Category: Reviews

Review: To Catch A Cheat by Kelly St. John

Posted December 5, 2007 by Holly in Reviews | 7 Comments

Review: To Catch A Cheat by Kelly St. JohnTo Catch a Cheat by Kelley St. John
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: November 1st 2007
Genres: Fiction, Romance, General
Pages: 416
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four-stars

Single thirty-something Marissa, though beautiful and talented, is becoming increasingly skeptical about romance because every man in her life has been a cheater. She creates a website dedicated to exposing serial cheaters, but instead her website ushers back into her life her first boyfriend from adolescence, and he is determined to show her that a man can be true.

Kelly St. John created a cute, contemporary romance here that was laced with sarcasm, humor and wit. The interactions between Trent and Marissa were hilarious, and we were offered basically a three-in-one deal, as there was more going on in the background with the secondary characters.

I liked Marissa, but I think she took her insecurities a bit too far. Though I understand she was cheated on one too many times, she seemed almost a bit too jaded. Plus, she had daddy issues, and that bothers me some (i.e., punished all the men in her life for the actions of her father) in general and in this novel. Still, I enjoyed her wit and sarcasm and found myself sympathizing with her and – I’ll admit it – laughing a bit when her latests squeeze cheats on her…with another man. Ouch!

I think the thing that made this story for me, however, was Trent. I just LOVE it when a hero decides he’s in love with the heroine early on and will do whatever it takes to get her. I don’t think we see that often enough. Though he wants to prove himself as a business guru in his own right and not as the figurehead of his grandfathers company, he doesn’t have major issues. He’s just a sweet, laid back, super sexy kind of guy.

Together they had great chemistry and I think their relationship progressed at a nice pace. They didn’t immediately jump in the sack, and they really took the time to get to know each other. Not that they had much of a choice with the radio station dictating how they spent their time together, but still.

There were a couple of times when the story seemed to drag, mostly in the middle, and I wonder if it had been just a bit shorter if the story wouldn’t have been better. But overall I truly enjoyed it. The relationship Marissa has with her two best friends Candi and Amy was great and I could so see me and the girls from here acting just like they did: Talking about our sex lives, hating on our ex’s, creating polls about who’s sexier in boxers or briefs..well, pretty much what we do now.

The radio contest was a good twist – something we don’t see very often. I thought the two radio DJ’s were hilarious and the entire farce fun and entertaining.

I’m going to give it:

4.0 out of 5

I’ll be on the lookout for more by Kelly St. John. You can buy it here or here.

four-stars

Review: Caine’s Reckoning by Sarah McCarty

Posted December 5, 2007 by Holly in Reviews | 10 Comments

Review: Caine’s Reckoning by Sarah McCartyReviewer: Holly
Caine's Reckoning by Sarah McCarty
Series: Hell's Eight #1

Publication Date: May 1st 2013
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Erotica, General
Pages: 480
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three-half-stars

The Hell's Eight is the only family he's ever needed...until he meets the only woman he's ever wanted. Caine Allen is a hardened Texas Ranger — definitely not the marrying kind. But when he rescues a kidnapped woman and returns her to town, the preacher calls in a favour...one Caine’s honour won’t let him refuse. From the moment he beds Desi, Caine knows turmoil will follow. Desi might have the face of a temptress, but she also has a will of iron and while she needs his protection, she’s determined that no man will control her again. They establish an uneasy bond, but it isn’t enough for Caine. He wants all Desi has to offer. He wants her body, her demands...everything. Yet there’s still a bounty on Desi’s head, and keeping her satisfied is proving easier than keeping her alive. 'Intense, edgy and passionate, this is old-school historical romance at its finest.' - Romantic Times 'Caine’s Reckoning is a can't-put-it-down adventure story...Superb writing and characterisation, along with a well-described setting, bring the story alive and pull readers into the action.' - Romance Reviews Today

I just decided to do a lightning review for this book. Mostly because I’m lazy, but also because Casee already wrote up a great review with a good description of the book, so now I don’t have to. Thanks, Casee!!

There’s been a lot of hype about this book in blogland. Pretty much every site I’ve visited has recommended it. It was ok, but not great like I thought it would be from all the hype.

My big issues stem from the heroine. She was a mass of contradictions. I thought I would be shocked by her past and feel an emotional connection to her because of it, but instead I was just annoyed with her and the way her past was..not glossed over, but certainly overcome in a rather trite way. I think I expected a major moment…something to help Desi heal from her past, and I just never got it. It wasn’t that there wasn’t some emotional depth here, it’s just that it was lost somewhere in translation. I still don’t understand how she didn’t suffer more from her past. In the beginning it seemed she was really scarred, but by the middle of the book she was kind of like, “Eh, I’m over it, let’s have sex now”. And then she was like, “Eh, I don’t want to have sex because of my past.”

She was also portrayed as strong, intelligent woman, and that was confirmed in the opening scene of the book, when she fought off three uber bad guys. But over the next hundred or so pages (Side Note:: When I transfer a book to my eReader it lists the pages differently. Where a book might be 400 pages, it shows as 700 on my Reader, so I have no way of knowing what page I’m on exactly, or even how many pages are in a certain book..and you know, I’m just too darn lazy to go look elsewhere ::End Side Note) she seemed lacking in strength. Or maybe not lacking, but not putting her strengths to good use.

I honestly can’t put my finger on just one thing that bothered me. It was just a bunch of little things. Like the first time she and Caine have sex. She seemed more than willing, even though he went a little farther than I think he should have considering she’d been used as a sex slave for a year. That whole, “Give it to me, babee” thing seemed off. Then, every time they were getting intimate after that, she really struggled with it, having flashbacks and stuff. It was pretty inconsistent.

I also felt there were some plot holes. I realize this is the first book in a series and SM had to set up the rest, but the premise behind her plot – that Desi was being used as a sex slave because of her inheritance – seemed to lack depth. We were left to wonder who exactly was pulling the strings, but in the last chapter Desi wrote a letter to her twin sister and named the man, only we never saw them finding it out. We also never saw Caine and the other men from Hell’s Eight go after the 6 bankers who used Desi, or them finding out additional information. I’m still not sure how Desi got kidnapped in the first place, seeing as how she was chained to a bed. I’m thinking a lot of these issues will be cleared up in future books, but I was left unsatisfied.

Despite that, however, I enjoyed this book. Sarah McCarty has a strong writing voice that flows well, and I was absorbed in the story. Caine was a good hero, and his patience with Desi was admirable. I truly felt their emotional connection, even if I couldn’t see Desi’s emotional issues. He’s strong, stubborn and possessive, but not in a creepy stalker type way. And I really liked his relationship with his “brothers”, the other men who formed Hell’s Eight. I have a lot of male relatives, and they interact about the same way.

I’m very anxious to read the next book in this series, and find out what happened to Desi’s sister. I’m assuming all 8 men will each have a story, and that makes me happy. And you know, A happy Holly is a good thing. 😛

Overall the book was well written with an engaging story, good hero and interesting plot. It had some issues, so I’m giving it:

3.5 out of 5

I’ll be looking for the rest of Sarah McCarty‘s books, too. You can buy it here or here.

three-half-stars

Midnight Awakening by Lara Adrian (spoilers possible)

Posted December 3, 2007 by Casee in Reviews | 7 Comments


Book description:

With a dagger in her hand and vengeance on her mind, Darkhaven beauty Elise Chase prowls Boston’s streets in search of retribution against the Rogue vampires who took from her everything she cherished. Using an extraordinary psychic gift, she tracks her prey, well aware that the power she possesses is destroying her. She must learn to harness this gift, and for that she can turn to only one man—the deadliest of the Breed warriors, Tegan.

No stranger to loss, Tegan knows Elise’s pain. He knows fury, but when he slays his enemies it is with ice in his veins. He is perfect in his self-control, until Elise seeks his aid in her personal war. An unholy alliance is forged—a bond that will link them by blood and vow—and plunge them into a tempest of danger, desire, and the darkest passions of the heart. . . .

Wow. This book was fan-freaking-tastic. I loved it from front to back.

Elise Chase is on a mission of vengeance. After watching her son turn Rogue and then be killed in front of her (by her brother-in-law no less), Elise leaves the Boston Darkhaven which has been her sanctuary for close to a century. Though every step she walks through the human world is painful, Elise uses her psychic gift to track down Minions.

Elise totally kicks ass in this book. Introduced in Kiss of Crimson, Elise seemed very sheltered. A “lady of the manor” sort of person. She went from that to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. What was great was that Lara Adrian made it completely believable. A mother’s love for her son is a powerful thing. Wanting vengeance can change a person. And boy did it change Elise.

Elise has never forgotten the night that her son was killed. She also hasn’t forgotten the kindness that Tegan showed her on that awful day. Having never expected to see him again, Elise is more than shocked when he comes to her rescue as she’s attacked by a group of Rogues. The last person that Tegan expected to see on the street and covered in blood was Elise Chase. When he finds out what Elise has been up to in the four months since her son’s death, he is floored.

When Elise is targeted by the Rogues and their leader, Marek, Tegan can do nothing other than take her back to the Order’s compound. Though Tegan wants her nowhere near him, he soon finds himself working with Elise to uncover the secret that Marek is willing to kill to protect. Heading to Berlin, Elise and Tegan find themselves drawn to each other though though they both fight their feelings. After 500 years of not having a relationship with any woman, Tegan does not especially like the feelings that Elise invokes. As for Elise, being raised in the Darkhaven, she was taught that the Order’s warriors were little more than savages themselves. Being with Tegan and getting to know the other warriors, Elise knows that these men have been judged unfairly.

I really think that Adrian did a very credible job of making the romance between Elise and Tegan believable. She walked a very fine line as far as deciding when Tegan actually admitted he loved Elise. If it would have happened too soon, it would have been like “yeah right”. If it happened to late, it would have been like “come on already”. I think she did a fantastic job of building the relationship between these two. Though it’s been 500 years since he lost his Breedmate, his pain is just about as fresh as Elise’s. Together they begin to heal each other in a romance that you won’t be able to put down.

4.5 out of 5

Virgin River by Robyn Carr

Posted December 3, 2007 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 7 Comments

Wanted: Midwife/Nurse Practitioner in Virgin River, Population Six Hundred. Make a Difference Against a Backdrop of Towering California Redwoods and Crystal-Clear Rivers. Rent-Free Cabin Included.

When the recently widowed Melinda Monroe sees this ad she quickly decides that the remote mountain town of Virgin River might be the perfect place for her heartache, and to reenergize the nursing career she loves. But her high hopes are dashed within an hour of arriving: the cabin is a dump, the roads are treacherous and the local doctor wants nothing to do with her. Realizing she’s made a huge mistake, Mel decides to leave town the following morning.

But a tiny baby, abandoned on a front porch, changes her plans . . . and a former marine cements them into place.

Melinda Monroe may have come to Virgin River looking for escape, but instead she finds her home.

This book has been reviewed by Rowena and Holly. They both loved book and I now I know why. This book is awesome. You can read their reviews here, and here. Since they’ve down a pretty good rundown on the plot, I’ll go straight into what I liked.

I really enjoyed this book. There were some scenes that had me smiling. Like when Preacher insisted he didn’t scream like a girl when they shot the bear. It was a battle cry. Or when Jack’s sisters were telling stories about Jack at their parent’s house. (which Jack’s father lives in my home town. lol ) When Jack’s marine buddies were all bragging about their pregnant wives. I just thought it was so cute how they were so proud. Or how about when Jack told Mel he caught her sister looking at his crotch several times. LOL.

But there were some heartbreaking scenes too. When Mel cried cause a couple offered to take care of the abandoned baby. Or when Mel had her breakdown on the anniversary of her husband’s death. Jack just stayed with her and held her saying, “Let it out.” I could feel her pain. I could also feel Jacks when he was feeling that twinge of jealously that he may not ever measure up to Mel’s late husband.

I heart Jack. He was just wonderful, giving, caring, loving, patient and a nice. He was pretty much the perfect man. I could find no fault with him at all. Sigh, have I mentioned I heart Jack?

So if you haven’t read this book already, you really need too. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.

Grade: 5/5

Review: Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase.

Posted December 1, 2007 by Rowena in Reviews | 10 Comments

Review: Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase.Reviewer: Rowena
Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase
Published by Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: October 13th 2009
Genres: Historical, Romance
Pages: 384
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They call him many names, but Angelic isn't one of them . . .
Sebastian Ballister, the notorious Marquess of Dain, is big, bad, and dangerous to know. No respectable woman would have anything to do with the "Bane and Blight of the Ballisters"—and he wants nothing to do with respectable women. He's determined to continue doing what he does best—sin and sin again—and all that's going swimmingly, thank you . . . until the day a shop door opens and she walks in.
She's too intelligent to fall for the worst man in the world . . .
Jessica Trent is a determined young woman, and she's going to drag her imbecile brother off the road to ruin, no matter what it takes. If saving him—and with him, her family and future—means taking on the devil himself, she won't back down. The trouble is, the devil in question is so shockingly irresistible, and the person who needs the most saving is—herself!

I started this book not too long ago and I’ve finished it already and I’m not too happy about that, as a matter of fact, I’m downright pissed off with myself for finishing the book because, I wasn’t ready to part from these characters. This book was soooo good. I don’t think I had any gripes with this book, AT ALL.

Seriously.

I mean, right from the beginning of the book I was drawn to Dain’s character. When he was that lost little boy of 8 years, grieving for the mother he loved and wanted most of all, to see the scared little boy in the grown adult man made me yearn for him to find that someone that will give him what he so desperately needs…which is love. I was over the moon that Jessica was that woman. She was completely perfect for him, seriously perfect for him.

It was magic every time they were together before they got together, all the witty banter flying back and forth between them was so refreshingly cute and the bickering was such an entertaining way to get to know these two. I loved everything about their relationship, right from the beginning when they both hate each other (but not really) and up to the very end when they’re both utterly besotted with each other and totally in love.

My favorite line in the book is when Dain tells Jess how besotted he is with her and curst if he knows why.

This line:

He pulled away the glove, and at the first glimpse of her fragile, white hand, all thoughts of negotiation fled. “I don’t see how matters could become worst,” he muttered. “I am already besotted with a needle-tongued, conceited, provoking ape leader of a lady.”Her head jerked up. “Besotted? You’re nothing like it. Vengeful is more like it. Spiteful.”

“I must be besotted,” he said evenly. “I have the imbecilic idea that you’re the prettiest girl I’ve ever seen.”

OMGOSH, I frickin’ loved that line, I didn’t like what happened after that little bit of dialogue but I seriously LOVED it. I loved the names they called each other, the first kiss in the storm with him all half naked and following her after she stomped out of the room where he was with his cows.

LOL!

I’m telling you, this book was off the chains fantastic, there wasn’t anything I didn’t like about it. I enjoyed all of the characters, even the butthead characters that got on my hot damn nerves like Vawtry and Bertie…goodness, Bertie was one dumb ass of a character, don’t you think?

My favorite thing about this book though were the names Dain and Jess called each other, my favorite name that Jess called Dain?

A conceited clodpole!

Oh my how I laughed when I read that, all the insults Jess threw his way never ceased to crack me the hell up. This was a fun book, it was all things great and I enjoyed the heck out of it.

I loved the watch that Jess got for her grandmother, I loved the relationship that Jessica shared with her Grandmother, Genevieve and I hella loved when Jessica yelled at Bertie for being a dumb ass when he was trying to get the horses under control, oh man Jessica was the bomb.

Oh dude, and when she shot him? Holy hell, this girl be keepin’ it gangsta! When she went in there, calm as can be and whipped out her gun and shot that fool and then turned around without blinking and walked out like she was Billie Bad Ass, I was rollin’…dude, this girl has got so much nerve and I loved it!

This book was off the chains, ya’ll should totally read this book…one of the things that I worried about throughout the book was that Dain’s bastard wasn’t going to be dealt with but man am I oh so glad that things worked out for the best on that score, I enjoyed getting to know Dominick and to see him grow into the boy that he was at the end…and to see the way that his presence changed Dain into the father he didn’t have, how he changed Dain with Dain not thinking he could, how everything was just so instinctive and for Jess to trust in Dain to do the right thing, sigh it was just jolly lovely!

I LOVE THIS BOOK, if you haven’t read this book, what are you waiting for? FIX THAT PRONTO! GREAT GREAT BOOK!