Tag: 3.75 Reviews

Blog Tour Review: Toxic Game by Christine Feehan

Posted March 5, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Blog Tour Review: Toxic Game by Christine FeehanReviewer: Casee
Toxic Game (GhostWalkers #15) by Christine Feehan
Series: GhostWalkers #15
Also in this series: Predatory Game, Street Game, Ruthless Game, Shadow Game, Power Game, Murder Game, Covert Game
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: March 5, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 416
Add It: Goodreads
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Series Rating: four-stars

On a rescue mission in the heart of the Indonesian jungle, Dr. Draden Freeman and his GhostWalker team need to extract the wounded as quickly as possible—or risk spreading a deadly virus unleashed by a terrorist cell. When Draden gets infected, he forces his team to leave him behind. He won’t risk exposing anyone else. He intends to find the ones responsible and go out in a blaze of glory....

Shylah Cosmos’s mission is to track the virus and remain unseen. Her enhanced senses tell her that the gorgeous man eradicating the terrorists one by one is a GhostWalker—and his lethal precision takes her breath away. When he’s hit by a lucky shot, she can’t stop herself from stepping in, not knowing that by saving his life she’s exposed herself to the virus.

There’s no telling how much time Draden and Shylah have left. Racing to find a cure, they quickly realize that they’ve found their perfect partner just in time to lose everything. But even as the virus threatens to consume their bodies, they’ve never felt more alive.

I wanted to like this book more than I actually did. Especially when I read this from Feehan’s website:

“This could possibly be the most romantic couple I’ve ever written in any of my series. I was surprised by both of them many times which made writing this book so much fun for me.”

I was super excited because 1) GhostWalkers! 2) Most romantic! 3) GhostWalkers! Okay, so I’m a little obsessed with the GhostWalker series, it’s true. I’ve come to expect a lot from the series. When I say a lot, I mean a lot. This one was so incredibly rushed. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t good, just that it didn’t work for me.

Draden Freeman is on a rescue mission when he is infected with a deadly virus. Knowing he needs to force his team to leave him behind, he does just that. His plan is to bring as many terrorist responsible for spreading the virus as possible before he dies. And he knows he’s going to die. The village the the terrorists took out with the virus attests to that brutal fact. Then he meets Shylah Cosmos, one of Peter Whitney’s orphan girls. She’s there on her own mission. While following him, she saves him inadvertently infecting herself. Draden is furious, but can’t help but be attracted to Shylah’s calm and acceptance of her fate.

Shylah is in the Indonesian jungle to track down the three scientists that are responsible for creating the virus. Her job isn’t to bring them in. Her job is to kill them and bring their research in. It’s only as her and Draden start working together that they realize that the virus wasn’t make as a biological weapon. It was made for Shylah herself. Peter Whitney doesn’t like when his girls escape and Shylah is the only one that can fight off whatever virus is injected into her body. It was only by chance that the scientists created a weapon to which there was no antidote. Or could there possibly be one?

The speed in which Draden and Shylah fell in love was a matter of days. The only thing that made in believable was that they both believed they were going to die. Otherwise it was just completely implausible. Even with Whitney and his imprinting of the men and women, it was still too fast. The rest of the book was actually pretty good, even the scientific part of it. I always admire how much research Feehan puts into her books. While I’m clueless as to whether the info is accurate, it sure seems like it is.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5.

GhostWalkers


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Review: Sweet Sinful Nights by Lauren Blakely

Posted February 28, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Sweet Sinful Nights by Lauren BlakelyReviewer: Casee
Sweet Sinful Nights (Sinful Nights, #1) by Lauren Blakely
Narrator: Josh Goodman
Series: Sinful Nights #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: June 12, 2015
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Romance Package
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 364
Length: 9 hours and 45 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

She was the one who got away...Ten years ago, Brent Nichols let the love of his life slip through his fingers. It's his greatest regret, especially since she's all but disappeared. But when the gorgeous and captivating woman walks into his life unexpectedly, he's determined to win her back. Whatever it takes, he won't make the same mistake twice.

Easier said than done...Shannon Paige has hardened her heart to the man she was once engaged to be married to. After the way he left, and after the hell she's been through with her checkered family, there's no way she's letting him into her life again. The problem is, the second she sees him, he's more handsome and charming than before. And she's torn between wanting to fight with him and wanting to sleep with him -- maybe both.

Soon they fall into each other's arms, consumed with a desire that burns through the years. But if these two fiery lovers are going to have a real second chance at this kind of intense, passionate, bone-deep love, he'll have to give her his whole heart, and she'll have to give up all the secrets from her messy past. And that messy past is about to spill over into her carefully constructed present...

This was a nice quick audiobook. I continue to really enjoy listening to Lauren Blakely on audio. Her narrators are always very good. They really have a knack for pulling me into the story. I thought it may be different with this book because it’s a male narrator telling the story from both the male and female points of view, but it worked.

Brent Nichols and Shannon Paige were high school sweethearts. They were engaged to engaged to be married, had their life mapped out, etc. Everything was going swimmingly until Brent went ahead and changed their path without consulting Shannon. That was a deal breaker for her, especially when he wouldn’t budge on his position. She gave him his engagement ring back and disappeared from his life.

Ten years later and their paths have crossed once more. Shannon was prepared, Brent was not. This time Brent is not letting Shannon get away. He will do whatever it takes to keep her in his life. This time forever. He doesn’t know that Shannon has yet to tell him what happened after their split.

Shannon doesn’t trust easily. She doesn’t trust Brent even though she wants too. She can see that he’s changed, but thinks it’s too good to be true. Her reluctance to trust may be her downfall. She just has to figure out if it’s worth it to put her trust in Brent a second time.

This was a sweet story of lovers reuniting. I enjoyed it and am looking forward to reading/listening to Shannon’s brothers.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5.

Sinful Nights

four-stars


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Review: Dominated by Maya Banks

Posted February 25, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Dominated by Maya BanksReviewer: Casee
Dominated (The Enforcers, #2) by Maya Banks
Series: The Enforcers #2
Also in this series: Mastered (The Enforcers, #1), Kept (The Enforcers, #3)
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: May 13, 2016
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Erotica
Pages: 352
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

The desire that exploded in Mastered continues its conflagration in Dominated—from the New York Times bestselling author of the Surrender Trilogy.

To save her, he had to betray her...

In Drake’s shadowy world, his enemies would exploit any weakness he had in order to bring him to his knees, and so he’s never allowed himself to care about anyone...never exhibited any vulnerability, and it made him a force to be reckoned with. Until Evangeline—his angel. A woman who slipped past his defenses like no one had ever managed. She was his to protect and ultimately, to do that, he had to do the unthinkable and drive the only good thing in his world away.

But he will stop at nothing to get her back...

Devastated and destroyed, Evangeline doesn’t know what made Drake turn on her in such a shocking manner. She only knows she’ll never be the same. He once freed her from all her inhibitions, only now she is a prisoner to never-ending pain. But when Drake finds her again, she realizes there is more to his world than she ever imagined, and she must decide if she can once more trust—and submit—to the man who holds her wounded heart in his hands. And he must convince her of just how far he’ll go to regain her love and forgiveness.

Book number two in Banks’ Enforcer series. It is a continuation of Mastered. When I say continuation, I mean that it picks up right where Mastered left off. Same couple, same everything. It completely understood that Drake and Evangeline needed their story finished, but over an entire second book? Questionable. It was more of the same. Drake kept fucking up and Evangeline kept forgiving him, all the while waiting for him to end things with her.

Seriously, it was the same stuff, but written a little differently. I’m not saying that I didn’t enjoy it, but some parts were very yawn worthy.

The book begins with Drake frantically looking for Evangeline. After being kidnapped by his enemies, Evangeline is left with nothing. Well, almost nothing. Before being kidnapped, she found out that she was pregnant. She also found out that Drake will never trust her. She knows that one day it will ruin them. After literally begging on her knees for Drake to listen to her, he throws her out. To say that his enforcers are not happy with him is a vast understatement. They know what kind of woman Evangeline is even if Drake doesn’t. They band together to protect her. After being kidnapped she gives Drake his engagement ring back and flies home to her parents.

Drake knows that he fucked up beyond imagining. After the first time he did the unspeakable to her, she forgave him. He’s not sure that she will forgive him this time, but he won’t give up. He wants his family together desperately and he will beg Evangeline if necessary.

I really did want to knock Drake upside the head. What a flaming moron. Does he know the woman he claims to love at all? Seriously. In the end, this book ended up being about forgiveness. The human capacity to forgive is strong, especially in Evangeline.

I did enjoy this book enough to move onto the third and final book in the series.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5.

The Enforcers

three-half-stars


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Review: Mastered by Maya Banks

Posted February 21, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Mastered by Maya BanksReviewer: Casee
Mastered (The Enforcers, #1) by Maya Banks
Series: The Enforcers #1
Also in this series: Dominated (The Enforcers, #2), Kept (The Enforcers, #3)
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: December 29, 2015
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Erotica
Pages: 368
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Breathless Trilogy comes the first novel in the Enforcers series—a bold new direction in erotic romance that explores the games men and women play, and the price they’re willing to pay for pleasure.

What he wants, he takes with no remorse or guilt.

She stood out in his club like a gem, unspoiled and untouched. A lamb among wolves, she clearly didn’t belong. Drawn to her innocence he watched as she was surrounded by men who saw what he did—but no one but him could touch her. He summoned her to his private quarters. He sensed her fear. He also recognized the desire in her eyes. And he knew she wouldn’t leave before he possessed her. She had no need to know his secrets. Not until he had her under his complete and utter control.

What he wants, she isn’t sure she can give him.

The moment he told her want he wanted, she couldn’t resist. Instinct told her to run, but her heart said stay and walk the fine line between pleasure and pain. Though she wasn’t sure she could ever completely surrender, the primal part of her wanted to try, even knowing this man could break her in ways she never imagined. Because once he possessed her, he owned her and it would be too late to turn back. She can only pray that he doesn’t destroy her in the end.

Coming May 2016: The Enforcers Book II: Dominated

I love Maya Banks and have for years. It’s true that my reading tastes have changed, but what can you do? I was going through my “to-read” shelf on GoodReads and noticed that Kept (#3 in the series) was on the list. This is a trilogy that I was really looking forward to years ago and I don’t know why I never read it.

Let me preface my review by saying that this isn’t exactly a romance. I don’t even know that there are true romantic elements here. This is a BDSM book where the hero takes complete control of the heroines life and does unspeakable things to hurt her. Unforgivable things to most of us. Things that may be too much for a vanilla romance reader to read. Sometimes need overcomes all else and that what happens here.

After a thoroughly disaster first sexual encounter, Evangeline has revenge on her mind. Well, it’s not really on her mind. It’s on the mind of her three best friends. After dressing her to the nines and giving her a VIP pass to one of the hottest clubs in New York, they send Evangeline on her way to show Eddie just what he’s missing. Except their plan backfires in a big way. When Evangeline arrives, she immediately knows that she doesn’t belong and it’s evident that everyone watching knows it too. After (barely) being admitted inside the club, Evangeline feels even more out of place. She doesn’t notice the men staring at her. What she does notice is the women sneering and looking down on her. Deciding to write the whole night off as a mistake, Evangeline attempts to leave when she runs into Eddie. Which goes nothing like she imagined. When the bouncers step in to save her from a violent attack, she is humiliated. Even more so when they take her to their boss.

Drake noticed Evangeline as soon as she walked through the doors of his club. She has a look of innocence and sweetness that men wanted and women hated. She didn’t belong there. When she is attacked, Drake is enraged. When his men bring her to his office, he intends to tell her exactly why she doesn’t belong there. Except she apologizes profusely and tells him that he will never see him again and that she knows she doesn’t belong. Everything he was going to tell her sounded like blasphemy coming out of her mouth. The only way to shut her up was to kiss her and kiss her he did.

My biggest problem with this book is Evangeline’s lack of confidence and self-esteem. The woman thought nothing of herself. She had pride in spades, but she thought she was only with Drake until he was sick of her. Which she knew was going to be sooner rather than later because she just didn’t measure up to who he was used to being with. She was just a southern girl that was trying to take care of her ailing parents. She was nothing.

Honestly, it got old and fast.

She doesn’t quite know what Drake does for a living, but is happy with him so shrug. When it’s time to protect her life, Drake goes to awful lengths to protect her. He humiliates her in all the worst possible ways, but especially as a woman. The little confidence she had as the woman Drake could possible love is gone in the blink of an eye.

As much as Evangeline bugged me, the story still sucked me in. I read it in no time at all and moved onto the next one as soon as I finished this one.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5.

The Enforcers

three-half-stars


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Joint Review: Three Little Words by Jenny Holiday

Posted February 7, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Joint Review: Three Little Words by Jenny HolidayReviewer: Holly & Rowena
Three Little Words (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #3) by Jenny Holiday
Series: Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #3
Also in this series: One and Only (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #1), It Takes Two (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #2), Merrily Ever After (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly, #2.5)
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: January 29, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Gia Gallo is officially in bridesmaid hell. Stranded in New York with her best friend's wedding dress, Gia has six days to make it to Florida in time for the ceremony. And oh-so-charming best man Bennett Buchanan has taken the last available rental car. Looks like she's in for one long road trip with the sexiest - and most irritating - Southern gentleman she's ever met...

Bennett's pretty sure that if there was ever a woman to break his "no flings" rule, Gia would be it. Sure, she's stubborn. She's also funny, smart, and the attraction between them is getting hotter with every state line they cross. While Bennett doesn't do casual, Gia doesn't do "relationships." But if they break the rules, this unlikely pair might discover that their impromptu road trip could turn out to be the best ride of their lives.

Three Little Words is the third book in Jenny Holiday’s Bridesmaids Behaving Badly series and it features the last woman standing, Gia Gallo as she road trips her way to her own happy ending with Noah’s best friend, Bennett Buchanan. Holly and I both got the book for review, so we decided to review it together.

Rowena: Alright Holly, let’s do this. What did you think?

Holly: I hated it. I can’t believe you forced me to read this awful book.

J/K

It was great. It was a quick, light read but really dealt with some darker themes. I loved Bennett so much. He was such a nice guy. What about you?

Rowena: Haha, I was going to say….

I adored this book. I adored this series, really. It was just such a feel-good bunch of books that really worked for me. I loved the friendships between all of the girls and the heroes that fall in love with them were no slouches either. Bennett and Gia were wonderful together and I loved seeing them come together the way that they did. In the beginning, we see Gia acting low key crazy at the airport and having read the other books in this series, that took me by surprise because the Gia that I knew from those books would not have been crazy like that…but then again, I was seeing Gia through the eyes of the people that loved her so it was different. What did you think of Gia right off the bat?

Holly: Since I didn’t read the other books in the series I didn’t have any expectations going in. I’m not going to lie, Gia turned me off in the beginning. Truthfully, I never really felt connected to her. My heart hurt for her at times, but I wasn’t really invested in her as a character. That’s not to say I didn’t like her, because I did. Her snark and attitude had me laughing, and I loved how sharp she was. Every time she spouted off some simple fix for what seemed to be giant problems for people, it made me smile. I guess I just didn’t really connect with where she was at in her life.

Rowena: I get that, especially because I had the same thoughts and I loved Gia. I was a bit disappointed that I connected with her character more in the other books but when Gia stops acting like a freaking brat, I was glad and really loved seeing her get her shit together.

Holly: What about Bennett? Did you love him? How did he compare to the other heroes from this series?

Rowena: Bennett was the bomb. I loved him in Wendy’s book and was super excited when I found out that he was Gia’s hero. He completely lived up to my expectations of him and my heart hurt for him when Gia takes him to Charleston because seeing him deal with the shit that was never fixed in his life made me all soft for him. He really turned his life around and seeing the guy that he was after everything he lived through just made him the freaking best.

Holly: Oh man, I got all melty for Bennett after they went to Charleston. He was such a stand-up guy. I wanted to see things work out for him. I’m glad he ended up with Gia and that she took such good care of him.

Rowena: Do you think that you’ll read the other books in this series?

Holly: I definitely want to read Wendy’s book. I’m not sure about the others. I don’t not want to read them, I’m just not as interested in them as I am Wendy.

Rowena: Honestly, there was a lot for me to love. I loved seeing everyone again and I loved seeing Bennett up close and personal. I also really loved how Gia and Bennett help each other with their individual problems and I’m not going to lie, I wanted Bennett to cook for me after finishing this book. I just know he’d be the bomb. I totally give this 4.5 out of 5, what about you?

Holly: I enjoyed the book overall. Gia wasn’t my favorite, and I wasn’t that invested in the other couples since I didn’t read any of the other books, but the friendships the girls (and the guys) had and the way Bennett was made the book for me. I’m giving it 3.75 out of 5.

Final Grades

Holly: 3.75 out of 5
Rowena: 4.5 out of 5

Bridesmaids Behaving Badly

four-stars


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