Guest Review: One Wedding, Two Brides by Heidi Betts

Posted August 15, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: One Wedding, Two Brides by Heidi BettsReviewer: Tracy
One Wedding, Two Brides (Fairy Tale Bride #1) by Heidi Betts
Series: Fairy Tale Bride #1
Published by Entangled: Amara
Publication Date: Judy 23rd 2018
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 263
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three-stars

Jilted bride Monica Blair can’t believe it when she wakes up next to a blue-eyed, smooth-talking cowboy in the middle of nowhere and with a ring on her finger. It had sounded like a great plan at the time. Get married, get revenge, and get her money back. So why is she cleaning out stables and trying to keep her hands off the hot cowboy helping her?

Ryder Nash would have bet his best Stetson that you’d never see him walk down the aisle. But when the city girl with pink-streaked hair and a frog tattoo hatches a plan to expose the conman who married his sister, no idea is too crazy. And even though Monica might be the worst rancher’s wife he’s ever seen, he can’t stop thinking about the wedding night they never had.

What was supposed to be a temporary marriage for revenge is starting to feel a little too real...

Monica is devastated when she opens her Chicago paper and reads a wedding announcement for her fiancé, Matt.  But she’s not the bride in the announcement!  She hops on a plane and while she knows that she won’t make it to stop the wedding, she knows that she has to do something to let Matt know that she found out about the deception.  While on the way to Nevada she ends up getting drunk and crashes the reception and starts spouting off.  She’s hauled out by the bride’s brother, Ryder.

Monica tells Ryder that she needs to get back at Matt and let him know the huge mistake he made by marrying someone else.  The only way, according to her drunken mind, to do that is to get married as well. This will supposedly infuriate Matt because she’ll be the perfect wife.  (Yeah, it makes no sense to me either.)  She says she’ll pay Ryder $50,000 to marry her – a marriage of convenience, of course – and then they’ll get it annulled when she feels Matt has been bested (as he’s so competitive).  So, Ryder’s farm is failing and he needs money, desperately, so while he knows that marrying Monica isn’t smart he needs that money.

The next morning Monica wakes up and can’t remember anything.  She’s horrified that she married this man she didn’t know and then lets him know that she doesn’t have $50,000 because Matt stole it from her before he married Ryder’s sister. Ryder is shocked but determined to get the money back from Matt, so they decide to stay married and work together.

While I enjoyed this story at times, there were plenty of parts that annoyed me.  Ryder was one of them.  He was very concerned for his farm, I get that, but it made him seem pretty self-centered in the way he acted.  He went along with Monica’s schemes but never graciously.  Monica and I had a love/hate relationship as well.  I thought she was an idiot at the beginning, but she made up for it by the end of the book.

This is intended to be an overall light-hearted book and that’s what it is – there’s not a lot of depth.  It was cute and funny at times so that kind of made up for the parts where I found myself rolling my eyes.

Rating: 3 out of 5

three-stars


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Review: Forget You, Ethan by Whitney G

Posted August 14, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Forget You, Ethan by Whitney GReviewer: Rowena
Forget You, Ethan by Whitney G.
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: August 2, 2018
Point-of-View: First
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 228
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three-half-stars

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer...

I've hated Rachel Dawson since I was seven years old. My next door neighbor and number one sworn enemy, she's the reason why almost all of our childhood fights ended with me setting something of hers on fire. (Or, vice versa.)

She snitched on me when I broke curfew.

I snitched on her when she lied about having a boyfriend.

We went back and forth like this throughout high school, both vowing to never talk to each other again when we went off to college.

But that was until she showed up at my apartment during my senior year and asked me for a temporary place to stay. Until I realized just how much between us had changed, and the line I thought we'd never cross became harder and harder to ignore...

**This is a standalone friends (to enemies) to lovers romance**

I feel like I’ve been waiting on this book for forever but boy was I glad to jump right into it right when I got it for review. I really enjoyed the last NA book that I read by Whitney G (Sincerely, Carter) so I knew that I had to get this one as soon as I could. This was super fast to read and while it was enjoyable, it was too much like Sincerely Carter IMO.

I mean sure, there are slight differences in that Ethan and Rachel hate each other growing up. They seem to really hate each other still but I didn’t completely buy it because why would they continue their letter writing for so long if they really hated each other? They were hate best friends and that was that. When Rachel goes away to college on board a ship, she and Ethan stay in touch through letters written by hand and Ethan kept track of where Rachel’s ship was in port so that he can send his letters to the right places. So, hate each other? Yeah right. I don’t think anyone goes to that much trouble for someone they hate.

Anyway, so it’s the start of their senior year in college and Rachel is done with college abroad. She’s going to finish up her college career on land and far, far away from a ship. When her housing situation falls through, she needs to find a new place to stay and that’s when she’s brought into Ethan’s vicinity again. Ethan, the boy next door that used to torment her throughout elementary, middle and high school. The boy that got on her nerves so much that she jumped at the chance to move far away from him and board a ship for college.

Ethan isn’t happy about the situation either. He comes home to find out that his roommate burned their house down so they have to move and the house that they’re moving into is bigger and cost more so they need a roommate and this is where the worst blast from his past shows up in the form of Rachel Dawson.

So, of course, they become roommates and of course, things get interesting and I found that while I enjoyed this book, it didn’t have the magic that Sincerely Carter had for me. Sure, I enjoyed Ethan and Rachel finding common ground with each other and I really enjoyed when they finally got together but something was missing to make me completely love it. Maybe it was how much they reminded me of Carter and Arizona (being best friends who didn’t see each other like that until they do) but with a lot more fighting?? I don’t know.

Whitney G did write an engaging book for them though. It didn’t take me long to read, the story was really easy to fall into but I guess because I kept comparing this one to Sincerely Carter, my enjoyment of the book as a whole suffered some. Still, it was a solid read.

Grade: 3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Review: A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole

Posted August 13, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: A Duke by Default by Alyssa ColeReviewer: Rowena
A Duke by Default (Reluctant Royals, #2) by Alyssa Cole
Series: Reluctant Royals #2
Published by Avon
Publication Date: July 31, 2018
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 374
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Award-winning author Alyssa Cole’s Reluctant Royals series continues with a woman on a quest to be the heroine of her own story and the duke in shining armor she rescues along the way

New York City socialite and perpetual hot mess Portia Hobbs is tired of disappointing her family, friends, and—most importantly—herself. An apprenticeship with a struggling swordmaker in Scotland is a chance to use her expertise and discover what she’s capable of. Turns out she excels at aggravating her gruff silver fox boss…when she’s not having inappropriate fantasies about his sexy Scottish burr.

Tavish McKenzie doesn’t need a rich, spoiled American telling him how to run his armory…even if she is infuriatingly good at it. Tav tries to rebuff his apprentice, and his attraction to her, but when Portia accidentally discovers that he’s the secret son of a duke, rough-around-the-edges Tav becomes her newest makeover project.

Forging metal into weapons and armor is one thing, but when desire burns out of control and the media spotlight gets too hot to bear, can a commoner turned duke and his posh apprentice find lasting love?

I finally read my first Alyssa Cole book and it did not disappoint. I’ve been hearing such great things about her writing so I’ve been meaning to try her out for a while but I kept getting distracted by other books and other authors but I will not overlook another Alyssa Cole book because I really enjoyed Tavish McKenzie and Portia Hobbs romance.

I’m not going to lie, what drew my attention to this book was the cover and the dress that Portia is wearing. That’s a gorgeous dress so I immediately wanted to read this one because of that alone. Alyssa Cole was blessed by the cover Gods and I’m happy to report that she is also blessed with the gift of writing. I had a blast with this book. I didn’t read the first book but my enjoyment of this book didn’t suffer because of that. I do have plans to go back and read the first book because I liked Ledi and Thabiso in this one enough to want to read their love story.

So this story follows Portia Hobbs as she travels from New York to Scotland to be the apprentice of a swordmaker. She’s trying to get her life together because she needs to and she is through being irresponsible and the party girl. She’s cleaning up her act and the first step to her new and improved life is to be the best damn apprentice that Tavish McKenzie has ever had. She’s low key excited to learn all that she can and isn’t going to let her grumpy ass boss get in the way of her growing as a person.

Tav McKenzie is trying to stay afloat. His business isn’t doing as well as usual and he’s stretched thin trying to be everything and do everything for everyone. His brother Jamie thinks he needs help and help comes in the form of a young woman that he’s very attracted to and doesn’t have the time or inclination to act on that attraction. The desire doesn’t go away and the more time that he spends with Portia, the more he realizes that there is more than meets the eye and he likes her more and more. When they stumble on the fact that Tav is the rightful Duke of Edinburgh, Tav is thrown. He’s a small town lad who has no business trying to be a fancy duke but with Portia’s help, he realizes that he can make good things happen for everyone who is struggling in his town and everywhere else. That’s not something that Tav can exactly walk away from.

Tav and Portia’s romance was a good one. It was fun, it was sweet and I really enjoyed Cole’s writing style. She wrote characters that charmed the socks right off of me and I’m super glad that I read this. There were times when I wanted to smack both Tav and Portia upside their head for being boneheads about small things but overall, this was an enjoyable romance and I recommend this book if you’re in the mood for a fun and sweet romance.

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

Reluctant Royals


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Weekly Wrap Up: August 6 – August 12, 2018

Posted August 12, 2018 by Rowena in Features, Giveaway Winners, Giveaways | 1 Comment

Here’s what you missed this week on Book Binge…

What We Reviewed

Tracy reviewed More or Less a Countess by Anna Bradley | 3.75 out of 5
Casee reviewed Shadowed by Rebecca Zanetti | 4.5 out of 5
Rowena reviewed Every Time You Go Away by Beth Harbison | 3.0 out of 5
Holly and Rowena reviewed Hot Single Dad by Claire Kingsley | 3.5 & 4 out of 5
Casee reviewed Sustained by Emma Chase | 4 out of 5
Tracy reviewed The Breakup by Erin McCarthy | 3.75 out of 5
Casee retro-review of Dark Warrior Unleashed by Alexis Morgan | 3.75 out of 5
Holly reviewed Midnight Valentine by J.T. Geissinger | 2.75 out of 5

What We Posted

What Are You Reading? (+ Christine Warren Giveaway)
WTF Cover Saturday (272)
Sunday Spotlight: The Serpentine by Laurell K. Hamilton

Current Giveaways

Sunday Spotlight: August 2018

What Are You Reading? (+ Christine Warren Giveaway)

Monthly Reads: July 2018

Giveaway Winners

We have some winners to announce this week! Congratulations to the following…

Diane

What are You Reading? (+ Lynsay Sands Giveaway)

Winners: An email will be sent to you shortly. Please let us know where you would like us to send your prize. You have two weeks to get back to us before we choose another winner. Check back on Sundays to see if you’re a winner in one of our giveaways.

That does it for this week’s weekly wrap up. How was your week in books? Hear any book news that you’d like to share? Get any new books you want to share? Review any books we should check out? Please share.


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Sunday Spotlight: The Serpentine by Laurell K. Hamilton

Posted August 12, 2018 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 4 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

Sunday Spotlight: The Serpentine by Laurell K. HamiltonSerpentine (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #26) by Laurell K. Hamilton
Series: Anita Blake #26
Also in this series: Guilty Pleasures, The Laughing Corpse, Circus of the Damned
Published by Berkley Books
Publication Date: August 7, 2018
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 496
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Goodreads

Vampire hunter Anita Blake has managed to overcome everything she faces. But this time there's a monster that even she doesn't know how to fight...

A remote Florida island is the perfect wedding destination for the upcoming nuptials of Anita's fellow U.S. Marshal and best friend Edward. For Anita, the vacation is a welcome break, as it's the first trip she gets to take with wereleopards Micah and Nathaniel. But it's not all fun and games and bachelor parties...

In this tropical paradise Micah discovers a horrific new form of lycanthropy, one that has afflicted a single family for generations. Believed to be the result of an ancient Greek curse, it turns human bodies into a mass of snakes.

When long-simmering resentment leads to a big blowout within the wedding party, the last thing Anita needs is more drama. But it finds her anyway when women start disappearing from the hotel, and worse--her own friends and lovers are considered the prime suspects. There's a strange power afoot that Anita has never confronted before, a force that's rendering those around her helpless in its thrall. Unable to face it on her own, Anita is willing to accept help from even the deadliest places. Help that she will most certainly regret--if she survives at all, that is...

Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || KOBO

Excerpt

Donna’s hand hesitated above my arm, as if she was going to touch the claw marks just below the burn. The scars from the shapeshifted witch made the cross a little crooked. Edward hadn’t been there for that wound. I’d been working with the police on my own that time, before I had a badge and was officially on the job myself, back when I’d just been a vampire executioner, consulting with the police. Edward had just been Edward, cold-blooded assassin who specialized in killing monsters, both human and otherwise. I hadn’t even known he had a legal identity as Ted Forrester, bounty hunter. Now we were both U.S. Marshals with the Preternatural Branch. We did the same job legally and for Edward, for far less money.

She pointed vaguely at the small slick scar on the side of my arm, and then the thin, almost dainty scar on my right arm that was barely noticeable. “I know that’s a bullet graze and that’s a knife wound, because Ted has similar ones.” She looked at me, her brown eyes going large in her tanned face. She looked suddenly younger, or more innocent, as if I got a glimpse of what she might have looked like at fifteen. “I stopped asking about where the other scars come from, because Ted told me the truth and they were almost all stories like the werewolf attack that killed my first husband, except that Ted goes out hunting the monsters. The monster that killed Frank broke into our house. It was a once-in-a-lifetime tragedy, but Ted and you go out looking for it.”

“We hunt rogue vampires and lycanthropes that have murdered people. We keep people safe by killing the things that kill them.”

She nodded, biting her lower lip, the frown lines deep between her eyes. There was real fear in them. Maybe she was remembering the death of her first husband, and that was probably in the mix of terror, but I thought it was more anticipating future tragedy than dwelling on the past. I looked into Donna’s eyes and saw the fear that every time the man she loved left for work, he might not come back. I could tell her that he was more likely to die in a car crash, or from a dozen innocent household accidents, than be eaten by monsters, but it wouldn’t help the emotions I saw in her eyes.

“I know you and Ted save lives. I know you keep other families safe from the monsters. I know that.”

I reached out and touched her arm. “You know that Ted is the best, the absolute best at this job.”

She nodded again, a little too fast and a little too often. “He says the same about you.” She grabbed my hand where it touched her arm and held on. “I always feel better when you’re with him, because he says you’re the best, next to him.”

“He helped train me, so he’s still complimenting himself.” I smiled when I said it and got a weak smile in return.

“I don’t know what I’d do if anything happened to him,” she said. She started tearing up. I hugged her because I didn’t know what else to do, but apparently it was the wrong thing, because she started crying harder, clinging to me like she was really going to start sobbing. Fuck, what did I do now? How did I make her feel better about one of the truths of our job?

She went very still in my arms, and the crying slowed. She pushed away with her face still wet with tears and asked, “What’s on your back?”

“Nothing,” I said.

“I felt it.”

I half turned and she touched the edge of the place where a vampire servant had tried to drive one of my own wooden stakes into my back. It was low on my back, and they’d just tried to shove the stake in without using a mallet. It doesn’t work that way in real life, not if you’re only human-strong, anyway. Lucky for me it had just been a human in league with the vampire I’d been hunting, and not a vampire.

“That’s one of your own stakes driven into you, isn’t it?” she asked. She wasn’t crying anymore, so it was better, right?

“Yeah,” I said.

“Ted has one like it; that’s why I know what it is. You know it’s right there.” She touched the side of my hip where bathing suits and underwear covered.

“I’ve never seen that one.”

“Oh,” she said, and looked confused.

“I’ve never seen Ted nude, so I missed that one.”

There was a derisive snort, half laugh and half just rude noise, from the other side of the dress rack. Dixie, one of Donna’s oldest friends and a bridesmaid, came into view.

Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: August 2018

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About the Author

Laurell K. Hamilton

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | GOODREADS

Laurell Kaye Hamilton (born February 19, 1963) is an American multi-genre writer. She is best known as the author of two series of stories, Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter and Merry Gentry.

Her New York Times-bestselling Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series centers on Anita Blake, a professional zombie raiser, vampire executioner and supernatural consultant for the police, which includes novels, short story collections, and comic books. Six million copies of Anita Blake novels are in print. Her New York Times-bestselling Merry Gentry series centers on Meredith Gentry, Princess of the Unseelie court of Faerie, a private detective facing repeated assassination attempts.

Both fantasy series follow their protagonists as they gain in power and deal with the dangerous “realities” of worlds in which creatures of legend live.

Laurell was born in rural Arkansas but grew up in northern Indiana with her grandmother. Her education includes degrees in English and biology from Marion College (now called Indiana Wesleyan University).


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