Source: Edelweiss

Guest Review: Be a Good Girl by Tess Diamond

Posted October 5, 2018 by Jen in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Be a Good Girl by Tess DiamondReviewer: Jen
Be A Good Girl (FBI, #3) by Tess Diamond
Series: FBI #3
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: March 27, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 336
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
two-half-stars

In Tess Diamond’s third romantic thriller, an FBI agent teams up with the one woman who can offer the salvation he needs as they search for a serial killer . . .

As the head of an elite FBI unit, Special Agent Paul Harrison seems to have everything figured out, but beneath the surface, an internal war is raging. When he returns to his rural hometown for the first time in a few years, he’s faced with the memories that led to his losing the love of his life.

Fifteen years ago, Abigail Winthrop’s best friend, and Paul’s girlfriend, was murdered by the infamous serial killer Doctor X. Now an investigative journalist, she’s determined to find the truth. But when Abigail discovers evidence that clears Doctor X, she realizes the real killer is still out there and is striking again when local young girls begin disappearing.

Turning to Paul for help, Abigail joins forces with him. As an undeniable attraction develops between them, they must heal deep wounds from their past—and find a relentless psychopath who could extinguish their hopes for a future together.

It’s always hard to write a review for a book that just didn’t grab your attention–this is one of those books!

This book doesn’t exactly break new ground, with the hero and heroine coming back together to investigate their teenage friend’s murder and some new similar murders. Abby is an investigative reporter and Paul is an FBI agent, which sounds like a recipe for a book I would like. And it’s true that there were a few thrills, especially in the flashback scenes and some of the intense scenes of present suspense. Abby is fairly smart and dogged in her investigation and her belief that something wasn’t quite right with the old investigation.

The rest of the book is pretty forgettable, however. Paul gets virtually no character development in this book, though apparently, he has appeared in earlier books in the series. Without reading those, though, I didn’t really understand much about him beyond that he’s suffering from PTSD. Most importantly, there isn’t much romance in the book. I just didn’t feel a connection between Abby and Paul. For instance, Paul thinks about his mental health issues but there are no conversations with Abby about it. They don’t talk about much beyond the case or their past history. They’ve each been living separate lives for a long time, but there’s no real catching up. Shared history and trauma is not enough to build a relationship, and I couldn’t buy it.

I was interested enough to keep reading and not put the book down, but not interested enough to muster up much enthusiasm for it when it was over. Perhaps earlier books in the series would be a better introduction, but I certainly wouldn’t recommend reading Be a Good Girl if you’re not already invested in this world.

Grade: 2.5 out of 5

FBI

two-half-stars


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Guest Review: Tempted by Love by Jennifer Ryan

Posted October 3, 2018 by Jen in Reviews | 4 Comments

Guest Review: Tempted by Love by Jennifer RyanReviewer: Jen
Tempted by Love (Montana Heat, #3) by Jennifer Ryan
Series: Montana Heat #3
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: August 21, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 400
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-stars

She was this Montana Man’s greatest temptation . . .

Alina Cooke—little sister of his two best friends—is the last woman DEA agent Jay Bennett should be waking up next to on the day of her brother’s wedding. But their powerful attraction ignited a powder keg of desire, and their once simple friendship has just become impossibly complicated.

Alina’s always been steady, focused, and lived on the safe side of life. Jay is totally devoted to his dangerous job. She knows a future with him will be filled with worry that one day he won’t come home. She’s done it with her brothers. She’s not sure she can face that uncertainty with the man she loves. Yet being in his arms is a bad idea they keep repeating, again and again.

When Alina is run off the road, Jay fears his job has made her a target. But the threat in Alina’s life is closer than they think. As the enemy gets more ruthless, Alina proves she’s no easy target and Jay will do anything to bring them down. Because surviving and being together is the only thing that matters.

Alina Cooke is the sister of the previous heroes of the series. She’s a pharmacist, not involved in the scary, larger-than-life world of her DEA agent brothers. When she and DEA agent Jay Bennett have a drunken hook up at a wedding, Alina is pretty sure Jay and his dangerous lifestyle is not what she needs. But soon there is danger surrounding Alina too, and she and Jay have to figure out why, as well as whether they both can handle all that comes with letting another person into your heart.

I have sort of mixed feelings about this series, and this book was no exception. On the one hand, there is a lot of action. With some small exceptions in this book, no one acts too stupid or reckless. The love between Alina and Jay was so, so sweet, and while I am sure it will come across as overly saccharine to some, I enjoyed the dynamic of their relationship for the most part. I also really liked seeing Jay doing his job and interacting with his colleagues. They have good camaraderie and it was fun to read. I thought the plot was interesting, and while there is no mystery the action keeps things exciting.

The relationship between Alina and Jay does move VERY fast, however. I perhaps could have gotten over that if they had been closer before, but the book makes it very clear that while they’ve known each other a while they’ve never really talked much or had much to do with each other. So for them to go from “getting to know you” to “this feels life-changing” in mere moments seemed excessive. Couple that with a lot of overwrought descriptions of how wonderful the other person makes them feel and how momentous their interactions were in every second together and it got a bit ridiculous. In addition, there wasn’t much keeping them apart other than their own hang-ups. They easily could have gotten together forever after only a fraction of the book, but of course, there was still 10 lbs of plot to resolve at that point. There was also no reason, other than to draw out the story, that Alina and Jay wouldn’t have figured out the villain’s plan earlier. There were many clues and suspicious happenings, and each time they are brushed away with barely a thought. Alina is brilliant and Jay is a hyper-suspicious DEA agent–there is no way all these mounting clues would have escaped at least their notice. It was contrived.

I liked these characters and I’m pretty interested in the larger story arcs that were continued in this book. Even if this series isn’t my favorite, I plan to read the next book.

Grade: 3 out of 5

Montana Heat

three-stars


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Review: Hot Winter Nights by Jill Shalvis

Posted October 3, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Hot Winter Nights by Jill ShalvisReviewer: Rowena
Hot Winter Nights (Heartbreaker Bay, #6) by Jill Shalvis
Series: Heartbreaker Bay #6
Also in this series: Sweet Little Lies (Heartbreaker Bay #1), The Trouble with Mistletoe, The Trouble with Mistletoe, One Snowy Night, Accidentally on Purpose, Chasing Christmas Eve (Heartbreaker Bay, #4), Chasing Christmas Eve, Holiday Wishes (Heartbreaker Bay, #4.5), Holiday Wishes, About That Kiss (Heartbreaker Bay, #5), About That Kiss
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: September 25, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-stars

Who needs mistletoe?

Most people wouldn't think of a bad Santa case as the perfect Christmas gift. Then again, Molly Malone, office manager at Hunt Investigations, isn't most people, and she could really use a distraction from the fantasies she's been having since spending the night with her very secret crush, Lucas Knight. Nothing happened, not that Lucas knows that — but Molly just wants to enjoy being a little naughty for once...

Whiskey and pain meds for almost-healed bullet wounds don't mix. Lucas needs to remember that next time he's shot on the job, which may be sooner rather than later if Molly's brother, Joe, finds out about them. Lucas can't believe he's drawing a blank on his (supposedly) passionate tryst with Molly, who's the hottest, smartest, strongest woman he's ever known. Strong enough to kick his butt if she discovers he's been assigned to babysit her on her first case. And hot enough to melt his cold heart this Christmas.

Hot Winter Nights is the sixth book in Jill Shalvis’ Heartbreaker Bay series and it features Lucas and Molly. Molly is sister to the hero in the previous book and Lucas is Molly’s brother’s partner and friend. They work together and Lucas has been warned off of Molly because he’s a player and nobody trusts him not to hurt Molly? I don’t know.

So this book starts off with Lucas waking up from a one night stand that he has no memory of. He’s recovering from being shot on the job so after a night of mixing alcohol and meds, Lucas is completely out of it and Molly is there to help him get home safely. When he wakes up and has no memory of them sleeping together, he’s freaked out. Molly gets her feelings hurt and instead of being upfront with him about them not doing anything but sleep, she lets him stew in his confusion.

I’m not quite sure where to start with this review because while I did enjoy it, a lot of little things bugged me. I wasn’t cool with a lot of things that Molly did to Lucas. The way that she let him think something happened between them for far longer than she should have because her feelings were hurt, the way that she would march right into danger because she was mad at the way Lucas bossed her around while on the job, and then there were Joe and Archer’s attitude toward Lucas hooking up with Molly but also the way that they refused to let Molly in on any field work because they wanted to protect her. Molly is a grown ass woman and can make those decisions for herself. They took that decision away from her because she’s a little ol’ woman and that pissed me off.

What I did like was Lucas’ family. I liked how much they worried over him and how supportive they were of him and how determined they were to keep including him in family events. Lucas was dealing with a lot of guilt over not being around for both his fiance and his brother before they died and he didn’t handle things well but I really liked seeing his family not giving up on him. He wasn’t the most perfect of characters but I still enjoyed how honest he was with himself about everything, especially his feelings for Molly. I liked that he wasn’t in denial for half the book. He knew what he felt and he was all in, too bad it took him a lot longer to actually tell Molly about everything.

Overall, this book was a pretty quick read and while it had its moments, it’s not my favorite book in the series. I spent too much time pissed off at different people and I don’t know, it was missing some the charm that I’ve come to expect from a Jill Shalvis read. My favorite part of this book was Lucas. I loved when Lucas went to meet Molly’s Dad for the first time and I really liked when these two finally stopped being dumb and got together so all in all, it was still a pretty solid read.

Grade: 3.75 out of 5

Heartbreaker Bay

three-stars


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Review: For the Duke’s Eyes Only by Lenora Bell

Posted September 18, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: For the Duke’s Eyes Only by Lenora BellReviewer: Rowena
For the Duke's Eyes Only (School for Dukes, #2) by Lenora Bell
Series: School for Dukes #2
Also in this series: What a Difference a Duke Makes (School for Dukes #1), What a Difference a Duke Makes (School for Dukes, #1)
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: September 18, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

If adventure has a name...it must be Lady India Rochester. The intrepid archaeologist possesses a sharp blade and an even sharper knack for uncovering history's forgotten women. Unfortunately, she has one annoying weakness: the dangerously handsome Duke of Ravenwood. Former best friend. Current enemy. And the man who dared to break her heart.

Daniel Bonds, the Duke of Ravenwood, is a thrill-seeking antiquities hunter who only plays by one rule: Never fall in love. He's in it for the fortune and glory. At least that's what he wants the world to think. He's sworn to hide his tangled web of secrets, especially from the one woman he cares about and will protect at any cost.

But when a priceless relic is stolen from the British Museum, the rivals must align forces. Racing to recover the stolen antiquity and avert an international disaster? All in a day's work. Avoiding their buried feelings? More and more impossible. For love is about to become the greatest treasure of all.

The grand adventure begins...now!

Lenora Bell strikes again! I read this book in one sitting because I couldn’t put it down. From beginning to end, I was wrapped up tight in this book and I am super anxious for more from these characters that are inserting themselves into my heart.

For the Duke’s Eyes Only is the second book in the School for Dukes series by Lenora Bell and its another story that wrapped me up in feels. Lenora Bell keeps writing fabulous historical romances with smart characters and strong heroines that I can seriously get behind.

Daniel Bonds and India Rochester were childhood best friends who were engaged to be married but grew apart after Daniel’s father died and he became the Duke of Ravenswood. Their friendship didn’t last the test of time because Daniel stopped writing India when he went away to school and he also kissed someone else and India caught him so she wanted nothing to do with him. As the years pass, they become enemies of a sort and the bickering never stops. There’s guilt and hurt feelings and a whole lot of grief and I was here for it all.

I loved seeing them have their adventures as kids and then their great big adventure as adults. I also really loved seeing the coins make a reappearance in their lives all those many years later and though there were times when I wanted to smack them both upside the head for being so dumb with each other, I still really loved them.

Ravenswood hasn’t gotten over the death of his father and the need to clear his father’s name is still going really strong all of these years later but when a mission goes south in Greece, and Raven almost dies, he starts to re-evaluate his life choices and thinks about what could have been and who he could have spent his life with had things worked out differently. When artifacts start going missing, he’s tasked with locating and bringing those artifacts back. He thought he would rush to Paris, retrieve the mission pieces and bring it back to England and his life would go back to normal but when India is brought into things, Raven’s life gets all kinds of crazy.

India is preparing for a trip to Egypt for an archeological job but needs to check some things out before she can leave. When she comes across some fishy shit, she’s roped into finding the stolen artifacts and returning them where they belong. It’s her civic duty…and if that duty brings her into close contact with the only man to ever own and break her heart, she’ll deal with it. With him. Maybe.

The sparks flew nonstop between these two and I just adored every single scene they shared. Even when they annoyed me because I wanted them to get along and fix things already, the way that they came together brought me much joy. Lenora Bell really knows how to work her magic with these books and as long as she writes them, I’ll be reading them. Daniel and India are a fantastic couple with enough sexual chemistry to steam up your books and this was a great addition to a fabulous series. I can’t wait for Mina’s book and I’m curious if we’ll get a book for West. Hmm.

I definitely recommend this book, it’s good stuff. I promise!

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

School for Dukes

four-stars


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