Monday, June 27, 2016

Review: Jagged by Kristen Ashley

Jagged: Ham Reece and Zara Cinders

(Colorado Mountain #5)



Summary:
From Goodreads.com

An old flame rekindled . . .

Zara Cinders always knew Ham Reece was the one, but he wasn't interested in settling down. When she found someone who was, Ham walked out of her life. Three years later, Zara's lost her business, her marriage, and she's barely getting by in a tiny apartment on the wrong side of the tracks. As soon as Ham hears about Zara's plight, he's on her doorstep offering her a lifeline. Now, it will take every ounce of will power she possesses to resist all that he offers.

Ham was always a traveling man, never one to settle down in one town, with one woman, for more time than absolutely necessary. But Ham's faced his own demons, and he's learned a lot. About himself, and about the life he knows he's meant to live. So when he hears that Zara's having a rough time, he wants to be the one to help. In fact, he wants to do more than that for Zara. A lot more. But first, he must prove to Zara that he's a changed man.


Review:

Jagged by Kriste Ashley is from the Colorado Mountian’s series, while Ashley is not a new to me author this series is a new to me series. I’ve read other Kristen Ashley books and have adored them all to date so when I saw this one pop up even though I haven’t read any other from this series I grabbed it anyway. If you are new to Kristen Ashley or to the Colorado Mountain Series you can pick this book up and not be lost. There are mentions to previous events as well as characters but this can definitely be read as a standalone as is the case with pretty much all of K.A.’s titles.

So have I ever mentioned that I adore rekindled love?? We were actually just talking about our favorite romance tropes over at Anna from Herding Cats & Burning Soup’s Facebook Page and it reminded me just how much I do love this trope. I think it’s the sense of history with rekindled love affairs, it makes the bringing together in a short period of time that much more believable and almost like fate always meant for these two to get together but the timing just wasn’t right yet. So this book, it starts with Zara breaking things off with Ham, because he is a rolling stone and she has found someone she can settle with. Seriously, their parting almost had me in freak’n tears and it was just the damn prologue!

So three years pass and Zara’s life is falling apart, her perfectly constructed life is gone and she has lost everything. Ham’s life has literally flashed before his eyes when he is attacked by a serial killer. Zara sees this on the news and contacts Ham for the first time in three years; this is the beginning of the rekindling. Ham has been a rolling stone since his disastrous marriage as a young man, but he has always wanted a family. While he was laid up in the hospital it gave him time to reevaluate his life and what is important. What he realized was that Zara has always been one of the most important people in his life when Zara had told him that it was “always him” he should have never let her walk away and now it may be too late. Zara has had a rough life, like really rough.. Just when she thought everything was going to plan, it all fell apart. Her marriage, her home, her business, all gone… The last thing she thinks she needs is a bossy ex-lover to re-enter the picture. Ham is not taking no for an answer, he is going to help Zara pick up the pieces whether she likes it or not.

As always I loved Ham’s alpha personality. He is a take charge sort of guy, but with most of Ashley’s males while they are Alphas they don’t overpower. They respect their women and know when to swoop in and when to back off and to let their woman handle it herself. Zara may be in a bad place in her life but she is a survivor and always has been, when most would have gone another route she keeps on trucking and makes due. I really liked Zara, but then I typically do like a survivor typically they do what they got to do and don’t whine about it and this is how I found Zara. For the most part she is not a whiner she takes her knocks and keeps on… There was a moment when I was a bit annoyed with her when it came to Ham, I was thinking what more does this dude have to do to prove it, but then she has her light at the end of the tunnel moment and admits to how stupid she was being. See she can even admit when she is wrong, I like the quality in a person. Ham, dude, he sticks by his woman! Just when you think these two are catching a break something else happens. He proves his loyalty to his woman over and over and I think my heart melted more and more as the book moved on.

Kristen Ashley can write a story that keeps you turning pages. I don’t think I was bored for even a moment in this book; there was always something to keep things moving on. Whether it the push and pull between two forceful personalities or circumstances you are in deep from beginning to end. As with most KA books, the sexy times in this book are hot hot hot, definitely steaming up the pages in this one. You may have to fan yourself off every now and then. LOL… For me there wasn’t anything to dislike with this book and liked it so much and loved the side characters so much I’m going to have to go back and read the first four books of the series. Kristen Ashley fan’s, you’re going to love it as much as you loved the rest of her books!


*This book was provided to me through NetGalley for an honest review no other compensation was provided.

Review: Once Loved by Cecy Robson

Once Loved: Brody Quaid and Lety Tres Santos

(Shattered Past #2)

Once Loved (Shattered Past, #2)


Summary:
From Goodreads.com

He’s the campus golden boy. She’s picking up the pieces of her broken past. But in Cecy Robson’s scorching novel of second chances—perfect for readers of Monica Murphy and J. Lynn—their differences only make their connection more explosive.


Every memory Lety Tres Santos has from her childhood comes with a scar—some emotional, some physical. Her father is an abusive drug addict, and her mother enables his destructive behavior. College offers Lety a fresh start . . . until her father finds a way to ruin that, too. Now, after losing her scholarship to kick off junior year, Lety must somehow stay in school, pay tuition, and turn a deaf ear to the whispers that follow her. And she intends to do it all without Brody Quaid’s help.


Brody is a lacrosse star, a 4.0 student—and as a freshman, he fell hard for the beautiful and spirited Lety. But their relationship crashed and burned because he couldn’t break through the walls she’s put up around her heart. With Lety hurting more than ever, Brody strives to win her back and make her believe in real love and true partnership. That will mean opening up secrets locked away in his own past—and trusting someone more than he’s ever dared.


Lety knows how painful it can be to depend on the wrong man. She also knows how much Brody wants to do this the right way. But it takes more than sizzling desire to move on and build a future together.


Review:

This book takes place about a year after the disaster that was her cousin's quinceanera; where she broke up with Brody. Brody is determined to get his women back after a miserable year without her and he's just about worn her down when her father shows up. Now he's got to go at it again but he preservers! He kind of tricks her into it and it was highly amusing. I love how he's willing to wait for Lety, even when she is being so damn stubborn. Brody's family is a mess as well but with Lety's help fences start to get mended there which is heart warming. So much guilt in that family.


I actually quite liked Lety, she is fierce and protective and quite feisty. She has it pretty bad with her abusive father, he seems to target her often but she handles it as best as can be expected and I cheered for her when she decided to break free of what is expected of her as a daughter and made moves to protect herself and her loved ones. I think readers will be pretty happy with that outcome.


I think I enjoyed this book more than the first, it was good and moved along quickly. I really enjoy the Tres Santos family and look forward to the next book in the series.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Review: Coming Back by Lauren Dane

Coming Back by Lauren Dane

(Ink & Chrome #3)

Coming Back (Ink & Chrome, #3)


Summary;
From Goodreads.com

Arriving back in Seattle after five years, Jessilyn Franklin is done pretending she didn't want two men. She's done letting anything stop her from being with Adam and Mick, now back from the war and working at Twisted Steel, a custom hot rod and motorcycle shop. One night changes everything, but their relationship must strengthen to weather the storms they'll face as they make their way back to one another.


Review:
Ok, I am officially done, no more Lauren Dane books for me. They are just too hit and miss.. More misses than hits and I no longer want to attempt to weed through which will be the rare hit. It’s like she tries to take on too much in the way of kink and it doesn’t translate well. Here we have a threesome situation and a D/s situation (I think) all in one. I say pick one, if you can’t do one of them well then you certainly aren’t going to do two in one well. Just saying. It’s like kink #2 just gets thrown in there as an afterthought. I dont think I would mind so much if the plot was substantial enough to carry the story despite that, but sadly, this one wasn’t.  We basically just get dropped into the middle of a relationship with little back story and we are just supposed to buy into it. It just wasn’t working for me, I want to know what happened, why do they feel the way they do? We have questions, you would think they would get answered throughout the course of the book, they dont. So anyway I had some high hopes for this book, hoping we would be back to the level of the first book but I was left disappointed.. Again. I know a lot of people LOVED this book, but I was just not one of them.


**Review copy was provided for an honest review. No other compensation was provided.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Review: The Aftermath by R.J. Prescott

The Aftermath: Cormac “the Hurricane” O’Connell and Emily O'Connell

(The Hurricane #2)

The Aftermath (The Hurricane, #2)


Summary:
From Goodreads.com

When you’ve got nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose. But what happens when you have everything you ever wanted? You fight to keep it.


Cormac “the Hurricane” O’Connell’s star is on the rise. Billed as the most promising young boxer of his generation, his new career is taking him to places he never dreamed. But O’Connell only needs one thing in life: his wife. In her final year of college, Em cannot follow him around the world but together they make it work.


Just when everything they ever wanted is on the horizon, the past resurfaces to haunt them and O’Connell realizes that justice might not be a part of his happy ever after.


He couldn’t protect Em once before, but in the aftermath of the hurricane, he will make sure that never happens again.


Review:

Let’s start this review with stating how much I freak’n LOVED the Hurricane, the first book in this series.  It was by far my favorite contemporary romance of that year, it blew me away with how emotional well written it was. I also loved The Aftermath, but I didn't love it as much as I loved the Hurricane. The Aftermath a continuation of Emily and Cormac’s story, only told in Cormac’s POV this time. Now I know when this happens with some other series, it’s the same story only from the male's perspective. In this series, it’s different plot only in Cormac’s view, basically it was his turn to tell the next part. I liked getting into Cormac’s brain and seeing how he sees Emily and how powerful their love is to him. That being said, I think we lost a piece by the book being in his voice the entire time. I don't think we necessarily needed to alternate POVs but maybe a 70% vs 30% trade off. I also felt like the Frank plotline dragged on too long. Yes, it’s an important plotline in their story but it was too much of THEIR story. Emily and Cormac’s story took a backseat to the Frank plotline. It pretty much dominated the book. We got a conclusion in the end but it took us a while to get there.


What we did get from Emily and Cormac is their deep and abiding love for each other. They never take each other for granted or the love the share. They are each other’s priority, always. They look out for each other and their little family. Of all of the fictional “families” I think this one is one of my favorites. All of Con’s boys are there for him and Emily as well as each other. You couldn’t ask for better people to have your back. Towards the beginning we do get a bit of a secret. I’m not telling you what it is but I can’t wait to see that unfold. We are also being set up for some additional books featuring other characters and while I love Emily and Con, I think we are in a good place with them and can move on to one of the others.

**Review copy provided through NetGalley for an honest review. No other compensation was provided.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Review: Hawke by Sawyer Bennett

Hawke: Hawke Therrien and Vale Campbell

(Cold Fury Hockey #5)

Hawke (Cold Fury Hockey, #5)


Summary:
From Goodreads.com

The Carolina Cold Fury hockey team proves that love is a power play. As Sawyer Bennett’s New York Times bestselling series continues, the league’s most notorious party animal gets blindsided by the one that got away.

Off the ice, elite defenseman Hawke Therrien enjoys his fair share of booze and good times. And why shouldn’t he? He’s worked his way up from the minor leagues and made himself a star. The only thing Hawke misses from that life is the pierced, tattooed free spirit who broke his heart without so much as an explanation. She’s almost unrecognizable when she walks back into his life seven years later—except for the look in her eyes that feels like a punch to the gut.

Vale Campbell isn’t the same girl she was at twenty. As crazy as she was about Hawke, her reckless behavior and out-of-control drinking were starting to scare her. She had to clean up her act, and that would never happen with Hawke around. Cutting him loose was the hardest thing Vale ever had to do—until now. Because she’s still crazy about Hawke. And if he could ever learn to forgive her, they just might have a future together.


Review:

***Contains a slight spoiler***

So I’ve actually changed my rating since I originally rated it. I originally gave it a 4 star but now I’ve got to say it’s more of a 3 or 3.5 after some time and letting things sink in there were just a few things that bugged me. They mostly revolve around Vale. But before we get into that a little bit about Hawke. I liked him, he didn't seem as big of a party animal as the beginning of the book made him out to be. He was actually pretty tame.  I really liked how dedicated he is to his new team and his former coach. I also think he handled the reunion with Vale pretty well. I mean she reached into his chest and tore his heart out and he never knew why. For him, out of the blue she just dropped him, right before he was to leave for the NHL. So his lingering anger and distrust for me felt valid.

Now onto Vale… She is a dedicated daughter, uprooting her life and her job for her father. He needs her and she doesn’t hesitate to do what needs to be done. She is a good and caring person and I did like her. What I didn’t like was how she handled things with Hawke, in the past and in the present. She had some serious hostility towards him and I personally didn’t think warranted.  I totally get that she had an emotional trauma at a young age which caused her to freak out and break up with Hawke. But the way she did it was way harsh and then after SHE dumped HIM, shredding his heart, she expected him to reach out to HER.

***SPOILER*** Yes, she called him a whole whopping ONCE when he was in a different country and didn't once think that he would have gotten a new number since well, he was in a different country. So guess what, he never got the message! And sent him one email to an email address that she knew he never checked.  So for me her lingering distrust and hostility towards him for the entire book is unjustified. She even breaks up with him again, at the end because he had the audacity to want to take things slow and regain trust. Come on! I’d feel the same way if my heart was shredded by that person. ***SPOILER OVER***

So yeah, in the end after it digested, Vale left a bad taste in my mouth for this reason. After all that, it was an ok book. Overall I still enjoyed it but there was just something that I couldn’t get over. I know this will probably not bug a lot of readers and they will enjoy the hell out of this book.

**Book provided for an honest review. No other compensation was provided.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Liam Takes Manhattan by Thea Harrison

Liam Takes Manhattan: Liam Cuelebre

(Elder Races #9.5)


Liam Takes Manhattan (Elder Races, #9.5)


Summary:
From Goodreads.com

Warning: This story contains a major spoiler from SHADOW’S END (book #9, released December 1st, 2015). If readers do not want to be spoiled, they should read the stories in order of their release dates.

This is a short story (15,000 words or 50 pages) intended for readers of the Elder Races who enjoy Liam Cuelebre as a character.

Reeling from a deep loss, the magical prince of the Wyr, Dragos and Pia’s son Liam Cuelebre, turns inward and withdrawn as he struggles to come to terms with who he is, along with the challenges that lie before him.

Hoping to ease his heartache and offer comfort, a concerned Dragos and Pia offer him a gift, something he has desired for a long time. Liam’s response has a ripple effect across all of New York. Soon miracles of all kinds start arriving just in time for Christmas, along with a visit from a mysterious person who gives Liam hope and a vision of his future.

LIAM TAKES MANHATTAN is the third part of a three-story series about Pia, Dragos, and their son, Liam. Each story stands alone, but fans might want to read all three: DRAGOS GOES TO WASHINGTON, PIA DOES HOLLYWOOD, and LIAM TAKES MANHATTAN.


Review:

This is a pretty short novella, I definitely wanted more from this story; mostly because I love this family so much!  We were there when Liam was conceived to his birth, to his first day of school, his first shift, his first crush; our baby is growing up too damn fast.. Literally. Liam is technically only about a year old but he grows in leaps and bounds and is now closer to a 19 year old in temperament and appearance. Liam makes a decision that will take him far from home and outside of Dragos and Pia’s purview which i’m sad about but I guess I understand.  There isn’t a whole lot a can say about the story without spoilers especially since it’s so short. I can say, I enjoyed the read and the quick look into one of my favorite fictional families lives, but at the end I think I was left a little disappointed that it didnt give us more. Im going to assume that Thea Harrison has some awesome plans and roll with it.

**Review copy was provided for an honest review. No other compensation was provided.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Review: Inseverable by Cecy Robson

Inseverable: Callahan and Trinity

(Carolina Beach #1)

Inseverable (Carolina Beach, #1)


Summary:
From Goodreads.com
How can you imagine forever with someone who's leaving everything behind?

Callahan, a former army sniper, wants to make an escape from his past and everything he experienced at war, but most of all, just not feel. Feeling leads to pain and he’s suffered enough. When he inherits a house on South Carolina’s Kiawah Island, he packs his bags, lured by the peace and seclusion he thinks it will bring. But, Callahan never counted on meeting anyone like Trinity . . .

Trinity has always been the cute, and funny one, who most guys overlook in pursuit of her "hot" friends. She became used to being everyone’s pal, until the day the young man she was attracted to, was drawn to her in return. He became her first great love, and first crushing heartbreak when she found him in bed with one of her closest friends.

To move forward, and to carry out her commitment to helping those in need, Trinity enlists in the Peace Corps, but not before returning to Kiawah for one last memorable summer. She just never imagined it would be so unforgettable.

Callahan doesn’t want to get close to anyone—let alone Trinity. He finds her perkiness insufferable and her attempts to entice a smile distracting. After all, he’s in Kiawah to leave all feelings behind. But when it comes to Trinity, who feels everything, it's hard not to feel something.

Neither expected to fall in love. And no one could have predicted how inseverable they’d become.


Review:

Ive been on a Cecy Robson contemporary roll as of late. I’ve just torn through six of them back to back and I was still ready for more; however, I’m now out of books. Le Sigh… So anyway, I think this was one of my favorites! Ok so at first I was not on #TeamTrinity she was a bit to “peppy” for me.. But like she does with Callahan she really grew on me until I found her quite endearing and thinking I could totally be friends with this chick. She’s loyal, caring and will do anything for her friends and she goes after what she wants. And what she wants is Callahan and she sets off to get him. She’s a total sweetheart who  doesn’t see her outer beauty. She’s one of those gorgeous girls who doesn’t know they are gorgeous. My only issue with Trin, is she doesn’t tell Callahan something very important, but if she had we wouldn’t have had a grand gesture later so I guess I’ll forgive her for it, because I liked the grand gesture. : )

Callahan, man, I felt so bad for him. He’s got PTSD pretty bad. He knows that he does, so at least there is that. He knows he needs some help but he’s not quite ready for that step. He has no intentions of letting someone as peppy and annoying as Trinity into his life. All of his grumbling is quite humorous but little by little she wears him down with her smile and her running in barely there tight workout wear. LOL She refuses to give up on him and eventually she breaks through. You really start to see Callahan come out of his shell as the pages turn. There are even a few moments between Callahan and Trins father that really connect as they are both ex-special forces.

I ended up loving these two together, they just made each other better. A light shines when these two are together and anyone around is likely affected. We also have a strong supporting cast. All of Trinity’s friends are pretty awesome and as loyal and fierce as she is. They band together when things get bad and close ranks. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I devoured it, and I can’t wait for the next one.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Review: A Fighting Chance by Shannon Stacey

A Fighting Chance: Brendan Quinn and Adeline Kendrick


A Fighting Chance


Summary:
From Goodreads.com
All work and no play makes Adeline Kendrick a dull girl, so when she heads to a casino resort for a friend's bachelorette weekend, she's ready to have a good time. Until she runs into Brendan Quinn, professional fighter and the one who got away—the one her family drove away—and things take a turn for the interesting.

Running into his ex won't shake Brendan. Even if it brings up the old pain of loving her when she was only slumming. Even if she looks really good. In fact, what better way to get over the past than to take advantage of the still-sizzling chemistry running hot between them? He's there to win an MMA fight, but he won't say no to a little physical relief of a different kind.

But when the weekend is over, Adeline isn't ready to give up her second chance that easily. Brendan is still the one for her, no matter what her family thinks. Now, if only she can convince him of that…


Review:

It was a cute short novella. I love rekindled romance it's one of my favorite themes. I kind of wish Del had given him a bit more hell but the flipping off his life sized poster was pretty amusing. Brendan was a total sweetheart tho and admitted to his F up and said it was the biggest mistake he ever made. I can respect that and he made it hard for her to stay mad long. I would have also liked a bit more of their past. I know how they met but that was about it. Overall, it was super cute and a very quick read. I definitely recommend this read when you are looking for something light and quick. Bonus: it’s pretty steamy as well.

**Review copy provided for an honest review. No other compensation was provided.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Early Review: The Curse of Tenth Grave by Darynda Jones

The Curse of Tenth Grave: Charley Davidson and Reyes Farrow

(Charley Davidson #10)

The Curse of Tenth Grave by Darynda Jones


Expected publication: June 28th 2016

Summary:
From Goodreads.com

As a Part-time PI and fulltime grim reaper, Charley Davidson has asked a lot of questions throughout her life: Why can I see dead people? Who is the hot supernatural entity following me? How do I get gum out of my sister’s hair before she wakes up? But, “How do I trap not one malevolent god, but three?” was never among them. Until now. And since those gods are on earth to kill her daughter, she has little choice but to track them down, trap them, and cast them from this dimension.


There’s just one problem. One of the three stole her heart a very long time ago. Can the Razer, a god of absolute death and destruction, change his omniscient spots, or will his allegiances lie with his brothers?


Those are just a few of the questions Charley must answer, and quick. Add to that a homeless girl running for her life, an innocent man who’s been charged with murder, and a pendant made from god glass that has the entire supernatural world in an uproar, and Charley has her hands full. If she can manage to take care of the whole world-destroying-gods thing, we’re saved. If not, well…


Review:
I adore the Charley Davidson world.. It's one of my favorite urban fantasy series mostly due to its humor. This book picks up about a week after the last one left off. Charley is still doing her, taking cases, pissing people off and making people laugh.


In the last book her learned some disturbing information about her beloved Reyes... At first I was going to be pissed for her yet again leaving Reyes in the dark about something important, and she does, but she's smarter about it this time. So it feels like she's growing as a character and in maturity. Maybe motherhood has changed her. Beep is still a central theme in this book as they concentrate on keeping her safe. To do so, Charley has to trap at least two evil gods.. The third, remains up in the air on whether they are a true threat or not. At the end Charley makes a bold declaration which elevated her bad ass status. Overall, with all the other installments in this series we are taken on an entertaining roller coaster ride. I definitely recommend this series to anyone that likes to laugh.


**Review copy provided through NetGally for an honest review. No other compensation was provided.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Review: Struck by Amanda Carlson

Struck: Phoebe Meadows

(Phoebe Meadows #1)

Struck (Phoebe Meadows, #1)


Summary:
From Goodreads.com

When Phoebe Meadows gets struck by a strange light in the stockroom of Macy’s, life as she knows it flies out the window. As if being hit by lightning isn’t bad enough, she’s accosted in the subway by a man with a missing hand, arrives home to find a raven on her kitchen counter, and her neighbor, Ingrid, shows up dressed like a gladiator hell-bent on protecting her.


Before Ingrid can shuttle her to safety, Phoebe is kidnapped and tossed into one of the Nine Worlds where she’s quickly forced to come to terms with what she is: A valkyrie. The only problem is, she has no idea what that means.


After a narrow escape, she finds an unlikely ally in Loki’s son, Fenrir. Together the valkyrie and the wolf must battle their way back to New York City and reach the valkyrie stronghold where Ingrid is waiting for her. But with danger and obstacles at every turn, she might not live long enough to learn the full truth about who and what she really is…


Review:

So the first half of the book im not sure I was feeling too much. Lots of action but the dialogue was killing it for me. It was kind of ... cheesy?? Not sure thats even the right word for it. But it didnt feel like a real conversation. Little by little tho I got more into the book and by the end I chugging along.


There is some insta-love going on that I dont really buy but I did really like Fen. He is strong, loyal and willing to throw down even if he's battling full gods unlike his demi-god status. I liked the best friend (I can't remember her name) but she was funny and really rolled with whatever was going down. I could easily imagine her as a Valkyrie. I liked her more than the main character and im kind of hoping for a match with Tyr for her. I also liked Tyr, he doesn't talk much but he definitely has a presence as the God of war.


There is plenty of action in this book there is always peril around the corner as Phoebe and crew fight to stay alive. We travel between realms popping up all over the place which is pretty fun. There is a lot going on and I think that a lot of people will enjoy this book. I'm somewhat curious to see how this all turns out but all in all its not a very memorable book it doesn't stick out among other UF titles and I'm not sure that I'll even remember to pick up the second title when it comes out. But it was a decent read and if I remember, I would read the next book in the series.

**Review copy was provided for an honest review. No other compensation was provided.