Tag: Casee’s Reviews

Joint Review: Archangel’s Light by Nalini Singh

Posted October 25, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Joint Review: Archangel’s Light by Nalini SinghReviewer: Casee & Holly
Archangel's Light by Nalini Singh
Narrator: Justine Eyre
Series: Guild Hunter #14
Also in this series: 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, Archangel's War , Archangel's Kiss, Archangel's Sun
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: October 26, 2021
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third Person
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 400
Length: 11 hours and 23 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2021 Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Nalini Singh returns to the world of the Guild Hunters for the most highly anticipated novel of the beloved series—a love story so epic it’s been half a millennia in the making…
Illium and Aodhan. Aodhan and Illium. For centuries they’ve been inseparable: the best of friends, closer than brothers, companions of the heart. But that was before—before darkness befell Aodhan and shattered him, body, mind, and soul. Now, at long last, Aodhan is healing, but his new-found strength and independence may come at a devastating cost—his relationship with Illium.
As they serve side by side in China, a territory yet marked by the evil of its former archangel, the secret it holds nightmarish beyond imagining, things come to an explosive decision point. Illium and Aodhan must either walk away from the relationship that has defined them—or step forward into a future that promises a bond infinitely precious in the life of an immortal…but that demands a terrifying vulnerability from two badly bruised hearts.

We finally get Bluebell & Sparkle’s story! Well, part of it anyway.

Casee: First thing is first. Is this title appropriate since Ilium isn’t an archangel yet?

Holly: I think it’s a play on Aodhan and Illium being Raphael’s light, and a glimpse of what’s to come when Illium ascends.

Casee: One thing that is so special about this book is the glimpses into Aodhan and Illium’s past with Raphael. It’s hard to reconcile the Raphael in the Yesterday chapters to the Raphael in Angels’ Blood. It definitely makes me want to go back and read Angels’ Blood. Actually, I want to reread the whole series. I always feel that way after a book comes out in this series. We also got a bit of Raphael and Elena, whom I always adore reading about.

Holly: I loved the Yesterday chapters, too. It was great seeing glimpses of Aodhan and Illium growing up together. My heart hurt for them at their various trials and tribulations. I always wondered exactly what happened to Aodhan. It was so hard reading about it, but I’m so glad we found out what happened. You’re right, they are each other’s person, and that came out in so many ways.

Casee: I did feel so bad for Illium. When Aodhan realized that everyone but Raphael had abandoned Illium in some way, I think my eyes might have teared up a little. I loved how Caliane’s words made Aodhan think beyond his pain & think about Illium. The closeness of their friendship and changing relationship is what I loved most about this book. I liked the sexy parts. The admitabbly short sexy parts.

I also laughed like no one’s business when I read this:

“Literally throwing up his hands, Illium said, “Fine. I’m going over there”. He pointed to the far side of the site. “Nowhere near your sparklehole vicinity”

Hahaha.

Holly: Yes, I really loved seeing Aodhan and Illium with Raphael. I think my favorite interactions were the ones with Nassir, though. I just loved how he was with them. And when he found Aodhan? Oh, my heart broke.

Casee: What about the sexy times between Aodhan & Illium? Were you satisfied? Did you expect more?

Holly: I was super angry when I finished the book, because it felt like we got nothing in the romance department from then. But then I saw that their story will be continued in another book and I was okay with it.

Casee: Samesies. I felt so disappointed at the end of the book. It felt like Nalini kind of copped out on the romance, but now we know that is not true. I’m so excited to see these two in future books.

I had no idea that Illium and his father (Aegoan?) were so close when he was young. I just can’t imagine how devastating it would be to lose a parent like that. And what he did to Sharine? Unforgivable. Bastard. I’m giving this book a 4 out of 5. What about you?

Holly: I was really glad to learn more about both Illium’s and Sharine’s relationships with his father. It was interesting to learn more of their backstory, and it explained so much.

I’m going to give this a 4 out of 5. I would have given it 3.5 if not for the promise of more in the future. I love Bluebell and Sparkle and I can’t wait for more from them.

Ratings

Casee: 4 out of 5.
Holly: 4 out of 5.

Guild Hunter Series

four-stars


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Review: Tin Queen by Devney Perry

Posted October 18, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Tin Queen by Devney PerryReviewer: Casee
Tin Queen by Devney Perry
Narrator: Lucy Rivers, Jason Clarke
Series: Tin Gypsy #6
Also in this series: Gypsy King
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: August 31, 2021
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 351
Length: 9 hours and 9 minutes
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

No promises. No expectations. No names. That’s what Emmett Stone agreed to with the woman who caught his eye two months ago. After years of drama following the end of his motorcycle club, a no-strings fling with a mystery woman is exactly what he needs. Except as they find themselves together more and more, it’s impossible for him to keep his feelings at bay. She’s clever and sassy. She’s gracious and kind. She loves riding on the back of his bike every Saturday afternoon and lazing in his bed every Sunday morning. She’s the perfect woman.
Except she’s Nova Talbot, the daughter of his archenemy—the man who murdered his father.
Her identity will cost her the man who’s captured her heart unless she can convince Emmett her feelings are true.
Before he learns the reason she proposed their fling in the first place.

Tin Queen is the sixth and final book in Devney Perry’s Tin Gypsy series. This book brings the Tin Gypsies full circle and they have to decide if they want to hold onto the past or look forward to the future.

The thing that Nova Talbot wants most in life is for her father to be proud of her. She has done everything he’s ever asked for her. Now she’s volunteering to avenge her brother. Her plan is easy. She’s going to get her way into Emmett Stone’s bed, then she’s going to ruin him. That doesn’t go according to plan. What Nova thought about keeping her feelings separate from her body, it all went up in smoke the night she was first in Emmett’s bed. Emmett is nothing like she thought he would be. Nova knows he is special but that is not going sway her from her plan.

Emmett has never met anyone like her. What started out as a no-names, no-talking fling ended up turning into a need that couldn’t be denied. When he wasn’t with her, he thought about her. When he was with her, he had never felt as content. Emmett knows that they still have to worry about the Warriors, the rival club they were at war with. Still, he finds himself reluctant to run plates and dig into her life. That ends up being a mistake in a big way.

Nova’s internal struggle was real and very raw. Her father had always been her hero. She’d known that he wasn’t innocent; that he killed people even. But that didn’t change her undying devotion and loyalty to him. All Nova has wanted since her brother was killed by a Tin Gypsy was revenge. She wanted to put them all in jail. She thought she could and would do anything to do so, but that changes each day as she gets to really know Emmett.

When it all hits the fan it is horrible. A nightmare. Both Emmett and Nova have to decide if it’s worth it to face to the future or if they should say goodbye. Emmett damn near broke my heart when he said this.

“I can’t do this.”

I truly felt the devastation coming off the pages. It was heartbreaking and it was horrible. Their love was tangible, but neither of them know if they could let go of the past; let go of the family they both lost. When they did come together in the end? It was also desperate. But it was desperation to love, desperation to hope. It was just beautiful.

I’m really happy about how this series ended. Although I would rather have an open ended Tin Gypsy series, I respect Devney Perry for knowing when it’s time to end it. That doesn’t happen much anymore these days.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Tin Gypsy

four-half-stars


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Review: Eli by Jessica Gadziala

Posted October 13, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Eli by Jessica GadzialaReviewer: Casee
Eli by Jessica Gadziala
Series: Mallick Brothers #4
Also in this series: Shane, Ryan
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: August 31, 2017
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 232
Add It: Goodreads
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five-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Six years on the inside gave a man a lot of time to think. And a lot of time to plan. When I got out, I was determined for things to go a different way. I never wanted to lose control and rage out again.
The only way to accomplish that, though, was to shut it all down. Complete disconnect.
That meant no family, no friends, no links to anything attached to the man I was before.
Of course the problem was, I never factored HER into my plans. And try as I might, I couldn’t find a way to shut it down, to disconnect from her.
I had a sneaking suspicion she was going to take all my carefully constructed plans and toss them out the window, was going to force me to face up the demons inside and confront the ghosts from my past.
Those ghosts? They wore the faces of my family.
And a confrontation with them, yeah, I had a feeling it was going to show me that I had spent six years taking action on beliefs about the demons inside. Demons that had never actually existed in the first place…

This book was my absolute favorite in the Mallick Brothers series. Which says a lot because the first four books were really well written & I was completely hooked when I was reading them. Eli continues Eli Mallick’s story. At the end of Mark, Eli was arrested for assault in front of Autumn. When he was taken away, Autumn couldn’t leave his ugly dog at the pound. She was sure that no one would want him. He was so sad when his owner was taken away that Autumn decided to take him.

Fast forward…Autumn found out who the man with the dog was. Once she tracked him down, she wrote him a letter to let him know that she had Coop & enclosed a picture. Eli didn’t respond. A few years later Autumn sent a picture of Coop in his Halloween costume. After that they communicated sporadically. Although it wasn’t very often, Autumn found herself really drawn to Eli & she wasn’t sure why. She didn’t know him. She didn’t know his family. She didn’t know his circumstances. All she knew was that he assaulted a man that almost killed his wife then got railroaded because said man had a powerful father that pulled strings to get Eli convicted.

For the six years that he was behind bars, Eli made a decision to shut out his emotions. He was determined to get his rage fits under control. Which meant cutting off his family. When he felt real emotions, he couldn’t stay away. Eli doesn’t want back into the family business. He wants to continue his art & get to know Autumn. He doesn’t know why he’s so drawn to her, but he can’t turn his emotions off when it comes to her.

Eli’s situation was just heartbreaking. He was never meant to be an enforcer for the family’s loanshark business, but that’s what happened. When all else failed, Eli was sent to collect the debt that was owed to his family. He would rage out though he always had one of his brothers there to pull him back. What was so sad was that he was such a gentle soul. The fact that he would rage out, he had no outlet to control it except for the physical.

Autumn was such a great heroine. You could tell that she loved Eli from the moment he got out of prison though she hadn’t admitted it to herself. There was something about her that draws him & makes Eli feel that he needs her in his life. With Autumn he has an outlet from the rage that comes over him, in the form of sex. The first time Eli raged out after getting out of prison was after he saw one of his brothers. Just heartbreaking.

Eventually the family reunited and holy shit, but I was an emotional mess. His poor mother. Still, I thought they brought it on themselves by forcing Eli to be something he was never meant to be. Violent. The epilogue of this book just gutted me. If I was something that cried while reading, this one would have made me cry. I am so happy with the Mallick Brothers series & I can’t wait to read Gadziala’s other books.

Rating: 4.75 out of 5.

Mallick Brothers

five-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: Ryan by Jessica Gadziala

Posted September 15, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Ryan by Jessica GadzialaReviewer: Casee
Ryan by Jessica Gadziala
Series: Mallick Brothers #2
Also in this series: Shane, Eli
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: February 2, 2017
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: First Person
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 241
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

RYAN

She was perfect: Sweet, smart, awkwardly adorable, and beautiful as hell. The only problem was: she was terrified to leave her apartment. And, apparently, she had somehow gotten herself wrapped up with some pretty bad guys to boot.

DUSTY

He was perfect: He was a living, breathing, walking, talking statue come to life. But when would a man like that ever want to be with a woman who was too anxious to even walk into the hallway? Let alone go on a date with him. Or meet the family he was so close with. That being said, he seemed interested for some reason. So obviously, he was just as crazy as I was. On top of that whole confusion situation, something was going on with my business partners. And things were about to go straight to hell…

* For possible triggers, please visit: http://www.jessicagadziala.com/trigge...

When it comes to the family’s loanshark business, Ryan is the numbers guy. If someone doesn’t pay their loan, Ryan is the first enforcer. After that it goes to Mark, then Shane, and finally Eli. Ryan keeps the books for their legal & illegal businesses. He’s a bit of a workaholic.

Dusty is housebound. Not because she wants to be, but because she has severe agoraphobia and anxiety. It was heart wrenching to read. Dusty wasn’t always afraid to go outside; it was something that happened gradually over time. When she meets her new neighbor while standing in the doorway to her apartment, she wishes she could be different. But men & relationships are not in the cards for Dusty.

Ryan is enchanted with his beautiful neighbor. She’s lived in his building for quite some time & he had never gotten a glimpse of her. After meeting her, he wants more. He doesn’t understand Dusty’s issues at first, though they are front & center when Ryan has to get Dusty out of the building due to a fire.

Ryan & Dusty got to know each other over time. After he saves her and bodily carries her down the stairs, she is wrecked. It was the first time she had gone outside in years. Instead of trying to fix it, Ryan tries to understand. He gives Dusty the space she needs without giving her space at all.

As someone with anxiety, I am very picky when it comes to reading about someone with anxiety. Usually there is something that makes me say “That’s wrong” or “That doesn’t happen”. Not so with Gadziala. She wrote Dusty’s problems so well. There is no quick fix for anxiety or agoraphobia.

The best part of this book was seeing Dusty’s growth. She knows that her life is never going to go back to the way it was. Ryan handles Dusty’s issues with such patience and care. Ryan doesn’t try to change Dusty. He accepts her fully for who she is. I loved that about him. He was very patient and kind. Ryan knew that they would never have what is deemed a “normal” relationship, but he wants to try.

This book was very well written & an amazing addition to the Mallick Brothers series. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series though I’m sure I’ll be sad when it ends.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Mallick Brothers

four-stars


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