Tag: Joint Reviews

Joint Review: Burn for You by J.T. Geissinger

Posted June 18, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 5 Comments

Joint Review: Burn for You by J.T. GeissingerReviewer: Holly & Rowena
Burn for You (Slow Burn, #1)Series: Slow Burn #1
Published by Montlake Romance
Publication Date: October 17, 2017
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 348
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

The marriage is fake. But for a sassy chef and an arrogant billionaire, the sparks are real…

Jackson “The Beast” Boudreaux is rich, gorgeous, and unbelievably rude to the staff at Chef Bianca Hardwick’s New Orleans restaurant. Bianca would sooner douse herself in hot sauce than cook for Jackson again, but when he asks her to cater his fund-raiser, Bianca can’t refuse, knowing the cash will help pay her mother’s medical bills. Then Jackson makes another outrageous request: Marry me. The unconventional offer includes an enormous sum—money Bianca desperately needs, even if it does come with a contract—and a stunning ring.

The heir to a family bourbon dynasty, Jackson knows the rumors swirling around him. The truth is even darker. Still, he needs a wife to secure his inheritance, and free-spirited, sassy Bianca would play the part beautifully. Soon, though, their simple business deal evolves into an emotional intimacy he’s built walls to avoid.

As the passion heats up between them, Bianca and Jackson struggle to define which feelings are real and which are for show. Is falling for your fake fiancé the best happy ending…or a recipe for disaster?

Burn for You is a modern take on Beauty and the Beast.

Jackson and Bianca have a very contentious relationship. They get off to a bad start when he shows up at her restaurant and demands a table. Bianca’s latest menu is an ode to his family’s bourbon, but she isn’t about to let him push her around. When he offers her the chance to cater an very exclusive charity event, she knows she can’t refuse. Not only will the publicity give her restaurant the boost it needs, but she desperately needs the money for her sick mother. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the crazy man shows up again and demands she marry him. Turns out he needs a wife by his 33rd birthday -which is just around the corner- or he’ll lose his inheritance. If she wasn’t desperate for money to help her sick mother she’d never consider it…as it is, how bad would be being married to the Beast?

Holly: I was browsing Amazon a couple weeks ago and discovered this book. I love Beauty and the Beast and a modern day retelling appealed to me. I really loved it. Jax and Bianca were great together. Are you glad I forced …ehem…recommended you read it?

Rowena: I listened to the audiobook too and it didn’t work for me. The narrator for Bianca sounded like my grandma and I kept picturing Gretchen from Suits because that’s who she reminded me of so every time she and Jackson would get down and dirty, I kept picturing my favorite of Louis’ administrative assistants with Jackson…and she’s more my Grandma than my heroine of a romance novel. I love the hell out of her but I don’t want to know or read about her sex life. Haha. But dude, that narrator sounds just like Gretchen.

Holly: Conversely, I really enjoyed the narrator. I don’t watch Suits, so I can’t say if she sounded like anyone from that show, but I thought she did a great job with the voices. I don’t ever listen to the entire book. I switch back and forth between reading and listening. The narrator, Diana Luke, really made the book for me. To be honest, I don’t know if I would have enjoyed the book quite so much had I read it on my own. I heard her voice in my head while I was reading and it really worked.

Rowena: Anyway on with the book, after I stopped listening to the book and started reading it on my own, I was able to enjoy the book a lot more. The chemistry between Bianca and Jackson was off the charts and from the beginning I felt it. I knew that we were going to get a good story out of them and we did.

I’m really glad that I listened to you and read this book. It was good stuff.

Holly: Of course it was good stuff. I always give good recommendations. 😉

Rowena: I really liked Bianca’s character and how strong she was, how real she was. When her drama happens, I connected with her because I’ve been there and I thought Geissinger captured her emotions and her grief really well.

My heart broke getting to know Jackson and seeing the man that he grew up to be despite the childhood that he had?? Oh man, it hit me right in the feels and I was rooting like heck for him throughout the entire story.

Holly: Jackson was grumpy and growly, but underneath he was just a giant marshmallow. I loved that about him. I loved how he took care of his people and raised money for causes that were important to him.

Bianca didn’t take any crap from him, and in fact gave back better than she got. I loved her wit and how quick she was to defend herself and those who worked for her. She wasn’t overbearing. They both got on each other’s nerves, but I loved how they also saw below the surface and wanted to help the other. She stuck up for him when he needed it, and he returned the favor. I melted over them both.

Rowena: There were times when I thought both Bianca and Jackson were being super extra about things, like how Bianca would fly off the handle at the smallest thing and how Jackson would growl at Bianca at every turn but in the end, I understood why they were the way that they were with each other and let that stuff go.

Holly: You’re right, they were both extra about things. Still, I loved how they sort of fell into a friendship without even realizing it. So cute.

His family made me angry and I wasn’t satisfied with the way it was dealt with. Jackson felt like shit his entire life because of the way his parents treated him, but his dad waves it all off? Grr. I got over it, however, because it’s a Fairytale.

Rowena: Jackson’s family dynamic left much to be desired and I agree that when everything comes out in the open, his father waved things off and I didn’t think that Jackson got the closure he deserved on that stuff but I’m glad that he finally had the support system that he should have had all along. I also really liked that Bianca was the one to make that happen for him.

Holly: Oh yes, I loved how quick Bianca was to defend him and how she took up for him with his family. That was great.

I really loved this book. There were things that bothered me, and the way Bianca and Jackson acted at the end had me frustrated, but overall it was a really good read. I’d definitely recommend it (and have been, to everyone. lol). I’m really looking forward to reading Geissinger’s backlist.

Rowena: This was the first book that I’ve ever read by Geissinger but it won’t be my last. I really enjoyed this slow-burn romance and am pretty anxious to start the next in the series, even though there isn’t a real link between both books.

Holly: Overall this was a very satisfying read. I was sad to see it end. 4.25 out of 5

Rowena: I agree that this was a very satisfying read. I would definitely recommend.
I give this one a 4 out of 5.

Final Grades

Holly: 4.25 out of 5
Rowena: 4 out of 5

Slow Burn

four-stars


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Joint Review: Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid

Posted May 2, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 5 Comments

Joint Review: Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny ReidReviewer: Holly & Rowena
Neanderthal Seeks Human (Knitting in the City, #1) by Penny Reid
Series: Knitting in the City #1
Also in this series: Neanderthal Seeks Human
Published by Caped Publishing
Publication Date: March 14, 2013
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 403
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Goodreads

There are three things you need to know about Janie Morris: 1) She is incapable of engaging in a conversation without volunteering TMTI (Too Much Trivial Information), especially when she is unnerved, 2) No one unnerves her more than Quinn Sullivan, and 3) She doesn't know how to knit.

After losing her boyfriend, apartment, and job in the same day, Janie Morris can't help wondering what new torment fate has in store. To her utter mortification, Quinn Sullivan- aka Sir McHotpants- witnesses it all then keeps turning up like a pair of shoes you lust after but can't afford. The last thing she expects is for Quinn- the focus of her slightly, albeit harmless, stalkerish tendencies- to make her an offer she can't refuse.

Holly: Rowena and I have both been hearing a lot about Penny Reid, so we chose Neanderthal Seeks Human, book one in the Knitting in the City series, for our April joint review book.

I read it before Rowena did and I have to tell you, the heroine annoyed me. She was written as an extremely intelligent, but oblivious individual. Mostly she came off as lacking in common sense.

What did you think?

Rowena: I agree about the heroine. It took me a long time to read this book because I kept stepping away because I couldn’t believe how dumb the heroine came off. She was too smart to be so dumb about a lot of the things that went on. Like when Quinn kept telling her that the company was his company and she kept not understanding what he meant? There were too many instances where this happened and I wasn’t a fan of that.

Holly: I could have understood if she missed a few cues here and there, or even if she was oblivious until someone spelled things out for her, but that just wasn’t the case. Even when things were spelled out she completely missed them. She was completely lacking in common sense. It was frustrating.

Rowena: Yeah, I agree with Janie. I don’t think the way that she was written really pulled off her personality. It just didn’t work for me. I really liked the random trivia that she threw out. That was probably my favorite part with her.

I didn’t mind the random trivia facts that she threw out when she was nervous. I actually liked that stuff but the lacking of common sense for someone so smart didn’t work for me.

Holly: I thought the random trivia facts were hilarious, and I loved how she just babbled when she was nervous. But man, I couldn’t get past how dumb she could be.

Rowena: Then there was Quinn. He was great and I would have liked him more if he was more upfront about every little thing with Janie. He had too many secrets for my liking.

Holly: I really liked Quinn, but you’re right, it would have been nice if he’d been more upfront with Janie. It was obvious he knew she was oblivious to most things. He should have spelled things out.

Rowena: Yes, he knew that she didn’t understand that the company belonged to him and he kept letting her think what she wanted to think but also, he knew a lot of things about her and about those around her and he didn’t tell her and for what? He didn’t owe anyone but Janie anything so why keep her in the dark about things that affected her personally? He could have saved himself a lot of trouble if he was upfront with her about everything.

Those little things kept taking me right out of the story and I kept needing to walk away from the story for a bit because I could not deal with all of the unnecessary shenanigans.

Holly: Right, that’s what I mean. He knew she didn’t understand what was going on with him, his company, her sister, etc. Yet he chose not to tell her, to keep her in the dark. I didn’t like that. He should have let her know what was going on.

Rowena: But how great was that knitting group?

Holly: That knitting group was amazing. The scene toward the end with them? Oh man, I about died laughing. I want to read more of this series just for them.

Rowena: The way that the knitting group came together to fight the bad guys had me bent over at the waist laughing. They truly saved this book from a lower grade because even though they weren’t front and center in the story, they were still a big part of it and their part had me laughing a lot. These are the kinds of friends that a woman needs in her life.

Holly: While there were some enjoyable parts – most notably the knitting group and their shenanigans – I didn’t love this book the way I expected to. It came highly recommended from so many, I thought I’d love it. I loved the knitting group enough to try another book in the series, but Janie really killed this book for me. I’m giving it a 2.75 out of 5.

Rowena: Yep, I pretty much have the same thoughts. There was potential but overall, most of the comedy stuff missed its mark with me though I will not permanently say no to any of the other books in this series. I really do need to get to know the other ladies in the knitting group, especially Sandra. She sounds like a riot and I’m all for reading her book.

I’d give this one the same grade, 2.75 out of 5.

Final Rating

Holly: 2.75 out of 5
Rowena: 2.75 out of 5

Knitting in the City


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Joint Review: Hello Stranger by Lisa Kleypas

Posted April 3, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Joint Review: Hello Stranger by Lisa KleypasReviewer: Holly & Rowena
Hello Stranger by Lisa Kleypas
Series: The Ravenels #4
Also in this series: Cold-Hearted Rake, Devil in Spring, Devil in Spring
Published by Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: February 27th 2018
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 400
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Goodreads
four-stars

A woman who defies her time

Dr. Garrett Gibson, the only female physician in England, is as daring and independent as any man—why not take her pleasures like one? Yet she has never been tempted to embark on an affair, until now. Ethan Ransom, a former detective for Scotland Yard, is as gallant as he is secretive, a rumored assassin whose true loyalties are a mystery. For one exhilarating night, they give in to their potent attraction before becoming strangers again.

A man who breaks every rule

As a Ravenel by-blow spurned by his father, Ethan has little interest in polite society, yet he is captivated by the bold and beautiful Garrett. Despite their vow to resist each other after that sublime night, she is soon drawn into his most dangerous assignment yet. When the mission goes wrong, it will take all of Garrett's skill and courage to save him. As they face the menace of a treacherous government plot, Ethan is willing to take any risk for the love of the most extraordinary woman he's ever known.

Hello Stranger is the fourth book in Lisa Kleypas’ Ravenels series and it follows, Dr. Garrett Gibson and Mr. Ethan Ransom. Both characters were introduced in the previous books and both characters are linked to the Ravenels in different ways.

Dr. Garrett Gibson is the only female doctor in England and she’s one busy woman. She’s sworn that her career is more important than marriage and has no plans to marry as it will interfere with her job. When she meets Ethan Ransom and starts taking an interest in him, things change.

Mr. Ethan Ransom has been infatuated with Dr. Gibson from the jump. He knows that he can’t have her because his life is a dangerous one but that doesn’t stop him from wanting her, from wanting to be near her and when a friendship sparks up between them and then a relationship, Ethan knows that to protect her, he should keep his distance but he can’t stay away from her.

When the danger comes and meets them head-on, Garrett must save Ethan’s life so that he can fight the biggest fight of his life.

Rowena: Our joint review for March is Hello Stranger by Lisa Kleypas and it’s a book that Holly and I have been anxious to read for quite some time now. I’ve lagged because I was wrapped up in Ilona Andrews but once I finally settled in and started reading Hello Stranger, it was good stuff.

What did you think, Holly?

Holly: It was good. I kind of thought Garrett might be too independent, or Ethan might be too overbearing, but I think they found a good balance. He didn’t try to stifle her and she didn’t insist she could do everything on her own to the detriment of her safety. I was a little sad in the beginning that she wasn’t able to whoop his arse, though. Can you imagine his face if she’d taken him down on the street?

Rowena: I had the same thoughts going into the book, especially after reading that scene where she had to fight off her attackers and Ethan stepped in and helped her. The way that she kept insisting that she got it, I was like, “Oh hell, are we going to get a whole lot of this for the remainder of the book?” I’m glad to see that that wasn’t the case.

I really enjoyed both Ethan and Garrett. They were wonderful together. I loved that Ethan was fighting to save the lives of thousands and that Garrett cared a whole bunch about saving his life. I did think that they went from kissing to I love you pretty quickly but I can’t even care about that because I adored Ethan so much. I just happy sighed while typing that because, holy cow, that speech that Ethan gave Garrett when he thought he was going to die?

swoon

Holly: I was really surprised at how quickly she changed her mind from “I won’t ever marry” to “Let’s get married”. But then if Ethan had courted me like that is have married him quick, too. He was so wonderful. He’s by far the most flowery Kleypas hero, I think, but it really worked for him. He was so sweet. I love him so much.

Rowena: Same. I would have been dressed in my wedding dress when he showed up with that monkey picture. LMAO.

Holly: Ha, I can just see you all “Oh, hello Ethan. I do.” But same, though. He was swoony.

Rowena: He would have been for a big surprise when he moved those covers off. I don’t even care that I would have married in a wedding dress that was wrinkled to shit. I would have been all, “I do, I do, I do, I do” Hahaha.

Holly:I can just see you all curled up in the bed wearing a wedding dress. “Surprise!” HAHA

What did you think of the suspense plot?

Rowena: I was much more invested in the romance between Ethan and Garrett than I was the suspense plot. It was just okay in my opinion. I think there was a lot going on and not a lot of page time to devote to each little thing. I don’t think we spent enough time with Jenkyns or even with the whole suspense plot to really get the motivation behind it but overall, that wasn’t what I was reading the book for so I guess I let it slide because I loved what I was getting from what I actually wanted from the story. Does that make sense?

Holly: I agree the romance was the most compelling part of the story. I was in a rush to get back to them as a couple, so the suspense plot was more filler than anything else. I will say something about it bothered me. It wasn’t how quickly it was resolved, but more how quickly things seemed to happen in the end. Maybe that’s just the power of fiction, but everything seemed to snowball once Ethan had his evidence.

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room…or the Indian woman in the story, as the case may be. A short paragraph thrown in mentions “training” Ethan did in India with a woman who trained him in the art of Kama Sutra. It jarred me when I read it, because it seemed rather out of place. But aside from thinking “That was unnecessary” it didn’t really register for me. It wasn’t until I saw the way others felt about it that I considered the full ramifications of what Kleypas had done by including it. I don’t know her, but she seems like a class act. Her response to the reviewers who were angered by the inclusion of it was fair and right, imo.

What about you? Did you notice it? Did you have any thoughts about it? I will say, that small part did not ruin the book for me. It wasn’t necessary in any way, but it didn’t turn me off from reading.

Rowena: I read this book after I read the review over at Smart Bitches and from how ragey the reviewer was, I went into this book prepared to be jarred but when I got to the part where it’s mentioned, it was so small and I was expecting something really big that I was more jarred by that then what’s in the story. If that makes any sense. The reviewer wasn’t wrong though. It wasn’t needed to further the story and I’m glad that LK responded the way that she did.

Overall, I enjoyed the book. I enjoyed getting to know Garrett, seeing her in action and I loved the romance between her and Ransom. I really loved Ransom. Like, a lot a lot. Give me all the Ransoms, please. So while the suspense was the weakest part of the book, the romance and seeing everyone again more than makes up for that, IMO. I give this one a 4.25 out of 5. You?

Holly: I loved Ransom so much. I was bothered by how quickly Garrett decided she was in love and ready for marriage, but honestly Ethan was so great he kind of made the whole book for me. I’m going to give it 4 out of 5.

Final Grades

Holly: 4 out of 5
Rowena: 4.25 out of 5

The Ravenels Series

four-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux

Posted March 15, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 12 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude DeverauxReviewer: Holly and Rowena
A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux
Series: Montgomery/Taggert #15
Published by Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: March 27th 2012
Genres: Historical Romance, Time Travel
Pages: 416
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Goodreads

Once upon a time . . . as a fair maiden lay weeping upon a cold tombstone, her heartfelt desire was suddenly made real before her: tall, broad of shoulder, attired in gleaming silver and gold, her knight in shining armor had come to rescue his damsel in distress. . . .
A Knight in Shining Armor
Hailed worldwide as one of the most romantic novels of all time, Jude Deveraux’s dazzling bestseller “will capture your heart—and hold it” (Daily Herald, Chicago) with its breathtaking tale of lovely Dougless Montgomery; her savior knight, Nicholas Stafford, Earl of Thornwyck; and the timeless adventure of passion and memory, danger and desire that sweeps them into each other’s arms.

Every Thursday in 2018 we will be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books.

Holly: Rowena and I got into a discussion about this book on Twitter (caution, thread contains spoilers for this book and others) this week along with some other long-time romance readers. We all agree this is one of the few books that can still fill us with rage even all these years later. I’ll never be over that ending. Never.

This review was originally published on June 7, 2008.

I saw a review for this one online a couple of days ago and got mad all over again so I’m going to resurrect this review Holly and I did over at our old blog, Sanctuary’s Finest.

Enjoy!

Rowena says:

Jude Deveraux did such a wonderful job sucking me in with Dougless Montgomery and Nicholas Stafford. I mean, Dougless wanted nothing more than a man, a good man to love and care for her enough to marry her, she strived to have a family of her own with a man who wouldn’t make her look like the insipid younger sister to her family, she didn’t want to be the laughingstock of her family which is understandable and I thought it was so sweet that she asked for a Knight in Shining Armor and got it…in the form of Elizabethan Knight, Nicholas Stafford.

Nicholas Stafford was a rascal of a hero who died long ago and WAS the laughingstock of not only his family but of England. He wanted so much to be remembered for his learning and for his architecture, but instead was remembered as a traitor to his Queen and a sexual exploit of his youth on a table. What a way to be remembered and back in the day, well in Nicholas’ day, all you had to live for was your honor.

Honor made men out of boys and Nicholas’ wanted to be remembered by his mind. He wasn’t perfect by any means (I mean come on now, you slept with a married woman for goodness sakes but still) but he did work hard to supply for his family and he did have a heart, a very big one.

I really loved Nicholas Stafford and I loved the whole story between him and Dougless, they were perfect for eachother, so bloody perfect. The ice cream scene in the kitchen? YUM! I mean, there wasn’t much to love about Dougless and Nicholas because they were both just so loveable. You wanted someone like Dougless as your friend because she cared a whole lot about those around her and she was loyal and just an all around good hearted young woman. Nicholas on the other hand, you wanted Nicholas in your bed, he was hot, he was funny and he was caring. He really was though, just a regular guy with the same goofiness as all of those guys that you can’t help but love.

I can’t tell you guys how great Jude Deveraux did with the telling of this story. The entire time you were rootin’ these two on because you wanted them to have their happy ending. Dougless was a good strong heroine who was soft hearted but worked hard for those around her and then Nicholas, you couldn’t help but fall in love with him, he was just too cute. He too, worked so hard to right the wrongs that were done to him and you really wanted him to find his happy ending…..with Dougless.

Now, JD did a wonderful job with the secondary characters too, you either loved them or you hated them. I mean, with Kit and Lady Margaret, you fell in absolute love with their characters because there was a wealth of love between these two and Nicholas. It was more than aparent that Kit had Nicholas’ back and that he loved his brother with everything, same thing with Lady Margaret, she was a great mother to the two men and she showed that love by fighting for the truth about Nicholas to save him, she was a smart cookie and the bad guys seriously underestimated her abilities to dig out the truth, she was an amazing mother and she was gracious to Dougless for saving both of her sons, I thought that was great.

Now on the flip side of the coin, we have characters like Arabella Sydney who I hated just because she was a little slut that cheated on her husband with Nicholas, stupid chit needed to keep her damn legs closed and work on her marriage to her husband, since that man was one evil ass man. Then you have Robert and Gloria, Dougless’ insufferable boyfriend and his evil spawn of a daughter. Never in my life have I wanted to hurt people more than I wanted to hurt these two, I’m serious because I wanted to stab Robert and keep stabbing him until he had more holes in him than a piece of Swiss Cheese and then I wanted to hang him by his balls and let him bleed out, ever so slowly. You don’t want to know what I wanted to do to his good for nothing little shit of a daughter.

Grrr…

So as you can see, JD did a great job with this book because she got this kind of reaction out of me, always looking on the bright side Rowena, that’s me. If a book is bad, I’ll overlook it if I enjoyed the story as a whole, oh but not this time around. Not with this book, this book infuriated me so much that I am going to burn this shit in the Burn Book pile, oh wait…I already did that, but this time I’m going to keep it in the burn pile.

You see, as much as I loved the story, I hated the ending, the ending is what burned the book, ruined it for me, but aside from that horrendous ending, the book was FABULOUS!

Holly says:

I couldn’t agree with Rowena more. When we first meet Douglass she’s on her way to England for a vacation with her stupid cad boyfriend and his stupid, spoiled daughter, and as a reader, you want so much for her to find true love and happiness, because she’s the type that deserves it.

As a member of the overachieving Montgomery clan, Douglass has always felt inferior to the rest of her family and she truly just wants to be loved and accepted for who she is, and not reminded of the mistakes she’s made. As a woman, a sister and a mother, I totally identified with her.

When she was weeping on the steps of the church because her jerkass boyfriend had abandoned her in a foreign country, I wept with her. And when Nicholas Stafford was brought forward through time as her Knight in Shining Armor, I cried harder and wanted so much for them to be together. I cried again when Nicholas was sent back home and I prayed Douglass would find a way to be with him again.

I cheered when Douglass went back to Nicholas’ time and I was on the edge of my seat with anticipation, waiting to see how the story would unfold. Would Nicholas remember Douglass from when he was in the future? Would his family come to accuse her of being a witch? Would Nicholas fall in love with the Douglass in his time, or remember he loved her in her time? Would he still marry the psycho that got him into trouble before?

The scenes Rowena mentioned, like the ice cream scene, were amazingly told. I was completely wrapped up in this story, breathless with anticipation and almost sick to my stomach wondering how JD was going to keep these two amazing characters together. I just wanted them to have their HEA….together.

Conclusion: With Spoilers…you were warned!

View Spoiler »

Dammit. And Double Dammit. There’s no redeeming this book at all. No matter how I look at it, it sucked ass, plain and simple.

Stupid ass book!

Story: 4 Ending: 1

This book is available from Simon & Schuster . You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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Joint Review: Sweep in Peace by Ilona Andrews

Posted February 28, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 6 Comments

Joint Review: Sweep in Peace by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Holly & Rowena
Sweep in Peace (Innkeeper Chronicles, #2) by Ilona Andrews
Series: Innkeeper Chronicles #2
Also in this series: Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #1), Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #1), One Fell Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #3)
Published by Ilona Andrews
Publication Date: November 13th 2015
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 237
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Dina DeMille doesn’t run your typical Bed and Breakfast. Her inn defies laws of physics, her fluffy dog is secretly a monster, and the only paying guest is a former Galactic tyrant with a price on her head. But the inn needs guests to thrive, and guests have been scarce, so when an Arbitrator shows up at Dina's door and asks her to host a peace summit between three warring species, she jumps on the chance.

Unfortunately, for Dina, keeping the peace between Space Vampires, the Hope-Crushing Horde, and the devious Merchants of Baha-char is much easier said than done. On top of keeping her guests from murdering each other, she must find a chef, remodel the inn...and risk everything, even her life, to save the man she might fall in love with. But then it's all in the day's work for an Innkeeper…

Dina Demille runs an intergalactic B&B, an Inn, that caters to more difficult guests. When the Inn was built it sat at a busy crossroads, but since the new highway was built it’s fallen off the map, so to speak, and guests are few and far between. Since the Inn needs guests to survive, Dina agrees to host a Peace Treaty between 3 very dangerous species. She knows it’s risky, but desperate times and all that. Only she didn’t predict just how terribly wrong things would go.

Holly: I seriously love that you’re reading this series. I’m giving myself a pat on the back for forcing you to read outside your comfort zone. Were you happy to be back visiting Dina in her Inn?

Rowena: This is a good series. I’m not all that into paranormals or urban fantasy, not like you are anyway, but I’m glad you’re making me read these books. I’m really enjoying them. I was really happy being back in this world, but I really missed Sean, at least in the beginning. Holy cow, Dina really does get the difficult guest, right?

Holly: She really does. I love how calm she is under pressure. Vampires and the Hope-Crushing Horde about to rip each other’s faces off? No big deal. Let’s all have some tea. I definitely missed Sean in this book, too, but Dina is a fantastic heroine. I was totally wrapped up in her struggles to get everything ready for the summit.

Rowena: Yessss! She is a really good innkeeper, too. She genuinely cares about people and she takes her job very seriously. I admire the hell out of her for doing her job, even when it’s hard and still doing what she feels is right for her Inn, for her guests and for the people she cares about.

Holly: I do think the story was kind of slow in the middle. I liked this book a lot, but it isn’t my favorite. One Fell Sweep, book 3, is.

Rowena: I didn’t think the story was slow, maybe because this was all new to me? I’m not sure. I just know that as soon as I finished it, I wanted to read the next book pronto so I did.

There was a lot going on in this book and I thought that Andrews did a great job of bringing all of those individual stories together and still giving us romance fans that little, tiny romance that I was itching for from the beginning. I enjoyed this book so much that I couldn’t wait to start the next book…and I did.

Holly: Let’s talk about the individual characters for a minute. What did you think of Orro, the disgraced Red Cleaver Chef Dina hired? Did you adore him like I did?

Rowena: Of course, I did. I loved how ornery and dramatic he was, but I also loved that he took care of Dina and was able to find himself a home at Gertrude Hunt. I’m not going to lie, I was low key hungry after reading every scene he was in….I also wanted to be a guest at the summit so that I can eat the food he prepared. Everything sounded so delicious.

Holly: What about the Arbitrator, George, and his companions, Jack, Gaston and Sophie (for those who are familiar with Andrews’ other works, they’re crossover characters from the The Edge series)? George made me so angry, but in the end I couldn’t hate him.

Rowena: As for George, I was just as mad at him as Dina was at first but in the end, I really liked him and am curious about his story. He makes the hard decisions that nobody wants to make and he really took a lot on himself, as well. That can’t be an easy life to live and yet, he does it. Throw in the drama between him and Sophie, it made my heart go even softer on him.

Holly: Yep, that’s how I felt about George, too. I knew him from the other series, but even so..he made me so angry! In the end, I couldn’t help but love him. I actually liked Jack a lot more than George after reading The Edge series. But here George was the star. I hope we see more from him and his crew later.

Holly: I loved it when Jack sprayed Officer Marais. I almost died laughing.

Rowena: Jack, Gaston and Sophie were good characters but I wasn’t as invested in them as I was George, Arland and that thing that came in and killed those vampires. What was he called again?

Holly: Turin Adin, the Merchants ace. His story broke my heart. I loved him.

Rowena: Also??? Turin Adin, I knew exactly who he was not long after he came onto the scene. The minute he said, “Thank you” all soft like to Dina after she apologized for not protecting him as she should have, I was like, there he is. He’s home…and then I squeed like a little schoolgirl with a crush.

Holly: I knew right away who he really was, too, but Dina’s moment of discovery was so awesome. I loved her reaction and how determined she was to save him.

Rowena: My favorite quote from the entire book was, “Nothing I regret. You’re alive. That makes me happy.” Excuse me while I swoon.

Holly: Oh, how I melted when he said that. My heart got all happy when Dina was like “Oh hell no, you can’t have him”. Sigh.

Rowena: Dude, what about the lengths Dina went to save the Turin Adin??? Talk about heady stuff. I’m so here for that.

Holly: I love how nuanced these characters are. Like Nuan Cee, the head Merchant. I wanted to hate him for refusing to let Turin Adin go, but I couldn’t. His reason for needing Turin Adin was such a good one.

Rowena: Yesss!! I liked that about everyone in the book. They were all driven by something that wasn’t greed (well except for that one house but Turin Adin took care of them real quick like), reasons that were understandable. It would have been so easy to just make them all greedy bastards but I liked how fleshed out each house and each character in this book is.

I’m really coming to love these characters and the world that Ilona Andrews has built for Dina. I love the drawings that are included and all of the drama that comes Dina’s way when she accepts new guests. I felt every emotion that Dina (I was pissed at the damn vampires for coming in the front, I was exasperated with Officer Marais for making things harder for Dina to conduct business and I was nosy as all get out to find out everyone’s stories) felt and that scene where Dina makes them all feel what each other was feeling?? That was pretty awesome. There wasn’t much that I didn’t enjoy about this book. The characters, the stories, the setting, it all worked for me. Great book pimp!

Holly: I love this whole series. Dina is wonderful, so is Gertrude Hunt and all who inhabit or visit. I’m so glad you loved it (is now a good time to say I Told You So?). I’m going to give it a 4.5 out of 5. You?

Rowena: I’m really loving the hell out of these books. I love Dina. I love Sean. Hell, I even love Arland and Gertrude Hunt is the bomb too. I really like that the Inn is a character itself. So much goodness in this book, I give it 4.5 out of 5 too.

Final Grades

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

Innkeeper Chronicles

four-half-stars


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