Tag: 5.0 Reviews

Review: Repeat by Kylie Scott

Posted February 25, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 9 Comments

Review: Repeat by Kylie ScottReviewer: Holly
Repeat by Kylie Scott
Narrator: Andi Arndt
Publisher: Audible Studios
Publication Date: January 7, 2019
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Escape
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Pages: 304
Length: 6 hours and 47 minutes
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five-stars

From Audie Award winning, New York Times best-selling author Kylie Scott comes an irresistible new romance - available in audio first!

When a vicious attack leaves 25-year-old Clementine Johns with no memory, she's forced to start over. Now she has to figure out who she was and why she made the choices she did - which includes leaving the supposed love of her life, tattoo artist Ed Larsen, only a month before.

Ed can hardly believe it when his ex shows up at his tattoo parlor with no memory of their past, asking about the breakup that nearly destroyed him. The last thing he needs is more heartache, but he can't seem to let her go again. Should they walk away for good, or does their love deserve a repeat performance?

I was browsing the Audible Romance Package for something new to listen to on my morning commute and came across Repeat by Kylie Scott, an Audible original (meaning it’s available in Audio first). I’ve read and enjoyed other novels by Scott, and I really like Andi Arndt as a narrator, so I figured I’d give it a try. I listened to a sample, then ended up finding things to do on a Sunday so I could keep listening. I even hid in the bathroom for 45 minutes to finish it when my family started bugging me for dinner.

Clementine Johns was robbed in the street and woke up with no memory. Skills she used with muscle memory – like making coffee or getting dressed – are fine, but she remembers nothing of her personality or relationships. Nor does she recognize anyone she used to know – including her own sister. As she tries to piece together her past and figure out who she is post memory, she ends up in the tattoo shop owned by her very recent ex. For reasons unknown, Clem broke up with Ed Larson a month before her attack. He’s less than happy to see her, but he’s willing to answer her questions and to help see to her safety. As long as she understands they’re over, and there are no repeats after the way she broke his heart…

Repeat is such a wonderfully drawn novel, I was pulled in from the start as Clem tries to figure out who she is. Her struggle to find her new personality, and to figure out if she likes the same things she did before really got me. She seems to be the same, yet totally different. She doesn’t think of herself when discussing the Clem from before, because she has none of the memories or emotions of that other Clem. She feels nothing when she looks at her sister, or her ex-boyfriend. Only mild curiosity about what happened. Until she starts spending time with Ed. Are the feelings she’s feeling for him now remnants of what she felt before, or new feelings developing? And what of his feelings? Are they all tied to the Before Clem?

Clem could have come off as whiny, or too naive, or a victim. Instead, she was forthright and unassuming. She had an innocent quality about her, but she was determined to find a way to live her life in this new reality. She didn’t sit around and whine about her circumstances, she just dealt with them. She was easy to connect with. I really admired her strength, and how determined she was to live her life.

“Who are you when all of your formative moments are gone?”

Though this is written in first-person from Clem’s point-of-view, I felt like we got a really good feel for Ed. His pain at their breakup and his struggle to trust this new Clem came through well. My heart hurt for him. I really wanted to see them work things out, but I understood why he held back. Clem had no memory of their relationship or their breakup, but for Ed it was very fresh.

I think I loved this so much because there wasn’t a lot of focus on Clem’s injury itself, or her having a big pity party over it. She accepted this was her new reality and determined to make the best of it. Ed often accused her of not having a filter, and that worked so well. She and Ed had great communication because of it. She just put what she was thinking out there, damn the consequences.

This isn’t a perfect story. Everyone wanted to shield Clem, and they often made decisions for her. I thought she was too passive about that at times. She did stand up for herself, but I think I’d have liked to see her out on her own a bit more. Having said that, she was still dealing with medical repercussions from her attack and learning how to live again, so I got over it. I had a harder time getting over how quick she was to let Ed, her sister and even her old friends keep things from her. No one wanted to talk about their breakup, why they thought she did the things she did, or share their perspective on her old self. I understood why, but it was just as frustrating for me as the reader as it was for Clem. Why she didn’t push harder confused me. Still, that was a minor annoyance and was easily washed away with everything else.

There was a mystery thread running throughout that was easily solved. It didn’t bother me, however, because I was focused on Clem and Ed.

I was totally wrapped up in Clem’s journey to figure out who she is now, her jealously over her old self, her determination to live and her developing feelings for her ex. This engrossing novel was well done and the narrator really brought all the characters to life. I highly recommend Repeat. I went back and forth about my grade of this book, but the truth is I finished it and immediately wanted to start it again. I’ve been telling everyone I know to listen to it, even those who are hesitant about audiobooks. So I’m giving it a 5. This is my first 5 star grade in…years, I think.

If audiobooks aren’t your thing, the ebook will be available April 7, 2019. Go forth and preorder. You won’t be disappointed.

Rating: 5 out of 5

five-stars


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Review: Huge Deal by Lauren Layne

Posted February 20, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 9 Comments

Review: Huge Deal by Lauren LayneReviewer: Rowena
Huge Deal by Lauren Layne
Series: 21 Wall Street #3
Also in this series: Hot Asset (21 Wall Street, #1), Hard Sell (21 Wall Street, #2), Hot Asset , Hard Sell , Huge Deal , Hot Asset, Hard Sell, Huge Deal
Publisher: Amazon Publishing, Montlake Romance
Publication Date: February 12, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 259
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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five-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Even for a top-gun banker, temptation this hot is quite a gamble, in a sexy Wall Street romp from New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne.

An alpha among the wolves of Wall Street, Kennedy Dawson rose to the top of the pack by striking the right contracts at the right times. But there’s one deal that’s been giving him a run for his money—a pact to never again let his assistant, Kate, get under his skin. She may be smart, gorgeous, and sharp as a whip, but she’s definitely off-limits.

Kate Henley isn’t a banker, but she knows a thing or two about risk management—specifically, about managing her attraction to her smolderingly sexy boss. She already fell once, and Kennedy showed no sign of paying a return on her investment. So when Kennedy’s brother starts pursuing her, Kate figures she has the best of both worlds. Jack is charming, rich, very attentive, and the spitting image of his older brother.

It’s also making Kennedy think twice. But to win Kate’s heart, he’ll have to broker the deal of a lifetime…and prove he’s worth the risk.

Huge Deal is the third book in Lauren Layne’s 21 Wall Street series and it is legit, my most anticipated release of the year. I have wanted Kennedy and Kate’s story since they were first introduced in Hot Asset. I pre-ordered this the minute I found out that it was up for pre-order and I read it in one sitting the night that it was delivered to my kindle. You guys will have to excuse me because I can’t help myself. I fangirl over everything that I read by Lauren Layne. Are we friends? Nope. Do I get paid to scream from the rooftops over my love of all things Lauren Layne? Nope. Do I hype myself up for all of her new releases? You betcha. Did she deliver a romance worthy of the hype that I gave this book in my head?

I am a sucker for the unrequited trope and Lauren Layne did such a fantastic job of showcasing that same trope for both Kennedy and Kate. We saw Kate’s feelings for Kennedy over the course of this series but in this book, we saw the tables turn and saw Kennedy waking up and catching on to what everyone already knew…that Kate was his lobster.

I think what I was most looking forward to in this book was seeing the usually staid and reserved Kennedy finally lose his cool over a woman, but not just any woman. No, I was looking forward to him losing his cool over the woman. Over Kate. The Kennedy that we know and love is low key a fuddy-duddy who is not exactly a prude but low key maybe is a prude? That probably doesn’t make sense to people who haven’t read this series but trust me, that’s Kennedy’s charm. From the jump, you can tell that Kate has a different relationship with one of her bosses. She’s got three but there’s only one that rubs her the wrong way. There’s only one that brings out the snarky personality in her…and for two books, I wanted to know the full background that explained the combative nature of Kate’s relationship with Kennedy.

Oh man, the waiting damn near killed me but boy did I eat up every single word of this book. I was here for all of the drama, all of the passion and I was definitely here for the explosion. Holy cow, Jealous Kennedy was a sight to behold. I freaking loved seeing Kennedy so jealous and not even realize that he’s jealous. I loved seeing him twisted up in knots over Kate being with anyone not him. I was over the moon when he finds Kate at his parent’s anniversary party on the boat. I had the biggest smile when Kate finally yells at him about the word she’d use to describe him. My feelings and my emotions were wrapped up from beginning to end and I thought Lauren Layne delivered a damn near perfect romance for two of my favorite characters of hers. She never fails to write the kind of romances that I need right now and that I read in one sitting. Is this book perfect? Probably not to everyone but it was damned perfect for me. Kate and Kennedy forever!

Grade: 5 out of 5

21 Wall Street

five-stars


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Review: Some Enchanted Season by Marilyn Pappano

Posted December 31, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: Some Enchanted Season by Marilyn PappanoReviewer: Casee
Some Enchanted Season (Bethlehem, #2) by Marilyn Pappano
Series: Bethlehem #2
Publisher: Bantam
Publication Date: December 1st 1998
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 374
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Sometimes miracles do happen.

When Maggie left her husband Ross that fateful Christmas Eve, their marriage was over.  But a near fatal accident on an ice-slick road changed everything.

Now another Christmas approaches.  While Maggie hasn't regained all her memory, she's ready to test her strength at home--with Ross as her only companion.  Sharing a house with him once more, putting on the best face for their neighbors, Maggie knows she's living a lie.

Then she glimpses Ross as he used to be: playful and passionate, the man of her dreams before ambition changed him.  She couldn't know he's feeling the same regrets, the same heartache...or that he fears the return of her memory.  What will happen when she remembers the reason she fled from him last year?

It will take a miracle to send the walls of anger and secrecy tumbling down and reunite the divided couple.  But in the small town of Bethlehem, miracles do happen....

This review was originally posted on December 14, 2007.

I absolutely adore this book. I love it. After I read it, I feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I love reunion books. I love how I can reread this every single year (at Christmas, of course) and still get as caught up in the story as I did the first time I read it. This is one of my absolute favorite rereads during the holiday season.

Arriving back in Bethlehem a few days before Thanksgiving, Maggie has no memory of what drove her from her home that on Christmas Eve of of the prior year. What she does remember is that after sixteen years of marriage, she and her husband, Ross, have decided to call it quits. After 11 months of extensive physical therapy, Maggie is forced to except Ross’ help in her recovery. Their plan was simple. Ross would be around to help Maggie for two months. They would then part amicably and then quietly get divorced.

Really, is there any such thing as an amicable divorce? Seriously. When you’re together that long and were madly in love?

After being a workaholic for so many years, Ross finds himself curiously adrift. Never being able to find the right balance between being a CEO and husband, Ross refuses to let himself read even one email or answer one phone call. He decides that it’s the nicest thing he can do for Maggie. A parting gift, if you will.

Nothing ever goes according to plan, of course. When you live in a town full of people offering advice, a town that has its’ own guardian angel, it’s very easy to think “what if”. It doesn’t take Ross long to start thinking that he and Maggie could make things work. There’s only one problem. While Maggie doesn’t remember the previous Christmas Eve, Ross does. He knows that it’s highly likely that when Maggie remembers what happened, it will drive her from his arms for good.

I can’t say enough how much I love this book. It’s a book about two people who lost their way. Going back to their roots, Maggie and Ross both have to look inside themselves to find what makes them happy. While Ross did put work ahead of Maggie, Maggie is far from blameless in the demise of their marriage. Coming to terms with that is hard for her, but she’s able to do it. Maggie is one of my favorite heroines.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Bethlehem


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Joint Review: Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs

Posted December 6, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Joint Review: Dead Heat by Patricia BriggsReviewer: Holly & Rowena
Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs
Series: Alpha & Omega #4
Also in this series: Burn Bright, Burn Bright, Alpha & Omega, Cry Wolf, Burn Bright, Hunting Ground, Fair Game
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: March 3, 2015
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 324
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four-half-stars

For once, mated werewolves Charles and Anna are not traveling because of Charles’s role as his father’s enforcer. This time, their trip to Arizona is purely personal--or at least it starts out that way...Charles and Anna soon discover that a dangerous Fae being is on the loose, replacing human children with simulacrums. The Fae’s cold war with humanity is about to heat up—and Charles and Anna are in the cross fire.

Holly: Last year I forced Rowena to read the Alpha and Omega series by Patricia Briggs because I love Charles and Anna and I knew she would, too. She read books 1-3, but stalled out before reading book 4, Dead Heat. I’ve been telling her all year she needs to read it and I was finally able to convince her.

I know a lot of people didn’t care for this book, but I loved it. It moved kind of slow in the middle, but I absolutely adored the way Charles and Anna worked together. What did you think?

Rowena: People thought this book moved slowly? I didn’t think that at any time during my reading of this book. I loved it all. Charles and Anna working together should have been boring with Anna doing whatever Charles needed without him telling her to do it. Charles being overly protective of Anna at every turn but holy cow, their dynamic together is anything but boring or slow, at least for me. I’m not going to get into how hot I thought it was that Charles would drop anything at the drop of a hat if he felt Anna needed him.

Holly: I heard a lot of complaints about this book when it was first released, but like you, I loved it. I especially loved the way Charles and Anna take care of each other. I was glad to see Anna dealing with some of her trauma here. I feel like she’s overcome a lot since she first mated with Charles, but as with all true abuse victims, there are going to be moments for her. This book really highlighted those, yet still showed her inner strength.

Rowena: On top of loving how great Charles and Anna worked together, I really enjoyed the overall story going on. The reunion between Charles and his second family, with Joe and Joe’s family. I loved seeing that Charles had people who loved and cared about him that weren’t Anna and Bran and Sam. I loved seeing Charles deal with past hurts and face what’s become of his human best friend. Joe is a lot older now and when Joe’s family is put in danger, I was so glad that Charles and Anna were on hand to find out what was going on and protect everyone. It’s what they’re good at. It’s what Charles is good at.

I also really liked how Hosteen reacted to Anna’s magic. LMAO! Served him right!

Holly: Oh man, I about died when Hosteen got drunk on Anna’s magic. Served him right indeed.

I also really loved the story featuring Chelsea, Hosteen’s daughter-in-law. Her fierceness as a mother and the way she did everything she could to keep her kids safe really got me in the feels.

Rowena: Yeah, Chelsea was awesome. I loved how fiercely protective she was over her kids. How she had the frame of mind to protect them from what was going on with her and man, that brings me back to more Anna love because I really loved the way that Anna handled watching over Chelsea’s kids. She was honest and forthcoming with whatever she could with Max and I appreciated that she didn’t try to hide what was going on because he had to deal with it and she was there to help him figure things out until his parents returned and took over the reins. With everything going on, Anna just kept right on rolling with the punches.

I thought that Patricia Briggs wrote another fabulously suspenseful novel with characters that I have come to love so much and introduced some other characters that warmed me right up. I cried in the end when the spirits boosted Joe up so that he can protect his grand-daughter until Charles got there to take over. I really love all of the faith everyone had in Charle’s abilities. I mean, I have the same faith but it was just so nice.

I give this book a 5 out of 5. You?

Holly: I agree. This was a wonderful novel, full of suspense and strong characters I came to love. I was sad to see it end. 4.5 out of 5

Holly: 4.5 out of 5
Rowena: 5 out of 5

Alpha & Omega

four-half-stars


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Review: Wildfire by Ilona Andrews

Posted October 30, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Wildfire by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Casee
Wildfire (Hidden Legacy, #3) by Ilona Andrews
Series: Hidden Legacy #3
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), Diamond Fire (Hidden Legacy, #3.5), Sapphire Flames, Diamond Fire
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: July 25, 2017
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 391
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five-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

Just when Nevada Baylor has finally come to accept the depths of her magical powers, she also realizes she’s fallen in love. Connor “Mad” Rogan is in many ways her equal when it comes to magic, but she’s completely out of her elements when it comes to her feelings for him. To make matters more complicated, an old flame comes back into Rogan’s life…

Rogan knows there’s nothing between him and his ex-fiance, Rynda Sherwood. But as Nevada begins to learn more about her past, her power, and her potential future, he knows she will be faced with choices she never dreamed of and the promise of a life spent without him.

As Nevada and Rogan race to discover the whereabouts of Rynda’s kidnapped husband and are forced to confront Nevada’s grandmother, who may or may not have evil motives, these two people must decide if they can trust in each other or allow everything to go up in smoke.

This series is the bomb dot com. Yes, I actually just said that. I can’t help it. I love this series. It is my favorite series of 2018. My very, very favorite. Nevada. Mad Rogan. Nevada and Mad Rogan. Leon. Catalina and Arabella. Bern. Seriously, there is nothing about this series that makes me unhappy. Well, except for the gap between releases.

Wildfire begins exactly where White Hot picked up. Rogan and Nevada rush home from their mountain vacation after Rogan learns that it was Nevada’s grandmother that tried to buy Nevada’s mortgage from him. Which means that everything they’ve done to keep their identities from Victoria Tremaine, she has known who the Baylors were all along.

The only option left to Nevada and her family is to start their own House. While it is not something Nevada wants to do, it is her last and only option to protect her family from her evil grandmother. Rogan agrees with Nevada but also thinks it will put her far out of his reach as once she is a House, he believes that she will start to care about genetics. Like not want to have kids with him because their magics don’t “mesh” and aren’t ideal for procreating. He obviously doesn’t know Nevada as well as he thinks.

Her newest case brings Rogan’s ex-fiance into her life. Rynda Sherwood’s husband has been kidnapped and she is frantic with worry. Unfortunately she is an empath and Nevada was just involved in the murder of her mother. Still, Nevada promises to help Rynda, a promise she has a hard time keeping when it is apparent that Rynda needs a man to take care of her. When her man is not around, she attaches herself to Rogan. Not cool.

Unfortunately this is no ordinary kidnapping. It’s actually part of the big conspiracy that is happening in Houston where a group of mages want to turn Houston into a New Rome. Not only does she have to deal with a group of fanatics, her grandmother is trying to have her kidnapped, and she and her sisters have trials coming up to prove they deserve to form their own House.

As if that isn’t enough, Rogan is more protective than he has ever been, while pulling away from Nevada. Nevada isn’t about to let that happens and pulls him in even closer. She’s not letting the man she loves get away. She loves him and she knows he loves her. Forming House Baylor is not going to impact her relationship with Rogan.

I continue to adore Nevada. Adore everyone in this series. I loved Leon in the first two books, but he really made me laugh in Wildfire. Nevada and her mom finally figured out what his magic was in White Hot. Nevada tells Leon about his magic in Wildfire. His magic is pretty amazing. He is undoubtedly a Prime, but does not want to enter the trials to be registered as such. Nevada asks him why and Leon refers to a conversation he had with one of Rogan’s men.

“One day some other Prime will threaten our House, and when that day comes, I’ll kill him.”

What?

“I’ll do it quiet and clean, and nobody will ever know.” Leon smiled. “I’m going to be a dark horse, the House Baylor’s secret. I’ll be the best assassin. A legend. They’ll never see me coming.”

I would kill Kurt. I would strangle him with my bare hands.

Oh, Leon. Arabella was hilarious in her trials. I was literally laughing out loud. Catalina was far more interesting in this book. Her devotion to her family overrode everything, even her terror of using her magic.

In the end, Nevada and Rogan get their HEA, but the story isn’t over yet. The mages have yet to be stopped and now it seems as if it’s Catalina’s turn to put in the work. I have to say, I’m excited about that!

Rating; 5 out of 5.

Hidden Legacy

five-stars


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