Tag: 3.5 Reviews

Review: Unzipped by Lauren Blakely

Posted July 6, 2022 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Unzipped by Lauren BlakelyReviewer: Holly
Unzipped by Lauren Blakely
Series: Lucky in Love #4
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: October 30, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Plus
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 306
Add It: Goodreads
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Wanted: hot nerd seeks dating coach.

Picture this - I'm ready to win back the love of my life, and I'm going big this time. We're talking boom box, sing her name in the rain, let the whole damn neighborhood know I'm good and ready this time around. After all, if you're going to grand gesture the ever-loving hell out of a second chance, you need to pull out all the stops.

There's only one little problem.

My college girlfriend isn't the one who shows up when I play my "I'll do anything to win you back" tune. The woman who flings open the second-floor window tells me my ex doesn't live here anymore. But she'll help me win her back. Anything for romance, anything for a guy so willing to go big for love. And that's what I want at first. Until I get to know my new "romance coach" and discover she's funny, clever, and keeps me on my toes. Now I don't want to win anyone else's heart. I want the woman who's been helping me all along. Trouble is - she thinks I'm in love with someone else, and when we take off on a road trip, everything I think I know about women is about to be unzipped and turned inside out.

***He's the last person I ever expected to pop into my life, but he might be exactly what I need to save the thing that matters most to me. All I have to do is not fall for him.Unzipped is a standalone romance!

Unzipped (Lucky in Love #4) by Lauren Blakely follows Kyler aka “Tom” as he decides to win back the love of his life. I listened to this on audio and really enjoyed the narrators. I hae not read any of the other books in the series, but I don’t feel like I missed anything.

Things ended rather abruptly with his college girlfriend, but he’s got his stuff together now and he’s ready to show her he’s a changed man. He knows he needs a grand gesture, so he stands outside her window with a boombox..that keeps eating tapes and doesn’t want to play music. But that’s okay, he’ll just sing the song…terribly and off key. Okay, this isn’t going well, but it’s the gesture that counts, right? Not when said ex-girlfriend isn’t even home.

Finley isn’t having the best time of things. Her sitcom is on the brink of being cancelled and she’s creatively tapped out. When a madman shows up outside her window with a boombox, she knows she’s found her next muse. She offers to help Tom win back his ex, so she can keep using him for inspiration. As they spend time together Finley realized Tom is more than a simple muse, and Tom starts to wonder if he’s pursuing the wrong type of love.

This was a cute listen. I enjoyed both narrators and the story overall, though I did think the Instalove was a little over the top. I didn’t really buy their HEA after only a week. The epilogue helped, though. I did like that Tom came to realize his past actions weren’t great and he wanted to make them right.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Lucky in Love

three-half-stars


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Review: In Still Darkness by Dianne Duvall

Posted June 15, 2022 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: In Still Darkness by Dianne DuvallReviewer: Holly
In Still Darkness by Dianne Duvall
Narrator: Arika Rapson
Series: Immortal Guardians #3.5
Also in this series: Darkness Dawns
Publisher: Zebra
Publication Date: July 29, 2014
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 126
Length: 3 hours and 9 minutes
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

Originally published in "Predatory"
In Dianne Duvall s world of Immortal Guardians, the stakes for mortals are high, but the cost especially to the heart might be higher "
It s not the first time Immortal Guardian Richart d Alencon has saved a human life from eternal damnation. Usually, he moves on, a nameless savior like a ghost in the night. But this time he can t seem to forget the woman who rewarded him with a sensuous kiss after he rescued her from a trio of vampires. While Richart knows that loving a human can only bring trouble, the taste of forbidden lust is too great to resist
Jenna never imagined she d end up a single mom working overtime to put her son through school. But she might have daydreamed once that a devastatingly gorgeous Frenchman would sweep her off her feet. Now that a package of tall, dark, and handsome seems intent on doing just that, doctors are telling her she may not have long to live. But Richart is telling her just the opposite. All she has to do is abandon her humanity
Includes a special sneak peek of Night Unbound

In Still Darkness (Immortal Guardians #3.5) by Dianne Duvall is a novella set in the same timeline as books 2 and 3 of this series, so there’s a bit of overlap. At the time I read this I had only finished book 2 in the series, but I didn’t feel like I missed anything.

Richart d Alencon rescues a woman from 3 vampires and ends up become attached to her. She’s a single mother and used to relying on herself. It comes as a surprised that someone so polished and clearly out of her league is showing an interest in her. Until she finds out his secret.

Richart has never been drawn to someone the way he is to Jenna. He knows he should stay away from her, but he can’t. When he finds out a vampire has been biting her without her knowledge, he knows he’ll do whatever it takes to save her. Even if it means making her Immortal.

I thought this was a sweet story. I really liked how Richart and Jenna were together. I also liked the way John, Jenna’s son, was with both Richart and his mom. I did roll my eyes a bit at the way it ended, but it’s nothing more than I’ve come to expect from this author, so it wasn’t surprising. I really liked how it gave us another perspective on some things that happened in the previous book.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Immortal Guardians

three-half-stars


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Lightning Review: Wild Fire by Kristen Ashley

Posted May 18, 2022 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Reviewer: Holly
Wild Fire by Kristen Ashley
Series: Chaos #6.5
Also in this series: Wild Wind
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: September 22, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 220
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristen Ashley brings a new story in her Chaos series…
“You know you can’t keep a good brother down.”

The Chaos Motorcycle Club has won its war. But not every brother rode into the sunset with his woman on the back of his bike.

Chaos returns with the story of Dutch Black, a man whose father was the moral compass of the Club, until he was murdered. And the man who raised Dutch protected the Club at all costs. That combination is the man Dutch is intent on becoming.

It’s also the man that Dutch is going to go all out to give to his woman.

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you'll enjoy each one as much as we do.**

Wild Wind is a novella set in the Chaos MC and features Dutch, Black’s son. Black was murdered before the Club went clean and Dutch and his brother Jagger have been living in his shadow their whole lives.

The first part of this story frustrated me a bit. I didn’t like how Georgiana and Dutch treated each other at first. I also really dislike the way KA inserted herself and her books into this series. Every time it comes up in one of the books it pulls me completely out of the story. I almost DNF’d this book because of it.

That aside, I liked Dutch and Georgie. They were cute together. They also worked well together, which was nice. This isn’t my favorite KA story, but I did enjoy it once I got past the first part and I’m looking forward to Jagger’s story.

Rating: 3.5

Chaos

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three-half-stars


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Review: Magic Redeemed by K.M. Shea

Posted May 11, 2022 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Magic Redeemed by K.M. SheaReviewer: Holly
Magic Redeemed by K.M. Shea
Series: Hall of Blood and Mercy #2
Also in this series: Magic Forged
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: March 20, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 284
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

I thought life would be easier after I unsealed my magic. Spoiler: it’s not.

I want to free my family from my traitorous cousin, but with all the allies he’s got guarding his back, even my new powers won’t be enough to beat him. My best bet is to use my parents’ signet ring to prove my claim of leadership.

There’s just one problem…

I can’t find it!

Things aren’t looking so good for my vampire housemates, either. As Killian Drake’s conflicts with the fae get worse, it's clear that war will break out soon if something doesn’t change.

Plus, Killian has gotten really weird about smelling me and invading my personal space. Every time he comes near my heart almost pops out of my chest, but I’m sure that’s just terror caused by being so close to the most feared vampire in the region.

At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

So, I’m a wizard searching for a ring while trying to survive living with a bunch of vampires and their deadly and suddenly touchy-feely leader. Yeah, life is definitely not easier.

Hall of Blood and Mercy is an urban fantasy trilogy featuring all your favorite vampires, wizards, fae, and werewolves. It’s packed with humor, adventure, and a sweet, slow burn romance between a vertically challenged wizard and the most lethal vampire in town.

Much has changed for Hazel since she fled her house and sought refuge with the vampires. She has regained the full use of her magic and learned to fight and protect those she loves, but she still hasn’t figured out how to take her house back. The signet ring she needs to prove her identity has gone missing, and the council won’t swear her in as head of her house without it. Her traitorous cousin is still after her and she hates that her family is suffering while she figures out what to do.

To make matters worse, Killian is having trouble with the Fae, and there’s a good chance he’s going to war. As his vassal, Hazel will have to go to war with him, which means further putting her house at risk. If that wasn’t bad enough, Killian has also been really weird around her.

There was a lot of filler in this book that felt unnecessary to me. I wish this book had been better edited. So much could have been left out. I liked the progression of the story. Hazel’s training and her determination to figure out her magic was good. I also like Killian and his vampires.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Hall of Blood and Mercy

three-half-stars


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Review: Magic Forged by K.M. Shea

Posted May 9, 2022 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Magic Forged by K.M. SheaReviewer: Holly
Magic Forged by K.M. Shea
Series: Hall of Blood and Mercy #1
Also in this series: Magic Redeemed
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: February 28, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 263
Add It: Goodreads
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

I'm one scrappy wizard. As someone with barely a flicker of magic, I've spent my life being mocked and surviving fights with bullies. But when my parents die in an accident, and I find myself responsible for our whole wizard house and family, I know my usual tactics aren't going to cut it.

The situation veers from bad to catastrophic when my backstabbing cousin stages a coup and takes my family hostage. I barely manage to flee, but the only supernatural willing to help me is Killian Drake - the most feared vampire in the region, and a far more deadly villain than the jerk threatening my family.

Is Killian sexy and charismatic? Heck yeah.

He's also so powerful that my flight or fight instincts kick in every time our eyes meet. And he's definitely using me as his personal magic detector in his feud against the local fae.

But Killian is also the first person to believe I might have more than just a scrap of magic. And if I can convince him to train me, I might get strong enough to free my family and get my house back.

I'm not sure what happens when a scrappy wizard is taught how to fight by a hall of deadly vampires, but I'm about to find out.

Magic Forged is the first book in the Hall of Blood and Mercy trilogy, which features vampires, wizards, fae, and werewolves. It's packed with humor, adventure, and a sweet, slow burn romance between a vertically challenged wizard and the most lethal vampire in town.

Magic Formed by K.M. Shea is the first book in the Hall of Blood and Mercy series, which is set in the world of Magiford, a Supernatural City in the Midwest. I read the Crown of Shadows trilogy last year, which is set in this world, but comes later in the timeline. I enjoyed the world enough to go back and start here.

Hazel is a member of one of the oldest Wizard Houses in the Midwest. Her parents were well-respected and loved, but she’s an outcast because she’s a magical dud. When her parents are killed in a car accident she has to become the head of the house as the only bloodline descendant. The fate of her house and her family rest solely on her shoulders. Unfortunately, members of her house don’t think she’s the best choice for the job and stage a coup. She’s forced to flee to save her life and those of the rest of her family members. She ends up the only place she knows she’ll be safe from those who would kill her or force her into marriage….with the Vampires. Killian Drake is the most feared vampire in the region. He keeps all of the other vampires in check, and there’s no way members of her family will attack him to get to her. As a vassal of his house, she’s required to serve in his household and render aid as he requests, but it’s worth it to buy some time to figure out her next steps.

Living with Killian and his vampires isn’t what she thought it would be. They train Hazel to fight and teach her to use her small amount of magic in ways she never anticipated. They also convince her that she may have more magic than she’s aware of. As Hazel tries to figure out how to save her house and navigate vampire politics, it soon becomes apparent there’s more to Killian than meets the eye…and he seems to be focused on her.

I struggled with the pacing a bit. There were times when it seems like nothing was happening and it was a chore to get through a chapter, then things would pick up and I’d read a 1/4 of the book before I realized it. Hazel’s desire to save her house was on the backburner for most of the book, which was strange to me considering that was the whole premise of the series. That aside, I did like the book. Hazel’s training was interesting to read about and I liked the mystery of Killian and what he was up to.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Hall of Blood and Mercy

three-half-stars


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