Tag: Guest Reviews

Guest Review: Scandalous Ever After by Theresa Romain

Posted July 7, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Scandalous Ever After by Theresa RomainReviewer: Tracy
Scandalous Ever After by Theresa Romain
Series: Romance of the Turf #2
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: July 4th 2017
Genres: Romance
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four-stars

"Romain pens an unconventional, highly appealing love story, topped off with intrigue. This fast-paced read is sure to satisfy." ―RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars for A Gentleman's Game

Does love really heal all wounds?After being widowed by a steeplechase accident in Ireland, Lady Kate Whelan abandons the turf. But once her mourning is complete, her late husband's debts drive her to seek help in Newmarket amidst the whirl of a race meet. There she encounters antiquities expert Evan Rhys, her late husband's roguish friend―whom she hasn't seen since the day of his lordship's mysterious death.

Now that fate has reunited them, Evan seizes the chance to win over the woman he's always loved. But once back within the old stone walls of Whelan House, long-held secrets come to light that shake up everything Kate thought she knew about her marriage. Now she wonders who she can trust with her heart―and Evan must decide between love and a truth that will separate him from all his heart desires.

Romance of the Turf Series:A Gentleman's Game (Book 1)Scandalous Ever After (Book 2)

Two years ago Evan and his best friend, Conall, got into an argument and Even then left the country of Ireland, never to return.  He found out later that his friend had fallen from a horse and died that very day.  He’d blamed himself for his friends death.  He also has massive guilt because from the day Conall had brought his English wife home, Evan had been in love with her.

Evan is lecturing in London when the object of his affections, Kate, strolls in.  He immediately changes his travel plans and heads to her family seat in Newmarket with her – with plans to travel with her to Ireland afterward.  He finally believes it’s time to make his move on Kate, but she’s not ready to accept that her life can change from what it’s been these past two years.  She also has worries that going to bed with Evan will ruin their friendship.

When they eventually make it back to Ireland Kate is even more determined to keep Evan at bay but he doesn’t allow that.  He needs to make her see that they can be good together.  He also finds something that might prove that his friend, Kate’s husband didn’t die in an accident but was murdered.

This was a sweet fiends to lovers story.  I really liked both Kate and Evan and their witty banter made me laugh throughout the book.  No matter what was happening Evan was always there with his light-heartedness and I loved it.

The romance between the two kind of grew organically and at times I wished as a reader that I could have understood Kate a bit better when it came to Evan.  It was like she was falling in love with him but we weren’t exactly told that.  I don’t know how to explain it.  Anyway, this is the reason for the 4 stars rather than higher.

Overall I found the book to be quite enjoyable and I truly appreciated Ms. Romain’s sense of humor.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: Drakon’s Plunder by N.J. Walters

Posted July 4, 2017 by Jen in Reviews | 3 Comments

Guest Review: Drakon’s Plunder by N.J. WaltersReviewer: Jen
Drakon's Plunder by N.J. Walters
Series: Blood of the Drakon #3
Also in this series: Drakon's Promise, Drakon's Prey

Publication Date: July 3rd 2017
Genres: Paranormal Romance
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four-stars

Life is not going well for archaeologist Sam Bellamy. She's stuck in the middle of the ocean on a salvage boat with people who want her dead. It wasn't her gift for being able to sense objects of power that got her here, rather her need to make a secret society called the Knights of the Dragon pay for killing her mentor. Sam doesn't believe in dragons, but the Knights do, and if she can get one of the sacred artifacts they're searching for away from them, she'll consider it payback.

Ezra Easton is content to run his marine salvage company and live alone on his private island. He may be a four-thousand-year-old water drakon, but he's civilized enough to know just because he pulls an injured woman from the ocean, doesn't mean he gets to keep her...

When she wakes up, she has a few tall tales to share, and it seems the Knights are after her. But this drakon won't give up his treasure.

I have really been loving the Blood of the Drakon series, and book 3 is a solid addition to the story.

This time, the heroine is Sam Bellamy, an archaeologist working on a salvage dive sponsored by Karina Azarov. You might remember that Karina is the head of the Knights of the Dragon, an ancient organization whose purpose is to enslave dragon shifters (drakons) for their blood. Sam has her own agenda in working with the Knights, and when she finds an artifact the Knights are desperate to get their hands on, she steals it and sneaks away in the night. When she gets shot during her escape, she’s saved by water drakon Ezra Easton. As in the earlier books, Ezra isn’t sure who Sam is or whether he can trust her, but the Knights are definitely hunting her, and she did steal something important from them, so Ezra decides to play the ignorant rescuer while he tries to learn more about Sam.

I’ve really liked all the heroines in the series, but Sam is definitely my favorite so far! She is incredibly smart, and I loved her practicality and quick mind. For instance, when Ezra first shows her his shifting abilities, she is the only heroine to have doubted what she saw. Come on, wouldn’t you think something was wrong with your brain if the sexy guy kinda sorta holding you captive (they’re on an island and she has no way to leave on her own) suddenly changed into a dragon?! Of course, as Sam learns more she accepts the situation, but she remains curious and thoughtful about it. She’s also the only one to really consider why these drakon brothers are suddenly falling in love at the same time, and she has excellent instincts about how to handle the Knights as well. Without Sam, I probably would have given this book a slightly lower score; I enjoyed her that much.

These books are not reinventing the wheel. The brothers are all similar to each other. They’re all possessive, all domineering, all hot for the heroines instantly, and all sex gods on earth. Ezra isn’t much different, which is fine because these books have sucked me in. I am interested in how the brothers will manage to stop the Knights (because we all know they’re going to stop ‘em), and I’m VERY interested in the final brother, Nic, who I’m hoping is more complex than his playboy image might suggest. I haven’t heard yet when the next book is coming out, but I will eagerly wait for it.

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: Drakon’s Prey by N.J. Walters

Posted July 3, 2017 by Jen in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Drakon’s Prey by N.J. WaltersReviewer: Jen
Drakon's Prey by N.J. Walters
Series: Blood of the Drakon #2
Also in this series: Drakon's Promise, Drakon's Plunder

Publication Date: April 24th 2017
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 330
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four-stars

Valeriya Azarov turned her back on the family business to write and illustrate children’s books. But with a sister who leads the Knights of the Dragon, it’s impossible to get away from the secret society whose mission is to destroy and enslave dragons. When information falls into her hands along with the opportunity to save at least one of the ancient creatures, she can’t turn away any longer.

When a woman moves into the cabin above Tarrant Cooper’s secret underground lair, he’s both suspicious and intrigued. He hasn’t lasted four thousand years being careless, so when he suspects her of being a part of the Knights, the plan is to kidnap her and find out how much the organization knows about him and his brothers.

He’s drawn to Valeriya, but trusting her could get him killed. Even if she’s a pawn in the war between drakons and Knights, giving her his heart would mean forever.

It’s time for drakon brother #2! To quickly recap the premise, the series follows four half human, half dragon brothers who are being hunted by an ancient evil organization (Knights of the Dragon) that wants to capture them and use their blood to achieve immortality. Somehow, the group found brother #1, Darius, but they don’t actually know about the other three brothers. All the brothers are trying to stop the Knights without being discovered. You could certainly understand the plot if you started with this book, but you’ll get the most out of the build up if you start with book 1.

We briefly met Valeriya Azarov in book 1. She’s the sister of Karina Azarov, the ruthless leader of the Knights of the Dragon. (An Azarov has apparently long been head of the Knights; Karina is the latest.) Valeriya is nothing like her sister, however. She’s a children’s book author mostly raised by her kind-hearted grandparents, who helped keep her away from the Knights. Valeriya doesn’t actually believe in the dragon part of their mission, but she knows the Knights are bad news. Though she feels a certain warmth for her sister, Valeriya’s not stupid and recognizes that Karina probably wouldn’t hesitate to get rid of her if the need arose. When Valeriya learns the Knights are hunting someone named Darius, she decides she can’t ignore that info and goes to try and warn him. When she and brother #2, Tarrant, cross paths, he isn’t sure what to do with her. She acts innocent, but she’s the sister of their enemy. He decides to keep her with him until he figures out what is going on.

I enjoyed this book even more than book 1, mostly because of Tarrant and Valeriya. They are both so awesome. Tarrant is a tech genius and the one who’s most security conscious among the brothers. He’s built this incredible underground home that has some truly bananas security measures, which end up coming in very handy! I loved that he tried to be sensitive to Valeriya’s feelings and needs, once he started to trust her. There’s a scene where he calls up the heroine from book 1 to ask about “girl food” because he wants to make Valeriya happy and understand her needs. (And Sarah’s advice is perfection too–just ask what she wants, ha.) Valeriya is the perfect foil for him. On the surface she seems fragile, but she takes a major stand by trying to help Darius, despite the fact that she knows nothing at all about him. She just knows it’s the right thing to do, and while at first she hopes she can do it without her sister knowing, she recognizes the risk and does the right thing despite the consequences for her own life. My favorite part of this book is the way both Tarrant and Valeriya will do anything to protect the other. That kind of willingness to sacrifice is totally my catnip, and I gobbled it up.

It’s important to note that Tarrant does technically kidnap Valeriya and hold her against her will for a while. It’s partly for her own good, since she’s got bad guys after her too, but mostly it’s for Tarrant because a) he wants to find out what she knows so he can protect his brothers, b) he wants to stop her from causing trouble and c) he’s curious about her (and it doens’t hurt that he finds her hot). Honestly, it didn’t bother me much because Tarrant is part dragon, and as the books repeatedly emphasize their natural instinct is to hoard everything, including sexy ladies. Valeriya also isn’t an idiot and while there is major insta-lust, she doesn’t exactly trust him immediately either. YMMV depending on how you feel about kidnapping plots, though. The kidnapping also means most of the book takes place inside Tarrant’s underground home. There’s some action, but there’s a lot of talking, a lot of puzzling out the larger plot, and, naturally, a lot of sex time since that seems to be drakons’ favorite pastime. 

This is my favorite book in the series so far. These sexy drakon brothers are my jam, and I want more!

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: Wired by Julie Garwood

Posted July 3, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Wired by Julie GarwoodReviewer: Tracy
Wired by Julie Garwood
Series: Buchanan-Renard Series #13
Also in this series: Wired
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: July 4th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romantic Suspense
Pages: 336
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three-half-stars

A beautiful computer hacker and a bad-boy FBI agent must collaborate—in more ways than one—in the sizzling new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Julie Garwood.

Allison Trent doesn’t look like a hacker. In fact, when she’s not in college working on her degree, she models on the side. But behind her gorgeous face is a brilliant mind for computers and her real love is writing—and hacking—code. Her dream is to write a new security program that could revolutionize the tech industry.

Hotshot FBI agent Liam Scott has a problem: a leak deep within his own department. He needs the skills of a top-notch hacker to work on a highly sensitive project: to secretly break into the FBI servers and find out who the traitor is. But he can’t use one of his own. He finds the perfect candidate in Allison. Only, there’s one problem—she wants nothing to do with his job and turns him down flat.

What Liam doesn’t know is that Allison is hiding secrets that she doesn’t want the FBI to uncover. But Liam will do nearly anything to persuade her to join his team, even break a few rules if that’s what it takes. A temptation that could put his job—and both of their futures—on the line…and longing for more . . .

Allison is in college and is a brilliant computer hacker.  She’s feels that everything she does she does for the good of the people, but technically it’s still illegal.  When she is invited to explore a new FBI facility, that houses their cyber task force, with a friend of hers, she quickly accepts. Once at the facility Allison and her friend are separate and Allison is questioned.  She is freaking out thinking that they know about her hacking but they end up offering her a job – which she turns down.

When push comes to shove Allison accepts the job after the lead in a particular case, Liam Scott, agrees to get her cousin out of trouble – which will keep him out of prison.  While Allison is working on the job she gets closer with Liam and soon they’re inseparable.  Unfortunately Allison has no idea what’s in store for her future and since Liam is on the road 90% of his life she knows that it doesn’t lie with him.  Love, however, has a funny way of changing things around so Allison may get the future she truly wants.

This was a good book.  It’s been about six years since I’ve read a Garwood novel so I was looking forward to this one.  I can’t say that I loved it and I did have some issues with it but overall I enjoyed the story.

My issues : while I liked Liam and Allison I didn’t truly ever connect with either one of them.  They were pretty down to earth – although Garwood did make them seem, at times, that they were too good for me to read about.  Because I didn’t really connect with either character it was hard for me to get too into their romance.  I think THEY had a problem getting into their romance.  It was like they were together, but not.  Then Allison would think that Liam was out of her life and bam! He’d show up again and stay with her like nothing ever happened.  And she allowed it.  Why?  IDK.  I didn’t see the love growing so when it happened it was puzzling.

The hacking part of the story was decent.  I’m not a hacker so I have no idea if anything that was written was accurate or not but it sounded good to me. Lol

I liked Allison’s friends as well.  I hadn’t read any other books in this series but I didn’t feel like I needed to in order to read this one – it was a good standalone.

Overall a decent read.

Rating: 3/3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: Hard Stick by L.P. Dover

Posted June 30, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Hard Stick by L.P. DoverReviewer: Tracy
Hard Stick by L.P. Dover
Series: Breakaway Series #1
Published by Random House, Loveswept
Publication Date: June 13th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 225
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He carries a big stick. And he’s not afraid to use it.

On the ice, I’m Kellan Carter, powerhouse enforcer for the Charlotte Strikers. Off the ice, I’m just a regular guy. The last thing I want is to get mobbed by a bunch of groupies who are only after me for my fame and money. My ideal woman knows how to enjoy a little good, clean fun—and maybe some not-so-clean fun too. That’s the kind of girl I’d never let go.

When Kristen Robinson, the gorgeous, down-to-earth bartender I’ve been crushing on, agrees to let me take her out, I’m thrilled. We have an amazing night together, culminating in the most electrifying kiss of my life—and that’s it. Kristen tells me we can’t see each other again, but I know that kiss meant as much to her as it did to me. What I don’t know is that Kristen has a dangerous secret. . . .

I’ve proved to Kristen that she can trust me with her body and her heart. But when her past comes back to haunt her, I need to prove that she can trust me with her life. And I might have to get my hands dirty after all.

Kristen Robinson was in a relationship with a controlling asshole.  When she finds out that he had a hand in the death of her best friend she knows it’s time to get out.  The problem is that he can find her anywhere.  She enlists the help of a friend who have relatives that work with the FBI.  They get her new papers and hide her.  Kristen meets Kellan Carter because she is a bartender at the bar that him and his fellow ice hockey teammates go to.  They’re constantly asking Kristen out but she always declines.  She doesn’t want anyone else wrapped up in her mess.

When the FBI decides to fake Kristen’s death she feels like a weight has been lifted from her shoulders.  She actually accepts Kellan when he asks her out and that’s pretty much all she wrote.  They are incredibly happy together until Kristen’s past finds her once again.

I think I’m in the majority when I say that when I picked up this book I thought it was a hockey player romance.  Ok, it is that but mostly it’s about Kristen and her issues with her ex-boyfriend.  Yes, Kellan and Kristen get their romance and it’s very sweet but quite frankly Kellan could have had any job and the story wouldn’t have changed too much.  There was very little hockey involved and it definitely wasn’t the focus of the book.

Once Kristen’s death is faked she really lets herself breathe and Kellan is there to date her.  They are really quite cute together and I loved that they were so perfect for each other.  After everything that Kristen had gone through she needed someone who cared about her. Their romance was kind of a blow to the head for Kellan as it was unexpected but he didn’t question his luck and I loved that.

The end of the story was a bit much in the drama department but it worked.  I was happy that Kellan and Kristen got their HEA after everything that happened.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5


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