Reading Challenge: Casee's 2021 Goodreads Challenge

Review: Last Guard by Nalini Singh

Posted July 19, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Last Guard by Nalini SinghReviewer: Casee
Last Guard by Nalini Singh
Narrator: Angela Dawe
Series: Psy/Changeling Trinity #5
Also in this series: Silver Silence, Silver Silence, Silver Silence, Ocean Light, Ocean Light , Wolf Rain , Wolf Rain, Alpha Night, Alpha Night
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: July 20, 2021
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third Person
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 384
Length: 10 hours and 52 minutes
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Reading Challenges: Casee's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh returns to a world devastated by change in her award-winning Psy-Changeling Trinity series, where two people defined by their aloneness hold the fate of the Psy in their hands…
Termed merciless by some, and a robotic sociopath by others, Payal Rao is the perfect Psy: cardinal telekinetic, CEO of a major conglomerate, beautiful—and emotionless.
For Canto Mercant, family and loyalty are everything. A cardinal telepath deemed "imperfect" by his race due to a spinal injury, Canto cares for the opinions of very few—and ruthlessly protects those he claims as his own. Head of intel of the influential Mercant family, he prefers to remain a shadow in the Net, unknown and unseen. But Canto is also an Anchor, part of a secretive designation whose task it is to stabilize the PsyNet. Now that critical psychic network is dying, threatening to collapse and kill the entire Psy race with it.
To save those he loves, Canto needs the help of a woman bound to him by a dark past neither has been able to forget. A woman who is the most powerful Anchor of them all: Payal Rao. Neither is ready for the violent inferno about to ignite in the PsyNet…or the passionate madness that threatens to destroy them both.

Canto Merchant & Payal Rao are both A-Psy. As anchors for the PsyNet, it isn’t just their job to keep the PsyNet from failing. It’s a compulsion for them. They can’t not do anything & everything to save the Psy race.

When Canto contacts Payal about being the voice for the anchors, he has no idea how intertwined their histories are. Since the time he was old enough, he has been searching for the girl that saved his life in the “rehabilitation” school they were both at. They didn’t know each other’s names. All they knew was the numbers that were assigned by the school. For Canto, 3K is a girl that was his salvation. Searching for her has become his obsession in life though he has never had so much as a lead on his 3K. His search for her has to be put on the back burner because the PsyNet is failing. Payal is a hub anchor, much like himself. The only difference as far as he can see is that Payal is Silent whereas Canto never was fully Silent. Then he sees her.

Payal walks a very fine line in her life. She’s the CEO of the Rao family holdings. She has a brother that would like nothing more than to murder her in her sleep, a sister she has to hide from her father & brother, and she’s a hub anchor. When Canto Merchant contacts her, Payal knows she can’t say no. If the anchors don’t get involved, the PsyNet will fall. Already the Ruling Coalition is discussing breaking the PsyNet into pieces. Both Payal & Canto know that doing that will not work. So she agrees to meet Canto. And gets the shock of her life.

Canto & Payal were thrown away when they were children because they hadn’t initialized as A’s. Payal couldn’t control her emotions. Canto couldn’t use his legs. It hurt to read how they were treated. Then it made me smile to read about how Canto looked after Payal & Payal protected Canto.

“Payal, you don’t have to hide me from them.” It came out hard, a near-snarl.
“Yes, I do. A solemn statement that cut him to the bone. “Because you’re my person. The only one I have. I need to protect you.”

This isn’t just about two children that formed a bond that nothing could destroy. It’s about children that were forgotten, children that weren’t protected, and children that died. All because they were A’s. It’s about the journey two A children took to find their way back to each other.

I could honestly go on and on about this book. I was barely able to put it down. I’m so excited to see where the series goes from here. I’m starting to think I’m getting a glimmer of what the end of the series will look like. Maybe.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Psy-Changeling

Psy-Changeling Trinity

four-half-stars


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Review: Come to Me Recklessly by A.L. Jackson

Posted July 7, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Come to Me Recklessly by A.L. JacksonReviewer: Casee
Come to Me RecklesslySeries: Closer to You #3
Also in this series: Come to Me Quietly, Come to Me Softly
Publisher: NAL
Publication Date: April 7, 2015
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First Person
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 445
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Reading Challenges: Casee's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

His heart was turned off…

Until she turned him on…

Christopher Moore gave up on the idea of love years ago. Now, his life is an endless string of parties and an even longer string of girls. Enjoying the physical perks with none of the emotional mess, he's convinced everyone that he's satisfied—everyone but himself.

Samantha Schultz has moved on with her life. Finishing her student teaching and living with her boyfriend, she's deluded herself into believing she's content. But there is one boy she never forgot—her first love—and she keeps the memory of him locked up tight. She will never allow any man to break her the way Christopher did.

When Christopher's sister and her family move into a new neighborhood, Christopher is completely unprepared to find Samantha living at the end of the street. Memories and unspent desires send them on a collision course of sex, lies, and lust. But when guilt and fear send Samantha running, Christopher will have to fight for what has always been his.

After reading Come to Me Quietly & Come to Me Softly, I wasn’t sure that I was ready for the last book in this series. The first two books packed quite the emotional punch. I almost took a break, but I just had to read Christopher’s story. He was such an ass in the first two books. Other than his obvious love for his sister, there seemed to be very few redeeming qualities about him. I usually don’t like being wrong, but in this case it really worked out. This book is my favorite in the trilogy.

Christopher & Samantha fell in love when they were teenagers. Like a full-blown, forever type of love. It should have been weird, but it wasn’t. Sometimes you just know. Christopher knew that Samantha was the one for him. Neither his parents nor her parents could keep them apart. Then Zack’s mom dies and it all goes to hell. Samantha feels Christopher pulling away from her. She tries to be there for him, but he’s going through something that she can’t touch. Then she finds him cheating on her and that’s it for her.

Fast forward…Samantha is living right down the street from Aly & Zack. Aly & Samantha run into each other and the subject of Christopher comes up. The wound is still raw for Samantha, no matter how much time has gone by. She’s determined to stay away from Christopher and Christopher seems just as determined to stay away from her. Samantha doesn’t know why Christopher has a problem with her. He was the one that cheated on her. He left her, not the other way around.

I really like the reunited lovers troupe. There’s always some big emotional reason that the couple has separated which means that it’s a big emotional reunion. That’s how it was for Christopher and Samantha. They were meant to be together and nothing, not even time can keep them apart.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Closer to You

four-half-stars


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Review: Gypsy King by Devney Perry

Posted June 30, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Gypsy King by Devney PerryReviewer: Casee
Gypsy King by Devney Perry
Series: Tin Gypsy #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: September 14, 2021
Format: Audiobook, eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First Person
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 404
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
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three-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

The former Tin Gypsy motorcycle club has everyone in Clifton Forge, Montana convinced they’ve locked their clubhouse doors and ripped off their patches. Everyone but Bryce Ryan. There’s more happening at the club’s garage than muscle car restorations and Harley rebuilds. Her instincts are screaming there’s a story—one she’s going to tell.

As the new owner of the small town’s newspaper, Bryce is hungry for more than birth announcements and obituaries. When a woman is brutally killed and all signs point to the Tin Gypsies, Bryce is determined to expose the club and their leader, Kingston “Dash” Slater, as murderers.

Bryce bests Dash match after match, disappointed her rugged and handsome opponent turns out to be an underwhelming adversary. Secrets are exposed. Truths defeat lies. Bryce is poised to win this battle in a landslide.

Then Dash breaks all the rules and tips the scales.

One kiss, and she’s fighting to save more than just her story. She’s fighting to save her heart from the Gypsy King.

I started out reading this book but ended up listening to it on audio. I had a real problem getting into it. I got to chapter six and almost DNFed it. The heroine is a reporter. Reporters aren’t my favorite people so I had a mental block from the beginning. Then she got worse. It seemed like all she cared was getting the story on the front page of the paper, not finding out the truth. I’m really happy that I continued because it turned out to be a (mostly) great book.

The Tin Gypsy MC closed it doors a year prior. The club was going in a direction that President Dash Slater didn’t like. When they disbanded it was with the expectation that that part of their lives were over. They were law abiding, tax paying citizens. The violence that has been apart of their lives for so long was no longer a thing. Then there is a murder in Clifton Forge & the evidence points right to Dash’s father, Draven.

Bryce Ryan has just moved back to Clifton Forge from Seattle to work at her family’s newspaper. A hotshot in the Seattle TV anchor scene, Bryce was ready for a change when she goes home. She discovers pretty quickly that the town isn’t without its’ problems. When Draven Slater is arrested for the murder of a woman, Bryce is determined to tell the story. My problem with Bryce at the beginning was that she wanted the story so badly that she forgot all else. She was fine using people, including Dash.

Bryce has met her match in Dash. Initially enemies, these two soon find that they have much more in common than they thought. Bryce realizes that the case may not be exactly what it seemed to be. Dash knows his dad didn’t murder anyone and is determined to prove it with or without Bryce’s help. They make a pact to share all information. If Dash withholds anything, Bryce will do a full expose about the Tin Gypsies.

While working together it doesn’t take long for both of them to realize that there is more afoot than just murder. What seemed cut and dried actually goes back further than any of them know. They only have a limited amount of time to find the real killer before Draven goes to jail. While doing that, they are uncovering secrets about Clifton Forge and the Tin Gypsies. Secrets that people would kill for.

I was fully prepared to give this book a 4 out of 5. Then View Spoiler » It was so unnecessary that it just ruined most of the book for me. I wish DP hadn’t gone in that direction. There didn’t seem to be a reason for it at all.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Tin Gypsy

three-stars


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Series Review: The Disciples by Cassandra Robbins

Posted June 14, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 4 Comments

Series Review: The Disciples by Cassandra RobbinsReviewer: Casee
Lethal by Cassandra Robbins
Series: The Disciples #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: May 15, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First Person
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 330
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2021 Goodreads Challenge, Casee's 2021 New to Me Challenge
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two-half-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

Blade McCormick is not a nice guy.

He’s pure adrenaline and smells like smoke and leather—the kind of guy you look at and know he’s going to be a combination of nasty and irresistible. The moment I allowed myself to touch his hot skin and kiss his full lips, I. Was. Done.

Like currency, I’ve become part of a transaction. Blade took me to pay off a debt. I try to tell myself, Eve, you should hate him. He’s a bad guy. But then again, I’m not a good girl. Blade’s the president of the Disciples, the notorious motorcycle club. I should be frightened, yet somehow, he doesn’t scare me. If anything, I think I scare him.
It takes a lot of work to become the club’s Queen, but I’ll stop at nothing to have the King!

LETHAL

I’ve been heavily into MC romances for the last six months or so. They had never really been on my radar. Then Kristen Ashley burst into my life and that was that. So here we are, yet another MC series. I’m always happy to find a new author.

When Eve was 16, she met Blade. She didn’t know who he was, but she did try to stab him for getting into her space. Fast forward to when she’s 18. Blade has come back for her. He brands (brands!) her on her neck with the ring of the Disciples. I could barely stomach that, but I rallied on.

What I can’t get past is View Spoiler ». Not only that, but she has no remorse about it. While I very much enjoyed the characters and the storyline itself, I had a problem with Eve. A big one.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Series Review: The Disciples by Cassandra RobbinsAtone by Cassandra Robbins
Series: The Disciples #2
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: May 15, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First Person
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 310
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2021 Goodreads Challenge, Casee's 2021 New to Me Challenge
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

I don’t apologize or regret the destruction I’m about to cause. I’m at peace with what I must do… nothing can or will stand in my way. Not even the raven-haired beauty with golden eyes who haunts my dreams.No one is innocent in the story of my life. Fairy tales don’t exist!I. Make. No. Excuses.Everyone needs to atone, and I’m the man who is going to see to it.

ATONE

We didn’t get to know David in Lethal. All we knew was that his daughter was caught up in the MC’s drug war and was killed. David left his cut and his bike the day he learned of her death. Now he’s back and the first person he runs into is the one he hoped not to see.

I really did like Charlie and David. This is one of the better books in the series because it’s just so raw. David’s emotions are on right there on the page and I found myself wondering what I would do if I lost a child. It’s unimaginable.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Series Review: The Disciples by Cassandra RobbinsRepent by Cassandra Robbins
Series: The Disciples #3
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: May 6, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First Person
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 320
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2021 Goodreads Challenge, Casee's 2021 New to Me Challenge
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two-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

There are two sides to every story.

I fell in love with a redheaded boy, a boy who was kind and good.

Until he wasn’t.

He broke my heart once, twice… I’ve lost count. Like a dark god, he haunts me. He smells like smoke and cinnamon, with danger seeping from every pore. He is my savior, my lover, exciting and addictive.

I should’ve seen it coming…

Never trust a Disciple. You have to sell your soul to the devil to get one to love you. I would.

I did.

My name is Dolores Dunghart and I might have done the unforgivable.

I don’t care if you judge me… I’ve judged myself.

But this is how we live.

And this is our love story.

Edge and Dolly forever.

REPENT

We finally get Edge and Dolly’s backstory. Man that’s some fucked up shit right there. I honestly have no idea what Edge saw in Dolly. She was a shrew that tried to stab him. Yes, you read that right. She tried to stab him. Dolly was jealous, vindictive, and childish. This one was hard to read. Edge was amazing but Dolly? Meh.

Rating: 2 out of 5

Series Review: The Disciples by Cassandra RobbinsIgnite by Cassandra Robbins
Series: The Disciples #4
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: November 13, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First Person
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2021 Goodreads Challenge, Casee's 2021 New to Me Challenge
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four-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

ANTOINETTEAxel Fontaine has a giant…At least that’s what everyone says. Unfortunately, it’s true.

All. Of. It.

He’s dangerous, scary, and addictive. Without a doubt, the last person I should fall for is the VP of the Disciples MC.

I’m out of my league.He’s a six-foot-four, blue-eyed biker god.

I’m an ex-ballerina turned stripper who should run away.

But how do you escape the one man who ignites your body and consumes your very soul?

Axel doesn’t do relationships. But I’m betting on ME to change his mind.

AXELI don’t do relationships. I don’t do drama, and I definitely don’t do love.

I’m not Prince Charming. I’m the VP of the Disciples and the club is my family. The last thing I need is a violet-eyed enchantress who smells like candy and has some sort of voodoo chemistry that’s messing with my mind.

She needs to go. She’s a distraction…a weakness I can’t have. Men like me fall in lust, not love. So, why is she still here?

IGNITE

This is my favorite book in the series. A down-on-her-luck ballet dancer finds herself at the Disciples strip club. She has to make money somehow and waiting tables isn’t going to cut it. When Axel and Antoinette first meet, its fireworks. Axel takes one look at her and tells her she’s not cut out for the job.

Antoinette is not going to let Axel ruin her chance of making money. She goes to Crystal (this was weird too) to see if she’ll hire her behind Axel’s back. She does, of course. The night of her debut doesn’t go how she expects it when Axel covers her up and hustles her off the stage before she could even dance.

I just loved this one. I loved how prickly Antoinette was. I loved how Axel was so determined not to fall in love like his brothers have done. He didn’t stand a chance.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Overall, I would give this series a 3.75. I had a problem with all the heroines getting pregnant by the epilogue. Like, hello? You can be happy without babies. It was very cliched. That doesn’t mean I won’t read the rest of the series!

The Disciples

two-half-stars


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Review: Rebel’s Karma by Rebecca Zanetti

Posted June 7, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Rebel’s Karma by Rebecca ZanettiReviewer: Casee
Rebel's Karma by Rebecca Zanetti
Series: Dark Protectors #13
Also in this series: Marked (Dark Protectors, #7), Fated (Dark Protectors, #1), Claimed (Dark Protectors, #2), Hunted (Dark Protectors, #3), Consumed (Dark Protectors, #4), Provoked (Dark Protectors, #5), Marked (Dark Protectors, #7), Shadowed (Dark Protectors, #6), Vampire's Faith (Dark Protectors, #8), Demon's Mercy (Dark Protectors, #9), Alpha's Promise, Hero's Haven, Guardian's Grace
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Publication Date: June 8, 2021
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: No
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 304
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

There’s no denying destiny . . .

For too long, Benjamin Reese has masked his deadly skills and temper with loyalty and humor. A vampire-demon hybrid, he fiercely protects his family, guards his brothers, and destroys the enemy without mercy. But when he discovers one fragile, beautiful blonde—a woman once mated to a Kurjan, no less—every primal instinct he has buried for centuries roars to life. With the mating mark she roused on his hand entwining their fates, no one will prevent him from keeping her safe and making her his, forever . . .

Or desire . . .

Karma wishes she could remember her last name. Or if she even had one. All she has in this confusing new world is a desperate duty to save the innocent. That means destroying the dark, dangerous, and desirable Benjamin Reese and everything he loves—an impossible task even before his touch arouses a passionate hunger she can’t afford. She’s certain a deadly enemy watches her every move, but it’s not until Benny kisses her that she tastes true danger…

I adore Rebecca Zanetti. I think she’s a fabulous storyteller that really pulls you in deep. Rebel’s Karma is book 13 in the Dark Protectors series. The books she’s writing now have to do with the Seven. Seven vampire/demons/vampire-demon hybrids have been chosen to keep Ulric in another dimension so he doesn’t come destroy the world.

This book was really about Karma coming into her power as a woman. She has been with the Kurjans for centuries, had even mated one. He died and now she’s only a tool for the Kurjan’s to use. When they use her to spy on Benjamin Reese, she wants to say no. She can’t. Whether she likes it or not, she lives with the Kurjans.

Benny knows that Karma has some kind of Stockholm syndrome. Except she doesn’t. She has to protect her two daughters. To do that, she has to find out more about the Seven and the Realm. She’s already heard all sorts of horror stories about the Queen of the Realm. It doesn’t take Karma long to realize that most of the things she was taught were a lie.

Benny wants nothing more than to take care of Karma. She is his mate, and he hers. But he won’t mate her when death is looming over his head. He’s sure that to stop Ulric, he will have to sacrifice himself. Benny refuses to mate because he knows he’s going to die.

One thing I appreciated was that RZ addressed what would happen if someone actually broke through an alternate dimension. Scientifically that is. It was clear that you can’t just go willy-nilly through dimensions without there being consequences. The Seven are dealing with the fallout of those consequences and have basically been exiled by the Realm.

This series keeps getting better. I like where it’s going and am really looking forward to Sam’s story. Oh, Sam.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Dark Protectors

four-stars


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