Tag: 2.75 Reviews

Review: The Monster Mash by Angie Fox

Posted October 20, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Monster Mash by Angie FoxReviewer: Holly
The Monster Mash by Angie Fox
Series: Monster M*A*S*H* #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: August 28, 2012
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First Person
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 340
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2021 Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2021 New to Me Challenge
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two-half-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

Ancient gods. Modern war. And a star-crossed couple who could use some divine intervention.

The day I was drafted into the army of the gods, all I knew about being a MASH surgeon was what I’d learned from Hawkeye Pierce and Hot Lips Houlihan. Now here I am, Dr. Petra Robichaud, in the middle of an immortal war, assigned to a MASH camp with a nosy sphinx, a vegetarian werewolf, and an uptight vampire who really needs to get a life.

At least they’re all too busy with their own dramas to discover my secret: I can see the dead. It’s a forbidden gift, one that can get me killed, so I haven’t told a soul.
Until the arrestingly intense Galen arrives on my operating table, half-dead and totally to-die-for. When his spirit tries to slip out of his fatally wounded body, I impulsively slip it back in. Call it a rash resurrection. One I’ll live to regret.

Now Commander Galen of Delphi knows my secret, and he’s convinced I’m part of an ancient prophecy—one that can end the war for good. But taking a chance could cost me everything. And it would be easier to convince him to leave me alone, except now the prophecies are starting to come true…

Warning: This novel contains a hefty dose of danger, drama, practical jokes, pet swamp lizards, brooding demigods, adventure, romance, and heart—in a MASH camp where everybody knows your business.

*The core of this book was originally called Immortally Yours, published by St. Martin's Press in 2012. The author has rewritten it into the way she always envisioned the story to be, which means it is now a romantic comedy instead of an angsty book. Oh, and there are a lot more pet swamp lizards, too.

Petra Robichaud has been conscripted into the war between Heaven and Hell. Assigned to a MASH unit as a surgeon, she’s biding her time until she makes enough rank to get some interesting cases. When a patient lands on her table and she accidentally saves his life by binding his soul to hers for a brief period of time, she knows her life will never be the same. She can see spirits – not just the ghostly kind, but the essence of people as well.

As soon as Commander Galen of Delphi realizes what Petra can do, he knows she’s the one who will fulfill the prophesy and end the war. Convincing her of same may take some time…which is why he makes sure she can’t ship him out as soon as she realizes he knows her secret. Now he has a limited amount of time to make her realize she is exactly what the world needs, while also keeping her abilities a secret, lest the higher ups realize what she can do and kill her to prevent the prophesy from being fulfilled.

This book was previously published under the title Immortally Yours, which I didn’t realize until after I finished it and saw the author’s note about it. The premise was interesting, and I liked aspects of it, but the writing was really choppy and uneven. Things would be smooth and then bam, the dialogue wouldn’t make sense or would seem really choppy. I also struggled with the way Petra held herself back. We weren’t told until later why she had trust issues, and the novel is so lighthearted that it didn’t make sense in context. She just came off seeming rude and selfish. I understood a little better once her “deep, dark secret” was revealed, but even then the author didn’t really sell me on her angst.

I would have rated this higher for the romance alone, because I really liked Galen, but the way Petra acted kind of killed it for me. I also didn’t like how things ended, with a sort of pause. I understand this is a continuing series, but eh. It didn’t really work for me.

I read the blurb for the next book and I have zero desire to read her rekindling a romance with an ex – especially since we were told her “love” for Galen supposedly saved the world in this book.

While not a terrible novel, a lot of it didn’t work for me.

Rating: 2.75 out of 5

Monster M*A*S*H*

two-half-stars


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Review: Portrait of Death: Unforgotten by Isabel Wroth

Posted October 11, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Portrait of Death: Unforgotten by Isabel WrothReviewer: Holly
Portrait of Death: Unforgotten by Isabel Wroth
Series: Portrait of Death #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: July 19, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense
Pages: 427
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
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three-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

Three years ago, I held her pink silk toe shoe in my hand, helplessly watching the cab drive away before I could give it back to her. The next morning when I stood in front of the portrait drying on my easel, I knew the beautiful ballerina would soon die. Her portrait is one of two hundred and twenty-seven. Each one of the subjects is the victim of murder, and I’ve painted them all. I’ve kept my morbid ability a secret for twenty years, terrified someday, someone would find out.

Someday has arrived, and the someone banging down my door today demanding answers is a gorgeous, irate homicide detective armed with a photo of one of my paintings right there on the front page of the most popular tabloid in the city. He peppers me with questions I can’t answer, and despite my worst fears being realized, all I can think about is painting this man, alive, and with far fewer clothes on.

Detective Callum Graham tells me the dead ballerina I painted is his sister, and she's been missing for three years. Missing, he says firmly, as though any other conclusion is unacceptable. My inappropriate thoughts of seeing him naked, vanish. How do I explain to this man, this brother desperate to find his baby sister alive, that she’s been dead for two years, eleven months, and three weeks?

Portrait of Death: Unforgotten is the first book in a contemporary romantic suspense series by Isabel Wroth. I generally avoid romantic suspense at all costs, but I really enjoy paranormal romance novels that feature psychic characters so I figured I’d give this a go. I’ve read most of Wroth’s backlist and I have to say this was not my favorite.

When Jo paints a portrait of her baby brother dead in a pond as a child, her parents have her committed to a mental institution, where she remains for two years despite her brother drowning while she was committed. For 20 years she’ll go into a trance after touching an object belonging to a random stranger, and end up painting their Portrait of Death. She’s come to realize over the years that they are all murder victims, but she can’t tell anyone, unless she wants to end up back in the institution. Until a scorned ex-lover leaks photos of her gallery.

Detective Callum Graham is shocked to see a death painting of his missing sister on the cover of a tabloid paper. He’s sure he’s finally found the killer. Jo knows she needs to protect her secrets at all costs, but it’s hard to resist the pain in the detective’s eyes.

I really disliked what an ass Callum was to Jo. I understand him thinking she was a murderer based on her paintings (that’s definitely some serial killer shit), but even after presented with proof that she couldn’t have committed the crimes, and proof that she was psychic, he refused to believe her. Even after they started getting intimate with each other, he would accuse her of being part of the murders, or just make stupid, asshole remarks to her for no reason. She pushed back and called him out on it, which is the only reason I kept reading, but it wasn’t enough. Especially since she would get distracted by how “hot” he was and then couldn’t stay mad.

On top of that, the police procedural stuff was very poorly done, and the whole mystery plot was easily figured out. There were also a lot of typos and errors. I spent most of the book irritated at one thing or another.

View Spoiler »

I kept reading because I liked the premise, but it wasn’t as well executed as the author’s other books. I don’t think I’ll read the next one.

Rating: 2.75 or 3.0 out of 5

Portrait of Death

three-stars


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Review: Sarazen’s Betrayal by Isabel Wroth

Posted October 1, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Sarazen’s Betrayal by Isabel WrothReviewer: Holly
Sarazen's Betrayal by Isabel Wroth
Series: Sarazen Saga #3
Also in this series: Sarazen's Claim, Sarazen's Vengeance, Sarazen's Hunt, Sarazen's Fury
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: February 28, 2017
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating Third Person
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 306
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
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two-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Cassie had come to Saraz with the promise of a new life, a new home, and a mate who would cherish and adore her always. The first two promises have been fulfilled, but as the new pride leaders settle into their rule, the threat to the lives of the human hybrid mates escalates. As the pressure to solve the mystery increases, Cassie's mate does less adoring and less cherishing. Leaving her alone to fend for herself day after day. Leaving her alone to doubt the truth.

Falken's hunt for the identities of the traitors threatening his mate and the lives of all the human hybrids who now call Saraz home, has taken him far longer than anticipated. Sleepless nights spent digging through what feels like insurmountable amounts of data have become nights spent away from Cassie. Leaving her to doubt their bond. To doubt him.

While they grow closer to identifying the traitors, Cassie and Falken grow farther and farther apart. Betrayal rocks the pride and in its wake, the realization that the threat is far closer to home than they realized. As the shock of that betrayal settles, can Cassie and Falken repair what has been broken between them? Or will the traitors take advantage of their fractured bond and destroy the pride?

Warning: This review contains spoilers. Please read the Content Warnings!

Cassie was born on the Starsong, one of 5 ships launched from Earth with what remained of the human race. Because resources aboard the ship are finite, population control was enforced. Only those women who had the highest IQs were allowed to breed, while all the other women were sterilized. Cassie scored so high she was chosen as the one to birth the next generation aboard the ship. Only they didn’t want to wait for her to carry each child to term, so they sedated her and removed her eggs instead, using surrogates to carry the babies to term. In an effort to protect herself from more emotional trauma, she closed herself off from everyone else aboard the ship and spent most of her time alone. When they’re attacked by a vicious alien race, it’s only by chance that Cassie is saved, along with a handful of others.

When they’re rescued by a passing alien ship, and Cassie is told she’s been mated to one of the warriors, she’s less-than-thrilled, for obvious reasons. Only Falken slowly wins her over by treating her with respect and making it known that he cares for her happiness above all else.

Until they arrive on his home planet, when he disappears for work and she rarely sees him. She sees how the others treat their mates and can only conclude Falken is unhappy being with her.

Falken doesn’t realize how his absences are hurting Cassie until he underestimates her intelligence and she asks for a divorce, something those of his race have never heard of before. Realizing his mistake, he’s determined to prove to Cassie that she’s everything to him. Only she’s been hurt too many times, and there may be no forgiveness in her.

I actually liked Cassie the least going into this book, but I was firmly on her side once we realized what had happened to her in the past and how Falken made her feel. She was angry and sarcastic, but those were defense mechanisms and honestly warranted where Falken was concerned.

I was really enjoying their story. Cassie was learning to open up to him, and Falken was learning not to take advantage of her or take her for granted. Because of her past, Cassie’s independence was important to her, and having her choices taken away was a trigger.

Which is why the book completely lost me when Falken spanks Cassie for a dumb decision she made. Not as part of a sexual encounter, but as punishment. As if she were an errant child. The worst part? Aside from some mild embarrassment, Cassie doesn’t really seem to care. And again later, when she’s treated like a child by him and others, she just shrugs it off. It was so out of character and made me so angry, I nearly quit reading there. The only reason I kept going was to find out how a certain part of the overarching story played out.

Up until that point, this was my favorite book of the series. That scene and the one that followed completely ruined the story for me. I’m sad and disappointed it turned out this way. I wanted better for Cassie.

Rating: 2.75 out of 5

Sarazen Saga

two-half-stars


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Review: Waking the Dragon by Juliette Cross

Posted July 21, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Waking the Dragon by Juliette CrossReviewer: Holly
Waking the Dragon by Juliette Cross
Series: Vale of Stars #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: June 9, 2015
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First Person
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 255
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
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two-half-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

The Gladium Province is on the verge of civil unrest as humans and Morgons, the dragon-hybrid race, clash once more. But amid disorder can also arise passion.

When the bodies of three human women are discovered in Morgon territory—with the DNA of several Morgon men on the victims—it’s just a matter of time before civil unrest hits the Province. But for ambitious reporter Moira Cade, it’s more than just a story, and it may mean risking her own life.

Descending into the dark underworld of Morgon society, Moira is paired with Kol Moonring, Captain of the Morgon Guard, for her protection. Fiercely independent, Moira bristles at his dominance, and defies his will at every turn. Yet resistance proves futile when passion flares between them, awakening powerful emotions within both, body and soul. But as the killings continue, can their fiery newfound bond survive an even greater evil—one that threatens all of humanity, Morgonkind, and Moira’s very soul?...

Waking the Dragon by Juliette Cross is the first book in the Vale of Stars series, a spinoff of the Nightwing series, which I have not read. I definitely felt like I was missing some key pieces of information by starting with this series.

Moira Cade is a college student studying investigative journalism. When several young women turn up dead over the course of several months, Moira knows there’s more to the story than the Morgon and Human Guards are saying. With the help of a friend who works at the precinct, she’s investigating on her own. When she realizes the victims are all disappearing from Morgon games, she enlists the help of her brother-in-law and his security team to help her infiltrate them. She’s partnered with Kol Moonring, the Captain of the Morgon Guard. He’s over-bearing and possessive, but Moira just wants to focus on building her career.

On the surface this was an okay story, but below the surface it was kind of a mess. Moira is only 20 and a human. Yet she is the only one who figures out what’s happening with the murdered girls? A bunch of over-protective dragons agree to let a human girl investigate and act as bait for a murderous cult? None of that made sense. Add to it the fact that Moira was all, “I don’t need no man” until all of a sudden she did need a man and it was over for me. I may have felt differently if I’d read the previous series, but mostly this book just annoyed me.

I am interested in some of the secondary characters, and I enjoy Cross’ writing, so I may try another book in the series before moving on.

2.75 out of 5

Vale of Stars

two-half-stars


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Review: Enthroned by K.M. Shea

Posted December 4, 2020 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Enthroned by K.M. SheaReviewer: Holly
Enthroned by K.M. Shea
Series: King Arthur and Her Knights #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: August 5, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Fantasy, Time Travel
Pages: 126
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 New to Me Challenge, Holly's 2020 Reading Challenge, New to Me Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
two-half-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

The throne of King Arthur stands unclaimed.

Merlin has been working on his dream of uniting Britain for years, hiding behind an old-wise-man persona as needed for his goal. When the original Arthur runs off before the crowning ceremony, Merlin is forced to get creative. He casts a spell to enable the sword in the stone to choose a new ruler from across time.

But even Merlin couldn’t foresee that the magic would search for a king thousands of years into the future and choose the last person anyone would expect: a woman.

Britt Arthurs doesn’t mind a good fight, but beating the divided kingdoms of ancient Britain into submission while hiding her real identity is a bigger battle than she wants. She thought she was taking a quick tourist photo with a rusty sword. Instead she was ripped through time and faced with two impossibilities: the sword has chosen her as the new King Arthur, and Merlin is much younger and hotter than she expected!

With enemies on all sides and a wizardly advisor who defies his own legends, will Britt succeed in her role as the High King of Britain?

The finished King Arthurs and Her Knights series is based on Arthurian legends and lore. It is sprinkled with humor, love, and more than a dash of magic. If you enjoy strong characters and tales about the Knights of the Round Table, buy the King Arthurs series today!

Britt Arthurs is on holiday in England with her best friends when she touches an old sword in a graveyard and is transported back in time. The great wizard Merlin bespelled the sword to bring forward the one true King Arthur. No one expected King Arthur to be a woman, but the sword doesn’t lie, so….what are you gonna do? Britt is now stuck in a medieval time, tasked with uniting a country she knows little about.

I really want more Arthurian romances. Especially ones with gender swapped roles. Although the second half of this one was good, I didn’t love it. The first half was boring and featured a lot of tell, don’t show. There wasn’t much emotion or connection to the characters. It was like reading script. Plus, Britt’s ridiculous decision to believe she was dreaming was annoying and went on way too long.

The second half was better. Once Britt decided to accept her place as King Arthur and actually try to unite the kingdoms, I came to enjoy the story. Not a great story overall, but I liked it well enough to start the next book.

Rating: 2.75 out of 5

King Arthur and Her Knights

two-half-stars


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