Tag: Pocket Books

Joint Review: The Wedding by Julie Garwood

Posted October 18, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Joint Review: The Wedding by Julie GarwoodReviewer: Holly and Rowena
The Wedding by Julie Garwood
Series: Laird's Fiancees #2
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication Date: January 1, 2003
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
Add It: Goodreads
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five-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

It's a classic plot: a marriage of convenience that lays the groundwork for true love.

1119. Journeying from England to Scotland to wed a highlander, Lady Brenna had resigned herself to the arranged match. But when a band of fierce, painted warriors captured her en route, she fearlessly met their demand to marry their leader -- the quick-tempered laird Connor MacAlister. She couldn't know that her capture was merely the first act of vengeance against her betrothed, Connor's sworn enemy.

Brenna harbored no illusions that her husband was in love with her; after a hasty forest wedding, MacAlister assured her she could return home once she had borne him a son. But she could not deny that she had once proposed to MacAlister -- ten years ago, when she was just a child, and the visitor to her father's castle charmed her with his dazzling, unexpected smile. Now, as she sets out to win the brave chieftain whom she has come to adore, a legacy of revenge ensnares Brenna in a furious clan war -- and only her faith in her gallant hero can save her....

Lady Brenna is on her way to marry Highland Laird McNare, when her party is intercepted by Laird Connor McAllister and some of his men. Connor has a feud going with McNare and intends to steal Brenna for his bride in retribution for something McNare did. It’s convenient that Brenna once asked him to marry her..when she was about 4.

Holly: This has long been one of our favorite Julie Garwood books. Rowena and I both love Connor and Brenna, the setting and the storyline. We both recently read it, so we decided to review it together.

So, what do you think? Did it hold up for you?

Rowena: This book is one of my all-time favorite books by Julie Garwood. I have always loved this book but I’m not going to lie, the older I get, the scarier it is to re-read books that I loved from back in the day. But no matter how many times that I read this book, I love it just a smidge more than I did the last time. This book is just too damn good.

Holly: Girl, preach. The older I get the more scared I am to re-read old favorites, too. I’d be so sad if I read an old favorite and the magic was lost. Thankfully that wasn’t the case here. I love this book. Connor, Brenna, all of it.

Rowena: I loved Brenna. I loved Connor. I loved it all.

Holly: I really enjoyed Brenna. Garwood writes too-perfect heroines, and Brenna followed suit, but I still loved her. Her quirks, her fears, her anger when Connor acted inconsiderate really worked for me. I loved seeing the glimpse of her as a precocious child, and then her grace and humor as an adult.

Rowena: I’ve pimped this book out to so many of my friends and my family and while they enjoy the book, nobody ever loves this book as much as I do. It just hits differently with me, I guess. I really love how easy it is for me to fall into Connor and Brenna’s world every single time that I read this. And every time I read this book, I’m thrown back to my early reading days when I read all of Julie Garwood’s books over and over again. I loved the writing in this one. I could see everything so vividly and I felt everything that Connor and Brenna felt and loved all of the side characters (except Raen and his stupid ass Mom).

Yeah, you’re right. Julie Garwood’s historical heroines are super perfect (even their imperfections are perfect) but that doesn’t stop me from loving each and every single one of them. Brenna included.

Some of my favorite scenes ever are in this one, and it doesn’t matter how many times I read this book, I cackle like a crazy person every time Connor answers Brenna with, “Nay, tis Connor.” And then there’s the wedding scene when Brenna talks in circles and circles and then Connor recites her vows back to her better than she does. Ha! I freaking love this book!

Holly: Raen and his mom came across so vividly on page, I really and truly hated them. I remember you telling me about this book when I first started reading Garwood, and thinking “There’s no way it’s that good”. I was wrong. It is that good.

That wedding scene gets me every time. And Brenna chewing Connor out in the stables and calling him a goat. I laughed. There was so many great scenes in this book.

Rowena: Same. They were such awful characters. I rage each and every time I read the part in the book where Euphemia tells Brenna to submit and my heart goes out to Brenna every single time when all of the shenanigans go down with Raen. They were such great villains, I swear. And I just love the way that Connor avenges Brenna. These Highlanders do vengeance really well.

Holly: My heart did hurt for Brenna at the end, though. When she thought Connor chose his family over her.

Rowena: The Wedding is just an all-around feel good romance. It’s packed with all of the best things that we love about romance novels. A strong main couple, a steamy romance, with humor sprinkled throughout and I think that I will always love this book. It gets 5 out of 5 stars from me.

Holly: This book is definitely a feel-good read. Humor, emotion, strength and cunning on the part of both main characters…it never fails to suck me in. 5 out of 5.

Final Grades

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

Laird’s Fiancees

five-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: The Stranger in Her Bed by Janet Chapman

Posted September 19, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: The Stranger in Her Bed by Janet ChapmanReviewer: Rowena
The Stranger in Her Bed by Janet Chapman
Series: Logger #2
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication Date: January 30, 2007
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 354
Add It: Goodreads
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five-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

In The Seduction of His Wife, USA Today bestselling author Janet Chapman introduced the Knights, an ambitious logging family whose fortunes and hearts are tied to the rugged mountains of Maine. Now, Ethan Knight is drawn into the family business . . . and deep into temptation.

When Ethan agreed to work at a sawmill his family is purchasing, he didn't foresee getting fired on his first day. He should be mad at the fiercely outspoken female foreman, but something about her seems disconcertingly familiar -- even though Ethan is sure he'd remember meeting a stunning beauty like Anna Segee before.

Anna has never forgotten Ethan -- or the schoolgirl crush she had on him before her father whisked her off to Canada. Now the shy, gangly girl is grown up and back in Oak Grove with a new name, new confidence, and a newly inherited mill of her own. Her superb reputation in a male-dominated industry hasn't come easy, but even harder will be ignoring the sexy man Ethan has become. . . .

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

This review was originally posted on May 14, 2012.

So Anna Segee comes back to Oak Grove after many years away getting to know her long lost father and facing the life that she walked away from. The life her Grandfather, Samuel Fox left behind in his car accident.

Fox Run Mills is her inheritance, the one thing that her Grandfather left behind for her. Against her Father’s wishes, Anna returns to Oak Grove to make a life of her own, one that didn’t involve her over protective Father and pesky brothers making every decision for her, fixing every little aspect of her life for her. She came back to make a name for herself and live on her own two feet.

It should have been easy but Ethan Knight, her long ago Knight in Shining Armor keeps putting a cramp in her style. You see, he’s living in a spare cabin on her land and she’s his landlord. But the cabin isn’t up and running to his liking so he’s taking it out on her, which means he’s sleeping in her bed and she’s sleeping on the couch because she was in a car accident that Ethan saved her from. He drives her home, sets her up on the couch and he, himself shacks up for the next couple of nights while she’s recuperating from her ordeal, sleeping in her bed. He takes care of her and becomes the kind of man that she ran away from. The kind that boss her around, makes decisions for her, tells her what’s good for her and she hates it…

…almost as much as she kinda likes it.

When these two get into it, they really get into it. It was funny to see them yelling at eachother and arguing just because they love to be going at each other. They had fun razzing eacho ther and I enjoyed reading all about their little squirms.

At the beginning of this book I wanted more Ethan. I wanted to see what happened to him in the past (which was talked about in The Seduction of His Wife) that made him the way he is today. I wanted to know why he was so cynical where women were concerned. I wanted all the mysteries of TSoHW brought to light and I wanted to love Ethan more than Alex…why? Because even in Alex’s book, I knew I was going to love Ethan more. He was more mysterious, held my attention more than Alex did and I loved me some Alex.

Janet Chapman didn’t disappoint me at all because I DID love Ethan more than Alex.

Anna Segee was a capable heroine, it was great to see her making a life for herself apart from the family that babied her from the time she was brought into their family. She did well enough with the rebuilding of her Grandfather’s Legacy and I loved her friendship with Jane. I loved seeing her make Ethan jealous with the men at the dance, I loved it all the more because Ethan wasn’t all that jealous, he was so sure that she’d be going home with HIM that night and well, after all that, it was just so great. I love Ethan’s Knight in Shining Armor complex. It suits him well.

It was so good to see Ethan’s family in the book and meeting and seeing Anna’s family was a great addition to the book and i was super happy with the entire book.

I know that Nicole liked Alex’s book better than this book (only slightly but still) but I didn’t. I loved Ethan and Anna’s story better than Alex and Sarah’s. It might be because I have forgotten a lot of A&S’s story and E&A’s story is fresh in my mind, but I liked the depth of this story, the flow of this story and the overall presentation of this book.

It was a good read and I’m so glad that I finally picked it up. For those of you that read and loved Alex’s book, I would totally recommend this book for you to read as well.

Grade: 4.75 out of 5

Logger

five-stars


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Summer Reading Challenge Review: The Duke of Shadows by Meredith Duran

Posted August 21, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Summer Reading Challenge Review: The Duke of Shadows by Meredith DuranReviewer: Holly
The Duke of Shadows by Meredith Duran
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication Date: May 8, 2010
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 388
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 New to Me Challenge, Holly's Summer Reading Challenge, New to Me Challenge, Summer Reading Challenge
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four-stars

In a debut romance as passionate and sweeping as the British Empire, Meredith Duran paints a powerful picture of an aristocrat torn between two worlds, an heiress who dares to risk everything...and the love born in fire and darkness that nearly destroys them.

From exotic sandstone palaces...

Sick of tragedy, done with rebellion, Emmaline Martin vows to settle quietly into British Indian society. But when the pillars of privilege topple, her fiancé's betrayal leaves Emma no choice. She must turn for help to the one man whom she should not trust, but cannot resist: Julian Sinclair, the dangerous and dazzling heir to the Duke of Auburn.

To the marble halls of London...

In London, they toast Sinclair with champagne. In India, they call him a traitor. Cynical and impatient with both worlds, Julian has never imagined that the place he might belong is in the embrace of a woman with a reluctant laugh and haunted eyes. But in a time of terrible darkness, he and Emma will discover that love itself can be perilous -- and that a single decision can alter one's life forever.

Destiny follows wherever you run.

A lifetime of grief later, in a cold London spring, Emma and Julian must finally confront the truth: no matter how hard one tries to deny it, some pasts cannot be disowned...and some passions never die.

I remember when The Duke of Shadows by Meredith Duran was first released. There was much fanfare and everyone seemed to love it. I often have bad luck when it comes to books everyone else loves, so I put off reading it. Years went by and, though it’s been sitting in my TBR pile for a decade, I never did read it. Casee chose it as one of her picks for me for our Summer Reading Challenge, so I dug it out. It turned out to be a lovely read.

This is a dark, complex read. Emmaline, our female lead, suffers much trauma. A shipwreck, then war in India. She is much affected by her trials and tribulations, and that came across well on page. I was fully wrapped up in her journey. Part one, especially, was hard to get through. So much violence. There was somewhat of a disconnect in Part two, however. I found myself getting impatient with the story, and also struggling to readjust to life in London ballrooms. Which, I think, speaks well of the author and how well she brought me into Emma and Julian’s story in India.

As for the romance, I truly felt the connection Julian and Emma had. I also felt their anguish at all that had come between them. I did find some of their actions not in keeping with their characters, however. Especially when they reunite in England. But I was able to move past it. Something I had a harder time moving past was all the exclamation points Duran used! They were relentless! Sometimes two or three per paragraph!

Still, all in all, I think Casee chose well for this one. Shocking, I know.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: How to Run with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper

Posted February 11, 2019 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: How to Run with a Naked Werewolf by Molly HarperReviewer: Tracy
How to Run with a Naked Werewolf (Naked Werewolf #3) by Molly Harper
Series: Naked Werewolf #3
Also in this series: How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf (Naked Werewolf, #1)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Pocket Books
Publication Date: December 31, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 352
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Down, Boy

Anna Moder has just witnessed a shooting, seen her car pulverized, and rescued a wounded stranger only to discover he's really a werewolf. And by her recent standards, things are actually looking up. Lycanthropes don't faze Anna. Doctoring a wolf pack outside Grundy, Alaska, is the closest thing to home life she's known in years. But hitching a ride to Anchorage with long-absent pack member Caleb Graham that's a risk. Part of her itches to whack his nose with a newspaper. The rest is trying unsuccessfully to keep her own paws off every delicious inch of him.

The problem is, Caleb employs his lupine tracking abilities as a not quite-legal bounty hunter, and Anna is suspicious of both him and his profession. On the run from her past, with old problems closing in, she'd like to stay far, far away from anybody with connections to the law. Caleb, however, seems determined to keep her close. Are his intentions noble, or is he working a more predatory angle?

Anna's been dreaming of returning to a semi-normal life, but now she's experiencing a strange new urge . . . to join Caleb in running with the wolves.

Anna is getting off work at the grocery story in a small town in Alaska when she hears arguing – then a gunshot…then the shooter who is trying to get away runs into her Pinto and it blows up.  Not the way she wanted to end her work day!  She goes to see if anyone is hurt (you know, because of the gunshot) and finds a wounded man.  She manages to get him into her car and starts driving.  She can’t go to her hotel because police will probably be investigating, and she can’t talk to cops because she’s on the run. When she finds a hotel and helps the wounded man inside, she starts to realize that there’s something about him that she’s familiar with – he’s a werewolf.

Anna is very familiar with werewolves as she’s been a werewolf pack doctor for the past four years. Not just a pack, but the pack that includes this man’s family members.  She doesn’t tell him right away that she knows who and what he is but when he agrees to take her to Anchorage if she’ll help him with some of his bounty hunting jobs, she agrees.

Caleb takes random jobs throughout the area – some legal, some not.  Anna isn’t thrilled with the thought of some of these people getting “taken in” for minor issues so as she becomes Caleb’s assistant, she directs the jobs.  When she finds out that Caleb might know more about her than she thinks, she takes off. Caleb, however, isn’t about to let the woman who is his mate get away from him now that he’s found her.

This was a cute book. I’ve recently discovered a love of Molly Harper books and this one proved to be just as good as the others.  I didn’t want to read this series originally – probably because the cartoon cover and title threw me off a bit. Fortunately I got past that, and what was inside the cartoon cover was worth reading.

Caleb and Anna were great together.  I really liked that Harper made Anna wary of Caleb for quite a long time.  A woman who is on the run isn’t someone who trusts easily, and Harper didn’t make her accept Caleb too quickly and that worked for me.  For Caleb’s part we only saw him from Anna’s POV, which was frustrating.  I would have loved to have gotten inside Caleb’s head to see what was going on in there.  He was a good guy who didn’t have a great job.  He was good at it, and it definitely paid the bills, but he didn’t love it.  Having Anna with him changed his outlook on the job, I think, and I loved that.

Overall it was a good read and one I enjoyed.  If you haven’t picked up a Molly Harper book yet, you should.  I read a couple of books of hers before, but they didn’t hit me right at the time.  I recommend this series, the Mystic Bayou series and the Southern Eclectic series to start – all really good.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Naked Werewolf

four-stars


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Review: How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper

Posted January 28, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf by Molly HarperReviewer: Holly
How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf (Naked Werewolf, #1) by Molly Harper
Narrator: Amanda Ronconi
Series: Naked Werewolf #1
Also in this series: How to Run with a Naked Werewolf (Naked Werewolf #3)
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication Date: February 22, 2011
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 371
Length: 9 hours and 12 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Northern Exposure

Even in Grundy, Alaska, it's unusual to find a naked guy with a bear trap clamped to his ankle on your porch. But when said guy turns into a wolf, recent southern transplant Mo Wenstein has no difficulty identifying the problem. Her surly neighbor Cooper Graham—who has been openly critical of Mo's ability to adapt to life in Alaska—has trouble of his own. Werewolf trouble.

For Cooper, an Alpha in self-imposed exile from his dysfunctional pack, it's love at first sniff when it comes to Mo. But Cooper has an even more pressing concern on his mind. Several people around Grundy have been the victims of wolf attacks, and since Cooper has no memory of what he gets up to while in werewolf form, he's worried that he might be the violent canine in question.

If a wolf cries wolf, it makes sense to listen, yet Mo is convinced that Cooper is not the culprit. Except if he's not responsible, then who is? And when a werewolf falls head over haunches in love with you, what are you supposed to do anyway? The rules of dating just got a whole lot more complicated. . . .

How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf is the first book in Molly Harper‘s Naked Werewolf series. I avoided these books in the past because the covers and titles made me think they’d be super campy, which I don’t like. Though they’re on the lighter side, they aren’t campy at all. I really liked this book.

Mo Wenstein has moved to Grundy, Alaska from Georgia to escape her well-meaning but very overbearing hippy parents and a broken engagement. As the child of hippies who believe in living off the grid in a family commune, Mo has the skills she needs to live in the wilderness. The only downside is her contentious relationship with local resident Cooper Graham. They rub each other the wrong way..which is too bad, since he’s hot as sin and all Mo wants to do is rub herself all over him.

Well, that cinched it. He was an asshole. I was definitely going to end up sleeping with him.

She manages to find a job right away in the local saloon/restaurant. She makes friends pretty easily and settles in fairly quickly. Things are going great until one day she opens her front door to find Cooper on her porch naked, with a bear trap on his ankle. Turns out he’s a werewolf. Once his secret is out, Cooper quickly moves in on Mo.

Harper’s writing voice really works for me. Mo’s adventures in Alaska were fun to read about. I liked how well she settled into small town, back country life. She easily made friends and I loved reading about her interactions with the residents of the town. Having just visited Alaska this past summer, I was really able to picture the town itself and imagine the residents.

I did struggle a bit with Connor’s actions, and how much Mo let him get away with. I also had a hard time with Amanda Ronconi’s voice for Connor. Normally I love AR’s narrations, but her voice for Connor was awful.

Still, I loved the snarky heroine, small Alaskan town and the way the romance developed between Mo and Connor. Harper delivers again.

3.75 out of 5

Naked Werewolf

four-stars


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