Tag: 3.0 Reviews

Review: Wife by Penelope Sky

Posted March 10, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Wife by Penelope SkyReviewer: Casee
Wife by Penelope Sky
Narrator: Michael Ferraiuolo, Lia Langola
Series: Betrothed #1
Also in this series: Betrothed (Betrothed #1), Husband
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: September 23, 2019
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 312
Length: 7 hours and 23 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Casee's 2020 New to Me Challenge, Goodreads Challenge
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three-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

I was 21 when the gypsy read my future:

As punishment for your crimes, you will only love one woman...but she'll never love you back.

I didn't believe a word of it.

Until I met Sofia Romano almost 10 years later.

I fell hard for this woman. Would die for this woman.

But she left me.

Now, years have passed, and Sofia needs a husband. Her father is gone, and her mother is trying to marry her off to a man that can protect their family, protect their company.

She's looking for someone powerful.

Check.

Someone rich.

Check.

Someone handsome.

Double check.

Now, it's my chance to have the only woman I've ever loved...and I'll make sure she feels the same way.

I have a lifetime to make that happen.

Wife is my first book by Penelope Sky. The summary sounded very interesting to me, so I decided to give it a try. I listened to it on audio. The narrators were pretty decent. No complaints on that from me.

Sophia has planned to run her family’s hotels since she was a small girl. When her father died, her stepfather took over. Her mother wants nothing more that for Sophia to marry; and stay out of the hotel business. She tells Sophia that it’s a man’s world and that is no place she should be. Of course Sophia doesn’t listen. She starts working at the hotel under her stepfather. That’s when she learns what the hotel really does.

It’s at the hotel that she meets Hades Lombardi. Hades had his fortune told by an old woman telling him that the woman he loves will never love him back. Hades puts this out of his mind. Until he meets Sophia. He immediately falls for her, but it’s clear that she is not interested in anything other than sex.

I liked Sophia and didn’t like Sophia. Instead of coming across as a strong-willed, capable woman, she seemed more like a bitchy shrew to me. She always fought Hades, she made sure that everyone in her life knew that she didn’t need a man in her life. Until she starts needing Hades. Needing doesn’t equal love and when she shoots Hades down after he suggests a real relationship, he’s had it. Love turns to hate. It left me wondering how the two reconcile. I had to wait for the next book. You do too!

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Betrothed


three-stars


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Guest Review: Sin & Spirit by K. F. Breene

Posted January 31, 2020 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Sin & Spirit by K. F. BreeneReviewer: Tracy
Sin & Spirit by K.F. Breene
Series: Demigods of San Francisco #4
Also in this series: Sin & Chocolate , Sin & Magic , Sin & Salvation
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: December 31, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 296
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Kieran has stepped up to take his place as the ruler of magical San Francisco. As his girlfriend, that unfortunately means I'm under the magnifying glass. Everything I do is noticed, from how I act to how I style my hair. Most notably, of course, is how little I know about my magic.

The Hades Demigods want me on their team, and they don’t plan to ask nicely. Kieran and I are both under fire. They will kill him to get to me, and they'll take me by force if necessary. It is essential I learn more of my magic.

With no other options, I do what scares me the most - I summon the last Spirit Walker to help train me. Except, he's a loose cannon with looser morals and learning spirit is treacherous. I might evade the Demigods only to be lost in spirit forever.

As it says in the blurb, Kieran has stepped up to take over San Francisco, but Lexi hasn’t quite found her place yet.  She has an office in the government building, but she insisted that she not get a huge office just because she’s Kieran’s girlfriend.  She has a small office and does charity work from there.  She’s having a hard time adjusting to being in the spotlight and “dressing” the part.  She just wants to be herself and go with jeans and t-shirts, but she can’t do that as the woman who stands beside the Demigod of San Francisco.

While finding her way through her job, she also is still trying to learn how to be a Spirit Walker and better control her magic. The last SW she knows of is dead and was an assassin, but desperate times and all.  She brings his spirit back and he tries to teach her some things.  She’s a natural of course, but some things are just hard for her to wrap her head around.

As if this isn’t enough drama in her life, Kieran and Lexi get attacked by one of the Demigod of Hades – of which there are 3 biggies.  One of those is her father, whom she’s never met.  He has killed off all of his children so Lexi’s not really anxious to meet the guy.  When the battle gets intense, and finally over, they realize that people are hurt, missing and sadly, dead.  This puts the couple and their group of friends on a mission with a deadline and they’re not sure they’ll make it in time to save everyone.

This was another great book in the Demigods of San Francisco series.  I really like what Breene has done with the relationship between Kieran and Lexi and can’t wait to watch it develop more in future books. This story, however, was a sad book and for me, lacked the humor that made the previous three books.  I know you can’t have a ton of humor when you’re working with death, obviously, but until that occurred in the book I wish there had just been a lighter side to it all.  I’m not sure how to explain it.

Overall, I really loved this book and can’t wait to read book 5 in the series.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Demigod of San Francisco

four-stars


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Guest Review: Under Currents by Nora Roberts

Posted January 2, 2020 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Under Currents by Nora RobertsReviewer: Tracy
Under Currents by Nora Roberts
Narrator: January LeVoy
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Publication Date: July 9, 2019
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Point-of-View: Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 436
Length: 14 hours and 36 minutes
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three-stars

Within the walls of a tasteful, perfectly kept house in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, young Zane Bigelow feels like a prisoner of war. Strangers—and even Zane’s own aunt across the lake—see his parents as a successful surgeon and his stylish wife, making appearances at their children’s ballet recitals and baseball games. Zane and his sister know the truth: There is something terribly wrong.

As his father’s violent, controlling rages—and his mother’s complicity—become more and more oppressive, Zane counts the years, months, days until he can escape. He looks out for little Britt, warning her Be smart. Be careful. In fear for his very life, he plays along with the insidious lie that everything is fine, while scribbling his real thoughts in a secret journal he must carefully hide away.

When one brutal, shattering night finally reveals cracks in the façade, Zane begins to understand that some people are willing to face the truth, even when it hurts. As he grows into manhood and builds a new kind of family, he will find that while the darkness of his past may always shadow him, it will also show him what is necessary for good to triumph—and give him strength to draw on when he once again must stand up and defend himself and the ones he loves…

This is a difficult review to write.  Not only because of the subject matter, but because I don’t want to add spoilers into it.

You’d think that the Bigelow family was perfect.  They had a big beautiful house, lots of money, the father is a doctor and the mother doesn’t even have to work!  The children are darned near perfect as well!  But behind closed doors no one knows the abuse that the wife and children suffer at the hands of the Dr. Bigelow – a monster. The mom does nothing to help her children as she’s fine with the abuse as long as he doesn’t hit her face.

WTF?

When the son of the family, Zane, is 14 years old his father goes a bit nuts and hurts every family member.  When the daughter calls the police, their father blames everything on Zane stating that he went crazy.  The police believe the father because he’s a doctor and why would he lie? Ugh.

The story eventually moves on to Zane’s adulthood and him falling for a new woman in town. She also was abused by her husband and is looking for a new life.  Zane is now a lawyer and has just moved back to town after working in a large city for years.  The story is about them falling in love and adjusting to their new lives.  Of course there can’t be a HEA without a villain to try to ruin it all.

This book is told in four parts. The first part was incredible, though very hard to listen to.  The abuse was graphic and hard to hear, but it was written incredibly well and narrated perfectly.  Unfortunately, parts 2-4 fell flat for me.  There were definitely things happening but there was too much every-day life being told.  I get that books need that, but not for 3 parts of the book, imho.  The parts that had to do with the villain were predictable and not that exciting.

The romance (and I use that term loosely) was truly unimaginative. I guess I just expect more from Roberts.  I know this isn’t classified as a romance, but if you’re going to include one in the book then it needs to be done well and I just can’t say that it was.

Overall it was a decent read, but not one I can highly recommend. That said, I adored the narrator, January LeVoy. Strong voice, great characters voices, and just a pleasure to listen to.

Rating: 3 out of 5

three-stars


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Guest Review: The Ugly Christmas Sweater by Jackie Paxson

Posted December 23, 2019 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Ugly Christmas Sweater by Jackie PaxsonReviewer: Tracy
The Ugly Christmas Sweater by Jackie Paxson
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: November 5, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Author
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 260
Add It: Goodreads
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three-stars

7 Reasons to Never Do a Favor for Your Best Friend:

1. It’s an ugly sweater party
2. The party is full of handsy executives
3. It’s an ugly sweater party
4. It’s an open bar and you need lots of alcohol to get through the party
5. It’s an ugly sweater party
6. Your friend leaves you to humiliate yourself in front of a sexy suit
7. It’s an ugly sweater party

Being a good friend means attending a corporate Christmas party with the ugliest sweater your friend could find. Cierra is a very good friend. However, coping with the party with the open bar lends her to humiliating herself with the sexiest guy there.

Justin knows the girl who threw up on his shoes at his company’s Christmas party, if only he could remember where. Between her drunken slurs and unfiltered conversation, she was the most fascinating woman he’d ever met.

Christmas is the season filled with love and cheer. Can a woman with no filter and a billionaire CEO find a way to survive the season, fall in love, and save an animal shelter in the process?

Cierra reluctantly says yes when one of her best friends asks her to attend her company Christmas party with her.  When she finds out it’s an ugly Christmas sweater party she’s even less thrilled.  She attends but decides to get completely drunk so she can drown out the fact that she’s there.  She doesn’t expect to meet a gorgeous man and do some dirty dancing.  She manages this, but by the time she met the man, she was already 3 sheets.  She ends up throwing up on him and then in the ladies room with the man holding her hair. 

Cierra is mortified the next day when she realizes what an ass she made of herself the night before.  When it turns out that the gorgeous guy she puked on is the one she’s been drooling over at the coffee shop, she’s mortified. (She was really drunk.  Drunk enough she didn’t even recognize the guy.) That doesn’t stop the man, Justin, from asking her out.  Cierra agrees and is thrilled when she has a great time. 

Cierra and Justin soon become an item, but there are issues to deal with.  Cierra is now working as an event planner at the company where Justin is the CEO.  He’s extremely wealthy, she’s not.  She’s got a smart mouth, he’s pretty tame.  His mother wants him to marry someone else and hates Cierra.  Yeah, issues. 

Justin’s mother was a complete bitch for 95% of the book.  Even though she was only on page about 3 times she made a BIG impression.  I disliked her a lot.  She was grieving the recent loss of her husband but that didn’t give her the right to treat Cierra like she was worse than pond scum. 

There was a “sort of” side story that had to do with an animal rescue that Cierra and Justin were trying to save that was cute.  I liked it, but it seemed a strange roundabout excuse to have Cierra and Justin work together when they were already working together – you know what I mean?  Not my choice, but I didn’t write the book.

Nothing bowled me over in this story, and I got annoyed at Cierra a couple of times because of her attitude towards things, but in the end it I thought it was just a cute Christmas book.

Rating: 3 out of 5

three-stars


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Review: Wait No More by Stephanie Nicole Norris

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

Review: Wait No More by Stephanie Nicole NorrisReviewer: Holly
Wait No More: A With Your Permission Spin-off by Stephanie Nicole Norris
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: May 1, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 156
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 New to Me Challenge, New to Me Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
two-half-stars

The rumors... they came from sources that she trusted; the news, the neighborhood, and now the patrons in her night club, Rendezvous. Still, Sophia Clark wouldn’t believe that the soldiers who returned from their tours included the only man she ever loved. But when Dean St. James strolled through the door, the shock to Sophia’s spirit nearly disassembled her. There was no explanation for the reckless up-surging beat of her heart, not after the way Dean disappeared, leaving Sophia to wonder if he’d become a casualty of war.

Now, without time to process her turbulent emotions, Sophia comes face to face with his return, which proves to challenge the love they lost—bringing them together or closing the door on what could have been for all time.


Wait No More by Stephanie Nicole Norris is listed a spinoff of her With Your Permission series. I’ve never read the author before, but I didn’t feel like I missed anything by starting with this novel. This came up as a KU recommendation, so I decided to give it a try. The reunited lover romance was sweet.

Dean and Sophia were college sweethearts who were planning their future together. Until one day he comes home and tells Sophia he enlisted in the Army without speaking to her first. She tried to maintain a long-distance relationship with him, but two years after he left for the Army he broke it off with her. Four years later, he’s suddenly back in town and wants to pick up where they left off. Although she loves him still, she doesn’t trust him to stay.

I really liked seeing Dean and Sophia come back together. His struggle to readjust to civilian life was well done, and I liked that she supported him as he dealt with his PTSD.

I did struggle with the writing at times. It was overly descriptive at times, and very flowery. I also struggled with the basic premise of the story. They were together in college, engaged, buying a house together, then bam, he enlists in the Army without checking with her first? Then he doesn’t see anyone for 6 years? That’s just not realistic. Still, I set that aside to focus on their reunion.

I’ll look for more books by Norris in the future.

Rating: 3 out of 5

two-half-stars


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