Saturday, December 3, 2016

Review: Whispered Music (London Fairy Tales #2) by Rachel Van Dyken


Print Length: 300 pages
Publisher: Astraea Press (September 3, 2012)

From Goodreads.com: Scarred at a young age, Dominique Maksylov, Royal Prince of Russia, has lived a reclusive life. As a musical prodigy, his music has wide reach into the world, but few ever see his face. He never ventures into polite society, but when he dis-covers he is the only heir to the Earldom of Harriss, he goes to one ball. And that one ball, was enough to change the direction of his life forever.
But how could he possibly have known that other person— the other half of his whole—would not only need his help but threaten his very existence?

She didn’t know how hard it would be to love the broken.
Isabelle Hartwell’s mother just sold her to the Beast of Russia. He’s mean, tem-peramental, and the most virile, handsome man she has ever encountered. But he has a secret, one he’s willing to die for and he refuses to let anyone in. Will she be able to reach his heart before it’s too late?

Find out if love prevails in this regency retelling of how Beauty tamed the savage Beast…

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My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

This is the second book in the London Fairy tale series (which honestly I'm horribly late in reading as they came out in 2012), so I do have to say that I feel like the author is writing much better now days. In fact, she is one of my favorite authors now so I'm glad I read her newer stories first.

As for this story in particular, this was another unfortunate case of a interesting premise that delivered unlikable characters. Dominique was often unnecessarily cruel, alternating between pushing his wife away and then accusing her of finding affection elsewhere. Not that she did, but I wouldn't have blamed her if she had. At the same time, Isabelle cows to him instead of standing up to him. Together it made for a very tiresome story. One step forward in the relationship and three steps backwards. 

Overall, I am sure this story will appeal to some readers. I would read more from this author. 

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                                 Whispered Music
 is available from Amazon.com

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Review: Warrior Untamed by Shannon Curtis


Print Length: 304 pages
Publisher: Harlequin Nocturne (December 01, 2016)

From Goodreads.com: A witch's spell…a warrior's curse 
If not for her protective wards, witch Melissa Carter would be dead at the hands of her enemy, shadow breed Hunter Galen. Now he's her prisoner. Though she tortures the powerful warrior with spells, he torments her with dark fantasies, inciting a forbidden lust too strong to deny. 
Hunter must escape to complete his mission—destroy his father, who vowed revenge on him and his beautiful captor. But a warrior mates for life and now Hunter must protect Melissa—his mortal enemy and unlikely love. Doing so means descending into the underground world of the Darkken, a place so evil they might not come out alive…
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My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Let me start off by saying that even though this is book number two in a series, you do not have to have read the first one in order for this one to make sense. 

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, this book had a unique premise and was well-written and nicely executed. I enjoyed these characters, both their stubborn and independent natures as well as them eventually finding out that they needed each other. There were times when I thought I knew exactly where the story was going to go only for the author to throw in an unexpected curve ball that took the story in an unexpected direction. 

This story does contain elements of both romance as well as danger, and somehow managed to be perfectly blended. The story eventually comes to a head in a conclusion that was as surprising as it was fitting.

Overall, I am sure this story will appeal to those who enjoy a well written paranormal romance. I would read more from this author. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.


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                                Warrior Untamed
 is available from Amazon.com


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Review: Chasing Shadows by Karen Harper


Print Length: 384 pages
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA (November 29, 2016)

From Goodreads.com: The dead still talk if you know how to listen… 

Every case that Claire Britten cracks is a win, not only professionally but personally. The forensic psychologist has spent a lifetime fighting a neurological disorder, and her ability to conquer it is a testament to her razor-sharp intuition. 

Nick Markwood is used to winning in the courtroom, so when his latest case is overthrown by Claire's expert testimony, he can't help being impressed by her skill. He needs her on the team of his passion project—investigating unusual cases involving mysterious deaths. Her condition doesn't deter him, and neither does the attraction that sparks between them…even if it should. 

As they join forces to investigate a murder in St. Augustine, Florida, Claire is thrust into a situation far more dangerous than she'd anticipated, pushing her disorder to a breaking point. Just when she fears she can't trust her own mind, she discovers Nick's personal connection to the case—and wonders whether she can trust anyone at all.


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My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

To begin with - when I started this novel I was unaware that it was actually the first in a series (as the synopsis says nothing about this), so it was a big disappointment when the story resolved one issue and then still managed to end on a huge cliff-hanger that was unrelated to the original issue. That was not only a complete turn-off, but made the rest of the story feel cheapened. Like the author didn't believe enough in the story itself to make the reader want to continue, but rather like she had to trick them into continuing on. 

There were also instances where I felt like this story just veered from believable to improbable. There were so many twists and turns, coupled with unnecessary drama and shady character actions that it sometimes felt confusing.

On the plus side, due to the shady characters and their odd actions, I was constantly guessing and second-guessing who the culprit would be, and despite everything I still managed to be surprised at who ultimately was guilty. 

Overall, I am sure there are those who will enjoy this story, however at this time I am unsure as to whether or not I will continue on with this series. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.


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                             Chasing Shadows
 is available from Amazon.com

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Review: Upon a Midnight Dream (London Fairy Tales #1) by Rachel Van Dyken


Print Length: 240 pages
Publisher: Astraea Press (May 27, 2012)

From Goodreads.com: "I release you..." were the last words Rosalind remembered before her world went black. Stefan, the future duke of Montmouth, no doubt thought his words were welcomed but he couldn't have been more wrong. Oh, he was handsome as a pagan Norse god, but that was unimportant when her life as well as those of her family hung in the balance. 

With less than six weeks left, Rosalind has stopped believing in the fairy tale, the prince on the white horse, and the stolen kiss that would awaken her from her worst nightmares. Resigned to her fate, she waits for the inevitable curse to run it’s course. 



"We must marry at once!" Stefan declared, fully expecting Rosalind to be delighted that he had come to save her, but he was sorely mistaken. Rosalind was no simpering docile female; she was a fiery temptress with a stubborn streak only matched by his horse, Samson. Insulting, infuriating, intoxicating and alluring enough to drive a man mad. Stefan found himself thankful for the curse that required him marry her, thankful for the betrothal contract he had so recently tried to release her from...With the fortitude of a sailor shipwrecked, abandoned, and a solider warring for his life Stefan decides to lay siege to the greatest prize, Rosalind's heart.
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My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

This was a cute enough story, however I can't say it really stood out to me the same way other books by this author have. I really couldn't understand Rosalind at all. She's convinced that her family is going to perish due to a curse, but yet she won't agree to do the one thing that is said to break the curse? She seemed a little.. selfish. And while the Hero wasn't perfect by any means himself, I felt as though he at least tried. He tried to give her what she wanted, but it never seemed to be good enough. 

On the flip side of that, I enjoyed the way the overall curse was presented, and how the author was able to weave real life circumstances into what otherwise may have been a more unbelievable story. 

Overall, I am sure this story will appeal to a variety of readers. I would read more from this author. 


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 Upon a Midnight Dream is available from Amazon.com

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Review: Ruthless (Mob Boss, #1) by Michelle St. James


Print Length: 320 pages
Publisher: Blackthorn Press (August 3, 2015)

From Goodreads.com: Two years out of college, Angelica Bondesan spends her time working as a barista, keeping in touch with her prodigal brother, and trying to figure out how to bridge the gap with her father, a wealthy real estate developer.

But all of that changes the night she’s kidnapped. Thrown into a windowless room, Angelica is positive there’s been some kind of mistake — until she meets Nico Vitale.

Gorgeous and frightening, Nico became the boss of New York City’s Vitale crime family after the execution style murder of his parents two years earlier. Since then he’s turned the old-school mob into a sleek, modern army of ruthless men who understand that physical violence — while always an option — isn’t the only way to get what you want.

Now Angel is forced to face the truth;

Her father is not the man she believed him to be.


Nico Vitale is dangerous, possibly lethal.

She is falling in love with Nico Vitale.



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My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

This story was definitely not what I was expecting. The author's writing was solid even if the overall plot was not. This was definitely not the dark and gritty story that I was expecting - in fact I'm honestly surprised that Nico's men haven't overthrown him already. I'm all for "gangsters" having a code of honor, and its refreshing when the boss chooses not to participate in the seedier aspects of mob life, but when the boss institutes a no weapon policy, and doesn't allow cursing? It kind of makes him look weak. 

And then we get to Angelica. I wanted to like her really I did. But she was a classic case of Stockholm Syndrome - it had to be when we were expected to believe an almost instant love between the two of them. Even when circumstances beyond their control puts them alone for several days - they are more interested in having sex than actually getting to know each other. 

Overall, there were some enjoyable parts to this story, and I am sure there are those who will enjoy it, however at this time I am unsure as to whether or not I will continue on with this series. 
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 Ruthless (Mob Boss, #1) is available from Amazon.com


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Review: The Siren's Dream (Siren #3) by Amber Belldene


Print Length: 150 pages
Publisher: Lyrical Press (November 22, 2016)

From Goodreads.com: Revenge never felt so sweet...Murdered by a bullet intended for her beloved, Katya Dvoynev's fate is to haunt the building where she took her last breath. That is, unless she can lure her killer into her clutches and find the vengeance her mara spirit seeks. But destiny has other plans, and handsome Nikolai Zurkov arrives instead, filling Katya with a desire so strong she must fight to remember it's revenge she seeks, not love...

Investigative journalist Nikolai is on a mission to bring down a corrupt corporation responsible for so many deaths. If the gorgeous ghost who enters his dreams holds the key, Nik has no problem sharing in the seductive beauty's nightly encounters. But when he discovers Katya's intent is murder, he'll do anything to keep her from getting blood on her hands. For only true justice can give her the love she longs for and keep her in his world.



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My Rating: 4 stars out of 5
This was definitely one of the more interesting paranormal romances that I have ever read, and I enjoyed the authors fresh and unique spin on ghosts (and to an extension ghost possession). 

The characters were interesting and unique as well, and I enjoyed the realistic interactions between Nik and his niece. They had their hardships trying to find the balance with each other, and it was nice to not only see them find that balance, but to also have Katya be able to help with that as well. 

I found the romance between Nik and Katya to be believable (as much as it could be considering she was technically dead), and the way that he showed her she was worthy of being loved and treated well added a different depth to the story that only made it stronger.  

Overall, I would recommend this story to those who enjoy paranormal romances. I would read more from this author. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.


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The Siren's Dream (Siren #3) is available from Amazon.com

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Review: The Robber Bride (Daring Debutantes #1) by Jerrica Knight-Catania


Print Length: 142 pages
Publisher: Night Shift Publishing (May 2, 2011)

From Goodreads.com: When Victoria Barclay, privileged daughter of the Viscount Grantham, has a life-altering experience as a young girl, it sets the course for the rest of her life. She is determined to make a difference in the world, no matter the consequence, and becomes a highwayman—or woman, as it were—robbing the rich and donating her pilfered gains to the poor.

Life-long friend and neighbor, Phineas Dartwell, Earl of Leyburn, suspects his dear friend is up to no good. She’s become evasive, and even worse, he cares that she’s become evasive. When she refuses to confide in him, claiming it’s for his own good, he severs the friendship out of wounded pride and a wounded heart.

But when Victoria’s activities are brought to light in the eyes of the magistrate, Phineas must find a way to acquit his friend—and dare he hope, future wife?—of the charges.

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My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

This was a cute and quick read with witty and engaging characters that don't conform to society's standards. I enjoyed not only the characters, but also the fact that the story revolved more around Victoria and her exploits to help the underprivileged than it did the romance. Sure, it was fun watching our two main characters figure out the depth of their feelings for each other, but for once the romance didn't overshadow the "meat" of the story. 

Victoria was by far my favorite in this story (even though she is one of the main characters). For someone who looked out the window at the age of eight, and realized that there were people less fortunate than her to the headstrong woman who puts others before her own well-being, she was a character that stands out. I do wish there would have been a bit more at the end of the story (when everything came to light), but all things considered, it was still a great story. 

Overall, I am sure this story will appeal to those who enjoy a clean historical romance with a strong female lead. I would read more from this author. 

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                                 The Robber Bride is available from Amazon.com