Tag: 4.0 Reviews

Guest Review: Falling for Farmer Brown by Tammy Blackwell

Posted September 16, 2019 by Jen in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Falling for Farmer Brown by Tammy BlackwellReviewer: Jen
Falling for Farmer Brown by Tammy Blackwell
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: September 4, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 278
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four-stars

Home is where the heart is...

When the death of a dear friend forces Isabella "Izzy" Moreno to return to the small town where she grew up, her main goal is to get out and back to New York as soon as possible. But bad weather and delayed funeral plans mean not only is Izzy trapped in Cupar County for an entire week, but she's forced to bunk down with her former friend Ethan Brown.

Ethan Brown can't remember the first time he fell in love with Izzy Moreno, but he knows he's in danger of doing it all over again the moment he sets eyes on her. He vows to protect his heart this time around, but it's near impossible when she's living under his roof, reminding him of all the things he turned his back on years ago.

As Izzy spends more time in Cupar County and with Ethan she begins to wonder, can you really go home again?

I’m not gonna lie: I 150% picked up this book because of the cover. It is freaking adorable and utterly perfect for the book. Thankfully, what was inside the book was well worth reading.

Isabella Moreno has come back from New York City to rural Kentucky to be with her friends after one of their group died unexpectedly. (CW: This book deals with the aftermath of their friend’s death. I was worried it would be horribly angsty, but it’s not. There are, however, some painful moments and the grief is unavoidable at some points.) Izzy has remained close to her group of friends, except for Ethan Brown. As soon as she’s back, however, they decide to rekindle their friendship. Except Ethan’s never wanted just friendship from Izzy, and she’s starting to think that might not be what she wants either.

I adored both Izzy and Ethan. Ethan in particular is a sweet, bearded cinnamon bun of a man who has straight up loved Izzy forever. I didn’t exactly enjoy that he had essentially cut off contact with her for stupid reasons, but I could understand how it happened. He was young and dumb, and most of us have probably had that experience of drifting away from a childhood friend. I do wish they had talked a bit more about it, because I felt like his explanation to her was a little thin. Izzy is a great character too. The book is told in alternating first person, and it’s in Ethan’s chapters that I came to love Isabella. He just adores her and sees her for what she is. It’s lovely!

The big conflict in the book is that Izzy is heading back to NYC, while Ethan has firm roots in Kentucky. (Literal roots! He’s a farmer with a thriving business which I LOVED SO MUCH.) I appreciated that they BOTH have to figure out what their priorities are, and Izzy’s soul searching isn’t all about Ethan. She has to put aside all the expectations of the people in her life (her parents, her friends, her neighbors, etc) to figure out what she truly wants her life to be. Her friends are amazing as well. I loved getting to know them and desperately hope this is the start of a series. I want to read about every last one of them.

This book is cute but with enough of a serious backbone to stop it from being cutesy. I had a great time reading it.

Grade: 4 out of 5.

four-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: Sea Witch by Virginia Kantra

Posted September 12, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Sea Witch by Virginia KantraReviewer: Casee
Sea Witch by Virginia Kantra
Series: Children of the Sea #1
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: July 1, 2008
Format: Print
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 273
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

First in the new The Children of the Sea series from the USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR.

Margred is a Selkie - a legendary being of the sea, able to shapeshift into seductive human form. And she has found a human she desires...

Burned out from the big city, Caleb Hunter becomes police chief on the peaceful Maine island of World's End. Then he meets a woman who's everything he's ever dreamed of.

Their passion is undeniable, irresistible ...and it may change the fate of humankind.

*** Every Thursday, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books. Enjoy! ***

This review was originally posted on September 8, 2010

I really have enjoyed Virginia Kantra’s romantic suspense books so I wasn’t thrilled when this series first came out. I was so un-thrilled, in fact, that I didn’t read this book until two years after I got it.

Margred/Maggie threw me off at first. As a selkie, she doesn’t have human thoughts, human feelings, etc. The only human urge she has is of the sexual variety. So she was a very “go get ‘em” type of girl/seal. She first meets Caleb when she comes to land to find someone to bleep. Caleb is that person. She is attracted to him in a way that doesn’t make sense to the selkie part of her.

Caleb has had a rough few years and is happy to be home in World Point. When he first meets Maggie, he is breaking up a celebration on the beach. After a very intense sexual encounter, Maggie leaves and doesn’t come back. After that, Caleb would check that stretch of beach. For three weeks he waited for her. He finally finds her, but not in the way he wants.

When Maggie comes to shore, she is attacked and her pelt is subsequently burned. To be without her pelt is to not be selkie. Maggie has no idea what to do. She knows no one but Caleb. She has no one but Caleb. While she is very attracted to him, she is selkie at heart and cannot remain on land.

Maggie’s thoughts on immortality were very confusing (for her). She couldn’t understand why any selkie would resort to becoming human thus aging. As a 700 year old selkie, she can’t fathom a lifespan so short nor does she want to. Her inner struggle with that was really very emotional. She realizes she loves Caleb, but she still can’t imagine giving up her life as a selkie. Honestly, I couldn’t imagine her doing it either.

End up together they do, though it wasn’t easy to get there. They have demons and a long-lost brother to deal with. For the first book in the series, I found it very well written.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Children of the Sea

four-stars


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Guest Review: Highland Guard by Hannah Howell

Posted September 12, 2019 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Highland Guard by Hannah HowellReviewer: Tracy
Highland Guard by Hannah Howell
Narrator: Angela Dawe
Series: Murray Family #20
Also in this series: Highland Groom, Highland Devil (Murray Family #22), Highland Wolf
Publisher: Zebra
Publication Date: February 24, 2015
Source: Library
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 352
Length: 08:02
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four-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

Lady Annys MacQueen has no other choice. The deception that enabled her to keep her lands safe is on the verge of being revealed by a cruel kinsman. To shield her young son from the sword and her people from devastation, she must turn to the one man she could never forget. . .

He lives for duty and honor. So the only way Sir Harcourt Murray could repay the laird who saved his life was to agree to father a child with Sir MacQueen's wife. . .Lady Annys. Now the passion he still feels for the lovely strong-willed widow is as all-consuming and perilous as securing her lands. But to convince her that his love is forever real means confronting her most wrenching fears—and putting everything they treasure most at stake.

Annys MacQueen’s husband has died. Now she has kinsman who are trying to take her estate and lands away from her, stating that her son is not really a MacQueen. Annys doesn’t want to lose her lands, but they’re actually correct in believing that the child was not the laird’s. The Laird had actually contacted Harcourt Murray to come and father a child with his wife, since he was incapable of fathering children.

While Annys and Harcourt were together getting her pregnant, Annys fell for Harcourt. She loved her husband, but she was in love with Harcourt.  Harcourt has never forgotten Annys and thinks of her often. He would’ve liked nothing more than to stay with her forever, but he was only there for duty and to repay Laird MacQueen for saving his life. When Annys calls for him to help her save her lands, Harcourt is unprepared for the love he feels for both Annys and the child he fathered. Benet is adorable, amazing, precocious and just all-around wonderful and he never wants to be without them.

I ended up listening to this in audiobook. I very much enjoyed Angela Dawe as narrator and enjoyed the story immensely. I thought that Howell did a very good job in bringing these two people together, and I enjoyed their romance.

I thought I would have more of an issue with this one then I actually did. I don’t like infidelity in books, but for some reason this just worked for me.

While Hannah Howell’s Murray books are all very similar, this one stood out a little bit and I very much enjoyed it.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Murray Family

four-stars


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Review: Diamond Fire by Ilona Andrews

Posted September 5, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Diamond Fire by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Casee
Diamond Fire by Ilona Andrews
Series: Hidden Legacy #3.5
Also in this series: Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1), Wildfire, White Hot, White Hot (Hidden Legacy, #2), Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1), White Hot (Hidden Legacy, #2), Wildfire (Hidden Legacy, #3), Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1), Wildfire (Hidden Legacy, #3), Diamond Fire (Hidden Legacy, #3.5), Sapphire Flames
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: November 6, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 160
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Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge
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four-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

Nevada Frida Baylor and Connor Ander Rogan cordially invite you to join their wedding celebration. Summoning, weather manipulation, and other magical activities strictly forbidden.

Catalina Baylor is looking forward to wearing her maid of honor dress and watching her older sister walk down the aisle. Then the wedding planner gets escorted off the premises, the bride’s priceless tiara disappears, and Rogan's extensive family overruns his mother’s home. Someone is cheating, someone is lying, and someone is plotting murder.

To make this wedding happen, Catalina will have to do the thing she fears most: use her magic. But she’s a Baylor and there’s nothing she wouldn't do for her sister's happiness. Nevada will have her fairy tale wedding, even if Catalina has to tear the mansion apart brick by brick to get it done.

This book is the bridge between Nevada’s story and Catalina’s story. I wasn’t sure I would really like Catalina. She was okay, but Nevada and Arabella are my favorite, followed by Leon. I’m happy to say that I was wrong. Catalina was a breath of fresh air. I’m really looking forward to continuing this series.

After a disaster with her wedding planner, Nevada decides that Catalina is the one who can make her wedding go off without a hitch. Catalina highly doubts that, but she doesn’t tell Nevada. She recruits Arabella and Leon to help. Together they are going to give Nevada the wedding of her dreams. Then she turns into a bridezilla. All of a sudden, nothing seems to be going right. The cake gets poisoned, a Rogan family heirloom is stolen, and Nevada wants blue lillies. That completely clashes with the colors she originally chose, but Nevada is adamant.

Catalina is soon being dragged in a dozen different directions. One of Rogan’s relatives decides he needs to seduce Catalina so he can get the inheritance when Rogan dies. Never mind that Nevada will be the one inheriting. When Catalina discovers what is happening, she’s appalled. And angry. She continues to search for the heirloom, certain that it’s one of Rogan’s family members. Chaos ensues.

I really enjoyed this book. Like I stated above, I wasn’t wild about Catalina, but this one changed my mind. I think she’s going to be one hell of a heroine.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Hidden Legacy

four-stars


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Review: Black Sheep by Meghan March

Posted September 4, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Black Sheep by Meghan MarchReviewer: Case
Black Sheep by Meghan March
Narrator: Andi Arndt, Sebastian York
Series: The Dirty Mafia Duet #1
Publisher: Audible Studios
Publication Date: July 2, 2019
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Escape
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Length: 6 hours and 28 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Casee's 2019 New to Me Challenge, GoodReads Challenge, New to Me Challenge
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

From New York Times bestselling author Meghan March comes a story of untold truths and one man’s redemption in the Dirty Mafia Duet.

Every family has a black sheep. In the infamous Casso crime family, that black sheep is me—Cannon Freeman. Except I’m not a free man. I’ve never been free. Not since the day I was born. I owe my loyalty to my father, Dominic Casso, even if he won’t publicly acknowledge me as his blood. I’ve never had a reason to go against his wishes… until I met her. Drew Carson turned my world upside when she walked into my club looking for a job. Now, my honor and my life are on the line. Going against my father’s wishes might buy me a bullet straight from his gun, but black sheep or not, it’s time to make my stand. She's worth the fallout.

This is the first book I’ve read by Meghan March. It was available on Audible Escape, so I thought what the hell. I’ll try it. I’m so glad I did because I am really loving this author even though I want to strangle the heroes. Meghan March has something special, that’s for sure.

Cannon Freeman was born into the mob. His father, Dominic Casso, runs the mafia with an iron fist. Dom treats Cannon like a pile of poo, yet Cannon feels loyalty to him for taking him into his home after his mother was murdered. It’s pretty messed up, but Cannon can do nothing but be there for his father. Cannon runs a club for the elite. It’s about the only legit business that the Casso’s own. When Drew Carson comes in for an interview, Cannon knows he’s pretty much screwed.

Drew Carson is working at the club for one reason and one reason only: to bring down the Casso family. Her father was found hanging in his apartment, but Drew has never believed it was a suicide. It’s confirmed when she finds a file full of facts and pictures of Dominic Casso. Now she has her finger on the Casso family and she’s not letting any of them get away with her father’s murder. Not even the man she’s found herself wanting.

Now that Drew is in his life, Cannon finds himself standing up to his father for the first time in his life. He’s going to protect Drew from Dom, no matter what the cost. As Cannon and Drew begin an affair, Cannon begins to realize that Drew has something to hide. He’s determined to find out what it is. He doesn’t care about her secret, he just wants to protect her.

So the fact that Cannon has almost a blind loyalty to Dom, I’m making it sound like he’s a doormat. Not so. Cannon is a strong man that has been dealt an impossible hand. All he is trying to do is be a part of the family. Drew becomes his family and Cannon will die to protect her.

I really enjoyed this book from the beginning to the end. There are a lot of obstacles that Cannon and Drew had to overcome and I found myself impatiently waiting for the next book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Dirty Mafia Duet

four-stars


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