Category: Reviews

Throwback Thursday Review: Moon Burning by Lucy Monroe

Posted January 21, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Moon Burning by Lucy MonroeReviewer: Holly
Moon Burning by Lucy Monroe
Series: Children of the Moon #3
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: February 1, 2011
Genres: Historical Romance, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 295
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Lucy Monroe returns to her hugely popular paranormal world, where a woman falls under the spell of the beast who is her one true enemy...

Barr never asked to be made laird over the struggling Donegal clan or leader of its werewolf pack. But he'll do his duty, and although he hasn't yet found his mate, he hopes she will be among his people. He expects his new role to be difficult; he doesn't expect to discover a naked woman in the forest whose memory is as fragile as her human body—her delectable, all too appealing body. Could this woman be his true mate?

On a mission to save her people from extinction, Sabrine pretends she has no memory in order to gain access to her enemy: the Donegal clan. A raven shifter, she is determined to retrieve the sacred stone that rightfully belongs to her people. But soon she'll be engulfed in her burning desire and growing love for Barr—and the dangerous and inescapable secrets destined to keep them apart.

This review was originally posted January 31, 2011.

I didn’t love this book as much as I did the previous two in the series. It was good, just not as good as the others.

Sabrine is a raven shifter. For decades they’ve been in hiding, hunted by the other shifters of the world. As a warrior for her clan, she has sworn to protect them..and keep their existence a secret. When a magical stone they need to complete their coming-of-age ceremony is stolen, Sabrine vows to get it back. To do so, she’ll have to infiltrate the Donegal clan..a clan full of wolf-shifters – her sworn enemy.

Barr is shocked to find a naked woman in the forest. Especially when he realizes she’s the perfect mate for him. But not everything about Sabrine adds up. Who is this woman, really? She’s obviously not the helpless thing she’s pretending to be, but will she open up enough to trust him with her secrets? And can he live without her if she doesn’t?

Barr was the best part of this novel. He’s strong and capable, yet tender and loving. It doesn’t take him long to realize Sabrine is his true mate. Once he does, he determines to let her come to him on her own. He doesn’t try to force her to open up to him or punish her when she doesn’t. He’s supportive of her and gives her the time she needs to realize she can trust him. He’s also a fair leader. He knows how to motivate his men, gain their loyalty, and still ruthlessly take control when needed.

If Barr was the best part of this novel, Sabrine was the worst. She spends the length of the novel deceiving Barr, distrusting him, and saying and doing hurtful things. In the beginning, I appreciated her zeal in keeping her secrets and doing what was best for her clan. But as the novel progressed her actions became more and more unreasonable. In the face of nothing but overwhelming support and caring from Barr, she still treated him as nothing more than her enemy. I didn’t understand how she could give her body to him, claim to care for him, yet still deny him all of herself.

That isn’t to say she didn’t have some redeeming qualities. The way she was with the other clanswomen showed she had a compassionate side. I also liked that she was a true warrior. She wasn’t a woman pretending to be strong and capable – she really was strong and capable. She knew her limits and pushed herself to the full extend of them. But the way she deceived Barr and his clan, not to mention her self-righteous attitude about it really turned me off.

The secondary romance between Barr’s second and the Donegal clan healer was well done. I enjoyed watching them circle each other. I also enjoyed the clan dynamics. As Barr trained them and showed them what a real leader should be, the entire clan blossomed.

The suspense plot was somewhat predictable. I feel like Monroe has kind of done the same thing over and over. It would be nice to see a new threat, rather than more of the same from previous novels.

Although there I complained quite a bit, I did enjoy much of this novel. I just didn’t particularly care for the heroine.

3.25 out of 5

Children of the Moon

three-half-stars


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Joint Review: The Bridge Kingdom by Danielle L. Jensen

Posted January 21, 2021 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Joint Review: The Bridge Kingdom by Danielle L. JensenReviewer: Ames and Rowena
The Bridge Kingdom by Danielle L. Jensen
Series: The Bridge Kingdom #1
Also in this series: The Bridge Kingdom, The Traitor Queen, The Bridge Kingdom , The Traitor Queen
Publisher: Context Literary Agency
Publication Date: June 9, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Third Person
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 356
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
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Series Rating: five-stars

What if you fell in love with the one person you'd sworn to destroy?

Lara has only one thought for her husband on their wedding day: I will bring your kingdom to its knees. A princess trained from childhood to be a lethal spy, Lara knows that the Bridge Kingdom represents both legendary evil - and legendary promise. The only route through a storm-ravaged world, the Bridge Kingdom controls all trade and travel between lands, allowing its ruler to enrich himself and deprive his enemies, including Lara's homeland. So when she is sent as a bride under the guise of fulfilling a treaty of peace, Lara is prepared to do whatever it takes to fracture the defenses of the impenetrable Bridge Kingdom.

But as she infiltrates her new home - a lush paradise surrounded by tempest seas - and comes to know her new husband, Aren, Lara begins to question where the true evil resides. Around her, she sees a kingdom fighting for survival, and in Aren, a man fiercely protective of his people. As her mission drives her to deeper understanding of the fight to possess the bridge, Lara finds the simmering attraction between her and Aren impossible to ignore. Her goal nearly within reach, Lara will have to decide her own fate: Will she be the destroyer of a king or the savior of her people?

This book came highly recommended by Holly so Ames and I chose to read it together this month and to say that it was a really great recommendation is putting it mildly. This book packed a really great punch and kicked off this series beautifully.

So this story is about Princess Lara of Miridrina who travels to the kingdom of Ithicana to fulfill her country’s part of the peace treaty with the late King of Ithicana. She is to marry King Aren of Ithicana but she is also putting into action, a plan that her father, the King of Miridrina, has been plotting for the last fifteen years. A plan that depends on Lara to make happen.

When Lara gets to Ithicana, she is not a fan of the King, his sister, or the people and she is deadset on the plan she was sent in for but the longer she’s there, the more she realizes that there are holes in what she grew up learning about Ithicana, it’s King and the people. The closer she gets to her husband, the more torn she is.

Lara’s journey is not an easy one because falling in love with her husband and her new home was not in the plan at all.

Rowena: Alright Ames, we’re kicking off 2021 on a great note, wouldn’t you agree? What did you think of this one?

Ames: I definitely agree- yay for us picking up our buddy reviews again! And second, thank you to Holly for recommending this series. I was in a bit of a slump so although this took me a minute to get into, once I was I couldn’t put it down. I was completely caught up in Lara’s story and you know what? I don’t even like spies or spy tropes. LOL But I liked Lara and I thought the author did an excellent job showing the struggle Lara was faced with. And the world-building was so easy to get into. It wasn’t heavy or difficult to follow at all.

What did you think?

Rowena: I think the same. It took me a little bit before I was fully invested in Lara’s journey but once the story took off, I was all in. I had a little bit of anxiety going on because like you, I’m not the biggest fan of spies or the spy trope but I thought Danielle L. Jensen handled everything well. Her writing style was really easy to follow and I finished this book, then immediately had to start the next book because I was that invested in what was going on.

I will say something that Holly brought up after I finished reading this one. I would have been royally pissed off if I had read this book back before book 2 was released. I don’t think I would have been able to stand not being able to continue the story after I was done with this one. This one ended on a sort of cliffhanger, do you think?

Ames: This is the exact reason why I let series build up before reading all the books close together. LOL, I could not have imagined waiting any time at all to see what happened with Lara! I jumped immediately into the next book. haha

I don’t want to be too spoilery but this book – there was one scene in particular where I was like “Nooooooooo!!!” and sure enough, it bit Lara in the ass. I was annoyed with Lara’s reticence in telling Aren how she felt. I understand that she was basically brainwashed by her father and his men regarding the Ithicanians but yeah, I was annoyed with Lara and how long she took to make up her mind. However, I understand WHY. I just didn’t like it. LOL.

Rowena: Haha, I know exactly what you’re talking about because I was screaming the same. That totally bit Lara in the ass and all I have to say for that is if she had opened her mouth, and trusted her husband (who had proven himself time and time again to her) with the truth, her ass would have been fine. But noooooo….haha.

I thought it took her far too long to come clean about everything and when she finally does, I was heavy sighing all over the place because girl…it was too little too late.

This book was super engaging and I couldn’t read it fast enough. From almost the beginning to the end, I could not get enough. I was wrapped up in everything that was going on and when the ending was coming and things were really coming together, I dreaded getting to the end. I didn’t want it to end. I was so invested in the romance between Aren and Lara, Lara getting to know the people of Ithicana and seeing her come to care for everyone. I think the weakest part of the story was that ending, which I thought was abrupt but I’m glad that I had the next book ready to go because I jumped right into the next book when I finished this one.

I’m so glad that we decided to give Danielle L. Jensen a try, I really enjoyed this one and can’t wait for the next book in this series. I’m giving this a 4.5 out of 5, what about you?

Ames: I’m glad this book defeated my reading slump. It was super engaging and really, I can’t stress this enough, for a fantasy book the world-building was incredibly easy to get into. That’s huge for me because these days I lose interest so easily. I am giving The Bridge Kingdom 4.25 out of 5. And for potential readers out there, make sure you buy book 1 and book 2 so you don’t have to wait! LOL!

Final Rating

Ames: 4.25 out of 5
Rowena: 4.5 out of 5

The Bridge Kingdom


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Review: The Earl Takes a Fancy by Lorraine Heath

Posted January 20, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Earl Takes a Fancy by Lorraine HeathReviewer: Holly
The Earl Takes a Fancy by Lorraine Heath
Narrator: Kate Reading
Series: Sins for All Seasons #5
Also in this series: Beyond Scandal and Desire, Beyond Scandal and Desire, When a Duke Loves a Woman, When a Duke Loves a Woman (Sins for All Seasons, #2), The Scoundrel in Her Bed (Sins for All Seasons, #3), The Duchess in His Bed, The Earl Takes a Fancy, Beauty Tempts the Beast, Beauty Tempts the Beast , The Duchess in His Bed , The Scoundrel in Her Bed
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: March 31, 2020
Format: eBook, Audiobook
Source: Purchased, Library
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 403
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Goodreads Challenge, Historical Challenge, Holly's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 Historical Challenge, Holly's 2020 Reading Challenge
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

New York Times bestselling author Lorraine Heath pens another richly satisfying romance in her Sins for all Seasons series.

She’s looking for a nobleman to wed…

Though born out of wedlock, Fancy Trewlove is determined to fulfill her mother’s wish that she marry into nobility. Fancy’s keen intellect and finishing school manners make her the perfect wife for any gentleman—if he’s willing to overlook her scandalous lineage. But Fancy’s plans are thrown into chaos when an intriguing commoner begins visiting her bookshop—and she finds herself unable to stop thinking about him.

He’s looking to escape his title…

Widowed just a year ago, the reclusive Matthew Sommersby, Earl of Rosemont, has been besieged by women hoping to become his next wife. Desperate for anonymity, he sheds Society life to search for the peace that eludes him. Fancy’s shop is his one refuge, until the night their passion erupts into a kiss that nearly leads to her ruin—and leaves both longing for much more.

Together, they discover an unlikely love…

As Fancy finds herself torn between her family’s expectations and her growing feelings for Matthew, secrets are exposed—secrets that force Fancy to question if she can trust her heart’s desire...

I was looking for a new audiobook when Tracy suggested this one. I haven’t been reading a lot of historicals lately, so I’m behind in this series. I remember enjoying Fancy in the previous books and I was happy to fall into her story.

Fancy Trewlove is about to have her come-out in society. Her siblings have all raised themselves above their station, and as the youngest they have very high expectations for her. She’d rather run her bookshop and focus on teaching reading to both children and adults, but she doesn’t wish to disappoint them. When she meets Matthew Sommersby, they have an instant rapport. This is the type of gentleman she wishes she could marry – one who sees her for who she is, and wants her for more than her dowry.

Matthew was tricked into marrying a woman once, and now he has little respect for women who chase after a title. His late wife is even tormenting him from the grave, by having a letter published a year after her death begging the ladies of the ton to help him find love again. Love. Please. They barely tolerated each other in life…she’s only ensuring he feels misery long after her death, since now he can’t show his face in public without all the marriage-minded mamas and debutantes mobbing him. Fancy seems different. She’s well read and intelligent, kind and thoughtful, and….searching for a titled husband? Of course she is. His disappointment that she’s like all the other deceitful ladies out there is crushing, but he can’t seem to stay away from her.

I loved Fancy. She was willing to sacrifice her dreams for her family, but was determined to do it on her own terms. I liked the two sides to her – independent and loyal. I liked Fancy and Matthew together. They had wonderful chemistry and their banter was well done. I really liked the care he took with her, and how sweet he was despite his frustration over her hunt for a titled husband. Naturally I was annoyed at his poor assumptions about her later in the book, but even then I couldn’t help but root for them.

Beast is up next. I cannot wait!

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

Sins for All Seasons

four-stars


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Guest Review: Ten Things I Hate About the Duke by Loretta Chase

Posted January 18, 2021 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Ten Things I Hate About the Duke by Loretta ChaseReviewer: Tracy
Ten Things I Hate About the Duke by Loretta Chase
Series: Difficult Dukes #2
Also in this series: A Duke in Shining Armor, A Duke in Shining Armor
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: December 1, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

USA Today bestselling author Loretta Chase continues her Difficult Dukes series with this delightful spin on Shakespeare's classic, The Taming of the Shrew.

Cassandra Pomfret holds strong opinions she isn’t shy about voicing. But her extremely plain speaking has caused an uproar, and her exasperated father, hoping a husband will rein her in, has ruled that her beloved sister can’t marry until Cassandra does.

Now, thanks to a certain wild-living nobleman, the last shreds of Cassandra’s reputation are about to disintegrate, taking her sister’s future and her family’s good name along with them.

The Duke of Ashmont’s looks make women swoon. His character flaws are beyond counting. He’s lost a perfectly good bride through his own carelessness. He nearly killed one of his two best friends. Still, troublemaker that he is, he knows that damaging a lady’s good name isn’t sporting.

The only way to right the wrong is to marry her…and hope she doesn’t smother him in his sleep on their wedding night.

The second book in the Chase’s Difficult Dukes series has us seeing the man who almost married in book one.  The Duke of Ashmont, drunk at his own wedding hardly blinked in the first book when his bride took off on him and then eventually married one of his best friends.  He then duels with said friend and gets even drunker.  This is, of course, when he meets his heroine.  Of course it is!

Cassandra is an opinionated woman and does not keep her thoughts to herself.  If she thinks your being an idiot, she doesn’t hesitate to tell you so.  When she meets Ashmont he causes an accident that hurts one of her friends.  The whole village is poised to see what happens with Ashmont and Cassandra, but money talks, and Ashmont leaves without a trace.

The problem arises when Ashmont can’t get Cassandra out of his head.  He decides to woo her but he needs to change his spots before he can even think about that, and he’s not sure it can be done.

The story was a good one.  I didn’t like it quite as much as I liked book one in the series, probably because I didn’t like Ashmont and Cassandra as much as I liked Ripley and Olympia.  Despite that, I did like them and their independent thinking.

Cassandra was a bit brash about how she put things, but I really liked how she said what she meant and didn’t beat around the bush.  I also liked Ashmont and his dedication to winning Cassandra.  When the man put his mind to it, he was a force to be reckoned with.

I’m looking forward to book three in this series as we got a bit of a taste of it in this book.  Hopefully, we won’t have to wait another three years to get it.

Rating: 3.75/4 out of 5

Difficult Dukes

four-stars


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What Are You Reading? (552)

Posted January 15, 2021 by Rowena in Reviews | 6 Comments

Casee

I’ve been slaying it with the reading this year so far. I’m currently reading The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn. Yes, I’m officially a Bridgerton fan. I’m also rereading Rock Addiction by Nalini Singh. I always forget how much I love Fox and Molly.

I’ve been listening to Archangel’s Blade by Nalini Singh on audio. Holy crap is the narrator amazing. I feel like she has Dmitri spot on.

Holly

I finished The Wages of Sin by Kaite Welsh and Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. I didn’t love either of them, but I enjoyed aspects of both. The Welsh was a very somber, bleak tale, however. I’m not sure I’ll continue on with the series. I listened to One Fine Fae by Molly Harper, a Mystic Bayou novella available on audio only. I really enjoyed the story. I love that series.

I’m currently listening to Make Mine Magic by Shanna Swendson and reading Her Wicked Marquess by Stacy Reid. I should be finished with both by tomorrow. I’m not sure what I’m going to start next.

Rowena

This week was a really slow reading week for me. I started Training Camp by Wesley King and Kobe Bryant but I’m still reading it right now. It’s not a bad book by any stretch but I’m just distracted with other things right now. The state of our country, some family stuff, and TBH, TikTok. LOL. I blame TikTok. When in doubt, blame TikTok. I’m hoping to finish Training Camp over the weekend so that I can jump into some other books that I’ve been itching to read. The Rosie Danan books to be exact. Wish me luck!

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


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