Tag: 4.25 Reviews

Review: The Play by Elle Kennedy

Posted October 23, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Play by Elle KennedyReviewer: Rowena
The Play by Elle Kennedy
Series: Briar U #3
Also in this series: The Chase (Briar U, #1), The Risk (Briar U #2)
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: October 7, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Author
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 422
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A brand-new standalone novel in the New York Times bestselling Briar U series!

What I learned after last year’s distractions cost my hockey team our entire season? No more screwing up. No more screwing, period. As the new team captain, I need a new philosophy: hockey and school now, women later. Which means that I, Hunter Davenport, am officially going celibate…no matter how hard that makes things.

But there’s nothing in the rulebook that says I can’t be friends with a woman. And I won’t lie—my new classmate Demi Davis is one cool chick. Her smart mouth is hot as hell, and so is the rest of her, but the fact that she’s got a boyfriend eliminates the temptation to touch her.

Except three months into our friendship, Demi is single and looking for a rebound.

And she’s making a play for me.

Avoiding her is impossible. We’re paired up on a yearlong school project, but I’m confident I can resist her. We’d never work, anyway. Our backgrounds are too different, our goals aren’t aligned, and her parents hate my guts.

Hooking up is a very bad idea. Now I just have to convince my body—and my heart.

The Play is the third book in Elle Kennedy’s Briar U series. We’re finally getting Hunter’s book. If you read the previous books in this series then you’ll remember Hunter. He got his heart broken by Summer in the first book and then he turned into a little playboy that pissed off the wrong guy and got his wrist broken in the second book but now he’s back and he’s finally getting his own person in the third book. I’m going to be honest and tell you guys that Hunter was not my favorite person in the last book, hell, even in the first book. He was super immature and I just wasn’t a fan but holy cow did he win me over in this book. I freaking adored him and I loved his friendship with Demi. I also really enjoyed the banter between Hunter and Demi and Hunter’s nickname for her. I cracked up every single time that he called her Semi.

That was the thing with this book that I just completely adored. The dialogue. I read a lot and not a lot of people can write realistic and really good dialogue between every character in their stories. Elle Kennedy can. I fall into whatever conversation happens in her books and that’s why I continue to love the hell out of them. This book is no different. Hunter and Demi were fabulous characters on their own but they were even better together and I really dug that.

Hunter’s character really came around for me. Like I said, I was not a big Hunter fan in the previous books but Elle turned things around for me where Hunter was concerned and I was here for all of his shenanigans. The whole celibacy thing cracked me up because it was SO extra but I really loved seeing Hunter have his teammates back, I loved seeing him care for Pablo and seeing him get closer with Demi. The whole psychology project that they were working on together was interesting and I enjoyed seeing Hunter play his role.

Demi was everything that I like in a New Adult heroine. She was strong, smart, and sexy without being boring and bitchy so I really appreciated Elle Kennedy’s efforts where Demi was concerned. I also liked that Demi was part Latina but an Americanized Latina. I know a lot of girls who come from diverse backgrounds but grew up in America so they don’t speak their native tongue as much anymore or they just never learned the language so I didn’t mind that we got a diverse heroine who was still pretty American. Demi could have been me, just Cuban instead of Samoan. I’m as brown as brown can be but I don’t speak Samoan often so I’m not exactly fluent in Samoan anymore.

There were two things that drove me crazy with this book and they were Demi’s parents and Demi’s ex-boyfriend. Actually, it was more Demi’s father than her mother but when he completely disregarded her feelings about sharing their family holiday with her cheating ex-boyfriend’s family, it pissed me off. Then when he shows up at school to tell Hunter off, that pissed me off too. I’m really glad that Hunter was able to get through to the father and make him see things from Demi’s point-of-view because I wanted to push Demi’s dad right off the roof. Don’t even get me started on Nico, the cheating ex-boyfriend. I just found him to be so miserably blah. I didn’t care for his character at all so when Demi was finally done with him, I was glad.

Overall, this book was a good one. It definitely engaged all of my feelings. My heart hurt for Hunter and finding out about his parents and home life. I was mad at Demi for her part in the shenanigans with Hunter’s celibacy. I was pissed to high heaven that Nico and his friends jumped Hunter and everything that happened with Nico but I rejoiced like crazy when they finally admitted to each other that they loved each other and I really loved when Demi became a part of the off-campus apartment dynamic. I enjoyed this one a lot though The Risk is still my favorite of the bunch. Still, if you’re a fan of Elle Kennedy’s books, a fan of the off-campus and Briar U series then you should definitely read this one. It’s good, I promise!

Final Grade

4.25 out of 5

Briar U

four-stars


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Review: Moonlighter by Sarina Bowen

Posted October 22, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Moonlighter by Sarina BowenReviewer: Rowena
Moonlighter by Sarina Bowen
Series: The Company #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: October 22, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 370
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Dear readers, good news! Hockey player Eric Bayer is getting his own story. And it’s the start of a new series, too!

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 still trying to recruit me into the family business: a global security agency 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 sassy, pushy 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 seems is torturing me with her bikini collection. Or maybe we’re torturing each other. So the question becomes: who will crack first? And when our tropical fling is over, can I give her up?

Moonlighter jump starts a new series from Sarina Bowen. The series name is The Company and it’s a spin-off from her Brooklyn Bruisers series. Moonlighter is Brooklyn Bruiser Eric Bayer’s book and in it, we delve into his family business. His family business is reuniting him with an old friend that didn’t even remember him the last time that they came across each other. But she needs his help and his family has roped him into helping her. So he goes to Hawaii with her to pretend to be her boyfriend, to protect her from an abusive ex-boyfriend.

I was looking forward to this book ever since I found out we were getting it. Ever since reading Overnight Sensation, I wanted to know where Bayer disappeared to. He was there in the beginning and then he gets hurt, goes to stay at his Dad’s house and we never see him again so I remember thinking, where did he go? What is he doing? Well, all of my questions were answered with this book.

Sarina Bowen is really good at her job because I was entertained from beginning to end with this book. I enjoyed Eric’s backstory, I enjoyed Alex’s backstory, I enjoyed their shared history and the little bits of it that we learn and I enjoyed the romance between Bayer and Alex. Sure, there were a time or two when I wanted to smack some sense into both Erice and Alex but for the most part, this was another fabulous contemporary romance that I lost myself in on a lazy weekend.

Eric was exactly the hero that I knew he was going to be and that’s a good thing because I adored him in the Brooklyn Bruiser books that we saw him in. When he got hurt, I felt for him and when he disappeared, I missed him. He was a solid secondary character and an even more solid main character. I liked the differences between him and his brother Max and I really enjoyed seeing him come into his own with regards to his family life. He grew up feeling left out because he didn’t share the same aspirations to join his father’s security company as Max did. Seeing him really grow into his feelings for Alex made for such a delightful reading experience and I’m super glad that I read this one.

Alex was a pretty solid heroine herself. She was smart, strong, and filthy rich…but she didn’t have a perfect life. I liked seeing Alex really take charge of her situation. She didn’t let herself stay down, she was smart enough to surround herself with people who were invested in her safety and she was strong enough to really make a go of life as a single mother. Sure, she was rich as shit and could afford to surround herself with people who kept her safe but she had a good head on her shoulders and a caring heart that I really connected with. She put her foot in her mouth plenty of times but she wasn’t mean and she always went out of her way to make things right. I admired that.

The set up for this series wasn’t really there for me. Like, I know that Max and Scout will probably get a book but I didn’t really get a feel for them as individuals or even just get a feel for what the following books would be like but overall, I still really enjoyed the romance between Eric and Alex and I’ll continue to read whatever Sarina Bowen puts out because she’s Sarina Bowen and I always read Sarina Bowen books. This book was a delight and if you’re a fan of the Brooklyn Bruisers series, or hell, any book by Sarina Bowen, I have every faith that you’ll enjoy this one too so give it a go. You know you want to. 😉

Final Grade

4.25 out of 5

The Company

four-stars


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Review: The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith

Posted October 21, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Vine Witch by Luanne G. SmithReviewer: Holly
The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith
Narrator: Susannah Jones
Series: Vine Witch #1
Publisher: 47North
Publication Date: October 1, 2019
Format: eBook, Audiobook
Source: Kindle Unlimited, Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 263
Length: 8 hours and 42 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: GoodReads Challenge, Historical Challenge, Holly's 2019 Historical Challenge, Holly's 2019 New to Me Challenge, New to Me Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A young witch emerges from a curse to find her world upended in this gripping fantasy of betrayal, vengeance, and self-discovery set in turn-of-the-century France.

For centuries, the vineyards at Château Renard have depended on the talent of their vine witches, whose spells help create the world-renowned wine of the Chanceaux Valley. Then the skill of divining harvests fell into ruin when sorcière Elena Boureanu was blindsided by a curse. Now, after breaking the spell that confined her to the shallows of a marshland and weakened her magic, Elena is struggling to return to her former life. And the vineyard she was destined to inherit is now in the possession of a handsome stranger.

Vigneron Jean-Paul Martel naively favors science over superstition, and he certainly doesn’t endorse the locals’ belief in witches. But Elena knows a hex when she sees one, and the vineyard is covered in them. To stay on and help the vines recover, she’ll have to hide her true identity, along with her plans for revenge against whoever stole seven winters of her life. And she won’t rest until she can defy the evil powers that are still a threat to herself, Jean-Paul, and the ancient vine-witch legacy in the rolling hills of the Chanceaux Valley.

The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith is a debut historical fantasy novel. This was an Amazon First pick. The audio add-on was only $1.99, so I snagged that with it and ended up listening to the whole book. The narrator did a wonderful job with the story.

Set somewhere near the turn of the century in France (automobiles are just becoming popular, though the year is never mentioned), The Vine Witch follows Elena Boureanu as she beats a deadly curse and returns to family winery Château Renard, the only home she’s ever known…only to discover it’s been sold and life as she knew it is changed forever.

For seven years, Elena has been stuck as a toad, forced to eat poison to fend off a deadly curse. When she finally breaks free, she returns home to Château Renard with vengeance in her heart. She’s convinced her former fiance is the one who cursed her when she broke off their engagement, and she plans to make him pay. When she returns home she finds all of the land has been hexed, not just her. It’ll take all her skill as a Vine Witch to untangle the mess of hexes…something made more difficult by the new owner’s refusal to believe in witches.

Jean Paul left a prestigious law firm in the city to become a winemaker when he saw the renowned Château Renard was available for sale. He wants nothing more than to produce amazing wine…using science, not the superstitious “magic” the locals claim is responsible for the good – and bad – in the land. When Elena returns, he’s suspicious of her, but if she can teach him the secrets of her famed grandfather, she’ll be worth her weight in gold. As he and Elena become close, he realizes there’s more to her than meets the eye..and everything he thought he believed may be a lie….

This was a lovely fairytale-esque novel, filled with mystery, intrigue and magic. I truly enjoyed both Elena and Jean Paul, as well as the world Smith created. The melancholy of the vines, the hexed land and the shadowy figures responsible truly came to life. I figured out early on who the villains were, and how Elena came to be cursed, but that didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the novel.

This was the fantasy Gothic novel I’ve been craving. The Vine Witch shines bright.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

Vine Witch

The Glamourist (Coming 2020)

four-stars


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Review: Heiress Gone Wild by Laura Lee Guhrke

Posted October 16, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Heiress Gone Wild by Laura Lee GuhrkeReviewer: Rowena
Heiress Gone Wild by Laura Lee Guhrke
Series: Dear Lady Truelove #4
Also in this series: The Trouble with True Love (Dear Lady Truelove #2), The Truth About Love and Dukes (Dear Lady Truelove, #1), The Trouble with True Love (Dear Lady Truelove, #2), The Trouble with True Love (Dear Lady Truelove, #2), Governess Gone Rogue (Dear Lady Truelove, #3)
Publisher: Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: September 24, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Dear Lady Truelove,

My ward is driving me crazy. I have to marry her off and get her out of my life. There's just one problem…

When Jonathan Deverill promised a dying friend he'd be guardian to the man's daughter, he envisioned a girl in pigtails and pinafores, a child he could leave behind in some finishing school. Problem is, his ward is actually a fully-grown, defiant beauty whose longing for romance threatens to make his guardianship a living hell.

New York heiress Marjorie McGann wants a London season and a titled husband who can help her spend the Yankee millions she's inherited, and she thinks her new British guardian is the perfect person to help her find him. But Jonathan has no intention of letting his friend's fortune be squandered. Under his watchful, protective eye, Marjorie finds romance hard to come by...until one fateful night when her own guardian's devastating kisses makes her wonder if the greatest romance of all might be right in front of her.

Heiress Gone Wild is the fourth installment in Laura Lee Guhrke’s Dear Lady Truelove series. It features Jonathan Deverill and American heiress, Marjorie McGann, as they take that long journey toward true love..with each other. I’m really enjoying this series so when this book came up for review, I knew that I was going to read it. Laura Lee Guhrke writes some fantastic historical romances and this was another fantastic historical romance for Jonathan and Marjorie.

Jonathan Deverill fled England to America to try to find himself but to also make something of himself. Now, he’s returning to England with more baggage than he planned on. When his business partner died, Jonathan became the guardian of his late partner’s daughter. A daughter that he barely found out about right before his partner died…and now that daughter has followed him to England and she’s not a young girl like he thought but a full-grown woman? Things are definitely going to get interesting. Especially since Marjorie has no plans of returning to America. Marjorie is determined to live her best life and heading back to America to pick up teaching at the school she graduated from isn’t part of her plans. She really just needs to ditch her guardian but an unexpected attraction is simmering between them and she’s at a loss as to what to do with it all.

Guhrke did a really good job with this one. I really enjoyed getting to know Jonathan front and center and I absolutely enjoyed getting to know Marjorie. I loved how strong and smart she was and how determined she was to live her life on her own terms. Sure, she was pretty naive but seeing her really grow into herself and seeing her grow into her feelings for Jonathan made for an enjoyable reading adventure.

There’s much to like about this story. Two main characters who are easy to connect with, a love that blossomed over the course of the book and a lot of dialogue that was easy to follow along with. Each scene brought this story together in a very engaging way and I’m super glad that I read it. If you’re in the mood for a slow burn kind of romance between two very lovable characters, you should definitely add this one to your TBR piles. You won’t be disappointed.

Final Grade

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

Dear Lady Truelove

four-stars


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Review: Archangel’s War by Nalini Singh

Posted October 10, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Archangel’s War by Nalini SinghReviewer: Holly
Archangel's War by Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #12
Also in this series: Archangel's Kiss, 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
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: September 24, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Wings of silver. Wings of blue. Mortal heart. Broken dreams. Shatter. Shatter. Shatter. A sundering. A grave. I see the end. I see. . .

The world is in chaos as the power surge of the Cascade rises to a devastating crescendo. In furiously resisting its attempts to turn Elena into a vessel for Raphael’s power, Elena and her archangel are irrevocably changed. . .far beyond the prophecy of a cursed Ancient.

At the same time, violent and eerie events around the world threaten to wipe out entire populations. And in the Archangel Lijuan’s former territory, an unnatural fog weaves through the land, leaving only a bone-chilling silence in its wake. Soon it becomes clear that even the archangels are not immune to this deadly evil. This time, even the combined power of the Cadre may not be enough. . .

This war could end them all.

Archangel’s War picks up shortly after the events of Archangel’s Prophecy leave off. Like everyone else, I was dying to know what became of Elena and Raphael after the quasi-cliffhanger of the previous book.

It’s difficult to review this book with no spoilers. I’ll attempt to avoid them, but be warned that spoilers from previous books are unavoidable.

When we last left Elena and Raphael, they were cocooned in a chrysalis made of pure golden energy. In an effort to save Elena from certain death, Raphael took his immortal heart and gave it to Elena, while taking hers for his own chest. When Archangel’s War begins, they’ve been in the chrysalis for 9 months. Dmitri has been holding Raphael’s territory with the help of troops from Caliane, Raphael’s mother, and the Archangel Elijah, Raphael’s closest ally. The world is holding its breath, waiting to see what the Cascade will bring next. When Raphael and Elena finally emerge from the cocoon, it’s an explosive moment – literally. They blow a giant crater in the Earth. It’s too soon, Elena isn’t ready to be awake, but the world needs them now more than ever as War looms on the horizon…

The question of who and what Elena will be when she emerges from the cocoon is well answered here. She’s the same, yet not. Her bond with Raphael is as strong as ever, and her connections to his Seven and her friends and family are still tight. I loved the early parts of the novel where she reconnected with them. Even her strained relationship with her father is revisited.

The majority of the book is focused on the Archangels’s War. As battle rages on, loyalties are tested and the very fate of the world hangs in the balance. I enjoyed the battle and felt it was as epic as one would expect from Archangels, but it did drag on a bit. I struggled to stay focused during a portion of it, but Singh eventually pulled me back in again. I loved seeing Raphael and his allies stand together against an ancient evil, and I was very satisfied with the way things ended (though it did feel a bit anticlimactic).

I can’t wait to see what happens now. I’m anxious for the next book, and thrilled we’ll get at least 3 more.

This novel is full of action, intrigue and underlying it all, a love so strong nothing can break it. Archangel’s War was everything I needed it to be. Oh, and the Legion? <3 <3 <3

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

Guild Hunter Series

four-stars


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