Tag: Rowena’s Reviews

Review: Undone by You by Kate Meader

Posted April 19, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Undone by You by Kate MeaderReviewer: Rowena
Undone By You (Chicago Rebels, #3) by Kate Meader
Series: Chicago Rebels #3
Also in this series: So Over You (Chicago Rebels, #2), In Skates Trouble (Chicago Rebels, #.5)
Published by Simon & Schuster, Pocket Star
Publication Date: March 5th 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 184
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

USA TODAY bestselling author Kate Meader brings her signature “steamy sex scenes, colorful characters, and riveting dialogue” (RT Book Reviews) to this novella in the Chicago Rebels series, following the general manager of the Rebels as he scores with one of his players off the ice.

Dante Moretti has just landed his dream job: GM of the Chicago Rebels. And screw the haters who think there should be an asterisk next to his name because he’s the first out managing executive in pro hockey. He’s earned the right to be here and nothing will topple him off that perch—especially not an incredibly inconvenient attraction to his star defenseman, Cade “Alamo” Burnett. Cade has always been careful to keep his own desires on the down low, but his hot Italian boss proves to be a temptation he can’t resist. Sure, they both have so much to lose, but no one will ever know...

As Dante and Cade’s taboo affair heats up off the ice and their relationship gets more and more intense, they’ll have to decide: is love worth risking their careers? Or is this romance destined to be forever benched?

Undone by You is the third book in the Chicago Rebels series by Kate Meader and it’s another good one. This book follows the new General Manager for the Chicago Rebels, Dante Moretti as he falls for the fan favorite defenseman, Cade “Alamo” Burnett.

Dante is the first out of the closet GM in the NHL and he’s fought tooth and nail to get where he is now. He’s the general manager for a team in rebuilding mode and he’s got a lot of work in front of him. He doesn’t need the distraction of one of his players but Cade isn’t on board with ignoring the possibilities between them.

Cade is tired of hiding who he truly is. He’s tired of hiding it from his family, from the NHL, from everyone. He wants to live his truth and he wants Dante. Trying to get Dante to see things the way that he sees them is turning out to be a lot harder than he thought. Cade knows what he wants and he knows that Dante wants it too but Dante is trying to be professional, too bad Cade feels anything but professional.

I really enjoyed the dynamics between Dante and Cade. Dante is a bit older than Cade and he’s been through everything that Cade has yet to go through. He knows exactly how Cade feels about coming out to his father and the public so being there for Cade is a given but Dante has a lot to lose if his relationship with one of his players gets out so a relationship with Cade is complicated.

Kate Meader did a great job with Dante and Cade’s story. I don’t read very many MM stories but I have enjoyed the ones that I have read and I thought Dante and Cade’s story was a good one. I liked that Dante was older and more experienced but I also liked that Cade was comfortable in his own skin and knew his own mind. When Dante went to Cade’s father and went to bat for Cade, I sat up and had the biggest smile on my face because yes….that’s how you go to bat for your man. That’s how you have your man’s back.

The romance between Dante and Cade was super steamy and hot damn, their chemistry was off the charts good. I was super glad that Dante had Cade and Cade had Dante. They belonged together and Meader did a great job of showing us readers that. I’m really enjoying the heck out of this series and this book was a great addition to that. I’m so thristy for Violet and Bren’s book.

Like this thirsty…

Kudos to Kate Meader on another fabulous hockey book. I really liked it!

Chicago Rebels Series

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews

Posted April 18, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: One Fell Sweep by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Rowena
One Fell Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #3) by Ilona Andrews
Series: Innkeeper Chronicles #3
Also in this series: Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #1), Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #1), Sweep in Peace (Innkeeper Chronicles, #2)
Published by Ilona Andrews
Publication Date: December 21st 2016
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 332
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Gertrude Hunt, the nicest Bed and Breakfast in Red Deer, Texas, is glad to have you. We cater to particular kind of guests, the ones most people don’t know about. The older lady sipping her Mello Yello is called Caldenia, although she prefers Your Grace. She has a sizable bounty on her head, so if you hear kinetic or laser fire, try not to stand close to the target. Our chef is a Quillonian. The claws are a little unsettling, but he is a consummate professional and truly is the best chef in the Galaxy. If you see a dark shadow in the orchard late at night, don’t worry. Someone is patrolling the grounds. Do beware of our dog.

Your safety and comfort is our first priority. The inn and your host, Dina Demille, will defend you at all costs. We ask only that you mind other guests and conduct yourself in a polite manner.

After finishing Sweep in Peace, I couldn’t start this book fast enough. Going into Sweep in Peace, I was a bit bummed that one of my favorite characters from Clean Sweep wasn’t in there all that much because he was out trying to find himself…but then he came back and all was right in my Innkeeper Chronicles world.

Sean is back and he’s trying to figure out how to live a normal life again. He’s not the same Sean that we know and love from Clean Sweep. He’s seen some things and has done some things that changes a person and not necessarily for the better. He’s a battle-tested soldier and seeing him try to figure things out with the darkness that haunts him and talk things out with Dina just melted my heart. I really love Dina and Sean’s relationship. It was pretty magical. They were my very favorite part of this entire series. I loved how honest they were with each other, and how sure they were of each other. It was a thing of beauty, their love for each other.

The story as a whole was another great adventure that I really enjoyed from beginning to end. My heart went out to the Hiru’s and their plight with the Draziri’s. I loved how seriously Dina took her job and I really enjoyed seeing her empathy toward all of her guests. Nothing is ever easy at Gertrude Hunt but seeing Dina put one foot forward each and every single day, with her loved ones and guests in mind made me admire the hell out of her. There wasn’t a job too big or too small for our Dina. She did whatever it took to ensure that those under her care were safe and protected, even if that meant her and Sean were on the outs because of it.

The world that Ilona Andrews created for these characters was so colorful and I felt like I was there in every scene. I love when an author can take the reader on an adventure and put them right smack in the middle of all of the action. One Fell Sweep is everything you’ll want in an adventurous story. The characters are real and compelling, the story will sweep you up and take you out of reality for a little bit and there’s even a romance that will warm your heart. I thoroughly enjoyed this one and cannot wait to read more from this author. I have a feeling that we haven’t seen the last of these characters and I’m so here for more Arland and Maud. I want more Arland, Maud, and Helen. I can’t wait for more Maud, Arland, and Helen. 🙂

If you’re in the mood for something different then look no further than the Innkeepers Chronicles series by Ilona Andrews. Each book is well written and fun and I have every confidence that you’ll fall in love with all of the characters the same way that I did. They’re a lot of fun and you seriously want to meet Sean Evans. He’s all that and a bag of chips. Dina is the bomb too. Don’t miss out. This book finishes up Sean and Dina’s story but leaves some things open for Maud and Arland to figure out and really, this book just flat out rocked so go forth and read the good stuff. I promise you won’t regret it.

Innkeeper Chronicles Series

4.75 out of 5

four-half-stars


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Review: Bayou Moon by Ilona Andrews

Posted April 11, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Bayou Moon by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Rowena
Bayou Moon (The Edge, #2) by Ilona Andrews
Series: The Edge #2
Also in this series: On the Edge, Bayou Moon, On the Edge (The Edge, #1)
Published by Penguin, Ace
Publication Date: October 1st 2010
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 447
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

The Edge lies between worlds, on the border between the Broken, where people shop at Walmart and magic is a fairytale–and the Weird, where blueblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny…

Cerise Mar and her unruly clan are cash poor but land rich, claiming a large swathe of the Mire, the Edge swamplands between the state of Louisiana and the Weird. When her parents vanish, her clan’s long-time rivals are suspect number one.

But all is not as it seems. Two nations of the Weird are waging a cold war fought by feint and espionage, and their conflict is about to spill over into the Edge—and Cerise’s life . William, a changeling soldier who left behind the politics of the Weird, has been forced back into service to track down a rival nation’s spymaster.

When William’s and Cerise’s missions lead them to cross paths, sparks fly—but they’ll have to work together if they want to succeed…and survive.

Bayou Moon is the second book in Ilona Andrews The Edge series and it was another fantastic read by the writing duo. This book follows William, the changeling from On the Edge as he makes his way to the Mire on a mission to find bad guys that are planning some really bad things. William meets Cerise Mar while trying to track down Spider (the bad guy) and when an opportunity presents itself to work together, William jumps on board real quick like.

Cerise is trying to find her parents. With her father missing, she is the leader of her family and there are a million of them. She’s in the middle of a family feud over her grandfather’s property and she’s got a million things to do and a million people counting on her to fix their family mess. When she comes across William, a stranger from the Weird, she joins forces with him because they seem to be after the same person and he has knowledge of the people that they’re fighting. It made sense and the longer she spent in his company, the more drawn they were to each other.

I enjoyed William’s character in On the Edge and at first introduction, low key wanted him to be the hero of that book but the more that I read that book, the more sense Rose made with Declan and not William. I wanted to read William’s book and was stoked that he was getting one and that I didn’t have to wait to read it. The guy just wanted a family to call his own and boy did he get one with the Mars. The way that he fit in with them and the way that they needed him made the relationship an equal one and I was glad for him.

Cerise was a great heroine. She was strong and she was caring and she really did have her family’s best interests at heart and seeing her try to protect everyone, think of everything and worry about everything in between trying to find her parents and fight the bad guys made me love her more and more with each passing page. She was smart and I really liked seeing her with William but also with her family. They were a tight-knit unit and she was at the top of the chain but she was the kind of leader that got her hands dirty right alongside the fighters and I thought she was awesome.

The romance between William and Cerise was fun but it was also believable. I loved seeing them get to know each other, fight alongside each other and then fall in love with each other. Seeing the effect Cerise had on William made me happy for him because he was fighting it for a little bit but who was he kidding? He loved the hell out of Cerise and I was so here for that. I really liked that Cerise was all in with William and was able to pull him into her family and be his support system. He was so used to being alone and seeing them figure their feelings and relationship out made an already great story, even greater.

This series is shaping up to be another fun one and while it’s not my favorite series of the Ilona Andrews bunch, it’s still enjoyable and I definitely recommend.

The Edge Series

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: On the Edge by Ilona Andrews

Posted April 10, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: On the Edge by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Rowena
On the Edge (The Edge, #1) by Ilona Andrews
Series: The Edge #1
Also in this series: On the Edge, Bayou Moon, Bayou Moon (The Edge, #2)
Published by Penguin, Ace
Publication Date: October 29th 2009
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 309
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Rose Drayton lives on the Edge, between the world of the Broken (where people drive cars, shop at Wal-Mart, and magic is a fairy tale) and the Weird (where blueblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny). Only Edgers like Rose can easily travel from one world to the next, but they never truly belong in either.

Rose thought if she practiced her magic, she could build a better life for herself. But things didn’t turn out how she planned, and now she works a minimum wage, off the books job in the Broken just to survive. Then Declan Camarine, a blueblood noble straight out of the deepest part of the Weird, comes into her life, determined to have her (and her power).

But when a terrible danger invades the Edge from the Weird, a flood of creatures hungry for magic, Declan and Rose must work together to destroy them—or they’ll devour the Edge and everyone in it.

On the Edge is the first book in The Edge series by Ilona Andrews and it was just as great as the other books that I’ve read by this fantastic writing duo. It was a slow start for me because I was still hung up on the Hidden Legacy series but once I realized that Jack, George and Sophie from the Innkeeper Chronicles were in this series, I jumped right into this story and loved it all.

Rose Drayton is the sole provider for her two younger brothers, Jack and George after her mother dies and their father takes off. She’s doing the single mother routine and trying to make ends meet is getting harder and harder with the boys getting bigger and bigger every day. They’re not rich by any stretch and Rose is trying the best she can to provide but also to protect the boys. They live in the Edge, in between the Broken (the human world) and the Weird (super magical people) and in The Edge, the more magic you have, the better off you are. Unless you’re Rose Drayton, who has lots of magic but it’s more of a nuisance than anything. She wants to keep her head down and get through each day, making things easier on her brothers and all of that goes up in the air when Declan Camarine shows up.

Declan is from the Weird and he’s a Marshall over there so he’s pretty important. He’s in the Edge searching for an enemy from the Weird who is somewhere in the Edge. His search for this enemy brings him into contact with Rose Drayton and her family and before he knows what is what, he means to have Rose as his wife and they’re joining together to fight the bad guys.

Declan and Rose’s romance was fun and it was sweet and I enjoyed the heck out of it though I will be honest and say that for me, Jack and George were where it’s at. Their family dynamics made me happy and I was a bit bummed that William didn’t work out in the beginning. The more that I got to know Declan, the more he won me over that by the end, Declan and Rose just made sense.

The writing style flowed really well for me and it didn’t take me very long at all to jump right into the thick of things. Andrews is really good at drawing readers into the worlds that they create. I hope they write forever. The romance worked, the characters charmed me and by the time the book ended, I was anxious for more.

On the Edge is another fabulously written story that sets up a different series nicely. I definitely recommend if you like magic, powerful couples and family support that makes you happy. This was a good one.

The Edge Series

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: What a Difference a Duke Makes by Lenora Bell

Posted April 10, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: What a Difference a Duke Makes by Lenora BellReviewer: Rowena
What a Difference a Duke Makes (School for Dukes, #1) by Lenora Bell
Series: School for Dukes #1
Also in this series: What a Difference a Duke Makes (School for Dukes #1)
Published by Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: March 27th 2018
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Wanted: Governess for duke's unruly children

Edgar Rochester, Duke of Banksford, is one of the wealthiest, most powerful men in England, but when it comes to raising twins alone, he knows he needs help. The only problem is the children have chased away half the governesses in London. Until the clever, bold, and far-too-enticing Miss Mari Perkins arrives.

Lost: One heart to an arrogant duke

Mari knows how to wrap even the most rebellious children around her finger. But their demanding, wickedly handsome father? He won't be quite so easy to control. And there's something else she can't seem to command. Her heart. The foolish thing beats so wildly every time the duke is near.

Found: A forbidden passion neither can deny

As his employee, Mari is strictly off-limits. But what if she's the one breaking all his rules? In the game of governess versus duke, how can Edgar maintain his defenses when the only thing he wants to do is let the tempting beauty win?

What a Difference a Duke Makes starts Lenora Bell’s School for Dukes series off with a bang. I have enjoyed every single book that I’ve read by Lenora Bell and after finishing this book, my enjoyment of her books hasn’t stopped.

Edgar Rochester is the Duke of Banksford and he has two kids out of wedlock that he just found out about and is now caring for. But he’s much too busy building a steam engine empire to care for them so he needs a governess to teach and care for them when he’s not around. The problem with that is his children have run off more governesses than he’d care to admit so finding one that will stick is proving to be difficult.

Miss Mari Perkins is out on her ear with no references and in desperate need of a job. She was promised a governess job but when that falls through, she hears about another job and uses her wiles to steal that job right from under her would be employer’s nose. Her plan is to dazzle her new employer, the Duke of Banksford with her awesome governessing skills that he’ll want to keep her on when the other shoe drops.

Neither Edgar or Mari was expecting the fierce attraction that bursts between them but when Mari starts proving herself to be a capable governess that the children have warmed up to, Edgar can’t turn her away. Keeping their space from each other seems to be the only way to go about this but the heart will always want what the heart wants and theirs want each other.

I really enjoy Lenora Bell’s writing style and this book was more proof that she can write the heck out of a story. Being a part of Edgar and Mari’s (rhymes with starry, hehe) romance was great fun. Their chemistry was strong and the other characters were pretty fabulous, too. I thoroughly enjoyed the shenanigans that the twins got into and I loved seeing their relationship blossom with their father but also with Mari. Their actions in the end melted me and I loved seeing Mari really grow into her own over the course of the story. I was super thrilled when she found out all about her family.

Overall, this was a wonderful historical romance that made me happy. I cannot wait to read India and Ravenwood’s book because I’m confident that they’ll keep the party going. Kudos to Lenora Bell on winning me over with yet another fabulous historical romance. What a Difference a Duke Makes is not to be missed.

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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