Tag: 4.25 Reviews

Guest Review: Caught Looking by Jody Holford

Posted May 3, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Caught Looking by Jody HolfordReviewer: Tracy
Caught Looking by Jody Holford
Published by Penner Publishing
Publication Date: April 25th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Major league baseball player, Ryan Walker, takes a mandatory leave of absence to escape the paparazzi and the false drug charges against him. All he wants is a little peace of mind out in the middle of nowhere.

Eager to rid herself of the empty socialite life, Frankie Vaughn moves to a rundown home in Minnesota that she inherited from her aunt. But Frankie is shocked at what she discovers inside: three young boys. When Ryan discovers that Frankie, his new neighbor, has taken on the three homeless kids as her own, he has a new hope for humanity.

Despite how easily and lovingly Ryan takes to Frankie and the boys, his past just might be the reason Frankie can't adopt the boys. Now, Ryan must choose between loving them or letting them go. Can he walk away from what he's been looking for all along?

Moving from the Hamptons to a run-down house in Minnesota wouldn’t normally be considered an adventure but that’s exactly how Frankie Vaughn’s looking at it.  She is sick of the “pretty on the outside, shallow on the inside” mentality of the Hamptons so when her aunt dies she tells her father she wants to take over her house.  Since he was planning on just selling it, he agrees.

Frankie moves to West Lake, Minnesota with the thought to rehab the house.  When she arrives she’s a bit overwhelmed with how run-down it’s become but she’s determined.  When she first enters the house all is well but then she starts to hear noises.  She thinks she’s going to find a cat in the bedroom closet but what she discovers is 3 young boys – brothers, Carter, Travis and Miles, who have been living in the house since her aunt died.  They had actually been homeless and were taken in by Frankie’s aunt and had just continued to live in her house after she died.  Frankie knows she should call the police or social services right away but the little one who is just 8 is horribly sick and she can’t send him out that way.  Of course the longer the boys stay the more attached that Frankie gets and soon she doesn’t ever want them to leave.

Ryan meets Frankie the first day she arrives and is a bit of a jerk (cuz he’s attracted to her and doesn’t want to be).  He mellows out eventually and when he sees that Frankie is caring for the boys he actually helps out in his own way.  He’s incredibly attracted to Frankie but knows he shouldn’t get involved with her for a variety of reasons.  Those reasons eventually fall by the wayside and Ryan and Frankie soon start a wonderful relationship.  Unfortunately when it comes to the boys staying with Frankie permanently, Ryan’s presence, and his past, may be the reason she that doesn’t happen.

When I read the blurb for this book I was intrigued.  If there are children in a book they usually belong to either the hero or the heroine biologically.  In this case Frankie kind of inherited them along with the house.  She was amazingly big-hearted and not only let them stay but took care of the youngest throughout his sickness.  She kept telling herself that she was going to call social services but never did.  She knew that not putting them in the foster care system was bad but Carter, the oldest at 16 years old, insisted that they would be separated if they were in the system.  Frankie couldn’t stand that thought.  I loved that she considered what would happen to the boys and how that would affect them.  She was such a good person and I just adored her character.

Ryan had his issues from his cheating ex-wife and his ex-best friend who had not only slept with his wife but had made false drug charges against him.  He just wanted to be left alone except when it came to Frankie.  I loved that he couldn’t stay away and once their relationship started it was not only fun and loving but something I knew would last.  He was a great man and cared about the three boys almost as much as Frankie did.  He was a fantastic influence on them as well.

The story of the three boys and Frankie’s role in their life was a huge part of the book but the romance was just as big and the two were wonderfully intertwined.  Holford did a fantastic job of dragging me into the story from the first page and not letting go.  I read this in one sitting and didn’t want it to end.

My only issues with the book were strange editing issues as well as some words that threw me out of the story. The book takes place in Minnesota with American characters but some of the words that were used to describe things were clearly Canadian or British.  Social Services was called the ministry – that threw me for a loop.  I live in California and for schools there are certain service areas.  These are the group of homes that go to a certain school within the district.  In this book it was called a catchment.  Same idea but definitely a British word that I had to stop and look up which again, threw me out of the book.  These are minor issues but when I’m totally into a book I don’t want to stop and think “what does that mean?” This is, of course, just me and may not affect other people the same way.

Despite those minor issues I liked the book a lot.  It has a pretty deep story but it was still fun, humorous,  and extremely enjoyable.  I definitely recommend you pick this one up. This is my first read by Holford but it certainly won’t be my last.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

four-half-stars

2 Comments
Tags: , , , , , ,


Review: Midnight Target by Elle Kennedy

Posted April 25, 2017 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Midnight Target by Elle KennedyReviewer: Casee
Midnight Target by Elle Kennedy
Series: Killer Instincts #8
Also in this series: Midnight Revenge, Midnight Rescue, Midnight Alias, Midnight Games, Midnight Pursuits, Midnight Action, Midnight Revenge, Midnight Captive, Midnight Target
Published by Signet
Publication Date: April 25th 2017
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Score and Midnight Revenge...
Four years ago, Cate’s entire life changed when she discovered she was the daughter of a supersoldier. But Jim Morgan’s overprotectiveness has pushed her away. These days, she’s working as a freelance photographer and living the dangerous life Jim never wanted for her.
When Cate snaps a photo linking a corrupt South American politician with the leader of a notorious drug cartel, her mercenary father leads a team to rescue her—only to get shot and critically wounded in the process.
As Morgan’s operatives rally together on a revenge mission, they’re faced with new alliances and old heartaches. Cate is forced to work with David “Ash” Ashton, the man who broke her heart two years ago, while Liam Macgregor and Sullivan Port resurface after years apart to finally try to deal with everything they’d left unsaid.
Soon it’s all-out war between the cartel and the mercenaries—with two couples caught in the middle of the blood feud. Love and redemption are within their reach...but first they have to make it home alive.

Midnight Target brings the Killer Instincts series to a close. I have to say, I haven’t enjoyed a series as much as this one in quite sometime. It’s sad to see it come to a close.

Cate Morgan has only known her father for five years, but they are alike in every way that counts. They both crave the adrenaline that they know a dangerous job can bring. Morgan wants his daughter to live the normal life that he never had. He wants her to go to college, marry a normal man, live in the suburbs. Cate wants adventure, danger, and love. She’s rebelled against everything that her father wants for her.

Cate is in Guantana where the civil unrest is at an all time high. The military is barely keeping the peace and the drug cartels almost have full control of the country. Cate is there with a colleague taking pictures and she snaps a photo of the most dangerous man in the world. Which might not be a big deal if he wasn’t supposed to be dead. When men come after her, she has no choice but to call her father and his men in for extraction.

When her father is critically wounded while trying to rescue her, Cate is devastated. She’s also furious. She desperately wants to be a part of the operation to strike back at those responsible. Her stepmother, Noelle, is fine with it, but David “Ash” Ashton is far from fine with putting Cate in the line of fire.

I loved Ash. He was spectacular. I completely disliked Cate. She was a spoiled brat. I really liked her in Midnight Action. I thought I would like her in this book, but she was only twenty one. I don’t think she had enough time to grow up.

My favorite part of this book was Liam and Sully. They have been dancing around each other since Midnight Action. Liam was devastated when Sully disappeared. Their love story was told over many of the books, and the conclusion was perfect. Their story is why I loved this book. Elle Kennedy really pushed the envelope with their relationship and I applaud her for that.

Cate and Ash rating: 3 out of 5.

Liam and Sully rating: 4.25 out of 5.

0 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , ,


Joint Review: Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas

Posted April 24, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 8 Comments

Joint Review: Devil in Spring by Lisa KleypasReviewer: Holly and Rowena
Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas
Series: The Ravenels #3
Also in this series: Cold-Hearted Rake
Published by Avon Romance
Publication Date: February 21 2017
Genres: Historical
Pages: 288
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

An eccentric wallflower…

Most debutantes dream of finding a husband. Lady Pandora Ravenel has different plans. The ambitious young beauty would much rather stay at home and plot out her new board game business than take part in the London Season. But one night at a glittering society ball, she’s ensnared in a scandal with a wickedly handsome stranger.

A cynical rake…

After years of evading marital traps with ease, Gabriel, Lord St. Vincent, has finally been caught-by a rebellious girl who couldn’t be less suitable. In fact, she wants nothing to do with him. But Gabriel finds the high-spirited Pandora irresistible. He’ll do whatever it takes to possess her, even if their marriage of convenience turns out to be the devil’s own bargain.

A perilous plot…

After succumbing to Gabriel’s skilled and sensuous persuasion, Pandora agrees to become his bride. But soon she discovers that her entrepreneurial endeavors have accidentally involved her in a dangerous conspiracy-and only her husband can keep her safe. As Gabriel protects her from their unknown adversaries, they realize their devil’s bargain may just turn out to be a match made in heaven...

Holly: It’s been ages since I read a historical romance, but Sybil told me I needed to read Devil in Spring, because it featured Sebastian and Evie’s oldest son (they’re our favorite Kleypas couple). So I read it. Then I told Rowena she had to read it, too, because it was so good. We both ended up reading all three books, and we agree Devil in Spring is the best of the series so far.

Lady Pandora and her twin sister, Cassandra, were basically left alone to run free on their country estate. Their parents really wanted nothing to do with them, and didn’t bother to hire the proper governesses or tutors for them. As a result they’re both a little wild and not at all ready to enter society, despite the fact that they’re 19. After three years of proper tutelage from her step-sister’s very upright foster mother

When Pandora gets caught in a compromising position with Gabriel, Lord St. Vincent, she’s devastated. She has no intention of ever marrying. She doesn’t want to give up her independence for a man, especially one with a title and all the duties that accompany it. But she also wants to do what’s best for her family, so she agrees to spend a week with him and his family at their country estate to get to know one another.

For his part, Gabriel knows he has to marry someday, but he has no desire to marry a wild little savage like Pandora. He needs a proper wife who will be an asset to him as the future Duke. Still, honor demands he do the right thing…and the longer he spends with her, the more he wants her, in spite of the way her mind works.

Girl, I loved this book. I loved how unconventional Pandora was, and how Gabriel came to love her quirks in spite of himself.

Rowena: I really enjoyed this one too. I’m glad that St. Vincent’s kid ended up with Pandora because she’s a special one. I knew that I was going to love her the most in this series and that didn’t change after reading her book. If anything, I loved her even more.

Devil in Spring was my favorite book in this series, so far. I loved seeing familiar characters, enjoyed getting to know the new ones and it was even good to see St. Vincent, Sebastian, that is.

I loved that there wasn’t anything about Pandora that Gabriel didn’t love. The way that he wanted to be sure that she knew how special she was to him, no matter how bad her hearing was, how bad her vertigo was, or how independent she wanted to be, none of that mattered to him. She was perfect the way that she was to him and I melted into a puddle of lust for him every time he showed her how much he loved her.

Holly: She is. I meant to add that three years later she wasn’t much more civilized.

I totally cracked up in the beginning when she was trying to convince him he didn’t want to marry her.

“You do not want to marry me, my lord. I would be the worst wife imaginable. I’m forgetful and stubborn, and I can never sit still for more than five minutes. I’m always doing things I shouldn’t. I eavesdrop on other people, I shout and run in public, and I’m a clumsy dancer. And I’ve lowered my character with a great deal of unwholesome reading material.” Pausing to draw breath, she noticed that Lord St. Vincent didn’t appear properly impressed by her list of faults. “Also, my legs are skinny. Like a stork’s.”

Pandora was definitely the best part of this book. I love how unconventional she was. She didn’t think in straight lines and always seemed to be going in 8 different directions. Gabriel was great with her. I like how he was all about keeping her right from the beginning, even though he knew he should want a more proper wife.

Rowena: Okay, yeah they were 19 in the other books.

Yes!! She had me laughing so much throughout the entire series but more so in this book. Gosh, she’s one of those characters that I will remember for a long time. She’s got a distinct personality that I just love to pieces. I will probably incorporate some of her made up words into my vocabulary because some of her words were fantastic! I’ll definitely be using, “This is horriculous!” from time to time. I just know it.

More than her personality, I really loved her drive to be successful in her board game business. You don’t see historical heroines that serious about their own business endeavors very often so it was a refreshing change for me.

There wasn’t much that I didn’t like about this book. If I had to pick a gripe, it would probably be all of that nonsense with Mrs. Black. Was that her name? Nola Black? I’m glad that Pandora was able to rise above such pettiness and I even understood why Gabriel was so blinded by keeping them apart but I didn’t really think it was necessary because there was so many other things going on to keep the story going but whatever, it was still a damn good romance.

What about you?

Holly: I loved her board game business, too. It was wonderful to read about a heroine who was more concerned with her independence than catching a gentleman’s eye.

I didn’t like the nonsense with Mrs. Black, either. It seemed rather ridiculous to include it when there was already the business with the Irish Anarchists Pandora came into contact with. Not to mention, the whole thing felt very unfinished. There was no mention of her after Gabriel admitted to having a mistress, until all of a sudden she shows up at the theater while Pandora is there? It really seemed to come out of nowhere. And what happened afterward? Aside from Gabriel being pissed and worried about Pandora’s reaction, there was no closure. He didn’t mention speaking to her again, or even refusing to give her the satisfaction of speaking to her again. The whole thing was silly.

What did you think about the Irish Anarchist bit? That, too, felt very unfinished to me. I’m sure she’s leading into what will happen in the next book (possibly Dr. Gibson and Ransom?), but I wish there had been something more.

Rowena: I was thinking that Gibson and Ransom would get like a secondary romance in someone else’s book since the series is about the Ravenels. I figured Cassandra and West were left and then we’d be done with this lot.

The Black thing felt unfinished because after Pandora gets stabbed, she fell by the wayside. I guess she served her purpose of distracting Gabriel so the stabber can get close to Pandora. I also thought it was dumb that Dragon’s whole purpose for being there was to be Pandora’s bodyguard but he was so far away from her when the Irish lady knifed her ass. Seriously, dude? Falling down on the job.

The Irish thing didn’t feel unfinished, but more anti-climatic. All of that and then they take him down, easy peasy. Meh. I was much more interested in seeing Gabriel and Pandora together and seeing them figure their shit out together. All of the other stuff was extra stuff that didn’t really do anything for me.

All in all, it was a solid romance and I enjoyed getting to know Gabriel and Pandora. I loved seeing Gabriel’s family and Pandora’s again because they were such a fun bunch. I loved Pandora’s made up words. I loved watching Gabriel fall under Pandora’s spell even when she was trying to push him away. Lisa Kleypas shines with her characters and the dialogue in this one and I give it 4.25 out of 5. You?

Holly: Right, but Ransom is a Ravenal, so if he gets his own book, it would apply to the series. (It was implied he was a bastard child or something).

The Irish thing wasn’t cleared up at all. They discovered it was dude from the Home Office, but he killed himself before he could be questioned, so it was just left open ended.

The romance was really great. I loved Gabriel and Pandora together, I loved both families, and I loved the way Gabriel loved her. I’m giving it a 4.25 also.

four-half-stars

8 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , ,


Review: The Thing about Love by Julie James

Posted April 17, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 5 Comments

Review: The Thing about Love by Julie JamesReviewer: Rowena
The Thing About Love by Julie James
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: April 18th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 368
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Two undercover FBI agents can hide who they are from everyone but each other in the latest novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Suddenly One Summer.

FBI agents Jessica Harlow and John Shepherd have a past. The former lawyer and cocky Army ranger clashed during their training at Quantico, gladly going their separate ways after graduating from the Academy. Six years later, the last thing either of them expects is to run into each other again–assigned to work as partners in a high-profile undercover sting.

For both of them, being paired with a former rival couldn’t come at a worse time. Recently divorced from a Hollywood producer and looking for a fresh start, Jessica is eager to prove herself at her new field office. And John is just one case away from his dream assignment to the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team. In order to nail a corrupt Florida politician, they’ll have to find a way to work as a team–a task that becomes even trickier when they’re forced to hole up at a romantic, beachfront resort as part of the investigation. Suddenly, the heat behind their nonstop sparring threatens to make the job a whole lot more complicated. . .

Julie James has been a favorite of mine since she was a newbie romance novelist with the release of her very first book, Just the Sexiest Man Alive. Every year she has written a book that I absolutely loved and all these years later, she’s still writing books that I enjoy. As a reader, that makes me a happy camper because who doesn’t love enjoying book after book from their favorite authors?

Anyway, The Thing about Love is another fabulous addition to James’ backlist and it follows a couple of new to us FBI special agents who work for, wait for it….Nick McCall who is not a new to us character. 🙂 So while this book doesn’t follow our normal FBI Squad, we do see a bunch of them around and my inner FBI/US Attorney’s fangirl squeed with joy.

So the story starts out with John Shepherd walking in on some bad news at home so he throws himself into work. The best way to get over betrayal is is to drown yourself in work, right? Well, that’s what John does and he also decides that maybe a change would be good for him. He accepts the offer to join a huge task force in Virginia but he’s got one last undercover job that he has to do before he leaves and that job’s got him partnered up with a woman he went to FBI school with at Quantico. The girl that he had a huge crush on but didn’t return so instead of spending some happy time with each other, they spent the entire time trying to one up each other and that relationship follows them to their new undercover gig all these years later.

Jessica Harlow isn’t a fan of being partnered up with John Shepherd on this job but she’s a professional and she can handle him. She remembers John as being the douche canoe from class that was heaps better than everyone at everything and lorded his superior skills around, especially toward her. Especially when she was shooting guns and lagging behind everyone else in all of the physical aspects of the FBI. All these years later, she’s great at every part of being an FBI special agent and he can choke on all of his “encouragement”.

The chemistry between these two from the very beginning was sizzling. I ate every scene up and even when I wanted to pull Jess’ hair (because let’s face it, she’d beat my ass so that’s the extent of what I thought about doing to Jessica Harlow), I loved reading this book. It was fun and the romance was hot so I was entertained which makes the book a winner for me. It took me no time at all to dig into this book and I was invested in both John and Jess from the very beginning. There were times when a lot of the FBI jargon went over my head but mostly, it was just entertaining. I liked it a lot.

I definitely recommend this book if you enjoyed the other books by Julie James. It’s fun, it’s fresh and there’s lots of eye candy (old and new) so what’s not to love?

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

four-stars

5 Comments
Tags: , , , , ,


Review: Midnight Games by Elle Kennedy

Posted March 20, 2017 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Midnight Games by Elle KennedyReviewer: Casee
Midnight Games by Elle Kennedy
Series: Killer Instincts #3
Also in this series: Midnight Revenge, Midnight Rescue, Midnight Alias, Midnight Pursuits, Midnight Action, Midnight Revenge, Midnight Captive, Midnight Target, Midnight Target
Published by Signet
Publication Date: August 6th 2013
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 345
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

She wears a thousand deadly identities. He sees through them all.
A master of disguise, Isabel Roma spends her life pretending to be other women. Normally, her emotions are reined in tight—but sexy mercenary Trevor Callaghan has a knack for getting under her skin. The elite operative’s quiet strength and raw magnetism affect her in ways she’s never felt before, a distraction that can quickly turn deadly in their dangerous line of work.
After putting his tragic past behind him, Trevor is ready to focus on his future—and he damn well intends for Isabel to be in it. When their entire operation is thrown into chaos, Trevor enlists Isabel’s talent for deception. And as they attempt to save their team in a world where the stakes are high and the danger is grave, Trevor must convince Isabel that the woman beneath all the disguises is the one worth having...

It bears repeating. I love this series. Love it. Have I said it enough? You’re missing out if you haven’t read it. Midnight Games is my favorite book of the series and I’ve read the entire series by now. Trevor and Isabel? Sigh. I heart both of them.

Jim Morgan’s compound has been attacked. Shocking. The place is a fortress, so how the fuck has that happened? I am still in shock and it happened, like, three weeks ago. People died. It was heartbreaking. Trevor and Isabel were in the middle of a heart-to-heart and they needed it. After Midnight Rescue and Midnight Alias, those two had some crap to work through.

In Midnight Rescue, Trevor was a hot mess after the death of his fiancé. He wanted nothing to do with life. Isabel was all life and wanted nothing to do with Trevor on their mission. She was worried that he would get them both killed, which he almost did. Instead, she saved his life and got shot in the process. In Midnight Alias, she got scared and ran, leaving him waiting for her. See? Heartbreaking. This time Trevor isn’t going to let her go so easily. There is that pesky little thing about figuring out who is trying to kill the team. And finding their boss, who is suddenly off the grid.

The team heads to Monte Carlo after they get a lead on who hired the team that attacked the compound. They have no idea why this guy wants to kill them, but why does anyone go after a group of mercenaries? Bringing in the Queen of Assassins, Noelle is heading the op and is none too happy about brining her people in. She and Jim’s relationship is contentious at best.

It isn’t long before they discover that the attack tracks back to the first mission that Isabel and Trevor were on together. Isabel immediately takes the deaths from the compound on her own shoulders and draws even further away from Trevor. Trevor doesn’t let Isabel get away that easily.

I adored this book. I loved how much Trevor changed and grew from Midnight Rescue. He took a painful loss and grew from it. He realized that he loved Isabel and wouldn’t let her hide from him. This couple is one of my favorites so far this year.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

four-stars

1 Comment
Tags: , , , , , , ,