalty are tested. A cosy mystery read.

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Moonlit Kiss (A Venice Romance) (Moonlit Destination Series) by Amy McKinley – Review by Netania Lim

Moonlit Kiss (A Venice Romance)Moonlit Kiss by Amy McKinley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a fun, easy read, with plenty of romance and suspense. I am a bit of a sucker for a bit of tragedy and a bit of mystery, and of course, love conquers all. I also loved how Venice really came to life, having visited previously, and I loved all of the historical details, the old art, and the cultural elements that continue today. The ghostliness and the thinness of the veil of time were really intriguing and transportive, and I loved where the plot ended up. I have not read this author before but I look forward to reading other books by Amy McKinley soon!

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Ouroboros (Antipodes III) by T.S. Simons – Review by Netania Lim

Ouroboros (Antipodes #3)Ouroboros by T.S. Simons
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Although I’ve read the first book in this series, I hadn’t read #2. I still really enjoyed this book and being able to read more about characters old and new and for the most part, it still made sense. I felt like the two main characters Cam and Freya really grow up and while their relationship deepens, they also feel like two very settled adults who’ve been through a lot but are also there for each other. I was a bit uncomfortable with how Amara was described as a Thai woman but other than that, I also enjoyed the many other characters in this world. So overall I felt like this novel is a bit more slow-paced than the first but it was still very much an enjoyable read.

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Antipodes by T.S. Simons – Review by Netania Lim

AntipodesAntipodes by T.S. Simons
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a YA dystopian story that reimagines how the world might look like if we gave young people the chance to start over. The plot is creative and the characters are well-developed. I enjoyed the setting in Australia and Scotland, two places I love very much, and the details of the world-building make this book come alive. This was also a really interesting book to read in the middle of a pandemic and it had a lot of interesting commentary on inclusivity, sustainability, and equality. I don’t really read a lot of dystopian fiction but these themes and the focus on character rather than plot made this an enjoyable read for me.

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Murder at Honeybee Lake (Shadow of a Doubt Book 2) by Jessica Aiken-Hall – Review by Netania Lim

Murder at Honeybee Lake (Shadow of a Doubt, #2)Murder at Honeybee Lake by Jessica Aiken-Hall
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a paranormal crime novel with lots of plot twists and suspenseful moments. It kept me guessing until the very end. This book could be a bit triggering, although I think the subject matter was handled sensitively. I felt like the characters were less developed than I hoped for and there were a lot of characters to keep track of. it got a little repetitive at times but overall it was an interesting read.

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Electric Temptation (The Protectors Series Book 5) by Toya Richardson – Review by Netania Lim

Electric Temptation (The Protectors, #5)Electric Temptation by Toya Richardson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I hadn’t read the previous books in this series, but I was pulled into the story from the beginning and it wasn’t too confusing. It’s a well-written story and the chemistry between Delilah and Mason is gorgeous. It’s also set against a lot of action and drama in the community. I loved the paranormal elements and it’s a gripping read. Would love to read the rest of the series.

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