Tag: 2.75 Reviews

Review: Hour of Need by Melinda Leigh

Posted May 21, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 5 Comments

Review: Hour of Need by Melinda LeighReviewer: Holly
Hour of Need (Scarlet Falls, #1) by Melinda Leigh
Series: Scarlet Falls #1
Published by Montlake Romance
Publication Date: December 9, 2014
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 338
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two-half-stars

While fighting in Afghanistan, Major Grant Barrett receives devastating news: his brother and sister-in-law have been murdered in Scarlet Falls, the sleepy suburb of Grant’s youth. Emotionally scarred from war, the career soldier returns home on emergency leave to temporarily care for his orphaned nephew and niece. But when someone tries to kidnap the kids and their teenage babysitter, Grant knows it’s not a random act…and neither were the murders.

Already devastated by her neighbors’ violent deaths, Ellie Ross is shattered by the attempted abduction of her teenage daughter so she desperately turns to Grant for help. As they navigate a deadly search for the truth, they struggle with growing feelings for each other and Grant’s impending return to deployment.

But time is running out. The killer is growing bolder by the hour, and Ellie and Grant must find him before the children become his next victims.

I really struggle with Romantic Suspense. The characters often do things that make no sense to me, or the mystery is so easy to figure out I end up being really bored. Though I do enjoy mysteries and suspense in audio. I haven’t read Melinda Leigh before, but she had good reviews so I figured I’d give her a try. The blurb does a good job of outlining the plot, so I don’t feel the need to recap.

I enjoyed the narrator, but I spent most of the book irritated at the way the characters acted. The heroine made silly choices that put herself and her family in danger. The hero supported her in those choices when it made no sense, and often rushed into danger himself without thought.

As a romance, this was cute. He had to come home on emergency leave to care for his niece and nephew when his brother and sister-in-law were murdered. Seeing this confirmed bachelor soldier deal with a colicky infant and heartbroken kindergartner was sweet and endearing. His budding relationship with the next door neighbor was sweet, too. I liked the two of them together and the way their families blended.

As a suspense novel it didn’t work for me, but as a romance it was sweet. There’s a good chance others will enjoy the suspense more.

2.75-3.0 out of 5

Scarlet Falls

two-half-stars


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Joint Review: Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid

Posted May 2, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Joint Review: Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny ReidReviewer: Holly & Rowena
Neanderthal Seeks Human (Knitting in the City, #1) by Penny Reid
Series: Knitting in the City #1
Also in this series: Neanderthal Seeks Human
Published by Caped Publishing
Publication Date: March 14, 2013
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 403
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There are three things you need to know about Janie Morris: 1) She is incapable of engaging in a conversation without volunteering TMTI (Too Much Trivial Information), especially when she is unnerved, 2) No one unnerves her more than Quinn Sullivan, and 3) She doesn't know how to knit.

After losing her boyfriend, apartment, and job in the same day, Janie Morris can't help wondering what new torment fate has in store. To her utter mortification, Quinn Sullivan- aka Sir McHotpants- witnesses it all then keeps turning up like a pair of shoes you lust after but can't afford. The last thing she expects is for Quinn- the focus of her slightly, albeit harmless, stalkerish tendencies- to make her an offer she can't refuse.

Holly: Rowena and I have both been hearing a lot about Penny Reid, so we chose Neanderthal Seeks Human, book one in the Knitting in the City series, for our April joint review book.

I read it before Rowena did and I have to tell you, the heroine annoyed me. She was written as an extremely intelligent, but oblivious individual. Mostly she came off as lacking in common sense.

What did you think?

Rowena: I agree about the heroine. It took me a long time to read this book because I kept stepping away because I couldn’t believe how dumb the heroine came off. She was too smart to be so dumb about a lot of the things that went on. Like when Quinn kept telling her that the company was his company and she kept not understanding what he meant? There were too many instances where this happened and I wasn’t a fan of that.

Holly: I could have understood if she missed a few cues here and there, or even if she was oblivious until someone spelled things out for her, but that just wasn’t the case. Even when things were spelled out she completely missed them. She was completely lacking in common sense. It was frustrating.

Rowena: Yeah, I agree with Janie. I don’t think the way that she was written really pulled off her personality. It just didn’t work for me. I really liked the random trivia that she threw out. That was probably my favorite part with her.

I didn’t mind the random trivia facts that she threw out when she was nervous. I actually liked that stuff but the lacking of common sense for someone so smart didn’t work for me.

Holly: I thought the random trivia facts were hilarious, and I loved how she just babbled when she was nervous. But man, I couldn’t get past how dumb she could be.

Rowena: Then there was Quinn. He was great and I would have liked him more if he was more upfront about every little thing with Janie. He had too many secrets for my liking.

Holly: I really liked Quinn, but you’re right, it would have been nice if he’d been more upfront with Janie. It was obvious he knew she was oblivious to most things. He should have spelled things out.

Rowena: Yes, he knew that she didn’t understand that the company belonged to him and he kept letting her think what she wanted to think but also, he knew a lot of things about her and about those around her and he didn’t tell her and for what? He didn’t owe anyone but Janie anything so why keep her in the dark about things that affected her personally? He could have saved himself a lot of trouble if he was upfront with her about everything.

Those little things kept taking me right out of the story and I kept needing to walk away from the story for a bit because I could not deal with all of the unnecessary shenanigans.

Holly: Right, that’s what I mean. He knew she didn’t understand what was going on with him, his company, her sister, etc. Yet he chose not to tell her, to keep her in the dark. I didn’t like that. He should have let her know what was going on.

Rowena: But how great was that knitting group?

Holly: That knitting group was amazing. The scene toward the end with them? Oh man, I about died laughing. I want to read more of this series just for them.

Rowena: The way that the knitting group came together to fight the bad guys had me bent over at the waist laughing. They truly saved this book from a lower grade because even though they weren’t front and center in the story, they were still a big part of it and their part had me laughing a lot. These are the kinds of friends that a woman needs in her life.

Holly: While there were some enjoyable parts – most notably the knitting group and their shenanigans – I didn’t love this book the way I expected to. It came highly recommended from so many, I thought I’d love it. I loved the knitting group enough to try another book in the series, but Janie really killed this book for me. I’m giving it a 2.75 out of 5.

Rowena: Yep, I pretty much have the same thoughts. There was potential but overall, most of the comedy stuff missed its mark with me though I will not permanently say no to any of the other books in this series. I really do need to get to know the other ladies in the knitting group, especially Sandra. She sounds like a riot and I’m all for reading her book.

I’d give this one the same grade, 2.75 out of 5.

Final Rating

Holly: 2.75 out of 5
Rowena: 2.75 out of 5

Knitting in the City


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Review: Hold Her Again by Shannon Stacey

Posted October 23, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: Hold Her Again by Shannon StaceyReviewer: Holly
Hold Her Again by Shannon Stacey
Published by Carina Press
Publication Date: October 23, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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two-half-stars

A country-music star returns home to win back the woman he loves in this charming holiday novella from New York Times bestselling author Shannon Stacey

Ava Wright isn't happy to see her high school sweetheart rolling into their hometown a few weeks before Christmas. He's only come back to bury his estranged father, but there's no way she'll be able to avoid him. No one can: he's become a country-music superstar since going solo and leaving Ava behind.

Jace Morrow grew up believing "money can't buy happiness" was something people said to make themselves feel better. But now he knows it's the truth: no matter how many number-one hits he has, he'll never recapture the magic of singing with Ava. Missing her—loving her—and living with making the wrong choice in life were what made him who he is.

When Jace is roped into being part of the town's annual Christmas party, he only cares about earning Ava's forgiveness. And though Ava's heart has never healed, she loved Jace too much and for too long to shut him out when he's hurting. As they fall in love all over again, they're both faced with choices for their future…and this time Jace intends to make the right one.

This book is approximately 30,000 words

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you're looking for with an HEA/HFN. It's a promise!

I’ve read and enjoyed most of Stacey’s backlist. When I saw the premise for this novella I was super excited. Music star + reunited lovers by Stacey = Total Win! Sadly, it didn’t work for me as much as I thought it would.

Jace and Ava fell in love in high school and ran off to St. Louis together as soon as they could to pursue a career in the music industry. When a popular manager approached them and told Jace she only wanted him, he chose to leave Ava behind and pursue his dream of fame and fortune. She returned home and went back to work waiting tables at the local diner. Six years later Jace is forced to come back to their hometown for his father’s funeral. He hasn’t stopped loving Ava and can’t wait to see her again. But six years is a long time, and Ava doesn’t think she can let go of her hurt and anger over the way Jace turned his back on her….on them.

My biggest issue was with the time of separate between Ava and Jace. He was gone way too long for me to accept his feelings for Ava were genuine. If he never stopped loving her and thought of her every day, why did it take him six years – and the excuse of his father’s funeral – to come back? I might have been able to accept his reasons if he stayed away a year, but six? I just couldn’t get past it. I spent most of the book feeling all rage-y inside.

Ava was a good heroine, and I liked the town and secondary characters. I even liked Jace. But I didn’t like him for Ava. It was easy for him to claim he’d love her forever and never leave her again now that he’d already achieved all his dreams. The length of the story didn’t provide sufficient time for me to forgive him for what he did. As always, Stacey’s writing was wonderful, but even a great heroine and lovely writing couldn’t save this story for me.

2.75 out of 5

two-half-stars


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Review: Magic Waking by Eva Chase

Posted October 3, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Magic Waking by Eva ChaseReviewer: Holly
Magic Waking (Legends Reborn, #1) by Eva Chase
Series: Legends Reborn #1
Also in this series: Soul's Blade (Legends Reborn, #2)
Published by Ink Spark Press
Publication Date: May 27, 2017
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 288
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two-half-stars

Die, reincarnate, repeat. It's been a long fifteen hundred years...

Reborn wizard Emma Hale has three goals in life, or rather lives: Track down the present incarnation of the legendary King Arthur, fend off the shadow creatures that hound him for as long as she can, and break the spell that binds their souls in this morbid cycle.

If only she had a better idea how she'd cast that spell in the first place. And if only Arthur’s current host wasn't so cocky yet distractingly good-looking. Because Emma is falling even harder for the man she can't have.

When a fae mercenary with power to rival Emma's puts her king in his sights, Emma burns through all her tricks just to stay one step ahead. Now her only chance is to find some way to destroy the mercenary before he and his army of dark forces destroy Arthur.

No human Emma's ever known has managed to kill a fae. But if she can't, and quickly, this death might be their last.

Looking for a story full of sarcastic wizardry, cruel fae, and a star-crossed love centuries in the making? Scroll up and grab this Arthurian-flavored urban fantasy today!

The Legends Reborn series: Magic Walking (May 2017) Soul's Blade (August 2017) Dragon of Destiny (November 2017)

Magic Waking is the first book in the Legends Reborn series from Eva Chase.

1500 years ago, Merlin cast a spell to save the life of his liege, the legendary King Arthur, and cursed them both to living life over and over again. For 1500 years Merlin has been searching for a way to break the spell and finally save Arthur for good. In this latest reincarnation, Merlin is reborn as Emmaline and Arthur as Darton. Emma retains the knowledge of her past reincarnations, but Arthur doesn’t remember until he has skin-to-skin contact with Emma, something she tries to avoid at all costs. Because the more Arthur remembers, the easier it is for their enemies to track him.

Only they seem to be facing a new enemy, one more skilled than the ones they faced in the past. Emma is going to need all her strength and knowledge to beat this one…or this may be the last time they’re reborn.

I really like the premise of this series. I’ve been craving Arthurian romances and I thought this would fit the bill perfectly. While I really enjoyed the flashbacks to their first life as Merlin and King Arthur, the modern day stuff fell a little flat. The pacing was slow and involved a lot of Emma laying protection spells throughout the college campus. I would have liked to know more about their foes, Emma’s magic, their past reincarnations, etc. There were times I had to really force myself to keep reading.

The action scenes were pretty good and I enjoyed Arthur, but overall this was just an okay read for me. The story ends on a cliffhanger. I hope the action picks up in the next book.

2.75 out of 5

The series:

two-half-stars


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Review: All I Ever Wanted by Luann McLane

Posted August 14, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: All I Ever Wanted by Luann McLaneReviewer: Holly
All I Ever Wanted (Heartthrob #1) by LuAnn McLane
Series: Heartthrob #1
Published by Pocket Star
Publication Date: July 24th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 288
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two-half-stars

From author LuAnn McLane comes the first in a brand new series featuring the sexy Heart brothers: formerly the members of the cult-phenomenon boy band Heartbeat, they’re all grown up and back together for one last reunion tour….

When Grady Heart, former lead singer of the cult-phenomenon boy band Heartbeat and eldest of the brothers, decides to bring the group back together for a highly anticipated reunion concert, he doesn’t expect to be met with so much resistance from his brothers. He also doesn’t expect them to hire his ex-girlfriend and ex-Heartbeat choreographer Arabella York to help the band rock some new dance moves.

Back in Heartbeat’s glory days the brooding bad boy fell hard for Arabella; the studious, stable dance teacher tamed Grady’s wild side but her lack of trust in him eventually drove them apart. Although their chemistry burns hotter than ever, Grady tries to keep his relationship with Arabella strictly professional this time around but in his heart, he might just still long to find out what could have been.

Grady Heart and his brothers were a wildly popular teen boy band. They quit performing when their mother got sick. Now that she’s gone, Grady is organizing a benefit reunion concert in her memory. All his brothers are on board, but there’s a problem…the slick dance moves they used as teens just aren’t possible now that they’re adults. Grady wants everything to be perfect since this is such an important cause. Even so, when his brothers suggest they contact their old choreographer, Arabella, Grady refuses. She broke his heart once. He isn’t willing to give her a second chance. Too bad for him, his brothers go behind his back and call her. Faced with the prospect of spending time with the woman who disappeared without backward glance, Grady admits he still isn’t over her. But he’s not going to give her his heart again.

Arabella is in a financial pickle. She opened a string of successful fitness studios, but she got in over her head and expanded too quickly. Now she either needs a serious infusion of cash or she’s going to be forced to take on a demanding partner who wants to rebrand her entire operation. But facing bad boy Grady Heart again after he ruined her for love isn’t high on her list of fun things to do. Still, she doesn’t have much choice if she wants to save her studios. Now she just needs to keep a calm head around Grady. There’s no way she’s going to risk falling for him again. She learned the hard way the rockstar life is not for her.

I really struggled with this book. I like rock star romances and figured a light boy band second chance love story was right up my alley. Sadly the brothers seemed to suffer from Peter Pan Syndrome. Despite all being in their late 20’s-early 30’s, they still acted like teenagers. The heroine was just as bad. Between her refusal to talk things out like an adult and the way she ran every time something got hard, I had a hard time buying that she was an adult with a successful string of dance studios under her.

I really believed Grady cared for her, but I wasn’t as convinced of Arabella’s feelings. She was closed off and ran at the first sign of trouble or drama. Because she didn’t stick with him, despite her saying she loved Grady, I didn’t buy it.

The premise was good, and I enjoyed some of it. I may continue on with the series.

2.75 out of 5

two-half-stars


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