Tag: 4.25 Reviews

Review: From Lukov, with Love by Mariana Zapata

Posted February 14, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: From Lukov, with Love by Mariana ZapataReviewer: Rowena
From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata
Narrator: Callie Dalton, Teddy Hamilton
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: February 1, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Romance Package
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 524
Length: 14 hours, 55 minutes
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Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 A-Z Reading Challenge, Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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four-half-stars

If someone were to ask Jasmine Santos to describe the last few years of her life with a single word, it would definitely be a four-letter one.

After seventeen years—and countless broken bones and broken promises—she knows her window to compete in figure skating is coming to a close.

But when the offer of a lifetime comes in from an arrogant idiot she’s spent the last decade dreaming about pushing in the way of a moving bus, Jasmine might have to reconsider everything.

Including Ivan Lukov.

I had a really quiet weekend at home so I listened to a couple of audiobooks and this was the first of them. I have enjoyed pretty much all of the Mariana Zapata books that I’ve read so far and that didn’t change with this one. I adored Ivan Lukov and loved getting to know Jasmine Santos, or as Ivan referred to her, “Meatball”. I really enjoyed their banter back and forth and the way that they bickered with each other over everything under the sun. They had that hate vibe going pretty strong for a good chunk of this book and I was so here for it.

We hear this book through Jasmine’s POV so early on, we are not fans of Ivan Lukov. He’s arrogant and an asshole and he gives not one shit that he pisses Jasmine off. In fact, he seems to enjoy pissing her off. Jasmine and Ivan are professional ice skaters who skate doubles but at the moment, they don’t have partners so when Ivan approaches Jasmine to skate with him for a year, she balks because, hell no. She doesn’t even like this punk ass…but holy cow, Ivan presents an opportunity for Jasmine to go after the dream that has been out of her reach since her last partner left her in the most humiliating way possible. He is giving her a chance to win with him, a decorated Olympian in her corner and even though she doesn’t trust him, she’s in. OMG, she’s in.

A huge chunk of this story is told while Jasmine and Ivan are practicing. They have a lot of work to do in not a lot of time so immediately, they get to work. They practice and practice and practice and when they’re not practicing, they hang out and they become friends. They still bicker back and forth but there isn’t the edge of hate surrounding it so it’s easier for the two of them to be around each other. Jasmine doesn’t have a lot of friends but one of her best friends is Ivan’s sister and while Jasmine’s family knew and loved the sister, they didn’t know Ivan but Ivan becomes more than Jasmine’s partner in the short time that they’ve become partners. He’s become her best friend and what a ride it was, seeing them come full circle with each other.

This was such a fun romance. I thought Mariana Zapata did such a fine job of bringing Jasmine and Ivan together. They came so far with each other and when they finally get together, it was so satisfying and I absolutely loved that their bickering didn’t end when they both realized that they loved each other. They kept right on bickering over every little thing because they could. Because that was their way.

There were times when I thought Jasmine was really stubborn and shouldn’t have been but when all was said and done, I really liked her. I liked her smart mouth and prickly personality. I loved the way that she was with Ivan, with her siblings and with her Mom. My heart hurt for her where things were concerned with her father but I thought Zapata did well in making us understand her way of thinking and I loved that she wanted to be better for her family. Everything that she went through in her life humbled her and I loved that she knew that she was going to get it right this time around when she makes the decision to partner up with Ivan.

Then there was Ivan. swoon I wanted to kick him in the nuts for a good chunk of the beginning of the book but when he wins me over, he completely won me over. Getting to know him was such a treat and seeing him with all of his pets and then seeing him with Jasmine and coming to realize how much Jasmine meant to him? Gah, I was a sucker for all of it. I was a sucker for him. Gah, he was a great hero and this was a great romance. I’m not the biggest fan of professional ice skating but I’ll be watching the next Winter Olympics just so that I can picture Ivan and Jasmine skating around and winning shit.

Mariana Zapata delivers another fabulous contemporary romance featuring two ice skating champs that I really enjoyed. I should also mention that I really loved the narrators for this audiobook. Kudos to Callie Dalton and Teddy Hamilton. I loved that Teddy Hamilton read for the parts of Ivan and that Callie Dalton read for most of the book since the book was in Jasmine’s POV. The entire story flowed so well with the two of them narrating and it made for a very enjoyable reading experience. I definitely recommend this one to everyone.

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

four-half-stars


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Review: Wild Hunger by Suzanne Wright

Posted February 13, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Wild Hunger by Suzanne WrightReviewer: Holly
Wild Hunger by Suzanne Wright
Narrator: Jill Redfield
Series: The Phoenix Pack #7
Also in this series: Wild Hunger
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Publication Date: May 29, 2018
Format: eBook, Audiobook
Source: Purchased, Audible Romance Package
Point-of-View: Alternating third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 320
Length: 11 hours and 1 minute
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

When half–wolf shifter Frankie Newman receives an e-mail from a family member she didn’t know existed, a secret is revealed: as a child, Frankie witnessed her father killing her mother…and then himself. Frankie was torn from her pack by her mother’s human relatives, and the trauma was erased from her memory. Realizing that she’s been lied to her entire life, she’s never felt more alone. Until she catches the scent of an old friend—warmly familiar and intoxicating.

Trick Hardy, enforcer of the Phoenix Pack, can sense the rush of mutual attraction when he sees Frankie again. He knows immediately that she’s his true mate. But he also knows that, given her fragile state, he needs to tread with care—no matter how fierce his surging desires.

As aroused as Frankie is by Trick’s darkly dominant air and simmering desire, her priority right now is her past—not her future, no matter how tempting. But as more secrets emerge and Frankie’s life is threatened, Trick must do everything he can to keep her close and safe. After all, it’s their destiny.

Wild Hunger is the 7th book in Suzanne Wright‘s Phoenix Pack series. This may be my favorite of the Phoenix Pack books. I prefer the Mercury Pack overall, but this is my favorite of the Phoenix books. Jill Redfield narrates the audio and I felt she did a good job overall, though the breathy voice she does during love scenes was a turnoff.

Frankie Newman was raised by her maternal grandparents after her mother and father were killed. She has no idea she was once part of a pack, because her grandparents kept the knowledge from her. Once she finds out, she has to decide if she wants a relationship with her father’s family. Trick Hardy has been not-so-patiently waiting for his mate to come along. He knows right away Frankie is the one. He’s determined to give her space to figure out what kind of relationship she wants to have with his pack, and to get used to the idea of mating with him. But he refuses to walk away.

I loved how determined Trick was to find his mate and how open to the bond he was. I also really liked how patient and understanding he was with Frankie. He didn’t push her to give more than she could. It was sweet. I also liked how little drama there was in their coming together. They took their time getting to know each other, but they both accepted that they were mates right away. It was refreshing from previous books, where one mate or another was resistant. Frankie had a tough go of it, feeling betrayed by the people who raised her, as well as dealing with meeting her father’s family. She had a good head on her shoulders and I liked how she dealt with everything.

As I said, this is my favorite of all the Phoenix Pack books. Trick’s patience and understanding, coupled with Frankie’s down-to-earth approach to her situation really worked for me.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

The Phoenix Pack


four-half-stars


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Review: Demon’s Mercy by Rebecca Zanetti

Posted January 21, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Demon’s Mercy by Rebecca ZanettiReviewer: Casee
Demon's Mercy (Dark Protectors, #9) by Rebecca Zanetti
Series: Dark Protectors #9
Also in this series: Marked (Dark Protectors, #7), Fated (Dark Protectors, #1), Claimed (Dark Protectors, #2), Hunted (Dark Protectors, #3), Consumed (Dark Protectors, #4), Provoked (Dark Protectors, #5), Marked (Dark Protectors, #7), Shadowed (Dark Protectors, #6), Vampire's Faith (Dark Protectors, #8)
Publisher: Kensington
Publication Date: January 22, 2019
Format: eARC
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 320
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Mercy O'Malley hates killing people. So when she's assigned to take out Vampire-Demon Logan Kyllwood, she lures him to a seedy bar in Scotland, then decides to kidnap him instead. How can she cold-bloodedly end all that heat, those green eyes, that ripped body? Unfortunately for Mercy, attempted murder and kidnapping are just foreplay for the Kyllwood brothers. Logan may be the youngest of the bunch, but death and violence are already a way of life. Now he's ready to complete a painful, terrifying ritual to become one of the Seven, dedicated to protecting this world from the most dangerous evil it's ever known. But first he has to deal with a blackmailing Fey, a ransom demand and his own pounding need for the last female he ever should have fallen for . . .

Oh, did I ever enjoy this book. This is one of my favorite books in the Dark Protector series. I usually have a problem with the heroines in this series, but not so with Mercy. She was just a breath of fresh air. I found her to be exactly who was needed in this book.

Mercy O’Malley is fae. They are mostly assumed to be a myth in the Realm. The ones that have known a fae in the past all have a couple words for them. Fairy. Crazy. It’s actually crazy that comes up more often. And crazy they are. They often act before they think, especially in Mercy’s case. She doesn’t quite think her plan through when she decides that she’s going to kidnap Logan Kyllwood instead of kill him.

Mercy is not a solider. She’s a business person. Or business fae. She keeps the fae in money. She plays the stock market. She moves money around. Mercy is that person. She’s also one of the few fae left in the world. Her people were happily living on another dimension when it was destroyed. They lost almost all their people. Now they’re forced to live in a dimension that they have no desire to live in. The realm with everyone else. The problem now is that Logan Kyllwood and his brotherhood are threatening they’re new dimension as well.

Logan Kyllwood can’t believe he let himself get kidnapped by a fairy. He’s only days away from a horrifying ritual that could kill him. One where he joins a brotherhood known as the Seven. The job of the Seven is to protect the world from the biggest, baddest evil the world has ever seen. The evil that can wipe out all enhanced females. Including his young niece. Logan can’t help himself from being attracted to Mercy, but he won’t let her stop him.

What made this book so good was the interaction between Mercy and Logan. Mercy got the one-up on Logan so many times and he just kept falling for her shenanigans. At first I was thinking, “Seriously, how stupid are you?”, then I looked at it another way. He just liked her that much. He got stupid around her. There was one interaction that was especially humorous. The vampire mating mark appears on Logan’s hand, signifying that Mercy is his mate. Mercy sees it and loses her shit a little bit.

“Your marking,” she whispered.

“Yes.” He looked down, no expression on his immortal face.

Oh. She blinked. “You’ve found your mate.” What an asshole. He’d brought her to orgasm while soon to be mated to someone else. Obviously he hadn’t transferred the marking to the other female yet, or he wouldn’t have been able to kiss Mercy without succumbing to the mating allergy. The fact that she’d done the same was irrelevant. “You’re such a dick.”

He jerked and turned toward her. “Excuse me?”

A mating mark only appeared when a demon met his or her mate, and then it was transferred to the mate during sex. She’d read all about it, fascinated. “You’ve met your mate, and here is the mark to prove it. Yet you kissed me.” Man, she’d read him wrong. No honor. What a jackass. His poor mate. How incredibly sad. “I should tell her the truth.”

“You are her,” he drawled, dark amusement glittering in his eyes.

Mercy has always felt that she had to work for her place with her people. Logan is determined to show her that she doesn’t have to prove herself to him. His view does differs from Mercy’s in how their partnership is going to work. Mercy just does what she wants. She does what she wants without any fanfare. She just does it. She does what she believes is best. For her people, for her President, for her King, and above all, for Logan. I just adored these two characters individually and together.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

Dark Protectors

four-stars


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Review: Hoops Holiday by Kennedy Ryan

Posted January 16, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 7 Comments

Review: Hoops Holiday by Kennedy RyanReviewer: Rowena
Hoops Holiday by Kennedy Ryan
Series: Hoops #2.5
Also in this series: Long Shot (Hoops, #1)
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: December 14, 2018
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 184
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 A-Z Reading Challenge, Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Rowena's 2019 TBR Challenge
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

A jock, a journalist and a second chance . . .

MacKenzie Decker was a question Avery never got to ask, much less answer. They met when she was a young reporter fueled by ambition, and the ink on Deck's first NBA contract was barely dry. Years later, they've climbed so high and lost so much, but one thing hasn't changed. The attraction that simmered between them in a locker room before is still there. With success like theirs, everything has been possible . . . except them.

That was then. But what about now?

In an effort to support our wonderful romance community this year, Book Binge decided as a blog that we’ll be participating in Super Wendy’s 2019 TBR Challenge this year. January’s prompt was We Love Short Shorts! (shorter reads) so I chose to read Kennedy Ryan’s Hoops Holiday since I’ve been meaning to read it long before now.

I finished my first prompt of the year so this is me right now:

Hoops Holiday is a short story from Kennedy Ryan’s Hoops series and it follows MacKenzie Decker and Avery Hughes as they make that journey towards true love that is about ten years in the making. Deck meets the woman of his dreams in the locker room after a game, tries to hit on her and she is not having it. Deck struck out but ten years later, his attraction to Avery Hughes is every bit as fierce and for the first time in a long time, they’re both single and can finally explore the attraction that Deck knows is brewing both ways and not just on his end. Deck just needs to persuade Avery that she should definitely take a chance on him. Avery is going through some stuff having to do with her last relationship and a new relationship just isn’t in the cards for her. She can’t deny that seeing Deck again brings back the attraction she walked away from all those years before.

Kennedy Ryan knocked this short story right out of the park and she’s fast becoming a favorite of mine. She handled the romance between Deck and Avery really well considering she didn’t have a lot of page time to really dig into their pasts, their present and hell, even their futures but I didn’t feel like the story, or the romance, for that matter, was missing anything. I liked that there was history between Deck and Avery (how memorable was that first meet-cute tho??? Ha!) I really enjoyed getting to know both Deck and Avery. I also really enjoyed seeing how they came together. It was just great, solid writing.

This book also comes with some cute extras from the previous books in this series and I loved them. They were like second epilogues for both August and Iris, along with Jared and Banner. I’m glad that everyone is still going through it with lots of love on their side.

If you’re a fan of the Hoops series by Kennedy Ryan, this short story isn’t to be missed. It’s chock full of a romance that is sweet, fun and yet still tugs at your heart the way that only Kennedy Ryan can tug.

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

Hoops Series

four-half-stars


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Review: Natural Witch by K.F. Breene

Posted January 3, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Natural Witch by K.F. BreeneReviewer: Holly
Natural Witch (Magical Mayhem #1) by K.F. Breene
Series: Magical Mayhem #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 25, 2018
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First and Third
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 376
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

The explosive new addition to the DDVN World (Fire and Ice Series) by USA Today Bestselling author K.F. Breene!

Something has always been missing from my life. A hole that I could never seem to fill.

When I accidentally turn a coven of witches into nightmares, I find out what that something is.

Magic.

And it turns out, I have a crap load of it.

As a latent power awakens deep inside of me, I’m exposed to one of the most powerful and corrupt organizations in the magical world—the Mages’ Guild.

Barely knowing a spell from a few swear words and luck, I won’t be able to evade them alone.

And that’s when I meet him.

The Rogue Natural. The best and most feared mage in the world.

He’s dangerous, mysterious, and has a vendetta of his own. He is now the only thing between me and magical enslavement.

We first met Penny in the Fire and Ice trilogy when she unwittingly turned a coven of witches into zombies. I do not think you need to read those books before this series.

Penny Bristol has felt her magic her whole life, but she’s never been trained to use it. On a whim, she signs up for a magical retreat where she might learn to harness and control her magic. What she finds is a coven of witches trying to perform a dangerous spell. Before she realizes what she’s doing, Penny joins them and turns them all into zombies. That’s when she meets Reagan and realizes she’s an extremely rare Natural Witch. Now she’s trying to get trained to use her magic, all the while on the run from the Mages Guild, a corrupt organization bent on using her for their own purposes. Oh, and the Rogue Natural, one of the most powerful mages in history has suddenly turned up, and turned her world upside down in the process.

The thing I love best about this series is how aware of her limitations Penny is. She knows she’s untrained and unable to deal with magical baddies, so her first response in every situation is to run and hide. That doesn’t make her a coward, just smart. She doesn’t run and hide, but she wants to. The fact that she stands her ground to protect those she cares about despite her fear really got me. Plus, I love the female relationships in this series. Penny’s best friend is an editor. For fun and to relieve stress, she walks around the neighborhood with Penny, correcting the grammar on yard sale signs. Though Reagan intimidates her, Penny forms a close bond to her.

The romance is light in this book as it spans the trilogy. I liked Emery and Penny together, and enjoyed watching them interact with each other and learn to merge their powers. Though I didn’t love the ending, I admit this was a wonderful story. I couldn’t wait to jump into the next book.

4.25 out of 5

Magical Mayhem

four-half-stars


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