Review: MacRieve

Review: MacRieveMacRieve (Immortals After Dark, #14) by Kresley Cole
Series: Immortals After Dark #14
Published by Gallery Books on July 2, 2013
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 384

Twisted and Painful and Dark But The Lykae is Also Cute

“You need to rebreak that bone. It didn’t set right.”

FINAL DECISION: The sad and painful journey of MacRieve to recover from his past where he discovers the mate he needs, treats her poorly and then realizes that she can help him heal. Chloe’s kickass personality was my favorite in this book.

THE STORY: Uilleam (“Will”) MacRieve is messed up. Tortured by his enemies, MacRieve has lost his Lykae instinct and he wants to die. The one thing that keeps him alive is the possibility of revenge. At this critical moment of his life, he meets his mate, Chloe Todd. Chloe is the mortal daughter of MacRieve’s enemy and is being auctioned off by the House of Witches. MacRieve’s instinct revives and tells him that he has to protect her. Things are complicated, however, because Chloe has secrets that even she doesn’t know that might send MacRieve from her forever.

OPINION: This is a journey through MacRieve’s past. As Nix tells him, he hasn’t healed from his past where he believes he caused the death of most of his family by his actions. His torture at the hands of the mortals has revived that pain and increased it. It’s sad that he meets Chloe and she seems to be able to help him heal, but then things go wrong.

MacRieve is brooding, dark, damaged and often times a serious jerk. He has some serious baggage that has haunted him for over nine hundred years. When he is charming, he is adorable. I also really liked the reversal of the normal Lykae story in this book. Here, MacRieve’s beast is often close to the surface and he learns to harness it through the book.

Chloe is one of my favorite heroines. MacRieve treats her poorly, but she doesn’t cower and whimper. She fights him. Her strength and determination allows her to survive MacRieve’s treatment of her. She also has to deal with some real surprises.

For fans of the series, Nix’s plans are revealed more here.

WORTH MENTIONING: This is the best epilogue but be prepared to be frustrated by having to wait.

CONNECTED BOOKS: MACRIEVE is the fourteenth book in the Immortals After Dark series. It can be read as a standalone although there is an overarching storyline for the series for which the reader needs to follow the various books.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.


Review: Lothaire

Review: LothaireLothaire (Immortals After Dark, #12) by Kresley Cole
Series: Immortals After Dark #12
Published by Pocket on January 10, 2012
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 468

The Enemy of Old Meets His Match

“Lothaire the Enemy of Old had returned for her. Just as he’d promised.”

FINAL DECISION: Dark and macabre at times, this book fits one of the evil characters in the IAD universe. Lothaire’s mate is exactly not the woman he expected and that makes this so good.
THE STORY: Lothaire the Enemy of Old is an ancient ruthless vampire. The bastard son to the former king of the Horde, Lothaire has sworn to take over the Horde and also the kingdom from his mother’s family. Elizabeth “Ellie” Peirce is a mortal on death row and is possessed by what she terms a “demon”. Soroya an an ancient evil vampire ex-goddess and Lothaire believes that she is his mate. He intends on finding a way to exorcise Ellie and claim Soroya as his own. The complication is that the longer Lothaire is in the presence of Ellie and Saroya, the more he begins to fear that his mate might now be who he thinks it is.

OPINION: I love the struggle that Lothaire has in determining his mate. He treats Ellie terribly and one might expect that it is she who is his mate. Ellie is certainly not evil, but she isn’t a sweet, innocent miss either. Even better, she doesn’t really change Lothaire much — readers of the series can be assured that Lothaire doesn’t turn into Mr. Nice Guy, but rather controls his darkest impulses.

The story is very dramatic with sneaky and intriguing dilemmas and clever, dark solutions. Lothaire and Ellie have a very dark and dangerous journey to their happiness.

Lothaire’s mysterious past is revealed which once again adds understanding but not excuse to Lothaire’s behavior. There are big things here that effect all of the Lore.

WORTH MENTIONING: Lothaire rips out his own heart and sends it to Ellie. Weirdest courtship yet.

CONNECTED BOOKS: LOTHAIRE is the twelfth book in the Immortals After Dark series. It can be read as a standalone. It is better to read it as part of the series, however, because there is an overarching story and intricate relationships that are not really understandable to new readers.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.


Review: Kyle

Review: KyleKyle (Riding Hard #6) by Jennifer Ashley
Series: Riding Hard #6
Published by JA/AG on May 9, 2019
Genres: Contemporary

FINAL DECISION: This is a nice romance about two people getting to know one another while living in a small town. I liked both of these characters and their romance felt normal and more real than I expected.

THE STORY: Kyle Malory is recovering from an bull riding injury when a bet with veterinarian Anna Lawler ends up with the two going on a date. As the two spend time together, two people who have known one another for a long time get to know one another for the first time romantically.

OPINION: This is a sweet small town contemporary romance. There is less drama than some of the other books in the series, but I liked how Kyle and Anna get to know one another. There is a great comfort here in the setting and the characters as Kyle and Anna circle around one another in a real way. No serious misunderstandings, no outside forces keeping them apart. Just two people getting to know one another and finding out whether there is something more than sexual attraction between them.

I really liked Anna who is sassy and no pushover. A woman who is constantly underestimated, she is strong and yet not harsh. I liked that she has her values and is willing to assert them but doesn’t demand that other people adhere to her beliefs.

I thought that Kyle was a sucker for her as soon as the two begin to interact. He is kind to her and certainly respects her. In an older fashioned romance, I would say that he is sweet on her from the start.

There is certainly some hot moments, but I really liked the little things between them — like Kyle trying a new food, getting himself dirty to help her, wanting to protect her reputation, Anna’s attack cat.

The book made me smile.

WORTH MENTIONING: There is overlap in the timeline for this book and the next in the series, RAY, so we get to see some of Ray and the woman who catches his interest.

CONNECTED BOOKS: KYLE is the sixth book in the Riding Hard series. The romance here is self-contained and thus the book can be read as a standalone. Characters, however, appear from other books and reading the series gives a reader a better sense of the relationships between all these characters.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book from the author. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.



Review: Tightrope

Review: TightropeTightrope (Burning Cove, #3) by Amanda Quick
Series: Burning Cove #3
Published by Berkley on May 7, 2019
Genres: Historical, Romantic Suspense
Pages: 320

FINAL DECISION: This one was great. I enjoyed the setting, the conflict and the suspense story which was well done with multiple stories coming together in unexpected ways. I also loved the hero and the heroine was a good match for him. I wanted a bit more romance, but this one was better balanced than I expected.

THE STORY: Trapeze artist Amalie Vaughn escapes a killer and ends up owning a hotel in Burning Cove. Then she finds out her hotel is infamous. When a inventor guest is murdered by his own robot, she fears that the confirmation of her hotel’s dubious history of death will destroy her second chance. When she meets Matthias Jones who is investigating the murder, the two form a partnership to solve the crime and thus save Amalie’s business.

OPINION: I really enjoyed this book. Both the suspense/mystery and romance worked for me here. I do wish there was more time spent on the romance, but I understand that Krentz/Quick has chosen to focus more on the suspense aspects rather than the romance in her more recent works. (One reason why I generally like her older works better.)

This book has so many interesting elements that I was entertained throughout. I am still really enjoying the unusual time period (1930s) and the California setting. These elements always make the stories feel fresh and interesting since there are new and intriguing elements involved. (Post WWI and the impending WWII events). I also enjoyed the foray into circuses, gangsters, and early Hollywood horror films.

I really enjoyed the appearance of Matthias and I’m so glad that Quick has returned to a bit of her paranormal elements. The Arcane series is one of my favorite by her and I was saddened when she abandoned those books.

Matthias and Amalie have a good partnership and there are some really nice moments between them. Their relationship feels like a combination of the formality of relationships with some loosening of restrictions. These elements felt true to the time period and I enjoyed their interactions.

After a bit of a miss in the prior book in this series, I really enjoyed this one.

WORTH MENTIONING: Fans of Krentz/Castle/Quick’s Arcane series will recognize the hero as a member of the Jones family.

CONNECTED BOOKS: TIGHTROPE is the third book in the Burning Cove series. This book can be read as a standalone although there are overlapping characters. The romance here is self-contained. There is a bit of an continuing story especially at the end of this book.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.

NOTE: I received an ARC from First to Read. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.


Review: Lady No Says Yes

I received this book for free from Netgalley in order to prepare an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Lady No Says YesLady No Says Yes (The Scandal Sheet Book 3) by Jess Michaels
Series: The Scandal Sheet #3
Published by Passionate Pen on May 7 2019
Genres: Historical


FINAL DECISION: This is a nice story, but I wanted more time with the characters to more fully develop their relationship.

THE STORY: Sophie is an heiress known as “Lady No” because she always refuses all advances by men including dancing and carriage rides. When the Scandal Sheet raises the issue of Sophie becoming a spinster, Sophie’s aunt challenges Sophie to say “yes” for a Season. Rowan Sinclair inheritance is taken from him by his brother who has now become Earl. Lady No’s change of mind seems to be an opportunity for Rowan to capture an heiress and solve his problems.

OPINION: I liked the setup for this book. The short length does not allow the story to be as developed as I often wanted while reading this story. The situation seems well designed to have plenty of angst and drama, but the novella length forces things to happen too quickly.

I liked what I had in this book, but I wanted more. More of Rowan and Sophie together, more of the sexy bits, more of the drama and development of their emotional connection.

I did like the book, but I probably wouldn’t think to read it again.

WORTH MENTIONING: This book is a short novella.

CONNECTED BOOKS: LADY NO SAYS YES is the third book in the Scandal Sheet series. This book can be read as a standalone.

STAR RATING: I give this book 3 stars.

NOTE: I received an eARC of this book via Netgalley. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.



Review: Dreams of a Dark Warrior

Review: Dreams of a Dark WarriorDreams of a Dark Warrior (Immortals After Dark, #11) by Kresley Cole
Series: Immortals After Dark #11
Published by Pocket Books on February 15, 2011
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 512

Dark, Sexy Action Adventure Paranomal Romance

“Hear this tale, the legend of Aiden the Fierce and Reginlet the Radiant One, a pair of lovers both bound and cursed by fate.”

FINAL DECISION: Filled with action, suspense and a dark story, this book takes the idea of Regin’s true love returning and turns it upside down as he is reincarnated as a killer of immortals. I loved the drama and angst this added to the story.

THE STORY: A thousand years ago, Regin the Radiant, a Valkyrie, fell for Aiden the Fierce, a mortal warrior and berserker. Right after Regin and Aiden made love, he was killed. For a thousand years, Aiden has been reincarnated and cursed with dying as soon as he recalls the past. Aiden has been reincarnated again as Declan Chase, a brutal soldier and member of the Order whose mission it is to capture, study and kill immortals. Captured and tortured by Declan, Raiden is now thinking on how she can make him remember their past in order that he will die and help her and her friends escape.

OPINION: The twist of having Regin’s grand love return as an enemy gives this book an edge. Declan is not merely an enemy in name only. He tortures immortals — including Regin. He is broken and dark and irresistible. I liked that the book explains but doesn’t excuse Declan’s behavior. I especially liked the ultimate resolution of the drama of the series and the question of whether Declan would remember and thus die and continue the painful history that he and Regin share.

This book is action packed and filled with characters both old and new. This book is most closely connected with DEMON FROM THE DARK which overlaps this book in content and in time.

WORTH MENTIONING: Oh Lothaire, he’s a really dark, bad and sexy dude.

CONNECTED BOOKS: DREAMS OF A DARK WARRIOR is the eleventh book in the Immortals After Dark series. It can be read a standalone but there is an overarching storyline in the series about the coming Accession, an epic battle between immortals.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.


Review: More Than Tempt You

Review: More Than Tempt YouMore Than Tempt You (More Than Words #5) by Shayla Black
Series: More Than Words #5
Published by Shelley Bradley, LLC on April 30, 2019
Genres: Contemporary

FINAL DECISION: Clint is misguided and Beth is hard to get to know, but these two are so perfect together that all the lies an secrets can’t keep them apart. I enjoyed this book but wanted more grovel for Clint’s lies.

THE STORY: Clint Holmes is looking for revenge after the death of his father. He believes that Bethany Banks, who managed his father’s money, is responsible for the shock and stress that led to his father’s death. He tracks her down in Maui working as a waitress. In order to discover what her involvement is in the theft of his father’s money, Clint pretends to be a bartender new to the island and hides his true identity from Bethany. But she isn’t what he expected. Soon Clint finds himself falling for this woman with secrets.

OPINION: This book is told primarily from Clint’s point of view which is a good thing because otherwise his actions would be pretty terrible. Instead, we get to see his conflicts and thus he is a much more sympathetic character.

If a book has first person, I generally prefer alternating first person narratives so that we can get to know each character. Here Beth and her motivations remain a mystery to readers until she reveals them to Clint. This creates more understanding of Clint’s point of view because the reader is as uncertain as Clint is. (Although readers of the series might have some idea of what has been going on.)

Beth is difficult to get to know — both for the reader and for Clint. She also has some bad stuff in her background (readers of the series won’t be surprised by the horrible person her father is).

There are a lot of interesting situations in this book arising from the central conflict — Clint seeks to expose a liar by becoming one himself. Clint’s struggle of whether he is wrong about Beth or is falling for a bad person and his struggle over his own lies to Beth made his emotionally complex. It’s also a hot book!

I really liked these characters together, and I enjoyed this book with one exception. Clint really should have had to do more “on camera” groveling. But we get some sense that he is truly redeemed by the end of the book so I’m okay with it, but I still wanted more.

WORTH MENTIONING: Fans of the author’s other series may find some Easter eggs here.

CONNECTED BOOKS: MORE THAN TEMPT YOU is the fifth book in the More Than Words series. This book can be read as a standalone although there is a continuing story in the series if you read the books in order and overlapping characters.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.

NOTE: I received an early released eARC of this book via the author to aid in preparation of this review. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own. Additionally, I, myself, purchased an actual ebook of this title once it was released.