Tag: 3.75 Reviews

Review: Meet Cute by Helena Hunting

Posted May 14, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 5 Comments

Review: Meet Cute by Helena HuntingReviewer: Holly
Meet Cute by Helena Hunting
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: April 9, 2019
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 New to Me Challenge, New to Me Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars

Talk about an embarrassing introduction. On her first day of law school, Kailyn ran - quite literally - into the actor she crushed on as a teenager, ending with him sprawled on top of her. Mortified to discover the Daxton Hughes was also a student in her class, her embarrassment over their meet-cute quickly turned into a friendship she never expected. Of course, she never saw his betrayal coming either...

Now, eight years later, Dax is in her office asking for legal advice. Despite her anger, Kailyn can't help feeling sorry for the devastated man who just became sole guardian to his thirteen-year-old sister. But when her boss gets wind of Kailyn's new celebrity client, there's even more at stake than Dax's custody issues: if she gets Dax to work at their firm, she'll be promoted to partner.

The more time Kailyn spends with Dax and his sister, the more she starts to feel like a family, and the more she realizes the chemistry they had all those years ago is as fresh as ever. But will they be able to forgive the mistakes of the past, or will one betrayal lead to another?

This is my first book by Hunting. Based on the cover and blurb, I thought it would be a light, fluffy romance. While it had light, fluffy elements, the overall theme was actually quite somber. Once I adjusted my expectations, I easily fell into the story. I listened to the audiobook and I really enjoyed the narrators, Holly Warren and Teddy Hamilton. I hadn’t listened to a book narrated by either of them before, but I enjoyed them enough to seek out other books they’ve done.

Kailyn and Dax went to law school together. They met on her first day when she literally ran into him, then fangirled all over him. They spent the next 3 years as friendly rivals, constantly sparring with and pushing one another. They didn’t spend time together outside of class, but there was mutual respect and liking there. Until Dax screwed Kailyn over by not turning in her last paper on time, which bumped her GPA down enough to secure him the top spot in their class.

Five years later, they meet up again when his parents hire her firm to draft a family trust for them to protect their 13 year-old daughter. Kailyn is less than thrilled to see Dax again, but she’s a professional and figures she won’t have to see him again. Until the unthinkable happens and Dax is left with guardianship of his sister. Kailyn is appointed conservator of the estate while things are in limbo, and they’re forced to spend a lot of time together.

Meet Cute was one of my most anticipated books of 2019. The blurb and cover really got me, and I couldn’t wait to dive in. I absolutely adored Dax. He was such a sweetheart. The way he cared for his sister and took care of his responsibilities was wonderful, not to mention the way he was with Kailyn. He truly paid attention to who she was as a person, and what she wanted for her future. He was so great.

I struggled more with Kailyn. She jumped to a lot of conclusions early on in the book, and her constant skepticism and attitude toward Dax was frustrating. Plus, she kept a major secret from him for the majority of the book, which made her seem like a complete hypocrite for the way she acted toward him. I came to like the two of them together, and I enjoyed her relationship with Dax’s sister, but overall she just frustrated me.

I also had a hard time with the secondary plot featuring Dax’s aunt. It wasn’t really necessary to the story, aside from adding additional conflict. The way it was resolved was silly as well. It sort of just fizzled out. I don’t really understand why it was included at all.

That aside, this was an emotionally charged novel. My heart hurt for Dax and his sister, and I was really pulling for Dax and Kailyn by the end.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Review: Wild Country by Anne Bishop

Posted May 8, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: Wild Country by Anne BishopReviewer: Holly
Wild Country by Anne Bishop
Series: The World the Others #2, The Others #7
Also in this series: Written in Red, Murder of Crows, Vision in Silver, Marked in Flesh, Etched in Bone, Written in Red, Murder of Crows
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: March 5, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 480
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars

In this powerful and exciting fantasy set in the world of the New York Times bestselling Others series, humans and the shape-shifting Others will see whether they can live side by side...without destroying one another.

There are ghost towns in the world—places where the humans were annihilated in retaliation for the slaughter of the shape-shifting Others.

One of those places is Bennett, a town at the northern end of the Elder Hills—a town surrounded by the wild country. Now efforts are being made to resettle Bennett as a community where humans and Others live and work together. A young female police officer has been hired as the deputy to a Wolfgard sheriff. A deadly type of Other wants to run a human-style saloon. And a couple with four foster children—one of whom is a blood prophet—hope to find acceptance.

But as they reopen the stores and the professional offices and start to make lives for themselves, the town of Bennett attracts the attention of other humans looking for profit. And the arrival of the Blackstone Clan, outlaws and gamblers all, will uncover secrets…or bury them.

Wild Country is the 2nd book in Anne Bishop’s World of the Others series. Though it’s set in the same world as the Lakeside Courtyard, and features many characters we’ve come to know and love, it’s set in Bennett, which readers of the Lakeside Courtyard books should recognize. This is the book I thought we’d get after Etched in Bone, as it runs parallel to the events there.

It took me the entire week to read this book, which is completely unheard of for me. It jumped around quite a bit, so I think I had a harder time connecting with it than I did with the previous books in the series. Still, I love this world and I was glad to see some of my favorite characters return. Wild Country picks up about the time Cyrus Montgomery arrives in Lakeside in Etched in Bone. We see the events that happen in Lakeside from a different perspective and see more about the inhabitants of Bennett.

In the land of Thaisia, there are very few human controlled towns, and no human controlled lands. The Terra Indigene – The Others – control everything that comes from a natural resource. Shapeshifters live in Courtyards in human controlled cities to keep an eye on what the humans are doing, and to act as a go-between for The Elders – the truly terrible Others that live in the wild country. The Humans First and Last movement brought death and destruction to many towns by attacking The Others, thinking the shapeshifters were the only Others out there. Bennett was one of the towns The Others made an example of. Tolya Sanguinati agrees to go to Bennett to try to reestablish the town, with the help of Intuits – humans who have an overdeveloped sense of intuition and often “know” things before they happen – and shapeshifters. They agree to allow some humans into the town, but The Others are distrustful.

Wild Country follows Jana Paniccia, Jesse Walker and her son, Tobias, Barb Debaney, and Tolya Sanguinati, all of whom we were introduced to in the previous series. I was ridiculously excited to see how Jana would fare as the first female cop in Thaisia, and how Barb would do with all the animals in Bennett. The whole series is really dark, but the overall tone is still..hopeful, I guess. Like, all of this bad shit happens, and all these dark things are explored, but each book ends in a…not happy, but hopeful place. I didn’t really get that here. The world is very well drawn, I feel like I’m living in Thaisia with the characters, but I didn’t end it feeling super happy or glad for them.

There wasn’t as much humor in this book to balance out the darker aspects, so it didn’t end on the hopeful note Etched in Bone and Lake Silence did. The lack of trust the The Others have in the humans made perfect sense, but I wanted to think they’d realize some were different – especially those who put their lives on the line for The Others. I also thought Jana and Barb would have more common sense, or better intuition about danger. I was frustrated with them on a number of occasions.

That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the book, because I did. I absolutely loved how Virgil Wolfgard came to see Jana as his pack, I loved the cast of characters and the way this story played out in connection to Etched in Bone. Bishop is a master at world-building, and like I said, I could easily imagine everything that was happening on the page. Though this isn’t my favorite in the series, I can’t deny it was well done.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

The Others

World of The Others

four-stars


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Featured Review: Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews

Posted April 26, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Featured Review: Magic Burns by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Casee, Holly, & Rowena
Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #2
Also in this series: Magic Shifts, Magic Shifts, Magic Binds, Magic Bites, Magic Strikes, Iron and Magic, Magic Triumphs, Magic Bites, Magic Bleeds
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: April 1, 2008
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 260
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-half-stars

Down in Atlanta, tempers – and temperatures – are about to flare…

As a mercenary who cleans up after magic gone wrong, Kate Daniels has seen her share of occupational hazards. Normally, waves of paranormal energy ebb and flow across Atlanta like a tide. But once every seven years, a flare comes, a time when magic runs rampant. Now Kate’s going to have to deal with problems on a much bigger scale: a divine one.

When Kate sets out to retrieve a set of stolen maps for the Pack, Atlanta’s paramilitary clan of shapeshifters, she quickly realizes much more at stake. During a flare, gods and goddesses can manifest – and battle for power. The stolen maps are only the opening gambit in an epic tug-of-war between two gods hoping for rebirth. And if Kate can’t stop the cataclysmic showdown, the city may not survive…

Casee: This is the second book in the Kate Daniels series. What did you two think? I thought it was loads better than Magic Bites. While I was listening to Magic Burns, I was pretty happy that we got the information dump in the first book. It was easy to get into this book and understand what was happening.

Holly: This book is loads better than Magic Bites. I’m so glad you two continued on with the series because it’s so freaking good.

Rowena: I liked this book way more than I liked Magic Bites, too. I’m also glad that I slogged through all of that information dumping from Magic Bites because it made jumping into this one a lot easier. It took me a long ass time to read this book though but that was due to my reading slump and had nothing to do with my enjoyment of this book.

Casee: Kate did get annoying in this book. She’s a martyr.

Holly: I don’t think Kate is a martyr so much as she takes on responsibility for everyone. Calling her a martyr implies she wallows in her misery, and I don’t think that’s the case. Still, I agree that she can be annoying. It’s frustrating when she takes everything on herself.

Rowena: I don’t think Kate is a martyr either. I agree with Holly that she just takes responsibility for everyone. I do like that she’s loyal as shit and that she has a great moral compass. I loved that she won’t save herself at the expense of anyone and because of that, I let all of the things that make her annoying slide.

Casee: I agree with both of you. Martyr was a poor choice of words. She just feels like she’s responsible for everyone. Kate wants to save everyone, even at her own expense. It’s admirable and annoying at the same time.

Holly: I love the world, and how magic comes and goes.

Rowena: I really like how messed up this world is. Magic flares be fucking shit up and it cracks me up that Kate can’t drive a car, make a phone call when magic gets in the way. I loved seeing Derek again, gosh what a good character he is. I love how loyal he is to Kate and how much he seems to care about her too. I also really liked seeing Kate bond with Julie. I loved when she referred to Julie as her kid.

Holly: I Love what a badass Kate is. When she was fighting in that last battle scene? Damn.

Rowena: Yes, I love how Kate will fight to the death to protect those she holds close to her. I’m really curious to see how everyone is going to react when they find out what she is, especially Curran.

Also, things are heating up with Curran and I’m so freaking here for it. When she comes home and he’s sitting on her couch, waiting to welcome her home and made her coffee?? Gah. I’m a sucker for that shit and I need more!

Casee: I love, love, love Curran. I love how the relationship between the two of them is evolving. Andrews is extraordinary at getting Curran’s emotions across the page, even though this series is strictly from Kate’s POV. You never wonder what he’s thinking because the series is so well written.

Holly: I love how she and Curran circle each other, and how well she takes care of the people she loves. I can’t wait for you guys to finish the series. I’m all aflutter with anticipation.

Rowena: Curran wasn’t my favorite person in Magic Bites, I actually didn’t care for him all that much but that’s not the case anymore. Seeing him circle Kate, trying to wear her down is just fantastic. I’m going to laugh so much when Kate finally says, “Please” and “Thank you”. LMAO!

Casee: I also really enjoy the humor in these books. This series can be rather dark, so the humor really breaks things up. I really enjoyed the interaction between Kate and the guy that kept stealing the maps.

Rowena: Bran kept stealing the maps and I really liked the way that Andrews wrote his character. He was annoying and I wasn’t expecting to like him or even be as affected as I was when he left, but I was. I loved the interactions between him and Kate and I loved how Kate made sure that he would be remembered by the witches. So good.

Casee: I wasn’t expecting Bran to be as likable as he was. Kate’s reaction at the end of the book just slayed me. I do love that Kate will do anything for the people she feels are hers to protect, even as she did get somewhat annoying. How can you not like loyalty and love like that? I couldn’t wait for Curran to find out what she is. That scene won’t disappoint.

Holly: I agree that Bran started out annoying, but really grew on me. I loved how his relationship with Kate developed. I think she saw a lot of herself in him. Prior to Julie, Derek and Andrea (and of course Curran) coming into her life, she was on the path to loneliness, too.

Casee: Are you going to continue to read the series, Wena?

Rowena: Heck yes!

Holly: Woot! I’m so glad you plan to continue.

Rowena: This book gets a 4.25 out of 5 from me. What about you guys?

Holly: I think this gets 3.75 from me. I like it, but it isn’t one of the best in the series.

Casee: It gets a 4 from me. I really enjoyed getting immersed in this world.

Final Grades

Casee: 4 out of 5
Holly: 3.75-4 out of 5
Rowena: 4.25 out of 5

Kate Daniels


four-stars


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Guest Review: Make Me Bad by R.S. Grey

Posted April 8, 2019 by Ames in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Make Me Bad by R.S. GreyReviewer: Ames
Make Me Bad by R.S. Grey
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: March 7, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 303
Add It: Goodreads
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three-half-stars

I was issued a warning: stay away from Ben Rosenberg.

As Clifton Cove’s resident “king”, he thinks he’s entitled to anyone and anything.

The trouble is, I’ve spent my whole life following the rules and playing it safe. I know what it feels like to be the good girl. I’m the police chief’s daughter and a librarian—for adorable children, no less. My wardrobe consists of colorful sundresses and baggy jeans. I might as well have a Post-it stuck to my forehead that reads: Yup, she’s a virgin.

An all-nighter with a fictional hunk is about as exciting as my life gets, until one day, fate decides to take pity on me and shove me straight into the path of Mr. Off-Limits himself.

Oof.

Just as I suspected, every inch of him promises to be my demise. Up close, he’s tall, menacing, dangerously handsome—the type of man who’s never spent a single moment worrying about the opinions of others. A well-behaved girl would do as she’s told and avoid him at all costs, but I’m overdue for a little rebellion.

No more Friday nights sprawled out on the couch in my comfiest pajamas. No more wishing I had the courage to misbehave.

Everyone thinks Ben is going to ruin me.They think he’ll chew me up and spit me out.

Well, Ben…go ahead.Tempt me. Taunt me.Make me bad.

This is the second book I’ve read by R.S. Grey. I read another book by this author last year and did not enjoy it but I’m glad I gave her writing another try. Make Me Bad ended up being a cute read.

Madison works in her small town’s library. She still lives at home with her police chief dad and she’s just celebrated a boring 25th birthday. She wishes for her next year to be different and on her walk home that night, her wish gets answered. She gets mugged. She’s rescued by the town’s golden son Ben Rosenberg, who’s on his way home from a bar fight. When he has a choice of where to serve his community service hours, he chooses the library. He runs into Madison there again and she jumps on the opportunity to use Ben’s popularity and way with the ladies to jumpstart her own love life. Of course Ben starts to fall for Madison as he helps break her out of her shell but her father and over-protective older brother hate Ben.

As I said earlier, I thought Make Me Bad was cute. I liked the balance of Madison’s introverted character to Ben’s extrovert. She has a sassy personality that she usually doesn’t let out and that surprises Ben. I also thought her hesitation around rocking the boat at home was well done and she eventually stands up to her dad and brother.

Ben was born with a silver spoon in his mouth but he’s not a horrible guy. He did get into hijinks as a teenager but he’s a lawyer now and aside from the bar fight, he’s not getting into trouble. He doesn’t really understand why Madison’s men-folk don’t like him. I like how he gave Madison little pushes to break her out of her comfort zone. Madison’s character definitely had the most growth and progression but Ben had room for improvement too and Madison was the one to bring that about. I thought these two were cute together.

I’m glad I gave Grey’s writing another chance.

Grade: 3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars


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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
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
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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