Source: Purchased

Summer Reading Challenge Review: The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook

Posted September 18, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Summer Reading Challenge Review: The Iron Duke by Meljean BrookReviewer: Rowena
The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook
Series: The Iron Seas #1
Also in this series: The Iron Duke (Iron Seas, #1), Fire and Frost, Tethered (Novella), The Kraken King Part I, Here There Be Monsters (Iron Seas, #0.5), The Kraken King (Iron Seas, #4), Heart of Steel (Iron Seas, #2)
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: October 5, 2010
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Steampunk
Pages: 384
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's Summer Reading Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

After the Iron Duke freed England from Horde control, he instantly became a national hero. Now Rhys Trahaearn has built a merchant empire on the power - and fear - of his name. And when a dead body is dropped from an airship onto his doorstep, bringing Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth into his dangerous world, he intends to make her his next possession.

But when Mina uncovers the victim's identity, she stumbles upon a conspiracy that threatens the lives of everyone in England. To save them, Mina and Rhys must race across zombie-infested wastelands and treacherous oceans-and Mina discovers the danger is not only to her countrymen, as she finds herself tempted to give up everything to the Iron Duke.

Ugh, August was a really bad month for me, on the reading front. I had such big plans of finishing my Summer Reading Challenge and this book ended up being one of the only books on my list that I read. Sigh. In good news though, I really enjoyed this book. It took some getting used to because I don’t read a lot of steampunk books so it was hard for me to picture everything but the more that I listened, the more that I talked to Holly, the clearer the picture of the steampunk world that Brook created for these characters came to be and this book ended up being a lot of fun and super steamy.

So, when The Iron Duke saved the world from activated nano agents, he became a national hero. He used that hero-worship to build himself an empire and all was well until a dead body drops onto his steamship and brings Detective Mia Wentworth to his doorstep (or whatever they call their doorsteps on the steamships). Mia’s got a case to solve and for, maybe the first time in her life, Trahaearn sees Mia, the woman and not Mia, the woman with horde blood in her veins. Mia can’t afford to be distracted from her work because her family relies on her financial support but you can’t stop love when your destiny is to love the Iron Duke.

The strongest part of this story, for me, was Mia. Her character was wonderfully written and I was here for every single thing that she went through. I loved the woman that she was and I really loved seeing her grow into the feelings that she was developing for Trahaearn. She meant business and she knew what she was about and I couldn’t help myself. I cheered for her from beginning to end. I wanted her to get everything her heart’s desired because she deserved it. She was a genuinely good person and she was fair and when that scene happened, I was shocked and at first, I didn’t know how to feel though my heart hurt for Mia. I was glad with the way that Meljean Brook handled that and how everything came together.

I enjoyed the narration of this story too. I was able to easily follow along with what was happening, even when it took me a little bit to picture everything in this steampunk world. This book had me gripped from beginning to end and though it wasn’t my favorite read of the Summer Reading Challenge, I still really enjoyed it and look forward to continuing this series. I definitely recommend.

Final Grade

4.25 out of 5

The Iron Seas


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Review: More of You by A.L. Jackson

Posted September 17, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: More of You by A.L. JacksonReviewer: Casee
More of YouNarrator: Andi Arndt, Joe Arden
Series: Confessions of the Heart #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: September 19, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Length: 11 hours and 35 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge, New to Me Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

My daddy warned me never to fall for a boy like Jace Jacobs...

The second I saw him walk through the door, I knew he was trouble.A gorgeous rebel with a bad attitude and a huge chip on his shoulder.My heart warned me. I didn’t listen. I saw something protective and good beneath the fierce, tough exterior.I fell hard and fast.He promised we’d be together forever, and then left me with a broken heart.Now, ten years later, Jace Jacobs is standing at my door.Sexier than he’s ever been.Provocative and commanding.Successful and powerful.The man I always knew he would become.But I promised myself I’d never lose my heart to him again.Even time couldn’t dim our chemistry. One glance of his intense eyes, and I become weak. One brush of his hand, and he brings me to my knees.Little do I know, Jace holds the key to everything I’ve lost and everything that threatens my future.Now he will either save me, or he will break me all over again . . .

More of You – a Confessions of the Heart second-chance, stand-alone romance

This is yet another new-to-me author. I’ve seen her books mentioned, but wasn’t really interested. I’ve decided to have more of an open mind when it comes to new authors. I’m really glad I picked this one up because it was amazing.

Faith has been in love with Jace since high school. He was the bad boy, she was the good girl. She felt an inexplicable draw toward him from the moment she saw him. When Jace’s life takes an abrupt turn for the worse, he leaves her with a broken heart. She doesn’t know why he left, only that he did. Now as a widow with a toddler, Faith is doing the best she can. However, there is something sinister lurking and she has know idea what it could be. Then Jace shows up at her door after ten years.

For as long as Jace can remember, he has been the protector of his little brother and his cousin. He protects them from their mother and from the men in her life. When he met Faith, it was life changing for him. He was in love. They made big plans. Then it all went to crap when his cousin put drugs in his backpack. Jace was eighteen when he was framed by his cousin, so he went to jail. After he is released, he immediately goes to find Faith. And finds her married to the cousin that framed him.

Now his cousin is dead. Murdered by an unknown assailant. Jace knows that he was into something shady and it’s now spilling into Faith’s life. While Jace wants to be bitter that she married and had a child with her cousin (a child that should have been his), Jace will not let Faith and Bailey go unprotected. He soon is immersed in her life. As the days pass by, Jace is certain that he will not let her go.

Like I said, I really liked this book. It was about two lovers reuniting after years apart. They find out that a love one has betrayed both of them. All stemming from jealousy and greed. I loved how Jace instantly loved Bailey, even though he didn’t want to. He was such a good hero. Jace was totally given a bum deal, but he’s not only living his life, he’s thriving. As for Faith, I didn’t like her at first. She really loved Jace that much, then turned around and married his cousin? WTAF. It was sort of explained, but I tried not to think about it. What can I say?

You should read it.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Confessions of the Heart

four-stars


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Review: Count to Ten by Karen Rose

Posted September 3, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Count to Ten by Karen RoseReviewer: Rowena
Count to Ten by Karen Rose
Series: Romantic Suspense #6
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: February 1, 2007
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 564
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 A-Z Reading Challenge, Rowena's 2019 New to Me Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

In all his years in the Chicago Fire Department, Lieutenant Reed Solliday has never experienced anything like this recent outbreak of house fires - devastating, vicious and in one case, homicidal. He has another problem - his new partner, Detective Mia Mitchell. She's brash, bossy, and taking the case in a direction he never imagined. Mia's instincts tell her the arsonist is making this personal. And as the infernos become more deadly, one look at the victims' tortured faces convinces her and Reed that they must work closer to catch the killer. With each new blaze, the villain ups the ante, setting firetraps for the people Reed and Mia love. The truth is almost too hot to handle: This monster's desire for death and destruction is unquenchable ... and for Mia he's started the countdown to an early grave.

Count to Ten is the sixth book in Karen Rose’s Romantic Suspense series and the first book that I’ve ever read by Rose. I don’t know what I was expecting when I jumped into this book but whatever, I liked this one. This was a book club read and if you guys know anything about my book club, they like happy, happy, joy, joy stories and this weren’t one of them. I didn’t mind the gore and the darkness that surrounded the villain (that we actually see on the page) because I was super wrapped up in the investigation, the romance between the main couple and I was really rooting for the good guys to figure everything out.

This book read like an episode of Law & Order: SVU. The crime is committed, the fire department and the cops are called, the detectives scramble from lead to lead to find the bad guy and all of that is happening at the same time that some characters are dealing with personal issues and falling in love. I thought Karen Rose handled each aspect of the story really well. It was too heavy on one specific thing. The characters were fleshed out, the story was engaging and though it was a bit slow in the beginning when it picked up, it really picked up.

Reed Solliday was an interesting hero, one that I really enjoyed getting to know. He is still grieving his late wife, even though it’s been a few years and his daughter is really going through it. She’s fourteen and is feeling some type of way about constantly living in the shadow of her dead mother. It’s a big thing that is tackled in this book and I thought Rose did a great job of letting the reader feel what the characters were feeling. I loved that Reed wasn’t perfect, that you really go through every day with him and see him grow into his feelings for Mia while figuring out how to reach his daughter and trying to stop a serial killer from taking another life. I loved seeing him struggle with trying to understand his growing daughter, struggle with moving on from his wife, a woman he thought was the love of his life.

Mia Mitchell really grew on me. I didn’t read any of the other books in this series, so I didn’t go into this story knowing the background on what happened with Mia and her partner, Abe but that didn’t really matter because Rose did a good job of making the reader understand what was going on anyway. It took a little bit for me to warm up to Mia’s character but I ended up really loving her. I thought she had a great head on her shoulders, she was strong and brave and she didn’t need anyone to save her, no matter how many times Reed tried. She was also extremely caring of those in her small circle of trust and I really loved seeing her fix the broken parts of her life. She dealt with a lot of things on her own and it took her a while to really come around to the idea of leaning on anyone so when she finally does, I was here for it.

Overall, this story was action-packed and the romance was sweet so I had a good time reading it. I am definitely interested in reading more books in this series and more books from this author. This was a great introduction to Karen Rose’s work and I’m glad that I read it. I definitely recommend.

Final Grade

4 out of 5

Romantic Suspense

four-stars


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Summer Reading Challenge Review: Natural Witch by K.F. Breene

Posted August 28, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Summer Reading Challenge Review: Natural Witch by K.F. BreeneReviewer: Casee
Natural Witch by K.F. Breene
Narrator: Nicole Poole
Series: Magical Mayhem #1
Also in this series: Natural Witch (Magical Mayhem #1)
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 25, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First & Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 376
Length: 10 hours and 59 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Casee's 2019 New to Me Challenge, GoodReads Challenge, New to Me Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Something has always been missing from my life. A hole that I could never seem to fill.

When I accidentally turn a coven of witches into nightmares, I find out what that something is.

Magic.

And it turns out, I have a crap load of it.

As a latent power awakens deep inside of me, I’m exposed to one of the most powerful and corrupt organizations in the magical world—the Mages’ Guild.

Barely knowing a spell from a few swear words and luck, I won’t be able to evade them alone.

And that’s when I meet him.

The Rogue Natural. The best and most feared mage in the world.

He’s dangerous, mysterious, and has a vendetta of his own. He is now the only thing between me and magical enslavement.

This is one of the books that Holly chose for me in our Summer Reading Challenge. I’ve been meaning to read this for awhile now and am glad that Holly gave me the final push. I listened to this book on audio and it was fantastic. I feel that the narrator really pulled Penny off.

Penny is what is known as a Natural Witch. She is untrained and doesn’t know she has magic. Sometimes she knows things are going to happen before they do, but she writes it off as intuition. She tells fortunes at a local flea market, but she does it reading cues from her customers, not because she can actually see the future. When she meets Emery, the Rogue Natural, the course of her life changes irrevocably.

Emery can’t believe it when he realizes what Penny is and how much power she actually possesses. As an untrained witch, she is dangerous. Dangerous to herself and others. The Mages’ Council, an evil entity, want Penny when they find out who she is. Emery is determined to protect her no matter what the cost.

As the embark on a journey of learning and revenge, Penny and Emery must learn to rely on each other. They have to find a trust that isn’t easy for either of them. I really liked how their relationship played out. I think that it ended in a way that was necessary. I really love, loved Penny’s mom. She was badass and really had Penny’s number. I’m looking forward to reading the next book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Magical Mayhem

four-stars


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Summer Reading Challenge Review: Written in Red by Anne Bishop

Posted August 27, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Summer Reading Challenge Review: Written in Red by Anne BishopReviewer: Rowena
Written in Red by Anne Bishop
Narrator: Alexandra Harris
Series: The Others #1
Also in this series: Written in Red, Murder of Crows, Vision in Silver, Marked in Flesh, Etched in Bone, Written in Red, Murder of Crows, Wild Country, Vision in Silver
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Publication Date: March 5, 2013
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Length: 18 hours, 32 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: New to Me Challenge, Rowena's 2019 New to Me Challenge, Summer Reading Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

18 hrs 32 mins

As a "cassandra sangue," or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut--a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg's Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard--a business district operated by the Others.

Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she's keeping a secret, and second, she doesn't smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg the job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she's wanted by the government, he'll have to decide if she's worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow.

I’ve been hearing lots of good things about this series and though I’ve been curious, I haven’t been curious enough to try the books out for myself. Well, the girls made sure to fix that problem right away by adding it to my Summer Reading Challenge. I’ve got to admit, I’m not at all mad that I read this one. I listened to the audiobook and thought that the narrator did a great job of telling this story.

The world that was created for The Others is really complex and so colorful that it took me by surprise at first because I wasn’t expecting it. It’s also very different from all of the other paranormal worlds that are out there in Romancelandia and I really liked it. It was different from the other series, in that these paranormal creatures are super scary. Sure, in the other paranormal worlds, the shapeshifters are mean but we don’t really see it. Not like we do with the others. So, The Others are shapeshifters and they are dangerous creatures. Super scary. They eat humans and govern themselves. Human laws don’t apply on their lands and that was exactly why Meg Corbyn needed the job as the human liaison. She was on the run from her past and she needed somewhere to lay low until she figured out what she would do next. Simon Wolfgard runs the business district at the Lakeside Courtyard and though he can smell that Meg is keeping secrets, secrets that might show up on his land and endanger his people, he can’t turn her away. He hires her to be the human liaison and as he gets to know her, he realizes that she’s different from the other humans that come around…and he’s drawn to that.

Meg is determined not to get caught and taken back to her prison of being her captor’s blood prophet again so she’s throwing herself into her new job and keeping her head down. She hadn’t anticipated on how by simply doing her job and being kind, she would grow so attached to everyone around her. It’s not easy at first to be around so many others because they don’t hide their distaste for humans and their distrust of her…but when she starts inserting herself into their world, they all become super protective of her.

This was an interesting introduction to the world of the Others and though it took me a long ass time to get into the book, I’m glad that I stuck with it because it ended up being good. I liked seeing Meg form bonds with everyone in the Courtyard and even though Simon got on my nerves for most of the book, I still really liked him in the end. I’m definitely interested in continuing this series.

Final Grade

4 out of 5

The Others

The World of the Others

four-stars


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