Reading Challenge: Rowena's 2020 Goodreads Challenge

Featured Review: Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews

Posted March 25, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Featured Review: Magic Slays by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Casee, Holly, and Rowena
Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #5
Also in this series: Magic Shifts, Magic Shifts, Magic Binds, Magic Bites, Magic Strikes, Iron and Magic, Magic Triumphs, Magic Bites, Magic Bleeds , Magic Burns, Magic Strikes , Magic Slays , Gunmetal Magic , Magic Rises , Magic Strikes, Magic Mourns, Magic Bleeds, Magic Dreams
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: May 31, 2011
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 320
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Rowena's 2020 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-half-stars

Kate Daniels has quit the Order of Merciful Aid, but starting her own business isn't easy when the Order starts disparaging her good name. And being the mate of the Beast Lord doesn't bring in the customers, either. So when Atlanta's premier Master of the Dead asks for help with a vampire, Kate jumps at the chance. Unfortunately, this is one case where Kate should have looked before she leapt.

Casee: I finally went into reading mode today and was able to finish this book. Holy cow. I think it’s my favorite in the series so far. Everything about it was amazing. Kate is such an awesome heroine. I just can’t get enough of her.

Holly: I feel like the series really picks up with this book. I liked book 3, but this is the first book in the series I really loved. The way the relationships develop, the plot, all of it was stellar.

Casee: I agree. There was a cohesiveness to this book that really stuck with me. I loved seeing Kate’s relationships with all the people in her life. It’s funny because she started out a loaner and now she has all these people in her life.

Rowena: For me, the series really picked up with book 3, Magic Strikes but this was another great addition to the series. I’m really liking how Kate’s circle of loved ones keeps growing and growing. I’m also really enjoying seeing her business grow from one employee to four. Do we see more from Ascansio? He got on my nerves in the beginning but he really grew on me.

Casee: Ascansio got on my nerves too. He really redeemed himself when he protected Julie.

Holly: Ascanio got on my nerves at first, too, but I loved how he protected Julie. I also loved how she kicked his ass. Ha. Serves him right.

Rowena: Yes!! I forgot all about how much he annoyed me until Julie showed up and gave him the verbal smackdown. As much as I’d love to see more between Ascansio and Julie, it’s Derek and Julie that I’m much more invested in. I can’t wait to read more between them.

Casee: Speaking of Julie, holy hell! I can’t even imagine what will happen if she finds out what Kate did.

Holly: Julie. Dude. I can’t even with that whole thing.

Rowena: My heart hurt for the choices that Kate had to make and it continued to hurt seeing Curran try and fail to be okay with her choices. Ilona Andrews does a great job of pulling the feels right out of me. From beginning to end, I was invested in every single thing in this book.

Holly: My heart hurt for Kate, too. Do you really think it was necessary for her to do what she did, though? It’s hard, but maybe she should have let that go. You know what I mean? (I’m trying not to include spoilers)

Rowena: I kept wondering if maybe there was something else they could have done to save Julie but everyone was panicked and I honestly believe that Kate did the best she could to save her kid so I’m not mad about it. I hope that Julie is able to forgive Kate when she finds out because I know she’s going to find out. Right?

Holly: Derek and Julie are both awesome alone. I can’t wait for you two to get farther along in the series so we can discuss more!

Casee: I was happy to see more of Derek. I heart him. I love how he protects Julie. As for Julie, I’m sure she will find out. That’s going to be interesting for sure.

Rowena: Overall, this story really worked for me but it wasn’t my favorite of the bunch so far. I’m really happy that I’m reading this series and each book so far has gotten better and better. I am loving Kate, I am loving Curran and I’m loving everyone else that we meet that is a part of Kate’s family. I thought that Curran handled the pack shit where Kate is concerned a whole lot better than Adam did in the Mercy Thompson series so Curran is my number one boo thang right now. Haha. I’m really enjoying the different aspects of the Kate Daniels world and I thought there was a lot of interesting things covered in this one so I definitely recommend it.

Casee: I loved Kate and Curran in this book. There are so many things to love. Their interactions just make me laugh. They are both two very strong individuals, but they still make it work.

Holly: There are so many things I want to talk about with you two, but you need to read farther into the series. We’ll talk more next month.

Rowena: I can’t wait to discuss all of those things with you but yeah, it’ll have to wait until next month.

Holly: This isn’t my favorite book in the series, but it is a really good book. I love how Kate’s world keeps expanding, and how she and Curran come together. This is a series I think everyone should read, and I’m thrilled you two are finally getting caught up.

Rowena: I’m giving it 4.25 out 5 stars. What about you guys?

Casee: I give this one a 4.25.

Holly: I’m going to give a 4 out of 5.

Final Grades

Casee: 4.25 out of 5
Holly: 4 out of 5
Rowena: 4.25 out of 5

Kate Daniels

four-stars


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Review: Forbidden Promises by Synithia Williams

Posted March 24, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Forbidden Promises by Synithia WilliamsReviewer: Rowena
Forbidden Promises by Synithia Williams
Series: Jackson Falls #1
Publisher: HQN
Publication Date: February 25, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 352
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2020 Goodreads Challenge
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU WANT THE ONE PERSON YOU CAN NEVER HAVE?

Get in and get out. That was India Robidoux's plan for this family visit. But when her brother needs her help with his high-profile political campaign, India has not choice but to stay and face the one man she's been running from for years - Travis, her sister's ex-husband. One hot summer night when Travis was still free, they celebrated her birthday with whiskey and an unforgettable kiss. The memory is as strong as ever - and so are the feelings she's tried so hard to forget.

Travis Strickland owes everything to the Robidoux family. There's nothing he wouldn't do for them - his divorce could never change that. Still, he has one regret. Impulsive and passionate, India always understood him better than anyone else. And the longer they work together on the campaign, the more torn he is. Coming between her and her sister is out of the question. But how can he let love pass him by a second time?

©2020 Synithia Williams (P)2020 HarperAudio

Forbidden Promises is the first book in the new Jackson Falls series by Synithia Williams. It’s a story that features a heroine who has been in love with her sister’s ex-husband for some time now. When she comes back home to visit her family, her plan is to sneak in, spend some quality time with her family and then sneak right back out. She has no plans on sticking around or of seeing Travis Strickland while she’s home. Travis and India shared the most passionate kiss of India’s life and then he made his choice and married her sister so she’s come to terms with it. Sure, she was hurt but that was years ago and she’s grown up and moved on. But Travis is her brother’s best friend and her brother needs her help with his political campaign so India’s got no choice but to see Travis.

Travis is stoked that India’s home. Of all of the Robidoux siblings, India understood him the best. They had a solid friendship that Travis missed when India went away and sure, they also shared a pretty spectacular kiss years ago but that’s old news and he’s excited to see his friend again. Only India is different now. She’s a grown woman, a gorgeous grown woman and she wants nothing to do with Travis. Working together on India’s brother’s campaign should be a breeze, no?

Synithia Williams has a unique writing style that worked for me. I’m no stranger to the sister’s ex-husband trope and though not every story featuring that trope has worked for me in the past, I didn’t mind it here. The more that I got to know India and Travis, the more we learned about their shared history and the people that they were and the people they are now made rooting them on all the more necessary for me. They were both strong characters and I thought they were fantastic on their own but I really dug them together. I connected with both of their characters, along with both of their stories and seeing them come together in love, figure their stuff out was a great reading adventure for me.

I haven’t read anything by Williams before but I will definitely be reading more of her stuff in the future. This was such a charming romance that I want more of it. I definitely recommend it for those readers who are looking for a quick, charming romance with heart. This definitely fits the bill.

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: House Rules by Ruby Lang

Posted March 23, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: House Rules by Ruby LangReviewer: Rowena
House Rules by Ruby Lang
Series: Uptown #3
Also in this series: Open House
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: February 10, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 152
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2020 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

ROOMMATE WANTED to share a gorgeous sun-filled apartment in Central Harlem. Must love cats. No ex-husbands or wives need apply.

Seventeen years ago, different dreams pulled Simon Mizrahi and Lana Kuo apart. But when Lana takes a position as a chef back in Manhattan, her apartment search puts her right in her ex-husband’s path. Music teacher Simon is also hunting for a new place to live, and when Lana proposes they be platonic roomies, well…it’s not the worst idea he’s ever heard.

A sunny uptown two-bedroom sounds far more appealing than the cramped, noisy space where he’s currently struggling to work. Still, Simon has seen firsthand that Lana’s a flight risk, so he agrees on a trial basis.

Three months. With strict boundaries.

Living together again feels wonderfully nostalgic, but when the ex-couple’s lingering feelings rise to the surface, the rules go out the window.

Of course, chemistry was never their problem. But while Simon’s career feels back on solid footing, Lana is still sorting out what she wants. With their trial period soon coming to an end, they’ll have to decide if their living arrangement was merely a sexy trip down memory lane or a reunion meant to last.

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the

Carina Press Romance Promise

: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

This book is approximately 47,000 words

House Rules is the third book in the Uptown series by Ruby Lang. It’s also a second chance romance that features a divorced couple who become roommates to share bills. I read the last book in this series and enjoyed it so I was looking forward to reading this one as well. Like Open House, this book was a really quick read but Ruby Lang did a great job of making me come to care for both Simon and Lana.

They were both normal people with normal people problems. Simon is a music teacher and he’s been living in the same apartment for most of his life. He wants to move on, find his own space in New York that wasn’t his father’s so he starts looking around but when his search makes him realize that he probably can’t afford to leave his late father’s rent secure apartment, he gets bummed out until he runs into Lana, who is back in New York and looking for her own space to rent. Running into Simon was the last thing that Lana wanted but knowing that they both need a place to live and can actually help each other with bills, Lana does the unthinkable. She asks Simon to be her roommate. Her strictly platonic roommate. They both live different lives and will be in the apartment at different times so they won’t even need to see each other or interact with each other to live with each other. So they do it. They sign the lease and they become roommates. Only there’s too much history and too many feelings that are still kicking around in each other their hearts so now they have to figure out where to go from here.

Ruby Lang has a great writing style that I enjoy very much. I plan on going back and reading the first book in this series because I haven’t yet. I really enjoyed a straight up romance with two characters that I was able to connect with. And I did. I connected with different aspects of Simon and Lana’s lives and I was right there with the both of them through all of their story. This was a charming contemporary romance that I ate right up from beginning to end. If you’re in the mood for a sweet second chance romance then look no further than this one. It’s super cute and perfect for some social distancing fun. I definitely recommend.

4 out of 5

Uptown

four-stars


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Review: Magic Dreams by Ilona Andrews

Posted March 20, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Magic Dreams by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Rowena
Magic Dreams by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #4.5
Also in this series: Magic Shifts, Magic Shifts, Magic Binds, Magic Bites, Magic Strikes, Iron and Magic, Magic Triumphs, Magic Bites, Magic Bleeds , Magic Burns, Magic Strikes , Magic Slays , Gunmetal Magic , Magic Rises , Magic Strikes, Magic Mourns, Magic Bleeds, Magic Slays
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: June 26, 2012
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 86
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2020 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-half-stars

From New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews comes a tale of darkness, desire, and werecats.

Alpha Pack leader Jim Shrapshire has always been the strong, silent type. But something has come over him--a magic force currently residing in one of the Pack's headquarters. Were-tigress Dali Harimau has always wished she could get Jim's attention--but now he needs her help.

Stricken with a magic-sickness, Jim needs Dali's flair for magic. And to save him, she must challenge a powerful, dark being to a battle of wits.

Includes an excerpt of Ilona Andrews's upcoming novel in the world of Kate Daniels, Gunmetal Magic

Magic Dreams originally appeared in the anthology Hexed.

Magic Dreams is a novella that follows the fourth book in the Kate Daniels series, Magic Bleeds. It also doesn’t feature Kate Daniels and Curran at the front and center of the story. It features Curran’s chief of Security Jim and the blind tiger, Dali.

I’m not the biggest fan of novella’s because I always seem to be left wanting more from them, at least lately but this one was solid and it felt like I was getting a full-length novel that packed a punch, had some emotional depth and furthered my love for both Jim and Dali. In Magic Strikes, you can tell that there was something there between Jim and Dali and you can also tell that Dali had some big-time feelings for Jim but here in this novella, we see those feelings front and center and we also see what they do with those feelings. Dali’s got some insecurities that she works through, we got to see Dali’s family and see Jim fall right into the thick of things with Dali’s family.

When Jim goes in to check on one of their pack’s headquarters and finds his team taken out, he goes to the one person that he knows can help him figure out what’s going on. Dali. Dali is in his pack and she is one of the smartest people he knows. She knows a lot about magic and whatever took out his team members stinks of magic. That same magic has done something to him and now, more than ever, he needs the only girl that he’s ever felt anything for but whatever it is that he’s hunting is dangerous and he doesn’t want to put Dali in danger.

Dali don’t take no shit from anyone though, the minute that Jim shows up at her house and scares the crap out of her. She’s all in. She’s had a big thing for the security chief and even though she knows that he will never see her the same way that he would see the other more feminine females in their pack, her feelings are still strong and they’re still there. Now that he’s in trouble, she needs to lean on her family’s magic and their knowledge of magic to save Jim from the magic that has taken residence in his head.

This was a short, action-packed romance that I ate right up. It took me no time at all to read and I was wrapped up in everything that was going on. I hope that we see some more from the dragon that we met in this book, later on in the series and I really hope to see more of Jim and Dali in future books. They’re a lot of fun and I just adored them to pieces. I’m so glad that I read this one and I can’t wait for more. I definitely recommend.

4 out of 5

Kate Daniels


four-stars


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Review: One Last Chance by Therese Beharrie

Posted March 19, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: One Last Chance by Therese BeharrieReviewer: Rowena
One Last Chance by Therese Beharrie
Series: One Day to Forever #1
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: February 17, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2020 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Of all the charity events in all of Cape Town, Zoey Roux had to bump into her husband at this one

Six years ago, Zoey Roux secretly married her best friend Sawyer. But all that did was destroy the best relationship she’s ever had. They went their separate ways, but Zoey never could go through with a divorce. Seeing him again at her sister’s charity event is a shock, but also enlightening: no matter how much she still loves him, it’s time to let him go.

Zoey was Sawyer Wilson’s first love. She broke his heart, but his feelings never died. Love was never their issue—only timing. Seeing her again is a shock: in a perfect world, she would run back into his arms. Instead, she’s asking for a divorce.

But a lot can happen in twenty-four hours: old wounds can heal, first loves can be reunited. And a second chance might just lead to happily ever after.

This book is approximately 74,000 words

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

One Last Chance is the first book that I’ve ever read by Therese Beharrie but it’s the third book in her One Day to Forever series. The series is about a trio of sisters who find their one true love. This book features the baby sister of Roux bunch, Zoey. It’s a second chance best friends to lovers romance and I liked it. Sawyer and Zoey were great characters and it was super easy for me to fall right in with their story.

Sawyer has been in love with his best friend, Zoey Roux for as long as he can remember. He waited her out, because he felt that she wasn’t ready for how powerful his feelings were for him. He knew that if he were to have told her how he felt, she would have run away from him and more than anything, he wanted her in his life. Any way that he can have her so he stayed in the friend zone until six years ago. Six years ago, Zoey found about Sawyer’s feelings and she returned them so even though Sawyer knew that Zoey was jumping into a relationship without really thinking, he jumped right in with her because his heart belonged to her anyway. They had a wonderful few months together before it all fell apart and then they both went their separate ways because it was too hard for Sawyer to be around her.

Fast forward and it’s six years later, and they run into each other. They’ve never really talked about what happened between them with their families so it’s big awkward when they run into each other. They spend the day trying to dodge each other, run away from the feelings that are still there and then dealing with their past, their present, and figure ou their future. This whole story is told in the present day in one day but there are chapters from their past sprinkled in between as well. I liked seeing where they are now and what happened to bring them to where they are now. Seeing the story unfold like this had me turning the pages as fast as I could read them.

There were times when I wanted to strangle both Zoey and Sawyer. Zoey for thinking she knew what was best for Sawyer and at Sawyer for not being upfront with Zoey about what happened, how he felt and what he wanted from her. He gave and gave and gave to everything to her but he never spoke up about what he wanted. Other than that, I liked seeing the other couples and I’m mighty interested in going back and reading their books. Even though this was the only book in the series that I read, I didn’t feel like I missed anything by not having read the other books so this one reads great as a standalone. Beharrie has a bubbly writing style that fit exactly what I was in the mood for so I’m glad that I read this one.

4 out of 5

One Day to Forever

four-stars


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