Reading Challenge: Casee's 2021 Goodreads Challenge

Review: On Dublin Street by Samantha Young

Posted December 15, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: On Dublin Street by Samantha YoungReviewer: Casee
On Dublin Street by Samantha Young
Narrator: Paula Costello
Series: On Dublin Street #1
Also in this series: On Dublin Street , Down London Road (On Dublin Street, #2), Before Jamaica Lane (On Dublin Street, #3), Before Jamaica Lane, Castle Hill, Fall From India Place, Fall From India Place, Fall from India Place , Castle Hill, Echoes of Scotland Street , Moonlight on Nightingale Way, Moonlight on Nightingale Way, One King's Way, One King's Way, One King's Way, On Hart's Boardwalk (On Dublin Street #6.7) , On Hart's Boardwalk, Down London Road, Echoes of Scotland Street
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: August 31, 2012
Format: eBook
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 372
Length: 10 hours and 45 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Jocelyn Butler has been hiding from her past for years. But all her secrets are about to be laid bare ...
Four years ago, Jocelyn left her tragic past behind in the States and started over in Scotland, burying her grief, ignoring her demons, and forging ahead without attachments. Her solitary life is working well - until she moves into a new apartment on Dublin Street, where she meets a man who shakes her carefully guarded world to its core.
Braden Carmichael is used to getting what he wants, and he's determined to get Jocelyn into his bed. Knowing how skittish she is about entering a relationship, Braden proposes an arrangement that will satisfy their intense attraction without any strings attached.
But after an intrigued Jocelyn accepts, she realizes that Braden won't be satisfied with just mind-blowing passion. The stubborn Scotsman is intent on truly knowing her . . . down to the very soul.

Jocelyn Butler has a rule in life. Don’t let anyone in. After a tragic accident killed her entire family when she was young, Joss has not let herself get close to anyone. Moving to her mother’s home country of Scotland, Joss tries to make a life free of attachments. It’s all going swimmingly until she meets Elodie Carmichael. She can’t pass up the roommate opportunity that Elodie has presented to her. She has no clue at the time that staying aloof from Elodie will be next to impossible. She’s too sweet to rebuff and Joss finds herself with the first friend she’s had in her adult life.

Enter Braden Carmichael. Their first meeting was electric. Each subsequent meeting is more intense until Braeden and Joss find themselves in a full-blown, balls to the wall, hot af affair. This book is told solely from Joss’s point of view. That usually bothers me, but Samantha Young has a gift that I’ve found few authors to have. Although Braden’s POV would have been a welcome addition, not having it didn’t take away from the force that was Braden.

This book was unusual insofar as it’s Joss that has the relationship hangups, not Braden. She was a little much to take at times. Her absolute refusal to let anyone close got old after awhile, especially because Braden proved again and again that he wouldn’t let her down. Until he does and it all goes to hell albeit briefly.

It’s been some time since I’ve read this book so the details are a little fuzzy. I do remember loving the book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

On Dublin Street

four-stars


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Review: Immortal’s Honor by Rebecca Zanetti

Posted December 6, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Immortal’s Honor by Rebecca ZanettiReviewer: Casee
Immortal's Honor by Rebecca Zanetti
Series: Dark Protectors #14
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, Hero's Haven, Guardian's Grace, Rebel's Karma
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Publication Date: December 7, 2021
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 328
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

From award-winning author Rebecca Zanetti comes the newest wildly thrilling Dark Protectors novel with an immortal hero to die for.

First comes danger . . .

When Vampire-Demon Sam Kyllwood discovers he’s the keeper of some mysterious circle, he laughs it off. When he finds out that his younger brother is supposed to fight to the death in said circle, he snaps right to furious. And that’s before he starts uncontrollably making things explode —it turns out it’s never too late to develop deadly new immortal abilities. But even those explosions are nothing compared to what happens when he tries to handle a very suspicious, brilliant and beyond sexy human female whose piercing eyes ignite a heat that rages deliciously outside even his unbreakable control…

Then comes desire . . .

Honor McDovall is one of the best interrogators Homeland Security has ever had. But no matter how well she appears to fit in, her mystical gifts are slowly driving her mad. She doesn't understand them, she doesn't want them, but for now, she'll use them to detect and defeat danger until she completely loses her mind. Unfortunately, her job brings her face to face with the deadliest man she's ever met—and she senses Sam is even more gifted than she is. Yet once they kiss, she realizes he's also more dangerous than the enemies suddenly coming from every direction. Good thing they both like to play with fire . . .

Immortal’s Honor is the 14th book in Zanetti’s Dark Protector series. I’ve been a diehard fan of this series since I first discovered it. While there are some books in the series that I like over others, I still have liked all the books. I honestly don’t think there is one book in this series that I did like.

Sam Kyllwood was introduced around book 5 or 6 (I could be wrong here). He’s always been a fascinating character and I am thrilled that we finally got his book. After his niece, Hope, was born the prophets of the Realm pulled Sam aside and told him that Hope was supposed to go through a ritual to become the Keeper. Hope would have died so Sam offered himself up. He doesn’t know what being the Keeper is all about, but he would do anything for his niece if it would save her life. The problems that arise after the ritual are problematic. Sam can’t stop blowing things up. Not because he wants to, but because he can’t stop himself. There is also being pulled into alternate dimensions which is causing a problem. Then he meets Honor McDovall.

Honor is called in by Homeland Security when Sam gets detained by the police after one of the explosions. She’s instantly attracted to Sam, but was properly horrified since he’s obviously a criminal. She’s one of the best investigators that Homeland has and it’s because of the gift that she barely acknowledges she has. She can tap into brain waves and get the truth out of anyone. Anyone but Sam that is. She can’t get a read on Sam, though she knows he is dangerous as all get out.

I loved Honor. She was so practical. When Sam kidnapped her, she took it in stride and didn’t stop trying to get away. I loved that about her. She did what I hope that I would do. She tried to escape. I’m so used to books where the heroine just accepts that they’re kidnapped and that’s that. Honor didn’t care how attracted she was to Sam. She thought he was a psychopath. It’s only when she is suddenly thrust into Sam’s world that she realizes how wrong she was about him. Somehow Sam gives Honor his curse of blowing things up. He doesn’t know how he did it nor does he know how he’s going to help her.

Sam and Honor were fire. This is one of my favorite installments of this series. I love how the arc of the story over the last few books has progressed. I’m really, really, really looking forward to Garrett’s book. It’s going to be amazing.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

Dark Protectors

four-half-stars


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Review: Reckless Memories by Catherine Cowles

Posted November 17, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Reckless Memories by Catherine CowlesReviewer: Casee
Reckless Memories by Catherine Cowles
Narrator: Andi Arndt, Joe Arden
Series: Wrecked #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: May 12, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 330
Length: 8 hours and 38 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

I loved him before I knew what the word meant. From skinned knees to first dates and everything in between. But he was never mine to love. I settled for friendship, even though I always wanted more.
That was before. Before he ripped my world apart and didn’t bother sticking around to help me pick up the pieces. I knit every last shred back together all on my own. And I’ve all but forgotten his name.
Now, he’s back, and everything is torn apart once more. But he’s not the only one doing the tearing this time. And there might be no stopping the person who has it out for us both.

Ford, Bell, and Violet were like the Three Musketeers. They did everything together. Bell tagged along with them most of the time. When Violet died in a horrible accident, Ford fled Anchor Island. All he could think about what that it was his fault. His fault that he killed his girlfriend. His fault that his best friend is in the hospital. Never mind that a deer ran into the road. He’s at fault.

When Ford left after Violet died, Bell was destroyed. Devastation doesn’t even begin to cover what she felt when she found out that her sister died and she lost Ford. It’s taken her a long time to find peace with the situation, but she does find it. When Hunter calls Ford to tell him he needs to return to Anchor to help the family business, Bell is once again torn apart. It’s taken her a long time and much soul searching to find her happiness.

I don’t generally care for the dead girlfriend’s little sister trope. I think it’s pretty cliché. Catherine Cowles definitely made it work in this case. Ford and Bell weren’t just best friends; they shared the same soul. It’s all very Megan Fox/MGK minus the blood. Their relationship began when Bell was so young. To Ford, she was a part of him.

These characters were just so well-rounded. When Ford arrives back on Anchor, he is forced to confront how his decisions back then how it wrecked Bell. He’s determined to win her back (friendship at this point) which means he needs to look inward to finally figure out why he left everyone he loved.

This was my first book by this author and I’m really looking forward to reading the series. Yay for new-to-me authors!

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

Wrecked

four-half-stars


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Joint Review: Archangel’s Light by Nalini Singh

Posted October 25, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Joint Review: Archangel’s Light by Nalini SinghReviewer: Casee & Holly
Archangel's Light by Nalini Singh
Narrator: Justine Eyre
Series: Guild Hunter #14
Also in this series: Archangel's Kiss, Archangel's Consort, Archangel's Blade, Archangel's Consort, Archangel's Storm, Archangel's Storm (Guild Hunter #5), Archangel's Legion, Archangel's Legion (Guild Hunter #6), Archangel's Shadows, Archangel's Shadows, Archangel's Enigma (Guild Hunter, #8), Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter #1), Archangel's Heart, Archangel's Heart, Archangel's Heart (Guild Hunter, #9), Archangel's Kiss, Angels' Blood, Archangel's Viper (Guild Hunter, #10), Archangel's Viper, Archangel's Prophecy, Archangel's Consort (Guild Hunter, #3), Archangel's Prophecy, Archangel's War, Archangel's War , Archangel's Kiss, Archangel's Sun
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: October 26, 2021
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third Person
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 400
Length: 11 hours and 23 minutes
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Reading Challenges: Casee's 2021 Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Nalini Singh returns to the world of the Guild Hunters for the most highly anticipated novel of the beloved series—a love story so epic it’s been half a millennia in the making…
Illium and Aodhan. Aodhan and Illium. For centuries they’ve been inseparable: the best of friends, closer than brothers, companions of the heart. But that was before—before darkness befell Aodhan and shattered him, body, mind, and soul. Now, at long last, Aodhan is healing, but his new-found strength and independence may come at a devastating cost—his relationship with Illium.
As they serve side by side in China, a territory yet marked by the evil of its former archangel, the secret it holds nightmarish beyond imagining, things come to an explosive decision point. Illium and Aodhan must either walk away from the relationship that has defined them—or step forward into a future that promises a bond infinitely precious in the life of an immortal…but that demands a terrifying vulnerability from two badly bruised hearts.

We finally get Bluebell & Sparkle’s story! Well, part of it anyway.

Casee: First thing is first. Is this title appropriate since Ilium isn’t an archangel yet?

Holly: I think it’s a play on Aodhan and Illium being Raphael’s light, and a glimpse of what’s to come when Illium ascends.

Casee: One thing that is so special about this book is the glimpses into Aodhan and Illium’s past with Raphael. It’s hard to reconcile the Raphael in the Yesterday chapters to the Raphael in Angels’ Blood. It definitely makes me want to go back and read Angels’ Blood. Actually, I want to reread the whole series. I always feel that way after a book comes out in this series. We also got a bit of Raphael and Elena, whom I always adore reading about.

Holly: I loved the Yesterday chapters, too. It was great seeing glimpses of Aodhan and Illium growing up together. My heart hurt for them at their various trials and tribulations. I always wondered exactly what happened to Aodhan. It was so hard reading about it, but I’m so glad we found out what happened. You’re right, they are each other’s person, and that came out in so many ways.

Casee: I did feel so bad for Illium. When Aodhan realized that everyone but Raphael had abandoned Illium in some way, I think my eyes might have teared up a little. I loved how Caliane’s words made Aodhan think beyond his pain & think about Illium. The closeness of their friendship and changing relationship is what I loved most about this book. I liked the sexy parts. The admitabbly short sexy parts.

I also laughed like no one’s business when I read this:

“Literally throwing up his hands, Illium said, “Fine. I’m going over there”. He pointed to the far side of the site. “Nowhere near your sparklehole vicinity”

Hahaha.

Holly: Yes, I really loved seeing Aodhan and Illium with Raphael. I think my favorite interactions were the ones with Nassir, though. I just loved how he was with them. And when he found Aodhan? Oh, my heart broke.

Casee: What about the sexy times between Aodhan & Illium? Were you satisfied? Did you expect more?

Holly: I was super angry when I finished the book, because it felt like we got nothing in the romance department from then. But then I saw that their story will be continued in another book and I was okay with it.

Casee: Samesies. I felt so disappointed at the end of the book. It felt like Nalini kind of copped out on the romance, but now we know that is not true. I’m so excited to see these two in future books.

I had no idea that Illium and his father (Aegoan?) were so close when he was young. I just can’t imagine how devastating it would be to lose a parent like that. And what he did to Sharine? Unforgivable. Bastard. I’m giving this book a 4 out of 5. What about you?

Holly: I was really glad to learn more about both Illium’s and Sharine’s relationships with his father. It was interesting to learn more of their backstory, and it explained so much.

I’m going to give this a 4 out of 5. I would have given it 3.5 if not for the promise of more in the future. I love Bluebell and Sparkle and I can’t wait for more from them.

Ratings

Casee: 4 out of 5.
Holly: 4 out of 5.

Guild Hunter Series

four-stars


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Review: Tin Queen by Devney Perry

Posted October 18, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Tin Queen by Devney PerryReviewer: Casee
Tin Queen by Devney Perry
Narrator: Lucy Rivers, Jason Clarke
Series: Tin Gypsy #6
Also in this series: Gypsy King
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: August 31, 2021
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 351
Length: 9 hours and 9 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

No promises. No expectations. No names. That’s what Emmett Stone agreed to with the woman who caught his eye two months ago. After years of drama following the end of his motorcycle club, a no-strings fling with a mystery woman is exactly what he needs. Except as they find themselves together more and more, it’s impossible for him to keep his feelings at bay. She’s clever and sassy. She’s gracious and kind. She loves riding on the back of his bike every Saturday afternoon and lazing in his bed every Sunday morning. She’s the perfect woman.
Except she’s Nova Talbot, the daughter of his archenemy—the man who murdered his father.
Her identity will cost her the man who’s captured her heart unless she can convince Emmett her feelings are true.
Before he learns the reason she proposed their fling in the first place.

Tin Queen is the sixth and final book in Devney Perry’s Tin Gypsy series. This book brings the Tin Gypsies full circle and they have to decide if they want to hold onto the past or look forward to the future.

The thing that Nova Talbot wants most in life is for her father to be proud of her. She has done everything he’s ever asked for her. Now she’s volunteering to avenge her brother. Her plan is easy. She’s going to get her way into Emmett Stone’s bed, then she’s going to ruin him. That doesn’t go according to plan. What Nova thought about keeping her feelings separate from her body, it all went up in smoke the night she was first in Emmett’s bed. Emmett is nothing like she thought he would be. Nova knows he is special but that is not going sway her from her plan.

Emmett has never met anyone like her. What started out as a no-names, no-talking fling ended up turning into a need that couldn’t be denied. When he wasn’t with her, he thought about her. When he was with her, he had never felt as content. Emmett knows that they still have to worry about the Warriors, the rival club they were at war with. Still, he finds himself reluctant to run plates and dig into her life. That ends up being a mistake in a big way.

Nova’s internal struggle was real and very raw. Her father had always been her hero. She’d known that he wasn’t innocent; that he killed people even. But that didn’t change her undying devotion and loyalty to him. All Nova has wanted since her brother was killed by a Tin Gypsy was revenge. She wanted to put them all in jail. She thought she could and would do anything to do so, but that changes each day as she gets to really know Emmett.

When it all hits the fan it is horrible. A nightmare. Both Emmett and Nova have to decide if it’s worth it to face to the future or if they should say goodbye. Emmett damn near broke my heart when he said this.

“I can’t do this.”

I truly felt the devastation coming off the pages. It was heartbreaking and it was horrible. Their love was tangible, but neither of them know if they could let go of the past; let go of the family they both lost. When they did come together in the end? It was also desperate. But it was desperation to love, desperation to hope. It was just beautiful.

I’m really happy about how this series ended. Although I would rather have an open ended Tin Gypsy series, I respect Devney Perry for knowing when it’s time to end it. That doesn’t happen much anymore these days.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Tin Gypsy

four-half-stars


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