Tag: Ann Aguirre

Throwback Thursday Review: Shady Lady by Ann Aguirre

Posted September 27, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 3 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Shady Lady by Ann AguirreReviewer: Tracy
Shady Lady (Corine Solomon, #3) by Ann Aguirre
Series: Corine Solomon #3
Also in this series: Agave Kiss (Corine Solomon, #5)
Publisher: Roc
Publication Date: May 12, 2011
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 336
Add It: Goodreads
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Series Rating: four-stars

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

This review was originally posted on April 5, 2011.

There is someone out to kill Corine Solomon and it’s none other than a drug lord. Due to events from a previous book Montoya has it out for Corine and he’s not gonna stop until the job is done. Corine has the protection of Kel aka God’s Hand, who has been sent to protect her from death. They manage to escape several horrifying events before they decide that they need to fight fire with fire and seek out Montoya’s rival drug lord, Escobar, for assistance.

Escobar sends Corine off on a “test” to fully check her abilities and if she passes he will offer to help her in bringing Montoya down. Kel and Corine head off into the jungles of Peru fighting exhaustion, dehydration, demons…you know, the regular. Lol During this time Corine becomes closer to Kel in a way that she never thought she would. She finally realizes after her and Kel go their separate ways that certain people come into your life for a little or a long while but they’re always there for a reason – we just have to figure out what the reason is.

Eventually Corine has to start to become someone doesn’t like all that much in order to do what she needs to do to stay alive, and how will these events effect her after all is said and done.

This was yet another wonderful addition to the Corine Solomon series. I just love Ms. Aguirre’s writing and the way she slowly ends up telling the reader about all of the different people in Corine’s life from the previous books but not in the way that you would expect. It’s all part of the story and the happenings in this book but I just love the way she does it. This story took a little longer for me to get into than the previous books but after about the 3rd chapter I was completely sucked in. I loved that the story wasn’t afraid to take Corine’s life places that you never would have thought they’d go. With Kel, with Shannon and with Jesse – it was both exciting and heartwrenching.

If you haven’t started this series yet I would recommend that you pick up book 1 and start reading – darned good books, all.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Corine Solomon


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Review: The Leopard King by Ann Aguirre

Posted August 28, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Leopard King by Ann AguirreReviewer: Holly
The Leopard King (Ars Numina, #1) by Ann Aguirre
Series: Ars Numina #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: September 28th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 271
Add It: Goodreads
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Series Rating: four-stars

Proud. Imperious. Impassioned.

Until three years ago, those words applied to Dominic Asher, the leader of Ash Valley. His family has ruled the feline branch of the Animari for hundreds of years, guiding the pride through perilous times. Unspeakable loss drove him into seclusion, a feral beast nobody can tame. Now he’s wrecked, a leopard king in exile, and he wants nothing more than to die.

Fierce. Loyal. Determined.

Fortunately for Dom, those words still apply to Pru Bristow, his dead mate’s best friend. She’s had her heart broken too, but she never quits. With the conclave approaching, alliances with the Pine Ridge pack and Burnt Amber clans on the verge of collapse, she’s prepared to do whatever it takes to drag their leader back, before his second can start a war.

At best theirs seems like a desperate alliance, but when their mate bond turns hot and fierce, there’s no end to the questions and the doubts. Neither of them expects to fall in love. But sometimes people don’t know what they’re looking for until they find it.

The Leopard King is the first book in Ann Aguirre’s Ars Numina series. Ahh, the angst! The first few chapters of this book were Intense (with a capital I). It lightened up some after that, but overall this was a pretty dark read. I really enjoyed the way the romance and the story arc progressed.

Dominic Asher was the leader of the Ash Valley shifters until his wife was murdered. For the past three years he’s been hiding away in a mountain retreat, slowing wasting away. When Pru, his dead wife’s best friend, shows up and says he needs to return to the pack, he wants nothing to do with her or his place as leader. Pru is a Latent (meaning she can’t Shift), so Dom tells her he won’t return until she can Shift and go back as his mate. Something he knows will never happen.

Pru spent years trying to force the change. The best way is through some kind of strong emotion, so she’s tried everything from slitting her wrists to jumping off buildings to make it happen. She’d given up years ago, but for Dom and the good of the pack she’s willing to try again.

Dom didn’t expect to have such a visceral reaction to Pru hurting herself. Nor did he realize the depth of her inner strength or her stubbornness. It isn’t long before her attempts to Shift firmly pull him back into the land of the living.

Pru really made this book for me. Dom was great, don’t get me wrong, but I adored Pru. She was calm and level-headed under pressure, fierce and strong when she needed to be, and stubborn enough to get any job done. There were a few times I got frustrated with her for rushing into things without thinking them over, but overall she was pretty awesome.

Dom’s anger and grief over hist lost mate was heartbreaking and visceral. Those early chapters just slayed me. His slow transition back into the land of the living with Pru’s help was fabulous to read about. I’m telling you, Aguirre really knows how to hit those emotional high notes.

The action lacked a little something. I’m not sure what. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the action scenes, exactly, just that I felt like something was missing from them. It was almost like they were glossed over in some ways, which lessened their impact on me as a reader. Aside from that, I really enjoyed the way the story progressed and all the secondary characters. I’m really looking forward to starting the next book.

Danger, intrigue, heartbreak, healing and love….The Leopard King has it all.

4.25 out of 5


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Review: The Shape of My Heart by Ann Aguirre

Posted January 23, 2015 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: The Shape of My Heart by Ann AguirreReviewer: Holly
The Shape of My Heart by Ann Aguirre
Series: Apartment 2B #3
Also in this series: I Want It That Way, As Long As You Love Me
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication Date: December 1st 2014
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 384
Add It: Goodreads
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Series Rating: four-stars

Some people wait decades to meet their soul mate. Courtney Kaufman suspects she met hers in high school—only to lose him at seventeen. Since then, Courtney's social life has been a series of meaningless encounters, though she's made a few close friends along the way. Especially her roommate, Max Cooper, who oozes damaged bad-boy vibes from every pore. 
Max knows about feeling lost—he's been on his own since he was sixteen. Now it's time to find out if he can ever go home again, and Courtney's the only one he trusts to go with him. But the trip to Providence could change everything…. 
It started out so simple. One misfit helping another. Now Max will do anything to show Courtney that for every heart that's ever been broken, there's another that can make it complete.

Courtney and Max made out once or twice at various parties, but it didn’t go any farther than that. Which is good, since they end up roommates. When Max is called home to attend a funeral, he can’t face it alone and asks Courtney – who has become one of his best friends –  to go with him.

Courtney has no problem helping Max out, especially since she’s never seen him so tense. Most people see Max as nothing more than a motorcycle-riding bad boy, but she knows he has hidden depth. Neither is prepared for how close they get during their trip, or how much their attraction for one another grows.

I love Max. I just need to put that out there right up front. He was such an awesome guy. He grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, but he did his best to pull himself out a bad situation. He was determined to make something of himself, and he wasn’t afraid to put himself out there. I wanted to wrap him up and put him in my pocket I loved him so much.

Courtney was also a great character. Her parents are very wealthy and she grew up with a lot of money, but she didn’t look at their money as hers. Yes, they were paying her way in college, but she didn’t consider their achievements her own. That was a big deal when it came to her mess up with Max. She didn’t tell him how wealthy her parents were, so he was blindsided when they went to visit for the first time. He felt, justifiably, angry that she’d kept something so huge from him. I might not have been able to forgive her for making him feel so bad about himself, if not for the fact that she just didn’t see their wealth as her own. Yes, they made money. No, that didn’t reflect on her at all.

Her views were a little ..let’s say sheltered, but Max was quick to point out what a princess she was being. And she was quick to accept responsibility for the way she was acting and to try to change her behavior. She was going to prove to Max she was worthy of him, which I thought was great considering she could have been a spoiled rich girl instead, trying to force him to come to her.

Her sorrow over the loss of her high school boyfriend, and her subsequent addiction to pain killers, was really well done. I actually felt her sorrow, and I thought her stint in rehab really shaped the person she became and the choices she made in her relationship with Max. She really grew over the course of the novel, and I ended up with a lot of respect for her.

Max is the reason I loved the book, though. He was a little self-conscious and hesitant about his feelings for Courtney at first, but once he was in, he was all in. He didn’t try to make her work for it, or hide what they had. He also didn’t let her get away with anything. When she was unsure about their relationship, he reassured her. When she pulled back or tried to use humor to cover her feelings, he called out. Max also did some growing over the course of the novel, but he had less to do in general. He was pretty darn perfect right from the start, to be honest. I just adored him.

The secondary characters were all wonderfully drawn. We saw the original roommates and the couples from previous books, plus a few new friends they made along the way. Max’s family made an appearance, and so did Courtney’s. Each added flavor to the story, rather than detracting from the main plot and characters.

Although there were times I wanted to beat some sense into Courtney, I can’t deny I was emotionally sucked in from beginning to end. I loved the two of them separately, and I really loved them together. I laughed, I cried, I wanted to scream in frustration and joy – this was a stellar read all the way around.

4.5 out of 5


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Review: As Long As You Love Me by Ann Aguirre

Posted November 20, 2014 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: As Long As You Love Me by Ann AguirreReviewer: Holly
As Long As You Love Me by Ann Aguirre
Series: Apartment 2B #2
Also in this series: I Want It That Way, The Shape of My Heart
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication Date: October 1st 2014
Genres: Fiction, New Adult
Pages: 384
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

Most people dream about getting out of Sharon, Nebraska, but after three years away, Lauren Barrett is coming home. She has her reasons—missing her family, losing her college scholarship. But then there's the reason Lauren can't admit to anyone: Rob Conrad, her best friend's older brother. 
Football prowess and jaw-dropping good looks made Rob a star in high school. Out in the real world, his job and his relationships are going nowhere. He's the guy who women love and leave, not the one who makes them think of forever—until Lauren comes back to town, bringing old feelings and new dreams with her. 
Because the only thing more important than figuring out where you truly belong is finding the person you were meant to be with.

Rob isn’t the guy you see just reliving his glory days from high school, but no one really expected much out of him and he hasn’t really gone far. He didn’t go to college, he’s still working construction with his dad, and he has no plans to secretly go off to college or get a higher education. He is really good with his hands and excels at carpentry, and someday he’d like to do that full time.

Lauren struggles with social anxiety, which has only gotten worse since she went away to college. In order to deal with the overwhelming panic she felt being around so many strangers, she started drinking pretty heavily. When she realized she was starting to like being drunk a little too much and her anxiety wasn’t lessening at all, she deliberately flunked out of college so she could go home. She’s been in love with Rob most of her life, but she didn’t expect him to see her as anything but his kid sister’s best friend. Especially since he has a girlfriend when she gets back.

As they spend time together, working on his house and teaching her to drive, Rob realizes there’s more to Lauren than he ever thought. When he’s offered the chance of a lifetime, Lauren breaks it off. She knows she won’t be able to deal with his new life with her anxiety, but she doesn’t want him to give it up for her.

It was interesting to see a pretty-boy hero who isn’t very smart. He isn’t dumb, he definitely has common sense, but he isn’t book smart.He’s not very confident and kind of has low self-esteem.  I think too often we see the dumb jock from high school totally redeemed as this super smart guy who was just misunderstood. My heart hurt for him, because he wasn’t so dumb that he didn’t understand all the snide remarks and put-downs he overheard through the years.

Lauren’s “ultimate sacrifice” rankled, because I hate it when a character makes decisions for others, but it was hard to be angry at her when she clearly had a mental health problem. Her emotional and mental growth through the book was one of the better parts for me. She realized she couldn’t continue to live her life alone and afraid, and she chooses to do something to improve herself.

The side-plot featuring Rob’s ex-girlfriend was also well done. I really enjoyed the secondary characters and the small-town setting.

This book was surprising in its emotional depth and character development. Though it has some flaws, I was pulled in from page one.

4 out of 5 


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Review: The Shape of My Heart by Ann Aguirre

Posted November 19, 2014 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

shape of my heartRowena’s review of The Shape of My Heart (Apartment 2B Trilogy #3) by Ann Aguirre.

Some people wait decades to meet their soul mate. Courtney Kaufman suspects she met hers in high school only to lose him at seventeen. Since then, Courtney’s social life has been a series of meaningless encounters, though she’s made a few close friends along the way. Especially her roommate Max Cooper, who oozes damaged bad-boy vibes from every pore.

Max knows about feeling lost and trying to move beyond the pain he’s been on his own since he was sixteen. Now it’s time to find out if he can ever go home again, and Courtney’s the only one he trusts to go with him. But the trip to Providence could change everything because the more time he spends with Courtney, the harder it is to reconcile what he wants and what he thinks he deserves.

It started out so simple. One misfit helping another. Now Max will do anything to show Courtney that for every heart that’s ever been broken, there’s another that can make it complete.

Ahhh, finally. We get Max’s story.

Max was one of the roommates from Nadia and Lauren’s apartment when they were all in college together. He’s also the guy that was a playboy who had big time feelings for Lauren and it was a bummer that Lauren didn’t return those feelings. But that’s okay because Max finds his own happily ever after with his friend and new roommate (who took Lauren’s spot in the house when she moved back home), Courtney.

Max and Courtney’s story was my favorite of the bunch. I loved Max from the other books and didn’t really think much about Courtney, until this book. I loved the both of them together and I really enjoyed getting to know them separate from each other as well.

Max’s story was sad and not at all what I expected from the Max of the previous books. I knew that he had a past that affected his present but I wasn’t expecting the past that I read about but boy did it make me love Max all the more. Meeting Max’s family was on one hand, great because I really came to love his Uncle and his brother Mike but meeting his Dad made me want to punch him in the nose (the Dad, not Max). I loved seeing Max reacquaint himself with his brother and build a relationship with him despite the many years they spent apart. I loved seeing Max thaw out in this book because in the other books, he was dark and mysterious but in this book, you see him smile more and you see him laugh and I really, really liked his character.

Courtney was fantastic too. I thought her conversations with Eli were cute and a way to keep him close even after all this time. He was her first love and seeing how their time was cut short, I understood Courtney’s fear of going through all of that again with Max but when she finally owns up to her feelings for Max and goes all in? I loved it.

What I liked about this book is that Max and Courtney were completely and totally relatable. I connected with the both of them, not just one of them. I felt their pains and rejoiced in their accomplishments and when things got rough, I was really rooting for them to find their way back to each other.

This was the perfect way to end the trilogy. It had everything that I love in the books that I read. Hot guys, a steamy romance and characters that leap right off the pages of the book and into my heart. More than one person wormed their way into my heart and I really, really liked reading it. If she decides to write any other books for characters from this series, I hope she’ll write Evan’s book because I really enjoyed his character and I liked the part he played in Courtney learning to stand on her own two feet. This book hit me with all of the loving feels and I really enjoyed it.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

Reading Order:

This book is provided by HQN Books. You can purchase it here and here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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