Author: Holly

Review: Unzipped by Lauren Blakely

Posted July 6, 2022 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Unzipped by Lauren BlakelyReviewer: Holly
Unzipped by Lauren Blakely
Series: Lucky in Love #4
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: October 30, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Plus
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 306
Add It: Goodreads
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Wanted: hot nerd seeks dating coach.

Picture this - I'm ready to win back the love of my life, and I'm going big this time. We're talking boom box, sing her name in the rain, let the whole damn neighborhood know I'm good and ready this time around. After all, if you're going to grand gesture the ever-loving hell out of a second chance, you need to pull out all the stops.

There's only one little problem.

My college girlfriend isn't the one who shows up when I play my "I'll do anything to win you back" tune. The woman who flings open the second-floor window tells me my ex doesn't live here anymore. But she'll help me win her back. Anything for romance, anything for a guy so willing to go big for love. And that's what I want at first. Until I get to know my new "romance coach" and discover she's funny, clever, and keeps me on my toes. Now I don't want to win anyone else's heart. I want the woman who's been helping me all along. Trouble is - she thinks I'm in love with someone else, and when we take off on a road trip, everything I think I know about women is about to be unzipped and turned inside out.

***He's the last person I ever expected to pop into my life, but he might be exactly what I need to save the thing that matters most to me. All I have to do is not fall for him.Unzipped is a standalone romance!

Unzipped (Lucky in Love #4) by Lauren Blakely follows Kyler aka “Tom” as he decides to win back the love of his life. I listened to this on audio and really enjoyed the narrators. I hae not read any of the other books in the series, but I don’t feel like I missed anything.

Things ended rather abruptly with his college girlfriend, but he’s got his stuff together now and he’s ready to show her he’s a changed man. He knows he needs a grand gesture, so he stands outside her window with a boombox..that keeps eating tapes and doesn’t want to play music. But that’s okay, he’ll just sing the song…terribly and off key. Okay, this isn’t going well, but it’s the gesture that counts, right? Not when said ex-girlfriend isn’t even home.

Finley isn’t having the best time of things. Her sitcom is on the brink of being cancelled and she’s creatively tapped out. When a madman shows up outside her window with a boombox, she knows she’s found her next muse. She offers to help Tom win back his ex, so she can keep using him for inspiration. As they spend time together Finley realized Tom is more than a simple muse, and Tom starts to wonder if he’s pursuing the wrong type of love.

This was a cute listen. I enjoyed both narrators and the story overall, though I did think the Instalove was a little over the top. I didn’t really buy their HEA after only a week. The epilogue helped, though. I did like that Tom came to realize his past actions weren’t great and he wanted to make them right.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Lucky in Love

three-half-stars


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Review: American Princess: A Novel of First Daughter Alice Roosevelt by Stephanie Marie Thornton

Posted July 4, 2022 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: American Princess: A Novel of First Daughter Alice Roosevelt by Stephanie Marie ThorntonReviewer: Holly
American Princess: A Novel of First Daughter Alice Roosevelt by Stephanie Marie Thornton
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: March 12, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Genres: Biography, Historical Fiction
Pages: 448
Add It: Goodreads
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four-half-stars

A sweeping novel from renowned author Stephanie Marie Thornton...

Alice may be the president's daughter, but she's nobody's darling. As bold as her signature color Alice Blue, the gum-chewing, cigarette-smoking, poker-playing First Daughter discovers that the only way for a woman to stand out in Washington is to make waves--oceans of them. With the canny sophistication of the savviest politician on the Hill, Alice uses her celebrity to her advantage, testing the limits of her power and the seductive thrill of political entanglements.

But Washington, DC is rife with heartaches and betrayals, and when Alice falls hard for a smooth-talking congressman it will take everything this rebel has to emerge triumphant and claim her place as an American icon. As Alice soldiers through the devastation of two world wars and brazens out a cutting feud with her famous Roosevelt cousins, it's no wonder everyone in the capital refers to her as the Other Washington Monument--and Alice intends to outlast them all.

Alice Roosevelt MemeI recently saw a meme describing Alice Roosevelt online, which claimed, among other things that, “She smoked cigarettes in public, chewed gum, placed bets with bookies, rode in cars with men, stayed out late partying and kept a pet snake named Emily Spinach, which she often wore wrapped around one arm and took to parties.” It piqued my curiosity about her. I was hoping to read her memoir, Crowded Hours, but the only used copies I could find were outrageously expensive. I settled for this historical fiction novel based on her long life as “the other Washington monument”.

From all accounts, Alice was a formidable woman with a rapier wit and no fear of turning her barbed tongue on anyone – family, friend or foe. That was showcased well here, though I do wish some of it had been more show instead of tell. Emily Spinach, for example, the garter snake she used to carry in her handbag was mentioned in passing. I wish we’d seen more of that. Still, her life was a fascinating one. This novel details her childhood, her tumultuous relationship with her father and step-mother Eleonor, as well as her marriage and exploits well into adulthood to the end of her life. I know there were some creative liberties taken, but I found her life fascinating.

I enjoyed this novel quite a bit and plan to read her biography soon.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

four-half-stars


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Review: Hunted by K.M. Shea

Posted June 29, 2022 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Hunted by K.M. SheaReviewer: Holly
Hunted by K.M. Shea
Series: Pack of Dawn and Destiny #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: December 17, 2021
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 322
Add It: Goodreads
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Ever feel like you don’t belong?

Try being a hunter living with werewolves. I’m the definition of “doesn’t fit in”. I’m not Pack, but I’m not the enemy, either.

I struggle to survive among werewolves who are stronger and faster than me, and are competitive enough to break a bone or two for the sake of “fun.”

Greyson, their alpha, is the worst of them all.

Blatantly relentless and twice as deadly, Greyson rules the Pack and expands its territory even though it’s already the largest in the region. I just wish he’d stop interfering with my life. He’s got enough trouble of his own with his incomplete mate bond, but he’s made it his hobby to tease and test me at every opportunity.

Doesn’t my life sound fun?

When wolves from surrounding packs start mindlessly attacking the innocent humans in our city, Timber Ridge, everything changes.

Werewolves don’t turn feral without reason. Which means someone is making this happen, and they’re targeting our Pack.

I don’t like where this is going, but how am I supposed to stop a feral wolf outbreak when I’m just one hunter? Can Greyson and I set aside our differences to see the Pack through this?

Hunted is the first book in the Pack of Dawn and Destiny urban fantasy trilogy and is part of the Magiford Supernatural City world. It features werewolves, hunters, and fae, and is filled with humor, adventure, and a sweet romance that will have you laughing in delight.

Hunted (Pack of Dawn and Destiny #1) by K.M. Shea is set in the Magiford Supernatural City universe. I’ve read a number of books by K.M. Shea. What you see is what you get. There isn’t a lot of depth or hidden meaning in these books. If you think you know who the villain is or what’s going to happen next, chances are you’re right. I understand this is what I’m getting with a K.M. Shea book and I pick them up when I’m in the mood for a light snack of a read.

Pip is a Hunter, which means she and those like her hunt werewolves who have gone feral. When she was a girl her parents were killed by friendly fire during a routine op, and the entire community of Hunters turned their backs on her. A werewolf couple took her in and she ended up on the fringes of the Pack. She isn’t Pack, but they tolerate her and often treat her like a kid sister because her particular brand of magic gives them what she refers to as “Puppy Power-Ups”. I.e., they feel really good around her and often seek her out. She can’t help feeling like an outsider, though. She lives on the outskirts of the Pack house, isn’t invited on Pack runs and in general isn’t “one of them”.

When the Pack is targeted and members start turning feral, she ends up working with Alpha Grayson to figure out what’s going on. She has a lot of sympathy for Grayson because his mate-bond is incomplete and that hurts him, but she also hates him for replacing the former alpha. Being forced to spend time with him grates on her nerves and also makes her aware of him as well as her standing as an “outsider” in the Pack. Needless to say, she has conflicting feelings about him and the way he seems to force his presence on her isn’t helping.

I really liked Pip. Her feelings of “alone-ness” among the wolves really touched me. She wanted to belong, but she knew she didn’t. It definitely tugged on the heartstrings. I liked how the Pack treated her, though. She was like a kid sister they loved snuggling with. It was cute. I was also interested in Greyson’s backstory and what the deal was there.

I did think there was a lot of repetition and filler in the book, though. It just kind of went on and on. I’m invested in Pip and seeing where things go with her, but I wish the book had been cleaned up and a lot shorter.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Pack of Dawn and Destiny

three-half-stars


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What Are You Reading? (611)

Posted June 17, 2022 by Holly in Features | 2 Comments

Casee

I decided to try a new author this week. I read Fury Unleashed (Forgotten Brotherhood #1) by N.J. Walters. Now I’m reading Arctic Bite (Forgotten Brotherhood #2). I am also still reading Free by Kristen Ashley.

I’ve been trying to listen to Shadow Music by Julie Garwood. Trying being the operative word. It is an awful book. I am starting Chapter 25 and the h/h have yet to meet. DNFing a reread sounds strange, but I think that’s exactly what’s going to happen.

Holly

I set aside Soul Taken by Patricia Briggs because I was feeling a little lost and wanted to re-read Smoke Bitten first. I requested the audiobook, so I should go back to it soon.

In the meantime I read Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score, a new-to-me author. I really enjoyed the story. I’m excited to have found a new author to glom. I re-read Bad Apple by Elle Kennedy (formerly published under the title Midnight Encounters), though I didn’t realize it was a re-read as it has been updated and renamed by the author. I’m currently reading Undying Stars by Anna Carven, the latest installment in the DarkStar Mercenaries series.

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


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