Tag: Tracy’s Reviews

Shomi Spotlight – Guest Review: Countdown by Michelle Maddox

Posted August 26, 2008 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 6 Comments

Tracy’s review of Countdown by Michelle Maddox

TITLE: Countdown

AUTHOR: Michelle Maddox


Reason for Reading: The Book Binge was having Shomi month and since the books looked good I wanted to read one.

Summary: (From Goodreads)

Kira Jordan wakes up in a pitch-black room handcuffed to a metal wall. She has 60 seconds to escape. Thus begins a vicious game where to lose is to die.

The man she’s been partnered with–her only ally in this nightmare–is a convicted mass murderer. But if he’s so violent, why does he protect her? And stranger still, what is it behind those haunted sea-green eyes that makes her want to protect him?

No one to trust. Nowhere to run. And the only hope of survival is working together to beat The Countdown.


Ok, I’m going to attempt this review without spoilers…not an easy task, let me tell ya!

This book started off with a bang. As the summary said, Kira wakes up in a darkened room (which sucks since she’s deathly afraid of the dark) with Rogan and has no idea why she’s there, how she got there or who Rogan is. Kira and Rogan only talk for a few minutes before things start happening. Not really knowing what’s going on Kira helps Rogan because he is injured.

They have been chosen for the game The Countdown. Participants get their skulls implanted with nasty little devices and are forced to play the game and either beat the countdown or get eliminated from the game via the implant. Elimination = death. The implant will pretty much melt their brains and their head will explode. Not something either party wants to happen so they try really hard to win each level.

Rogan and Kira work together to get through the 6 levels of the game and do their best to not die. Many different aspects of their lives get broadcast to the “subscribers” of the game (those who are watching this show and are hungry for death) and inevitably they talk about things that have happened in their lives. Many, many secrets get revealed about Rogan, his family and his past. Although Rogan has been convicted of the rape of 3 women and the murder of 9 and has been in prison for the past 4 years Kira, who has empathetic psi abilities, doesn’t “feel” that he is a bad person.

With Kira and Rogan delving into each others pasts they come to know each other and find they like each other. I thought their romance was a little rushed, but it did work in the end.

I really liked Rogan from the first time he was introduced. Yes, he’d been in prison for 4 years, but he wasn’t hardened like you assumed he would be. He seemed to have a good sense of humor despite his circumstances and I liked his optimism.

Kira’s family had been murdered when she was just 15 and she had been on the streets since then. Her main goal in life was to A) stay alive and B) get to Offworld, another inhabitable planet that was supposed to be much nicer than earth. As with Rogan I would have assumed that Kira would be hardened from her time on the streets, but she wasn’t. Yes, she had learned how to be a pickpocket and steal what she needed but deep down I think she was a kind person and she was basically looking for someone to love her.

Overall I’d say it was a good read. The initial excitement did die down a little which was disappointing, but there was definitely never a dull moment in the book.

Was the author new to you and would you read something by this author again?

She is new to me. I would definitely read more of her work.

Are you keeping it or passing it on?

I’ll keep it.

Did you enjoy the book?

Would you recommend this book to others? Yes

SCORE: 3.75 out of 5

Anything else? Michelle Maddox also writes under the name Michelle Rowen.

This book is available from Dorchester. You can buy it here.

Check out more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place.

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Review: A Perfect Match by Shelley Bradley

Posted May 22, 2008 by Tracy in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: A Perfect Match by Shelley BradleyReviewer: Tracy
A Perfect Match by Shelley Bradley
Published by Samhain Publishing
Publication Date: March 1, 2008
Genres: Contemporary
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Compatible? Never. But the numbers don't lie.

Sports reporter Mitch MacKinnon is stuck writing an expos about a local dating service, and no amount of foot-dragging or complaining will get him out of it. When he gets a look at the sexy blonde owner, things start looking up. He'd love the chance to date Juliette Lowell a time or two. But he's here to dish the dirt that'll be his ticket to a big-time newspaper; a relationship is the furthest thing from his mind.

Juliette's got Mitch pegged from the word go-he's an overgrown jock who wouldn't know a true emotion if it was wrapped in pigskin. Delicious dimples and killer brown eyes aside, the man is incredibly infuriating. All she needs is one chance to prove she can find a perfect match for anyone. Even him. Then her "foolproof" database spits out the results. Mitch's perfect match? Juliette. If she's right, Mitch will have to eat his words-and the story that'll take him to the top.

Warning: This title contains hot, sweaty couch dancing; long, slow, hot, wet kisses that last three days, and toe-curling romance.

So I really enjoy books by Shelley Bradley. They have great stories and some of them are pretty damn steamy. So when A Perfect Match came out this past week I bought it immediately. I didn’t get a chance to read it right then since DIK had taken over my life and but frankly, who doesn’t like DIK?

Anyway, A Perfect Match is about a man, Mitch, who works for a newspaper in a relatively small city (which happens to be the city I currently live in)as a sports writer. The “Community Happenings” woman goes out on maternity leave and he is asked to cover for her by doing a story on a local matchmaking business.
Enter Juliette Lowell, owner of A Perfect Match. Mitch is very skeptical about her methods of matchmaking and writes a not so wonderful review of her business. Juliette challenges Mitch to let her set him up with her system and she if she can’t make a believer out of him. He eventually says yes, but only if she enters herself into the system to be set up as well. Juliette’s not so sure how this will go since she has a boyfriend and he’s asked her to marry him. She’s not said yes, but doesn’t really feel right about going out on a date while dating someone else. But her boyfriend is very understanding, says he trusts her, and she should most definitely do it since it will prove the reporter wrong in the end.

When all is said and done and all the matchmaking info is put into the system it turns out that Mitch and Juliette are a 93% match. Although they’ve been very attracted to each other Juliette is NOT overjoyed at the prospect of going out with Mitch. But they do, with each person planning half of the date and end up having a really good time…especially that incredibly steamy kiss at the end of the night. Wow.

Mitch is so wanting more of Juliette, but again, she’s almost engaged so how is that to happen? Juliette’s feeling some strong attraction but unfortunately it’s not toward the man she’s “almost” engaged to. The problem is that Juliette moved a ton of times while growing up with a pretty much never there father so she wants security in her life. Mitch is a fly by the seat of your pants kinda guy and is willing to move wherever, whenever in order to move up in the newspaper business and further his career.

As much as I’d love to go on and tell you the rest of the book I’ll suffice it to say that the way Mitch and Juliette work out their differences and end up coming together is just heart-warming. The romance between the two is wonderful in its simplicity and I loved that about this book. Although its not an easy road for the two of them Ms. Bradley made to story realistic and believable. I thoroughly enjoy reading this and will continue to recommend it.

Rating: B+

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Guest Review: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Posted April 20, 2008 by Tracy in Reviews | 8 Comments

Guest Review: Twilight by Stephenie MeyerReviewer: Tracy
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Series: Twilight #1
Also in this series: Eclipse, Eclipse, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn, Breaking Dawn, Twilight, Twilight

Publication Date: July 18th 2007
Genres: Young Adult, Horror & Ghost Stories, Love & Romance, Fantasy & Magic
Pages: 544
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Isabella Swan's move to Forks, a small, perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. But once she meets the mysterious and alluring Edward Cullen, Isabella's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. Up until now, Edward has managed to keep his vampire identity a secret in the small community he lives in, but now nobody is safe, especially Isabella, the person Edward holds most dear. The lovers find themselves balanced precariously on the point of a knife-between desire and danger.Deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful, Twilight captures the struggle between defying our instincts and satisfying our desires. This is a love story with bite.

So yesterday I took my oldest daughter to a birthday party and dropped her off. It was either sit and watch her go down huge inflatable slides (um, no thanks) or mosey around the nearest store since I had forgotten to bring a book (I know, what was I thinking?). So I drove to Target and immediately went to the book section. The very first book I see is Twilight. My friend Christine raves about this book but I had never read YA before so I hadn’t really given much thought to reading this one. I grabbed it off of the shelf but still looked around. Nothing else seemed to grab me so I bought Twilight, sat down in the food court and started reading.

ok – how stupid am I? Don’t answer that! When I put off reading books that people tell me that are great and then I finally read them that’s the first question I have to ask myself. I should know by now that my “book” friends just don’t steer me in the wrong direction! Example: books I’ve put off reading then kicked my self afterward: Dark Lover by JR Ward and the rest of the BDB series, the Dark-Hunter Series by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels Trilogy – you see the pattern.

That being said – I LOVED Twilight. I thought that it was a charming, sweet love story that had adventure & humor. Can you ask for more? Bella’s thoughts (and of course her dry humor and sarcasm) as she moves to a new town and starts a new school were so familiar to me since my family moved a lot up until I was about 20. Because of that I was immediatly drawn into the story and then just couldn’t put the book down.

I don’t think I’ll be putting off reading these highly recommended books any longer. And I certainly won’t not read a book just because it’s labeled YA.

Rating: A+/ 5


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TBR Day Review: The Hunters: Rafe and Sheila by Shiloh Walker

Posted April 16, 2008 by Tracy in Reviews | 5 Comments

TBR Day Review: The Hunters: Rafe and Sheila by Shiloh WalkerReviewer: Tracy
Rafe and Sheila by Shiloh Walker
Series: The Hunters #6
Also in this series: Private Places

Publication Date: May 4th 2005
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Erotica, Paranormal
Pages: 125
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

The Hunters: Rafe and Sheila Shiloh Walker
"Book 6 in The Hunters series."

Sheila is tired of it. Tired of him. She adores the sexy Hunter she works and lives with, loves him madly, but all he will give her is a good time in bed. And what a time that is. But she wants-needs-more. When Rafe makes it clear that sex is all he will offer, she leaves.

Rafe can't believe that Sheila walked away-he'll be damned if he just lets her go. Throwing caution to the wind, he sets out to track her down and bring her home. But when he finds her, she's lying in the arms of another man. Rage and jealously overwhelm Rafe.and a whole mess of trouble ensues.

An enemy of the Hunters has set up a playground in this land that seems to call to Rafe. He and Sheila, and the motley crew they assemble, must defend and cleanse this land of the evil that dwells there. And Rafe must lead them through horror and sacrifice as he comes into his own-a Master, defending his land, who must bring his woman home. But, to his home, his heart.


This is book 6 in the Hunters series and one of my favorites. I think that Rafe & Sheila’s relationship was well done. I appreciated the fact that Ms. Walker didn’t overdo the “I can’t want you” scenario that we see in so many romances nowadays.
I very much enjoyed the two characters that she brought into the book: Ella and Robbie. They had been through so much heartache and terror at the hands of the evil Pierre but were still so pure at heart. I don’t want to give away any plot details but let’s just say when things came to a head I was crying like a baby. Yes, I’m a big softy at heart!
Rating: B+/4.25 out of 5

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