When I saw that Random House was starting a new line of New Adult books, I was pretty excited to see what they had in store for us. When I read about the debut novel in that line, Friday Night Alibi, I was intrigued enough to request it right away. I have to say, I’m kinda wishing I never did…
Kelli lives in the snooty town of Sundale, where the rich kids live in fear of losing their trust funds, and turn to Kelli to create a good alibi for them. Kelli is known as being a great student, star tennis player, and all around good girl. Anyone who fears telling their parents about the bad-boy they’re dating, or the hippie chick they are in love with, they can turn to Kelli to keep their reputation squeaky-clean.
But when Kelli meets Chase, her good-girl reputation might have to change as she realizes just how attracted to him she is, and how great he can be in her life. But is she ready to give up the alibi job for a chance at the real thing?
This book encompassed everything I hate about young adult books. So, the fact that it was marketed as a new adult book makes me doubly angry. Nothing about this book was new adult, other than the age of the hero. Our heroine was still living at home, and the only reason she was done with highschool is because she supposedly finished a semester early. Her parents were nowhere to be found, and Kelli had the attitude and outlook of a naive and annoying 16 year old.
I really hate not liking a book, so when I found myself rolling my eyes and scoffing at everything I read, I started to get more and more upset. The fact that this was classified as new adult makes me question any and every other book to be released in the Flirt line. I hate feeling like I’m being fooled into reading something that I would otherwise NEVER pick up.
On top of it, the writing was not at the level I expected. If I had to listen to the heroine compare her overactive nerves to “popcorn” one more time I was going to thrown my reader. At one point, the heroine actually had her popcorn nerves “popping outta her ears” and was surprised the hero wasn’t getting pelted in the face. Seriously??
All in all I was extremely disappointed in this book. It was considerably too young to be considered new adult, and the lack of any parents within the book made me feel like I was just reading another fluff YA. I hated the heroine, and although the hero was one I liked at times, I found that I got more and more mad at myself for liking someone who would continue to put up with the heroines bull. I give Friday Night Alibi an F.(less)
I had such hopes for this one. It got great reviews from the people over at All Romance eBooks, and the plot looked great.
Have to say, it really fell...moreI had such hopes for this one. It got great reviews from the people over at All Romance eBooks, and the plot looked great.
Have to say, it really fell short for me. I enjoyed Fina's character in the beginning, she was so strong to go through that horror, take on a child that wasn't hers, and run for their lives. But then she turned into a self conscious mess and I found myself wanting that strong heroine back.
Other than the cover, the book gave no indication it was a menage relationship, and I felt like the relationships were forced and odd. I liked Fina with Cutler, but felt really awkward when Nath got added into the mix.
Plus, if I had to hear Campbell refer to a female werewolf as a bitch one more time, I was tempted to stop midway through. I understand that is a female dog, really I get it. But talk about over kill. It just started to feel demeaning and ridiculous after awhile. Was it a term of endearment? a put down? a general reference to another woman? Yes, to all of the above, it was ridiculous.
I really wanted to like this one, really I did. I just couldn't. 1.5 stars(less)
Publisher: Carina Press Publish Date: April 13th How I got this book: NetGalley
This review is difficult for me to write. I wanted to like this book, I really did. Romantic Suspense has quickly become one of my favorite genres within the past six months, and some of my favorite reads from 2010 and 2011 are suspense books. When I saw this one up for review from Carina Press, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it, but was disappointed with the results.
Megan is on the run and hiding from her former boss and the man she watched pull the trigger on another man. She rented a house in a small town, far off the beaten path in an attempt to stay hidden. When Jake comes knocking looking for answers about his birth mother and family, Megan finds herself in a precarious situation; not knowing if she should trust him, but being seriously attracted to the handsome stranger.
After some tense and awkward situations, the two reach an understand and even start to form the bonds of friendship. When a large storm hits the area and the two are trapped in Megan’s house together, the excitement of danger and their building passion ignite into a bigger storm than either expected.
I really enjoyed the premise of the book, and think the story could have been amazing, but there were some things I just couldn’t get past. The characters really didn’t work for me. I felt that although Megan was so strong to live through what she did, she didn’t really come alive for me throughout the story. Jake was even harder to relate to. I got his need to find out about his family, but he never once struck me as the heroic type that he was portrayed as in the story.
The biggest turn off for me was the actual writing of the book. Everything was so incredibly descriptive that it somewhat bogged down the story. When I have to really concentrate on the prose, try to figure out what the metaphors really mean, it takes away the enjoyment of the story for me.
I almost put this book down plenty of times, but the suspense plot was something that I just didn’t want to miss, couldn’t give up on without finding out WHY Megan was a witness to a murder. So, I found myself skimming through the last half of the book, just to get the full picture. In the end, the suspense subplot didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, mainly because the crime that lead to the murders wasn’t something that I’d ever heard of before, or can imagine actually happening.
All in all, I just found that this did not work for me. I give Endless Night a D- (less)
Lou: We started our first discussion about the Fifty series in our past book discussion here. Each of us felt that the series was like crack, but there were obvious faults within the series such as inconsistencies, and way too much content that should have been cut in half. With how the second book ended, I thought how could the 3rd finish it off. What was there left to tell? After reading Freed, I can’t think of a single reason why this story was published. It had no plot that brought the story together. It was just more of Fifty and Ana drifting along with no purpose. And because of that I’m a angry reader because I don’t know why a book would be released that had NO purpose to it whatsoever. It’s not unknown that this series was originally fan fiction. And guess what. With this final entry, it felt as if nothing had changed and it did read like fan-fiction. A very very bad one.
MinnChica: I loved the first two Fifty books, and I thought that James left enough loose ends that the potential for a third story was there. I wanted to find out what more would come from the Mrs. Robinson character, who the person was trying to kill Christian and the romantic in me was hoping to see more of a deeper connection between Ana and Christian. But like Lou said, this third book felt pointless, seemed to have no direction and – in my opinion – was poorly written. I think this series could have been wrapped up in two books, and don’t feel as if there was any decent resolution to the story.
Lou: I agree, Minn. There wasn’t any decent resolution to the story, and I felt as if this book was more of a gravy train ride. What annoys me so much is that this book felt as if it was a first draft of a story. In most books, there is a plot driving the story along whether it be external, internal, or both. There was none of this in Freed. It was just more of Fifty and Ana fighting, and the first part of the book was such a snore fest because as far as I was concerned, it was just blocks of writing. There’s not much to explain about what the plot of the book is and how it played out because there isn’t one. Mrs Robinson’s character just blew away quietly in the wind without any real impact. We have a subtle secondary storyline with Ana best friend, and Fifty’s brother but that drifted away also. And Fifty was just a total and complete arse in this book. How he treats Ana after she reveals she’s pregnant, I thought it was despicable of him in his treatment of her.
MinnChica: In the first two books it was obvious to me that Christian was damaged, he had some serious emotional problems, but with the end of the 2nd book I honestly thought that he would be given a chance to really grow up emotionally in the third book. Boy was I wrong! If anything, it seemed to me as if Christian became even MORE emotionally stunted. He was a total jerk at every turn, he never once seemed to look at things in a second way, and quite honestly his behavior in this story ruined the whole series for me. I don’t want to read about someone who takes one step forward and then about twelve back. It was disappointing.
Lou: It was like Fifty had to go back and be his damaged self to add tension to a lack lustre story. I just didn’t get this book at all because I still can’t find a reason for the actual story. Fifty gets treated of his dominant and BDSM tenancies by the cure of Ana. The way in which Fifty got into the BDSM scene was so incredibly messed up that I honestly thought it was safer for him not to be practising it. It’s still a horrible message to send out though that Ana cured him of that. The ending of the book just made me laugh so hard because it was like a Harlequin ending, but one that was outdated so many years ago: Babies! The ending is that Fifty and Ana become a normal loving family and raise babies together and they are all super duper loved up. Talk about how to kill your story as far as I’m concerned.
MinnChica: In regards to the BDSM, I didn’t see it as Christian getting “cured” by Ana, because they still partook in some “kinky-fuckery” but I was more upset that during their few BDSM scenes, Christian didn’t seem to have any care for how he treated Ana. He was cruel and mean and in it for his own f-ed up agenda. It was hard to read… I thought the end was a bit of a cop-out as well. I wasn’t very impressed at all on that front. One of the other things that constantly drove me NUTS during the story was that Ana’s assistant Hannah was constantly having the spelling of her name changed. Half the time it was Hannah, and the other half it was Hanna. Little things like that just reinforced my thought that not a lot of time was spent on the editing and cultivation of this book. =(
I will admit though that there were a few scenes that I enjoyed in this book. There were tiny snippets into Ana and Christian’s life that I was pleasantly surprised by. Ana giving Christian a haircut, some of their moments on their honeymoon, the few times Christian would play piano for Ana. For me, those small scenes just showed me that the potential for a wonderful story was there, but the execution lacked.
Lou: It’s like the British slang that was used throughout the book, despite it being in an American setting. It’s obvious no decent editor had gone through this book, and it’s something that the author should have picked up on. Fifty was very cruel to Ana, and he came off as abusive that left me with a sour taste in my mouth. After reading this final book, I wouldn’t recommend this series at all now. When you release a book, you make sure it’s the best as it can possibly be. I don’t want to read or pay for a book that looks like it still belongs in the fan fiction world. If I want to read fan fiction, I’ll go to their sites. All in all, what a cock up of this book was. I can’t recommend this book because it is crafted poorly.
I give it a F.
MinnChica: All in all I was horribly disappointed in this book. I was expecting the same level of wonder and excitement that the first two books in the series gave me, and instead I found myself constantly frustrated and annoyed while reading. Christian came across as a spoiled and spiteful child and Ana never seemed to grow a pair enough to stick up for her basic right to be treated like a decent human. Like Lou, I can’t recommend this book to anyone. I think the first two books will still hold a special place and are worth the read, but the third book is not worth the ridiculous price.
Publisher: Avon Publish Date: Out Now! How we got this book: NetGalley
Has: Anne Mallory is fast becoming an autobuy author for me, I really have enjoyed her last few books and grabbed the chance to request this via Netgalley when it was posted. The premise of a hero who was outside of society and was from a working class background really appealed to me because it is a refreshing change from the usual aristocratic heroes in Regency romances.
MinnChica: I like wise requested this one because I thought it sounded interesting and different, but I have to say it somewhat fell short for me.
Has: His heroine who is confined and restricted to be something she is not by her family and society was an interesting foil for him and I thought it was an interesting take and conflict for their romance.
MinnChica: While the “in society vs. out of society” isn’t common in historical romance, I have read a few, and I didn’t feel that Mallory did anything that was new and exciting between the hero and heroine, and I thought the conflict was almost too forced. I felt that Charlotte was extremely wishy washy regarding her family.
Has: I actually had the opposite view of that, she was feeling that because she had no real choices and her father held so much sway and power especially over her sister, she had no choice. She never really believed in those constraints which I found great! She was trapped in a cage of mores and society’s rules and her father’s greed.
MinnChica: I can see where she felt that her father had all the power, but I never understood what exactly he held over her head regarding her sister. And like her mother and sister said to Charlotte at the end, everyone should be free to make their own choices. At times I felt like she was trying to stifle her sister by providing this “protection” from what? The marriage mart?
Has: I think her father held that much power and it was hard to break free but it wasn’t until Roman helped to break down her barriers and she did the same with him too that helped her to see that. There is that key scene towards the end where she realises that there is so much more than what her father wants and what society expects of her
MinnChica: I saw her “confinement” as self-inflicted and unnecessary. I have to say the one thing I did enjoy about this book was Roman. While it took me awhile to warm up to him, I did enjoy him towards the end.
Has: This is why I really enjoyed the book so much. Both Roman and Charlotte broke down each other’s walls and barriers.The symbolism in her dresses and the use of colours which Roman picks up on was a sign she wasn’t as confined as others thought or felt she was.I loved how he picked up on things like that and the same thing happened with her – it really felt like their courtship was the chess game they played at the beginning of the book. Each move led to an inner obstacle breaking down and moving more closer to each other.
MinnChica: I definitely thought their courtship was steamy, if they even had a courtship. It seemed to really just be a lot of smexing. I just couldn’t seem to connect with their chemistry. It was all to sudden and not really romantic to me.
Has: I really felt the opposite! I think the buildup at the beginning was great. I loved how the romance played out and the buildup of the tension. I thought it was really multilayered and the tension was delicious! But I have to say my issue was how Charlotte’s mother reacted to the situation with her daughter and the sudden turnaround from that.
MinnChica: Yea, her mother was an odd cookie… I have to say though, I was glad at the end when the girls made the attempt to have a relationship with their mother. That warmed my heart strings a bit.
Has: I didn’t think it was that belieavable and realistic especially since she was so adamant and hardheaded about her views. I didn’t see how she could transcend from being against her daughter like that and then suddenly working with her.
MinnChica: I never saw them as “working” together. All I really saw was that she at least opened up to having a relationship with them, regardless of her views. I still don’t think her mother would have lifted a finger to help her, ever.
Has: Oh I agree – even though I didn’t think it worked from that switch. That scene was very emotional and I think it was one of my favourites. I also loved the subtle touches of humour too. Such as Roman’s servant’s, One Eyed Bill’s crush on her mother. I loved that scene when he gave her flowers, really touching and subtly funny too!
MinnChica: That was cute, I thought that was adorable! I did find myself liking some of the secondary characters more than the main characters. Charlotte’s sister Emily, and One Eyed Bill were great. I loved Emily open view of the world, not yet jaded, but realistic at the same time. And like you said Has, One Eyed Bill had some really funny scenes and one liners.
Has: I think they helped to give some lightness and humour in the book because it was pretty emotional and even angsty at times and this helped to lighten the tone of the book. I really hope we get to see more of them in the sequel because I am wondering if One Eyed Bill will manage to win Charlotte’s mother, because I was definitely caught up in that side plot and helped to humanise her mother who was so cold and detached in the beginning of the book.
MinnChica: Like I said, I wasn’t completely in love with the main characters. I though Charlotte was making herself out to be a victim, when she didn’t need to. I couldn’t relate to her at all, and found myself not really wanting to, even once she started really finding her own way. Once Roman warmed up to me, I did enjoy his very almost anti-hero ways. While he was not the most honorable gentleman, he sincerely wanted everything for Charlotte to be perfect, and that redeemed him a lot in my eyes.
Has: I loved Roman! In many ways he reminded me of Derek from Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas but with more of the dangerous rake in him. I think for me if he wasn’t in the book – I don’t think it would have worked as well. I disagree Charlotte was making herself into a victim. She couldn’t see a way out other than having an expectation into making a prosperous and loveless marriage. And that she was trapped within society, whilst Roman was already outside of it and could never belong within it. But I loved how they broke through each others barriers and found their own place to belong. I think for me that how a good romance works for me. Charlotte uses words and rules to build herself a wall while Roman uses his reputation and violence. But despite this they found each other.
MinnChica: While I really wanted to like this Mallory historical, and did enjoy a few parts of it, I just couldn’t seem to get into the book and really didn't like it in it’s entirety.
I give this book a D+.
Has: I loved it! I loved the slow buildup and tension and the courtship between Charlotte and Roman was very much like chess game for me. I really liked how they broke through each others walls and that is one of my favourite types of romances.
Publisher: Piatkus Publish Date: Out Now! How I got this book: Pima County Library
I think I might be a bit of masochist, because for some reason I keep picking up these books. I probably should have stopped awhile ago, but I had hoped Feehan would get better after Ivory’s book, which I really enjoyed! Instead, this book didn’t seem to have anything to do with the overall Carpathian story arc and felt a little pointless to me.
I think the blurb summarizes well, so I wont rehash the plot, but I do have to say I felt like nothing really happened throughout the entire book. Sure Zacarias and Marguarita meet, realize they are lifemates, she saves him, he turns her, there are a couple vampire fights, and then it’s over. There wasn’t really anything in this book that pulled me in, kept me engaged, or had me wanting to keep reading.
In addition, I felt as if the characters were poorly lacking. Zacarias was the biggest jerk ever, and not once did I really even consider him romance hero worthy. He was overbearing and dominating and almost vengeful in the way he reacted to Marguarita. At times, their interactions with each other reminded me of a really bad Master and slave relationship. He took what he wanted, when he wanted it, regardless of her feelings and desires. I didn’t enjoy his character – at all.
But I didn’t always hate Zacarias. I was excited for his story, and was anxious to see who Feehan would pair him up with. Marguarita was NOT what I was expecting, and again her character didn’t resonate with me at all. She was so one sided, let Zacarias walk all over her and although she kept saying she made her decision to be with him after careful consideration, we never saw that consideration. It felt to me as if she decided to be with him willy-nilly, and then when he treated her like crap, she took it over and over. Then, when he turns her, she freaks out and claims she is done with him. The whole situation between the two of them felt off and cold and almost uncomfortable for me to read.
I think I will have to pick up Dimitri and Skylar’s book, because they have so much history, but besides that… It might be time to break up with the Carpathian Series.
All in all I was very disappointed with the 22nd (O_O) installment of this series. I felt as if the characters were living in the middle ages and I really didn’t feel any connection between Zacharias and Margaurita. The plot was slow and boring and the overall Carpathian story ARC didn’t seem to go anywhere.
This was my first read by Toni Blake, and I had heard so many great things about her that I was excited to start this one. Unfortunately for me it started strong and slowly started falling apart.
Sue Ann’s husband has left her and she is barely hanging on trying to keep her spirits up and provide the best Christmas she can for her daughter. When she tries to get away for the weekend, a scheduling mishap has her spending the night with her ex’s best friend Adam. After a night of some smoking hot sex, Sue Ann does everything she can to put some distance between them.
But Adam has other plans. After just one night with Sue Ann he is hooked on her. What starts as physical soon turns into more for him, and each time Sue Ann pulls away from him he gets more and more grumpy. But he is determine to win her over, and when he puts his mind to it, he is determine to get the girl in any way possible.
I wanted to like this book, and when it started strong and sexy I was fairly optimistic that this would become a new favorite holiday read. But the more the story went on, the closer and closer it came to being a contemporary romantic retelling of A Christmas Carol. Now, I have nothing wrong with using classic books as a guide, I even liked A Christmas Carol. But one of the things that I absolutely can not stand is when contemporary romance books add in a splash of paranormal: ghosts, premonition, dreams that are so real the character believes they have actually happened/will happen. I love paranormal books, but when authors try to use even a little supernatural in their contemporary romance books it completely turns me off.
That being said, had the dreams of Christmas past, present and future not played such a predominant role in Adam’s behavior, I think I would have liked this book more. Both Adam and Sue Ann were well developed characters and I thought that their romance had great potential. I did wish that each of their kids would have played a more active role in the book however, it felt like both Sue Ann and Adam didn’t think about them as much as I would have liked them too.
I do think the town of Destiny housed a cast of characters that could be lead to another great small town series. I’ve always been a big fan of books set in small towns, as I think the town itself can be portrayed as another character that livens and can really make a book great.
One of the other things I noticed is that is seems as if everyone in Destiny is divorced. I don’t know if that is a common feature in Blake books, but that in-and-of itself almost turned me off a little because it seemed like everyone had to go through a fail marriage before finding a good one. It just seemed a little unreal and ridiculous.
All in all I wanted to like this, I really did. However it really just didn’t work for me. While I enjoyed Blake’s writing and might be willing to try another story by her, this one really didn’t do anything for me.
Publisher: Loose ID Where did you get the book: e-ARC from author Release date: Out now
Lou: MinnChica and myself are big fans of sport romance books, and when we had the change to review Fourth and Goal, we said yes. Being from the UK, I know zilch about American Football but no matter the sport I really enjoy these themes in romances. Fourth and Goal, I thought, centered a lot on the aspect of football — as in all the surrounding plots were based upon it. But what fell flat for me was the romance and how it all played out, and I have mixed feelings about this book. I thought it started off strong with the heroine and hero being ex-lovers and best friends, and they were both strong characters. But the heroine soon got on my nerves, and I had a hard time understanding her motives and behaviours towards the hero. I also thought some of her actions really conflicted with what she wanted most out of life, and that was to be a scout.
MinnChica: I have to say, when I got the request for this book I was intrigued. Davenport presented the book as being something that the female football fans could all enjoy, and while there were parts of it I really did like, most of the book fell somewhat flat for me. Like Lou, I though it started with good potential, but after only a chapter or so things started going south for me. It wasn’t until the last few chapters that things started picking up and getting better for me. I’ll admit that the biggest thing that turned me off from this story was the NEVER ENDING football metaphors and innuendos. Every time they referred to their private bits as a “goalpost” or “end zone” I could feel my eyes rolling and my patience wearing thin. It got to the point where I almost gave up and stopped reading.
Lou: I did wonder what you thought of the metaphors *G*, and I do agree that it was a tad overdone to the point where it really really affected the pace and style of the story. What I didn’t understand about Rachel was her actions. She thought that Derek cheated her Father by shaving points, and because of that he lost his job and livelihood. Now if I thought somebody did that to my Father, NO WAY would I contemplate having a relationship with the person in question. She seemed to forget about the alleged betrayal. And I also thought if she wanted to be taken seriously by wanting to become a scout in football, sleeping with Derek — who was also paying her to do a job — wasn’t ethical. And then getting drunk and wearing a short dress where all the footie players were ogling her, again I had a HUH moment.
MinnChica: How about the fact that although she was trying to ruin Derek, she was also so willing to jump into having UNPROTECTED SEX with the guy?! O_O That baffled me. For me, the only thing that made this book worthwhile was the relationship between Derek and Tyler and Ryan, the kid they formed a friendship with that had cancer. I thought that the moments with Derek and Ryan, Tyler and Ryan and the football team with Ryan were beautifully done. It was wonderful to watch them open up their hearts and really go above and beyond for this kid. The scenes were heartbreaking and had me crying at the end. I think I could have honestly done without a lot of the other scenes, and enjoyed more with just boys.
Lou: I’ll be honest, the sex scenes I didn’t pay that much attention to because I thought that they were almost clinical, and when Rachel calls Derek ‘Buster’ in the smexy times, it totally ruined the effect for me. And omg, Ryan. Those scenes had me sobbing like a baby. Throughout the entire novel, this is what had the deepest emotional development and I also believe that if you took out the alleged betrayal and wanting Derek to pay, I would have enjoyed the book a lot more. I was put off by how sex centric it was to the point where everybody was thinking that everybody else needed to get laid. It was such mash-up of different plots that I do believe it really got lost from the beginning to middle. Tyler and Cass’ relationship was like that of immature teens, and I’m glad that she’s not his heroine.
MinnChica: Oh my favorite of the sexy scenes was when Rachel told Derek he was “in the red zone and it was time to score.” I love football, more than most, but I can’t imagine ANYONE using football references to having sex with someone they supposedly care about. it just seemed so tacky. I agree that Tyler and Cass seemed like a couple of teenagers, and the dysfunctional relationship between the two of them didn’t really add anything to the story for me. I do think that Davenport has the capacity to write an incredible series, but unless the football puns get toned down, and the emotional relationship between the hero and heroine change, I don’t know that I would enjoy reading more of her books.
Lou: I agree that Cass and Tyler’s relationship didn’t add anything to the story, though I do wonder if it was meant to show how unhappy he was in life. But I agree with you also that if Tyler’s book also features the same silly puns, I don’t think I would read it also because in this book it really did affect the pace for me. All in all, I think Davenport had a great premise in Fourth and Goal, but unfortunately it was miss and hit for me. I really liked Derek as he seemed really sweet, but Rachel’s behaviour really bothered me. I give Fourth and Goal a C-, though I was verging on a D+ but the ending really brought the grade up for me.
MinnChica: All in all I think this book had great possibilities, but really fell short for me. The puns got annoying and tacky, the romance felt forced and unreal, and while the emotional relationship between the players and Ryan really saved this for me, the book didn’t live up to the high expectation I had going in. I would be willing to give this series another go, as long as someone reassures me the football puns are fewer and far between. I give Fourth and Goal a D+(less)
Publisher: Avon Publish Date: Out Now How I got this book: NetGalley
Let me start by saying that Destefano has some of the most amazing ideas. Her concepts for both Feast and her Sci-Fi Series The Resurrection Chronicles blow my mind. For me though, the execution just didn’t work.
Feast follows the story of a small town set in the mountains. The locals are aware of the legend of the shape shifters that come out to hunt and harvest once a year. Those towns folk with vivid dreams and nightmares are the most sought after by the creatures, and Maddie has some of the most intense dreams anyone has ever seen.
But Ash runs the mountain, and he isn’t about to let someone else get their hands on Maddie. From the moment she was a child he was fascinated with her, and now that she is back he isn’t prepared to let her go. But nefarious forces are in the works, and someone is out to show Ash that he can’t be in charge for ever…
This book was very, very hard for me to get into. Told from about 5 different points of view, I never felt like I was able to relate to any of the characters. Each “chapter” averaged only a few short pages, so by the time I got into the character and felt like I could relate, we immediately switched to another character. It chopped up the book and had me feeling as if I was watching a tennis match, my head constantly bobbing to and fro.
The premise of the story was very different and dark and exciting, but again I had a hard time getting into it. While we really got to see the full spectrum of what happened in the time line, the constant jumping around almost had me loosing some of the details. I found myself scratching my head at times, wondering why certain character POV’s were included and/or necessary, and it really took away from the story in my opinion.
There was a small romantic element between Maddie and Ash, but it didn’t come out until the very end, and to me felt sudden and forced. Sure Ash had always cared about her, even when she was a young girl, but his pain from a previous loss made his sudden love for Maddie seem hollow. For Maddie, it seem to come out of nowhere. One moment she is in the middle of a divorce, not wanting to even think about love and the next she is putting her life at risk for Ash, a man she has only known for a couple days? It just didn’t feel right to me.
All in all, Destefano has an incredible imagination. Her story ideas and descriptions continue to absolutely blow me away. However, I have a hard time enjoying her books with her specific style of writing.
Publisher: Berkley Publish Date: Out Now! How I got this book: review copy from publisher
The KGI series was probably my most anticipated romantic suspense series ever. I love the dynamics between the Kelly brothers, and think that Banks writes an incredible story, however this one really just didn’t work for me. I’m not a huge fan of genre jumping, and this book committed one of my cardinal book sins: bringing in paranormal elements to a non-paranormal world.
I was anxious to see what would happen with Nathan, one of the twins and youngest Kelly brother after he was captured by the enemy. While I understand why the book went the way it did, especially with the paranormal elements, I just had a hard time getting on board with the extra-ordinary in an ordinary world. Putting that aside for a minute, I think had the book not had those elements, it would have been an A read for sure.
I’ve been a big fan of the Kelly brothers, and that didn’t change in this book. The brothers continue to have a wonderful and incredible dynamic together, and even as their wives got involved with Nathan and Shea, they each had their own strengths to lend to the situation at hand, and yet came together as a family when they were needed most. I loved getting a glimpse into the lives of the past couples, and hope that Banks continues on this trend of showcasing more of the Kelly family throughout the series.
I thought the suspense was well done as well. In the beginning Nathan was still in captivity with the enemy, and I wanted to cry for him at every page turn. But once he got out and healed a little, he went right back to being that hardcore trained soldier, coming through for Shea when she needed him most.
I will admit that the relationship between Shea and Nathan was probably my favorite aspect of the book. Because of the paranormal element, they had a deep and true connection to one another, and despite the fact that their declarations of love came on somewhat quickly, it was also believable and true to their relationship with each other. I really loved these two together.
All in all this is a hard book for me to rate because despite the fact that I hated the paranormal elements in the contemporary world, everything else was wonderful. The suspense was well done, the characters pulled me in and had me falling in love, the romance was so well done and sexy. It was just the one HUGE elephant in the room that had me hesitant. I give Whispers in the Dark a C.(less)
I’m always on the look out for a good BDSM book, and I do love my m/m/f books, so I thought this would be a wonderful combination. While there were a lot of aspects that aren’t commonly seen in romance, the BDSM aspects crossed a few lines for me that ruined my enjoyment of the overall story.
Jay is struggling to recover from a car accident that left him with a lot of medical bills and pain. Despite that, his marriage to Adriana has never been stronger, and the two of them are closer than ever. But Jay realizes that there is an aspect of their sex life that he can’t provide for Adriana: her need to be dominated and the bit of pain that she so desperately craves. Jay gets the idea to hire someone to fulfill those needs. Little does he know that Paul is able to do so much more.
Paul has been working as an escort for some time now, but getting Jay and Adriana as a client is throwing his emotions out of whack. He enjoys both Jay and Adriana. When he proposes they continue their relationship on a personal level, they set out on a journey to see if three people can be in a committed relationship, forever.
For those people who like their BDSM to focus more on the dominance and submission aspect of the lifestyle, this book is definitely not for you. While Paul does come across as dominate, the book deals more with Adriana’s need for pain during sex, and how Paul doles that out for her when Jay cannot. There were some hard lines crossed that totally ruined this book for me. The first and foremost was face slapping. I get that it’s a kink for some people, but I struggle with finding anything sexy about someone slapping someone they supposedly love. I’ve gone to a lot of weird places with some BDSM books, but that is a hard line I just couldn’t get past. Add in the different ways Paul came up with to inflict pain during sex, and I struggled to find the erotic aspect of many of the sex scenes. People who like reading more about the S&M aspects of the lifestyle would probably find this a really engaging read.
Another aspect of the book that just didn’t work for me was the actual relationship between all three parties. While Ames did something that I haven’t seen a lot in my romance books, it just didn’t work for me. There are significant chunks of the book that are spent building the relationship between Paul and Adriana as a couple, and then Paul and Jay as a couple. I felt like the scenes with all three together weren’t as prevalent. While I can see how that would be realistic in real life, it didn’t work for me in my romance book. There were a few times that I felt as if Jay and Adriana’s marriage wasn’t as strong as the beginning of the book, because of the way they included Paul in their relationship.
I struggled connecting with the subplot surrounding Adriana’s work. While I completely understand the pressure she felt having to work in order to help pay for Jay’s medical bills, I really had a hard time following the story with her at work, especially as it imploded toward the end of the story. However, Jay having to find work again despite his previous injury, and Paul’s struggle to stop being an escort were two subplots that I did enjoy.
All in all, I really don’t think this was the book for me. Ames is a wonderful writer, but the content just crossed a lot of lines that I wasn’t willing to go along with. Between the BDSM aspects that made me cringe, and the problems I had with the relationship in general, this was a disappointing read for me. I give The Submission Gift a D-(less)
Publisher: Grand Central Publish Date: Out Now How I got this book: NetGalley
I was really looking forward to this, especially since I’ve enjoy Fiesty’s work in the past, however this book did not work for me. At all…..
Phoebe has inherited her aunt and uncle’s small local cafe, and while she is the best organic farmer around, she can’t cook well enough to keep the cafe successful. She goes out on a limb and hires chef bad-boy Nick Avalon, and the two mix as well as oil and water.
Nick is bidding his time to let the scandal blow over before he can return to LA and the live he loves. The small town is not his idea of a good life, and Phoebe constantly gets on his nerves. But there isn’t anything else to do in town, so spending time with Phoebe seems to be the only way to pass the time, and although they fight constantly, their time together naked is perfect. But when Nick gets the opportunity of a lifetime, will he really be able to say goodbye to the life he’s become accustomed to?
I like romances with chef and cooking in them, so the idea of this book really pulled at me and sounded wonderful, however the characters of Nick and Phoebe just did not engage me at all, and the more I read the more frustrated and annoyed I got.
Phoebe is a bit of a hippie, and loves her small town life and ways. She constantly tells Nick throughout the entire book that she hates him. Even while they are getting busy. I could see it for the first few days, but after almost two months of them working together, sleeping together, she still tells him she hates him every chance she gets. It got to the point where I just wanted to smack some sense into her head. I’ve never read a more fickle pickle character. Phoebe could never decide what she wanted, when she wanted it, or anything else for that matter. Her character really didn’t appeal to me at all.
And unfortunately Nick wasn’t any better. He was a jerk to not only Phoebe, but almost everyone else he met. He constantly slammed their small town, calling them hicks and hippies and simpletons. Even after he started to assimilate to the small-town life, he would snark out snide comments that had me rolling me eyes at him. I just couldn’t get on board with him attitude or reasons.
The romance didn’t work for me either. Maybe it was because they were both such difficult characters to like, I just couldn’t find the time to get invested in their romance. I found myself just hoping it would end soon….
All in all I was pretty disappointed in this Fiesty book. While the sexy times were hot (as always with Fiesty) the rest of the romance and character development that I’ve come to expect just didn’t live up to my expectations. I give Deliciously Sinful a D(less)
Publisher: Carina Press Publish Date: 3/7/11 How I got this book: NetGalley
Management Skills is a short and quick novella that really didn’t do anything...more Publisher: Carina Press Publish Date: 3/7/11 How I got this book: NetGalley
Management Skills is a short and quick novella that really didn’t do anything for me. Grant is CEO of his own company, and when he works on the lighting for a fetish club, he sees a woman who has more pull on him than he can remember. When he doesn’t get the chance to meet her, he thinks his chance is gone forever. Later, when meeting with his newest employee, he realizes that Allie is the woman he fantasized about.
Grant wants nothing more than to have Allie in every way possible. But she is weary of Grant and all that he wants from her. Although their bodies connect of a level she never thought possible, Allie isn’t looking to become involved as deeply as Grant wants. But as her body wins over more than her mind, will she allow herself to let go and let him take charge?
I’ve been known to read (and very much so enjoy) my far share of smutty books. But Rowe’s Management Skills really didn’t click for me. Allie and Grant share a night of passion early on in the story, but they soon dance away from each other, not really ready and willing to move forward. I thought that their relationship was forced, and awkward. I never really bought into the chemistry or the passion between the two.
Although this book is supposed to be about a D/s relationship, it took awhile to develop. After their first vanilla night together, Allie avoided Grant like the plague. When they did finally come together like that, it felt off and odd to me. It didn’t seem like there was any real fire or heat between the two.
All in all, I give Management Skills 1.5 out of 5 former strippers. (less)
Publisher: Avon Publish Date: Out Now How I got this book: NetGalley
I wanted to like this book, I really did. the blurb sounded really interesting, and I’m always a huge sucker for UF books. But for me, Ascension fell VERY short.
Kyana is a half vampire half werewolf tracker for the Order. Her job is to track and find the Chosen people who can take over the roles of the Gods and potentially bring the world back to a somewhat stable place. But when the Gods realize that the demons pouring out of hell will just continue to keep coming, Kyana gets tasked with finding the key to hell and closing the doors.
She gets paired up with Ryker, son of Ares and the one who ran away with her heart years ago. The two both have feelings for each other, but both are afraid to move forward with any kind of relationship, for a myriad of reasons. As the clues start coming in and Kyana and Ryker find more information about the key to hell, things heat up on all fronts.
The world building in this book is VERY complicated (or at least felt that way). The gates of hell have opened, and the world has plunged into chaos. Once I got a good feel for the world, I really enjoyed all the little touches like the old mythology, the bringing back of the Greek Gods, and the way it all wove together in the story. I’ve always enjoyed books that bring Gods to life, and I did enjoy seeing the characterization of Ares, Artemis, the Fates, and Hades.
That being said, I had a really difficult time connecting with any of the characters. Not one of them really came to life for me or grabbed me into the story. Kyana was a bad ass fighter and great heroine with a sword; but when it came to her being a real person, she just didn’t resonate with me. She was scared of Ryker and what a relationship with his would mean. Her only two friends were people she ended up hurting in the end (both inadvertently of course), and I just couldn’t seem to find any sort of reason to actually like her.
Ryker stood out a little better for me, and of the few moments in this book I enjoyed, they were all centered around him. I think the biggest thing that I liked about Ryker was his constant struggle with himself. Being the son of Ares, and a General in his army, he was torn between the rage of being a warrior, and the desire to be something more. I liked the dichotomy of his personality, and the struggle he goes through trying to find his way.
The relationship between Kyana and Ryker was almost painful for me. At no point did I ever really feel the connection between them. They both talked about their feelings towards one another, but I never felt as if they really had a connection. There was some definite tension between them, but I could never tell if it was sexual or just angst. Even when the two did finally get together, it wasn’t anything that resonated as being emotionally meaningful.
The supporting cast of characters almost stood out better than the main ones did. Kyana’s only two friends Haven and Geoffrey were probably the two characters I liked the best, and their page time was limited. If Grace continues with a story line that includes those two more, it might help. However, with the way Ascension ended, I doubt that would be the case. For those who enjoyed Ascension, the ending does set up a sequel quite nicely.
All in all, I wasn’t impressed with the first book in the Dark Breed Series. I would have liked to feel a better connection with the characters, a faster moving plot in the beginning and a better sense of feeling between the characters themselves.
Publisher: Samhain Publish Date: Out Now! How I got this book: eARC from author
I was intrigued by this book mainly because it was wrapped up in Aztec mythology, and that isn’t something that is common in the paranormal world. I was hoping it would be fresh and new and different.
Carolina is living alone on her ranch, protecting her goddess and barely hanging on by a thread. When she is attacked by a demon one night and ends up fighting side-by-side with a shadow warrior, her life looks like it’s going down in a spiral. But Tomas knows that Carolina is his shadow mate, and he will do anything and everything to keep her safe.
Tomas fears he is loosing the battle with his wolf, and knows that having Carolina as his shadow mate will keep the wolf at bay. But she is holding something back, afraid to mate with him. When a demon seems fixated on Carolina and her land, Tomas worries he will loose her forever.
This is my first Hewitt read, and while I really enjoyed the premise of the book and the Aztec mythology, there was just something else missing for me. The Aztec mythology and gods was a neat twist, and one I enjoyed reading. Granted I could have done without the super complicated names (or at least a pronunciation guide), but the new mythology and characters were great fun to read and learn more about.
Both Tomas and Carolina were interesting characters, but there was almost something missing in each of them. They said all the right things, acted in ways that seemed reasonable for their character, but there was a depth of emotion that was missing for me. I don’t know if it was because I never really got involved with the characters or what… but for me they just didn’t resonate very strong.
I did like the side story with the god and goddess though. I might be interested to read more about them if they have a story devoted to them individually. One of the other things I liked was Hewitt’s ability to describe such amazing action scenes. These scenes were frequent and packed with descriptions that brought alive the moment for me. It really made up for the lack of character development for me.
All in all I was hoping for a bit more from this story. I loved the Aztec mythology, the side story of the god and goddess and overall action. However, the lack of character development and emotion from the hero and heroine, as well as the lack of any believable romance between them left me wanting.
Publisher: Avon Publish Date: February 22, 2011 How I got this book: NetGalley
I’m a big fan of Regency era Historical Romances, so the premise of this o...morePublisher: Avon Publish Date: February 22, 2011 How I got this book: NetGalley
I’m a big fan of Regency era Historical Romances, so the premise of this one sounded great to me, a woman struggling to survive after the death of her parents takes on the role of serving as governess to the new Earl’s young niece. Having never served as a governess before, Mercy is unsure of proper protocol, but is fairly sure that the Earl and his merry men of former soldiers are not doing things correctly.
The Earl, Nash, was horribly injured at Waterloo, and the burn disfiguration on his face has led him to be somewhat cynical. But the fire and passion in his new governess awakens feelings he didn’t know he could possess. With the failing state of his lands and home, the Earl has some hard decisions to make. Does he pursue the beautiful governess, or take a wife who can provide a large dowry and save him home?
I really wanted to like this book, but when I say that I’m just glad I was able to finish it, it’s disappointing. The beginning held promise. An old Duke is on his deathbed, looking for the grandchildren that he disowned years ago. We then cut to Mercy, daughter of a vicar and his wife who have just died. She is on her way to her new potential home, working as the governess to the young Emmy. I liked Mercy at first. She was just the right mix of strong will and innocence. But as the story progressed, she drove me more and more crazy. As the vicar’s daughter she had never been kissed, and only courted twice. But suddenly she is letting Nash steal kisses, flirt inappropriately, and even make love before even determining if he likes her. What happened to that strong will? She just fizzled out as a character for me.
Nash on the other hand started off poorly, and while his character was a little more agreeable for me, I still wasn’t completely sold on him. As a war vet, he was in many a battle, and was injured horrifically. His scars make him angry and bitter, and he lets that bleed over into his whole life. While he wants Mercy with something fierce, he also wants to make sure his home succeeds, and to do so would mean courting and marrying a rich neighbor’s daughter. I hated that Nash was still planning on courting the heiress, even as he was ruining Mercy’s future.
Even the romance between the two seemed off. I thought Mercy was going to remain strong in her values to be a good vicar’s daughter and marry properly. But she became more of a swooning impressionable heroine that was irrevocably changed into a wanton with only one kiss. I just couldn’t believe that. Likewise Nash wanted to pursue Mercy, to the point that he even mentioned wanting to be with her if his financial situation was different. However, at the same time seemed completely amicable with the thought of marrying another. It was hard for me to be on board with that.
The only thing I enjoyed about this book was the mystery surrounding the mysterious death of Nash’s two older brothers, and the ongoing investigation of the dying Duke’s granddaughters. Those two plot lines kept the story moving more than the romance between Nash and Mercy, and were (in my opinion) the only believable parts to the story.
All in all, I give Seducing the Governess 2 out of 5 fallen governesses! (less)
Publisher: Entangled Publishing Publish Date: Out Now! How I got this book: NetGalley
Kessler’s debut novel Night Walker is one that readers may struggle with. Kate has moved back home to San Diego to run away from her cheating ex-fiance. When she meets Calisto, she feels almost as if she knows him. The closer she and Calisto get, the worse her reoccurring nightmares of a woman’s death get. But she can’t not be with him.
Calisto has waited for the love of his life to come back, and the moment he sees Kate he knows. He will do anything to be with her once again, but when an old enemy sets his sights on Kate, Calisto might have to do the one thing he swore he would never do, bring Kate into his world of darkness.
I wanted to like this book, the cover itself pulled me in. I absolutely love it, and it made me want to give the reincarnation part of the story a chance. I hate to report that it didn’t do it for me. For some reason, I always feel like there is someone being left out of the reincarnation. Feelings are jumbled and there is jealousy and anger and I have yet to find a book that deals with it in a way that left me satisfied.
I think that if this book hadn’t focused so much on the reincarnation, I would have like it. The writing was solid, the characters were great, and the villain was beyond creepy. I just couldn’t seem to get past how jumbled the reincarnation seemed. Calisto repeatedly referred to Kate as “Tala” in his mind, which to me seemed like he was unable to accept Kate as who she is now, not who she was then. And when Kate found out she was his reincarnated love, seemed to accept it with no problems.
Because of that, I struggled a little with the romance between them. Kate’s reasons for falling for Calisto seemed non existent, instead she just kept referring to being compelled to be with him. To me, that doesn’t exactly lead to the greatest of love stories. With Calisto, it seemed as if he struggled with being able to see Kate and Tala as two different women. Like I said he frequently referred to them as each other, and kept comparing their similarities. I found their relationship to be more of a “destined mate” type (together because that’s what they are supposed to do.)
For those who do enjoy a good reincarnation love story, beware that the villain in this story is beyond creepy. There was a scene with him that was especially difficult to read, in which he showed just how malevolent and awful he really was. His actions were described in horrific detail, and while I could have done without it, I can see why the author added the scene in.
All in all I wasn’t a big fan of Night Walker. I didn’t get involved in the romance and love story between the characters. However, the writing was well done, so fans of this story-line should definitely check this one out!
I was so excited to read Ted and Sophia’s story, because they had been built up so much throughout this series, and unfortunately, I just didn’t like it.
Ted was left heartbroken by Sophia when they were younger, but now that she is down on her luck, he is finding it almost impossible to turn his back on her. There is something about her situation that is bringing out all his protective instincts, despite the fact that she threw him away for another man all those years ago. But seeing Sophia deal with the changes in her life proves to Ted that she has changed, in more ways than he ever thought possible.
Sophia was miserable in her marriage, but now that her husband has deserted her and left her to deal with the fallout of his stealing millions of dollars, Sophia finally found freedom. Despite the fact that she has to go out and get a job, as a housekeeper for her old flame, Sophia is looking to start over anew with her daughter. But the town of Whiskey Creek isn’t feeling very forgiving, and Sophia may have to pick up and leave. But a Christmas miracle might be enough to change her reputation.
I adored Sophia in this book. I was so excited to learn more about her, especially since it was painfully obvious that she was stuck in an abusive and impossible marriage. But now that her husband has left her, the chance for freedom is more exciting than she ever expected. Having to get a job, worry about bills, and balancing a checkbook were all things she never had to worry about until now. Watching her struggle to not only deal with the fallout from her husband leaving, but also from the town turning on her and her daughter, was so special. Sophia was so strong, so determined, and I absolutely loved her for it. I think I loved her character so much more at the end of this book, because of the incredible amount of growth she had to go through.
Too bad Ted turned out to be a douche. It was painfully obvious to the readers (and Ted, I assume) that he still cared deeply for Sophia. Although he gave lip service to the idea of being over her, he still wanted to protect her, know about what was going on with her, was worried every time she showed up with a black eye or split lip. Then he turned around and started dating the one friend that Sophia had left?! Why Ted turned to Eve, who he knew was serious about wanting to settle down with someone, is still beyond me. The fact that he slept with another woman during this book was enough to have me hating him from page 1. The groveling to BOTH women for putting them through his insecurities and bull was completely lacking, and I thought that Ted came across as selfish and egotistical.
Because of Ted’s inability to be an adult, I really didn’t enjoy the romance between Ted and Sophia. Granted, the romance itself was all of about 50 pages. Given the fact that Sophia was still married on page one, and Ted’s relationship with Eve lasted through the majority of the book, this story had more of a chick-lit feel to it than romance. It wasn’t my cup of tea, and given how much I usually adore Novak’s stories, I was extremely disappointed.
All in all this was not a romance book that worked for me. Given the characters didn’t even commit to each other until the end of the book, I really struggled with enjoying the romance. The only thing that saved this book for me was the fact that I seriously loved Sophia’s character and journey. However, I couldn’t be more disappointed and let down with Ted and Sophia’s romance. I give Take Me Home For Christmas a D+(less)
Publisher: Carina Press Publish Date: 12/13/10 How I got this book: NetGalley
I was super excited to get this book from NetGalley, as most Steampunk Roma...morePublisher: Carina Press Publish Date: 12/13/10 How I got this book: NetGalley
I was super excited to get this book from NetGalley, as most Steampunk Romance I’ve read as of late has been super awesome, but this one just fell short for me. The story itself was only novella length, and those who do not like short stories should probably steer clear of this one.
For me, the story line itself was really interesting: robots or “automatons” have been developed to work for humans in high-risk settings (i.e. factories) but have become mainstream and started taking over jobs all across the city. Bartenders, nannies, butlers, etc have all been kicked to the curb for the new cheap labor of automatons. To me the concept of artificial intelligence and robots is so exciting, but the controversy that could arise is also something to think about.
From that aspect, I really enjoyed this story. The steampunk elements of advanced technology in the Victorian era is spot on, and I loved the way Dee hit some of the ways that social class structures can create chaos in that kind of situation. It was great seeing a female heroine struggle with the constraints of the time frame, but also be independent enough to have a profession.
However, the romance fan in me found the story somewhat lacking. I didn’t really find the romance between Dash and Victoria to be believable. While Victoria seemed to be completely devoted to a potential relationship, it seemed as if Dash was only half heartedly committed to her. It could have just been the way that Dee portrayed Dash’s feelings regarding their differences in social class, but I just had a hard time connecting to the two as a couple.
Although I didn’t relate to the two as a couple, I did enjoy both Victoria and Dash’s characters separately. I loved that Victoria was this amazingly strong and smart woman who found a way to make a name for herself in the field that she loved. I was also partial to the fact that although Victoria had some emotional struggles in her past, she was not hard emotionally. From a totally different end of the spectrum, I did like the way that Dash’s character was still somewhat honorable regardless of his upbringing. For a street kid, it was nice to see that he made a way for himself, and still wanted to fight for the lower class, even after the automatons took all of their jobs.
The mystery element surrounding the Southwark Slasher was great, and I was actually surprised with how it ended up playing out. I was glad to see it resolved the way it was. It gave the plot a “real” element to me, and proved that nothing as is it seems, even in this crazy alternate past.
All in all, I give Like Clockwork 2.5 out of 5 mysterious automatons. (less)
I really liked Ryan after reading the first book in the series, so although the blurb had me kinda worried, I decided to take a chance.
Ryan is coming off a year long suspension, and desperately wants his job back as a San Gabriel Firefighter. But in order to get back on the force, he will have to take a test. So in the meantime he takes a job as a bartender at a hole-in-the-wall dive bar only a few blocks from the station. Ryan actual enjoys working at the bar, especially since he can tease his manager Katie all day long.
Katie is helping her folks out by running the family bar. She doesn’t know what she is doing, doesn’t know how to pay the bills, and is at a loss for what to do. When she realizes a fire would pay out their insurance money, she decides that might be the best course of action. But Ryan is there at her every attempt. But despite her fire-starting tendencies, Ryan is attracted to her, and the fire between them heats up to dangerous levels.
I love fireman, but for some reason this book did not work for me. I had a lot of issues with it that only seemed to escalate as the book went on. The biggest problem in this book for me was the whole drama surrounding the bar, and Katie’s desire to torch it. Call me crazy, but I would think MOST people would know that Insurance companies take arson very seriously, and an insurance payout in those cases don’t come easy. In my opinion, Katie thinking she could burn the place down and not only NOT get in trouble, but also get a full insurance payout is just ludicrous. Then the lengths that she goes to, just seemed to ridiculous and over the top to the point that it pulled me out of the little bit of enjoyment the story was holding.
I did like Ryan’s character. I thought we got a great look at his history, what makes him tick and has made him the man he is today. I enjoyed getting to hear more about his father and see him with Brody’s young daughter. Ryan was the one and only reason that I continued to read this book through the finish. Unlike Ryan, I didn’t feel any kind of connection to Katie, while she was sweet in doing a favor for her family, I also felt as if she let them walk all over her, and whined about her situation instead of actually doing something to fix it. I wanted more from her character, and felt as if she was a somewhat hollow character.
In addition to that, I didn’t understand their romance either. It was obviously stated they were attracted to one another, but I never really felt their relationship come through. I never really understood WHY they were attracted to one another, and had a difficult time really becoming invested in their relationship. That being said, there were a few scenes that I did enjoy reading: namely the fireman stripping scene. That was great!
All in all I wasn’t impressed with the second installment of the Bachelor Fireman of San Gabriel series. I thought the whole plot surrounding burning down the bar was poorly done and too over-the-top for me to actually enjoy. Had it not been for my love of Ryan, I would have quit reading in the middle of the book. I give Hot for Fireman a D(less)
I was so excited about this book, mainly because the Young Brothers Series were some of my first and favorite PNR reads, and Stepp Sisters Trilogy were fun and sexy contemporary reads. But for some reason, the 2nd Devilishly book just didn’t work for me.
Michael is back among the world and looking to kick a lot of demon ass. Instead, things have changed in the years he has been frozen, and killing demons on the street is no longer acceptable. In an effort to help Michael learn the new ways, he gets put in the mailroom of Hot! Magazine, keeping tabs on the demons in the organization. After just a few days on the job, Michael finds Liza and everything changes. He isn’t sure what exactly her deal is with the demons, but he knows there is something special about her.
Liza refused to sign over her soul, so instead she is possessed by the most annoying demon imaginable. She doesn’t want “Boris” to be able to read Michael, so once they start to pursue a relationship, she begins drugging the demon with allergy medicine. Unfortunately, as she and Michael get closer, the demons become more and more skeptical of her. Will Liza and Michael be able to make a real go at it before Liza’s soul gets sent to hell?
The premise of this one had such promise, but it all seemed to fizzle out fairly quickly for me. I did like a few things, and the beginning with having Michael adjust to life after being frozen for a few decades was really well done. However, it wasn’t a theme that was carried very far into the book. I liked that both Michael and Liza were trying to keep hidden the fact that they knew about the paranormal world from one another. It was fun to see them dancing around the subject, and was one of the stronger aspects of their relationship. And while I’ve come to expect some funny and hilarious situations from Love, other than Liza’s possession and a few one-liners, there wasn’t the same level of fun that I found so charming about the Young Brothers series.
The book started off a bit slow, and didn’t really seem to pick up much steam the further I got into it. While the world-building was well done and a different take on demons than we normally see in mainstream fiction, it was also one that didn’t seem to hold my attention as well as others. I kept waiting for that spark, and I just never saw it come through on the pages. Then, once the truth came out between Michael and Liza, it seemed as if the book ended somewhat suddenly with a perfect HEA.
All in all, I wasn’t as satisfied with this book as I had hoped I would be. The fun and sexy feeling that I expected from a Love novel just weren’t there. The romance didn’t live up to my expectations, and instead felt slow to start, and rushed to finish. While the book had a really interesting premise, the execution just wasn’t what I was expecting. I give Devilishly Sexy a D+(less)
I had some really high hopes and expectations for this book, and while there were some parts I definitely enjoyed, I hate to say that overall, this one really didn’t work that well for me.
Alicia’s husband wanted to move their family back to his hometown and take over his father’s bookstore. When he was killed in action, Alicia honors his wishes and moves herself and two small children back to his childhood home. Only life isn’t what Alicia expected. She finds herself attracted to Liam, the childhood best friend of her late husband, and an entire town who doesn’t want to see the two of them together.
Despite the town’s constant butting into her life, Alicia and Liam develop a close friendship that over time blossoms into more. As scared as Alicia is to love again, the pull between her and Liam is one that she has the hardest time overcoming, and with Liam out to prove what a wonderful man he’s become, Alicia might be willing to give love a second chance.
The biggest thing that annoyed me about this book was Alicia’s supposed best friend Penny. Although they had only met once or twice before Alicia’s move, Penny swooped in and demanded the two become besties. That didn’t bother me, but it was the incessant nagging and badgering and putting down that Penny did to Alicia for her relationship with Liam. It was almost as if Penny was jealous of their friendship and developing relationship, so she constantly told Alicia she shouldn’t hang out with Liam, shouldn’t give him a chance, and many time insinuated that Alicia was somehow betraying her husband’s memory. The woman was rude and insensitive and she drove me up the wall from the moment she first stepped onto the page. Even after learning her true reasons behind it, I felt as if it didn’t justify her crappy behavior towards her supposed best friend.
I’m a big fan of romances that develop a friendship and slowly progress to love – when they are done right. While I liked the time Alicia and Liam took to become friends and then more, I also felt as if they danced around each other a lot. They had chapters of push and pull, angst and indecision that started to feel less like the slow-burn and more like wishy-washy character flaws. I wanted to believe in their romance, but it never really seemed to click for me.
Now, I’m going to reveal a huge spoiler, which is something I don’t normally do, but it was also one of the bigger plot points that made me scratch my head and wonder WHY exactly it needed to be a part of the story. **SPOILER: We find out toward the end of the book that Penny’s high school aged daughter is actually the child of Alicia’s late husband. For me, it really ruined the image of Alicia’s husband, and felt like it was a way to justify Alicia’s moving on. I didn’t think it added anything good to the story, and instead left me feeling just plain bad for everyone involved. I thought the book would have been just as strong without it, and was hugely disappointed with this information.**
All in all I was disappointed that this book didn’t live up to the potential that I initially saw in it. With a lackluster romance, and secondary characters who drove me bonkers, there wasn’t much to pull me in and keep me happy. I give Where the Heart Lies a D+(less)
Publisher: Carina Press Publish Date: 10/11/10 How I got this book: NetGalley
So I picked up this book because the blurb sounded amazing, and I am a supe...more Publisher: Carina Press Publish Date: 10/11/10 How I got this book: NetGalley
So I picked up this book because the blurb sounded amazing, and I am a super sucker for stories of friends who realize they are in love and meant to be together. I really wish that The Kiss Test would have measured up for me, unfortunately, it was not what I was expecting.
Margo is an Elvis-obsessed morning radio DJ who life seems perfect, but quickly falls apart. She loses her job, her boyfriend, her apartment, and her sanity all within a few days. To make up for the crap fest, she sets out on an Elvis extravaganza trip, starting in NY and ending in LA where she will be forced to attend the newest nuptials ceremony of her mother (11th, Yikes!). When an unfortunate accident occurs, her best friend Chris takes it upon himself to make sure she has the trip of her life.
They travel across the country, visiting every single Elvis shrine on the way, and their friendship becomes so much more along the way. But amongst all the insanity, will Margo realize that Chris is meant to be more than her best friends, before it’s too late?
I was definitely expecting a lot more romance than this book had to offer. It felt to me that the romance just wasn’t there, at least not until the very end. All the great feel good in my heart type feelings didn’t set in until the last ten to fifteen pages or so, and I wish there would have been more throughout.
Margo, while a constantly quirky character, she was also somewhat annoying to me. She seemed to have a very “woe is me” attitude towards a lot of things, and absolutely refused to deal with many of the issues that seemed to hold her back from truly living her life. She was constantly running from everything, almost to the point of ridiculousness. I wanted to shake some sense into her, more times than not.
Chris, while a little more likable, had some major issues that were hard for me to reason through. For someone who claimed to have been in love with his best friend forever, he sure had a weird way of showing it, sleeping and kissing around constantly. In my mind, that just isn’t normal behavior. He does however redeem himself by providing chuckles throughout the book, constantly poking fun at Elvis and Margo’s obsession.
Speaking of an Elvis obsession, it was a bit much for me. If I don’t read, hear, or listen to anything Elvis for awhile, I will totally be a-ok with that! The constant Elvis trivia, and homage, and everything else was just a bit overdone for my tastes. Now all you die-hard Elvis fans out there, this is a worthy read!
Thankfully, the end did somewhat redeem itself. The story did have a nice little HEA, and the emotions at the end of the story were beautifully done. Like I said, I just wish it would have been done throughout the entire story, instead of just crammed together in the last chapter.
All in all, I give The Kiss Test 2 out of 5 cross country road trips! (less)
I was looking forward to trying Robards, because so many people talked up just how wonderful her romantic suspense books are. I was a little hesitant because this was a new paranormal series, but I like paranormal as well, so I figured all would work out. Yeah, not so much.
Charlie has dedicated her life to studying serial killers after the traumatic event of her childhood. The last thing she ever expected was to be tapped by the FBI to act as a consultant on the case that is looking to be more and more like the serial killer from her past. Charlie doesn’t want to go, but the FBI convinces her it’s best. So with her FBI protection detail and shaky nerves Charlie goes off to help the case.
But the FBI doesn’t know about Charlie’s gift/curse of seeing people right after they die a horrific death. While it helps with finding and tracking down murderers, Charlie has a slight problem, one of the serial killers, Michael Garland, she was profiling in prison has attached himself to her and is actively haunting her. Garland refuses to be ignored, but is also willing to help her out in any way he can. With her gift, Garland’s help and the FBI team, they just might be able to solve this case before Charlie becomes the next victim.
I will admit that I liked the overall premise of the book. I liked that Charlie could see ghosts, interact with them, etc. I liked the serial killer case, it was creepy and scary and all around suspenseful. However, the romance in this book was horrible. I didn’t like it at all. Charlie had a few shared kisses with sexy and understanding FBI agent Tony, but the real romance of this story was between Charlie and Garland, the man she had been profiling as a serial killer for who knows how long. That is creepy, and gross, and creepy, and gross!!
The romance between these two was uncomfortable for me to read. Charlie never really seemed to think, at any time, that Garland WASN’T a serial killer. She even had to remind herself time and time again that he killer numerous women, that he was a stone-cold killer. Then she would turn around in her own ghost form (while astral projecting) and get down and dirty with the guy. I can’t count the number of times my eyes popped out of my head and I screamed at her: “HE’S A SERIAL KILLER! WTF??”
Even though the case with the killer was intriguing, I couldn’t get over the romance. I tried to get past it, tried to ignore the whole sleeping with a serial-killer aspect, but I just couldn’t. The direction that Robards chose to go with the romance clouded the rest of what could have been a stellar series. I can honestly say I probably won’t be picking up any of her books in this series in the future.
All in all this story was lost on me. While I think this could have been a solid story: it had an interesting premise and world and an intense and unique serial killer case that kept me guessing until the very end, the romance was so poorly done IMO, it ruined everyone else. I don’t know that anything other than a move away from the romance between Charlie and Garland could have made this book better for me. I give The Last Victim a D-(less)
MinnChica: I am a huge sucker for romantic suspense, especially ones done with sexy military heroes. Unfortunately, while I liked the overall premise of the book and thought that Beckett had a very strong plot, Callie drove me nuts. To the point that I couldn’t enjoy the story. Add in the few pregnancy issues that had me rolling my eyes every few pages, and I had a really hard time enjoying what could have been a really strong romantic suspense.
E: I was really looking forward to reading this. The back cover blurb hinted at several things I thought I would enjoy. Pregnant heroine on the run from the bad guys. Hero was the elite military type. They were both in a foreign country needed to make their way to safety. I thought they would be boiled down to their pure essence and along the way fall in love with each other. Instead what I got was something that I had to fight extremely hard to finish and not chuck the ereader. I had such a negative reaction to the heroine that I actually wanted the hero to turn her over to the bad guys and find himself another girl. I was more invested in the interactions between the hero’s buddy and a poor model who had to deal with mistaken identity then in the primary characters.
MinnChica: There were times that I was totally with you on wanting Cole to just hand Callie over and wipe his hands of her. Between the bleeding heart for the bad guy and her constant “he can’t be THAT bad” mentality, she had quite a few TSTL moments. But for me, the parts that constantly frayed my nerves were all the pregnancy references. I never had any problem reading about pregnant heroines before, as long as it was believable. But maybe since I’m currently pregnant, little things tend to stick out to me. Like the fact that Callie’s sister named the boy before she died, when Callie was only 4-5 weeks pregnant. Ummmm… Not possible. Or how Callie was always able to feel the baby move at 16 weeks whenever she placed her hand on her tummy. Ummmm… highly unlikely to not only feel movement through your hand, but also that the child would move – AT YOUR WILL. Every time the pregnancy and baby was brought up, I just wanted to roll my eyes and wished over and over again that the heroine wasn’t knocked up. I think the story would have been strong without it.
E: MinnChica it wasn’t just you being pregnant. I have never been pregnant but listening to my sister and watching my mom through three pregnancies I found myself highly skeptical. It was like the pregnancy was there to make me, the reader, feel that the bad guy(s) was the most awful thing around. Instead I was extremely annoyed by the “convenience” of it coming into play. I was willing to give Callie the benefit of the doubt with her first TSTL moment but once Cole told her that the bad guys were asking for her BY NAME she should have realized that now is the time to survive not change clothes, steal hand sanitizer, find a bathroom, take a bath, go into the woods when told not to, sneak away to CALL her brother-in-law using her credit card number. In other words each time I thought she couldn’t get stupider she did and it was wilful stupidity not just ignorance. She made the decision each time to do something the hero had told her NOT to do. I will say that I think the plot twists Beckett included were unexpected but the characterization ruined this read for me.
MinnChica: I agree, Callie really did ruin the book for me, especially since I thought that Beckett really had a strong overall plot. I liked the suspense in the book, I thought all the twists and turns and the overall story line (minus the pregnancy) was an incredible idea and had the foundation to be a really strong romantic suspense. The bad guys were truly awful and evil to the core, the man behind the curtain came as a bit of a surprise toward the end, especially since Beckett did such a good job of leading the reader on a wild goose chase of who-did-it. If it came down to just the plot, I would give Beckett high marks. But like E said, Callie and the pregnancy just pulled what could have been a really strong book down into a hard-to-read struggle.
E: I am not a huge character driven reader because I really need a good plot but I like my characters to keep me interested in what they are going through while I read. In this case I was not able to do that even though Beckett was able to keep me guessing about the identity of the ultimate string puller. That was a benefit but it was extremely difficult to appreciate that benefit when I had to fight through thee characters to get to the plot. I agree the bad guys were pretty darn bad. I was impressed by their justification for their actions. It wasn’t that they didn’t have a conscious but that they decided that the ends justified their means, regardless of those means. If you happened to get in the way then that was your own fault and you would pay for getting in the way. Unfortunately based on my strong dislike of the heroine I am not inclined to pick up anymore of Beckett’s writing.
I give In His Sights a D-
MinnChica: All in all I really struggled with how to rate this book. On one hand, the plot was really strong and the suspense aspect was so well done and executed so well. On the other hand, Callie was so difficult to read and enjoy as a character. The pregnancy drive me bonkers every single time it was brought up, and while I liked Cole, he wasn’t anything remarkable in the romantic suspense hero category. I really wanted to like this book and thought that it had some incredible potential, but it just wasn’t for me. I give In His Sights a D+(less)
I’ve read both Cullinan and Sexton before, and I’ve really enjoyed each of them as individual authors, so when I found this book on NetGalley, with them writing together, I was pretty excited. Plus the fact that it is a gay-for-you story… I was sold. However, the way that Cullinan and Sexton chose to go about writing this book did not work for me. At. All.
Paul has moved to a new town for his girlfriend, and when she dumps and leaves him in a house he hates, he feels stucks. He meets El at a Pawn Shop and the two embark on a friendship of sorts, with Paul completely oblivious to everyone around him. As Paul tries to get his ex back, he also starts to develop feelings for El, confusing and odd feelings, but feelings none the less. As they continue to become closer friends, Paul begins to realize that his ex might not be what can make him most happy in life.
El has no problem coasting through life, until the redheaded Paul walks into his Pawn Shop. El never thought he would fall for a straight boy, but he falls hard and fast. Although he knows that Paul is hung up on his ex-girlfriend, El will do everything he can to show Paul that the two of them could be great together. But will El be able to win Paul over and convince him of just how great they could be as a couple?
I wanted to like this book, I really did. But there were so many things that just didn’t work for me that I had a hard time not only reading the story from start to finish, but also enjoying and engaging with the characters. Let me start by saying that the style Cullinan and Sexton chose to write this book in was very confusing and constantly pulled me out of the story. When the story was told from Paul’s point of view, it was told in the first person narrative. ie: “I pulled into my driveway and got out of the car.” Yet when the story changed and went to El’s perspective, it was done in the third person narrative. ie: “El pulled into the driveway and got out of the car.” The 1st and 3rd person narrative would switch within the chapters, and I had a really hard time following from within one character’s head and then from a third person perspective. It was distraction, caused me massive amounts of confusing, and almost had me DNF the book at page 12. 12!!
On top of that, I had a really hard time engaging with and liking Paul’s character. He was absolutely clueless to everything and everyone around him. It was like he had zero common sense, and would constantly need to have the people in his life spell out every little thing to him. El had to spell out his feelings, even something as forward as a kiss wasn’t enough to clue Paul in on El’s growing feelings. After covering for the vet tech in his job multiple times, and his boss hinting that he wanted to send Paul back to school so he could step, Paul still didn’t get the clues. His boss had to lay it all out, piece by piece, and Paul was totally oblivious to how much his boss appreciated him. Toward the end of the book, I started thinking of Paul as more like a child than an adult, and I had a harder time finding anything likeable about his character.
The only redeeming quality of the book was El. I adored him. He had crap to deal with in his family, and he didn’t have an easy time with it. Despite his reservations, when he fell for Paul it was something he did wholeheartedly. He was a strong hero, a loveable character, and someone that I found myself wishing we had spent more time with throughout the book. I hate to say that he was the one thing I enjoyed about this book, but he kinda was.
All in all I was really disappointed with this read. Not only was I constantly pulled out of the story due to the narrative, but I also had a hard time connecting with Paul. That lack of connection really made it hard for me to understand the romance, to get behind them as a couple, and cheer for El and Paul to make it. Had it not been for El, I don’t know that I would have actually finished reading this book. I give Second Hand a D-(less)
I was very excited to read this book after I saw the blurb, because there really aren’t enough romance books out there with a nerdy gamer hero. The blurb had so much promise, and I was so ready to fall in love with this story. Unfortunately, it just didn’t work for me.
Lucy has been burnt hard enough in her past that she sticks to her dating rules like white on rice. She refuses to change the rules, bend the rules, or set the rules aside. Yet when she meets Andy in the laundry room, the attraction between them is so strong that she wonders if he will be the one to have her throwing her rules out the window. But if it isn’t one obstacle with Andy, it’s another. Things are not what they seem. Despite their growing friendship and eventual relationship, Lucy is still worried that although Andy seems perfect, when he stacks up against her rules, he falls terribly short.
Andy, or Drew as he prefers, figured he could best use the time spent helping his mother recover to do a little bit of undercover work. He wants honest answers from female gamers, and his professor persona is too well known to get any accurate case data. He doesn’t like lying to Lucy, but doesn’t see a way to be honest with her and still do his research. But as Drew learns more and more about Lucy, he worries that he won’t be able to overcome his lies, despite the fact that he does in fact fit within her dating rules.
Let me start with saying that Drew was NOT the nerdy-gamer-professor hero that I was expecting. Instead, he was a bit of a womanizer and player – especially in the beginning. It was hard to believe that he cared one way or another about the women in his life, and although he learned the error of his ways, it took him a damn long time to get there. I didn’t absolutely hate Drew by any means, but he wasn’t the kind of hero I was looking forward to reading, and for me, that really brought the story down a bit. I wanted Drew to be more shy, more reserved, more careful about the way he treated his leading lady. Instead, he came across as pushy, especially after Lucy hesitated with starting a relationship with him, given her cousin’s interest in him. Then once they did start something, he still feared giving away his true self to her, despite the fact that he asked her to trust him, but didn’t seem to be able to return that trust. I wasn’t a big fan of Drew, and despite his grand gesture (which was kinda awesome), I still found it difficult to like the guy.
Although I was able to connect with Lucy more so than Drew, I wasn’t a huge fan of her either. Her slightly neurotic dating rules were a little over the top, even given her traumatic past with relationships. And while I saw where she was coming from, I had a hard time believing that Lucy was willing to go with the flow on many of the things she did. Her quasi-relationship with Dell was a bit of a joke, and she didn’t strike me as the kind of woman to wait around for her “perfect” guy to finally come to her. She also seemed like the kind of woman who wouldn’t put up with Drew keeping so many secrets from her. Instead, every time she started to press him to give her details about his life, she let him slide and get away with hemming and hawing over an answer. For as strong as she was to have dealt with the childhood she did, the past relationship traumas, and everything else, she was very scared and wimpy in other aspects of her life.
The romance also was one aspect where I was hoping the book would shine, and instead fell flat. I think the potential for this book to be so much more was there, but it just didn’t end up working out that way. I thought the somewhat slow-burn from friends to lovers was nice, especially the longer Lucy stuck to her guns about Drew coming clean on a few things before they could move forward. Yet, she ended up caving before Drew and gave in to the chemistry before she originally wanted. I thought that both Lucy and Drew made some HUGE mistakes in their relationship. Drew for keeping secrets all while practically demanding that Lucy trust him while keeping her in the dark. Lucy also could have been a little less crazy about her rules and guidelines for dating. It seemed to really pigeonhole Drew and caused more strife for them than it should have.
This book also had some pretty ridiculous secondary characters. Lucy’s cousin Becca was absolutely psycho, and one chick I would never want to face in a dark alley. Talk about unstable and unhinged. After one date with Drew, she was talking about having babies with him! O_O I get that she was probably suppose to provide some comedic relief, but instead I ended up feeling sorry for Lucy, Drew, and everyone who had to come into contact with her, given her irrational outlook on life. Then sprinkle in the few minutes we spent with Drew’s agent Todd, the total chauvinistic jerk, and I think this book might take the cake on secondary characters who drove me up the wall.
All in all I wasn’t impressed with this novella, and it definitely did not go the direction I had hoped and wanted. With a lackluster hero AND heroine, and a poorly developed relationship, I just couldn’t get on board with the romance and connection between these two. I had to push myself to read past the 67% mark, and although I’m glad I was able to finish the book, I don’t know that I would recommend it to anyone else. I give Undercover Professor a C-/D+(less)
I love Hollywood romances as well as new adult. Put them together and I was pretty damn excited about this book. However, it really didn’t work for me.
Olivia has always dreamt about coming to LA to work as a costume designer. When her boyfriend cheats on her back home, she has the perfect excuse to pick up her life and start anew. With a group of friends from her apartment complex, and a wonderful job at a lingerie company, Olivia is flying high with her new life. When she meets Berkeley, the sexy front man of her favorite band, he will throw a wrench in her perfect life and do everything he can to keep her forever.
I have to say, I really liked the plot of this book, I think overall it was really strong and had a great premise behind it. However, the leading lady Olivia made it near impossible for me to find much enjoyment out of this book. She came across as an immature and insecure teenager, instead of the composed and mature young adult she supposedly was. There were times when I was reading and wondering if Olivia was really supposed to be 15 or 16 instead of her 20s. For example, at one point she is hanging out with her friends and after one comment she starts doubting their friendship with her and she runs off to cry and pout.
There were also a lot of little plot points that didn’t work for me. Little things like after getting a new job and having only worked there for a few weeks, she is allowed a week off to hide from the press after going with Berkeley to the Grammy awards. Oh honey…. that’s not the way the real world works, and I hated that so much of this book was spent in alternate reality where the heroine can do no wrong. There was also a significant amount of celebrity name dropping. I get that when writing a Hollywood romance, it’s going to come up that people interact with other celebrities. However, I always prefer when the other A-listers are other made-up characters, instead of real life people. I’m not sure why that bothers me, but I don’t like it one bit.
I did enjoy Berkeley. He came across as a genuine hero who loved making music, but hated the life that seemed to go along with his celebrity status. I thought Berkeley had a lot more depth to his character than anyone else, including the two cute secondary characters that were Olivia’s best friends. Despite that, Berkeley did start to get on my nerves when he continued to settle for Olivia’s immature ways. Despite the things he told her and showed her, she still refused to believe him over the media, and made some really sketchy decisions. In addition, Berkeley seemed to apologize for every little thing. Didn’t matter if he was wrong or not, he was always saying he was sorry.
The romance was hard for me to get behind, not just because it developed so late in the story, but also because of Olivia. Again, when a character in their 20s is acting like an immature 16 year old, it’s really hard for me to get behind their happily ever after. Fans of young adult books might enjoy this one more than I did (I am not a fan of the YA genre), however I just found everything about Olivia and her relationship to be annoying and tedious.
All in all, I wasn’t very impressed with this new adult book from Delahanty. I wanted to really fall in love with the Hollywood storyline, but instead I found myself rolling my eyes and waiting for something to happen. Something special, something funny, something sad… Anything. While this book has some really good writing and editing, it just wasn’t something I enjoyed. I give In Bloom a D(less)
Publisher: Carina Press Publish Date: 5/26/10 How I got this book: NetGalley
Allegra Faitweather is the first book by debut author Janni Nell. Allegra ge...morePublisher: Carina Press Publish Date: 5/26/10 How I got this book: NetGalley
Allegra Faitweather is the first book by debut author Janni Nell. Allegra gets a call to head over to Scotland to help solve the case of the bleeding rose. The rose usually means that some kind of large disaster is coming, and Allegra wants to try to stop whatever that disaster may be.
Fighting against the unknown, she encounters a shrieking banshee that calls out the deaths of two of the town folk. Then, an old ghost looking to take the heart of a warrior so that he and his lover can finally rest in peace attacks her. She loses two dead bodies that are mysteriously bitten to death, and then replaced with fish. She also encounters brownies, a few witches, and the selkies from the loch.
Along for the ride is Allegra’s guardian angel, whom she lovingly nicknamed Casper. Since Allegra is constantly finding herself in a bind, Casper is always there to pull her out of trouble and save her life at the last possible minute. But when Douglas, the pub owner with a huge crush, gets a glimpse at Casper, the two start a pissing match over Allegra’s affections.
When Allegra finally figures out the cause of the bleeding rose, will she be able to help save all those involved, or will this mystery stump even her?
I was not super impressed by this book. I thought that the case itself was somewhat convoluted and it wasn’t able to hold my interest. It just seemed to me that there was almost TOO much going on where the case was concerned. Was it the mysterious being from the loch, was it the coven of witches, the really old ghost trying to steal people’s hearts? There was so much other paranormal activity going on as well, that it seemed to me as if the case didn’t really start until about a quarter of the way into the book.
I did love that Nell pulled in some different mythical creatures though. A lot of the paranormal books out right now tend to feature vampires, mammal shape shifters, demons, witches, and the occasional angel. I was impressed that these more mainstream creatures didn’t get any face time. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that had selkie’s in it before, and I loved that. It was something totally different than what is currently out there and popular right now and that alone was a point that impressed me.
I did enjoy the main characters Allegra and Casper. I thought it was great that although Casper was her guardian angel and able to adapt to the times, he still got car sick every time he tried to ride with Allegra. Little details like that can really make a character totally loveable to me, and Casper was definitely a shining star in the book. I enjoyed Allegra as well, she was strong, set in her ways, and seemed to genuinely love her job, despite of what people say to her. The two of them were great interacting together, and if the series continues, I would love to see how Nell progresses their relationship.
I also want to give three cheers to this cover. Carina Press has done an incredible job with their covers so far, and this is one of my favorites. I love the colors and the way that Allegra is kept somewhat mysterious, yet beautifully featured. Bravo for that!
All in all I give Allegra Faitweather: Paranormal Investigator 2 out of 5 bleeding roses!(less)