Tag: Penguin

Review: Blitzed by Alexa Martin

Posted December 3, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Blitzed by Alexa MartinReviewer: Rowena
Blitzed by Alexa Martin
Series: The Playbook #3
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: December 3, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 320
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

Maxwell has finally met an opponent that he can't best in this new football romance from the author of Fumbled.

According to Brynn Larson, Maxwell Lewis is more trouble than he's worth. She doesn't care if he's a football god with a rock-hard body that brings most women to their knees. After an encounter that ends poorly, she's not interested in giving him a second chance. The last thing Brynn expects is for him to turn up at her bar months later, hat in hand. It doesn't matter if he brings more customers to her business--she's still not going on a date with him.

Maxwell knows he made a mistake. He'd been waiting to make his move on Brynn since the day he laid eyes on her and he was finally ready to go for it until he screwed up. He wishes he could tell her the truth about what happened that night, but he just can't. He can't tell anyone, so he'll make amends and hope she'll forgive him.

Brynn's not like other women, though. Playing for the Mustangs doesn't impress her and gifts make her scoff. Max will have to bring his A game if he hopes to win her over.

Blitzed is the third book in Alexa Martin’s The Playbook series. It follows the owner of the women’s bar, Hers, Brynn Larson as she falls in love with Denver Mustang, Maxwell Lewis. Their story wasn’t an easy story because it just about ended before it even started and the telling of this story is on the slow side so it was hard to stay invested in what was the characters were going through because of that. I spent a huge chunk of this book waiting for something, anything to happen and when things started to pick up, I had almost given up on the story as a whole.

In the previous book, I liked Brynn a great deal. I loved the idea behind her bar, Hers, and I really loved her personality but I struggled with her in this book when she’s front and center of all of the action. She was really whiny and I didn’t understand why for a lot of this book and I wasn’t a big fan of the conflict between them. When we first see these two together, Maxwell receives a phone call that shakes him up pretty bad that he behaves in a way that scares the crap out of Brynn but instead of being scared, Brynn gets mad. I could have understood that and even accepted it but it came off as too whiny and it bugged the snot out of me. Don’t even get me started on the Theo thing.

Then there was Maxwell. When we first meet him, my initial thought was that he was a sweetie pie. A giant teddy bear with a heart of gold but then that scene at Hers happens and we spend quite a long time not knowing what happened to cause him to lose his shit the way that he did and if I’m being honest, I didn’t dig that whole thing. I didn’t dig the fact that he threw his phone and nearly took Brynn’s head off, I didn’t like that he spent a long-ass time not being able to talk about everything but even though there were times when I wanted to shake some sense into Maxwell, I never hated him. I never wanted him to not get his shit together and get the girl in the end but I don’t know, I guess I just wanted a different story for Brynn and Maxwell.

I will say that Alexa Martin brought the magic with the female friendships, and the whole reality shows stuff because I adored all of that. I loved how strong the friendships between all of the Mustangs women were. I loved how supportive they were of each other and how sure I was that they each had each other’s backs. They were loyal to each other and they cared and you saw it. You felt it. You understood it. That was my favorite thing about this book and even though the romance didn’t live up to the hype that I gave it leading up to my reading the book, I’m still looking forward to more books in this series. I’m crossing my fingers that we’ll get more books and that we’ll get a book for Eloise.

Final Grade

3.25 out of 5

The Playbook

three-stars


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Review: Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore

Posted October 31, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Bringing Down the Duke by Evie DunmoreReviewer: Rowena
Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore
Series: A League of Extraordinary Women #1
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: September 3, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 356
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A stunning debut for author Evie Dunmore and her Oxford Rebels, in which a fiercely independent vicar's daughter takes on a duke in a fiery love story that threatens to upend the British social order.

England, 1879. Annabelle Archer, the brilliant but destitute daughter of a country vicar, has earned herself a place among the first cohort of female students at the renowned University of Oxford. In return for her scholarship, she must support the rising women's suffrage movement. Her charge: recruit men of influence to champion their cause. Her target: Sebastian Devereux, the cold and calculating Duke of Montgomery who steers Britain's politics at the Queen's command. Her challenge: not to give in to the powerful attraction she can't deny for the man who opposes everything she stands for.

Sebastian is appalled to find a suffragist squad has infiltrated his ducal home, but the real threat is his impossible feelings for green-eyed beauty Annabelle. He is looking for a wife of equal standing to secure the legacy he has worked so hard to rebuild, not an outspoken commoner who could never be his duchess. But he wouldn't be the greatest strategist of the Kingdom if he couldn't claim this alluring bluestocking without the promise of a ring...or could he?

Locked in a battle with rising passion and a will matching her own, Annabelle will learn just what it takes to topple a duke....

After reading the blurb to this book, I was curious but not all that sure that I would actually read it. I’m glad that I gave this one a chance because it was a smart romance with complex characters that I really came to love. I really struggled with the hero early on but I’m glad that I stuck with the story because not only did I warm up to Sebastian, but I really came to love him and Annabelle together. Evie Dunmore wrote a lovely story for these two and she set up the next book just right because I’m all in for that one. I can’t wait to jump into that one.

Our heroine, Miss Annabelle Archer is a fiercely independent woman who fights extremely hard to get into the University of Oxford and she’s one of the very few women that are selected to go to school there. She takes that very seriously because her success in school is her ticket out of the life that she’s living now. She’s poor and all alone in the world except for a cousin who uses her as an unpaid Jane of all trades. She cleans, she watches his kids, she’s a lady’s maid to his wife and Annabelle has to scheme to go to school because her cousin can’t afford to send her and wouldn’t spend the money on her even if he could afford it. So when Annabelle gets a scholarship to go, she makes sure that she’s there and she makes sure that she does what she is supposed to do to keep her scholarship. What does she need to do, you ask? She needs to support the women’s suffrage movement and she needs to find some support amongst the males in England.

Sebastian Devereaux is the Duke of Montgomery and he’s on a mission to get back everything that his father squandered away. It’s taken him years but he’s put a huge dent in the list of properties that his father lost and one of the last remaining properties is the big one, the one that he won’t rest until he gets back and the Queen of England gives him an almost impossible task in exchange for…that property.

Things get interesting when Sebastian and Annabelle cross paths. They’re at cross purposes but the chemistry between them burns hot. I wasn’t a huge fan of the way that Sebastian treated Annabelle at first and boy did I connect with the way that Annabelle handled that meeting at Sebastian’s house because I would have done the exact same thing. Sebastian’s attitude was obviously the attitude of the aristocracy and was completely in line with how I figured all the Dukes from that time acted but it was still hard to take at times. I wanted to kick him in the balls more than a few times throughout the book but boy does he win me over by the end of the book. I really enjoyed seeing him and Annabelle fall in love with each other and I just enjoyed the way that we saw them fall in love. It wasn’t instantly, it was done really well and I appreciated Evie Dunmore’s efforts in showing us how their friendship grew into the love they shared in the end.

I also enjoyed the secondary characters and am looking forward to reading Lucie and Tom’s book. This book was a good one and I think everyone should give it a try because it’s smart, the characters are a fun bunch and the romance between Sebastian and Annabelle was delightful and steamy. You can’t really ask for more. I definitely recommend.

Final Grade

4 out of 5

A League of Extraordinary Women

Untitled #2

four-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: Archangel’s War by Nalini Singh

Posted September 22, 2019 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 5 Comments

Sunday Spotlight: Archangel’s War by Nalini SinghArchangel's War by Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #12
Also in this series: Archangel's Kiss, Archangel's Kiss, Archangel's Consort, Archangel's Blade, Archangel's Consort, Archangel's Storm, Archangel's Storm (Guild Hunter #5), Archangel's Legion, Archangel's Legion (Guild Hunter #6), Archangel's Shadows, Archangel's Shadows, Archangel's Enigma (Guild Hunter, #8), Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter #1), Archangel's Heart, Archangel's Heart, Archangel's Heart (Guild Hunter, #9), Archangel's Kiss, Angels' Blood, Archangel's Viper (Guild Hunter, #10), Archangel's Viper, Archangel's Prophecy, Archangel's Consort (Guild Hunter, #3), Archangel's Prophecy, Archangel's War, Archangel's War
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: September 24, 2019
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

Wings of silver. Wings of blue. Mortal heart. Broken dreams. Shatter. Shatter. Shatter. A sundering. A grave. I see the end. I see. . .

The world is in chaos as the power surge of the Cascade rises to a devastating crescendo. In furiously resisting its attempts to turn Elena into a vessel for Raphael’s power, Elena and her archangel are irrevocably changed. . .far beyond the prophecy of a cursed Ancient.

At the same time, violent and eerie events around the world threaten to wipe out entire populations. And in the Archangel Lijuan’s former territory, an unnatural fog weaves through the land, leaving only a bone-chilling silence in its wake. Soon it becomes clear that even the archangels are not immune to this deadly evil. This time, even the combined power of the Cadre may not be enough. . .

This war could end them all.

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

After Archangel’s Prophecy left us hanging, we’ve all been dying to read Archangel’s War. Soon, my pretties. Soon. In the meantime, here’s a little snippet for your enjoyment.

Sunday Spotlight: Archangel’s War by Nalini SinghArchangel's War by Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #12
Also in this series: Archangel's Kiss, Archangel's Kiss, Archangel's Consort, Archangel's Blade, Archangel's Consort, Archangel's Storm, Archangel's Storm (Guild Hunter #5), Archangel's Legion, Archangel's Legion (Guild Hunter #6), Archangel's Shadows, Archangel's Shadows, Archangel's Enigma (Guild Hunter, #8), Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter #1), Archangel's Heart, Archangel's Heart, Archangel's Heart (Guild Hunter, #9), Archangel's Kiss, Angels' Blood, Archangel's Viper (Guild Hunter, #10), Archangel's Viper, Archangel's Prophecy, Archangel's Consort (Guild Hunter, #3), Archangel's Prophecy, Archangel's War, Archangel's War
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: September 24, 2019
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

Wings of silver. Wings of blue. Mortal heart. Broken dreams. Shatter. Shatter. Shatter. A sundering. A grave. I see the end. I see. . .

The world is in chaos as the power surge of the Cascade rises to a devastating crescendo. In furiously resisting its attempts to turn Elena into a vessel for Raphael’s power, Elena and her archangel are irrevocably changed. . .far beyond the prophecy of a cursed Ancient.

At the same time, violent and eerie events around the world threaten to wipe out entire populations. And in the Archangel Lijuan’s former territory, an unnatural fog weaves through the land, leaving only a bone-chilling silence in its wake. Soon it becomes clear that even the archangels are not immune to this deadly evil. This time, even the combined power of the Cadre may not be enough. . .

This war could end them all.

Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt #2 from Archangel’s War by Nalini Singh

It had taken Montgomery a year. He’d asked if he could go to Neha’s court, to Titus’s, to Uram’s, to Lijuan’s, so he could see examples of an archangelic home and Raphael had sent him off with suave and sophisticated Trace as a guide.

Montgomery had come back with painstakingly knotted silk carpets from India, wall hangings from Africa, a hand-carved settee from the hinterland of Uram’s territory, artisan-painted screens from China.

He’d also returned with a statuette he’d found “abandoned” in Neha’s court.

It had taken Raphael two decades to realize that Montgomery had “rescued” the item because it wasn’t being appreciated. By then, the vampire was running his home with elegant efficiency and his tendency to rescue items now and then was a small peccadillo. Raphael quietly returned what needed to be returned, and Montgomery continued to ensure his house was a stunning showpiece in the formal areas—and a welcoming haven elsewise.

Emerging into the sunshine on that thought, he told both Illium and the Primary to clear the skies and to ensure no one had returned to nearby homes since their earlier evacuation. “I do not foresee a second explosion but let us not take any chances.”

Only once the two confirmed the area remained devoid of unauthorized life did Raphael drop back down into the chasm. Halting a quarter of the way up from the bottom, he began to surgically target the walls with his power. What emerged from his hands was a melding of vivid blue and lightning-shot gold.
The archangel he had been and the archangel he was becoming.

He had to recalculate after the first hit did more damage than good; his power was violently strong, more so than prior to the chrysalis. It took him three strikes to gain an accurate gauge of what was needed. The chasm began to crumple inward with slow grace below him as he flew up, continuing to weaken the walls as he went.

This time when he shot out into the fall sunshine, it was to turn and see the scar in the earth collapsing behind him. The rumble of sound was huge and dull, and it seemed that the soil moved in slow motion. But dust soon puffed into the air, the rumble ceasing as the earth settled. Loosened by his strikes, much of the compacted soil had released itself back into the chasm, but a significant dent remained.

© Copyright 2019 by Nalini Singh

Guild Hunter Series

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: September 2019

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About Nalini Singh

I've been writing as long as I can remember and all of my stories always held a thread of romance (even when I was writing about a prince who could shoot lasers out of his eyes). I love creating unique characters, love giving them happy endings and I even love the voices in my head. There's no other job I would rather be doing. In September 2002, when I got the call that Silhouette Desire wanted to buy my first book, Desert Warrior, it was a dream come true. I hope to continue living the dream until I keel over of old age on my keyboard.

I was born in Fiji and raised in New Zealand. I also spent three years living and working in Japan, during which time I took the chance to travel around Asia. I’m back in New Zealand now, but I’m always plotting new trips. If you’d like to see some of my travel snapshots, have a look at the Travel Diary page (updated every month).

So far, I've worked as a lawyer, a librarian, a candy factory general hand, a bank temp and an English teacher and not necessarily in that order. Some might call that inconsistency but I call it grist for the writer's mill.


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Throwback Thursday Review: Warrior Ascended by Addison Fox

Posted August 22, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Warrior Ascended by Addison FoxReviewer: Casee
Warrior Ascended by Addison Fox
Series: Sons of the Zodiac #1
Publisher: Signet
Publication Date: March 2, 2010
Pages: 384
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

View our feature on Addison Fox’s Warrior Ascended.First in the dark and sexy paranormal romance seriesStarring the immortal warriors of the zodiac

Charming, proud, and impulsive, Leo Warrior Brody Talbot is fighting what may be his final battle. Enyo, the Goddess of War, plans to fulfill an ancient prophecy to destroy humanity by harnessing the dark power of the Summoning Stones of Egypt. There's only one person who knows enough about the stones to help Brody stop her-beautiful museum curator Ava Harrison.

Never in all his centuries has Brody met a woman who enthralls him like Ava. But, bound to protect her, he struggles to deny his passion as they are drawn into a dark and dangerous final reckoning between good and evil.

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

Holly: Isn’t it funny how we find a book or author we love, then forget to look out for the next book in the series? I think that’s what happened to Casee with this series.

This review was originally posted on Aug 11, 2010.

After all the mythology in the last book I read, I wasn’t too sure about reading this one. Then I went onto Amazon and looked at the average stars. I didn’t read the reviews, just the stars. Sometimes that is my go-to when I get all wishy-washy can’t decide between one book and another. I’m glad I did b/c this book was amazeballs and how did I miss Addison Fox and where are you Addison Fox?

On a day long, long ago (like a millennium), Themis went to Zeus with an idea. Create some warriors to help the humans that were going to get themselves killed (stupid little buggers) and give his daughter, Enyo the Goddess of War, a little fun. A play date if you will. Zeus still feels bad about the whole Hera situation so he agrees to Themis’ request. He never realizes that the fine print will come back to bite his daughter in the ass.

So why does Themis want her own warriors to help the humans? She’s the Goddess of Justice. Mother to the Three Fates. Before you start screeching, remember that this isn’t Sherrilyn Kenyon’s world. It’s Addison Fox’s. Where are you, Addison Fox? In Addison Fox’s world, Themis and the Three Fates are good. Warrior Ascended is the story of the Leo warrior.

Brody is an archeologist that is on a dig protecting something when something actually becomes something. An ancient map that tells how to bring six stones together for ultimate power over the earth. His job as one of Themis’ warriors is to not allow that to happen. It’s not quite as easy as just stealing the map, so the next best thing to do is go to the stones.

Ava Harrison has always felt an aversion to the stone that sits in the museum where she works. It started the day when her father first brought her to see it. He changed to another person before her eyes. She never has lost that uneasy feeling. Anything else she feels, she writes off as her imagination. If only you knew, Ava. But wait, you’re about to know.

When Brody is on his way to meet Ava for the first time, he intercepts an attack on her. Just in time, too. When he finishes saving the day, he takes away her memories. It doesn’t really work because the next time she sees him, she remembers who he is. Now she wants to know how he could have saved her life and oh yeah, did she kill anyone?

The attraction between the two is something that is completely unexpected on both sides. Brody is something that accepts Ava as she is. He doesn’t expect her to come out of her self-imposed shell and be someone she is not. He understands the trauma she has been through in her life. Brody has been through some trauma himself and Ava can help him heal if he’ll let her. He has a hard head though so it takes her awhile to get through.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

four-stars


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Review: Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs

Posted August 5, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Storm Cursed by Patricia BriggsReviewer: Rowena
Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson #11
Also in this series: Frost Burned , Night Broken, Shifting Shadows, Blood Bound, Fire Touched, Silence Fallen , Moon Called, Blood Bound , Iron Kissed, Bone Crossed , River Marked , Frost Burned, Storm Cursed , Night Broken, Fire Touched
Publisher: Penguin, Ace
Publication Date: May 7, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: First, Third
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 384
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

In this powerful entry in the #1 New York Times bestselling series, Mercy Thompson must face a deadly enemy to defend all she loves...

My name is Mercedes Athena Thompson Hauptman, and I am a car mechanic.

And a coyote shapeshifter.

And the mate of the Alpha of the Columbia Basin werewolf pack.

Even so, none of that would have gotten me into trouble if, a few months ago, I hadn't stood upon a bridge and taken responsibility for the safety of the citizens who lived in our territory. It seemed like the thing to do at the time. It should have only involved hunting down killer goblins, zombie goats, and an occasional troll. Instead, our home was viewed as neutral ground, a place where humans would feel safe to come and treat with the fae.

The reality is that nothing and no one is safe. As generals and politicians face off with the Gray Lords of the fae, a storm is coming and her name is Death.

But we are pack, and we have given our word.

We will die to keep it.

My binge read of this series is officially complete and I’m super glad that I made the time to read all of these books. This book was just as great as the other books and I’m still on a Mercy high after finishing this one.

So Mercy took it upon herself to stand up on a bridge where they just killed a big ass troll who was making trouble for the innocent citizens of their little town and put the world on notice that if anyone made trouble for any of the citizens in their territory, it won’t end well for them. She took on the protection of every single person in the Tri-City area so her and the pack have been super busy. Their latest call came in about some zombie goats that is just outside of their city but Mercy isn’t one to shy away from helping someone who needs help so she drags Mary Jo, fresh off a fight with a goblin, to go to Mesa and round up some zombie goats. Mercy’s spidey senses start tingling when they get there because someone is turning animals into zombies and only witches can do that. Witches that practice black magic, the bad kind of magic so, with everything on their plate already, Adam and Mercy have to find this witch…especially since this witch has to be responsible for killing off the entire coven of the resident witch, Elizaveta, who is still in Europe from the last book.

In this book, the humans and the fae are trying to come to terms with a peace treaty and they need help from the local werewolf pack. Adam and his pack have been tasked with making sure the humans are safe from the fae and Mercy is tasked with being the liaison between the groups.

Patricia Briggs has done a great job with this series. I find myself looking forward to each new book that comes out in the Mercy Thompson world because I know that I’m going to get a smartly written adventure story peppered with all kinds of colorful characters that you’ll be rooting for one minute and wanting to choke the next. I’ve become emotionally invested in each and every single character in this series and that didn’t slow down one bit in this book. My heart went out to those we lost in this book and I cheered for those that achieved their end goals in this book. Mercy and Adam are a formidable team and I absolutely adore seeing them in action…together. Now that their pack ain’t trippin’ where Mercy is concerned, things have been so much better for Mercy and the pack she should have had all along, she has them now so I guess I’ll forgive them for being little bitches in the other books. LOL.

This book is another thrilling urban fantasy and Mercy continues to kick ass so you know that I was a happy camper. So while this wasn’t my favorite book in the series, it’s still a solid story and I’m glad that I read it. You guys should read this series if you love strong women doing the damn thing on the daily. Mercy stays kicking ass and taking numbers. Everyone should know her and love her as I do.

4 out of 5

Final Grade

4 out of 5

Mercy Thompson

four-stars


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