Author: Rowena

Review: Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs

Posted December 18, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Silver Borne by Patricia BriggsReviewer: Rowena
Silver Borne (Mercy Thompson, #5) by Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson #5
Also in this series: Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson, #7), Night Broken, Shifting Shadows, Blood Bound, Fire Touched, Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson, #10), Moon Called, Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson, #2), Iron Kissed (Mercy Thompson, #3), Bone Crossed (Mercy Thompson, #4)
Publisher: Penguin, Ace
Publication Date: March 30, 2010
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 342
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

Mercy Thompson, car mechanic and shapeshifter, never knows what the day - or night - may bring in a world where "witches, vampires, werewolves, and shapeshifters live beside ordinary people" (Booklist). But she is about to learn that while some secrets are dangerous whose who seek them are just plain deadly...

Mercy is smart enough to realize that when it comes to the magical fae, the less you know, the better. But you can't always get what you want. When she attempts to return a powerful fae she previously borrowed in an act of desperation, she finds the bookstore locked up and closed down.

It seems the book contains secrets - and the fae will do just about anything to keep it out of the wrong hands. And if that doesn't take enough of Mercy's attention, her friend Samuel is struggling with his wolf side - leaving Mercy to cover for him lest his own father declare Samuel's life forfeit.

All in all, Mercy has had better days. And if she isn't careful, she may not have many more...

Mercy Thompson is back at it again with more supernatural craziness that finds her and lands right on her head. This poor woman is forever right smack in the middle of drama that is not hers. This time around, she’s got a book that the bad faes want and they’re doing the most trying to get it back. On top of that, Samuel is going through some pretty serious stuff and Mercy will not give up on him. She has a lot on her plate this week and while she dodges the bullets that the villain is throwing her way, she’s got Samuel’s issues to deal with along with the issues of Adam’s pack not accepting her as his mate and a part of the pack. I really love Mercy’s personality and I also really love how she handles everything that is thrown her way.

She’s got a strong sense of what is right and what is wrong. I love that she doesn’t stray far from her moral compass on life decisions and when she doesn’t get things right, she accepts her mistakes and is quick to make things right. She may need some distance from her problems for a little bit but she doesn’t let things fester and I honestly love her a little more with every book that I read.

This book was another good one and I liked it a little more than the last book because Mercy and Adam still rock my socks. I loved seeing how they dealt with Samuel, how they dealt with their mating bond issues and the issues within the pack. They dealt with all of that stuff together. They give each other space when it’s needed but know that ultimately, they’re a pair and they’re together and they have each other’s back. When Mercy shot Henry in his throat, I about fell out laughing screaming…

Because Mercy don’t play around and she ain’t about to let Adam fight any more battles for dominance with some silly ass people who don’t know how stupid they are. I was really surprised how mad I got at Mary Jo with all of the shit she let loose. What the hell was that about? Mercy should have left her ass dead. I mean, she comes around in the end but I sure was pissed at her and wanted Mercy to coyote kick her dumbass in the head.

Overall, I enjoyed this one. I enjoyed all of the drama, the pack politics, seeing Adam kick ass but also seeing the depth of love that he has for Mercy. It’s true love y’all. My heart hurt for Adam and everything he went through when he thought Mercy was in her house but I loved how Mercy got through to him and was able to be there for him. I also liked how Mercy comes back and handles her business with all of them dirty bitches that tried to control her with their pack voodoo. She came back and was all…

Mercy Thompson is the real deal and I love how people keep right on underestimating her and she just keeps slaying the day. Rock on with your bad self, Mercy…I can’t wait to jump into the next one.

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

Mercy Thompson

four-stars


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Featured Review: My Favorite Half Night Stand by Christina Lauren

Posted December 17, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Featured Review: My Favorite Half Night Stand by Christina LaurenReviewer: Casee, Holly, Rowena
My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: December 4, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

By the New York Times bestselling author who “hilariously depicts modern dating” (Us Weekly), My Favorite Half-Night Stand is a laugh-out-loud romp through online dating and its many, many fails.

Millie Morris has always been one of the guys. A UC Santa Barbara professor, she’s a female-serial-killer expert who’s quick with a deflection joke and terrible at getting personal. And she, just like her four best guy friends and fellow professors, is perma-single.

So when a routine university function turns into a black tie gala, Mille and her circle make a pact that they’ll join an online dating service to find plus-ones for the event. There’s only one hitch: after making the pact, Millie and one of the guys, Reid Campbell, secretly spend the sexiest half-night of their lives together, but mutually decide the friendship would be better off strictly platonic.

But online dating isn’t for the faint of heart. While the guys are inundated with quality matches and potential dates, Millie’s first profile attempt garners nothing but dick pics and creepers. Enter “Catherine”—Millie’s fictional profile persona, in whose make-believe shoes she can be more vulnerable than she’s ever been in person. Soon “Catherine” and Reid strike up a digital pen-pal-ship...but Millie can’t resist temptation in real life, either. Soon, Millie will have to face her worst fear—intimacy—or risk losing her best friend, forever.

Perfect for fans of Roxanne and She’s the Man, Christina Lauren’s latest romantic comedy is full of mistaken identities, hijinks, and a classic love story with a modern twist. Funny and fresh, you’ll want to swipe right on My Favorite Half-Night Stand.

Casee: I listened to this book on audio & the narrators were not very good. I was very disappointed with that part.

I really like the friends to lovers storyline. I loved Reid. I thought he was a fantastic hero. I didn’t really care much for Millie. I understood her hang ups, I really did. They just got old after awhile.

Holly: It’s funny, because I expected to dislike Millie. I thought what she did, the way she catfished her best friend, would kill her character for me. That wasn’t the case, though. I really sympathized with her. I think, in part, because she fully expected him to figure it out in the beginning. She didn’t start it to be malicious or get one over on him. She thought he’d know it was her. I also understood why she created a second profile to begin with.

Rowena: Same. I thought that I would hate the catfishing thing a lot more than I did because it reminded me of the Netflix movie that I watched a few months ago, Sierra Burgess is a Loser, and I freaking hated that movie. I was so happy that I didn’t let my feelings for that movie keep me from reading this book because Millie was no Sierra and I really enjoyed seeing her and Reid fall in love.

Millie was such a likable character and from the jump, I liked her. She was so normal and so funny that I just fell in with whatever she had going on. I didn’t agree with how long she kept the catfishing going and I also wanted to smack some sense into her when she thought she’d keep the whole thing from Reid forever but man did I like the way that she redeemed herself to Reid. She was just great.

Casee: I also agree about Molly not having malicious intentions with her second profile. I completely understood why she created it, but I really thought it went on too long. I disagreed with her decision to keep it from Reid at the end. Especially when it was Millie that wanted to tell him the truth.

Holly: I do think it went on longer than it should have, and I didn’t agree with her choice to act like it never happened, but I couldn’t not like her. She was so real and down to earth. She reminded me of us. She could have been any one of us.

Casee: What was hard for me was that she was so unavailable. How did Reid like her that much when she never shared anything personal? That didn’t make sense to me.

Holly: See, I thought her being emotionally unavailable was explained well by her childhood and the way her father was. After the death of her mother, she was praised for keeping her thoughts and feelings to herself, and basically stonewalled by her dad any time she tried to talk about her feelings. She chose to put a “happy” front on, then got to the point where she just couldn’t open up. It made me sad for her in the end.

I also kind of liked the role reversal. How often do we read romance novels where the hero is closed off and refuses to share anything personal? I thought it was great that it was the heroine this time around.

View Spoiler »
 

Rowena: I did like Reid’s family and was super glad that his sister Rayme got her man because I was low key waiting for Chris to open his damn eyes. Ed and his boo were cute too.

Holly: Man, my heart broke for poor Reid when he found out. To lose his best friends and the woman he loved all at once? I felt for the guy. I really liked Reid all the way around. He was a stand-up guy.

Rowena: I also adored all of the boys. They all had me cracking up.

Holly: I loved all the group messages between the friends. Hilarious.

Casee: I loved the group dynamic when they were all together. The instant IM’s cracked me up.

Rowena: Another thing that I really liked about this book and with this writing duo is that this is a standalone romance. Everything was wrapped up in this book and there weren’t any loose ends, no teasers for books for the other characters in this book, just a straight up romance all in one book. I dug it.

Holly: I also liked that this was a standalone romance (a real one this time).

Casee: I was super happy that this ended up being a stand-alone. Not too many authors do this these days and I really appreciated it.

Final Grades

Casee: 3.5 out of 5
Holly: 4 out of 5
Rowena: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: Dare to Love a Duke by Eva Leigh

Posted December 16, 2018 by Rowena in Features, Giveaways | 5 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

Dare to Love a Duke is the third book in Eva Leigh’s London Underground series. It features Thomas Powell, the new Duke of Northfield and Lucia, the owner of the Orchid Club, also known as Amina. This story looks pretty good with secret identities and masked Dukes in secret clubs.

We’re pleased to be featuring an excerpt from this book so read on to check it out…

Sunday Spotlight: Dare to Love a Duke by Eva LeighDare to Love a Duke (The London Underground, #3) by Eva Leigh
Series: The London Underground #3
Publisher: Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: December 24, 2018
Format: eBook
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads

For a dashing duke and the proprietress of a secret, sensual club in the London Underground, passion could lead to love… if they dare

Thomas Powell, the new Duke of Northfield, knows he should be proper and principled, like his father. No more dueling, or carousing, or frequenting masked parties where Londoners indulge their wildest desires. But he’s not ready to give up his freedom just yet. The club is an escape, a place where he can forget about society and the weight of his title… and see her, the woman he’s wanted forever.

Lucia—known as Amina—manages the Orchid Club, a secret society where fantasies become reality. But for Lucia, it’s strictly business, profitable enough to finance her dream: a home for the lost girls of the streets. Surrounded by lovers, she only observes, unwilling risk her future for any man. No member has ever intrigued her...until him, the masked stranger whose heated looks sear her skin. After months of suppressed longing, they dare to give in to temptation…

But the late duke’s legacy comes with a shocking secret, and the scandal threatens to destroy everything Tom loves… his family, the Orchid Club, and even Lucia.

Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || GOOGLE BOOKS || KOBO

Excerpt

Tom took a glass of wine from a passing footman, then sipped as he surveyed the room. He took his usual place by the window. The moment a woman in a red dress began approaching him, he moved on. Over the course of the year, he’d fielded many offers of sex from interested parties, but he’d never accepted. That wasn’t why he came to the Orchid Club.

He crossed the threshold of the ballroom. This was where he’d first met Amina, a night he’d never forgotten. As always, the notes of a waltz drifted from the musicians as the guests on the dance floor surrendered to the seductive air of unfiltered desire. This was not sanctioned London. It was the secret, dark side. The place where people of all walks of life came for release, to cavort and be free.

He sensed a charge like unheard music, a subtle threading of awareness moving invisibly through his
body. Despite being engaged in watching the unfolding action, Tom became conscious of a new presence
in the room.

Amina had arrived.

She glided through the chamber, calm and assured, a small, unreadable smile playing about her lips as she stopped to chat with guests, making certain they had everything they needed. Tonight, her mask was emerald green, embroidered all over with gold thread and tiny pearls. The mask matched her richly hued gown, which hugged her curved body.

Tonight, her thick black hair was pinned up, though small brilliants seemed to twinkle in the dark waves. But it could have been his imagination. For surely whenever she was near, he had eyes for no one but her.

Riveted, Tom watched her glide through the ballroom, expertly weaving through the crowd. She kept that slightly removed smile on her face as she talked with the celebrants. Occasionally, she waved over a servant to provide more refreshments to the guests.

She checked with the musicians and adjusted the position of a candelabra on a table. This is my realm, she seemed to silently declare. The ruler of Bloomsbury. The empress of the Orchid Club. Regal and confident, her head held high, her shoulders back.

She caught sight of him, and he straightened to his fullest height. A thrum of excitement pulsed through him, all the way to his bones, as she approached. The lingering clouds of his unease lifted the nearer she came. This close, he could see the deep brown of her eyes shining behind her disguise. Her pupils were large, fathomless.

“Rogue,” Amina said when she stood before him.

“You chide me baselessly.” His heart took up double time to have her so close and to hear her low, throaty voice again. Every now and again, he caught a hint of an unknown accent in her words, yet he could never ask after her origins.

She had to be from somewhere warm, a place where, beneath a gleaming sun, dark-eyed beauties felt temperate breezes caress their tawny skin. The thought of all Amina’s flesh bared to the sunlight
made his mouth water.

“I’m not a capricious creature,” she said crisply. “I do nothing without reason.”

“If you are my judge, I’m entitled to know the offense for which I am accused.”

She clicked her tongue. “Even worse that you don’t know.” At his mystified silence, she explained, “Six weeks. It’s been six weeks since I’ve last seen you within these chambers. I thought you’d enlisted or run off to Argentina.”

He smiled to himself. “You think me an adventurer?”

“I think you dreadfully rude to have disappeared,” she said coolly.

He bowed. “Family obligations, unfortunately, have kept me away.”

A corner of her mouth lifted. “I forget, sometimes, that people have families.”

Despite her wry smile, a note of melancholy tinged her voice, making him contemplate her kin. Did she
have any, and did they know what she did to earn her bread?

Then, she said more lightly, “You’re here now. That’s all that matters.”

“Thinking of this night has been a balm to me these past weeks,” he said candidly. There was no need to dissemble or tell flattering half-truths. Not here. Not with her.

“If you’ve been troubled, I am sorry for it.” Sincerity firmed her words. Perhaps he was, to her, more than another masked guest, something beyond a means to keep a roof over her head. God knew she held greater significance to him than her role as manager of this establishment.

He bowed. “I’ll find my way through my difficulties.” Or so he hoped. Every step put him deeper and
deeper into unknown, perilous territory. “Good,” she said. “It would pain me to think of you
in distress.”

The London Underground

Giveaway Alert

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

Sunday Spotlight: December 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!


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Review: Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs

Posted December 14, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Bone Crossed by Patricia BriggsBone Crossed (Mercy Thompson, #4) by Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson #4
Also in this series: Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson, #7), Night Broken, Shifting Shadows, Blood Bound, Fire Touched, Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson, #10), Moon Called, Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson, #2), Iron Kissed (Mercy Thompson, #3)
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: February 3, 2009
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 303
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

By day, Mercy is a car mechanic in the sprawling Tri-Cities of Eastern Washington. By night, she explores her preternatural side. As a shapeshifter with some unique talents, Mercy has often found herself having to maintain a tenuous harmony between the human and the not so human. This time she may get more than she bargained for.

Marsilia, the local Vampire Queen, has learned that Mercy crossed her by slaying a member of her clan—and she's out for blood. But since Mercy is protected from direct reprisal by the werewolf pack (and her close relationship with its sexy Alpha), it won't be Mercy's blood Marsilia is after.

It'll be her friends'.

I feel like I’ve really hit my stride with this series and each book is filled with more goodness that I didn’t know I needed in my life. Mercy Thompson and everyone in her world have carved themselves a space in my heart and I want to continue this journey with them until I’m all caught up and then I’m probably going to want more.

Bone Crossed is the fourth book in the Mercy Thompson series and in this one, Mercy has once again found herself in some hot water. Marcilia, the vampire Queen knows that Mercy is responsible for the death of one of her vampires and that won’t go unpunished. So when Stefan pops up in her living room all injured and looking more dead than usual, Mercy is on edge. She’s under the protection of pretty much all of the important werewolves in the area so it won’t be easy to get to Mercy herself so Marcilia goes after the people that Mercy holds near and dear.

Hoping to escape the vampire Queen’s wrath, keep her loved ones safe and keep a low profile, Mercy goes out of town to help an old college friend with the ghosts in her house. When she gets to Spokane, she didn’t really expect to find a ghost haunting her friends house but there is definitely some crazy supernatural madness going on there and because a young kid is in the direct line of fire, Mercy knows that she will do whatever she can to help these guys.

This was another great story from Briggs and while it’s not my favorite, there are still lots of good stuff here. I really liked when Mercy tells Adam the following:

“Thank you, Adam,” I told him. “Thank you for tearing Tim into small Tim bits. Thank you for forcing me to drink one last cup of fairy bug-juice so I could have use of both of my arms. Thank you for being there, for putting up with me.”

By that point I wasn’t laughing anymore.

“Thank you for keeping me from being another of Stefan’s sheep—I’ll take pack over that any day. Thank you for making the tough calls, for giving me time.” I stood up and walked to him, leaning against him and pressing my face against his shoulder.

“Thank you for loving me.”

His arms closed around me, pressing flesh painfully hard against bone. Love hurts like that sometimes.”

This scene was such a great one and I just adore the romance that blossomed between Adam and Mercy. I’m glad that she finally made her choice and feel that it was the right choice. There is nothing but love between Adam and Mercy and it’s one of the highlights of the entire series for me. I love seeing how far Adam will go to protect and show Mercy that she is loved and I love seeing Mercy trying to be a good mate for Adam. Between all of the craziness of their lives, they still find time to go on dates and be cute together. I just love it.

The villain felt a bit forced in this one. Like, when he’s first mentioned, he’s made out to be this big, bad monster and yet after all was said and done, turns out, he wasn’t all that. Haha. That was probably the weakest part for me but I did enjoy everything else enough that this book still gets a 4 out of 5.

Grade: 4 out of 5

Mercy Thompson

four-stars


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Christmas Gift Alert: Bookish Lunch Bag

Posted December 11, 2018 by Rowena in Features | 3 Comments

Way back in 2008, we started a feature called “Christmas Gift Alerts“. This was to give you, our lovely readers, a few ideas about what bookish gifts to tell your loved ones that you would like, what bookish gifts to buy for yourself, or what bookish gifts to buy for that special someone in your life. Unfortunately that feature only lasted one year. Fast forward ten years and bookish things are better than ever. While putting together our Christmas Gift Alerts, we have found that there is no shortage of bookish gifts. So go forth and buy. Buy for yourself or buy for someone else. Just buy!

Book Spines Lunch Bag | $24.99

I’ve been searching for a new lunch bag for work for a while now so imagine my delight when I came across this bookish lunch bag while browsing the internet for some bookish Christmas gifts for you lovely readers. I think this would be a great Christmas gift for a fellow book nerd to get. This particular lunch bag is from Svaha’s online store and it’s on sale right now for $24.99 so go forth and grab it up!

Good Luck!


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