Category: Reviews

Review: Even Tree Nymphs Get the Blues by Molly Harper

Posted June 18, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Even Tree Nymphs Get the Blues by Molly HarperReviewer: Holly
Even Tree Nymphs Get the Blues by Molly Harper
Narrator: Amanda Ronconi, Jonathan Davis
Series: Mystic Bayou #2.5
Also in this series: How to Date Your Dragon (Mystic Bayou, #1)
Publisher: Audible Studios
Publication Date: June 6, 2019
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Romance Package
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Length: 3 hrs and 3 mins
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A hilarious new standalone novella brimming with otherworldly charm from the reigning queen of paranormal romantic comedy Molly Harper!

Ingrid Asher is the newest resident of Mystic Bayou, a tiny town hidden in the swamp where shapeshifters, vampires, witches and dragons live alongside humans.

Ingrid doesn’t ask for much. The solitary tree nymph just wants to live a quiet life running her ice-cream shop in peace. Unfortunately, she can’t seem to shake her new neighbor, Rob Aspern, head of the League’s data science department and so good looking it just isn’t fair.

If there’s one thing Ingrid doesn’t need, it’s someone poking around in her business. But the more she gets to know the hunky mathematician, the more she finds herself letting her guard down. Can she trust him with her secrets, or will her past destroy everything?

Even Tree Nymphs Get the Blues by Molly Harper is was a cute, light story set in the town of Mystic Bayou, where mythical creatures have lived in peace for hundreds of years. Ingrid Asher is a tree nymph who recently decided to move to Mystic Bayou to open a creamery. She’s still recovering from a terrible betrayal by someone she trusted, so she doesn’t open up easily. The residents of Mystic Bayou are strange to her, for they’re all open and want to be her friend.

Rob Aspern is generally pretty slick with the ladies, but Ingrid has flustered and all kinds of tongue-tied. She seems wary around everyone else, but she’s downright icy to him. As he works on winning her trust, he finds himself falling for her.

This was a very short listen. I really enjoyed both narrators and easily fell into the story. I love Mystic Bayou and I was ridiculously excited to return to the world. I’m sad it was so short, but that’s about me wanting more from the world than a reflection of the story itself. I thought things wrapped up nicely and the story ended on a sweet note (more “let’s see where this goes” than “Let’s live happily ever after”).

I can’t wait for the next installment.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Mystic Bayou

four-stars


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DNF Review: If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann

Posted June 17, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

DNF Review: If It Makes You Happy by Claire KannReviewer: Holly
If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Publication Date: June 4, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 288
Add It: Goodreads
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dnf

High school finally behind her, Winnie is all set to attend college in the fall. But first she's spending her summer days working at her granny’s diner and begins spending her midnights with Dallas—the boy she loves to hate and hates that she likes. Winnie lives in Misty Haven, a small town where secrets are impossible to keep—like when Winnie allegedly snaps on Dr. Skinner, which results in everyone feeling compelled to give her weight loss advice for her own good. Because they care that’s she’s “too fat.”

Winnie dreams of someday inheriting the diner—but it'll go away if they can't make money, and fast. Winnie has a solution—win a televised cooking competition and make bank. But Granny doesn't want her to enter—so Winnie has to find a way around her formidable grandmother. Can she come out on top?

I discovered this book while browsing NetGalley. I don’t usually read YA, but the cover caught my eye (I absolutely adore it..that girl is super cute) and the blurb was interesting, so I decided to give it a try. It started out great. I like Kann’s writing style – simple, yet beautiful. The story flowed well and I was really feeling Winnie, her family and the town.

Sadly, things went downhill around page 40. I thought I was getting a fun story about a girl trying to save her granny’s diner, but that’s not what this is. Part of the problem stems from the stream-of-consciousness writing style. The chapters don’t really seem to go anywhere. Every thought Winnie has is on paper for us to read, so the chapters feel like rambley thoughts, rather than a story that’s headed somewhere. The blurb mentions a baking contest, but aside from a slight mention, there was little of that in the first quarter of the story. Winnie is supposedly happy with who she is, but suddenly the entire focus of the story shifted to her weight. The sudden shift in focus took me by surprise and turned me off the story.

This may have worked better for me if I’d gone into with different expectations. As it is, I wasn’t invested enough in the story or the characters to continue.

Rating: DNF

dnf


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Review: More Than Need You by Shayla Black

Posted June 14, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: More Than Need You by Shayla BlackReviewer: Casee
More Than Need You by Shayla Black
Narrator: Christian Fox
Series: More Than Words #2
Also in this series: More Than Want You
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: June 13, 2017
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Romance Package
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Length: 9 hours and 42 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-stars
Series Rating: two-stars

I’m Griffin Reed—cutthroat entrepreneur and competitive bastard. Trust is a four-letter word and everyone is disposable…except Britta Stone. Three years ago, she was my everything before I stupidly threw her away. I thought I’d paid for my sin in misery—until I learned we have a son. Finding out she’s engaged to a bore who’s rushing her to the altar pisses me off even more. I intend to win her back and raise our boy. I’ll have to get ruthless, of course. Luckily, that’s one of my most singular talents.

Sixty days. That’s what I’m asking the gritty, independent single mother to give me—twenty-four/seven. Under my roof. And if I have my way, in my bed. Britta says she wants nothing to do with me. But her body language and passionate kisses make her a liar. Now all I have to do is coax her into surrendering to the old magic between us. Once I have her right where I want her, I’ll do whatever it takes to prove I more than need her.

This is the second book in Shayla’s More Than Words series. It was a vast improvement over More Than Want You. Even with that, I didn’t love it. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it was because it was still in the world of Maxon Reed, the dbag from the first book. I can’t really put my finger on it.

Griffin Reed is a dbag himself. He jumped to conclusions when he found out his brother Maxon closed a big deal without him. Griffin the Asshole erroneously believed that Maxon and Britta (his lover) stabbed him in the back. Not bothering to get an explanation, he dropped both of them like a hot potato and didn’t look back. Not even when he (supposedly) found out that Britta was pregnant. Maxon and Britta both believe that Griffin knew about his son. They don’t know that the letter Britta sent to Griffin was intercepted by a conniving bitch that was trying to get into Griffin’s pants. I had a big problem with this. I mean, who the eff does this? Keeps a man away from his child? It’s just weird.

Fast forward 3? 4? years. Maxon and Griffin are both going after the same client. Maxon has a good idea for once in his life and decides to ask Griffin if he wants to team up again. Griffin agrees, still not knowing about his son. Maxon spills the beans, not knowing there are beans to be spilled. Griffin high-tails to Britta’s only to find Britta engaged and actually suggesting that he relinquish his parental rights to a son that he just found out that he had. Something he has no intention of every doing.

When things don’t seem to be moving forward with Britta, Griffiin takes a drastic step. Britta and Jaime move in with him. If Britta still doesn’t want him, Griffin will sign away his rights to Jaime so Britta can marry the man that she’s engaged to. A calculated risk, but worth it to Griffin because he’s so sure that she’ll change her mind. So certain she’ll remember the magic that was between them.

While this book didn’t leave me fuming mad, it just sort of left me cold. A little sad because it wasn’t Griffin’s fault that he didn’t know about Jaime. But shaking my head because the whole not knowing about Jaime was his fault considering that he walked out is such a spectacularly childish way.

At this point, I have to intention of continuing with this series.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

More Than Words

three-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: The Scorsolini Marriage Bargain by Lucy Monroe

Posted June 13, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: The Scorsolini Marriage Bargain by Lucy MonroeReviewer: Holly
The Scorsolini Marriage Bargain by Lucy Monroe
Series: Royal Brides #5
Also in this series: Hired: The Sheikh's Secretary Mistress
Publisher: Harlequin Presents
Publication Date: July 1, 2006
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 184
Add It: Goodreads
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Series Rating: three-stars

Principe Claudio Scorsolini's future wife must make a suitable figurehead for his people and provide him with an heir. Claudio's convenient union with Therese is hailed a success: his subjects have fallen in love with her and she's performed her duties in the bedroom -- to Claudio's immense satisfaction.However, Therese has secretly fallen in love with her husband. How can their marriage survive when she knows she can never give Claudio a child?

*** Every Thursday, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books. Enjoy! ***

This review was originally posted on June 3, 2008.

The Scorsolini Marriage Bargain is the final book in Lucy Monroe‘s Royal Brides Trilogy from Harlequin Presents.

I’m very happy to report that Lucy Monroe didn’t disappoint at all with this novel.
Throughout the other books, we caught glimpses of Therese and Claudio and we knew something was amiss with Therese, and I for one, had a hard time waiting to find out what it was. Much as it pains me to admit it, however, it was worth the wait.

Princess Therese Scorsolini knows her husband, Prince Claudio – heir to the throne -, married her for convenience and the heirs she could produce for him. She hadn’t harbored any delusions about her husband’s feelings towards her, and that was why, when she found out she had a disease that was causing her to become infertile, she knew she’d have no choice but to offer him a divorce.

Prince Claudio knows nothing of his wife’s health problems, but he has noticed her change in behavior and has made his own assumptions based on them. Terribly wrong assumptions. When Therese explains that they must divorce, he doesn’t give her a chance to explain why, simply reacts, assuming he already knows the reason, that she’s found someone else. He’s pissed about it, of course, and says some things to her that later come back to haunt him, but he swears his anger is justified.

Of course, eventually he learns the real reason she’s asking for a divorce and besides having a lot of making up to do, he also has his work cut out for him convincing Therese that a divorce isn’t the way to go.

This was a sweet and – for me, at least – a very emotional read. LM is amazing at taking real life issues and bringing them to life in a very positive way. All women face different issues, whether they be physical or emotional and I think LM does a fabulous job of addressing them, without making me feel preached to.

I loved Therese, and I felt that her reasons for insisting on the divorce insecurities were totally valid. She stood her ground, too, when Claudio finally came to his senses and didn’t cow to him. I love that.

Claudio was an awesome hero, too. I love how amazing Lucy is at making me hate a hero and then fall in love with him. He said and did some things when Therese first asked for a divorce that made me so angry I wanted to beat him, but once he realized his mistakes he did everything he could to make up for his earlier stupid actions and make the heroine realize how much he truly cared for her.

I loved the entire premise of the story. The characters were wonderful, the storyline amazing and I didn’t even mind the shortness of the story. LM did an amazing job of wrapping this trilogy up. The only thing I disliked about this book was that it ended. LOL I can’t wait to see what LM has in store for us next!

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

Royal Brides


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Review: Spellbinder by Thea Harrison

Posted June 13, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Spellbinder by Thea HarrisonReviewer: Casee
Spellbinder by Thea Harrison
Series: Moonshadow #2
Also in this series: Spellbinder, Lionheart (Moonshadow, #3), Lionheart (Moonshadow, #3)
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: July 18, 2017
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 428
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

From author Thea Harrison comes the latest story in the New York Times bestselling Moonshadow trilogy….

Kidnapped while on tour, musician Sidonie Martel is transported to the mystical land of Avalon. A human without magical ability, she is completely vulnerable to the deadly forces surrounding her.

When she defies her captors and refuses to share her music, an act of violent cruelty leaves her broken, her ability to play silenced, maybe forever. Her only hope is a whisper in the dark, gentle hands that offer healing, and a man who refuses to show her his face yet who offers advice she dare not ignore.

One of the most feared and powerful sorcerers in history, Morgan le Fae serves a Queen he despises, Isabeau of the Light Court. Once a famous bard and an advisor to kings, Morgan has been enslaved to Isabeau for hundreds of years, acting as enforcer and the commander of her deadly Hounds.

Sidonie’s music touches Morgan in places he had abandoned centuries ago, and her fiery spirit resurrects feelings he had believed long dead. For Sidonie, trapped in captivity, passion offers a comfort she cannot resist.

But Isabeau holds Morgan bound in magical chains that only Death can break. And in the court of a cruel, jealous Queen, the only thing that burns hotter than love is revenge…

Spellbinder was such a delight to me. I didn’t enjoy Morgan at all in Moonshadow (Moonshadow #1). He just seemed like the quintessential bad guy. He tried to stop the good guys from doing good and he also tried to hurt them. Why on Gods green earth would I want to read a book where he is the hero? Yeah, I wouldn’t. That’s why it’s taken me almost two years to read it. It was released summer of 2017 and I just kept putting it off. It’s really unfortunate because I really loved it.

Morgan has been under a geas to Queen Isabeau of the Light Fae for centuries. Dictionary.com says a geas is “an obligation or prohibition magically imposed on a person.”. Yep, the geas was most definitely imposed on Morgan. As is imposed against his will. Morgan is Dark Fae. When he was still young, Morgan’s power was already being whispered about throughout Fae lands. Isabeau decided she needed Morgan for herself so she imposed the geas on him by stabbing with the Athame of Lord Death himself.

Sidonie Martel has no idea her life is in peril simply because her music is the only thing that has brought peace to Morgan in longer than he can remember. Alas, it has and Sid is kidnapped by a puck that has no idea that Morgan is under a geas. All the puck can see is that Morgan likes being aligned with Isabeau and his beloved was murdered while he was held captive and tortured.

Sid thought everything would work out. She’s a human on foreign land and isn’t there some law about that? She soon learns that she’s on her own and in the worst way possible. Then she meets her Magic Man who saves her from the horrible hell she has been thrown into.

Morgan and Sid were both in impossible situations, both wanting to save each other but needing to save themselves first. The way Morgan was able to get out of the geas was heartbreaking, but necessary. It was just so incredibly sad. I felt for both Morgan and Sid.

Thea did a fantastic job of writing Morgan. I am back to that. Only the truly gifted can. make you hate a character with a passion, not want to read his book, then make you love him by the end of his book. She definitely did that because I adore Morgan.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

Moonshadow

four-half-stars


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