Tag: Guest Reviews

Guest Review: How to Mend a Broken Heart by Amy Andrews

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

Guest Review: How to Mend a Broken Heart by Amy AndrewsReviewer: Tracy
How to Mend a Broken Heart by Amy Andrews
Publisher: Harlequin Medical Romance
Publication Date: September 1st 2012
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 134
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two-stars

Facing her estranged husband Fletcher was always going to be heartbreaking for nurse Tessa King.

Especially as Fletcher has one last favour to ask – with his mother critically ill, he needs Tessa to pretend tragedy never tore their marriage apart. Impossible when your husband’s the one man it hurts your heart to touch...but the one man you can’t resist...

Fletcher and Tessa were madly in love with each other at one point.  After the accidental death of their toddler they divorced, and Tessa insisted on no communication whatsoever.  They had been living in Brisbane, Australia but Fletcher had ended up moving to Canada and Tessa to England.  Tessa returns on the anniversary of her son’s death to visit his grave.  Fletcher, unbeknownst to Tessa, has been watching every year.  He hates the fact that they’re divorced and wants Tessa back in his life.

Fletcher approaches Tessa with a proposition – she stays in Brisbane to help him take care of his mother, who was at one point a second mother to Tessa, who now has Alzheimer’s disease.  The mom, Jean, thinks that Tessa and Fletcher are still married and has no clue that they ever had a child.  Fletcher’s sister is usually Jean’s caregiver but she’s pregnant and on bed rest so Fletcher took over.  Since Tessa takes care of elderly Alzheimer patients in England, Fletcher believes she’s the perfect fit.  On top to that, he’ll have Tessa in his life again.

This book.  I’m not even sure where to begin this review.  I guess I’ll start by saying that I didn’t like the book.

Tessa was the one who asked for the divorce. She was grieving the death of her son, Ryan, and couldn’t handle even being around Fletcher.  She wouldn’t talk about Ryan and just tried to get through each day.  She didn’t support Fletcher at all and now, 10 years later, she’s just now seeing how selfish she’s been when Fletch finally says that he’s sick of not talking about his son. I got his frustration. I really didn’t like Tessa at all (even before that Fletch said that).  I got that she’s grieving and has horrible guilt about it all, but she’s not the only one who lost a child!  Maybe that makes me callous, but I don’t think so.

Fletcher seemed like a good guy at first, but I hated that he used his mentally ill mother to get Tessa to stick around.  Really? sigh Then of course he insists that she stay with him in case his mother wakes up in the night and he conveniently only has 2 bedrooms.  You can guess where this is going, they end up having to share a bed. Let me add that Fletcher moved down 9 out of 10 spaces in my opinion when he does a reveal of something that happened 9 years prior.  Why was this added???  Was there not enough drama?  Apparently not.

The book was slow, depressing, and a complete emotional drain.  There was seriously not one happy part in this book.  Even when there was a chance for the author to make Tessa see that she could take care of a child (Fletcher’s nephew) and have no issues, Andrews had the child sick and Tessa having to call an ambulance to save his life.  It was just too much! I can’t recommend this book at all as I didn’t like it, but if you want to be ripped apart emotionally then go for it.

Rating: 2 out of 5

(This was a 1 star read for me but it wasn’t badly written, so I gave it another star.)

 

two-stars


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Guest Review: Vampires Like It Hot by Lynsay Sands

Posted September 11, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Vampires Like It Hot by Lynsay SandsReviewer: Tracy
Vampires Like It Hot (Argeneau #28) by Lynsay Sands
Series: Argeneau #28
Also in this series: Immortal Ever After (Argeneau #18), Runaway Vampire, Immortal Nights, Immortal Unchained, Twice Bitten
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: September 18, 2018
Format: eARC
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 384
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three-stars

New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands brings the heat in this new Argeneau novel, as one woman is rescued by an irresistible immortal …

“Vampires...”

When Raffaele Notte pulls a barely dressed, disoriented woman from the ocean, the last thing he expects is for her to utter that word. The immortal has come to the island resort to help his cousin, but now, it seems, there are rogue vampires dining on unsuspecting tourists. And he soon realizes that not only is Jess a target, she’s also the life mate he’s been waiting for…

Vampires are real. Jess would’ve never believed it until she saw them with her own eyes. She knows she has to get off the island, and her gallant rescuer has offered to help. There’s something about Raffaele that’s unlike any man she has ever met, and his touch sends pleasure through her that is beyond all imagining. But when Jess discovers who he really is, will she risk life as she knows it for a chance of forever by his side?

Jess is at an island resort for her cousin’s destination wedding when the bride’s sister drags her on to a pirate ship.  Supposedly they were going to go feed sharks.  She’s not thrilled to be there and the people on the boat seem to be acting really weird.  When she walks in on what looks like a vampire feeding on a man’s private parts she’s horrified.  She’s then corralled into the captain’s quarters and pretty much told that the captain wants her all for himself.  She manages to squeeze out the window and ends up swimming for hours to get back to shore.

Raffaele Notte and his cousins, Zanipolo and Santo, are in Punta Cana to try and get Santo “back to normal.”  Santo had been kidnapped by the evil Dr. Dressler (see previous books) and had been experimented on.  He’d not been the same since and his cousins are looking out for him.  The trio is at dinner when Jess washes up on shore and they run to her rescue.

Jess is freaked out and focusing on the fact that vampires are real, but Raffaele is fascinated by the fact that Jess is his Life Mate.  When he finds out that she’s had contact with other Immortals that are on the island, that are obviously feeding on a ton of people (as he sees the teeth marks on just about everyone), he’s obviously concerned.  When he finds out that the captain of the pirate ship might also be Jess’s Life Mate Raffaele is determined to win her affections.

This was a cute book.  This is another in the Argeneau series and while the stories may be formulaic, I find them fun.  Raffaele and Jess were so cute together.  I hated that Jess was being pulled in different directions between Raffaele and Vasco.  As in most Sands novels there was a fair amount of ridiculous hijinks that happened with Jess, but I found them more funny side than the eye-rolling side.

I did feel sad for poor Santo as he was just so sad and after having read the previous books in the series knew what he had gone through.  I hope that he gets his HEA soon so that he can be happy again.

Overall a fun story.  There was not a lot of depth, but a good quick read none-the-less.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Argeneau

three-stars


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Guest Review: Intercepted by Alexa Martin

Posted September 10, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 4 Comments

Guest Review: Intercepted by Alexa MartinReviewer: Tracy
Intercepted (Playbook #1) by Alexa Martin
Series: Playbook #1
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: September 11, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 320
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four-stars

Marlee thought she scored with the man of her dreams only to be scorched by a bad breakup. Now there's a new player on the horizon and he's in a whole league of his own...

Marlee Harper is the perfect girlfriend. She's sure had enough practice, dating her NFL-star boyfriend for the last ten years. But when she discovers her wide-receiver boyfriend has been tackling other women on the sly, she vows to never date an athlete again. Only one problem: Gavin Pope, the new hotshot quarterback and a fling from the past, has Marlee in his sights.

Gavin fights to show Marlee he's nothing like her ex and what a future can be like for them. Unfortunately, not everyone is ready to let her escape her past. Gavin's teammates' wives, who never led the welcome wagon, are not happy with her return, and they have only one thing on their minds: taking her down. But when their gossip attack makes Marlee public enemy number one to the rabid fans of the team, she worries about more than just her reputation.

Fearing she's causing Gavin's life more harm than good, she tries to ignore the articles and the comments. However, when Gavin makes a life changing decision without her, she's hit with the fact that she's allowed herself to fall back into the back-seat life of an NFL girlfriend she promised to leave behind. Marlee must learn how to balance loving Gavin without losing the independence and respect she's worked so hard to gain; otherwise their relationship may not survive the season.

Marlee is the girlfriend of NFL wide receiver, Chris Alexander, and has been for years.  They’ve been together since high school and have had a rocky road but they’re fine.  That is until Marlee opens his computer (he took hers accidentally) to check her email and find emails to Chris from his girlfriend.  The girlfriend that he’s been flying back and forth to see him from wherever.  This was not the first time that Chris has cheated and Marlee’s finally done with the man.  She packs her bags and leaves.  Unfortunately as she’s trying to leave Chris comes home and of course tries to make things out like it’s all Marlee’s fault.  WTF?  Ass.  He happens to be with Gavin Pope, the teams new quarterback, and the man she had a one-night stand with four years earlier when she and Chris were broken up.

Gavin slept with Marlee four years ago and never forgot her.  He’s thrilled that she’s in Denver so he’s more than happy to take her away from the ass that is her now-ex-boyfriend.  When Marlee gets her own place Gavin starts to come around and they start to get close.  Marlee never forgot the night they spent together but she was upset with Gavin for lying to her.  He had told her he was an investment banker.  Had she known he played ball professionally she would have never gone home with him.  Of course she would have missed out on the best night of her life.

Marlee starts to fall for Gavin quickly but there’s a lot of push back from a lot of people.  She gets it from the Lady Mustangs – the wives of the team – and they constantly give her shit.  Then there’s Gavin’s friend and PR person who spreads rumors and more. Marlee tries to keep her head and sense of humor about her but it’s damned hard when she starts getting shit from the fans as well.  Can the love and relationship Marlee and Gavin have survive all the negativity and his football contract?

This book made me laugh.  Seriously.  I really liked the humor in this book as it was crazy and out of control.  Marlee was her own woman and not afraid to speak her mind.  She liked to rib people to get a rise out of them and she almost always managed to do it.  She was pretty independent, however, and came down on Gavin a couple of times when he tried to take over.  I get where she was coming from, and one time he did go too far, but I thought she could have toned it down a bit.

Gavin was awesome. He was kind, giving, loving, generous, loved his family.  I mean, this guy could do no wrong…if you ignore when he lied to Marlee and then again when he omitted information.  Despite that I really liked the guy and he was hot too, so there was that. Lol.

Overall the book was great.  I enjoyed reading it – even when Marlee was hashtagging her own life which was weird, but funny. It looks like this might be Martin’s first published novel.  If this is how good they’ll all be then I’ll be a big fan.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: One Perfect Kiss by Jaci Burton

Posted September 7, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: One Perfect Kiss by Jaci BurtonReviewer: Tracy
One Perfect Kiss (Hope #8) by Jaci Burton
Series: Hope Series #8
Also in this series: Hope Flames, Hope Flames, Hope Ignites, Hope Ignites, Hope Burns, Love After All, Make Me Stay, Don't Let Go (Hope Series #6), Love Me Again
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: September 4, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 320
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two-half-stars

The New York Times bestselling author of Love Me Again returns to the town of Hope, Oklahoma where school is in session and love rules the playbook.

Josie Barnes has always craved a sense of home. She's found that in Hope, Oklahoma--she bought a house, has a new job as an English teacher at Hope High, she's made wonderful friends, and she's taking in stray animals that no one else wants. Now she's flirting with fellow teacher and hot high school football coach Zach Powers. But he's almost too good to be true, and Josie learned long ago not to trust in the too-good-to-be-true, because it has always let her down.

A former pro football player, Zach had to pull back when a career-ending knee injury forced him to rethink his future. Now he's happy calling plays as Coach. If he could just get Josie Barnes to stop benching his players for their poor grades, life would be perfect. Instead, she drives him crazy as the stern teacher at school and the sexy woman of his dreams outside of the classroom. He knows she's been hurt in the past, but he wants to be that guy she can trust.

The one thing Josie has never been able to count on is the people closest to her. But Zach intends to show her that what they have between them is a textbook case of love.

Josie and Zach are teachers at Hope High School.  They hang out in the same group of friends and that’s how they met.  They are attracted to each other, but nothing had been done about it until when this book starts.

When our book opens Zach is getting on Josie’s case for putting a couple of his players on academic probation.  When he finds out that they just aren’t doing the work and it’s nothing vindictive, then he calms down and helps his players get their assignments done.  Zach thinks it’s about time he finally ask Josie out as he thinks she’s attractive.

Josie has issues with relationships.  Her mother is a drug addict and Josie pretty much raised herself.  When she went to college she had a boyfriend but after a while of dating he broke up with her and then she found out he had another girlfriend the whole time he was dating Josie.  When Zach starts hanging around she thinks that having a little fun would be good but has no thoughts of it being anything permanent.

I liked Zach and Josie and thought they were good together.  We got to see characters from past Hope novels and that was good too. The rescue animals were a bonus as they were so cute.

My main problem with the story was that it was slow.  I kept putting the book down and then having to force myself to go back to it.  If it wasn’t a book I had to review I would have dnf’d it.  Not that it was bad, don’t get me wrong, but there was just nothing happening that kept my attention.  I also didn’t feel the attraction between Zach and Josie.  How can I enjoy a romance when I’m just not feeling it?

I hate to say this about a Burton book because I normally really like her stories but this one just didn’t work for me.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Hope Series


two-half-stars


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Guest Review: The Hidden Blade by Sherry Thomas

Posted September 4, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: The Hidden Blade by Sherry ThomasReviewer: Tracy
The Hidden Blade (The Heart of Blade Duology #1) by Sherry Thomas
Series: The Heart of Blade Duology #1
Publisher: Self-Published, Sherry Thomas
Publication Date: July 20, 2014
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Fiction
Pages: 350
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four-stars

In the waning days of the last dynasty, in a quiet, beautiful corner of imperial Peking, a young girl's blissful ignorance is shattered when she learns that she is the illegitimate daughter of an English adventurer and a Chinese courtesan. What future is there for such a girl? But a mysterious figure steps forward and offers to instruct her in the highest forms of martial arts--a path to a life of strength and independence.

Half a world away in England, a young boy's idyllic summer on the Sussex downs implodes with the firing of a single bullet. Torn from his family, he becomes the hostage of a urbanely sadistic uncle. He dreams of escaping to find his beloved friend--but the friend is in China, ten thousand miles away.

The girl trains to be deadly. The boy flees across continents. They do not know it yet, but their lives are already inextricably bound together, and will collide one fateful night when they least expect it.

'Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon' meets 'Downton Abbey,' this remarkable tale of friendship, danger, and coming of age will stay with you long after you have finished the last page.

A prequel to MY BEAUTIFUL ENEMY.

This book is a prequel to My Beautiful Enemy and a story that needs to be read before that book is picked up.  The back story to the lives of Leighton and Ying-Ying are so very important to the core of the story.  It’s also an incredibly wonderful book!

I loved reading about Ying-Ying’s life and how it differed from that of Leighton.  The rules of the Chinese culture were something I found fascinating.  Her training as a martial artist was intriguing, especially as she started it at such a young age – I believe she was somewhere between 6-8 if I remember correctly.

Leighton’s story was heart breaking.  I loved reading about the bond he had with his father, and his father’s friend, Herb, as well as the close relationship he had with his little brother.  The author could have so easily left the mother and younger brother on the sidelines of the story but she made them a big part of it and I loved that.

This is a book filled with love, though it’s not a romance.  It’s a wonderful novel of family, and also what it’s like to grow up without one.  I’ve loved Thomas’s writing before, but this was something different – and worth reading.

Rating: 4 out of 5

The Heart of Blade Duology

four-stars


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