Reading Challenge: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge

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
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: November 26, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 480
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Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, 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
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Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, 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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Review: Lead Me Home by A.L. Jackson

Posted November 27, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Lead Me Home by A.L. JacksonReviewer: Casee
Lead Me Home by A. L. Jackson
Narrator: Andi Arndt, Joe Arden
Series: Fight for Me #3
Also in this series: Hold on to Hope, Show Me the Way, Follow Me Back
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: April 20, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 396
Length: 10 hours and 36 minutes
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Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Fourteen years ago, my life changed forever.

My sister disappeared. That day I was selfish. That day I chose myself over her. And that day, I lost everything.

Including Nikki Walters.

She's the girl I’ve loved my whole life. She’s gorgeous. Caring. Every single thing I’ve ever wanted but denied myself. She was my sister’s best friend, and I destroyed any chance of keeping her.

When her safety is threatened, I have a second chance to do the right thing. But as soon as she moves in, I want her in all the wrong ways.

All it takes is a brush of her hand, and I’m losing all control.

The fire between us is only burning hotter.

But neither of us saw what was coming.

And it just might be Nikki Walters who destroys me in the end.

Ollie and Nikki have skated around each other since they were kids. The age difference was too vast when they were younger. Now tragedy lays between them and it’s something that neither of them can get past. Nikki has mostly healed after her best friend disappeared without a trace. In her heart, she knows that Sydney is dead. While she mourns for what was lost, she doesn’t let herself exist in the past. Except with it comes to Ollie, Sydney’s brother.

Ollie has not, nor will he ever forgive himself for what happened to Sydney. Although the logical part of himself knows that she dead, he can’t stop searching for her. His entire life revolves around the sister that he was always supposed to protect. Not only did he not protect her, he was the one that sent her away to her unknown fate.

Ollie can’t stay away from Nikki even though he can’t have her. His demons are too great, his soul in shreds. When someone starts harassing Nikki, Ollie steps in to protect her. It doesn’t matter that he can’t give her what she wants…Ollie will never let anything happen to the girl who should have been his. When the situation escalates, their relationship escalates as well. Nikki can’t take the pushing and pulling any longer and tells him that he needs to let her go. And leave her alone. That’s not something that Ollie can promise.

I really liked this book, but it wasn’t my favorite in the series. The way the killer (yes, killer) is found at the end and how it all ties into the story was pretty campy. That didn’t take away from the story as a whole. I really loved seeing Ollie heal with Nikki’s help.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5.

Fight For Me

three-half-stars


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Review: Follow Me Back by A.L. Jackson

Posted November 26, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Follow Me Back by A.L. JacksonReviewer: Casee
Follow Me Back by A. L. Jackson
Narrator: Joe Arden, Andi Arndt
Series: Fight for Me #2
Also in this series: Hold on to Hope, Show Me the Way, Lead Me Home
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 6, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 408
Length: 11 hours and 28 minutes
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Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

The next seductive, unforgettable stand-alone romance in the FIGHT FOR ME series from NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author A.L. Jackson...

Kale Bryant. Arrogant. Gorgeous. Commanding.This ER doctor is married to his job.His only vice is one-night stands and short-lived flings.He learned a long time ago loving someone isn’t worth the risk.

Harley Hope Masterson.Beautiful. Brave. Sweet. The owner of a small coffee shop knows what it’s like to struggle.Embroiled in a bitter divorce, she’s threatened with losing everything.

When Kale accepts a new position down the street from Hope’s shop, he begins to question every wall he’s built around his heart. He wants her in a way he hasn’t wanted anyone.One touch is fire.One kiss, and he’s spinning out of control. But taking her won’t come without consequences.

Hope is in for the fight of her life.One neither of them saw coming.Now Kale must decide if loving her is worth risking it all.

She will fight with everything she has. But sometimes even hope needs a hero...

Kale Bryant is one of the best doctors in Gingham Lakes. Deciding to leave the ER to help children is the best and hardest thing he’s ever done. He sees sick children daily and although the science is invigorating, seeing young patients that he knows are dying is something else entirely. When Hope Masterson comes into his life he is hardly prepared for the effect she has on him. Kale has resorted himself to being alone, though he’s hardly lonely. He has something in his past that won’t let him move on. Even the beautiful Hope can’t make that happen.

Hope Masterson has moved to Gingham Lakes with her son to get away from her abusive ex-husband. Her little boy Evan (Hold on to Hope) had to have a heart transplant when he was just a baby. Her ex’s response was “we can try again”. Hope never forgave him for that and their marriage went downhill after Evan was born. When Kale comes into her life, she’s puts him firmly in customer territory. That is until they meet Evan’s new doctor.

Kale falls in love with Evan at first sight. It’s honestly hard not to. The character of Evan was so well written. If you didn’t love him, something is definitely wrong with you. As Evan’s doctor, it would be unethical for Kale to pursue Hope, especially since he has no plans for long term. He don’t want to hurt Hope or Evan. Of course he can’t stay away and he’s soon deeply entrenched in their lives.

I loved this book. I loved Kale, Hope, and Evan. I just loved it all. There is a twist at the end (Jackson has a way of doing that) that was unseen to me. I’m honestly not surprised because everything gets by me. It was quite the twist, but it worked. Kale and Hope’s lives have been intertwined from the beginning though they didn’t know it. Of course Kale won’t let Hope and Evan go out of his life. Everything progresses nicely after that.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Fight For Me

four-stars


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Review: Show Me the Way by A.L. Jackson

Posted November 25, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Show Me the Way by A.L. JacksonReviewer: Casee
Show Me the Way by A. L. Jackson
Narrator: Andi Arndt, Zachary Webber
Series: Fight for Me #1
Also in this series: Hold on to Hope, Follow Me Back, Lead Me Home
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: September 6, 2017
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 356
Length: 9 hours and 59 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

The first sexy, captivating, stand-alone novel in the brand-new FIGHT FOR ME series from NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author A.L. Jackson . . .

Rex Gunner. As bitter as he is beautiful. The owner of the largest construction company in Gingham Lakes has been burned one too many times.

His wife leaving him to raise their daughter was the last blow this single dad could take.The only woman he'll let into his heart is his little girl.

Rynna Dayne. As vulnerable as she is tempting.She ran from Gingham Lakes when she was seventeen. She swore to herself she would never return.Then her grandmother passed away and left her the deed to the diner that she once loved.

When Rex meets his new neighbor, he knows he's in trouble.She's gorgeous and sweet and everything he can't trust.Until she becomes the one thing he can't resist.

One kiss sends them tumbling toward ecstasy.But in a town this size, pasts are bound to collide.Caught in a web of lies, betrayal, and disloyalty, Rex must make a choice.

Will he hide behind his walls or will he take the chance . . .

You guys. I loved this book. Rex Gunner was the quintessential alpha male heroine. However, he wasn’t over the top. Rynna is such an amazing heroine. I just adored these two. Not to mention Rex’s daughter. Frankie Leigh was a breath of fresh air. I listened to this book on audio. Andi Arndt is a goddess.

Rex has no desire to meet or date anyone. Frankie Leigh is his life. Protecting her is his life’s work. When Rynna comes home to her grandmothers house, Rex knows he’s in trouble. He can’t get her off his mind, not to mention that she keeps popping up everywhere. Rex has ghosts in his life and he can’t move on. When he was 18, he left his girlfriend to walk home from the lake they were partying at and she was never seen or heard from again. He knows it is his fault because he’s the one that denied her plea to claim her and he embarrassed her and told her to leave.

Rynna has ghosts of her own. She left Gingham Lakes after being cruelly bullied when she was in high school. When I say cruelly, I mean it was awful. It would have sent me running too. Now Rynna is back and determined to reopen Pepper’s Pies, her grandma’s baby. Though she just tries to be neighborly to Rex, he rebuffs her every advance. Until the day comes when he and Frankie Leigh need her.

These two were most definitely tortured. They are both broken and just going through the motions. Their love is special because of the obstacles that they have to overcome. They are perfect together. Then Rex’s ex comes into town and turns Rynna’s world upside down. It’s quite a twist and something that was totally unexpected.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

Fight For Me

four-stars


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