Tag: 4.25 Reviews

Review: Fall by Kristen Callihan

Posted December 11, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Fall by Kristen CallihanReviewer: Rowena
Fall (VIP, #3) by Kristen Callihan
Series: VIP #3
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: October 23, 2018
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 568
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

The first time I met Jax Blackwood things went a little sideways.

In my defense, I didn’t know he was Jax Blackwood—who expects a legendary rock star to be shopping for groceries? More importantly, a blizzard was coming and he was about to grab the last carton of mint-chocolate chip.

Still, I might have walked away, but then he smugly dared me to try and take the coveted ice cream. So I kissed him. And distracted that mint-chip right out of his hands.

Okay, it was a dirty move, but desperate times and all that. Besides, I never expected he’d be my new neighbor.

An annoying neighbor who takes great pleasure in reminding me that I owe him ice cream but would happily accept more kisses as payment. An irresistible neighbor who keeps me up while playing guitar naked–spectacularly naked–in his living room.

Clearly, avoidance is key. Except nothing about Jax is easy to ignore—not the way he makes me laugh, or that his particular brand of darkness matches mine, or how one look from him melts me faster than butter under a hot sun.

Neither of us believes in love or forever. Yet we’re quickly becoming each other’s addiction. But we could be more. We could be everything.

All we have to do is trust enough to fall.

Fall is the third book in Kristen Callihan’s VIP series and it features our troubled hero, Jax Blackwood. You’ll remember Jax from the previous books as the member of Kill John that tried to kill himself. He finally gets his happily ever after and it wasn’t easy to come by. Jax battles a bunch of internal issues and I thought that Kristen Callihan handled the entire thing like a champ.

Jax meets his heroine in the aisles of the grocery store. They seem to be following each other throughout the entire grocery store and when he goes for the last pint of mint chocolate chip ice cream, Stella pulls a stunt that makes sure Jax never forgets her again. Stella never thought she’d see the stranger from the grocery store again but when she takes on a job that will have her house and pet sitting right next door to him, things get real interesting.

Jax is stunned that the ice cream thief is living next door to him. He’s also stunned that the more time he runs into her, the more he wants to run into her. The attraction takes him by surprise because she’s not normally his type but she’s definitely memorable and with each interaction, she becomes more and more..his. Stella can’t believe the guy from the grocery store is her next door neighbor. She still can’t quite believe that he’s not stalking her, all over a pint of ice cream but when they keep running into each other, she finds herself wanting to keep running into him. There’s chemistry between them and it’s starting to feel worth the effort of getting to know him.

The romance between Jax and Stella was hard and it was heartbreaking but man was I glad that I read it. I thought that by the end, these two had definitely worked out every single problem that lie between them and that happily ever after was definitely going to stick. It was hard to be in love with someone who was deeply depressed and easily triggered. I thought Callihan wrote Jax’s character so well that I cried more than once during the reading of this book.

Both Stella and Jax were great, compelling characters that had me firmly invested in what was going on with them and between them. I enjoyed every one of their scenes together and my heart hurt for both of them. I really felt for Stella and her desire for real friends. With her job, it was easy for her to be there for everyone but not a whole lot of people were there for Stella. Not in the way that she needed and wanted. I loved seeing the girls of Kill John gather around Stella and become her squad even when things were off between her and Jax.

It was good to see everyone and when Stella calls Killian and tells him to come home, that Jax needed him, I was a hot mess. Kristen Callihan wrote a great story about two people coming together in love after going through deeply personal issues and I was here for all of it. My heart went out to both Jax and Stella throughout the entire book and I was rooting for them to find their ways back to each other. This was another great romance in this series and I’m really looking forward to Brenna’s book. I just know it’s going to be great!

If you’re a fan of this series then I just know that you’ll enjoy this one. I definitely recommend!

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

VIP

four-stars


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Review: Archangel’s Prophecy by Nalini Singh

Posted December 3, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Archangel’s Prophecy by Nalini SinghReviewer: Casee
Archangel's Prophecy (Guild Hunter, #11) by Nalini Singh
Narrator: Justine Eyre
Series: Guild Hunter #11
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 (Guild Hunter, #10), Archangel's Viper, Archangel's Prophecy (Guild Hunter, #11), Archangel's Consort (Guild Hunter, #3)
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: October 30, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 372
Length: 11 hours, 44 minutes
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

Return to New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh’s darkly passionate Guild Hunter world, where human-turned-angel Elena Deveraux, consort to Archangel Raphael, is thrust center stage into an eons-old prophecy....

Midnight and dawn, Elena’s wings are unique among angelkind…and now they’re failing. The first mortal to be turned into an immortal in angelic memory, she’s regressing. Becoming more and more human. Easier to hurt. Easier to kill.

Elena and Raphael must unearth the reason for the regression before it’s too late and Elena falls out of the sky. Yet even as they fight a furious battle for Elena’s very survival, violent forces are gathering in New York and across the world.

In China, the Archangel Favashi is showing the first signs of madness. In New York, a mysterious sinkhole filled with lava swallows a man whole. In Africa, torrential monsoon rains flood rolling deserts. And in Elena’s mind whispers a haunting voice that isn’t her own.

This time, survival may not be possible…not even for the consort of an archangel.

Nalini, it’s possible that you and I may need to break up. I’m still considering it. I just can’t do this anymore. How could you do this to me? It’s not okay. ::sigh::

This book was everything. It was too much. It gave me all the feels. Too many feels. It sounds really strange, I know, but I don’t like to read books that I think about for days after I finish them. I don’t like the angst I feel. I surely don’t like the angst I feel right now.

Before I jump into my review, I want to mention that I listened to this book on audio. The narrator is fucking amazing. Justine Eyre is the narrator of the entire Guild Hunter series. She is phenomenal. At first I was afraid to listen to it because Elena and Raphael are so incredibly important to me as characters that I didn’t want to hear their voices brought to me by someone that just couldn’t pull it off. I needn’t have worried.

Like I said above, this book gave me so many feels, I don’t know where to start. So I’ll just jump in and try to make some sort of sense. Archangel’s Prophecy picks up about two years after Archangel’s Heart ends. The Cadre has been dormant for that long and now it has awoken. Weird shit starts to happen and it begins and ends with Elena. All of a sudden she’s in a backslide. That’s right…instead of coming into her immortality, Elena is becoming mortal again. What’s even worse is that she’s becoming even weaker than she was when she was actually mortal.

That’s not her only problem. The Archangel Cassandra who is a true Ancient has started to awaken from her Sleep to warn Elena about the prophecy. The one where Elena must die for the “Other” to live. Elena is just as kick-ass as she’s ever been and she’s not one to take a prophecy that shows her death lying down. She’s not about to leave Raphael either. Especially when she can see him becoming more “other” himself as she becomes weaker.

Raphael won’t accept that Elena will die. He simply won’t. He knows exactly what he will become should Elena die. Even with Elena telling him that he will be the only one able to stop Lijuan, he knows he can’t live without her. As the days go by and Elena’s feathers begin to fall, it becomes apparent that he may not have a choice.

If Elena is going to die, she’s going to die protecting her sister and her niece. Someone tried to kill her brother-in-law and are after Beth and Maggie. When Elena finally discovers who is after them, she can barely hold up her sword, let alone fight the man that is living for nothing but vengeance.

Throughout this series, Elena’s love for her wings is absolute. I don’t know if I can forgive Nalini for grounding her. There’s a scene at the end of the book that absolutely wrecked me. Elena without wings at this point isn’t Elena at all. Then Raphael and Elena realize what the prophecy actually is. They both don’t want to accept it, but do they have a choice with Elena taking what could literally be her last breath?

After the torture that was the ending of this book, I am highly doubtful that the next Guild Hunter book will even be about Raphael and Elena. I have a feeling that it is actually going to be about Aodhan. Leaving no answers about Raphael and Elena.

So yep, I’m bitter. Even with that bitterness, Nalini’s writing is still out of this world. So is this series (for the most part).

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

Guild Hunter Series

four-stars


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Review: Scandal Never Sleeps by Shayla Black and Lexi Blake

Posted November 28, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Scandal Never Sleeps by Shayla Black and Lexi BlakeReviewer: Casee
Scandal Never Sleeps (The Perfect Gentlemen, #1) by Shayla Black, Lexi Blake
Series: The Perfect Gentlemen #1
Also in this series: Seduction in Session (The Perfect Gentlemen, #2), Big Easy Temptation (The Perfect Gentlemen, #3), Smoke and Sin (The Perfect Gentlemen, #4)
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: August 18, 2015
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 386
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

They are the Perfect Gentlemen of Creighton Academy: privileged, wealthy, powerful friends with a wild side. But a deadly scandal is about to tear down their seemingly ideal lives . . .

Maddox Crawford’s sudden death sends Gabriel Bond reeling. Not only is he burying his best friend, he’s cleaning up Mad’s messes, including his troubled company. Grieving and restless, Gabe escapes his worries in the arms of a beautiful stranger. But his mind-blowing one-night stand is about to come back to haunt him . . .

Mad groomed Everly Parker to be a rising star in the executive world. Now that he’s gone, she’s sure her job will be the next thing she mourns, especially after she ends up accidentally sleeping with her new boss. If only their night together hadn’t been so incendiary—or Gabe like a fantasy come true . . .

As Gabe and Everly struggle to control the heated tension between them, they discover evidence that Mad’s death was no accident. Now they must bank their smoldering passions to hunt down a murderer—because Mad had secrets that someone was willing to kill for, and Gabe or Everly could be the next target . . .

Wow. Just wow. I have been wanting to read this series for quite some time. I just never got to it. So many books, so little time, etc. I decided to start it and I am so, so glad I did. This series is ah-mazing. Just so good.

The book starts at Creighton Academy around five young boys. That’s when you start to get an idea of who The Perfect Gentlemen are. You begin to understand the bond that these six boys have formed while away from their families in boarding school. It’s no small thing to be away from families and these boys became a family of their own.

Fast forward twenty or so years and they are burying on of their own. Although the six of them are close as brothers, Gabriel Bond and Maddox Crawford were best friends. Now Gabe is burying Maddox. Gabe loved Maddox as you would love a brother, but he also hated him at the time he died. Not only did Mad leave his sister pregnant, but he broke her heart as well. Gabe is determined to find the woman who Mad threw his sister over for and he’s not giving up until he does.

Everly Parker had an unusual relationship with Maddox Crawford. As in they didn’t have any sort of sexual one. Everly was more than fine with that as she respected Mad as a businessman and mentor. When he died, she was devastated and knew that she might not have long at Crawford Industries. When she has the opportunity to go home with a stranger on the night of Mad’s funeral, Everly does something she’s never done before. She has a one night stand.

Except it turns into more than one night. It turns into a weekend. And holy hell, is it hot. Smokin’ hot. Gabe and Everly burn the pages. Everly doesn’t know it, but by the time their weekend is coming to a close, Gabe is already thinking about a way to keep Everly in his life. Little does he know that Everly is the woman he thinks he’s looking for.

Gabe is blown away when he finds out that Mad left Crawford Industries to him. He’s even more surprised when he finds out who “Eve” is. That she’s the woman that Mad left his sister for is something that he’s surprised to realize is irrelevant. He still wants her. Gabe is a total ass. Seriously. He just won’t give that up. It was so stupid.

The remaining five Perfect Gentlemen start to realize that Mad’s death was not just an accident, but murder. Not just that, but somehow the Russian mob is involved. Oh and one of the Perfect Gentlemen? Yeah, he’s the President of the United States. The whole Russian thing is about him somehow, but they haven’t quite figured it out yet. I haven’t either. This book was so good. You should read it.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

The Perfect Gentlemen

four-stars


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Review: Lionheart by Thea Harrison

Posted November 28, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Lionheart by Thea HarrisonReviewer: Holly
Lionheart (Moonshadow, #3) by Thea Harrison
Series: Moonshadow #3, Elder Races
Also in this series: Spellbinder, Lionheart (Moonshadow, #3), , , , , , , , Kinked, 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), Planet Dragos (Elder Races, #9.8)
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: October 15, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: Author
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 271
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars


Lionheart is the final story in the Moonshadow trilogy…

King Oberon reigned over his Dark Court in Lyonesse for centuries, until an assassination attempt laid him low. Now he lies unconscious in his snow-bound palace, while his Power battles the enchantment that threatens to end his life.

A skilled trauma surgeon and magic-user, Dr. Kathryn Shaw reigns at the top of her profession in New York. Then comes a challenge she can’t resist—she is asked to cure the uncureable. Just getting close enough to try healing Oberon is a dangerous proposition. When she does reach him, he awakens too soon.

Roused from darkness by Kathryn’s presence, Oberon confronts the beautiful stranger who claims she wants to save his life. But the enchantment has frozen his emotions. How can he learn to trust her when he can’t feel anything?

Oberon’s desire is icy, devoid of all tenderness. Not only must Kathryn match wits with him, she must also fight her reaction to his touch, because there is so much more at stake than her own endangered heart.

For the Dark Court faces its most deadly peril yet. Its ancient enemy Isabeau, Queen of the Light Court, is obsessed with its annihilation, and Oberon must be brought to remember his loyalty and affection for his people.

Because if he won’t fight for them, Lyonesse itself may very well be destroyed…

I adore Harrison’s Elder Races world. These characters really come alive for me every time I read one. I was curious about Oberon after the events of the previous book, Spellbinder.

An assassination attempt by the Light Fae Queen has a slow-moving magical curse working its way toward Dark Fae King Oberon’s heart. The closer it gets, the less he feels real emotion. When he realizes the magical needle is almost to his heart, he puts himself into a coma. For nearly 200 years he’s been “asleep” while his weather magic rages out of control, decimating the once thriving land of Lyonese. The Dark Court still loyal to King Oberon knows they have to make a decision soon. If the death curse can’t be stopped, Oberon will be lost. They call on surgeon Katherine Shaw. She’s the only one they’ve met in nearly 200 years who may be able to remove the spell from Oberon. Though she’s reluctant, Katherine can’t deny the appeal of the near-impossible task. With Dragos’s prompting, she agrees to see what she can do. She didn’t expect to be battling Oberon and his magic as well as the curse. She’ll have to gain his trust if she’s going to save him…which may be the hardest task of them all.

When Dr. Katherine Shaw agrees to travel to the Other Lands to see if she can remove a deadly spell King Oberon has been under for 200 years, I cheered. I loved her in the previous books and I was really excited to find out more about Morgan’s spell and how Oberon would live. I’m not sure if I didn’t pay enough attention to mentions of the Dark Court in previous books, or if it was explained better here, but I really loved how diverse the Dark Fae are. The war with Isabeau, the Light Fae Queen, comes because the Dark Fae aren’t “pure”. Most all of them are half-breeds of some kind. King Oberon himself is Dark Fae and Wyr. I loved that aspect of the novel, as well as the glimpses we saw of Lyonese and its people. The romance was slow moving at times, but I can’t deny I enjoyed it. I wish there had been a bit more conflict surrounding Oberon coming back to himself, as that part seemed just a bit too neat, but even then I enjoyed seeing the man his people knew and loved.

This didn’t work quite as well for me as the previous entry, Spellbinder, but Harrison doesn’t disappoint. Oberon and Katherine were both wonderful, as was their romance. Another stellar novel in a well thought out and imaginative series. I can’t wait to see what’s next.

4.25 out of 5

Moonshadow

Elder Races

four-stars


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Review: Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

Posted November 19, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle KennedyReviewer: Casee
Him (Him #1) by Sarina Bowen, Elle Kennedy
Series: Him #1
Also in this series: Us (Him, #2), Us (Him, #2)
Publisher: Rennie Road Books
Publication Date: July 28, 2015
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: M/M
Pages: 360
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

They don’t play for the same team. Or do they?

Jamie Canning has never been able to figure out how he lost his closest friend. Four years ago, his tattooed, wise-cracking, rule-breaking roommate cut him off without an explanation. So what if things got a little weird on the last night of hockey camp the summer they were eighteen? It was just a little drunken foolishness. Nobody died.

Ryan Wesley’s biggest regret is coaxing his very straight friend into a bet that pushed the boundaries of their relationship. Now, with their college teams set to face off at the national championship, he’ll finally get a chance to apologize. But all it takes is one look at his longtime crush, and the ache is stronger than ever.

Jamie has waited a long time for answers, but walks away with only more questions—can one night of sex ruin a friendship? If not, how about six more weeks of it? When Wesley turns up to coach alongside Jamie for one more hot summer at camp, Jamie has a few things to discover about his old friend... and a big one to learn about himself.

Warning: contains sexual situations, skinnydipping, shenanigans in an SUV and proof that coming out to your family on social media is a dicey proposition.

Due to the fact that I no longer have an aversion to first person, I decided to pick this book up. Elle Kennedy is my girl (although she doesn’t know it) and Sarina Bowen is Holly & Rowena’s (though I don’t think she knows it). This is seriously an ace writing team, so I was really excited to read this book. It’s the first m/m that I’ve read in sometime. I really decided to read it after I read Tracy’s review of Us. I just couldn’t not read it.

Ryan Wesley never expected to see Jamie Canning again. After becoming best friends a hockey camp over the summers when they were young, Wes ruined it the night he made an unforgivable bet with Jamie. Wes left camp and never looked back although he regularly regrets it. Even when he was eighteen, Wes know that Jamie was the only man for him. Problem with that was that Jamie is as straight as an arrow.

Fast forward several years and Wes and Jamie meet at the championship for college hockey. Seeing Jamie makes Wes realized that he didn’t just lose the man he loved, he also lost his best friend. He decides to apologize, which is something he should have done a long time ago.

Jamie never knew why Wes disappeared from his life. Hurt for the friend that he lost, Jamie is thrilled to see him again. He still doesn’t know why Wes left camp so suddenly. All they did was a little experimenting and Wes paid up on a bet. He doesn’t even consider that the bet could have been the reason Wes left and never spoke to him again. He was wrong.

Knowing he was going to lose Jamie for a second time, Wes makes a rash decision. He contacts the director of the very same hockey camp that he and Jamie went to as kids and offers to be a coach. Jamie goes back every summer to coach. All he wants to do is spend six weeks with the man he loves before he heads to Toronto and the NHL. It doesn’t even matter that Jamie doesn’t know it.

I found this book incredibly realistic. After a hot night between the sheets, Jamie grapples with his sexuality. He’s never been attracted to men, but he can’t stop what he feels for Wes. When their summer comes to an end, Jamie won’t let their time to be over. He loves Wes just as much as Wes loves him and nothing, not even Wes’ career is going to stand in the way of him being with the man he loves.

The book wasn’t as much about being gay as it was about finding your person. Wes was Jamie’s person. Jamie was Wes’ person. The fact that they were both men meant little to Jamie. He was a little naïve though. He didn’t realize how difficult it was for Wes to be out of the closet as a gay man. He soon finds out what Wes faces when he faces it himself. That’s still not enough to keep him away from Wes.

I loved Wes and Jamie. Loved them. They were truly meant for each other. Not just romantically, but as best friends. If you’re looking for a good m/m, this is your book.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

Him

four-stars


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