Tag: 4.5 Reviews

Throwback Thursday Review: Evermore by Lynn Viehl

Posted May 31, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 8 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Evermore by Lynn ViehlReviewer: Casee
Evermore by Lynn Viehl
Series: Darkyn #5
Published by Signet
Publication Date: January 2, 2008
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 283
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-half-stars

The NEW YORK TIMES AND USA Today bestselling Darkyn series continues...

Jayr is proud to be the only female ever permitted to serve as seneschal to a Darkyn lord. But in her centuries of service to Master Byrne, she has fallen in love with him. Now, Byrne plans to step down and hand over the Jardin to another Kyn lord-a move that threatens not only Jayr's position, but her very life...

Every Thursday in 2018, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books.

This review was originally posted on January 7, 2008.

Isn’t this like the most awesome Darkyn cover ever? I just love it.

Jayr has served as Byrne’s seneschal for 600 years. Though successfully hiding her feelings from him for all those centuries, she soon finds herself fighting to keep them hidden. Knowing that any relationship beyond Lord and seneschal is forbidden, Jayr works hard to keep the status quo.

What Jayr doesn’t know is that Byrne has asked to be released from service as lord of his jardin (think like mayor of a city). Fighting his own feelings for Jayr, Byrne knows that he must get away from her before he kills her. All Darkyn have an ability that comes w/ being Darkyn. Jayr can move quickly. Yep, Jayr is a speedy girl. So speedy in fact, that she catches on fire. Byrne’s ability isn’t as nice. He’s a Beserker. Though it helped in battle way back in the day, Byrne works hard to keep his Beserker side in check. His biggest fear is that he’ll turn and kill Jayr.

I really loved how Viehl brought the past and present together in this book. Though it takes place in modern Florida, the Darkyn follow traditions from the past that has shaped them as a species.

Jayr was a worthy heroine. I think she is my favorite Darkyn heroine to date. Having been turned at 17, her body looks like that of a young boy. Obviously 600 years ago, girls weren’t going through puberty at 12 years old. Though she’s been accepting of her appearance and even grateful for it, she finds herself wishing for more femine attributes. With the help of Alex Keller, she decides to try to go through puberty. While that may sound strange, it really is fascinating when you think about it. Can you imagine going through puberty when you’re over 600 years old? I mean, really.

There were cringe inducing moments as well. There were things that Jayr did for Byrne that had me thinking “Ugh”. Things such as taking off his boots, brushing his hair, helping him dress. This is perfectly acceptable for a seneschal to do, but in modern times it just seemed like too much. I loved Alex’s take on Byrne’s unwillingness to do anything for himself. She thought everything that I thought. Viehl makes up for everything, however, at the end of the book. The end was so fitting, that I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. I absolutely loved it.

What I love about this series is that Viehl makes it clear that once a h/h get their HEA, it doesn’t mean that it’s done. Alex and Michael (book 1 – If Angels Burn) continue to have obstacles thrown in their way, even though they are committed and in love. Alex brings something to the Darkyn that is much needed and I think that Viehl is brilliant in how she incorporates this modern element.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Darkyn

four-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Review: Speakeasy by Sarina Bowen

Posted May 31, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Speakeasy by Sarina BowenReviewer: Rowena
Speakeasy (True North, #5) by Sarina Bowen
Series: True North #5
Also in this series: Bittersweet, Steadfast (True North #2), Steadfast, Bittersweet, Keepsake, Bountiful (True North, #4)
Published by Rennie Road Books
Publication Date: May 29, 2018
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Sometimes you fall for Mr. Right. And sometimes for Mr. Right Now…

May

Did you hear the one about the girl who walks into a bar and catches her live-in lover kissing someone else? No? You’re the only one in town who missed it. Luckily Alec is there to wrap me up in strong arms and carry me out the door before things get too ugly. And that’s not all Alec is good at. Our unexpected chemistry makes him the perfect rebound guy.

Alec

I should know better than to hook up with my rival’s little sister, but the fiery look in May’s eyes really turns my crank. She needs cheering up, and I’m just the guy for the job. It’s not like I’ll fall in love. Not even after a string of scorching hot trysts, and the realization that we’re good at the same things: wild nights and familial disappointment. I don’t do love, never have, never will. So this is the perfect arrangement, for both of us. Nobody would approve, but nobody has to know…

Sarina Bowen is always a welcome addition to my to be read pile. She is one of my favorites and May, the heroine of this book is one of my favorite people from Bowen’s True North series so I was stoked to read that she was getting her own book and even more excited when I got this one for review.

The last time we saw May, she was in a relationship with Daniela and it wasn’t the best of relationships for May. Daniela had no fans in May’s family and a huge reason why was how this book actually starts. With Daniela not treating May with the respect that May deserves. May finds out that Daniela is cheating on her when she stops by Alec’s bar because she saw Daniela’s car outside in the parking lot while she’s making her way home. She wasn’t expecting what she found in the Gin Mill and she sure as shit didn’t know what she would have done without Alec Rossi there to help her out of that jam.

Alec felt bad because he should have said something to May a week ago when he realized Daniela was using his bar to cheat on her. He let it go and now May is here and about to catch her girlfriend macking it down with another woman. That’s not a scene he wants May to be a part of so he tries to deflect her attention but isn’t quick enough. He’s a little late on being there for May but he can be there for May now so that night starts a friendship that he wasn’t prepared for and wasn’t expecting.

Alec wasn’t my favorite character in previous books. He came off as a little jerk-ish but I really came around with his character in this book. I connected with his character through every part of his story and that low key surprised me because early reviews of this book that I read, the bloggers weren’t huge fans of his so I went into this book, not expecting much but I’m glad that I read this for myself because I thought Alec was a wonderful hero and a fantastic partner for May. I thought the growth in his character was pretty spot on. He had a lot of crap that he was dealing with and he was so stubborn about a lot of it but boy was I glad to see him grow, learn and then really run with the opportunities presented to him.

I really enjoyed the friendship that blossomed between Alec and May. Seeing Alec be there for May and then realize how much he likes being around her was fun for me. They had the kind of chemistry that makes me happy and I ate their interactions together right up with each turn of the page.

Seeing May really come into her own was a treat because I feel like I’ve been rooting her on for such a long time and then for her to get the news about first Daniela and then Lark, she was catching no breaks. She was lucky to have stumbled into the friendship she had with Alec and when she finally stood up for herself with her family, I cheered because it was a long time coming. I loved Griff so much in his book, his grumpy self really worked for me but in this book, he annoyed me with the way that he treated Alec and then the way that he treated May. I wanted May to hurry up and stand up for herself and while it happened, it took a little while to get there and I was anxious about it.

Sarina Bowen has written wonderfully romantic stories for the characters in the True North series and they continue to hit me right in the feels. This book was no different and I closed this book with a huge smile on my face. I seriously cannot wait for more from these guys. I’m crossing my fingers for more books featuring Benito, Dylan, Daphne (though I can wait on theirs) and anyone else that Sarina Bowen can think of. I’m here for it all.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

True North

four-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

Review: Hooked on You by Kate Meader

Posted May 28, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Hooked on You by Kate MeaderReviewer: Rowena
Hooked On You (Chicago Rebels, #3) by Kate Meader
Series: Chicago Rebels #3
Also in this series: So Over You (Chicago Rebels, #2), In Skates Trouble (Chicago Rebels, #.5), Undone By You (Chicago Rebels, #3)
Published by Pocket Books
Publication Date: May 29, 2018
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

The steamy Chicago Rebels series returns with this racy and sassy tale of embittered hearts, second chances, and going for the goal—on and off the ice.

Violet Vasquez never met her biological father, so learning he left his beloved hockey franchise—the Chicago Rebels—to her is, well, unexpected. Flat broke and close to homeless, Violet is determined to make the most of this sudden opportunity. Except dear old dad set conditions that require she takes part in actually running the team with the half-sisters she barely knows. Working with these two strangers and overseeing a band of hockey-playing lugs is not on her agenda…until she lays eyes on the Rebels captain and knows she has to have him.

Bren St. James has been labeled a lot of things: the Puck Prince, Lord of the Ice, Hell’s Highlander...but it’s the latest tag that’s making headlines: washed-up alcoholic has-been. This season, getting his life back on track and winning the Cup are his only goals. With no time for relationships—except the fractured ones he needs to rebuild with his beautiful daughters—he’s finding it increasingly hard to ignore sexy, all-up-in-his-beard Violet Vasquez. And when he finds himself in need of a nanny just as the playoffs are starting, he’s faced with a temptation he could so easily get hooked on.

For two lost souls, there’s more on the line than just making the best of a bad situation… there might also be a shot at the biggest prize of all: love.

Hooked on You is the final book in Kate Meader’s Chicago Rebels series and it features the last Chase sister and the captain of the Chicago Rebels hockey team. Bren and Violet have been circling each other for multiple books and their story is finally here. I have been on pins and needles waiting for this book and when I finally got it for review, I was super stoked.

Violet Vasquez is living her best life right now. After surviving the big C, Violet swore that this year was going to be the year of the V. She was going to live, really live her life and she’s making no apologies for it. Everyone loves Violet, one-third of the new owners of the Chicago Rebels hockey franchise. She inherited a third of her father’s hockey franchise and a couple of sisters that she never knew until now. She’s not quite sure what she’d like to do with her life so she spends her time learning new things, hoping to find something that fits. Something that feels right.

Bren St. James is a recovering alcoholic who is raising two young daughters after their mother took off on one of her “finding herself” trips. He’s working on getting full custody of his girls so he’s got his work cut out for him. He needs to live the life of a monk because he won’t risk losing his girls for anything and anyone. When he needs someone to help watch after his girls during away games, Violet hits things off with his girls and she gets the job. Staying away from the one woman that tempts him proves to be too hard for Bren because before he knows what is what, he’s in a relationship with Violet that is hard to walk away from.

The sparks between Bren and Vi have been sparking ever since they met and watching them come together was a delight. Their banter was wicked and the relationship that both of them had with Bren’s little girls was fantastic. Violet understood Cat and Franky in a way that Bren didn’t and the team that they were together just warmed me right up.

I enjoyed the other books in this series a great deal but this book was my favorite. I had an inkling that I’d enjoy this one a bit more than the others because Bren and Vi were fierce and complicated characters. I knew that their story was going to take the cake and I wasn’t wrong. Kate Meader created a wonderful world for these characters and the romance she wrote for Bren and Vi was solid and it was fun and I loved it.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

Chicago Rebels

four-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

Review: Winter Igniting by Rebecca Zanetti

Posted May 16, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Winter Igniting by Rebecca ZanettiReviewer: Casee
Winter Igniting by Rebecca Zanetti
Series: The Scorpius Syndrome #5
Also in this series: Mercury Striking, Shadow Falling, Justice Ascending, Storm Gathering
Published by RAZ INK LLC
Publication Date: February 20, 2018
Point-of-View: Third
Pages: 370
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-half-stars

His only goal was survival until he met her...

With nothing to lose, former cop Damon Winter agrees to an undercover op, infiltrating a cult in the dangerous post-Scorpius world. After one look at his new partner, he knows she belongs far away from not only the cult, but from him. She's sweet and kind and has no business being in peril, but she's determined to help. Suddenly, the part he's playing as her man explodes into a passion neither of them had expected.

She hadn't purposefully faced risk until she met him...

April Snyder has survived loss, pain, and uncertainty. Now she's ready to live again. There's nothing left but to make a difference for others, so why not go undercover in the cult? Now all she has to do is keep it professional and ignore her handsome, deadly, overbearing partner, who's too sexy for her peace of mind. Intrigue, risk, and danger make for an irresistible temptation--until enemies close in, threatening everyone they've sworn to protect.

This is my first 4.5 review of the year and I’m shocked spitless that it was this book that did it for me. If there was book in this series that I expected to give a 5 star review to it was Storm Gathering. I loved Greyson Storm. I still love him. I don’t necessarily love Damon more, but the story as a whole and the progress of the series in Winter Igniting just did it for me. Damon has been a key figure in the series since Grey kidnapped Moe (really, really dislike that nickname). He wasn’t really on my radar until Grey’s book. Then he was right up there and I was looking forward to reading his book. Until I found out that his heroine was April Snyder. Sure, she’s been through more than most people in this post-apocalyptic world, but she that doesn’t make her any less boring. And less of a mousy, quiet woman whom, in no way could grab the attention of a character like Damon. I admit when I’m wrong and I was very wrong.

Damon lost his whole family after they were infected by Scorpius. Damon is one of the few survivors of in their new world that hasn’t been affected by Scorpius. Which makes him the perfect person to go undercover in the Pure Church. The Pure Church is a cult-like church in Jax Montgomery’s territory that he’s been unable to infiltrate. He doesn’t like that he has a group of armed civilians in his territory. He won’t accept anything less than talking to every member of the church and making sure they are at the church of their own free will. That’s where Damon comes in. As a “pure” human, the members are sure to welcome him in. His partner? April Snyder who is also unaffected by Scorpius.

April turned out to be more than a pleasant surprise. Underneath her mousy exterior was a woman of steel. I adored her. She was confident without being stupid. She was determined to help the women of the church, especially when she found out what was really going on. One thing she never expected was someone like Damon to enter her life after losing everything. Losing her husband to Scorpius was something that was devastating to April, but losing her daughter was life-changing. She never expected to feel so much for anyone again and she is pretty much at a loss. She decides to take things one day at a time with Damon, but is still unprepared for the magnetism and protectiveness of his personality.

Damon knows what kind of man he is. Once he commits to anything, he is all in. Even more so when he meets April and they become lovers. The only problem he has is that April refuses to see him for who he really is. Which is a violent man that will kill to protect those he loves. Damon knows that when she sees his true nature it might be the last time she looks his way. He underestimates April as does most other people (including me). When April finally realizes what she is in for…hawtness. I just adore these two together. Although I liked Grey and Moe (ugh) together, April and Damon just clicked for me almost right away.

As for the progress of the series, the situation with the church was finally resolved after several books which was nice. There was plenty of action to go around. President Atherton is as evil as ever which makes the series that much better. I can’t wait to see what he’s up to in the next book. You just know that he’s going to get his hands on Lynne one of these books and Jax is going to go through the roof. I can’t wait to see that happen. So overall, I 100% loved this book. I didn’t give it a 5 because I rarely give 5’s.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The Scorpius Syndrome

four-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,

Review: Hot Asset by Lauren Layne

Posted May 16, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Hot Asset by Lauren LayneReviewer: Rowena
Hot Asset (21 Wall Street, #1) by Lauren Layne
Series: 21 Wall Street #1
Published by Montlake Romance
Publication Date: May 22, 2018
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 266
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-half-stars

A sexy agent hounds Wall Street's hottest new wolf in an exhilarating novel from New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne.

Ian Bradley is the definition of a Wall Street hotshot: seven-figure salary, designer suits, and a corner office. His drive off the floor is just as potent. Every woman who knows him has felt the rush. But now he's met his match in Lara McKenzie-a woman with the power to bring Ian to his knees.

An ambitious, whip-smart daughter of FBI agents, Lara is a rising star in fighting white-collar crime. Her latest case-the investigation of Ian Bradley for insider trading-could make her career. She knows a scoundrel when she sees one, and Ian fits the bill: a cocky, ridiculously handsome bad boy with a slick swagger.

She'll do anything to prove he's guilty. He'll do anything to prove he's not. But it's only a matter of time before their fierce battle of wits gets oh so hot and personal. Now taking down Ian has become more than business for Lara. It's become a pleasure-and there's more at risk than she ever dreamed.

Hot Asset is the first book in Lauren Layne’s new 21 Wall Street series. It features a hotshot broker who is being investigated for insider trading and the SEC investigator who is digging into his entire life. Sparks fly whenever they’re together so you know this was going to be a good one.

Ian Bradley grew up with nothing. No family, no money, no handouts so he worked really hard to make sure that he doesn’t have to worry about money or need any handouts now. He knows that he’s fortunate to have the life that he has now and he plays just as hard as he works. He lives the life of a bachelor and tries to live without regrets but when he comes into the office and is blindsided by an insider trading investigation on him, he needs to get his shit together and figure out a plan. And just as soon as he stops staring at Lara McKenzie’s long legs and fine ass, he’ll get right on that. Haha.

Lara McKenzie has a dream of joining the FBI, just like her parents. Her dream job is within reach but she has to get through her present job in order to get the recommendation that she needs for the FBI gig. She’s hoping that this latest investigation will lead her to a big case that will lead her one step closer to the FBI. She’s investigating a broker on Wall Street who thinks the world rises and sets with him. He thinks he’s above everything and she’s not surprised that he might be a little shady. Anything to get to the top, right? But the further she digs into this case, the more she realizes that Ian Bradley is not the guy that everyone seems to think he is.

Both Ian and Lara battle their attraction while she’s investigating him. It’s thrown them both off of their game because they don’t know how to handle it. Nothing can come of the attraction, not now anyway but the more they get to know each other, the more they want each other.

Lauren Layne did a great job of meshing both the Wall Street and the SEC worlds in this story and I really enjoyed it all. The characters, the romance, the dialogue, it all worked and I am so here for the next book.

Lara was a fun heroine because she knew what she wanted and she worked hard to achieve all of her accomplishments. She acted on what she felt was right, no matter the cost and how can you not respect someone like that? She was confident in her work and she was also confident in herself as a person and I just really enjoyed getting to know her.

Ian was a great hero and I enjoyed getting to know him. The bits and pieces of him that made him the person that he grew up to be, seeing the family he created for himself and seeing him take care of the one man who was as close to a father figure as he could get just warmed my heart so much. He wasn’t perfect, he wasn’t polished but he was real and I dug him. I also really enjoyed seeing him fall for Lara and that was completely believable. It happened organically and seriously, Lauren Layne is really good at bringing couples together. She delivers the goods and I will definitely have ants in my pants until I can read the next book in this series.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

21 Wall Street

four-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,