Friday, November 27, 2015

Tested by the Night Review Tour

Mia Hammerstrike was always the meek, mild mannered, spare to the heir. But when her brother abdicates his position as heir to the throne of Alaria, she is faced with a decision—marry a man to rule her people or take on Queen Adrina’s Challenge so that she can someday rule the country herself. After all, why should gender decide her future? Granted, the broad shouldered, dreamy eyed barbarian sent to look after her during her quest makes her VoT glad she's of the female persuasion.

Barbarian Talon Starkweather made a promise a long time ago, and now he must make good on it. He must play bodyguard to his best friend's sister, a little princess on a big mission. There are those who want her to fail, but he vows to help the barbarian princess earn the right to rule. There's only one problem—while he's protecting the stubborn and insatiably lusty female, who is going to protect Talon from the one woman trying not only his patience but also his willpower?

Their journey leads to danger, passion, and a battle of wills, and both will find themselves Tested by the Night.

Talon shook his head. “You see, princess, that’s what I’m talking about. That’s why you need someone watching your back at all times. I’ve been attacked by a frigging dragon, for God Draka’s sake, and all you can say is what’s her name?”

My Review:
3 stars

This was an interesting story for me. For one, I enjoyed the combination of fantasy and humor. This is definitely not a serious book, as it seems to me that while the author throws in stereotypical "quest-y" stuff, she's doing it in a tongue-in-cheek, genre making fun of itself kind of way. I enjoyed this (though I know not everyone will) since I read it as a comedic adventure at times.

However, I was not such a fan of the erotic romance element. Normally, I have no problem with erotic romance, but it just didn't seem to fit here. For one, Mia went back to school in the book to finish her training. While I don't mind that, it just felt weird because the characters kept dealing with high school drama. I felt this was a YA or NA at some points drama-wise, yet then there would be a detailed, hot n' heavy sex scene, which didn't fit.

I also had an issue with the sex and romance. I don't mind sex in a story so long as it moves the plot and/or relationship along. That wasn't the case here. There were so many sex scenes, yet the relationship between the two main characters felt forced. They never developed true chemistry between each other. And the way the sex was handled in the story didn't help. The heroine basically used the hero for sex. All the time. So while they had a physical relationship, it never developed emotionally. I think several sex scenes could have been removed in exchange for adding in more romantic scenes showing their relationship growing. 

All in all, this was an interesting book that combined a lot of my favorite fantasy elements with humor and fun. I would recommend giving this series a try, and I will definitely be checking out the rest of the series.

Tested By the Night is the fifth book of a series, which I did not know going in. While the book does work as a standalone, there are characters in this book who have been introduced and have backstories provided in earlier books, so I would recommend starting with the beginning of the series in order to get the most out of the books.

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Author Bio and Links:
Hi, my name is Maxine Mansfield and I write fantasy, erotic romances. I live in the far northern state of Alaska where the summer days are long and the winter nights even longer. I have one very special man, his three equally special children, and our six delightful grandchildren in my life. Not to mention a very bossy African Grey parrot named Gabriel. Oh, and gnomes! Many, many gnomes! Visit Maxine at  www.maxinemansfield.

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  1. I enjoyed the excerpt, sounds like a steamy read, thanks for sharing it and your review!

  2. Thanks for sharing your honest review and the excerpt!

  3. Sounds interesting. Thank you for the excerpt.

  4. I enjoyed reading the excerpt, your review, and learning about this book. This book sounds like an interesting read!