Throwback Thursday Review: Suspect by Jasmine Cresswell

Posted March 4, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 5 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Suspect by Jasmine CresswellReviewer: Casee
Suspect by Jasmine Cresswell
Series: Raven #2
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Publication Date: October 1, 2007
Format: eBook
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: No
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

For twenty-five years, multimillionaire businessman Ron Raven played the loving husband and father--to two very different households. But when Ron disappears, his deception is revealed. Faced with the ultimate betrayal, both families are left questioning who can be trusted... and who remains SUSPECT.

Cynical attorney Liam Raven hid his father's bigamy... until it was too late. Ironically, Liam specializes in divorce cases. But when Chloe Hamilton is charged with murdering her husband, a popular Denver mayor, he makes an exception.

Liam's relationship to Chloe quickly surpasses client and attorney. Her former husband had many secrets--including a connection to Ron Raven's other family. And aquitting Chloe means uncovering a string of lies and treachery that leads back to Liam's father.

This review was originally posted on October 4, 2007.

Suspect is the second book in the Raven Trilogy. You can find my review of the first book, Missing, here.

Liam Raven went into family law as a divorce attorney as a way of thumbing his nose at his bigamist father. Having discovered years prior to his father’s death that he was married to another woman, Liam kept quiet. I thought it was strange that he wouldn’t tell his mother. What kind of son wouldn’t tell their mom that her husband is married to another woman? I’m sure it makes for awkward dinner conversation, but come on. Well, it seems that Daddy Dearest was blackmailing Liam. Daddy told Liam that if he ratted him out, he would choose wife #2 over Liam’s mom. Obviously Liam cared a great deal about his mother and couldn’t risk his mom having the heartache not only of finding out her husband is a bigamist, but being thrown over for the “other woman”.

Before his days as Denver’s most prominent divorce lawyer, Liam was a criminal lawyer. When the Mayor of Denver is murdered, Liam is more than surprised when his widow shows up at his office begging him to defend her. Having started divorce proceedings for her months earlier, he hadn’t talked to her since she told him she was stopping the divorce. Chloe Hamilton drops a bombshell on him (and me) right from the get-go. Liam fathered Chloe’s daughter, Sophie. Liam argues with her until she reminds him the exact when and where of their encounter. After that, his arguments went out the window.

Even though Liam agrees to help her, he’s leery. Having successfully defended a woman charged with murdering her husband, Liam didn’t find out she was guilty until the verdict came back as Not Guilty. Oh and that was after he fell in love with the murdering bee-yotch. So while he wants to believe that the mother of his daughter isn’t capable of murder, experience has taught him to be not so trusting.

As in Missing, the plot in Suspect circles back around to the mysterious disappearance of Ron Raven. It seems that Ron’s business partner and the brother of his 2nd (and not legal) wife was doing business with the Mayor before his death. Rational that he is, Paul Fairfax wants to make Liam’s life as painful as possible when sees that Liam is involved with the late Mayor’s wife. He does this by leaking DNA of Liam and Chloe’s daughter given to him by the Mayor’s Chief of Staff. Though not willing to take the risk, he’s blackmailed into it. He either does it or the project that will refill his financial coffers will be axed permanently.

Though Chloe obviously played a substantial role in the book, I was more fascinated by Liam’s character. Chloe had been in a sham marriage from Day 1. Not knowing that she was marrying a gay man (yes, the Mayor was gay), Chloe had high hopes for the life and family she would make with her husband. That was a mistake. When she tried to get a divorce, Jason blackmailed her into staying married by threatening to out her father’s gambling habit. As a public figure, her father would have lost his job and his livelihood. On the night of his murder, her and Jason got into a spectacular fight where she vowed that she would be leaving no matter what his political aspirations were. Having encouraged him for years to come out of the closet, Chloe was sorely disappointed in his decision not to.

So together Liam and Chloe try to figure out who Jason’s lover was. What they don’t realize is that finding out the identity of his lover will also lead them to the identity of his murderer.

4 out of 5

Raven

four-stars


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Books to Binge On: March 2021

Posted March 3, 2021 by Holly in Features | 10 Comments

Books to Binge On

Our Books to Binge On feature is pretty simple in its purpose. Every month, we put together a monthly new releases list of books that we’re all looking forward to. These are the books that we can’t wait to read and want everyone to add to their monthly binge-reading lists. Here are the books that we plan to binge on in [Month] of 2020.


Wild Sign (Alpha & Omega #6) by Patricia Briggs

Mated werewolves Charles Cornick and Anna Latham must discover what could make an entire community disappear — before it’s too late — in this thrilling entry in the #1 New York Times bestselling Alpha and Omega series.

In the wilds of the Northern California mountains, all the inhabitants of a small town have gone missing. It’s as if the people picked up and left everything they owned behind. Fearing something supernatural might be going on, the FBI taps a source they’ve consulted in the past: the werewolves Charles Cornick and Anna Latham. But Charles and Anna soon find a deserted town is the least of the mysteries they face.

Death sings in the forest, and when it calls, Charles and Anna must answer. Something has awakened in the heart of the California mountains, something old and dangerous — and it has met werewolves before.

Holly: This series is fabulous. I am so ridiculously excited to be back with Charles and Anna, I can’t even tell you.

Rowena: I’m not looking forward to a lot these days but I am looking for this one. I agree with Holly. This series is fantastic and I can’t wait to see what Charles and Anna are up to these days.


The Devil Comes Courting (The Worth Saga #3) by Courtney Milan

Captain Grayson Hunter knows the battle to complete the first worldwide telegraphic network will be fierce, and he intends to win it by any means necessary. When he hears about a reclusive genius who has figured out how to slash the cost of telegraphic transmissions, he vows to do whatever it takes to get the man in his employ.

Except the reclusive genius is not a man, and she’s not looking for employment.

Amelia Smith was born in Shanghai, and taken in by English missionaries. She’s not interested in Captain Hunter’s promises or his ambitions. But the harder he tries to convince her, the more she realizes that there is something she wants from him: She wants everything. And she’ll have to crack the frozen shell he’s made of his heart to get it.

Holly: OMG y’all. Look at that cover! Ahh.

Rowena: Ooh, that’s a gorgeous cover and the blurb is intriguing so yeah, this is going on my wish list.


When He’s an Alpha (The Olympus Pride #2) by Suzanne Wright

The golden rule of shallow flings is not to get attached, right? Well, Havana Ramos broke it. Big time. There’s just something about Tate Devereaux that pulls at her. Assertive, compelling, and self-assured, the Alpha cat shifter pushes every one of her best buttons. Like really, really hard. Having overheard an enlightening conversation, she knows he won’t give her more than a fling—something, to be fair, he’d told her well in advance. If she doesn’t want her heart to get bruised, it’s time to end what little they have. It’s not like he’ll care or anything. Except … it turns out that he does.

Newly-appointed Alpha Tate Devereaux is never bothered when women walk away. He can’t exactly blame them, given his distrustful cat’s habit of withdrawing from relationships. But when lone shifter Havana ends their fling, everything within Tate rebels against it—including his cat. Even as she and Tate work together to crush the threat looming over her, Havana holds him at arms’ length. But if she thinks she can end their fling with no real explanation and that he’ll just tip his hat and walk away, she’s forgotten one very important thing—there’s nothing easy about shaking off an Alpha.

Holly: I really enjoyed the first book in this series and I’ve been anxiously awaiting this new release.


Scoundrel of My Heart (Once Upon a Dukedom #1) by Lorraine Heath

Lorraine Heath begins an exciting new series with a breathtaking romance about a young woman who must marry a titled gentleman to obtain her inheritance and the unsuitable man she begins to fall madly in love with…

She is desperate to wed a duke…

Lady Kathryn Lambert must marry a titled gentleman to claim her inheritance and has finally gained the attention of a duke. Yet she is unable to forget the scandalous second son who aided in her achievement—or his betrayal.

He wants what he can never possess…

Lord Griffith Stanwick is tormented by the bitter truth that as a “spare,” he will never be able to give Kathryn what she yearns to possess. But when his father is found guilty of treason, Griff detours into the dark and dangerous corners of London, haunted by memories of the woman lost to him forever.

Love not to be denied…

As the duke’s courtship intensifies, Kathryn discovers Griff has become a man to be reckoned with. When old passions flare and new desires ignite, she must decide if sacrificing her legacy is worth a lifetime shared with the scoundrel of her heart.

Holly: I’ve been dying for this book since I finished Beauty Tempts the Beast. For those of you who don’t remember, this series features Althea’s (the heroine of Beauty Tempts the Beast) brothers. Their father was hung for being a traitor to the crown, and they’re trying to figure out who else was involved. I can’t wait to read it.

Rowena: Lorraine Heath is an auto-buy author for me so of course, I want this book.


Float Plan by Trish Doller

Critically acclaimed author Trish Doller’s unforgettable and romantic adult debut about setting sail, starting over, and finding yourself…

Since the loss of her fiancé, Anna has been shipwrecked by grief—until a reminder goes off about a trip they were supposed to take together. Impulsively, Anna goes to sea in their sailboat, intending to complete the voyage alone.

But after a treacherous night’s sail, she realizes she can’t do it by herself and hires Keane, a professional sailor, to help. Much like Anna, Keane is struggling with a very different future than the one he had planned. As romance rises with the tide, they discover that it’s never too late to chart a new course.

In Trish Doller’s unforgettable Float Plan, starting over doesn’t mean letting go of your past, it means making room for your future.

Rowena: I’ve read and enjoyed Trish Doller’s books in the past and I’m curious about this book so I want it. This book sounds good and I want to see where Trish takes these two characters.


The Dating Plan by Sara Desai

Daisy Patel is a software engineer who understands lists and logic better than bosses and boyfriends. With her life all planned out, and no interest in love, the one thing she can’t give her family is the marriage they expect. Left with few options, she asks her childhood crush to be her decoy fiance.

Liam Murphy is a venture capitalist with something to prove. When he learns that his inheritance is contingent on being married, he realizes his best friend’s little sister has the perfect solution to his problem. A marriage of convenience will get Daisy’s matchmaking relatives off her back and fulfill the terms of his late grandfather’s will. If only he hadn’t broken her tender teenage heart nine years ago…

Sparks fly when Daisy and Liam go on a series of dates to legitimize their fake relationship. Too late, they realize that very little is convenient about their arrangement. History and chemistry aren’t about to follow the rules of this engagement.

Rowena: I really like the cover for this book and that blurb is all kinds of good so I’m adding this book to my list of books to get this month.


Accidentally Engaged by Farah Heron

Reena Manji doesn’t love her career, her single status, and most of all, her family inserting themselves into every detail of her life. But when caring for her precious sourdough starters, Reena can drown it all out. At least until her father moves his newest employee across the hall–with hopes that Reena will marry him.

But Nadim’s not like the other Muslim bachelors-du-jour that her parents have dug up. If the Captain America body and the British accent weren’t enough, the man appears to love eating her bread creations as much as she loves making them. She sure as hell would never marry a man who works for her father, but friendship with a neighbor is okay, right? And when Reena’s career takes a nosedive, Nadim happily agrees to fake an engagement so they can enter a couples video cooking contest to win the artisan bread course of her dreams.

As cooking at home together brings them closer, things turn physical, but Reena isn’t worried. She knows Nadim is keeping secrets, but it’s fine— secrets are always on the menu where her family is concerned. And her heart is protected… she’s not marrying the man. But even secrets kept for self preservation have a way of getting out, especially when meddling parents and gossiping families are involved.

Rowena: This one looks super cute so I’m all kinds of interested in reading it. A cute romance with some drama thrown in? Count me in!


Meet Me in Paradise by Libby Hubscher

Marin Cole has never:
Seen the ocean
Climbed a mountain
Taken a risk on love
….But if her sister’s plan works, she just might do all three.

Ever since her journalist mother died on assignment, Marin has played it safe, refusing to set foot outside the state of Tennessee. Her wild-child younger sister, Sadie, has trotted the globe as a photographer, living off of art and adrenaline.

When Sadie returns from a tough assignment abroad and looks a little worse for wear, Marin reluctantly agrees to a sisters’ spa weekend on the tropical island of Saba. But her lifelong fear of travel is affirmed when Sadie misses the flight, Marin’s luggage gets mixed up with another passenger’s, and an episode of turbulence sends her hurtling into the lap of Lucas Tsai, the handsome stranger who stole her sister’s seat.

For the first time in a long time, Marin has to step outside of her comfort zone as she explores the island with Lucas and learns what she’s been missing out on. With each breathtaking new experience, Marin gets closer to her real self, the man she’s falling for, and the heart-wrenching truth about why she’s there in the first place.

Rowena: The cover caught my eye on this book first but that summary has me thirsty to know this Lucas Tsai and find out how Marin’s trip goes.


Yes I Love You by Roni Loren

Everyone knows Miz Poppy, the vibrant reviewer whose commentary brightens the New Orleans nightlife. But no one knows Hollyn, the real face behind the media star…or the fear that keeps her isolated. When her boss tells her she needs to add video to her blog or lose her job, she’s forced to rely on an unexpected source to help her face her fears.

When aspiring actor Jasper Deares finds out the shy woman who orders coffee every day is actually Miz Poppy, he realizes he has a golden opportunity to get the media attention his acting career needs. All he has to do is help Hollyn come out of her shell…and through their growing connection, finally find her voice.

A beautifully emotional new contemporary romance from New York Times and USA Today bestseller Roni Loren.

Rowena: I really enjoyed Loren’s last series so I’m looking forward to seeing what she’s got up her sleeve in this new book. I’m hopeful that this will be another fantastic story so I can’t wait to read this one.

What books are you looking forward to reading this month? Share in the comments!


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Review: Lick by Kylie Scott

Posted March 3, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Lick by Kylie ScottReviewer: Casee
Lick by Kylie Scott
Narrator: Andi Arndt
Series: Stage Dive #1
Also in this series: Lick: Stage Dive 1, Lead: Stage Dive 3, Lick (Stage Dive #1), Play, Deep
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Publication Date: July 1, 2013
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First Person
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Length: 8 hours, 37 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Waking up in Vegas was never meant to be like this.

Evelyn Thomas's plans for celebrating her twenty-first birthday in Las Vegas were big. Huge. But she sure as hell never meant to wake up on the bathroom floor with a hangover to rival the black plague, a very attractive half-naked tattooed man, and a diamond on her finger large enough to scare King Kong. Now if she could just remember how it all happened.

One thing is for certain, being married to rock and roll's favorite son is sure to be a wild ride.

After waking up in Vegas, Evelyn Thomas has no idea why she’s woken up in a strange man’s room. She has little memory of the night before. Evelyn is then informed by the stranger that not only did they meet the night before, but they also got married. Evelyn freaks out and leaves. She wants nothing to do with a marriage to someone she doesn’t even remember. She has an upcoming internship that she does not want to jeopardize. She heads home from Vegas not knowing that her new husband is one of the most famous rockstars in the world. It becomes apparent that nothing will ever be the same in Evelyn’s life after this. Her internship is canceled and she has no job. The only thing she can do is hope that staying with her husband for awhile will quiet the press and they can get an amicable annulment.

It’s obvious that David has never had such a strong connection to someone. It’s also apparent that he is deeply hurt by the fact that Ev doesn’t remember their night together, their elopement, their matching tattoos. I really enjoyed David. A lot. He was such a great hero. Which is why I don’t know why he ended up with Evelyn. She was pretty awful. And she didn’t get better.

After about two days of being together they decide to give their marriage a try. They like each other, the sex is good, etc. I still couldn’t like Evelyn. She just treated David like crap with her wishy-washy attitude. There wasn’t a lot of redemption for how she treated David from the beginning. I honestly don’t know why David wanted to stay married to her. Honestly the reason I even liked this book a little was because of David. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series. The secondary characters were very interesting and I can’t wait to learn more about them.

I listened to this book on audio. It was really good. I wish we had David’s POV, but Scott did an amazing job of getting his emotions across the page to the reader. Just like in her book Repeat she doesn’t need the hero’s POV because she writes such a good story.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Stage Dive

three-half-stars


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Monthly Reads: February 2021

Posted March 2, 2021 by Casee in Features, Giveaways | 7 Comments

It’s a new month so we’re back with a list of our Monthly Reads to share with each of you. This is where you’ll see what each of us has read and what our favorite books and our least favorite books of the month are. Check it out.

Casee

February was an embarrassing month for me. I read four books. To make it even more pathetic one was a DNF & one was a reread.

Motorcycle Man (Dream Man #4) (reread) by Kristen Ashley | 4.75 out of 5
Rock Chick Renegade (Rock Chick #4) by Kristen Ashley | 4.5 out of 5
Lightning Game (GhostWalkers #17) by Christine Feehan | DNF
Still Standing (Wild West MC #1) by Kristen Ashley | 2.5 out of 5

Once again, I’ve read more Kristen Ashley books than anything else. I love Motorcycle Man, so that was a fun reread. Still Standing was interesting to say the least. My favorite book in February was Rock Chick Renegade. I just loved Jules and Vance.

Holly

I felt like I read a lot in February, but I only finish 16 books. 16 is a perfectly respectable number, but I swear it felt like I read at least 20. So weird.

The House on the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune | 4 out of 5
Dead in the Water (Gemini #1) by Hailey Edwards (audio) | 3.5 out of 5
Head Above Water (Gemini #2) by Hailey Edwards (audio) | 4 out of 5
Hell or High Water (Gemini #3) by Hailey Edwards (audio) | 3.75 out of 5
Fish out of Water (Gemini #4) by Hailey Edwards (audio) | 4 out of 5
The Return of Eden McCall by Judith Duncan (reread) | 4 out of 5
Chaos Reigning (Consortium Rebellion #3) by Jessie Mihalik | 4 out of 5
The Beast of Beswick (Everleigh Sisters #1) by Amalie Howard | 3.75 out of 5
A Study in Scarlet Women (Lady Sherlock #1) by Sherry Thomas | 4 out of 5
A Conspiracy in Belgravia (Lady Sherlock #2) by Sherry Thomas | 4.25 out of 5
The Hollow of Fear (Lady Sherlock #3) by Sherry Thomas | 4 out of 5
The Art of Theft (Lady Sherlock #4) by Sherry Thomas | 4 out of 5
Heart on a Leash (Hearts of Alaska #1) by Alanna Martin | 3.25 out of 5
Wildfire (Hidden Legacy #3) by Ilona Andrews (reread) (audio) | 4.5 out of 5
Emerald Blaze (Hidden Legacy #5) by Ilona Andrews | 3.75 out of 5
Wild Sign (Alpha and Omega #6) by Patricia Briggs | 4.25 out of 5

My favorite reads of the month were the Lady Sherlock series by Sherry Thomas. I believe book two was my favorite, but I enjoyed them all. My least favorite read was Heart on a Leash by Alanna Martin. I liked the romance, but the family feud in the book was really over-the-top.

Rowena

As far as my Goodreads Challenge is concerned, I’m on track to meet my reading goals for this year so I’m going to have to be okay with that. It was a busy month for me at work but also with my family so I’m surprised that I’m still on track to meet my goals. I’ll take it.

Here’s what I read this past month:

Wicked Fox (Gumiho #1) by Kat Cho | 4 out of 5
The Beast of Beswick (Everleigh Sisters #1) by Amalie Howard | 4 out of 5

I liked both books that I read this month but I think I liked Wicked Fox just a smidge more. I’m really interested in the Gumiho story so I really liked that one. I’m very interested in continuing that series whereas I have no interest in reading the next book in the Everleigh series by Amalie Howard.

Giveaway Alert

Three lucky winners will choose their prize (one book) from any of the books we logged this month. If you want to be entered to win, leave a comment on this post telling us what your favorite – and least favorite – reads of the month were.

Monthly Reads: February 2021

So…what was your favorite read of the month? And your least favorite? Use the Gleam Widget to enter! Good luck!


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