Tag: Guest Reviews

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, 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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Guest Review: Forbidden Night with the Warrior by Michelle Willingham

Posted June 28, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Forbidden Night with the Warrior by Michelle WillinghamReviewer: Tracy
Forbidden Night with the Warrior by Michelle Willingham
Series: Warriors of the Night #1
Published by Harlequin
Publication Date: June 20th 2017
Genres: Medieval
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four-stars

One wicked night for an heir!

Rosamund de Courcy has always loved Warrick de Laurent, but was forced to marry another. Now her husband's dying command is that she must provide him with an heir. To do so, she will have to spend one sinful night...with Warrick!

The powerful warrior was wounded by Rosamund's abandonment years ago, and Warrick refuses to let her touch his heart again. But this illicit night is impossible to resist, and soon he is determined--he will not only possess her, but reclaim her for his own!

Three years ago Rosamund met and fell in love with Warrick.  She wanted nothing more than to be with Warrick but her father had other ideas about her future – not one where she wed a third son with no property.  Under threat of death to Warrick, Rosamund marries.  Now it’s three years later and her husband, Alan, is dying.  He summons Warrick to him and tells him that he wants him to lie with his wife to produce an heir.  Alan doesn’t want his evil brother to inherit and he knows he can’t produce an heir.  Rosamund is adamant that this not happen but Alan gets his way.

Being with Warrick again brings back all of the old feelings she once had for him.  She knows she never stopped loving him but she is still married to her husband.  When he dies Rosamund fears for her life fro Alan’s brother, Owen, and fleas her home.  Unfortunately Owen is determined to have Alan’s estates as well as Rosamund.

I never am one to read books that involve infidelity but this was a different take on everything.  I still didn’t care for it but I could deal with it better because of the circumstances.  Alan truly gave Rosamund no choice in the matter and that pissed me off.  He even forced it on her by coming to her in the dark –   he wanted her to believe that it was he that she was having sex with.  Of course she knew immediately it was Warrick.  That whole scene had me cringing because Warrick – who I had really liked  up until that point was involved.  It was a bit weird to say the least.

The story revolves around not only the issues with Alan and his wishes for Rosamund before he dies, but the issues with his brother Owen as well.   Then there was Rosamund and Warrick working out their issues from the past as well as the problems they faced currently.  There was a lot going on but as usual Willingham wrote it in such a way that it flowed easily.  She took all the different parts of the story and brought it into one cohesive and very good book.  I really enjoyed all of the parts of the story and definitely recommend this one.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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

Posted June 27, 2017 by Jen in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Drakon’s Promise by N. J. WaltersReviewer: Jen
Drakon's Promise by N.J. Walters
Series: Blood of the Drakon #1
Also in this series: Drakon's Prey, Drakon's Plunder

Publication Date: December 5th 2016
Pages: 293
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Darius Varkas is a drakon. He's neither human nor dragon.

He's both.

He's also the target of an ancient order who want to capture all drakons for their blood. When fresh, a drakon's blood can cure any illness and prolong a human's life, and the Knights will stop at nothing to get it.

When librarian Sarah Anderson stumbles across a rare book belonging to the Knights of the Dragon, she's quickly thrust into a dangerous world of secrets and shifters and things she never would have believed possible. When the Knights realize Sarah has a secret of her own, she becomes just as much a target as Darius. Her scary dragon shifter just might be her best chance at survival.

Here’s the tl;dr summary of this new series: Sexy, super-alpha dragon shifter brothers fall in love while they’re being hunted by an ancient evil organization who wants to steal their blood.

That would be enough for me to one click buy, but if you’re not convinced yet, let me say more!

Book 1 of this series starts out with librarian Sarah Anderson getting a new job helping a wealthy private collector catalog his library of rare books. When she overhears her new boss plotting to capture someone named Darius Varkas, she knows something really bad is happening. She steals the book her boss wanted her to find and tracks down Darius in order to warn him. At first, Darius isn’t sure he can trust her. Drakons have long been hunted by the Knights of the Dragon, a shadowy secret group who want to hold drakons captive because drakon blood, when consumed regularly, makes a human immortal. He’s not sure if Sarah is part of a Knight plot to trap him, but he knows he’s majorly drawn to her, and if she is an innocent she’s put herself in danger by helping him, so he decides to keep her with him. The two have to evade the Knights and also destroy the book, which turns out to contain the secrets for trapping drakons. And of course, they have plenty of opportunities for hot sexxing!

I had so much fun with this book. I should warn you right off the bat that there is some major insta-lust here (along with very quick love as well). Darius basically has a permanent hard-on around Sarah. You’d think immortal drakons would not be in such a hurry, but there you go. Still, I loved the chemistry between Sarah and Darius.

The series centers around brothers, and for me that is probably the best part. Most drakons are solitary creatures, but these four found each other (they have the same dragon father but different mothers) and have crafted themselves a family. It’s not really explained well why they did this, but who cares because they’re 4 super hot brothers, amirite? They communicate regularly, but they don’t see each other often because it’s dangerous. Still, it’s clear they genuinely love each other and would do whatever they can to protect one another.

For me, the premise and the larger cast of characters were what drew me in, not Darius and Sarah. They’re ok characters, and as I said they have good chemistry, but they weren’t all that memorable. As I sit here writing, I’m struggling to remember much about Sarah in particular. She and Darius move quickly. In part, the book explains it by just saying “he’s half dragon” and dragons like to hoard treasure (including, I guess, people) so he quickly decides she’s “his”. Still, it’s hard to get over the fact that things move very fast between the two. That’s not exactly a criticism; for me this book was fun and sexy. I probably won’t revisit it, but I can’t wait to see more of the world. It reminds me a bit of Rebecca Zanetti’s Sin and Blood Brother’s series, with MAJORLY alpha brothers who protect each other and the women they love from an evil organization that’s hunting them. I love Zanetti’s series, and this one is similarly crack-y for me.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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