Tag: Casee’s Reviews

Review: Fair Game by Patricia Briggs

Posted May 10, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Fair Game by Patricia BriggsReviewer: Casee
Fair Game by Patricia Briggs
Narrator: Holter Graham
Series: Alpha & Omega #3
Also in this series: Burn Bright, Burn Bright, Alpha & Omega, Cry Wolf, Burn Bright, Dead Heat, Hunting Ground
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: January 29, 2013
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 280
Length: 9 hours and 58 minutes
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Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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four-stars

Patricia Briggs, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Mercy Thompson novels, “always enchants her readers" (Lynn Viehl). Now her Alpha and Omega series—set in a world of shifting shapes, loyalties, and passions—brings werewolves out of the darkness and into a society where fear and prejudice could turn the hunters into the prey…

It is said that opposites attract. And in the case of werewolves Anna Latham and Charles Cornick, they mate. The son—and enforcer—of the leader of the North American werewolves, Charles is a dominant Alpha. While Anna, an Omega, has the rare ability to calm others of her kind.

When the FBI requests the pack’s help on a local serial-killer case, Charles and Anna are sent to Boston to join the investigation. It soon becomes clear that someone is targeting the preternatural. And now Anna and Charles have put themselves right in the killer’s sights…

The werewolves are out. To humans that is. It is now more important than ever that the werewolves be on their best behavior. An infraction that used to be a slap on the wrist and a learning experience is now a death sentence. The Marrok has essentially turned his son, Charles, into his own person assassin. Charles understands. He is the only one that can put an alpha down other than the Marrok himself. The problem with that is that the Marrok isn’t free to travel as Charles is. While Charles understands, Anna doesn’t. She sees the toll the killing of werewolves is taking on Charles and she has decided that she’s not taking it anymore.

Charles is farther away from Anna than he has ever been, even when they’re in the same room. While all his protective instincts are in full force, Charles carries everyone he has ever killed on his shoulders and there is no way that he’s letting the spirits hurt his Anna.

When a case of a serial killer comes up in Boston, it should be of no interest to the werewolves. Except every kill is a werewolf. And it’s been happening for more years than anyone can count. Charles and Anna head to Boston to aid the local authorities and the FBI. Unfortunately that doesn’t go as well as it could have because there is now real prejudice against werewolves where it was nonexistent before.

I really enjoyed reading about Anna. She has become such a strong character. A real force to be reckoned with. In the first two books in the series, I would never have imagined in a million years that she would not only stand up to the Marrok, but actually get in his face. That’s exactly what she did when she told him that he was destroying his son, her mate. That was my favorite scene in the book. I had a new respect for Anna after reading that. I knew that I would never see her as weak again.

To me this book was mainly about Anna. Or Anna’s growth as a character. She knew that Charles loved her, but it’s clear to see that something is clearly bothering him. Charles the man isn’t letting her in. Brother Wolf is. It’s plain to see that the two are at war with each other. Charles hates hurting Anna, but he will protect her above all else. I really enjoyed the third book this this series and I highly enjoyed the narrator.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Alpha & Omega

four-stars


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Review: Mystery Man by Kristen Ashley

Posted May 9, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Mystery Man by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Casee
Mystery Man by Kristen Ashley
Series: Dream Man #1
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: August 27, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 528
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Night time is the right time...

Gwendolyn Kidd has met the man of her dreams. He's hot, he's sexy, and what started as a no-names-exchanged night of passion has blossomed into a year and a half-long pleasure fest. Sure, it's a little strange that he only appears in her bed at night, but Gwen is so sure he's the one, she just can't turn him away.

Hawk Delgado knows more about Gwen than she could ever imagine. She's gorgeous, headstrong, and skittish about relationships. But Hawk is facing his own demons, demons that keep him from connecting with anyone. Yet when Gwen is drawn into Denver's lethal underground scene, Hawk's protective nature comes out full force. The problem is, when Gwen gets a dose of Hawk's Alpha attitude in the daylight, she's not so sure he's the one anymore.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this book. On one hand, I knew Hawke was a right bastard after reading Own the Wind and Ride Steady. OTOH, Holly warned me this book would be hard to take because Hawke wasn’t just a bastard. He was a downright ass. Holly was right. Hawke was pretty hard to stomach. He went beyond alpha into alpha asshole. He didn’t basically tell Gwen what to do and expect her to do it. He did exactly that.

Moving onto Gwen. Are you fucking kidding me? Who on God’s green earth would take a stranger home and let him keep coming back without even asking his name? For a year and a half. Hawke threw that in her face a number of times. It wasn’t very sensitive, but very apropos. Gwen was a fucking moron. Which begged the question…why did every man in her radius want her? Not just get into her pants. No, they actually wanted Gwen herself. I really think she called to the protective instinct that men have in them because honestly, if Gwen kept living on her own? She would nothing more than a dead body.

I have to admit, when I first finished the book, I really liked Gwen. Then Holly and I started discussing and I started questioning everything I thought. Which was, frankly, annoying as hell. I already knew what I knew and thought what I thought. Even if my feelings might have aligned with hers a little bit here and there as I was reading, I didn’t completely feel that way when I finished the book. Like I said…annoying. The saying “The truth hurts” really applies here.

The book is so cliché. Hawke didn’t intend to fall for Gwen like he did. He was only obsessed with her and her safety. Then shit hit the fan with Gwen’s sister Ginger (enter the awful KA mystery plot) and Hawke had to step in to protect Gwen. Seeing her outside the bedroom at night made Hawke want Gwen more, of course. When he realizes how much she is starting to mean to him, he doesn’t want that so he pushes her way. Like I said…cliché. And predictable.

Why did I still like this book? Because of Hawke. And Tack. And Mitch. And Gwen’s dad. And her stepmom Meredith. And how Gwen treated Meredith. All those things above really bugged the crap out of me, but as I was reading the book, I really loved it all. It just works. I can sum up why in two words: Kristen Ashley. That is really a thing.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Dream Man

four-stars


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Review: At the Pleasure of the President by Shayla Black and Lexi Blake

Posted May 7, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: At the Pleasure of the President by Shayla Black and Lexi BlakeReviewer: Casee
At the Pleasure of the President by Shayla Black, Lexi Blake
Series: The Perfect Gentlemen #5
Also in this series: Scandal Never Sleeps (The Perfect Gentlemen, #1), Seduction in Session (The Perfect Gentlemen, #2), Big Easy Temptation (The Perfect Gentlemen, #3), Smoke and Sin (The Perfect Gentlemen, #4)
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: April 9, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 474
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

The thrilling conclusion of the twisting, page-turning Perfect Gentlemen series!

When a dangerous conspiracy threatens to tear them apart, he’ll have to choose between his country and the woman he loves…

Decades ago, ambitious Zack Hayes set his sights on the White House. He’s worked his whole life to become the leader of the free world—attending the right schools, marrying the perfect bride—all to aid his campaign. He didn’t realize someone behind the scenes has been pulling the strings to manipulate Zack and the country he loves into a dangerous position—one he will risk his life to wrench free from. The one thing he can’t risk is Elizabeth Matthews.

From the moment she met Zack Hayes, Liz felt the connection. Serving as his campaign manager and then his press secretary, she accepted that her love for him would remain unrequited. Still, she’d thought they were friends, so when he pushed her aside, she felt the stab in her heart. And when she realizes he’s done it to protect her, nothing will stop Liz from standing by his side—not even the men who would use her as a weapon against him.

As shocking secrets are revealed, Zack and Liz find succor and passion in each other’s arms. When the ultimate villain shows his face, Zack may have to choose between his country and the woman he loves…

This is the conclusion to The Perfect Gentlemen series. And holy hell, View Spoiler » Honestly, this isn’t really a spoiler because even I figured it out. If I knew it, anyone reading this book knew it two books before. No joke.

Zack Hayes has been groomed from birth to be the President of the United States. One of my favorite passages of this series was from the prologue of Scandal Never Sleeps, which is book one of the series. The Perfect Gentlemen had been called to the counselor’s office at their boarding school. Zack threatened him when it because clear that the man was out to get the five of them. He was still a teenager at the time.

“You don’t have that kind of power,” Ogilvie blustered.

“You think I don’t? My father was the ambassador to Russia for years. He’s been close friends with the last three presidents, including the current commander-in-chief. My father wants one thing and one thing only from me. Everyone who’s met him knows that he gets what he wants. My future is mapped out. If I do the right things—get the grades, remain class president, go to the appropriate college—then I accomplish everything I should. If you derail me from this path, I’ll get my ass kicked in ways that would make your head spin. But it will end even worse for you. I recently got my SATs back. I had a perfect score. I’m getting into Yale, and Skull and Bones will be waiting for me senior year because they know what my father’s friends have already figured out: I will be the president of the United States one day. Now, you can be my friend or my enemy. You decide.”

Yep, Zack was badass from the beginning.

Moving on, Zack did become president, but how it happened was beyond sad. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t a great one. Through the last four books a conspiracy has been unraveling that makes it apparent to Zack that he might have to step down. Although it was his father that wanted him to be President of the United States, it is Zack that has made the office and policies his own. Zack will not allow himself to be blackmailed or let the integrity of the office be brought into question.

Elizabeth Matthews is the Press Secretary. She is a ball buster where and when she needs to be. She’s also a good friend to Zack. They know where they stand with each other. They’re in love, but unable to do anything about it. Elizabeth is not on the inside of Zack’s circle. Although it hurts, she knows that he doesn’t completely trust her. She thought she could live with that until she couldn’t.

Zack thinks Elizabeth is a Russian spy, which is understandable. What’s not understandable is how Zack doesn’t see who the real spy is. Come on, Zack. You’re supposed to be the smartest person in the country, if not the world and you can’t figure it out? When there is an assassination attempt on Zack, it is obvious Elizabeth is the spy they all thought her to be (seriously?). Or is it?

Roman Calder drove me bonkers in this book. I know it was his responsibility to protect Zack, but I wanted to brain him. He just went completely overboard.

Still, I was so happy with this book because I loved Zack throughout this entire series and I really loved Elizabeth. She was perfect for Zack because she knew exactly what sort of pressure he was under so she didn’t except things from him that she knew he couldn’t give. She knew that being the President of the United States came before all things.

This was a perfect conclusion to this series.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The Perfect Gentlemen

four-half-stars


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Review: The Savior by J.R. Ward

Posted May 6, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Savior by J.R. WardReviewer: Casee
The Savior by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #17
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, The Thief
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: April 2, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 479
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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four-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

In the venerable history of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, only one male has ever been expelled—but Murhder’s insanity gave the Brothers no choice. Haunted by visions of a female he could not save, he nonetheless returns to Caldwell on a mission to right the wrong that ruined him. However, he is not prepared for what he must face in his quest for redemption.

Dr. Sarah Watkins, researcher at a biomedical firm, is struggling with the loss of her fellow scientist fiancé. When the FBI starts asking about his death, she questions what really happened and soon learns the terrible truth: Her firm is conducting inhumane experiments in secret and the man she thought she knew and loved was involved in the torture.

As Murhder and Sarah’s destinies become irrevocably entwined, desire ignites between them. But can they forge a future that spans the divide separating the two species? And as a new foe emerges in the war against the vampires, will Murhder return to his Brothers... or resume his lonely existence forevermore?

After reading The Thief, I was very much interested in reading The Savior. Murhder is a Brother that has been whispered about through the series. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I thought he was dead. Huh. I guess I didn’t pay enough attention. At the end of The Thief, it was apparent that Murhder was about to make his debut back into to the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

One of the last missions he was given as a Brother was to go to a lab to destroy research that was being done that could possibly hurt their race. What he ended up finding was something that went far beyond research papers. The research company had somehow captured and was doing experiments on vampires themselves. It is at that lab that he initially meets Xhex, who has freed herself so she can escape the torturous experiments.

Fast forward to the present day. Dr. Sarah Watkins does research for a biomedical company. Her finance died of complications from diabetes and Sarah blames herself. It doesn’t help matters that they were at odds when he died. He had become secretive about his work and it soon becomes apparent to Sarah why that was. She discovers a safe deposit box that he opened at their bank and the usb drive tells her the horrific things that are happening where she works. Sarah knows that no one will believe her if she tells them that there are people with four chambered hearts being experimented on, so she goes to investigate herself.

I could keep going on with this review, but I don’t want it to be too long. Sarah and Murhder’s love story was really sweet. Sarah easily accepts the vampires because the medical evidence is right in front of her face. While she does want to panic, she doesn’t have the luxury. John Matthew is fatally injured in the field and it soon becomes apparent that Sarah might be the only one that is capable of helping him. Which is amazing considering that she is only human.

I love Xhex and John Matthew. Their love is strong, but John Matthew’s faith is tested here. There is a new Big Bad introduced. It’s been floating around the last few books, but it finally manifested itself in this book. I’m looking forward to seeing where it leads. Overall, I was really happy about this book even though I was annoyed as I was reading it. When I was done and I thought it over, everything fit together. Everything I was annoyed about just went away as I finished the book. Bravo for this one, JRW.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Black Dagger Brotherhood

four-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: Release Me by Farrah Rochon

Posted May 2, 2019 by Casee in Features, Reviews | 3 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Release Me by Farrah RochonReviewer: Casee
Release Me by Farrah Rochon
Series: Holmes Brothers #1
Publisher: Indie, Leisure Books
Publication Date: June 1, 2008
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 325
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Tobias "Toby" Holmes was destined for NBA stardom. But when an SUV crashed into his car during his rookie year, his dreams of playing pro-basketball, along with his spine, were shattered. After floundering from one job to another, Toby has finally found his niche in the music business. And when the singing sensation he discovered is pegged to star in a new reality TV show, Toby finally sees light at the end of what has been a very dark tunnel.

Sienna Culpepper has loved her childhood best friend forever, though he has never seen anything other than the girl with skinny legs, cornrows, and mad skills on the basketball court. When Toby returns to their hometown of New Orleans to start his career as a record producer/manager, Sienna is resigned to loving him from afar. However, when Sienna and Toby find themselves working together, feelings arise that has them both rethinking their friendship.

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

This review was originally posted on May 27, 2008

Release Me is the second book in Farrah Rochon’s Holmes Brothers Trilogy. In her debut book, Deliver Me, we met the Holmes brothers and their mother. Toby is intriguing from the start and his story will not disappoint readers of this series. If you like the friends to lovers storyline, even better.

Since a car accident ended his basketball career, Toby Holmes has been trying to find his niche in life. He has finally found it in managing the music career of Aria Jordan. When he’s approached by a producer who is beginning a reality show for musician hopefuls, Toby realizes that he needs good publicity for his client and goes to the best firm in New Orleans. Little does he know that he has put himself directly in the path of his childhood best friend, Sienna Culpepper.

Sienna has loved Toby for years. Since her high school days of playing basketball with him, Sienna has wanted more than Toby’s friendship. Knowing that she never had a chance has become a shield that she puts between herself and any potential lovers. Even knowing that her chances are non-existent, Sienna can’t help the feelings that Toby invokes in her.

Now, two people that have a life of friendship between them are seeing things in each other that they have never seen before. Sienna is seeing that while the core of who Toby is remains the same, he has never dealt with stroke of fate that left him without the career he so desperately wanted. As for Toby, he is looking at Sienna differently than he ever has. For years his brother Alex has tried to tell Toby that he and Sienna were meant for each other. Always thinking of Sienna as family, Toby has never looked at her as anything other than a little sister and his best friend. Now, Toby is forced to look at Sienna as the formitable, successful woman that she has become and admits to himself that she may just be everything he’s ever wanted in a woman.

While I liked Deliver Me, I didn’t necessarily like the heroine. Sienna was a great heroine. She was a woman that knew what she wanted and went out and got it. Overcoming past trauma to be with Toby was something that Sienna didn’t know if she was capable of. Forced to take a hard look at what she would be giving up, Sienna’s strong nature would not let her hide behind something that has shaped and changed her life for the past 10 years.

Romance readers should enjoy both Deliver Me and Release Me. If you like straight contemporary romance with no suspense, you’ll enjoy both these installments of the Holmes Brothers Trilogy. I can’t wait to see what Rochon has in store for Alex Holmes. She also writes some of the best secondary romances that does nothing but enhance the book.

Grade: 4 out of 5

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

Holmes Brothers

four-stars


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