Publisher: Sourcebooks

Guest Review: Drop Dead Gorgeous by Juliet Lyons

Posted October 3, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Drop Dead Gorgeous by Juliet LyonsReviewer: Tracy
Drop Dead Gorgeous (Bite Nights #2) by Juliet Lyons
Series: Bite Nights #2
Also in this series: Dating the Undead
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: October 3rd 2017
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 352
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four-stars

SWIPE RIGHT FOR MR. BITE

Mila Hart’s first experience with the hot new vampire dating site is a complete disaster. Turns out, her date is wanted for murder! But things turn around when she’s rescued by dashing vampire cop Vincent Ferrer. Dangerous and drop dead gorgeous, he’s just the vampire hottie Mila was hoping for.

Haunted by his past, Vincent can’t risk falling in love again, even if Mila charms him more than anyone he’s ever met. But when the killer from Mila’s first date seeks her out, Vincent is the only one who can protect her. Protecting his heart is a different story...

Mila Hart signed up for V-Date for a bit of an adventure.  She had been living in Australia and dating the same guy for two years when he announced he was going back to Brazil to live with his wife, an ex-lingerie model, and his two kids.  WTF?  Poor Mila.  Anyway, it’s her first V-Date and though it’s interesting she finds she’s not attracted to the guy, Jeremiah, at all.  She’s having an awkward conversation with him when he mesmerizes/compels her to go outside with him where he almost kills her!  She’s saved by Inspector Vincent Ferrar.  While she didn’t have any attraction to her V-Date she is extremely attracted to the Inspector.  Despite the attraction, after her initial interview at Scotland Yard, she decides not to assist them any further.  Her “almost” killer is wanted for a few other deaths as well and Mila figures they’ll catch him without her help.

Mila changes her mind about her would-be killer when she comes home and finds that he’s tossed her apartment.  This is especially scary because she never told him where she lived.  She ends up staying temporarily at Vincent’s apartment and this ends up being the close quarters they needed to act on their attraction to one another.  In fact, they can hardly be in each other’s company without ripping their clothes off.

When Vincent figures out there’s a lot more to the killer then just random killings he’s determined to stay with Mila 24/7 until the killer is caught.

This was another cute book by Juliet Lyons.  I really liked book one in this series so I was excited when I got the chance to read book two.  I did find that Drop Dead Gorgeous didn’t have the same humor in it that Dating the Undead did.  This was a little disappointing as I really liked that about DtU.

I really like Vincent and Mila both separately and together.  I was happy that they found each other and liked that they got their HEA.  I didn’t care for the excessive amount of sex scenes in the book.  I got that that’s what was pulling them together initially but after a while it just got incredibly old.

Despite that issue with the book I liked it and recommend it.  I will definitely keep reading this series to see what happens next.

Rating: 3.75/4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: All I Want for Halloween by Marie Harte

Posted September 28, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: All I Want for Halloween by Marie HarteReviewer: Tracy
All I Want for Halloween by Marie Harte
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: September 26th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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four-stars

TONIGHT, SHE PLANS TO LET GO.

Dressed up and anonymous, Sadie Liberato feels powerful, sexy and free. Where better to lose herself than a masked party?

Gear Blackstone's cheating ex and scheming best friend have managed to spin his life into a serious downward spiral. At least with a mask on he can cut loose for one night. And cut loose he does-with the sexiest, snarkiest chick he's ever met.

After a scorching-hot encounter, Sadie and Gear are desperate to find each other in real life. But can the heat last when the masks come off?

Gear Blackstone started his own motorcycle business with his best friend.  It turned into a reality TV show and all was well until his fiancé and best friend slept together then trashed Gear on national TV.  They cut him off the show and out of the business he’s worked so hard for.  It’s been two months and Gear is a bit lost as to what he wants to do now.

Sadie is co-owner of Sofa’s Baker with her brother and sister.  She loves her work but other than that she really has no life.  She’s once caught Gear’s reality show briefly and wasn’t impressed with it or him.

Sadie’s at a Halloween party when she meets a guy dressed as a devil.  They hit it off and end up having sex behind some plants.  Bold or stupid?  I can’t decide.  Anyway, Gear figures out who Sadie is and heads to her bakery to see if he can get her on a date.  Sadie loved her recklessness at the party but she’s not interested in a relationship and is a bit put out when she finds out it was Gear she had sex with.  Despite her misgivings about Gear she ends up having sex regularly with the man.  She finds herself getting closer to him and she’s not sure she’s ok with that.  She’s been hurt in the past and isn’t interested in getting hurt again.

This was a really cute book.  I loved Sadie and Gear because they were so upfront about things. When Gear was irritating her she told him so.  When she wanted to have sex, she told him so.  No beating around the bush with either of them.  Some would say it was crass and too blunt but I found it refreshing.  Yes, Sadie hid her feelings for Gear for short time but everything was soon out in the open.

As I said, Sadie was a straight-shooter – well, Gear was as well.  He’d been so hurt by his best friend and fiancé – although he knew he didn’t love the fiancé so he wasn’t too torn up about it.  It was mostly his best friend.  Not only did they screw him over but then they liked about it to make it look like Gear was the bad guy and had cheated on his fiancé first.  I wanted to grab them both through the book and slap them silly.  It was just so hurtful.  Gear managed to get through this all with Sadie’s help an I was happy when he finally went after what he wanted professionally and gave his old friends the finger.

Overall a fun book that I really enjoyed.  If you want a sweet romance this isn’t the book for you.  IF you like gritty characters that are upfront and plain talking then pick this one up.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: Her Dark Half by Paige Tyler

Posted September 18, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Her Dark Half by Paige TylerReviewer: Tracy
Her Dark Half by Paige Tyler
Series: X-Ops series #7
Also in this series: Her Perfect Mate, Her Lone Wolf, Her Wild Hero, Her Fierce Warrior, Her True Match
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: September 5th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 352
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four-stars

Trevor Maxwell
Coyote shifter with an attitude
Covert operator
Trusts no one, especially his devastatingly beautiful new partner

Alina Bosch
Former CIA, newest operative on the covert team
Hired to spy on her partner
Motto: "Never be deceived again."

Coyote shifter Trevor Maxwell is teamed up with CIA agent Alina Bosch to catch a killer. But when the mission becomes much more dangerous than they expected, they're going to have to ignore the attraction between them and learn how to trust one another to come out on the other side...

Alina was working for the CIA when she was recruited to the DCO (Department of Covert Ops).  She was hired by the director, Dick Coleman, and partnered with Trevor Maxwell specifically to keep an eye on him and report back to the Dick.  She didn’t realize that would be her mission when she took the job and frankly doesn’t feel all that great about it.

Once Alina starts working with Trevor she starts to think that something isn’t right.  Dick told her that Trevor was one of the shifters that killed the former director, John, but she’s starting to think he’s got it wrong.  She doesn’t necessarily trust Trevor but she thinks he might be more on the up and up than the Dick is.

Trevor doesn’t trust his new partner.  He certainly isn’t going to tell her that he thinks that Dick had something to do with John getting killed.  He’s trying to investigate without anyone knowing – especially Alina. His instincts are telling him to trust her but he just doesn’t know.  The longer they work together the more he realizes that Alina can be trusted.  He ends up telling her everything and not only do they work better as partners but they finally act on the sexual tension that’s been brewing between them since day one.

This was a wonderful semi-conclusion to the on-going story arc.  We learn so much about all of the bad guys and what they’ve been up to.  The shifters that went on the run in the last book show up again and then of course we have the relationship between Alina and Trevor.

The romance in this book really took a back seat to everything else, imho, but that was actually ok.  I think if the author had tried to work too much of the romance into the story it would have been imbalanced as there was SO much going on.  The story really needed to focus on finding John’s killer and outing the bad guys.  That being said, the parts with Alina and Trevor and their romance were made all the sweeter when it was just the two of them.  I really liked both characters and thought they were perfect together.

I truly liked the book a lot until I got to the epilogue.  I wanted to scream and tear my hair out after reading it as I found it so frustrating.  I can’t even give you a hint as to what it was but if you have been reading the series and then read this book you’ll understand what I mean.  I really wish the author would have just laid that particular issue to rest but she didn’t. Hopefully the storyline won’t get too monotonous with the same stuff happening.

I really enjoy reading the X-Ops series and recommend it if you like shifter romances.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: Highland Dragon Warrior by Isabel Cooper

Posted September 5, 2017 by Jen in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Highland Dragon Warrior by Isabel CooperReviewer: Jen
Highland Dragon Warrior by Isabel Cooper
Series: Dawn of the Highland Warrior #1
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: September 5th 2017
Genres: Paranormal Romance
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three-stars

Legend claims When Scotland fell to English rule The Highland dragons took a vow: Freedom at any price.

The war may be over, but so long as English magic controls the Highlands, not even a dragon laird can keep his clan safe. What Cathal MacAlasdair needs is a warrior fierce enough to risk everything, yet gifted enough to outwit an enemy more monster than man.

What he needs is Sophia.

Alchemist Sophia Metzger traveled to Loch Arach in search of knowledge. She never dreamed she'd learn to do battle, ride through the stars on the back of a dragon, or catch the eye of a Highland laird. But as her quest turns to sizzling chemistry and inescapable danger, she'll soon discover the thrill of being caught in a dragon's claws...

Dawn of the Highland Dragon Series: Highland Dragon Warrior (Book 1) Highland Dragon Rebel (Book 2)Highland Dragon Unleashed (Book 3)

What People Are Saying: "The mix of hard-headed realism and fantasy in this novel is enchanting..."--Barnes and Noble Reviews for Legend of the Highland Dragon "An outstanding read! ...fast-paced, smartly written...impossible to put down."--RT Book Reviews, 4 1/2 Stars, Top Pick! for Legend of the Highland Dragon"Smartly written, fast-paced, and brimming over with magic and surprises, this is exactly what readers crave."--RT Book Reviews 4 1/2 Stars, TOP PICK! for Night of the Highland Dragon

Cathal MacAlasdair is the youngest in a long line of dragon shifters. He’s currently managing the family’s lands while the rest of his family is away at war, but he’s unhappy. He kinda wants to be back fighting but also kinda doesn’t, and he is feeling the immense pressure of being responsible for the entire clan. When alchemist Sophia Metzger arrives seeking a favor, he thinks she may be able to help him solve a particularly painful crisis involving his childhood friend and some dark magic. Sophia has to work to figure out how to save Cathal’s friend, which ends up being a more dangerous task than anyone anticipated.

This book was kind of a mixed bag for me. One thing that definitely worked was Sophia. She had a confidence that was just wonderful to read about. She’s very, very good at her profession, and while she isn’t afraid to admit when she doesn’t know something, she’s confident in what she does know and isn’t afraid to trust herself. Even better, Sophia was just as self-assured in her personal life as well. She is honest and open with Cathal once she decides what she wants, and she isn’t afraid to make decisions about what is best for her life. This kind of confidence could easily stray into cockiness or impetuousness, but instead Sophia is extremely thoughtful, never making decisions without first turning the problem over her mind and examining it from all angles. It’s her intelligence, instinct, and bravery that save the day in the end.

She and Cathal were a lovely pair, too. He has learned to develop that same confidence in his decisions as a leader of armies and son of a lord, and while he doesn’t relish leadership he does what must be done. Most importantly, he trusts Sophia. While he wants her to be safe and worries that he can’t keep her that way, he still lets her make her own choices about dangerous situations and respects her authority. They had some great chemistry too, and the slow build up of their relationship ensured lots of steamy tension. I kept thinking these two were going to make a really dynamite pair in whatever they choose to do with their lives in the future.

But some things definitely didn’t work for me. Probably the biggest was the magic system, I guess you’d call it. It was kind of a mix between physical potions, woo-woo spiritualism, and some undefined “magic”. I was mildly intrigued, especially by the way it tied into religion in some places, but the descriptions of things like brewing potions were intense and overly detailed. (First book info dump? Perhaps this problem will be resolved in future books in the series.) Frankly, I was bored with most of it and by the end I was skimming some of that stuff, especially because there were so many long, draggy stretches of time where it was just Sophia working. There were also a lot of real historical details thrown in, and my knowledge of medieval European history is minimal at best. While I was interested in the bits about Jewish history (Sophia is Jewish, which is so rare in romances), overall I found the history tedious. To top it off, I also was not a huge fan of the writing style. It’s not technically flawed, but I found the writing to be dense and more of a slog than I prefer.

While I liked reading about Sophia and Cathal, I was probably not the ideal reader for this book. If you’re a fan of medieval romances with some magic thrown in and don’t mind denser prose, this might work even better for you.

Grade: 3 out of 5

three-stars


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Review: Coming Up for Air by Miranda Kenneally

Posted July 17, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Coming Up for Air by Miranda KenneallyReviewer: Rowena
Coming Up for Air by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #8
Also in this series: Defending Taylor (Hundred Oaks #7)
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: July 1st 2017
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 320
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four-stars

Swim. Eat. Shower. School. Snack. Swim. Swim. Swim. Dinner. Homework. Bed. Repeat.

All of Maggie’s focus and free time is spent swimming. She’s not only striving to earn scholarships—she’s training to qualify for the Olympics. It helps that her best friend, Levi, is also on the team and cheers her on. But Levi’s already earned an Olympic try out, so she feels even more pressure to succeed. And it’s not until Maggie’s away on a college visit that she realizes how much of the “typical” high school experience she’s missed by being in the pool.

Not one to shy away from a challenge, Maggie decides to squeeze the most out of her senior year. First up? Making out with a guy. And Levi could be the perfect candidate. After all, they already spend a lot of time together. But as Maggie slowly starts to uncover new feelings for Levi, how much is she willing to lose to win?

It’s pretty amazing that this book is the eighth book in the Hundred Oaks series and I’m just as invested in these characters, from that high school as I was in the beginning. Sure, I’ve liked some books more than others but I’m still excited to read these books as if I’d read them for the first time.

This book follows Maggie and Levi. Best friends turned more than best friends. They’re competitive swimmers that grew up together, are always in each other’s pockets and with their schedules as jam packed as they are, they don’t really have much time for friends and relationships and what not. Normally that wouldn’t be a problem because Levi finds the time to hook up with girls and Maggie is too tired for anything more than swim and her weekly night out with her best friends. All of that is enough for Maggie until she goes on a college visit trip and becomes curious. She doesn’t have any experience with boys and now that the idea is in her head, she wants to hook up with someone. She wants to kiss and fool around and really, she wants more than just swimming.

Once that is decided, Maggie tries it on her own with disastrous results so she figures that she needs someone she trusts to help her out and who better than her bestie, Levi?

Levi is not excited about delving into this because Maggie is important to him and he doesn’t have the time and doesn’t want to risk what they have over kissing and hooking up. He’s scared of all of the normal things that will happen with other girls, things he doesn’t want to risk with Maggie but because he can’t say no to her, he goes along. He helps her out. They kiss. They make out. They learn from each other until things start to really heat up.

Maggie and Levi were adorable on their own and I really loved their friendship. They had a solid foundation as friends and I was glad that they were able to get back to that friendship once the waters were tested and their bond was shaken a little. Kenneally does a great job of telling both of their sides and helping them figure their stuff out and she does it all so easily. Not once was I bored. Not once was I frustrated with either Maggie or Levi and I really enjoyed seeing them come into their own while not losing what was between them. Sure, it wasn’t easy and their relationship wasn’t perfect but it was still pretty awesome and I really enjoyed being along for their journey.

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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