Tag: 2.5 Reviews

Review: Shadow Fire by Christine Feehan

Posted April 20, 2022 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Shadow Fire by Christine FeehanReviewer: Casee
Shadow Fire by Christine Feehan
Series: Shadow Riders #7
Also in this series: Shadow Reaper, Shadow Reaper, Shadow Reaper, Shadow Keeper, Shadow Warrior, Shadow Flight, Shadow Storm
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: April 26, 2022
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 432
Add It: Goodreads
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two-half-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

Journey deeper into the world of Chicago’s most dangerous, alluring crime family in this incendiary installment of the Shadow Riders series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan.
Shadow Rider Elie Archambault has been called many things: domineering, brash, loyal, but most of all fast. And there’s nothing faster than choosing to marry a woman you’ve never met. All he has is a signed contract and a list of his new bride’s expectations for their arranged marriage. He’s not expecting love or some happy ever after, just a partner that knows exactly what she signed up for. He’ll be faithful because he’s a man of honor, but she’ll never have his heart....
Elie knows who he is. A privileged member of the Archambault family. A skilled rider and fighter. A man who's always had things easy for all the wrong reasons. He's made his mistakes and lost his chance at real, true passion with his other half thanks to his own careless arrogance. Now he just wants to do his duty as a Shadow Rider and leave the past behind.
But Elie has no idea that his choice is about to spark a blaze that will burn all his carefully laid plans to the ground....

Years after he lost the woman he loved due to his own dickishness, Elie Archambault has decided to enter into an arranged marriage. As a shadow rider, Elie is among the elite. The Archambault family is renouned for their ability to ride the shadows. There are few very people in the world that can match Elie’s speed in the shadows. There are also very few women that can handle his sexual proclivities and his alpha personality. Although he doesn’t plan on falling in love with his future wife, he will respect her and be faithful.

Brielle was heartbreaking. She has gone through so much in her young life. From family that uses her as a servant to Elie, who shattered her heart with his cruel words on that day so long ago. Brielle has not a clue that her intended groom is the man that she has spent years running from. When she sees him at the ceremony, she immediately tries to back out. The only man that she won’t let herself have is Elie. Brielle knows he could break her heart with a few careless words. When it’s apparent that Elie won’t let her back out of the contract, she does the only thing she can. She accepts Elie as her husband, but is determined never to love him.

I think this is it for me. I’m breaking up with Christine Feehan. For real this time. She just has this repetitive storyline in all her books. There’s always a trafficking ring and BDSM involved. Now I can handle both those, but every single time she releases a book (aside from the GhostWalkers), those two things are always involved. Like, come on. Lets get some fresh ideas or fresh something. Brielle was really a kickass heroine. She could take care of herself and the ones that are around her. Elie doesn’t like her being in danger and forbids her from riding the shadows. It was really ridiculous. I understood that Elie wanted to protect her, but the way he went about it was all wrong. He was kind of an asshole. After the last couple of books, I really liked him. His book was a highly anticipated one for me. It’s unfortunate that it was such a letdown.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Shadow Riders

two-half-stars


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Review: First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

Posted January 10, 2022 by Holly in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: First Grave on the Right by Darynda JonesReviewer: Holly
First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
Narrator: Lorelei King
Series: Charley Davidson #1
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: February 1, 2011
Format: eBook
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 310
Length: 8 hours and 58 minutes
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two-half-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

This whole grim reaper thing should have come with a manual.Or a diagram of some kind.A flow chart would have been nice.
Charley Davidson is a part-time private investigator and full-time grim reaper. Meaning, she sees dead people. Really. And it's her job to convince them to "go into the light." But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (like murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she's been having about an entity who has been following her all her life...and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely. But what does he want with Charley? And why can't she seem to resist him? And what does she have to lose by giving in?
With scorching-hot tension and high-octane humor, First Grave on the Right is your signpost to paranormal suspense of the highest order.

First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones is the first book in the Charley Davidson series. I’ve seen this series over the years and considered reading it a number of times, but the comparisons to the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich turned me off. While I liked the first few Plum books, her constant ineptitude and the love-triangle got old fast. When my book club chose this I figured it was an opportunity to see for myself how “Plum-like” the series really is.

The writing was really great. I easily fell into the story, though the “sassy” and “sarcastic” quips of the main character were kind of annoying. That only got worse as the book went on. She had a zinger for everything, and it felt really forced. I didn’t find her charming or cute, but annoying. Did she take nothing seriously? Also, the obsession she had with a boy from her past – after a single brief encounter where he was a total bastard – didn’t make sense. Why was she so interested in him? It had shades of a “fated-mates” type thing, but it didn’t work very well in context.

I enjoyed the investigative parts of the story, but they were few and far between. The majority of this book was her either lusting after a shadowy figure from her dreams or obsessing over this boy she met once as a younger girl.

There were shades of a good story here, but most of it got lost behind the dumb sarcasm and crazy amount of lust/obsession she felt for this total stranger/creepy being. I may try another book in the series to see if it gets better.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Charley Davidson

two-half-stars


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Series Review: The Disciples by Cassandra Robbins

Posted June 14, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 5 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
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
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
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
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
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
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
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
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: Still Standing by Kristen Ashley

Posted March 22, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Still Standing by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Casee
Still Standing by Kristen Ashley
Series: Wild West MC #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: February 2, 2021
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First Person, Third Person
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 528
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
two-half-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

When Clara Delany walks into the Aces High Motorcycle Club’s hangout, she’s hit rock bottom. She’s hiding her car from the repo man, she has less than two dollars in her bank account and the only employment she can get is delivering messages for a criminal.

All because of a man. Therefore, she’s sworn off them.

And then she meets West “Buck” Hardy, president of the Aces High MC.

Buck also meets her, and the minute he does, he makes it clear (to everyone but Clara) that they’re starting something. Since Clara doesn’t get that message, she decides to leave Buck and sort out her life in order to come back to him clean.

She’s not gone but hours before life hits Clara with another blow. Which means Buck and his boys have to ride in and save the day. After that, Buck makes no bones about where they stand.

But does he?

Welcome to the first novel in the Wild West MC series which will tell the stories of the brothers of the Aces High MC, the Resurrection MC, and the Chaos MC…and the women who love them.

Clara Delany hasn’t had the easiest life. Born into foster care, the only person she has ever loved is her bestfriend Tia. To protect Tia from her criminal husband, Clara delivers messages for him. Messages that people aren’t always happy to receive. Her current job has taken her into the Aces High MC where she has a message to deliver to their President. Clara doesn’t anticipate her attraction to West “Buck” Hardy, nor he to her. Clara just wants to conduct her business and be out of there, but Buck has other ideas.

They sleep together the day they met and honestly that didn’t bother me at all. It worked in this situation. Then Esposito (the boss) decides to teach Clara a lesson by kidnapping her and severely beating her. Buck & Aces High rush to her rescue and she finds herself living with Buck. This is after her abortive escape attempt when Tia disappears. Now it seems like Buck & Aces High are the only people capable of finding Tia. So what if she plays house in the meantime?

Before I started this book I made the mistake of skimming through GR reviews. Bad idea. Readers either loved it or hated it all for (what I thought were) valid reasons. I thought about not reading it, I’m not going to lie. Still, this is Kristen Ashley. I just couldn’t not read it. Even if it was as bad as reviews claimed it was, I still had to find out for myself. I thought that until about 31% in and decided to DNF it. Thirty minutes later I had picked it back up. That’s how Kristen Ashley works.

This review on GR really summed up the book:

If you love Motorcycle Man then you’ll love Still Standing because Still Standing is Motorcycle Man’s skeevier little sister.

This is true and false. Still Standing is definitely Motorcycle Man’s skeevier little sister. However not all of us like skeevier. I originally decided to DNF it after 31%. View Spoiler » I had a hard time with Clara because of her belief that she doesn’t deserve happiness and that she has to take what she can get.

Other than being the lover of the MC president, Tyra and Clara are nothing alike. Absolutely nothing. Tyra doesn’t take Tack’s shit. Clara thinks she should settle for whatever little happiness comes her way. I can’t see Tyra doing that. And Buck? Buck is Tack. They both just railroad their women into doing what they want them to do regardless of their feelings on the matter. It’s maddening but enticing at the same time.

View Spoiler » So yeah, I had a very difficult time getting past this.

Just like in Motorcycle Man, there was a family element that was very prevalent. Buck has two kids with a crazy ex-wife (see: Rush, Tabby, & Naomi). Something horrible happens to Buck’s daughter and the way that Clara was there for her was sure something to read. It made me sigh and smile how it brought the two closer. Especially since Tatiana hated Clara when she first met her. Their journey to friends and then a more mother/daughter dynamic was lovely.

My feelings about this book are so mixed that I can’t really decide if I really liked the book or not. I liked the characters. I only mildly tolerated Clara toward the middle of the book, but she got better as she started finding out who she truly was. Her journey was one that I enjoyed reading even if I didn’t really enjoy her character flaws. I’m not going to lie to myself, I will be reading the next book in this series.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Wild West MC

two-half-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, Savage Road, Annihilation 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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