Tag: Casee’s Reviews

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
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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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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


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Review: Keep Me Safe by Maya Banks

Posted March 21, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Keep Me Safe by Maya BanksReviewer: Casee
Keep Me Safe (Slow Burn #1) by Maya Banks
Series: Slow Burn #1
Also in this series: Burn for You (Slow Burn, #1), Melt for You (Slow Burn, #2), Ache for You (Slow Burn, #3)
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: October 7, 2014
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 307
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Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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Series Rating: two-stars

A sizzling story of a woman who risks her life and her heart to find a wealthy man’s missing sister — the first novel in a sexy new romantic suspense series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Maya Banks.

When Caleb Devereaux's younger sister is kidnapped, this scion of a powerful and wealthy family turns to an unlikely source for help: a beautiful and sensitive woman with a gift for finding answers others cannot.

While Ramie can connect to victims and locate them by feeling their pain, her ability comes with a price. Every time she uses it, it costs her a piece of herself. Helping the infuriatingly attractive and impatient Caleb successfully find his sister nearly destroys her. Even though his sexual intensity draws her like a magnet, she needs to get as far away from him as she can.

Deeply remorseful for the pain he’s caused, Caleb is determined to make things right. But just when he thinks Ramie's vanished forever, she reappears. She’s in trouble and she needs his help. Now, Caleb will risk everything to protect her — including his heart....

Oy, this book. It was not what I was expecting. It seemed sort of Dream Man by Linda Howard. Not that I was expecting a Linda Howard book. No, I just enjoy books about psychics. It’s more than safe to say that I did not enjoy this book. Not even a little bit.

When Caleb Devereaux’s younger sister, Tori, is abducted, he goes looking for psychic Ramie St. Claire. Caleb doesn’t doubt her ability as Tori is psychic herself. By the time he tracts Ramie down, he is furious with her. How could she hide herself away from the world when she can help people like Tori? It’s only when he forces (yes, forces) Ramie to take Tori’s scarf thus living Tori’s nightmare with her that Caleb realizes why Ramie is in hiding.

When Caleb shows up at her door and sends into a nightmare she can’t get out of, she is sure that it will finally be the end to her. No such luck. She tells Caleb where his sister is and he leaves her house, telling her that he will be back. That, more than anything, gives her the strength to get her body moving so she can leave the sanctuary she has made for herself. For if Caleb can find her then he can find her too.

A year later and Ramie is desperate. He has finally caught up with her. Ramie has nothing left expect a marker to call in to Caleb Devereaux. He comes to immediately. I understood that he would come to her aid, but I didn’t understand the immediate attraction. It was weird. Not to mention that instead of actually thanking Ramie for saving her life, Tori was a complete and total bitch to her. I understood on some level, but it was childish on another.

After Caleb and Ramie were reunited the whole book just went downhill. The part that made me want to read the book (psychic) actually made the book unbearable. I have zero plans to read the rest of this series. Zero. Zip. Zilch.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Slow Burn


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Review: Cake by J. Bengtsson

Posted March 19, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Cake by J. BengtssonReviewer: Casee
Cake (Cake, #1) by J. Bengtsson
Narrator: Andi Arndt, Joe Arden
Series: Cake #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: May 14, 2016
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Romance Package
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 611
Length: 12 hours and 42 minutes
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Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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Series Rating: four-stars

Jake McKallister might have been a rock star, but he was no ordinary one. Surviving an unspeakable crime as a young teen had shaped him into a guarded workaholic, and he now lived his life trying to forget. If it hadn’t been for music and the redemption he found through it, he might not have survived. Career success came easily for him. Personal connections did not.

When outspoken, vivacious college student Casey Caldwell was paired with the famously reserved rockstar for a friend’s wedding, she was prepared for the worst. What could they possibly have in common? She was a bubbly talker; he was a reclusive loner. His life was filled with music; she couldn’t carry a tune. She’d enjoyed a happy childhood; his was a well-publicized nightmare.

Yet despite their obvious differences, Jake and Casey found each other, and her light balanced out his darkness. Would their love be strong enough to survive the weight of his tragic past?

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is a *full-length* standalone romance. Cake is a love story at heart but does deal with a sensitive topic and may not be for all. Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of eighteen.

Cake is the first book in the Cake series. The series follows the McKallister family. This book is about Jake McKallister, the rockstar of the family. No really, he’s seriously a rockstar. Like, for real.

Casey Caldwell never thought she would be walking down the aisle with Jake McKallister. Yet that is exactly what she is doing when she is paired up with him at her friend Kate’s wedding to Jake’s brother. Casey is an easygoing person. She can tell a joke, likes pulling pranks, and is just generally funny. Tbh, her jokes and pranks got old after awhile. Casey and Jake really hit it off during the rehearsal dinner when Casey pranked Jake.

Jake is instantly intrigued by Casey. No one pranks him. Literally no one. There is no one in his life that is bold enough to try. Now he can’t get Casey out of his mind. Jake doesn’t normally do relationships, but he finds himself wanting more from Casey. They decide to keep in touch after the wedding and soon after that, Jake invites Casey to come on tour with him for two weeks.

Their relationship is going swimmingly until Jake’s past starts to come between them. Jake went through a horrific experience during his childhood. That experience has shaped his current relationships and his life as an adult. Jake doesn’t talk about it. He won’t talk about it. Casey accepts that to a certain point. It causes friction between the two until Casey wonders if their relationship can withstand he strain.

Cake was a love story between two people that didn’t see it coming. It was about moving on from the past. It was about healing. It was about fighting for something you knew was worth fighting for. I listened to this book on audio and the narrators were really good. I was instantly pulled into the book and listened to it in a few days.

I’m looking forward to listening to the rest of the series.

Rating: 4 out of 5.



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Review: Repeat by Kylie Scott

Posted March 14, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Repeat by Kylie ScottReviewer: Casee
Repeat by Kylie Scott
Narrator: Andi Arndt
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 7, 2019
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Romance Package
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Length: 6 hours and 47 minutes
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Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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From Audie Award winning, New York Times best-selling author Kylie Scott comes an irresistible new romance - available in audio first!

When a vicious attack leaves 25-year-old Clementine Johns with no memory, she's forced to start over. Now she has to figure out who she was and why she made the choices she did - which includes leaving the supposed love of her life, tattoo artist Ed Larsen, only a month before.

Ed can hardly believe it when his ex shows up at his tattoo parlor with no memory of their past, asking about the breakup that nearly destroyed him. The last thing he needs is more heartache, but he can't seem to let her go again.

Should they walk away for good, or does their love deserve a repeat performance?

So Holly gave this book a five. A five, y’all. I think this has happened less than five times in the history of Book Binge. When she told me how good this book was and that I had to read it, I didn’t doubt her. Our track records haven’t been great, but I still read the summary and it was intriguing. You guys, I listened to this book at work in one day. And I work part-time. It was so good.

Clementine Johns wakes up in the hospital with no memories. Like none. She doesn’t know who she is, who the people around her are, or why she left the man that she’s told was the love of her life. Actually, her sister didn’t even tell her that she had someone in her life. She finds that out when she goes looking for who did the tattoos that are on her body. When she walks into the tattoo shop, the man there looks anything but happy to see her. She soon understands why when it seems that she left him only a month before.

Ed agrees to answer Clem’s questions, but he doesn’t agree to anything beyond that. Clem is fine with that, but she soon finds herself falling for the big tattoo artist and wonders what would have made her leave him. When he starts giving her bits and pieces of their past, she doesn’t like the picture it paints of her.

The suspense part of the book was ridiculous, but it didn’t take up much of the book.

This book was really amazing. It’s about second chances. It’s about holding on tight to the one you love and taking a leap of faith. Clem didn’t know who she used to be and she didn’t really care. She knew who she wanted to be. All she wanted to show Ed was that she could be the woman the woman for him.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.


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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
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Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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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.



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