Tag: Reviews

Review: Wanderlust by Lauren Blakely

Posted February 19, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Wanderlust by Lauren BlakelyReviewer: Casee
Wanderlust by Lauren Blakely
Narrator: Grace Grant, Richard Armitage
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: March 20, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Romance Package
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 336
Length: 8 hours and 46 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars


A charming British hero, the woman who tempts him, and a hands-off arrangement that's oh-so-hard to maintain.

My bags are packed and I'm ready to go. All I have to do is board a plane, and I'll be on my way to fulfilling a promise I made long ago. Bonus points -- my last week in Paris looks to be even better when I meet a gorgeous, clever American woman and make plans to take her back to my flat that night.

But before we can get together for what would surely be a fantastic final fling, my boss hits me with a double whammy. My previous client didn't pay, so there's no trip, and the new client I now desperately need is none other than the tempting American I'm about to take home.

Have I mentioned this timing bloody sucks?

***

I'll admit it -- I have a big weakness for a hot British accent. As in, they make me swoon, sigh, and want to toss my panties. Good thing I can avoid that kind of temptation in Paris. So it's just my luck that the man who's the key to success in my new job is the man whose voice makes me melt. Oh, and we have to spend all our days together for work.

Thanks a lot, fate.

To top it off, I quickly learn he's witty, kind and has a heart and mind I'm falling for fast.

All I have to do is resist him every single freaking day. That's so easy. Not.

But then I learn that's nothing compared to the real hurdle we face.


What could go wrong with falling in love in Paris? Nearly everything, it seems...

This is my first book by Lauren Blakely and oh, did I enjoy it. I listened to it on audio and both narrators were simply amazing. I’ve said it time and time again…when you listen to a book on audio a narrator/s will make or break the book. These two really made it much more enjoyable than it could have been. Especially Richard Armitage and his accent. Seriously.

Joy has moved to Paris after the perfect job offer came at an ideal time in her life. Having just broke up with a boyfriend that was nothing but heartbreaking baggage, Joy wanted to leave Texas and start fresh. Paris always delighted her. The people, the food, the culture. You name it and Joy was fascinated by it. When she arrives it’s everything she expected. The only problem is the language barrier. The perfume company that hired hires someone that will help Joy overcome that barrier so she can communicate with her employees. She’s not too curious about the translator. The person she is most curious about is the man she meets a local bakery.

Griffin has a bucket list. One that his brother made on his deathbed. When one of his items is put on hold and he has to go back to work in Paris, he is not adverse to having a fling with the woman he meets in his favorite bakery. What neither of them know is that Griffin is her new translator. When it becomes clear that they are to work together, they both know that anything personal will have to be put on an indefinite hold. It doesn’t help matters that Griffin is someone that wants to travel the world while Joy wants to make a home in Paris.

As they get closer, they get caught up in each other. First as friends, then as lovers. I loved that about this book. They were friends first. They really enjoyed each other. It was a natural progression to lovers. There were no games, no big misunderstandings. They both fully admitted that they were in love. The only issue that arose between the two of them was Griffin’s loyalty to his brother and his absolute devotion to the bucket list. One of the things I most loved about Joy was that she didn’t make him choose between the brother that was still so obviously with him and her. She just accepted what was. She was such a breath of fresh air.

The ending of the book happened just as it should have. It left me thoroughly satisfied and looking forward to the next book though this isn’t technically a series. These two stayed with me for a bit after I read the book, but that was okay with me for some reason. Even as I write this review I am smiling because it was such a good book.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

four-stars


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Review: Never Deal with Dragons by Lornenda Christensen

Posted February 18, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Never Deal with Dragons by Lornenda ChristensenReviewer: Holly
Never Deal with Dragons by Lorenda Christensen
Narrator: Leslie Bellair
Series: Never Deal with Dragons #1
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: July 22, 2013
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Romance Package
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Fantasy
Pages: 209
Length: 7 hours and 40 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Consoling a sobbing dragon and serving pig buffets are just part of the job for Myrna Banks. Working for a mediation firm, it's her job to get humans compensated for damages caused by the dragons who now rule. But her "typical" day is interrupted by Trian Chobardan, an old flame who sneaked out of her bed two years ago, taking her heart and a handful of classified documents with him.

Myrna would love to show Trian the door, but he's been sent by North America's reigning dragon lord for help negotiating a truce with a powerful rival to avert war. Myrna agrees to help, even though she'll be stuck with Trian as a partner.

As the two work together, Myrna finds Trian to be surprisingly supportive—and still irresistibly attractive. Though her brain tells her not to forget his betrayal, her body feels differently. When they learn the enemy dragon lord is planning something no one could have imagined, Myrna has to learn who she can trust before she loses not only her heart, but her life.

Never Deal with Dragons is the first book in Lorenda Christensen’s Never Deal with Dragons series. This was an impulse grab from the Audible Romance Package. It’s currently $1.99 for Kindle. It grabbed me from the start. Leslie Bellair narrated and did an excellent job. She made it easy to fall into the story.

Myrna works for a mediation firm in a post-apocalyptic future society where technology has basically been wiped out and dragons rule the earth. She settles disputes between humans and dragons. When her ex stole some sensitive documents from her a year ago, her fast-track to the top career came to a screeching halt. Now she’s stuck working as assistant to an incompetent creep, with no end in sight. She isn’t too happy to see her ex when he shows back up. Especially when she realizes he’s really the head of security for the Dragon in charge of North America – a position he held when they were together, though she didn’t know it. That isn’t the only thing she didn’t know…Trian is hiding a pretty big secret. One he never wants her to find out…

I really liked Myrna. She was strong, competent and full of snark. The world was really interesting and drew me in right from the start. These aren’t dragon shifters – they’re actual dragons who only have one form. They were accidentally created in a lab during World War III (yes, 3). They’ve risen to the top of the food chain and now rule in seven different territories. While I enjoyed the fresh take on an old theme, I did struggle a bit to catch up. The world felt very much like our own today, except there was a lack of technology – including electricity, etc. While we were told about this, I didn’t really see evidence of it in the writing. In that case, I believe it was a tell, not show. Still, I can’t deny I was interested in finding out more about the world and how humans and dragons learned to co-exist.

I did struggle with the romance. I didn’t really feel a true connection between Myrna and Trian. I never truly understood the deep emotional connection between Trian and Mryna. They had physical chemistry, but why they loved each other remains a mystery to this reader (listener?). The second half got bogged down with a suspense plot I wasn’t all that interested in. The narrator kept me invested in the story, but I’d rather have had more of the romance (and definitely more grovel from Trian!) than we got.

Still and all, this was a light, enjoyable read. I’m looking forward to the second book.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Never Deal with Dragons

three-half-stars


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Review: Free by Kristen Ashley

Posted February 15, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Free by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Holly
Free by Kristen Ashley
Series: Chaos MC #6
Also in this series: Own the Wind (Chaos, #1), Own the Wind, Ride Steady, Ride Steady, Walk Through Fire, Walk Through Fire, Walk Through Fire
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 29, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First and Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 570
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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two-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Through good times, bad times and times of war, Cole “Rush” Allen grew up in the Chaos Motorcycle Club. Along this journey, he watched his father, Tack, and his MC brothers fight, sweat, bleed and die to steer the Club to legitimacy.

And they’ve got one more battle on their hands.

A battle they have to win.

But when Rush meets the woman who put herself right in the thick of it, he knows he has to stop at nothing to get her out.

Rebel Stapleton has lost someone she loves to murder and she’s the kind of woman who’s going to do something about it. She puts her career on the line, and her life, to bring the man who did it to justice.

That is, she does this until Rush Allen intervenes.

Chaos is at war and they’re about to face the ultimate showdown. They’ll have to negotiate skeletons from the past, enemies becoming allies, and loved ones in the line of fire on their ride to be…

Free.

Free is the 6th and final book in the Chaos MC series by Kristen Ashley. I’ve been anxiously awaiting Rush’s book, since 1) I wanted to see how things were cleared up with their long-time rivals and 2) I loved Rush in earlier books and wanted to see where he was going to take things. We hadn’t met his heroine prior to this book, so she was an unknown.

Cole “Rush” Allen is a member of the Chaos MC. His dad, Tack, is the current president. Tack really cleaned the club up and mostly brought them into the light, but Rush wants to finish the job and get them completely away from anything even remotely illegal. With several old enemies and a couple new ones making themselves known, that’s harder than it seems. Especially since bodies keep piling up – and literal skeletons are floating around. When he meets Rebel Singleton, he knows immediately that he wants her. But Rebel is playing a dangerous game – going undercover in a porn op to find dirt on a mobster – and Rush doesn’t want her wrapped up in that mess. Convincing her to walk away and keeping her safe may be more than he can handle…

It took me forever to read this book. There were so many point-of-view changes and unnecessary content, it didn’t hold my attention. I don’t know why we needed to see so much from so many different characters. We had chapters from 3 villains, 2 extra characters who ended up dying, several characters from previous books and a couple surprise ones at the end. At 570 pages, this novel was already a beast. If half of that had been cut back, it would have been better for it.

I haven’t cared much for Benito Valenzuela’s (the mobster guy) storyline throughout this series. He’s a pretty ridiculous villain and I had little interest in seeing how things played out with him. Nothing we saw about him or from him in this book changed my mind. I don’t even know why the final bit from his POV was included in the epilogue. It was ridiculous.

I enjoyed Rush and Rebel as a couple, and I actually really liked the secondary storyline with Beck, but the rest was pretty ridiculous. I’m not going to lie, I’m disappointed this is how the series ended.

Rating: 2 out of 5

Chaos


two-stars


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Review: Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan

Posted February 13, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Long Shot by Kennedy RyanReviewer: Casee
Long Shot (Hoops, #1) by Kennedy Ryan
Series: Hoops #1
Also in this series: Hoops Holiday
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: March 22, 2018
Format: eBook
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 451
Add It: Goodreads
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

A Standalone FORBIDDEN LOVE SET IN THE EXPLOSIVE WORLD OF THE NBA...

Think you know what it's like being a baller's girl?You don't.My fairy tale is upside down.A happily never after.I kissed the prince and he turned into a fraud.I was a fool, and his love - fool's gold.

Now there's a new player in the game, August West. One of the NBA's brightest stars.Fine. Forbidden. He wants me. I want him.But my past, my fraudulent prince, just won't let me go.

*Some aspects of this story may be sensitive for some readers.

Wowza. This book. It has all the feels. It gave me all the feels. I wanted to sit down and read it from cover-to-cover, but it was such an emotional read that I had to take breaks. One of my favorite things about this book was that it spanned over years. As did Iris and August’ relationship. This book was real because there was no easy fix to the situation they were both in.

When Iris and August first met, August was the shining star of college basketball. They connected that night in a way that most people don’t. They share their dreams with each other, their fears, and their hopes. It was likely the fact that they thought they would never see each other again. When they go to part ways, August decides he can’t just let her go. That’s when Iris tells him she has a boyfriend. He soon finds out that it’s not just any man she’s with, but his biggest enemy on and off the court.

The next few years pass. August is building up his NBA career as is Iris’ boyfriend, Caleb. What he doesn’t know is the sheer hell that Iris is living in. After meeting August, Iris realizes that she doesn’t want the future that Caleb wants and she intends to break up with him. Then she finds out she’s pregnant. While it’s certainly not in her plans, she’s not going to let it deter her from being independent. That all changes when she is put on bedrest and becomes completely dependent on Caleb.

It’s after their daughter is born that she learns of the monster that lives behind the boy-next-door persona that Caleb presents to the world. Holy hell, the parts of the book where Caleb abuses Iris is fucking hard to read. Kennedy Ryan doesn’t sugar coat Iris’ abuse nor does she shy away from the affect that it has on a woman. I really applaud her for putting this out there is such a spectacular fashion. She also touched on an important issue in professional sports: domestic abuse and the protection of athletes. It’s inexcusable whether it is a male of female dishing out the abuse.

Moving on…it takes years, but August and Iris eventually find their way back to each other. Their love is one that doesn’t disappear. It was just a matter of the right time and the right place. They question that remains is if Iris can find it in herself to trust again. Does she realize the epic love she has with August West or is she going to let Caleb ruin the life she could have with the man she loves but may never trust?

Wowza.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Hoops

four-half-stars


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Review: Wild Hunger by Suzanne Wright

Posted February 13, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Wild Hunger by Suzanne WrightReviewer: Holly
Wild Hunger by Suzanne Wright
Narrator: Jill Redfield
Series: The Phoenix Pack #7
Also in this series: Wild Hunger
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Publication Date: May 29, 2018
Format: eBook, Audiobook
Source: Purchased, Audible Romance Package
Point-of-View: Alternating third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 320
Length: 11 hours and 1 minute
Add It: Goodreads
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

When half–wolf shifter Frankie Newman receives an e-mail from a family member she didn’t know existed, a secret is revealed: as a child, Frankie witnessed her father killing her mother…and then himself. Frankie was torn from her pack by her mother’s human relatives, and the trauma was erased from her memory. Realizing that she’s been lied to her entire life, she’s never felt more alone. Until she catches the scent of an old friend—warmly familiar and intoxicating.

Trick Hardy, enforcer of the Phoenix Pack, can sense the rush of mutual attraction when he sees Frankie again. He knows immediately that she’s his true mate. But he also knows that, given her fragile state, he needs to tread with care—no matter how fierce his surging desires.

As aroused as Frankie is by Trick’s darkly dominant air and simmering desire, her priority right now is her past—not her future, no matter how tempting. But as more secrets emerge and Frankie’s life is threatened, Trick must do everything he can to keep her close and safe. After all, it’s their destiny.

Wild Hunger is the 7th book in Suzanne Wright‘s Phoenix Pack series. This may be my favorite of the Phoenix Pack books. I prefer the Mercury Pack overall, but this is my favorite of the Phoenix books. Jill Redfield narrates the audio and I felt she did a good job overall, though the breathy voice she does during love scenes was a turnoff.

Frankie Newman was raised by her maternal grandparents after her mother and father were killed. She has no idea she was once part of a pack, because her grandparents kept the knowledge from her. Once she finds out, she has to decide if she wants a relationship with her father’s family. Trick Hardy has been not-so-patiently waiting for his mate to come along. He knows right away Frankie is the one. He’s determined to give her space to figure out what kind of relationship she wants to have with his pack, and to get used to the idea of mating with him. But he refuses to walk away.

I loved how determined Trick was to find his mate and how open to the bond he was. I also really liked how patient and understanding he was with Frankie. He didn’t push her to give more than she could. It was sweet. I also liked how little drama there was in their coming together. They took their time getting to know each other, but they both accepted that they were mates right away. It was refreshing from previous books, where one mate or another was resistant. Frankie had a tough go of it, feeling betrayed by the people who raised her, as well as dealing with meeting her father’s family. She had a good head on her shoulders and I liked how she dealt with everything.

As I said, this is my favorite of all the Phoenix Pack books. Trick’s patience and understanding, coupled with Frankie’s down-to-earth approach to her situation really worked for me.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

The Phoenix Pack


four-half-stars


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