logo
Currently Browsing: Rating B
Jun
20

JIAM #Audiobook Review: Dressed to Kilt by Hannah Reed

JIAM #Audiobook Review: Dressed to Kilt by Hannah Reed Welcome to our feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to… Audiobook review: Dressed to Kilt Author: Hannah Reed Narrator:  Angela Dawe Audio Speed: 1.25x Series: Scottish Highlands Mystery #3 Genre: Contemporary, Cozy Mystery Source: Tantor Audio Winter is settling into the Scottish Highlands, and Eden’s time in Glenkillen is coming to a close, which has put her into a bit of a melancholy state. But another mystery begins when Leith and Eden compare invitations to an exclusive private whiskey tasting; each invitation saying it came from the other. Eden immediately turns on her investigative hat, discovering the owner of the distillery was a close friend of Eden’s paternal grandfather. Knowing Eden doesn’t care much for the Elliot side of the family, Bridie contrived a reason for Eden to visit her, but she also reveals she’s the subject of an anonymous threat. And when a dead body shows up in a vat of whiskey, it’s time for Eden and Inspector Jameson to discover the truths hidden deep within the local families.  Knowing that this is Eden’s last adventure in Glenkillen, I went into Dressed to Kilt feeling a bit melancholy myself. Eden spends much of her time reflecting on the friends and life she’s made for herself and how she’s changed over the past five-and-a-half months, as well as where her life back home is heading. Luckily a good mystery, involving the unfortunate death of a local, keeps Eden occupied.   The mystery this time around was just as exciting as in the previous two books. It was clear from the beginning that more was going on than the death of a local servant. I did make a few correct guesses as to some of the background behind the whys, but was off-base on other aspects. I love that I couldn’t figure it all out. The death leads Eden to discovering more about her estranged father and his family, something Eden has been avoiding since she was a young girl. The results are cathartic, even if Eden is unwilling to admit that she needed to go through it.   I did have a couple negatives with Dressed to Kilt: Eden is shut out of the case midway through the story. Her hurt is compounded when she discovers her friends (both home and in Glenkillen) hiding truths and manipulating her to discover more about her father’s family. I didn’t like the disconnect Eden had with her friends – especially as this is the...
Read More
Jun
18

Review: Ain’t She a Peach? by Molly Harper

Review: Ain’t She a Peach? by Molly Harper Ain’t She a Peach Author: Molly Harper Reviewer: Jen Rating: B+ What I’m Talking About: Picking up where the prelude novella, Peachy Flippin’ Keen, left off, we meet back up with Lake Sackett’s embalmer and county coroner, Frankie McCready. As Halloween approaches, the juvenile pranks on her family’s funeral home and bait shop intensify. Frankie is certain it’s the doings of her teenaged nemesis, and the new sheriff, Eric, is the first law enforcement officer to take her concerns seriously, it’s just too bad she and Eric don’t see eye-to-eye on much else. However, as the pair spend more time working together and getting to know one another, the carefully constructed walls start to falter, and Frankie realizes she may actually have feelings for Eric. After finishing Peachy Flippin’ Keen, I was equal parts excited at the prospect of Frankie and Eric and frustrated with the fact that the novella should have been incorporated into Ain’t She a Peach since it wasn’t really a complete story. While this book can be read without it, Peachy Flippin’ Keen adds value to the overall story and the budding relationship between Frankie and Eric; therefore, I strongly encourage one to pick it up prior to reading Ain’t She a Peach. Much like the first full-length book in the series, Ain’t She a Peach is more about the protagonist’s journey as she grows into the person she was meant to be and finds herself while connecting with her family and friends. Frankie discovers that she has the strength to say no to her parents after letting them run so much of her life. As a child, Frankie had a rare form of leukemia, and her parents never lost their fear of losing their only child. Frankie has indulged her parents’ every whim to keep her safe and the conflict low while sacrificing her own happiness. Their over-protectiveness comes from love, not control, but it is way past time for Frankie to grow up and stand on her own. Her budding relationship with Eric and seeing her cousin Margot go through her own transformation gets the ball rolling for Frankie. Sometimes it’s small steps and at others, huge leaps. I enjoyed seeing her come into her own, while accepting both her positive attributes and her flaws. Ms. Harper’s trademark humor is peppered throughout the story. I found myself laughing at or right along side the characters. With Frankie’s occupation, there were plenty of dark...
Read More
Jun
14

JIAM #Audiobook Review: Mikhail by Lauren Smith

JIAM #Audiobook Review: Mikhail by Lauren Smith Welcome to our feature that focus on audiobooks. It’s time to… Audiobook Review: Mikhail Author: Lauren Smith Narrator: Lucy Rivers Audio Listening Speed: 1.5x Series: Brothers of Ash and Fire/A Royal Dragon Romance #2 Genre: Paranormal Romance Source: Tantor Audio After reading the first book in the series, Grigori, I was intrigued to find the second book available via audio.  Glad I picked it up; I felt that the novel was more enjoyable in this format. Mikhail begins with the betrayal he endures from Queen Elizabeth.  Because of this betrayal, Mikhail is exiled from his family, unable to return unless he fulfills his duty and brings the treasure home.  Fast forward 500 years (give or take a few decades), Mikhail sees that the jewels have been discovered.  Because of the way they were found, the complete treasure collection will be auctioned by a private auction house in London after being authenticated and documented by two gemologists, one of which catches Mikhail’s eye as well as his dragon’s. Piper was a bit of a stereotype at first.  She is the curvy girl, shy of her body with a somewhat negative body image, and is a 30 year-old virgin.  Her drive to achieve her career goals has truly derailed any sort of gain in her personal goals.  What keeps this from being annoying or rote is the contrast of Mikhail and that Piper isn’t always negative.  She has a spine and isn’t always afraid to use it.  In fact, there are several stereotypical or clichéd plot points/moments that woven with everything actually makes the novel a bit lighthearted and fun.  I wasn’t sure at first, but by the end I was convinced.   Being able to hear Mikhail’s voice with the full Russian accent truly adds that additional dimension to the story.  Ms. Rivers’s accents was so flawless that I actually had trouble at times discerning certain words.  Though it is easily made clear, it added a bit of reality to the novel.  I liked the personality she imbued into the characters and look forward to hearing her narrate again. I look forward to listening to the next novel in this series.  The mix of dragon shifters, the hint of other mythological species along with the playfully intertwining stereotypes create an interesting and fun read. My Ratings: Story: B+ Narrator: B+ Overall: B+ Review copy provided by Tantor Audio. About the Book: A dragon never leaves his hoard unguarded. His heart is...
Read More
Jun
13

Review: Love, All by Tamsen Parker

Review: Love, All by Tamsen Parker Love, All Author: Tamsen Parker Reviewer: B. Rating: B+ What I’m Talking About: From the very beginning, I liked the way Ms. Parker sets the stage for Ruby and Nate’s story. Love, All begins with a wedding, including pretty, accomplished guests, a devoted brother/best friend, and one exhausted single mom who manages to ruin said brother’s pants thanks to fatigue and gravity—and the rather unfortunate destination of some dubiously constituted salad dressing. It would be hilarious, if not for the seriousness of Ruby’s situation. Ruby was easily my favorite of the two characters. As a single mom, she’s exceptionally capable, intelligent, resilient, determined, and viciously protective of her daughter, Chloe. The trade-off being, of course, that she’s tired, sometimes lonely, and always bracing for the next storm to hit. But, she knows exactly what she can take, is brutally economical when it comes to her own needs, and has no problem seeking her pleasure with Nate without the desire for any promises or attachments.  Nate’s entire world, on the other hand, is so different that it’s amazing they were able to find common ground at all. He’s privileged, but he acknowledges it. He isn’t judgmental, nor does he try to cast himself as a “Prince Charming” who expects Ruby to be grateful for his attentions. He seems supportive, patient (for the most part), and absolutely willing to own up when he makes a mistake. He’s a good guy.  He did make me cringe once or twice over the course of the narrative, but he tries really hard. The thing is, sometimes that’s just not enough.  On the whole, I thought Love, All was a great introduction to a new author for me. Ruby is sexy and fierce, and I could readily believe how difficult it must have been for her to let herself need someone else—even for a little while. Nate was quite likable, too, if less well-defined than Ruby, and I was happy for them both by the end. Having enjoyed Love, All, I want to go back and read the previous story in the series, since Nate’s best friend was also a favorite character for me. Ms. Parker has tackled a complex situation here, and I think she’s done so very well. I’m looking forward to exploring more of her work in the future. My Rating:  B+ Liked It A Lot About the Book: Nate Carter is living the good life. Taking a break from his engineering...
Read More
Jun
11

Review: Ocean Light by Nalini Singh

Review: Ocean Light by Nalini Singh Ocean Light Author: Nalini Singh Reviewer: Jen Rating: B What I’m Talking About: It’s been over eight week’s since the attempt on the Human Alliance Security Chief, Bowen’s life, when he took a bullet and fell into the waters of Venice. Waking from a coma, he discovers he’s been in the care of the BlackSea physicians who are using him as an experiment to see if they can eliminate the degradation of the Psy blocker in his (and other’s) head. Agreeing to the high probability of experiment failure so he (and other humans) can live on his own terms, Bowen finds himself falling for the talent BlackSea chef, even though she brings him news of traitors within the Human Alliance. Kaia has lived her adult life deep in the blackest parts of the ocean, happiest when she’s cooking for her pack mates. Suffering from the loss of her best friend, Kaia is on guard against the Human Alliance security chief, who may be behind the kidnapping of her kind. However, her instincts tell her Bo is trustworthy, and she is torn between walking away or loving him only to lose him. Kaia and Bo are mates, each recognizing it from the first time they speak to one another, though neither is willing nor able to accept or acknowledge it. Their immediate attraction, coupled with the fact he may only live a few more weeks, gives each the push needed to just live life and enjoy each other. The opt for open communication and sharing quiet moments rather than allow the evidence the Alliance may be behind the brutal taking of the BlackSea members. It’s not smooth sailing, and the both make mistakes, but they don’t fall apart at the first sign of problems.  I love that Ocean Light focuses on the relationship between Bo and Kaia. While there is the seriousness of his procedure and the mystery of the Alliance betrayal, the story spends the bulk of its efforts sharing the tender moments, fun times, and all the instances in between for Bo and Kaia. The romance is always front and center, yet never overwhelming. The romance is woven around each aspect of the story, creating cohesiveness and even warm-fuzzies when the more serious moments shift to center stage. In addition the wonderful romance between Kaia and Bowen, Ocean Light shares more fragments regarding the mysterious Consortium and the shifting balance in power since the fall of Silence. Furthermore,...
Read More
Jun
8

JIAM #Audiobook Review: To Spell and Back by ReGina Welling & Erin Lynn

JIAM #Audiobook Review: To Spell and Back by ReGina Welling & Erin Lynn Welcome to our feature that focus on audiobooks. It’s time to… Audiobook Reviews: To Spell and Back Authors: ReGina Welling & Erin Lynn Narrator: C.S.E. Cooney Audio Listening Speed: 1.5x Series: Lexi Balefire Matchmaking Witch Mystery/Fate Weaver #3 Genre: Urban Fantasy, Mystery Source: Tantor Audio Things are truly coming to a breaking point for Lexi.  In To Spell and Back: A Lexi Balefire Matchmaking Witch Mystery she is able to learn far more about her past than she ever thought while also trying to procure living gold to repair the damaged Bow of Destiny. I really do continue to enjoy a mystery that does not involve dead bodies and vicious plots.  Lexi is working at trying to learn more about her past in order to fully understand her capabilities along with being a force for good in the world.  Her dedication to bringing couples together and doing the right thing is refreshing.  I enjoy her bubbly personality along with the unique and capturing family that Lexi has created.  As Lexi goes about trying to find the material to fix the Bow, she discovers a secret about the ring the Mudwitch gave her.  Not only that, Lexi discovers there is far more to the history of the Balefire witches and that her grandmother may not be lost. It was heartbreaking as we watch Lexi learn more about the past Balefire witches. Most specifically the relationship between her own mother and grandmother.  I enjoyed the parallel of Lexi trying to mend the bow and at the same time mending her own family’s secret past.  It was compelling.  As well as learning more about, the fairy godmothers and what they sacrificed to be a present and participating part of Lexi’s life.  I cannot decide what is more compelling, Lexi’s mission or the relationships around her.  The new friendship she developed adds another dimension and complication to Lexi’s life – but in a positive way.  Her adjustments to her best friend finding love is also another aspect of Lexi’s maturing.   Ms. Cooney continues to capture not only Lexi’s voice and personality, but also those of the varied other characters.  Her narration brings this series and the characters to life.  I look forward to listening to her narration for the next novel in this series.  Left with another surprising revelation, I am eager to see what happens next.  I continue to like the Fate Weaver series and look forward to the next light-hearted journey...
Read More
Jun
7

JIAM #Audiobook Review: Witch Way Home by Danielle Garrett

JIAM #Audiobook Review: Witch Way Home by Danielle Garrett Welcome to our feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to… Audiobook review: Witch Way Home Author: Danielle Garrett Narrator: Amanda Ronconi Audio Speed: 1.5x Series: Beechwood Harbor Magic Mysteries #4 Genre: Paranormal Cozy Mystery Source: Tantor Audio Witch Way Home opens shortly after the mysterious conclusion of the previous book, with our heroine, Holly the witch, reacquainting herself with the Seattle Haven after being banished for the past year. She’s preparing for her hearing with the Haven Council, hoping to gain permission to get her Master Potions license and reopen her store. Unfortunately, things don’t go well for her at the hearing, and it gets even worse when her SPA case worker, Harvey, suddenly leaves the hearing and goes missing. Once again, Holly ends up in the middle of a murder mystery and this time, he own future is at risk. Witch Way Home was an absolute delight, and it addressed pretty much everything I felt was missing from (wrong with) the previous book, Witch Slapped. I loved the focus on Holly: both her quest for her Potion license and how the events surrounding the trial and murder mystery impact her life. Gone were most of the side stories and confusion surrounding Holly when she is around Nick. Don’t get me wrong, Holly is still questioning what she’ll do with her life, but it wasn’t couched in any sort of romance/man-related setting. It’s all her and what she’s going to do – what will make her happy.  I also am very happy that she’s not running around behind her friends’ or Adam’s backs when looking for answers to the murder mystery during this story. Holly relies on her friends, and even better, confides in Adam. This is such an improvement over the past couple of titles. And it’s not just with the mystery, but also with her concerns over Nick and the fact that the memory wipe doesn’t seem to be holding. The residents of Beechwood Harbor all come together to deal with/help Nick, and even Adam considers him a friend. *fist pump* Once again, Holly and gang are brought to life through the performance of Amanda Ronconi. I adore her work and commend her interpretation of Holly. Ms. Ronconi convincingly portrays Holly’s thoughts, concerns, and expressions. She helps solidify Holly as a favorite character of mine. Her female voices are each a bit different and well-suited. However, her male voices tend to be a bit problematic for me, as many sound...
Read More
Jun
6

Review + Excerpt: Prisoner of the Crown Jeffe Kennedy

Review + Excerpt: Prisoner of the Crown Jeffe Kennedy Prisoner of the Crown Author: Jeffe Kennedy Reviewer: Gikany and Una Rating: B- What We’re Talking About: Prisoner of the Crown is a spin-off trilogy that will tell the tale of Jenna, the lost Princess of Dasnaria.  Overall, this prologue is gripping but, this is not a fun romantic fantasy novel.  This is a dark story of gilded lies hiding dark and evil monsters.   For those who have been following The Twelve Kingdoms or Uncharted Realms series, this is the story of Harlan and Kral’s sister, Jenna, who escaped from a nightmarish marriage full of abuse and rape.  The Chronicles of Dasnaria is a trilogy that will fill in the gaps of what became of Jenna.  Since the reason why she escaped her marriage was alluded to in the previous novels The Talon of the Hawk and The Edge of the Blade, the brutality Jenna suffers under the hands of her husband Rodolf should not have been so surprising.  Thankfully, Ms. Kennedy is able to convey the violence and horrific events without gratuitous detail all while not glossing over the trauma of the encounters.  This was a difficult read for us.  The majority of this book is the setup building to Jenna’s eventual narrow escape.  Although the book was difficult to read, the last few chapters of the novel were worth the price. We have made no secret that we are not fans of Kral.  If you were questionable about him in The Edge of the Blade, you may, like us, dislike him even more after this novel.  However, the experiences in this novel may have planted the seed of change in we see in him by the time he encounters Jepp.  We have no love lost for the Dasnaria culture.  Through the gears that have started moving in The Edge of the Blade and Prisoner of the Crown we have hope that change will reach this kingdom.   Although it is a truly difficult story to read, the novel ends with bright hope for a better future for Jenna.  We look forward to the next book in this trilogy and the promise of a happily ever after for not only Jenna, but also all Dasnarian people.  Our Rating:  B- Liked It, but we had a few small issues About the Book: She was raised to be beautiful, nothing more. And then the rules changed . . .  In icy Dasnaria, rival realm to the Twelve Kingdoms, a...
Read More
Jun
6

Review: Venom in the Veins by Jennifer Estep

Review: Venom in the Veins by Jennifer Estep Venom in the Veins Author: Jennifer Estep Reviewer: Jen Rating: B- What I’m Talking About: A few weeks have passed since Gin’s confrontation with the Doll Maker, so of course, it’s time for things to go sideways in Ashland again. This time, someone is targeting her friend, and Finn’s boss, Stewart Mosley. And everything appears to be tied to the upcoming auction of Mab Monroe’s possessions and a person of interest who has her eye set on making sure things are just right.  Venom in the Veins is the seventeenth book in the Elemental Assassin series. The cast of characters has grown, and I love that Gin’s circle of friends has expanded. She has learned to turn to her family and friends for help and support, giving up pieces of herself and trust to them. It’s made Gin a better character, and I appreciate her drive to keep them safe. I love Gin. I do. But… at Book 17, things no longer feel as fresh and exciting as they used too. The world building has been solidly established, so the constant need to remind readers of Gin’s history and idiosyncrasies is starting to annoy me. Additionally, I felt this storyline is old news. Once again, Gin faces down a person from and/or connected to her past. It just seems like that storyline has played out a number of times in the series.  The overall story arc relating to the mysterious Circle continues to grab my interest, as does the main face of the group, Hugh Tucker. I enjoyed seeing more of Hugh, especially with his actions in this title. With that said, I would have preferred more movement forward within the plot. The little tidbits tossed in with each book aren’t enough, and I’d like for Gin to catch a break and discover more. In the end, I have mixed feelings after finishing Venom in the Veins. I enjoy Gin and her gang. Watching her pull the clues together to take down the bad guys is thrilling. However, I feel like Gin is running in circles (pun intended) as she tries to find out more about the threat of the Circle. She’s not really getting any closer to discovering what the Circle is, who they are, what her parents had to do with it. Additionally, the storylines are starting to feel too much the same.  My Rating:  B- Liked It, but I had a few small issues About the...
Read More
Jun
5

Review: The Big Alpha in Town Anthology

Review: The Big Alpha in Town Anthology The Big Alpha in Town Anthology Author: Eve Langlais, Milly Taiden, Kate Baxter  Reviewer: Una Rating: B+ What I’m Talking About: The Big Alpha in Town is a lighthearted but passionate anthology with three distinct romantic journeys.  Overall, I liked the stories and though these were great introductions to these new-to-me authors.  Please see my thoughts on each of the novellas below. Bearing His Name is the first story featuring a bear shifter in a very awkward position.  Ark is investigating an anonymous letter stating he is the father of a soon-to-be born baby boy. Unfortunately, he and several of his cousins were at the same party, wearing the same costume, and received the same letter.  However, while trying to find out the truth, he meets his mate, the pregnant woman’s older sister.  This story was hilarious and I liked the contrast of Jade’s no-nonsense personality with Ark’s lackadaisical one.  The quirky, tongue-in-cheek love-story flows well and was pretty entertaining. B+ Owned by the Lion is a tale of the local lion-shifter playboy finding his mate in the beautiful and seemingly not interested friend’s little sister.  Keir’s womanizing ways is well-known by everyone, including Ally.  She has known him most of her life and has enjoyed viewing him from afar.  However, with a new business venture, she is working closely with him and fighting hard to remember he is not her type.  This story was also humorous as we watch Keir trying to figure out how to prove to Ally that now has eyes only for her.  It was an enjoyable quick read.   B No Need Fur Love is the final tale in the anthology.  This romantic journey was more somber and thrilling.  It was a gripping tale of a wolf-shifter who discovers his mate, not realizing Mia is only looking for a one-night stand.  Mia is the daughter of the leader of a band of Nymphs.  In order to have her father allow her to join the leadership, she has either to produce an heir or mate.  Not interested in having another male dictate her life, she sets out to get pregnant.  However, things do not go as she planned.  Wolf shifters go mad without their mate once meeting them.  Owen only has a few days to find Mia before the full moon will require his alpha to put him down.  It was fascinating how the different plots of Owen and Mia intersected and entwined.  This story...
Read More
Page 1 of 8312345...102030...Last »
logo
Powered by WordPress | Designed by Elegant Themes