Author: Holly

What Are You Reading? (592)

Posted January 14, 2022 by Holly in Features | 5 Comments

Casee

I just started Protecting You by Claire Kingsley. She’s a new-to-me author. I’m not very far into it, but so far, so good. I also read another new-to-me author this week. Never Ever by Isabel Wroth wasn’t my favorite book, but I was still happy to read it. My goal in 2022 is to find more new-to-me authors. So far it’s going well.

I finished Emerald Blaze by Ilona Andrews on audio. This was the book that I officially became a Catalina fan. I can’t wait for Ruby Fever. After that, I decided to go back to an old favorite. I’m listening to Saving Grace by Julie Garwood.

Holly

I’m still not reading much. I read and listened to Bombshell by Sarah MacLean this week. I really enjoyed the narrator and the heroine and her friends, though the hero’s angst kind of got old after awhile. That’s it. Sigh. Maybe this week I’ll find more time to read.

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


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Review: Getting Real by Emma Chase

Posted January 12, 2022 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Getting Real by Emma ChaseReviewer: Holly
Getting Real by Emma Chase
Narrator: Andi Arndt, Zachary Webber
Series: Getting Some #3
Also in this series: Getting Schooled (Getting Some, #1), Getting Schooled (Getting Some, #1), Getting Played , Getting Played, Getting Schooled
Publisher: Audible Original
Publication Date: January 24, 2022
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Plus
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 300
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A sexy, hilarious, emotional, new romance from New York Times bestselling author Emma Chase.

Connor Daniels never thought he’d be starting over at dating square one. His career as a successful doctor, and his three boys, are everything to him. It’s not exactly a set-up conducive to a scorching love life—but he’s giving it a shot.

ER nurse Violet Robinson never intended for Connor to find out she’s had a crush on him forever. It was a dirty little secret only meant for her dirty dreams. Her heart trips every time he’s around—and so do her feet.

When Connor sees Violet coasting across the grocery store parking lot—and she falls on her face—he starts falling for the gorgeous, young nurse right back.

Dating can be tricky. And life can be beautiful and crazy and unpredictable. But when it gets real, you discover what matters most . . . and the one person you want loving you through it all.

Getting Real (Getting Some #3) by Emma Chase is an Audible Original (meaning it’s available in Audio First) and features Connor Daniels, an ER doctor. I really enjoyed the first two books in this series, but I wasn’t super excited for this book. I didn’t love Connor in the other books and I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about him as the main character. I’m glad I listened to it, however. He was wonderful, and I really enjoyed him as a doctor, father and love interest. I loved how open and honest he was (with a few exceptions) and how quick he was to reassure Violet when she needed it. He was an adult and he acted like it, which was very refreshing.

I also enjoyed Violet. She was down-to-earth and had a great sense of humor. She was also steady as they come and a great fit for Connor and his family.

The narrators were both wonderful and really brought the story to life.

This was just a feel good story. I was all warm and fuzzy when I finished, and I didn’t want to say goodbye to these characters.

4.5 out of 5

Getting Some

four-half-stars


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Review: First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

Posted January 10, 2022 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: First Grave on the Right by Darynda JonesReviewer: Holly
First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
Narrator: Lorelei King
Series: Charley Davidson #1
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: February 1, 2011
Format: eBook
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 310
Length: 8 hours and 58 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
two-half-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

This whole grim reaper thing should have come with a manual.Or a diagram of some kind.A flow chart would have been nice.
Charley Davidson is a part-time private investigator and full-time grim reaper. Meaning, she sees dead people. Really. And it's her job to convince them to "go into the light." But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (like murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she's been having about an entity who has been following her all her life...and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely. But what does he want with Charley? And why can't she seem to resist him? And what does she have to lose by giving in?
With scorching-hot tension and high-octane humor, First Grave on the Right is your signpost to paranormal suspense of the highest order.

First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones is the first book in the Charley Davidson series. I’ve seen this series over the years and considered reading it a number of times, but the comparisons to the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich turned me off. While I liked the first few Plum books, her constant ineptitude and the love-triangle got old fast. When my book club chose this I figured it was an opportunity to see for myself how “Plum-like” the series really is.

The writing was really great. I easily fell into the story, though the “sassy” and “sarcastic” quips of the main character were kind of annoying. That only got worse as the book went on. She had a zinger for everything, and it felt really forced. I didn’t find her charming or cute, but annoying. Did she take nothing seriously? Also, the obsession she had with a boy from her past – after a single brief encounter where he was a total bastard – didn’t make sense. Why was she so interested in him? It had shades of a “fated-mates” type thing, but it didn’t work very well in context.

I enjoyed the investigative parts of the story, but they were few and far between. The majority of this book was her either lusting after a shadowy figure from her dreams or obsessing over this boy she met once as a younger girl.

There were shades of a good story here, but most of it got lost behind the dumb sarcasm and crazy amount of lust/obsession she felt for this total stranger/creepy being. I may try another book in the series to see if it gets better.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Charley Davidson

two-half-stars


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Books to Binge On: January 2022

Posted December 30, 2021 by Holly in Features | 6 Comments

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 January of 2022.


The Girl in the Mist (Misted Pines #1) by Kristen Ashley

Renowned author Delphine Larue needs a haven.

A crazed fan has gone over the deep end, and she’s not safe. Her security team has suggested a house by a lake. Secluded. Private. Far away. In a beautiful area of the Northwest close to the sleepy town of Misted Pines. It’s perfect. So perfect, Delphine has just moved in, and she’s thinking she’ll stay there forever.

Until she sees the girl in the mist.

After that, everything changes.

Delphine quickly learns that Misted Pines isn’t so sleepy. A little girl has gone missing, and the town is in the grips of terror and tragedy. The local sheriff isn’t up for the job. The citizens are up in arms. And as the case unfolds, the seedy underbelly of a quiet community is exposed, layer by layer.

But most importantly, girls are dying.

There seems to be only one man they trust to find out what’s happening.

The mysterious Cade Bohannan.

Casee: I don’t know if I’m really looking forward to this one. Alas, I’ll read it because it’s Kristen Ashley.

Holly: I am not a fan of romantic suspense, but I love Kristen Ashley. I might wait for Casee to read this and tell me if I’ll like it.


Akata Woman (The Nsibidi Scripts #3) by Nnedi Okorafor

From the moment Sunny Nwazue discovered she had magic flowing in her blood, she sought to understand and control her powers. Throughout her adventures in Akata Witch and Akata Warrior, she had to navigate the balance between nearly everything in her life–America and Nigeria, the “normal” world and the one infused with juju, human and spirit, good daughter and powerful Leopard Person.

Now, those hard lessons and abilities are put to the test in a quest so dangerous and fantastical, it would be madness to go…but deadly not to. With the help of her friends, Sunny embarks on a mission to find a precious object hidden deep in a magical realm. Defeating the guardians of the prize will take more from Sunny than she has to give, and triumph will mean she will be forever changed.

Holly: I’ve read and enjoyed novels by Okorafor in the past, but I waited to read this one until all three were out. I’m looking forward to reading the series.


Weather Girl by Rachel Lynn Solomon

A TV meteorologist and a sports reporter scheme to reunite their divorced bosses with unforecasted results in this charming romantic comedy from the author of The Ex Talk.

Ari Abrams has always been fascinated by the weather, and she loves almost everything about her job as a TV meteorologist. Her boss, legendary Seattle weatherwoman Torrance Hale, is too distracted by her tempestuous relationship with her ex-husband, the station’s news director, to give Ari the mentorship she wants. Ari, who runs on sunshine and optimism, is at her wits’ end. The only person who seems to understand how she feels is sweet but reserved sports reporter Russell Barringer.

In the aftermath of a disastrous holiday party, Ari and Russell decide to team up to solve their bosses’ relationship issues. Between secret gifts and double dates, they start nudging their bosses back together. But their well-meaning meddling backfires when the real chemistry builds between Ari and Russell.

Working closely with Russell means allowing him to get to know parts of herself that Ari keeps hidden from everyone. Will he be able to embrace her dark clouds as well as her clear skies?

Holly: I haven’t read this author before but this book sounds really cute.


Juniper Hill (The Edens #2) by Devney Perry

Memphis Ward arrives in Quincy, Montana, on the fifth worst day of her life. She needs a shower. She needs a snack. She needs some sanity. Because moving across the country with her newborn baby is by far the craziest thing she’s ever done.

But maybe it takes a little crazy to build a good life. If putting the past behind her requires a thousand miles and a new town, she’ll do it if it means a better future for her son. Even if it requires setting aside the glamour of her former life. Even if it requires working as a housekeeper at The Eloise Inn and living in an apartment above a garage.

It’s there, on the fifth worst day of her life, that she meets the handsomest man she’s ever laid eyes on. Knox Eden is a beautiful, sinful dream, a chef and her temporary landlord. With his sharp, stubbled jaw and tattooed arms, he’s raw and rugged and everything she’s never had—and never will. Because after the first worst day of her life, Memphis learned a good life requires giving up on her dreams too. And a man like Knox Eden will only ever be a dream.

Casee: I will read anything this author writes. I’m looking forward to reading this series.


Munro (Immortals After Dark #18) by Kresley Cole

A human monster huntress. An immortal werewolf. Could any passion be more forbidden?

The next stand-alone installment in the electrifying Immortals After Dark series by #1 New York Times best-selling author Kresley Cole. Venture deeper into the Lore, fierce realm of the immortals—if you dare. . . .

TORMENTED IN UNIMAGINABLE WAYS

Coming off torture at the hands of his warlock captors, Munro MacRieve never expected to find his mate, or to lose her just as abruptly. Driven to desperation, the ruthless warrior uses his enemies’ own powers to reunite with her—in the distant past.

STOLEN FROM HER TIME

When a crazed werewolf crashes her wedding, Kereny “Ren” Codrina does what any cunning huntress would do: she captures him. Yet she finds herself softening toward the wounded beast—until he turns the tables and forces her into an incomprehensible future.

CAN A HUMAN AND AN IMMORTAL UNITE IN ORDER TO SURVIVE?

As danger mounts, Munro will do anything to make her undying, even sell his soul to an evil sorceress. But first he must convince his fiery mate that she belongs with him. If seduction means her survival, Munro will use every weapon in his arsenal to possess her—forever.

Casee: Oh, I’m excited about this one. It’s been a long time coming.


The Best Men (Best #1) by Sarina Bowen & Lauren Blakley

In my defense, I was left alone with a bottle of single-malt and a life-long penchant for protecting my baby sister. Still, that’s no excuse to send ten drunk-texts on why her hasty marriage would be a mistake.

If only I had just texted my sister. But nope. I accidentally sent the message to her, her groom, and his super hot wingman.

I also used the phrase “super hot wingman,” so I’d like to die now.

Instead, I have to plan a wedding with the aforementioned hottie and share a too-small guesthouse in steamy Miami.

Three days in the sun with the cocky, charming former athlete who likes to push my buttons? Fine, two can play at that let’s-infuriate-each-other game.

Until Asher ups the stakes with one wildly sexy suggestion. A no-strings fling, then I go back to my single dad life in New York, and he returns to his star-studded one.

Sign me up.

But the more nights I spend with the other best man, the more I want days too, and that just can’t happen. Especially when I find out the real reason why…

Casee: Sarina Bowen writes really good m/m. This has the potential to be a dynamite duo.

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


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Review: One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews

Posted December 20, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: One Fell Sweep by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Holly
One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews
Series: The Innkeeper Chronicles #3
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: December 20, 2016
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First Person
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 340
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

Dina DeMille may run the nicest Bed and Breakfast in Red Deer, Texas, but she caters to a very particular kind of guest… the kind that no one on Earth is supposed to know about. Guests like a former intergalactic tyrant with an impressive bounty on her head, the Lord Marshal of a powerful vampire clan, and a displaced-and-superhot werewolf; so don’t stand too close, or you may be collateral damage.

But what passes for Dina’s normal life is about to be thrown into chaos. First, she must rescue her long-distant older sister, Maud, who’s been exiled with her family to a planet that functions as the most lawless penal colony since Botany Bay. Then she agrees to help a guest whose last chance at saving his civilization could bring death and disaster to all Dina holds dear. Now Gertrude Hunt is under siege by a clan of assassins. To keep her guests safe and to find her missing parents, Dina will risk everything, even if she has to pay the ultimate price. Though Sean may have something to say about that!!

The third book in the Innkeeper Chronicles takes us back to Gertrude Hunt, the magical Inn run by Dina DeMille. At the end of the last book, Sean Evans, Dina’s love interest, returned. This book is much more romance-heavy than the previous two, though the romance is still the secondary focus.

Dina, Sean, the Inn and additional characters ward off an attack from a religious group of fanatics. The Draziri, an alien race bent on exterminating the Hiru, another alien race who has never done them any harm, are attempting to infiltrate the Inn to fulfill their unholy quest. They don’t care about keeping their existence a secret or who gets in their way. Dina just rescued her sister from a dangerous situation and doesn’t want to put her back into the thick of battle, but no one comes to Gertrude Hunt and threatens her family or her guests. Dina will do whatever it takes to save the Hiru and repel the Draziri assault.

I love everything Andrews’ writes, but this may be my favorite series they write. I love the magic of the Inn and the strength Dina shows as she forges a new family and protects her guests and those she cares about. This is my favorite book of the series to date. I can’t wait to see what comes next for Dina, Sean and Gertrude Hunt.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Innkeeper Chronicles

four-half-stars


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