Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Books Holly Would Hate If She Read Them Today

Posted October 17, 2018 by Holly in Discussions | 4 Comments

While formatting some old posts, I came across some reviews I’d written for books in Susan Mallery’s Fool’s Gold series. Reading my reviews, I started to wonder if I read those books today, would I still give them such high marks? Just reading through my reviews had me shaking my head. I gave up reading some authors years ago, because I know that, while I loved them in my youth, they’d never hold up to my reading standards now.

Chasing PerfectAlmost PerfectFinding Perfect

Chasing Perfect, Almost Perfect and Finding Perfect by Susan Mallery
Released 2010-2012
Publisher: HQN Books
Genres: Contemporary Romance
My Reviews: Chasing Perfect, Almost Perfect, Finding Perfect

Return to where it all began—the romance, the friendships, the community, the warmth and laughter of Susan Mallery’s New York Times bestselling series Fool’s Gold.

Nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Fool’s Gold, California, is a charming town like no other, where newcomers and locals alike find endless—if unconventional—opportunities to fall in love.

From Charity Jones, a city planner hired to create jobs that will keep the town’s men from moving away, to Liz Sutton, still trying to shed the stigma of being the girl from the wrong side of the tracks, and Pia O’Brian who, despite having a disastrous romantic track record and the parenting skills of a hamster, has inherited three frozen embryos, Fool’s Gold is overflowing with quirky characters, passionate moments and heartfelt emotion.

I really enjoyed this series back when, but just reading my reviews had my blood pressure up. I’m glad I enjoyed the books when I read them the first time. I definitely won’t be going back to read them again.

Almost HeavenAlmost Heaven by Judith McNaught.
Released: June 1, 1991
Publisher: Pocket Books
Pages: 384
Genres: Historical Romance

#1 New York Times bestselling author Judith McNaught crafts a powerful and unforgettable tale of two willful lovers in a twisting path of secrets throughout nineteenth-century Great Britain.

The Countess of Havenhurst, Lady Elizabeth Cameron, possesses a rare gentleness and fierce courage to match her exquisite beauty. But when she is discovered in the arms of Ian Thorton—notorious gambler and social outcast—her reputation is shattered. Thorton, rakishly handsome but with a mysterious lineage, embarks on a voyage to Elizabeth’s heart. Unfortunately, this journey is fraught with intrigue, scandal, and a venomous revenge. Destined for each other, yet wary of the other’s motives, Elizabeth and Ian engage in a dance of suspicion and passion that tests the very soul of their star-crossed love, from London’s drawing rooms to the mysterious Scottish Highlands. Will Elizabeth find true love or is Ian merely a ruthless fortune hunter at heart?

McNaught was one of my favorite authors back in the day. I was always swept up in her tales and so anxious to see what would happen. Almost Heaven was a particular favorite. Ian. Sigh. I know if I read it today the drama would be too much. As it is, just the memory of all the drama Elizabeth creates makes my teeth clench. I’m going to keep my happy memories of JM and stay far, far away from re-reading this book.

The GiftThe Gift by Danielle Steele
Released: February 5, 1996
Publisher: Dell Books
Pages: 288
Genres: Historical Romance

On a June day, a young woman in a summer dress steps off a Chicago-bound bus into a small midwestern town. She doesn’t intend to stay. She is just passing through. Yet her stopping here has a reason and it is part of a story that you will never forget.

The time is the 1950s, when life was simpler, people still believed in dreams, and family was, very nearly, everything. The place is a small midwestern town with a high school and a downtown, a skating pond and a movie house. And on a tree-lined street in the heartland of America, an extraordinary set of events begins to unfold. And gradually what seems serendipitous is tinged with purpose. A happy home is shattered by a child’s senseless death. A loving marriage starts to unravel. And a stranger arrives—a young woman who will touch many lives before she moves on. She and a young man will meet and fall in love. Their love, so innocent and full of hope, helps to restore a family’s dreams. And all of their lives will be changed forever by the precious gift she leaves them.

This is a book I read at a time in my life when I needed the story. Thinking back, I’m sure much of it was problematic, but at the time I didn’t see the flaws. I was swept up in the tale of this brave girl who was on her own, dealing with an unwanted pregnancy in the 1950s. The story truly touched me. There’s no way I’d feel the same if I read it today, but I’ll keep my fond memories.

Prince of DreamsPrince of Dreams by Lisa Kleypas
Released August 1, 1995
Publisher: Avon Books
Pages: 416
Genres: Contemporary Romance
My Review: Prince of Dreams

A wealthy and bitter exile, he most dangerous and desirable man in all of England, he burns to possess a proud, headstrong beauty who is promised to another. But winning Emma Stokehurst’s exquisite hand through threats and determination does nothing to fill the empty spaces in Nikola’s heart—until passion’s magic carries the handsome, tormented prince back to a bygone era of splendor and romantic dreams. For there his destiny awaits him in a distant life. And in one remarkable woman’s tender touch—achingly familiar but gloriously new—he must seek the elusive promise of ecstasy . . .and learn, at last, to love.

This is an old school novel by Lisa Kleypas. I love the last 1/4 or so of this book. Adore it, in fact. But the first 3/4 are pretty rough to get through (and yes, Nikolai did cheat ::wince::). I don’t know that the last 1/4 would make up for all the terrible if I read it now.

Night PlayNight Play by Sherrilyn Kenyon.
Released: August 1, 2004
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Pages: 384
Genres: Contemporary Romance

Bride McTierney has had it with men. They’re cheap, self-centered, and never love her for who she is. But though she prides herself on being independent, deep down she still yearns for a knight in shining armor.

She just never expected her knight in shining armor to have a shiny coat of fur…

Deadly and tortured, Vane Kattalakis isn’t what he seems. Most women lament that their boyfriends are dogs. In Bride’s case, hers is a wolf. A Were-Hunter wolf. Wanted dead by his enemies, Vane isn’t looking for a mate. But the Fates have marked Bride as his. Now he has three weeks to either convince Bride that the supernatural is real or he will spend the rest of his life neutered–something no self-respecting wolf can accept…

But how does a wolf convince a human to trust him with her life when his enemies are out to end his? In the world of the Were-Hunters, it really is dog-eat-dog. And only one alpha male can win.

I loved Bride and Vane back in the day. Adored them. I loved how petty Vane was, getting back at Bride’s ex. How cute they were together, all of it. But I can’t imagine reading the book now and feeling the same way. I grew out of SK some time back.

via GIPHY


Tagged: , , ,

Review: The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo by Kerrigan Byrne

Posted October 17, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo by Kerrigan ByrneReviewer: Holly
The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo (Victorian Rebels, #6) by Kerrigan Byrne
Series: Victorian Rebels #6
Also in this series: The Highlander
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Publication Date: August 28, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 333
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-stars

The bravest of heroes. The brashest of rebels. The boldest of lovers. These are the men who risk their hearts and their souls—for the passionate women who dare to love them…

He is known only as The Rook. A man with no name, no past, no memories. He awakens in a mass grave, a magnificent dragon tattoo on his muscled forearm the sole clue to his mysterious origins. His only hope for survival—and salvation—lies in the deep, fiery eyes of the beautiful stranger who finds him. Who nurses him back to health. And who calms the restless demons in his soul…

A LEGENDARY LOVE

Lorelei will never forget the night she rescued the broken dark angel in the woods, a devilishly handsome man who haunts her dreams to this day. Crippled as a child, she devoted herself to healing the poor tortured man. And when he left, he took a piece of her heart with him. Now, after all these years, The Rook has returned. Like a phantom, he sweeps back into her life and avenges those who wronged her. But can she trust a man who’s been branded a rebel, a thief, and a killer? And can she trust herself to resist him when he takes her in his arms?

The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo is the first book I’ve read in Kerrigan Byrne’s Victorian Rebels series. A friend was talking about it and it piqued my interest, so I downloaded it from NetGalley. We saw quite a few of the couples from previous books, but I don’t feel like I missed much by starting here. It read fine as a stand-alone.

Lorelie was crippled as a child and therefore rarely leaves the family estate. When she finds and rescues a young man who’s been beaten nearly to death, she finds sudden purpose for her life. Caring for him becomes everything to her. They fall in love, but he disappears without a trace. For 20 years she longs for him, until one day he returns. But the devilish pirate who returns to avenge her isn’t the same boy she once knew and loved…or is he?

I really loved the first half. The angst and emotion from both main characters really pulled me in, as did the suspense of who, exactly, the boy with the dragon tattoo was. Unfortunately the story lost me somewhere around the halfway point. I think I’d have liked to see less focus on the emotional aspects of the book and more on the action. I know, I know, that’s not something us romance readers generally want. But the purple prose of the love-scenes along with the heavy focus on the “L” word really pulled me out of the story. Plus, the amount of time spent on how each character was feeling made the story feel heavy and bogged down.

I really loved parts of it – most notably the hero’s devotion to his lady – but I’d have liked to see more focus on the outside conflict, and more action.

3 out of 5

Victorian Rebels

three-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,

What Are You Reading? (+ Iris Johansen Giveaway)

Posted October 5, 2018 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 13 Comments

WAYR-New

Casee: October is going well for me so far. I started Nalini’s Rock Kiss series. I remember beta reading Rock Addiction way back in the day, but for some reason I never read the rest of the series when it came out. I have no idea why. So I just reread Rock Addiction for the third time, which made me love it even more. Then I read Rock Hard. Now I’m reading Rock Redemption. I’m really enjoying this series.

I’m also listening to Steadfast by Sarina Bowen. I was telling Holly and Rowena that I didn’t understand what was so great about Jude. They both told me how much they lurved him. I still didn’t get it. Lets just say, I get it now. Jude. sigh

Holly: I had a slower reading week this week. Life has been kind of crazy. I finished Wild Hunger by Chloe Neill, which I didn’t love. It was just okay. It read more like young adult than straight UF, and that bothered me a lot. I reread Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs.

For audiobooks, I listened to On the Surface by Kate Willoughby. The hero was super adorable, but the final conflict was annoying and marred my enjoyment somewhat. I also listened to Once Upon a Sure Thing by Lauren Blakely.

Rowena: Like Holly, I’ve had a pretty slow reading week. I only listened to one audiobook at work because I was busy with other stuff but I did enjoy the books that I read. I read Rebel Hard (Hard Play #2) by Nalini Singh and even though Nayna was a bit frustrating at times, I enjoyed her story and even connected with all of the cultural stuff. The romance rocked too. Raj was such a dreamboat. I also read Fight or Flight by Samantha Young and after a rocky beginning, the hero stopped being a dickhead and I enjoyed the romance and how strong the heroine was. Lots of fun that story was.

I also listened to Archangel’s Consort (Guild Hunter #3) by Nalini Singh and enjoyed being back in Raphael and Elena’s world after a brief, okay I’m lying, a long ass break. I’ve got the next few audiobooks lined up and can’t wait to keep the Guild Hunter party going.

Right now, I’m reading Shadow and Ice (Gods of War #1) by Gena Showalter and then after this, I’ll be reading Kill the Queen (Crown of Shards #1) by Jennifer Estep.

Giveaway Alert

We are very fortunate here at Book Binge. We have loads and loads of books to read and we want to share the wealth so each week, we’ll be tacking on a Freebie Friday giveaway to our What Are You Reading posts. This week, we’re giving away…

What Are You Reading? (+ Iris Johansen Giveaway)No Easy Target by Iris Johansen
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Format: Print
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 400
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Iris Johansen, an explosive thriller featuring fan favorite Margaret Douglas, an animal psychicON THE RUN Margaret Douglas has worked hard to put her painful past behind her. Raised off the grid in an abusive home, her only escape was the nearby forest where she sought refuge whenever she could. There, in the peaceful woods, she discovered a strange gift: the ability to understand animals and to communicate with them. Now, Margaret wants nothing more than to live a quiet life, close to the animals and under the radar. But her abilities have not gone unnoticed...and there are those who would use them for their own purposes. Determined not to be a pawn in anyone's game, every time someone gets too close, Margaret uproots her life and outruns them.INTO THE LINE OF FIRE When CIA operative John Lassiter breaks into Margaret's apartment, she vanishes again. Still, Lassiter has good reason to be persistent: one of his men is being held captive by an unrelenting enemy--someone who has set his sights on Margaret. Which means that Lassiter must control her to use her as bait...With danger in hot pursuit, Margaret finds herself matching wits with a man who refuses to stop or be stopped. Turning from the hunted to the hunter, Margaret must use everything she has ever learned to not only survive, but to defeat a great evil. And to prove once and for all that she's no easy target. . .

This edition of the book is the deluxe, tall rack mass market paperback.

What Are You Reading: No Easy Target by Iris Johansen

What are you reading this week? Any new favorites or books that drove you crazy? Share!


Tagged: , , , ,

What Are You Reading? (+ Soraya Lane Giveaway)

Posted September 21, 2018 by Casee in Features, Giveaways | 16 Comments

WAYR-New

Casee: I am currently reading Wildfire by Ilona Andrews. I am absolutely obsessed with this series. I adore Nevada Baylor. She is one of my top five all time favorite heroines. I love her almost (maybe even as much) as Elena Deveraux from Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series. She is just so amazing. Strong willed, yet still soft around her family. She’s finally given in to Mad Rogan, but knows that she won’t lose herself. She’s a power in her own right and no one can take that away from her. I am also really enjoying getting to know more about Nevada’s sisters. Holly and Rowena tell me that Wildfire is better than White Hot so I am so excited to read this book.

I am also listening to Irresistibly Yours by Lauren Layne on audio. My new favorite website/app is Audible. I am loving audio books! Given, I’ve only listened to five or so books, but it is still nice to listen to books when I am at work and can’t actually read. The only wish I have is that my local library had a better selection of audio books. The selection sort of really sucks. I think I’ll listen to I Wish You Were Mine by LL next, which is the second book in her Oxford series.

Holly: This week I finished reading Light My Fire by Christie Ridgway, which was an okay read. The MC’s felt a little young to me, but I liked the overall premise enough that I plan to continue the series. I re-read Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs and Fairytale Come Alive by Kristen Ashley.

For audiobooks I continued my Lauren Blakely Binge with The Hot One, which I DNF’d, and The Only One, which I didn’t much care for. I also listened to Trophy Husband and Nights with Him, which I liked better. Then I listened to The Lion’s Lady by Julie Garwood, because Tracy and I were talking about it and I couldn’t help myself. I also finished Feral Magic by Robin D. Owens, which wasn’t bad, but the narrator talked so slow it drove me crazy.

I’m currently listening to Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone (aka Victoria Dahl) and reading Archangel’s Prophecy by Nalini Singh and Hot Dad by Whitley Cox.

Rowena: It’s been a pretty eventful week for me on the personal front so I didn’t read as much as I did last week but it’s all good cause I do what I want. 😉 I did finish Seduction of a Highland Lass by Maya Banks, which I absolutely LOVED and then I read The Duke Buys a Bride by Sophie Jordan for my book club meeting on Monday. I also read and freaking adored Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs. I need a Charles and Anna kind of love because who doesn’t? They’re the best.

Now, I’m listening to Dearest Clementine by Alexa Martin and reading Hot Dad by Whitley Cox. Both are going well so far so I’m hopeful that will continue. Wish me luck!

Giveaway Alert

We are very fortunate here at Book Binge. We have loads and loads of books to read and we want to share the wealth so each week, we’ll be tacking on a Freebie Friday giveaway to our What Are You Reading posts. This week, we’re giving away…

What Are You Reading? (+ Soraya Lane Giveaway)All Night with the Cowboy (River Ranch, #2) by Soraya Lane
Series: River Ranch #2
Publisher: Swerve
Publication Date: May 29, 2018
Format: Print
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 289
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads

BACK IN THE SADDLE. STRAIGHT TO THE HEART. . .

At the Ford family ranch, getting thrown from a horseis a part of growing up. But one cowboy is still learning the ropes when itcomes to falling in love.

Tanner Ford has been riding bulls and busting broncos his entire life. So when he takes a hard spill—and sustains serious injuries—he refuses to believe his rodeo days are behind him. He’s determined to restore his body and revive his career. There’s just one problem: the finest physical therapist in town just happens to be the only woman he’s ever loved.

Lauren Lewis knows she made a huge mistake when she walked away from Tanner. But she was young, ambitious, and focused on her medical career. Now, after all these years, Tanner’s back—and, in spite of his injuries, looking better than she allows herself to admit. She agrees to work on Tanner’s big bruised muscles until he’s back in bull-riding shape again. But how can Lauren resist the smoldering attraction between her and her old flame. . .and find a way to live without him?

What Are You Reading – All Night with the Cowboy

What are you reading this week? Any new favorites or books that drove you crazy? Share!


Tagged: , , , ,

What Are You Reading? (+ Tara Thomas Giveaway)

Posted September 7, 2018 by Rowena in Features | 16 Comments

WAYR-New

Casee: I finished up Order of Protection by Lexi Blake, which I didn’t love. I’m really bummed about that. I wanted to love it. Look for my review soon. Now I’m reading Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews, which is one of Rowena’s picks for me in the Summer Reading Challenge. I am LOVING it! I love it so much that I don’t even notice that it’s in first person. I can’t even put my finger on exactly why I like it so much. It’s just good reading. I love what a strong character Nevada is. I am also really enjoying the family dynamic.

I just finished Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets on audio. I am really enjoying this series. Though even after finish up the second book, I have to say that I don’t really understand the Harry Potter craze. What am I missing?

I just checked out The Woman Left Behind by Linda Howard in audio from my library. I’m really enjoying listening to audio books. I didn’t realize how much time I spend in the car until the last few weeks. It’s pretty sad.

Holly: I did a lot of re-reading this week. Mainly because I started listening to Jennifer Ashley’s Mackenzie series on audio. I listened to The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, Lady Isabella’s Scandalous Marriage and I’m currently listening to The Duke’s Perfect Wife. I skipped The Many Sins of Lord Cameron because it’s a rather dark book and I wasn’t in the mood. This is such a great series and I’m really enjoying the narrator. I also re-read The Will and Complicated by Kristen Ashley.

I finished reading Getting Schooled by Emma Chase, which was hilarious. For our Summer Reading Challenge I read Satisfaction by Lexi Blake, which I didn’t care for at all. The insecure, whiny main protags made me want to bang my head against the wall.

I’m going to start reading Phoenix Unbound by Grace Draven today. I have a full list of books I want to read over the weekend. Wish me luck?

Rowena: It was a long weekend for us here in the states so I had Monday off but that was spent doing family things and then the rest of the week was pretty busy. I had doctors appointments, health classes and my best friend Theresa had surgery that I was on hand for to talk to doctors, nurses and help her figure out her insurance stuff. You know, best friend duties.

I didn’t a lot of reading done but I read some. I finished Untamed by Pamela Clare, which I liked then I read Beyond the Night by Joss Ware which was another solid romance, I listened to Say You’ll Stay by Corinne Michaels and that book pissed me off so I doubt that I’ll read any of the other books in that series even though I liked the secondary characters fine. I also did a re-read of The Lion’s Lady and Guardian Angel by Julie Garwood and it’s been ages since I read either book and I really liked The Lion’s Lady a lot more than I did before. Christina is the best! Guardian Angel was just as solid and entertaining as it’s always been for me so I was happy that I re-read those books.

Now, I’ll be jumping into For the Duke’s Eyes Only by Lenora Bell and I hope that it’s a good one.

Giveaway Alert

We are very fortunate here at Book Binge. We have loads and loads of books to read and we want to share the wealth so each week, we’ll be tacking on a Freebie Friday giveaway to our What Are You Reading posts. This week, we’re giving away…

What Are You Reading? (+ Tara Thomas Giveaway)Darkest Night (Sons of Broad #1) by Tara Thomas
Series: Sons of Broad #1
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: February 27, 2018
Format: Print
Source: Publisher
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 247
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads

In this first novel in the explosive, brand-new romantic suspense Sons of Broad series from Tara Thomas comes a novel of deadly secrets and hidden danger. In the sultry streets of Charleston, one family, ruled by its powerful, take-no-prisoners sons, has risen to the top. But a merciless killer is out to destroy them…and everyone they hold close…

Exclusive bonus content available only in the print edition!

SHE THOUGHT SHE’D LOST HIM FOREVERTilly Brock has learned—the hard way—how to take care of herself. Once a pillar of Charleston society, her family lost everything in the wake of a shocking scandal. And then Tilly lost the only boy she ever loved.

BUT NOW THAT HE’S BACK IN HER LIFEKeaton Benedict is Charleston’s most notorious bachelor. But in spite of all his advantages—the money, the women,the family name—he longs for more: the heart of the young woman he still can’t forget.

THE DANGER HAS JUST BEGUN…When Keaton re-enters Tilly’s life, after all these years, she is torn between feelings of doubt and desire. Can they put the past behind them and learn to love again? Tilly is willing to try. But Keaton is afraid that a vengeful enemy is watching—and waiting to destroy them. Can the rekindled flame of their love defeat the deadliest rival and light their way forward in the darkest night?

What Are You Reading: Darkest Night

What are you reading this week? Any new favorites or books that drove you crazy? Share!


Tagged: , , , ,