Tag: 3.5 Reviews

Joint Review: Archangel’s Sun by Nalini Singh

Posted November 23, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Joint Review: Archangel’s Sun by Nalini SinghReviewer: Casee & Holly
Archangel's Sun by Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #13
Also in this series: Archangel's Kiss, Archangel's Consort, Archangel's Blade, Archangel's Consort, Archangel's Storm, Archangel's Storm (Guild Hunter #5), Archangel's Legion, Archangel's Legion (Guild Hunter #6), Archangel's Shadows, Archangel's Shadows, Archangel's Enigma (Guild Hunter, #8), Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter #1), Archangel's Heart, Archangel's Heart, Archangel's Heart (Guild Hunter, #9), Archangel's Kiss, Angels' Blood, Archangel's Viper (Guild Hunter, #10), Archangel's Viper, Archangel's Prophecy, Archangel's Consort (Guild Hunter, #3), Archangel's Prophecy, Archangel's War, Archangel's War , Archangel's Kiss
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: November 24, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 Goodreads Challenge
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A horrifying secret rises in the aftermath of an archangelic war in New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh’s deadly and beautiful Guild Hunter world...
The Archangel of Death and the Archangel of Disease may be gone but their legacy of evil lives on—especially in Africa, where the shambling, rotting creatures called the reborn have gained a glimmer of vicious intelligence.
It is up to Titus, archangel of this vast continent, to stop the reborn from spreading across the world. Titus can’t do it alone, but of the surviving powerful angels and archangels, large numbers are wounded, while the rest are fighting a surge of murderous vampires.
There is no one left…but the Hummingbird. Old, powerful, her mind long a broken kaleidoscope. Now, she must stand at Titus’s side against a tide of death upon a discovery more chilling than any other. For the Archangel of Disease has left them one last terrible gift…

Archangel’s Sun begins where Archangel’s War left off. The war with Lijuan finally came to an end in a rather spectacular fashion. Now the Archangel’s are trying to rebuild their territories. Titus is fighting to defend his territory in Africa from the reborn. The reborn are creatures that Lijuan created and Charisemnon helped change into bigger abominations than they already were. When the Cadre sends him the Hummingbird, he wonders how exactly such a fragile creature could help him. Chaos ensues.

Casee: I honestly wasn’t sure of this book when I first saw the blurb. Although the Hummingbird has been an interesting character in this series, I always thought of her in the abstract. I wasn’t really interested in her or her story. Ironically, she turned out to be one of my favorite characters in this series.

Holly: I was really intrigued by The Hummingbird in the previous books, and I was glad she was featured in this one. I really loved her personal journey in this book.

Casee: I feel like this was more about Sharine’s personal journey than it was about the romance between her and Titus. I thought the romance was really sweet, but I was more fascinated by Sharine herself. What did you think of Titus?

Holly: I really liked Titus. He made me laugh early on with his whole neanderthal attitudes, but honestly he was a big marshmallow underneath it all. I think he was a good fit for Sharine. I agree the romance took a back seat to her personal journey. I’m okay with that. I liked how things progressed as she came out of her shell and learned more about herself. I’d have liked to see more of her realizing her skills, but I’m hopeful we’ll see more of her in the future.

Casee: I really liked Titus, too. I liked how he interacted with his sisters. He never thought that he was superior to Sharine, which I really appreciated. I thought this really captured what the Hummingbird represented to the angels.

“Everyone loved the Hummingbird. Even Titus loved her—in a distant kind of way. He didn’t know her as a person. He knew of her. That she was a gift to angelkind, that her kindness was legendary, that she had never had an enemy in her life. And of course, that she had given birth to Illium, a young angel Titus greatly liked.”

I adored Sharine’s relationship with Illium. Aodhan too.

Holly: I loved that the entirety of angelkind had Sharine on a pedestal, but she was so sassy Titus couldn’t believe she was the same woman everyone went on about. It cracked me up every time she got miffed at him and he was baffled.

I really liked Sharine’s relationship with Ilium and Aodhan, too. It was good seeing her slide back into a more maternal role and taking back some of that responsibility from him. Her guilt over what she perceived as her weakness really tugged at my heartstrings.

Casee: I also loved how Sharine baffled Titus. He just couldn’t reconcile Sharine with the Hummingbird that everyone adores. I also enjoyed the progression of their relationship. It was a relationship that was built over months, not days. It was a very believable love story.

Holly: It was, except for the end. View Spoiler ».

Casee: I can understand that. Usually I’m not happy with HFN endings, but this one worked wonderfully. Sharine knew that she still had healing to do and while she loved Titus, she wanted to find herself on her own. I admired that.

I forgot another thing I loved. Raphael and Sharine. Sigh. So sweet.

Holly: To clarify, I’m totally good with the HFN, I actually wanted them to be LESS committed than they were. Which is a weird thing for me to say. lol

Oh, I really liked Raphael and Sharine, too. They’re relationship is so sweet.

Casee: That is weird. Lol

Where does it fall in the series for you? It’s not one of my favorites, but I did enjoy it. I would give it a 3.75 out of 5.

Holly: It wasn’t a favorite for me, either. I really liked Sharine’s personal growth and I enjoyed Titus, but the romance wasn’t my favorite. 3.5 out of 5 from me.

Final Grades

Casee: 3.75 out of 5.
Holly: 3.5 out of 5.

Guild Hunter Series

four-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: Once & Always by Judith McNaught

Posted November 12, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Once & Always by Judith McNaughtReviewer: Rowena
Once and Always by Judith McNaught
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication Date: September 20, 1990
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 400
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three-half-stars

Across the vast ocean sailed Victoria Seaton, a free-spirited American beauty left suddenly orphaned and alone. Eager to claim her long-lost heritage, she was amazed at the formal elegance of Wakefield, the sumptuous English estate of her distant cousin...the notorious Lord Jason Fielding. Sought after at plays, operas, and balls by London's most fashionable ladies, Jason remained a mystery to Victoria. Bewildered by his arrogant demeanor, yet drawn to his panther-like grace, she came to sense the searingly painful memories that smoldered in the depths of his jade-green eyes. Unable to resist her spitfire charm, Jason gathered her at last into his powerful arms, ravishing her lips with his kisses, arousing in her a sweet, insistent hunger. Wed in desire, they were enfolded in a fierce, consuming joy, free at last from the past's cruel grasp. Then, in a moment of blinding anguish, Victoria discovered the shocking treachery that lay at the heart of their love...a love she had dreamed would triumph...Once And Always.

This review was originally posted on April 21, 2016.

***THIS REVIEW WILL BE FILLED WITH SPOILERS SO KEEP SCROLLING IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THIS BOOK AND DON’T WAIT TO BE SPOILED***

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Alright, you’ve been warned…

It’s been ages since I’ve read this book so when my book club chose it for last month’s discussion, I knew that I was going to have to re-read it since I couldn’t remember anything aside from the gift that Tory gave Jason and that she kissed his back.

And that thing. For those of you guys who have read this book before, you know what I’m talking about. I’ll come back to that in a little bit.

Victoria Seaton known affectionately as Tory has been shipped to live in England with distant relatives after her parents die in a carriage accident. Victoria and her sister are sent to live with family they don’t know and have never heard anything about. Victoria looks just like her mother so she’s sent to live with Charles Fielding and her sister goes to live with their grandmother. When Victoria shows up at the Fielding residence, she’s met by Jason Fielding, Charles’ nephew who is the heir to all of Charles titles and businesses.

Jason wants nothing to do with a gold digging hussy from America and if Charles wants to house her, he’ll have to come and fetch the girl himself. Jason’s past has soured him on all relationships and he really wants nothing to do with anyone. He’s cold and he’s bitter and he’s been like that ever since his wife and son died a few years ago.

This wasn’t an easy romance to read. I remember loving the hell out of this book when I first read it. This was one of those romances that were filled with moments that I absolutely loved. Moments that broke my heart and then moments that enraged me so.

Jason was such a broken man that lived each day doing whatever he damn well pleased. He had not one iota of care left in his system for anyone outside of himself. He didn’t let himself get close to anyone and he preferred it that way and then Victoria Seaton comes into his life and she’s the complete opposite of him. She’s bright and happy where he’s dark and cold and she’s got this courage that shines from within and a caring touch for everyone that crosses her path. They shouldn’t have made sense together but over the course of the book, you see that they do.

I loved that when Jason finally owns up to his feelings for Tory, the love he showers her with made me all swoony. I loved that Victoria was able to reach Jason when nobody else could and I loved that her love for him grew over time and once she let herself fall out of love with Andrew and into love with Jason, I loved how all in she was. I loved seeing her thaw Jason’s heart with the gifts, by caring about his welfare and by just being herself. She was probably my very favorite part of this book.

What I didn’t love was how Jason jumped to conclusion after conclusion about Tory’s every move. It didn’t matter how out of character he knew it was, she was guilty before found innocent. I didn’t love the way that Charles manipulated Jason and Tory, no matter what his reasons were for doing so. And I didn’t love when Jason went to London right after their wedding and we find out who he was in London with.

I remember reading this book back in the day and being so completely sure that Jason didn’t cheat on Victoria when he was in London. Reading this book now? I am completely sure of the opposite. What’s funny is that while discussing this very thing with my book club, we were split down the middle. The ones who didn’t think he cheated, didn’t want to believe he did but the others? The others read it for themselves and it was plain as day that Jason was up to no good in London. Sure it was a sign of the times since he wasn’t the only Lord to keep a mistress but it was so disappointing to realize that he wasn’t the hero that I remembered. The hero that I was so sure of before. I don’t know if it’s because I’m older and a bit more cynical but to me, it was so obvious that Jason didn’t spend his nights alone in London and that hurt my heart.

Reading this book all over again reminded me how angsty McNaught romances are. She really pushes you over the edge, emotionally before dragging you back by your hair. This book was an emotional roller coaster that knocked me on my ass more than once. I rejoiced with Tory and Jason, I raged at the both of them but in the end? I was so hot damn glad that they got their shit together and did right by each other. I came full circle with this read and while I didn’t absolutely love it this time around, I wasn’t fully disappointed either. I would re-read this one again.

So if you’re going to read this one, prepare yourself. It’s not easy, the characters will drive you crazy but you’ll be okay. Haha.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: His Darkest Embrace by Juliana Stone

Posted November 5, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 3 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: His Darkest Embrace by Juliana StoneReviewer: Casee
His Darkest Embrace by Juliana Stone
Series: Jaguar Warriors #2
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: October 26, 2010
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 361
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A solitary hunter with no regard for the human world, Jagger Castille is a shifter living on the edge. A woman who calls him enemy will give him reason to live...
Jagger is a creature of the night—Skye Knightly soars in the sun. Natural adversaries, they are now joined in a mission entrusted to Skye's family centuries ago: nothing less than the salvation of the Earth.
Wounded and bitter, Jagger sought escape in the solitude of the jungle, driven by a need to disappear forever...until a mysterious shifter who calls to his soul and feeds a yearning long forgotten pulls him from his dark path. A courageous warrior, Skye's passion is equal to Jagger's—but can she trust a man whose secrets are as devastating as her own?
Each is the other's sole hope for survival. But a dark and twisted truth is leading them toward the ultimate sacrifice for a love they may never live to claim.

This review was originally posted on October 26, 2010.

I was really impressed with His Darkest Hunger. Really. The way it ended, with Jagger just disappearing into the jungle left me with high expectations for His Darkest Embrace. That turned out to be unfortunate because everything about Jagger was disappointing. He was an overbearing, egotistical arsehole who thought he knew what was best and that was that. It was enormously dissatisfying.

Skye is running from jaguar shifters—bad ones—when she is saved by one. As an eagle shifter, Skye is at her peak strength during the day. It’s her misfortune to get chased during the night when she can’t use her gifts. When she is saved by a jaguar shifter, she has little hope that she will survive. He seems almost feral which doesn’t give Skye much hope that she will accomplish her goal of saving the world. Yes—saving the world.

Jagger took to his jaguar form planning never to return. After so much pain and loss, Jagger can no longer bear to deal with human emotion. (Is that lame or what?) When he comes to Skye’s rescue, he is forced to shift, bringing all his emotions roaring to the surface. Of course the first emotion is raging lust. The lust he feels for Skye is all consuming and makes him all but mindless.

Things were going along quite swimmingly until Jagger’s friends and family catch up to them. At this point, they tell Jagger that Skye is an enemy and he decides to immediately believe them. He starts to treat Skye as his prisoner instead of a lover, which really teed me off. Honestly, it was such a one eighty after how hot and heavy he was feeling before that I just couldn’t get behind it.

As for Skye, I really found myself admiring her courage. By closing the opening between the realms, she is not only killing herself but surrendering herself to a lifetime of living in hell. How can you not admire that? Even when she started have feelings for Jagger, she was still determined to do what needed to be done. What I didn’t buy was how quick she “fell in love” with Jagger. How could she fall in love with such a jerk? Honestly. I’m still wondering.

I’m also wondering if the next book is going to be as disappointing as this one.

Rating: 3.25 out of 5.

Jaguar Warriors

three-half-stars


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Review: Accidentally Compromising the Duke by Stacy Reid

Posted November 4, 2020 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Accidentally Compromising the Duke by Stacy ReidReviewer: Holly
Accidentally Compromising the Duke by Stacy Reid
Series: Wedded by Scandal #1
Also in this series: Accidentally Compromising the Duke, When the Earl Met His Match
Publisher: Entangled Scandalous
Publication Date: May 30, 2016
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 256
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 Reading Challenge
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

England, 1817. Miss Adeline Hays is out of options. Determined to escape marriage to a repugnant earl, Adeline plans to deliberately allow herself to be caught in a compromising position at a house party with the much kinder man she’d hoped to marry. Instead, Adeline accidentally enters the wrong chamber and tumbles into the bed of the mad duke.

Edmond Rochester, the duke of Wolverton, is seeking a wife to care for his two daughters. A young lady of sensibilities, accomplishment, and most importantly, one who he is not attracted to—a complete opposite of the bewitching beauty who traps him into marriage. But despite the lust he feels for his new duchess, Edmond is resolved to never allow them intimacy, refusing to ever again suffer the tormenting loss of a loved one.

When Adeline’s father says she must marry an old lecher who attacked her in a garden, instead of the man, Mr. Atwood, she’s formed an attachment to (because he’s untitled and therefore isn’t acceptable), she decides to take matters into her own hands. With the help of her friend Evie, she orchestrates it so she’s caught in a compromising position with Mr. Atwood. Only she ends up in the wrong room and accidentally compromises the Duke of Wolverton instead.

Edmond is in town to find a bride. His wife and lady love died 3 years prior. He vowed never to wed again, until he realized his young girls need a mother. He’s determined to marry a woman he could never care for. Only he ends up in a compromising situation with Adel instead, and knows he must do the honorable thing and marry her..even if she does set his blood on fire. Adel is determined to draw Edmond out of his dark despair, and Edmond is just as determined to keep himself separate from his family.

I liked this book, but not as much as My Darling Duke. Edmond was pretty much a jerk until close to the very end of the book, and I wanted better for Adel. I also didn’t love that the main conflict centered around them having children, as that’s one of my least favorite tropes. Even so, I liked Adel and Edmond separately, and I really loved his girls. I also enjoyed the romance. Not Edmond pushing her away, but those times he actually let her close. The way she drew him out and helped him enjoy life was wonderful.

I’m on the fence about continuing the series, however, since I didn’t love the secondary characters who are featured in the next two books. I’m going to take a break and come back to the series later.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Wedded by Scandal

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: Tempted by Her Viking Enemy by Terri Brisbin

Posted November 2, 2020 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Tempted by Her Viking Enemy by Terri BrisbinReviewer: Tracy
Tempted by Her Viking Enemy by Terri Brisbin
Series: Sons of Sigurd #5
Publisher: Harlequin Historical
Publication Date: November 1, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 288
Add It: Goodreads
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars


USA TODAY
Bestselling Author
“What do I get if I help you?”

“Whatever I have to give…”

The only person who can help Katla flee a violent marriage is the Viking in her father’s dungeon, the strong and honorable Brandt Sigurdsson. Except Brandt is hungry to see justice done for his family’s destruction, the final vengeance on behalf of all the sons of Sigurd. Is there any persuasion she can offer that will free them both to live—and love—together?
From Harlequin Historical: Your romantic escape to the past.
Sons of Sigurd

Driven by revenge, redeemed by love
Book 1: Stolen by the Viking by Michelle Willingham
Book 2: Falling for Her Viking Captive by Harper St. George
Book 3: Conveniently Wed to the Viking by Michelle Styles
Book 4: Redeeming Her Viking Warrior by Jenni Fletcher
Book 5: Tempted by Her Viking Enemy by Terri Brisbin

Katla Thorfinnsdottir is the oldest daughter of a Pict woman and a Norse man.  Her father has promised her in marriage to a horrible man and Katla is devastated.  She is a widow from her first marriage and doesn’t want to marry another ogre.

Brandt shows up at the Pict stronghold to kill Katla’s father, Thorfinn Bjornsson.  He wants revenge as he believes that Thorfinn is responsible for the raid on his Norse village that ended up killing his father, Brandt’s pregnant wife, and the crown taking their titles and their land.  They fight, but eventually Brandt is wounded and taken prisoner.  Katla is the castle’s healer and is ordered by her father to save Brandt.  As he’s healing, Katla gets to know Brandt and stats to like him a great deal.  She asks him to help her and her younger sister escape from the castle and Brandt agrees, but not before he gets his revenge.  Brandt is leery of Katla at first but soon finds himself falling in love with her.

Brandt tells Katla the story of his village and Katla discusses some weird happenings that are taking place in the castle.  Between the two of them they solve the mystery of what’s going on, but that doesn’t help Brandt who is still a prisoner. They make a plan, but they’re not sure if they can execute it without, well, getting executed.

This was a decent read.  I liked Katla but felt bad for her for the life she’d had after her mother died and her father had gotten remarried. She came back home after her husband died with the intent of staying at the castle for the rest of her life.  In the Pict lands the right of inheritance is through the women.  For the Norse, the right of inheritance goes through the male line.  Her father marrying her off again was something she certainly didn’t want.  She’d been abused by her first husband and didn’t want to have to deal with that again.  Unfortunately, her father wasn’t listening, because of his new wife and her machinations.

Brandt was a good character, but he didn’t have much depth.  He was so focused on revenge that we didn’t get to know a whole lot about him or his background. I certainly liked him with Katla,and loved that he could love her despite his hate for her father.  Katla was kind and giving and I loved her determination in getting the heck out of Dodge.

The story did have a ton of introspection as the characters were trying to figure out their lives, and the mystery that entwined the two of them, and that slowed things down a bit for me.  Despite that I enjoyed the story and recommend it if you like a good Viking story. This is the 5th book in the Sons of Sigurd series – all the books are written by different authors.  I didn’t read any of the books in the series besides this one but didn’t feel that I needed to do so in order to figure out what was going on in this one.  I obviously can’t say if that applies for all the books in the series, but for this one, it worked.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 

three-half-stars


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