Tag: 2.0 Reviews

Review: Free by Kristen Ashley

Posted February 15, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Free by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Holly
Free by Kristen Ashley
Series: Chaos MC #6
Also in this series: Own the Wind (Chaos, #1), Own the Wind, Ride Steady, Ride Steady, Walk Through Fire, Walk Through Fire, Walk Through Fire
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 29, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First and Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 570
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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two-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Through good times, bad times and times of war, Cole “Rush” Allen grew up in the Chaos Motorcycle Club. Along this journey, he watched his father, Tack, and his MC brothers fight, sweat, bleed and die to steer the Club to legitimacy.

And they’ve got one more battle on their hands.

A battle they have to win.

But when Rush meets the woman who put herself right in the thick of it, he knows he has to stop at nothing to get her out.

Rebel Stapleton has lost someone she loves to murder and she’s the kind of woman who’s going to do something about it. She puts her career on the line, and her life, to bring the man who did it to justice.

That is, she does this until Rush Allen intervenes.

Chaos is at war and they’re about to face the ultimate showdown. They’ll have to negotiate skeletons from the past, enemies becoming allies, and loved ones in the line of fire on their ride to be…

Free.

Free is the 6th and final book in the Chaos MC series by Kristen Ashley. I’ve been anxiously awaiting Rush’s book, since 1) I wanted to see how things were cleared up with their long-time rivals and 2) I loved Rush in earlier books and wanted to see where he was going to take things. We hadn’t met his heroine prior to this book, so she was an unknown.

Cole “Rush” Allen is a member of the Chaos MC. His dad, Tack, is the current president. Tack really cleaned the club up and mostly brought them into the light, but Rush wants to finish the job and get them completely away from anything even remotely illegal. With several old enemies and a couple new ones making themselves known, that’s harder than it seems. Especially since bodies keep piling up – and literal skeletons are floating around. When he meets Rebel Singleton, he knows immediately that he wants her. But Rebel is playing a dangerous game – going undercover in a porn op to find dirt on a mobster – and Rush doesn’t want her wrapped up in that mess. Convincing her to walk away and keeping her safe may be more than he can handle…

It took me forever to read this book. There were so many point-of-view changes and unnecessary content, it didn’t hold my attention. I don’t know why we needed to see so much from so many different characters. We had chapters from 3 villains, 2 extra characters who ended up dying, several characters from previous books and a couple surprise ones at the end. At 570 pages, this novel was already a beast. If half of that had been cut back, it would have been better for it.

I haven’t cared much for Benito Valenzuela’s (the mobster guy) storyline throughout this series. He’s a pretty ridiculous villain and I had little interest in seeing how things played out with him. Nothing we saw about him or from him in this book changed my mind. I don’t even know why the final bit from his POV was included in the epilogue. It was ridiculous.

I enjoyed Rush and Rebel as a couple, and I actually really liked the secondary storyline with Beck, but the rest was pretty ridiculous. I’m not going to lie, I’m disappointed this is how the series ended.

Rating: 2 out of 5

Chaos


two-stars


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Guest Review: Legendary Beast by Barbara J. Hancock

Posted January 31, 2019 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Legendary Beast by Barbara J. HancockReviewer: Tracy
Legendary Beast by Barbara J. Hancock
Series: Legendary Warriors #3
Publisher: Harlequin Nocturne
Publication Date: October 1, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 304
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two-stars
Series Rating: two-stars

She slept…his love didn’t

Once upon a time, Madeline was trapped in an enchanted sleep, her baby wrapped tight in her arms. Then the white wolf woke her, and her son disappeared.

For centuries, Lev Romanov searched for his wife and their child, and the search drove him half-mad. Can Madeline trust the wolf to be the man who can help her save their son.

Madeline has been asleep for hundreds of years.  Her mate, Lev, never gave up looking for her, or their son, who slept with Madeline.  When she finally awakens, it’s to find that her son is no longer in her arms.  Vasilisa is a Queen who has protected Madeline.  When dark witches attack the palace where they are staying, Vasilisa and Madeline’s son, Trevor, disappear.  In order to find them and beat the dark witches, Madeline must trust the white wolf, who is her mate.  She’s terrified of the wolf, and draws dark pictures of it constantly, but the longer time she spends with Lev, the more she realizes she’s not as scared as she was before.  Madeline’s not sure who to trust and she’s not sure who is the villain as she’s getting conflicting information.  Can she remember the love she had for Lev and save her son as well?

This book was…incredibly confusing.  I didn’t read the two previous books in the series and I definitely should have in order to understand this book. I found this story to be incredibly disjointed, but would I have if I’d read books 1 & 2? IDK.  I wasn’t sure why Madeline had been sleeping, why her and Lev had been separated, what the deal was with Vasilisa (was she evil or was she good?)…I was just confused for most of the book.  Most of my questions were answered by the end of the book, but I spent most of the time confused.  Not necessarily my idea of a good time.

Madeline was a warrior of sorts, but she was weak for most of the book from sleeping for so many years – 1000 years, I think.  She was also afraid of the wolf, which was Lev, so a huge portion of the story was spent with them together, yet apart.  I didn’t feel the connection between the two of them because of this, and it diminished the romance significantly.

I have to say that the writing was decent and kept me reading, despite my confusion with the story, so that right there earned this an extra star.

Would I recommend this book?  Maybe?  If you do, be sure to read books 1 & 2 first so that this one won’t be so confusing.

Rating: 2 out of 5

Legendary Warriors

two-stars


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Review: Filthy English by Ilsa Madden-Mills

Posted January 24, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Filthy English by Ilsa Madden-MillsReviewer: Casee
Filthy English (English, #2) by Ilsa Madden-Mills
Narrator: Paul Berton, Kitty Bang
Series: English #2
Also in this series: Dirty English (English, #1)
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: July 22, 2016
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Romance Package
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 258
Length: 8 hrs and 58 mins
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two-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

From Wall Street Journal best-selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills comes a new, full-length STANDALONE novel about HOT British alphas.

A smokin’ hot British player…A jilted girl…One night of mistaken identity…

Two weeks before her wedding, Remi Montague’s fiancé drops her faster than a drunken sorority girl in stilettos. Armed with her best friend and a bottle of tequila, she hops a plane to London to drown her sorrows before fall semester begins at Whitman University.

She didn't plan on attending a masquerade party. She sure didn’t plan on waking up next to the British bad boy who broke her heart three years ago—the devastatingly handsome and naked Dax Blay. Furthermore, she has no clue how they acquired matching tattoos.

Once back at Whitman together, they endeavor to pretend they never had their night of unbridled passion in London.

But that’s damn hard to do when you live in the same house…

One night. Two damaged hearts. The passion of a lifetime.

*A modern love story inspired by Romeo and Juliet***no one dies in the writing of this novel**

This book. I can’t even with this book. I tried to like it, I really did. I stayed with it like a champ. I should have DNF’ed it, I really should have. I just don’t like not finishing something that I started. So I stuck with this book until the bitter end.

Two weeks before her wedding, Remi Montague’s fiancée dumps her. Calls off the wedding. The $10K Remi put down? Gone in an instant. So she does what any self-respecting woman would do. She grabs her best friend and goes on her honeymoon. Remi and her best friend Lulu are in London and are supposed to be having the time of their lives. They’re thousands of miles away from home and their lives. What could go wrong? Well, only everything.

One night, Remi and Lulu dress up to attend a masquerade party and she runs into the very last person she ever wants to see. Like ever. Dax Blay. First of all, he is not supposed to be in England. Sure, he is English, but he has no ties to England. Or so she thought. Second, what’s wrong with the universe that she would run into the guy that broke her heart three years ago?

When Dax kisses the masked woman that literally trips and falls into his lap, he immediately knows that it’s Remi. It doesn’t matter that three years have passed. He would know her anywhere. He has no idea why she is where she is, or why she isn’t with her fiancée, but he will take it. Unfortunately Dax doesn’t know exactly what their three day affair cost Remi and what it meant to her.

Okay, so my problem? Remi. Remi, Remi, Remi. She was such a wishy-washy heroine. Holy hell. I wanted to strangle her. I understand that she went through some serious shit after her affair with Dax. Sure. Where did the death defying love come in? The love that just about destroyed her? I didn’t get that. Another problem is that RIGHT AFTER sleeping with Dax in London (in the present), she gets a call from her fiancée. She tells him to fuck off. Then he knocks on the door of her hotel room. The room she was just in with Dax. And forgives him. WTAF.

Of course there is more to this book. They end up going home where they’re both attending the same school. Remi and Dax end up being roommates, but I’m just over this book. Remi legit made me want to scream. I couldn’t stand her. She went back and forth between two men, she strung them both along. It was just so maddening. I didn’t get why either of them wanted her so much. I know I didn’t.

Of course I’ll read the third (and last) book in the series. I doubt that I’ll read anything else by this author. Which bums me out because I like finding new authors.

Rating: 2 out of 5. (the 2 is for Dax)

two-stars


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Review: Save the Date by Carrie Aarons

Posted December 19, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Save the Date by Carrie AaronsReviewer: Rowena
Save the Date by Carrie Aarons
Publisher: Carrie Aarons
Publication Date: June 22, 2018
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 230
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two-stars

You know that pact you make with your childhood best friend of the opposite sex? The one where, if you’re both still single, lonely and hopeless at thirty, you’ll marry each other?

This is the story about what happens when you hit the big three-oh and have to make good on that pinky promise.

Personally, I think love, romance and all of that nonsense is a crock of, well, you know. And Reese Collins, the boy who used to put worms in my hair at backyard barbecues, knows that better than anyone.

But when he moves to the same city I’ve happily, and singly, inhabited for years, memories of oaths past resurface. Reese is like a dog with a bone; a really hot dog and that bone just happens to be me.

He won’t stop hounding me, and the crazy thing is, my frigid, traitorous heart is starting to cave. For my best friend.

It seems so far off, when you’re a kid playing Monopoly in your treehouse. But when that clock strikes midnight on your thirtieth birthday, and you’re standing alone in front of a grocery store-bought cupcake, a childhood deal to walk down the aisle doesn’t seem so silly anymore.

Carrie Aarons has been on my TBR pile for years and I’ve been meaning to try her stuff out long before now but I kept getting distracted with other books so when I came across this book on Kindle Unlimited, I knew that I wanted to give it a go. While this wasn’t the worst book that I read last month, it’s one of them. I just didn’t connect with the story, the characters, and I thought the heroine was immature AF.

So this story is about two best friend’s who made a pact when they were fifteen that if they weren’t married by the time that they turned 30, they would marry each other. Sounds like an awesome premise, don’t you think? I am all about best friends falling in love with each other and I’m even more on board the childhood pact made good on when they’re adults. I was pretty excited to jump into this one because the cover is gorgeous, it’s got one of my favorite tropes working for it but…too bad the story itself didn’t work for me.

Erin Carter and Reese Collins have been best friends since they were kids. Reese has had a thing for Erin all these years but because he knew she wasn’t ready for him and his feelings, he’s kept a tight lid on them all these years. Throughout their lives, they’ve kept in constant contact with each other even though Reese hasn’t lived in their hometown for years and years. The year that they turn 30, Reese moves back home and decides that now is their time. When the pact is brought up, Reese is adamant that they get married. Erin has some reservations. Erin doesn’t believe in true love and she doesn’t want to ruin what her and Reese have. Those nerves and reservations stem from her parent’s divorce and how her mother has never recovered from her father leaving her. Mind you, it’s only been a few years and her parents got divorced when Erin was a grown ass woman. Her father just didn’t love her mother anymore so he left. They had a great marriage up until it ended. There was no abuse, no cheating so I didn’t understand Erin’s deep-seated fear of marriage to her best friend.

On the other hand, I also didn’t understand Reese’s drive to make Erin his wife. It felt like he was in such a rush to marry Erin by the time that they were 30 and I didn’t understand why. Sure, he’s known how he felt for Erin since they were 15 but she didn’t know. He never once told her and then once he springs all of this marriage pact business on her, it felt like he was moving super fast to force the issue…and Erin’s sister was all for it. She says to Reese in the book that they needed to force Erin to do things or she’ll never do it. I just felt like if you need to force someone to be with you, maybe you shouldn’t be with them.

The other thing that I didn’t really care for was how immature Erin was. I just didn’t care for her attitude. So her and Reese become a thing and she agrees to become his wife but then she starts getting cold feet about that decisions and instead of being up front with her best friend, she holds it all in until everything blows up out of proportion and I was sitting there like…

My heart did hurt for Erin’s sister and everything that she went though. I loved seeing Reese be there for the family as best as he could and seeing him bond with Erin’s niece. I also really liked the friendship that sparked between Reese and his doctor friend. Aside from that stuff though, I just, felt very meh about it all. I didn’t feel very invested in what was going on, I didn’t connect with the story. The way that it was written didn’t really grip me. I felt like the story was being told to me. I didn’t feel a part of it, if that makes any sense. A good story will grab me by the throat and pull me along with the story but I didn’t feel that way while reading this. It had some good stuff and even the promise of greater things but for the most part, it wasn’t for me.

Grade: 2 out of 5

two-stars


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Featured Review: Mornings on Main by Jodi Thomas

Posted December 13, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Featured Review: Mornings on Main by Jodi ThomasReviewer: Casee, Holly, Rowena
Mornings on Main by Jodi Thomas
Publisher: HQN
Publication Date: April 10, 2018
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 336
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three-stars

From the beloved and bestselling author of the Ransom Canyon and Harmony, Texas series comes a powerful, heartwarming story about generations of family and the ironclad bonds they forge.

When Jillian James lands in the small town Texas community of Laurel Springs, she's definitely not planning to stay--except to find a few clues about the father who abandoned her and destroyed her faith in family.

Connor Larady is a single dad, and the only one caring for his grandmother, Eugenia, who has Alzheimer's. And now he has to close Eugenia's quilt shop. When Connor meets down-on-her-luck Jillian, he's out of options. Can he trust the newcomer to do right by his grandmother's legacy?

Jillian is done with relationships. But as she grows closer to Connor and Eugenia, she must consider giving up her nomadic life for a future with those who need her.

An inspiring family saga that asks us to consider what love and chosen family really mean.

Jillian James is a wanderer. Her father lived a nomadic, off-the-grid lifestyle and taught her to do the same. For years she’s been drifting aimlessly, never staying anywhere long or forming attachments. Recently she started following the path her father took, searching for some clue as to where he may have been in the past, and, more importantly, where he is now.

She lands in Laurel Springs, Texas, and takes a job from the mayor, Connor Larady, cataloging his Gram’s quilt collection from her quilting shop. She’s suffering from the early stages of dementia, and the historical society wants an accounting of each quilt before they’re moved to a local museum for display.

Connor and Jillian have an instant attraction, but he’s deeply rooted in his hometown..and she’s determined not to leave any roots at all.

Holly: It’s been years since I read a novel by Jodi Thomas, but I have fond memories of her older books. Sadly this one didn’t live up to my expectations. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the story, it was all very sweet and lovely. It was also very boring. I really had to push myself to finish it. The slow moving romance and the lack of true angst made for a snoozefest.

Rowena: This is the second book that I’ve read by Jodi Thomas and I couldn’t remember why I stopped reading her. Reading this story kind of reminded me. The small town, the super sweet but slow-moving romance, all of that served to remind me that these kinds of romances aren’t my jam. While reading this, I felt like I was reading a romance that was written by my Grandma. A sweet story told by an older person who wrote dialogue on how they thought young kids talked these days and not really how they actually talk. Does that make sense?

Still, it was sweet.

Holly: I don’t know that I agree about the dialogue, though I do agree about the rest. I really liked Sunnie and Reese, the teenage couple with a thread running throughout the book. I thought they were sweet and pretty cute. I loved how much Sunnie loved her Gram, and how great of a kid she was despite going through some bad teenage years. I thought Reese was cute for her, too.

I even liked Jillian and Connor. I thought they were good together and had a sweet, comfortable relationship. It just didn’t do a lot for me.

Rowena: Yes, Sunnie and Reese were probably my favorite part of the book. I loved how smart and strong Sunnie was and how quickly she ended things with Derrick when he proves to be an ass. Too often, I see teenage girls stay in a relationship with the popular boy and I’m glad that Sunnie was above that.

I enjoyed everything in this book fine but that’s really all I have to say about this one. It was good. I liked Jack, Gram, and all of Gram’s friends, I liked Connor and Jillian. I adored Sunnie and Reese and though the beginning was slow, the story does pick up and it does get interesting but after all is said and done, I liked it fine and that’s it.

Casee: Unfortunately, as sweet as this book was, I was bored from start to finish. I did enjoy Connor and Jillian getting to know each other, but it didn’t do anything for me. I didn’t understand Jillian’s absolute need to be a nomad. It just made no sense to me. I didn’t understand why she wanted to find the father that abandoned her. I liked Sunnie and Reese. They were probably my favorite part of the book. Quilting doesn’t really do it for me, no matter how interesting the stories about them might be.

Holly: I did love Joe’s Toe Tent business. I cracked up when it blew up.

Casee: Rowena is correct. This review is as boring as the book was. Lets just call it what it was. Excruciatingly slow. Connor was sweet, but boring. I did enjoy seeing him get his HEA, but I didn’t particularly care by that point. I was just glad I finished the book.

Rowena: I did like that Joe’s toe tent business took off because I liked Joe and thought he was pretty great to Gram. I thought it was cute, how excited he was about the business too.

There isn’t much else I have to say about this book so I’m going to give it a 3 out of 5. What about you guys?

Casee: I’m going to give it a 2 out of 5.

Holly: I thought it was a sweet story. I liked the town and the secondary characters, it was just slow. I’m giving it 3 out of 5.

Final grades

Casee: 2 out of 5
Holly: 3 out of 5
Rowena: 3 out of 5

three-stars


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