Publisher: Entangled

Guest Review: Drakon’s Past by N.J. Walters

Posted April 23, 2018 by Jen in Reviews | 6 Comments

Guest Review: Drakon’s Past by N.J. WaltersReviewer: Jen
Drakon's Past (Blood of the Drakon, #4) by N.J. Walters
Series: Blood of the Drakon #4
Also in this series: Drakon's Promise, Drakon's Prey, Drakon's Plunder
Published by Entangled, Entangled: Amara
Publication Date: January 29th 2018
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 306
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two-half-stars

Constance Owens has a gift for finding unique items in the most unlikely places, which comes in handy since she buys and sells artifacts and antiques for a living. When she purchases a set of four dragon statues, she has no idea just how unique they are, or that finding them will thrust her into a world of secret societies, men who think nothing of kidnapping and murder to get what they want, and dragon shifters.

Nic hasn’t survived for four thousand years by letting his guard down, and he doesn’t trust anyone except his drakon brothers. The loneliness haunting him has been getting worse since all his brothers have found their mates. And when he finds the woman his drakon recognizes instantly as his fated mate, he doubts he’ll ever have what his brothers have, because it seems she’s involved with the secret society of hunters who have been hunting and capturing his kind for hundreds of years.

Nic has been a bit on the outskirts of the previous books in this series. Unlike the other brothers who tend to keep to themselves, Nic seems to spend a lot of time with regular humans. He loves to party and act the playboy, particularly in Vegas. What his brothers don’t know, though, is that he’s doing it in a desperate attempt to stave off the Big Sleep. Apparently, when drakons eventually get bored with the world, they lay down and sleep forever. (Everyone implies this is just “sleep” and not death, but I don’t know, that sure sounds like dying to me.) Nic’s been feeling the urge to just lay down and give up, so he leads a wild lifestyle in an attempt to keep up his interest in living. When he hears about a woman selling highly unusual dragon statues, he goes to investigate and finds Constance. She sells antiques and other collectibles to support herself and her teenage sister. When her sister gets kidnapped by the Knights of the Dragon, she knows the statues are more important than she thought. She doesn’t trust Nic and doesn’t know how he’s involved, but she doesn’t have a lot of options for getting her sister back. She and Nic circle each other and do what they can to rescue her sister.

I have to be honest, I was pretty disappointed in this book. I didn’t like Nic or Constance much. I didn’t really feel much of a deep connection between them, just plain and simple lust. I didn’t like that Nic takes advantage of Constance’s vulnerability and worry about her sister. Constance too is wishy washy. I got why she wouldn’t trust Nic, but then she keeps getting all horny for him and letting him come around. I just never felt much there.

There were too many loose threads in the book, too. This idea of the Big Sleep is never properly explored. Why do drakons do this? How does Nic avoid it? It’s kind of plopped there and then never referred to again. There is no resolution to the larger story arc of the Knights of the Dragon. Sure one villain gets beaten here, but what about the rest of them? How come the drakons don’t put a stop to the group once and for all? What happened to Karina Azarov (the head of the Knights)? Now all four of the drakon brothers have gotten their stories. We’re told there are more drakons out there but we haven’t met or even heard the name of any others. So, is the series going to continue with a drakon we’ve never met, or is it over, leaving tons of unresolved story lines? I don’t know what to think.

Even worse, the one thread that IS resolved is Nic’s mommy issues. Thousands of years ago, when he was a child, his mom threw him out and let the villagers chase him away. He’s had a huge chip on his shoulder since then and doesn’t trust anyone, particularly women, because he’s sure they’re all rotten. Of course, it’s a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Because he doesn’t trust Constance he doesn’t tell her the truth, and because she doesn’t know the truth she has to betray him in order to save her sister. And then in the end, Nic gets a resolution of his issues that was so trite and unbelievable. It was just silly.

It’s always a bummer when a book you’ve been waiting for lets you down. If the author continues the series, however, I’ll continue reading.

Grade: 2.5 out of 5

Blood of the Drakon Series

two-half-stars


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Review: Love Between Enemies by Molly E. Lee

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

Review: Love Between Enemies by Molly E. LeeReviewer: Rowena
Love Between Enemies (Grad Night, #2) by Molly E. Lee
Series: Grad Night #2
Also in this series: Love in the Friend Zone (Grad Night, #1)
Published by Entangled, Crush
Publication Date: January 8th 2018
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 221
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two-half-stars

Zoey Handler is ready to put an end to her decade-long rivalry with Gordon Meyers. They’ve traded top spot between valedictorian and salutatorian for years, but all that’s over now. Right? But after a crazy graduation speech prank gets out of hand, suddenly their rivalry turns into all-out war. Time to make peace with a little friendly payback.

Step one? Make him believe they’re now friends.

Step two? Show him the time of his life at an epic graduation party.

Step three? Don’t fall for his tricks.

Step four? Absolutely, positively, do not kiss him again.

So what if he’s cute? (Okay, hot.) So what if he’s charming? (Heaven help her, tempting.) So what if he apologizes? (That has to be fake.) She knows the real Gordon. And no matter how much her heart begs her to stop, there’s no turning back.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains one epic party, complete with every high-schoolers-gone-bad shenanigan, and two rivals who discover maybe they could be something much more…if only they’d stop fighting long enough to notice it.

When I read the first book, Love in the Friend Zone, I was curious about Gordon and Zoey. I was curious about them because Gordon was pretty pissed at graduation and I was even more curious about Zoey’s plan of revenge. I wanted to read this book to see what happened to piss Gordon off and to see how it all went down for Zoey.

The day of Graduation, Gordon wakes up to some really devastating news so when he gets to school, he’s hoping for some good news about a scholarship that he applied for. After getting the news that his father’s restaurant isn’t doing so hot, he’s banking on the full ride scholarship for school. He worked really hard for it and needs the money to help ease the financial burden on his Dad. When he gets to the school and the counselor tells him that the scholarship went to someone who doesn’t even need money for school, he is not happy. He’s already emotional because his father is losing the restaurant that was his late mother’s dream, the restaurant that was a second home to him and then the hits keep coming because Zoey told him on the first day of school that she was not going out for the scholarship but she just won it. Needless to say, he’s emotional and he gets a little revenge by embarrassing her at the graduation. Made a total dick move and afterward is completely remorseful.

He plans to apologize at his friend, Lennon’s grad night party but he’s still got a lot on his mind. He’s forming plans to try to save his father’s livelihood and he’s giving up on his dream school because spending that much money on college just isn’t an option right now. He’s got one thing left to look forward to and he’s not ready to give up on that yet.

Meanwhile, in her wealthy family’s house, Zoey is plotting revenge on Gordon’s shenanigans from graduation. She’s going to show him. She brings in a lot of her friends to make this happen and everything is going to go down exactly as she plans. When night time hits, she heads over to Lennon’s for the party to get things rolling.

The entire time that Gordon and Zoey are having fun at the party, I was enjoying their chemistry. It’s so young and so sweet and Zoey was showing a bit of remorse, getting second thoughts on her mystery plan and then I found out what her mystery plan was…and then it wasn’t fun anymore. You see, the thing that can make or break a character’s actions for me is intent.

What Gordon did to Zoey is instantly forgivable because it wasn’t well thought out, it was reactionary and all it did was embarrass Zoey. He immediately felt bad about it and then he sought her out to apologize, face to face. His intent wasn’t to ruin her life.

But Zoey’s intent? Not the same. Sure, her plan was reactionary but she wasn’t out to embarrass Gordon. She was out to ruin him…and rip his future away. Her plan was messed up and had it gone down any other way than how it did, she would have ruined not just Gordon’s future but Gordon’s fathers as well. There could have been dire consequences to her plans and she never called it off. She let her embarrassment lead her to do something pretty fucked up. Let’s not forget that she planned everything out and she meant for Gordon to lose the internship in a spectacularly fucked up way.

I was already annoyed with her for going out for a full ride scholarship while having loaded parents. Her parents were assholes, sure, but it was evident that she was loved and really, her issues about her parents’ money stemmed from what her schoolmates thought, not anything her parents did. So, for her to go out for a scholarship didn’t sit right with me. Her father wasn’t abusive and it wasn’t like she wasn’t planning on going to work for her father in the future anyway…so why not have her father pay for her college and let the scholarship go to someone who actually needed it? Her reasons didn’t match her actions and because she never called off her stupid, ridiculous plan, I didn’t like her and I didn’t care about what she did to make up for it because she shouldn’t have ever done it.

That’s the gist of why I just couldn’t like this book. Sure, it was a quick read and I didn’t lose a lot of time reading it but I was annoyed the whole time, first about the scholarship and then about Zoey’s plan. Her actions didn’t deserve a speedy forgiveness. I’m sorry, but no. It didn’t and I know that this book was written for a younger audience but ugh. Just no.

Gordon, on the other hand, proved to be a fantastic lead in this book. I loved how hard he worked, how much love he had for his father and the restaurant. I loved how he faced his problems head-on and he was mature enough to own up to his mistakes and make them right. The right way. He didn’t deserve what Zoey planned for him and he let her off the hook far too soon. He was everything that was right in this story and had it not been for him, I would have DNF’d this book real quick. So would I recommend this one? Nope. Gordon, his father and seeing everyone again was good but Zoey and the rest of everything else?? Nope. Not at all.

Grade: 2 out of 5

Grad Night Series

Grade: 2 out of 5

two-half-stars


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Guest Review: Straight Up Irish by Magan Vernon

Posted February 22, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Straight Up Irish by Magan VernonReviewer: Tracy
Straight Up Irish by Magan Vernon
Series: Murphy Brothers #1
Published by Entangled Embrace
Publication Date: February 19th 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 309
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three-half-stars

I need a wife if I want to help save my family’s billion-dollar pub empire. There’s just one problem: I never plan on marrying. So, I need someone who understands that this is just another business deal. I don’t do commitments. And my brother’s executive assistant, Fallon Smith, fits that bill.

Fallon needs help with her grandmother’s expenses, and her pretending to be my fake wife is a way we can make that happen. She’s not my biggest fan, but we can help each other and then go our separate ways. That she’s beautiful and I enjoy spending time with her–doesn’t matter. When all of this is done, she’s heading home to America, and I’ve got a company to run.

A fake wedding and a whole lot of whiskey. What could go wrong?

Fallon finishes her MBA and is looking for a job.  She needs a good one so that she can pay for her grandmother’s nursing home and of course her student loans.  She ends up taking a job in Dublin for the Murphy Pub Franchise.  For the past six months she’s been keeping Connor, her bosses brother, in order.  Calling him to make sure he got to his meetings, etc.  She loves the sound of his voice but when she sees him in person she’s amazed at how good-looking he is.

Connor is a total playboy and not about to settle down any time soon.  This is until his father dies in the will dictates that all three brothers, Connor, Jack and Sean must marry and be married for at least 6 months in order to keep the company.  Also, this must all happen within the next year.  All the men are floored but none more than Connor.  He quickly comes up with a scheme that has him getting quickly engaged to Fallon, getting married and staying that way for a little more than six months.  When that time is through she’ll have her student loans paid off and enough money in the bank to take care of her Nana’s nursing home for the next ten years.\

Fallon isn’t sure about this whole plan but decides to go along with it.  The problem is that if anyone suspects that it’s a farce Connor loses it all.  The more time that Fallon spends with Connor the more she likes him and she’s soon falling in love with the man.  He is so nice to her but she knows that love isn’t something that will ever be on his radar.

Nice book.  I liked Fallon ok and definitely liked Connor both by the end of the book.  I must admit that Fallon was a bit wishy-washy and that bothered me throughout most of the book.  She was just so indecisive and I just wanted her to stand her ground with everyone in her life.

Connor was a bit of a bastard at first but we didn’t get to see too much of his playboy ways before he was “dating” Fallon.  You could tell from the start that he really liked her and that he was falling in love with her, even though he tried to hide it.  I liked seeing the playboy fall. 😉

Overall it was a cute contemporary novel and I look forward to reading about Sean and Jack in the future.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Review: Breaking the Ice by Julie Cross

Posted February 7, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Breaking the Ice by Julie CrossReviewer: Rowena
Breaking the Ice (Juniper Falls, #2) by Julie Cross
Series: Juniper Falls #2
Also in this series: Off the Ice (Juniper Falls #1)
Published by Entangled, Entangled Teen
Publication Date: December 26th 2017
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 300
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four-half-stars

The second book in the Juniper Falls series from NY Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Julie Cross, perfect for fans of Miranda Kenneally and Abbi Glines.

Haley Stevenson seems like she’s got it all together: cheer captain, “Princess” of Juniper Falls, and voted Most Likely to Get Things Done. But below the surface, she’s struggling with a less-than-stellar GPA and still reeling from the loss of her first love. Repeating her Civics class during summer school is her chance to Get Things Done, not angst over boys. In fact, she’s sworn them off completely until college.

Fletcher Scott is happy to keep a low profile around Juniper Falls. He’s always been the invisible guy, warming the bench on the hockey team and moonlighting at a job that would make his grandma blush. Suddenly, though, he’s finding he wants more: more time on the ice, and more time with his infuriatingly perfect summer-school study partner.

But leave it to a girl who requires perfection to shake up a boy who’s ready to break all the rules.

Breaking the Ice is the second book in Julie Cross’s Juniper Falls series. It follows Haley Stevenson as she tries to come to terms with who she was and who she wants to be. She doesn’t have time for boys and after the disastrous way her last relationship ended, she’s swearing off boys until college…too bad, Fletcher Scott comes into her life and changes of all her well thought out plans.

Fletcher Scott keeps to himself and doesn’t want to socialize with anyone. He keeps to himself and lives his life. He has a job that makes good money, gets good grades and doesn’t have a problem getting girls but when he takes a Civics class in the summer and Haley Stevenson sits in front of him, things get really interesting. More interesting than he knows how to deal with.

Haley and Fletch are from two totally different worlds and the more time they spend together, the more they feel for each other. Their romance was complicated because there were things about Fletch that Haley didn’t know, things that could hurt Fletch and trying to get to know him was like trying to break out of prison because he was a steel vault. Fletch doesn’t trust easy and he’s got his reasons. Finding common ground where they both get what they want was hard but staying apart was never going to work either.

What a fantastic book this was. From beginning to end, I was locked into Fletch and Haley’s story. I read this book in a day because I couldn’t put it down. Between Haley’s issues and then Fletcher’s, seeing them battle their attraction, knowing that they wanted different things and just everything. It was such a well written, drama-filled young adult romance that hit me with feels at every single turn.

My heart completely melted for Fletcher, seeing him deal with all of the changes that Haley was bringing into his life and not wanting the change but not wanting to be without Haley. Sure, he was an asshole but he was an asshole for reasons that broke my heart. My heart soared for him when he started letting more and more people into his life. Gah, his whole life had me in tears and I was soooo happy for him when Haley proves to be one of the good ones.

Haley really came into her own in this book and it was great to see. To see her come to terms with the end of her and Tate and then reflect on the person she used to be and try to be the kind of person she wanted to be, it made for some great reading. I was super proud of her by the end of the book and when she realized that if she wanted any kind of life with Fletcher, she had to make some drastic changes to her lifestyle, I just loved it to pieces.

I enjoyed the first book in this series but Julie Cross knocked me on my ass with this one so this book is my favorite book of the series so far and I’m pretty stoked to see who will get their story told next. I really enjoyed Jamie, Leo, Mike and the others. The way that they rallied behind Fletch was so sweet. I seriously loved this book. If you’re into first love stories with younger characters than you should definitely read this book because, ahhhh, the feels…you’ll have them.

Juniper Falls Series

Grade: 5 out of 5

four-half-stars


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Guest Review: How to Ensnare a Highlander by Michelle McLean

Posted February 6, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: How to Ensnare a Highlander by Michelle McLeanReviewer: Tracy
How to Ensnare a Highlander (The MacGregor Lairds #2) by Michelle McLean
Series: The MacGregor Lairds #2
Also in this series: How to Lose a Highlander
Published by Entangled, Entangled Scandalous
Publication Date: February 12th 2018
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 227
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four-stars

When Lady Elizabet Harding’s family is targeted by the notorious Highland Highwayman, she finds herself wounded and an unwelcome guest of the charming outlaw who’d ruined her reputation earlier that day. Elizabet only wants to get even for her family’s downfall, but the more time she spends with the scoundrel, the more complicated her feelings become.

By day, Laird John MacGregor graces the court of Charles II. By night, he exacts revenge on his enemies – one of whom is betrothed to the fiery heiress who has, quite literally, fallen into his arms. The daughter of one enemy and promised to another, Elizabet should be the last person John wants. Yet even as she exasperates him, she is all he has ever desired for himself. When her life is put in danger, he will do anything necessary to protect the women he never expected to love…even if it means they cannot be together.

Lady Elizabet’s family is set upon by a notorious highwayman and then when Elizabet is accidentally shot, he takes her with him when he leaves in order to heal her.  He has no idea he’ll fall in love with her.  Elizabet is charmed by the man called Jack but he’s after her father and the man she’s supposed to marry.  She doesn’t care about her supposed betrothed but ruining her father will ruin her mother Elizabet won’t stand for that.  Jack wants Elizabet to turn on her father, but she won’t.  Jack is stuck in revenge mode because of the smuggling that Elizabet’s father and betrothed are involved in.  Because of that smuggling his brother was killed and he’ll stop at nothing to ruin the men.  Except…when it comes to Elizabet he’s not sure that he can do it if it makes her unhappy.  He falls in love with her and she with him but she’s all but married to someone else. How can they ever be together, especially when truths come out and people go to prison?

This was such a good story.  I was really on the edge of my seat for most of the book and the end made me very happy. I loved how McLean didn’t wrap things in a pretty little bow at the end.  She made things more like they might have been in real life and I appreciated that.  I would have liked to have seen her father and betrothed pay, but I understood why that never happened.

Reading about Jack and Elizabet falling in love was a pleasure.  There were extenuating circumstances when Elizabet got shot and he didn’t want her to die so that’s why he took her with him.  His friends told him to take her home but he was so attached to her by that time he couldn’t bring himself to do it until he had no more excuses.  I loved the way that they talked and came to trust each other, despite the fact that Jack never took his mask off.

I really enjoyed my second read by this author and will look into reading more from her.  I just saw that she writes contemporary romance under the name Kira Archer so I’ll have to check those out as well.

The MacGregor Lairds Series

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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