Tag: Joint Reviews

Joint Review: Archangel’s Kiss by Nalini Singh

Posted March 16, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Joint Review: Archangel’s Kiss by Nalini SinghReviewer: Holly and Rowena
Archangel's Kiss (Guild Hunter, #2) by Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #2
Also in this series: Angels' Blood, Archangel's Kiss, Archangel's Consort, Archangel's Storm, Archangel's Legion, Archangel's Legion, Archangel's Shadows, Archangel's Shadows, Angels' Blood, Archangel's Heart, Archangel's Heart, Archangel's Heart (Guild Hunter, #9)
Published by Berkley Sensation
Publication Date: February 2nd 2010
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 323
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Goodreads
three-half-stars

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh returns to her world of angelic rulers, vampiric servants, and the woman thrust into their darkly seductive world...

Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux wakes from a year-long coma to find herself changed—an angel with wings the colors of midnight and dawn—but her fragile body needs time to heal before she can take flight. Her lover, the stunningly dangerous archangel, Raphael, is used to being in control—especially when it comes to the woman he considers his own. But Elena has never done well with authority.

They've barely begun to understand each other when Raphael receives an invitation to a ball from the archangel, Lijuan. To refuse would be a sign of fatal weakness, so Raphael must ready Elena for the flight to Beijing—and to the nightmare that awaits them there. Ancient and without conscience, Lijuan holds a power that lies with the dead. And she has organized the most perfect and most vicious of welcomes for Elena.

Archangel’s Kiss is the second book in the Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh and it’s also the second book that Holly and I picked to review together in the month of February.

At the end of Angels’ Blood, Elena is turned into an angel and Archangel’s Kiss starts after she wakes up and is trying to get comfortable in her new reality. She’s weak as hell and not used to sucking so much at something. Being an angel is hard work and her wings hurt like a bitch. She’s got to toughen up soon because Lijuan, the most ancient living archangel, is throwing a ball and she has to attend and be able to fight dirty like all of the other archangels.

While Elena is trying to learn how to fight like an angel without passing out, someone is out torturing people. Killing, kidnapping and burning people up. Raphael has Elena hunting down leads and using her Guild Hunting skills to help find who is responsible for all the madness going on. Needless to say, Elena is busy and with the ball looming and Lijuan playing head games with Elena, using her dead family to get to her, Elena needs to work fast.

Rowena: It took me a long ass time to read this book but boy am I glad that I stuck with it. The beginning was rather slow but the last 2/3 of the book more than made up for that. I enjoyed this one. What did you think?

Holly: It took me awhile to get into this one, too. The first 1/3 moves really slow. Like you, I’m glad I stuck with it. I love Elena and Raphael.

Rowena: I do, too. I really like that Raphael is trying to be better for her. He’s trying to understand her and make things easier for her. Their relationship is my favorite thing about this book. I love how confident he is in her ability to stand up to the likes of Michaela and Lijuan even though they’re much more powerful than she is but he’s also got her back. There isn’t anything that he doesn’t love about her and man, I just really dig that.

Holly: Elena is seriously kickass. The fact that she can hold her own with Archangels? I have a serious girl crush on her. I like that she recognizes she isn’t Raphael’s equal (how could she be, when he’s 1000’s of years old and she’s barely immortal?), yet she doesn’t give in to him or let him walk all over her.

That Raphael allows her to be herself while stifling his protective instincts is no small thing. I love that he slowly comes to realize that forcing her to submit to him – or worse, taking her choices away completely – will eventually rob him of what he loves most about her.

Rowena: Yes. You should dress up like her for Halloween. That would be awesome.

Holly: I just might.

Rowena: It took me a while to get up to speed with who everyone is again since it’s been a while since I read Angels Blood. I remember Jason though. I’m mighty curious about him. I love Bluebell and Sara and Deacon and Zoe. I’m also interested in Dmitri’s story, too. Who else gets their story told? Anyone?

Holly: All of Raphael’s Seven eventually get their own books. Dmitri, Jason, Galen, Sara, Ashwini (one of the Hunters) and Naasir’s are already out. Bluebell and Aodhan will eventually get theirs (according to Nalini, though she refuses to tell us WHEN we’ll get them).

Rowena: Oh man, Bluebell and Aodhan don’t have books yet? I’m dying to know why Aodhan doesn’t like being touched.

Holly: What did you think of the business with Lijuan and Michaela?

Rowena: I was expecting to hate both of them and that turned out to be true. I still hated them both, in the last book, I hated Michaela more but they were pretty tied in this book.

I can’t wait for Elena to get strong enough to really give Michaela a beating. She’s a survivor but just like she knows that Raphael is stronger than her, she knows that Michaela is too so when they have their final showdown (cause they do have that, right?), I can’t wait for Elena to mop Michaela up.

Holly: What I find interesting is that each archangel is so nuanced. I hated Michaela and Lijuan, too, but there was more to them than just their evil side. Ex: Michaela’s very real pain when Sam, the baby angel, was hurt. That doesn’t stop me from wanting to see Elena beat her ass bad, but still.

Rowena: That’s true because my reaction to how hurt she was over Sam was more, “You’re still a bitch but I’m glad there’s some redeeming qualities” than “Aww, she’s just misunderstood” but I gotta know…does she get her own book later on?

Holly: I don’t think any of the other archangels are getting books. Not that I’ve heard, anyway.

Rowena: As for Lijuan? She was creepy in the last book but she was more so this time around because her creepiness was front and center. When she turns her attention to Elena, I was grossed out. The way that she lives her life, the things that she finds interesting and amusing are so far beyond normal, it’s just gross.

I was interested in finding out who was killing everyone and trying to pit each of the archangels against each other. I had my suspicions but I was wrong. LOL. Also? I thought I wanted to taste chocolate covered oranges but not anymore.

Holly: Are you going to continue the series?

Rowena: This series is good when I read it but I find that I’m not as invested in this series as I am with the Psy/Changelings. I guess because that series is more romance than this one? I’m not sure but yes, I will continue this series but that will happen over time. I won’t be glomming this series or anything like that. I’m probably in the minority with that huh? I know a lot of people love this series and me? I just like it.

Holly: The next book is also Raphael and Elena. After that it breaks off to the Seven. I think you’ll like those books more. They’re more romance-centric. We’ll have to discuss again once you’ve read the next two books.

Rowena: I’ll let you know when I pick up the next couple of books.

Overall, this book was interesting and the suspense had me at the edge of my seat when things finally started happening but I found it very slow in the beginning. Still, it ended up on a high note so it wasn’t a bad read at all just not my favorite.

Holly: The beginning was slow for me, too. It took awhile to get into it, but once I did I was really sucked in. Singh has a way with the world-building. I would say this may be the weakest of the series for me. I enjoyed it, but the others are better.

Rowena: I’d give this book a 3.5. You?

Holly: 3.5

Final Grades:

Rowena: 3.5 out of 5
Holly: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars

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Joint Review: Hard Hitter by Sarina Bowen

Posted January 31, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 4 Comments

Joint Review: Hard Hitter by Sarina BowenReviewer: Holly and Rowena
Hard Hitter (Brooklyn Bruisers #2) by Sarina Bowen
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers #2
Also in this series: Rookie Move, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter, Rookie Move
Published by Berkley Books
Publication Date: January 3rd 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 336
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four-stars

From the USA Today bestselling author of Rookie Move comes the second novel in the series that s hot enough to melt the ice.
He s a fighter in the rink, but he s about to learn that playing nice can help you score...
As team captain and enforcer, Patrick O'Doul puts the bruise in the Brooklyn Bruisers. But after years of hard hits, O'Doul is feeling the burn, both physically and mentally. He conceals his pain from his coach and trainers, but when his chronic hip injury becomes too obvious to ignore, they send him for sessions with the team s massage therapist. After breaking up with her long-term boyfriend, Ari Bettini is in need of peace of mind. For now, she s decided to focus on her work: rehabilitating the Bruisers MVP. O'Doul is easy on the eyes, but his reaction to her touch is ice cold. Ari is determined to help O'Doul heal, but as the tension between them turns red hot, they both learn that a little TLC does the body good..."

Rowena: Hard Hitter is the second book in Sarina Bowen’s Brooklyn Bruisers series and it features Captain Patrick O’Doul. We first met Patrick O’Doul in Rookie Move. He was one of Leo’s new teammates and he hit on Georgia, Leo’s girl. I don’t remember much else about Patrick, aside from he helped make Leo feel more comfortable transitioning to a new team.

Patrick is the team enforcer and over the years, his body has taken some beatings. He’s coming off a wrist injury and his hip is acting up but every night, he goes out on that rink and he fights whoever needs fighting.

I’ll admit that when I first heard that Patrick was getting his story told next, I wasn’t all that excited. I’m not sure why that was since I didn’t hate Patrick, I just didn’t really think much about him.

Well…I love him now. Ha!

What about you? What did you think of Patrick and the rest of his book?

Holly: I really liked Patrick. He was quiet and intense and private. I kind of expected some deep dark secret or tortured past after the way he acted about being touched.

Rowena: Something more than the deep, dark secret about his parents? I liked the way that Bowen handled Patrick’s issues in this book. He’s had a pretty rough childhood and he had some hangups about them but he wasn’t saddled with those issues. He was an adult. He wasn’t this angsty hot head who lashed out at every turn or anything like that. He ignored them for as long as he can and then he fixed them. I dug it.

Holly: No, I just meant that I expected there to be something, and I was right. I dug the way his issues were handled, too. I thought there might be more angst over it, but he just handled his business.

I’m kind of on the fence about the heroine.I didn’t dislike her, but she isn’t my favorite Bowen heroine.

Rowena: Ari isn’t my favorite heroine either and she got on my nerves throughout the book but not nearly as much as Georgia did in Rookie Move. My thing with Ari was that she taught all not judging and how to listen with your heart in her yoga classes but holy cow did she turn into the biggest judger of all judges when Patrick lands himself in trouble. That annoyed the snot out of me…even if she did buy him a coffee maker.

Holly: I didn’t like how she turned her back on him either. I get being angry, but her reaction was over the top.

Rowena: What did you think about all of the crap that Ari went through with her ex-boyfriend?

Holly: I don’t know how I felt about Ari’s boyfriend troubles. It didn’t seem like she made very good choices when it came to him. Not calling the cops on him, agreeing to meet him alone, etc. I wasn’t impressed.

Rowena: I think that was part of my gripe with Ari. How dumb she was where Vince was. Why did she wait so long to tell the Security guys at the Bruisers about everything that was going on? For someone so smart, she sure was dumb a lot.

View Spoiler »

Rowena: I’m not all that into yoga so I didn’t think that I would care much about Ari and what she did for a living but damn…can you imagine working as a masseuse to all of those hot guys? Getting paid to rub down all of those yummy hockey players every day? I’m low key jealous. Ha!

Holly: Omg, girl. I need some of that in my life.

Rowena: I would have married all of them if they asked me…and I would start every appointment with a foot rub so those marriage proposals would keep rolling in.

Are you looking forward to Beacon and Lauren’s story?

Holly: I am looking forward to Beacon and Lauren’s story. I like this world and I’m definitely glad we’ll see more.

Rowena: Overall, I enjoyed the story and the romance between Patrick and Ari. At least, when Ari wasn’t being a dumbass and I really liked Patrick. He was a complete dreamboat.

My grade for this one is 4 out of 5.

Holly: I liked the romance, too, as well as the additional time with the team. I didn’t love Ari on her own, but I did like her with Patrick.

I’m giving it a 4 out of 5 as well.

Final Grades

Holly: 4/5
Rowena: 4/5

four-stars

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Joint Review: Fire Bound by Christine Feehan

Posted April 27, 2016 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Joint Review: Fire Bound by Christine FeehanReviewer: Holly and Casee
Fire Bound by Christine Feehan
Series: Sisters of the Heart #5, Sea Haven
Also in this series: Water Bound, Spirit Bound, Air Bound, Earth Bound, Bound Together (Sea Haven/Sisters of the Heart, #6), Turbulent Sea, Hidden Currents, Magic in the Wind, The Twilight Before Christmas, Oceans of Fire, Dangerous Tides, Safe Harbor, Turbulent Sea, Hidden Currents
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: April 26th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Paranormal, General, Contemporary Women, Fantasy
Pages: 400
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three-half-stars

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Sea Haven novels returns to the circle of the six sisters of the heart, bound by the elements—and to one who possesses the power to inflame the most dangerous passions of all.  Flame-haired Lissa Piner is a skilled glass blower whose delicate gift conceals a burning inner strength that can destroy as exquisitely as it can create. Commissioned to design chandeliers for a string of luxury hotels, her remarkable skills have taken her to Italy. But Lissa’s real mission there is a secret. For her entire life has been a lie, leading to a chance to avenge a terrible wrong.   Enlisted as her bodyguard is Casmir Prakenskii, a trained assassin living off the grid. In Lissa, he sees a kindred spirit—something unexpected and wicked, mysterious and sensual. But more than desire is about to bring them together: because both of their pasts cry out for revenge. And for two people with this many secrets, this much passion, and this many enemies, someone is bound to get burned.

Casee: I love the Sea Haven series.  I’ve read all the books she’s written but the Drake Sisters and Sisters of the Heart are my favorite.  Fire Bound was like no other Feehan book.  Mostly it’s the men that are killers and, as readers, we simply accept it.  They are trying to protect their woman, right? Lissa was unlike any heroine  that she’s written.  Lissa is a straight up killer.  It doesn’t matter that she’s doing it for revenge for the death of her family, it’s still murder.  Yet, I wasn’t horrified.  It was refreshing change from her normal heroines.

Holly:  The Sea Haven books are my favorites as well. Lissa was a great heroine. I liked that she was just as deadly as Casimir and she wasn’t portrayed as someone who needed rescuing. I was actually surprised at the number of risks she took and that he didn’t try to stop her.

Casee: I did love how Casimir was partner, not a dictator.  He didn’t “allow” Lissa to do what she needed to do.  He helped her, understood her, and was generally there for her.

Holly: No, he didn’t “allow” her to do anything. She made her choices and he reluctantly followed along.

I do feel like Feehan keeps writing the same love story again and again. Lissa was a different sort of heroine and Casimir and different hero in that he wasn’t as overbearing and chauvinistic as the others, but the romance itself felt like the same thing we’ve read in all the other books.

Casee: I do agree with you about the love story being the same.  How can she write different love stories when she’s written so many?  While their romance didn’t fall flat, it was the same as the other Prakenskii romances.

Holly: It felt the same as all the other Prakenskii romances because it was the same. Almost exactly.

Casee: You’re right all the Prakenskii romances are all the same.  Touch palms and you’re my mate, hear me roar.  Have lots of sex, the heroine objects, then realizes she’s in love with him.  Lissa accepted Casimir almost from the start.  She didn’t fight it.

Holly: I really liked that Lissa accepted Casimir right away. Neither of them really fought it. The conflicts were mostly external.

Casee: The sex was the same as always, which I skipped through.  I want the story, not the sex these days.  Most of her books are over 10 pages per sex scene and there are always more than one.

Holly: I didn’t read the sex scenes beyond the first, either. I see other readers complaining about the lack of sex in books, but I feel just the opposite. I’m tired of pages and pages of sex scenes when, more often than not, the story suffers for them.

This book cleans up some story-arcs that started early in the series. It was nice to get some closure and see some things come to an end.

Casee: It’s been such a long time since the first book.  What story-arcs did it clean up?

Holly: Lissa and Casimir going after the Russian’s who have been after the Prakenskii’s for so long. View Spoiler » Which makes sense since there’s only one book left in the series.

Casee:  I didn’t even think about that arc being over.  I’m really smart like that.  View Spoiler »

I was very surprised by the oldest brother and how things played out there.  I’m really looking forward to the last book, even though I will be the last.  I will be sad to see it to, but I feel like begging her not to try to drag it on.  It’s perfect the way it is.  I’ll always re-read this series.

Holly: I’m curious about the oldest brother and how that will play out. Lissa chewing him out made me laugh. I guess we’ll see what happens when he meets Blythe again.

Casee: What I’m curious to know is if Blythe even knows she’s been “mated” to a Prakenskii.

Holly: I have a feeling she knows she mated, but I doubt she knows they’re married.

Heather on Goodreads said Feehan plans to continue the Sea Haven books (I haven’t bothered to look it up and confirm). I’ll be curious to see who and what that entails.

Casee: There are 29 Dark books.  I read them diligently because Dark Prince was the first paranormal/vampire book I ever read.  I don’t want the Sea Haven books to drag on like that.

Holly: I don’t want 27 books, but I’m not ready for the series to end.

Overall, I really liked Lissa and Casimir together, but it felt like a copy of all the other books. I’m not saying I didn’t like it, just that I felt like it was a story I’d already read.

Casee: I think it was a copy of all the other books too, with the exception on Ilya’s. Eventually you run out of material when you’re writing the same thing over and over.

Holly: I heart Ilya. He’s my favorite.

Casee: I do think this was my favorite of the series just because Lissa was so unique.

Holly: Water Bound is still my favorite of the series. Ricky is the best heroine Feehan has ever written, IMO. Lissa was unique and I liked her, but she doesn’t top Ricky.

I’m going to give this 3.75 out of 5.

Casee: I’m giving it a 3.5 our of 5.

Final Grades:

Holly: 3.75 out of 5
Casee: 3.5 out of 5

The Series

Water Bound
Spirit Bound
Air Bound
Earth Bound
Fire Bound

three-half-stars

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Joint Review: Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs

Posted February 17, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 9 Comments

Joint Review: Cry Wolf by Patricia BriggsReviewer: Holly & Rowena
Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: 2008
Genres: Fantasy, Contemporary, Paranormal
Pages: 310
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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four-stars

Now Briggs begins an extraordinary new series set in Mercy Thompson's world--but with rules of its own.
INTRODUCING THE ALPHA AND OMEGA NOVELS...

Anna never knew werewolves existed until the night she survived a violent attack...and became one herself. After three years at the bottom of the pack, she'd learned to keep her head down and never, ever trust dominant males. But Anna is that rarest kind of werewolf: an Omega. And one of the most powerful werewolves in the country will recognize her value as a pack member--and as his mate.

Rowena: Cry Wolf is the first full length book in the Alpha & Omega and it introduces us to the world of Charles Cornick and Anna Latham. Charles is a dominant werewolf who works as the enforcer for the Marrok and Anna is a newly turned werewolf who was abused and mistreated until Charles shows up and saves her from her old pack.

Over the course of Cry Wolf, there are many things at play. There’s a rogue wolf taking out humans, there is the whole mating thing between Charles and Anna and the list goes on and on but one thing that I found interesting was how well Briggs was able to juggle all of those different story-lines and still deliver a fantastic book. I thought she set up the rest of the series incredibly well and am really looking forward to digging into this series.

Holly: Briggs is a master at keeping things together. You haven’t read her Mercy Thompson series, but the way she weaves the threads from that series and this one together is nothing short of awe-inspiring.

I really love Charles and Anna, but it was the world itself I was invested in. The secondary characters, the strange dreams Asil was having, the Marrok and his pack, the politics, etc. All of it was fascinating.

Rowena: Yes. I found it interesting that as much as I loved the bits with Charles and Anna figuring things out between them, I was just as interested in everything else that was going on. From Walter and the rogue wolf to the Marrok and his mate to just…everything. I wanted to know all of it.

I will say that things started off a bit slow for me. I think I was much more anxious for things to get rolling that I slogged through the beginning but after I finished the entire book, I went back and read the first part of the book and was taken aback and how thorough Briggs is with just everything.

After finishing, I wanted to know everything. I want to know what happens now. Are there any lingering affects with the Marrok? What happens now with Charles and Anna? What about Samuel? There’s a lot to dig into and I’m looking forward to all of that.

Holly: I thought the beginning was a bit slow as well. When they started looking for the Rogue is when it picked up, I think.

I love that though Anna and Charles are fated mates, it wasn’t a quick fall into love and comfort for them. They barely knew each other, and I think Briggs handled that well.

Do you think you’ll read the Mercy Thompson series?

Rowena: Oh, definitely. I’ll be all over that Mercy Thompson series for sure.

Man, that whole thing surrounding the Marrok and what happens to him when the Black Witch gets her claws into him? Do they dig into that whole thing in the coming books? I’m really interesting in reading more about that.

I really liked that Charles wanted Anna to be sure, that he gave her a choice in the matter of becoming his mate. I liked seeing them both battle their feelings along with everything else that was going on. When she introduces herself as Anna Cornick? I cheered like a crazy person!

Holly: We learn more about the Marrok in both series, though there isn’t a book dedicated solely to him…yet. Shifting Shadows is a collection of novellas set in that world and one of the shorts, written about Samuel, explains a lot more about the Marrok.

What did you think of the suspense portion of the story? The witch and all her shenanigans?

Rowena: Good, I’m glad to hear that cause I found myself more curious about him as I read through this book.

That woman was crazy and for her to be crazy for those many years? I also thought she was pretty crafty too. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone do what she did in any other paranormal series that I’ve read. At least I can’t remember so her whole deal and her obsession with the Moor was mind boggling good.

What about that rogue wolf? I thought Walter was a fantastic character and even though we don’t really dig deep into her character, we got enough that I was completely in love with him.

Seriously, I want more.

Holly: I thought Walter was pretty great. His back story made me sad,but I liked the person he was.

The world is fresh and imaginative. I love Charles and Anna, too, as well as all the secondary characters. I’m giving this a 4.25 out of 5.

Now we just need to get you to read the Mercy Thompson series. 😉

Rowena: Overall, this book was an entertaining read. I’m really enjoying getting to know not just Charles and Anna but the other people in their world as well. Bran, Samuel, Asil and so many others. I like that the Alpha & Omega novella tied right into the beginning of this book and I can’t wait for more.

Oh, I’m definitely reading Mercy Thompson…especially since I read Fair Game and have already met her mate, Adam. I want to know more about him.

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

Reading Order:

Seeing Eye
Alpha & Omega
Cry Wolf
Hunting Ground
Fair Game
Dead Heat

four-stars

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Joint Review: The Score by Elle Kennedy

Posted January 15, 2016 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Joint Review: The Score by Elle KennedyReviewer: Holly and Rowena
The Score by Elle Kennedy
Series: Off Campus #3
Also in this series: The Deal, The Score (Off-Campus, #3), The Goal
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: January 11, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romantic Comedy, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 350 pages
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

He knows how to score, on and off the ice

Allie Hayes is in crisis mode. With graduation looming, she still doesn’t have the first clue about what she's going to do after college. To make matters worse, she’s nursing a broken heart thanks to the end of her longtime relationship. Wild rebound sex is definitely not the solution to her problems, but gorgeous hockey star Dean Di-Laurentis is impossible to resist. Just once, though, because even if her future is uncertain, it sure as heck won’t include the king of one-night stands.

It’ll take more than flashy moves to win her over

Dean always gets what he wants. Girls, grades, girls, recognition, girls…he’s a ladies man, all right, and he’s yet to meet a woman who’s immune to his charms. Until Allie. For one night, the feisty blonde rocked his entire world—and now she wants to be friends? Nope. It’s not over until he says it’s over. Dean is in full-on pursuit, but when life-rocking changes strike, he starts to wonder if maybe it’s time to stop focusing on scoring…and shoot for love.

Warning: We included spoilers, but they’re hidden under the tag. Click at your own risk!!

Holly:  I really loved this story. Though he still isn’t my favorite character from the series, Dean really came to life for me over the course of the story. I loved how unapologetic he was about who and what he is. He grew up extremely rich, but there was no dysfunction in his family. They’re a tight-knit group who love and respect one another. He’s a playboy, sure, but it isn’t because he’s got some deep, dark secret lurking in his past. He just likes to go to the “bone zone”. He’s had a few heartaches and frustrations in his life, but only a few. He’s laid back in the extreme.

Rowena: ​I really loved this one too.

I was surprised by how much I loved this one because I thought Dean was a crackhead and I wasn’t prepared for how much I would come to love him. I mean, he wasn’t as on my radar as Logan was before I started The Mistake, but boy did Elle Kennedy make me sit up and take notice of Dean in this one. I may not have been a big Dean fan before this book but I just might be the President of the Dean fan club now.

Holly: Dean is a totally unapologetic man-whore. He likes sex and refuses to apologize for liking it with as many partners as possible. He knows Allie is off limits because she’s Hannah’s best friend, but when they both give in to temptation one night and she completely rocks his world, he can’t stop thinking about her.

Rowena: They were really good together. I liked that Dean was bothered by Allie and Sean. I was so used to him sleeping with different girls every night, with no repeats that seeing him imprint on Allie was cute at the same time that it was hilarious. When Beau calls Allie, Bella and Allie gets all pissy…haha!

Holly:  I loved that he was all about her at first because she kept refusing him.

Rowena: The romance in this one was good. I loved seeing both Dean and Allie come together. Dean really had his work cut out with this one and it was fun to see Mr. Playboy really work to get in Allie’s pants.

Normally, I’m not a fan of the whole secret romance plot but I think Kennedy did a good job with this one. When they finally came out out of the closet, I loved it. I loved that it was Dean that Allie turned to for comfort.

Holly: I thought it was hilarious how they kept their fling a secret so they wouldn’t get crap from their friends. OMG, the bathtub scene? I DIED. I was laughing so hard I almost fell out of bed.

Rowena: I loved that scene! Dean was so disgruntled and seeing Allie laugh at the same time feeling bad about it all had me cracking up.

Holly: I really liked that Allie knew she wasn’t cut out for casual sex and chose not to indulge. I found her desire to be in a caring relationship realistic and, honestly, kind of refreshing. Please don’t misunderstand, I’m all for sexual liberation however that comes. I think women should be able to be as sexually free as men, without the slut-shaming that often follows. But there are women out there who aren’t interested in casual sex, and I’m glad to see that portrayed here. Allie wasn’t repressed or a prude. She was more than willing to get freaky and try out new kinks, she just wasn’t interested in trying those out with casual partners.

Rowena: I understand what you mean. Allie wasn’t there judging other women if they wanted to be a part of the casual sex scene but she wasn’t interested in that. Sex was something she enjoyed but she was more comfortable enjoying sex with someone she cared about and not any Tom, Dick or Harry would do. I could respect that.

What did you think about the whole thing with Beau?

Holly: I’m not sure what I think about the thing with Beau. It was unexpected and kind of shocking. I’m still processing it.

I found the main conflict to be a bit disappointing. I saw it coming from the very beginning, but I’d hoped Kennedy would take the story in a different direction. Though I understand it was necessary for Dean’s growth as a character, I would have liked to see that happen in a different way.

Rowena: What kind of direction?

Holly: I’m not sure. I guess I wanted Dean to prove Allie’s dad wrong. He said Dean wasn’t strong enough to handle any major crisis or curve-ball. I didn’t want him to be right. I wanted Dean to man-up and be there for her. To pull himself out of his funk without taking advantage of Allie. I just wanted him to be better than her dad expected him to be.

Rowena: Yeah, you’re right. I would have preferred for that to happen. For Dean to prove Allie’s Dad wrong but I’m glad that he eventually got it right.

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Holly: That aside, I didn’t have much to complain about. There was a lot of humor and I loved the banter and wit.

Rowena: Elle Kennedy wrote another strong character driven romance with lovable characters and I can’t help but want more from this world and from Elle Kennedy period. She’s like one of my favorite authors ever. I’m following so many of her series but this series is my favorite. This book was another winner for me.

Holly: I really loved Allie’s inner strength. I felt like she really help up well with all the stuff she had to deal with.

Rowena: I really liked Allie’s character. She was true to who she was throughout the entire story. She was strong and she liked herself and cared about those around her. I loved when people would talk about Dean and inwardly, she’d get all defensive.

Rowena: It would be nice to have a spin off since we’re running out of people in the Off-Campus house to read books about.

Holly: I’m not ready to leave this world, either, but I don’t know that I’m interested in an offshoot featuring the football team. Maybe…

Rowena: Speaking of, Tuck? Holy shit, Tuck!!

Holly: I knew what Tuck was doing that whole time. I can’t wait to see how that plays out.

Rowena: ​Did you know his whole story line or you just knew that he was working toward that announcement at the end? LOL.​ And his heroine? How do you feel about her? I’m not sure yet.

Holly: I suspected he was going to announce what he did, but I flat knew who his heroine was going to be. I’m on the fence about her, too. I’m sure Kennedy will write a fab story, though. I have faith.

Rowena: But overall? I loved this book. Gah, I just loved it all. 4.5 out of 5

Holly: I was disappointed in Dean at the end, but Allie’s inner strength impressed me, and Dean’s slow slide into commitment was very satisfying indeed. Definitely another winner from Kennedy.  4 out of 5

Final Grades

Rowena: 4.5 out of 5
Holly: 4 out of 4

four-stars

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