Tag: Reviews

Review: Hour of Need by Melinda Leigh

Posted May 21, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Hour of Need by Melinda LeighReviewer: Holly
Hour of Need (Scarlet Falls, #1) by Melinda Leigh
Series: Scarlet Falls #1
Published by Montlake Romance
Publication Date: December 9, 2014
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 338
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two-half-stars

While fighting in Afghanistan, Major Grant Barrett receives devastating news: his brother and sister-in-law have been murdered in Scarlet Falls, the sleepy suburb of Grant’s youth. Emotionally scarred from war, the career soldier returns home on emergency leave to temporarily care for his orphaned nephew and niece. But when someone tries to kidnap the kids and their teenage babysitter, Grant knows it’s not a random act…and neither were the murders.

Already devastated by her neighbors’ violent deaths, Ellie Ross is shattered by the attempted abduction of her teenage daughter so she desperately turns to Grant for help. As they navigate a deadly search for the truth, they struggle with growing feelings for each other and Grant’s impending return to deployment.

But time is running out. The killer is growing bolder by the hour, and Ellie and Grant must find him before the children become his next victims.

I really struggle with Romantic Suspense. The characters often do things that make no sense to me, or the mystery is so easy to figure out I end up being really bored. Though I do enjoy mysteries and suspense in audio. I haven’t read Melinda Leigh before, but she had good reviews so I figured I’d give her a try. The blurb does a good job of outlining the plot, so I don’t feel the need to recap.

I enjoyed the narrator, but I spent most of the book irritated at the way the characters acted. The heroine made silly choices that put herself and her family in danger. The hero supported her in those choices when it made no sense, and often rushed into danger himself without thought.

As a romance, this was cute. He had to come home on emergency leave to care for his niece and nephew when his brother and sister-in-law were murdered. Seeing this confirmed bachelor soldier deal with a colicky infant and heartbroken kindergartner was sweet and endearing. His budding relationship with the next door neighbor was sweet, too. I liked the two of them together and the way their families blended.

As a suspense novel it didn’t work for me, but as a romance it was sweet. There’s a good chance others will enjoy the suspense more.

2.75-3.0 out of 5

Scarlet Falls

two-half-stars


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Guest Review: Too Wilde to Wed by Eloisa James

Posted May 21, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Too Wilde to Wed by Eloisa JamesReviewer: Tracy
Too Wilde to Wed by Eloisa James
Series: The Wildes of Lindow Castle #2
Also in this series: Wilde in Love
Published by Avon
Publication Date: May 29th 2018
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
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four-stars

The handsome, rakish heir to a dukedom, Lord Roland Northbridge Wilde—known to his friends as North—left England two years ago, after being jilted by Miss Diana Belgrave. He returns from war to find that he's notorious: polite society has ruled him "too wild to wed."

Diana never meant to tarnish North's reputation, or his heart, but in her rush to save a helpless child, there was no time to consider the consequences of working as a governess in Lindow Castle. Now everyone has drawn the worst conclusions about the child's father, and Diana is left with bittersweet regret.

When North makes it clear that he still wants her for his own, scandal or no, Diana has to fight to keep from losing her heart to the man whom she still has no intention of marrying.

Yet North is returning a hardened warrior—and this is one battle he's determined to win.

He wants Diana, and he'll risk everything to call her his own.

After Lord Roland, better known as North, was jilted by Diana Belgrave he went off to fight in the Revolutionary War. It’s been two years since he left and he comes home to find that Diana is working as a governess in his home.  When he confronts Diana on his first day back he finds a very different woman than the one he proposed to. This Diana talks a lot, has freckles on her face and beautiful red hair – she’s not the quiet, meek, biddable, high wig-wearing, fashionable woman that she was. North actually likes this Diana better. North finds comfort in Diana’s presence and he soon realizes that he still loves her. In fact he loves her more now than he did before because she’s a more genuine person.

Diana is extremely sorry for the way that she jilted North, but she had to do it in order to save her nephew. She knows that she can’t stay in the Wilde household now that North is back but when she tries to leave, North stops her. They are soon finding comfort in each other’s arms and Diana knows that North would love to keep her for his own. North, however, is the heir to the Duchy and both he and Diana know that she would make a horrible Duchess. How can North even think of taking another wife when it’s Diana he’ll love forever.

Too Wilde to Wed is another wonderful book in the The Wildes of Lindow Castle series. I loved the characters so much in this story and was so happy we got to read North and Diana’s story – especially after how the first book ended.

Diana was such a lovely woman. She was extremely down to earth and knew her own mind.  She had put through the ringer with her mother and tried to conform to her mother’s wishes but in the end her sister Rose, and her family, took precedence over what her mother wanted. I so admired Diana for the strength she had shown throughout all she’d been through after jilting North and was so happy when she got her HEA.

North was my kind of hero. He was a bit emotionally tortured but also knew his own mind and what he needed in his life. I just loved him! Something about his personality just spoke to me and the decisions he made in the end made my heart melt. Choosing love over everything else is what makes a great romance – and this book had that.

I can’t wait to see what happens next in this series – and there are so many Wilde’s to choose from! Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long for the next book.

Rating: 4 out of 5 

The Wildes of Lindow Castle Series

four-stars


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Guest Review: Someone to Care by Mary Balogh

Posted May 18, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Someone to Care by Mary BaloghReviewer: Tracy
Someone to Care by Mary Balogh
Series: Westcott series #4
Also in this series: Someone to Love, Someone to Hold, Someone to Wed
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: May 1, 2018
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
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four-stars


Once the Countess of Riverdale, Viola Kingsley throws all caution to the wind when adventure calls in the form of a handsome aristocrat. . . .

Two years after the death of the Earl of Riverdale, his family has overcome the shame of being stripped of their titles and fortune--except for his onetime countess, Viola. With her children grown and herself no longer part of the social whirl of the ton, she is uncertain where to look for happiness--until quite by accident her path crosses once again with that of the Marquess of Dorchester, Marcel Lamarr.

Marcel Lamarr has been a notorious womanizer since the death of his wife nearly twenty years earlier. Viola caught his eye when she herself was a young mother, but she evaded his seduction at the time. A prize that eluded him before, she is all the more irresistible to him now although he is surprised to discover that she is as eager now for the excitement he offers as he is himself.

When the two defy convention and run away together, they discover that the ties of respectability are not so easily severed, and pleasure can ensnare you when you least expect it.

Two years ago Viola’s husband died and she found out that her marriage of 23 years had been bigamous.  She retreated to her brother’s home trying to deal with the emotional aftermath.  She would have thought that she’d be over it all by now but when she heads to Bath for her grandson’s christening she’s inundated with her family.  Even the Westcott family, which she was never legally a part of, shows her love and kindness.  She knows she’s horrible for not appreciating it more but she finds it smothering.  She leaves Bath in a hired carriage (many family members had offered their carriages and servants but she’d refused) and just her luck, the thing breaks down.  She ends up in a little village overnight and who does she meet there but the man she’d fallen in love with 14 years earlier.

Marcel is on his way home to deal with family issues when he sees Viola.  He knows that she’s no longer married and though he knows he shouldn’t, he approaches her.  She told him to “go away” years earlier and he had abided by her wishes.  He knew she was married but he couldn’t help flirting with her.  Now she’s free and he suggests they spend the day at the town fair.  Viola agrees and has more fun with Marcel then she’d had in a very long time – even when she was married.  They end up spending the night together and Marcel suggests that they run away together for a couple of weeks.  Viola knows it’s not proper but she agrees.

Marcel and Viola spend time at his cottage in the country and they have a great time but reality soon comes crashing down on them in the form of their families and to save Viola’s reputation Marcel says that they’re betrothed.  Now it’s back to reality and Viola has to figure out how she can get out of the betrothal.  She loves Marcel but knows he doesn’t love her. She thinks he’s just a womanizer and not good marriage material but there’s a whole lot more behind Marcel’s outer core than Viola knows.

This was another lovely novel by Mary Balogh.  She’s become one of my favorite historical romance authors as she writes so well and always gives me a good story.

I’ve loved reading about the Westcott family as they’ve gone through the scandal of what their father/husband did to them.  Finding out that she was never married to her husband was a shock to Viola and I think she’d been in a bit of a depressive state for two years.  I know I would have been!  When she sees Marcel again she thinks he’s just as handsome as he was 14 years earlier.  She’d fallen in love with him back then but knew nothing could come of it because she was married and not a cheater.  To be with him again easily brought those feelings back and she quickly fell in love with him.  I could see how she would fall hard and fast for Marcel.  He had a dry sense of humor and though he held himself back some I could tell that he truly cared for Viola.

Marcel had once been a loving husband and father to his twins but after the death of his wife he left his kids with their aunt and only visited them twice a year.  He had become someone he didn’t recognize, or particularly like, but that changed when he was with Viola.  She made him want to be a better person and I loved reading about his transformation throughout the book.  Balogh did a wonderful job of bringing him to being more “human.”

The book included characters from previous Westcott books and that was awesome.  We got to see how the couples from books 1-3 were faring and I loved reading about the whole family.  I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series to see what happens next with this wonderful, loving family.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Wescott

four-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: Rewriting Monday by Jodi Thomas

Posted May 17, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 4 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Rewriting Monday by Jodi ThomasReviewer: Holly
Rewriting Monday by Jodi Thomas
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: April 7th 2009
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 352
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four-stars

Reporter Pepper Malone moved to Bailey, Texas, after a news story nearly got her killed. Now she wants to be left alone to do her job in relative peace and quiet. But when the newspaper’s staff is targeted by a madman with a grudge against the media, Pepper is drawn back into the public eye—and into the arms of the paper’s handsome owner.

Every Thursday in 2018, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books.

This review was originally published on September 23, 2009.

 
I generally don’t like books that feature journalists. Too often they’re willing to sellout the people in their lives for a story. Obviously that isn’t always the case, and Jodi Thomas is a great example to go by with Rewriting Monday.

Pepper Malone lost her job as one of Chicago Tribune’s best reporters when a story goes bad. She ends up broke and alone in Bailey, TX and decides to stick around after seeing the local newspaper is hiring.

Mike McCulloch gave up his dream of being a teacher to run the newspaper after his father and older brother passed away. He’s been kind of floating along ever since, not really connecting to anyone or anything. When Pepper blows into his office, it’s like she slapped him awake. Now he can’t get his mind off of her.

When bad things start happening at the paper, Mike and Pepper both believe each is the target. Pepper is surprised to learn the paper has been receiving threats for months, and Mike knows Pepper is hiding something about her past, but isn’t sure what.

Pepper was kind of a breath of fresh air. She’s had some hard knocks, but that doesn’t take away from her sunny personality. She was an upbeat person without being annoying and I liked that she drew Mike out of his shell. Her innate curiosity came across well. Mostly she just seemed genuinely interested in people.

Mike was the strong, silent type who tended to push people away. It wasn’t that he didn’t care about the people of Bailey, it’s just that he was struggling to raise his niece and to come to terms with his decision to stay at the paper.

Pepper and Mike worked well together. Not just personally, but professionally. They seemed to really feed off of each other. Their relationship was one that grew over time with lots of conversation. It wasn’t like some where they jump right into bed together then try to work the details out later.

The town kind of took on a life of its own and provided a wonderful backdrop for the story. I think Thomas really excels at writing small town life. Once again I was transported to a small Texas town and really wanted to move there. The secondary characters also enriched the story, and I really enjoyed the secondary romance between the bakery owner and her estranged ex-husband.

As for the mystery, I think it really took a backseat to the romance between Pepper and Mike and the everyday life of the town. It didn’t take me long to figure out who was behind the threats, so the end didn’t surprise me. It almost felt kind of anti-climatic, but that’s often how I feel when it comes to mysteries, so it could just be.

Overall I very impressed with the characters and the setting. Thomas really excels at writing smalltown romance that really sucks you in. Highly recommended.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

four-stars


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Guest Review: The Big Alpha in Town by Eve Langlais, Milly Taiden & Kate Baxter

Posted May 17, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Big Alpha in Town by Eve Langlais, Milly Taiden & Kate BaxterReviewer: Tracy
The Big Alpha in Town by Eve Langlais
Published by St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: May 15, 2018
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 384
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three-stars

Three hot stories about three sexy shifters from a trio of today's hottest paranormal romance authors, headlined by bestselling authors Eve Langlais and Milly Taiden!

Bearing His NameMeeting his mate should have been cause for celebration. There’s just one teeny tiny problem. Jade thinks Ark might have impregnated her sister. He didn’t, but convincing Jade is going to take a bit of honey.

Owned by the LionKeir’s been told to stop playing the field and settle down—difficult advice for a hard and hot man with a lion’s heart to follow. But his sights have always been set on Ally. She’s his mate, plain and simple. With her sweet and delicious curves, she’s nothing but sugar and trouble all rolled into one. But he’s known her and sparred with her for years. She’s his best friend’s little sister, and it’s going to take a whole new level of convincing that he’s the mate for her.

No Need Fur LoveMoving with his pack to the tiny town of Stanley, Idaho has Owen Courtney a little on edge. With literally no women in sight, Owen will be lucky to find a date, let alone his true mate. But you know the saying about a werewolf walking into a bar…Gorgeous wood nymph Mia Oliver is on a mission: Find a suitable male to get her good ‘n pregnant and provide her with an heir. But when Mia decides to pick up a gorgeous and oh-so willing werewolf at the bar, she realizes she might be in over her head. …

Bearing His Name by Eve Langlais

Jade sent snarky “Congratulations you’re a father!” cards to a whole slew of men in the same extended family.  Her sister Ruby is pregnant by one of them, but she has no idea which one.  She was at a Halloween party and only knows that the guy was dressed as Zeus – as were a bunch of men there.  When Ark heads to Jade and Ruby’s apartment he’s not sure if he’s the father of Ruby’s baby or not but he hopes he isn’t because it looks like Jade is his mate.

This story was just ‘OK” imho.  I liked Jade and Ruby but Ark made me crazy.  He pretty much stalked Jade and would break into her apartment and watch her sleeping. That is the definition of creepy stalker in my book.  I think this was all supposed to be forgivable because they were mates and he just wanted to be with her, etc.  It wasn’t.  He was also so arrogant it made me want to hit him. Because of his attitude I never really got into the romance – probably because I kept thinking Jade could do better.

Owned by the Lion by Milly Taiden

Keir knew immediately upon meeting Ally that she was his mate but he didn’t tell her.  He wants to woo her but she hates him something fierce, for some reason that is never explained.  He finally gets her to talk to him and she finally sees he’s a good guy.  Too bad all of his many women keep coming around.  Of course it’s hard to get away from them when they are literally everywhere they go.

This story wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great for me either.  I couldn’t understand why Keir didn’t just come out and tell Ally she was his mate.  It truly would have solved all the issues because of how mates in this world are so devoted to each other.  She would have known that the other women he’d been with previously now meant nothing to him.  Of course then their wouldn’t have been a story so…  Because of Ally “hating” Keir so much at first it was hard for me to get into their relationship, unfortunately.

No Need Fur Love by Kate Baxter

Mia is out for a one-night stand so that she can get pregnant. Her father, who is the leader of their wood nymph band says that if she’s produces a child then he’ll let her in more of the leadership issues.  Mia meets Owen at the first bar she goes to and it hardly takes any time at all before they’re leaving with each other.

Owen is at the bar wishing he could have the type of relationship that his Alpha has with his new mate when Mia walks in.  He knows immediately she’s his mate but after their night together she disappears.

This was a cute story.  I liked Mia and Owen a lot.  It wasn’t insta-love but pretty close.  Owen was all about the mate bond but Mia didn’t feel it the same way so that brought a little tension into the mix which was nice.

The story also involved Mia’s crazy dad and his hatred of Owen’s wolf pack which brought even more tension into the story which I liked.

Overall not a fabulous anthology for me but at least somewhat entertaining.

 

Overall rating: 3 out of 5

three-stars


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