Tag: 3.25 Reviews

Lightning Review: Willing by Lucy Monroe

Posted March 17, 2016 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Lightning Review: Willing by Lucy MonroeReviewer: Holly
Willing by Lucy Monroe
Series: Mercenary Trilogy #2
Also in this series: And Able

Publication Date: August 1st 2008
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 320
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three-stars

Meet three sexy men who individually are Ready, Willing, and Able to go the distance--and together, are unstoppable. . .
Josie McCall left her dad's mercenary school for a normal job in computers. But now that someone has torched the school and her dad is MIA, Josie's going to use every bit of her training to hunt down the culprits who took him. Josie knows a lot about explosives, hand-to-hand combat, and tracking. What she doesn't know about is sex. She has no idea what to do with the volcanic attraction she feels for her dad's new partner, Daniel Black Eagle. And that feels more dangerous than any bomb. . .
Daniel knows exactly what he'd like to do about that attraction. He can't get within five feet of Josie without wanting to touch, taste, and protect her. But right now he's got his hands full figuring out who set that bomb and took Josie's dad. Daniel's sure of one thing, though--he's not letting Josie McCall out of his sight for a single second. . .

Willing is the second book in Lucy Monroe’s Mercenary series and I loved it. Willing was hot, steamy, romantic and action packed. Monroe is really good at getting into the technical side of things without boring her readers.

Josie is tough, but still very vulnerable. I loved that she was one of the best trained mercs in the business but still very feminine. My heart went out to her when she was talking about how hard it was to grow up with a father who demanded she be a better soldier than all the rest.

It also broke my heart to hear about Daniel’s past. His upbringing was sad and violent and I just wanted to wrap him up in cotton and keep him safe.

Overall a very enjoyable read.

3.25 out of 5

The series:

Merry Christmas Baby: Silver Bella (anthology)
Three Brides for Three Bad Boys
Ready
Willing
And Able

 

*This review was originally published at Sanctuary’s Finest

three-stars


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Guest Review: The Alpha’s Temporary Mate by Victoria Davies

Posted November 25, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Alpha’s Temporary Mate by Victoria DaviesReviewer: Tracy
The Alpha's Temporary Mate by Victoria Davies
Series: Fated Match #3
Published by Entangled
Publication Date: November 9, 2015
Genres: Paranormal Romance
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three-half-stars

 

Fated Match has spent centuries pairing supernatural mates together. Witch and matchmaker, Chloe Donovan, takes pride in helping her clients find their happy endings. But when werewolf alpha and millionaire playboy Kieran Clearwater stalks into her office, she may have finally met the one man she can’t help.

Kieran has no intention of finding his mate. Love is a weakness he can’t afford. But with his pack growing more concerned over his single status he, needs to assure them all is well. What better way to do so than to hire a fake girlfriend he can parade around at the annual pack retreat?

Chloe is coerced into becoming the wolf’s temporary mate, but she’s determined to keep their agreement professional. But her seductive partner in crime has other ideas, and his considerable charm makes it difficult for her to keep her eye on the prize. While these two burn hot when they’re together, behind-the-scenes politics work to rip them apart.

Chloe has worked at Fated Match for many years and loves that she gets to put fated pairs together and have a hand in starting a family. She was an orphan herself so families are very important to her. When Kieran Clearwater, the alpha of the Clearwater pack, comes into Fated Match and tells Chloe that he’s looking for a temporary girlfriend she gives him an adamant no. That’s not what they’re there for! Even the owner of the company says no until Kieran flashes a check with a ton of zeroes on it in front of her.

Chloe tries hard to find someone to take the place of Kieran’s fake girlfriend but no one is right for the part – according to Kieran. He decides that Chloe is the one that should play the part and he finally talks her into it. Chloe knows that Kieran is just a playboy so she tries to protect her heart but moving in with him and playing a role that she wants to play in real life just makes her want it that much more. Kieran wants Chloe in his bed but he was once hurt from falling in love so believes that he’s a man that’s not capable of it once again.

This story had a cute premise to it and I have to give it high marks for creativity. The paranormal characters that were involved weren’t all of your average wolf and vampire. There were griffins, succubi and even a siren and necromancer and they brought a different and fun element into the story.

Kieran’s request for a temporary girlfriend was a bit far-fetched but was explained in more detail later in the book. Had it been explained that way earlier it would been appreciated. Of course he was supposedly this great playboy but we saw no evidence of that except from pictures that Chloe found online. He wasn’t too deep of a character, unfortunately, and that put a bit of a damper on my overall enjoyment of the book.

Chloe was a fun and energetic character. I liked her inner strength and hearing what she had lived through throughout her life – and come out with flying colors – made me like her that much more. I didn’t care for her giving up near the end of the book but she quickly made up for that in the end.

Overall it was a fun book with a few sexy times thrown in. It was a quick read as well so if you’re looking for something light with a bit of the paranormal involved then this one is perfect.

Rating: 3.25 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: Don’t Stop Believing by Gwen Hayes

Posted November 10, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Don’t Stop Believing by Gwen HayesReviewer: Tracy
Don't Stop Believing by Gwen Hayes
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: November 3, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, m/m
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three-half-stars

 

The Ogre from the Hill

Simon Powell, the town recluse, only comes to town to deliver firewood and get supplies. Two days before Christmas, he sees the new librarian’s car in a ditch and knows he can’t leave him on the road, but it’s too late to take him back to town. He’ll have something he’s never had in his cabin in the ten years that’s he’s lived there…company.

The Book Nerd from the City

Adam Parker moved to the small community to make big changes in his life, but being snowbound with the bearded lumberjack in his rustic cabin was something he’d thought only existed in his fantasies. Simon pushes away anyone who wants to get close to him, but Adam sees what he’s hiding in his heart and he wants it. Badly.

A Christmas to Remember

Adam smells like cinnamon and redemption and Simon aches to run his fingers over the scrape of stubble on his cheeks. To pull him into a kiss. To reignite feelings he’d denied himself for too long. Life is right there, blazing in the eyes of the town librarian. A man who isn’t afraid of him. But he learned long ago that everything he touches gets tainted, and he’ll do anything to keep his darkness away from Adam’s light.

But Adam has something else on his side—he’s been a very good boy this year and all he wants for Christmas is Simon

Simon was hurt physically while a SEAL and emotionally by a fellow SEAL when they found out he was gay. He’s been pretty much a recluse since that time – coming down the hill into town only for supplies. He likes to read and that puts him at the library whenever he’s in town. He doesn’t mind the view of the new librarian, Adam, either.

When Simon finds Adam stuck in a ditch in a blizzard and can’t get his car un-stuck he takes Adam to his house to wait out the storm. Since it’s around Christmas Adam is determined to make Simon’s house cheery as it has no Christmas decorations at all. Simon is so attracted to Adam that he’s willing to let him do what he will.

As a day or two goes by the pair get closer and end up in bed together. Simon, however feels like he’s made a mistake and pushes Adam away. When he figures out that he doesn’t want to live without Adam he pulls in a friend from town to help with a grand gesture to get Adam back.

This was a cute but short story. I really liked both Adam and Simon and I liked them together as well. The involvement of the town in the grand gesture at the end was a great idea and I thought it brought a homey element to the whole story.

While Adam and Simon got together rather quickly it seemed to work. We didn’t actually get to know Adam at all in the story and that was disappointing. It was mostly about Simon and him working through his issues. This was fine but it made the relationship very one-sided in my mind.

Overall the story was sweet and sexy and was a good way to spend a bit of time.

Rating: 3.25 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Review: Heart Legacy by Robin D. Owens

Posted November 3, 2015 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Heart Legacy by Robin D. OwensReviewer: Holly
Heart Legacy by Robin D. Owens
Series: Celta's Heartmates #14
Also in this series: Heart Fate, HeartMate, HeartMate, Heart Change, Heart Dance, Heart Journey, Heart Secret
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: November 3rd 2015
Genres: Fiction, Romance, General
Pages: 368
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three-stars

The award-winning author returns to her “wonderfully imaginative”* world of Heart Fire and Heart Fortune for an all-new Celta novel about a young woman’s destiny, and the one man whose love could be her downfall. After the death of GrandLord Yew years ago, the Yews withdrew to their self-sustaining estate and disappeared from Celtan society. The current head of the household is believed to be eighteen-year-old Loridana. To find out, Draeg Blackthorn has been sent to the estate to spy, undercover as a stableman for the stridebeasts—beautiful creatures that hold a place in Lori’s heart no member of her family ever could. Bullied by her family, Lori has decided to abandon her bloodline and live on her own with her true family—her animals. When Draeg discovers she’s rejecting her heritage, he’s appalled. He’s come to love the land as much as the woman, even spinning small fantasies of marrying Lori and becoming Lord and Lady of the manor. Draeg wants her to stay and fight her elders. For Lori, it’s an alternative that could render her absolutely powerless to pursue her own destiny, and drive her further away from her perfect dreams and the man she loves, Draeg.
*Romance Junkies
 
From the Trade Paperback edition.

After the death of GrandLord Yew years ago, the Yews withdrew to their self-sustaining estate and disappeared from Celtan society. The current head of the household is believed to be eighteen-year-old Loridana. To find out, Draeg Blackthorn has been sent to the estate to spy, undercover as a stableman for the stridebeasts—beautiful creatures that hold a place in Lori’s heart no member of her family ever could.

Bullied by her family, Lori has decided to abandon her bloodline and live on her own with her true family—her animals. When Draeg discovers she’s rejecting her heritage, he’s appalled. He’s come to love the land as much as the woman, even spinning small fantasies of marrying Lori and becoming Lord and Lady of the manor. Draeg wants her to stay and fight her elders. For Lori, it’s an alternative that could render her absolutely powerless to pursue her own destiny, and drive her further away from her perfect dreams and the man she loves, Draeg.

Owens’ Celta’s Heartmates series is one of my favorites. The world-building is stellar. I always fall right into these stories and the characters come alive. For those who haven’t read any of the previous books, I would recommend going back and starting at the beginning of the series, with Heart Mate. The earlier books are often referenced and I feel like you get a more complete reading experience having read them all. The books are broken into two generations, with the split happening at book 7, Heart Fate. If you don’t feel up to taking on all 14 books, I recommend you at least read Heart Fate before starting this one, as the events of that book shaped this story.

Loridana Yew is unofficially D’Yew (the head of her family, a position given based on Psi power), but her family has been bullying and abusing her since she was young, and she hasn’t been formally given the title of D’Yew. Her parents died when she was younger, but her cousins and the Residence itself keep her under their thumb. The Residence especially (the house has developed sentience from years of absorbing the Psi power of its inhabitants), which has taken on the personality of the former T’Yew (male head of family), forces its will and agenda on her. Her body is monitored at all times for changes in heart rate and breathing, she’s locked in closets or zapped by the Residence if she gets out of line, and her cousins are quick to torment her further by doing damage to the only things she really loves – her animals. With no way to combat this treatment, Lori has made the decision to leave the family and move into a property she inherited from her mother.

Since T’Yew was killed and the Yews disappeared behind the walls of their self-sustaining estate, the other FirstFamilies have long wondered what they’re up to. When evidence points toward the family trying to murder or harm other members of society, Tinne Holly (the hero of Heart Fate) asks Draeg Blackthorn to go undercover as a stable hand on the Yew estate to spy on them and find out which – if any – are involved in the evil doings. Draeg realizes right away Lori isn’t involved, or even aware of what’s going on outside the estate. Though he suspects her cousins, he can find no proof and commits to staying until their plot is revealed or the attempted murderer is caught.

Though both have their own agenda, it isn’t long before their physical attraction turns into an emotional connection and they’re struggling to find ways to stay together. Neither fully trusts the other with their plans, but it soon becomes clear what they feel is more than just a passing fancy. When Draeg’s deception is revealed and Lori’s plans come out, they’ll need to fight hard to stay together…something that won’t work if they don’t have faith in one another.

Lori was young and somewhat naive when the story began. She’d been sheltered and knew little about life outside the walls of her estate. I liked how she grew as the novel progressed. I wish her abilities had been explored further. At one point T’Ash tries to test her with his testing stones (they reveal the level and focus of Psi power) but she’s rushed along before we find out what her strength is. I did like that she had time to come into her own at the end of the novel. She had several months on her own to become self-reliant, which I think she desperately needed.

In the beginning Draeg was a strong, interesting character who complimented Lori well. He loved the animals and had a solid sense of himself. He really came to love her land, and his feelings for her were genuine and sweet. I struggled to connect with him later in the story, however. His conviction that Lori was doing the wrong thing and his refusal to bend or compromise was frustrating.

Admittedly it’s been awhile since I read a Celta novel, but this one seemed more erotic than previous books. The sex scenes were drawn out and the language more coarse than I remember from previous books. It was jarring and not in keeping with the world. Though the major problem with book for me stems from the Draeg’s insistence that Lori is refusing to stay and fight, and his subsequent actions because of it. When he realizes her plans to abandon the land, he’s disappointed in her. That disappointment clouds his judgment and doesn’t allow him to truly see things from her perspective. Since he doesn’t realize – and can’t know – the extent of the abuse from her family, I was forgiving of him. At first. As the novel progressed and he refused to bend or go to her, however, I lost patience. In the end I felt he was the one who needed to apologize, and to make Lori realize he wanted her, with or without her title as D’Yew and the Yew estate.

Still, I liked both Draeg and Lori, and the way they were together. It was clear they cared for each other. Their love for the animals also came across well, and I adored their Fam’s (sentient animals who act as Familiar’s).

The ending brings down my final grade, but my love of the world, the romance and the Fams and animals made this a book worth reading.

three-stars


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Review: True Divide by Liora Blake

Posted October 22, 2015 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: True Divide by Liora BlakeReviewer: Rowena
True Divide by Liora Blake
Series: True Series #3
Also in this series: True Devotion, True North, True Devotion
Published by Pocket Star
Publication Date: October 19, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
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Spitfire Lacey Mosely feels stuck in a life she didn’t necessarily want. But will she find a happy ending with the man who broke her heart? Liora Blake concludes her witty and poignant True series with this spirited romance.

What do you do when the one boy you were never quite able to forget lands on your doorstep?

Lacey Mosely feels stuck: in her rural town of Crowell, Montana, at her job as manager of The Beauty Barn, and in her lackluster love life. Enter Jake Holt, one-time misfit and Lacey’s secret high school love. Ten years later, Jake is a private pilot whose travels take him all over the world, and once he shows up in Lacey’s life again—at the most unexpected time—he can’t seem to stay away. Now it’s up to Lacey to decide if she’s ready to let go of the past…and take a leap of faith for love.

When I first started True Divide, Lacey was my least favorite heroine of the bunch. She got on my nerves in True North (her sister’s book) and she didn’t exactly redeem herself in True Devotion but by the time I finished True Divide, Lacey was my favorite heroine of the entire series.

Lacey Mosely is stuck. She’s stuck at the same job she’s had since she was 16. She’s stuck in the same town that she’s lived in her whole life and she slept with her sleazy ex-boyfriend again. When her sister goes into labor and her brother in law is out of town, Lacey is in charge of getting Katie settled at the hospital. She knew that her day was going to knock her on her ass but she wasn’t prepared for running into Jake Holt, a blast from the past. He completely knocks her on her ass. It’s been a while since she’s seen Jake. She hasn’t seen him since he left town without telling her and breaking her heart in the process.

But he’s back and he wants to pick up where they left off and when he worms his way back into her good graces, Lacey falls for his charms all over again.

It wasn’t hard for Lacey to fall for him again because hell, even I fell for Jake while reading his emails to Lacey and seeing him work to get his Lacey back. I liked that he put in the work to win Lacey over. His emails were funny, they were sweet and they were hella steamy. I really enjoyed those emails and his phone calls to her. I felt the chemistry between these two throughout the whole book.

Lacey is everything that I like in my heroines. Strong, loyal and caring. You see in this book, how much she loves her family. Her sister, her brother in law and her young nephew. She’s a very loving person and I really enjoyed the scenes where she’s interacting with everyone. From her boss at The Beauty Barn to her friends, her family, she was a genuinely good person. She loved often and she loved deep and when things get crazy between her and Jake, she showed just how strong she was.

Jake Holt moved to Crowley when he was 16 and he was the black sheep at school and around town. He marched to his own tune and didn’t have two pennies to rub together but he still caught the eye of the town’s beauty queen, Lacey Mosely. He fell in love with her while they were secretly dating and he never forgot about her when he left town. His reasons for leaving made sense and while I understood why he left town without a word, when he comes back and wins Lacey over again…the way he handled their future talk left a lot to be desired.

Throughout a lot of the book, I wanted to strangle Jake. I thought his attitude toward the town and the things he would say about people in town made him snobbish. I understood why he had that attitude but I would have liked for him to have come back to town and put all of that shit behind him. I would have liked him to be more focused on his love for Lacey, the way that she was for him. Their struggles as a couple later in the book made for interesting reading but boy did I want to strangle Jake. There was no middle ground with him where living in Crowley was concerned so his attitude toward Lacey when he finds out about The Beauty Barn made me want to punch him in the throat.

Through it all, I loved how strong Lacey stood. I loved that while she loved Jake, she wasn’t going to let him bully her with the decision of their future. She had her own insecurities about every thing and I loved seeing her come into her own. When Jake finally comes around, I was glad but more so I was glad for Lacey. I wanted Lacey to have the life she always wanted with Jake but for Lacey’s sake more than Jake’s sake, if that makes any sense.

This book was good and I thought it ended the series on a high note but there were small bits of the book that chipped away at my enjoyment of the book but in the end, I was glad that things worked out. I’m so glad that I read this series.

Grade: 3.25 out of 5


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