Tag: Gallery Books

Review: Consumed by J.R. Ward

Posted October 2, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 6 Comments

Review: Consumed by J.R. WardReviewer: Casee
Consumed (Firefighters, #1) by J.R. Ward
Series: Firefighters #1
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: October 2, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 416
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Goodreads
two-half-stars

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the popular Black Dagger Brotherhood series comes a brand-new novel about arson investigator, Ann Ashburn, who is consumed by her troubled past, her family's scorched legacy, and her current case: chasing a deadly killer.


Anne Ashburn is a woman consumed...

By her bitter family legacy, by her scorched career as a firefighter, by her obsession with department bad-boy Danny McGuire, and by a new case that pits her against a fiery killer.

Strong-willed Anne was fearless and loved the thrill of fighting fires, pushing herself to be the best. But when one risky decision at a warehouse fire changes her life forever, Anne must reinvent not only her job, but her whole self.

Shattered and demoralized, Anne finds her new career as an arson investigator a pale substitute for the adrenaline-fueled life she left behind. She doesn't believe she will ever feel that same all-consuming passion for her job again--until she encounters a string of suspicious fires setting her beloved city ablaze.

Danny McGuire is a premiere fireman, best in the county, but in the midst of a personal meltdown. Danny is taking risks like never before and seems to have a death wish until he teams up with Anne to find the fire starter. But Danny may be more than a distraction, and as Anne narrows in on her target, the arsonist begins to target her.From the creator of the bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood, get ready for a new band of brothers. And a firestorm . . .

Holy crap. This book was NOT for me. From the beginning to the end, it was just not. I loved The Bourbon Kings series. It was far outside the purview of the BDB. I thought that this new series would be much of the same. Especially after I skimmed (I don’t like spoilers) some of the reviews on GoodReads. I was hopeful. Too hopeful. Bad on me.

I didn’t like Anne Ashburn from the beginning. Not from page one. You could tell she was the type of person that didn’t like following rules, orders, or anything in between. Which usually wouldn’t be a problem one way or the other. The problem in this book is that she’s a firefighter. A firefighter for the love of…ugh. Firefighters have to follow orders or they get dead. If they don’t get themselves dead, they’ll get someone else dead. It’s blatantly obvious that Anne goes against authority when she tells her partner they need to separate during a warehouse fire. After being explicitly told not to split up.

That decision ends up costing her. Big time. It almost costs her her own life and the life of the man she loves. Who rushes into save her after being ordered not to go in after her. Yep, folks. There’s two of them. And they’ve found each other.

Danny McGuire loves Anne and he won’t leave her in the warehouse to burn. What happens between the time he goes in after her and the time he brings her out is something that is seared into his brain. Ten months later he can barely look at himself in the mirror. He takes up drinking, smoking, and sleeping with any woman that will have him. Then one night he gets in a fight at a local bar and his best friend calls in the big guns. Anne.

Anne thought she was done with Danny. Except she’s never done with Danny. The two are literally made for each other. You couldn’t find two more damaged people than the two of them. I understood Danny’s demons. I truly did. He lost his twin brother in a fire, he lost a good friend in a fire, he lost his parents. He has a lot of loss in his life. Anne? I seriously don’t know what her issue was. She had serious hangups from her childhood and she hated her mother, but she let that affect every aspect of her life. It was ludicrous.

A couple of the interesting parts should be mentioned. The mystery was fairly mysterious. So was Anne’s brother Tom. Talk about siblings. They both rather redeemed themselves in the end (when it came to each other and their mother), so that was all right. It was Danny that changed by leaps and bounds though. It was quite the thing to read.

One thing I could not get over, hence my low grade, is that Anne wasn’t just stupid, she was TSTL. Yup. Too Stupid To Live. While investigating the warehouse fires, she figures out who did it. Instead of calling her SWAT friend or her brother or even Danny, what does she do? You guessed it…she goes after the guy herself. Why? Because she’s no mere woman. She doesn’t need a stinking man. Then, she’s so sure she’s right that she decides that she’s going to compromise evidence because she has to prove something to herself. That’s what ultimately threw me over the edge. I can deal with many things. TSTL heroines are not one of them.

I do hate to admit that I might read Tom’s book. I think I hate myself for that.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

two-half-stars


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Review: Sustained by Emma Chase

Posted September 24, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Sustained by Emma ChaseReviewer: Holly
Sustained (The Legal Briefs, #2) by Emma Chase
Series: Legal Briefs #2
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: August 25th 2015
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 267
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Goodreads
four-half-stars

A knight in tarnished armor is still a knight.

When you’re a defense attorney in Washington, DC, you see firsthand how hard life can be, and that sometimes the only way to survive is to be harder. I, Jake Becker, have a reputation for being cold, callous, and intimidating—and that suits me just fine. In fact, it’s necessary when I’m breaking down a witness on the stand.

Complications don’t work for me—I’m a “need-to-know” type of man. If you’re my client, tell me the basic facts. If you’re my date, stick to what will turn you on. I’m not a therapist or Prince Charming—and I don’t pretend to be.

Then Chelsea McQuaid and her six orphaned nieces and nephews came along and complicated the ever-loving hell out of my life. Now I'm going to Mommy & Me classes, One Direction concerts, the emergency room, and arguing cases in the principal's office.

Chelsea’s too sweet, too innocent, and too gorgeous for her own good. She tries to be tough, but she’s not. She needs someone to help her, defend her…and the kids.

And that — that, I know how to do.

This book was recommended to me by several people ages ago, but it was Rowena who finally forced me to read it. I’m so sorry I waited. This was such a fabulous story. The story is told strictly from the hero’s point of view and it worked so well for me.

Jake is a successful defense attorney who spends his days in court and his nights banging whatever random chick he can send packing in the morning…until an STD scare forces him to take a break from his nightly activities. In the meantime he snags a boy who tries to steal his wallet. Jake takes him home only to fall into immediate lust with his sexy aunt. The problem? She’s just become guardian to six kids..and Jake is allergic to commitment. Except he can’t stop from thinking about her.. or the kids. Before he knows it he’s taking kids to dance and going to Justin Bieber concerts and changing diapers….and falling in love with not just Chelsea, but all 6 kids, too.

You guys. This was such a stellar romance. I loved it. I loved Jake, the kids, Chelsea…all of it. I couldn’t get enough of Jake and his interactions with the kids. Teenage girls, babies, and everyone in between. He was so great with them all. He also showed incredible insight when it came to Chelsea and how quick she was to drop everything to take care of her family. My favorite parts were the ones where Jake acknowledged her sacrifice and stepped up to help her.

There were times he frustrated me with his pigheadedness, but I couldn’t stay mad at him when it was clear he was falling hard and fast. This was such a fabulous read. I highly recommend it.

4.5 out of 5

The Legal Briefs

four-half-stars


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Review: Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

Posted September 17, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina LaurenReviewer: Rowena
Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: September 4, 2018
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 320
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Goodreads
five-stars

Hazel Camille Bradford knows she’s a lot to take—and frankly, most men aren’t up to the challenge. If her army of pets and thrill for the absurd don’t send them running, her lack of filter means she’ll say exactly the wrong thing in a delicate moment. Their loss. She’s a good soul in search of honest fun.

Josh Im has known Hazel since college, where her zany playfulness proved completely incompatible with his mellow restraint. From the first night they met—when she gracelessly threw up on his shoes—to when she sent him an unintelligible email while in a post-surgical haze, Josh has always thought of Hazel more as a spectacle than a peer. But now, ten years later, after a cheating girlfriend has turned his life upside down, going out with Hazel is a breath of fresh air.

Not that Josh and Hazel date. At least, not each other. Because setting each other up on progressively terrible double blind dates means there’s nothing between them...right?

I haven’t read very many books by Christina Lauren but the books that I did read, I enjoyed. I didn’t love them but they were solid contemporary romances that brought the goods. The time has come where they wrote a book that I absolutely adored.

Josh and Hazel went to college together and while they weren’t friends there, they were in each other’s orbits because Hazel was a hurricane of a young girl and Josh was a TA for one of Hazel’s classes. They’re complete opposites and even though Hazel has always a bit of a crush on Josh, she knows it’s not going to happen because she won’t ever change who she is for anyone, she settles for being Josh’s friend. They don’t become friends until after they run into each other 7 years after college but friends they become.

Josh is reserved and he’s careful and when he finds out that his long-distance girlfriend is cheating on him, he becomes single and his sister puts Hazel into his path to make sure that he has fun. He needs to have more fun in his life and there is nobody more fun than Hazel Bradford.

Hazel is a third-grade teacher who loves life. She’s eccentric, she’s bold, she’s loud and she knows that she’s a lot to take on so she’s not at all surprised that she’s single. She respects that she’s a lot to handle and doesn’t let that stop her from being her. She’s not for everybody and deep down, she hopes to find her person. Her person will be someone who accepts and loves her the way that she is. She sees the good in people and she doesn’t waste a lot of energy on negative shit so she’s just a ray of sunshine.

When Josh and Hazel become friends, we see their relationship form. For Josh, Hazel goes from being the loud and inappropriate young woman to the caring, will do anything for him best friend that he appreciates more and more with each passing day. She’s a lot of things, but she’s also one of the very best people that he knows. In an effort to help him move on from his cheating ex, Hazel starts setting him up on blind dates that Josh drags her along on with a blind date of her own. They choose dates for each other and then they go on these dates together and each date cracked me up.

I read this book in one sitting and throughout most of the book, I was laughing. I had a clear picture of both Josh and Hazel in my head (Jung from Kims Convenience for Josh and Jessica Day from New Girl for Hazel) so I could see each scene play out perfectly. Christina Lauren wrote a fabulous romantic comedy with a friendship that I was jealous of and a love that charmed the socks right off of me. Josh and Hazel made no sense and yet they were perfect for each other. I loved that Hazel could bring Josh out of his funk and I adored that Josh accepted and loved Hazel as she was. Their romance completely worked for me and I definitely recommend this book. This book isn’t being as well received by other readers but for me? I loved it all.

Grade: 5 out of 5

five-stars


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Summer Challenge Review: Sustained by Emma Chase

Posted August 8, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 3 Comments

Summer Challenge Review: Sustained by Emma ChaseReviewer: Casee
Sustained (The Legal Briefs, #2) by Emma Chase
Series: The Legal Briefs #2
Also in this series: Overruled (The Legal Briefs, #1), Sustained (The Legal Briefs, #2), Appealed (The Legal Briefs, #3), Sidebarred (The Legal Briefs, #3.5)
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: August 25, 2015
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 267
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

A knight in tarnished armor is still a knight.

When you’re a defense attorney in Washington, DC, you see firsthand how hard life can be, and that sometimes the only way to survive is to be harder. I, Jake Becker, have a reputation for being cold, callous, and intimidating—and that suits me just fine. In fact, it’s necessary when I’m breaking down a witness on the stand.

Complications don’t work for me—I’m a “need-to-know” type of man. If you’re my client, tell me the basic facts. If you’re my date, stick to what will turn you on. I’m not a therapist or Prince Charming—and I don’t pretend to be.

Then Chelsea McQuaid and her six orphaned nieces and nephews came along and complicated the ever-loving hell out of my life. Now I'm going to Mommy & Me classes, One Direction concerts, the emergency room, and arguing cases in the principal's office.

Chelsea’s too sweet, too innocent, and too gorgeous for her own good. She tries to be tough, but she’s not. She needs someone to help her, defend her…and the kids.

And that — that, I know how to do.

This was an interesting book. Not only was it written in first person (which I don’t particularly enjoy reading), it was written solely from the hero’s point-of-view. One of the reasons that I don’t enjoy first person is because I like rotating points-of-view. It just makes it more interesting when I can get into multiple characters’ heads. There are very few authors that can hold my interest from one point of view. I’m relieved happy to say that Emma Chase is one of them.

Jake Becker seems like a world class a-hole when the book first starts. A world class man whore a-hole. The guy has no illusions about himself. He knows what he wants out of life and what he wants from women. From life, he wants everything. From women, he wants nothing but sex. He’s seen one of his colleagues fall into domestic bliss and is certain that life is not the way for him. That is until Rory McQuaid picks his pocket. Then his whole life is turned upside down. He finds himself in the middle of a family of seven, suddenly a father figure for six orphans. Lusting after the kids’ guardian makes Jake feel like the lowest of the low, but he is attracted to Chelsea McQuaid like he’s never been attracted to anyone before. He’s actually interested in what comes out of her mouth, not what her mouth can do to him. Which is all together new for him.

As Jake gets in deeper and deeper, his commitment to his work lessens. Suddenly he is his domesticated colleague, which freaks him the hell out. He tries to run like hell in the opposite direction. Problem…not only can he not stay away from Chelsea, he can’t stay away from the kids. He’s found himself attached to the six rugrats. They’ve wound themselves throughout his life and around his heart. It’s only when he starts to consider the serious damage he could do to their lives that he really reconsiders being in them at all.

I found this book thoroughly enjoyable. Watching Jake fall for this broken family was really heartwarming. That he was so opposite of a family man made it all the better. Late in the book, the kids were taken away from Chelsea. I was wrecked reading about it. I almost, almost ugly cried. Then after, when Riley confronts Jake about leaving them? Wowza. Intense stuff. Emma Chase did such a fabulous job of getting all the characters feelings to the reader even though the book was only from Jake’s POV. I commend her for that. I also commend her for keeping this reader engrossed in the book and wanting more.

Oh, one more thing? This book was fucking steaming hot. Yup.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Legal Briefs

four-stars


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Review: Roomies by Christina Lauren

Posted December 11, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 11 Comments

Review: Roomies by Christina LaurenReviewer: Rowena
Roomies by Christina Lauren
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: December 5th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 368
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

Marriages of convenience are so…inconvenient.

Rescued by Calvin McLoughlin from a would-be subway attacker, Holland Bakker pays the brilliant musician back by pulling some of her errand-girl strings and getting him an audition with a big-time musical director. When the tryout goes better than even Holland could have imagined, Calvin is set for a great entry into Broadway—until he admits his student visa has expired and he’s in the country illegally.

Holland impulsively offers to wed the Irishman to keep him in New York, her growing infatuation a secret only to him. As their relationship evolves from awkward roommates to besotted lovers, Calvin becomes the darling of Broadway. In the middle of the theatrics and the acting-not-acting, what will it take for Holland and Calvin to realise that they both stopped pretending a long time ago?

Roomies is the second book that I’ve read by Christina Lauren and it certainly won’t be my last. This book was a lot of fun, once the story took off. Unfortunately, for me, the book didn’t pick up until about 52% into the story. The beginning started off interesting but then for a long time, I read and read and read and waited for something to happen and felt like there was too much Holland and not enough moving the story along. That changed once the story took off and once it did, my enjoyment of the story picked up as well.

So Holland Bakker is a young woman living in New York City, trying to find herself. She’s working with her Uncle, who is a musical director for a Broadway show and she’s doing the little jobs that anyone can do while she figures herself out. She’s not particularly happy with her life, there’s some guilt over living off her Uncles and not really having a direction, or a purpose. She’s got a huge crush on this subway musician and when her uncle needs help finding a new musician to step in for his play, Holland brings her uncle and the subway musician together and things really take off from there because before Holland knows what’s what, she’s got a new roommate who is her husband and her new Irish husband is on his way to being in the states legally.

The whole story is about Holland finding her purpose and her way. She does a lot of growing up in this book and there were times when I wanted to strangle her. I thought she spent too much time in her head and not enough time expressing what she needed and wanted from Calvin, her new husband. It was great to see her and Calvin growing closer and closer but because of the situation that they were in, I felt that they didn’t communicate nearly as much as they should have. I mean, toward the end of the book and they were still not communicating clearly with each other and I kept thinking, “Ugh, not again!”

Aside from that, Hollands ends up being such a strong character in the end and I was glad for her. I was also glad that we got to see the growth in Calvin’s character as well. We only got Holland’s POV so Christina Lauren did a great job of showcasing the growth of the secondary characters as well. I adored Holland’s Uncles and the small bits that we got of her brother, Davis. I did not really care much for Holland’s friend, Lulu. I wanted to smack the shit out of her multiple times in this book because she was such a shit friend but alls well that ends well and even though she wasn’t my favorite person, she came around.

Overall, this was a solid story. It had likable characters, a heroine that young women will be able to connect with, a sexy musician hero and a story that makes things interesting. The beginning was a little slow but when it picks up, it really picks up and I’m not at all mad that I read this one. It wasn’t the most perfect of reads but it was entertaining and all in all, it was good. I recommend.

Grade: 3.75 out of 5

four-stars


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