Tag: 3.75 Reviews

Throwback Thursday Review: Good Girls Don’t by Victoria Dahl

Posted August 30, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 4 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Good Girls Don’t by Victoria DahlReviewer: Holly
Good Girls Don't (Donovan Brothers Brewery, #1) by Victoria Dahl
Series: Donovan Brothers Brewery, #1

Publication Date: August 30, 2011
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
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three-half-stars

Too much of a good thing

With her long ponytail and sparkling green eyes, Tessa Donovan looks more like the girl next door than a businesswoman; or a heart-breaker. Which may explain why Detective Luke Asher barely notices her when he arrives to investigate a break in at her family's brewery. He's got his own problems; starting with the fact that his partner, Simone, is pregnant and everyone thinks he's the father.

Tessa has her hands full, too. Her brother's playboy ways may be threatening the business, and the tension could tear her tight knit family apart. In fact, the only thing that could unite the Donovan boys is seeing a man come after their baby sister. Especially a man like Luke Asher. But Tessa sees past the rumors to the man beneath. He's not who people think he is and neither is she.

Every Thursday, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books. Enjoy!

This review was originally posted on August 30, 2011.

I didn’t think I was going to like this book. The first half was really hard for me to take. The lying and scheming of the heroine, plus the strange plot, really annoyed me. I was just about to give up when I got really intrigued. Plus, my husband helped calm me down (strange, I know), and pointed out that I was taking it a bit too seriously.

Tessa wants to hold her family together. When her brother Jamie sleeps with the daughter of a client they’re trying to land, she begs him not to tell their oldest brother Eric until she can figure out what to do. She’s worried that Eric will be furious with Jamie and not allow him to make any decisions in the business. In the meantime, their brewery is broken into and Detective Luke Asher is investigating.

Luke and Tessa are instantly attracted to each other. She makes the first move and they realize they have chemistry. They also have a lot in common and really enjoy each others company. Unfortunately, Tessa’s brothers don’t like that she’s dating and the stress of keeping so much from them is making her a little (a lot) crazy.

My issues begin and end with Tessa. Her lying and scheming was immature and silly. She didn’t act like a 27 year old woman. She acted like a 12 year old girl. This lying and scheming didn’t stop at her brothers. She also schemes and plays in other areas of her life. Luke accuses her of being a control freak and I would agree with that. I’d also say she needed to pull up her big girl panties and realize life doesn’t revolve around her.

In the end, I felt this was an extremely well done tale of Tessa growing up. I would almost call it a coming-of-age novel, except she’s 27. It worked, despite Tessa’s age. The family dynamics were interesting and the romance was well done, though I did struggle with how old these two were. The romance read more like that of a younger couple.

In any case, despite my hesitancy and the frustrations I had early on, I’m glad I read this. It was an emotional tale that pulled me in.

Grade: 3.75 out of 5

Donovan Brothers Brewery

three-half-stars


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Review: Forget You, Ethan by Whitney G

Posted August 14, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Forget You, Ethan by Whitney GReviewer: Rowena
Forget You, Ethan by Whitney G.
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: August 2, 2018
Point-of-View: First
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 228
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three-half-stars

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer...

I've hated Rachel Dawson since I was seven years old. My next door neighbor and number one sworn enemy, she's the reason why almost all of our childhood fights ended with me setting something of hers on fire. (Or, vice versa.)

She snitched on me when I broke curfew.

I snitched on her when she lied about having a boyfriend.

We went back and forth like this throughout high school, both vowing to never talk to each other again when we went off to college.

But that was until she showed up at my apartment during my senior year and asked me for a temporary place to stay. Until I realized just how much between us had changed, and the line I thought we'd never cross became harder and harder to ignore...

**This is a standalone friends (to enemies) to lovers romance**

I feel like I’ve been waiting on this book for forever but boy was I glad to jump right into it right when I got it for review. I really enjoyed the last NA book that I read by Whitney G (Sincerely, Carter) so I knew that I had to get this one as soon as I could. This was super fast to read and while it was enjoyable, it was too much like Sincerely Carter IMO.

I mean sure, there are slight differences in that Ethan and Rachel hate each other growing up. They seem to really hate each other still but I didn’t completely buy it because why would they continue their letter writing for so long if they really hated each other? They were hate best friends and that was that. When Rachel goes away to college on board a ship, she and Ethan stay in touch through letters written by hand and Ethan kept track of where Rachel’s ship was in port so that he can send his letters to the right places. So, hate each other? Yeah right. I don’t think anyone goes to that much trouble for someone they hate.

Anyway, so it’s the start of their senior year in college and Rachel is done with college abroad. She’s going to finish up her college career on land and far, far away from a ship. When her housing situation falls through, she needs to find a new place to stay and that’s when she’s brought into Ethan’s vicinity again. Ethan, the boy next door that used to torment her throughout elementary, middle and high school. The boy that got on her nerves so much that she jumped at the chance to move far away from him and board a ship for college.

Ethan isn’t happy about the situation either. He comes home to find out that his roommate burned their house down so they have to move and the house that they’re moving into is bigger and cost more so they need a roommate and this is where the worst blast from his past shows up in the form of Rachel Dawson.

So, of course, they become roommates and of course, things get interesting and I found that while I enjoyed this book, it didn’t have the magic that Sincerely Carter had for me. Sure, I enjoyed Ethan and Rachel finding common ground with each other and I really enjoyed when they finally got together but something was missing to make me completely love it. Maybe it was how much they reminded me of Carter and Arizona (being best friends who didn’t see each other like that until they do) but with a lot more fighting?? I don’t know.

Whitney G did write an engaging book for them though. It didn’t take me long to read, the story was really easy to fall into but I guess because I kept comparing this one to Sincerely Carter, my enjoyment of the book as a whole suffered some. Still, it was a solid read.

Grade: 3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: Dark Warrior Unleashed by Alexis Morgan

Posted August 9, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 3 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Dark Warrior Unleashed by Alexis MorganReviewer: Casee
Dark Warrior Unleashed (Talions, #1) by Alexis Morgan
Series: Talions #1
Publisher: Pocket Star
Publication Date: July 29, 2008
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 334
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three-half-stars

The rough and rugged Talions, sexy warriors who stop at nothing to deliver justice, star in this steamy new paranormal series from Alexis Morgan.

He's on a mission to annihilate the enemy.

A Talion enforcer, Ranulf Thorsen has served his people for a thousand years, delivering the eye-for-an-eye justice by which his kinsmen live. Weary of the centuries-long fight, the fierce warrior with icy blue eyes has secluded himself on a mountain far from the chaos of the modern world below. Now he's been summoned to face the most dangerous battle of his life -- and the fate of his people is on the line. But when he meets the beautiful woman he has sworn to defend...

Ranulf and his bitter rival, fellow Talion Sandor Kearn, must find the rogue Kyth who set a violent fire in a nightclub. The near-deadly blaze's unlikely heroine, Kerry Logan, is also a Kyth, possessing the ancient Nordic people's unique ability to manipulate human energy. She just doesn't know it yet. ...who will protect his heart?

Kerry finds more than comfort in her warrior's embrace, and Ranulf hungers to both defend and claim the petite powerhouse for his own. But with time ticking away and their lives on the line, will Kerry believe the wild tale he's telling her, and master her powers...before it's too late?

Every Thursday, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books. Enjoy!

This review was originally posted on August 13, 2008.

I am a long time fan of Alexis Morgan’s Paladin series. I’ve read the series from the beginning and really enjoyed Morgan’s world building as well as her character development. While I enjoyed this book, I didn’t love it. I think it has great potential, but there was something missing for me. I think it was that I didn’t really connect with the characters. They were just meh.

Kerry Logan has no idea how her life is going to change when she saves a club full of people from dying by fire. She’s clueless to the fact that she, and she alone, saved the lives of people that would have been otherwise dead. She does know that she will be targeted by the arsonist and doesn’t look forward to the news of her heroism getting out.

Ranulf Thorsen has been called upon by the leader of the Kyth to bring the arsonist, who is also Kyth, to justice. The Kyth are a race that feed off the energy of other people. Energy to them is like food to a normal person. They need it to survive. They don’t have to kill people to get energy, though there are those like Braden (the arsonist) who do exactly that. The energy that comes with fear and terror is dark and addictive. Ranulf strips the traitors of their energy and it has taken its toll on him over the years.

I found the idea behind the Kyth and the elite Talion warriors interesting. Needing energy to survive is fascinating when you (or I?) think about it. Kerry is a special Kyth, though. She has the ability to heal. Hence all the people that survived the club fire. Also, only someone with her abilities can lead the Kyth and they’re going to need her to step up.

The whole thing was just a little too pat for me. Kerry has no idea any paranormal elements exist, yet by the end of the book she is gung-ho to lead a race of people that she really knows nothing about. So while I think the series has potential to be as good as her Paladin series, this book isn’t as strong as it could be considering it’s the first in a new series.

Grade: 3.75 out of 5

Talions

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: The Breakup by Erin McCarthy

Posted August 9, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: The Breakup by Erin McCarthyReviewer: Tracy
The Breakup by Erin McCarthy
Series: The Jordan Brothers #2
Also in this series: The Hookup (The Jordan Brothers #1), The Hookup (The Jordan Brothers, #1)
Publisher: Loveswept
Publication Date: August 14th 2018
Format: eARC
Point-of-View: Alternating First Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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three-half-stars

Can two wrongs feel oh-so-right? This bride is about to find out—with the bad boy who makes an epic breakup worth her while.

Bella: I know I’m a princess. I’m used to getting what I want. But all I ever really wanted was a husband and a family. Unlike my sister, Sophie, I’ll never have a brilliant career to fall back on. So what’s a bride to do when she learns that Prince Charming is a cheating snake just a few days before her fairy-tale wedding? With my fiancé begging for another chance, the only way to save the wedding is to even things out with a little revenge sex—and local bartender Christian Jordan seems like the right man for the job.

Christian: If gorgeous Bella Bigelow thinks sleeping with me will somehow lead to happily ever after, I’m not going to turn her down. The guy she wants to marry is a jerk, and her sister is fooling around with my estranged twin brother, Cain. So what’s the problem? Besides falling for a woman who doesn’t know what she wants out of life? All I want to do is whisk her away from that church, take her to a cabin in the woods, and act out all our naughtiest fantasies. And I may just get the chance. . . .

Bella is pretty sure that her fiancé is cheating on her.  She’s one week out from her wedding and she’s an emotional wreck. When she finds texts on her fiancé’s phone confirming the cheating Bella confronts Brad about it.  He, of course, being the ass he is, turns it around to make it look like Bella is the cause of his cheating.  She knows she’s being manipulated but still can’t bring herself to end it.  She talks to her parents who push her to marry Brad anyway.  She’s SO confused!

Bella recently became friends with Christian, a bartender in the coastal Maine town that she’s getting married in.  She gets drunk and asks him to teach how to be good in bed but he refuses.  Though Christian doesn’t normally have problems sleeping with women in relationships, because they’re emotionally unavailable, there’s something about Bella that makes him want to treat her well.

When Bella decides right before the wedding ceremony that she absolutely can’t marry Brad she calls Christian and he whisks her off to a family cabin to hide her from her family, Brad and his family and anyone else trying to talk to her.  With Bella now single and free, Christian has no problem showing her exactly how good in bed she is.  The two spend a couple of days together but soon they have to face reality.  Bella has to decide what she’s going to do now that she quit her job, sold her furniture and has nowhere to go, and Christian has to decide if wanting Bella in his life will be a good thing or just make his crazy life even crazier.

After book one in this series I can’t say that I liked Christian all that much.  Book one was about Bella’s sister and Christian’s twin brother getting together.  It seems that Christian slept with his twin’s girlfriend and was caught.  Of course it comes out in this book that the girlfriend, Ali, had told Christian that they had broken up and since Christian had had a thing for Ali all through school he took her up on her off of some bed-play.  Little did he know it would change his life forever.  Turns out he wasn’t a bad person after all – he just didn’t make the best judgment calls about people.  He knew this about himself so that’s why he hesitated when Bella approached him about going to bed with her.  I was happy that he finally saw that it would be a bad idea.  I actually ended up liking Christian a lot in this book, thank heavens. 🙂

Bella was a strong character but sometimes she made me a bit crazy. She knew deep down she was never going to marry Brad but then ended up waiting until the last possible moment to run. That bothered me a lot.  I guess I have not idea what I would have done in that situation so I can’t be too judgy.  I liked how she handled things with Christian, her family and Brad after the wedding fiasco and was happy that she didn’t settle.

I was annoyed at the alternating first person POV.  Not that I mind that POV so much, but there was no clear delineation of when one POV stopped and another started, like a new chapter.  There was just a break in the story and then we’d get another POV – sometimes it was hard to figure out if I was reading Bella’s POV or Christians.  🙁  Not to my liking.

The book was good and I really liked it. It was a fun, easy read and was perfect for just sitting in the back yard with no worries.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Jordan Brothers

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: More or Less a Countess by Anna Bradley

Posted August 6, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: More or Less a Countess by Anna BradleyReviewer: Tracy
More or Less a Countess (The Somerset Sisters #2) by Anna Bradley
Series: The Somerset Sisters #2
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Publication Date: August 7, 2018
Format: eARC
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
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three-half-stars

Finding a worthy husband should be simple for three beautiful debutantes in Regency London. But the Somerset sisters have a way of making it delightfully complicated...

Violet Somerset has always preferred a library to a ballroom, but to please her grandmother she agreed to one London season. With nothing to show for it but heartbreak, she's reconciled to spinsterhood. Until a notorious rogue known as the Devil of Dare requests an introduction to her timid, gentle youngest sister, Hyacinth. Violet will do anything to stop the match—even if it means posing as Hyacinth herself.

Nicholas Balfour, the Earl of Dare, is enjoying the life of a rake far too much to take a wife. But he must keep his promise to his grandmother. He'll simply choose the meekest bride he can find, install her at his estate, then carry on as before. Hyacinth sounds perfect—until he discovers that her sweet demeanor hides the tongue of a viper and the mind of a bluestocking.

As Violet's ruse threatens to unravel, however, she may find the tables turned. Soon she may have no choice but to tolerate her handsome fiancée—or fall in love with him.

Nicholas Balfour, the Earl of Dare hates England. He’s been in Italy for years, since his brother died, and he never wanted to return.  Now his father is dead and he returns to England to assume the title.  Unfortunately his aunt holds all of the purse strings and she’s demanding he stay in England, find a bride, and get an heir.  Nicholas hates that he has to comply in order to live the life he wants but he agrees.  He decides he’ll find a woman, propose, get a baby in her and get back to Italy and his mistress within a few months.

Nick is at a dinner party with an old friend when he hears Hyacinth Somerset play the pianoforte.  He’s entranced and immediately thinks to court her.  He even thinks she’s pretty.  He approaches her, even though they’ve not been introduced and asks to call on her the following day. She refuses.  He’s shocked but not too put off and returns the next day.  When he finds that Hyacinth’s grandmother is gone he asks for Miss Somerset, not realizing that he’s asking for Hyacinth’s sister, Violet – the woman he was actually speaking with the night before.  He couldn’t tell Violet and Hyacinth apart (even though they’re not twins) and since Violet would do anything to protect her incredibly shy younger sister she went along with acting like Hyacinth.

Violet is a bluestocking.  She is writing a book and sketching pictures of the famous places in London. Her grandmother says that some of the places she wants to go to aren’t ladylike, so she won’t allow her to go.  Violet wants nothing to do with Nick.  He’s a rake and she wants him gone.  He keeps asking if he can call and she keeps refusing and he keeps showing up.  She finally realizes that she can use him to her advantage.  She agrees to go driving with him but directs him to the places that she wants to go.  Nick is horrified at first but then the longer he gets to know Hyacinth, the more he likes her.  In fact he starts to fall in love, which was never in his plans.  When he finds out that he’s been courting Violet, however, he’s not sure love will be enough.

This was a really cute story.  I really liked Nick even though he was a rake.  Yes, he wasn’t nice at first, only thinking of himself, but he was so kind to Violet.  I loved how he started to appreciate her quirks and even planned outings that he would never have taken another lady on.  Yes, he started out being an ass but then I started to feel bad for him because Violet wasn’t coming clean about her identity.

Violet was interesting. Like most bluestockings in romance novels she was single-minded in her endeavors. I really didn’t like her pulling the wool over Nick’s eyes and wanted her to come clean, but we don’t always get what we want. Lol.  Despite those issues I really liked her.  She had a great personality and I liked her a lot.

This was a good story and while I didn’t read book one in this series I’m positive I’ll be reading the next one when it comes out.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

The Somerset Sisters

three-half-stars


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