Tag: Reviews

Guest Review: Drawn to the Wolves by Shari Mikels

Posted May 22, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Drawn to the Wolves by Shari MikelsReviewer: Tracy
Drawn to the Wolves by Shari Mikels
Published by Carina Press
Publication Date: May 22nd 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Paranormal, Shapeshifters
Pages: 105
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three-stars

The pack's alpha has finally found his fated mate…and she's terrified of wolves.

Wolf shifter Callan Mohan has a powerful connection to his pack. As alpha, he can sense if something is wrong—and when he feels panic coming from an unknown source, his instincts tell him she's someone to be protected at all costs.

Rescuing a stranger from an unexpected confrontation with two wolf shifters is easy. Helping her move from fear to acceptance of the animals—and him—is a challenge.

Kate Ballard's attraction to her mysterious rescuer is instant. That she falls for Callan so quickly isn't surprising—his strong, confident presence puts her at ease, and the strange connection she has to him makes her feel safe almost immediately. He's the man she didn't know she was waiting for.

It's only a matter of time before Callan has to tell Kate the truth. And find out, once and for all, if her love for him is enough to overcome her fear.

Kate Ballard has worked for the Atlanta PD for the past 10 years.  She has empathic abilities and after 10 years of drawing human monsters she just couldn’t do it any longer.  She’s now taking a much needed rest and she’s in Whiskey Grove, Tennessee on the advice of her best friend.  She plans on relaxing and sketching wildlife to her hearts content.

The first afternoon she’s out sketching, however, she runs into trouble.  She was told to stay of a certain plot of land but after chasing an eagle she finds herself facing the barrel of a gun.  The man wants to shoot her and she’s terrified of the humongous wolves the man has at his sides.

Kate is rescued by Callan.  He calms the gun holder enough to get Kate out of there.  From the first moment that he sees Kate, and feels her in his head, he knows that she’s his mate.  The problem is that Kate has an unbelievable fear of wolves and telling her that he’s a shifter might just make her run from him instead of to him.

This was a sweet little novella.  I liked Kate and Callan both and though they were good for each other.  Their relationship started off pretty quickly but since he knew that she was his fated mate he didn’t waste any time.  Before you know it she’s practically living with him which was fast but again, fated mates.

I found myself entrenched in the book when Kate was being held at gunpoint and was excited to go from there.  Unfortunately I didn’t care for the way Kate handled her fear and the shifter issue.  The way the author wrote her I got the feeling that she would have handled it differently but she ran.  I was happy to read that that part of it wasn’t drawn out too long and Kate and Callan got their HEA.

If you’re looking for a quick, easy paranormal story to read this would be a good one.

Rating: 3 out of 5

three-stars

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Guest Review: Find Her by Elisabeth Rose

Posted May 18, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Find Her by Elisabeth RoseReviewer: Tracy
Find Her by Elisabeth Rose
Published by Escape Publishing
Publication Date: May 15th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Suspense
Pages: 140
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three-half-stars

A chance sighting leads to second chances – for hope, for family, and for love.

Five years ago, teenager Antonia disappeared. With no compelling evidence, the police eventually called her a run-away, and dropped the case. Her teacher, Jax, has always regretted not speaking up about the rumours she heard circling the school that day, but a random sighting at a train station raises the possibility that Antonia is still alive – and not too far away.

Antonia’s father, Connor has never given up hope that his daughter will be found and returned to her family. When her old teacher, Jax, calls him with a small spark of a lead, he seizes it with both hands, determined to chase it down.

But there’s more at play than simple teenage rebellion and the path Jax and Connor travel rapidly becomes more dangerous than either could have imagined, and opens up new possibilities that neither could have expected.

Jax is a teacher at a school in a town where Antonia, a student of hers, disappeared 5 years ago.  There wee rumors at the time with a couple of her friends but Jax didn’t pay much attention to them at the time.  When she’s on her way back from a vacation she happens to look across the train platform and she sees Antonia.  She’s so sure it’s actually the missing girl that she contacts Antonia’s father, Connor and tells him what she saw.

Connor never believed that his daughter was dead and never stopped looking for her.  He and his wife separated and then divorced as their lives changed after Antonia disappeared.  He’s so excited to hear of her sighting that he heads to the train stops and hands out flyers with his daughter’s picture on it asking questions.  He finds someone who recognizes her but can’t find her after that.

Jax decides to finally follow up on the rumors she heard about Antonia and finds out that Antonia was pregnant and looking to terminate the pregnancy – because of this they find a lead and eventually figure out what happened.  Getting Antonia back from her abductor, however, will threaten everyone’s lives.

This was a lovely story with a pretty darned good suspense story.  I have to say I was pretty much on the edge of my seat waiting to find out what happened to Antonia.  The way that the author crafted the story was creative and I really liked the different ins and outs of the story.

This was also a romance  with  Jax and Connor becoming closer while searching for Antonia and falling in love.  I wish I could say that it was sweet and romantic but the circumstances just didn’t call for that.  Connor was a bit of a stubborn ass at times but both he and Jax worked out well together.  It wasn’t that strong of a romance, unfortunately.  I almost wish that it had been a suspense story only but that’s just my humble opinion.

Overall it was a good suspense story and one I enjoyed.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars

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Retro Review: Hunting the Demon by Jaci Burton

Posted May 17, 2017 by Casee in Reviews | 5 Comments

Retro Review: Hunting the Demon by Jaci BurtonReviewer: Casee
Hunting the Demon (Demon Hunters, #2) by Jaci Burton
Series: Demon Hunters #2
Published by Dell
Publication Date: August 28th 2007
Pages: 448
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three-stars

In a world seething with sin and seduction, the chase is on.
Hunting demons for a living can have its moments. Especially when Shay Pearson’s latest quarry is the gorgeous bronze surfer who just stepped out of the sea. Uncovering Nic Diavolo’s devilish side could prove Shay’s toughest assignment yet. Because while she’s acting as bait to snatch this sexy bad boy, Nic’s got a plan of seduction no woman—earthly or otherwise—can resist.
Caught between two warring realms, Nic needs to stay alive long enough to figure out who his enemies are. That includes the beautiful hunter who won’t let him out of her sight. And something far worse: a force of evil with an almost unimaginable goal— possessing Nic’s very soul. But the hunt really heats up when a guy who’s hotter than Hades and a woman who’s afraid of love join forces, igniting an inferno of lust and longing that could send them into mortal danger...or straight into each other’s arms.…

******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.

 

This review was originally published September 26, 2007

This book was blah for me. Not bad, but not great. That makes it really hard to do a review. When I review a book, I really like to feel passionate about at least one thing in the book, be it good or bad. In Hunting the Demon, well, I’ve got nothing.

This is the 2nd book in Burton’s Demon Hunter series. The 1st book, Surviving Demon Island, set up an interesting world of good vs. evil. On the good side, you have the Realm of Light. Charged with protecting the human race, the Realm of Light has an awesome responsibility. Due to the fact that many people would never believe that demons exist, they have kind of a hard time recruiting demon fighters. On the bad side, you have the Sons of Darkness. These are some bad mother-f-ers. See, there are only certain women that can actually have demon children. The Sons of Darkness don’t really care if these women already have families and children of their own. They just kidnap them.

Shay Pearson’s mom was kidnapped when she was a child. At 6 years old, she had a vision where these really scary monsters took her mom. Knowing that no adult would believe her, Shay kept quiet. So when her mom disappeared from a business trip, Shay knew exactly what happened. Thus she started carrying that burden on her 6 y/o back.

Now Shay is a kick ass demon-fighting machine. Brought in by the Realm of Light to fight demons, Shay finally learned that she wasn’t the only child that lost her mother. After killing a Demon Lord on Demon Island, the team now has to find out if the Lord’s son (and brother to the hero of Surviving Demon Island) is a demon himself.

Heading the Australia, Shay volunteered to some recon work on Nic Diavolo. She did keep a few things to herself about why she was so willing check out the potential demon. Like the fact that she’s been having visions of the man, whom she has never met before. Charged with the task of discovering whether or not Nic is an evil demon like his evil demon father, Shay does what any self-respecting woman would do. She strips down to her bikini and introduces herself to Nic on the beach. Of course Nic can’t help but be attracted to Shay, especially since she doesn’t seem to want anything from him (as if). As the sole heir to Diavolo Diamonds, Nic has seen his share of gold-diggers.

After a fun filled afternoon of surfing, eating, and making out, Nic is a little uneasy about the feelings that Shay invokes him him. Because of these bizarre nightmares he’s been having where he turns into some sort of evil creature, Nic is hesitant to get involved with Shay. Shay can tell that Nic is pulling away and has no choice but to bring him in. Obviously Nic is more than a tad angry that Shay has used him. He’s especially angry when this group of strangers try to convince him that not only is his father dead, but he was also a demon. He refuses to believe that he has any demon blood running in his veins or that Derek is his brother. He explains his dreams away as coincidence. Mmmm-hmm.

Kidnapping Nic and taking him to the Diavolo Diamond mine probably isn’t the most intelligent idea, but the team has no other choice. They have to find this Black Diamond which is presumably somewhere in the mine before the demons get a hold of it. If they happen to get it before the Realm of Light can get it, the world is basically going to hell. There will be no stopping it. Unfortunately for Shay, Nic seems to be smack in the middle of it. If her visions are right, Nic will turn evil demon and join forces with the bad guys.

After a few escape attempts, Nic finally realizes that Shay and her fellow fighters are telling him the truth. Of course seeing a demon in the flesh really helped him come to that conclusion. Again, though these demons bear a remarkable resemblance to those in his dreams, he still puts it down to coincidence. I call it denial. Nic refuses to believe that he will turn evil, which is what he thinks his dreams are telling him.

Eventually there is a showdown with the good guys, the bad guys, and the Black Diamond. We also learn that there is actually a Queen of Darkness who is supposed to join evil forces with Nic. The Sons of Darkness think they have her…the archeologist that was hired to find the Black Diamond (having no idea demons existed). What they soon realize is that she’s not the one, but they can’t figure out how they were wrong. Angelique knows that it’s her twin sister Isabella that they’re looking for. So when everyone is distracted, Angelique takes the diamond and runs. This sets the stage for the 3rd book, out in Summer 2008.

It took me 5 days to read this book. That’s pretty unheard of for me. So while I didn’t dislike this book, I just wasn’t in to it. Like I said above…blah.

3 out of 5.

three-stars

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Guest Review: How to Lose a Highlander by Michelle McLean

Posted May 17, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: How to Lose a Highlander by Michelle McLeanReviewer: Tracy
How to Lose a Highlander by Michelle McLean
Series: The MacGregor Lairds #1
Published by Entangled Publishing
Publication Date: May 15th 2017
Genres: Medieval, Historical
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Forced into marriage by their king in order to stop years of inter-clan feuding, Sorcha Campbell and Malcolm MacGregor are each determined to drive the other away. Malcolm knows he can never trust his new shrewish wife, despite the fact that everything he observes seems to prove that she’s not only trustworthy, but utterly perfect for him. Sorcha knows she can never let her guard down around the man she believes betrayed her father, yet the longer she’s with him, the more she discovers he is nothing like she was led to believe. They’ll have to fight their way through past prejudices and their own determination to destroy their union in order to gain their perfect HEA in this Taming of the Shrew meets How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days tale.

Sorcha Campbell’s father may be a highlander but and she obviously part Scottish but she’s been brought up by her English mother in England.  She’s lived at court most of her life and she doesn’t want that to change. She’s been proposed to many times but her father has turned them all down as no one has been good enough for her.

The Campbell’s and the MacGregor’s won’t stop raiding each other’s lands and the king decides that it must come to an end.  The king decides that Sorcha will marry Malcolm MacGregor and make the two families kin.  No one is happy with the decree but they can’t go against the king.  Sorcha decides to do everything she can to make him get an annulment and strangely enough, Malcolm has the same idea.  After the marriage the pair just frustrate the hell out of each other to no avail.  Sorcha gets to know the people of the MacGregor clan and she starts to doubt that all of the horrible things her father had told her about them were true.  She starts to find a home and decides that she needs to try to make hers a real marriage with Malcolm.  Unfortunately Malcolm finds it hard to trust – especially a Campbell.

This was a great little story.  I really liked Malcolm and Sorcha and their plans to irritate each other to death in order to get an annulment.  It didn’t work with either of them but it was funny.  I admit that did get old rather quickly and was happy when the author moved on to getting the pair together.  It was done slowly but very well and I thought it was nice that Sorcha didn’t go from hating Malcolm to loving him.  It took a while and that was a good thing.

Overall I thought it was a cute story. I’m interested to see who the next Laird in the series is so I’m sure I’ll be reading the next book when it comes out. 🙂

Rating: 4 out of 5

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Guest Review: The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown

Posted May 16, 2017 by Tina R in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth UnderdownReviewer: Tina
The Witchfinder's Sister by Beth Underdown
Published by Ballantine Books
Publication Date: April 25th 2017
Genres: Historical
Pages: 304
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three-half-stars

'VIVID AND TERRIFYING' Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train

The number of women my brother Matthew killed, so far as I can reckon it, is one hundred and six...

1645. When Alice Hopkins' husband dies in a tragic accident, she returns to the small Essex town of Manningtree, where her brother Matthew still lives.
But home is no longer a place of safety. Matthew has changed, and there are rumours spreading through the town: whispers of witchcraft, and of a great book, in which he is gathering women's names.
To what lengths will Matthew's obsession drive him?And what choice will Alice make, when she finds herself at the very heart of his plan?
'A richly told and utterly compelling tale, with shades of Hilary Mantel' Kate Hamer, author of The Girl in the Red Coat
'Anyone who liked Cecilia Ekback's Wolf Winter is going to love this' Natasha Pulley, author of The Watchmaker of Filigree Street
'Beth Underdown grips us from the outset and won't let go...at once a feminist parable and an old-fashioned, check-twice-under-the-bed thriller' Patrick Gale, author of Notes from an Exhibition
'A tense, surprising and elegantly-crafted novel' Ian McGuire, author of The North Water
'Beth Underdown cleverly creates a compelling atmosphere of dread and claustrophobia... Even from the distance of nearly four hundred years, her Matthew Hopkins is a genuinely frightening monster' Kate Riordan

To begin with, I don’t really read a whole lot of historical fiction. But there is something about the subject of witches that catches my attention. Call it some sort of fascination if you will, but I don’t actually know. I just know that the subject is intriguing and the cover really drew me to the book, so I submitted my request to receive a review copy. \

When I got the copy of The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown in the mail I was actually surprised. Especially since it is not really typical of what I read. (Whether this has any leverage on the books you are chosen to receive I have no idea…) The first thing I noticed it that the cover is awesome! If I would have saw it on the shelf in a bookstore, I would’ve picked it up immediately as something about it just makes me want to know more. And then of course, the subject matter….witches. Who doesn’t remember sitting in school and listening to the teacher tell us about the horrible things that happened to people (mostly women) who were accused of being witches? Like I said, it is just a topic that pulls me in.

The Witchfinder’s Sister is a well-written and carefully researched book. It is a mixture of so many genres. We have historical fiction based on a real story, there is mystery and suspense, and even a little horror mixed in with the depiction of what happened to all the people accused of witchcraft. A little something for every reading taste to be sure.

I found the book a little tough to get through in the beginning. For me it was a little slow in places, although the book is packed with vivid description and emotion and has an interesting storyline. I still would recommend this book, as it did hold my interest and the writing was vivid and well presented.

I would like to thank the publisher for the opportunity to review this book. I think the author did an awesome job keeping the subject matter interesting and for providing such vivid description. I would actually have rated it 3.5 to 3.75 stars if the rating system here would’ve let me.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

three-half-stars

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