Author: Casee

Review: Lucky Stars by Kristen Ashley

Posted February 19, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Lucky Stars by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Casee
Lucky Stars by Kristen Ashley
Series: Ghosts and Reincarnation #5
Also in this series: Fairytale Come Alive, Sommersgate House, Lacybourne Manor, Penmort Castle
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: June 20, 2012
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 520
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

This is an alternate cover edition for ASIN B008DDW4OQ

Belle Abbot is pathologically shy and because of this, she’s living a nightmare due to the fact that she’s also a national treasure hounded by the media. James Bennett is known the world over as the perfect catch, handsome, wealthy and the owner of an intimidating castle on a Cornish Cliff, Chy An Als Point.

Belle and James meet and in one night, they fall in love. The problem is, Belle’s dating James’s brother.

As quickly as they fall together, Belle and James are torn apart. Not long after, circumstances throw them back into each other’s lives and they find they were right that first romantic night, they were meant to be.

Even if their families want them together, James’s brother Miles does not. Dogged by a rabid media who are fascinated by their love triangle, as well as Belle’s hidden demons, James and Belle find they have yet another problem to solve. The Point is haunted by the ghosts of two children murdered in the castle. Their murderer will stop at nothing to keep their souls tethered to The Point instead of letting them live eternity with their mother and father.

Belle is determined to find her courage and help them and she enlists her loopy mother, loopier grandmother, James’s even loopier ex-girlfriend and the dubious (but talented) team of rock ‘n’ roll witch Cassandra McNabb and Scottish ghost hunter extraordinaire Angus McPherson to help the children find their way back home.

James “Jack” Bennett has always known his brother, Miles, has an unhealthy obsession with one-upping him. It’s something that has been going on since they were kids. When Jack and Belle first meet, Belle is seeing Miles. She knows it won’t work with Miles, but before she can do anything about it, she meets Jack. After one night together the two fall in love. They make plans. Then Belle overhears something about Jack trying to get one on Miles by sleeping with her. Belle is devastated and doesn’t give Jack time to explain.

Fast forward a few months…Belle is pregnant but insistent that she doesn’t want anything to do with Jack. Belle’s mother and grandmother take matters into their own hands and go to Jack’s office to tell him. Jack doesn’t want anything to do with Belle nor is he sure that the child she is carrying is his. He’s quickly disabused of that line of thinking. It seems that now he has a second chance with the woman that he hasn’t been able to forget. He moves Belle into his home, on Cornish Cliff, determined to make things right.

Belle is leery of Jack’s intentions, though it doesn’t take long for her to soften up. When she realizes what a horrible mistake she made by not believing Jack, she’s not sure she can make it right. She’s determined to try. Enter the ghosts. The ghost part of the book was, er, interesting. Each book in this series took the ghost angle a little further than the prior book. I really enjoyed all the twists and turns in this book. I really find the heroes in this series heroes of the “old”. Meaning that they are more alpha, less apologetic for what they want. Just more everything.

This is the fifth and final book in the series. I have to say that it doesn’t make me happy knowing that. There was a cliffhanger at the end of the book and KA has no intention of writing the story. So fucked up.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Ghosts and Reincarnation

four-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: Quiet in Her Bones by Nalini Singh (+Exclusive Excerpt)

Posted February 14, 2021 by Casee in Features, Giveaways | 4 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Like most of you, I adore Nalini Singh. I’ll read anything she writes. Including thrillers.

Sunday Spotlight: Quiet in Her Bones by Nalini Singh (+Exclusive Excerpt)Quiet in Her Bones by Nalini Singh
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: February 23, 2021
Format: Hardcover
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 384
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In this gripping thriller set in New Zealand, New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh takes you into the twisted world of an exclusive cul-de-sac located on the edge of a sprawling forest.

My mother vanished ten years ago.
So did a quarter of a million dollars in cash.
Thief. Bitch. Criminal.
Now, she's back.
Her bones clothed in scarlet silk.

When socialite Nina Rai disappeared without a trace, everyone wrote it off as another trophy wife tired of her wealthy husband. But now her bones have turned up in the shadowed green of the forest that surrounds her elite neighborhood, a haven of privilege and secrets that's housed the same influential families for decades.

The rich live here, along with those whose job it is to make their lives easier. And somebody knows what happened to Nina one rainy night ten years ago. Her son Aarav heard a chilling scream that night, and he's determined to uncover the ugly truth that lives beneath the moneyed elegance...but no one is ready for the murderous secrets about to crawl out of the dark.

Even the dead aren't allowed to break the rules in this cul-de-sac.

Excerpt

My hands tightened on the steering wheel as my father got into the passenger seat.

We didn’t speak, my eyes on the unmarked police vehicle up ahead. Driven by Constable Neri, it led us out of the leafy gilded surrounds of the Cul-de-Sac and onto a long and winding road bordered by the dense forests of the Waitākere Ranges Regional Park, with only small hamlets of habitation along the way—and glimpses of breathtaking vistas where the foliage opened up.

Scenic Drive lived up to its name. But only if you weren’t expecting pretty and safe.

All that rich green turned parts of the road claustrophobic. It was never searing hot here, not in the cool darkness of the shadows cast by the forest giants. This was a quiet place, a place that whispered that humanity was an intrusion that would be swiftly forgotten once we were gone.

An unexpected flash of white, a large sign at the entrance to a trail, warning that the area was under a rāhui because of kauri dieback disease. No one was permitted to go on those trails, because the disease spread through the forest on the soles of human shoes, bringing a slow death to trees meant to grow far older than my mother would ever be.

I followed the police car knowing that if it stopped anywhere on this road, it’d be a spot I’d driven past hundreds of times.

Passing my mother’s grave over and over again.

The unmarked car slowed as it turned a corner and when I followed, I saw flashing lights, road cones, and an orange-vested officer waiting to direct traffic through what had become a single narrow lane.

One of the darkest sections of the road and of the forest.

The land dropped off precipitously to my right, but not into emptiness. Into bush dense and thick and impenetrable to the human eye. Ancient kauri trees, nīkau palms, huge tree ferns, this landscape was theirs.

Constable Neri brought the police vehicle to a stop behind a van and I pulled in behind her. Everyone waited while I got my crutches from the backseat, no one speaking. Armpits snugged into the tops of the walking aids, I nodded, and the cops led us to a part of the road that had no safety barrier against the fall into the green. I couldn’t remember if it ever had.

“The car was found at the foot of this incline,” Regan told us. “Nose down.”

That fit my father’s theory of it sliding off the road and down the steep slope into the devouring forest. I wanted to dispute the idea of my mother driving off the road on a rainy night, such a neat and tidy end to everything, but she had drunk too much as long as I could remember, and she could be a reckless driver.

Of course, if I were the one writing this story, I’d use those very things to cover up a murder.

Cover up a scream.

Copyright © 2021 by Nalini Singh

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: February 2021

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About Nalini Singh

I've been writing as long as I can remember and all of my stories always held a thread of romance (even when I was writing about a prince who could shoot lasers out of his eyes). I love creating unique characters, love giving them happy endings and I even love the voices in my head. There's no other job I would rather be doing. In September 2002, when I got the call that Silhouette Desire wanted to buy my first book, Desert Warrior, it was a dream come true. I hope to continue living the dream until I keel over of old age on my keyboard.

I was born in Fiji and raised in New Zealand. I also spent three years living and working in Japan, during which time I took the chance to travel around Asia. I’m back in New Zealand now, but I’m always plotting new trips. If you’d like to see some of my travel snapshots, have a look at the Travel Diary page (updated every month).

So far, I've worked as a lawyer, a librarian, a candy factory general hand, a bank temp and an English teacher and not necessarily in that order. Some might call that inconsistency but I call it grist for the writer's mill.


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Review: Penmort Castle by Kristen Ashley

Posted February 12, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Penmort Castle by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Casee
Penmort Castle by Kristen Ashley
Series: Ghosts and Reincarnation #3
Also in this series: Fairytale Come Alive, Sommersgate House, Lacybourne Manor, Lucky Stars
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 2, 2017
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 485
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Cash Fraser is planning revenge and to get it he needs the perfect woman. So he hires her. Abigail Butler has lost nearly everything in her life and she's about to lose the home she loves.

Cash meets Abby, who's posing as a paid escort, and the minute he does he knows he's willing to pay for more than Abby being his pretend girlfriend. A lot more. Abby needs the money or the last thing that links her to her dead family and husband will be gone. The deal is struck. But both Cash and Abby get more than they bargained for.

Cash realizes very quickly that Abby isn't what she seems. And while he changes strategies, Abby finds out that Cash's legacy, Penmort Castle, is like all the tales say-very, very haunted. Making matters worse, the ghost in residence wants her dead.

Abby's found herself in the battle of her life (literally) so she enlists Mrs. Truman, her nosy neighbor, Jenny, her no-nonsense friend, Cassandra McNabb, white witch and clairvoyant with a penchant for wearing scarves (and lots of them) and Angus McPherson, dyed-in-the-wool Scot (which means he hunts ghosts in a kilt) to fight the vicious ghost who has vowed that she will rest at nothing to kill the true, abiding love of the master of Penmort.

Cash Fraser needs a woman. Abigail Butler needs money. When the two meet, Cash knows instantly that Abby is not what she seems. She tries to act like an escort but Cash knows that she’s anything but. What he does know is that she’s desperate. Desperation is what brought Abby to Cash and he’s going to take advantage of every minute of it. Cash needs a fake girlfriend so he can get his uncle out of Penmort Castle, his family’s ancestral home. The problem is that Cash wants his relationship with Abby to be anything but pretend.

Abby has lost everything. She lost her parents, she lost her husband, then she lost her grandmother. The only thing she has left is the house that has been in her family for generations. Unfortunately for Abby the place is falling down around her. It’s a big house that needs a lot of work. Problem is she doesn’t have the money. She and her friend Jenny come up with a scheme; she will pose as an escort and play Cash’s fake girlfriend so she can get the money that she needs. She doesn’t expect the sheer magnetism that is Cash Fraser. Abby is sure she is in over her head, but she continues on with her plan.

When Abby accompanies Cash to Penmort Castle, she knows the rumors are true; the castle is very haunted and not by a happy ghost. This one is furious and is able to physically hurt anyone she wants. And who she wants to hurt is Abby for daring to try to take away the man she loves. Never mind that she killed the man she loved and this is his ancestor. Abby is soon fighting for her life. She has the wackiest team, but who she really wants on her team is Cash.

Cash knows that the idea of ghosts is ludicrous, yet he’s unable to discount Abby’s fears especially when she shows him how many women have died at Penmort. Before long he has a witch, a ghost hunter, Abby’s best friend, and her crazy neighbor. As unbelievable as it seems, Cash is all in and he’ll do anything to protect Abby.

After reading the first two books in this series, I was super excited to read this one. It seems as each book gets a little more of a ghost aspect to it. I was really enjoying this book. A lot. Then Cassandra (the witch) and her coven calls Ben (Abby’s dead husband) back from whatever plane he’s on to help. Abby is still devastated by Ben’s death though being with Cash has started the healing process. Cash gets jealous of a ghost. I’m not really sure how I feel about that but I was pretty annoyed at the time. It just took the story a little too far.

I really enjoyed the secondary characters though Jenny was a bit odd. Other than that and the excessive ghost weirdness, I thought this was a well-written story.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Ghosts and Reincarnation

four-stars


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