Tag: Bantam

Retro Review: Hunting the Demon by Jaci Burton

Posted May 17, 2017 by Casee in Reviews | 5 Comments

Retro Review: Hunting the Demon by Jaci BurtonReviewer: Casee
Hunting the Demon (Demon Hunters, #2) by Jaci Burton
Series: Demon Hunters #2
Publisher: Dell
Publication Date: August 28th 2007
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 448
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books

In a world seething with sin and seduction, the chase is on.
Hunting demons for a living can have its moments. Especially when Shay Pearson’s latest quarry is the gorgeous bronze surfer who just stepped out of the sea. Uncovering Nic Diavolo’s devilish side could prove Shay’s toughest assignment yet. Because while she’s acting as bait to snatch this sexy bad boy, Nic’s got a plan of seduction no woman—earthly or otherwise—can resist.
Caught between two warring realms, Nic needs to stay alive long enough to figure out who his enemies are. That includes the beautiful hunter who won’t let him out of her sight. And something far worse: a force of evil with an almost unimaginable goal— possessing Nic’s very soul. But the hunt really heats up when a guy who’s hotter than Hades and a woman who’s afraid of love join forces, igniting an inferno of lust and longing that could send them into mortal danger...or straight into each other’s arms.…

******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.


This review was originally published September 26, 2007

This book was blah for me. Not bad, but not great. That makes it really hard to do a review. When I review a book, I really like to feel passionate about at least one thing in the book, be it good or bad. In Hunting the Demon, well, I’ve got nothing.

This is the 2nd book in Burton’s Demon Hunter series. The 1st book, Surviving Demon Island, set up an interesting world of good vs. evil. On the good side, you have the Realm of Light. Charged with protecting the human race, the Realm of Light has an awesome responsibility. Due to the fact that many people would never believe that demons exist, they have kind of a hard time recruiting demon fighters. On the bad side, you have the Sons of Darkness. These are some bad mother-f-ers. See, there are only certain women that can actually have demon children. The Sons of Darkness don’t really care if these women already have families and children of their own. They just kidnap them.

Shay Pearson’s mom was kidnapped when she was a child. At 6 years old, she had a vision where these really scary monsters took her mom. Knowing that no adult would believe her, Shay kept quiet. So when her mom disappeared from a business trip, Shay knew exactly what happened. Thus she started carrying that burden on her 6 y/o back.

Now Shay is a kick ass demon-fighting machine. Brought in by the Realm of Light to fight demons, Shay finally learned that she wasn’t the only child that lost her mother. After killing a Demon Lord on Demon Island, the team now has to find out if the Lord’s son (and brother to the hero of Surviving Demon Island) is a demon himself.

Heading the Australia, Shay volunteered to some recon work on Nic Diavolo. She did keep a few things to herself about why she was so willing check out the potential demon. Like the fact that she’s been having visions of the man, whom she has never met before. Charged with the task of discovering whether or not Nic is an evil demon like his evil demon father, Shay does what any self-respecting woman would do. She strips down to her bikini and introduces herself to Nic on the beach. Of course Nic can’t help but be attracted to Shay, especially since she doesn’t seem to want anything from him (as if). As the sole heir to Diavolo Diamonds, Nic has seen his share of gold-diggers.

After a fun filled afternoon of surfing, eating, and making out, Nic is a little uneasy about the feelings that Shay invokes him him. Because of these bizarre nightmares he’s been having where he turns into some sort of evil creature, Nic is hesitant to get involved with Shay. Shay can tell that Nic is pulling away and has no choice but to bring him in. Obviously Nic is more than a tad angry that Shay has used him. He’s especially angry when this group of strangers try to convince him that not only is his father dead, but he was also a demon. He refuses to believe that he has any demon blood running in his veins or that Derek is his brother. He explains his dreams away as coincidence. Mmmm-hmm.

Kidnapping Nic and taking him to the Diavolo Diamond mine probably isn’t the most intelligent idea, but the team has no other choice. They have to find this Black Diamond which is presumably somewhere in the mine before the demons get a hold of it. If they happen to get it before the Realm of Light can get it, the world is basically going to hell. There will be no stopping it. Unfortunately for Shay, Nic seems to be smack in the middle of it. If her visions are right, Nic will turn evil demon and join forces with the bad guys.

After a few escape attempts, Nic finally realizes that Shay and her fellow fighters are telling him the truth. Of course seeing a demon in the flesh really helped him come to that conclusion. Again, though these demons bear a remarkable resemblance to those in his dreams, he still puts it down to coincidence. I call it denial. Nic refuses to believe that he will turn evil, which is what he thinks his dreams are telling him.

Eventually there is a showdown with the good guys, the bad guys, and the Black Diamond. We also learn that there is actually a Queen of Darkness who is supposed to join evil forces with Nic. The Sons of Darkness think they have her…the archeologist that was hired to find the Black Diamond (having no idea demons existed). What they soon realize is that she’s not the one, but they can’t figure out how they were wrong. Angelique knows that it’s her twin sister Isabella that they’re looking for. So when everyone is distracted, Angelique takes the diamond and runs. This sets the stage for the 3rd book, out in Summer 2008.

It took me 5 days to read this book. That’s pretty unheard of for me. So while I didn’t dislike this book, I just wasn’t in to it. Like I said above…blah.

3 out of 5.


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Retro Review: Miracle by Deborah Smith

Posted February 1, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 12 Comments

Retro Review: Miracle by Deborah SmithReviewer: Holly
Miracle by Deborah Smith
Publisher: Bantam, Random House Publishing Group
Publication Date: October 1st 1991
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 464
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books

Haunted by a past filled with poverty and abuse, Amy Miracle finds escape and release in the vineyards of Georgia--and in Sebastian de Savin, a brilliant and arrogant surgeon whose own past has hardened his heart. Amy finally breaks through de Savin's shell and teaches him to love and laugh again, and Sebastian helps Amy blossom into a magnificent woman.

******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.

I remember loving this book so much, but the idea of re-reading it now makes me cringe. I can’t imagine diving back into this epic mess.

This review was originally published June 11, 2007

Many thanks to Wendy for turning me on to this author. I found this novel to be very reminiscent of Danielle Steele, without the constant repetitiveness in the writing style.

Amy and Sebastian meet at his father’s Vineyard, where Amy is working. Sebastian is a brilliant surgeon and finds himself drawn to the vineyard after losing a patient. For some reason he’s drawn to Amy and finds himself returning there to see her again and again.

After a brutal fight with her father, Amy searches Sebastian out to help her with a medical problem and he offers her sanctuary at his house until she can find something new. After spending several weeks together, Sebastian has to leave for Africa and offers to pay Amy’s way through school. Though reluctant, she finally accepts and they’re separated. Sebastian is convinced Amy will be better off without him – he has major emotional baggage from a tragedy in his past – and says goodbye to her, never planning to see her again.

But over the next two years, he can’t stop thinking about her. Amy dedicates her time to her studies and fantasizing about seeing Sebastian again. But Sebastian’s family – French aristocrats – step in and drive a wedge between them – one that forces them to move on from each other physically.

Ten years later, after a major journey for each of them, Amy and Sebastian are reunited, but they’re both different people and they struggle to make the wrongs of their past right.

I truly enjoyed this story. Watching their separate journeys through life was wonderful. Amy was so shy and lacking in self-confidence in the beginning, watching her mature and grow confident in herself was wonderful. She was a strong heroine, and once she found herself, she didn’t compromise herself, not for the hero or anyone else.

Sebastian was a great hero, and a wonderful counterpart for Amy. He was extremely tortured, and desperately needed Amy’s lightness to bring him out of the darkness of his past. He suffered a lot, starting from an accident in his childhood, to a loveless marriage.

Although there was a lot of drama and the H/H were apart for most of the book, the story really worked for me. There were a few times when I was rolling my eyes, or thinking GET ON WITH IT ALREADY, but for the most part, I was just wrapped up in it, hurting for the characters and cheering them on.

I definitely recommend it.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

This book is available from Bantam. You can purchase it here.


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Review: Never Been Kissed by Molly O’Keefe

Posted August 22, 2014 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Rowena’s review of Never Been Kissed (Boys of Bishop #2) by Molly O’Keefe.

Perfect for readers of Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Rachel Gibson, Molly O’Keefe’s second novel in her exciting new series—The Boys of Bishop—features an irresistible romance and unforgettable characters in a page-turning story that delivers equal parts emotion and humor . . . with a little edge to boot.

As the daughter of a wealthy politician, Ashley Montgomery has had enough of her parents’ expectations for her future and is going her own way, volunteering to work at a refugee camp in Africa. But her act of charity turns dangerous when she takes a boat trip and is abducted by Somali pirates. Enter Brody Baxter, who was a bodyguard for the Montgomery family ten years ago and doesn’t think twice about coming to Ashley’s rescue. Handsome and tough, Brody has always done what needed to be done. So he swoops in, saves Ashley, and brings her to a place where she can rest and recuperate without the glare of the press and her demanding family: Brody’s small hometown of Bishop, Arkansas. But Ashley soon realizes that she’s not the only one in need of healing.

Holed up with Ashley in a tiny apartment over his brother’s bar in Bishop, Brody is tempted and torn in ways he never anticipated. Beautiful Ashley, vibrant despite her ordeal, fearless enough to love him beyond his wall of self-punishment, is now determined to save him. But with a little faith and a lot of love, they just may find happiness in each others’ arms…

Brody Baxter and Ashley Montgomery have history. Brody used to work for the Montgomery family back when Ashley was 17 and he stopped working for them, the night that Ashley made a move on him. Ten years later, Ashley’s brother Harrison tracks Brody (a Marine turned Bodyguard) down to bring Ashley home. Ashley had been kidnapped by Somali pirates and the Montgomery family paid her ransom so Brody accepts the job of bringing Ashley home safe and sound.

The Montgomery family is heavy into politics. Ashley’s father is the Governor or Senator of Georgia and her brother is on the campaign trail to win him a seat in the Senate or something like that so the news of Ashley being kidnapped by Somali pirates is bound to hit the news and it’s bound to be a big deal. Ashley is not ready to give a press conference to tell her story because she’s been beaten really bad and she doesn’t want to deal with the pressures her political family will put on her so she has Brody take her some place where she can heal and she can lay low until she was ready to come out and deal with her life again.

Brody takes her to the only home that he’s known in his life. He takes her home to Bishop, Arkansas. He takes her back to the town where he grew up after his parents died and he was adopted into a new family. Ever since his adopted Mom died, things with his father and his brother have been strained. He comes and goes but he never stays long enough to form attachments, even though he’s attached to both his adopted father Ed and his brother, Sean.

As long as Ashley is in Bishop, Brody is sticking close because she’s under his protection and because there’s a sizzle in the air when he’s near her and he can’t help himself. Ashley has never forgotten Brody but then, how can she forget the guy she got fired? The chemistry between the two of them is still there and she’s still just as hot for Brody now as she was back then.  And so is he.

I liked this book. It had solid characters, a great story line but it was really slow to pick up for me. That beginning hump took me a while to get through but once I was over it, the story kept me interested. Brody and Ashley were interesting characters. Brody was the alpha hero who has family issues and Ashley was the do gooder with the big heart. They were perfect for each other.

Usually in romance novels, I’m a lot harder on the heroines than I am on the heroes but in this book, Brody drove me nuts. His thought processes toward his family, toward Ashley made me want to smack him around some but in the end, I was glad that he didn’t fight his feelings for too long.

I really liked the secondary romance between Sean and Cora. They were too cute and had me laughing with their bickering than sexy times. I liked that Sean loved Brody and finally let him have it when he was through with Brody being a bonehead.

O’Keefe created a wonderful small town of people that were interesting enough to keep me invested in what was happening in this story though it took me a while to get there and even though Brody drove me up the wall, I’m looking forward to reading the next book.

Grade: 3 out of 5

Check out a preview of the book:

This book is available from Bantam. You can purchase it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Cover Reveal: Ignited by J. Kenner

Posted February 14, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

The Men
Evan Black. Tyler Sharp. Cole August.

Brilliant, fierce, determined. Sexy as hell. And utterly dangerous.

They make their own rules, find their own way, and to hell with anyone or anything who tells them otherwise, be it a cop, a court, or a woman.

They’ve spent over a decade watching each others’ backs, protecting each others’ secrets, and relying on each others’ talents.
They’ve taken risks, said “fuck you” to the law, and made a tidy profit in the process.

There’s not a scheme they’ve concocted that they haven’t pulled off, not a desire they haven’t achieved.
And there sure as hell isn’t a woman they’ve pursued that they haven’t caught.

None, however, have captured their hearts.

None, until now.

The Women
Angelina Raine. Sloane Watson. Katrina Laron.

Three completely different women, each with a unique way of looking at the world.
Each with secrets and ambitions she holds close to her heart.

And each more than capable of standing on her own two feet.

None are looking for a man. But whether because of lust, greed or duty, each woman finds herself in a forbidden bed with the one man
capable of crashing through her defenses and taking her—both physically and emotionally—to her breaking point and beyond.

It’s a dangerous game—and what’s at stake is everything.

Book One – Wanted-

He is everything I crave, all I desperately want—and he is everything I can’t have.

Evan Black embodies my every fantasy. He is brilliant, fierce, and devastatingly handsome. But he is also headstrong, dangerous, and burdened with secrets.

My family warned me to stay away, that I could never handle Evan’s dark dealings or scarred past. Maybe I should have listened. Maybe I should have run. But our desire is undeniable, and some temptations you just can’t fight.

And from the moment we touch—the passion between us consuming us both—I know that I will never be the same.

On sale now http://www.randomhouse.com/author/169248/j.-kenner?sort=best_13wk_3month

Book Two- Heated –

I know better than to trust him, that I should never risk my heart.
But fierce passion comes at a high price.

I grew up believing in right and wrong, good and evil, black and white—that there were some boundaries that could never be crossed. And then I met Tyler Sharp.

Bold, charming, and dangerously sexy, Tyler always gets what he wants. But his smile can be deceiving, his dealings sordid, his ambitions ruthless. I thought I was the one woman strong enough to resist him, but our need for each other is too urgent to deny.

One look and I’m in trouble. One touch and I’m hooked. One night and I’m his. And once I fall, there’s no going back.

http://www.randomhouse.com/author/169248/j.-kenner?sort=best_13wk_3month (releases 5/13/14)

And now Ignited, Book Three . . . .

On Sale September 2014 – Buy Link: http://www.randomhouse.com/book/234808/ignited-by-j-kenner 

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Guest Review: Gone by Lisa Gardner

Posted October 9, 2013 by Natalia S in Reviews | 0 Comments

Gone- Lisa Gardner
Natalia’s review of Gone (FBI Profiler Series #5) by Lisa Gardner.

From New York Times bestseller Lisa Gardner, author of Alone and The Killing Hour, comes a thriller that goes from heartbreaking to heartstopping in the blink of an eye.…

When someone you love vanishes without a trace, how far would you go to get them back?
For ex-FBI profiler Pierce Quincy, it’s the beginning of his worst nightmare: a car abandoned on a desolate stretch of Oregon highway, engine running, purse on the driver’s seat. And his estranged wife, Rainie Conner, gone, leaving no clue to her fate.

Did one of the ghosts from Rainie’s troubled past finally catch up with her? Or could her disappearance be the result of one of the cases they’d been working–a particularly vicious double homicide or the possible abuse of a deeply disturbed child Rainie took too close to heart? Together with his daughter, FBI agent Kimberly Quincy, Pierce is battling the local authorities, racing against time, and frantically searching for answers to all the questions he’s been afraid to ask.

One man knows what happened that night. Adopting the alias of a killer caught eighty years before, he has already contacted the press. His terms are clear: he wants money, he wants power, he wants celebrity. And if he doesn’t get what he wants, Rainie will be gone for good.

Sometimes, no matter how much you love someone, it’s still not enough.

As the clock winds down on a terrifying deadline, Pierce plunges headlong into the most desperate hunt of his life, into the shattering search for a killer, a lethal truth, and for the love of his life, who may forever be…gone.

I absolutely Adore Lisa Gardner. She never fails to keep me captivated from beginning to end with her books. Gone didn’t at all disappoint.

This book is part of a series. If you’re a nut like me, you’ll read them in order. However they all can stand alone quite nicely. Gone is Book 6 in the Quincy and Rainie FBI Profiler series. In this book, Quincy and Rainie have been married for 2 years and together for 8. They are not at the best point in their Marriage. Their attempt to adopt a child fell through and they are working a particularly heart wrenching homicide. All that pressure does not bode well for their communication. When Rainie’s car is found on the side of the road with blood stains and no sign of her, things take a turn for the worst.

I wasn’t sure at the beginning of this book. I read many series that go on for too many books, and I’m always afraid that a series I love is going to turn in to one of those sour grapes. Also in my mind I was thinking that Rainie and Quincy are always having one problem or another and wondering if that was healthy. I was proved wrong though. While reading the book, I got a deeper understanding of what Quincy and Rainie have been threw in their lives. It has all been sad and traumatizing for both of them to say the least. I realized that they are too wounded survivors that are trying to make the love they have between them work the best way they know how. Contrary to what I suspected, it actually does work for them.

The mystery was fantastic as always. I won’t say much about it because I don’t want to spoil it, but I have to say that I never imagined who the kidnapper was. I finished this story a couple hours ago and in my mind I’m still going, “Huh?” every time I remember who it was.

I know there is one book left in this series. I am looking forward to reading it, although I’m sad that the focus won’t be as much on Quincy and Rainie. Still, I like to imagine that they are getting time to be happy, which they have beyond earned. I think I’ll remember this book for a long time if not forever. It taught me one of the most important lessons of life.
“Dying isn’t the ultimate cruelty. It is all the unfinished business a person’s death leaves behind.” A quote like that one reminds us to enjoy each day as though it is our last one with those we love. Then, if it happens to be our last, we will be spared from that ultimate cruelty.

Grade: 4 out of 5

This book is available from Bantam.  You can purchase it here or here in e-format.

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