Tag: 4.25 Reviews

Audiobook Review: Part-Time Lover by Lauren Blakely

Posted October 19, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Audiobook Review: Part-Time Lover by Lauren BlakelyReviewer: Holly
Part-Time Lover by Lauren Blakely
Narrator: Shane East, Grace Grant
Series: Part Time Lover #2
Also in this series: Wanderlust
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: June 4, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 314
Length: 7 hours and 21 minutes
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Goodreads
four-stars

A sexy new standalone romance from #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Lauren Blakely!I’ll say this about Christian — he made one hell of a first impression.When I first saw the strapping man, he was doing handstands naked on a dock along the canal. His crown jewels were far more entertaining than anything else I’d seen on the boat tour, so I did what any curious woman would do — I took his photo. I might have looked at the shot a few dozen times. Little did I know I’d meet him again, a year later, at a secret garden bar in the heart of the city, where I’d learn that his mind and his mouth were even more captivating. But given the way my heart had been trampled, I wanted only a simple deal — No strings. No expectations. Our arrangement worked well enough until the day I needed a lot more from him…

***Let me just say, this whole part-time lover thing was her idea. I’d have gone all-in from the start, but hey, when a gorgeous, brilliant woman invites you into her bed, and only her bed…well, I said yes.But then, one hysterical phone call from my brother later, begging me to find myself a wife so grandfather’s business stays in the family, and I need a promotion with Elise. Turns out a full-time husband suits her needs too, and a temporary marriage of convenience ought to do the trick, until we can simply untie the knot…

As long as no one finds out…As long as no one gets hurt…As long as no one falls in love…


But our ending was one I never saw coming.

We first met Elise and Christian in Wanderlust. There were hints of a history/relationship with them and I was anxious for more. I’m so glad I discovered this book. Though they’re mentioned in Wanderlust, the book stands alone well.

Elise and Christian had a chance meeting in Denmark. They had an obvious connection, but it didn’t work out. A year later another chance meeting brings them together in Paris. This time, they both want to explore their chemistry, but neither is looking for something long-term. They settle on a casual fling, until Christian needs to produce a wife in order to help his brother save their family company. Elise sees this as an opportunity to offer help to a friend and suggests they get married. They know the score – this is a marriage of convenience only. Though convincing their hearts may prove difficult..

This was a sweet story. I enjoyed the slow-burn romance and the way Elise and Christian’s relationship developed. The witty banter had me laughing and I thought their friendship was believable. The narrators both did an excellent job. I was pulled into the story right away and couldn’t stop listening. I loved both Elise and Christian. They were well settled into their lives and careers and knew what they wanted from both. They were both a bit gun-shy about falling in love, but based on their pasts I felt it was believable. I loved how they worked together and were so open and honest with each other right from the start.

Another stellar novel from Blakely. I just can’t get enough.

4.25 out of 5

Part Time Lover

four-stars


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Review: Fight or Flight by Samantha Young

Posted October 15, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: Fight or Flight by Samantha YoungReviewer: Rowena
Fight or Flight by Samantha Young
Publisher: Piatkus
Publication Date: October 9, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 288
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Goodreads
four-stars

A series of chance encounters leads to a sizzling new romance from the New York Times bestselling author of the On Dublin Street series.

The universe is conspiring against Ava Breevort. As if flying back to Phoenix to bury a childhood friend wasn't hell enough, a cloud of volcanic ash traveling from overseas delayed her flight back home to Boston. Her last ditch attempt to salvage the trip was thwarted by an arrogant Scotsman, Caleb Scott, who steals a first class seat out from under her. Then over the course of their journey home, their antagonism somehow lands them in bed for the steamiest layover Ava's ever had. And that's all it was--until Caleb shows up on her doorstep.

When pure chance pulls Ava back into Caleb's orbit, he proposes they enjoy their physical connection while he's stranded in Boston. Ava agrees, knowing her heart's in no danger since a) she barely likes Caleb and b) his existence in her life is temporary. Not long thereafter Ava realizes she's made a terrible error because as it turns out Caleb Scott isn't quite so unlikeable after all. When his stay in Boston becomes permanent, Ava must decide whether to fight her feelings for him or give into them. But even if she does decide to risk her heart on Caleb, there is no guarantee her stubborn Scot will want to risk his heart on her....

Fight or Flight is a standalone contemporary romance by Samantha Young that had me thinking I would DNF it right at the very beginning but I am so glad that I didn’t. The story starts off with the hero and heroine meeting at the airport. They both want to upgrade their seats on their flight and the hero does not make a good first impression on the heroine, nor did he leave a good impression on me. I honestly wanted to punch him in his junk and make sure he hurt before I moved on. But Ava can’t shake the asshole that almost ran her over to get to the counter because, after that, she sees him in line for coffee, he shows up to “save her” at dinner, the spend a very intense night together and to top off her already shitty week, she’s stuck sitting next to him on the flight home.

Ava wants to get home too much to put much effort into her seat partner but for some reason, he brings out the worst in her and they clash at every turn. When she gets home and she continues to run into her seat partner around town, they figure they’re not done with each other.

Our hero, Caleb Scott is from Scotland but is in Boston on business. While he’s in town, he’s interested in keeping the naked party going with Ava and our heroine Ava figures, why not? They continue on as they’ve been going for the past few weeks with the knowledge that as soon as Caleb’s business in Boston is at an end, so is whatever is happening between them. They’re both going through some serious issues, both avoiding rather than dealing and seeing them both come to terms with those issues and fix them made reading this book just that much more enjoyable.

Caleb struggled with his ex-girlfriend, and because of that, he struggles with commitment and relationships. Ava’s issues were more outward then internal as her struggles came about from outside sources and seeing her really come into her own, really own her future while letting go of the past brought me such joy.

Caleb and Ava together were such a great source of entertainment. Their bickering and their chemistry leaped right off the pages and I thought Samantha Young crafted a delightful romance between two people who were right for each other and came to love each other in a very organic and believable way. After that shaky start with Caleb, I came to love him so much over the course of the book.

I also really enjoyed the friendship between Ava and Harper. It made me appreciate my friendships and how I have the same support system that they have with each other and that made me happy. This was a fabulous stand-alone romance that did its job. It made me laugh, it made me sigh and it also made me hopeful for the human race after certain current events. I definitely recommend this one if you’re in the mood for a hate to love romance with a super sexy hero and a heroine that will have you cheering for her to come out on top. So good.

4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop

Posted October 12, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 5 Comments

Review: Etched in Bone by Anne BishopReviewer: Holly
Etched in Bone (The Others, #5) by Anne Bishop
Narrator: Alexandra Harris
Series: The Others #5
Also in this series: Written in Red (The Others, #1), Murder of Crows (The Others, #2), Vision in Silver (The Others, #3), Marked in Flesh (The Others, #4)
Publisher: Roc
Publication Date: February 6, 2018
Format: Audiobook, eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 496
Length: 16 hours and 21 minutes
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Goodreads
four-half-stars

New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop returns to her world of the Others, as humans struggle to survive in the shadow of shape-shifters and vampires far more powerful than they are. . . .

After the Elders cleansed and reclaimed many human towns, Lakeside Courtyard has emerged relatively unscathed, though Simon Wolfgard, its wolf-shifter leader, and blood prophet Meg Corbyn must work with the human pack to maintain the fragile peace. But all their efforts are threatened when Lieutenant Montgomery's shady brother arrives, looking for a free ride and easy pickings.

With the humans on guard against one of their own, tensions rise, drawing the attention of the Elders, who are curious about the effect such an insignificant predator can have on a pack. But Meg knows the dangers, for she has seen in the cards how it will all end: with her standing beside a grave. . . .

Etched in Bone is the final installment of the Lakeside Courtyard Others series (though more novels set in the same world are in the works – begging with Lake Silence, March 2018). I do not believe it can be read as a standalone. The series really should be read in order.

Now that the human uprising against the Others has been put down – with entire civilizations wiped out – Meg and Simon Wolfgard need to keep the peace with the humans of Lakeside more than ever. The Elders, the oldest and most dangerous of The Others, are watching them to decide how much human should be kept in Thaisia. When Lt. Montgomery’s shady brother, Cyrus, arrives in Lakeside looking for a handout, the Elders decide this is an opportunity to learn the difference between Good humans and Bad humans.

In the beginning Simon may have wanted to study the humans, but now the Human Pack inside the Courtyard and Meg have changed things. He’s invested in their survival and understands he has to protect them the same as his Wolf Pack. His relationship with Meg is complicated by the fact that she’s human and he very much isn’t. Can they even become mates in truth? Does Meg want that? Between dealing with Cyrus Montgomery, settling the expanded human pack in the Courtyard and trying to help Meg figure out the best way to help the other liberated cassandra sangue live outside the Compounds, Simon has his hands full. With the Elders in Lakeside, Simon knows the smallest thing can upset the balance and damn them all.

Seeing the world break, then be rebuilt has been heart-breaking, horrifying and yet still there’s beauty in the horror. This is a world filled with multi-layered characters who constantly grow and expand. The most compelling thing about this series has been the depth of the character growth. As the world breaks we see what truly lies in the heart of humanity. Bishop has shown us the best and worst of us all.

4.25 out of 5

The Others

four-half-stars


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Review: Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop

Posted October 10, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Marked in Flesh by Anne BishopReviewer: Holly
Marked in Flesh (The Others, #4) by Anne Bishop
Narrator: Alexandra Harris
Series: The Others #4
Also in this series: Written in Red (The Others, #1), Murder of Crows (The Others, #2), Vision in Silver (The Others, #3), Etched in Bone (The Others, #5)
Publisher: Roc
Publication Date: February 7, 2017
Format: Audiobook, eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 489
Length: 15 hours and 21 minutes
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Goodreads
four-stars

In the fourth novel in Anne Bishop's New York Times bestselling series, the Others will need to decide how much humanity they're willing to tolerate--both within themselves and their community...

Since the Others allied themselves with the cassandra sangue, the fragile yet powerful human blood prophets who were being exploited by their own kind, the dynamic between humans and Others has changed. Some, such as Simon Wolfgard, wolf shifter and leader of the Lakeside Courtyard, and blood prophet Meg Corbyn see the closer companionship as beneficial.

But not everyone is convinced. A group of radical humans is seeking to usurp land through a series of violent attacks on the Others. What they don't realize is that there are older and more dangerous forces than shifters and vampires protecting the land--and those forces are willing to do whatever is necessary to safeguard what is theirs...

This series is addicting. For centuries humans and The Others have lived together in an uneasy peace. Now the Humans First and Last movement has shattered that peace with acts of terrible violence against the Others. What they didn’t realize is the shapeshifters they see aren’t the scariest Others out there. Ancient, primordial beings know as The Elders have awoken and now have the scent of their prey…the human race. The only thing keeping the humans from total extinction is Meg Corbyn, a cassandra sangue (blood prophet) who has befriended and intrigued all the Others. The Elders have to decide how much human they’re willing to keep..and Meg and Simon Wolfgard, leader of the Lakeside Courtyard, have to figure out how to save the human race – or if they’re even worth saving.

Meg’s first few weeks outside the compound where she was kept and abused were so eventful she barely had time to think about her circumstances or settle in to some new kind of normal. Now, however, she’s overwhelmed by all the changes in her life. And the more overwhelmed she gets, the more she craves the euphoria she feels after she makes a cut. Trying to beat her addiction and help the other cassandra sangue is bad enough, but now she and Simon must figure out what her prophesies mean, and how to keep the Elders from killing them all.

Another excellent read, Marked in Flesh delves further into the issues of racism, bigotry and the consequences of those when faced with beings bigger and badder than ourselves. The intense character development and story arc make this series a must read.

4.25 out of 5

The Others

four-stars


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Review: Visions in Silver by Anne Bishop

Posted October 9, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Visions in Silver by Anne BishopReviewer: Holly
Vision in Silver (The Others, #3) by Anne Bishop
Narrator: Alexandra Harris
Series: The Others #3
Also in this series: Written in Red (The Others, #1), Murder of Crows (The Others, #2), Marked in Flesh (The Others, #4), Etched in Bone (The Others, #5)
Publisher: Roc
Publication Date: February 2, 2016
Format: Audiobook, eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 493
Length: 16 hours and 4 minutes
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Goodreads
four-stars

The Others freed the cassandra sangue to protect the blood prophets from exploitation, not realizing their actions would have dire consequences. Now the fragile seers are in greater danger than ever before; both from their own weaknesses and from those who seek to control their divinations for wicked purposes. In desperate need of answers, Simon Wolfgard, a shape-shifter leader among the Others, has no choice but to enlist blood prophet Meg Corbyn’s help, regardless of the risks she faces by aiding him.

Meg is still deep in the throes of her addiction to the euphoria she feels when she cuts and speaks prophecy. She knows each slice of her blade tempts death. But Others and humans alike need answers, and her visions may be Simon’s only hope of ending the conflict.

For the shadows of war are deepening across the Atlantik, and the prejudice of a fanatic faction is threatening to bring the battle right to Meg and Simon’s doorstep…

The war between the humans and the Others is heating up. Simon and other terra indigene from the Lakeside Courtyard helped liberate the Blood Prophets like Meg Corbyn from the compounds they were held in where they faced terrible abuse. With the Humans First and Last movement trying to stir up trouble for The Others, Simon needs Meg’s help to figure out a way to keep all the Blood Prophets safe and out of the control of those who would hurt them.

Things are getting more intense in Lakeside and throughout the continent of Thaisia as the humans try to wrest land from the Others. Meg and Simon have their hands full dealing with outside conflicts, as well as learning how to understand each other. This series works extremely well in part because the stories are so well layered. I love Meg and her journey to fight the addiction to cut, to live a life in her control. Simon’s reactions to her are at times amusing, heartwarming and frustrating. Much like his feelings toward her. As she builds a family in Lakeside, the drama and violence outside the Courtyard adds an urgency that kept me glued to the pages.

Bishop is setting a high bar with this series..and she keeps leaping over it.

4.25 out of 5

The Others

four-stars


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