Tag: 4.5 Reviews

Review: Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews

Posted June 7, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Magic Rises by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Holly
Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews
Narrator: Renee Raudman
Series: Kate Daniels #6
Also in this series: Magic Shifts, Magic Shifts, Magic Binds, Magic Bites, Magic Strikes, Iron and Magic, Magic Triumphs, Magic Bites, Magic Bleeds , Magic Burns, Magic Strikes , Magic Slays , Gunmetal Magic
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: July 30, 2013
Format: Audiobook, eBook
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 327
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-half-stars

Atlanta is a city plagued by magical problems. Kate Daniels will fight to solve them—no matter the cost.

Mercenary Kate Daniels and her mate, Curran, the Beast Lord, are struggling to solve a heartbreaking crisis. Unable to control their beasts, many of the Pack’s shapeshifting children fail to survive to adulthood. While there is a medicine that can help, the secret to its making is closely guarded by the European packs, and there’s little available in Atlanta.

Kate can’t bear to watch innocents suffer, but the solution she and Curran have found threatens to be even more painful. The European shapeshifters who once outmaneuvered the Beast Lord have asked him to arbitrate a dispute—and they’ll pay him in medicine. With the young people’s survival and the Pack’s future at stake, Kate and Curran know they must accept the offer—but they have little doubt that they’re heading straight into a trap…

Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews is the 6th book in the Kate Daniels series. I love Kate, Curran and all the rest. I’m always excited to fall back into this world.

This book really brought Kate’s past to the forefront and gave us insight into what she’ll be dealing with when the fight with her father finally comes to fruition. I probably shouldn’t, but I really like Hugh. I love how he needles Kate and Curran.

Speaking of Curran..I wanted to beat him in this book. I knew there had to be a reason for him to act the way he did, but it didn’t make it easier to read. My heart broke for Kate. It isn’t often I truly want to smack Curran, but it happened here.

Her sparring session with Hugh was one of the highlights of the book.

And I cried toward the end. Sniffle.

The world and these characters are so complex and well-nuanced. My emotions were engaged from the first page. This series is not to be missed.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Kate Daniels


Tagged: , , , , , ,

Throwback Thursday Guest Review: The Killing Dance by Laurell K. Hamilton

Posted May 30, 2019 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Features, Reviews | 4 Comments

Throwback Thursday Guest Review: The Killing Dance by Laurell K. HamiltonReviewer: Melissa
The Killing Dance by Laurell K. Hamilton
Series: Anita Blake #6
Also in this series: Guilty Pleasures, The Laughing Corpse, Circus of the Damned
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: April 4, 2006
Format: Print
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 368
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

Dating both a vampire and a werewolf isn't easy. But just to complicate Anita's already messy life, someone has put a price on her head. Love cannot save her this time, so she turns to Edward, hitman extraordinaire, for help. But finding the person behind the threat won't be easy, because as both a vampire hunter and zombie reanimator, Anita has made a lot of enemies-both human and otherwise.

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

This review was originally posted on May 14, 2008.

Melissa‘s review of The Killing Dance by Laurell K. Hamilton.

So, I saw the new LKH book at a bookstore. It interested me. I started the series from the beginning. I’m now up to the 6th book in the Anita Blake series. I love them all.

One reason why I love Anita is that she has a hitman/hitmen after her and she is still making threats to monsters. She just can’t seem to keep her mouth shut and doesn’t give f*** who she pisses off. There are a couple of different bad guys in this book.

The bad guys caught me off guard. One, I totally didn’t see coming, I just thought it was beneath him/her to hire a hit man. The other, well traitors are among us. Good old Edward appears in this book. He is such a mystery to me, he just pops in and out of books, but we really don’t know too much about him. Anita’s love triangle is getting complicated. She knows she can’t date both of her monsters indefinitely, but can’t choose either. What’s a girls gonna do.

All 3 of them are powerful. More powerful together than apart. Richard is her ideal man, except he has one flaw, he is a werewolf that won’t kill. His morals are starting to make Anita think less of him, cause trouble in the pack for him, and piss him off. Jean-Claude is a vampire and although he turns her on, she can’t get down with it, because he is the undead. I will tell you that she makes some sort of decision in this book. But, was it the right one??? And how will it affect their combined power?

Now for the part, I didn’t like..there wasn’t one. I liked the whole book.

Favorite quote:

“Gag me with a spoon”

(you gotta admit, that’s just funny)

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

This book is available from Jove. You can buy it here or here in eBook format.

Anita Blake

Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

Review: At the Pleasure of the President by Shayla Black and Lexi Blake

Posted May 7, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: At the Pleasure of the President by Shayla Black and Lexi BlakeReviewer: Casee
At the Pleasure of the President by Shayla Black, Lexi Blake
Series: The Perfect Gentlemen #5
Also in this series: Scandal Never Sleeps (The Perfect Gentlemen, #1), Seduction in Session (The Perfect Gentlemen, #2), Big Easy Temptation (The Perfect Gentlemen, #3), Smoke and Sin (The Perfect Gentlemen, #4)
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: April 9, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 474
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

The thrilling conclusion of the twisting, page-turning Perfect Gentlemen series!

When a dangerous conspiracy threatens to tear them apart, he’ll have to choose between his country and the woman he loves…

Decades ago, ambitious Zack Hayes set his sights on the White House. He’s worked his whole life to become the leader of the free world—attending the right schools, marrying the perfect bride—all to aid his campaign. He didn’t realize someone behind the scenes has been pulling the strings to manipulate Zack and the country he loves into a dangerous position—one he will risk his life to wrench free from. The one thing he can’t risk is Elizabeth Matthews.

From the moment she met Zack Hayes, Liz felt the connection. Serving as his campaign manager and then his press secretary, she accepted that her love for him would remain unrequited. Still, she’d thought they were friends, so when he pushed her aside, she felt the stab in her heart. And when she realizes he’s done it to protect her, nothing will stop Liz from standing by his side—not even the men who would use her as a weapon against him.

As shocking secrets are revealed, Zack and Liz find succor and passion in each other’s arms. When the ultimate villain shows his face, Zack may have to choose between his country and the woman he loves…

This is the conclusion to The Perfect Gentlemen series. And holy hell, View Spoiler » Honestly, this isn’t really a spoiler because even I figured it out. If I knew it, anyone reading this book knew it two books before. No joke.

Zack Hayes has been groomed from birth to be the President of the United States. One of my favorite passages of this series was from the prologue of Scandal Never Sleeps, which is book one of the series. The Perfect Gentlemen had been called to the counselor’s office at their boarding school. Zack threatened him when it because clear that the man was out to get the five of them. He was still a teenager at the time.

“You don’t have that kind of power,” Ogilvie blustered.

“You think I don’t? My father was the ambassador to Russia for years. He’s been close friends with the last three presidents, including the current commander-in-chief. My father wants one thing and one thing only from me. Everyone who’s met him knows that he gets what he wants. My future is mapped out. If I do the right things—get the grades, remain class president, go to the appropriate college—then I accomplish everything I should. If you derail me from this path, I’ll get my ass kicked in ways that would make your head spin. But it will end even worse for you. I recently got my SATs back. I had a perfect score. I’m getting into Yale, and Skull and Bones will be waiting for me senior year because they know what my father’s friends have already figured out: I will be the president of the United States one day. Now, you can be my friend or my enemy. You decide.”

Yep, Zack was badass from the beginning.

Moving on, Zack did become president, but how it happened was beyond sad. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t a great one. Through the last four books a conspiracy has been unraveling that makes it apparent to Zack that he might have to step down. Although it was his father that wanted him to be President of the United States, it is Zack that has made the office and policies his own. Zack will not allow himself to be blackmailed or let the integrity of the office be brought into question.

Elizabeth Matthews is the Press Secretary. She is a ball buster where and when she needs to be. She’s also a good friend to Zack. They know where they stand with each other. They’re in love, but unable to do anything about it. Elizabeth is not on the inside of Zack’s circle. Although it hurts, she knows that he doesn’t completely trust her. She thought she could live with that until she couldn’t.

Zack thinks Elizabeth is a Russian spy, which is understandable. What’s not understandable is how Zack doesn’t see who the real spy is. Come on, Zack. You’re supposed to be the smartest person in the country, if not the world and you can’t figure it out? When there is an assassination attempt on Zack, it is obvious Elizabeth is the spy they all thought her to be (seriously?). Or is it?

Roman Calder drove me bonkers in this book. I know it was his responsibility to protect Zack, but I wanted to brain him. He just went completely overboard.

Still, I was so happy with this book because I loved Zack throughout this entire series and I really loved Elizabeth. She was perfect for Zack because she knew exactly what sort of pressure he was under so she didn’t except things from him that she knew he couldn’t give. She knew that being the President of the United States came before all things.

This was a perfect conclusion to this series.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The Perfect Gentlemen


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Throwback Thursday Review: Caressed by Ice by Nalini Singh

Posted April 25, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 6 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Caressed by Ice by Nalini SinghReviewer: Holly
Caressed By Ice by Nalini Singh
Series: Psy/Changeling #3
Also in this series: Mine to Possess, Hostage to Pleasure, The Magical Christmas Cat , Kiss of Snow, Tangle of Need, Slave to Sensation , Wild Invitation, Heart of Obsidian, Shield of Winter, Shield of Winter, Visions of Heat, Mine to Possess, Caressed By Ice, Branded by Fire, Blaze of Memory, Mine to Possess, Hostage to Pleasure, Hostage to Pleasure, Shards of Hope, Shards of Hope, Heart of Obsidian, Caressed By Ice, Branded by Fire, Blaze of Memory, Play of Passion, Allegiance of Honor, Kiss of Snow, Tangle of Need, Shield of Winter, Shards of Hope, Allegiance of Honor, Allegiance of Honor, Wild Embrace, Wild Embrace, Wild Embrace, Silver Silence, Silver Silence, Tangle of Need, Ocean Light, Ocean Light , Wolf Rain
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: September 4th 2007
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 368
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: five-stars

The author of Shards of Hope and Shield of Winter presents a Psy/Changeling novel in which two people who know evil intimately must unlock the good within their icy hearts…

As an Arrow, an elite soldier in the Psy Council ranks, Judd Lauren was forced to do terrible things in the name of his people. Now a defector, his dark abilities have made him the most deadly of assassins—cold, pitiless, unfeeling. Until he meets Brenna…

Brenna Shane Kincaid was an innocent before she was abducted—and had her mind violated—by a serial killer. Her sense of evil runs so deep, she fears she could become a killer herself.

Then the first dead body is found, victim of a familiar madness. Judd is her only hope, yet her sensual changeling side rebels against the inhuman chill of his personality, even as desire explodes between them. Shocking and raw, their passion is a danger that threatens not only their hearts, but their very lives…

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

This review was originally posted on September 13, 2007.

I had a really beautiful review written up for this book..and blogger lost it. UGH! It said it was saved, so I exited screen. Then I came back today to finish it off and…nada.

Since I’m really behind on reviews and don’t have a lot of time right now, I’m going to direct you to CindyS and Casee. They’ve both put up great reviews for this book. Once you’ve read them, come back. My thoughts (minus a description and not nearly as pretty as before) are below.

This is the 3rd book in Nalini Singh‘s Psy/Changeling series. Now, unlike every other person in blogland, I wasn’t over-the-moon in love with Slave to Sensation, her first book. Nor was I all squealy fangirlish over Visions of Heat. I truly enjoyed both books, but I didn’t think they were the end all and be all of Paranormal Romance.

Yes, I think she put a fresh spin on the genre, and yes, I thought the world building and characters were great, but I didn’t walk away with a girl crush on NS.

After this book? Oh yeah, girl crush status in full effect.

Judd was an amazing hero. I love that NS didn’t change who he was at his core for her story. She kept true to how he was in the previous books and I loved watching him melt.

Brenna was a good heroine, too. After having suffered through what she did, I wasn’t sure she could come back and be a strong heroine, but she was. She and Judd together were fabulous. I loved watching them interact and Brenna try to break through Judd’s icy exterior.

The conflict between the two was much more believable, IMO. Although previous couples faced very real fears, what Judd dealt with was so much harder I really hurt for (and with) him. I truly found myself wondering how they were going to resolved their issues and live happily ever after, and that doesn’t happen to me very often.

I also found myself full invested in Brenna’s struggle to become emotionally whole once again. When she feared she was going mad, my heart hurt for her. And like Brenna, I was healed by Judd’s actions.

Isn’t that an amazing compliment for an author?

As for the outside conflict, that of who was after Brenna, I wasn’t very interested in it, but I still thought it was well done. My focus was on Brenna and Judd and their relationship. Still, the storyline was good.

I can’t wait to see who The Ghost is and what happens in the next book.

I’m giving this one a:

4.5 out of 5

Check out the series if you haven’t already.



Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Joint Review: Sweet Dreams by Kristen Ashley

Posted April 23, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 3 Comments

Joint Review: Sweet Dreams by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Casee & Holly
Sweet Dreams by Kristen Ashley
Series: Colorado Mountain #2
Also in this series: The Gamble , Jagged, Kaleidoscope, Sweet Dreams
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: June 20, 2017
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 656
Length: 25 hours and 6 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

Welcome to New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristen Ashley's Colorado Mountain Series, where friends become family and everyone deserves a second chance.When you lose everything, anything is possible.

Lauren Grahame needs a whole new life. A simpler life. After leaving her cheating husband, she moves to Carnal, Colorado, takes a job as a waitress, and realizes she might have finally found the hometown she'd been searching for. Except things are about to get a lot more complicated . . .

Lauren's fresh start does not include her growing feelings for her boss, Tate Jackson. She'll take the new friends, the new job, not to mention the incredible banana bread from the local coffee shop, but love is not on the agenda.

However, the people of Carnal know chemistry when they see it, and they're not about to let Tate and Lauren miss their chance.

Sweet Dreams is book two in Ashley’s Colorado Mountain series. You can read this book without reading the first book. Yes, I (Casee) actually am saying that and y’all know how I feel about reading a series out of order.

After a bitter divorce, Lauren Grahame turns into a nomad and travels wherever her heart takes her. She ends up in Carnal, CO where she sees there is a waitress job open. Lauren and Tate, the owner of the bar, get off to a rocky start. Fortunately, they are able to move pass their horrible first meeting. This book has it all; romance, love, sex, mystery, family. Everything you could want in a romance book, Sweet Dreams delivers. You will be drawn to these two characters and this book doesn’t spit you out until the end. Of course it is Kristen Ashley so there are times when you will go crazy with the dialogue and the dropping of the g’s. Somehow that doesn’t take away from the amazing love story between Lauren and Tate.

Casee: I don’t know why I doubt you. Seriously. I put off reading this book because it was so long, but when it ended I wished it was longer. This book is amazing. Like, totally amazing.

First I want to say how much I adored Lauren. She is so real. I can’t think of another way to describe her. She literally reinvented herself after her world blew up in her face. I love how she lived her life. She made new friendships, got a new job, found a place to live. All of it. I just can’t say enough good things about her.

Holly: I don’t know why you doubt me, either. Both our lives would be a lot easier if you just listened to me.

I adored Lauren, too. First, she’s in her 40’s, something we don’t see very often. Second, she’s rebuilding her life and finding herself after finding out her husband was cheating on her with her best friend. Something she didn’t well at first. Then she decided she was done wallowing and reinvented herself. I loved that aspect of the book. Watching her grow into this new version of herself was great.

I also loved the town of Carnal. I loved all the quirky residents and how well Lauren integrated with them.

Casee: I totally forgot she was in her 40’s, but I loved that too. Like I said…real. Like, honestly, how hard is it to start your life over when you’re in tour 40’s? I have no idea, but I know it would be hard. Lauren did it though, and she was amazing.

What did you think about Tate? I totally cringed when he was talking to Krystal about Lauren that first time and Lauren overheard. That was terrible. Here you have Lauren, who has had her whole life crushed by her asshole of an ex-husband, then some stranger says these awful things about her that she secretly thinks about herself? Ugh. At least he redeemed himself. I did laugh when he apologized and just expected her to move on and she wouldn’t. Ha.

Holly: Tate. Oh, Tate. He’s such an ass in the beginning, especially when he says sorry then basically demands she get over it. I like that she pushed back with him. I didn’t stay mad at him, though, because he’s so all in with her right from the beginning. He wants to take care of her, but he also wants to support her while she takes care of herself. He wasn’t one of those “let me be your hero” types. He was more “let me stand by your side while you save yourself” types. I loved it.

Casee: I loved Tate, too. I loved him for all the reasons you just stated. I like how he told her she would find herself, that she was special, that she could do anything she wanted. But hell if she was leaving him to do it. That really made me laugh. At that one point I texted you and told you I thought they were going to split because she had to find herself? Yeah, wrong. Tate would never allow that. Yes, I said allow.

When he said this…omgbbq, I fell all the way in love with him.

“You said you were waitin’ for something special and he took away your chance to figure out that you were carryin’ it with you all this time. You are special, Laurie.”


Holly: Honestly, I loved all the residents of Carnal. Jim Billy, Krystal, Wood, Tate and his family, shoot, even Twyla. Speaking of Twyla…she cracked up. I love how well KA does humor and human connections.

I wasn’t very interested in the serial murderer case, and there are definitely entire sections of the book I could have done without, but I can’t deny it pulled me in. This is probably my most re-read book of all time. I’m not exaggerating when I say I read portions of it every month.

Casee: Now I know why it’s your most re-read book of all time. It’s definitely a book that I would re-read.

I’m going to give it a 4.25 or 4.5. I haven’t decided yet. Probably 4.5. What about you?

Holly: I think I’m going to give it 4.25. I love the book like whoa, but I’m not blind it its faults.

Final Grades

Casee: 4.5 out of 5
Holly: 4.25 out of 5

Colorado Mountain


Tagged: , , , , , , , ,