Tag: Novella

Review: Rock Chick Reawakening

Posted July 26, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Rock Chick ReawakeningReviewer: Holly
Rock Chick Reawakening by Kristen Ashley
Narrator: Susannah Jones
Series: Rock Chick #0.5
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 3, 2017
Format: eBook, Audiobook
Source: Purchased, Audible Escape
Point-of-View: Alternating
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 207
Length: 5 hours and 8 minutes
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Reading Challenges: GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

From New York Times bestselling author, Kristen Ashley, comes the long-awaited story of Daisy and Marcus, Rock Chick Reawakening. A prequel to Kristen’s Rock Chick series, Rock Chick Reawakening shares the tale of the devastating event that nearly broke Daisy, an event that set Marcus Sloane—one of Denver’s most respected businessmen and one of the Denver underground’s most feared crime bosses—into finally making his move to win the heart of the woman who stole his.

Rock Chick Reawakening is a prequel novella by Kristen Ashley featuring Daisy and Marcus Sloan, set in the Rock Chick world. For some reason I thought Daisy and Marcus got a full-length novel. I’m glad that wasn’t the case. This novella was perfect for them. I’ve read it before, but I decided to give the audio a try after I saw it on the Audible Romance Package. I really enjoyed the narrator and fell right into the story again.

With the exception of Rock Chick Regret, I don’t really care for the Rock Chick series. They’re all zany and over-the-top, which can work for Ashley, but doesn’t in this case. They border on being too campy and ridiculous for me to enjoy. Still, I love Daisy in the novels and I was so glad to see her get a novella of her own. She and Marcus are together throughout the series, so seeing how they came to be was great.

Daisy grew up poor in a small Southern town. Her mama was the town slut, and people never let her forget it. Until a kind, wealthy woman, Miss Annamae, her mom worked for took Daisy under her wing. She taught her all the lessons a Southern lady should know. She also gave her an extremely valuable gift – a set of pearls – so that Daisy would have the means to escape her mother when the time came. Daisy took advantage of that and grabbed a bus to Colorado, where she turned to stripping to make money. Daisy is fine with who she is – brash, bold and happy about it. Until she’s violently attacked and loses her confidence.

Marcus has wanted Daisy from the moment he set eyes on her, but he had to focus on other things and didn’t feel like he could pursue her. Until the attack left her vulnerable, and he could no longer stay away. He wants to put Daisy in a castle and protect her, but first he has to convince her he’s a Knight in Shining Armor, and not a frog.

This is a difficult story to read at times. Daisy is such a bright, shining light in the beginning. I loved her confidence and how well she accepts who and what she is. She doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with her making money as a stripper – hell, she was able to buy a Porche her first month – and she’s good with how she dresses and who she is.

I looked like Dolly Parton impossibly created a love child with Peg Bundy (no, I rocked that look).

Then she’s attacked and loses her confidence. Though Ashley tends to write in a lighter fashion, the themes in this novel are dark. My heart broke for Daisy.

And I was finally getting it. Finally. They treated me like trash because that was what I was.

Marcus isn’t living his life 100% in the light. A lot of his business interests are illegal (though Ashley doesn’t go into much detail about what that means). But I really loved the way he was with Daisy. He worked hard to pull Daisy out of a bad time in her life. He was strong and supportive, and his actions really touched me. He doesn’t want Daisy to be anything but what she is. He loves her big hair and brash personality.

“I’ve been waiting thirty-five years for you to come into my life, Daisy,” he whispered fiercely.

View Spoiler »

Although this isn’t a perfect story, it’s sweet and touching. It really worked for me.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Rock Chick

four-half-stars


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Review: Bridal Boot Camp by Meg Cabot

Posted June 10, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Bridal Boot Camp by Meg CabotReviewer: Rowena
Bridal Boot Camp by Meg Cabot
Series: Little Bridge Island #0.5
Also in this series: No Judgments
Publisher: Harper Collins, Avon Impulse
Publication Date: May 28, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Point-of-View: First, Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 96
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot comes the first story in her Little Bridge Island series—which also includes an excerpt from her forthcoming new full-length novel No Judgments!

Looking for a tropical escape?

Welcome to Little Bridge, one of the smallest—and most beautiful—islands in the Florida Keys, home to sandy white beaches, salt-rimmed margaritas, stunning sunsets, and some of the quirkiest—but also kindest and most resourceful—people you’ll ever meet.

Physical trainer Roberta “Rob” James moved to Little Bridge hoping she’d found paradise, but things haven’t turned out quite as she’d hoped. The closest Rob has come to her “happily ever after” is happy hour at the Mermaid Café with her buddy Bree, the bartender slash waitress who’s got romance problems of her own.

But Rob’s situation suddenly changes when sheriff’s deputy Ryan Martinez accidentally enrolls in her bridal boot camp class. Turning mush into metal in time for the big day is Rob’s passion (because even the happiest bride could use a little toning).

But what happens when a guy who’s all mush meets a girl who’s all metal?

They discover they have a lot to learn . . . about each other, themselves, and the island paradise they’ve come to call home.

This was a really short story but I don’t even care because it’s a Meg Cabot and I will probably always read new Meg Cabot books (her adult books, anyway) until the day I die. I enjoy her books that much. I can’t say that I absolutely loved this book but that had more to do with there isn’t much of a romance here. Sure, there’s a story but I wanted so much more than what we got.

So in this book, Roberta James meets Ryan Martinez when he shows up for her bridal boot camp aerobics class. He’s there trying to join a yoga class because he needs to work on his anger issues. His boss thinks that yoga will do the trick but when Ryan shows up at Rob’s gym, he wasn’t expecting to enjoy the aerobics class so much…and he wasn’t expecting to like his instructor so much either.

So because this is such a short story, everything happens at warped speed and so much of that didn’t work for me. They fell too hard, too fast but even though this book had a lot of that insta love going on, I still enjoyed reading it and I’m looking forward to reading the bartender, Bree with the sad eyes, story in the first book in this series, No Judgments. If we had another 100 pages or so to fully appreciate Robbie and Ryan, I think I would have liked this one more but oh well. I’m still interested in the others so it wasn’t that bad.

Final Grade

3.75 out of 5

Little Bridge Island

three-half-stars


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Review: Tikka Chance on Me by Suleikha Snyder

Posted January 23, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Tikka Chance on Me by Suleikha SnyderReviewer: Holly
Tikka Chance on Me by Suleikha Snyder
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: November 13, 2018
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First and Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 72
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars

He’s the bad-boy biker. She’s the good girl working in her family’s Indian restaurant. On the surface, nothing about Trucker Carrigan and Pinky Grover’s instant, incendiary, attraction makes sense. But when they peel away the layers and the assumptions—and their clothes—everything falls into place. The need. The want. The light. The laughter. They have more in common than they ever could’ve guessed. Is it enough? They won’t know until they take a chance on each other—and on love.

Tikka Chance on Me by Suleikha Snyder is the first novel I’ve read by the author. Amazon popped it up in my recommendations several times, and Nalini Singh recommended it in her last newsletter, so I figured I’d give it a try. It was a great story.

Pinky Grover and Trucker Carrigan grew up in the same town. He was several years ahead of her in high school. She went away to college but left her graduate program when her mother became ill. Though she had fun partying at school, she’s kept things low-key at home. Her one guilty pleasure? Fantasizing about Trucker. He’s a bad-boy enforcer for the local motorcycle club, and totally off limits. But that doesn’t stop her body from wanting him.

Trucker has wanted Pinky for months, but he isn’t in a position to do anything about it. Until one day they end up getting busy in his truck at the local Walmart. Now he can’t stay away from her..even though he knows he has to. When things blow up, Trucker knows he has to walk away…but it isn’t easy saying goodbye to the best thing that’s ever happened to him.

I loved the witty banter between Trucker and Pinky. I also loved her sense of humor. Trucker is a total nerd boy and I loved that about him.

“You know, I had a girlfriend once who said she couldn’t suck my dick because she was vegan?”
“That…is not a thing. I think she just didn’t want to suck your dick.”

[…]

I’d had no idea there was an overlap in the motorcycle club and vegan communities. Who knew? Were there entire vegan motorcycle clubs? Did they wear vegan leather jackets?

I’m not completely satisfied with the ending. Perhaps it’s the short page count, or just the way the author resolved things, but I didn’t buy the final resolution. I won’t spoil the circumstances behind it, but needless to say, it didn’t work for me.

View Spoiler »

Aside from the one issue, this was a great story. I enjoyed both Trucker and Pinky, the steamy scenes and the anticipation of figuring out just how they could make it work. Though short, I fully connected with both main characters. Snyder penned a beautifully engrossing tale that pulled me in from page one.

3.5 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor

Posted January 17, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi OkoraforReviewer: Holly
The Night Masquerade (Binti, #3) by Nnedi Okorafor
Series: Binti #3
Also in this series: Binti (Binti, #1), Home (Binti, #2)
Publisher: Tor.com
Publication Date: January 16, 2018
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 208
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

The concluding part of the highly-acclaimed science fiction trilogy that began with Nnedi Okorafor's Hugo- and Nebula Award-winning BINTI.

Binti has returned to her home planet, believing that the violence of the Meduse has been left behind. Unfortunately, although her people are peaceful on the whole, the same cannot be said for the Khoush, who fan the flames of their ancient rivalry with the Meduse.

Far from her village when the conflicts start, Binti hurries home, but anger and resentment has already claimed the lives of many close to her.

Once again it is up to Binti, and her intriguing new friend Mwinyi, to intervene--though the elders of her people do not entirely trust her motives--and try to prevent a war that could wipe out her people, once and for all.

Don't miss this essential concluding volume in the Binti trilogy.

This is the third and final installment of the Binti trilogy. The trilogy definitely needs to be read in order.

I’m of two minds about this trilogy. The world-building is well done. I thoroughly enjoyed Binti’s journey as she left her village and dared to travel through space during the first two novellas. I also enjoyed her return home and watching as she discovered more about her past, her father’s family and herself. There were parts in each that moved slow, but I was invested in discovering what the future had in store for Binti. In this installment, I still enjoyed the world-building and Binti herself. The first 3/4 of the book were wonderfully done. I was totally immersed in Binti’s world and she struggles to deal with loss, love and the possible destruction of everything she holds dear.

This seemed to be a total departure from the earlier books and the overall story-arc. Much of the story itself seemed to go off the rails in the second half. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I spent a lot of time wondering if I missed something.

View Spoiler »

While this isn’t my favorite entry, I really enjoyed the themes Nnedi Okorafor explored throughout the series, the world-building and Binti herself. The girl is a badass. I’m glad I stuck with it. It was very satisfying overall.

3.25 out of 5

Binti

three-half-stars


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Review: Home by Nnedi Okorafor

Posted January 16, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Home by Nnedi OkoraforReviewer: Holly
Home (Binti, #2) by Nnedi Okorafor
Series: Binti #2
Also in this series: Binti (Binti, #1), The Night Masquerade (Binti, #3)
Publisher: Tor.com
Publication Date: January 31, 2017
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 164
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

It’s been a year since Binti and Okwu enrolled at Oomza University. A year since Binti was declared a hero for uniting two warring planets. A year since she abandoned her family in the dawn of a new day.

And now she must return home to her people, with her friend Okwu by her side, to face her family and face her elders.

But Okwu will be the first of his race to set foot on Earth in over a hundred years, and the first ever to come in peace.

After generations of conflict can human and Meduse ever learn to truly live in harmony?

In Home, Binti is returning home to Earth after a year away at Oomza University. She snuck away from her village to attend, and dealt with some harsh situations while she was gone. In the process she brokered peace between two warring factions and became an interplanetary hero for uniting two cultures. She befriended an enemy race, the Meduse and grew quite a lot as a person. Okwu, a Muduse who has become Binti’s best friend, is returning home with her. He’s the first of his race to visit Earth since a war between his people and Earth’s happened over one hundred years ago.

The first half of this novella showed us Binti’s life at University, while the second focused on her journey home. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m used the world now, or if the story flowed better, but I fell into this one right away. Binti’s journey home was at times heartbreaking and uplifting. Her personal struggles with PTSD, and her determination to act as Liaison, were well told and gave us more insight into her character. I don’t want to spoil anything, but there were some dark themes here I think are reflected in our current society. Okorafor deftly handled it all. I was angry and inspired while reading.

Once again, I immediately picked the next installment.

3.75 out of 5

Binti

four-stars


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