Tag: Featured Reviews

Featured Review: Like the Wind by J. Bengtsson

Posted July 31, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Featured Review: Like the Wind by J. BengtssonReviewer: Casee, Holly, and Rowena
Like the Wind by J. Bengtsson
Narrator: Callie Dalton, Zachary Webber
Publisher: Audible Studios
Publication Date: January 15, 2019
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Escape
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 335
Length: 9 hours, 23 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
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two-half-stars

Prepare to laugh, cry, and fall in love with this enthralling new romance from J. Bengtsson - available in audio first!

When a letter from his supposedly deceased mother finds its way into his hands, life changes in an instant for international pop star Bodhi Beckett.

Reeling from the deception of those closest to him, Bodhi spirals out of control and is sent to a secluded mansion in the coastal mountains of Southern California for some rest and relaxation. But the retreat proves to be anything but relaxing when a raging wildfire sets the landscape around him ablaze.

While escaping the flames, Bodhi rescues Breeze, a quirky, pet-loving woman, and together the two fight their way to safety. In the aftermath of the fire, Bodhi and Breeze hit the road to uncover the truth about his family. What neither of them expected is to forge a powerful connection that will change their lives forever...but can it survive the real world, or will it disappear like the wind?

This month’s featured review is Like the Wind by J. Bengtsson, chosen by Casee. This is a rockstar romance that features a pop star hero who saves his heroine from a fire and then the heroine gives his rockstar ass a place to hide while he figures some stuff out and through it all, they fall in love. This was a really quick read and the perfect audiobook for a quick road trip.

Casee: What did you guys think? Good choice? Bad choice? Better than Hate Notes?

Holly: It was definitely better than Hate Notes for me. I really liked the beginning. I was super interested in the fire and how they were going to escape. After that things kind of went downhill.

Casee: I agree that it was super interesting in the beginning.

Rowena: Hmm, I enjoyed Hate Notes and I didn’t hate this one but I didn’t love this one either. I don’t know, the dialogue was super cheesy to me and I don’t know, I just never came to care for either Bodhi or Breeze. They were fine but meh, that’s about it for me.

Casee: I didn’t really connect with Breeze at all. Other than her wanting to save all the animals from the fire, I found her to be rather selfish. She acted like she was being selfless, but it didn’t come across that way to me. I did really enjoy Bodhi though.

Holly: I didn’t think Breeze was anymore selfish than Bodhi. That ridiculous temper tantrum he threw for 3 months, then disappearing without telling his father he wasn’t dead after the fire, then pulling Breeze into his drama and his life without preparing her for it? That screams “SELF CENTERED” to me.

Casee: The only thing I didn’t like about Bodhi was the 3-month temper tantrum. I could understand everything else. He seemed to me like someone that was scared. He found someone he potentially wanted to keep in his life and he was scared to lose her. Especially since the last person (nanny) that he got attached to disappeared.

Rowena: Yeah, Bodhi’s three-month tantrum was super annoying but I was more annoyed with him when he let his family and friends think he was dead so that he can meet his Mommy Dearest. That wasn’t cool. At all. I felt bad for RJ because thinking your best friend is dead and then finding out that your best friend couldn’t be bothered to call him to assure him that all was well because he was getting close to a girl? That’s fucked up.

Holly: I really struggled with Bodhi not telling the guys he was still alive. I guess I kind of? understood why he didn’t want to contact his father, but his bandmates who were his family? Especially RJ? That was just shitty all the way around.

Rowena: I also thought it was super strange that he “saves” Evan from their mother’s life, telling Evan that he was Evan’s Eddie, but immediately starts planning a trip with Breeze that does not include Evan, is going to take him away from Evan for a long ass time and basically drops Evan in Tucker’s lap and Evan, who suffered from abandonment issues wasn’t bothered about it.

Holly: That whole thing with Evan was not well done. They had no on-page time to make me think they were going to forge a relationship, and why was Bodhi so effing irresponsible? I just couldn’t.

Rowena: It was a total dick move, a move that I didn’t think he was sorry enough for. Sure, his Dad was a controlling dick but I don’t think anyone deserved that kind of emotional bomb. Nobody in this book, for sure.

Holly: I really didn’t like the short timeline for their romance. They met, went through an intense few hours together and BAM, two days later they were in LURRVVE? Nope.

Casee: I agree that the timeline was much too short. I think being together in the fire and almost dying was supposed to show how magnified feelings are. Obviously, it didn’t work very well for us.

View Spoiler »

 

Rowena: I was also not moved all that much with the grand gesture in the end with Bodhi showing up at the family reunion. A whole lot of the book had me looking like this:

Holly: Also, the way Breeze was immediately into Bodhi and focused on how hot he was, and how to get him to kiss her, and all the fantasy why they were fleeing from a fire? That was annoying af.

And I know I’m probably just old af, but she lost her car in the fire. She didn’t think to, Oh, I don’t know, contact her insurance agent?

Rowena: Haha, I thought the same thing as Breeze and Bodhi are making their way to the Bay. I kept thinking, “When are you going to deal with your busted up car?”

I did really like Breeze’s Mom and Step-Dad. They were pretty great. I laughed out loud when they turned up the sex scenes of their show so that Bodhi and Breeze could hear through the walls.

Holly: I liked Breeze’s parents, too, but why were they described as these hippy people who lived in the neighborhood eyesore and refused to sell out, who were, in fact, selling out. I didn’t understand why that part was included in the book. It made no sense.

Casee: Alrighty then. I’m giving this one a 3. What about you guys?

Rowena: Overall, this book made me feel super old because I was grouchy throughout most of this book and I didn’t think the author did a good enough job of making me suspend belief over a lot of shit that happens in this book. The fire stuff, the Mommy issues, the Daddy issues, the super quick romance that blossomed overnight (literally), it was super easy for me to stop reading the book and roll my eyes over what was happening. So yeah, I had a lot of issues connecting with both Bodhi and Breeze. I had issues with the author’s writing style and though there were parts of the book that I enjoyed, this isn’t a book that I will reread. I give it 2.75 out of 5.

Holly: I’m giving it 2.5. I did like the romance itself if I didn’t think too hard about it, and I liked the beginning and Breeze’s parents. The rest was pretty blah.

Final Grades

Casee: 3 out of 5
Holly: 2.5 out of 5
Rowena: 2.75 out of 5

two-half-stars


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Featured Review: Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfree

Posted June 26, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Featured Review: Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry WinfreeReviewer: Casee, Holly, and Rowena
Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: June 11, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 320
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 New to Me Challenge, Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Rowena's 2019 New to Me Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
two-stars

Can a romcom-obssessed romantic finally experience the meet-cute she always dreamed of or will reality never compare to fiction, in this charming debut adult novel from Kerry Winfrey.

Annie is twenty-seven years old, single, and obsessed with romantic comedies (she and her mother watched them religiously before her mom died). Her dating life is limited by the expectations she’s formed from these movies. She is not as open to new experiences as she might be, because she’s waiting for her Tom Hanks–i.e., a guy she’ll find in the perfect, meet-cute romantic comedy way. When Annie does finally meet her perfect match, it’s not quite in the way she expected, and she’s forced to reckon with the walls she’s built around herself over the years.

Warning: This review contains spoilers. They’re marked behind a spoiler tag, but read on at your own risk.

Annie is an aspiring screenwriter who is obsessed with RomComs. She’s waiting for her Tom Hanks – the embodiment of all her girlhood fantasies. When she’s offered the job as assistant to the director on the set of a movie being filmed in her hometown – a RomCom no less – she wonders if this will finally be her chance to meet the man of her dreams.

Except, it’s Drew Danforth who she sees most often. He’s the lead of the movie and a total jerk. She doesn’t like him..yet she can’t stop thinking about him. Too bad for him she’s waiting for her perfect man..and he’s no Tom Hanks.

Holly: When I read the blurb for this book, I thought it sounded like the perfect, lighthearted summer read. While it was definitely lighthearted, the heroine drove me crazy. She jumped to conclusions and, in general, acted like a jerk for the entire book. I really loved her uncle and her best friend, but she rubbed me the wrong way from the beginning. I have no idea what the hero saw in her or why he kept pursuing her.

Casee: I wasn’t excited to read this book at all. I’m not a huge fan of rom coms in general, so the blurb didn’t interest me. Then I picked it up. I was actually interested for the first chapter or so. Then I realized how horrible the heroine was. She was stuck in the past and waiting for a man that only exists in the movies. She’s an intelligent woman, but so freaking stupid.

Rowena: Yeah, I wanted to read this book because it sounded cute and lighthearted and I’m pretty obsessed with RomComs myself. Too bad I wanted to burn shit down while reading this book. Actually, mostly I just wanted to pull Annie’s hair because holy shit, I thought she was so freaking dumb. I hated the way that she treated Drew throughout the entire book. From beginning to end, she was a bitch to him and like Holly, I had no freaking clue what the hell Drew saw in her.

The thing that drove me up the wall was the thing that drew me to the story in the first place. Annie’s obsession with RomComs. But the lengths that she went with her RomCom obsession was just flat out dumb. When she said, “Chloe! He.Has.A.Houseboat.” I wanted to smack the shit out of her. I stuck with the book because I thought for sure, Annie would grow up and she would learn her lesson and she’d stop being so freaking dumb but nope. In the end, I still didn’t like her and was it just me or did Annie never apologize for the texting fiasco? In a meaningful way?

Holly: Her obsession with RomComs was definitely unhealthy. The way she held up every man to this ridiculous standard set by fictional characters was out of control. If she’d shown some growth, apologized like an adult, realized what she did was wrong..anything..I might have been able to forgive her. But from page 1 to the very last, she was the same.

View Spoiler »

 

Casee: View Spoiler »

Rowena: View Spoiler »

Throughout the book, I couldn’t connect with her as a character because I did not like the way she treated Drew. She treated him like he wasn’t a man but some other world being that wasn’t human. He didn’t have the same kinds of feelings because he was rich and he was a celebrity so he couldn’t possibly be hurt by the shitty way she was around him. That bothered me because it didn’t make me believe in what they were building between them. Even when she got to know him and should have known better, she treated him like he couldn’t have emotions because he had millions of dollars to comfort him. A lot of shit rubbed me the wrong way and it ruined what I hoped would have been a fun read.

Holly: Oh, and this:

It’s McDonald’s. Drew Danforth, star of screens both large and small, takes me to the home of the McNugget. “This is a joke, right?” I ask as I stare up at the golden arches, but he’s out of the car before he even hears me. Of course, when Drew has a chance to go somewhere good—to take me, someone who rarely goes to fancy restaurants, to a nice place—he decides it would be oh-so-funny to visit a fast-food joint.

The sheer entitlement of this statement kills me. The director of the film suggests they go out together because Drew needs to get out. He basically orders her to go. This is their first time spending time together outside of the set, and she’s FORCED into it by her boss. Yet she gets pissed because “He has millions so he should have taken me somewhere better”. HE DIDN’T INVITE YOU ON A DATE! HIS DIRECTOR MADE HIM GO. Jesus.

Rowena: This is me, reading through both of your thoughts.

Casee: Burn shit down indeed.

Holly: Something else that really bothered me was the lack of diversity in this book. The characters have a full-on conversation about the lack of diversity in RomComs and how the director of the movie wanted to change that, but the only POC in the entire book is talked about once or twice? She’s the co-star of the movie, yet she had zero page time and neither did anyone else of color?!? It made no sense.

Rowena: I completely agree with Holly about the lack of diversity in this one. It’s brought up as part of the reason they were filming a diverse RomCom but everyone in this book, that had actual page time, were lily-white as can be. Like, why bother at all?

Casee: Another thing I didn’t care for was that Annie turned over her screenplay before telling Chloe that it was based on her life. That was pretty fucked. Annie was just a crappy person all the way around.

Rowena: Yeah, I thought Annie turning over her screenplay about Nick and Chloe BEFORE telling her best friend about it was pretty creepy and by that point, I wasn’t surprised that Annie would do something like that to a loved one. I didn’t like her in the beginning and even in the end, I didn’t like her so that about sums up this book for me. There were parts of the book that I liked (mostly Chloe and the Uncle) but for the most part, I didn’t like this one.

Casee: My favorite character was Chloe. I just adored her. She tried to get Annie to see reason throughout the whole book, while she herself was so adorably clueless. But she was real, she could see that Annie was living in la-la-land. Too bad Annie couldn’t see it herself. Then, when she did find her dream man, the one that checked off all her romcom boxes, there were no sparks. WTAF.

Holly: I really liked Chloe. She was so down-to-earth. I definitely wanted more from her. I also really liked Annie’s uncle. He was hilarious.

Casee: This book just wasn’t for me. I’m curious about Chloe and Nick’s book, but not enough to read it. I can certainly imagine Chloe’s character being ruined or completely changed from this book. I really don’t want to see that happen.

Rowena: I’m curious about Nick and Chloe’s book too but I don’t know that I’d actually read it. I’d be scared that the Chloe I loved from this book would turn into an Annie and I don’t know that it’s a risk I’m willing to take.

Holly: I’m too scared to read Chloe’s book. I don’t even understand why she was friends with Annie. Every good friendship is filled with give and take. Sometimes you give, sometimes you take. It seemed to me all Annie did was take. Chloe could do better.

Casee: I would give this book a 2 out of 5.

Rowena: I would give this book a 2 out of 5.

Holly: I’m giving this 1.5 out of 5. I liked Drew, Chloe and Annie’s Uncle, but the fact that the book revolved around Annie killed it for me.

Final Grades

Casee: 2 out of 5
Holly: 1.5 out of 5
Rowena: 2 out of 5

two-stars


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Featured Review: American Witch by Thea Harrison

Posted May 22, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 3 Comments

Featured Review: American Witch by Thea HarrisonReviewer: Casee, Holly, and Rowena
American Witch by Thea Harrison
Series: American Witch Trilogy #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: April 29, 2019
Format: eARC, eBook
Source: Author, Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 420
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Power can change a person…

For months Molly Sullivan endures the inexplicable: electrical surges, car breakdowns, visions. She even wonders if she might be the cause… and wonders if she might be crazy. Then she discovers her husband has cheated on her. Again. Now Molly realizes she is a newly awakening witch and a woman pushed over the edge.

Revenge can shape a person…

Josiah Mason is a Powerful witch and the leader of a secret coven with a shared goal: to destroy an ancient enemy who has ruined many lives. Josiah lost years to this man, and his sole focus is revenge. He’s prepared for every contingency—except encountering a beautiful new witch who understands nothing of the immense Power building within her or the attraction she wields over him.

Danger can bring them together…

When divorcing her husband, Molly uncovers a dangerous secret he’s willing to kill to protect. She turns to Josiah for help, and they discover a connection between Molly’s husband and Josiah’s enemy.

As they work together, a spark ignites between them that threatens to become an inferno. But Molly is done compromising herself for any man, and Josiah’s mission is his top priority. And the enemy is cunning, cruel, and drawing ever closer.

As the danger escalates, so does the tension between them. Is a lasting relationship possible? Will either of them live long enough to try?

American Witch is the first book in Thea Harrison’s American Witch series, which is set in the Elder Races world and features Molly Sullivan coming into her powers after finally leaving her husband because he’s a cheating bastard. Molly is trying to move on with her life but when she takes some documents that dangerous people don’t want her to have, her life gets super complicated and she turns to Josiah Mason for help.

Josiah Mason is the new District Attorney in town and he’s got an agenda that Molly Sullivan is distracting him from. When Molly’s problems become his problems, Josiah can’t turn away from her or the attraction building between them. She needs help learning about her new abilities but she also needs his protection from some pretty bad people. Neither of them wanted the complications that arise but neither of them can walk away from each other either.

Rowena: Alright ladies, what did you guys think?

Casee: I forgot how much I like Thea Harrison. She really knows how to weave a story. I was pulled in from the beginning when Molly found out about her husband’s extra-curricular activities. I didn’t really enjoy Molly at first, though. I found her to be a bit bitchy. Like over the top bitchy. In retrospect I realized that she was protecting herself and she had just gotten herself out of a horrible situation. She also found out she was a witch. She was learning new things about herself every day and not everything she was learning was good.

Holly: Those first few chapters were so good. When Molly discovers her husband has cheated on her – again – and confronts him? I was here for that.

Rowena: I really enjoyed this one as well. I was wrapped up in this book from the very first chapter, which was great. Far too often, I have to slog through the beginning hump and it takes me forever to get invested in the story but that wasn’t the case with this one. Molly’s walk out scene at her husband’s party was the shit and I was here for it.

Casee: I didn’t really enjoy Molly at first, though. I found her to be a bit bitchy. Like over the top bitchy. In retrospect I realized that she was protecting herself and she had just gotten herself out of a horrible situation. She also found out she was a witch. She was learning new things about herself every day and not everything she was learning was good.

Holly: I didn’t find her bitchy at all. I thought she was a woman who was finally pushed to the edge and she was done taking shit from anyone. That aspect never bothered me.

Rowena: I thought Molly was super bitchy in the beginning but I also understood it. I got why she was bitchy toward her husband and I enjoyed seeing her really come into her own but there were times when I wanted to smack her into next week. When she was destroying Josiah’s property, expensive property after he helped her and gave her someplace safe to stay. I wasn’t a fan of that.

Holly: It was Josiah who drove me crazy in the beginning. He was a total ass. And he didn’t have Molly’s excuses.

Casee: I completely agree about Josiah. He was used to taking what he wanted. That was one of the things I did like about Molly early on. She didn’t take his shit. She called him on it from the day she met him. His whole thing about how they could “rule the world” or whatever together was so cliche, I rolled my eyes. Molly definitely grew on me as the book went on because I could see her strength. Going through what she was, on her own, after being with someone for twenty years was more than admirable.

Rowena: Josiah drove me crazy, too. I wanted to knee him in the balls with how highhanded he was where Molly was concerned. He was arrogant but like Molly, I was into him. He gets better but for me, it was Molly that I really enjoyed getting to know. She wasn’t perfect but watching her grow more and more sure of herself and in her power was a fun way to spend some time.

Holly: There were times I wanted to smack Molly, too. But like you, I enjoyed getting to know her and I loved watching her grow into her new powers.

View Spoiler »

I was disappointed we didn’t get more of a resolution for Josiah’s stuff. I assume it’ll be carried to the next book, but still. I wanted something more from that.

Rowena: Yeah, if I had a gripe with this book, it was for how little resolution we got from the whole revenge thing. So Josiah falls in love, tries one last time to catch the bad guy, doesn’t win so he gives up? Walks away from years and years of preparation and the people who he calls in on this revenge plan? I mean, I get that there are other books in this series and I’m sure the revenge plot will continue there but the ending of this book left a lot to be desired.

Still, I liked it and would love to continue this series. Bring on the Richard love. Haha.

Holly: I know it was meant to be a huge turning point for him – I choose LOVE! – but it rang a bit false for me. All these years and he just walks away? I don’t know that I buy it. Still, I trust TH to keep things moving in the next book.

Casee: I felt that it showed Josiah’s strength of character that he was willing to give up years and years of preparation and his coven for family. That made me respect him and like him more than I did at the beginning. I really liked the coven Molly ended up in, too. They were more like a family, I think.

Holly: I actually thought the coven dynamics were really well done. They were a coven, they worked together, shared power, shared secrets, but really didn’t like each other much. I can’t wait to learn more about them.

Rowena: I also liked the way that the coven worked. They all had their strengths and their jobs and they did what was needed to move their agenda forward. They worked well together and that was a nice touch.

Casee: I give this book a 4 out of 5. What about you two?

Rowena: I thought the whole book was pretty interesting and I really came to care for all of the characters so I give this 4 out of 5 stars too.

Holly: I’m giving it 4 out of 5 as well.

Final Grades

Casee: 4 out of 5
Holly: 4 out of 5
Rowena: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Featured Review: Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews

Posted April 26, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Featured Review: Magic Burns by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Casee, Holly, & Rowena
Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #2
Also in this series: Magic Shifts, Magic Shifts, Magic Binds, Magic Bites, Magic Strikes, Iron and Magic, Magic Triumphs, Magic Bites, Magic Bleeds , Magic Strikes , Magic Slays , Gunmetal Magic , Magic Rises
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: April 1, 2008
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 260
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-half-stars

Down in Atlanta, tempers – and temperatures – are about to flare…

As a mercenary who cleans up after magic gone wrong, Kate Daniels has seen her share of occupational hazards. Normally, waves of paranormal energy ebb and flow across Atlanta like a tide. But once every seven years, a flare comes, a time when magic runs rampant. Now Kate’s going to have to deal with problems on a much bigger scale: a divine one.

When Kate sets out to retrieve a set of stolen maps for the Pack, Atlanta’s paramilitary clan of shapeshifters, she quickly realizes much more at stake. During a flare, gods and goddesses can manifest – and battle for power. The stolen maps are only the opening gambit in an epic tug-of-war between two gods hoping for rebirth. And if Kate can’t stop the cataclysmic showdown, the city may not survive…

Casee: This is the second book in the Kate Daniels series. What did you two think? I thought it was loads better than Magic Bites. While I was listening to Magic Burns, I was pretty happy that we got the information dump in the first book. It was easy to get into this book and understand what was happening.

Holly: This book is loads better than Magic Bites. I’m so glad you two continued on with the series because it’s so freaking good.

Rowena: I liked this book way more than I liked Magic Bites, too. I’m also glad that I slogged through all of that information dumping from Magic Bites because it made jumping into this one a lot easier. It took me a long ass time to read this book though but that was due to my reading slump and had nothing to do with my enjoyment of this book.

Casee: Kate did get annoying in this book. She’s a martyr.

Holly: I don’t think Kate is a martyr so much as she takes on responsibility for everyone. Calling her a martyr implies she wallows in her misery, and I don’t think that’s the case. Still, I agree that she can be annoying. It’s frustrating when she takes everything on herself.

Rowena: I don’t think Kate is a martyr either. I agree with Holly that she just takes responsibility for everyone. I do like that she’s loyal as shit and that she has a great moral compass. I loved that she won’t save herself at the expense of anyone and because of that, I let all of the things that make her annoying slide.

Casee: I agree with both of you. Martyr was a poor choice of words. She just feels like she’s responsible for everyone. Kate wants to save everyone, even at her own expense. It’s admirable and annoying at the same time.

Holly: I love the world, and how magic comes and goes.

Rowena: I really like how messed up this world is. Magic flares be fucking shit up and it cracks me up that Kate can’t drive a car, make a phone call when magic gets in the way. I loved seeing Derek again, gosh what a good character he is. I love how loyal he is to Kate and how much he seems to care about her too. I also really liked seeing Kate bond with Julie. I loved when she referred to Julie as her kid.

Holly: I Love what a badass Kate is. When she was fighting in that last battle scene? Damn.

Rowena: Yes, I love how Kate will fight to the death to protect those she holds close to her. I’m really curious to see how everyone is going to react when they find out what she is, especially Curran.

Also, things are heating up with Curran and I’m so freaking here for it. When she comes home and he’s sitting on her couch, waiting to welcome her home and made her coffee?? Gah. I’m a sucker for that shit and I need more!

Casee: I love, love, love Curran. I love how the relationship between the two of them is evolving. Andrews is extraordinary at getting Curran’s emotions across the page, even though this series is strictly from Kate’s POV. You never wonder what he’s thinking because the series is so well written.

Holly: I love how she and Curran circle each other, and how well she takes care of the people she loves. I can’t wait for you guys to finish the series. I’m all aflutter with anticipation.

Rowena: Curran wasn’t my favorite person in Magic Bites, I actually didn’t care for him all that much but that’s not the case anymore. Seeing him circle Kate, trying to wear her down is just fantastic. I’m going to laugh so much when Kate finally says, “Please” and “Thank you”. LMAO!

Casee: I also really enjoy the humor in these books. This series can be rather dark, so the humor really breaks things up. I really enjoyed the interaction between Kate and the guy that kept stealing the maps.

Rowena: Bran kept stealing the maps and I really liked the way that Andrews wrote his character. He was annoying and I wasn’t expecting to like him or even be as affected as I was when he left, but I was. I loved the interactions between him and Kate and I loved how Kate made sure that he would be remembered by the witches. So good.

Casee: I wasn’t expecting Bran to be as likable as he was. Kate’s reaction at the end of the book just slayed me. I do love that Kate will do anything for the people she feels are hers to protect, even as she did get somewhat annoying. How can you not like loyalty and love like that? I couldn’t wait for Curran to find out what she is. That scene won’t disappoint.

Holly: I agree that Bran started out annoying, but really grew on me. I loved how his relationship with Kate developed. I think she saw a lot of herself in him. Prior to Julie, Derek and Andrea (and of course Curran) coming into her life, she was on the path to loneliness, too.

Casee: Are you going to continue to read the series, Wena?

Rowena: Heck yes!

Holly: Woot! I’m so glad you plan to continue.

Rowena: This book gets a 4.25 out of 5 from me. What about you guys?

Holly: I think this gets 3.75 from me. I like it, but it isn’t one of the best in the series.

Casee: It gets a 4 from me. I really enjoyed getting immersed in this world.

Final Grades

Casee: 4 out of 5
Holly: 3.75-4 out of 5
Rowena: 4.25 out of 5

Kate Daniels


four-stars


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Featured Review: Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

Posted March 22, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

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, Magic Bleeds , Magic Burns, Magic Strikes , Magic Slays , Gunmetal Magic , Magic Rises
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: March 29, 2009
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 386
Add It: Goodreads
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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three-stars
Series Rating: four-half-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

three-stars


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