Reading Challenge: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge

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
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
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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
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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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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
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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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