Tag: Casee’s Reviews

Review: Winter Igniting by Rebecca Zanetti

Posted May 16, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Winter Igniting by Rebecca ZanettiReviewer: Casee
Winter Igniting by Rebecca Zanetti
Series: The Scorpius Syndrome #5
Also in this series: Mercury Striking, Shadow Falling, Justice Ascending, Storm Gathering
Published by RAZ INK LLC
Publication Date: February 20, 2018
Point-of-View: Third
Pages: 370
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four-half-stars

His only goal was survival until he met her...

With nothing to lose, former cop Damon Winter agrees to an undercover op, infiltrating a cult in the dangerous post-Scorpius world. After one look at his new partner, he knows she belongs far away from not only the cult, but from him. She's sweet and kind and has no business being in peril, but she's determined to help. Suddenly, the part he's playing as her man explodes into a passion neither of them had expected.

She hadn't purposefully faced risk until she met him...

April Snyder has survived loss, pain, and uncertainty. Now she's ready to live again. There's nothing left but to make a difference for others, so why not go undercover in the cult? Now all she has to do is keep it professional and ignore her handsome, deadly, overbearing partner, who's too sexy for her peace of mind. Intrigue, risk, and danger make for an irresistible temptation--until enemies close in, threatening everyone they've sworn to protect.

This is my first 4.5 review of the year and I’m shocked spitless that it was this book that did it for me. If there was book in this series that I expected to give a 5 star review to it was Storm Gathering. I loved Greyson Storm. I still love him. I don’t necessarily love Damon more, but the story as a whole and the progress of the series in Winter Igniting just did it for me. Damon has been a key figure in the series since Grey kidnapped Moe (really, really dislike that nickname). He wasn’t really on my radar until Grey’s book. Then he was right up there and I was looking forward to reading his book. Until I found out that his heroine was April Snyder. Sure, she’s been through more than most people in this post-apocalyptic world, but she that doesn’t make her any less boring. And less of a mousy, quiet woman whom, in no way could grab the attention of a character like Damon. I admit when I’m wrong and I was very wrong.

Damon lost his whole family after they were infected by Scorpius. Damon is one of the few survivors of in their new world that hasn’t been affected by Scorpius. Which makes him the perfect person to go undercover in the Pure Church. The Pure Church is a cult-like church in Jax Montgomery’s territory that he’s been unable to infiltrate. He doesn’t like that he has a group of armed civilians in his territory. He won’t accept anything less than talking to every member of the church and making sure they are at the church of their own free will. That’s where Damon comes in. As a “pure” human, the members are sure to welcome him in. His partner? April Snyder who is also unaffected by Scorpius.

April turned out to be more than a pleasant surprise. Underneath her mousy exterior was a woman of steel. I adored her. She was confident without being stupid. She was determined to help the women of the church, especially when she found out what was really going on. One thing she never expected was someone like Damon to enter her life after losing everything. Losing her husband to Scorpius was something that was devastating to April, but losing her daughter was life-changing. She never expected to feel so much for anyone again and she is pretty much at a loss. She decides to take things one day at a time with Damon, but is still unprepared for the magnetism and protectiveness of his personality.

Damon knows what kind of man he is. Once he commits to anything, he is all in. Even more so when he meets April and they become lovers. The only problem he has is that April refuses to see him for who he really is. Which is a violent man that will kill to protect those he loves. Damon knows that when she sees his true nature it might be the last time she looks his way. He underestimates April as does most other people (including me). When April finally realizes what she is in for…hawtness. I just adore these two together. Although I liked Grey and Moe (ugh) together, April and Damon just clicked for me almost right away.

As for the progress of the series, the situation with the church was finally resolved after several books which was nice. There was plenty of action to go around. President Atherton is as evil as ever which makes the series that much better. I can’t wait to see what he’s up to in the next book. You just know that he’s going to get his hands on Lynne one of these books and Jax is going to go through the roof. I can’t wait to see that happen. So overall, I 100% loved this book. I didn’t give it a 5 because I rarely give 5’s.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The Scorpius Syndrome

four-half-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie

Posted May 3, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 4 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer CrusieReviewer: Casee
Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie
Series: Dempseys #1
Also in this series: Welcome to Temptation (Dempseys, #1), Faking It
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Publication Date: July 11, 2004
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 416
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four-stars

Sophie Dempsey is content living a quiet life filming wedding videos until an assignment brings her to Temptation, Ohio. From the moment she drive into town, she gets a bad feeling; Sophie is from the wrong side of the tracks and everything in Temptation is a little too right. And when she has a run-in with the town's unnervingly sexy mayor, Phineas Tucker, making a little movie turns out to be more than a little dangerous.

Yield to oncoming desire...

All Sophie wants to do is film the video and head home. All Phin wants to do is play pool with the police chief and keep things peaceful. They both get more than they bargained for when Sophie's video causes an uproar and the proper citizens of Temptation set out to shut them down.

Welcome to temptation...

As events spiral out of control, Sophie and Phin find themselves caught in a web of gossip, blackmail, adultery, murder, and really excellent sex. All hell breaks loose in Temptation as Sophie and Phin fall deeper and deeper in trouble...and in love.

Every Thursday in 2018, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books.

This review was originally published on June 3, 2008.

So after reading Bet Me, I checked my shelves to see if I had any other Jennifer Crusie books. Shockingly enough, I had this one. Coming down off the high that was Bet Me, you’d think that I’d go into this book w/ high expectations. Well, I did not. Holly reminded me (more than once) that Bet Me is JC’s best book. So I started this book expecting to love like it, which I did.

When Sophie travels with her younger sister, Amy, to Temptation, she has no idea what she has gotten into. What is supposed to be a documentary on a once semi-famous actress has turned into something she doesn’t want to think about. From the day she arrived and got hit by Temptation’s most vocal citizen to the day she realizes that her sister is shooting porn, Sophie can’t wait until the day she leaves Temptation. Even Phin Tucker, Mayor of Temptation, can’t tempt her to stay in a town that is bringing up all sorts of bad memories.

As for Phin, he knows Sophie is trouble the moment he lays eyes on her. That doesn’t stop him from wanting her, nor does it stop him from pursing her. What is supposed to be a week long fling doesn’t take long to turn into something more. While everybody in Temptation seems to want something from Phin, Sophie only wants sex. Phin has no problem accommodating her, of course.

While I did enjoy this book, I wasn’t really feeling the chemistry between Sophie and Phin. Or maybe I wasn’t feeling it at first. I kept asking myself why they were attracted to each other. What at first seemed forced ended up working as both Phin and Sophie realized that their feelings for each other went beyond just a brief affair.

It was also exchanges like these between Phin and Sophie that really made me enjoy the book:

Twenty minutes later, she was suffocating on top of him in the heat of her un-air-conditioned bedroom, the ancient box springs squeaking under them like a bad accordion, and her head was unbanged because the sex was lousy.

It wasn’t Phin’s fault. He was as thoroughly competent at the Phallic Variation as he’d been orally the night before. So it must be me, she thought, as he moved under her, doing absolutely nothing for her. She felt embarrassed by the whole situation. Zane had been right. She just wasn’t the type for headbanging sex. She was too detached. She was too prissy and straight. She was doing this to write a sex scene for a movie she wasn’t even sure she wanted to make. She was hot and sticky and she could feel her hair kinking in the heat even as Phin breathed under her, so she knew she looked awful. She was unexciting. Whatever the reason, it didn’t matter, she was never going to get anywhere at this rate.

She thought briefly about faking it, and then dumped the idea when she realized that Phin would probably see through it and make fun of her performance. That pretty much left her with no option except tapping him on the shoulder and telling him to play on through because she was out of the game. Sorry, she’d have to say. I’m not even close. Or she could let him figure it out on his own, except guys never did. They just—

“You’re not even close, are you?” Phin said, breathless below her, and she refocused back on him.

“What?”

“Hi, I’m Phin Tucker, and I’m inside you. I know how these things slip your mind.” He didn’t sound annoyed, but she felt bad anyway.

Sophie’s dejection literally comes through the pages. It is funny as hell to read b/c she seems to be able to find humor in just about anything. Even the fact that what she expected to be great sex is anything but. That really makes for a fun read.

So while this book was no Bet Me, it was a good read. The cast of characters could only come from a place called Temptation, Ohio. Where the mayor’s name has stayed the same for more years than you can count. Where the city council tries to pass a “no porn” law and where one man will do just about anything to beat Phin in the next election. It’s a fun, quirky read that readers of romantic comedy will enjoy.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Dempseys

four-stars


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Review: Storm Gathering by Rebecca Zanetti

Posted April 25, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Storm Gathering by Rebecca ZanettiReviewer: Casee
Storm Gathering by Rebecca Zanetti
Series: The Scorpius Syndrome #4
Also in this series: Mercury Striking, Shadow Falling, Justice Ascending, Winter Igniting
Published by RAZ INK LLC
Publication Date: September 19, 2017
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Post Apocalyptic
Pages: 359
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Even before surviving the Scorpius bacterium, Greyson Storm was a lone wolf navigating minefields. As a kid, he learned to take a hit and find safety. As an adult, he joined the military and quickly learned how to protect and defend. When the world ended, he created a mercenary camp with military precision, no entanglements, and a promise to avenge a fallen friend. As part of that vow, he kidnapped Maureen Shadow, but now that he has let her go, her blue eyes and intriguing mind keep haunting him…

As possibly the only Biotechnology Engineer still living, Maureen Shadow might be humanity’s one hope to survive the aftermath of Scorpius, making her frighteningly valuable to both allies and enemies. Even after sexual tension explodes between her and Greyson, she’s not sure which camp he belongs to—friend or foe? Worse yet, survival may mean thwarting his prime mission, putting her in even more peril. When danger and seduction collide, there is no safety in this new world.

That cover tho. I never, never imagine a character as it is on a cover, which is why I prefer books without models on the cover. Well, models with faces anyway. This one I will take. I loved this book cover to cover. Literally. I have loved Greyson Storm since the page he was first introduced in this series. He was badass, take no prisoners, shove it in your face, take him or leave him, kind of guy. And hot. Like it didn’t matter if you were kidnapped by him, you were still attracted to him. Even if you basically hated yourself for it. But it’s the apocalypse. Give yourself a break. At least that was what I was telling Maureen Shadow as I was reading this book. Poor Moe.

Poor Moe indeed. She was just a scientist going about her work. The small project of how to continue to feed the freaking world. Yeah, that was the project she was working on when Greyson Storm showed up in her lab and decided to kidnap her. And he doesn’t even want her. He’s using her as a bargaining chip to get something from her brother. Well, Moe is no one’s bargaining chip and she will do anything to get out of the Merc’s compound. After she makes the worst mistake of her life…sleeping with Grey. She didn’t even listen to him when he said no. When Grey releases her back to Vanguard and her brother, the news keeps getting worse. She’s pregnant with Greyson Storm’s child. There hasn’t been one Scorpius survivor that has brought a pregnancy to term.

Greyson wants Moe. He needs her and he knows he isn’t good for her. He knows enough about himself that if he even is crazy enough to fall for a woman, he will be beyond protective. He will lock her down so no one can get to her and nothing can hurt her. Which he knows is crazy to think considering they are living in a post-apocalypse world. Too bad he is crazy and he has fallen for Moe. When he and his lieutenant Damon go back to Vanguard for peace talks over their shared Bunker, he can tell that something is going on with Moe. So he kidnaps her. For a second time.

There is so much going on in this book. I think one thing I really liked about this book is that Grey’s feelings for Moe did not change his behavior. He knew that he still needed to be the ruthless leader of the Mercenaries. That couldn’t change. If someone threatened his people or Maureen, he acted swiftly and without mercy. Although it mattered what Moe thought about him, he didn’t let what she felt dictate his actions. He knew that how he acted now would show people what would happen in the future. He was coldly calculating, but he wasn’t cold. He made decisions based on logic then calmly executed them. When he thought something he would do would protect Moe, he did it without hesitation even if he thought she would hate him forever. I hate to give it to Moe, she saw through a lot of the bullshit. She just saw Grey. I really loved that about her. They were just really great together. The whole book was just good from the beginning to the end.

One thing I did hate was the nickname Moe.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

The Scorpius Syndrome


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Review: Dark Legacy by Christine Feehan

Posted April 24, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Dark Legacy by Christine FeehanReviewer: Casee
Dark Legacy by Christine Feehan
Series: Dark Series #31
Also in this series: Dark Wolf, Dark Promises, Dark Carousel
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: September 5, 2017
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 416
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three-stars

In a thrilling Carpathian novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan, a woman fights to free herself from the grip of the vampire trying to possess her...

In a beautiful compound hidden away from the world, Emeline Sanchez tries to blunt the pain that has wracked her body ever since her terrifying ordeal in the labyrinth beneath the city—when she was forced to exchange blood with an evil master vampire.

Now, it’s his voice that haunts her...that calls to her in the dark...that never lets her rest. And while the children that she helped to free from his clutches struggle to heal, watched over by their Carpathian protectors, Emeline knows one thing: She must sacrifice herself to keep them all from harm...

I’m pretty much on the fence about this one. It wasn’t my favorite book in the Dark series, but it wasn’t my least favorite either. My favorite goes to the first book in the series, Dark Prince. My least favorite most certainly goes to Dark Promises. I despised that book. I was way too generous with my rating for that book. If I recall correctly, Dark Promises was the book that the Ancients were really introduced. The Ancients are a group of male Carpathians that have served the race for so long that no one remembers how long they’ve been around. They don’t even know how long they’ve been around. They do know that if they’re unleashed on the world that they will be come the very thing they spent their existence hunting. The vampire. To stop that from happening, the Ancients have locked themselves up in a monastery.

These books come out a year apart and I will be honest with you. I can’t remember why the Ancients left the monastery. I believe that it was their Ancient friend that found his TSTL lifemate in Dark Promises gave them hope that their own lifemates were out there, so they are all in search of their own. I know if I had a lifemate like that, I’d run screaming in the opposite direction. For real.

In Dark Legacy, we are back in the world of Dark Carousel. We are with Tariq and Charlotte Asenguard, Charlotte’s little sister, and the little kids they are adopting. Also in the compound is Emeline Sanchez, the savior of all the children. In Dark Carousel, she literally went into a vampire den? Nest? Hideout? She went underground where she knew vampires were holding the children and where they would die, to save them. How did she know? Her dreams. Emeline has been able to dream walk since she was a small child. She knew she would save the children. She also knew she would be caught and have something imaginable happen to her. Still, she couldn’t stay away at the expense of the children’s lives. She was a hero.

After she is rescued and on Tariq’s compound, Emeline is far from safe. The master vampire that tortured her, Vadim Malinov, whispers to incessantly. The blood he made her drink is slowly killing her and she’s afraid he will make her hurt anyone on the compound against her will. From her dreams, she knows that one of the Ancients will be killed trying to protect her, so she stays inside her house to keep everyone safe.

When the time comes that Dragomir and Emeline come face-to-face, it is just as powerful as any other novel in this series. I really don’t know how Feehan does it. It’s pretty amazing. That was the only amazing thing about this romance. The rest of it fell flat. They were absolutely perfect for each other. They were both champions. He was a protector of his race. She was a protector of children. Yet something didn’t fit. It was weird. They should be clicked. But it all seemed forced. It was all very uncomfortable. Dragomir was always very sweet and Emeline genuinely seemed to love him, but I wasn’t feeling it. It wasn’t a bad book by any means, it just wasn’t one for me.

3 out of 5.

Dark Series

three-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: Warrior by Angela Knight

Posted April 19, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 4 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Warrior by Angela KnightReviewer: Casee
Warrior by Angela Knight
Series: Time Hunters #1
Published by Penguin Group (USA)
Publication Date: July 1, 2008
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 277
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four-stars

The NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR launches the new Time Hunters series.

In the 24th century, anyone can leap through time at will. To police the time jumpers, the Temporal Enforcement Agency has established a precinct in time. Galar Arvid is a genetically altered warlord and agent who’s been sent back to 2008 to save a pretty Atlanta artist from a Xeran time traveler who intends to kill her for profit. What Galar doesn’t count on is the powerful desire Jessica Kelly ignites in him. But could a romance between them work? A three-hundred-year chasm separates them and, even if they dart through time, there’s still a maniacal killer on their tails.

Every Thursday in 2018, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books.

This review was originally posted on August 12, 2008.

This is the first of four reviews that I need to do, reviews I should have been working on yesterday. Unfortunately, I could not get myself motivated enough to turn on my laptop, let alone write a review. Instead, I mindlessly watched HGTV for hours. In a house that was silent. It was the closest thing to Heaven that I can imagine. This is totally off topic, but for you HGTV watchers, I’m curious…is the host of Color Splash (the one that wears tank tops and uses more hair products than I do) gay? That was about the hardest my brain worked yesterday. Actually there was one more brief moment of lucidity when I emailed Holly (via my Blackberry) and we discussed sex on a motorcycle a la Heat of the Moment by Jessica Hall. Is that actually possible?

While I can probably drone on and on about the nothing that I did yesterday, let me move onto my review of Warrior. This book begins a new series called Time Hunters. While Warrior is loosely connected to Jane’s Warlord, technically they’re not in the same series. It’s been so many years since I actually read Jane’s Warlord that I couldn’t even tell you the difference between a Warlord and an Enforcer (which is what our hero is).

As a Master Enforcer, Galar Arvid is in charge of the group of Enforcers that travel to 2008 to save Jessica Kelly from being murdered by a Time Jumper. Centuries in the future, Jessica will be infamous, for her art and for how her life was cut tragically short. Galar’s mission is to step in if, and only if, Jessica’s would be murderer is from the future. Following his own laws, he will be unable to help Jessica if her murderer is a human from her time.

Jessica is terrified when she awakes to find a stranger in her house demanding to know where her roommate is, while choking the life out of her. Fighting as best she can, she recalls little about when Galar and his team burst into her house to try to save her life. When she’s taken to the Time Jumpers “base”, what she feels goes beyond disbelief.

This is a bit of a hard review to write b/c there’s so much going on in the book to try to get the reader up to speed on this world. The Enforcers are human, yet not. They have a computer type thing in their brain which can control their bodies reactions to situations, tell them when someone is sneaking up behind them, and give them super human strength. Aside from that, they look just as human and a 21st century human being, which is what they originally assume Jess is. They soon realize their error when they discover that Jess is not entirely human herself. But then if she’s not human, is she a spy?

Even with the information overload at times, Warrior is still a good start to the Time Hunter series. There was an interesting conflict setup with a traitor (obviously not Jess) and a group of almost extinct aliens (imagine the Chicken Little aliens here). Galar is a true hero, someone that has given up a lot for his people. Having been betrayed by a woman he thought he loved in the past, he doesn’t take it well when it’s first thought that Jess is a traitor. Having to ignore everything he believes, Galar does what he must to protect his world and the people in it. Jess was an okay heroine, nothing too spectacular. She really accepted the world rather well considering that she was thrown into it as brutally as she was. That was a bit unbelievable, even with the measures the Enforcers have in place to bring people like Jess up to speed.

Knight also did a good job of setting up the next book, which I look forward to reading. All in all, I would say give this book a try.

4 out of 5.

Time Hunters

four-stars


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