Tag: Holly’s Reviews

Featured Review: American Witch by Thea Harrison

Posted May 22, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Featured Review: American Witch by Thea HarrisonReviewer: Casee, Holly, and Rowena
American Witch by Thea Harrison
Series: American Witch Trilogy #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: April 29, 2019
Format: eARC, eBook
Source: Author, Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 420
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Power can change a person…

For months Molly Sullivan endures the inexplicable: electrical surges, car breakdowns, visions. She even wonders if she might be the cause… and wonders if she might be crazy. Then she discovers her husband has cheated on her. Again. Now Molly realizes she is a newly awakening witch and a woman pushed over the edge.

Revenge can shape a person…

Josiah Mason is a Powerful witch and the leader of a secret coven with a shared goal: to destroy an ancient enemy who has ruined many lives. Josiah lost years to this man, and his sole focus is revenge. He’s prepared for every contingency—except encountering a beautiful new witch who understands nothing of the immense Power building within her or the attraction she wields over him.

Danger can bring them together…

When divorcing her husband, Molly uncovers a dangerous secret he’s willing to kill to protect. She turns to Josiah for help, and they discover a connection between Molly’s husband and Josiah’s enemy.

As they work together, a spark ignites between them that threatens to become an inferno. But Molly is done compromising herself for any man, and Josiah’s mission is his top priority. And the enemy is cunning, cruel, and drawing ever closer.

As the danger escalates, so does the tension between them. Is a lasting relationship possible? Will either of them live long enough to try?

American Witch is the first book in Thea Harrison’s American Witch series, which is set in the Elder Races world and features Molly Sullivan coming into her powers after finally leaving her husband because he’s a cheating bastard. Molly is trying to move on with her life but when she takes some documents that dangerous people don’t want her to have, her life gets super complicated and she turns to Josiah Mason for help.

Josiah Mason is the new District Attorney in town and he’s got an agenda that Molly Sullivan is distracting him from. When Molly’s problems become his problems, Josiah can’t turn away from her or the attraction building between them. She needs help learning about her new abilities but she also needs his protection from some pretty bad people. Neither of them wanted the complications that arise but neither of them can walk away from each other either.

Rowena: Alright ladies, what did you guys think?

Casee: I forgot how much I like Thea Harrison. She really knows how to weave a story. I was pulled in from the beginning when Molly found out about her husband’s extra-curricular activities. I didn’t really enjoy Molly at first, though. I found her to be a bit bitchy. Like over the top bitchy. In retrospect I realized that she was protecting herself and she had just gotten herself out of a horrible situation. She also found out she was a witch. She was learning new things about herself every day and not everything she was learning was good.

Holly: Those first few chapters were so good. When Molly discovers her husband has cheated on her – again – and confronts him? I was here for that.

Rowena: I really enjoyed this one as well. I was wrapped up in this book from the very first chapter, which was great. Far too often, I have to slog through the beginning hump and it takes me forever to get invested in the story but that wasn’t the case with this one. Molly’s walk out scene at her husband’s party was the shit and I was here for it.

Casee: I didn’t really enjoy Molly at first, though. I found her to be a bit bitchy. Like over the top bitchy. In retrospect I realized that she was protecting herself and she had just gotten herself out of a horrible situation. She also found out she was a witch. She was learning new things about herself every day and not everything she was learning was good.

Holly: I didn’t find her bitchy at all. I thought she was a woman who was finally pushed to the edge and she was done taking shit from anyone. That aspect never bothered me.

Rowena: I thought Molly was super bitchy in the beginning but I also understood it. I got why she was bitchy toward her husband and I enjoyed seeing her really come into her own but there were times when I wanted to smack her into next week. When she was destroying Josiah’s property, expensive property after he helped her and gave her someplace safe to stay. I wasn’t a fan of that.

Holly: It was Josiah who drove me crazy in the beginning. He was a total ass. And he didn’t have Molly’s excuses.

Casee: I completely agree about Josiah. He was used to taking what he wanted. That was one of the things I did like about Molly early on. She didn’t take his shit. She called him on it from the day she met him. His whole thing about how they could “rule the world” or whatever together was so cliche, I rolled my eyes. Molly definitely grew on me as the book went on because I could see her strength. Going through what she was, on her own, after being with someone for twenty years was more than admirable.

Rowena: Josiah drove me crazy, too. I wanted to knee him in the balls with how highhanded he was where Molly was concerned. He was arrogant but like Molly, I was into him. He gets better but for me, it was Molly that I really enjoyed getting to know. She wasn’t perfect but watching her grow more and more sure of herself and in her power was a fun way to spend some time.

Holly: There were times I wanted to smack Molly, too. But like you, I enjoyed getting to know her and I loved watching her grow into her new powers.

View Spoiler »

I was disappointed we didn’t get more of a resolution for Josiah’s stuff. I assume it’ll be carried to the next book, but still. I wanted something more from that.

Rowena: Yeah, if I had a gripe with this book, it was for how little resolution we got from the whole revenge thing. So Josiah falls in love, tries one last time to catch the bad guy, doesn’t win so he gives up? Walks away from years and years of preparation and the people who he calls in on this revenge plan? I mean, I get that there are other books in this series and I’m sure the revenge plot will continue there but the ending of this book left a lot to be desired.

Still, I liked it and would love to continue this series. Bring on the Richard love. Haha.

Holly: I know it was meant to be a huge turning point for him – I choose LOVE! – but it rang a bit false for me. All these years and he just walks away? I don’t know that I buy it. Still, I trust TH to keep things moving in the next book.

Casee: I felt that it showed Josiah’s strength of character that he was willing to give up years and years of preparation and his coven for family. That made me respect him and like him more than I did at the beginning. I really liked the coven Molly ended up in, too. They were more like a family, I think.

Holly: I actually thought the coven dynamics were really well done. They were a coven, they worked together, shared power, shared secrets, but really didn’t like each other much. I can’t wait to learn more about them.

Rowena: I also liked the way that the coven worked. They all had their strengths and their jobs and they did what was needed to move their agenda forward. They worked well together and that was a nice touch.

Casee: I give this book a 4 out of 5. What about you two?

Rowena: I thought the whole book was pretty interesting and I really came to care for all of the characters so I give this 4 out of 5 stars too.

Holly: I’m giving it 4 out of 5 as well.

Final Grades

Casee: 4 out of 5
Holly: 4 out of 5
Rowena: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: Meet Cute by Helena Hunting

Posted May 14, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 5 Comments

Review: Meet Cute by Helena HuntingReviewer: Holly
Meet Cute by Helena Hunting
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: April 9, 2019
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 New to Me Challenge, New to Me Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars

Talk about an embarrassing introduction. On her first day of law school, Kailyn ran - quite literally - into the actor she crushed on as a teenager, ending with him sprawled on top of her. Mortified to discover the Daxton Hughes was also a student in her class, her embarrassment over their meet-cute quickly turned into a friendship she never expected. Of course, she never saw his betrayal coming either...

Now, eight years later, Dax is in her office asking for legal advice. Despite her anger, Kailyn can't help feeling sorry for the devastated man who just became sole guardian to his thirteen-year-old sister. But when her boss gets wind of Kailyn's new celebrity client, there's even more at stake than Dax's custody issues: if she gets Dax to work at their firm, she'll be promoted to partner.

The more time Kailyn spends with Dax and his sister, the more she starts to feel like a family, and the more she realizes the chemistry they had all those years ago is as fresh as ever. But will they be able to forgive the mistakes of the past, or will one betrayal lead to another?

This is my first book by Hunting. Based on the cover and blurb, I thought it would be a light, fluffy romance. While it had light, fluffy elements, the overall theme was actually quite somber. Once I adjusted my expectations, I easily fell into the story. I listened to the audiobook and I really enjoyed the narrators, Holly Warren and Teddy Hamilton. I hadn’t listened to a book narrated by either of them before, but I enjoyed them enough to seek out other books they’ve done.

Kailyn and Dax went to law school together. They met on her first day when she literally ran into him, then fangirled all over him. They spent the next 3 years as friendly rivals, constantly sparring with and pushing one another. They didn’t spend time together outside of class, but there was mutual respect and liking there. Until Dax screwed Kailyn over by not turning in her last paper on time, which bumped her GPA down enough to secure him the top spot in their class.

Five years later, they meet up again when his parents hire her firm to draft a family trust for them to protect their 13 year-old daughter. Kailyn is less than thrilled to see Dax again, but she’s a professional and figures she won’t have to see him again. Until the unthinkable happens and Dax is left with guardianship of his sister. Kailyn is appointed conservator of the estate while things are in limbo, and they’re forced to spend a lot of time together.

Meet Cute was one of my most anticipated books of 2019. The blurb and cover really got me, and I couldn’t wait to dive in. I absolutely adored Dax. He was such a sweetheart. The way he cared for his sister and took care of his responsibilities was wonderful, not to mention the way he was with Kailyn. He truly paid attention to who she was as a person, and what she wanted for her future. He was so great.

I struggled more with Kailyn. She jumped to a lot of conclusions early on in the book, and her constant skepticism and attitude toward Dax was frustrating. Plus, she kept a major secret from him for the majority of the book, which made her seem like a complete hypocrite for the way she acted toward him. I came to like the two of them together, and I enjoyed her relationship with Dax’s sister, but overall she just frustrated me.

I also had a hard time with the secondary plot featuring Dax’s aunt. It wasn’t really necessary to the story, aside from adding additional conflict. The way it was resolved was silly as well. It sort of just fizzled out. I don’t really understand why it was included at all.

That aside, this was an emotionally charged novel. My heart hurt for Dax and his sister, and I was really pulling for Dax and Kailyn by the end.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Review: Getting Hot with the Scot by Melonie Johnson

Posted May 13, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Getting Hot with the Scot by Melonie JohnsonReviewer: Holly
Getting Hot with the Scot by Melonie Johnson
Series: Sometimes in Love #1
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: April 30, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 368
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

IT’S TIME TO FLIRT WITH A MAN IN A KILT

Cassie Crow, a pop-culture reporter for a TV talk show, is focused on becoming a “serious” journalist. But when she stumbles into a kilted Highlander with a killer accent, Cassie decides that taking one night off from work and spending it with a sexy Scot couldn’t hurt. . .

Logan Reid has built a career on his charm, hosting a series of off-the-wall hijinks on the Web. But when the Scottish prankster meets the all-American, equal parts intelligent and irresistible Cassie, Logan realizes that one night of fun won’t be enough. Could it be that this career-focused, commitment-phobic couple is finally ready to take a chance at true and lasting love?

Getting Hot with the Scot is the debut novel from author Melonie Johnson, and kicks off the Sometimes in Love series, which features 5 college friends who embark on an epic vacation, spanning 5 countries. Here we meet Cassie. She’s uptight and organized to the nth degree, but she decides to let loose during her vacation in Scotland when she comes across a sexy highlander. Logan is pretending to be a time-traveling laird of old as part of a skit for his online show when they meet. He wants her signature on a release form so he can use the clip, but Cassie is trying to move into serious journalism from the fluffier stuff she does now, so she refuses. She doesn’t turn him away from her bed, though, and she expects to have an enjoyable one-night-stand. Until Logan follows her to London, that is.

I liked the premise of this book, and it ended up being a cute read, but the heroine drove me batty for half the book. She kept jumping to conclusions and refusing to talk things out with the hero. Every time she got angry at him, she ran away. I really wanted to see her stay and fight. Logan had some issues stemming from losing his father, and I thought those were well done. I enjoyed the two of them together, but I thought they were both immature at times.

Still, while the story was somewhat predictable, I came to enjoy it in the end. I’m especially interested in reading about Cassie’s friends, so I’ll probably continue the series.

Rating: 3.25 out of 5

Sometimes in Love

three-half-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: She Drives Me Crazy by Leslie Kelly

Posted May 9, 2019 by Holly in Features, Reviews | 2 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: She Drives Me Crazy by Leslie KellyReviewer: Holly
She Drives Me Crazy by Leslie Kelly
Series: Walker Brothers #1
Also in this series: She's Got the Look
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication Date: October 15th 2012
Format: Print
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

When she was good, she was very, very good…

When Emma Frasier returns home to Joyful, Georgia, she's greeted with the kinds of winks and lusty grins one might offer…an adult film star?

But when she was bad…

Thanks to small-town gossip and citizens who clearly need to get a life, Joyful's residents think Emma Jean is the "famous star" building a strip club in town. And that her barely concealed…uh, attributes are the ones gracing the new interstate billboard.

She was better.

As if being taken for a blue movie queen isn't rattling enough, there's Johnny Walker, the local bad boy turned good—a man who tempts Emma to be just as wild and wicked as Joyful thinks she is.

Every Thursday, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books. Enjoy!

This review was originally posted on May 17, 2008

She Drives Me Crazy is the first book in the Walker Brothers Series by Leslie Kelly.

Emma returns to her hometown of Joyful, Georgia with her tail between her legs after getting fleeced for all she was worth by a scummy boss and even scummier best friend. All she has left in the world is a handful of designer clothes, a cute red convertible and her grandma’s house and pecan farm that was willed to her.

But when she gets back, due to town gossip, she’s as shunned as she was the day she left Joyful, a disgraced high school senior who got caught with her pants down with the baddest boy in town, Johnny Walker. And of course, the first person she happens to run into (literally) in the grocery store, with the town looking on, is none other than Johnny Walker himself.

She’s determined to make a new life for herself – if only temporarily – until she realizes that someone has sold her grandmother’s land, without her knowledge. Between ending up in jail and between the sheets with Johnny, she tries to find out who stole her land…and then a murder happens.

Johnny was a great hero. Emma was a good heroine, too, not too flighty and willing to stand up for herself. The residents of Joyful cracked me up, because I grew up in a small town and the people there were just like these ones. In everybody’s business and gossiping about everything. Plus, there was this lecherous old man who played pocket hockey all the time and he had me laughing out loud. Dirty Old Man.

This isn’t some deep, heavy reading material, but it was fun for what it was. I recommend it if you’re looking for a light read for the beach or other summer vacation spot.

4 out of 5

This book is available from Mira. You can buy it here.

Walker Brothers

four-stars


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Review: Wild Country by Anne Bishop

Posted May 8, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: Wild Country by Anne BishopReviewer: Holly
Wild Country by Anne Bishop
Series: The World the Others #2, The Others #7
Also in this series: Written in Red, Murder of Crows, Vision in Silver, Marked in Flesh, Etched in Bone, Written in Red, Murder of Crows
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: March 5, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 480
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars

In this powerful and exciting fantasy set in the world of the New York Times bestselling Others series, humans and the shape-shifting Others will see whether they can live side by side...without destroying one another.

There are ghost towns in the world—places where the humans were annihilated in retaliation for the slaughter of the shape-shifting Others.

One of those places is Bennett, a town at the northern end of the Elder Hills—a town surrounded by the wild country. Now efforts are being made to resettle Bennett as a community where humans and Others live and work together. A young female police officer has been hired as the deputy to a Wolfgard sheriff. A deadly type of Other wants to run a human-style saloon. And a couple with four foster children—one of whom is a blood prophet—hope to find acceptance.

But as they reopen the stores and the professional offices and start to make lives for themselves, the town of Bennett attracts the attention of other humans looking for profit. And the arrival of the Blackstone Clan, outlaws and gamblers all, will uncover secrets…or bury them.

Wild Country is the 2nd book in Anne Bishop’s World of the Others series. Though it’s set in the same world as the Lakeside Courtyard, and features many characters we’ve come to know and love, it’s set in Bennett, which readers of the Lakeside Courtyard books should recognize. This is the book I thought we’d get after Etched in Bone, as it runs parallel to the events there.

It took me the entire week to read this book, which is completely unheard of for me. It jumped around quite a bit, so I think I had a harder time connecting with it than I did with the previous books in the series. Still, I love this world and I was glad to see some of my favorite characters return. Wild Country picks up about the time Cyrus Montgomery arrives in Lakeside in Etched in Bone. We see the events that happen in Lakeside from a different perspective and see more about the inhabitants of Bennett.

In the land of Thaisia, there are very few human controlled towns, and no human controlled lands. The Terra Indigene – The Others – control everything that comes from a natural resource. Shapeshifters live in Courtyards in human controlled cities to keep an eye on what the humans are doing, and to act as a go-between for The Elders – the truly terrible Others that live in the wild country. The Humans First and Last movement brought death and destruction to many towns by attacking The Others, thinking the shapeshifters were the only Others out there. Bennett was one of the towns The Others made an example of. Tolya Sanguinati agrees to go to Bennett to try to reestablish the town, with the help of Intuits – humans who have an overdeveloped sense of intuition and often “know” things before they happen – and shapeshifters. They agree to allow some humans into the town, but The Others are distrustful.

Wild Country follows Jana Paniccia, Jesse Walker and her son, Tobias, Barb Debaney, and Tolya Sanguinati, all of whom we were introduced to in the previous series. I was ridiculously excited to see how Jana would fare as the first female cop in Thaisia, and how Barb would do with all the animals in Bennett. The whole series is really dark, but the overall tone is still..hopeful, I guess. Like, all of this bad shit happens, and all these dark things are explored, but each book ends in a…not happy, but hopeful place. I didn’t really get that here. The world is very well drawn, I feel like I’m living in Thaisia with the characters, but I didn’t end it feeling super happy or glad for them.

There wasn’t as much humor in this book to balance out the darker aspects, so it didn’t end on the hopeful note Etched in Bone and Lake Silence did. The lack of trust the The Others have in the humans made perfect sense, but I wanted to think they’d realize some were different – especially those who put their lives on the line for The Others. I also thought Jana and Barb would have more common sense, or better intuition about danger. I was frustrated with them on a number of occasions.

That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the book, because I did. I absolutely loved how Virgil Wolfgard came to see Jana as his pack, I loved the cast of characters and the way this story played out in connection to Etched in Bone. Bishop is a master at world-building, and like I said, I could easily imagine everything that was happening on the page. Though this isn’t my favorite in the series, I can’t deny it was well done.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

The Others

World of The Others

four-stars


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