A Lee

A Lee's favorite authors on Smashwords

Smashwords book reviews by A Lee

  • Peace Warrior on June 06, 2020

    This novel is very much in the tradition of the movie "Soldier" and Heinlein's novel "Starship Troopers". We have an Earth that has created a peaceful utopia - war and conflict have been eliminated. So what do humans do when aliens invade? They go to war - but they need someone to teach them how. Well, any soldier will tell you that the sergeants actually run the army. Who expected Sgt. Grant Justice to actually have to prove it?
  • On the Accidental Wings of Dragons on June 06, 2020

    Loved this! This was such a different take on the nature of dragons and the interaction of dragons and humans in contemporary society. Throw in a commoner-royalty romance and this just rocked!
  • Kindling Flames—Gathering Tinder on June 06, 2020

    I quite liked how new and competent Victoria handled her violent and less-than-pleasant introduction to the world of paranormal beings. (Rupert and Michael are lucky to be alive.) Though traumatized, she still manages to maintain her composure with minimal (and understandable) tears. Darien really lucked out when he hired this particular personal assistant. The slow burn romance developing between them is sweet, tender and surprising. I want to see how Victoria ends up fitting into Darien's world, and not as his assistant.
  • Handsome and the Yeti (Genderbent Fairytales Collection, Book 1) on July 11, 2020

    I quite like this retelling of the Beauty and Beast fairytale. This one in particular seems to take the Disney version and change the gender of the characters, which gives this story a somewhat surreal feeling of familiarity, like seeing a favourite movie as reflected in a warped mirror.
  • Petra Pan on July 11, 2020

    This retelling of the Peter Pan tale lacks the lighthearted sweetness of the original story, but it does have more depth, probably because the author has aged the characters which means they now look at their problems with adult eyes. It also gives us some answers to questions the original story never answered - like how did Peter Pan and Captain Hook first arrive in Neverland, how did they know each other and why did Tinkerbell hang around with Peter so devotedly. Those answers make this story very different from the original yet equally compelling. Definitely worth reading - just do not expect saccharine sweetness.
  • Alister in Wonderland on July 11, 2020

    This retelling of Lewis Carroll's classic has been re-written into a delightfully twisted version of "The Bachelorette". The bachelorette in question is spirited and feisty and the contestants are each very different yet in their own individual ways, laudable and flawed. This was such fun to read!
  • King of Hearts: A Wonderland Story on July 11, 2020

    I enjoyed this expansion of the Wonderland retelling. After the author revealed Crimson to be not quite the villain that he was reputed to be, I wondered what he would do next. Now I know. All hail King Crimson - liberator of the Land of Hearts!
  • Theodore Gale in Oz on July 11, 2020

    This particular retelling of the Wizard of Oz keeps twisting as Theodore travels toward the Emerald City. I like how the author has added elements that make the story as much steampunk as fairy tale, but I wish Theodore was a little more than a caricature of a redneck hillbilly.
  • Wicked Warlock of Oz on July 11, 2020

    I had not realized how much I like villain-revealed-to-be-hero stories until I read this. Wicked warlock indeed! Talk about judging books by their covers!
  • Ashe and the Glass Sword on July 11, 2020

    This was a great story! This retelling had all the elements of the original and yet was as great as the original. Loved it!
  • Blacksmith Rapunzel on July 11, 2020

    I would not call this a retelling of Rapunzel. Even with the gender change, the only part that this story has in common with the original fairytale is the background introduction. The rest of it is original, incorporating the myth of the Minotaur, the story of Jekyll and Hyde and the movie Daybreakers into a harmoniously action-packed and thrilling whole. This is a great read!
  • Dragon Knights Anthology Volume 1 on July 21, 2020

    Dragons, dragon riders and lots of fire .... While I generally am not a fan of menage a trois romance, the author has created a society and a system that makes sense, is consistent and in which this kind of relationship is not only accepted but required. I enjoy how the author has created a story that tugs at the heartstrings but has enhanced it lots of sparks and steam, rather than creating the steam and writing something to connect the sexy times. The story feels so much relevant and relatable as due the characters.
  • The Tally Master: A Fantasy Mystery Novel on Sep. 11, 2020

    When destiny calls, the called must answer. What does the call look like? For content retired warhorse Gael, it looked like discrepancies on tally sheets, like a bank statement that does not reconcile. I really liked how Gael's quest progressed from a small apparent mistake up to a parting of ways with his lord to set out to explore the world, and all the little discoveries along the way (like Kier's personal mission, the encroachment of other officials on his turf, embezzlement, etc.). At least, Gael did not have an oracle telling him of his "glorious quest" and to "just act as normal" to achieve that quest; that has always been the most annoying thing about knowing about your destiny - the less-than-helpful oracle. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
  • Totally Renewed: A Shifter Speed Dating Romance on April 02, 2021

    Way to make a first impression! I don't think I have read an more embarrassing way to meet one's mate. Fortunately, Kat has a good sense of humour!
  • Totally Roasted: A Shifter Speed Dating Romance on April 02, 2021

    What is the Council's beef? What do they have against true love? Putting Ethan into a maximum security prison for finding his mate? Oooooh..... Zoey, please tell me you have plans for Georgie and the Council and their enforcers! I really want to see what happens when any of them fall (particularly during the course of a speed dating bust)!
  • Between Ink and Shadows on May 16, 2021

    This put a different twist on the captured-thief trope which I quite enjoyed. The interaction of light and dark, good and evil, redemption and debauchery turn what could have been just another gaslamp gothic into a suspenseful quest for freedom and nobility, step by hesitant step, decision by uncertain decision. The author's writing style, deft character development and intricately intriguing story line compares beautifully with Martha Wells' "Death of a Necromancer". I recommend this to fans of Martha Wells' Ile-Rien Chronicles.
  • The Rostikov Legacy on May 16, 2021

    Konrad Savast is Nathaniel Garrett in a Victorian era as a cleric (in the D&D sense), not a sorcerer with the attitude and the detecting skills of Markhat (of Frank Tuttle's imagination). This hit all the right buttons - strange magics, Victorian mores, conflicted anti-hero, would-be companion/sidekick, head-scratching puzzles. If you like detective murder mysteries set in a fantasy world, you need to read this. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys "The Angel of the Crows" by Katherine Addison or Dan Willis' 1920s-esque private detective books.
  • Totally Basted: A Shifter Speed Dating Romance on May 16, 2021

    Why does the author always ask what could go wrong? Something always goes wrong! In this case, the Shifter Council went wrong! Spoilsports!! Boo!!
  • Totally Spooked: A Shifter Speed Dating Romance on May 16, 2021

    Shifter Council - boo! Why did I not think of this? This way of finding a mate makes so much sense for shifters - kudos to the author for coming up with this! So fun!
  • Vampire's Bargain Book One on May 16, 2021

    The main character, Jeanette, feels like a young Diana Tregarde without the same degree of common sense, caution and training. It is not surprising that she becomes over-confident and ends up in a bind. I personally think that that might just be the best that that could have happened to her. She is learning all sorts of things that she did not know, including how to be a friend. Not bad for someone who had to sign a bargain with a perceived devil!
  • The Mages of Starsea on Jan. 29, 2023

    This novel had the feeling of being only an introduction. The author sets up the background, the basic storyline and creates a character that has the feel of a young Anakin Skywalker, then he drops us off at an isolated academy and leaves us with lots of unanswered questions. That is fine as that encourages to me to read the next in the series, but in general, the characters feel a bit shallow. I hope that the author will add more depth to them in subsequent books.
  • The Tin Rose on Jan. 29, 2023

    This short story has the feel of the fairy tale "East of the Wind, West of the Moon". It is steamy yet sweet, noir yet whimiscal. The author has the characters in love and that love being tested in extreme yet believable ways in very few pages. Still, some of the characters could have used a little more development - despite the author's wonderful descriptions, at least one seemed a little shallow.
  • The Spellbinding Courtship on Feb. 08, 2023

    This author has really captured the feeling and atmosphere of a classic Regency Romance - Selena Midor seems to have the sense, determination and spine of Georgette Heyer's Mary Challoner, with a similar storyline. The magical elements are made part of the story rather than token additions, much like what Shereem Vedam does in her The Cauldron Effect books or her The Rue Alliance series or Patricia Wrede does in her Mairelon series or her Cecilia and Kate books. I found this story to be spellbinding in all the best ways that a paranormal historical romance should be.
  • A Trace of Copper on Feb. 08, 2023

    Most steampunk tales deal with magic and machinery. This is one of the few that deals with biology and zoology in a steampunk world. For all that the author is creating new twists and turns for the steampunk genre, she still manages to make it light-hearted and fun. Chasing blue frogs? Feeling up invisible ducks? While hunting Russian spies? I received a copy of this book from the author and I am voluntarily leaving a review.
  • Cream and Punishment on Feb. 23, 2023

    I so relate to Lucy. Codependency really is a thing, along with addiction and enabled helplessness. As Lucy ended up discovering, tough love may be the only way to go, especially if she wanted to live a life as more than her mother's servant. I get how hard it is for someone in Lucy's position to realize that she does not have to be the indispensable person and that it is better for everyone if she is not. The author did an awesome job of portraying the struggles of a codependent person to just let go and let be, while giving us a surprisingly lightly sweet romance to flesh out those struggles. I would suggest that people who enjoy Susan Copperfield's Royal States fantasies may like this more contemporary small town romance since both authors seem to have a knack for tackling difficult issues with grace, laughter and fun. I received an ARC from the author and I am voluntarily leaving a review.
  • The Merman's Kiss on Feb. 26, 2023

    I liked the unusual composition of mer society. There are a lot of legends about sirens, who have always be depicted in legend as female. This is the first story that asks what mer society would be like if the mermen do not have the same vocal talents. Very original!
  • For the Memory of Dragons on March 04, 2023

    I quite like Terra's farmgirl down-to-earthiness and her get-it-done attitude. Those got quite the workout with her introduction to an unconscious Alex. This takes the amnesiac alien trope to another level, complete with conspiracies and pursuers with dastardly intentions. Seeing how Terra and Alex handled their roller coaster of a road trip kept my eyes glued to this story. Such fun!
  • Semper Lycanus on June 28, 2023

    I enjoy becoming-a-hero stories, but this one is really twisted. A chronic underachiever becomes a model marine, all because of an unexpected type of enemy in the sandbox. The author must have spent a lot of time thinking about how werewolf society would work in the modern world because what he came up with makes sense while being original (i.e. not following the usual alpha-omega pack concept). This story marries military action with werewolf folklore to make a paranormal military fantasy that satisfies both military fiction fans and paranormal fantasy fans.
  • Alpha Origins on June 28, 2023

    The origins story feels surprisingly realistic. The bitter cold, the relief when shelter is found, the sight of the aurora borealis - those resonate. The excerpts that follow promise expansions on the world revealed by the origins story that will be full of scrapping, growth and romance. On an emotional level - excerpts?! You authors are torturers. You throw us these teeeny snippits and get us hooked and hold back on the rest of the fix! Torturers I say!
  • The Library of Fate on June 28, 2023

    What would you give to change history? This tale of a treacherous chancellor and an easily-led prince gives us the dangers of trying to change history – and the price to restore everything back. This author has a truly twisted yet idealistic imagination; how does he come up with these ideas?
  • Hara's Legacy on June 28, 2023

    This is one of the first science fiction romances I read and it sets the bar for me for science fiction romances and menage romances for me. The author did a wonderful job of creating characters which resonate with me (no pun intended), building a romantic relationship that feels authentic, while making her story seem plausible in the society of the world and its new alien overlords she created. This joins SE Smith's books on my TBR (to be re-read) sci-fi romance pile.
  • Once Upon a Viking on June 28, 2023

    I am profoundly impressed by this author’s grasp, accuracy and careful use of the historical background of the Vikings in these retellings of the Princess and the Pea, the Three Little Pigs and Hansel and Gretel. There is very little lightheartedness or airiness about these tales, but the Vikings were anything but gentle, pacific peacemakers. Difficult and dark these stories might be but they ring in the gut and feel true to the spirit of the original unexpurgated Grimm’s fairytales. I highly recommend these to anyone who has a passion for medieval Vikings and for fairytale retellings.
  • The Henchmen’s Book Club on July 02, 2023

    This was such a twist on the sidekick-becoming-mastermind idea. Being a bookworm myself, I very much appreciated just how much power a book club can have when it comes to making connections! What a tribute to bookworms!
  • Sorrow's Twin on July 02, 2023

    Ara bears a definite resemblance to George (of the Edge or Innkeeper books by Ilona Andrews). They both compassionate and merciless - compassionate to others, merciless to themselves. And like George, Ara will put himself in harm's way to protect everyone else -even though they are capable of protecting themselves. Argh! I'm sure that Raven doesn't know whether to kiss him or kill him at times like this!
  • Firefanged on July 02, 2023

    This fantasy coming-of-age, chosen-one tale really hit me in the gut. Ara bears a lot of resemblance to Pug of Raymond E. Feist's Riftwar novels, advancing due to surprising chance in significant leaps and bounds and a surpassingly great talent for finding and handling trouble of the demonic type. If you enjoy Andy Peloquin's or Steve McHugh's works, you are going to enjoy this grimdark yet hopeful saga.
  • The Scarred Man on July 02, 2023

    Ara's development as a war leader continues in very bloody and messy ways. This very blunt and conflicted young man is direct to a fault and tends to talk with his sword, so I am not sure how he manages to play politics with kings and nobles as well as criminals so well. The way Ara grows into his role seems to be almost effortless, which would normally make him seem too good to be believed, except that the author's portrayal of this young adult shines a lot of light of his very human weaknesses, making him so very relatable. I am getting hooked on following Ara's story.
  • Storm Sister on July 02, 2023

    Which of the Storm women is this supposed to be about? It appears that the author decided that he had to expand on Book 7 (which could have ended the epic) with Raven's and Ayla's views of the demon war and boy, did both do a lot. I really appreciate how the author made it clear that women as well as men can fight, literally or figuratively, demons and win. No weak sisters of House Storm here!
  • Vigil Storm on July 02, 2023

    Wow, just wow. This volume really pulled everything in the previous volumes together in a way that shows the costs and aftermath of a world war, in blood, social upheaval and in appreciation of the things which truly matter. It is unfortunate that there are so many who want to play petty politics but I really like how the author has the heart winning over royal opportunism. Here's hoping that the peace will last! I recommend this series to fans of Jason Anspach or Chris Bunch who may want to try military epic fantasy instead of military science fiction.
  • The Devil and Koki-Ten on July 02, 2023

    For a young adult still struggling with various mental ailments, imposed or nurtured, Ara seems to have a startling good grasp of the big picture - and how to move armies to put him in a position to end a slow demon war. I can't help but want to follow (and smack) Ara as he adamantly insists on ending a demon war by himself. I have to admit that I relate all too well to the desire to protect others at my own expense; fortunately for me and Ara, we both have others who insist on stepping in to help even if we don't ask. (I am so glad that I am not dealing with a demon war.)
  • Black Fortune on July 02, 2023

    "Ara doesn't hesitate to do what needs ..doing, be it sane or not..." What a wonderful line - it so succinctly describes Ara's mindset. As compassionate and merciless as he may be (like George of Ilona Andrews' creation), he differs from George in that George tries to manipulate people into resolutions requiring as little bloodshed as possible and Ara - doesn't. That gets demonstrated further in this novel as Ara takes on another kingdom's criminal underground and teaches them to leave his family alone. I am definitely getting addicted to this series.
  • Wind Catcher on July 02, 2023

    I continue to be drawn into Ara's saga. Again, I read and marvel at the demonic grimness that Ara keeps charging headlong into with his family and forces right on his heels. There is another point of resemblance to Feist's Pug in this novel - Ara gets adopted into a noble house in this instalment of his saga. Given the way he attracts trouble, I think that it is safe to say that the adoption will not lead to a life of comfort and laziness, however well-deserved.
  • Gray Prince on July 02, 2023

    Book 5 set the scope of Ara's quest in this series, and that scope is vast. This volume begins to realize the vastness of that scope in the Grey. For fans of mafia thrillers, you need to read this and see just how unambitious the usual contemporary criminal action thriller is.
  • Archdruid on July 02, 2023

    While this novel chronicles Ann's stepping into the title her father left to her, it was Edward's story that held my attention. This lovelorn former foundling was slowing rediscovering who he is and who he was in the midst of the dog's breakfast that was Ann's family (sorry for the allusion). The best thing that came out of Ann's investiture - the strengthening of the bond betweens Ann and Edward.
  • Bound By Blood on July 02, 2023

    The suspense is intense, the action thrilling, the intrigue is byzantine. This novel keeps the reader of the edge of one's chair, waiting for the next revelation. The part that bothers me is that the characters feel a bit immature for their roles. Ann, for instance, seems amazingly heedless and headstrong and impulsive for someone who has acted as a guerrilla leader for 5 years. Why is it taking her so long to stop jumping into action without planning?
  • The Impossible Wizard on July 03, 2023

    The author creates an interesting world where magic exists and the social dynamic is the opposite to what we are used to. I sympathize with Conryu. He had his life planned with arrangements to begin a business doing something he loved until tests showed that he was the glaring exception to the rule that magic is women's work. Now he has to deal with imperious witches trying to turn him into a pawn, male expectations of sexual revolution and international attempts to remove the explosive weapon that is him. Yay. What fun it is to be the chosen one.
  • Stoking The Embers on July 12, 2023

    The society the author tells us of in this novel makes North American ghettos look good. Bad enough that it is hard to just find food day to day, but what kind of society allows an employer to fill out paperwork "volunteering" you to enter a life-or-death competition without your knowledge or consent? That and being treated like a "mushroom" ; (being kept in the dark and being fed [you fill in the blank]) makes this situation unfortunately challenging for Raine. The pace of the story started slowly, but once I warmed up to it, the story got better. I now need to see what happens next. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
  • First Time's A Charm on July 12, 2023

    What a twist on the classic curse! Much better than snakes falling out of your mouth when you talk. So cute!
  • Advanced Physical Chemistry: A Romantic Comedy on July 12, 2023

    This is a new take on a "Friends" style coffee shop romance. Again, the characters are very relatable - Penny for her lack of self-esteem and inability to recognize a good man, even when he is right in front of her nose; and, Caleb, for his shyness and sensitivity to parental pressure. This was a sweet romance, despite the very steamy athletics described. I received a copy of this from the author and I am voluntarily leaving a review.
  • The Fox and the Viscount on July 23, 2023

    The author gives us her signature shifter romance set in a Regency world and she did a wonderful job of it. We have the typical young lady on the marriage mart, the childhood friend who wants more and the handsome cad who catches her eye. What is even better is that the ending resulting in everyone winning, even the cad! Sweet, fun and sassy - this was different worth the time to read! I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
  • Natural Born Exorcist on Sep. 14, 2023

    If you are a fan of RJ Blain or Patricia Briggs, you need to read this book. Soliel Burns (I agree, our heroine's parents are twisted) feels like a sister to Mercedes Thompson and Poppy Lowrence, a very human woman who has no problem stepping up to face villains to protect the innocents around her and who attracts interesting men with their own frailties. This was a surprisingly fun yet gritty urban fantasy and it is now in my pile of to-be-reread-often books.
  • Pumpkin Carving For Superstitious Witches on Oct. 06, 2023

    Again, I really appreciate how the author brings romance into the lives of the imperfect. So relatable - I am so imperfect and I am beginning to see that is what makes me (and Juniper) unique! I received an ARC via Booksprout and I am voluntarily leaving a review.
  • Unrepentant on Oct. 06, 2023

    This author knows how to pace her action. The action is frantic, the mission imperative, the characters tough; and yet, despite the romantic suspenseful thriller storyline (which is much like the work of Dianne Duvall), the author has thrown in a few lighthearted moments that had me giggling (like Lily's driving - "The DayKing gave the cat-kin good reflexes. Relax.") There are hooks in this novel for the romantic suspense buff, hopeful mothers, lovers of alpha males and feisty females, shifters, vampires and desperate quests (like preventing global trials and tribulations just short of the End of Days). There is a lot in this novel to enjoy - I think that almost everyone can find an element that appeals. What appeals to me is how the author managed to roll all this together into one book. I need to see how the next turns out.
  • A Vampire's Heart on Oct. 06, 2023

    I really appreciated this closer view of Valerian's past. What is it about the tortured bad boys that hits me right in the libido? Nice to know that Maisie, that geeky girl who feels like my high-school self, had the same reaction. What a great lead-in to book 1 in this series! Definitely got to re-read that!
  • Outcrossing on Oct. 06, 2023

    This is a different take on the 1920s than I normally find in novels. This has nothing to do with the desperate gaiety of the speakeasies or Charleston dances and everything to do with the painful social aftermath of World War 1, as two young people find their way away from strangling expectations and traditions towards a meaningful life together. Toss in various dangers such as arranged marriages, lack of understanding of PTSD and bullying smugglers make the road towards said meaningful life rockier but lead to a more solid understanding. The author did a great job with this story - it feels a lot like the romance of Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane (with less flamboyance, derring-do and explosions).
  • Deliciously Mated on Oct. 06, 2023

    I really like how the author begins this story. We are at a resort in the mountains and things are disappearing. Security cameras show the thief to be female. How do you catch a lady thief? Our hero lives up to his vocation and entices her with dinner and dessert, including cobbler and chocolate. Wise man our Eagan ... he definitely put out the right bait for his mate. Now to persuade her to stay with him ....
  • Rising Star on Oct. 17, 2023

    The author has a knack for showing us the human side, dark and light, of the glitterati. I found both Griffin and Alice to be enormously sympathetic characters - Griffin in his All-American chivalrous efforts and Alice in her skittish reactions to relationships. I enjoyed how the author brought these two characters together and kept them together despite the celebrity-bashing gossip, publicists and social media. It is lovely to see authentic love blossom between two genuine people despite the artificial floodlights of Hollywood. I recommend this to fans of Nalini Singh's Rock Kiss series.