Source: Library

Review: Shadows by Suzanne Wright

Posted January 22, 2024 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Shadows by Suzanne WrightReviewer: Holly
Shadows by Suzanne Wright
Narrator: Cat Doucette
Series: The Dark in You #5
Also in this series: Blaze , Ashes , Omens
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing, Piatkus
Publication Date: July 30, 2019
Format: Audiobook, eBook
Source: Library, Purchased
Pages: 372
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Series Rating: four-stars

A match made in hell?

Devon and Tanner fight like... well, cats and dogs. Which, to be fair, makes sense since hellcats and hellhounds aren't exactly a match made in heaven. Unfortunately, their demons' antipathy towards each other is matched only by the red-hot sexual tension between Tanner and Devon. It's driving them - and their long-suffering friends Harper and Knox - mad.

When Devon is nearly kidnapped, Tanner's protective instincts kick into overdrive - he's sticking by her side, day and night. But staying so close means their hunger can no longer be denied - they know their demons won't accept the match, but after one red-hot night they'll fight to stay together for as long as they can. But shadows are gathering around them - Devon's would-be kidnapper is still on the loose, a serial killer carrying rage from a twisted past threatens the lair - and most of all, Tanner and Devon are losing themselves to the heat between them. When this relationship goes up in flames, it could be a blaze that neither of them can walk away from . . .

As with the other books in the series, I purchased the ebook and requested the audiobook from the library so I could switch between reading and listening. The narrator isn’t my favorite (some of the voices she uses for various characters are kind of annoying), but she doesn’t bother me enough not to listen when I’m not able to read.

This is the first book featuring a new couple. Both Tanner and Devon featured prettily heavily in the previous books, so I felt like I had a good baseline for their story going into this. Devin is a Hellcat and Tanner is a Hellhound, and their beasts won’t accept each other. That’s why they’ve been circling around each other instead of doing something about all their sexual tension. Until Devin is kidnapped – then Tanner and his demon are determined to keep her safe and claim her as their own. Too bad she isn’t convinced…

I’m glad that we’re going single couple HEAs now for the rest of the series. I liked both Tanner and Devon and I enjoyed learning more about them and seeing them come together as a couple.

Rating: 3.75

Dark in You


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Review: Touched by Fire by Kel Carpenter

Posted July 3, 2023 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Touched by Fire by Kel CarpenterReviewer: Holly
Touched by Fire by Kel Carpenter
Narrator: Savannah Gilmore, Adam Gold
Series: Demons of New Chicago #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: October 1, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 332
Length: 7 hours and 5 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
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Series Rating: four-stars

For a decade, I’ve hated the supernaturals who owned my world.
I hunted them.I killed them.
And now, in the most grand twist of fate—I am bonded to one of them.
Oh, the irony.
Being a supernatural bounty hunter isn’t exactly a popular job. But after the magic wars, there aren’t many things a human can do that will put food on the table.
Thankfully anything my right hook can’t handle, my guns can.
Or so I thought.
When a demon summoning runs awry, the being that comes into this world changes everything.
I’m not sure if he’s truly a demon or a god, but one thing I do know is that he’s after me. I’d like to see him try.
I’ve got a promise to fulfill, and I’m not backing down.
The only way out of this is his death or mine, and I’ll do anything to survive.
Even if that means making a deal with the devil.
If you can’t get enough of books by Ella Summers, Annette Marie, Shannon Mayer, Deborah Wilde, K.F. Breene, Jeaniene Frost, Kelly St. Clare, and Linsey Hall then dive right in to the dangerous depths of New Chicago. Beware of headstrong heroines with snark. These ladies don’t bark. They bite.

This was a Kindle recommended read. The premise was interesting so I figured I’d give it a try.

Piper is a bounty hunter who specializes in those who are hardest to bring in. She has the highest kill count of any other bounty hunter out there, which makes her a prime candidate to take out a coven of witches who are determined to summon a demon. When her boss tells her stop the summoning and make an example of the coven, she realizes this is her chance to finally get answers about her past. Only she isn’t expecting the leader of the coven to be the man responsible for killing her family, or the demon he summons to claim she’s his mate. Now on the run from her shady boss and the demon, she has to figure out how to save her sister and get herself out of the mess she’s in.

I enjoyed the story and Piper, the FMC, though I did struggle with the info dumps and the way the writing seemed to drag on in places. The world-building was well done, but I couldn’t help but feel like there was a lot of extra that could have been cut. This ended on a cliffhanger and I am looking forward to the next book, but I’m hoping it’ll be a touch shorter.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Demons of New Chicago


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Review: Maggie Moves On by Lucy Score

Posted May 8, 2023 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Maggie Moves On by Lucy ScoreReviewer: Holly
Maggie Moves On by Lucy Score
Narrator: Emma Wilder
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: June 21, 2022
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 416
Length: 13 hours and 41 minutes
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Can these opposites turn up the heat… without burning down the house?
House-flipping sensation and YouTube star Maggie Nichols can’t wait to dig into her next challenge. Arriving in tiny Kinship, Idaho, with only a cot and a coffeemaker, Maggie is prepared to restore a crumbling Victorian mansion in four months or less. She has her to-do lists, her blueprints, and her team. What she doesn’t have is time for sexy, laid-back landscaper Silas Wright.
The man takes flirtation to a whole new level. And he does it shirtless…sometimes pants-less. He and his service school-dropout dog are impressively persistent. But she’s not interested in putting down roots. Not when fans tune in to watch her travel the country turning dilapidated houses into dream homes. A short-term fling on the other hand could fit nicely into her calendar. After all, Maggie remembers what fun is like. Vaguely.
As their summer gets downright steamy, Silas manages to demolish the emotional walls she’s spent years building, sending Maggie into a panic. He’s the wrench in her carefully constructed plans. With the end of the project looming, she has a decision to make. But how can she stay when her entire career is built on moving on?

Maggie Moves On is a single-title romance by Lucy Score. I wanted something to listen to on my daily commute, so I requested the audiobook from the library. I ended up purchasing the ebook because I got impatient to finish the story. I didn’t love the narrator. Her voices for secondary characters were amazing, but I didn’t love her regular narration.

Maggie Nichols has made a name for herself as a YouTuber who flips houses. Her latest project is a crumbling Victorian in a small town in Idaho. She’s not the type to settle down, but she can’t deny her attraction to the sexy landscape architect she’s hired to help get the grounds in order. Silas is bowled over by Maggie from the start. He’s determined to break down her defenses and get her to see that they could have a future, even if neither of them knows what that looks like right now. Between his adorable dog, some feisty older folks and a bit of teenager angst, the town soon works its magic on Maggie…even if she isn’t quite convinced she doesn’t have to move on.

This was an adorable romance. I enjoyed both MCs. They both had humor and heart, which made for an engaging read. Their banter was especially fun and I literally laughed out loud a couple times at Silas. The whole town really came to life and I loved the relationship Maggie had with her business partner, Dean.

I did think the book was a bit long and there were times I was frustrated with the lack of communication, but overall I enjoyed it. I was sad when it ended.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

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Review: The Duchess Hunt by Lorraine Heath

Posted December 5, 2022 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: The Duchess Hunt by Lorraine HeathReviewer: Holly
The Duchess Hunt by Lorraine Heath
Series: Once Upon a Dukedom #2
Also in this series: The Duchess Hunt
Publisher: Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: September 28, 2021
Format: Audiobook, eBook
Source: Library, Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
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Series Rating: four-stars

New York Times bestselling author Lorraine Heath continues her Once Upon a Dukedom series with this lush love story of a duke who discovers what he desires in a wife may not be what he needs...
Hugh Brinsley-Norton, the Duke of Kingsland, is in need of a duchess. However, restoring the dukedom—left in ruins by his father—to its former glory demands all his time, with little room for sentiment. He places an advert encouraging the single ladies of the ton to write why they should be the one chosen, and leaves it to his efficient secretary to select his future wife.
If there exists a more unpleasant task in the world than deciding who is to marry the man you love, Penelope Pettypeace certainly can’t imagine what it might be. Still, she is determined to find the perfect bride for her clueless, yet ruthlessly charming employer.
But when an anonymous note threatens to reveal truths best hidden, Kingsland has no choice but to confront the danger with Penelope at his side. Beguiled by the strong-willed, courageous beauty, he realizes he’s willing to risk everything, including his heart, to keep her safe within his arms. Could it be the duchess he’s hunting for has been in front of him all along?

The Duchess Hunt is the second book in the Once Upon a Dukedom series. I switched between reading and listening. The narrator, Kate Reading, is a personal favorite.

The Duke of Kingsland needs a wife, but he can’t be bothered with trying to find one on his own, so he puts an advert in the Times and asks anyone interested in becoming his duchess to send him a letter with their qualifications. Naturally, everyone is interested as he’s a duke. When his first choice falls in love with another man, he gives the task of choosing the runner up to his secretary, Miss Penelope Pettypeace.

Penelope has been in love with Kingsland forever, but it’s a quiet kind of love. She’s damn good and her job and loves what she does. She isn’t willing to compromise that for a love that can never be. So she dedicates herself to finding the right girl to be the future Duchess. Things are going well until suddenly the duke seems to notices her as a woman. Where before he treated her well, but just like any other person in his employ, all of a sudden he’s treating her as a woman first. When something threatens to expose secrets neither want revealed, they both realize things are more complicated between them than they ever knew.

This was a great unrequited love story. Penelope was a lovely character. Her steadfastness and attention to detail really came through. She may have been in love with the duke, but it wasn’t a starry-eyed kind of thing. These were two adults who respected one another and I loved that. While I enjoyed the first book in the series, this is definitely my favorite so far.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

Once Upon a Dukedom


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Lightning Review: Darkness Dawns by Dianne Duvall

Posted July 11, 2022 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Lightning Review: Darkness Dawns by Dianne DuvallReviewer: Holly
Darkness Dawns by Dianne Duvall
Narrator: Kirsten Potter
Series: Immortal Guardians #1
Also in this series: Darkness Dawns, In Still Darkness
Publisher: Kensington
Publication Date: February 1, 2011
Format: Audiobook, eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited, Library
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 345
Length: 10 hours and 39 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
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Series Rating: three-stars

In this dazzling, sensual novel, Dianne Duvall beckons readers into a world of vampires, immortals, and humans with extraordinary gifts…where passion can last forever, if you’re willing to pay the price…

Once, Sarah Bingham’s biggest challenge was making her students pay attention in class. Now, after rescuing a wounded stranger, she’s landed in the middle of a battle between corrupt vampires and powerful immortals who also need blood to survive. Roland Warbrook is the most compelling man Sarah has ever laid hands on. But his desire for her is mingled with a hunger he can barely control…

In his nine centuries of immortal existence, no woman has tempted Roland as much as Sarah. But asking her to love him is impossible—when it means forfeiting the world she’s always known, and the life he would do anything to protect...

Darkness Dawns by Dianne Duvall is the first book in the Immortal Guardians series. I read the spinoff series, The Aldebarian Alliance, first, then picked this up to see what I missed. I listened to the audiobook, which narrated by Kirsten Potter, a favorite of mine.

Sarah is a professor on break for the summer. She’s leaving electronics behind and focusing on growing a garden and decompressing. She’s doing some late night gardening when she comes across a man being attacked. She comes to his aid and brings him home. Roland is a centuries old Immortal Guardian. His colleagues and friends call him “anti-social”, but he has good reason to keep away from people and trust no one. Except Sarah gets under his skin. He doesn’t want to want her, but he can’t stop himself. When it becomes apparent that Sarah may be in danger for her part in helping him, he knows he’ll have to keep her with him. If only he and his brethren weren’t Immortal Vampire Slayers she knows nothing about.

I liked this story, but I thought the romance came on pretty fast. Sarah learned about the existence of paranormal beings and fell in love with one in like a day. That aside, the world building was good and I’m excited for the next book.

Rating: 3.25 out of 5

Immortal Guardians


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