Tag: Reviews

Lightning Reviews: Fire Inside, Ride Steady, Walk Through Fire, Wild Like the Wind by Kristen Ashley

Posted August 16, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Kristen Ashley, how I love thee.

Lightning Reviews: Fire Inside, Ride Steady, Walk Through Fire, Wild Like the Wind by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Casee
Fire Inside by Kristen Ashley
Series: Chaos MC #2
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, Free, Own the Wind
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: March 25, 2014
Format: eBook
Point-of-View: First Person, Third Person
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 432
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: three-half-stars

Lanie Heron isn't looking for love-no surprise, considering her last serious relationship nearly got her killed. So when Lanie propositions Hop Kincaid, all she wants is one wild night with the hot-as-hell biker who patrols with the Chaos Motorcycle Club . . .

For Hop, Lanie has always been untouchable. She's too polished and too classy for his taste. But when she gives Hop the once-over with her bedroom eyes and offers him a night in paradise, he can't say no. And he doesn't regret it when he finds that Lanie is the best thing that's ever happened to him-in or out of bed. Now the trick will be to convince her of that.

After almost dying trying to protect her fiancé, Lanie Heron is a shadow of her former self. Once upon a time she was the life of the party, now she just wants to be left alone. By everyone but one person.

When Lanie propositions Hop, he is floored. He’s always watched Lanie, but knew she wasn’t for him. Now he can’t turn her away.

Hop and Lanie’s story was sweet. I thought I would find Lanie more annoying than I did. She was just about unbearable in Motorcycle Man. She was just too much. While this book is not my favorite in the series, it was still a good read.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Lightning Reviews: Fire Inside, Ride Steady, Walk Through Fire, Wild Like the Wind by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Casee
Ride Steady by Kristen Ashley
Series: Chaos MC #3
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, Free, Own the Wind
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: June 30, 2015
Format: eBook
Point-of-View: Multiple
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 640
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: three-half-stars

Meet the intense and sexy bad boy bikers of the Chaos Motorcycle Club in Carissa and Joker's story from Kristen Ashley's New York Times bestselling series.
The ride of her life . . . Once upon a time, Carissa Teodoro believed in happy endings. Money, marriage, motherhood: everything came easy---until she woke up to the ugly truth about her Prince Charming. Now a struggling, single mom and stranded by a flat tire, Carissa's pondering her mistakes when a vaguely familiar knight rides to her rescue on a ton of horsepower.

Climb on and hold tight . . . In high school, Carson Steele was a bad boy loner who put Carissa on a pedestal where she stayed far beyond his reach. Today, he's the hard-bodied biker known only as Joker, and from the way Carissa's acting, it's clear she's falling fast. While catching her is irresistible, knowing what to do with her is a different story. A good girl like Carissa is the least likely fit with the Chaos Motorcycle Club. Too bad holding back is so damned hard. Now, as Joker's secrets are revealed and an outside threat endangers the club, Joker must decide whether to ride steady with Carissa---or ride away forever . . .

I read this book ages ago, but didn’t review it. I don’t know why that is because I adored this book. Loved it. This book is my favorite in the Chaos MC series.

Carson “Joker” Steele loved Carissa Teodoro since he was a boy. She was untouchable. After rescuing her on the side of the road, Joker knows he won’t give her up. Ever.

Carissa doesn’t recognize Joker as the sweet boy from high school. It’s clear that he’s been through his fair share of trials since she last saw him. She’s also gone through more than any person should have to. Fighting for custody of her child, paying child support, all of it has taken it’s toll. Now she has the Chaos MC behind her and her life abruptly changes. She just has to convince Joker to take a chance on them.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Lightning Reviews: Fire Inside, Ride Steady, Walk Through Fire, Wild Like the Wind by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Casee
Walk Through Fire by Kristen Ashley
Series: Chaos MC #4
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, Free, Own the Wind
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: October 27, 2015
Format: eBook
Point-of-View: Multiple
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 624
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: three-half-stars

The flame never dies . . .

Millie Cross knows what it's like to burn for someone. She was young and wild and he was fierce and even wilder-a Chaos biker who made her heart pound. They fell in love at first sight and life was good, until she learned she couldn't be the woman he needed and made it so he had no choice but to walk away. Twenty years later, Millie's chance run-in with her old flame sparks a desire she just can't ignore. And this time, she won't let him ride off . . .

Bad boy Logan "High" Judd has seen his share of troubles with the law. Yet it was a beautiful woman who broke him. After ending a loveless marriage, High is shocked when his true love walks back into his life. Millie is still gorgeous, but she's just a ghost of her former self. High's intrigued at the change, but her betrayal cut him deep-and he doesn't want to get burned again. As High sinks into meting out vengeance for Millie's betrayal, he'll break all over again when he realizes just how Millie walked through fire for her man . . .

When Millie Cross sees Logan “High” Judd after twenty years, it slays her. He was the boy that she loved fiercely, then left. She had her reasons, but never told Logan what those were. She just broke his heart (and hers in the process) and walked away. Millie has been a shadow of herself since she left him. Seeing him again changes everything. She decides that it’s time to tell Logan why she left him. Then maybe she can move on from the hell she’s been living in. Close the door on the past for good.

Logan “High” Judd cannot believe his eyes when the former love of his life walks back into his life. Millie Cross destroyed him when she walked away. The last thing he wants is her back in his life. High sends her away in the cruelest of ways, not knowing the sacrifice that Millie made for him. When he finally finds out what she gave up, he’s devastated.

I really enjoyed High and Millie’s book. I didn’t think I would like it as much as I did.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Lightning Reviews: Fire Inside, Ride Steady, Walk Through Fire, Wild Like the Wind by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Casee
Wild Like the Wind by Kristen Ashley
Series: Chaos MC #5
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, Free, Own the Wind
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: July 31, 2018
Format: eBook
Point-of-View: Multiple
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 438
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: three-half-stars

The brother known as Hound has a reputation. He’s all about cracking heads, having a good time, and when the Chaos Motorcycle Club needs someone to do the tough job, they call on him.

But Hound has a secret. He fell in love with a woman years ago. She’s untouchable. Unattainable. And even when her status changes, for Hound, it remains the same.

Keely Black had it all early and lost it all not long after. Thrown into an abyss of loss and grief, she’s faced a life of raising two sons alone and battling the rage at all that had been ripped from them.

And why.

Words spoken in anger open Hound’s and Keely’s eyes. For Hound, he sees he’s wasted his life loving the wrong woman. Keely sees she’s wasting her life not opening herself to the love of a good man.

Keely Black has been living in the past for eighteen years. Her husband, Black, was murdered because he was part of the Chaos MC. Now her boys want to become prospects with the same club. she wants to support them but her fear is too great.

Hound has loved Keely since the first moment he saw her. After Black was murdered, Hound was there for Keely. As a friend and a stepfather to her boys. Now she wants him, but Club rules say she’s off limits. Hound can’t stay away from her and they start a steaming hot affair. The time comes when they have to pay the piper and Hound can only hope that he can keep the Club that is his life and the woman that has recently become his life.

I didn’t think I would like this book as much as I ended up liking it. I highly disliked Keely at first. I ended up really loving her. Loving both her and Hound individually and together as a couple.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

Chaos


three-half-stars


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Throwback Thursday Guest Review: Vampire in Atlantis by Alyssa Day

Posted August 15, 2019 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Throwback Thursday Guest Review: Vampire in Atlantis by Alyssa DayReviewer: Tracy
Vampire in Atlantis by Alyssa Day
Series: Warriors of Poseidon #7
Also in this series: Atlantis Awakening (Warriors of Poseidon, #2)
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: June 7, 2011
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 311
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three-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

The most unexpected of all allies to Poseidon's warriors has proven to be the fiercest-Daniel, a vampire and Night Guild mage. But even the strongest alliance can be destroyed when a vampire's oath crosses paths with a maiden's quest, and an eleven-thousand-year-old desire is reborn.

Ready to face the dawn and die after 11,000 years as a vampire, Daniel walks into the Reflecting Pool on the Washington Mall and ends up in Atlantis, at the mercy of Serai, a long-dead warrior princess he could never forget.

Yet Serai is not dead. Centuries earlier she and several others had been magically put into suspended animation to ensure the continuation of the Atlanteans. But the magical jewel that keeps them safe has been stolen, and, now awake, Serai must find it to save the other sleeping women.

Together, Daniel and Serai search for the stone and renew their relationship, stalked by an evil that isn't about to let them succeed.

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

This review was originally posted on Nov 15, 2011.

Daniel was just a blacksmith’s apprentice in Atlantis when he met the beautiful Serai. It was love at first sight and they longed to be together. Unfortunately many things happened to keep them apart. Atlantis was attacked, Daniel turned into a vampire, Atlantis submerged into the ocean and Serai put into stasis to one day be awoken to marry High Prince Conlan.

Eleven thousand years have passed since that time. Daniel is ready to face the dawn and end it all when he finds himself not only alive but in Atlantis and facing the women he thought long dead. He is mesmerized once again and eager to help her with whatever she needs.

Serai broke out of the stasis but she doesn’t want to be put in and knows she must get out of Atlantis immediately. She was told that Daniel died all those years ago and when he appears before her she’s shocked. They fight together to find a gem from Poseidon’s trident, the Emporer, and try to save the other women in stasis.

This is book 7 in this series and my least favorite of the bunch. While it was an interesting story to a point and continued the overall story arc that will be concluded in future books, it just lacked that extra something that made it captivating. The story was good but I found myself kind of well, bored at points.

I really liked Daniel and of course Serai was a strong female character but they were a bit melodramatic for me. Yes, I know that they’d been apart and thought the other dead – I would probably be very vocal about my feelings too if that happened…but it just didn’t have a truly realistic feel to me.

While the story was good and had a bit of an extra romance with the vampire Nicholas and the witch Ivy it unfortunately just fell a bit short from the other books in the series.

Rating: 3 out of 5

This book is available from Berkley. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

three-stars


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Review: Most Valuable Playboy by Lauren Blakely

Posted August 15, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Most Valuable Playboy by Lauren BlakelyReviewer: Holly
Most Valuable Playboy by Lauren Blakely
Narrator: Zachary Webber
Series: Ballers and Babes #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: September 1, 2017
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Escape
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 306
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Hands down, my favorite thing in the world is to score. Touchdowns.

Don't let the fact that I'm the leading pick in the Most Valuable Playboy charity auction fool you. These days, I'm only a player on the field. I've kept my pants zipped all season long because nothing's more important than leading my team to victory every week. Except maybe escaping from the team owner's recently-widowed and handsy-as-hell sister who's dead set on winning more than a date with me.

Enter Violet and a well-placed Hail Mary.

She's my best friend's sister with a smile as sweet as cherry pie and a mind that runs quicker than the 40-yard-dash. After Violet saves the day with the highest bid, I don't even give her a two-minute warning before I kiss her in front of the whole crowd and then announce that she's my girlfriend. Which would be fine except my agent tells me we have to keep up the act while he's negotiating my contract.Violet takes one for the team and pretends to be mine, but our boyfriend-girlfriend scrimmage quickly turns into a full contact sport, and I want it to go into overtime. The problem is--I've been riding the bench for years.

How can a guy like me, who finally has a chance to prove his worth on the field, convince the girl she's most valuable to his heart?

*MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY is a brand new standalone sports romance written in the guy's POV!*

Most Valuable Playboy is the first book in Lauren Blakely‘s Ballers and Babes series. I listened to the prequel novella last week, which is told solely from Violet, the heroine’s, point of view. This is told solely from Cooper’s point of view. This is an Audible Escape (formerly the Audible Romance Package) find. It was a cute, light listen. I really like Zachary Webber as a narrator. He did a great job with the story.

Cooper is finally where he wants to be professionally – the starting quarterback for the San Francisco Renegade’s NFL team. He was a first round draft pick, but he ended up sitting on the bench while the man he thought he’d replace continued to dominate. He has some big shoes to fill, and his entire career is riding on him doing well this season, especially since his contract is up for renegotiation. When the owner’s sister gets a little too handsy and makes it known she wants more than a platonic date when she wins him in a charity playboy auction, he asks his best friend’s little sister to rescue him. He’s known Violet since second grade, they’re great friends and both know the score. So he has no trouble asking her to play his girlfriend for the rest of the season to keep the owner’s sister away.

I’ve come to expect a fun, easy to fall into story from Blakely, and she easily delivered here. Cooper and Violet’s friendship came through well, and I loved how they came to know each other in a more intimate way. I liked the progression of friends to lovers and how the fake relationship turned into a real one. Violet was a lot of fun, but I think I got more out of the story for having listened to the prequel novella, Most Irresistible Guy, first. It gave me a better understanding of where she was at with Cooper and why she agreed to the charade.

There isn’t a ton of football in this book, but there was enough with the team and coaches to make this feel like a well-rounded story. I’m looking forward to the next book.

If you’re looking for a sweet, fun romance, this is the one for you.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

Ballers and Babes

four-stars


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Summer Reading Challenge Review: Hard Sell by Lauren Layne

Posted August 14, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Summer Reading Challenge Review: Hard Sell by Lauren LayneReviewer: Casee
Hard Sell by Lauren Layne
Narrator: Samantha Cook, Zachary Webber
Series: 21 Wall Street #2
Also in this series: Hot Asset (21 Wall Street, #1), Hard Sell (21 Wall Street, #2), Huge Deal , Hot Asset , Hard Sell , Huge Deal , Hot Asset
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Publication Date: September 4, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Escape
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 243
Length: 7 hours and 8 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

He’s a Wall Street wolf. She’s been hired to tame him. From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne comes a wildly sexy novel of business and pleasure.

Twenty-eight and filthy rich, Matt Cannon is the youngest broker on Wall Street. He may be a “boy wonder,” but he’s every inch a man. Ask any woman—any night. But when Matt’s latest fling makes scandalous headlines, his clients get anxious, and his bosses at Wolfe Investments level an ultimatum: keep his assets zipped, get a “real” girlfriend, and clean up his act. Only one woman can help Matt with something this hard.

For PR genius Sabrina Cross, the best fixer in Manhattan, playing Matt’s steady is going to be a challenge, even if it’s just for show. They already have an explosive history, she can’t stand the cocky party boy, and worse—she can’t stop thinking about him. So who’ll dare to break her “no touching” rule first? Because when that happens, Matt and Sabrina’s game of let’s pretend will get so hot it could set both their reputations on fire.

Matt Cannon and Sabrina Cross have a non-conventional relationship. The day they met, Matt took Sabrina to bed. Then he said something to her that cut deep. Since that night they have a love-hate relationship. They love to hate each other, but they can’t quit each other. They both know that their unhealthy relationship has to end, but neither is willing to put an end to it. Their relationship changes when Matt is photographed at a party in Vegas. His image at Wolfe Investments takes a dive. His bosses want him to “change”. The only person that he can go to for help is Sabrina.

Sabrina is a fixer. She fixes problems for people. She’s in the know for just about everything in New York. If you want something done, Sabrina is your girl. When Matt comes to her telling her that he needs to change his image in order to keep his job, she doesn’t want to help. Matt isn’t asking her to help him from the sidelines. He’s asking her to be his pretend girlfriend for a month. Sabrina has long been in love with Matt even though he destroyed her with his words during their first night together.

Both Matt and Sabrina find it too easy being a couple. They just have something together. Matt decides he’s not going to let it go. Until, like an idiot, he fucks it up. He thought that they wanted the same thing, but the woman who seemed so grounded in reality now wants to marry for love instead of a simple partnership. After growing up with unhappy parents, Matt wants nothing to do with “love”.

I loved this book. It was my favorite in the series. Matt and Sabrina were fire. I loved their banter, I loved how they both pretended like they only wanted their relationship to be pretend. Their relationship wasn’t easy for sure, but it was a pleasure to read. The only thing that confused me was when Jarod Lanham, Matt’s potential client showed up. I didn’t understand why he wanted to be involved in their situation. He stirred shit up and I still don’t understand why he was even a character. It was strange and it took me out of the story a little bit.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

21 Wall Street

four-stars


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Guest Review: The Scent of Murder by Kylie Logan

Posted August 14, 2019 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: The Scent of Murder by Kylie LoganReviewer: Tracy
The Scent of Murder by Kylie Logan
Series: Jazz Ramsey #1
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: May 7, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 320
Add It: Goodreads
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three-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

First in a new series from national bestselling author Kylie Logan, The Scent of Murder is a riveting mystery following Jazz Ramsey as she trains cadaver dogs.

The way Jazz Ramsey figures it, life is pretty good. She’s thirty-five years old and owns her own home in one of Cleveland’s most diverse, artsy, and interesting neighborhoods. She has a job she likes as an administrative assistant at an all-girls school, and a volunteer interest she’s passionate about—Jazz is a cadaver dog handler.

Jazz is working with Luther, a cadaver dog in training. Luther is still learning cadaver work, so Jazz is putting him through his paces at an abandoned building that will soon be turned into pricey condos. When Luther signals a find, Jazz is stunned to see the body of a young woman who is dressed in black and wearing the kind of make-up and jewelry that Jazz used to see on the Goth kids back in high school.

She’s even more shocked when she realizes that beneath the tattoos and the piercings and all that pale make up is a familiar face.

The lead detective on the case is an old lover, and the murdered woman is an old student. Jazz finds herself sucked into the case, obsessed with learning the truth.

This is the first book in a new series.  This was also a new-to-me author, so I was excited to see if I found a new go-to.  Unfortunately, I didn’t.

The Scent of Murder starts out with cadaver dog and its handler, Jazz, finding a dead body.  Jazz recognizes the girl as she attended the catholic school where Jazz runs the school office.  Because of this connection, Jazz is determined to find out how the girl died.

Jazz decides to go off on her own to investigate and frankly this never really works for me.  Reading the blurb it says she’s sucked into the investigation. I assumed it was because of her old lover and the fact she found the body – not so.  She becomes Sherlock Holmes but not as smart or interesting.

The story didn’t have much to do with cadaver dogs on the whole, but I found the dogs more interesting than the characters. Jazz was mainly the focus in the books – her trying to find out who killed the girl and what the dead girl had been up to since graduating from the catholic school (nothing good).

Th whole thing with her ex-boyfriend, Nick, was…confusing and a bit ridiculous.  We were told they were ex’s and that scheduling and communication were their downfall.  That’s nice, but it wasn’t explained further.  Jazz seems to dislike Nick intensely for whatever part he played in them fizzling out.  Of course then he shows up on her doorstep asking to meet her for coffee and she agrees.  What?  Then they agree to meet once a week but then keep cancelling and actually never meet again.  Then Nick shows up on her door, randomly once again, and gives her a new puppy to train as a cadaver dog.  It was just so bizarre!  I can only assume that Nick was included because that relationship will go somewhere in subsequent books.  I won’t be reading those to find out.

The characters in this story were flat and uninteresting.  The mystery around the dead girl was interesting and I wanted to find out what was up with her, so I kept reading.  I can’t say I’d recommend the book even with a very generous 3 stars.  I can think of a lot of different books that are much more captivating than this one.

Rating: 3 out of 5

three-stars


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