Reading Challenge: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge

Review: Raid by Kristen Ashley

Posted September 23, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Raid by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Casee
Raid by Kristen Ashley
Series: Unfinished Hero #3
Also in this series: Knight, Creed, Deacon, Sebring
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: February 28, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 274
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Hanna Boudreaux has lived in the small town of Willow, Colorado all her life. The great-granddaughter of the town matriarch, she's sweet, cute and quiet.
Too quiet.
Hanna has a moment of epiphany when she realizes her crush for forever, Raiden Ulysses Miller, is not ever going to be hers. She sees her life as narrow and decides to do something about it.
Raiden Miller is the town of Willow's local hero. An ex-marine with the medal to prove his hero status, he comes home, shrouded in mystery. It takes a while but, eventually, Hanna catches his eye.
But after all these years of Raid and Hanna living in the same town, the question is, why? Is Raid interested in Hanna because she's sweet and cute? Or does Raid have something else going on?

I just adore this series. Sure, it’s unconventional but I can’t stop reading these books.

Raiden Miller is a former marine that is back in his hometown in Colorado to bring down a very powerful drug dealer. His investigation leads him straight to Hanna Boudreaux. Hanna seems innocent, but Raiden has to make sure before he crosses her off his list. See, the drugs are being mailed through Hanna’s business. It doesn’t take Raiden a minute to figure out that Hanna has nothing to do with drugs. She’s an innocent that was taken advantage of by people that she trusted. Raiden is instantly protective of Hanna. It’s hard not to be because she sees the world through rose colored glasses.

Hanna has loved Raiden from afar for years. When he actually notices her, she’s not quite sure what to do. Then she finds out why he approached her. It’s not for herself, that’s for certain. Or that’s what she tells herself. Hanna soon discovers that Raiden wants her and he’s not going to leave her alone until she gives in. Giving in to Raiden isn’t hard for her. While she’s loved him for years, she never really knew him. All she knew him as was the town hero. Hanna had a bit of hero worship for Raiden, but now she’s getting to know the real man. She likes what she sees.

I really liked Hanna. I read some reviews and I know Holly some people didn’t like Hanna. I didn’t really care for her at first either. Her unrequited love for Raiden was a total turn off. Eventually her character got better and I really ended up liking her. I loved that she made afghans for a living. I loved how scatterbrained she was. I loved her relationship with her great grandmother. I also loved how Raiden just fit seamlessly into her life.

This is my favorite quote from the book. Raiden was telling Hanna about being in the military and that she was his reward for risking his life.

“You might think that’s jacked, but it’s not. It’s the goddamn fuckin’ truth. Whether you got that in your bed before you go or hope to find it when you get back, that’s why you do it. You do it for her. You do it to keep her safe. You planted kids inside her, or you hope to, you do it for them. You get home in one piece, she’s your reward.” His body pressed into mine and his face, partly shadowed, came within an inch of mine. “You’re my reward, Hanna.”

This is my third favorite book in the series. Raiden and Hanna’s story was a pleasure to read. I was left wanting more at the end, which is exactly Kristen Ashley is good at.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Unfinished Hero

four-stars


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Review: Hero’s Haven by Rebecca Zanetti

Posted January 27, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Hero’s Haven by Rebecca ZanettiReviewer: Casee
Hero's Haven by Rebecca Zanetti
Series: Dark Protectors #11
Also in this series: Marked (Dark Protectors, #7), Fated (Dark Protectors, #1), Claimed (Dark Protectors, #2), Hunted (Dark Protectors, #3), Consumed (Dark Protectors, #4), Provoked (Dark Protectors, #5), Marked (Dark Protectors, #7), Shadowed (Dark Protectors, #6), Vampire's Faith (Dark Protectors, #8), Demon's Mercy (Dark Protectors, #9), Alpha's Promise, Guardian's Grace
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Publication Date: January 21, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 336
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Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

He’s her darkest fantasy. . .

After years of struggling, Haven Daly has finally accepted that she’s nuttier than a fruitcake. Why else would she see visions of a beautiful but tormented male every night . . . and actually believe she can talk to him, even feel his touch? But thanks to those dream journeys, she can paint images nobody else on earth can duplicate. In each brush stroke, she captures the blatant masculinity and raw desire in his eyes that promise he’s coming for her…and soon.

She’s the light that keeps him going. . .

Hero’s Haven is book eleven in Zanetti’s Dark Protectors series. I’ve enjoyed this series since I first read Fated, the first book in the series. In Vampire’s Faith, which is book eight, a new story arc began and I’m loving it.

Quade Kayrs is a member of The Seven. Quade sacrificed himself thousands of years ago to keep an evil Kurjan priest from going into the world. The priest (I totally forget his name) wants nothing more than to kill all the enhanced women on earth. If he succeeds, vampires and shapeshifters will be unable to mate. Along with his brother Ronan, they trap the evil guy in a bubble and surround him with their own bubbles. I hope that makes sense because it seems kind of convoluted to me.

While Ronan’s bubble failed, Quade’s remains. Most people would say he’s gone mad and they would be right. Dying again and again only to resuscitate would drive any being mad. The only thing that gives him a little peace is the woman that visits in his dreams. It’s when his brother Ivar visits his world that he realizes that Haven is not a figment of his imagination. She’s a real person. His brothers are trying to use him to find her and that’s something that Quade won’t allow, crazy or not.

Haven Daly has accepted that she’s bonkers. She’s dreamed about a man for years, thinking she actually sees and feels him. It’s when she actually throws them both through a portal and back to her house that Haven knows that she’s cracked up. There’s no way that is possible. Right? Wrong. It’s obvious that Quade is flesh and blood. When he tells her that she isn’t human, she doesn’t question it. She’s a freak.

I did enjoy the romance part of the book, but I loved the fighting and the reuniting of the brothers. I love reading where the story is going and can’t wait until the next book comes out.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Dark Protectors

four-stars


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Review: Drowning to Breathe by A.L. Jackson

Posted December 24, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Drowning to Breathe by A.L. JacksonReviewer: Casee
Drowning to Breathe by A. L. Jackson
Narrator: Andi Arndt, Zachary Webber
Series: Bleeding Stars #2
Also in this series: A Stone in the Sea
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: September 15, 2015
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Escape
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 377
Length: 10 hours and 53 minutes
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Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

The danger in pretending is it becoming real...
Sebastian Stone, Sunder front man and guitarist with a rap sheet about ten miles long, escaped to Savannah, Georgia, to get away from the trouble he’d caused.
Not find more of it.
The moment he saw Shea Bentley, he saw beneath all her sweet and innocence to something that went deeper.
Darker.
Their relationship was built on secrets; their love built on lies.
Sebastian never imagined how deep her secrets went.
When the past and present collide, Sebastian and Shea find themselves fighting for a future neither believed they deserved. Their passion is consuming and their need unending.
Now, holding the truth in his hands, Sebastian is faced with sacrificing everything he’s come to love to protect Shea and his family.
Two pasts intertwined.
Two lives bound.
Will their demons drown them or will Shea and Sebastian finally learn to breathe?
Drowning to Breathe is Book 2 in Sebastian and Shea's two-part duet. Their story begins in A Stone in the Sea.

Drowning to Breathe is the second book in Jackson’s Bleeding Star series. This book picks up right where A Stone in the Sea ends.

Shea and Sebastian are trying to find some type of normalcy in their relationship. It’s not easy with Bas being one of the most recognizable men on the planet. Shea never wanted to be in the spotlight, but she also won’t give Bas up.

When Callie’s bio dad comes for her, Bas realizes that he doesn’t know Shea at all. Callie’s dad is none other than the man that Bas assaulted once he found out that the guy was supplying his brother with drugs.

That’s not the only secret Shea has. The other secret almost destroys them for good. Fortunately their love for each other prevails.

I really, really liked the last part of Shea and Bas’s story. Their relationship wasn’t an easy one. They had to work at it, but neither was willing to give up on the other. The problems in this book are real world problems and the emotions are pretty real too.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Bleeding Stars

four-stars


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Review: Where Winter Finds You by J.R. Ward

Posted December 6, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Where Winter Finds You by J.R. WardReviewer: Casee
Where Winter Finds You by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #17.5
Also in this series: Lover Unbound, Lover Avenged, Lover Unleashed, Lover at Last, Lover at Last, The King, The Shadows, The Beast, Lover Enshrined, The Chosen, Lover Mine, The Thief, The Savior, The Sinner
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: November 26, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 480
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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two-half-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

#1 New York Times bestselling author J.R. Ward is heating things up this winter with a holiday novel featuring some of her most iconic Black Dagger Brothers.

When Trez lost his beloved to a tragic death (The Shadows, Black Dagger Brotherhood #13), his soul was crushed and his destiny seemed relegated to suffering. But when he meets a mysterious female, he becomes convinced his true love has been reincarnated. Is he right? Or has his grief created a disastrous delusion?

Therese has come to Caldwell to escape a rift with her bloodline. The revelation that she was adopted and not born into her family shakes the foundations of her identity, and she is determined to make it on her own. Her attraction to Trez is not what she’s looking for, except the sexy Shadow proves to be undeniable.

Has fate provided a grieving widower with a second chance...or is Trez too blinded by the past to see the present for what it really is? In this sensual, arresting book full of the themes of redemption and self-discovery, two lost souls find themselves at a crossroads where the heart is the only compass that can be trusted...but that may require a courage that neither of them possesses.

I don’t know how I feel about this book. My feelings are all tangled up and I can’t quite work out if I liked it or not. I’m very conflicted and I don’t appreciate that very much.

Trez’s story was told in The Shadows. That wasn’t a good book. I can see what JRW was doing as far as Trez’s story arc now that I’ve read WWFY. That doesn’t mean I liked it.

Trez lost his mate, Selena, at the end of The Shadows. She was a Chosen and she had a degenerative disease that only the Chosen get. Trez had to watch his mate die at the end and if that doesn’t mess a person up, what does?

Fast forward a few years. Therese has left home after being lied to about being adopted. Arriving in Caldwell, Therese gets a job as a waitress at Sal’s. She’s determined to support herself and to show that she can stand on her own two feet.

When Trez first lays eyes on Therese, he is floored. She looks exactly like Selena. Like a carbon copy. The feelings that he has for Therese don’t make sense unless she is Selena reincarnated.

I didn’t really care for Therese one way or another. If there was one way to go, I would say I didn’t like her. She was so selfish when she left her family, not even thinking that they were protecting her. That part just rubbed me the wrong way. I did like her reaction when she found out that Trez believed she was his mate reincarnated. I thought it was very appropriate. Other than that, I just didn’t connect with her.

View Spoiler »

 

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Black Dagger Brotherhood

two-half-stars


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Review: Into the Dark by Karen Rose

Posted December 2, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Into the Dark by Karen RoseReviewer: Casee
Into the Dark by Karen Rose
Series: Cincinnati #5
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: November 14, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Pages: 608
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

When Michael Rowland saves his younger brother Joshua from the clutches of his stepfather, he runs for his life with his brother in his arms. From his hiding place he sees the man who has made their lives a misery taken away in the trunk of a stranger's car, never to be seen again.

Doctor Dani Novak has been keeping soccer coach Diesel Kennedy at arm's length to protect him from her dark secrets. When they are brought together by the two young brothers who desperately need their help, it seems they might finally be able to leave their damaged pasts behind them.

But as the only witness to the man who kidnapped and murdered his stepfather, Michael is in danger. As Diesel and Dani do all that they can to protect him, their own investigation into the murder uncovers a much darker web of secrets than they could have imagined.

As more bodies start to appear it's clear that this killer wants vengeance. And will wipe out anything that gets in his way...

Unsurprisingly, this book packs quite the emotional punch. Karen Rose has such a gift for pulling the reader into the story only to spit you out at the end with all the feels. That was Alone in the Dark for me. Whenever there is a child involved, especially in KR book, it hits me hard. Like really hard. This book was no different.

Michael Rowland has been abused by his stepfather for years. The only reason he hasn’t run away is because he has to protect Joshua, his little brother. When he sees his stepfather inject Joshua with something, the fight is on. Michael gets Joshua away safely. For now. When Brewer comes looking for them, Michael hides in the bushes along the road. He then witnesses something that is hard to comprehend. A man murdering his stepfather. Michael is deaf so he didn’t hear anything that was said. He does feel relief that Brewer is dead, followed by terror that the killer will come after him and Joshua next.

Diesel Kennedy coaches peewee soccer. Joshua is on his team. When his brother, Michael, runs six miles to make sure he is okay, it sends up red flags for Diesel. The only person he can take the boys to is Dani Novak. Dani is not only a doctor, but she is able to do emergency foster care for deaf children. When Dani and Diesel realize the extent of Michael’s abuse, they will not let him out of their site. Diesel has taken it upon himself to protect Dani and the boys, something he takes very seriously. It is hard for him to be around Dani because she’s been rejecting his advances for 18 months. Still, Diesel can only look at the situation as the chance it is to make Dani see that they would be good together.

With Michael able to identify the killer, he is now being hunted by the killer. Who is not just a killer, but a serial killer. Dani, Diesel and all their friends now have to fight to keep the boys safe when it becomes evident that the killer won’t stop coming after Michael. And what a crack team they are together. I loved the dynamic with all the friends and visiting couples that I have read about in previous books.

KR did a superb job here. I was angry at the killer, yet at the same time rooting him on. If that’s not effed, I don’t know what is. KR just has that knack. I loved Michael and Joshua. Their problems were very real and they came out loud and clear through the pages. Dani and Diesel’s love was sweet and passionate. I liked that once Dani decided she was in, she was all in. With Diesel and with the boys. This is yet another book that shows Karen Rose is on top of the romantic suspense genre and not leaving anytime soon.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

Cincinnati


four-half-stars


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