Source: NetGalley

Guest Review: Tempting Fate by Kerrigan Byrne

Posted May 12, 2021 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Tempting Fate by Kerrigan ByrneReviewer: Tracy
Tempting Fate by Kerrigan Byrne
Series: Goode Girls #4
Publisher: Oliver-Heber Books
Publication Date: May 11, 2021
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 236
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Disfigured in fighting pits as a lad, Gabriel Sauvageau has lived his entire life without the touch of a woman. As the brains and brawn behind London’s most ferocious smuggling syndicate, he knows he doesn’t deserve shy, bespectacled Felicity Goode. But that doesn’t stop him from watching her. Guarding her.
Wondering if her gentle touch would soothe his savage soul.
Though she wiles away hours immersed in the pages of romance novels, shy and anxious Felicity Goode has vowed never to become a bride. How can she share a life—not to mention a bed—with a man if she can’t bring herself to share a simple conversation without trembling and stuttering? Once news of her obscene inheritance circulates through the ton, she is barraged not only by a slew of suitors, but also several distressing threats against her life.
What she needs is a bodyguard.
The large, scarred ruffian she finds on her stoop is exactly what she has been looking for.
So why does his presence make her tremble in ways that have nothing to do with fear?

Felicity is the youngest of four girls.  Her parents have died and her siblings have married.  She is now not only in charge of her household, she’s in charge of her father’s fortune.  His will specifies it is all hers, including his shipping business, if she marries a title – but only if it’s a Viscount or higher.  (He’s not asking for much, really.)  Unfortunately, Felicity isn’t the type to care about titles – she’s a quiet, kind, giving person who wants to work in her garden and take care of those she loves.

When Felicity is attacked she puts an advertisement in the paper looking for men who can be her personal protection.  She finds Gareth Severand in her yard and brings him in for an interview.  When Gareth finds out why she needs protection, he immediately wants the position.  Felicity hires him and moves him into her house.

Gareth is actually named Gabriel Savageau.  He and his brother Raphael ran a notorious smuggling ring until they decided to get out of the business.  Both Raphael and Gabriel then faked their own deaths. Raphael is married to Mercy, Felicity’s sister.  The first time Gabriel saw Felicity he knew she was his, but at the time his face was disfigured.  He has since had reconstructive surgery and was only at Felicity’s house to have one last look at her before he left the country.  Obviously, he gets waylaid and is more than happy to protect her from whomever is out to hurt her.

Gareth and Felicity work to find out who keeps attacking Felicity and why.  Gareth believes it is his old second in command, Marco, out to get Felicity to get to Gabriel.  But there are other forces at work and many secrets being hidden from Felicity and Gareth.

I really enjoyed this story.  I hadn’t read the first three books in this series, so I wasn’t sure if this was “standalone” enough for me to fall in.  Luckily for me, it was, and I was able to enjoy the story without feeling like I was left in the dark about some things.

I really enjoyed Felicity in this story.  Even though she’s pretty low-key, she stands up for what she believes in and is fiercely loyal to those she loves.  She had her hang-up, but she didn’t let them take over her life and rule it.

Gabriel was not someone I thought I would enjoy as a hero, but he worked for me.  He loved Felicity and was willing to do what needed to be done, and change what needed to change in order to be with her.  Luckily for him, he didn’t need to change that much.

Overall it was a great story. Byrne added a twist at the end that I wasn’t expecting and that was a nice surprise.  In the end I was quite happy I read the book.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: Heart and Seoul by Jen Frederick

Posted May 10, 2021 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Heart and Seoul by Jen FrederickReviewer: Rowena
Heart and Seoul by Jen Frederick
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: May 11, 2021
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 352
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Rowena's 2021 Review Pile Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars

From USA Today bestselling author Jen Frederick comes a heart-wrenching yet hopeful romance that shows that the price of belonging is often steeper than expected.

As a Korean adoptee, Hara Wilson doesn’t need anyone telling her she looks different from her white parents. She knows. Every time Hara looks in the mirror, she’s reminded that she doesn’t look like anyone else in her family—not her loving mother, Ellen; not her jerk of a father, Pat; and certainly not like Pat’s new wife and new “real” son.

At the age of twenty-five, she thought she had come to terms with it all, but when her father suddenly dies, an offhand comment at his funeral triggers an identity crisis that has her running off to Seoul in search of her roots.

What Hara finds there has all the makings of a classic K-drama: a tall, mysterious stranger who greets her at the airport, spontaneous adventures across the city, and a mess of familial ties, along with a red string of destiny that winds its way around her heart and soul. Hara goes to Korea looking for answers, but what she gets instead is love—a forbidden love that will either welcome Hara home…or destroy her chance of finding one.

Heart and Seoul is about the emotional journey of Hara Wilson. Hara was abandoned when she was just a baby, outside of a police station in South Korea. She was adopted and raised by Pat and Ellen Wilson in Des Moines, Iowa. She grew up being the only Korean in a sea of white faces and she was uncomfortable being the only one that didn’t look like everyone else. Being teased about the way she looks, the way she smells and the Korean food her Mom tried to make for her made her want nothing to do with being Korean. So when you grow up rejecting your ethnicity, when it finally hits you in the face that no matter how far you run away from what you are, it doesn’t change a hot damn thing.

When she hears an offhand comment at her father’s funeral, Hara begins to question who she is and becomes curious about where she comes from so she books a trip to Seoul to find some answers for herself. What she finds over there is a whole lot more than she bargained for and her life is upended. The truth about her present, the truth about her past, and where she goes from here is enough to drive anyone crazy and it’s driving Hara crazy. Her entire life has been thrown for a loop and she spends the whole of this book trying to sort through how she feels about the truths uncovered and it hurt my heart more than once.

Getting to know Hara reminded me a lot of myself when I was younger. Growing up in the states, as a person of color, your culture is always weird and the food you eat, the way that your home is set up is always a discussion that made me feel uncomfortable with my white friends. So I understood Hara when she said that she rejected being Korean in Iowa. I did pretty much the same thing when I was in high school because it was easier to blend in when you liked the same things that everyone else did. I remember getting so embarrassed when my Mom and Dad would speak Samoan when they came to my school or if we were out and about. I just wanted them to blend in with everyone else around us and speak English. Like Hara, I finally wised up and decided that blending in and denying that I’m Samoan was not something I wanted to do anymore. I never hated being Samoan, I just hid it when around my non-Samoan friends. So I really connected with everything Hara went through in this story. My heart went out to her and I rooted for her to really come into her own.

The love interest in this one melted me a little and I pictured Park Seo Joon from What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim as Choi Yu Jun. I liked seeing him try to woo Hara and I really enjoyed seeing him try to get Hara to understand that no matter where she grew up or how little she knew about the Korean culture, she was still Korean. Nobody could take that away from her and their romance was just super cute and I enjoyed it.

I will say that while I did really enjoy the story and Hara’s journey, there were parts of this story that I felt weren’t needed and kind of dragged the story a bit. There was a lot going on with Hara’s trip and everything she was going through internally that a lot of the stuff that happened directly to her felt unnecessary. I was also not super thrilled with the ending. It felt too unresolved. I get that this was more of a women’s fiction story than a romance but I really just needed more of a solid resolution to everything that happened at the end. I’m wondering if there’s going to be a follow-up book to this one. I’m so on board for another one if that’s the plan.

Final Grade

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Review: Heart on a Leash by Alanna Martin

Posted April 26, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Heart on a Leash by Alanna MartinReviewer: Holly
Heart on a Leash by Alanna Martin
Series: Hearts of Alaska #1
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: April 27, 2021
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third Person
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 368
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2021 Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2021 New to Me Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

A pack of rescue huskies inspires love and romance in a coastal Alaskan town fractured by feuding families—but can young pups really teach frozen hearts new tricks?

Taylor Lipin has made it her life's mission to leave her hometown and its ridiculous, century-old feud with the Porters behind. But when her sister needs help running the family inn, Taylor agrees to return to Helen, Alaska on a temporary, definitely not longer than two weeks, basis. Or so she thinks, until she's quite literally swept off her feet and into enemy territory by three happy huskies and their drool-worthy owner, Dr. Josh Krane.

Though Josh didn't grow up in Helen with the rest of his Porter cousins, he's heard the stories: Porters rescue huskies. The Lipins are cat people. Keep to your pack. But Taylor is too tempting to give up—plus, his dogs love her.

As Taylor and Josh grow closer, tensions in the town escalate and the need for secrecy starts taking a toll. Soon they'll need to decide whether their newfound love is just a summer fling or if they've found their forever home.

I adopted a husky puppy a few months ago, so the cover and blurb immediately caught my attention. I was a little sad the puppies didn’t play a larger part in the story (they were present, but I thought they’d have more on page time or play a larger role), but they were still cute and made this a fun read.

Taylor Lipin left home for college and never looked back. She’s happy living in California – until her sister calls to tell her their parents are getting a divorce and she needs to come back home to help out with the family Inn. Taylor has no intention of agreeing, but an unexpected layoff means she has no good reason to refuse. She’s determined to find another job ASAP, so she doesn’t have to deal with her crazy town and a wacky family feud between her family and another in town. Of course she never planned for a hot romance with Dr. Josh Krane…

Josh moved to Helen, Alaska after medical school to take part in a loan forgiveness program – if he works in Helen for 5 years a major part of his student debt will be forgiven. He didn’t expect to love it, but the town has grown on him. Sure, they have some weird quirks – like that strange family feud – but overall the town is charming. It becomes even better when Taylor moves back. Josh is immediately smitten, but their families are on opposite sides of the feud and no one is happy about them being together.

I liked both Taylor and Josh. I thought their romance was cute. They had really fun, witty banter that made for an easy read. But I had two major issues with this story.

1) Taylor is allergic to dogs and Josh has 3 very fluffy huskies. She mentioned, several times, needing to take her allergy meds to be comfortable around them. I love dogs and I completely understand why she’d want to spend time with them. But spending a few hours with them is not the same as living with them full time. I realize it’s a fictional story, but I kept thinking about how uncomfortable it would be to live your every day life like that. If she and Josh end up married, she’s going to take allergy meds every day for the rest of her life just to be comfortable in her own house? I don’t know, that seemed like a stretch.

2) The family feud was ridiculous. It wasn’t just an argument between two families that was out of control. It was a multi-generational thing that included violence. I expected something kind of light-hearted based on the cover/blurb, but it was very toxic and awful. I was very dissatisfied with the lack of resolution on that score. Breaking and entering, vandalism, smear campaigns against Taylor and Josh both from members of their families…it was horrible. Having that as the mail conflict really took away from the romance and my overall enjoyment.

I enjoyed parts of this story and thought there were some really cute elements, but the family feud thing really made it hard to get through. I don’t know if I’ll continue the series.

Rating: 3.25 out of 5

three-stars


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Review: Reckless Road by Christine Feehan

Posted February 10, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Reckless Road by Christine FeehanReviewer: Casee
Reckless Road by Christine Feehan
Series: Torpedo Ink #5
Also in this series: Judgment Road , Judgment Road, Vengeance Road, Vendetta Road, Desolation Road
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: February 9, 2021
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 480
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
two-half-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

Refuel your passion with a new installment of the Torpedo Ink series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan.

While Gedeon "Player" Lazaroff is one of Torpedo Ink motorcycle club's roughest members, he's also one of the calmest. Little rattles Player, except for the times his gift gets the better of him. When that happens, he has to just lie down in the dark and hope for the best. But on a night when he's on the verge of losing it, he meets a woman who manages to soothe his fractured mind.

Zyah is a striking, ethereal beauty who seduces him with every word and move. Their night together is one of pure, exquisite bliss. But when Player gets confused and thinks their intimate encounter was nothing more than a dream, his careless dismissal leaves her humiliated and angry.

Now, Player will have to devote his every breath to convincing Zyah to give him a second chance. Because she might be the only one who can save him from himself....

I think I’m done with this series. Actually, I’m not going to lie to myself. I’ve been dying to read Savage’s book since the beginning of this series. I had a very hard time reading Desolation Road, which I was really excited about. I wasn’t really expecting much from Reckless Road and I’m glad I didn’t because I could hardly stand reading it.

Player has always been the upbeat member of Torpedo Ink. He’s able to cast illusions and did so to give himself and the other kids in the prison hope. Then his psychic power started to morph into something else; something far more dangerous. Not only could Player cast illusions, but his illusions could turn into an alternate reality. When he’s in an alternate reality, it changes what happens in the real world, which is dangerous for everyone in the actual world.

Zyah was actually a very likable heroine. I enjoyed her immensely. That doesn’t mean I liked the book. See, Zyah can literally feel the earth under her feet. The day she meets Player, she knows he’s the one for her. Unfortunately he treats her like a piece of ass and Zyah wants nothing more to do with him.

Player realizes that he messed up the next morning. He remembers how he sent the woman away, but he thought it was all a dream. He had never had anything so beautiful come into his life and he wrecked it. It doesn’t matter what Zyah thinks of him, he will protect her and her grandmother at all costs when a group of roaming thieves start targeting the elderly in Caspar. Caspar is protected by Torpedo Ink and that means its residents are protected too.

I did enjoy the romance between Player and Zyah, but there were so many big misunderstandings that it was like reading a Judith McNaught book. Sweet baby Jesus, just get on the same page. I still have this niggling feeling in the back of my mind that Christine Feehan has turned her writing over to a ghost writer or someone is assisting her in writing. The writing just isn’t the same. I realize that writing may change over the course of an author’s career, but this much? I’m a sceptic.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Torpedo Ink

two-half-stars


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Guest Review: Hit Me With Your Best Scot by Suzanne Enoch

Posted February 8, 2021 by Tracy in Reviews | 3 Comments

Guest Review: Hit Me With Your Best Scot by Suzanne EnochReviewer: Tracy
Hit Me With Your Best Scot by Suzanne Enoch
Series: Wild Wicked Highlanders #3
Also in this series: It's Getting Scot in Here
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Publication Date: February 9, 2021
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 352
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

The MacTaggert brothers have one task:Find English brides or lose their land!

Coll MacTaggert, Viscount Glendarril, is a big, brawny Highlander who doesn’t like being told what to do—not even by his exasperated English mother who is determined to see her eldest son wedded and bedded. However, when he comes to the rescue of an irresistibly beautiful woman, Coll discovers that he may have found his perfect match…

The challenge isn’t that Persephone Jones is famous, wealthy, independent, and smarter than anyone he knows. The problem is that she is not interested in marrying any man---especially not a hot-headed Scot—even if he is the only man who seems to understand who she really is even when she’s not sure herself. When Coll learns that Persephone is actually a lady-in-hiding and someone is willing to kill her for what she stands to inherit…Well, Coll has never been one to turn down a fight. When hearts are involved, nothing comes between a Highlander and his lady.

Coll McTaggert is trying to escape his mother’s matchmaking, once again, at the theatre.  He escapes backstage after greasing the doorman’s palm.  There he witnesses the amazing Persephone Jones.  The couple of times he’d been to the theatre he’s been running away from his mother so had never seen a production. Viewing it from the side stage gave him an interesting view of the woman he can’t take his eyes off.

Coll soon finds out that she’s “spoken for” but when he finds that she’s not as spoken for as the gentleman made it seem, Coll comes to the rescue.  He then devises a plan to protect her from her many admirers and keep his mother off of his back by telling her that he’s engaged to an actress. Oh, the horror!

What starts off as just a bit of a jest ends up turning to true protection when Coll and Persie find out that someone’s trying to kill her.  Not only do they have to find a killer but Coll has to figure out what his true feelings for Persie are the more time they spend together.

Ms. Enoch did not disappoint in this book.  I have to admit that throughout the series I wasn’t a huge fan of Colls.  I mean, I get why he’s so upset.  He’s being forced into marriage in order to save his people, which might be fine if it didn’t have to be an Englishwoman!  That’s the part that sticks in his craw.  Maybe if it was a Scottish woman he would be slightly less antagonistic, but probably not. Lol  Despite the fact that he wasn’t my favorite McTaggert, I liked this story a lot.

Persie and Coll were great together and their story was intriguing.  Their relationship and the mystery of who was trying to kill Persie kept me turning pages.  Top that with Coll’s mother’s reaction to Coll and an actress?  Fireworks. 😊

In the end I was quite happy with how the story turned out and I had a very enjoyable time reading it.

Rating 4 out of 5

Wild Wicked Highlanders

four-stars


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