Archives for July 2013

Review: How to Marry a Highlander

how to marry a highlanderReviewed by Carrie

I should really learn to look up a book before agreeing to review simply to know what I’m getting in to. This is a novella set in a series, but fortunately for me, it held up all on its own.

Teresa Finch-Freeworth is on borrowed time. She’s nearly on the shelf and her parents are all but demanding she marry the boring town vicar. A visit with the town gossip delivers the news that the Earl that she was enraptured by last season was in town with his seven sisters. Teresa screws up her courage and goes on a Hail Mary trip to London with the goal of snaring the man or at the very least having an adventure before her dull future becomes reality. [Read more…]

Review: Midnight Frost

midnight frostReviewed by Jen

Gwen Frost is back and still fighting the good fight.  She’s been through hell –and is still recovering from near-death at the hands of her boyfriend.  It’s not easy. She can’t sleep without having nightmares; she can’t walk around without people staring and whispering. But she won’t curl up and quit.  When one of the Reapers poisons her boss at the library, there’s no doubt the search for a cure will lead to a trap.  That doesn’t stop Gwen from gathering her friends and hitting the road to do what’s necessary.

The gang takes a road trip. Of course, there are fights with Reapers, as well as a host of mythological entities [Read more…]

Review: The Thing About Weres

thing about weresReviewed by Carrie

When we last left Heidi Peacock, she was shoving her half-dead werewolf mate, Trowbridge, through the gates to the Fae realm, Merenwyn, in order to save his life. With the help of 3 of their trusted were-pals, they keep this a secret in order not to break a sacred treaty between the Fae and Weres. However, since Trowbridge is gone, Heidi suddenly finds herself as the Alpha by-proxy. While holding down the fort, Heidi tries to get in touch with her suppressed inner were but finds difficulty. Time drags on without her man and Heidi is struggling to keep the pack from finding out exactly where the Alpha is. When a member of the North American Council of Weres comes knocking on the door, Heidi is pretty sure the jig is up only to have Trowbridge show back up in the nick of time – with a mystery man! [Read more…]

Review: Rise of the Gryphon

rise of the gryphonReviewed by Jen

This is such a good book; an awesome urban fantasy. It’s complex and action packed; it’s got great world building, well developed characters, and a fast moving plot. I did not want to put it down. Now that it’s over, I can’t wait until the next book is out, so I can get back on the ride.  For those of you unfamiliar with the series, it’s nothing like what you’re used to from Sherrilyn Kenyon. It’s not a romance (though there is a romance in the story.)  It’s 100% UF.  And this book, by the way, is not the place to start. Go back to Blood Trinity and start there. (Do it now!) [Read more…]

Review: Ask For It

ask for itReviewed by Shelly

I saw the title of this story and couldn’t say no because one of my favorite storybooks is by the same name. I had a couple of firsts with this one. This is my first Selena Blake story, but it will not be my last. This is my first non-QB football player book – Trevor Wyatt is a former football player not the typical QB — instead he’s a WR. Trevor’s always had a thing for Julia ‘JJ’ Fairchild. When he was still active in the game, he constantly asked her out and she constantly said no. Sensible, hardworking and conscientious, JJ is a reporter with a local newspaper and she always, always, always keeps her personal life separated from her business life – that is until Trevor. [Read more…]

Review: Magic Rises

Reviewed by Jen

Ilona Andrews is the gold standard for urban fantasy.  This book made me laugh and it made me ache. It kept me glued to the page.  And after six installments, Kate Daniels is every bit as engaging as ever… maybe even more so.

You get to a point in almost every series where the gang takes a road trip –and this is that book.  All of the core characters are there: Kate, Curran, Derek… Andrea, Rafael, and even Saiman.  So I didn’t feel like we were leaving much behind.  The basic conflict pits Kate and the gang against other shapeshifting factions and a surprise Big Bad, but for me, this book is more of an examination of the ties Kate has to her own Pack and whether they’ll stand against the external pressure. [Read more…]

Review: How to Lose a Bride in One Night

Reviewed by Jen

Annalise has never been the kind of woman who turned heads. She grew up the daughter of single woman in difficult financial circumstances. She is a bit pudgy; she has a limp from a childhood injury; and she could use a little work on her self esteem. But her life seemed to turn around when her long lost father came back into her life. Yes, she was still illegitimate and her aforementioned problems were still there, but a big dowry can go a long way to changing a girl’s prospects. As the story begins, Annalise has just been wed to a duke and she is ready to start her new life… when her new husband tries to kill her on her wedding night and throws her body in the river. [Read more…]

Review: Love and Other Scandals by Caroline Linden

love and other scandalsReviewed by Jen

Joan isn’t very good at being fashionable.  She’s too tall, too curvy, yet she tries to wear the clothes, the hats, and the hairstyles popular for her more dainty peers. As a result, she isn’t very popular with gentlemen. Her frankness and independent spirit don’t help either.  She yearns for some freedom and a chance at romance, but neither looks especially forthcoming.

Tristan is her brother’s best friend. He is also a notorious rake and hellraiser who has no intention of being shackled by marriage. [Read more…]

Review: Friday Night Alibi

friday nightReviewed by Janell

This book is marketed as New Adult, but I would have a hard time pulling it out of the YA category given the maturity of the narrator. Kelli Pinkins is 18, a high school graduate living at home, waiting to begin college. She lives in Sundale, which is pretty much an alternate reality. In Sundale, the parents are all spectacularly rich, families attend church every week, and all of the kids have trust funds. There are behavioral standards to be met, and if a son or daughter fails to live up to expectations, their trust funds are cut off.

Kelli has a pristine reputation which she decides to market. For a couple hundred bucks, she’ll be your Friday night alibi — she’ll vouch that you were with her, at the movies, out bowling, whatever wholesome activity sounds good, while you’re really out doing something that would get your trust fund yanked. Kelli doesn’t need the money, but since her parents are gone most of the time, she wants to be useful to someone. She spends her Friday nights holed up in her room playing video games so no one can fault her alibi. It’s an impressive system tailored for her niche market.

As the story opens, Kelli is home pretending to be on a date with Alex while she’s really playing an online shooter game. She’s never met her gamer buddy but she has fun virtually hanging out with him every week. Then her best friend begs and pleads for Kelli to leave the house for one night, so she gives in. Hijinks ensue, and she also meets a cute boy, Chase, with an annoying personality.

Kelli’s voice, at least compared to other NA heroines, is very immature. I thought she was 16 at best, but then she mentioned she’d graduated from high school. When Chase shows up at her country club, she hits a tennis ball into his butt, so then he moons her, so then she invites him for a spa day and surprises him with a body wax. They prank each other back and forth, she’s always smacking him on the back or making a sarcastic comment. When she thinks about kissing him, she gets grossed out by the idea of his tongue in her mouth. That’s about how I felt when I was 14. Then the story grew on me because Kelli begins to make out with Chase a lot. She won’t let him grope her, because she thinks she’s saving herself for marriage, and he doesn’t use his tongue until about the third week when she doesn’t find it gross anymore. Any time Kelli thinks she’s having feelings for Chase, she pushes them away because he’s just her kissing buddy. Near the end she’s forced to face her emotions and deal with Chase like a mature person (although she still makes dumb jokes and punches him a lot) and I believed it.

It’s a cute book, but don’t read it looking for anything red hot. It’s definitely a tame, cutesy book, good for a teenaged girl who wants kissing lessons or a grown woman who can’t remember when she was last grossed out by a boy.

Grade: B

*ARC Provided by Flirt

Click to purchase: Amazon

Friday Night Alibi
by Cassie Mae
Release Date: July 29, 2013
Publisher: Flirt

Review: Secret Santa

secret santaReviewed by Jen

This novella is a great little side adventure for Secret and her harem those who love her.  Lucas is actually MIA, but she does get some quality time with Desmond, and treads a little closer to a romantic entanglement with Holden.  The romance, however, takes a backseat to the action in this Christmas short.

Secret is growing restless in her new position as part of the vampire Tribunal.  She misses the rush of being a bounty hunter.  So when her friend Mercedes approaches her to help solve a grisly case, she doesn’t think twice about stepping up.  Someone –or something– is snatching children and leaving their body parts in Christmas stockings like a bloody gift.  And Mercedes thinks the culprit is supernatural.  It’s a perfect fit for Secret’s brand of justice.

Of course, the mystery does manage to tie in with Secret’s love life. The search pairs her with Holden, reminding her of their growing sexual tension.  And it ends up with a connection to Desmond that Secret can’t ignore.  (He’s not the bad guy; don’t worry.)  Seeing Secret with Desmond makes me all the more frustrated by her inability to just pick a dude and stick with him.  In particular, there’s one line in the book where she calls herself a prude because she isn’t sleeping with Lucas too.  What?  She clearly loves Desmond.  He loves her.  The rest is grating on the romantic in me.

But as with the other installments in the series, I liked the other elements of the book enough to try to push my feelings about this aside.  Though it is growing increasingly difficult as I fall harder for Desmond.  The mystery is interesting and exciting.  The villain is gnarly.  I like Secret.  I like the secondary characters.  The writing is good. The story is good… and I enjoyed the Christmas tie-in.  It’s a fun ride. But we need to start eliminating romantic interests.  (And by that, I most assuredly do NOT mean by killing Desmond.  Right now, I can’t see any other way to legitimately remove him as a love interest.  I’m scared.  Obviously, there are too may evil authors in my library.)  I will keep the faith.

Rating: B

Click to purchase: Amazon

Secret Santa
by Sierra Dean
Release Date: November 20, 2011
Publisher: Samhain