Author: Holly

Review: Soul of the Witch by Deanna Chase

Posted September 11, 2023 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Soul of the Witch by Deanna ChaseReviewer: Holly
Soul of the Witch by Deanna Chase
Narrator: Gabra Zackman
Series: Witches of Keating Hollow #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: March 14, 2018
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 242
Length: 6 hours and 12 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

Welcome to Keating Hollow, the village full of love, magic, and cupcakes, and where nothing is more important than family.

At age eighteen, after a potion tragically backfired, Abby Townsend left Keating Hollow and her magic behind to find redemption. Ten years later, after being summoned by her family, she’s back. As soon as she drives into town, she’s already plotting her inevitable exit, but she can’t quite escape the pull of the tightly knit magical community or the soulful gaze of the one man she’s never forgotten. And when an eight-year old witch not only leads her back to her magic, but also steals her heart, Abby’s about to learn what it means to embrace the soul of a witch.

I found this while browsing KU and decided to give it a try after reading the blurb. After an incident just before high school graduation that left her best friend dead, Abby left Keating Hollow and has spent the ten years since running from her past and her magic. When her father becomes ill she agrees to come home to help him and her sisters. Seeing “the one who got away” the second she comes into town doesn’t help her feel any better about the situation, but she can’t deny there’s a certain appeal about being back home with the people who know and love her best.

Clay was devastated when Abby left town, even though he knew why she felt she couldn’t stay. Now that she’s back home he’s having a hard time keeping away from her, but his daughter has to be his priority and he can’t risk letting her get attached to Abby when she’s made it clear she won’t stay.

As Abby works to unlock her magic and forgive herself, they both realize what they have might be enough to save them both.

This was a quick, light read. I enjoyed the town of Keating Hallow, as well as Abby and her sisters. I didn’t love that the “mystery” of what happened in the past was drug out until almost the end of the book, but I still enjoyed reading about Abby settling back in the town. I do wish we’d had more of Olive, Clay’s 8-year-old daughter. The romance was sweet and I liked the story overall.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Witches of Keating Hollow


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What Are You Reading? (657)

Posted September 8, 2023 by Holly in Features | 2 Comments


I started the River Rain series by Kristen Ashley. I read After the Climb & am now reading Chasing Serenity. I’m really liking it so far. After the Climb was an interesting one insofar as the h/h were in their 50’s. I think I appreciated this much more now in my 40’s than I would have in my 20’s. It was a really sweet story. I also finally have Things We Left Behind by Lucy Score in my hot little hands. I can’t decide if I’m going to read it or listen to it on audio.

I’m still listening to Maggie Moves on by Lucy Score. It’s slow going because I haven’t had the time nor inclination to listen to audiobooks right now.


I finished Freeing Luka by Victoria Aveline, then went on to read the rest of the series; Saving Verakko, Tempting Auzed, Using Fejo, Releasing Maladek, Resisting Maxu and Ruling Sikthand. I enjoyed the series and look forward to more in the future. I read Sebastian’s Fate by Rebecca Hefner, a new-to-me author. It was a quick, light read. I might pick up the first book in the series next.

I’ve been listening to old Julie Garwood favorites: The Wedding, The Secret and Saving Grace. I love these books, but I’ll be honest, the narrator of Saving Grace and The Secret is not my favorite. I also listened to Night Unbound by Dianne Duvall, a personal favorite. I also re-read Alpha and Omega and Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs, The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan and Rock Addiction by Nalini Singh.

What are you reading this week? Any new favorites or books that drove you crazy? Share!

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Review: Queen of Snow by Laura Burton & Jessie Cal

Posted September 4, 2023 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Queen of Snow by Laura Burton & Jessie CalReviewer: Holly
Queen of Snow by Laura Burton, Jessie Cal
Narrator: Emma Faye
Series: Fairy Tales Reimagined #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: March 2, 2021
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Genres: Fairytale
Pages: 154
Length: 4 hours and 37 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

Before she was The Snow Queen... she was a Princess on the run.

Princess Aria has one goal: collect the mirror shards to the Mirror of Reason to create a portal that will take her far away from the Chanted Kingdom. Before The Evil Queen kills her like she did to Aria's family.

But when Jack Smith from Oxford stumbles into her life through a portal in his grandfather’s study, there’s something familiar about him. A connection so strong, she can't ignore.

Jack is not only shocked to discover that fairytales are real, but confused as to why a pirate is after him.

So, if he wants to survive in this foreign land, and return home, he needs to help Aria complete the Mirror of Reason.

But as Aria struggles to control her ice powers, something awakens inside of Jack.

As his heart stirs for the young Princess, he cannot help but wonder if he’s found his true home, after all?

Another book in this series came up as a recommended read on Kindle and I was intrigued, so I figured I’d start with the first in the series. I don’t know if I would have read it if I’d known it was YA, but I ended up enjoying it regardless, so I’m glad I didn’t know. The pacing is a little off. Sometimes it felt like a drag to get through and other times things seemed to move too fast, but the writing was good and I found myself invested in the story of Jack and Aria.

Jack gets pulled into a magical land through a mirror he finds in his grandfather’s home after he passes away. He ends up with Aria and follows her as she attempts to collect shards of the Mirror of Reason, which will act as a portal between his world and hers. She wants to get out of her world before the evil queen finds her and he wants to get home.

This is a mashup of various fairytales. I enjoyed the way the story wove around everyone. It kind of reminded me of Shrek, in the way that the fantasy characters are all together. I have to be honest, the end…wasn’t my favorite.

View Spoiler »

That aside, I liked the story enough to download the next in the series.

Rating: 3.25 out of 5.

Fairy Tales Reimagined


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Books to Binge On: September 2023

Posted August 30, 2023 by Holly in Features | 1 Comment

Books to Binge On

Our Books to Binge On feature is pretty simple in its purpose. Every month, we put together a monthly new releases list of books that we’re all looking forward to. These are the books that we can’t wait to read and want everyone to add to their monthly binge-reading lists. Here are the books that we plan to binge on in September of 2023.

Things We Left Behind (Knockemout #3) by Lucy Score

There was only one woman who could set me free. But I would rather set myself on fire than ask Sloane Walton for anything.

Lucian Rollins is a lean, mean vengeance-seeking mogul. On a quest to erase his father’s mark on the family name, he spends every waking minute pulling strings and building an indestructible empire. The more money and power he amasses, the safer he is from threats.

Except when it comes to the feisty small-town librarian that keeps him up at night…

Sloane Walton is a spitfire determined to carry on her father’s quest for justice. She’ll do that just as soon as she figures out exactly what the man she hates did to—or for—her family. Bonded by an old, dark secret from the past and the dislike they now share for each other, Sloane trusts Lucian about as far as she can throw his designer-suited body.

When bickering accidentally turns to foreplay, these two find themselves not quite regretting their steamy one-night stand. Once those flames are fanned, it seems impossible to put them out again. But with Sloane ready to start a family and Lucian refusing to even consider the idea of marriage and kids, these enemies-to-lovers are stuck at an impasse.

Broken men break women. It’s what Lucian believes, what he’s witnessed, and he’s not going to take that chance with Sloane. He’d rather live a life of solitude than put her in danger. But he learns the hard way that leaving her means leaving her unprotected from other threats.

It’s the second time he’s ruthlessly cut her out of his life. There’s no way she’s going to give him a third chance. He’s just going to have to make one for himself.

Casee: I CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS BOOK. It seems like we’ve been waiting forever. I can’t wait for Lucien & Sloane!

Holly: Ahhh! GIMME.

Fall Into You (Morally Gray #2) by J.T. Geissinger

Ruthless. Arrogant. Ice cold.

That’s how everyone describes Cole McCord, billionaire CFO of McCord Media. As notorious for his bad attitude as he is for his good looks, he’s the one every girl’s mother warns her about.

We spend one passionate, unforgettable night together, two strangers who bond over neat whiskeys and messy confessions in a Beverly Hills bar. Then we go our separate ways in the morning, never expecting to see each other again.

We soon discover that some connections can’t be undone. Some bonds, once made, can’t be broken.

And some loves can be as deep as they are destructive…yet impossible to let go.

Casee: I have been reading a lot by this author. I liked the first book in the series & hope this one is as good.

The Brood (Calamity Montana #6) by Devney Perry

The last thing Wilder Abbott needs is a houseguest. Solitude has been his stoic companion for nearly a decade. He prefers to brood over his mistakes in seclusion. Besides, he gets enough social interaction as a high school science teacher in Calamity, Montana.

But when his oldest friend calls, begging for a favor, Wilder begrudgingly agrees. For the next two months, he’ll give up his guest room to his friend’s little sister.

Iris Monroe isn’t the girl Wilder remembers. Gone is the shy, quiet mouse ten years his junior who always had her nose in a book. Grown-up Iris talks too much and asks too many questions, especially about his past. And her bright smile and clear blue eyes are hard to ignore.

Two months. He just has to survive two months. Except Iris is as nosy as she is beautiful. And his secrets prove hard to hide when she’s living under his roof.

Casee: I think I’ve only read one book in this series. I need to do some serious catchup.

Fighting the Pull (River Rain #5) by Kristen Ashley

Hale Wheeler inherited billions from his father. He’s decided to take those resources and change the world for the better. He’s married to his mission, so he doesn’t have time for love.

There’s more lurking behind this decision. He hasn’t faced the tragic loss of his father, or the bitterness of his parents’ divorce. He doesn’t intend to follow in his father’s footsteps, breaking a woman’s heart in a way it will never mend. So he vows he’ll never marry.

But Hale is intrigued when he meets Elsa Cohen, the ambitious celebrity news journalist who has been reporting on his famous family. He warns her off, but she makes him a deal. She’ll pull back in exchange for an exclusive interview.

Elsa Cohen is married to her career, but she wants love, marriage, children. She also wants the impossibly handsome, fiercely loyal, tenderhearted Hale Wheeler.

They go head-to-head, both denying why there are fireworks every time they meet. But once they understand their undeniable attraction, Elsa can’t help but fall for the dynamic do-gooder.

As for Hale, he knows he needs to fight the pull of the beautiful, bold, loving Elsa Cohen, because breaking her would crush him.

Casee: I’m a diehard Kristen Ashley fan, but I have yet to read this series. Another one for the TBR.

Holly: Eh, I haven’t read a new KA in quite some time. I think I’ll add this to the “wait and see” list.

What books are you looking forward to reading this month? Share in the comments!

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Lightning Review: Things We Hide from the Light by Lucy Score

Posted August 21, 2023 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Lightning Review: Things We Hide from the Light by Lucy ScoreReviewer: Holly
Things We Hide From the Light by Lucy Score
Narrator: Lila Winters, Sebastian York
Series: Knockemout #2
Also in this series: Things We Never Got Over
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: February 21, 2023
Format: Audiobook, eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited, Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 589
Length: 17 hours and 36 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

Nash Morgan was always known as the good Morgan brother, with a smile and a wink for everyone. But now, this chief of police is recovering from being shot and his Southern charm has been overshadowed by panic attacks and nightmares. He feels like a broody shell of the man he once was. Nash isn’t about to let anyone in his life know he’s struggling. But his new next-door neighbor, smart and sexy Lina, sees his shadows. As a rule, she’s not a fan of physical contact unless she initiates it, but for some reason Nash’s touch is different. He feels it too. The physical connection between them is incendiary, grounding him and making her wonder if exploring it is worth the risk.
Too bad Lina’s got secrets of her own, and if Nash finds out the real reason she’s in town, he’ll never forgive her. Besides, she doesn’t do relationships. Ever. A hot, short-term fling with a local cop? Absolutely. Sign her up. A relationship with a man who expects her to plant roots? No freaking way. Once she gets what she’s after, she has no intention of sticking around. But Knockemout has a way of getting under people’s skin. And once Nash decides to make Lina his, he’s not about to be dissuaded… even if it means facing the danger that nearly killed him.

Things We Hide from the Light is the second book in the Knockemout series. This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2023. I loved the first book, Things We Never Got Over, and I was so excited to get Nash’s story! With Lina! Ahh!!! I got it from KU the day it was released and purchased the audio add-on so I could listen when I wasn’t able to read.

Sadly, I was underwhelmed. I found myself frustrated by Nash for the majority of the book. I had such a hard time with his “hurt feelings” and the way he treated Lina. Maybe I wasn’t as invested in her lie by omission as I should have been, but his level of anger and the way he lashed out was so over the top I had a really hard time with it. Since I didn’t understand his level of anger, I had a hard time forgiving him for acting the way he did. That’s not to say Lina was blameless, but it was really Nash I struggled with. I did enjoy being back in Knockemout and the secondary characters.

It may have just been my reading mood and not the book, so take that with a grain of salt. YMMV.

Rating: 3.25 out of 5



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