Tag: Casee’s Reviews

Featured Review: Blood Heir by Ilona Andrews

Posted January 11, 2021 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Featured Review: Blood Heir by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Casee, Holly, and Rowena
Blood Heir by Ilona Andrews
Series: Aurelia Ryder #1
Publisher: NYLA
Publication Date: January 12, 2021
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: First
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books

From award-winning author, Ilona Andrews, an all-new novel set in the New York Times #1 bestselling Kate Daniels World and featuring Julie Lennart-Olsen, Kate and Curran's ward.

Atlanta was always a dangerous city. Now, as waves of magic and technology compete for supremacy, it’s a place caught in a slow apocalypse, where monsters spawn among the crumbling skyscrapers and supernatural factions struggle for power and survival.

Eight years ago, Julie Lennart left Atlanta to find out who she was. Now she’s back with a new face, a new magic, and a new name—Aurelia Ryder—drawn by the urgent need to protect the family she left behind. An ancient power is stalking her adopted mother, Kate Daniels, an enemy unlike any other, and a string of horrifying murders is its opening gambit.

If Aurelia’s true identity is discovered, those closest to her will die. So her plan is simple: get in, solve the murders, prevent the prophecy from being fulfilled, and get out without being recognized. She expected danger, but she never anticipated that the only man she'd ever loved could threaten everything.

One small misstep could lead to disaster. But for Aurelia, facing disaster is easy; it’s relationships that are hard.

Cover Art: Luisa Preissler

Warning: This Review Contains Spoilers

Aurelia Ryder is the beginning of Julie Lennart’s journey. Having Kate as a mother has taught Julie to be tough-as-nails. When an oracle has a vision of Kate, Curran, and Conlan dying, Aurelia immediately plans to change the future. With the help of her grandmother, her mother, and her grandfather, Aurelia has turned into a fierce warrior; just as fierce as Kate. Nothing can stop her from saving her family.

Casee: This is a tough one for me. I thought I would absolutely love this book, but I just really liked it. I felt sort of disconnected for the first half of the book. It was good, but I wasn’t pulled in like I was with the Kate Daniels series. I think it might be because I listened to the whole KD series on audio.

What did you two think?

Holly: I’m so glad to be back in this world. I’ve been dying for Julie/Derek since Magic Stars. I didn’t love the first half of this novel, either. I liked it a lot, but I didn’t love it. Mostly because I was on the edge of my seat waiting for “Darren” to show up, I think.

Casee: I feel the same way. Then he finally showed up. I was on the edge of my seat wondering if he recognized her.

Rowena: Oh yay! I’ve been waiting to discuss this one. Like Holly, I’ve been dying for more Julie and Derek since Magic Stars too. I really liked this one. I didn’t struggle with enjoying this book. I also worried that Derek didn’t recognize Julie because you know they’re endgame so he was supposed to know her with whatever face she had.

Holly:. I was never worried that Derek didn’t recognize her, though I admit I felt Julie’s punch in the gut when she thought he didn’t.

Rowena: I would love more books from Derek’s POV because I didn’t think any of that where Derek’s concerned. I thought exactly what Julie thought. My heart did hurt for her when they meet up again after all this time and he doesn’t recognize her.

Casee: My heart also hurt for Julie when she thought Derek didn’t recognize her. The devastation she felt just came right off the page. Then when he told her he recognized her as soon as he saw her riding Tulip? Holy crap, I was like squeeeeee! I don’t know why I ever doubted that Derek would recognize her. I didn’t read Magic Stars, but now I really want to.

Holly: Oh, I forgot to mention the Kate/Curran thing. JULIE, JUST CALL YOUR PARENTS ALREADY! I understand why she didn’t/couldn’t, but how I wanted her to.

Rowena: I struggled with being okay with her not going to Kate and Curran with the truth and figuring out how to keep everyone she loved safe together. That’s probably the thing that I struggled with the most even though I understood why Julie didn’t call her Mom. My heart hurt for the very real fear she feels for her Mom.

Casee: I also wanted her to go directly to Kate and Curran. When she saw Curran at the Mercenary Guild? Oh, my heart. She wanted to go to him so badly.

Holly: What did you think of the new Julie?

Casee: I loved the new Julie. Aurelia was a combination of herself & Julie. Seeing her fighting to protect her family made me feel we had come full circle.

Holly: I really like Aurelia, too. She’s Julie, but different.

Rowena: I really like the new Julie. She’s not the same girl she was before she left. You can see the changes (both physically and mentally) in her and she’s just as great a character as her Mom is.

Holly: I loved the illustrations that were included in the book. It’s so wonderful to see her like that.

Rowena: Seriously!!! Aurelia Ryder on the cover of this book is GORGEOUS!! She’s exactly how I pictured her while reading this one. I love seeing her kick-ass too. I can’t wait to see her ass-kicking gang as the series continues. You just know that she’s going to get one. She’s already making connections and dude, how cute was the little girl that she picked up off the streets? Ugh, I’m so soft for this kind of shit. Julie is SO her Mom!

Casee: For real, this cover is amazing. I had no problem picturing Julie just as she was on the cover.

Rowena: I didn’t know that Julie and Sienna were good friends but I love it. I love that these side characters that we’ve all known all this time are now coming forward so that we can get to know them better.

Holly: I’m glad Julie and Sienna are friends. It makes me happy that she was able to maintain her relationships even when she didn’t see anyone from Atlanta and her old life.

Casee: And when Nick was going to kill her? Oh and Nick is with Desandra? That threw me for a loop, but I still loved it.

Holly: Oh, Nick! I love that he’s with Desandra. I also love that he hasn’t changed much. Uncle Stupid head. Heh

Rowena: For all this Aurelia Ryder this and Darren whatever his last name is there, to me, they were just Julie and Derek. I loved the way that they worked together in the Kate Daniels series so I was looking forward to more of that in this series. They’re both older, they spent time away from each other, and hopefully, Derek will get his head out of his ass and stop seeing Julie as the little girl she isn’t anymore.

HollyI don’t think Derek sees Julie as a child. I don’t think he has in a long time. I think he was waiting for her to grow up and realize she just had a childish crush on him, which is why he never pursued her. He thought she got over him. I guess we’ll find out if I’m right.

Casee: I loved Derek in this book. I don’t feel like we got enough Julie/Derek action, but Derek still made me laugh like nobody’s business.

“What’s your name?”
“Don’t tell her, Cephus,” the girl whispered and clamped her hand over her mouth.
Cephus just looked at her for a second.
“I want to know about Jasper,” I said.
“We don’t know Jasper,” Cephus said.
Derek loomed above him. “Answer her or I’ll put your head in my mouth.”

Casee: I also thought it said a lot about what the murdered pastor did for and meant to Derek that he would risk war with the Pack to go into their territory without showing himself to them. I can’t wait to learn more.

Rowena: I’m so here for more books of her and Derek front and center.

Holly: You know who I didn’t like in this book? Ascanio. I expected better from him. I really did.

Casee: I can’t believe I forgot about Ascanio. I was disappointed in him. He acted like such a spoiled brat, which isn’t something I was expecting.

Holly: I mean, he was always a spoiled brat, but I expected a certain amount of maturity. I thought the way he went about everything was really ham-fisted and not at all in keeping with the way he was growing and maturing in previous books (Especially Iron and Magic).

Casee: I agree that he always has been a spoiled brat. He’s just never been malicious. To me it seemed like he always had a big heart, he was just had a lot of growing up to do. This felt like a huge step backward.

Rowena: I agree that Ascanio was always a bit of a brat but it used to be part of his charm but now? I don’t know what his deal is and I’m not a fan of it either. I hope we get more from him in the next book so that I can understand and I hope he’s not really an asshole.

Casee: I can’t wait to see what happens with the Pack these next few books. I also can’t wait until Julie finally calls Kate & Curran. Oh and Conlan? I adored him. His relationship with Julie was so darn sweet.

Holly: I really liked Julie’s relationship with Conlan. I can’t wait to find out more about him.

Final Grades

Casee: 4.25 out of 5
Holly: 4.25 out of 5
Rowena: 4.5 out of 5

Aurelia Ryder


Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

Throwback Thursday Review: Some Enchanted Season by Marilyn Pappano

Posted December 24, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 4 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Some Enchanted Season by Marilyn PappanoReviewer: Casee
Some Enchanted Season (Bethlehem, #2) by Marilyn Pappano
Series: Bethlehem #2
Publisher: Bantam
Publication Date: December 1st 1998
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 374
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books

Sometimes miracles do happen.

When Maggie left her husband Ross that fateful Christmas Eve, their marriage was over.  But a near fatal accident on an ice-slick road changed everything.

Now another Christmas approaches.  While Maggie hasn't regained all her memory, she's ready to test her strength at home--with Ross as her only companion.  Sharing a house with him once more, putting on the best face for their neighbors, Maggie knows she's living a lie.

Then she glimpses Ross as he used to be: playful and passionate, the man of her dreams before ambition changed him.  She couldn't know he's feeling the same regrets, the same heartache...or that he fears the return of her memory.  What will happen when she remembers the reason she fled from him last year?

It will take a miracle to send the walls of anger and secrecy tumbling down and reunite the divided couple.  But in the small town of Bethlehem, miracles do happen....

This review was originally posted on December 14, 2007.

I absolutely adore this book. I love it. After I read it, I feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I love reunion books. I love how I can reread this every single year (at Christmas, of course) and still get as caught up in the story as I did the first time I read it. This is one of my absolute favorite rereads during the holiday season.

Arriving back in Bethlehem a few days before Thanksgiving, Maggie has no memory of what drove her from her home that on Christmas Eve of of the prior year. What she does remember is that after sixteen years of marriage, she and her husband, Ross, have decided to call it quits. After 11 months of extensive physical therapy, Maggie is forced to except Ross’ help in her recovery. Their plan was simple. Ross would be around to help Maggie for two months. They would then part amicably and then quietly get divorced.

Really, is there any such thing as an amicable divorce? Seriously. When you’re together that long and were madly in love?

After being a workaholic for so many years, Ross finds himself curiously adrift. Never being able to find the right balance between being a CEO and husband, Ross refuses to let himself read even one email or answer one phone call. He decides that it’s the nicest thing he can do for Maggie. A parting gift, if you will.

Nothing ever goes according to plan, of course. When you live in a town full of people offering advice, a town that has its’ own guardian angel, it’s very easy to think “what if”. It doesn’t take Ross long to start thinking that he and Maggie could make things work. There’s only one problem. While Maggie doesn’t remember the previous Christmas Eve, Ross does. He knows that it’s highly likely that when Maggie remembers what happened, it will drive her from his arms for good.

I can’t say enough how much I love this book. It’s a book about two people who lost their way. Going back to their roots, Maggie and Ross both have to look inside themselves to find what makes them happy. While Ross did put work ahead of Maggie, Maggie is far from blameless in the demise of their marriage. Coming to terms with that is hard for her, but she’s able to do it. Maggie is one of my favorite heroines.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Bethlehem


Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

Review: Lawless by T.M. Frazier

Posted December 22, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Lawless by T.M. FrazierReviewer: Casee
Lawless by T.M. Frazier
Series: King #3
Also in this series: King, Tyrant
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: December 6, 2015
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 231
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Ruined. BROKEN. LOST.

Thia’s lost it all. With no options left she turns to the biker she met as a kid to cash in the favor he swore to return all those years ago.

Bear’s best friend is dead. His old man wants to put him to ground. He has bigger things on his mind than the pink-haired girl from the gas station he never thought he’d see again.

Until her battered body is tossed onto his doorstep.

Keeping his promise to Thia means Bear has to be willing to risk everything, including his life...and what’s left of his heart.

Thia’s bruised and battered. Bear’s leather and lawless. It will never work between them.

It’s a lie they ALMOST believe LAWLESS is book THREE in the King Series and meant to be read after KING & TYRANT.

Bear was first introduced in King. I wasn’t sure what my feelings were about him, but I ended up really enjoying him and Thia both. Again, there was that age difference but I’m pretty much over that. These heroines are far beyond their years in experience and it shows.

One night when Thia was younger, a group of bikers came into the grocery store she was working at. Things weren’t exactly going swimmingly until he walked in. He talked to her for a few minutes and made her feel special. He gave her his ring and told her to look him up at his MC if she ever needed help. The day she needed help came years later. Her mom killed her dad and then tried to kill Thia. Thia ended up killing her mom and now the cops are after her. Bear is the only one that she can think to turn to so she heads to his MC. Big mistake.

Bear is all in with the MC that he was born into. His father is the president and he’s being groomed to take over. When Thia shows up to the MC, she doesn’t know that Bear and his father on are the outs. She tries to show them the ring, but the members don’t care. All they care about is the fact that an innocent girl has showed up without a man to protect her. Bear’s dad takes exception to Thia being there and decides to send his son a message. Let me tell you, T.M. Frazier certainly does not shy away from taboo topics. Bear’s dad would have raped Thia if she wasn’t saved by one of Bear’s inside men. He takes Thia to Bear and that doesn’t go well either. Poor Thia.

Thia is thrilled when she is reunited with Bear but it’s abundantly clear that he doesn’t remember him. Thia is crushed by this knowledge. She has held onto his ring like a talisman for years. For him not to know her is a blow that she almost can’t take. Although Bear doesn’t exactly remember her, he knows that he gave his word and he has to protect her.

I really did enjoy the beginning of Thia and Bear’s story. They are so obviously wrong for each other, but at the same time they’re so obviously right. Bear feels like he’s taking advantage of Thia, but he knows he will never let her go. I was hooked from the beginning to end when I read this book and couldn’t wait for the next installment in the Thia and Bear saga.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

King


four-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,

Review: Tyrant by T.M. Frazier

Posted December 11, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Tyrant by T.M. FrazierReviewer: Casee
Tyrant by T.M. Frazier
Series: King #2
Also in this series: King, Lawless
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: August 14, 2015
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 292
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

I. Remember. Everything.
Only now I wish I didn't.
When the fog is sucked away from my mind like smoke through a vacuum, the truth that has been beyond my reach for months finally reveals itself.
But the relief I thought I would feel never comes, and I'm more afraid now than I was the morning I woke up handcuffed in King's bed.
Because with the truth comes dark secrets I was never meant to know.
I will put the lives of those I love most at risk if I let on that my memory has returned, or if I seek help from the heavily tattooed felon who owns me body and soul.
I don't know if I'm strong enough to resist the magnetic pull toward King that grows stronger every day.
He's already saved me in more ways than one. Now it's my turn to do whatever it takes to save him.
Even if that means marrying someone else...Tyrant is a full length novel at 80,000 words.

King ended on one hell of a cliffhanger. Doe’s family showed up at King’s house and things start coming back to her. Her name is Ramie and she has a son and apparently a boyfriend. King’s plan to blackmail Ramie’s dad, the senator, went awry and now he’s lost both Ray and his daughter. After Ray was whisked away by her father, King is arrested. He thinks he’s being taken to the station, but it becomes fairly obvious that the man that has “arrested” him is no cop. In fact, the imposter’s intention is to kill King. I was never sure who actually was responsible for this part.

Ray wants to go back to King, but she can’t leave her son. She doesn’t exactly remember him, but she remembers feeling like a mother. Ray is not sure what to do now. When King shows up in her bedroom at her father’s house, she is shocked and thrilled. She tells him what has been happening since the last time that they saw each other. He apologizes for his nefarious plan to get his daughter back and Ray forgives him. How can she not when it was all for the daughter he lost?

King wants to take Ray and Sammy (her son) back to his house but Ray refuses. She needs to regain her memory completely before she can fully commit to King. She loves him to distraction, but she can’t exactly take Sammy away from his father. She also starts remembering her own father. Although they were on the outs for years, Ray starts to remember the good times with him. It was really heartwarming to read about her relationship with him before things got rocky.

In King, her friend Nikki stole money from King. On her way out the window, she tells Ray one thing… “Don’t trust the Tyrant.” At the time Ray had no idea what she meant. When it starts coming back to her, she realizes that the danger to her and her son is much closer than she could have ever conceived of. All she wants and needs is King. And he doesn’t let her down.

I really didn’t see the ending coming, but I generally don’t. This book was so satisfying to read. I really loved Ray finding her way back to herself. The ending was spectacular and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

King

four-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,

Review: King by T.M. Frazier

Posted December 9, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: King by T.M. FrazierReviewer: Casee
King by T.M. Frazier
Series: King #1
Also in this series: Tyrant, Lawless
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: June 15, 2015
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 322
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Casee's 2020 New to Me Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

The USA Today bestselling King Series starts here!
Homeless. Hungry. Desperate.
Doe has no memories of who she is or where she comes from.
A notorious career criminal just released from prison, King is someone you don’t want to cross unless you’re prepared to pay him back in blood, sweat, pu$$y or a combination of all three.
King’s future hangs in the balance. Doe’s is written in her past. When they come crashing together, they will have to learn that sometimes in order to hold on, you have to first let go.

Brantley King is a new man. He’s been released from prison and is finally home. Prison changed him and he’s not really into the welcome home party that his best friends have thrown him. The she comes into the room. He doesn’t go after her, but he can’t forget the lost look in her young eyes. She has shadows in her eyes, but she obviously isn’t jaded by life like he is. He puts her out of his mind until he catches her and one of her friends stealing money from him. All goes to hell from there.

Doe doesn’t know who she is. She’s a Jane Doe. She woke up after being in some sort of accident, having no idea who she was. She doesn’t know if she’s always been homeless. She does know that the life of a homeless woman is going to kill her. She has one friend and when she suggests that they both accept an invitation to a bikers welcome home party, Doe realizes that she has some choices to make. She needs a man to protect her and care for her. It’s that simple. She’s not cut out for life on the streets. Then she meets King and her entire life changes.

King decides to “keep” Doe until she can pay off the $600 debt that she owes him. He doesn’t care that it was her friend, Nicole, that stole his money. As far as he’s concerned she’s just as complicit. Soon they begin falling for each other. King immediately knows that Doe isn’t homeless. He doesn’t know who she is, but he’s going to find out. When he does find out that her father is a powerful man, he decides to blackmail him into helping King get his daughter back. That backfires and nothing really good happened after that.

I wasn’t sure about this book at first. T.M. Frazier is a new-to-me author. The reviews for King are pretty good, so I wanted to give it a try. Honestly, I had a problem with Doe’s age from the beginning. Then I realized that when I was her age (which was a long ass time ago) and reading, that wouldn’t have bothered me. So I put that aside and ended up really enjoying the book. I wasn’t really sure what King saw in Doe in the beginning and vise versa. Then it all started making sense.

I didn’t really like how King called Doe “Pup”, but I understand why he did. She was a lost puppy when he met her and the nickname stuck. It ended up being more of an endearment which is why I was able to stand it without rolling my eyes. In the end, I really, really liked this book. It does end on a cliffhanger, but the next book is already out so no problems there.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5.

King

three-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , ,