Guest Review: Find Her by Elisabeth Rose

Posted May 18, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Find Her by Elisabeth RoseReviewer: Tracy
Find Her by Elisabeth Rose
Published by Escape Publishing
Publication Date: May 15th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Suspense
Pages: 140
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three-half-stars

A chance sighting leads to second chances – for hope, for family, and for love.

Five years ago, teenager Antonia disappeared. With no compelling evidence, the police eventually called her a run-away, and dropped the case. Her teacher, Jax, has always regretted not speaking up about the rumours she heard circling the school that day, but a random sighting at a train station raises the possibility that Antonia is still alive – and not too far away.

Antonia’s father, Connor has never given up hope that his daughter will be found and returned to her family. When her old teacher, Jax, calls him with a small spark of a lead, he seizes it with both hands, determined to chase it down.

But there’s more at play than simple teenage rebellion and the path Jax and Connor travel rapidly becomes more dangerous than either could have imagined, and opens up new possibilities that neither could have expected.

Jax is a teacher at a school in a town where Antonia, a student of hers, disappeared 5 years ago.  There wee rumors at the time with a couple of her friends but Jax didn’t pay much attention to them at the time.  When she’s on her way back from a vacation she happens to look across the train platform and she sees Antonia.  She’s so sure it’s actually the missing girl that she contacts Antonia’s father, Connor and tells him what she saw.

Connor never believed that his daughter was dead and never stopped looking for her.  He and his wife separated and then divorced as their lives changed after Antonia disappeared.  He’s so excited to hear of her sighting that he heads to the train stops and hands out flyers with his daughter’s picture on it asking questions.  He finds someone who recognizes her but can’t find her after that.

Jax decides to finally follow up on the rumors she heard about Antonia and finds out that Antonia was pregnant and looking to terminate the pregnancy – because of this they find a lead and eventually figure out what happened.  Getting Antonia back from her abductor, however, will threaten everyone’s lives.

This was a lovely story with a pretty darned good suspense story.  I have to say I was pretty much on the edge of my seat waiting to find out what happened to Antonia.  The way that the author crafted the story was creative and I really liked the different ins and outs of the story.

This was also a romance  with  Jax and Connor becoming closer while searching for Antonia and falling in love.  I wish I could say that it was sweet and romantic but the circumstances just didn’t call for that.  Connor was a bit of a stubborn ass at times but both he and Jax worked out well together.  It wasn’t that strong of a romance, unfortunately.  I almost wish that it had been a suspense story only but that’s just my humble opinion.

Overall it was a good suspense story and one I enjoyed.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars

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Retro Review: Hunting the Demon by Jaci Burton

Posted May 17, 2017 by Casee in Reviews | 5 Comments

Retro Review: Hunting the Demon by Jaci BurtonReviewer: Casee
Hunting the Demon (Demon Hunters, #2) by Jaci Burton
Series: Demon Hunters #2
Published by Dell
Publication Date: August 28th 2007
Pages: 448
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three-stars

In a world seething with sin and seduction, the chase is on.
Hunting demons for a living can have its moments. Especially when Shay Pearson’s latest quarry is the gorgeous bronze surfer who just stepped out of the sea. Uncovering Nic Diavolo’s devilish side could prove Shay’s toughest assignment yet. Because while she’s acting as bait to snatch this sexy bad boy, Nic’s got a plan of seduction no woman—earthly or otherwise—can resist.
Caught between two warring realms, Nic needs to stay alive long enough to figure out who his enemies are. That includes the beautiful hunter who won’t let him out of her sight. And something far worse: a force of evil with an almost unimaginable goal— possessing Nic’s very soul. But the hunt really heats up when a guy who’s hotter than Hades and a woman who’s afraid of love join forces, igniting an inferno of lust and longing that could send them into mortal danger...or straight into each other’s arms.…

******As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.

 

This review was originally published September 26, 2007

This book was blah for me. Not bad, but not great. That makes it really hard to do a review. When I review a book, I really like to feel passionate about at least one thing in the book, be it good or bad. In Hunting the Demon, well, I’ve got nothing.

This is the 2nd book in Burton’s Demon Hunter series. The 1st book, Surviving Demon Island, set up an interesting world of good vs. evil. On the good side, you have the Realm of Light. Charged with protecting the human race, the Realm of Light has an awesome responsibility. Due to the fact that many people would never believe that demons exist, they have kind of a hard time recruiting demon fighters. On the bad side, you have the Sons of Darkness. These are some bad mother-f-ers. See, there are only certain women that can actually have demon children. The Sons of Darkness don’t really care if these women already have families and children of their own. They just kidnap them.

Shay Pearson’s mom was kidnapped when she was a child. At 6 years old, she had a vision where these really scary monsters took her mom. Knowing that no adult would believe her, Shay kept quiet. So when her mom disappeared from a business trip, Shay knew exactly what happened. Thus she started carrying that burden on her 6 y/o back.

Now Shay is a kick ass demon-fighting machine. Brought in by the Realm of Light to fight demons, Shay finally learned that she wasn’t the only child that lost her mother. After killing a Demon Lord on Demon Island, the team now has to find out if the Lord’s son (and brother to the hero of Surviving Demon Island) is a demon himself.

Heading the Australia, Shay volunteered to some recon work on Nic Diavolo. She did keep a few things to herself about why she was so willing check out the potential demon. Like the fact that she’s been having visions of the man, whom she has never met before. Charged with the task of discovering whether or not Nic is an evil demon like his evil demon father, Shay does what any self-respecting woman would do. She strips down to her bikini and introduces herself to Nic on the beach. Of course Nic can’t help but be attracted to Shay, especially since she doesn’t seem to want anything from him (as if). As the sole heir to Diavolo Diamonds, Nic has seen his share of gold-diggers.

After a fun filled afternoon of surfing, eating, and making out, Nic is a little uneasy about the feelings that Shay invokes him him. Because of these bizarre nightmares he’s been having where he turns into some sort of evil creature, Nic is hesitant to get involved with Shay. Shay can tell that Nic is pulling away and has no choice but to bring him in. Obviously Nic is more than a tad angry that Shay has used him. He’s especially angry when this group of strangers try to convince him that not only is his father dead, but he was also a demon. He refuses to believe that he has any demon blood running in his veins or that Derek is his brother. He explains his dreams away as coincidence. Mmmm-hmm.

Kidnapping Nic and taking him to the Diavolo Diamond mine probably isn’t the most intelligent idea, but the team has no other choice. They have to find this Black Diamond which is presumably somewhere in the mine before the demons get a hold of it. If they happen to get it before the Realm of Light can get it, the world is basically going to hell. There will be no stopping it. Unfortunately for Shay, Nic seems to be smack in the middle of it. If her visions are right, Nic will turn evil demon and join forces with the bad guys.

After a few escape attempts, Nic finally realizes that Shay and her fellow fighters are telling him the truth. Of course seeing a demon in the flesh really helped him come to that conclusion. Again, though these demons bear a remarkable resemblance to those in his dreams, he still puts it down to coincidence. I call it denial. Nic refuses to believe that he will turn evil, which is what he thinks his dreams are telling him.

Eventually there is a showdown with the good guys, the bad guys, and the Black Diamond. We also learn that there is actually a Queen of Darkness who is supposed to join evil forces with Nic. The Sons of Darkness think they have her…the archeologist that was hired to find the Black Diamond (having no idea demons existed). What they soon realize is that she’s not the one, but they can’t figure out how they were wrong. Angelique knows that it’s her twin sister Isabella that they’re looking for. So when everyone is distracted, Angelique takes the diamond and runs. This sets the stage for the 3rd book, out in Summer 2008.

It took me 5 days to read this book. That’s pretty unheard of for me. So while I didn’t dislike this book, I just wasn’t in to it. Like I said above…blah.

3 out of 5.

three-stars

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Guest Review: How to Lose a Highlander by Michelle McLean

Posted May 17, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: How to Lose a Highlander by Michelle McLeanReviewer: Tracy
How to Lose a Highlander by Michelle McLean
Series: The MacGregor Lairds #1
Published by Entangled Publishing
Publication Date: May 15th 2017
Genres: Medieval, Historical
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Forced into marriage by their king in order to stop years of inter-clan feuding, Sorcha Campbell and Malcolm MacGregor are each determined to drive the other away. Malcolm knows he can never trust his new shrewish wife, despite the fact that everything he observes seems to prove that she’s not only trustworthy, but utterly perfect for him. Sorcha knows she can never let her guard down around the man she believes betrayed her father, yet the longer she’s with him, the more she discovers he is nothing like she was led to believe. They’ll have to fight their way through past prejudices and their own determination to destroy their union in order to gain their perfect HEA in this Taming of the Shrew meets How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days tale.

Sorcha Campbell’s father may be a highlander but and she obviously part Scottish but she’s been brought up by her English mother in England.  She’s lived at court most of her life and she doesn’t want that to change. She’s been proposed to many times but her father has turned them all down as no one has been good enough for her.

The Campbell’s and the MacGregor’s won’t stop raiding each other’s lands and the king decides that it must come to an end.  The king decides that Sorcha will marry Malcolm MacGregor and make the two families kin.  No one is happy with the decree but they can’t go against the king.  Sorcha decides to do everything she can to make him get an annulment and strangely enough, Malcolm has the same idea.  After the marriage the pair just frustrate the hell out of each other to no avail.  Sorcha gets to know the people of the MacGregor clan and she starts to doubt that all of the horrible things her father had told her about them were true.  She starts to find a home and decides that she needs to try to make hers a real marriage with Malcolm.  Unfortunately Malcolm finds it hard to trust – especially a Campbell.

This was a great little story.  I really liked Malcolm and Sorcha and their plans to irritate each other to death in order to get an annulment.  It didn’t work with either of them but it was funny.  I admit that did get old rather quickly and was happy when the author moved on to getting the pair together.  It was done slowly but very well and I thought it was nice that Sorcha didn’t go from hating Malcolm to loving him.  It took a while and that was a good thing.

Overall I thought it was a cute story. I’m interested to see who the next Laird in the series is so I’m sure I’ll be reading the next book when it comes out. 🙂

Rating: 4 out of 5

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DNF Round Up: Frisk Me, Charmed Thirds & Corrupt

Posted May 16, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 8 Comments

DNF Round Up: Frisk Me, Charmed Thirds & CorruptReviewer: Rowena
Frisk Me by Lauren Layne
Published by Hachette Books, Forever
Publication Date: July 28th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 384
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dnf

Officer Luc Moretti had no idea that his dive into the East River would have him drowning in a media frenzy. No matter how many times he tells reporters he was just doing his job, they're determined to make him into NYC's newest hero. Coming from a long line of NYPD's finest, Luc knows that being a cop has nothing to do with headlines and viral videos, and he's more than ready to get back to life away from the cameras—until he meets the gorgeous but jaded journalist assigned to film a TV special on him.

Ava Sims may be the only woman in NYC who isn't in love with Officer Moretti. That's why she's going after the real story—to find out about the man behind the badge. Ava's determined to keep things strictly professional, but the more time she spends around Luc, even she has to admit there's something about a man in uniform . . . and she can't wait to get him out of his.

I guess it had to happen sooner or later. I DNF’d my first Lauren Layne book and I’m still pretty surprised about it. If you know me then you know of my love of all things Lauren Layne. I adored her Oxford, Sex, Love & Stilettos and Wedding Belles series. I am enjoying her Love Unexpectedly series. There hasn’t been a book of hers that I absolutely hated (I have hated some character antics and thought processes but I haven’t hated any books) so imagine my surprise when I just couldn’t get into this book.

This book follows Luc Moretti, a New York Police Officer who is being praised for being a hero and Ava Sims, the reporter who is covering his story. Ava and Luc do not like each other and Ava’s attitude pissed me off too much for me to continue on. The way that she yelled at Luc, who was giving her a parking ticket because she was parked illegally on a public street pissed me off because she was yelling that he was violating her freedom of speech. WTF does that even mean? She was working so she’s above the law now? I’m sorry but…

Don’t even get me started when we get to the present time and she sees Luc again for the first time in three years. On top of Ava’s attitude, she’s a reporter and I have a love and hate relationship with reporter heroines so after some convincing from my besties, I stepped away from this one. I’m sure she got better as the book wore on but I just couldn’t do it so that was my first DNF.

DNF Round Up: Frisk Me, Charmed Thirds & CorruptReviewer: Rowena
Charmed Thirds by Megan McCafferty
Published by Crown Publishing Group
Publication Date: January 1st 2006
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 361
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dnf

Jessica Darling's in college!

Things are looking up for Jessica Darling. She has finally left her New Jersey hometown/hellhole for Columbia University in New York City; she's more into her boyfriend, Marcus Flutie, than ever (so what if he's at a Buddhist college in California?); and she's making new friends who just might qualify as stand-ins for her beloved best friend, Hope.

But Jessica soon realizes that her bliss might not last. She lands an internship at a snarky Brooklyn-based magazine, but will she fit in with the uberhip staff (and will she even want to)? As she and Marcus hit the rocks, will she end up falling for her GOPunk, neoconservative RA . . . or the hot (and married!) Spanish grad student she's assisting on a summer project . . . or the oh-so-sensitive emo boy down the hall? Will she even make it through college now that her parents have cut her off financially? And what do the cryptic one-word postcards from Marcus really mean?

With hilarious insight, the hyperobservant Jessica Darling struggles through her college years--and the summers in between--while maintaining her usual mix of wit, cynicism, and candor.

I’ve been wanting to read Charmed Thirds since I finished Second Helpings…the only problem with that is that I read Second Helpings years ago and I don’t know if it’s my old age but Jessica Darling was exhausting to read about and I was disconnected from everyone (including Marcus and I loved him before) so after a while of not really caring what was going on and wanting Jessica to take a breath, I just stopped reading this. It just didn’t hold my interest so I moved on.

DNF Round Up: Frisk Me, Charmed Thirds & CorruptReviewer: Rowena
Corrupt (Devil's Night, #1) by Penelope Douglas, Jeremy York, Tatiana Sokolov
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Publication Date: November 17th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 460
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dnf

Erika

I was told that dreams were our heart’s desires. My nightmares, however, became my obsession.

His name is Michael Crist.

My boyfriend’s older brother is like that scary movie that you peek through your hand to watch. He is handsome, strong, and completely terrifying. The star of his college’s basketball team and now gone pro, he’s more concerned with the dirt on his shoe than me.

But I noticed him.

I saw him. I heard him. The things that he did, and the deeds that he hid…For years, I bit my nails, unable to look away.

Now, I’ve graduated high school and moved on to college, but I haven’t stopped watching Michael. He’s bad, and the dirt I’ve seen isn’t content to stay in my head anymore.

Because he’s finally noticed me.

Michael

Her name is Erika Fane, but everyone calls her Rika.

My brother’s girlfriend grew up hanging around my house and is always at our dinner table. She looks down when I enter a room and stills when I am close. I can always feel the fear rolling off of her, and while I haven’t had her body, I know that I have her mind. That’s all I really want anyway.

Until my brother leaves for the military, and I find Rika alone at college.

In my city.

Unprotected.

The opportunity is too good to be true as well as the timing. Because you see, three years ago she put a few of my high school friends in prison, and now they’re out.

We’ve waited. We’ve been patient. And now every last one of her nightmares will come true.

***Corrupt can be read as a stand-alone. No cliffhanger.

Corrupt was a book that was brought to my attention by well, everyone. I’ve been seeing such good things about this author and this book in particular that I bought it and prepared myself for an interesting read. There’s a darkness to this book and to the hero that I just could not get behind. I tried three different times to get past what the hero and his friends were doing, to get past what they blamed the heroine for and though I was told that not all is what it seems, I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t finish it and it was messing with my reading mojo so I stepped away from this one. Who knows if I’ll pick it back up later, I just know that I can’t do it now.

Have you DNF’d any books lately? Share your DNF stories with us. Which books should we steer clear from? Help a sister out!

dnf

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Guest Review: The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown

Posted May 16, 2017 by Tina R in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth UnderdownReviewer: Tina
The Witchfinder's Sister by Beth Underdown
Published by Ballantine Books
Publication Date: April 25th 2017
Genres: Historical
Pages: 304
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three-half-stars

'VIVID AND TERRIFYING' Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train

The number of women my brother Matthew killed, so far as I can reckon it, is one hundred and six...

1645. When Alice Hopkins' husband dies in a tragic accident, she returns to the small Essex town of Manningtree, where her brother Matthew still lives.
But home is no longer a place of safety. Matthew has changed, and there are rumours spreading through the town: whispers of witchcraft, and of a great book, in which he is gathering women's names.
To what lengths will Matthew's obsession drive him?And what choice will Alice make, when she finds herself at the very heart of his plan?
'A richly told and utterly compelling tale, with shades of Hilary Mantel' Kate Hamer, author of The Girl in the Red Coat
'Anyone who liked Cecilia Ekback's Wolf Winter is going to love this' Natasha Pulley, author of The Watchmaker of Filigree Street
'Beth Underdown grips us from the outset and won't let go...at once a feminist parable and an old-fashioned, check-twice-under-the-bed thriller' Patrick Gale, author of Notes from an Exhibition
'A tense, surprising and elegantly-crafted novel' Ian McGuire, author of The North Water
'Beth Underdown cleverly creates a compelling atmosphere of dread and claustrophobia... Even from the distance of nearly four hundred years, her Matthew Hopkins is a genuinely frightening monster' Kate Riordan

To begin with, I don’t really read a whole lot of historical fiction. But there is something about the subject of witches that catches my attention. Call it some sort of fascination if you will, but I don’t actually know. I just know that the subject is intriguing and the cover really drew me to the book, so I submitted my request to receive a review copy. \

When I got the copy of The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown in the mail I was actually surprised. Especially since it is not really typical of what I read. (Whether this has any leverage on the books you are chosen to receive I have no idea…) The first thing I noticed it that the cover is awesome! If I would have saw it on the shelf in a bookstore, I would’ve picked it up immediately as something about it just makes me want to know more. And then of course, the subject matter….witches. Who doesn’t remember sitting in school and listening to the teacher tell us about the horrible things that happened to people (mostly women) who were accused of being witches? Like I said, it is just a topic that pulls me in.

The Witchfinder’s Sister is a well-written and carefully researched book. It is a mixture of so many genres. We have historical fiction based on a real story, there is mystery and suspense, and even a little horror mixed in with the depiction of what happened to all the people accused of witchcraft. A little something for every reading taste to be sure.

I found the book a little tough to get through in the beginning. For me it was a little slow in places, although the book is packed with vivid description and emotion and has an interesting storyline. I still would recommend this book, as it did hold my interest and the writing was vivid and well presented.

I would like to thank the publisher for the opportunity to review this book. I think the author did an awesome job keeping the subject matter interesting and for providing such vivid description. I would actually have rated it 3.5 to 3.75 stars if the rating system here would’ve let me.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

three-half-stars

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