Tuesday, May 22, 2018

ARC REVIEW The Only Thing by Marie Harte

The Only Thing (Donnigans, #3)Donnigan's #3, All part of the big universe of that is the McCauley Brothers and the Body Shop Bad Boys, The Donnigan's are cousins to the McCauley's; now the nice thing is that each book can be read as a standalone. So even though this is a nice big family affair with lots of characters even if you miss one book you'll hate yourself for missing it not because it was imperative to read it just the fact that you missed out on Gavin's HEA aggravates me! Silly me can't keep track of all these books. So yeah I haven't read Just the Thing but that's nothing a little one-click can't fix. This book focus' on Hope Donnigan and JT Webster. Hope is the only girl of the Donnigans and her mother is harder on her than the boys, Hope hasn't decided what she wants to do with her life she hasn't found her place yet so she keeps going from job to job. Unfortunately her mother doesn't see it as that and is constantly pushing her hard for what she thinks is right for Hope including trying to set her up on dates. JT may be the son of a great mechanic but he never wanted to be one himself, thankfully his Dad was supportive of him and now JT has his own successful tattoo parlor.

Hope has had enough of her Mother trying to boss her around and telling her what she should do with her life especially since she got it in her head that Hope needs to date well off men so she can be financially secure. Hope finally blurts out she has been dating someone and that he's completely inappropriate. Unfortunately the guy she's thinking about when she says all this is JT and she know half of what she said isn't true she just wanted to rile up her mom. JT agrees to the fake relationship because one he's a nice guy and two it gives a reason to hang around the woman he's been crushing over since his sister's wedding. The beautiful thing about this "Fake" relationship is that it happened because they were both attracted to each other and no matter how much they protested that it was fake nobody believed them. Their fake relationship is probably one of the best relationships I've read.

On top of the fake relationship Hope has a secret admirer and one that has been growing increasingly violent. Never attacking her but those around her that show her interest. JT ends up in the hospital after getting beaten up. Everyone is on high alert trying to find out who is behind it. Overall, between the stalker, Hope's problems with her mom, and the fake relationship this was a great read. Hope is a little hard to take sometimes especially when she's around her mother. What makes this fake relationship trope so much better than others is that there was genuine affection between them to start and attraction that lead to friendship, and finally love and the harder they fought it the funnier it gets and the deeper the feelings become, it's such a fun read. I kinda hope JT tattoo parlor gets its own spin-off.      

ARC REVIEW Her Last Word by Mary Burton

Her Last WordHer Last Word is a standalone romantic suspense and psychological thriller. Different from Burton’s other Romantic Suspense Her Last Word follows a slightly different formula. You have the main present day storyline interceded with short “Interview Files” that fills in the blanks further on what happened fourteen years ago. I loved how she did this, the interview files at times has a foreshadowing quality sometimes not as ominous just a clue as to who they will be talking to next and what their part was in the original case. This is more suspense/thriller than romance, it’s not until close to the end that the main characters get together, which I also liked because they spend most of the time focusing on the case and not their feelings for one another. The sexual chemistry does exist it’s quite amusing how many times someone else mentions the obvious attraction between them and when they finally do give in it’s pretty hot.

Gina Mason was a girl everyone liked until one night she disappeared. The only witness to the kidnapping was her younger cousin, Kaitlin Roe. Fourteen years later Gina still hasn’t been found and Kaitlin has returned to bring this cold case back to life. Kaitlin plans to do a podcast and bring focus back to Gina and see if maybe after all these years someone, somewhere has a clue to what happened. But soon after Kaitlin starts one of Gina’s best friends is murdered and Detective John Adler doesn’t think it’s a coincidence. Kaitlin not going to stop digging into her cousin’s disappearance even if it puts her into the cross hairs of a killer. Adler is determined to solve both cases and keep Kaitlin safe.

Overall, it’s an outstanding story. The characters are well written, aside from Kaitlin and Adler who are fantastic characters, Logan and Quinn were a nice addition to the story. Quinn’s unfavorable look on Kaitlin was a nice contrast to Adler’s unwavering belief in Kaitlin. Kaitlin and Adler are similar in their tenacity and while Adler may want to protect her he doesn’t treat Kaitlin like she’s inept. Kaitlin is no damsel in distress she is perfectly capable to handle herself and she doesn’t run off doing stupid things without thinking it through, after what happened to Gina she’s paranoid. All in all I loved this book.   

My review can also be found here: Ramblings From This Chick

ARC REVIEW Dangerous in Charge by Sidney Bristol

Dangerous in Charge (Aegis Group Alpha Team Book 5)
Aegis Group Alpha Team #5, Team Leader Kyle Martin finally gets his HEA. I can not tell you how much I enjoy it when Sidney Bristol writes serial killers. You are guaranteed a thrill ride, her active setting just brings everything to life, the action scenes are intense, the romance hot, and the bad guy is evil to last drop. Kyle Martin and Bethany Rossi have known each other for a year in a strictly professional manner, Bethany was his father's caregiver and for her to last that long with his verbally and sometime physically abusive father showed Kyle just how strong a person she is and Bethany almost quit  right of the back but she saw how Kyle was going through the same crap she just went through and she figured in her mind no matter how bad it got Kyle wouldn't abandon his father and she couldn't let him go through all that alone so she stayed. They formed their own friendship that centered around Kyle's father but now that his Dad is dead there is no real reason for them to see each other anymore.

Beth has a few things in common with her roommates, one they are all in the medical profession and two they have all cut themselves from their family for reasons of their own. Bethany cut herself off from her family when they picked her abusive fiance over her. After some really bad dates Bethany decided to not date for a year, to get to know who she is and what she really wants out of a relationship, she's half way through that year when Kyle's Dad dies. Megan, one of Bethany's roommates, goes missing and the only person she can think to ask for help is Kyle; from what his father told her about his job she knows he finds people. The police said it's to early but she knows something is wrong, Kyle who is on bereavement leave and is looking for something to keep him busy and keep his mind off of his dad and because it's Beth asking he readily agrees to help. After tracking down Megan's parents they discover that Megan has been more than likely kidnapped by a serial killer who has been active for the last thirty years and never caught, never even come close to catching. Not just that but this particular killer hunts in groups of three and Bethany and her other roommate Faith are targets too.

Kyle and Bethany get pretty hot and heavy but neither of them think they are in a good place to start a relationship. Bethany still has six months on her self imposed no dating year and Kyle thinks he's to broken for her. With the Triple Threat Killer still on the loose emotions are running hot and tempers are flaring and things just keep getting worse and worse for Bethany and her roommates. Overall, this was an outstanding read. The emotional rollercoaster between Kyle and Beth gets little tiresome at the end and she does something stupid but with how screwed up everything was at that point she wasn't thinking straight and it worked with the story, but I still had that knee jerk reaction of, "really, you going to be that stupid?" other than that I loved the book and it had a great ending.   

Friday, May 18, 2018

ARC REVIEW Dean: Shifters of SoHo by J.S. Striker

Shifters of SoHo #4, Dean, the lion shifter guardian of the portal, well his life just became way more complicated dealing with bounty hunters who focus on shifters to steal their hides and other rare items and sell them to human collectors. Dean was given the task of taking down the shifter slavery ring and bring the shifters who are involved to justice. Indigo, hag and owner of a marketplace bar, well her life also just became way more complicated than she ever thought it could when Dean shows up at her doorstep beaten and bloodied and needing to be healed. Dean found out all her secrets and using that a leverage he gets her co-operation to help in his task. I don't know if I would recommend reading this as a standalone but it can be if needed all pertinent information from the other books is gone over.
Dean and Indigo's relationship doesn't start off well, in fact they hated each other. Indigo is friends with Cassidy a human who served time as a messenger for the Shifter elders and Dean and all Indigo saw of Dean was the broody bossy alpha male. Dean only saw the snarky, rude, and while he found her attractive and beautiful for a hag that was one reason he tries to avoid her. Once they start working together they start to see another part of each other all the good parts, Indigo isn't your typical hag and Dean isn't all mean and broody and it isn't long before they fall in love with each other. Together they track down the shifter slavery ring and infiltrate it but the shifters involved are devious and have on their payroll Black Witches. Indigo must overcome past fears and Dean must face the harsh reality that someone from his pack is behind it all. 

Overall, this was a great read. I loved the characters and the story, the romance was nice (mmmm Dean) they do get pretty hot and heavy but that nothing unusual for this author. There were things I wish she had gone into more detail about like shifting the POV to one of the other characters as they are doing their part of the story instead of just glossing over it other than that this was a great read.    

Thursday, May 17, 2018

ARC REVIEW All's Fair in Love and Wolf by Terry Spear

Heart of the Wolf #25, Silver Town Wolf #8, Followers of the series Sarandon finally gets his book, newbies don't worry it can be read as a standalone. Terry Spear has created a giant PNR universe with her Heart of the Wolf series with several spinoffs, or subseries (a series within a series) whatever you call it Silver Town is probably my favorite. Silver Town, Colorado is a shifter town owned and run completely by shifters, the Silver Pack with several other packs on the outskirts. 

Jenna St. James, fugitive recovery agent, didn't know what she was walking into when she took what was suppose to be an easy recovery of an identity thief but her easy job got screwed when she realized Sarandon was a wolf shifter. Not just a wolf shifter but a shifter with a whole pack to back him up. Jenna never being part of a pack before never realized the extent they would go to protect one of their own. Even with the whole pack behind him Jenna is still hesitant to believe and if he is telling the truth that means the real culprit is still out there and her mom is going to be out way too much money. When they have finally proven without a doubt that Sarandon is not the man she's looking for the Silver pack goes all out to help her find the real criminal and the fact that he looks enough like Sarandon to be confused with him doesn't go unnoticed. 

Sarandon has more than one reason to work with Jenna to find the real criminal, the attraction was there from the beginning even when she was holding the rifle on him and it was mutual. Jenna was relieved when Sarandon was proven innocent because that meant she could stop feeling guilty for being attracted to a bounty. The attraction and the romance was the easy part the hard part is figuring out how they are going to fit into each other's lives with Jenna working out of Colorado Springs and Sarandon's tour company in Silver Town. I say it with every review I do for this series but I really do love that they don't have sex until they are positive they want each other for mates; they can do everything but that and it really does feed the sexual chemistry between the two and it shows their devotion to each other. These two really have some great chemistry. 

Overall, this was such a great read. I loved the whole mistaken identity/identity theft thing and where that whole story went, it went so much deeper than you expect it to and that was nice. Jenna is one of three sisters so I'm hoping to see them in upcoming books (fingers crossed).         

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

ARC REVIEW A Duke Like No Other by Valerie Bowman

Playful Brides #9, Don't let that ninth book in the series scare you off it can be read as a stand alone, I have only read one other book in the series and even with mentioning past characters it didn't have any precedence over the current story. This is a second chance romance between Mark Grimaldi and Nicole Huntington Grimaldi. It was love at first sight for Mark and Nicole that lead to a quick and small wedding, but even before the honeymoon was over they argued and Nicole ran off. It's been ten years of trying for get each other, ten years of Nicole telling herself she no longer loved Mark and half expecting to receive a letter telling her he died in the war. Mark doing everything in his power to forget Nicole focusing on his career and now finally Mark is in line for a promotion, the position he's been aiming for his whole military career, but he needs his wife at his side. Nicole is tired of being lonely so when Mark shows up out of the blue asking her to be his wife again so he can get his promotion the only thing she wants in return is a baby. 
Mark was just a soldier when he met Nicole and it surprised them both when her Mother and Grandmother approved the match. It wasn't until after the wedding that he found out that they knew the identity of his grandfather. Mark's mother was the daughter of a Duke but was disowned when she married an Italian man for love. Mark grew up hating that side of the family and wanted no connection to them at all. When found out that Nicole knew of this and that was the only reason she was allowed to marry him he assumed she just married him for the possibility of one day being a Duchess and not because she loved him. Mark never stopped loving her even when he just thought she was after his non-existent title and bringing her back into his life makes him question whether he'll be able to let her go again. Nicole never stopped loving Mark but ten years is a long time and the whole miscommunication thing going on between them that started all those years ago is still a big issue. When Mark's cousin dies suddenly he finds himself the first in line to inherit the Dukedom. Mark is put in charge of finding out who murdered his cousin but asks that everyone keep it quiet that he's the next in line mostly to draw out the murder and also because he doesn't want his new title to influence the higher ups about his promotion. 

Overall, the murder mystery bit was great that was my favorite part of the book; the romance on the other hand got aggravating, all the assuming and not communicating with each other makes me want to bang my head on the desk, all the sexy bits were good...hot, very nice indeed. I can understand the miscommunication when they were younger but after all his time as a spy and working for the Home Office during war time he should know how important communication is and not just speculating something but finding out the truth but he can't do that with his own wife? Nicole overreacted and then was too stubborn to go back home. But despite their inability to talk to each other and listen i really enjoyed the book.        

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

ARC REVIEW DC Universe Rebirth Wonder Woman vol 5 Heart of the Amazon

Wonder Woman

vol 5 Heart of the Amazon

DC Universe Rebirth


Story by Shea Fontana, Tim Seeley, Vita Ayala, Michael Moreci, 

Collin Kelly, and Jackson Landing

Art by Mirka Andolfo, David Messina, Inaki Miranda, Christian Duce, Claire Roe,

Stephanie Hans, David LaFuente, and Jenny Frison (variant cover art collection)

Story: Heart of the Amazon is a five part story written by Shea Fontana. Diana is faced with a moral dilemma; if her Amazonian blood can cure millions of people who have cancer and other diseases shouldn't she give her blood for the cure but the weaponization of her blood becomes all to apparent when a colleague falls ill and steals her blood and makes herself just as strong as Diana. Then a supposed top secret government agency tries to trick Diana into giving her blood to cure the sick but in actuality it's nothing so altruistic. The Annual is a collection of short stand alone stories that showcase some of the best parts of Wonder Woman; her sense of justice even for criminals, honor even when it hurts, and selflessness toward others even monsters. Steve Trevor's story is about another paradise found and lost for its own protection, but the story isn't over yet.

Art: It was real hit or miss for me, for the most part I enjoyed it. Mirka Andolfo and David Messina both worked the main story arc Heart of the Amazon. It has nice clean lines great action sequences and love Romulo Fajardo Jr colors. Steve Trevor #1 I liked, I like that depiction of Steve looking slightly older and more rugged, Christian Duce did well with the whole story it really brought it to life. The Annual, ehh, In Defense of Truth and Justice was very rough, hard lines, dark shadows the colors were muted, overly detailed in some areas but not others; not my favorite. The Curse and Honor had some beautiful details soft clean lines the colors fit the story. The Last Kaiju was not my favorite I'm just not a fan of that style. I love Jenny Frison cover art her Wonder Woman always looks like a mix between Jennifer Connelly and Megan Fox, classic beauty with sex appeal. 

Review: The Heart of the Amazon  had a good story, the idea was there but I don't think it was as good as it could have been. It seemed rushed and the flashbacks to Diana's childhood was a nice touch but I didn't enjoy them. The first arc after the departure of Greg Rucka has me wishing he didn't leave. The annuals were nice filler and Steve Trevor's was probably my favorite out of the whole thing. Between Steve's story and the art work I'm looking forward more to that than anything else.