Publisher: Hachette Books

Guest Review: Lethal Lies by Rebecca Zanetti

Posted June 22, 2017 by Jen in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Lethal Lies by Rebecca ZanettiReviewer: Jen
Lethal Lies by Rebecca Zanetti
Series: Blood Brothers #2
Also in this series: Deadly Silence, Deadly Silence, Lethal Lies
Published by Hachette Books, Forever
Publication Date: May 16th 2017
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 416
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three-half-stars

New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Zanetti brings us the second book in a thrilling romantic suspense series.

A deadly secret can't stay buried forever . . .

Revenge. It's the only thing that will help Anya Best sleep at night. The serial killer who murdered her sister is on the loose, and Anya will stop at nothing to put him behind bars-even use herself as bait to lure him out of hiding. But she can't do this alone.

Private investigator Heath Jones's job is to bring bastards to justice. This time it's personal. He knew the Copper Killer's latest victim so when her sister asks for his help, he's all in. But when Anya uses the media to taunt the killer, she exposes Heath's identity, putting them both in jeopardy. Now, secrets buried long ago are coming to light and the forces determined to destroy him are watching Heath's every move, waiting to exact their own revenge. And they'll use anything and anyone to get to Heath.

With twists and turns that will take your breath away, LETHAL LIES is sexy, action-packed suspense at its very best from New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Zanetti.

In this next Blood Brothers book, we meet Anya Best, who’s out for revenge against her sister’s killer. She decides to use herself as bait to catch the killer, but unfortunately she entangles Heath Jones in her plot. Heath is a PI already investigating the killer so he’s game, plus he’s majorly drawn to Anya, but the ploy puts Heath and his brothers at risk. Can they stop the killer and get justice for Anya’s sister before the other people after the Jones brothers catch up?

I love Zanetti’s Sin Brothers series (loooooove it), and I was pretty into the first Blood Brothers book, but I felt like Lethal Lies was a bit less exciting for me. I enjoyed it and had a good time while reading it, but it didn’t really stick with me.

Anya in particular got on my nerves. She concocts a half-assed plan to catch her sister’s killer, but she never thinks through the ramifications, and doesn’t really have any serious plan for how she will stop this horrific killer that even her FBI-trained sister couldn’t handle. She doesn’t know anything about self-defense or catching a criminal. I just…couldn’t get behind her. Even worse, she barely knows Heath but involves him in her dangerous public plot. I get that she didn’t fully understand the risk she put Heath and his brothers in. She didn’t know their history and couldn’t know how her throwaway comment naming him in the press could literally kill him and his brothers. Fair enough! But she never really deals with that fact, even once she does know the truth. It felt glossed over but never explored. Her selfish need for “justice” could have killed them all! I definitely wanted some remorse or at least clear understanding from her, but we never got that, and Heath never holds her accountable either. I didn’t like it.

I did like Heath and Anya together, though. Heath is so damaged, so unhappy. All the Jones Brothers (and all the Gray Brothers, for that matter), feel such love and responsibility for their family that it just melts your heart. Even though Heath thinks he’s a lone wolf, Anya shows him what it means to truly be alone, and I liked his own newfound appreciation for his family after he is reminded of all the support he does have. He is also a great support for Anya, and he backs her up no matter what. Their relationship was super steamy, too, and the sexual tension was great.

I loved seeing the Gray Brothers a bit, though I admittedly didn’t understand why they didn’t jump in all the way when the Jones Brothers were clearly in a pickle. Still, I always enjoy being in this world, and I look forward to more installments from Zanetti.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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DNF Round Up: Frisk Me, Charmed Thirds & Corrupt

Posted May 16, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 8 Comments

DNF Round Up: Frisk Me, Charmed Thirds & CorruptReviewer: Rowena
Frisk Me by Lauren Layne
Published by Hachette Books, Forever
Publication Date: July 28th 2015
Pages: 384
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Goodreads
dnf

Officer Luc Moretti had no idea that his dive into the East River would have him drowning in a media frenzy. No matter how many times he tells reporters he was just doing his job, they're determined to make him into NYC's newest hero. Coming from a long line of NYPD's finest, Luc knows that being a cop has nothing to do with headlines and viral videos, and he's more than ready to get back to life away from the cameras—until he meets the gorgeous but jaded journalist assigned to film a TV special on him.

Ava Sims may be the only woman in NYC who isn't in love with Officer Moretti. That's why she's going after the real story—to find out about the man behind the badge. Ava's determined to keep things strictly professional, but the more time she spends around Luc, even she has to admit there's something about a man in uniform . . . and she can't wait to get him out of his.

I guess it had to happen sooner or later. I DNF’d my first Lauren Layne book and I’m still pretty surprised about it. If you know me then you know of my love of all things Lauren Layne. I adored her Oxford, Sex, Love & Stilettos and Wedding Belles series. I am enjoying her Love Unexpectedly series. There hasn’t been a book of hers that I absolutely hated (I have hated some character antics and thought processes but I haven’t hated any books) so imagine my surprise when I just couldn’t get into this book.

This book follows Luc Moretti, a New York Police Officer who is being praised for being a hero and Ava Sims, the reporter who is covering his story. Ava and Luc do not like each other and Ava’s attitude pissed me off too much for me to continue on. The way that she yelled at Luc, who was giving her a parking ticket because she was parked illegally on a public street pissed me off because she was yelling that he was violating her freedom of speech. WTF does that even mean? She was working so she’s above the law now? I’m sorry but…

Don’t even get me started when we get to the present time and she sees Luc again for the first time in three years. On top of Ava’s attitude, she’s a reporter and I have a love and hate relationship with reporter heroines so after some convincing from my besties, I stepped away from this one. I’m sure she got better as the book wore on but I just couldn’t do it so that was my first DNF.

DNF Round Up: Frisk Me, Charmed Thirds & CorruptReviewer: Rowena
Charmed Thirds by Megan McCafferty
Published by Crown Publishing Group
Publication Date: January 1st 2006
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 361
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dnf

Jessica Darling's in college!

Things are looking up for Jessica Darling. She has finally left her New Jersey hometown/hellhole for Columbia University in New York City; she's more into her boyfriend, Marcus Flutie, than ever (so what if he's at a Buddhist college in California?); and she's making new friends who just might qualify as stand-ins for her beloved best friend, Hope.

But Jessica soon realizes that her bliss might not last. She lands an internship at a snarky Brooklyn-based magazine, but will she fit in with the uberhip staff (and will she even want to)? As she and Marcus hit the rocks, will she end up falling for her GOPunk, neoconservative RA . . . or the hot (and married!) Spanish grad student she's assisting on a summer project . . . or the oh-so-sensitive emo boy down the hall? Will she even make it through college now that her parents have cut her off financially? And what do the cryptic one-word postcards from Marcus really mean?

With hilarious insight, the hyperobservant Jessica Darling struggles through her college years--and the summers in between--while maintaining her usual mix of wit, cynicism, and candor.

I’ve been wanting to read Charmed Thirds since I finished Second Helpings…the only problem with that is that I read Second Helpings years ago and I don’t know if it’s my old age but Jessica Darling was exhausting to read about and I was disconnected from everyone (including Marcus and I loved him before) so after a while of not really caring what was going on and wanting Jessica to take a breath, I just stopped reading this. It just didn’t hold my interest so I moved on.

DNF Round Up: Frisk Me, Charmed Thirds & CorruptReviewer: Rowena
Corrupt (Devil's Night, #1) by Penelope Douglas, Jeremy York, Tatiana Sokolov

Publication Date: November 17th 2015
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 460
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dnf

Erika

I was told that dreams were our heart’s desires. My nightmares, however, became my obsession.

His name is Michael Crist.

My boyfriend’s older brother is like that scary movie that you peek through your hand to watch. He is handsome, strong, and completely terrifying. The star of his college’s basketball team and now gone pro, he’s more concerned with the dirt on his shoe than me.

But I noticed him.

I saw him. I heard him. The things that he did, and the deeds that he hid…For years, I bit my nails, unable to look away.

Now, I’ve graduated high school and moved on to college, but I haven’t stopped watching Michael. He’s bad, and the dirt I’ve seen isn’t content to stay in my head anymore.

Because he’s finally noticed me.

Michael

Her name is Erika Fane, but everyone calls her Rika.

My brother’s girlfriend grew up hanging around my house and is always at our dinner table. She looks down when I enter a room and stills when I am close. I can always feel the fear rolling off of her, and while I haven’t had her body, I know that I have her mind. That’s all I really want anyway.

Until my brother leaves for the military, and I find Rika alone at college.

In my city.

Unprotected.

The opportunity is too good to be true as well as the timing. Because you see, three years ago she put a few of my high school friends in prison, and now they’re out.

We’ve waited. We’ve been patient. And now every last one of her nightmares will come true.

***Corrupt can be read as a stand-alone. No cliffhanger.

Corrupt was a book that was brought to my attention by well, everyone. I’ve been seeing such good things about this author and this book in particular that I bought it and prepared myself for an interesting read. There’s a darkness to this book and to the hero that I just could not get behind. I tried three different times to get past what the hero and his friends were doing, to get past what they blamed the heroine for and though I was told that not all is what it seems, I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t finish it and it was messing with my reading mojo so I stepped away from this one. Who knows if I’ll pick it back up later, I just know that I can’t do it now.

Have you DNF’d any books lately? Share your DNF stories with us. Which books should we steer clear from? Help a sister out!

dnf


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Review: Size Matters by Alison Bliss

Posted December 27, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Size Matters by Alison BlissReviewer: Rowena
Size Matters by Alison Bliss
Series: A Perfect Fit #1
Published by Forever
Publication Date: November 29th 2016
Pages: 336
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three-half-stars

The rules of (fake) engagement . . .

Leah Martin has spent her life trying to avoid temptation. But she's sick of low-fat snacks, counting calories, and her hyper-critical mom. Fortunately, her popular new bakery keeps her good and distracted. But there aren't enough éclairs in the world to distract Leah from the hotness that is Sam Cooper - or the fact that he just told her mother that they're engaged . . . which is a big, fat lie.

Sam sometime speaks before he thinks. So what started out as defending Leah's date-ability to her judgmental mother soon turned into having a fiancee! Now the plan is to keep up the fake engagement, stay "just friends," and make Leah's family loathe him enough to just call the whole thing off . But Sam has an insatiable sweet tooth, not only for Leah's decadent desserts but her decadent curves. Her full lips. Her bright green eyes. Yep, things aren't going quite according to plan. Now Sam has to convince Leah that he's for real . . . before their little lie turns into one big, sweet disaster.

When I read the blurb for this book, it reminded me of Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie and I love that book so I was all about reading this one. I’ll be honest, I was hoping for a Bet Me like story and while the stories were similar, I didn’t love Size Matters the same way that I loved Bet Me.

Leah Martin grew up with a mother who loved to throw her weight in Leah’s face so obviously, she’s got some hang ups about herself. She’s a grown woman who can’t see all of the positives about herself because she’s so focused on the negative and while I got it, her insecurities got on my nerves. She was so sensitive about everything and Sam just couldn’t get it right where she was concerned that I felt bad for him. Sure, he was dense as hell but his intentions were good and I kept shaking my head because damn. He couldn’t win.

When Sam steps up for Leah at her ex’s wedding, he proclaims to be her fiance’ and the story really took off from there. At least it did for me.

This book had laugh out loud moments that I appreciated because I spent a great deal of the book, frustrated at just about everything. Leah’s mother, her ex, her inner thoughts and just things. There’s a crap ton of body shaming in here thrown Leah’s way and on one hand, I could see why Leah’s insecurities were so bad but on the other hand, I wanted Leah to be above all of that. Sure, that’s her journey throughout the book but I wanted it to happen a lot sooner than it did.

Sam was a great character that I loved to pieces. I loved that he kept right on putting his foot in his mouth and I loved that he tried to be a white knight for Leah even though she didn’t even like him much. I loved that at his core, he was good guy who did some growing of his own.

Leah drove me crazy because she focused so much on the negative stuff but she really does come into her own in this book and I liked the person she was in the end.

This book was a solid read with little things here and there that had me rolling my eyes down the street but for the most part, it was good story telling. I enjoyed seeing these two circle each other until they finally got things right and Bliss kept me laughing throughout the story so while it wasn’t a favorite read of mine, it was still pretty dang good.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly

Posted April 8, 2008 by Ames in Reviews | 7 Comments

Guest Review: The Winter Rose by Jennifer DonnellyReviewer: Ames
The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly
Series: The Tea Rose #2
Published by Hachette Books
Publication Date: January 8th 2008
Pages: 720
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five-stars

When India Selwyn Jones, a young woman form a noble family, graduates from the London School of Medicine for Women in 1900, her professors advise her to set up her practice in London's esteemed Harley Street. Driven and idealistic, India chooses to work in the city's East End instead, serving the desperately poor.

In these grim streets, India meets -and saves the life of- London's most notorious gangster, Sid Malone. A hard, wounded man, Malone is the opposite of India's aristocratic fiance, Freddie Lytton, a rising star in the House of Commons. Though malone represents all she despises, India finds herself unwillingly drawn ever closer to him, intrigued by his hidden, mysterious past.

And before long, even as they fight hard against their feelings, India and Sid fall in love. Theirs is an unpredictable, passionate, and bittersweet affair, and it causes destruction they could never have imagined.

Wow.

That’s all I can say about The Winter Rose.

Never have I read a more surprising book than the Winter Rose. It was completely not what I expected! But in a good way.

First of all, London in 1900? I tend to shy away from that time period, preferring Regency England and earlier. But that time period, there was a lot of social change and Ms. Donnelly showed me, in great detail mind you, how fascinating it was at the turn of the century. There was the old clashing with the new. Members of the ton were clinging to their society while the majority of people, who were not titled, were striving to get their voice heard and their interests represented. Meanwhile, the old boys club was doing everything in its power to keep the working man down.

Amidst this atmosphere, there were women fighting for the right to vote – who were all for social change. And India fit right in there. After graduating medical school (for which her parents disowned her), she went to work in the poorest, roughest part of London in hopes of one day opening up her own clinic. But woah does she come upon old world attitudes in the form of her new boss. This old cracker wants women to suffer during childbirth and basically just hands out medication to dull the pain of the working poor, rather than advocate on their behalf for the right to good healthcare. And this is a passion of India’s. She knows that the average working man can’t afford good health care, thus the idea for her free clinic. And the big part of her free clinic would be the services available for women. The poor women, who can’t afford to have a baby every year, but who do because they can’t pay for birth control – which the dinosaur doctor that India works for refuses to hand out.

At over 700 pages, this part of the book is a drop in the bucket. There is so much more to India’s story. On top of her new career as a doctor, her fiance, is a politician. And he’s one of the dodgy kinds, who promises with his right hand and takes away with his left. But Freddie has some secrets he’s keeping from India. Freddie is a bad bad man.

Meanwhile, India sees Sid Malone as the true villain in her life. He’s the crime lord in London – and India despises everything about him. But her calling as a doctor means when his life is on the line, she still has to save him. And this entangles their lives in a way that has repercussions for everyone in the story.

Yes, dear readers, this is truly a sweeping love story that goes from London all the way to Africa and America. And what an incredible journey it was.

Not only was the setting fascinating, but so to were the plot and the characters. And I just absolutely loved how all the characters affected each other when they didn’t even know each other.

Needless to say, this book made me cry. How the hell could a gently-born doctor and a crime lord from the slums find their happily ever after? Let me tell you, it’s not easy. And that’s why I’m giving the Winter Rose an A. Once it hooks you, it doesn’t let go until the last gut-wrenching page.

5 out of 5

(p.s. I immediately went out and bought the Tea Rose, the first book in the Rose trilogy. And I can’t wait for the 3rd book, The Wild Rose. Hint hint, Jennifer! LOL)

five-stars


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