Tag: 3.0 Reviews

Review: Midnight Target by Elle Kennedy

Posted April 25, 2017 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Midnight Target by Elle KennedyReviewer: Casee
Midnight Target by Elle Kennedy
Series: Killer Instincts #8
Also in this series: Midnight Revenge, Midnight Rescue, Midnight Alias, Midnight Games, Midnight Pursuits, Midnight Action, Midnight Revenge, Midnight Captive, Midnight Target
Published by Signet
Publication Date: April 25th 2017
Genres: Romantic Suspense
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From the New York Times bestselling author of The Score and Midnight Revenge...
Four years ago, Cate’s entire life changed when she discovered she was the daughter of a supersoldier. But Jim Morgan’s overprotectiveness has pushed her away. These days, she’s working as a freelance photographer and living the dangerous life Jim never wanted for her.
When Cate snaps a photo linking a corrupt South American politician with the leader of a notorious drug cartel, her mercenary father leads a team to rescue her—only to get shot and critically wounded in the process.
As Morgan’s operatives rally together on a revenge mission, they’re faced with new alliances and old heartaches. Cate is forced to work with David “Ash” Ashton, the man who broke her heart two years ago, while Liam Macgregor and Sullivan Port resurface after years apart to finally try to deal with everything they’d left unsaid.
Soon it’s all-out war between the cartel and the mercenaries—with two couples caught in the middle of the blood feud. Love and redemption are within their reach...but first they have to make it home alive.

Midnight Target brings the Killer Instincts series to a close. I have to say, I haven’t enjoyed a series as much as this one in quite sometime. It’s sad to see it come to a close.

Cate Morgan has only known her father for five years, but they are alike in every way that counts. They both crave the adrenaline that they know a dangerous job can bring. Morgan wants his daughter to live the normal life that he never had. He wants her to go to college, marry a normal man, live in the suburbs. Cate wants adventure, danger, and love. She’s rebelled against everything that her father wants for her.

Cate is in Guantana where the civil unrest is at an all time high. The military is barely keeping the peace and the drug cartels almost have full control of the country. Cate is there with a colleague taking pictures and she snaps a photo of the most dangerous man in the world. Which might not be a big deal if he wasn’t supposed to be dead. When men come after her, she has no choice but to call her father and his men in for extraction.

When her father is critically wounded while trying to rescue her, Cate is devastated. She’s also furious. She desperately wants to be a part of the operation to strike back at those responsible. Her stepmother, Noelle, is fine with it, but David “Ash” Ashton is far from fine with putting Cate in the line of fire.

I loved Ash. He was spectacular. I completely disliked Cate. She was a spoiled brat. I really liked her in Midnight Action. I thought I would like her in this book, but she was only twenty one. I don’t think she had enough time to grow up.

My favorite part of this book was Liam and Sully. They have been dancing around each other since Midnight Action. Liam was devastated when Sully disappeared. Their love story was told over many of the books, and the conclusion was perfect. Their story is why I loved this book. Elle Kennedy really pushed the envelope with their relationship and I applaud her for that.

Cate and Ash rating: 3 out of 5.

Liam and Sully rating: 4.25 out of 5.

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Guest Review: Marrying the Wrong Earl by Callie Hutton

Posted April 21, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Marrying the Wrong Earl by Callie HuttonReviewer: Tracy
Marrying the Wrong Earl by Callie Hutton
Series: Lords and Ladies in Love #2
Published by Entangled Publishing
Publication Date: April 17th 2017
Genres: Historical, Romance
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three-stars

Lady Arabella Danvers is happy with her life just the way it is. She is free to be herself and take care of broken and abandoned animals. Her mother is desperate for her to marry, and has decided to take things into her own hands. There is just one little problem with her plan.

Nash, the Earl of Clarendon has determined it is time to take a wife. He has selected a woman to whom he intends to propose. However, the annoying Lady Arabella has stumbled into his life at the wrong time, and in the wrong place. But he of all people should know if Lady Arabella is involved, plans will go awry.

Arabella is the daughter of an Earl.  After her father died the new Earl had stated that Arabella and her mother could stay put but her mother is determined to be nowhere near the new Earl when he returns from his travels.  Arabella’s mother decides that the best way to do this is to marry Arabella off but the men that she’s putting in front of her daughter are all old and Arabella has no desire to marry any of them.  Arabella wants to be left alone to care for the sick animals that she rescues.  Unfortunately her mother has other plans and ends up planning for Arabella to be caught in a room with one of her mother’s husband choices.  That doesn’t exactly work out for the mom as she hadn’t realized that there was already someone in the room when she sent Arabella in there.

Because of the possible scandal Nash, the Earl of Clarendon, insists on marrying Arabella and to save her reputation.  He doesn’t particularly like Arabella but he thinks her beautiful and wants her in his bed.  He hates that she rescue’s animals and wants her to be a “regular” wife who does needlepoint and watercolors and hosts dinner parties and well, he wants her to be boring.  Arabella is having none of it.  She continues to rescue animals after she’s married but Nash insists she stops.  Arabella tries to be everything that Nash wants her to be, but she is who she is and that causes friction in the marriage.

The plot of this book and the writing were good, I must say, but the story itself drove me batshit crazy.  Arabella was a kind soul who just wanted to live her life, be a kind person, and help her animals.  When she’s forced to marry Nash she’s not happy about it but decides to do her best.  That said, she’s not giving up her animals.  I admired Arabella for her kindness and her willingness to help those animals in need.  She tried to best to be what Nash needed but he wanted her to act like someone she wasn’t and it was too much.

Nash wants the perfect society wife.  He was about to offer for an 18-year-old deb but that was put to pasture when he’s caught with Arabella in the same room at a party.  Total coincidence. He decides to make the best of it but she frustrates the hell out of him with doing surgery on animals and not acting as a proper wife should. How do I put this kindly…Nash was an ass.  And I don’t mean he was an ass for half of the book and then redeemed himself.  No, he was an ass for 95% of the book and I disliked him intensely.  He was constantly berating Arabella and telling her what to do.  When there were callers at the house he would pull her aside and tell her how to act as if she’d never received anyone before marrying him.  She tried to get out of marrying him but he insisted and then was frustrated that she didn’t act like he wanted.  He wanted a piece of clay he could mold and he certainly didn’t get that.  Yes, I’m happy he figured shit out before the end of the book but it was a close one and frankly a little too late.

Frankly I couldn’t understand how Arabella even fell in love with the man.  He only treated her well when they were about to go to bed together or were in bed.  I think she was more in lust than anything but that’s just my opinion of course.  I personally think the writing saved this book for me because otherwise it would have gotten a lower rating. As it is I can only recommend this book if you like men who act like complete jerks otherwise you may throw your ereader across the room and I can’t have ereader destruction on my conscience.

Rating: 3 out of 5

three-stars

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Guest Review: The Gentleman’s Promise by Frances Fowlkes

Posted April 20, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Gentleman’s Promise by Frances FowlkesReviewer: Tracy
The Gentleman's Promise by Frances Fowlkes
Series: The Daughters of Amhurst #3
Also in this series: The Earl's New Bride, To Win a Viscount
Published by Entangled Publishing
Publication Date: April 17th 2017
Genres: Historical, Romance
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three-stars

A social pariah due to her scandalous activities, Lady Sarah Beauchamp yearns for redemption to obtain a husband. The assistance of Society darling Mr. Jonathon Annesley gives her hope of success. However, the more effort he puts into helping her, the more she realizes the only esteem she wishes to earn is that of the handsome Jonathon. However, her reputation would potentially ruin his political aspirations.

Offering a gentleman's promise to help his sister's friend regain the favor of the ton should be easy for son of a viscount, Jonathon Annesley. After all, he's well liked and considered a rising star in Parliament. Until he learns Sarah's ultimate goal is a husband. No man is good enough and could ever appreciate her for all she is. But she is not for him—his focus rests solely on gaining reforms for society's weakest members. Yet, a promise made cannot be broken…

Two years ago Sarah tried to help her sister out with a man by trying to get the competition out of the way.  She concocted some herbs and voila, it worked.  Unfortunately her other sister took such a liking to Sarah’s tea that she drank too much and almost killed herself.  Since that time Sarah has been in social exile.  No one wants anything to do with her as they believe that she poisoned people with nefarious intentions.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Her two sisters are married now and she feels like they’ve almost pushed her out of their lives as she can’t relate when they talk about marriage and children.

She does have her best friend, Olivia, and her family who she is staying with.   When they get an invitation to a hunt Olivia’s older brother Jonathon invites Sarah along and states that since he’s well regarded he can get people to change their minds about her.  He really had no idea how bad things were.  Nothing he says or does gets people to judge Sarah fairly.  Of course spending so much time with Sarah makes him realize he’s in love with her but his political aspirations make it so that he can’t marry her as his judgement would then be called into question and all the reform he’s been campaigning for would be an impossibility.

This was a sweet story that I enjoyed reading.  The concept of people looking down on women who are well read and smart makes my blood boil even though I know that it was historically common.  In the case of Sarah she wasn’t afraid to speak her mind and talk about things that interested her, especially if it could help someone else.  This didn’t do her any favors as she just couldn’t play the role of a no-brain debutante.  Jonathon did his best to play up Sarah and her beauty but people just couldn’t get past the “poisoning.”  Even when she helped a Marquess with a cold/flu people believed that she had poisoned him so that she could save him to make herself look better.  Ugh!  So frustrating.

I liked Jonathon and Sarah together.  It was a slow, sweet build-up to the romance and it was well written.  I liked their characters and Olivia’s as well.  We got to see Lord Satterfield again, who played a role in the first two books.  He was an ass in this book, imho, contradicting himself left and right.   Overall I thought the book was well done.

Rating: 3 out of 5

three-stars

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Retro Review/Rant: Can’t Stand the Heat by Louisa Edwards

Posted April 12, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 15 Comments

Retro Review/Rant: Can’t Stand the Heat by Louisa EdwardsReviewer: Holly
Can't Stand The Heat by Louisa Edwards
Series: Recipe for Love #1
Published by Macmillan
Publication Date: September 1st 2009
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 368
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one-star

For sharp-tongued food critic Miranda Wake, the chance to spend a month in Adam Temple's kitchen to write an exposé is a journalistic dream come true. Surely Miranda can find a way to cut the hotshot chef down to size once she learns what really goes on at his trendy Manhattan restaurant. But she never expected Adam to find out her most embarrassing secret: she has no idea how to cook.

Adam's not about to have his reputation burned by a critic who doesn't even know the difference between poaching and paring. He'll just have to give the tempting redhead a few private lessons of his own—teaching her what it means to cook with passion...and doing more with his hands than simply preparing sumptuous food.

*****As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.

This review/rant was originally posted on October 29, 2009.

WARNING: This review contains a major rant about the heroine. It will contain strong language and spoilers for the story. Read on at your own risk.

I’ve mentioned before that I generally have a dislike for heroines who are journalists. I’ve made some exceptions, but generally I try to stay away from novels featuring them, because I know I have a personal bias and I don’t want that to color my reading experience. I chose to pick this one up anyway because Miranda Wake is a food critic, rather than an investigative journalist (the type I generally have the biggest issues with). Also? It’s a foodie book and I’m a huge foodie.

I went into this expecting one thing, and got something else entirely.

Miranda Wake is a bitter food critic who desperately wants a book deal. On the pre-opening night of a new restaurant, Market, she gets blitzed and has it out with the Exec Chef and Owner, Adam Temple. She hasn’t even had his food yet, but she’s already spouting off about how he’s pretentious and his food sucks. So he challenges her to spend just one night in his kitchen, thinking to shut her up. Only she accepts.

Then his investor gets together with her editor and they decide she’ll stay for a month. Which is when she gets a book deal; she’s to write a book “dishing” about Adam Temple and what really goes on in his kitchen. While Miranda is busy digging up dirt on Adam and the entire staff, she finds herself falling in love with him. Which I completely understood, because I adored Adam.

He was sweet and adorable, with a strong sense of right and wrong. He was probably the best part about this book. I loved that even though he had preconceived notions about Miranda he set them aside and judged her on his own observations. I loved that he was tough but fair in the kitchen. I loved that he hired chefs based on their merits as cooks, rather than their diplomas or schooling. He had a somewhat gruff exterior, but inside he was kind and loving.

I absolutely adored the secondary characters. The entire kitchen staff came alive for me. I really felt like I was right there with them, laughing and joking and cooking fabulous food. They were a rag-tag bunch, but they really brought flavor and spice to the story.

As a side story, Miranda’s younger brother, Jesse, turns up from college (somewhere in the Midwest) saying he’s not going back. He gets a job at Market working as a server. As it turns out, he’s gay and falls in love with one of the sou chefs, Frankie, which Miranda hates. She thinks Frankie corrupted and tempted her poor straight brother into being gay.

I thought the story with the brother was cute, though I did struggle with his age quite a bit. He’s only 19. The problem is I wasn’t as bothered by that as I felt I should have been. Especially since Frankie is quite a bit older than him. Why is it that I’m willing to forgive a 19yo hero when he’s gay, but wouldn’t forgive a 19yo heroine (in a contemp) regardless? Once I got past that, though, I really enjoyed his part of the story.

So at this point in the book Miranda comes off as bitter, cynical and jaded. She’s also a complete control freak. Which is fine. I could have dealt with that if it had been one of the centerpieces of the story – how Miranda grew up. Unfortunately I didn’t find that to be the case.

Because at the end? She SAYS SHE LOVES HIM AND STILL SUBMITS THE FUCKING BOOK.

WHAT THE FUCK!?!?!?!?!

Her reason for doing so? She needs the money so she can pay for her brother to go to NYU. The problem? She only wants to pay for it to get him away from Frankie so he’ll go back to being “normal” instead of “gay”. Not only that, but he specifically told her he didn’t want her paying for his tuition. He said he wanted to be a responsible adult and contribute something himself. I understand that she wanted to help him as much as she could, but she SOLD OUT THE MAN SHE LOVED AND ALL HIS FRIENDS/EMPLOYEES to do it.

WHAT THE FUCK?!?!?!?!?!

And the best part? The only person she has to rely on and go to for support during this whole thing with her brother is Adam. She leans on him and lets him support her and SAYS SHE LOVES HIM AND THEN SELLS HIM OUT IN A CHEAP FUCKING BOOK!

WHAT THE FUCK?!?!?!?!?!

The thing is, I loved everything else about the book. The kitchen setting, the secondary characters, the hero. I even loved that the author included some of the recipes she used in the book (I’m sooo going to try them). I’m trying to decide if the heroine ruined the book for me, or if I can move past what she did. Right now I’d probably grade it:

3 out of 5 for the overall story, setting and characters
Bold
1 out of 5 for the heroine (maybe even a -1)

I did enjoy parts of it enough to want to read the next book in the series, On the Steamy Side, which will be available March, 2010.

Book CoverBook Cover

This book is available from St. Martin’s. You can buy it here or here (I’m not including a link to buy in e-format b/c I think St. Martin’s has terrible e-pricing. The paperback is $6.99 but the e-book is $14. WTF St. Martin’s? W.T.F?).

one-star

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Guest Review: Her Scottish Mistake by Michele de Winton

Posted April 11, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Her Scottish Mistake by Michele de WintonReviewer: Tracy
Her Scottish Mistake by Michele de Winton
Published by Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication Date: April 10th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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three-stars

Aspiring blogger Janie Milan is finally on her dream trip to Thailand. But when an unfortunate piña colada incident lands her in the path of a hot Scotsman, Janie finds herself dying to find out what's under his kilt. Only the frustratingly sexy man isn't who he's pretending to be…

After cutting a deal to keep his brother safe, Scottish heartthrob Blaine Galloway is hiding from the press. But his secret identity starts to slip the second he meets small-town blogger, Janie. Now the press is hot on their heels and Blaine’s life is tumbling into a tabloid-sponsored hell. Coincidence? He’s not so sure.

Janie is on the trip of her life in Thailand.  She needed to get away from her small town in Texas where her cheating ex was getting married to her ex-best friend.  Soon after she arrives she accidentally spills her piña colada onto a man who happens to be incredibly good looking.  She helps him clean up and they go their separate ways.  When they meet each other at breakfast the other day and find out at the same time that they’ve each been booked into a couples resort they take advantage and book a day trip together.  They get closer as they spend the days together and start to fall in love.

Blaine Calloway is a Scottish actor who needed to get away from his life and the press.  He’s taken a trip to Thailand because he figures it’s as far from the UK as he can get.  He ends up having a great time with Janie as he loves how down to earth she is.  She treats him like a real person, not an actor, even after he comes clean about who he is.

Unfortunately the press get wind of his getaway and come after him.  Blaine blames Janie and the shit hits the fan.  Can these two people be together when they feel they can’t trust each other?

This was an interesting little romance.  The idea of small town meeting foreign actor was a cute one and seemed to work at times during the book.  Unfortunately I didn’t feel like the H/h were suited to each other and had a hard time reading about them falling in love.  It wasn’t so much that they were different but that the way they were written I couldn’t feel it. Even when they were fighting with each other I didn’t feel the emotion between them and that was my biggest issue with the book.  If you can’t feel the love between characters how can you truly love their romance? You can’t.

Despite the lack of emotion I felt I thought that the Thai scenery was written really well.  I almost felt like I was there and I loved that.  It seemed like Blaine and Janie were going to wonderfully romantic destinations that were incredibly described.

The story is about not only two people falling in love but finding out where they belong in the lives they live.  Blaine needed to find out what he was doing with his acting career and Janie needed to find her place in her little town of Little Acre as it seemed as if she’d be stuck there the rest of her life.  She loved her family but she wanted to do more.  I thought this part of the book was well done as well and I liked seeing Janie with her little family that was a bit dysfunctional.

Overall it was a decent read but again, didn’t feel the love/romance at all.

Rating: 3 out of 5

three-stars

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