Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Guest Review: Dating the Undead by Juliet Lyons

Posted May 5, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Dating the Undead by Juliet LyonsReviewer: Tracy
Dating the Undead by Juliet Lyons
Series: V-Date.com #1
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: May 2nd 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Paranormal, Vampires
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four-stars

When Silver Harris kisses sexy Irish vampire Logan Byrne on New Year's Eve, she knows other humans just won't suffice. Convinced she'll never see him again, she joins the uber-popular vampire dating site, VDate.com.

What Silver doesn't know is that the site is more dangerous than she could ever imagined, and soon she's in over her head. When Logan returns, sparks fly and attraction sizzles, but they'll have to escape some very real demons if they have any chance of lasting forever.

Silver gets kicked out of a New Year’s Eve party when she dumps a drink on the woman she catches kissing her date – and kicks her date in the balls.  Apparently that doesn’t make for a good party.  Out of the street she meets a beautiful man who ends up walking her home.  They get along great and end up sharing a midnight kiss to ring in the new year.  She knows he’s a vampire but she doesn’t care, it was the best kiss of her life.  She especially liked it when he bit her.

Silver tells her step-sister Jess about it the next day and Jess tells her about V-Date, an online dating site where you can date vampires.  Silver joins the site hoping that the sexy vampire she kissed will be part of it.  She doesn’t know how to contact him as he didn’t even give her his name.  He’s not on there but Silver starts to set up dates with vampires anyway.  Unfortunately she finds herself incredibly bored.  Yes, the vamps are hot but she’s not connecting with any of them.

Meanwhile Logan, the vampire that Silver kissed, is directed by his “boss” to track down women who are part of V-Date.  Apparently the police are using the women on the site to get information about vampires as they’re such a mystery.  Logan is to track down the women and then put a glamour on them so they will have no interest in vampires ever again.  Of course the first person he’s to glamour is Silver but he can’t bring himself to do it as that means she’ll have no interest in him.  He knows he’s ignoring his boss which can have serious repercussions but he’s so into Silver he doesn’t care.

Silver is approached by the police to get info about vampires and they promise to open up her mother’s case again.  Her mother disappeared when Silver was 9 years old and they never found out what happened to her.  With Silver working with the police and Logan ignoring his bosses wishes, things get tense.  That doesn’t stop the couple from falling in love.  Of course Logan’s old sire returns to town and is determined to get him back no matter what the cost.

When I read the blurb for Dating the Undead it sounded like a fun book and I’m happy to say, it was!  Silver had a great sense of humor and was pretty snarky.  Both Silver and Logan could laugh at themselves and I loved that about them.  They worked together really well and I thought the author did a great job writing their romance.  She wrote Logan so that he was a guy who had pretty much maintained his humanity and that’s what made him so appealing to me.

I did have a couple of issues with the book.  One was the fact that Logan’s boss was written as this scary “ancient” that you never crossed.  When he was crossed however, nothing happened.   Not that I wanted him to harm Logan but it was a bit anti-climactic.  The other thing was Logan’s old sire.  She was determined to get Logan back or harm him in some way for not being the murderer she wanted him to be.  I understand why she was written into the book as the villain but she was so over the top it didn’t fit in with the book, imho.

Despite those issues I liked the story a lot.  I got a little burned out on vampire romances a while back so I haven’t read many lately.  Dating the Undead was a good book to read to jump back into the genre.

Rating: 3.75/4 out of 5  

four-stars

Guest Review on a Sneak Peak of The Ones Who Got Away by Roni Loren

Posted May 4, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Reviewer: Tracy
The Ones Who Got Away by Roni Loren
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: January 2nd 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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four-stars

A fresh new contemporary romance from New York Times and USA Today bestseller Roni Loren that will rock your world.

Twelve years ago, tragedy struck the senior class of Long Acre High School. Only a small number of students survived, a group the media dubbed as The Ones Who Got Away.

Now, web designer Liv Arias, along with the rest of the survivors, have returned to the small Texas town to tell their stories for a documentary. Which means Liv seeing former star-athlete and old flame Finn Dorsey. A lot happened between them that night and Liv is ready to end their decade-long riff and move on. But when her attempt at closure turns into a steamy kiss, moving on proves much more difficult than either of them thought...

Liv's words cut off as Finn got closer. The man approaching was nothing like the boy she'd known. The bulky football muscles had streamlined into a harder, leaner package. The smooth face was now dusted with scruff, and the look in his deep green eyes held no trace of boyish innocence. A thousand things were in those eyes. A thousand things welled up in Liv.

Liv doesn’t really want to be back in her hometown talking about the tragedy that changed her entire life.  She certainly doesn’t want to see Finn as he had a big hand in her experience during the tragedy.  Despite that she can’t help but be attracted to the man that Finn’s become, remembering all the great times they had in high school, even if no one but the two of them knew about their relationship.  Liv just wants to give her interview and get back home, but once Finn kisses her she’s not sure what she wants.

I just got a short sneak peak at The One Who Got Away but it left me completely intrigued – and frustrated that I it ended so soon!  I’ve loved the books I’ve read by Loren and I have a feeling I’ll like this one just as much.  TOWGA obviously has a highly emotional and touchy subject – a mass shooting at a high school – and one that we hear about way too often these days.  I admire Loren for having this romance set post-tragedy and can’t wait to see how she handles the characters with all of their survivor’s guilt.  I think it’s gonna be a great read and can’t wait until January 2018 when it comes out.

four-stars

Guest Review: Flash of Fury by Lea Griffith

Posted March 15, 2017 by Jen in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Flash of Fury by Lea GriffithReviewer: Jen
Flash of Fury by Lea Griffith
Series: Endgame Ops #1
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: March 17th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romantic Suspense
Pages: 384
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two-half-stars

Their spark is immediate

Kingston McNally lost men when someone betrayed his team, and now he's out for retribution. His quest for the enemy's courier leads him to Cameroon and Allie Redding, a petite Peace Corps volunteer as stubborn as she is brave. Their attraction is immediate, but Allie has secrets of her own...and she's not giving them up easily.

But their secrets could burn them both

Allie's life has been spent hiding in plain sight, but she's had enough of her cloak-and-dagger existence. On her way home, her plane is hijacked-and King saves her life. But that doesn't mean she owes him anything...even if he is the most damnably sexy man she's ever laid eyes on. He's got black ops and secrets written all over him, and trust is a two-way street.

This book sounded right up my alley because it’s about two people on the run, jetting around the world. Totally my catnip! Unfortunately, the book was largely disappointing for me.

Kingston (King) is the leader of a black ops team. Their last mission went sideways, a team member betrayed them, and several people lost their lives. King is trying to track down the international weapons dealer who was behind the mission-gone-wrong, and it leads him to a plane in Cameroon where he’s told a courier for the dealer will be flying. Instead, he interupts a hijacking in which some bad guys are attempting to kidnap Allie Redding. He doesn’t know if she’s the courier, someone else connected with the bad guys, or a total innocent, but he saves her anyway. When her real identity comes out, the mission changes to getting Allie back to America safely while also trying to unravel the complicated games that brought his team down.

The most frustrating part of this book for me was the romance. King and Allie have absolute insta-lust in a way that’s truly ridiculous. They are already making out very early in the book, while still escaping from the hijackers and before they’ve even had much conversation. It was especially stupid on Allie’s part, because she had no idea who King was or whether he was a good or bad guy. Come on girl, you can be smarter than that! King has some tender moments, but I didn’t quite understand what was drawing these two together, besides the obvious stressful, life-and-death situation. The dialog in the book is also kind of awkward, and the action jumps around. Several times I felt like I was dropped in the middle of an ongoing series and I had missed the set up for all the characters and teams. It made things confusing and hard to follow.

The complexity was a double edged sword, because while it did make things confusing I enjoyed some of it. There are so many people involved in the plot, and while there are a couple clear bad guys (the dealer and his cronies) and good guys (King and Allie), everyone else is a question mark. Who is double crossing whom? Who has their own secret agendas, and what are they? Will people’s personal relationships trump their national and financial loyalties? I enjoyed the mystery, and I’m intrigued by the larger story line. In fact, I’m intrigued enough that I might even consider reading another book in the series just to find out more, despite my misgivings with this first book.

So, consider my interest piqued but in no way sold on this series.

Grade: 2.5 out of 5

*I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

 

two-half-stars

DNF Review: Flirting Under a Full Moon by Ashlyn Chase

Posted March 9, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

DNF Review: Flirting Under a Full Moon by Ashlyn ChaseReviewer: Holly
Flirting Under a Full Moon by Ashlyn Chase
Series: Flirting with Fangs Trilogy #1
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: April 2nd 2013
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 342
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dnf

If Brandee Hanson ever wants to go from waitress to photographer, she'll have to take some once-in-a-lifetime shots. But when she catches the gorgeous private investigator, Nick Wolfensen, on camera— transforming into a werewolf—she is thrown into a world of vampires, shapeshifters, and other paranormal misfits.

In order to keep his secret and stay clear of the supernatural council, Nick will have to convince Brandee not to release the photo. Fortunately, he was looking for an excuse to spend more time with the beautiful waitress anyway.

I saw a recommendation for this series on Instagram. It looked cute and kind of fun. Instead I found it to be over-the-top campy and pretty ridiculous.

Brandee is a waitress at a dive bar that caters, unbeknownst to her, to paranormals – werewolves, vampires and the like. One of the regulars constantly flirts with her, but she isn’t looking for a one-night-stand and Nick is known to run from any type of relationship. When they end up working together to find her missing cousin, she realizes there’s more to Nick than she initially thought. But strange things keep happening and she isn’t sure she can trust him.

For Nick’s part, he’s been playing the field while he waits for his Mate. Which, it seems, Brandee is. But he’s forbidden from telling her he’s a shifter, and Mother Nature is watching him closely.

I really wanted to like this, but it was just too silly for me. Brandee made ridiculous decisions that put herself and others in danger, with no thought whatsoever to the consequences. She didn’t ask questions when she should have and trusted much too easily. The hero was kind of overbearing, but honestly with the way she acted I don’t know how he could stand to be around her.

She also has the annoying habit of replacing “Oh, my god” with silly phrases. It was meant to be cute and kind of endearing, I think, but instead it was distracting and annoying.

“But we have to call the police,” Brandee said. “Oh, my obstruction of justice.”

“Oh, my first date jitters…”

“Oh, my Little Red Riding Hood.”

There were also gems like this:

“Are they feeding you, sweetheart?”

“Yeah. Cheese and crackers.”

Crap. With my lactose intolerance, I’ll be less than the perfect hostage. Although with all the burping and farting, they might just let me go.

Chase, Ashlyn (2013-04-02). Flirting Under a Full Moon (Flirting with Fangs Book 1) (p. 41). Sourcebooks. Kindle Edition.

I tried to stick with it, but once Mother Nature came on scene as a trash talking bitch, I just couldn’t. I had to quit at the 25% mark. There is definitely an audience for this type of book, but I’m not it.

DNF

dnf

Guest Review: Beautiful Mess by Kasey Lane

Posted March 7, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Beautiful Mess by Kasey LaneReviewer: Tracy
Beautiful Mess by Kasey Lane
Series: Rock 'n' Ink #2
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: March 7th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 352
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three-half-stars

Hell's bells.

Jackson Paige was, in fact, Jax Pain, the drummer of Manix Curse.
That thing in Jami's chest tightened, making it hard to breathe.

When attorney Jami Dillon strides into the conference room to meet her new client, she's stopped in her tracks by an all-too familiar figure. Jackson Paige. He's her tall, tattooed, and sexy as hell hook up from law school-who also broke her heart.

Jackson Paige, aka Jax Pain, has worked hard to put that unfor-frickin-gettable fling behind him and the nasty secret that made him leave her. Truth is, life as the playboy drummer of Portland's hottest metal band hasn't helped him to forget the fiery, sexy woman who stole his heart. Lucky for him, Jami was just hired as his band's new attorney. But when he sees the look on her face when she realizes who her new client is, Jax wonders if maybe being this close to her again isn't such a great idea. The explosive chemistry is there, but so are the dark secrets...

JamiLynn Dillon is a buttoned-up lawyer.  She had her wild youth and paid a steep price for it.  Trying to make her parents happy she became a lawyer and is a damned good one – not that the job she’s working in takes advantage of that.  She constantly wants to please her parents and has a plan for her life.  Jackson Paige, the guy she had a month-long fling with in law school, is not part of that plan.  She had once thought he might be but after he up and left her, and school, one day without a word or backward glance she quickly wrote him out of the plan.  Now he’s back in her life and making things messy.  She doesn’t want to feel things.  She doesn’t want him messing up her thoughts or making her question her job but he does those things anyway.

Jackson never forgot Jami and regretted his decision to leave her the minute it happened.  Now that she’s back in his life he knows that it’s right and he’s willing to fight for the woman he wants in his life forever.  He just has to break through to her and make her see the Jami he sees – not the one she’s created to please her parents.  She’s stubborn, however, and Jackson must do all he can to get her to see that they belong together.

Beautiful Mess is book 2 in the Rock ‘n’ Ink series.  The story of Jami and Jackson was a sweet one and I enjoyed watching the two of them work out their differences.

Jackson was a great guy who had left law school and taken his life back.  He’d only been there to please his father but the artist in him finally pushed to the forefront and won the fight.  He is now an mixed media artist and tattoo artist as well as the drummer in an up and coming metal band.  I loved how he went after what he wanted – including Jami – and didn’t let her objections get in the way.

Jami took a bit for me to get used to.  In fact never really truly loved her character.  She was so wishy-washy.  I know that was because of her parents and how she’d lived her life with their expectations in mind but her indecision and stubbornness got a bit old after a while.

The story itself was good and I liked a lot of it.  There was some repetitiveness to it that bothered me as it seemed like Jackson and Jami were constantly hammering out the same issues but there was enough good parts to the book that I could forgive the other.  This book, imho, can’t be read as a standalone.  You truly need to read book one in the series as you will get lost with all the characters coming in and out of the book. If you read book one in the series and liked it you’ll definitely want to read book two and see Jax find his HEA.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars