Tag: Reviews

Retro Post: Are You A Glommer?

Posted July 15, 2017 by Holly in Discussions, Reviews | 14 Comments

Holly: It’s been 9 years since I originally posted this. I still glom authors, but now I do it digitally. I’ve culled my print collection down to just old favorites. What about you?

This post was originally published May 22, 2008

Work has been kicking my butt lately, so I haven’t had time to write up reviews or post witty, thoughtful topics, so instead I’m recycling an old one.

From dictionary.com:

glom·ming, noun Slang.
–verb (used with object)
1. to steal.
2. to catch or grab.
3. to look at.
–noun
4. a look or glimpse.
—Verb phrase
5. glom onto, to take hold or possession of

I admit I’m a glommer. When I find an author I enjoy, I immediately start working on collecting his/her backlist. I believe the first romance author I glommed was Judith McNaught, followed by Lisa Kleypas. From there it blew up into a crazy, scary, awful thing that has now overwhelmed my life. I’m currently in the process of glomming Karen Templeton.

I even glom authors I don’t read anymore. Like Jude Deveraux. I stopped reading her years ago, but I’m still compelled to buy each and every one of her new releases. And you know, I have her ENTIRE BACKLIST. Do you have any idea how many times I’ve told myself to sell the lot of them on eBay and be done with it? Too many to count. Do you know how many times I’ve actually done it? None. And still, I keep buying her books as they’re released, because I’m OCD and have to have them all on my shelf.

Probably I need help..but let’s move on to you…

Do you glom? What authors? Do you remember your first? Are you OCD like me and collect books long after you’ve stopped reading an author? Or do you not keep any?


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Retro Review: Atlantis Awakening by Alyssa Day

Posted July 12, 2017 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Retro Review: Atlantis Awakening by Alyssa DayReviewer: Casee
Atlantis Awakening (Warriors of Poseidon, #2) by Alyssa Day
Series: Warriors of Poseidon #2
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: November 6th 2007
Pages: 284
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four-stars

To rescue the world from an overwhelming evil, Poseidon's warriors have risen from Atlantis. Chief among them is Ven, serving as the King's Vengeance by birthright and by battle challenge. None can conquer him - except perhaps for one human female....

The Warrior...Ven's mind is filled with duty. He must serve as Atlantean liaison to the humans in a war waged against the vampires. A sword is his weapon - not diplomacy. But on a mission to recover the Nereid's heart - a ruby of immense power - it will take every ounce of strength he possesses to resist the sexual allure of the beautiful witch chosen to work with him.

And the Witch...Erin's heart is filled with vengeance. She lives only for the chance at revenge against those who murdered her family. Now she must partner with a legendary Atlantean warrior whose dark desire threatens to crash through the barriers built around her emotions - and her heart. Caught in the trap of shifting alliances, how long can Ven and Erin resist their awakening passion?

Dark forces beware: Atlantis is awakening.

*****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.
Holly: This review prompted me to buy the first two books in this series…where they’ve been languishing for ten years. I think it’s about time I pulled them out.
This review was originally published 11/20/2007
It was this book that prompted me to blog about this. Though I did (and still do) have the series blahs, I still read this book. I even liked it. Because it’s been a few weeks since I’ve read it, I’m going to do a quick review.
Ven and Erin must work together to retrieve Nereid’s heart, which will save the life of Riley and her unborn child. Riley is mated to Conlan, Ven’s brother (Atlantis Rising). Ven finds himself torn between putting Erin in danger thus saving Riley’s life and refusing to let Erin retrieve the heart which would kill Riley and her baby. Of course it doesn’t take Ven long to realize that Erin won’t stand aside. Not only will she not let Riley die, she has waited years to face the vampire that killed her family. She also gets another shock when she finds out that her sister, Deidre, was not killed that night but actually turned vampire against her will.
I enjoyed this book once I really let myself get into it. There were several glimpses into the relationship between Alaric and Quinn. Both have major baggage and I’m highly curious to see how that will play out. Day also set the stage for Justice’s book, which will be the next full-length novel. I’m really anticipating Justice after how she left it. She introduced more shapeshifters, gave us more of a look into Drakos/Daniel, and showed more of Jack (tiger shapeshifter).
Alyssa Day has created a fascinating world here and I look forward to reading more about it in the future.

4 out of 5.

four-stars


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Guest Review: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Posted July 11, 2017 by Jen in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins ReidThe Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Published by Atria Books
Publication Date: June 13th 2017
Genres: Women's Fiction
Pages: 400
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four-half-stars

From Taylor Jenkins Reid comes an unforgettable and sweeping novel about one classic film actress’s relentless rise to the top—the risks she took, the loves she lost, and the long-held secrets the public could never imagine.

Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds through the decades—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

Filled with emotional insight and written with Reid’s signature talent, this is a fascinating journey through the splendor of Old Hollywood into the harsh realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means—and what it takes—to face the truth.

While this story is definitely not in my usual wheelhouse, someone whose opinion I admire raved about this book, and the premise reminded me of another book I really enjoyed, The Thirteenth Tale, where a famous elderly woman selects a seeming nobody to write the story of her life. I decided to take a chance on it, and I am so very glad I did. 

At the beginning of the book, journalist Monique Grant is getting divorced, is going nowhere in her career, and is not terribly happy with anything in her life. When reclusive, aging movie star Evelyn Hugo asks for Monique, and only Monique, to write a piece about her, she’s shocked but excited. Evelyn promises complete and total honesty, and as her tale unfolds, Monique learns that Evelyn, and indeed all human beings, are more complex and messy than they at first appear.

One of the first questions Monique asks Evelyn is “Who was the love of your life?” While Evelyn doesn’t answer immediately, the question sets the stage for their conversation, and you get a sense that answering that question is one of Evelyn’s primary reasons (but not the only one!) for telling her story in the first place. This isn’t a romance, though there is a love story (several, really). More importantly, the underlying theme of Evelyn’s story is love, which is why I think this book may appeal to readers of this site–who you love, why you love them, how you can love different people differently, what you will do for love, and when love sometimes isn’t enough. We see how Evelyn came from a background with little love and eventually fashioned a life for herself and created a family of people who loved her immensely. It was touching to read about.

Evelyn is a fascinating and richly drawn character. She had a desperately poor and unhappy childhood, but she’s determined to be a star, and she makes it happen through a combination of looks, natural (if unpolished) talent, and no small amount of pure determination. Some parts of her story are downright painful to read about, as she does what she has to do to get ahead, but the most poignant parts of the book are when she does things to protect the people she loves. (The chapter where she talks about her marriage to her third husband is particularly heartbreaking.) Even when she’s protecting others, though, she’s also protecting herself. Evelyn is clear with Monique that she isn’t the “good guy” in her story, that she can be self serving, vain, and cruel. The trick of Taylor Jenkins Reid, though, is that for the most part, you’re on Evelyn’s side through most of the book. You see the reasons for her choices, and it’s hard not to admire her determination and her fierce loyalty for those she loved. Then, she reveals a big secret near the end, and suddenly you’re left questioning, and some of the consequences of Evelyn’s choices become a bit less abstract that they were before. It’s nuanced and complex and fascinating to read.

While Evelyn’s stories vividly bring other characters to life, Monique is not as finely drawn. Her story isn’t fleshed out as fully as I would have liked. Her dissolving marriage was never quite explored and seemed more like a vehicle for showing how much Evelyn inspired Monique than an integral part of Monique’s own story. Monique’s mom is similarly shallowly portrayed and just added a hint of the “flavor” of Monique’s life without much substance. The ending was also rushed. Evelyn finally reveals her biggest secret, and I didn’t feel like there was enough time or interaction afterwards for Monique to process it all.

I found this book both captivating and beautifully written. It wasn’t at all what I expected, but it was a great book for stepping out of my usual genre.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

*I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

four-half-stars


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Guest Review: Gone to Dust by Liliana Hart

Posted July 10, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Gone to Dust by Liliana HartReviewer: Tracy
Gone to Dust by Liliana Hart
Series: Gravediggers Series #2
Published by Pocket Books
Publication Date: June 20th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romantic Suspense
Pages: 384
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four-stars

The Gravediggers aren’t exactly what they seem. They’re the most elite of the world’s fighting forces—and all they have in common is that they’ve been betrayed by the countries they’ve died for. Because they are dead. To their country, their military, and their families.

Sometimes the dead do rise....

Miller Darling is one of the most popular romance novelists of her time. Not bad for a woman who doesn’t believe in romance. She’s as logical as they come, and she doesn’t believe in happily-ever-afters. What she does believe in is family, so when her brother disappears, she doesn’t think twice about packing her bag and her laptop and heading out to find him.

Elias Cole lived and breathed the life of a Navy SEAL. Now he’s “dead” and his hero’s honor tarnished. The only thing keeping him sane are the men who are like him—The Gravediggers—and the woman who makes his head spin. He’s never met anyone like Miller Darling. Her smart mouth and quick wit keep him on his toes, and damned if he doesn’t find that appealing.

When Miller receives a package from the brother who abandoned her asking for help, it’s clear she’s in over her head with the mess he’s gotten himself into. She needs a professional, and Elias is just the man for the job. Only her brother is a former SEAL—the man who left his team to die—and Elias is more interested in vengeance than saving his life.

Miller is an author who writes romance novels but doesn’t believe in love.  She was raised by her brother after their parents died in a plane crash.  Their parents had been searching for King Solomon’s treasure and unfortunately her brother took up the search after they died.  Miller was pretty much left on her own a huge amount of time.  Her friend Tess was always there and that was enough for her.

Miller opens the mail one day and finds a finger. She knows it’s her brothers finger by the ring that was on it as it used to belong to their father. She freaks out and heads to Tess and her husband, Deacon.  He examines the finger and the men who make up The Gravediggers get involved to help Miller find her brother who is in South America.

The Gravediggers are an elite group of terrorist fighters from all walks of life and nationalities.  Their boss doesn’t want them to get involved with Miller’s problems but one of them, Elias, agrees to take vacation to help Miller.  Miller and Elias had gone on a date at one point and had gotten hot and heavy until he just suddenly walked away.

Miller was pissed at him and doesn’t want to have to be close to him in any way but agrees to his help.  Miller and Elias face many dangers in South America – kidnapping, the dangers of nature and drug lords. These dangers force Miller and Elias to talk and figure out their issues.  Elias is focused on getting revenge on Eve, the lady who screwed up his life in order to get him into the Gravediggers.  Dating Miller would take that focus away and he walked away before he couldn’t.  Once he was with Miller he realized that his feelings for her were such that he couldn’t walk away even if he wanted to.

The story was a good one and was exciting.  There were a few lag points in the book but not too many.  Elias and Miller were great together and I loved that they played off of each other so very well.  The end of the book was pretty abrupt and I didn’t care for that at all.  I was left with too many questions!  Maybe the author intended for those to be answered in the next book but I found it incredibly frustrating.

Overall it was a good story.  I didn’t read the first book and didn’t feel I needed to in order to understand this one.

Rating: 3.75/4 out of 5  

four-stars


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Guest Review: Scandalous Ever After by Theresa Romain

Posted July 7, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Scandalous Ever After by Theresa RomainReviewer: Tracy
Scandalous Ever After by Theresa Romain
Series: Romance of the Turf #2
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: July 4th 2017
Genres: Romance
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four-stars

"Romain pens an unconventional, highly appealing love story, topped off with intrigue. This fast-paced read is sure to satisfy." ―RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars for A Gentleman's Game

Does love really heal all wounds?After being widowed by a steeplechase accident in Ireland, Lady Kate Whelan abandons the turf. But once her mourning is complete, her late husband's debts drive her to seek help in Newmarket amidst the whirl of a race meet. There she encounters antiquities expert Evan Rhys, her late husband's roguish friend―whom she hasn't seen since the day of his lordship's mysterious death.

Now that fate has reunited them, Evan seizes the chance to win over the woman he's always loved. But once back within the old stone walls of Whelan House, long-held secrets come to light that shake up everything Kate thought she knew about her marriage. Now she wonders who she can trust with her heart―and Evan must decide between love and a truth that will separate him from all his heart desires.

Romance of the Turf Series:A Gentleman's Game (Book 1)Scandalous Ever After (Book 2)

Two years ago Evan and his best friend, Conall, got into an argument and Even then left the country of Ireland, never to return.  He found out later that his friend had fallen from a horse and died that very day.  He’d blamed himself for his friends death.  He also has massive guilt because from the day Conall had brought his English wife home, Evan had been in love with her.

Evan is lecturing in London when the object of his affections, Kate, strolls in.  He immediately changes his travel plans and heads to her family seat in Newmarket with her – with plans to travel with her to Ireland afterward.  He finally believes it’s time to make his move on Kate, but she’s not ready to accept that her life can change from what it’s been these past two years.  She also has worries that going to bed with Evan will ruin their friendship.

When they eventually make it back to Ireland Kate is even more determined to keep Evan at bay but he doesn’t allow that.  He needs to make her see that they can be good together.  He also finds something that might prove that his friend, Kate’s husband didn’t die in an accident but was murdered.

This was a sweet fiends to lovers story.  I really liked both Kate and Evan and their witty banter made me laugh throughout the book.  No matter what was happening Evan was always there with his light-heartedness and I loved it.

The romance between the two kind of grew organically and at times I wished as a reader that I could have understood Kate a bit better when it came to Evan.  It was like she was falling in love with him but we weren’t exactly told that.  I don’t know how to explain it.  Anyway, this is the reason for the 4 stars rather than higher.

Overall I found the book to be quite enjoyable and I truly appreciated Ms. Romain’s sense of humor.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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