Format: eARC

Blog Tour Review: Toxic Game by Christine Feehan

Posted March 5, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Blog Tour Review: Toxic Game by Christine FeehanReviewer: Casee
Toxic Game (GhostWalkers #15) by Christine Feehan
Series: GhostWalkers #15
Also in this series: Predatory Game, Street Game, Ruthless Game, Shadow Game, Power Game, Murder Game, Covert Game
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: March 5, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 416
Add It: Goodreads
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Series Rating: four-stars

On a rescue mission in the heart of the Indonesian jungle, Dr. Draden Freeman and his GhostWalker team need to extract the wounded as quickly as possible—or risk spreading a deadly virus unleashed by a terrorist cell. When Draden gets infected, he forces his team to leave him behind. He won’t risk exposing anyone else. He intends to find the ones responsible and go out in a blaze of glory....

Shylah Cosmos’s mission is to track the virus and remain unseen. Her enhanced senses tell her that the gorgeous man eradicating the terrorists one by one is a GhostWalker—and his lethal precision takes her breath away. When he’s hit by a lucky shot, she can’t stop herself from stepping in, not knowing that by saving his life she’s exposed herself to the virus.

There’s no telling how much time Draden and Shylah have left. Racing to find a cure, they quickly realize that they’ve found their perfect partner just in time to lose everything. But even as the virus threatens to consume their bodies, they’ve never felt more alive.

I wanted to like this book more than I actually did. Especially when I read this from Feehan’s website:

“This could possibly be the most romantic couple I’ve ever written in any of my series. I was surprised by both of them many times which made writing this book so much fun for me.”

I was super excited because 1) GhostWalkers! 2) Most romantic! 3) GhostWalkers! Okay, so I’m a little obsessed with the GhostWalker series, it’s true. I’ve come to expect a lot from the series. When I say a lot, I mean a lot. This one was so incredibly rushed. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t good, just that it didn’t work for me.

Draden Freeman is on a rescue mission when he is infected with a deadly virus. Knowing he needs to force his team to leave him behind, he does just that. His plan is to bring as many terrorist responsible for spreading the virus as possible before he dies. And he knows he’s going to die. The village the the terrorists took out with the virus attests to that brutal fact. Then he meets Shylah Cosmos, one of Peter Whitney’s orphan girls. She’s there on her own mission. While following him, she saves him inadvertently infecting herself. Draden is furious, but can’t help but be attracted to Shylah’s calm and acceptance of her fate.

Shylah is in the Indonesian jungle to track down the three scientists that are responsible for creating the virus. Her job isn’t to bring them in. Her job is to kill them and bring their research in. It’s only as her and Draden start working together that they realize that the virus wasn’t make as a biological weapon. It was made for Shylah herself. Peter Whitney doesn’t like when his girls escape and Shylah is the only one that can fight off whatever virus is injected into her body. It was only by chance that the scientists created a weapon to which there was no antidote. Or could there possibly be one?

The speed in which Draden and Shylah fell in love was a matter of days. The only thing that made in believable was that they both believed they were going to die. Otherwise it was just completely implausible. Even with Whitney and his imprinting of the men and women, it was still too fast. The rest of the book was actually pretty good, even the scientific part of it. I always admire how much research Feehan puts into her books. While I’m clueless as to whether the info is accurate, it sure seems like it is.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5.

GhostWalkers


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Review: Say You’re Sorry by Karen Rose

Posted March 4, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Say You’re Sorry by Karen RoseReviewer: Casee
Say You're Sorry (Sacramento, #1) by Karen Rose
Narrator: Joel Froomkin
Series: Sacramento #1
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: February 21, 2019
Format: Audiobook, eARC
Source: Publisher, Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 544
Length: 24 hours and 6 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

Special Agent Gideon Reynolds has tried hard to put his past behind him. He escaped the violence of his cult upbringing when he was just thirteen, and since then routine and discipline have been his way of making sense of the world. But when a petite blonde woman crashes into his life, he begins to realize that a little bit of chaos might not be so bad.

Daisy Dawson has had more than her fair share of pain too—but she's done being a victim. Daisy's determined to explore every new experience she can—including getting to know the dark and serious FBI investigator she meets when she fights off a masked attacker one night.

It soon becomes clear that Daisy's attack was just the beginning. Now the bloodied bodies of young women are showing up all over California, and, as Gideon tries to find the killer, it's clear that Daisy is in more danger than they ever realised...

I started and listened to most of this book on audio. The narrator was simply awful. That was a huge disappointment because the narrator of Monster in the Closet was amazing. Even with that, I hung in like a champ because I really wanted to listen to it at work. I ended up reading the last 40ish%.

The Sacramento series is a spin-off of the Baltimore series. I had no idea until I started listening to the heroine’s backstory. Then I had to back it up and listen to it again because it sounded so familiar. Daisy Dawson is Taylor Dawson’s stepsister from Monster in the Closet. Taylor’s mom lied to her husband, Daisy’s father, about Taylor’s bio dad being after them. So they went into hiding for years. That really messed Daisy up. She started drinking when she was fourteen and went into rehab when she was seventeen. She’s an amazingly strong woman.

Daisy knows someone is following her. She’s sure it is one of her dad’s people. Although the truth came out about her stepmother’s lying, her dad can’t let her live her life. She goes down an alley after him (insert eyeroll) and is instead attached by a man with nylon mask on. After a valiant fight and with the help of her dog, Daisy manages to get away from her attacker. She also rips what she finds out is a locket from around his neck.

When her good friend and Sacramento PD detective, Rafe Sokolov, arrives at the scene and sees the locket, he immediately calls his friend Gideon Reynolds. He recognizes that the design on the locket is the same as a tattoo that Gideon has. Gideon gets to the scene as fast as he can and is floored by two things. The first thing is that he has finally found a lead back to the cult that he escaped from as a young teenager. The second is that he cares more about what Daisy Dawson went through then something he’s been searching for for years.

When it becomes apparent that Daisy is going to remain a target, Gideon volunteers to be the one to protect Daisy. Together they start digging into his past. When the past collides with the present, it puts both Gideon and Daisy in danger. Now they have a cult to find and a serial killer to outsmart.

I really loved this book. A lot. There are a few things location wise that threw me off because I used to live in Sacramento. So I knew that Gideon’s house was not by where he worked. I got over that because I love Karen Rose. The cult angle was very interesting. The dynamic between Gideon and his sister Mercy was interesting as well. It was obvious that Mercy and Rafe are going to have a book and I’m curious to see how exactly that is going to work. I’m just really looking forward to the next book.

Bravo on this one, KR.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Sacramento

four-half-stars


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Review: Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry

Posted February 28, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarryReviewer: Rowena
Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry
Publisher: Macmillan, Tor Teen
Publication Date: January 22, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 365
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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four-half-stars

Bestselling author Katie McGarry’s trademark wrong-side-of-the-tracks romance is given a new twist in the gritty YA contemporary novel, Only a Breath Apart.

Jesse Lachlin is cursed.

So the town folklore says, but while Jesse’s had his fair share of tragedy, the only curse he believes is in his grandmother’s will: in order to inherit his family farm he must win the approval of his childhood best friend, the girl he froze out his freshman year, Scarlett Copeland.

Scarlett Copeland is psychic.

Glory Gardner tells Scarlett she has hidden psychic abilities, but Scarlett thinks Glory is delusional. What is real is Scarlett’s father’s irrational fears, controlling attitude, and the dark secrets at home. Scarlett may have a way to escape, but there’s a hitch: she’ll have to rely on the one person she used to trust, the same boy who broke her heart, Jesse Lachlin.

Each midnight meeting pushes Jesse and Scarlett to confront their secrets and their feelings for each other. But as love blooms, the curse rears its ugly head…

Katie McGarry writes really emotional YA books that I have had no trouble falling into in the past. Her Pushing the Limits series is one of my favorite YA series and so I’m always on the lookout for more stuff from her. When this book made it onto my radar, I knew that I wanted it. I also knew that it was probably going to be an emotional read because McGarry does emotion well and I was right. This book made me cry and when I put it down, I was completely satisfied with the story as a whole and loved both Jesse and Scarlett so much.

This book follows two childhood best friends who were ripped apart by betrayal as they come together, years later and realize that their friendship was always meant to be more than friendship.

Jesse Lachlin had a pretty rocky childhood. His mother went from one bad relationship to the next and Jesse was always shipped from wherever his Mom was when things were going good for her to the more stable home at his grandmother’s house when things weren’t good for his Mom. He was no stranger to domestic abuse and he hated that his Mom never found the peace she craved while she was alive. Jesse was a witness to his mother’s murder and carries a lot of trauma and guilt over it. One of the things he remembers most from his Mom was her telling him that their family was cursed and as long as they stayed on their family land in Kentucky, they’d be okay because otherwise, everyone close to them will die.

Scarlett Copeland is planning an escape from her life. She has plans for her future and they do not include staying close to the home that she’s always known where her father is like a ticking bomb, waiting to go off and she vows to be long gone when that finally happens. When her parents informed her that she was not going to college at the University of Kentucky like she wanted but was going to attend the business school in town so that she can stay home instead of live in the dorms on campus, Scarlett knew she was on her own…and that meant letting the boy she called her best friend when she was a kid back into her life because whether she wanted it or not, she needed his help…and he needed hers.

Their journeys were not easy ones and throughout this entire book, both Jesse and Scarlett are put through the wringer. My heart hurt for both of them and all that they went through but boy did I love how they came together in the end. They were stronger together and seeing them want to be strong for each other after their history was just so satisfying. Katie McGarry did her thing with this book. It was packed with compelling characters and an emotional roller coaster that readers will not soon forget. I will say that it took me a little bit to get into the story because the beginning was a little slow but once I got a feel for who the characters were, what they were about, it was so easy for me to fall into the story and I ended up really enjoying it. It’s a good one, guys. I recommend.

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

four-half-stars


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Review: The Scoundrel in Her Bed by Lorraine Heath

Posted February 26, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Scoundrel in Her Bed by Lorraine HeathReviewer: Rowena
The Scoundrel in Her Bed (Sins for All Seasons, #3) by Lorraine Heath
Series: Sins for All Seasons #3
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)
Publisher: Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: February 26, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

The third electrifying romance in Lorraine Heath's USA Today bestselling Sins of all Seasons series.

The bastard son of a nobleman, Finn Trewlove was a shameful secret raised by a stranger. As Finn came of age, he had secrets, too—the clandestine nights spent with an earl's daughter. But her promise of forever ended in betrayal.

Driven by a past that haunts her, Lady Lavinia Kent seeks redemption in London's underworld, engaged in a daring cause inspired by the young man to whom she gave her innocence, and who then proved himself a scoundrel by abandoning her.

When their paths cross again, they can't deny the yearning and desire that still burns. As they discover the truth behind the deceptions that tore them apart, Finn and Lavinia must fight to reclaim what they've lost, no matter how dangerous—because love is worth the risk...

Honestly, Lorraine Heath just keeps right on bringing the heat with this series. I have loved every single book that she’s put out for these characters and with each passing book, I become more and more interested in the whole baby farming thing. In When a Duke Loves a Woman, I was mighty curious to find out what the heck Lady Lavinia was up to running away from her wedding to Thorne and then hiding out in Whitechapel, near where Gillie’s family lived. I knew she was connected to Finn so you’d think that there wouldn’t have been much left for me to be surprised about from them holy cow, there were plot twists all over the damn place and my heart soared and plummeted so many times, I thought I’d have to go to the ER.

In this book, we get two stories. The story of Finn and Lavinia when they were young and falling in love for the first time and the story of Finn and Lavinia as grown adults, years after they were torn apart and falling in love all over again. The young love portion of this book showed us how they met, how they kept meeting until they were so in love with each other that they were planning on doing anything they could to be together forever and then real life crashing in on them. The adult portion of this book showed us just how much chemistry the two of them had despite all of the bad history between them. Their love wasn’t an easy one but man was it a satisfying one. I don’t think I’ve read a couple this year that were as meant to be as these two were.

There is a lot going on in this book. We have the romance between Finn and Lavinia, Lavinia’s new mission in life and trying to piece together everything that happened to both Finn and Lavinia in the years since they parted ways. There’s a lot of resentment, lots of family secrets and then the secret shame between the two of them. I thought that I would be overwhelmed with everything going on but Heath does a fantastic job of making it easy for the reader to be a part of all of it.

I can’t talk about a lot of things that I want to talk about without spoiling the fun for you guys so I’ll just keep this one simple. If you enjoyed the other books in this series, you’re going to love this one. If you enjoy historical romances with compelling characters, you’re going to love this one. If you enjoy emotional reunions and second chance romances, you’re going to love this one so seriously, pick this one up. You’re going to love it. 😉

Grade: 4.75 out of 5

Sins for All Seasons

four-half-stars


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Review: Devil’s Daughter by Lisa Kleypas

Posted February 21, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Devil’s Daughter by Lisa KleypasReviewer: Holly
Devil's Daughter by Lisa Kleypas
Series: The Ravenels #5
Also in this series: Cold-Hearted Rake, Devil in Spring, Devil in Spring, Hello Stranger, Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3), Devil's Daughter (The Ravenels #5)
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: February 19, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
Add It: Goodreads
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

New York Times bestselling author Lisa Kleypas delivers a scintillating tale of a beautiful, young widow who finds passion with the one man she shouldn't...

Although beautiful young widow Phoebe, Lady Clare, has never met West Ravenel, she knows one thing for certain: he's a mean, rotten bully. Back in boarding school, he made her late husband's life a misery, and she'll never forgive him for it. But when Phoebe attends a family wedding, she encounters a dashing and impossibly charming stranger who sends a fire-and-ice jolt of attraction through her. And then he introduces himself...as none other than West Ravenel.

West is a man with a tarnished past. No apologies, no excuses. However, from the moment he meets Phoebe, West is consumed by irresistible desire...not to mention the bitter awareness that a woman like her is far out of his reach. What West doesn't bargain on is that Phoebe is no straitlaced aristocratic lady. She's the daughter of a strong-willed wallflower who long ago eloped with Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent—the most devilishly wicked rake in England.

Before long, Phoebe sets out to seduce the man who has awakened her fiery nature and shown her unimaginable pleasure. Will their overwhelming passion be enough to overcome the obstacles of the past?

Only the devil's daughter knows...

Devil’s Daughter is the 5th book in Lisa KleypasRavenels series. I’ve been anxiously awaiting West’s story since we met him in the first book. His transformation from disreputable rake to responsible land manager has been a favorite throughout the series for me. I’m happy to report he was just as amazing here as I expected him to be. I loved everything about the way he was with Phoebe, Lady Clare and her two sons. My heart melted every time he interacted with the boys. He was playful and managed to teach them without being stern. His candor and openness about his past made my heart hurt at times. I did struggle with his doubts and the way he continued to punish himself for his past sins. I wanted to see him let that go sooner than he did.

Phoebe was an amazing heroine. She was strong, yet vulnerable. Brave, yet scared. I loved the contradictions and how well they played into the person she’d become since her husband died. I also loved how she was as a mother.

Together West and Phoebe had great chemistry. Their banter and wit had me in stitches, and I loved how well they understood one anther. West accepted Phoebe for who she was now, yet still pushed her out of her comfort zone. I loved what a progressive he was, and how he challenged her to think outside her narrow box. I also loved how accepting she was of him and his past. My heart melted when West told her to send for him if needed. They were so lovely together.

I loved seeing previous characters and having them play a part in the story, mostly because Klyepas is a master at keeping them in the background. Their presence didn’t detract from Phoebe and West in the slightest, and in fact having them there enriched the story.

Honestly, this may have been a 5 star read for me if not for West’s constant self-flagellation and the abrupt ending. Seriously, it ended way too quickly. At 92% I was low key anxious about where the story was at. The novel really needed an extra chapter or an epilogue.

Devil’s Daughter is another emotionally charged, engrossing tale of redemption and love. Another must read from Kleypas.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

The Ravenels

four-half-stars


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