Wednesday, December 13, 2017

ARC REVIEW Once Upon A Christmas Eve by Elizabeth Hoyt

So this is the last of the Maiden Lane series, if I had known that before reading this I probably would have been a lot more disappointed with it than I am. I was kind of hoping that she was going to just keep writing and find a new story arc to follow. I am split on this, on one hand you have great Hoyt writing with witty dialogue and wonderful characters; on the other hand you have a really short romance that makes you feel cheated that these great characters didn't get more. With how strong the animosity Sarah has toward d'Arque you would think it would take longer for her to admit to herself that he's different. d'Arque is a shameless flirt and sometimes his humor is a bit crude, but it's so funny. They met once before (back in book 5) but it didn't matter Sarah had already made up her mind to hate him because he was a rake. To d'Arque Sarah was different because she didn't fall for his charm like every other woman out there, it was obvious she hated him but he gave her no reason to.
Fast forward some time it's Christmastime and d'Arque is taking his grandmother to her cousin house for the holiday when the carriage breaks down and they must seek refuge at a local house. Fortuitously d'Arque is acquainted with St. James unfortunately his grandmother's health isn't good to travel the rest of the way and they must stay where they are and celebrate Christmas with the St. James'. d'Arque sees this as an opportunity to change Sarah's opinion of him because no matter what he feels a strong attraction to her. Sarah had a bad experience with a rake in her past that has made her hate all rakes, but the more she talks to d'Arque the more she realizes there is so much more to him the just a rake, it's making her all confused her physical attraction to him and now she finds herself actually liking him. But Sarah is looking for a husband and d'Arque doesn't think he wants to get married, ever.

Overall, I did like the story and the characters but it felt so short and rushed, and it doesn't feel like it's the conclusion to a series.       

ARC REVIEW Dangerous in Transit by Sidney Bristol

More Alpha Team awesomeness! Sidney Bristol does it again an action packed, kick-ass story. This time Sidney Bristol whisks you away to the Islamic Nation of Mauritania in Africa. It's in the midst of a civil war, the PPM are trying to overthrow the elected President and make things the way they use to be in the strictest of terms where even slavery isn't a crime. In the midst of it is an American woman, Jackie Davis, and a team of doctors and nurses trying to help free some women and children from their captivity but they go from being the rescuers to being hostage victims. It was suppose to be a simple extraction for the Aegis Alpha Team but things just keep going from bad to worse as the civil war escalates and evidence shows up that it wasn't an accident that got Jackie captured in the first place.
Felix Larson, retired Royal Navy, isn't the one who normally handles the asset but this time he seems to be the only one who can handle the hard headed Jackie who questions every decision and wants to argue every point. Jackie doesn't know why out of all the guys on the team she feels like she can trust the straightforward Felix to tell her the truth and she willingly puts her life into his hands. Jackie doesn't want to wait to see if they make it out alive she wants to be with Felix just in case they don't make it. An action packed story about greed and power and the attempt to overthrow a government. It's not an easy case for any of the Aegis boys this go around and just when things finally seem to start to go there way Jackie discovers something that Felix had been hiding from her and it major enough to ruin their chances at a relationship.

Overall, as always Sidney Bristol does a fantastic job with active setting and emotionally tying you to the characters. I found myself holding my breath at points because of stuff happening to the  secondary characters. I'm crossing my fingers at who the next couple is.  

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

ARC REVIEW Wolf Hunger by Paige Tyler

SWAT: Special Wolf Alpha Team series book 7 brings us the baby of the group Max Lowery. As the most recently  changed Max is still dealing with control issues. Max is lucky enough to find his One so early in his life, when he meets her and discovers that she too is a wolf shifter he feels even luckier until he realizes she doesn't even know that she is a shifter. Lana Mason felt a pull bring her home after graduation and she's glad she did after meeting Max; she feels an instant attraction with him and even though it's happening all so fast it doesn't scare her. For Lana the biggest issue they are having to face is her father's disapproval; Lana's Dad is one of Max's bosses, Deputy Chief Hal Mason. Max doesn't think it's going to be a problem they are destined to be together he's just going to have to deal with it, Max's main worry is that there seems to be a group of Hunters after Lana.

Lana is notified by Austin PD that her roommate was murdered, tortured first then executed. Max isn't worried about it too much at first until the Detective on the case tells him they found someone else who was murdered the same way, the guy in the picture the detective emailed Max is an Omega, that's when the warning bells start going off in his head. Lana isn't really taking it seriously, not knowing the full truth so Max tells her the truth, shows her he can shift. She is justifiably freaked out and upset. It isn't until she is chased around Downtown Dallas by these Hunters that she realizes he's right. But these Hunters are far more dangerous than they estimated and one of the team mates suffers for that miscalculation. 

The romance between Lana and Max (there initials are ML and LM, I thought that was cute) is pretty swift and easy until the whole I'm a werewolf thing. There is a good bit of build up for their relationship it's not just all sex. There is also a side story that has to deal with Max's character development and him dealing with his past and those emotions, it also shows the IA as not such an ahole. 

Overall, it was a great book I thoroughly enjoyed reading, I love the whole series, I can't wait until we finally get to the point where we find out who is behind the Hunters, and why the Omegas are changing into a more protective role. Paige Tyler has definitely weaved a great universe here, it's on going mystery of the Hunters and it's wonderful(ly hot) characters, memorable action, and fantastic romance. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

ARC REVIEW The Demon Crown by James Rollins

I can not tell you how excited I was to get approved for this ARC. Seriously I squealed, loudly and threw in a happy dance. Why was I so excited? I was so excited because I freakin love this series, Sigma Force is one of my absolute favorites. James Rollins is amazing when it comes to weaving a mystery that ties together history and science in an action packed, intelligent, and suspenseful story. I, for one, greatly appreciate all the research Mr. Rollins does for each of his stories, with the fiction so close to the non-fiction, it really makes the whole thing seem so real. The characters are so real to me, through the previous twelve books I have come to know each of the characters and I love them. I have been TeamSeichan from the beginning and this is a very heavy Gray/Seichan book but for a damn good reason. It's a very emotional book for them, I'm tearing up just thinking about it. Kat and Monk go out into the field together for their own little adventure, Kowalski and Maria are still together, although Maria is mentioned in the book she isn't actually in it.

There was a biological attack on the Hawaiian Islands, in the form of huge wasps. I know it sounds like a cheesy B-rated Sy-Fy channel movie but believe me it's so much better. Gray, Seichand, Kowalski, a local fireman named Palu, a entomologist Ken Matsui, and a Japanese Intelligence agent Aiko handle things on the front lines trying to stop and eliminate the threat of world domination by way of these insects and the madman behind it all. While Kat, Monk, the Librarian of Congress Elena Delgado, and the entomologist for the National Zoo Sam Bennett tackle how these prehistoric insects came to be and how it connects to James Smithson the founder of the Smithsonian and a giant chunk of amber that went missing during WWII. I'm not going to say to much on the actual story because I don't want to give to much away and the blurb for this book is actually really good.

Off the coast of Brazil, a team of scientists discovers a horror like no other, an island where all life has been eradicated, consumed and possessed by a species beyond imagination. Before they can report their discovery, a mysterious agency attacks the group, killing them all, save one, an entomologist, an expert on venomous creatures, Professor Ken Matsui from Cornell University. 
Strangest of all, this inexplicable threat traces back to a terrifying secret buried a century ago beneath the National Mall: a cache of bones preserved in amber. The artifact was hidden away by a cabal of scientists—led by Alexander Graham Bell—to protect humankind. But they dared not destroy it, for the object also holds an astonishing promise for the future: the very secret of life after death. 
Yet, nothing stays buried forever. An ancient horror—dormant in the marrow of those preserved bones—is free once more, nursed and developed into a weapon of incalculable strength and malignancy, ready to wreak havoc on an unsuspecting world. 
To stop its spread, Commander Grayson Pierce of Sigma Force must survive a direct attack on the island of Maui. To be there first has always been the core mission of Sigma Force, a covert team forged to be America’s front line against emerging threats. But this time, even Sigma may not be able to decipher this deadly mystery, one that traces back to the founding of the Smithsonian Institution. 
With each new discovery, the menace they hunt is changing, growing, spreading—adapting and surviving every attempt to stop it from reconquering a world it once ruled. And each transformation makes it stronger . . . and smarter. 
Running out of time and options, Commander Grayson Pierce will be forced to make an impossible choice. To eradicate this extinction-level threat and expose those involved, he will have to join forces with Sigma’s greatest enemy—the newly resurrected Guild—even it if means sacrificing one of his own.
Okay, I'll say it, Rollins is so much better than Crichton. Don't get me wrong Michael Crichton is in my top 15, Eaters of the Dead is one of my favorites and Sphere is creepy as hell, but the way Rollins adds all the intense action on top of the scientific and historic mystery just makes it all so heart-poundingly good. The way he comes at the mystery from two different paths makes a thrill ride; intelligent, emotional, daring and an inventive storyline and it all leads up to an explosive and heart stopping conculsion. I absolutely love his writing his active setting, his character development, his plot twists, I especially love at the back of the book where he reveals just how much of the book is truth and what's fiction. I can not wax poetically enough about this book or the series.         

Monday, December 4, 2017

ARC REVIEW So Over You by Kate Meader

So Over You is book two in Kate Meader's Chicago Rebels series. Three half sisters, daughters of a hockey legend, who must work together to keep the hockey team. According to the requirements in the will the Rebels must make the playoffs that year or be sold out to a conglomerate. For two of the sister it's their legacy, one the managerial role and the other a coaching role. Irresistible You, the first book, is about the oldest sister Harper Chase, she is bound and determined to make it to the playoff this year and keep her team. I wouldn't say this is a standalone, but it could be the events of the first book have only a minor impact of this story but most of the emotional development between the sister happens in the first one. Isobel was the apple of her father's eye she was born to continue on his legacy on the ice and Isobel wanted nothing more than to be the best on the ice. Until her dreams came to an end after an accident now she just wants to coach. Vadim has to redeem himself after a knee injury but first he has to get back on the ice only one thing is standing in his way, the only woman who has ever mattered to him and the same one whose father blackballed him from the NHL.

To prove herself Isobel is assigned to privately coach Vadim so he can get back into skating form. Vadim thinks it's a bad idea not because she's a woman but he doesn't trust himself around her and Isobel can afford to have gossip that she's sleeping with players tied to her name especially if she wants the head coaching job. Isobel thinks she can handle coaching Vadim even if he still makes her feel all a flutter but after the one and only one time they were together left her wanting she didn't think they were compatible. Once Vadim finds this out he makes a point to prove to her that they are, over and over again. 

Their sexual attraction isn't the problem between one particularly cruel player on the team, Vadim's little sister and his mother, and the big one Isobel has the chance to play for the gold again. She was asked to audition for the NCAA, she told no one but Vadim expecting him to be excited for her only to get the opposite reaction. This is her last chance to achieve her dream and as much of a bastard her father was and even though he's dead she still feels like she's disappointing him by not playing hockey. Vadim and Isobel have a bunch of issues to work out before they can achieve their HEA.

Overall, I loved this one. Vadim be still my heart that smokin' hot Russian is not only great with kids but once he realizes he left Isobel wanting he sees his way into her heart again. There is a lot of personal growth in this book as with the first one and as always Kate Meader is exceptional with it and the sex is so freakin' hot. I very much recommend anything she written.    

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

ARC REVIEW Darkness at the Edge of Town by Jennifer Harlow

Book Two of Jennifer Harlow's Iris Ballard thriller series. It picks up a couple months after the events of the first book, Iris has achieved some fame and fortune and even hopefully a spot as a consultant for CNN. She's even signed a book deal to tell her story but before she can settle back down at home and start writing her book she gets a frantic call from her Mother saying her brother is missing. The past internal problems Iris faced in Beautiful Maids All in a Row for the most part have been handled, she no longer drinks and has stopped abusing prescription drugs, but she still dealing with the death of her husband especially now that she is looking at Luke as someone who is more than a friend. Now she's dealing with a whole new/not so new batch of internal and external conflict in the form of her mother. Then there is the whole issue with her brother being suckered in by a con artist and his cult. 

Mathias Morning and his New Morning Movement say all the right things the cater to the people who are at their weakest, recovering addicts who want someone else to blame for their decisions. After his fiancee miscarried, Iris' twin Billy was at his weakest and after he cleaned out their joint bank account and disappeared Iris knew nothing good was going ot come of it especailly the deeper she dug. While this is the main storyline of the book Iris family drama almost overshadows it, it does play a big part her interaction with her brother and mother and their past histories and in turn how Mathias is able to manipulate them because of it. Luke is seriously Iris' rock, he is there when she needs him and reminds her of her self worth and he just awesome. 

Overall, this was a really good read. The internal conflict is even more important to the story than with the first one the family dynamics and all the past drama finally comes out with some revelations and closure. I really enjoyed  how the story played out, it was a slow build up but a good one.   

Monday, November 27, 2017

ARC REVIEW Totally His by Erin Nicholas

Totally His is the third book in Erin Nicholas' Opposites Attract series, and it is probably my favorite out of the three. Never mind that I am a reformed theatre junkie I just really liked everything about this book. And I'm hoping with Finn Kelly's huge family we get a spin off, hint hint nudge nudge wink wink.

Sophie was raised by a manipulative father, he would seduce woman and charm them into marriage and when the charm stopped working or he just got tired of them he took his Sophie and left and went on the look out for the next ex-Mrs. Birch. The times when Sophie didn't have a mother she would often live in the car. This made Sophie very jaded toward men, she also longed for a big family with open arms and unconditional love. That is the Kelly family, a big Irish bunch who argue and meddle and love unconditionally, Sophie already loves Angie Kelly, she met Angie at her playhouse and they fell into a very easy friendship. Angie also understood Sophie's need to stay out of her family life, after all with a father like her's she couldn't take the risk that he would show up and ruin it all for her.

Finn is a fixer, he likes to help out when he can, he also has a bit of a hero complex which is a good thing he became a cop. When his Mom's favorite playhouse catches on fire, one he was on the scene for and had to physically remove a woman from the theatre, he feels it's only right for him and his buddy's help out with the repairs. Finn is pleasantly surprised when he finds out that the woman he had to pull out the theatre is the Sophie his mother has been talking about. Even though he promised his mother he would go after Sophie he can't help but flirt with her and feel jealous when any of the other guys flirt with her. They decide an easy way for them to raise money to repair the playhouse is to put on a play with the firefighters and policemen. Lucky for them Angie just happens to have one ready, one based on how she fell in love with her husband and the troubles that arose when they did. Finn and Sophie are cast as the leads. The sexual chemistry between Finn and Sophie goes deeper than just that they feel comfortable around each other and Sophie shares more with him than she's ever shared with anyone else before.

Just when Sophie starts to feel comfortable around the Kelly family her father introduces himself to the family as well. Sophie tries to warn Angie and Finn not to let him in but they do and trying to convince Finn that her father can not be fixed is the one thing that just might tear them apart. Overall, it was a really good read, I loved the characters and especially Angie. It was an emotionally charged story and the chemistry between Finn and Sophie was so perfect.