Publisher: Berkley

Throwback Thursday Guest Review: Archangel’s Kiss by Nalini Singh

Posted February 27, 2020 by Tracy in Reviews | 9 Comments

Throwback Thursday Guest Review: Archangel’s Kiss by Nalini SinghReviewer: Tracy
Archangel's Kiss by Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #2
Also in this series: Archangel's Kiss, Archangel's Consort, Archangel's Blade, Archangel's Consort, Archangel's Storm, Archangel's Storm (Guild Hunter #5), Archangel's Legion, Archangel's Legion (Guild Hunter #6), Archangel's Shadows, Archangel's Shadows, Archangel's Enigma (Guild Hunter, #8), Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter #1), Archangel's Heart, Archangel's Heart, Archangel's Heart (Guild Hunter, #9), Archangel's Kiss, Angels' Blood, Archangel's Viper (Guild Hunter, #10), Archangel's Viper, Archangel's Prophecy, Archangel's Consort (Guild Hunter, #3), Archangel's Prophecy, Archangel's War, Archangel's War
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: February 2, 2010
Format: eARC
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux wakes from a year-long coma to find herself changed—an angel with wings the colors of midnight and dawn—but her fragile body needs time to heal before she can take flight. Her lover, the stunningly dangerous archangel Raphael, is used to being in control—even when it comes to the woman he considers his own. But Elena has never done well with authority…

They’ve barely begun to understand each other when Raphael receives an invitation to a ball from the archangel Lijuan. To refuse would be a sign of fatal weakness, so Raphael must ready Elena for the flight to Beijing—and to the nightmare that awaits them there. Ancient and without conscience, Lijuan holds a power that lies with the dead. And she has organized the most perfect and most vicious of welcomes for Elena…

*** Every Thursday, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books. Enjoy! ***

This review was originally posted on February 12, 2010.

Yes, Elena has woken up after a year-long coma and she is an angel. She is also weaker than the smallest angel child and cannot fly. This is Elena though and if you read the first book you know that that’s not going to bring this woman down. She will do whatever it takes to get up to full speed, especially after receiving the invitation from Archangel Lijuan. Along with getting physically strengthened Elena is also taking classes and learning about angel history. She befriends a boy, Sam, who looks to be about 4 years old but she is sure is much older.

Raphael is by Elena’s side – there to help and protect her in her weakened state. He enlists his vamps. who pretty much don’t like Elena at all, to get her conditioning in place and increase her strength. While Raphael wants Elena strong, he also wants everyone (other archangels, etc.) to believe she’s weak so that they as a couple will be stronger against others.When evil messages start showing up in the form of beaten vampires with Guild Hunter knives shoved in them Elena and Raphael go on the hunt to find out who is sending the awful messages. When Sam is kidnapped they ramp up their investigations in order to find out who’s sending the threat to Elena.

I really liked this book. While Elena was weak and having nightmares and reliving memories that she’d rather leave buried she was still an incredibly strong character. She just didn’t let anyone get away with crap and I admired that about her. Raphael was incredible. I need to get me some Archangel! lol He loves Elena with everything in him and while others think that makes him weak it really makes him a stronger person.

Of course Nalini’s Guild Hunter/Angel/Vampire world is incredible. The descriptions of the Refuge where Elena was recovering and the Forbidden city where Lijuan lived were just beautiful and at times I felt I could reach out and touch whatever she was describing at the time.

While this is not a fast-paced story it did have moments of combat and intense emotion which were all the more incredible because of their rarity. I would have to recommend that you read book 1 in the Guild Hunter series, Angels’ Blood before you read Archangel’s Kiss as I think you would be lost in AK without doing so.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Guild Hunter Series

four-half-stars


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Review: You Were There Too by Colleen Oakley

Posted January 30, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: You Were There Too by Colleen OakleyReviewer: Casee
You Were There Too by Colleen Oakley
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: January 7, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 320
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two-half-stars

Acclaimed author Colleen Oakley delivers a heart-wrenching and unforgettable love story about a woman who must choose between the man she loves and the man fate has chosen for her in a novel that reminds us that the best life is one led by the heart.

Mia Graydon's life looks picket-fence perfect; she has the house, her loving husband, and dreams of starting a family. But she has other dreams too — unexplained, recurring ones starring the same man. Still, she doesn’t think much of them, until a relocation to small-town Pennsylvania brings her face to face with the stranger she has been dreaming about for years. And this man harbors a jaw-dropping secret of his own—he's been dreaming of her too.

Determined to understand, Mia and this not-so-stranger search for answers. But when diving into their pasts begins to unravel her life in the present, Mia emerges with a single question—what if?

Wow. This book. This book was not for me. At all. It is marketed as a romance, but it was far from romantic. I was really annoyed by the time I finished this book.

Mia Graydon is happy with her life, or so it seems. She has an amazing husband, she just moved to a quaint new town, and she gets to paint whenever she wants. There is nothing Mia wants more than to have a baby. It’s devastating to her that she keeps miscarrying. It’s something that she doesn’t understand and she blames herself for. It eventually affects her living her best life and her relationship with her husband.

Mia loves her husband, Harrison, dearly, but she has a secret. Since she was in college, she’s been dreaming of a man. She doesn’t know why and doesn’t think it’s relevant enough to tell her husband. Especially considering that some of the dreams are rated R. Mia has written it off as being a little crazy and gives it no further thought. Until she runs into a man that looks exactly like the man in her dreams. When she learns that he has been dreaming about her, Mia knows she has to find out what’s happening.

Oliver hasn’t been dreaming about Mia long, but she dies in every dream he has. Together then visit experts on dreams and try to figure out what is happening to them. Mia is so involved in figuring things out that she doesn’t notice her marriage to Harrison imploding. Harrison has been beyond amazing about Mia and Oliver, but he has problems of his own. Problems that affect him deeply.

I didn’t like Mia. She was self-absorbed. The author tried to write it off as a woman that was caught up in what she lost (her babies) and trying to find her way. The fact was that she has always been selfish. She’s always let Harrison take care of her and never returned the favor. The status quo worked for awhile until Mia finally (finally!) realized what a selfish bitch she was being.

I hated, hated the ending. There was no HEA and I don’t think she plans on another book. If she does, I won’t be reading it.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

two-half-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: Vendetta Road by Christine Feehan (+ Exclusive Excerpt)

Posted January 26, 2020 by Casee in Features, Giveaways | 3 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. 🙂

I’m pretty much a diehard Christine Feehan fan. I’m up to date on all the books in all her series. Torpedo Ink is a shoot-off of the Sea Haven series. It takes place in Caspar, which is a short jaunt down the road from Sea Haven. Torpedo Ink is an MC that is family on every level. After hellish childhoods, the members have bound together to protect themselves and each other. It’s really a wonderful camaraderie even though the reason for it is pretty heartbreaking. If you enjoy Kristen Ashley’s Chaos series, you will most likely enjoy this series. It’s not necessary to begin with the Sea Haven series to read Torpedo Ink.

Sunday Spotlight: Vendetta Road by Christine Feehan (+ Exclusive Excerpt)Vendetta Road by Christine Feehan
Series: Torpedo Ink #3
Also in this series: Judgment Road (Torpedo Ink #1), Judgment Road, Vengeance Road (Torpedo Ink #2), Vendetta Road
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: January 28, 2020
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 464
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Series Rating: four-stars

#1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan pushes the limits in her next novel in the Torpedo Ink series.
Isaak “Ice” Koval is on a club mission when he sees a woman who stops him dead in his tracks. Soleil is a sweet, sexy, girl-next-door type. She’s an innocent who should be nowhere near the rough-and-ready world of the Torpedo Ink motorcycle club. But Ice knows Soleil belongs with him—and he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her.
After a life of drifting from one thing to the next, Soleil Brodeur is determined to take control of her life. When her breakup with her manipulative fiancé turns ugly, Soleil searches out the stranger who offered her a lifeline and ends up in a Las Vegas biker bar where she meets a gorgeous, dangerous man straight out of her most secret fantasies.
High on adrenaline, she finds herself falling faster than she thought possible. But Soleil knows little about the territory she’s stumbled into, and even less about what it really means to be Ice’s woman.…

Excerpt

Ice gave Soleil his reassuring smile. He was a good-looking man and he knew it. Women threw themselves at him. He’d never gone without female attention. “No worries, princess. I told you I’d look after you. In any case, we’re going to dance, and you’ll work it off.”

“We are?”

“You said you liked to dance. Or at least you were swaying to the music, and it seems like a good idea.”

He led her toward the door but paused just inside the game room. “What is the one thing you want most in the world?” He leaned against the wall, pulling her close, so the two of them were cocooned in their own little world.

Just before she answered, Transporter jostled her back, nearly pushing her into Ice. He immediately swung her to the wall and positioned himself in front of her protectively. He placed one hand close to her head and leaned close.

Soleil’s eyes went wide and shone at him. “Thank you, Ice.” Her voice was breathless. She was looking at him like he was a knight in shining armor. She didn’t see the killer everyone else saw. She didn’t see his black soul or his need for the kind of dirty, kinky sex nice girls would run screaming from.

He had to be careful not to fall under her spell. She was sweet. He’d never had sweet in his life. “Tell me the one thing you really want out of life.”

“A family.” She regarded him over the rim of her glass. “I’ve never had a family.”

“You had parents.”

“They died when I was very young, and I spent most of my life in boarding schools or hotels for holidays.” She smiled, but there was sadness in her eyes. Reality. Truth. “I think I’m really that proverbial poor little rich girl.”

So, she had money. He suspected as much, or she wouldn’t have been insisting on a prenup with that suit bastard who was going to die. He deliberately took a sip of his whiskey and she followed the action, but she didn’t really take that much of a drink.

“My club is my family,” Ice said softly and leaned in closer when Maestro stepped back and bumped him. His face was almost in her shoulder, his lips sliding along her skin as he spoke. She had the softest skin and she smelled liked heaven.

He kept his voice deliberately pitched low, intimate. “My brother and sister are my family. Never had parents that I really remember. Czar, our president, was my parent when he was ten. Looking for a woman who wants to make a life with me. Have my children. Make us a home. I’d die for my club, but I want my own woman, one worthy of living for.”
There was so much there to intrigue a woman, especially a woman who craved and needed a family and protection. He felt the shiver run through her body at the touch of his lips on her bare skin. “Been lookin’ a long time for the right woman. Not too many women want a home and family anymore.” She was compassionate. She hadn’t wanted to leave, but she wanted Alena safe.

Her eyes widened. “Ice, that’s not true.”

He shrugged his shoulders and inched forward, just enough to press his chest against her tits. They were soft. Full. He ached to pull the front of her dress down and expose those beauties, so he could feast on them. She moved her body and her breasts moved seductively against his chest. His entire body shuddered in reaction. Hell. He was never going to pull this off if he couldn’t control himself.

“It’s true for me, princess. I talk rough. I am rough. I don’t know how to talk right to a woman.” He ran one finger down her cheek to her chin and then pretended to take another sip of his whiskey. “Torpedo Ink has a code. Once in, once you give your word, you’re held to that. Scares the crap out of women. They think all sorts of things.”

She pushed at the bottom of his glass and he had no choice but to drink it.

She smiled and put her glass to her lips and took a healthy drink. Her face was flushed, and her tits were rising and falling with every breath she drew, nipples hard little peaks, pushing at the thin material of her dress, scraping across his chest. To Ice, they felt like flames, burning through his tight tee to brand his skin. It was all he could do not to strip her bare and take her right there against the wall. He kept reminding himself he was in this for the long haul. This was no game. This was for life.

Torpedo Ink

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: January 2020

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 Christine Feehan

I live on the beautiful Northern California coast and draw much inspiration from the beauty around me. I've always been a writer, for as long as I remember. My sisters were forced to read all of my books from the time I could write a story on paper.

I love family. I love my brothers and sisters, my children, my grandchildren and my great grandchildren. My home was always full of kids and children give me so much joy.

I also love my "sisters of the heart", those friends who have supported me through my life, laughed with me, cried with me and loved me regardless of how crazy my life got. I am a strong supporter of women helping each other which is why I became a third degree black belt and taught self-defense to women who'd been abused.

I love people and dogs, good books and great coffee and I'm lucky to know just how blessed I am.


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Review: An Inquiry into Love and Death by Simone St. James

Posted January 14, 2020 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: An Inquiry into Love and Death by Simone St. JamesReviewer: Holly
An Inquiry Into Love and Death by Simone St. James
Narrator: Rosalyn Landor
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: March 5, 2013
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Gothic, Mystery
Pages: 339
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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four-stars

After her ghost-hunting uncle Toby dies, Oxford student Jillian must drive to the seaside village of Rothewell to pack up his belongings. Almost immediately, terrifying events convince Jillian that an angry spirit is trying to enter the house. Is it Walking John, the two-hundred-year-old ghost that haunts the bay? And who besides the ghost is roaming the local woods at night? If Toby uncovered something sinister, was his death really an accident? The arrival of handsome Scotland Yard inspector Drew Merriken leaves Jillian with more questions than answers and the added complication of a powerful mutual attraction.

I’m slowly making my way through Simone St. James’ backlist. An Inquiry Into Love and Death follows Jillian as she travels to a small seaside town to deal with her uncle Toby’s belongings after he dies unexpectedly.

Uncle Toby and her parents had a falling out, and they’re out of the country, so Oxford student Jillian is the only one left to deal with his belongings. She travels to Rothewell, where Toby fell from a cliff. They were close when she was a child, but they hadn’t seen each other in years. When Jillian arrives, she learns the locals believe Toby’s fall was an accident, but Scotland Yard believes it may have been a murder. As she and Inspector Drew Merriken get close, it soon becomes obvious that something more is at play. Between the town ghost and the suspicious townsfolk, Jillian doesn’t know who to trust or what to believe.

I didn’t enjoy this story quite as much as the others I’ve read by St. James, but it was still a good read. The middle was rather slow, and I found myself getting impatient with how things were progressing, but the early parts of the book and the end were very well done.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh

Posted December 10, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini SinghReviewer: Rowena
A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: December 3, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Pages: 352
Add It: Goodreads
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three-half-stars

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh welcomes you to a remote town on the edge of the world where even the blinding brightness of the sun can’t mask the darkness that lies deep within a killer…

On the rugged West Coast of New Zealand, Golden Cove is more than just a town where people live. The adults are more than neighbors; the children, more than schoolmates.   That is until one fateful summer—and several vanished bodies—shatters the trust holding Golden Cove together. All that’s left are whispers behind closed doors, broken friendships, and a silent agreement not to look back. But they can’t run from the past forever.   Eight years later, a beautiful young woman disappears without a trace, and the residents of Golden Cove wonder if their home shelters something far more dangerous than an unforgiving landscape.   It’s not long before the dark past collides with the haunting present and deadly secrets come to light.

Nalini Singh has written a thriller novel and I didn’t think I’d be interested in that kind of thing since I read almost strictly romance but Nalini Singh is such a good writer that I couldn’t help myself. I had to check this one out and though there were parts that were a little slow for me, I still had a good time reading this one. Nalini Singh tells a story so well, that I could almost feel the coastal breeze on my face and see everything so clearly even though I’ve never been to New Zealand before.

Golden Cove, a coastal village on the west side of New Zealand was home to Anahera before she fled for London, swearing to never return. Eight years later, Anahera is back in Golden Cove to try to heal from the death of her husband and the ghosts that haunted her before, return when a girl she knew as a child, who is now a young woman disappears and the old hurts and scares of the past return with a vengeance. The residents of Golden Cove have always been more than neighbors. They’re a family in the small village and this time Anahera is older and she won’t just sit aside while bad things happen to her family. With the help of Will, the town’s only police presence, Anahera starts to investigate the disappearance of Miriama. The more the two of them dig into their investigation, the more shit starts popping up. You’d think that because this is a Nalini Singh book that there would be a romance between the out of town cop and the newly returned Anahera but this book wasn’t a romance. It wasn’t romantic suspense. It was a straight-up suspense novel and while I missed a central romantic plot, overall, I still enjoyed this one.

The beginning was really slow because we’re getting the set up of the story and it’s not a happy go lucky kind of story. There’s a history that is dark and it’s hard but the more that I kept reading, the more that I started to understand, the more I appreciated the slow start. Nalini Singh does a great job of making the small town of Golden Cove a character that was just as important as the good guys and the bad guys. When all was said and done, I appreciated her efforts but if I’m honest, I much prefer her paranormal romances. That’s more of a preference than anything else. Nalini Singh is good at whatever she decides to write. She can write her ass off and this book proves that. She does romance extremely well and with this book, she really does her thing. I think with a couple of more books under her belt in this genre, she’s going to be another force in the suspense, mystery and thriller worlds. She’s legit.

Final Grade

3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars


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