Publisher: Kensington

Review: Fated by Rebecca Zanetti

Posted June 22, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Fated by Rebecca ZanettiReviewer: Casee
Fated by Rebecca Zanetti
Series: Dark Protectors #1
Published by Brava
Publication Date: March 1, 2011
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 299
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three-half-stars

Marry Me! Cara Paulsen does not give up easily. A scientist and a single mother, she's used to fighting for what she wants, keeping a cool head, and doing whatever it takes to protect her daughter Janie. But "whatever it takes" has never before included a shotgun wedding to a dangerous-looking stranger with an attitude problem.

Or Else! Sure, the mysterious Talen says that he's there to protect Cara and Janie. He also says that he's a three-hundred-year-old vampire. Of course, the way he touches her, Cara might actually believe he's had that long to practice. . .

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. This was my first look into the Dark Protector series and I have no idea why I waited so long to dive into it. I’m hooked on Zanetti’s Scorpius Syndrome series, love paranormals in general, so why did I wait? I have no clue. There were a few parts of this particular book I wasn’t down with, but…shrug. I got past it.

Cara Paulson is a special type of person. She has been an empath since she was a young girl. So it makes sense that she would give birth to a very special child. She had no idea that her child would be prophesied to save a race of evil vampires. Vampires that she had no idea existed until one burst into her home to save her and Janie’s lives. Cara isn’t having any of it even when Janie tells her that Talen is the one that is going to save them. All she sees is a strange man coming into her home trying to kidnap her and her baby. Forget the fact that she has this inappropriate and completely confounding attraction to the man. Being disgusted with herself can come after she gets away from him.

Talen had no idea that Cara was his mate until he comes to her rescue. And come to her rescue he does because he can sense the Kurjans, the evil counterpart to his vampire race, coming to get them. Three hundred years of peace are broken because of Cara’s young daughter Janie. They have no idea what’s coming for them. Before he knew she was his mate, it was his job to protect Cara and Janie. Now it is is duty and honor. He can do nothing less that protect the woman he has looked for over the centuries and the little girl that is now his daughter. If only he could convince Cara that she isn’t getting away from him.

There were a lot of things that I liked about this book. I liked the instant connection between Cara and Talen. Talen was very sweet. The love between the two was very sweet. Talen really cared about how Cara felt. He knew that she had a hard time living in their headquarters below ground and made sure she had plants that she loved to help her cope. He just did little sweet things that really made me like him. Other the other hand, I really disliked how he referred to her as “mate” all the time. Like it was her name. It made her sound like a possession. I didn’t enjoy that all. As for Cara, she was a strong heroine, but made stupid fucking decisions. Including a TSTL one that almost got her killed. Just because she was mad at Talen over a BIG MISUNDERSTANDING. TSTL decisions always happen after stupid BIG MISUNDERSTANDINGS, don’t they?

Even with the things that bothered me, I did find this book enjoyable and am looking forward to continuing this series.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5.

Dark Protectors

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: A Lady’s Honor by A.S. Fenichel

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

Guest Review: A Lady’s Honor by A.S. FenichelA Lady's Honor by A.S. Fenichel
Series: The Everton Domestic Society #1
Published by Lyrical Press
Publication Date: April 3rd 2018
Genres: Historical Romance
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three-half-stars

Not every match is made at the marriage mart…

After a disastrous, short-lived engagement and years of caring for her ailing grandmother, Phoebe Hallsmith is resigned to spinsterhood. But if she must be unmarried, far better to be of use than languishing at home, disappointing her parents. As an employee of the Everton Domestic Society of London, Phoebe accepts a position at the country home of an old friend and discovers an estate—and a lord of the manor—in a state of complete chaos.

Losing himself in the bottle has done nothing to ease Markus Flammel’s grief over losing his wife. Not even his toddler daughter can bring him back from the brink. Now this fiery, strong-minded redhead has taken over his home, firing and hiring servants at will and arousing unexpected desire. As not one, but two, suitors suddenly vie for Phoebe’s hand, can Markus move past loss and fight for a future with the woman who has transformed his world?

Phoebe spent the years between age 18 and 23 in the Highlands with her grandmother.  She loved every minute of it and wouldn’t have changed a minute of the time she had with her Grand.  Of course those were her best “courting” years and now she’s considered on the shelf.  She was engaged in Scotland but the man broke it off stating that Phoebe was a “cold fish.”  When she returned home rather than try to find a husband she decides to continue helping people and takes a job at the Everton Domestic Society.  Her family is outraged and her oldest brother, a viscount and head of the family, disowns her.  She’s fine with that.

She is assigned to a job helping the Viscount of Devonrose get his house and family back in order.  Normally Everton ladies don’t take jobs that involve anyone they know but she is specifically requested.  She knows the family because she was very good friends with the now deceased Viscountess of Devonrose.  When she arrives at the country estate she realizes she has her work cut out for her.  When her friend Emma died in childbirth her husband, Markus, chose to kill himself with drinking. He was stuck in his grief and has been drinking practically non-stop for the past two years.  His daughter Elizabeth is being raised by what little staff hasn’t been fired when Markus goes into a temper.  The staff as well as Elizabeth is frightened of Markus and Phoebe isn’t having it.

When Phoebe arrives. Markus wants nothing more than for her to be gone.  He does promise her that he will stop drinking and the longer he goes without a drink he realizes the kind of man he’s become.  Instead of helping his grief, it was only worsening it.  He also realizes he had ignored his holdings and most importantly, his daughter.  He tries to put this to rights the damage he has done and in doing so he starts to notice Phoebe.  He doesn’t want to be he knows that what he’s feeling isn’t just gratitude for her help, but appreciation for the woman herself.  Though they both try to fight it they fall in love.  Unfortunately Phoebe’s circumstances and her brother’s meddling may keep them apart.

This was a cute story.  I really liked Phoebe and loved that she said whatever was on her mind (most of the time).  She was bossy, but the situation called for that.  I wish she had been a little bossier with her family – they were nuts.  Her brother Miles was fine but the rest?  Wow.  Just wow.

Markus was fine after he finally pulled himself out of the bottle.  He tried to make amends and was actually doing a bang-up job of it. Little Elizabeth needed her father and he was finally there for her in a big way.

The parts of the story I didn’t really care for had to do with Phoebe’s suitors.  Markus was having problems coming to terms with his feelings and his thoughts on how he could never love another woman that would replace Emma.  That didn’t make it any easier to see both his secretary and the man who had once jilted her come around to court her.  I think this part annoyed me because Phoebe was so straightforward with everything else and it almost felt like she was leading these two on instead of telling them to take a giant leap.  Yes, she said it a round about way but it bothered me that the author had her personality changing in those instances.  It just was consistent.

Despite my issues it was a good story and I’ll be looking to read more in this series in the future.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: Hot and Badgered by Shelly Laurenston

Posted April 13, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Hot and Badgered by Shelly LaurenstonReviewer: Tracy
Hot and Badgered by Shelly Laurenston
Series: The Honey Badgers #1
Published by Kensington
Publication Date: March 27th 2018
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 400
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four-stars

It’s not every day that a beautiful naked woman falls out of the sky and lands face-first on grizzly shifter Berg Dunn’s hotel balcony. Definitely they don’t usually hop up and demand his best gun. Berg gives the lady a grizzly-sized t-shirt and his cell phone, too, just on style points. And then she’s gone, taking his XXXL heart with her. By the time he figures out she’s a honey badger shifter, it’s too late.

Honey badgers are survivors. Brutal, vicious, ill-tempered survivors. Or maybe Charlie Taylor-MacKilligan is just pissed that her useless father is trying to get them all killed again, and won’t even tell her how. Protecting her little sisters has always been her job, and she’s not about to let some pesky giant grizzly protection specialist with a network of every shifter in Manhattan get in her way. Wait. He’s trying to help? Why would he want to do that? He’s cute enough that she just might let him tag along—that is, if he can keep up . . .

Charlie, Max and Stevie are all half-sisters.  They all have the same no good, thieving, idiot father who is constantly getting himself into trouble.  The problem with that is that people think they can get to their father through his daughters.  Not!  Charlie, Max and Stevie were all raised first by Charlie’s mother and then when she died, by Charlie’s grandfather in a wolf pack.  Charlie is half honey badger and half wolf.  Max is all honey badger and Stevie is half honey badger, half tiger.  They’re all incredibly dangerous and can take anyone who comes after them.  That doesn’t mean they want to.

When the girls’ father once again gets them into the middle of things, Charlie, Max and Stevie take help from an unlikely source.  Berg is a bear shifter and completely smitten with Charlie.  He offers to help house them and they end up renting a house in an all bear neighborhood. Berg just happens to live across the street so this is convenient for him to be near Charlie as much as possible.

When the girls finally figure out what they father has done to get people after them they try to remedy the situation, but a wedding their not invited to, twin aunts who have no idea they’re shifters and a psychopathic cousin make this incredibly difficult.  With help from a bunch of unlikely sources the girls try to make their lives as normal as possible.

I love honey badgers. LOL  They are tough and don’t take anyone’s shit.  They can fight anyone and probably win and have a blasé attitude while doing it.  This particular group of honey badgers made me laugh constantly.  I love the way that Laurenston writes and her characters are always so alive and so incredibly irreverent.

This was Charlie and Berg’s romance but their relationship was so entwined into the story that it was more about everything else going on.  That actually worked for me.  There was SO much going on in this book that to add more of the romance wouldn’t have felt right.

I adored Charlie, Max and Stevie’s relationship. They were constantly at war with each other, yet they loved each other dearly and would have each other’s back in a hot minute.  Charlie was very protective of her sisters and especially Stevie as she kind of had her head in the clouds.  She’s a complete genius and was in her head a bit more than she was in reality.  When people try to take Stevie for her big brain Charlie does everything she can to stop it.  The girls may not hug each other on a regular basis but I could feel the love between the three.

I can’t tell you all the little bits of this book because A) there are a lot of bits! And B) you need to read it for yourself in order to get what’s going on.  This was a fun and crazy book and I really enjoyed it.  A great start to a new series that still includes people from other series that we already know and love.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: To Woo a Wicked Widow by Jenna Jaxon

Posted April 12, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: To Woo a Wicked Widow by Jenna JaxonReviewer: Tracy
To Woo a Wicked Widow by Jenna Jaxon
Series: The Widow's Club #1
Published by Lyrical Press
Publication Date: March 27th 2018
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 352
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three-half-stars

Lady Charlotte Cavendish is still the spirited girl who tried to elope in the name of love. That dream was thwarted by her father who trapped her into a loveless, passionless marriage. But now widowed, Charlotte is free to reenter the giddy world of theton—and pursue her desires. For hardly your typical widow, she remains innocent to the pleasures of the flesh. Yet her life is finally her own, and she intends to keep it that way.

Nash, the twelfth Earl of Wrotham, is beguiled by Charlotte at first sight—and the feeling is mutual. When he receives her intriguing invitation to a house party, the marriage-minded lord plans to further their acquaintance. But even he cannot sway her aversion to matrimony, and only with great restraint does he resist her most tempting offer. For unbeknownst to Charlotte, the misadventures of the past are revisiting them both, and bedding her could cost him everything—or give him everything he ever wanted.

After being in mourning for her husband, Charlotte is excited to be out in society. Her father had forced her into a horrible marriage with one of his peers and now that she’s out from under his thumb she wants to live. Unfortunately it’s right at the end of the season and there’s not a lot of time to get to know any men.

She has other friends whose husbands died at Waterloo or was caused by that battle and Charlotte decides to start the Widow’s Club.  They decide that to get to know the men they have their sights on they will hold a house party at Charlotte’s home in Kent.  They all invite the men of their choosing but one man invites his friend along when he wasn’t supposed to and the “friend” is a dangerous rake.  Charlotte tries to make the best of it but he won’t give up.  Who she really has her eye one, Nash, her next door neighbor in Kent, seems to have a tendre for her as well but he’s interested in marriage and Charlotte loves being an independent woman.  Can Charlotte and Nash work out their differences with everything else getting in the way?

This was a very cute book.  I really enjoyed the writing and the whole premise of the book.  Charlotte was a pretty good character and her and Nash were great together.

Charlotte was stubborn and that had gotten her into trouble with her father in the past.  Her father was an ogre and wanted to run Charlotte’s life.  I loved that she put him in her place once she got a chance to (once she was a widow).  I did want her to be a little more forceful with the gentlemen who were making unwanted advances, but she was worried about her reputation.  I would have said screw the reputation and slapped the men. Lol Nash was a great guy – we just didn’t get enough page time with him, imho.  He played a huge part but mostly the book revolved around the widow’s.

Overall a cute new series.  I’m looking forward to reading the next book to see what happens with all of the ladies.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Review: Dragon Actually by G.A. Aiken

Posted April 9, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 5 Comments

Review: Dragon Actually by G.A. AikenReviewer: Holly
Dragon Actually (Dragon Kin, #1) by G.A. Aiken
Series: Dragon Kin #1
Also in this series: Light My Fire, Dragon on Top, Bring the Heat, Bring the Heat
Published by Zebra
Publication Date: September 1st 2008
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 336
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four-stars

It's not always easy being a female warrior with a nickname like Annwyl the Bloody. Men tend to either cower in fear - a lot - or else salute. It's true that Annwyl has a knack for decapitating legions of her ruthless brother's soldiers without pausing for breath. But just once it would be nice to be able to really talk to a man, the way, she can talk to Fearghus the Destroyer.

Too bad that Fearghus is a dragon, of the large, scaly and deadly type. With him, Annwyl feels safe - a far cry from the feelings aroused by the hard-bodied, arrogant knight Fearghus has arranged to help train her for battle. With her days spent fighting a man who fill her with fierce, heady desire, and her nights spent in the company of a magical creature who could smite a village just by exhaling, Annwyl is sure life couldn't get any stranger. She's wrong...

Annwyl the Bloody is sister to the evil king of the realm. She’s been fighting his troops for years, slowly gathering support to form a rebellion meant to overthrow him. When she ends up on deaths doorstep outside a dragon’s den, she doesn’t expect to live. Either her brother’s soldiers will kill her, or the dragon will. But she isn’t going to go down cowering. She’ll go out as she lived, fighting for all she’s worth.

Fearghus the Destroyer is an antisocial dragon. He prefers being alone in his den to dealing with humans or other dragons. But Annwyl the Bloody intrigues him. Not only does her reputation proceed her, but she’s the only human he’s ever met who doesn’t cower from Dragons. She’s fierce and bold, and he can’t stop himself from wanting to heal, take care of and spend time with her. He knows if she wants to defeat her brother he needs better training. She has to learn to control her rage.

When Fearghus tells Annwyl he has a Knight who can help her hone her skill with a sword, she’s skeptical. But she can’t deny the man has skill. Still, for all of her attraction to the Knight, she prefers the company of the dragon.

This was such a good book. I loved how bloodthirsty and kickass the heroine was. She wasn’t a shrinking violet who needed to be saved. I loved Fearghus the dragon. He was so cute. Every time he and Annwyl snuggled I got all melty. I struggled more with her relationship with the Knight. They had a contentious relationship that didn’t really lend itself to softer feelings.

View Spoiler »

Still, I really enjoyed the story, the heroine and the dragon. This was a great start to what I hope will be a great series.

4 out of 5

four-stars


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