Tag: 3.5 Reviews

Lightning Review: Ghosts of Boyfriends Past by Vivi Andrews

Posted February 12, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Lightning Review: Ghosts of Boyfriends Past by Vivi AndrewsReviewer: Holly
Ghosts of Boyfriends Past by Vivi Andrews
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 12, 2012
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 141
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three-half-stars

Letting him in could mean losing him forever.

Elizabeth “Biz” Marks has the magic touch when it comes to matters of the heart—except her own. In a slightly tipsy fit of loneliness, she once tried to harness a little love mojo to work in her favor. Instead the spell mutated into a nightmarish curse that kills off her boyfriends on her favorite holiday: Valentine’s Day.

With three permanently ex-boyfriends on her conscience and another hearts-and-flowers holiday approaching, the last thing she needs is a too-gorgeous-to-be-true reporter snooping around.

Biz just has extraordinarily bad luck, or she’s a bona-fide Black Widow who bumps off her boyfriends for a chunk of the inheritance money. Either way, Mark Ellison is sure there’s a story here. Especially when his attempts to charm her send her into a panic.

The harder Biz tries to keep Mark and his beguiling dimples as far away as possible, the harder he digs to get at the truth. Now she’s beginning to wonder if his is the love that will finally break the curse...or if she’ll be burying her heart along with him.

Product WarningsThis book contains curses, meddling ghosts, nosy neighbors and enough peppermint Schnapps to drown the inhibitions of even the most cautious witch.

Ghosts of Boyfriends Past is a cute story about a witch who cursed herself, causing her boyfriends to die on Valentines day. The premise sounded a bit weird, but also intriguing. It’s currently $2.99 at Amazon.

Biz Marks is a matchmaking witch who accidentally cursed herself so all her boyfriends die on Valentines Day. Mark Ellison is a reporter who’s determined to find the dirt to prove Biz is a black widow who kills off her men.

I liked both main characters. I also like that Mark was the more romantic of the two. This was a light read, with plenty of humor and a couple sigh worthy moments. I am glad I gave it a chance.

3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Review: The Good Ones by Jenn McKinlay

Posted February 8, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: The Good Ones by Jenn McKinlayReviewer: Holly
The Good Ones (Happily Ever After #1) by Jenn McKinlay
Series: Happily Ever After #1
Also in this series: The Good Ones (Happily Ever After #1)
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: February 5, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 336
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three-half-stars

A romance bookstore owner finds her own happily ever after with a single dad in a new romance series from the New York Times bestselling author of Every Dog Has His Day.

Ryder Copeland is an accomplished architect and one heck of a father...not to mention tall and sexy. He's everything a hero should be, and Lord knows, Maisy Kelly has read enough of her great-aunt Eloise's romance novels to recognize one when she sees one. But like all fairy tales, Maisy can't help but wonder if this Prince Charming is too good to be true...

Ryder is drawn to the shy, curly haired professor who hires him to convert the Victorian house she's inherited from her aunt into a romance bookstore. Attracted to a woman for the first time since his divorce, Ryder finds himself wishing for a future with Maisy that he knows is impossible. Ryder has never wavered from his plan to leave the small town of Fairdale, North Carolina, so he can give his daughter the life she deserves. But suddenly he's not so sure. And the closer he gets to Maisy, the harder it's going to be to walk away...

The Good Ones by Jenn McKinlay is the start of the Happily Ever After series, set in a small South Carolina town. It’s the first book I’ve read by McKinlay.

Lit professor Maisy Kelly is starting over after being passed over for a promotion in favor of her less-qualified, cheating ex. She’s determined to turn the old Victorian she inherited from her much-beloved aunt into a romance novel bookstore. She hires architect Ryder Copeland to restore the house – and add a turret – before the grand opening. Maisy cut her teeth on romance novels and she recognizes a true romance hero when she sees one..and boy does Ryder fit the bill. As a single father and a courtly southern cowboy, he ticks all her boxes. Too bad he isn’t in the market for a relationship.

Ryder knows he isn’t a good fit in a relationship – his broken marriage is proof of that. He can’t even bring himself to say those three little words to his daughter, much less a woman. He might feel deeply, but he’s never been good at expressing his emotions. If ever he was tempted by a woman, however, it would be Maisy Kelly. The shy, romantic really does it for him. But for Ryder, it isn’t just about his commitment issues. He’s moving at the end of the summer when his daughter goes away to boarding school.

This is my first novel by this author. While I enjoyed the writing over all, there were a few quirks that bothered me a bit. Such as the overly descriptive sentences and the overuse of similes. I also struggled with the pacing in the second half of the book. I really liked the premise and the slow-building romance, but I wanted something more to happen in the second half.

The story was cute story. I enjoyed getting to know the characters. Ryder and his daughter had a great relationship. He was a great dad who really cared for his daughter and wanted what was best for her. They didn’t always see eye to eye, but it was obvious to all that they were close and easy with each other. I really loved the friendships Maisy had. Some of the best parts of the book featured Maisy and her girlfriends watching movies, joking and laughing together.

Though I struggled with the pacing in the second half, I enjoyed the humor and sweetness of the story. The strong female relationships and sexy single-dad really worked for me. I look forward to the next book in the series.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Happily Ever After

three-half-stars


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Review: Jace by Kenzie Cox

Posted January 25, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Jace by Kenzie CoxReviewer: Holly
Jace: Volume 1 (Wolves of the Rising Sun) by Kenzie Cox
Narrator: Elena Wolfe, Jeffrey Kafer
Series: Wolves of the Rising Sun #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: June 15, 2015
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Romance Package
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 148
Length: 1 hour and 46 minutes
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

In the wilds of the bayou…

Jace Riveaux has wanted her since the first moment she stepped into his bayou bar three years ago. And now she’s back, unattached, and ready for the taking. One afternoon together, and he knows she’s the one. Only his world is dangerous, he has secrets, and trust is hard to come by...especially when all signs point to her being aligned with his enemy.

Skye Michaels has nothing left to lose. After a bad breakup, she flees to her favorite southern Louisiana town, determined to finally get photographs of the majestic wolves that roam the area. Instead she gets what she really came for—Jace Riveaux. But when the Riveauxs are threatened by someone she knows, suddenly she has more to lose than ever.

Jace is the first book in the Wolves of the Rising Sun series by Kenzie Cox. This was a short shifter romance I listened to as part of the Audible Romance Package. I was worried it ended in a cliffhanger, but it wrapped up nicely.

Jace and Skye have known each other for years. He was with someone long term, then she was, so they were never able to hook up, but the attraction was there between them all along. When Skye turns up for a weekend in the bayou, recently boyfriend free, they finally have a chance to explore their chemistry. But there’s more going on than either of them know…Jace is really a werewolf, and Skye’s ex-boyfriend is a hunter who goes after shifters because they’re “abominations”. When Jace finally realizes who her ex is, will he trust everything inside him that says Skye is his mate, and therefore trustworthy, or is she really a spy for the enemy?

The page count didn’t allow for a lot of backstory, but I thought the author did a credible job of giving us a well-rounded story. This was just a light, quick listen. I liked both narrators and enjoyed Jace and Skye coming together. Nothing super deep or angsty, but a cute story for those short on time. I plan to pick up the next book immediately.

3.5 out of 5

Wolves of the Rising Sun

three-half-stars


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Review: Tikka Chance on Me by Suleikha Snyder

Posted January 23, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Tikka Chance on Me by Suleikha SnyderReviewer: Holly
Tikka Chance on Me by Suleikha Snyder
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: November 13, 2018
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First and Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 72
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four-stars

He’s the bad-boy biker. She’s the good girl working in her family’s Indian restaurant. On the surface, nothing about Trucker Carrigan and Pinky Grover’s instant, incendiary, attraction makes sense. But when they peel away the layers and the assumptions—and their clothes—everything falls into place. The need. The want. The light. The laughter. They have more in common than they ever could’ve guessed. Is it enough? They won’t know until they take a chance on each other—and on love.

Tikka Chance on Me by Suleikha Snyder is the first novel I’ve read by the author. Amazon popped it up in my recommendations several times, and Nalini Singh recommended it in her last newsletter, so I figured I’d give it a try. It was a great story.

Pinky Grover and Trucker Carrigan grew up in the same town. He was several years ahead of her in high school. She went away to college but left her graduate program when her mother became ill. Though she had fun partying at school, she’s kept things low-key at home. Her one guilty pleasure? Fantasizing about Trucker. He’s a bad-boy enforcer for the local motorcycle club, and totally off limits. But that doesn’t stop her body from wanting him.

Trucker has wanted Pinky for months, but he isn’t in a position to do anything about it. Until one day they end up getting busy in his truck at the local Walmart. Now he can’t stay away from her..even though he knows he has to. When things blow up, Trucker knows he has to walk away…but it isn’t easy saying goodbye to the best thing that’s ever happened to him.

I loved the witty banter between Trucker and Pinky. I also loved her sense of humor. Trucker is a total nerd boy and I loved that about him.

“You know, I had a girlfriend once who said she couldn’t suck my dick because she was vegan?”
“That…is not a thing. I think she just didn’t want to suck your dick.”

[…]

I’d had no idea there was an overlap in the motorcycle club and vegan communities. Who knew? Were there entire vegan motorcycle clubs? Did they wear vegan leather jackets?

I’m not completely satisfied with the ending. Perhaps it’s the short page count, or just the way the author resolved things, but I didn’t buy the final resolution. I won’t spoil the circumstances behind it, but needless to say, it didn’t work for me.

View Spoiler »

Aside from the one issue, this was a great story. I enjoyed both Trucker and Pinky, the steamy scenes and the anticipation of figuring out just how they could make it work. Though short, I fully connected with both main characters. Snyder penned a beautifully engrossing tale that pulled me in from page one.

3.5 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

Posted January 15, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Binti by Nnedi OkoraforReviewer: Holly
Binti (Binti, #1) by Nnedi Okorafor
Publisher: Tor.com
Publication Date: September 22, 2015
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 90
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three-half-stars

Her name is Binti, and she is the first of the Himba people ever to be offered a place at Oomza University, the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy. But to accept the offer will mean giving up her place in her family to travel between the stars among strangers who do not share her ways or respect her customs.

Knowledge comes at a cost, one that Binti is willing to pay, but her journey will not be easy. The world she seeks to enter has long warred with the Meduse, an alien race that has become the stuff of nightmares. Oomza University has wronged the Meduse, and Binti's stellar travel will bring her within their deadly reach.

If Binti hopes to survive the legacy of a war not of her making, she will need both the gifts of her people and the wisdom enshrined within the University, itself - but first she has to make it there, alive.

Ames recommended this series to me. It took a bit for me to fall into the story, but I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Binti is a 16 year old girl who has never been outside her City. She is Himba. Her people have very firm ideas about life and marriage, and follow old customs and rules. Binti was allowed to take the planetary exams and her entire village was thrilled when she scored so high Ooomza University offers to pay for her to attend, including all costs related to her travel to them, but they didn’t expect her to attend. The honor of being asked was enough for them. For Binti, it wasn’t. She wanted to accept her place at the University, even though she knew it would mean never being accepted by her people again. She sneaks away and takes a living ship (think: Large Shrimp-like creature you can ride inside) to the university. Though she’s different from others on the ship, it isn’t long before she settles in, makes friends and even develops a crush on a boy.

But then the ship is attacked by the highly feared Meduse, who were wronged by those at Oomza University and are seeking revenge. Binti is the only survivor. As she struggles to stay alive in an Alien world, she also finds strength in herself and friends in unexpected places.

Binti is an interesting character and I love the premise. The story is short and ends in a cliffhanger, but I expected that based on the length of the story and the fact that it’s the first of a trilogy. It started slow, but once Binti reaches the ship the story really picked up. I loved watching her open up to her fellow classmates, and my heart was bounding during the attack by the Meduse, and what followed. There are some pretty serious plot holes, but I was able to set aside any frustration over that because 1) I was enjoying the story and 2) I tend to be more forgiving of Sci-Fi and Fantasy, as the general rules of life and science don’t always apply.

I immediately started the next story.

3.5 out of 5

Binti

three-half-stars


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