Tag: Veronica Wolff

What I Read Last Week

Posted December 28, 2012 by Tracy in Features | 4 Comments

I know I’m completely out of sync this week – for understandable reasons – but I couldn’t go an entire week without doing this post!

I hope you all had a great Christmas. Mine was really nice. On Sunday we went up to my hubby’s parents house and had a Christmas celebration with his parents, one of his 2 brothers and his family. We had a great dinner and then went to see a kind of light show at a local zoo and it was darned cool. Then we went to services on Christmas Eve and they were really great. Christmas morning the kids actually slept in til 9am!!! That just rocked as far as I was concerned since they’re normally up at like 5:30am. Lol Later that day my parents and then my brother and niece came over and we had a nice dinner then opened gifts. It was just a really fun day and since it was the last with my parents for a while it was especially nice.

Ok, so on to what I read last week:

I started off the week with Timber Creek by Veronica Wolff. This is book 2 in the Sierra Falls series and though I liked the first one this one just wasn’t as good for me. The heroine of the book rubbed me the wrong way and though I loved the hero he just couldn’t make up for the heroine’s shortcomings. You can read my full review here at The Book Binge. 2.5 out of 5

Next was The Seduction of Elliot McBride by Jennifer Ashley. This is another book in the Highland Pleasures series and gives us Elliot McBride and the woman he’s been in love with for years, Juliana St. John. They get married in a strange turn of events and then to Elliot’s remote home in the Highlands. Elliot had been held captive by a tribe in India and has severe lapses in his state of consciousness and sometimes he gets violent. Juliana soothes him but he still doubts he can lead a normal life. Again, while I really liked Elliot in this book I just didn’t connect with Juliana as much. Parts of the story were so very sweet but I just had some issues with the book as a whole. You can read my full review here at The Book Binge. 3.75 out of 5

Next up was Asher’s Dilemma by Colleen Kwan. The story is about a man who goes back in time by 8 months to save the woman he loves from disappearing forever. The book is good in an untraditional way. The heroine finds herself in love with both the current Asher as well as the future Asher and it does make things interesting. You can read my full review tomorrow on The Book Binge. 3 out of 5

Last for the week was The Scandalous, Dissolute, No-Good Mr. Wright by Tessa Dare was wonderful! This novella is about Eliza who is thought to be a bit too wild and too impetuous to be “out” until her 3 older sisters are out and married as Eliza’s father doesn’t want Eliza to cause a scandal and ruin it for all of them. The poor girl keeps running into Mr Harry Wright and he’s a piece of work – one that she tells herself that she wants nothing to do with. Of course after years of running into him she can’t help but fall in love with the scoundrel. This was another oh so terrific story that Tessa has written. She had such a way of telling a story that has me rooting for both the hero and the heroine from minute one. This is a must read. 5 out of 5

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
crickets chirping

Happy Reading!

Guest Review: Timber Creek by Veronica Wolff

Posted December 26, 2012 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Tracy’s review of Timber Creek (Sierra Falls #2) by Veronica Wolff

In love and war, something’s gotta give…For Laura Bailey it wasn’t easy weathering her teen years at her quaint family lodge in a boondock town at the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. Fleeing for San Francisco the minute she graduated high school seemed like a good idea—until she lost her job and her fiancé. The blow to her pride sent her back to Sierra Falls to figure out her life. But her hometown is undergoing a bit of renovation. A new Sierra Falls resort is posing a threat to the Bailey family business. Even worse, the construction company developing the property is run by Eddie Jessup, Laura’s cocky high school nemesis who delighted in locking horns with the little spitfire. Some things never change. But their battle isn’t the only thing heating up between Laura and Eddie, and before long they realize that getting to know each other all over again has its rewards. But fate isn’t through with them. Nor are the games men and women play in the name of love. 

Laura is determined to make a go of it in Sierra Falls and to prove her worth, to her family, the town and to herself. When a new resort gets planned and she crunches numbers for her family’s lodge and restaurant they’re not good. She’ll do just about anything to keep her family’s business in the black and that means going head to head with Eddie Jessup.

Laura wants Eddie to stop renovations on a ranch in Sierra Falls just because it will hurt her business – but what about his family and his business? Eddie doesn’t feel that the whole resort thing is on the up and up but Jessup Construction needs the work and this might put them on the map and make their business grow. As much as he’d like to accommodate Laura, he just can’t do it.

Laura is a bear and keeps up her constant tirade toward Eddie with no end in sight…until they finally give in to their mutual attraction and then sparks fly. Laura, however is still concerned about money and when her old boss calls with a cherry job offer she can’t decide what to do.

This was a really hard book for me to like. I really liked Eddie so very much. There was just so much to like about him and he was just adorable. I could see his charming grin flying off the pages and I just wanted to hug him. My problem was that I really didn’t like Laura at all. The story deals with Laura and her self-esteem issues, etc. but frankly I just didn’t think she was a nice person. She was nice around Eddie but I thought that she felt like she couldn’t let her true self out. I believe that we as the reader was supposed to see the tough outer shell and then see what a softie she was but after everything was said and done I felt like it was too little too late.

There was a secondary story that had to do with the waitress at Laura’s family restaurant, Helen, and her family and her husband troubles. I found this story much more interesting and wanted the entire book to be about Helen. I think between Eddie and Helen they saved the book for me. In the end it was just an ok read.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 

The Series:
 Book Cover Book Cover

You can read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place

This book is available from Berkley. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.

Guest Review: Sierra Falls by Veronica Wolff

Posted April 18, 2012 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Published by Berkley, Penguin

Tracy’s review of Sierra Falls by Veronica Wolff

Sierra Falls, California, is one of those sleepy towns that people choose to leave. Sorrow Bailey chose to stay behind and run the struggling family lodge, but has always yearned for more. Things look up when she discovers a collection of letters from her three-times great grandmother and namesake, telling the story of a forbidden love affair.

Billy Preston is the new sheriff, a widower escaping the grief of his former life. He helps out after an accident at the Bailey lodge, and what begins as admiration for Sorrow’s quiet strength quickly becomes more. When Sorrow’s discovery brings fame to Sierra Falls and her dreams of a better life are within reach, one too many “accidents” have Billy wondering whether someone is willing to kill to keep them off the map…

Sorrow Bailey is the youngest of three children. Her siblings both took off for different reasons but that left Sorrow to help with the family business – a lodge and tavern in Sierra Falls – and also taking care of her father who had a stroke about 10 years before this book started. He’s a grumpy old fart and is stuck in his ways. He doesn’t want anything done to the lodge and tavern that hadn’t been done before and this is a bit frustrating for Sorrow as she would love to make changes to the place – especially to the menu.

When a heavy branch falls through their attic Sorrow heads up to move the antique trunks with all of their ancestors treasures. In one of the trunks she finds some old letters that were written by her three times great grandmother, Sorrow Crabtree. These letters begin a fervor among the historical society and they plan to use them to bring people to the town for the spring fair.

When the book begins Sorrow is dating young wealthy Damien. She’s a bit frustrated with him as he doesn’t seem to listen to her – he just wants sex. He does take great care of the family but that doesn’t seem like it’s enough. Enter new Sheriff in town, Billy Preston. He’s about 12 years older than Sorrow but the pair have an instant connection. Billy denies any feelings he might have for Sorrow because A) She has a boyfriend, but more importantly is B) He’s still grieving over the death of his wife 3 years earlier. Despite Billy’s thoughts that he shouldn’t be anywhere near Sorrow he can’t stop himself by going around to the tavern on a regular basis. Soon Sorrow breaks up with Damien and she and Billy start to get to know each other better. Billy also doesn’t believe that the “accidents” that keep happening around the lodge are actually accidents and he wants to find out who’s behind it all.

There were quite a few things going on in this book and though individually they were all interesting stories I felt like there were just too many to make any of them truly wonderful.

First there was the Sorrow and Billy relationship – with Damien bringing up the rear. I thought at first glance that Damien was kind of an ass. He was self-centered to a point but he really did care about Sorrow and her family – he just showed it in different ways. I liked Billy a lot but when he finally decided to go for it with Sorrow he was so overly intense at one point I thought it was a bit creepy. The creepiness calmed down but he was still very intense.

Then there was a story about a townsperson, Marlene, who is taking care of her mother who has Alzheimer’s as well as her two aged aunts. Marlene is trying to get over the desertion of her husband. Sully is the cook at the tavern and he has feelings for Marlene. Their story followed their relationship as well as the relationship between Marlene and her mother. 

Then we had Sorrow’s sister who had left town almost as soon as she graduated and had become a Marketing VP in Silicone Valley. She returns home for reasons that don’t come to light until later in the book but she and Sorrow have a contentious relationship. Sorrow felt deserted by her siblings and felt like she was left holding the bag so to speak. The pair argued like children on a regular basis throughout the book and it was so immature. I know they had issues and when siblings argue they tend to revert to children but it got old very fast.

Then there was Sorrow’s parents. Her mother and father loved Sorrow but her father had a strange way of showing it. Sorrow longed to cook for the tavern as she had taught herself to cook as a getaway for herself but her father just didn’t believe that anyone would like it and really was kind of derogatory toward her because of it. He was grumpy and crotchety most of the time because of his stroke and thought himself more feeble than he was. Billy really gave him shit about the way he acted both to his wife and to Sorrow and I loved that.  When pushed came to shove the dad, Bear, came through for not only Sorrow but for his tavern and that made me extremely happy.

Then there was the “accidents” that were happening around the lodge that were aimed at Sorrow. Sorrow’s parents didn’t believe that anything was done on purpose but Billy was determined to find out who it was.

The letters that were found by Sorrow were an interesting part of the story as well but frankly I would have liked to have spent more time on those and less on other things.

While the story was well written I didn’t end up liking the many varied story lines throughout the book. I would have liked to have concentrated on one or two rather than jumping from side story to side story.

Rating: 3.25 out of 5

You can read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place

This book is available from Berkley Sensation. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

What I Read Last Week

Posted April 16, 2012 by Tracy in Features | 5 Comments

Nothing to report this week. Just a pretty quiet week and I LOVE that. I do have to register my oldest daughter for HIGH SCHOOL this week. That’s kind of freaking me out, I must admit. When did that happen? How could she have gotten older and I stayed the same age? How? How? How? lol
I read a lot this past week so let’s get to it:

First up was Taming An Impossible Rogue by Suzanne Enoch. This was the story of Camille Pryce – an Ear’s daughter – who ran out on her own wedding a year ago and was then disowned and shunned by her family and friends. She actually became a maid in her aunts home until she found out about the Tantalus Club and the fact that it was hiring women. She got the job and is now hostess in one of their dining rooms. The man she was to marry is still technically engaged to her but he has been banned from the Club and since Camille never leaves it makes it difficult to talk to her. Lord Fenton employs his scandalous cousin, Keating Blackwood, to get into the club and makes a deal to pay him 10,000 pounds when he gets Camille to the altar to marry Fenton. But Camille and Keating fall in love and where does that leave them and Fenton. I really liked this book. I’m becoming a fan of Enoch’s and really like what she does with a romance. 4.25 out of 5

Wolf Tracks by Vivian Arend is the story of Pam who comes to the Granite Lake pack to be the maid of honor at her best friends’ wedding. Pam has no idea that she is among wolf shifters. TJ – the best man – discovers that Pam, who is VERY human, is his mate. After the wedding Pam goes on a hiking excursion and TJ basically kidnaps her. She discovers his wolf secret and TJ spends the week they are together trying to make Pam believe that they are meant to be together. This was another great addition to the Granite Lake Wolves series. I loved TJ and his tenaciousness and I loved that Pam didn’t just accept TJ without some damned good proof. A fun read. 4 out of 5

Sierra Falls by Veronica Wolff is a book that I read for The Book Binge. This is the first in a series about the citizen’s of Sierra Falls, California. In this story we have the daughter to the tavern/lodge owner and the new sheriff in town. Sorrow is trying to help her parents when a whole lot of things are going wrong at the tavern, along with dealing with her current boyfriend, and Billy thinks that the “accidents” at the tavern aren’t accidents at all. Along with that Billy is trying to get over the death of his wife and move on. While this was a good book there was really just too much going on for me. There were many side stories branching off from Sorrow and Billy’s relationship as well as other relationships between Sorrow and her family and some townspeople. Cute, but not wonderful. 3.25 out of 5

Pretty Monsters by Andrea Speed was next. This is a free short and the first story in the Josh of the Damned series. It’s about Josh who works the night shift at the Quik Mart and there’s a hell portal right out back. Josh’s customers range from vampires to zombies and there’s never a dull moment. In this story he meets the hottie, Colin the vampire, and becomes quite friendly with him. This was a fun story and a good introduction to Josh and his world. 3 out of 5

Peek-A-Boo by Andrea Speed is the second free short story in the Josh of the Damned series. This one involved a Yeti who is visiting Josh and slapping dead animals on his counter. Colin comes in and lets him know that the Yeti might have more on his mind with Josh than he originally thought. Again, fun story and funny! I definitely was laughing out loud more than once during this one. Don’t let the monsterish covers freak you out. These are definitely comedic reads. 3.5 out of 5

The Wolf Who Loved Me by Lydia Dare is book 5 in the Westfield Wolves series. This story was about Weston Hadly, a nothing and nobody in the ton, who is caught by Lady Madeline, a Duke’s daughter who has a huge dowry, changing into his wolf form. He manages to corral her and then they’re off to Gretna Green to get married as a mate won’t tell the shifter’s secret. They are soon chased by Madeline’s father but during the trip Madeline manages to fall in love with Weston. I read this one for the Book Binge – you can read my review here. 3.5 out of 5

Josh of the Damned Triple Feature by Andrea Speed was next. This contains 3 short stories that are just great. This one contains a huge man eating mustache, a hentai monster and then Josh has to visit Colin’s boss who is the monster that all monsters are afraid of. Wow. It was really good and I can’t wait to read what happens next. You can read my review here. 4.25 out of 5

Next up was Bride by Mistake by Anne Gracie. This is the conclusion to the Devil Riders series. I didn’t read all the books in the series but I really didn’t need to as this one is good all on it’s own. The story is about Luke who was in Spain during the war and came across a young girl being beaten and raped. He saves her and in order to save her from having to marry her nasty cousin Luke marries the 13 year old – with the thought that the marriage can later be annulled. He drops her off to her aunt in a convent and goes about his life. Eight years later he finds out that the marriage can’t be annulled. He heads to Spain to collect his bride but she is nothing that he expected – she’s better. Bella takes him on a merry ride through Spain and they actually get to know each other. Bella falls completely in love and Luke does as well – while ridding himself of the nightmares that have plagued him since the war. This was a good story. I really liked both Luke and Bella and the whole premise of the story. I thought Spain was a great location for the book. Some parts didn’t work for me as well as others but overall I liked it. 3.5 out of 5

Midnight Rescue by Elle Kennedy was my next read. This is the story of an assassin, Abby, whose cover has been blown. Her boss asks a mercenary group to go in and get her. Her choice to drop her cover was to try to get closer to the young girls that were being kidnapped and held for auction. When she’s rescued she convinces the mercs to go in and save the girls. The story focuses on the mercs getting ready for the mission but also the budding relationship between Abby and one of the mercs, Kane. The story premise was good but a lot of the book didn’t work all that well for me for different reasons. I read this one for The Book Binge so I’ll let you know when my review posts. 3 out of 5

Next was another book for The Book Binge (yes, I’m trying to catch myself up!) called All For You by Lynn Kurland. This was the story of Peaches Alexander who wants the whole fairy tale relationship thing. Nothing else is going right in her life so when she’s invited to a ball at a Duke’s house she’s sure that he’s interested. Also at the ball is Stephen de Piaget who is thoroughly in love with Peaches but gets tongue tied and blows it every time he’s near her. Peaches doesn’t care for Stephen at all but when she walks through a time gate and ends up in medieval England Stephen’s the one that can save her. This was a very sweet and good story. Stephen is lovely and he’s so good to Peaches. (I honestly had a problem with her name though – I know it was her hippi parents but yuck. lol) I liked the story, the romance, the time travel and almost everything else. It just worked. 3.75 out of 5

Wanting by Piper Vaughn is a short free read and one I read about at Tam’s…then realized that I already own it and must have had it for a while – oops. lol Anyway, the story is about 18 year old Jonah who’s got it bad for his older brother’s best friend, Laurie. Jonah asks Laurie to take his virginity. He does and the pair end up in a relationship. It I really liked all the characters in this one. I would have loved this as a full sized book but it really worked as a short and was great. 4 out of 5 Written for the Goodreads M/M Romance Group’s “Hot Summer Days” anthology.

Last for the week was Joy & Pain by Celia Kyle. This was another free short that had an ex ballet dancer working at a strip joint. Tevin has a certain “kink” that hasn’t been fulfilled in a while. His boss introduces him to one of his friends, Zeke, who is more than willing to fill the kink for Tevin. This was good but pretty short. I really couldn’t connect with the characters as it was told from Tevin’s pov but it was definitely on the spicy side. 3 out of 5

Free novelette written for the Goodreads M/M Romance group’s “Hot Summer Days” event.

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:

Happy Reading!

Interview and Giveaway: Isle of Night by Veronica Wolff

Posted September 15, 2011 by Holly in Giveaways | 13 Comments

Historical romance author Veronica Wolff is releasing a new YA series, The Watchers. The first book, Isle of Night, is available now from NAL Trade.

Book Cover

IS LIFE OFFERING FEWER AND FEWER OPTIONS? THEN JOIN THE DEAD.

When Annelise left for college, it meant good riddance to her abusive father and stepmother—until a bureaucratic screw-up left her without a diploma, flat broke, and facing an uncertain future Then she met Ronan—tall, dark, and way too seductive for her own good. He promised Annelise a new life, if she had the courage to chance the unknown. One look at him and she certainly had the desire. Sure enough, accepting rides from strangers does yield surprises.

Whisked away to a mysterious island in the North Sea, Annelise is pitted against other female recruits in tests of skill, smarts, and strength. To win is to become a member of the Watchers, an elite and unique partnership—with vampires—that dispatches its teams on the most dangerous missions imaginable. It’s not exactly what Annelise had in mind for a new beginning but it’s livelier than the alternative. Because on the Isle of Night, to lose the challenge doesn’t just mean dishonor. It means death.

Let the games begin.

Book Trailer:

Watch her recent interview for more information about the series.

Doesn’t this look good? I’m not a big fan of YA, but I’m seriously tempted.

Giveaway Alert: Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win a copy of Isle of Night. Contest ends Monday, 9/19 @11:59pm. US residents only. Please Note: You must include a valid email address with your comment to be eligible.