Tag: 3.0 Reviews

Audiobook Review: Feral Magic by Robin D. Owens

Posted October 17, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Audiobook Review: Feral Magic by Robin D. OwensReviewer: Holly
Feral Magic by Robin D. Owens
Narrator: Natasha Soudek
Publisher: TKA Distribution
Publication Date: December 18, 2012
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 96
Length: 3 hours and 47 minutes
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-stars

A blue moon rises, bringing with it magic and danger to a sleeping Denver.

Brandy Svensson mourns her lost soldier fiancee and struggles to move on. Her own near-death experience has brought her an odd "gift" – she has a telepathic connection with cats. She's coping with life’s changes until the night she finds a lost jaguar cub, just the start of the greatest changes of all...

Dak, a warrior Pantherman, is alarmed when his baby nephew, the Chief of the klatch, vanishes. Dak must find the infant before his enemies do...or be branded a murderer and risk igniting warfare among the clans.

When the cub turns into a human baby, shock and confusion flood Brandy. And when a full-grown jaguar arrives to claim him, then transforms into a man, fascination sweeps through her. Dak's protective instincts are triggered by this lovely woman, and the certainty that he's followed by a killer.

Drawn together in their fight to protect the baby, Brandy and Dak confront the enemy and the final choice threatens. Will the feral magic they've discovered together save or doom them?

I was looking for a short listen for my morning commute when I came across this one. I love Owens’ HeartMates series and figured I’d give this one a listen.

Brandi wakes up one morning after a near death experience and can telepathically speak to cats. Some months later when one of her ferals tells her another cat needs her help, she isn’t as shocked as she should be to find a panther shifter cub. When his uncle shows up to get him, Brandi learns they’re from an alternate universe and enemies are after them. Together she and Dak must work together to get his nephew home in one piece.

The narrator was so.freaking.slow. I ended up listening to it at 3x speed and even then I felt like it drug on a bit. That aside, the story itself was good. It was just a short story that ended too soon, but I liked the world and the way the story developed. It ended on a cliffhanger of sorts. I’d continue reading if this turns into a series.

3.0 out of 5

three-stars


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Review: The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo by Kerrigan Byrne

Posted October 17, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo by Kerrigan ByrneReviewer: Holly
The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo (Victorian Rebels, #6) by Kerrigan Byrne
Series: Victorian Rebels #6
Also in this series: The Highlander
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Publication Date: August 28, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 333
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Goodreads
three-stars

The bravest of heroes. The brashest of rebels. The boldest of lovers. These are the men who risk their hearts and their souls—for the passionate women who dare to love them…

He is known only as The Rook. A man with no name, no past, no memories. He awakens in a mass grave, a magnificent dragon tattoo on his muscled forearm the sole clue to his mysterious origins. His only hope for survival—and salvation—lies in the deep, fiery eyes of the beautiful stranger who finds him. Who nurses him back to health. And who calms the restless demons in his soul…

A LEGENDARY LOVE

Lorelei will never forget the night she rescued the broken dark angel in the woods, a devilishly handsome man who haunts her dreams to this day. Crippled as a child, she devoted herself to healing the poor tortured man. And when he left, he took a piece of her heart with him. Now, after all these years, The Rook has returned. Like a phantom, he sweeps back into her life and avenges those who wronged her. But can she trust a man who’s been branded a rebel, a thief, and a killer? And can she trust herself to resist him when he takes her in his arms?

The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo is the first book I’ve read in Kerrigan Byrne’s Victorian Rebels series. A friend was talking about it and it piqued my interest, so I downloaded it from NetGalley. We saw quite a few of the couples from previous books, but I don’t feel like I missed much by starting here. It read fine as a stand-alone.

Lorelie was crippled as a child and therefore rarely leaves the family estate. When she finds and rescues a young man who’s been beaten nearly to death, she finds sudden purpose for her life. Caring for him becomes everything to her. They fall in love, but he disappears without a trace. For 20 years she longs for him, until one day he returns. But the devilish pirate who returns to avenge her isn’t the same boy she once knew and loved…or is he?

I really loved the first half. The angst and emotion from both main characters really pulled me in, as did the suspense of who, exactly, the boy with the dragon tattoo was. Unfortunately the story lost me somewhere around the halfway point. I think I’d have liked to see less focus on the emotional aspects of the book and more on the action. I know, I know, that’s not something us romance readers generally want. But the purple prose of the love-scenes along with the heavy focus on the “L” word really pulled me out of the story. Plus, the amount of time spent on how each character was feeling made the story feel heavy and bogged down.

I really loved parts of it – most notably the hero’s devotion to his lady – but I’d have liked to see more focus on the outside conflict, and more action.

3 out of 5

Victorian Rebels

three-stars


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Review: Light My Fire by Christie Ridgway

Posted October 15, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Light My Fire by Christie RidgwayReviewer: Holly
Light My Fire (Rock Royalty, #1) by Christie Ridgway
Series: Rock Royalty #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: July 15, 2014
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 258
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Goodreads
three-stars

Years ago, Rolling Stone magazine dubbed the nine collective children of the most famous band in the world “Rock Royalty.” Now all grown up, the princes and princesses are coming back to L.A.’s Laurel Canyon to discover if love can be found among the ruins of a childhood steeped in sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll.

One touch will start a fire…World-weary band tour manager Ren Colson leaves his London business behind for a stay in Southern California, never expecting to wake up beside Cilla Maddox. Cilla Maddox—who in the years since their last meeting has turned sexy as hell. But she deserves more than a man hardened by long nights, dark roads, and too many faceless women.

One night will change her world…Cilla Maddox not once imagined she’d see the bad boy of her dreams again. But then he’s sharing her air, her home, her bed. Though he claims he has no heart, she wants it to be hers. Can she convince him that the flames that leap between them might signify forever?

It’s been several years since I read anything by Ridgway. This was a free Kindle download. I’m a sucker for rock star romances, and the premise of this one intrigued me.

The children of rock band Velvet Lemon have been dubbed Rock Royalty by the media. They grew up surrounded by sex, drugs and rock-n-roll. None of them have really managed to form lasting connections, but youngest child Cilla craves family more than most. Since her latest relationship ended very badly, she’s home licking her wounds and mourning the loss of her surrogate mother, Gwen, a groupie who took all the kinds under her wing. Gwen left each kid something personal of hers and Cilla figure cataloging the collection of costumes she got is a great excuse to regroup. Only she didn’t expect Ren, another Lemon kid, to show up at the same time.

Ren has always been a loner. He isn’t looking to connect with his family or a romantic relationship, but he can’t deny he’s attracted to Cilla. When it becomes clear the attraction is mutual, he knows he can’t resist. As long as she knows the score, all will be well, right? What could possibly go wrong…

Light My Fire wasn’t a bad read, but the characters read as very young. Ren’s bad-boy persona was told more than shown, and I got frustrated with Cilla several times because she seemed so immature. I did like the other siblings and the way that part of the story was told. I also liked the connection between Ren and Cilla, and how their romance developed. There were a lot of unanswered questions, but I assume they’ll be cleared up in the following books, since there are 9 in the series.

Overall this was a quick read. Not a lot of substance, but entertaining.

3 out of 5

Rock Royalty

three-stars


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Guest Review: Tempted by Love by Jennifer Ryan

Posted October 3, 2018 by Jen in Reviews | 4 Comments

Guest Review: Tempted by Love by Jennifer RyanReviewer: Jen
Tempted by Love (Montana Heat, #3) by Jennifer Ryan
Series: Montana Heat #3
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: August 21, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 400
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-stars

She was this Montana Man’s greatest temptation . . .

Alina Cooke—little sister of his two best friends—is the last woman DEA agent Jay Bennett should be waking up next to on the day of her brother’s wedding. But their powerful attraction ignited a powder keg of desire, and their once simple friendship has just become impossibly complicated.

Alina’s always been steady, focused, and lived on the safe side of life. Jay is totally devoted to his dangerous job. She knows a future with him will be filled with worry that one day he won’t come home. She’s done it with her brothers. She’s not sure she can face that uncertainty with the man she loves. Yet being in his arms is a bad idea they keep repeating, again and again.

When Alina is run off the road, Jay fears his job has made her a target. But the threat in Alina’s life is closer than they think. As the enemy gets more ruthless, Alina proves she’s no easy target and Jay will do anything to bring them down. Because surviving and being together is the only thing that matters.

Alina Cooke is the sister of the previous heroes of the series. She’s a pharmacist, not involved in the scary, larger-than-life world of her DEA agent brothers. When she and DEA agent Jay Bennett have a drunken hook up at a wedding, Alina is pretty sure Jay and his dangerous lifestyle is not what she needs. But soon there is danger surrounding Alina too, and she and Jay have to figure out why, as well as whether they both can handle all that comes with letting another person into your heart.

I have sort of mixed feelings about this series, and this book was no exception. On the one hand, there is a lot of action. With some small exceptions in this book, no one acts too stupid or reckless. The love between Alina and Jay was so, so sweet, and while I am sure it will come across as overly saccharine to some, I enjoyed the dynamic of their relationship for the most part. I also really liked seeing Jay doing his job and interacting with his colleagues. They have good camaraderie and it was fun to read. I thought the plot was interesting, and while there is no mystery the action keeps things exciting.

The relationship between Alina and Jay does move VERY fast, however. I perhaps could have gotten over that if they had been closer before, but the book makes it very clear that while they’ve known each other a while they’ve never really talked much or had much to do with each other. So for them to go from “getting to know you” to “this feels life-changing” in mere moments seemed excessive. Couple that with a lot of overwrought descriptions of how wonderful the other person makes them feel and how momentous their interactions were in every second together and it got a bit ridiculous. In addition, there wasn’t much keeping them apart other than their own hang-ups. They easily could have gotten together forever after only a fraction of the book, but of course, there was still 10 lbs of plot to resolve at that point. There was also no reason, other than to draw out the story, that Alina and Jay wouldn’t have figured out the villain’s plan earlier. There were many clues and suspicious happenings, and each time they are brushed away with barely a thought. Alina is brilliant and Jay is a hyper-suspicious DEA agent–there is no way all these mounting clues would have escaped at least their notice. It was contrived.

I liked these characters and I’m pretty interested in the larger story arcs that were continued in this book. Even if this series isn’t my favorite, I plan to read the next book.

Grade: 3 out of 5

Montana Heat

three-stars


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Review: The Woman Left Behind by Linda Howard

Posted September 28, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Woman Left Behind by Linda HowardReviewer: Casee
The Woman Left Behind (GO-Team, #2) by Linda Howard
Narrator: Saskia Maarleveld
Series: GO-Team #2
Also in this series: Troublemaker (GO-Team, #1), Troublemaker (GO-Team, #1), Troublemaker (GO-Team, #1), The Woman Left Behind (GO-Team, #2), The Woman Left Behind (GO-Team, #2)
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: March 6, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 368
Length: 11 hours, 35 minutes
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Goodreads
three-stars

Jina Modell works in Communications for a paramilitary organization, and she really likes it. She likes the money, she likes the coolness factor—and it was very cool, even for Washington, DC. She liked being able to kick terrorist butts without ever leaving the climate-controlled comfort of the control room.

But when Jina displays a really high aptitude for spatial awareness and action, she’s reassigned to work as an on-site drone operator in the field with one of the GO-teams, an elite paramilitary unit. The only problem is she isn’t particularly athletic, to put it mildly, and in order to be fit for the field, she has to learn how to run and swim for miles, jump out of a plane, shoot a gun...or else be out of a job.

Team leader Levi, call sign Ace, doesn’t have much confidence in Jina—who he dubbed Babe as soon as he heard her raspy, sexy voice—making it through the rigors of training. The last thing he needs is some tech geek holding them back from completing a dangerous, covert operation. In the following months, however, no one is more surprised than he when Babe, who hates to sweat, begins to thrive in her new environment, displaying a grit and courage that wins her the admiration of her hardened, battle-worn teammates. What’s even more surprising is that the usually very disciplined GO-team leader can’t stop thinking about kissing her smart, stubborn mouth…or the building chemistry and tension between them.

Meanwhile, a powerful Congresswoman is working behind the scenes to destroy the GO-teams, and a trap is set to ambush Levi’s squad in Syria. While the rest of the operatives set off on their mission, Jina remains at the base to control the surveillance drone, when the base is suddenly attacked with explosives. Thought dead by her comrades, Jina escapes to the desert where, brutally tested beyond measure, she has to figure out how to stay undetected by the enemy and make it to her crew in time before they’re exfiltrated out of the country.

But Levi never leaves a soldier behind, especially the brave woman he’s fallen for. He’s bringing back the woman they left behind, dead or alive.

I’m relatively new to listening to audiobooks. I’ve listened to four audiobooks in my life. I listened to a Harlen Coben books (weird, huh?) about 20 years ago when he was super popular. In more recent times, I’ve listened to the first two Harry Potter books and this book. I adored the narrator of the HP books. I am on the fence about this narrator. I admit, some of it was me. She talked super slow. Like super slow. I didn’t know I could speed it up. My bad. So I did that and it wasn’t so bad.

Jina Modell works in Communications for a paramilitary organization. She likes being safe in an office. Her life changes when a test that she didn’t even know she had taken shows that she has an aptitude for field work. She’s put into training with a GO-Team and a year of heaven and hell commences.

She’s immediately attracted to Levi Butcher, the GO-Team leader, but knows it can’t go anywhere. For one, he’s her team leader. For another, it’s clear that he doesn’t think much of her. As a woman, Jina thinks that she has to prove herself more than any man would. So she pushes herself harder and farther than she ever thought she could go.

Levi wants her. He has wanted her since the first time he heard her raspy, sexy as hell voice. But she’s off limits. To him and to the guys on the team. If he breaks his own rule, it would kill the trust he has with his team and he is not willing to do that, not even for Jina. So he pushes her harder that he’s ever pushed anyone. He doesn’t cut her any slack, hoping she will quit, knowing that she’ll quit. Except she thrives like he doesn’t expect. Soon she’s a member of their team and Levi knows he might never have her.

When a mission takes them to Syria, they have no idea that they’ve been setup. When the mission that Jina is directing the drone from explodes, Levi is sure that he’s dead. He can’t go back for her body until he gets his injured men to the helicopter. When he does and he turns to go back for Jina, he’s astounded when he sees her running toward the helicopter.

They left her. That’s all Jina could think. She ran five hours in the desert. Five hours until her feet were nothing but raw meat to get to the helicopter before she was left in the desert. Logically she knew that Levi thought she was dead and was going to come back for her. He had to take care of the two injured teammates. But it doesn’t help. He left her.

I’m not really sure how I feel about this book. LH’s writing has changed drastically. I’m just not really emotionally invested. There was so much of the book that concentrated on Jina’s training, it got boring. Like I know that she’s honed like the blade of a knife. She’s a kick ass woman. Hear her roar. I really admired her. I also admired Levi for his restraint. The tension between the two was off the charts. Still, there was something missing for me.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

GO-Team

three-stars


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