Format: eARC

Review: Rock Wedding by Nalini Singh

Posted November 13, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Rock Wedding by Nalini SinghReviewer: Casee
Rock Wedding (Rock Kiss, #4) by Nalini Singh
Series: Rock Kiss #4
Also in this series: Rock Addiciton, Rock Courtship, Rock Addiction, Rock Courtship, Rock Hard, Rock Hard, Rock Redemption, Rock Redemption, Rock Redemption, Rock Addiction, Rock Courtship, Rock Hard, Rock Wedding, Rock Wedding, Rock Wedding, Rock Addiction (Rock Kiss, #1), Rock Hard (Rock Kiss, #2), Rock Redemption (Rock Kiss, #3)
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: July 19, 2016
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 345
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-half-stars

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh continues her Rock Kiss series with a hot, sweet, emotional contemporary romance about love and forgiveness…

After a lifetime of longing for a real family, Sarah Smith thought she’d finally found her home with rock star Abe Bellamy, even if she knew Abe didn’t love her the way she loved him. But their brief relationship, filled with tragedy and heartache, nearly destroyed her. Alone, emotions in turmoil, and already shaky self-esteem shattered, Sarah struggles to pick up the pieces in the wake of their divorce.

Abe knows he’s to blame for the end of his marriage. Caught in a web of painful memories, he pushed away the best thing in his life – the sexy, smart woman he adores – breaking them both in the process. Then fate throws him a second chance to get things right, to prove to Sarah that she means everything to him. Abe desperately wants that second chance at love...even if he knows he doesn’t deserve it.

But can he convince Sarah – now strong and independent without him – to risk her wounded heart one more time?

I think this book was my least favorite of the series. I can’t put my finger on why exactly. From the beginning, I was just like wtf?!?!?! Sarah married Abe the same night she met him (actually, I can’t remember if that is what happened). They met in a bar. Unfortunately, Abe has a huge drug problem and he likes taking it out on his wife. At the beginning of the book, this killed me.

Sara loved Abe with a devotion that terrified her.

She knew he didn’t love her back.

It was just so matter-of-fact. It was incredibly sad to think she thought that, especially when we later learn it wasn’t true at all. However, Abe did little to make her think otherwise. He was a real asshole to her at the beginning of the book. When he found her playing his dead sister’s piano, I was shocked at his reaction given what we’ve learned about Abe over the last three books.

Fast forward a couple of years. Abe and Sarah went through a bitter, bitter divorce. After Abe kicked Sarah out of their house, Sarah decided that she was going to use Abe’s money to better herself. That’s exactly what she did. She emerged from her marriage as someone stronger. Someone that could stand on her own two feet. So the only problem with this is this douchebag asswipe guy took advantage of her in the middle of her divorce and talked her into having a baby with him. That sounds like something out of left field, doesn’t it? It’s weird, but it worked. It seemed like real life, I guess. Anyhow, Sarah lost her baby boy. He was stillborn. It was heartbreaking.

Abe has decided that he wants Sarah back. The problem is that she doesn’t trust him at all. With good reason. Abe is determined to show her that he’s changed and that he’s loved her all along. He knows it’s just going to take time. Then Sarah gets pregnant. For goodness sake, does this woman believe in condoms???? So now Sarah is worried that Abe is only with her because she’s having his baby. She doesn’t seem to remember that he was with her before she got pregnant.

I just couldn’t get into Sarah. She was a sad, sad case. I understood all her reservations, don’t get me wrong. I just didn’t love her. I did like Abe a lot, but I didn’t love him either. I has a sad about that. I wanted to love this book.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Rock Kiss

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: Lionheart by Thea Harrison

Posted November 13, 2018 by Jen in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Lionheart by Thea HarrisonReviewer: Jen
Lionheart (Moonshadow, #3) by Thea Harrison
Series: Moonshadow #3
Also in this series: Spellbinder
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: October 15, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: Author
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 420
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Thea Harrison comes the final story in her spellbinding Moonshadow trilogy…

King Oberon reigned over his Dark Court in Lyonesse for centuries, until an assassination attempt laid him low. Now he lies unconscious in his snow-bound palace, while his Power battles the enchantment that threatens to end his life.

A skilled trauma surgeon and magic-user, Dr. Kathryn Shaw reigns at the top of her profession in New York. Then comes a challenge she can’t resist—she is asked to cure the uncureable. Just getting close enough to try healing Oberon is a dangerous proposition. When she does reach him, he awakens too soon.

Roused from darkness by Kathryn’s presence, Oberon confronts the beautiful stranger who claims she wants to save his life. But the enchantment has frozen his emotions. How can he learn to trust her when he can’t feel anything?

Oberon’s desire is icy, devoid of all tenderness. Not only must Kathryn match wits with him, she must also fight her reaction to his touch, because there is so much more at stake than her own endangered heart.

For the Dark Court faces its most deadly peril yet. Its ancient enemy Isabeau, Queen of the Light Court, is obsessed with its annihilation, and Oberon must be brought to remember his loyalty and affection for his people.

Because if he won’t fight for them, Lyonesse itself may very well be destroyed…

Oberon’s book is here! I absolutely loved the first two books in Thea Harrison’s Moonshadow series, so I was extra excited to read this book. 

Dark Fae King Oberon’s presence loomed over the last two books, despite the fact that he has been in a coma-like sleep after an assassination attempt. While in his self-induced sleep, his powerful weather magic has spiraled out of control and is slowly freezing the life out of the Dark Fae’s land of Lyonesse. The situation is at a breaking point, and if the remaining Dark Court members cannot find a way to heal Oberon they will need to take drastic measures. They call upon Kathryn Shaw, a magical surgeon (and were-falcon) we met in book 1. Kathryn agrees to go to Lyonesse and do what she can to stop the magic intent on killing the King. When Oberon wakes up before Kathryn has stopped the killing magic, Oberon has to trust in her to save him before it is too late.

I totally love Kathryn. She is my favorite heroine in the series so far! I love that she is brilliant and so incredibly good at her job. Her best quality is that she takes no shit. She’s not “feisty” and is never obstinate for no reason. When she pushes back she does it after carefully considering the situation and determining that it’s a battle that requires fighting. Once she decides to push back, she does it firmly but still rationally. I want more heroines who are smart and carefully “strong” instead of just feisty or sassy! I especially loved that after her and Oberon realize what’s happening to them, she immediately grasps the complexities of being Queen, or is at least prepared to investigate and navigate them. Kathryn doesn’t do anything blindly, and her forthright but compassionate persona is exactly what Lyonesse needs from a leader. I haven’t heard whether there are more books coming in the series, but I certainly hope so because I want to hear how Kathryn is faring in Lyonesse.

Oberon was less interesting to me. The killing magic is basically freezing his emotions, so for a good chunk of the book he’s not able to feel anything but the most animalistic urges. I guess it was somewhat interesting to hear about how he was trying to determine the “right” thing to do based on how he guessed the man he used to be would respond, but in general I didn’t feel like the stakes were very high. Obviously he was going to get his emotions back, and obviously he was going to be a good person once he did. Once Kathryn removes the magic, Oberon became ridiculously perfect. He is so good, so just, so noble, so beloved by his people. I suppose I just didn’t feel like he had a lot of depth.

Still, I really enjoy this world. I loved finally seeing Oberon’s power, because whooo boy he’s got some power. I also really respect the way Harrison has handled the concept of trauma in this series. In this book the puck Robin, who endured some horrific trauma and consequently hasn’t always made the best choices in the series, finally gets some healing. The one part where Oberon WAS a bit swoony was when he was comforting Robin and letting him know it’s ok to feel what he’s feeling. It’s so revolutionary to read that kind of thing in a romance, especially from a powerful alpha hero, and I am here for it.

I may not have loved this book as much as the others in the series, but it’s still a solid story with an excellent heroine. I hope it continues.

Grade: 4 out of 5.

Moonshadow

four-stars


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Review: Rock Redemption by Nalini Singh

Posted November 12, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Rock Redemption by Nalini SinghReviewer: Casee
Rock Redemption (Rock Kiss, #3) by Nalini Singh
Series: Rock Kiss #3
Also in this series: Rock Addiciton, Rock Courtship, Rock Addiction, Rock Courtship, Rock Hard, Rock Hard, Rock Redemption, Rock Redemption, Rock Redemption, Rock Addiction, Rock Courtship, Rock Hard, Rock Wedding, Rock Wedding, Rock Wedding, Rock Addiction (Rock Kiss, #1), Rock Hard (Rock Kiss, #2), Rock Wedding (Rock Kiss, #4)
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: September 18, 2015
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 413
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

Kit Devigny could have loved rock guitarist Noah St. John. Their friendship burned with the promise of intense passion and searing tenderness…until the night Noah deliberately shattered her heart.

Noah knows he destroyed something precious the night he chose to betray Kit, but he’d rather she hate him than learn his darkest secret. All he has left is his music. It’s his saving grace, but it doesn’t silence the voices that keep him up at night. Chasing oblivion through endless one-night-stands, he earns a few hours’ sleep and his bad boy reputation.

When a media error sees Noah and Kit dubbed the new “it” couple, Kit discovers her chance at the role of a lifetime hinges on riding the media wave. Wanting—needing—to give Kit this, even if he can’t give her everything, Noah agrees to play the adoring boyfriend. Only the illusion is suddenly too real, too painful, too beautiful…and it may be too late for the redemption of Noah St. John.

This book made me extremely emotional. I can honestly say that I was not expecting that at all. Kit was fairly interesting from Rock Addiction, but I wasn’t really looking forward to her book. She did actually turn out to be my favorite heroine in the Rock Kiss series. I just adored her. I adored her devotion to Noah, how she was down-to-earth, and how loyal she was to her friends. She was well on her way to becoming an A-list actress, but she still stayed true to who she was at her core.

Kit had something special with Noah St. John. Or so she thought. Then she found him in bed with someone else. It devastates her. What she doesn’t know is that Noah planned the whole thing to push her away. Although she doesn’t know it, Noah was successful in his plan. He can’t be close to anyone, least of all someone as innocent and sweet as Kit. When Noah calls her one night from a cheap motel telling her that he loves her, but he can’t do it anymore, Kit races to his rescue. What she sees slays her. Noah is drunk and has a syringe ready to inject into his veins. Kit still hasn’t forgiven him for how he hurt her, but there is no way she is letting him die.

In the time that has gone by since Noah staged the scene for Kit to walk in on him and a random groupie, Noah has realized how vital Kit is to his life. He wants a second chance with her. What he doesn’t want from her is sex. Noah has a deep, dark secret in his past that he will never, ever tell Kit. All he can tell her is that he doesn’t want that with her. Kit doesn’t understand it and sees it as a rejection. Still, she can’t turn down Noah’s desperation to be a part of his life.

The title of this book is so spot on. This book is about Noah’s redemption and how Kit helps him forgive himself. She also makes him realize that there are certain things that don’t need forgiving. There are things in his past that are not his fault. It takes time, but Kit gets through to Noah as only she can. These two together were goals. They were just made for each other. But they had a long, rocky road to get to happiness. Seeing their happy ending made everything worth it. I loved these two.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

Rock Kiss

four-stars


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Review: Fireworks by Sarina Bowen

Posted November 12, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Fireworks by Sarina BowenReviewer: Rowena
Fireworks (True North #6) by Sarina Bowen
Series: True North #6
Also in this series: Bittersweet, Steadfast (True North #2), Steadfast, Bittersweet, Keepsake, Bountiful (True North, #4), Speakeasy (True North, #5), Bittersweet (True North, #1), Steadfast (True North, #2), Keepsake (True North, #3), Bountiful (True North, #4; Brooklyn Bruisers, #4.5)
Publisher: Tuxbury Publishing LLC
Publication Date: November 13, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 343
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

Skye Copeland is on paid leave from her broadcasting job after accidentally drawing a pecker on the traffic map.

Let that sink in. Like it’s her fault the traffic pattern that day created a perfect schlong?

Skye isn’t laughing. She needs this job. And that’s the only reason she’s agreed to chase down a story in her least favorite place—that hell on earth known as Vermont.

A quick trip. In and out. Much like - never mind. Skye can sneak into the town that once tried to break her, get the story and get back into the good graces of her producer. Easy peasy.

Except things go sideways even as she sets foot over the county line. Her step-sister is on the run from a violent drug dealer. And the cop on the case is none other than Benito Rossi, the man who broke her teenage heart.

His dark brown eyes still tear her apart. And even as she steels herself to finally tell him off after twelve years, the old fireworks are still there.

Things are about to go boom.

I’m not sure how she does it but Sarina Bowen wrote another winner for me. I’m really enjoying this series and each book just keeps entertaining the socks right off of me. Fireworks follows Benito Rossi as he finally reunites with the one that got away and tries to get things right this time around.

The Rossi’s sure are front and center in the True North series, aren’t they? I wasn’t sure I wanted to know this much about the Rossi family when the series first started but I can’t say that I’m mad that we’re getting all of their stories. I adored Alec in the Speakeasy and Benito? Benito was fabulous in this book.

Benito Rossi is Zara’s twin and he’s a detective who investigates and brings down the bad guys. The bad guy that he’s building a case to bring down? The same bad guy that made life for his sister hard, back when he couldn’t do anything about it. The same bad guy that made things hard for the only girl he’s ever loved. He’s hoping to put this guy away for good because he’s pure scum and he deserves to be behind bars for the rest of his miserable life. He hasn’t seen Skye in 12 years but she blows right back into his life all these years later, complicating his investigation and his life.

Skye never thought she’d ever return to Vermont because she hated Vermont. She hated the memories that Vermont was associated with and she tried to never think on her time here. She moved on from the girl she was when she lived here and she was living in New York and had a life of her own there. She’s pissed to high heaven that her step-sister talked her into driving to Vermont for a sister weekend and even more pissed that when she gets to Vermont, she finds out that her sister tricked her and left her high and dry. Sure, it worked out for them both since Skye was on a forced vacation from work so she had the time off but still…Skye is pissed to have been left behind in Vermont, of all places.

This story is told in that whole past and present format and that doesn’t always work for me but it worked for me here. I liked seeing Benito and Skye as kids and I loved seeing them get to know the people that they are now. The chemistry that has been between them when they were kids is still there now and watching them come together again made so much sense.

Sarina Bowen created a world that is so easy to fall into and with each book that releases, I’m still invested in everyone in this world. From the Shipleys to the Rossi’s, I love them all and that didn’t change with this book. Benito and Skye were wonderful characters and their romance was sweet. I enjoyed myself with this book and am looking forward to more. I definitely recommend.

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

True North

four-stars


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Review: Rock Hard by Nalini Singh

Posted November 9, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Rock Hard by Nalini SinghReviewer: Casee
Rock Hard (Rock Kiss, #2) by Nalini Singh
Series: Rock Kiss #2
Also in this series: Rock Addiciton, Rock Courtship, Rock Addiction, Rock Courtship, Rock Hard, Rock Hard, Rock Redemption, Rock Redemption, Rock Redemption, Rock Addiction, Rock Courtship, Rock Hard, Rock Wedding, Rock Wedding, Rock Wedding, Rock Addiction (Rock Kiss, #1), Rock Redemption (Rock Kiss, #3), Rock Wedding (Rock Kiss, #4)
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: March 10, 2015
Format: eARC
Source: Author
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 351
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-stars

Wealthy businessman Gabriel Bishop rules the boardroom with the same determination and ruthlessness that made him a rock star on the rugby field. He knows what he wants, and he’ll go after it no-holds-barred.

And what he wants is Charlotte Baird.

Charlotte knows she’s a mouse. Emotionally scarred and painfully shy, she just wants to do her job and remain as invisible as possible. But the new CEO—a brilliant, broad-shouldered T-Rex of a man who growls and storms through the office, leaving carnage in his wake—clearly has other plans. Plans that may be equal parts business and bedroom.

If Charlotte intends to survive this battle of wits and hearts, the mouse will have to learn to wrangle the T-Rex. Game on.

I thought I would enjoy this book far more than I actually did. I really did enjoy Charlotte in Rock Addiction. There was obviously a backstory there and I was very interested in reading her book. Then I read it and I wasn’t interested anymore. I just didn’t care.

Charlotte has been hurt. Violently. Ever since her ex-boyfriend tried to kill her, Charlotte works to control the fear that rules her life. She’s gotten better than she was at first. She can now live by herself. She has a job. She has her best friend Molly. Still, nothing in her life prepares her for Gabriel Bishop. He’s a force of nature that she wants nothing to do with. She’s what she would call happy living in her safe little bubble. Gabriel changes all that.

Gabriel has a talent. He takes over failed companies and turns them around. He loves the thrill and the challenge. When he starts at a new company, he’s not much prepared for Charlotte. She’s nothing like the women he is used to. She’s mousy. She hides her body. She’s just the opposite of everything he’s ever thought he wanted. He was wrong, though. Charlie is everything he’s ever wanted. She’s one of the few people that can not only take his gruffness, but give it back to him.

Charlie is surprised by how comfortable she is with Gabriel. He’s everything she doesn’t want. He’s too big, too loud, can be too mean. Just too much everything. Still, she can’t help her attraction to the man although she has no intention of it going anywhere. Who cares if she gets jealous when Gabriel tells her to send roses to his conquests? She’s happy.

Gabriel slowly courted Charlie for months. He knew she had something happen in her past, so he waited. Their relationship moved very slowly, which is the only way it could have worked. Nalini wrote Charlie as a victim so well. She reacted much as I would have expected someone who went through what she did to act. She was beyond careful. She had panic attacks. All very believable.

I don’t know exactly what it was that I didn’t enjoy. I do think that Gabriel rushed her a bit, but I didn’t think it was a bad thing. The whole situation just didn’t rub me the right way. I did like them together, but there were too many problems.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Rock Kiss

three-stars


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