Publisher: Penguin

Throwback Thursday Review: Mystic Rider by Patricia Rice

Posted October 15, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Mystic Rider by Patricia RiceReviewer: Rowena
Mystic Rider: A Mystic Isle Novel by Patricia Rice
Series: Mystic Isle #2
Publisher: Signet
Publication Date: July 1, 2008
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 384
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
two-half-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

Ian Olympus, skilled fighter and visionary, has left the isle of Aelynn for the Outside World to retrieve a sacred chalice. He finds it in the hands of Chantal Deveau, who plans to buy her family out of prison.

But her outrage at his demand that she hand it over is nothing compared to her powerful, sensual response to his presence—and the startling conviction that their lives are irrevocably entwined. And Ian will soon have to choose between duty and desire.

This review was originally published October 13, 2008

Ian Olympus has been sent to Paris, France to collect a sacred chalice that belongs to his people. His people need it and his soulmate has it and so he has to go get because the people who were sent in before him to retrieve it have failed so he takes it upon himself to get it back. His soulmate is Chantal Deveau and she’s a French musician who’s father is passionate about his cause for the French Revolution. She’s very curious about the mysterious visitor who comes to retrieve a bell she’s had for a while, only she doesn’t have the bell anymore, she sent it with her servant to exchange so that she can bail her sister in law out of jail.

Being curious isn’t enough to stop Chantal from sleeping with this sexy man who comes into her house and sweeps her right off her feet and into his arms. She should be ashamed of the way that Ian makes her feel but she can’t because when she’s in his arms, everything feels as if they’ve been righted and she can’t seem to stay away from him.

Ian means to make her his wife but she has some reservations about that being that she doesn’t know anything about him other than he’s an exceptional lover and she can’t wait to find out more.

They’ve got a lot of things to conquer before their love can be given a shot but eventually they get there and when I was finally done with this book, I didn’t feel excited about the characters, I didn’t feel like jumping for joy because Ian and Chantal were able to get over themselves and find a true love that will last forever, I didn’t feel very much of anything. I thought the story was okay, I thought the dialogue dragged and overall the story was just okay for me.

Ian was a good hero, he was everything I love in a man. Strong, virile (hehe) and confident. He did what he had to do and oh well if you don’t agree with it. He had a good heart and he always put his duty before his wants and I really enjoyed that about him. And he was hot, can’t forget that he was flippin’ hot.

Chantal was an okay heroine, not so annoying that she bordered on TSTL but not very memorable either. She was just okay in my book. She was a musician and she sang great but I wasn’t exactly wowed by her character, she was just okay for me. Nothing too spectacular on her part.

The other characters were pretty average as well. I didn’t connect with anyone and I didn’t really feel excited about reading the other books in this series, this book was just okay. I found myself skimming parts of the book and wondering what book I was going to read next, that’s how excited I was about this story, I’m glad I finished it but I know that I won’t ever reread this book and I don’t have a need to read the first book (this is the second book) or continue on with this series. It was just a pretty average book.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

two-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Throwback Thursday Review: Closer Than You Think by Karen Rose

Posted September 17, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Throwback Thursday Review: Closer Than You Think by Karen RoseReviewer: Casee
Closer Than You Think (Cincinnati Series, #1) by Karen Rose
Series: Cincinnati Series #1
Also in this series: Alone in the Dark (Cincinnati Series #2)
Publisher: Signet
Publication Date: February 3, 2015
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 688
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

From the New York Times bestselling author of Watch Your Back and Did You Miss Me comes the newest novel by “the queen of romantic suspense” (Crime and Punishment).

Psychologist Faith Corcoran is desperate to escape the stalker who’s made her life a nightmare for the past year—desperate enough to run to the one place that has been her nightmare far longer. Both boon and bane, her recent inheritance of her grandmother’s old house in Cincinnati offers sanctuary in which she can start her life anew, but requires that she face the dark memories that still resonate to this day.

But she has no idea how close to home her fears still are.

Two college girls have gone missing in the area, and FBI Special Agent Deacon Novak is called to work on the case. When his inquiry unexpectedly leads him to Faith, he finds a beautiful and brave woman he can’t help but fall for. Soon they’ll discover that this seemingly simple investigation is anything but. Reaching back decades into Faith’s own past, it will shatter everything she believes to be true and will give terrifying new meaning to flesh and blood.

This review was originally posted on April 14, 2015.

Closer Than You Think was the best book I’ve read in ages. It actually drove me to write a review. A lot of you don’t remember me, I’m sure, but I actually used to read and review books regularly here at Book Binge. O_o. Now, I hardly read and when I try to review, the cursor just sits there are stares at me. The it’s asks me “Well,are you just going to sit there?”. No, I’m not. I’m turning you off and going to take a nap.

As it happened, Closer Than You Think was a book that I could not put down. I finished it in two days and that’s only because of running my daughter around to soccer. Onto the review…Faith Corcoran has changed her name, took all her money out of the bank and leaves Florida for Cincinnati, where she just inherited a home from her grandmother. After being stalked by the man she put in prison for over a year.

The first night she arrives home, the key doesn’t work to the lock, so he heads back down the winding hill. Coming back the next day after getting the power turned on and the locks changed, Faith runs into what she thought was an animal, but soon realizes is a young, terrorized, horrified woman. Faith’s car goes over the embankment but she quickly climbs up the bank to make sure the woman is all right. Finally the cops get there.

When Deacon Novak arrives at the scene, he doesn’t know what to think. Faith brings out his primal instincts, but he knows she has to be on the suspect list until they can cross. Her off. After all, the victim seemed to come from her house as it was the only one between the accident site and her house. The only problem with the house is that someone has been using the basement as a torture chamber and no one has any idea.

They have multiple suspects; a stalker that may have followed her up from Florida. Two uncles that may have an ax to grind because she alone inherited the house. Or one of the uncles could be working with the stalker. Or it’s someone other than all three of them. All you do know is from the killer’s pov, he wants her dead. Badly.

Karen Rose writes some of the best sociopathic villains I’ve ever read. That’s part of the reason I can never put her books down. I’ve also been waiting to read Deacon Novak since he was first introduced in the books. Karen Rose does write some of the best suspense out there, but she also writes some of the best romantic suspense. Deacon and Faith were drawn to each other from the beginning. Deacon couldn’t help but want to protect Faith. As for Faith, as cheesy as it is, she feels an animal attraction to Deacon which is not like her at all. When you put all these elements together, there is nothing I didn’t like about the book. There is a lot of family stuff I left out, but suffice to say if you don’t read this book, you’re missing out.

Rating: 4.75 out of 5.

Cincinnati

four-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,

Review: A Heart of Blood and Ashes by Milla Vane

Posted September 14, 2020 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: A Heart of Blood and Ashes by Milla VaneReviewer: Holly
A Heart of Blood and Ashes by Milla Vane
Narrator: Nicole Poole
Series: A Gathering of Dragons #1
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: February 4, 2020
Format: eARC, Audiobook
Source: NetGalley, Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 555
Length: 15 hours and 16 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 Reading Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A generation past, the western realms were embroiled in endless war. Then the Destroyer came. From the blood and ashes he left behind, a tenuous alliance rose between the barbarian riders of Parsathe and the walled kingdoms of the south. That alliance is all that stands against the return of an ancient evil - until the barbarian king and queen are slain in an act of bloody betrayal.

Though forbidden by the alliance council to kill the corrupt king responsible for his parents’ murders, Maddek vows to avenge them, even if it costs him the Parsathean crown. But when he learns it was the king’s daughter who lured his parents to their deaths, the barbarian warrior is determined to make her pay.

Yet the woman Maddek captures is not what he expected. Though the last in a line of legendary warrior-queens, Yvenne is small and weak, and the sharpest weapons she wields are her mind and her tongue. Even more surprising is the marriage she proposes to unite them in their goals and to claim their thrones—because her desire for vengeance against her father burns even hotter than his own…

I’ve been waiting for Milla Vane (aka Meljean Brook) to return to writing for years. When this book popped up on NetGalley, I actually squee’d out loud. Then I started it and…wasn’t in the mood. It had nothing to do with the book, I just wasn’t feeling a dark epic fantasy at that time. Fast forward to this month; I saw the audiobook and decided to purchase it. I’m really glad I did. I ended up loving the narrator.

Maddek is determined to avenge the death of his parents at the hands of a neighboring kingdom. When the traditional path is closed to him because of the alliance, he decides to take his revenge in another way…by killing the heir to their thrown. The problem? Yvenne is nothing like he expected. She’s small, weak and nothing like the warrior queen he expected. She’s also just as determined to bring her father down as Maddek is. Though he trusts her not at all, he agrees to take her as his wife if it means being able to kill her father and brothers.

The overall theme of this novel is very dark, and so are the actions of both characters. Maddek was bent on revenge and could see nothing else. Yvenne was determined to kill her father and claim her kingdom. She was also determined to make Maddek into a king, whether he wanted it or not. Yvenne was fierce, for all her physical frailty. I loved how she stood up for herself, and wielded her tongue like a weapon. I liked their dynamic, though his vow that he would rip her tongue out if she spoke of his mother was frustrating. I understood Maddek’s need for vengeance, but I didn’t love the way he treated Yvenne. I wish he’d have wised up a little sooner. In the end, I forgave him because Yvenne did.

I did think it moved a bit slow in parts and the world-building took some time, but I enjoyed the book as a whole.

3.75 out of 5

A Gathering of Dragons

four-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,

Sunday Spotlight: Dark Song by Christine Feehan (+ Exclusive Excerpt)

Posted August 30, 2020 by Casee in Features, Giveaways | 2 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. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight: Dark Song by Christine Feehan (+ Exclusive Excerpt)Dark Song by Christine Feehan
Series: Dark #34
Also in this series: Dark Illusion
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: September 1, 2020
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 448
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

Two Carpathians find hope in the bond that ties their souls in this passionate novel in Christine Feehan's #1 New York Times bestselling series.

Stolen from her home at a young age and tormented for centuries, Elisabeta Trigovise is scared to show herself to anyone. Even though she has been rescued and is now safe within the Carpathian compound, she has lived in fear for so long she has no idea how to survive without it. She wants to answer the siren call of her lifemate--but the very thought terrifies her.

Before he found Elisabeta, Ferro Arany was an ancient warrior without emotion. Now that his senses have come alive, he knows it will take more than kind words and soft touches to convince the fractured woman that they are partners, not master and prisoner. For now, he will give her his strength until she finds hers, allowing the steady rhythm of his heart to soothe Elisabeta's fragile soul.

But even as she learns to stand on her own, the vampire who kept her captive is desperate to claim her again, threatening the song Elisabeta and Ferro are writing together.

Excerpt

Elisabeta huddled into herself, retreating further and further into her mind. She seemed light, almost insubstantial in his arms. He knew immediately it had been a mistake to have her be present for the discussion on how Sergey might have accomplished reaching out to her while she was safeguarded in the healing grounds. There had been an attack on her once, using one of the children. Now, it seemed, there had to be a second breach in security.

Talk with Julija and pay no attention to those coming to discuss this security matter, Ferro advised his lifemate as gently as possible.

He didn’t want to draw any more attention than necessary to his very frightened woman. She had curled up so small in his lap that he doubted she was barely visible in the dim lighting of the room, although all Carpathians could easily see in the dark. If her trembling got any worse, he feared she might really shake apart.

He kept his hand curled around the nape of her neck and his gaze fixed on Tariq, as if he wasn’t in the least concerned with his lifemate huddling on his lap. His fingers gently massaged in an attempt to ease the tension out of her. He knew that Elisabeta hadn’t been exposed to so many people in centuries. It had to be a terrifying experience for her. This rising was proving to be far worse than he had expected for her.

Seven men had come with Tariq. Ferro knew they had come as guards because he was considered dangerous and he had never sworn his allegiance to the reigning prince. Tomas, Matias and Lojos, the triplets always together and had been for centuries, had been sent by the prince to help guard Tariq whether the man wanted it or not. They took their job very seriously. Ferro knew they were a force to be reckoned with.

The seventh man who had come to protect Tariq Asenguard was Afanasiv Balan. Most of the Carpathians simply called him Siv. Like the brethren, he was a true ancient and he was considered extremely dangerous. He had thick, long blond hair and strange eyes that by turns could be green or blue. More than once, Siv had sought respite in the monastery when demons had been too close, but he left to hunt vampires and eventually ended up in the United States, guarding Tariq. He had the creed of the ancients inked onto his back, just as the brethren did. If he turned on them, he would be forever branded a traitor among them. Ferro had no idea whether or not he had sworn allegiance to the prince.

“After what you’ve told us,” Tariq said, his voice soft but carrying, “there is very little choice but to have our healer examine Elisabeta for signs Sergey has left behind that would allow him access to her.”

Ferro had known the moment he revealed to the others that Sergey had tormented Elisabeta even while she was in the protected, sacred healing grounds until Ferro had woven his own safeguards for her, that Tariq would insist that she be subjected to their examination. He didn’t blame them. There were children to protect. All along, many had speculated that she could have been used as a spy by the master vampire. Even his own brethren had considered the possibility. He also knew Gary wanted to examine her. He just didn’t know why.

Elisabeta heard Tariq’s soft declaration and her instant rejection was immediate and visceral. She made no sound but he knew if she could have run, she would have. The thought of strangers violating her mind, seeing the cruelties Sergey had subjected her to over the centuries, was humiliating to her. She was Ferro’s lifemate. Already, she felt she was embarrassing him by not being a warrior woman, a fitting mate for a man like him. To have the others see what the master vampire had done to her, keeping her in a cage, forcing her to beg him for everything—it was too much for her to bear.

Dark Series

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: August 2020

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 Christine Feehan

I live on the beautiful Northern California coast and draw much inspiration from the beauty around me. I've always been a writer, for as long as I remember. My sisters were forced to read all of my books from the time I could write a story on paper.

I love family. I love my brothers and sisters, my children, my grandchildren and my great grandchildren. My home was always full of kids and children give me so much joy.

I also love my "sisters of the heart", those friends who have supported me through my life, laughed with me, cried with me and loved me regardless of how crazy my life got. I am a strong supporter of women helping each other which is why I became a third degree black belt and taught self-defense to women who'd been abused.

I love people and dogs, good books and great coffee and I'm lucky to know just how blessed I am.


Tagged: , , ,

Throwback Thursday Review: Dangerous Tides by Christine Feehan

Posted August 27, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 3 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Dangerous Tides by Christine FeehanReviewer: Casee
Dangerous Tides by Christine Feehan
Series: Drake Sisters #4
Also in this series: Turbulent Sea, Hidden Currents, Magic in the Wind, The Twilight Before Christmas, Oceans of Fire, Dangerous Tides, Safe Harbor, Turbulent Sea, Hidden Currents, Hidden Currents
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: July 1, 2006
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 354
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
five-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

With her sensual blend of paranormal romance and breathless suspense, New York Times bestselling author “Christine Feehan boldly goes where no writer has ever gone”*. Now she introduces Libby Drake, of the magical Drake sisters—each mysterious, gifted, and enchanted by prophecies of love…
Dr. Libby Drake is sensible and practical. To her more adventurous sisters, she’s always been the “good girl”. Certainly not the kind to attract the attention of a genius like Ty Derrick—until a tragic accident leaves the handsome biochemist at her mercy.
Acting on her uncanny ability to heal, she stirs in the reawakened Ty his own long-suppressed desires for the woman who saved his life. But he’s not the only man with designs on Libby Drake. Her miraculous and selfless power has also captured the attention of a dangerously influential admirer. He’s pursuing the elementally gifted beauty for his own wicked purpose. And he’s willing to go to deadly lengths to make it happen.

This review was originally posted June 11, 2020.

I think this book may be my overall favorite in the series. Though I like Libby as well as I like the other Drake sisters, it’s Ty that really does it for me in this book. I loved his analytical way of dissecting everything. Nothing he says or does is w/ malice, so the way he would come off sounding all pompous and arrogant was extremely amusing.

Ty and Libby have always been drawn to each other (they all are, aren’t they?). Ty, in his analytical way, decides that it’s time to settle down. The one he wants is Libby Drake. That almost doesn’t happen when Ty is helping with a rescue and his harness snaps, plunging him over a 100 feet to the rocks below.

When Libby knows that it’s Ty that everyone is whispering about, she can’t make herself leave. Of all the sisters, her gift is the most tangible. When Libby puts her hands on someone, she heals them. And though she’s risking the life of herself and her sisters, she can’t not heal Ty.

Ty doesn’t know how he survived and neither do his doctors. He looked at his scans and knew he should be dead. He knows Libby helped him somehow, but he’s not sure exactly what she did. He knows he doesn’t believe the gossip about the Drake sisters being magical.

What’s funny about that is that Ty doesn’t think Libby is crazy. He just thinks that she’s under the influence of her family and all he needs to do is get her away from them. He doesn’t think that the Drake’s are bad people. He just thinks they’re delusional.

Tyson took a deep breath and stopped her, swinging around so his body was directly in front of hers. His fingers tightened around her hand, threatening to crush her bones. “Here’s the thing, Libby. I’ve thought a great deal about this. I don’t believe in magic. It doesn’t make sense to anyone with a logical brain. Whatever you and your sisters do isn’t real. I don’t know if your family originally used sleight of hand to con people, but whatever the origins, I’ve observed you enough to know you believe you’re able to heal people.”

Libby opened her mouth to speak but he shook his head and pulled her hand to his chest. “Just hear me out. I think you’re experiencing psychosomatic symptoms, much like a false pregnancy, but we can work on that together. I know I can help you see that no one can really heal anyone with magic. You’re smart. You’ll see it in time.”

She could only stare dumbly, torn between wanting to laugh and to cry. He was so
earnest, his expression grave and his blue eyes holding her gaze captive. “I’ll see that I make myself ill pretending to heal people?” Obviously she could pick them. If only he would just keep his mouth closed she might get somewhere with him.

“Putting it that way sounds bad. It’s more like you’ve been brainwashed, programmed to believe it and your brain tricks your body into experiencing the symptoms. And that can be dangerous to your health.”

He tightened his fingers around hers when she tried to move away from him. “Don’t,
Libby, don’t pull away. I’ve thought this whole thing through. I want a relationship with you. You’re able to understand me, we’re interested in the same things and I think you’re an incredible woman. I’m willing to pay the price of accepting your family. It really is worth the sacrifice to be able to see you.”

Her eyebrow shot up. “How courageous of you to take on my crackpot, con-artist
family.” She tilted her head to one side. “So I don’t really heal people, but I’ve convinced myself so strongly that I can that I manifest psychosomatic symptoms of the people I think I’ve healed. That’s what you think really happens, huh?”

“Yes. If you just open your mind to the possibility, I’m certain it would make more sense to you. You’re a scientist, Libby, a doctor. You want to heal people because you’re so compassionate, but no one can really do that. Haven’t you ever watched the faith healers in the tents and realized they’re bilking the public?”

“How do you know they are?” She started walking back toward her house, this time
holding his hand so he wouldn’t let go.

“It’s been proven time and time again. The faith healers have been investigated and
debunked. Seriously, Libby, I could show you many of the reports. I looked them up over this past week and prepared them in a file for you. It’s all there in black and white.”

“You did that for me?” She smiled her sweetest smile, wandering slowly up the path to
her house. “Tyson Derrick, how considerate of you. I had no idea you were such a
thoughtful man.”

He let his breath out. “I was afraid you’d be upset, Libby. I was prepared for you to take this in a negative way, but I should have realized you’d reason it out.” He stopped on the path to their house. “You want to go home already? I’d like to spend more time with you.”

bwahahaha. That is just so Ty; coming up with a scientific explanation for it. Little does he know what he’s in for.

Still, even with Ty’s lack of belief in her magic aside, someone is still trying to kill him or at least sabotage his research. When Libby gets caught in the crossfire, Ty goes all caveman. Which is pretty hot.

For those of you that have read this series, what’s your favorite book?

Rating: 4.75 out of 5.

Drake Sisters

five-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , , ,