Tag: 4.5 Reviews

Review: Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan

Posted February 13, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Long Shot by Kennedy RyanReviewer: Casee
Long Shot (Hoops, #1) by Kennedy Ryan
Series: Hoops #1
Also in this series: Hoops Holiday
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: March 22, 2018
Format: eBook
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 451
Add It: Goodreads
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

A Standalone FORBIDDEN LOVE SET IN THE EXPLOSIVE WORLD OF THE NBA...

Think you know what it's like being a baller's girl?You don't.My fairy tale is upside down.A happily never after.I kissed the prince and he turned into a fraud.I was a fool, and his love - fool's gold.

Now there's a new player in the game, August West. One of the NBA's brightest stars.Fine. Forbidden. He wants me. I want him.But my past, my fraudulent prince, just won't let me go.

*Some aspects of this story may be sensitive for some readers.

Wowza. This book. It has all the feels. It gave me all the feels. I wanted to sit down and read it from cover-to-cover, but it was such an emotional read that I had to take breaks. One of my favorite things about this book was that it spanned over years. As did Iris and August’ relationship. This book was real because there was no easy fix to the situation they were both in.

When Iris and August first met, August was the shining star of college basketball. They connected that night in a way that most people don’t. They share their dreams with each other, their fears, and their hopes. It was likely the fact that they thought they would never see each other again. When they go to part ways, August decides he can’t just let her go. That’s when Iris tells him she has a boyfriend. He soon finds out that it’s not just any man she’s with, but his biggest enemy on and off the court.

The next few years pass. August is building up his NBA career as is Iris’ boyfriend, Caleb. What he doesn’t know is the sheer hell that Iris is living in. After meeting August, Iris realizes that she doesn’t want the future that Caleb wants and she intends to break up with him. Then she finds out she’s pregnant. While it’s certainly not in her plans, she’s not going to let it deter her from being independent. That all changes when she is put on bedrest and becomes completely dependent on Caleb.

It’s after their daughter is born that she learns of the monster that lives behind the boy-next-door persona that Caleb presents to the world. Holy hell, the parts of the book where Caleb abuses Iris is fucking hard to read. Kennedy Ryan doesn’t sugar coat Iris’ abuse nor does she shy away from the affect that it has on a woman. I really applaud her for putting this out there is such a spectacular fashion. She also touched on an important issue in professional sports: domestic abuse and the protection of athletes. It’s inexcusable whether it is a male of female dishing out the abuse.

Moving on…it takes years, but August and Iris eventually find their way back to each other. Their love is one that doesn’t disappear. It was just a matter of the right time and the right place. They question that remains is if Iris can find it in herself to trust again. Does she realize the epic love she has with August West or is she going to let Caleb ruin the life she could have with the man she loves but may never trust?

Wowza.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Hoops

four-half-stars


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Joint Review: Three Little Words by Jenny Holiday

Posted February 7, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Joint Review: Three Little Words by Jenny HolidayReviewer: Holly & Rowena
Three Little Words (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #3) by Jenny Holiday
Series: Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #3
Also in this series: One and Only (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #1), It Takes Two (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #2), Merrily Ever After (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly, #2.5)
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: January 29, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Gia Gallo is officially in bridesmaid hell. Stranded in New York with her best friend's wedding dress, Gia has six days to make it to Florida in time for the ceremony. And oh-so-charming best man Bennett Buchanan has taken the last available rental car. Looks like she's in for one long road trip with the sexiest - and most irritating - Southern gentleman she's ever met...

Bennett's pretty sure that if there was ever a woman to break his "no flings" rule, Gia would be it. Sure, she's stubborn. She's also funny, smart, and the attraction between them is getting hotter with every state line they cross. While Bennett doesn't do casual, Gia doesn't do "relationships." But if they break the rules, this unlikely pair might discover that their impromptu road trip could turn out to be the best ride of their lives.

Three Little Words is the third book in Jenny Holiday’s Bridesmaids Behaving Badly series and it features the last woman standing, Gia Gallo as she road trips her way to her own happy ending with Noah’s best friend, Bennett Buchanan. Holly and I both got the book for review, so we decided to review it together.

Rowena: Alright Holly, let’s do this. What did you think?

Holly: I hated it. I can’t believe you forced me to read this awful book.

J/K

It was great. It was a quick, light read but really dealt with some darker themes. I loved Bennett so much. He was such a nice guy. What about you?

Rowena: Haha, I was going to say….

I adored this book. I adored this series, really. It was just such a feel-good bunch of books that really worked for me. I loved the friendships between all of the girls and the heroes that fall in love with them were no slouches either. Bennett and Gia were wonderful together and I loved seeing them come together the way that they did. In the beginning, we see Gia acting low key crazy at the airport and having read the other books in this series, that took me by surprise because the Gia that I knew from those books would not have been crazy like that…but then again, I was seeing Gia through the eyes of the people that loved her so it was different. What did you think of Gia right off the bat?

Holly: Since I didn’t read the other books in the series I didn’t have any expectations going in. I’m not going to lie, Gia turned me off in the beginning. Truthfully, I never really felt connected to her. My heart hurt for her at times, but I wasn’t really invested in her as a character. That’s not to say I didn’t like her, because I did. Her snark and attitude had me laughing, and I loved how sharp she was. Every time she spouted off some simple fix for what seemed to be giant problems for people, it made me smile. I guess I just didn’t really connect with where she was at in her life.

Rowena: I get that, especially because I had the same thoughts and I loved Gia. I was a bit disappointed that I connected with her character more in the other books but when Gia stops acting like a freaking brat, I was glad and really loved seeing her get her shit together.

Holly: What about Bennett? Did you love him? How did he compare to the other heroes from this series?

Rowena: Bennett was the bomb. I loved him in Wendy’s book and was super excited when I found out that he was Gia’s hero. He completely lived up to my expectations of him and my heart hurt for him when Gia takes him to Charleston because seeing him deal with the shit that was never fixed in his life made me all soft for him. He really turned his life around and seeing the guy that he was after everything he lived through just made him the freaking best.

Holly: Oh man, I got all melty for Bennett after they went to Charleston. He was such a stand-up guy. I wanted to see things work out for him. I’m glad he ended up with Gia and that she took such good care of him.

Rowena: Do you think that you’ll read the other books in this series?

Holly: I definitely want to read Wendy’s book. I’m not sure about the others. I don’t not want to read them, I’m just not as interested in them as I am Wendy.

Rowena: Honestly, there was a lot for me to love. I loved seeing everyone again and I loved seeing Bennett up close and personal. I also really loved how Gia and Bennett help each other with their individual problems and I’m not going to lie, I wanted Bennett to cook for me after finishing this book. I just know he’d be the bomb. I totally give this 4.5 out of 5, what about you?

Holly: I enjoyed the book overall. Gia wasn’t my favorite, and I wasn’t that invested in the other couples since I didn’t read any of the other books, but the friendships the girls (and the guys) had and the way Bennett was made the book for me. I’m giving it 3.75 out of 5.

Final Grades

Holly: 3.75 out of 5
Rowena: 4.5 out of 5

Bridesmaids Behaving Badly

four-stars


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Review: One and Only by Jenny Holiday

Posted February 4, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 7 Comments

Review: One and Only by Jenny HolidayReviewer: Rowena
One and Only (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #1) by Jenny Holiday
Series: Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #1
Also in this series: It Takes Two (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #2), Merrily Ever After (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly, #2.5), Three Little Words (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #3)
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: February 27, 2018
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 337
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 A-Z Reading Challenge, Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Miss Responsibility meets Mr. Reckless

With her bridezilla friend on a DIY project rampage, bridesmaid Jane Denning will do anything to escape - even if it means babysitting the groom's troublemaker brother before the wedding. It should be a piece of cake, except the "cake" is a sarcastic former soldier who is 100% wicked hotness and absolutely off-limits.

Cameron MacKinnon is ready to let loose after returning from his deployment. But first he'll have to sweet talk the ultra-responsible Jane into taking a walk on the wild side. Turns out, riling her up is the best time he's had in years. But what happens when the fun and games start to turn into something real?

One and Only kicks off Jenny Holiday’s Bridesmaids Behaving Badly series and it was released early last year. I’d been hearing many great things about this series so I bought the books last year but never got around to actually reading them…until now. I’m kicking myself for waiting so long to read these because I really enjoyed Jenny Holiday’s writing, the characters she introduces us to in this series and the romances for each couple. I also really, really enjoyed the friendship between Jane, Wendy, Elise, and Gia. They were total squad goals.

So in this book, we get Jane’s romance. Jane is a bridesmaid for her friend Elise’s wedding and her normally sweet-tempered friend has turned into a Pinterest Bridezilla with a to-do list for her bridesmaids that is low key driving Jane insane. So when Elise starts going on and on about her fiance Jay’s bad boy brother coming to town and is sure that he is going to ruin their wedding, Jane jumps at the chance to babysit him for Jane. Babysitting the brother will get Jane out of Pinterest Wedding Hell and so she’s totally in.

Jane picks Cam up from the airport and already she can tell that he’s trouble. He looks like he’s bent on causing trouble and like he can’t wait for it all to happen but not on Jane’s watch. Jane is dedicated to becoming Cam’s cockblocker and she takes it seriously because Getting Married Elise is a scary person right now.

Cameron was a complex character who had a reputation that he wasn’t that proud of. I mean, technically, everything that was said about him was true but they weren’t the entire truth and after a while, defending yourself got tired so Cam let everyone think what they wanted to believe of him and in a way, he started to believe them too. After his latest screw up, he had every intention of coming back to Canada and tearing shit up. Of forgetting what his life had become…but meeting Jane is proving to be an even better distraction.

Over the course of the week leading up to Jay and Elise’s wedding, Cam and Jane spend a lot of time together and while they’re both dealing with their own internal issues, they spend a lot of time being there for each other and give each other the break from life that they both desperately need. I thought Jenny Holiday did a wonderful job of bringing these two together. I loved seeing them get to know and then understand what the other is going through and then become each other’s rock. They both needed each other and didn’t even know it. Their romance was a lot of fun and I could not wait to jump into the next romantic adventure of the next friend, Wendy. This was a good one!

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

Bridesmaids Behaving Badly

four-half-stars


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Review: Echoes of Fire by Suzanne Wright

Posted January 8, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Echoes of Fire by Suzanne WrightReviewer: Holly
Echoes of Fire (Mercury Pack, #4) by Suzanne Wright
Narrator: Jill Redfield
Series: Mercury Pack #4
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: December 11, 2018
Format: eBook, Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 348
Length: 11 hours and 5 minutes
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

They may not be made for each other, but animal instincts are impossible to ignore.

Madisyn Drake is a rare breed of cat shifter…a loner, unpredictably wild, and emotionally distant. A recent betrayal has left her ready to sharpen her claws on the next man she sees…until a prowling wolf with steel-gray eyes and a brooding dark edge challenges her distrust. No matter how fully he satisfies her touch-hunger, Madisyn’s not ready to open up again, even if it is oh so gratifying.

Bracken Slater has earned his reputation as an indomitable predator. Once broken by grief and guilt, Brack is feeling alive again, thanks to the heady scent of this independent feline. Convincing her that they’re meant for each other is going to take more than branding Madisyn’s beautiful neck. She’s not interested in joining an unfamiliar pack, much less answering to an alpha. But when threats from both their pasts take shape, their unexpected destiny may be the only thing that can save them.

Echoes of Fire is the fourth book in Suzanne Wright’s Mercury Pack series. It follows Bracken Slater as he finds and courts his mate, Madisyn Drake. Jill Redfield narrated and I really enjoyed her for the most part. She does the voices well and overall I like her voice. I did struggle with two things, however. 1) She spoke in a very forceful way as Bracken, which often made him come off as controlling instead of caring. 2) She did a kind of valley girl, breathy thing during the love scenes that drove me absolutely batshit crazy. Still, I listened to all the books in both the Mercury Pack and Phoenix Pack series’ and she narrates them all, so obviously those things didn’t completely ruin the stories for me.

Throughout the series Bracken was kind of lighthearted and sweet. When his family is murdered right in front of him, including his nephew whom he was holding at the time, it changed him. Now he’s broken and angry, with no outlet for his pain since he wreaked vengeance on those who stole his family from him. When he’s hit by a car and has a moment of openness, he feels the mating connection to Madisyn Drake. They’ve been circling each other for years, rubbing each other the wrong way and denying their mutual attraction. Madisyn is a lone feline shifter who has no desire to join a pack or be stuck mated to a man who doesn’t even like her. But Bracken knows he can’t let her go. She fills something inside him and he knows he’ll never become whole without her.

I really loved how Madisyn was described like Grumpy Cat. She was an angry little cat, but unexpectedly so. She looked so sweet and adorable no one expected her to turn feral and whoop the shit out of everyone. She was the perfect match for Bracken in every way.

My heart broke for Bracken and his struggle to find his footing after his family was murdered. The fact that he was holding his baby nephew when a bullet passed through him and killed his nephew just made it all the worse. His fire and intensity were well contained until then. Now he has a reputation for being ruthless. I liked how well Madisyn balanced him out and how determined he was to put her first, even though he had so many dark parts inside himself.

I don’t really care for the suspense plots in Wright’s novels. The villains are always easy to spot and I often end up scratching my head over some of the decisions the pack makes in their pursuit of them. But the romance and friendships more than make up for any frustrations I feel.

While I enjoyed the entire series, Echoes of fire is hands down my favorite. Bracken and Madisyn made a wonderful couple. His intensity and anger were tempered so well by her inner strength I couldn’t help but love them.

4.5 out of 5

The Mercury Pack

four-half-stars


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Joint Review: Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs

Posted December 6, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Joint Review: Dead Heat by Patricia BriggsReviewer: Holly & Rowena
Dead Heat (Alpha & Omega #4) by Patricia Briggs
Series: Alpha & Omega #4
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: March 3, 2015
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 324
Add It: Goodreads
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four-half-stars

For once, mated werewolves Charles and Anna are not traveling because of Charles’s role as his father’s enforcer. This time, their trip to Arizona is purely personal--or at least it starts out that way...Charles and Anna soon discover that a dangerous Fae being is on the loose, replacing human children with simulacrums. The Fae’s cold war with humanity is about to heat up—and Charles and Anna are in the cross fire.

Holly: Last year I forced Rowena to read the Alpha and Omega series by Patricia Briggs because I love Charles and Anna and I knew she would, too. She read books 1-3, but stalled out before reading book 4, Dead Heat. I’ve been telling her all year she needs to read it and I was finally able to convince her.

I know a lot of people didn’t care for this book, but I loved it. It moved kind of slow in the middle, but I absolutely adored the way Charles and Anna worked together. What did you think?

Rowena: People thought this book moved slowly? I didn’t think that at any time during my reading of this book. I loved it all. Charles and Anna working together should have been boring with Anna doing whatever Charles needed without him telling her to do it. Charles being overly protective of Anna at every turn but holy cow, their dynamic together is anything but boring or slow, at least for me. I’m not going to get into how hot I thought it was that Charles would drop anything at the drop of a hat if he felt Anna needed him.

Holly: I heard a lot of complaints about this book when it was first released, but like you, I loved it. I especially loved the way Charles and Anna take care of each other. I was glad to see Anna dealing with some of her trauma here. I feel like she’s overcome a lot since she first mated with Charles, but as with all true abuse victims, there are going to be moments for her. This book really highlighted those, yet still showed her inner strength.

Rowena: On top of loving how great Charles and Anna worked together, I really enjoyed the overall story going on. The reunion between Charles and his second family, with Joe and Joe’s family. I loved seeing that Charles had people who loved and cared about him that weren’t Anna and Bran and Sam. I loved seeing Charles deal with past hurts and face what’s become of his human best friend. Joe is a lot older now and when Joe’s family is put in danger, I was so glad that Charles and Anna were on hand to find out what was going on and protect everyone. It’s what they’re good at. It’s what Charles is good at.

I also really liked how Hosteen reacted to Anna’s magic. LMAO! Served him right!

Holly: Oh man, I about died when Hosteen got drunk on Anna’s magic. Served him right indeed.

I also really loved the story featuring Chelsea, Hosteen’s daughter-in-law. Her fierceness as a mother and the way she did everything she could to keep her kids safe really got me in the feels.

Rowena: Yeah, Chelsea was awesome. I loved how fiercely protective she was over her kids. How she had the frame of mind to protect them from what was going on with her and man, that brings me back to more Anna love because I really loved the way that Anna handled watching over Chelsea’s kids. She was honest and forthcoming with whatever she could with Max and I appreciated that she didn’t try to hide what was going on because he had to deal with it and she was there to help him figure things out until his parents returned and took over the reins. With everything going on, Anna just kept right on rolling with the punches.

I thought that Patricia Briggs wrote another fabulously suspenseful novel with characters that I have come to love so much and introduced some other characters that warmed me right up. I cried in the end when the spirits boosted Joe up so that he can protect his grand-daughter until Charles got there to take over. I really love all of the faith everyone had in Charle’s abilities. I mean, I have the same faith but it was just so nice.

I give this book a 5 out of 5. You?

Holly: I agree. This was a wonderful novel, full of suspense and strong characters I came to love. I was sad to see it end. 4.5 out of 5

Holly: 4.5 out of 5
Rowena: 5 out of 5

Alpha & Omega

four-half-stars


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