Tag: Berkley

Review: Shadow Reaper by Christine Feehan

Posted October 12, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Shadow Reaper by Christine FeehanReviewer: Holly
Shadow Reaper (Shadow, #2) by Christine Feehan
Series: Shadow Riders #2
Also in this series: Shadow Reaper, Shadow Reaper
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: May 30, 2017
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 400
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Goodreads
three-stars

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Christine Feehan returns to her scorching-hot series starring a Chicago crime family that has built its empire in the shadows...

Billionaire playboy Ricco Ferraro knows no other life. Being a shadow rider is in his blood--but so is a haunting desperation stemming from the secrets of his dark past. His recklessness puts not only his life at risk, but also the future of his entire family. To save them all, he must find a woman who can meet his every desire with a heat all her own...

Just when Ricco has given up hope, he meets her--a mysterious woman whose shadow connects with his. She's someone looking for a safe haven from the danger that has stalked her over the last several months. In Ricco's embrace, she finds one. But the darkness in which they so often find sanctuary can also consume them...

Shadow Reaper is the second book in Feehan’s Shadow series, featuring the Ferraros, a Chicago family who are Shadow Riders – they’re able to slide and travel via shadows. They’re thought to be a crime/mafia family, but in truth they’re vigilantes. As Shadow Riders, the Ferraro brothers and sister can only mate/marry someone who can also ride the shadows, otherwise they won’t be able to produce shadow-riding children.

Ricco is one of the wilder brothers. He’s known as a playboy who races cars and often goes crazy partying. He’s into the art of Shibari – Japanese erotic bondage. After a terrible crash takes him out of commission for awhile, he reevaluates his life and decides to focus more on Shibari and finding a mate, and less on acting the playboy. When the perfect woman answers his ad for a rope model, Ricco figures it’s too good to be true, but he can’t stop himself from falling for her.

I enjoyed the first book more. This one was slower paced and didn’t hold my attention as much. I really like the Ferraro family, along with their neighborhood. I liked the heroine and her backstory, but the romance wasn’t as exciting. Nor was the overall story. I wanted to like it, but I was mostly just bored.

Although this one didn’t work as well as the first, I’m hopeful the next book will pick up.

3 out of 5

three-stars


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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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Goodreads
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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Review: Archangel’s Viper by Nalini Singh

Posted September 25, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Archangel’s Viper by Nalini SinghReviewer: Holly
Archangel's Viper (Guild Hunter, #10) 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
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: September 26th 2017
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 400
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Enter New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh’s breathtakingly passionate Guild Hunter world with the story of a woman who isn’t a vampire or an angel…or human…

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.

I’ve been curious about Holly since she was attacked by Uram in the first book. It’s been two years since the attack. She went to a really dark place for awhile, but she’s finally coming back to herself. It would be a lot easier if she didn’t have so many strange powers inside her. Powers that are still growing and changing. No one understands what she went through with Uram. But Venom, for all that he annoys the crap out of her, understands her in a way no one else does.

For 400 years Venom has been alone..until Holly. She’s still a baby and not meant for him, but he can’t deny it’s..nice..having someone who gets him. When a contract is taken out on Holly’s life, they must work together to solve the mystery of who wants her dead..while also dealing with Holly’s erratic and growing power.

Venom has never been a favorite for me. I didn’t dislike him in previous books, but I didn’t care about him as I’ve grown to care about many of the other members of Raphael’s Seven. I have to admit, I’m totally a fan now. He still isn’t my favorite of the Seven, but I really enjoyed getting to know him.

Venom’s relationship with Holly was complicated and built up slowly over the course of the novel. I can see where this may frustrate some long-time readers of the series, but I personally thought it worked well in the context of the story. It wouldn’t have been believable if they’d just fallen into a permanent relationship with one another, especially since there was such a huge imbalance of power in the beginning.

Some loose threads from early novels are tied up here. Questions about Uram’s relationship with Michaela were answered, and we found out more about Venom and Holly. There was a lot happening here, but it flowed well and I was fully immersed in the action and their journey. Holly’s growth over the course of the novel, as well as her developing friend/relationship with Venom especially worked for me.

Another killer installment in a kickass series.

4.25 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: Pipe Dreams by Sarina Bowen

Posted September 21, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Pipe Dreams by Sarina BowenReviewer: Holly
Pipe Dreams (Brooklyn Bruisers, #3) by Sarina Bowen
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers #3
Also in this series: Rookie Move, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter (Brooklyn Bruisers #2), Pipe Dreams, Pipe Dreams
Published by Berkley Books
Publication Date: May 2nd 2017
Pages: 336
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four-stars

A goalie has to trust his instincts, even when taking a shot to the heart…
Mike Beacon is a champion at defending the net, but off the ice, he’s not so lucky. A widower and a single father, he’s never forgotten Lauren Williams, the ex who gave him the best year of his life. When Lauren reappears in the Bruisers office during the playoffs, Beacon sees his chance to make things right.
Lauren hates that she’s forced to travel with the team she used to work for and the man who broke her heart. There’s still undeniable sexual tension running between her and Mike, but she won’t go down that road again. She’s focused on her plans for the future—she doesn’t need a man to make her dreams of motherhood come true.
Lauren plays her best defensive game, but she’s no match for the dark-eyed goalie. When the field of play moves to Florida, things heat up on the beach.
One of Mike’s biggest fans doesn’t approve—his teenage daughter. But a true competitor knows not to waste the perfect shot at love.

Pipe Dreams is book two in Sarina Bowen’s Brooklyn Bruisers series, a spinoff of The Ivy Years NA series. I think it’s my favorite of the series to date. Pipe Dreams is a second chance love story that hit all the high notes with me.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Lauren, since she was pretty uptight in the previous books. I really came to enjoy her. Mike was a solid, stand-up kind of guy. He was easy to like, and to trust. I didn’t love the flashbacks in this story, but that comes down to a personal preference. I’d rather be told the backstory then get it in pieces via flashbacks.

Mike’s team, Lauren’s developing friendship with the WAGs (wives and girlfriends) and her co-workers, all of it really came together and made for a great read.

Bowen continues to hit big with this series.

4.25 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: Going Dark by Monica McCarty

Posted September 14, 2017 by Jen in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Going Dark by Monica McCartyReviewer: Jen
Going Dark by Monica McCarty
Series: The Lost Platoon #1
Published by Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: September 5th 2017
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 352
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three-stars

The members of a top secret SEAL Team can't keep their passion under wraps in this thrilling contemporary romantic suspense series from New York Times bestselling author Monica McCarty.

Like Rome's Lost Legion, a SEAL platoon goes on a mission and vanishes without a trace.

After walking into a trap on a covert op in Russia, the men from top secret SEAL Team Nine are presumed dead. Not knowing whom they can trust, and with war hanging in the balance, the survivors must go dark and scatter around the globe.

Marine ecologist Annie Henderson joins her new boyfriend on a trip to the Western Isles of Scotland to protest a hazardous offshore drilling venture. When she realizes that she may be swept up in something far more dangerous than she'd intended, there is only one man she can turn to. . . .

She and the mysterious but sexy dive boat captain haven't exactly gotten off to the best start, but something about his quiet confidence makes her think that he's the kind of man she can depend on. Because he's gruff and guarded, she can tell Dan Warren has secrets. But she could never imagine how high the stakes are for him to keep his cover, even as he risks everything to protect her. . . .

In Going Dark, marine ecologist Annie has come to Scotland to join a protest against a new offshore drilling location. Her boyfriend is the one who recruited her to come and stage a sit-in on the rig, but once they get to Scotland she feels uneasy about his behavior and about his friends. When she discovers what the group is really plotting, she has to put her trust in Dan, the mysterious captain of their chartered boat. Soon, the two are running for their lives from the people Annie has made angry, but the situation threatens to expose Dan’s own secrets, with deadly consequences.

This book was a bit of a mixed bag for me. I liked the action, and I liked the the times when Dan and Annie were trying to plot out strategy. One thing this book does that I’ve not seen much before is attempt to address politics. Annie is an environmental protester and committed to things like civil disobedience. Dan is a conservative ex-SEAL who has little sympathy for protests or what he sees as liberal whining. There’s no overt discussion of politics per se, but the two do debate lots of current issues. It’s not like Dan and Annie spent the whole book arguing, but it was enough to be noticeable.

On the one hand, I kind of admired that McCarty even attempted to address political differences in a romance novel. Often, the people in romances have jobs that clearly relate to politics and current events, but that is almost never acknowledged. You don’t think SEALs would have strong opinions about current events given that they are involved in so many of them? To pretend otherwise seems silly. I guess I appreciated the effort! However, I also found the debates kind of annoying. While I think Annie was a bit more open to nuance in some things than Dan, overall I found both frustratingly stuck in their opinions. I ended up thinking less of both characters. I can see why authors just avoid these topics, because I was annoyed at both Dan and Annie so frequently, and politics was just one more difference I wasn’t convinced they could surmount.

Differences really were my main issue with the book, though. I was convinced that Dan and Annie were in lust, and I was convinced that they made a great pair when the chips were down. I was not, however, convinced that they would make a great pair when they were back to their real lives. As I already discussed, they had really different views politically, but more than that they wanted different things out of life. Even if Dan gets his tangled problems sorted out, is he really going to want to settle down? Would Annie be happy with a spouse who was frequently gone and, more importantly, not excited by any of the things she’s excited by? I just couldn’t see it working long term.

I didn’t have a bad time reading this book, but neither was I captivated.

Grade: 3 out of 5

three-stars


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