Format: eARC

Featured Review: American Witch by Thea Harrison

Posted May 22, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Featured Review: American Witch by Thea HarrisonReviewer: Casee, Holly, and Rowena
American Witch by Thea Harrison
Series: American Witch Trilogy #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: April 29, 2019
Format: eARC, eBook
Source: Author, Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 420
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Power can change a person…

For months Molly Sullivan endures the inexplicable: electrical surges, car breakdowns, visions. She even wonders if she might be the cause… and wonders if she might be crazy. Then she discovers her husband has cheated on her. Again. Now Molly realizes she is a newly awakening witch and a woman pushed over the edge.

Revenge can shape a person…

Josiah Mason is a Powerful witch and the leader of a secret coven with a shared goal: to destroy an ancient enemy who has ruined many lives. Josiah lost years to this man, and his sole focus is revenge. He’s prepared for every contingency—except encountering a beautiful new witch who understands nothing of the immense Power building within her or the attraction she wields over him.

Danger can bring them together…

When divorcing her husband, Molly uncovers a dangerous secret he’s willing to kill to protect. She turns to Josiah for help, and they discover a connection between Molly’s husband and Josiah’s enemy.

As they work together, a spark ignites between them that threatens to become an inferno. But Molly is done compromising herself for any man, and Josiah’s mission is his top priority. And the enemy is cunning, cruel, and drawing ever closer.

As the danger escalates, so does the tension between them. Is a lasting relationship possible? Will either of them live long enough to try?

American Witch is the first book in Thea Harrison’s American Witch series, which is set in the Elder Races world and features Molly Sullivan coming into her powers after finally leaving her husband because he’s a cheating bastard. Molly is trying to move on with her life but when she takes some documents that dangerous people don’t want her to have, her life gets super complicated and she turns to Josiah Mason for help.

Josiah Mason is the new District Attorney in town and he’s got an agenda that Molly Sullivan is distracting him from. When Molly’s problems become his problems, Josiah can’t turn away from her or the attraction building between them. She needs help learning about her new abilities but she also needs his protection from some pretty bad people. Neither of them wanted the complications that arise but neither of them can walk away from each other either.

Rowena: Alright ladies, what did you guys think?

Casee: I forgot how much I like Thea Harrison. She really knows how to weave a story. I was pulled in from the beginning when Molly found out about her husband’s extra-curricular activities. I didn’t really enjoy Molly at first, though. I found her to be a bit bitchy. Like over the top bitchy. In retrospect I realized that she was protecting herself and she had just gotten herself out of a horrible situation. She also found out she was a witch. She was learning new things about herself every day and not everything she was learning was good.

Holly: Those first few chapters were so good. When Molly discovers her husband has cheated on her – again – and confronts him? I was here for that.

Rowena: I really enjoyed this one as well. I was wrapped up in this book from the very first chapter, which was great. Far too often, I have to slog through the beginning hump and it takes me forever to get invested in the story but that wasn’t the case with this one. Molly’s walk out scene at her husband’s party was the shit and I was here for it.

Casee: I didn’t really enjoy Molly at first, though. I found her to be a bit bitchy. Like over the top bitchy. In retrospect I realized that she was protecting herself and she had just gotten herself out of a horrible situation. She also found out she was a witch. She was learning new things about herself every day and not everything she was learning was good.

Holly: I didn’t find her bitchy at all. I thought she was a woman who was finally pushed to the edge and she was done taking shit from anyone. That aspect never bothered me.

Rowena: I thought Molly was super bitchy in the beginning but I also understood it. I got why she was bitchy toward her husband and I enjoyed seeing her really come into her own but there were times when I wanted to smack her into next week. When she was destroying Josiah’s property, expensive property after he helped her and gave her someplace safe to stay. I wasn’t a fan of that.

Holly: It was Josiah who drove me crazy in the beginning. He was a total ass. And he didn’t have Molly’s excuses.

Casee: I completely agree about Josiah. He was used to taking what he wanted. That was one of the things I did like about Molly early on. She didn’t take his shit. She called him on it from the day she met him. His whole thing about how they could “rule the world” or whatever together was so cliche, I rolled my eyes. Molly definitely grew on me as the book went on because I could see her strength. Going through what she was, on her own, after being with someone for twenty years was more than admirable.

Rowena: Josiah drove me crazy, too. I wanted to knee him in the balls with how highhanded he was where Molly was concerned. He was arrogant but like Molly, I was into him. He gets better but for me, it was Molly that I really enjoyed getting to know. She wasn’t perfect but watching her grow more and more sure of herself and in her power was a fun way to spend some time.

Holly: There were times I wanted to smack Molly, too. But like you, I enjoyed getting to know her and I loved watching her grow into her new powers.

View Spoiler »

I was disappointed we didn’t get more of a resolution for Josiah’s stuff. I assume it’ll be carried to the next book, but still. I wanted something more from that.

Rowena: Yeah, if I had a gripe with this book, it was for how little resolution we got from the whole revenge thing. So Josiah falls in love, tries one last time to catch the bad guy, doesn’t win so he gives up? Walks away from years and years of preparation and the people who he calls in on this revenge plan? I mean, I get that there are other books in this series and I’m sure the revenge plot will continue there but the ending of this book left a lot to be desired.

Still, I liked it and would love to continue this series. Bring on the Richard love. Haha.

Holly: I know it was meant to be a huge turning point for him – I choose LOVE! – but it rang a bit false for me. All these years and he just walks away? I don’t know that I buy it. Still, I trust TH to keep things moving in the next book.

Casee: I felt that it showed Josiah’s strength of character that he was willing to give up years and years of preparation and his coven for family. That made me respect him and like him more than I did at the beginning. I really liked the coven Molly ended up in, too. They were more like a family, I think.

Holly: I actually thought the coven dynamics were really well done. They were a coven, they worked together, shared power, shared secrets, but really didn’t like each other much. I can’t wait to learn more about them.

Rowena: I also liked the way that the coven worked. They all had their strengths and their jobs and they did what was needed to move their agenda forward. They worked well together and that was a nice touch.

Casee: I give this book a 4 out of 5. What about you two?

Rowena: I thought the whole book was pretty interesting and I really came to care for all of the characters so I give this 4 out of 5 stars too.

Holly: I’m giving it 4 out of 5 as well.

Final Grades

Casee: 4 out of 5
Holly: 4 out of 5
Rowena: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: The Trouble with Vampires by Lynsay Sands

Posted May 21, 2019 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Trouble with Vampires by Lynsay SandsReviewer: Tracy
The Trouble With Vampires by Lynsay Sands
Series: Argeneau #29
Also in this series: Immortal Ever After (Argeneau #18), Runaway Vampire, Immortal Nights, Immortal Unchained, Twice Bitten
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: April 23, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Point-of-View: Third
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 380
Add It: Goodreads
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three-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

For close to three thousand years the imposing, impossibly handsome Santo Notte has fought in armies across the world and battled his own, more personal enemies. Of all the places he might expect to encounter his life mate, a quiet corner of upstate New York doesn’t seem likely. But as soon as he makes contact with history professor Petronella Stone, while hunting down a suspected rogue immortal, he knows that she will be the greatest adventure of his eternal life.

He expects her to be surprised, confused, even overwhelmed. What he doesn’t expect is that Pet has a secret history of her own. There’s no mistaking the mind-blowing, mutual pleasure they share. But as Pet struggles to protect her nephew from a danger lurking too close to home, Santo realizes there’s another threat to her safety—him. And claiming their passionate future will be impossible until he leaves his past behind, forever…

Petronella is babysitting her nephew when someone tries to break into her sister’s house.  She is saved by the guests staying at the house next door, but she recognizes them as immortals and doesn’t trust them at all.  What she really doesn’t expect is that the immortal named Santo would really be someone she fell in love with.

The immortals are at the house next door because they have followed a rogue vampire to a house on that street. When Santo can’t “read” Pet he’s shocked that he’s finally found his life-mate.  He’s even more shocked when he finds out that she knows about immortals.  Unfortunately the only experience she’s had with immortals is bad.  It takes some time to convince Pet that not all immortals are evil like the ones she experienced and that he can protect her and his nephew from the rogue.  What he can’t do is woo her properly because he has no experience.  He may fumble his way through but Santo finally wins the girl.

This was a cute story in the Argeneau series.  I liked the fact that Pet knew about immortals – even though she didn’t have all the facts.  Some things needed to be explained to her but for the most part she was in the know.  This was something different in the series and I liked that.  Santo and Pet were cute together.  I liked how protective they both were of her young nephew.

What I didn’t care for in this book, and what shocked me, was how dark a part of it was.  I’ve never read a Sands book that has dark undertones, and I truly don’t want to again.  It not only described the horrible way in which Pet’s sister & mother died, which was absolutely horrible, but then it went onto Santo and how his entire family was murdered.  OMG, both stories were horrific, but getting both in one book? No, thank you.  I read Sands because I know I’m going to get light romance – that was not this book and I didn’t care for it.

Except for those two parts of the book the rest was pretty light and I liked it.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Argeneau

three-stars


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Guest Review: Highland Crown by May McGoldrick

Posted May 20, 2019 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Highland Crown by May McGoldrickReviewer: Tracy
Highland Crown by May McGoldrick
Series: Royal Highlander #1
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: April 30, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Third person
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 312
Add It: Goodreads
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Inverness, 1820Perched on the North Sea, this port town―by turns legendary and mythological―is a place where Highland rebels and English authorities clash in a mortal struggle for survival and dominance. Among the fray is a lovely young widow who possesses rare and special gifts.

WANTED: Isabella DrummondA true beauty and trained physician, Isabella has inspired longing and mystery―and fury―in a great many men. Hunted by both the British government and Scottish rebels, she came to the Highlands in search of survival. But a dying ship’s captain will steer her fate into even stormier waters. . .and her heart into flames.

FOUND: Cinaed MackintoshCast from his home as a child, Cinaed is a fierce soul whose allegiance is only to himself. . .until Isabella saved his life―and added more risk to her own. Now, the only way Cinaed can keep her safe to seek refuge at Dalmigavie Castle, the Mackintosh family seat. But when the scandalous truth of his past comes out, any chance of Cinaed having a bright future with Isabella is thrown into complete darkness. What will these two ill-fated lovers have to sacrifice to be together…for eternity?

Isabella Drummond is a surgeon, married to a doctor.  They had lived in Edinburgh for six years and had a stable if unexciting life.  Her husband, Archibald, was a reformer, however and when it came down to a day of strikes, he was killed and Isabella ran for her life with her sister and her step-daughter.  She was now being pursued by soldiers who think that she was part of her husband’s radical dealings, and the people in charge of the group of reformers were after her as well so she won’t tell the authorities any information.

When the book opens Isabella is in northern Scotland at a small cottage with a woman who is none too happy for her to be there.  Isabella was helped by her friend Sir Walter Scott who then implored his solicitor to help.  The woman was the solicitor’s aunt.  Isabella’s sister and step-daughter had gone with the solicitor to book passage on a ship to America.  The small town on the shore where she is staying is a rough one.  The villagers gather any items from ships that wreck on the rocks and shoot any survivors so they can’t argue about it.  Nice.  This happens when Isabella is there and she ends up saving one of the men who is the captain of a ship.  When a villager finds out about the man and Isabella they end out having to leave the cottage and take the aunt with them.

They end up fighting for their lives while staying with a relative of the man they saved, Captain Cinaed Mackintosh, but in order to do so they have to act like man and wife.  After just a short period of time together they fall in love but Isabella is unwilling to bring Cinaed into her troubles even though he’s already knee-deep in them.  The pair have to save themselves as well as Cinaed’s relative and decide if they want to leave for America or stay and fight for their country.

This was a good story that I enjoyed.  I’m not normally a fan of country politics in my romances but I have to say this one was well done.  I did think that the H/h fell in love way too fast for me, but I considered the year and went with it. Lol

I loved the fact that Isabella was a doctor/surgeon.  Everyone looked at her funny when she helped others, but she was so good at what she did. I loved that McGoldrick made her a doctor, rather than just a wife who was running for her life.

Because of the politics I’m not sure I’ll read further in the series. That said, I recommend this book to anyone who likes a good Scottish historical romance with some political intrigue.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Review: Passion on Park Avenue by Lauren Layne

Posted May 16, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: Passion on Park Avenue by Lauren LayneReviewer: Rowena
Passion on Park Avenue by Lauren Layne
Series: Central Park Pact #1
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Gallery Books
Publication Date: May 28, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 288
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

From the author of the New York Times bestselling Stiletto and Oxford series, the first in a sizzling new series following the unlikely friendship of three Upper East Side women as they struggle to achieve their dreams and find true love and happiness in the city that never sleeps.

For as long as she can remember, Bronx-born Naomi Powell has had one goal: to prove her worth among the Upper East Side elite—the same people for which her mom worked as a housekeeper. Now, as the strongminded, sassy CEO of one of the biggest jewelry empires in the country, Naomi finally has exactly what she wants—but it’s going to take more than just the right address to make Manhattan’s upper class stop treating her like an outsider.

The worst offender is her new neighbor, Oliver Cunningham—the grown son of the very family Naomi’s mother used to work for. Oliver used to torment Naomi when they were children, and as a ridiculously attractive adult, he’s tormenting her in entirely different ways. Now they find themselves engaged in a battle-of-wills that will either consume or destroy them…

Filled with charm and heart and plenty of sex and snark, this entertaining series will hook you from the very first page.

Passion on Park Avenue is the first book in Lauren Layne’s new Central Park Pact series and it kicks off a series of three women who became friends on the day of their boyfriend’s funeral. Yeah, all three had the same boyfriend but they didn’t know that they were sharing. It’s a weird premise but I think Layne did a great job of making it work. Each woman is different in personality and even in looks but it doesn’t take a genius to know why Brayden (the dead ex) was attracted to all of them. They’re all gorgeous and they’re all successful in their own way. I enjoyed getting to know each of them in this book. I also look forward to getting to know them some more in the other books.

In Passion on Park Avenue we get Naomi Powell’s story. She grew up around rich people but her mother was the housekeeper of a rich family and Naomi holds a lot of resentment for the family that her mother worked for. They were thrown out without a reference and Naomi’s Mom never really picked herself up so there was a lot of struggle for Naomi growing up. Naomi worked hard as hell to get to where she is these days. Gone are the days of struggling for Naomi. She’s smart, strong, and driven and that is what it took to get her accessories business, Maxcessories, off the ground. Naomi is the proud business owner of one of the biggest accessories business and her life is going great until she receives a phone call about an apartment opening she applied for…in that building. The building that her mother used to work in. The same building that Naomi and her mother were thrown out of. The building that that family lives in, a family that Naomi has no interest in seeing ever again until curiosity gets the best of her.

Naomi is surprised by how mad she still is at Oliver Cunningham for not telling the truth the day that her and her mother were kicked out of the building. She understands that they were kids but the resentment is strong and she is having trouble letting it all go. When she moves into the building, she does it thinking that she is going to get the closure she needs so that she can finally move on from it all but moving in, means living so close to Oliver, who doesn’t know who she is and getting closer to the man he grew up to be…and she really likes that guy. To make things even worse, she winds up helping Oliver with his father and she hates him even more than she thought she hated Oliver. The game was changed on Naomi and she spends most of the book trying to grow and move on from the past and that would have been fine and dandy if it didn’t take her so long to come clean about who she really was with Oliver.

Naomi does a lot of growing in this book and I enjoyed seeing her really come into her own without the baggage from a past that should have been left in the past. Seeing her deal with all of her emotional hangups made for a great reading adventure. There aren’t any love scenes in this book and I was okay with that. There is still plenty of romance between her and Oliver and Lauren Layne still delivered a fabulous story that I enjoyed. My hangups were mostly with how long it took Naomi to come clean but other than that? This was a fantastic contemporary romance with a cast of characters that I’m looking forward to get to know in the other books. I’m hoping that we’ll get a best friends to lovers story for Audrey and Clark. Fingers crossed.

Final Grade

4 out of 5

Central Park Pact

four-stars


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Guest Review: Every Last Breath by Juno Rushdan

Posted May 15, 2019 by Jen in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Every Last Breath by Juno RushdanReviewer: Jen
Every Last Breath by Juno Rushdan
Series: Final Hour #1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: April 30, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 418
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

48 hours2 covert operatives1 chance to get it right

Maddox Kinkade is an expert at managing the impossible. Tasked with neutralizing a lethal bioweapon, she turns to the one person capable of helping her stop the threat of pandemic in time: the love of her life, back from the dead and mad as hell at her supposed betrayal. Recruiting Cole to save millions of lives may be harder than resisting the attraction still burning between them, but Maddox will do whatever it takes...even if it destroys her.

When Maddox crashes back into Cole Matthews' life, he wants to fight back. He wants to hate her. But the crisis is too strong to ignore, and soon the two former lovers find themselves working side-by-side in a breakneck race to stop a world-class killer with a secret that could end everything.

It’s a secret agent book! I am always down for a good spy thriller, and this book didn’t disappoint.

Maddox Kinkade is an elite operative with a covert government organization trying to stop a bioterrorist attack. The problem is, the person they need help from is none other than the fiance she thought dead. For his part, Cole Matthews let Maddox think he was dead because she betrayed him. He doesn’t particularly care about helping the US government, but he doesn’t want to look the other way as people are murdered. Plus, he finds he’d still do anything for Maddox. They have to move beyond their past together and go all in to find and stop the terrorist threat.

Maddox is my favorite kind of heroine–she’s prickly, smart, and so very capable. She can fight with the best of them, and I adored seeing Cole slowly realize he didn’t need to protect his little woman. Cole was even pricklier, however. He feels so betrayed and hurt by Maddox, and it makes him snippy and mean at first. To be honest, the whole betrayal was a bit vague in my mind–it had something to do with Maddox telling her CIA father information about Cole’s Russian organized crime family. However, to me it seemed more like the real issue was that her family was in law enforcement while his were in crime! “Betrayal” or not, it didn’t seem realistic that they could have worked out when they were so young. They both needed to grow up and get the perspective of a little time and space.

The terrorist plot was great. You know who they’re chasing, and you get lots of scenes from his perspective. I love the cat-and-mouse story, where the killer seems to always be one step ahead. I also love a good “traitor in our midst” plot, and this book had that as well. In short, the plot ticked my buttons!

As with most action romances, there were some things that didn’t quite make sense. I didn’t know why the agency let Cole in on the operation. I get that they don’t have to follow the “regular rules” of law enforcement, but no way would they let a civilian (and one connected to organized crime no less) in on a case like this. Plus Cole’s family and their crime connection was not well explored. His dad was supposedly trying to go legit, but his brother is not, and what exactly did Cole have to do with anything? There’s also a little bit of melodrama in Maddox’s past. (Small SPOILER ALERT for a content warning: there’s talk of miscarriage in the book.) But listen, I don’t read action romance for the accuracy or relatability. None of this bothered me enough to diminish my enjoyment of the book!

This was an excellent story from a new author, and I cannot WAIT to read more.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Final Hour

four-stars


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