Tag: 5.0 Reviews

Retro Review: Some Enchanted Season by Marilyn Pappano

Posted October 25, 2017 by Casee in Reviews | 4 Comments

Retro Review: Some Enchanted Season by Marilyn PappanoReviewer: Casee
Some Enchanted Season (Bethlehem, #2) by Marilyn Pappano
Series: Bethlehem #2
Published by Bantam
Publication Date: December 1st 1998
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 374
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Sometimes miracles do happen.

When Maggie left her husband Ross that fateful Christmas Eve, their marriage was over.  But a near fatal accident on an ice-slick road changed everything.

Now another Christmas approaches.  While Maggie hasn't regained all her memory, she's ready to test her strength at home--with Ross as her only companion.  Sharing a house with him once more, putting on the best face for their neighbors, Maggie knows she's living a lie.

Then she glimpses Ross as he used to be: playful and passionate, the man of her dreams before ambition changed him.  She couldn't know he's feeling the same regrets, the same heartache...or that he fears the return of her memory.  What will happen when she remembers the reason she fled from him last year?

It will take a miracle to send the walls of anger and secrecy tumbling down and reunite the divided couple.  But in the small town of Bethlehem, miracles do happen....

*****As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews and posts that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.

This review was originally posted on December 14, 2007.

I absolutely adore this book. I love it. After I read it, I feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I love reunion books. I love how I can re-read this every single year (at Christmas, of course) and still get as caught up in the story as I did the first time. This is one of my absolute favorite re-reads of all time (especially during the holiday season)…

Arriving back in Bethlehem a few days before Thanksgiving, Maggie has no memory of what drove her from her home that fateful night on Christmas Eve of last year. All she does remember is that after sixteen years of marriage, she and her husband, Ross, have decided to throw in the towel. After 11 months of extensive physical therapy, Maggie is forced to except Ross’s help in her recovery. Their plan was simple. Ross would be around to help Maggie for two months. They would then part amicably and then quietly get divorced.

Really, is there any such thing as an amicable divorce? Seriously.

After being a workaholic for so many years, Ross finds himself curiously adrift. Never being able to find the right balance between being a CEO and husband, Ross refuses to let himself read even one email or answer one phone call. He decides that it’s the nicest thing he can do for Maggie. A parting gift, if you will.

Nothing ever goes according to plan, of course. When you live in a town full of people offering advice, a town that has its’ own guardian angel, it’s very easy to think “what if”. It doesn’t take Ross long to start thinking that he and Maggie could make things work. There’s only one problem. While Maggie doesn’t remember the previous Christmas Eve, Ross does. He knows that it’s highly likely that when Maggie remembers what happened, it will drive her from his arms for good.

I can’t say enough how much I love this book. It’s a book about two people who lost their way. Going back to their roots, Maggie and Ross both have to look inside themselves to find what makes them happy. While Ross did put work ahead of Maggie, Maggie is far from blameless in the demise of their marriage. Coming to terms with that is hard for her, but she’s able to do it. Maggie is one of my favorite heroines.

Taking place during the holiday season, this is the perfect holiday read. I would love to live in Bethlehem.

5 out of 5


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Guest Review: Archangel’s Viper by Nalini Singh

Posted October 5, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Archangel’s Viper by Nalini SinghReviewer: Tracy
Archangel's Viper by Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #10
Also in this series: Archangel's Kiss, Archangel's Consort, Archangel's Storm (Guild Hunter #5), Archangel's Legion, Archangel's Legion (Guild Hunter #6), Archangel's Shadows, Archangel's Shadows, Archangel's Enigma (Guild Hunter, #8), Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter #1), Archangel's Heart, Archangel's Heart, Archangel's Heart (Guild Hunter, #9), Archangel's Kiss, Angels' Blood, Archangel's Viper (Guild Hunter, #10)
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: September 26th 2017
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 400
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five-stars

Once a broken girl known as Sorrow, Holly Chang now prowls the shadowy gray underground of the city for the angels. But it’s not her winged allies who make her a wanted woman—it’s the unknown power coursing through her veins. Brutalized by an insane archangel, she was left with the bloodlust of a vampire, the ability to mesmerize her prey, and a poisonous bite.

Now, someone has put a bounty on her head…

Venom is one of the Seven, Archangel Raphael’s private guard, and he’s as infuriating as he is seductive. A centuries-old vampire, his fangs dispense a poison deadlier than Holly’s. But even if Venom can protect Holly from those hunting her, he might not be able to save himself—because the strange, violent power inside Holly is awakening…

No one is safe.

Holly was brutalized by a psychotic archangel, forced to drink his tainted blood and had to watch her friends die in the most horrific way.  She survived, however, and now it’s four years later and Uram’s blood is turning Holly into…something.  When angels turn humans the humans turn into vampires.  Not so with Holly.  She’s part vampire and needs blood but she also needs food to survive. She has strange powers and her bite is poisonous.  Holly has been hiding from her friends and mentors all of the changes that have been taking place in her and the powers that are getting stronger and changing all the time.  She’s scared of what they all mean.  Now that Venom is back, however, she can’t hide any longer as he sees her for who she is.

Venom has been at the Refuge for the past two years and only mentoring Holly via phone calls once a week.  Now that he’s back he sees that that hasn’t been enough.  She’s learned a lot from Janvier and Ashwini but Venom sees the changes in Holly that others might not have noticed. He sees that she’s a lot like him and he tries to teach her how to deal with those changes. When he heads out with Holly to see who has a bounty on her head he gets to know her even more.  Though he tries to ignore the attraction between them and the admiration he has for her he soon realizes that she’s the one he needs in his life – permanently.

Wow.  Venom and Holly’s story was SO good!  I wasn’t sure how this was all going to play out as Venom has been nothing but stoic in the previous books.  I wondered if he could fall in love and what that would look like.  I now know and it was beautiful!

I loved the banter between Venom and Holly.  Even when they fell in love it didn’t end and that was nice to see.  Just because they fell in love didn’t turn them into mushy baby talkers. Lol  Of course Singh would never do that with her characters, but I still appreciated it. 😊

The story revolved around Holly and the strange thing that was growing/awakening in her. Not only was she freaking out over that but then something new and different gets added to the mix when Holly meets another of Uram’s survivors.  I couldn’t believe how strong Holly was to put up with what was going on inside her.  Sure, she was physically strong but her mental strength was incredible.  She went through some amazing situations that would break a normal person but she got through them like a champ.  I was so impressed by Holly, can you tell?

Venom was awesome.  I loved him in this book.  He was strong and capable, understanding and compassionate, caring and loving, and sexy as hell.  Could you ask for a better hero?  I also loved how he let Holly do her thing and didn’t try to control the situations.  I want a Venom of my own, oh yes, I do. Lol.

Singh’s writing, storytelling ability and world-building were once again AMAZING.  I don’t know how she does it time after time but all of it combined blows my mind…every time.  I picked this one up and once I started reading I couldn’t put it down.  If you’ve been reading the series you won’t want to miss this one.  If you haven’t read the series?  You’re seriously missing something wonderful.

Rating: 5 out of 5

five-stars


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Retro-Review: Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon.

Posted September 13, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 15 Comments

Retro-Review: Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon.Reviewer: Rowena
Acheron (Dark-Hunter, #12) by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Series: Dark Hunter #12
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Publication Date: March 31st 2009
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 806
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five-stars


Eleven thousand years ago, a god was born. Cursed into the body of a human, Acheron spent a lifetime of shame. But the strongest steel is forged from the fires of hell…

Acheron's human death unleashed an unspeakable horror that almost destroyed the earth. Then, brought back against his will, he became the sole defender of mankind. Only it was never that simple. For centuries, Acheron has fought for our survival and hidden a past he'll do anything to keep concealed. Until a lone woman who refuses to be intimidated by him threatens his very existence. Now his survival—and ours—hinges on hers, and old enemies reawaken and unite to kill them both. War has never been more deadly...or more fun.

*****As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.

Holly: Rowena and I were both obsessed with the Dark Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon, once upon a time. Even so, by the time this book was released I’d given up on the series. In fact, despite my love for the earlier books, I couldn’t even bring myself to read it. I was tempted after this review, but I just couldn’t do it.

This review was originally posted on August 11, 2008

Hero: Acheron Parthenopeaus
Heroine: You’ll have to read it to find out
Grade: 5 out of 5

…MAJOR SPOILERS WILL BE IN THIS REVIEW SO IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE SPOILED, DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW UNTIL YOU ARE READY TO. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED THAT THERE WILL BE SPOILERS APLENTY IN THIS REVIEW AND YOU CAN’T BE MAD BECAUSE THIS BOLD ASS WARNING IS FOR YOU…

Wow.

There’s so much to cover in this review that I’m almost afraid to begin. Sherrilyn Kenyon does a remarkable job of pulling those emotional heartstrings inside you to drain every bit of emotion out of you. During the first part of the book, even though I was at work reading this (naughty wench that I am) tears streamed down my face as I read what turned Ash into the man that I know and love now. My heart seriously broke each and every time something new would come up and I just felt so hot damn bad for him.

Then there was Ryssa. Naive but courageous Ryssa, who only wanted to take care of him. The sister who loved Ash more than anyone ever dared to show and gosh, it got to a point while I was reading where it was almost too much for me to read. It was hard to push through that first part of the book because there was so much bad in it. So much that Ash suffered, so much crap that Ryssa unknowingly flinched his way just by caring about him. When it happened with Val and Zarek, I understood but in his book, I was mad at Zarek for being so hot damn mad at Val for trying to help him but in this book, I got so mad at Ryssa because as nice as she was to Ash….she only made things just THAT much worst for him. For every bit of kindness she showed him, he paid for it tenfold and I just wanted her to leave him in peace, the way that Ash wanted her to. I would get so mad each and every time that Ryssa would come around because I knew that something bad was going to happen to Ash and I couldn’t understand why she couldn’t see that loving Ash the way she did (even if she couldn’t help loving him) was hurting it far more than it was helping him.

I know that she wanted him to know that someone loved him, unconditionally, no matter what and I could appreciate that but I hated that she made things worst for Ash because ooh I wanted to kill her father and her other stupid ass brother, Styxx so frickin’ bad. I wanted their blood on my hands (bloodthirsty wench that I am) and don’t even get me started on their Uncle Estes.

sigh

I could get myself worked up over this book so easily which just goes to show how involved in this story I am, which also goes to show how good a job Sherrilyn Kenyon did with the first part of this book. There were times earlier in the book when I wished that Ryssa would just stay the hell away from Ash, she brought him more pain than anything and I just wanted him to have some kind of peace but she was always getting him into trouble and it was through Ryssa that I had an inkling for why Zarek hated Valerian because though Val meant well, he brought more bad than good and it had to have hurt badly and they just kept being nice and nice which made things so much worst for Ash and Zarek.

And OMGOSH Ash’s powers? Holy shit shit shit…damn damn damn, holy crap in the pants, are you frickin’ serious right now?

Wow.

…and dude, I LOVE APOLLYMI! The fierceness of her love for her son is to be admired, I mean I don’t agree with the way she took care of some of those problems she had but man, I couldn’t fault her reasoning.

And goodness, I loved seeing the beginning of Ash and Simi. It was seeing him with Simi that softened my heart toward him and made me love him more and more until I was near bursting with my love of his character. Goodness, Ash is seriously the best hero EVER written.

When we got to the present, I was glad for it because the past prepared me for what was to come and it explained so many of my questions (if not, all of them) from before. Questions that I have waited YEARS to get answers to and I’m so glad that I better understand Ash from before and Ash from now.

Soteria was a great heroine, I remember her from The Dream Hunter and I’m not mad about the pairing of her and Ash together because she completed Ash. She saw the Ash that we all know and love and she loved him like nobody else from this series ever could. I’m so glad that Ash’s heroine wasn’t Satara, like I thought before because I seriously hate that biznitch and am not mad at Nick, one bit.

There are so many things that I could say about this book but I don’t have enough time. There were so many great things about this book, seeing Ash finally realize that he’s not alone in anything anymore. He’s got the family that he’s always wanted in the Dark Hunters and their wives…and in Soteria. I can’t seem to call her Tory like she likes to be called because I don’t see where the hell they got Tory from Soteria? Tera? I can see that…but Tory? Nope, not seeing it at all but maybe that’s because I’m not Greek, who knows.

A lot of options were opened for the other characters in this book and I can’t wait to read the rest of the books to find out more about Savitar, Jaden and Nick because I’m thinking Nick is going to be Artemis’ next pet. I think he’s going to be the one to replace Ash and oh wow, that’s going to make for some interesting reading, for sure.

This book was really good, at first I thought that maybe it didn’t hold up to my expectations but then I changed my mind because I loved this book, a whole lot more than I was expecting to (because no mortal could have met my expectations of this book) and whether it held up to my expectations was moot since I loved everything about this book, I loved the old Ash, the new Ash, the story, the characters and I was over the moon to see everyone come together to get Ash’s back, even Savitar and Jaden did their little bests to help Ash out because he finally needed it. For so long, Ash stood alone and it was just good to see that he didn’t have to this time around.

LOVED IT! LOVE LOVE LOVED IT! And now I want more…haha. I’ve got to ask though, how many of you readers out there who have read Ash’s book, played Savin’ Me by Nickelback over and over after you read the book?

I DID! How many of you guys are listening to Saving Me right now?

I AM!

LOL.

5 out of 5

This book is available from St. Martin’s Press. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

five-stars


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Guest Review: White Hot by Ilona Andrews

Posted August 8, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: White Hot by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Tracy
White Hot by Ilona Andrews
Series: Hidden Legacy #2
Also in this series: Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1), Wildfire, White Hot (Hidden Legacy, #2)
Published by Avon
Publication Date: May 30th 2017
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 389
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five-stars

Nevada Baylor has a unique and secret skill—she knows when people are lying—and she's used that magic (along with plain, hard work) to keep her colorful and close-knit family's detective agency afloat. But her new case pits her against the shadowy forces that almost destroyed the city of Houston once before, bringing Nevada back into contact with Connor "Mad" Rogan.

Rogan is a billionaire Prime—the highest rank of magic user—and as unreadable as ever, despite Nevada’s “talent.” But there’s no hiding the sparks between them. Now that the stakes are even higher, both professionally and personally, and their foes are unimaginably powerful, Rogan and Nevada will find that nothing burns like ice …

Book two in the Hidden Legacy series begins just 2 months after book one ended.  Nevada is still working her private detective business and dealing with family issues.  Mad Rogan has been in the wind since Nevada told him that she wasn’t into having a fling with him.  She figures that he’s moved on and she’s trying to do the same.

Nevada takes a case for Cornelius Harrison (who we met in book one) who is an animal mage.  His wife, a lawyer, was recently murdered while working for House Fosberg and the House is saying that it had nothing to do with work.  That she was at a hotel and it was personal business.  Cornelius is pretty sure that they’re lying as his wife was faithful to him and hires Nevada to look into it.  Of course her investigation brings up a whole bunch of things that want to stay hidden, as well as more interaction with Mad Rogan.

Nevada also ends up using her truthseeking magic to force a child molester/serial killer to tell her where he had hidden the latest child he’d kidnapped.  Though she went against advice and her face was hidden, she still outs herself and the one person she doesn’t want finding her, her grandmother, does just that.  The grandmother will stop at nothing to get Nevada into her House.

The story is a great one.  I love Andrews’ world building, character building and romance.  There’s truly nothing I didn’t like in this book.

Mad Rogan and Nevada have an interesting yet incredibly romantic relationship.  They get closer in this book as they uncover part of the plot that started in book one.  They work together so incredibly well and I love that they’re so protective of each other.

The secondary characters in this story are awesome.  Nevada’s family plays a huge part in the book, as they did in book one, and we get to know them a bit better.  Cornelius and his magic are wonderful and made me laugh more than once.

I want to tell you so much about this book but you need to read if for yourself to understand the beauty of it.  Don’t read this book if you haven’t read book one as you will be lost, lost, lost.  The series definitely needs to be read in order.  White Hot is an amazing book set in an amazing world and is a book I definitely recommend.

Rating: 5 out of 5

five-stars


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Guest Review: Wildfire by Ilona Andrews

Posted August 7, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Wildfire by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Tracy
Wildfire by Ilona Andrews
Series: Hidden Legacy #3
Also in this series: Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1), White Hot, White Hot (Hidden Legacy, #2)
Published by Avon
Publication Date: July 25th 2017
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 391
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five-stars

Just when Nevada Baylor has finally come to accept the depths of her magical powers, she also realizes she’s fallen in love. Connor “Mad” Rogan is in many ways her equal when it comes to magic, but she’s completely out of her elements when it comes to her feelings for him. To make matters more complicated, an old flame comes back into Rogan’s life…

Rogan knows there’s nothing between him and his ex-fiance, Rynda Sherwood. But as Nevada begins to learn more about her past, her power, and her potential future, he knows she will be faced with choices she never dreamed of and the promise of a life spent without him.

As Nevada and Rogan race to discover the whereabouts of Rynda’s kidnapped husband and are forced to confront Nevada’s grandmother, who may or may not have evil motives, these two people must decide if they can trust in each other or allow everything to go up in smoke.

Nevada has fallen in love with Connor “Mad” Rogan and she’s totally ok with that.  She knows that life will not be easy but she’s decided to make the most of it.

She takes a case for Rynda who was once Connor’s fiancé.  She’s jealous at first but soon realizes there’s nothing to worry about.  While Nevada and Connor look for Rynda’s missing husband they once again run into the people who are trying to take over the city.  The plot goes farther and wider than they ever though it did.

In addition to the investigation, Nevada has decided that in order to stay away from her grandmother she must create her own House.  She’s nervous but believes that the family will pass with flying colors. There are, of course, people who don’t want her to start her own House and make their dislike of the situation known.  Rogan and Nevada end up fighting constantly to save themselves but it all works out in the end.

This book was, just like book two in the series, incredibly wonderful.  I’m constantly amazed at the minds that makes up Ilona Andrews!  The world building and characters depth is off the charts and I’m constantly wondering how anyone’s mind comes up with this stuff.  And it’s awesome!

The situation with people plotting to take over of the city, the romance between Rogan and Nevada, the dynamics between Nevada’s family members and the situation with Rynda and her husband all blended so well and made a story that kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time.

Wildfire is a magical story (in more ways than one) and one I definitely recommend.

Rating: 5 out of 5

five-stars


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