Tag: 4.25 Reviews

Guest Review: Window Shopping by Tessa Bailey

Posted December 13, 2021 by Ames in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Window Shopping by Tessa BaileyReviewer: Ames
Window Shopping by Tessa Bailey
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: October 19, 2021
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 258
Add It: Goodreads
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four-half-stars

A sizzling, standalone, feel-good holiday romance from Tessa Bailey, New York Times bestselling author of It Happened One Summer.
Two weeks before Christmas and all through Manhattan,
shop windows are decorated in red and green satin.
I'm standing alone in front of the famous Vivant department store,
when a charming man named Aiden asks my opinion of the decor.
It's a tragedy in tinsel, I say, unable to lie.
He asks for a better idea with a twinkle in his eye.
Did I know he owned the place? No. He put me on the spot.
Now I'm working for that man, trying to ignore that he's hot.
But as a down on her luck girl with a difficult past,
I know an opportunity when I see one-and I have to make it last.
I'll put my heart and soul into dressing his holiday windows.
I'll work without stopping.
And when we lose the battle with temptation,
I'll try and remember I'm just window shopping.

I am not usually one to pick up holiday themed books but I really enjoy Tessa Bailey’s writing so picking up Window Shopping was a no brainer. It didn’t hurt when I heard on the Fated Mates podcast that there was some Ted Lasso inspiration going on as well.

So it’s the holidays, two weeks before Christmas and Stella is walking down Fifth Avenue, questioning her life choices when Vivant’s (high end store) window display catches her eye. It’s a little penguin sweat shop. Her reaction to the cute (but not really) window display captures Aiden’s attention. Aiden is a happy-go lucky kind of guy and her small smirk when she peruses the penguins makes him curious and he questions her about the display, asking what she would do differently. This interaction leads to Stella starting a job at Vivant as a window dresser.

But things aren’t as simple as all that. Stella has a past that she’s trying to move beyond and the last thing she needs to do while she’s figuring out who she is is start dating her new boss. Yes, Aiden is owner and general manager of Vivant. But what Stella wasn’t counting on was Aiden, his zest for life and his ability to always find the silver lining. She’s definitely on the cynical side but there’s just something about Aiden.

sigh I really enjoyed this one. Stella had a journey of self-discovery she needed to go on and I was there for it. There was a moment when I wanted to shake her but I quickly got over it – Stella needed to have faith in herself and she gets there! You know who had no doubt in Stella? Aiden. He was 100% behind her, believing in her and he’s the kind of hero I need more of.

Window Shopping was a quick holiday read that I highly recommend. I also forgot to mention how much of a dirty talker Aiden is. chef’s kiss

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

four-half-stars


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Review: Immortal’s Honor by Rebecca Zanetti

Posted December 6, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Immortal’s Honor by Rebecca ZanettiReviewer: Casee
Immortal's Honor by Rebecca Zanetti
Series: Dark Protectors #14
Also in this series: Marked (Dark Protectors, #7), Fated (Dark Protectors, #1), Claimed (Dark Protectors, #2), Hunted (Dark Protectors, #3), Consumed (Dark Protectors, #4), Provoked (Dark Protectors, #5), Marked (Dark Protectors, #7), Shadowed (Dark Protectors, #6), Vampire's Faith (Dark Protectors, #8), Demon's Mercy (Dark Protectors, #9), Alpha's Promise, Hero's Haven, Guardian's Grace, Rebel's Karma
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Publication Date: December 7, 2021
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 328
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

From award-winning author Rebecca Zanetti comes the newest wildly thrilling Dark Protectors novel with an immortal hero to die for.

First comes danger . . .

When Vampire-Demon Sam Kyllwood discovers he’s the keeper of some mysterious circle, he laughs it off. When he finds out that his younger brother is supposed to fight to the death in said circle, he snaps right to furious. And that’s before he starts uncontrollably making things explode —it turns out it’s never too late to develop deadly new immortal abilities. But even those explosions are nothing compared to what happens when he tries to handle a very suspicious, brilliant and beyond sexy human female whose piercing eyes ignite a heat that rages deliciously outside even his unbreakable control…

Then comes desire . . .

Honor McDovall is one of the best interrogators Homeland Security has ever had. But no matter how well she appears to fit in, her mystical gifts are slowly driving her mad. She doesn't understand them, she doesn't want them, but for now, she'll use them to detect and defeat danger until she completely loses her mind. Unfortunately, her job brings her face to face with the deadliest man she's ever met—and she senses Sam is even more gifted than she is. Yet once they kiss, she realizes he's also more dangerous than the enemies suddenly coming from every direction. Good thing they both like to play with fire . . .

Immortal’s Honor is the 14th book in Zanetti’s Dark Protector series. I’ve been a diehard fan of this series since I first discovered it. While there are some books in the series that I like over others, I still have liked all the books. I honestly don’t think there is one book in this series that I did like.

Sam Kyllwood was introduced around book 5 or 6 (I could be wrong here). He’s always been a fascinating character and I am thrilled that we finally got his book. After his niece, Hope, was born the prophets of the Realm pulled Sam aside and told him that Hope was supposed to go through a ritual to become the Keeper. Hope would have died so Sam offered himself up. He doesn’t know what being the Keeper is all about, but he would do anything for his niece if it would save her life. The problems that arise after the ritual are problematic. Sam can’t stop blowing things up. Not because he wants to, but because he can’t stop himself. There is also being pulled into alternate dimensions which is causing a problem. Then he meets Honor McDovall.

Honor is called in by Homeland Security when Sam gets detained by the police after one of the explosions. She’s instantly attracted to Sam, but was properly horrified since he’s obviously a criminal. She’s one of the best investigators that Homeland has and it’s because of the gift that she barely acknowledges she has. She can tap into brain waves and get the truth out of anyone. Anyone but Sam that is. She can’t get a read on Sam, though she knows he is dangerous as all get out.

I loved Honor. She was so practical. When Sam kidnapped her, she took it in stride and didn’t stop trying to get away. I loved that about her. She did what I hope that I would do. She tried to escape. I’m so used to books where the heroine just accepts that they’re kidnapped and that’s that. Honor didn’t care how attracted she was to Sam. She thought he was a psychopath. It’s only when she is suddenly thrust into Sam’s world that she realizes how wrong she was about him. Somehow Sam gives Honor his curse of blowing things up. He doesn’t know how he did it nor does he know how he’s going to help her.

Sam and Honor were fire. This is one of my favorite installments of this series. I love how the arc of the story over the last few books has progressed. I’m really, really, really looking forward to Garrett’s book. It’s going to be amazing.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

Dark Protectors

four-half-stars


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Review: Reckless Memories by Catherine Cowles

Posted November 17, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Reckless Memories by Catherine CowlesReviewer: Casee
Reckless Memories by Catherine Cowles
Narrator: Andi Arndt, Joe Arden
Series: Wrecked #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: May 12, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 330
Length: 8 hours and 38 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

I loved him before I knew what the word meant. From skinned knees to first dates and everything in between. But he was never mine to love. I settled for friendship, even though I always wanted more.
That was before. Before he ripped my world apart and didn’t bother sticking around to help me pick up the pieces. I knit every last shred back together all on my own. And I’ve all but forgotten his name.
Now, he’s back, and everything is torn apart once more. But he’s not the only one doing the tearing this time. And there might be no stopping the person who has it out for us both.

Ford, Bell, and Violet were like the Three Musketeers. They did everything together. Bell tagged along with them most of the time. When Violet died in a horrible accident, Ford fled Anchor Island. All he could think about what that it was his fault. His fault that he killed his girlfriend. His fault that his best friend is in the hospital. Never mind that a deer ran into the road. He’s at fault.

When Ford left after Violet died, Bell was destroyed. Devastation doesn’t even begin to cover what she felt when she found out that her sister died and she lost Ford. It’s taken her a long time to find peace with the situation, but she does find it. When Hunter calls Ford to tell him he needs to return to Anchor to help the family business, Bell is once again torn apart. It’s taken her a long time and much soul searching to find her happiness.

I don’t generally care for the dead girlfriend’s little sister trope. I think it’s pretty cliché. Catherine Cowles definitely made it work in this case. Ford and Bell weren’t just best friends; they shared the same soul. It’s all very Megan Fox/MGK minus the blood. Their relationship began when Bell was so young. To Ford, she was a part of him.

These characters were just so well-rounded. When Ford arrives back on Anchor, he is forced to confront how his decisions back then how it wrecked Bell. He’s determined to win her back (friendship at this point) which means he needs to look inward to finally figure out why he left everyone he loved.

This was my first book by this author and I’m really looking forward to reading the series. Yay for new-to-me authors!

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

Wrecked

four-half-stars


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Review: Rise by Cassandra Robbins

Posted October 4, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Rise by Cassandra RobbinsReviewer: Casee
Rise by Cassandra Robbins
Series: Rock God #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: September 9, 2021
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 357
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

USA Today bestselling author Cassandra Robbins returns with a scorching second chance, age-gap love story about a Rock God and his muse.
I know what I want.

So when opportunity knocked, I took it. I grabbed my shot, willing to do anything to make it happen.
From the beginning, I knew I was destined to be with the six-foot-four, bourbon-eyed Rock God. Only back in the early days he wasn’t a god.
Rhys Granger was my brother’s friend, the boy next door who wrote verses and played his guitar in our garage. He was talented. Exciting. Damaged. The kind of guy who made all the girls cry…
Except for me. I thought I was special. Turns out I’m not.
And now… I despise him.
He’s the lead singer of the Stuffed Muffins, one of the biggest bands in the world, with dark hair, full lips, and a body to die for.
Unfortunately, he’s a dick.
Not that I care anymore. I have my own career. I’m successful in my own right. So, when offered another once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, I turn it down.
But the universe has other plans, and I’m forced back into the savagely glamorous world of rock ‘n’ roll. Thrust into battling his seductive smile, his dangerous kisses, and my own addictive needs.
He might be a Rock God, but he’s also a man. And I’m the woman he never saw coming.
----
Get your VIP pass to the hottest world tour this year. Rise is a complete standalone in the Rock God series. Stage dive straight into Rhys and Gia’s uncontrollable attraction. With appearances from beloved past characters, this is my most scorching book yet.
*Not responsible for broken or spontaneous combustion of your e-reader.*

You’re not the boss of me, and I’ll never be like those girls, crying because you don’t love them. When I grow up, I know you’re gonna love me the best,” she announces, spins around, and walks back to the girls.

Gia was seven when she told Rhys she was going to marry him. He was seventeen, but age never mattered to her. Now she’s eighteen and she has a single-minded determination to show Rhys that they are made for each other. In her wildest dreams she could never imagine that he wouldn’t recognize her when he saw her. It works to her advantage in this case as she realizes that Rhys would never agree to be with her if he knew who she was. Now that they’ve been together, Gia is going to do everything to show Rhys that they’re meant to be together.

When Rhys figures out who Gia is after the night they spent together, he’s pretty much dumbfounded. The seven year old girl that was such a nuisance. The woman she has become is someone that Rhys doesn’t want to let go. He doesn’t care about her brother wanting to kill him; he will do anything to keep his muse and the woman that has come to mean everything to him in such a short amount of time.

Gia wasn’t ready for Rhys when she was eighteen. I believe that she needed to grow up a little. She was very much like an eighteen year old with her feelings about Rhys and what he should & should not be doing. She wasn’t ready for the Rock God lifestyle & it really showed. When they run into each other again about ten years later, she’s a woman, not the naive girl she once was.

The book had all the feels. You could feel the desperation that these two felt toward each other. It was an obsession; it was a love that was timeless. It was messy and chaotic. It was something that would be a difficult situation for any eighteen year old to be in. I think it was necessary for her to grow up before she & Rhys could be together. I really loved this book.

Rating 4.25 out of 5.

Rock God

four-half-stars


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Review: Just Last Night by Mhairi McFarlane

Posted August 23, 2021 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Just Last Night by Mhairi McFarlaneReviewer: Rowena
Just Last Night by Mhairi McFarlane
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication Date: May 4, 2021
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Point-of-View: First Person
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 416
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars

Eve, Justin, Susie, and Ed have been friends since they were teenagers. Now in their thirties, the four are as close as ever, Thursday night bar trivia is sacred, and Eve is still secretly in love with Ed. Maybe she should have moved on by now, but she can’t stop thinking about what could have been. And she knows Ed still thinks about it, too.
But then, in an instant, their lives are changed forever.

In the aftermath, Eve’s world is upended. As stunning secrets are revealed, she begins to wonder if she really knew her friends as well as she thought. And when someone from the past comes back into her life, Eve’s future veers in a surprising new direction...

They say every love story starts with a single moment. What if it was just last night?

Mhairi McFarlane is an author that I appreciate. She always writes the kind of books that pull me in, sucks me dry of emotions, and leaves me with a giant smile on my face. This book was no different. From beginning to end, I was invested in what was going on and though I wouldn’t necessarily classify this book as a romance, there were enough romantic elements to keep my romance novel loving ass happy. This book wasn’t an easy read by any means and it covered a wide variety of topics that seriously had me engrossed from start to finish.

This book covered the topics of love, heartbreak, friendship, and loss in a way that kept me up late at night, reading page after page after page. This book was a little darker in tone than her other books but there was still McFarlane’s witty humor weaved throughout the story and that made me happy. I thought that McFarlane did a great job of writing full-bodied characters that I connected with whether I liked them or not and I felt Eve’s every emotion throughout the entire story. Eve does a lot of growing throughout this story and I was here for it all. At every point in this story, I was either crying along with her, cheering her on, or laughing because seeing her with her friends was pretty great. Her friendship with Ed, Justin, and Susie was such a treat for us readers and probably one of my favorite things in the entire book. Their friendship was far from perfect and there was a lot of struggles but honestly, that made me love them all the more.

This book made me cry and it made me laugh and I felt Eve’s every emotion. I was scared that because we knew going into the book that tragedy was going to strike, that the book would be a lot heavier than what I’m used to from Mhairi McFarlane, that Eve’s grief would be too much for me but I shouldn’t have worried at all because like I said earlier, McFarlane does a great job of spreading her trademark humor throughout the story so the sad parts didn’t bog the story down for me. There’s a great mix of everything inserted in this book and I’m glad that I picked this one up for review.

The romance was done well, too. Eve’s journey to self-discovery played a huge part in the book, and the love interest isn’t really revealed until well into the story, but I still enjoyed it. Seeing Eve fall in love and find her person made me happy. This was a great way to spend a few hours. I enjoyed getting to know everyone in Eve’s life, I enjoyed all of the pets, the complicated mess of everything, and seeing Eve really come into her own. This was another hit from McFarlane for me and I definitely recommend it.

4.25 out 5

four-stars


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