Contemporary · Mystery/Crime · Romance · Suspense

Fire and ice – Julie Garwood

3407345| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Sophie Rose, a tough and determined newspaper reporter, is the daughter of Bobby Rose, a suave, charming, and handsome gentleman who also happens to be a notorious big-time thief sought by every law-enforcement agency in the country. When the major Chicago daily where she works insists she write an expose about her roguish father, Sophie refuses, quits her job, and goes to work at a small newspaper. Far from her onetime high-powered crime beat, she now covers local personalities such as the quirky winner of several area 5K runs whose trademark is goofy red socks.
Those red socks-with Sophie’s business card neatly tucked inside-are practically all that’s found after runner William Harrington is killed near Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, seemingly the victim of a brutal death by polar bear. The Alaska cops want to know why Harrington carried Sophie’s card. With an unerring nose for a good story, she heads north.
What Sophie doesn’t realize is that on her journey from Chicago to Prudhoe Bay, danger follows in her wake. After one attempt on her life, she’s been assigned brash but sexy Jack MacAlister as a bodyguard by the cautious FBI. Amid great peril and deadly intrigue in the unforgiving Alaskan terrain, she and Jack form an uneasy alliance sparked with sensual attraction. But they will soon be fighting more than their growing passion for each other. Powerful forces will stop at nothing to prevent the exposure of the sinister conspiracy Sophie and Jack are about to uncover.

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My thoughts: What I really like with Garwood is that she is such a strong character writer. Especially when it comes to the females. I’m a huge critic when it comes to females and often finds them dumb, childish, meek and excessive. But never with Garwood. I receive pretty much what I expect and it never disappoint me. This one was just as good as always when it comes to the writing, character and such. The plot however I found a little weak. I really liked Sophie’s history and enigmatic father but Jack could have used a little more work and the story a little more depth. I missed that … umpf… in lack of better words.

Nothing bad really, just didn’t earn the last star but certainly not a bad book in any means. This is the 7 book in the series about Buchanan-Renard family and it is safe to say, I will continue it.

Contemporary · Romance · Young, New adult/College

Under Locke – Mariana Zapata

20613920| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: He was my boss, my brother’s friend, a Widower, an ex-felon, and a man I’d seen casually with a handful of women. But he was everything that gripped me, both the good and the bad. Worst case scenario if things turned awkward between us, I could go somewhere else. I’d gotten over epic heartbreak before, one more wouldn’t kill me.

After moving to Austin following six months of unemployment back home, Iris Taylor knows she should be glad to have landed a job so quickly… even if the business is owned by a member of the same motorcycle club her estranged father used to belong to. Except Dex Locke might just be the biggest jerk she’s ever met. He’s rude, impatient and doesn’t know how to tell time. And the last thing they ever expected was each other.
But it was either the strip club or the tattoo shop.

… she should have chosen the strip club.

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My thoughts: Mariana is one of my favorite authors with her unique writing style and thoughtful plots. And even though I often find it a delight reading her books, I can’t say that it I fell for Under Locke. In my opinion, of those book I have read so far, this is certainly the weakest one. I can see how she tried to achieve some strong, kick ass characters but it fell flat on so many levels.

My biggest problem was really Iris and that she certainly is not an character easy to love. She prides herself with not holding grudges, but like 60% of the books is constant nagging about what a dick one character is, what an asshole another are and it goes on and on and on. I can’t stand that type of self-pity and it drives me nuts that she sounds like a broken record. She is almost 25 years old but often acts like 15. Yeah I know she have had a hard life and so on, but then you would expect a more mature woman.

The plot is pretty straight forward. Woman has troubles with finding job, finds a job working for an asshole. Female fall in love with asshole and lo and behold, he is not an asshole after all. Just a man with many layers. Unfortunately those layers was not as deep as expected.

Overall it is a good book. It is quite entertaining and so on but so much dwelling is annoying to read. This book will not change my opinion regarding Mariana Zapata. I see it as a bad day, everyone has one and this book is just one of Mariana Zapatas bad days. Still okay but not as good as I know it can be.

Romance

Reeve – Jessica Gadziala

37285282| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Reeve
I had long since given up hope of the pursuit of genuine happiness. It wasn’t possible after all the sh*t I had been through. I had my siblings, my club, a purpose in life. It was enough.
Until I came across her.
She represented everything that I knew I couldn’t have – stability, a future, a way out of my past.
And, it seemed, the harder I tried to keep her at a distance, to protect her from my reality, she only got in deeper, only pulled me closer.
Then, one night, an old face popped up in Navesink Bank. And everything changed forever.

Rey
I liked my life. I liked the freedom and simplicity of it, even if it was, perhaps, a little lonely.
Then one night, there he was.
With the saddest eyes I had ever seen.
He represented everything my life didn’t need – chaos, violence, uncertainty. But, at the same time, everything it was lacking – companionship, connection.
He tried to fight it, to keep up his guards, to keep me at arm’s length.
But, well, fate had other plans.
That was the night everything changed.
Down an alley, facing down a new, yet familiar, big bad in Navesink Bank, forcing us together, making us confront the reality of what was happening between us.
Trapped together, waiting for the winds to blow over, he finally trusted me enough to let me in, to give us a shot, to invite me into his family.
That is, if all of us survived the upcoming storm…

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My thoughts: Rey was a character I thought I wouldn’t like. To hippy dippy, flower power, peace on earth, mumble jumble for my taste. But god damn she is hilarious. Down to earth, smart, funny and I see a lot of myself in her. And her total love for animals, self-reliance, her easygoing nature and somewhat different lifestyle is just wonderful. I love her and it’s not often I love a female character more than the male one. But in this I did. And I feel almost a little sad that it wasn’t longer because I would have loved to follow her more. She is just that good and Gadziala did a great work without making her over the top.

Overall the book is a typical Gadziala book with some hot scenes and complicated characters, history and an interesting future. It was nice to know Reeve’s story. I loved his brother and Reeve he had a pretty large role in Cyrus book but you never got to know what his history really was. But everything makes total sense now. And all the side characters is just so fun to follow and get to know.

There was also a huge plot twist that will go on for at least a couple of books forward. Not a major cliffhanger yet, but I’m looking forward do see how that will evolve.

Contemporary · Romance · Sports/Games · Young, New adult/College

The Goal – Elle Kennedy

28262024| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: She’s good at achieving her goals…

College senior Sabrina James has her whole future planned out: graduate from college, kick butt in law school, and land a high-paying job at a cutthroat firm. Her path to escaping her shameful past certainly doesn’t include a gorgeous hockey player who believes in love at first sight. One night of sizzling heat and surprising tenderness is all she’s willing to give John Tucker, but sometimes, one night is all it takes for your entire life to change.

But the game just got a whole lot more complicated…

Tucker believes being a team player is as important as being the star. On the ice, he’s fine staying out of the spotlight, but when it comes to becoming a daddy at the age of twenty-two, he refuses to be a bench warmer. It doesn’t hurt that the soon-to-be mother of his child is beautiful, whip-smart, and keeps him on his toes. The problem is, Sabrina’s heart is locked up tight, and the fiery brunette is too stubborn to accept his help. If he wants a life with the woman of his dreams, he’ll have to convince her that some goals can only be made with an assist.

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My thoughts:I liked but I didn’t love it. Short, sweet but I wasn’t really feeling it. Okay, I will give you that it is a nice story and as always filled with some really nice characters and a believable plot. But the way it was built and the slowness of it, didn’t do much for me this time.

I like Sabrina. She is a tough cookie. She is just so set on the goal of her life and doesn’t handle stuff well outside of that goal plan and some of her personality traits just rubs me the wrong way.  It is Tucker who does the whole story. Maybe because I already loved him before I started reading this one. And off course how am I not supposed to love him? He is just such a great man. Kennedy really has a gift with writing characters that does not feel needy or unrealistic.

I did enjoy it and it was nice to read something simpler since I have trouble with keeping my head in the reading mode right now. Note to self: Finnish one series before starting another written by Kennedy. That way you wont risk any spoilers on some certain details. 😉 Just saying.

Contemporary · Romance

The Messenger – Jessica Gadziala

41576496| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: He’s loved her since the day he met her. She’s been either oblivious or uninterested.
And now she is set to marry another man.
So, he decided he had to let her go.
But when he finds her on what was supposed to be the happiest day of her life, staining her wedding dress with tears, needing help, he realizes he had never let go. And now that he has the chance, he will stop at nothing to show her that he was the one she was meant to be with all along.

 

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My thoughts: I’m happy for Kai to finally get his HEA. He have been a side character in the first two books but his love for Jules have never been a secret. And damn this was intense and yes, it was a good book. But at the same time, I’m little disappointed. I expected Jules to be this bad ass, strong woman, who just had no idea that Kai had a thing for her. Then it turns out she had known all the time, misinterpret (maybe) her own feelings and never acted on it. Kind of meek and submissive and not in the good way. It made the story a little to unrealistic and certainly not what I had expect. Then the whole like me, like me not, needs time, do not need time cabal back and forth, just irked me. But Kai totally saved it. I love him. He is the perfect guy. And maybe I love him more than other characters because he reminds me of my own man, but hey, we are not laying not on that.

The plot was believable and new compared to what Gadziala usually writes. However somewhat unsatisfying and anticlimactic with the whole Gary thing. I wish we got to follow Bellamy instead according to that topic, but that just me I guess. I crave the more darker stuff in these type of books.

Next up is the fourth book in the series and I’m so exciting. Because there you will (I have heard) get to know the whole truth behind Eli’s incarceration and the circumstances surrounding those characters. But I’m going to save it to a time where I do not have to work. Hate to read those really good books, but then have to go to work.

Contemporary · Romance · Sports/Games · Young, New adult/College

The Chase – Elle Kennedy

34851664| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Everyone says opposites attract. And they must be right, because there’s no logical reason why I’m so drawn to Colin Fitzgerald. I don’t usually go for tattoo-covered, video-gaming, hockey-playing nerd-jocks who think I’m flighty and superficial. His narrow view of me is the first strike against him. It doesn’t help that he’s buddy-buddy with my brother.

And that his best friend has a crush on me.

And that I just moved in with them.

Oh, did I not mention we’re roommates?

I suppose it doesn’t matter. Fitzy has made it clear he’s not interested in me, even though the sparks between us are liable to burn our house down. I’m not the kind of girl who chases after a man, though, and I’m not about to start. I’ve got my hands full dealing with a new school, a sleazy professor, and an uncertain future. So if my sexy brooding roomie wises up and realizes what he’s missing?

He knows where to find me.

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My thoughts: This started of quite bad to be honest. I really didn’t like Summer. I found her shallow, egotistical and with a lot of self-pity. She got on my nerve and I was quite certain I would not like this book. But as I continue the story, something new was growing, blossom and in the end I freaking loved it. It is nothing like my first impression and I’m so glad I was wrong. It is that good and the character development is just beautifully done, vivid and the perfect tie with the plot. It did however get a little repetitive there in the middle and I’m not a big fan of love triangles. It wasn’t that bad however so I was able to ignore it. I did feel for the characters though.

On another note, I would have want some more satisfying endings with both the characters Hunter and Laurie. But I understand why the first did not end since it will probably continue in another book and I understand that the second was skip, but I would have like some more repercussions. A little more action. It is however NO cliffhangers so don’t worry about that.

Overall I’m so happy. It is a great book, who is easy to read, gets the blood pumping and after you just feel so good. The second book in the series has a release date in the end of February and I so looking forward to be reading Brennan’s story. And in the fall of 2019 the third book is being released. I wonder who we will follow then. I’m so excited.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction · Romance · Young, New adult/College

Throne of glass – Sarah J. Maas

40512568| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Meet Celaena Sardothien. Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake. She got caught.

Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament – fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?

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My thoughts: I’m a little disappointed actually. I know I can’t compare this to the ACOTAR series but it is hard not to. And to be honest, this is not what I expected from an author like Maas, who where one of my top favorite author in 2018. Very underwhelming after years of hearing that this is THE YA series to read. I expected more and not to walk away with an unsatisfying feeling.

Every reviewer and booktuber I follow loved Celaena. I however did not. She is arrogant, mean, lame and high on herself. She is such an over hyped character that it is a disappointment to read the book about her. To be that young, for having had such a hard life and after a year as a slave in the most notorious salt mines, you would expect her to be more humble toward life and not as vain and shallow. Her and most of the characters have no dept, no smooth development and the plot is slow and quite overrated. Maas have been raised to the skies for her strong, female protagonists and deep YA relations, but I saw noting of that here.

There is some attempt to romance and love/triangles but that just fell flat. It is not good. Nothing that got my heart pumping or the need to keep reading. You really get to know Dorian and Chaol and they both are so much better in my opinion than Celaena, which is supposed to be the main heroine character to love and follow. There is nothing unique or original. And the plot is just weird. There is some questionable decisions and there is more of a telling the story than showing the story. All the action and important parts, where jump over and later retell so that we, the readers, knew what had happens since last. No, not good.

To be honest I do not know if I will continue the series. At first I gave the book three stars but after a night’s sleep and the time of writing this review, I realize that I was too generous and lowered it to two. It is not as bad as a one star rating but certainly not as good as a three. It wasn’t as mind-blowing as I expected and it was nowhere near as well written as the ACOTAR series. Both in the character development, plot and settings.

Is it worth more of my time?

Adult fiction/Erotica · Contemporary · Humor/Funny · Romance

Delectable – R.L Mathewson

25170118| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Reese Bradford is a typical Bradford, he enjoys his food, is easy on the eyes, and has a killer smile, but there’s one thing about him that he doesn’t want anyone to know about, which of course is the first thing that his ex-fiance makes sure that everyone finds out about after she leaves him for his best friend. Out of options, he reluctantly heads out of town to spend the summer in the cottage that he’d rented for his honeymoon only to find himself tormented by a woman that never should have crossed his mind twice.

More intrigued than he’d ever thought possible, he can’t help but wonder about the woman that made him smile.

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My thoughts: I LOVED the characters. Absolutely loved them all. This is probably, so far, Mathewson’s best character development, connections and familiarity she has written. Reese we have meet before, Kasey is a new and such funny character to get to know. Then Reese enters the picture and I must say the way he entered was so perfect, funny and captivating. Then we have my absolute favorite character, Mikey. Kasey’s 10 year old daughter who with her quirky personality, it makes the whole book. It was also nice to meet some of the other characters from the earlier books.

But the plot however did nothing for me. It was kind of slow and bland. I have always found the food obsessions pretty funny and thought it would be a huge part in the book, since Kasey is a cook. But it wasn’t. And the whole virgin thing? Come on! Can it be more cringe and flamboyant?

It kept balancing on the border between funny and immature. Some parts really was to much for me and they felt forced, so in the end, it wasn’t good. And I certainly missed some groveling and the huge “explosion” between two of the characters that I really thought would come.

So over all, I loved the characters, not the plot and in total I did like the book.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Romance

Lover awakened – J.R. Ward

42900| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly war raging between vampires and their slayers. And there exists a secret band of brothers like no other – six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Of these, Zsadist is the most terrifying member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

A former blood slave, the vampire Zsadist still bears the scars from a past filled with suffering and humiliation. Renowned for his unquenchable fury and sinister deeds, he is a savage feared by humans and vampires alike. Anger is his only companion, and terror is his only passion—until he rescues a beautiful aristocrat from the evil Lessening Society.

Bella is instantly entranced by the seething power Zsadist possesses. But even as their desire for one another begins to overtake them both, Zsadist’s thirst for vengeance against Bella’s tormentors drives him to the brink of madness. Now, Bella must help her lover overcome the wounds of his tortured past, and find a future with her…

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My thoughts: You got to love those angst filled, save him, save her, type of romantic suspense books. This one is even in the paranormal category. I absolutely love the characters. I love how vulnerable they are even though they are vampires. They can easily be hurt or even die. I liked Bella a little less than I thought I would. She seemed so much older in the last book where you meet her. But she is a lot younger than you though and that shines through. In some occasion I liked it, in others not so much. Zsadist, gosh I hate the names in this series, was such a complicated character. He is deep with a lot of hurt in him. He is so far gone that even himself thinks he is a goner. But no, there is so much more in his core, just waiting and it certainly gave the whole book some serious depth. The history, memories and relationship with his brothers and friends certainly makes the book come alive and the building of future books is so greatly done. I did however not like Phury’s part of the plot that much. But I do not need to get into that. I do hope, when I come to his book, that it will be a lot better than I feel it would be right now.

Overall this is a page turner. It is exciting, captivating and astonishing. very little predictability and a lot of questions who you get all the answers to. It ended just perfect, with happy tears and all. And no cliffhanger. 🙂

Fantasy/Paranormal · Romance

Lover eternal – J.R. Ward

35729| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly turf war raging between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Possessed by a deadly beast, Rhage is the most dangerous of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

Within the brotherhood, Rhage is the vampire with the strongest appetites. He’s the best fighter, the quickest to act on his impulses, and the most voracious lover-for inside him burns a ferocious curse cast by the Scribe Virgin. Owned by this dark side, Rhage fears the time when his inner dragon is unleashed, making him a danger to everyone around him.

Mary Luce, a survivor of many hardships is unwittingly thrown into the vampire world and reliant on Rhage’s protection. With a life-threatening curse of her own, Mary is not looking for love. She lost her faith in miracles years ago. But when Rhage’s intense animal attraction turns into something more emotional, he knows that he must make Mary his alone. And while their enemies close in, Mary fights desperately to gain life eternal with the one she loves…

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My thoughts: Warning for a small rant. I will try to keep it on the down low. It was a good book. A real page turner. But not as good as the first book and as I’m thinking now, not as good as the third book. Yes I had to jump right into the next one since it ended on a cliffhanger and I just had to know how it would end.

I never really fell for the characters. The love story is overused and quite predictable. When the side characters are more interesting than the main characters, there is clearly something not working for me. I didn’t really like Mary and Rhage didn’t do anything for me. I remember Rhage, from the first book, as a funny, sexy, devilish, and charming character. Now he is just whiny and feels sorry for himself. Yeah, yeah! You have a curse. Boohoo! Get over it and move on. You have had a couple of hundred years so you should have been miles ahead by now. But yeah, it was just so repetitive.

I really liked the plot however and how the lessers had a big part and how all the other characters just built up to the story of the third book. It was interesting and quite captivating. The ending came a little fast but it made it easy for me to just throw myself right into the next one.

I really like Wards writing and her version of Vampires which feels just so right. This one was not a favorite but I still like the series and hopes the third one will be even better.