Tag: Holly’s Reviews

Review: Getting Real by Emma Chase

Posted January 12, 2022 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Getting Real by Emma ChaseReviewer: Holly
Getting Real by Emma Chase
Narrator: Andi Arndt, Zachary Webber
Series: Getting Some #3
Also in this series: Getting Schooled (Getting Some, #1), Getting Schooled (Getting Some, #1), Getting Played , Getting Played, Getting Schooled
Publisher: Audible Original
Publication Date: January 24, 2022
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Plus
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 300
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A sexy, hilarious, emotional, new romance from New York Times bestselling author Emma Chase.

Connor Daniels never thought he’d be starting over at dating square one. His career as a successful doctor, and his three boys, are everything to him. It’s not exactly a set-up conducive to a scorching love life—but he’s giving it a shot.

ER nurse Violet Robinson never intended for Connor to find out she’s had a crush on him forever. It was a dirty little secret only meant for her dirty dreams. Her heart trips every time he’s around—and so do her feet.

When Connor sees Violet coasting across the grocery store parking lot—and she falls on her face—he starts falling for the gorgeous, young nurse right back.

Dating can be tricky. And life can be beautiful and crazy and unpredictable. But when it gets real, you discover what matters most . . . and the one person you want loving you through it all.

Getting Real (Getting Some #3) by Emma Chase is an Audible Original (meaning it’s available in Audio First) and features Connor Daniels, an ER doctor. I really enjoyed the first two books in this series, but I wasn’t super excited for this book. I didn’t love Connor in the other books and I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about him as the main character. I’m glad I listened to it, however. He was wonderful, and I really enjoyed him as a doctor, father and love interest. I loved how open and honest he was (with a few exceptions) and how quick he was to reassure Violet when she needed it. He was an adult and he acted like it, which was very refreshing.

I also enjoyed Violet. She was down-to-earth and had a great sense of humor. She was also steady as they come and a great fit for Connor and his family.

The narrators were both wonderful and really brought the story to life.

This was just a feel good story. I was all warm and fuzzy when I finished, and I didn’t want to say goodbye to these characters.

4.5 out of 5

Getting Some

four-half-stars


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Review: First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

Posted January 10, 2022 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: First Grave on the Right by Darynda JonesReviewer: Holly
First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
Narrator: Lorelei King
Series: Charley Davidson #1
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: February 1, 2011
Format: eBook
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 310
Length: 8 hours and 58 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
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two-half-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

This whole grim reaper thing should have come with a manual.Or a diagram of some kind.A flow chart would have been nice.
Charley Davidson is a part-time private investigator and full-time grim reaper. Meaning, she sees dead people. Really. And it's her job to convince them to "go into the light." But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (like murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she's been having about an entity who has been following her all her life...and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely. But what does he want with Charley? And why can't she seem to resist him? And what does she have to lose by giving in?
With scorching-hot tension and high-octane humor, First Grave on the Right is your signpost to paranormal suspense of the highest order.

First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones is the first book in the Charley Davidson series. I’ve seen this series over the years and considered reading it a number of times, but the comparisons to the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich turned me off. While I liked the first few Plum books, her constant ineptitude and the love-triangle got old fast. When my book club chose this I figured it was an opportunity to see for myself how “Plum-like” the series really is.

The writing was really great. I easily fell into the story, though the “sassy” and “sarcastic” quips of the main character were kind of annoying. That only got worse as the book went on. She had a zinger for everything, and it felt really forced. I didn’t find her charming or cute, but annoying. Did she take nothing seriously? Also, the obsession she had with a boy from her past – after a single brief encounter where he was a total bastard – didn’t make sense. Why was she so interested in him? It had shades of a “fated-mates” type thing, but it didn’t work very well in context.

I enjoyed the investigative parts of the story, but they were few and far between. The majority of this book was her either lusting after a shadowy figure from her dreams or obsessing over this boy she met once as a younger girl.

There were shades of a good story here, but most of it got lost behind the dumb sarcasm and crazy amount of lust/obsession she felt for this total stranger/creepy being. I may try another book in the series to see if it gets better.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Charley Davidson

two-half-stars


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Review: One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews

Posted December 20, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: One Fell Sweep by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Holly
One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews
Series: The Innkeeper Chronicles #3
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: December 20, 2016
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First Person
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 340
Add It: Goodreads
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

Dina DeMille may run the nicest Bed and Breakfast in Red Deer, Texas, but she caters to a very particular kind of guest… the kind that no one on Earth is supposed to know about. Guests like a former intergalactic tyrant with an impressive bounty on her head, the Lord Marshal of a powerful vampire clan, and a displaced-and-superhot werewolf; so don’t stand too close, or you may be collateral damage.

But what passes for Dina’s normal life is about to be thrown into chaos. First, she must rescue her long-distant older sister, Maud, who’s been exiled with her family to a planet that functions as the most lawless penal colony since Botany Bay. Then she agrees to help a guest whose last chance at saving his civilization could bring death and disaster to all Dina holds dear. Now Gertrude Hunt is under siege by a clan of assassins. To keep her guests safe and to find her missing parents, Dina will risk everything, even if she has to pay the ultimate price. Though Sean may have something to say about that!!

The third book in the Innkeeper Chronicles takes us back to Gertrude Hunt, the magical Inn run by Dina DeMille. At the end of the last book, Sean Evans, Dina’s love interest, returned. This book is much more romance-heavy than the previous two, though the romance is still the secondary focus.

Dina, Sean, the Inn and additional characters ward off an attack from a religious group of fanatics. The Draziri, an alien race bent on exterminating the Hiru, another alien race who has never done them any harm, are attempting to infiltrate the Inn to fulfill their unholy quest. They don’t care about keeping their existence a secret or who gets in their way. Dina just rescued her sister from a dangerous situation and doesn’t want to put her back into the thick of battle, but no one comes to Gertrude Hunt and threatens her family or her guests. Dina will do whatever it takes to save the Hiru and repel the Draziri assault.

I love everything Andrews’ writes, but this may be my favorite series they write. I love the magic of the Inn and the strength Dina shows as she forges a new family and protects her guests and those she cares about. This is my favorite book of the series to date. I can’t wait to see what comes next for Dina, Sean and Gertrude Hunt.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Innkeeper Chronicles

four-half-stars


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Review: Rebel by Audrey Faye

Posted December 1, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Rebel by Audrey FayeReviewer: Holly
Rebel by Audrey Faye
Series: Ghost Mountain Wolf Shifters #3
Also in this series: Alpha, Heart
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: May 12, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Fantasy, Romantic Suspense
Pages: 318
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A note from Audrey: Some series can be read out of order - this isn’t one of them. Start with Alpha and welcome to Ghost Mountain!

A baby alpha who absolutely doesn’t want to upend her pack—and is going to do it anyhow.

Kennedy is a badass and she knows it.
She’s also scared. That she’s too strong. Too fierce. Too much. That her pack won’t be able to hold her, no matter how much she wants to stay.
We’ll just see what her pack has to say about that.

Rebel by Audrey Faye is the third book in the Ghost Mountain Wolf Shifters series. This is a series that should be read in order. The growth of the pack as a whole will lose impact if you don’t see where they started.

Kennedy is a 14 year-old with a very strong wolf. The entire pack knows she’s an alpha, and she’s afraid she’s going to lose her pack because of it. She’s afraid her wolf won’t be able to accept Hayden as alpha. As they heal, her wolf only gets stronger, and that means she may have to leave. But with the help of another very strong wolf, and the support of her pack, she’s able to create a Baby Pack of her own. As she navigates what it means to truly be an alpha, she also sees where her pack needs to go to finish healing…even if that means she’s going to have to leave sooner rather than later.

This is a series about a healing pack. It isn’t very often we see the focus on pack dynamics to this degree, and I’m loving it. There is very little external conflict in these books. It’s all about this pack healing and realizing their potential. I really enjoyed Kennedy and the other teenagers in the previous books, and I’m glad to see more of them here.

I like how the message – that submissives have power – is conveyed, and how the teenagers see the future better than the adults sometimes. I do feel like Hayden isn’t really living up to his role as Alpha. I understand that he needs to be holding the cape of others so they can shine, but he very much feels like an afterthought. I would love to see him front and center, taking a more active role in the future of the pack. That’s not to say I want him to take over, but it feels like he’s being sidelined and it doesn’t really work in context.

That aside, I love how the pack is coming together and figuring out their strengths. This journey is all about empowerment and healing and I’m here for it.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Ghost Mountain Wolf Shifters

four-stars


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Review: Heart by Audrey Faye

Posted November 29, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Heart by Audrey FayeReviewer: Holly
Heart by Audrey Faye
Series: Ghost Mountain Wolf Shifters #2
Also in this series: Alpha, Rebel
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: March 3, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 320
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A note from Audrey: Some series can be read out of order - this isn’t one of them. Start with Alpha and welcome to Ghost Mountain!

Throwing things can have really unintended consequences.

Lissa chose to stay, to stand with the tattered remnants of her pack as they try to make themselves whole again. She somehow didn’t expect it to try her patience quite so much.

Which means it might be time for a meek bookkeeper to take matters into her own hands.

Before her wolf does.

Heart (Ghost Mountain Wolf Shifters #2) by Audrey Faye immediately picks up where Alpha, book 1, left off. This series should be read in order. Much of what drives the main characters is fleshed out in the first book and shouldn’t be missed.

Lissa is trying to decide if she’s going to stay with the Ghost Mountain pack. She’s been traumatized and abused for 6 years, and her son has been in danger that whole time. They have a new alpha, but she isn’t sure she can trust what her wolf is telling her. Not anymore.

Hayden knows Lissa is the heart of their pack. They can survive without her, but he doesn’t want them to. He won’t pressure her, though. If she needs to leave to feel save and finally heal, he’ll help her pack her bags. He just hopes it won’t come to that.

Even after reading Alpha, I didn’t quite understand what this series was about. There is very little external conflict. This is all about these shifters trying to deal with their trauma and heal. There is little to no action, it’s a lot of introspection and careful steps as they try to move into the light. Now that I understand that, I can read on in the series with a different perspective. I did struggle a bit with this book because I wanted something to happen. Once I adjusted my expectations, though, I was able to appreciate where things are, and where they are going.

There is no quick fix for the type of trauma these shifters suffered, and I love that the author is exploring pack dynamics and the strength it takes to survive. I’m very much looking forward to the next book – and to (hopefully!) seeing the romance develop more between Hayden and Lissa.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Ghost Mountain Wolf Shifters

four-stars


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