Tag: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Guest Review: Flash of Fury by Lea Griffith

Posted March 15, 2017 by Jen in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Flash of Fury by Lea GriffithReviewer: Jen
Flash of Fury (Endgame Ops, #1) by Lea Griffith
Series: Endgame Ops #1
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: March 17th 2017
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 384
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two-half-stars

Their spark is immediate
Kingston McNally lost men when someone betrayed his team, and now he's out for retribution. His quest for the enemy's courier leads him to Cameroon and Allie Redding, a petite Peace Corps volunteer as stubborn as she is brave. Their attraction is immediate, but Allie has secrets of her own...and she's not giving them up easily.
But their secrets could burn them both
Allie's life has been spent hiding in plain sight, but she's had enough of her cloak-and-dagger existence. On her way home, her plane is hijacked-and King saves her life. But that doesn't mean she owes him anything...even if he is the most damnably sexy man she's ever laid eyes on. He's got black ops and secrets written all over him, and trust is a two-way street.

This book sounded right up my alley because it’s about two people on the run, jetting around the world. Totally my catnip! Unfortunately, the book was largely disappointing for me.

Kingston (King) is the leader of a black ops team. Their last mission went sideways, a team member betrayed them, and several people lost their lives. King is trying to track down the international weapons dealer who was behind the mission-gone-wrong, and it leads him to a plane in Cameroon where he’s told a courier for the dealer will be flying. Instead, he interupts a hijacking in which some bad guys are attempting to kidnap Allie Redding. He doesn’t know if she’s the courier, someone else connected with the bad guys, or a total innocent, but he saves her anyway. When her real identity comes out, the mission changes to getting Allie back to America safely while also trying to unravel the complicated games that brought his team down.

The most frustrating part of this book for me was the romance. King and Allie have absolute insta-lust in a way that’s truly ridiculous. They are already making out very early in the book, while still escaping from the hijackers and before they’ve even had much conversation. It was especially stupid on Allie’s part, because she had no idea who King was or whether he was a good or bad guy. Come on girl, you can be smarter than that! King has some tender moments, but I didn’t quite understand what was drawing these two together, besides the obvious stressful, life-and-death situation. The dialog in the book is also kind of awkward, and the action jumps around. Several times I felt like I was dropped in the middle of an ongoing series and I had missed the set up for all the characters and teams. It made things confusing and hard to follow.

The complexity was a double edged sword, because while it did make things confusing I enjoyed some of it. There are so many people involved in the plot, and while there are a couple clear bad guys (the dealer and his cronies) and good guys (King and Allie), everyone else is a question mark. Who is double crossing whom? Who has their own secret agendas, and what are they? Will people’s personal relationships trump their national and financial loyalties? I enjoyed the mystery, and I’m intrigued by the larger story line. In fact, I’m intrigued enough that I might even consider reading another book in the series just to find out more, despite my misgivings with this first book.

So, consider my interest piqued but in no way sold on this series.

Grade: 2.5 out of 5

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

 

two-half-stars

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DNF Review: Flirting Under a Full Moon by Ashlyn Chase

Posted March 9, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

DNF Review: Flirting Under a Full Moon by Ashlyn ChaseReviewer: Holly
Flirting Under a Full Moon (Flirting with Fangs Trilogy, #1) by Ashlyn Chase
Series: Flirting with Fangs Trilogy #1
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: April 2nd 2013
Pages: 342
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dnf

If Brandee Hanson ever wants to go from waitress to photographer, she'll have to take some once-in-a-lifetime shots. But when she catches the gorgeous private investigator, Nick Wolfensen, on camera— transforming into a werewolf—she is thrown into a world of vampires, shapeshifters, and other paranormal misfits.
In order to keep his secret and stay clear of the supernatural council, Nick will have to convince Brandee not to release the photo. Fortunately, he was looking for an excuse to spend more time with the beautiful waitress anyway.

I saw a recommendation for this series on Instagram. It looked cute and kind of fun. Instead I found it to be over-the-top campy and pretty ridiculous.

Brandee is a waitress at a dive bar that caters, unbeknownst to her, to paranormals – werewolves, vampires and the like. One of the regulars constantly flirts with her, but she isn’t looking for a one-night-stand and Nick is known to run from any type of relationship. When they end up working together to find her missing cousin, she realizes there’s more to Nick than she initially thought. But strange things keep happening and she isn’t sure she can trust him.

For Nick’s part, he’s been playing the field while he waits for his Mate. Which, it seems, Brandee is. But he’s forbidden from telling her he’s a shifter, and Mother Nature is watching him closely.

I really wanted to like this, but it was just too silly for me. Brandee made ridiculous decisions that put herself and others in danger, with no thought whatsoever to the consequences. She didn’t ask questions when she should have and trusted much too easily. The hero was kind of overbearing, but honestly with the way she acted I don’t know how he could stand to be around her.

She also has the annoying habit of replacing “Oh, my god” with silly phrases. It was meant to be cute and kind of endearing, I think, but instead it was distracting and annoying.

“But we have to call the police,” Brandee said. “Oh, my obstruction of justice.”

“Oh, my first date jitters…”

“Oh, my Little Red Riding Hood.”

There were also gems like this:

“Are they feeding you, sweetheart?”

“Yeah. Cheese and crackers.”

Crap. With my lactose intolerance, I’ll be less than the perfect hostage. Although with all the burping and farting, they might just let me go.

Chase, Ashlyn (2013-04-02). Flirting Under a Full Moon (Flirting with Fangs Book 1) (p. 41). Sourcebooks. Kindle Edition.

I tried to stick with it, but once Mother Nature came on scene as a trash talking bitch, I just couldn’t. I had to quit at the 25% mark. There is definitely an audience for this type of book, but I’m not it.

DNF

dnf

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Guest Review: Beautiful Mess by Kasey Lane

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

Guest Review: Beautiful Mess by Kasey LaneReviewer: Tracy
Beautiful Mess by Kasey Lane
Series: Rock 'n' Ink #2
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: March 7th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 352
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three-half-stars

Hell's bells.
Jackson Paige was, in fact, Jax Pain, the drummer of Manix Curse.
That thing in Jami's chest tightened, making it hard to breathe.

When attorney Jami Dillon strides into the conference room to meet her new client, she's stopped in her tracks by an all-too familiar figure. Jackson Paige. He's her tall, tattooed, and sexy as hell hook up from law school-who also broke her heart.

Jackson Paige, aka Jax Pain, has worked hard to put that unfor-frickin-gettable fling behind him and the nasty secret that made him leave her. Truth is, life as the playboy drummer of Portland's hottest metal band hasn't helped him to forget the fiery, sexy woman who stole his heart. Lucky for him, Jami was just hired as his band's new attorney. But when he sees the look on her face when she realizes who her new client is, Jax wonders if maybe being this close to her again isn't such a great idea. The explosive chemistry is there, but so are the dark secrets...

JamiLynn Dillon is a buttoned-up lawyer.  She had her wild youth and paid a steep price for it.  Trying to make her parents happy she became a lawyer and is a damned good one – not that the job she’s working in takes advantage of that.  She constantly wants to please her parents and has a plan for her life.  Jackson Paige, the guy she had a month-long fling with in law school, is not part of that plan.  She had once thought he might be but after he up and left her, and school, one day without a word or backward glance she quickly wrote him out of the plan.  Now he’s back in her life and making things messy.  She doesn’t want to feel things.  She doesn’t want him messing up her thoughts or making her question her job but he does those things anyway.

Jackson never forgot Jami and regretted his decision to leave her the minute it happened.  Now that she’s back in his life he knows that it’s right and he’s willing to fight for the woman he wants in his life forever.  He just has to break through to her and make her see the Jami he sees – not the one she’s created to please her parents.  She’s stubborn, however, and Jackson must do all he can to get her to see that they belong together.

Beautiful Mess is book 2 in the Rock ‘n’ Ink series.  The story of Jami and Jackson was a sweet one and I enjoyed watching the two of them work out their differences.

Jackson was a great guy who had left law school and taken his life back.  He’d only been there to please his father but the artist in him finally pushed to the forefront and won the fight.  He is now an mixed media artist and tattoo artist as well as the drummer in an up and coming metal band.  I loved how he went after what he wanted – including Jami – and didn’t let her objections get in the way.

Jami took a bit for me to get used to.  In fact never really truly loved her character.  She was so wishy-washy.  I know that was because of her parents and how she’d lived her life with their expectations in mind but her indecision and stubbornness got a bit old after a while.

The story itself was good and I liked a lot of it.  There was some repetitiveness to it that bothered me as it seemed like Jackson and Jami were constantly hammering out the same issues but there was enough good parts to the book that I could forgive the other.  This book, imho, can’t be read as a standalone.  You truly need to read book one in the series as you will get lost with all the characters coming in and out of the book. If you read book one in the series and liked it you’ll definitely want to read book two and see Jax find his HEA.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars

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Guest Review: Her True Match by Paige Tyler

Posted March 6, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Her True Match by Paige TylerReviewer: Tracy
Her True Match by Paige Tyler
Series: X-Ops series #6
Also in this series: Her Perfect Mate, Her Wild Hero, Her Fierce Warrior
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: March 7th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Paranormal
Pages: 352
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four-stars

After a long game of cat-and-mouse

Feline shifter Dreya Clark picks the wrong penthouse to rob and ends up arrested by sexy detective Braden Hayes. But Braden isn’t the only one who’s been watching the cat burglar. Agents from the Department of Covert Operations swoop in to offer her a deal. If she wants to stay out of jail, she’ll have to work with them—and pair up with the hot cop. Great.

Danger throws this unlikely pair together

Braden isn’t thrilled about the DCO meddling in his investigation. He’s been chasing Dreya for years. Thrown together on a dangerous covert mission, fur flies and temperatures flare. But when danger closes in on them, their game of cat and mouse turns deadly-serious, and they’ll have to rely on each other to make it out alive.

Dreya is a cat burglar.  She has been for the past 10 years and loves every minute of it.  She doesn’t do it for the money – she does it so that her feline shifter side gets the rush it needs.  Of course she doesn’t know she’s a shifter – she just calls herself a freak.  She’d previously stole a huge diamond from an ex-senator and almost got herself killed.  She hid for a bit but then came back into DC and was back at thieving only this time Braden Hayes, burglary detective, was there waiting for her.

Braden is so excited that he finally has proof that Dreya is a thief.  He can’t believe what he’d seen when he was watching her on the monitors but as much as he’s amazed by her he can’t let her get away with stealing.  Unfortunately while he’s in the middle of interrogating her 2 federal agents show up and take Dreya away.  Braden, not one to give up easily, ends up following them.

Dreya is actually being recruited by the DCO and they end up recruiting Braden as well and making them partners.  Though she’d been avoiding him for years they trust each other and this makes all the difference when they have to watch each other’s backs.  While partners they find that they attraction they’ve had for each other turns to love.  They are happy they found each other but a villain of the worst kind may tear them apart.

This was a great addition to the X-Ops series.  I really liked both Dreya and Braden and thought they made a great team.  I loved how Braden didn’t hold Dreya’s past against her and just moved on with life.  That’s a good man right there.

Dreya and Braden’s story was just part of the book.  We also got to read about a facility in Maine where members of the DCO were infiltrating a possible lab that was making hybrid shifters.  That was incredibly interesting and exciting while keeping me on the edge of my seat. We also read about ex-Senator Thorn who is on the Committee that runs the DCO and his lackey, Dick Coleman.  Those two are a nasty pair and they really showed their evil colors in this story.

The book ended with a bang (literally) and it made me want to pick up book seven immediately.  Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long before we find out what happens next.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars

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Guest Review: How to Train Your Highlander by Christy English

Posted December 13, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: How to Train Your Highlander by Christy EnglishReviewer: Tracy
How to Train Your Highlander by Christy English
Series: Broadswords and Ballrooms #3
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: December 6th 2016
Genres: Historical, Romance
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three-half-stars

She's the Hellion of Hyde Park...

A foolproof plan to avoid marriage:1. Always carry at least three blades.2. Ride circles around any man.3. Never get caught in a handsome duke's arms.

Wild Highlander Mary Elizabeth Waters is living on borrowed time. She's managed to dodge the marriage banns up to now, but even Englishmen can only be put off for so long...and there's one in particular who has her in his sights.

Harold Percy, Duke of Northumberland, is enchanted by the beautiful hellion who outrides every man on his estate and dances Scottish reels while the ton looks on in horror. The more he sees Mary, the more he knows he has to have her, tradition and good sense be damned. But what's a powerful man to do when the Highland spitfire of his dreams has no desire to be tamed...

Mary Elizabeth is a Scot through and through.  She loves the land she grew up on and wants nothing more than to live out her days roaming, hunting, fishing and just experiencing her Scottish highlands.  Her English mother has other ideas.  She left Mary Elizabeth alone until she was 16-years-old and then tried to turn the ultimate tomboy into a lady.  She then sent her off to England to try and find a husband.  She did nothing but get herself into trouble by being the tomboy she is.  She then heads off to Northumberland with her brother to stay at the home of the Duke of Northumberland.  The duke’s mother is best friends with Mary Elizabeth’s mother and they’re there for a house party.

The duke’s mother hopes to find a bride for her son but he has no interest whatsoever – that is until he meets Mary Elizabeth.  She thinks that he’s a groom or gardener and treats him as such.  She’s not rude but she talk frankly to him when everyone else is running around kowtowing to him.  He likes that she’s not like all the other ladies and talks to him plainly.  While his head knows that he shouldn’t be with her his heart is saying that he must.  The problem is that Mary Elizabeth isn’t sure she can give up her beloved highlands even though she’s completely in love with the duke.

This was a cute story.  It’s one of those that had me smiling at Mary Elizabeth’s antics.  She’s so not “lady” material and it shows in everything she does.  Was a it a bit over the top? Yeah, in some instances I felt the author was trying to hard to show us how unsuitable she was for the duke but I took it with a grain of salt.  It ended up being fun rather than annoying.  She frustrated the hell out of her mother which made Mary Elizabeth sad.  She wanted her mother to love her for who she was – not who she wanted her to be.  In the end the reasoning behind her mother’s actions was made clear but I found it to be an unsatisfying reason.

Harry was a great hero.  While he fell for Mary Elizabeth quite quickly I like how it was all handled.  He was a quiet man and I thought that they author had Harry and Mary Elizabeth playing off of each other quite well.

In the end the book was good if a little slow in parts.  If you like a fun historical story with a lady who’s a tomboy this one would be a great one to read.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars

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