Tag: Review

Retro Review: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Posted May 31, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 8 Comments

Retro Review: Twilight by Stephenie MeyerReviewer: Tracy
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Series: Twilight #1
Also in this series: Eclipse, Eclipse, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn, Breaking Dawn, Twilight, Twilight

Publication Date: July 18th 2007
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 544
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
five-stars

Isabella Swan's move to Forks, a small, perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. But once she meets the mysterious and alluring Edward Cullen, Isabella's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. Up until now, Edward has managed to keep his vampire identity a secret in the small community he lives in, but now nobody is safe, especially Isabella, the person Edward holds most dear. The lovers find themselves balanced precariously on the point of a knife-between desire and danger.Deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful, Twilight captures the struggle between defying our instincts and satisfying our desires. This is a love story with bite.

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

Holly: Ah, the Twilight craze. This book is responsible for a lot of young adults becoming steady readers – and a lot of adult women losing their mind over fake characters. Good times. 

This review was originally published April 20, 2008

So yesterday I took my oldest daughter to a birthday party and dropped her off. It was either sit and watch her go down huge inflatable slides (um, no thanks) or mosey around the nearest store since I had forgotten to bring a book (I know, what was I thinking?). So I drove to Target and immediately went to the book section. The very first book I see is Twilight. My friend Christine raves about this book but I had never read YA before so I hadn’t really given much thought to reading this one. I grabbed it off of the shelf but still looked around. Nothing else seemed to grab me so I bought Twilight, sat down in the food court and started reading.

ok – how stupid am I? Don’t answer that! When I put off reading books that people tell me that are great and then I finally read them that’s the first question I have to ask myself. I should know by now that my “book” friends just don’t steer me in the wrong direction! Example: books I’ve put off reading then kicked my self afterward: Dark Lover by JR Ward and the rest of the BDB series, the Dark-Hunter Series by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels Trilogy – you see the pattern.

That being said – I LOVED Twilight. I thought that it was a charming, sweet love story that had adventure & humor. Can you ask for more? Bella’s thoughts (and of course her dry humor and sarcasm) as she moves to a new town and starts a new school were so familiar to me since my family moved a lot up until I was about 20. Because of that I was immediatly drawn into the story and then just couldn’t put the book down.

I don’t think I’ll be putting off reading these highly recommended books any longer. And I certainly won’t not read a book just because it’s labeled YA.

Rating: A+/ 5

five-stars


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Book Spotlight & Review: Dangerous Territory by Emmy Curtis

Posted August 7, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Book Spotlight & Review: Dangerous Territory by Emmy CurtisReviewer: Tracy
Dangerous Territory by Emmy Curtis
Series: Alpha Ops #1
Also in this series: Over the Line, Pushing the Limit, Compromised, Pushing the Limit, Over the Line
Published by Forever Yours
Publication Date: August 5th 2014
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

A SEXY STRANGER

Flirting with danger is reporter Grace Grainger's modus operandi. But she's learned the hard way not to grow attached to the soldiers she's embedded with in Afghanistan. To escape from her pain and loneliness, she fantasizes about the hot night she spent with a gorgeous stranger three years before in D.C. Grace never thought she'd see him again-let alone need him to rescue her . . . 

AN EXPLOSIVE NIGHT

Air Force Master Sergeant Josh Travers knows journalists are nothing but trouble. So when he has to risk the lives of his team to save some reporter who's been separated from her patrol, he's not happy-until he recognizes her stunning eyes and delicious curves. Josh has never wanted a woman like he wants Grace. Even in an Afghan cave with a sandstorm and enemy troops closing in, he can't deny the desire. This might be the end for both of them-or one hell of a beginning.

Excerpt:

He withdrew his arm from her shoulders and grabbed his water bottle. “Do you want to rehydrate?”

“Sure, I drank all my water in the M-RAP.”

“Here.” He reached up into the darkness and his hand collided with bare skin. He felt further up and encountered more bare skin. “What the…?”

“Oh! That’s embarrassing. When you bought me in from the bathroom, I had only put my panties back on. My jeans are still out there.”

“What? You take your pants off to pee?” He was getting a strange insight into women here, and he was incredibly uncomfortable and intrigued. Not about the pee, but about the type of woman who felt comfortable enough to take off her clothes in the middle of a war zone.

“I don’t have a dick, you know. How did you expect me to pee?”

“You might not have a dick, but you have balls,” he said grudgingly. “Do you want me to get your pants?”

“It’s okay. I’ll get them. I know where I left them.” Her voice trailed off as she went around the corner toward the entrance to the cave.

“No wait!” he hissed. Shit. What was he thinking, letting her wander around outside. He jumped to his feet, ignoring the pain that shot up his leg, and rounded the corner, to see her perfectly silhouetted in the mouth of the cave against the moonlit sky. “Get down!”

She turned to look at him instead of ducking. Damned civilians. He launched himself at her, pulling her to the ground, but trying to brace her fall. He didn’t really succeed.

Breath huffed out of her as he landed right on top of her. “Shh,” he said against her ear. In the distance, he could hear voices. With the echoes it was difficult to know if they belonged to people who were directly in front of them or across the valley. And suddenly, as the voices drifted off into the distance, he became aware of her body under his. The silence. When he moved slightly, his mind shifted to the perfect night they shared in D.C. The night he’d thought about so often. The night that had sustained him through some difficult deployments. He’d wanted to find her, but was honestly too scared to let go of his fantasy. Reality always sucked, and her being a damn reporter sucked the most.

He raised himself on his forearm and whispered against her ear, “Are you all right?”

She nodded, causing her short black hair to brush against his face. He closed his eyes and inhaled. His body weakened, and then got a lot harder. Fuck, he almost wanted to cry. He had dreamed of being this close to her again, to be on top of her, to be able to feel her scent overwhelm him again. But hell. Fate had played a dirty trick. Here, in a fucking cave in Afghanistan. What a fuck up.

She moved under him, and holy shit, he was sure she had moaned. Or wait, maybe that was a groan. “Am I hurting you?” he asked, suddenly concerned.

“In ways you can’t possibly imagine.” She let out a sigh. “No, I’m fine. I might need help up, though.”

He pulled himself off her and helped her up, and was very, very glad for the darkness of the cave. He knew his dick was tenting his BDUs. Thank god no one could see him. Then she stood to one side and the moon shone directly at him.

“Well, soldier, is that a night vision scope in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?”

“I’m a fucking airman, not a soldier. And what did you expect, you writhing under me when I was just trying to save your sorry ass.”

“Oh. I’m sorry. I was joking, I thought that was your scope in your pocket. I was just trying…”

Shit. Shit. Busted.

He took a deep breath. And tried to laugh. “We seemed to understand each other better three years ago.”

“Well, we didn’t exactly do a lot of talking back then.” She smiled wryly.

Josh tried really hard not to close his eyes and give in to the emotion still coursing through him from being so close to her again after all those years of just dreaming about her.

Holding up one finger, she turned. She pointed at her jeans and nodded for his approval. He gave a tiny nod, and she virtually scampered out to pick them up.

As she entered the cave again, with a grin, he leaned against the wall to watch her in the moonlight. She bent to step into the pants and her glossy dark hair swung in front of her. She pulled them up, and started to fasten them. He couldn’t help himself, God help him.

His hand hooked over the top of the jeans, preventing her from finishing doing them up. She straightened. She should have had a quizzical look on her face. But she didn’t. It was like she knew. She met his eyes and he detected a tiny flicker of her eyebrows, as if saying “Yes?” Still holding her jeans, he pulled her toward him, his whole body throbbing for her. Every one of his cells felt as if they were reaching for her. Every feeling he had ever had, every warm thought, wrapped around her. He wanted her so badly. Had wanted her for three years. If he didn’t think about it, maybe he could forget she was a soul-sucking hack. His body certainly seemed to have forgotten already.

Desperate to taste those lips again, he abruptly pulled her against his body and in the same instant, claimed her mouth as his. She tasted every bit as good as his memory served. His body responded instantly, as if it had been waiting three years just to find itself in this very place.

Her mouth opened under his, kissing him back, her tongue dancing under his, making him long for the feel of her tongue elsewhere on his body.

A crack of a twig or something from outside put his instincts back in place as he wrenched away from her. Christ, what had he been thinking? He never broke the rules. She looked puzzled, but still she didn’t say anything.

He took a huge step away from her, shaking his head at himself. What. The. Fuck. Was wrong with him?

She took a deep breath in and let it go in a long sigh. But still she remained silent. Why didn’t she say something? Shit was she planning on writing about this? Of course she was. That was what she did. His career was over. His status as one of the most fast-tracked senior enlisted airmen in his career field was over. Damage control.

“I don’t know why I did that. I’m sorry for breaking protocol. I hope we’re still off the record?” He hated how hopeful he sounded.

She laughed lightly. “Exactly what about this…” she gestured around the cave. “…is protocol? Exactly what are you breaking?”

Tracy’s Review:

I really liked this story of reunited lovers.  Sure, they only spent one night together but it made an impact on each of them enough that neither could forget it.

With Josh having to rescue Grace and finding out he’s someone he may not like very well (a reporter) it was definitely a tense situation.  I thought that Grace handled the situation with Josh very well even though I could tell that she was hurt by his disdain.

Josh didn’t necessarily handle the situation well, at least to start, but I think that was really his fear reaction to having Grace’s life in danger.  He acted tough with her but when it came down to it I knew that he wouldn’t be able to keep himself away from her – which was good!  I also felt that he was very professional when the situation called for it and was very brave in the end.

Overall I thought this was a very good read and I’m looking forward to reading more in this new series.

Review: 4 out of 5

About Emmy Curtis
Emmy Curtis is an editor and a romance writer. An ex-pat Brit, she quells her

homesickness with Cadbury Flakes and Fray Bentos pies. She’s lived in
London, Paris and New York, and has settled for the time being, in North
Carolina. When not writing, Emmy loves to travel with her military
husband and take long walks with their Lab. All things considered, her
life is chock full of hoot, just a little bit of nanny. And if you get
that reference…well, she already considers you kin.
Emmy’s social media:
http://emmycurtis.com/
https://www.facebook.com/EmmyCurtisAuthor
@EmmyCurtis19

Buy links:
B&N: http://bit.ly/1nc6Uu1
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1m6wEsm
iTunes: http://bit.ly/1qQm9kD
GooglePlay: http://bit.ly/1sayQUz

four-stars


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Running Wild by SE Jakes – Virtual Blog Tour, Review and Giveaway

Posted July 11, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Running Wild by SE Jakes – Virtual Blog Tour, Review and GiveawayReviewer: Tracy
Running WildSeries: Havoc series #1
Published by Riptide Publishing
Publication Date: June 30th 2014
Genres: M/M
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Embrace the danger.

Sean Rush is an adrenaline junkie. That's why he was in the Army, why he steals and races classic muscle cars...and why he can't stay away from bad boy Ryker, a Havoc Motorcycle Club lieutenant. Fortunately, Ryker can't seem to stay away from Sean — he's spent the last eight months breaking into Sean's apartment and stealing into his bed, leaving Sean physically satisfied but increasingly restless.

Sean has always avoided relationships. He likes to come and go without being controlled. And Ryker is possibly the most controlling man he's ever known. Still, he finds that he wants more from Ryker than their silent nighttime encounters.

Then one of Sean's thefts goes bad, and Ryker's protective instincts kick into overdrive. He takes Sean to the Havoc compound, determined to keep him safe. But Sean's past threatens the safety of Havoc — and everything Ryker holds dear. Worse, Ryker's hiding secrets of his own. Soon it's obvious that the adrenaline rush can't keep them together anymore. But maybe love can.

Thanks so much to Tracy’s Place for hosting me on the tour for Running Wild: Havoc Book 1. This is the start of a brand new series, with different heroes for each book and HEAs at the end of each book. Sean Rush and Ryker stole my heart a long time ago, and I’m excited for you guys to meet all of them.


Here’s a snippet from a scene toward the middle of the book. Ryker has just proved to Sean that he doesn’t mind his MC knowing they’re together — by kissing the hell out of him in front of everyone. And then he tells Sean to get on the back of his bike, so he can take Sean home. Sean has objections…


Still, I kept my voice down so no one could hear when I told him, “I’m not riding in the bitch seat.”

He was trying not to grin, but failing. “Why not?”

“I know exactly what it means when you ride on the back of a guy’s bike.”

“Really?”

“It means you fucking own me, Ryker.”

“Don’t I?”

His words were a low rumble that shot straight to my dick and holy fuck . . . I had no answer. Well, obviously I did, but I refused to put voice to it.

I was out—that wasn’t the issue. And obviously being out wasn’t an issue for him either. But the MC shit, we’d never talked about it, what it meant for us. All these men knew about our relationship, knew he was looking out for me. Knew he considered me his.

I swear I had to remind myself to breathe.

“Get on the bike, Sean.”

This time, Ryker’s tone left no room for argument. If anything, it made me harder. I stopped thinking—par for the course when I was around Ryker—and I got on the bike behind him.


RUNNING WILD: Havoc Book 1

Read an excerpt
Order Running Wild


FYI, I’m also writing a m/f MC series under the Steph Tyler name—the first book of that series, Vipers Run is out now as well. And there’s a very light crossover in that you’ll see names of MCs that are main characters in my Vipers series—namely Vipers MC, along with the Heathens. Havoc’s friendly with Vipers, not so much with Heathens (they seem to be everyone’s enemy at the moment).


SE Jakes writes m/m romance. She believes in happy endings and fighting for what you want in both fiction and real life. She lives in New York with her family and most days, she can be found happily writing (in bed). No really…

You can contact her the following ways:

• You can email her at authorsejakes@gmail.com.
• You can post to her Facebook page: Facebook.com/SEJakes
• You can tweet her: Twitter.com/authorsejakes
• You can post on her Goodreads Group: Ask SE Jakes
• You can follow her Tumblr page: sejakes.tumblr.com
• You can follow her on Instagram: instagram.com/authorsejakes
• Truth be told, the best way to contact her is by email or in blog comments.
She spends most of her time writing but she loves to hear from readers!

SE Jakes is the pen-name of New York Times Bestselling author Stephanie Tyler (and half of Sydney Croft) — please go to my media kit to learn more!

Tracy’s Review:

You got the blurb earlier so I’ll just head into my part of it all. 🙂

I’ve been a fan of biker boys since time immemorial. There’s just something about the rough, not so lawful attitude that they exude. Most of the time they’re not all that lawful so to me that’s a bonus. lol When I saw this story and read the blurb I knew it was one I didn’t want to miss.

Sean’s a bit messed up about Ryker. He loves the fact that the guy is breaking into his house to have sex with him and then Ryker always does something sweet the next day – like a courtship…almost. The fact that Ryker is one tough motherfucker is just an added extra bonus for Sean. Sean is an adrenaline junkie who thrives on stealing cars and street racing. He’s gotten himself into trouble in the past and is trying to keep himself and his best friend Noah out of trouble but things don’t always turn out as planned. When Noah gets himself into deep trouble I loved that Sean was right there to help him out. He didn’t even have to stop and think about it – he just did it. That’s a true friend, right there.

There’s some info that comes out about Ryker and his MC as the story goes on that makes Sean doubt Ryker’s feelings for him and I thought it added a slightly softer side to the whole story. Sean just wasn’t as tough as Ryker or as tough as he portrayed himself and that was okay by me as I like the dichotomy of it all.

The whole story was pretty riveting and once I started it I didn’t put it down til I was finished.  There are a plethora of reasons to pick up this book and my advice is to read it and find out what those are.  You just can’t understand it’s pull until you read it…so read it. 🙂

Rating: 4 out of 5

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

four-stars


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Twofer Review: Pia Saves the Day and Peanut Goes to School by Thea Harrison

Posted July 10, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Twofer Review: Pia Saves the Day and Peanut Goes to School by Thea HarrisonReviewer: Tracy
Pia Saves the Day & Peanut Goes to School by Thea Harrison

Publication Date: June 21st 2014
Genres: Fantasy
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

In the latest story of the Elder Races, two mates face their deadliest challenge yet—each other…

Pia and Dragos’s magical young son Liam (the Peanut), is growing at an unprecedented rate, and if that isn't enough, he is also exhibiting new, and unpredictable, magical gifts. To protect him, the concerned parents decide to move to upstate New York.

Both Dragos and Pia relish the idea of leaving behind the city. They finally have the space to indulge their Wyr side, and Liam can grow in safety. It’s a breath of fresh air—literally—but their idyllic situation is shattered when Dragos is injured in a freak accident.

Stripped of his memory and bereft of Pia’s taming influence, there’s nothing holding back Dragos’s darkest side. And in order to restore her family and save her mate, Pia must confront the most powerful menace in Elder Races history.

It’s going to take more than a penny to fix this…

PIA SAVES THE DAY is part of a three-story series about Pia, Dragos, and Peanut. Each story stands alone, but fans might want to read all three: DRAGOS TAKES A HOLIDAY, PIA SAVES THE DAY, and PEANUT GOES TO SCHOOL.

Both Dragos and Pia relish the idea of leaving behind the city. They finally have the space to indulge their Wyr side, and Liam can grow in safety. It’s a breath of fresh air—literally—but their idyllic situation is shattered when Dragos is injured in a freak accident.

Stripped of his memory and bereft of Pia’s taming influence, there’s nothing holding back Dragos’s darkest side. And in order to restore her family and save her mate, Pia must confront the most powerful menace in Elder Races history.

It’s going to take more than a penny to fix this…

Pia and Dragos are in their new home in upstate New York and are undertaking a building project. Unfortunately when Dragos gets too close to some blasting he is injured and loses his memory. Pia sends their son, Liam, off with the sentinels and goes after her husband. It doesn’t matter what needs to be done, she will get her husband and mate back.

This was an unexpected novella for the fact that I wasn’t expecting something so drastic and possibly fatal to befall this wonderful couple. Obviously in the Elder Races world tragedy and harm can befall them as well.

The story was a great view into the love and respect that Pia and Dragos have for each other. Pia was obviously scared that she wasn’t going to get her husband back but she was determined to go after him and do what she could. She wasn’t planning on stopping until she’d reached her goal and it showed such strength. Dragos wasn’t exactly himself so he wasn’t the kind Wyr we’ve all gotten to know and love. I thought that Harrison did a wonderful job showing us this “other” Dragos and making the story realistic. Dragos didn’t suddenly see Pia and say, “Oh yeah, there’s my mate. Gee wiz, guess I lost my memory for a moment or two.” No, uh-uh, it was much more involved than that and had me holding my breath waiting to see what would happen next.

This was a really great novella. If you love the Elder Races series then this is one you won’t want to miss.

Rating: 4 out of 5

 

Peanut Goes to School

Dragos Cuelebre is no longer the only dragon.

Dragos’s son Liam Cuelebre (a.k.a. Peanut) is springing into existence, reminiscent of the first of the Elder Races who were born at the beginning of the world. At just six months of age, he has already grown to the size of a large five-year-old boy. He can read, write in complete sentences, and his math skills are off the chart.

A white dragon in his Wyr form, Liam also holds more Power than almost anyone else. In an effort to give him a taste of normality, no matter how fleeting, his parents Pia and Dragos enroll him in first grade.

They hope school will help teach Liam how to relate to others, a vital skill that will help him control his growing Power. But school has a surprising number of pitfalls, and relating to others can be a tricky business.

When a classmate is threatened, Liam must quickly learn self-control, how to rein in his instincts, and govern his temper, because there’s no doubt about it—he is fast becoming one of the most dangerous creatures in all of the Elder Races.

This book starts up very shortly after the previous book but this story focuses on Dragos and Pia’s son, Liam aka Peanut. He had been growing at an astounding rate from day one but when Dragos is hurt in the previous novella Liam has a growth spurt that’s unbelievable.

Now Peanut is going to school even though he’s only 6 months old. He’s taller than most kindergartners and more intelligent than they are as well – more intelligent than the teacher, even. The socialization, however, is what Pia and Dragos would like him to experience.

Our little Peanut has an exciting and sometimes frustrating first day of school. He makes friends, makes some enemies, protects the weak, and stands up for what he believes in. He is a great kid I just wanted to crawl into my ereader and hug the little tyke.

Hi, my name is Cuelebre, Liam Cuelebre. My code name is Double Oh Peanut, but you can call me Rock Star for short.

Such a good story! I loved reading from Liam’s POV as he has such a loving and caring personality. He loves his parents to death and that comes shining through in this story. I loved Liam’s interactions with Dragos, and the talk they had near the end was heart-warming and wonderful.

I highly recommend this story be read and enjoyed. I certainly hope we’ll get more from Peanut in the future cuz he is a Rock Star.

Rating: 4 out of 5 

Thea Harrison

four-stars


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Review: The Glaring – Werecat book 2 by Andrew J. Peters

Posted March 19, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Glaring – Werecat book 2 by Andrew J. PetersReviewer: Tracy
Werecat: The Glaring by Andrew J. Peters
Series: Werecat #2
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Free from Benoit, the man who made him a shifter, twenty-two-year old Jacks tries to get his life in order while crashing with Farzan, the only person who knows about his werecat nature.

Then, one day, in the middle of his a grueling schedule of off-the-books jobs, a raid on a bodega pushes Jacks to transform to fend off a group of gun-wielding gangbangers.

Jacks scrambles to disguise the truth, but the incident leaves a thundering wake of questions. The police want to know what really happened to a freaked-out young thug in custody. Farzan, who has been crushing hard on Jacks since they met, begins to doubt that it’s safe to have Jacks living with him. Jacks wants to know where he belongs: with the man who took him in when no one else would or among his own kind. As he searches for answers, Jacks is confronted by a secret shifter society The Glaring. They have come to avenge the death of Jacks’ maker and to claim a powerful item that Benoit left behind.

Warning: This review contains spoilers from book 1, The Rearing.

In book one Jacks meets Benoit and becomes completely enamored with him. Benoit then turns Jacks into a Werecat and starts controlling every aspect of Jacks’ life. After Jacks is free from Benoit he moves in with his friend Farza. Jacks is practically killing himself trying to earn money to get out on his own as he feels bad about taking up space in Farzan’s basement apartment. One night, while working at Farzan’s family bodega, a group of gangbangers come in and almost kill Jacks. He manages to stay alive but now the police are interested in him because they can’t understand how two big cat incidences could have coincidentally happened at the same bodega in such a short time.

Jacks believes that he has to leave the area in order to take suspicion off of Farzan and his family but Farzan isn’t letting him go easily. Jacks also gets a visit from a man who is part of a shifter society called The Glaring – something that Jacks didn’t even know existed.

This was a nice follow up to book one. The stories are very short so we can’t get too in depth with either the characters or the story but what we got was good.

We see Jacks learning to deal with life as a werecat/human and we also see him getting closer to Farzan, which Farzan had wanted from day one. Having The Glaring step in was a bit of a surprise as Benoit never mentioned anything to Jacks about it but I thought it was an intriguing addition to the story. I’m curious to see what will happen next as Jacks heads out to get answers.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Andrew J. Peters

three-half-stars


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