Tag: 4.0 Reviews

Guest Review: Immortal Unchained by Lynsay Sands

Posted March 28, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Immortal Unchained by Lynsay SandsReviewer: Tracy
Immortal Unchained by Lynsay Sands
Series: Argeneau #25
Also in this series: Immortal Ever After, Runaway Vampire, Immortal Nights
Published by Avon
Publication Date: March 28th 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 400
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four-stars

Ever since Domitian Argenis recognized Sarita as his life mate, he’s been waiting for the perfect moment to claim her. Those fantasies did not include him being chained to a table in a secret lab or both of them being held hostage by a mad scientist. Somehow, they have to escape…

Sarita has seen some crazy things as a cop, but nothing to rival Domitian. A vampire? Seriously? But his healing ability, incredible powers, and their mind-blowing physical connection—none of it should be possible, yet her body knows differently. Now, not only do they have to save each other, but other innocent lives are at stake. Failure is not an option, for Sarita intends that Domitian show her exactly what an eternity of pleasure feels like…

Domitian is an Immortal but also a chef.  He takes a job with Dr. Dressler thinking that he can get onto the doctor’s island and find all the Immortal’s who have gone missing.  Unfortunately he ends up on a small island with his life mate, Sarita.

Sarita’s grandmother has worked for Dr. Dressler for many, many years.  When the doctor calls and tells her that her grandmother has taken a fall she heads straight from Canada to Venezuela to see her grandmother.  After hanging out at Dressler’s house for a few days thinking he’s off-island she finds out he’s on-island and in his labs.  She heads into the labs and finds a what looks like a corpse cut in half.  When Dressler comes in and brings the man back to life she’s shocked but doesn’t have time to voice this as she’s then sedated.  She too wakes up on a small island with a man chained to a table who is supposedly her life mate.

While Domitian tries to woo Sarita they both try to find a way off the island.  They both know that Dressler wants them for something but they can’t figure out what it is.  When they finally do make it to the doctor’s island once again they must try to find a way to save the kidnapped immortals, the innocents who are on the island along with each other.

I can’t believe this is book 25 in the Argeneau series!  How Sands keeps coming up with good stories is amazing to me.  This one was definitely a keeper.  I really liked both the romance portion of the book as well as the bit of mystery that was involved with Dressler and what he was doing with the Immortals and others on the island.

Sarita was a bit of a stubborn woman but she was tough cop so I didn’t hold it against her.  She had been told that Domitian had known she was his life mate for 15 years and had been having her followed so she was a little leery of him.  When he explained about that she was much more open.  I liked how they talked about themselves and got to know each other.  Of course they’d had sex by that time but…ok, it worked.  The thing that really didn’t work for me was the sex.  Not that the description of the sex was bad just that I wasn’t feeling the attraction between the pair at that time and that’s what felt off about it.  They didn’t seem like two people who would jump into it like that but yet they did.  I would have loved to have seen that the author made them wait, but that’s me. 🙂

The issues with the Island and the horrific things that Dressler was doing on it were written really well. Dressler was a monster and Sands didn’t sugar coat anything for us – she went for it and I liked that.  We really needed to see what a bastard the man was to appreciate all the horrible things he’d done.

Overall it was a good addition to the series and a good PNR in general.  I’m not sure where the series is headed next but wherever it goes I’m looking forward to it.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars

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Guest Review: Working On It by Cass Alexander

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

Guest Review: Working On It by Cass AlexanderReviewer: Tracy
Working On It by Cass Alexander
Series: The Persimmon series #1
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: September 23rd, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
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four-stars

Rebecca—The self-reigning queen of four-letter words is in trouble. She’s got it bad for the hottest guy at Persimmon College. Unfortunately, Mr. Sexy Man has a girlfriend. Too bad it doesn’t stop Rebecca from wanting him.

Evan makes his desire for Rebecca pretty obvious. Her inexperience and fear of getting hurt hold her back. Oh, and that running list of character flaws she has doesn’t help. But she’s working on it.

Evan—Rebecca Banks makes flinging insults an art form. She’s short, blonde, and the sexiest thing he’s ever laid eyes on.

Rebecca is everything Rachel—Evan’s girlfriend—isn’t. Breaking up with Rachel will be difficult. Letting go of Rebecca? Impossible. To Evan, Rebecca is f-ing perfect. She doesn’t need to work on a damned thing. Now he just needs to get her to stop running away from him.

Rebecca is a serious student but a girl who like to have fun as well.  She’s got more guy friends than girl friends and spends a lot of time at the Tau frat house across the street.  She thinks that Evan Michaels (part of Tau) is totally hot but she’s heard some pretty bad things about him over the years and tells herself to stay away.  She doesn’t, however, and is soon involved with him right after he ends things with his long-time girlfriend, Rachel.

Evan can’t get enough of Rebecca.  He loves that she’s happy almost all of the time and she makes him laugh constantly.  He especially loves the friendly insults she throws around and her potty mouth.  She’s gorgeous as well and he can’t get enough of her.  She’s nothing like his ex, Rachel, and he loves that about her.  Unfortunately Rachel’s name keeps coming up and Rebecca’s insecurities about their relationship get the best of her.

I grabbed this one off of Kindle Unlimited not quite knowing what to expect.  I’m happy to say that it totally surprised and delighted me in the end.  What I thought was going to be an angst-filled New Adult story was actually a cute romance that made me laugh out loud more than once – I loved that.

Rebecca is the kind of girl I always wanted to be when I was in college.  Relaxed and fun, lots of friends (with both guys and girls), and a good student.  I think I was one of those things – I won’t say which one. 😊  Rebecca grew up in a home where there was a ton of humor flying around and the family that actually loved and cared for one another a great deal.  There were no unrealistic expectations and you could tell how well she was loved by them in the confident way she held herself and the way she acted.  I really liked her character a lot.  I loved how she talked to herself and would go over things she wanted to work on – it just made me laugh.

“I tend to judge people inside my head, something my parents encourage me to work on since I suck at hiding my emotions on my face.  I’ll work on it later.”

Later in the book…

“I also lack a filter.  But I’m working on it. Sort of.”

I thought she was really great for Evan, she just doubted herself when it came to him.  It was a bit out of character but I could see that his experience with women intimidated her.

Evan took just a bit of time for me to get to like him.  At first I wasn’t quite sure what to make of him because it seemed like he was a player (even though he’d been with Rachel for a couple of years) and that he’d broken up with Rachel just to get with Rebecca.  When things played out we got the whole story and I understood him much better.  He also, at some points, felt like a stalker when it came to Rebecca, but that was explained eventually as well.  In the end I liked him a lot and felt that him and Rebecca were perfect for each other.

The story was hilarious at times and I loved laughing.  The story had a great mix of love, angst, laughter and sex and it just worked for me.  If you’re looking for a fun contemporary new adult romance you should pick this one up.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars

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Guest Review: Madly by Ruthie Knox

Posted March 23, 2017 by Jen in Reviews | 3 Comments

Guest Review: Madly by Ruthie KnoxMadly (New York, #2) by Ruthie Knox
Also in this series: Madly
Published by Loveswept
Publication Date: March 14th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 273
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An impulsive trip to New York City, a heartthrob from London, and a scandalous to-do list turn a small-town girl’s life upside down in this sultry romance from the New York Times bestselling author of Truly and About Last Night.
Allie Fredericks isn’t supposed to be in Manhattan, hiding in the darkest corner of a hip bar, spying on her own mother—who’s flirting with a man who’s definitely not Allie’s father. Allie’s supposed to be in Wisconsin, planning her parents’ milestone anniversary party. Then Winston Chamberlain walks through the door, with his tailored suit, British accent, and gorgeous eyes, and Allie’s strange mission goes truly sideways.
Winston doesn’t do messy. But after a pretty stranger ropes him into her ridiculous family drama with a fake kiss that gets a little too real, he finds out that messy can be fun. Maybe even a little addicting. And as the night grows longer, Allie and Winston make a list of other wild things they could do together—and what seems like a mismatch leads to a genuine connection. But can their relationship survive as their real lives implode just outside the bedroom door?

I’ve been childishly whining ever since I saw that Winston Chamberlain was the hero of Madly, about how it made me nervous because I couldn’t stand him. He appeared in another of Knox’s books, About Last Night, and he was cruel to his brother, selfish, and so, so uppity. It didn’t help that I positively hated the ending of that book, too, though that had nothing to do with Winston. (You don’t need to read that book first, and frankly it’s probably better if you don’t so you don’t end up with preconceived notions like I did.) Allie also wasn’t entirely my favorite when she appeared in her sister’s book, Truly. I mention all this because if you hadn’t already heard my whining, you should know about my prior feelings; they are part of understanding what I liked and didn’t like about Madly.

Madly takes place four years after the events of About Last Night. Winston has since gotten divorced and moved from London to New York City to be near his college-age daughter and to work in the NYC location of his aristocratic family’s bank. It’s also been a little under a year since the events of Truly, when Allie Fredericks dumped her fiance on their wedding day. Allie has impulsively come from her home in Manitowoc, WI to New York following her mom, who she suspects is having a long term affair with a New York artist. When she bumps into Winston in a bar, he starts helping her track down her mom.

First off, while I was concerned about how Knox would redeem Winston, I’m happy to say I was satisfied. We don’t see Winston’s transformation in Madly, but Winston has indeed undergone a transformation since his low point in About Last Night when he tried to blackmail his brother Nev and tear down Nev’s love interest, Cath. We also learn that Winston’s marriage had been a mess at the time, and he tried to force his life, and his ex-wife, into some predefined shape he thought was the “right one” for a man of his position. When that all fell apart, he realized how wrong it was, both for himself and everyone around him. You get the sense that he’s spent the last years trying his best to simply be kind to everyone around him. He’s mostly patched things up with Nev and Cath, though there’s still some residual tension, and he’s trying to be a good dad to his daughter, Bea, without smothering her or forcing her into a box like he did with her mother. However, in trying so hard to make up for the past and give everyone space, he’s kind of forgotten what he wants or needs. He isn’t unhappy exactly, but at the start of the book he spends the bulk of his time watching Netflix and waiting for Bea to occasionally give him a few minutes of her time. Rinse, Repeat. When Allie storms into his life, it brings a lightness and fun that he obviously forgot he was capable of. I kind of can’t believe I’m saying this but…I actually liked seeing Winston come back to life a bit!

Family, with all the messy, complex, and overwhelming emotions that implies, is a huge theme in so many of Knox’s books, this one included. The Chamberlain’s family drama mostly happened in About Last Night and the intervening years, so this book focuses on the Fredericks. The family is kind of imploding around Allie, and she’s fighting to figure out what to do about it. There was a point in the book where I actually wanted to put it down because it was a little too much. Maybe it’s because of some people I know who are going through their own hard family dramas that things felt a little too real, but I think most of us have had hurtful family secrets or loved ones who profoundly disappointed us. It was almost too painful to read about what might happen. (As a parent, the interactions between Winston and Bea were also sweet but a little hard to read. He loves her so much but is afraid to hold on too tightly, but he can see her growing up and pulling away anyway…ugh, who is chopping onions in here?) I pushed on, though, and was rewarded with a thoroughly happy ending. It was perhaps unrealistically happy, but I can’t complain because wouldn’t we all like our own messy family problems to end so happily?

While Winston was redeemed, though, I never thoroughly warmed to Allie. She felt a bit inconsistent, first of all. She’s supposed to be so flighty and impulsive, but other than flying to New York on a whim I didn’t really see that. She mostly just felt…opinionated, which is fine but not the same thing. She says she wants to take care of everyone and feels like it’s on her to hold things together, but she kept running away when things got hard. She was not particularly kind to Winston (and geez, no one is more surprised than me that I’m saying that, haha) when all he did was love and support her from the start. In general, she acts pretty self absorbed and a little immature throughout the book, and it got on my nerves by the end. This is some of what bothered me about her in Madly, too, and I was disappointed to see that unlike Winston, she hadn’t changed much between books. Moreover, I wasn’t quite sure whether she had really had a transformation by the end of this book either. Sure, some of her family issues were resolved, but had Allie herself changed? When I thought about that question at the end of the book all I could come up with was…probably? I think so? I believed she was good with Winston, but in my mind she wasn’t ready for the implied HEA, not quite yet at least.

This was a complicated book full of big themes and big emotions, and I admire that Knox never shies away from tackling complicated human beings. Plus, it is full of funny, lovely dialog, and it’s very sexy. (And boy I could write paragraphs about the awesome and complex sex scenes in this book because I have so many thoughts. There’s a “list”, sex toys, lots of sex that’s not just PinV, orgasm isn’t always the goal…such good stuff, but go read and judge for yourself!) It made me think, and it was a great read.

Grade: 4 out of 5

*I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

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Review: Midnight Pursuits by Elle Kennedy

Posted March 21, 2017 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Midnight Pursuits by Elle KennedyReviewer: Casee
Midnight Pursuits by Elle Kennedy
Series: Killer Instincts #4
Also in this series: Midnight Revenge, Midnight Rescue, Midnight Alias, Midnight Games, Midnight Action, Midnight Revenge, Midnight Captive
Published by Signet
Publication Date: April 1st 2014
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 368
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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four-stars

Her job is to stay hidden.Too bad he can’t take his eyes off her.
Soldier-for-hire Ethan Hayes is the youngest member of an elite mercenary team. While he may be affectionately nicknamed the rookie, the skills Ethan honed as a Marine make him seriously dangerous. But when a sudden distress call puts him in close quarters with a rival, he finds more than his field skills being put to the test.
Juliet Mason stands out as the master thief in a covert group of assassins and spies. Her latest mission is personal—and it’s gone horribly wrong. Juliet may prefer to work alone, but when the rookie comes to her aid in snowy Eastern Europe, she can’t deny they make a good team. But even up against a powerful enemy, their most challenging task yet may be fighting the passion between them...

Still in love with this series.

The Queen of Assassins assassins are dropping like flies for Jim Morgan’s mercenaries. It is quite amusing. Juliet Mason has no intention of falling for Ethan Hayes. The rookie merc is too young, too green, and too innocent for her. She can’t deny the attraction to herself, but she can deny Ethan. Which she has and will continue to do. Then she gets into trouble and finds that Ethan is the one that comes to her rescue.

Juliet is a thorn in Ethan’s side. Since the day he met her, she has rubbed him the wrong way. She has yet to see him as anything but a boy, but he’s determined to prove her wrong. He gets the chance when she phones Isabel for help and gets him instead. He questions why he feels the need to race to her rescue, but still does it. The feelings the Juliet invokes in him are something that he’s accepted.

When he finally is at her side, he realizes that Juliet is in more trouble than he first realizes. She’s on a revenge mission. Her brother has been murdered and she will stop at nothing to avenge him. Ethan can’t do anything but stay by her side and help her. He’s determined to show her that he’s more than “the rookie”.

I love the suspense in this book. Juliet is a badass. She freaking broke the Siberian Wolf who is the assassin that killed her brother. Only Juliet or her boss could do something that awesome. Yet when she’s around Ethan, there’s a side to her that is only for him. Elle Kennedy writes these characters and their relationships in a way that I haven’t read for some time. The heroes and heroines are hardcore, but when it comes to their relationships, they change.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

four-stars

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Review: Havoc by Jamie Shaw

Posted March 21, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Havoc by Jamie ShawReviewer: Rowena
Havoc by Jamie Shaw
Series: Mayhem #4
Also in this series: Mayhem, Riot, Mayhem, Riot, Chaos
Published by Avon Impulse
Publication Date: February 21st 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 496
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

When Hailey Harper left her family farm to enroll in veterinary school, she had a plan: keep her head down, ace her classes, and most importantly… don’t upset the uncle paying her tuition. Translation? Don’t piss off his dramatic, self-absorbed daughter, Danica, even if she’s a nightmare to live with.

Falling in love with her cousin’s rock star ex-boyfriend was definitely not part of the plan.

As the drummer of a now-famous rock band, Mike Madden could have any girl he wants. He’s sweet, funny, romantic, talented—and the only guy that’s ever made Hailey’s heart do cartwheels in her chest. The more she gets to know him, the harder she falls, but Hailey knows they can never be more than friends… because Danica wants him back, and she’ll fight dirty to win.

Mike is falling for Hailey too, but Danica’s threats and his rock star life—music video shoots, international tours, obsessed fans—could tear them apart before they’ve even begun. Hailey isn’t sure she’s the one for him, but Mike’s waited years for a girl like her… and he’ll do anything to prove it.

Havoc is the fourth book in the Mayhem series by Jamie Shaw and it features the drummer of the band, Mike Madden. If you read the other books in the series, you’ll remember Mike as the band member that doesn’t hook up with groupies. He spends his down time playing video games because he’s never really gotten over his ex-girlfriend from high school, Danica.

This book starts off with Danica and her cousin Haley trying to get backstage at one of Mike’s bands concerts to see Mike…after a long ass time apart. Actually, Danica is trying to get backstage and Haley is just along for the ride because Danica is her ride. She’s not a fan of her cousin and she’s not all that interested in anyone that would be interested in Danica because Danica is a horrible person. You know, you are the company you keep and all that. So while Mike and Danica reunite, Haley makes herself comfortable on the bands tour bus and gets to know Mike’s bandmates and their girlfriends…and she fits right in with the group.

When Mike and Danica’s reunion is done, Mike comes back to the tour bus and meets Danica’s cousin Haley who is kicking ass at a video game that he’s supposed to be working on and just like that, his awkward reunion with his ex-girlfriend is forgotten and a new friend is made.

Mike and Haley become fast friends and before Haley knows what is what, she’s got a big crush on a guy that just got back together with her horrible cousin. She knows that he deserves better than the likes of Danica and she doesn’t understand what he sees in her but she’s going to respect his wishes and keep her distance. It’s hard when Mike has become a huge part of her days and her nights but if she’s going to get over this crush, a girls gotta do what she’s gotta do.

Ahh, this book was a cute one. It was my favorite book of the bunch and Mike Madden was everything. Even when he was being a dumbass dating a girl that did him dirty, I loved him. I couldn’t wait for him to fix things and get back on track and that declaration??? Gah, I loved it.

I was a little disappointed that Haley didn’t come clean about her and Mike sooner but hell, when she finally does come clean…I was like, “That’s my girl!!!” and when she finally has it out with Danica, it was along time coming and I was pumped because Haley won. Ha!

This was a great ending to a great series and I was completely happy with the overall story. This series has made me a fan of Jamie Shaw’s and I’m looking forward to whatever comes next for her. Mike and Haley were great characters with a steamy romance that had me in my feels so yes, I recommend this one.

4 out of 5

four-stars

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