Source: Author

Review: Reaper by Larissa Ione

Posted November 4, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Reaper by Larissa IoneReviewer: Casee
Reaper by Larissa Ione
Series: Demonica #19
Also in this series: Azagoth
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: October 15, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Author
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 325
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

THE DEMONICA SERIES RETURNS...

He is the Keeper of Souls. Judge, jury, and executioner. He is death personified.

He is the Grim Reaper.

A fallen angel who commands the respect of both Heaven and Hell, Azagoth has presided over his own underworld realm for thousands of years. As the overlord of evil souls, he maintains balance crucial to the existence of life on Earth and beyond. But as all the realms gear up for the prophesied End of Days, the ties that bind him to Sheoul-gra have begun to chafe.

Now, with his beloved mate and unborn child the target of an ancient enemy, Azagoth will stop at nothing to save them, even if it means breaking blood oaths and shattering age-old alliances.

Even if it means destroying himself and setting the world on fire…

Azagoth and Lilliana are happily mated. They also have a baby on the way. Both of them are pretty much deliriously happy. Then Lilliana faints and Azagoth knows he has to send her to Underworld General, a place that he can’t follow.

After finding out that she was poisoned, Lilliana knows that she can’t go back to Sheoul-gra. When she tries to leave UG, chaos ensues. There are Fallen Angels at the door and they are almost impossible to beat. Lilliana goes into the Harrowgate which will take her to safety. Unfortunately that doesn’t happen and Lilliana finds herself in hell.

When Azagoth is told about Lilliana, he is devastated and absolutely furious. His first instinct is to go after Lilliana, but he can’t. As the Grim Reaper, Azagoth has an unlimited amount of power, but only in Sheoul-gra. He also can’t leave Sheoul-gra. All he can do is call in his allies and prepare for war.

As a prisoner of a psychotic demon that wants Satan released, Lilliana doesn’t worry about herself. She only worries for her child. And Azagoth. Lilliana knows that Azagoth will not only never recover from their deaths, but revert back to the demon that she first met.

When Heaven decides the only course of action is to destroy Azagoth, things start going downhill. Still, Azagoth will do whatever it takes to save his mate. Even if he dies trying to get her back.

I really, really liked this book. Azagoth is sort of an anti-hero. He’s evil, but there’s goodness in him. He never expected to mate and it’s obvious that he’s thrown and is trying to deal with feeling so much for one person. Still, Lilliana an Azagoth somehow make it work. The action in this book is amazing. Larissa isn’t afraid to take risks. In Reaper, her risks paid off.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.



four-stars


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Review: Hold on to Hope by A.L. Jackson

Posted October 29, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Hold on to Hope by A.L. JacksonReviewer: Casee
Hold on to Hope by A. L. Jackson
Series: Fight for Me #4
Also in this series: Show Me the Way, Follow Me Back, Lead Me Home
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: October 28, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Author
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 379
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Evan Bryant wasn't your typical hero.
But he was mine.
Broken by the worlds’ standards, he was still the strongest boy I would ever know.
My best friend. The boy I’d given everything to. My heart, my body, and the promise of forever.
The day I’d needed him most, he walked away.
He left me shattered and questioning the love I’d thought we’d shared.

Three years later, I wasn’t prepared for him to return to Gingham Lakes.
It wouldn’t have mattered if he wasn’t the most beautiful man I’d ever seen.
My fingers still would have ached to caress his skin.
My body still would have begged to get lost in his touch.
And my heart . . . it would have always sung his name.
But time changes things. With it, secrets that could ruin everything.
Can we find a way to love again, or have the fears of our past stolen the hope of our forever . . .

Holy shit. This book packs quite the punch. It’s a rollercoaster from beginning to end. I so enjoyed Frankie Leigh and Evan’s story. After reading about them as kids, it was only logical that they would end up together. Their connection was something for the ages.

When Frankie Leigh turned eighteen, she made it clear to Evan that she wanted him in every way. They had been best friends since Evan came into her life when she was five and he was seven. Their connection was immediate and intense, especially for children. As they got older, their feelings morphed into a young love that they didn’t know how to quite handle. Finally Evan gives in to the inevitable and they both know that they can no longer be apart.

Then something happens that makes Evan run. After three long years, he is back. Frankie isn’t sure how she is going to handle his return. She’s over the moon to see him, but at the same time she is still feeling destroyed. She feels that she has been in limbo for three years. At odds. Not knowing where Evan was or even if he arrives. Then he shows up with a child in tow. A child. Something he told her he could never give her. What that tells Frankie is that Evan has moved on. Which devastates her.

Evan only has eyes for Frankie when he walks into his mother’s coffee shop. He didn’t have any intention of returning. Not until a woman he hooked up with a few times showed up with a kid that looked just like him, telling him that she was in trouble and to please protect the child. His only choice at that point is to go home, where his family will rally around him and Everett and do whatever it takes to protect his son.

I don’t even know how to describe the emotion of this book. It’s so intense that I couldn’t sit and read it all the way through. I had to take breaks. The epilogue just about killed me. Frankie Leigh and Evan have been destined for each other since they were children. Now it’s finally time to finish their story. Technically this is considered a standalone, but the Fight for Me series is about Frankie’s parents, Evan’s parents, etc. It will really give you more perspective if you know what both Frankie and Evan have gone through in their lives.

You will not be disappointed in this book. A.L. hit it out of the park with this one.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Fight For Me

four-half-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: Fragile by Shiloh Walker

Posted October 24, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 8 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Fragile by Shiloh WalkerReviewer: Casee
Fragile by Shiloh Walker
Series: Rafferty #1
Also in this series: Fragile
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: February 3, 2009
Format: Print ARC
Source: Author
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 346
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Six years after trading in his combat gear for hospital scrubs, Luke Rafferty is faced with things just as heartbreaking as those on the battlefield. The abused children being brought in by the pretty redheaded social worker tug at his soul like nothing he's ever known.

For Devon Manning, being a social worker is a rewarding job, but also a constant reminder of her own troubled youth. Devon takes everything one day at a time—unable to form a relationship with anyone except the children she rescues.

When Luke meets Devon, he thinks he might have found what he's been looking for, but in order to get the life he wants, Luke has to break through Devon's emotional barriers and make her realize that his healing touch might be just the complication her life needs...

I didn’t really expect to like Devon. She’s exactly the type of heroine that I can’t really get behind. The heroine that doesn’t need anyone except for herself. The “tough-as-nails, I’ll kick your ass before I let you touch me, I don’t need you” heroine. You know the heroine I’m talking about. That’s the type I expected Devon to be, even while I was reading the beginning of the book. And she is that type of heroine, to a certain extent. She’s is tough, but that’s b/c she has to be. She is closed off from men, but she’ll open up to the right man. She needs family and she needs friends. So she was as I expected her to be, yet she was also more.

When it comes to being a social worker, Devon knows that she’s running on fumes. But she won’t give up. She won’t stop b/c there is always one more child to save, one more child that could be looking for what she looked for as a child. A way out; a way to a better place. The part of her job that she hates the most brings Luke Rafferty into her life. As an ER doctor, Luke deals with the worst of the worst. But the kids Devon brings in always tear at his heart the most. As does Devon herself. Luke never thought about settling down until he meets Devon.

Devon has definite problems with intimacy. What I liked about her was that she was willing to discuss it with Luke. She was willing to overcome her fears to be with this man that she knew was special. As for Luke, he knows a victim when he sees one and he can tell that Devon is one. That’s not enough to deter him from a relationship with her. Soon they’re in a full-fledged affair.

Unfortunately Devon’s work brings her into contact with parents that resent her presence in their lives. One case turns violent when Devon helps a teenage boy out of an abusive home. The boy’s father doesn’t take kindly to Devon’s part in taking him away.

The circumstances force Devon and Luke to get close faster than either of them anticipated. Basically there are two storylines going on here. That was a little much for me. I understand why they were both necessary. They were each there to throw the reader in the opposite direction. I can appreciate that. So even though it was a little over the top, Shiloh made it work.

I was glad there wasn’t a paranormal aspect to this book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rafferty

four-stars


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Review: The Play by Elle Kennedy

Posted October 23, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Play by Elle KennedyReviewer: Rowena
The Play by Elle Kennedy
Series: Briar U #3
Also in this series: The Chase (Briar U, #1), The Risk (Briar U #2)
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: October 7, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Author
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 422
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A brand-new standalone novel in the New York Times bestselling Briar U series!

What I learned after last year’s distractions cost my hockey team our entire season? No more screwing up. No more screwing, period. As the new team captain, I need a new philosophy: hockey and school now, women later. Which means that I, Hunter Davenport, am officially going celibate…no matter how hard that makes things.

But there’s nothing in the rulebook that says I can’t be friends with a woman. And I won’t lie—my new classmate Demi Davis is one cool chick. Her smart mouth is hot as hell, and so is the rest of her, but the fact that she’s got a boyfriend eliminates the temptation to touch her.

Except three months into our friendship, Demi is single and looking for a rebound.

And she’s making a play for me.

Avoiding her is impossible. We’re paired up on a yearlong school project, but I’m confident I can resist her. We’d never work, anyway. Our backgrounds are too different, our goals aren’t aligned, and her parents hate my guts.

Hooking up is a very bad idea. Now I just have to convince my body—and my heart.

The Play is the third book in Elle Kennedy’s Briar U series. We’re finally getting Hunter’s book. If you read the previous books in this series then you’ll remember Hunter. He got his heart broken by Summer in the first book and then he turned into a little playboy that pissed off the wrong guy and got his wrist broken in the second book but now he’s back and he’s finally getting his own person in the third book. I’m going to be honest and tell you guys that Hunter was not my favorite person in the last book, hell, even in the first book. He was super immature and I just wasn’t a fan but holy cow did he win me over in this book. I freaking adored him and I loved his friendship with Demi. I also really enjoyed the banter between Hunter and Demi and Hunter’s nickname for her. I cracked up every single time that he called her Semi.

That was the thing with this book that I just completely adored. The dialogue. I read a lot and not a lot of people can write realistic and really good dialogue between every character in their stories. Elle Kennedy can. I fall into whatever conversation happens in her books and that’s why I continue to love the hell out of them. This book is no different. Hunter and Demi were fabulous characters on their own but they were even better together and I really dug that.

Hunter’s character really came around for me. Like I said, I was not a big Hunter fan in the previous books but Elle turned things around for me where Hunter was concerned and I was here for all of his shenanigans. The whole celibacy thing cracked me up because it was SO extra but I really loved seeing Hunter have his teammates back, I loved seeing him care for Pablo and seeing him get closer with Demi. The whole psychology project that they were working on together was interesting and I enjoyed seeing Hunter play his role.

Demi was everything that I like in a New Adult heroine. She was strong, smart, and sexy without being boring and bitchy so I really appreciated Elle Kennedy’s efforts where Demi was concerned. I also liked that Demi was part Latina but an Americanized Latina. I know a lot of girls who come from diverse backgrounds but grew up in America so they don’t speak their native tongue as much anymore or they just never learned the language so I didn’t mind that we got a diverse heroine who was still pretty American. Demi could have been me, just Cuban instead of Samoan. I’m as brown as brown can be but I don’t speak Samoan often so I’m not exactly fluent in Samoan anymore.

There were two things that drove me crazy with this book and they were Demi’s parents and Demi’s ex-boyfriend. Actually, it was more Demi’s father than her mother but when he completely disregarded her feelings about sharing their family holiday with her cheating ex-boyfriend’s family, it pissed me off. Then when he shows up at school to tell Hunter off, that pissed me off too. I’m really glad that Hunter was able to get through to the father and make him see things from Demi’s point-of-view because I wanted to push Demi’s dad right off the roof. Don’t even get me started on Nico, the cheating ex-boyfriend. I just found him to be so miserably blah. I didn’t care for his character at all so when Demi was finally done with him, I was glad.

Overall, this book was a good one. It definitely engaged all of my feelings. My heart hurt for Hunter and finding out about his parents and home life. I was mad at Demi for her part in the shenanigans with Hunter’s celibacy. I was pissed to high heaven that Nico and his friends jumped Hunter and everything that happened with Nico but I rejoiced like crazy when they finally admitted to each other that they loved each other and I really loved when Demi became a part of the off-campus apartment dynamic. I enjoyed this one a lot though The Risk is still my favorite of the bunch. Still, if you’re a fan of Elle Kennedy’s books, a fan of the off-campus and Briar U series then you should definitely read this one. It’s good, I promise!

Final Grade

4.25 out of 5

Briar U

four-stars


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Review: Moonlighter by Sarina Bowen

Posted October 22, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Moonlighter by Sarina BowenReviewer: Rowena
Moonlighter by Sarina Bowen
Series: The Company #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: October 22, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 370
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Dear readers, good news! Hockey player Eric Bayer is getting his own story. And it’s the start of a new series, too!

Only in my family could a professional hockey player earning seven million dollars a year be considered a slacker.I’m at the height of my athletic career. Yet my arrogant brother is still trying to recruit me into the family business: a global security agency so secretive that I don’t even know its name. Pass, thanks. I don’t need a summer job. But the jerk ambushes me with a damsel in distress. That damsel is Alex, the sassy, pushy girl I knew when we were kids. Now she’s a drop-dead gorgeous woman in deep trouble.So guess who’s on a flight to Hawaii?It’s going to be a long week in paradise. My job is keeping Alex safe, while her job seems is torturing me with her bikini collection. Or maybe we’re torturing each other. So the question becomes: who will crack first? And when our tropical fling is over, can I give her up?

Moonlighter jump starts a new series from Sarina Bowen. The series name is The Company and it’s a spin-off from her Brooklyn Bruisers series. Moonlighter is Brooklyn Bruiser Eric Bayer’s book and in it, we delve into his family business. His family business is reuniting him with an old friend that didn’t even remember him the last time that they came across each other. But she needs his help and his family has roped him into helping her. So he goes to Hawaii with her to pretend to be her boyfriend, to protect her from an abusive ex-boyfriend.

I was looking forward to this book ever since I found out we were getting it. Ever since reading Overnight Sensation, I wanted to know where Bayer disappeared to. He was there in the beginning and then he gets hurt, goes to stay at his Dad’s house and we never see him again so I remember thinking, where did he go? What is he doing? Well, all of my questions were answered with this book.

Sarina Bowen is really good at her job because I was entertained from beginning to end with this book. I enjoyed Eric’s backstory, I enjoyed Alex’s backstory, I enjoyed their shared history and the little bits of it that we learn and I enjoyed the romance between Bayer and Alex. Sure, there were a time or two when I wanted to smack some sense into both Erice and Alex but for the most part, this was another fabulous contemporary romance that I lost myself in on a lazy weekend.

Eric was exactly the hero that I knew he was going to be and that’s a good thing because I adored him in the Brooklyn Bruiser books that we saw him in. When he got hurt, I felt for him and when he disappeared, I missed him. He was a solid secondary character and an even more solid main character. I liked the differences between him and his brother Max and I really enjoyed seeing him come into his own with regards to his family life. He grew up feeling left out because he didn’t share the same aspirations to join his father’s security company as Max did. Seeing him really grow into his feelings for Alex made for such a delightful reading experience and I’m super glad that I read this one.

Alex was a pretty solid heroine herself. She was smart, strong, and filthy rich…but she didn’t have a perfect life. I liked seeing Alex really take charge of her situation. She didn’t let herself stay down, she was smart enough to surround herself with people who were invested in her safety and she was strong enough to really make a go of life as a single mother. Sure, she was rich as shit and could afford to surround herself with people who kept her safe but she had a good head on her shoulders and a caring heart that I really connected with. She put her foot in her mouth plenty of times but she wasn’t mean and she always went out of her way to make things right. I admired that.

The set up for this series wasn’t really there for me. Like, I know that Max and Scout will probably get a book but I didn’t really get a feel for them as individuals or even just get a feel for what the following books would be like but overall, I still really enjoyed the romance between Eric and Alex and I’ll continue to read whatever Sarina Bowen puts out because she’s Sarina Bowen and I always read Sarina Bowen books. This book was a delight and if you’re a fan of the Brooklyn Bruisers series, or hell, any book by Sarina Bowen, I have every faith that you’ll enjoy this one too so give it a go. You know you want to. 😉

Final Grade

4.25 out of 5

The Company

four-stars


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