logo
Currently Browsing: Rating C
Feb
15

Review: Hunted by Darkness by Katie Reus

Review: Hunted by Darkness by Katie Reus Hunted by Darkness Author: Katie Reus Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: C+ What I’m Talking About: Bo, a half-demon who owns a supernatural bar, knows Nyx is his mate, but is worried his demon side will scare her away. In the last book, we discovered that Nyx is a demigod; her mom is goddess of Chaos and her father a fae prince. Her fae father has promised her in marriage to another, and because Nyx sought help from her mother to save a friend, her mom has come to collect the favor Nyx owes her. Now the pair will need to work together if they have a chance of surviving the fallout from Chaos’s “favor.” Hunted by Darkness is a typical paranormal romance, complete with alpha males, powerful females, and misunderstandings that cause problems for the fated couple. Love comes swiftly, but only after significant obstacles; however, our couple ends up happy and well-sexed. I enjoyed reading Bo and Nyx’s story, especially after watching the pair dance around their desires for a while now. They make a good couple, and I was pleased that Bo made an effort to both beat his alpha-chest, as well as swallow his protective streak to allow Nyx to conquer her own battles. It really is a great mix of the two sides. And while there were times I thought I would want to pull out my hair because of misunderstandings or lack of communication, Ms. Reus was quick to end confusion and didn’t allow problems to stay for long. However, at times the situations felt gimmicky, as if there were obstacles that really didn’t need to be there in the first place. I did liked that while Nyx was quick to react, she took time to later think things through. She is very understanding, which allows Bo to make a few mistakes along the way. The overall story was good, but not spectacular. A large part of the book was trying to figure out who trapped Bo and Nyx in a hell realm, but the way the story played out and the ultimate conclusion fell flat for me. The action scenes are intense and well-developed, but short. And it was a bit too convenient that each time Nyx’s powers got out of control and destroyed something, Bo could use his power to fix it. In the end, Hunted by Darkness was an enjoyable paranormal romance. I liked Bo and Nyx, both having strong traits, yet...
Read More
Feb
8

Review: Dare to Run by Jen McLaughlin

Review: Dare to Run by Jen McLaughlin Dare to Run Author: Jen McLaughlin Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: C+ What I’m Talking About: Recently released from a two-year stint in prison, Lucas Donahue, a ranking member of the Sons of Steel Row gang, was attacked and nearly killed just before he got out. Now he’s back in Boston trying to determine if the attack was personal or business. Unfortunately, it looks like the hit came from within the Son of Steel Row gang, and his own baby brother, Scotty, is the top suspect. Heidi Greene lives and works in Steel Row, Boston. After living through a rough childhood, Frankie, a father-figure, took in Heidi and looked out and cared for her. After his death, he left her his bar, the Patriot. Late one night when closing up, Heidi is attacked by a rival gang, and Lucas uncharacteristically jumps in to save her. Now all eyes are on the pair to see if they are for real or just a cover. When I picked up Dare to Run, I didn’t realize it was a gang story, so I wasn’t certain if I’d like the book – I normally don’t do anti-hero romances. However, I ended up enjoying the title. The storyline was engaging from the start, and I found the mystery of who betrayed Lucas interesting and exciting. Lucas and Heidi have real chemistry and work well together. Although, I was not happy with Heidi’s quick-to-fall-in-love feelings. Dare to Run is a mix of quality action and a storyline with a couple of great twists. However, the quick to “I love you” feelings and some stereotypical behaviors and emotions were annoying at times. Also, the story is shared in alternating first person POVs, which can be confusing. In the end, Dare to Run is a fun read with a decent story and a hot couple, but the cheese factor was a bit off-putting. My Rating:  C+ Liked It, but I had issues About the Book: She knows what he’s like on Boston’s mean streets. Now she’s going to find out if he’s got some heart. Lucas Donahue is not ashamed of his criminal past, but after a brief stint in prison, he’s ready to go legit and live a normal life. The problem is, no one leaves the gang without permission—even if he is one of the boss’s top men. Plus someone’s placed a hit on him. And then there’s that feisty little bartender who’s going to cause...
Read More
Feb
4

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Claimed by Elle Kennedy

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Claimed by Elle Kennedy Welcome to my weekly feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to… Audiobook review: Claimed Author: Elle Kennedy Narrator: C S E Cooney Audio Speed: 1x and 1.25x Series: Outlaws #1 Genre: Futuristic Fantasy, Erotic Romance Source: Tantor media Forty years ago, the world went to war with itself, releasing bombs and destroying much of the planet. After the chaos, The Global Council took charge, creating mandatory communes, making everyone equal. Those who live outside the cities are outlaws, and are either assimilated or killed. Connor and his men are an outlaws, living day-to-day, enjoying what they can when they can. But Connor wants to find and destroy the head Global Council enforcer, Dominick, the man responsible for killing his family. Hudson escaped the city and Dominick to become an outlaw. When a group of bandits attack, she convinces Connor to give her protection. Although he says it will only be for one night, Hudson will do anything to convince him to let her stay longer. And using her sexuality to get into his bed is just one way she’ll convince Connor. I have very mixed feelings about Claimed. The futuristic world and concepts were interesting and engaging. I found that by the end, I wanted to know how the world will deal with the obvious problems within the World Council. But… I didn’t care much at all for the characters and their stories until the last quarter of the book. After listening through the end of Chapter 8 (49%), I had to stop the book, and I almost DNF’d it. The combination of the narrator’s soft-spoken, laid back voice for Connor and his asinine dialogue got to me. Connor is a strong, dominant man, and the voice selected just didn’t fit. Also, the entire plot for the first half revolved around constantly thinking about, having, or complaining that they aren’t having sex, and it was beyond annoying. I mean… they were on an important and dangerous mission, and Connor starts messing around with Hudson. It was ridiculous. Yet about Chapter 15 or so, the sex wasn’t as frequent, allowing the story to pick up and finally move forward. At this point, I actually began to care what was going on. The narration is a huge part of the problem I had with the story. I started listening to the book at 1x speed, but after the halfway point, I picked up the pace and listened at 1.25x speed. It didn’t help much. C S E Cooney’s...
Read More
Feb
2

Spotlight + Giveaway: Hot Dudes Coloring Book by D.C. Taylor

Spotlight + Giveaway: Hot Dudes Coloring Book by D.C. Taylor For all lovers of washboard abs, bad boys and… crayons—there’s a new group of hotties in town and they are ready to get graphic (artistically, that is!). Berkley Publishing presents the HOT DUDES COLORING BOOK (Berkley Trade Paperback Original; February 2, 2016; $9.99) by D.C. Taylor in conjunction with Valentine’s Day this February. Inside this steamy book you will find a swoon-worthy collection of 60 scantily-clad heartthrobs for your coloring pleasure. With sexy cops, cowboys, lumberjacks and a plethora of other fantasy beaus to choose from, every artist is sure to find their muse. Hitting stores just shy of the most amorous holiday of the year, this entertaining book prompts one to ask the question: who needs to choose one valentine when you can have them all? Giveaway: Berkley is generously donating one (1) copy of the HOT DUDES COLORING BOOK to give to one (1) lucky commenter. To enter, please leave a comment telling us which fictional character you most would like to color. Additionally, please leave an email address or twitter handle so I may contact the winner. The giveaway is open until Monday February 8, 2016 at 12:00 noon EST. Winner(s) chosen at random from all eligible entries. This contest is open to U.S. mailing addresses only, where not prohibited by law. Open to participants, 18 years or older, who are legally allowed to participate in such a contest as allowed by their local laws. All federal, state, local, and municipal laws and regulations apply. Void where prohibited. No purchase necessary. By participating in the contest, participants agree to be bound by the decisions of the contest sponsor. Prize will be delivered by the publisher. This blog, its reviewers, and the owner are not responsible for items lost in the mail. By entering this giveaway, participants agree to abide by these terms. My Review: When I first heard that Berkley was jumping in to the “adult” coloring book craze, I was super excited… I mean who wouldn’t want to color sexy romance cover dudes?! After receiving my review copy from the publisher, I took time to look through it and even selected a couple images to color. I used colored pencils for this one, which reminded me of one of my favorite book covers! I also colored this image with my daughter’s “skinny” crayons. I liked using crayons more than the colored pencils. While the coloring was fun, and the book is highly entertaining, it’s not what I had hoped for or expected in an “adult”...
Read More
Jan
13

Review: City of Light by Keri Arthur

Review: City of Light by Keri Arthur City of Light Author: Keri Arthur Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: C What I’m Talking About: City of Light kicks of a new, futuristic fantasy series from Keri Arthur. In this unique world, there was a five-year race war between humans and shifters over a hundred years ago. The weapons used by the shifters ripped open portals to another dimension, allowing all sorts of dangerous “Others,” such as wraiths and vampires, into the world, making it extremely dangerous to live outside the walled cities of light. The story is shared in first person POV of Tiger, the lone déchet who survived the devastating race war. Déchets were human-created beings with the combined DNA of humans, shifters, and vampires. She lives in an old, underground military bunker that manufactured déchets and was destroyed by shifters during the war. She lives an isolated life, out of necessity for she would be killed if discovered, with only the ghosts of the deceased déchets for companionship. But when Tiger helps rescue a young shifter named Penny from a vampire attack, she inadvertently becomes involved in a massive conspiracy that threatens the lives of children. Now she must decide who she can trust while trying to stop any more children from being taken. Being the first book in a fantasy series, I expected a fair amount of world-building. Luckily, the author effectively uses narration and intense action scenes to help shape her new world quickly. She clearly defined what was good and bad and who the key players were. However, after I hit the 40% mark of the book, I felt that the world-building began to dominate the tale, without the development of a clear and engaging story. I found the unique world fascinating, but in the end, I was underwhelmed and confused by the overall plot. As the main character, Tiger held her own throughout the story. She’s caring and kind, while equally fierce and strong. She protects those she claims as hers, which include the ghosts and children. I loved learning all of her different abilities and how she applied them to figure out what was going on. While I enjoyed Tiger and her fresh and almost juvenile view of the world, I didn’t connect with her sexuality. Programmed to be a spy, she used seduction as her means of infiltration. So when she found a lost lover and they engaged in extra curricular activities, I was actually turned off my her ability...
Read More
Dec
22

Review: Calling the Play by Samantha Kane

Review: Calling the Play by Samantha Kane Calling the Play Author: Samantha Kane Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: C+ What I’m Talking About: Tyler Oakes knows he’s on his last chance to make it as a pro quarterback, so he’s toned down his partying and is trying to focus on playing the game. But sometimes he needs to scratch an itch, and it doesn’t matter to him if companionship comes from males, females, or both at the same time. But when he meets undercover cop Randi McInish, he knows he wants more than just one night with this foul-mouthed sex pot. And then there is the Rebels’ new quarterback coach, Brian Mason, who shares a history with Tyler. When it’s clear that the two men have unspoken issues to resolve, can Randi step aside and let them discover love? Despite struggling with some issues while reading the first book in the series, I decided to give Calling the Play a shot. Unfortunately, after only hitting the 10% mark, I had to stop reading for two reasons. First – it was pretty obvious that this story was once again going to include a romance between a player and a coach. I had issues with how this was handled in the first book, and I was already cringing at the replay of this dynamic. Second – I couldn’t stand the heroine. She was simply obnoxious. I admire women who are all about “this is who I am and this is what you get,” but it was over the top. Her vocabulary pretty much only consisted of multiple 4-letter words strung together. I don’t mind a potty-mouth, but there is a time and place, and this felt forced. However, after taking a break from the book for a few weeks, I decided to pick it up again, and I’m happy to report, ended up enjoy it – more so than the first book. While I still had some issues with the book and the characters, overall, I liked the story and romance of Tyler, Randi, and Brian. While Randi still bugged me from time to time, I liked that she was protective of Ty, and eventually Brian. Additionally, as the story progressed, her level of unpleasantness toned down considerably. Meanwhile, the coach-player issue didn’t play out as it did in the first book, and I found I wasn’t irritated by the Brian-Tyler dynamic because 1) they have a history and 2) it’s still preseason and they aren’t in a player-coach...
Read More
Dec
14

Review: Behr Facts by Pat Henshaw

Review: Behr Facts by Pat Henshaw Behr Facts Author: Pat Henshaw Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: C+ What I’m Talking About: Abraham “Abe” Behr is the head of his family’s business, Behr Construction. The company is losing money, and it appears it may be the sabotage of disgruntled family members. Abe brings in outsider Jeffrey Mason, CPA, to help with the books and figure out what’s going on with the finances. While Jeff may not know about it, there is bad blood between the Behrs and Masons, making it more difficult for some in the Behr family to accept Jeff’s work. As the pair work together to solve the mystery, they realize that they are becoming more than friends. Behr Facts is the love story of an unlikely pair, making it despite their own hang ups. It’s an enjoyable novella with likable characters. And while not completely original, it’s still a good story. I have not read the previous books in the series, and while loosely connected, they are standalone in nature. The story is shared in the first person POV of Abe, which was a bit off-putting at first, since most romances are usually told in third person POV. I stumbled around the dialogue for a bit until I got used to it. And while it seemed pretty obvious to me as to what was going on at Behr, apparently it took Jeff and Abe several weeks. This seemed a bit unrealistic to me, as who would allow losses like Behr was experiencing for weeks before making a move to stop it? One thing that bothered me a bit was that the author tries to address bigotry and hate in this short story, but it felt forced and used stereotypes rather than integrating actions and reactions in a more original way. The whole story has a cookie cutter feel: not bad but not unique. In the end, Behr Facts turned out to be more about a man discovering who he is and what he wants out of life rather than an engrossing romance. Abe was always doing what was expect of him by others and never anything for himself. His journey is all about self-discovery and finding true happiness. It’s a feel good, everything-turns-out-great kind of story, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. While the story didn’t stand out, it still was enjoyable. My Rating: C+ Liked It, but I had issues About the Book: Big, burly CEO Abe Behr is dismayed to discover someone—possibly...
Read More
Nov
11

Review: The Best Laid Wedding Plans by Lynnette Austin

Review: The Best Laid Wedding Plans by Lynnette Austin The Best Laid Wedding Plans Author: Lynnette Austin Reviewer: Ang Rating: C What I’m Talking About: As a girl who grew up in the South and truly loves Savannah, I was really excited to read The Best Laid Wedding Plans. I was excited to be transported back to the sights, smells, and people of my childhood. Unfortunately The Best Laid Wedding Plans dropped the ball. The Best Laid Wedding Plans fell completely flat; I actually felt like I was reading a book placed in the South, but written by someone who had never done more than drive through it or watch a movie about it. The wonderful thing about books placed in the South is that the setting can almost be a character in its own right, especially if the author takes the time to show us around and paint us a picture rather than blandly state things like the rose garden had been over taken by weeds. I want to see the rose garden. I want to smell the roses, the myriad of colors developed after 150 years, smell the variety, see the rich deep reds mingled with the soft yellows and the pinks. But Ms. Austin didn’t do this. She walked us passed the garden and mentioned it had been started before the Civil Wa,r but she never REALLY takes us into the garden. This is supposed to be a setting for weddings, why? What makes it special? Unfortunately, you’ll never know by reading this book. Another thing that bothered me is that the title of the series, and the wedding business, is Magnolia Brides, yet magnolias are only mentioned twice, and only in passing. Why was this title chosen? What is the significance of Magnolia’s in the South? I grew up there, so I know why this would be a choice for a business name, but many others won’t understand, and I feel like it was a missed opportunity. It was just another example of failing to embrace the opportunity that the setting gives. If you’re going to place a book in the South, embrace the South. Now I don’t want to come off as a hater, it wasn’t all bad. Despite a SLOW beginning, Jenni Beth and Cole are likable characters who find healing in second chances. Their chemistry is spot on, and the build up well written. I enjoyed the bickering as they both struggled with their issues yet found a way to become vulnerable enough to...
Read More
Oct
12

Review: Against the Ropes by Jeanette Murray

Review: Against the Ropes by Jeanette Murray Against the Ropes Author: Jeanette Murray Reviewer: Nima Rating: C+ What I’m Talking About: Against the Ropes is the second book in Murray’s First to Fight series.  It’s also the second book I’ve read with the same title in the last two years.  The first one, a BDSM story, wasn’t much better written than this one, but it was funnier and edgier.  Murray’s Against the Ropes fell solidly into the contemporary romance category, complete with too many over-used clichés and painfully predictable plot lines.  There were even some grammatical errors that slipped in with wrong tenses and metaphors that just didn’t work. Murray did successfully create two characters, Greg Higgs and Reagan Robilard with motivating backstories.  I liked both of them.  Unfortunately, that’s all she gave them.  Coming in under 300 pages, there could have been a lot more plot linked to extended family and legal history that would have been compelling to read.  Instead we have a brief conflict, some insecurity, and the flush of a new romance.  And some great shoes, but that’s about it.  Their chemistry was good, but like many things in the book, their sex scenes felt abbreviated. I wanted more for the characters and from Murray. This is a good, one day read when you need a light distraction.  It’s not necessary to have read the first book, Below the Belt, in the series to enjoy this one, it stands on its own.  Characters from the first installment are present, but they are peripheral to the main plot. Against the Ropes is also a transitory book.  There is a mystery which affects both Greg and Reagan, but it is not resolved in this novel.  Book three, Fight to the Finish, will presumably solve the crimes that are hampering our main characters as Murray moves on to the romance of Greg and Reagan’s friends, JAG attorney Graham Sweeny and single mother Kara. My Rating: C+ Liked It, but I had issues About the Book: The author of Below the Belt continues her First to Fight series with a novel of one Marine’s battle to come out on top—in life and love… As a troubled teen, Gregory Higgs channeled his energy into boxing instead of breaking the law. The ring gave him purpose and something to strive for. So did the Marines. Combining the two seemed like a natural fit. Another natural fit? Reagan Robilard, the sweet athlete liaison who keeps all the fighters out...
Read More
Sep
15

Review: The Paris Key by Juliet Blackwell

Review: The Paris Key by Juliet Blackwell The Paris Key Author: Juliet Blackwell Reviewer: Nima Rating: C What I’m Talking About: The Paris Key is aptly named on several levels. I like a good title. In this case it ties together multiple plot points of locksmithing, love, ghosts of the past, and finding a way through to the future.  Main character Genevieve Martin runs away to Paris, following a formal separation from her husband, to take over the locksmith shop of her beloved late uncle Dave.  She will find that Paris holds the key to unlocking personal mysteries as she works to “find herself” during this period of stress and change. The book begins in Oakland, California. It’s especially ironic that Genevieve is running from this location when you consider that Berkeley, directly adjacent to Oakland, is known for its overly supportive community that seems to exist to help people discover themselves. Genevieve even makes a crack about her ex’s life coach.  I was disappointed when this phrase, “…what I really needed to do was find myself” came up because it’s a cliché that has always rubbed me the wrong way, used too often to justify adults abandoning responsibilities and family, even children, on a journey of self-discovery for answers that they believe lay elsewhere.  I think Blackwell is a better author than to throw out clichés. It’s also when I realized that as compelling as this “slice-of-life” story was written, I didn’t especially like it. The Paris Key is well written, tight, has good pacing, character motives that make sense, and I don’t think I saw so much as a single copy edit error.  It’s not a bad book, certainly not really a “C”. I’ve given better ratings to books that weren’t as well written and I acknowledge that.  What it is, is a melancholy book and I felt sad while reading it.  The depression of several characters felt depressing.  It’s to author Juliet Blackwell’s credit that she made me feel those feelings, but it was over 350 pages of depression hanging over the main characters before getting to the potential hope of the ending. Unfortunately the climax is abrupt and short for the length of its lead-up.  Relief was insufficient.  I wanted more hope, more happy.  The author doesn’t leave us in a soup of tears, but even this hopeful ending is still a sad one, including wasted years, wasted effort, hurt and pain.  No one gets through life without hurt and pain, but...
Read More
Page 5 of 12« First...34567...10...Last »
logo
Powered by WordPress | Designed by Elegant Themes