Tag: Casee’s Reviews

Joint Review: Archangel’s Sun by Nalini Singh

Posted November 23, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Joint Review: Archangel’s Sun by Nalini SinghReviewer: Casee & Holly
Archangel's Sun by Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #13
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
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: November 24, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 Goodreads Challenge
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A horrifying secret rises in the aftermath of an archangelic war in New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh’s deadly and beautiful Guild Hunter world...
The Archangel of Death and the Archangel of Disease may be gone but their legacy of evil lives on—especially in Africa, where the shambling, rotting creatures called the reborn have gained a glimmer of vicious intelligence.
It is up to Titus, archangel of this vast continent, to stop the reborn from spreading across the world. Titus can’t do it alone, but of the surviving powerful angels and archangels, large numbers are wounded, while the rest are fighting a surge of murderous vampires.
There is no one left…but the Hummingbird. Old, powerful, her mind long a broken kaleidoscope. Now, she must stand at Titus’s side against a tide of death upon a discovery more chilling than any other. For the Archangel of Disease has left them one last terrible gift…

Archangel’s Sun begins where Archangel’s War left off. The war with Lijuan finally came to an end in a rather spectacular fashion. Now the Archangel’s are trying to rebuild their territories. Titus is fighting to defend his territory in Africa from the reborn. The reborn are creatures that Lijuan created and Charisemnon helped change into bigger abominations than they already were. When the Cadre sends him the Hummingbird, he wonders how exactly such a fragile creature could help him. Chaos ensues.

Casee: I honestly wasn’t sure of this book when I first saw the blurb. Although the Hummingbird has been an interesting character in this series, I always thought of her in the abstract. I wasn’t really interested in her or her story. Ironically, she turned out to be one of my favorite characters in this series.

Holly: I was really intrigued by The Hummingbird in the previous books, and I was glad she was featured in this one. I really loved her personal journey in this book.

Casee: I feel like this was more about Sharine’s personal journey than it was about the romance between her and Titus. I thought the romance was really sweet, but I was more fascinated by Sharine herself. What did you think of Titus?

Holly: I really liked Titus. He made me laugh early on with his whole neanderthal attitudes, but honestly he was a big marshmallow underneath it all. I think he was a good fit for Sharine. I agree the romance took a back seat to her personal journey. I’m okay with that. I liked how things progressed as she came out of her shell and learned more about herself. I’d have liked to see more of her realizing her skills, but I’m hopeful we’ll see more of her in the future.

Casee: I really liked Titus, too. I liked how he interacted with his sisters. He never thought that he was superior to Sharine, which I really appreciated. I thought this really captured what the Hummingbird represented to the angels.

“Everyone loved the Hummingbird. Even Titus loved her—in a distant kind of way. He didn’t know her as a person. He knew of her. That she was a gift to angelkind, that her kindness was legendary, that she had never had an enemy in her life. And of course, that she had given birth to Illium, a young angel Titus greatly liked.”

I adored Sharine’s relationship with Illium. Aodhan too.

Holly: I loved that the entirety of angelkind had Sharine on a pedestal, but she was so sassy Titus couldn’t believe she was the same woman everyone went on about. It cracked me up every time she got miffed at him and he was baffled.

I really liked Sharine’s relationship with Ilium and Aodhan, too. It was good seeing her slide back into a more maternal role and taking back some of that responsibility from him. Her guilt over what she perceived as her weakness really tugged at my heartstrings.

Casee: I also loved how Sharine baffled Titus. He just couldn’t reconcile Sharine with the Hummingbird that everyone adores. I also enjoyed the progression of their relationship. It was a relationship that was built over months, not days. It was a very believable love story.

Holly: It was, except for the end. View Spoiler ».

Casee: I can understand that. Usually I’m not happy with HFN endings, but this one worked wonderfully. Sharine knew that she still had healing to do and while she loved Titus, she wanted to find herself on her own. I admired that.

I forgot another thing I loved. Raphael and Sharine. Sigh. So sweet.

Holly: To clarify, I’m totally good with the HFN, I actually wanted them to be LESS committed than they were. Which is a weird thing for me to say. lol

Oh, I really liked Raphael and Sharine, too. They’re relationship is so sweet.

Casee: That is weird. Lol

Where does it fall in the series for you? It’s not one of my favorites, but I did enjoy it. I would give it a 3.75 out of 5.

Holly: It wasn’t a favorite for me, either. I really liked Sharine’s personal growth and I enjoyed Titus, but the romance wasn’t my favorite. 3.5 out of 5 from me.

Final Grades

Casee: 3.75 out of 5.
Holly: 3.5 out of 5.

Guild Hunter Series

four-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: His Darkest Embrace by Juliana Stone

Posted November 5, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 3 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: His Darkest Embrace by Juliana StoneReviewer: Casee
His Darkest Embrace by Juliana Stone
Series: Jaguar Warriors #2
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: October 26, 2010
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 361
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A solitary hunter with no regard for the human world, Jagger Castille is a shifter living on the edge. A woman who calls him enemy will give him reason to live...
Jagger is a creature of the night—Skye Knightly soars in the sun. Natural adversaries, they are now joined in a mission entrusted to Skye's family centuries ago: nothing less than the salvation of the Earth.
Wounded and bitter, Jagger sought escape in the solitude of the jungle, driven by a need to disappear forever...until a mysterious shifter who calls to his soul and feeds a yearning long forgotten pulls him from his dark path. A courageous warrior, Skye's passion is equal to Jagger's—but can she trust a man whose secrets are as devastating as her own?
Each is the other's sole hope for survival. But a dark and twisted truth is leading them toward the ultimate sacrifice for a love they may never live to claim.

This review was originally posted on October 26, 2010.

I was really impressed with His Darkest Hunger. Really. The way it ended, with Jagger just disappearing into the jungle left me with high expectations for His Darkest Embrace. That turned out to be unfortunate because everything about Jagger was disappointing. He was an overbearing, egotistical arsehole who thought he knew what was best and that was that. It was enormously dissatisfying.

Skye is running from jaguar shifters—bad ones—when she is saved by one. As an eagle shifter, Skye is at her peak strength during the day. It’s her misfortune to get chased during the night when she can’t use her gifts. When she is saved by a jaguar shifter, she has little hope that she will survive. He seems almost feral which doesn’t give Skye much hope that she will accomplish her goal of saving the world. Yes—saving the world.

Jagger took to his jaguar form planning never to return. After so much pain and loss, Jagger can no longer bear to deal with human emotion. (Is that lame or what?) When he comes to Skye’s rescue, he is forced to shift, bringing all his emotions roaring to the surface. Of course the first emotion is raging lust. The lust he feels for Skye is all consuming and makes him all but mindless.

Things were going along quite swimmingly until Jagger’s friends and family catch up to them. At this point, they tell Jagger that Skye is an enemy and he decides to immediately believe them. He starts to treat Skye as his prisoner instead of a lover, which really teed me off. Honestly, it was such a one eighty after how hot and heavy he was feeling before that I just couldn’t get behind it.

As for Skye, I really found myself admiring her courage. By closing the opening between the realms, she is not only killing herself but surrendering herself to a lifetime of living in hell. How can you not admire that? Even when she started have feelings for Jagger, she was still determined to do what needed to be done. What I didn’t buy was how quick she “fell in love” with Jagger. How could she fall in love with such a jerk? Honestly. I’m still wondering.

I’m also wondering if the next book is going to be as disappointing as this one.

Rating: 3.25 out of 5.

Jaguar Warriors

three-half-stars


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Review: Sebring by Kristen Ashley

Posted October 23, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Sebring by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Casee
Sebring by Kristen Ashley
Series: Unfinished Hero #5
Also in this series: Knight, Creed, Raid, Deacon
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 11, 2016
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First & Third Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 446
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Goodreads Challenge
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five-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Nick Sebring has issues. Born feeling like an outsider in his own family, growing up under the shadow of a brother who could do anything, Nick isn’t that great of a guy. But when this culminates with Nick lashing out to hurt his brother through the woman he loves, Nick turns inward and makes some decisions about the man he intends to be.

And as he does this, he falls in love and truly learns the man that he’s grown to be.

When his love is murdered right before Nick’s eyes, Nick knows he has to avenge her. He knows how he’s going to avenge her. And he has no qualms using Olivia Shade to exact that vengeance.

Olivia Shade has grown up on the outside of her family too. Her problem is that they don’t want her outside. They want her all the way in, right under their thumbs. She pays the price for seeking escape and learns her lesson—she’ll never see a dawn where she wakes up free.
Then she meets Nick Sebring, and even as she fights it, the hope that died years ago starts to blossom. She can find love. She can have a man of her own. She can be happy. She can be free.

Olivia hopes while Nick schemes.

However, as Nick peels back the layers of all that is Olivia Shade, he finds something surprising. He understands its fragility. He falls in love with its beauty. He seeks to protect it.

But he forgets to protect his Livvie from one thing: Nick Sebring.

You know how you feel when you read a freaking amazing book? Sebring is that for me, which makes it really difficult to review. I really want everyone to read this book, but you have to read the entire series to understand Nick’s journey. I didn’t have extremely high hopes for this book because Nick Sebring wasn’t exactly a lovable character in the previous books. He was a total ass. I should have had faith in Kristen Ashley. By the time I was done with this book, I absolutely adored Nick and Olivia. It’s one of those books that I thought about for days after finishing it.

Nick always felt like he grew up in the shadow of his older brother, Knight. After Nick intentionally hurts Knight’s woman, Nick starts to realize what he has become and he doesn’t like who he has become. Because Nick is so hated by his family, it was easy for the FBI to recruit him to be their confidential informant. The FBI, with Nick’s help, is trying to take down the Shade Empire. When everything comes to a head, the woman Nick loves is shot in the head right in front of him. Nick vows revenge on the Shade family and will do anything to get it. Even pretending to be interested in Olivia Shade.

Olivia knows her family is bad, but she truly didn’t understand how evil they were until Nick came into her life. There are few things that Olivia has that are her own, but Nick becomes hers. It’s well known that Nick worked with the FBI, so when Olivia’s family finds out she’s involved with Nick the shit hits the fan. Olivia knows it can’t last with Nick, but she’s going to have something that’s her very own, separate from her crazy family.

Olivia always thought Nick was too good to be true. It turns out she was right. Nick is there to spy on the Shade family and he’s pretending to love Olivia to do it. While it did start that way, Nick fell in love with Olivia. She’s the complete opposite of her father and her sister. She doesn’t want to be in the drug business yet she can’t escape them. Olivia thought that Nick was her chance to get out, but she soon learns what he is really doing in her life.

Nick will not give up on Olivia. He never thought he could love anyone else, let alone a Shade. While getting to know her, Nick realizes how different from her family that she really is. He swears to get her out of that life and away from her family. Then she finds out the truth about him and Nick has a fight on his hands trying to convince Olivia that his feelings for her were true. I just couldn’t get enough of this book and these two characters. They are both so broken.

“Because I’m the man who’s gonna eat taco extravaganza, whatever the fuck that is, just because you made it. I’m also the man who’s gonna put the effort into making you come for me after, more than once, even though it’s highly likely taco extravaganza is gonna sit in my gut like an anvil. And I’m also the man who knows every day I wake up you mean more to me than you did the day before. And I’m the man who knew meant a fuckuva lot to me yesterday, so you meaning more today means everything. And I’m the man who’s got two priority missions. To get you free of a life you hate and to get you to a place you smile, frequently and easily.”

How can you not fall in love with Nick Sebring? If you read this book and you don’t love it, well, that worries me.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Unfinished Hero

five-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review/Rant: Shattered by Joan Johnston

Posted October 22, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 15 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review/Rant: Shattered by Joan JohnstonReviewer: Casee
Shattered by Joan Johnston
Series: Bitter Creek #8
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Publication Date: December 29, 2009
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Pages: 423
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one-star
Series Rating: one-star

Nine years ago Kate Grayhawk Pendelton walked into Wyatt Shaw's life--and out of it the next morning. Now Wyatt's back--and has the power to shatter Kate's future with the man she loves.

By reputation, Wyatt Shaw is a brutal killer who always gets what he wants. And he wants Kate and her twin eight-year-old sons.

Texas Ranger Jack McKinley is hot on Wyatt Shaw's trail. The presumed heir to the D'Amato crime syndicate is threatening to steal the woman he loves.

Holly McKinley is fighting to keep Jack from leaving her for another woman. Now the secret she's kept for over twenty years may save their son's life, and cost her the only man she's ever loved.

This review was originally published December 30, 2009

Warning! Spoilers Ahead!

!@#$$%^&!@#$%^&

I can’t tell you exactly what I was saying as I was reading this book. What I can say is that Joan Johnston really screwed her readers on this one. Shattered is the newest book in Johnston’s Bitter Creek series. I have doggedly stuck with it (waiting for Jack and Kate to FINALLY get together) only to end up feeling completely screwed over at the end. I felt like Johnston was giving the proverbial finger to her readers while writing this book.

The Bitter Creek series started way back in 2000. In 2005, The Next Mrs. Blackthorne was released. It was supposed to be the story of Clay Blackthorne and Libby Grayhawk (which it was to a certain extent). It was either in this book or the one before it (The Rivals) that Kate and Jack first meet. Kate is nineteen and instantly falls for Jack. Sparks fly, etc. Jack is older and more jaded. He rejects Kate, which sends her into the arms of another man. Nine years later, they meet again. Kate is widowed (or so she thinks) with twin boys. Jack is going through a divorce. It’s finally their time. At the end of A Stranger’s Game (2009), Kate and Jack are as good as together. Then Kate’s husband comes back from the dead. Obviously you think that is the obstacle that will come between Kate and Jack. Nope.

The bottom line is that Kate and Jack DON’T END UP TOGETHER. OMGWTFBBQ. It’s bull shit. The story would have been good if JACK AND KATE WEREN’T SUPPOSED TO END UP TOGETHER. There is no sense to be made from the fact that Kate and Jack END UP WITH OTHER PEOPLE. And who they end up with is so fucking cliched. Jack ends up with the wife he was going to divorce. Kate ends up with the man she had a one night stand with, resulting in the birth of her twins.

In the midst of all that, Kate’s husband decides that he wants revenge on his bitch of a wife and her lover. Then he decides to blah blah blah, blah blah blah, blabety blah.

The end.

1 out of 5.

The series:

Book CoverBook CoverBook CoverBook CoverBook CoverBook CoverBook CoverBook Cover

one-star


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Review: Guardian’s Grace by Rebecca Zanetti

Posted October 21, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Guardian’s Grace by Rebecca ZanettiReviewer: Casee
Guardian's Grace by Rebecca Zanetti
Series: Dark Protectors #12
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
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Publication Date: October 13, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 346
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Goodreads Challenge
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three-stars
Series Rating: four-stars


Duty—or desire?

Vampire soldier Adare O’Cearbhaill’s default setting is cranky. Or irritated. Or down-right hostile. Still, as a Highlander of honor and duty he stepped up to save an enhanced and special human female by mating her—with merely a bite and a brand. The last person he wants in his life is a fragile human, yet he can’t get her out of his mind as she regains her strength before taking off for parts unknown. And when he discovers she is in danger, nothing can stop him from hunting her down—whether she likes it or not.

There’s only one way to find out . . .

Photographer Grace Cooper has had it with vampires, demons, and the rest of an immortal world she was happier not knowing about. She also doesn’t believe she’s destined for some great battle because of an old birthmark. Forget the fact that her mate is the sexiest thing on two stubborn feet, or that her brand is fading along with her health. She’ll handle things on her own—until an old enemy reappears and she learns the only way to stay alive is to actually mate, wild sex and all, with that ripped and dangerous Adare—a powerful, captivating Highlander who demands nothing less than everything . . .

Guardian’s Grace is book twelve in Zanetti’s Dark Protector series. Adare and Grace’s arc started a few books ago.

Adare knew it was his duty to mate with Grace. It was the only way to pull her out of the coma she was in. Grace doesn’t remember anything about the attack that put her in a coma. She knows her sister, she knows her childhood, but everything after that is a blur. Grace didn’t even know the Realm existed until she was mated to a vampire. Now she’s firmly in their world even if she doesn’t want to be. Grace is a Key, one of three women that can open the Lock. Too bad no one knows what exactly the Keys are or how they’re going to open the Lock.

Five years have passed since Adare and Grace mated. Grace took off to parts unknown. She wanted to live her own life away from the maddening Adare. When Grace starts looking for vampire blood to heal someone she knows, the Seven immediately take action. Imagine Adare’s surprise when he finds his mate trying to buy another vampire’s blood. He’s infuriated until he sees what bad shape Grace is in. Instead of thriving, Grace seems to be sick and she’s unable to heal herself.

Grace knows she’s dying. She’s unable to heal herself, something she was able to do in the past. Her mating mark is disappearing. She knows it’s only a matter of time before she’s back in a coma. Adare was the one that pulled her out and the only one that can stop it from happening again. Before she dies, Grace is determined to get answers about her attack. She returns to the scene of the crime in Denver and starts digging for answers. It was pretty stupid of her to go off on her own. The Kurjans are looking for her, as are the Cyst who are a religious offshoot of the Kurjans.

This was a sweet story, but it just didn’t pack the punch that I thought it would. Adare and Grace were extremely interesting in the previous books. In this book they were just meh. I did like how confident Adare was about saving Grace. Honestly, that was one of his best qualities. What they were told by the doctors didn’t concern him. He is one of the Seven and Grace is a Key. To save Grace, they’ll have to mate again. This time they need to go all the way for the win.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Dark Protectors

three-stars


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