Tag: Pocket Books

Summer Reading Challenge Review: The Duke of Shadows by Meredith Duran

Posted August 21, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Summer Reading Challenge Review: The Duke of Shadows by Meredith DuranReviewer: Holly
The Duke of Shadows by Meredith Duran
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication Date: May 8, 2010
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 388
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 New to Me Challenge, Holly's Summer Reading Challenge, New to Me Challenge, Summer Reading Challenge
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four-stars

In a debut romance as passionate and sweeping as the British Empire, Meredith Duran paints a powerful picture of an aristocrat torn between two worlds, an heiress who dares to risk everything...and the love born in fire and darkness that nearly destroys them.

From exotic sandstone palaces...

Sick of tragedy, done with rebellion, Emmaline Martin vows to settle quietly into British Indian society. But when the pillars of privilege topple, her fiancé's betrayal leaves Emma no choice. She must turn for help to the one man whom she should not trust, but cannot resist: Julian Sinclair, the dangerous and dazzling heir to the Duke of Auburn.

To the marble halls of London...

In London, they toast Sinclair with champagne. In India, they call him a traitor. Cynical and impatient with both worlds, Julian has never imagined that the place he might belong is in the embrace of a woman with a reluctant laugh and haunted eyes. But in a time of terrible darkness, he and Emma will discover that love itself can be perilous -- and that a single decision can alter one's life forever.

Destiny follows wherever you run.

A lifetime of grief later, in a cold London spring, Emma and Julian must finally confront the truth: no matter how hard one tries to deny it, some pasts cannot be disowned...and some passions never die.

I remember when The Duke of Shadows by Meredith Duran was first released. There was much fanfare and everyone seemed to love it. I often have bad luck when it comes to books everyone else loves, so I put off reading it. Years went by and, though it’s been sitting in my TBR pile for a decade, I never did read it. Casee chose it as one of her picks for me for our Summer Reading Challenge, so I dug it out. It turned out to be a lovely read.

This is a dark, complex read. Emmaline, our female lead, suffers much trauma. A shipwreck, then war in India. She is much affected by her trials and tribulations, and that came across well on page. I was fully wrapped up in her journey. Part one, especially, was hard to get through. So much violence. There was somewhat of a disconnect in Part two, however. I found myself getting impatient with the story, and also struggling to readjust to life in London ballrooms. Which, I think, speaks well of the author and how well she brought me into Emma and Julian’s story in India.

As for the romance, I truly felt the connection Julian and Emma had. I also felt their anguish at all that had come between them. I did find some of their actions not in keeping with their characters, however. Especially when they reunite in England. But I was able to move past it. Something I had a harder time moving past was all the exclamation points Duran used! They were relentless! Sometimes two or three per paragraph!

Still, all in all, I think Casee chose well for this one. Shocking, I know.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: How to Run with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper

Posted February 11, 2019 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: How to Run with a Naked Werewolf by Molly HarperReviewer: Tracy
How to Run with a Naked Werewolf (Naked Werewolf #3) by Molly Harper
Series: Naked Werewolf #3
Also in this series: How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf (Naked Werewolf, #1)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Pocket Books
Publication Date: December 31, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 352
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Down, Boy

Anna Moder has just witnessed a shooting, seen her car pulverized, and rescued a wounded stranger only to discover he's really a werewolf. And by her recent standards, things are actually looking up. Lycanthropes don't faze Anna. Doctoring a wolf pack outside Grundy, Alaska, is the closest thing to home life she's known in years. But hitching a ride to Anchorage with long-absent pack member Caleb Graham that's a risk. Part of her itches to whack his nose with a newspaper. The rest is trying unsuccessfully to keep her own paws off every delicious inch of him.

The problem is, Caleb employs his lupine tracking abilities as a not quite-legal bounty hunter, and Anna is suspicious of both him and his profession. On the run from her past, with old problems closing in, she'd like to stay far, far away from anybody with connections to the law. Caleb, however, seems determined to keep her close. Are his intentions noble, or is he working a more predatory angle?

Anna's been dreaming of returning to a semi-normal life, but now she's experiencing a strange new urge . . . to join Caleb in running with the wolves.

Anna is getting off work at the grocery story in a small town in Alaska when she hears arguing – then a gunshot…then the shooter who is trying to get away runs into her Pinto and it blows up.  Not the way she wanted to end her work day!  She goes to see if anyone is hurt (you know, because of the gunshot) and finds a wounded man.  She manages to get him into her car and starts driving.  She can’t go to her hotel because police will probably be investigating, and she can’t talk to cops because she’s on the run. When she finds a hotel and helps the wounded man inside, she starts to realize that there’s something about him that she’s familiar with – he’s a werewolf.

Anna is very familiar with werewolves as she’s been a werewolf pack doctor for the past four years. Not just a pack, but the pack that includes this man’s family members.  She doesn’t tell him right away that she knows who and what he is but when he agrees to take her to Anchorage if she’ll help him with some of his bounty hunting jobs, she agrees.

Caleb takes random jobs throughout the area – some legal, some not.  Anna isn’t thrilled with the thought of some of these people getting “taken in” for minor issues so as she becomes Caleb’s assistant, she directs the jobs.  When she finds out that Caleb might know more about her than she thinks, she takes off. Caleb, however, isn’t about to let the woman who is his mate get away from him now that he’s found her.

This was a cute book. I’ve recently discovered a love of Molly Harper books and this one proved to be just as good as the others.  I didn’t want to read this series originally – probably because the cartoon cover and title threw me off a bit. Fortunately I got past that, and what was inside the cartoon cover was worth reading.

Caleb and Anna were great together.  I really liked that Harper made Anna wary of Caleb for quite a long time.  A woman who is on the run isn’t someone who trusts easily, and Harper didn’t make her accept Caleb too quickly and that worked for me.  For Caleb’s part we only saw him from Anna’s POV, which was frustrating.  I would have loved to have gotten inside Caleb’s head to see what was going on in there.  He was a good guy who didn’t have a great job.  He was good at it, and it definitely paid the bills, but he didn’t love it.  Having Anna with him changed his outlook on the job, I think, and I loved that.

Overall it was a good read and one I enjoyed.  If you haven’t picked up a Molly Harper book yet, you should.  I read a couple of books of hers before, but they didn’t hit me right at the time.  I recommend this series, the Mystic Bayou series and the Southern Eclectic series to start – all really good.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Naked Werewolf

four-stars


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Review: How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper

Posted January 28, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf by Molly HarperReviewer: Holly
How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf (Naked Werewolf, #1) by Molly Harper
Narrator: Amanda Ronconi
Series: Naked Werewolf #1
Also in this series: How to Run with a Naked Werewolf (Naked Werewolf #3)
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication Date: February 22, 2011
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 371
Length: 9 hours and 12 minutes
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Northern Exposure

Even in Grundy, Alaska, it's unusual to find a naked guy with a bear trap clamped to his ankle on your porch. But when said guy turns into a wolf, recent southern transplant Mo Wenstein has no difficulty identifying the problem. Her surly neighbor Cooper Graham—who has been openly critical of Mo's ability to adapt to life in Alaska—has trouble of his own. Werewolf trouble.

For Cooper, an Alpha in self-imposed exile from his dysfunctional pack, it's love at first sniff when it comes to Mo. But Cooper has an even more pressing concern on his mind. Several people around Grundy have been the victims of wolf attacks, and since Cooper has no memory of what he gets up to while in werewolf form, he's worried that he might be the violent canine in question.

If a wolf cries wolf, it makes sense to listen, yet Mo is convinced that Cooper is not the culprit. Except if he's not responsible, then who is? And when a werewolf falls head over haunches in love with you, what are you supposed to do anyway? The rules of dating just got a whole lot more complicated. . . .

How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf is the first book in Molly Harper‘s Naked Werewolf series. I avoided these books in the past because the covers and titles made me think they’d be super campy, which I don’t like. Though they’re on the lighter side, they aren’t campy at all. I really liked this book.

Mo Wenstein has moved to Grundy, Alaska from Georgia to escape her well-meaning but very overbearing hippy parents and a broken engagement. As the child of hippies who believe in living off the grid in a family commune, Mo has the skills she needs to live in the wilderness. The only downside is her contentious relationship with local resident Cooper Graham. They rub each other the wrong way..which is too bad, since he’s hot as sin and all Mo wants to do is rub herself all over him.

Well, that cinched it. He was an asshole. I was definitely going to end up sleeping with him.

She manages to find a job right away in the local saloon/restaurant. She makes friends pretty easily and settles in fairly quickly. Things are going great until one day she opens her front door to find Cooper on her porch naked, with a bear trap on his ankle. Turns out he’s a werewolf. Once his secret is out, Cooper quickly moves in on Mo.

Harper’s writing voice really works for me. Mo’s adventures in Alaska were fun to read about. I liked how well she settled into small town, back country life. She easily made friends and I loved reading about her interactions with the residents of the town. Having just visited Alaska this past summer, I was really able to picture the town itself and imagine the residents.

I did struggle a bit with Connor’s actions, and how much Mo let him get away with. I also had a hard time with Amanda Ronconi’s voice for Connor. Normally I love AR’s narrations, but her voice for Connor was awful.

Still, I loved the snarky heroine, small Alaskan town and the way the romance developed between Mo and Connor. Harper delivers again.

3.75 out of 5

Naked Werewolf

four-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: Dark Warrior Unleashed by Alexis Morgan

Posted August 9, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 3 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Dark Warrior Unleashed by Alexis MorganReviewer: Casee
Dark Warrior Unleashed (Talions, #1) by Alexis Morgan
Series: Talions #1
Publisher: Pocket Star
Publication Date: July 29, 2008
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 334
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

The rough and rugged Talions, sexy warriors who stop at nothing to deliver justice, star in this steamy new paranormal series from Alexis Morgan.

He's on a mission to annihilate the enemy.

A Talion enforcer, Ranulf Thorsen has served his people for a thousand years, delivering the eye-for-an-eye justice by which his kinsmen live. Weary of the centuries-long fight, the fierce warrior with icy blue eyes has secluded himself on a mountain far from the chaos of the modern world below. Now he's been summoned to face the most dangerous battle of his life -- and the fate of his people is on the line. But when he meets the beautiful woman he has sworn to defend...

Ranulf and his bitter rival, fellow Talion Sandor Kearn, must find the rogue Kyth who set a violent fire in a nightclub. The near-deadly blaze's unlikely heroine, Kerry Logan, is also a Kyth, possessing the ancient Nordic people's unique ability to manipulate human energy. She just doesn't know it yet. ...who will protect his heart?

Kerry finds more than comfort in her warrior's embrace, and Ranulf hungers to both defend and claim the petite powerhouse for his own. But with time ticking away and their lives on the line, will Kerry believe the wild tale he's telling her, and master her powers...before it's too late?

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

This review was originally posted on August 13, 2008.

I am a long time fan of Alexis Morgan’s Paladin series. I’ve read the series from the beginning and really enjoyed Morgan’s world building as well as her character development. While I enjoyed this book, I didn’t love it. I think it has great potential, but there was something missing for me. I think it was that I didn’t really connect with the characters. They were just meh.

Kerry Logan has no idea how her life is going to change when she saves a club full of people from dying by fire. She’s clueless to the fact that she, and she alone, saved the lives of people that would have been otherwise dead. She does know that she will be targeted by the arsonist and doesn’t look forward to the news of her heroism getting out.

Ranulf Thorsen has been called upon by the leader of the Kyth to bring the arsonist, who is also Kyth, to justice. The Kyth are a race that feed off the energy of other people. Energy to them is like food to a normal person. They need it to survive. They don’t have to kill people to get energy, though there are those like Braden (the arsonist) who do exactly that. The energy that comes with fear and terror is dark and addictive. Ranulf strips the traitors of their energy and it has taken its toll on him over the years.

I found the idea behind the Kyth and the elite Talion warriors interesting. Needing energy to survive is fascinating when you (or I?) think about it. Kerry is a special Kyth, though. She has the ability to heal. Hence all the people that survived the club fire. Also, only someone with her abilities can lead the Kyth and they’re going to need her to step up.

The whole thing was just a little too pat for me. Kerry has no idea any paranormal elements exist, yet by the end of the book she is gung-ho to lead a race of people that she really knows nothing about. So while I think the series has potential to be as good as her Paladin series, this book isn’t as strong as it could be considering it’s the first in a new series.

Grade: 3.75 out of 5

Talions

three-half-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: How to Abduct a Highland Lord by Karen Hawkins

Posted July 26, 2018 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 4 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: How to Abduct a Highland Lord by Karen HawkinsReviewer: Isabel
How to Abduct a Highland Lord (MacLean Curse, #1) by Karen Hawkins
Series: MacLean Curse #1
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication Date: January 30, 2007
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 313
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

It's hardly the type of wedding Fiona MacLean dreamed of. No family, no guests, just a groom who's been dragged -- literally -- to the altar. But if marriage to Black Jack Kincaid, the handsome wastrel she'd sworn never to see again, will avert a bloody war between their clans, so be it. Surely she can share his bed without losing her heart....

Known throughout Scotland and London as a wild rogue, Jack is accustomed to waking in dire situations, but...married? Long ago, he and Fiona reveled in a youthful passion. Now, the fiery, sensual lass is his once more. And though their marriage is in name only, Jack is determined to win her forever -- body and soul....

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

Rowena: Man, it’s crazy how long we’ve been blogging. I forget that it wasn’t always just Holly, myself and Casee. We’ve had a whole team here that has changed over the years and when I came across this review from our old friend, Isabel, I knew that I had to post it up again. Man, I miss our old friends!

This review was originally posted on July 27, 2007.

The Plot: Hoping to end the feud between their families, Fiona kidnaps Jack Kincaid and marries him while he is drunk. Will Fiona be able to tame his wild ways?

What I Liked: Fiona’s family is cursed. They can control the weather. Actually, they can make it stormy and rain. Kind of like Storm from the X-Men however, it only turns to bad weather when they are upset/mad/annoyed. So if someone is annoyed, there might be a little wind. If someone is downright pissed, you get a full-blown storm. When Fiona is upset, her stormy weather bears the faint smell of lilacs.

There is one scene where Jack’s former mistress confronts Fiona. Fiona tries to control her anger but to no avail. She doesn’t make it completely storm but jack remarks he thought he heard thunder and smelled lilacs. She ends up pouring a vase full of water on the mistress’s head. The next day, Jack learns there is a storm cloud over his former mistress’s residence.

I also like when Fiona gave Jack a dose of his own medicine. Jack was very upset with how Fiona married him. He made it clear he would not give up his freedom. He would continue to go out and have fun. Minus the mistresses. Well to teach him a lesson, Fiona decides to do the same thing which Jack doesn’t like.

What I Disliked: The ending was just too fast. I was reading along expecting more and it was done.

I’m guessing the brother’s will have a book and the last book will be the one where they break the curse. (To break the curse Fiona and her brothers have to do a good deed.) The brothers wonder if Fiona marrying Jack to end the feud between their families is her good deed.

I thought this book was set in Scotland. It’s not. They get married in Scotland and then they move to England. Towards the end of the book, Jack decides to move back to Scotland. Bummer, I wanted a Scottish highland story.

Would I recommend it: If you have nothing else to read. It does look like a promising series so I plan on reading the others later. Maybe the rest of books will be better.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

MacLean Curse

three-half-stars


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