Tag: Berkley

Throwback Thursday Review: Warrior by Angela Knight

Posted April 19, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 4 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Warrior by Angela KnightReviewer: Casee
Warrior by Angela Knight
Series: Time Hunters #1
Published by Penguin Group (USA)
Publication Date: July 1, 2008
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 277
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

The NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR launches the new Time Hunters series.

In the 24th century, anyone can leap through time at will. To police the time jumpers, the Temporal Enforcement Agency has established a precinct in time. Galar Arvid is a genetically altered warlord and agent who’s been sent back to 2008 to save a pretty Atlanta artist from a Xeran time traveler who intends to kill her for profit. What Galar doesn’t count on is the powerful desire Jessica Kelly ignites in him. But could a romance between them work? A three-hundred-year chasm separates them and, even if they dart through time, there’s still a maniacal killer on their tails.

Every Thursday in 2018, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books.

This review was originally posted on August 12, 2008.

This is the first of four reviews that I need to do, reviews I should have been working on yesterday. Unfortunately, I could not get myself motivated enough to turn on my laptop, let alone write a review. Instead, I mindlessly watched HGTV for hours. In a house that was silent. It was the closest thing to Heaven that I can imagine. This is totally off topic, but for you HGTV watchers, I’m curious…is the host of Color Splash (the one that wears tank tops and uses more hair products than I do) gay? That was about the hardest my brain worked yesterday. Actually there was one more brief moment of lucidity when I emailed Holly (via my Blackberry) and we discussed sex on a motorcycle a la Heat of the Moment by Jessica Hall. Is that actually possible?

While I can probably drone on and on about the nothing that I did yesterday, let me move onto my review of Warrior. This book begins a new series called Time Hunters. While Warrior is loosely connected to Jane’s Warlord, technically they’re not in the same series. It’s been so many years since I actually read Jane’s Warlord that I couldn’t even tell you the difference between a Warlord and an Enforcer (which is what our hero is).

As a Master Enforcer, Galar Arvid is in charge of the group of Enforcers that travel to 2008 to save Jessica Kelly from being murdered by a Time Jumper. Centuries in the future, Jessica will be infamous, for her art and for how her life was cut tragically short. Galar’s mission is to step in if, and only if, Jessica’s would be murderer is from the future. Following his own laws, he will be unable to help Jessica if her murderer is a human from her time.

Jessica is terrified when she awakes to find a stranger in her house demanding to know where her roommate is, while choking the life out of her. Fighting as best she can, she recalls little about when Galar and his team burst into her house to try to save her life. When she’s taken to the Time Jumpers “base”, what she feels goes beyond disbelief.

This is a bit of a hard review to write b/c there’s so much going on in the book to try to get the reader up to speed on this world. The Enforcers are human, yet not. They have a computer type thing in their brain which can control their bodies reactions to situations, tell them when someone is sneaking up behind them, and give them super human strength. Aside from that, they look just as human and a 21st century human being, which is what they originally assume Jess is. They soon realize their error when they discover that Jess is not entirely human herself. But then if she’s not human, is she a spy?

Even with the information overload at times, Warrior is still a good start to the Time Hunter series. There was an interesting conflict setup with a traitor (obviously not Jess) and a group of almost extinct aliens (imagine the Chicken Little aliens here). Galar is a true hero, someone that has given up a lot for his people. Having been betrayed by a woman he thought he loved in the past, he doesn’t take it well when it’s first thought that Jess is a traitor. Having to ignore everything he believes, Galar does what he must to protect his world and the people in it. Jess was an okay heroine, nothing too spectacular. She really accepted the world rather well considering that she was thrown into it as brutally as she was. That was a bit unbelievable, even with the measures the Enforcers have in place to bring people like Jess up to speed.

Knight also did a good job of setting up the next book, which I look forward to reading. All in all, I would say give this book a try.

4 out of 5.

Time Hunters

four-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Guest Review: Marry in Scandal by Anne Gracie

Posted April 16, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Marry in Scandal by Anne GracieReviewer: Tracy
Marry in Scandal by Anne Gracie
Series: Marriage of Convenience #2
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: April 3rd 2018
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 320
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Shy young heiress, Lady Lily Rutherford, is in no hurry to marry. She dreams of true love and a real courtship. But when disaster strikes, she finds herself facing a scandal-forced marriage to her rescuer, Edward Galbraith, a well known rake.

Despite his reputation Lily is drawn to the handsome Galbraith. In the gamble of her life, she agrees to marry him, hoping to turn a convenient marriage into a love match.

As heir to a title, Galbraith knows he must wed, so a convenient marriage suits him perfectly. But there is a darkness in his past, and secrets he refuses to share with his tender-hearted young bride. All Lily's efforts to get close to him fall on stony ground, and in desperation she retreats to his childhood home—the place he's avoided for nearly a decade.

Must Lily reconcile herself to a marriage without love? Or will Galbraith realize that this warm-hearted, loving girl is the key to healing the wounds of his past—and his heart?

Lily is an heiress and while a husband would be nice, she definitely wants to marry for love.  Her brother married for convenience, but that match turned into true love. After seeing love at work in her home, she definitely wants that for herself.  Unfortunately there are others who have something else in mind.  Lily is tricked into thinking her sister needs help and kidnapped by a man who only wants Lily for her money.  She manages to escape and is saved by Lord Galbraith, a friend of her brothers.  Despite all the machinations to keep Lily’s identity a secret it only took one person seeing her to ruin her reputation.

Galbraith is a rake (at least we are told he is, we see no evidence of this in the book) and as such, not the marrying kind.  He is, however, the heir to a title so he knows he must marry eventually.  When he realizes that Lily’s reputation has been compromised, although they did nothing but kiss, he offers for her.  Galbraith tries everything he can to keep away from Lily because her softness draws him like a bee to honey.  He can’t let himself get in deep with the woman as he has serious secrets and guilt from his past. He can’t keep himself away for too long, however.

I loved Lily in this book.  She was clever and smart and tough.  She put up with a whole hell of a lot in the first part of this book but she didn’t just sit back and let it happen. She saved herself and I was so proud of her!  Her father had made her think she was an idiot because she couldn’t read (I’m assuming dyslexia) and that had been carried with her throughout the years.  She had a good head on her shoulders.  When it came to Galbraith I was happy that she stood up for what she wanted (him) and didn’t let him get away.  I liked her strength of character.

Despite Galbraith supposedly being a rake he was actually quite a gentleman and honorable.  He helped Lily when she needed it and made every effort to protect her.  When he couldn’t he stepped up to the plate.  He had some issues that were worked out in the book and they played a part in the making of his personality, but they got smoothed out in the end.  He really was a good man and I liked him a lot.

Another great book from Anne Gracie!  I’m not sure how I missed the first book in this series when it released but I did.  Despite that I didn’t feel like I needed to read it in order to read this book.  There were a few times that events from the previous book were mentioned that I didn’t understand, but they were so minor I wasn’t worried I was missing anything.   Definitely a book I’d recommend.

Marriage of Convenience

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Throwback Thursday Review: Inside Out by Lauren Dane

Posted April 12, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 3 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Inside Out by Lauren DaneReviewer: Holly
Inside Out by Lauren Dane
Series: Brown Family #3
Also in this series: Drawn Together
Published by Berkley Trade
Publication Date: November 2, 2010
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 306
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars


WORTH THE WAIT

Ella Tipton is a survivor. In the wake of an attack that nearly left her dead, she has spent each day putting her life back together. Once vibrant and outgoing, she's needed to reclaim the best parts of who she was while retaining the hard-won lessons. There hasn't been room for any romantic entanglements, even if she were ready. Still, it doesn't mean she has to stop sneaking looks at Mister Tall, Dark and Tattooed himself.

Security professional Andrew Copeland isn't quite sure when his jones for the lovely and decidely skittish Ella developed. He's known her for years, has watched her triumph over the pain she's been dealt. Cope is no stranger to women, but he knows the nervous flush he gets every time he talks to Ella is different from any attraction he's had in the past. Determined to get Ella to let him in, Cope does the one thing he can think of to get close: he offers her hands-on training in self-defense.

While Ella's sure Cope is just being nice, the prospect of being able to touch him and and gain the tools to push away the last vestiges of her fear is more than she can resist. Soon enough, Cope shows Ella his feelings are far more than friendly, and he reignites something deep inside her. It isn't long before desire and love turn them both inside out.

Every Thursday in 2018, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books.

This review was originally posted on December 14, 2010.

The first time I read this book I was left feeling a little disappointed. While the other two books were slow moving in parts, I found this one to be rather slow from beginning to end. I kept wanting..something. Some kind of culmination or showdown. Upon re-reading the book, however, I was much more satisfied. I really liked the slow slide the characters took into love. This series is about real people finding real love. So it wasn’t dramatic or crazy. That took some getting used to.

I adored Ella and Cope both separately and as a couple. They had amazing chemistry and really got each other. They were both willing to look past the surface and see the real person inside. Because of Ella’s past, I expected most of the conflict, or hesitation, to come from her. She was in an abusive relationship and suffered greatly for it. We watched her recover slowly through the previous books, but I expected she’d still have some baggage.


So it was kind of a surprise to see that Cope was the one with the issues. Sure, Ella suffers still because of her past, but she made a decision not to let her past rule her life, and aside from a few bumps here and there, she’s stuck by that. She’s fairly well adjusted, and works hard to confront her fears. It was wonderful to see such a well-adjusted character come out of something so tragic. 


Cope’s issues weren’t the result of a tragedy. They were just insecurities that come from never quite measuring up to his perfect older brother. That’s not to say he didn’t love his family and get along with them, because he did. He just didn’t feel like he was quite good enough. He definitely recognized what a gem Ella was, and didn’t hesitate to snatch her up.  I think the depth of his feelings took him by surprise and he wasn’t sure how to deal with them. I loved that Ella didn’t let him get away with it, though. She called him on his crap and made him deal with it. 


Issues aside, Cope was an amazing man. He was sweet and caring, and he really took the time to understand Ella. The packages he sent Ella totally melted me. The first one she opened had my heart stuttering. Although parts of it moved slow, it was the moments like those that really made the book. 


As always, it was good to see the Brown siblings and their crew together. Erin and her men really played a large part in the novel, because of issues she was having. Elise and Brody were also featured, as the novel revolved in part around their engagement party and wedding. I like that Dane wove the characters together without taking away from Cope and Ella.

Another great novel in Dane’s Brown Siblings series. I love that the focus of these novels is directly on the characters and their growing relationship, instead of outside conflicts and misunderstandings.


4 out of 5

Brown Family

four-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Review: Bayou Moon by Ilona Andrews

Posted April 11, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Bayou Moon by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Rowena
Bayou Moon (The Edge, #2) by Ilona Andrews
Series: The Edge #2
Also in this series: On the Edge, Bayou Moon, On the Edge (The Edge, #1)
Published by Penguin, Ace
Publication Date: October 1st 2010
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 447
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

The Edge lies between worlds, on the border between the Broken, where people shop at Walmart and magic is a fairytale–and the Weird, where blueblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny…

Cerise Mar and her unruly clan are cash poor but land rich, claiming a large swathe of the Mire, the Edge swamplands between the state of Louisiana and the Weird. When her parents vanish, her clan’s long-time rivals are suspect number one.

But all is not as it seems. Two nations of the Weird are waging a cold war fought by feint and espionage, and their conflict is about to spill over into the Edge—and Cerise’s life . William, a changeling soldier who left behind the politics of the Weird, has been forced back into service to track down a rival nation’s spymaster.

When William’s and Cerise’s missions lead them to cross paths, sparks fly—but they’ll have to work together if they want to succeed…and survive.

Bayou Moon is the second book in Ilona Andrews The Edge series and it was another fantastic read by the writing duo. This book follows William, the changeling from On the Edge as he makes his way to the Mire on a mission to find bad guys that are planning some really bad things. William meets Cerise Mar while trying to track down Spider (the bad guy) and when an opportunity presents itself to work together, William jumps on board real quick like.

Cerise is trying to find her parents. With her father missing, she is the leader of her family and there are a million of them. She’s in the middle of a family feud over her grandfather’s property and she’s got a million things to do and a million people counting on her to fix their family mess. When she comes across William, a stranger from the Weird, she joins forces with him because they seem to be after the same person and he has knowledge of the people that they’re fighting. It made sense and the longer she spent in his company, the more drawn they were to each other.

I enjoyed William’s character in On the Edge and at first introduction, low key wanted him to be the hero of that book but the more that I read that book, the more sense Rose made with Declan and not William. I wanted to read William’s book and was stoked that he was getting one and that I didn’t have to wait to read it. The guy just wanted a family to call his own and boy did he get one with the Mars. The way that he fit in with them and the way that they needed him made the relationship an equal one and I was glad for him.

Cerise was a great heroine. She was strong and she was caring and she really did have her family’s best interests at heart and seeing her try to protect everyone, think of everything and worry about everything in between trying to find her parents and fight the bad guys made me love her more and more with each passing page. She was smart and I really liked seeing her with William but also with her family. They were a tight-knit unit and she was at the top of the chain but she was the kind of leader that got her hands dirty right alongside the fighters and I thought she was awesome.

The romance between William and Cerise was fun but it was also believable. I loved seeing them get to know each other, fight alongside each other and then fall in love with each other. Seeing the effect Cerise had on William made me happy for him because he was fighting it for a little bit but who was he kidding? He loved the hell out of Cerise and I was so here for that. I really liked that Cerise was all in with William and was able to pull him into her family and be his support system. He was so used to being alone and seeing them figure their feelings and relationship out made an already great story, even greater.

This series is shaping up to be another fun one and while it’s not my favorite series of the Ilona Andrews bunch, it’s still enjoyable and I definitely recommend.

The Edge Series

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

four-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

Review: Covert Game by Christine Feehan

Posted April 2, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Covert Game by Christine FeehanReviewer: Casee
Covert Game (GhostWalkers #14) by Christine Feehan
Series: GhostWalkers #14
Also in this series: Murder Game (GhostWalkers, #7)
Published by Berkley Books
Publication Date: March 20th 2018
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 400
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Rescuing an industrial spy from the hands of a criminal mastermind is a suicide mission for the GhostWalkers. And there's no one more up to the task than Gino Mazza. He's the perfect killing machine—a man driven by demons so dark and destructive that his blighted soul has given up trying to find solace. But his laser-sharp focus on his target has transformed into something nearing desire.

A treasonous senator dangled top secret GhostWalker data in front of a Chinese crime lord, and he bit. Zara Hightower, one of the world's leading experts on artificial intelligence, was sent in to psychically wipe the crime lord's computer network. She succeeded, but at a huge cost. Now she's the captive of a man who has descended into paranoid madness. Torture and death await her...

But GhostWalkers never leave one of their own in enemy territory. And it's up to Gino to save Zara, or kill her if it turns out she's led them into a trap. Either way, heaven or hell won't stop him...

I can’t quite put my finger on when it happened, but Christine Feehan’s writing has changed. And I’m loving it. She has always had her Carpathian series, which was darker than her other series, but that’s just not the case anymore. The GhostWalkers started to get darker a couple years ago. Now they’re completely in dark territory. Even her Sisters of the Heart series was pretty dark. Torpedo Ink? Yes. I am really loving this dark turn she has taken, but I wonder if it’s permanent.

Zara Hightower is actuallly the world’s leading expert in A.I. She can also do really cool stuff like wipe hard drives and networks clean psychically. A U.S. Senator and a GhostWalker like Zara gave top secret information about GhostWalkers to a Chinese crime lord that Zara has been sent in to destroy. She has also been sent in to steal other secrets he may have by downloading them directly to a SSD that is embedded in her brain. All courtesy of Dr. Peter Whitney of course. That bugger. Honestly, as each book goes on I wonder how this guy hasn’t died yet. I actually have to think back and remember each time a new book comes out. Anyhow, Zara is now in enemy territory and she knows no one will be able to prove that she is the one that wiped Cheng’s network clean. She knows that even if she’s caught and tortured, they still won’t be able to prove her involvement. What she didn’t factor into all her equations for escaping was Cheng’s enforcer, Bolan Zhu. The man showed in interest in her the first time he met her and that interest didn’t go away, even when he was torturing the bejesus out of Zara.

Gino Mazza is a special sort of man who wants a special sort of woman. He admires all the women that his teammates have ended up with. They are all warriors, just like their men. He has the utmost respect for them and would go shoulder to shoulder into battle with any of them. That doesn’t mean that he wants his woman to be a warrior herself. He wants a woman that can take care of herself, but doesn’t have to fight because Gino is there to do it for her. It sounds archaic to Gino, but he knows that he can accept nothing less than that. He watched his whole family be slaughtered during a kidnapping attempt when he was a child. He is not going to let that happen to his wife. When his team is tasked with rescuing Zara, he finds himself staring at her picture wondering if she couldn’t be the woman he has been looking for.

When the GhostWalkers get Zara out of China, Gino is the one that Zara clings to. It’s his strength of character that convinces her that he can keep her safe from Bolan Zhu. After being tortured at his hands and promised even worse if she ever tried to escape him, Zara knows he will be coming after her. Only a person like Gino can keep Zara safe. She can see something in him, though she can’t put her finger on it. Gino knows what she sees. He’s tortured people just as Zhu tortured her. If anyone can protect her, it’s him. Still, protecting her is not all he wants to do. He can see that she’s exactly the type of woman he wants and needs. She’s smart and resourceful, can definitely fight with the best of them, but she is happier not fighting. She accepts his personality, which even he knows can be hard to live with.

Basically what we have here is a D/s relationship at the most basic level. Feehan has been writing more of those lately and I wonder where she is heading. I did not like Bellisia in this book at all. She rubbed me wrong the entire book. Her relationship with Zeke was nothing like Gino and Zara’s so she decided it was wrong. I thought it was incredibly shortsighted and just plain bitchy. Not to mention it hurt Zara tremendously because she felt that she had to choose between her sister and the man she loves. I wanted to strangle her.

Now I want to know who the next GhostWalker book will be about, but that I have a feeling that information won’t be forthcoming for some time. I really enjoyed this one.

4 out of 5.

GhostWalkers

Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover

four-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,