Tag: Guest Reviews

Guest Review: The Warrior of Clan Kincaid by Lily Blackwood

Posted July 20, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Warrior of Clan Kincaid by Lily BlackwoodReviewer: Tracy
The Warrior of Clan Kincaid (Highland Warrior #3) by Lily Blackwood
Series: Highland Warrior #3
Also in this series: The Beast of Clan Kincaid, The Rebel of Clan Kincaid
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Publication Date: July 31, 2018
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 320
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

LOVE TAKES NO PRISONERS

Derryth MacClaren is on the run. Traveling under heavy guard, she has been sent from her castle home to avoid capture by the vicious nobleman known as the Wolf, who has vowed revenge against the Clan Kincaid, and any who support them. When a surprise attack leaves her vulnerable, Derryth ends up in the hands of an enemy warrior who claims her, with the Wolf’s blessing, as his prize. But her captor’s gentle words and touch seduce her heart—and body—completely...and when she discovers the tattoo on his arm that proves him to be the legendary, long-believed dead son of the murdered Laird of Kincaid, Derryth knows she must find a way to alter his fate—and her own.

Cull has no memory of his family or past—all he knows is the life of a warrior, trained to fight on behalf of the Scottish king. If he can help the king’s law officer of the North, the Wolf of Badenoch, defeat a rebellious faction of Highlanders, Cull will be met with untold riches beyond possessing beautiful, innocent Derryth. But now that she has informed him of who he really is—Cullen Braewick, the youngest son of the slain laird—he is torn. If Cull exacts revenge against the Wolf, who executed his father, he stands to lose the precious lass who he has come to love. What is he willing to sacrifice for Derryth to keep her safe...and in his arms?

Derryth McClaren is the sister of the Laird of the Kincaid clan and has been living with the Kincaids for the past two years The Laird fears that they will be attacked so he sends Derryth away temporarily to her own home.  While they travel they are attacked and taken prisoner by the exact men they are trying to get away from.

Derryth is taken by the commander of the army that plans on attacking the Kincaids. At first he thinks that Derryth is a very young girl but once the mud and grime are removed he sees that she’s a very beautiful woman.  Derryth keeps her identity and link to the Kincaid clan a secret.  Despite trying to keep his hands and thoughts off of her, Cull the Nameless can’t do it.

Cull is a warrior and the King’s man.  He is attacking the Kincaid clan as he believes that he has orders from the king to do so.  He was once just a boy on a slavers ship with no memory of how he got there.  He was purchased by the son of the King and that’s how he came to be commander of the army.  When he finds out that Derryth is part of the Kincaid clan Cull starts to have second thoughts about attacking but decides he needs proof of the king’s son’s wrong-doing before he does anything.  He won’t risk the Derryth, the woman he has fallen in love with, or her family if he doesn’t have to.

The third book in the Highland Warrior series was a good one.  If you’ve read the first two book in the series, you know that they revolve around three brothers who were lost or thought dead.  Despite knowing that this third book was about the third brother I was a little disappointed in the blurb as it gave so much away!  Despite the over-sharing, I still enjoyed the way Blackwood unfolded the story.

Derryth was a bit of a pampered miss and was more interested in clothes and her hair than anything else. She was determined to change but it never happened.  Becoming a prisoner made her look at life differently and I think she grew during the book.  Cull was a good man.  He wasn’t evil or under-handed and I liked the honor he had.  When he realized that the king’s son might not have told him the truth about the orders to attack the Kincaid stronghold he sought proof.  I loved that he didn’t kill just for bloodsport.

The romance between the two main characters was good.  It’s a difficult thing, having the heroine fall in love with her captor, but I thought that the author wrote it well and didn’t have Derryth falling too quickly.

Overall a good book filled with action, romance, treachery and love.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Highland Warrior

four-stars


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Guest Review: A Wolf Apart by Maria Vale

Posted July 19, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: A Wolf Apart by Maria ValeReviewer: Tracy
A Wolf Apart (The Legend of All Wolves #2) by Maria Vale
Series: The Legend of All Wolves #2
Also in this series: The Last Wolf (The Legend of All Wolves #1)
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: July 31, 2018
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 352
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

Can a human truly make room in her heart for the Wild?Thea Villalobos has long since given up trying to be what others expect of her. So in Elijah Sorensson she can see through the man of the world to a man who is passionate to the point of heartbreak. But something inside him is dying...

Elijah Sorensson has all kinds of outward success: bespoke suits, designer New York City apartment, women clamoring for his attention. Except Elijah despises the human life he's forced to endure. He's Alpha of his generation of the Great North Pack, and the wolf inside him will no longer be restrained...

She sizes me up quickly with eyes the color of ironwood and just as unyielding. "Thea Villalobos," she says, and it takes me a moment to get my breath back. Thea Villalobos. Goddess of the City of Wolves.

Elijah is a man who turns into a wolf.  Actually, he was born a wolf and can turn into a man.  He is also a lawyer and works in New York City for the good of the Pack.  He spends too much time in his skin and it’s starting to mess with his head.  He wants so badly to return to his home more than just once a month, but the Alpha of his Pack tells him that they need him where he is.  His frustration grows until he meets Thea Villalobos.

Thea is a search and rescuer but needs help with a legal issue she’s having with her neighbor.  Through a friend of a friend Thea ends up in Elijah’s office and immediately he is smitten.  He tries his normal seduction routine with her but she wants nothing to do with his bullshit.  After many screw ups with Thea Elijah finally realizes that he just needs to be himself.  He’s been playing a part for so long, however, that he’s not sure how be himself.  He does know that he’s falling for Thea but he can never tell her what he is and she would never be accepted by the Pack.  How can he be happy with living a half-life?

The second book in the Legend of All Wolves series was a good one.  My heart went out to Elijah and all the bullshit he had to put up with by living in the city.  He truly just wanted to be in his home and yet wasn’t allowed.  It ended up working out well because he got to meet Thea but I felt so bad for him!

Thea was a lovely person – and just simple.  Not simple-minded, she was just not someone who had any use for bullshit.  She lived in a one room cabin with just one of everything.  One towel, one fork, one bowl, etc.  She didn’t need anything extra – no TV or radio – she had books.  I loved her no-nonsense attitude as it served her well working with Elijah.  The pair were so good together and I loved the ease they had with each other.

I can’t tell you too much about the book without ruining things but suffice it to say that it was good.  I have to admit that the ancient language that Vale uses at the beginning of the book got a bit old, but it ended up being ok.  She actually uses it throughout the book, but I was only annoyed by it in the beginning as it made it had to follow things at first.  Overall, however, I’d say it was definitely an enjoyable read.

Rating: 4 out of 5

The Legend of All Wolves

four-stars


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Guest Review: The Duke Buys a Bride by Sophie Jordan

Posted July 18, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: The Duke Buys a Bride by Sophie JordanReviewer: Tracy
The Duke Buys a Bride by Sophie Jordan
Series: The Rogue Files #3
Also in this series: While the Duke Was Sleeping
Published by Avon
Publication Date: July 24, 2018
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 368
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Goodreads
three-half-stars

A bride wasn’t in his plans . . .

The last thing Marcus, the Duke of Autenberry, expects to see after sleeping off a night’s drunken shenanigans is a woman being auctioned in the village square. Before he can think about the ramifications, he buys her, thinking he’s winning the girl her freedom. Instead, he discovers he’s bought a wife.

A duke wasn’t in hers . . .

Alyse Bell is almost rid of the shackles that bound her in a name-only marriage, but the day her friend promised to purchase her in a wife auction, he vanishes, leaving her to face a mob of unsavory bachelors intent on owning her body and soul. But the appearance of a wicked, wealthy stranger changes her path forever.

The road to ruin . . .

Marcus doesn’t know what to do with the impertinent chit who clearly isn’t duchess material! Insisting their marriage isn’t legitimate, they leave for his estate in Scotland, hoping to devise a plan to get rid of each other. However, on a journey fraught with misadventure, their attraction grows and Marcus realizes he’ll do anything to keep this fiery woman for his own.

Marcus, the Duke of Autenberry, has gotten out of London and he’s more or less wandering the countryside trying to escape his woes. (I’m assuming his woes occurred in previous books but I didn’t read the previous books so I’m not sure.) He comes upon a village green one day and sees that there is an auction – of a woman!  He’s disgusted by the proceedings and when it looks like a disgusting man might get the girl, he bids a ridiculous amount and wins her for himself.  He doesn’t realize that this is a bride auction.  By buying her he is now her husband.  Of course he denies that with everything he is and sets off with the girl to his estate in the Highlands.  He says he’ll make her his housekeeper and pay her well.

Alyse’s dad died when she was just 14 years old – seven years ago.  He made an arrangement with a man with a ton of children for Alyse to marry him and take care of his kids in exchange for taking care of Alyse.  While she’s technically been his wife for years she’s really been a servant, raising his kids and taking care of his house.  The bride auction is a way to “divorce” her current husband and marry her long-time friend, Yardley.  Only when they arrive at the auction they find that Yardley high-tailed it out of town first thing that morning.  Alyse is devastated and tries to stop the auction but her husband has his eye on another woman so she’s out of luck.  When this man, Marcus, buys her she’s not sure what will happen but she figures she’ll take him up on his offer of a living as a housekeeper, save money and then become an independent woman.

As Alyse and Marcus travel they talk and find out more about each other, although Alyse doesn’t know he’s a duke.  Despite Marcus’s determination to stay away from Alyse he finds that he can’t manage it.  He’s desperately attracted to her.  Of course this causes him to be hot and cold with her and that’s frustrating for both of them.

This was a good story.  I liked so much of it and the whole premise grabbed me and wouldn’t let go.  I had no idea when I started reading that wife selling was actually a thing back in the late 17th century and continued on until the 19th century.  I understand only the extremely wealthy could get an actual divorce, but I had no idea this was a way of going about getting rid of your wife.  Yikes.  From what I read this was actually a mutual agreement between husband and wife, and the wife had a final say in who purchased her (it was also illegal).  In this book, she didn’t have a choice so therein lies our story.

Marcus was a bit of an ass at times but I liked him anyway.  Alyse was pretty fierce for being sold like chattel but she held her own and I liked her inner strength.  There was a time when a clan interfered in the story and I thought that Alyse acted ridiculously but there you have it.

I thought the story had some occasions where it dragged but overall I enjoyed the story and recommend it.

Rating: 3.5/4 out of 5

The Rogue Files

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: Knuckle Down by Chantal Fernando

Posted July 12, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Knuckle Down by Chantal FernandoReviewer: Tracy
Knuckle Down (The Cursed Ravens MC #2) by Chantal Fernando
Series: The Cursed Ravens MC #2
Also in this series: Ace of Hearts
Published by Pocket Star
Publication Date: July 9, 2018
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 285
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Goodreads
three-stars

As a single father of two girls and the sergeant at arms for the Cursed Ravens Motorcycle Club, Jack “Knuckles” Chester doesn’t have much free time. And having earned his road name from his reputation as a fighter, Knuckles isn’t one to back away from a challenge.

But what he'll never admit out loud is that his two daughters have changed him irrevocably, softened him even. And these two girls are the only women who will ever hold his heart forever. That is, until he meets the cousin of another biker’s old lady.

Celina is nothing like the women Knuckles used to date. She’s a journalist for the local newspaper, dresses well, and basically just has her life together. And the last thing she wants is to be involved with a Cursed Raven. But when the ripped, badass biker worms his way into her heart, she has trouble remembering all the reasons they would never work.

But when a scandal at her newspaper breaks the thin trust she has with Knuckles, will she walk away for good? Or will Knuckles fight to keep Celina in his life?

Celina is a journalist and loves her job.  She loves being independent and making her way in the world.  She’s not really open to a relationship as her last one did a number on her.  When she heads to the Cursed Ravens MC clubhouse for her cousin Erin’s birthday party the last thing she expects to happen is to fall for one of its members.

Knuckles is the Sergeant-at-Arms for the Cursed Ravens MC.  He’s also a father of two daughters and does his work for the Ravens around his kids.  He loves his MC but he also loves his girls and will do anything for them.  He wasn’t planning on meeting anyone and hadn’t been attracted to a woman in a long time but when he sees Celina in the clubhouse he’s immediately smitten.

Celina has a bit too much to drink at the party so Knuckles ends up driving her home and then goes the next day to check on her. She keeps telling him that she’s not interested in dating him but he is persistent and their friendship soon turns into a relationship.

This was a fun story.  I really liked Knuckles a lot as he was just a good guy.  The author really doesn’t get into anything that the MC is criminally into.  The stories are definitely more relationship driven and the men just happen to be in an MC.  In this story there was one incident that was something I could see happening at an MC but other than that we don’t get much info about anything the MC does.

I’m not normally a fan of romances where the heroine is a journalist (actually I don’t like it when the hero is either but that so rarely occurs) but since I read book one in this series I thought I’d give it a shot.  The conflict had to do with her work (as expected) and I could see it coming for miles down the road.  Fortunately, that was worked out rather quickly.  Celina and Knuckles were good together once they each let their guards down.  Despite Knuckles chasing Celina he still held himself back a bit until later in the book.

The Cursed Ravens MC novels are pretty short and fluffy, but the author gives me enough about the characters that I end up wanting to see what the next guy is up to.  Point in her favor. 🙂

Rating: 3 out of 5

The Cursed Ravens MC

three-stars


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Guest Review: #Moonstruck by Sariah Wilson

Posted July 10, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: #Moonstruck by Sariah WilsonReviewer: Tracy
#Moonstruck by Sariah Wilson
Series: #Lovestruck #2
Also in this series: #Starstruck
Published by Montlake Romance
Publication Date: July 17, 2018
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 320
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Over one million “likes”—but only one of them matters.

After pop star Ryan De Luna praises Maisy Harrison’s YouTube cover of his classic hit, he offers Maisy and her fledgling band the opportunity of a lifetime: to be his opening act.

Music may be Maisy’s life, but she has one ground rule: never date a musician. That goes double for a heartbreaker like Ryan. If only she didn’t feel so vulnerable to his larger-than-life charm. And maybe now more than ever, when he asks for her help to shake off his playboy image. How can she resist playing the part of his fake girlfriend for the duration of the tour?

Ryan’s never met anyone like Maisy. She sees past all the star-studded fame and treats him like any other guy. And the more time they spend together, the more he finds himself falling for her. Now he’d like to make their imaginary fling an IRL thing. But can he convince her to take a chance and trust him with her heart?

Maisy Harrison used to be a crazy Ryan De Luna fan…when she was 14.  Now that she’s in her 20’s?  Not so much.  That doesn’t stop her from going to one of his concerts with her best friend because that BFF is crazy about Ryan.  When she meets Ryan back stage, Maisy isn’t impressed and even tells him off a bit when he gets cocky.  The next day she realizes that she can’t find her phone so she calls it via her brother’s phone.  Finally someone answers her texts and she starts to have a conversation with Ryan’s cousin, Diego, who was the one who had taken a picture using the phone the previous night.  They have great conversations and when she tells him where her band (the one she has with her three brothers) is playing a gig, he says he’ll be there.  Maisy’s shocked when she finds out that it wasn’t Diego she was texting, but Ryan.  Not only that, Ryan liked her band’s sound so well he then asks them to be his opening act on his current tour.

Maisy and her brothers are thrilled that they are getting notice on the tour, but touring with Ryan is hell on Maisy.  She realizes that Ryan’s not the arrogant ass she thought him to be, and she’s crazy attracted to him.  She doesn’t want to start anything with him that might jeopardize her band’s standing on the tour.  Ryan makes it hard to stay away from him, however, because he actually pays Maisy to be his fake girlfriend so that he can look better in his record producer’s eyes.  When Ryan wants to make their fake relationship real, Maisy is so tempted but her number one rule is: no dating musicians.

This was a pretty cute book.  I liked the first book in this series so when I saw this one was coming out I jumped on it.  I’m glad I did, as it was a fun book to read.

Maisy’s dad was a musician and a huge player and liked to get women pregnant…constantly.  He hurt Maisy’s mom horribly which caused lasting damage to the family.  Maisy and her brothers basically grew up without a father and while they each inherited musical ability from him, they wanted nothing else to do with the man once they were adults.  Because of how her father was with women and children Maisy decided that dating musicians was out of the question.  Until she got to know Ryan she never had a problem sticking to that rule.  Once she became close with Ryan it was almost impossible not to see him for the wonderful guy he was.

Ryan was a pretty cool guy.  Yeah, he’d been an ass in younger years but he’d grown up and wanted different things in life than he’d wanted previously.  Unfortunately, the record producers just saw him as a pop singer and when he wanted to possibly change his music up, they didn’t agree.  I think they saw him as immature and not able to make his own decisions despite the fact that I think he was 27 years old.  Crazy.  Maisy helped him in other ways besides being his fake girlfriend and the pair grew throughout the story both individually and in their relationship.

The conflict in the story was a bit too drawn out for my liking.  I understood it but thought that it could have been resolved more quickly than it was.  Despite that issue liked the story overall.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

#Lovestruck

three-half-stars


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