Publisher: Self-Published

DNF Review: Wild Irish Heart by Tricia O’Malley

Posted March 20, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

DNF Review: Wild Irish Heart by Tricia O’MalleyReviewer: Holly
Wild Irish Heart by Tricia O'Malley
Narrator: Amy Landon
Series: Mystic Cove #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: December 11, 2014
Format: eBook, Audiobook
Source: Purchased, Audible Romance Package
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 258
Length: 5 hours and 58 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 New to Me Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
dnf

It is time…

An ancient book, a power untouched, and a heart unloved lead Keelin O'Brien from her graduate studies in Boston to a small village on the coast of Southern Ireland. Determined to unearth the secrets lying hidden in the enchanted waters of the cove, Keelin has little time for a surly Irishman who infuriates her during the day and haunts her fantasies at night.

Inexplicably drawn to the woman who has stepped from his dreams and into his world, Flynn fights a stubborn battle against his increasing attraction for Keelin. Forces unknown have better plans for the two.

Only the secrets of the cove can show Keelin who she really is, the beauty of her mysterious power, and a love that will break the bounds of what she knows.

From New York Times Bestselling author, Tricia O'Malley, comes a new romance series set on the rocky shores of Ireland.

I started listening to this on audio, but switched to the ebook about 3 chapters in. The heroine was frustrating me, but I thought it might be the way the narrator was speaking for her. Sadly, that wasn’t the case. She was just immature and childish. She was supposedly 28 years old, but she acted like a teenager most of the time. Impetuous and headstrong, she rushed into things without thinking and even said things like “you can’t tell me what to do!”. What? You’re an adult, FFS.

The hero was a total jerk to the heroine. They’d been dreaming about each other and as soon as he saw her, he knew they were meant to be together. That pissed him off for some unknown reason and he ended up being an ass for no apparent reason. When she started banging on his chest like a little kid and he called her stupid, I just couldn’t anymore.

“Stupid?” Keelin hated being called stupid. Her Irish Temper kicked in. “Who are you calling stupid, you big oaf? What are you doing down here anyway?”
She pounded her fist on his chest and he grabbed her wrist with his hand. His eyes glinted dangerously at her as he held her hand captive.
“Obviously, I’m saving a stupid child from drowning.”
“A child? You, you jerk. Leave me alone.”

The premise was really intriguing – I love books featuring psychic abilities – but the execution was poorly done. Between the immature actions of the heroine and the asshole hero, I had to DNF around the 40% mark. I’m just glad this was a free read, or I’d be asking for a refund.

Rating: DNF

Mystic Cove

dnf


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Review: Cake by J. Bengtsson

Posted March 19, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Cake by J. BengtssonReviewer: Casee
Cake (Cake, #1) by J. Bengtsson
Narrator: Andi Arndt, Joe Arden
Series: Cake #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: May 14, 2016
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Romance Package
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 611
Length: 12 hours and 42 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Jake McKallister might have been a rock star, but he was no ordinary one. Surviving an unspeakable crime as a young teen had shaped him into a guarded workaholic, and he now lived his life trying to forget. If it hadn’t been for music and the redemption he found through it, he might not have survived. Career success came easily for him. Personal connections did not.

When outspoken, vivacious college student Casey Caldwell was paired with the famously reserved rockstar for a friend’s wedding, she was prepared for the worst. What could they possibly have in common? She was a bubbly talker; he was a reclusive loner. His life was filled with music; she couldn’t carry a tune. She’d enjoyed a happy childhood; his was a well-publicized nightmare.

Yet despite their obvious differences, Jake and Casey found each other, and her light balanced out his darkness. Would their love be strong enough to survive the weight of his tragic past?

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is a *full-length* standalone romance. Cake is a love story at heart but does deal with a sensitive topic and may not be for all. Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of eighteen.

Cake is the first book in the Cake series. The series follows the McKallister family. This book is about Jake McKallister, the rockstar of the family. No really, he’s seriously a rockstar. Like, for real.

Casey Caldwell never thought she would be walking down the aisle with Jake McKallister. Yet that is exactly what she is doing when she is paired up with him at her friend Kate’s wedding to Jake’s brother. Casey is an easygoing person. She can tell a joke, likes pulling pranks, and is just generally funny. Tbh, her jokes and pranks got old after awhile. Casey and Jake really hit it off during the rehearsal dinner when Casey pranked Jake.

Jake is instantly intrigued by Casey. No one pranks him. Literally no one. There is no one in his life that is bold enough to try. Now he can’t get Casey out of his mind. Jake doesn’t normally do relationships, but he finds himself wanting more from Casey. They decide to keep in touch after the wedding and soon after that, Jake invites Casey to come on tour with him for two weeks.

Their relationship is going swimmingly until Jake’s past starts to come between them. Jake went through a horrific experience during his childhood. That experience has shaped his current relationships and his life as an adult. Jake doesn’t talk about it. He won’t talk about it. Casey accepts that to a certain point. It causes friction between the two until Casey wonders if their relationship can withstand he strain.

Cake was a love story between two people that didn’t see it coming. It was about moving on from the past. It was about healing. It was about fighting for something you knew was worth fighting for. I listened to this book on audio and the narrators were really good. I was instantly pulled into the book and listened to it in a few days.

I’m looking forward to listening to the rest of the series.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Cake

four-stars


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Review: Wild Irish by C.M. Seabrook

Posted March 18, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Wild Irish by C.M. SeabrookReviewer: Holly
Wild Irish by C.M. Seabrook
Narrator: Kyle Maraglio
Series: Wild Irish #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: May 29, 2017
Format: Audiobook, eBook
Source: Audible Romance Package, Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 277
Length: 5 hours and 19 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2019 New to Me Challenge, New to Me Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

I went searching for trouble and I found it. I just didn't expect to find it in the form of Cillian Gallagher.

The gorgeously tatted lead singer and guitarist of Wild Irish, Cillian is everything I've always tried to stay away from. He's wild and dangerous. And exactly what I need to cross off number four on my bucket list.

Kiss a complete stranger.

It should have been that simple. But I wasn't prepared for the scorching heat that would ignite a passion, leaving us both gasping for air.

It was never meant to be more than a fling.

I didn't expect that when I left Ireland, I'd be leaving a piece of my heart, or how our lives would be intertwined even when we were thousands of miles apart.

One last request.

One life-changing list.

One month of no regrets.

I ran from my boring, simple life, straight into the arms of trouble. The thing with trouble is that it has a way of finding you, no matter where you go.

I was looking for some Ireland-set novels for St. Patrick’s Day and grabbed this one from the Audible Romance Package. About 30% in I nabbed the ebook from KU, because I was having a hard time with how slow the narrator was. I actually really liked his voice and his Irish accent for Cillian, but it was sooo…..slooooww.

Delaney’s sister recently passed away after a long battle with an illness. The same week she loses her job and finds her fiance in bed with another woman, she decides to take her sister’s bucket list to Ireland and complete it for her. Her first day in she’s run off the road by a sexy, tattooed man and ends up going home with him because her car is totaled. While she waits for the insurance thing to get figured out, they strike up a sort-of friendship, wish is doused in a liberal amount of attraction and chemistry.

Cillian is the lead singer of a popular rock band. He’s taking a break to lick his wounds after being betrayed by his brother – another band member. Since the entire band has chosen to take his brother’s side, Cillian is avoiding all of them and trying to decide if he wants to pursue a legal battle to get himself out of their upcoming tour. In the meantime, he’s drinking himself drunk every night and basically wallowing in misery. Until he sees her…She lights up his world for the first time in months, and he knows he won’t be able to resist her.

The first half of this book was really good. Delaney arriving in Ireland and meeting Cillian, the mystery behind his brother’s betrayal (the betrayal itself is mentioned, but not the details), their attraction; I enjoyed all of it. Cillian wants to avoid his bandmates as long as possible, so he decides to take Delaney on a tour of Ireland so she can mark things off her list. I especially enjoyed the couple weeks they were away, getting to know each other and exploring – though even then I’d have liked to see more of them sharing with each other and opening up. More about that later.

The second half kind of lost me. Cillian has trust issues and he takes that out on Delaney several times. There’s a four month break while they’re apart, then a lot more trust issues. Going back to what I said earlier, they didn’t share enough with each other. We didn’t get to see them open up and spill their secrets, then come to some kind of understanding with each other. Plus, Cillian’s anger and irrational actions because of said anger really turned me off. Not to mention the resolution with his brother was glossed over and half-assed. I’m sure it’ll be addressed more in the second book, but I don’t think I’ll be continuing.

I was going to give this a 3 out of 5, because I really enjoyed the first half, but I’m lowering it to 2.75 after writing this review. I wish it had continued on as it began.

Rating: 2.75 out of 5

Wild Irish

three-stars


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Review: Repeat by Kylie Scott

Posted March 14, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Repeat by Kylie ScottReviewer: Casee
Repeat by Kylie Scott
Narrator: Andi Arndt
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 7, 2019
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Romance Package
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Length: 6 hours and 47 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars

From Audie Award winning, New York Times best-selling author Kylie Scott comes an irresistible new romance - available in audio first!

When a vicious attack leaves 25-year-old Clementine Johns with no memory, she's forced to start over. Now she has to figure out who she was and why she made the choices she did - which includes leaving the supposed love of her life, tattoo artist Ed Larsen, only a month before.

Ed can hardly believe it when his ex shows up at his tattoo parlor with no memory of their past, asking about the breakup that nearly destroyed him. The last thing he needs is more heartache, but he can't seem to let her go again.

Should they walk away for good, or does their love deserve a repeat performance?

So Holly gave this book a five. A five, y’all. I think this has happened less than five times in the history of Book Binge. When she told me how good this book was and that I had to read it, I didn’t doubt her. Our track records haven’t been great, but I still read the summary and it was intriguing. You guys, I listened to this book at work in one day. And I work part-time. It was so good.

Clementine Johns wakes up in the hospital with no memories. Like none. She doesn’t know who she is, who the people around her are, or why she left the man that she’s told was the love of her life. Actually, her sister didn’t even tell her that she had someone in her life. She finds that out when she goes looking for who did the tattoos that are on her body. When she walks into the tattoo shop, the man there looks anything but happy to see her. She soon understands why when it seems that she left him only a month before.

Ed agrees to answer Clem’s questions, but he doesn’t agree to anything beyond that. Clem is fine with that, but she soon finds herself falling for the big tattoo artist and wonders what would have made her leave him. When he starts giving her bits and pieces of their past, she doesn’t like the picture it paints of her.

The suspense part of the book was ridiculous, but it didn’t take up much of the book.

This book was really amazing. It’s about second chances. It’s about holding on tight to the one you love and taking a leap of faith. Clem didn’t know who she used to be and she didn’t really care. She knew who she wanted to be. All she wanted to show Ed was that she could be the woman the woman for him.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

four-half-stars


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Joint Review: Overnight Sensation by Sarina Bowen

Posted March 13, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Joint Review: Overnight Sensation by Sarina BowenReviewer: Holly & Rowena
Overnight Sensation by Sarina Bowen
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers #5
Also in this series: Rookie Move, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter , Pipe Dreams, Pipe Dreams, Pipe Dreams, Brooklynaire, Bountiful, Rookie Move
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 22, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 341
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Everyone knows the girl is off limits. But it's so good to be bad.


There's this girl...

Heidi and I have been trading hungry looks all year, and everything she does makes me smile. But I don't do girlfriends, and I certainly can't get involved with the league commissioner's daughter. I need shots on goal, not a hookup and a widely misunderstood paparazzi photo. Can I resist her, though? The way she teases me should be a game penalty for interference with my libido. 


There's this guy...

Jason wants me, but he won't admit it. That man looks at me the way a hockey player eyes the lunch buffet after practice--and I love it. But when victory is finally within my grasp, I blow it and humiliate myself. Even then I can't even avoid him--as the team intern, I'm in constant view of his hard body and cocky smile. I need another chance. Jason Castro is about to learn the true meaning of an overnight sensation.

Jason Castro is known as a playboy off the ice, and he’s content with that. He isn’t interested in getting heavy with someone. He and Heidi, the new intern, have been circling each other for months. He knows she wants him, but he’s held back until now. He finally decides to go for it and she ends up too drunk for anything to happen. Then he finds out she’s the commissioner’s daughter, and that makes her 100% off limits. If only she’d get the memo.

Heidi is tired of living under her father’s thumb. She wants to experience life. When she says she’s not going back to Bryn Mawr to finish her degree, her father declares she has to spend 10 weeks doing every job in the organization – from cleaning toilets and selling hotdogs, to cleaning the ice and working security. In the meantime, she knows she can’t live at home and see his smug face every day, so she rents an apartment in Brooklyn. When that falls through, she ends up staying with Castro and his roommate.

Holly: I have to be honest, I spent the first few chapters of this book super pissed at Heidi’s dad. So much that I almost stopped reading it. I liked her enough that I continued, though, and I’m glad I did. I ended up really loving her and I enjoyed the romance.

Rowena: Yeah, I was pissed at Heidi’s Dad and his high handedness. He was super annoying and I was a bit disappointed in Becca for not clapping back even though I know that she had her hands tied. I just wanted her to not care about any of that and do it anyway.

Holly: I didn’t understand her dad at all. I mean, I guess I understood him, but I didn’t like the way he acted or the way their issues were resolved (or not resolved, as the case may be). I agree about Becca. I expected something totally different from her in that situation, or maybe from Nate. It was weird.

Rowena: Heidi was the bomb. She was my absolute favorite part of this book. She just kept right on rolling with the punches her father delivered and she was better for all of it. It would have been completely understandable if she snapped but she was strong and she was solid and she had such a great attitude through it all. I loved seeing her grow into the person she was in the end and I really loved seeing how she wore Jason down. Gah, I can’t say enough good things about her.

Holly: Heidi was so wonderful. I loved how she kept her head up and tackled everything life threw at her. She was great.

Rowena: Jason was another great hero from this series and I really enjoyed getting to know him, seeing him fall in love with Heidi and work through the issues that were holding him back from really living his life with Heidi. I thought all of that was handled well. Sarina Bowen really rocked my socks with this one.

Holly: I liked Jason, too. I liked learning about him and his issues and seeing him work through things so he could be with Heidi.

I’m still disappointed with the way things ended with her family, though.

Rowena: Same. That was the only downer in the entire book. Well, that and the stuff with Lissa’s Mom and Jason. So, was it just determined that he would continue to send her money every time she called him in tears, was he ever going to talk to her and get her to understand that he wasn’t her personal bank? Or was it just determined that because he did that stuff for Lissa, that’s just how it was going to end? As far as Heidi’s father was concerned, I wasn’t completely satisfied with the resolution to all of that madness. Sure, I loved that Heidi was the better person in it all but I would have been so much happier if she got to really serve her Dad with the set down that he deserved and I wanted to see him more remorseful for all that he put Heidi through.

Holly: That’s the thing, it was never discussed. How will he handle that? Is he going to just keep on with that forever? It made no sense that it was brought up at all if there wasn’t going to be a resolution.

I definitely wanted to see Heidi give him a set down, or at least have him acknowledge her accomplishments.

Rowena: So I read that Silas’ book is next…do you think his heroine is going to be the singer? And do you think we’ll get a book for Bayer? I low key want to read his story, too.

Holly: I do think it’ll be with the singer. I can’t wait to see what happens with that. I want a book for Bayer, too. My heart hurt for him.

Although I was frustrated with Heidi’s family and Lissa’s mom, overall I really enjoyed the story. Heidi was wonderful, and I really liked their romance. I’m giving this 4 out of 5.

Rowena: Yeah, those two things were the only things that I struggled with but I really enjoyed everything else. I loved the romance between Jason and Heidi. I loved both Jason and Heidi on their own and I loved them together. I loved seeing all of the Brooklyn Bruisers again and the friendship between Silas and Jason. I also really loved what Heidi planned for Silas’ birthday and how everyone on the team was in, even though it was the very last thing that they all wanted to do. There was much that I loved about this book but I couldn’t get over Heidi’s daddy being a jerk and Lissa’s Mom being a mooch so this one wasn’t getting a 5 from me, close though. Sarina Bowen did her thing with this one.

I give this one a 4.5 out of 5.

Final Grades

Holly: 4 out of 5
Rowena: 4.5 out of 5

Brooklyn Bruisers

four-stars


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