Tag: Casee’s Reviews

Retro-Review: Lover Mine by J.R. Ward

Posted October 4, 2017 by Casee in Reviews | 4 Comments

Retro-Review: Lover Mine by J.R. WardReviewer: Casee
Lover Mine by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #8
Also in this series: Lover Unleashed, Lover at Last, The King, The Shadows, The Beast, Lover Enshrined, The Chosen
Published by NAL
Publication Date: April 27th 2010
Pages: 528
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Goodreads

John Matthew has come a long way since he was found living among humans, his vampire nature unknown to himself and to those around him. After he was taken in by the Brotherhood, no one could guess what his true history was- or his true identity. Indeed, the fallen Brother Darius has returned, but with a different face and a very different destiny. As a vicious personal vendetta takes John into the heart of the war, he will need to call up on both who he is now and who he once was in order to face off against evil incarnate.
Xhex, a symphath assassin, has long steeled herself against the attraction between her and John Matthew. Having already lost one lover to madness, she will not allow the male of worth to fall prey to the darkness of her twisted life. When fate intervenes, however, the two discover that love, like destiny, is inevitable between soul mates.

*****As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews and posts that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.

Holly: I can’t believe this book was released in 2010 and the series is still going. Crazycakes.

This review was originally published June 4, 2010

John Matthew has come a long way since he was found living among humans, his vampire nature unknown to himself and to those around him. After he was taken in by the Brotherhood, no one could guess what his true history was- or his true identity. Indeed, the fallen Brother Darius has returned, but with a different face and a very different destiny. As a vicious personal vendetta takes John into the heart of the war, he will need to call up on both who he is now and who he once was in order to face off against evil incarnate.

Xhex, a symphath assassin, has long steeled herself against the attraction between her and John Matthew. Having already lost one lover to madness, she will not allow the male of worth to fall prey to the darkness of her twisted life. When fate intervenes, however, the two discover that love, like destiny, is inevitable between soul mates.
This is the first book that I’ve really liked since Lover Eternal. As I’ve said numerous times, I loved Dark Lover, really liked Lover Eternal and was so-so with Lover Awakened. I read the rest of the books in the series b/c I’m a glutton for punishment I suppose. I just couldn’t quit (though I went the library route). John Matthew is probably the only character besides Tohr that still interests me. I wonder at the fact that this book was so much better than her previous books. I believe that JRW saw the negative feedback and reversed direction a little. Or maybe we were just long overdue for a good one in the series after the wrecks that were Lover Enshrined and Lover R. ::shrug::

The previous book ended with Xhex being taken by Lash. Lash is the Omega’s son, blahblahblah. He’s still as boring as he was from the first book. He’s not scary, he’s not villainous, he’s just pathetic. First Lash took Xhex to get back at John Matthew, then he “fell in love” with her, which basically means that he wants to own her and thinks that she’s his mate.

For Xhex, her time with Lash is eerily reminiscent of the time she got taken by the sympaths. Her situation really makes you think about how many bad things can really happen to one person.  I know she’s not a person exactly, but Xhex has gone through more than any person (or vampire) should go through.  I never thought that I would think Xhex was anything but bad ass.  Lover Mine showed a whole different side to her and that was before she even got rescued.  One thing that remains clear about Xhex is that she’s a survivor.

John Matthew turned into a total man-whore in the last book.  It was ridiculous.  The guy was fucked up enough as it was.  He’s mute, he was raped, he lost the only mother he ever knew, then he lost the father as well.  Let’s add in man-whore on top of that.  John Matthew’s road was never going to be easy.  That was always clear.  So having him change so drastically over the course of one book was just stoopid.

Everyone should know by now that John Matthew is Darius reincarnated.  It was a little boring when reading Darius’ journals, but there was a point to everything.  Everything comes full circle.  Darius and Tohr were very close and it becomes clear exactly how close.  Darius was a father figure to Tohr in the same way Tohr was to John Matthew.  Tohr gets his head out of his ass in this book too.  Look, I obviously felt horrible when Wellsie died.  The fact that Tohr wasn’t there when John Matthew went through his transition was unforgivable to me.  Tohr finally realizes that staying away really hurt John Matthew.

John Matthew and Xhex were perfect for each other.  I never doubted it.  A lot of readers wanted to see John Matthew and Layla together, which would have been booooo-rrrrrring.  Xhex and JM complimented each other.  I loved how Xhex let John see her softer side.  I also loved how aware John was about that.  He never took anything Xhex said or did for granted.  He was grateful for her for every single second.

Of everything in the book, what Xhex said to John on page 300 was my favorite.  In a few short sentences, she nailed it.

“No, you’ve got it all wrong, John.” Reading his emotions, she shook her head. “You’re not half the male you could be because of what was done to you.  You’re twice what anyone else is because you survived.”

I was pretty impressed that JRW managed to keep it down to less than twenty pov’s. The whole Blay and Qhuinn story didn’t get resolved like I thought it would. I distinctly remembered in one of the chats that she said that something would be resolved. It wasn’t their relationship, that’s for sure. Everything was just as up in the air at the end of the book as it was at the beginning.

I was extremely happy with this book.

4 out of 5.

This book is available from NAL. You can buy it here.

The series:

Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 1)Lover Eternal (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 2)Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 3)Lover Revealed: A Novel of the Black Dagger BrotherhoodLover Unbound (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 5)Lover Enshrined (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 6)Lover Avenged: A Novel of the Black Dagger BrotherhoodLover Mine: A Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood


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Retro-Review: Murder Game by Christine Feehan

Posted September 20, 2017 by Casee in Reviews | 6 Comments

Retro-Review: Murder Game by Christine FeehanReviewer: Casee
Murder Game (GhostWalkers, #7) by Christine Feehan
Series: GhostWalkers #7
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: December 30, 2008
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 446
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four-stars

Return to the world of the GhostWalkers with “the queen of paranormal romance” (USA Today) as she raises the stakes in the ultimate game of love and death…

Games should be fun, but for two expert teams across the country, they’re murder – because the winning team is the one that gets the most kills. The participants in this violent challenge rumored to be GhostWalkers. And Kadan Montague isn’t happy about it.

Kadan is a GhostWalker and he’s determined to clear the GhostWalker name of the rumors. To do it, he’s going to need the help of psychic Tansy Meadows. But as soon as he sees her, he knows his mission will be more complicated than he imagined – and the “murder game” may not be at all what it seems.

*****As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews and posts that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.

Holly: Casee forced me to read introduced me to Christine Feehan forever and a day ago. She actually sent me the first 12 or so Dark novels and told me I had to read them. I remember thinking she was crazy after the first book, but by the 3rd I was hooked. I never really got into this series, but I know she still reads them.

This review was originally published on February 11, 2009

I’m a major Christine Feehan fangirl. The first paranormal I ever read was Dark Prince. I think I mention that every time I review a Christine Feehan book. I just can’t help it. I lurrrve her. Still I’m not sure how I feel about the couples in this series. They’re bona fide Lifemates, but without the blood and the chant/speech thing. There’s also no color-less world stuff. In actuality, the GhostWalkers are mortal. Still, each GhostWalker has been genetically linked to his/her “mate” by Dr. Peter Whitney. He reminds me of Walter Bishop from Fringe, but without the goodness. He only has the crazy.

Kadan goes to retrieve Tansy without any knowledge that she’s his genetic mate. I really don’t know what to call it other than that b/c it’s never really been specified. Anyhow, Kadan needs Tansy’s help in tracking down a group of GhostWalker killers. She’ll do anything to extract her, even if it means taking her by force. Of course that’s before he actually meets her and realizes who she is. After he realizes who she is, he’s determined not to use her, especially when he sees how using her gift affects her. Tansy won’t let Kadan shut her out, especially when he gives her a glimpse into the case.

Kadan has been around since the first GhostWalker book. I went back and re-read it. He was a bad mother-f-er back then and even more so now. Seeing his friends and colleagues die has made him harder (metaphorically of course) than ever. Suddenly he has this woman that for all intents and purposes, been made for him. Protecting her now comes before everything else, including finding out who is murdering GhostWalkers.

I liked Tansy. I really don’t like many CF heroines, but I liked her. When she ran head-first into danger, it was with the knowledge that what she was doing could kill her. And she wasn’t doing it b/c she was TSTL. She was doing it b/c she could save lives. The romance between Kadan and Tansy was hot, as CF’s romances usually are. I did get a little weary of reading 20 page sex scenes every 100 pages. Other than that, I have very few complaints.

This series is really good. I hope that she doesn’t continue it until it burns out.

4 out of 5.

This book is available from Jove. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

Other books in the series:

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

four-stars


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Retro-Review: Tangle of Need by Nalini Singh

Posted August 30, 2017 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Retro-Review: Tangle of Need by Nalini SinghReviewer: Casee
Tangle of Need by Nalini Singh
Series: Psy/Changeling #11
Also in this series: Caressed By Ice, Mine to Possess, Hostage to Pleasure, The Magical Christmas Cat, Kiss of Snow, Tangle of Need, Slave to Sensation, 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, Silver Silence, Silver Silence
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: May 29th 2012
Pages: 448
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Goodreads
four-stars

Discover the exhilarating risks of passion in the breathtaking new Psy-Changeling novel by Nalini Singh, the New York Times bestselling “alpha author of paranormal romance” (Booklist)…

Adria, wolf changeling and resilient soldier, has made a break with the past—one as unpredictable in love as it was in war. Now comes a new territory, and a devastating new complication: Riaz, a SnowDancer lieutenant already sworn to a desperate woman who belongs to another.

For Riaz, the primal attraction he feels for Adria is a staggering betrayal. For Adria, his dangerous lone-wolf appeal is beyond sexual. It consumes her. It terrifies her. It threatens to undermine everything she has built of her new life. But fighting their wild compulsion toward one another proves a losing battle.

Their coming together is an inferno…and a melding of two wounded souls who promise each other no commitment, no ties, no bonds. Only pleasure. Too late, they realize that they have more to lose than they ever imagined. Drawn into a cataclysmic Psy war that may alter the fate of the world itself, they must make a decision that might just break them both.

*****As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.

Rowena: It’s always good to revisit the older Psy/Changelings books. Check out Casee’s review of Tangle of Need.

This review was originally posted on August 17, 2012

After I read Tangle of Need, I had to re-read the whole series. Then I had to re-read Tangle of Need to make sure I reviewed the correct book. I think that Tangle of Need gave an in-depth look into SnowDancer that even Kiss of Snow didn’t show.

Some of Adria’s back story was told in a previous book. Adria is a dominant wolf who mated with a non-dominant wolf. Over time, her mate broke her spirit and made her question everything about herself as a dominant female. Adria finally had the strength to leave Martin. Leaving a mate is rare, but the relationship was slowly killing Adria.

Adria returns to SnowDancer where she hopes to heal among her family and the closeness of Pack. The last thing she expects is to be attracted to Riaz, a fellow soldier and dominant. Adria also doesn’t want to be attracted to anyone. When she finds out that Riaz has met his mate, she is sickened with Riaz and herself. She’s also sad for him because there is only one mate for each wolf and his mate is happily married.

Their attraction to each other becomes impossible to ignore and Adria and Riaz are soon deep into an affair. Adria feels safe because she knows that Riaz can’t commit to her. As time goes on, Riaz and Adria begin feeling more toward each other than just pleasure and affection. Riaz knows he will never be with his mate. He’s accepted that and he is happy with Adria. He just has to convince her to let go of her fear to commit. That is easier said than done when it comes to someone as dominant and strong-willed as Adria.

What was the most interesting about Adria and Riaz’s relationship was that in the end, they were able to commit to each other as mates would. Obviously, it was a long road for them to get there (especially for Adria), but their relationship was just as strong as if they were mated. It was remarkably wonderful to read about their relationship, the obstacles, and how their love was strong enough to overcome the mate issue.

As I mentioned above, I loved the deeper look into SnowDancer and the hierarchy of the pack. They are much different than DarkRiver insofar as there are much stricter rules due to the past and how the pack was almost decimated. I especially loved Hawke and Sienna. Their relationship isn’t easy, even after they mated. Sienna also has to find her place in the pack as the alpha’s mate.

Tangle of Need was brilliant from start to finish. Each book continues the story arc and it’s done with a freshness that makes each book better than the one before. Nalini Singh continues to amaze with this series.

4.25 out of 5.

This book is available from Berkley. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

four-stars


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Retro Review: Atlantis Awakening by Alyssa Day

Posted July 12, 2017 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Retro Review: Atlantis Awakening by Alyssa DayReviewer: Casee
Atlantis Awakening (Warriors of Poseidon, #2) by Alyssa Day
Series: Warriors of Poseidon #2
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: November 6th 2007
Pages: 284
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

To rescue the world from an overwhelming evil, Poseidon's warriors have risen from Atlantis. Chief among them is Ven, serving as the King's Vengeance by birthright and by battle challenge. None can conquer him - except perhaps for one human female....

The Warrior...Ven's mind is filled with duty. He must serve as Atlantean liaison to the humans in a war waged against the vampires. A sword is his weapon - not diplomacy. But on a mission to recover the Nereid's heart - a ruby of immense power - it will take every ounce of strength he possesses to resist the sexual allure of the beautiful witch chosen to work with him.

And the Witch...Erin's heart is filled with vengeance. She lives only for the chance at revenge against those who murdered her family. Now she must partner with a legendary Atlantean warrior whose dark desire threatens to crash through the barriers built around her emotions - and her heart. Caught in the trap of shifting alliances, how long can Ven and Erin resist their awakening passion?

Dark forces beware: Atlantis is awakening.

*****As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.
Holly: This review prompted me to buy the first two books in this series…where they’ve been languishing for ten years. I think it’s about time I pulled them out.
This review was originally published 11/20/2007
It was this book that prompted me to blog about this. Though I did (and still do) have the series blahs, I still read this book. I even liked it. Because it’s been a few weeks since I’ve read it, I’m going to do a quick review.
Ven and Erin must work together to retrieve Nereid’s heart, which will save the life of Riley and her unborn child. Riley is mated to Conlan, Ven’s brother (Atlantis Rising). Ven finds himself torn between putting Erin in danger thus saving Riley’s life and refusing to let Erin retrieve the heart which would kill Riley and her baby. Of course it doesn’t take Ven long to realize that Erin won’t stand aside. Not only will she not let Riley die, she has waited years to face the vampire that killed her family. She also gets another shock when she finds out that her sister, Deidre, was not killed that night but actually turned vampire against her will.
I enjoyed this book once I really let myself get into it. There were several glimpses into the relationship between Alaric and Quinn. Both have major baggage and I’m highly curious to see how that will play out. Day also set the stage for Justice’s book, which will be the next full-length novel. I’m really anticipating Justice after how she left it. She introduced more shapeshifters, gave us more of a look into Drakos/Daniel, and showed more of Jack (tiger shapeshifter).
Alyssa Day has created a fascinating world here and I look forward to reading more about it in the future.

4 out of 5.

four-stars


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Review: Wired by Julie Garwood

Posted July 5, 2017 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Wired by Julie GarwoodReviewer: Casee
Wired by Julie Garwood
Series: Buchanan-Renard Series #13
Also in this series: Wired, Wired
Published by Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: July 4th 2017
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 336
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars

A beautiful computer hacker and a bad-boy FBI agent must collaborate—in more ways than one—in the sizzling new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Julie Garwood.

Allison Trent doesn’t look like a hacker. In fact, when she’s not in college working on her degree, she models on the side. But behind her gorgeous face is a brilliant mind for computers and her real love is writing—and hacking—code. Her dream is to write a new security program that could revolutionize the tech industry.

Hotshot FBI agent Liam Scott has a problem: a leak deep within his own department. He needs the skills of a top-notch hacker to work on a highly sensitive project: to secretly break into the FBI servers and find out who the traitor is. But he can’t use one of his own. He finds the perfect candidate in Allison. Only, there’s one problem—she wants nothing to do with his job and turns him down flat.

What Liam doesn’t know is that Allison is hiding secrets that she doesn’t want the FBI to uncover. But Liam will do nearly anything to persuade her to join his team, even break a few rules if that’s what it takes. A temptation that could put his job—and both of their futures—on the line…and longing for more . . .

If I had to pick one word for this book: tepid. The romance was tepid, the suspense was tepid. The whole thing was just tepid. Allison intrigued me, Liam intrigued. Together? Not so much. I just don’t understand what happened to Julie Garwood. I know authors grow as writers, but don’t they grow to be better? I saw glimpses of her trademark humor, but she fell short of the mark. It’s sad, really. Then again, when our expectations as readers are so high can authors really meet them? I say they should. They’re the ones that set those expectations by being so freaking amazing. Don’t be mad, Julie Garwood.

Allison Trent is basically a genius. A walking computer. She can do a thousand piece puzzle in twenty minutes. Who does that? It takes me like two weeks. She’s a hacker that likes to help people. Allison doesn’t like breaking the law, but she does it out of the goodness of her heart. Please. Every time she would tell herself that, I would roll my eyes. That’s exactly what the judge would tell her as she was getting sentenced. It’s not surprising that she didn’t like it when the FBI came calling.

Liam Scott only sees Allison as an asset. At the beginning. It doesn’t take long for him to see under the surface. Allison can’t turn away the family that abused her when she was growing up. Not physically, but in every other way. She supports them financially when she is basically on a student budget. She signs a contract to work for the FBI to keep her cousin out of jail. Allison has a soft heart and she can’t say no.

Allison has plans and working for the FBI does not fall into those plans. She has a software program that is going to change the tech world. Problem with that? Someone stole it. Good thing about that? She has a safeguard built in. Between her family and someone trying to hurt her, she and Liam begin a non-relationship as she likes to call it. Allison is far from worldly, but even she can only watch him walk out the door so many times.

I just didn’t feel these two together. We got a ton of Allison’s backstory. Too much actually. Liam, not enough. Or maybe we did and I just skimmed it. I admit to some skimming. I was bored and wanted to jump ahead to some action. Liam was very protective of Allison, which was nice to read. I was just happy that the book ended.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

three-stars


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