Tag: NAL Books

Retro-Review: Lover Mine by J.R. Ward

Posted October 4, 2017 by Casee in Reviews | 4 Comments

Retro-Review: Lover Mine by J.R. WardReviewer: Casee
Lover Mine by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #8
Also in this series: Lover Unleashed, Lover at Last, The King, The Shadows, The Beast, Lover Enshrined, The Chosen
Published by NAL
Publication Date: April 27th 2010
Pages: 528
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John Matthew has come a long way since he was found living among humans, his vampire nature unknown to himself and to those around him. After he was taken in by the Brotherhood, no one could guess what his true history was- or his true identity. Indeed, the fallen Brother Darius has returned, but with a different face and a very different destiny. As a vicious personal vendetta takes John into the heart of the war, he will need to call up on both who he is now and who he once was in order to face off against evil incarnate.
Xhex, a symphath assassin, has long steeled herself against the attraction between her and John Matthew. Having already lost one lover to madness, she will not allow the male of worth to fall prey to the darkness of her twisted life. When fate intervenes, however, the two discover that love, like destiny, is inevitable between soul mates.

*****As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews and posts that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.

Holly: I can’t believe this book was released in 2010 and the series is still going. Crazycakes.

This review was originally published June 4, 2010

John Matthew has come a long way since he was found living among humans, his vampire nature unknown to himself and to those around him. After he was taken in by the Brotherhood, no one could guess what his true history was- or his true identity. Indeed, the fallen Brother Darius has returned, but with a different face and a very different destiny. As a vicious personal vendetta takes John into the heart of the war, he will need to call up on both who he is now and who he once was in order to face off against evil incarnate.

Xhex, a symphath assassin, has long steeled herself against the attraction between her and John Matthew. Having already lost one lover to madness, she will not allow the male of worth to fall prey to the darkness of her twisted life. When fate intervenes, however, the two discover that love, like destiny, is inevitable between soul mates.
This is the first book that I’ve really liked since Lover Eternal. As I’ve said numerous times, I loved Dark Lover, really liked Lover Eternal and was so-so with Lover Awakened. I read the rest of the books in the series b/c I’m a glutton for punishment I suppose. I just couldn’t quit (though I went the library route). John Matthew is probably the only character besides Tohr that still interests me. I wonder at the fact that this book was so much better than her previous books. I believe that JRW saw the negative feedback and reversed direction a little. Or maybe we were just long overdue for a good one in the series after the wrecks that were Lover Enshrined and Lover R. ::shrug::

The previous book ended with Xhex being taken by Lash. Lash is the Omega’s son, blahblahblah. He’s still as boring as he was from the first book. He’s not scary, he’s not villainous, he’s just pathetic. First Lash took Xhex to get back at John Matthew, then he “fell in love” with her, which basically means that he wants to own her and thinks that she’s his mate.

For Xhex, her time with Lash is eerily reminiscent of the time she got taken by the sympaths. Her situation really makes you think about how many bad things can really happen to one person.  I know she’s not a person exactly, but Xhex has gone through more than any person (or vampire) should go through.  I never thought that I would think Xhex was anything but bad ass.  Lover Mine showed a whole different side to her and that was before she even got rescued.  One thing that remains clear about Xhex is that she’s a survivor.

John Matthew turned into a total man-whore in the last book.  It was ridiculous.  The guy was fucked up enough as it was.  He’s mute, he was raped, he lost the only mother he ever knew, then he lost the father as well.  Let’s add in man-whore on top of that.  John Matthew’s road was never going to be easy.  That was always clear.  So having him change so drastically over the course of one book was just stoopid.

Everyone should know by now that John Matthew is Darius reincarnated.  It was a little boring when reading Darius’ journals, but there was a point to everything.  Everything comes full circle.  Darius and Tohr were very close and it becomes clear exactly how close.  Darius was a father figure to Tohr in the same way Tohr was to John Matthew.  Tohr gets his head out of his ass in this book too.  Look, I obviously felt horrible when Wellsie died.  The fact that Tohr wasn’t there when John Matthew went through his transition was unforgivable to me.  Tohr finally realizes that staying away really hurt John Matthew.

John Matthew and Xhex were perfect for each other.  I never doubted it.  A lot of readers wanted to see John Matthew and Layla together, which would have been booooo-rrrrrring.  Xhex and JM complimented each other.  I loved how Xhex let John see her softer side.  I also loved how aware John was about that.  He never took anything Xhex said or did for granted.  He was grateful for her for every single second.

Of everything in the book, what Xhex said to John on page 300 was my favorite.  In a few short sentences, she nailed it.

“No, you’ve got it all wrong, John.” Reading his emotions, she shook her head. “You’re not half the male you could be because of what was done to you.  You’re twice what anyone else is because you survived.”

I was pretty impressed that JRW managed to keep it down to less than twenty pov’s. The whole Blay and Qhuinn story didn’t get resolved like I thought it would. I distinctly remembered in one of the chats that she said that something would be resolved. It wasn’t their relationship, that’s for sure. Everything was just as up in the air at the end of the book as it was at the beginning.

I was extremely happy with this book.

4 out of 5.

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

The series:

Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 1)Lover Eternal (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 2)Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 3)Lover Revealed: A Novel of the Black Dagger BrotherhoodLover Unbound (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 5)Lover Enshrined (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 6)Lover Avenged: A Novel of the Black Dagger BrotherhoodLover Mine: A Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood


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Review: Midnight Target by Elle Kennedy

Posted April 25, 2017 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Midnight Target by Elle KennedyReviewer: Casee
Midnight Target by Elle Kennedy
Series: Killer Instincts #8
Also in this series: Midnight Revenge, Midnight Rescue, Midnight Alias, Midnight Games, Midnight Pursuits, Midnight Action, Midnight Revenge, Midnight Captive, Midnight Target
Published by NAL, Signet
Publication Date: April 25th 2017
Genres: Romantic Suspense
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From the New York Times bestselling author of The Score and Midnight Revenge...

Four years ago, Cate’s entire life changed when she discovered she was the daughter of a supersoldier. But Jim Morgan’s overprotectiveness has pushed her away. These days, she’s working as a freelance photographer and living the dangerous life Jim never wanted for her.

When Cate snaps a photo linking a corrupt South American politician with the leader of a notorious drug cartel, her mercenary father leads a team to rescue her—only to get shot and critically wounded in the process.

As Morgan’s operatives rally together on a revenge mission, they’re faced with new alliances and old heartaches. Cate is forced to work with David “Ash” Ashton, the man who broke her heart two years ago, while Liam Macgregor and Sullivan Port resurface after years apart to finally try to deal with everything they’d left unsaid.

Soon it’s all-out war between the cartel and the mercenaries—with two couples caught in the middle of the blood feud. Love and redemption are within their reach...but first they have to make it home alive.

Midnight Target brings the Killer Instincts series to a close. I have to say, I haven’t enjoyed a series as much as this one in quite sometime. It’s sad to see it come to a close.

Cate Morgan has only known her father for five years, but they are alike in every way that counts. They both crave the adrenaline that they know a dangerous job can bring. Morgan wants his daughter to live the normal life that he never had. He wants her to go to college, marry a normal man, live in the suburbs. Cate wants adventure, danger, and love. She’s rebelled against everything that her father wants for her.

Cate is in Guantana where the civil unrest is at an all time high. The military is barely keeping the peace and the drug cartels almost have full control of the country. Cate is there with a colleague taking pictures and she snaps a photo of the most dangerous man in the world. Which might not be a big deal if he wasn’t supposed to be dead. When men come after her, she has no choice but to call her father and his men in for extraction.

When her father is critically wounded while trying to rescue her, Cate is devastated. She’s also furious. She desperately wants to be a part of the operation to strike back at those responsible. Her stepmother, Noelle, is fine with it, but David “Ash” Ashton is far from fine with putting Cate in the line of fire.

I loved Ash. He was spectacular. I completely disliked Cate. She was a spoiled brat. I really liked her in Midnight Action. I thought I would like her in this book, but she was only twenty one. I don’t think she had enough time to grow up.

My favorite part of this book was Liam and Sully. They have been dancing around each other since Midnight Action. Liam was devastated when Sully disappeared. Their love story was told over many of the books, and the conclusion was perfect. Their story is why I loved this book. Elle Kennedy really pushed the envelope with their relationship and I applaud her for that.

Cate and Ash rating: 3 out of 5.

Liam and Sully rating: 4.25 out of 5.


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Joint Review: Moonlight on Nightingale Way by Samantha Young

Posted August 17, 2015 by Rowena in Reviews | 5 Comments

Joint Review: Moonlight on Nightingale Way by Samantha YoungReviewer: Holly and Rowena
Moonlight on Nightingale Way by Samantha Young
Series: On Dublin Street #6
Also in this series: Before Jamaica Lane, Fall From India Place, Fall From India Place, Castle Hill, Echoes of Scotland Street, Moonlight on Nightingale Way, One King's Way, One King's Way, One King's Way
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: June 2nd 2015
Pages: 336
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four-stars

Logan from Echoes of Scotland Street is back with his own smoldering story, as the New York Times bestselling On Dublin Street series returns…
Logan spent two years paying for the mistakes he made. Now, he’s ready to start over. He has a great apartment, a good job, and plenty of women to distract him from his past. And one woman who is driving him to distraction…
Grace escaped her manipulative family by moving to a new city. Her new life, made to suit her own needs, is almost perfect. All she needs to do is find her Mr. Right—or at least figure out a way to ignore her irresistible yet annoying womanizer of a neighbor.
Grace is determined to have nothing to do with Logan until a life-changing surprise slowly begins turning the wild heartbreaker into exactly the kind of strong, stable man she’s been searching for. Only just when she begins to give into his charms, her own messy past threatens to derail everything they’ve worked to build…
From the Trade Paperback edition.

Holly: I was a bit wary going into this book based on the description. Logan as a major player didn’t really work for me based on his actions in the previous book. I’m glad to report that was a small portion of the plot, rather than the main focus. It was more about Grace’s perception of him than his actual actions.

Rowena: I was actually pretty excited for Logan’s book because I wanted to see how Samantha Young tackled the whole ex-con thing where Logan was concerned. I think she did a pretty good job of it. All of her other heroes in this series were pretty stand up guys and Logan was too…until he wasn’t. He went to prison for beating the shit out of someone so bad that he sent the guy to the hospital and put him into a coma. I liked seeing Logan’s life on the outside.

Holly: Yeah, I like that Logan struggled with his actions. He went to prison for a good reason. Though he admitted he was wrong to have done what he did, he couldn’t really regret it. I liked seeing his life on the outside, too. It was easy to understand his struggles to go back to a normal way of life with a record.

Grace was frustrating at first, always jumping to conclusions and thinking the worst of everyone. But I never really disliked her. I did get a couple good laughs out of her anger at Logan’s noisy nighttime activities.

Rowena: I loved Logan and Grace’s arguments before they were really anything. First the thong then the noise and when she finally blows up? I laughed and laughed and laughed. Their story was too freaking cute. I was surprised that she went along with Logan and crap, what’s the daughter’s name? so quickly. I was thinking the exact same thing that both Aidan and the girl best friend were thinking. Are you nuts?

Holly: Okay. I reread the book so I could refresh my memory. I change what I said earlier. Grace didn’t irritate me in the beginning. I just ended up snickering over their fights about how loud Logan was in bed and his “dates” leaving their thongs in the hallway and puke on her doorstep. That was hilarious.

I was surprised when Grace agreed to go with Maia and Logan, too, but I thought it fit the person she was. Especially the kinship she felt with Maia based on the way she herself was raised. I loved that she’d made her own family and Chloe and Aiden were quick to point out she was insane.

Speaking of, they really made a great family. I loved that Aiden was the first person she went to for everything, and that Chloe was constantly threatening to make heads roll on Grace’s behalf.

It was good to see the other On Dublin Street couples again, but I admit to having mixed feelings about the chapters from their POVs at the end of the book. I know she’s wrapping up the series, but I kind of feel like she was just throwing readers a bone. It didn’t feel organic to the story, you know?

Rowena: I really loved that the way that Grace made her own family as she grew up. The family she chose for herself were heaps better then the family she was born into. I would have liked to see some kind of interaction with her Mom, to see just how bad the Mom was but in the end, I was okay that it didn’t happen. Based on her interaction with her Dad, I could use my imagination to figure out how the Mom was.

I really liked the romance between Grace and Logan. I loved that Grace was so wrong about what Logan was feeling for her and when Logan drops the act and just goes after Grace? swoon

Holly: I loved it when he went after her, too. I loved even more that she made him work for it and didn’t just let him back in. He really hurt and humiliated her.

What did you think about Maia wanting Grace and Logan to be together. It was kind of cute, but it was also kind of immature.

Rowena: I thought he was such an idiot for saying that, especially when I knew that he more than liked her.

I enjoyed getting to know Maia, even when I wanted to smack her upside her head for acting like a bratty kid about Logan and Grace so much as looking or going on dates with other people. I mean, I understood and even sympathized with her on certain things. She had a really shitty childhood and she was really brave for striking out and trying to find Logan on her own but I guess it was realistic that she would be bratty sometimes because she is a teenager.

More than anything, I liked Maia. I liked the family unit that she made for herself with Logan and Grace. I loved seeing them fall into a pattern. Going to school and work, coming home and having dinner together and I felt bad for her when that was nipped in the bud because Logan and Grace couldn’t keep it in their pants but I liked the growth we saw in her character from the first time she came into the story until the end.

Holly: I liked how she grew over the course of the novel, too. It did take major guts for her to search out Logan. It showed strength and maturity for her to recognize the situation with her mother as unsalvageable. It just seemed kind of weird to me that she acted out to get Grace an Logan together. I would have thought she wouldn’t want them to be together, especially since she was just getting to know Logan. I didn’t dislike her or anything, it just struck me as odd when she acted out about them.

What did you think of the little slice-of-life chapters we got from the heroines of the other books at the end of this one. On the one hand, it was a nice way to end the series and I liked seeing all the couples together. On the other, this was Logan and Grace’s book, not the whole crew’s book.

Rowena: ​Hmm, I didn’t think about that when I was reading the book but you’re right. It IS weird. You’d think she’d want Logan to herself for a little bit then again, I thought she imprinted on Grace first. At first, she was wary of Logan, maybe even a little scared so maybe that’s why she wanted Grace and Logan together, to make sure Grace stayed with her? Still, she did act bratty.

The little slice of life chapters at the end didn’t bother me since it was…at the end. Had they been peppered throughout the story and took away from Logan and Grace’s book or somehow forced into the story, I would have taken issue with them but I loved getting those chapters. It was like a nice farewell montage.​

Holly: Overall I thought this was a great read and an excellent end to the series. Young went out on a high note. I’m sorry to say goodbye to these characters. I’ve come to think of them as friends I got to spend a few hours with.

I’m going to give it 4 out of 5.

Rowena: Same. I really liked how everything wrapped up from Logan and Grace’s romance, to the other couples and the series as a whole. I’m going to miss these guys.

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

 

four-stars


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Review: The Shadows by J.R. Ward

Posted April 10, 2015 by Casee in Reviews | 15 Comments

Review: The Shadows by J.R. WardReviewer: Casee
The Shadows by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #14, BDB #14
Also in this series: Lover Unleashed, Lover at Last, The King, The Beast, Lover Enshrined, The Chosen, Lover Mine
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: March 31st 2015
Pages: 592
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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one-star

The #1 New York Times bestselling author returns to the world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood as two brothers bound by more than blood fight to change a brutal destiny. Sold by his parents to the Queen of the s’Hisbe as a child, Trez escaped the Territory and has been a pimp and an enforcer for years. On the run from a destiny of sexual servitude, he’s never been able to rely on anyone...except for his brother, iAm. iAm’s sole goal has always been to keep his brother from self-destructing—and he knows he’s failed. It’s not until the Chosen Selena enters Trez’s life that the male begins to turn things around...but by then, it’s too late. The pledge to mate the Queen’s daughter comes due, and there is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and no negotiating. Now Trez must decide whether to endanger himself and others—or abandon the female he loves. When tragedy strikes and changes everything, iAm, in the name of brotherly love, is faced with making the ultimate sacrifice....

 

This is the worst BDB book that I have ever read. The only reason it’s not a DNF is because I bought the book instead of getting it from the library. Forget the series being a train wreck. The was like an explosion. An explosion of epic proportions. Just when you don’t think it can get any worse, it does. Definitely not worth the $12.71 e-book.

The book was mainly concentrated around Trez and iAm, the two Shadows that we’ve seen throughout the series. They both escaped from their people, the s’Hisbe years ago. The s’Hisbe have astrological charts that they follow closely and when Trez and iAm were born (twins), it was read in the stars by the priest that Trez would mate the Princess. Trez wants nothing to do with his people but escape. I don’t blame him. He was going to be a glorified breeder.

Trez and iAm have been living on the outside for years when the s’Hisbe call Trez back to mate with the Princess. The only problem now? Trez has mated with the Chosen Selena which gives him yet another reason not to go back. iAm knows that the Queen’s executioner s’Ex will come after both of them, so he started a plan to run long ago. Then Trez’s mate gets sick. Only a handful of Chosen get what the call the Arrest. Bone grows over their tendons and they are literally all bone. Everyone frantically looks for a cure. The only thing that makes Selena feel better is Trez.

Click for spoilers and my wrath.

View Spoiler »

I also don’t care about this garbage where she explains it all. I don’t care how a book “comes to you”. Nothing about what happened made Trez and Selena’s love more special. Someone flew over the cuckoo’s nest one too many times.

I’m also not a big fan of the Chosen themselves. That was about the only thing I agreed with in the above post. Layla’s pregnant with twins [snooze], Phury’s mate [snooze]. They’re just boring for lack of a better term. They don’t mean to be, I know, but they are. Selena wasn’t boring. Ugh. I’m not bitter, I’m just pissed off. I have stayed with this series since the beginning. Since before there was a message board and the crazy moderators that insulate JRW from us crazies. Back when JRW actually answered her own emails. I even read her other series. So W.T.F.

iAm got his HEA. Yay for him.

Rhage is having panic attacks for the love of God. That wasn’t really addressed. What Brother would have panic attacks? Seriously. Lame much? Don’t try to humanize them. They aren’t human.

The only thing that interests me now is the fighting. I want to see the next time someone tries to take the throne. I want to see what Throe is going to do now that he broke off from Xcor. I want to know what Xcor is going to do now that Xcor broke things off with Layla. Is everyone going to go after Wrath now? I want to know, but I will never, ever buy another of her books. J.R. Ward is firmly in the library category.

1 out of 5.

This book was published by NAL Books. You can buy it here or here in e-format (however, I recommend the library).

one-star


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Guest Review: Hero by Samantha Young

Posted February 11, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Hero by Samantha YoungReviewer: Tracy
Hero by Samantha Young
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: February 3rd 2015
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four-stars

Alexa Holland’s father was her hero—until her shocking discovery that her mother and she weren’t his only family. Ever since, Alexa has worked to turn her life in a different direction and forge her own identity outside of his terrible secrets. But when she meets a man who’s as damaged by her father’s mistakes as she is, Alexa must help him.

Caine Carraway wants nothing to do with Alexa’s efforts at redemption, but it’s not so easy to push her away. Determined to make her hate him, he brings her to the edge of her patience and waits for her to walk away. But his actions only draw them together and, despite the odds, they begin an intense and explosive affair.

Only Caine knows he can never be the white knight that Alexa has always longed for. And when they’re on the precipice of danger, he finds he’ll do anything to protect either one of them from being hurt again....

Tracy’s review of Hero by Samantha Young.

Alexa Holland is shocked when she walks into a photo shoot (she’s the PA to Benito, the photographer) after being on vacation and finds Caine Carraway, millionaire businessman, the subject of the shoot. Alexa is completely shaken as she had found out just months earlier that father had been a major player in Caine’s mothers death many years earlier. She ends up telling Caine who she is right then and there and he ends up firing Benito as the photographer who turns around and fires Alexa.

Alexa wants to apologize to Caine in person for her outburst, but she also wants to let Caine knows that she’s so sorry for her father’s part in his mother’s death, and that she is not the same person as her father. Caine doesn’t want to hear anything that Alexa has to say but he eventually caves and agrees to call Benito to ask him to give Alexa her job back. That doesn’t work as Benito refuses but Alexa still can’t find a job. Caine offers Alexa a job as his PA. She takes the job for a couple of different reasons but finds that Caine is a bastard of a boss. She puts up with it but hates it.

Alexa and Caine eventually have sex but Caine is cold after that. Soon after they agree to begin a sex only relationship but Alexa is falling for Caine and is determined to get though the tough outer shell that Caine has protecting him. Caine, however, has secrets and no matter what Alexa says he’s not willing to let anyone in.

I’ve really loved the books that I’ve read so far from Samantha Young. This is quite different from the On Dublin Street books that I’ve read as the relationship between Alexa and Caine is much more volatile throughout the book than in that other series.

I really liked Alexa in this book, for the most part. I loved her smart ass self and the part of her that stood up to Caine but not so much when she had a bit of a pity party. Did she have reason to have that party? Absolutely but it just didn’t think it fit with the rest of her personality. She did stand up for herself and I loved that about her.

Caine was a tough nut to crack, I must say. He was so mercurial that I wasn’t sure what we were going to get from him from page to page and that made me a bit nuts. When he was the warmer side of Caine I really liked him a lot. When he was the cold bastard – not so much. I kind of wish it hadn’t taken him quite so long to admit his love for Alexa but it is what it is.

The story was definitely unpredictable but that was part of its charm. Young has great story-telling skills as she made me thoroughly enjoy this volatile relationship between Alexa and Caine.

Rating: 4 out of 5

 

This title is available from NAL. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

four-stars


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