Publisher: Penguin

Review: Bound Together by Christine Feehan

Posted March 13, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Bound Together by Christine FeehanBound Together (Sea Haven/Sisters of the Heart, #6) by Christine Feehan
Series: Sisters of the Heart #6, Sea Haven #13
Also in this series: Water Bound, Spirit Bound, Air Bound, Earth Bound, Fire Bound, Turbulent Sea, Hidden Currents, Magic in the Wind, The Twilight Before Christmas, Oceans of Fire, Dangerous Tides, Safe Harbor, Turbulent Sea, Hidden Currents
Published by Jove
Publication Date: March 21st 2017
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
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four-stars

The Sea Haven series comes to a climactic end as the mysterious man from Blythe Daniels’ past re-enters her life. Don’t miss the final Sea Haven novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling “queen of paranormal romance” (J. R. Ward).
For five years, Viktor Prakenskii has put his life on hold in order to take down the world’s most feared motorcycle club from the inside. But carrying out the insane violence and seeing the club’s exploitation of the innocent has brought his traumatic past roaring back. And there’s only one cure: to see the wife he left behind...
Blythe Daniels thought she’d never see Viktor again after he murdered her stepfather and left without a word. She rebuilt her life without him, becoming a personal trainer and physical therapist...becoming strong enough for others to lean on. But when Viktor comes back to Sea Haven, he’ll make Blythe question everything she thought she knew about good and evil—and the dark desires of the heart...

This is the final book in Feehan’s Drake Sisters/Sea Haven spin-off, Sisters of the Heart.

Five years ago Blythe Daniels married Viktor Prakenskii after knowing him a week. Then he busted her step-father as a pedophile and left her to deal with the aftermath without a word. Although she’s never been able to get over him, she doesn’t consider them married and wants nothing to do with him. So when he unexpectedly shows up in town and lays claim to her in public, she’s pretty furious. And confused. Especially since he claims he left her a letter explaining everything – and his excuse for disappearing is pretty damn good. Still, opening herself up to him after the trauma she suffered because of him isn’t high on her priority list.

Viktor always intended to return for Blythe, but he had to finish his undercover op first. He didn’t expect it to last as long as it did, but he knew she’d be waiting for him. He had no idea the trauma she suffered while he was gone. While dealing with their final target, he also needs to win Blythe back and convince her they’re meant to be.

This wrapped up some loose threads from the previous books in the series, and we got to see all the previous couples again, which is nice. I really liked the action and the MC element. I’ll be curious to read more about them in the future. Viktor and his MC had become a family. I really enjoyed their interactions with each other, and watching them warily begin to accept his blood-brothers.

As for Blythe and Viktor, I liked them as a couple, but something about their romance didn’t work for me. I think it was the rushed feeling as they came back together. I would have liked to see more of them alone, discussing their past issues and getting to know each other again.

There was a good amount of humor. I cracked up several times. Especially when it came to Blythe and the MC. I’ve always enjoyed the relationship between the sisters, and now the brothers as well. Feehan writes great family relationships.

I’m sad to see the series come to a close, but I’m happy to see Feehan is continuing on with Viktor’s Torpedo Ink MC brothers.

Feehan finishes the series on a high note. I was definitely left wanting more.

4 out of 5

four-stars

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Review: Satisfaction by Lexi Blake

Posted February 10, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Satisfaction  by Lexi BlakeReviewer: Rowena
Satisfaction by Lexi Blake
Series: Lawless Series #2
Also in this series: Ruthless, Satisfaction
Published by Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: January 3rd 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 384
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four-stars

The sizzling second novel in a sexy new contemporary romance series featuring the Lawless siblings—from New York Times bestselling author Lexi Blake.

Brandon Lawless is a man on a mission: obtain the information that will clear his father’s name. He’s willing to do whatever it takes—even seduce his enemy’s personal assistant, the beautiful and innocent Carly Hendricks. But with her beguiling smile and captivating intelligence, Brandon soon realizes he doesn’t want to deceive Carly, he wants to win her over—both in the boardroom and the bedroom.

Then a twisted crime leaves Carly vulnerable and Brandon finds himself reeling. The stakes of his mission are now life or death—Carly’s life. And Brandon realizes he’s lost his heart to an amazing woman and his plan must succeed, because the stakes are no longer just revenge, but a once in a lifetime love.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Satisfaction is the second book in the Lawless series and it follows the youngest brother, Brandon as he journeys to that elusive happily ever after. A happy ending that he does not believe he deserves. When we first meet Brandon is the first book, Ruthless, he is a happy go lucky kind of guy until he gets into a fight and the brothers plus Hatch have to go and bail him out. You get a sense that of all the Lawless siblings, Riley and Bran are still dealing with issues from when they were in the foster care system.

Riley has trouble sleeping with the door open. It’s got to be locked and he has to sleep alone. Bran, Bran has nightmares about a night he’d rather forget. About a girl he cared about and couldn’t save.

Riley is the charming brother. Andrew is the vengeful brother. But Bran? Bran is the protective brother. He’s Captain Save a Hoe. You can find him at the strip club beating on guys that think strippers are their personal property. In the first book, Riley got in a lot of trouble because 1) he fell in love with his mark and 2) he lied through his buck teeth about everything under the sun. Bran is determined that they learn from their mistakes so when the next phase in their revenge plot calls for getting close to the personal assistant of the next person on their hit list, Bran sneaks in and steals Drew’s spotlight.

Carly Fisher is Patricia Cain’s personal assistant and overall grunt. Patricia Cain is next up on the Lawless siblings hit list. They need Carly’s assistance in getting close to Patricia so that they can take her down. Drew’s plan was to seduce Carly into letting him get close so that he use her to handle his business but Bran’s idea was to bring Carly into the plan. Make her an ally. Present her with the truth, with the facts and let her decide if she wants to help them. Drew is not a fan of Bran’s plan and he’s not a fan of allies.

Bran and Carly’s romance was sweet. I really enjoyed seeing them get to know each other and getting to know the both of them myself. They were great characters, and I loved Bran. I loved how honest he was, how hard he worked to take care of those he loved and I really loved how he went toe to toe with Drew. Drew has a tendency of being so narrow-minded that he can be hard to be around. His personality is very off-putting but for those that know him, that love him, they understand him. Bran is the opposite of Drew. He’s very easy to be around. He’s quick to smile. He’s loyal and even when he was being a dumbass, I loved him.

Carly was the newbie on the scene, so she had a lot of catching up to do on making me like her. I enjoyed her character as a whole but she did get on my nerves from time to time. Her reasoning drove me nuts but in her heart of hearts, she was a good person. I liked that she was smart, she was loyal to her sister and when she stopped letting her insecurities get to her, she was a great partner for Bran.

Overall, this was a great story with characters that rocked my socks and I’m really thirsty for Revenge, Drew’s book. I called his heroine right when we met her in this book. The ending for this book has me super anxious for the next one because I just know Drew is going to piss everyone off in the name of protecting his family and I just know it’s going to be good. I’m so here for it.

4 out of 5

four-stars

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Retro Review: Demon Angel by Meljean Brook

Posted February 8, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Retro Review: Demon Angel by Meljean BrookReviewer: Holly
Demon Angel by Meljean Brook
Series: The Guardians #1
Also in this series: Demon Moon, Demon Night, Demon Bound, Demon Forged, Guardian Demon
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: January 2nd 2007
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Paranormal, General
Pages: 432
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four-stars

For two thousand years, Lilith wrought vengeance upon the evil and the damned, gathering souls for her father's armies Below and proving her fealty to her Underworld liege. Bound by a bargain with the devil and forbidden to feel pleasure, she draws upon her dark powers and serpentine grace to lead men into temptation. That is, until she faces her greatest temptation—Heaven's own Sir Hugh Castleford...

Once a knight and now a Guardian, Hugh spent centuries battling demons—and the cursed, blood-drinking nosferatu. His purpose has always been to thwart the demon Lilith, even as he battles his treacherous hunger for her. But when a deadly alliance unleashes a threat to both humans and Guardians in modern-day San Francisco, angel and demon must fight together against unholy evil—and against a desire that has been too long denied...

 ******As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.
Man, I miss Meljean Brook. Per her website, she’s still writing, but things are going slooow. We haven’t had a new release from her in way too long. Demon Angel isn’t my favorite Brook novel, but it sets up this world so beautifully I had to repost this review. I feel a series re-read coming on.
This review was originally published July 15, 2013

The world building was imaginative, sensual and amazing. I was pleasantly surprised by the way Brook drew me into her fierce battle for souls and the fight between good and evil. I was also drawn in by the two lead characters, Lilith and Hugh. Though they came from two different worlds (literally) and were on opposite sides of an eternal battle, their connection to one another came across as not just sexual, but very emotional as well, which made their constant conflict all the more believable.

I also enjoyed the secondary characters and the relationships they had with Lilith and Hugh. Colin, the vampire they both befriended despite themselves; Sir Pup, Lilith’s hellhound; Savi, Hugh’s roommate and even Auntie, the woman who once took Hugh in, were fabulous characters, and while they played a large part in the overall story, they in no way intruded on the focus of the main story.

There were too many questions left unanswered, I think. Part of the appeal of this book is it really makes you think. Nothing is tied up in a nice, neat little bow, there are questions left unanswered and things you have to figure out on your own. Which was good and bad. I felt there were a few too many things left unexplained. However, because this is the first book of a series, I’m willing to wait for the next book before passing judgment.

I really struggled with the pacing. As much as I enjoyed this book, it was very slow moving. At times, the pace would pick up and I’d be sucked in, unable to set it down, and then it would get bogged down again and I’d have a hard time giving it my full attention. I understand that a lot of the information imparted was important for the story and the basis of the world Brook created, but at times there was Too Much Information. I think, in all honesty, the story could have been 100 pages shorter and been better for it.

Overall, I adored the storyline, the world building and the characters. I can’t wait for Demon Moon. I do hope, however, that the pacing will work better than it did in this one.

I think I’m going to give this one a solid:

4 out of 5

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This book is available from Berkley Sensation. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

*This review was first published at Sanctuary’s Finest.

four-stars

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Review: Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews

Posted January 19, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Magic Binds by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Holly
Magic Binds (Kate Daniels, #9) by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #9
Also in this series: Magic Shifts, Magic Shifts
Published by Ace
Publication Date: September 20th 2016
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 384
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four-half-stars

Mercenary Kate Daniels knows all too well that magic in post-Shift Atlanta is a dangerous business. But nothing she’s faced could have prepared her for this…

Kate and the former Beast Lord Curran Lennart are finally making their relationship official. But there are some steep obstacles standing in the way of their walk to the altar…

Kate’s father, Roland, has kidnapped the demigod Saiman and is slowly bleeding him dry in his never-ending bid for power. A Witch Oracle has predicted that if Kate marries the man she loves, Atlanta will burn and she will lose him forever. And the only person Kate can ask for help is long dead.

The odds are impossible. The future is grim. But Kate Daniels has never been one to play by the rules…

Kate and Curran have finally set a date for their wedding, but planning a wedding is hard work, especially when you’re trying to grow a business, defend land you never meant to claim and deal with your soon-to-be husband’s former pack.

Now that Kate’s father has moved in at the edge of her land and called a truce, he keeps poking at her, hoping to incite a reaction. She’s mostly able to resist going after him directly until he kidnaps Saimon, a demi-god and former sort-of friend of Kate’s. Roland is bleeding him dry in his bid for more power, and Kate knows she can’t leave Saimon to his fate..especially since that would mean giving dear old dad power over her. The witch oracle has warned Kate she has devastation in her future, but she can’t sit back and do nothing. Plus, she’s changing. Since she claimed Atlanta as hers, she can feel pieces of herself slipping away. She doesn’t like the person she’s becoming, but she isn’t sure how to stop the change from happening.

Of course Curran still has her back. No matter how she acts or what challenges they face, Curran accepts Kate as she is. She also has a lot of support from her friends and psuedo-family. Despite herself – or maybe in spite of herself – Kate has formed stronger bonds and attachments than she ever expected.

These characters are so multifaceted. Take Roland for example. He is Evil Incarnate. The Killer of Innocents. The Scourge of the Earth. The Builder of Towers. Yet he has flashes of goodness, too. It’s clear he cares for Kate in his own way, and wants a relationship with her. I know there’s no way he can ever be redeemed, but a small part of me holds out hope I’m wrong, while another part anxiously awaits the day Curran rips him to pieces for hurting Kate.

This was such a fantastic read. I can’t believe how fresh and exciting this book was, considering we’re 9 books into the series. I was sucked in from page one. There was a surprising amount of humor considering the darker overtone of the book. I literally laughed out loud several times.

My heart hurt, my blood pumped and I was on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading. I can’t wait to see what Andrews has in store for us next.

4.5 out of 5

 

four-half-stars

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Review: Rookie Move by Sarina Bowen

Posted January 5, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Rookie Move by Sarina BowenReviewer: Holly
Rookie Move by Sarina Bowen
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers #1
Also in this series: Rookie Move, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter, Hard Hitter (Brooklyn Bruisers #2)
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: September 6th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, General, Sports
Pages: 336
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four-stars

The first novel in a sexy new series featuring the hockey players of the Brooklyn Bruisers and the women who win their hearts—from the USA Today bestselling author of the Ivy Years series.   In high school they were the perfect couple—until the day Georgia left Leo in the cold...   Hockey player Leo Trevi has spent the last six years trying to do two things: get over the girl who broke his heart, and succeed in the NHL. But on the first day he’s called up to the newly franchised Brooklyn Bruisers, Leo gets checked on both sides, first by the team’s coach—who has a long simmering grudge, and then by the Bruisers’ sexy, icy publicist—his former girlfriend Georgia Worthington.   Saying goodbye to Leo was one of the hardest things Georgia ever had to do—and saying hello again isn’t much easier. Georgia is determined to keep their relationship strictly professional, but when a press conference microphone catches Leo declaring his feelings for her, things get really personal, really fast....

Rookie Move is a spin-off of Bowen’s wildly popular Ivy Years series. It features Leo Trevi, older brother to the hero, DJ, of The Fifteenth Minute. We learned about Leo and his broken heart in DJ’s book. I was anxious to get the dirty details of his breakup with his high school sweetheart, and to see how things were progressing with him in the NHL.

Leo finally got called up from the minors to play in the NHL with the Brooklyn Bruisers. He’s excited to take his shot and prove himself, until he realizes the new coach is none other than his ex-girlfriend’s father, who hates him and wants Leo gone from the team, like yesterday. The owner of the team won’t let the coach fire him, but Leo knows he can be sent back to the minors at any time, so he has to keep his head down and his goals in line. There’s just one problem with that..the team’s acting senior publicist is none other than said ex-girlfriend. Georgia broke up with him in high school and broke his heart. Yet even so, he knows he isn’t over her, and he’d love the chance to win her back.

The last thing Georgia needs is to be reunited with her ex while she’s trying to prove herself to the team as the head publicist. Especially since her father is set against him and she’s on thin ice in her position as is. If only he weren’t so much sexier than she remembered..and so determined to get her back. But for all her warm feelings toward him, she hasn’t forgotten that Leo lost interest in her once. Her heart couldn’t take it if it happened again.

I absolutely adored Leo. He was strong, loyal and loving to the point of being adorable. I wanted to put him in my pocket and carry him around. His absolute devotion to Georgia made me melt. I loved his drive and determination when it came to hockey, too. Georgia was great for Leo. I fully bought their romance, both in the past and in the present. These two were simply meant to be together.

I did not like her as a publicist. She fell down on the job on more than one occasion. Her actions were immature and, quite frankly, she didn’t deserve the position she was clamoring for. I spent a good portion of the book thoroughly pissed off at her for her dumb actions at work. I loved her with Leo and outside of work, but I definitely had problem with her as a professional.

Georgia’s actions at work detracted from my overall enjoyment, but Leo and the romance more than made up for it. Sweet, sexy and fast-paced, Rookie Move had me from page one.

3.75 out of 5

four-stars

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