Tag: Rowena’s Reviews

Joint Review: Ache for You by J.T. Geissinger

Posted December 10, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Joint Review: Ache for You by J.T. GeissingerReviewer: Holly & Rowena
Ache for You (Slow Burn, #3) by J.T. Geissinger
Series: Slow Burn #3
Also in this series: Burn for You (Slow Burn, #1), Melt for You (Slow Burn, #2)
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Publication Date: November 6, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 362
Length: 11 hours, 36 minutes
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
one-star

In this fairy tale with a sexy twist, she’s a penniless San Francisco seamstress. He’s the king of Italian couture. Who’s got designs on whom?

Boutique owner Kimber DiSanto has seen better days. She’s been dumped at the altar by Prince Charmless, her business went up in flames (literally), and now she’s stuck in Florence, Italy, with an ice-queen stepmother, to try to save her late father’s failing dress shop. Only one thing could make it worse: another man in her life. The arrogant Italian fashion tycoon offering to buy her father’s shop is as rich as he is sexy, and their attraction is off the charts. But Kimber’s not about to get burned again.

Women don’t say no to Matteo Moretti—and certainly not with Kimber’s stinging precision. With all the heat and fury sparking between them, Matteo can’t resist baiting the gorgeous American. His plan? Win her over one scorching kiss at a time.

Kimber tells herself it’s all just a game. That her broken heart isn’t in danger, and that Matteo’s touch does not make her Lady Land dance with joy. But sometimes it takes the fieriest of enemies to turn a fantasy into a real-life romance.

Ache for You is the third book in J.T. Geissinger‘s Slow Burn series. Each book is a fairytale retelling. This is the story of Cinderella.

Kimber is having the worst time of her life. Her intended leaves her at the altar, she finds out her father is gravely ill and her dress shop burns down. All within the space of a week. She flies to Italy to be with her dad when she gets another shock…he remarried several months beforehand. Now she’s living with her Wicked Stepmother and her two evil step-sisters. Oh, and the Prince Charming who gave up his seat so she could be with her father before he died? Turns out he’s her new step-brother…and the man who wants to buy her father’s dress shop, plus steal all her designs.

Holly: I want to start this review out by saying this was a great, sweet romance and satisfied everything I needed in a Cinderella retelling…but I can’t. The truth is, I hated Kimber, the heroine, so much the book was a total flop for me. I spent the entire book filled with rage over her attitude and all the conclusions she jumped to. She was such a pure, unadulterated bitch I have no clue why she even had friends or why the hero was interested in her.

Rowena: I’m pretty sure that this is what my face looked like after reading that first sentence of your review, Holly.

I’m right there with you, where Kimber is concerned. She was extremely hard to like. When the story ended, I wasn’t over all of her stupidity. The constant assumptions on her part, the quick jumps to conclusions, even when she knew that she was in love with Matteo, she just couldn’t turn that shit off and it annoyed the ever-loving crap out of me. She didn’t deserve Matteo and she most definitely didn’t deserve Matteo’s Mom.

I started wondering what the hell Matteo saw in her because there wasn’t much to like. She was a bitch through and through so I low key started wondering what the heck was wrong with Matteo that through all of that, he saw good in her. I didn’t any of what he saw.

Holly: Girl, same. I spent the entire book hating Kimber. I didn’t understand her motivations or why she was so quick to jump to so many negative conclusions. Why Matteo wanted to be with her is beyond me.

Rowena: It’s hard for me to sympathize with grown ass women who behave the way that Kimber does. Elle Kennedy posted a quote on her IG story last week that sums up exactly how I feel about Kimber and her behavior throughout the entire book.

Your crappy childhood isn’t an excuse to be a crappy person. Your crappy luck with relationships isn’t an excuse to be a crappy person. Your crappy experiences aren’t an excuse to be a crappy person. We all have our crap, and you can either let it define you or grow from it.

Holly: In the beginning I cut her some slack because she’d just been left at the altar, then discovered her father was dying, he’d remarried and not told her, and her shop burned down. But any sympathy I had for her was soon washed away by her anger and overall piss-poor attitude.

Rowena: I can understand being hurt and guarded around new men, especially so soon after her heart was broken so publicly but Matteo was paying for shit that had absolutely nothing to do with him. When he gave up his first class ticket so that she can get to Italy faster to see her father, the way she treated him pissed me off. I wanted to reach into my kindle and smack the shit out of her. He didn’t deserve a lot of the shit that she dished his way….and that shit just kept right on happening. Matteo couldn’t get the benefit of the doubt even in the end. She alone ruined this story for me.

Holly: I probably would have DNF’d the book except 1) we agreed we couldn’t DNF any book we’re reading together and 2) I kind of wanted to see what Matteo was up to. He was kind of shady in the beginning.

Rowena: I know that I would have DNF’d this if not for our buddy review rules. I hated Kimber that much.

Holly: I did really like Kimber’s BFF, Jenner, and I even came to like Brad, her ex-fiance. I really liked Matteo’s mom and her manservant. But the longer the novel went on, the more I wondered WTF was wrong with them that they liked and wanted to be (Friends)with Kimber. They should have booted her out of their squad and gone on without her.

Rowena: Yeah, I enjoyed everyone except the two villains: Kimber and the actual villain. I thought that Jenner was a great best friend to Kimber and tried to wrangle in her crazy but there’s only so much one person can do, right? And I thought I would hate Brad a lot more than I did. There were times when I really felt for him and his dilemma. I felt how sorry he was and how eager he was to make things right with Kimber. She was just too stupid and selfish to think of anyone but herself.

Holly: This part, though? This part was almost enough for me to raise my grade by half a star. Almost, but not quite…

View Spoiler »
 

Rowena: As to your spoiler?

Yeah, call me an asshole but what happens to Kimber cracked me up. Like, a lot. I’m still laughing about that.

I didn’t understand the romance because I didn’t see what Matteo saw in Kimber. There was absolutely nothing to recommend his attraction to her. She wasn’t headstrong or stubborn in a likable way. She was a complete bitch and any attraction to that mess didn’t make a lick of sense to me. All the way until the very last page, I was still annoyed with Kimber so there was just no saving this book for me. I hated this book so much that I’m taking a long break from all things Geissinger. I just…can’t.

Holly: If she’d realized how terrible she’d been and genuinely apologized, that might have been something. Since she was just as awful on the last page as she was on the first, I can’t find anything to recommend about this book.

Seriously, y’all, save yourselves. Don’t read this book.

Holly’s Grade: 1 out of 5
Rowena’s Grade: 1 out of 5

Slow Burn

one-star


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Joint Review: Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs

Posted December 6, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Joint Review: Dead Heat by Patricia BriggsReviewer: Holly & Rowena
Dead Heat (Alpha & Omega #4) by Patricia Briggs
Series: Alpha & Omega #4
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: March 3, 2015
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 324
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-half-stars

For once, mated werewolves Charles and Anna are not traveling because of Charles’s role as his father’s enforcer. This time, their trip to Arizona is purely personal--or at least it starts out that way...Charles and Anna soon discover that a dangerous Fae being is on the loose, replacing human children with simulacrums. The Fae’s cold war with humanity is about to heat up—and Charles and Anna are in the cross fire.

Holly: Last year I forced Rowena to read the Alpha and Omega series by Patricia Briggs because I love Charles and Anna and I knew she would, too. She read books 1-3, but stalled out before reading book 4, Dead Heat. I’ve been telling her all year she needs to read it and I was finally able to convince her.

I know a lot of people didn’t care for this book, but I loved it. It moved kind of slow in the middle, but I absolutely adored the way Charles and Anna worked together. What did you think?

Rowena: People thought this book moved slowly? I didn’t think that at any time during my reading of this book. I loved it all. Charles and Anna working together should have been boring with Anna doing whatever Charles needed without him telling her to do it. Charles being overly protective of Anna at every turn but holy cow, their dynamic together is anything but boring or slow, at least for me. I’m not going to get into how hot I thought it was that Charles would drop anything at the drop of a hat if he felt Anna needed him.

Holly: I heard a lot of complaints about this book when it was first released, but like you, I loved it. I especially loved the way Charles and Anna take care of each other. I was glad to see Anna dealing with some of her trauma here. I feel like she’s overcome a lot since she first mated with Charles, but as with all true abuse victims, there are going to be moments for her. This book really highlighted those, yet still showed her inner strength.

Rowena: On top of loving how great Charles and Anna worked together, I really enjoyed the overall story going on. The reunion between Charles and his second family, with Joe and Joe’s family. I loved seeing that Charles had people who loved and cared about him that weren’t Anna and Bran and Sam. I loved seeing Charles deal with past hurts and face what’s become of his human best friend. Joe is a lot older now and when Joe’s family is put in danger, I was so glad that Charles and Anna were on hand to find out what was going on and protect everyone. It’s what they’re good at. It’s what Charles is good at.

I also really liked how Hosteen reacted to Anna’s magic. LMAO! Served him right!

Holly: Oh man, I about died when Hosteen got drunk on Anna’s magic. Served him right indeed.

I also really loved the story featuring Chelsea, Hosteen’s daughter-in-law. Her fierceness as a mother and the way she did everything she could to keep her kids safe really got me in the feels.

Rowena: Yeah, Chelsea was awesome. I loved how fiercely protective she was over her kids. How she had the frame of mind to protect them from what was going on with her and man, that brings me back to more Anna love because I really loved the way that Anna handled watching over Chelsea’s kids. She was honest and forthcoming with whatever she could with Max and I appreciated that she didn’t try to hide what was going on because he had to deal with it and she was there to help him figure things out until his parents returned and took over the reins. With everything going on, Anna just kept right on rolling with the punches.

I thought that Patricia Briggs wrote another fabulously suspenseful novel with characters that I have come to love so much and introduced some other characters that warmed me right up. I cried in the end when the spirits boosted Joe up so that he can protect his grand-daughter until Charles got there to take over. I really love all of the faith everyone had in Charle’s abilities. I mean, I have the same faith but it was just so nice.

I give this book a 5 out of 5. You?

Holly: I agree. This was a wonderful novel, full of suspense and strong characters I came to love. I was sad to see it end. 4.5 out of 5

Holly: 4.5 out of 5
Rowena: 5 out of 5

Alpha & Omega

four-half-stars


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Review: Archangel’s Consort by Nalini Singh

Posted November 27, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Archangel’s Consort by Nalini SinghReviewer: Rowena
Archangel's Consort (Guild Hunter, #3) by Nalini Singh
Narrator: Justine Eyre
Series: Guild Hunter #3
Also in this series: Archangel's Kiss, Archangel's Consort, Archangel's Storm (Guild Hunter #5), Archangel's Legion, Archangel's Legion (Guild Hunter #6), Archangel's Shadows, Archangel's Shadows, Archangel's Enigma (Guild Hunter, #8), Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter #1), Archangel's Heart, Archangel's Heart, Archangel's Heart (Guild Hunter, #9), Archangel's Kiss, Angels' Blood, Archangel's Viper (Guild Hunter, #10), Archangel's Viper, Archangel's Prophecy (Guild Hunter, #11), Archangel's Prophecy (Guild Hunter, #11)
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: January 25, 2011
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Romance Package
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 377
Length: 10 hours, 21 minutes
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux and her lover, the lethally beautiful archangel Raphael, have returned home to New York only to face an uncompromising new evil…

A vampire has attacked a girls’ school—the assault one of sheer, vicious madness—and it is only the first act. Rampant bloodlust takes vampire after vampire, threatening to make the streets run with blood. Then Raphael himself begins to show signs of an uncontrolled rage, as inexplicable storms darken the city skyline and the earth itself shudders.

The omens are suddenly terrifyingly clear.

An ancient and malevolent immortal is rising. The violent winds whisper her name: Caliane. She has returned to reclaim her son, Raphael. Only one thing stands in her way: Elena, the consort who must be destroyed…

Archangel’s Consort is the third book in the Guild Hunter’s series by Nalini Singh, and it’s another Raphael and Elena book so they’re heavily featured in this one. A vampire is on the attack, and when he hits a girls school, Elena, the Hunter is brought in to find him and bring him in. Elena is still pretty new to the life of an immortal but she’s got a lot of help in Raphael and his Seven. She’s still learning everything and I thought it was an interesting part of this book. I liked seeing her relationship with not just Raphael, but with each of the Seven grow. They’re not perfect, but holy cow, they entertaining.

I really like the way that Nalini Singh wrote Elena’s character. She’s going through so much right now, dealing with so much and yet she just keeps right on taking on more. She’s dealing with everything that comes with being an Angel made, she’s dealing with a new relationship with an Archangel, the changes in her personal life that came with being an immortal and then a vampire attacks at the school that her younger half sisters attend and she jumps right into the thick of tracking this monster down. I couldn’t help but admire the hell out of Elena because I don’t think I would have handled that much change AND been any good at finding the bad guys.

I also really liked seeing Raphael and Elena together. They’re so new at being together and there’s a lot going on emotionally for both of them but their bond, their feelings for each other were solid. I liked seeing that they were both vulnerable to each other and not one more than the other. Raphael is so sure of himself in every aspect of his life and then he gets around Elena and you see a different, softer side to him and man, I just loved it.

I will say that the beginning of this book was a little on the slow side but the deeper I got into the story, the more invested I became and well, it’s Elena and Raphael, they do a great job of sucking readers in because their world is all kinds of crazy. I’m looking forward to continuing this series so that I can fall as deeply in love with it as Casee and Holly are. This was a pretty quick listen and I enjoyed it so I’m here for more from these guys.

Grade: 4 out of 5

Guild Hunters

four-stars


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Joint Review: Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs

Posted November 23, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Joint Review: Iron Kissed by Patricia BriggsReviewer: Holly & Rowena
Iron Kissed (Mercy Thompson, #3) by Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson #3
Also in this series: Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson, #7), Night Broken, Shifting Shadows, Blood Bound, Fire Touched, Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson, #10), Moon Called, Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson, #2)
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: January 2, 2008
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 287
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-half-stars

I could smell her fear, and it satisfied something deep inside me that had been writhing under her cool, superior gaze. I curled my upper lip so she could get a good look at my sharp teeth. I might only weigh thirty or so pounds in my coyote shape, but I was a predator...

Mechanic Mercy Thompson can shift her shape - but not her loyalty. When her former boss and mentor is arrested for murder and left to rot behind bars by his own kind, it's up to Mercy to clear his name, whether he wants her to or not.

Mercy's loyalty is under pressure from other directions, too. Werewolves are not known for their patience, and if Mercy can't decide between the two she cares for, Sam and Adam may make the choice for her...

In Iron Kissed, we are back in Mercy Thompson’s world and the fae need her help. When Zee, the fae that Mercy bought her mechanic shop from, needs Mercy’s help in sniffing out a murderer, Mercy doesn’t hesitate to help out. When that help turns into trouble for Zee, Mercy can’t and won’t turn away from a friend in need, no matter that he doesn’t want her help. Mercy is going to find out what’s going on and she’s going to clear Zee’s name and get him out of jail. The fae? Well, they can be pissed off all they want, but Mercy is going to do what she feels is right no matter what. Her friend is innocent, so let the investigation begin…

Rowena: Holy cow, I knew that this was going to be an emotional read for me because both you and Ames told me that you guys cried but I wasn’t expecting this book. Not, at all. I couldn’t stop reading the book either. I was engaged from beginning to end. My emotions were involved because my heart broke for Mercy, for Adam, for Ben. For everyone. This book, man…gah.

What did you think?

Holly: This is such a rough, emotional book. I always get swept up in Briggs’ books, but this one grabbed me right away. My emotions were all over the place. I ugly cried.

Rowena: So did I. I mean, how could you not?

I thought the entire story was well written. It was rough to get through but the beginning definitely led to the end and Briggs really takes the reader on an emotional journey.

Holly: I thought the beginning was a little slow, too, but it picked up quickly and I easily fell into it. I loved all the Fae stuff and how we saw more of Mercy’s relationship with Bran through what Samuel said. Mercy has always felt like she was just barely tolerated, and I loved it when Samuel was like “My dad will wage war for Mercy” and she was all surprised. <3

Rowena: The fae stuff was interesting, too. I wondered what the hell was up with that walking stick that kept showing up wherever Mercy went. I was also curious about who the hell the murderer was. I also really loved that though Mercy was a bit of a loner, she was never alone and I loved how Samuel and Adam made that known to whoever wished her harm. Then there was Zee. Oh man, I loved Zee too.

I bonded with Mercy’s character in this story and with Ben. I didn’t really care for Ben in the other books but I love the hell out of him now. Tears streaked down my face as he pled with Adam to understand.

Holly: I didn’t care for Ben in the previous books either, but he really came through here. We learned more about his past, too, which I thought was good. I loved how he stood up for Mercy in the end. It was touching because it was so unexpected from him, you know?

I think it’s so wonderful how Mercy’s relationships grow over the course of the series. She was alone for so long and now she’s developing all these tight connections.

Rowena: Yes, seeing Mercy realize that she really is loved was good. I hope we get more from the other wolves in Adam’s pack because I’m really soft for Ben, Warren and Kyle, Honey and her husband, and Jessie. I love everyone in Adam’s pack. When Mercy and Ben take care of that Jessie business at the end, I was glad that Mercy was able to get some of her confidence back.

Holly: I loved when Mercy and Ben took care of the Jesse thing at the end. They played it just right and it added some balance to the novel, I think.

I have to say, I knew who the murderer was, but I did not expect things to go the way they did for Mercy. I was shocked at what happened to her. I just didn’t see it coming.

Rowena: This book was just flat out good and though it was hard to get through, I’m glad that I read it and I’m pretty anxious to keep the Mercy Thompson reading adventure going. So, so good.

There is much to love in this book and I’m glad that you made me finally read this one. Mercy Thompson is one of my favorite characters and I’m super anxious to see what happens next. I give this a 4.5 out of 5 rating. You?

Holly: Mercy and those in her sphere really work for me as a whole. This novel was such a punch to the gut, even after several rereads. I was sucked right in. I’m really excited you’re continuing on.

I’m giving this 4.5 out of 5 as well.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

Mercy Thompson

four-half-stars


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Joint Review: Sleepover by Serena Bell

Posted November 21, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Joint Review: Sleepover by Serena BellReviewer: Holly & Rowena
Sleepover by Serena Bell
Publisher: Loveswept
Publication Date: November 13, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 224
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

A brand-new contemporary romance from the USA Today bestselling author of Head Over Heels.

The girl next door is the one that got away. He just doesn’t know it yet. . . .

Sawyer: After my wife died, I promised myself I’d never go through the pain of losing someone again. Now I keep my flings neat, tidy, and one-time-only. Besides, my son needs me more than ever. He’s miserable in our new town, so I’m pumped when he makes friends with the kid next door—until I recognize his mom from a one-night stand. Perky and upbeat, Elle Dunning is not my type for anything other than tearing up the sheets. So why do I keep letting myself get roped into game nights and get-togethers?

Elle: It so hasn’t been my year. That’s my first thought when I see my new next-door neighbor. I never would have hooked up with Sawyer Paulson if my husband hadn’t left me for his high-school sweetheart, but because our eight-year-old boys have become best friends, I’ve got to make nice with Mr. Tall, Dark, and Silent. Yet the more time we spend together, the more Sawyer opens up. We’ve both been hurt—badly. So it’s one thing to send the kids off to sleepaway camp together. It’s quite another to promise each other a lifetime of sleepovers. . . .

Sleepover is a standalone novel with no cheating, no cliffhangers, and a satisfying happily ever after. This ebook includes an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

Sleepover by Serena Bell follows two single parents that had a one night stand. They thought they’d never see each other again and that’s what they both wanted so when Sawyer moves in next door to Elle and their boys become best friends, things get interesting because well, they both are starting to want a repeat of that one naughty night.

Rowena: This was my first book by Serena Bell and though I was a bit annoyed about finding out there are other books linked to the characters in this book (making it a series), I still rather enjoyed this single parent romance. I really liked both Sawyer and Elle, loved their boys and how straightforward their romance was.

Sawyer’s journal of letters to his late wife really hit me with all the feels and I liked that Elle was understanding where all of that was concerned. I really liked how grown up their romance was. What about you? What did you think?

Holly: I really don’t like how these authors aren’t listing connecting books as series. It’s annoying. I might have liked to read the earlier books first. But like you, I thought this was an enjoyable romance. I love the single parent romances and I thought Bell did a good job with this one.

Sawyer’s Lucy journal got me in the feels, too. There’s a scene toward the end that made me tear up. I liked their grown-up romance, too. I liked how they dealt with their kids. The boys became fast friends and they both encouraged that, and tried to include them in their plans. They had a great family dynamic.

I did get a little frustrated by all the sexting. They definitely had good sexual chemistry, and the sexual tension was thick. I think I could have done with a little less sexting and little more personal connection between them.

Rowena: It was all straightforward and such an easy romance to fall into that I had this book read in just a few hours.

I know what scene you’re talking about and yes, I totally teared up too. I thought that was sweet but sad too.

I didn’t mind the sexting, I thought it was cute…and I loved that he couldn’t help himself. He couldn’t keep to his own rules where Elle was concerned and I loved that he couldn’t get enough of her. I also really liked that Elle tried to keep her cool but she wasn’t fooling anyone. She had it bad for Sawyer so it was good that he had it bad for her too.

Are you planning on reading Brooks book? What about going back and reading the other books? This was a fun romp that was perfect for what I was in the mood for so I give this one a 4 out of 5. You?

Holly: I was bothered a bit by some quirks of the writing (such as the author’s constant use of parenthesis to include asides in the narrative), but aside from the sexting, overall I enjoyed the book. I’m looking forward to reading more from Bell soon. I do plan to go back and read the first two and I’m definitely interested in Brooks’ book.

This was an easy, sweet read. It definitely hit the spot. 3.5 out of 5

Holly’s Grade: 3.5 out of 5
Rowena’s Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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