Tag: Berkley

Guest Review: A Mackenzie Clan Christmas by Jennifer Ashley

Posted March 5, 2020 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: A Mackenzie Clan Christmas by Jennifer AshleyReviewer: Tracy
A Mackenzie Clan Christmas by Jennifer Ashley
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: October 29, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 304
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three-half-stars

Celebrate the holidays with New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Ashley's Mackenzie clan in two heartwarming novellas.

Includes A Mackenzie Yuletide, a never before published Mackenzie Christmas novella!

When the Mackenzie family gathers in Scotland to celebrate the holidays, the love and joy of the Christmas spirit captures everyone's hearts.

And a reader favorite...A Mackenzie Clan Gathering

The Mackenzie clan has gathered for Hart's birthday at the sprawling family estate in Scotland. But before the festivities can start, the house is robbed, and thieves make off with an untold fortune in rare art.

Ian Mackenzie and his brothers must do what they can to retrieve the family treasure, but Ian is distracted by a family friend who claims he might have the power to "cure" Ian of his madness forever. All the Mackenzies must draw together as courage, love, and a tantalizing mystery serve to strengthen their bond, and redefine the meaning of family.

A Makenzie Yuletide

The Mackenzie clan is gathering for Christmas at Kilmorgan Castle. Not everyone has arrived but there is about half of the family in residence when Mac Mackenzie thinks he sees a ghost.  Some think he’s just tired but other, mostly the children, want to find the ghost and figure out who it is and where it goes.  Loving chaos ensues and the fun, funny and loving family joins together to figure out the mystery.

Then there’s Ian who has found the perfect gift for his wife, but discovers that the necklace has been stolen and is now missing.  He’s determined to find it – as are his children which makes things a bit crazy.

I liked this novella a lot but wanted it to be longer. This family always makes me smile, especially Ian, and I wanted more.  The original brothers feature in this story, but their kids put in an appearance as well and I loved seeing how they’ve all turned out.  Seeing their parent’s influence on their personalities was a thing of beauty as well. 😊

Overall a great story. Even if you’ve read the second novella in this book I think it’s worth getting just to read this story.

4 out of 5

I read A Mackenzie Clan Gathering back in 2015 and really enjoyed it.  Unfortunately, I didn’t think it really held up over time.  Still good, but apparently not the type of novella that can be read multiple times.  You can read my original review here.

This time I’d give it a 3.25 out of 5

 

This brings the overall book total to somewhere around a 3.5.

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: The Vanishing by Jayne Ann Krentz

Posted March 3, 2020 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: The Vanishing by Jayne Ann KrentzReviewer: Tracy
The Vanishing by Jayne Ann Krentz
Series: Fogg Lake #1
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: January 7, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 294
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

From New York Times bestselling author Jayne Ann Krentz comes a new gripping romantic suspense trilogy fraught with danger and enigma.

Forty years ago in the small town of Fogg Lake, "The Incident" occurred: an explosion in the cave system that released unknown gases, causing peculiar effects on its residents, such as strange visions and ominous voices. Not wanting the government to get involved, they chalked it up to the hallucinogenic effects of mushrooms. Little did they know these effects would linger through the generations....

Residents Catalina Lark and Olivia Dayton have been best friends for years and own an investigation firm together, using what they call the "other sight" to help with their business. When Olivia goes missing, Cat frantically begins the search for her alone when the town does nothing about it. When scientist Slate Trevelyan shows up, she has no choice but to accept his help even though there's something about him she just can't trust. The duo discovers someone is hunting the two witnesses of a murder in Fogg Lake fourteen years ago—the very one Cat and Olivia witnessed as teens, one that they couldn't prove happened. Cat and Slate's search for Olivia takes them down a rabbit hole that is far more dangerous and mysterious than they ever expected, and with a killer in their midst, neither of them can foresee who will come out alive.

Fogg Lake is an isolated town.  Forty years earlier there was an “incident”and the residents of the town developed paranormal abilities.  They passed these on to their descendants.  Going into the caves near Fogg Lake and staying the night is a right of passage for the kids who grew up there.  Catalina and Olivia did this 15 years ago and ended up witnessing a murder.  When they got back to town the next day after hiding from the murderer in the cave system, no one believed they saw what they saw.

Catalina and Olivia are now investigators and they use their paranormal abilities to get results.  When Olivia goes missing, Catalina is determined to find her.  She didn’t want, nor did she seek out help from “The Foundation,” but she ended up with it anyway.  She’s not sure about The Foundation, but she’s pretty sure she’s liking their scientist Slate Trevelyan.  After they find Olivia, maybe they can figure out if their relationship is going anywhere.

This is the first book in the Fogg Lake series.  I think it was a good start, but there definitely A LOT of information packed into this story.  You definitely have to have your focus button turned to “on” when you read this one or you’ll miss something important.  I found some of it confusing at first, just because there was SO much happening, but I soon found my stride and sailed right through.

I can’t say I loved the story but it was good.  I really liked Catalina and Slate and the budding of their relationship. The dangers they faced while trying to find Olivia kept me interested and I liked the suspense of it all.

Overall I think it was a good beginning.  I’ll be curious to see where this goes in the next book and how it will be centered around Fogg Lake.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Throwback Thursday Guest Review: Archangel’s Kiss by Nalini Singh

Posted February 27, 2020 by Tracy in Reviews | 9 Comments

Throwback Thursday Guest Review: Archangel’s Kiss by Nalini SinghReviewer: Tracy
Archangel's Kiss by Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #2
Also in this series: Archangel's Kiss, Archangel's Consort, Archangel's Blade, Archangel's Consort, Archangel's Storm, 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), Archangel's Viper, Archangel's Prophecy, Archangel's Consort (Guild Hunter, #3), Archangel's Prophecy, Archangel's War, Archangel's War
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: February 2, 2010
Format: eARC
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux wakes from a year-long coma to find herself changed—an angel with wings the colors of midnight and dawn—but her fragile body needs time to heal before she can take flight. Her lover, the stunningly dangerous archangel Raphael, is used to being in control—even when it comes to the woman he considers his own. But Elena has never done well with authority…

They’ve barely begun to understand each other when Raphael receives an invitation to a ball from the archangel Lijuan. To refuse would be a sign of fatal weakness, so Raphael must ready Elena for the flight to Beijing—and to the nightmare that awaits them there. Ancient and without conscience, Lijuan holds a power that lies with the dead. And she has organized the most perfect and most vicious of welcomes for Elena…

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

This review was originally posted on February 12, 2010.

Yes, Elena has woken up after a year-long coma and she is an angel. She is also weaker than the smallest angel child and cannot fly. This is Elena though and if you read the first book you know that that’s not going to bring this woman down. She will do whatever it takes to get up to full speed, especially after receiving the invitation from Archangel Lijuan. Along with getting physically strengthened Elena is also taking classes and learning about angel history. She befriends a boy, Sam, who looks to be about 4 years old but she is sure is much older.

Raphael is by Elena’s side – there to help and protect her in her weakened state. He enlists his vamps. who pretty much don’t like Elena at all, to get her conditioning in place and increase her strength. While Raphael wants Elena strong, he also wants everyone (other archangels, etc.) to believe she’s weak so that they as a couple will be stronger against others.When evil messages start showing up in the form of beaten vampires with Guild Hunter knives shoved in them Elena and Raphael go on the hunt to find out who is sending the awful messages. When Sam is kidnapped they ramp up their investigations in order to find out who’s sending the threat to Elena.

I really liked this book. While Elena was weak and having nightmares and reliving memories that she’d rather leave buried she was still an incredibly strong character. She just didn’t let anyone get away with crap and I admired that about her. Raphael was incredible. I need to get me some Archangel! lol He loves Elena with everything in him and while others think that makes him weak it really makes him a stronger person.

Of course Nalini’s Guild Hunter/Angel/Vampire world is incredible. The descriptions of the Refuge where Elena was recovering and the Forbidden city where Lijuan lived were just beautiful and at times I felt I could reach out and touch whatever she was describing at the time.

While this is not a fast-paced story it did have moments of combat and intense emotion which were all the more incredible because of their rarity. I would have to recommend that you read book 1 in the Guild Hunter series, Angels’ Blood before you read Archangel’s Kiss as I think you would be lost in AK without doing so.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Guild Hunter Series

four-half-stars


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Review: Vendetta Road by Christine Feehan

Posted February 18, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Vendetta Road by Christine FeehanReviewer: Casee
Vendetta Road by Christine Feehan
Series: Torpedo Ink #3
Also in this series: Judgment Road (Torpedo Ink #1), Judgment Road, Vengeance Road (Torpedo Ink #2)
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: January 28, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 464
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Goodreads Challenge
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

#1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan pushes the limits in her next novel in the Torpedo Ink series.
Isaak “Ice” Koval is on a club mission when he sees a woman who stops him dead in his tracks. Soleil is a sweet, sexy, girl-next-door type. She’s an innocent who should be nowhere near the rough-and-ready world of the Torpedo Ink motorcycle club. But Ice knows Soleil belongs with him—and he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her.
After a life of drifting from one thing to the next, Soleil Brodeur is determined to take control of her life. When her breakup with her manipulative fiancé turns ugly, Soleil searches out the stranger who offered her a lifeline and ends up in a Las Vegas biker bar where she meets a gorgeous, dangerous man straight out of her most secret fantasies.
High on adrenaline, she finds herself falling faster than she thought possible. But Soleil knows little about the territory she’s stumbled into, and even less about what it really means to be Ice’s woman.…

Issak “Ice” Koval is exactly as his name suggests. He’s ice cold; on the inside and out. While on a job with his brothers and sister in Las Vegas, something happens to Ice that has never happened in his life. He gets distracted. Not just distracted, but distracted by a woman. This is something that Ice wants to explore, but he can’t put his siblings in danger.

Soleil Brodeur is in trouble. Big trouble. After meeting a man in Europe, Soleil eventually finds herself in Las Vegas. She’s been told by the fiancé whose proposal that she never officially accepted that they are getting married. Soleil is an heiress. There are few things she is responsible for, one being protecting herself from her soon-to-be husband; no matter whom he may be.

When she tells Winston (her fiancé) that she wants a prenup, he explodes. While Winston attacks her, Soleil distantly thinks about everything he’s done and made her feel up to this point. Now all she has to do is get away. And get away she does.

Soleil finds herself at a biker bar of all places. It’s there she meets Ice. It’s there that their whirlwind courtship begins. In no time at all, Soleil finds herself married. Married! To a man she doesn’t know. Soleil wonders what she’s gotten into and tries to tell Ice that she forced him into marriage.

Ice doesn’t know what he’s done to have Soleil, but he knows that he’s not letting her go. That doesn’t mean he wants to open up to her about his past. He eventually realizes that. Now, he’ll stop at nothing to keep her. He will lie to her, he will cheat, he will…tell her the truth about his past. Whatever it takes to keep her.

While trying to figure out what is happening with Winston and why he wants Soleil so badly, Torpedo Ink finds that he’s smack in the middle of the sex trafficking ring that they are investigating. So there is that going on too.

I really enjoyed this book in the end, though I put it down about halfway through because it wasn’t interesting enough for me. Still, it was good and exactly what I expect of Feehan.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Torpedo Ink

four-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: A Heart of Blood and Ashes by Milla Vane

Posted February 2, 2020 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 4 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Alright, I’m going to be honest. When Milla Vane first announced she was going to write a Barbarian Fantasy Romance back in 2014, I had to take a minute. I mean, I love everything she writes, but Barbarian Fantasy Romance??? I ended up loving The Beast of Blackmoor (Found in the Night Shift Anthology), however, and I’ve been jonesing for more ever since. IT’S FINALLY HERE! I’m so ridiculously excited for this new series.

Sunday Spotlight: A Heart of Blood and Ashes by Milla VaneA Heart of Blood and Ashes by Milla Vane
Series: A Gathering of Dragons #1
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: February 4, 2020
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 560
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A generation past, the western realms were embroiled in endless war. Then the Destroyer came. From the blood and ashes he left behind, a tenuous alliance rose between the barbarian riders of Parsathe and the walled kingdoms of the south. That alliance is all that stands against the return of an ancient evil--until the barbarian king and queen are slain in an act of bloody betrayal.
Though forbidden by the alliance council to kill the corrupt king responsible for his parents' murders, Maddek vows to avenge them, even if it costs him the Parsathean crown. But when he learns it was the king's daughter who lured his parents to their deaths, the barbarian warrior is determined to make her pay.
Yet the woman Maddek captures is not what he expected. Though the last in a line of legendary warrior-queens, Yvenne is small and weak, and the sharpest weapons she wields are her mind and her tongue. Even more surprising is the marriage she proposes to unite them in their goals and to claim their thrones--because her desire for vengeance against her father burns even hotter than his own...

Excerpt

“Our queen and king and two Dragons murdered.” A dozen warriors, who were also mothers and fathers, sons and daughters. Maddek stopped pacing, his chest a ragged ache, his family’s silver crest burning around his thumb. “How can I let this remain unavenged? I cannot.”

“You must.”

“The alliance has run its course if this corruption and betrayal can stand and the council stands with it, because nothing will stand if our allies cut our legs out from beneath us.”

“And what would you put in the alliance’s place? Warriors are stronger when they stand together—and Parsathe is stronger if we stand with the southern realms. Even if one of those realms is rotten.”

“Only one? With Aezil on Rugus’s throne, Zhalen’s rot will not be contained within Syssia—and some say that Aezil is worse than his father.” Not only murdering his cousin to gain his throne, but also studying dark magics and seeking power through blood sacrifice. “These are the kings we stand with?”

“If we must,” Nayil replied. “Kings rise and fall. It is not for them that we fight, but for the people who live under their rule.”

That was truth. So was Maddek’s reply. “Then it would be better for all if I took Zhalen’s head.”

“And if your vengeance destroys the alliance—”

“Then we will remake it anew.”

For a long moment, only another heavy sigh was Nayil’s response. Then the older man said, “You will be my king, Maddek. I hear your words—and I hope you hear mine when I advise you not to make any decisions in grief and rage. If you must vow to avenge them, I advise that you also do not speak an oath in haste. Silver-fingered Rani has taken your parents, so nothing can change their course; only yours can be determined now.”

And his course might determine the course of every Parsathean. Maddek inclined his head. Though his heart yearned for blood, he could not deny the wisdom of the man’s words.

“Your journey home will pass through another full turn of the moon,” Nayil continued. “Use that time to reflect upon the path you will take. That is my advice to you: think hard and well upon your next steps.”

“I can promise that.” Another harsh laugh escaped him. “I know not how I will think of anything else.”

“Nor I. I have not these many days and nights.” A rueful smile curved Nayil’s thin mouth before a grave weariness flattened his expression again. “When you are Ran, you will speak for every Parsathean. Perhaps you should let every Parsathean guide your voice—for Ran Ashev and Ran Marek were not only your parents but also our queen and king. When we gather, we can tell our brothers and sisters what befell them. We can tell them of the council’s investigation and of the lies we suspect. We will tell them the consequences of vengeance and the threat of the Destroyer. If they demand blood, I will stand with you.”

That was also wise advice. “And if there is not a consensus?”

“Then it is your place as Ran to speak for us. We will abide by your decision. So think upon what it must be. Think upon it as a son and as a king.”

He would try. But he was not a king yet. Only a warrior.

Now his warrior’s heart grieved anew. His parents, too, had been warriors—and every warrior knew death would one day come. If not by steel, then by claw or plague, or the ravages of age. Countless dangers could have befallen his parents. Before Maddek had arrived in Ephorn, he hadn’t known what danger it had been, but he could have accepted any of them.

He could not accept treachery and dishonor.

And Maddek had believed that in the council’s haste to send word, they simply forgot to tell the cause of his parents’ deaths to the Tolehi captain who’d borne the message. But now Maddek understood.

If the queen and king had sickened, or been attacked by bandits, or become a meal for the fanged beasts that stalked the Burning Plains, such information would have been passed along, too. But the council had not told Maddek what Zhalen had done because they had not wanted him to charge north with the Parsathean army at his back and with vengeance burning in his heart.

Yet vengeance burned hot, anyway—and only one thought stoked the furnace of his mind.

Someone would pay.

A Gathering of Dragons

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: February 2020

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About Milla Vane

Milla Vane suckled at the plump teat of 80s fantasy movies and was never properly weaned. Under a pen name, she is also an award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of steampunk and paranormal romance. Milla currently resides in Oregon.


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