Tag: 3.75 Reviews

Guest Review: Dating the Undead by Juliet Lyons

Posted May 5, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Dating the Undead by Juliet LyonsReviewer: Tracy
Dating the Undead by Juliet Lyons
Series: V-Date.com #1
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: May 2nd 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Paranormal, Vampires
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four-stars

When Silver Harris kisses sexy Irish vampire Logan Byrne on New Year's Eve, she knows other humans just won't suffice. Convinced she'll never see him again, she joins the uber-popular vampire dating site, VDate.com.

What Silver doesn't know is that the site is more dangerous than she could ever imagined, and soon she's in over her head. When Logan returns, sparks fly and attraction sizzles, but they'll have to escape some very real demons if they have any chance of lasting forever.

Silver gets kicked out of a New Year’s Eve party when she dumps a drink on the woman she catches kissing her date – and kicks her date in the balls.  Apparently that doesn’t make for a good party.  Out of the street she meets a beautiful man who ends up walking her home.  They get along great and end up sharing a midnight kiss to ring in the new year.  She knows he’s a vampire but she doesn’t care, it was the best kiss of her life.  She especially liked it when he bit her.

Silver tells her step-sister Jess about it the next day and Jess tells her about V-Date, an online dating site where you can date vampires.  Silver joins the site hoping that the sexy vampire she kissed will be part of it.  She doesn’t know how to contact him as he didn’t even give her his name.  He’s not on there but Silver starts to set up dates with vampires anyway.  Unfortunately she finds herself incredibly bored.  Yes, the vamps are hot but she’s not connecting with any of them.

Meanwhile Logan, the vampire that Silver kissed, is directed by his “boss” to track down women who are part of V-Date.  Apparently the police are using the women on the site to get information about vampires as they’re such a mystery.  Logan is to track down the women and then put a glamour on them so they will have no interest in vampires ever again.  Of course the first person he’s to glamour is Silver but he can’t bring himself to do it as that means she’ll have no interest in him.  He knows he’s ignoring his boss which can have serious repercussions but he’s so into Silver he doesn’t care.

Silver is approached by the police to get info about vampires and they promise to open up her mother’s case again.  Her mother disappeared when Silver was 9 years old and they never found out what happened to her.  With Silver working with the police and Logan ignoring his bosses wishes, things get tense.  That doesn’t stop the couple from falling in love.  Of course Logan’s old sire returns to town and is determined to get him back no matter what the cost.

When I read the blurb for Dating the Undead it sounded like a fun book and I’m happy to say, it was!  Silver had a great sense of humor and was pretty snarky.  Both Silver and Logan could laugh at themselves and I loved that about them.  They worked together really well and I thought the author did a great job writing their romance.  She wrote Logan so that he was a guy who had pretty much maintained his humanity and that’s what made him so appealing to me.

I did have a couple of issues with the book.  One was the fact that Logan’s boss was written as this scary “ancient” that you never crossed.  When he was crossed however, nothing happened.   Not that I wanted him to harm Logan but it was a bit anti-climactic.  The other thing was Logan’s old sire.  She was determined to get Logan back or harm him in some way for not being the murderer she wanted him to be.  I understand why she was written into the book as the villain but she was so over the top it didn’t fit in with the book, imho.

Despite those issues I liked the story a lot.  I got a little burned out on vampire romances a while back so I haven’t read many lately.  Dating the Undead was a good book to read to jump back into the genre.

Rating: 3.75/4 out of 5  

four-stars

Guest Review: Going Nowhere Fast by Kati Wilde

Posted April 24, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Going Nowhere Fast by Kati WildeReviewer: Tracy
Going Nowhere Fast by Kati Wilde
Published by Penguin, InterMix
Publication Date: April 18th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
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three-half-stars

Two hearts.
Three rules.
Four weeks to break them all.

When Aspen Phillips’ best friend invites her on a month-long road trip, she has serious mixed feelings. Sharing their tight quarters will be Bramwell Gage, overprotective brother and all-around jerk. Bram may be ridiculously sexy, but he’s made no effort to hide how he feels about Aspen—that she’s trash who’s no good for his sister. But Aspen is determined to get along with the uptight millionaire—and to keep her promise, concealing a secret about his sister that Bram can never know.

But after a scorching kiss reveals that Bram’s feelings toward her run much hotter than she believed, Aspen's emotions swerve into a complete 180. Suddenly the girl who has nothing has everything—but only as long as the truth about his sister remains hidden. Because when all the secrets and promises unravel, she risks losing it all...

Aspen is meeting her best friend, Bethany, so that they can go on a post-college graduation trip.  Unfortunately Bethany’s brother, Bram, will be going as well and Aspen and Bram don’t get along.  The first time they met Aspen and Bethany were getting back from a rave they’d gone to and Bethany was drunk.  Since they were freshmen they were underage and Bram didn’t like the fact that Aspen was “ruining” his sister and having a bad influence on her. This continued for four years so the thought of spending a month with Bram is not something Aspen is looking forward to.

When Aspen gets to the meeting place Bram is there but Bethany is nowhere in sight.  Aspen gets a text from Bethany stating that she’s checking herself into a rehab but doesn’t want Aspen to tell her brother where she is, even though they’re close siblings.  One thing leads to another and Aspen ends up on the trip with Bram anyway.  During the time they’re traveling they discover a lot about each other and they end up creating a truce…or two…or 85.  They’re so attracted to each other that they decide to have “hate” sex, but can it really be considered hate sex when at least one of them is in love with the other?

I have to say that I love romance travel stories.  Something about moving from place to place and well, being separated from your norm just does something for me.  I think because it’s all that more exciting when they get home and they discover that it works at home as well as it does on the road.  In this case, that didn’t exactly happen but it still worked out in the end.

Aspen had once been a middle class girl but then her father got cancer and died, her mother lost her nursing job as she couldn’t take care of dying people any longer, the family lost their house because the medical bills were astronomical.  Now they scrape together what they can.  Aspen was thrilled to go on the trip as it was pretty much all expenses paid but she hated that Bram was going.  She knew that he loved his sister but he was so over-protective with Bethany it bothered Aspen.  She knew it stemmed from their parents dying in a car accident when Bram was 19 years old but Aspen felt that Bram needed to be a brother to Bethany, not a father figure.  Because of the father figure mentality, he was quite harsh with Aspen and what he felt where her bad influences on Bethany.  He was constantly telling her this and it started to get on my nerves after a while, I must say.  I knew that he was attracted to Aspen but despite their “truce” he still was harsh with her.

Aspen was a strong woman but a person can only take so much before they break.  In her case it was Bram still being angry toward her supposedly bad influences even after they were having sex and having a good time together. He kept telling her that he shouldn’t want her and shouldn’t be with her and of course she thought it was because she was poor and he was a millionaire and that he was slumming and felt bad about it. My problem came when she actually told Bram all of this and he was shocked at the revelation.  He basically told her that he had never thought badly about her because of being poor and that she was projecting her bullshit on to him.  As this is a first person POV book we had never been privy to Bram’s thoughts, only Aspen’s, and as such was led to believe that Bram was an ass but was he?  The guy that I had just spent 75% of the book kind of disliking isn’t who I thought he was and now I’m supposed to like him?  Gah!  I’m so confused!  When I then looked back at Bram, not through Aspen’s eyes, I realized he’s not a bad guy.  While he could be an ass he wasn’t as mean and judgey as I thought and made me rethink my entire take on the book.  It was exhausting.

Bram ended up being an emotionally scarred hero and by the end of the book I liked him. Yes, he could be overbearing but he did it with good intentions and he had a big heart.  I was quite happy that Bram and Aspen finally worked out their issues and got their HEA – they worked hard for it and deserved it.

Despite my issue (named above) I also liked the writing in the book and the secondary characters.  I’ve only read one set of short stories by Wilde and they were erotic romances.  This was a good full length novel and made me want to read more of her books.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars

Guest Review: To Seduce a Stranger by Susanna Craig

Posted April 14, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: To Seduce a Stranger by Susanna CraigReviewer: Tracy
To Seduce a Stranger by Susanna Craig
Series: Runaway Desires #3
Published by Kensington, Lyrical Press
Publication Date: April 11th 2017
Genres: Historical, Romance
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three-half-stars

After her much older husband dies-leaving her his fortune-Charlotte Blakemore finds herself at the mercy of her stepson, who vows to contest the will and destroy her life. With nowhere to turn and no one to help her, she embarks on an elaborate ruse-only to find herself stranded on the way to London. . .

More than twenty years in the West Indies have hardened Edward Cary, but not enough to abandon a helpless woman at a roadside inn-especially one as disarmingly beautiful as Charlotte. He takes her with him to the Gloucestershire estate he is determined to restore, though he is suspicious of every word that falls from her distractingly lush lips.

As far as Charlotte knows, Edward is nothing more than a steward, and there's no reason to reveal his noble birth until he can right his father's wrongs. Acting as husband and wife will keep people in the village from asking questions that neither Charlotte nor Edward are willing to answer. But the game they're each determined to play has rules that beg to broken, when the passion between them threatens to uncover the truth-for better or worse. . .

Charlotte has spent her life feeling unloved.  She was taken as a baby to her uncle’s house because her mother died and her father took off to parts unknown.  Since she was illegitimate they treated her as the hired help instead of family.  When things started heating up in France (her mother was French, her father an English Earl) she left and stayed with her father’s family in England.  They treated her horribly as well.  When an elderly Duke who was friends with her aunt offers for her she accepts and thinks that maybe she’ll now get the love that she’s been missing.  Unfortunately he doesn’t touch her physically and then dies 6 weeks later.

The will is read and Charlotte receives a huge portion of the Duke’s estate but his son, the new Duke, plans on proving that his father was crazy and getting the will overturned. Charlotte and her maid take off for London to stay in the house that was left to her but Charlotte believes she’s being followed by one of the Duke’s men so she trades places with her maid and stays behind at an inn.  Unfortunately she grabbed the wrong valise and the money she had stashed away is now with her maid.  Fortunately for her a kind man offers to take her with him to his family estate.

Edward Cary is the son of an Earl but his father is a monster.  He beats Edwards mother regularly and Edward would do anything to save her.  When he hears that she’s waiting to leave until Edward is in school he decides at the ripe old age of 9 to runaway so she can get away sooner.  He heads off and takes a job on a ship.  He returns to confront his father 22 years later but runs into Charlotte on his way back.

When Edward and Charlotte reach his family seat he finds it empty and in horrible condition.  He hears his mother died not long after he left home and his father went to London and never returned.  Edward introduces Charlotte as his wife to the “caretaker” of the property which puts them into an awkward position.  It also causes problems when a man claiming to be the new Earl (Edwards father apparently passed) shows up and recognizes Charlotte for the Duchess she is.  Both Charlotte and Edward need to come to terms with who they are and confront those who would keep them from claiming their titles.

To Seduce a Stranger was a good story.  I liked both Edward and Charlotte and while they each had their own issues, they were truly good people.  Charlotte had confidence in herself in some aspects of her life but she’s been told she wasn’t worthy of love and she believed it.  Coming to terms with the fact that she could receive that love from Edward took her a while but she finally saw it for what it was.

Edward had had a horrible life to a point but then a good one after that.  He’d seen horrors both at home and while on the ship but he’d survived and made a good life for himself in the West Indies.  I had to give the guy props, he’d not only done well but tried to help with the slave issue as well.  Just a good guy.  I liked that while Edward helped Charlotte he didn’t completely trust her right off the bat because A) she was someone who needed help and b) she was a woman. Charlotte knew that Edward was keeping secrets as well but she trusted him too quickly imho.  Edward was a smart man and I liked his character.

The book was a good one but was a bit crowded with characters.  There were so many supporting characters that it was hard to keep up.  There were also people who were mentioned or showed up, I assume from previous books in the series, that I was unfamiliar with.  I think the author assumed the reader had read those books so plopped their names in.  Despite that this was a decent standalone novel.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars

Guest Review: The Attraction of Adeline by Lisa Wells

Posted April 13, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: The Attraction of Adeline by Lisa WellsReviewer: Tracy
The Attraction of Adeline by Lisa Wells
Series: Off-the-Wall Proposal #2
Published by Entangled, Lovestruck
Publication Date: April 10th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
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three-half-stars

The Proposal: Adeline Rigby will live with Accountant Jack Foster and pretend to be his fake fiancée for one month in order for him to seal a promotion to partner. In return, Accountant Jack Foster will intimately tutor Adeline Rigby in French before she leaves for Paris where she will fulfill her dream of attending Le Cordon Bleu.

The Terms:

1. Maintain distance. Three get-to-know-you dates before announcing their engagement will be tempting enough.

2. No kissing. Okay, fine. Three kisses. Maybe four. And neck kisses don’t count.

3. No touchy feely stuff. Or at least not too many public displays of touchy-feely stuff.

4. No sex.

5. All right, all right. One night of sex in order to be a believable engaged couple.

6. Two nights of mind-blowing sex to make sure first night wasn’t a fluke.

7. Absolutely, positively, no falling in love.

Adeline’s best friend introduces her to her brother, Jack.  Adeline falls and hits her head and has a mild concussion so Jack stays with her to make sure things are all good.  While they’re together they talk and Adeline finds out that Jack is up for a promotion. Jack says he probably won’t get it as his boss is really old-fashioned and believes that any partner needs to be married.  Jack is single so that counts him out.  Jack really wants that promotion as he’s a hard worker so he ends up asking Adeline to be his fake fiancé.  When her landlord decides to sell her condo she moves in with Jack and it’s the perfect time to try and sell their fake engagement to his boss and co-workers.

Adeline has agreed to be the fake fiancé but has no desire to go any further with it…at first. She immediately takes sex off of the table but is soon changing her tune.  Jack was left at the altar at one point in his life and has no desire to ever get married.  That’s until he gets to know Adeline better and ends up falling in love with her.  Soon Jack is saying things that are supposed to be fake but are he really means them.  Adeline thinks that Jack is incredibly hot but she has plans for her future and none of those include a man.

This book was part fun and funny and part heart-breaking.  The fun and funny part were when Jack and Adeline were together.  I loved that they could laugh at each other and have a good time.  Adeline was a bit of a stick in the mud but she was so fearful of getting off of her life track that she couldn’t bend.  The heart-breaking part was Adeline’s life.  She had been put into foster care at the age of 5 and had had 6 foster families until finally the 7th family stuck.  She loved her foster mother, Dottie, but Dottie not only had Alzheimers but breast cancer and was dying.  The cancer treatments were making her Alzheimers worse and she seemed to be stuck in one memory and unfortunately that memory of Adelilne was not a good one.  Adeline would go to Dottie’s house every Saturday night but Dottie wouldn’t let her in or even be nice to her.  In the end things were worked out between them but it was very sad and I definitely cried when Dottie was dying.

Overall I thought the book was a good one and will most likely pick up another Lisa Wells book in the future.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars

Review: Off the Ice by Julie Cross

Posted March 16, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Off the Ice by Julie CrossReviewer: Rowena
Off the Ice by Julie Cross
Series: Juniper Falls #1
Published by Entangled: TEEN
Publication Date: February 28th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 320
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four-stars

All is fair in love and hockey…

Claire O’Connor is back in Juniper Falls, but that doesn’t mean she wants to be. One semester off, that’s what she promised herself. Just long enough to take care of her father and keep the family business—a hockey bar beside the ice rink—afloat. After that, she’s getting the hell out.

Again.

Enter Tate Tanley. What happened between them the night before she left town resurfaces the second they lay eyes on each other. But the guy she remembers has been replaced by a total hottie. When Tate is unexpectedly called in to take over for the hockey team’s star goalie, suddenly he’s in the spotlight and on his way to becoming just another egotistical varsity hockey player. And Claire’s sworn off Juniper Falls hockey players for good.

It’s the absolute worst time to fall in love.

For Tate and Claire, hockey isn’t just a game. And they both might not survive a body check to the heart.

Tate and Claire grew up together in the small town of Juniper Falls. Claire is Tate’s older sisters best friend and she’s been away at college. When her father gets really sick, she returns to town a lot sooner than she thought to help out at the family business. She’s not expecting for so much to change. From her to her best friend’s younger brother, Tate. Sure he’s only a year younger than her but seeing him now, he’s grown up. He got muscles and he got taller and he got hot. Claire wasn’t expecting to start liking him but well…it happens.

Tate has always felt something for Claire. He’s always had a soft spot for her so when he breaks up with his girlfriend, he wants to move right on to Claire. It’s not easy but nothing in Tate’s life has ever been easy. He’s got an abusive father, a mother who married the town exterminator and he’s never felt more alone at home. He carries the truth about his father’s abuse to himself because …I don’t know why, it’s probably a teenage boy thing but I never really understood why he kept it to himself. He’s got a lot going on and I enjoyed seeing his character grow over the course of the book.

I haven’t read very many books by Julie Cross so I can’t really tell if this is more of the same that you’d get from her but this was an enjoyable book. The characters felt real and their problems were familiar and real so I appreciated that but as much as I enjoyed it, I wanted more from both Tate and Claire.

I wanted Claire to be above the rumors in the small town. I wanted her to not be so caught up in what everyone was saying and live her life the way that she wanted to live it. I thought it took her too long to come around. The longer she kept Tate at arms length because of what she thought everyone was saying, the more I wanted to pull her hair and slap some sense into her.

Tate was another story. I wanted him to be smarter. I wanted him to open up to someone other than Claire far sooner than he did but I’m glad that it ended the way that it did because there was major growth in his character in the end. I was happy with the way that he really came into his own by the end and he was the guy that I hoped he would be when I first met him.

I’m assuming the next book will either be Leo’s book or Jamie’s. I’m down for either one. All in all, this was a good book that I had some issues with but not enough that my enjoyment of the book was ruined.

3.75 out of 5

four-stars