Tag: Berkley

Featured Review: Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

Posted March 22, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Featured Review: Magic Bites by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Casee, Holly, & Rowena
Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #1
Also in this series: Magic Shifts, Magic Shifts, Magic Binds, Magic Bites, Magic Strikes, Iron and Magic, Magic Triumphs
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: March 29, 2009
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 386
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Casee's 2019 TBR Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 TBR Challenge, Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Rowena's 2019 TBR Challenge
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three-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews invites you to experience the first novel in the “intriguing world” (Locus) of Kate Daniels with this special edition of Magic Bites...

Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up magical problems. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta’s magic circles. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she’s way out of her league—but she wouldn't want it any other way…

This special edition includes in-depth information about the world of Kate Daniels, with descriptions of its characters and factions. Explore Kate’s Atlanta like never before with answers to FAQ and a quiz to find your place there. And don’t miss the prequel story “A Questionable Client,” as well as scenes of events in Magic Bites from Curran’s point of view.

Magic Bites is the first book in Ilona Andrews‘ wildly popular Kate Daniels series. The world was once filled with magic, until technology came and drown it out. Now magic has returned in waves, killing tech and causing strange happenings. They call this the Shift.

Here we’re introduced to Kate in post-shift Atlanta as she tries to discover who murdered her guardian.

Holly: I have to be honest, this isn’t a great introduction to the series. I feel it’s necessary to the world-building and to establish Kate’s position in Atlanta and her relationship with Curran and the Pack, but it’s pretty slow and bogged down with a lot of info.

Rowena: I didn’t even read the blurb before starting this book, I only know what I’ve read about the series as a whole on Twitter and around Blog Land but yeah, I agree with Holly. There were times in the first half of the book where I was bored to tears with what was going on…which was a whole lot of nothing. I didn’t understand what was going on, only that Kate was trying to find her guardian’s killer in a world that didn’t make a lick of sense to me. Once I got over that beginning hump and Curran comes on to the scene, things pick up and I started to piece together a little understanding so I didn’t hate the entire thing but yeah, that beginning was boring af.

I will say that the second half really takes off and I’m curious as hell to see where the next book takes us and I’m excited to see it all. I really loved Kate and Curran and Derek. They were freaking great.

Casee: I am definitely going to continue with the series, but I was bored to death while listening to this book. If I had tried to read it instead of listening to it, I never would have finished it. There were parts that I actually enjoyed, but I mostly found it boring and tedious. The only reason I continued on was because I’ve heard that this book is necessary to read if you’re planning on continuing the series.

What did you think of Kate? I found her annoying at the beginning.

Rowena: I thought both her and Curran were annoying at first but that changed over the course of the book. Kate is badass and I loved that she had a soft heart for those in need of help…when she wouldn’t let Curran harm Derek? She won me over completely.

Holly: I agree, both Kate and Curran were annoying at first. As the book went on they improved. It’s funny to go back now and read where they started from. Especially after reading Curran’s POV.

Rowena:Did you guys think that Crest was the bad guy? I did. LOL.

Holly: No, I never thought Crest was the bad guy. I pegged the real villain right away. I still liked watching Kate puzzle it out.

Casee: I didn’t think Crest was the bad guy because that would have been too easy. That was the only reason. I also had no idea who it was.

Holly: Although the beginning of this book moves slow, I can’t deny the attraction to the world. Kate, Curran, Derek and others really come to life, especially in later books. I can’t wait for you guys to read the rest.

Rowena: I’m not going to lie, for a huge chunk of this book, I looked like this while reading:

I was confused with all of the magic short-circuiting cars and phones and then vampires being actual undead and the bad guys, it’s a really different paranormal world than I’m used to and by the end of the book, I was here for it. I didn’t blink at the exploding creatures and Kate cutting creatures heads off and taking them back to her kitchen to investigate them. I was one with this world and seriously, I’m looking forward to digging into this world some more.

Even with the really slow beginning, I enjoyed this one but not nearly as much as I thought I was going to with all of the Kate Daniels love this series gets every damn where. Still, this gets 3 out of 5 stars from me. What about you guys?

Holly: Had I not had so many others telling me this series was amazing, I’d probably never have continued after this book. I do think the events here are necessary to what’s coming, though, so I’m glad you guys read it.

It gets 3 out of 5 from me, too.

Casee: This book was basically an info dump. I’ve been meaning to read it and I’m glad I did because I’m looking forward to continuing on. Despite being yawn inducing, I could definitely see the potential when I was finished reading.

I also give it a 3 out of 5.

Final Grades

Casee: 3 out of 5
Holly: 3 out of 5
Rowena: 3 out of 5

Kate Daniels

three-stars


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Review: Burn by Maya Banks

Posted March 13, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Burn by Maya BanksReviewer: Casee
Burn (Breathless, #3) by Maya Banks
Series: Breathless #1
Also in this series: Rush (Breathless, #1), Fever (Breathless, #2), Burn (Breathless, #3), Rush (Breathless, #1), Fever (Breathless, #2)
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: August 6, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Erotica
Pages: 353
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

Ash, Jace, and Gabe: three of the wealthiest, most powerful men in the country. They’re accustomed to getting anything they want. Anything at all. For Ash, it’s the woman who changes everything he’s ever known about dominance and desire...

When it comes to sex, Ash McIntyre has always explored his wilder side — extreme and uncompromising. He demands control. And he prefers women who want it like that. Even the women he’s shared with his best friend, Jace.

But Jace is involved with a woman he has no intention of sharing. And now even Gabe has settled into a relationship with a woman who gives him everything he needs, leaving Ash feeling restless and unfulfilled.

Then Ash meets Josie, who seems immune to his charms and his wealth. Intrigued, he begins a relentless pursuit, determined she won’t be the one who got away. He never imagined the one woman to tell him no would be the only woman who’d ever drive him to the edge of desire.

This is the final and best book in the Breathless trilogy. Not that it took much to be better than Rush and Fever. Ash has always been an intriguing character. He’s always seemed like the “aw shucks” type of guy. He never seemed to be much more than a pretty face. There was a hint of more in Fever, but that book was such a train wreck that I wasn’t even thinking of Ash.

Ash first notices Josie in the park. He doesn’t know what about it is that draws his eye, but he’s instantly mesmerized by her. When he approaches her, he’s intrigued when she immediately gathers her things to flee. No one flees Ash. If anything women flock to him. Then the piece of paper she was drawing on flies loose and he sees that she was drawing him.

The way they come into each others lives is kind of messed up. I think by the time I read this book I was pretty much numb to the way these men acted. So the fact that Ash had a guy start following Josie for safety purposes didn’t even raise a red flag. When Josie went to a pawn shop to temporarily pawn her moms jewelry so she could pay her rent, Ash didn’t think twice about buying it and then blackmailing her into going out with him.

Seriously, what is wrong with me that I didn’t think there was a problem with that?

During their date, they both admit their undeniable attraction to each other. Josie admits that she broke up with her on again/off again boyfriend because of him. She wasn’t really happy when she said that. Ash makes sure she knows that if she agrees to be his, he will literally take over her life.

As I’m writing this review, I am seeing the big picture of what Maya Banks was trying to do here. In the first book there was sexual assault, in the second book a character was homeless, in this book there was physical assault. This all happened to the women. I don’t know what the point of it was except to make the men feel helpless.

It was my favorite book of the three because Josie was my favorite heroine of the three. I just really enjoyed her. I was going to give this book a 4 out of 5, but as I kept going along in my review I realized that there was no way that I could do that. There were just too many problems.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Breathless

three-half-stars


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Review: Fever by Maya Banks

Posted March 12, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Fever by Maya BanksReviewer: Casee
Fever (Breathless, #2) by Maya Banks
Series: Breathless #2
Also in this series: Rush (Breathless, #1), Fever (Breathless, #2), Burn (Breathless, #3), Rush (Breathless, #1), Burn (Breathless, #3)
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: April 2, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Erotica
Pages: 416
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
one-star
Series Rating: three-stars

Jace, Ash, and Gabe: three of the wealthiest, most powerful men in the country. They’re accustomed to getting anything they want. Anything at all. For Jace, it’s a woman whose allure takes him completely by surprise...

Jace Crestwell, Ash McIntyre, and Gabe Hamilton have been best friends and successful business partners for years. They’re powerful, they’re imposing, they’re irresistibly sexy, and Jace and Ash share everything—including their women.

When they meet Bethany, Jace begins to feel things he’s never experienced before: jealousy, and a powerful obsession that threatens him, overwhelms him—and excites him beyond control.

Jace isn’t sharing Bethany—with anyone. He’s determined to be the only man in her life, and it’s jeopardizing a lifelong friendship with Ash. Bethany will be his and his alone. Even if it means turning his back on his best friend.

This book. This book was not for me. It is book two in the Breathless trilogy. This trilogy follows three best friends/business partners. In Fever we get the story of Jace Crestwell, who is the brother of the heroine in Rush. It’s made abundantly clear in Rush that Jace and his best friend Ash share women.

Jace’s eye is caught and held by a waitress who is working Gabe and Mia’s engagement party. He’s immediately smitten and wants her for his own. For the first time he doesn’t want to share with Ash. Ash, who is used to picking up clues from Jace, naturally tells Jace that he’ll put this one in the bag. It was all very smarmy. Especially when we get it from Bethany’s point of view and learn that she’s homeless and basically fucking them for her next meal and a warm bed. It doesn’t matter at all that she feels desire for them.

After their night together, Jace is shocked when Bethany disappears. Usually he is the one that does the disappearing. Not only that, but he soon discovers she is homeless. He goes crazy trying to find her. When he does, he moves her into his sister’s old apartment with the intention of moving her in with him as soon as possible.

Bethany just goes along with the whirlwind that is Jace. She doesn’t know why Jace wants her, but he does. The whole thing is just uncomfortable to read. Not because she was homeless. It was how Jace didn’t trust her because she was a willing participant in the threesome with Ash. It was that Jace didn’t want her to lift a finger to do anything. It was just a gross book.

Yep, that explains the book. It was gross. I honestly don’t know why I finished it.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Breathless

one-star


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Review: Rush by Maya Banks

Posted March 8, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Rush by Maya BanksReviewer: Casee
Rush (Breathless, #1) by Maya Banks
Series: Breathless #1
Also in this series: Rush (Breathless, #1), Fever (Breathless, #2), Burn (Breathless, #3), Fever (Breathless, #2), Burn (Breathless, #3)
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: February 5, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Erotica
Pages: 396
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

Gabe, Jace, and Ash: three of the wealthiest, most powerful men in the country. They’re accustomed to getting anything they want. Anything at all. For Gabe, it’s making one particular fantasy come true with a woman who was forbidden fruit. Now she’s ripe for the picking...

When Gabe Hamilton saw Mia Crestwell walk into the ballroom for his hotel’s grand opening, he knew he was going to hell for what he had planned. After all, Mia is his best friend’s little sister. Except she’s not so little anymore. And Gabe has waited a long time to act on his desires.

Gabe has starred in Mia’s fantasies more than once, ever since she was a teenager with a huge crush on her brother’s best friend. So what if Gabe’s fourteen years older? Mia knows he’s way out of her league, but her attraction has only grown stronger with time. She’s an adult now, and there’s no reason not to act on her most secret desires.

As Gabe pulls her into his provocative world, she realizes there’s a lot she doesn’t know about him or how exacting his demands can be. Their relationship is intense and obsessive, but as they cross the line from secret sexual odyssey to something deeper, their affair runs the risk of being exposed—and vulnerable to a betrayal far more intimate than either expected.

I have been glomming Maya Banks for some reason. I’m still unsure why that is. I used to love her books. Like love love them. Now I just like them. I think I’m reading them because they’re quick and easy. Yep, that’s why.

Gabe Hamilton has been burned. Badly. By someone he trusted. Now he doesn’t trust. In fact he trusts women so little that he makes his would-be lovers sign a contract before he starts any sort of relationship. Even when he finally gets Mia Crestwell into his arms, he gives her his contract.

Mia is shocked when she reads Gabe’s contract. Shocked, dismayed, and turned on. She knows if her brother and Gabe’s best friend and business partner, Jace Crestwell, ever finds out about their affair that he would go ballistic. As shell shocked as she is at the contract, Mia can’t turn Gabe down. She’s wanted him for too long to even think about denying him or herself.

This a light BDSM book. Definitely erotic, but not terribly so. I’ve read more erotica books to be sure. There was no calling Gabe “master”, so don’t let that stop you from reading the book. It was a shame what Mia had to endure while Gabe was grappling with his feelings for her. Actually, it was straight fucked. No matter how Gabe tried to make it up to her, what he did was just about unforgivable.

I was going to give this book a 4, but as I started writing my review, I decided to change it.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Breathless

three-half-stars


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Blog Tour Review: Toxic Game by Christine Feehan

Posted March 5, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Blog Tour Review: Toxic Game by Christine FeehanReviewer: Casee
Toxic Game (GhostWalkers #15) by Christine Feehan
Series: GhostWalkers #15
Also in this series: Predatory Game, Street Game, Ruthless Game, Shadow Game, Power Game, Murder Game, Covert Game
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: March 5, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 416
Add It: Goodreads
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Series Rating: four-stars

On a rescue mission in the heart of the Indonesian jungle, Dr. Draden Freeman and his GhostWalker team need to extract the wounded as quickly as possible—or risk spreading a deadly virus unleashed by a terrorist cell. When Draden gets infected, he forces his team to leave him behind. He won’t risk exposing anyone else. He intends to find the ones responsible and go out in a blaze of glory....

Shylah Cosmos’s mission is to track the virus and remain unseen. Her enhanced senses tell her that the gorgeous man eradicating the terrorists one by one is a GhostWalker—and his lethal precision takes her breath away. When he’s hit by a lucky shot, she can’t stop herself from stepping in, not knowing that by saving his life she’s exposed herself to the virus.

There’s no telling how much time Draden and Shylah have left. Racing to find a cure, they quickly realize that they’ve found their perfect partner just in time to lose everything. But even as the virus threatens to consume their bodies, they’ve never felt more alive.

I wanted to like this book more than I actually did. Especially when I read this from Feehan’s website:

“This could possibly be the most romantic couple I’ve ever written in any of my series. I was surprised by both of them many times which made writing this book so much fun for me.”

I was super excited because 1) GhostWalkers! 2) Most romantic! 3) GhostWalkers! Okay, so I’m a little obsessed with the GhostWalker series, it’s true. I’ve come to expect a lot from the series. When I say a lot, I mean a lot. This one was so incredibly rushed. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t good, just that it didn’t work for me.

Draden Freeman is on a rescue mission when he is infected with a deadly virus. Knowing he needs to force his team to leave him behind, he does just that. His plan is to bring as many terrorist responsible for spreading the virus as possible before he dies. And he knows he’s going to die. The village the the terrorists took out with the virus attests to that brutal fact. Then he meets Shylah Cosmos, one of Peter Whitney’s orphan girls. She’s there on her own mission. While following him, she saves him inadvertently infecting herself. Draden is furious, but can’t help but be attracted to Shylah’s calm and acceptance of her fate.

Shylah is in the Indonesian jungle to track down the three scientists that are responsible for creating the virus. Her job isn’t to bring them in. Her job is to kill them and bring their research in. It’s only as her and Draden start working together that they realize that the virus wasn’t make as a biological weapon. It was made for Shylah herself. Peter Whitney doesn’t like when his girls escape and Shylah is the only one that can fight off whatever virus is injected into her body. It was only by chance that the scientists created a weapon to which there was no antidote. Or could there possibly be one?

The speed in which Draden and Shylah fell in love was a matter of days. The only thing that made in believable was that they both believed they were going to die. Otherwise it was just completely implausible. Even with Whitney and his imprinting of the men and women, it was still too fast. The rest of the book was actually pretty good, even the scientific part of it. I always admire how much research Feehan puts into her books. While I’m clueless as to whether the info is accurate, it sure seems like it is.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5.

GhostWalkers


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