Tag: 5.0 Reviews

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)
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: July 3rd 2012
Genres: Steampunk
Pages: 320
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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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Guest Review: Beyond Scandal and Desire by Lorraine Heath

Posted January 25, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Beyond Scandal and Desire by Lorraine HeathReviewer: Tracy
Beyond Scandal and Desire by Lorraine Heath
Series: Sins for All Seasons #1
Also in this series: Beyond Scandal and Desire (Sins for All Seasons, #1)
Published by Avon
Publication Date: January 30th 2018
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
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five-stars

At birth, Mick Trewlove, the illegitimate son of a duke, was handed over to a commoner. Despite his lowly upbringing, Mick has become a successful businessman, but all his wealth hasn’t satisfied his need for revenge against the man who still won’t acknowledge him. What else can Mick do but destroy the duke’s legitimate son—and woo the heir’s betrothed into his own unloving arms . . .

Orphaned and sheltered, Lady Aslyn Hastings longs for a bit of adventure. With her intended often preoccupied, Aslyn finds herself drawn to a darkly handsome entrepreneur who seems to understand her so well. Surely a lady of her station should avoid Mick Trewlove. If only he weren’t so irresistible . . .

As secrets are about to be exposed, Mick must decide if his plan for vengeance is worth risking what his heart truly desires.

Mick, the bastard son of a duke, has made a name for himself.  He’s gone from living in complete poverty to owning large amounts of land in London and has become a successful businessman.  Now that he’s financially set he’s asked his father to acknowledge his birth.  The duke has ignored him. This, of course, pissed Mick off and he’s decided to take matters into his own hands.  He plans on ruining his half-brother, the heir-apparent to the dukedom.  Once he has the heir, Kip, on the brink of ruin he’ll get the duke to acknowledge him in order to save his son.

Aslyn’s parents died and she grew up as the Duke of Hedley’s ward. It had always been assumed that Aslyn and Kip, Hedley’s son, would marry, though Kip hadn’t asked her yet.  Aslyn wants more adventure in her life but she’s been kept sheltered for much of it.  The duchess rarely left the house and was afraid to let Aslyn leave.  When she meets Mick Trewlove she’s fascinated by him and wants to spend more time with him.

Mick plans on using Aslyn to further his plans as well.  He plans on seducing her but once he get to know her he realizes that he doesn’t want to use her for his plan.  He wants her for himself – forever.

This book was…awesome!  I loved almost every moment of the story and Heath’s writing just didn’t let down.  She kept me engaged and I found myself turning pages faster and faster.

Once Mick falls for Aslyn he knows that they can never be together.  He’s illegitimate and she’s sheltered.  He’s in trade and she’s the daughter of an Earl.  He also knows that once she finds out about his plans she’ll drop him like a hot potato.  He’s not stupid but he did make changes in his plans eventually and I loved that about him.  He realized that nothing was more important than Aslyn’s feelings about him and changed everything.  It was a pretty poignant moment in the book.

I didn’t particularly care for Kip, although he play a pretty big role in the story.  He acted the gentleman for the most part but he was SO addicted to gambling and drinking it was ridiculous.  He was a bit of an ass to Aslyn at times and I didn’t like that at all.

I loved Mick’s brothers and sisters!  I love how they interacted with one another and the genuine love they had for each other – as well as their mother.  Most weren’t blood related but you would never know that from how they acted – I loved it.

The story had a huge twist at the end that I didn’t see coming at all and I loved that it caught me by surprise.  That doesn’t happen very often so I was pleasantly surprised.  I can’t wait to see what Heath will bring us next in this series.

In the end this was a fabulous book and I highly recommend it.

Rating: 5 out of 5

five-stars


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Guest Review: The Ones Who Got Away by Roni Loren

Posted January 11, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: The Ones Who Got Away by Roni LorenReviewer: Tracy
The Ones Who Got Away by Roni Loren
Series: The Ones Who Got Away #1
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: January 2nd 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
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five-stars

Liv's words cut off as Finn got closer. The man approaching was nothing like the boy she'd known. The bulky football muscles had streamlined into a harder, leaner package and the look in his deep green eyes held no trace of boyish innocence.

It's been twelve years since tragedy struck the senior class of Long Acre High School. Only a few students survived that fateful night—a group the media dubbed The Ones Who Got Away.

Liv Arias thought she'd never return to Long Acre—until a documentary brings her and the other survivors back home. Suddenly her old flame, Finn Dorsey, is closer than ever, and their attraction is still white-hot. When a searing kiss reignites their passion, Liv realizes this rough-around-the-edges cop might be exactly what she needs...

Liv has been living her life day by day since she survived a mass murder at her high school – the night of the prom.  She thought she was happy with her life but when the survivors of the shooting get together at the HS to give interviews 12 years after it happened, she finds that maybe she’s not as happy as she thought.  She gets together with the friends that got her through the year following the shooting and they dig up the time capsule that they planted.  In it are letters that say what they will do with their lives.  When Liv reads her letter she realizes she’s done nothing she planned and that makes her stop and think about how she’s been living her life.  The other thing that makes her stop and take notice is Finn Dorsey.  She hasn’t seen him since the night of the shooting.  They had secretly dated in HS but since his family was rich and her family wasn’t he tried to hide it from his father.  Their teenage love didn’t survive the massacre but now that they’re adults, things have definitely changed.

Finn is an FBI agent who has been undercover for the past 2 years.  He agreed to the interview (off camera) but he’s not thrilled about being back in his hometown.  When he sees Liv, all of the feelings that he thought were gone come crashing to the surface.  He can’t seem to stop thinking about her and events manage to push the two together.  Instead of spending the summer isolated in a lake house trying to readjust to society, Finn spends the summer with Liv and they both figure out what real living is all about.

This book was awesome.  It was so very sad because of the whole premise of the story but I love the way Loren handled the transitioning from HS to the present.  The hero and heroine in this book were facing their fears in so many different ways and they ended up finding love while doing it.  The book was incredibly relatable (even though I’ve never been involved in a tragedy like this) because the plans we made when we were in HS didn’t necessarily come to fruition.  It even made me take a look at life and see how things have changed from HS to now.

I loved Finn and Liv together and how they worked out their issues.  They hadn’t talked since the night of the shooting and needed to clear the air.  On top of that the sexual tension between them was explosive and Loren wrote some extremely hot scenes, let me tell ya!

The secondary characters in this story play a huge role and the book wouldn’t have been the same without them.  I’m very much looking forward to reading their stories as well.

Roni Loren has written a wonderful book that I highly recommend.  It’s definitely highly emotional but so worth reading – even if that’s not normally your type of romance.

Rating: 5 out of 5

five-stars


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Retro-Review: Simple Gifts by Judith McNaught and Jude Deveraux.

Posted December 20, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 5 Comments

Retro-Review: Simple Gifts by Judith McNaught and Jude Deveraux.Reviewer: Rowena
Simple Gifts by Judith McNaught, Jude Deveraux
Published by Pocket Books
Publication Date: January 1st 1998
Pages: 320
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five-stars

In the snow-covered hills of Virginia, a young widow finds that miracles really do come in the least expected packages, in "Just Curious," praised as "one of Devereaux's best (Philadelphia Inquirer). "Change of Heart," set in modern-day Colorado, is the touching story of a clever twelve-year-old who plays matchmaker for his bighearted, impractical mother.

*****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.*****

Holly: Confession time…I used to absolutely adore JM and JD, but I can’t read their books anymore. All the drama and angst, I’m just not there. This anthology used to be a favorite, but I haven’t read it in years.

This post was originally published Dec 19, 2007

Every year, I read this book around this time. It’s like my Christmas is not the same if I haven’t done my yearly reread of this book and this year was no different. My book is starting to look worn out, I might be needing a new book soon…hehe, I love new books.

Anyway, on with the review.

Just Curious

Hero: MacAllister Taggert
Heroine: Karen Reed
Grade: 5/5

This was such a good holiday story.

I loved it right from the very beginning. When we meet Karen and learn of her husband’s death and how she can’t get over it and how she’s let herself go and to see her getting dicked around the office, getting roped into doing others work while they get the glory from it made me angry on her behalf but then Mac comes into her life and turns it right upside down. I loved that! I loved how their love story came to be, with Mac asking her to take a job “posing” as his girlfriend at his friend’s wedding and how he did everything just so that he can be with her because she could tell him and his brother apart, it was just the cutest story and a great thing to read around this time. Mac’s friends were great and his family was wonderful too. This story never ceases to bring a smile to my face and warmth to my heart. I loved how Karen thought the lowest of Mac and how he proved her wrong. I loved the first time these two made love, it was such a cute scene and then when they’re awakened on Christmas morning and the kids are in the room and they go down to Christmas morning where Karen is bombarded with gifts, gift she knows that Mac bought and not the others written on the tags. Just to see the lengths in which Mac went to, to snare Karen was just what this romantic loves to read about…I swear you will enjoy this story, a lot…or else something is wrong with you, JUST KIDDING!

Such a great read! Oh and I loved her little notes she’d leave around the office, Magnificently Jettisoned or some other, so frickin’ hiliarious!

Miracles by Judith McNaught.

Hero: Nicki DuVille
Heroine: Julianna Skeffington
Grade: 3/5

A lot of JM fans were disappointed in Nicki’s story because they felt that he deserved his very own full length novel and I wouldn’t have been mad if JM had decided to write that because I didn’t really enjoy this story..for Nicki. He’s trapped into marrying a girl that was pretty much trying to get ruined so that she wouldn’t have to marry anyone and so that she can live the life she’s always wanted to live. Of course, none of that happens because she has to marry Nicki and Nicki banishes her to one of his residents and she’s left all alone, her only recourse of expressing her feelings is through letters to her late grandmother. It is through these letters where everything comes out, the truth behind the night that Nicki “ruined” Julianna, her feelings about her mother, her feelings about Nicki and just every dang thing. This is one of those misunderstanding plots and I’m not really fond of those story lines especially because this was Nicki’s story. I wanted a better and just more for Nicki and I didn’t even like Nicki that much in this story. He was so hard and nothing like the Nicki that I knew and loved from the other books…it was just…okay. Oh and he didn’t even say I LOVE YOU JULIANNA, he only said, “I yearn too!” That is not at all the same thing, Ugh.

Change of Heart by Jude Deveraux

Hero: Frank Taggert
Heroine: Miranda Harcourt
Grade: 5/5

This was another fantastic and very romantic read. When I talk about this book to my sisters and my friends, the storyline sounds so cheesy and it kind of is but I don’t even care, I love this story so much! I loved that Randy was such a “real” woman, she wasn’t the thin heroine we’re used to reading and she loved reading romance novels and she was struggling to make ends meet. She sometimes cried at her circumstances but she never gave up because her son needed her and I just super duper loved that about Randy. I loved her son as well, Eli was such a great character and the wealth of love that he had in his little body for his Mother just warmed my insides. The lengths to which he went to make sure that his mother was taken care of before he pursued his own dreams was admirable for a young boy of 12. With his genius IQ and his friendship with millionaire, Frank Taggert, the little things that he would get into with his best friend had me laughing and sighing at the same time. They were just too cute, how they put the whole thing together with the help of Mike and Sam Taggert was just fantastic. I loved how it all came together and how Frank’s issues with Randy were real and how Randy reacted to all of it was just fantastic! This book brings out the romantic side in all of us and the ending was just soooooo great! This is such a cute read that I highly recommend everyone read it!

Double Exposure by Judith McNaught

Hero: Spence Addison
Heroine: Corey Foster
Grade: 4/5

This story was pure cheese. The prequel to JM’s Remember When showed the romance story between Diana’s step sister, Corey Foster and her childhood crush, Spencer Addison. We see how these two end up together and all that jazz. When I read RW, I was hecka in love with Spence, I thought he was a straight up stud, I still do and though I liked his story well enough, it wasn’t my favorite. I thought it was cute even though I couldn’t believe that Spence thought he could pull marrying Corey without her knowledge FOR REAL off. I mean, seriously…yes, he was desperate and yes he realized that he loved her and we all do stupid things when we’re in love with love being blind and all that but seriously, that was really stupid. I thought his niece and the chap she was marrying were a bit much but I loved seeing Diana and Corey’s Mom and the grandparents, the grandma was hilarious! That scene at the table when they’re telling the story of Spence standing up Corey and her being all heartbroken, I thought it was so cute. How they wanted Spence to know the truth and how he felt bad and then went on that crusade to win Corey back for real and forever was….cute. This story was cute and it still brings a smile to my face even after all these years of rereading it. What’s the holidays without some cheese, huh?

Overall, this book is a wonderful read. I read it without fail every year and every year I enjoy it all over again. I am not yet sick of these stories yet so that’s a good thing because I seriously love it…you guys should definitely read this book and it will be a great holiday gift for your Mom, Sisters, or whoever reads romance like us.

Read These Now!

five-stars


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Guest Review: A Duke in Shining Armor by Loretta Chase

Posted December 13, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: A Duke in Shining Armor by Loretta ChaseReviewer: Tracy
A Duke in Shining Armor by Loretta Chase
Series: Difficult Dukes #1
Also in this series: A Duke in Shining Armor (Difficult Dukes, #1)
Published by Avon
Publication Date: November 28th 2017
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 400
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
five-stars

Not all dukes are created equal. Most are upstanding members of Society. And then there’s the trio known as Their Dis-Graces.

Hugh Philemon Ancaster, seventh Duke of Ripley, will never win prizes for virtue. But even he draws the line at running off with his best friend’s bride. All he’s trying to do is recapture the slightly inebriated Lady Olympia Hightower and return her to her intended bridegroom.

For reasons that elude her, bookish, bespectacled Olympia is supposed to marry a gorgeous rake of a duke. The ton is flabbergasted. Her family’s ecstatic. And Olympia? She’s climbing out of a window, bent on a getaway. But tall, dark, and exasperating Ripley is hot on her trail, determined to bring her back to his friend. For once, the world-famous hellion is trying to do the honorable thing.

So why does Olympia have to make it so deliciously difficult for him . . . ?

Olympia is a girl who should be quite happy to be marrying a duke.  She knows that she needs to do this because her parents have no idea how to handle money and she wants to make sure that her 5 brothers are cared for.  Unfortunately, on her wedding day, the more she thinks about marrying the Duke of  Ashmont the more she realizes she just can’t do.  Olympia, the bookish girl who nobody thinks will step out of line, does a runner.

The Duke of Ripley, on of the Duke of Ashmont’s best friends, sees Olympia run for it and follows.  He tries to get her to return to her wedding but the farther away they get the more Ripley realizes that he doesn’t want her to return.  He wants her for himself but he knows he can’t betray his best friend like that.  He and Ashmont have been best friends for years and Ripley’s loyal to him.  So how come he can’t get Olympia out of his head.

Loretta Chase does it again!  She’s written a fun, entertaining, humorous romance with a premise I never expected.  The charm that Chase stuffed into ADiSA was amazing.  I was smiling or laughing throughout most of the story and I loved it.

Both Ripley and Olympia were great characters and I loved them together.  I loved that Olympia wasn’t afraid to speak her mind about Their Dis-graces (Ripley, Ashmont and their friend the Duke of Blackwood) and her disdain for them.  Of course the more that Olympia got to know Ripley she realized that there wasn’t just fluff in his head.  She truly didn’t want to hurt Ashmont but she felt he was immature enough to get over it quickly. Lol  Of course Chase wrote some incredible secondary characters as well with Blackwood, Ashmont, and Ripley’s aunt Julia.

The overall story is one that I loved and highly recommend.  If you like fun, irreverent historical romances then this is one you should definitely read.

Rating: 5 out of 5

five-stars


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