logo
Currently Browsing: Rating A
Jul
5

Review: Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine

Review: Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine Paper and Fire Author: Rachel Caine Reviewers: Gikany and Una Rating: A/A- What We’re Talking About: Gikany and Una have really enjoyed this new series, The Great Library.  The first novel, Ink and Bone, was a captivating and thrilling page-turner.  Paper and Fire ramps it up even more, with an unexpected twist at the end. As with our review of Ink and Bone, it is very difficult for us to do our normal discussion type review.  From the beginning of Paper and Fire, the plot begins to twist and turn, revealing some truths while hinting at other plots.  It would be far too easy to spoil this novel.  So we apologize for this terse and vague review. Jess continues to be the central character.  We follow him in the new chapter of his life as part of the Library.  As a bottom-rung cadet, he has very little power, but if the Library thinks they can control him, they are very wrong.  Jess continues to seek answers, find out the truth of his friends, and search for a way to change the brutal dictatorial nature of the library.  Although he never is completely sure whom he can trust, Jess knows he will never be able to free Morgan without help. This series continues to mesmerize us.  Although it can be argued whether this is a young adult series or fantasy, there are topics that are strictly for the more mature reader: torture, rape, and war.  The nefarious plots of the different factions all weave around each other, and all seem to be against Jess.  It is overwhelmingly and incredibly addicting.  We especially enjoyed the painfully clear depiction that no matter how gilded the cage is, it is still a prison. The end came as quite a surprise to us as the novel goes in a completely unexpected direction.  But it is one that makes sense and holds an intriguing possibility.  We eagerly look forward to the next book in this series.  If you haven’t picked it up yet, you are seriously missing out on a well crafted, addicting, and suspenseful world. Our Rating: A/A-  Enjoyed A Lot About the Book: With an iron fist, The Great Library controls the knowledge of the world, ruthlessly stamping out all rebellion, forbidding the personal ownership of books in the name of the greater good. Jess Brightwell has survived his introduction to the sinister, seductive world of the Library, but serving in its army is...
Read More
Jul
5

Quickie Review: Once Upon a Moonlit Night by Elizabeth Hoyt

Quickie Review: Once Upon a Moonlit Night by Elizabeth Hoyt Once Upon a Moonlit Night Author: Elizabeth Hoyt Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: A- What I’m Talking About: This enjoyable little novella shares the story of Hippolyta Royle, the most eligible bachelorette in all of London, who was kidnapped by the dastardly Duke of Montgomery in the previous full-length Maiden Lane title, Duke of Sin. Having escaped her imprisonment, she flagged down the carriage of Matthew Mortimer, Earl of Paxton, begging for assistance in her return to London. Meanwhile, Matthew hardly believes the story the smelly, beggar maid weaves, claiming to be a lady of society. Yet, despite his beliefs, he can’t help but be drawn to this exotic beauty. I absolutely adored Hippolyta and Matthew’s story. Short and sweet, they followed their hearts despite what society dictates. One needn’t have read any books in the series to fully enjoy Once Upon a Moonlit Night. The standalone story may be short, but it’s full of passion and humor. I love that the pair discovered their attraction and desires prior to being discovered, and that they dealt with issues as a couple. Once Upon a Moonlit Night is a wonderful standalone love story and a perfect introduction to Ms. Hoyt’s Maiden Lane series. I loved watching Hippolyta and Matthew fall for one another, and the entire story is a delightful afternoon read. My Rating:  A- Enjoyed A Lot About the Book: Hippolyta Royle is running for her life. Pursued by hounds on a cold rainy night, the heiress flags down a passing carriage and throws herself at the mercy of the coach’s occupant. Whoever this handsome traveler may be, he is her only hope to escape a terrible fate. But should he agree to escort her to safety, he’s in for much more than he bargained for. At first Matthew Mortimer doesn’t believe Hippolyta’s story, that she’s a fabulously wealthy heiress who’s been kidnapped. He assumes she’s a beggar, an actress, or worse. But once his new travel companion washes the mud from her surprisingly lovely face, and they share a breathtaking kiss, there is no turning back. Release Date: July 2, 2016 Publisher: Forever Yours Series: Maiden Lane #10.5 Genre: Historical Romance, novella Format(s): e-book, audiobook Book Source: NetGalley Purchase Info: Amazon Reviews in the Series: Duke of Sin by Elizabeth Hoyt (Maiden Lane...
Read More
Jul
1

Review: Sweet Little Lies by Jill Shalvis

Review: Sweet Little Lies by Jill Shalvis Sweet Little Lies Author: Jill Shalvis Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: A- What I’m Talking About: Having recently moved into her new digs and spending time with the locals at O’Riley’s Bar, Pru Harris realizes she’s got a big thing for Finn, one of the bar’s owners. However, Pru has a huge secret that could put an end to her new friends and comfortable life. Finn O’Riley is married to his job and keeping his younger brother, Sean, on the straight-and-narrow. But when Pru breezes into his bar, he realizes he is missing something in his life, something that only Pru can fill. Okay, I’ll say right from the start… Generally, I don’t enjoy the “keeping a big secret” trope. I think because it stresses me out, knowing that eventually the secret will come out and feelings will be hurt. It’s predictable and therefore, not always good storytelling. With that said, I absolutely adored Sweet Little Lies. Ms. Shalvis was able to take a standard story and give it both character and heart. I fell hard for Finn and Pru, so when things went predictably south, rather than rolling my eyes, my heart broke along side theirs. Finn and Pru both have tragic back stories, each dealing with it in his/her own way. Finn takes control through buying a bar and making a life for his brother and himself. Pru finds happiness in assuaging her guilt through helping those her family hurt. It’s almost like two sides of the same coin, so when they connect, they fit perfectly. And both are such likable characters; neither feels wallows in pity over their circumstances, rather each embraces happiness and joy. In the romance department, sparks fly when the pair connect. I love that there is no drawn out courtship or silly games. Their mutual attraction is sweet and extremely sexy. I also enjoyed each of the side characters. Ms. Shalvis created a world in which I want to live and play. The friendships are tight and fun. The neighborhood is quirky and quaint. The author establishes a strong base for the series and future stories. I’m ready to move in. The one big issue I had with the book was the inconsistency of Pru’s sobriety. Early on in the book, it was established that Pru does not drink alcohol, and she has a very compelling reason. Yet later on, Pru had beer at a baseball game, and possibly had drinks on a couple...
Read More
Jun
28

Review: Addicted by Elle Kennedy

Review: Addicted by Elle Kennedy Addicted Author: Elle Kennedy Reviewer: VampBard Rating: A What I’m Talking About: If you love dystopian stories, but want the romance element a little more *ahem* adult—and smokin’ hot—, Elle Kennedy’s Outlaws series should be on your reader radar. In Addicted, we get a phenomenal friends-to-lovers story that runs us through a multitude of emotions and is a gripping story I couldn’t put down. Okay. I had to pace myself, because I actually had stuff to accomplish. While it isn’t totally necessary to read the first title in the series, Claimed, I’d recommend it. It’s a good story, and after reading for a few minutes, all the great characterization and world building came back to me—along with all the feels. I also remembered what I really liked about this universe: the ‘free love’ feel. I was a child in the ‘70s, and a teen in the ‘80s. I was probably born in the wrong decade. I was drawn to the Outlaws’ way of life from the first time I cracked open the first book of the series. Addicted continues my fascination. They’re highly sexual characters, and—for me—there’s nothing wrong with that. If you’re not into multiple pairings (m/f/m, f/f/m, etc… Oh! And there’s a little m/m stuff, too), this might not be a title for you. The secondary plot line in Addicted was…complex. The over-arching storyline for the series hit a few bumps in this title. It made me think, and by the time we reached the reveal, I hadn’t figured out what the big deal was, and why it had to be a secret. As for the secondary characters, we saw a lot of Rylan and Reese. And Beckett. Yeah. I am intrigued by Beckett. Xander, too. I have this intense need to know more about them. Sloane, Reese’s ‘shadow’? What’s up with him? I think most of these characters built the intrigue surrounding the safety—and sanctity—of Foxworth, Reese’s little settlement. There’s also a couple deaths that take place in Addicted that ripped my heart out. There’s not just sex in Addicted, though. We get to see relationships building between different groups of people, different types of people. These Outlaws seem to have a code of their own, and they follow it. There’s action/adventure-y stuff going on, too. Fighting. Killing. Really, this title is actually several sub genres, and was difficult for me to categorize. On Amazon, it’s in post-apocalyptic, romantic suspense, and contemporary(?!). Oh, and did I...
Read More
Jun
22

Review: Beauty and the Highland Beast by Lecia Cornwall

Review: Beauty and the Highland Beast by Lecia Cornwall Beauty and the Highland Beast Author: Lecia Cornwall Reviewer: Una & Vampbard Rating: A What We’re Talking About: A special treat for TWITA fans, a joint review from Una and Vampbard (VB)! Una picked up Beauty and the Highland Beast, simply because Beauty and the Beast is one of her favorite fairy tales.  That it is in a highland setting – win-win (one word: kilts)!  Though she didn’t know what to expect, she was pleasantly surprised by how gripping and compelling this novel was. She thoroughly enjoyed it.  The setting is fascinating; the fairy tale is woven within the story in such a way as to be a subtle thread. She really felt it was not overdone but an enhancement to the story of Fia and Dair. Their romance and the turmoil their find themselves in was nail-bitingly suspenseful. VB was pretty geeked about reading Beauty and the Highland Beast as well. A Beauty and the Beast retelling plus Scots in kilts? What’s not to love! She agrees with Una—the BatB plotline was a subtle undercurrent to the story. By the time she got to the end, she felt like it was more inspiration rather than a retelling. One of the things for VB that stood out was the great way the families were highlighted. It’s not unusual for the time period to have great and extended family living as a unit. The Sinclair clan were the ones we got to see the most, because the story took place in their castle, on their lands. Historically, there were midwives and many times they were associated with witchcraft. Celebrating Pagan holidays and rites was done behind closed doors after some of the clans introduced Christianity. Kudos to Ms. Cornwall for getting the historical elements important to VB correct. Another thing—the description. *swoons* It wasn’t overdone, it kept readers in the story, and it seemed to be exactly the right amount at the right time. The pacing was excellent. Oh. Gaelic. YUMMY! Una agrees!  Though what helped was that the language as written didn’t overly emphasize the Scottish accent (which can slow down the story and get rather annoying).  It was used appropriately to reinforce the background and keep us immersed in the setting.  There is nothing worse than getting bogged down in translating accents (or maybe that is just me since I pronounce stuff wrong all the time…).  Though due to the historical period some things were foreshadowed and certain...
Read More
Jun
21

Review: Death and Relaxation by Devon Monk

Review: Death and Relaxation by Devon Monk Death and Relaxation Author: Devon Monk Reviewers: Gikany and Una Rating: A What We’re Talking About: Death and Relaxation is a new urban fantasy series from Devon Monk.  It has down-to-earth characters, humor, mystery, and action with a splash of romance.  What’s not to like? This is a fascinating world with a mix of mythologies.  In the small town of Ordinary, Oregon, gods and monsters secretly mix with mortals.  The mortal Police Chief, Delaney Reed, is in on the secrets since it’s her job to police both groups while keeping mortals unaware.  Although the monsters live as part of the community, the gods are only there for a vacation.  However, a vacation for a god can last decades.  There is so much to this world and we’ve only been given a taste. Gikany and Una really enjoyed this first glimpse into the world of Ordinary Magic.  Although some of the themes can be quite heavy, the humor and banter lighten it up.  You don’t want to miss the Rhubarb Concoctions judging scene (it is hilariously funny). We laughed out loud many times while reading this novel and we found it difficult to put down.  Death and Relaxation was a quick read since we were equally engrossed in both the detective drama and in Delany’s love life.  Delany shares a rich camaraderie with both her family and with the gods and monsters of the town. Although there is some foreshadowing, the ending has a few surprises.  Delany may not have been able to connect all the pieces as quickly as we did, but considering how full her plate is, and how new she is to the job, it was understandable.  Her humanity was a refreshing contrast to the paranormal backdrop.  The mystery of the murder and its ramifications are resolved at the end, but we are left with some interesting questions about Ryder.  We also cannot wait to see how Death enjoys his vacation and want to learn more about the mythology of the individual monsters.  This series has staggering potential. Death and Relaxation is a strong start to what could be a quirkily fun and fascinating new series.  We loved the world that Ms. Monk has created: one that is rich in nuances and is bursting with humor.  Gikany and Una look forward to the next novel in this series, Devils and Details due out in July of this year. Our Rating:  A, Loved It About the Book: Police...
Read More
Jun
20

Review: Beg For It by Megan Hart

Review: Beg For It by Megan Hart Beg For It Author: Megan Hart Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: A- What I’m Talking About: I haven’t read a lot of Megan Hart’s work, but each time I do, I get caught up in her powerful characters and storylines, and Beg For It is no different. I was immediately drawn in to Corinne and Reese’s worlds and needed to know what happened in their past that pulled them apart. Corinna’s sadness at recalling her lost love pulled at my heart and won me over right from the start. I needed her to find love as if my own life depended on it. The characters were so compelling that I practically raced through the book to see what would happen to them. Beg For It is shared in alternating POVs between Corinne and Reese, but also between present day and before. At first I found the before jarring because rather than being told via flashbacks, the story switches from past tense in present day to present tense in the past. The first few times, the change in verb tense broke the flow of the storytelling and yanked me out of the story. However, as I became more invested in the characters, the shift between now and then and back became more seamless. Watching the past play out along side the present as more than a flashback became vital to the unfolding of Corinne and Reese’s story. While I was captivated by the romantic elements of their journey, I also enjoyed the passionate eroticism and exploration of sexual roles shared between Corinne and Reese. Their story is filled with an extremely intense sexual awakening and a healthy look at exploring one’s own desire and kink. It’s a beautiful thing when two people’s kinks match up so perfectly, but I also love that the pair communicates about needs and wants. Beg For It isn’t just a “finding lost love again” romance; it is also a journey of self-discovery and acceptance. The parallels between the before and current day are a guide in hopes that history can change. Seeing what was once, how both had changed over time, and then hoping for what could be, created a compelling story that I found difficult to put down. I became complete invested and involved with Corinne and Reese. Beg For It is a wonderful erotic romance journey. My Rating:  A- Enjoyed It A Lot About the Book: He’s gonna have to beg for it… Corinne...
Read More
Jun
16

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Steel’s Edge by Ilona Andrews

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Steel’s Edge by Ilona Andrews Welcome to my weekly feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to… Audiobook review: Steel’s Edge Author: Ilona Andrews Narrator: Renée Raudman Audio Speed: 1.25x Series: The Edge #4 Genre: Urban Fantasy Romance Source: Purchased Steel’s Edge centers around Richard Mar (introduced in book two), brother of Kaldar. Richard has been around the block, and his life hasn’t been very easy. He doesn’t necessary fit in with his family, so he’s found meaning in tracking down and destroying the illegal slave industry, which was responsible for the torture of his younger cousin Sophie. Stumbling into the Edge after being fatally wounded, he’s fortunate that Charlotte de Ney, a powerful healer, finds and saves him. Charlotte is a noble blue blood from Adrianglia who moved to the Edge after a devastating betrayal left her worried about the dark magic within her. Luckily, Charlotte was taken in by Eleonore Drayton: Rose, George, and Jack’s grandmother. After three years, Charlotte has been accepted by the Edgers and lives a quiet life. But when Richard Mar crashes into her life, everything changes. Now Charlotte is compelled to join Richard on his dangerous quest. As the final book in Ilona Andrew’s wonderful Edge series, Steel’s Edge takes readers on an exciting journey and gives closure to some long running storylines without losing site of the book’s central storyline. Richard and Charlotte’s crusade against the slavers is action-packed, edgy, and thrilling. The execution of the ultimate plan kept me glued to the proverbial pages of the book. The entire plot was well-thought out and masterfully executed. My heart was racing at times. But wait… there’s more! I adored Charlotte and Richard’s romance. They are two damaged individuals that don’t have to hide their true natures from one another. Their attraction is strong, but their love for and acceptance of the other is what makes their romance so engaging. I loved where their story ended; it was fitting for their journey. Steel’s Edge also tackles a couple storylines that have run throughout the series. The first is that of John Drayton, father of Rose, George, and Jack. He abandoned his children to find fortune and treasure after their mother died. The second is that of Spider and The Hand, the longtime nemesis of the Mar family. While neither storyline takes up much page space, the authors do great justice to both. Once again Renee Raudman works her magic with the story, bringing to life these characters. She adds just the right...
Read More
Jun
15

Review: Dr. DOA by Simon R. Green

Review: Dr. DOA by Simon R. Green Dr. DOA Author: Simon R. Green Reviewers: Gikany and Una Rating: A/A- What We’re Talking About: Gikany and Una love the Secret Histories series.  It is a fun, tongue-in-cheek, urban fantasy take on James Bond.  We love that no matter how grueling or arduous a mission is, Eddie always finds a way to overcome and triumph. First, let us say we continue to love the characters, the fascinating world, and the witty banter that are key elements in this series.  Eddie and Molly’s verbal volleys (along with their adventures) are gripping, humorous, and all around great fun.  No matter what mystery or mission is thrown at them, by the end they always triumph.  Although there may be overarching minor plot lines, the major plot of each novel is resolved at the end.  Until this one.  Dr. DOA ends with a massive cliffhanger.  So a word of warning to those that can’t stand them, wait until the next book comes out. This novel was incredibly gripping and filled with emotional turmoil.  Eddie is faced with his own mortality, and it is incredibly difficult as Eddie deals with it.  The tension that develops between Molly and Eddie, since she is desperate to save him at any cost, along with Eddie’s turmoil as he is forced to deal with the choice between keeping a personal vow or protecting loved ones, keeps you on the edge of your seat.  The suspense continually builds as the novel progresses with Eddie trying to find a cure, and if he cannot, revenge.  It makes those moments of witty banter rest points. The novel flows seamlessly as if a roller-coaster on rails. For fans of the series, this is a serious must read.  It is gripping, with certain minor overarching elements being exposed.  That being said, it has an incredible cliffhanger ending (yes, Gikany and Una’s screams of frustration can still be heard).  Needless to say, we are biting at the bit for the next book. Our Rating: A, Loved It until the cliffhanger ending… Then A- Enjoyed A Lot About the Book: The name is Drood, Eddie Drood, also known as Shaman Bond. My family has been safeguarding humanity for generations, facing the hidden horrors of the world so you can sleep at night and remain oblivious to the existence of the monstrous nightmares that walk and stalk among us.  Speaking of predatory night terrors, there is a man who gets away with murder. A man...
Read More
Jun
13

Review + Giveaway: All the Wrong Places by Ann Gallagher

Review + Giveaway: All the Wrong Places by Ann Gallagher All The Wrong Places Author: Ann Gallagher Reviewer: B. Rating: A- What I’m Talking About: Despite the risks of his career as a semi-pro skateboarder, most things in Brennan Cross’ life are good. He’s got a job he likes, good friends, and is working towards his dream of competing in the X Games someday. Even though his personal life is a little shaky at present, his biggest problem isn’t that his girlfriend cheated on him—it’s that she’s the third one to do so. And the fact that all three have blamed Brennan’s inability to meet their sexual “needs” has left him more than a little confused. Now, Brennan has questions. Where better to find some answers than the local sex shop? As a single father and a Muslim working in an adult toy shop, Zafir Hamady knows he’s an anomaly. Being asexual as well just adds to the list of complications that has kept him single for so long. Sure, he’s lonely, but all he really wants to do is give his son a good home and every opportunity to have a better life. The last thing he needs is to fall for the seemingly straight, yet very lost, skater who wandered into his store right after an ugly breakup. Too bad his heart has other ideas. I’ve been very excited to see an increase in Ace titles and characters in the last year or so, and not at all surprised to see the topic addressed so well in a Bluewater Bay story. Asexuality is a broad, multifaceted, yet little-explored topic, but I think that the author of All the Wrong Places approaches quite a few of these issues with compassion and respect that I appreciated a great deal. I liked both Brennan and Zafir a great deal, even though they are about as different from one another as possible—at least in the beginning. As the vehicle for self-discovery, I thought Brennan was very likable, for the most part, and was especially pleased to see that he was both serious and introspective, rather than a flaky caricature of skateboarding culture. It is Zafir, however, who is the heart of the story, and it was his cautious yearning and affection that really drew me in. While this story could easily have turned into a “How to be Asexual” pamphlet, I found it to be so much more. From the support group where Brennan begins to feel less isolated to Zafir’s...
Read More
Page 10 of 92« First...89101112...203040...Last »
logo
Powered by WordPress | Designed by Elegant Themes