Tag: 3.5 Reviews

Review: Soul of the Witch by Deanna Chase

Posted September 11, 2023 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Soul of the Witch by Deanna ChaseReviewer: Holly
Soul of the Witch by Deanna Chase
Narrator: Gabra Zackman
Series: Witches of Keating Hollow #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: March 14, 2018
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 242
Length: 6 hours and 12 minutes
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Series Rating: four-stars

Welcome to Keating Hollow, the village full of love, magic, and cupcakes, and where nothing is more important than family.

At age eighteen, after a potion tragically backfired, Abby Townsend left Keating Hollow and her magic behind to find redemption. Ten years later, after being summoned by her family, she’s back. As soon as she drives into town, she’s already plotting her inevitable exit, but she can’t quite escape the pull of the tightly knit magical community or the soulful gaze of the one man she’s never forgotten. And when an eight-year old witch not only leads her back to her magic, but also steals her heart, Abby’s about to learn what it means to embrace the soul of a witch.

I found this while browsing KU and decided to give it a try after reading the blurb. After an incident just before high school graduation that left her best friend dead, Abby left Keating Hollow and has spent the ten years since running from her past and her magic. When her father becomes ill she agrees to come home to help him and her sisters. Seeing “the one who got away” the second she comes into town doesn’t help her feel any better about the situation, but she can’t deny there’s a certain appeal about being back home with the people who know and love her best.

Clay was devastated when Abby left town, even though he knew why she felt she couldn’t stay. Now that she’s back home he’s having a hard time keeping away from her, but his daughter has to be his priority and he can’t risk letting her get attached to Abby when she’s made it clear she won’t stay.

As Abby works to unlock her magic and forgive herself, they both realize what they have might be enough to save them both.

This was a quick, light read. I enjoyed the town of Keating Hallow, as well as Abby and her sisters. I didn’t love that the “mystery” of what happened in the past was drug out until almost the end of the book, but I still enjoyed reading about Abby settling back in the town. I do wish we’d had more of Olive, Clay’s 8-year-old daughter. The romance was sweet and I liked the story overall.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Witches of Keating Hollow


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Review: Moonlighter by Sarina Bowen

Posted July 10, 2023 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Moonlighter by Sarina BowenReviewer: Holly
Moonlighter by Sarina Bowen
Narrator: Jason Clarke, Lucy Rivers
Series: The Company #1
Also in this series: Moonlighter, Loverboy
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: October 19, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 330
Length: 10 hours and 44 minutes
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Series Rating: three-stars

Only in my family could a professional hockey player earning seven million dollars a year be considered a slacker.
I'm at the height of my athletic career. Yet my arrogant brother is always trying to recruit me into the family business: a global security company so secretive that I don't even know its name. Pass, thanks. I don't need a summer job.
But the jerk ambushes me with a damsel in distress. That damsel is Alex, the competitive, sassy girl I knew when we were kids. Now she's a drop-dead gorgeous woman in deep trouble. So guess who's on a flight to Hawaii?
It's going to be a long week in paradise. My job is keeping Alex safe, while her job is torturing me with her tiny bikinis. Or maybe we're torturing each other. It's all snark and flirting until the threat against Alex gets serious. And this jock must become her major league protector.
Moonlighter is a stand-alone novel. No cliff-hangers, no prior experience necessary. Contains: hackers, hockey players, and a hotel room with only one bed.

I purchased the ebook with the audio add-on so I could switch between reading and listening. I enjoyed the narrators, but I spent more time reading than listening. I didn’t read this book when it was first released because I wasn’t interested in the premise. I also mistakenly thought this was a New Adult romance, and it didn’t make a lot of sense to me that a 20-something hockey player would be a great bodyguard. It ended up being better than I anticipated. Both characters are in their 30s and I liked the way things progressed between them.

I did not care for the suspense element. There were so many eye-rolling moments. I also didn’t love that it ended on a quasi-cliffhanger (the big baddie was left unresolved and – I assume – will be addressed in the next book).

I thought the romance, the storyline with Alex’s love-life troubles and Eric’s career issues were well done and they kept me reading, but I personally think the book would have been much better without the additional suspense element.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

The Company


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Review: Touched by Fire by Kel Carpenter

Posted July 3, 2023 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Touched by Fire by Kel CarpenterReviewer: Holly
Touched by Fire by Kel Carpenter
Narrator: Savannah Gilmore, Adam Gold
Series: Demons of New Chicago #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: October 1, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 332
Length: 7 hours and 5 minutes
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Series Rating: four-stars

For a decade, I’ve hated the supernaturals who owned my world.
I hunted them.I killed them.
And now, in the most grand twist of fate—I am bonded to one of them.
Oh, the irony.
Being a supernatural bounty hunter isn’t exactly a popular job. But after the magic wars, there aren’t many things a human can do that will put food on the table.
Thankfully anything my right hook can’t handle, my guns can.
Or so I thought.
When a demon summoning runs awry, the being that comes into this world changes everything.
I’m not sure if he’s truly a demon or a god, but one thing I do know is that he’s after me. I’d like to see him try.
I’ve got a promise to fulfill, and I’m not backing down.
The only way out of this is his death or mine, and I’ll do anything to survive.
Even if that means making a deal with the devil.
If you can’t get enough of books by Ella Summers, Annette Marie, Shannon Mayer, Deborah Wilde, K.F. Breene, Jeaniene Frost, Kelly St. Clare, and Linsey Hall then dive right in to the dangerous depths of New Chicago. Beware of headstrong heroines with snark. These ladies don’t bark. They bite.

This was a Kindle recommended read. The premise was interesting so I figured I’d give it a try.

Piper is a bounty hunter who specializes in those who are hardest to bring in. She has the highest kill count of any other bounty hunter out there, which makes her a prime candidate to take out a coven of witches who are determined to summon a demon. When her boss tells her stop the summoning and make an example of the coven, she realizes this is her chance to finally get answers about her past. Only she isn’t expecting the leader of the coven to be the man responsible for killing her family, or the demon he summons to claim she’s his mate. Now on the run from her shady boss and the demon, she has to figure out how to save her sister and get herself out of the mess she’s in.

I enjoyed the story and Piper, the FMC, though I did struggle with the info dumps and the way the writing seemed to drag on in places. The world-building was well done, but I couldn’t help but feel like there was a lot of extra that could have been cut. This ended on a cliffhanger and I am looking forward to the next book, but I’m hoping it’ll be a touch shorter.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Demons of New Chicago


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Lightning Review: Beyond Innocence by Emma Holly

Posted June 12, 2023 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Lightning Review: Beyond Innocence by Emma HollyReviewer: Holly
Beyond Innocence by Emma Holly
Series: Beyond Duet #1
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: July 1, 2001
Format: eBook
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 295
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Series Rating: four-stars

Emma Holly turns up the heat in this sinfully sensuous story of a family plagued by scandal—and a shy young woman who discovers a passion beyond her wildest dreams...
When her beloved father passes away, Florence Fairleigh finds herself alone in the world. All she wants is a man who will treat her kindly and support her financially—and she's come to London to find him.
Edward Burbrooke thinks marriage is the only way to save his brother, Freddie—and their family—from scandalous ruin. As head of the family, Edward has vowed to find Freddie a bride—and fast.
Thrown together by Edward, Florence and Freddie make a perfect pair—until Edward realizes he has feelings for his brother's betrothed. The sight of her nubile young body makes his blood burn with lust. The sound of her voice makes his heart warm with love. And the sweet taste of her kiss makes him wonder if he isn't making a terrible mistake.

My book club chose Beyond Innocence last year. I’m certain I’ve read Emma Holly before, but I can’t recall what titles or remember any details, so I’m going to say this is a new-to-me author. I haven’t been much for historicals lately, but this one really drew me in. I liked Florence from the start. She’s a practical sort, determined to find a husband so she can live a comfortable life. I liked that she recognized her circumstances and decided to do something about them. I did not love that she was such a perfect innocent. She was a total Disney princess..she even had an affinity for cats and babies. Like…they rushed her whenever she went outside (no joke).

I did not love that the family tried to dupe her into marrying Freddie. It was really frustrating and felt a little squicky (are we still using that word?).

Anyway, aside from that, I enjoyed the story. I really enjoyed Freddie, and his struggle to find his place in a world not accepting of who he was.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Beyond Duet


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Review: Fall Into Temptation by Lucy Score

Posted September 19, 2022 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Fall Into Temptation by Lucy ScoreReviewer: Holly
Fall into Temptation by Lucy Score
Narrator: Tanya Eby
Series: Blue Moon #2
Also in this series: No More Secrets , The Last Second Chance
Publisher: Self-PublishedFormat: Audiobook, eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited, Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Series Rating: four-stars

"If we do this again, it won’t stop at kissing.” It was a dark promise...

Beckett Pierce is the most eligible bachelor in the nosiest small town in upstate New York. But after his last girlfriend handcuffed herself to his porch and set his welcome mat on fire, he's not looking for any more romance.
Even if it lands right in his backyard. And has miles of red hair.
Gianna Decker has her hands full--no, overflowing--with problems. With two kids, a useless ex, and a brand new yoga studio, the last thing on her mind is finding a man who'll cause her more problems.
Making out with her broody landlord? Yeah, that would be a problem. Lusting after the sexy mayor of the town she just moved to? Definitely a problem. Dating the “favorite” son of her father's new lady friend? It seems like Beckett is a bad idea just waiting to happen.
But he's a bad idea she can’t seem to resist.
As Beckett and Gianna find themselves thrown together again and again, they can't help but fall into the temptation of sizzling stolen kisses, of a desire so hot it brands. And soon they're much, much closer than they ever wanted. Tempers flare when their families complicate things and the interfering citizens of Blue Moon Bend step in with their special brand of chaos.
Can Beckett and Gianna manage to disentangle themselves before it’s too late?
Or is the temptation too much for either of them to deny?

Fall into Temptation (Blue Moon #2) by Lucy Score, follows middle brother Beckett as he finds love with the new yoga instructor.

Gia just recently moved to Blue Moon Bay and opened a yoga studio. She’s happy to focus on her business and raising her two kids, until she meets the town mayor -who also happens to be her landlord. He’s sexy as hell and she is so down with having a fling with him. As long as things don’t get complicated, everything will be just fine, right? Oh, except the part where his mom is dating her dad..and he isn’t happy about it.

Beckett isn’t really sure that he wants a ready made family, but he can’t deny he wants Gia and her kids are funny and adorable. She might want to leave things uncomplicated, but he’s totally down with spending time with her and her kids.

This was a cute read. I liked Gia and Beckett together. Her kids were adorable and the way they gravitated to Beckett was sweet. I did think the conflict and resolution toward the end was pretty over the top. Beckett acted like a complete moron. His immature response to stuff was frustrating. The grovel scene was pretty good, but I think Gia gave in a little too quickly.

Still, I’m really loving this series. The characters come to life and I’m totally digging the town.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Blue Moon


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