Source: Purchased

Featured Review: American Witch by Thea Harrison

Posted May 22, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Featured Review: American Witch by Thea HarrisonReviewer: Casee, Holly, and Rowena
American Witch by Thea Harrison
Series: American Witch Trilogy #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: April 29, 2019
Format: eARC, eBook
Source: Author, Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 420
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Power can change a person…

For months Molly Sullivan endures the inexplicable: electrical surges, car breakdowns, visions. She even wonders if she might be the cause… and wonders if she might be crazy. Then she discovers her husband has cheated on her. Again. Now Molly realizes she is a newly awakening witch and a woman pushed over the edge.

Revenge can shape a person…

Josiah Mason is a Powerful witch and the leader of a secret coven with a shared goal: to destroy an ancient enemy who has ruined many lives. Josiah lost years to this man, and his sole focus is revenge. He’s prepared for every contingency—except encountering a beautiful new witch who understands nothing of the immense Power building within her or the attraction she wields over him.

Danger can bring them together…

When divorcing her husband, Molly uncovers a dangerous secret he’s willing to kill to protect. She turns to Josiah for help, and they discover a connection between Molly’s husband and Josiah’s enemy.

As they work together, a spark ignites between them that threatens to become an inferno. But Molly is done compromising herself for any man, and Josiah’s mission is his top priority. And the enemy is cunning, cruel, and drawing ever closer.

As the danger escalates, so does the tension between them. Is a lasting relationship possible? Will either of them live long enough to try?

American Witch is the first book in Thea Harrison’s American Witch series, which is set in the Elder Races world and features Molly Sullivan coming into her powers after finally leaving her husband because he’s a cheating bastard. Molly is trying to move on with her life but when she takes some documents that dangerous people don’t want her to have, her life gets super complicated and she turns to Josiah Mason for help.

Josiah Mason is the new District Attorney in town and he’s got an agenda that Molly Sullivan is distracting him from. When Molly’s problems become his problems, Josiah can’t turn away from her or the attraction building between them. She needs help learning about her new abilities but she also needs his protection from some pretty bad people. Neither of them wanted the complications that arise but neither of them can walk away from each other either.

Rowena: Alright ladies, what did you guys think?

Casee: I forgot how much I like Thea Harrison. She really knows how to weave a story. I was pulled in from the beginning when Molly found out about her husband’s extra-curricular activities. I didn’t really enjoy Molly at first, though. I found her to be a bit bitchy. Like over the top bitchy. In retrospect I realized that she was protecting herself and she had just gotten herself out of a horrible situation. She also found out she was a witch. She was learning new things about herself every day and not everything she was learning was good.

Holly: Those first few chapters were so good. When Molly discovers her husband has cheated on her – again – and confronts him? I was here for that.

Rowena: I really enjoyed this one as well. I was wrapped up in this book from the very first chapter, which was great. Far too often, I have to slog through the beginning hump and it takes me forever to get invested in the story but that wasn’t the case with this one. Molly’s walk out scene at her husband’s party was the shit and I was here for it.

Casee: I didn’t really enjoy Molly at first, though. I found her to be a bit bitchy. Like over the top bitchy. In retrospect I realized that she was protecting herself and she had just gotten herself out of a horrible situation. She also found out she was a witch. She was learning new things about herself every day and not everything she was learning was good.

Holly: I didn’t find her bitchy at all. I thought she was a woman who was finally pushed to the edge and she was done taking shit from anyone. That aspect never bothered me.

Rowena: I thought Molly was super bitchy in the beginning but I also understood it. I got why she was bitchy toward her husband and I enjoyed seeing her really come into her own but there were times when I wanted to smack her into next week. When she was destroying Josiah’s property, expensive property after he helped her and gave her someplace safe to stay. I wasn’t a fan of that.

Holly: It was Josiah who drove me crazy in the beginning. He was a total ass. And he didn’t have Molly’s excuses.

Casee: I completely agree about Josiah. He was used to taking what he wanted. That was one of the things I did like about Molly early on. She didn’t take his shit. She called him on it from the day she met him. His whole thing about how they could “rule the world” or whatever together was so cliche, I rolled my eyes. Molly definitely grew on me as the book went on because I could see her strength. Going through what she was, on her own, after being with someone for twenty years was more than admirable.

Rowena: Josiah drove me crazy, too. I wanted to knee him in the balls with how highhanded he was where Molly was concerned. He was arrogant but like Molly, I was into him. He gets better but for me, it was Molly that I really enjoyed getting to know. She wasn’t perfect but watching her grow more and more sure of herself and in her power was a fun way to spend some time.

Holly: There were times I wanted to smack Molly, too. But like you, I enjoyed getting to know her and I loved watching her grow into her new powers.

View Spoiler »

I was disappointed we didn’t get more of a resolution for Josiah’s stuff. I assume it’ll be carried to the next book, but still. I wanted something more from that.

Rowena: Yeah, if I had a gripe with this book, it was for how little resolution we got from the whole revenge thing. So Josiah falls in love, tries one last time to catch the bad guy, doesn’t win so he gives up? Walks away from years and years of preparation and the people who he calls in on this revenge plan? I mean, I get that there are other books in this series and I’m sure the revenge plot will continue there but the ending of this book left a lot to be desired.

Still, I liked it and would love to continue this series. Bring on the Richard love. Haha.

Holly: I know it was meant to be a huge turning point for him – I choose LOVE! – but it rang a bit false for me. All these years and he just walks away? I don’t know that I buy it. Still, I trust TH to keep things moving in the next book.

Casee: I felt that it showed Josiah’s strength of character that he was willing to give up years and years of preparation and his coven for family. That made me respect him and like him more than I did at the beginning. I really liked the coven Molly ended up in, too. They were more like a family, I think.

Holly: I actually thought the coven dynamics were really well done. They were a coven, they worked together, shared power, shared secrets, but really didn’t like each other much. I can’t wait to learn more about them.

Rowena: I also liked the way that the coven worked. They all had their strengths and their jobs and they did what was needed to move their agenda forward. They worked well together and that was a nice touch.

Casee: I give this book a 4 out of 5. What about you two?

Rowena: I thought the whole book was pretty interesting and I really came to care for all of the characters so I give this 4 out of 5 stars too.

Holly: I’m giving it 4 out of 5 as well.

Final Grades

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

four-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: Passion on Park Avenue by Lauren Layne

Posted May 19, 2019 by Rowena in Features, Giveaways | 5 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Lauren Layne has been at the top of my Best of lists in the last few years and she keeps coming back with these heaters. I’m really loving everything that she’s putting out lately and I’m super excited to jump right into this one. Passion on Park Avenue is the first in a new romantic comedy series and this series is being promoted as more chick-lit than romance but I’m not mad about that. I will read anything this woman puts out.

Sunday Spotlight: Passion on Park Avenue by Lauren LaynePassion on Park Avenue by Lauren Layne
Series: The Central Park Pact #1
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: May 28, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 288
Add It: Goodreads
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From the author of the New York Times bestselling Stiletto and Oxford series, the first in a sizzling new series following the unlikely friendship of three Upper East Side women as they struggle to achieve their dreams and find true love and happiness in the city that never sleeps.

For as long as she can remember, Bronx-born Naomi Powell has had one goal: to prove her worth among the Upper East Side elite—the same people for which her mom worked as a housekeeper. Now, as the strongminded, sassy CEO of one of the biggest jewelry empires in the country, Naomi finally has exactly what she wants—but it’s going to take more than just the right address to make Manhattan’s upper class stop treating her like an outsider.

The worst offender is her new neighbor, Oliver Cunningham—the grown son of the very family Naomi’s mother used to work for. Oliver used to torment Naomi when they were children, and as a ridiculously attractive adult, he’s tormenting her in entirely different ways. Now they find themselves engaged in a battle-of-wills that will either consume or destroy them…

Filled with charm and heart and plenty of sex and snark, this entertaining series will hook you from the very first page.

Early reviews of this book are pretty decent so I’m stupid excited for its release. This is something fresh and new for Lauren Layne and I’m stoked to see what she does in the chick-lit but still romance genre. Check out an excerpt from this week’s Sunday Spotlight feature.

Excerpt

Oliver’s jaw clenched. He did not lose his temper often, but this woman was seriously pushing his buttons.

“Alright, I give up, Ms. Powell. What’s your deal?”

“My deal?”

“You’ve been eying my jugular since I walked in the door.”

He waited for her to deny it. Instead, she inspected her manicure. A deep navy, he noted, and not the demure pale pink or classic red he was used to seeing. And yet everything else, the expensive-looking dress, the brand-name handbag, the sleek hairstyle was expected, just like every other woman he knew.

But there was something else there—something more interesting that he couldn’t put his finger on. Almost like she was a blend of self-confidence and vulnerability all wound into one feisty, compelling package.

She was a contradiction.

Maybe Oliver didn’t need to start that jigsaw puzzle tonight after all. He had a hell of a puzzle right in front of him.

“You do realize that I’m the gate keeper to the next round,” he prodded again.

She craned her neck, pretending to look at his hands. “Oh, is there a ring I was supposed to kiss? I’m new to this whole process. Should I bow?”

There it was again. The flash of familiarity. Who was this woman?

“Have we met?” he asked, tossing the folder on the desk as he studied her.

She looked away, and Oliver’s eyes narrowed. “We have. How do I know you?”

Naomi looked back, her eyes guarded. “You don’t.”

“You sure?”

Instead of replying, she rewarded him with her first genuine smile. And damn, what a smile it was. Seductive and lethal all at the same time.

He was still reeling from its impact when she startled him by standing.

“We’re not done,” he said, then hid a wince at how pompous he sounded. How much like his father he sounded.

“Oh, I think we are,” she murmured. “I think we both know exactly what you’re going to write on my application the second I leave.”

“Yeah, we do,” he snapped, standing up too. “Left interview early.”

She glared up at him, and Oliver was a little surprised to realize that they were both breathing hard.

Naomi Powell wasn’t particularly short, but at six feet, he had the physical advantage. For the first time since he’d hit his growth spurt in high school, he relished his height. This perplexing woman got under his skin like nobody had in a long time, and he needed every defense he could get.

Just as he was gearing up for her retort—anticipating it—she turned away.

Oliver called after her. “You understand that I’m not going to recommend you for the next round of interviews, right?”

“No problem, Mr. Cunningham. And look on the bright side. With me gone, there’ll be more room for your emperor complex up in here. I’ll send your secretary in. You’re looking a bit overdue for your daily hand-feeding of grapes.”

Naomi Powell sailed out the office door without so much as a backward glance.

Oliver stood staring at the doorway, feeling somewhere between dumbfounded and off-balance. And most annoyingly of all …

Intrigued.

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: May 2019

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About Lauren Layne

Lauren Layne is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of more than two dozen romantic comedies. Her books have sold over a million copies, in nine languages. Lauren's work has been featured in Publishers Weekly, Glamour, The Wall Street Journal, and Inside Edition. She is based in New York City.


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Review: Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs

Posted May 17, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Frost Burned by Patricia BriggsReviewer: Rowena
Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson #7
Also in this series: Frost Burned , Night Broken, Shifting Shadows, Blood Bound, Fire Touched, Silence Fallen , Moon Called, Blood Bound , Iron Kissed, Bone Crossed , River Marked
Publisher: Penguin, Ace
Publication Date: March 5, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 342
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Patricia Briggs's novel River Marked was praised as "an urban fantasy where our everyday world is believably twisted into the world of fey, werewolves, vampires, and myths made real." Now Mercy Thompson faces a shapeshifter's biggest fear as the realm she has embraced is thrown into chaos...

Mercy Thompson's life has undergone a seismic change. Becoming the mate of Adam Hauptman - the charismatic Alpha of the local werewolf pack - has made her a stepmother to his daughter Jesse, a relationship that brings moments of blissful normalcy to Mercy's life. But on the edges of humanity, a minor mishap on an ordinary day can turn into so much more...

After an accident in bumper-to-bumper traffic, Mercy and Jesse can't reach Adam - or anyone else in the pack for that matter. They've all been abducted.

Through their mating bond, all Mercy knows is that Adam is angry and in pain. But she fears Adam's disappearance may be related to the political battle the werewolves have been fighting to gain acceptance from the public - and that he and the pack are in serious danger. Outmatched and on her own, Mercy may be forced to seek assistance from any ally she can get, no matter how unlikely.

Frost Burned is the seventh book in the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs and it was another captivating story about the crazy shit that happens on the daily in Mercy Thompson’s life.

This book jumps off right at the beginning. Mercy is out shopping with her step-daughter Jesse when they get into a car accident. The accident delays them and that probably saved their lives because Mercy can feel that something isn’t right at home (through the pack bonds), before they can go home and find out what’s going on, they’re intercepted at Mercy’s shop by Ben and Gabriel, Ben is pack and Gabriel is Jesse’s friend who lives at Mercy’s old place. Adam and the rest of the pack were taken by some mysterious bad guy and Mercy scrambles to find out what happened, who is behind this and protect those that weren’t abducted but are still pack in her eyes.

I’m really enjoying how this series has made me love the heck out of every single character. Even when I’m super angry at someone in the pack for the way that they view and treat Mercy, they’re pack so when the chips are down, I’d still have their back and I think Briggs does a great job of making everyone family because it’s the same way with Mercy. Mercy’s pack goes far beyond just Adam’s pack. She’s got vampires, humans, and fae in her pack on top of all the werewolves and they’d do anything for her the same way that she’d do anything for them. I dig that so much.

This is also the book where we finally get Adam’s POV and I was so here for that. I also really like seeing how far Adam and Mercy have come from the first book. Their relationship is a huge part of why I enjoy this series so much. I adore both of them on their own but together? Together, they’re magic to me. Mercy didn’t completely overhaul her personality to be with Adam and it’s the same with Adam. I love that they have accepted each other as they are and they’re working to figure out how to be together with all of the shenanigans that are thrown their way.

This was another great story in Mercy’s world and though it wasn’t my favorite of the bunch that I’ve read so far, it was still solid storytelling on Briggs part and I’m pretty excited for the rest of the books. I definitely recommend.

Final Grade

4 out of 5

Mercy Thompson

four-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: Taming the Scotsman by Kinley MacGregor

Posted May 16, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Taming the Scotsman by Kinley MacGregorReviewer: Rowena
Taming the Scotsman by Kinley MacGregor
Series: Brotherhood of the Sword #4, MacAllisters #4
Also in this series: Claiming the Highlander (Brotherhood of the Sword #2/MacAllister, #1)
Publisher: Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: August 26, 2003
Format: Print
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 374
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars

No one can tell the hot-blooded Scottish lass whom to marry! But the much-feared man Nora runs to for protection may be more perilous to her heart than any unwanted groom...

And much more difficult to tame!

Nora is a woman with a mission. Rather than be forced to endure a loveless marriage, she has fled her home, bound for England. There’s one small problem, though; she needs a guide, and the best choice is Ewan MacAllister, the only man both her father and her fiancé fear. Beneath Ewan’s rough and tumble exterior, however, she finds the heart of a loyal friend, and suddenly, more than to be free, she yearns to tame the proud Highlander who protects his wounded heart.

Tormented by his past, Ewan wants only to be left alone. Until the fiery lass forces herself into his remote home and refuses to leave unless he escorts her far away from Scotland. Ewan thinks her mad, especially given her claims to be none other than niece to the Queen of England, but he can’t let her travel about the countryside unescorted. In spite of her unorthodox ways and stubborn nature, she is rather fetching for a bold lass. And to his deepest chagrin, he finds himself wishing for the one thing he never thought to have. A brave Highland lady to call his own…

Every Thursday, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books. Enjoy!

This review was originally posted on May 26, 2008.

Another MacAllister finds true love. This is the third MacAllister brother to find his wife and this book was enjoyable. Not the best of the bunch, but still enjoyable because it added to the mystery of Keiran. The end raised a lot of questions and I read this book for the first time, a long time ago and could not wait for Lochlan’s story, hoping against hope that his story would bring more answers to all of the questions I had about Keiran.

When we first began this series, we learn the story of Keiran, Isobel and Ewan. Isobel hooked up with one brother, forcing him to fall for her charms and then ran away with another brother, which brought on a whole lot of betrayals, regrets and broken hearts….and Ewan has a whole lot of regret going on in this story. He fell for Isobel and ran away with her, knowing about Keiran and Isobel but foolishly believing that Isobel was truly and utterly in love with him. She shows her true colors as soon as they get to London and admits to Ewan that she really only used him to get to her true love, some chap out there.

So Ewan returns home, jilted and feeling like a fool.

He builds a home for himself in a cave and he lives alone, punishing himself for what he did to his brother. Keiran has disappeared and Ewan blames himself. They don’t know where he is, how he’s doing or anything and Ewan lives with the absence of his brother, a daily reminder of everything he regrets in life.

Then Nora comes into his life, a runaway bride and he’s not having any of it. He is not going to repeat the mistakes of yonder years and he’s going to take this runaway bride directly to her father, where she belongs and he’s going to come back to the life he created for himself and continue to punish himself for the mistakes of his past.

This story was a bit on the cheesy side and though I enjoyed the book, it’s nowhere near my favorite. I think what made me jump up and pay attention in this book was all of the Keiran mentions. When the story ends with that big ol’ cliff hanger, I wanted Lochlan’s book something fierce. I wanted to devour it, hoping that there would be more of Keiran.

I believe he’s alive…and dude, I heard some stuff about Lochlan’s story (that I have yet to read) and now that I’m all caught up with these books, I’m going to put in a read of The Warrior next, woo frickin’ hoo!

Ewan was a good hero. He was strong, he loved his family and he had problems that he had to work through and I enjoyed getting to know him.

Nora was funny, she had me laughing quite a bit in this story and she was just a delight to read about again. She fit right in with Ewan and I was rootin’ them on to their happy ending. I enjoyed seeing Sin and Callie and Braden and Maggie in this story, they were a delightful addition to this story and Sin…I can never get enough of Sin, so woo hoo bring on the Sin! =)

Should you read this book? Yeah, because it goes with the other stories and because it’s a good book. Great characters, solid storyline if you can get past the cheese. It’s a good one guys, so keep the happy reading going with this one.

Grade: 4 out of 5

This book is available from Avon. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

Brotherhood of the Sword & MacAllisters

four-stars


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Review: Meet Cute by Helena Hunting

Posted May 14, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 5 Comments

Review: Meet Cute by Helena HuntingReviewer: Holly
Meet Cute by Helena Hunting
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: April 9, 2019
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 New to Me Challenge, New to Me Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars

Talk about an embarrassing introduction. On her first day of law school, Kailyn ran - quite literally - into the actor she crushed on as a teenager, ending with him sprawled on top of her. Mortified to discover the Daxton Hughes was also a student in her class, her embarrassment over their meet-cute quickly turned into a friendship she never expected. Of course, she never saw his betrayal coming either...

Now, eight years later, Dax is in her office asking for legal advice. Despite her anger, Kailyn can't help feeling sorry for the devastated man who just became sole guardian to his thirteen-year-old sister. But when her boss gets wind of Kailyn's new celebrity client, there's even more at stake than Dax's custody issues: if she gets Dax to work at their firm, she'll be promoted to partner.

The more time Kailyn spends with Dax and his sister, the more she starts to feel like a family, and the more she realizes the chemistry they had all those years ago is as fresh as ever. But will they be able to forgive the mistakes of the past, or will one betrayal lead to another?

This is my first book by Hunting. Based on the cover and blurb, I thought it would be a light, fluffy romance. While it had light, fluffy elements, the overall theme was actually quite somber. Once I adjusted my expectations, I easily fell into the story. I listened to the audiobook and I really enjoyed the narrators, Holly Warren and Teddy Hamilton. I hadn’t listened to a book narrated by either of them before, but I enjoyed them enough to seek out other books they’ve done.

Kailyn and Dax went to law school together. They met on her first day when she literally ran into him, then fangirled all over him. They spent the next 3 years as friendly rivals, constantly sparring with and pushing one another. They didn’t spend time together outside of class, but there was mutual respect and liking there. Until Dax screwed Kailyn over by not turning in her last paper on time, which bumped her GPA down enough to secure him the top spot in their class.

Five years later, they meet up again when his parents hire her firm to draft a family trust for them to protect their 13 year-old daughter. Kailyn is less than thrilled to see Dax again, but she’s a professional and figures she won’t have to see him again. Until the unthinkable happens and Dax is left with guardianship of his sister. Kailyn is appointed conservator of the estate while things are in limbo, and they’re forced to spend a lot of time together.

Meet Cute was one of my most anticipated books of 2019. The blurb and cover really got me, and I couldn’t wait to dive in. I absolutely adored Dax. He was such a sweetheart. The way he cared for his sister and took care of his responsibilities was wonderful, not to mention the way he was with Kailyn. He truly paid attention to who she was as a person, and what she wanted for her future. He was so great.

I struggled more with Kailyn. She jumped to a lot of conclusions early on in the book, and her constant skepticism and attitude toward Dax was frustrating. Plus, she kept a major secret from him for the majority of the book, which made her seem like a complete hypocrite for the way she acted toward him. I came to like the two of them together, and I enjoyed her relationship with Dax’s sister, but overall she just frustrated me.

I also had a hard time with the secondary plot featuring Dax’s aunt. It wasn’t really necessary to the story, aside from adding additional conflict. The way it was resolved was silly as well. It sort of just fizzled out. I don’t really understand why it was included at all.

That aside, this was an emotionally charged novel. My heart hurt for Dax and his sister, and I was really pulling for Dax and Kailyn by the end.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars


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