Publisher: Signet

Review: Midnight Action by Elle Kennedy

Posted March 23, 2017 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Midnight Action by Elle KennedyReviewer: Casee
Midnight Action by Elle Kennedy
Series: Killer Instincts #5
Also in this series: Midnight Revenge, Midnight Rescue, Midnight Alias, Midnight Games, Midnight Pursuits
Published by Signet
Publication Date: November 4th 2014
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 368
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Goodreads
three-half-stars

She’s got a broken heart...and a fully loaded arsenal....
Ex–army ranger Jim Morgan leads a team of elite mercenaries, but eighteen years ago in Paris, he was part of a black ops unit whose mission was to hunt down a rogue operative. In order to trap the criminal, Jim seduced Noelle, the man’s daughter—a ruthless act that cost him the love of his life and turned her into a mortal enemy. Now he can’t trust her, but he still desires her. He also needs her help....
Older, wiser, and unwilling to play the fool again, Noelle runs a group of highly skilled assassins. And she’s just been offered the hit of the century: Eliminate Jim Morgan. History gives them no reason to trust each other, but with their lives in jeopardy at the hands of a common enemy, the lines between love and hate are soon blurred. Now Noelle and Jim must face the past if they want to have a future—let alone a future together.

This is probably my least favorite book of the series. Which is surprising considering I was so fascinated by these two at the beginning of the series. By book three, I didn’t want to read their book. By book four, I was actually considering skipping it. But secondary characters run strong in this series and I couldn’t skip it. Liam and Sully. ::sigh:: Love those two. Noelle and Morgan? Not so much. They were okay, but Noelle was not my cuppa. I ended up liking her, but not loving her.

Noelle is the Queen of Assassins. She’s hardcore. A total bitch. She has no feelings. In previous books she was fucking Derek Pratt, one of Morgan’s mercs. I have to use that term because there is no other word for it. She wasn’t doing it to make Morgan jealous because they don’t feel that base of feelings for each other. They feel hate, loathing, feelings like that. Their history is deep and long. When Noelle picks up a job to assassinate a target, she is surprised that the target is Jim himself. What surprises her even more is when she goes to warn him instead of kill him. She always has known that she would one day kill him, but obviously that day isn’t today. See, that’s weird. How can you setup a couple in a book like that? These two literally want to kill each other.

Morgan is surprised that Noelle came to warn him. He hates her with a passion that surpasses everything and anything he’s ever known. He also once loved her with the same passion. Until she was responsible for taking the woman out of his life that was pregnant with his child. She doesn’t know why he’s looked for Ariana for the last 17 years. She thinks he’s in love with the woman and he’s let her think that to hurt her. When he follows her back to Paris to find who is trying to kill him, their past comes full circle.

Morgan finds his child after all these years and finally explains to Noelle that he never loved Arianna. Noelle doesn’t give a crap. She will never forgive him for pretending to love her to get to her father and then ultimately getting him killed. Morgan realizes that he wants it all, his daughter and Noelle. Noelle is having none of that. She’s not the girl that Morgan once loved. She’s ruthless, an assassin, someone that has buried her feelings under layers of ice. Ice that can’t be broken by the man that is responsible for it.

These two just rubbed me the wrong way. I don’t know why. It’s not that I didn’t like their story, because I did. It resonated with me. I felt bad for Noelle. The sex was a good read. Their feelings for each other were open and raw. Morgan really loved Noelle. There was just something off about it. Liam and Sully were my favorite part of the book. This is where their problems started and they sure didn’t end here.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

three-half-stars

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Review: Midnight Pursuits by Elle Kennedy

Posted March 21, 2017 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Midnight Pursuits by Elle KennedyReviewer: Casee
Midnight Pursuits by Elle Kennedy
Series: Killer Instincts #4
Also in this series: Midnight Revenge, Midnight Rescue, Midnight Alias, Midnight Games, Midnight Action
Published by Signet
Publication Date: April 1st 2014
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 368
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Her job is to stay hidden.Too bad he can’t take his eyes off her.
Soldier-for-hire Ethan Hayes is the youngest member of an elite mercenary team. While he may be affectionately nicknamed the rookie, the skills Ethan honed as a Marine make him seriously dangerous. But when a sudden distress call puts him in close quarters with a rival, he finds more than his field skills being put to the test.
Juliet Mason stands out as the master thief in a covert group of assassins and spies. Her latest mission is personal—and it’s gone horribly wrong. Juliet may prefer to work alone, but when the rookie comes to her aid in snowy Eastern Europe, she can’t deny they make a good team. But even up against a powerful enemy, their most challenging task yet may be fighting the passion between them...

Still in love with this series.

The Queen of Assassins assassins are dropping like flies for Jim Morgan’s mercenaries. It is quite amusing. Juliet Mason has no intention of falling for Ethan Hayes. The rookie merc is too young, too green, and too innocent for her. She can’t deny the attraction to herself, but she can deny Ethan. Which she has and will continue to do. Then she gets into trouble and finds that Ethan is the one that comes to her rescue.

Juliet is a thorn in Ethan’s side. Since the day he met her, she has rubbed him the wrong way. She has yet to see him as anything but a boy, but he’s determined to prove her wrong. He gets the chance when she phones Isabel for help and gets him instead. He questions why he feels the need to race to her rescue, but still does it. The feelings the Juliet invokes in him are something that he’s accepted.

When he finally is at her side, he realizes that Juliet is in more trouble than he first realizes. She’s on a revenge mission. Her brother has been murdered and she will stop at nothing to avenge him. Ethan can’t do anything but stay by her side and help her. He’s determined to show her that he’s more than “the rookie”.

I love the suspense in this book. Juliet is a badass. She freaking broke the Siberian Wolf who is the assassin that killed her brother. Only Juliet or her boss could do something that awesome. Yet when she’s around Ethan, there’s a side to her that is only for him. Elle Kennedy writes these characters and their relationships in a way that I haven’t read for some time. The heroes and heroines are hardcore, but when it comes to their relationships, they change.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

four-stars

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Review: Midnight Games by Elle Kennedy

Posted March 20, 2017 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Midnight Games by Elle KennedyReviewer: Casee
Midnight Games by Elle Kennedy
Series: Killer Instincts #3
Also in this series: Midnight Revenge, Midnight Rescue, Midnight Alias, Midnight Pursuits, Midnight Action
Published by Signet
Publication Date: August 6th 2013
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 345
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

She wears a thousand deadly identities. He sees through them all.
A master of disguise, Isabel Roma spends her life pretending to be other women. Normally, her emotions are reined in tight—but sexy mercenary Trevor Callaghan has a knack for getting under her skin. The elite operative’s quiet strength and raw magnetism affect her in ways she’s never felt before, a distraction that can quickly turn deadly in their dangerous line of work.
After putting his tragic past behind him, Trevor is ready to focus on his future—and he damn well intends for Isabel to be in it. When their entire operation is thrown into chaos, Trevor enlists Isabel’s talent for deception. And as they attempt to save their team in a world where the stakes are high and the danger is grave, Trevor must convince Isabel that the woman beneath all the disguises is the one worth having...

It bears repeating. I love this series. Love it. Have I said it enough? You’re missing out if you haven’t read it. Midnight Games is my favorite book of the series and I’ve read the entire series by now. Trevor and Isabel? Sigh. I heart both of them.

Jim Morgan’s compound has been attacked. Shocking. The place is a fortress, so how the fuck has that happened? I am still in shock and it happened, like, three weeks ago. People died. It was heartbreaking. Trevor and Isabel were in the middle of a heart-to-heart and they needed it. After Midnight Rescue and Midnight Alias, those two had some crap to work through.

In Midnight Rescue, Trevor was a hot mess after the death of his fiancé. He wanted nothing to do with life. Isabel was all life and wanted nothing to do with Trevor on their mission. She was worried that he would get them both killed, which he almost did. Instead, she saved his life and got shot in the process. In Midnight Alias, she got scared and ran, leaving him waiting for her. See? Heartbreaking. This time Trevor isn’t going to let her go so easily. There is that pesky little thing about figuring out who is trying to kill the team. And finding their boss, who is suddenly off the grid.

The team heads to Monte Carlo after they get a lead on who hired the team that attacked the compound. They have no idea why this guy wants to kill them, but why does anyone go after a group of mercenaries? Bringing in the Queen of Assassins, Noelle is heading the op and is none too happy about brining her people in. She and Jim’s relationship is contentious at best.

It isn’t long before they discover that the attack tracks back to the first mission that Isabel and Trevor were on together. Isabel immediately takes the deaths from the compound on her own shoulders and draws even further away from Trevor. Trevor doesn’t let Isabel get away that easily.

I adored this book. I loved how much Trevor changed and grew from Midnight Rescue. He took a painful loss and grew from it. He realized that he loved Isabel and wouldn’t let her hide from him. This couple is one of my favorites so far this year.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

four-stars

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Review: Midnight Alias by Elle Kennedy

Posted March 15, 2017 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Midnight Alias by Elle KennedyReviewer: Casee
Midnight Alias by Elle Kennedy
Series: Killer Instincts #2
Also in this series: Midnight Revenge, Midnight Rescue, Midnight Games, Midnight Pursuits, Midnight Action
Published by Signet
Publication Date: February 5th 2013
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 345
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

She’s smart, seductive, and in way over her head.He’s her only way out.
An undercover DEA agent has gone off the radar. Suspecting an internal mole, the government needs Luke Dubois and his elite team of operatives to recover their man, and the New Orleans native thinks he’s found his way inside the dark underbelly of Manhattan: Olivia Taylor, the girlfriend of a mob boss and the sexiest woman he’s ever laid eyes on. His new mission objective? Get past Olivia’s defenses and convince her to take a chance—on him.
All Olivia wanted was to finish law school and live a normal life, but that dream was shattered when one dangerous night put her deeply in a mobster’s debt. Now Luke and his team will help her escape—in exchange for intel on the missing agent. But Olivia doesn’t anticipate her intense attraction to the reckless Louisiana charmer or that she’ll be forced to risk everything—including her heart.

I keep saying it, but I am loving this series. Loving it. The men are hotness and Luke Dubois is no exception.

A new mission has put Luke and his team in Manhattan. An undercover DEA agent has gone missing and they are tasked with finding out if he’s alive or dead. Their way in is a strip club which is a front for a mob boss. Luke is in the strip club every night trying to figure out a way in and he thinks he’s found one in Olivia Taylor, the mob boss’s girlfriend. He just has to figure out how to get her to help them.

All Olivia ever wanted to do was take care of herself and her mom. Her dad was in and out of her life as a child. She only wanted stability. That changed after she went to work at a strip club to pay for her mom’s medical bills. After someone attacks her, she ends up being at the mercy of a criminal who falls in love with her. Pretty soon Olivia has no way out. She would run, but she has her mother to consider. She’s playing a dangerous game with a dangerous man and it’s only a matter of time before her luck runs out.

When Luke shows up at the club and asks for her help, Olivia sees a way out. She agrees to help him if he helps her get her and her mom out of town. Then everything changes when she finds out what her “boyfriend” is capable of. Soon she is adamant about bringing him down. Then her and Luke are working together.

So I loved Luke. Loved him. Only Luke can be getting a lap dance and come up with this gem:

So, have you always wanted to be a stripper?

Yep. He said that. Olivia? Not so much. She was supposed to be really smart. Which she was, to a point. She was able to hold Vince off in really imaginative ways. I understand that emotion got to her in the end which is why she insisted on helping with the mission, but it was so freaking stupid. Not TSTL, but stupid nonetheless. The way Luke and Olivia got together in the end fell sort of flat for me. Still, Luke. Sigh.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

four-stars

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Retro-Review: Lover Enshrined by J.R. Ward

Posted March 8, 2017 by Casee in Reviews | 16 Comments

Retro-Review: Lover Enshrined by J.R. WardReviewer: Casee
Lover Enshrined by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #6
Also in this series: The Shadows
Published by Signet Eclipse
Publication Date: June 3, 2008
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 534
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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three-half-stars

Fiercely loyal to the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Phury has sacrificed himself for the good of the race, becoming the male responsible for keeping the Brotherhood's bloodlines alive. As Primale of the Chosen, he is obligated to father the sons and daughters who will ensure that the traditions of the race survive, and that there are warriors to fight those who want all vampires extinguished.

As his first mate, the Chosen Cormia wants to win not only his body, but his heart for herself. She is drawn to the noble responsibility behind the emotionally scarred male. But Phury has never allowed himself to know pleasure or joy. As the war with the Lessening Society grows grim, tragedy looms over the Brotherhood's mansion, and Phury must decide between duty and love....

*****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.

Where to begin? This is going to be a review that is all over the place, b/c the book was all over the place. So I’ll try to dumb it down, more for my sake than yours.

With each BDB book, it is less about the couple in question and more about the Brotherhood and where it’s going. Lover Revealed was the platform for Lover Unbound. Lover Unbound was the platform for Lover Enshrined. Lover Enshrined was the platform for whatever JRW has planned next. That is really a shame b/c JRW can really write romance in a way that I certainly appreciate. So Lover Enshrined was less about Phury and Cormia and more about the direction that JRW is taking the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

There were way too many POV’s in this book. Coming from me, someone who loves different POV’s, that’s saying a lot. So I’m going to try to break the various characters and their situation down using one word and then a short description.

Phury/Cormia: yawn

While I’ve never professed to be a Phury fan, I’ve never disliked him either. Unfortunately, I wasn’t feeling the love between Phury and Cormia. Phury is nothing but a junkie. I felt no love for him. When all was said and done, I could have cared less about him or his addiction. Cormia, on the other hand, was surprisingly likable. At first I didn’t really care for her, but then I thought about exactly who she was and the world that she was now in. She grew the most out of all the characters. By the end of the book, I really admired her quiet strength. I had one huge peeve about Cormia. She didn’t refer to Phury as Phury until page 456. It was “Primale” this and “Primale” that. It really got annoying, even considering where Cormia came from.

John Matthew/Qhuinn/Blaylock: Amazing

These three are the reasons that I kept reading this book. You can tell that JRW has big plans for these three. Something happened between Lash/John Matthew/Qhiunn that I didn’t see coming (that’s not saying much). I really enjoyed the friendship between these three b/c you could tell it was genuine. There is nothing that they won’t do for each other. Nothing.

The brand name dropping/slang did get eye-rolling. Here’s one of my favorite passages. I could not stop laughing. This was when Qhuinn and Blay took John Matthew shopping.

John got jacked into some sweet ragged jeans, a bunch of those deconstructed button-downs, and a couple of tight muscle shirts, which even he had to admit showed off his guns and his pecs like they were worth seeing.

Yes, that amused me for a good long while.

Rehv/Xhex: Fascinating

This book was definitely a platform for Rehv’s book. JRW did a fantastic job of generating interest in the sympath’s, even more than she’s done in the past few books. There’s also a tiny peek into Rehv and Xhex’s past. Oh and does anyone know for sure if Xhex is John Matthew’s mate? Because I would be thrilled to see that. Finally a female character that is actually interesting.

The Lessers: Intriguing

Finally JRW has a direction for the Lessers. See, the Omega has a son. A son who is a vampire. I won’t spoil it, but it is revealed in the book. So while I wasn’t exactly thrilled with all the face time that the Lessers got, it wasn’t as yawn inducing as it has been in previous books. They finally have a purpose and a leader. A leader that can actually make trouble for Wrath as King as well as the BDB. It’ll be interesting to see where it goes.

So there are at least 9 different POV’s here. That’s why this book is so long. If it was whittled down to only Phury/Cormia, it maybe would have been 100 pages. Maybe. Oh, also, the friendship between John Matthew and Cormia was really sweet. I really enjoyed reading how John Matthew introduced Cormia to the wonders of technology and color. John Matthew is really going to be a special hero.

Oh and how could I forget??? TOHR IS BACK!! I know that wasn’t a big secret, but it was still a tad bit shocking. I’ve given up hoping that we’ll actually see his book within the next 10 years. I’m sure he has “a lot to do” before we’re able to get his book. I’m not bitter or anything, though. Wait, yes I am.

Other than that, I’m sure the die-hard JRW fans will love this book. As a paranormal romance, it really missed the mark. I’d say it’s more fantasy than anything else. Or maybe sci-fi? I can’t decide. I know that I will read the next book and probably the next one after that.

If I was only rating this book on romance, I’d have to give it a 2 out of 5. Everything combined, I give it:

3.75 out of 5.

Other books in the series:

Dark Lover Lover Eternal Lover Awakened Lover Revealed Lover Unbound

Read my review of Lover Unbound here.

three-half-stars

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