Tag: 4.25 Reviews

Review: Archangel’s Viper by Nalini Singh

Posted September 25, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Archangel’s Viper by Nalini SinghReviewer: Holly
Archangel's Viper (Guild Hunter, #10) by Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #10
Also in this series: Archangel's Kiss, Archangel's Consort, Archangel's Storm (Guild Hunter #5), Archangel's Legion, Archangel's Legion (Guild Hunter #6), Archangel's Shadows, Archangel's Shadows, Archangel's Enigma (Guild Hunter, #8), Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter #1), Archangel's Heart, Archangel's Heart, Archangel's Heart (Guild Hunter, #9), Archangel's Kiss, Angels' Blood, Archangel's Viper
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: September 26th 2017
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 400
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four-stars

Enter New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh’s breathtakingly passionate Guild Hunter world with the story of a woman who isn’t a vampire or an angel…or human…

Once a broken girl known as Sorrow, Holly Chang now prowls the shadowy gray underground of the city for the angels. But it’s not her winged allies who make her a wanted woman—it’s the unknown power coursing through her veins. Brutalized by an insane archangel, she was left with the bloodlust of a vampire, the ability to mesmerize her prey, and a poisonous bite.

Now, someone has put a bounty on her head…

Venom is one of the Seven, Archangel Raphael’s private guard, and he’s as infuriating as he is seductive. A centuries-old vampire, his fangs dispense a poison deadlier than Holly’s. But even if Venom can protect Holly from those hunting her, he might not be able to save himself—because the strange, violent power inside Holly is awakening…

No one is safe.

I’ve been curious about Holly since she was attacked by Uram in the first book. It’s been two years since the attack. She went to a really dark place for awhile, but she’s finally coming back to herself. It would be a lot easier if she didn’t have so many strange powers inside her. Powers that are still growing and changing. No one understands what she went through with Uram. But Venom, for all that he annoys the crap out of her, understands her in a way no one else does.

For 400 years Venom has been alone..until Holly. She’s still a baby and not meant for him, but he can’t deny it’s..nice..having someone who gets him. When a contract is taken out on Holly’s life, they must work together to solve the mystery of who wants her dead..while also dealing with Holly’s erratic and growing power.

Venom has never been a favorite for me. I didn’t dislike him in previous books, but I didn’t care about him as I’ve grown to care about many of the other members of Raphael’s Seven. I have to admit, I’m totally a fan now. He still isn’t my favorite of the Seven, but I really enjoyed getting to know him.

Venom’s relationship with Holly was complicated and built up slowly over the course of the novel. I can see where this may frustrate some long-time readers of the series, but I personally thought it worked well in the context of the story. It wouldn’t have been believable if they’d just fallen into a permanent relationship with one another, especially since there was such a huge imbalance of power in the beginning.

Some loose threads from early novels are tied up here. Questions about Uram’s relationship with Michaela were answered, and we found out more about Venom and Holly. There was a lot happening here, but it flowed well and I was fully immersed in the action and their journey. Holly’s growth over the course of the novel, as well as her developing friend/relationship with Venom especially worked for me.

Another killer installment in a kickass series.

4.25 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: Pipe Dreams by Sarina Bowen

Posted September 21, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Pipe Dreams by Sarina BowenReviewer: Holly
Pipe Dreams (Brooklyn Bruisers, #3) by Sarina Bowen
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers #3
Also in this series: Rookie Move, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter (Brooklyn Bruisers #2), Pipe Dreams, Pipe Dreams
Published by Berkley Books
Publication Date: May 2nd 2017
Pages: 336
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four-stars

A goalie has to trust his instincts, even when taking a shot to the heart…
Mike Beacon is a champion at defending the net, but off the ice, he’s not so lucky. A widower and a single father, he’s never forgotten Lauren Williams, the ex who gave him the best year of his life. When Lauren reappears in the Bruisers office during the playoffs, Beacon sees his chance to make things right.
Lauren hates that she’s forced to travel with the team she used to work for and the man who broke her heart. There’s still undeniable sexual tension running between her and Mike, but she won’t go down that road again. She’s focused on her plans for the future—she doesn’t need a man to make her dreams of motherhood come true.
Lauren plays her best defensive game, but she’s no match for the dark-eyed goalie. When the field of play moves to Florida, things heat up on the beach.
One of Mike’s biggest fans doesn’t approve—his teenage daughter. But a true competitor knows not to waste the perfect shot at love.

Pipe Dreams is book two in Sarina Bowen’s Brooklyn Bruisers series, a spinoff of The Ivy Years NA series. I think it’s my favorite of the series to date. Pipe Dreams is a second chance love story that hit all the high notes with me.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Lauren, since she was pretty uptight in the previous books. I really came to enjoy her. Mike was a solid, stand-up kind of guy. He was easy to like, and to trust. I didn’t love the flashbacks in this story, but that comes down to a personal preference. I’d rather be told the backstory then get it in pieces via flashbacks.

Mike’s team, Lauren’s developing friendship with the WAGs (wives and girlfriends) and her co-workers, all of it really came together and made for a great read.

Bowen continues to hit big with this series.

4.25 out of 5

four-stars


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Joint Review: Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews

Posted September 14, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Joint Review: Clean Sweep by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Holly & Rowena
Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #1) by Ilona Andrews
Series: Innkeeper Chronicles #1
Also in this series: Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #1)
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: December 2nd 2013
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 235
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On the outside, Dina Demille is the epitome of normal. She runs a quaint Victorian Bed and Breakfast in a small Texas town, owns a Shih Tzu named Beast, and is a perfect neighbor, whose biggest problem should be what to serve her guests for breakfast. But Dina is...different: Her broom is a deadly weapon; her Inn is magic and thinks for itself. Meant to be a lodging for otherworldly visitors, the only permanent guest is a retired Galactic aristocrat who can’t leave the grounds because she’s responsible for the deaths of millions and someone might shoot her on sight. Under the circumstances, "normal" is a bit of a stretch for Dina.

And now, something with wicked claws and deepwater teeth has begun to hunt at night....Feeling responsible for her neighbors, Dina decides to get involved. Before long, she has to juggle dealing with the annoyingly attractive, ex-military, new neighbor, Sean Evans—an alpha-strain werewolf—and the equally arresting cosmic vampire soldier, Arland, while trying to keep her inn and its guests safe. But the enemy she’s facing is unlike anything she’s ever encountered before. It’s smart, vicious, and lethal, and putting herself between this creature and her neighbors might just cost her everything.

Holly: I read the Innkeeper Chronicles for the first time earlier this year. I’ve been bugging Rowena (and everyone else who will listen) to read the series ever since. I finally talked her into it, even though UF isn’t really her thing.

So, how did you feel about the book, Rowena? Did you enjoy the otherworldly stuff, or was it too out there for you?

Rowena: It was a lot different than I was expecting but…a good different. Magical inns and innkeepers? A sexy werewolf that was a thorn in the magical innkeeper’s side? A hot warrior vampire is thrown into the mix to make it a little spicy? Yeah, I’m in. I’m not much for urban fantasy or paranormal these days but I’m glad that Holly keeps making me read these books because they’re keeping me entertained.

Holly: I was so wrapped up in the world. This magical Inn and an Innkeeper with unimaginable power. The super werewolf. The warrior Vampires. I loved it. I loved all of it.

Rowena: I really liked Dina…I also liked the pictures that were included of the different characters. That was nice. Do we get those in the other books as well?

Holly: Yes, we get pictures of the characters in other books. They’re very helpful, aren’t they?

Rowena:  But back to Dina, I liked that she was strong and capable and brave. She didn’t back down from those that put her neighbors and herself in danger and I just enjoyed getting to know her. I also liked her interactions with Sean.

Holly: I really enjoyed Dina. I wasn’t sure of her at first, but she quickly shaped up into a strong woman. Caldenia, her permanent guest, was hilarious. I really enjoyed their interactions.

Rowena: Freaking Sean has got it going on and I really need to know if he comes back…so does he?

Holly: Yes, we’ll see Sean again.

Rowena: Yay! I’m glad that we’ll see Sean again and what about the vampire? We see him too, right? Do we get a background on where Sean’s been and what not?

Holly: We do see the Vampire again, and we find out where Sean has been and what he’s been up to. We also meet several more characters (including my favorite).

Rowena: Do the other books have gross villains like this one did? All of that slimy yuckiness was just…yuck.

Holly: The other books are pretty graphic, but I don’t think there’s a lot of slime and icky stuff in the other books. That stuff doesn’t bother me so I didn’t pay much attention, except to note the wicked amount of detail Andrews includes. I definitely felt like I was right inside the book.

Holly: How about Dina’s trip to Costco? I love that Sean came and rescued her. I’m such a sap.

Rowena: That trip to Costco was crazy but I liked how it ended…with Sean coming to her rescue and just taking care of her. swoon Seriously, I’m ready for the next one.

Holly: Do you want to live in the Inn?

Rowena: Heck yes I want to live in the inn! I loved that Dina could change whatever she wanted whenever she wanted. One day it could be a log cabin and the next day, a contemporary bachelor pad. That was really neat. I also enjoyed seeing her relationship with the house. How she was always protecting it and calming it down when things started popping off.

Holly: It would be so amazing to be able to change the shape, size and theme of a room with a thought. I need to find me an Inn and get some magic. Especially since it’s self-cleaning. Sign me up for that.

Rowena: This book was fun and it was interesting and I’m definitely interested in seeing what comes next for Dina, her inn and the people she’s starting to let into her life. I’d give this one a 4 out of 5. You?

Holly: I’m giving it a 4.25 out of 5. I love the world and the characters. I can’t wait for you to continue on with the series.

 

Rowena’s rating: 4 out of 5
Holly’s rating: 4.25 out of 5


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Review: Just Like Heaven by Julia Quinn

Posted September 12, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Just Like Heaven by Julia QuinnReviewer: Holly
Just Like Heaven (Smythe-Smith Quartet #1) by Julia Quinn
Series: Smythe-Smith Quartet #1
Also in this series: The Sum of All Kisses, A Night Like This (Smythe-Smith Quartet #2)
Published by Piatkus
Publication Date: June 2011
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 374
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four-stars

Honoria Smythe-Smith is:

A) a really bad violinist B) still miffed at being nicknamed “Bug” as a child C) not in love with her older brother’s best friend D) all of the above

Marcus Holroyd is:

A) the Earl of Chatteris B) regrettably prone to sprained ankles C) not in love with his best friend’s younger sister D) all of the above

Together they:

A) eat quite a bit of chocolate cake B) survive a deadly fever and the world’s worst musical performance C) fall quite desperately in love

It’s Julia Quinn at her best, so you know the answer is . . .

D) all of the above

Just Like Heaven, the Smythe-Smith Quartet, book 1 by Julia Quinn,, is such a fun, witty novel.

This series isn’t as quirky as the Bridgerton series, but there was still a lot of humor. The antics of the main characters, as well as the secondary, made for a quick, fun read.

Daniel, Marcus’s best friend is living in exile out of the country, and he charges Marcus with watching over his younger sister. Marcus takes the duty seriously. All is well until Honoria decides she’s going to do what she needs to do to marry by the end of the Season. She has someone in mind and she isn’t going to let anything get in the way of her snaring him…not even her brother’s annoying best friend. As Marcus chases her around, foiling her plans and being a general pain, they find themselves developing a mutual attraction.

Honoria has a sunny disposition and doesn’t let life get her down. I loved her outlook on life and how determined she is to take her future into her own hands. Marcus isn’t used to having anyone in his life to care for – or who cares about him. Honoria surprised him. Their romance was super sweet. I adored it.

As expected Quinn delivers a fun, fresh romp. This is Quinn at her best.

4.25 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: Arm Candy by Jessica Lemmon

Posted September 6, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: Arm Candy by Jessica LemmonReviewer: Rowena
Arm Candy by Jessica Lemmon
Series: Real Love #2
Also in this series: Eye Candy, Eye Candy (Real Love, #1)
Published by Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept
Publication Date: September 5th, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 220
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four-stars

Last call! At the end of the night, a clean-cut hunk and a rebellious bartender act on their unlikely chemistry in this frisky standalone novel from the author of Eye Candy.

Davis:

I’ve had my eye on Grace Buchanan for a while now. Unlike the bubbly blondes I usually date, the feisty, flame-haired bartender both intrigues and bewilders me. Something about Grace—the tattoos? the nose ring?—makes every part of me sit up and beg. There’s only one problem: She hates me. Trading insults and one-liners has become our M.O. But when Grace bets me that I can’t get a date with a non-blonde if my life depends on it, I’m determined to prove her wrong by landing the ultimate non-blonde: her.

Grace:

I’m used to regulars hitting on me, and I’ve turned them all down, except for one: Davis Price. I like giving him a hard time, and he’s kind of cute in his suit and tie—if you’re into that kind of thing. Anyway, I don’t care how many blondes he takes home . . . until one of them sidles up to him in my bar. Nuh-uh. But after my little bet with Davis backfires, our first date lands us in the sack. So does the second. And the third. Neither of us wants more than the best sex of our lives. The trouble is, it’s not a question of what I want. It’s what I need. And what I need is Davis.

Arm Candy is the second book in the Real Love series by Jessica Lemmon. It’s also Davis’ book. Davis Price, the best friend of the hero from Book 1. I’ve been looking forward to reading this book because I enjoyed the little bits we got from Davis in Eye Candy. He was a good friend to both Vince and Jackie and I was looking forward to getting to know him better. There were little nuggets that we learn about Davis in the first book and I was looking forward to delving into all of that stuff and I’m happy to say that Jessica Lemmon did a fabulous job of writing Davis’ story, IMO.

Davis works from home so he likes to unwind at his favorite neighborhood bar and he really likes exchanging barbs with his favorite bartender, Grace. The attraction between the two of them is strong but neither of them act on it until Grace throws down the gauntlet in the form of a wager and Davis jumps on it. The bet? That Davis will ask the first non-blonde out that he sees and he jumps in and asks her out. Grace is a redhead and though she wasn’t talking about herself when she placed the bet, she’s not one to walk away from a dare so she agrees to go out with him.

One date ends up in bed and they keep ending up in bed so they spend some time together. They get to know each other outside of the bar and the more they get to know, the more they like each other. I really enjoyed seeing them fall in love with each other because they’re both flawed characters who have been burned by one thing or another and don’t have that much faith in relationships but seeing them take a chance on each other warmed my heart. Sure, things weren’t perfect and they fumbled their way to get to that happy ending but I really enjoyed their emotional ride.

Davis was just as great as I hoped he’d be. He did a lot of growing throughout the book and I really connected with his character. He learned a great deal about himself, about love and about what he wanted out of life. He was a grown man who handled his business and did whatever he felt needed to be done and I loved how honest he was. With Grace. With himself. With everyone. He wasn’t the most perfect of characters but he was real. He was a good person who realized his worth and loved with all he had. I appreciated that and I adored him. He was such a good character.

Gracie Lou was a great match for Davis. She came with her own baggage and she was dealing with them as best as she could. She fumbled a lot and there were times when I wanted to smack some sense into her but she doesn’t stay down for long. She was adult enough to acknowledge when she was wrong and in the end, all was well.

This was a great read from beginning to end. I loved the romance that blossomed between Davis and Grace and I adored seeing Vince and Jackie again, all loved up and happy. I’m looking forward to getting to know Dax, though it would have been nice to get a little more of him in this book so that I could have an idea of what’s to come in his book but that’s a really minor gripe. I enjoyed this one and can’t wait for more.

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

four-stars


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