Format: eBook

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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Sunday Spotlight: Passion on Park Avenue by Lauren Layne

Posted May 19, 2019 by Rowena in Features, Giveaways | 5 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Lauren Layne has been at the top of my Best of lists in the last few years and she keeps coming back with these heaters. I’m really loving everything that she’s putting out lately and I’m super excited to jump right into this one. Passion on Park Avenue is the first in a new romantic comedy series and this series is being promoted as more chick-lit than romance but I’m not mad about that. I will read anything this woman puts out.

Sunday Spotlight: Passion on Park Avenue by Lauren LaynePassion on Park Avenue by Lauren Layne
Series: The Central Park Pact #1
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: May 28, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 288
Add It: Goodreads
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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.

Early reviews of this book are pretty decent so I’m stupid excited for its release. This is something fresh and new for Lauren Layne and I’m stoked to see what she does in the chick-lit but still romance genre. Check out an excerpt from this week’s Sunday Spotlight feature.

Excerpt

Oliver’s jaw clenched. He did not lose his temper often, but this woman was seriously pushing his buttons.

“Alright, I give up, Ms. Powell. What’s your deal?”

“My deal?”

“You’ve been eying my jugular since I walked in the door.”

He waited for her to deny it. Instead, she inspected her manicure. A deep navy, he noted, and not the demure pale pink or classic red he was used to seeing. And yet everything else, the expensive-looking dress, the brand-name handbag, the sleek hairstyle was expected, just like every other woman he knew.

But there was something else there—something more interesting that he couldn’t put his finger on. Almost like she was a blend of self-confidence and vulnerability all wound into one feisty, compelling package.

She was a contradiction.

Maybe Oliver didn’t need to start that jigsaw puzzle tonight after all. He had a hell of a puzzle right in front of him.

“You do realize that I’m the gate keeper to the next round,” he prodded again.

She craned her neck, pretending to look at his hands. “Oh, is there a ring I was supposed to kiss? I’m new to this whole process. Should I bow?”

There it was again. The flash of familiarity. Who was this woman?

“Have we met?” he asked, tossing the folder on the desk as he studied her.

She looked away, and Oliver’s eyes narrowed. “We have. How do I know you?”

Naomi looked back, her eyes guarded. “You don’t.”

“You sure?”

Instead of replying, she rewarded him with her first genuine smile. And damn, what a smile it was. Seductive and lethal all at the same time.

He was still reeling from its impact when she startled him by standing.

“We’re not done,” he said, then hid a wince at how pompous he sounded. How much like his father he sounded.

“Oh, I think we are,” she murmured. “I think we both know exactly what you’re going to write on my application the second I leave.”

“Yeah, we do,” he snapped, standing up too. “Left interview early.”

She glared up at him, and Oliver was a little surprised to realize that they were both breathing hard.

Naomi Powell wasn’t particularly short, but at six feet, he had the physical advantage. For the first time since he’d hit his growth spurt in high school, he relished his height. This perplexing woman got under his skin like nobody had in a long time, and he needed every defense he could get.

Just as he was gearing up for her retort—anticipating it—she turned away.

Oliver called after her. “You understand that I’m not going to recommend you for the next round of interviews, right?”

“No problem, Mr. Cunningham. And look on the bright side. With me gone, there’ll be more room for your emperor complex up in here. I’ll send your secretary in. You’re looking a bit overdue for your daily hand-feeding of grapes.”

Naomi Powell sailed out the office door without so much as a backward glance.

Oliver stood staring at the doorway, feeling somewhere between dumbfounded and off-balance. And most annoyingly of all …

Intrigued.

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: May 2019

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About Lauren Layne

Lauren Layne is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of more than two dozen romantic comedies. Her books have sold over a million copies, in nine languages. Lauren's work has been featured in Publishers Weekly, Glamour, The Wall Street Journal, and Inside Edition. She is based in New York City.


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Review: Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs

Posted May 17, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Frost Burned by Patricia BriggsReviewer: Rowena
Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson #7
Also in this series: Frost Burned , Night Broken, Shifting Shadows, Blood Bound, Fire Touched, Silence Fallen , Moon Called, Blood Bound , Iron Kissed, Bone Crossed , River Marked
Publisher: Penguin, Ace
Publication Date: March 5, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 342
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Patricia Briggs's novel River Marked was praised as "an urban fantasy where our everyday world is believably twisted into the world of fey, werewolves, vampires, and myths made real." Now Mercy Thompson faces a shapeshifter's biggest fear as the realm she has embraced is thrown into chaos...

Mercy Thompson's life has undergone a seismic change. Becoming the mate of Adam Hauptman - the charismatic Alpha of the local werewolf pack - has made her a stepmother to his daughter Jesse, a relationship that brings moments of blissful normalcy to Mercy's life. But on the edges of humanity, a minor mishap on an ordinary day can turn into so much more...

After an accident in bumper-to-bumper traffic, Mercy and Jesse can't reach Adam - or anyone else in the pack for that matter. They've all been abducted.

Through their mating bond, all Mercy knows is that Adam is angry and in pain. But she fears Adam's disappearance may be related to the political battle the werewolves have been fighting to gain acceptance from the public - and that he and the pack are in serious danger. Outmatched and on her own, Mercy may be forced to seek assistance from any ally she can get, no matter how unlikely.

Frost Burned is the seventh book in the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs and it was another captivating story about the crazy shit that happens on the daily in Mercy Thompson’s life.

This book jumps off right at the beginning. Mercy is out shopping with her step-daughter Jesse when they get into a car accident. The accident delays them and that probably saved their lives because Mercy can feel that something isn’t right at home (through the pack bonds), before they can go home and find out what’s going on, they’re intercepted at Mercy’s shop by Ben and Gabriel, Ben is pack and Gabriel is Jesse’s friend who lives at Mercy’s old place. Adam and the rest of the pack were taken by some mysterious bad guy and Mercy scrambles to find out what happened, who is behind this and protect those that weren’t abducted but are still pack in her eyes.

I’m really enjoying how this series has made me love the heck out of every single character. Even when I’m super angry at someone in the pack for the way that they view and treat Mercy, they’re pack so when the chips are down, I’d still have their back and I think Briggs does a great job of making everyone family because it’s the same way with Mercy. Mercy’s pack goes far beyond just Adam’s pack. She’s got vampires, humans, and fae in her pack on top of all the werewolves and they’d do anything for her the same way that she’d do anything for them. I dig that so much.

This is also the book where we finally get Adam’s POV and I was so here for that. I also really like seeing how far Adam and Mercy have come from the first book. Their relationship is a huge part of why I enjoy this series so much. I adore both of them on their own but together? Together, they’re magic to me. Mercy didn’t completely overhaul her personality to be with Adam and it’s the same with Adam. I love that they have accepted each other as they are and they’re working to figure out how to be together with all of the shenanigans that are thrown their way.

This was another great story in Mercy’s world and though it wasn’t my favorite of the bunch that I’ve read so far, it was still solid storytelling on Briggs part and I’m pretty excited for the rest of the books. I definitely recommend.

Final Grade

4 out of 5

Mercy Thompson

four-stars


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Review: Mystery Man by Kristen Ashley

Posted May 9, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Mystery Man by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Casee
Mystery Man by Kristen Ashley
Series: Dream Man #1
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: August 27, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 528
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Night time is the right time...

Gwendolyn Kidd has met the man of her dreams. He's hot, he's sexy, and what started as a no-names-exchanged night of passion has blossomed into a year and a half-long pleasure fest. Sure, it's a little strange that he only appears in her bed at night, but Gwen is so sure he's the one, she just can't turn him away.

Hawk Delgado knows more about Gwen than she could ever imagine. She's gorgeous, headstrong, and skittish about relationships. But Hawk is facing his own demons, demons that keep him from connecting with anyone. Yet when Gwen is drawn into Denver's lethal underground scene, Hawk's protective nature comes out full force. The problem is, when Gwen gets a dose of Hawk's Alpha attitude in the daylight, she's not so sure he's the one anymore.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this book. On one hand, I knew Hawke was a right bastard after reading Own the Wind and Ride Steady. OTOH, Holly warned me this book would be hard to take because Hawke wasn’t just a bastard. He was a downright ass. Holly was right. Hawke was pretty hard to stomach. He went beyond alpha into alpha asshole. He didn’t basically tell Gwen what to do and expect her to do it. He did exactly that.

Moving onto Gwen. Are you fucking kidding me? Who on God’s green earth would take a stranger home and let him keep coming back without even asking his name? For a year and a half. Hawke threw that in her face a number of times. It wasn’t very sensitive, but very apropos. Gwen was a fucking moron. Which begged the question…why did every man in her radius want her? Not just get into her pants. No, they actually wanted Gwen herself. I really think she called to the protective instinct that men have in them because honestly, if Gwen kept living on her own? She would nothing more than a dead body.

I have to admit, when I first finished the book, I really liked Gwen. Then Holly and I started discussing and I started questioning everything I thought. Which was, frankly, annoying as hell. I already knew what I knew and thought what I thought. Even if my feelings might have aligned with hers a little bit here and there as I was reading, I didn’t completely feel that way when I finished the book. Like I said…annoying. The saying “The truth hurts” really applies here.

The book is so cliché. Hawke didn’t intend to fall for Gwen like he did. He was only obsessed with her and her safety. Then shit hit the fan with Gwen’s sister Ginger (enter the awful KA mystery plot) and Hawke had to step in to protect Gwen. Seeing her outside the bedroom at night made Hawke want Gwen more, of course. When he realizes how much she is starting to mean to him, he doesn’t want that so he pushes her way. Like I said…cliché. And predictable.

Why did I still like this book? Because of Hawke. And Tack. And Mitch. And Gwen’s dad. And her stepmom Meredith. And how Gwen treated Meredith. All those things above really bugged the crap out of me, but as I was reading the book, I really loved it all. It just works. I can sum up why in two words: Kristen Ashley. That is really a thing.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Dream Man

four-stars


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Review: At the Pleasure of the President by Shayla Black and Lexi Blake

Posted May 7, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: At the Pleasure of the President by Shayla Black and Lexi BlakeReviewer: Casee
At the Pleasure of the President by Shayla Black, Lexi Blake
Series: The Perfect Gentlemen #5
Also in this series: Scandal Never Sleeps (The Perfect Gentlemen, #1), Seduction in Session (The Perfect Gentlemen, #2), Big Easy Temptation (The Perfect Gentlemen, #3), Smoke and Sin (The Perfect Gentlemen, #4)
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: April 9, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 474
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

The thrilling conclusion of the twisting, page-turning Perfect Gentlemen series!

When a dangerous conspiracy threatens to tear them apart, he’ll have to choose between his country and the woman he loves…

Decades ago, ambitious Zack Hayes set his sights on the White House. He’s worked his whole life to become the leader of the free world—attending the right schools, marrying the perfect bride—all to aid his campaign. He didn’t realize someone behind the scenes has been pulling the strings to manipulate Zack and the country he loves into a dangerous position—one he will risk his life to wrench free from. The one thing he can’t risk is Elizabeth Matthews.

From the moment she met Zack Hayes, Liz felt the connection. Serving as his campaign manager and then his press secretary, she accepted that her love for him would remain unrequited. Still, she’d thought they were friends, so when he pushed her aside, she felt the stab in her heart. And when she realizes he’s done it to protect her, nothing will stop Liz from standing by his side—not even the men who would use her as a weapon against him.

As shocking secrets are revealed, Zack and Liz find succor and passion in each other’s arms. When the ultimate villain shows his face, Zack may have to choose between his country and the woman he loves…

This is the conclusion to The Perfect Gentlemen series. And holy hell, View Spoiler » Honestly, this isn’t really a spoiler because even I figured it out. If I knew it, anyone reading this book knew it two books before. No joke.

Zack Hayes has been groomed from birth to be the President of the United States. One of my favorite passages of this series was from the prologue of Scandal Never Sleeps, which is book one of the series. The Perfect Gentlemen had been called to the counselor’s office at their boarding school. Zack threatened him when it because clear that the man was out to get the five of them. He was still a teenager at the time.

“You don’t have that kind of power,” Ogilvie blustered.

“You think I don’t? My father was the ambassador to Russia for years. He’s been close friends with the last three presidents, including the current commander-in-chief. My father wants one thing and one thing only from me. Everyone who’s met him knows that he gets what he wants. My future is mapped out. If I do the right things—get the grades, remain class president, go to the appropriate college—then I accomplish everything I should. If you derail me from this path, I’ll get my ass kicked in ways that would make your head spin. But it will end even worse for you. I recently got my SATs back. I had a perfect score. I’m getting into Yale, and Skull and Bones will be waiting for me senior year because they know what my father’s friends have already figured out: I will be the president of the United States one day. Now, you can be my friend or my enemy. You decide.”

Yep, Zack was badass from the beginning.

Moving on, Zack did become president, but how it happened was beyond sad. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t a great one. Through the last four books a conspiracy has been unraveling that makes it apparent to Zack that he might have to step down. Although it was his father that wanted him to be President of the United States, it is Zack that has made the office and policies his own. Zack will not allow himself to be blackmailed or let the integrity of the office be brought into question.

Elizabeth Matthews is the Press Secretary. She is a ball buster where and when she needs to be. She’s also a good friend to Zack. They know where they stand with each other. They’re in love, but unable to do anything about it. Elizabeth is not on the inside of Zack’s circle. Although it hurts, she knows that he doesn’t completely trust her. She thought she could live with that until she couldn’t.

Zack thinks Elizabeth is a Russian spy, which is understandable. What’s not understandable is how Zack doesn’t see who the real spy is. Come on, Zack. You’re supposed to be the smartest person in the country, if not the world and you can’t figure it out? When there is an assassination attempt on Zack, it is obvious Elizabeth is the spy they all thought her to be (seriously?). Or is it?

Roman Calder drove me bonkers in this book. I know it was his responsibility to protect Zack, but I wanted to brain him. He just went completely overboard.

Still, I was so happy with this book because I loved Zack throughout this entire series and I really loved Elizabeth. She was perfect for Zack because she knew exactly what sort of pressure he was under so she didn’t except things from him that she knew he couldn’t give. She knew that being the President of the United States came before all things.

This was a perfect conclusion to this series.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The Perfect Gentlemen

four-half-stars


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