Tag: Netgalley

Throwback Thursday Review: Shadow Woman by Linda Howard

Posted September 10, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Shadow Woman by Linda HowardReviewer: Rowena
Shadow Woman by Linda Howard
Publisher: Ballantine
Publication Date: December 26, 2012
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 352
Add It: Goodreads
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three-stars

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
From Linda Howard comes a thrilling and sensual new novel of romance, suspense, intrigue . . . and memories that can kill. SHADOW WOMAN  Lizette Henry wakes up one morning and makes a terrifying discovery: She doesn’t recognize the face she sees in the mirror. She remembers what she looks like, but her reflection is someone else’s. To add to the shock, two years seem to have disappeared from her life. Someone has gone to great and inexplicable lengths to keep those missing years hidden forever. But the past always finds a way to return.   Strange memories soon begin to surface and, along with them, some unusual skills and talents that Lizette hasn’t a clue about acquiring. Sensing that she’s being monitored, Lizette suddenly knows how to search for bugs in her house and tracking devices in her car. What’s more, she can elude surveillance—like a trained agent.   Enter a mysterious and seductive stranger named Xavier, who claims he wants to help—but who triggers disturbing images of an unspeakable crime of which Lizette may or may not be the perpetrator. With memories returning, she suddenly becomes a target of anonymous assassins. On the run with nowhere to hide, Lizette has no choice but to rely on Xavier, a strong and magnetic man she doesn’t trust, with a powerful attraction she cannot resist. As murky waters become clear, Lizette confronts a conspiracy that is treacherous and far-reaching and a truth that, once revealed, may silence her and Xavier once and for all.
BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Linda Howard's Running Wild.
Praise for Shadow Woman  “Dazzling . . . From the opening line, [Shadow Woman] will grab readers and take them on an exhilarating and terrifying adventure!”—RT Book Reviews   “Fast-paced, intricately detailed romantic suspense . . . Readers won’t want to put it down until the extraordinary conclusion. . . . Highly recommended.”—Fresh Fiction   “An intriguing plot and captivating characters [with] lots of drama, tension, intrigue and suspense.”—The Star-Ledger

This review was originally posted on January 23, 2013.

It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book by Linda Howard.  I don’t even remember the last book that I read by Howard but whatever it was, I read it a while ago.  I was kind of wary going into this read because I read online that a chunk of readers were disappointed in this book and I also read that the hero and heroine don’t even come together (like talk to each other) until more than halfway through the book.  So yeah, I was scared to start this one.

Having read it from cover to cover now, I can say that the readers were right that the hero and heroine talk to each other (as love interests) for the first time at about the 70% mark on my Kindle copy.  But I wasn’t too mad about that, I was actually very interested in what was going on in the story that I didn’t mind too much.

This story takes place in DC and follows Lizette Henry as she tries to remember the life that brought her to where she is today.  She wakes up one morning and doesn’t recognize the face that is looking back at her in the mirror.  Things aren’t adding up to what she knows and she starts to remember how to do things that she can’t remember learning so a huge chunk of this book is trying to find out what happened to Lizette that brought her here and so on and so forth.

Lizette is known as Subject C to the people that are monitoring her.  Her entire life is bugged.  There isn’t a part of her life that isn’t carefully monitored and Lizette doesn’t have any idea why.  When flashbacks start coming in, Lizette starts relying on old habits that she doesn’t remember but knows how to do anyway.  When the bullets start flying, Liz is on her own until the guy that she’s been dreaming about, X shows up and at first she doesn’t trust him because he shows up with guns and he’s chasing her and blah blah blah but that changes after they finally talk.

I enjoyed this story but I will admit that it was really slow in the beginning.  It took me a while to really get into the story but by about the fifth or sixth chapter, things picked up and things got interesting.  I enjoyed the characters and I enjoyed the putting the puzzle pieces together.  This book was kind of like The Hangover, the Secret Service edition.  Lots of action, not a lot of romance but still an enjoyable read.  I would have liked to get to know Xavier a bit more but aside from that, this was a good read.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

three-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: A Summer Like No Other by Elodie Nowodazkij

Posted August 13, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Throwback Thursday Review: A Summer Like No Other by Elodie NowodazkijReviewer: Rowena
A Summer Like No Other by Elodie Nowodazkij
Series: Broken Dreams #1.5
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: July 30, 2015
Genres: Young Adult
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two-half-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

She’s his best friend’s little sister. He’s the biggest player of them all.

They shouldn’t be together. But this summer’s just too tempting.

Sixteen-year-old Emilia Moretti’s goal for the summer is simple: forget her brother’s best friend—Nick Grawsky—ever existed. It should be easy: He’s spending his summer in the Hamptons, adding girls in tiny bikinis to his list of broken hearts. Guarantee he won’t be telling them they’re like his little sisters. This summer, Emilia won’t stay awake at night thinking about him. She’ll need flawless ballet movements to have a shot at next year’s showcase, and she’s finally ready to search for her birth parents. But when Nick decides to stay in the city, Emilia’s resolve disappears in a pirouette. Maybe it’s the spin they needed to be together. As long as she doesn’t get stuck believing in happily ever after…

Nick is tired of pretending to be the happy, let’s-have-fun guy. His father wants him to change his career from professional dancer to…lawyer. He needs to put all of his focus on dancing to prove to Daddy Dearest he’s good enough to make it big. And he may have a case of the bluest balls in history courtesy of Emilia. She’s off-limits: The bro code with Roberto even forbids the dirty thoughts he has about her. Besides, he’s not boyfriend material. He only has time for flings, for girls who don’t expect much, for girls he doesn’t want to kiss goodnight. He knows he should resist her, but he’s not sure he wants to…

At least for this summer.

It’s going to be a summer like no other.

This review was originally published on August 6, 2015.

This was a quick read.

I wanted to read this one because it sounded like a cute summer read that I could sink into for a couple of hours and wouldn’t bog me down with angst and what not. I thought I could dive right in and enjoy a cute story and while I did like it, I didn’t exactly love it.

Em’s father got fired from his job so their summers in the Hamptons are a thing of the past. She’s stuck in the city for the summer and can’t stop thinking about her brother’s best friend, Nick who is probably sun-bathing and flirting with every girl in a bikini nearby – out in the Hamptons. She’s shocked as all get out when Nick walks into her rehearsal room to practice his own dancing. Turns out, Nick didn’t head out to the Hamptons either and when he starts showing genuine interest in Em, things get interesting.

This is a short story so things happened pretty fast. It’s implied that Em and Nick have a history together. A history of friendship with crushes on both parts. A crush that Em thinks is not returned and a crush that Nick can’t act on because of promises made to Em’s brother Roberto. For such a short story, there’s a lot going on. There’s the relationship brewing between Em and Nick, there’s the secrets that Nick doesn’t tell Em about then there’s the secrets that Nick and Em’s fathers are keeping about Em’s real mother. See? Lots of things going on…and when all is said and done, I don’t feel like much of anything got resolved. The ending felt more of the “read the next book to see what happens” kind of ending and I didn’t really dig that. It’s one thing to tease but this felt more like a build up that just stopped.

I also wasn’t much of a fan of Nick keeping that Jen secret, Nick’s Dad and then all of the secrets that both his Dad and Em’s Dad kept from…everyone.

This book wasn’t a bad book, it was a solid story with characters that were interesting but more than anything, I was left wanting more and not in a good way. Does that make sense?

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

two-half-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: The Secret of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorensen

Posted August 29, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: The Secret of Ella and Micha by Jessica SorensenReviewer: Rowena
The Secret of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorensen
Series: The Secret #1
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: February 12th 2013
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 320
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

Ella and Micha have been best friends since they were kids. But one tragic night shatters their friendship and their lives forever.

Ella used to be a rule-breaker with fiery attitude who wore her heart on her sleeve. But she left everything behind when she went to college and transformed into someone that follows the rules, keeps everything together, and hides all her problems. But now it's summer break and she has nowhere else to go but home.

Ella fears everything she worked so hard to bury might resurface, especially with Micha living right next door. If Micha tries to tempt the old her back, she knows that it will be hard to resist.

Micha is sexy, smart, confident, and can get under Ella’s skin like no one else can. He knows everything about her, including her darkest secrets. And he’s determined to bring his best friend, and the girl he loves back, no matter what it takes.

(New Adult Contemporary)*Mature Content** Recommended for ages 17+ due to sexual situations and language.

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

This review was originally posted on Apr 17, 2013

This story is filled with secrets up to my ears and I spent a good deal of this book, confused.  I was trying to figure out what happened, why they weren’t talking about it and yet, I couldn’t put this book down.  I thought this book was written exactly the way that it was supposed to be written because I was so wrapped up in Ella and Micha’s world that I was sad when it all came to an end.

Ella and Micha are best friends and have been best friends since they were children.  They’ve also got some big time feelings for each other but for reasons that belong to the both of them, they’ve never gotten together.  They’ve never been an official couple.  When Ella’s mother dies, things happen and Ella runs away.  She runs away from her home, from her friends and from Micha.  Nobody knows where Ella went, except for her Dad and he’s not telling anyone, anything and that, more than anything, pisses Micha off.

The story takes place eight months later.  It’s summer time and with nowhere to go for the summer, Ella has no choice but to go back home and face the music that is sure to be waiting for her when she gets back.

Throughout this whole story, I was engaged.  My heart, my emotions, my mind, it was all focused on the characters in this book.  I couldn’t put it down.  The book isn’t a very long read anyway but I still inhaled it.  I came to love both Ella and Micha so much as well as Ethan and Lila.

Ella and Micha together made sense and man, the amount of love and passion that Micha showed for Ella, holy cow…it was fantastic!  He was my very favorite part of this book and I cannot freaking wait until the next book.  There were a few times when I wanted to strangle Ella and Dean and Ella’s Dad but overall, the story was a great read. I highly recommend.

Rating: 4.75 out of 5

The Secret


four-half-stars


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Guest Lightning Review: Highland Valentine by C.A. Szarek

Posted May 15, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Lightning Review: Highland Valentine by C.A. SzarekReviewer: Tracy
Highland Valentine (Highland Secrets #4) by C.A. Szarek
Series: Highland Secrets #4
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: March 31, 2017
Format: eARC
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 105
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three-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

A Highland Secrets Story!

Jules MacDonald thought her happily-ever-after was secure with her barbarian laird. She journeyed through time, to seventeenth century Scotland in search of her sister, and fell in love with Hugh MacDonald.

Her forever started over a year ago when she decided to stay. Now she’s expecting her first child, and can’t be happier. The problem is her husband doesn’t share her joy.

After losing his first wife and wee son in childbirth, every day his sweet Juliette’s stomach grows is proof of her probable demise. Memories haunt Hugh and he closes himself off from her, rather than deal with the pain.

Jules is devastated by losing the man she loves, when he’s right beside her. She seeks refuge with her sister’s clan, the MacLeods, in an effort to bear her child where they’ll both be loved and wanted.

Hugh must face his worst fears to win back his wife and child before she flees to the future. Or will he be too late?

Jules is heartbroken.  She loves her husband dearly, but he has been cold and distant since she told him she was pregnant – in fact he hasn’t touched her at all since then.  She’s tried to talk to him, but he won’t talk to her about what’s bothering him.  Jules knows that she can’t live like this any longer so she makes arrangements to head to her sister’s home.  She hopes that Hugh will stop her when she tells him she’s leaving, but he just lets her go.

I saw this novella on NetGalley and it sounded cute.  No, I hadn’t read any of the books in the Highland Secrets series so I hadn’t met Hugh and Jules before.  I might have had different feelings about the book had I done so.  To a point I understood what Jules was feeling.  I got the impression that she’d tried to talk to Hugh about his attitude but had she sat him down and said, “Hey buddy, I’m outta here if you don’t shape up!” would things have been different?  Would he have broken out of his fear of losing her in childbirth like he did his first wife and child? IDK.  I didn’t really care for Hugh in this story – maybe because I’d never seen the wonderful, loving side of him that I’m sure was shown to readers in the couple’s full-length love story.

Despite not really knowing the characters it was a sweet story that I enjoyed reading.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Highland Secrets

three-stars


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Review: Midnight Revenge by Elle Kennedy

Posted February 8, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Midnight Revenge by Elle KennedyReviewer: Rowena
Midnight Revenge by Elle Kennedy
Series: Killer Instincts #7
Also in this series: Midnight Rescue, Midnight Alias, Midnight Games, Midnight Pursuits, Midnight Action, Midnight Revenge, Midnight Captive, Midnight Target, Midnight Target
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: February 2nd 2016
Genres: Suspense
Pages: 384
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

From the USA Today bestselling author of Midnight Captive, the latest Killer Instincts novel is “off-the-charts-hot”* romantic suspense that takes readers into the heart of an enigmatic mercenary...

Out of all the stone-cold mercenaries in Jim Morgan's black ops organization, Derek “D” Pratt is the most intimidating. He is tight-lipped and covered in tattoos, and even the other guys on his team are afraid to ask him about his past. D’s been off the grid for years, but after his teammate Sullivan is mistakenly captured in his place, D is forced to come out of hiding and face his demons.   When D lands in Mexico, he’s ready to risk everything to save his friend. To complicate matters, Sofia Amaro, a feisty doctor whom D had a one-night stand with months ago, has tracked him down. And in an instant she’s unintentionally caught up in his life-threatening rescue mission.   Now D must extract not one but two people from the most violent world he's ever encountered. And one of them is carrying his child...

Ladies and gentlemen, we are finally getting Derek Pratt’s story. The silent, mysterious asshole dude is finally getting his story told and as soon as I could, I was all over this book because I’ve been waiting 6 books for it. There were times when I thought I didn’t want D’s story because he was such a dickhead asshole to everyone on the team.

He’s used to working alone and prefers it that way but man, my curiosity over him and his background grew and grew until I had ants in my pants and I couldn’t wait to start it. Now that I’m done with the book, I’m quite satisfied. It was everything that I wanted and expected from D’s book and even though Sofia got on my hot damn nerves in the beginning, I came around where her character was concerned.

So this book picks up after Midnight Captive and if you remember from the end of Midnight Captive, someone from the team was taken captive and the people that took this team member thought he was D so fast forward to now and it’s months later and we’re no closer to getting the team member back and one of the other teammates is barely holding it together because he blames himself but holy crap, that whole part of the story really broke my heart.

I won’t lie and say that this was the perfect read because it wasn’t. There were times in the beginning when I wanted to pull Sofia’s hair (because she’s pregnant, I didn’t want to smack her) because she got herself into unnecessary trouble. I get that she’s strong and independent but I can’t stand heroines who put themselves in danger and don’t listen to reason. It pisses me off but D gets them out of danger eventually so I came around but holy cow was I pissed at both Sofia and Liam. Both were emotionally driven in this one and I wanted to smack some sense into both of them in the beginning.

I really dug digging into D’s past and finding out what happened to make him the way that he is now. His character has always been tinged with a burning rage that at times was off putting for me but holy cow, I thought I was prepared for everything going into this read but I wasn’t. At all. I loved getting to know D, I loved understanding why he was the way that he was and I loved seeing the softer side that D didn’t understand himself with Sofia. I liked seeing him soften over the course of the book. We got different sides of D in this book and I liked it all.

Overall, this was a great addition to the series. I wasn’t prepared to like this book as much as I did but I’m glad that Kennedy surpassed my expectations. I will be sorely disappointed if Liam and Sully don’t end up together but I think Kennedy will give them the happy ending they both deserve and I’m looking forward to that. This was a good book so go and read it!

Reading Order:

Midnight Rescue
Midnight Alias
Midnight Games
Midnight Pursuits
Midnight Action
Midnight Captive
Midnight Revenge

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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