Tag: Reviews

Review: Red Wolf by Jennifer Ashley

Posted December 7, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Red Wolf by Jennifer AshleyReviewer: Holly
Red Wolf by Jennifer Ashley
Narrator: Cris Dukehart
Series: Shifters Unbound #10
Also in this series: White Tiger (Shifters Unbound, #8)
Publisher: Berkley Books
Publication Date: May 2, 2017
Format: eARC, Audiobook
Source: Library, NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 336
Length: 10 hours and 15 minutes
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Goodreads
three-half-stars

The New York Times bestselling author of Guardian's Mate returns to the world of the Shifters and a tale of a new love under fire...

A man is only as strong...

Red wolf Shifter Dimitri has fought his whole life for respect. It is claimed that red wolves are tainted with coyote blood and therefore not pure. He may not be skilled at verbally defending himself, but because he's a bodyguard, tracker, and champion of the fight clubs, his fists are always ready for some rough and tumble. However, he'd prefer a roll in the hay with the woman who is his oldest friend.

...as the woman who's got his back...

A spirited leopard Shifter and a fellow tracker, Jaycee Bordeaux has no problem forging a mate bond with Dimitri, but soon the two are called to infiltrate a rogue group bent on enslaving Shifters. Jaycee may have defended Dimitri from taunts before, but they now face a more lethal danger--one that threatens not only the future of their people, but also their love.

I really like the Shifters Unbound series by Jennifer Ashley. Red Wolf follows two un-collared shifters from Kendrick’s pack, Dimitri and Jaycee. They were introduced in White Tiger. Jaycee thought she was in love with her alpha (Kendrick), but realized it was just being safe and loved in the pack she wanted. When Kendrick and his mate start mate bonding, Jaycee and Dimitri end up in bed together, too. They’ve been best friends as long as either of them can remember. Dimitri had a speech impediment and Jaycee is the only one who seems to always get him. During a tense situation Dimitri mate-claimed Jaycee, in the hope that he could tell her not to put herself in danger. That didn’t work. Still, the mate-claim stands until Jaycee either accepts it or rejects it. She wants to accept it because she loves Dimitri and wants him in her life, but she doesn’t want to be controlled by a male. Nor does she want to lose the easy friendship they have. For Dimitri, there’s never been anyone but Jacyee. He didn’t claim her on a whim, he’s wanted her all along. When they’re put on an undercover op, their mate-claim will really be tested and Jaycee will have to decide what’s really important.

This started out slow, with a lot of the focus on Jaycee’s internal feelings and exploring a borrowed house. It does eventually pick up and I really enjoyed the second half. The story-arc is continued from White Tiger, and we also saw threads from other books coming together here. Ashley has a wonderful, solid writing voice that really brings this world to life. Though the romance was slow and somewhat lacking, the overall story-arc and progression of things inside the world really worked for me. I love how she tugs so many threads at once. In this book we see how many of them are connected.

I didn’t much care for Jaycee’s internal struggle about the mate-claim. Her main hesitation was that she didn’t want to be controlled or under the thumb of another. That would make sense if Dimitri ever tried to control her. He didn’t want her in danger, of course, but that’s because he loved her. He never tried to stop her from doing her job and in fact often encouraged her. So her fears there were groundless and therefore didn’t hold sway with me. The outside conflict was much more interesting and kept me reading.

3.75 out of 5

Shifters Unbound

three-half-stars


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Review: Rookie Move by Sarina Bowen

Posted December 5, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Rookie Move by Sarina BowenReviewer: Casee
Rookie Move (Brooklyn Bruisers, #1) by Sarina Bowen
Narrator: Nicol Zanzarella, Rock Engle
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers #1
Also in this series: Rookie Move, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter (Brooklyn Bruisers #2), Pipe Dreams, Pipe Dreams, Pipe Dreams (Brooklyn Bruisers, #3), Brooklynaire (Brooklyn Bruisers #4), Bountiful (True North, #4; Brooklyn Bruisers, #4.5)
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: September 6, 2016
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Romance Package
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 303
Length: 9 hours 53 minutes
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Goodreads
two-stars

The first novel in a sexy new series featuring the hockey players of the Brooklyn Bruisers and the women who win their hearts—from the USA Today bestselling author of the Ivy Years series. 
In high school they were the perfect couple—until the day Georgia left Leo in the cold...
  Hockey player Leo Trevi has spent the last six years trying to do two things: get over the girl who broke his heart, and succeed in the NHL. But on the first day he’s called up to the newly franchised Brooklyn Bruisers, Leo gets checked on both sides, first by the team’s coach—who has a long simmering grudge, and then by the Bruisers’ sexy, icy publicist—his former girlfriend Georgia Worthington.   Saying goodbye to Leo was one of the hardest things Georgia ever had to do—and saying hello again isn’t much easier. Georgia is determined to keep their relationship strictly professional, but when a press conference microphone catches Leo declaring his feelings for her, things get really personal, really fast....

This book was unbearable from start to finish. From the narrators to the story itself to the heroine, I disliked it immensely. The only saving grace to this book was Leo, the hero.

Let us start with the narrators. There were two, a male and a female. The male voice was just…off. Nothing like I would have imagined Leo’s voice to sound like. I always laugh a little when the men read dialogue from the heroine during a sex scene, but this narrator was roll-your-eyes-out-of-your-head eye rolling. Oh and when he voiced Leo’s mom? Are you fucking kidding me? That’s what my kids used to sound like when they tried to imitate me when they were six. It really pulled me out of the book. The female narrator was pretty bad too. Her voice was so breathy, it just didn’t work. Plus as the voice of Georgia, I was more imagining nails-on-a-chalkboard. She sounded like a porn star during the sex scenes.

My dislike of this book began and ended with the heroine. Georgia Worthington was awful. I mean truly, truly awful. The only reason I didn’t DNF this book is because I plan on continuing this series and I’m anal about leaving a book unfinished. It was a close thing though. I wanted to “toss” it at least three separate times. Georgia and Leo’s age was somewhat murky. I couldn’t tell if they were twenty four or twenty six. Maybe twenty five? I have no idea. What I do know for certain is that I wanted to brain Georgia with one of those stilettos that she hates so much.

Georgia and Leo have history. It’s all about to come to a head when Leo is traded to the Brooklyn Bruisers. The Bruisers is a professional hockey team of which Georgia is the interim lead publicist for. As an aside I would say that the publicist profession is my second least favorite profession when reading. I simply don’t like them. When you had in the fact that the heroine was insufferable, a disaster is brewing. Anyway, Georgia and Leo haven’t seen each other for anywhere from four to six years. They were high school sweethearts. Then there was a horrible night that Georgia was raped at a party. After that, nothing was ever the same. But should/would it be? Regardless of that, Georgia dumps Leo because he doesn’t look at her with desire anymore. Holy shit. Seriously.

Now, in the present, Georgia can only think back to how great it was in the past with Leo. Before the rape. When they were teenagers. TEENAGERS. Grow the fuck up. Are you an adult? I know things were great, but you’ve evolved. Leo has evolved. Stop holding on to your TEENAGE past. Georgia just had the most shortsighted, brainless reasons for saying no to a relationship with Leo. He might be traded. He’ll never look at her the way he used to. They can never had what they had in the past. She can’t have a relationship with a player. On and on it goes. It got really old.

Leo was delightful. I really loved him. He was funny. I loved his sense of humor. As much as he loved hockey and has wanted to play it his entire life, he is willing to give it all up for Georgia. I have no idea WTF he was thinking there. I wouldn’t give her a glass of water if she was on fire. This right here is the epitome of who Leo is.

“Fuck that,” he said. “You and I don’t have one-night stands. We have forevernight stands.”

How can you not fall in love with Leo?

Even with how much I loved Leo, I detested Georgia even more. Did I already tell you she was insufferable? I know I did. It bears repeating. Georgia was insufferable. Not one likable thing about the woman.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Brooklyn Bruisers

two-stars


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Review: Smoke and Sin by Shayla Black and Lexi Blake

Posted December 4, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Smoke and Sin by Shayla Black and Lexi BlakeReviewer: Casee
Smoke and Sin (The Perfect Gentlemen, #4) by Shayla Black, Lexi Blake
Series: The Perfect Gentlemen #4
Also in this series: Scandal Never Sleeps (The Perfect Gentlemen, #1), Seduction in Session (The Perfect Gentlemen, #2), Big Easy Temptation (The Perfect Gentlemen, #3)
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: September 26, 2017
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 460
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Goodreads
three-half-stars

More than a decade ago, Roman Calder had a scorching affair with the sister of one of his best friends. Augustine Spencer drove him so crazy he thought of nothing but her. The only thing they did more often than heat the sheets was fight. Unprepared for the intensity of their relationship, Roman broke things off and concentrated on things that made sense to him: his career and putting his best friend, Zack Hayes, in the White House.

Gus Spencer is known to Washington insiders as the president’s secret weapon. Gorgeous and brilliant, Gus runs the press pool with the determination of a shark. No one dares to cross her, not when she’s known for having a spine of steel…but long ago one man melted her down. Despite the fact that she’ll never forgive Roman for breaking her heart, now that they work together she can’t get him off her mind.

When a dangerous investigation leads both Roman and Gus to London, the heat between them becomes unbearable. As they begin to unravel an international conspiracy, they find themselves falling all over again. But when a killer threatens their world, can they fight to stay together or will the sins of their past keep them forever apart?

This book picks up immediately where Big Easy Temptation left off (except for the Prologue). What do we know about Roman Calder and Augustine Spencer? We know that Roman is Zack Hayes Chief of Staff and best friend. He’s known in the media as the Hitman. He’s scary. When he wants things done, they get done. Gus is Dax’s sister. She likes sleeping with men and she doesn’t care if people thinks she’s a whore. She’s refreshing. I really like her. Or I did like her until I read this book.

Roman and Gus have a history and it’s not a good one. You’ll get an idea right away of what they have to overcome. It’s not just not pretty. It’s ugly. There was a day thirteen years ago that Roman should have been at Gus’ side. He wasn’t. Instead it was Maddox Crawford that was there. He was also there every year since. Mad was one of Gus’ best friends. She knows that Mad was murdered. She will do anything she has to do to prove it, even if it means point the finger at her boss. Did I mention she runs the press pool at the White House? So Zack is her boss.

The reason Roman broke it off with Gus all those years ago was because he didn’t want a relationship like his parents had while he was growing up. All his parents did was fight (spectacularly) and then make up. He saw the pattern repeating itself with Gus and wasn’t going to let that happen. He was determined to be different. To fall in love and marry someone, well, boring. He did fall in love with someone else. Zack’s wife. She may have just been his wife for political reasons, but she was still his best friend’s wife. When she was murdered two days before the election, Roman was devastated. Still, no one was more devastated than Zack.

Having Gus be so close to him, but not be with him is hell for Roman. Their situation changes when they’re in England. He knows Gus and he can tell she’s up to something. She knows a few bits and pieces of what is going on with Zack, but she doesn’t know the whole picture. And he’s not going to let her find out. He doesn’t want her in danger. He’ll do whatever he has to do to protect her. Even from herself.

Roman is the same man he’s always been. He’s someone that underestimates her. She doesn’t need him to accomplish her goals. Except then she does because he makes a public claim on her and unless she’s going to call him a liar in public, she has to go along with his plan. Though they’re now partners, they’re still not partners because Roman won’t tell her the entire truth. Which is no less than Gus expected. Even if she is disappointed she’s not surprised.

I didn’t like Roman at all. He just didn’t respect Gus. Not as a woman, not as a partner. Oh, he made all the right noises, but he didn’t. It was annoying as all hell. I didn’t like Gus either. She didn’t trust Roman at all. The fact that she had no reason to was beside the point. The only relationship I did like in this entire book was between Liz and Gus. Liz is Zack’s Press Secretary and the woman he’s secretly loved for years. Except now Zack has pushed her away because he knows the Russians are after him.

So this book was just meh. The best part happened at the end when Zack thinks he has a handle on who Liz is. Ha. Laughable, really.

At the Pleasure of the President (Zack’s book, obviously) was supposed to be out this fall. I emailed Lexi and a couple things came up. She said that she and Shayla hope to have it out next spring. Yay!

Rating: 3.75 out of 5.

The Perfect Gentlemen

three-half-stars


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Review: Archangel’s Prophecy by Nalini Singh

Posted December 3, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Archangel’s Prophecy by Nalini SinghReviewer: Casee
Archangel's Prophecy (Guild Hunter, #11) by Nalini Singh
Narrator: Justine Eyre
Series: Guild Hunter #11
Also in this series: Archangel's Kiss, Archangel's Consort, 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 (Guild Hunter, #11), Archangel's Consort (Guild Hunter, #3)
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: October 30, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 372
Length: 11 hours, 44 minutes
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Goodreads
four-stars

Return to New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh’s darkly passionate Guild Hunter world, where human-turned-angel Elena Deveraux, consort to Archangel Raphael, is thrust center stage into an eons-old prophecy....

Midnight and dawn, Elena’s wings are unique among angelkind…and now they’re failing. The first mortal to be turned into an immortal in angelic memory, she’s regressing. Becoming more and more human. Easier to hurt. Easier to kill.

Elena and Raphael must unearth the reason for the regression before it’s too late and Elena falls out of the sky. Yet even as they fight a furious battle for Elena’s very survival, violent forces are gathering in New York and across the world.

In China, the Archangel Favashi is showing the first signs of madness. In New York, a mysterious sinkhole filled with lava swallows a man whole. In Africa, torrential monsoon rains flood rolling deserts. And in Elena’s mind whispers a haunting voice that isn’t her own.

This time, survival may not be possible…not even for the consort of an archangel.

Nalini, it’s possible that you and I may need to break up. I’m still considering it. I just can’t do this anymore. How could you do this to me? It’s not okay. ::sigh::

This book was everything. It was too much. It gave me all the feels. Too many feels. It sounds really strange, I know, but I don’t like to read books that I think about for days after I finish them. I don’t like the angst I feel. I surely don’t like the angst I feel right now.

Before I jump into my review, I want to mention that I listened to this book on audio. The narrator is fucking amazing. Justine Eyre is the narrator of the entire Guild Hunter series. She is phenomenal. At first I was afraid to listen to it because Elena and Raphael are so incredibly important to me as characters that I didn’t want to hear their voices brought to me by someone that just couldn’t pull it off. I needn’t have worried.

Like I said above, this book gave me so many feels, I don’t know where to start. So I’ll just jump in and try to make some sort of sense. Archangel’s Prophecy picks up about two years after Archangel’s Heart ends. The Cadre has been dormant for that long and now it has awoken. Weird shit starts to happen and it begins and ends with Elena. All of a sudden she’s in a backslide. That’s right…instead of coming into her immortality, Elena is becoming mortal again. What’s even worse is that she’s becoming even weaker than she was when she was actually mortal.

That’s not her only problem. The Archangel Cassandra who is a true Ancient has started to awaken from her Sleep to warn Elena about the prophecy. The one where Elena must die for the “Other” to live. Elena is just as kick-ass as she’s ever been and she’s not one to take a prophecy that shows her death lying down. She’s not about to leave Raphael either. Especially when she can see him becoming more “other” himself as she becomes weaker.

Raphael won’t accept that Elena will die. He simply won’t. He knows exactly what he will become should Elena die. Even with Elena telling him that he will be the only one able to stop Lijuan, he knows he can’t live without her. As the days go by and Elena’s feathers begin to fall, it becomes apparent that he may not have a choice.

If Elena is going to die, she’s going to die protecting her sister and her niece. Someone tried to kill her brother-in-law and are after Beth and Maggie. When Elena finally discovers who is after them, she can barely hold up her sword, let alone fight the man that is living for nothing but vengeance.

Throughout this series, Elena’s love for her wings is absolute. I don’t know if I can forgive Nalini for grounding her. There’s a scene at the end of the book that absolutely wrecked me. Elena without wings at this point isn’t Elena at all. Then Raphael and Elena realize what the prophecy actually is. They both don’t want to accept it, but do they have a choice with Elena taking what could literally be her last breath?

After the torture that was the ending of this book, I am highly doubtful that the next Guild Hunter book will even be about Raphael and Elena. I have a feeling that it is actually going to be about Aodhan. Leaving no answers about Raphael and Elena.

So yep, I’m bitter. Even with that bitterness, Nalini’s writing is still out of this world. So is this series (for the most part).

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

Guild Hunter Series

four-stars


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Review: Big Easy Temptation by Shayla Black and Lexi Blake

Posted November 30, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Big Easy Temptation by Shayla Black and Lexi BlakeReviewer: Casee
Big Easy Temptation (The Perfect Gentlemen, #3) by Shayla Black, Lexi Blake
Series: The Perfect Gentlemen #3
Also in this series: Scandal Never Sleeps (The Perfect Gentlemen, #1), Seduction in Session (The Perfect Gentlemen, #2), Smoke and Sin (The Perfect Gentlemen, #4)
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: May 3, 2016
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 371
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

The New York Times bestselling authors of the Masters of Ménage series present the third scintillating novel featuring the privileged, wealthy, wild men of Creighton Academy—the Perfect Gentlemen.

Years ago, Naval officer Dax Spencer and NCIS agent Holland Kirk indulged in a steamy affair—until she betrayed him in the wake of his father’s death. Dax tried to put her behind him with a payback of his own. But he never forgot Holland…

Now, as Dax and his fellow Perfect Gentlemen unravel a web of lies, he discovers his family’s tragedy is part of a much larger conspiracy. Soon, all clues point him back to New Orleans…where Holland waits, protecting her deadly secret and holding a torch for the only man she’s ever loved.

Once reunited, they can’t fight the passion flaring hot and wild. But something sinister lurks around every corner, from the elegance of the Garden district to the beauty of the bayou. Dax and Holland may find their way back to each other—if they survive...

While I wouldn’t say the series started going downhill exactly, it was this book that the series started backsliding for me. I loved the first book and fucking loved the second book. Don’t series books get better with each successive book (see Hidden Legacy)? Unfortunately that wasn’t the case here. This book wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t up there with the first two.

When this book begins, all we know is that Dax and this Holland person have had a nasty falling out. Which is putting it mildly. What I mean by that is that you know it’s putting it mildly even before you find out what happened. It’s just apparent that Dax hates this woman. It could have been this:

Until he’d seen that translation, he’d never intended to set eyes on her again. She’d betrayed him in the cruelest fashion possible by closing her investigation after giving it as much thought as someone opening an umbrella on a rainy day. In the blink of an eye, she’d made a judgment call that gave the press free license to vilify his father. Hell, she’d even had him believing his father was guilty at one point. She’d torn down his family to further her career. Oh, he’d paid her back. Now nothing lay between them but anger and regret.

Yeah, it was that.

Im not a fan of books that go from past to present in general. When I’m in the middle of a series where there has been a lot of action and I want to know more about the present, like, now, I have even less patience for the jump back in time. I understand that Dax and Holland’s past had to be told. It was just such an adjustment in reading pace compared to the first two books. It was hard. Very hard. So hard that I started skimming the past until I got to the good part and understood exactly what happened.

Holland sacrificed everything to keep Dax safe. They were in love. Seriously in love. Like get married, have babies, etc. in love. After years and years of knowing each other, Holland finally took a chance on Dax. He was everything she hoped he would be and more. The problem that lay between them now is the suicide (or was it?) of his father. Holland isn’t certain it was suicide any longer and she is determined to help Dax find out the truth. That’s until the Russians come to her with a threat. Drop the investigation or Dax dies. If she doubted it, she stops when he comes home that night and tells her some crazy driver almost hit him. If that didn’t do it, the text would have.

To help Holland stop the investigation, the Russians put money into her account to make it look like she was on the take. Dax is too hurt to wonder why Holland–Holland–would do something like that to him. He has no idea how he could have been so wrong about her. He quickly beats feet and leaves New Orleans. He takes Holland’s best friend with him and elopes with her in Vegas, though. Whoops. Guys are dumb. For real.

Now we’re back to the present (If you’ve stayed with me this long, grab yourself a drink–you deserve it). Dax may be blind, but he’s not stupid. He’s finally realized what happened all those years ago and he’s seriously shaken. He abandoned the woman he loved. Still loves. He left her in danger. He married her best friend. He took everyone from her. She was good friends with his mother, friends with his sister. All gone. Dax knows he has a lot to make up for, but he’s determined to do it. He’s going to get her back. He’s going to make sure they have what they should have had years ago.

There’s still that thing with the Russians though. That and someone is taking shots at both Holland and Dax. Not to mention something is going on with Holland’s uncle, who is the captain of the New Orleans Police Dept. They have serious problems. But they still have each other. Right?

Winding down…I really enjoyed the last 35-40% of this book. The whole book was very well written, but the whole thing was about pace. It was really hard to switch gears. I don’t think I really did, even by the end. Even with that, I liked Dax and Holland a lot.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Perfect Gentlemen

four-stars


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