Tag: 5.0 Reviews

Summer Reading Challenge Review: The Deal by Elle Kennedy

Posted August 22, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 4 Comments

Summer Reading Challenge Review: The Deal by Elle KennedyReviewer: Casee
The Deal (Off-Campus, #1) by Elle Kennedy
Series: Off-Campus #1
Also in this series: The Deal (Off-Campus, #1), The Deal (Off-Campus, #1), The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2), The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2), The Score (Off-Campus, #3), The Score (Off-Campus, #3), The Goal (Off-Campus, #4)
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: April 9, 2015
Point-of-View: First
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 330
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
five-stars

She's about to make a deal with the college bad boy...

Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she's carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush's attention, she'll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice...even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date.

...and it's going to be oh so good

All Garrett Graham has ever wanted is to play professional hockey after graduation, but his plummeting GPA is threatening everything he's worked so hard for. If helping a sarcastic brunette make another guy jealous will help him secure his position on the team, he's all for it. But when one unexpected kiss leads to the wildest sex of both their lives, it doesn't take long for Garrett to realize that pretend isn't going to cut it. Now he just has to convince Hannah that the man she wants looks a lot like him.

This book was fucking amazing. Ah-maze-ing. That’s right. Amazing.

I didn’t have high hopes after reading The Year We Hid Away. I should have had faith in Elle Kennedy though. Why? Because she’s Elle Fucking Kennedy. That woman knows how to write a book. I’m not usually into this “New Adult” crap, but after reading this book, I plan to continue to read every single thing that she has written thus far.

Garrett Graham is a star hockey player. He’s also misunderstood. No, he really is. Everyone sees him as the son of a Stanley Cup winner. They don’t understand how much his abusive childhood has affected him. Hell, even Garrett doesn’t fully understand how it has affected his every day life. That is until Hannah Wells comes into his life.

Garrett only needs Hannah to tutor him. If he doesn’t pull up his grade in Ethics, he will be suspended from the hockey team. Only Hannah tells him no, which shocks Garrett to no end. She isn’t impressed by him, him status or, well, him. At all. So he makes her a deal. He will help her get the guy she’s crushing on if she helps him bring his grade up. Win-win. Until he starts falling for her.

Hannah has her own demons. When she was fifteen, she was drugged and raped at a party. What came after is only the stuff of nightmares. She’s mostly dealt with everything, but she still has a little problem when it comes to sex. She can’t have an orgasm. After a few weeks of studying with Garrett and a seriously hot kiss, Hannah propositions Garrett. Which sounds sleazy, but it was anything but.

These two were just made for each other. Garrett comes to the realization that hockey isn’t everything. Hannah realizes how wrong she was about Garrett. He’s not just some dumb jock. This book is so damn funny. I was sitting on the beach, literally laughing my ass off and people were looking at me like I was insane. I didn’t care. I was enjoying the book too much. Any author that can make me laugh like that is a keeper in my book. So thank you, Elle Kennedy. I haven’t enjoyed a book this much in a long time.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Off-Campus

five-stars


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Guest Review: When a Duke Loves a Woman by Lorraine Heath

Posted August 21, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 3 Comments

Guest Review: When a Duke Loves a Woman by Lorraine HeathReviewer: Tracy
When a Duke Loves a Woman by Lorraine Heath
Series: Sins for All Seasons #2
Also in this series: Beyond Scandal and Desire, Beyond Scandal and Desire (Sins for All Seasons, #1), When a Duke Loves a Woman (Sins for All Seasons, #2)
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: August 21, 2018
Format: eARC
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 400
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
five-stars

Gillie Trewlove knows what a stranger's kindness can mean, having been abandoned on a doorstep as a baby and raised by the woman who found her there. So, when suddenly faced with a soul in need at her door—or the alleyway by her tavern—Gillie doesn't hesitate. But he's no infant. He's a grievously injured, distractingly handsome gentleman who doesn't belong in Whitechapel, much less recuperating in Gillie's bed.

Being left at the altar is humiliating; being rescued from thugs by a woman—albeit a brave and beautiful one—is the pièce de résistance to the Duke of Thornley's extraordinarily bad day. After nursing him back from the brink, Gillie agrees to help him comb London's darker corners for his wayward bride. But every moment together is edged with desire and has Thorne rethinking his choice of wife. Yet Gillie knows the aristocracy would never accept a duchess born in sin. Thorne, however, is determined to prove to her that no obstacle is insurmountable when a duke loves a woman.

Gillie Trewlove is a tavern owner in Whitechapel with no plans to ever marry.  She loves her tavern and she knows if she got married it would be handed over to her husband. Not happening.  One night she’s taking out the trash in the back alley and comes across a man being robbed and assaulted. She scares off the attackers but the man is in no shape to be moved.  She calls for a physician and takes the man to her flat above the tavern.  She tries everything she can to talk the doctor into letting her put the man in a cab to cart him away, but the doctor says he can’t be moved.  Despite Gillie’s misgivings of having a man in her sacred space she finds that she enjoys taking care of him.  When he wakes up the two talk and find that they like each other a great deal.  A bond is formed while the man, who identifies himself as Thorne, is recovering and Gillie finds herself attracted to him in a way that she’s never been attracted to a man before.

Thorne was left at the altar the morning he was attacked.  He was told that his bride, when she ran, took a cab to Whitechapel.  He was there trying to find her but was also drowning his sorrows along the way – that’s why the ruffians got the better of him in the alley. While he hated being left at the altar he wasn’t in love with his bride-to-be, it was a marriage contract made when she was born.  That doesn’t mean that Thorne doesn’t want to find her to find out what the heck happened.

Once Thorne is recovered Gillie sends him on his way never expecting to see him again. She’s surprised when he returns to her tavern the next night and shocked when he identifies himself as Antony Coventry, the ninth Duke of Thornley.  Thorne keeps returning to the tavern and the two build a friendship but there’s something always underneath it – attraction and admiration. Gillie starts to help Thorne look for his runaway bride and this forces them to spend more time together.  After a while they can’t deny their attraction to each other any longer and end up in bed.  Gillie knows that she can never be with Thorne permanently and she refuses to be his mistress, which he wouldn’t want anyway.  Thorne loves Gillie but he made a promise years ago to his dying father that he would marry and add land to the dukedom.  Both want what they can never have.

Ok, I wasn’t all that thrilled with Gillie’s character in the previous book so I truly didn’t know what to expect when I started WaDLaW.  I’m happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised.  I absolutely loved Gillie in this book!  She was strong and independent, yes, but she was also a woman who could be vulnerable and hurt.  She tried to hide that fact but it came out.  She was also an amazingly giving person.  She would walk through Whitechapel and give out wooden coins to those who she thought needed it which they could trade for soup if they came to her tavern. But she also said she’d never turn anyone away who was hungry – even if they didn’t have a wooden coin.  I loved that! I loved that this career-minded woman was also open-hearted and thoughtful.

Thorne was a good guy and perfect for Gillie, imho.  He was aware of his own responsibilities and didn’t shirk them, but he always made time to be with Gillie even if that included serving pints in her tavern and cleaning up after closing.  The relationship between the two was so strong but I honestly couldn’t see how Heath was going to get them together.  I’m happy to say that she gave me a wonderful HEA that was completely believable!

I definitely recommend this book.  I’ve only had 3 5-star reads in 2018 so far and two of them were the books in this series – what does that tell you?

Rating: 5 out of 5

Sins for All Seasons

five-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: Spell of the Highlander by Karen Marie Moning

Posted August 2, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 6 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Spell of the Highlander by Karen Marie MoningReviewer: Rowena
Spell of the Highlander (Highlanders #7) by Karen Marie Moning
Series: Highlanders series #7
Also in this series: An English Bride In Scotland, An English Bride In Scotland (Highlanders, #1), The Highlander Takes a Bride, Falling for the Highlander, An English Bride In Scotland (Highlanders, #1), Surrender to the Highlander, The Highlander's Promise (Highlanders Series #6)
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Dell
Publication Date: August 28th 2007
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 394
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
five-stars

It's taken him eleven centuries to find the right woman. He's not about to lose her now.

Jessi St. James has GOT to get a life. Too many hours studying ancient artifacts has given the archaeology student a bad case of sex on the brain. So she figures she must be dreaming when she spies a gorgeous half-naked man staring out at her from inside the glass of an ancient mirror. But when a split-second decision saves her from a terrifying attempt on her life, Jessi suddenly finds herself confronting six and a half feet of smoldering INSATIABLE alpha male.

Heir to the arcane magic of his Druid ancestors, Cian MacKeltar was trapped inside the Dark Glass eleven centuries ago. And when the Dark Glass is stolen, an ancient enemy will stop at nothing to reclaim it. For Jessi, the sex god in the mirror is not only tantalisingly real, he's offering his protection—from exactly what, Jessi doesn't know. And all he wants in exchange is the exquisite pleasure of sharing her bed....

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

Rowena: Holy cow, this reviews brings back memories of how freaking obsessed Holly and I used to be over these sexy Highlanders. Oh, Cian and his mirror, LOL!

This review was originally posted on August 1, 2007.

I’m in a slump, y’all.

Nothing that I’ve picked up has been able to catch and keep my attention for longer than fifteen minutes and it really sucks but, I did pick this book up last week and was sifting through it, hoping that this book would bring me out of my reading funk.

A Karen Marie Moning is a good choice to kick off a reading slump because I was instantly wrapped right up in Cian and Jessi’s world. I was loving the whole mirror business and the whole paranormal aspect of the story, the magic, the good versus evil business and really, the biggest thing for me was the Dageus MacKeltar business.

I was all over that mug in this book, again.

This whole book was really good for me, from the total alphaness of Cian and his “voice” that works on EVERYONE but Jessi, I loved the whole getting to Scotland thing and just the bond that formed between Cian and Jessi. This book seriously had it all, sexy heroes, steamy plotline and out of this world characters that just heated up page after delicious page.

The scene where Dageus takes off with the mirror and Cian is ripping into him because he left Jessi vulnerable and just that whole scene was one great big AWWWWWW scene for me because you could see just how stubborn Cian was and you could tell how much Jessi had come to mean to him and it was just a fantabulous scene.

This whole book was one great big roller coaster for me, it had it’s high moments where I was rootin’ Jessi and Cian on and it had it’s moments where I wanted to kick someone because the evil dudes were just so evil but I love the world that KMM has created with the MacKeltar men and I just love the way KMM tells her stories, with lots of feeling, character development and just every damn thing about everything.

By the end of the book, I felt like I knew Cian and Jessi and I was just so hot damn happy they got their happy ending and I was hella loving all the Dageus and Drustan in this book too, gosh I love those twins. And that ending is something else, man I just effing love stuff like this.

This book gets a great big A for me because it was the hot damn bomb diggity with a cherry on top! Read it if you haven’t but first read the others, I skipped all the other books because this one was calling me…

Grade: 5 out of 5

Highlanders

five-stars


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Guest Review: The Last King by Katee Robert

Posted April 30, 2018 by Jen in Reviews | 5 Comments

Guest Review: The Last King by Katee RobertReviewer: Jen
The Last King by Katee Robert
Series: The Kings #1
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: April 3rd 2018
Format: eARC
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
five-stars

Ultra wealthy and super powerful, the King family is like royalty in Texas. But who will keep the throne? New York Times bestselling author Katee Robert introduces a red-hot new series.

THE MAN SHE HATES TO LOVE

Beckett King just inherited his father's fortune, his company-and all his enemies. If he's going to stay on top, he needs someone he can trust beside him. And though they've been rivals for years, there's no one he trusts more than Samara Mallick.

The rebel. That's how Samara has always thought of Beckett. And he's absolutely living up to his unpredictable ways when he strides into her office and asks for help. She can't help wondering if it's a legit request or just a ploy to get her into bed. Not that she'd mind either one. After all, she likes to live on the edge too.

But soon the threats to the King empire are mounting, and the two find family secrets darker than they ever imagined and dangerous enough to get them both killed.

Beckett King is the heir to Texas’s number one oil company and member of the infamous and dysfunctional King family. His company’s top rival is run by his estranged aunt Lydia, and his nemesis at that company is Samara Mallick, his aunt’s number two. Beckett and Samara are in a constant war to outmaneuver each other when battling for contracts, as well fighting the sizzling attraction they feel for each other. When Beckett’s father dies suddenly, it leaves Beckett with no other family and majorly set adrift. Lydia clearly intends to take advantage of Beckett’s situation, and she plans to use Samara to attack Beckett’s weaknesses. Samara can’t throw away all the hard work she’s put in to get where she is, but neither can she fight the pull she feels for Beckett. As Beckett learns more about his dad’s death and his family secrets, both he and Samara have to decide what is worth fighting for.

Holy shit, did I love this book! I loved (just about) everything, starting with Samara and Beckett. Samara is amazingly good at her job, very competitive, and determined to succeed in whatever she does. She takes no shit from Beckett, and she makes no apologies for her ambition. Her banter with Beckett is so good! She’s not intentionally cruel, however, and clearly does not share her boss’s ruthlessness. I also appreciated that she doesn’t immediately roll over and give up her rivalry with Beckett just because he’s giving her awesome orgasms. She cares about her career, just as she understands Beckett cares about his. While she tries not to play dirty if she can help it, she didn’t get good at her job by being soft. Beckett has to earn softness from her, and I really enjoyed that.

And Beckett…ah Beckett is just the best. He certainly grows up in a life of privilege, but he isn’t the lazy rich playboy his aunt seems to think he is. He works hard, and while he doesn’t exactly have a passion for the oil industry he cares about his family’s legacy and, more importantly, the people who work for the company. There’s no whining about how he has to take over the company; he simply does what has to be done. Unlike some of his family, though, he has a strong sense of ethics. Best of all, he is so, so sweet and loving to those he cares about. His mom died when he was young, and after that his relationship with his dad fell apart. Since his dad was estranged from his sister and her children, Beckett basically grew up alone, and when his dad dies he feels the loss keenly despite their problematic relationship. He’s basically just a little boy who’s realized it’s too late to ever get his dad’s love, and it’s heartbreaking. (The book doesn’t wallow too much in the angst, however.) As he gets to know Samara he wants so desperately for her to love him the way he comes to love her, and it was damn adorable.

This book is really sexy in a great way. It’s not at all erotica, but there are plenty of both hot and sweet sex scenes to keep you reading. There is tons of sexy consent talk as well, which is always my jam. I love they way the sexual attraction between Beckett and Samara draws them together despite all the very, very good reasons they should stay away. The sex doesn’t sustain the relationship for long, though. Pretty quickly they realize they genuinely LIKE the other person and are attracted to their personalities, not just their bodies. It was awesome.

One big theme in the book is power–who holds it and what they do with it. Beckett and Samara explore this a bit in the sex scenes, although I think more could have been done there. More compelling, I thought, was the power dynamics elsewhere. Samara is extremely aware that Beckett holds more power in their relationship than she does at the start. Her own father was a rich man who abandoned her mom before she was even born, so Samara is understandably hyper-sensitive that on the surface, her relationship with Beckett has a similar power imbalance. She knows Beckett can’t lose his job or his livelihood like she can, and for that reason she bears the brunt of the risk if they start a relationship. I loved that Beckett understands Samara’s hesitation once he knows her story, but I would have liked a discussion about the very tidy ending and what it means for Samara. Still, I enjoyed the “forbidden love” aspect and appreciated that they also acted like grown ups who were free to make their own choices.

For me, this book was darn close to perfect. The suspense plot was a little bit of a stretch at times, but not egregiously so. This book definitely focuses more on the relationship between Beckett and Samara as well as Beckett and his family, and it totally worked for me. This is the start of a new series, and the characters I presume will be the future heroes and heroines already piqued my interest. The Last King is my favorite book of 2018 so far, and if you like enemies-to-lovers with some light suspense thrown in, I think you’d like this book, too.

Grade: 5 out of 5

The Kings

five-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: Heart of Steel by Meljean Brook

Posted January 25, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Throwback Thursday Review: Heart of Steel by Meljean BrookReviewer: Holly
Heart of Steel (Iron Seas, #2) by Meljean Brook
Series: The Iron Seas #2
Also in this series: The Iron Duke (Iron Seas, #1), Fire and Frost, Tethered (Novella), The Kraken King Part I, Here There Be Monsters (Iron Seas, #0.5), The Kraken King (Iron Seas, #4)
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: July 3rd 2012
Genres: Steampunk
Pages: 320
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
five-stars

 New York Times bestselling author Meljean Brook combines Victorian sensibilities with steam, steel, and adventure on the Iron Seas. 

As the mercenary captain of the Lady Corsair, Yasmeen is only loyal to her ship and her crew. So when a man who once tried to seize her airship returns from the dead, Yasmeen will be damned if she gives him another opportunity to take control. But treasure-hunter Archimedes Fox isn’t interested in the Lady Corsair—he wants her coldhearted captain and the invaluable da Vinci sketch she stole from him.

To reclaim the painting, Archimedes must seduce the woman who once tossed him to a ravenous pack of zombies…and she’s no easy conquest.

When da Vinci’s sketch attracts a dangerous amount of attention, they journey to Horde-occupied Morocco—and straight into their enemy’s hands. But as they fight to save themselves in a city on the brink of rebellion, the greatest peril Yasmeen faces is from the man who seeks to melt her icy heart…

***Every Thursday in 2018 we will be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books.

This review was originally posted on December 28, 2011.

Heart of Steel by Meljean Brook is book 2 of steampunk The Iron Seas series.

When adventurer Archimedes Fox tried to take her airship by force, Lady Corsair’s captain, Yasmeen, had no choice but to throw him overboard into zombie infested territory. She did him a kindness, however, and threw him into a canal knowing zombies don’t go near water. She figures there’s a 50/50 chance he’s alive. Two months later when she goes to notify his sister, she finds out the truth.

His sister agrees to allow Yasmeen to sell the da Vinci sketch Archimedes found. She makes some inquiries and word gets out that she has it. Before she has a chance to deal with the one who spoke out of turn, she’s nabbed by none other than Archimedes himself.

Archimedes needs to sell the sketch in order to pay off a very large debt he owes. The sketch is important, but that’s not all he wants. He also wants Yasmeen herself. The kickass captain has intrigued him from the first. He’s determined to have both. When the sketch is stolen, Yasmeen and Archimedes team up to find it. What ensues is a spine-tingling adventure.

Brook is of a rare breed of authors. Each book is better than the last. Her novels are filled with intrigue, adventure and steamy romance. Heart of Steel is the perfect blend of all three. I love the world she’s created with her steampunk series. I have two complaints about this book. 1) it ended. 2) it ended and there aren’t any other books in the series that I haven’t read.

5 out of 5

Iron Seas Series

five-stars


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