Posts Categorized: Uncategorized

The Weekend: London Affair Part 1 – Rhyannon Byrd 2 stars

October 17, 2017 Uncategorized 0

The Weekend: London Affair Part 1 – Rhyannon Byrd  2 starsThe Weekend: London Affair by Rhyannon Byrd
Published by Headline on October 17th 2017
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 144
Goodreads

The Weekend begins Rhyannon Byrd's sexy new serial, London Affair, where a dangerous web of passion, deception and intrigue unfolds into an explosive love story... Perfect for fans of Sylvia Day, J. Kenner and Jodi Ellen Malpas.

American art-history graduate Emmy Reed is in London, hoping to land her dream job by getting an exclusive scoop on a famous reclusive artist. When a dangerous encounter throws her into the path of millionaire playboy Jase Beckett, Emmy is grateful for his quick-thinking - but equally determined to turn down his proposal to be his date for a family wedding. That is, until she discovers that her sought-after artist is his grandfather.

Tired of the game-playing women in his circle, Jase finds Emmy refreshingly fascinating. And as the weekend progresses and they work together to survive his insufferable family's devious scheming, Emmy and Jase find themselves drowning in an intoxicating sexual chemistry that leaves them both desperate for more...and reeling emotionally.

When their stunning weekend is over, neither is ready to let go. But dark secrets surround the Beckett family - can their fledgling relationship survive the damaging revelations to come?

Emmy and Jase's explosive London Affair continues in The Chase and The Confession.'From London to the English countryside, Jase and Emmy burn up the sheets in this first installment of Rhyannon Byrd's London Affair' P.T. Michelle, New York Times bestselling author'London Affair is signature Rhyannon Byrd - exciting, sexy, and romantic. Byrd brilliantly crafts a steamy love story with a couple that dazzles, and I couldn't put it down!' Virna DePaul, New York Times bestselling author

Looking for more sexy reads from Rhyannon Byrd? Check out the steamy Dangerous Tides titles: Take Me Under, Make Me Yours and Keep Me Closer.

Warning, spoilers ahead.  If you haven’t read The Weekend yet and don’t want major plot points spoiled please come back later.

 

While sitting down to write this book, I had to ask myself what makes a the plot of a book realistic.  It was interesting to think about because it wasn’t as black and white as I thought it would be.  I’m a big fan of both the PNR and UF genres, so I can’t determine whether or not a book is realistic based on whether or not the events portrayed in the book would ever take place in the real world.  So what then makes the story we are presented with relatable to us the reader.  What I decided was that as the reader I needed to be able to understand the decisions that the main characters were making.  That evaluation has nothing to do with whether or not I would make the same decisions, rather that given who the character is and the situations they have found themselves in, do I believe that they would make the decisions that they are making in the book.

Many books have a moment where the character makes a decision that seems out of character or unlikely in my opinion, but it rarely affects my enjoyment of the overall story.  It’s only when it is decision after decision that seems unlikely or downright dangerous that it affects my ability to suspend belief and enjoy the story.  The Weekend ended up falling into the latter category for me.  I just couldn’t see a woman making the decisions that Emmy did throughout this first installment.

My struggle with this story started from the very beginning.  When Emmy wakes up in a stranger’s home after sustaining a concussion sustained during a mugging, you would imagine that she would be suspicious and likely in a hurry to leave.   I mean when you don’t know where you are, or how you got there most women would be in a hurry to get the heck out of dodge, so when Jase offers Emmy a deal for an interview with his grandfather if she’ll be his date at a weekend family wedding I raised an eyebrow at her decision making.  Little did I know that this would be one of the most believable scenes in the entire story.

Once at the wedding, we find out that Jase’s family is a hot mess of epic proportions.  His dad is an alcoholic who is still actively drinking, his step mother could give the Wick Witch of the West a run for his money and his cousins are egotistical abusive assholes.  Does Emmy ever seem to second guess the situation she has found herself in… nope.  Below are just a few examples of the types of situations I am talking about.

  • Jase’s step mother is shown screaming at him on multiple occasions and quite frankly seems to have a creepy attraction to Jase although that’s never shown on page.  Emmy rescues Jase twice from these events, yet never calls him out for bringing her to this weekend without giving her a clear picture of what the situation is.
  • Jase’s step mother and cousin conspire to split Jase and Emmy up by making Jase believe she is cheating on him.  That in itself isn’t an uncommon premise, but in this case his cousin corners her, physical restrains her and forcibly kisses her.  Not only does our heroine not decide that she may be in over her head with this family, but she is immediately intimate with Jase for the first time after this happens.
  • Jase’s other cousin is cheating on his fiance throughout the entire book, and at one point a teenager that he has gotten pregnant shows up and he physically threatens her.

I just couldn’t wrap my head around a man that would knowingly continue to subject herself to all of this when she isn’t even in a relationship with man.  I personally would be hard pressed to stay in that situation with a man I loved, let alone a man I had a temporary arrangement with.

The Weekend ends on a bit of a cliffhanger and I will admit even with all of the issues in the story, I am a tad curious about what happens with both characters in the next installment.  It’s my hope that the over the top insanity gets dialed back a few notches.

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Silence Fallen – Patricia Briggs – 5 stars

April 28, 2017 Uncategorized 1

Silence Fallen – Patricia Briggs – 5 starsSilence Fallen Published by Ace on 03/07/17
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 379
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

In the #1 New York Times bestselling Mercy Thompson novels, the coyote shapeshifter has found her voice in the werewolf pack. But when Mercy’s bond with the pack—and her mate—is broken, she’ll learn what it truly means to be alone...

Attacked and abducted in her home territory, Mercy finds herself in the clutches of the most powerful vampire in the world, taken as a weapon to use against alpha werewolf Adam and the ruler of the Tri-Cities vampires. In coyote form, Mercy escapes—only to find herself without money, without clothing, and alone in the heart of Europe...

Unable to contact Adam and the rest of the pack, Mercy has allies to find and enemies to fight, and she needs to figure out which is which. Ancient powers stir, and Mercy must be her agile best to avoid causing a war between vampires and werewolves, and between werewolves and werewolves. And in the heart of the ancient city of Prague, old ghosts rise...

The Mercy Thompson series was the first Urban Fantasy series that I ever read and I instantly fell in love with both the series and the genre.   I loved that Mercy was such a strong heroine with just the right amount of sass (the thought of her car facing Adam’s house still cracks me up).  As sometimes happens with a series though, the series started heading in a direction that I didn’t enjoy as much.  The books felt less thought out, the situations a bit contrived and characters who I loved previously I suddenly wanted to hit over the head (I’m looking at you Adam).  For these reasons combined with the price of the book,  I wasn’t in a hurry to pick this one up but I did eventually break down and buy it.  Thankfully Silence Fallen ended up exactly what I loved about the early books in the series.

Silence Fallen was a thriller from the very first chapter.  Mercy wakes up and finds herself in a locked in freezer with two vampires.   One of them is no other than The Lord of the Night, who decides to kidnap Mercy after Wulfe tell’s him that she was the most powerful person in the Tri-Cities.  As difficult as Mercy’s past struggles have been with vampires, she knows that Bonarata is in a league of his own and there is no way that he’s going to let her live.  In true Mercy fashion, the minute that opportunity presents itself, she escapes.  Unfortunately this doesn’t improve her circumstances much as Mercy realizes she is half way across the world without even a stitch of clothing, let alone money or the means to reach her pack.

Adam know’s that something has happened to Mercy when he feels her pain, but when their mate bond is silent he has no way of knowing where she is or how to help her.  When Marsilla reaches out to Adam after receiving an email from Bonarata, he is forced into a partnership with people he doesn’t necessarily trust to try to bring Mercy home safely.   Adam sets off to Europe with Honey, Marsilla, Stefan, Elizaveta, Larry the Goblin King and two supernatural pilots in the hopes that he can depend on those with him enough to save Mercy.  As if that wasn’t enough, Adam must deal with Bonarata diplomatically in order to keep his family and friends safe when all he really wants to do is tear him limb from limb from limb.

I was surprised to enjoy the perspective and timeline shifts from chapter to chapter in this book because I expected the fact it wasn’t linear to be distracting and confusing but the chapter introductions prevented that from being the case.

My favorite scenes from this book:

  • The escape scene as a whole.  I loved the thought process that Mercy was going through in her mind and that she didn’t hesitate to act as soon as she had the chance
  • A certain someone getting hit by a bus, seriously that was epic!
  • The scenes with Jitka.  What can I say, I love more strong female wolves who have found their place high up in the hierarchy.
  • The fact we got to see that Mercy is still struggling with events from her past was important.  As strong as she is, those feelings don’t just magically go away and it’s important to represent that.
  • The Matt Smith twist… I didn’t think there was anything odd happening but it made so much sense once the twist was revealed.
  • The unlikely partnership of both the Tri-Cities group gives me hope that we will get to see more unlikely partnerships in the future.  Something tells me The Lord of the Night isn’t gone and based on his convoluted plots, Adam and Mercy will need all the help they can get.

 

five-stars

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What It Takes – Shannon Stacey – 4.5 Stars

February 28, 2017 Uncategorized 0

I received this book for free from NetGalley.com . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

What It Takes – Shannon Stacey – 4.5 StarsWhat It Takes: A Kowalski Reunion Novel by Shannon Stacey
Published by Carina Press on February 28, 2017
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, General
Pages: 164
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Revisit all of your Kowalski favorites while falling in love with a brand-new romance in this reunion novel from New York Times bestselling author Shannon Stacey

Laney Caswell is looking for a change. A decade's worth of less-than-happy matrimony behind her, she wants peace—movies, books and, best of all, a new job at the Northern Star Lodge in Whitford, Maine. Spending the summer living in a camper is her chance to rediscover what makes her happy, and a perfect transition to her new life.

Being a paramedic in Whitford is nothing like Ben Rivers's city life, but when Josh Kowalski offers him the job, the lure of his hometown is too much to resist. Also too much to resist: Laney Caswell. Ben always thought he'd have a wife and kids, a happy family like the Kowalskis have all built, but he never made time in his life. Now he's found a woman who draws him like no other and helps him dream again—and the last thing she wants is a husband.

When the annual Kowalski family camping trip is moved to the Northern Star, both Ben and Laney are surrounded by the kind of happiness they've always wanted but never had. It just might be theirs—if they can put aside the past and reach for it together.

I have to say that this is a very bittersweet book to have read but I loved it.  Bitter in the fact that this is the last Kowalski book but sweet in that it shows the reader so many things about how the couples have stuck together and grown as a couple.  I love this series and am sad to see it end but know that Shannon will keep providing us with great stories in the future.

Ben has finally come back home and is ready to settle down with the right woman but he isn’t in a hurry to do it, he just knows he wants it.  He’s struck by how many people around him have found their partners but I appreciated how he really was honest about it to himself and to Laney.  He is a wonderful man though and intuitive enough to know he needs to let things move organically with Laney.  He is so sweet to her and makes sure that she doesn’t feel like he is taking over for her  or that he doesn’t feel that she can do things on her own.  I quite enjoyed his character and the fact that he was honest about what he was looking for even as he worked hard to not put pressure on Laney.  I also fully understood why he got so hurt by some of her reactions but he never really took it out on her.  He just said his piece and let the cards fall where they may.

Laney was a character I understood.  I understood how easy it is to let yourself fall away in order to preserve the peace.  I understood how hard it is to make decisions about what to do with your life when you aren’t certain who you are any more.  I understood it because it is something that I am struggling with in real life.  I also appreciated the fact that while she didn’t want to want Ben… she wanted Ben and was honest with him as to what she was struggling with.  I got why she reacted the way she did in the closing section of the book.  I didn’t like it in a way but I got it.  I also loved how being around the craziness that is the Kowalski family helped her see what she wanted and made it possible for her to finally understand what was important.  She really does fit in with the clan and seeing her embrace life was such a nice feeling.

There are moments with Sean and Emma that will be a bit sniffle worthy but they were appreciated as we see a couple come to terms with their relationship and what matters.  I also loved seeing Rosie and Andy but also just in general getting some glimpses of the family we love.  For fans of the series this is such a wonderful close to a great set of stories.

four-half-stars

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Musings on Sept 1, 2016

September 1, 2016 Uncategorized 1

I am happy to say that I am working on being more consistent with reviews on the site.  I may have also persuaded someone to occasionally review titles with me on the site so expect some additional titles and opinions coming soon!  I’m excited because I love sharing things with people and to have someone else be willing to put her opinions out here is YAY!!!!!

So this month is gonna be a new start in a few respects –

  • My bachelor’s program starts Sept 12 which also happens to be my 46th birthday… yeah…  NOT COOL but I know that if I stick with it I get the degree in March 2018 so I’ll do it.
  • My workout program starts on Sept 6 with a small bit being done as I review the yoga dvds I have at home this weekend.
  • My closet will have one final purge this weekend as I finish going thru shoes and purses so all items in the closet and dressers really mean something vs just being clutter.
  • My meal changes will be taking effect this month as I work harder at not eating fast food.  I need to also purge soft drinks but baby steps including drinking more water.
  • The duo also is not immune from changes…  They will be back on the whole “hooman trying to kill us by only feeding us small amount 3 times a day” routine which is painful but they (BELLA) need it.  I’ll have to keep an eye on Macaroni so he doesn’t lose a ton of weight but the Diva definitely needs to get a bit smaller like her hooman.
  • My DSLR will start getting some use as I try to make a new habit of a photo a day plus it’ll come in handy as I start to expand my horizons and bake bread.

So yeah there are changes but I like these changes as I try to get out of this funk I’ve been in for a while now.  I like my life now but I know that I need to wake up and do some things that will let me be a better version of myself.

Do you have any changes that you are making in your life so you can feel more comfortable in your own skin?

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Read-A-Thon – Hour… well heck I don’t know- 12/13… 1282 pages

April 25, 2015 Uncategorized 0

Ok I’m losing track of time but hey that’s ok ….  Actually I think we are in hour 12 or 13…  LOL can you tell no nap??  Dinner is in the oven and I’ve finished another book…

So this means 1282 pages down – Last Kiss, Shoulda Been A Cowboy, Glimmer, Signal Boost and The Confession have all been read and reviews either posted or scheduled…  YAY!!!

 

Now it is time to check dinner and then pick the next read….

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Read-A-Thon – Nearly end of hour 9 – 1,124 pages

April 25, 2015 Uncategorized 0

Yep…  Just finished The Confession by Sierra Kincaide….  Nice conclusion to the series!

 

Ok…  Total pages… 1,124 with Last Kiss, Shoulda Been A Cowboy, Glimmer and The Confession under my belt.

 

Ok…  Time to figure out the next title to dig in to…  in a couple more hours I will stop to make Scalloped Potatoes and Ham…

 

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