What Are You Reading? (282)

Posted April 29, 2016 by Rowena in Features | 7 Comments


Casee: My relationship with J.R. Ward is iffy at best. When Dark Lover came out, she was actually personally answering the emails her readers sent her. Now she has herself hidden behind layers and layers of people to protect her (i.e. keep her insulated). I’m just a peon. A peon that wants to stop reading her books, but can’t. It’s a disease. It really is. I just finished reading Blood Kiss which is a new series within the Brotherhood, but is about the trainees. I have to say, it was reminiscent of her earlier books. The ones I wanted to read. Not the ones I can’t stop myself from reading.

I’m now reading Allegiance of Honor, a Psy/Challenging book by Nalini Singh. Now if I can barely stand J.R. Ward, I love Nalini Singh. I always have. I’ve never read a book by her that I haven’t loved. She can do no wrong.

Holly: I’m still struggling to find something to read. I’m in the mood to read…something, but I have no idea what. Maybe another UF? Maybe a paranormal? I don’t know.

I read Bayou Moon by Ilona Andrews, book 2 in The Edge series. It was so good. I absolutely loved William and Cerise, and I love that world. It’s creepy and vivid and so imaginative. I also read Bounty by Kristen Ashley, the latest Colorado Mountains book. It was good. Not my favorite of the series, but I liked Justice and Deke.

Since I finished Bounty I’ve been doing some light skimming through some other KA books and looking for another PNR or UF to read. wish me luck?

Rowena: It’s been a slow reading week for me. Everything that I swore I was going to read…I didn’t. I read Sidebarred by Emma Chase and I really enjoyed that novella. I low key want more novellas for the other couples in this series, even Stanton and Sofia. I heart Jake Becker and his brood so freaking much.

Right now, I’m reading The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson. So far, it’s good and I’m sure that I will love the rest of the book. It’s a Morgan Matson, I always love her stuff. After this, I’m going to jump into Troublemaker by Linda Howard and the other books on my review pile for May.

What are you reading this week? Any new favorites or books that drove you crazy? Share!

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Guest Review: The Earl Takes All by Lorraine Heath

Posted April 29, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Earl Takes All by Lorraine HeathReviewer: Tracy
The Earl Takes Allby Lorraine Heath
Series: Hellions of Havisham
Published by HarperCollins, Avon Romanceon April 26th 2016
Genres: Romance, Historical
Buy on Amazon|Barnes & Noble

One summer night, Edward Alcott gives in to temptation and kisses Lady Julia Kenney in a dark garden. However, the passion she stirs within him is best left in the shadows as she weds his twin, the Earl of Greyling. But when tragedy strikes, to honor the vow he makes to his dying brother, Edward must pretend to be Greyling until the countess delivers her babe.

After her husband returns from a two-month sojourn, Julia finds him changed. Bolder, more daring, and more wicked—even if he does limit their encounters to kisses. With each passing day, she falls more deeply in love.

For Edward the embers of desire sparked on that long-ago night are quickly rekindled. He yearns to be her husband in truth. But if she discovers his ruse, she will despise him—and English law prevents him from marrying his brother’s widow. Yet he must dare to risk everything and reveal his secrets if he is to truly take all.

Edward Alcott went on safari with his brother and twin, Albert.  It was to be their last adventure before Edward calmed his rakish ways and joined parliament.  Unfortunately, Albert is killed during the safari. Before he dies he asks Edward to pretend to be him so that Albert’s wife, Julia, doesn’t lose the baby she’s carrying due of grief.  Edward agrees and brings his brother’s body back to England but tells everyone that it’s Edward that died.

Edward manages to pull off his ruse with Julia but the longer he hangs around her the more he falls in love with her.  Strangely enough Edward discovers that Julia didn’t hate him as much as he had thought as she mentions things about him (Edward) that surprise him time and again.  After she gives birth he knows that he should tell her who he is but he just wants to be Albert for a while longer so that Julia will love him even though he knows she would be loving Albert and not Edward – as long as he can be with her.  Edward knows that she will hate him once she discovers the truth and he’s not sure he can bear it.

Julia knows that there’s something different about her husband but she thinks it’s just because he’s been away for four months and is now grieving over the death of his twin.  She does know that she has fallen farther in love with Albert than she had ever been and loves the changes in him.  When she finds out that he is actually Edward and not Albert she hates him, but love and hate are so closely connected she’s confused about her feelings for Edward.  When she finally admits to herself her love for Edward, the problem comes up that because of British law they can never be together.  Do they live separate lives and continue to yearn for each other or do they continue with the ruse and have Edward play the part of Albert for the rest of their lives?

Normally when I read romance novels I don’t particularly care for the characters pretending to be someone or something they aren’t.   Knowing that Edward was going to be playing the part of his brother in this book truly had me contemplating not reading it but Heath had me connecting with the characters in book one and I couldn’t fathom not reading their story.  I’m so very glad I did because I ended up loving this book.

When I read stories about people playing someone they aren’t it makes me nervous for that reveal.  I’m almost coming out of my skin as I read waiting for when they are discovered.  This one certainly had me on the edge of my seat but the author did such a fantastic job of telling me Edward and Julia’s story that I almost forgot about the deception at times.  The emotions involved in every aspect of this story really got to me.  Albert dying (and Edward telling how he died) had me in tears.  Every time I thought of him dying the horror of it, it just made my heart hurt.  And Edward having to witness it and the reasons it happened?  Oh my lordy it was sad.  Albert was such a good man and husband and I hated to read about his death but then we wouldn’t have had Edward and Julia’s story.

The romance was sweet and quite touching.  I honestly didn’t think that I would like this book as much as I did.  No, we didn’t get to know Albert very well in book one but he was a fine upstanding man that of course I didn’t want to die.  That being said, I totally fell in love with Julie and Edward as a couple and wanted nothing more than for them to be together – but I just couldn’t see how the hell it was going to work!   The emotions were so high and there was so much at stake and all the ins and outs of “being” Albert or telling the truth (after Julia found out) were heart-wrenching.  I teared up more than once near the end of the book as it was a bit overwhelming.  I also loved the fact that Heath didn’t diminish the love that Julia had for Albert or make her love for Edward any greater.  It was just different and I so admired the characters for each recognizing that fact.

Edward’s character shouldn’t have been one that I ever liked.  In the first book in the series you could tell that he could be kind to his friends but I never thought I would love him. When we find that for the most part he was more playing a part than actually being a total wastrel/rake/drunkard and the reasons behind it I understood him a lot better.  I ended up liking him even more than Julia (even though I really like her too, don’t get me wrong) and that’s saying something about this author’s writing skill, imho.

The Earl Takes All is my favorite book of the year so far.  It’s April and it’s my first five star read.  I love this book and I highly, highly recommend it.

Rating: 5 out of 5


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Review: Branded by Fire by Nalini Singh

Posted April 28, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Branded by Fire by Nalini SinghReviewer: Rowena
Branded by Fireby Nalini Singh
Series: Psy/Changeling #6
Published by Berkleyon July 7, 2009
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 345
Buy on Amazon|Barnes & Noble

When a brilliant changeling researcher is kidnapped, DarkRiver sentinel Mercy, a cat, and SnowDancer lieutenant Riley, a wolf, must work together to track the young man-before his shadowy captors decide he's no longer useful. Along the way, the two dominants may find that submitting to one another uncovers not just a deadly conspiracy, but a passion so raw that it'll leave them both branded by fire.

Branded by Fire is the sixth book in the Psy/Changeling series by Nalini Singh and it follows SnowDancer Lieutenant Riley Kincaid and DarkRiver Sentinel Mercy Smith as they figure out that complicated mating journey between two different animals and packs.

Every since his younger sister was kidnapped and tortured by an evil Psy, Riley hasn’t been the same. He’s a lot meaner and a lot harder than he was before Brenna was taken. He’s happy that his sister is alive and well but he holds a lot of guilt for not being there to protect Brenna. He’s a loner by choice for now but Mercy Smith has always gotten under his skin and he’s done fighting the attraction. He wants her and her being a leopard be damned. He always figured that when he finally settled down and went looking for a mate, his mate would be the domesticated type. The kind to stay home and keep his home in order and bake cookies and what not. He wasn’t looking for Mercy. He wasn’t expecting Mercy to be anything but a temporary bed partner.

Mercy is one of the strongest sentinels in the DarkRiver pack and being a dominant female isn’t exactly helping her find a mate of her own. Everyone in her pack are pairing up and settling down but not her. She’s left behind but when Riley comes around and starts sniffing around her, she’s taken aback at the strength of her attraction to him. She doesn’t think that things could possible work between them since she’s a leopard and he’s a wolf. Aside from that, they both hold high callings in their packs and that is just one big complication that neither of them wants to deal with but when their attraction to each other turns into something more, it’s something that needs to be dealt with and Mercy is not ready for it.

I was dreading getting into this book because I didn’t want one of those headstrong heroines who is so stubborn and bitchy about a man coming in to help her. I also didn’t want to read about an alpha male who thought he knew what was best for the little woman but I shouldn’t have doubted Nalini Singh because she handled the issues between Riley and Mercy in a way that made me excited for more. I loved seeing both Riley and Mercy struggle with trying to make their relationship work. I loved that they got things wrong over and over again until finally, they got it right. It wasn’t a walk in the park for either of them and every issue that they had was worked through and solutions were found and I really dug it. I loved the family meeting Riley for the first time. I loved the amount of love that Mercy’s family had for her and I loved seeing Brenna and Drew again. I’m seriously looking forward to Drew’s book. His flirty personality gets me every time and I’m so ready for him.

As with every other book in this series, this book packs a bunch. There’s a lot going on outside of the romance between Riley and Mercy and I really enjoyed it all. I loved trying to figure out who the hell was behind all of the murders and I loved getting little pieces of other stories from the previous books that aren’t done yet. I loved trying to figure out where everything fits. This is one giant puzzle that is coming together and soon, everything is going to blow up and I’m so here for that. Nalini Singh is doing a great job with this series and I couldn’t be more excited for the rest of the books as I am right now.

I loved the romance between Riley and Mercy. I loved seeing all of the other characters that I have come to love and I’m looking forward to more Sienna and Hawke. Actually, I’m looking forward to more of everything. I highly recommend this book and this series. I’m late to the party with this book and if you haven’t started this series…why the heck not? Change that, your life won’t ever be the same. This is a great series.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5


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Guest Review: Return of the Bad Boy by Jessica Lemmon

Posted April 28, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Return of the Bad Boy by Jessica LemmonReviewer: Tracy
Return of the Bady Boyby Jessica Lemmon
Series: Second Chance series #4
Published by Grand Central Publishingon April 26th 2016
Genres: Romance, Contemporary
Buy on Amazon|Barnes & Noble

He's a mess...

Asher Knight has three constants in his life: music, beautiful women, and a bottle of Jack. He lives for the next gig, the next city, and dreams only of a life spent in front of an arena full of screaming fans. But Asher's nomad ways come to a sudden stop when he learns he's the father of a three-year-old from a past relationship and suddenly this rock star bad boy is forced to put down roots.

Only she can clean up

Gloria Shields is no one's fool. Sure, the sexual chemistry between her and Asher has always been intense, but she'd never risk giving her heart to a man who has a perfect record for breaking them. Except the man desperate to make things right with his newfound son is nothing like the rock god she's guarded her heart against for years. And it isn't long before she starts to wonder if life with this bad boy might be the best thing that's ever happened to her.

Asher Knight and Gloria Shields have a client/agent relationship but they also, at one time, had a personal relationship.  That didn’t last long when Gloria found one of Asher’s groupie’s at his place one night.  After that Asher found out that said groupie (who he did not sleep with that night but had slept with before he got together with Gloria) had been keeping a secret from him.  He’s a father.  He now has his band, his children’s story book writing and his son, Hawk, in his life.  Even though he has all of that, he still wants Gloria in his life.  He knows that she’s the one for him.

Gloria had a crappy childhood and tends to keep to herself.  She doesn’t trust people to stick around so it’s difficult to try and let people in – friends, boyfriends, whatever.  She really cares for Asher but she doesn’t trust him not to hurt her again.  He says he wants her back and he’s making all of the right moves but Gloria’s still hesitant.  She had bad examples as parents so she doesn’t think that she can help with Hawk in any way and she’s just not sure she can handle everything that Asher is offering.

This was a sweet story.  It’s definitely a premise that has been used before but I thought Lemmon did a good job with it.  She really made the reader think about Gloria’s life and situation and when we were done we just knew that she should be together with Asher

The characters from the previous three books in the series were heavily involved in this story as well and I really liked that.  Not only did we see them interacting with Gloria and Asher but we also got caught up on what was going on in their lives.  It was pretty cool.

In the blurb for this book it says that “he’s a mess…only she can clean up.”  Quite frankly I thought it was the other way around.  She was the one that was a mess!  Asher had taken a lot of time to get his shit together and worked especially hard after he found out about Hawk.  Gloria, while she had the business side of her life figured out, she was a mess on the personal front.  She held out a little long for my liking (when it came to giving in with Asher) but in the end I felt it was done well and I was happy with the HEA.  Overall a good romance to read.

Rating: 4 out of 5


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