Tag: Guest Reviews

Throwback Thursday Guest Review: Vampire in Atlantis by Alyssa Day

Posted August 15, 2019 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Throwback Thursday Guest Review: Vampire in Atlantis by Alyssa DayReviewer: Tracy
Vampire in Atlantis by Alyssa Day
Series: Warriors of Poseidon #7
Also in this series: Atlantis Awakening (Warriors of Poseidon, #2)
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: June 7, 2011
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 311
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

The most unexpected of all allies to Poseidon's warriors has proven to be the fiercest-Daniel, a vampire and Night Guild mage. But even the strongest alliance can be destroyed when a vampire's oath crosses paths with a maiden's quest, and an eleven-thousand-year-old desire is reborn.

Ready to face the dawn and die after 11,000 years as a vampire, Daniel walks into the Reflecting Pool on the Washington Mall and ends up in Atlantis, at the mercy of Serai, a long-dead warrior princess he could never forget.

Yet Serai is not dead. Centuries earlier she and several others had been magically put into suspended animation to ensure the continuation of the Atlanteans. But the magical jewel that keeps them safe has been stolen, and, now awake, Serai must find it to save the other sleeping women.

Together, Daniel and Serai search for the stone and renew their relationship, stalked by an evil that isn't about to let them succeed.

*** Every Thursday, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books. Enjoy! ***

This review was originally posted on Nov 15, 2011.

Daniel was just a blacksmith’s apprentice in Atlantis when he met the beautiful Serai. It was love at first sight and they longed to be together. Unfortunately many things happened to keep them apart. Atlantis was attacked, Daniel turned into a vampire, Atlantis submerged into the ocean and Serai put into stasis to one day be awoken to marry High Prince Conlan.

Eleven thousand years have passed since that time. Daniel is ready to face the dawn and end it all when he finds himself not only alive but in Atlantis and facing the women he thought long dead. He is mesmerized once again and eager to help her with whatever she needs.

Serai broke out of the stasis but she doesn’t want to be put in and knows she must get out of Atlantis immediately. She was told that Daniel died all those years ago and when he appears before her she’s shocked. They fight together to find a gem from Poseidon’s trident, the Emporer, and try to save the other women in stasis.

This is book 7 in this series and my least favorite of the bunch. While it was an interesting story to a point and continued the overall story arc that will be concluded in future books, it just lacked that extra something that made it captivating. The story was good but I found myself kind of well, bored at points.

I really liked Daniel and of course Serai was a strong female character but they were a bit melodramatic for me. Yes, I know that they’d been apart and thought the other dead – I would probably be very vocal about my feelings too if that happened…but it just didn’t have a truly realistic feel to me.

While the story was good and had a bit of an extra romance with the vampire Nicholas and the witch Ivy it unfortunately just fell a bit short from the other books in the series.

Rating: 3 out of 5

This book is available from Berkley. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

three-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Guest Review: The Scent of Murder by Kylie Logan

Posted August 14, 2019 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: The Scent of Murder by Kylie LoganReviewer: Tracy
The Scent of Murder by Kylie Logan
Series: Jazz Ramsey #1
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: May 7, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 320
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

First in a new series from national bestselling author Kylie Logan, The Scent of Murder is a riveting mystery following Jazz Ramsey as she trains cadaver dogs.

The way Jazz Ramsey figures it, life is pretty good. She’s thirty-five years old and owns her own home in one of Cleveland’s most diverse, artsy, and interesting neighborhoods. She has a job she likes as an administrative assistant at an all-girls school, and a volunteer interest she’s passionate about—Jazz is a cadaver dog handler.

Jazz is working with Luther, a cadaver dog in training. Luther is still learning cadaver work, so Jazz is putting him through his paces at an abandoned building that will soon be turned into pricey condos. When Luther signals a find, Jazz is stunned to see the body of a young woman who is dressed in black and wearing the kind of make-up and jewelry that Jazz used to see on the Goth kids back in high school.

She’s even more shocked when she realizes that beneath the tattoos and the piercings and all that pale make up is a familiar face.

The lead detective on the case is an old lover, and the murdered woman is an old student. Jazz finds herself sucked into the case, obsessed with learning the truth.

This is the first book in a new series.  This was also a new-to-me author, so I was excited to see if I found a new go-to.  Unfortunately, I didn’t.

The Scent of Murder starts out with cadaver dog and its handler, Jazz, finding a dead body.  Jazz recognizes the girl as she attended the catholic school where Jazz runs the school office.  Because of this connection, Jazz is determined to find out how the girl died.

Jazz decides to go off on her own to investigate and frankly this never really works for me.  Reading the blurb it says she’s sucked into the investigation. I assumed it was because of her old lover and the fact she found the body – not so.  She becomes Sherlock Holmes but not as smart or interesting.

The story didn’t have much to do with cadaver dogs on the whole, but I found the dogs more interesting than the characters. Jazz was mainly the focus in the books – her trying to find out who killed the girl and what the dead girl had been up to since graduating from the catholic school (nothing good).

Th whole thing with her ex-boyfriend, Nick, was…confusing and a bit ridiculous.  We were told they were ex’s and that scheduling and communication were their downfall.  That’s nice, but it wasn’t explained further.  Jazz seems to dislike Nick intensely for whatever part he played in them fizzling out.  Of course then he shows up on her doorstep asking to meet her for coffee and she agrees.  What?  Then they agree to meet once a week but then keep cancelling and actually never meet again.  Then Nick shows up on her door, randomly once again, and gives her a new puppy to train as a cadaver dog.  It was just so bizarre!  I can only assume that Nick was included because that relationship will go somewhere in subsequent books.  I won’t be reading those to find out.

The characters in this story were flat and uninteresting.  The mystery around the dead girl was interesting and I wanted to find out what was up with her, so I kept reading.  I can’t say I’d recommend the book even with a very generous 3 stars.  I can think of a lot of different books that are much more captivating than this one.

Rating: 3 out of 5

three-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Guest Review: Someone to Honor by Mary Balogh

Posted August 13, 2019 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Someone to Honor by Mary BaloghReviewer: Tracy
Someone to Honor by Mary Balogh
Series: Westcott series #6
Also in this series: Someone to Love, Someone to Hold, Someone to Wed, Someone to Care
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: July 2, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
two-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Abigail Westcott's dreams for her future were lost when her father died and she discovered her parents were not legally married. But now, six years later, she enjoys the independence a life without expectation provides a wealthy single woman. Indeed, she's grown confident enough to scold the careless servant chopping wood outside without his shirt on in the proximity of ladies.

But the man is not a servant. He is Gilbert Bennington, the lieutenant colonel and superior officer who has escorted her wounded brother Harry home from the wars with Napoleon. He's come to help his friend and junior officer recover, and he doesn't take lightly to being condescended to - secretly because of his own humble beginnings.

If at first these two seem to embody what the other most despises, they will soon discover how wrong first impressions can be. For behind the appearance of the once grand lady and once humble man are two people who share an understanding of what true honor means, and how only with it can one find love.

Gil is an army man who helps his weak and injured friend, Harry Wescott, home he needs Abby Westcott, Harry’ sister, but isn’t really interested in Abby – he’s more focused on getting his daughter back.

While Gil was in the war, his wife had a baby. He then finds out that she had taken the child to her parents and left her there. The child’s mother then went off flitting from house party to house party and eventually her reckless attitude gets her killed. Gil wants nothing more than to get his daughter back, but the grandparents believe a bunch of lies that Gil’s wife had told about him, and they’ll do anything to keep the child from him.

Gil was born illegitimate. His mother was a washerwoman and his father was a noble. While they didn’t have a much, she always provided for Gil. His father wasn’t in the picture and Gil resents the man for making him and his mother live in poverty. Of course, as the book goes on, we find out that sometimes all is not as it seems.

Gil and Abby come together to get Gil’s daughter back but other than that I felt no real romance between the two of them. Gil was surly and contrary, and Abby was just kind of blah. I was actually bored through most of this book, which was a bit of a surprise since I’ve liked the previous Wescott books so much.

I was interested in the whole daughter issue, (it’s what kept me reading) but it ended up being anti-climactic. There was a lot of stress thinking how it was going to work out and it kind of had me on the edge of my seat. Then, of course, when they actually got to that point it was a bit of a letdown. I don’t know if I was expecting this big fight, or what, but it just wasn’t very exciting.

Balogh is a good author, but I think she really missed the mark on this one. I’m not sure if she wasn’t into the characters as much as previous books, or maybe she was trying to knock it out quickly, but it just didn’t work for me

Rating: 2.5/3 out of 5

two-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

Guest Review: In Her Sights by Katie Ruggle

Posted August 9, 2019 by Jen in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: In Her Sights by Katie RuggleReviewer: Jen
In Her Sights by Katie Ruggle
Series: Rocky Mountain Bounty Hunters #1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: March 26, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 336
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Five bounty-hunting sistersDeep in the heart of the RockiesFighting to save each other...and the men who steal their hearts

Bounty hunter Molly Pax fought hard for everything she has, turning the bail recovery business she shares with her sisters into an unqualified success. So when their sticky-fingered mother jumps bail and puts the childhood home up as collateral, Molly's horrified. To make matters worse, every two-bit criminal in the Rockies now sees her family's misfortune as their next big break.

She needs help, stat.

Enter rival bounty hunter John Carmondy: six feet of pure trouble, with a cocky grin to match. John's the most cheerfully, annoyingly gorgeous frenemy Molly's ever had the pleasure of defeating...and he may be her only hope of making it out of this mess alive.

Like Stephanie Plum but want her to actually get with, and stick with, a guy? In Her Sights might appeal!

Molly Pax owns a bounty hunter business with her sisters. They have built a life in spite of their truly deadbeat mom who has done nothing but drag them down their entire lives. When their mom gets them into the kind of trouble that could easily ruin everything they’ve worked for, Molly has to turn to rival bounty hunter John Carmondy for help. She and John have to work together, even though they hate each other…don’t they?

I thought this book was a lot of fun. Ruggle does a great job with characters and dialogue that are funny but not ridiculous. The banter between Molly and John is excellent, but my favorite part is probably the relationships between the sisters. Molly is totally devoted to her family, and in fact she’s more of the mother than their actual mother. She will do anything to save her family, and you get the sense that her sisters feel the same. I always love reading about strong families, and this was definitely a good one. 

I really enjoyed the progression of John and Molly’s relationship too. John is a giant teddy bear, contrary to what Molly thinks of him at first. The story is written in third person but is limited to Molly’s perspective, so like Molly we don’t totally know what John is thinking. Unlike Molly, however, as the reader we can immediately see John has a crush on her and she’s the one misinterpreting his actions. On the one hand I wanted him to just tell her upfront how he was feeling, but on the other hand I could understand why you wouldn’t be rushing to confess your attraction to someone who treated you like the enemy. It’s clear Molly is feeling an attraction, too, and once she finally recognizes it they make an adorable couple. 

I always love a good bounty hunter story, and this one fits that trope perfectly. It’s fun to see Molly and her sisters doing their jobs. They’re all smart and tough and capable, and I had a great time getting to know them.

Grade: 4 out of 5

Rocky Mountain Bounty Hunters

four-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,

Guest Review: American Witch by Thea Harrison

Posted August 6, 2019 by Jen in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: American Witch by Thea HarrisonReviewer: Jen
American Witch by Thea Harrison
Series: American Witch #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: April 29, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 420
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Power can change a person…

For months Molly Sullivan endures the inexplicable: electrical surges, car breakdowns, visions. She even wonders if she might be the cause… and wonders if she might be crazy. Then she discovers her husband has cheated on her. Again. Now Molly realizes she is a newly awakening witch and a woman pushed over the edge.

Revenge can shape a person…

Josiah Mason is a Powerful witch and the leader of a secret coven with a shared goal: to destroy an ancient enemy who has ruined many lives. Josiah lost years to this man, and his sole focus is revenge. He’s prepared for every contingency—except encountering a beautiful new witch who understands nothing of the immense Power building within her or the attraction she wields over him.

Danger can bring them together…

When divorcing her husband, Molly uncovers a dangerous secret he’s willing to kill to protect. She turns to Josiah for help, and they discover a connection between Molly’s husband and Josiah’s enemy.

As they work together, a spark ignites between them that threatens to become an inferno. But Molly is done compromising herself for any man, and Josiah’s mission is his top priority. And the enemy is cunning, cruel, and drawing ever closer.

As the danger escalates, so does the tension between them. Is a lasting relationship possible? Will either of them live long enough to try?

When Molly Sullivan finds out that her husband has cheated on her…again…she erupts with long overdue fury, and in the process discovers she’s actually a witch. Josiah Mason is there to witness her newfound powers, and he knows they can bring unwanted scrutiny to the area from his enemy, who he’s been plotting against for years. Josiah offers to train Molly and help her control her powers. Molly has to become the person and the witch she was always meant to be, and Josiah has to decide what price he’s willing to pay for revenge.

First and foremost, the world building in this book is excellent. It is technically set in the world of the Elder Races, but there’s not a lot of crossover and you don’t need to have read any of the other books to enjoy this one. We didn’t hear much about witches in the previous books, but in this series Harrison really digs into their story more. I especially loved the town where Molly eventually settles, and I can’t wait to learn more about it in future books.

Molly is an older heroine, and I really enjoyed that! She hasn’t lived her life on her terms, but once she realizes she doesn’t have to put up with everyone else’s shit she finally starts coming into her own. (She is married at the start of the book, but don’t worry there’s no cheating, from her at least.) I love that she doesn’t let Josiah walk all over her. They have a very contentious relationship at first, and while they are attracted neither is willing to bend on their own goals–Josiah wants revenge and Molly just wants to live life as she wants it. Even once they start having both pants feelings and romantic feelings for each other, Molly doesn’t pine for Josiah, doesn’t roll over and give him his way. She demands that he love her as she is, and she will no longer suppress who she is for anyone. A lot of this book is really about Molly learning to live her best life, and that’s very satisfying to see. I also loved that Molly demands Josiah be the best version of himself, too, and if he can’t do that she’s fully prepared to let him go.

If I have one criticism, it’s that because of the detailed world-building and the time spent on Molly’s growth, there isn’t as much time spent on the romance. It’s hard to see their turn from enemies to HEA. I believed it; I just wanted to see more of it. I also didn’t love the surprise twist in the middle. I won’t ruin it for everyone, but I thought it was unnecessary and would rather have seen Molly grow for Molly rather than this extra influence.

I really enjoyed this heroine and story, and I look forward to learning more about this part of the Elder Races world.

Grade: 4 out of 5

American Witch

four-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,