Author: J.T. Geissinger

Review: Midnight Valentine by J.T. Geissinger

Posted August 10, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Midnight Valentine by J.T. GeissingerReviewer: Holly
Midnight Valentine by J.T. Geissinger
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: February 6, 2018
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Fantasy
Pages: 316
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Goodreads
three-half-stars

A hauntingly powerful love story in the tradition of The Notebook and The Time Traveler’s Wife.

True love never dies.

Megan and Cassidy were childhood sweethearts who thought they would be together forever. Fate had other plans. Soon after they were married, Cass’s life was tragically cut short. Still grieving her soul mate five years later, Megan moves to the small town of Seaside, Oregon, hoping to rebuild her life.

Her first night there, she meets the town recluse, Theo. Withdrawn, guarded, and mysteriously silent since a terrible accident left him scarred, Theo takes an instant and inexplicable dislike to Megan. But as their paths cross again and again, Megan becomes convinced there’s more to Theo than meets the eye. When she discovers the reason for his silence, his nightmares, and especially his pointed dislike, Megan becomes convinced of something far more astonishing.

Is a second chance at a once-in-a-lifetime love possible, or is a broken heart the cruelest kind of liar?

I read and really enjoyed Burn for You by J.T. Geissinger, so I figured I’d try some of her other works. Her paranormal series wasn’t as successful for me, but I thought I’d enjoy Midnight Valentine since 1) It’s a contemporary and 2) It has stellar reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. Plus, the blurb was really intriguing. With the exception of the Epilogue, the story is told in first person from the heroine’s point-of-view.

After the death of her husband, Megan moves to a small Oregon coastal town to finally realize their dream of restoring an old bed-and-breakfast. Upon arrival in town she meets mute, scarred contractor Theo. Despite having never met him before, Theo seems to hate her and Megan can’t figure out why. She decides to go with another contractor, even though he comes highly recommended and she’s told he’s the best. What does being the best matter if the man can’t stand her, right? Except it seems the universe has other ideas. Strange coincidences keep happening until Megan finally has no choice but to hire Theo.

Though his eyes burn with hatred when he looks at her, they’re both drawn to each other. It seems like Theo knows her, but how can that be possible when they’ve never met? As Megan tries to deal with her grief and torment over the loss of her husband, she also tries to make sense of her strange desire for a man who seems to hate her..yet is drawn to her in spite of himself.

This is a hard book to review without spoilers. I really enjoyed the humor and wit of the heroine, Megan. Her sarcastic sense of humor had me laughing more than once. I also enjoyed the mystery surrounding Theo and why he’d turned mute. Toward the end, the book took a dark turn. Even though I saw it coming, I didn’t expect it to go that dark. The tone of the early parts of the book were light, despite the trauma Megan suffered. So the last quarter, by comparison, read almost like a different book.

View Spoiler »

None of what happened was a surprise as I’d figured it out early on, but the way it was told kind of killed it the story a bit. While I enjoyed Midnight Valentine overall, I wasn’t left feeling warm and fuzzy when I closed it. Still, it was very well written and I can’t deny I was pulled in by the story of Megan and Theo, both separately and together.

I’m conflicted about the grade. The first 1/2 was a solid 4 for me. The humor, the wit, even the slow burning romance. All of it worked. The last 1/2 pulled my grade down. Ultimately I’m giving it:

2.75 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Review: Melt for You by J.T. Geissinger

Posted July 27, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Melt for You by J.T. GeissingerReviewer: Holly
Melt for You (Slow Burn, #2) by J.T. Geissinger
Series: Slow Burn #2
Also in this series: Burn for You (Slow Burn, #1)
Published by Montlake Romance
Publication Date: May 15, 2018
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 344
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Goodreads
three-stars

A wallflower gets seduction tips from a playboy athlete—until love changes the rules.

Socially awkward Joellen Bixby has a date every Saturday—with her cat, a pint of ice cream, and fantasies of the way-too-handsome Michael Maddox. She’d give anything to win over the unattainable CEO of her firm, but how can she when she blends in so well with her cubicle? The answer may be closer than she thinks.

Cameron McGregor is a cocky, tattooed Scottish rugby captain who just moved in next door. He’s not Jo’s type—at all—but the notorious playboy is offering to teach the wallflower everything he knows about inspiring desire. Though a lot of women have rumpled Cam’s kilt, Jo is special. Far from the ugly duckling she thinks she is, in Cam’s eyes she’s sharp, funny, and effortlessly sexy. Now, thanks to him, Jo is blooming with confidence and has the man of her dreams within reach.

Unfortunately for Cam, he’s just helped to push the woman of his dreams into the arms of another man—and now he’s in the fight of his life to keep this beauty from getting away.

Melt for You is the second book in the Slow Burn series. Aside from the “slow burning” romances, I’m not exactly sure how these books are connected. None of the characters from this book were featured in the first book, Burn for You.

Joellen Bixby is a quiet, rather passive woman who has had a crush on the CEO of her company for about 10 years – ever since she started working there. She pines away for him while at work, then spends her evenings at home with her cat. She doesn’t like confrontation, but when her next-door neighbor starts blaring rap and throwing wild parties, she can’t take it anymore. She marches over there and lays into him. Cameron McGregor is a Scottish rugby captain who traded apartments with his cousin for the holidays. He makes a bargain with her. If she cooks him dinner, he’ll turn his music off. She wants nothing to do with the arrogant ass, but she wants even less to do with his blaring music, so she agrees. When Cam finds out she’s been pining for her boss, and said boss just happens to be going through a divorce, he offers to help her win him over.

I really loved Cameron. He was so much fun, and such a champion for Joellen. She has very low self-esteem stemming from how she was raised. Her mother, father and sister are all stereotypical California models, while she’s (according to them, and herself) short, fat and ugly. Cam was great at pushing her to see herself in a different way. I really enjoyed the writing and the interactions between Cam and Joellen. She was sassy and strong when dealing with him. I loved when he riled her up on purpose.

What didn’t work for me was Joellen and her insecurities. I get it. She had a crap mom. She was put down most of her life. But the choices she made because of her low self-esteem really started to get on my nerves as the book wore on. Maybe if she’d come to her senses sooner I would have overlooked it. As it stands, while I loved the first half of the book and Cam, the second half really killed my overall enjoyment.

3 out of 5

Slow Burn

three-stars


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Review: Edge of Oblivion by J.T. Geissinger

Posted July 23, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Edge of Oblivion by J.T. GeissingerReviewer: Holly
Edge of Oblivion (Night Prowler, #2) by J.T. Geissinger
Series: Night Prowler #2
Also in this series: Shadow's Edge (Night Prowler, #1)
Published by Montlake Romance
Publication Date: October 2, 2012
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 396
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Goodreads
three-half-stars

2013 RITA® Award finalist for Best Paranormal Romance of 2012.

There exists a world beyond our own. It is a world of ancient magic and well-guarded secrets, a world of strict laws and harsh punishments for those who betray them, a world inhabited by the Ikati, a race of gifted people who are so much more than they first appear. Brought together by fate in this world of danger and beauty, two people with dark pasts will meet.

Morgan is beautiful, smart, sexy…and about to die. Convicted of treason against her shape-shifting kin, she is given one last chance at redemption; discover the hidden lair of the enemy intent on destroying every one of her kind, or forfeit her life.

Xander is ruthless, heartless, cold-blooded…and assigned to kill her if she fails in her task. Expecting to feel nothing but contempt for the traitor under his watch, the assassin accompanies Morgan on her search, but as the two race through the heart of Italy while the clock winds down to zero hour, he finds himself drawn into a dangerous web of desire as powerful as it is forbidden. Their passion will test everything they believe in, and endanger the future of the tribe itself.

Sensual, edgy, and action-packed, Edge of Oblivion is a must-read for lovers of dark paranormal romance.

I wasn’t sure how I would feel about the heroine of this story after her actions in the previous book. Based on her past and the way she was raised, I couldn’t totally hate her, but I didn’t love her either. I’m happy to report I enjoyed this book much more than book 1.

Branded a traitor and sentenced to death, no one is more shocked than Morgan when she’s given a second chance to prove herself to her Clan. Sure, she’s been given an impossible task to complete in an impossible time-frame, but she’s free. For the first time in her life she’s free of the shackles that have always bound her. Except for Xander, anyway. The Ikati assassin is assigned to keep her in line and kill her if she doesn’t complete her task within the assigned time-frame. Which sucks, because Morgan wants to live as much as she can during her two week reprieve. Waiting for him to kill her puts a real damper on their relationship.

Xander knows his duty, and he’s never shirked it before. But Morgan makes him feel things he never thought he’d feel. When they stumble into a plot larger than either of them thought they’d find, he has to decided how much he can trust her and if she’s worth saving.

Morgan ended up being a great heroine and I really loved her with Xander. The plot was fast-paced and kept me engaged – something I felt was lacking in Shadow’s Edge. There’s a lot of action and adventure here, as well as a pretty emotional struggle for Morgan and Xander. I really loved the story.

Even so, I’m not really interested in the characters to continue the series at this time. Perhaps at some point in the future I’ll come back to it. I’m not really interested in where the overall story arc is headed and the other characters didn’t really pull me in.

4 out of 5

Night Prowlers

three-half-stars


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Review: Shadow’s Edge by J.T. Geissinger

Posted July 16, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Shadow’s Edge by J.T. GeissingerReviewer: Holly
Shadow's Edge (Night Prowler, #1) by J.T. Geissinger
Series: Night Prowler #1
Also in this series: Edge of Oblivion (Night Prowler, #2)
Published by Montlake Romance
Publication Date: June 12, 2012
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 359
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
two-half-stars

2013 winner FF&P's Prism Award for Published Authors—Best First Book Deep within the primeval forests of southern England, a race of beautiful, savage shape-shifters lives hidden from the everyday world. Bound together by ancient bloodlines and a ruthless code of secrecy that punishes traitors with death, the Ikati send their leader Leander on a mission to capture one raised outside the tribe before she can expose their secret. When Leander tracks the unsuspecting outsider to Southern California, the hardened warrior is prepared for a fight—but not for the effect the sensual young beauty has on his heart.

Jenna spent her childhood in hiding, on the run from someone—or something—her parents refused to discuss. She trusts no one, not since her father’s mysterious disappearance, not since her mother’s sudden death, and definitely not since she began exhibiting strange, superhuman abilities. When handsome, enigmatic Leander appears, promising answers to the mysteries that shroud her past, she knows she shouldn’t trust him either. But their connection is undeniable, and as powerful as the enemy hell-bent on destroying every one of their kind…

I read and really enjoyed Burn for You, a contemporary romance, and figured I’d give Geissinger’s PNR a try. Shadow’s Edge is the first book Night Prowler book, an urban fantasy series featuring a society of shapeshifters who are hidden among humans. While I liked the premise of this book, I didn’t end up loving it.

The Ikati are shapeshifters. For years they lived out in the open, but eventually the church labeled them monsters and they were hunted into near extinction. They retreated into hiding and for the past several hundred years, have lived tucked away from human society. They have a patriarchal society. Since they were hunted for so long (and still are), they keep to themselves and remain a secret. As a results, women are treated like they were back in the good ole days of “marry for bloodlines and then sit over there in the corner and be quiet”. Mating with humans is forbidden. If one of the males breaks the rule, he’s hunted and killed, along with his human mate and any children they have. Unless he willingly sacrifices himself for his mate and children. In which case they may live, until the child turns 25. If she manifests shapeshifter powers on her 25th birthday, she’s brought to live with the Ikati clan, or – if she refuses – she’s killed.

I think I expected this book to be …more. More Jenna exerting her will or being more badass. I feel like I spent the majority of the book waiting for something to happen. I wanted to see Jenna come into her own. I wanted to see Leander step in and kick major ass for her. I wanted to see things change with the clan, etc etc. Unfortunately none of those things came to pass. The premise is good, but it lacked a lot of finesse in the execution.

I started the 2nd book immediately thinking a lot of the unanswered questions would be cleared up, but book 2 is set in a different place and features different characters. While I enjoyed aspects of this book, I enjoyed book 2 more.

2.75 out of 5

Night Prowlers

two-half-stars


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Joint Review: Burn for You by J.T. Geissinger

Posted June 18, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 6 Comments

Joint Review: Burn for You by J.T. GeissingerReviewer: Holly & Rowena
Burn for You (Slow Burn, #1)Series: Slow Burn #1
Also in this series: Melt for You (Slow Burn, #2)
Published by Montlake Romance
Publication Date: October 17, 2017
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 348
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

The marriage is fake. But for a sassy chef and an arrogant billionaire, the sparks are real…

Jackson “The Beast” Boudreaux is rich, gorgeous, and unbelievably rude to the staff at Chef Bianca Hardwick’s New Orleans restaurant. Bianca would sooner douse herself in hot sauce than cook for Jackson again, but when he asks her to cater his fund-raiser, Bianca can’t refuse, knowing the cash will help pay her mother’s medical bills. Then Jackson makes another outrageous request: Marry me. The unconventional offer includes an enormous sum—money Bianca desperately needs, even if it does come with a contract—and a stunning ring.

The heir to a family bourbon dynasty, Jackson knows the rumors swirling around him. The truth is even darker. Still, he needs a wife to secure his inheritance, and free-spirited, sassy Bianca would play the part beautifully. Soon, though, their simple business deal evolves into an emotional intimacy he’s built walls to avoid.

As the passion heats up between them, Bianca and Jackson struggle to define which feelings are real and which are for show. Is falling for your fake fiancé the best happy ending…or a recipe for disaster?

Burn for You is a modern take on Beauty and the Beast.

Jackson and Bianca have a very contentious relationship. They get off to a bad start when he shows up at her restaurant and demands a table. Bianca’s latest menu is an ode to his family’s bourbon, but she isn’t about to let him push her around. When he offers her the chance to cater an very exclusive charity event, she knows she can’t refuse. Not only will the publicity give her restaurant the boost it needs, but she desperately needs the money for her sick mother. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the crazy man shows up again and demands she marry him. Turns out he needs a wife by his 33rd birthday -which is just around the corner- or he’ll lose his inheritance. If she wasn’t desperate for money to help her sick mother she’d never consider it…as it is, how bad would be being married to the Beast?

Holly: I was browsing Amazon a couple weeks ago and discovered this book. I love Beauty and the Beast and a modern day retelling appealed to me. I really loved it. Jax and Bianca were great together. Are you glad I forced …ehem…recommended you read it?

Rowena: I listened to the audiobook too and it didn’t work for me. The narrator for Bianca sounded like my grandma and I kept picturing Gretchen from Suits because that’s who she reminded me of so every time she and Jackson would get down and dirty, I kept picturing my favorite of Louis’ administrative assistants with Jackson…and she’s more my Grandma than my heroine of a romance novel. I love the hell out of her but I don’t want to know or read about her sex life. Haha. But dude, that narrator sounds just like Gretchen.

Holly: Conversely, I really enjoyed the narrator. I don’t watch Suits, so I can’t say if she sounded like anyone from that show, but I thought she did a great job with the voices. I don’t ever listen to the entire book. I switch back and forth between reading and listening. The narrator, Diana Luke, really made the book for me. To be honest, I don’t know if I would have enjoyed the book quite so much had I read it on my own. I heard her voice in my head while I was reading and it really worked.

Rowena: Anyway on with the book, after I stopped listening to the book and started reading it on my own, I was able to enjoy the book a lot more. The chemistry between Bianca and Jackson was off the charts and from the beginning I felt it. I knew that we were going to get a good story out of them and we did.

I’m really glad that I listened to you and read this book. It was good stuff.

Holly: Of course it was good stuff. I always give good recommendations. 😉

Rowena: I really liked Bianca’s character and how strong she was, how real she was. When her drama happens, I connected with her because I’ve been there and I thought Geissinger captured her emotions and her grief really well.

My heart broke getting to know Jackson and seeing the man that he grew up to be despite the childhood that he had?? Oh man, it hit me right in the feels and I was rooting like heck for him throughout the entire story.

Holly: Jackson was grumpy and growly, but underneath he was just a giant marshmallow. I loved that about him. I loved how he took care of his people and raised money for causes that were important to him.

Bianca didn’t take any crap from him, and in fact gave back better than she got. I loved her wit and how quick she was to defend herself and those who worked for her. She wasn’t overbearing. They both got on each other’s nerves, but I loved how they also saw below the surface and wanted to help the other. She stuck up for him when he needed it, and he returned the favor. I melted over them both.

Rowena: There were times when I thought both Bianca and Jackson were being super extra about things, like how Bianca would fly off the handle at the smallest thing and how Jackson would growl at Bianca at every turn but in the end, I understood why they were the way that they were with each other and let that stuff go.

Holly: You’re right, they were both extra about things. Still, I loved how they sort of fell into a friendship without even realizing it. So cute.

His family made me angry and I wasn’t satisfied with the way it was dealt with. Jackson felt like shit his entire life because of the way his parents treated him, but his dad waves it all off? Grr. I got over it, however, because it’s a Fairytale.

Rowena: Jackson’s family dynamic left much to be desired and I agree that when everything comes out in the open, his father waved things off and I didn’t think that Jackson got the closure he deserved on that stuff but I’m glad that he finally had the support system that he should have had all along. I also really liked that Bianca was the one to make that happen for him.

Holly: Oh yes, I loved how quick Bianca was to defend him and how she took up for him with his family. That was great.

I really loved this book. There were things that bothered me, and the way Bianca and Jackson acted at the end had me frustrated, but overall it was a really good read. I’d definitely recommend it (and have been, to everyone. lol). I’m really looking forward to reading Geissinger’s backlist.

Rowena: This was the first book that I’ve ever read by Geissinger but it won’t be my last. I really enjoyed this slow-burn romance and am pretty anxious to start the next in the series, even though there isn’t a real link between both books.

Holly: Overall this was a very satisfying read. I was sad to see it end. 4.25 out of 5

Rowena: I agree that this was a very satisfying read. I would definitely recommend.
I give this one a 4 out of 5.

Final Grades

Holly: 4.25 out of 5
Rowena: 4 out of 5

Slow Burn

four-stars


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