Tag: 3.75 Reviews

Review: Born in Fire by K.F. Breene

Posted August 18, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Born in Fire by K.F. BreeneReviewer: Holly
Born in Fire (Fire and Ice Trilogy, #1) by K.F. Breene
Series: Fire and Ice Trilogy #1
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: February 18, 2017
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 448
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four-stars

Heart pounding and laugh out loud funny, USA Today Bestselling author K.F. Breene will take you on a magical joy ride you won't soon forget.

Supernatural Bounty Hunter isn't the sort of thing you see on LinkedIn. But with a rare type of magic like mine, I don't have many options.

So dangerous or not, the job is mine. And it was going fine, until an old as sin vampire stole my mark, and with it, my pay day.

Knowing I'm poor and desperate, he has offered me a job. I'll have to work by his side to help solve a top secret case.

Everyone knows not to trust vampires. Especially a hot elder vampire. But without any other jobs coming up, I'm stuck. As I uncover a web of lies and treachery, revealing an enemy I didn't know existed, the truth of my identity is threatened. I might make it out alive, only to end up in a gilded cage.

Born in Fire is the first book in K.F. Breene’s Fire and Ice Trilogy, which follows supernatural bounty hunter Raegan Somserset. It’s currently $2.99 for Kindle (or free for KU), which is where I picked it up after seeing it recommended at the back of one of Ilona Andrews’ books (I don’t recall which one).

Raegan hunts down those with magical abilities, though the majority of the human population doesn’t realize they exist. Despite being great at her job, she doesn’t make a lot because her lineage makes it impossible for her to acquire legal papers to work. So when her latest mark gets stolen – and her cut of the bounty with it – by a vampire, she’s beyond angry. Out of money – and options – she’s forced to agree to work with the vampires on another matter, even though it goes against everything she’s been taught about staying under the radar and avoiding vampires.

Raegan has a smart mouth and a sharp wit, which means she constantly butts head with her vampire escort, Darius, the one who stole her mark. Though she’s forced to work with him she isn’t happy about it, and refuses to pretend otherwise. Of course that doesn’t help with the inappropriate attraction she feels toward him – which seems to be reciprocated. Good thing she knows vampires are users and can’t be trusted – especially with her secrets.

This is my first book by Breene, but it won’t be the last. It was fast-paced and action-packed from the start. Raegan’s sarcastic humor and smart mouth made for some entertaining scenes. There were a few times it bordered on being campy, though for the most part it was just a lighter UF. There’s very little romance in this book. There are hints that more may come in later books, but here it’s very mild.

There were times the story seemed to drag on. At 488 pages, it’s pretty meaty. It probably could have been cut down a bit and been an easier read. Even so, it was well-written and very enjoyable. I can’t wait to find out what happens with Raegan and Darius in the future.

3.75 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: Master of the Night by Angela Knight

Posted August 8, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Master of the Night by Angela KnightReviewer: Holly
Master of the Night (Mageverse #1) by Angela Knight
Series: Mageverse #1
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: October 5th 2004
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 296
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three-half-stars

American agent Erin Grayson has a new mission: romance international businessman Reece Champion. Seducing the handsome millionaire could put her that much closer to the revenge she craves against a murderous organization.

Erin doesn't realize she's being manipulated by the very group she hunts. Champion is actually an agent of the U.S. government.

He's also a vampire.

Reece senses the latent supernatural powers hidden within Erin, powers as dangerously irresistible to him as her lush body and hot blood. Yet he also knows that yielding to their mutual desire will make them pawns in a deadly game—a game in which their opponent is, quite literally, a monster.

To survive, Erin must embrace talents she never knew she had—and trust a man who is Master of the Night.

I was in the mood for Arthurian romances and asked for recs on Twitter. This series was the first one mentioned. While it wasn’t quite what I was looking for in terms of Arthurian legend, I found the series to be pretty cracktastic. I read 5 full-length novels and 3 novellas back-to-back.

In Knight’s world, Arthur and his round table actually exist, but they’re immortal vampires charged with saving humanity from itself. Merlin and Nimue are aliens from another planet who realized early on civilizations needed subtle help to keep them from wiping themselves out. They created the vampires to watch over humanity and work from behind the scenes to keep them from completely destroying themselves. They must remain in the shadows, for those on Earth must never know they exist.

Reece Champion is the vampire champion of the United States. He’s investigating a sudden surge in cult activity when he comes into contact with Erin Grayson. Erin is a Latent, a descendant of one the round table knights. 1 in every 10 of their offspring can be turned into a Magi (female witch) or Magus (male vampire). Having sex 3 times will trigger Erin’s Latent gifts and open her up to the powers of the Mageverse. The problem is, if she isn’t compatible, channeling that much power can drive her insane and she’ll have to be executed.

It turns out Erin is investigating the same cult activities, but she doesn’t realize Reece is on her side. She’s investigating him as the possible leader of the cult. It isn’t long before they realize there’s more going on than either of them are aware. When they end up locked in a cell together so Reece will trigger her change, they’ll have to decide if they can trust each other enough to work together. The only way out may be by changing Erin, but without a deep personal connection, she might go insane.

I have to admit, the premise caused me a to raise an eyebrow at first. Having sex three times is the only way to release someone’s powers? Okayyy… But it wasn’t as hokey as I expected it to be. I did have to suspend disbelief somewhat to buy the insta-love in each book, but the world is really interesting and the characters drew me in.

Aside from my issues with how quickly they fell in love, I really liked both Reece and Erin. They were both capable and committed to their cause. Erin worked hard and had a deep well of inner strength that appealed to me. Reece was a stand-up guy all around. I did buy their connection, but it just came about too soon.  I enjoyed the way the plot progressed. There was enough action and adventure to keep me interested even when I was a little iffy on the romance.

Someone described these as being “cracky” and I’d agree..the series is totally cracktastic. I couldn’t put it down.

3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Review: Eye Candy by Jessica Lemmon

Posted July 24, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Eye Candy by Jessica LemmonReviewer: Rowena
Eye Candy by Jessica Lemmon
Series: Real Love #1
Also in this series: Eye Candy (Real Love, #1)
Published by Random House, Loveswept
Publication Date: July 25th 2017
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three-half-stars

Jacqueline: As an adult woman--and the vice president of a marketing firm--I shouldn't be waiting by my office window to ogle the mystery man who jogs by every morning at 11:45. Sure, he's a gorgeous, perfect specimen of the human race, but I can't bring myself to hit on a total stranger. However, my best friend-slash-colleague Vince Carson thinks I should do more than talk to the guy. In fact, he's borderline obsessive about "getting me laid." (His words.) But the more time we spend together, the more it's clear: The one I'm falling for is Vince.

Vince: Jackie Butler's got it bad for some pompous, over-pumped A-hole who struts his stuff past her window. That doesn't bother me. I know she deserves nice things. What does bother me is that she friend-zoned me big-time last year, so I can't ask her out myself. But what if I set her up with Mr. Steroids? Then, when he breaks her heart, I can swoop in and save her like the nice guy I am. Everything's going according to plan . . . until we share a ridiculously epic kiss. And suddenly anything is possible.

Eye Candy is the first book in a new series by Jessica Lemmon called Real Love. It follows Vince Carson as he tries to win his best friend Jackie Butler over into his life and his..bed.

Vince has got it bad for his best friend, Jackie. She kind of snuck up on him because he wasn’t looking for feelings to creep up on him since he swore off love after his ex-wife left him because he wasn’t successful enough for her. Jackie and Vince work together, they share the VP status at their marketing firm and it was Jackie that helped Vince get his shit together after the divorce. He was an emotional mess and talking things out with Jackie, who showed up at his house with fried chicken and beer helped get his life back on track and he was doing well now. He was done being an emotional basket case and he was moving on with his life. He was ready to date again and he wanted to date Jackie but she wasn’t ready for him.

Jackie came into the picture when she started working at the marketing firm that Vince worked at. She was fresh off a divorce herself but her divorce did a number on her because her ex-husband cheating and fell in love with someone else while still married to Jackie and she hasn’t really recovered from the rejection and betrayal. Vince was off limits when Jackie first meets him and it’s probably for the best because they’re really good as friends. Best friends, even. She saw herself in him when he was struggling to get through the days following his divorce and so she shows up at his house and helps him through everything. She listened to him when he needed to get all of his emotions off his chest. She helped him figure out his next move.

Vince is under the impression that if he were to ask Jackie out, that he would be her rebound and he doesn’t want to be that so when she starts drooling over the hot guy that runs by their office every day at 11:45am, Vince thinks it’s a good idea to become her dating coach. She needs to get back out there so that when the hot guy breaks her heart, Vince will be there to comfort her through the heartbreak.

What a dumbass plan. The whole plan that Vince concocts to win Jackie over was just plain ol’ dumb but for some reason, I kept reading the book. I enjoyed Vince as a character and I enjoyed getting to know Jackie but I still thought that they had a lot of dumb moments throughout the book. I’m not a fan of dating games and these two played a lot of them. They’re best friends, so I didn’t think that the games were necessary but let them both slide some because they were young enough to make those stupid mistakes.

The romance was pretty steamy and I’m mighty curious about the next book in this series so I’m definitely going to be continuuing on. I liked Davis and want to see him get the bartender….I’m also very curious to know where Grace went toward the end of this book. Why wasn’t she at the bar when the boys would go in there? Hmmm…

Overall, I thought this book was good. The characters were funny, the dialogue had me cracking up and I liked the hero. Sure, Vince did some stupid shit but I still really liked him. I liked him more than I liked Jackie. I wasn’t a fan of the whole JT thing but it led Vince and Jackie to each other so I got over it. Jessica Lemmon created a fun little world for these characters and I’m looking forward to meeting the rest of the gang in the next book. I’m in.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: Gone to Dust by Liliana Hart

Posted July 10, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Gone to Dust by Liliana HartReviewer: Tracy
Gone to Dust by Liliana Hart
Series: Gravediggers Series #2
Published by Pocket Books
Publication Date: June 20th 2017
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 384
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four-stars

The Gravediggers aren’t exactly what they seem. They’re the most elite of the world’s fighting forces—and all they have in common is that they’ve been betrayed by the countries they’ve died for. Because they are dead. To their country, their military, and their families.

Sometimes the dead do rise....

Miller Darling is one of the most popular romance novelists of her time. Not bad for a woman who doesn’t believe in romance. She’s as logical as they come, and she doesn’t believe in happily-ever-afters. What she does believe in is family, so when her brother disappears, she doesn’t think twice about packing her bag and her laptop and heading out to find him.

Elias Cole lived and breathed the life of a Navy SEAL. Now he’s “dead” and his hero’s honor tarnished. The only thing keeping him sane are the men who are like him—The Gravediggers—and the woman who makes his head spin. He’s never met anyone like Miller Darling. Her smart mouth and quick wit keep him on his toes, and damned if he doesn’t find that appealing.

When Miller receives a package from the brother who abandoned her asking for help, it’s clear she’s in over her head with the mess he’s gotten himself into. She needs a professional, and Elias is just the man for the job. Only her brother is a former SEAL—the man who left his team to die—and Elias is more interested in vengeance than saving his life.

Miller is an author who writes romance novels but doesn’t believe in love.  She was raised by her brother after their parents died in a plane crash.  Their parents had been searching for King Solomon’s treasure and unfortunately her brother took up the search after they died.  Miller was pretty much left on her own a huge amount of time.  Her friend Tess was always there and that was enough for her.

Miller opens the mail one day and finds a finger. She knows it’s her brothers finger by the ring that was on it as it used to belong to their father. She freaks out and heads to Tess and her husband, Deacon.  He examines the finger and the men who make up The Gravediggers get involved to help Miller find her brother who is in South America.

The Gravediggers are an elite group of terrorist fighters from all walks of life and nationalities.  Their boss doesn’t want them to get involved with Miller’s problems but one of them, Elias, agrees to take vacation to help Miller.  Miller and Elias had gone on a date at one point and had gotten hot and heavy until he just suddenly walked away.

Miller was pissed at him and doesn’t want to have to be close to him in any way but agrees to his help.  Miller and Elias face many dangers in South America – kidnapping, the dangers of nature and drug lords. These dangers force Miller and Elias to talk and figure out their issues.  Elias is focused on getting revenge on Eve, the lady who screwed up his life in order to get him into the Gravediggers.  Dating Miller would take that focus away and he walked away before he couldn’t.  Once he was with Miller he realized that his feelings for her were such that he couldn’t walk away even if he wanted to.

The story was a good one and was exciting.  There were a few lag points in the book but not too many.  Elias and Miller were great together and I loved that they played off of each other so very well.  The end of the book was pretty abrupt and I didn’t care for that at all.  I was left with too many questions!  Maybe the author intended for those to be answered in the next book but I found it incredibly frustrating.

Overall it was a good story.  I didn’t read the first book and didn’t feel I needed to in order to understand this one.

Rating: 3.75/4 out of 5  

four-stars


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Guest Review: Lip Action by Virna DePaul

Posted June 19, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Lip Action by Virna DePaulReviewer: Tracy
Lip Action by Virna DePaul
Series: Kiss Talent Agency #1

Publication Date: April 23rd, 2017
Pages: 195
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three-half-stars


Marissa

Appearance is everything to my upper-crust mother, but when she insists I take back my pedigreed-but-cheating ex? I’d rather stab myself with a salad fork. So I blurt out I’m dating someone new. Someone like…that smoking-hot, vaguely familiar guy across the restaurant, who could be the next James Bond.

Turns out he’s the star of my favorite, cheesy, sci-fi soap opera. (Don’t judge me.) One minute I’m fantasizing about Borg and his green-hued abs. The next, Simon Dale is making me an offer my sex-starved body can’t refuse.


Simon

I’m up for a breakout movie role that’ll launch me off the B-list, but I don’t need a script to read the scene between Marissa and her mum. Even though I’m a London gutter rat who never rubbed elbows with a Royal, I easily slip into the role of Marissa’s doting boyfriend. Why? I need a favor in return— a steady girlfriend, just long enough to convince the producers I’ve changed my wild ways.

Trouble is, I’m going all Method on this relationship—and close to losing the one thing that could break me. My heart.

Marissa is kind of Hollywood royalty because of her family’s money.  She doesn’t feel that way and just wants to live her life as a normal person.  Her mother, however, has very different ideas.  When Marissa tells her mother that she broke up with her long-time boyfriend because she found out he’d been cheating on her for 6 months her mother freaks out like it’s the end of the world.  Not that he’d been cheating on Marissa but that she broke it off.  Nice mom.  Not.  Marissa’s mom is insisting that she get back together with her boyfriend but Marissa refuses.  She sees a guy in the country club they’re at and makes up a story saying that she’s already seeing someone new.  Due to a set of circumstances she actually meets the guy and it turns out that he needs a fake girlfriend as well.

Simon is an actor on a TV show where he’s an alien.  He really needs a big break doing some serious film work but no one believes he can do it.  He’s got a playboy reputation and the producers of the one big film he’s being considered for think his reputation will be bad for publicity.  Simon’s not the person they think he is.  He grew up in the streets of London but he got him and his sister out.  He lives simply and saves his money as he doesn’t feel he deserves better.  When he meets Marissa he tells her that it’s all fake but the more time he spends with her the more he can’t get her out of his head.  Unfortunately they’re ruse depends on the producers believing them as well as Marissa’s parents never finding out who he really is.

This was a cute story.  It was a pretty simple fake relationship story but I like the way the author threw some curve balls in there for us.  Having Simon grow up as a London gutter rat was an interesting aspect of the story and of course that effected almost all of his decisions.  He was a good guy and not an actor that made some money and then lived lavishly.  He lived above a bar and saved his money.

Marissa was a woman who had lived under her mother’s thumb for so long she truly didn’t know how to get out from under it.  Being with Simon made her look at her life differently and want to stand up to her mother and do what she wanted with her life.  She grew a lot during the course of the book and I liked who she was at the end.

The relationship with Marissa and Simon started out as just playing a part, then just sex and then more.  Of course neither admitted it which is always frustrating when that happens with characters but I liked that they worked it all out in the end.  Overall it was a fun book and I definitely enjoyed reading it.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars


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