Source: Purchased

Review: Say It’s Forever by A.L. Jackson

Posted May 16, 2022 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Say It’s Forever by A.L. JacksonReviewer: Casee
Say It's Forever by A. L. Jackson
Narrator: Andi Arndt, Joe Arden
Series: Redemption Hills #2
Also in this series: Give Me a Reason
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: March 28, 2022
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 414
Length: 11 hours and 33 minutes
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

Jud Lawson found me stranded in the rain.
Broken down on the side of the road in a deserted neighborhood with my piece of crap car.
I wasn't looking for a hero, and definitely not one who looks like him.
An obscenely hot, mountain-of-a-man who screams danger.
But I have little choice other than climbing onto the back of his bike.

One look at Salem Aguilar, and I'm hooked.
The girl is devastation wrapped in a black, seductive bow.
A knockout.
A dream.
Turns out, she needs a job, and I need the help.
Now I have a vixen strutting around my shop, and I'm the fool who's itching to reach out and take what he can't have.

But neither of us can ignore the burning attraction.
The fire that leads to a kiss.
A kiss that has us falling into my bed.
The connection that has me wanting the one thing I'd never thought I could have again.
Because monsters like me don't deserve love.

Only Salem has a secret, too.
She's been running for years, and her past just caught up to us...

Salem Aguilar is on the run from a husband that wants her dead. After four years of running, her brother talked her into coming to Redemption Hills & starting over. To say that Salem is nervous about staying in one place is an understatement. She has been on the run for so long, it’s hard for her to stay in one place for very long. It was a rainy night when her car broke down and her knight came to the rescue. Initially she’s very wary of Jud, which isn’t surprising. She learns that not only is a he a good person, but he is a genuinely good human. That doesn’t mean she’ll take a handout, so she talks Jud into letting her work for him in his office.

Jud is tortured af. He lost the thing that meant the most to him in this world. For years he’s been waiting, hoping that his ex-wife will bring his daughter back to him. Letting Salem and her little girl into his life is something that he is very leery of, but he can’t stay away from Salem anymore than he can stop himself from loving her little girl.

I read this book when it first came out, then I listened to it on audio. Andi Arndt & Joe Arden are two of my favorite narrators, so I was really excited to listen to it. It didn’t disappoint, in fact the audio was better. I really feel that I’m not doing this book justice in this review. It’s been a minute since I read it, but I still remember that it stayed with me for days after. Salem is such a strong female character. She’s been keeping herself & her daughter safe for the last four years. Jud wants to take some of the burden off her, but she doesn’t know how to let him.

I loved Jud & Salem together. I loved being able to see Trent, Eden, Gage, & Logan. I am so excited for Logan’s book!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Redemption Hills

four-half-stars


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Review: Bombshell by Sarah Maclean

Posted April 27, 2022 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Bombshell by Sarah MacleanReviewer: Holly
Bombshell by Sarah MacLean
Narrator: Mary Jane Wells
Series: Hell's Belles #1
Publisher: Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: August 24, 2021
Format: Audiobook, eBook
Source: Library, Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 394
Length: 10 hours and 6 minutes
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

New York Times bestselling author Sarah MacLean returns with a blazingly sexy, unapologetically feminist new series, Hell’s Belles, beginning with a bold, bombshell of a heroine, able to dispose of a scoundrel—or seduce one—in a single night.

After years of living as London’s brightest scandal, Lady Sesily Talbot has embraced the reputation and the freedom that comes with the title. No one looks twice when she lures a gentleman into the dark gardens beyond a Mayfair ballroom…and no one realizes those trysts are not what they seem.

No one, that is, but Caleb Calhoun, who has spent years trying not to notice his best friend’s beautiful, brash, brilliant sister. If you ask him, he’s been a saint about it, considering the way she looks at him…and the way she talks to him…and the way she’d felt in his arms during their one ill-advised kiss.

Except someone has to keep Sesily from tumbling into trouble during her dangerous late-night escapades, and maybe close proximity is exactly what Caleb needs to get this infuriating, outrageous woman out of his system. But now Caleb is the one in trouble, because he’s fast realizing that Sesily isn’t for forgetting…she’s forever. And forever isn’t something he can risk.

Bombshell is the first book in a spinoff of Maclean’s Scandal & Scoundrel series. I purchased the ebook, then requested the audiobook from the library since I have a long commute every day. I really like the narrator, Mary Jane Wells. I did struggle with the first couple chapters of the audiobook because there are a lot of characters and names that are introduced or discussed. Since I didn’t read the original series, I wasn’t familiar with any of them and it was confusing trying to keep everyone straight. After the first few chapters I easily fell into the story. I ended up switching between the ebook and the audiobook.

As much as this is the start of a new series, I do feel like I was missing some key information by not reading the previous Talbot sisters’ books. I may go back and read the series just to catch up.

I really enjoyed Sesily. She’s woman comfortable with herself and not afraid to go after what she wants. I loved her friendship with the other Hell’s Belles, and how they worked behind the scenes to fight injustices. I also liked that she didn’t take responsibility for the actions of anyone else.

I also enjoyed Caleb. He was able to hold his own against Sesily, which was good considering what a strong personality she had. I did become frustrated with the way his “big secret” was hinted at over and over again, but not revealed. That’s a personal preference. I don’t like when the reader is kept in the dark, especially since I had already guessed most of it. The romance was sweet, but honestly it was Sesily and the Belles who stole the show.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: Munro by Kresley Cole

Posted March 30, 2022 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Munro by Kresley ColeReviewer: Casee
Munro by Kresley Cole
Narrator: Robert Petkoff
Series: Immortals After Dark #18
Also in this series: A Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark #2), Dark Needs at Night's Edge (Immortals After Dark #5), Wicked Abyss (Immortals After Dark #18)
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 25, 2022
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 432
Length: 13 hours and 21 minutes
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A human monster huntress. An immortal werewolf. Could any passion be more forbidden?
The next stand-alone installment in the electrifying Immortals After Dark series by #1 New York Times best-selling author Kresley Cole. Venture deeper into the Lore, fierce realm of the immortals—if you dare. . . .
TORMENTED IN UNIMAGINABLE WAYS
Coming off torture at the hands of his warlock captors, Munro MacRieve never expected to find his mate, or to lose her just as abruptly. Driven to desperation, the ruthless warrior uses his enemies’ own powers to reunite with her—in the distant past.
STOLEN FROM HER TIME
When a crazed werewolf crashes her wedding, Kereny “Ren” Codrina does what any cunning huntress would do: she captures him. Yet she finds herself softening toward the wounded beast—until he turns the tables and forces her into an incomprehensible future.
CAN A HUMAN AND AN IMMORTAL UNITE IN ORDER TO SURVIVE?
As danger mounts, Munro will do anything to make her undying, even sell his soul to an evil sorceress. But first he must convince his fiery mate that she belongs with him. If seduction means her survival, Munro will use every weapon in his arsenal to possess her—forever.

Munro MacRieve never expected to find his mate while being held captive by a powerful warlock. After trying to get Munro to fully let his beast out, Jels the warlock finds Kereny and brings her through time to get control over Munro. Munro has been searching for his mate for centuries. A Lykae’s need to find their mate is a very powerful force. Which makes it so much worse when Jels brings Kereny to him when he can’t protect her. To his horror, he watches his mate die before his eyes. To say Munro was devastated would be an understatement. He doesn’t have time to mourn for his lost mate because he is now under the control of the warlocks.

Although he’s being controlled by Jels, Munro’s thoughts are his own. He comes to the realization that if Jels can go back in time, he can get Munro back to Kereny’s time. He just has to figure out a way to break the hold the warlocks have on him. Kereny is nothing like Munro expected, yet everything he hoped for. The only thing that doesn’t work for Munro is that she’s mortal. Life in the Lore is no joke and a human just doesn’t belong.

I have mixed feelings about this book. I have to admit that I wasn’t really happy with Munro as a hero for about 50-60% of the book. Munro was determined to make Kereny mortal, no matter what her thoughts were on the matter. It drove me crazy for over half the book, until he finally listened to what she was saying and made the ultimate sacrifice. It really fixed everything and made me enjoy the rest of the book. I’ve been a long-time fan of the Immortals After Dark series. I started the series when only three of the books were released. So it’s been a long, long, long time since I started this series.

Overall, this was a good installment in the series. I’m really hoping she moves the Accession along because it’s getting dragged on and on. I don’t even remember when it started but it seems like it’s been 20 years or something.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5.

Immortals After Dark

four-stars


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Review: Perfect Wreckage by Catherine Cowles

Posted February 24, 2022 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Perfect Wreckage by Catherine CowlesReviewer: Casee
Perfect Wreckage by Catherine Cowles
Narrator: Joe Arden, Maxine Mitchell
Series: Wrecked #2
Also in this series: Reckless Memories
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: September 22, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 328
Length: 9 hours and 12 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

My past taught me to play it safe.To stay far away from handsome men who promised it all.My life was good without them. Stable, secure, predictable.
But one kiss showed me that I’d been playing it safe for far too long.One night, and all I wanted was more of his wildfire.One challenge and my carefully constructed walls tumbled down.
Amidst the rubble, I realized there was more to this man than I ever dreamed.When everything fell apart, he showed me what it meant to stay.How to truly live.
But when my demons return, that life might end up shorter than either of us expected…

Kenna leads a very predictable life. She’s an accountant (us accountants like predicability). Numbers are predictable. There is no gray areas here. Kenna enjoys her job immensely. She’s content, if not happy, with her life. She has a good job, good friends, and Harriett, the woman that has raised her since she was 11.

When Harriett dies, Kenna is devastated. Crosby was Harriett’s lawyer. He knows exactly what is going to happen when Harriett’s family finds out that she left Kenna The Gables. The home that is a haven for Kenna. Something that Harriett’s family is trying to take away from her. While she’s usually happy to stay out of the spotlight, she’s not going to let Harriet’s family take her home.

I adored Kenna. She grew so much in this book. Crosby helped her realize that life isn’t about working. It’s okay to have a little unpredictably in life. He taught her how to live. It’s like she was in a bubble of her own making, and Crosby just popped that sucker.

I didn’t think I’d like Crosby as much as I did. Sure, he was okay. But really not my kind of hero. I enjoy alpha heroes. Very alpha. Crosby is not that. He certainly has a quiet strength, which is what made him so likable. Crosby doesn’t want to settle down. He likes his life and can’t imagine being with one woman the rest of his life.

I’ve read a few reviews that states this book is romantic suspense. I highly disagree. It might have had romantic suspense undertones, but it was a straight rs.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Wrecked

four-half-stars


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Review: One Night of Scandal by Elle Kennedy

Posted February 10, 2022 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: One Night of Scandal by Elle KennedyReviewer: Holly
One Night of Scandal by Elle Kennedy
Series: After Hours #2
Also in this series: One Night of Sin
Publisher: Entangled, Entangled Brazen
Publication Date: September 8, 2014
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 230
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars


A sexy category romance from Entangled's Brazen imprint...

The wrong man never felt so right...

Ex-fighter Reed Miller has been secretly lusting over his best friend’s girl for months, but he refuses to jeopardize a friendship over a woman—especially one who doesn’t like him all that much. Now that Darcy’s on the market again, it’s even more imperative to stick to his strict hands-off policy. But the sizzling attraction between them is too powerful to ignore, and once he’s had a taste of her…all bets are off.

Darcy Grant is tired of walking the straight and narrow path. She’s on the hunt for passion, and there’s no denying Reed is just the man to give it to her. Although she has no interest in dating a bad boy, and certainly not her ex’s best friend, it’s impossible not to melt beneath Reed’s skillful touch. Now it’s just a matter of setting a few ground rules—and hoping her rule-breaking, sweet-talking bad boy agrees to follow them. But if she lets Reed into her bed, does she stand a chance of keeping him out of her heart?

One Night of Scandal (After Hours #2) by Elle Kennedy features Reed, one of the owners of the club. It was obvious to everyone in One Night of Sin that Reed had a thing for his best friend AJ’s girl, Darcy. I was curious to see how that would play out here.

Reed was immediately attracted to Darcy when he met her, which was really unfortunate since she was dating his best friend and business partner, AJ, at the time. He knew the only way to protect himself was to keep distance between them. When he discovers her out with another guy one night he loses his shit..until he realizes she and AJ broke up. He knows he can’t date his best friend’s ex, but when AJ asks him to step in and lead a self-defense class at the school where Darcy teaches, he knows he’s in big trouble.

Darcy doesn’t understand why Reed is such a jerk to her, until the share a passionate kiss and the truth comes out. She and AJ realized pretty quickly that they were great friends without any chemistry, but it still seems wrong to date one of his best friends. Plus, she doesn’t think Reed is the type to commit to a relationship and she isn’t looking to get played. The passion she was missing with AJ? Yeah, she found it big time with Reed. Now if she can just keep from falling in love with him everything will be just fine…

I really felt the chemistry between Reed and Darcy. I liked that they didn’t try to hide it (for long) and they were pretty upfront about things with AJ. AJ definitely deserved sainthood for his reaction. I didn’t love the additional conflict of Darcy thinking Reed was only good for a fling and the misunderstanding at the end was a bit contrived. Reed was good to Darcy from the start, so she had no reason to keep pushing him away.

Overall this was a good story, though. I liked Darcy and Reed together, I just wish they’d communicated better.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

One Night of Sin

three-half-stars


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