Tag: 4.25 Reviews

Joint Review: Burn for You by J.T. Geissinger

Posted June 18, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Joint Review: Burn for You by J.T. GeissingerReviewer: Holly & Rowena
Burn for You (Slow Burn, #1) by J. T. Geissinger
Series: Slow Burn #1
Published by Montlake Romance
Publication Date: October 17, 2017
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 348
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four-stars

The marriage is fake. But for a sassy chef and an arrogant billionaire, the sparks are real…

Jackson “The Beast” Boudreaux is rich, gorgeous, and unbelievably rude to the staff at Chef Bianca Hardwick’s New Orleans restaurant. Bianca would sooner douse herself in hot sauce than cook for Jackson again, but when he asks her to cater his fund-raiser, Bianca can’t refuse, knowing the cash will help pay her mother’s medical bills. Then Jackson makes another outrageous request: Marry me. The unconventional offer includes an enormous sum—money Bianca desperately needs, even if it does come with a contract—and a stunning ring.

The heir to a family bourbon dynasty, Jackson knows the rumors swirling around him. The truth is even darker. Still, he needs a wife to secure his inheritance, and free-spirited, sassy Bianca would play the part beautifully. Soon, though, their simple business deal evolves into an emotional intimacy he’s built walls to avoid.

As the passion heats up between them, Bianca and Jackson struggle to define which feelings are real and which are for show. Is falling for your fake fiancé the best happy ending…or a recipe for disaster?

Burn for You is a modern take on Beauty and the Beast.

Jackson and Bianca have a very contentious relationship. They get off to a bad start when he shows up at her restaurant and demands a table. Bianca’s latest menu is an ode to his family’s bourbon, but she isn’t about to let him push her around. When he offers her the chance to cater an very exclusive charity event, she knows she can’t refuse. Not only will the publicity give her restaurant the boost it needs, but she desperately needs the money for her sick mother. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the crazy man shows up again and demands she marry him. Turns out he needs a wife by his 33rd birthday -which is just around the corner- or he’ll lose his inheritance. If she wasn’t desperate for money to help her sick mother she’d never consider it…as it is, how bad would be being married to the Beast?

Holly: I was browsing Amazon a couple weeks ago and discovered this book. I love Beauty and the Beast and a modern day retelling appealed to me. I really loved it. Jax and Bianca were great together. Are you glad I forced …ehem…recommended you read it?

Rowena: I listened to the audiobook too and it didn’t work for me. The narrator for Bianca sounded like my grandma and I kept picturing Gretchen from Suits because that’s who she reminded me of so every time she and Jackson would get down and dirty, I kept picturing my favorite of Louis’ administrative assistants with Jackson…and she’s more my Grandma than my heroine of a romance novel. I love the hell out of her but I don’t want to know or read about her sex life. Haha. But dude, that narrator sounds just like Gretchen.

Holly: Conversely, I really enjoyed the narrator. I don’t watch Suits, so I can’t say if she sounded like anyone from that show, but I thought she did a great job with the voices. I don’t ever listen to the entire book. I switch back and forth between reading and listening. The narrator, Diana Luke, really made the book for me. To be honest, I don’t know if I would have enjoyed the book quite so much had I read it on my own. I heard her voice in my head while I was reading and it really worked.

Rowena: Anyway on with the book, after I stopped listening to the book and started reading it on my own, I was able to enjoy the book a lot more. The chemistry between Bianca and Jackson was off the charts and from the beginning I felt it. I knew that we were going to get a good story out of them and we did.

I’m really glad that I listened to you and read this book. It was good stuff.

Holly: Of course it was good stuff. I always give good recommendations. 😉

Rowena: I really liked Bianca’s character and how strong she was, how real she was. When her drama happens, I connected with her because I’ve been there and I thought Geissinger captured her emotions and her grief really well.

My heart broke getting to know Jackson and seeing the man that he grew up to be despite the childhood that he had?? Oh man, it hit me right in the feels and I was rooting like heck for him throughout the entire story.

Holly: Jackson was grumpy and growly, but underneath he was just a giant marshmallow. I loved that about him. I loved how he took care of his people and raised money for causes that were important to him.

Bianca didn’t take any crap from him, and in fact gave back better than she got. I loved her wit and how quick she was to defend herself and those who worked for her. She wasn’t overbearing. They both got on each other’s nerves, but I loved how they also saw below the surface and wanted to help the other. She stuck up for him when he needed it, and he returned the favor. I melted over them both.

Rowena: There were times when I thought both Bianca and Jackson were being super extra about things, like how Bianca would fly off the handle at the smallest thing and how Jackson would growl at Bianca at every turn but in the end, I understood why they were the way that they were with each other and let that stuff go.

Holly: You’re right, they were both extra about things. Still, I loved how they sort of fell into a friendship without even realizing it. So cute.

His family made me angry and I wasn’t satisfied with the way it was dealt with. Jackson felt like shit his entire life because of the way his parents treated him, but his dad waves it all off? Grr. I got over it, however, because it’s a Fairytale.

Rowena: Jackson’s family dynamic left much to be desired and I agree that when everything comes out in the open, his father waved things off and I didn’t think that Jackson got the closure he deserved on that stuff but I’m glad that he finally had the support system that he should have had all along. I also really liked that Bianca was the one to make that happen for him.

Holly: Oh yes, I loved how quick Bianca was to defend him and how she took up for him with his family. That was great.

I really loved this book. There were things that bothered me, and the way Bianca and Jackson acted at the end had me frustrated, but overall it was a really good read. I’d definitely recommend it (and have been, to everyone. lol). I’m really looking forward to reading Geissinger’s backlist.

Rowena: This was the first book that I’ve ever read by Geissinger but it won’t be my last. I really enjoyed this slow-burn romance and am pretty anxious to start the next in the series, even though there isn’t a real link between both books.

Holly: Overall this was a very satisfying read. I was sad to see it end. 4.25 out of 5

Rowena: I agree that this was a very satisfying read. I would definitely recommend.
I give this one a 4 out of 5.

Final Grades

Holly: 4.25 out of 5
Rowena: 4 out of 5

Slow Burn

four-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: Moonlight Road by Robyn Carr

Posted June 7, 2018 by Judith in Reviews | 5 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Moonlight Road by Robyn CarrReviewer: Judith
Moonlight Road by Robyn Carr
Series: Virgin River #10
Also in this series: Virgin River, Whispering Rock, Virgin River, A Virgin River Christmas, Second Chance Pass, Second Chance Pass, Second Chance Pass, Temptation Ridge, Paradise Valley, Forbidden Falls, Forbidden Falls, Angel's Peak, Forbidden Falls, Promise Canyon, Wild Man Creek, Promise Canyon, Harvest Moon, Bring Me Home for Christmas, Redwood Bend, Sunrise Point, Shelter Mountain, Moonlight Road
Published by MIRA
Publication Date: March 2, 2010
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 409
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WITH HER BELOVED YOUNGER SIBLINGS SETTLED AND HAPPY, ERIN FOLEY HAS EMPTY NEST SYNDROME. AT AGE THIRTY-FIVE.

So she's hitting the pause button on her life and holing up in a secluded (but totally upgraded --- she's not into roughing it!) cabin near Virgin River. Erin is planning on getting to know herself ... not the shaggy-haired mountain man she meets.

In fact, beneath his faded fatigues and bushy beard, Aiden Riordan is a doctor, recharging for a summer after leaving the navy. He's intrigued by the pretty, slightly snooty refugee from the rat race --- her meditating and journaling are definitely keeping him at arm's length. He'd love to get closer ... if his scruffy exterior and crazy ex-wife don't hold him back.

But maybe it's something in the water --- unlikely romances seem to take root in Virgin River ... helped along by some well-intentioned meddling, of course.

Every Thursday in 2018, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books.

This review was originally posted on March 16, 2011.

This is the 10th novel in the Virgin River series and Robyn Carr keeps on keeping on when it comes t o giving her readers another compelling love story.  There are carry-over characters in all these stories and for me that just makes the context richer with each succeeding story.  Several of these novels have featured the Riordan family and here we meet another of the brothers.

This story revolves around two people who are at loose ends, a critical juncture in their personal individual history.  Erin has raised her siblings and her entire life up until this point has been taken up with finding ways to empower them to find their happiness.  Now she is alone, delighted that they are settled and happy, but still alone.  She has so many projects to fill her time, to help her get back in touch with herself, to help her find her own path.  For some reason she is just simply bored.  Now what?

Aiden Riordan has come home from many years as a Navy doctor and is taking the summer to be near his brother Luke, to spend some time in the outdoors, to hike and explore, to unwind after the pressures of being on ship and in the Middle East.  He knows he will continue to practice medicine but not where that will happen.  He has really put the future on hold but in spite of a rich family heritage and wonderful relationships with him mom and brothers, he is, for all intent, alone.  He’s not really sure he wants to be alone, but that’s where he is right now.

This novel is really how these two people begin what is initially a rocky acquaintanceship that moves into tentative friendship, companionship, some bed frolic, and so and so forth.  Neither is really sure whether they want this relationship to escalate into more–actually Aiden knows before Erin does–so they spend time doing things that Erin hasn’t ever done and which Aiden hasn’t done since before his Navy days.  His initial meeting with her is nearly enough to kill any chance between them permanently–he nearly scares her half to death because he looks like a scruffy mountain man who is prowling the Northern California mountains as a sexual predator.  But they get past that and their friendship is launched.

Once again Ms Carr has produced a novel that is full of authentic humanity, with relationships that are good and not so good, with people who are enduring and surviving and some who are living abundantly.  There is doubt about the future, hope and disappointment all mixed together.  There are con artists and those who are angry when others are happy, and these sick individuals keep trying to pollute the good in other people’s lives.  They are in this story, too.  Erin and Aiden both struggle with trust issues–with accepting the good that life offers, with opening themselves up to the joys of imperfect but exciting human connections, with allowing the future with its mystery and risks to just be there for them.  This is their journey of discovery, and while Erin and Aiden are finding their way toward each other and learning to circumvent the potholes in life’s road, other residents of Virgin River–those we have met and loved in previous stories–continue to be challenged with their own joys and sorrows.

I find these novels so endearing.  I am excited everytime a new one appears.  I know that some readers think the stories are all the same.  I don’t.  I never tire of the human drama, of the players on life’s stage, of observing and learning from the experience of others.  This novel once again makes that possible.  And in her usual expert style, Ms Carr continues to bring the existing residents of Virgin River alive for us while introducing new people and expanding our acquaintance with additional residents.  Many decide to remain in Virgin River.  It is, after all, a microcosym of life.  Others come to that special place, experience what they need to move forward in their lives, and settle elsewhere.  What really matters is that Virgin River brings all these people together and as their lives glance off one another, all are made better.

Moonlight Road is a delightful and winsome love story.  I hope you’ll read and enjoy as much as I did.  I give it a rating of 4.25 out of 5.

Virgin River


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Review: Planet Dragos by Thea Harrison

Posted May 14, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 6 Comments

Review: Planet Dragos by Thea HarrisonReviewer: Holly
Planet Dragos (Elder Races, #9.8) by Thea Harrison
Series: Elder Races #9.8
Also in this series: Lord's Fall, Pia Saves the Day & Peanut Goes to School, Dragos Takes a Holiday, Night's Honor, Night's Honor, Dragon Bound, Midnight's Kiss, Midnight's Kiss, Dragos Goes to Washington, Shadow's End, Pia Does Hollywood, Liam Takes Manhattan, Pia Does Hollywood, The Chosen: A Novella of the Elder Races, Planet Dragos (Elder Races, #9.8)
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: May 14, 2018
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 130
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four-half-stars

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Thea Harrison comes the final novella featuring Pia and Dragos…

Pia’s latest pregnancy has become a daily challenge, her relationship with Dragos strained with argument. That hasn’t stopped them from achieving a compromise and traveling to Las Vegas to celebrate their friend Rune’s wedding to his mate Carling.

From the moment they arrive, the trip goes awry. Death walks in Vegas, and Pia is kidnapped as an ancient enemy makes a move to destroy the Great Beast once and for all.

But the Great Beast has other plans.

On Planet Dragos everything goes the way he arranges it—unless someone decides to cross him, and God help them then, because he doesn’t know how to back down, and he doesn’t ever, ever let up….

I love Dragos and Pia. The Elder Races series is wonderful all around, but every time we return to Pia and Dragos I cheer a little on the inside.

These slice-of-life novellas are lovely. It’s great seeing where the Lord of the Wyr is, and how things are going with his family. In the previous book, Moonshadow, we met a new character who reappears here. I’m curious about him and hope we see more.

Aside from that, I loved seeing Pia and Dragos come to another turning point in their lives together. I was surprised at the choice they made at first, but it makes so much sense now that I think about it. I can’t wait for the next installment. I won’t lie, I’m anxious to see what happens with Liam.

4.25 out of 5

Elder Races

four-half-stars


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Review: Storm Gathering by Rebecca Zanetti

Posted April 25, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Storm Gathering by Rebecca ZanettiReviewer: Casee
Storm Gathering by Rebecca Zanetti
Series: The Scorpius Syndrome #4
Also in this series: Mercury Striking, Shadow Falling, Justice Ascending, Winter Igniting
Published by RAZ INK LLC
Publication Date: September 19, 2017
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Post Apocalyptic
Pages: 359
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Even before surviving the Scorpius bacterium, Greyson Storm was a lone wolf navigating minefields. As a kid, he learned to take a hit and find safety. As an adult, he joined the military and quickly learned how to protect and defend. When the world ended, he created a mercenary camp with military precision, no entanglements, and a promise to avenge a fallen friend. As part of that vow, he kidnapped Maureen Shadow, but now that he has let her go, her blue eyes and intriguing mind keep haunting him…

As possibly the only Biotechnology Engineer still living, Maureen Shadow might be humanity’s one hope to survive the aftermath of Scorpius, making her frighteningly valuable to both allies and enemies. Even after sexual tension explodes between her and Greyson, she’s not sure which camp he belongs to—friend or foe? Worse yet, survival may mean thwarting his prime mission, putting her in even more peril. When danger and seduction collide, there is no safety in this new world.

That cover tho. I never, never imagine a character as it is on a cover, which is why I prefer books without models on the cover. Well, models with faces anyway. This one I will take. I loved this book cover to cover. Literally. I have loved Greyson Storm since the page he was first introduced in this series. He was badass, take no prisoners, shove it in your face, take him or leave him, kind of guy. And hot. Like it didn’t matter if you were kidnapped by him, you were still attracted to him. Even if you basically hated yourself for it. But it’s the apocalypse. Give yourself a break. At least that was what I was telling Maureen Shadow as I was reading this book. Poor Moe.

Poor Moe indeed. She was just a scientist going about her work. The small project of how to continue to feed the freaking world. Yeah, that was the project she was working on when Greyson Storm showed up in her lab and decided to kidnap her. And he doesn’t even want her. He’s using her as a bargaining chip to get something from her brother. Well, Moe is no one’s bargaining chip and she will do anything to get out of the Merc’s compound. After she makes the worst mistake of her life…sleeping with Grey. She didn’t even listen to him when he said no. When Grey releases her back to Vanguard and her brother, the news keeps getting worse. She’s pregnant with Greyson Storm’s child. There hasn’t been one Scorpius survivor that has brought a pregnancy to term.

Greyson wants Moe. He needs her and he knows he isn’t good for her. He knows enough about himself that if he even is crazy enough to fall for a woman, he will be beyond protective. He will lock her down so no one can get to her and nothing can hurt her. Which he knows is crazy to think considering they are living in a post-apocalypse world. Too bad he is crazy and he has fallen for Moe. When he and his lieutenant Damon go back to Vanguard for peace talks over their shared Bunker, he can tell that something is going on with Moe. So he kidnaps her. For a second time.

There is so much going on in this book. I think one thing I really liked about this book is that Grey’s feelings for Moe did not change his behavior. He knew that he still needed to be the ruthless leader of the Mercenaries. That couldn’t change. If someone threatened his people or Maureen, he acted swiftly and without mercy. Although it mattered what Moe thought about him, he didn’t let what she felt dictate his actions. He knew that how he acted now would show people what would happen in the future. He was coldly calculating, but he wasn’t cold. He made decisions based on logic then calmly executed them. When he thought something he would do would protect Moe, he did it without hesitation even if he thought she would hate him forever. I hate to give it to Moe, she saw through a lot of the bullshit. She just saw Grey. I really loved that about her. They were just really great together. The whole book was just good from the beginning to the end.

One thing I did hate was the nickname Moe.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

The Scorpius Syndrome


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Review: The Love Coupon by Ainslie Paton

Posted April 25, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 6 Comments

Review: The Love Coupon by Ainslie PatonReviewer: Rowena
The Love Coupon (Stubborn Hearts, #2) by Ainslie Paton
Series: Stubborn Hearts #2
Published by Carina Press
Publication Date: April 9th 2018
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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four-stars

How many coupons does it take to fall in love?

Flick Dalgetty knows what she wants and how to get it, which is why she’s about to start her dream job in Washington. Until then, she needs somewhere to crash, and Tom O’Connell’s place is her sole option. He’s a repressed, antisocial ogre…but man can he kiss.

For Tom, being around Flick is like being too close to the sun. Her untamed energy is overwhelming, and he’d spontaneously combust if he had to live with her long-term. Housemates with benefits—and an expiration date—suits him just fine.

Then Flick gives Tom thirty coupons, each entitling him to one obligation-free activity, from bowling and bubble-bathing to morning delight, removing all the guesswork from being incompatible partners and shifting their fling into high gear.

Now the problem is their arrangement is drawing to a close, and they might be falling in love—and there wasn’t a coupon for that.

I’ve been hearing good things about both this book and the first book in this series, The Love Experiment but I was hesitant to try out a new to me author and I really shouldn’t have been scared because I really enjoyed this book. So The Love Coupon by Ainslie Paton is the second book in her Stubborn Hearts series and it was a sweet contemporary romance that made me feel all of the feels.

So we’ve got straightlaced Tom O’Connell who just lost his roommate to an overseas job and he’s searching but not really searching for a new roommate to share bills with and the very last person that he wants in his house is Flick Dalgetty…but she needs a temporary place to lay her head until she finishes out her current job and moves to Washington DC for her new job. Bunking with Tom would be perfect, if he didn’t have so many rules and if he wasn’t so uptight about everything under the sun. They couldn’t be more different from each other if they tried but Flick will take what she can get and she’ll pipe down her colorful personality for a room to call her own until she can leave Chicago in a couple of months.

Tom grew up with an asshole father who treated him like he was an idiot and that relationship kind of turns him into an unyielding jerk who doesn’t tolerate messy people. His old roommate Josh was a perfect roommate match for him because he was neat, he was tidy and he kept to himself. They were great friends and when Josh leaves for a job overseas, Tom is stuck because he wants to share bills but he does not want to share bills with flighty Flick Dalgetty. Haha, oh Tom.

Flick Dalgetty is the black sheep of her family. Her family is stuck in their ways and they resent Flick because she got out. She got out of their family pit and made something of herself so they treat her like crap. Flick, on her side of things, keeps things civil with them by buying them whatever they need. Food, clothes, bikes, you name it, Flick has bought for them and they don’t act like they appreciate Flick’s efforts. So Flick hides her frustrations behind a bright smile and a sparkling personality and all of that does her no favors with her new roommate.

They’re opposites in every way but together, they mesh so incredibly well that I ate up their story from beginning to end. The romance between Tom and Flick was fun and it was cute and I was here for it all. I adored seeing them grow closer and closer with each passing day. I loved seeing them try to be good and then threw caution to the wind and come together. Their different personalities really shined together and they were just too cute for words. If I had a gripe, it would probably be that it took quite a while for the love coupons to come into play but other than that? Great stuff.

Overall, this book worked for me. I enjoyed Ainslie Paton’s writing style. I really enjoyed the little glimpses that we got of the other characters. I’m curious about Jack and Derelie. I’m totally planning on going back and reading their book because she’s a lifestyle writer and I’m mighty curious about that. I also would like to see more Josh and everyone else that we meet in this one. Ainslie Paton has earned herself a spot on my will check out again list and I can’t wait to read more from her. I definitely recommend.

Stubborn Hearts Series

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

four-stars


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