Tag: Rowena’s Reviews

Featured Review: Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews

Posted March 25, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Featured Review: Magic Slays by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Casee, Holly, and Rowena
Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #5
Also in this series: Magic Shifts, Magic Shifts, Magic Binds, Magic Bites, Magic Strikes, Iron and Magic, Magic Triumphs, Magic Bites, Magic Bleeds , Magic Burns, Magic Strikes , Magic Slays , Gunmetal Magic , Magic Rises , Magic Strikes, Magic Mourns, Magic Bleeds, Magic Dreams
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: May 31, 2011
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 320
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Rowena's 2020 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-half-stars

Kate Daniels has quit the Order of Merciful Aid, but starting her own business isn't easy when the Order starts disparaging her good name. And being the mate of the Beast Lord doesn't bring in the customers, either. So when Atlanta's premier Master of the Dead asks for help with a vampire, Kate jumps at the chance. Unfortunately, this is one case where Kate should have looked before she leapt.

Casee: I finally went into reading mode today and was able to finish this book. Holy cow. I think it’s my favorite in the series so far. Everything about it was amazing. Kate is such an awesome heroine. I just can’t get enough of her.

Holly: I feel like the series really picks up with this book. I liked book 3, but this is the first book in the series I really loved. The way the relationships develop, the plot, all of it was stellar.

Casee: I agree. There was a cohesiveness to this book that really stuck with me. I loved seeing Kate’s relationships with all the people in her life. It’s funny because she started out a loaner and now she has all these people in her life.

Rowena: For me, the series really picked up with book 3, Magic Strikes but this was another great addition to the series. I’m really liking how Kate’s circle of loved ones keeps growing and growing. I’m also really enjoying seeing her business grow from one employee to four. Do we see more from Ascansio? He got on my nerves in the beginning but he really grew on me.

Casee: Ascansio got on my nerves too. He really redeemed himself when he protected Julie.

Holly: Ascanio got on my nerves at first, too, but I loved how he protected Julie. I also loved how she kicked his ass. Ha. Serves him right.

Rowena: Yes!! I forgot all about how much he annoyed me until Julie showed up and gave him the verbal smackdown. As much as I’d love to see more between Ascansio and Julie, it’s Derek and Julie that I’m much more invested in. I can’t wait to read more between them.

Casee: Speaking of Julie, holy hell! I can’t even imagine what will happen if she finds out what Kate did.

Holly: Julie. Dude. I can’t even with that whole thing.

Rowena: My heart hurt for the choices that Kate had to make and it continued to hurt seeing Curran try and fail to be okay with her choices. Ilona Andrews does a great job of pulling the feels right out of me. From beginning to end, I was invested in every single thing in this book.

Holly: My heart hurt for Kate, too. Do you really think it was necessary for her to do what she did, though? It’s hard, but maybe she should have let that go. You know what I mean? (I’m trying not to include spoilers)

Rowena: I kept wondering if maybe there was something else they could have done to save Julie but everyone was panicked and I honestly believe that Kate did the best she could to save her kid so I’m not mad about it. I hope that Julie is able to forgive Kate when she finds out because I know she’s going to find out. Right?

Holly: Derek and Julie are both awesome alone. I can’t wait for you two to get farther along in the series so we can discuss more!

Casee: I was happy to see more of Derek. I heart him. I love how he protects Julie. As for Julie, I’m sure she will find out. That’s going to be interesting for sure.

Rowena: Overall, this story really worked for me but it wasn’t my favorite of the bunch so far. I’m really happy that I’m reading this series and each book so far has gotten better and better. I am loving Kate, I am loving Curran and I’m loving everyone else that we meet that is a part of Kate’s family. I thought that Curran handled the pack shit where Kate is concerned a whole lot better than Adam did in the Mercy Thompson series so Curran is my number one boo thang right now. Haha. I’m really enjoying the different aspects of the Kate Daniels world and I thought there was a lot of interesting things covered in this one so I definitely recommend it.

Casee: I loved Kate and Curran in this book. There are so many things to love. Their interactions just make me laugh. They are both two very strong individuals, but they still make it work.

Holly: There are so many things I want to talk about with you two, but you need to read farther into the series. We’ll talk more next month.

Rowena: I can’t wait to discuss all of those things with you but yeah, it’ll have to wait until next month.

Holly: This isn’t my favorite book in the series, but it is a really good book. I love how Kate’s world keeps expanding, and how she and Curran come together. This is a series I think everyone should read, and I’m thrilled you two are finally getting caught up.

Rowena: I’m giving it 4.25 out 5 stars. What about you guys?

Casee: I give this one a 4.25.

Holly: I’m going to give a 4 out of 5.

Final Grades

Casee: 4.25 out of 5
Holly: 4 out of 5
Rowena: 4.25 out of 5

Kate Daniels

four-stars


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Review: Forbidden Promises by Synithia Williams

Posted March 24, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Forbidden Promises by Synithia WilliamsReviewer: Rowena
Forbidden Promises by Synithia Williams
Series: Jackson Falls #1
Publisher: HQN
Publication Date: February 25, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 352
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2020 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU WANT THE ONE PERSON YOU CAN NEVER HAVE?

Get in and get out. That was India Robidoux's plan for this family visit. But when her brother needs her help with his high-profile political campaign, India has not choice but to stay and face the one man she's been running from for years - Travis, her sister's ex-husband. One hot summer night when Travis was still free, they celebrated her birthday with whiskey and an unforgettable kiss. The memory is as strong as ever - and so are the feelings she's tried so hard to forget.

Travis Strickland owes everything to the Robidoux family. There's nothing he wouldn't do for them - his divorce could never change that. Still, he has one regret. Impulsive and passionate, India always understood him better than anyone else. And the longer they work together on the campaign, the more torn he is. Coming between her and her sister is out of the question. But how can he let love pass him by a second time?

©2020 Synithia Williams (P)2020 HarperAudio

Forbidden Promises is the first book in the new Jackson Falls series by Synithia Williams. It’s a story that features a heroine who has been in love with her sister’s ex-husband for some time now. When she comes back home to visit her family, her plan is to sneak in, spend some quality time with her family and then sneak right back out. She has no plans on sticking around or of seeing Travis Strickland while she’s home. Travis and India shared the most passionate kiss of India’s life and then he made his choice and married her sister so she’s come to terms with it. Sure, she was hurt but that was years ago and she’s grown up and moved on. But Travis is her brother’s best friend and her brother needs her help with his political campaign so India’s got no choice but to see Travis.

Travis is stoked that India’s home. Of all of the Robidoux siblings, India understood him the best. They had a solid friendship that Travis missed when India went away and sure, they also shared a pretty spectacular kiss years ago but that’s old news and he’s excited to see his friend again. Only India is different now. She’s a grown woman, a gorgeous grown woman and she wants nothing to do with Travis. Working together on India’s brother’s campaign should be a breeze, no?

Synithia Williams has a unique writing style that worked for me. I’m no stranger to the sister’s ex-husband trope and though not every story featuring that trope has worked for me in the past, I didn’t mind it here. The more that I got to know India and Travis, the more we learned about their shared history and the people that they were and the people they are now made rooting them on all the more necessary for me. They were both strong characters and I thought they were fantastic on their own but I really dug them together. I connected with both of their characters, along with both of their stories and seeing them come together in love, figure their stuff out was a great reading adventure for me.

I haven’t read anything by Williams before but I will definitely be reading more of her stuff in the future. This was such a charming romance that I want more of it. I definitely recommend it for those readers who are looking for a quick, charming romance with heart. This definitely fits the bill.

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: House Rules by Ruby Lang

Posted March 23, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: House Rules by Ruby LangReviewer: Rowena
House Rules by Ruby Lang
Series: Uptown #3
Also in this series: Open House
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: February 10, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 152
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2020 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

ROOMMATE WANTED to share a gorgeous sun-filled apartment in Central Harlem. Must love cats. No ex-husbands or wives need apply.

Seventeen years ago, different dreams pulled Simon Mizrahi and Lana Kuo apart. But when Lana takes a position as a chef back in Manhattan, her apartment search puts her right in her ex-husband’s path. Music teacher Simon is also hunting for a new place to live, and when Lana proposes they be platonic roomies, well…it’s not the worst idea he’s ever heard.

A sunny uptown two-bedroom sounds far more appealing than the cramped, noisy space where he’s currently struggling to work. Still, Simon has seen firsthand that Lana’s a flight risk, so he agrees on a trial basis.

Three months. With strict boundaries.

Living together again feels wonderfully nostalgic, but when the ex-couple’s lingering feelings rise to the surface, the rules go out the window.

Of course, chemistry was never their problem. But while Simon’s career feels back on solid footing, Lana is still sorting out what she wants. With their trial period soon coming to an end, they’ll have to decide if their living arrangement was merely a sexy trip down memory lane or a reunion meant to last.

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the

Carina Press Romance Promise

: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

This book is approximately 47,000 words

House Rules is the third book in the Uptown series by Ruby Lang. It’s also a second chance romance that features a divorced couple who become roommates to share bills. I read the last book in this series and enjoyed it so I was looking forward to reading this one as well. Like Open House, this book was a really quick read but Ruby Lang did a great job of making me come to care for both Simon and Lana.

They were both normal people with normal people problems. Simon is a music teacher and he’s been living in the same apartment for most of his life. He wants to move on, find his own space in New York that wasn’t his father’s so he starts looking around but when his search makes him realize that he probably can’t afford to leave his late father’s rent secure apartment, he gets bummed out until he runs into Lana, who is back in New York and looking for her own space to rent. Running into Simon was the last thing that Lana wanted but knowing that they both need a place to live and can actually help each other with bills, Lana does the unthinkable. She asks Simon to be her roommate. Her strictly platonic roommate. They both live different lives and will be in the apartment at different times so they won’t even need to see each other or interact with each other to live with each other. So they do it. They sign the lease and they become roommates. Only there’s too much history and too many feelings that are still kicking around in each other their hearts so now they have to figure out where to go from here.

Ruby Lang has a great writing style that I enjoy very much. I plan on going back and reading the first book in this series because I haven’t yet. I really enjoyed a straight up romance with two characters that I was able to connect with. And I did. I connected with different aspects of Simon and Lana’s lives and I was right there with the both of them through all of their story. This was a charming contemporary romance that I ate right up from beginning to end. If you’re in the mood for a sweet second chance romance then look no further than this one. It’s super cute and perfect for some social distancing fun. I definitely recommend.

4 out of 5

Uptown

four-stars


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Review: Magic Dreams by Ilona Andrews

Posted March 20, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Magic Dreams by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Rowena
Magic Dreams by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #4.5
Also in this series: Magic Shifts, Magic Shifts, Magic Binds, Magic Bites, Magic Strikes, Iron and Magic, Magic Triumphs, Magic Bites, Magic Bleeds , Magic Burns, Magic Strikes , Magic Slays , Gunmetal Magic , Magic Rises , Magic Strikes, Magic Mourns, Magic Bleeds, Magic Slays
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: June 26, 2012
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 86
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2020 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-half-stars

From New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews comes a tale of darkness, desire, and werecats.

Alpha Pack leader Jim Shrapshire has always been the strong, silent type. But something has come over him--a magic force currently residing in one of the Pack's headquarters. Were-tigress Dali Harimau has always wished she could get Jim's attention--but now he needs her help.

Stricken with a magic-sickness, Jim needs Dali's flair for magic. And to save him, she must challenge a powerful, dark being to a battle of wits.

Includes an excerpt of Ilona Andrews's upcoming novel in the world of Kate Daniels, Gunmetal Magic

Magic Dreams originally appeared in the anthology Hexed.

Magic Dreams is a novella that follows the fourth book in the Kate Daniels series, Magic Bleeds. It also doesn’t feature Kate Daniels and Curran at the front and center of the story. It features Curran’s chief of Security Jim and the blind tiger, Dali.

I’m not the biggest fan of novella’s because I always seem to be left wanting more from them, at least lately but this one was solid and it felt like I was getting a full-length novel that packed a punch, had some emotional depth and furthered my love for both Jim and Dali. In Magic Strikes, you can tell that there was something there between Jim and Dali and you can also tell that Dali had some big-time feelings for Jim but here in this novella, we see those feelings front and center and we also see what they do with those feelings. Dali’s got some insecurities that she works through, we got to see Dali’s family and see Jim fall right into the thick of things with Dali’s family.

When Jim goes in to check on one of their pack’s headquarters and finds his team taken out, he goes to the one person that he knows can help him figure out what’s going on. Dali. Dali is in his pack and she is one of the smartest people he knows. She knows a lot about magic and whatever took out his team members stinks of magic. That same magic has done something to him and now, more than ever, he needs the only girl that he’s ever felt anything for but whatever it is that he’s hunting is dangerous and he doesn’t want to put Dali in danger.

Dali don’t take no shit from anyone though, the minute that Jim shows up at her house and scares the crap out of her. She’s all in. She’s had a big thing for the security chief and even though she knows that he will never see her the same way that he would see the other more feminine females in their pack, her feelings are still strong and they’re still there. Now that he’s in trouble, she needs to lean on her family’s magic and their knowledge of magic to save Jim from the magic that has taken residence in his head.

This was a short, action-packed romance that I ate right up. It took me no time at all to read and I was wrapped up in everything that was going on. I hope that we see some more from the dragon that we met in this book, later on in the series and I really hope to see more of Jim and Dali in future books. They’re a lot of fun and I just adored them to pieces. I’m so glad that I read this one and I can’t wait for more. I definitely recommend.

4 out of 5

Kate Daniels


four-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean

Posted March 19, 2020 by Rowena in Giveaways, Reviews | 7 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLeanReviewer: Rowena
Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake (Love By Numbers, #1) by Sarah MacLean
Series: Love By Numbers #1
Also in this series: Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord (Love By Numbers, #2), Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord (Love By Numbers, #2), Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart (Love By Numbers, #3), Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart (Love By Numbers, #3), Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart (Love By Numbers, #3)
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: March 30, 2010
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 422
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A lady does not smoke cheroot. She does not ride astride. She does not fence or attend duels. She does not fire a pistol, and she never gambles at a gentlemen's club.

Lady Calpurnia Hartwell has always followed the rules, rules that have left her unmarried—and more than a little unsatisfied. And so she's vowed to break the rules and live the life of pleasure she's been missing.

But to dance every dance, to steal a midnight kiss—to do those things, Callie will need a willing partner. Someone who knows everything about rule-breaking. Someone like Gabriel St. John, the Marquess of Ralston—charming and devastatingly handsome, his wicked reputation matched only by his sinful smile.

If she's not careful, she'll break the most important rule of all—the one that says that pleasure-seekers should never fall hopelessly, desperately in love.

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

This review was originally posted on March 31, 2010.

I am a sucker for the unrequited love story. The longing and the pining never cease to make my heart race as I wonder how the author is going to bring these two people together. Whether they’re best friends turned lovers or a woman with a longstanding crush, the excitement of that kind of story never fails to make my heart sigh as I’m reading the book. That was the case with this book.

I adored it.

It took me no time at all to read this book because every spare moment I had, I had my nose buried in this book. It’s funny because my sister was visiting from Colorado when I started this book and her 4-year-old son took to teasing me about all the reading I did with. He would sit on the couch and put his hands in the shape of a book in front of his face, pretending to read and ask me, “Who am I, Aunty Wena?”

Haha, Kainoa…very funny but I couldn’t help it. This book was so good. It wasn’t anything new, the storyline isn’t a storyline that was fresh but the dialogue and the characters were refreshing and unbelievably bewitching. My favorite part of this book is surprising, the heroine, Lady Calpurnia Hartwell. She’s a wallflower, a spinster. She’s on the shelf and after a conversation, she overheard between her younger sister and her sister’s fiance about her and another conversation with her brother, the Earl of Allendale, Callie sets about having adventures. She goes about learning how to fence, smoking cheroots, kissing men in the middle of the night and all sorts of other adventures that had me laughing, holding my breath and laughing all over again.

As great as Gabriel was, it was Callie that made this story for me. I loved seeing her interact with her family, most especially her brother and sister. You can tell that there was a wealth of love between the siblings and I loved the scene between Callie and Benny when Callie comes home late and Benny’s waiting up for her and she confesses all about her adventures and then asks him to let her smoke a cheroot and he finally caves. That scene was such a sweet and funny scene, one that I absolutely adored.

I seriously adored this book. I can’t recommend it enough because it was a great book with fantastic characters and a storyline that kept me entertained from the beginning to the end. I will definitely be checking out more books by Sarah McLean and I’m very anxious to do so. If you’re looking for a fantastic historical that will make you laugh, this is definitely the book for you.

Rating: 4.75 out of 5.

Love By Numbers

four-half-stars


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