Tag: Guest Reviews

Guest Review: Crazy Cupid Love by Amanda Heger

Posted February 22, 2019 by Jen in Reviews | 5 Comments

Guest Review: Crazy Cupid Love by Amanda HegerReviewer: Jen
Crazy Cupid Love by Amanda Heger
Series: Let's Get Mythical #1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: January 29, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 416
Add It: Goodreads
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Eliza Herman has spent years avoiding her calling as a Descendant of Eros. After all, happily-ever-afters are a myth. But when a family crisis requires her to fill in at her family's Cupid-for-hire shop, Eliza finds herself enchanting couples under the watchful eye of her mentor, Jake Sanders.

After Eliza accidentally enchants Jake instead, they set rules to keep his arrow-struck desire at bay. But some rules are meant to be broken, and before long Eliza is rethinking her stance on true love...until they discover a conspiracy that could destroy thousands of relationships--including their own.

Want to know a sure fire way to get me to read your book? Describe it as “Percy Jackson for romance fans” and I WILL buy it with lightning speed (see what I did there?). Crazy Cupid Love is lighthearted and funny and does indeed have some echoes of my beloved Percy Jackson, albeit for grown ups. There are some hiccups, but overall it’s a promising start to new series.

In the world of this book, there are descendents of Greek gods living in our times. Most of them hide their true nature; the only ones who have been “outed” to mortals are the Cupids–descendants of Eros who can do love enchantments. Eliza Herman comes from a long line of Cupids, and her parents and brother own a family business selling love enchantments. Eliza, however, is not a part of the business. She is seemingly hopeless at all of it, and her life has been spent accidentally enchanting people with disastrous consequences. When circumstances force her to join the family business for a while, she has to turn to her childhood friend and fellow Cupid Jake Sanders for help getting the necessary state license. Jake has long had a crush on Eliza, but when she accidentally enchants him, it seriously complicates her personal and professional life. Even worse, just when Eliza thinks she’s finally getting the hang of being a Cupid, she finds out there are bigger problems afoot.

What I liked most about this book was the world building. We’ve seen books about descendents of gods before, but this still managed to feel fresh and interesting. I especially enjoyed the love enchantments. The enchantments don’t turn people into mindless zombies who are unable to resist. Cupids don’t so much make people fall in love as just temporarily supercharge whatever attraction/pull they may already feel towards each other. Even better, when Jake accidentally gets enchanted I totally appreciated that he a) stays fully aware of what happened and b) still retains his self control. He doesn’t get overbearing and start pressuring her to do anything. He has been enchanted before and knows how to handle it, and he’s pretty matter-of-fact about it. In other words, he doesn’t fall in love with Eliza because of the enchantment, though that does enhance things. I really liked that.

I also really liked Eliza and Jake. Jake in particular is pretty dreamy. He’s hot and smart and funny, and I like that he has goals to help make the world a better place. The book is mostly told from Eliza’s point of view, but there are a handful of very short chapters in Jake’s perspective. It was a little unusual, but I liked that we heard from him so we could tell how he really felt, since Eliza spent much of the book misreading the situation. I liked Eliza as well. She’s funny but a bit hapless, and she’s a major klutz. For me it didn’t get too ridiculous, but I suspect for other readers it might be too much. The one aspect of Eliza I didn’t love was how she let her confidence be destroyed for so long. Most of her family was not particularly supportive, and I wanted her to stand up to them more.

There were some other things I didn’t love about the book, too. While I liked the world building that did exist, I wanted some aspects of the world to be fleshed out more (Jake’s former job, the Council thing, what other Descendents are/what they can do, etc). I also thought Eliza’s family was pretty one-note. I couldn’t understand why her supposedly close brother never stood up for her, or why he didn’t tell her about any of the stuff happening with the family business. Her mom treated her pretty cruelly and constantly belittled her for most of the book, but then she does a huge 180 at the end that didn’t make sense. The drama with her parents marriage also felt forced, simply there to give Eliza a weak reason to drag her feet with Jake. That was probably my least favorite part of the book–how long it took Eliza to commit. I could believe Eliza might not be a strong believer in love–I assume her line of work would encourage cynicism–but it went on too long. Jake was literally perfect and made it clear what he wanted. It was hard to believe that once the enchantment wore off Eliza wouldn’t accept that everyone’s feelings were real and that they could try and build something together. There is a valid reason for her acting pretty irrational towards the end of the book, but she spent a big chunk of the earlier book waffling for no good reason as well. It got a bit frustrating.

And yet…I had so much fun reading this book. I laughed out loud on many occasions, and I really liked seeing Eliza and Jake end up together. My head would probably grade this book a 3, but I so enjoyed my afternoon reading this that my heart wants to give it a 4–I’m averaging that out to a 3.5. I am interested to see what this author will do with this premise in the future.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: How to Run with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper

Posted February 11, 2019 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: How to Run with a Naked Werewolf by Molly HarperReviewer: Tracy
How to Run with a Naked Werewolf (Naked Werewolf #3) by Molly Harper
Series: Naked Werewolf #3
Also in this series: How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf (Naked Werewolf, #1)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Pocket Books
Publication Date: December 31, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 352
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Down, Boy

Anna Moder has just witnessed a shooting, seen her car pulverized, and rescued a wounded stranger only to discover he's really a werewolf. And by her recent standards, things are actually looking up. Lycanthropes don't faze Anna. Doctoring a wolf pack outside Grundy, Alaska, is the closest thing to home life she's known in years. But hitching a ride to Anchorage with long-absent pack member Caleb Graham that's a risk. Part of her itches to whack his nose with a newspaper. The rest is trying unsuccessfully to keep her own paws off every delicious inch of him.

The problem is, Caleb employs his lupine tracking abilities as a not quite-legal bounty hunter, and Anna is suspicious of both him and his profession. On the run from her past, with old problems closing in, she'd like to stay far, far away from anybody with connections to the law. Caleb, however, seems determined to keep her close. Are his intentions noble, or is he working a more predatory angle?

Anna's been dreaming of returning to a semi-normal life, but now she's experiencing a strange new urge . . . to join Caleb in running with the wolves.

Anna is getting off work at the grocery story in a small town in Alaska when she hears arguing – then a gunshot…then the shooter who is trying to get away runs into her Pinto and it blows up.  Not the way she wanted to end her work day!  She goes to see if anyone is hurt (you know, because of the gunshot) and finds a wounded man.  She manages to get him into her car and starts driving.  She can’t go to her hotel because police will probably be investigating, and she can’t talk to cops because she’s on the run. When she finds a hotel and helps the wounded man inside, she starts to realize that there’s something about him that she’s familiar with – he’s a werewolf.

Anna is very familiar with werewolves as she’s been a werewolf pack doctor for the past four years. Not just a pack, but the pack that includes this man’s family members.  She doesn’t tell him right away that she knows who and what he is but when he agrees to take her to Anchorage if she’ll help him with some of his bounty hunting jobs, she agrees.

Caleb takes random jobs throughout the area – some legal, some not.  Anna isn’t thrilled with the thought of some of these people getting “taken in” for minor issues so as she becomes Caleb’s assistant, she directs the jobs.  When she finds out that Caleb might know more about her than she thinks, she takes off. Caleb, however, isn’t about to let the woman who is his mate get away from him now that he’s found her.

This was a cute book. I’ve recently discovered a love of Molly Harper books and this one proved to be just as good as the others.  I didn’t want to read this series originally – probably because the cartoon cover and title threw me off a bit. Fortunately I got past that, and what was inside the cartoon cover was worth reading.

Caleb and Anna were great together.  I really liked that Harper made Anna wary of Caleb for quite a long time.  A woman who is on the run isn’t someone who trusts easily, and Harper didn’t make her accept Caleb too quickly and that worked for me.  For Caleb’s part we only saw him from Anna’s POV, which was frustrating.  I would have loved to have gotten inside Caleb’s head to see what was going on in there.  He was a good guy who didn’t have a great job.  He was good at it, and it definitely paid the bills, but he didn’t love it.  Having Anna with him changed his outlook on the job, I think, and I loved that.

Overall it was a good read and one I enjoyed.  If you haven’t picked up a Molly Harper book yet, you should.  I read a couple of books of hers before, but they didn’t hit me right at the time.  I recommend this series, the Mystic Bayou series and the Southern Eclectic series to start – all really good.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Naked Werewolf

four-stars


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Guest Review: Kiss the Girl by Tara Sivec

Posted February 6, 2019 by Tracy in Reviews | 3 Comments

Guest Review: Kiss the Girl by Tara SivecReviewer: Tracy
Kiss the Girl by Tara Sivec
Series: Naughty Princess Club #3
Also in this series: At the Stroke of Midnight, In Bed with the Beast
Publisher: Swerve
Publication Date: September 4, 2018
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 304
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A struggling antiques collector finds herself falling in love with a millionaire playboy; but can she ever be a part of his world?

Meet the Naughty Princess Club, a series from USA Today bestselling author Tara Sivec that brings readers to Fairytale Lane and the hilarity—and romance—that three women fall into once they decide to strut their stuff and bring on their own happily ever after.

While her friends have broken free of their insecurities, Ariel Waters is struggling to come out of her shell. Her ex-husband took away her voice and her self-confidence, and Ariel is drowning under a sea of debt to afford the alimony she has to pay him. She refuses to ever fall for a man’s charms again, and is determined to make her own way.

When her house and her beloved antiques are taken by the bank after too many missed payments, Ariel finds herself adrift until the infuriatingly charming Eric Sailor comes to her rescue. Although she can’t stand the millionaire playboy, Eric’s kindness and unconditional support reveal hidden depths and a love that Ariel never imagined she could find.

But there are outside influences who will stop at nothing to keep them apart; can Ariel and Eric weather the storm and find a way to be together?

Ariel is part owner of the Naughty Princess Club.  It’s a stripping business that’s doing very well.  The other two partners, Cindy and Belle, are stripping constantly, but Ariel hasn’t exactly found her stripping mojo yet.

Ariel had been married and her ex-husband turned out to be a complete bastard.  He’d taken Ariel’s self-confidence and stomped it into the ground, then left her.  Not only that, but then he made her pay him alimony!  Because of Ariel’s debts she loses her house – with all of her wonderful antiques inside.  Luckily her friends and their husbands help her out – along with Eric.  Eric rubs Ariel the wrong way, but when he gives her one of his yachts to live on, she’s incredibly grateful.  If she has a wonderfully nasty dream about him a time or two, it’s only understandable since he’s in the yacht right next door, right?

When Ariel’s house woes were happening she was supposed to be filing the Naughty Princess Club’s business license.  Since she missed the deadline, it has to go to committee.  The horrible woman she talks to at the licensing office, Ursula, doesn’t give her much hope that their license will be approved.  Especially when she finds out there’s more to Ursula’s venom than Ariel firsts thought.  Can Ariel save the NPC and can she do it while falling in love with Eric?

This was just as cute as the first two books in the series.  It didn’t have as much to do with actual stripping as books 1 and 2, but it was still good.

I LOVED Ariel!  She was mouthy and irreverent, and I adored it.  Is that always a good thing? No, but in this story, it absolutely worked for the character. She made me laugh out loud more than once, that’s for sure. I also loved that Eric loved her mouthiness, fire and passion as well.  He was such a good guy and so very patient.

The conflict with Ursula, I felt, was well done and a bit unexpected.  The fact that Eric never hesitated to take Ariel’s side just endeared him to me ever more.

Overall this was a good story and it was a great series.  Fun, light-hearted, and full of girl power.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Naughty Princess Club

four-stars


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Guest Review: The Fearless King by Katee Robert

Posted February 5, 2019 by Jen in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Fearless King by Katee RobertReviewer: Jen
The Fearless King (The Kings, #2) by Katee Robert
Series: The Kings #2
Also in this series: The Last King
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: February 5, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 368
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

Fake boyfriend. Real danger.

Journey King is an expert at managing the family business. But when her father returns to Houston hell-bent on making a play for the company, Journey will do anything to stop him, even if that means going to Frank Evans for help. Frank deals in information, the dirtier the better. Rugged and rock solid, he’s by far her best ally—and also the most dangerous.

Frank knows better than to get tangled up with the Kings. But something about Journey’s rare vulnerability drags him deep into enemy territory . . . and into her darkest past. Pretending to be her boyfriend may be necessary for their plan to work, but Frank soon finds helping Journey is much more than just another job—and he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her safe.

The Last King by Katee Robert was one of my favorite books of 2018, so I was beyond excited to get a hold of The Fearless King. I wasn’t disappointed!

Frank Evans appeared in book 1 as Beckett’s best friend. He’s a real estate mogul and general financial powerhouse in Houston, and he has an extensive network of information gathering and general badass employees across the city. In other words, he gets things done. Journey King is Beckett’s estranged cousin, and after Beckett drove her mother out of town in the last book, the energy company the family runs has been scrambling to adjust. Journey and Frank clearly have some unacknowledged attraction, but they try to stay far away from each other. When Journey’s father shows back up and puts their control of the company in jeopardy (and terrorizes Journey in the process), she turns to Frank for help.

This series is not too melodramatic or cheesy to be tolerated, but it does include piles of drama for a rich Texas family. For me, it strikes the right balance between soap opera and romantic suspense. You do have to suspend a bit of disbelief, however. You have to believe that these families could really be so cold and calculating, and you have to believe that there won’t be any serious legal or social consequences for anyone at the end of the book. I was down with it; you may not be.

Journey’s father is a straight up garbage human being. Trigger warning: Journey and her siblings were physically abused by their father as children. There are no graphic descriptions given; in fact, no one says much beyond acknowledging the abuse (and mentioning it was not sexual). The book is not abuse porn! In some ways, though, the lack of description makes it a bit harder to understand Journey’s terror. She is clearly terrified of her father and has suffered severely because of the abuse for her entire life. Her father’s mere presence sends her into an emotional and physical tailspin, which is what leads her to seek help from Frank. We just have to trust that something very, very messed up happened in Journey’s childhood.

My favorite part of the book is Journey’s growth. She starts the book constantly calling herself “the weakest link.” She believes she is broken and incapable of standing up to her father as a result of his emotional abuse. He conditioned her to believe she was weak. As the book goes on, however, Journey starts to believe in herself again. She realizes she has a role to play in protecting her family and Frank, and that gives her a sense of purpose and courage. I just loved seeing her transformation! I also love that while Frank’s support is a comfort and helps her see herself through new eyes, he is not the one who “fixes” her.

I also appreciated that this book acknowledges that Frank, an African American, faces racism, and that that racism has shaped his choices and his personality. His father went to prison unfairly because of a justice system biased against him, and Frank is always aware that no matter how much money he makes, he will always be looked down on by racist Houston socialites. Kudos to Katee Robert for not glossing over Frank’s skin color and for acknowledging that racism exists, even in Romancelandia.

While I’m not quite as in love with this book as I was with book 1, I am 100% here for the King family and this series.

Grade: 4 out of 5

The Kings

four-stars


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Guest Review: Legendary Beast by Barbara J. Hancock

Posted January 31, 2019 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Legendary Beast by Barbara J. HancockReviewer: Tracy
Legendary Beast by Barbara J. Hancock
Series: Legendary Warriors #3
Publisher: Harlequin Nocturne
Publication Date: October 1, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 304
Add It: Goodreads
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two-stars
Series Rating: two-stars

She slept…his love didn’t

Once upon a time, Madeline was trapped in an enchanted sleep, her baby wrapped tight in her arms. Then the white wolf woke her, and her son disappeared.

For centuries, Lev Romanov searched for his wife and their child, and the search drove him half-mad. Can Madeline trust the wolf to be the man who can help her save their son.

Madeline has been asleep for hundreds of years.  Her mate, Lev, never gave up looking for her, or their son, who slept with Madeline.  When she finally awakens, it’s to find that her son is no longer in her arms.  Vasilisa is a Queen who has protected Madeline.  When dark witches attack the palace where they are staying, Vasilisa and Madeline’s son, Trevor, disappear.  In order to find them and beat the dark witches, Madeline must trust the white wolf, who is her mate.  She’s terrified of the wolf, and draws dark pictures of it constantly, but the longer time she spends with Lev, the more she realizes she’s not as scared as she was before.  Madeline’s not sure who to trust and she’s not sure who is the villain as she’s getting conflicting information.  Can she remember the love she had for Lev and save her son as well?

This book was…incredibly confusing.  I didn’t read the two previous books in the series and I definitely should have in order to understand this book. I found this story to be incredibly disjointed, but would I have if I’d read books 1 & 2? IDK.  I wasn’t sure why Madeline had been sleeping, why her and Lev had been separated, what the deal was with Vasilisa (was she evil or was she good?)…I was just confused for most of the book.  Most of my questions were answered by the end of the book, but I spent most of the time confused.  Not necessarily my idea of a good time.

Madeline was a warrior of sorts, but she was weak for most of the book from sleeping for so many years – 1000 years, I think.  She was also afraid of the wolf, which was Lev, so a huge portion of the story was spent with them together, yet apart.  I didn’t feel the connection between the two of them because of this, and it diminished the romance significantly.

I have to say that the writing was decent and kept me reading, despite my confusion with the story, so that right there earned this an extra star.

Would I recommend this book?  Maybe?  If you do, be sure to read books 1 & 2 first so that this one won’t be so confusing.

Rating: 2 out of 5

Legendary Warriors

two-stars


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