Tag: Reviews

Review: Tin Queen by Devney Perry

Posted October 18, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Tin Queen by Devney PerryReviewer: Casee
Tin Queen by Devney Perry
Narrator: Lucy Rivers, Jason Clarke
Series: Tin Gypsy #6
Also in this series: Gypsy King
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: August 31, 2021
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 351
Length: 9 hours and 9 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

No promises. No expectations. No names. That’s what Emmett Stone agreed to with the woman who caught his eye two months ago. After years of drama following the end of his motorcycle club, a no-strings fling with a mystery woman is exactly what he needs. Except as they find themselves together more and more, it’s impossible for him to keep his feelings at bay. She’s clever and sassy. She’s gracious and kind. She loves riding on the back of his bike every Saturday afternoon and lazing in his bed every Sunday morning. She’s the perfect woman.
Except she’s Nova Talbot, the daughter of his archenemy—the man who murdered his father.
Her identity will cost her the man who’s captured her heart unless she can convince Emmett her feelings are true.
Before he learns the reason she proposed their fling in the first place.

Tin Queen is the sixth and final book in Devney Perry’s Tin Gypsy series. This book brings the Tin Gypsies full circle and they have to decide if they want to hold onto the past or look forward to the future.

The thing that Nova Talbot wants most in life is for her father to be proud of her. She has done everything he’s ever asked for her. Now she’s volunteering to avenge her brother. Her plan is easy. She’s going to get her way into Emmett Stone’s bed, then she’s going to ruin him. That doesn’t go according to plan. What Nova thought about keeping her feelings separate from her body, it all went up in smoke the night she was first in Emmett’s bed. Emmett is nothing like she thought he would be. Nova knows he is special but that is not going sway her from her plan.

Emmett has never met anyone like her. What started out as a no-names, no-talking fling ended up turning into a need that couldn’t be denied. When he wasn’t with her, he thought about her. When he was with her, he had never felt as content. Emmett knows that they still have to worry about the Warriors, the rival club they were at war with. Still, he finds himself reluctant to run plates and dig into her life. That ends up being a mistake in a big way.

Nova’s internal struggle was real and very raw. Her father had always been her hero. She’d known that he wasn’t innocent; that he killed people even. But that didn’t change her undying devotion and loyalty to him. All Nova has wanted since her brother was killed by a Tin Gypsy was revenge. She wanted to put them all in jail. She thought she could and would do anything to do so, but that changes each day as she gets to really know Emmett.

When it all hits the fan it is horrible. A nightmare. Both Emmett and Nova have to decide if it’s worth it to face to the future or if they should say goodbye. Emmett damn near broke my heart when he said this.

“I can’t do this.”

I truly felt the devastation coming off the pages. It was heartbreaking and it was horrible. Their love was tangible, but neither of them know if they could let go of the past; let go of the family they both lost. When they did come together in the end? It was also desperate. But it was desperation to love, desperation to hope. It was just beautiful.

I’m really happy about how this series ended. Although I would rather have an open ended Tin Gypsy series, I respect Devney Perry for knowing when it’s time to end it. That doesn’t happen much anymore these days.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Tin Gypsy

four-half-stars


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Review: Eli by Jessica Gadziala

Posted October 13, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Eli by Jessica GadzialaReviewer: Casee
Eli by Jessica Gadziala
Series: Mallick Brothers #4
Also in this series: Shane, Ryan
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: August 31, 2017
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 232
Add It: Goodreads
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five-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Six years on the inside gave a man a lot of time to think. And a lot of time to plan. When I got out, I was determined for things to go a different way. I never wanted to lose control and rage out again.
The only way to accomplish that, though, was to shut it all down. Complete disconnect.
That meant no family, no friends, no links to anything attached to the man I was before.
Of course the problem was, I never factored HER into my plans. And try as I might, I couldn’t find a way to shut it down, to disconnect from her.
I had a sneaking suspicion she was going to take all my carefully constructed plans and toss them out the window, was going to force me to face up the demons inside and confront the ghosts from my past.
Those ghosts? They wore the faces of my family.
And a confrontation with them, yeah, I had a feeling it was going to show me that I had spent six years taking action on beliefs about the demons inside. Demons that had never actually existed in the first place…

This book was my absolute favorite in the Mallick Brothers series. Which says a lot because the first four books were really well written & I was completely hooked when I was reading them. Eli continues Eli Mallick’s story. At the end of Mark, Eli was arrested for assault in front of Autumn. When he was taken away, Autumn couldn’t leave his ugly dog at the pound. She was sure that no one would want him. He was so sad when his owner was taken away that Autumn decided to take him.

Fast forward…Autumn found out who the man with the dog was. Once she tracked him down, she wrote him a letter to let him know that she had Coop & enclosed a picture. Eli didn’t respond. A few years later Autumn sent a picture of Coop in his Halloween costume. After that they communicated sporadically. Although it wasn’t very often, Autumn found herself really drawn to Eli & she wasn’t sure why. She didn’t know him. She didn’t know his family. She didn’t know his circumstances. All she knew was that he assaulted a man that almost killed his wife then got railroaded because said man had a powerful father that pulled strings to get Eli convicted.

For the six years that he was behind bars, Eli made a decision to shut out his emotions. He was determined to get his rage fits under control. Which meant cutting off his family. When he felt real emotions, he couldn’t stay away. Eli doesn’t want back into the family business. He wants to continue his art & get to know Autumn. He doesn’t know why he’s so drawn to her, but he can’t turn his emotions off when it comes to her.

Eli’s situation was just heartbreaking. He was never meant to be an enforcer for the family’s loanshark business, but that’s what happened. When all else failed, Eli was sent to collect the debt that was owed to his family. He would rage out though he always had one of his brothers there to pull him back. What was so sad was that he was such a gentle soul. The fact that he would rage out, he had no outlet to control it except for the physical.

Autumn was such a great heroine. You could tell that she loved Eli from the moment he got out of prison though she hadn’t admitted it to herself. There was something about her that draws him & makes Eli feel that he needs her in his life. With Autumn he has an outlet from the rage that comes over him, in the form of sex. The first time Eli raged out after getting out of prison was after he saw one of his brothers. Just heartbreaking.

Eventually the family reunited and holy shit, but I was an emotional mess. His poor mother. Still, I thought they brought it on themselves by forcing Eli to be something he was never meant to be. Violent. The epilogue of this book just gutted me. If I was something that cried while reading, this one would have made me cry. I am so happy with the Mallick Brothers series & I can’t wait to read Gadziala’s other books.

Rating: 4.75 out of 5.

Mallick Brothers

five-stars


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Review: Portrait of Death: Unforgotten by Isabel Wroth

Posted October 11, 2021 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Portrait of Death: Unforgotten by Isabel WrothReviewer: Holly
Portrait of Death: Unforgotten by Isabel Wroth
Series: Portrait of Death #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: July 19, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense
Pages: 427
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
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three-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

Three years ago, I held her pink silk toe shoe in my hand, helplessly watching the cab drive away before I could give it back to her. The next morning when I stood in front of the portrait drying on my easel, I knew the beautiful ballerina would soon die. Her portrait is one of two hundred and twenty-seven. Each one of the subjects is the victim of murder, and I’ve painted them all. I’ve kept my morbid ability a secret for twenty years, terrified someday, someone would find out.

Someday has arrived, and the someone banging down my door today demanding answers is a gorgeous, irate homicide detective armed with a photo of one of my paintings right there on the front page of the most popular tabloid in the city. He peppers me with questions I can’t answer, and despite my worst fears being realized, all I can think about is painting this man, alive, and with far fewer clothes on.

Detective Callum Graham tells me the dead ballerina I painted is his sister, and she's been missing for three years. Missing, he says firmly, as though any other conclusion is unacceptable. My inappropriate thoughts of seeing him naked, vanish. How do I explain to this man, this brother desperate to find his baby sister alive, that she’s been dead for two years, eleven months, and three weeks?

Portrait of Death: Unforgotten is the first book in a contemporary romantic suspense series by Isabel Wroth. I generally avoid romantic suspense at all costs, but I really enjoy paranormal romance novels that feature psychic characters so I figured I’d give this a go. I’ve read most of Wroth’s backlist and I have to say this was not my favorite.

When Jo paints a portrait of her baby brother dead in a pond as a child, her parents have her committed to a mental institution, where she remains for two years despite her brother drowning while she was committed. For 20 years she’ll go into a trance after touching an object belonging to a random stranger, and end up painting their Portrait of Death. She’s come to realize over the years that they are all murder victims, but she can’t tell anyone, unless she wants to end up back in the institution. Until a scorned ex-lover leaks photos of her gallery.

Detective Callum Graham is shocked to see a death painting of his missing sister on the cover of a tabloid paper. He’s sure he’s finally found the killer. Jo knows she needs to protect her secrets at all costs, but it’s hard to resist the pain in the detective’s eyes.

I really disliked what an ass Callum was to Jo. I understand him thinking she was a murderer based on her paintings (that’s definitely some serial killer shit), but even after presented with proof that she couldn’t have committed the crimes, and proof that she was psychic, he refused to believe her. Even after they started getting intimate with each other, he would accuse her of being part of the murders, or just make stupid, asshole remarks to her for no reason. She pushed back and called him out on it, which is the only reason I kept reading, but it wasn’t enough. Especially since she would get distracted by how “hot” he was and then couldn’t stay mad.

On top of that, the police procedural stuff was very poorly done, and the whole mystery plot was easily figured out. There were also a lot of typos and errors. I spent most of the book irritated at one thing or another.

View Spoiler »

I kept reading because I liked the premise, but it wasn’t as well executed as the author’s other books. I don’t think I’ll read the next one.

Rating: 2.75 or 3.0 out of 5

Portrait of Death

three-stars


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Review: Rise by Cassandra Robbins

Posted October 4, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Rise by Cassandra RobbinsReviewer: Casee
Rise by Cassandra Robbins
Series: Rock God #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: September 9, 2021
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 357
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

USA Today bestselling author Cassandra Robbins returns with a scorching second chance, age-gap love story about a Rock God and his muse.
I know what I want.

So when opportunity knocked, I took it. I grabbed my shot, willing to do anything to make it happen.
From the beginning, I knew I was destined to be with the six-foot-four, bourbon-eyed Rock God. Only back in the early days he wasn’t a god.
Rhys Granger was my brother’s friend, the boy next door who wrote verses and played his guitar in our garage. He was talented. Exciting. Damaged. The kind of guy who made all the girls cry…
Except for me. I thought I was special. Turns out I’m not.
And now… I despise him.
He’s the lead singer of the Stuffed Muffins, one of the biggest bands in the world, with dark hair, full lips, and a body to die for.
Unfortunately, he’s a dick.
Not that I care anymore. I have my own career. I’m successful in my own right. So, when offered another once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, I turn it down.
But the universe has other plans, and I’m forced back into the savagely glamorous world of rock ‘n’ roll. Thrust into battling his seductive smile, his dangerous kisses, and my own addictive needs.
He might be a Rock God, but he’s also a man. And I’m the woman he never saw coming.
----
Get your VIP pass to the hottest world tour this year. Rise is a complete standalone in the Rock God series. Stage dive straight into Rhys and Gia’s uncontrollable attraction. With appearances from beloved past characters, this is my most scorching book yet.
*Not responsible for broken or spontaneous combustion of your e-reader.*

You’re not the boss of me, and I’ll never be like those girls, crying because you don’t love them. When I grow up, I know you’re gonna love me the best,” she announces, spins around, and walks back to the girls.

Gia was seven when she told Rhys she was going to marry him. He was seventeen, but age never mattered to her. Now she’s eighteen and she has a single-minded determination to show Rhys that they are made for each other. In her wildest dreams she could never imagine that he wouldn’t recognize her when he saw her. It works to her advantage in this case as she realizes that Rhys would never agree to be with her if he knew who she was. Now that they’ve been together, Gia is going to do everything to show Rhys that they’re meant to be together.

When Rhys figures out who Gia is after the night they spent together, he’s pretty much dumbfounded. The seven year old girl that was such a nuisance. The woman she has become is someone that Rhys doesn’t want to let go. He doesn’t care about her brother wanting to kill him; he will do anything to keep his muse and the woman that has come to mean everything to him in such a short amount of time.

Gia wasn’t ready for Rhys when she was eighteen. I believe that she needed to grow up a little. She was very much like an eighteen year old with her feelings about Rhys and what he should & should not be doing. She wasn’t ready for the Rock God lifestyle & it really showed. When they run into each other again about ten years later, she’s a woman, not the naive girl she once was.

The book had all the feels. You could feel the desperation that these two felt toward each other. It was an obsession; it was a love that was timeless. It was messy and chaotic. It was something that would be a difficult situation for any eighteen year old to be in. I think it was necessary for her to grow up before she & Rhys could be together. I really loved this book.

Rating 4.25 out of 5.

Rock God

four-half-stars


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Review: Give Me a Reason by A.L. Jackson

Posted August 30, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Give Me a Reason by A.L. JacksonReviewer: Casee
Give Me a Reason by A. L. Jackson
Narrator: Connor Crais, Desiree Ketchum
Series: Redemption Hills #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: August 31, 2021
Format: eARC
Source: Author
Point-of-View: Alternating First Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 418
Length: 11 hours and 57 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
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five-stars
Series Rating: five-stars


From NYT and USA Today bestselling author A.L. Jackson comes a single-dad, enemies-to-lovers stand-alone romance about a jaded club owner and his son’s teacher…

Eden Murphy came into my club looking to make some extra cash.A girl like her didn't belong in a place like this. She'd get ripped to shreds.Most likely by me.There's nothing but sweetness dripping from her sexy little body, and I'm the monster who's salivating to get a taste.
Trent Lawson is the last man I should want.Dark.Dangerous.So wickedly gorgeous he makes my knees weak. He's also an arrogant jerk who happens to be my new boss.
When I discover his adorable son is also in my kindergarten class, I know I have to keep my distance.
But neither of us can ignore the attraction that flames.One glance, and our hearts race. One touch, and we’re aching for what we can’t have. One night, and we’re falling fast.
Dragging her into my sordid world is wrong.It doesn’t matter. Eden Murphy is mine.

Opposites attract in the first installment of A.L. Jackson’s new Redemption Hills series. Trent Lawson has one reason in life. One reason that he does everything. His one reason is his son, Gage.

Eden Murphy is desperate. Desperate for money to save her father and save their school. She ends up at Absolution, a club whose owner doesn’t think she has what it takes. Never try to stop a determined woman, which is exactly what Eden is. She will do anything to save her family, small as it’s become. Her attraction to Trent is as immediate as it is unwanted.

Neither Trent nor Eden considered that they would see each other outside of the club. Eden didn’t anticipate that the highly sexy and arrogant Trent had a son that was going to be in her kindergarten class. Trent Lawson wasn’t someone that Eden expected in her life nor does she know exactly how to handle him.

This was a story about life and death; of love and loss. What I loved about Eden is that she still saw the good. Being betrayed by your own sibling would generally make someone cynical about life, but she wasn’t. She still had hope. I loved that about her. Her positivity was something that make me a little envious & this is fiction. Like, really? I also loved how she interacted with Gage.

Generally, books don’t stay with me when I finish them. There are too many books to read for me to think about what I’ve already read (which is why I don’t reread very much). This book has been with me for days. I can’t forget these characters. I can’t forget this story. I can’t forget the writing. I just can’t stop thinking about this book. How can I forget it with passages like this?

“Never thought in all my days that I’d be standing in front of a woman like you. A woman who is a treasure. So kind strangers can’t help but smile when she walks into a room, so gorgeous she still nearly drops me to my knees every time I see her. A woman who steals every single one of my breaths. The woman who stole my heart.”

If you’ve never tried A.L. Jackson, this book would be a great one to start with. If you have read her, this is a book you should read. This is the best book I’ve read all year and I can’t wait until the next installment.

Rating: 4.75 out of 5.

Redemption Hills

five-stars


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