Reading Challenge: Rowena's 2019 TBR Challenge

Featured Review: Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

Posted March 22, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Featured Review: Magic Bites by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Casee, Holly, & Rowena
Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #1
Also in this series: Magic Shifts, Magic Shifts, Magic Binds, Magic Bites, Magic Strikes, Iron and Magic, Magic Triumphs, Magic Bleeds
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: March 29, 2009
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 386
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Casee's 2019 TBR Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 TBR Challenge, Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Rowena's 2019 TBR Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-stars
Series Rating: four-half-stars

New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews invites you to experience the first novel in the “intriguing world” (Locus) of Kate Daniels with this special edition of Magic Bites...

Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up magical problems. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta’s magic circles. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she’s way out of her league—but she wouldn't want it any other way…

This special edition includes in-depth information about the world of Kate Daniels, with descriptions of its characters and factions. Explore Kate’s Atlanta like never before with answers to FAQ and a quiz to find your place there. And don’t miss the prequel story “A Questionable Client,” as well as scenes of events in Magic Bites from Curran’s point of view.

Magic Bites is the first book in Ilona Andrews‘ wildly popular Kate Daniels series. The world was once filled with magic, until technology came and drown it out. Now magic has returned in waves, killing tech and causing strange happenings. They call this the Shift.

Here we’re introduced to Kate in post-shift Atlanta as she tries to discover who murdered her guardian.

Holly: I have to be honest, this isn’t a great introduction to the series. I feel it’s necessary to the world-building and to establish Kate’s position in Atlanta and her relationship with Curran and the Pack, but it’s pretty slow and bogged down with a lot of info.

Rowena: I didn’t even read the blurb before starting this book, I only know what I’ve read about the series as a whole on Twitter and around Blog Land but yeah, I agree with Holly. There were times in the first half of the book where I was bored to tears with what was going on…which was a whole lot of nothing. I didn’t understand what was going on, only that Kate was trying to find her guardian’s killer in a world that didn’t make a lick of sense to me. Once I got over that beginning hump and Curran comes on to the scene, things pick up and I started to piece together a little understanding so I didn’t hate the entire thing but yeah, that beginning was boring af.

I will say that the second half really takes off and I’m curious as hell to see where the next book takes us and I’m excited to see it all. I really loved Kate and Curran and Derek. They were freaking great.

Casee: I am definitely going to continue with the series, but I was bored to death while listening to this book. If I had tried to read it instead of listening to it, I never would have finished it. There were parts that I actually enjoyed, but I mostly found it boring and tedious. The only reason I continued on was because I’ve heard that this book is necessary to read if you’re planning on continuing the series.

What did you think of Kate? I found her annoying at the beginning.

Rowena: I thought both her and Curran were annoying at first but that changed over the course of the book. Kate is badass and I loved that she had a soft heart for those in need of help…when she wouldn’t let Curran harm Derek? She won me over completely.

Holly: I agree, both Kate and Curran were annoying at first. As the book went on they improved. It’s funny to go back now and read where they started from. Especially after reading Curran’s POV.

Rowena:Did you guys think that Crest was the bad guy? I did. LOL.

Holly: No, I never thought Crest was the bad guy. I pegged the real villain right away. I still liked watching Kate puzzle it out.

Casee: I didn’t think Crest was the bad guy because that would have been too easy. That was the only reason. I also had no idea who it was.

Holly: Although the beginning of this book moves slow, I can’t deny the attraction to the world. Kate, Curran, Derek and others really come to life, especially in later books. I can’t wait for you guys to read the rest.

Rowena: I’m not going to lie, for a huge chunk of this book, I looked like this while reading:

I was confused with all of the magic short-circuiting cars and phones and then vampires being actual undead and the bad guys, it’s a really different paranormal world than I’m used to and by the end of the book, I was here for it. I didn’t blink at the exploding creatures and Kate cutting creatures heads off and taking them back to her kitchen to investigate them. I was one with this world and seriously, I’m looking forward to digging into this world some more.

Even with the really slow beginning, I enjoyed this one but not nearly as much as I thought I was going to with all of the Kate Daniels love this series gets every damn where. Still, this gets 3 out of 5 stars from me. What about you guys?

Holly: Had I not had so many others telling me this series was amazing, I’d probably never have continued after this book. I do think the events here are necessary to what’s coming, though, so I’m glad you guys read it.

It gets 3 out of 5 from me, too.

Casee: This book was basically an info dump. I’ve been meaning to read it and I’m glad I did because I’m looking forward to continuing on. Despite being yawn inducing, I could definitely see the potential when I was finished reading.

I also give it a 3 out of 5.

Final Grades

Casee: 3 out of 5
Holly: 3 out of 5
Rowena: 3 out of 5

Kate Daniels

three-stars


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Review: Getting Lucky Number Seven by Cindi Madsen

Posted March 21, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

This month’s reading suggestion for the TBR Challenge was about choosing your favorite trope to read and I have a lot of favorites but I chose the best friend’s to lovers trope because that’s in the top of the tops list and this book fit the bill perfectly.

Review: Getting Lucky Number Seven by Cindi MadsenReviewer: Rowena
Getting Lucky Number Seven by Cindi Madsen
Series: Taking Shots #1
Publisher: Entangled, Entangled Embrace
Publication Date: April 28, 2015
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Romance Package
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 363
Length: 6 hours, 32 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Rowena's 2019 New to Me Challenge, Rowena's 2019 TBR Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

What's your lucky number?

Lyla Wilder is done being the shy, chemistry nerd extraordinaire. While every other college student is out having fun, Lyla is studying. With her cat. Well, she's played it "safe" quite enough, thank you. So she creates a "College Bucket List"―with item #7 being a night of uninhibited, mind-blowing sex...

But she needs some help from her man-whore best friend.

Hockey player Beck Davenport thought Lyla's transformation would be subtle. Man, was he wrong. With every item she ticks off, Beck finds himself growing seriously hot for his sweet, brainiac best friend. And if he's not careful, he'll end up risking their friendship in order to convince Lyla that he might just be her lucky #7...

Getting Lucky Number Seven is the first book in the Taking Shots series by Cindi Madsen and this book has been sitting on my TBR list for years. Ames brought this to my attention and I remember her telling me that she enjoyed it so I purchased it not too long after that and then I never touched it. When I was browsing the Audible Romance Package titles, I came across this series and knew that I was going to read this one finally so I downloaded the audiobook and listened to the entire thing one day at work. I haven’t read anything by Cindi Madsen before but I was looking forward to reading her and I’m happy to report that I liked this one and will definitely be reading more from this author.

This book follows two best friends, Beck and Lilah as they grow closer when Lilah decides to stop being a hermit nerd and get out there and have college experiences that she only reads about in books. She’s tired of being the frumpy nerd that guys can’t connect with so after a really bad date, she heads to her best friend Beck’s house and tells him that she’s going to put together a college bucket list and she needs his help with it.

She’s got a bunch of stuff on her list already, kiss a handsome stranger, get drunk at a college party, stuff like that but as she starts to check things off her list, she starts to add things and Beck, who loves his best friend as she is, is starting to see her in a different light. In a romantic light and though he wants to be there for her while she goes through this list, it’s starting to get harder to deny his attraction to her. When he finds out that number seven on her list is to have mind-blowing sex, Beck wants in on that list item.

This was such an easy story to fall into. I really liked both Lilah and Beck. They were a fun couple to get to know and I really liked seeing the both of them come into their own. I loved that Lilah could be there for Beck with everything that he was going through and even when I wanted to smack Beck upside his head, I really liked him. He was genuine in his affection for Lilah and that was exactly what she needed in her life. Cindi Madsen worked her magic with these two and their romance and I’m glad that I finally gave it a chance. I’m definitely finishing out this series. I recommend.

Grade: 4 out of 5

Taking Shots

four-stars


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Review: River Marked by Patricia Briggs

Posted February 20, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

This month’s prompt for the TBR Challenge was Series so I chose to read River Marked by Patricia Briggs because I am determined to get that entire series read this year. I want to catch up by the time the next book comes out so wish me luck on that. Anyway, on with my review…

Review: River Marked by Patricia BriggsReviewer: Rowena
River Marked (Mercy Thompson, #6) by Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson #6
Also in this series: Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson, #7), Night Broken, Shifting Shadows, Blood Bound, Fire Touched, Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson, #10), Moon Called, Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson, #2), Iron Kissed (Mercy Thompson, #3), Bone Crossed (Mercy Thompson, #4)
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: March 1, 2011
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 337
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Rowena's 2019 TBR Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Mercy Thompson is a shapeshifter, a talent she inherited from her long-gone father. And she's never known any others of her kind. Until now. As Mercy comes to terms with this new information, an evil is stirring in the depths of the Columbia River. Something deadly is coming, facts are thin on the ground and Mercy feels ill at ease.

Mercy Thompson brings the badass shenanigans again in River Marked. In this book, she finally marries hottie Alpha Adam Hauptman and they’re headed on their camping honeymoon where they will be completely alone and not have to deal with anyone’s problems…until they get to their campsite and have to deal with everyone else’s problems. The problem that they’re dealing with this time around is a river devil monster who is eating the people who are getting too close to her in the river. When Adam and Mercy happen upon an injured man in the boat and smell his fear, they can’t walk away and this river monster is unique and it is magic of the American Indian variety so Mercy and Adam find themselves getting acquainted with the local Indian tribes….and Mercy’s sort of maybe ghost of a father? Yeah, there’s a lot going on in this book and I thought Briggs did a great job of pulling this story together.

I really liked that there was a Charles and Anna partnership feel to Adam and Mercy in this one. They worked together to fight the bad guys and had only each other that they could trust completely and rely on. The wealth of love that they have for each other melts me at every turn and I just really love their love. Mercy’s letter to Adam at the end was the best way to end this book and honestly, I just can’t wait to continue this series. I’m low key annoyed at myself that I kept this on my TBR shelf for so long. But no more, 2019 is the year that I finish out this series. This was another fantastic addition to the Mercy Thompson series so I definitely recommend it if you started the series but haven’t gotten around to this one. It’s good stuff, I promise!

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

Mercy Thompson

four-stars


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Review: Hoops Holiday by Kennedy Ryan

Posted January 16, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 7 Comments

Review: Hoops Holiday by Kennedy RyanReviewer: Rowena
Hoops Holiday by Kennedy Ryan
Series: Hoops #2.5
Also in this series: Long Shot (Hoops, #1)
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: December 14, 2018
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 184
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 A-Z Reading Challenge, Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Rowena's 2019 TBR Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

A jock, a journalist and a second chance . . .

MacKenzie Decker was a question Avery never got to ask, much less answer. They met when she was a young reporter fueled by ambition, and the ink on Deck's first NBA contract was barely dry. Years later, they've climbed so high and lost so much, but one thing hasn't changed. The attraction that simmered between them in a locker room before is still there. With success like theirs, everything has been possible . . . except them.

That was then. But what about now?

In an effort to support our wonderful romance community this year, Book Binge decided as a blog that we’ll be participating in Super Wendy’s 2019 TBR Challenge this year. January’s prompt was We Love Short Shorts! (shorter reads) so I chose to read Kennedy Ryan’s Hoops Holiday since I’ve been meaning to read it long before now.

I finished my first prompt of the year so this is me right now:

Hoops Holiday is a short story from Kennedy Ryan’s Hoops series and it follows MacKenzie Decker and Avery Hughes as they make that journey towards true love that is about ten years in the making. Deck meets the woman of his dreams in the locker room after a game, tries to hit on her and she is not having it. Deck struck out but ten years later, his attraction to Avery Hughes is every bit as fierce and for the first time in a long time, they’re both single and can finally explore the attraction that Deck knows is brewing both ways and not just on his end. Deck just needs to persuade Avery that she should definitely take a chance on him. Avery is going through some stuff having to do with her last relationship and a new relationship just isn’t in the cards for her. She can’t deny that seeing Deck again brings back the attraction she walked away from all those years before.

Kennedy Ryan knocked this short story right out of the park and she’s fast becoming a favorite of mine. She handled the romance between Deck and Avery really well considering she didn’t have a lot of page time to really dig into their pasts, their present and hell, even their futures but I didn’t feel like the story, or the romance, for that matter, was missing anything. I liked that there was history between Deck and Avery (how memorable was that first meet-cute tho??? Ha!) I really enjoyed getting to know both Deck and Avery. I also really enjoyed seeing how they came together. It was just great, solid writing.

This book also comes with some cute extras from the previous books in this series and I loved them. They were like second epilogues for both August and Iris, along with Jared and Banner. I’m glad that everyone is still going through it with lots of love on their side.

If you’re a fan of the Hoops series by Kennedy Ryan, this short story isn’t to be missed. It’s chock full of a romance that is sweet, fun and yet still tugs at your heart the way that only Kennedy Ryan can tug.

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

Hoops Series

four-half-stars


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