Tag: 3.75 Reviews

Guest Review: Malsum Pass by Kimberly Forrest

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

Guest Review: Malsum Pass by Kimberly ForrestReviewer: Tracy
Malsum Pass by Kimberly Forrest
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: December 11th 2016
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
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three-half-stars

After locating some letters her mother had kept hidden from her all her life, Tara Mason journeys to the small town of Malsum Pass, Vermont to find the family she never knew she had and to discover just why her mother had kept this place such a secret.

The town seems idyllic despite the townspeople’s odd habit of staring and… sniffing? And her new neighbor Riley Cooper looks like he could have been conjured from one of Tara’s fantasies, but there is definitely more going on here than meets the eye. Tara is determined to uncover all of the secrets, even if it reveals things she never knew about herself.

Tara is excited and anxious as she drives to Malsum Pass, Vermont.  She was raised by her mother and step-father but whenever Tara raised questions about her biological father her mother shut her down quickly.  She’s always wanted to know about her roots so when her mother dies and her step-father finds letters addressed to Tara’s mother that were never opened she’s more than curious.  It turns out that she has a grandfather that’s always wanted to meet her but her mother had never even opened most of the letters he wrote.  He had finally stopped writing a few years earlier so she’s not sure what she’ll find in Malsum Pass when she gets there.

Tara’s first stop in MP is the diner where everyone seems to stop and stare at her.  She’s freaked out but when she tells the waitress who she’s looking for she sends a runner to go get Tara’s grandpa.  To say that her grandfather is happy to see her is an understatement.  He immediately takes her to the house he has waiting for her and sets her up and then she eventually meets her father (who knew nothing about her existence) and her three half-brothers.

Tara ends up loving the town and its people, although her neighbor Riley Cooper earned the name “rude, arrogant ass” right off the bat.  He is a hot, rude arrogant ass so at least he’s nice to look at.  🙂  Luckily Tara and Coop (as he’s known) become friends and they start falling in love.  There is, however, a secret about Malsum Pass that hasn’t been revealed to Tara  – most of the town can get furry whenever they want to – and when she finds out she may decide that things are just too strange for her to stay permanently.

Malsum Pass was a good paranormal story.  I really liked the family aspect of the story, with Tara finding her long-lost grandfather, father and brothers.  She finally got that sense of family that she’d never felt before. It really seemed like a nice place to live if you didn’t mind that they most of them turned into wolves.

The romance in the book was a little rushed, imho.  Tara went from find Coop annoying but hot to kissing him and then they moved right along.  Coop, when they slept together, moved really quickly to the next phase of their relationship and I felt kind of like I was on a train that had no brakes.  I wanted more build up between the two, that’s for sure.  I wasn’t a huge fan of Coop’s, ever, so I think I needed the extra time (between Tara and Coop) to get to know each other that the author didn’t include in the story.

The story had a decent flow to it overall.  It did get a bit slow in the middle where it didn’t seem like anything much was happening – just showing us day to day living – but it picked up and ended well.

Rating: 3.5/3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars

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Guest Review: San Francisco Wolf Pack Box Set by Kristin Miller

Posted January 17, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: San Francisco Wolf Pack Box Set by Kristin MillerReviewer: Tracy
San Francisco Wolf Pack Box Set by Kristin Miller
Series: San Francisco Wolf Pack
Also in this series: Beauty and the Werewolf
Published by Entangled Publishing LLC
Publication Date: December 5th 2016
Genres: Paranormal
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three-half-stars

From "falling in love" to "it's complicated," New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristin Miller brings you three, full-length, deliciously hot paranormal love stories with sexy alpha heroes and the strong-willed women who bring these werewolves to heel.

The Werewolf Wears Prada

Melina Rosenthal worships at the altar of all things fashion. Her dream is to work for the crème de la crème fashion magazine, Eclipse, and she'll do pretty much anything to get there. Even fixing up the image of a gorgeous, sexy public figure who's all playboy, all the time. Even if he's the guy who broke her heart a year ago. And even if Melina has no idea that Hayden Dean is actually a werewolf...

Beauty and the Werewolf

Billionaire werewolf Jack MacGrath has almost everything—the respect of his peers, a mansion in San Francisco, a private jet, and fast cars. But without a mate, Jack's in trouble. Then he sees her. Gorgeous, demure, proud...and his enemy. Isabelle Connelly is werewolf royalty and falling for anyone lesser — to say nothing of a rival pack — would be, er, unseemly. Now she must choose between her duty to her family and her pack...or her perfect fated mate.

What a Werewolf Wants

Private investigator – and werewolf – Ryder McManus doesn’t believe in marriage. But then he never expected to find his fated mate, Josie, at his best friend's wedding festivities. When Josie and Ryder are together, the chemistry heats up. While he’s trying to stop the wedding, she’ll do whatever it takes to give the couple a dream day. But the secret he’s trying to expose might just ruin everything.

The Werewolf Wears Prada

Melina interviewed Hayden Dean for an article a year ago.  They sat in Starbucks and had a great time.  He then asked her out to an awards ceremony that he was attending that night and she was so excited.  He then stood her up and she was not only heart-broken but pissed as hell.  Now the magazine she works for has assigned her to write a behind the scenes look at none other than Hayden Dean.  The last thing she wants to do is hang around him but what choice does she have.  If she does a great job on the article her dream of working at the parent magazine will come true.

Hayden was captivated by Melina when he first met her – of course he was as he realized that she’s his mate.  Unfortunately, things in the city were going haywire and he had to do what his alpha father asked – that included standing Melina up.  Now that she’s back in his life he wants to make things work but he also wants to keep her safe.  He’s up for alpha of the San Francisco pack now that his father’s died but there are those who don’t want him in the position as he’s not a born werewolf.  He must find out who is behind all of the friction and keep Melina safe while doing it.

This was a very cute novella.  I really liked both Hayden and Melina and thought their chemistry was off the charts.  The situation with the rogue wolves who didn’t want Hayden as their alpha (along with all turned werewolves) was pretty intense at some points.  I thought it was a novella that was well done.  It had a great blend of romance, intrigue, suspense and the paranormal.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Beauty and the Werewolf

(This part of the review was previously here posted on Book Binge.)

Isabelle is the daughter of the Alpha of the Irish Wolf Pack. She is a painter and makes quite a bit of money on her paintings. Unfortunately when she first started she showed her dad a painting that she created and he reacted badly – telling her that painting was a waste of time. She was going to be the pack alpha one day and she should spend her days studying tradition and pack policy! Wow, what a kick in the gut. Isabelle didn’t give up her dream, however and continued painting in secret. Now her father is dying and she wants to show him all of her paintings at the same time hoping for his approval. She has been searching high and low for the last 10 or so paintings and finds out that there’s one up for auction in San Francisco. Her father doesn’t have much time left so she heads to SF to buy her painting back.

At the auction in SF Isabelle finds she has a competitor for her painting and she finds out his name is Jack McGrath. Her father hates the McGrath’s and has never said a nice word about any of them. Jack knows almost instantly that Isabelle is his Luminary – his fated mate. He’s not only excited to find his fated mate but if they bond it will stop his fast downward spiral towards death. In this world shifters live to be about 300 years old unless they find their fated mates and then they can live as long as 1000 years. Isabelle isn’t thrilled that Jack managed to buy the painting out from under her but then Jack says he’ll give her the painting if she attends a gallery event with him. How can she refuse when she’ll get her painting back?

What begins as a simple companion date soon turns into more and soon Jack and Isabelle are falling in love. Her father, however, needs to give his approval or Isabelle will have nothing to do with Jack, no matter how much she loves him.

This was a cute novella. It was a quick read but quite a bit happened in a short period of time. It didn’t feel rushed either so that was nice.

I really liked both Isabelle and Jack in this story though I would have loved to get to know both of them more. I also appreciated that Isabelle didn’t feel the fated mate connection right away. It made Jack work for it and put a little spin on it all. Jack was intriguing enough to keep my attention as he tried to make amends for all of his ancestors wrong-doing.

Isabelle’s father was a real piece of work but he eventually redeemed himself in a big way. I was happy that he loved his daughter enough to let her be happy even after he died. Isabelle’s friend Neil was overprotective and I couldn’t quite figure him out. On the one hand he was great to her but he proved he could be a real bastard when it came to Jack but took it so far overboard it was ridiculous.

A quick read but a nice little paranormal romance. This is the second book in the series but it read perfectly well as a standalone.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

What a Werewolf Wants

Josie’s sister, Carrie, is getting married.  Josie and her matchmaking service set them up and now their wedding and the few events leading up to it will be filmed.  Josie is excited for her sister but also excited about the show and what it will do for her business.

Ryder McManus is a turned werewolf and his best friend, Mitch, marrying Carrie.  Ryder is set on breaking them up.  They hardly dated before they decided to marry and Mitch hasn’t even told Carrie that he’s a werewolf!

Obviously Josie and Ryder butt heads on the issue as Josie thinks that Carrie and Mitch are perfect for each other.  She believes that Ryder is too jaded to see love when it smacks him in the face because of his job as a private investigator.  She sets out to prove that Carrie and Mitch are perfect for each other but while she’s doing it she starts to having feelings for Mitch as well.  Of course when both Carrie and Josie find out what Mitch and Ryder are the wedding might be off for good.

This was a great story and my favorite of the three in this set.  I loved Josie and Ryder together and their duo pig-headedness.  Seriously, the pair were hilarious in their stubbornness toward each other and what they were each trying to accomplish.  Mitch knew that Josie was his fated mate – his Luminary – but he knew that that didn’t even guarantee that they would work out. He was so jaded but that made it all the better when he finally realized how wrong he’d been about Carrie and Mitch and of course his feeling for Josie.

Their chemistry was off the charts and I just loved them together.  I loved shifter stories and I love stories that revolve around weddings so to put the two together was like a dream come true. Lol

Rating: 4 out of 5

three-half-stars

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Guest Review: The Dare and the Doctor by Kate Noble

Posted January 16, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: The Dare and the Doctor by Kate NobleReviewer: Tracy
The Dare and the Doctor by Kate Noble
Series: Winner Takes All #3
Also in this series: Miss Goodhue Lives for a Night
Published by Headline Eternal
Publication Date: November 22nd 2016
Genres: Historical, Romance
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three-half-stars

Dr. Rhys Gray and Miss Margaret Babcock are friends—strictly friends. But over the course of the year, as they exchange dozens of letters, they share personal details that put them on the path to something more. When Dr. Gray helps Margaret realize her dearest dream and she comes to his defense in the uproar that follows, it seems that their connection cannot be denied. But will their relationship stand the scruples of society and jealous intendeds, or are they destined to be only friends, and nothing more?

Rhys is a doctor and a friend of Margaret’s father.  He came to visit and stayed at their house.  He and Margaret became friends and after he leaves to go back to Greenwich they start corresponding and build a great friendship.  When Rhys tells the London Horticultural Society about her hybrid roses and they state that they are interested in seeing them Margaret balks.  She’s not sure she can get to London and leave the home she’s known.  She finally agrees to go after hearing her mother whisper in her ear, “I dare you.”  Margaret’s mother has been dead for years but that was her favorite way of getting Margaret to do things she didn’t want to do.

After arriving in London Margaret gets talked into going to balls, etc., by her friends and hosts but she just wants to garden.  She does head to Vauxhall with Rhys but they both fear that her hosts, his friends, are trying to get them together.  They assure each other that they have no designs on each other and that they are just friends.  Margaret is happy to be friends with Rhys until she learns that he is to be married to the beautiful Miss Sylvia Morton.

Miss Morton is kind and strikes up a friendship with Margaret which includes heading to all of the events that Margaret would rather not go to.  She doesn’t want to hurt Sylvia’s feelings though so she goes.  She loves seeing Rhys at these events but unfortunately Sylvia is always there reminding her that Rhys isn’t hers.  She tells herself it doesn’t bother her but she lies.  She starts to fall for Rhys but knows she can never have him and it starts to break her heart.

This was a very sweet story of two very similar characters.  Rhys and Margaret are just such nerds and perfect for each other. 🙂 He loves hearing about her plants and she loves hearing about and seeing all of the things in his laboratory.  How either of them thought they could just be friends was beyond me.  I loved how comfortable they were with each other.  Their conversations weren’t strained for lack of anything to say and they took the other for who they truly were – not who they wanted them to be.

Rhys was really in a pickle with his mom having made an agreement with the Morton’s to have Rhys marry Sylvia.  It had been years since the agreement was made but both families were sticking to it.  Rhys truly didn’t want to marry Sylvia but he felt like he had to for the good of the family.  My heart went out to him in his predicament.  Of course Sylvia didn’t help matters because I could see how scheming she was from the beginning and didn’t like her one bit.

The book was sweet and I enjoyed it.  It was slow at times but for the most part a good, steady romance.

Rating: 3.5/3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars

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Guest Review: Life of the Party by Kris Fletcher

Posted January 12, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Life of the Party by Kris FletcherReviewer: Tracy
Life of the Party by Kris Fletcher
Series: Calypso Falls #1
Published by InterMix
Publication Date: January 17th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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three-half-stars

Jenna Elias was always the life of the party, coasting on her charm and beauty, hiding the shame of the scandal surrounding her absentee father, a corrupt politician. But the party ended all too soon with an injury that left her partially paralyzed and a husband who simply left her. Now, at age thirty, she’s back in Calypso Falls. She leads a simple existence working in her sister’s coffee shop, but Jenna misses the joy she once had in her life. Then Cole Dekker walks into the coffee shop.

As idealistic as he is sexy, the local lawyer is running for mayor of Calypso Falls. Drawn to Jenna’s quick wit and radiance, he asks her to volunteer for his campaign. As the two start working together, there’s no denying the powerful attraction they feel for each other. A desktop makeout session leads to much more. But when Jenna’s dad returns to Calypso Falls and wants to be a part of her life again, the association could spell political suicide for Cole—and the end of a once-in-a-lifetime chance at true love.

Jenna Elias Stirling Carpenter wants to leave her hometown and all the people in it behind.  Well, ok, there are some people, like her family, that she doesn’t want to leave behind but she feels she has no other choice.  She wants to be in the PR business but can’t catch a break with Calypso Falls because of a couple of things.  First was twenty years earlier when her father was mayor and was corrupt.  He faked his own death to avoid going to prison, which he eventually did anyway when the truth came out.  The second was that she was married and a trophy wife to a complete bastard until an accident made her not so perfect any longer and she was dumped.  She wants nothing to do with the Elias (birth name) or Stirling (married name) names any longer and has changed her name to Carpenter.  She plans on finishing her degree and then moving towns where they don’t know her and won’t recognize her previous names.

Her plans are great but she needs to beef up her resume as she doesn’t want to put any of the charity work she did while married on it.  She asks Cole Dekker, the extremely hot mayoral candidate, if she can work on his campaign but in the background.  He agrees because he doesn’t believe that she is like her father and also because he finds her incredibly attractive.  Their attraction can’t be denied so they secretly start an affair with the plan that it will only last until January which is when Jenna will move towns.  Unfortunately life doesn’t work out the way either planned and between the mayoral race, the public’s opinion of Jenna and her father returning from prison they find that despite the fact they love each other they may not get to be together.

Life of the Party was a good book that definitely kept my attention.  There were many parts to it that I liked and the romance was a good one.

Cole Dekker was a great guy.  A good hero with a good heart.  He was a lawyer turned politician but he was honest to the public (well, except for his relationship with Jenna). I really liked him a lot and thought he was the perfect guy for Jenna.

Jenna finally knew what she wanted in life but it had taken her a while to get where she was.  She had been in a car accident which made her not so perfect and her rat bastard husband divorced her.  She was on her way to see a lawyer about a divorce when the accident occurred but still – to be thrown aside like that?  I wanted to reach through the book and whack the ex-husband even though he never actually appeared on page. Lol  She was finally getting a degree but wanted out of Calypso Falls even though she really loved it there.  Her name “Elias” almost made people cringe when they heard it so I kind of understood.

My issues with the book were few but kind of big.  The book is entitled Life of the Party and Jenna was supposedly this huge party girl who drank and changed her major constantly when she was younger.  We never actually saw any of this nor did anyone ever really mention it except for mentions of Vodka.  She didn’t act like a party girl so it was hard to connect who she was now to who she was then.  Also, the accident was skimmed over and that was a huge part of her life.  The whole blurb made me believe that the partying and the accident (supposedly partially paralyzed but that was only mentioned in one sentence of the book) played huge roles in this book and Jenna’s life but that wasn’t the case.  While I liked the story I felt completely misled and that annoyed and frustrated me.

Despite my issues with the book I still enjoyed it and loved reading about Cole and Jenna getting together.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars

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Guest Review: Waiting For an Earl Like You by Alexandra Hawkins

Posted January 6, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Waiting For an Earl Like You by Alexandra HawkinsReviewer: Tracy
Waiting For an Earl Like You by Alexandra Hawkins
Series: Masters of Seduction #3
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Publication Date: January 3rd 2017
Genres: Historical, Romance
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three-half-stars

LOVE ISN’T ALWAYS WHAT IT SEEMS.

Justin Reeve Netherwood, Earl of Kempthorn—a.k.a. Thorn—has never cared much for his neighbor’s daughter. But his twin brother, Gideon, befriended the wild, reckless, and wholly inappropriate Miss Olivia Lydall in youth, and two have been close ever since. So when Olivia finds herself in a state of romantic conflict and seeks out Gideon for advice, he’s only too pleased to oblige. Only problem: The man Olivia is speaking to is Thorn. And now it’s too late for him to tell Olivia the truth…

Thorn always believed that Olivia was too smitten with Gideon for her own good. So what’s the harm in steering her away from him? But Thorn’s charade turns out to be anything but harmless once he begins to see Olivia for who she really is: A woman full of spirit and passion…and someone he can’t live without. But how can Thorn claim Olivia’s heart when their deepening connection—and burning desire—is built on lies and deceit?

The Netherwood twins are virtually identical.  Very few people can tell them apart and Olivia Lydall, their neighbor, isn’t one of them. Thorn and Gideon were pretty inseparable when they were kids but Gideon always got along well with Olivia where Thorn didn’t.  Now they’re all grown up and Gideon is back from his travels and Thorn now sees Olivia all grown up.  He’s intrigued by her but doesn’t want to admit it.  She sees Thorn as judgmental and aloof, where she sees Gideon as a kind, charming man.

When they all head to London Olivia seeks out Gideon’s advice but he ends up kissing her.  Olivia is shocked as she’s never thought of Gideon as more than a friend but the kiss brought definite feelings that were nowhere near friendship to the surface. Every time they meet Gideon kisses her and she gets more confused.  Thorn is trying to steer Olivia away from Gideon by pretending to be him but the more time he spends with Olivia he actually starts to like her more and more and starts to fall for her.  Only problem?  Olivia thinks he’s Gideon!

This was an entertaining book for the most part although I did have some issues with it.  I can’t say that I’m generally a fan of the twin switching when it comes to intimacy.  That’s kind of a no-no with me but I dealt with it as it didn’t get too out of hand.  I did like Thorn a lot so forgave him more than a few times when he screwed up – like when he was kissing and touching Olivia and she was saying no and he didn’t stop until she gave in.  Um, no!  That’s so not ok!

That being said I thought the pair were good together.  I couldn’t see Olivia with Gideon as she would have run right over him.  He was obviously having his own problems in the book although those issues are never brought to light.  In fact the whole problem with Thorn and Gideon not really getting along now that Gideon is back from his travels bothered me.  Thorn had no idea why he felt he should leave as he thought they were close.  The true reason is never explained and that was annoying.

The ending was a bit rushed and a villain was stuck in there that was completely unnecessary but in the end I found the book enjoyable.  Yes, it had issues but the writing and general story made up for those flaws in the end.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5  

three-half-stars

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