Tag: Casee’s Reviews

Review: The Darkest Warrior by Gena Showalter

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

Review: The Darkest Warrior by Gena ShowalterReviewer: Casee
The Darkest Warrior (Lords of the Underworld, #14) by Gena Showalter
Series: Lords of the Underworld #14
Also in this series: The Darkest Night (Lords of the Underworld #1), The Darkest Kiss (Lords of the Underworld #2), The Darkest Pleasure (Lords of the Underworld #3), The Darkest Whisper (Lords of the Underworld #4), The Darkest Passion (Lords of the Underworld #5), The Darkest Lie (Lords of the Underworld #6), The Darkest Torment (Lords of the Underworld, #12), The Darkest Promise (Lords of the Underworld, #13)
Published by Hqn
Publication Date: June 26, 2018
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 480
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-half-stars

A searing Lords of the Underworld tale by New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter, featuring a beastly prince and the wife he will wage war to keep.

He is ice...

Puck the Undefeated, host of the demon of Indifference, cannot experience emotion without punishment, so he allows himself to feel nothing. Until her. According to ancient prophecy, she is the key to avenging his past, saving his realm, and ruling as king. All he must do? Steal her from the man she loves—and marry her.

She is fire...

Gillian Shaw has suffered many tragedies in her too-short life, but nothing could have prepared the fragile human for her transition into immortality. To survive, she must wed a horned monster who both intrigues and frightens her...and become the warrior queen she was born to be.

Together they burn.

As a rising sense of possession and obsession overtake Puck, so does insatiable lust. The more he learns about his clever, resourceful wife, the more he craves her. And the more time Gillian spends with her protective husband, the more she aches for him. But the prophecy also predicts an unhappily ever after. Can Puck defeat fate itself to keep the woman who brought his deadened heart back to life? Or will they succumb to destiny, losing each other…and everything they’ve been fighting for?

I adored this book. Adored it. Call me clueless (which I usually am), but I had no idea about the furor due to the fact that Gillian and William of the Dark didn’t end up together. Seriously? I’m going to address that, but I have to say one thing first. Get the fuck over it. I’ve read your stuff on GoodReads and you are so childish in your tantrums. It was never made clear that Gillian and William were going to end up together. He calls her Gilly Gumdrop for the love of God. Would you want your lover/mate/husband you call you such a childish name? Not to mention that she never, ever had romantic feels for the guy. Ever. Read back and look. Not once. He was her hero and her savior. That’s it. I wouldn’t have read this book if it was Gillian and William’s book. There is no way. I was seriously looking forward to it because it wasn’t Gillian and William. When I read the excerpt in the back of The Darkest Promise, I was thrilled. So for all you haters out there, pull up your big girl panties and pick up this book from where you threw it across the room. Dust it off and read it. You’ll love it. That’s a fact.

The biggest hurtle in this book, to me, was Gillian’s age. She is just turning eighteen. A traumatized eighteen at that. The girl has been seriously abused at the hands of her stepfather and stepbrothers. When she worked up the courage to tell her mom, she was told that she must have “misunderstood” the situation. Can you imagine? shudder Honestly, how the hell is an eighteen year old girl going to mate a centuries old immortal, be able to have sex and be this goddess that the blurb explains? I was like “say what?”. Must be some magic going on here. Well yes, magic was involved and it was amazing.

I’m going to try to make my summary short and sweet which may not be possible because this book had a lot going on. Since their royal births, Puck and his brother Sin have been working against a prophecy which said that one of them would find their ladylove then kill the other. Since they were children, both vowed that they would never fall in love and they would only be loyal to each other. That changed when Sin betrayed Puck and let him be infected by the demon of Indifference. It’s only after hundreds of years when Puck has a rare moment of clarity that he goes to the Oracles on Amaranthia where he learns how he can defeat Sin. Sin, who murdered their father, became king, then went psycho on the Connacht people. It was the Oracles that told him about Gillian. Mate her, they said. Get William the Dark to Amaranthia, they said. He will dethrone Sin, they said. All he has to do at the end is use these special magical scissors to break his bond with Gillian. That’s fine with him because he doesn’t know this Gillian. Then he meets her and instantly falls for her.

When Puck first lays eyes on Gillian, she’s dying. See, Keely the Red Queen gives Gillian a gift on her eighteen birthday. A potion which gives the gift of immortality. Unfortunately it’s killing her and only mating an immortal can save her. It’s a good thing Puck is there to save the day. And save the day he does. Gillian is instantly drawn to Puck and she doesn’t know why. She’s usually afraid of men and Puck doesn’t even look like he’s entirely a man. When he offers to mate with her for his own reasons, she instantly realizes that she’s not ready to die. She wants to be a champion. She wants to help victims like herself. She wants to help people come out strong but to do that she has to live. So she does.

There are so many great things about this book. This one of of my favorite gems from Puck when he realizes he doesn’t have to “woo” Gillian anymore:

Our relationship isn’t a democracy, but a Puckocracy. I saved your life, lass. From now on, I speak and you listen. I command, and you obey. Understand?

Of course that didn’t go over well with Gillian, but you get the picture.

One of the best parts of this book was the change in Gillian. Her growth was amazing. I loved it and you will too. If you’re still too bent out of shape to give this book a try, you’re not worthy of Gena. She wrote a great book with two amazing characters. As I was reading this book, I started liking William less and less. Then he slowly started pulling his head out of his ass and I started liking him more. I can’t wait until he gets his. It’s going to be awesome. Gillian was never his equal. Think on that.

Puck + Gillian = Forever.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Lords of the Underworld

four-half-stars


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Review: Ocean Light by Nalini Singh

Posted June 28, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 5 Comments

Review: Ocean Light by Nalini SinghReviewer: Casee
Ocean Light by Nalini Singh
Series: Psy/Changeling Trinity #2, Psy/Changeling #17
Also in this series: Silver Silence, Silver Silence, Silver Silence, Ocean Light, Caressed By Ice, Mine to Possess, Hostage to Pleasure, The Magical Christmas Cat, Kiss of Snow, Tangle of Need, Slave to Sensation (Psy/Changeling #1), Wild Invitation, Heart of Obsidian, Shield of Winter, Shield of Winter, Visions of Heat, Mine to Possess, Caressed By Ice, Branded by Fire, Blaze of Memory, Mine to Possess, Hostage to Pleasure, Hostage to Pleasure, Shards of Hope, Shards of Hope, Heart of Obsidian, Caressed By Ice, Branded by Fire, Blaze of Memory, Play of Passion, Allegiance of Honor, Kiss of Snow, Tangle of Need, Shield of Winter, Shards of Hope, Allegiance of Honor, Allegiance of Honor, Wild Embrace, Wild Embrace, Wild Embrace, Tangle of Need
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: June 12, 2018
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 416
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-stars

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh dives beneath the surface of her Psy-Changeling world into a story of passionate devotion and selfless love...

Security specialist Bowen Knight has come back from the dead. But there's a ticking time bomb in his head: a chip implanted to block telepathic interference that could fail at any moment--taking his brain along with it. With no time to waste, he should be back on land helping the Human Alliance. Instead, he's at the bottom of the ocean, consumed with an enigmatic changeling...

Kaia Luna may have traded in science for being a chef, but she won't hide the facts of Bo's condition from him or herself. She's suffered too much loss in her life to fall prey to the dangerous charm of a human who is a dead man walking. And she carries a devastating secret Bo could never imagine...

But when Kaia is taken by those who mean her deadly harm, all bets are off. Bo will do anything to get her back--even if it means striking a devil's bargain and giving up his mind to the enemy...

It literally hurts my heart to write this review. I have never not loved a book by Nalini. Well, there was Silver Silence. While I didn’t love it, I liked it a lot. This book, not so much. It wasn’t that I disliked it. I didn’t. It was just boring. And slow. So incredibly slow and boring. There wasn’t a lot of excitement until almost the end of the book. Then it picked up and got interesting. Until then? It just wasn’t for me. I had to force myself to read it because I wasn’t going to give Nalini a DNF.

Bowen Knight has been in the Psy/Changeling books for a long time. He is the “alpha” of the humans. Bowen long ago realized that someone needed to step up to protect the human race. While he never thought he would be the one to do it, he ended up doing the job. After being mind-raped by a Psy when he was thirteen, Bo has an incredible aversion to the Psy race. Such an aversion that he has an experimental chip implanted in his head. He doesn’t care if it kills him as long as it protects his mind from the Psy. Bo understands that the Psy race is evolving, but not enough for him to trust. A few of his most trusted people, along with sister, have the same chip implanted in their heads. When things start going wrong with the chip, Bo doesn’t think of himself, but of his people.

At the end of Silver Silence, Bo takes a bullet to the heart and falls into the water. Lucky for him, the BlackSea changelings save him. He wakes up in one of their strongholds to a scientist that tells him he has a chance to live. A five percent chance, but a chance nonetheless. His attention strays from the doctor and seeks out her cousin, Kaia Luna. He has never felt such an attraction to a woman; a woman that seems to despise him for no reason.

Kaia has her reasons for not liking Bowen Knight. He is involved with the disappearance of several of her packmates. That is unforgivable to Kaia. What is even more unforgivable is when Kaia finds herself attracted to Bo. How can she be attracted to someone so evil that they capture and torture changelings? It doesn’t take Kaia long to realize that Bo is nothing like she thought he was. So they end up falling in love miles and miles under the ocean where the experiment on Bo is taking place.

This is why the book is boring. It takes place in the ocean. There is no excitement there. Kaia stays there specifically because she feels safe. Because nothing ever happens there. She never surfaces to the land above. Bo is all about excitement and Kaia, well, isn’t. I just didn’t feel them together. It just felt forced. Which is sad, really, because they were both really good characters. Just by themselves. Not together.

Like I mentioned above, the book picked up about seventy five to eighty percent in. It was too late for me. By then I was skimming, trying to finish the book. If you’re like me, you can’t skip a book in a series that you’re this invested in. So I’m glad I read it even though I didn’t like it.

I’m sorry, Nalini. Don’t hate me.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Psy/Changeling Trinity

three-stars


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Review: Fated by Rebecca Zanetti

Posted June 22, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Fated by Rebecca ZanettiReviewer: Casee
Fated (Dark Protectors, #1) by Rebecca Zanetti
Series: Dark Protectors #1
Also in this series: Marked (Dark Protectors, #7)
Published by Brava
Publication Date: March 1, 2011
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 299
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Goodreads
three-half-stars

Marry Me! Cara Paulsen does not give up easily. A scientist and a single mother, she's used to fighting for what she wants, keeping a cool head, and doing whatever it takes to protect her daughter Janie. But "whatever it takes" has never before included a shotgun wedding to a dangerous-looking stranger with an attitude problem.

Or Else! Sure, the mysterious Talen says that he's there to protect Cara and Janie. He also says that he's a three-hundred-year-old vampire. Of course, the way he touches her, Cara might actually believe he's had that long to practice. . .

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. This was my first look into the Dark Protector series and I have no idea why I waited so long to dive into it. I’m hooked on Zanetti’s Scorpius Syndrome series, love paranormals in general, so why did I wait? I have no clue. There were a few parts of this particular book I wasn’t down with, but…shrug. I got past it.

Cara Paulson is a special type of person. She has been an empath since she was a young girl. So it makes sense that she would give birth to a very special child. She had no idea that her child would be prophesied to save a race of evil vampires. Vampires that she had no idea existed until one burst into her home to save her and Janie’s lives. Cara isn’t having any of it even when Janie tells her that Talen is the one that is going to save them. All she sees is a strange man coming into her home trying to kidnap her and her baby. Forget the fact that she has this inappropriate and completely confounding attraction to the man. Being disgusted with herself can come after she gets away from him.

Talen had no idea that Cara was his mate until he comes to her rescue. And come to her rescue he does because he can sense the Kurjans, the evil counterpart to his vampire race, coming to get them. Three hundred years of peace are broken because of Cara’s young daughter Janie. They have no idea what’s coming for them. Before he knew she was his mate, it was his job to protect Cara and Janie. Now it is is duty and honor. He can do nothing less that protect the woman he has looked for over the centuries and the little girl that is now his daughter. If only he could convince Cara that she isn’t getting away from him.

There were a lot of things that I liked about this book. I liked the instant connection between Cara and Talen. Talen was very sweet. The love between the two was very sweet. Talen really cared about how Cara felt. He knew that she had a hard time living in their headquarters below ground and made sure she had plants that she loved to help her cope. He just did little sweet things that really made me like him. Other the other hand, I really disliked how he referred to her as “mate” all the time. Like it was her name. It made her sound like a possession. I didn’t enjoy that all. As for Cara, she was a strong heroine, but made stupid fucking decisions. Including a TSTL one that almost got her killed. Just because she was mad at Talen over a BIG MISUNDERSTANDING. TSTL decisions always happen after stupid BIG MISUNDERSTANDINGS, don’t they?

Even with the things that bothered me, I did find this book enjoyable and am looking forward to continuing this series.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5.

Dark Protectors

three-half-stars


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Review: The Thief by J.R. Ward

Posted June 15, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: The Thief by J.R. WardReviewer: Casee
The Thief by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #16
Also in this series: Lover Unbound, Lover Avenged, Lover Unleashed, Lover at Last, Lover at Last, The King, The Shadows, The Beast, Lover Enshrined, The Chosen, Lover Mine
Published by Ballantine
Publication Date: April 10, 2018
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 454
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-half-stars

New enemies rise from the shadows in the next novel of the New York Times bestselling paranormal romance series the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

Having allied themselves with the Band of Bastards, the Brotherhood is committed now more than ever to eradicating the Lessening Society. Recovering from their most recent battle against the last of the lessers, the Brotherhood comes to realize that the fight against their enemies is far from over.

Throe, Xcor’s former second in command, is using an ancient tome to summon a new army engineered by a force more dangerous and evil than the Omega.

And now the brothers of the Black Dagger Brotherhood will be tested both at home and on the battlefield.

I don’t know where to start with this review. I read this book about six weeks ago. My intent was to let it settle in my mind for a few days, maybe a week, then review it. A week turned into one, then two, then I forgot. So I’m trying to think about what stands out in my mind about Assail and Sola, but nothing really comes to mind. They were kind of blah. Or it might be they were blah because V and Jane were so fucking hot. I mean, like, steaming hot.

After a bunch of stuff went down in The Beast (I think), Sola took her grandmother and went on the run. She ended up in Florida where she is constantly on guard. She has enemies and she is never sure if any of them will find her. She has never forgotten the man that saved her life in Caldwell. She thinks about Assail almost daily, though she hasn’t spoken to him in over a year, nor does she plan to. It is with some dismay that she finds his two cousins on her doorstep with news concerning Assail. He is sick and he needs her. Sola turns down their “invitation” to return to Caldwell. She has her grandmother to protect. They barely made it out of Caldwell alive. Then her grandmother confronts her about returning. There is little she can do after that and she soon finds herself at Assail’s bedside. She can’t believe the difference in the strong forceful man she knows compared to the shell of the man in the hospital bed. Though cancer will do that to a man.

Oh yeah, she doesn’t know vampires exist. That will be a problem.

As for V and Jane…they have big problems. Why? Because relationships aren’t all flowers and puppies. They need to be worked on. V and Jane haven’t worked on their relationship at all. They are barely roommates. V is feeling an itch to return to his old life and Jane has no idea. All she cares about is her patients. They are forced to confront their problems when Jane catches V almost cheat on her. It is so heartbreaking that I almost cried. Almost. Seeing these two find their way back to each other was the best part of this book. I loved it. These two made the book for me. Sola and Assail disappeared. It was all about V and Jane. Jane and V. V. Jane. Love.

Lassiter’s secret came out. The war escalates in a dangerous way. I found the book intriguing. When Sola found out vampires existed, I was rolling my eyes so hard I’m surprised they didn’t roll out of my head. Then I started wondering what I would have done if I found out vampires existed. My reaction probably would have been the same as hers. So I tried not to judge. But seriously, her reaction seemed a little overboard. And annoying.

V and Jane. Sigh.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Black Dagger Brotherhood

three-half-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: Moonlight Road by Robyn Carr

Posted June 14, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 4 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Moonlight Road by Robyn CarrReviewer: Casee
Moonlight Road by Robyn Carr
Series: Virgin River #10
Also in this series: Virgin River, Whispering Rock, Virgin River, A Virgin River Christmas, Second Chance Pass, Second Chance Pass, Second Chance Pass, Temptation Ridge, Paradise Valley, Forbidden Falls, Forbidden Falls, Angel's Peak, Forbidden Falls, Promise Canyon, Wild Man Creek, Promise Canyon, Harvest Moon, Bring Me Home for Christmas, Redwood Bend, Sunrise Point, Shelter Mountain, Moonlight Road
Published by MIRA
Publication Date: March 2, 2010
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 409
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-stars

WITH HER BELOVED YOUNGER SIBLINGS SETTLED AND HAPPY, ERIN FOLEY HAS EMPTY NEST SYNDROME. AT AGE THIRTY-FIVE.

So she's hitting the pause button on her life and holing up in a secluded (but totally upgraded --- she's not into roughing it!) cabin near Virgin River. Erin is planning on getting to know herself ... not the shaggy-haired mountain man she meets.

In fact, beneath his faded fatigues and bushy beard, Aiden Riordan is a doctor, recharging for a summer after leaving the navy. He's intrigued by the pretty, slightly snooty refugee from the rat race --- her meditating and journaling are definitely keeping him at arm's length. He'd love to get closer ... if his scruffy exterior and crazy ex-wife don't hold him back.

But maybe it's something in the water --- unlikely romances seem to take root in Virgin River ... helped along by some well-intentioned meddling, of course.

Reading last week’s Throwback review got me all nostalgic. I started reading all the old Virgin River reviews when I came across my review of Moonlight Road. Last week’s review and this review are so different that I had to share. For real though, what happened to this series?

This review was originally posted on March 16, 2010.

This commenter had it right. The Virgin River books are starting to read more like women’s health manuals for the premenopausal (and even post menopausal) than real romance. There is actually a scene between Mel and Jack where Jack tells her that HE misses HER periods. Why? Because having sex with her during her period was a turn-on. You know, he could show her that he wants her no matter what. SERIOUSLY. What man says that? Even Jack—my favorite VR hero—shouldn’t be able to get away with that. Because men don’t say that. Do they?

I really liked Aiden and Erin. Their initial meeting had me laughing. From each of their perspectives, it’s clear that they both have the wrong impression. Aiden thinks that Erin is an ice queen (i.e. bitch). Erin thinks that Aiden is a homeless bum. As they get to know each other, Erin slowly realizes that Aiden is far from a bum. The Virgin River books tend to move slow. I liken it to life in Virgin River. Nothing ever comes quickly. So it’s over several weeks/months that Aiden and Erin start getting to know each other.

Aiden had been married about eight years ago and for three months. He’s horrified when it’s crazy ex turns up at his family’s place in Virgin River acting like she wants to get back together. The ex is pretending that she wants him back even though Aiden knows it’s a crock of crap. Still, she has a way of making the situation turn in her favor. Then she goes to visit Erin and feeds her a bunch of lies about Aiden.

That’s when it started falling apart for me. Erin knows Aiden, she’s even falling in love with them. He’s great in bed and they have fun together. So the fact that Erin immediately decides that she can’t trust him totally turns me off of her. I understood why, but I didn’t understand how. Aiden warned her about his ex long before she paid Erin a visit. It wasn’t something that blindsided Erin. Yet she’s willing to believe a psycho?

Then there is Mel. Mel—my favorite Virgin River heroine—who went CRAZY in this book. She turned into a character that I didn’t recognize. I understood her reaction to the particular situation she found herself in, but I found her way of dealing with it completely unlike her. She completely tries to railroad Jack into doing something he doesn’t want to do. There’s something even worse, but to tell you would be to spoil it.

This book was just a hot menopausal mess. I liked Erin (other than the whole distrust thing) the best b/c it seemed like she came the farthest. She opened herself up to life and found someone to love.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Virgin River

three-stars


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