Publisher: Berkley

Guest Review: Someone to Care by Mary Balogh

Posted May 18, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Someone to Care by Mary BaloghReviewer: Tracy
Someone to Care by Mary Balogh
Series: Westcott series #4
Also in this series: Someone to Love, Someone to Hold, Someone to Wed
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: May 1, 2018
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
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four-stars


Once the Countess of Riverdale, Viola Kingsley throws all caution to the wind when adventure calls in the form of a handsome aristocrat. . . .

Two years after the death of the Earl of Riverdale, his family has overcome the shame of being stripped of their titles and fortune--except for his onetime countess, Viola. With her children grown and herself no longer part of the social whirl of the ton, she is uncertain where to look for happiness--until quite by accident her path crosses once again with that of the Marquess of Dorchester, Marcel Lamarr.

Marcel Lamarr has been a notorious womanizer since the death of his wife nearly twenty years earlier. Viola caught his eye when she herself was a young mother, but she evaded his seduction at the time. A prize that eluded him before, she is all the more irresistible to him now although he is surprised to discover that she is as eager now for the excitement he offers as he is himself.

When the two defy convention and run away together, they discover that the ties of respectability are not so easily severed, and pleasure can ensnare you when you least expect it.

Two years ago Viola’s husband died and she found out that her marriage of 23 years had been bigamous.  She retreated to her brother’s home trying to deal with the emotional aftermath.  She would have thought that she’d be over it all by now but when she heads to Bath for her grandson’s christening she’s inundated with her family.  Even the Westcott family, which she was never legally a part of, shows her love and kindness.  She knows she’s horrible for not appreciating it more but she finds it smothering.  She leaves Bath in a hired carriage (many family members had offered their carriages and servants but she’d refused) and just her luck, the thing breaks down.  She ends up in a little village overnight and who does she meet there but the man she’d fallen in love with 14 years earlier.

Marcel is on his way home to deal with family issues when he sees Viola.  He knows that she’s no longer married and though he knows he shouldn’t, he approaches her.  She told him to “go away” years earlier and he had abided by her wishes.  He knew she was married but he couldn’t help flirting with her.  Now she’s free and he suggests they spend the day at the town fair.  Viola agrees and has more fun with Marcel then she’d had in a very long time – even when she was married.  They end up spending the night together and Marcel suggests that they run away together for a couple of weeks.  Viola knows it’s not proper but she agrees.

Marcel and Viola spend time at his cottage in the country and they have a great time but reality soon comes crashing down on them in the form of their families and to save Viola’s reputation Marcel says that they’re betrothed.  Now it’s back to reality and Viola has to figure out how she can get out of the betrothal.  She loves Marcel but knows he doesn’t love her. She thinks he’s just a womanizer and not good marriage material but there’s a whole lot more behind Marcel’s outer core than Viola knows.

This was another lovely novel by Mary Balogh.  She’s become one of my favorite historical romance authors as she writes so well and always gives me a good story.

I’ve loved reading about the Westcott family as they’ve gone through the scandal of what their father/husband did to them.  Finding out that she was never married to her husband was a shock to Viola and I think she’d been in a bit of a depressive state for two years.  I know I would have been!  When she sees Marcel again she thinks he’s just as handsome as he was 14 years earlier.  She’d fallen in love with him back then but knew nothing could come of it because she was married and not a cheater.  To be with him again easily brought those feelings back and she quickly fell in love with him.  I could see how she would fall hard and fast for Marcel.  He had a dry sense of humor and though he held himself back some I could tell that he truly cared for Viola.

Marcel had once been a loving husband and father to his twins but after the death of his wife he left his kids with their aunt and only visited them twice a year.  He had become someone he didn’t recognize, or particularly like, but that changed when he was with Viola.  She made him want to be a better person and I loved reading about his transformation throughout the book.  Balogh did a wonderful job of bringing him to being more “human.”

The book included characters from previous Westcott books and that was awesome.  We got to see how the couples from books 1-3 were faring and I loved reading about the whole family.  I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series to see what happens next with this wonderful, loving family.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Wescott

four-stars


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Review: Dark Legacy by Christine Feehan

Posted April 24, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Dark Legacy by Christine FeehanReviewer: Casee
Dark Legacy by Christine Feehan
Series: Dark Series #31
Also in this series: Dark Wolf, Dark Promises, Dark Carousel
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: September 5, 2017
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 416
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three-stars

In a thrilling Carpathian novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan, a woman fights to free herself from the grip of the vampire trying to possess her...

In a beautiful compound hidden away from the world, Emeline Sanchez tries to blunt the pain that has wracked her body ever since her terrifying ordeal in the labyrinth beneath the city—when she was forced to exchange blood with an evil master vampire.

Now, it’s his voice that haunts her...that calls to her in the dark...that never lets her rest. And while the children that she helped to free from his clutches struggle to heal, watched over by their Carpathian protectors, Emeline knows one thing: She must sacrifice herself to keep them all from harm...

I’m pretty much on the fence about this one. It wasn’t my favorite book in the Dark series, but it wasn’t my least favorite either. My favorite goes to the first book in the series, Dark Prince. My least favorite most certainly goes to Dark Promises. I despised that book. I was way too generous with my rating for that book. If I recall correctly, Dark Promises was the book that the Ancients were really introduced. The Ancients are a group of male Carpathians that have served the race for so long that no one remembers how long they’ve been around. They don’t even know how long they’ve been around. They do know that if they’re unleashed on the world that they will be come the very thing they spent their existence hunting. The vampire. To stop that from happening, the Ancients have locked themselves up in a monastery.

These books come out a year apart and I will be honest with you. I can’t remember why the Ancients left the monastery. I believe that it was their Ancient friend that found his TSTL lifemate in Dark Promises gave them hope that their own lifemates were out there, so they are all in search of their own. I know if I had a lifemate like that, I’d run screaming in the opposite direction. For real.

In Dark Legacy, we are back in the world of Dark Carousel. We are with Tariq and Charlotte Asenguard, Charlotte’s little sister, and the little kids they are adopting. Also in the compound is Emeline Sanchez, the savior of all the children. In Dark Carousel, she literally went into a vampire den? Nest? Hideout? She went underground where she knew vampires were holding the children and where they would die, to save them. How did she know? Her dreams. Emeline has been able to dream walk since she was a small child. She knew she would save the children. She also knew she would be caught and have something imaginable happen to her. Still, she couldn’t stay away at the expense of the children’s lives. She was a hero.

After she is rescued and on Tariq’s compound, Emeline is far from safe. The master vampire that tortured her, Vadim Malinov, whispers to incessantly. The blood he made her drink is slowly killing her and she’s afraid he will make her hurt anyone on the compound against her will. From her dreams, she knows that one of the Ancients will be killed trying to protect her, so she stays inside her house to keep everyone safe.

When the time comes that Dragomir and Emeline come face-to-face, it is just as powerful as any other novel in this series. I really don’t know how Feehan does it. It’s pretty amazing. That was the only amazing thing about this romance. The rest of it fell flat. They were absolutely perfect for each other. They were both champions. He was a protector of his race. She was a protector of children. Yet something didn’t fit. It was weird. They should be clicked. But it all seemed forced. It was all very uncomfortable. Dragomir was always very sweet and Emeline genuinely seemed to love him, but I wasn’t feeling it. It wasn’t a bad book by any means, it just wasn’t one for me.

3 out of 5.

Dark Series

three-stars


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Guest Review: Marry in Scandal by Anne Gracie

Posted April 16, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Marry in Scandal by Anne GracieReviewer: Tracy
Marry in Scandal by Anne Gracie
Series: Marriage of Convenience #2
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: April 3rd 2018
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 320
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four-stars

Shy young heiress, Lady Lily Rutherford, is in no hurry to marry. She dreams of true love and a real courtship. But when disaster strikes, she finds herself facing a scandal-forced marriage to her rescuer, Edward Galbraith, a well known rake.

Despite his reputation Lily is drawn to the handsome Galbraith. In the gamble of her life, she agrees to marry him, hoping to turn a convenient marriage into a love match.

As heir to a title, Galbraith knows he must wed, so a convenient marriage suits him perfectly. But there is a darkness in his past, and secrets he refuses to share with his tender-hearted young bride. All Lily's efforts to get close to him fall on stony ground, and in desperation she retreats to his childhood home—the place he's avoided for nearly a decade.

Must Lily reconcile herself to a marriage without love? Or will Galbraith realize that this warm-hearted, loving girl is the key to healing the wounds of his past—and his heart?

Lily is an heiress and while a husband would be nice, she definitely wants to marry for love.  Her brother married for convenience, but that match turned into true love. After seeing love at work in her home, she definitely wants that for herself.  Unfortunately there are others who have something else in mind.  Lily is tricked into thinking her sister needs help and kidnapped by a man who only wants Lily for her money.  She manages to escape and is saved by Lord Galbraith, a friend of her brothers.  Despite all the machinations to keep Lily’s identity a secret it only took one person seeing her to ruin her reputation.

Galbraith is a rake (at least we are told he is, we see no evidence of this in the book) and as such, not the marrying kind.  He is, however, the heir to a title so he knows he must marry eventually.  When he realizes that Lily’s reputation has been compromised, although they did nothing but kiss, he offers for her.  Galbraith tries everything he can to keep away from Lily because her softness draws him like a bee to honey.  He can’t let himself get in deep with the woman as he has serious secrets and guilt from his past. He can’t keep himself away for too long, however.

I loved Lily in this book.  She was clever and smart and tough.  She put up with a whole hell of a lot in the first part of this book but she didn’t just sit back and let it happen. She saved herself and I was so proud of her!  Her father had made her think she was an idiot because she couldn’t read (I’m assuming dyslexia) and that had been carried with her throughout the years.  She had a good head on her shoulders.  When it came to Galbraith I was happy that she stood up for what she wanted (him) and didn’t let him get away.  I liked her strength of character.

Despite Galbraith supposedly being a rake he was actually quite a gentleman and honorable.  He helped Lily when she needed it and made every effort to protect her.  When he couldn’t he stepped up to the plate.  He had some issues that were worked out in the book and they played a part in the making of his personality, but they got smoothed out in the end.  He really was a good man and I liked him a lot.

Another great book from Anne Gracie!  I’m not sure how I missed the first book in this series when it released but I did.  Despite that I didn’t feel like I needed to read it in order to read this book.  There were a few times that events from the previous book were mentioned that I didn’t understand, but they were so minor I wasn’t worried I was missing anything.   Definitely a book I’d recommend.

Marriage of Convenience

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Throwback Thursday: Guest Review: Timber Creek by Veronica Wolff

Posted March 29, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Throwback Thursday: Guest Review: Timber Creek by Veronica WolffReviewer: Tracy
Timber Creek (Sierra Falls, #2) by Veronica Wolff
Series: Sierra Falls #2
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: December 31st 2012
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 304
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two-stars


In love and war, something’s gotta give…

For Laura Bailey it wasn’t easy weathering her teen years at her quaint family lodge in a boondock town at the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. Fleeing for San Francisco the minute she graduated high school seemed like a good idea—until she lost her job and her fiancé. The blow to her pride sent her back to Sierra Falls to figure out her life. But her hometown is undergoing a bit of renovation.

A new Sierra Falls resort is posing a threat to the Bailey family business. Even worse, the construction company developing the property is run by Eddie Jessup, Laura’s cocky high school nemesis who delighted in locking horns with the little spitfire. Some things never change. But their battle isn’t the only thing heating up between Laura and Eddie, and before long they realize that getting to know each other all over again has its rewards. But fate isn’t through with them. Nor are the games men and women play in the name of love.

Every Thursday in 2018 we will be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books.

This review was originally published on December 26, 2012.

Laura is determined to make a go of it in Sierra Falls and to prove her worth, to her family, the town and to herself. When a new resort gets planned and she crunches numbers for her family’s lodge and restaurant they’re not good. She’ll do just about anything to keep her family’s business in the black and that means going head to head with Eddie Jessup.

Laura wants Eddie to stop renovations on a ranch in Sierra Falls just because it will hurt her business – but what about his family and his business? Eddie doesn’t feel that the whole resort thing is on the up and up but Jessup Construction needs the work and this might put them on the map and make their business grow. As much as he’d like to accommodate Laura, he just can’t do it.

Laura is a bear and keeps up her constant tirade toward Eddie with no end in sight…until they finally give in to their mutual attraction and then sparks fly. Laura, however is still concerned about money and when her old boss calls with a cherry job offer she can’t decide what to do.

This was a really hard book for me to like. I really liked Eddie so very much. There was just so much to like about him and he was just adorable. I could see his charming grin flying off the pages and I just wanted to hug him. My problem was that I really didn’t like Laura at all. The story deals with Laura and her self-esteem issues, etc. but frankly I just didn’t think she was a nice person. She was nice around Eddie but I thought that she felt like she couldn’t let her true self out. I believe that we as the reader was supposed to see the tough outer shell and then see what a softie she was but after everything was said and done I felt like it was too little too late.

There was a secondary story that had to do with the waitress at Laura’s family restaurant, Helen, and her family and her husband troubles. I found this story much more interesting and wanted the entire book to be about Helen. I think between Eddie and Helen they saved the book for me. In the end it was just an ok read.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 

The Series:
 Book Cover Book Cover

This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.

two-stars


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Review: Judgment Road by Christine Feehan

Posted March 20, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Judgment Road by Christine FeehanReviewer: Casee
Judgment Road by Christine Feehan
Series: Torpedo Ink #1
Also in this series: Judgment Road (Torpedo Ink #1)
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: January 23rd 2018
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 304
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An outlaw motorcycle club sets up shop next door to Sea Haven in the dangerously sexy new series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan.

As the enforcer of the Torpedo Ink motorcycle club, Reaper lives for riding and fighting. He's a stone-cold killer who turns his wrath on those who deserve it. Feelings are a weakness he can't afford--until a gorgeous bartender gets under his skin...

Near Sea Haven, the small town of Caspar has given Anya Rafferty a new lease on life. And she's desperate to hold on to her job at the biker bar, even if the scariest member of the club seems to have it out for her. But Reaper's imposing presence and smoldering looks just ratchet up the heat.

Anya's touch is everything Reaper doesn't want--and it brands him to the bone. But when her secrets catch up to her, Reaper will have to choose between Anya and his club--his heart and his soul.

Reaper is one of those heroes that is beyond tortured. I really wondered how he could even come away with a happy for now, let alone a happily ever after. We first met Reaper in Bound Together, which was Viktor and Blythe’s book. Viktor is the leader of a motorcycle club called Torpedo Ink, whose members all grew up together in “schools” in Russia. In actuality their parents were all killed like Viktor’s were and they were sent to schools where they were brutalized and only few survived. They survived any way they could. The survivors of Vicktor and Reaper’s school formed Torpedo Ink. These are men and women that would kill and die for each other. They are naturally suspicious of outsiders.

An outsider is exactly Anya Rafferty is. Motorcycle clubs aren’t exactly her thing, but for a bartender the money is good. She has a nice little nest egg going when Reaper takes notice of her. And not in a good way. She has noticed him noticing her but he has never said anything. Then she walks in on him telling Czar (Viktor) to fire her and she goes through the roof. She’s never been anything but a good employee and Reaper has no right to tell Czar to fire her.

Reaper wants her away from Torpedo Ink because there is something suspicious going on. It has nothing to do with the fact that she is the only woman that he has ever had an honest attraction to. When Czar tells him if he wants her gone, she’s gone, he just can’t do it. There’s something about Anya that calls to him, something that tells him that she’s the one. Reaper doesn’t know what to do about that because he’s never been in love, never been with a woman because he’s wanted to be with a woman. He has so many hangups that there is no way he can ever be in a healthy relationship.

Something tells Anya that if she can get through to Reaper, they could have something special. She knows there is something different about the members of Torpedo Ink. She can tell that they are different than other motorcycle clubs, but she can’t quite pin it down. Reaper knows she’s in hiding, but when he finds out who she’s hiding from he and his whole club go through the roof. What happens after that is so unforgivable, Anya doesn’t think she can stay.

What happens here is the darkest part of the book to me. It shows that Reaper and his brothers and sisters have been through hell and back together and they will do anything to protect each other. They don’t care about collateral damage. Even if they know what they are doing is wrong, they will still do it, especially if it will protect Czar. Anya recognized that early on. They will always put each other and the club before an outsider and she would always be an outsider. It took her a few times to be beat down with that realization, but she learned.

I really admired Anya for sticking with Reaper with all his issues. I also admired Reaper for admitting that he had all these issues that would most likely prevent him from being with Anya. He admitted to himself that he would let her go, he would probably even give her a few months, but eventually he would go after her. Reaper was always very honest with himself and with Anya about his feelings.

As a whole, I really enjoyed this book. I liked the dark aspects of it, even what I thought was the darkest part of the book. It really showed Anya’s strength. There were a few things I didn’t care for. Anya getting the tattoo, Blythe calling Viktor “Czar”. Little things. Otherwise I thought that it was a good read.

4 out of 5.


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