Incognito by Siobhan Davis

Advertisements

4 Stars

Publisher: 

Date of publication: June 30th, 2018

Genre: Romance, New Adult

Where you can find Incognito: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

A new adult STANDALONE college romance from USA Today bestselling author Siobhan Davis.

A troubled popstar forced into hiding… A sweet small-town girl overcoming tragedy… And the kind of love that only happens once in a lifetime.

Dakota’s dreams of attending Juilliard were shattered the night tragedy struck her family. It’s one year later, and she’s now enrolled at a local university trying to piece her life back together.

Shawn is one of the world’s most famous faces, having lived under a spotlight since his star exploded when he was fourteen. Now jaded by an industry forcing him to perform music he no longer enjoys, he craves normalcy and the opportunity to rediscover his muse. When a crazy stalker gets too close, and death threats start mounting, Shawn’s management team comes up with a plan—one which will allow him to work on his latest album while staying incognito on a college campus.

Romance is the last thing on Dakota’s mind, but after she crosses paths with a hot, prickly cutie with rock-hard abs and smoldering good looks, she can’t shake him from her thoughts.

Shawn can’t afford to bring any girl into his fucked-up life, but the gorgeous blonde with the sad blue eyes captivates him in a way no girl ever has, and he finds himself falling hard and fast. 

But outside forces are conspiring against them. 

When danger draws closer, and secrets are revealed, will their love survive?

My review:

I am going to admit, I decided to read this book because of the cover. Yup. I went there. I didn’t bother to read the blurb until after the book was sent to me. So if I didn’t like the book, it was on me. Thankfully, I liked the book.

Incognito is the story of Dakota and Shawn. Dakota was supposed to attend Julliard when she received news that her sister was murdered. That was the night that her life fell apart. Forced to attend a local university by her father, Dakota is trying to move on with her life. But that is easier said than done. She is under incredible pressure. Her only release is dancing on the rooftop of an abandoned building. Shawn is a famous musician who is being stalked. When the stalker ups the ante, Shawn is forced into hiding until the stalker is caught. He relocated to the same university that Dakota attends. Sparks fly when they meet. Neither wants a relationship but somehow, they end up in one. Only thing…Shawn hasn’t told Dakota who he is. When Dakota finds out, can she forgive him? Can Shawn keep her safe or will she end up a pawn in the stalkers end game?

Dakota was pretty awesome in the book. She didn’t take crap from anyone. She used that attitude a lot in the book and I loved it. The only time I didn’t love it was when she was having a conflict with her father. That situation (which I will go into) was horrible. I also liked how she handled her ex-boyfriend and his girlfriend. Talk about putting them in their place. Loved it.

Shawn came off as very immature at the beginning of the book. I don’t know why he felt the need to hit on his security head’s wife. But, the more time he spent with Dakota, the more he started to grow up. I did get stalkerish vibes from him about Dakota. He didn’t full out follow her but he also didn’t miss her midnight dances. My only fault with him, besides him being immature at the beginning of the book, was that he didn’t tell Dakota who he was. I can understand why he didn’t. He didn’t want his stalker to find out about her. But with her trust issues, I thought he should have told her sooner. It would have caused a lot less heartbreak.

The stalker storyline was interesting. I did think that it was one person in the entire book, only to find out it was someone else. Talk about a twist that I didn’t see coming!!

The chemistry between Shawn and Dakota was insane. Sparks flew. I liked how the author had them become friends before anything happened between them. It made the connection between them deeper.

When Shawn and Dakota had sex, it was hot. I had to have a cool sip of water and fan myself afterwards. Every single sex scene was like that. Burning hot.

I do want to mention the situation with Dakota’s father. He was scum. He didn’t care about his wife and it showed. Dakota was the only one with sense. I am glad she did what she did in the middle of the book because her father was going to screw her mother over big time. Then to spring what he sprung on Dakota. I wanted to smack him. Selfish, selfish man.

Dakota’s friends need a mention here. I died laughing whenever she was with them. Tabitha reminded me of a few friends I had in college. Boy crazy….lol.

Dakota’s ex and his girlfriend drove me nuts. He couldn’t take a hint and she, well, she was a witch with a b. I loved how Dakota put them in their place every single time she saw them.

The end of the book was action packed. I wasn’t expecting the twist with the stalker plotline. It was a great twist in the story. One that I didn’t see coming. I loved the epilogue!!!

What I liked about Incognito:

A) The cover

B) Dakota’s take no crap attitude

C) Shawn’s maturing over the course of the book

What I disliked about Incognito:

A) Dakota’s father

B) The stalker

C) Dakota’s ex and his girlfriend

I gave Incognito a 4-star rating. I liked the book. The storyline flowed and the characters were relatable. There were no lags in the plotline. There were no storylines that weren’t wrapped up.

I would give Incognito an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is violence. There is language (Shawn likes to use the “F” word a lot). Even though I put this in the New Adult genre, I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Incognito. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank the author for allowing me to read and review Incognito.

All opinions stated in this review of Incognito are mine.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

The Raging Ones (The Raging Ones: Book 1) by Krista Ritchie and Becca Ritchie

Advertisements

4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, Wednesday Books

Date of publication: August 14th, 2018

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction

Series: The Raging Ones

The Raging Ones – Book 1

Where you can find The Raging Ones: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

From New York Times bestselling authors Krista and Becca Ritchie, comes The Raging Ones, an edge of your seat sci-fi romance with twists and turns that you will never see coming!

In a freezing world, where everyone knows the day they will die, three teens break all odds. 

Franny Bluecastle, a tough city teen, dreams of dying in opulence, to see wealth she’s never known. Like the entire world, she believes it’s impossible to dodge a deathday. 

Until the day she does. 

Court Icecastle knows wealth. He also knows pain. Spending five years in Vorkter Prison, a fortress of ice and suffering, he dreams of life beyond the people who haunt him and the world that imprisoned him. 

Mykal Kickfall fights for those he loves. The rugged Hinterlander shares a frustrating yet unbreakable connection with Court—which only grows more lawless and chaotic as their senses and emotions connect with Franny. 

With the threat of people learning they’ve dodged their deathdays, they must flee their planet to survive. But to do so, all three will have to hide their shared bond as they vie for a highly sought-after spot in the newest mission to space. Against thousands of people far smarter, who’ll live longer, and never fear death the way that they do.

My review:

My interest in The Raging Ones was caught when I read the blurb. I could see the potential in a plotline based on a society that knew when they were going to die. Then I read the book and man, I can’t even begin to describe what it was like reading this book. The best way I can describe it is like unwrapping a Christmas gift. You don’t know what you are going to get and you are eager to get it open to see it. That is how I felt about The Raging Ones.

The Raging Ones follows 3 teenagers who have dodged their deathdays. In doing that, they have bonded with each other. Desperate to keep their secrets, the trio decides that their best bet is to enter a competition that will send them into space. A competition that will test their bonds and their alliances with each other. But what awaits them in space?

Franny is the first character that we are introduced to in the book. She is a brass, crass Fast Tracker. Fast Trackers are people who are destined to die in their teens/early adulthood. They are known for partying like it is the last day of their life…every single day. I felt bad for Franny because all she wanted was her money so she could die knowing what it would be like to be rich. I liked her. She was the more open of the trio. The more impulsive one. I liked her. She did get the short end of the stick with her new tattoos. That artist did not like her.

Mykal was introduced with Court. Mykal was a Babe. Babes are children whose death dates happen before the age of 8. When he didn’t die, he removed himself from his Hinterland village, supporting himself alone until he found Court half-frozen. While Mykal came across as a country bumpkin but he was anything but. I loved his character. He had a way of looking at things that were refreshing.

Court was the mysterious one. He was an Influential. Influentials are people whose deathdays happen far in the future. Court was very stingy in giving information about himself. That drove me nuts but also kept reading. Court cared about Franny and Mykal but didn’t want to get too close to them. He was also the driving force behind the 3 of them getting into the space program. I liked his character but came to love him.

The bond that Mykal and Court had were intense. As was their attraction to each other. But they didn’t act on it. You could cut the sexual tension with a knife, it was that heavy. I was surprised that nothing happened between them sooner in the book. I did think that there was going to be a love triangle with Franny but nothing ever came from it. Which I liked. A love triangle would have taken away from the storyline.

I do wish that more had been spent on explaining why death dates were needed and how they were discovered. It was explained very briefly but not in detail. I also wish that more time had been given to explained Mykal, Court and Franny’s connection. Why they had it and why they didn’t die.

I liked the science fiction aspect of the book but I did feel that it went on for a tad bit too long. It felt that there was some unneeded luggage with that plotline that could have been trimmed. Mainly the part of the storyline with the cheating. It added nothing to the storyline and bored me.

The end of the book was fantastic. The author had a huge plot twist that I didn’t see coming. There were no hints or anything leading up to it. I was shocked. The author ended the book on that note. Brilliant move on their part. Because now I have to read the next book to see what is going to happen. Also, the author didn’t wrap up the main storyline or any of the storylines added late in the book. So I am curious to see how they will be resolved in book 2.

What I liked about The Raging Ones

A) How diverse the characters were

B) The bond that connected Mykal, Court, and Franny

C) No love triangle

What I disliked about The Raging Ones:

A) No explanation on why death dates were needed/discovered

B) No explanation about Franny, Court, and Mykal’s connection

C) Science fiction part of the book went on a little too long for my taste

I gave The Raging Ones a 4-star rating. I enjoyed the story. I enjoyed reading it. I do think that there was too little information given about death dates and Mykal, Franny, and Court’s connection. Other than that, I enjoyed the book.

I would give The Raging Ones an Older Teen rating. There is no sex. There is mild violence. There is mild language. I would suggest that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

I would reread The Raging Ones. I would also recommend it to family and friends.

I would like to thank St. Martin’s Press, Wednesday Books, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Raging Ones.

All opinions stated in this review of The Raging Ones are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

Bishop (Arizona Vengeance: Book 1) by Sawyer Bennett

Advertisements

4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: August 14th, 2018

Genre: Romance, Sports

Series: Arizona Vengeance

Bishop – Book 1

Erik – Book 2 (expected publication date: November 6th, 2018)

Legend – Book 3 (expected publication date: February 5th, 2019)

Where you can find Bishop: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Meet the Arizona Vengeance, hockey’s hottest new team. They’re burning up the ice—until a one-night-stand with the coach’s daughter freezes one player in his skates.

Bishop Scott, co-captain. Not too shabby, huh? It’s all part of my fresh start with the NHL’s latest expansion team, and that means new teammates, a new coach, a new city, and a big new contract. Basically, I cannot f***ing wait to show my old squad what they’re missing.

But first, I decide to check out the town before the grind begins. Turns out Arizona chicks are totally smokin’, and I’m fortunate enough to meet one who’s looking for the same thing I am: a night of anonymous, unforgettable, no-strings-attached sex.

Fast forward to the Vengeance arena. It’s the last place I expect to see her again—let alone in her own office. Then bells go off and I finally realize who this girl is: Brooke Perron. My new coach’s daughter. All of a sudden, we’re picking up right where we left off, which means our hands are all over each other. That’s when her dad—my boss—walks in. And before I can get a word out, Brooke’s introducing me as her fiancé.

Sure, she just saved my ass. So why do I get the feeling Brooke’s going to turn my world upside down? Maybe it’s because this fake relationship feels way too real. . . .

My review:

I grew up in NE MA, where hockey and football were the most watched sports in my house. I remember hearing my parents screaming at the TV during any of the Boston Bruins games. Fast forward 20 or so years, and I discover hockey romance novels. I was thrilled. Then I read too much and got burnt out. When I saw that Sawyer Bennett had a new series starting, I debated whether I should read it because I was burnt out on them. I took the chance, and I am glad that I did. This was a GOOD book.

Bishop’s plot was simple. Bishop had been traded from his previous team to a new team in Arizona. While celebrating in a bar pre-season, he meets a smoking hot brunette. Thinking it is a one-night stand, Bishop is floored to discover that his one-night stand works for the team. Deciding that could be a good thing, he moves on the brunette. Only to discover, a few minutes later, that she is his new coach’s daughter. He is soon in a fake relationship with Brooke. A fake relationship that begins to feel all too real.

I didn’t know what I thought about Bishop at the beginning of the book. He was cocky, and he most definitely needed to be taken down a peg. As the book went on, I began to see a different side of Bishop. A side of him that I liked. He saw that Brooke was the type of person who couldn’t say no to someone, and he stepped in to do it for her. The man who he became at the end of the book was a man that I had seen glimpses of in the book. I loved it!!

As much as I liked Brooke, I wanted to shake her. I understood why she told her father that she and Bishop were engaged, but at the same time, I was like, “Whyyyyyy”. Then the whole fiasco with Nannette. I didn’t understand why she couldn’t have told her to leave. I would have thrown her nasty butt out the first time she pulled the crap. What I didn’t doubt was what she felt for Bishop. That came across crystal clear.

The chemistry between Brooke and Bishop was red hot. Even though they had sex within the first chapter, it didn’t take away from their chemistry. Instead, as weird as this sounds, it increased the chemistry. You will not find me saying that again.

Because the chemistry was so red-hot, the sex was insane. What got me was that Brooke was a dirty girl. She was a freak in bed. Which Bishop loved. Because Bishop was as freaky. A match made in sexual heaven.

Let’s talk about Nannette for a minute. I disliked her. She was a witch with a b. The things she put Brooke through were awful. She was the houseguest from hell. I don’t understand why Brooke didn’t boot her sooner. Her confession to Bishop and what she did afterward cemented my dislike for her. I hope that she stays gone from this series.

The end of Bishop tugged on my heartstrings. I will say that I laughed when Brooke’s father confronted Bishop. All I have to say is, “Go Dad“…lol. The end of the book made my heart jump a beat and brought a huge smile to my face.

What I liked about Bishop:

A) A hockey romance that I loved

B) Bishop’s transformation during the book

C) The chemistry and sex. Hot!!!

What I disliked about Bishop:

A) How cocky Bishop was in the beginning

B) Brooke letting people (ie Nannette) push her around

C) Nannette. She was vile

I gave Bishop a 4-star rating. I enjoyed reading this book. It was a quick read with enjoyable characters and hot sexual situations. The beginning of the book didn’t jive with me, as did the storyline with Nannette.

I would give Bishop an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Bishop. I would also recommend it to family and friends.

I would like to thank Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Bishop.

All opinions stated in this review of Bishop are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

The Ascending (Zola Flash: Book 3) by T. Marie Alexander

Advertisements

4 Stars

Publisher: 

Date of publication: August 13th, 2018

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance

Series: Zola Flash

Zola Flash – Book 1 (review here)

The Forgotten – Book 2 (review here)

The Ascending – Book 3

Where you can find The Ascending: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads): 

Escaping to Earth changed Zola’s life forever. She found happiness on a foreign planet. And she found truths from an unlikely ally.

Zola has never wanted to claim her throne…

Until now.

Because now, the people of her planet need her.

And she’s tired of running.

It won’t be easy taking on an old and controlling group of power-hungry dictators, though. And she’s going to need all the help she can get to claim her crown and prove the Court has been wrongly guiding the galaxy for centuries. 

Zola was once an innocent marred by war.

This time, though, she’s not so innocent anymore.

My review:

I wasn’t too sure what to expect when I started reading The Ascending. I knew that big things were going to happen. It was the when and where that got me sucked into reading it. I couldn’t put this book down. I read it within 1 1/2 days. I couldn’t help but not care for Zola, Pin, Zin, and Florix. The author did a fantastic job of taking already fleshed out characters and adding more depth to them. She also did a great job of throwing in some small twists in the plot that took me by surprise.

The Ascending takes place shortly after the events of The Forgotten. Zola is getting ready to take her throne back from the Court, a group of dictators that have ruled Vitcian, and the galaxy, for centuries. But she is prepared to fight them. She is not the same girl who stumbled upon her destiny. She has seen war. She has killed people and she is willing to do whatever it takes for her people. But can she do it? Can she take on the Court and win? Or will she be another victim in the Court’s schemes?

Zola is one of my favorite characters in this book. While she didn’t want to be queen, she still did it because it was the right thing. She dealt with all the drama that surrounded her with amazing maturity. She became a woman who was ready to do what it took to free her people from a dictatorship. I was bothered by her lack of connection with Florix. But, looking back, I could understand why she kept her distance from her. I mean, Florix did try to kill her on Talan’s orders.

Pin drove me freaking nuts the entire book. He was still blowing hot and cold with Zola. There were scenes where I was ready to reach through my Kindle and shake him. Talk about frustrating. Other than that, I liked him. He was loyal to Zola and was willing to fight the Court to help her gain her throne.

Florix was a great addition to the book. The author did a great job at having me question her loyalty to Zola. I wish that more background was given about her younger years. Her training, how she met Talan, how she dealt when her bond was severed with Zola. I am hoping that the author considers writing a spin-off book about her. I know that I would be very interested.

I thought that the science fiction angle of the book was great. I do wish that more insight was given into the portals/ships/other lifeforms. But everything that the author did explain was fantastic!!! The fantasy angle was fantastic also.

The romance angle of the book was great, even though I wanted to punch Pin. I didn’t doubt that he loved her but man, he needed to show it more often. Like I said above, he blew hot and cold with Zola. One minute, he loved her. The next, he was back to being her protector and having walls up. It drove me crazy because that’s not how it was supposed to work.

The author did have a couple of twists in the plot that I didn’t see coming. Also, there are a couple of main characters that leave/get killed off. At least one of those I was surprised at.

I will say that this book can be bloody. The author didn’t hold back on the battle scenes. Which is awesome because you don’t see many YA books that embrace violence. Most of them are sunshine and rainbows. Not this one!!!

The end of The Ascending was great. The author wrapped up all the storylines in a way that satisfied me. The only one that wasn’t resolved was the storyline about Rhea. I am hoping that there is a book coming out of it because I want to know what is going to happen.

Now onto why I rated The Ascending 4 stars. I enjoyed the book. It was a fitting end for the series. I connected with the characters. Why it didn’t make 5 stars? Well, I didn’t like how Pin treated Zola for most of the book. The Rhea storyline was left unfinished. I felt that some of the battle scenes were a little too violent for a YA book. But, like I said at the beginning of this paragraph, I enjoyed the book.

What I liked about The Ascending:

A) I enjoyed the story

B) The book was a fitting end for the series

C) I connected with the characters

What I disliked about The Ascending:

A) How Pin treated Zola

B) The Rhea storyline being left unfinished

C) Some of the battle scenes were a little too violent for a YA book.

I would give The Ascending an Older Teen rating. There is sex (but it is not explicit). There is violence. There is no language. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

I would reread The Ascending. I would also recommend it to family and friends.

I would like to thank the author for allowing me to read and review The Ascending.

All opinions stated in this review of The Ascending are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

Sister of Mine by Laurie Petrou

Advertisements

3.5 Stars

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Date of publication: August 7th, 2018

Genre: Thriller, suspense, mystery

Where you can find Sister of Mine: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book Synopsis (from Amazon):

Penny and Hattie are sisters in a small town, bound tight to the point of knots. They share a secret they cannot escape, even while it pulls them apart. One night, a match is lit, and Penny’s terrible husband is killed – a marriage going up in flames, and offering the potential of a new life. The sisters retreat into their family home – a house of secrets and memories – and try to live in the shadow of what they put in motion. But Penny’s husband is not the only thing they are hiding, from the outside world and from each other. Under a cloud of long-held resentments, sibling rivalry, and debts unpaid, the bonds of sisterhood begin to crack. How long will Penny and Hattie demand the unthinkable of each other? How often will they say, “You owe me,” and when will it ever be enough? 

My review:

Sister of Mine had a complex plotline. Penny and Hattie are sisters who are living in a small town. They closer than close due to a secret that they share. That secret is a drain on their relationship. Their relationship, strained, gets more strained when Jameson comes into the picture. When Penny does the unthinkable one drunken night, that the bond breaks. Hattie descends into mental illness to escape and Penny is left picking up the pieces. But, when the police look into Penny’s husband death, new questions arise. What happened that night? And who lit the match? The answers to those questions test the remaining strands of Penny and Hattie’s bond.

I didn’t like Penny during the first half of the book. She rubbed me the wrong way. Her lack of grief over her husband’s death struck me as odd. Even with the explanation of what he did to her, she came across as flat. Almost emotionless when retelling it. It rubbed me the wrong way. So, when she stepped away to allow Hattie to have her relationship with Jameson, I was a little skeptical. The last half of the book, though, my dislike turned into begrudging admiration. She came back to pick up the pieces when Hattie came apart.

I felt bad for Hattie. Up until Penny went to school, she had to deal with Penny telling her how she was to blame for her father leaving. Then she was to blame for their mother dying. No wonder she had mental health issues!!! But my pity for her evaporated in the middle of the book. At that point, she lost her damn mind. She made poor decisions and those decisions affected everyone around her.

The mystery angle of the book was fantastically written. As was the suspense.

I did have an issue with the dropped storylines. Mainly the one about Penny and Hattie’s father. There was no closure. I was left wondering what happened to him.

I am not going to get into the rest of the book. I will say that I was surprised by the huge twist at the end of the book. I was thinking one thing and was left with a huge WTF moment when the secret was revealed. I was also surprised by what that person did and where they ended up.

What I liked about Sister of Mine:

A) Penny and Hattie’s relationship

B) The mystery angle of the book

C) the twist at the end of the book

What I disliked about Sister of Mine:

A) Penny and Hattie’s relationship

B) Hattie losing her damn mind the last half of the book

C) Dropped storylines

I gave Sister of Mine a rating of 3.5 stars. I didn’t like Penny and Hattie’s relationship. I also didn’t like Hattie losing her damn mind in the middle of the book. But, what I didn’t like was the dropped/unfinished storylines. That is why Sister of Mine got a 3.5  instead of a 5-star rating. I did like Penny and Hattie’s relationship at the beginning of the book. The relationship after their childhood but before Jameson. I also loved the mystery angle of the book. Which goes with the huge twist at the end of the book.

I gave Sister of Mine an Adult rating. There is sex but not explicit. There is violence. There is language. I would suggest that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I am on the fence about rereading Sister of Mine. I am also on the fence about recommending it to family and friends.

I would like to thank Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Sister of Mine.

All opinions stated in this review of Sister of Mine are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

Down with Love (Laws of Attraction: Book 1) by Kate Meader

Advertisements

4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: August 7th, 2018

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

Series: Laws of Attraction

Down with Love – Book 1

Illegally Yours – Book 2 (expected publication date: January 22nd, 2019)

Where you can find Down with Love: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Sparks fly when the hot-shot divorce lawyer meets the high-powered wedding planner. The only question is, what kind?

If you ever get married, remember my name: Max Henderson. In my line of work, you acquire a certain perspective on supposedly everlasting unions. . . .

1. Prenups are your friend. 
2. The person you married is not the person you’re divorcing. 
3. And I hope you didn’t spend much on the wedding because that was one helluva waste of hard-earned cash, wasn’t it? 

But some guys are willing to take a chance. Like my brother, who thinks he’s going to ride off into the sunset with the woman of his dreams in a haze of glitter on unicorns. And the wedding planner—the green-eyed beauty who makes living convincing suckers to shell out thousands of dollars on centerpieces—is raking it in on this matrimonial monstrosity. 

The thing is, Charlie Love is not unlike me. We’re both cogs in the wedding-industrial complex. As the best man, I know her game—and I can play it better than her. But after one scorching, unexpected kiss, I’m thinking I might just want to get played.

My review:

I feel bad saying this, but I judged this book before I even read it. I thought it was going to be a fluff book. A book that had zero plot and was heavy on sex. Well, yeah, about that. Not what I thought it was going to be.

Max Henderson is a cynic about marriage. A successful divorce attorney, he has seen what breaking up a marriage can do. It has jaded him against anything wedding related. So, he can’t help but bait his brother’s wedding planner, Charlie Love. She is the opposite in everything. Or so he thinks. It isn’t until he kisses her that Max realizes he’s wrong about love. Will Max find his happily ever after with Charlie, or will he blow it?

I thought Max was a jerk when Down with Love started. I understand that he was cynical. I 100% understand that, but rain on his brother’s parade is something else. I wanted to smack him upside his head, hard. I didn’t understand why he felt the way he did. His parents were still married and in love with each other. But the more I read his story, the more I understood what drove him to that place. All his clients are upper-middle-class women who were pushed aside when their husbands wanted a younger model. Max saw what a divorce could do to someone who wasn’t expecting it. I understood then. But it didn’t excuse his attitude towards Charlie in the book’s first part. Another instance where I wanted to smack him upside his head. I knew he liked her, but he acted like a jerk to her. His attitude changed after the kiss. He went from needling her to helping her with family issues.

I loved Charlie. She was one of the more real characters I have read. I got a chuckle from the thought of a wedding planner with an anger issue. But, my amusement turned to sadness when it was explained why she had an anger problem. She also knew how to handle Max. This was great because he needed to be put in his place every time.

The romance between Charlie and Max did start off slow because of Max’s attitude. But once they kissed, it gathered momentum. When they had sex, it was hot. The other sex scenes were hot, but they didn’t reach the levels of hotness that they had the first time.

The secondary storylines made this book. The one that made me laugh was the storyline involving Charlie’s foster father, the dog, and Charlie’s foster mother. I was giggling over it because of the foster mother’s assumptions.

The end of Down with Love was your typical romance novel ending. But the epilogue more than made up for it.

What I liked about Down with Love:

A) Charlie

B) Charlie and Max’s romance

C) The secondary storylines

What I disliked about Down with Love:

A) Max, at the beginning of the book

B) How Max treated Charlie pre-kiss

C) Charlie’s anger issue

I gave Down with Love a 4-star rating. The book was enjoyable to read with hot sex scenes. Any of my complaints did not affect my star rating.

I would give Down with Love an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is language. There is no violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Down with Love. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Down with Love.

All opinions stated in this review of Down with Love are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

Blood Match (Blood Type: Book 2) by K.A. Linde

Advertisements

4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: July 26th, 2018

Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Fantasy

Series: Blood Type

Blood Type – Book 1, review here

Blood Match – Book 2

Blood Cure – Book 3, expected publication date August 21st, 2018

Where you can find Blood Match: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

As the provocative, sensual Blood Type series continues, the rare bond between Reyna and Beckham is threatened by betrayal, greed, and twisted secrets.

A desperate human. A powerful vampire. A world divided.

Reyna Carpenter was promised paradise. She was delivered into hell.

Giving up her body for money was supposed to be the hardest part of becoming a blood escort. She never expected to lose her heart to her dark, enigmatic boss, Beckham Anderson. After being taken by a depraved captor who plans to rule the world, Reyna will do anything to return to Beckham.

She just has to find the will to survive this game.

From the pawn, rises a queen.

Note: Reyna and Beckham’s story begins in Blood Type and continues in Blood Cure.

My review:

I was beyond thrilled when I saw that Blood Match was up for review on NetGalley. I had loved Blood Type and was waiting for Blood Match to come out. I had hyped this book up in my head. I am glad that it lived up to my internal hype because I would have been mad if it wasn’t good. Let me clarify, mad at myself. I try not to let myself get all hyped up over books. But in this case, because Blood Type was so good, I let myself do it.

Blood Match starts off 56 days after the ending events of Blood Type. Reyna has been kidnapped by William Harrington, the president and CEO of Visage. Reyna was kidnapped because of her very rare blood type, RH null negative. Harrington needed Reyna for her blood but he wasn’t above torturing her when she wouldn’t comply. One of those times, he left her alone with a deranged vampire that he called B. Reyna is soon broken out of Visage by Elle. Reyna soon learns that not everything is what it seemed. That enemies can be allies and allies can be terrible enemies. Can she overthrow Visage with the help of her friends or will she be forced to watch people that she loved die?

Blood Match was as dark and gritty as Blood Type. There was an undercurrent of violence that ran throughout the book. That is what made the book so good. You never knew when violence was going to explode. What I also liked, and what made this book dark, was that the “good guys” weren’t necessarily good guys. The author had those characters walk a thin line between good and evil. I loved it!!

The sex in this book was great. But, what I liked was that there wasn’t a ton of it. But, when Reyna and Beckham did bump uglies, it was explosive. Even Reyna’s dream sex was amazing!!!

The plotlines in Blood Match were not resolved. If anything, more depth was added to them. I cannot wait to read book 3 to see how this story ends.

The end of the book was insane. I didn’t expect what happened to happen. And it ended with a small cliffhanger. I was mentally yelling “NO” when I read it.

I rated Blood Match with a 4-star rating. Why did I do that? I liked the plotline. I liked the characters. The sex scenes were hot. Now, with the good, there is the bad. There were parts of the book that I didn’t like. I didn’t like William Harrington. I didn’t like what Visage was doing behind the scenes. I didn’t like the cliffhanger (as small as it was).

What I liked about Blood Match (to recap):

A) Plotline. Thought it was great.

B) Characters.

C) Sex scenes

What I disliked about Blood Match (to recap):

A) William Harrington

B) What Visage was doing behind the scenes

C) the cliffhanger

I would give Blood Match an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is violence. There is language. I would suggest that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Blood Match. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Blood Match.

All opinions stated in this review of Blood Match are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

The Middleman by Olen Steinhauer

Advertisements

2 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books

Date of publication: August 7th, 2018

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Where you can find The Middleman: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

New York Times bestselling author Olen Steinhauer’s next sweeping espionage novel traces the rise and fall of a domestic left-wing terrorist group. Told from the individual perspectives of an FBI agent, an undercover agent within the group, a convert to the terrorist organization, and a writer on the edges of the whole affair, this is another tightly wound thriller, and an intimate exploration of the people behind the politics, from a master of suspense.

My review:

I made a mistake when I got The Middleman from NetGalley. I wasn’t paying attention, thought I hit the Read Now button for another book and ended up with this one instead. I do not like political/espionage thrillers. I have read them, even reviewed them, in the past. I can’t get into the books. So, I wasn’t very happy when I realized what I did. But, I decided to suck it up.

I couldn’t get into the book. I struggled to finish it. If I didn’t have a personal goal of not DNF’ing a book, then it would have been DNF’d and forgotten about. But, I stuck it out. It took me 4 nights to finish this book. 4 torturous nights of me falling asleep while reading. That is something I rarely do.

I did like the plot. It was something that I could see happening in real life. 400 young people disappearing all at once. All 400 have traces to a domestic terrorist group. Told from 4 different POV’s, this should have been a riveting book. Instead, I ended up getting bored with the book halfway through. If the author had stuck with one or two POV’s, then it would have worked. But with 4 different ones. Well, I had a hard time keeping track of everything. Even with the chapters marked.

I couldn’t connect with any of the characters. It drove me nuts because I need to have at least 1 connection in the book. I didn’t have any.

I did feel that the book did fit in with the mystery genre pretty well. The story with the 2nd in command of the terrorist group was well-played out. I didn’t see him being who he was until it was explained at the end. As for the thriller genre, not so much. I kept losing attention, which isn’t good in a thriller. You need to be sucked into a thriller book and then spit out at the end feeling. The Middleman didn’t do that. The same thing goes for suspense. The book should have been fast-paced right from the start. Instead, it started off slowly. It did pick up steam by the middle of the book, only to slow down by the end of the book. Very frustrating to read.

I do feel that there was a huge hole in the plotline in the middle of the book. Take for instance Rachel being in the hospital. I had to reread the chapters leading up to her being injured for any mention of her getting hurt. There was nothing. But suddenly, she was on medical leave from a bad injury. Made 100% no sense to me. There are a few more examples but I don’t want to make a novel out of my review.

There was also some lag in the plotline. One right around Rachel’s injury. The other was when Kevin was in Europe, chasing leads all over the place. The author recovered very well but still.

The end of The Middleman was confusing. Not in the sense how it ended. I agreed with the explanations that Rachel got about the case. It was the ending involving another key character. I kind of shook my head and wondered “Why was she there? How did she get there?” I was also left wondering if that group was going to be reborn. Something about what the men were talking about made me wonder that. There were also some unfinished storylines that made me go “Huh“. I hate it when storylines are left unfinished. I hate it even more when it was attached to a major storyline. No closure makes me cranky.

Why I rated The Middleman 2 stars. There were huge holes in the plotline mid-book. There were dropped storylines. There were too many POV’s. There were some things that I did like about The Middleman. I did like the plot. I felt that the mystery angle of the book was well written.

What I liked about The Middleman (to recap):

A) The plot

B) The mystery angle of the book was well written.

What I disliked about The Middleman (to recap):

A) Huge holes in the plotline

B) Dropped storyline

C) Too many POV’s

I would give The Middleman an Adult rating. There is no sex. There is graphic violence. There is language. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would not reread The Middleman. I would not recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Middleman.

All opinions stated in this review of The Middleman are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart

Advertisements

4 Star

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Date of publication: July 31st, 2018

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Where you can find Grace and Fury: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

In a world where women have no rights, sisters Serina and Nomi Tessaro face two very different fates: one in the palace, the other in prison.

Serina has been groomed her whole life to become a Grace – someone to stand by the heir to the throne as a shining, subjugated example of the perfect woman. But when her headstrong and rebellious younger sister, Nomi, catches the heir’s eye, it’s Serina who takes the fall for the dangerous secret that Nomi has been hiding.

Now trapped in a life she never wanted, Nomi has only one way to save Serina: surrender to her role as a Grace until she can use her position to release her sister. This is easier said than done. A traitor walks the halls of the palace, and deception lurks in every corner. But Serina is running out of time, imprisoned on an island where she must fight to the death to survive and one wrong move could cost her everything.

My review

Grace and Fury is one of those books that caught me by surprise. I don’t get taken by surprise by books. I can usually see a plot twist coming a mile away. I can usually see when an author is foreshadowing. I can usually see who the bad guy is in the book. I can usually call who is going to die. But not in Grace and Fury. The author did a fantastic job keeping me in the dark about everything I stated above. And I loved it!!!

Grace and Fury start off with Serina being chosen to go to Bellaqua to compete with other girls to become a Grace. Serina has worked her entire life to become a Grace. That dream is shattered when Serina’s younger sister, Nomi, is chosen instead. It is further shattered when Serina takes the blame for what Nomi did. That something has Serina shipped off to a prison island. There she is forced to fight to the death for food. Back on the mainland, Nomi decides to embrace her role as a Grace. She does that with the hopes of getting Serina off the island and back with her. But Nomi is soon caught up in a dangerous plot. A plot that could end everything that she has worked so hard for.

I couldn’t believe the injustices that the women in that society endured. They weren’t allowed to go to school. They were dominated by the men in their lives. So, I loved it when Nomi bucked the rules. Learning to read was her way of thumbing her nose a the society that was keeping her down. Even as rebellious as she was, she was loyal to Serina. Using her position as a Grace, she did try to get her sister off that island. I was as surprised as she was when everything went down the way it did.

I didn’t like Serina at first. She had trained to be a Grace since she was a child and had no clue how the real world was. Being a Grace meant that her family would never go hungry. She also loved her sister. My turning from not liking her to liking her happened when she took the fall for Nomi. She could have taken Nomi down with her. And when she got to the island. Instead of having a breakdown, she did what she had to do to survive.

There are several twists and turns in the plotline. I wasn’t ready for any of them. I thought this would be one of those typical YA fantasy books that would be heavy on romance and teen angst but would have no twists. Yeah, I was wrong. This book had more twists than a mountain road.

The fantasy angle of the book was fantastic. Set in an Italian-like country, the author did fantastic world-building. The world was 3D, as were the characters.

The YA angle I didn’t feel. Yes, Serina and Nomi were in their late teens, but it didn’t read like it. If I didn’t know their ages, I would have placed Serina in her mid 20’s and Nomi as the teenager. This book also didn’t have much angst as most YA books. Which was refreshing.

I do want to touch upon the amazing girl power vibe that was going on in this book. It was fantastic, and I loved it!!!

The end of Grace and Fury was insane. Everything happened at once. I was surprised at what happened with Nomi. Very surprised. I was surprised that I had to wake up BK and tell him about it. He wasn’t impressed…lol. I will say that the book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. This means that I need to read book 2 when it comes out.

Onto why I gave Grace and Fury a 4-star rating. I loved how I was taken surprised time and again in the book. I liked Nomi and her rebellious ways. I loved the strong girl power vibe throughout the book. I didn’t like how the women were treated in the book. I didn’t like Serina at first. I also didn’t like the cliffhanger.

What I liked about Grace and Fury (to recap):

A) Being taken surprise by the different elements of the book

B) Nomi

C) Girl Power

What I disliked about Grace and Fury (to recap):

A) How the women were treated in the book

B) Serina, the first half of the book

C) The cliffhanger

I would give Grace and Fury an Older Teen rating. There is no sex. There is kissing (that’s about it). There is violence, sometimes graphic. There is no language. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

I would reread Grace and Fury. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank Little, Brown Books for Young Readers for allowing me to read and review Grace and Fury.

All opinions stated in this review of Grace and Fury are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

Dark Alpha’s Hunger (Reaper: Book 6) by Donna Grant

Advertisements

4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperback

Date of publication: August 7th, 2018

Genre: Romance, Supernatural, Fantasy

Series: Reaper

Dark Alpha’s Claim

Dark Alpha’s Embrace

Dark Alpha’s Demand

Dark Alpha’s Love

Dark Alpha’s Night

Dark Alpha’s Hunger

Where you can find Dark Alpha’s Hunger: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Dark Alpha’s Hunger is the sixth paranormal romance novel in New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant’s Reapers series featuring a brotherhood of élite assassins who wage war on the Fae at Death’s behest–and the women who change their hearts.

There is no escaping a Reaper. I am an élite assassin, part of a brotherhood that only answers to Death. And when Death says your time is up, I’m coming for you…

Where Death leads, I follow. Nothing will stop me from my duty – not even the darkness that claims me. It’s the music that leads me from the dark, returning me to my brethren and a new foe that has risen. Learning who hunts Thea could be the key to unraveling what we need to know to defeat our enemy. The Half-Fae’s music stirs a passion within me that I’ve never known. For her, I will break my vow of silence. For her…I will risk everything. 

My review:

I had heard of the Reaper series but hadn’t gotten around to reading any of the books. So when the publisher approached me to review this series, I decided, why not? Even though it is the 6th book in the series, I figured I could follow the plot. Which I did, kinda. The author kept bringing up earlier characters and their relationships. At one point, I couldn’t keep everything straight in my head. Besides the few quibbles I had with characters, I enjoyed reading Dark Alpha’s Hunger.

I thought that Eoghan and Thea’s relationship started oddly and remained odd. It was almost stalkerish since Eoghan decided to follow Thea around until he revealed himself. The only connection that he had with her was through her music. When she played her violin, he could find her. I thought it was a little creepy. Once they were together, they had great chemistry that bled to fantastic sex.

Speaking of the sex scenes, these were hot. The chemistry between Eoghan and Thea was off the charts. I had to fan myself a few times. If it could, my Kindle would have steamed up.

I felt that Thea got the stick end of things during the book. First, she brings Eoghan back from the darkness. Then she is semi-stalked by him until he shows himself. Then her biological mother kidnaps her and lays a lot of crap on her. That girl needed a stiff drink and a hug by the end of the book. She had been put through the wringer. I did like that she was an accomplished violinist. I loved how music immediately pulled her from crippling depression and gave her purpose.

Eoghan’s backstory killed me to read. No wonder he chose to take a vow of silence. I would have, too, if I had been put through what he went through. I didn’t get why Death told him to rescind his vow of silence until the end of the book. Then it hit me in an “AHA” moment. I liked his relationships with the other Reapers. There was an instant bond between them.

The end of the book was interesting and laid a definite foundation for the next book.

What I liked about Dark Alpha’s Hunger:

A) The chemistry between Eoghan and Thea

B) Thea music interest

C) Eoghan’s relationship with his other Reapers

What I disliked about Dark Alpha’s Hunger:

A) Had an issue following the plot at first

B) The start of Eoghan and Thea’s relationship

C) Thea’s mother

I would give Dark Alpha’s Hunger an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Dark Alpha’s Hunger. I would also recommend it to family and friends.

I would like to thank St. Martin’s Paperbacks, St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Dark Alpha’s Hunger.

All opinions stated in Dark Alpha’s Hunger are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

Exit mobile version
%%footer%%