Tag: 2.75 Reviews

Guest Review: The Au Pair by Emma Rous

Posted April 3, 2019 by Ames in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Au Pair by Emma RousReviewer: Ames
The Au Pair by Emma Rous
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: January 8, 2019
Format: Print
Source: Library
Genres: Suspense, Thriller
Pages: 379
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two-half-stars

A grand estate, terrible secrets, and a young woman who bears witness to it all. If V. C. Andrews and Kate Morton had a literary love child, Emma Rous’ The Au Pair would be it.

Seraphine Mayes and her twin brother Danny were born in the middle of summer at their family’s estate on the Norfolk coast. Within hours of their birth, their mother threw herself from the cliffs, the au pair fled, and the village thrilled with whispers of dark cloaks, changelings, and the aloof couple who drew a young nanny into their inner circle.

Now an adult, Seraphine mourns the recent death of her father. While going through his belongings, she uncovers a family photograph that raises dangerous questions. It was taken on the day the twins were born, and in the photo, their mother, surrounded by her husband and her young son, is beautifully dressed, smiling serenely, and holding just one baby.

Who is the child and what really happened that day?

One person knows the truth, if only Seraphine can find her.

This book caught my eye when it was appearing on lists of books to look forward to in 2019 so I requested it from my local library. Knowing it was about a nanny I had a few predictions about what would happen and I wasn’t wrong but oh man I wasn’t right either!

The Au Pair begins with Seraphine going through her father’s things after he’s passed away. She finds a photograph that was taken on the day she was born, which also happens to be the day her mom died (suicide), which shows her mother holding one baby but also looking really happy. Seraphine is a twin so she’s consumed by the question why there’s only one baby in the picture and why her mom looks so happy when only hours later she took her own life. This mystery has Seraphine tracking down Laura, the nanny her parents used that summer before her and her brother were born. Immediately after talking to Laura, who requests that she be left alone, Seraphine starts getting threatening messages left around her house.

Between this modern day search for the truth, the Au Pair also flashes back to that summer from Laura’s point of view. I thought Laura’s story was more interesting than Seraphine’s although not a lot happens. She’s a student who’s hired to nanny for a couple who already have a little boy. The mother has some mental health issues that her mother and husband keep asking Laura how she’s doing. The husband is away all week working in London and comes home on the weekends to be with his family. The only excitement is when Laura develops a crush on Alex, a friend to the family who comes to visit from time to time.

I have to say, I was somewhat enjoying this book for a good two-thirds of the story but then once the mystery started to be revealed to the reader I was not impressed. Laura’s feelings about things that were happening were very flat and there was no depth to her. I was right about something I predicted happening but then the train went completely off the rails and started flying around the moon. LOL That’s honestly how crazy the plot became. Also, for a book taking place in 2017, why didn’t Seraphine take pictures with her freaking cell phone of the threatening messages that were being left for her? I have to admit that really annoyed me. The danger was weak in the end and the mystery was crazy pants and not in a good way. In the end I’m only going to give the Au Pair

Grade: 2.75 out of 5

two-half-stars


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Review: Wild Irish by C.M. Seabrook

Posted March 18, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Wild Irish by C.M. SeabrookReviewer: Holly
Wild Irish by C.M. Seabrook
Narrator: Kyle Maraglio
Series: Wild Irish #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: May 29, 2017
Format: Audiobook, eBook
Source: Audible Romance Package, Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 277
Length: 5 hours and 19 minutes
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Reading Challenges: Holly's 2019 New to Me Challenge, New to Me Challenge
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three-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

I went searching for trouble and I found it. I just didn't expect to find it in the form of Cillian Gallagher.

The gorgeously tatted lead singer and guitarist of Wild Irish, Cillian is everything I've always tried to stay away from. He's wild and dangerous. And exactly what I need to cross off number four on my bucket list.

Kiss a complete stranger.

It should have been that simple. But I wasn't prepared for the scorching heat that would ignite a passion, leaving us both gasping for air.

It was never meant to be more than a fling.

I didn't expect that when I left Ireland, I'd be leaving a piece of my heart, or how our lives would be intertwined even when we were thousands of miles apart.

One last request.

One life-changing list.

One month of no regrets.

I ran from my boring, simple life, straight into the arms of trouble. The thing with trouble is that it has a way of finding you, no matter where you go.

I was looking for some Ireland-set novels for St. Patrick’s Day and grabbed this one from the Audible Romance Package. About 30% in I nabbed the ebook from KU, because I was having a hard time with how slow the narrator was. I actually really liked his voice and his Irish accent for Cillian, but it was sooo…..slooooww.

Delaney’s sister recently passed away after a long battle with an illness. The same week she loses her job and finds her fiance in bed with another woman, she decides to take her sister’s bucket list to Ireland and complete it for her. Her first day in she’s run off the road by a sexy, tattooed man and ends up going home with him because her car is totaled. While she waits for the insurance thing to get figured out, they strike up a sort-of friendship, wish is doused in a liberal amount of attraction and chemistry.

Cillian is the lead singer of a popular rock band. He’s taking a break to lick his wounds after being betrayed by his brother – another band member. Since the entire band has chosen to take his brother’s side, Cillian is avoiding all of them and trying to decide if he wants to pursue a legal battle to get himself out of their upcoming tour. In the meantime, he’s drinking himself drunk every night and basically wallowing in misery. Until he sees her…She lights up his world for the first time in months, and he knows he won’t be able to resist her.

The first half of this book was really good. Delaney arriving in Ireland and meeting Cillian, the mystery behind his brother’s betrayal (the betrayal itself is mentioned, but not the details), their attraction; I enjoyed all of it. Cillian wants to avoid his bandmates as long as possible, so he decides to take Delaney on a tour of Ireland so she can mark things off her list. I especially enjoyed the couple weeks they were away, getting to know each other and exploring – though even then I’d have liked to see more of them sharing with each other and opening up. More about that later.

The second half kind of lost me. Cillian has trust issues and he takes that out on Delaney several times. There’s a four month break while they’re apart, then a lot more trust issues. Going back to what I said earlier, they didn’t share enough with each other. We didn’t get to see them open up and spill their secrets, then come to some kind of understanding with each other. Plus, Cillian’s anger and irrational actions because of said anger really turned me off. Not to mention the resolution with his brother was glossed over and half-assed. I’m sure it’ll be addressed more in the second book, but I don’t think I’ll be continuing.

I was going to give this a 3 out of 5, because I really enjoyed the first half, but I’m lowering it to 2.75 after writing this review. I wish it had continued on as it began.

Rating: 2.75 out of 5

Wild Irish

three-stars


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Review: Wild Hunger by Chloe Neill

Posted January 4, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Wild Hunger by Chloe NeillReviewer: Holly
Wild Hunger by Chloe Neill
Series: Heirs of Chicagoland #1
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: August 14, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating First and Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 352
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three-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

In the first thrilling installment of Chloe Neill's spinoff to the New York Times bestselling Chicagoland Vampires series, a new vampire will find out just how deep blood ties run.

As the only vampire child ever born, some believed Elisa Sullivan had all the luck. But the magic that helped bring her into the world left her with a dark secret. Shifter Connor Keene, the only son of North American Central Pack Apex Gabriel Keene, is the only one she trusts with it. But she's a vampire and the daughter of a Master and a Sentinel, and he's prince of the Pack and its future king.

When the assassination of an ambassador brings old feuds to the fore again, Elisa and Connor must choose between love and family, between honor and obligation, before Chicago disappears forever.

Wild Hunger is the start of The Heirs of Chicagoland spinoff series. This is my first Chloe Neill. I meant to read the Chicagoland Vampire series years ago but never got around to it. Since this is the start of a new series (featuring the heirs of the characters from the Chicagoland series) I figured it was a good place to start. While the premise was interesting and the overall story good, the main characters were very immature.

Elisa Sullivan is the only vampire child ever born. As she’s grown up, she’s found it difficult to find her place in the world without constantly being judged by what her parents have done. She ended up going to school in Paris and taking an apprenticeship with a vampire house for a year after. Her first assignment is to guard the members of the Paris house as they travel to Chicago to a peace summit being led by her parents. When a vampire is killed the first night of the summit and a shifter is blamed for it, Elisa knows there’s something fishy going on. Determined to get to the bottom, she and her best friend, along with Connor, son of the local pack alpha, team up to investigate.

I really enjoyed the basic premise of the story. Trying to puzzle out how the fairies were involved in the scheme with the vampires is what kept me reading. Elisa and Connor were both pretty immature and didn’t do a lot for me. Elisa, especially, drove me crazy. She jumped into things without thinking and kept a major secret from pretty much everyone for the entirety of the book. She read more like an 18-year-old than a 23-year-old.

This read more like a young adult novel than anything else. As the book wore on, the immaturity of the heroine really began to bother me and detracted from my overall enjoyment. It’s possible I’d feel differently if I’d read the Chicagoland series and therefore had some kind of connection to these characters. As it stands, I doubt I’ll continue on.

2.75 out of 5

Heirs of Chicagoland

three-stars


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Audiobook Review: For the Love of English by A.M. Hargrove

Posted October 16, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Audiobook Review: For the Love of English by A.M. HargroveReviewer: Holly
For the Love of English by A.M. Hargrove
Narrator: Jason Clarke, Erin Mallon
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: September 15, 2016
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 377
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two-half-stars

From
USA Today
Bestselling Author, A.M. Hargrove, comes a New Adult, Single Dad, Sexy, Stand Alone Romance.

Single dad, Beckley Bridges, is sexy as hell. No, really, he’s the hottest thing since the sun was created. Honest to God, crack an egg on him and the thing will sizzle.So what’s the problem? He’s also a gigantic jerk. I hate the bastard. I try to avoid him at all costs. But for some reason, everywhere I go he seems to show up.

Only the real issue is his daughter, English.She’s an adorable quirky first-grader who’s the sweetest thing since iced tea.And she’s one of my students but also the love of his life.So I have to deal with him on a professional level. It’s not easy. On a scale of easy to hard, dealing with Beckley Bridges is like nails screeching across a blackboard.

But when English’s mother tries to gain custody after abandoning her on Beckley’s doorstep as an infant, he’ll do anything possible to keep English under his roof.

That’s how he ends up propositioning me.

And crazy as it sounds?


I find myself considering it.

This is a full-length novel that includes mature content not suitable younger readers.

I’m a total sucker for hot single dads. We could get into all the reasons why, but let’s just say these are my crack and leave it at that. Beck was a super hot single dad. He was intense and focused when it came to his daughter, English, and I loved how great he was when it came to being her parent. The chemistry between Beck and Sheridan was pretty thick. I liked that aspect of their relationship. I also liked how the relationship between Sheridan and English developed. I also really liked the narrators. Both did great voices and didn’t annoy me at all.

Here’s what I didn’t like:

1) The stupid contrived drama toward the middle of the book that separated the couple. It was just that, stupid and contrived. Both their reactions were over the top and the resolution was flat.
2) The even more stupid and contrived reason for them to get married in the first place. In the realm of reality, this charted somewhere around the Earth really just being a small glass ball some purple and orange alien is spinning on its finger.
3) The entire plot based around English’s bio mom. The.Entire.Plot.

Had this been a straight up contemporary romance about a grumpy hot single dad who accidentally falls in love with his daughter’s first grade teacher, I’d have been all over it. The writing was smooth and I liked the romance itself. As it is, the rest really marred my enjoyment. I’m surprised my eyes didn’t roll out of my head.

2.75 out of 5

two-half-stars


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Review: Baby Daddy by Kendall Ryan

Posted August 22, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: Baby Daddy by Kendall RyanReviewer: Rowena
Baby Daddy by Kendall Ryan
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: February 27, 2018
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 319
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two-half-stars

We met in a trapped elevator.

Emmett was on his way to work, sophisticated and handsome in his tailored suit and tie.

I was on my way to the sperm bank. Awkward, right?

At thirty-five, my life hadn’t taken the path I thought it would and I was tired of waiting—I wanted a baby. And I was ready to take matters into my own hands to make it happen.

After our ill-fated elevator encounter, Emmett insisted on taking me to dinner—he also insisted on something else—that I ditch my plan involving a turkey baster and let him do the job. He would be my baby daddy. He was a wealthy and powerful CEO with little interest in diapers or playdates. And since he didn’t want kids, I’d be on my own once his bun was in my oven, free to go my own way.

But once his baby was inside me, it was like a switch had been flipped, and I got a whole lot more than I ever bargained for.

This full-length standalone contains a hot, swoonworthy hero, lots of playful banter and some hot baby-making s-e-x! Enjoy.

This is the first book that I’ve actually read by Kendall Ryan and I’m on the fence on if she’s for me or not. I mean, I didn’t end up hating this book but the more that I think about it, the lower my grade seems to go.

So the hero and the heroine of this book meet in an elevator and then get stuck. The hero was on his way to work and the heroine was on her way to the sperm bank (in the same building) to purchase some sperm so that she can have a baby on her own. They’re in the elevator all by themselves and get to talking and by the elevator is working again, the hero wants to the heroine to think about letting him be her baby daddy instead of going to the sperm bank.

Emmett is the CEO of a huge company who is actually trying to buy Jenna’s independent bookstore to add to his company’s collection of businesses. He also happens to work in the same building where Jenna’s sperm bank is. When their elevator goes down and they’re stuck in there, he takes notice of Jenna and he likes what he sees. When he suggests her nixing the sperm bank idea and letting him try to get her pregnant the old fashion way, she’s taken aback and then she’s interested. Why wouldn’t she be interested, Emmett is hot shit and if he wants to get her pregnant without sticking around then why not?

Now let’s talk about the good. The good thing is that the further I got into the book, the less I wanted to strangle both Emmett and Jenna. Emmett comes to genuinely care about Jenna and though he stumbles around, you can really tell he’s all in. He’s just having a hard time making Jenna understand that. I thought their story wrapped up pretty nicely and enjoyed the epilogue, seeing them in the future. Also? The sex is plentiful and extremely hot. That’s not too shabby.

The bad thing about this book was in the beginning, I wanted to strangle Jenna more times than I can count. I read this book for book club and I don’t know how long I spent putting the book down so that I can text vent to my bestie about how dumb everything is. The way Jenna acted the first time they hook up, didn’t make a lick of sense. She stiffens when he kisses her. She didn’t expect him to take off his clothes. He’s wanted to bang her since they were stuck in the elevator and she acts all surprised that he’s attracted to her? WTF? He wants to bang you, get you pregnant and then leave you to your baby. Use your head. Just the way that she seemed too naive to be real really annoyed me.

The further I read into the book, the more things started to get better but still, I’m on the fence on if I’d give another book by Kendall Ryan a go. This book was pretty much all sex in the beginning and not a lot of substance. The whole thing with Jenna finding out that Emmett is the CEO of the company that is trying to buy her business was rushed and didn’t really do much for me so while I can’t say that I absolutely hated this book, it’s not anything that I’d read again.

Grade: 2.75 out of 5

two-half-stars


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