Tag: 2.5 Reviews

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


Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

Review: Consumed by J.R. Ward

Posted October 2, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 6 Comments

Review: Consumed by J.R. WardReviewer: Casee
Consumed (Firefighters, #1) by J.R. Ward
Series: Firefighters #1
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: October 2, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 416
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
two-half-stars

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the popular Black Dagger Brotherhood series comes a brand-new novel about arson investigator, Ann Ashburn, who is consumed by her troubled past, her family's scorched legacy, and her current case: chasing a deadly killer.


Anne Ashburn is a woman consumed...

By her bitter family legacy, by her scorched career as a firefighter, by her obsession with department bad-boy Danny McGuire, and by a new case that pits her against a fiery killer.

Strong-willed Anne was fearless and loved the thrill of fighting fires, pushing herself to be the best. But when one risky decision at a warehouse fire changes her life forever, Anne must reinvent not only her job, but her whole self.

Shattered and demoralized, Anne finds her new career as an arson investigator a pale substitute for the adrenaline-fueled life she left behind. She doesn't believe she will ever feel that same all-consuming passion for her job again--until she encounters a string of suspicious fires setting her beloved city ablaze.

Danny McGuire is a premiere fireman, best in the county, but in the midst of a personal meltdown. Danny is taking risks like never before and seems to have a death wish until he teams up with Anne to find the fire starter. But Danny may be more than a distraction, and as Anne narrows in on her target, the arsonist begins to target her.From the creator of the bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood, get ready for a new band of brothers. And a firestorm . . .

Holy crap. This book was NOT for me. From the beginning to the end, it was just not. I loved The Bourbon Kings series. It was far outside the purview of the BDB. I thought that this new series would be much of the same. Especially after I skimmed (I don’t like spoilers) some of the reviews on GoodReads. I was hopeful. Too hopeful. Bad on me.

I didn’t like Anne Ashburn from the beginning. Not from page one. You could tell she was the type of person that didn’t like following rules, orders, or anything in between. Which usually wouldn’t be a problem one way or the other. The problem in this book is that she’s a firefighter. A firefighter for the love of…ugh. Firefighters have to follow orders or they get dead. If they don’t get themselves dead, they’ll get someone else dead. It’s blatantly obvious that Anne goes against authority when she tells her partner they need to separate during a warehouse fire. After being explicitly told not to split up.

That decision ends up costing her. Big time. It almost costs her her own life and the life of the man she loves. Who rushes into save her after being ordered not to go in after her. Yep, folks. There’s two of them. And they’ve found each other.

Danny McGuire loves Anne and he won’t leave her in the warehouse to burn. What happens between the time he goes in after her and the time he brings her out is something that is seared into his brain. Ten months later he can barely look at himself in the mirror. He takes up drinking, smoking, and sleeping with any woman that will have him. Then one night he gets in a fight at a local bar and his best friend calls in the big guns. Anne.

Anne thought she was done with Danny. Except she’s never done with Danny. The two are literally made for each other. You couldn’t find two more damaged people than the two of them. I understood Danny’s demons. I truly did. He lost his twin brother in a fire, he lost a good friend in a fire, he lost his parents. He has a lot of loss in his life. Anne? I seriously don’t know what her issue was. She had serious hangups from her childhood and she hated her mother, but she let that affect every aspect of her life. It was ludicrous.

A couple of the interesting parts should be mentioned. The mystery was fairly mysterious. So was Anne’s brother Tom. Talk about siblings. They both rather redeemed themselves in the end (when it came to each other and their mother), so that was all right. It was Danny that changed by leaps and bounds though. It was quite the thing to read.

One thing I could not get over, hence my low grade, is that Anne wasn’t just stupid, she was TSTL. Yup. Too Stupid To Live. While investigating the warehouse fires, she figures out who did it. Instead of calling her SWAT friend or her brother or even Danny, what does she do? You guessed it…she goes after the guy herself. Why? Because she’s no mere woman. She doesn’t need a stinking man. Then, she’s so sure she’s right that she decides that she’s going to compromise evidence because she has to prove something to herself. That’s what ultimately threw me over the edge. I can deal with many things. TSTL heroines are not one of them.

I do hate to admit that I might read Tom’s book. I think I hate myself for that.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

two-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,

Review: The Breakup by Erin McCarthy

Posted September 26, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: The Breakup by Erin McCarthyReviewer: Rowena
The Breakup (The Jordan Brothers #2) by Erin McCarthy
Series: The Jordan Brothers #2
Also in this series: The Hookup (The Jordan Brothers #1), The Hookup (The Jordan Brothers, #1), The Breakup
Publisher: Loveswept
Publication Date: August 28, 2018
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-stars

Can two wrongs feel oh-so-right? This bride is about to find out—with the bad boy who makes an epic breakup worth her while.

Bella: I know I’m a princess. I’m used to getting what I want. But all I ever really wanted was a husband and a family. Unlike my sister, Sophie, I’ll never have a brilliant career to fall back on. So what’s a bride to do when she learns that Prince Charming is a cheating snake just a few days before her fairy-tale wedding? With my fiancé begging for another chance, the only way to save the wedding is to even things out with a little revenge sex—and local bartender Christian Jordan seems like the right man for the job.

Christian: If gorgeous Bella Bigelow thinks sleeping with me will somehow lead to happily ever after, I’m not going to turn her down. The guy she wants to marry is a jerk, and her sister is fooling around with my estranged twin brother, Cain. So what’s the problem? Besides falling for a woman who doesn’t know what she wants out of life? All I want to do is whisk her away from that church, take her to a cabin in the woods, and act out all our naughtiest fantasies. And I may just get the chance. . . .

The Breakup is the second book in the Jordan Brothers series and it follows two characters from The Hookup that I just could not care about. The siblings of the characters from The Hookup. I really enjoyed the first book and wanted some closure where the rift between the two Jordan brothers were concerned so even though I wasn’t a huge fan of both Bella and Christian before, I still wanted to read this book.

When Bella discovers that her fiance is a lying scumbag, she can’t go through with the wedding but the dingbat waits until the last possible second to end things so Christian has to come and sweep her off to his family cabin to hide away for a few days. Christian and Bella have been circling each other, an attraction between them but nothing came of it because Bella was getting ready to marry Brad. When her situation changes, Christian jumps at his chance to prove to Bella that she’s not bad in bed (as Brad would have her believe).

Honestly, this whole book was kind of ridiculous. I was frustrated with Bella for most of the book because she’s kind of whiny and acts like a brat and I’m too old for that shit. I loved her sister’s personality in the first book, her wit and how strong Sophie was. Bella didn’t get the same kind of love from me that Sophie did. Sure, she’s strong and she really does come into her own but I didn’t completely shake my annoyance with her so my enjoyment of the book suffered because of it.

Christian kind of came off as a fuckboy in the beginning and in the end, he was a lot better but he wasn’t my favorite either. So, we finally find out the truth about what happened between him and Ali (his brother’s ex) and how the rift between him and Cain became a thing and while I was able to forgive him for that, he continued to piss me off. The way that he chose to handle things had me shaking my head and even when the end comes and everything is all happy go lucky again, I thought it happened too fast and I wasn’t completely satisfied. I almost DNF’d this one but even though this book pissed me off, it was still readable and I couldn’t give it up until the end. Still, grrrr.

Grade: 2.5 out of 5

Jordan Brothers

three-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

Review: All the Way by Kristen Proby

Posted September 12, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: All the Way by Kristen ProbyReviewer: Rowena
All the Way (Romancing Manhattan, #1) by Kristen Proby
Series: Romancing Manhattan #1
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication Date: August 21, 2018
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 288
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
two-half-stars

In New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristen Proby’s brand new Romancing Manhattan series, three brothers get more than they bargain for as they practice law, balance life, and navigate love in and around New York City.

Finn Cavanaugh is known for being a force to be reckoned with in the courtroom. He owns a successful law firm with his brother and brother-in-law in Manhattan. On the rare occasion that he has down time, he spends it at his home in Martha’s Vineyard. But when Finn’s troubled niece goes to stay with him for the summer in Martha’s Vineyard, he’s reluctant to take time off from work. That is, until he meets his beautiful new neighbor, London.

London Watson is a Tony Award winning actress on Broadway. When tragedy strikes her family, leaving her alone and injured, she flees Manhattan for Martha’s Vineyard. Hoping she can figure out how to pick up the pieces of her life, London is convinced that she’ll never be able to return to the stage. But when she meets the charming young girl next door and her sexy uncle, they soon lure London out of her shell as she finally begins to heal from the wounds of her past.

But when London feels confident enough to return to the spotlight, she’s dealt another devastating blow. Will the newfound love between London and Finn be enough to conquer all? Or will it be over before it has a chance to grow…?

I’m going to be completely honest with you guys and tell you that I picked up this book because of that gorgeous cover. When I decided that I was going to read and review this book, it was because the book cover caught my eye and I wanted to love this book as much as I loved the cover. I hadn’t even read the blurb before deciding that I had to have this book. I was so excited to jump into a New York romance between an actress and her late parent’s lawyer.

I should also note that this is my very first read from Kristen Proby and I’m sad to say that I spent most of the book bored. I didn’t really connect with London, I liked Finn well enough though he was really controlling so while I liked him, he’d never be a favorite hero of mine and I wanted to spank the shit out of his niece. Don’t even get me started on London’s brother.

So the book centers on London, who lost her parents in a house fire where she barely escaped. She is a Broadway actress who has to take time off to recuperate and so when she inherits all of her parent’s properties, she heads to the place she called home in the summer to try to figure some shit out. She’s surprised when she finds out that her parent’s lawyer is her next door neighbor and she’s still a little annoyed that he tried hitting on her right after the reading of her parents will.

Finn is interested in London and is still kicking himself for his ill-advised attempt to ask her out after reading her parent’s will to her. His niece is staying with him because she’s going through some stuff and not dealing with her mother’s death so well so he’s got his hands full but he’s drawn to London and he’s not really going to question it.

There’s a lot going on this book but not a lot of it was interesting to me. I’m not sure if I didn’t connect with Proby’s writing style or if it was the characters that I couldn’t connect with it but I spent much of this book bored. Now, it wasn’t all bad. I did enjoy London’s friendship with Sasha and I liked Finn’s interactions with his brothers and the niece came around in the end but for the most part, I was just uninterested. It took me a lot longer to read this book than it should have and in the end, I was ready to move on.

I’m not sure if I’ll continue this series and I’m even more unsure if I want to go back and read other books by this author but who knows, maybe another book will be a better fit for me.

Grade: 2.5 out of 5

two-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,

Guest Review: One Perfect Kiss by Jaci Burton

Posted September 7, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: One Perfect Kiss by Jaci BurtonReviewer: Tracy
One Perfect Kiss (Hope #8) by Jaci Burton
Series: Hope Series #8
Also in this series: Hope Flames, Hope Flames, Hope Ignites, Hope Ignites, Hope Burns, Love After All, Make Me Stay, Don't Let Go (Hope Series #6), Love Me Again
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: September 4, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 320
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
two-half-stars

The New York Times bestselling author of Love Me Again returns to the town of Hope, Oklahoma where school is in session and love rules the playbook.

Josie Barnes has always craved a sense of home. She's found that in Hope, Oklahoma--she bought a house, has a new job as an English teacher at Hope High, she's made wonderful friends, and she's taking in stray animals that no one else wants. Now she's flirting with fellow teacher and hot high school football coach Zach Powers. But he's almost too good to be true, and Josie learned long ago not to trust in the too-good-to-be-true, because it has always let her down.

A former pro football player, Zach had to pull back when a career-ending knee injury forced him to rethink his future. Now he's happy calling plays as Coach. If he could just get Josie Barnes to stop benching his players for their poor grades, life would be perfect. Instead, she drives him crazy as the stern teacher at school and the sexy woman of his dreams outside of the classroom. He knows she's been hurt in the past, but he wants to be that guy she can trust.

The one thing Josie has never been able to count on is the people closest to her. But Zach intends to show her that what they have between them is a textbook case of love.

Josie and Zach are teachers at Hope High School.  They hang out in the same group of friends and that’s how they met.  They are attracted to each other, but nothing had been done about it until when this book starts.

When our book opens Zach is getting on Josie’s case for putting a couple of his players on academic probation.  When he finds out that they just aren’t doing the work and it’s nothing vindictive, then he calms down and helps his players get their assignments done.  Zach thinks it’s about time he finally ask Josie out as he thinks she’s attractive.

Josie has issues with relationships.  Her mother is a drug addict and Josie pretty much raised herself.  When she went to college she had a boyfriend but after a while of dating he broke up with her and then she found out he had another girlfriend the whole time he was dating Josie.  When Zach starts hanging around she thinks that having a little fun would be good but has no thoughts of it being anything permanent.

I liked Zach and Josie and thought they were good together.  We got to see characters from past Hope novels and that was good too. The rescue animals were a bonus as they were so cute.

My main problem with the story was that it was slow.  I kept putting the book down and then having to force myself to go back to it.  If it wasn’t a book I had to review I would have dnf’d it.  Not that it was bad, don’t get me wrong, but there was just nothing happening that kept my attention.  I also didn’t feel the attraction between Zach and Josie.  How can I enjoy a romance when I’m just not feeling it?

I hate to say this about a Burton book because I normally really like her stories but this one just didn’t work for me.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Hope Series


two-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,