Tag: 2.5 Reviews

Throwback Thursday Review: Mystic Rider by Patricia Rice

Posted October 15, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Mystic Rider by Patricia RiceReviewer: Rowena
Mystic Rider: A Mystic Isle Novel by Patricia Rice
Series: Mystic Isle #2
Publisher: Signet
Publication Date: July 1, 2008
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 384
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two-half-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

Ian Olympus, skilled fighter and visionary, has left the isle of Aelynn for the Outside World to retrieve a sacred chalice. He finds it in the hands of Chantal Deveau, who plans to buy her family out of prison.

But her outrage at his demand that she hand it over is nothing compared to her powerful, sensual response to his presence—and the startling conviction that their lives are irrevocably entwined. And Ian will soon have to choose between duty and desire.

This review was originally published October 13, 2008

Ian Olympus has been sent to Paris, France to collect a sacred chalice that belongs to his people. His people need it and his soulmate has it and so he has to go get because the people who were sent in before him to retrieve it have failed so he takes it upon himself to get it back. His soulmate is Chantal Deveau and she’s a French musician who’s father is passionate about his cause for the French Revolution. She’s very curious about the mysterious visitor who comes to retrieve a bell she’s had for a while, only she doesn’t have the bell anymore, she sent it with her servant to exchange so that she can bail her sister in law out of jail.

Being curious isn’t enough to stop Chantal from sleeping with this sexy man who comes into her house and sweeps her right off her feet and into his arms. She should be ashamed of the way that Ian makes her feel but she can’t because when she’s in his arms, everything feels as if they’ve been righted and she can’t seem to stay away from him.

Ian means to make her his wife but she has some reservations about that being that she doesn’t know anything about him other than he’s an exceptional lover and she can’t wait to find out more.

They’ve got a lot of things to conquer before their love can be given a shot but eventually they get there and when I was finally done with this book, I didn’t feel excited about the characters, I didn’t feel like jumping for joy because Ian and Chantal were able to get over themselves and find a true love that will last forever, I didn’t feel very much of anything. I thought the story was okay, I thought the dialogue dragged and overall the story was just okay for me.

Ian was a good hero, he was everything I love in a man. Strong, virile (hehe) and confident. He did what he had to do and oh well if you don’t agree with it. He had a good heart and he always put his duty before his wants and I really enjoyed that about him. And he was hot, can’t forget that he was flippin’ hot.

Chantal was an okay heroine, not so annoying that she bordered on TSTL but not very memorable either. She was just okay in my book. She was a musician and she sang great but I wasn’t exactly wowed by her character, she was just okay for me. Nothing too spectacular on her part.

The other characters were pretty average as well. I didn’t connect with anyone and I didn’t really feel excited about reading the other books in this series, this book was just okay. I found myself skimming parts of the book and wondering what book I was going to read next, that’s how excited I was about this story, I’m glad I finished it but I know that I won’t ever reread this book and I don’t have a need to read the first book (this is the second book) or continue on with this series. It was just a pretty average book.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

two-half-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: A Summer Like No Other by Elodie Nowodazkij

Posted August 13, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Throwback Thursday Review: A Summer Like No Other by Elodie NowodazkijReviewer: Rowena
A Summer Like No Other by Elodie Nowodazkij
Series: Broken Dreams #1.5
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: July 30, 2015
Genres: Young Adult
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two-half-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

She’s his best friend’s little sister. He’s the biggest player of them all.

They shouldn’t be together. But this summer’s just too tempting.

Sixteen-year-old Emilia Moretti’s goal for the summer is simple: forget her brother’s best friend—Nick Grawsky—ever existed. It should be easy: He’s spending his summer in the Hamptons, adding girls in tiny bikinis to his list of broken hearts. Guarantee he won’t be telling them they’re like his little sisters. This summer, Emilia won’t stay awake at night thinking about him. She’ll need flawless ballet movements to have a shot at next year’s showcase, and she’s finally ready to search for her birth parents. But when Nick decides to stay in the city, Emilia’s resolve disappears in a pirouette. Maybe it’s the spin they needed to be together. As long as she doesn’t get stuck believing in happily ever after…

Nick is tired of pretending to be the happy, let’s-have-fun guy. His father wants him to change his career from professional dancer to…lawyer. He needs to put all of his focus on dancing to prove to Daddy Dearest he’s good enough to make it big. And he may have a case of the bluest balls in history courtesy of Emilia. She’s off-limits: The bro code with Roberto even forbids the dirty thoughts he has about her. Besides, he’s not boyfriend material. He only has time for flings, for girls who don’t expect much, for girls he doesn’t want to kiss goodnight. He knows he should resist her, but he’s not sure he wants to…

At least for this summer.

It’s going to be a summer like no other.

This review was originally published on August 6, 2015.

This was a quick read.

I wanted to read this one because it sounded like a cute summer read that I could sink into for a couple of hours and wouldn’t bog me down with angst and what not. I thought I could dive right in and enjoy a cute story and while I did like it, I didn’t exactly love it.

Em’s father got fired from his job so their summers in the Hamptons are a thing of the past. She’s stuck in the city for the summer and can’t stop thinking about her brother’s best friend, Nick who is probably sun-bathing and flirting with every girl in a bikini nearby – out in the Hamptons. She’s shocked as all get out when Nick walks into her rehearsal room to practice his own dancing. Turns out, Nick didn’t head out to the Hamptons either and when he starts showing genuine interest in Em, things get interesting.

This is a short story so things happened pretty fast. It’s implied that Em and Nick have a history together. A history of friendship with crushes on both parts. A crush that Em thinks is not returned and a crush that Nick can’t act on because of promises made to Em’s brother Roberto. For such a short story, there’s a lot going on. There’s the relationship brewing between Em and Nick, there’s the secrets that Nick doesn’t tell Em about then there’s the secrets that Nick and Em’s fathers are keeping about Em’s real mother. See? Lots of things going on…and when all is said and done, I don’t feel like much of anything got resolved. The ending felt more of the “read the next book to see what happens” kind of ending and I didn’t really dig that. It’s one thing to tease but this felt more like a build up that just stopped.

I also wasn’t much of a fan of Nick keeping that Jen secret, Nick’s Dad and then all of the secrets that both his Dad and Em’s Dad kept from…everyone.

This book wasn’t a bad book, it was a solid story with characters that were interesting but more than anything, I was left wanting more and not in a good way. Does that make sense?

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

two-half-stars


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Series Review: The Rossi Crime Family by J.L. Beck & C. Hallman

Posted July 27, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

I’m not going to lie, this series was pretty awful. I was reading it and wondering why I kept moving onto the next book. I just kept thinking that the series had to get better. Yeah, that was a no-go.

Series Review: The Rossi Crime Family by J.L. Beck & C. HallmanReviewer: Casee
Convict Me by J.L. Beck, C. Hallman
Series: The Rossi Crime Family #0.5
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: May 1, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 224
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Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Goodreads Challenge
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one-half-stars
Series Rating: two-stars

The day I meet Hero Miller I know he’s unlike anyone I’ve ever met before. Sheltered and raised around no one but my family all my life, his darkness draws me in.
He was raised with violence, it oozes from deep within him. I was raised by the bible my naiveness to save him proving just that.
He scares me and excites me all at once. He’s obsessed and guarded. He protects me and hurts me. He pushes and I pull, but only because he doesn’t think he’s good enough.
His warnings are clear. He tells me about his past, and the people he’s killed. He tells me about the things he wants to do to me…about the things he will do if I stay.
The goodness in me wants to cure the stain of dark on his heart, but I’m not strong enough. The closer I get to Hero the further I get dragged into his darkness and eventually it starts to swallow me whole.
Murder. Crime. Money. Sex. It surrounds us, and when Hero’s past comes barreling towards us it won’t be him that pays the ultimate price..it will be me.
**This is book one in the Broken Heroes Series. It contains a happily ever after and is a complete standalone. It contains dark themes such as dubious content, sexual themes, violence, and swearing.**

Hero Miller takes one look at his tutor and falls instantly in love. Like love at first sight. For real. Elyse is sheltered. She grew up in a “spare the rod, spoil the child” household. She’s finally gotten away from her parents. Living the college life has been a dream come true for Elyse. When she meets Hero, she’s instantly enamored but she knows he’s not the one for her. Or so she thinks.

This book really had no substance. Hero did what he wanted, when he wanted. He locked Elyse in his bedroom “for her own good” when he was trying to protect her. It was maddening. And she just kept going back.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

Series Review: The Rossi Crime Family by J.L. Beck & C. HallmanReviewer: Casee
Protect Me by J.L. Beck, C. Hallman
Series: The Rossi Crime Family #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: February 23, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 228
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Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Goodreads Challenge
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one-star
Series Rating: two-stars

Damon Rossi is a ruthless leader, and an even more ruthless man to my body, and heart. The moment I meet him I know he could kill me with nothing more than his hands. He controls the room, demands attention and when my brother is murdered for a debt he owes I’m forced into his protection. But that doesn’t mean he has to care about me.
Or pretend he values my life, which he doesn’t.
He’s a savage, over the top, and scary as hell, and even as I’m pushed further and further down the rabbit hole and into his dark dangerous world of criminals, thieves, and sex. I cling to him, knowing he’s the only one that can protect me from them all.
And yet when secrets are exposed, and lines are crossed Damon proves to me just how deep his protection for me goes… but his protection comes with a price that I cannot afford, and so I become his property making the chances of escaping this dark world slip further and further away from me.
Damon might protect me from his enemies but who’s to protect my heart from falling for him?
**This is book two in the Broken Heros Series. It contains a happily ever after and is a complete standalone. It contains dark themes such as dubious content, sexual themes, violence, and swearing. Do not read this book if you dislike antiheroes.*

When Keira’s brother is murdered, she goes to the one man that her brother trusted. Damon Rossi. He’s an alpha asshole to her from the beginning and she just falls into a puddle at his feet. I honestly don’t know why she even fell for him. His character did not improve at all.

Overall, I didn’t like Keira because she was a doormat and Damon was just a miserable piece of work.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Series Review: The Rossi Crime Family by J.L. Beck & C. HallmanReviewer: Casee
Keep Me by J.L. Beck, C. Hallman
Series: The Rossi Crime Family #2
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 14, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Pages: 157
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Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Goodreads Challenge
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one-star
Series Rating: two-stars

She was my enemy… I was her new captor….
She was the enemy…a tiny little temptress of a woman that made my blood sing for vengeance. I should be punishing her…breaking her from the inside out after finding her in my father’s clutches.
But when I discover the truth that she is just as much as a victim of my father's wrongdoings as I am I can’t follow through.
I know then that I can’t break my little mouse...not after she’s lured me in with her big blue doe eyes, and strawberry blonde hair, and those pink painted lips that beg to be kissed again, and again.
I don't think things can get any better...but then she makes me an offer I can't refuse… her body, her virginity, and her complete submission, and she wants only one thing in return: help finding her sister.
What she fails to realize is that even after helping her find her sister I can't just let her go she knows too much, she's become a liability...but I have a plan to make certain she’ll never leave or escape me.
A plan that involves me filling her womb with my filthy seed until I make certain a piece of myself stick, and then I’ll make her the Queen of the Rossi Empire by putting a ring on her finger.
**This is book three in the series but it can be read as a complete standalone. It is a full-length novel that contains NO-CLIFFHANGERS, NO CHEATING, and has a HEA. It is a dark mafia/crime romance and contains subject matter not suitable for all readers. If you don't like alpha's, possessive and controlling over their leading ladies then skip this one.**

This is probably my favorite book in the series, which isn’t saying much. I really liked Xander and how unapologetic he was about his shortcomings. He was also an ass, but he never tried to be anything else. I really liked Ella too. I thought she was one of the stronger heroines in the series.

With all that, it was still over the top bad. Like how bad can Xander treat Ella before she decides to throw in the towel?

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Series Review: The Rossi Crime Family by J.L. Beck & C. HallmanReviewer: Casee
Guard Me by J.L. Beck, C. Hallman
Series: The Rossi Crime Family #3
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: April 2, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 294
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Goodreads Challenge
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two-half-stars
Series Rating: two-stars

She was a tiny little lamb that claimed my heart with one fearful look.
I was her captor, the man responsible for breaking her, for preparing her for auction.
She was taken, plucked right off the street and brought to me to be sold at the next auction.
Rescuing her from my men was never part of the deal, and neither was bringing her up to my room.
Yet, night after night I did this, refusing to give up the way she made me feel. When I’m with her I feel less like a monster. I can remember the man I used to be before the mob got to me, before all the bad tainted my soul.
But wanting her is forbidden, and keeping her unthinkable. If they find out what I’m doing they’ll kill both of us.
And still…
I want to save her.
I want to love her.
I want to cherish her.
When the time comes will I be able to let her go? Or will I risk both our lives for a love that I may not deserve?
**This is book four in the series but it can be read as a complete standalone. It is a full length novel (85k+ words) that contains NO-CLIFFHANGERS, NO CHEATING, and has a HEA. It is a dark mafia/crime romance and contains subject matter not suitable for all readers. **

Violet is on the block to be sold at a slave auction. Ivan is in charge of the auction. When he’s called down to the cells after being told one of the girls is refusing to eat, he’s instantly drawn to her. Too bad that isn’t enough for him to rescue her.

I hated this book. Ivan was a total asshole. He kept taking her back to her cell and told her that he couldn’t help her. But he could fuck her. Oh and Violet is Ella’s sister (see above).

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Series Review: The Rossi Crime Family by J.L. Beck & C. HallmanReviewer: Casee
Tame Me by J.L. Beck, C. Hallman
Series: The Rossi Crime Family #4
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: April 26, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Pages: 258
Add It: Goodreads
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dnf
Series Rating: two-stars

She was a broken angel that had the light beat right out of her.
I was the man responsible for her life, her protector…
Rescued by my brother and shoved into my arms I never expected to fall for the fragile woman, with soft eyes, and lips that begged to be kissed.
I know what she saw when she looked at me, a ruthless fighter, a man with a broken past, too far gone to be reached, sinking deeper and deeper into the darkness.
Still, somehow her light reached me, the innocence inside her called to me and the moment her soul touched mine I was tamed, ensnared in her love.
But love comes at a cost, and in our world, you pay with your life. With all the danger surrounding us, I don’t know if I can protect her. Not only from myself, but also from a past that refuses to let go.
**This is book four in the series but it can be read as a complete standalone. This is a full length novel. It contains NO-CLIFFHANGER, NO CHEATING, and has a HEA. It is a dark mafia/crime romance and contains subject matter not suitable for all readers.**

This book was a big fat DNF for me. I couldn’t stand the hero. The heroine was actually tolerable, but I still don’t know what she saw in him. That seems to be a recurring theme in this series.

Rating: DNF.

The Rossi Crime Family

one-half-stars


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Guest Review: Pregnancy Plan by Tina Gayle

Posted February 5, 2020 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Pregnancy Plan by Tina GayleReviewer: Tracy
Pregnancy Plan by Tina Gayle
Publisher: Tina Gayle
Publication Date: November 9, 2011
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 208
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two-half-stars

A full-length contemporary romance
Pregnant shopkeeper Jillian Wilson prepares for single parenthood until high-risk security specialist Derrick Harris, the baby’s father, is caught in an explosion that changes everything.
Confused, Derrick returns to the States with amnesia. Jillian believes she has it all a husband, a baby, a perfect life, to bad that her dreams hang on Derrick’s faulty memory and a lie.

Jillian is excited to start a new phase of her life.  She wants to have a baby but doesn’t want to wait for the right guy to come around.  She tells her brother’s best friend, Jason, about it so when she calls him to tell him she’s in town, she just says, “Don’t worry, I’m not pregnant.” When Jason’s brother, Derrick, picks up the answering machine message he’s livid.  He dated Jillian about a year earlier and she was definitely pro “get married before you have sex”.  Believing that she was now having an affair with his engaged brother, he storms to her hotel room to tell her to back off of Jason.

Jillian’s not thrilled to see Derrick as he had ghosted her a year earlier after a few dates.  He said it was because he was out of the country, but she wasn’t falling for that.  Jillian laughs when Derrick states why he’s there.  Jillian explains what she meant by the pregnancy comment and lays out her plans.  Derrick wants to know how she’ll accomplish getting pregnant and she gives him her options.  Derrick decides, quite quickly I might add, that he wants to be the one to get Jillian pregnant.  This was a little surprising to Jillian (and me as the reader) but she goes along with it.  They spend a weekend wrapped in each other’s arms and it’s wonderful.  When Monday comes around Derrick insists they get married, which was not something that had been mentioned or had been on Jillian’s radar.

Derrick leaves for the Middle East which is where his next job is located.  When Derrick is on his mission (he works for a security company and is out of the country more than he’s home) he is the victim of a bombing.  He lives, but can’t remember some things.  He tells his brother that he’s married to Jillian, and she says to Jason, yes, that’s true.  Derrick arrives home and Jillian takes him home for his recovery.  They start their life as a married couple and work together well, but Derrick has a hard time with emotion now, and definitely a hard time communicating, which puts a strain on their relationship.  What also puts a strain on the relationship?  The fact that they’re not actually married and Jillian is lying to Derrick and everyone else.

This was a quick read and one that I found to be just ok.  Everything with Jillian and Derrick moved so fast from moment one, and I couldn’t understand why Jillian was going for it.  She wasn’t the impulsive type so it didn’t make sense.  They did say she was a people pleaser and wanted to make everyone happy, so maybe that had something to do with it.  IDK, it was odd though.

When Derrick gets home after being injured, he seemed emotionless and remained this way for most of the book.  He never actually turned back into his fun-loving self and that wasn’t great.  I knew it would take time, but it wasn’t ever shown to us in the book.  I can’t say I loved his reaction to the news that he wasn’t actually married, but the problem wasn’t drawn out and was rectified quickly, which was nice.

I do have to say that Jillian annoyed me a bit with her meddling. Because of the people pleaser aspect of her personality, she was always in other people’s business. I found that a truly annoying part of the book.  She had enough issues with her own relationship, she needed to deal with that and stay out of everyone else’s problems.

The story wasn’t my cup of tea, but I know that some people will like it. I think if I would have liked Jillian better I might have liked the story a bit more, but I still wouldn’t have loved it.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

two-half-stars


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Review: You Were There Too by Colleen Oakley

Posted January 30, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: You Were There Too by Colleen OakleyReviewer: Casee
You Were There Too by Colleen Oakley
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: January 7, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 320
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two-half-stars

Acclaimed author Colleen Oakley delivers a heart-wrenching and unforgettable love story about a woman who must choose between the man she loves and the man fate has chosen for her in a novel that reminds us that the best life is one led by the heart.

Mia Graydon's life looks picket-fence perfect; she has the house, her loving husband, and dreams of starting a family. But she has other dreams too — unexplained, recurring ones starring the same man. Still, she doesn’t think much of them, until a relocation to small-town Pennsylvania brings her face to face with the stranger she has been dreaming about for years. And this man harbors a jaw-dropping secret of his own—he's been dreaming of her too.

Determined to understand, Mia and this not-so-stranger search for answers. But when diving into their pasts begins to unravel her life in the present, Mia emerges with a single question—what if?

Wow. This book. This book was not for me. At all. It is marketed as a romance, but it was far from romantic. I was really annoyed by the time I finished this book.

Mia Graydon is happy with her life, or so it seems. She has an amazing husband, she just moved to a quaint new town, and she gets to paint whenever she wants. There is nothing Mia wants more than to have a baby. It’s devastating to her that she keeps miscarrying. It’s something that she doesn’t understand and she blames herself for. It eventually affects her living her best life and her relationship with her husband.

Mia loves her husband, Harrison, dearly, but she has a secret. Since she was in college, she’s been dreaming of a man. She doesn’t know why and doesn’t think it’s relevant enough to tell her husband. Especially considering that some of the dreams are rated R. Mia has written it off as being a little crazy and gives it no further thought. Until she runs into a man that looks exactly like the man in her dreams. When she learns that he has been dreaming about her, Mia knows she has to find out what’s happening.

Oliver hasn’t been dreaming about Mia long, but she dies in every dream he has. Together then visit experts on dreams and try to figure out what is happening to them. Mia is so involved in figuring things out that she doesn’t notice her marriage to Harrison imploding. Harrison has been beyond amazing about Mia and Oliver, but he has problems of his own. Problems that affect him deeply.

I didn’t like Mia. She was self-absorbed. The author tried to write it off as a woman that was caught up in what she lost (her babies) and trying to find her way. The fact was that she has always been selfish. She’s always let Harrison take care of her and never returned the favor. The status quo worked for awhile until Mia finally (finally!) realized what a selfish bitch she was being.

I hated, hated the ending. There was no HEA and I don’t think she plans on another book. If she does, I won’t be reading it.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

two-half-stars


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