Tag: Macmillan

Guest Review: Ice Wolf by Jane Godman

Posted March 9, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Ice Wolf by Jane GodmanReviewer: Tracy
Ice Wolf by Jane Godman
Series: Arctic Brotherhood #1
Published by Macmillan, Swerve
Publication Date: March 7th 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Norse Mythology
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three-stars

They are the Arctic Brotherhood.

They are deadly fighters, fierce protectors and loyal mates.

Elliott Wilder is a mild mannered Alaskan college professor. Wilder craves the things most people find boring. Seclusion. Monotony. Anonymity. But what Wilder craves most of all is the thing he can’t have… memory loss. Four hundred years ago, Wilder and the other members of the Arctic Brotherhood were captured and tortured by the leader of the Siberian werewolves. Wilder is still haunted by memories of that night, when he wasn’t able to protect his leader.

Now the Siberian wolf is on the loose and seeking revenge. Not only must Wilder lead the brotherhood, he must fight the attraction he feels toward its newest recruit, Jenny Piper. Jenny offers Wilder a glimpse of the life he can’t have. As the brotherhood races against time to save humanity from the horror their enemies unleashed on the world, Wilder must reach inside himself to find the leader the brotherhood needs and the mate Jenny craves.

Elliott is an Arctic werewolf.  He was part of the Brotherhood of the Midnight Sun 400 years ago but since that time he’s been by himself.  He is currently working at a university and is shocked when he meets a woman, Jenny Piper, who is an Arctic werewolf as well.  He’s attracted to her but he wants nothing to do with any werewolves or pack so tries to separate himself.  That lasts less than 24 hours as the leader of the Brotherhood, Gunnar, shows up to let him know that the evil Siberian wolf they had put in jail 400 years earlier has escaped and wants revenge.  Elliott wants to ignore it all but he can’t when the previously imprisoned wolf attacks not only him but also Jenny.

Soon Jenny, Elliott and Gunnar are off to fight the battle between good and evil but the evil runs much deeper than any of them believed and it might take a miracle for the Brotherhood to win this battle.

Ice Wolf is the first book in the Arctic Brotherhood series.  The story was fast-paced and pretty action packed from the start of the book.

I liked Elliott despite the fact that he was pretty grumpy at the beginning of the book.  He soon took his place as leader of the Brotherhood and it was just what he needed in order to deal with his PTSD resulting from being tortured 400 years before.  He was a good leader and I felt he did a good job.

Jenny was a fighter and I really liked her.  She had a sunny disposition despite her childhood horrors and I liked her positivity and strength.  She got herself into a bit of a bind during the course of the book but didn’t end up needing the hero to rescue her – she did that herself.  Go Jenny!

The story was a good one, no doubt.  I wish that we could have gotten to know the other members of the Brotherhood a little better.  I think I would be more interested in reading their stories if I had a bit more knowledge of who they are.  Yes the Brotherhood worked together in this book but it was really focused on Elliott and Jenny.  If you like Norse mythology this would be a good one to pick up.  These definitely aren’t your average werewolves, that’s for sure.

Rating: 3 out of 5 

three-stars

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Guest Review: Body Rocks by A.M. Arthur

Posted July 22, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review:  Body Rocks by A.M. ArthurReviewer: Tracy
Body Rocks by A. M. Arthur
Series: Off Beat series #1
Also in this series: Steady Stroke
Published by Macmillan, Swerve
Publication Date: June 28th 2016
Genres: Romance, LGBT, Gay, m/m
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three-half-stars

Everything is finally falling into place for Trey Cooper: his band has been accepted into one of the biggest music competitions in the country...too bad their drummer just quit to play with XYZ, their biggest rival. When Trey has a mind-blowingly hot hookup with a mysterious violinist, Trey definitely plans to see him again – just not on stage as a member of XYZ.

Dominic Bounds’ time to make his musical dreams come true is running out. If something doesn’t happen fast, he has to head home to find a real job. This competition is his last chance, and Dom needs to come out on top – but he never expected to fall for his rival. As Dom and Trey risk everything to begin a secret affair, there’s no denying their chemistry is off the charts – but could their band rivalry turn their romance into a one-hit wonder?

Trey and Dominic meet under unusual circumstances.  Dominic is at an open mic night in Trey’s hometown and he blows Trey away with his violin playing rock songs.  The crowd loves it too and asks for more but Dominic’s not prepared.  Trey, who is a band called Fading Daze is called up to play keyboards with him and the two make magical music together.  It helps that they’re incredibly attracted to each other as well and end up together in a car in the boondocks where it proves to be Trey’s first time. The two – who each normally only do hookups – decide that they really like the other and exchange phone numbers.

The next night Trey hears from his roommates and band members that the band XYZ is in town.  They were the band that stole Fading Daze’s drummer away and left them in a lurch for a huge music competition that they were part of.  The trio decides to check out XYZ and Trey’s shocked when he sees Dominic in the band on keyboard!  Luckily Trey and Dominic like each other enough to work it out between them but they keep the secret from all of their band mates except for Trey’s friend Danielle who just happens to find out about them.

Life isn’t easy trying to keep their relationship on the down low when their bands are rivals but they manage.  Dominic is out and proud but Trey, while he doesn’t exactly hide the fact he’s gay he doesn’t shout it from the mountain tops either.  He has a great rapport with Danielle on stage and while they’ve never said that they were a couple they never dissuaded anyone from believing that.  Trey’s not sure he’s ready to come out and lose fans right before the big competition, Unbound.  When XYZ gets a spot at Unbound as well Trey and Dom are happy that they’ll get to be together but they’re torn about winning.  They each want to win for their own reasons but they want the other to win as well.

When someone at the competition decides that Trey and Dom’s sex life would look good on camera and Trey denies any involvement with Dom things get rocky.  When a secret from Dom’s past comes out and Dom gets emotionally distraught, things get rocky, when a tragic accident stops one of the bands from performing in the national Unbound competition, things get rocky.  Fortunately for these two men their love is strong enough to see things through.

This was a sweet story that was pretty angst-filled. Dom had some serious issues because of something in his past, Trey had a horrible family he didn’t talk to, Dom’s friend Lincoln had been kicked out of his house for being gay, the drummer from Fading Daze was stolen away, there was an accident.  I mean, really, while it was a good m/m story, it was pretty dark as well.  I liked how the two men worked things out eventually but I wish they could have not been so quick with the anger and worked it out easier.  I guess that showed their age as they were just around 21 years old.

I have to say that I really loved the family love when it came to Dominic’s family.  They were the best.  They were kind, loving, understanding, supportive – just all around good people.  I loved that the boys had a safe place where they could be themselves and not worry about the outside world.

The issue I had with the relationship was that since it all happened so quickly there just wasn’t a lot of tension between the two and not a lot of buildup.  I liked them together but quite frankly the sexual tension wasn’t there for me.

Overall I thought it was a decent start to the series.  I am curious to see what happens next in the lives of these band members so I’ll be reading the next book when it comes out.

Rating: 3.25 out of 5

three-half-stars

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Guest Review: How To Be A Good Wife by Emma Chapman

Posted May 16, 2016 by Tina R in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: How To Be A Good Wife by Emma ChapmanReviewer: Tina
How To Be a Good Wife by Emma Chapman
Published by Macmillan
Publication Date: October 15th 2013
Genres: Thrillers, Mystery, Suspense
Pages: 288
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three-stars

How To Be a Good Wife by Emma Chapman is a haunting literary debut about a woman who begins having visions that make her question everything she knows

Marta and Hector have been married for a long time. Through the good and bad; through raising a son and sending him off to life after university. So long, in fact, that Marta finds it difficult to remember her life before Hector. He has always taken care of her, and she has always done everything she can to be a good wife—as advised by a dog-eared manual given to her by Hector's aloof mother on their wedding day.

But now, something is changing. Small things seem off. A flash of movement in the corner of her eye, elapsed moments that she can't recall. Visions of a blonde girl in the darkness that only Marta can see. Perhaps she is starting to remember—or perhaps her mind is playing tricks on her. As Marta's visions persist and her reality grows more disjointed, it's unclear if the danger lies in the world around her, or in Marta herself. The girl is growing more real every day, and she wants something.

Have you ever watched a movie and through most of it you are sitting there wondering what the hell is going on? Well, if you have, then you know the way I felt as I read How To Be A Good Wife by Emma Chapman. I spent most of the book trying to figure it out. And this doesn’t in any way mean that it is a bad book, it just that it kept me guessing through most of it.

The book is about a woman named Marta. She has been with her husband Hector for so long that she feels she can not remember a time when she was not with him. And then we have her son, Kylan, who is off at University and whom she absolutely adores. The book reveals how Marta is a housewife whose husband Hector is an overbearing pig. (In my humble opinion that is..) I could not STAND this man who treated her like she was a child and was set off by the littlest things. She is lonely for her son Kylan who is away and who is also planning to marry soon. She misses him so badly and feels totally lost without him.

We also find out that Marta supposedly has taken medicine for quite a long time and then decides that she is going to stop taking it. She throws it in the trash bin, and is always worried that Hector is going to find out. It seems to me that he is constantly pushing the medicine thing. “Did you take your medicine Marta?” “You know what happens when you don’t take your medicine.” I wanted to jump in the book and tell him to SHUT UP! ( Can you tell how much I despised this character??)

Anyway, Marta starts to have these visions of a girl in a white nightgown. The girl appears at different ages, but is always wearing the same white gown. This is when I started getting confused. Is Marta hallucinating because she isn’t taking her meds, or is something becoming clear to her now that she isn’t medicated?? Then I kept wondering if she is just dreaming…

So we get to a point where Marta finally tries to talk to her son about her visions and her thoughts behind them, but he doesn’t really show any concern. I guess he just figured since his mother had always had “issues” that it was just happening again. It is at this point that I can’t really say anymore without giving spoilers, so you really need to just read it for yourself.

Bottom line….would I recommend this book? Yeah, I think I would. It was definitely a psychological thriller, so if this is a genre you like to read, I say go for it. I have to admit that I had a hard time in the beginning with trying to stick with it as it was rather slow, but then it picks up and got to where I did want to figure out what was going to happen. I really think this was a decent read, I personally just had a bit of a challenge wrapping my head around it.

Grade: 3 out of 5

three-stars

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Guest Review: Riders by Veronica Rossi

Posted January 18, 2016 by Whitley B in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Riders by Veronica RossiReviewer: Whitley
Riders by Veronica Rossi
Series: Riders #1
Published by Macmillan
Publication Date: February 16th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy & Magic, Action & Adventure, General
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Riders. A new fantasy adventure from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Veronica Rossi.
For eighteen-year-old Gideon Blake, nothing but death can keep him from achieving his goal of becoming a U.S. Army Ranger. As it turns out, it does.
Recovering from the accident that most definitely killed him, Gideon finds himself with strange new powers and a bizarre cuff he can't remove. His death has brought to life his real destiny. He has become War, one of the legendary four horsemen of the apocalypse.
Over the coming weeks, he and the other horsemen--Conquest, Famine, and Death--are brought together by a beautiful but frustratingly secretive girl to help save humanity from an ancient evil on the emergence.
They fail.
Now--bound, bloodied, and drugged--Gideon is interrogated by the authorities about his role in a battle that has become an international incident. If he stands any chance of saving his friends and the girl he's fallen for--not to mention all of humankind--he needs to convince the skeptical government officials the world is in imminent danger.
But will anyone believe him?

This book had a great tone, lots of action, and a really creative set up. And, of course, I was tickled pink by the military main character, but I could be a little biased on that part. But I did have a few problems with some of the characters.

The book was told through a framing device: Gideon is recounting the story to an interrogator after he’s been captured. There are short chapters scattered throughout where we come back to the ‘present’ and to Gideon and his predicament. Normally I don’t like framing devices that try and pass the whole book off as someone actually telling it (books are haaaard, ain’t no one going to be that eloquent off the cuff!), but in this case it was easy enough to ignore, and I did like the interjection chapters.

The bulk of the plot is pretty straight-forward. Four boys find out they have super powers (ish) because they are the four horsemen of the apocalypse (ish) and they all need to find each other and protect some sacred item from the demons who want to use it to nefarious ends. Cool, I’m on board, lots of room in that basic set up for rollickin good times. And we got some very nice action and logistics and running around. There was a good pace in this, a sense of tension and anticipation that kept me reading, so much so that it was halfway through the book before I realized…a good quarter of everything going on is just Daryn not telling people anything? It got more prominent in the latter part of the book, which was very annoying. I dislike plots that rely on “I can’t tell you because reasons” to draw things out. I feel like it was unnecessary, too; there was plenty of stuff going on to carry a novel without constantly saying “I’ll tell you a few chapters from now. …because reasons.”

I loved Gideon, especially his anger management issues and the really poignant way the book handled the death of his father. I also very much enjoyed the way the horseman powers were handled, and especially the creative interpretation of Famine. (Actually, Sebastian in general, I loved him.)

I take exception to a couple things, though. First, all the horsemen are…well, men. Now, on the face of it, I don’t mind dudely ensemble stories. Really. I like dude groups, it’s cool. But when you’ve got all your main characters as dudes, you need to fill out the rest of the cast with some strong ladies. In Riders we get…Daryn. Daryn’s contribution to the plot could be replaced with a broken cell phone. Her role is to relay information from the Powers That Be…and that’s it. She’s a passive receiver who does nothing else. She just shows up, says “you’re a horseman, I’m not going to tell you what that means because your brain would explode or something, let’s go get the next guy now,” and that’s the end of her involvement in the book’s central plot. Our only other female characters are an interrogator who is little more than a sounding board, a mother and a sister who are gone after the first few chapters, and two female demons who never get speaking lines. The plot-moving roles in this book are full of sausage.

Second, Marcus. He’s the only POC character in the book, and he’s reduced to a surly figure with very few speaking lines and little development beyond “Gideon hates him.” Those two get in fistfights constantly for no discernible reason, which is fine, boys are stupid and Gideon has War-super-powers that screw things up. But that’s it. That’s all of Marcus’s character. We learn nothing else about him. He’s a violent black man with a violent past who doesn’t talk and gets called a psychopath on more than one occasion. Playing true to some really uncomfortable stereotypes, there, book.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars

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MacMillan Launches New Romance Community Site!

Posted February 14, 2011 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments


Did you guys hear about the new MacMillan romance community site, Heroes and Heartbreakers?

Well, here’s what MacMillan had to say about the new romance community:

Heroes and Heartbreakers (H&H) brings together original stories, pre-release excerpts, blog posts, giveaways and more in a publisher-neutral environment, which means romance content from all publishers, imprints and authors will be featured on the site.

Sounds pretty rad, don’t you think? The site launches today so make sure you stop on by and check things out for yourself. Any site that is dedicated to the growth of the romance community gets two thumbs up from me, so join me while I go and see what they have to offer over there.

See you over there!

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