Friday, November 20, 2015

REVIEW: Tested by the Night (+$25 Amazon GC Giveaway!)

Title: Tested By The Night 
Author: Maxine Mansfield
Series: The Academy #5
Pages: 254
Date Published: 2015
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Format: Kindle
Genre: Romance
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours

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.
~My Thoughts~
This is a saucy romance through and through. I liked that there were some fantastic elements (creatures!) but that the story was primarily a historical romance set in another land...Fantasy Romance? Either way, it was a good genre-blending book with lots of details, facts, and world-building. 

I felt as though entirely too much attention was put on making Mia say that she was meek and mild. From what I felt, she wasn't really either. She certainly didn't make any choices or actions that seemed mild. She definitely questions everything that's being forced on her...It kind of seemed like a case of telling us what to believe rather than showing us, because if we look at Mia's actual movements even at the beginning, she's everything but quiet. That being said, her "character development" didn't really resonate with me because as the book went along she seemed to get less interesting. She stopped making decisions for herself and kind of just got swept up in Talon...not that there's anything wrong with Talon...yummy...but still, as a heroine, I would have liked to see Mia have a more empowered role at the end of her own book. 

Mansfield's writing was a bit of a mixture of classic historical fiction with good old-fashioned raunchy romance novel. There were a lot of "my good man!" type exclamations that did throw me a bit because I like my writing to be a tad more realistic than that, but it definitely camped up the drama and made for entertaining reading. Either the book was written entirely in a satirical snark about romance books or it was entirely too sappy for me...I can't tell! Tested by the Night is made for the mavens of historical fiction, for those of you who like the type of bodice-ripper that's got Fabio on the cover. Enjoy!
~Try an Excerpt!~
He nuzzled her neck again, and shivers of delight scampered up and down her spine, landing with a resounding thud right in the middle of her belly.

“When a starving man is set before a fine feast such as you, princess, he does not simply gobble his meal down and walk away. Oh, no, he savors every morsel of it, dines to near bursting, and thoroughly licks his plate clean afterward in appreciation.”
~Meet Maxine!~ 
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.

 Maxine will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


  1. I'm curious about the dragon on the cover.

  2. Thank you for the chance to win :)

  3. Which fictional character do you believe is the most like yourself?

  4. You had me at the nuzzling neck line. There's nothing like a good nuzzle, LOL!

  5. Thank you so much Andrea for taking the time and energy to do a review. I very much appreciate it. And as for the dragon question, in my world, Dragons are the bringers of Magic :) Goodluck to all in the raffle

  6. Enjoyed the excerpt, sounds like a great book, thanks for sharing it and your thoughts, Andra!

  7. Great post, I love the cover! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I'm looking forward to checking the entire series out :)

  8. Great post! I really enjoyed reading the excerpt and your review! This book sounds like such an interesting read! Also, I really like the book cover! Very intriguing!

  9. This book sounds great and I would love to read it. ty.

  10. Thank you for your honest review, much appreciated!